Nov 072011
 

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Earlier this fall, I invited some friends to the apartment for a Badger Game Day get together.  The Badgers may have blasted Nebraska on game day, but it is possible that two other attractions were the stars of the Game Day show at THS Headquarters.

1. Benson.  Everyone loves snuggling with the little kitten.  Just ask Emily and Alicia.  

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2. The food. [Shocking, I know.]
Somehow, both Nicholas and myself failed to get a photo of the entire spread, but our cameras are filled with the photos we took testing the kitchen lighting moments before I finished putting the dishes on the table.  Oops. Here’s a photo of some of the delicious food we served at the party.

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The menu consisted of many blogstar recipes, all of which come highly recommended.

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I spent the majority of the morning preparing for the party, cleaning and cooking up a storm and was very thankful to have Nicholas over to help.  He even managed to make a specialized gluten free treat for our Gluten Free friend, April.

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 Explosion of Flavor
Gluten Free Cocoa Crispy Treats
Makes approx 12 2-inch squares

 Ingredients:

  • 1 box gluten free Cocoa Crispy Brown Rice cereal (we used Erewhon – one of my favorite GF brands!)
  • 1 stick margarine
  • 5 oz plain flavored marshmallows
  • 5 oz fancy caramel & vanilla flavored marshmallows, (we used Kraft Jet-Puffed SwirlMallows Carmel & Vanilla – a guilty pleasure treat I’ve been crazy about all year!)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract

 

Instructions:

  • Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch dish.
  • Melt margarine in a large sauce pan on the stove top, over medium high heat.
  • When margarine is melted, turn heat to low and add plain mallows.  Stir until melted.
  • Repeat with the caramel vanilla mallows.
  • Remove pan from heat and stir in extracts.
  • Gently stir in rice cereal, coating with marshmallow mixture.
  • Pour mixture into prepared dish.  Use a buttered spatula or fingers to press rice cereal down into pan as evenly as possible. 
  • Allow to cool and cut into 12 pieces.

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Sep 042011
 


Okay, my friends. I’m going to give it to you straight.  I have had a special, unique, affection for every guest post I’ve presented to you on THS.  The men and women who have written for you have all been beyond a dream to work with, and I have been excited to show you each and every post.

And then there was Jessica. 

Jessica pitched me “The Best of Madison” and a little tear of pride formed in my eye.  I can’t really put into words how awesome this post is, so I will just hand over the proverbial microphone to my fellow Wisconsin Girl.  [and if anyone wants to plan a group trip to Madison for 2012 after reading this post, I would not only completely understand, but probably be willing to coordinate one. ahem.] xo- Heather

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Hi everyone! I’m Jessica and I blog over at Healthy Dairyland where I ramble about my hectic days, my love of Greek yogurt, the races I run, and how much I enjoy drinking microbrews. It’s a party. Join me.

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I’ve been reading Then Heather Said for well over a year, and I always felt as though we are two kindred spirits. Our weekend at HLS confirmed this. You see, Heather and I share a common interest, or a bond I suppose, over a city we both called home, but now only reminisce about. Heather and I are both smitten with Madison, WI. Fortunately, I still live less than an hour away so I visit often, take pictures, and allow others to live vicariously through my Madison shenanigans.

Pic at the art museum 

On Wisconsin!

I have compiled a short list of where you need to go and what you need to eat when you visit Madison. Obviously you need to go everywhere and experience everything that lovely isthmus has to offer, but for the sake of time, here are some favorites:

The Henry Vilas Zoo:

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#1 Reason to go – It’s free!!

Penguins

These penguins are reason #2 that you should go. Penguins are the cutest animals ever. If you happen to be in Madison in September (and you also happen to be a runner) check out the Zoo Run Run. It’s a 5k/10k race at the zoo to help keep the Henry Vilas Zoo free for everyone.

The Dane County Farmer’s Market:

Every Saturday, from April-October, the Dane County Farmer’s market sets up shop on the Capital Square. In the off-season it is moved indoors and while the same great vendors are there, the ambience just isn’t quite the same. Trust me when I tell you that if you only have time to do one thing in Madison, this is where you need to go!

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This farmer’s market is the largest producer only market in the U.S. That means that all the vendors are selling products that they personally grow, raise, bake, cook, make, etc. I love buying produce at this farmer’s market because I can ask the grower questions about the food. Oh and there are fresh cheese curds. Get on that. I recommend bringing your own bags (this is Madison, WI – so get green folks!), wear comfortable shoes, and grab a piping hot chai latte. When in Rome…

hot and spicy cheese bread

My favorite food to get is hot and spicy cheese bread from Stella’s. My Saturday mornings feel incomplete without it!

[an important note from Heather: you can mail order Stella’s famous hot & spicy cheese bread online. Including shipping you’re looking at $18 for one loaf, or $30 for two. Dear Santa…]

 

The Capitol:
Wisconsin has the prettiest statehouse. Don’t even try to debate me or Heather on this. You will lose.

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Go during business hours or on a Saturday morning and you can get a free tour of the Capitol. If you don’t have time for a tour, go to the info desk and ask for directions to the roof. Yes, the roof. You will get beautiful views of the city.

view from capitol

Badger Football Game:
There are football games and there are Wisconsin Badger football games. If you love football, especially college football, then Camp Randall is probably heaven on earth for you (and most red-blooded Wisconsinites).

Badger Game in the sun

The games are fun on hot sunny days.

badger Football in the cold 

The games are fun when you can no longer feel your toes.

Camp Randall


Ian’s Pizza
:
Have you ever ate something delicious like macaroni and cheese or chicken burrito, and wondered what it would be like on pizza? I used to, but then I moved to Madison and went to Ian’s Pizza. Now I know what those are like on pizza. Delicious.

Buffalo Chicken Pizza From Ian's

You could go there and order pepperoni pizza, but why would you do that when you can have mac n’ cheese or lasagna? What I like most about Ian’s is that it’s great at bar time, but equally great with your family at lunch time. They have locations on State Street near the Capitol and one on Francis Street near campus.

Ian's Pizza by the Slice on Urbanspoon

Babcock’s Ice Cream:
Now this wouldn’t be a guide to a city in Wisconsin if I didn’t suggest a dairy product. The University of Wisconsin has a dairy on campus and produce cheese and ice cream. Creamy wonderful Wisconsin cheese and ice cream made right on campus. When I lived in Madison I could hear the cows moooo from my apartment. Yeah the cows are on campus! Fresh milk, anyone?

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There are several place in Madison you can experience the goodness that is fresh Wisconsin ice cream – Babcock’s Dairy Store on Linden, Memorial Union, Badger sporting events. Flavors I recommend – Union Utopia, Berry Alvarez, and Badger Blast. If you are going to go to Madison and eat ice cream made on UW’s campus you might as well go big and pick a UW-themed flavor.

 Babcock Hall Dairy Store on Urbanspoon

The Terrace:
This is la pièce de résistance. Let me preface this by saying that I never attended the University of Wisconsin. I don’t care where you went to college because The Terrace at UW’s Memorial Union is gorgeous. It’s a must see.

View from the Terrace

There’s live music, movie nights, food, ice cream (from Babcock’s), and beer. Grab a pitcher of Spotted Cow and catch the sunset with friends.

Beer at the Terrace

Then say to yourself,” why don’t I just move to Madison? This town is just so darn charming.”

If you ever visit Madison, let me know. We can grab a beer and talk about how cute Aaron Rodgers is.