New food book also works as guide for hungry travelers

Cooking with nutritious and locally grown ingredients is easy at this bountiful time of year, and a new book offers a glimpse about which Wisconsin chefs make it a priority and habit during all seasons.

The 2013 Wisconsin Local Foods Journal ($17.95, Ginkgo Press) is a self-described guide to sustainable eating, but it is also one part spiral-bound calendar, one part cookbook and one part travel guide.

Chefs from about 100 independently owned restaurants – rural cafes to high-end dining – share recipes and advice about how to make meals with nutritious and homegrown products. Quick profiles describe some of these places, so the journal also is a valuable resource when exploring the Badger State on an empty stomach.

You’ll learn about Foster Cheese Haus, near Osseo, and its menu of pizzas and wood-fried cheese fries (, 715-597-6605). Blue Bike Burrito, Marinette, specializes in Mexican food made with local and organic ingredients (, 715-735-9889).

Back When Cafe, Wausau, contributes a recipe for Pecan-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Dijon Sauce (, 715-848-5668). Justin Trails Resort, near Sparta, shares the recipe for granola served to guests (, 608-269-4522).

Wisconsin Local Foods Journal authors are Madison foodies Joan Peterson and Terese Allen. I donated some of the illustrations. The project’s profits go to the nonprofit and Madison-based REAP (Research, Education, Action and Policy) Food Group, and almost all of REAP’s 39 Buy Fresh Buy Local restaurant partners are included.

REAP sponsors its 14th Food for Thought Festival in downtown Madison from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sept. 15. New this year is a Food Camp area, to introduce beekeeping, urban chicken raising, cheesemaking and more.

Check out to find businesses that sell the Wisconsin Local Foods Journal. For more about REAP and its free festival:, 608-310-7836.

Terese Allen and children’s book writer/editor Bobbie Malone are co-authors of the new “The Flavor of Wisconsin for Kids” ($18.95). The book is a fun and simplified version of “The Flavor of Wisconsin: An Informal History of Food and Eating in the Badger State” ($29.95), which Terese updated and expanded in 2009 – 25 years after the original book was written by the late Harva Hachten.

Both “Flavor of Wisconsin” books are published by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press., 608-264-6582

Terese talks about “The Flavor of Wisconsin for Kids” at 7 p.m. Aug. 30 at McMillan Memorial Library, 409 E. Grand Ave., Wisconsin Rapids. For more about the free event: 715-422-5136.

This recipe from chef Kim Beckham of the CPS Cafe at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point is a part of the 2013 Wisconsin Local Foods Journal. The cafe is open to the public and has a Facebook page (


Ranch spread:
8 ounces cream cheese
one-fourth cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon grated onion
1 tablespoon each: chopped fresh dill, parsley and chives
1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning

2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt
one-fourth cup olive oil
1 pound broccoli florets
one-half cup kalamata olives, pitted and rough-chopped
1 2/3 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 loaf French bread, about 3-by-25 inches
10 ounces sliced Swiss cheese
1 cup roasted red peppers (may use canned)

Combine ranch spread ingredients, whip and chill. (Make this ahead.)

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Crush garlic and salt together, using a heavy knife or a mortar and pestle. Put olive oil and garlic mixture into a large bowl and mix well. Add broccoli and olives and toss well. Sparsely spread the mixture on a baking pan so hot air will circulate around the broccoli pieces. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on the broccoli and roast until a toothpick is easily inserted, about 8-12 minutes. The broccoli will have some black fringes.

Cut bread horizontally and butter both cut sides. Bake about 6 minutes. Spread each side with one-half cup of the spread. Layer in this order from the bottom of each half: cheese slices, half of the broccoli mix, half of the peppers and cheese slices. Close the sandwich and wrap in foil. Bake just long enough to melt the cheese, about 5 minutes. Cut the filled baguette crosswise into 5 or 6 sandwiches and serve immediately.

This recipe comes from “The Flavor of Wisconsin for Kids.”


8 cups chunked or thick-sliced cucumber (unpeeled)
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped sweet red bell pepper
2 cups sugar
1 cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds

Put the cucumbers in a large bowl and toss them with the salt. Let the cucumbers stand for 1 hour. Drain (but do not rinse) the cukes in a colander and press them lightly to get the extra liquid out. Clean and dry the bowl. Place the cukes back in the bowl. Stir in the onion and bell pepper.

In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, vinegar, celery seeds and mustard seeds. Stir well until all the sugar is dissolved. Pour over cucumber mixture and stir everything together. Cover the bowl and put it in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days, to develop flavor.