Good Eggs | Ephraim, WI

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“Try them, try them, and you may! Try them and you may, I say.” ― Dr. Seuss, Green Eggs and Ham

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Winter, winter, winter.... I love it and I hate it. That's the thing about living in Chicago. We have the absolute extremes when it comes to weather. Our summers are hot and beautiful. Our winters are frigid and miserable. So why do I stay here? The summers. They make up for the less than ideal winters, I promise. But what makes living in Chicago even better is how centrally located we are to the rest of the country. Two hour flight to NYC. Four and a half hour flight to Los Angeles. Within driving distance to the rest of the Midwest. Honestly, I love living where I am.

Perhaps one of my favorite parts of living in Chicago is its close proximity to Door County, WI. Considered the 'Cape Cod of the Midwest,' Door County is home to small coastal towns that dot the shoreline of Green Bay. Boutiques. Independent coffee shops. 'Mom & pop' hardware stores. Small locally owned markets. There is nothing more idyllic and quaint about this area of Wisconsin.

The pace of life up there is different. Slower. More intentional. People are not running to and fro, iPhones glued to their fingertips, concerned about incoming emails or whether or not stock prices went up. You go up to Door County to relax and unwind. To get away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Every time that I take a weekend trip north, I have my favorite go-to spots that I cannot miss. Basecamp Coffee Shop. Ecology Sports. Fred & Fuzzy's. And most importantly, Good Eggs.

The food options are limited to one thing: omelet wraps.

basic wrap spuds, eggs, and cheese $5.25

standard wrap spuds, eggs, cheese, and veggies $7.25

deluxe wrap spuds, eggs, cheese, veggies, and meat $9.25

Add a cup of coffee or juice, perhaps a fresh smoothie, and you're good to go. Everything about this small shop is genuine. They want to give you good food that you will enjoy and keep coming back for. They are not concerned with presentation or going above and beyond your expectations. Simply put, they want to give you good eggs.

Cherry Pie with Coconut Crumble Topping

And summer allergies have hit full force...I guess I should be lucky enough to say that I managed to make it this long. Then again, runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing...allergies are allergies no matter when they hit. Being fairly new to the world of allergies, I am still trying to learn how to live with this annoyance. Talking on the phone at work? Difficult. Measuring out flour? Difficult. Stirring together ingredients? Difficult. Serving food to friends and family? Difficult. If you are lucky enough to be living without allergies, count your lucky stars. The past few days there has been a lot of cooking and baking taking place in the kitchen, which has meant a lot of powering through the pain. Yesterday was my mother's birthday and I was thrilled to get the chance to make a number of desserts for the occasion. I had purchased fresh cherries from Door County a few weeks ago and knew that I had to make some sort of cherry pie...

crust

Although I had pre-made pie dough in the refrigerator, I was up for the challenge of baking my own pie crust. The trick here is to be sure to knead the dough long enough to get it to hold together. it is dry and flaky so it is very important to take your time while working with it.

topping I always imagine a fresh-baked pie sitting on the window sill to cool. This pie was absolutely delicious and was easily eaten at the party. Top a warm slice with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you have yourself a perfect summer evening's dessert.

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What are some of your favorite pie recipes? Any summer ingredients that you like to use?

Cherry Pie with Coconut Crumble Topping Recipes from June 1998 Bon Appétit 

Ingredients: for pie crust:

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces 1 large egg yolk 1 1/2 tablespoons ice water)

for topping:

1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour 1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar 1/3 cup old-fashioned oats 1/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

for pie filling: 

2 1/2 pounds fresh cherries, pitted 2/3 cup sugar 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel

Instructions: make the crust:

  1. Blend the flour, sugar, and salt in a processor.
  2. Add butter. Using on/off turns, process just until coarse meal forms.
  3. Whisk egg yolk and 1 1/2 tablespoons ice water in small bowl to blend.
  4. Drizzle egg mixture over dough. Using on/off turns, process until moist clumps begin to form, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry.
  5. Gather dough into ball and flatten into a disk.
  6. Wrap in plastic, refrigerate 1 hour. (This can be made 2 days ahead of time. Keep chilled and let dough soften slightly before rolling out.)

make the topping:

  1. Mix flour, brown sugar, oats, coconut flakes, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
  2. Add butter, rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  3. Cover and refrigerate.

make the pie:

  1. Roll out crust pastry between sheets of lightly floured waxed paper to 12-inch round, turning over occasionally and lifting and smoothing paper. Peel off top sheet of paper.
  2. Using bottom paper as aid, lift pastry and invert into 9-inch glass pie dish. Peel off paper.
  3. Press pastry gently into the dish. Fold overhang under, crimp to foam high-standing decorative edge. Chill 15 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Mix remaining ingredients: cherries, sugar, lemon juice, tapioca and lemon peel, in large bowl. Let stand until cherries release juices, about 10 minutes. Transfer cherry mixture to crust.
  6. Bake pie 15 minutes.
  7. Reduce temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Transfer pie to baking sheet.
  8. Sprinkle topping over pie. Bake until cherries are tender and juices bubble thickly, covering pie loosely with foil if topping browns too quickly, about 50 minutes.
  9. Transfer to rack. Cool 30 minutes.
  10. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Door County SMAK: Al Johnson's

Okay, so we've had our fair share of Door County posts over the last week. I promise you this is the last one, for a while at least.

Al Johnson's

If you have heard of Door County before, it is safe to say that The name Al Johnson's may have come up in conversation. This Swedish restaurant is located in Sister Bay, Wisconsin and is famous for having goats atop its grass roof. This is absolutely the first thing most people mention when talking about the restaurant.

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Complete with a store, Al Johnson's has everything needed for a complete 2-hour Swedish overload. The absolute must however is to wake up and sit down for a breakfast of coffee and Swedish pancakes. Similar to crepes, these pancakes are more dense and moist than normal pancakes. Once you go Swede, you'll never go back! Most important is to top your pancakes with lingonberries - a berry native to the forests of my native homeland.

The other Swedish staple most think of is meatballs. Pour a little gravy on top and eat them with your pancakes and I am not sure you could get a more perfect balance of savory and sweet. Unfortunately, I cannot say that I was thrilled with the meatballs at Al Johnson's.

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No matter what meatballs Al Johnson's prepares, the restaurant will always hold a dear place in my heart, perhaps solely due to my extreme pride in my Swedish heritage. I've included a recipe for Swedish pancakes before, so please be sure to try them out and let me know what you think.

Swedish Pancakes 

Ingredients:

6 eggs 2 1/2 cups milk 2 tablespoons sugar 1 1/2 cup flour 1 teaspoon salt 1-2 tablespoons butter

Instructions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, stir ingredients together until batter is no longer lumpy.
  2. Preheat a non-stick electric skillet to medium heat.
  3. Pour a thin layer of batter on skillet, and spread to edges. Cook until top surface appears dry. Flip to other side and cook for another 2 minutes, or until golden brown.
  4. Roll each pancake up, and serve.

Door County SMAK: Fred & Fuzzy's

Door County is known as the Cape Cod of the Midwest. Small coastal towns. Cottages on bluffs overlooking the water. Local coffee shops. There is a reason that this coastal community has quickly become one of my favorite weekend getaway destinations. You come here and forget all about the hustle and bustle of your regular schedule. You sleep in most mornings, enjoy a cup of coffee while looking out over the water, spend the afternoons in the sun, and then go out in the evenings for dinner and drinks. Fred & Fuzzy's

Fred & Fuzzy's Waterfront Bar & Grill is located in Sister Bay on Pebble Beach, just off Highway 42. Tucked back amidst a resort, this restaurant overlooks the water and is the perfect spot to enjoy the sunset as you are finishing up dinner and enjoying a drink or two.

Corned Beef Reuben

The items that fill the menu consist of your standard bar and grill food - burgers, sandwiches, wraps, jalapeño poppers, a few salads. The cherry margaritas and Moscow Mule, along with the brews from Wisconsin, are worth the visit alone. Being a foodie, I would like to see higher quality food, but can appreciate what it is - bar food. In my opinion, the real star of this restaurant is the atmosphere.

Fred & Fuzzy'sI would highly recommend going to Fred & Fuzzy's if visiting Door County - it is the perfect spot for an outdoor meal. I have never had a bad experience and have been very happy with the service that we receive. A note to keep in mind: during the hot summer days, this restaurant can get crowded, so don't be surprised if you have to wait.

Fred & Fuzzy's = 8/10 SMAK Approval Points

 

lemon dill salmon with cauliflower purée & grilled asparagus

door county

door county, oh how i love thee.

seriously though. you could pay me a starbucks salary to live in a 1 room cabin on the shores of sister bay, cook for SMAK, and writes books for your reading enjoyment. go ahead, twist my arm.

firei spent this past weekend with the parental units and family friends, the larsons, at their home in sister bay. the weekend was plumb full of bloody marys, playing cards, fall fest antics, more bloody marys, campfires, and midnight walks through the woods. to say it was a much-needed escape would be putting it lightly. i could have stayed an entire week.

lemon dill salmon with cauliflower puree & asparagus

earlier in the week, i took it upon myself to make dinner for my parents. the only trick? no recipe. i was not allowed to open a cookbook. nor could i go onto my favorite food blogs and snatch a tasty recipe. i, thomas scott, had to make this on my own. using some of the friendly mentoring advice that angie previously bestowed upon me, i came up with this healthy weeknight meal!

i was pleasantly surprised to see how much i enjoyed this meal and the combination on flavors. my problem in the kitchen is this: i know what i like, what flavors i enjoy, but i lack confidence in throwing them together on my own. to this i say, snap out of it! if you're in the same predicament, i repeat myself, snap out of it! know what you like, what flavors go well together, and be confident in it. if it doesn't work out? so what. now we know what does and doesn't work! there is a lack of definitive measurements for this reason, use this as a guideline for your next meal. take inspiration from my recipe, but make it your own.

so until next time...happy eating!

lemon dill salmon

ingredients: fresh lemon juice shallot, sliced dill salmon filets

instructions:

  1. preheat oven for 400° f.
  2. rinse filets and place on piece of parchment paper.
  3. slice shallot and place atop filet with sprinkling of dill and squeeze of lemon juice.
  4. tuck the parchment paper around the filet creating an enclosure.
  5. cook in oven for approximately 12 minutes, or until done.
  6. let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

cauliflower purée

ingredient: 1 head cauliflower handful chives, chopped 1 teaspoon butter salt and pepper, to taste

instructions:

  1. bring water to boil in pan.
  2. boil cauliflower until tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. place all ingredients in blender or food processor and mix.

grilled asparagus

ingredients: bunch asparagus olive oil sea salt

instructions:

  1. toss asparagus, olive oil and sea salt in zip lock bag.
  2. grill for 8-10 minutes, rotating occasionally.