Friday, January 31, 2014

Super Bowl Food: It's the best part of the game

We are not so very serious about football at our house. But, we're very serious about Super Bowl Food. And we love a good party. So, we have some pretty good recommendations for your party this weekend -- if you are so inclined.

And if, like us, you're not so into football -- but you do love a great party -- bookmark a few of these for later. We can guarantee you'll thank us later.

First, there is the Super Bowl Meatball. There are many variations on this theme -- but ultimately, they all have two things in common. They have to hold well, and they must taste good on the end of a toothpick. Mission accomplished.

OK, maybe we were wrong about that last bit. Sometimes meatballs don't need to be served on toothpicks. In fact, sometimes they're best on a sandwich.  Like these easy meatballs made with Italian chicken sausage, which make the perfect sandwich. Bet they'd make perfect little sliders too!

In the dips and spreads category, we have two suggestions for you. Opt for the classic with this ooey-gooey spicy delicious Buffalo Chicken Dip.

OR, put a little more skin in the game with this Beer Cheese Spread (trust us, we're from Wisconsin, so we know a little about both of these)

Prefer some serious bowl food?  Then we'd recommend our delicious Buffalo Chicken Chili. It's a lot easier to make than wings, but it's just as satisfying.

We'd love to hear about YOUR favorite game day food. Tell us what you're making in the comments. Links to recipes would be awesome too!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Building Community: A Soup Night Book #Giveaway

I think it was the summer of 2011 when Maggie Stuckey first contacted us to talk about our annual Soup Night tradition. She'd just hatched the idea to develop the proposal for a book, after thinking she'd try to do a magazine piece on the subject of building community through soup events.

We referred her to blog posts we've written about the experience of hosting Soup Night, including:

The Power of Soup - February, 2010
Soup Night: Why Size Doesn't Really Matter - March, 2010
Seventy Five Degrees and a Chance of Soup - April, 2010
Soup. Soup. Soup. - January, 2011
Blue Flower Soup and Lessons on Friendship - March, 2011

Fast forward to November of 2011, when we received another email, indicating that she'd been successful.

" I am THRILLED to report that I have just signed a contract with Storey Publishing of Massachusetts to publish the book." she wrote. "My plan for the book is to feature Soup Night events all across the country that, like yours, were created as a way to bring people together. With stories about the events and the people, and recipes from all. If you're willing, I'd very much like to talk with you both, to collect more details and impressions."

Excited that she was interested in featuring us, we referred her to a selection of Soup Night attendees, including local food blogger Rebecca Gagnon of Cakewalk, Nate and Nicole of On My Table Blog, and friends Jen and Bryan Peters.

After a series of phone conversations and emails in which we provided her with more of the finer details of our Soup Night project, we didn't hear from Maggie again until January of 2013, when she gave us an update on the book and asked us for our impressions of the imagery that could be paired with our story. 

The suggestion of an illustration of soup mugs stacked to the point of toppling was one that really resonated with us. After all, it's one of the common sights after an evening of soup with friends - both before the evening begins -- and afterwards -- when the sight of used mugs stacked in the kitchen stands as a reminder of a shared food experience between friends, both old and new.
We're pleased to report that the final product, a book entitled "Soup Night: Recipes for creating community around a pot of soup" was published this past fall. And it's really gorgeous.

The book features, not only our adventures in opening our home to friends, family and community connections, but also the stories of a slew of others who've done the same. Packed with recipes for heart-warming soups (including our recipes for Blue Flower Soup and Tuna Chowder), the book is a delicious testament to the power of food to bring people together in ways that nearly nothing else can.

And because we feel strongly that that's a message we want to share, we've worked out an arrangement with Storey Publishing to give away two "Soup Night" books to lucky readers.

For your chance to win your very own copy of the book, please read the instructions below. Be sure to leave a comment for each entry (and leave your email address if you don't have it listed on your blog/contact info). Please note that this contest is limited to readers in the United States & Canada. Contest ends 2/1/14 at NOON (CST).

Mandatory entry (must be completed or no other entries will count):
  • Tell us what YOUR favorite winter soup is -- and why.
Extra entries – please leave a comment for each additional entry, letting us know you completed it
  • Give us a "like" on Facebook!
  • Follow @Burp_blog on Twitter
  • Use the following text to tweet about this giveaway (please leave a link to your tweet in the comments for credit): Win a copy of "Soup Night" @Burp_blog: Ends 2/1/14 #giveaway
The winner will be chosen randomly and announced on Facebook on or before February 3, 2014. The two (2) winners will be emailed separately to arrange for mailing of the books.

Full Disclosure: This giveaway is sponsored by Storey Publishing, who provided us with the books for our giveaway. However, all opinions expressed in this post are our own.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Quick & Easy Treats: Cinnamon Butter Rum Glazed Apples

We all have our favorite smells in the kitchen. For instance, I love the odor of onions and garlic being sauteed in butter. And there's nothing quite as hunger-inducing as the smell of smoky bacon frying up in a pan on a weekend morning.

Likewise, there isn't anything quite like the smell of melted butter and cinnamon swirling in a skillet. It's the sort of smell that takes you back to grandma's kitchen... where the promise of fresh sweet rolls looms.

One of my favorite things to do with butter and cinnamon is to add a bit of rum and sugar to the mix.

The sauce is perfect for serving over bread pudding. And it's nearly unforgettable when served atop ice cream. But, it also works as the perfect glaze for apples.

A bit like apple pie without the crust, cinnamon butter rum glazed apples are delicious on their own or with a dollop of whipped cream. They’re even better when served warm with ice cream and spiced nuts. 

Best of all, they take just minutes to prepare, so they're an easy option for a quick weeknight dessert, a topping for pancakes on the weekend, or a nice little sweet something for casual company.

There are more great recipes where this one came from! We created this dish as part of our work with the Go Bold with Butter blog, where you'll find an amazing collection of delicious recipes using real butter.


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Best of the Burp! Blog: 2013 Edition

Every year I have a little bit of a ritual. I spend an evening glancing through the blog, rereading posts, and pondering what went well (and not so well) throughout the year. I also think about recipes I want to make… and things I want to share with you in the new year.

While I glanced things over this year, I decided it might be fun to pull together a list of our most popular posts during 2013.

It was fun to compile… and I won’t lie, I got a little hungry along the way.

Top 10 Posts of 2013

These are in order of popularity, # 1 being the most popular post.
  1. Baked Chicken Taquitos
  2. Bacon Beer Brittle
  3. Crockpot Korean Beef
  4. Fluffy Key Lime Pie in a Jar
  5. Gooey Lemon Butter Cake
  6. Chocolate Coffee Torte in Jars
  7. Salami Stuffed Chicken Breasts
  8. Turkey Meatballs with Blackberry BBQ Sauce
  9. Pizotl Salami Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers
  10. Spirited Spiced Pumpkin Oatmeal

Share in the Comments

As always, we're always listening and open to your feedback.  What was YOUR favorite post? What would you like to see more of in 2014?