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Billy Blue Cheese Cheesecake with White Port Wine Poached Pears, White Port Caramel and Wisconsin Candied Walnuts

Billy Blue Cheese Cheesecake with White Port Wine Poached Pears, White Port Caramel and Wisconsin Candied Walnuts

Not your basic sweet Cheesecake, but if you consider yourself a somewhat connoisseur of Wisconsin cheese you're going to enjoy this one. You take a bite of Billy Blue Cheese Cheesecake, White Port Poached Pear, White Port Caramel and Candied Walnut all together and your mouth goes WOW. Again, I focused on using Wisconsin products to produce this fantastic dessert. This cheesecake uses a combination of Carr Valley Billy Blue and Carr Valley Fresh Chevre. It's sweetened with Young's Wisconsin...more »

Black Forest Kirsch Torte

Black Forest Kirsch Torte

Black Forest Cherry Brandy Cake or Schwarzwald  Kirschtorte. Kirsch is a clear cherry brandy made from fermented cherry juice. I've made several of these classic cakes the traditional way for the Dorf Haus. The cake pictured to the left was one of those. The cake pictured at the bottom of this blog, I made a little different. For that cake I added Wollersheim Port, Carr Valley Fresh Goat Chevre Cheese and my own Black Garlic. Always be sure...more »

How to Prepare a Crust for the Best Fruit Pies

How to Prepare a Crust for the Best Fruit Pies

How to prepare the best fruit pies? It all begins with the crust.  The proper crust makes all the difference. If you’re going to make a sweet pie, use ingredients meant for making sweet pie crust. And for a savory pie, ingredients meant for a savory pie crust.  Sweet (sugary) savory (salty). So I start with the flour.  You can use bleached all-purpose flour but I prefer pastry flour. Pastry flour produces the tenderest crust.  The difference is the amount of gluten...more »

Autumn-Inspired Appetizers

As summer ends, we usher in a new season, and with it new foods to enjoy. Pumpkin gets a lot of attention this time of year (and I do enjoy a good pumpkin-spiced dish), but there are a lot of other ingredients that will be cropping up in the coming months. Apples, parsnips, fennel, cranberries, squash and sweet potatoes thrive as the weather shifts. We can also look forward to herbs, like rosemary, lavender, thyme and chives. With fall weddings and parties on the horizon, it’s always...more »

Wrap Up a Gourmet Lunch

We make a big deal over dinner and an occasion out of eating dessert. Breakfast, as we know, is the most important meal of the day, and snacks are a must. Then, there’s lunch. Lunch is usually eaten in the middle of a very busy workday, often at a desk or in a car. It’s not very ceremonious, but it should be! Lunch is what carries us through the most stressful and active parts of our day. Yet there’s always the question of what to eat. A quick salad, leftovers from last...more »

Avocado Béarnaise Sauce

There’s nothing quite like eating a steak and dipping juicy pieces of meat into a creamy Béarnaise Sauce. If you’ve never tried it, this type of sauce is made with egg yolks, clarified butter, fresh herbs and lemon juice, to add richness and vibrancy to meat and fish dishes. It’s an epicurean experience that tantalizes every taste bud. In my version, I mix in a perfectly ripened avocado to impart an extra luscious texture. Not the most attractive fruit in the produce...more »

The Perfect Cooking Method… Every Time!

Have you ever heard the term “sous vide”? It’s one of my new favorite culinary techniques. Translated from French, it literally means “under vacuum”.  That’s because this cooking method requires food to be vacuum sealed in plastic bags to remove air. The vacuum-sealed bags of food are then placed into a hot water bath, allowing for temperature control. Accurate temperature control is what sous vide is all about, as the food can’t get any hotter...more »

How a Personal Chef Will Save You Money

I often run into people who either eat takeout every night or struggle to get healthy meals on the table. When I tell them what I do, a lot of times they say, “I can’t afford a Personal Chef.” How do they know that when I haven’t shared my fees yet? The term “Personal Chef” is synonymous with celebrity status. It’s assumed that only millionaires like Heather Graham and Tony Romo hire them. But that’s just not the case anymore. As a society we&...more »

Grass Soup? Yes, Please!/Grass Soup Might Be Better Than You Think

Nothing pairs better with wild game or is more perfect for soups and stuffings than wild rice. Not really a rice at all but a grass, this gluten-free grain comes in many varieties. The cultivation of wild rice can be very labor intensive, but it’s worth it. Native Americans from this country and Canada have been using wild rice as part of their diets for centuries. It’s easy to see why. Wild rice is delicious when paired with your favorite summer proteins, like grilled chicken and...more »

Black Garlic - The Unusual Ingredient You Should Be Using

Black Garlic - The Unusual Ingredient You Should Be Using

I have a new obsession, and it’s been showing up in a lot of my dishes (and my clients’ dishes lately). This secret ingredient is Black Garlic. No, it’s not garlic that’s gone bad. It’s garlic that’s undergone a Maillard Reaction  which happens when amino acids and reducing sugars have a chemical reaction. And it’s how cooked/toasted foods like bread, steak, marshmallows and cookies achieve their color and flavor. Interesting, right? I make...more »