Not only is the cranberry a Christmas favorite, it’s also the official state fruit of Wisconsin. Wisconsin produces more cranberries than any other state and each year Wisconsin cranberry growers harvest enough berries to give every person in the entire world 26 berries! Enjoy cranberries during the holiday season by encroprating them into your celebration with these fun ideas.
Cranberry Kringle – The state fruit of Wisconsin and the state pastry of Wisconsin come together in this sweet treat. Layers of flaky pastry and creamy icing make this Wisconsin staple pefrect for breakfast or dessert.
Cranberry Cocktail- When you think of cranberry cocktails, don’t limit yourself to the cosmo. Cranberries provide a hint of tartness that is welcome in many Christmas cocktails. This white Christmas sangria for example, looks festive with red cranberries and a Christmas tree-like rosemary sprig for a garnish!
Cranberry Trail Mix – You can use dried cranberries in place of raisins in just about any situation, and in Wisconsin we like to add them to trail mix! This gourmet trail mix can be purchased by the case so you can hand it out to all of your friends during the holidays.
Cranberry Chutney – Wisconsin Wilderness Cranberry Chutney flies off the shelves during the holiday season in Wisconsin and it’s easy to see why. It makes a colorful side dish and tastes great on chicken or apples but in my opinion, the best way to serve it is on top of baked brie!
Cranberry Bliss Bars- I make these every year for Christmas. A cranberry bliss bar is a blondie with cream cheese icing, cranberries and white chocolate. It was originally made popular by Starbucks, but I did a side by side taste test and my homemade version knocks the store bought version out of the park. Find the recipe here.
For more yummy cranberry treats that will ship straight to your door, visit Wisconsinmade.com.
1. Beer Cheese Soup – Beer cheese soup is a Wisconsin food that combines three of Wisconsin’s favorite things: beer, cheese, and comfort on a cold day. Beer cheese soup is an easy way to bring a taste of Wisconsin to your home no matter where you live.
2. Creme Puff – Creme puffs are a favorite Wisconsin food at the Wisconsin State Fair, but you can make this delicious dairy treat at home with this recipe I found on Pinterest. See my Wisconsin Food board for more Wisconsin recipes.
3. Fried Cheese Curds – Many a displaced Wisconsinite misses fried cheese curds, but there is no need to despair since you can make your own fried cheese curds at home. Wisconsinmade.com ships cheese curds and even cheese curd batter mix nationwide.
4. Blue Moon Ice Cream – Blue Moon ice cream is a childhood favorite for many midwesterners. The ice cream has a pleasing blue color and a kid-friendly fruity flavor. You can make yours at home with this recipe or have some blue moon ice cream shipped to your door with the help of coolers and dry ice.
5. Cranberry Bars – The bakers at O & H Bakery in Racine, Wisconsin are considered the top Kringle experts. The process to make a Kringle involves rolling out layer after layer of thin pastry dough, and it takes years to master the process. Instead of attempting the baking feat of making your own Kringle, the O & H bakers recommend beginners try this cranberry bar recipe or having a freshly baked O & H Kringle shipped right to your door.
I have put together 100 Wisconsin food facts, which is certainly the most epic blog post ever to be published on Edible Antics and maybe the most epic food blog post to be published on a Wisconsin food blog ever. All of these facts are accurate to the best of my knowledge and my sources are listed at the bottom of the post. If you believe any of the facts are inaccurate, or you would like to add your own Wisconsin food facts, please leave comments, I’d love to hear from you.
A cheesemaker, like most artists, can take inspiration from anywhere. In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Master Cheesemaker and Wisconsinmade.com artisan Sid Cook reveals the inspiration behind two of his award winning varieties- Cranberry Chipotle and Cocoa Cardona.
A grocery shopper told Sid she would love some cranberry chipotle flavored cheese. Sid was skeptical that the flavors work, but since the shopper was willing to buy a large quantity he decided to give it a try. The key in perfecting this strange combo was allowing the sweet flavor on the cranberries to come out first, followed by the smokiness of the chipotle peppers. A grocery store suggestion turned into an award winning cheese when Cranberry Chipotle Cheddar took 3rd Place at the 2007 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest and 3rd Place at the 2007 American Cheese Society.*
If you think getting cheese flavor ideas from random grocery store shoppers is odd, the story behind Coca Cardona is even weirder. Sid says that during a busy day of cheesemaking, he would put a chocolate bar on his Swiss cheese sandwich. The busy day sandwich inspired Cocoa Cardona Cheese took 1st Place at the 2004 and 2nd in 2006 American Cheese Society Competition and Best of Class & Overall Second Runner-Up out of 1,000 entries in the 2005 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest.*
Find these Carr Valley cheeses and more creations from Master Cheesemaker Sid Cook on Wisconsinmade.com.
Mixing up a big helping of cranberry salad provides a much needed break from indulgent foods and cheese and sausage we eat here in Wisconsin, but like cheese and sausage, cranberries are a food of the Badger State- and a healthy food too! Cranberries and spinach provide antioxidants, vitamin C, and fiber just to name a few of the health benefits. Walnuts contain omega-three fatty acids, and blue cheese- well, it’s still cheese- but since the blue stuff is so strong in flavor you can use less of it compared to more mild cheese. So believe it or not, you can eat Wisconsin and still eat healthy! Click “continue reading” to see the recipe.
Christmas is all about tradition, but that doesn’t mean cooking the same exact meal each year, or making complicated recipes. Easy recipes are sometimes just as gourmet and delicious as complex recipes.
Here are some easy recipes and easy ideas adapted from my interview with the Green Bay Press Gazette. You can read the article here, or you can click on the links to see the easy recipes or find out where to buy ingredients.
Be creative with appetizers. To avoid grumpy and ravenous dinner guests its a good idea to have some pre-dinner snacks. One of my favorite easy recipes is to put out some jarred cranberry chutney (like Wilderness Cranberry Chutney), cheese (goat cheese or brie work well here), and some crackers . It tastes gourmet but its super easy, and you can use the chutney in place of cranberry sauce so it covers two bases at once (less work!).
Add a twist to old recipes. For a truly Wisconsin holiday meal, try adding bratwurst to your stuffing, or instead of pumpkin pie, try a pumpkin trifle (click for recipes).
Give the bird a makeover. One of Wisconsinmade.com’s most popular items for the holidays is the smoked turkey. It tastes a bit different from a roasted turkey, but it is easier to prepare because it is pre-cooked. All you have to do is warm it up, or you can even serve it cold. If you are feeling adventureous you can try smoked duck or pheasant instead.
Trying new dishes at the holidays can be fun for hosts and guests alike. Friends and family will be impressed with a host that tries new dishes. Who knows, you might discover an easy recipe so good that it becomes a new tradition.
Grilling sauce IS fun food for children. If I’d doubted before, I’m certain now. Our grilling sauce rescued my children (and me) from a wretched family dinner. I’d thought grilled hamburgers would be fun food enough for my children. But no. It took the grilling sauce to make us laugh.
The dinner had started out badly. My over-tired 7-year-old who’d enjoyed way too many night hours of the weekend lay with his head on the table next to his plate. His face darkened into a defiant pout. He wasn’t going to eat that hamburger and everyone was going to know it!
Meanwhile, his 10-year-old sister, forbidden to bring books to the table, focused on reading the condiments labels. “Wisconsin Wilderness Cranberry Grilling Sauce,” she read aloud in monotone. “Serving Suggestions: This slightly sweet yet tangy sauce is wonderful brushed on beef, chicken, pork or seafood during the last five minutes of grilling or baking. A rich blend of cranberries, mustards and spices make this sauce delicious as a steak sauce or shrimp glaze. Try it as a unique….”
“Lauren!” I pleaded, anticipating the nutrition facts to come. Desperate to find an alternative dining topic, I challenged, “Can’t you say more about that grilling sauce than what’s on its label?”
She looked at me perplexed. “Like what?” Lauren scoffed. Ah! She’d lobbed the sauce back at me. So keep reading for our Adventures of Wild Boss – The Grilling Sauce! In this issue, Wild Boss, (WB), (aka: World’s Best) Grilling Sauce rescues the sad meat that had no flavor.
All right dogs, LINE UP! Reader can you guess which transgressing hound pilfered the pumpkin cake? Was it old dog, Sam or puppy Tao? If you’ve read previous posts, you’ll remember that Tao’s aka is El Diablo. Yes, it was the devil himself, caught red-handed, with paws on the counter and full muzzle in the cake. Perhaps it was fitting that the devil visited my kitchen as I baked party food for Halloween. The devil distracted me with his own dog hair he had shed across the carpet. Busy vacuuming, I had left the pumpkin cake on the counter to cool. El Diablo duped me into thinking that my little pooch was actually on the way to good behavior. Minutes earlier he had seemed to obey my “Leave it” command and ceased lunging at and biting the vacuum cleaner bag. But that gesture in doggie decorum was just a ploy to conceal his nefarious intentions. Satisfied that I was busy elsewhere, he struck at the cake.
My pumpkin cake was going to be frosted to look like a pumpkin. But now, once again I’d have to chant my life’s mantra, “It’s not how far you fall, it’s how well you bounce.” I’d have to come up with an alternative Halloween cake. And so this was the simple story of how my pumpkin cake turned into a midnight moon cake on Halloween. Click on “continue reading…” for the pictures and cake recipe which is really a recipe for pumpkin bars.