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Tag: Easter

Marieke Gouda – Wisconsin Proud

 Wisconsin made cheese sweeps US Championship!

Marieke Gouda

Marieke and her cheese

Here in Wisconsin we are proud to make cheese.  You probably already knew that, right.  But we not only make a lot of cheese – we make the very best cheese.  The US Championship Cheese Contest is held every other year.  This year it was held at Lambeau Field – home of the Green Bay Packers.  There were a record-breaking 2.303 entries from 33 states in this – the largest contest of its kind in the US.  More than 37,000 pounds in 101 classes were judged by 48 judges from 19 states.  They were assisted by over 100 volunteers.  So… how did the Wisconsin Pride logocheesemakers do in the contest you asked?  Well, it turns out that the top three cheeses; the Grand Champion, the first runner up and the second runner up were all produced by Wisconsin cheesemakers!  The Grand Champion was Sartori Cheese Black Pepper Bella Vitano.  First runner up was a one to two year aged Cheddar from Agropur in Weyauwega.  And the second runner up was Marieke Gouda Belegen produced by Marieke Penterman from Thorp Wisconsin. is proud to help you find some of Marieke’s award winning cheese.  Her family farm is a great testament to hard work and their vision of producing delicious cheese.  Wisconsin Proud indeed!

Sweet Sixteen Proud!

Wisconsin Hooded Sweatshirt

The University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team did it again!  They knocked off Virginia Tech in the first round and then the number one seeded Villanova to advance to the Sweet Sixteen.  The team has had five wins over the number 1 and 2 seeds in the past four NCAA tournaments and reached the Sweet Sixteen all four years and the Final Four twice.  Thanks to our talented seniors for a great season.  Seniors Vitto Brown, Nigel Hayes, Bronson Koenig and Zak Showalter led this team on a fun run and came up just short on a buzzer beater in overtime.  But we can all be Wisconsin Proud of these men, the team and the wonderful season they just completed.  Thank you to them all.


 Easter – Sunday April 16th

Easter Morning Sugar Cookie Gift Tin

Easter this year falls the day after normal “tax day” April 15th.  Bur since that is a Saturday, and the Washington DC Emancipation Day holiday observed on April 17 instead of April 16, 2017 Tax Day is on the following Tuesday April 18th.  But don’t spend Easter Sunday finishing your taxes.  Try some cookies, some hard boiled eggs and a little ham.  Hopefully it will be a beautiful spring day we can all enjoy.

Hope you are anticipating the spring flowers and warmer temps like we are.

Visitors are welcome at where all our items are Made With Pride and Passion in Wisconsin

Hand-Decorated Easter Sugar Cookies

Easter is almost here! Hand-decorated Easter-themed cookies put a smile on everyone’s face — for both kids and adults! Here are a few fun decorated cookies for Easter:

Easter Sugar Cookies Assortment“I received a thank you note from my cousin in Virginia. He told me the cookies were almost too pretty to eat, but they polished them off in two days. I think they were a hit!” — Lori on the Easter Sugar Cookies Assortment


Easter Morning Sugar Cookie Gift Tin“Wow… what beautiful cookies, and the taste wonderful. My grandchildren just loved them.” — Mary Ann on the Easter Morning Sugar Cookie Gift Tin


Flower Garden Sugar Cookie Crisp Gift Box“Bought these as a get well gift for my mom. She was very happy with them.” — Anonymous on the Flower Garden Sugar Cookie Crisp Gift Box



9 Signs You’re Celebrating Easter In Wisconsin

Here’s a delightful story about what it feels like to celebrate Easter in Wisconsin.

1. You’re on your way to a family Easter gathering. It might be the end of April, but you’re still wearing a coat. 



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Easter Dinner

The Christian holiday Easter is steeped not only in religious practices but in rich food traditions for Easter dinner.  From the Last Supper, which was the day that Jesus Christ and his apostles sat together for a final dinner, to today, Easter Sunday and the weeks leading up to it have been celebrated throughout the world with traditional meals and treats.

Food included in many Easter dinners are Easter Eggs, Easter Bread, Roasted Meats, Easter Candy and the legendary Easter Bunny. Below are some delicious Easter foods and treats for your traditional Easter dinner.

Easter Ham – Ham has been a longstanding Easter dinner main course tradition in many American households. Our Easter Ham is an, award-winning Applewood smoked ham. This smoked ham is accented by a hand-applied honey glaze that gives it a mild, sweet flavor.


Easter Pear Bread – Easter Pear Bread is a very traditional Swiss bread, made with many spices, dried pears and dried apples. This delicious pear bread will be a unique addition to your Easter dinner.


Easter Eggs –  The Easter Eggs Sugar Cookies are  hand decorated home-made egg shaped sugar cookies. When the Easter Egg hunt is over, enjoy a sugar cookie or two from the Easter Eggs Homemade Sugar Cookie gift tin.


Easter Bunny – As delectable as they are adorable, these Chocolate Easter Bunnies with a Bow are cute critters made of premium chocolate adorned with a ribbon of chocolate around their necks. A yummy Easter dinner dessert or treat.




Celebrate Spring With Four Fun Ways To Eat Eggs

Spring is almost here, but there’s still snow on the ground here in Madison, Wisconsin so it doesn’t feel much like spring. Since I won’t be frolicking in fields of wildflowers any time soon, I’m celebrating by finding fun ways to eat eggs, the symbol of spring and new life.


Pickled Eggs– Eggs in liquid in a jar aren’t for everyone, but since my grandma makes beet pickled eggs every Easter, I’ve grown up eating pickled eggs. If you’re a pickled egg lover who isn’t lucky enough to have an egg pickling grandma, you can get 
pickled eggs online at





Huevos Rancheros – The first time I made huevos rancheros for breakfast, I couldn’t stop thinking about them all day, so I made some more at dinner. They are a common brunch menu item, and every restaurant prepares them a little bit differently, but most consist of tortillas, salsa, some kind of beans and a fried egg on top. The huevos rancheros in this photo are from Daisy Cafe in Madison. They add their own special twist by topping the tortilla with grilled local veggies.




Eggs In Tomato Sauce- I wasn’t sure about the idea of eggs and Italian-style tomato sauce, but the waitress at a brunch restaurant in Chicago encouraged me to try it and I’m glad I took her advice. Eggs and tomato sauce go surprisingly well together, and dipping the toasted bread in the sauce and runny egg yolk is a delicious way to start the day.





Marshmallow Eggs – Alright, these aren’t actual eggs but since we’re getting to the end of the blog post, let’s talk dessert! These marshmallow Easter eggs from Buddy Squirrel are a Wisconsin favorite. The giant chocolate eggs come in milk chocolate or dark chocolate, and ship nationwide from




What’s your favorite way to enjoy eggs?

Easter Meal Ideas

Easter meal ideas should celebrate the season and reflect the renewal and happiness of Spring. Also make sure your main dish, side dish, and dessert choices are family friendly so everyone can enjoy the fun of Easter dinner.


Ham – Ham earns the number one spot on my Easter meal ideas because ham just plain rules. When I was in college, I remember being excited to go home for Easter because we were having ham. Ham is a crowd pleaser- kids love it, adults love it, and the cook loves it since it is easy to prepare- just heat and eat. In the case of the spiral sliced versions, you don’t even need to slice the ham yourself. If that wasn’t enough, ham makes a variety of yummy left overs like omelets, casseroles and my favorite, ham salad.




Lamb– Lamb requires a little bit more effort to prepare but the results are juicy, flavorful, and a special treat worthy of an Easter meal. This one might be a little too adventurous for most kids and even some adults, so stick to ham if you’re unsure, or serve both.






easter-mealEaster Egg Bread Centerpiece– This golden Easter bread nest is filled with colorful Easter eggs and doubles as an Easter centerpiece. Follow the link to see the complete instructions for how to enjoy this kid friendly recipe at home.





Pickled Eggs – Pickled eggs are an Easter tradition in my family, and no Easter meal is complete without them. We also eat them for breakfast with a sprinkle of salt. If making your own pickled eggs sounds like too much work, check out these pickled eggs from Milwaukee’s Bay View Packing Company.





easter-meal-2Carrot Cake– There are a ton of Easter sweet treats like marshmallow candies, chocolate bunnies, chocolate eggs, but candies just won’t do at an elaborate Easter meal. Make your Easter dessert memorable with a fancy carrot cake! Who knows, maybe the Easter bunny will join you for dessert!


Special holiday foods mark the season and make the fun. Here are links to Wisconsin recipes for celebrating the holidays – some traditional, some new, and all delicious.


Easter Bread– This twisted Easter bread ring is filled with colorful eggs and makes a beautiful Easter dinner centerpiece.

Mardi Gras

Crockpot GumboFeed a crowd with this easy crockpot gumbo. Use bratwurst for a Wisconsin twist.

St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patraic’s Day Cookies Put these cookies in a pot and you’ll have a fun St. Patrick’s Day centerpeice.

Mother’s Day

Orange Ricotta Pancakes– Impress mom with these fluffly pancakes for Mother’s Day breakfast in bed.

Father’s Day

Brats on the Grill Brownies -Does your dad love to grill? Bake him some brats on the grill brownies for Father’s Day.

Breakfast Bratritos-Breakfast burritos get a Wisconsin twist with the addition of bratwurst. Dad will love these.

Independence Day

Brats on the Grill Brownies-If you celebrate July 4th with bratwurst, these brownies will fit in perfectly.

Red, White and Blue Fruit Parfait– Like Donkey said in the movie Shrek, everybody loves parfaits, especially a patriotic one!

Football Season

Rose Bowl Veggie Tray– When the University of Wisconsin was in the Rose Bowl, I made a vegetable tray with tomato roses. These fancy garnishes are easier to make then you might think.

Beer Cheese Soup with Vegetables – This Wisconsin classic is a great way to feed a crowd during a Packer game.


Eyeball Cupcakes – Do you feel like someone’s watching you? It’s the cupcakes.


Pumpkin Roll-I can’t get enough pumpkin in the fall, so this pumpkin roll recipe is right up my ally!

 Christmas and Winter Holidays 

Beer Ginger Bread-In Wisconsin we put beer in almost everything, even gingerbread.

Snowy Wisconsin Brownies– A Wisconsin shaped cookie cutter and some powdered sugar make these brownies a perfect way to celebrate the season.

Spritz Cookies– It’s easy to see why this is a fun Christmas tradition, who wouldn’t love to play with a cookie gun?


Recipe for Twisted Easter Egg Bread Rings – An Edible Easter Centerpiece Enjoyed On Wisconsin Farms

“If you want people to enjoy the food you cook, you have to enjoy cooking it.”

easter-bread-1Darlene Kronschnabel’s mother would say this as she stood over a hot wood stove in her floral feed sack apron and bake 8 loaves of bread on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. There were lots of hungry people to feed on Darlene’s farm, not only the immediate family, but hired hands, neighbors, and business associates, -anyone who happened to pass by at mid-day was invited to share the meal. “Times were hard” in Wisconsin in the 1930’s  when Darlene was helping her mother and grandmother cook. The family moved from farm to farm as her father took a series of jobs as a tenant farmer before finally able to purchase his own farm. But surrounded by loving family and eating fresh, nourishing food with good friends and laughing over tall tales told by passer-bys, Darlene never felt poor, -even in the most uncertain of times.

Darlene describes growing up in rural Wisconsin, and raising fruits, vegetables, and livestock. Her recipes for farm food reveal the flavor of her life and give a taste of the time. Some recipes arrived in Wisconsin with her Hungarian grandmother, and others came in recipe swaps with neighboring farm women. Darlene writes that on the farm, what folks ate changed with the seasons. She describes this cycle of tastes through recipes and stories in her book, Seasons in a Country Kitchen Cookbook.

I happened upon Darlene’s stories when I renewed my search for an edible Easter centerpiece. I found Darlene’s recipe for Twisted Easter Egg Bread Rings, -a holiday bread that looks festive as a centerpiece and is fun to make with kids. But before I hurried into the kitchen, I read Darlene’s description of Easter on the farm. My urgency dissipated, and I read her other stories as well. The stories made me re-think the rushed ‘quick-n-easy’ recipes I favor in this hurried 21st century. I decided it’s time to get back to basics, -time to bake bread. I haven’t baked bread in years, -so here goes. Here’s Darlene’s recipe for Twisted Easter Egg Bread Rings and pictures of my attempt to make them. easter-bread-2 

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Decorating for Easter with Bouncing Bunnies and Soggy Rabbits

“That’s quite a few bouncing bunnies!” I overheard Renee remark.

“It sure is.” confirmed Vicki.

“Where are they all going?” questioned Linda.


“Indiana? Will they make it in time?”

“Yes, they’re hurrying on their way right now.”

“The bouncing bunnies have been in demand,” added Katie.

“Yes,” Renee said, “More will be shipping out tomorrow.”

Not knowing exactly what bouncing bunnies are, and admittedly not overly-inquisitive about the matter, I absent-mindedly conjured images of rabbits, with pastel-ribboned collars, hopping through Wisconsin fields and along roadsides. I imagined legions of lagamorphs marching on Indiana. “Yes,” I thought, “This is a crazy business. We’re experiencing a bunny surge.”

I finally saw a picture of a bouncing bunny when Katie featured them on the Easter page. “Oh, they’re chocolate!” I shouldn’t have been surprised; in the back of my mind, I knew didn’t traffic in live animals. But it did surprise me, and get me thinking.

Bunnie Cookies

“What a fun centerpiece for the Easter table.” I thought. Usually, I put a flower arrangement between the candles on the table. But the idea of using a special Easter food was aesthetically and gastronomically appealing. I knew a fun food arrangement would excite the kids. What other foods would look nice as a centerpiece? So I started searching through our food site, (“keeping ‘current’ with our site is part of my job,” I justify). Then I found Kransekager which is a tower of almond sugar cookies that arrives in pieces and you assemble it like a puzzle. “That looks fun!” I thought, but then mused, “Why don’t the kids and I make something like that ourselves?..What a good project!”


So yesterday when both kids were home mildly ill, but still bouncing a bit like bunnies, I suggested we cook up some edible Easter centerpiece. “What do you want to make?” I enthusiastically asked.

“But Mommy, first we have to decorate the house for Easter!” My children have a sense of ordered priorities.

“All right,” I sighed, going with the flow. We unpacked the large box of Easter decorations – the baskets, the plastic eggs, the window clings, and the plastic grass that spreads like weeds throughout the house. Then Lauren and Dave began gathering up all the stuffed bunnies and chicks which they had received from loving relatives in Easters past. And that’s when we got completely sidetracked.

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Easter Dinner: Whether Ham or Lamb, Make it Easy and Elegant and Stop Worrying About the Bunny!

Easter is now less than two weeks away and it has occurred to me that the 2 feet of snow in my backyard may not be melted in 13 days. So how am I going to make my size 7 1/2 boot tracks in the snow resemble those of a small rabbit’s? Even if I hopped, the tracks would look like Godzilla-bunny’s. And the children would have new nightmares for Easter. Can I hide the eggs and not leave any tracks? I doubt it. Should I just run around my yard willy-nilly leaving tracks everywhere the day before? Then the tracks would not appear out of place, nor lead to specific locations of the eggs. Ugh – the effort.

spiral sliced ham

I think I’ll switch to thinking about food and planning the Easter menu. Usually I serve a spiral ham. Nothing’s easier than a pre-glazed, pre-cut ham. And it’s really good, everybody in our house likes it. It looks elegant for company, and the left-overs are versatile enough to be used in sandwiches, casseroles, or soups.

But this year, I want something different. I remember a few years ago my mom served a crowned lamb. It had such a commanding presence on the table, was fabulously delicious and, most importantly to my mom, was very easy to prepare. We still talk about this meal. So my thoughts this Easter are heading in the lamb direction.

I’ve been looking through some gourmet cookbooks and found two lamb recipes that look awesome. The recipe for Rosemary Baked Rack of Lamb sounds relatively easy. The Leg of Lamb in Herb Sauce looks scrumptious, but would take a little more time in the kitchen. I’m going to give both recipes here, and continue vacillating over which to prepare.

For me, musing about food is easier than imitating wildlife. Who knows, I may get lucky, -it’ll rain instead of snow, and so we’ll let the Easter bunny come inside to hide the eggs. 

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