Month: March 2013

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March Madness and How to Feed the Masses

Spring may still be a long ways off.  I feel like I haven’t seen the sun in weeks and the weather forecasters are using the words “grey” and “cold” far too often these days. But the shining spot this month has been, far and away, good ole’ March Madness. College basketball is a bit of a religion in my family.  I’m the first girl out of several male relatives to graduate from Marquette University and hold that honor proudly. Basketball games turn into family reunions as about half of my extended family have season tickets and congregate before, during, and after the action on the court. With the Sweet Sixteen decided, the excitement is ramping up even more and my blood pressure will be elevated for the next several days! Get togethers and parties are a given as we get closer and closer to the Final Four. Recently Bolzano,a great local artisan meat producer, contacted several local Milwaukee bloggers to try their line of hand crafted salamis and develop recipes to highlight their awesome flavors. …






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Irish Nachos for St. Patrick’s Day

In anticipation of everyone turning Irish this weekend, I dug into the Peanut Butter + Dill Pickles archives to share my favorite Irish appetizer.  If you have a crowd to feed or just need a satisfying dish to balance out green beer, these nachos are sure to be a hit!  Celebrate responsibly and stay safe this weekend! Corned beef is like turkey. No seriously. Reasons for my argument: 1. I feel obligated to make it on it’s corresponding holiday. 2. I always make too much. 3. I keep trying creative ways to continue to consume all of the leftovers. Corned beef = turkey in this case.  Just go with it. I started thinking about foods my husband likes; trying to find one to substitute corned beef in.  While he is a software developer, his official job is really “Nacho Connoisseur–Southeastern Wisconsin Division”.  Everywhere we go the man orders nachos.  He prefers chicken over beef, jalapenos over no jalapenos, with forks optional. So how could I add a little “luck of the Irish” into this dish?  …






Salads

Grapefruit Spinach Salad with Toasted Walnuts

It’s no secret I’m a lover of food.  However, I feel like I’m in the minority when it comes to laborious endeavors and hunger pangs afterwards. Mike and I are getting the house in order to list it in the spring and have decided to freshen things up by painting throughout the house.  We completed the guest room on Sunday and managed to do so without a paint fight.  Props to us. After days like that I feel like most people want a hearty, calorie replacing meal. Not me. Give me something light and refreshing. I don’t want to be bogged down in a heavy, rich dish. Maybe it harks to mornings after the gym when all I want is a small smoothie or half a protein bar rather than a full breakfast.  Subconsciously, I feel like I’d rather maintain the column of calories burned rather than lose them back to large meal. It has its pluses and minuses. This salad is what I crave after an afternoon of painting around the house; nothing too complicated, simple …






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Pan-Seared Salmon with Creamy Mustard Sauce, Whole Wheat Spaetzle, and Roasted Mini Brussels Sprouts

Recently,  I enjoyed the best salmon I’ve ever had. That same evening I saw the best guitar performance ever. Who knew salmon and guitars would go so well together? That night I also had my first encounter with a YouTube sensation. I’ve been an enormous fan of Andy McKee for quite some time.  His song “She” played at our wedding. And if after that video, you still doubt his talent, please watch this.  Then pick your jaw back up off the ground and continue reading. I got to see this guy live, in person, at one of the best venues I’ve ever been to. If you’re in the Chicago area, I highly encourage you to check out Space.  It’s hip, cool, and intimate. Andy put on an amazing show and given his talent and rise to fame, he’s incredibly down to earth. Before the show, we ate at the adjoining restaurant, Union Pizzeria where I had some of the best salmon that’s ever passed my lips.  The salmon was simple but the flavors were spot on …






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Bourbon Apple Bread Pudding & Vanilla Bourbon Ice Cream

I’d like to introduce you to the newest member of my family. Isn’t she pretty?  Such a doll.  We’re related.  No really.  Here’s how I found her: Early this year I got inspired to uncover our ancestry after my husband’s uncle was able to trace back their family tree to the 800’s.  No, I didn’t forget a ‘1’ there.  I really meant 800. After joining an ancestry website and doing some digging, I discovered my great great great grandfather was a man by the name of Charles Nelson. Charles Nelson Charles immigrated to the United States from Germany with his family.  His father was a wealthy soap and candle factory owner who converted the family fortune into gold bars and had them sown into his clothing for safekeeping during the passage.  One night during a terrible storm, Charles’ father was thrown overboard and the weight of the family’s wealth took him straight to the bottom of the ocean.  So they say. Charles’ daughter, Louise holding my great grandmother Sarah. With a mother and siblings to …