Excitement grows daily at my office, Wisconsinmade.com. We’re moving into a new store-front! Soon our familiar, comfortable website that we’ve been using for the past ten years to help Wisconsin artisans and small businesses distribute their creations to customers will transform into a state-of-the-art web store.

After a long year of planning, designing, programming, and data-transferring, now we’re in the final phases of testing and tweaking. Linda, Wisconsinmade’s creator, is working nearly non-stop checking and re-checking that every aspect of the new website looks and functions as it should. Like the artisans we work with, Linda has high standards of quality, -she won’t give the signal to switch over to the new website until it meets her high expectations. She reminds me of the master chef of a gourmet restaurant moving rapidly from station to station, checking the sauces, inspecting the vegetables, tasting the soups and adding sprinkles of seasonings. The amazing thing about Linda is that despite the tremendous pressure, she’s so nice about everything. Thus, our office has a bit of a festive mood, like the excitement of going to a big concert.

Now in Wisconsin, as everywhere else, big occasions are celebrated with delicious food and drink! We’ve begun talking about chilling the celebratory champagne, -ours is a small office which means we won’t need too many bottles. And we’ve begun discussing the party menu. Gourmet cheese will definitely be on our party table, thanks to a surprisingly speedy cheese master we partner with.

You see, late Monday afternoon Renee was testing the ordering process on the new website. She was having fun web-shopping and sending mock orders to artisans. Then, first thing Tuesday morning, her job-share partner, Nina, had the job of calling the artisans to verify that they had received Renee’s orders and that the order instructions read as Renee had intended. Of course, Nina was also canceling each order, explaining that it was just a test. But luck shone on our little office, – I heard Nina say, “What? You already sent the order? The cheese is on its way?..Wow, you are speedy!..Oh, that’s all right, we’ll enjoy the cheese.”

So with that inspiration, and because we need a picture of a prepared recipe to post on the new site, I am making Cranberry Cheesecake Cups. Wisconsin is a big grower of cranberries, and some of our artisans turn cranberries into delicious relishes and toppings. Some have sent us recipes using their toppings. I get the fun job of preparing the recipes, taking their pictures and putting the photos on the site. I know, it’s work, but someone has to do it. So here is a picture of Cranberry Cheesecake Cups which I made and brought into the office to share.

Click on ‘Continue reading…’ for the recipe. 

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