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Edible Antics

Touring Wisconsin Food

Tag: desserts

I Scream For Ice Cream

Babcock Hall Ice cream pints

Recently Reuters published an article detailing the changing tastes in the ice cream market.  Among other changes noticed in the worldwide markets for ice cream they reported that consumers are turning to niche brands with unusual ingredients.  The mindset they quoted was “If I’m gonna have some ice cream, it’s gotta be the good stuff.”

Here in Wisconsin, the dairy state, we specialize in “the good stuff.”  The University of Wisconsin Madison has as part of their agriculture school an entire laboratory and production facility devoted Babcock Hall ice cream productionto the process of producing high quality ice cream and teaching students how it is done.  As a result Wisconsin manufacturers include Chocolate Shoppe, Cedar Crest and the UW’s own Babcock Hall  brands of ice cream.  Graduates from this program are in high demand.


Flavor selections offers these ice creams for delivery packed with dry ice in a reusable foam cooler.  Also available are delicious ice cream toppings to add to the treat.  Looking for unique flavors of ice cream?  How about these items:

  • Cookie dough                              Black Licorice
  • Mint Chocolate                             Coconut Almond
  • Cookies and cream                      Espresso Oreo
  • Mocha Machiatto                          Machinac Island fudge
  • Orange custard chocolate chip    Mint Avalanche
  • Blue moon                                     Zanzibar Chocolate

On a hot summer day a cool dish of special ice cream hits the spot.  So join the international trend and get “some of the good stuff” for you and your family at Wisconsinmade.

Ice Cream! – Made with pride and passion in Wisconsin.

Fun Cupcake Ideas for Father’s Day

In honor of Father’s Day I’ve rounded up some fun cupcake ideas for all different types of dads. These cupcakes are much more memorable and infinitely tastier than the usual tie gift.



Golf Cupcakes from Simple Girl


 Dad will enjoy these adorable cakes before he hits the links. You can even write him a special note on the flags.

 Fishing Cupcakes from Tidy Mom blogfun-cupcake-2

Give your dad a tasty snack for his next fishing trip. These super cute cupcakes are topped with blue icing and a fish fruit snack on a fishing poll made out of a tooth pick and some thread.










 Lawn Mower Cupcakes from Disney Family Fun fun-cupcake-3


I know a few dads who actually enjoy mowing the lawn, so if this applies to your dad, these are the cupcakes for him. The mower is made out of chocolate candies and black licorice, and the grass is coconut with green food coloring. These cute cupcakes are fun, easy to decorate and guaranteed to make dad smile.








Brats on the Grill Brownies from Edible Antics



I made these creative cupcakes for dads who love to grill. These tiny bratwursts are actually Hot Tamale candies on a brownie grill. I suppose you could use cupcake batter instead of brownies. I would just fill the cupcake tins with a little less batter than usual so the cakes don’t rise over the edge. This will give you a flatter surface to put the decorations on.

For more Father’s Day gift ideas and Wisconsin food, visit my Pinterest boards.

5 St. Patricks Day Foods From Wisconsin

St. Patricks Day foods don’t all come from Ireland, some of them are made in Wisconsin. Check out these five St. Patricks Day sweet treats.



Potato Candy– It looks like a potato, but no spuds were harmed in the making of these candies. They are butter cream coated in cinnamon. This would be a fun treat for kids to take to school on St. Patrick’s Day, IF you can get them to share.




Decorated Sugar Cookies– These shamrock cookies are hand decorated with by Wisconsin bakers. The Facebook fans voted that these were their favorite St. Patricks Day Cookies. The other St. Patricks Day cookies are green with envy! See for yourself in the St. Patrick’s Day gift department.





Pot of Gold Cookies – Are you more of a homemade cookies fan? Fire up your oven and visit this retro blog post for instructions on how to make these edible gold coins. This pot of gold is so convicing you might attract some leprechauns.





Gourmet Apples– Gourmet, handdipped chocolate apples from Amy’s Apples are a must try. Not only are these apples beautifully decorated, but they are huge! They can feed up to six people.





Whoopie Pies- Mint chocolate should be the offical flavor of St. Patrick’s Day food. Two soft chocolate cakes plus a generous helping of minty green filling make these whoopie pies a favorite among the Irish, and everyone’s Irish on St. Patricks Day!

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

Ice Cream Shops – or should I say Shoppes?

My Dad is coming from Virginia to visit me in Madison this weekend and I can’t wait to take him to one of my favorite ice cream shops, or should I say Shoppe? I am a huge fan of the Chocolate Shoppe.  In fact, on more than one occasion I have entered my favorite ice cream shop on a snowy, below-zero day.

I sometimes wonder if I am the only person in Madison who craves ice cream during the 4+ months a year when our state turns into a frozen tundra.  My favorite flavor of Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream is Mint Avalanche, which is like mint chocolate chip kicked up a notch- instead of chocolate chips it has pieces of mint-chocolate candy and mint-chocolate cookies swirled inside. YUM!  I have contemplated stocking up a few pints-no need to worry about freezer space, I can store them on my porch this time of year- but the poor employees of the Chocolate Shoppe need my visits because they seem a bit bored. I think this snowman with a Chocolate Shoppe hat and cone eyes is evidence of that.  If I didn’t stop in they probably wouldn’t speak to anyone all day, which is a shame because they have a great sense of humor, which is evident by the nutrition facts on the side of the pint:

“Don’t even ask. This is the best ice cream made in Wisconsin, and it tastes so good because it has gobs of rich Wisconsin cream, tons of real ingredients for boat-loads of luscious flavors. That means it’s not low-fat, low-calorie or low-anything, and that’s why everyone loves it. You want nutrition, eat carrots. ”

So if you live in Madison, don’t forget about how lucky you are to have the Chocolate Shoppe near by.  If you don’t live in Mad-town, you can click on this link to have Chocolate Shoppe ice cream delivered right to your door.  Ice cream also makes an awesome gift. Let’s face it, who expects to open a box to find ICE CREAM! Just don’t send it to anyone on a diet.

Ice Cream Tip: Put a scoop of vanilla ice cream in your coffee in the morning in place of cream and sugar. It will sweeten your cup of joe while cooling it down at the same time.


Party Food Ideas For July 4th

Party food ideas for July 4th typically focus on red, white and blue foods. In fact, I previously offered a long list of such red, white, and blue foods. But food colored like our flag is only one of many party food ideas for July 4th. Let’s think beyond color.

I’m thinking of party foods that celebrate with bold aroma, flavor…and SOUND. Yes, today I suggest noisy foods, loud foods, foods that audibly declare their presence at a patriotic holiday party. Here are foods that kids love because they make noise!

The most obvious July 4th party food is POPCORN. Who doesn’t like popcorn? Can’t think of anyone. Popcorn is a healthy, high-fiber, relatively low-calorie snack, but even better…it’s food that TALKS. It interrupts with SOUND. Whether you pop it on the stove-top or in the microwave, folks hear that a big, delicious bowl of popcorn is on its way! Even deaf party guests will SMELL the popcorn coming. YES, popcorn is a patriotic food simply by its boldness of presence. Too bad we can’t set it on fire and still eat it. Keep reading for more party food ideas for July 4th.

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Fall Fun With Wisconsin Cranberries: Festivals, Health Benefits, Delicious Recipes

Fall in Wisconsin means CRANBERRIES!  Have fun this weekend at Wisconsin cranberry festivals where folks can visit the fields, watch the harvest, and taste the cranberries cooked into delicious breads, jams, sauces, pies, cakes,salads, and meats – you name. If it can be eaten it can have cranberries in it!

And why eat cranberries? Cranberries are health food. Cranberries are the second healthiest fruit, some scientists say they’re the most healthiest. Cranberries are loaded with anti-oxidants and health-supporting phyto-chemicals. These small red berries pack a punch on free-radicals and bacteria. They benefit the circulatory, endocrine, and immune systems. A major benefit of eating cranberries is their protection of the digestive system against  harmful bacterial infections and ulcers. Cranberries can help stave off cancers affecting the digestive tract, reduce the risk of heart disease, and may even prevent people from getting the flu.

So now I bet you’re wondering when you last ate a cranberry. I probably eat cranberries every day, but that’s because I have a sweet tooth and I’m lazy. Sweetened dried cranberries are a fast snack I pack in my lunch. They make a great mid-morning or late-afternoon pick-me-up at the office. Cranberries are a quick healthy snack I feed my children when they start to fuss from after-school fatigue and hunger. Because sweetened dried cranberries are regularly on-hand in my cupboard, I call on them to liven up banana breads, muffins, cookiescoffee cakes, pies, and desserts. I toss them into vegetable side dishes, salads, and soups for health, color, taste, and texture. Last night I made my favorite rice dish which features cranberries and wild rice. This side dish tastes wonderful with pork, poultry, or fish. It’s festive, different, and easy. Click on “Continue reading…” for more links to delicious recipes using cranberries.

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Wisconsin Recipes

Looking to cook some Wisconsin Recipes? Here are links to delicious recipes using ingredients made in Wisconsin. From the traditional to the goofy- it’s all Wisconsin food all the time!

Recipes by Wisconsin Ingredient


It’s no secret we love beer in Wisconsin. Not only do we drink beer, but we cook with beer too.




 Everyone knows Wisconsin has the best wursts! Try some of these easy and delicious bratwrust recipes for dinner tonight. 




If you’ve ever been to America’s Dairyland, you know Wisconsin has the best cheese selection around.  From fried cheese curds to grilled cheese, I love to use Wisconsin cheese in fun and creative ways.

 Maple Syrup 

Wisconsin is one of the biggest maple syrup producers in the United States.


From salad to cookies, I am always on the look out for new ways to use healthy and delicious cranberries. 


Traditional Wisconsin Recipes

Some yummy recipes with a Wisconsin twist.




Other Wisconsin Made Ingredients 

You may not think of bacon or popcorn when you think of Wisconsin, but both are produced here.  This is the section for recipes with the less recognized Wisconsin ingredients.

 Recipes from Wisconsin Cookbooks

I am lucky enough to have access to all of the cookbooks from – here are some recipes from Wisconsin cookbooks.



Cooking with the ABC’s

Blogger Cristie cooks up some fun with her kids by making a food starting with every letter of the alphabet! A great indoor activity to keep your whole family occupied during the Wisconsin winters.

 On the letter ‘A’s “special day”, the kids and I ate Angel food cake topped with delicious sauteed Apples. The angel food cake came out of a Betty Crocker box.  But here’s the recipe for the sauteed apples; it’s out of the book Apples Everything

  • 3 tart apples, peeled, cored and thickly sliced
  • 3 Tablespoons low-fat margarine
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

In medium skillet over medium heat, melt margarine until it foams.  Add apples; cook 2 minutes, tossing occasionally.  Add honey.  Sprinkle spices over apples.  Toss gently to combine; cook until apples are tender, about 3 minutes.


On ‘B-Day’ we made Banana Bread. But our Banana Bread was way too Bland to Bother typing up the recipe. Since then, my friend, Jane Griswold who works at Hoard’s Dairyman, gave me this recipe to try. The kids and I made it and loved it! We baked two loaves, one strictly according to Jane’s instructions, and to the other one we folded in a 1/2 cup of mini-morsel chocolate chips. Both Banana Bread loaves were terrific!

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed bananas
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Add sugar to melted butter, gradually, and blend well. Blend in eggs and mashed bananas. Add lemon juice or vinegar to milk before adding to mixture. Fold in nuts (optional). Combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to other ingredients. Pour into a well-greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes. Cool before slicing. Enjoy!


On ‘C-Day’ we made heart-healthy Oat Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies. The kids Love them!

.1 egg

  • 2/3 scant cup loose brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup mini-morsel chocolate chips OR 1 oz. (1 square) Baker’s chocolate, semi-sweet, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots

(If you don’t want to use the cranberries, just increase the apricots to 2/3 of a cup and omit the lemon extract.)

Whip the egg, sugar, and vanilla together until the sugar has dissolved. Beat in the butter and then add both flours and the baking powder. Mix in the salt and oats. Add the milk and lemon extract. With a wooden spoon, mix in the cranberries and apricots. (It doesn’t matter too much what order you mix these ingredients in. I’m never very conscientious about mixing everything in the right order. This neglect distresses Lauren, but I assure her that all will probably turn out OK. – And it usually does.)

With lightly-moistened hands (or a tablespoon) shape the dough into walnut-sized balls and put them, well-spaced, on a greased baking sheet. Flatten them a bit so they look like mini-hamburger patties.

Bake for 15minutes in a pre-heated, 300 degree oven until the edges are golden. Cool on a wire rack. Makes about 25 cookies.


D is for Dog Biscuit

Here is a recipe for a dog-only delicacy. Don’t be duped and let the kids eat ’em. They’re too healthy and fiber-packed for pre-school stomachs.


Lou’s Deviled Eggs

These deviled eggs are a bit fancier and more flavorful than traditional deviled eggs. The secret’s in the minced ham, onion, and mustard.

Baked Orange French Toast

This baked French toast is a popular breakfast dish served at Wisconsin bed and breakfasts because of its delicious flavor and because it can partially be made ahead of time.


Green Beans (And changing gross table manners into good ones.)

  You probably already know how to cook green beans. I steam them and then toss them in a little butter. Can’t say they’re a winner with the kids, but I sure like ’em.


H is for Hungry Happy Hippos 

Most of us are reluctant to eat something that doesn’t look like food. But my kids are the opposite. If I take their ordinary food and shape it into something else so that it no longer looks like what it is, then my children are thrilled to eat it.

Beware, think first before you make hungry happy hippos. Once you make one hot dog into a hippo, you will be requested to make all future hot dogs into hippos.

Once served, hungry happy hippos are sure to romp across the tabletop, but don’t worry, they will be eaten in the end!

Click on the link for instructions. The key to quick hippo construction is to teach an older child how to make them, then ooh and aah over her achievement. You’ll have your future hippo-maker ready to go.


I and J are for Ice Cream Islands in Blue Jello

Here is a super-fast, super-easy dessert that is Incredibly Irresistible to kids.A few hours before serving, mix up some blue Jello. When the Jello is partially firm, mix in some gummy fish, and let it set some more. When the kids are ready for dessert, put a scoop of New York Vanilla ice cream (it is more “sand” colored than ordinary vanilla) in the middle of a plate. Stick a cocktail umbrella in it. Then surround the ice cream island with the blue, fish-filled Jello. But you don’t have to mix the fish into the Jello early on; you could just strategically place them in the Jello after it’s on the plate.


Cooking with the King: Creating King Lingonberry to Celebrate K and L day!

  Once again we doubled up and celebrated two letters in the alphabet on one day. Letters K and L combined to become the impressive King Lingonberry. Our monarch was fun to make and used up left-over candy in the cupboard. The children had the special task of sorting their remaining Halloween candy. Only candy beginning with the letters J and K were permitted on our royal centerpiece cake. Click on the link for the recipe.


Marshmallow Monsters Mangle Muffins (Cherry Oatmeal)

  Celebrating the letter M with childish war games in the kitchen. Lots of fun, and the cherry oatmeal muffins were tasty too. Click on the link for the muffin recipe.


Making a Spiced Nose Cake to Learn the Letters N and O

  What better way to have fun with the letters N and O than by learning about our senses with a NO-se cake! The children helped me design the cake. I formed a home-made play-dough mold into which I poured and baked spice-cake batter. Our special spice cake tasted great AND SMELLED delicious! Click on the link for the recipe to Slimm and Nunne’s Mustard Spice Cake .


Perfect Peach Pie Pleases and Teaches the Letter P

This is the BEST pie I ever baked! (The secret’s in the rum.) Beware: I’ts hard to stop eating this pie. If you’re trying to teach sharing as well as the alphabet, better bake two peach pies.


Letters S-T-U Party Together in Cheese S-T-U-ffed Peppers

Kids will eat green peppers if they’re stuffed with enough melted cheese. This recipe for roasted stuffed peppers makes an easy party appetizer or healthy lunch to pack for school. Click on the link above for the recipe and story.

Yes, as kindergarten gained on us we celebrated remaining letters in group parties. I told the kids we were practicing pre-reading by combining letters. They knew the truth that Mom had fallen behind, but it didn’t matter. Our alphabet parties were still lots of fun.


 V is for Volcano!

This chocolate Volcano Cake is the craziest cake I have ever baked! My blog post about it has also been my most popular. The cake’s creation teased my brain, excited my children, and became a wondrously fun edible centerpiece for an impromptu children’s party. Look closely and you’ll see that the dinosaurs are running for their lives. Sadly, most don’t make it; the hands of the juvenile volcano-gods catch them and drop them into the volcano’s sugary crater.


We finished our 2008 alphabet game with a blow-out celebration of letters W, X, Y and Z. The children used cookie cutters shaped like these letters to cut out red Jello Wigglers. Meanwhile, I sliced up Watermelon, grilled X-tra special bratwursts and Yellow Zucchini, and baked Yams for a grand-finale, Wisconsin-summer dinner.Brats_kraut

Click here to read the post and recipes.

Valentine’s Day Main Dishes – What to Serve BEFORE the Dessert?

Be Mine Valentine Breakfast basket

Valentine’s Day arrives in 3.5 days! Sidetracked by an early Mardi Gras, we’re short-changing Lincoln’s birthday, and racing to the heart of planning a Valentine’s Day party. My husband is more prepared for Valentine’s Day than I am. This weekend he bought each of the kids a heart-shaped box that has a Looney Tunes character on the cover and contains 4 chocolate candies. Last year they loved it, but preferred eating the high-quality chocolates he bought for me. Today the kids and I will plaster white and red heart-shaped paper doilies on the kitchen windows and cabinets, and hang them from the light fixtures. But what to cook for the main dish – our “good food”?

Valentine Chocolate

Clueless, I asked my office mates how they’ll celebrate Valentine’s Day. Their answers ranged from, “Don’t know; maybe I’ll wear a red shirt” to “I already bought myself a box of chocolates and ate it” to “Well, we have kids, so I’ll probably order a heart-shaped pizza and make a chocolate dessert.” This last response was the most promising so I followed up with, “Will you decorate the house?”

“No.” Renee said, “Not this year, we’re remodeling. But normally I put out my Valentine’s Day plate and we hang Valentine’s Day window clings.” Renee is definitely working at my speed.

So, heart-shaped pizza. Is that all there is for a main dish? What can I make that meets these three requirements in this order?

  1. “good food” my kids will eat
  2. easy to prepare
  3. festive for Valentine’s Day

How about…

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