Articles from pete

  1. Cranberry Old Fashioned

    I need to start this post with a disclaimer. I live in Wisconsin and here in Wisconsin drinking Old Fashioneds is a way of life. They serve them by the buckets full in Supper Clubs all across this state. But, Old Fashioneds, here in Wisconsin, are very different from those made in pretty much every other part of the country, so I discovered soon after moving here. First off, in Wisconsin, if you ask for an Old Fashioned it is going to be made with Brandy. That is the default liquor. Not...
  2. Creamy Potato and Ramp Soup

    Last Saturday dawned gray and rainy, so my morning plans of fishing were put on hold. Yes, I admit it, I am a fair weather fisherman. To me it is more about the act of fishing than actually catching fish, though catching them is an added plus. Since this is the case, I prefer my fishing days warm and sunny, and usually accompanied by a few beers! But since we had canceled our fishing plans I decided to head to my favorite spot to pick ramps (wild leeks). The trees would keep the worst of the...
  3. Creamy Sage Polenta with Sausage Ragu

    It’s been cold up here in Wisconsin the last week or so. I thought I was ready for winter, but this cold snap has taken me by surprise and I’ve found myself taking more time than usual to acclimate to the weather. I hate to think that it is because I am getting older.  Whatever the reason, I find myself lying in bed, in the morning, not wanting to get up. Not because I don’t want to go to work, I don’t mind that, but because I am not looking forward to getting into my icy cold car and...
  4. Curried Squash Soup

    Well, it’s November 1st and I survived another Halloween, which is getting more difficult as my daughter gets older and becomes more of a force to reckon with when she’s hopped up on massive quantities of sugar. She turned 5 on Halloween (and yes, sometimes I think she truly is the spawn of the devil!) and I’m glad I wasn’t her teachers that day. She must have told me 20 times that morning that it was her birthday and that she was a big girl now. I can’t imagine how many times her teachers...
  5. Discovering an Old Favorite-A Pancake Recipe

    I don’t buy a lot of new cookbooks anymore. There are a couple of reasons for this; I already have hundreds, I have a limited space for my collection, and I occasionally receive new cookbooks for the purpose of reviewing them. That’s not to say that I don’t buy cookbooks. It’s just that my focus has changed. In the past year or so I have been actively collecting vintage cookbooks and cooking pamphlets, you know the ones, pamphlets that come with new appliances, and those put out by various...
  6. Dried Cherry Tomatoes-Achieving Maximum Flavor

    For the second week in a row we have been blessed with a good amount of cherry tomatoes in our CSA box. Last week, my wife got her hands on them and I never saw them again, so this time I made sure I grabbed them before she did. My goal was to place them into our dehydrator and turn them into little flavor bombs. Freshly picked, perfectly ripe cherry tomatoes, on the own, pack a hefty amount of flavor, but dry them out a bit and you can up that flavor to epic proportions.

    It’s important to...
  7. 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...
  8. Duck and Butternut Squash Hash

    I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year. Ours was fantastic!!! Fun yet mellow. Not quite as relaxing as I had hoped it would be but it never is when you have a 5 year old. She was so wound up for the morning that she expected us to entertain her all day, a theme that has been playing out more often recently. I’m not sure what it is; it isn’t that she doesn’t have an expansive imagination. I’ve watched her carry on 4 way conversations where she plays the part of...
  9. Egg Nog French Toast with Bananas Foster Sauce

    For someone who isn't a hug fan of Egg Nog I sure seem to have a number of recipes that use it as a flavoring agent. Go figure! I first served this for Christmas a few years ago and it was a big hit. Since then I have made a few times for groups both big and small, with positive reactions every time.

    While I consider this a “Christmas” meal, it is a great breakfast anytime during the holidays as it is simple to prepare and seems rather upscale-you don’t have to tell anyone how simple it is!...
  10. Eggnog Pie

    Christmas is just around the corner,  It's my favorite holiday, and time, of the year. Not only is it Christmas, but my wife and I celebrate our anniversary right around that time (Dec. 30th) along with my parents and grandparents. So, as you can see the holiday is a very special time for me.

    I figured I would start the Christmas season off with a simple pie recipe. While it may be simple, it packs quite a punch in the flavor department. I tend to not drink a lot of eggnog. I’m not a big...
  11. Elotes-Corn on the Cob, Mexican Style

    I first discovered Elote when I was living in Chicago. There were all these Mexican street vendors in my neighborhood pushing carts and selling, what I discovered, was corn on the cob. But this wasn’t ordinary corn on the cob has I had known it. Instead of slathering it with butter, salt and pepper they slathered it in mayonnaise, dipped it in grated cheese and sprinkled it with ground chile and a squeeze of fresh lime. I have to admit, at first I was kind of disgusted. Mayo on corn on the...
  12. English Muffins

    This may sound strange, but I can remember the first time I ate an English muffin. I was rather young, but I remember that I had decided, like so many kids do, that I did not like English muffins though I had never tasted one before. Why I decided I didn’t like them I’ll never know. Then, when I was around 5 or 6, I believe, we had a family get together. For one of the breakfasts, someone had toasted up a whole platter full of them. I refused to eat them, but was told that it was the English...
  13. Every Day Chili

    It may be the beginning of March, but Wisconsin is scheduled to get hit again with another decent storm.  While my area is only supposed to get 2-3 inches, some parts of the state are expecting upwards of 8-10.  Ultimately, that means we could see anything from 0-12 inches.  That's Wisconsin for you.  And since we are supposed to get a good snow, I figured I'd make another batch of Chili to get us through.

    I have a number of recipes for chili, each distinct from the others in various ways....
  14. Falafels

    Out of the blue the other day, I got a craving for Falafels. I haven’t had one in years, but I suddenly had a craving for them. I really like Falafels, but it’s not something that comes to mind often, unless I bump into someone selling them, and, here in the middle of Wisconsin, that doesn’t happen too often. I guess I am too much of a carnivore. I need to start rethinking this whole ultimate carnivore thing a little bit. I really need to start eating a little healthier a little more...
  15. Farfalle with Red Chard and Chicken

    It’s the first week of March and the weather has taken a decided turn towards spring here in Wisconsin. What that means exactly is that the thermometer has finally risen above freezing. I’m not getting my hopes too high yet, as there is still a very good chance for, at least, 1 or 2 more good snows, and even the possibility of a late winter, early spring blizzard, but there’s something in the air. I can feel it, and it is Spring.

    If you’ve been following my writings for any length of time,...
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