Posts for Tasty Travels Category

“Glory Days” and Chocolate

Sweets, Tasty Travels - Jennifer - November 12, 2011

Many moons ago, I went to college in a small town outside of Green Bay, Wisconsin.  Back in September, I had the pleasure of road-tripping up to DePere with my college roommates and spending a weekend on and around the St. Norbert College campus where we all met.  I hadn’t been up there in 18 years, and was amazed how drastically things have changed.  Entire new buildings, amazing renovations, quadrupled tuition!  But it still felt great to visit our old dorms and apartments, to wander the academic buildings and see the names of professors from “our day” still teaching there, and to giggle with old friends like the teenagers we still feel we are.

And did I mention the food?  We met one old roommate for dinner in Milwaukee on our way up, and continued to eat our way through Green Bay and DePere for the next two days:  seafood, pizza, big breakfasts, brats & beer on campus.  It was not a weekend for the diet-conscious, for sure!  On our way out of town, we even managed to stop at Seroogy’s for some of the best chocolate around.

Now, I’m from Chicago, where Fannie May reigns supreme and it wouldn’t be a holiday if someone didn’t arrive with a box of Mint Meltaways or a Colonial Assortment.  But up in Northern Wisconsin, Seroogy’s has been the place for chocolates since 1899.  Who are we to overlook those credentials?  And just look what I found:

Aren’t they beautiful?  Truffles in milk or dark chocolate, and each of those is flavored:  lemon, orange, raspberry, etc.  I just keep thinking how great they would be on tables at a wedding or as a giveaway at an art exhibit, being that each one is a mini-work of art in itself.

In addition to chocolate, Seroogy’s also offers an assortment of novelty candies, including lots of Packer-themed sweets, and their own coffees.  They also carry the ubiquitous (at least in Green Bay) cheese-head hats and some other toys, like these cute little wind-up guys my roommate bought to bring home to her son in California.

Hopefully, it won’t take us another 18 years to get back up there.  But at least I know I can order from Seroogy’s online.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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No Longer a U-Pick Virgin

Fruit, Tasty Travels - Jennifer - July 11, 2011

This post has nothing to do with cherries; it’s not THAT kind of blog! Rather, we went blueberry picking for the first time last week. I’m not a pampered princess, but I’m really a wimp in the extreme heat, and I’ve always taken a pass when someone’s tried to convince me to go before. Since we live very near to the heart of midwestern farm country where the opportunities for fresh produce abound, I finally allowed myself to be talked into a u-pick outing.

We went to Eenigenburg’s Blueberries on the very first day of the season. It wasn’t too hot (mid-80s), and we got an early start since we had to drive about an hour. Our crew consisted of five moms and 14 kids ranging in age from 15 down to 4. Two teenaged girls on bikes provided us with buckets an ropes (for tying around our waists or necks) and led us to the back of the blueberry patch for a tutorial before turning us loose. Here’s what we learned:

1. This particular farm offered 18 different kinds of blueberries, but they were all mixed together, so you would have to look for the kind you preferred.

2. Each bucket would hold between five and six pounds of blueberries, so you could monitor your progress and not go too crazy if you didn’t want tons of fruit.

3. They asked that once we started picking a bush, we continue until all ripe fruit was removed. That would save them from having to come back and finish.

4. We were free to eat while we picked. This was the kids’ favorite part.

So we got to work. Since I wanted to follow the rules, I would sample a berry from a bush before I decided to pick it clean. It’s amazing how many different flavors there were! Don’t ask about varieties, as I can’t tell one from the next. But I did find that generally, the larger the blueberry, the sweeter its flavor, and those are the ones I mostly chose. We like to eat them by the handful and put them on cereal, so I prefer the sweeter berries. The smaller ones tended to be more tart, and I think those are better for pies. Once in a while I tried a berry that had virtually no flavor at all, and I’m not sure what those would be good for. Making dye? I don’t know, I just avoided those bushes.

We picked (and ate) for about an hour before the kids started to get bored and whiny, so we figured that would be a good time for a lunch break. You know how sometimes you picture how a day will turn out, and then something magical happens, and a different scenario unfolds? It’s like one of the best times you’ve ever had, but you can’t plan for it? A perfect convergence of the right place, the right people and the right circumstances? This was one of those days. And of course I forgot my camera, so it will have to live forever in my memory.

The blueberry patch verged right up to the edge of a little forest, so we had a nice shady lane to spread out blankets and lawn chairs. We had thought ahead and brought lunches, and once the kids had a little blood sugar adjustment, everyone was happy. We were back there chilling in the shade for so long that the girls on bikes kept coming back to check on us! When the moms were ready to get back to work, most of the kids opted out and instead started a rousing game of “Ghost in the Blueberry Patch.” They had a blast because there were so many places to hide, almost like being in a maze. The big kids kept an eye on the littler ones, and the moms were free to keep gathering berries while we could hear the laughter all around us. It was a win-win!

In the end, I only took home six pounds of blueberries. Although my “helpers” worked dilligently for that first hour, I think they consumed more than they contributed to our family buckets. But that was fine because we ate them all instead of freezing for a later date. We mostly ate them plain, but we also made smoothies and a couple of no-bake pies (did I mention how hot it is here?).

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Pizza, How Do I Love Thee? For Breakfast, Lunch AND Dinner!

Cookbooks, Dinner, Pizza, Tasty Travels - Jennifer - March 1, 2011

Just the other day, I said to my husband that I thought I could eat pizza for three meals a day and be perfectly happy.  Then we inherited a ton of leftovers from a pizza party, and I’ve had the opportunity to put that theory to the test.  And the result is, yes, yes I can eat pizza for three meals a day and enjoy it!  But eating the same pizza over and over is getting a little tiresome, so I thought I’d look for some ideas to add some variety to my “dream” diet.

American Pie:  My Search for the Perfect Pizza by Peter Reinhart is more than just a pizza cookbook.  Sure, there are recipes aplenty, but the book is also a comprehensive travelogue, as master breadmaker Reinhart visits influential pizza meccas in Italy and the US, including Florence, Rome, Naples, New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia, among others.  He discovers pizza’s roots and delves into its evolution, compares the different styles of pizzamaking, and develops his own.  Now if we can just finish all those leftovers, I’ll be ready to start tossing dough!

Also grabbing my attention by Peter Reinhart is Artisan Breads Every Day:  Fast and Easy Recipes for World-Class Breads.  Bread making is something I haven’t attempted beyond throwing the ingredients in the automatic breakmaker and letting it do the rest.  I’m thinking this could be our next rainy day project.  Thanks, Peter!

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Picnic Perfection

Today Is a beautiful day! So I am headed to one of my favorite places with my two favorite little friends! An outing to the lake with my boys sounds just about right! But what to bring for lunch??????

In my search to spice up the picnic basket I came across some really great articles & recipes that should help you have an amazing picnic of your own.

In my Basket

  • Juice boxes for the kids
  • Club sandwiches
  • Pretzels
  • Wheat Crackers
  • Cream Cheese
  • My sisters home made canned Bruichito
  • Spring Water for me
  • Grapes
  • Napkins & Baby Wipes
  • Blanky
  • Portable radio
  • Favorite Books
  • Ball & Glove

Mix all these together with the ones you love and enjoy! I try to keep it simple and focus more energy on the time and the people than the meal. I found after many failed attempts to create the perfect picnic scene that the best days will unfold with little planning on your part. AS long as there is a little something for everyone and a fun activity help them work up their appetite you can ensure a wonderful picnic!

From Some Others Baskets

 

Michael Smith

Courtesy of
Michael Smith
Chef at Home

On Next

Monday, July 26, 10:00AM/7:00AM et/pt

Asian Chicken Salad From The Food Network Canada

Asian Chicken Salad Wrapped in Rice Paper

Ingredients

The Dressing

  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Dash hot sauce
  • Dash sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter

The Salad

  • 1 small bundle of rice vermicelli noodles
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, shredded
  • 1 cup snow peas, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 1 bunch cilantro, leaves picked
  • 4 large rice paper wrappers, soaked until soft

 

Directions

The Dressing

  1. Whisk the dressing ingredients together until they form a smooth dressing.

The Salad

  1. Cover the noodles with boiling water.
  2. Soak until noodles are softened. Drain noodles well.
  3. Place shredded chicken into a large bowl, add noodles, peas, carrot and cilantro leaves.
  4. Add dressing and toss well.
  5. Place a softened rice paper wrapper onto a kitchen towel and blot dry.
  6. Carefully transfer it to a flat work surface and place a large spoonful of the chicken salad at the edge closest to you.
  7. Fold edge over the filling, and then fold in the two ends.
  8. Continue to roll up, securing loose edges so that it is sealed. Repeat for other three rolls.

NY Times 101 Picnic Dishes

I copied a few for you but check the link for all the rest! There were tons

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/02/dining/02mini.html?_r=1

 

1 BEET SALAD Peel beets and grate them (a food processor will keep the juice contained). Add pistachios or hazelnuts; dress with orange zest and juice, and olive oil. Add bits of goat cheese and chopped parsley.

2 PESTO CHICKEN ROLLS Season and grill chicken cutlets. Brush lavash or any other wrap-type bread with pesto; layer with the chicken, sun-dried tomatoes and arugula; roll up and cut on the bias.

3 CURRIED EGG SALAD Make egg salad with hard-cooked eggs, mayo, curry powder, Dijon mustard, fresh lime juice, salt, pepper, cilantro, red onion and, if you like, diced apple.

4 TOMATOES AND PEACHES Toss together sliced seeded tomatoes and peaches, along with thinly sliced red onion and chopped cilantro or rosemary. Dress at the last minute with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

5 ROAST BEEF AND BLUE Start with whole-grain rolls. Smear blue cheese on one side and prepared horseradish on the other. Add red onion and thin-sliced roast beef, pork or lamb. Pack! lettuce and tomato on the side. Potato chips are mandatory.

So whether you are headed to the high country or the beach I hope you have a wonderful day and you enjoy the people & your food as much as I do!

 Picnic Blessings

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I want to be an “Iron Chef”

Cooking Shows, Tasty Travels - Kayla - March 12, 2009

Late night tv watching has never been so tasty. I am “Iron Chef America’s” biggest fan.

I have learned so much about cooking, exotic fruits, vegetable, meats, etc along with a few nifty little kitchen tricks from the Chef’s: Mario Batali, Cat Cora, Bobby Flay, Michael Symon, Masaharu Morimoto

They are my instructors and I am their humble student.

Set in a Game show format, Iron Chef America’s Chef’s are challenged by an outsider. For the next hour we get to watch the two chefs battle it out – sounds easy but there is a twist. The chef’s don’t know the secret ingredient before the battle is started. Each Chef must create four plus dishes using and the secret ingredient and they only have one hour.

Next their dishes are presented to a panel of culinary judges who rate the dishes based on originality , taste and plating.

For the complete lowdown on the Iron Chef America

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The Road to Hana is paved with banana bread

EZ Baking, Tasty Travels - Kayla - March 10, 2008

One of my most favorite memories of Maui is the delicious banana bread we ate a roadside stand during our drive along the famous Road to Hana.

I’ve looked everywhere online (and I’m not the only one, from all the discussion boards I’ve read) and can’t find a recipe that comes close.

The one below is pretty good.  In the meantime, I’d  love to hear from anyone who has the inside scoop on how to make the real deal!

INGREDIENTS:
½ cup Water
1 ½ cup Granulated sugar
3 each Egg
1 ¼ cup Oil
1 ¾ cup Flour
1 ¼ cup Over ripe banana, mashed
¼ tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. Baking powder
½ tsp. Baking soda
½ cup Macadamia nut, chopped
1 ¼ cup Crushed pineapple (drained)

METHOD OF PREPARATION:
Mix oil and sugar together thoroughly. Add bananas, eggs, and water.

Sift dry ingredients and blend into mixture; DO NOT over mix.

Dust macadamia nuts with flour.

Fold dusted macadamia nut and pineapples into mixture.

Lightly grease and paper line loaf pans.

Pour batter into loaf pans. Bake at 350º F for 1 hour or until firm.

Yields 3 mini loaves.

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