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Edible Antics

Touring Wisconsin Food

Tag: cooking (page 1 of 3)

Forest and Grant County Edibles

This week we extend our Wisconsin county culinary tour to Forest and Grant Counties.  They are on opposite sides of Wisconsin – far northeast and far southwest.


Map of Wisconsin highlighting Forest County by David Benbennick

Forest County

This county is named after the dense forest that shares the territory. 9,300 people live on the 1,014 square miles with Crandon as the county seat.  Other towns include

  • Argonne
  • Laona
  • Moll Lake
  • Newald
  • Wabeno

Much of the northern portion of Wisconsin is part of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest  and it includes most of Forest County.  The county also includes the home of the Forest County Potawatomi Indians, who are the Keeper of the Fire.  There are many lakes and wildlife areas in Forest County.

 Edible Antics Forest County recommendations include:

TRAILS Pow-wow Mole Lake in Crandon March 12 – March 13 features dancers, drummers with a feast provided both days plus Native American craft vendors.

The Lumberjack Steam Train Cowboy Reenactment in Laona July 16 steps back in time where you come take part in a Wild West train robbery the authentic Cowboy Reenactment and robbery of the Lumberjack Steam Train. You are invited to come and ride the train.  At other times the Lumberjack Steam Train takes you out to “Camp 5”, the site of an old logging camp. Later it became the site of the Lumber Company Farm. When you arrive, you find some of the old buildings which were a part of the Lumber Company Farm.


Map of Wisconsin highlighting Grant County by David Benbennick

Grant County

This county in southwestern Wisconsin shares state boarders with both Illinois and Iowa.  The county seat is in Lancaster.  The county occupies 1,148 square miles and hosts 51,200 people.  Other cities in the county include:

  • Boscobel
  • Cuba City
  • Fennimore
  • Platteville

Villages include

  • Bagley
  • Bloomington
  • Blue River
  • Cassville
  • Dickeyville
  • Mount Hope
  • Patch Grove
  • Potosi
  • Tennyson
  • Woodman

Boscobel hosts the Boscobel Hotel  and Central House generally regarded as the home of the first Gideon Bible.

The lower portion of the Wisconsin River widens and joins the Mississippi River here.  Wyalusing State Park is high on a bluff overlooking the confluence of these two rivers.

Stonefield Village is a historic restoration of an early Wisconsin settlement near Cassville. artisan partners in Grant County include:

Martha’s Hot Mustard is a honey mustard producer in rural Grant County that has developed a fan base for her sweet-hot mustard nation-wide.  It’s great on crackers and cheese, ham, turkey, hot dogs, hamburgers – even popcorn! Everyone who tastes Martha’s Hot Mustard is sure to love it!

Edible Antics Grant County recommendations include:

In Potosi The Potosi Brewery and National Brewery Museum offers visitors a tour of a restored regional brewery, the National Brewery Museum, fine locally produced adult beverages, a beautifully restored back bar, a restaurant with good pub food, outdoor seating in the summer and welcoming Wisconsin hospitality year round.

Weber Meats in Cuba City offers a wide variety of meat products for their customers in south western Wisconsin and north western Illinois.

The Dickeyville Grotto on Holy Ghost Parish grounds are the works of Father Mathias Wernerus, pastor from 1918 – 1931. His handiwork, built from 1925 – 1930, is dedicated to the unity of two American ideals-love of God and love of country. It is a creation in stone, mortar, and bright colored objects collected from all over the world

Meister Cheese Company in Muscoda makes specialty cheeses in the old world fashion but with modern technology.

The Fenway House Hotel in Fennimore was built in 1918 and offers endless old world charm from the creek that runs thru the dining room to the original terrazzo floors.

The Cream Pitcher bed and breakfast in Blue River blends modern amenities with old-fashioned quality and comfort. The home is embellished with a large collection of antiques, including pitchers from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s.

Here is the Burst O’ Lemon Muffin recipe from The Cream Pitcher B&B as listed in the Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Cookbook:

Burst O’ Lemon Muffins (makes 1 dozen)

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup lemon yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine melted
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut


  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flaked coconut, toasted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda.  In a separate bowl beat together the yogurt, egg, butter, lemon peel and lemon juice until smooth.  Stir the mixture into the dry ingredients just until moistened.  Fold in the coconut and fill greased or lined muffin cups 2/3 full.  Bake 18-22 minutes or until golden brown and muffins test done.  Cool 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

For the topping:  I a saucepan combine the lemon juice and sugar.  Cook, stirring until the sugar dissolves.  Stir in the toasted coconut.  Using a toothpick poke 6-8 holes in each muffin.  Spoon the lemon coconut mixture over the muffins.  Serve warm or cool to room temperature.

More culinary treats next week as we visit Green County and Green Lake County in search of people, places and things that are Made With Pride and Passion in Wisconsin.




Brown and Buffalo County Edibles

Road Trip! Road Trip!

Our Wisconsin culinary tour visits our friends in Brown and Buffalo Counties.


Map of Wisconsin highlighting Brown County by David Benbennick

Brown County

Brown County is home to about 248,000 folks and occupies 529 square miles.  The county seat is Green Bay.  Brown County hosts the cities of Green Bay and De Pere and the surrounding suburbs but it known as “Title Town”  – the home of our championship football team the Green Bay Packers.  This metro based community has much to offer the visitor including over 400 dining opportunities, microbreweries, a distillery, recreation and cultural activities with abundant lodging.

Brown County is home to a number of artisan partners.  They include:

Edible Antics Brown County recommendations include:


Map of Wisconsin highlighting Buffalo County by David Benbennick

Buffalo County

Buffalo County is on the far western edge of Wisconsin and offers scenic and pastoral vistas.  It is home to about 13,000 Wisconsinites and is 684 square miles in size. The county seat is the city of Alma.  One side of the county is along the scenic Mississippi River and includes the cities of Fountain City and Mondovi.  While Buffalo County is a more sparsely populated county this rural area supports good dining, interesting lodging and a section of the Great River Road along the Mississippi River.

Edible Antics Buffalo County recommendations include:

Enjoy the hospitality and fine edibles from these spots and know that it is all Made with Pride and Passion in Wisconsin.

Check back next week for recommendations in Burnett and Calumet counties.

Wisconsin Thanksgiving

Pleasant View church resized

Thanksgiving church

It’s a great day to be from Wisconsin!

Wisconsin families are grateful for many blessings this Thanksgiving.  A beautiful extended fall season, bountiful yields for most of our crops, an improving economy and of course our delicious seasonal foods.


Cranberry Chutney

Thanksgiving dinner’s main course could include a ham assortment with cranberry chutney.  This chutney is a unique combination of cranberry chunks with a hint of clove mixed into a sweet cranberry sauce that goes very well with ham, turkey, pork, chicken or game meats.  I have also used it as an ingredient in a grilled cheese sandwich (sometimes with bacon!).  The three jar package on is perfect for family dinners – one jar on each end of the table and one in the middle. Highly recommended.


Caramel Apples

For dessert there is the pumpkin cream cheesecake.  And for a hostess gift we have a pair of caramel apples, some pumpkin fudge or some fall cookies.

If the tryptophan kicks in get your nap in early because the Thanksgiving football game this year is the Green Bay Packers against their NFL North Division rival the Chicago Bears.  The Packers have scheduled a ceremony and celebration honoring Bret Favre with a planned appearance by Bart Star at Lambeau Field.  Wisconsinites are thankful for the contributions to Packers history made by both of them.  A great way to end our Thanksgiving Day.

We hope your Thanksgiving Day is filled with gratitude and family fun and that you find time to enjoy some of these great Wisconsinmade products that are all

Made With Pride and Passion in Wisconsin.

Git your grill on!

Labor Day weekend.  It’s the start of high school, college and professional football season.  Cities all across Wisconsin have the dedication and verve to attend their home town high school football games on Friday nights.  And Saturday the college teams from UW Whitewater to UW La Crosse  and of course the University of Wisconsin Madison Badgers engage in gridiron battles.  On Sunday (usually) the Title Town Green Bay Packers carry on the historic honor of the only community owned team in the NFL.


Pre-game tailgating

cooler with drinks

Liquid refreshments

Well a large part of all these fans traditions relates to the fine art of “tailgating.”  Hours before the game actually begins fans gather in parking lots, parks and homes to eat, share the excitement and prepare for the game. The coolers full of various beverages, the dips and chips, the veggies and fruit with assorted dips and of course the mandatory burned meat.  Mostly sausages and hamburgers but occasionally steaks, fish, chicken and more.  

grilling burgers and dogs

gilling up some burgers and dogs

Many visitors to Wisconsin find specific meats that become favorites but are not available in their home markets.  Ethic specialties and unique preparations that they miss and wish were available.  Folks, who lived in Wisconsin, went to school in Wisconsin or vacationed in Wisconsin need to access these special meats for their tailgating parties.


Smoke Salmon sampler to the rescue!  

Wisconsinmade has a broad selection of grilling meats from a large variety – brats to hamburgers, steaks and smoked fish.  And relishes, sauces, pickles, mustard, rubs, mushrooms and all the “fixings” can be delivered right to your door, even if you live in a place that doesn’t understand the tailgating tradition.

So….. fire up that computer, order all your fondest memories of the best tailgating treats from and then on that special evening (Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday) Fire up the grill and get your game on!

On Wisconsin.

Authentic Brats

Are your Bratwurst “Authentic”?

It’s grilling season here in Wisconsin.  All summer long and well into the fall football tailgating season we grill things.  Steaks, fish, vegi’s, pizza and of course the sausages known as bratwurst.  But is there only one “authentic” bratwurst?  The debate rages on here in Wisconsin.  Smoked, precooked or fresh?  Boiled in beer before you grill them or put them right on the grill?  But those of us who do not sweat the small stuff enjoy a grand variety of brats.  The texture of the meat varies from a course grind to a finer version similar to that found in hot dogs.  The flavors vary from mild to spicy.  The meats included have various combinations of pork, beef, veal and chicken.  Then some meat artisans add cheeses, mushrooms, apple, cherries or other complimentary items.

Wisconsin hosts a large German Fest in Milwaukee this coming weekend July 24 through July 26 where there will be tons of brats consumed.  This is their 35 year of celebrating all things German – food (brats!), history, music, traditions and more.

The city of Sheboygan, Wisconsin claims to be the center of the bratwurst world and many meat artisans make a version of brats they call “Sheboygan brats.”  But there are many additional varieties available.  See the broad selection of brats offered on


Nurnberger bratwurstSee

The Nurnburger brat has a narrow diameter (about like your little finger) slightly longer version made famous in Nurenburg, Germany.





Bacon cheddar bratwurst


The bacon cheddar brat adds two of Wisconsin’s favorites to the sausage




University of Wisconsin Union Terrace brat

The University of Wisconsin Union Terrace brats are the ones served on the lakeside terrace on the Madison campus.






Sausage sampler pack

If you are adventurous and would like to try a few versions the sampler packs give the chance to experiment with a variety of tastes.

All of these delicious brats and more are available on

What’s your favorite variety of brat?

6 Wisconsin Vacation Dining Treasures

sunrise 20150609-1000px

Door County Lake Michigan Sunrise – photo by Linda Remeschatis

Welcome to Wisconsin.  Here in Wisconsin we work our way through January and February in order to receive our reward – summer!  Wisconsin is among the best places on earth to enjoy June through October. During these months we host an influx of a horde of tourists that agree.  But the benefit is that we all (visitors and natives) support a vast number of food emporiums that treat us to their exceptional delights.  All over the fine state of Wisconsin there are hosts waiting to treat you to their finest food.  Some are oriented towards couples and quiet dinners (these used to be called supper clubs) and others are focused on families with children or those looking for value priced meals.  All of them welcome you with Wisconsin hospitality.

The vacation regions of the state include a number of destination cities or counties.  The “thumb like” peninsula that sticks out to your right as you look at a map of Wisconsin is Door County.  It is one of the favorite vacation destinations for many reasons.  Hotels, restaurants, parks, activities, lots of fun and adventure.  For foodies what are the destinations to consider in Door County?  Well, some are for adults and some reflect a more family (with kids) oriented atmosphere.  There are 184 dining establishments in Door County.  Do you have a favorites list?  Here are some of our adult oriented recommendations:

Adult dining venues in Door County:

Donny’s Glidden Lodge – on the Lake Michigan side, great view, great food, you’ll both love it!

Alexander’s – near Ephraim, great food with a long fine food tradition in Door County

Wickman house – restored elegant farm house reopened and still a delight in Ellison Bay

Harbor Fish Market and Grill – always good food and service on the water in Baileys Harbor

Whistling Swan – B&B dining with class.  Reservations suggested.

White Gull Inn – in Fish Creek, always a family favorite.

As you tour beautiful Door County be sure to visit the state and county parks for unusual geology and seasonal vegetation variations.


Seaquist Orchards Market photo by Rick Remeschatis

For foodies there are numerous farm markets, bakeries, cheese shops and road side stops to explore.  The county is renowned for its production of Montmorency tart cherries used in baking.  Seaquist Orchards just south of Ellison Bay has a delightful visitor’s center and shop that offers their cherries and many other Wisconsin goodies.

In conclusion, it is pretty easy to find a good meal in Door County in summer.   Come join us for an “edible antics food friendly” visit here in Wisconsin.  Or if you cannot visit Wisconsin you can explore many of our artisan’s treats at that are available for shipping for your personal enjoyment.

My Top 5 Kitchen Rules

top-5-kitchen-rulesMy faithful readers know I am obsessed with food, and when I’m not writing about it, I’m probably watching food TV. Lately I’m hooked on a show called The Taste. Anthony Bourdain is one of the judges and he rattled off some of the rules in his kitchen, I can’t remember all of them, but the two that stand out in my mind are “no truffle oil” and “no vegetarians”. I agree with him on the truffle oil, but I do allow vegetarians in my kitchen! This got me thinking that every chef and every home cook has her own set of  rules, so what are mine? Continue reading to see my top five kitchen rules.

Continue reading

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?

Pinterest Recipes – How to Avoid a Recipe Fail

I have a problem. I am addicted to Pinterest. Seriously. I pin at work (it’s ok, it’s my job!), I pin at home, I pin on my phone when there is no computer around.  Then when I’m done pinning I cook some of the Pinterest recipes on my food board. If you haven’t been on Pinterest, the best way to describe it is a virtual bulletin board. You browse pictures and then “Pin” the ones you want on your pin board. Once you see how many amazing recipes and food ideas are on Pinterest, you’ll understand why I love it so much.

One problem with Pinterest recipes is that sometimes the image on Pinterest compared to how your food actually turns out is like the difference between a fast food cheeseburger on TV and the one you actually get from the drive-thru. For example, when you want to make this:


From Flickr.

And it turns out like this:


From Pinterest Fails.


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Cooking with Wine Made Easy



This is one of my favorite cooking related sayings, so when I heard about our newest gift, Wine Seasonings, I was excited to try them! If you want more of your wine to end up in the food next time you are cooking with wine, try some of the mixes and marinades from this Wisconsin company that specializes in “just add wine” creations.

I recently made the spinach dip and it couldn’t have been easier. I mixed a packet of the Wine Seasoning’s Spinach Dip Mix with 16oz of sour cream and 1/4 cup of wine. I brought the dip and some carrots to work to share with my coworkers. The dip was creamy and flavorful but I must confess, it would have been over the top amazing with some potato chips instead of the carrots.

It made enough dip for a party and since we only have a few people in the office I got to take home some leftovers. I thinned out the dip with a little bit more wine and used it as a salad dressing. The recipe book that came in the gift box also suggests using the dip as a baked potato topping or transforming it in to a seafood dip with a few extra ingredients. There are so many possiblities, and that’s just ONE of the 13 items in the gift assortment! Other packages in the Wine Seasonings assortment include:

Cranberry Tarragon Dipcooking-with-wine-2

Sun Dried Tomato Basil Dip

Vegetable Dip

Zasty Garlic Dip

Wine Bread

Italian Marinade

Lemon Pepper Marinade

Orange Ginger Marinade

Chicken and White Rice Soup

This is a delicious gift for a the wine-os and foodies in your life.

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