How 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:
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
Want to save on your favorite Wisconsin foods? Use promotion code FunTimes14 at checkout for $10 off orders of $75 or more.
I enjoyed a lovely trip out to brunch this weekend at the Bassett Street Brunch Club, and this trendy new spot made me reflect on all of the reasons why I love brunch. Here are the top 7!
- You get to enjoy breakfast foods without waking up early.
- Drinking in the middle of the day is perfectly acceptable and even encouraged.
- Bloody Marys. Confession- I do not like bloody marys but I want to like them so badly. I get jealous when all of my friends have drinks with cheese sticks and bacon and pickles sticking out of them and all I have is a dinky mimosa. I’ve been known to order bloodys and eat all of the toppings out of them and leave the tomato juice. For the best bloody mary mixes and fixens around, check out Wisconsinmade.com.
- Since you’re eating two meals (breakfast AND lunch) you can eat twice as much. And the calories don’t count! Right?! Please tell me there is scientific evidence to back this up.
- Poached eggs! The only time I ever get poached eggs is at brunch because despite my love for cooking I can never get these right!
- BACON! I hope you aren’t thinking “bacon is way over” because I’ll never get tried of bacon. Bacon on the side, bacon in pancakes, bacon on the donuts, bacon in the Bloody Mary, bacon everywhere! For the best bacon around, try some Nueske bacon.
- Giant plates of sweet pancakes or french toast or crepes with whipped cream and chocolate are an acceptable meal! It’s a sweet tooth’s dream come true.
What’s your favorite thing about brunch? What are your favorite places to eat brunch in Wisconsin?
Summer is here and that means fresh herbs, fresh fruit, and the fresh desire for a cold beverage, and my mojito recipe takes advantage of all three! Oh, and did I mention it’s National Mojito Day on July 11? Not that I need an excuse for mojitos. Making your own mojitos is easier than you think and you can even customize them with your favorite Wisconsin fruits.
Mojito Master Recipe
Makes 1 Mojito
Adapted by Amanda from a recipe I learned at Flambe Gourmet in Madison. Take a class there, no matter what your cooking skill level is, you’ll love it!
July is National Blueberry Month so it’s time to celebrate everything that is red, white, and blueberry! Blueberries are a welcomed addition to jam, baked goods, even fizzy beverages, and when you factor in their anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, blueberries are a winner! Here are 5 Wisconsin blueberry foods to enjoy in July or anytime!
Blueberry Cream Soda – If you love soda but are tired of the same old flavors at the gas station, try Blumer’s Blueberry Cream Soda. For an extra special summer treat, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a blueberry float!
Blueberry Kringle – The Kringle bakers in Racine, Wisconsin bake Kringles with an endless variety of fillings, so if you haven’t tried a blueberry Kringle, National Blueberry Month is the perfect time! Kringles ship nationwide straight from the bakery in Racine so you can enjoy the fresh baked Kringle taste almost anywhere.
Wild Blueberry Citrus Jam – The founders of Lu Austin Brand believe in natural and healthy foods, and the superfood blueberries fit in perfectly to their vision. The Wild Blueberry Citrus Jam blends fresh berries with orange, lemon and a hint of cinnamon that will make the most of your toast.
Blueberry Bran Muffin Mix – Imagine a peaceful grain mill on the banks of a meandering river in the Wisconsin countryside. Now imagine fresh from the oven blueberry muffins with generous amounts of melted butter. This muffin mix is the bridge between the two. A gift set of three flavors makes the perfect gift for the baker in your family.
Blueberry Pie Julia Child once said that a party without cake is only a meeting. As much as I love Julia, I disagree. Pie can make a party just as well as cake can! If you love pie, check out the Wisconsinmade.com Pie of the Month Club, – you can get a pie delivered to your door once a month!
What’s your favorite blueberry food?
Ah, summer grilling in Wisconsin! We love our brats and burgers, and after a tough winter we’ve earned some fun in the sun, but nothing will kill your summer buzz like a trip to the emergency room for a burn or a food born illness. Here are some tips to make sure your summer if full of tasty AND safety!
1. Use a different plate for raw and cooked meats. The juices from raw meat can contain harmful bacteria, and those hang out on the plate that you take out to the grill. Make sure to use a fresh plate for the cooked meat. Also, wash your hands and any surfaces that come in contact with raw meat.
2. Lock down the trash. This tip is mostly for our four legged friends. Corn cobs, chicken bones and other common cook out trash can be harmful to pets. Make sure the trash can has a fido and fluffly proof lid.