It still sometimes catches me off-guard when I hear something here in the Midwest that I would never hear back home in New England. I’m sure my incisive use of ‘wicked’ throws many people off, but we are outnumbered out here. WE are the people with the accent, and until I moved out here I had never been told I had an accent. Weird!

The first time we were definitely thrown off was with the word ‘bag’. The cashier in the store asked us if we would like a bag but pronounced it B-aa-ge, as in ‘anxious’ instead of ‘apple’. We stood there in silence looking at each other like, what did she just call me?

I’m told this is a regional thing and when you start going more north the pronunciations get even more… colorful. This is also used for words like ‘tag’, ‘sag’, ‘lag’ – you get it, and I’ve even heard it used with the word ‘package’. I know you are trying to pronounce the words; go ahead, I’ll wait.

Other words that I have found consist of using ‘pop’ instead of ‘soda’ and it was probably one of the funniest days at work when I said that I would bring in my sneaks, referring to my sneakers. They use the word tennies (ten-e-ees) and apparently NEVER use the term sneaks, sneakers or kicks. I was also informed that  ‘I’m rolling’; as in ‘I’m laughing my ass off’ actually means something completely opposite of anything good… or apparently legal. Lesson learned; moving on.

Wisconsin is filled with all sorts of food (although, good Italian is hard to come by) and there is a strong German / Polish / Mexican palette. This means, cannolis are not common, and are actually quite hard to find around here. The cannolis that I have found have had jelly in them (holding back the horrible language here), are made with way too much sugar or are not recognizable at all. Yea, I’m going to be pretty tough on this subject. So, I have been perfecting a cannoli dip that is meant for one or two people and is as close as possible to the real deal. Remember, it’s a dip, not a filling so the ingredients have been improvised to deal with the change.



  • ¾ Cup ricotta cheese
  • ¼ Cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon powdered sugar
  • ½ Tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • Handful of mini chocolate chips


  1. Mix together the ricotta cheese, mascarpone cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla extract until smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips. Break up some graham crackers and enjoy!
  2. You can substitute the chocolate chips for nuts such as smashed pistachios or pecans. You can also switch out the vanilla extract for hazelnut or almond extract for a nuttier flavor.





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