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Mirin Soy Sauce

I don’t remember where I got this recipe or what the inspiration for it was but Mirin Soy Sauce is a delicious topping that you can use on almost anything.  In fact, I often say that it [...]

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Tomato Ketchup

I grew up loving tomato ketchup, not to mention yellow mustard and Miracle Whip, which I always thought was mayonnaise.  At home, those were our three condiments along with Milwaukee’s Best [...]

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National Catfish Month

In the summer of 1987 I moved back to Madison, WI from Boulder, Colorado.  And the summer was hot.  I had sublet an apartment on the 5th floor of an apartment building overlooking Lake Mendota [...]

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Lasagna

My very first television appearance years ago was for a spot on a local Maryland Public Television show.  I can’t quite remember the name of the show, but I remember what the topic was.  I [...]

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A Cook and Two Books Blog #1:  Death Comes in Through the Kitchen

I am so lucky to do what I do for a living.  It is as far away from having a “regular job” as I can get, and that has been my goal for many years–actually since Junior High School, but that [...]

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Peppercorns

I was on WKOW’s “Wake Up Wisconsin” show early this morning and thought I’d talk about pepper.  I love pepper.  It goes on anything but dessert for me (tho I know that black pepper ice cream is [...]

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Making Sushi Rice

I am certainly no Sushi Master. But I do know that if you can properly make the rice, you are one important step closer to being able to make a sushi roll.  The last step (after putting the [...]

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Thanksgiving Tips

Re-posting my Thanksgiving blogs to help you have a more relaxed, happy Thanksgiving.  Enjoy! THREE GREAT TIPS FOR MAKING YOUR THANKSGIVING DAY MEAL LESS STRESSFUL TIP NUMBER ONE: Let your Turkey [...]

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Food Moments I Missed While I Was Busy Cooking – July 2017

 Wow!  July was a busy month for me and as I reflect on what I did do, it dawned on me I should look to see what I didn’t do.  As you may have noticed, I sometimes use national food [...]

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The Art of a Picnic

I love picnics.  When I was a kid it seemed like we couldn’t travel anywhere that took longer than a couple of hours without stopping to have a picnic.  My parents had a Coleman picnic set [...]

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Fromage Fort (“Strong Cheese”)

We always have cheese on hand and usually lots of it.  I believe it may be law here in Wisconsin that you have to have at least some cheese on hand (or is it butter?).  When cheese goes on sale, [...]

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National Donut Day

I should have known this day was coming.  I try to stay current on important holidays but somehow this one slipped through the hole.  Thankfully, I was woken up just before sunrise by our [...]

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American Craft Beer Week

In honor of American Craft Beer Week I would like to make the following announcement: I like Beer.  I also like food.  And I really like beer with food.  And I find that sometimes food with beer [...]

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Leg of Lamb

I have many food memories that revolve around the procurement, preparation and pure enjoyment of eating lamb.  From cooking a whole spit-roasted lamb at the New Zealand embassy in Washington, DC, [...]

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National Orange Juice Day

Seeing that today is National Orange Juice Day got me to thinking about it.  Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s in Wisconsin we didn’t have access to a lot of fresh-squeezed orange juice.  Mom [...]

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Badgerchef Truffle Day

Yesterday started out so promising.  I found out it was National Truffle Day, or so I thought.  Turns out it was National Truffles Day–the chocolate kind.  Now I can enjoy a chocolate [...]

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National BLT Sandwich Month

One of my favorite memories from growing up was one summer evening when we had Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato sandwiches with fresh tomatoes from our garden.  As I remember it was a classic summer [...]

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Garlic

As almost any kid who has taken one of my summer cooking camps can attest, garlic (and for that matter, onions as well) go into just about every dish except dessert. Garlic is versatile. It can [...]

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Camp KilikiWakaWikoo

I recently cooked for a Youth Fundraiser for our church, Midvale Community Lutheran Church, and the theme was camp life at Camp KilikiWakaWikoo.  It was a fun, challenging, and rewarding event, [...]

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Soba Noodle Salad

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week last week, I volunteered to prepare a pasta salad for the wonderful teachers and awesome staff at Thoreau, my daughter’s elementary school.  Originally [...]

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Speedy Beef

My Dad had a buddy who loved to hunt and was good at it.  Looking back I have always wished I had had more time to hunt with Dad and Everett (who are both now gone), if no other reason than to [...]

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Corned Goose

One of the best days fishing I have had during the last few years (once my Dad couldn’t really go fishing anymore), was a summer day I didn’t actually catch anything.  I know it can [...]

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Scandinavian Sugar Cookies

One of the best sugar cookie recipes there is. 1 cup butter 1 cup sugar 1 egg 1 teaspoon vanilla 2 cups flour 1 teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt Method:   In a mixing bowl, stir the butter [...]

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Mediterranean Bean Pâté

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Easy Chocolate Truffles for Valentine’s Day

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Peanut Butter Mousse

Peanut Butter Mousse 8 ounces creamy peanut butter ¾ cup sugar 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature ½ teaspoon vanilla 1 tablespoon melted butter ¾ cup heavy whipping cream   Method: [...]

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Pan-Seared Venison with Arugula Pesto and Portabella Mushrooms

Arugula and Ricotta Pesto This is a zippy variation of the classic to enjoy with chicken, pork, fish, fowl and risotto. 1 bunch arugula, (about 2 cups), washed well ½ cup ricotta 2 cloves garlic, [...]

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Caramelized Onion Crostini

Caramelized Onion Crostini Take the time to properly caramelize onions then enjoy them on an oven crisped crouton with a touch of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Caramelized Onion Crostini 2 onions, sliced [...]

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Corned Beef with Demiglace Stout Sauce

Corned Beef with Demiglace Stout Sauce Sweet Potato and Red Cabbage Colcannon I can almost taste this picture. Even over a month later the aroma, texture and flavor memories of this St.Patrick’s [...]

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Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread There is nothing like a good soda bread on a warm spring day. Bake it until it sounds hollow when thumped with your thumb. Irish Soda Bread 6 cups all purpose flour 2 teaspoons [...]

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Chicken Stock Recipe

Chicken Stock 1 part chicken pieces and parts 1 part combination of vegetables Onions Carrots Celery Garlic Herbs and spices Thyme Bay leaves Peppercorns Parsley Water to cover Method: Place [...]