Who’s braving the department stores, Target, Walmart or electronic stores today? I can’t remember the last time I went to a Black Friday sale . . I don’t like crowds and pushing and shoving is not my thing. I’m all about getting a great deal but waking up at the crack of dawn or camping out to wait in line for something is not my idea of fun.
My husband, on the other hand, has done this and camped out with his brother one year at Best Buy. The crowds were insane and everyone was pumped. I think he came home that year with a big screen TV and a new laptop for me.
I can’t believe this year is coming to an end . . and we’re about to head into December. . It’s been a great year here at Hip Foodie Mom and I am so so thankful for each and every one of you! Your comments, especially when you’ve made one of my recipes and told me about it are the best. Your comments truly make my day!
So, as a way of saying THANK YOU and granting one of you. . a GREAT DEAL today on Black Friday, without having to shop somewhere, be in a crowd of crazed people and entering a giveaway from the comfort of your home, while sitting on your couch, possibly eating cookies or snacking on popcorn . . I’m giving away a $50 gift card to Amazon.com!!
Not required . . but for some GOOD GIVEAWAY KARMA. . leave me a comment below telling me what you would buy at Amazon if you won!
Thank you again you guys!! Happy Black Friday! and for those who are going out and shopping. . be safe!!
Disclosure: This giveaway is sponsored by me!!! Thank you for reading Hip Foodie Mom!
Here in Wisconsin, I’ve learned there’s a lot to do to prepare your yard for winter, or the first real snow fall. Leaves need to be raked up, bushes and certain plants trimmed and you need to make sure your snow blower has a full gas tank. On a day where my husband spent HOURS sucking up leaves and trimming the bushes, I trimmed our hydrangeas and my kids were even helping us with some yard work, we came back in from a very cold afternoon and happily sipped on this delicious Hazelnut Hot Chocolate, a delightful twist on your average hot chocolate!
Last week, I told you guys about a recent trip to Chicago for ALDI. On the first day, we started with a visit to ALDI headquarters, where we visited their test kitchen and participated in a blind tasting of several food products. Each station featured an ALDI brand versus a leading national brand. We sampled everything from orange juice to yogurt to granola bars and tortilla chips and I chose the ALDI brand 9 out of 10 times. Tastes better and costs less? Pretty great if you ask me!
We then moved on to our Sensory Pairings session, where we participated in a joint food and wine pairings presentation and demonstration. Spending the afternoon sampling wine and eating food was pretty fun and filling. We ended the day with a dinner prepared by the ALDI Test Kitchen chefs and left full and happy.
On the next day, we visited an ALDI grocery store in Illinois. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen some of the photos and the video of this store. Now, this ALDI is a lot bigger than the one I go to in Madison so I had to capture it on video. What I love about ALDI stores is their philosophy: Cutting back on certain things like credit card machines and not having any plastic or brown bags (forcing you to bring in your own reusable bags, which I think is brilliant!), so they are able to offer you high quality products at super LOW prices.
ALDI also offers great, seasonal and organic produce and dairy. To find out if your local ALDI carries organic products, click here to reach out to Customer Service, where you can inquire on specific products at your local ALDI store.
If you haven’t shopped at an ALDI before, here is what you need to know:
The Carts: They keep their carts in one convenient place. You put a quarter in the cart, shop and then return the cart to get your quarter back. This helps to keep prices low because they don’t spend time retrieving carts.
Checkout: Credit card processing fees are expensive. By only accepting cash, debit and EBT cards, it helps to keep their prices low.
Bags: Bring your own bags or purchase reusable ones at checkout.
Saving Green: Everything they do from their smaller, energy-saving stores to recycled bags and cartons capture the very essence of conservation. As a result, you can save up to 50% on the majority of your needs.
Our Brands: ALDI brands are made of the same, or even higher, quality than national brands. Plus, they’re backed by ALDI’s Double Guarantee.
Select Assortment: While a typical supermarket carries about 30,000 items, ALDI sells only about 1,400 of the fastest-moving grocery items – most of which are their high-quality brands. Smaller inventory means smaller stores, which leads to lower rent and electricity costs. This allows ALDI to pass the savings on to you.
Select Hours: A typical ALDI store stays open during the most popular shopping hours. Staying open later would simply add labor costs.
Switch & Save: Switching to ALDI-exclusive brands saves you up to 50%* over national brands on the things you buy the most. What could be easier?
As we enter the holiday season and the end of the year, it’s all about spending wisely so you have enough saved up for other things. If you have an ALDI store close to you, stop in for a visit! I think you will be pleasantly surprised.
I hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving and I hope your table is filled with family, friends and some great food! And if you’re already experiencing some really cold weather, like we are here in Wisconsin, you need to warm up to some of this delicious, rich and creamy Hazelnut Hot Chocolate. I hope you enjoy!
candy canes, peppermint sticks or pocky sticks (found at most Asian markets)
In a medium saucepan over medium to medium-high heat, combine the milk, cocoa powder, sugar, hazelnut spread, ground cinnamon and irish cream (if using). Stir occasionally until sugar and hazelnut spread are dissolved and the mixture is evenly heated through.
Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate shavings and serve with a candy cane, peppermint stick or fun chocolate covered pocky stick. Enjoy!
Thanksgiving is THURSDAY and I am knee deep in planning, organizing and scheduling. Scheduling and planning when everything is going into my ONE oven for Thanksgiving dinner that is! The grocery shopping is 95% finished and the menu is set!!! Thanks to Pinterest and all of the fabulous Thanksgiving recipes that have been floating around the internet for the past two months.
Every year, we go a little crazy with Thanksgiving dinner. . I mean. . come on, it’s Thanksgiving dinner right? This is like the SuperBowl for us foodies. This year, we are serving Faith Durand’s Maple Sage Turkey. . from the November issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine, our friends are bringing over a Chinese BBQ turkey (this will be a first for us but we hear this turkey is fabulous) and a honey baked ham! Plus all the crazy sides and other good eats and desserts!
With two turkeys this year, we’re bound to have leftover turkey and instead of making the same ole “Thanksgiving turkey casserole” that I make every year with the leftover turkey, I’ll be making this Eggs Benedict with a BLENDER Hollandaise sauce on the Saturday morning after Thanksgiving. No vigorous whisking until your hand feels like it’s about to fall off. The blender does everything for you! It’s a delicious breakfast or brunch and I’m using up leftover turkey! It’s a win win for everyone!
The holidays are here! Where in the world did 2014 go? This year just zoomed by!! I feel like it was just yesterday that my family made the move from Seattle, WA to Madison, WI and everything from then until now has been a blur.
And in the blink of an eye, it’s the end of November. . Thanksgiving is on Thursday?! (what?!) and before we know it, we will be in full swing with holiday festivities.
Putting the tree up, decorating the house, buying gifts, planning Christmas dinner, baking and maybe even reflecting on the past year. We’ve moved a lot within the past few years. I grew up in Dallas, Texas and never thought I was going to leave. . but a couple years after graduating, I moved out to San Francisco, CA for a few years, got a new job and moved to Los Angeles, CA, where I lived for several years, met Paul, got married and had the girls. We then picked up and moved to Seattle, WA, and now we’re in Madison, Wisconsin.
I never thought I’d be moving around as much as we have and suffice it to say, we have friends all over the place! We also have family all over the place too: California, Minnesota and Texas so when the holidays are here, we want to spend it with family.
And since my family is all over the place, traveling is usually involved over the holidays. . but if it means, we can all be together, it’s worth it. As I get older, and especially now that I have children, I want them to have memories of the holidays with their cousins, aunts and uncles and grandparents. Because we don’t get to see our family all the time, when we do get together it’s meaningful and fun. I love waking up and finding all the kids playing together or having my family all seated around the dinner table together. It’s awesome.
The other thing I LOVE about the holidays are all the cards I get in the mail from my friends. Yes, even after 2 moves, we still manage to get a huge pile of holiday cards from friends and I love it. I know we have social media and ways to see photos from friends but nothing beats getting a card in the mail and seeing a long string of holiday cards . . with happy faces next to your Christmas tree or hung someplace around your house.
Have you guys heard of Minted.com? They are an online stationery store, powered by global community of designers. They sell everything from cards to stationery to gifts and fabrics and home decor. They also carry wrapping paper and gifts, holiday ornaments and wall art!! I’m here to show you some of the cool, fun designs I found from their holiday collection.
They seriously have some of the best designs for holiday cards and everything can be customized: what kind of paper you want, the shape of the card, the colors you want to use and the format of the card.
So, if you’re looking for holiday cards, you need to take a look at Minted.com. And if you’re ready to order some now, click herefor 15% all holiday cards!!
Because Minted.com is so awesome, I get to offer a $50 gift promotion code to one lucky reader!! Enter using the widget below and good luck!!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post and this giveaway is sponsored by Minted.com. All opinions expressed here are my own. Thank you for supporting me in working with brands and products that I use and love.
I can’t believe Thanksgiving is next week. My parents arrive on Monday and my sister’s family on Wednesday. We’ll have a packed house to say the least but I am so excited.
Because for me, a packed house means that I will have more than 3 people to feed. And for someone who cooks a lot and has a lot of leftovers, this is music to my ears. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been freezing some of the things I’ve been making so my parents and sister’s family can try and taste some of the dishes I’ve been making. Not exactly the same as eating it fresh, but hey, it still works.
My sister loves quiche so I made this Apple and Cheddar quiche for her. And I wanted to kick it up a notch, so I made an olive oil, thyme and cheddar pastry crust for the quiche. Yeah I know, I’m a pretty cool sister. And I made sure to throw in a good amount of cheddar cheese because Grace loves cheesy foods. Yes, she is my sister!
Well, I made this delicious quiche (can you see the apple chunks in there?!) and will have to make another one next week because I ate the entire thing. You guys, this quiche is so good. You get hints of sweetness from the apples with all the cheesy goodness and a lovely olive oil and thyme pastry crust. This quiche was heaven for me.
We’re in holiday season and in the midst of entertaining, having friends over and just being with family. So, if you don’t have a go-to quiche recipe that you use, you have to try this one. It’s great and is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
I hope you enjoy!
Apple and Cheddar Quiche with Olive Oil and Thyme Crust
Note: if you want the cheese to be more evenly distributed within your quiche, use about 1¼ cups of heavy cream instead of just a ½ cup.
Author: Hip Foodie Mom
Serves: 6 to 8
For the olive oil crust:
1¼ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
½ cup very cold water
½ teaspoon fresh thyme, leaves only
1 to 2 tablespoons freshly grated cheddar
For the filling:
5 large eggs
½ cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, leaves only + more for sprinkling
½ teaspoon kosher salt
pinch of ground nutmeg
1 cup freshly grated cheddar cheese
½ cup apples, peeled and chopped (like Gala, Honeycrisp or Red Delicious)
For the crust:
Using your food processor, combine the flour, salt and olive oil and pulse for about 3 to 4 seconds. While the food processor is running, slowly pour the very cold water over the flour and keep running until the pastry begins to come together, after about 7 to 8 seconds. Do not overwork the dough.
Next, add in the fresh thyme and freshly grated cheddar and pulse just a few times so that the thyme and cheddar become incorporated into the dough. (Alternatively, you can add the thyme and cheddar later and knead it in before you place into the refrigerator.)
Transfer the olive oil pastry dough to a lightly floured work surface, knead just a few times, gather to form a ball and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling it out.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll out on a lightly floured work surface.Transfer dough to a pie plate, gently pressing the olive oil pastry into the pie plate. Prick the dough with a fork and bake it for about 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned.Remove from the oven and lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees.
For the quiche:
Combine the eggs, heavy cream, thyme, salt, and nutmeg and mix together well. Add in the cheddar cheese and the apples and mix again. Pour the filling into your olive oil pastry crust, sprinkle on a little fresh thyme and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until golden brown and a tester inserted comes out clean. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
This holiday season, Pompeian is helping families across the country immortalize their favorite holiday recipes by offering personalized bottles of Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil – the first and only extra virgin olive oil to carry the USDA Quality Monitored Seal, complete with a customizable label and family photo – perfect for commemorating a treasured dish or gifting to a loved one this holiday season.
Consumers can visit Facebook or Pompeian.com to create their very own personalized bottle of Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil by generating and printing a customized label to place on a 24 oz. bottle of Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Now, how cool is that?!
Disclosure: This post is in partnership with Pompeian’s Blogger Ambassador Program and Pompeian Pantry Insiders. I was compensated for this post and as always, all opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for allowing me to work with brands that I love, use and support.
When I was younger, probably like most kids, I wanted to be able to eat dessert before the main course. It just made sense. Did my mother ever let me do that? No . . but it still made sense at the time.
Now, I’m older and actually enjoy eating my meals; appetizers, salads, main course and all, I understand why dessert is at the end. Some may think you are saving the best for last. Others say that you need to end most savory meals with something sweet. Whatever the reason, we all need a little dessert in our lives.
And with one of the most fabulous holidays coming up, Thanksgiving, where most people break out the stretchy pants and indulge, dessert is a must-have in my book.
I believe in dessert, but for major holidays, I believe more in mini desserts. Or bite sized desserts. Because if there’s one thing I believe in more, it’s variety when it comes to dessert. I want to try everything. I want like a bite of everything. and especially after inhaling the appetizers, the turkey, the stuffing, the mashed potatoes, the yams, the corn bread etc. .
And just a note: 3 of my neighbors tried this recipe while I was testing them and they all asked me individually for the recipe for Thanksgiving so don’t miss out on this fabulous recipe! These are something special.
I hope you enjoy!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions expressed here are 100% my own.
A little over a week ago, I was in Chicago attending a Test Kitchen event hosted by ALDI. We were there for two days and let me tell you, there was enough food involved over those two days to feed a small army.
Day 1 started with a visit to ALDI headquarters, where we visited their test kitchen and participated in a blind tasting of several food products. Each station featured an ALDI brand versus a leading national brand. We sampled everything from orange juice to yogurt to granola bars and tortilla chips. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised and, based on taste, I chose the ALDI brand 9 out of 10 times. Tastes better and costs less? No brainer. I know where I’m buying my orange juice, crackers, granola bars and tortilla chips from now on.
ALDI also has a gluten free product line, which we also got to sample. So, if you’re gluten-free, no worries! ALDI has you covered!
We then moved on to our Sensory Pairings session, where Sensory Expert Gail Vance Civille and Certified Master Sommelier Leslee Miller hosted a joint food and wine pairings presentation and demonstration. They taught us why particular foods and wines pair well, and why others do not, based on our senses. I’ve never looked at wine so thoroughly before. . the color, smelling it and tasting it and thinking about what it reminds us of. And that “rule” where red wine goes with meat and white wine with chicken and fish, for example, doesn’t really apply anymore. Red or white, it’s really all about how the wines enhance the foods and vice versa.
My favorite part of this session was then sampling different wines with different foods, like cheese (of course!) and chocolate and cheesecake!! Hello!!
We then moved on to a little competition, where we were placed into teams and had to put what we had just learned to the test! We were tasked with pairing a wine with each course for a full holiday meal. My team enthusiastically finished first. . and promptly got last place. Oh well, you win some, you lose some. Team 1: you are all still #1 to me. (From left to right: Jessica from Savory Experiments, Kellie from The Suburban Soapbox, Kit from The Kittchen, Julie from Willow Bird Baking and me!)
We ended the evening with a gorgeous and delicious dinner prepared by the ALDI kitchen chefs. We started with an amazing Pumpkin Sage Soup, which I am sharing with you today! You guys. . this soup is so delicious! I love baking with pumpkin in the fall but let me tell you. . savory pumpkin dishes are the BEST. And I added some bacon because I love the saltiness with this soup and the texture. #winning
The key to this soup is combining vegetables and APPLES, mixing them with brown sugar, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and then roasting them until tender. Oh my gawd, you guys. . not only did this smell amazing, but I wanted to skip the soup and just eat the roasted veggies and apples. So good!
But fortunately, I went on and made my soup. . and I’m so happy I did. This soup is now officially up there with my top 5 fave soups for the fall. I’ll be sharing the rest of my ALDI visit in another post. . so until then, you guys have to try this soup!
If a smoother texture is desired, you can transfer to a blender instead of using the immersion blender. To make this vegetarian, simply omit the bacon.
Author: Hip Foodie Mom
Recipe type: Main or Starter
Serves: 4 to 6
2 small onions, peeled and diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
2 ribs of celery, halved and sliced
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
2 medium to large sized Idaho russet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced
¼ cup brown sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
2 15-ounce cans 100% pure canned pumpkin
1 32-ounce carton vegetable stock
1 cup heavy cream
cooked crispy bacon, crumbled
gouda cheese, freshly grated
cooked crispy sage leaves for garnish
Preheat oven to 400°. Combine the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, apples, potatoes, sage and brown sugar in a large bowl. Drizzle on the extra virgin olive oil, and season with salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Place into a roasting pan and roast in oven for about 30 minutes, or until tender.
After the vegetables are finished, using a large pot over medium-high heat, combine the roasted vegetable mixture, canned pumpkin and vegetable stock. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Using a hand blender or immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth or your desired consistency. Add the heavy cream, taste and adjust any seasoning as needed. Serve warm with the gouda cheese, bacon and crispy sage as a garnish. Enjoy!
Happy Friday you guys! I’m back with another fabulous side dish that needs to be on your Thanksgiving table this year. I don’t know about you, but I love roasted brussels sprouts! Growing up, my parents never really made them for us. . not sure why, but now that I have kids, I roast these babies a few times a month for them and my kids love them.
The secret? It’s all about the technique and flavor. I love roasting brussels sprouts because they still remain somewhat firm and get nicely browned. I usually just roast them with extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and some salt and pepper but today, I wanted the sauce to bring in the flavor.
The key to my sauce? Cooking bacon and shallots together and then deglazing my pan with my Entwine Chardonnay. You guys, this is so fabulous. If I could personally make this dish for everyone, I would. I then add some dijon mustard and whole grain dijon because I absolutely love seeing the whole grain mustard in this dish.
So, I hope brussels sprouts make it to your Thanksgiving table and you’ll have to also pour yourself a glass and have some of this delicious Chardonnay with your meal as well. As I’ve said before, use the same great quality, great tasting wine that you would drink, to cook with. That’s the only way to do it.
And check out Entwine Wine’s snazzy new website! Entwine Wines is the official wine for The Food Network and was a collaboration between Wente Vineyards in California and The Food Network. Learn about their different wines, get recipes and wine pairings and find an Entwine retailer close to you.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with White Wine Shallot Sauce
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and prepare a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Drizzle the extra virgin olive oil over the Brussels sprouts and season with salt and freshly cracked pepper. Toss together and roast the sprouts, cut side down, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until nicely browned.
While the sprouts are roasting, cook the shallots and bacon over medium-high heat until the shallots are tender and the bacon has begun to crisp and brown a little, for about 4 to 5 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the entwine Chardonnay and the chicken stock and cook until the shallots and bacon have absorbed more than half of the liquid. Add the Dijon mustard and the whole grain Dijon mustard and mix together until combined.
Remove from the heat and mix with the roasted brussels sprouts. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately.
Looking for more Thanksgiving Day inspiration or menu ideas? Check out my Pinterest board!
Ok guys, we’re T minus 15 days to turkey day. Are you ready?
I don’t know about you but I’ve been going crazy trying to find all the right side dishes to serve with my turkey this year. Because . . I’m not afraid to say it .. sometimes I’m more excited about the side dishes at Thanksgiving dinner than the turkey!
Growing up, we would sometimes have a mix up your standard turkey sides, like mashed potatoes, corn, cranberry sauce and green beans, as well as a hodgepodge of Korean food side dishes, like Korean vegetables and kimchi. My sister and I would help my mother and father in the kitchen and we wouldn’t stop until the table was absolutely full. I hate to say it but growing up, we’d always make the stuffing from a box. We were kids. . we couldn’t tell the difference and probably thought Stove Top was the best.
Now that I’m older and wiser and hosting Thanksgiving dinner (now for the 4th year in a row), I know better. And this year, instead of a traditional stuffing, I’m making Ina’s Leek and Artichoke Bread Pudding. Or, well, a version of it.
If you know Ina, you know she goes full fat, full flavor with pretty much everything. I’m not against that. . but on a day where I’m going to be stuffing my face with a ton of food (probably all day), if I can make something a little lighter and less heavy, I’m going to do it.
And, in all honesty, I just wanted something to make in my new Le Creuset Apple Cocotte! Isn’t she beautiful? You can even put this baby in the oven! So, she doesn’t just look pretty, she’s purposeful too. Use this Apple Cocotte as you would any casserole dish (and the lid, with the stem-like knob withstands temperatures up to 375 degrees). I love this thing and can’t wait to whip this out at my next brunch.
Now wouldn’t this Apple Cocotte just look divine on your Thanksgiving table? Well, I’m giving one away today .. so check out the giveaway widget below and good luck!
And if the jury is out on whether or not to serve a stuffing this year, I urge you to try this Leek and Artichoke Bread Pudding!! It’s so good!!
This recipe was made to fit in my Le Creuset Apple Cocotte, so if you are going to use a regular sized casserole dish, you will need to double the recipe. *If you want a creamier, richer bread pudding, you can add in a ½ cup or ¾ cup of heavy cream.
Author: Hip Foodie Mom
Recipe type: Side Dish
4 cups day-old white bread or french bread, cubed
1½ tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cups leeks, white and light green parts only, diced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups artichoke hearts (fresh or frozen; if using frozen, make sure they are defrosted)
1½ tablespoons fresh chives, finely diced
1 to 2 teaspoons fresh tarragon leaves, finely diced
2 large eggs
¼ cup heavy cream*
¾ cup chicken stock, or vegetable stock
pinch of ground nutmeg
1 cup grated Emmentaler Swiss cheese, freshly grated
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the bread cubes on a sheet pan and bake for about 15 minutes, until lightly browned.
Heat the butter in a large pan over medium heat; add the leeks and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and mix in the artichokes, toasted bread cubes, chives and tarragon.
In a separate medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, heavy cream, chicken stock and nutmeg. Pour the bread mixture into your baking dish and pour on the cream mixture. Then, sprinkle with the Emmentaler swiss cheese all over the top.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the custard is set and the bread pudding is puffed and golden. Serve immediately.
I think anytime you visit a new city or place, you’re usually pleasantly surprised by some little gems and local spots that you find. Upon moving to Wisconsin, I knew about the weather, Madison, the university, the Farmers Market and all the glorious cheese. I would soon learn about the fabulous food scene here, restaurants owning farm-to-table, Door County, Devils Lake State Park and most recently, Kohler, Wisconsin and The American Club.
When you think of Wisconsin, you might not think luxury. You might not think getaway or destination. Well, it looks like I discovered Kohler, Wisconsin and The American Club just in time. The American Club is a luxury spa and resort located in Kohler, Wisconsin. It is owned and operated by the Kohler Company and has received various awards, including the Top 100 Golf Resorts by Conde Nast Traveler magazine, and is the Midwest’s only AAA Five Diamond Resort Hotel.
Recently, I attended the Kohler Food and Wine Experience, a 4-day extravaganza of food, wine and fun, and had the great honor of also staying at The American Club. As soon as we arrived, I was blown away by the customer service and attention to detail. I have never stayed at a hotel or resort like this. After checking in, we were escorted to our room by the front desk employee and learned a little bit of history about The American Club, which was built in 1918 to house the Kohler Company’s immigrant workers at the time.
Upon checking in and entering our room, we were given a huge (and heavy) gift bag and found some lovely and delicious chocolates in our room. Now, obviously, if the resort is owned and operated by the Kohler Company, you know the rooms and the bathrooms are nice. To call them “nice” is an understatement. I truly felt like I was staying in luxury and just absolute innovation and comfort in the bathrooms.
I didn’t want to leave the bathroom you guys. Everything was amazing.
This was the coolest shower ever. It was hard not to take an hour long shower.
I was able to bring a guest with me for the weekend and, because it was my birthday weekend, my awesome husband let me take one of my girlfriends, Rina, so we could have fun and enjoy Kohler and the Food and Wine Experience.
The first evening, we attended a welcome reception, where we tried this fabulous martini, The Carrot 43. Significance of 43…It took 43 tries to get it right! This delicious martini was created by a team at the Forbes Four-Star Immigrant Restaurant & Winery Bar, located in The American Club. You guys, this martini was so good. I had two but would have definitely had a third if I had time. We had to leave to go to dinner at the Immigrant Restaurant. (I am sharing this fabulous recipe with you all down below! You have to try this martini!)
Dinner was absolutely fabulous and I have to go back to Kohler just to eat at The Immigrant Restaurant again.
Friday started with cooking demonstrations, a Cabernet and Beef Academy tasting, a knife skills 101 class and much more. There were so many different sessions going on (and some at the same time), so I was not able to attend all of them. All of the main cooking demonstrations took place on the Stella Artois Main Stage. Oh and by the way, there was a Stella Artois tent right next door the entire weekend serving all the beer you could drink, including their delicious Cidre, made with hand picked apples.
The first cooking demo in the main stage was Graham Elliot, of Graham Elliot Bistro in Chicago. Graham was hilarious and entertaining and it was so fun to watch him in action. I personally haven’t dined at his restaurant but I’m going to the next time I’m in Chicago for sure!
Next up was one of my absolute faves: America’s Test Kitchen. Christopher, Jack and Bridget cooked up the ultimate comfort foods and shared their Best Chicken Stew and Chewy Brownies recipes. Both were absolutely fabulous you guys .. and if you want the chicken stew recipe, click here!
My Friday high continued as Geoffrey Zakarian floated on stage to “Fly Me to The Moon” by Frank Sinatra. One of my favorite songs! GZ knows how to keep an audience entertained. He had the attention of every person under that tent. He was magical and delightful.
Friday night, we attended a party, Taste of the Vine, in the beautiful Kohler Design Center. There was food and over 40+ different brands of wine to sample. Here’s me and Jocelyn at table #1.
The design center was so cool. . with . . you guessed it, toilets and bath tubs everywhere. How could I not get in one?!
Saturday was another jam packed, wonderful day .. the highlight? Seeing GZ do another cooking demo and being able to sit and chat with him for 30 minutes with other media reps. He does so much, just wrote a cookbook, My Perfect Pantry, and has a ton of other stuff in the works. He is the man to follow.
And the guy’s got mad style. Just look at him.
Saturday ended with a fabulous dinner at Blackwolf Run, which is just a hop, skip and a jump away from The American Club. I had the butter roasted lobster tail . . divine!! I was so impressed with all of the restaurants in Kohler. The entire weekend was truly a culinary delight for me.
And I can’t wait until they announce the line-up for next year’s Kohler Food and Wine Experience!! Save The Date: October 24-27, 2015!!!
The weekend ended with a complimentary spa treatment (on my birthday!) at the beautiful Kohler Waters Spa, where I got to relax and have a 90 minute detox massage. Believe me when I say, I did not want it to end. Kohler, WI is the most charming place I have ever visited and I’m so glad I know about this beautiful resort as we head into winter.
Are you looking for a getaway this holiday season? First class accommodations, a five-star hydrotherapy focused spa, outdoor adventure, shopping and fine dining? What more could you need? If you’re in the Midwest .. heck, if you’re looking to getaway period this holiday season. Look no further. You have to check out Destination Kohler.
And as promised, here is the martini that everyone needs to try.
Inspiration: From a desire to use carrot juice in a cocktail it made sense to run it alongside the floral botanicals in Hendrick’s Gin and fresh orange juice. It has a lively color as well as texture and structure. This is the most popular and innovative cocktail on the menu!
Author: Kohler Co.
Recipe type: Cocktail
1 ¼ oz Hendricks Gin
¾ oz Cointreau
1 oz Fresh Orange Juice
½ oz Fresh Carrot Juice
½ oz Fresh Lemon Juice
½ oz Simple Syrup
Garnish: Fresh Sliced Cucumber
Shake all the ingredients together in a martini shaker and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a fresh sliced cucumber and enjoy!
A huge thank you to the Kohler Company and The American Club for sponsoring this trip. This was the media trip of a lifetime and I was honored to be a part of it. And, as always, all opinions expressed here are 100% my own.
Hello! My name is Alice. Here, at Hip Foodie Mom, you will find fresh food recipes using local, seasonal ingredients. From meat dishes to vegetarian to Asian inspired dishes, you are sure to find something you like. Thank you for stopping by!