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Girl Scout Cookie Inspired Cocktails from Clifton Inn

Girl Scout Cookie Inspired Cocktails from Clifton Inn

Now that Girl Scout Cookie season is just about over, it’s time to find a way to get that cookie fix once the freezer-stash runs out. Chef Tucker Yoder at the Clifton Inn in Charlottesville, Va. has created a flight of three cocktails inspired by several Girl Scout cookie varieties. Each cocktail comes with a matching house-made cookie, a fresh and decadent interpretation of the original.

Although these are made with ice cream (right at the Inn!), they’re surprisingly not very sweet. Unlike the “adult milkshakes” so many restaurants offer, they’re more akin to a flavored cocktail, well-balanced and easy to drink. They stand just as well with an after-work cheese plate as they do as a full dessert and the flight of three is just the right size to be shared by two.

Although you can try them in any order, we recommend the following:

The Thin Mint

Beefeater, Crème de Menthe, Crème de Cacao, Bourbon Ice Cream

An interesting twist on the familiar Grasshopper, the addition of gin lends slight botanical notes of juniper and licorice which match nicely with the mint. The chocolate from the crème de cacao is very subtle here, making the accompanying cookie a perfect match. Fresh, crisp, and refreshing.

The Tagalong

Bacardi Superior, Peanut Rum Crème, Crème de Cacao, Bitters

Of the three, definitely the closest in flavor to the original cookie, The Tagalong features a bold peanut flavor balanced well by the bitters. This one starts a bit sweeter but finishes very clean, reminiscent of café au lait with a hint of hazelnut.

The Samoa

Jim Beam, Crème de Cacao, Egg Whites, Caramel Ice Cream

The bourbon features strongly here, and fits perfectly with the caramel ice cream. Rich and creamy but still not too sweet, the smokiness lingers nicely. A perfect close to the flight.

The Clifton Inn is located several minutes outside of Charlottesville, renown in the area as a scenic bed & breakfast for weekend getaways, romantic dinners, and classic weddings. The flight of cocktails runs $22 for the three.

Girl Scouts Launch 2019 Cookie Season

Girl Scouts of the USA launched the 2019 Girl Scout Cookie season, celebrating the largest financial investment in girls annually in the United States and a powerful entrepreneurship incubator for the next generation of female leaders. At a time when girls’ needs and issues collect fewer than eight cents of every dollar granted by philanthropic foundations in the country, each and every Girl Scout Cookie purchase is key to supporting the change-makers of today and tomorrow.

Research shows that female-founded start-ups generate more revenue over time and per dollar than male-founded start-ups, but only 17 percent of start-ups are female-founded. Given that over half (53 percent) of female entrepreneurs and business owners are Girl Scout alums, supporting Girl Scouts as they make sales and learn essential business skills is imperative to ensuring our country has a strong workforce and economy.

Through the Girl Scout Cookie Program, girls not only discover their inner leadership potential but also use their earnings to power amazing experiences for themselves and their troop, including travel, outdoor adventure, and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programming. Many girls put the money toward impactful community projects right in their own backyards, from supporting animal shelters and food banks to working with local and state legislators to change laws. And the cookie program’s benefits are many a recent Girl Scout Research Institute study found that two out of three girls who participate in the program learn five crucial skills—goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics—while doing incredible things for themselves and their communities. The proceeds stay local, meaning that when consumers purchase the delicious cookies that come from a registered Girl Scout only, they’re giving back to their wider community.

“Through the Girl Scout Cookie Program, cookie customers help fund life-changing Girl Scout experiences while building the next generation of female entrepreneurs,” says GSUSA CEO Sylvia Acevedo. “And because all Girl Scout Cookie proceeds stay local to power year-round troop projects and activities, when you buy Girl Scout Cookies you are making an investment in girls and in your local community. As a cookie entrepreneur, I learned about being self-confident, enterprising, and persistent, and how to create opportunity by setting goals, creating budgets, cultivating customers, and making business decisions. The Girl Scout Cookie Program helps girls build the essential skills they need to become our future business leaders.”

And Girl Scouts is celebrating a tasty new way to support young female entrepreneurs with a recently debuted Girl Scout Cookie joining the 2019 lineup: Caramel Chocolate Chip, featuring rich caramel, semisweet chocolate chips, and a hint of sea salt in a chewy, gluten-free cookie. It joins the Toffee-tastic cookie, introduced in 2015, a rich, buttery gluten-free cookie with sweet, crunchy, golden toffee bits. Each gluten-free variety is offered in select Girl Scout council markets only for as long as supplies last, so contact your council to inquire about the cookies it will offer this season.

Additionally, Girl Scouts who participate in the cookie program this season will have the opportunity to win the Cookie Entrepreneur Experience of a lifetime featuring the DC Super Hero Girls by entering the Cookie Pro contest. GSUSA has teamed up with DC Super Hero Girls to inspire Girl Scouts to be smart and courageous as everyday super heroes. The contest will highlight and reward exceptional cookie bosses who take the lead, set high goals for themselves, bring positive change to their communities, and learn valuable entrepreneurial skills.

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News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by FSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.

This New Chocolate Claims to Make the Best Cookies — We Put It to the Test

There was a clear winner (and some great runners-up)!

Related To:


homemade chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven.

Photo by: Esther Chou/Getty Images

By Leah Brickley for Food Network Kitchen

Chocolate chips, also known as morsels, have been mass-produced and stirred into cookie dough since 1941, a few years after the invention of the chocolate chip cookie at the Toll House Inn in Massachusetts. Since then, options have included chocolate chunks and coins, though some now believe that a hand-chopped chocolate bar is the superb choice for the best chocolate chip cookies. With all these appealing options, how could we do any better? Well, Tesla engineer Remy Labesque and CEO of San Francisco-based Dandelion Chocolate, Todd Masonis, thought there was still room for improvement.

Labesque and Masonis' chief compliant about chocolate chip morsels is their inherit heavy-bottomed shape, stating that the morsels are more likely to stick in your teeth than melt in your mouth. (And Labesque and Masonis believe you can't truly enjoy chocolate without it melting in your mouth.) It took three years to design, but the engineer and chocolatier duo think they've come up with a more perfect chocolate chip, which Dandelion Chocolate has dubbed a facet. Each facet is polygonal in shape with two tapered sides that melt instantly while the thicker center holds it shape. To see if these facets really reign supreme, I decided to team up with a self-confessed 10-year-old chocoholic to compare. We tested chocolate morsels, chunks, chopped chocolate and Dandelion's facets.

Girl Scout Cookie Desserts

We here at Wander LOVE the Girl Scouts and we are honored to be part of the Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council award-winning Girl Scout Cookie Dessert Challenge again this year. We are thrilled to share some of the specialties from participating restaurants, a few delicious recipes, and even a couple of gift cards to two lucky readers so you can go back to visit for more great desserts!

The Girl Scout Cookie Dessert Challenge

For the fifth year in a row, chefs from some of the state’s most popular restaurants will use their culinary prowess to re-imagine one of the beloved flavors of Girl Scout Cookies—Do-Si-Dos, Samoas, Tagalongs, Thin Mints, Trefoils, S’mores, and Savannah Smiles—into a custom dessert menu item. Each restaurant has agreed to feature its dessert on their menu now through February 28, 2018, with a portion of the proceeds from each dessert sold directly supporting Girl Scouting in Arizona.

“While I was clearly never an actual Girl Scout, we jumped headfirst into the Dessert Challenge in year one to support girls and women in this community,” says Michael Rusconi, whose team at Rusconi’s American Kitchen in Paradise Valley area created a Samoa dessert for the first four years, and this year took on Tagalongs. “All these years later, especially now with their ‘G.I.R.L.’ mission, which is focused on fostering Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders, we are doubling down on our support.”

Rusconi’s American Kitchen, along with Olive + Ivy, The Thumb, and Lumberyard Brewery in Flagstaff, will be inducted into the Girl Scout’s “Five-Timers Club” this year, commemorating their participation in the challenge each year since its inception in 2014.

There are also several multi-year veterans and new contenders joining in the fun for 2018—24 venues in total.

“I wanted to join the Challenge this year for two main reasons,” says Diego Espinoza of Fuego Grill in Tolleson. “First, I wanted to take part—and even named my dessert Jessie’s Delight—as a tribute to my mother. She is a strong female leader for our family and community, which connects with the Girl Scout mission. With her leadership and mentorship, I have become a successful business owner and AZ State Representative LD19. And second, I applaud the Girl Scouts’ outreach efforts in Hispanic communities and want to do my part to be a part of the Movement.”

Girl Scouts are selling cookies through March 2

All the chefs hope not only to raise critical funds to support local Girl Scouting, but also to inspire home cooks across Arizona to buy an extra box or two this Girl Scout Cookie season to create their own desserts, too. Girl Scout Cookies will be available from Jan. 22 to March 4 this year. As in recent years, the Girl Scouts will have all cookies on hand for immediate customer purchase. Locations of cookie booths can be found using the Cookie Finder app at

Restaurants Participating in the Girl Scout Cookie Dessert Challenge and Recipes

The participating restaurants and their creative desserts are:

Aioli Buger

Dessert Designer: Thomas D'Ambrosio
Assigned Cookie: Tagalongs
Dessert: Tagalong

Premier Milk Shake
Cost: $6
10652 N. 32nd Street, Phoenix, AZ 85028

Premier Milk Shake at Aioli Burger.

Brat Haus

Dessert Designer: Jeffrey Schoening
Assigned Cookie: Trefoils
Dessert: Trefoil Meyer Lemon Tart
Cost: $8
3622 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Trefoil Meyer Lemon Tart At Brat Haus.

Fair Trade Café

Dessert Designer: Stephanie Vazquez
Assigned Cookie: Trefoils
Dessert: Pura Vida Cheesecake
Cost: $4.25
1020 N. 1st Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85003

Pura Vida Cheesecake at Fair Trade Café.

Fuego Bar & Grill

Dessert Designer: Diego Espinoza
Assigned Cookie: Do-si-dos
Dessert: Jessie’s Delight
Cost: $4.69
9118 W. Van Buren Street Tolleson, AZ 85353

Jessie's Delight at Fuego Bar & Grill.

Grape Wine Bistro

Dessert Designer: Kellie Pruitt
Assigned Cookie: Thin Mints
Dessert: Thin Mint Crazy Milkshake Food Coma Ride
Cost: $9
23335 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85255

Thin Mint Crazy Milkshake Food Coma Ride.

Lumberyard Brewing Company

Dessert Designer: Winnie Hanseth and Team
Assigned Cookie: Tagalongs
Dessert: Tagalong Mousse Jar
Cost: $5.39
5 S. San Francisco Street, Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Tagalong Mousse Jar at Lumberyard Brewing Company.

Market Street Kitchen

Dessert Designer: Matt Keeler
Assigned Cookie: Samoas
Dessert: Claire’s Badge
Cost: $7
20825 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85255

Claire's Badge at Market Street Kitchen.

Ocean Prime

Dessert Designer: Jagger Griffin
Assigned Cookie: Savannah Smiles
Dessert: Savannah Smiles Vanilla and Lemon Raspberry Tart
Cost: $12
5455 E. High Street, Phoenix, AZ 85054

Savannah Smiles Vanilla and Lemon Raspberry Tart at Ocean Prime

Olive + Ivy

Dessert Designer: Summer Ormsby
Assigned Cookie: Tagalong
Dessert: Tagalong Gelato
Cost: $3.25 for one scoop $4.25 for two scoops $6.00 for three scoops
7135 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Tagalong Gelato at Olive + Ivy.

Presidio Cocina Mexicana

Dessert Designer: Lucy Nava
Assigned Cookie: Savannah Smiles
Dessert: Carlota
Cost: $6.95
519 W. Thomas Road, Phoenix, AZ 85013

Carlota with Savannah Smiles at Presidio Cocina Mexicana

Proof Canteen at the Four Seasons Scottsdale Resort Troon North

Dessert Designer: Lance Whipple
Assigned Cookie: Thin Mints
Dessert: Thin Mint Chocolate Brownie Pie with Thin Mint Cookie Ice Cream
Cost: $10
10600 E. Crescent Moon Dr., Scottsdale, AZ 85262

Thin Mint Chocolate Brownie Pie with Thin Mint Cookie Ice Cream at Proof Canteen at the Four Seasons Scottsdale Resort Troon North

Revolu Modern Taqueria + Bar

Dessert Designer: Jeremiah Gracia
Assigned Cookie: Tagalongs
Dessert: Tagalong Chocolate Ice Cream Cake
Cost: $9
15703 N. 83rd Ave., Peoria, AZ 85382

Tagalong Chocolate Ice Cream Cake at Revolu Modern Taqueria + Bar

Rita's Kitchen at the JW Marriott Camelback Inn

Dessert Designer: Jeffrey Pilditch
Assigned Cookie: Samoas
Dessert: Samoa Trifle
Cost: $10
5402 E. Lincoln Dr., Scottsdale, AZ 85253
Website Here

Samoa Trifle at Rita's Kitchen at the JW Marriott Camelback Inn

Rusconi's American Kitchen

Dessert Designer: Dave Rico
Assigned Cookie: Tagalongs
Dessert: Banana Cream Pie in a Jar with Tagalong Crust
Cost: $8
10637 N. Tatum Blvd. Phoenix, AZ 85028

Banana Cream Pie in a Jar with Tagalong Crust at Rusconi's American Kitchen. Photo courtesy Joanie Simon

Silver Pine Restaurant at Little America Hotel Flagstaff

Dessert Designer: Vanessa Ronspies (a former Girl Scout)
Assigned Cookie: Thin Mint
Dessert: Silver Pine Malted Mint Ice Cream
Cost: $6
2515 E Butler Ave., Flagstaff, AZ 86004

Silver Pine Malted Milk Ice Cream. Silver Pine at Little America in Flagstaff.

Super Chunk Sweets & Treats

Dessert Designers: Sergio and Country Velador
Assigned Cookie: Samoas
Dessert: Pineapple Samoas Cheesecake
Cost: $4.99
7120 E 6th Ave., Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Pineapple Samoas Cheesecake at Super Chunk Sweets & Treats

The Covenant

Dessert Designer: Rich Putman
Assigned Cookie: Thin Mints
Dessert: Crème de Menthe
Cost: $7
4740 E. Shea Blvd., Phoenix, AZ 85028

Créme de Methe at The Covenant

The Haymaker Restaurant

Dessert Designer: Joe Lucidi
Assigned Cookie: Samoas
Dessert: Mommy’s Secret Samoa Shake
Cost: $9 with spirits or $7 without
Available at both West Valley locations
24762 N. Lake Pleasant Pkwy., Peoria, AZ 85383
1800 N. Litchfield Road, Goodyear, AZ 85395

Mommy's Secret Samoa Shake at The Haymaker Restaurant

The Henry

Dessert Designer: Lucia Alferez
Assigned Cookie: Thin Mints
Dessert: Chocolate Fudge Brownie with Mint Crème
Cost: $3
4455 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ 85018

Chocolate Fudge Brownie with Mint Crème at The Henry

The Herb Box

Dessert Designer: Monique “Mo” Kauppi
Assigned Cookie: Thin Mints
Dessert: Vegan Thin Mint Ding Dong
Cost: $8 on restaurant menu $6 in bakery
Available at both Scottsdale locations
7134 E. Stetson Dr., Scottsdale, AZ 85251
20707 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85255

Vegan Thin Mint Ding Dong at The Herb Box

The Market Restaurant + Bar by Jennifer's

Dessert Designer: Jennifer Russo
Assigned Cookie: Savannah Smiles
Dessert: The Zesty Lemon
Cost: $7
3603 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ 85018

The Zesty Lemon with Savannah Smiles at The Market Restaurant + Bar by Jennifer's

The Thumb

Dessert Designer: Susan Kolman
Assigned Cookie: Smores
Dessert: Smores Fudge Pop
Cost: $4.25
9393 E. Bell Road Scottsdale, AZ 85260

Smores Fudge Pop at The Thumb

Tres Leches Café

Dessert Designer: Jose Rivera
Assigned Cookie: Samoas
Dessert: Samoa Mas Latte
Cost: $4.50 for 12 ounces $5.50 for 16 ounces $6.50 for 34 ounces
1330 W. Roosevelt Street Phoenix, AZ 85007

Samoa Mas Latte at Tres Leches Café

Share Your Dessert Creations and Win

To share your own dessert creations—or photos of you and your family enjoying any of the chefs’ creations—simply tag your social media posts with @GSACPC and #dessertchallenge.

We here at Wander, in cooperation with the participating restaurants, are giving away two gift certificates (contest starts at midnight 2/13/2018 and ends at midnight on 2/28/2018). We have one gift care to Rita's at The Camelback Inn and another to Super Chunk. You can use these to visit each restaurant again after the month of February to check out the rest of the great dessert offerings. Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below to receive one of two gift cards to check out the great desserts for yourself.

Girl Scouts—Arizona Cactus-Pine Council (GSACPC) is Arizona’s leading organization preparing girls with the skills and experiences they need to empower themselves for life. Given the opportunity, every girl can become a leader, act confidently on her values, and connect with her community. We know that girls built of courage, confidence and character make the world a better place. GSACPC serves 22,000 girls, grades K-12, across central and northern Arizona, in partnership with more than 10,000 adult volunteers. For more information, visit our website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Instagram or Twitter.

Terms & Conditions of Giveaway: Restaurants are in Arizona. The contest is open only to those in the Continental US and gift cards will be mailed to the winners within 7 days of the drawing. The winners will be announced during the day on March 1, 2018. No cash substitutes are available. Winners will not be able to select which of the two gift cards they receive. It will be a random draw.

Girl Scout Cookie Inspired Cocktails from Clifton Inn - Recipes

This is the card I designed, laid out and printed for our upcoming Christmas cocktail party. I played around with a few ideas. I was going to have the rooster on the rim of a martini glass with a woman in a 1950’s cocktail dress as the olive in the martini, but it became too fussy. Obviously, the tongue-in-cheek of it is that the rooster, also known as a cock, his ‘cock-tail’ forms the “C”.
There are many stories as the derivation of the word ‘cocktail’, most of which were probably told after having a few, thus their truth is only as good as the amount imbibed. This is my favorite version:

The old use ingredient for cocktails use to require: stimulating liquor composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters. When a cocktail no longer required this recipe with bitters, that cocktail that did have all these ingredients became known as ‘The Old Fashioned’. Thus, an Old Fashioned contains this old recipe for what was once considered a cocktail
Old Fashioned
2 oz. bourbon or rye whiskey
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1/4 oz. 2:1 rich simple syrup (or one sugar cube if preferred)
orange peel
Ice cubes
Tools: muddler, barspoon
Glass: old fashioned
Muddle syrup and orange peel in glass. Add bitters and whiskey and stir. Add ice cubes and stir again. (I like mine with a maraschino cherry for taste-though I never eat them)This is a muddler barspoon combo. A muddle is used like a pestle to mash the fruit etc in the bottom of a glass to release the flavor for when the liquor is added.
We will be serving various vintage cocktails, such as
Cranberry Champagne Cocktail
¼ oz Grand Marnier®
1 oz cranberry juice
5-6 oz Champagne
Pour Grand Marnier into a champagne flute. Add chilled cranberry juice. Fill flute with ice cold Champagne. Garnish with a long, curly sliver of orange peel.
2 oz Rye or Bourbon whiskey
½ oz sweet vermouth
2 dashes Angostura® bitters
Add the ingredients to a mixing glass half full of ice cubes and stir. Rub the cut edge of an orange peel around the lip of the chilled cocktail glass. Strain the drink into the glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry.
This next drink is fun and surprisingly delicious. Do you like thin mint girl scout cookies? Then you must try this cocktail. Even though my recipe is from my 1956 May Gourmet magazine, I am making it for our Christmas party, as it is Green! I might serve it with red-sugared rim glasses, how fun and festive!
Grasshopper recipe
3/4 oz green creme de menthe
3/4 oz white creme de cacao
3/4 oz light cream
Shake all ingredients with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and serve.

What are some of your favorite cocktail recipes?


I LOVE Rye Manhattans! The best I've ever had (even better than the new posh cocktail places) is at a tiny family-run Italian place in Burlington, VT. They haven't updated their cocktail menu in decades and my family is probably the only group that orders them :)

I'm also fond of a good, classic Manhattan, although I've found I have to specify "medium-dry" these days or risk getting a glass of cold gin with no vermouth (some bars have been known to forget the bitters in Manhattans as well.) This summer I was on an Aviation kick and even made my own variation on it.

Classic Aviation:
1 part Lemon Juice (fresh)
2 parts Gin
2 dashes Maraschino liqueur
2 dashes Creme de Violette

Shake well in a mixing glass with cracked ice, strain and serve.

Airship (my variation)
1/2 inch slice ginger
1 barspoon honey
1 barspoon rose water
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 oz Hendrick's Gin
1/2 oz Maraschino liqueur

Muddle first three ingredients in a shaker. Fill shaker with ice and add remaining three ingredients. Shake, strain into a cocktail glass and serve.

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Inn at Ellis River's Savory Cheddar, Parmesan and Sun-Dried Toma

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California Truffled Macaroni and Cheese

California Truffled Macaroni and Cheese

Calzone (Jamie Oliver)

Calzone (Jamie Oliver)

Olive Oil Poached Albacore Tuna, Remoulade, and Cheddar Cheese Sandwiches

Olive Oil Poached Albacore Tuna, Remoulade, and Cheddar Cheese Sandwiches

Turkey Cutlets with Mushroom and Water Chestnut Stuffing and Pan Gravy (Rachael Ray)

Turkey Cutlets with Mushroom and Water Chestnut Stuffing and Pan Gravy (Rachael Ray)

Chili Con Queso (Ultimate Vegetarian Cookbook, Roz Denny, P.100)

Chili Con Queso (Ultimate Vegetarian Cookbook, Roz Denny, P.100)

Firedance Inn Spicy Pumpkin Bread

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Gold Award Spotlight: Arts and Crafts with Kylie

Kylie, a Virginia Beach Girl Scout, has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouting.

For her project, Kylie created an arts and crafts class at First Colonial Inn, a senior living community. During each session, Kylie led residents in creating a new craft project for them to keep. They made wreaths, sun catchers, clay bowls, picture frames, greeting cards and more. Kylie also helped the seniors create a large, grapevine wreath and a mosaic table that are on display for everyone at First Colonial Inn to enjoy. Kylie’s arts and crafts sessions were not only a fun experience, but also helped the residents maintain motor skills and stimulate the creativity in their brains.

“No matter what age someone is, they can express themselves through art,” Kylie said.

Kylie held classes twice a week for six months. They were so popular that the classes will continue with the help of staff at First Colonial Inn.

I'm Todd Wilbur, Chronic Food Hacker

For 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original clone recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.

In December of 1996, Hershey Foods snagged the U.S. operations of Leaf Brands for a pretty penny. This added several well known candies to Hershey's already impressive roster, including Good & Plenty, Jolly Rancher, Milk Duds, Whoppers, Heath, and this delicious peanut roll, which we can finally clone at home. The center is sort of a white fudge that we can make by combining a few ingredients on the stove, then getting the mixture up to just the right temperature using a candy thermometer (you've got one, right?). Once cool, this candy center is coated with a thin layer of caramel, then quickly rolled over roasted peanuts. Looks just like the real thing! This recipe will make eight candy bars. But it's up to you to make the dental appointment.

Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

At his candy factory In York, Pennsylvania, in the late 1930s, Henry C. Kessler first concocted this minty confection. The York Cone Company was originally established to make ice cream cones, but by the end of World War II the peppermint patty had become so popular that the company discontinued all other products. In 1972 the company was sold to Peter Paul, manufacturers of Almond Joy and Mounds. Cadbury USA purchased the firm in 1978, and in 1988 the York Peppermint Pattie became the property of Hershey USA.

Other chocolate-covered peppermints were manufactured before the York Peppermint Pattie came on the market, but Kessler's version was firm and crisp, while the competition was soft and gummy. One former employee and York resident remembered the final test the patty went through before it left the factory. "It was a snap test. If the candy didn't break clean in the middle, it was a second." For years, seconds were sold to visitors at the plant for fifty cents a pound.

I've created a ton of famous candy recipes. See if I hacked your favorites here.

Although the drink is 99 percent sugar water, that other 1 percent is the key to the drink's unique taste. The tangy citrus flavors, from lime juice, citrus oils, and citric acid (today the citric acid has been replaced with phosphoric acid), was used by pharmacist John Pemberton to overcome the inherent unpleasant bitterness of cocaine and caffeine. Even after removing the cocaine from the drink, it was still necessary to conceal the ghastly flavor of kola nut and coca leaf extract from the taste buds with the sweet, tangy syrup.

To make an accurate clone of Coca-Cola at home, I started with the medicinal ingredient, probably just as John did. But rather than harvesting kola nuts, we have the luxury of access to caffeine pills found in any grocery store or pharmacy. One such brand is Vivarin, but it is yellow in color with a thick coating and it tastes much too bitter. NoDoz, however, is white and less bitter, with a thinner coating. Each NoDoz tablet contains 200 milligrams of caffeine, and a 12-ounce serving Coke has 46 milligrams in it. So, if we use 8 NoDoz tablets that have been crushed into powder with a mortar and pestle (or in a bowl using the back of a spoon) we get 44 milligrams of caffeine in a 12-ounce serving, or 36 milligrams in each of the 10-ounce servings we make with this recipe.

Finding and adding the caffeine is the easy part. You'll probably have more trouble obtaining Coke's crucial flavoring ingredient: cassia oil. I was hoping to leave such a hard-to-get ingredient out of this recipe, but I found it impossible. The unique flavor of the Coke absolutely requires the inclusion of this Vietnamese cinnamon oil (usually sold for aromatherapy), but only a very small amount. You'll find the cassia oil in a health food store (I used the brand Oshadhi), along with the lemon oil and orange oil. The yield of this recipe had to be cranked up to 44 10-ounce servings since these oils are so strong—just one drop is all you'll need. Find them in bottles that allow you to measure exactly one drop if you can. If the oils don't come in such a bottle, buy eyedroppers at a drug store. Before you leave the health food store, don't forget the citric acid.

This recipe, because of the old-fashioned technique of adding the syrup to soda water, creates a clone of Coke as it would taste coming out of a fountain machine. That Coke is usually not as fizzy as the bottled stuff. But if you add some ice to a glass of bottled Coke, and them some of this cloned version, the bubbles will settle down and you'll discover how close the two are. You can keep the syrup in a sealed container in the fridge until you are ready to mix each drink with soda water.

Because subtle differences in flavor can affect the finished product, be sure to measure your ingredients very carefully. Use the flat top edge of a butter knife to scrape away the excess sugar and citric acid from the top of the measuring cup and teaspoon, and don't estimate on any of the liquid ingredients.

If you start making black bean soup in the morning using other recipes out there, you're lucky to be slurping soup by lunchtime. That's because most recipes require dry beans that have to re-hydrate for at least a couple hours, and many recipes say "overnight." But, you know, tomorrow is just too far away when you're craving soup right now. So, for this often requested clone recipe, I sped up the process by incorporating canned black beans, rather than the dry ones. That way, once you get all the veggies chopped, you'll be souped up in just about an hour. Friday's version of this soup has a slightly smoky flavor that's easily duplicated here with just a little bit of concentrated liquid smoke flavoring found in most supermarkets. Just be sure to get the kind that says "hickory flavor."

This orange-colored spice blend has been perking up salads, pasta, potatoes, hamburgers, and vegetables for years now, but there has never been a home clone for the stuff. Time to change that. While it's obvious that sesame seeds are a major part of this blend, you may not know that the main ingredient is Romano cheese—in the bottle it's tinted orange by the paprika. Be sure to store this one in the refrigerator. You might even want to keep the seasoning in an empty shaker-top spice bottle. And if you're in the mood for some tasty pasta salad, just check out the Tidbit below that comes right off the bottle of the original product.

Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

You can only get this delicious stuff in the restaurant and they won't give you much extra to take home. The good news is you can make it from scratch in minutes (you will need to find anchovy paste—an important ingredient). This Outback Steakhouse Caesar salad dressing recipe keeps for a couple of weeks in the fridge in a covered container.

Now, how about a Toowoomba Steak or Alice Springs Chicken as your entrée? Find all of my Outback Steakhouse copycat recipes here.

Even though this clone recipe duplicates the tiny bite-size versions of the candy, you're free to make yours any size you like. The technique here is a tweaking of the previous secret formula that was featured in Low-Fat Top Secret Recipes, and it includes several upgrades. I found that more cocoa, plus the addition of salt and butter to the mix improved the flavor. I also found that bringing your sweet bubbling mixture to the firm ball stage 250 degrees F (you do have a candy thermometer, right?), and then stretching and pulling the candy like taffy (fun!) as it cools, will give you a finished product more like the real deal.

The process by which Mars and other candy companies smoothly chocolate-coat their confections is called enrobing. Enrobing was created in 1900 to protect the interiors of the bars from drying out. The process begins when the uncoated centers pass through a curtain of liquid chocolate on a continuous stainless-steel belt. The top and sides of each bar are coated with a thin layer of chocolate. The process is repeated a second time, and then the fully coated bar is quickly cooled and wrapped.

Enrobing is the least expensive way for manufacturers to coat their chocolates. At Mars, the enrobing machines run around the clock to meet the high demand for their products. Unfortunately, traditional kitchen appliances don't include among them an enrobing machine, so in our case, dipping will have to suffice.

Check out more of my copycat recipes for famous candy here.

They're the world's most famous French fries, responsible for one-third of all U.S. French fry sales, and many say they're the best. These fried spud strips are so popular that Burger King even changed its own recipe to better compete with the secret formula from Mickey D's. One-quarter of all meals served today in American restaurants come with fries a fact that thrills restaurateurs since fries are the most profitable menu item in the food industry. Proper preparation steps were developed by McDonald's to minimize in-store preparation time, while producing a fry that is soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. This clone requires a two-step frying process to replicate the same qualities: the fries are par-fried, frozen, then fried once more to crispy just before serving. Be sure to use a slicer to cut the fries for a consistent thickness (1/4-inch is perfect) and for a cooking result that will make them just like the real thing. As for the rumor that you must soak the fries in sugar water to help them turn golden brown, I also found that not to be necessary. If the potatoes have properly developed they contain enough sugar on their own to make a good clone with great color.

Now, how about a Big Mac or Quarter Pounder to go with those fries? Click here for a list of all my McDonald's copycat recipes.

Menu Description: "Delicate white cake and lemon cream filling with a vanilla crumb topping."

To make this clone easy I've designed the recipe with white cake mix. I picked Betty Crocker brand, but any white cake mix you find will do. Just know that each brand (Duncan Hines, Pillsbury, etc.) requires slightly different measurements of additional ingredients (oil, eggs). Follow the directions on the box for mixing the batter, then pour it into 2 greased 9-inch cake pans and bake until done. The filling recipe is a no-brainer and the crumb topping is quick. When your Olive Garden lemon cream cake recipe is assembled, stick it in the fridge for a few hours, and soon you'll be ready to serve 12 slices of the hacked signature dessert.

The Mars Milky Way bar was the first chocolate-covered candy bar to find widespread popularity in the United States. It was developed in 1923 by the Mars family, and became so successful so quickly that the company had to build a new manufacturing plant in Chicago just to keep up with demand.

Youll need a heavy-duty mixer for this recipe.

Source: More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

These soft, creme-filled sandwich cookies were the first snacks produced by McKee Foods back in 1960. It was his 4-year-old granddaughter Debbie after whom founder O.D. McKee named his line of snack cakes. O.D. was inspired by a picture of the little girl in play clothes and a straw hat, and that's the image we still find today on every package. The secret to cloning these mouth-watering snacks is re-creating the soft, chewy consistency of the oatmeal cookies. To duplicate the texture, the cookies are slightly underbaked. Then you whip up some of the easy-to-make creme filling with marshmallow creme and spread it between two of the oatmeal cookies to complete the sandwich.

With spice grinder in hand, Gustav Brunn traveled to America from Germany, and settled down in Baltimore on the Chesapeake Bay, where steamed crabs are a staple. Gustav began grinding. In 1939, after trying many different combinations, Gustav found just the right mix for a top secret blend of spices that would be the most-used seasoning on steamed crabs, shrimp, lobster, and other tasty seafood dishes for generations to come. But McCormick & Co., which purchased Old Bay in 1990, insists that the celery salt based blend is not just for seafood. You can also use the seasoning on chicken, French fries, popcorn, baked potatoes, deviled eggs, hamburgers, and even pizza.

Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

In early 1985, restaurateur Rich Komen felt there was a specialty niche in convenience-food service just waiting to be filled. His idea was to create an efficient outlet that could serve freshly made cinnamon rolls in shopping malls throughout the country. It took nine months for Komen and his staff to develop a cinnamon roll recipe he knew customers would consider the "freshest, gooiest, and most mouthwatering cinnamon roll ever tasted." The concept was tested for the first time in Seattle's Sea-Tac mall later that year, with workers mixing, proofing, rolling, and baking the rolls in full view of customers. Now, more than 626 outlets later, Cinnabon has become the fastest-growing cinnamon roll bakery in the world.

What is it about Stouffer's Macaroni & Cheese that makes it the number one choice for true mac & cheese maniacs? It's probably the simple recipe that includes wholesome ingredients like skim milk and real Cheddar cheese, without any preservatives or unpronounceable chemicals. The basic Stouffer's Mac and Cheese ingredients are great for kitchen cloners who want an easy fix that doesn't require much shopping. I found the recipe to work best as an exact duplicate of the actual product: a frozen dish that you heat up later in the oven. This way you'll get slightly browned macaroni & cheese that looks like it posed for the nicely lit photo on the Stouffer's box. Since you'll only need about 3/4 cup of uncooked elbow macaroni for each recipe, you can make several 4-person servings with just one 16-ounce box of macaroni, and then keep them all in the freezer until the days when your troops have their mac & cheese attacks. Be sure to use freshly shredded Cheddar cheese here, since it melts much better than pre-shredded cheese (and it's cheaper). Use a whisk to stir the sauce often as it thickens, so that you get a smooth—not lumpy or grainy—finished product.

If you're still hungry, check out my copycat recipes for famous entrées here.

Beneath the chocolate of Nestle's popular candy bar is a chewy, peanut-covered center that resembles Hershey's PayDay. To clone this one we'll only have to make a couple adjustments to the PayDay clone recipe, then add the milk chocolate coating. Even though the wrapper of this candy bar calls the center "nougat," it's more of a white or blonde fudge that you can make in a saucepan on your stovetop with a candy thermometer.

So here's the challenge with this clone recipe: get the right ratios for nearly 20 different spices, and come up with a way to get the same lemony tang that makes the real Mrs. Dash the tasty salt-free seasoning blend we've come to know and love over the years. Sure, we could use powdered citric acid, or sour salt. But then we still need to figure out the "lemon juice solids" part. Ah, but wait, there's citric acid and lemon juice solids in Kool-Aid unsweetened lemonade drink mix. It's perfect! Add a little of that drink powder to the spice blend and we have a clone that in a taste test could fool even Mr. Dash.

Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

If those cute little cookie peddlers aren't posted outside the market, it may be tough to get your hands on these—the most popular cookies sold by the Girl Scouts every spring. One out of every four boxes of cookies sold by the girls is Thin Mints. This hack Girl Scout cookie thin mint recipe uses an improved version of the chocolate wafers created for the Oreo cookie clone in the second TSR book More Top Secret Recipes. That recipe creates 108 cookie wafers, so when you're done dipping, you'll have the equivalent of three boxes of the Girl Scout Cookies favorite. That's why you bought those extra cookie sheets, right? You could, of course, reduce this thin mint recipe by baking only one-third of the cookie dough for the wafers and then reducing the coating ingredients by one-third, giving you a total of 36 cookies. But that may not be enough to last you until next spring.

Click here for more of your favorite Girl Scout Cookies.

Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

Update 11/16/17 : You can make an even better clone using a chocolate product that wasn't available when I created this recipe. Rather than using the semi-sweet chocolate chips combined with shortening and peppermint for coating the cookies, use Ghirardelli Dark Melting Wafers. You will need 2 10-ounce bags of the chips, mixed with 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract (and no shortening). Melt the chocolate the same way, and dip the cookies as instructed.

Nabisco took great effort to produce reduced-fat versions of the most popular products created by the food giant. This product loyalty-retaining move is just good business. According to one Nabisco spokesperson, "We want to bring back the people who have enjoyed our products, but went away for health and diet reasons." And that's exactly what we see happening, as customers are now grabbing the boxes with "Less Fat" printed on them. This box says, "Reduced fat: 40% less fat than original Cheese Nips."

The secret ingredient for this clone of the popular little square crackers is the fat-free cheese sprinkles by Molly McButter. One 2-ounce shaker of the stuff will do it, and you won't use it all. Just keep in mind that cheese powder is pretty salty, so you may want to go very easy on salting the tops of the crackers

Nutrition Facts
Serving size–31 crackers
Total servings–about 10
Fat per serving–3.5g
Calories per serving–105

Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.

You've got a hankerin' for pancakes or biscuits, but the recipe calls for Bisquick, and you're plum out. Not to worry. Now you can make a clone of the popular baking mix at home with just four simple ingredients. Store-bought Bisquick includes shortening, salt, flour, and leavening, so that's exactly what we need to duplicate it perfectly at home. This recipe makes about 6 cups of the stuff, which, just like the real thing, you can keep sealed up in a container in your pantry until it's flapjack time. When that time comes, just add milk and eggs for pancakes or waffles, or only milk if it's biscuits you want. You'll find all those recipes below in the "Tidbits."

The low-carb craze is influencing menus of America's restaurant chains, but no chain has embraced the trend as enthusiastically as Ruby Tuesday. Nation's Restaurant News awarded the chain "Best Healthy Choice Menu Selection for 2004," based on more than 30 new low-carb dishes added to the menu, including low-carb cheesecake, burgers in high-fiber tortilla wraps, and other low-carb stand-ins such as Creamy Mashed Cauliflower. This most talked-about of the new selections is a side dish stunt double for mashed potatoes, with a carb count coming in at a measly 9 net carbs per 3/4-cup serving, according to the menu. Spices and cream are added to steamed and pureed cauliflower to give this dish the taste, texture and appearance of America's favorite side. Serve this up with any entree that goes well with mashed potatoes, and you'll never miss the spuds.

A good chicken pot pie has perfectly flakey crust and the right ratio of light and dark meat chicken and vegetables swimming in a deliciously creamy white sauce. KFC serves up a pie that totally fits the bill, and now I'm going to show you how to make the same thing at home from scratch. You'll want to start this recipe a couple hours before you plan to bake the pies, since the dough for the crust should chill awhile and the chicken needs to soak in the brine. When it comes time for baking, use small pie tins, ramekins, or Pyrex baking dishes (custard dishes) that hold 1 1/2 cups. The recipe will then yield exactly 4 pot pies. If your baking dishes are smaller, there should still be enough dough here to make crust for up to 6 pot pies. And don't forget to brush egg whites over the top of the pies before you pop them into the oven to get the same shiny crust as the original.

Here's a clone recipe that gets one very important ingredient from another packaged product. The powdered cheese included in the Kraft instant macaroni & cheese kits flavors this homegrown version of the popular bright orange crackers. You'll need a can of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese cheese topping or two boxes of the most inexpensive instant variety of macaroni & cheese—you know, the kind with the cheese powder. Two boxes will give you enough cheese to make 300 crackers. As for the macaroni left over in the box, just use that for another recipe requiring elbow macaroni.

The real version of this chili sauce comes to each Wienerschnitzel unit as concentrated brown goo in big 6-pound, 12-ounce cans. After adding 64 ounces of water and 15 chopped hamburger patties the stuff is transformed into the familiar thick and spicy chili sauce dolloped over hot dogs and French fries at America's largest hot dog chain. The proper proportion of spices, tomato paste, and meat is crucial but the real challenge in hacking this recipe is finding a common grocery store equivalent for modified food starch that's used in the real chili sauce as a thickener. After a couple days in the underground lab with Starbucks lattes on intravenous drip, I came out, squinting at the bright sunshine, with a solution to the chili conundrum. This secret combination of cornstarch and Wondra flour and plenty of salt and chili powder makes a chili sauce that says nothing but "Wienerschnitzel" all over it.

At the train station in Naugatuck, Connecticut, candy and ice-cream shop owner Peter Paul Halajian used to meet the commuter trains carrying baskets full of fresh hand-made chocolates. The most popular of his candies was a blend of coconut, fruits, nuts, and chocolate that he called Konabar.

In 1919, when demand for his confections grew, Halajian and five associates, all of Armenian heritage, opened a business in New Haven to produce and sell his chocolates on a larger scale. Because there were no refrigerators, they made the chocolate by hand at night, when the air was the coolest, and sold the candy during the day. In 1920 the first Mounds bar was introduced.

Peter Paul merged with Cadbury U.S.A. in 1978, and in 1986 Cadbury U.S.A. merged with the Hershey Foods Corporation, now the world's largest candy conglomerate.

Today the recipes for Peter Paul's Mounds and Almond Joy are the same as they were in the roaring twenties.

Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

Here's a clone for the instant dressing mix you buy in the .7-ounce packets. When added to vinegar, water, and oil, you get one of the best-tasting instant salad dressings around. But what if you can't find the stuff, or it is no longer sold in your area, as I've heard is the case in some cities? Or maybe you just want to save a little money by making your own? Use the recipe below to make as much dry mix as you want, and save it for when you need instant salad satisfaction. I've used McCormick lemon pepper in the recipe here because it contains lemon juice solids that help duplicate the taste of the sodium citrate and citric acid in the real thing. The dry pectin, which can be found near the canning supplies in your supermarket, is used as a thickener, much like the xanthan gum in the original product.

Find more of my delicious salad dressing copycat recipes here.

How can you resist the cute little girls in those adorable green outfits—and a change machine around their waists? If you can't, then a least it's good to know that less than one-third of the sales price of each box of Girl Scout Cookies goes to the manufacturer. That's much less than the wholesale price food retailers pay for similar products. Most of the money raised from each sale goes to support the Girl Scouts. But how do we get our Girl Scout Cookie fix during the off-season when the cookies aren't being sold? That's when we can turn to a clone recipe such as this one for the reduced-fat cookie with the lemony tang. Included here is the custom Top Secret Recipes technique for making a delicious filling that's entirely fat-free.

Nutrition Facts
Serving size–3 cookies
Total servings–14
Calories per serving–150
Fat per serving–4.5g

Source: Low-Fat Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

Jerrico, Inc., the parent company for Long John Silver's Seafood Shoppes, got its start in 1929 as a six-stool hamburger stand called the White Tavern Shoppe. Jerrico was started by a man named Jerome Lederer, who watched Long John Silver's thirteen units dwindle in the shadow of World War II to just three units. Then, with determination, he began rebuilding. In 1946 Jerome launched a new restaurant called Jerry's and it was a booming success, with growth across the country. Then he took a chance on what would be his most successful venture in 1969, with the opening of the first Long John Silver's Fish 'n' Chips. The name was inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. In 1991 there were 1,450 Long John Silver Seafood Shoppes in thirty-seven states, Canada, and Singapore, with annual sales of more than $781 million. That means the company holds about 65 percent of the $1.2 billion quick-service seafood business.

Anyone who loves Olive Garden is probably also a big fan of the bottomless basket of warm, garlicky breadsticks served before each meal at the huge Italian casual chain. My guess is that the breadsticks are proofed, and then sent to each restaurant where they are baked until golden brown, brushed with butter and sprinkled with garlic salt. Getting the bread just right for a good Olive Garden breadstick recipe was tricky—I tried several different amounts of yeast in all-purpose flour, but then settled on bread flour to give these breadsticks the same chewy bite as the originals. The two-stage rising process is also a crucial step in this much requested homemade Olive Garden breadstick recipe. Also check out our Olive Garden Italian salad dressing recipe.

($23.88 annually)*
Save $12 vs. monthly

Includes eight (8) 79¢ recipes of your choice each month!

It took chefs several years to develop what would eventually become KFC's most clucked about new product launch in the chain's 57-year history. With between 70 to 180 calories and four to nine grams of fat, depending on the piece, the new un-fried chicken is being called "KFC's second secret recipe," and "a defining moment in our brand's storied history" in a company press release. The secret recipe for the new grilled chicken is now stored on an encrypted computer flash drive next to the Colonel's handwritten original fried chicken recipe in an electronic safe at KFC company headquarters. Oprah Winfrey featured the chicken on her talk show and gave away so many coupons for free grilled chicken meals that some customers waited in lines for over an hour and half, and several stores ran out and had to offer rain checks. Company spokesperson Laurie Schalow told the Associated Press that KFC has never seen such a huge response to any promotion. "It's unprecedented in our more than 50 years," she said. "It beats anything we've ever done."

When I heard about all the commotion over this new secret recipe I immediately locked myself up in the underground lab with a 12-piece bucket of the new grilled chicken, plus a sample I obtained of the proprietary seasoning blend, and got right to work. After days of nibbling through what amounts to a small flock of hens, I'm happy to bring you this amazing cloned version of this fast food phenomenon so that you can now reproduce it in your own kitchen. Find the smallest chicken you can for this KFC grilled chicken copycat recipe, since KFC uses young hens. Or better yet save some dough by finding a small whole chicken and cut it up yourself. The secret preparation process requires that you marinate (brine) your chicken for a couple hours in a salt and MSG solution. This will make the chicken moist all of the way through and give it great flavor. After the chicken has brined, it's brushed with liquid smoke-flavored oil that will not only make the seasoning stick to the chicken, but will also ensure that the chicken doesn't stick to the pan. The liquid smoke in the oil gives the chicken a smoky flavor as if it had been cooked on an open flame barbecue grill.

The grilled chicken at KFC is probably cooked on ribbed metal plates in specially designed convection ovens to get those grill marks. I duplicated that process using an oven-safe grill pan, searing the chicken first on the stovetop to add the grill marks, then cooking the chicken through in the oven. If you don't have a grill pan or a grill plate, you can just sear the chicken in any large oven safe saute pan. If you have a convection function on your oven you should definitely use it, but the recipe will still work in a standard oven with the temperature set just a little bit higher. After baking the chicken for 20 minutes on each side, you're ready to dive into your own 8-piece bucket of delicious indoor grilled chicken that's as tasty as the fried stuff, but without all the fat.

From a greenskeeper and forklift driver to a chef: How Kursten Kizer found his calling

When you think of Craig’s, the West Hollywood restaurant (classic, upscale American: wedge salads, steaks, martinis) where paparazzi crowd the valet and the sports cars are plenty, it’s easy to get distracted by the celebrity clientele. But chef Kursten Kizer is out of sight in the kitchen, making sure his plates look as good as his customers and maybe taste even better. For Kizer, it’s a more fast-paced environment than his last job: as chef at the Post Ranch Inn, a quiet luxury hotel in Big Sur, Calif. Craig’s is also the restaurant with that table bread — the flatbread topped with butter and honey that leaves guests dreaming about it for days after. Kizer recently sat down with one of those martinis and a basket of the famous bread to talk about how he got into the restaurant industry, after earning a degree in environmental studies — and that time he drove a forklift.

What did you want to be when you grew up? I was kind of all over the place. My mom said I wanted to be a pilot. For a while, I wanted to work in the environmental field. But ever since I was a teenager, I’ve been cooking. My mom and dad are good cooks so I spent most of my time in the kitchen.

Have you ever been a bartender? I actually was a bartender for a bit. I liked making cocktails I wasn’t good at talking to the customers, though. Being in the kitchen works for me.

Favorite thing to eat when you’re off the clock? I love it when I find a really good burger, or even just a chicken sandwich. I have a 2-year-old, so we do a lot of brunch. One of our favorites is the French Market Cafe in Venice.

Oddest job you’ve ever had? I worked as a golf course greenskeeper. I would start at 4 a.m. or 5 a.m., then do catering in the evening. I was a pizza-delivery guy in college. I also worked for a landscaping company, so I can operate a forklift if I need to.

If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be and what would you eat? Anthony Bourdain, so he could tell me amazing stories. Thomas Keller, and I’d just let him talk we would eat fried chicken. And Ludo Lefebvre. That guy makes some crazy-good stuff, but I wouldn’t want to sit and have dinner. I would grab a few good beers — Duvel, Delirium, whatever — go to the local farmers markets and see what we could come up with.

For the record: An earlier version of this post said Kizer worked at the Pine Tree Inn. The correct hotel name is Post Ranch Inn.

Twitter: @Jenn_Harris_


May 2013

Praise us or pan us, but just put it down in words. Bravos or boos, we want to hear from you.

George Pierrot, 1965

Contributors: May 2013

Julie Edgar, Wensdy Von Buskirk, Jason Walton, Annabel Cohen

&lsquoOtterly&rsquo Aquatic

This mom’s a natural at giving swimming lessons.

Cravings: Andiamo Riverfront and Local Kitchen & Bar

Their stylish menus are enticing enough to attract a loyal clientele of discriminating diners, but no matter how expert they are, restaurant people like to take a break from their own kitchens for a taste of someone else’s cooking.

Capuchin Soup Kitchen’s Catering Arm Offers Fancier Fare

Capuchin Soup Kitchen offers fancier fare for outside events.

Recipe: Italian-style Sea Bass

Volare’s Chef Grossi serves up an Italian-style sea bass.

Maccabees at Midtown & Red Crown

Restaurant veteran Molly Abraham noshes around town, tracking down some top spots.

Restaurant Review: Birmingham’s Phoenicia

A freshened-up Phoenicia still sets the standard for upscale Middle Eastern fare.

Crafting ‘Greener’ Brews

Michigan’s beer-making industry is no stranger to
water sustainability.

Wine: Chilling Out

Even red wines can benefit from refrigeration.

Local Kitchen & Bar

HOT SPOT: LOCAL KITCHEN & BAR // The indoor/outdoor patio at Rick Halberg’s new downtown Ferndale eatery suits both outdoorsy types and those who prefer to be a little closer to a wood-burning fireplace on chilly nights. Add to that its interesting food (fried green tomatoes and pot pie du jour) and drink (bubbly on [&hellip]

Big Plans: When Erie Canal Envy Got Michigan Digging

The abandoned Clinton-Kalamazoo Canal project could have changed the face of Michigan.

Upscale Resale: ‘The Dukes of Melrose’

Detroit native Christos Garkinos is TV’s ‘Robin Hood of Fashion.’

Sean Forbes’ ‘Deaf’ Jam

A loss of hearing hasn’t stopped Sean Forbes from launching a rap career.

Home Décor: Old & New

Local furniture emporiums and antique centers/auction houses offer inspired design ideas from the past and present.

A-List: Wet Goods

Water-inspired products — from South Pacific-hued makeup to a custom-made succulent garden.

Ebb & Flow: Demystifying Drinking Water

Is the glass half empty or half full? It depends on what kind of drinking water is inside.

Wings Over Michigan

Former Girl Scout’s memoir recalls Detroit’s postwar heyday as a small airport hotbed.

Rooms with a View

Lighthouse-keeper programs a win-win for nautical fans and the historic landmarks they love.

Don’t Fear the Fish

Michigan’s abundance of fresh water yields a bounty of choices — for recreation and eating.

Paddle &lsquoStrait&rsquo

Kayaking the Detroit River.

Rogers City Renaissance

Foodies and art lovers are taking notice of this surprisingly vibrant Lake Huron port city.

Arts & Entertainment

Art The Anton Art Center • Macomb Community College Workforce and Continuing Education Show. April 21-May 11. • Portrait Show, an open-call exhibition. 125 Macomb Place, Mount Clemens 586-469-8666 Cass Café The latest paintings by artist Gary Mayer on display in a solo exhibition titled Nature Unrepentant. Through May 25. Cass [&hellip]

25th Annual Nightingale Awards for Nursing Excellence

Honoring exemplary nurses & nursing care since 1988.

Navigating the Uncertainty of Divorce

Divorce is not something anyone enters into lightly. But once the certainty is there, it’s time to formulate a plan. People often seek advice from friends, family, and neighbors — which is fine — but seeking an attorney’s advice early in the process is best.

Moms Love Michigan Wine

Looking for a special Mother’s Day gift?

Michigan Travel: Great Escapes

From kayaking along the Detroit River to bellying up to the bar in an Upper Peninsula brewpub, traveling in Michigan is a year-round love affair.

Smitten With the Mitten

We love our Michigan vacations, but thanks to the Pure Michigan campaign and a thawing economy,a growing number of out-of-state visitors are joining the crowd.

Michigan&rsquos Newest Wine Trail Offers Great Variety

As warmer weather makes its way along the west coast of Michigan, wineries are gearing up for a bustling wine-touring season.

Ripples of Hope 2013

On April 25, City Year Detroit held its annual gala, “Ripples of Hope,” in which they honored Peter Karmanos Jr. with the Idealist in Action Award and raised funds for the organization.

Draft Night 2013

On April 25, The South Oakland YMCA and the NFL Alumni Association partnered for their annual Draft Night at Emagine Theater in Royal Oak to raise funds for the organizations.

Michigan Modernism Preview Party

On April 26, the Detroit Area Art Deco Society opened the 20th Annual Michigan Modernism Exposition with a preview party that benefited the DAADS scholarship fund.

Catholic Charities Spring Gala 2013

On April 27, Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan held its spring gala at the San Marino Club. The yearly event raises funds for the various causes of the organization.

Shades of Pink Zoo Walk 2013

On April 27, the annual Shades of Pink zoo walk raised funds for this organization, which helps supports those who are newly diagnosed with breast cancer.

Celebrating with the Junior League of Birmingham

On April 27, the Junior League of Birmingham celebrated 60 years with a charitable dinner at Oakland Hills Country Club.

Grosse Pointe Foundation Dinner 2013

On April 27, The Grosse Pointe Foundation for Public Education held its annual charitable dinner to benefit the foundation’s mission of empowering students to achieve their highest potential.

Forgotten Harvest Comedy Night 2013

On April 27, Forgotten Harvest held its annual Comedy Night at Detroit Opera House to benefit the organization’s efforts to combat hunger across Metro Detroit.

In Support of Kenya Relief

On April 27, Detroit medical professionals held a benefit dinner for Kenya Relief, an Alabama-based non-profit that sends doctors and nurses to Kenya year-round to perform critical medical services.

Bow Wow Brunch 2013

On April 28, The Michigan Humane Society held its 24th Annual Bow Wow Brunch at the Dearborn Inn to raise funds for its continuing mission in helping the plight of homeless animals.

Boys and Girls Club Spring Luncheon 2013

On April 30, the Boys and Girls Club held its annual spring luncheon at The Townsend to raise funds for the services the organization provides to boys and girls across Metro Detroit.

Mothers, Daughters, Sisters, and Friends Patron Party

On May 2, Saks Fifth Avenue held a special patron party to benefit the Francee and Benson Ford Jr. Breast Care and Wellness Center at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital.

Art for God’s Sake 2013

On May 3, Art for God’s Sake held its opening gala at St. Anastasia Roman Catholic Church in Troy. The juried art show benefits various ministries and the artists.

Macomb Foundation ATHENA Awards Luncheon

On May 3, the Macomb Foundation hosted its annual ATHENA Awards luncheon, which honors people who actively assist women in realizing their full leadership potential.

Mike Kelley Comes Home to MOCAD

Mobile Homestead, a mobile home art exhibit by the late Detroit artist Mike Kelley, has a new address on Woodward Avenue.

ALIVE 2013

On May 3, the Michigan Design Center sponsored the 10th Annual ALIVE event, raising funds for the Donate Life Coalition of Michigan.

Mark Kurlyandchik Discusses Drinking Water on ‘Stateside with Cynthia Canty’

Hour Detroit Senior Editor Mark Kurlyandchik demystifies drinking water and discusses his article, “Ebb & Flow,” on Michigan Radio.

Taste of the Lions 2013

On May 7, The Detroit Lions held its inaugural “Taste of the Lions,” a benefit to raise money for the Eastern Market and the fight against Detroit’s food access crisis.

Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America Benefit 2013

On May 9, Saks Fifth Avenue sponsored a luncheon and fashion show at Oakland Hills Country Club to benefit the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America Michigan Chapter.

Nightingale Awards for Nursing Excellence 2013

On May 9, Oakland University’s School of Nursing honored area nurses with the Nightingale Awards for Nursing Excellence. Funds raised from the event benefit the school’s scholarship fund.

Belinda Sue Fund 2013 Gala

The Belinda Sue Fund held its 2nd Annual Gala on May 10 at The Henry, raising money for ovarian cancer research, and in memory of Belinda Sue Nantais.

Planned Parenthood 19th Annual Luncheon

On May 9, Planned Parenthood of Mid and South Michigan held its 19th Annual Fundraising Luncheon at the Troy Marriott, featuring Eve Ensler, creator of The Vagina Monologues.

Michigan Science Center Gala 2013

On May 10, The Michigan Science Center held its annual gala to raise funds for the center’s new endeavor in the heart of Detroit.

Party at the Port 2013

On May 10, local bridal businesses held the inaugural Party at the Port, slated to be an annual charitable event. This year’s benefactor, Wish Upon a Wedding, grants free wedding services to couples facing terminal illnesses.

Sacred Chants with Snatum Kaur

New Age artist Snatum Kaur presented a special concert of spiritual chants on Mother’s Day at Seaholm High School in Birmingham. The concert was sponsored by Karma Yoga Studio in Bloomfield Hills.

Girl Scouts Cookie Gala 2013

On March 27, the Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan held their annual cookie gala at DTE Energy headquarters, raising nearly $85,000 and awarding honors for leadership and community service.

Aromatic Michigan Pinot Blanc: Summer&rsquos Sublime Wine

Pinot Blanc has been rooting itself in Michigan soils since at least the mid-1990s.

Gilda’s Big Night Out

On May 16, Gilda’s Big Night Out was held at the Max Fisher Music Center. The annual gala raises funds for Gilda’s Club, which provides free social and emotional support to people with cancer.

Work of Art’s Spring Kickoff

On May 16, The Work of Art celebrated its inaugural year of grant giving with a private fundraising party at the Scavolini showroom in Birmingham.

Gurhan for the DIA

On May 17, international award-winning jewelry designer Gurhan held a special trunk show at Tapper’s in West Bloomfield, with a portion of sales benefiting the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Pour Les Enfants Luncheon 2013

On May 17, Christ Child Society of Detroit held its annual fundraiser, “Pour Les Enfants,” with a luncheon at Pine Lake Country Club to benefit the organization.

Charlotte’s Wings Benefit 2013

On May 17, Charlotte’s Wings held its 6th Annual Benefit at the Royal Park Hotel in Rochester. The organization is dedicated to providing books to ailing children throughout Michigan.

Dossin Gala Grand Re-Opening 2013

On May 17, The Dossin Great Lakes Museum held its grand re-opening gala with Great Lakes-inspired cocktails, cuisine, and entertainment.

Savour the Journey 2013

On May 18, The “Savour the Journey” fundraiser took place at the Sheraton Ann Arbor Hotel to benefit the Arbor Hospice Foundation.

Lift:Detroit Black Tie Gala 2013

On May 18, Lift:Detroit held its second annual gala at the Detroit Historical Museum to benefit Cascading Krystals, an organization supporting the academic success of disabled students in Detroit.

Lincoln Day Dinner 2013

On May 21, the 124th Annual Oakland County Lincoln Day Dinner was held at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, with Donald Trump as the keynote speaker.

Sunset at the Zoo Benefactor Party

On May 22, Ashley and KC Crain hosted the annual Sunset at the Zoo benefactor party. Sunset at the Zoo will take place on June 14, a benefit to support the Detroit Zoo.

Rodriguez to Headline Traverse City Wine & Art Festival

After performing self-written music for almost five decades in local pubs in Detroit, the practically unknown Sixto Diaz Rodriguez has become an overnight superstar and global phenomenon.

JARC’s SpringElation 2013

On May 22, JARC, an organization serving people with disabilities, held its annual SpringElation at the Detroit Zoo to benefit its missions.

4th Annual Frame Your Face by The Art of Giving

On May 23, The Art of Giving held its 4th Annual Frame Your Face benefit at Scavolini in Birmingham. This year’s benefactor was the Rhonda Walker Foundation.

City Year Benefit at Campus Martius 2013

On May 23, City Year Detroit and its 101 corps team members were honored for their work with a benefit and celebration at Fountain Bistro at Campus Martius.

Antiques Roadshow Pre-Glow 2013

Generous supporters of Detroit Public TV were invited to a special pre-glow reception on May 30 at the Detroit Historical Museum to celebrate the return of the classic public television program Antiques Roadshow to Detroit.

Watch the video: Cocktails and Girls Scout Cookies