Happy National Bratwurst Day! I don’t think there could be a better day to release my last post on our visit to Madison, Wisconsin. After all, Wisconsin is the home of brats, beer and cheese, so I am sure there has been much merriment taking place in the great state of Wisconsin today.
We have been On the Road quite a bit for the last few weeks and this travel will continue for a few more months. I know you will enjoy some of the people, places, food and stories that are coming, so I look forward to sharing everything with you. In the meantime, I have an awesome giveaway later this week. In addition, next week I will have a few guest posts from some of my favorite bloggers and friends, so I hope you will enjoy learning a little more about them.
Now, here is a recap of our trip to Madison, Wisconsin and a recipe for a traditional Wisconsin favorite!
Our first stop when we arrived in Madison was to grab lunch at the food carts by the University of Wisconsin. Madison has many International restaurants and some of these restaurants have food carts that represent those restaurants. We enjoyed specialties from East Africa, Indonesia and China and they were all very good. Street food is not a new concept in Madison. Apparently, these carts have been around for many years.
We took our lunch to Memorial Union Terrace. When you visit Madison, this is THE place to go to drink local beer, eat ice cream and watch the boats on Lake Mendota. We decided to sit by the water, have our lunch at The Terrace and take in the gorgeous weather. With such a short season for days like these, you need to go and enjoy The Terrace as much as you can.
We ordered a pitcher of Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewery. That was my favorite beer during our trip and trust me, I tried a few beers while we were there, so I should have a strong opinion about that.
The next day we visited the Dane County Farmers’ Market which was truly incredible. That was followed by a visit to Eagle Heights Community Garden to gather some more homegrown veggies and herbs for dinner. I have never seen so much local food in one day!
Our last day in Madison would not have been complete without lunch at The Old Fashioned, which is known for serving traditional Wisconsin fare. In fact, it was just voted one of the Top Ten Places to Eat Like a Local by USA Today. We sure thought so…lots of Wisconsin brews, brats and rich and creamy mac and cheese (made with Wisconsin cheese, of course) is on the menu here! I bet they are celebrating National Bratwurst Day today!
We ordered several different traditional Wisconsin dishes, including the
caloric laden very cheesy macaroni and cheese.
After lunch, we
really needed a major nap and a diet a nice stroll through downtown, so we wandered down State Street to see the sights.
No visit to Madison would be complete without a visit to The Chocolate Shoppe, which is actually an ice cream parlor. Talk about rich ice cream…their sign says it all.
Yes, this was one of the creamiest and
most fattening decadent ice creams I have ever put in my mouth and after you read thier disclaimer, you know why.
We had a great trip to Madison and I can highly recommend a visit to this city. It’s a great way to experience a little slice of the Midwest.
The folks at The Old Fashioned have been kind enough to share their recipe for traditional Wisconsin Beer Cheese Soup with me. Needless to say, after all of our recent travel, I have not had a chance to make this, so there is no photo to share with you. Picture luscious cheesy beer soup topped with popcorn and chives! I know you can do it. 😉
This recipe makes 10 to 12 good sized bowls, so be sure to whip up a batch when you have a house full of hungry folks that will appreciate a delightful and cheesy Wisconsin favorite!
Enjoy the rest of your week!
Wisconsin Beer Cheese Soup
Yield: 10-12 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
2 quarts House Brew beer ( Bock beer)
1 1/2 quarts Water
1 Yellow Onion, julienned
1 Bay Leaf
2 quarts Heavy Cream
1/4 cup Cornstarch
2 1/2 pounds Aged Wisconsin cheddar
1/2 tsp Celery Salt
1/2 tsp White Pepper
1. Simmer first four ingredients in a large stockpot for 30 minutes.
2. Strain, return beer mixture to pot, add cream, and bring to a simmer.
3. Dissolve cornstarch in a small amount of water and whisk into pot. Soup will thicken a bit.
4. While warm, whisk in cheese, one handful at a time, bringing soup back up to temperature between bags.
* IMPORTANT: Do not bring soup up beyond a simmer or it will break!!
5. Season to taste with celery salt and white pepper.
* NOTE: Soup is garnished with popped popcorn and chives.
Recipe courtesy of The Old Fashioned