When I first moved here I was continually hearing stories about "Going to the Cabin." This was something Minnesotans did all the time. Weekends, holidays, vacations. More often than not it was a cabin owned by them and one or two other members of the family a few hours drive time from the city. They had SUVs, boats, jet skis, bikes, canoes, kayaks, grills...anything you can buy at a fancy sporting goods store, they had it. Or I should say still do. As the "Going to the Cabin" activity has not lessened in popularity. I was baffled by this tradition. This is not something that was done very often in the South. I did spend a few weeks in cabins in New Mexico but it was not a weekly activity as it so often is here in the North. And we certainly did not have $100k worth of equipment to take with us to these places. Cabins are monuments for Minnesotans. They pay homage to the outdoors, to nature, to beer. Sacred places of bonding and drinking, of getting away from it all(well, except all the expensive things you are taking with you). A few months ago, I asked my boyfriend, who grew up here and spent half his childhood in cabins, WTH? He didn't really have an answer. Then strangely enough a week after that our neighborhood newspaper published an article about "cabining it" and where it came from. Minnesota has deep Scandanavian roots, the King and Queen of Sweden have been known to visit. Norway, Sweden, The Netherlands or as I jokingly refer to them: the places where white people come from. Spending weekends at cabins is a long held tradition in those countries and as people have grown up from generations of immigrants here in the States it has become a tradition here as well. Well, now I like it too. I've done it about 4 times and loved every visit. This last time a couple of weeks ago I went sledding for the first time and well, that was just ridiculously fun. For me and my friends- it's food, laziness, drinks, games and some sportlike activity(though let's not get too crazy because well, the laziness). I'll leave you with some pictures from Danbury and Siren, Wisconsin as well as a video that will explain it all.
Technically, Niagra Falls is Wonderfalls but this is the first time I've seen a frozen waterfall so for me it is a wonder. Winter is long and harsh, no doubt about that. But it is also unusual and beautiful. It makes you grateful for nice weather and green growing things. I went out to Minnehaha Park, a place I love here in the city. I try to go a couple of times in the warmer weather to see Minnehaha Falls. It was above zero which translates to nice weather this time of year so off for a visit I went. Ice is so amazing.
So this recipe is not one of mine but it is one that I tried and thought came out great. It is a vegan au gratin from the website Forks Over Knives. The mission of Forks Over Knives seems to be teaching people about a plant based diet as a means to fight disease. Now, this information is not new to me but everyone has to learn in their own time. I highly encourage you to try out this recipe. I thought it was very good and it's a nice winter comfort food. The only thing I really changed was not slicing the potatoes with a mandolin. I thought they were too thin so I used a knife instead. I also soaked my cashews for the cream sauce for a couple of hours as opposed to 15 minutes. I think they're easier to blend that way. I used Rainbow Chard, a green I've not cooked with before. I found that I liked it quite a bit. I plan to try out more of the recipes on this site. Here is the link again: Forks Over Knives Au-Gratin. Have a Yummy Day!
I am in the middle of a mess. My bedroom is being remodeled. This is very exciting sans the fact it was supposed to be done almost two months ago. Because of the way my house is laid out this has disrupted quite a lot of my space. Including my office which is normally my place of calm and organization. That is not the case right now and truth be told it's making me a little nuts. I know my room is going to be amazing when it's done but it can be difficult to live with such disorganization. Especially when you're attempting to work at home. But what are you going to do but keep working on it? Anyway, my What to Eat post will be up tomorrow as I am polishing it up, so to speak. I just started Photoshop lessons so I am looking forward to what I can do with my pictures. In the meantime, here are a few of my office from a few months ago when it was at it's nicest and most organized. Have a great and chaos free day!
I'm so happy to say that my little jewelry line and I had our best year so far. I sold nearly a hundred pieces and easily made twice that many. I have some bigger goals for this year but for now I thought I'd share some snapshots of things I sent out and some cute packaging I did for gifts. If you have time to stop by I'd love it! GirlyGeekChic
Have a great day!
This weekend was in the 20 degree temperaure range and 30 degree range. This means it felt very warm to us winter people. Which means you go outside, at least for me. I went and walked across a lake and then around it. It was so nice to get some outdoor exercise. I have a bunch of new winter gear that I found at REI so I am warm as can be in my new comfy head-to-toe black snow pants, baselayers, hat and gloves. Walking on the lake was challenging though quite beautiful. The snow was pretty high and since I don't yet have snowshoes (possible future purchase after I try them out) I was lifting my legs very high to climb over the 12"-15" deep snow. It was quite a workout. The walking path part of the hike was much easier in comparsion because a lot of it was shoveled. Sunday took me out to frozen Minnehaha Falls. I'll post pictures from that little trip in a day or two. I am learning to use Photoshop and had my first lesson this morning. That's going to make pictures much more fun. Happy Monday!
I'm not sure I'm ever going to get used to standing on frozen water. A few weeks ago my boyfriend and I went out to a winery in St. Croix Falls, WI. It is a very lovely place as it was modeled after a Chateau in the Rhine Valley in Europe. Wisconsin is a beautiful state and I have spent a lot of time there exploring. It has many unusual attractions as well as miles of undisturbed forest. This particular winery was very pretty and I loved the award winning Rośe they serve. I brought some home for Christmas Eve dinner and it was quite wonderful. I really want to go back in the spring when it's green to wander the land and to check out the little village nearby. On the way back to home, we stopped and I stood on the frozen St. Croix River which I have never done before. I've been on a frozen lake a few times but not a river. It was strange to see it unfrozen further down. If you'd like a nice place to spend an afternoon you should head out to Chateau St. Croix and Winery. They have wines, chocolates and snacks. Make time to stop in the town. It looks to be very charming. Cheers!