Saturday, July 27, 2013

My First Fondue Pot: Beer Cheese Foudue

We Wisconsinites are really into our cheese and beer! A long time ago, my hubby and I went for a fondue dinner at The Melting Pot but it is sooo expensive! Long story Aunt Sharon was having a rummage sale and had this fondue set (never been used) for only $4.00.

As soon as we got home I took a loaf of French bread I had in the freezer and thawed it in the oven for about 5 minutes. I then cubed it and added some veggies to the plate. This particular fondue had beer in it but you could omit it if you don't care for the taste.

If you care for a lighter taste you can stick with the traditional Gruyere cheese.

Beer Cheese Fondue

8 oz Wisconsin cheddar
8 oz Wisconsin Beer (Miller Lite here)
2 TBSP flour
2 TBSP butter
1 clove of garlic

I rubbed the inside of the fondue pot with a piece of garlic with the skin off. Then in a sauce pan I melted the butter and added the flour and browned the roux for a few minutes until light brown. I then added half of the beer and kept stirring the pot so there were no lumps. After the beer cooks down for a few more minutes, I added 1/2 the cheese. Then I added the rest of the beer and cheese until the cheese was fully melted. This way the fondue still has the beer tasted.  I put the cheese in the fondue pot and heated it with a tea lite candle.

We served the fondue with mushrooms, crusty bread, and cherry tomatoes. Delicious!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Sizzling Summer Sides: Potato Salad and Green Beans

There is nothing like serving a awesome tasting potato salad with some Wisconsin brats! Today I prepared my Moms' potato salad and have it sitting in the fridge to take up to my Aunt's house.  This will surely be the hit at your next outing! And yes you are free to use whatever mayo you wish. I prefer Miracle Whip.

Mom's Potato Salad

3 lbs. potatoes
6 eggs hard boiled and chopped
3 stalks celery cut in thirds and diced
1/2 onion diced
1/2 cup Miracle whip
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Here is where the easiness begins. Boil the potatoes with the skins intact in a large pot for about 25-30 minutes. You want the potatoes to be fork tender but not mushy. They should be able to keep most of their shape when diced. Pour out the hot water once they have boiled and cover them with cold water. You don't want to play the hot potato game right?

While the potatoes are boiling you can also boil the eggs. They are placed in enough water to cover them and then brought to a boil. Then set a timer for 15 minutes and then turn off the heat once the timer goes off. Let the eggs sit in the hot water for about 10 minutes and then cover with cool water.

Peel the potatoes and dice them. To a large bowl add the celery, diced potatoes, onion, and eggs. Mix in the Miracle Whip. Season with salt and pepper and check periodically for seasoning. You may have to add more mayo as they sit. Serve the next day (if it lasts) or the same day.

Delicious Green Beans

One of my favorite veggies during the summer is fresh green beans. They are so easy to make. Firstly set water in a medium pot on the stove and get to a rolling boil. Season the water with a pinch of salt. Grab a hand full of green beans and try to get the ends all together on one side. Using a large chef's knife, cut the ends off of one side of the beans. Do the same for the other side. You may have a few that are too short and you will have to cut those separately.

 I used 2 lbs of beans. Blanche the beans in the boiling water for 5 minutes. The beans should be pliable but not mushy. Remove from heat and drain. Salt and add a few pats of butter. You can't get more simple and delicious than that!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

One of My Favorite Lunch Sandwiches: Portabella Mushroom Sandie

Besides my bacon and avocado sandwich on toast, my favorite lunch sandwich is something that is so easy to make. It also is meat free and comes together very quickly. Portobella mushrooms are very hearty and some sweet Vidalia onions complete this sandwich.
Here's what you will need:

Some crusty French bread
3 medium sized portabella mushrooms or two large
1/4 onion diced
cheese of your choice like Swiss
2 pats butter
Koher salt
pinch of Thyme
Miracle Whip

Melt the butter and add the mushrooms and onion. Give them a stir every few minutes until they have reduced (about 5 minutes) You can start out with a bunch of mushrooms and end up with just a little.  Season with Kosher salt and the Thyme. Slather Miracle Whip on both sides of the bread. Add cheese and then the mushrooms.

note:  If you add the cheese you can put it under the broiler for 3 minutes until the cheese is melted.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

My Baby Turned 14 Yesterday!

I knew the time would come when my daughter was old enough that she wouldn't want to spend her Birthday at home. That day was yesterday. It made me a bit sad but I know she will be getting more independent as the years progress.  

Some of her friends aren't making the best decisions. My hope is she will follow her heart and choose the right path. The difference is, I am here for her. I may not always agree with what she does, but I am her Mom. 

She is headed in to 9th grade in a month and I couldn't be more proud. I made her a easy banana cream pie and got some candles. At this age, nothing you buy them is good enough so she is getting money to buy what she needs for school. 

Here is what I made her: