Friday, October 25, 2013

Allies in the Baking Empire

Several weeks ago I was contacted by my friends at the National Honey Board with a request to send them some artisan breads with a honey focused inspiration.

I was told to send four loaves......

I was told to send them to Denver.........

So I did.

When you send a sample pack to an event, it is always good practice to deliver a collection that offers a uniformed size, but the pieces should always balance the light and dark side of the bread color spectrum.

It is also paramount to give different POV's on sweet-savory and a variety of textures.


The loaves that were flown first class to Denver, somehow made their way to Chicago.

I wonder if their journey was exciting, possibly fraught with peril.

Who knows?

Perhaps their voyage will inspire a Disney movie.

In closing I just want to say that it was a big honor for our bakery to have the chance to partner with the National Honey Board.

They are such a classy group of people, and whose kidding who?

These folks are blessed to have the sweetest, cleanest, purest product on the planet to market....


Let's Talk Honey ...

Sweet Returns from Honey Baking Summit

Posted by National Honey Board on October 24, 2013 - 3:12 PM

Sweet Returns from Honey Baking Summit
We just wrapped up our third Baking Honey Summit in Chicago, and one of our favorite things about these events is seeing what the most talented bakers in the world can do with honey after spending the day learning about this natural sweetener and working with it.
We recently had the opportunity to taste the sweet returns of the Honey Baking Summit when two of our attendees sent us products they developed with honey for our fall board meeting. Since we never start with dessert (ok, maybe some times we do!), we first tasted some amazing artisan breads from Saint Agnes Baking Company, including a WWII loaf that was a delicious combination of a Russian and German Rye that uses honey to provide a sweet taste.
We also sampled a Wild Rice Round and a Hungarian Raisin Rye which uses a combination of honey, molasses, cocoa and raisins.
Next up, we hit the sweets and tasted three of Muddy Paws Cheesecakes, all made with honey. First up was a honey vanilla cheesecake, which has been a standard on the bakery’s menu for some time. Next, we devoured a couple slices of new products, including a lemon honey cheesecake on a pistachio graham crust and a honey blueberry lavender on a shortbread crust. All three were delicious, and took advantage of honey’s ability to complement a variety of flavors.
Thank you once again to Danny Klecko of  Saint Agnes Baking Company and Tami Cabrera of Muddy Paws Cheesecake for the outstanding made with honey products.


Monday, October 21, 2013

List of Irish Cheese

Saturday night I took Sue McGleno to the Moose Country Pub to visit with a former colleague who had recently got married.

The guy was a dough mixer, and I worked side by side with the kid for 7 years.

I have never been one to get excited to go to weddings or funerals, but this event was more of a post wedding party (the couple tied the knot several weeks ago during an elopement in Seattle) where people didn't really get all that dolled up.

At the party, some random guy just steps up to a special corner table I had reserved for my wife and I to secure some privacy...and the random guy asks.....

"What did one fly say to the other fly?"

To which Sue McGleno and I exchanged looks of befuddlement......

"Is that stool taken?" the guy says answering his own question while proceeding to sit down and become the 5th wheel.

Usually I have no problem being "that guy", and the thought did occur to me that I might shoo this guy away....

But there just wasn't much available seating, and the guys generosity in sharing his personal views on blood thinners and WW2 campaigns was really quite endearing.

After awhile the random guy took off to smoke, and truth be told I thought we had lost him to the festivities, but fortunate was I to have him return with the following message that God seemed to have lain upon his heart.......

"Did you know they make more different kinds of cheese in Ireland than they do in Wisconsin?"

Random man never backed this claim up with any rational statistics, but the thought in of itself was enough to make me glad that I had attended this extravaganza.

I don't know how the following stacks up against Wisconsin (or any other part of the world for that matter), but I did find this cheese grid, and I must say....I found it quite impressive.

Cheese NameTypeMilkRennetNotesProducer
Abbey Blue BrieCowPasteurizedVegetarianBlueAbbey Cheese Company
Abbey Smoked BrieCowPasteurizedVegetarianSmoked BrieAbbey Cheese Company
Ardagh Castle GjetostGoatRawVegetarianArdagh Castle cheese
Ardagh Castle Goats CheeseGoat (from whey)RawVegetarianWensleyday styleArdagh Castle cheese
Ardagh Castle RicottaGoat (from whey)RawVegetarianRicottaArdagh Castle cheese
ArdrahanCowPasteurizedVegetarianArdrahan Cheese
Ardsallagh Hard Goat’s CheeseGoatPasteurizedVegetarianArdsallagh Goats Products
Ardsallagh Smoked CheeseGoatPasteurizedVegetarianArdsallagh Goats Products
Ardsallagh Soft Goat’s CheeseGoatPasteurizedVegetarianArdsallagh Goats Products
Ballintubber Cheddar with ChivesCowPasteurizedVegetarianCahills Farm cheese
BallybrieCowPasteurizedVegetarianSoft Creamy BrieFivemiletown Creamery
BallyblueCowPasteurizedVegetarianSoft Blue BrieFivemiletown Creamery
BallyoakCowPasteurizedVegetarianSoft Smoked BrieFivemiletown Creamery
Ballyhooly BlueCowRawTraditionalFermoy Natural Cheese
Ballyporeen with Mixed Irish HerbsCowPasteurizedVegetarianCahills Farm cheese
Bay Lough CheddarCowRawVegetarianBay Lough cheese
Bay Lough Cheddar SmokedCowRawVegetarianBay Lough cheese
Bay Lough Cheddar Smoked with Garlic & HerbsCowRawVegetarianBay Lough cheese
Bay Lough Cheddar With Garlic & HerbsCowRawVegetarianBay Lough cheese
Beal Handmade CheddarCowRawTraditionalBéal Organic Cheese
Beal Raw Milk CheddarCowRawTraditionalBéal Organic Cheese
Beara BlueCowRawTraditionalBlue Stilton styleKnockatee Cheese
Bellingham BlueCowRawVegetarianGlyde Farm Produce
Bluebell Falls CygnusGoatHeat TreatedVegetarianBluebell Falls Cheese
Bluebell Falls Cygnus with HoneyGoatHeat TreatedVegetarianBluebell Falls Cheese
Bluebell Falls Cygnus with PepperGoatHeat TreatedVegetarianBluebell Falls Cheese
Bluebell Falls OrionGoatHeat TreatedVegetarianBluebell Falls Cheese
Bluebell Falls PegasusGoatHeat TreatedVegetarianBluebell Falls Cheese
Boilie Cheese PearlsCowPasteurizedVegetarianSoft Creamy cheese pearls marinated in peppercorns infused in a garlic oilFivemiletown Creamery
Boilie Goats Cheese PearlsGoatPasteurizedVegetarianSoft Creamy cheese pearls marinated in peppercorns infused in a garlic oilFivemiletown Creamery
Boyne Valley BlueCowRawVegetarianGlyde Farm Produce
Burren GoldCowRawBurren Gold
Cahill’s Ardagh Wine CheeseCowPasteurizedVegetarianCahills Farm cheese
Cahill’s Original Irish Porter CheeseCowPasteurizedVegetarianCahills Farm cheese
Cahill’s Whiskey CheeseCowPasteurizedVegetarianCahills Farm cheese
Cais DubhCowRawTraditionalFermoy Natural Cheese
Cais RuaCowRawTraditionalFermoy Natural Cheese
Carlow CheeseCowRawTraditionalEdam styleCarlow Cheese
Carlow Cheese FlavouredCowRawTraditionalFlavored Edam styleCarlow Cheese
CarrigalineCowPasteurizedVegetarianCarrigaline Farmhouse Cheese
Carrigaline Beech SmokedCowPasteurizedVegetarianCarrigaline Farmhouse Cheese
Carrigaline Garlic & HerbCowPasteurizedVegetarianCarrigaline Farmhouse Cheese
CarrowhollyCowRawVegetarianGouda styleCarrowholly cheese
Carrowholly Cheese FlavouredCowRawVegetarianGouda styleCarrowholly cheese
Cashel BlueCowPasteurizedVegetarianBlueJ&L Grubb
ChulchoillGoatPasteurizedVegetarianCooleeney Farmhouse Cheese
Cleire Goats CheeseGoatRawN/ACheese curdCleire Goats Cheese
Clonmore CheeseGoatHeat TreatedVegetarianGouda styleClonmore Cheese
Coleraine cheddarCow???TraditionalCheddar styleColeraine cheddar
Coolattin CheddarCowRawTraditionalCheddar styleCoolattin Cheddar
Coolea CheeseCowPasteurizedTraditionalGouda styleCoolea Cheese
Cooleeney Farmhouse CheeseCowRawVegetarianCamembert styleCooleeney Farmhouse Cheese
Natural Goats LogGoatPasteurizedVegetarianCreamy, lemony fresh tangFivemiletown Creamery
CorkottaCowRawTraditionalMade from WheyFermoy Natural Cheese
Corleggy Goat’s CheeseGoatRawVegetarianCorleggy Cheese
Cratloe HillsSheepPasteurizedVegetarianPecorino styleCratloe Hills
CreenySheepRawVegetarianPecorino styleCorleggy Cheese
CroghanGoatRawVegetarianCroghan Cheese
Crozier BlueSheepPasteurizedVegetarianBlueJ&L Grubb
DaruCowPasteurizedVegetarianCooleeney Farmhouse Cheese
DesmondCowRawVegetarianThermophilic (Swiss style)West Cork Natural Cheese
DilliskusCowRawVegetarianDingle Peninsula Cheese
DoolinCowDoolin Cheese
Dromana FlavouredCowPasteurizedVegetarianKnockalara Farmhouse Cheese
DrumlinCowRawVegetarianCorleggy Cheese
DublinerCowHeat TreatedVegetarianCheddar styleDubliner Cheese
DuhallowCowPasteurizedVegetarianArdrahan Cheese
DunbarraCowPasteurizedVegetarianCamembert styleCooleeney Farmhouse Cheese
Durrus CheeseCowRawTraditionalDurrus Cheese
EmeraldCowRawTraditionalFermoy Natural Cheese
Emerald Irish BrieCowPasteurizedVegetarianBrieCarrigbyrne cheese
Fivemiletown Cheddar RangeCowPasteurizedVegetarianMild, Medium, Mature, Extra Mature, Ligher Mature, Mild and Medium SlicedFivemiletown Creamery
GabrielCowRawVegetarianThermophilic (Swiss style)West Cork Natural Cheese
Gleann OirGoatPasteurizedVegetarianBrieCooleeney Farmhouse Cheese
Glebe BrethanCowRawTraditionalComté styleGlebe Brethan
GortnamonaGoatPasteurizedVegetarianCamembert styleCooleeney Farmhouse Cheese
GubbeenCowPasteurizedTraditionalGubbeen Farmhouse Cheese
Hegarty’s CheddarCowPasteurizedVegetarianCheddar styleHegarty’s Cheddar
HiberniaCowRawTraditionalFermoy Natural Cheese
Imokilly RegatoCowPasteurizedTraditionalProtected Designation of Origin (PDO)Dairygold
Kerry BlueCowRawTraditionalBlue Stilton styleKnockatee Cheese
KilcumminCowRawVegetarianDingle Peninsula Cheese
Killeen Cow’s CheeseCowPasteurizedTraditionalGouda styleKilleen Farmhouse Cheese
Killeen Goat’s CheeseGoatPasteurizedTraditionalGouda styleKilleen Farmhouse Cheese
Knockalara Semi-Hard Sheeps CheeseSheepPasteurizedVegetarianKnockalara Farmhouse Cheese
Knockalara Sheep’s CheeseSheepPasteurizedVegetarianKnockalara Farmhouse Cheese
Knockanore FlavouredCowRawVegetarianKnockanore Farmhouse Cheese
Knockanore PlainCowRawVegetarianCheddar styleKnockanore Farmhouse Cheese
Knockanore SmokedCowRawVegetarianSmoked ApplewoodKnockanore Farmhouse Cheese
Knockatee CheddarCowRawTraditionalCheddar styleKnockatee Cheese
Knockatee GoudaCowRawTraditionalGouda styleKnockatee Cheese
Knockdrinna Fresh Goats LogGoatPasteurizedTraditionalKnockdrinna Farmhouse Cheese
Knockdrinna Goat’s Brined CheeseGoatPasteurizedTraditionalFeta styleKnockdrinna Farmhouse Cheese
Knockdrinna GoldGoatPasteurizedTraditionalTomme styleKnockdrinna Farmhouse Cheese
Knockdrinna Meadow Sheep’s CheeseSheepPasteurizedTraditionalTomme styleKnockdrinna Farmhouse Cheese
Knockdrinna SnowGoatPasteurizedTraditionalCamembert styleKnockdrinna Farmhouse Cheese
LavistownCowPasteurizedTraditionalKnockdrinna Farmhouse Cheese
MaigheanCowRawVegetarianCamembert styleCooleeney Farmhouse Cheese
MilleensCowPasteurizedTraditionalMunster styleMilleens
Millhouse Sheep’s CheeseSheepRawVegetarianMillhouse Sheep’s Cheese
Mine-gabharGoatRawVegetarianCroghan Cheese
Moonshine Organic CheeseCowPasteurizedVegetarianOrganicMoonshine Farm Cheese
MossfieldCowPasteurizedVegetarianOrganic, Gouda styleMossfield Organic Farm
Mossfield FlavouredCowPasteurizedVegetarianOrganic, Gouda styleMossfield Organic Farm
Mossfield MatureCowPasteurizedVegetarianOrganic, Gouda styleMossfield Organic Farm
Mount Callan CheddarCowRawTraditionalCheddar styleMount Callan Cheddar
OakwoodCowPasteurizedVegetarianNaturally Smoked Mature Cheddar, Also comes in grated bagsFivemiletown Creamery
Old Irish Creamery Cheddar with BlueberriesCowPasteurizedVegetarianJOD Foods
Old Irish Creamery Cheddar with ChilliCowPasteurizedVegetarianJOD Foods
Old Irish Creamery Cheddar with ChivesCowPasteurizedVegetarianJOD Foods
Old Irish Creamery Cheddar with CranberriesCowPasteurizedVegetarianJOD Foods
Old Irish Creamery Cheddar with Herb & GarlicCowPasteurizedVegetarianJOD Foods
Old Irish Creamery Cheddar with Irish PorterCowPasteurizedVegetarianJOD Foods
Old Irish Creamery Cheddar with Red WineCowPasteurizedVegetarianJOD Foods
Old Irish Creamery Cheddar with WalnutsCowPasteurizedVegetarianJOD Foods
Old Irish Creamery Cheddar with WhiskeyCowPasteurizedVegetarianJOD Foods
Old Irish Creamery Extra Mature White CheddarCowPasteurizedVegetarianJOD Foods
Old Irish Creamery Smoked CheddarCowPasteurizedVegetarianJOD Foods
Old MacDonnells Fresh Cow’s CheeseCowPasteurizedVegetarianOld MacDonnells Farm Cheese
Old MacDonnells Fresh Goat’s CheeseGoatPasteurizedVegetarianOld MacDonnells Farm Cheese
Orchard Cottage Fresh Goat’s CheeseGoatRawVegetarianOrchard Cottage Dairy
Orchard Cottage Goat’s Cheese in OilGoatRawVegetarianOrchard Cottage Dairy
Orla CheeseSheepRawVegetarianOrla Cheese
Paddy Jack CheeseCowPasteurizedVegetarianGouda styleAbbey Cheese Company
ShandrumCowHeat TreatedVegetarianGouda styleClonmore Cheese
Smoked ArdrahanCowPasteurizedVegetarianArdrahan Cheese
Smoked GubbeenCowPasteurizedTraditionalGubbeen Farmhouse Cheese
St BrendanCowPasteurizedVegetarianBrieCarrigbyrne cheese
St Brendan Brie MiniCowPasteurizedVegetarianBrieCarrigbyrne cheese
St BrigidCowRawTraditionalFermoy Natural Cheese
St Brigid BeagCowRawTraditionalFermoy Natural Cheese
St GallCowRawTraditionalFermoy Natural Cheese
St Kevin BrieCowPasteurizedVegetarianWicklow Farmhouse Cheese
St KillianCowPasteurizedVegetarianCarrigbyrne cheese
St Tola DivineGoatPasteurizedTraditionalOrganicSt Tola
St Tola Hard Goat’sGoatRawTraditionalOrganicSt Tola
St Tola LogGoatRawTraditionalOrganicSt Tola
Tara BanGoatPasteurizedVegetarianGoat's Cheddar styleGleann Gabhra
Tipperary BrieCowPasteurizedVegetarianBrieCooleeney Farmhouse Cheese
Triskel Dew DropGoatRawTraditionalTriskel Cheese
Triskel GwennedCowRawTraditionalTriskel Cheese
Triskel PyramidGoatRawTraditionalTriskel Cheese
Waterford Greek CheeseCowPasteurizedVegetarianKnockalara Farmhouse Cheese
Wicklow BaunCowPasteurizedVegetarianWicklow Farmhouse Cheese
Wicklow BlueCowPasteurizedVegetarianWicklow Farmhouse Cheese
Wicklow GoldCowPasteurizedVegetarianWicklow Farmhouse Cheese
Wilma’s Killorglin CheeseCowPasteurizedTraditionalGouda styleKillorglin Cheese
Wilma’s Killorglin Flavored CheeseCowPasteurizedTraditionalGouda styleKillorglin Cheese

Monday, October 7, 2013

Dining with Ghosts


Here is a piece that I recently did for a trade publication called Food Service News. It was one of the more interesting experiences I have had the opportunity encounter.

When you are finished reading this, and feel so inclined......Klecko would be interested in knowing what you think.

Is there such a thing as ghost?

Have you experienced paranormal activity?

Alright, lets get to it in 3-2-1..................................


Today’s story starts off with yours truly eating Mac & Cheese at the Highland Grill while eavesdropping on other peoples conversations.

In the booth next to me were two women sharing lunch off the same plate, swapping opinions about haunted spaces in the Twin Cities.

I didn’t want to be one of those guys that jumps into other peoples conversation without an invitation, but I couldn’t resist.

“Excuse me ladies, do you believe that Forepaughs restaurant is haunted?”

The woman vulturing the remaining French fries didn’t have a clue what I was talking about, but her companion perked up and filled us in with the back story.

“I think it was the 1800’s when Joseph Forepaugh was in power. This was the time when he and the Ramsey’s and Faribault’s were dividing state boundaries. Forepaugh had a mansion where the restaurant is now, and the story is that he had amorous feelings towards a servant named Molly.

Forepaugh’s wife Mary found out and tried to separate the two, but the young servant was already pregnant. Eventually when Joseph called the whole thing off, Molly was so despondent that she tied a rope around her neck and jumped out a third story window.

When Joseph was sent word, he went to his favorite meditation spot and placed a pistol to his head, forfeiting his life.”

I asked the woman if she believed the legend, and she said she did, and in fact she had witnessed some strange occurrences there herself.

When it comes to ghost stuff, I think I’d be classified as skeptical, but as I drove across town I remembered a woman named Annie Wilder.

Several years ago our paths crossed frequently while both of us were schlepping books. I was pimping dog biscuit recipes, while she was telling the world how to communicate with ghosts.

It’s well documented that there’s a lot of quacks out there trying to promote themselves through the paranormal, but Annie Wilder’s simply not one of them.

This woman’s reputation is pristine.

For thirteen years Annie was the copy writer for Llewellyn Press which is the oldest and largest publisher of metaphysical books in the world.

So basically, if you were trying to launch a project focused on Spirits, Bigfoot or UFO’s, Annie would be the first person in the pipeline to determine if your concept had merit.

Truth be told, it wasn’t even her credentials that made her credible in my eyes. It had more to do with her personality. Every time I was in her presence, I felt unusually calm, and that never happens.

I’ll just come out and say it….

I trust Annie Wilder.

So now I’m weaving through traffic while calling this publications editor on the phone.

“Hey Weingartner, if I can get one of America’s top ghost whisper’s to go ghost hunting at Forepaughs, would you come with me as a witness. I’ll do a piece on it for your October edition.”

First there was silence, then there was a giggle, Nancy was in, and before you knew it, my editor and I were sitting at our destinations entryway bar, waiting for our paranormal ambassador to arrive.

When Annie walked in, the three of us reported to our host who marched us upstairs to the second floor. We were placed at a table set to accommodate four. After doing some quick math, our host started to remove one of the plates, and that’s when Annie went to work.

“Excuse me; we’ll need this setting tonight.”

The host looked confused, and I informed her that’s where ghosts would be sitting.

The host smiled, I think she’d been to this rodeo before.

To contact ghosts, we learned it was a good idea to be a bit of a historian. Annie told us while Joseph Forepaugh was still in his mortal coil; there was a General Le Duc that lived in Hastings which is the same area that Wilder resides in a haunted house. On more than one occasion she has had contact with him.

So now Annie pulls out a picture of the General and places it on and empty chair and invited him to join us.

The first form of communication we experimented with was flashing. This is an exercise were the communicator places a pen flashlight on the table and the guests are allowed to ask questions. Amazingly enough, each ghost flashed their own signature beam.

Whenever General Le Duc responded the beam was strong and rapid, but when we asked Molly questions, the beam ran slow and faint.

At one point when Annie went to powder her nose, Nancy and I acted like school kids and hastily examined the flashlight.

But when I turned it on, no light projected. I shook it like a Yahtzee cup and still, nothing, I handed it to Nancy who had the same results before replacing it on the table.

When Annie returned, I asked her to contact the General, and when she did, a light shot out that blinded me. Nancy and I looked at each other engulfed in heebie-jeebies.

Next Annie offered to show us how technology has advanced in ghost communication.

“I’m not sure what I think of this.” She said as she produced her I-Phone “A lot of people are using spirit apps, let’s give it a try.”

The screen had one of those radar grids that were sectioned in quadrants. A blue dot popped up in the section Wilder and Weingartner were sitting in. Blue dots denote good spirits.

Time passed, and as I was eating some lemon candied shrimp, a red dot went off in my quadrant.

“Spirit manifest and make yourself known.” I demanded, but I could tell from the look on Annie’s face, I had overstepped my boundaries.

“Nothing to joke about Danny, the red dots are the bad guys. Trust me; you never want to invite them into your life.”

The evening concluded with the three of us standing next to the window Molly jumped from. I wish I could describe what came over us, but words would fall short. In fact, Nancy grew weak and had to go home. It took 24 hours before she regained her strength.

As I mentioned before, when it comes to ghosts, I might classify myself as a skeptic, but when you get a chance to talk to them with Annie Wilder, its hard not to be a believer.