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Happy 40th Anniversary, Dick and Carol!

Happy 4th of July weekend!  

This is a big weekend in Skare family history - 40 years ago Dick and Carol opened the Cookery's doors for the first time.  They bought the restaurant while on their honeymoon in May.  Aspiring restauranteurs from Minneapolis, they met while working side by side at a supper club just outside the city.  One shopkeeper, Hazel Elliott, took them around to a few places, and they fell in love with the Cedar Ridge Grill, a 12 seat cafe with a few counter seats and cottages in the back.  

The original Cookery in winter of 1978.

The original Cookery in winter of 1978.

Dick and Carol came to Fish Creek one week before they opened the restaurant, with Carol driving one car full of boxes and Dick driving another with a trailer full of furniture hitched behind.  They quickly got to work in the restaurant, shopping at a local Cub Foods to prepare food for the weekend.  Dick manned the kitchen with his brother, John, while Carol took orders and managed the front.  Carol remembers that they bought so much lettuce she had to make lettuce soup as a special after a few days, relying on her experience of learning to cook on her mother's apron strings to create the first of many delicious recipes. 

Dick and Carol outside the Cookery.

Dick and Carol outside the Cookery.

After a busy opening weekend, the rest was history.  Dick and Carol spent the next 30 years working hard, eventually expanding to become an 85 seat restaurant that included lodging and a full line of jams and sauces.  In May 2008, The Cookery began another chapter when a devastating fire caused the restaurant to close its doors for the season.  The restaurant re-opened in June 2009.

Dick and Carol on opening day of the new building, June 2009.

Dick and Carol on opening day of the new building, June 2009.

This weekend the Skares will celebrate The Cookery's 40th anniversary the same way they celebrated the opening of the restaurant - by working hard (this time alongside their daughters!) to bring delicious, homemade food featuring local products to the table in a family friendly atmosphere.  If you're in town, stop by and say congrats! 

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Creating New Menu Items

Spring is menu planning season at The Cookery.  We spend the majority of our winter cooking, whether it's a casual weeknight dinner or a holiday feast.  When we reopen in May, we start testing out some of our recipe finds from the winter.  Not every recipe translates from a home kitchen to a restaurant kitchen, so when we find one that does, we get pretty excited!  We spend a few weeks testing and perfecting, and then finish with a final sit down taste test at the end to make our final choices.  

Our final family taste testing.  Dick and Arlo give our choices two thumbs up! 

Our final family taste testing.  Dick and Arlo give our choices two thumbs up! 

This year, we're featuring two new salads- the first is a farro salad with roasted beets and carrots, tossed in our house mustard dill vinaigrette dressing and topped with shaved parm. The second is a fresh herb and peanut salad with mint, cilantro, cabbage, red pepper, greens, crushed peanuts and pickled carrots.

Fresh herb and peanut salad. 

Fresh herb and peanut salad. 

On our dinner menu, we've updated our salmon - topped it with a roasted beet, citrus and kalamata salad and finished with mint cream.  Our ribeye is served with balsamic braised carrots and shallots and mashed potatoes, almost like a deconstructed beef stew.  And we've added a grain bowl - sautéed vegetables with a brown, black and red rice blend, topped with peanut dressing and pickled carrots and onions. 

Salmon with beet salsa and mint cream.

Salmon with beet salsa and mint cream.

We're excited to share our new recipes with you!  Stop in and tell us what you think.

 

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Cookery Recipe: Smoked Whitefish Spread

Our Smoked Whitefish Spread is a long-time favorite on our appetizer and late-night menus. It’s deliciously smokey and makes for a perfect dish to pass - whether you’re headed to a tailgate, game day party or potluck. We use locally smoked whitefish from Charlie's Smokehouse in Gills Rock. If you can't find smoked whitefish in your area, you can also purchase it on their website. This recipe is sure to elevate any appetizer spread and fill your Cookery void while we’re closed for the winter. Bon appétit! 

Smoked Whitefish Spread

1 1/2 pounds smoked whitefish, deboned
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup minced green pepper
1/3 cup minced red pepper
1/4 cup diced green onion
1 teaspoon wasabi powder
1 teaspoon tabasco sauce
chopped parsley or chives

Take off skin of the whitefish and debone. Place cream cheese in mixer and whip until light and fluffy. Add lemon juice to whipped cream cheese and mix until combined. Mix peppers, green onions, wasabi powder and tabasco in bowl. Add fish and spice mixture to whipped cream cheese and lemon mixture. Mix on low until combined.

Place in serving bowl and garnish with parsley or chives. Serve with crackers or toasted french bread.

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10 SEASONAL FAVORITES AT THE COOKERY TO ENJOY BEFORE WINTER

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10 SEASONAL FAVORITES AT THE COOKERY TO ENJOY BEFORE WINTER

We are well into the post-Labor-Day-weekend phase of summer, which means the sunny season is almost over. However, as we inch closer to the fall equinox, The Cookery’s kitchen is packed with the best flavors of the year, and our menu showcases the tastiest stock of late-summer and early-fall ingredients. 

Each dish on our menu is, of course, always prepared with the freshest foods, but we encourage our guests to take advantage of seasonal specials and peak-season selections. We made it easy for you to try all of the best Cookery creations before we close October 30 for the season. Here are our picks for the top 10 must-have dishes to enjoy before off-season kicks in! In no particular order: 

1. CARAMEL APPLE PIE

Apples are in season, caramel never goes out of style and pie is always a must. You’ll want to indulge in this classic combo made by our genius pastry team!

Apples are in season, caramel never goes out of style and pie is always a must. You’ll want to indulge in this classic combo made by our genius pastry team!

2. APPLE PANCAKES

If it’s too early in the day for pie, enjoy these in-season beauties by ordering a stack of hot-off-the-griddle pancakes served with our famous applesauce.

If it’s too early in the day for pie, enjoy these in-season beauties by ordering a stack of hot-off-the-griddle pancakes served with our famous applesauce.

 3. CHILI

Our classic recipe is only on the menu in September and October! Don’t miss out on this favorite, and order a bowl for lunch or a cup before your dinner entrée.

Our classic recipe is only on the menu in September and October! Don’t miss out on this favorite, and order a bowl for lunch or a cup before your dinner entrée.

4. OMELETTE WITH BROCCOLI, HAM AND WISCONSIN CHEDDAR

Broccoli season is coming to an end, so we recommend celebrating this powerhouse veggie by kicking off your day with one of our most popular omelettes, elevated by smoky Nueske’s ham and sharp Wisconsin cheddar.

Broccoli season is coming to an end, so we recommend celebrating this powerhouse veggie by kicking off your day with one of our most popular omelettes, elevated by smoky Nueske’s ham and sharp Wisconsin cheddar.

5. VEGETARIAN LINGUINE or VEGETARIAN KEBOB

Both of these entrees feature a fantastic mix of veggies that happen to be in peak season right now: broccoli, eggplant and summer squash. If gluten isn’t your thing, our vegetarian kebob offers the same flavors served over a whole grain and brown rice medley. 

Both of these entrees feature a fantastic mix of veggies that happen to be in peak season right now: broccoli, eggplant and summer squash. If gluten isn’t your thing, our vegetarian kebob offers the same flavors served over a whole grain and brown rice medley. 

6. BLT

There’s nothing like fresh, juicy, garden-picked tomatoes. There’s also nothing like a BLT made with top-tier ingredients, so this timeless sandwich deserves the spotlight on our lunch menu.

There’s nothing like fresh, juicy, garden-picked tomatoes. There’s also nothing like a BLT made with top-tier ingredients, so this timeless sandwich deserves the spotlight on our lunch menu.

7. KALE SALAD

Kale season kicks off in September, so throw on your KALE sweatshirt and join us for a nutrient-rich and flavor-packed lunch or before-dinner course.

Kale season kicks off in September, so throw on your KALE sweatshirt and join us for a nutrient-rich and flavor-packed lunch or before-dinner course.

8. EGGPLANT FRIES

Because eggplant pairs so well with a wide range of flavors, we love cooking with this antioxidant-rich ingredient. Sliced and fried, these bad boys are a hit on our late-night menu.

Because eggplant pairs so well with a wide range of flavors, we love cooking with this antioxidant-rich ingredient. Sliced and fried, these bad boys are a hit on our late-night menu.

9. DOOR COUNTY CHERRY & APPLE SALAD

It’s no secret that our peninsula is famous for cherries, and we love to celebrate this traditional, tart Door County delicacy. Paired with a handful of peak-season apples and sweet-creamy gorgonzola, this salad is jam-packed with unbeatable taste.

It’s no secret that our peninsula is famous for cherries, and we love to celebrate this traditional, tart Door County delicacy. Paired with a handful of peak-season apples and sweet-creamy gorgonzola, this salad is jam-packed with unbeatable taste.

 10. NACHOS

At this time of year, our pico de gallo is the stuff of nacho dreams. The irresistible combo of peak-season tomatoes, shredded slow-roasted pork and pickled jalapeños is a must-have before our kitchen closes for the winter. 

At this time of year, our pico de gallo is the stuff of nacho dreams. The irresistible combo of peak-season tomatoes, shredded slow-roasted pork and pickled jalapeños is a must-have before our kitchen closes for the winter. 

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In The Kitchen With The Skares

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In The Kitchen With The Skares

Winter for our family means we finally have time to spend cooking in our own kitchens. To keep it interesting, we are always looking at new recipes to try at home (and some of these even end up on the restaurant menu!).

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Fall Flavors

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Fall Flavors

Our produce isn't the only local item on our menu! With the leaves changing and favors of fall on the menu, The Cookery's beverage menu is also infused with tasty local, fall beverages. This fall, we are featuring Hinterland's Ocktoberfest, a Vienna lager, as well as Door County Brewing Company's L'automne, a farmhouse ale. We also have two Island Orchard Cider's from Ellison Bay: the Brut Apple and the Apple Cherry Cider. Finally, we have warm apple cider from Orchard Country, a delicious non-alcoholic choice.

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Eating Local at The Cookery

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Eating Local at The Cookery

At The Cookery, we strive to incorporate local ingredients into our menu as much as possible.  As the summer growing season is in full force, we incorporate local produce into our regular menu items.  We have a variety of local producers that we buy from every week, such as Steep Creek Farms.  "Using sustainable and organic practices," Steep Creek Farms cultivates fresh produce such as cherry tomatoes, kale, swiss chard, beets and micro greens, all currently featured on our menu!

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Ginger Ale, Reinvented

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Ginger Ale, Reinvented

One of our most beloved beverages was created by Courtney's husband, Andrew (aka "Roo") who works a few nights at the Wine Bar during the summers. Click here for the story of the ginger ale -- and the recipe!

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'tis the season for cookery canning

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'tis the season for cookery canning

Of our many tasks to get ready for the summer season, one of our favorite things to do is our "Canning Week". Without fail, we prepare countless jams, sauces, salad dresses, and pie fillings for the season ahead -- to serve as well as sell in our restaurant lobby.

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