Articles

  1. 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...
  2. 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...
  3. 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...
  4. 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...
  5. 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...
  6. 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...
  7. 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...
  8. 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...
  9. Shrimp and Heirloom Tomato Pasta

    The other day I received, from one of the supervisors who works for me, a bunch of fresh herbs from her garden. She gave me some sweet Basil, cinnamon basil, and fresh oregano. I was thrilled, as just that morning I had been out in our flower beds, at home, picking a few tomatoes. We don’t have room for a full garden we my wife usually plants a few tomato plants in among the flowers and my herbs. That morning I had picked a rainbow’s worth of tomatoes. My mind wandered all day, at work,...
  10. Serving iced tea with lemon.....

    This is a tutorial for all you servers and cook out there that serve a lemon garnish with iced tea. I have a problem understanding the mind set here. Most all places serve iced tea with a lemon twist or a lemon sliced into a wheel, hanging on the side of the glass or in a small ramekin.  While this may be pretty to look at, it is not functional. In a mixed drink, lemon adds flavor but only if its' juice is released. Other than that, it is a simple garnish.So here I am trying to use this...
  11. Pastitsio-Greek "Lasagna"

    It’s time to dirty a few dishes. Okay, more than a few, but making pastitsio is worth the pile of pots and pans it requires to make it. If you are not familiar with pastitsio, it is a layered pasta dish, kind of similar to Italian Lasagna, most often associated with Greek cuisine although a similar dish can be found throughout the Mediterranean and Middle East. Often made with lamb, although beef is common also, the dish starts with a layer of pasta, then a layer of meat sauce, followed by...
  12. Corn Fritters with Peach Salsa

    It's August and that means that 2 of my favorite things are in season; corn and peaches.  Both peak at this time of year, but you rarely find recipes that use both of them, which I feel is a shame.  So I set out to remedy that situation.  Personally, I'd eat enough of these to make a full meal-they would probably make a great breakfast-but for most people, this would make a great side dish to any grilled chicken or pork that you might be doing. Peach Salsa 2 peaches 1/4 cup onion, finely...
  13. Watermelon Limeade

    Like most of the country, August has come to Wisconsin with a vengeance. While I am not overly bothered by the heat-you can’t be if you’ve spent most of your life in professional kitchens-this heatwave has caught me off guard and I find myself seeking cooling refreshments as often as possible. My usual goto’s, in summer-apart from the plethora of alcoholic beverages I’ve been known to consume-are often sun tea and, a personal favorite, Iced Lemon Balm Tea. This heatwave called for something...
  14. Tomato Basil Pasta

    This has been a great summer, here in Wisconsin,for a lot of farmers. We have had a relatively mild summer, with plenty of rain. It’s been years since I’ve seen corn and soy bean fields look as lush and green in the middle of August, and the corn is taller than I remember seeing it in ages. This has also been proven by the the shear abundance of produce at our local farmer’s market. Not only is there more of it, but everything is looking absolutely beautiful, from the large, sweet...
  15. Melon & Feta Salad

    It seems we have finally gotten some typical August weather. Our summer, as a whole, has been rather cool with most nights dropping down into the 60’s and days rarely surpassing 80-85°F. In fact, we turned the air conditioner off sometime in July and haven’t turned back on since. But with the warmer weather, we like to eat lighter and try not to do much cooking in the house. That often means lots of salads, and while I like salads I find they can get boring rather quickly, meat lover that I...
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