Sunday, September 30, 2012

Brats and Beer Cheddar Chowder

From Midwest Living

 Makes: 4 to 6 servings Yield: 7 cups  
Start to Finish: 45 mins

  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 1 medium carrot, coarsely shredded (1/2 cup)
  • 3 large shallots, chopped
  • 1 14 ounce can vegetable broth or 1-3/4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk, half-and-half or light cream
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 10 ounces Wisconsin Aged Cheddar cheese or sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 cooked smoked bratwurst, knockwurst or Polish sausage (about 12 ounces total), halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 1 12 ounce can beer or 12-ounce bottle ale

1. In a large saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and shallots; reduce heat to medium low. Cook, stirring frequently, about 10 to 15 minutes or until the onion is very soft and golden.

2. In a large screw-top jar, combine broth and flour. Cover and shake until combined and smooth. Stir into the onion mixture. Add the milk, caraway seeds and black pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes or until the mixture thickens.

3.Gradually stir in the cheese; reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring frequently, until cheese melts, but do not boil. Stir in the bratwurst and beer. Cook, stirring frequently, until heated through. If you like, serve with rye bread. Makes 4 to 6 main-dish servings (7 cups).

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Makes: 4 servings Start to Finish: 20 mins
  • 3 corn tortillas, cut in strips
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 cup purchased red or green salsa
  • 2 14 ounce can reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken (12 ounces)
  • 1 zucchini, coarsely chopped
  • Lime wedges (optional)
  • Sour cream (optional)
1. In a large skillet cook tortilla strips in hot oil until crisp; remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper toweling.
2. In a large saucepan combine salsa and chicken broth; bring to boiling over medium-high heat. Add turkey and zucchini; heat through. Serve in bowls topped with tortilla strips, lime wedges, and cilantro. Makes 4 servings.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Mooselips' Pumpkin Cheesecake (with caramel swirl)

From Midwest Living ( even if you don't live in the Midwest, you will love this magazine!)

Customers at Mooselips Java Joint in Seeley, Wisconsin, love this because it's creamy, cool and not overpowered by the pumpkin or spice. It tastes even better with a hot cup of coffee.

 Pumpkin Cheesecake (with caramel swirl)
Makes: 14 to 16 servings Prep: 25 mins Bake: 1 hr at 375°F Cool: 2 hrs Chill: 4 hrs
  • 1 cup fine graham cracker crumbs (9 crackers)
  • 1/2 cup fine gingersnap cookie crumbs (10 gingersnap cookies)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3 8 ounces packages cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg or ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
  • 1 15 ounce can pumpkin
  • 1 5 ounce can (2/3 cup) evaporated milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 16 ounce carton dairy sour cream
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons caramel ice cream topping
  • Chocolate curls or chocolate leaves (optional)

For crust: 1. In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, gingersnap crumbs, walnuts, the 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and ginger. Stir in melted butter. Press crumb mixture onto the bottom and 2 inches up the sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Bake in a 375 degrees F oven for 5 minutes (do not allow crust to brown). Set aside.
For filling: 2. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, the 3/4 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, the 1 teaspoon vanilla, nutmeg and cloves (if you like) with an electric mixer until combined. Beat in pumpkin and milk until smooth. Stir in eggs. Pour filling into crust-lined pan. Place springform pan in a shallow baking pan. Bake in the 375 degrees F oven for 55 to 60 minutes or until a 2-1/2-inch area around the outside edge appears set when gently shaken.
Meanwhile for topping: 3. In a small bowl, combine sour cream, the 1/3 cup granulated sugar and the 1 teaspoon vanilla. Spread evenly over the top of hot cheesecake. Drizzle the caramel topping over the sour cream mixture; with the tip of a knife, carefully swirl the caramel topping. Return cheesecake to the oven. Bake for 5 minutes more.
4. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Using a sharp knife, loosen the crust from sides of the pan; cool for 30 minutes more. Remove the sides of the pan; cool cheesecake completely on rack. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours before serving. If you like, serve with chocolate curls or leaves.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Almond-Cranberry Bread with White Chocolate Glaze

Almond-Cranberry Bread with White Chocolate Glaze
From Midwest Living 
Sweet bread balances tangy cranberries in this winning recipe from the Wisconsin State Fair. Wrap and store it overnight to make it easier to slice and less crumbly.
Makes: 12 servings Yield: 1 loaf (12 slices) Prep: 35 mins Cool: 10 mins Bake: 1 hr 15 mins at 325°F
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 - 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 2/3 cup chopped almonds, toasted if you like
  • White Chocolate Glaze: 1/4 cup white baking pieces
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon French vanilla liquid coffee creamer


1. Rinse cranberries in cold water; drain. Grease bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of one 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. Line bottom of pan with waxed paper; grease. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, buttermilk, melted butter and almond extract. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy). Fold in cranberries and the chopped almonds. Spoon batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly.
4. Bake in a 325 degree F oven about 75 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Wrap and store overnight before slicing.
5. Before serving, unwrap bread. Drizzle with White Chocolate Glaze and sprinkle with additional toasted almonds. Makes 1 loaf (12 slices).

White Chocolate Glaze: 6. In a small, microwave-safe bowl, microwave white baking pieces on 50 percent power (medium) for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring once or twice. Stir in powdered sugar and French vanilla liquid coffee creamer. If necessary, stir in additional coffee creamer, 1 teaspoon at a time, until glaze reaches drizzling consistency. Makes 1/4 cup.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

She Love Wine's Easy & Fabulous Apple-Pecan Crisp

4 cups tart apples-sliced ( & sprinkled w/ lemon juice -opt)
3/4 cup Brown Sugar, packed
1/4 cup sifted flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
 1 heaping tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup butter -soft
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup pecans, unchopped

Butter 8" square pan. Spread apples on bottom. Blend remaining ingredients till crumbly... spread over apples.

Bake 350 degrees until apples are tender and top is golden brown. 30 - 45 minutes

Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Roasted Fresh Red Pimento Pepper Salad

 Photo by Brad Franks

 Recipe Submitted by Brad Franks - tweaked from a recipe from on the web.... delicious! A recipe of this caliber you'd expect to find in a 5 star restaurant. Highly recommend.

8 small pimento peppers or 2 red peppers

2 red onions, peeled, root end in tact and cut into 6 pieces each from root to stem, this is so they will stay together when cooked, you should have 12 wedges

3 thin slices of prosciutto, torn into strips 

1/3 cup macadamia nuts

1 tablespoon canola oil (red onion )   
1 tablespoon infused olive oil
1 tablespoon grape seed oil
2 1/2 teaspoons good balsamic vinegar

thin slices of Manchego cheese

salt and fresh ground pepper
  1. Ideally, you will have grown your own pimento peppers and picked them right before roasting them. Wash and dry the peppers. Roast the peppers over direct flame and char them. Place them in a container with a lid and let them rest for 20 minutes. Once they have cooled peel them and then put a slit in one side and reach in with a finger and remove the seeds. If you are using red bell peppers cut them into wedges leaving the seeds behind. (if you don't have gas burners use your broiler with the top rack put as close to the burner as you can get it.)
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the macadamia nuts onto a sheet tray and roast them for 8 - 10  minutes. Remove them from the oven and dump them into a clean dish towel  until cool..
  3. In a saute pan add enough canola oil to coat the pan. Place the pan over medium heat and then place the onion wedges flat side down into the oil. Once they start to simmer cook them until they are good and caramelized and then turn them to the other flat side and brown it. When they are done remove them from the heat to cool.
  4. In a small bowl whisk together the oils and balsamic vinegar. Season it with salt and pepper.
  5. To plate: Place the peppers and onions on the plate. Drizzle each with some dressing. Crush some of the macadamia nuts  and and sprinkle them around and then a couple of whole nuts. Twist and drape the prosciutto around the peppers and onions and then shave big thin hunks of cheese onto the salad. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Kansas City Steak Soup

Kansas City Steak Soup From Midwest Living 

Makes: 6 servings Prep: 15 mins Cook: 25 mins
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef (sirloin)
  • 1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced (1 cup)
  • 2 14 ounce can lower-sodium beef broth or 3-1/2 cups beef stock
  • 1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 10 ounce package frozen mixed vegetables
  • 2 tablespoons steak sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1. In a 4-quart Dutch oven, cook beef, onion and celery over medium heat until meat is brown and vegetables are tender. Drain well; return to Dutch oven.
2. Stir in 1 can of the beef broth, undrained tomatoes, mixed vegetables, steak sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 20 minutes.
3. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together remaining can of beef broth and the flour. Stir into mixture in Dutch oven. Cook until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 minute more. Makes 6 main-dish servings.