Behind the Summer Specials

As I write this, a second sweltering 90+ degree day is in the forecast and all I can say is ... FINALLY!

Not that I like a lot of these super hot and humid days. (Days when your hair wilts and makeup runs within 3 seconds of going outside are not my favorite.) But we need at least a few of these days to really get the summer experience.

I originally planned to add some lighter, summer-friendly items to the menu back in June, but let's face it. Weeks of high-60s, low-70s didn't feel very summery.

So July it is.

Grill-Friendly Stuffed Peppers
Jumbo green peppers stuffed with seasoned ground beef, brown rice, tomatoes, onion and garlic, topped with sharp cheddar cheese.

You may be wondering if stuffed peppers technically qualify as a casserole. Well, I say any baked, one-dish meal is a casserole -- and this definition backs up my assertion.

You use the oven, though I HIGHLY recommend warming the peppers on the grill. It adds a delicious smoky flavor that'll make your eyes roll back in pure bliss. Grill these babies right in the aluminum delivery pan and cleanup is a snap.

Grill-Friendly Stuffed Peppers ... because burger fatigue is a real thing.

Auntie B's Chickpea Ratatouille
Fresh eggplant, bell peppers, tomatoes and zucchini are roasted with garlic and onions in extra virgin olive oil, then tossed with chickpeas and seasoned with salt, pepper and fresh basil. You can roast this dish in your oven or out on the grill. 

It's taken me a while to find a ratatouille recipe I like and that the kids will eat. Years ago, I had the idea to jazz up our Friday Movie Night with a screening of Disney's Ratatouille and a delicious ratatouille dinner. I don't know if it was me or the recipe, but nobody wanted to eat the bowl of gray mush I made -- not even me. 

A good friend, who happens to be a vegetarian and a great cook to boot, offered me her tried-and-true ratatouille recipe. One taste and I was hooked. And you will be too.  

Vegetarian, vegan and gluten free never tasted so good!

Champagne Salad
Tender greens and baby spinach are tossed with red seedless grapes, pecans and blue cheese crumbles and served with a deliciously sweet and tangy champagne vinaigrette. With or without chicken, this salad is great on the side or as a meal on its own.

Pop the bubbly! It's Champagne Salad

Buttermilk Star Biscuits
Made-from-scratch buttermilk biscuits are rolled and cut by hand, then baked to a beautiful golden brown. Simply warm for a few minutes on a cookie sheet for the perfect complement to any meal. Order a half or full dozen.

Ahhh, Cream City Casseroles' soon-to-be famous Buttermilk Star Biscuits. These are jumbo versions of the biscuits that top Hubby's Creamy Chicken and Biscuits. These biscuits are light, flaky and buttery. (Three of my favorite words. Ever.)

Why stars? Well, there's a story about that.

Starstruck

So, with the addition of several new items, I put a few of my heavier/heartier entrees on hiatus until cool weather returns. It was hard to decide which recipes to pull temporarily -- a bit like picking your favorite (or least favorite) child. Don't worry, if you don't see your Cream City Casseroles fav, it won't be gone for long.

View or order from the complete menu at www.creamcitycasseroles.com.

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On an unrelated note, I have GREAT news to share: Cream City Casseroles is one of 3 early-stage finalists in Wisconsin's Hottest Kitchen Entrepreneur Challenge!

The grand prize winner receives a cash prize, tuition for a 3-credit MATC course, a private meeting with food and beverage industry executives and one-year membership in FaB Wisconsin, a prize pack from Fein Brothers and more.

Um, wow.



The judging event is Thursday, July 23, from noon to 3 p.m. at MATC's Food Maker School and Center of Excellence in Walker's Point and I'd like to personally invite you to come check it out.

Bring your appetite (lots of yummy FREE food) and smartphone/tablet so you can vote for the People's Choice Award

The event is free and space is limited, so RSVP online before July 21. Please come and support Milwaukee's best and brightest food biz entrepreneurs. Find additional details here.

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