Happy Anniversary and Congratulations! We Survived Year 1 of Marriage

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In my first job out of college I learned all about how to manage expectations. Under promise, over deliver. Well, I wish someone had managed my expectations about the biggest event of my life that happened 1 year ago this month- my marriage to my husband Phil.

The actual day was perfect. I was surrounded by people who truly loved me, my (now) husband, my mom and dad, my best friends, my super-senior grandparents who traveled from Pennsylvania, and my husband’s family who from day one have made me feel loved and accepted. Seeing all of the people who traveled from far and wide to be in Wisconsin for our wedding (I like to tell people it was a destination wedding for everyone but the bride and groom) made me feel like I MUST be doing SOMETHING right in life to have this many people who cared about me. Plus there were cheese curds, five different kinds of pie, and New Glarus Spotted Cow on tap at the reception- so trust me, it was an awesome day.

The perfection of the day itself contributed to my mismanaged expectations. I was under the impression that the fun would continue for the first year at the very least. That’s why they call it the honeymoon phase, right? BUT to my surprise life went pretty much back to normal –job issues, cars breaking down, pets messing up the carpet… and about a million conversations the begin with “it makes me feel [insert feeling] when you [annoying behavior].”

DOESN’T LIFE KNOW IT’S MY FIRST YEAR OF MARRIAGE AND EVERYTHING IS SUPPOSED TO BE BLISSFUL?!?!

(First world problems I know- for the record, I try not to get overly stressed about the small stuff, and as my dad says, everything is small stuff. )

But to be perfectly honest I was a little freaked out. If it’s this hard in year one how hard is it going to get?

Fast forward to first anniversary. I was adamant with my husband that we take some time to slow down and celebrate. He didn’t want to go out for dinner since he had just spent the week dining out with clients with his job (see, there you go getting in the way of my bliss, dang you life!). So instead, I made a healthy but still fancy dinner for two at home with wine, candles, matching dishes and cloth napkins. We reread the notes we wrote each other on our wedding day and all of a sudden all of the small stuff that happened in the last year felt down right microscopic.

I’ve attended 3 weddings so far this year with a fourth one on the books for next weekend, so my advice to the newlyweds is this:

Life goes on marriage or no marriage and it will keep going on whether you stop to appreciate your spouse or not, but I suggest you do appreciate them. And it doesn’t have to be with expensive jewelry or steak dinners. Sometimes an $8 bottle of wine, a home cooked meal and some cloth napkins are enough to say “thanks for putting up with me.”

Oh, and by the way, I have to pay the bills on this blog, so check out Anniversary Gifts by Year at Wisconsinmade.com 

 

Photo by Hanson Photography. 

3 Scientific Studies Confirm: You Should Eat Wisconsin Cheese

Wisconsin CheeseHow much cheese do you eat?

According to the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Americans eat an average of 33 pounds each year (see chart below). To give you an idea of how much cheese that is, 33 pounds is about how much your average counter top microwave weighs.

Is all that cheese consumption good for us? Bad for us? It sure tastes good, but what does cheese do for our health? It depends on who you ask, but even the strongest cheese naysayers can’t deny that the protein and calcium in cheese are essential to healthy muscles and bones. For those of us in the pro-cheese camp, some recent studies confirm even more healthy cheese benefits, for example:

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5 Wisconsin Gifts to Get Your Boss On Boss’s Day That Will Probably Earn You a Raise

I know I’m early but I wanted to remind you that Boss’s Day is October 16. If you like your boss, you should start thinking about getting your boss a card or maybe even a gift. A good boss deserves a card because they at least complete the first two steps of being a good boss.

  • Remembering employees’ names, saying hi and making an attempt to get to know everyone.
  • Checking in on employees and making sure they have what they need to do their job.

And that’s it! It’s surprising how many bosses don’t even complete the first two steps to earn a card. Now, a few bosses are GREAT bosses, a great boss completes the first two points AND does one or more of the following:

  • Gives you regular constructive feedback on your work.
  • Makes you feel appreciated.
  • Makes you feel like you’re not afraid to make mistakes.

Does your boss make it into the gift category? Great! Here are some fun gift ideas, and there’s even a good chance the boss will share these with the whole office.

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German Food In Wisconsin: How To Get To Germany Without Buying a Plane Ticket

Growing up my dad was in the army so I got the once in a lifetime opportunity to live in Germany for four years. Even though I only lived there from ages four to eight, Germany has left it’s mark on me. I can spot an authentic German deli or smell a Nurnberger bratwurst from a mile away.

I used to go with my mom to the meat market.  The person behind the counter would always hand me a slice of smiley face bologna- yes, you read that right. The bologna had two different colors to it that made up the smiley face. At the time, I knew the words “danke” (thank you) and “bitte” (you’re welcome) but I couldn’t keep them straight so I would just say whichever one I thought of first. The butcher thought this was adorable and it would usually earn me a second slice of bologna.

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Wisconsin Food Myths: True or Cow Poo?

Wisconsin Food Myths

 

Have you heard any weird myths about Wisconsin food lately? I have. How about the rumor that cheese is squeaky? Or the rumor that dairy cows outnumber people?

Which Wisconsin food myths are true and which are just cow poo? Read this blog post to find out!

Cranberries grow in water.

PooWe’ve all seen the cranberry commercial with two guys standing in the cranberry bog, but the truth is, cranberries grow on vines that lie low to the ground. Cranberry farmers flood the fields and the berries float to the top for easy harvesting.

 

 

Cheese curds squeak when you eat them. 

True

Mostly true anyway, FRESH cheese curds squeak when you chew them. It’s hard to describe if you haven’t ever tried a fresh curd. It’s sort of like chewing on a balloon. I know that’s not the most appetizing analogy, but it’s the best I can do. Try a cheese curd to see for yourself!

 

 

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Wisconsin Sports Stars Take the Ice Bucket Challenge

By now you’ve probably heard of the Ice Bucket Challenge. If you haven’t, it’s a sensation that’s taking over the social media world. Participants donate to the ALS Association, video tape themselves getting drenched with a bucket of ice water, and then challenge friends to do the same. So far, the Ice Bucket Challenge has raised $15.6 million according to a recent Time magazine article.

I know it doesn’t have much to do with food, but it’s certainly resulted in some crazy antics that are well worth sharing – so I thought I would write a post about it for the Edible Antics blog. Here are some of your favorite Wisconsin sports stars taking the challenge!

University of Wisconsin Men’s Basketball coach Bo Ryan thinks he got lucky, but not so fast! Your move Bucky Badger!

 

Green Bay Packer Quarterback Aaron Rodgers continues to prove he’s awesome by taking the icy plunge.

Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers states the obvious – “that was cold!”

Meanwhile, Bob Uecker says “Why’d you waste the ice on those guys? Some cocktails would have been nice!” Click here to watch. 

What’s your favorite ice bucket challenge video? Post it in the comments!

29 Wisconsin Towns with Delicious Food Nicknames

3564029624_a7ac85c089_zI started out writing a totally different blog post today and then I came across a list of Wisconsin towns and their nicknames and I had to share with my readers! Some of them are hilarious- Toilet Paper Capital of the World (Green Bay), You Can Get There From Here (Forest Junction).

Some of them make me want to know more- UFO Capital of the World (Belleville), The Dinky’s Last Stop (Woodman).

And one makes the rest of Wisconsin hang their head and sigh- Home of the Chicago Bears Summer Training Camp (Platteville). Really Platteville? I think you can do better!

But 29 nicknames have to do with my favorite topic, FOOD! So continue reading to find 29 Wisconsin towns with delicious food nicknames!

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How to Wisconsinize Your Grits for a Wisconsin Brunch

I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t this a Wisconsin food blog? Why is there a blog post about grits?

Because with a few additions grits can be as Wisconsiny as a cheese curd! In this recipe the grits serve as the creamy but neutral base for your favorite Wisconsin flavors. Stir in a heavy handed portion of Wisconsin white cheddar, then top with a fried egg and Wisconsin-made applewood smoked bacon crumbles (as always, I recommend Nueske bacon!). You can even add some cooked spinach to get in your healthy greens.

This recipe was inspired by my all time favorite cheese grits, the gouda grits at Crema Cafe in Madison. See, I’m not the only Wisconsinite who enjoys grits! Try this recipe and I bet you will too!

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4 of the Craziest Foods at the Wisconsin State Fair in 2014

Image Via Wistatefair.com

Time to put on your stretchy pants and head over to the Wisconsin State Fair for some fair food indulgences. This year, food vendors put their best plate forward in attempt to win a Golden Spork Award. Here are 5 of my favorite winning dishes!

Bacon Wrapped Cherrywood Smoked Pork Belly On-a-Stick- I know what you’re thinking. “Wait, isn’t pork belly bacon? So essentially we’re talking about bacon wrapped bacon?” Yes. Bacon wrapped bacon. YUM!

If you want to try some cherrywood smoked bacon, head over to Wisconsinmade.com.

Chicken-N-Waffle Cone (pictured)- Foodies adore chicken and waffles, but sticky syrup and greasy chicken don’t make proper portable fair food, until now! Water Street Brewery came up with a creative culinary solution- make the waffle into a waffle cone. Genius!

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Christmas in July! 5 Wisconsin Food Gifts That Bring Joy All Year

Remember Christmas season last year? There was a Polar Vortex and sub-zero temps, and I bet you stayed inside and ate some fabulous holiday food. But how come Christmas hams, gingerbread men and other holiday favorites are reserved for the winter? Here are 5 Wisconsin food gifts that can bring joy all year round!

1. Nueske Ham- When I was in college my fellow students couldn’t wait to go home for a holiday meal because….HAM! I’ve learned a lot since then, including that ham is easy to make. Especially applewood smoked hams from Nueske. They come fully cooked so all you have to do is cook and eat. You can enjoy ham on sandwiches, in omlettes, even in ham salad- so don’t limit ham to the holidays!

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2. Cheese of the Month Club- Month clubs are one of my favorite gifts because they keep on giving. In fact, if you purchase a 6-month club in July, your gift recpient will still be receiving cheese gifts in December.

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3. Gingerbread- Fans of these adorable gingerbread men say they can’t stop eating them, and since they can get them year-round, they don’t have to!

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4. Cranberry Chutney- Wisconsin produces more cranberries than any other state, so there are plenty of cranberries for us to enjoy in the summer months. Cranberry chutney is a perfect pairing with cheese like brie or gouda, so serve some as an appetizer at your next summer barbeque!

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5. Kringle- As soon as the calendar hits December, Wisconsinites all over the USA get a Kringle craving.  It’s easy to see why- these decatant pasties ship freshly baked from Danish bakeries in Racine so they’re perfect to fill that holiday sweet tooth craving.  But why do we limit Kringle to the holidays? In July, you can even get special flavors like Key Lime, but only for a limited time. Visit Wisconsinmade.com to get shopping for Kringle!

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Want to save on your favorite Wisconsin foods? Use promotion code FunTimes14 at checkout for $10 off orders of $75 or more.