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Edible Antics

Touring Wisconsin Food

Tag: cake

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!










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.





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





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!


Easter Meal Ideas

Easter meal ideas should celebrate the season and reflect the renewal and happiness of Spring. Also make sure your main dish, side dish, and dessert choices are family friendly so everyone can enjoy the fun of Easter dinner.


Ham – Ham earns the number one spot on my Easter meal ideas because ham just plain rules. When I was in college, I remember being excited to go home for Easter because we were having ham. Ham is a crowd pleaser- kids love it, adults love it, and the cook loves it since it is easy to prepare- just heat and eat. In the case of the spiral sliced versions, you don’t even need to slice the ham yourself. If that wasn’t enough, ham makes a variety of yummy left overs like omelets, casseroles and my favorite, ham salad.




Lamb– Lamb requires a little bit more effort to prepare but the results are juicy, flavorful, and a special treat worthy of an Easter meal. This one might be a little too adventurous for most kids and even some adults, so stick to ham if you’re unsure, or serve both.






easter-mealEaster Egg Bread Centerpiece– This golden Easter bread nest is filled with colorful Easter eggs and doubles as an Easter centerpiece. Follow the link to see the complete instructions for how to enjoy this kid friendly recipe at home.





Pickled Eggs – Pickled eggs are an Easter tradition in my family, and no Easter meal is complete without them. We also eat them for breakfast with a sprinkle of salt. If making your own pickled eggs sounds like too much work, check out these pickled eggs from Milwaukee’s Bay View Packing Company.





easter-meal-2Carrot Cake– There are a ton of Easter sweet treats like marshmallow candies, chocolate bunnies, chocolate eggs, but candies just won’t do at an elaborate Easter meal. Make your Easter dessert memorable with a fancy carrot cake! Who knows, maybe the Easter bunny will join you for dessert!

Don’t Forget November and December Birthdays

November is here and December is fast approaching. Quick! Deck the halls! Brine the turkey! Vacuum the guest bedroom!

With all the chores to do before Thanksgiving and Christmas, it can be easy to forget November and December birthdays.  Just because someone happens to be born around the same time of year as baby Jesus doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a special day of their own.  My mom’s birthday is November 21st and  she often receives presents with the caveat “This is your birthday AND your Christmas present”.

Now, I know “it’s the thought that counts” and most people with November and December birthdays don’t make a big deal about their forgotten or otherwise diminished birthdays, but how about we make this year different? Let’s give the winter babies a BIRTHDAY present that isn’t under the tree or wrapped in red and green, but a legitimate cake, candles, and balloons present.  Here are some festive and tasty ideas for November and December birthday gifts.

Hand Decorated Birthday CookiesHand-Decorated Birthday Sugar Cookies

Freshly baked cookies decorated with cakes and balloons won’t be confused as a Christmas present so they make the perfet treat for a December birthday.


Popcorn seasaoning gift set

Popcorn and Seasoning Birthday Gift Set

Freshly popped popcorn makes a yummy birthday treat.  Add two flavors of popcorn seasonings, popcorn forks and a birthday gift box and you’ve got a popcorn party.


Birthday CakeCustomized Birthday Cake

Nothing says “Happy Birthday” better than cake! If you aren’t a baker, leave it to the experts at O&H Bakery to make a cake that the birthday boy or girl will never forget.

Do you have a November or December birthday?  Comment below and tell me your story.



Cooking and Baking Disasters: The Tale of the Bleeding Cake

I talk a good game with all of my cooking and baking tips, but the truth is I’ve had some major kitchen disasters. There have been awesome triumphs too, but the failures are more fun to talk about.  The story of how I made perfect muffins is WAY less interesting than the time I made a bleeding cake.  Yep, that’s right, a bleeding cake.

I grew up in the south and one day I discovered the joy of red velvet cake. This is what a red velvet cake is suppose to look like:

Red Velvet Cake

I bought some red velvet cake mix so I could try it at home.  I baked up two layers and anxiously awaited my delicious cake. I was so excited that I couldn’t wait to put the icing on and dig in.  I thought the cake was “cool enough” and started icing.  This is when I discovered that red velvet cake mix is just chocolate cake mix with some red food dye.   The still hot cake caused the red dye to turn the white icing red, and this created creepy blood like red drops running down the side of the cake as the icing melted- not very appetizing. I was so embarrassed at the time I didn’t take a picture so please enjoy the Microsoft Paint rendering of the event:

Ok, maybe my amateur sketch is a little exaggerated…. the cake didn’t have red eyes and angry eye brows, but you get the idea. So the moral of the story?

1) Wait until your cake is COMPLETELY cool before icing it, or leave the cake baking to the professionals.

2) Kitchen disasters can turn into fun cooking stories.

3) Kitchen disasters can sometimes lead to cool Halloween party ideas, like a bleeding cake!

Have you had some funny cooking and baking mishaps? Comment below and tell me your story.

Give What You Need! – A Spice Cake Recipe To Humor the Nose

What follows is a winding explanation of why I made a spice cake in the shape of a nose. If you’re anxious for a recipe for a delicious, fragrant, scrumptious, and unusual spice cake, click on’s recipe for Slimm and Nunne Mustard Spice Cake. If you want to know how to form the cake into the shape of a nose, keep reading.nose-cake-1 

This nose cake resulted from a perfect storm of disconnected ideas. The strongest idea was this: Give What You Need.

Yes, it’s true, the surest way to get what you need is to give it. I thought I got this idea from my friend, Jean. But Jean swears she got it from me. She also swears it works. Once the son of a neighbor badly needed $200 and asked Jean for it. Jean’s family was financially strapped at the time. She hesitated, but remembered, “Give what you need”, so she said, “here goes,” and gave him the money. Two weeks later Jean received an unexpected win-fall of nearly $1000. She’s a believer now.

Yesterday, I asked myself, “What could I write in a blog post that a potential reader might actually need?” Of course, the real question is “What might a reader need that I have the means to give?” Clueless, I fell back on the question, “What do I need?” My instant answer? “I need a laugh!” Yes, troubles were weighing me down. Time to pull out the humor from somewhere – ANYWHERE! And I didn’t have to look far – just to the end of my nose.

After brief deliberation, I concluded that the nose is the most humorous part of the human body. Noses make people laugh – especially when they’re looked at UP-CLOSE. Study people’s noses and you’ll recognize how many humorous shapes, colors, and sizes noses come in. Being the first part of the body to arrive anywhere, noses are the parts that get caught up in things, – such as in mechanical appliances and flying pies. And this can be very funny. When the Three Stooges pull each other’s noses, people laugh.

Yes, I must write a post featuring ‘The Nose’. The nose is a critical topic of a reputable food blog. Aroma always precedes taste! Therefore, the nose is the great chef’s indispensable aid. And what better way to celebrate ‘the nose’ than with an aromatic spice cake! In fact, two weeks ago I happened upon a spice cake recipe at work which I filed in the back of my mind to try. Why not try it now! 

The plan was cinched when I realized that ‘nose’ begins with ‘n’ and ‘o’. These letters should have been celebrated two weeks ago in our should-be-once-a-week alphabet party designed to ready my preschooler for kindergarten. So I asked 5-year-old Dave, “Do you know what ‘N-O’ spell?” He shook his head and said, “No.”

“That’s right!” I cheered. “‘N-O’ spells ‘NO’!” So tickled that his reply had made a joke, Dave had to tell me the joke over and over again to make sure I got it. Yes, we wrung the humor out of that one. Then I told him that it was time for our ‘N’ & ‘O’ party and since ‘n-o’ are the first letters in ‘nose’ we would make a ‘nose cake’. Seemed logical to him. 5-year-olds are wonderful.

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How to Get Rhubarb From the Garden to the Dessert Table: A Quick, Easy, and Delicious Recipe!

“A garden isn’t much of a garden unless there’s a few rhubarb plants somewhere in the back corner,” writes farm-woman Darlene Kronschnabel in her Seasons in a Country Kitchen Cookbook. True. rhubarb-1Each of my successive gardens has nurtured at least one rhubarb plant. Rhubarb is a hardy, easy to grow, perennial (comes back every year) that neither deer, rabbits nor voles enjoy. In fact, people wouldn’t enjoy it either if we didn’t prepare it with LOTS of sugar. But once the sugar is poured on, WOW – Look Out! Here comes a spicy, tart, sweet flavor unlike any other! Unfortunately, rhubarb is seasonal. As Darlene says, “It’s a country-style, spring tonic.”

Darlene gives several farm recipes using rhubarb: Rhubarb-strawberry cobbler, rhubarb-pineapple custard kuchen, rhubarb ambrosia betty, and fresh, rhubarb sauce, to name a few. I was going to make her rhubarb cake, but found I had so much rhubarb that I opted to rhubarb-2make the more rhubarb-intensive rhubarb crumble. I told myself that the crumble is healthier. But don’t be fooled that I’m really considering health. I just want more RHUBARB!


rhubarb-3So, here are the recipe and pics for Darlene’s Rhubarb Crumble. It’s easy, fast to make (15 minutes prep, 40 minutes baking), and REALLY GOOD.

  • Non-stick spray coating (Note: I don’t like non-stick spray coatings, so I do what Wisconsin farm-woman and restauranteur, Helen Myhre, recommends. I coat the pan with a very thin layer of melted butter and then sprinkle flour on top of the butter. Food doesn’t stick, and I think it tastes better. It may not be as healthy, but I’ll work off the extra calories in the garden.)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 cups cut-up rhubarb

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8×8-inch baking dish with non-stick spray coating (or butter & flour the pan). In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, rolled oats, flour, butter, and cinnamon; stir until well blended. Arrange rhubarb in prepared baking dish. Sprinkle sugar mixture over rhubarb. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until rhubarb is tender and surface is lightly browned. Serve warm with cream or ice cream. Makes about 6 servings.

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