Monday Dinner – Jac’s Dining and Taphouse

Jac’s Dining and Taphouse – Madison WI – 2611 Monroe St

It’s only Monday, but the husband suggested dinner out – who am I to argue? (tee hee)

Since I got to choose, I picked Jac’s for Moules et Frites. Ever since last week and those yummy mussels at Merchant I’ve been thinking about heading back to Jac’s. We haven’t been in awhile. Let’s just say they did not disappoint.

Cone of Frites

Prince Edward Island mussels, simmered in garlic-chardonnay broth. With a fresh chunk of baguette for dunking and a cone of frites with a side of classic aioli dipping sauce. Since the cone is large enough for two be sure to ask for a second cup of aioli – so you don’t have to arm wrestle over it!

2019 Update: Sorry to report Jac’s is no longer in business. I fear the Monroe Street construction might have “done them in”.  Let’s see if I can find somewhere else in Madison for mussels that can compare.

Saturday Mornings on The Square – Best Farmers Market in the Country

Dane County Farmers Market – Madison, WI – Downtown “On the Square”

Continually voted as one of the Top 10 premier farmers markets in the country.  It is truly NOT TO BE MISSED! Farmers and vendors from all over the state come to sell their super fresh fruits, vegetables, plants, meats, cheeses, bakery .. and more.

Did you know that the DCFM is reported to be the largest producer-only farmers’ market in the country?  All items are produced by the members behind the tables and that no re-sale is allowed. (data directly from the DCFM website)

Saturday’s: April 8 – November 11
6:15 am – 1:45 pm

Note: There is a Wednesday Market, Holiday Market and a Winter Market. Click on the link above to find out more!

See ya on the Square!!


Madison Restaurant Week – Dinner at Delaney’s Steaks Seafood and Wine

Delaney’s Steak Seafood and Wine – Madison WI – 449 Grand Cannon Drive

Second dinner out during Restaurant Week.  Sadly disappointing.

Where to start? ….

How about the positives.  Staff was friendly and attentive. Decor was nice. I really like the look of the wood, brick wall, pictures and light fixtures.

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Madison Restaurant Week – Dinner at Merchant

Merchant – Madison, WI – 121 S Pinckney St

Enjoyed Merchant last night for dinner during Restaurant Week. $30 for a three course meal.

Started off with the Ricotta which was presented on a wood cutting board. Rich and creamy with a dash of chives sprinkled on top.  The accompanying chilled blanched vegetables consisting of a heirloom cherry tomato, radish, carrots and green beans resting on beet greens gave the dish a pleasant addition. While the toasted Madison Sourdough baguette dipped in the Banyuls vinegar and olive oil added the crunch.

Ricotta Appetizer

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Cold Veggie Pizza

Summer is upon us which means lots of fresh veggies.  Woo Hoo!

One of my favorite “gadgets” is my bread maker. Not only does it make great breads but it makes amazing pizza crusts.  I follow the basic pizza recipe from Beth Hensperger: The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook.

My Favorite Bread Machine Book
Once the dough is made, baked and cooled I added the following.

“Sauce” (Spread)

  • 4oz Cream Cheese
  • 4oz Boursin Cheese (either garlic herb or shallot herb)
  • 1/4 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1/4 Tsp Minced Dehydrated Garlic (or 1 clove minced)
  • 1/8 Cup Finely Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • Fresh Cracked Pepper to Taste

Cream room temperate cheeses, then add remaining ingredients.

Spread on cooled pizza crust.

Veggies: Approximately 1/8 to  1/4 Cup each – diced in tiny bite sized pieces

  • Cauliflower – Purple, Orange, White
  • Broccoli
  • Radishes
  • Carrots – Yellow
  • 1 cob of corn – roasted over a flame, then cut off cob
  • Tomato

(Go crazy with the veggies – add all your favorites – or just what you have on hand)

Once veggies are cut and ready do a quick sauté (everything but the tomato) in a hint of sunflower oil or EVVO. Just enough that you do not loose color and they just beginning to cook. Al dente would be a good description. Be sure to add some seasoning.  Salt, pepper, garlic.  Anything but bland. Let cool or the spread will melt.

Sprinkle the cooled veggies on top of the spread, press lightly but firmly (this will limit the “roll off” when cutting and eating the slices)

Top with additional cheese:

  • 1/8 Cup Finely Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Then the tomatoes.

Cold Veggie Pizza


Old Fashioned Hand Mixer Still the Best for Homemade Whip Cream

Last month my husband and I were having a dinner party with friends.  I decided that dessert (ice cream and berries) needed a Homemade Vanilla Chantilly Cream (aka: Whipped Cream).  So I looked at the recipes that I had then dug out  my “Old-Faithful-Hand-Mixer”.  Which, by the way still works like a champ!

My “Old Faithful” Hand Mixer

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