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Everyday Cooking

I love to cook.  Even after a long day of teaching cooking classes, I still like to unwind with a cold IPA or other fermented malt beverage and make myself a bite to eat.  Most often the food I [...]

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The Pantry

The first food pantry I remember seeing was my Godparents Doc and Katherine’s pantry, in their larger-than-life home in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.  It was a walk-in pantry with a [...]

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Pepper

Like salt, pepper was once used as currency.  Instead of saying pass the salt and pepper, you could have said pass the buck.  It was certainly nothing to sneeze at.  Finding pepper was the [...]

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Salt

I can’t imagine what it was like as a Roman soldier to get part of my wages paid in salt.  With my luck it would have been bargain brand.  I don’t pinch salt like everyone else does, [...]

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Zest

Zest is the great zeal and enthusiasm I feel about cooking.  I absolutely love to cook.  I also like to think about cooking, and even sometimes reminisce about things I have cooked.  But I [...]

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Yeast

Without yeast, there would not be two things that I truly love.  There would not be bread to make my favorite food which is any kind of sandwich, and there wouldn’t be beer.  Okay, okay I [...]

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Xenophile

According to Oxford Dictionaries a Xenophile is a person who is attracted to foreign peoples, manners or cultures.  I would consider myself a culinary xenophile as I am totally attracted to [...]

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Wild Game and Wild Birds

Wild animals that are deemed fit for human consumption are considered game.  That leaves a pretty huge spectrum if you look at the United States as a whole.  I love to cook and eat wild game.  I [...]

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Venison

Ask just about any Wisconsin native what deer meat is called and they will answer venison.  They will be correct.  But venison is more than just deer meat.  This term also broadly includes the [...]

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Umami

Everyone knows about the four basic tastes of sweetness, bitterness, saltiness and sourness.  But there is also a fifth—Umami–and it’s starting to get the recognition it deserves.  Umami is [...]

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Tart

Tart.  Besides using it to describe a promiscuous woman (something Grandma might have thought but of course, never said, especially to Grandpa because he would have turned to look) or using it to [...]

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Stock

I wouldn’t want to cook without using stock.  It appeals to me on so many levels.  To begin with, it allows me the opportunity to not throw anything away.  I save it for stock.  Limp [...]

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RSVP

I think I have figured out a mystery that has puzzled me for years.  The mystery lies in the phenomenon that when you invite people to a social event, and ask that they RSVP, they do not.  They [...]

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Quail Eggs

Quail eggs are tiny little things, easy to overcook and too small to make a significant egg sandwich.  They also don’t seem to stay fresh very long after you get them, as the white part [...]

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Pasta

Every time I teach a pasta class I am asked if I make pasta all the time at home, since I make it look so easy in class.  My answer is I really should, but I actually do not.  The main reason [...]

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Octopus

One of my favorite ingredients to have when I eat sushi is Tako–otherwise known as octopus.  I love the chewy texture and sweet light flavor of the Tako, and it is fun to see the portions [...]

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Nuts

You don’t hear “Nuts!” much anymore, at least as an exclamation.  “Nuts!”  It feels kind of good to say it again.  It’s been a while.  I am going to try to remember to use it.  You can use [...]

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Meat

Ask me what my favorite food is and I used to say meat.  It is still up towards the top of my favorites list but I have rounded it out a bit.  I like a bit of sauce with my meat.  I know the joke [...]

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Lutefisk

It has been said that lutefisk is an acquired taste.  For those of you that do not know what lutefisk is I will tell you.  It is a gelatinous Norwegian/Swedish fish specialty made of white fish.  [...]

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Kids Cooking Classes

  Someone once asked me, “What is the difference between teaching kids and teaching adults?”  My answer: “Adults are taller.” But there are some differences.  What is great about teaching [...]

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Jerk Seasoning

My first experience with jerk seasoning left me with plenty of room for improvement.  It happened when I was visiting my Aunt Signe in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  One of her best friends bought a [...]

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IPA

India Pale Ale (IPA) is currently and has been for several years now, my favorite style of fermented malt and hop beverage.  I love the bitterness of the hops.  We have some hop plants in one of [...]

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Hemmachef

I have always been proud of my Norwegian-American Heritage.  It was natural for me to take Norwegian to fulfill my language requirement as I worked on my sociology degree at the University of [...]

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GameFeed

One of my favorite events that I do as a chef is my annual GameFeed.  (That’s “game” as in wild game: venison, etc.; not as in Monopoly.)  This September social occasion started many years ago as [...]

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Fish

I never realized how much I liked the tradition of Friday Fish Fries in Wisconsin until I moved to Colorado.  I began to crave them, mostly because I couldn’t find one in Colorado (not [...]

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Etiquette

It was my nephew and niece who were the inspiration for my children’s Cooking, Manners and Etiquette class.  I remember sitting and eating with them at a family gathering and thinking [...]

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Donuts vs. Doughnuts

“You say Pa-tay-toe, I say Pa-tah-toe…  You say Ta-may-toe I say Ta-mah-toe…  Pa-tay-toe, Pa-tah-toe, Ta-may-toe, Ta-mah-toe.  Let’s call the whole thing off.”  Sorry Ella, and [...]

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Children’s Cooking Classes

It has been 20 years so I figure it’s about time to tell the story of how I really got started teaching children’s cooking classes.  It was during Phase Two of my year-long culinary studies [...]

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Birthday Parties

As you get older, birthdays take on a significance that you don’t necessarily feel or understand when you are younger.  It is great to just have another birthday.  Now I am not that old, [...]

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April Fools

I have never been very good at thinking of April Fools’ jokes, not usually until April 2 anyway, and there’s no way I can remember them until the next year.  Maybe I should do what I do with my [...]