My Favorite Dessert: Cheesecake

Cheesecake has been my favorite dessert for as long as I can remember. My dad used to make cheesecakes when I was little, with his own recipe that had been refined over the years. Eventually I was given the recipe and learned the trade.

Unfortunately my childhood experience has ruined almost all restaurant cheesecake for me. I’m constantly amazed when my friends order cheesecake and exclaim how amazing it is, only for me to taste it and think to myself, “you paid for this?”

Now I am not here to share my family’s cheesecake secrets, and quite frankly our recipe can be found on numerous websites with just a few slight modifications. However, I would like to share the one cheesecake I have ever tasted that I have to admit is better than my dad’s: Suzy’s Four Flavor Cheesecake Sampler.

Suzy's Four Flavor Cheesecake Sampler

 

This cheesecake caught my attention at a party, as all cheesecakes do. I had to try it. I started with the plain New York Style cheesecake. I typically prefer plain cheesecakes so I can appreciate the simplicity and truly judge the quality. Well, it was delicious — firmer than my dad’s, but just as creamy.

I moved on to each of the other flavors, one by one: Chocolate Amaretto, Black Forest Cherry, and Chocolate Caramel Pecan. Each flavor is so unique and tasty.

The cheesecake sampler is beautifully presented and perfect for parties. It is with an awkward mix of embarrassment and awe that I recommend Suzy’s cheesecake and remind myself that I still have a thing or two to learn about my favorite dessert.

Hand-Decorated Easter Sugar Cookies

Easter is almost here! Hand-decorated Easter-themed cookies put a smile on everyone’s face — for both kids and adults! Here are a few fun decorated cookies for Easter:

Easter Sugar Cookies Assortment“I received a thank you note from my cousin in Virginia. He told me the cookies were almost too pretty to eat, but they polished them off in two days. I think they were a hit!” — Lori on the Easter Sugar Cookies Assortment

 

Easter Morning Sugar Cookie Gift Tin“Wow… what beautiful cookies, and the taste wonderful. My grandchildren just loved them.” — Mary Ann on the Easter Morning Sugar Cookie Gift Tin

 

Flower Garden Sugar Cookie Crisp Gift Box“Bought these as a get well gift for my mom. She was very happy with them.” — Anonymous on the Flower Garden Sugar Cookie Crisp Gift Box

 

 

Youth Badger Apparel

March Madness has begun! Here are a few apparel items for kids who are consumed by the college basketball tournament.

Wisconsin Youth Gray Embroidered HoodieThe Wisconsin Youth Gray Embroidered Hoodie by Genuine Stuff features a Wisconsin applique and W logo embroidered on the front. The light gray hooded sweatshirt has cuffed wrists and waist and front handwarmer pocket. Makes an ideal gift for a young Badger fan.

 

Wisconsin Badgers Youth Lounge PantsThe Wisconsin Badgers Youth Lounge Pants feature an all over print of Bucky Badger and Wisconsin. The soft, red lounge pants have elastic waist and faux front fly. The Wisconsin Badgers Youth Lounge Pants are as comfortable as they are stylish.

 

 

Wisconsin Toddler Hoodie and Pants SetThe Wisconsin Badgers Toddler Hoodie and Pants Set by Adidas will look great on young Badger fans. The red hooded sweatshirt features ribbed cuffs and waist, and front pouch pocket with Wisconsin and the Adidas logo printed on the front. The matching elastic waist pants with ribbed ankles have Bucky Badger screen printed on the left leg. Accent stitching is included on both pieces.

Four Fabulous Gluten Free Foods

Gluten-free diets are becoming more common every year. There are many reasons to adopt a gluten-free diet:  gluten sensitivity, Coeliac disease, and wheat allergies are some of the more popular rationales.

Finding gluten-free food can be difficult, especially for unique products. Here is a list of four fabulous gluten-free foods from Wisconsin!

Gluten-free Turtle CheesecakeThe Gluten-free Turtle Cheesecake by CheeseCake Heaven is a delicious, rich dessert. Baked from scratch, this delightful cheesecake is sure to please everyone on your gift giving list. Chocolate Chips, Pecans and Caramel top off this heavenly delight. The 7 inch Gluten-free Turtle Cheesecake has no crust.

 

Croix Valley Barbecue Sauces AssortmentThe Croix Valley Barbecue Sauces Assortment allows you to choose three flavors from four excellent award-winning barbecue sauces. Developed in professional barbecue competitions across the nation, Croix Valley Barbecue Sauces are the perfect combination of ingredients that has teams winning over and over. Each distinctive variety of sauce is hand crafted in small batches and perfect to create mouth-watering ribs, chicken, pork and brisket. Flavors to choose from include Sweet & Smokey Competition Barbecue Sauce, Pitmasters Bold Competition Barbecue Sauce, Rhubarbecue Sauce, and Honey Dijon Barbecue and Brat Sauce. Liven up your next grilling experience with Croix Valley Barbecue Sauces.

Organic MacroBars AssortmentThe Organic MacroBars Assortment by GoMacro includes 10 delicious MacroBars in 5 flavors. Enjoy a vairety of organic, gluten-free snack bars in five flavors, two of each flavor: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Granola with Coconut, Cherries n Berries, Cashew Caramel, and Banana Almond Butter. Macrobiotics strengthen ones’ immune system. These organic snack bars are organic, gluten-free, vegan and high protein. No fancy gift boxes, just enjoy these Organic MacroBars yourself or send as a gift.

Honey Chocolate Mint 3-PacksOur Honey Chocolate Mint 3-Packs by Honey Acres are a perfect all natural sweet treat. Three award-winning, honey mints are wrapped together in see-through packaging. There are 24 3-packs in each box. These Honey Chocolate Mints are made from three natural ingredients: Pure Honey, Raw Dark Chocolate (98 percent cocoa with no milk or sugar added) and oil of Peppermint. The mints are dairy-free and gluten-free. Our Honey Chocolate Mint 3-Packs are a tasty snack, unique wedding favor, or a delicious gift for any occasion.

3 Unique St. Patrick’s Day Cookie Gifts

St. Patrick’s day is just around the corner. To enhance your celebrations, here are three unique cookie gifts that will put a smile on everyone’s face.

St. Patricks Top of the Morning CookiesYou’ll enjoy a great St. Patrick’s Day with these Top of the Morning Cookies by K-Delights. These hand-decorated sugar cookies come in St. Patrick’s Day designs of a rainbow, beer mug, pot of gold, shamrock and St. Patty’s Day hat. Designs and decorations of the cookies may vary. There are a total 20 cookies packaged in a silver gift tin tied with a green ribbon.

St. Patrick's Day Luck of the Irish Sugar CookiesIrish eyes will shine with these St. Patrick’s Day Luck of the Irish Sugar Cookies. These gourmet sugar cookies from Cookies From Scratch are made with an original Sugar Crisp recipe. Each shamrock-shaped cookie is decorated in green and some are dotted with a mini-chocolate shamrock. This delicious, home baked gift contains 1 dozen delicious sugar cookies that are perfect for St. Patrick’s Day.

Grasshopper Whoopie PiesGrasshopper Whoopie Pies are a delicious, soft cake-like sandwich cookie with a creamy buttercream filling, perfect for gift-giving. The Grasshopper Whoopie Pies are made with a fudgy chocolate cake with a refreshing mint filling. Made fresh to order with real Wisconsin butter, milk, eggs and no preservatives, whoopie pies taste as good as they look! Enjoy one dozen whoopie pies in either small or large size.

Top 4 Badger Basketball Gifts

College basketball is in full swing. With March Madness only a month away, it’s time to get prepared for the big tournament. Here are a few great gift ideas for Badger Basketball fans.

Custom Basketball Team Sugar Cookie Gift TinThis Custom Basketball Team Sugar Cookie Gift Tin allows you to customize several of the cookies with your favorite team colors and player jersey number. The gift tin includes 20 hand decorated sugar cookies in the following basketball shapes – jersey, referee shirt, basketball, hoop, scoreboard and whistle. Customize the three player jersey shaped cookies with a player jersey number, color of jersey, and color of jersey trim and number in the three Personalization boxes below. All other cookies in the gift tin will be as shown in the image. No matter what basketball team you support, you can customize the jersey shaped cookies with your favorite number and team colors – no team names, player names, or team logos are available. The Custom Basketball Team Sugar Cookie Gift Tin is perfect for your next sports party and is a great gift for every basketball fan.

Bo Ryan: Another Hill to Climb - BookBo Ryan: Another Hill to Climb is an autobiography of the University of Wisconsin head basketball coach. The book tracks Bo Ryan’s successes at UW-Platteville, UW-Milwaukee, and UW-Madison. This book, written by Bo Ryan with Mike Lucas, captures the coach’s memories of the many people who have influenced his journey as well as the hurdles and highlights that accompanied each step up the coaching ladder. College basketball fans will enjoy reading about Ryan’s insight into the game, the coaching profession, and big time college basektball.

University of Wisconsin Sports RunnerThe University of Wisconsin Sports Runner is a unique rug for your game room, a child’s room, or anywhere you want to show your Badger pride. Choose either a Badger Basketball or Badger Football runner. The rectangular basketball runner has a basketball court design and features a large motion W logo in the center, Wisconsin at one end, and Badgers at the other end. The rectangular football runner has a football field design and features a large motion W logo in the center, Wisconsin in one end zone, and Badgers in the other end zone. Non-skid backing ensures a rugged and safe product. Made in America by Sports Licensing Solutions.

University of Wisconsin Mini Hoop Basketball SetThe University of Wisconsin Mini Hoop Basketball Set includes a small Badger foam basketball and plastic backboard both with motion W logo. This mini hoop set comes with brackets for hanging in your office, dorm room or home. Have fun practicing your basketball skills on a small scale while showing your UW Badger pride. The UW Mini Hoop Set is great for teens and adults and can be fun for children ages 4 and up.

Valentine’s Day Gifts for Kids

Valentine’s Day is a fun holiday because it’s for everyone! Love comes in all shapes and sizes — and that means Valentine’s Day isn’t just for adults. Here are a few Valentine’s Day gifts for your children, nieces, and nephews!

Spritz Cookie Valentine Hearts Gift BoxThe Spritz Cookie Valentine Hearts Gift Box is an assortment of homemade spritz almond cookies by Cookies from Scratch. Enjoy 4 dozen delicious, heart-shaped spritz cookies in a variety of bright colors. Cookies are packaged in an attractive gift box with a clear lid to peek at all the cookies. A perfect gift for Valentine’s Day!

 

Packers Love Dress - Preschool

This Green Bay Packers Love Dress for preschool girls has Packers Love and the Packers logo screen printed on the front. The green drop waist dress has gold stitched trim, a gold bow, single button and loop closure at the back, and cap style sleeves. The Packers Love Dress is available in preschool sizes.

 

Chocolate Smooch Candy Gift BagThe Chocolate Smooch Candy Gift Bag from Wisconsin Dairyland Fudge is a great gift for an anniversary, birthday, Valentine’s Day or other special occasion. Give that special someone a real “chocolate kiss” with these lip-sized smooches. Choose from all milk chocolate, all white chocolate, all dark chocolate, or an assortment of all three varieties. The one pound Chocolate Smooch Candy Gift Bag includes 21 pieces of gourmet chocolate candy, each individually wrapped and all 21 attractively packaged in a see-through bag tied with a festive bow.

5 Seasonal Fruits for Winter

Make sure to enjoy your favorite winter fruits while they are still in season! Buying fruit in season is typically cheaper, but more importantly, tastier! Of course you can buy fruit when it’s out of season, but fresh fruit in season can provide a burst of flavor that no other food can rival.

Here are 5 winter fruits that will be out of season soon!

GrapefruitGrapefruit

In Season: December – April

Different types of grapefruit may have different harvest times, but most grapefruit is best consumed in winter! Did you know that the United States is the top producer of grapefruit in the world?

KumquatsKumquats

In Season: October – April

Kumquats are native to south Asia and have an innate ability to survive cold temperatures, but they grow better in warm regions.

LimesLimes

In Season: October – April

We don’t usually think of limes as a seasonal fruit, but they are! There are different types of limes grown all over the world in different seasons, but winter limes are something special.

OlivesOlives

In Season: September – January

There are so many types of olives and many have different growing seasons. But many of the olives you will find in grocery stores are prime for eating in winter.

GuavasGuavas

In Season: February – April

Guavas are very rich in Vitamin C and are native to Mexico and Central America. India is now the top global producer.

3 Tasty Super Bowl Party Foods

Super Bowl parties are always fun. Even if the Packers aren’t playing, your Super Bowl party can still have a tasty Wisconsin theme.

Wisconsin Cheese CurdsWisconsin Cheese Curds are a local Wisconsin favorite, made fresh everyday. Pop these cheddar curds in the microwave for a few seconds and you will have fresh-tasting squeaky curds. Your Super Bowl guests will love them.

 

 

Bacon Caramel CornBacon Caramel Corn is a delicious sweet and salty snack. It is made from scratch with bits of Applewood Smoked Bacon added for a unique, crispy taste! A perfect Super Bowl treat for your guests.

 

 

Super Bowl Cookie Gift TinThe Super Bowl Cookie Gift Tin is an assortment of delicious sugar cookies honoring this year’s Super Bowl contenders. K-Delights will complete your tailgate party every year with an updated set of cookies. All 20 sugar cookies are homemade and individually hand decorated in the shapes of helmets, footballs and the Lombardi trophy. Attractively packaged in the gift tin with a ribbon wrapped around it.

5 Food Trend Predictions for 2015

3125841124_2a877fca9b_zHere it is, my first and favorite blog post of the year. The blog post where I get to look ahead to the year in food and predict what flavors, dishes and treats will be popular in the year to come. Last year I predicted deviled eggs, waffles and buratta would pop up on restaurant menus and in foodie kitchens. Want to know what I think we’ll be eating this year? Read on!

  1. Old Fashioned Cocktails. Is the Old Fashioned the official cocktail of Wisconsin? If not, it should be. Wisconsinites LOVE a brandy Old Fashioned. But you know what’s also tasty? A bourbon Old Fashioned. According to my local bartender, drinkers are skipping the vodka and gin in exchange for bourbon and scotch. I’m predicting bourbon Old Fashioned cocktails will be the top cocktail of 2015.
  2. Pumpkin Seeds. I made a pumpkin soup recently and the recipe suggested I roast the seeds as a topping for the soup. I’d never roasted pumpkin seeds myself, but I’d tried them at restaurants before and I always liked them, so I decided to tackle this extra step. Taking the seeds out of the pumpkin guts was more work than I had hoped for, put after patting the seeds dry, tossing them with olive oil and salt, then roasting them in the oven for about 25 minutes, I came to the conclusion that roasting pumpkin seeds is SO WORTH IT! Yum! I snacked on so many they almost didn’t make it into the soup. You can also do the same thing with butternut squash seeds.
  3. Geek Yogurt for everything. There’s no denying Americans have developed a taste for Greek yogurt. It’s slowly but surely taking over the entire yogurt section at the grocery store. But if all you’re doing is eating fruity Greek yogurt as a snack, you’re missing out. Plain Greek yogurt makes a healthier substitute for sour cream. You won’t even notice the difference in taste when you use it to top tacos, baked potatoes, or even as a substitute for sour cream in dips.
  4. Cheese Grits. Grits are a traditionally Southern food that’s known for being bland, but melt in some Wisconsin cheese and top them with Nuekse bacon and you’ve got an amazing breakfast. You’re welcome South.
  5. Grilled Pizza. Attention pizza lovers- you must try grilling pizza! Grilled pizza is chewier and has a smokey flavor that oven pizza just can’t deliver. Read here for great grilled pizza instructions.

What foods do you think will be popular in 2015?