November 30, 2009

Beatons as Winter approaches

Took a quick weekend up to Beatons and stayed with Bonnie.  Pictured above is the wonderful Beatons Lake viewed from Bonnie's point looking at our property at the end of the lake.  Snow was coming later that day but at the time just a dusting on the ground and a beautiful sky. 

The next morning the snow started and it was so beautiful.  And peaceful.  Oh, the beauty of the northwoods. 

Zero Venison this year

You have to give Todd serious kudos!  He spent 12 hours this past weekend in a deer stand trying to get me some venison.  The deer didn't cooperate, but say what you will, to me, that is L.O.V.E.! 

What a man! - Oh, and check out the article in the Wisconsin State Journal about Todd and our business, 5Nines Data. Great Story!

The best Fish Fry in Wisconsin

We Wisconsinites take our Friday Night Fish Fry very seriously. It's in our blood, culture and weekly schedule. A good fish fry starts with a Korbel Brandy Old Fashion, while you wait for your table. If you can get a table right away...walk away. The fish is no good.

Our absolute favorite Friday night fish fry place is in Sugar Camp, WI at a little northwoods restaurant called Moondance Bar and Grill  right on highway 17 between Rhinelander and Eagle River.  The Lake Perch is fried perfectly, tender, hot and just the right light batter.  The sides are simple yet delectible, parslied potatoes, fresh coleslaw, a dilled tarter sauce and a hot dinner roll.

We've been doing the Friday Night all of our lives. We know good fish when we find it.  Check it out!

November 22, 2009

We are now prepared for winter

After living in our house for a eight years and freezing every winter because half of our living space is in the exposed basement which stays a constant 50 degrees, we finally bite the bullet and decided to do something about it.

Enter the wood-burning insert for our fireplace. This 300lb bemoth was placed in the back of the truck by a forklift. We, deciding to save $1,000, unloaded it and installed it on our own. Ouch....

After a couple of hours and a trip to Menards, we had fire. We also had lots of little cuts on our hands from man-handling the damn $600 steel tube liner that goes down the chimney to keep the fire safe.

But, wow, what a difference! Instead of a fire racing right up the flue in the old fireplace and not projecting any heat, we now have actual warmth toasting our little toes in the downstairs TV room.

I say bring on the artic cold, we're ready for this winter!

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November 19, 2009

Never let your mother cut your hair

My dear mother gave me some photos today.  This is historic proof that she once and only once attempted to cut and style my hair at age three.  I even remember being so excited to go the Sears portrait studio to have my photo taken with such fancy clothes and stylized good looks.

What the hell was she thinking?  Check out the bangs...

November 17, 2009

Mushroom Soup is easy!

Made a wonderful mushroom soup tonight for dinner.  Raine had purchased a huge bag of fresh mushroom last week.  While I used them here and there during the week, there was still a large amount.

Ingredients: 1/2 onion, 3 garlic cloves, 1lb mushrooms (finely chop 1 cup for base, the rest sliced thinly), 4tbs butter,  3 tbs flour, 3 cups of chicken broth, 1/2 cup milk/half&half.

Seasonings:  1 tsp thyme, 3/4 tsp white pepper, red pepper flakes, fresh parsley, pepper and salt (I can't really tell you how much, because I never put enough in according to my family.... this time, I threw in about  1/3 tsp of sea salt)

Directions: Into a heavy bottom pan (small dutch oven) melt the butter and add chopped onions and garlic.  Sautee for a minute and then add the 1 CUP chopped mushrooms.  Continue stirring for a minute or so - it will start to stick quickly.  Throw in some white wine or broth to deglaze.  Stir in thyme and white pepper.  Next add the flour and stir (this is the thickening part).

Add the broth, a dash of red pepper flakes, pepper and salt - bring to a slight boil.  Add the rest of the sliced mushrooms and reduce heat to low.  The mushrooms will shrink quickly.  Add the milk/creme to taste and look.  Let simmer for a few moments while you set the table.
It was really easy to stop and start while preparing.  Great when waiting for people to arrive home.  I also threw in some par-baked french bread -  great to dip in the soup.

Fudgie Froggies from heaven

One of the fun aspects of my job is the ability to test and advise on customers' online experience. For a current customer, I visited their website and ended up actually ordering these because they are so damn cute. They are called Frog Fudgies and are made with two of my favorite ingredients - mint and chocolate. Another cool thing - the froggies come from a local company called the Wisconsin Cheeseman.

Not to give too much of a blog plug, but hey, these are darn good and I'm NOT sharing.

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November 11, 2009

Yum, the Potato Soup was good!

Alright, the photo doesn't really do the soup justice, but trust me.  It was very good and easy to throw together.  This is one of those easy don't-have-to-stop at the store kind of weekday meals.

Started with a recipe for heart garlic potato soup from and then improvised based on what I had in the house.

To this recipe I did a few different things, such as substituting the sausage with some bacon bits I had from the weekend.  I also sauteed the onions, carrots and garlic in the pan first.  I then cooked the potatoes in chicken broth with a sprig of rosemary.

I then poured the chicken broth into the sauteed veggies.  Next I sauteed some mushrooms and made the roux (butter, flour and milk) I then poured that into the soup mix and added the mashed potatoes.

For seasonings, I added some thyme, white pepper, salt, red pepper flakes and some blue cheese crumbles.

That's it.  Todd was happy after adding some more salt to the pan and said the recipe was a keeper! 

P.S.  The fresh parsley is still growing in the garden, even with the few frosts we've had. 

Happy Veterans Day

If this doesn't bring a tear or two watching dear friends reunited after a long separation,  I don't know what will.   Here'a link to more dogs and their soldiers reunited

A wish of goodness to all the veterans where ever you may be.

November 6, 2009

Downtown Madison at Lunch

Reason 430 why I love Madison. A beautiful and warm sunny day walking around the Capitol square at lunch.

Looks like some renovation work is taking place on the Miss Forward sculpture on top. You can kind of see the workers walking along the top of the dome. Couldn't pay me enough to do that.

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November 4, 2009

A new room

Todd and I purchased our first dining room set ever and set it up in what used to be a living room in our house. Since the living room was never "lived" in, we decided to start over and make it a room for eating, crafting, thinking and talking. We think this will be a great addition to the house.

Bonus, I now have a place to actually put the cranberry glass I started collecting when I was 13 years old.

November 3, 2009

La Dia del Muertos

November 2 in Mexico and Latin America is known as La Dia del Muertos or the day of the dead. A day (well a few days, actually...) where people remember and honor their ancestors and friends who have died. Todd and I really liked this celebration of loved ones which we witnessed first hand in Mexico last year. This year we decided to make our own "ofrenda" or offering to our dearly departed to show our remembrance and love. Our humbled honorings included items that we associated with them. For my Grandma Wedekind, I offered a Louis L'Amour novel, who I remembered curled up in a chair and reading on a Friday night, and a potato to represent a family favorite food, potato dumplings, which she made all of us learn to make and love to eat.
For Grandpa Rollie I provided old fashioned peanut butter which he loved and Brachs bridge mix for Grandpa Vic as well as an orange, because when he traveled to Texas every winter, he'd drive 5 extra miles to get a better deal on a bag of them. For our beloved Grandma Alice, we provided lots of flowers as she was a gardener. For Nanette, an old friend of Todd's, a vodka gimlet, and for Tasha, our first German Shepherd, her favorite treats.

The purpose of this day is to remember. To be taken back in time and really understand what our family and friends meant to and taught us, what can we pass on and how we loved each one.

What a great celebration!
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