All posts filed under: Adventures

Blackberry & Elderflower Pimms - Peanut Butter & Dill Pickles Blog

Blackberry & Elderflower Pimms x18

I had fully prepared myself to explain to the officer why I had 18 bottles of booze in my back seat.  Luckily, I wasn’t pulled over on the way home. Why would I have 18 bottles of Pimms in my car?  First, you need to understand my Mom, sister, and I are a bit obsessed with Pimms.  If you’ve been to England, you know that Pimms is EVERYWHERE.  It’s the classic British drink that is served in every pub, restaurant, sporting event, royal baby watch party, etc.  Their slogan is “It’s Pimms O’Clock!” which is perfect because it’s always time for a Pimms.  It’s typical to order a “jug” of Pimms while out at the pub and my Mom and I became pros at polishing that off! My Mom became addicted and so did my sister and I.  While traditional Pimms No. 1 is our usual standby, they recently came out with a new Blackberry & Elderflower flavor.  Boy, that one is just as yummy.  Made with vodka and a French liqueur with blackberries and elderflowers, …






A Night at the Supper Club // Peanut Butter & Dill Pickles Blog

The Time We Drove Four Hours Round Trip for a Supper Club Dinner and Survived a Hail Storm

Parents who moved to Connecticut. Sister and brother-in-law two hours away in Madison. A legendary supper club tucked away on a quiet lake. A Friday night when we’re all free and in the same state. Those stars aligning equaled a four hour drive through a hail storm just to have dinner. My mother happens to be quite the supper club connoisseur.  If you’re not familiar with supper clubs think relish trays, prime rib and potatoes, a brandy old-fashioned, and ice cream drinks.  Stepping into a supper club is a bit like stepping back into time but unfortunately Frank Sinatra isn’t serenading you while you glance over the menu. A few years ago, we promised to take my mom to Ishnala in the Wisconsin Dells as a gift for Mother’s Day.  The supper club is tucked away down a winding, wooded road and situated on a quiet lake.  You really feel like you’re stepping into a remote forest when in reality you’re only 5 minutes from water parks and an outlet mall. I’m not joking when I say that …






Peanut Butter & Dill Pickles - Cheese Tour

Cheese Made with a Brick & Famous Small Town Ice Cream

Next up on our dairy tour… Our second stop was to Widmer’s Cheese Cellars in Theresa, Wisconsin. Before I get into the good stuff (that would be the cheese), I want to share a quick story that the owner, Joe Widmer, shared with our group before we toured their cellars. Joe is a 3rd generation cheesemaker and Widmer’s was started by his great grandfather, John Widmer, over 80 years ago.  John came to America from Switzerland and settled in Wisconsin, where many other immigrants who were dairy farmers set down roots.  What do you do when your neighbors excel in raising cows?  Make cheese.    After John got settled and his cheese business off the ground, he received a letter from his sweetheart back in Switzerland.  She offered him an ultimatum; send for her now and marry her when she arrived or she was going to move on and marry someone else.  John set the money right away and traveled to meet her at Ellis Island.  As the boat pulled up to the docks, John …






Wisconsin Cheese

A Summer with Cheese

I do live in the dairy state afterall. And boy was this summer all about cheese. I was invited by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board to go on a dairy tour over a section of my fabulous state.  The tour spanned two days and was chock full of amazing cheese, fabulous ice cream, delicious meals, and some wonderful stories. My next few posts will be all about that trip; what I learned and what I tasted. Our tour started at Clock Shadow Creamery and a visit to their rooftop garden.  The building the creamery is housed in was designed to be as green as possible.  The elevator generates electricity and a rainwater reuse system operates all of the bathrooms.  Even the building materials were sourced from other older buildings in the area.  Piles of extra bricks were converted into benches on the sidewalk once building was finished. Despite the hustle and bustle of the streets below, the rooftop garden is incredibly quiet and serene.  The garden space is open to the public and you can …






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Winter Farmers Markets, Who Knew?!?

Saturday mornings used to be pretty typical. Wake up.  Hit snooze. Wake up again.  Look at these furry mugs and decide to get up.  Yes, this photo was literally what I woke up to one morning.  For reals. Let the dogs out.  Eat breakfast. Think about cleaning and/or laundry.  Make some tea.  Watch a cooking show.  Think about cleaning and laundry again…repeat x10 until you realize it’s noon and you still haven’t showered… No more!  After years of hemming and hawing, I finally checked out the local winter farmer’s market here in Milwaukee.  What’s even more pathetic to admit is that this market is a whopping 2.5 miles from my house…and it took me over 2 years to finally check it out. Until I heard about the market, I naively never knew such a thing existed.  I figured the end of summer signaled the end of farmer’s markets…not the start of another wave of fresh and local goodies!  If you’re local to southeastern Wisconsin and interested in checking it out, click here for their website. …






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Fall Visit to the Apple Orchard

My hands down favorite place to go in fall is the apple orchard. The hands down best orchard I’ve ever been to is the Elegant Farmer in Mukwonago, Wisconsin. We’ve been going to this orchard for several years now and one of the major reasons is their caramel apple pie.  It’s out of this world good.  Just ask the Wall Street Journal, Food Network, or Gourmet magazine. My Dad has a love for anything apple and I’m pretty sure has dreams about their pie.  In fact, it’s so good my Mom brought one from Wisconsin all the way back to London this summer for my Dad. Over the years we’ve developed an itinerary that we tend to stick to every year.  Here’s our winning formula for a stellar day at the orchard: Start with hot cider and cider donuts from the Donut Shack. Grab a basket and head to the orchard. Pick apples to your hearts content!  This year, because our summer drought was so bad, apples were placed in bins out in the orchard …






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Celebrity Chef Sighting: America’s Test Kitchen

A few years ago, I stumbled upon a program on PBS called “Cook’s Country“.  I fell in love with it and started recording re-runs.  Not only did they demo recipes, they also provided general cooking tips and had fun segments featuring product recommendations and blind taste testings to determine the best ingredients.  It was so different from any other cooking show I’d seen. I think what I love so much about their approach in the show is discussing the “how” & “why” of cooking, rather than just featuring a recipe and finishing the show with the standard sign off of, “Mmm…it’s delicious.  Trust me!”  Of course I love to cook and eat great tasting food but I think what I love even more is understanding why it tastes so good and how to replicate it again or in another recipe variation. Of course I came to realize that “Cook’s Country” was a spin off of “America’s Test Kitchen” with both shows featuring Christopher Kimball (founder of Cooks Illustrated magazine), in his ever present bow tie, …