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Try this for Mother's Day: Wilder's Bakery and Bistro

Mother’s Day is this Sunday and families everywhere will be descending on restaurants en masse. Smart folks will stay home, but if you are bound and determined to take Mom out for a nice meal, Wilder’s on Bakery and Bistro is offering a special Mother’s Day brunch menu and dinner menu.

I called Jillian’s to see if they were doing anything special for Mother’s Day, but as of 1:15 p.m. on Thursday, May 5, they were completely booked. So, don’t show up at Jillian’s on Sunday expecting to be seated.

Wilder’s has been open about 2 ½ months. The restaurant offers a variety of contemporary American dishes with a focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients. For Mother’s Day, Wilder’s is offering some special items that are not typically on the menu: Tequila-lime gravlax, baked French toast, shrimp linguine and tiramisu. In addition, there will be some favorites from the breakfast, lunch and dinner menus available. Brunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and dinner will be served fro…

Cold weather means Casseroles

This week the weather has been cooler and I've be craving comfort food. Last night I made a casserole. Actually, I assembled it on my lunch break then baked it when I got home. The concept had been floating around my head for a few days, so I finally put it into action. My version was a little bland, so I increased the amount of salt, pepper and minced onion in the recipe written below.

Chicken Veggie Noodle Casserole
‎8 oz egg noodles
1/2 stick butter
1/4 c. flour
2 c skim milk
1 c. chicken broth
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese (add more for cheesier casserole)
2 c. broccoli pieces
1 8-oz package of mushrooms, sliced
2 c. chopped cooked chicken
1-2 teaspoons of salt, depending on taste
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dried minced onion (or 3 tablespoons finely minced fresh onion)

Topping:
1 c breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon olive oil

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook egg noodles. Drain.

While noodles are cooking, melt butter in a large pot over medium hea…

Eat This: Brunch at Jillian's Italian Grill

Since moving to Hutchinson, I have lamented the lack of brunch. There are many places that serve breakfast, and several that serve breakfast all day long, but no one serves brunch - that delightful combination of both breakfast and lunch at a place that typically does not offer one or both of these things.

Before I get too far in, let me go ahead and mention my bias. I prefer to order my brunch from a menu rather than cobble it together from a buffet. Buffets tend to be pricer than ordering off a menu and I, like many others, tend to overeat at a buffet so I prefer to order off a menu.

For a buffet, Jillian's does well. The price is $12.95 - a bit steep, but cheaper than Flatrock Grill in Wichita ($14.95). They offer a wide variety and most items are well executed. Some items were a litle bland, but since they've only been at the Sunday Brunch game for 4 weeks, I expect some improvement as they work out the kinks.

To start, there was a variety of salads - quinoa with cranbe…

Sorry for my absence

So, its been a while since I posted anything here on Eating Across Kansas. This summer was adventurous, engaging, interesting, and depressing all at once. I got the opportunity to do some great things like visit Chicago, work on a political campaign, and travel to Panama.

I also came to the realization that when I quit my job in April, I had no clue what I was doing, and spending 6 months watching videos on Netflix, traveling randomly and generally doing nothing got me no closer to figuring out what I want to do with my life. It did, however, get me a lot closer to broke. This summer I also realized that depression doesn't magically disappear when you get rid of a stressful part of your life. Other things begin to fill that void, and depression can suck you into it very easily. Although I've struggled this summer, I do feel like I am generally happier than I was before.

I am currently in the job search phase, trying to find something just to help pay the bills. I am quickly rea…

Culinary confessions

The latest trend in American cuisine is to eat everything - all sorts of vegetables, previously unpopular fishes and cuts of meat, and "offal" - organ meats, pig trotters, ears, snouts - everything. I commend this outlook, and I've drastically expanded the foods that are in regular rotation in my diet since high school. Just since moving to Kansas I've added turnips, brussels sprouts, and raw milk.

However, every foodie/food nerd/chowhound/whatever-you-want-to-call-someone-obsessed-with-food has some dislikes, and a couple of closet "likes" that you know are culinarily taboo. Things you are supposed to like, but just can't stomach, or foods (usually overprocessed memories of childhood) that "real foodies" would scoff at. These are my confessions:

Dislikes:
Beets - taste like dirt, can't eat them in anything despite trying many varieties and prearations

Radishes - see above, but can handle them if chopped fine and mixed in something

Organ me…

Sources of Inspiration

Passions don't magically appear. They are learned over time. My love of food and cooking started early. I've actively nurtured these loves for many years, at some times more actively than others.

My earliest memory of cooking is from age 3 or 4. On weekends my dad would cook breakfast for Mom and me. I remember him letting me beat eggs with a fork to make scrambled eggs. He would pull a kitchen chair up next to the stove so I could "help" him flip pancakes.

My earliest memory of the holidays is making peanut butter fudge and decorating sugar cookies with my mother, sometime around age 4 or 5. Around the same time I remember a Thanksgiving dinner with my aunt and uncle in Georgia. I don't remember anything except a big turkey leg and my uncle showing my how to blow up surgical gloves like balloons.

At age 10, I would watch Martha Stewart on Saturday mornings. She came on at 10:00 and my horseback riding lessons were at 11. I would watch Martha while Mom & Dad w…