Articles

  1. Mushroom Risotto

    This past Saturday my brother and his wife came up to spend the weekend. The plan was for them to arrive in time for dinner on Saturday and then they and I would head out and hit one of the local haunted houses for a good scare. The wife opted to stay home and take care of our daughter. She may love a good scary movie, but haunted houses, with all the loud noises and people jumping out, at her, just isn’t her idea of a fun time. The weather was cool, bordering on cold and just a little rainy...
  2. German Apple Pancakes

    For years I have wanted to travel the Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive in Autumn. It’s a beautiful drive that takes you through the Kettle Moraine State Park as well as a number of cute, little Wisconsin towns. I was determined that this year we would take the drive. With my work schedule about to get crazy again, yesterday was our only opportunity to do it, so, despite the low clouds and almost constant drizzle we loaded up the van and took the drive. The northern end the drive starts about 45...
  3. Pasta with Caramelized Cabbage

    When it comes to pasta it is easy to get into a rut, making the same sauces over and over.  For most people that means either red, tomato sauce or a white "Alfredo" sauce.  In Autumn I like to serve pasta with caramelized cabbage and bacon.  This is a great late summer, early fall pasta dish. Slightly caramelizing the cabbage brings a wonderful depth of flavor to the dish, but it still is light enough to not slow you down when it is still warm outside. It’s not the quickest pasta to make,...
  4. Onion Sage Focaccia

    I have to admit, I am not much of a baker. Sure, I took all the required baking classes in culinary school, and as a chef I have done my fair share of baking and pastries, but it is not a skill that I particularly enjoyed and thus didn’t really work on developing. I was always more about the rush and the instant gratification of line work as opposed to the more methodical, slower pace of the bakery. Recently though, I have had a desire to flex those old, rusty baking skills. Some experiments...
  5. Drinking History-Fruit Shrubs

    A couple of weeks ago I posted about how we went grape picking and the numerous jars of jelly my wife made with them. I also mentioned that we had plenty of leftover grapes for pie making and for me to experiment with. For awhile now, I have had a renewed interest in making shrub, a classic colonial American drink with a long history. With all the extra grapes, now was the perfect time to experiment. Shrubs can be categorized into alcoholic and non-alcoholic. The alcoholic versions are...
  6. Monkey Bread

    Okay, I have to admit, I’m a sucker for Monkey Bread!!! Yes, I know, it probably can’t be considered the height of the culinary arts, but damn it’s good. Plus, with the holidays coming up soon, it's a great, easy breakfast item that can feed a lot of people with very little effort.  For lighter eaters just that and some coffee and your good to go.  Besides what’s not to like; rich caramel, buttery goodness, a crisp crust and gooey interior. It’s got everything you need to start the day off...
  7. Bourbon Mustard Marinated Pork Chops

    I hate coming back to work after a fun holiday weekend. Work seems like such a let down after enjoying that time with family and friends but, unfortunately, this blog isn’t making me rich so for now I need to continue with my day job. One of the things I do enjoy about my job though is the drive to work. I have a 45 minute commute to work each day. Some people think that that is too long of a drive and it must bore me to death. It’s quite the opposite in fact. I love the drive. In the...
  8. Mango Chipotle Chicken

    It’s September and the kids are back in school. It’s hard to believe that summer is behind us, such as it was. I don’t know about your area of the world, but here in Wisconsin we didn’t get much of a summer, not that I’m complaining. In fact, in many ways it was quite nice, but it just didn’t seem like summer. First off, we had more than our fair share of dark, rainy days, and the temperatures never really got all that hot. That meant that there wasn’t a lot of swimming done this year, but...
  9. Spinach & Raspberry Salad

    Late Harvest (or Fall) raspberries are just starting to make their appearances here in Wisconsin. If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I love raspberries and the fact that they are harvested twice a year thrills me. While the nights are getting cool, days can still be warm so I still, occasionally, enjoy an entree salad for dinner. This salad is bright, refreshing, and a great reminder that summer isn’t over just yet. Spinach & Raspberry Salad 1 1 1/2 pounds Baby Spinach 6...
  10. Grape Jelly

    It’s Saturday, September 24th, and it’s the perfect early Fall day. Sunny and warm with just a slight crispness in the air. It is, or was, the perfect day to head out and do a bit of grape picking, so the wife, the kid and I jumped into the car and drove down to the Madison area-Cottage Grove to be exact-to visit Door Creek Orchard where we knew we’d be able to get out in the vineyard and pick our own grapes. My wife and I discovered Door Creek Orchard a number of years ago and had a great...
  11. Fresh Mozzarella & Tomato Panini

    It’s that time of year, and the tomatoes have started popping up in our CSA share. I always look forward to these additions to our weekly boxes. For most of the year I’m not much of a tomato fan, mainly due to the fact that most supermarket tomatoes (those wrongly named vine-ripened included) are tasteless and have the texture of cardboard and water. But come the end of July and the beginning of August that all changes as local, truly vine ripened tomatoes start showing up at the farmer’s...
  12. Blackberry Peach Cobbler

    A few weeks ago I made my first trip to the Little Farmer, one of my favorite places here in Wisconsin, and they start their season the beginning of August with early season apples and peaches that they get from a farmer over in Michigan. The peaches were superb and I had to pick up a bunch, both for eating and for cooking. I really like this year’s crop, sweet and super juicy, yet they seem to have a nice tart kick to them, even when fully ripe. Normally, if I am going to pair peaches with...
  13. Grease: No Longer the Enemy

    Being a Working Hero can sometimes mean working dirty. The men and women wearing our uniforms often encounter grease, oil, and grime on a daily basis while on the job. From splattered bacon grease on your chef coat to engine oil on your utility pants, these pesky stains can sometimes mean the end of the road for your precious uniform. But, with proper care of these stains, you can save yourself the headache and keep your clothes looking sharp every day of the week. Here are some simple tips...
  14. Refrigerator Pickles

    I have a weakness for pickles. It doesn’t matter what kind: sweet, sour, dill, garlic, spicy, it doesn’t matter to me. Nor am I picky about what vegetables to pickle though I am most partial to cucumbers, the “traditional” pickle, green beans and mushrooms. The only think I demand from a good pickle, especially a cucumber pickle is that it be crispy. A few weekends ago we headed down to the Bristol Renaissance Faire, one of my favorite summer time activities. We have a great time each time...
  15. Thai Spiced Grilled Chicken

    While I prefer mostly burgers and pork products gracing my grill, my wife loves chicken (not that she doesn’t love the other stuff also) and since I am supposed to be trying to eat healthier, on a more regular basis, I have been trying to cook chicken more often. I tend to find chicken to be on the bland side and, honestly, rather boring, so I am always looking for ways to add some flavor and excitement to it. My most recent experiment has been with Asian flavors, especially those of...
Loading...