Edible Antics

Touring Wisconsin Food

Category: Food Philosophy (page 1 of 7)

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.

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.

Wisconsin- What’s Your Favorite Type of Pizza?

favorite-type-of-pizzaThe pizza debate between New York City and Chicago has been raging on for years, but John Stewart recently added some fuel to the fire when he called Chicago deep dish “an above ground marinara swimming pool for rats.”

My personal opinion is that comparing Chicago pizza and New York pizza is like comparing apples to oranges. Let’s face it Chicago, your pizza isn’t really pizza, it’s a casserole. A mind-blowingly delicious cheesy, meaty, saucy casserole, but still a casserole that happens to have similar ingredients to a pizza. So as much as I love Chicago deep dish, my vote goes with New York since their pizza is more pizza-like.

I also think this debate is entirely missing some of my other favorite kinds of pizza- wood-fired oven pizza, for example. I live in Madison so my favorite places to frequent are Pizza Brutta and Novanta, but any pizza parlor that serves wood-fired oven pizza with fresh ingredients and fire kissed crust gets my vote.

And what about “take-and-bake” pizza? The whole concept seemed crazy to me at first. If I want to order pizza, I’m probably feeling lazy so why would I bake it myself? There is a Papa Murphy’s take-and-bake pizza shop right near my house, so I decided to give it a try, and now I have officially been converted to a take and bake fan! A huge pie is $10 or less, and you get to enjoy it hot out of the oven. I’ve even been known to buy a huge Papa Murphy’s pie and eat it over the course of several days while my husband is away on business. It may not be the healthiest idea ever, but it’s cheaper than groceries and easier than cooking and cleaning! Side note: This review is concerning the thin crust Papa Murphy’s – I’m less impressed with the regular crust.

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4 Wisconsin Foods To Help You Survive the Polar Vortex

I live in Wisconsin so I expect a crazy winter, but the past few months have been harsh even by Wisconsin standards. I grew up in Virginia, and one winter day my mom came outside while I was blowing bubbles. She asked what on earth I was doing. I told her that I heard if it’s cold enough, bubbles will freeze. She laughed and told me it had to be a lot colder than 40 degrees. At the time, I remembered thinking I would probably never be anywhere cold enough to freeze bubbles.

Fast forward 20 years and here I am! I never forgot that day, nor my dream to make a frozen bubble, so I mixed up some soap and went to open my 3rd floor balcony door…. and it woudn’t open! Upon closer inspection, the door was crusted with ice on the INSIDE. Wow. Ice prevented me from completing my ice experiment!

So the bubble experiment is on hold, so here I am writing a blog post instead, and trying to come up with Wisconsin foods to keep me warm. Here are four of my favorites:

Day at the Beach Sugar Cookies – If you can’t go on a vacation to somewhere tropical, bring the tropics to you with beachy foods like these Day at the Beach Sugar cookies. A margarita would also do the trick.

Beer Cheese Soup– I shared this recipe a few years ago and it’s one of the most popular posts on this blog! I have a theory that people in Wisconsin need beer cheese soup to survive. If you’re really in need of some soup comfort, serve this soup in a bread bowl. YUM!

Engine House 19 Chili Mix – Chill does not taste the same in the summer, so make as much as you can before the snow melts! This chili mix from Engine House 19 has all the spices you need ready to go in a convenient package. Be sure to try Engine House 19’s other tasty food mixes like beer bread mix and hunter stew mix.

Coffee and Mug Gift Set – When it’s this cold out I have a hot drink with me almost 24/7, and to me, hot drinks just taste better out of a ceramic mug. This gift set includes two bags of coffee and a mug, so it makes a fantastic gift for anyone who is dealing with the polar vortex, which I heard on the news today includes everyone in the USA except for South Florida and Hawaii.

 

What foods do you eat to keep warming durning the polar vortex?

What’s New at New Glarus Brewery

whats-new-at-new-glarus-breweryIt’s hard to believe that it’s been more than two years since my last trip to the New Glarus Brewery. My husband and I decided to make the scenic drive from Madison to New Glarus to enjoy the fall colors and see what was new. We noticed the outdoor space at the brewery had changed- there was more seating and some interesting decorative walls, and after talking to one of the tour guides we learned that even more construction is in the works.

When I last visited New Glarus, they were producing around 127,000 barrels of beer each year. With the expansions they have planned, they hope to be producing 250,000 barrels per year in the next 3-5 years, according to a recent article in the Isthmus. Does this increase in production mean New Glarus will FINALLY start out-of-state distribution? We asked the tour guide at the brewery this question and he said absolutely not. New Glarus Brewery prides themselves on being an “only in Wisconsin” beer and they don’t have any plans to change that. Since craft beers are becoming more and more popular, there is enough demand in the state of Wisconsin to justify the increase in production.

Another new addition is a 20th Anniversary Ale which is brewed in the Belgian Dubbel style. I wish I could tell you how it tastes but we decided it to keep the bottles we bought safely tucked away in our wine fridge- the Anniversary Ale supposivly gets better with age. I DID taste some other New Glarus beers including an Octoberfest beer called Staghorn- a flavorful beer with a smooth finish, and Serendipity – a strawberry beer that’s a must try for fruit beer lovers.

The New Glarus Brewery also won two medals at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver this weekend, proving that I’m not the only one who thinks that Wisconsin makes the best beer in the USA!

What’s your favorite Wisconsin beer?

 

 

 

4 Wedding Cake Alternatives

I have a confession that might cause some controversy. I think wedding cake is kind of boring. There! I said it! Don’t get me wrong, I like cake in general, and if you read this blog you know I’m a passionate foodie, but at most weddings I’ve attended, the cake isn’t exciting enough to get me off the dance floor. Now that my big day is coming up, I’m looking at wedding cake alternatives. Something to make my guests say “WOW!” this is different!

 

 

 

4-wedding-cake-1

 

 

 

 

 

Pie– Rustic weddings are all the rage right now. Even brides who’ve never even met a farmer want to get married in rustic and romantic barns. Whenever I see a pie, I picture it cooling on the window sill of a farmhouse all day, so a pie enhances that rustic vibe. You can even get creative with cake stands and fancy displays for your pie assortment.

 

 

 

 

Cookies-
4-wedding-cake-2Cookies can make a fabulous favor, dessert or both! In Pennsylvania and Ohio, a cookie table is a wedding tradition. The bride and groom set up a huge table and fill it with cookies made by their friends and family. Guests receive decorative bags that they can fill with cookies of their choice. For a more formal look, shop for expertly decorated sugar cookies at a local bakery or online at Wisconsinmade.com.

 

 

 

 

4-wedding-cake-3Cake Push Pops- This is still cake, but it will definately spark your guest’s interest! This eye catching dessert display is made of plastic push pops filled with layers of cake and frosting. I saw this particular display at a wedding show, so talk to your local bakery to find if they can create cake push pops!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4-wedding-cake-4Ice Cream– Now that I think about it, I prefer birthday cake over wedding cake. Why? Birthday cake usually comes with ice cream! Serve up some ice cream along with your wedding cake, or better yet, make the ice cream the star by having an ice cream sundae bar. That way, guests can create their own ice cream treats, and the interactive element of adding their own toppings will bring an extra level of fun!

 

 

 

 

The most important part of picking your wedding dessert is to make sure it expresses your personality as a couple. Did you meet at the University of Wisconsin in Madison? Serve some Babcock Hall Ice Cream. Do you bleed Packer green and gold? Have Packer cookies as favors! Forget the traditions and express your personality on your special day!

 

Signature Recipes- To Share or Not to Share?

signature-recipes-share

This week I had some friends over for dinner and I made my
signature pizza recipe. I didn’t
come up with the recipe but whenever I have a dinner party this is one of the
first recipes I want to make.  The
pizza has fig spread, prosciutto and arugula, and it’s not a combination my guests
eat everyday, so it’s sort of my secret culinary weapon. After enjoying this amazing pizza my
friend asks me “Can I get the recipe? Or is it a secret?” I told her I don’t believe in keeping
recipes a secret and we debated the pros and cons of sharing recipes. I thought
this would make an awesome blog post, so here we are!

 

 

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Top 5 Places to Shop on Small Business Saturday for Wisconsin Food Lovers

There’s been talk in the news lately about the ridiculousness of Black Friday. Many stores have let Black Friday cast a shadow of Thanksgiving. When did a day of thanks turn in to a day where we trample each other for new TVs and smart phones? It’s a sad situation, but I see a glimmer of hope as my Facebook and Twitter news feeds fill with mentions of Small Business Saturday, the day when shoppers descend on local shops to buy Christmas gifts. If you’re not sure where to go, I’ve listed a few of my favorite Wisconsin small businesses for food gifts and the place online where you can find it all in one spot.

 


top5-places-to-shop-1National Mustard Museum-
You may have heard of this quirky museum in  downtown Middleton, Wisconsin that features 5,400 jars of mustard and other kitschy mustard memorabilia, but did you know they have a fabulous gift shop where you can purchase mustards from all over the USA and beyond? The knowledgeable staff will even let you taste any mustard you want.

 

 



top5-places-to-shop-2Cheesecake Heaven-
When I was first introduced to Cheesecake Heaven I thought they chose quite the a lofty name, but I took one bite and realized yes, their cheesecakes indeed transports you to a sweet and creamy heaven-like state of cheesecake bliss. Visit their store in the Wisconsin Dells for cheesecake, shortbread cookies, and other delightful treats.

 

 

 


top5-places-to-shop-3Clock Shadow Creamery-
When you think of cheese plants you usually think of cows on the country side, but Clock Shadow Creamy is in downtown Milwaukee. They specialize in cheese curds and quark- a spreadable cheese that resembles cream cheese.

 

 

 

 


top5-places-to-shop-4Embossed Edibles-
The artists at Embossed Edibles use cookie molds that they have collected over the years to create exquisite handpainted cookies. If you can’t bare to eat them, you can let them dry and attach a ribbon and use the cookies as decorations. The cookies come in several Christmas designs including snow flakes and nativity scenes.

 

 

 

 


top5-places-to-shop-5Knight’s Gourmet Popcorn-
I like Knight’s Gourmet Popcorn for two reasons, first, there’s something fun about eating popcorn out of a giant tin, and second, they have a fun story about how they got started. Ted Knight had a popcorn machine in his living room, and neighbors would knock on his window and he would serve them some popcorn. Now Knight’s Gourmet has their own store in Milwaukee where they sell gourmet popcorn filled tins.

 

 

If you can’t make it to Wisconsin to shop with these small businesses, shop online at Wisconsinmade.com in the comfort of your jammies. All of the gifts mentioned above and hundreds more ship nationwide from Wisconsinmade.com. The Wisconsinmade.com website might seem big, but it’s a nine woman operation, so it’s the perfect place for Small Business Saturday! See you then!

Cheese Are A Few of Our Favorite Things: The Wisconsinmade.com Staff’s Favorite Cheeses

cheese-are-a-few-1“Do you get to eat tons of cheese at work?!”

This is one of the first questions I get about my job as food blogger
extrodinare at Wisconsinmade.com. The answer
is YES! Between samples from aspiring aritsans, goodies leftover from TV
appearances and the surprise treats from our boss Linda, we get all the cheese
snacks we can handle.

If you thought resisting the office candy bowl was
hard, try working at a place that specializes in the best food in the
USA.
When Linda and Rick, the husband and wife team behind
Wisconsinmade.com, got word that I wanted to write a blog post about the
staff’s favorite cheeses, they took it a step further and actually
brought in our favorite cheeses. Continue reading to see what our favorites are and why.

 

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Fashion and Food Come Together with Saucy Girl Aprons

fashion-and-foodI have a theory about fashion and food, it’s all about balance and contrast. Finding the perfect balance in a dish is similar to finding the perfect balance in an outfit. For example, my favorite outfit is a dainty, flowing dress with some chunky wedge sandals or a structured leather jacket. My favorite dessert is a hot blueberry cobbler with crunchy topping and cold creamy ice cream. It’s the contrast that makes the outfit and the dessert memorable. All of the components come together to form something greater than the individual parts.

With such a strong correlation between fashion and food, why do we usually keep fashion out of the kitchen? My PJs and a grilling apron are my usual cooking attire. I want to be comfortable and chances are during the early stages of dinner prep, no one is around to care what I’m wearing.

I admit though, when I watch the show Mad Men (if you haven’t seen it, it’s based in the 60s) and Betty Draper is gliding around the kitchen with perfect hair, a cute dress, a stylish apron and kitten heels, I want to be her! Her look says to me “I am so amazing I had time to do my hair, put together the perfect outfit, AND make dinner.”

Retro chic aprons from Saucy Girl aprons bring the days of cooking in sassy aprons and dresses back in fashion. A Wisconsin mother and daughter came up with the idea after seeing their mom/grandma make a fashion statement in the kitchen. Saucy Girl aprons give a nod to the past, but they are thoroughly modern with a pocket perfect for an iPod and vibrant prints. They bring together the past and present, as well as function and fashion.

Do you wear aprons in the kitchen? Are they fashionable or strictly functional?

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