This week’s Wisconsin county culinary tour visits Dunn and Eau Claire Counties.  Interesting not only are they next to each our alphabetically but they are also next door neighbors.

Dunn County

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Map of Wisconsin highlighting Dunn County by David Benbennick

Dunn County is 852 square miles and is home to about 44,000 people.  County seat is Menomonie.  Some of the villages in Dunn County include:

  • Boyceville
  • Colfax
  • Downing
  • Elk Mound
  • Knapp
  • Ridgeland
  • Wheeler

The University of Wisconsin – Stout campus is located in Menomonie with many outstanding career focused majors.  The Chippewa River is an excellent recreational resource and flows through the south east corner of the county.  The Red Cedar River and state trail run north and south through much of the county.  The county is blessed with a number of state hunting and fishing grounds that attract visitors and fans.

Edible Antics recommendations located in Dunn County include:

  • The Grain Bin market and bakery near Boyceville stocks bulk supplys of grains and baking supplies and also has fresh baked goods to take home
  • Sailer’s Cut Rite meats in Menomonie for local meats
  • Jake’s Supper Club on Tainter Lake five miles north of Menomonie features three outdoor decks overlooking the lake, live music on weekends and 20 beers on tap.
  • Zanzibar restaurant and pub in historic downtown Menomonie
  • The Waterfront restaurant on Lake Menomonie offers outdoor seating in the summer with great views of the lake
  • Lucette Brewing company is a small batch craft brewer with interesting brews
  • Legacy Chocolates in Menomonie for expresso and hand dipped chocolate truffles

Eau Claire County

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Map of Wisconsin highlighting Eau Claire County by David Benbennick

About 99,000 people live in the 637 square miles that is Eau Claire County.  The County seat is in Eau Claire.  Other cities in the county include Altoona and Augusta.  Villages include Fairchild and Fall Creek.  The Eau Claire River merges into the Chippewa River in the city of Eau Claire.  The city is home to the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire campus, the Chippewa Valley Museum and the Paul Bunyan Logging Camp.  .  The county straddles an area where the agricultural lands of southern Wisconsin transition into the forested north woods of Wisconsin.

Edible Antics recommendations in Eau Claire County include:

  • Randy’s Family Restaurant
  • Mona Lisa’s in historic downtown Eau Claire
  • Grizzly’s Grill wood fired oven treats
  • Eau Claire Firehouse in an updated firehouse with good beer selections
  • Bijou Bistro with an interesting menu
  • Silver Spring Foods provide condiments derived from horseradish roots.
  • Otter Creek Inn bed and breakfast in Eau Claire.  Here is their recipe for Easy Blonde Brownies from the Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast cookbook:

Easy Blonde Brownies (makes 12 servings)

Ingredients;

  • 2/3 cup margarine
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 to 1.5 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9X12 inch baking dish.  Melt the margarine in a saucepan over low heat.  Add the brown sugar and stir until melted.  Beat in the eggs, vanilla, flour, baking powder and salt.  Spread the batter into the prepared baking dish and top with chocolate chips.  Bake for 25 minutes.

Blonde Brownies are said to have been invented before traditional brownies.   January 22 is National Blonde Brownie Day.

Join us next week as we hunt down more edible antics in Florence and Fond du Lac Counties searching for stuff that is Made With Pride and Passion in Wisconsin.