Edible Antics

Touring Wisconsin Food

Tag: Valentine’s Day

Is it Spring yet?

Warmer days – shorter nights

As Valentine’s Day approaches is chocolate the answer?  The temps are in the 40’s and this winter is looking like we might get by with minimal disruptions from Mother Nature.  The groundhog said six more weeks of winter, but it sure is feeling warmer, the days are longer and who knows – can the tulips be far behind?  Or has the winter just caused my brain to short circuit? Continue reading

5 Valentine’s Day Gifts That Are Cheesy In A Good Way

The best Valentine’s Day gifts are a little sweet, but a little bit cheesy! Not cheesy like a life-sized teddy bear or a dancing gorilla that sings “Wild Thing”, but cheesy in a good way. Like award-winning Wisconsin gouda cheese or a red velvet cake with cream cheese icing, baked by the same bakery who makes Wisconsin’s famous Kringle. Check out five of my top favorite cheesy Valentine’s Day gifts!



Valentine’s Day Gift Treats Basket- This romantic red gift basket contains a plentiful assortment of sweet and savory Wisconsin-made snacks including a chocolate heart, a chocolate rose, some honey for your honey, a special Valentine’s Day coffee blend and a heart-shaped Wisconsin cheddar cheese.


Valentine Sweetie Gift Box– This sweet gift basket features some of the best gourmet foods Wisconsin has to offer. Quince and Apple preserves and Potter’s Crackers make a perfect paring for award-winning gouda by Holland’s Family Cheese. Finish off your Wisconsin cheese tasting for two by sharing a Gail Ambrosia chocolate bar.


Heart-Shaped Cutting Board– If your sweetie enjoys entertaining, this heart-shaped cutting board will be perfect serving platter for a cheese course. Choose from maple or cherry wood.

Red Velvet Crown Cake – If your sweetie prefers sweets, this red velvet crown cake by O&H Bakery will make her smile. If O&H bakery sounds familiar, it’s the same bakery that makes the world famous Wisconsin Kringle. The luxurious red cake is topped with a smooth cream cheese icing. 

 Heat-Shaped Valentine’s Day Cheddar Cheese– Forget hearts full of chocolate and try a heart full of cheese instead! Wisconsin cheddar cheese, to be precise. Enjoy a little or a lot of cheddar with 2oz, 5oz, and 10oz hearts.



As a bonus, if you get a Valentine’s Day gift from Wisconsinmade.com, you can take advantage of delayed delivery. You can order your gift today and request to have it shipped during Valentine’s Day week. Learn more about delayed delivery here, and have a sweet and cheesy Wisconsin Valentine’s Day!

Wisconsin Valentine Poem

Roses are red,

Honey is from bees,

This box looks like chocolates,

But inside its cheese!


I love you so much,

But shopping’s a bore,

Good thing WisconsinMade,

Delivers right to your door.

Green Bay Packer Popcorn Tin

I bought you a kringle,

And a cute cookie tin,

But all I really want,

Is a Green Bay Packer win!

Enjoy this Valentine poem and click on the links to see all of the great gift ideas from Wisconsinmade.com.


Back To Eating Healthy Foods Again; Recipe For Cauliflower Broccoli Salad With Apples And Cranberries

Valentine’s Day is past. Mardis Gras is over. The last of my chocolate cakes have been eaten. Time to get back to eating healthy foods again. It’s the boom and bust cycle of affluent eating. We can afford to eat fattening, tasty foods so we do. Then we regret that we did so we resolve to eat healthy foods… again. A lot of us made this resolution on January 1st. But by February 1st, we’d slipped. Yet how could we help it? Valentine’s Day is a whole day dedicated to eating chocolate. Mardis Gras is a whole night dedicated to eating in excess absolutely everything we want. The holidays and advertisers conspire against us…And now, here’s Lent. For Christian believers, Lent is 40 days of back on the wagon of healthy living. But not to despair, chocolate Easter bunnies are coming. In the meantime however, we need healthy foods that also taste good.

My first contribution to this post-Mardis Gras season is this recipe for cauliflower broccoli salad with apples and raisins, except as usual, I substituted cranberries for the raisins. Cranberries are a super-food that’s super healthy. But more to the point, I love cranberries. Keep reading for the recipe.

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Way Of Romantic Love Goes From Chocolate Truffles To Oatmeal Cake

This Valentine’s Day I’m pondering the ways of romantic love as I stare at my would-be chocolate truffles that now lay somewhere within my oatmeal cake. Yes, there is a metaphor here, albeit a poor one. But I’ll just explain about the truffles and cake

Yesterday I wanted to give homemade chocolate truffles to a dear friend. I was completely innocent in the ways of candy-making. This recipe tempted me with its combination of rich, dark chocolate, and sweet milk chocolate. Following the minimal instructions was uncharacteristically effortless. In no time, my bowl was filled to the brim with euphoria-inducing cocoa. I was about to put it in the ‘fridge to let it set over time into the sweet candied I’d imagined. But, as if from a dream, I awoke to what I’d actually done. I’d concocted something that could kill me.

The candy recipe is an old recipe. Unlike today’s health-wise recipes that remove any possibility of sickness, these chocolate truffles were a simple mix of chocolate, a bit of butter, and raw eggs. I haven’t eaten raw eggs since I was on a family farm and had met the chickens. Yesterday’s eggs had come from who knows where. Salmonella, like HIV, could be within. I certainly couldn’t give these truffles as a gift. Keep reading for the rest of the story and the recipes.

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Wisconsin Food Trends: Buy Local From Farmers; Substitute Sauerkraut For The Coconut

I’ve been reading about food trends. Now, if you’re like me, you don’t think of Wisconsin as being a particularly trendy place. What worked for us Wisconsinites yesterday, we go ahead and do again today. You can see this best in the ways we raise and prepare food. Our artisanal cheeses, meats, and beers have always been popular. But if we haven’t been boasting about them it’s because we here in this frigid northern clime don’t like jumping up and down calling attention to ourselves, unless of course we need to thaw our toes. Our state’s never had a reputation for fancy food, just food that tastes awesome.

So it made sense to read in Mary Bergin’s February article in Madison Magazine that Illinois chefs are supplying their restaurants with Wisconsin foods. The article focuses on the buy-local movement which I guess to Chicagoans means buying from Wisconsin. Because chefs are raving about the superiority of Wisconsin food, it’s now trendy to dine at upscale Chicago-area restaurants serving food from Wisconsin farms. But really, what’s the shocker? – that food picked yesterday tastes better than food picked two weeks ago in California? Perhaps the surprise is that people are willing to pay a little extra for better food. Mary’s article points out that urban Wisconsinites are increasingly fed up with eating old food  trucked in from 1000 miles away. Membership is surging in Community Supported Agriculture groups through which Wisconsinites weekly buy large boxes of fresh produce directly from farmers.

But eating Wisconsin farm food is not a new trend. It’s more like something Wisconsinites always used to do and then stopped for a while. Most of the Wisconsin senior citizens I know grew up on farms. For them, eating farm food is old hat.

And it’s to these old farmers that younger Wisconsinites such as myself now turn when I want to participate in a new national food trend. You see, I also recently read a list predicting 2010’s trendiest foods. Wisconsin produces some of them, – such as the artisanal goat cheese and buffalo meat. But how can I eat the newly trendy tropical fruits such as coconut and pomegranates while also being trendy by buying local? What to do? Click on “Continue reading…” for my solution and a Wisconsin farm woman’s recipe for chocolate sauerkraut cake.


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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?


Healthy Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies Kids Crave

My daughter’s school is nearly fanatical about forbidding fattening foods in the classroom. The school’s restrictions on permitted snacks suggest that each eight-year old suffers from advanced heart disease and diabetes due to obesity. I agree with limiting sugar-intake in children. Like a hawk, I scrutinize what my children eat. (And I’m just amazed at how much sugar they can consume in one sitting.) Unlike the once-a-year penny-candy stick Laura Ingalls Wilder received in the Little House On The Prairie, sugar treats are continually dispensed in our modern world. My kids’ hairdresser rewards them with Tootsie rolls. The pet shop clerk offers them Mounds bars. Our wonderful neighbors send over cookies and candies to show their affection. Thus, I applaud the school’s attempt to put the brakes on sugar ingestion, despite the feeble impact these rules may have. At least the rules counter-balance our cultural practice.

But as any veteran dieter will tell you, one good binge undoes weeks of progress. So it was on Valentine’s Day. Lauren returned from school with a sack-full of candy. No longer do children simply exchange tiny Valentine’s cards, most also pass out candy. All the well-intentioned rules were ignored, except by Ryan’s mother.

Ryan’s valentine came in a baggy with a cookie and a printed recipe. Lauren announced that these were “The BEST COOKIES EVER!” “Can’t we make them, Mom? PLEASE!!!”

The recipe surprised me. It both conformed to the school’s regulations about sugar and fat content, AND Lauren liked it. The cookies were mostly oats, cranberries, and apricots, – foods that Lauren typically disdains. The sugar and flour content was minimal. But they were laced with mini-chocolate chips, so maybe that’s why she deemed them beyond acceptable.

Thus, when it was time to celebrate “C-Day” we chose to make these Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies. Once a week Lauren and Dave and I celebrate a letter in the alphabet. (We’re trying to ready Dave for kindergarten.) I bake something that starts with the special letter, while Lauren and Dave write the letter and paste it on the door. Then Dave collects things around the house that begin with the letter and places them in our special alphabet box.

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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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Valentine’s Day Gifts – Warming the Heart with Food and Fun

It’s February, and Wisconsin shifts attention to spring.  Outside my window at Wisconsinmade.com the snow is mixing with freezing rain and it’s a balmy 33 degrees! Hooray! It’s warming up! The deer and birds are keeping warm with food. Around here we’re preparing for Valentine’s Day – that holiday in which we give gifts to warm each others’ hearts. I bought my husband a card but haven’t figured out anything beyond that.  Last Valentine’s Day my husband brought home some super, high-quality chocolates which he, I and the kids immediately inhaled and together we reveled in that touch of cocoa-induced euphoria. 

You see, Valentine’s Day at our house is a group affair.  It’s not so much about romantic love as about having fun with the fruits of our romantic love.  Our kids love to decorate the kitchen with red and white hearts cut from paper doilies.  We set the table with a red tablecloth and eat from Valentine’s Day paper plates.

Such celebrations extend way back in our family.  My great-grandmother used to make each holiday extra exciting by hanging a large sheet that sealed off the dining room from her three curious children.  Then she’d rustle behind it, decorating and putting out special holiday foods.  My great-aunt loved the holiday suspense.  For my own daughter’s second Valentine’s Day, I did the same thing, except I included her in the decorating and we kept her poppa out.  She happily reminds me of this every year.  She asks to do it again, but our new house is contemporary and we don’t have enough sheets to cover the kitchen’s entry areas.  So I’m trying to think of a new way to add fun to our Valentine’s Day celebration.

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