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Touring Wisconsin Food

Tag: cheesecake

My Favorite Dessert: Cheesecake

Cheesecake has been my favorite dessert for as long as I can remember. My dad used to make cheesecakes when I was little, with his own recipe that had been refined over the years. Eventually I was given the recipe and learned the trade.

Unfortunately my childhood experience has ruined almost all restaurant cheesecake for me. I’m constantly amazed when my friends order cheesecake and exclaim how amazing it is, only for me to taste it and think to myself, “you paid for this?”

Now I am not here to share my family’s cheesecake secrets, and quite frankly our recipe can be found on numerous websites with just a few slight modifications. However, I would like to share the one cheesecake I have ever tasted that I have to admit is better than my dad’s: Suzy’s Four Flavor Cheesecake Sampler.

Suzy's Four Flavor Cheesecake Sampler

 

This cheesecake caught my attention at a party, as all cheesecakes do. I had to try it. I started with the plain New York Style cheesecake. I typically prefer plain cheesecakes so I can appreciate the simplicity and truly judge the quality. Well, it was delicious — firmer than my dad’s, but just as creamy.

I moved on to each of the other flavors, one by one: Chocolate Amaretto, Black Forest Cherry, and Chocolate Caramel Pecan. Each flavor is so unique and tasty.

The cheesecake sampler is beautifully presented and perfect for parties. It is with an awkward mix of embarrassment and awe that I recommend Suzy’s cheesecake and remind myself that I still have a thing or two to learn about my favorite dessert.

5 Ways to Add Wisconsin Cheese to Thanksgiving Dinner

 

5-ways-add-wisc-cheese

Welcome to Wisconsin, where we love cheese so much we try to put it in or on almost everything. I’m planning my Thanksgiving meal and it made me realize that there isn’t much cheese involved with Thanksgiving. The only cheesy side dish that regularly appears on the Thanksgiving table is macaroni and cheese, and even that isn’t a requirement for the meal (although in my opinion it should be). What can we do to get more Wisconsin cheese at the table? Here are a few ideas, since I know I’m not the only Wisconsinite who wants to give thanks for cheese!

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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!

3 Fruit Cake Alternatives

Someone out there must like fruit cake because they keep getting sent as Christmas gifts. Sorry fruit cake lovers, call me a food snob, but I’m not a fan.  I’ll concede that fruit cake isn’t the worst food ever (I think that title goes to canned ham), but why subject yourself to neon colored “fruit” pieces and dense cake when there are so many festive holiday pastry alternatives.

StollenStollen–  This German fruit bread has “stollen” my heart (ha!).  It sort of resembles a fruit cake but it’s much, much better!  Instead of the neon fake fruit, the stollen is filled with two kinds of raisins, almonds, spices and a strip of sweet marizpan.  Bakers dust the whole loaf with a generous coating of powdered sugar.  Why is stollen so popular at Christmas time? Because the shape and color symbolize the baby Jesus wrapped in a white cloth.

Christmas Sugar CookiesChristmas Sugar Cookies– Are you challenged in the baking department?  You can still send gorgeous sugar cookies thanks to the bakers at K-Delights bakery.

 

 

 

 

Turtle CheesecakeTurtle Cheesecake– This turtle cheesecake is made by a bakery in Wisconsin called Cheesecake Heaven.  It’s not just a clever name, it’s where you go when you eat it! The creamy cheesecake, crunchy nuts and gooey caramel make a decadent combination that will put any fruit cake to shame.

 

Have I convinced you? Forget the fruit cake and browse the holiday desserts at Wisconsinmade.com.

Fat Tuesday: 5 Ways To “Pig Out” Before Lent

Birthday Cake Fat Tuesday sure is a perfect name for today, the last day before Lent.  Many people give up a certain indulgence for the 40 days of Lent- popular choices are chocolate, soda, meat…so Fat Tuesday is the day to pig out on all of those goodies before the sacrifice starts.  In honor of Fat Tuesday, here are five of Wisconsin’s most indulgent, guilty pleasure foods.  If you happen to be fasting by the time you read this, I apologize. Put your email address in on the right under my picture so you can receive updates as soon as I post!

1. Chocolate Eclairs-  Eclairs are a sinful food in general, but the eclairs from O&H Bakery bring gluttony to a whole new level.  As big as your hand and with 1/2 an inch of chocolate frosting, one of these monster eclairs can feed a small family.

2. Bacon Burgers- You’ve heard of bacon on a burger, but now there’s bacon IN a burger.  As if the delicious apple wood smoked Nueske bacon wasn’t tempting enough, now it’s mixed in with juicy beef.

3. Fried Cheese Curds–  Can I go ONE post without talking about cheese curds? I guess not.  I’ll keep it simple- if fried cheese curds are wrong, I don’t want to be right.  For more info on curds check out: What’s a Cheese Curd? and 5 Things to Do With a Cheese Curd.

Turtle Cheesecake 4. Gourmet Turtle Cheesecake– I think it’s ok to eat this one during Lent because it’s made by Cheesecake Heaven.  This rich creamy cheesecake (pictured at top left) is topped with gooey caramel, crunchy nuts and chocolate chips, yum!

5.Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream–  The side of the carton says “Nutrition Information: Don’t even ask.  If you want healthy, eat carrots.”.  Hmm, so if I don’t know about the calories they don’t count, right?

 

 

 

Pot-Luck Party – Wisconsinmade Style; Bring On The Herring and Cheesecake!

Saturday night Wisconsinmade.com welcomed 2009 with a staff party at CEO Linda Remeschatis’s house.  The party was pot-luck, but not your regular old pot-luck. Definitely not the pot-luck I attended 20 years ago to which every guest brought potatoes – mostly in chip form. No, this pot-luck was gourmet. Chefs from all over Wisconsin contributed their finest gourmet foods to our table.pot-luck

Wisconsinmade.com is a website which helps Wisconsin artisans and small businesses sell their creations to an audience beyond the borders of Wisconsin art fairs and mom-and-pop shops. The company celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, and to kick off the year the staff celebrated with samples of the Wisconsin-made, gourmet food that people all over the country have been ordering on-line and over the phone with us.

Linda adorned her dining table with the best of Wisconsin chefs. We enjoyed Rushing Waters smoked salmon:potluck-2Cajun spiced, traditionally smoked, and three-peppered; Nueske smoked duck;potluck-3   championship Wisconsin cheeses from Babcock Hall Dairy, Roth Kase, and Decatur Dairy; Wisconsin summer sausage, Wisconsin Wilderness cranberry chutney,  and three kinds of herring from Bay View Packing Company: herring in cream sauce, wine sauce and pickled herring rollmops.potluck-4

Bay View’s herring was a big seller in 2008! People who ordered it the previous Christmas came back for more and they told their friends. Customers have been raving about it. That’s why Linda had to include it in our celebratory feast. However, no matter how much cream sauce disguises it, herring is still a little gray fish. Don’t get me wrong, Wisconsinites love cooking and eating fish. Wisconsin put Friday fish frys and summer fish boils on the map. But being Mid-Westerners, we in Wisconsin differ from our compatriots on the coasts and are typically unaccustomed to swallowing slimy whole sea creatures. So here on Linda’s table were three varieties of those sea creatures. Would we eat them? We were well-aware of their enthusiastic reviews, who would dare?

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