Thursday, July 12, 2018

Grand Marais

Oh man, I am a super bad blogger!  Usually when I plan on writing up about my vacations, I'll keep notes in my phone.
100% forgot to do that, and one week later I'm trying to remember all the fun things we did.
Alright, bare with me as I try to recall all my adventures.
Hubbie and I have had this vacation planned with my cousin and her husband for a while now.  She grew up spending most of her summers in Grand Marais with her Grandparents, it was a nice little stroll down memory lane for her.
The first evening hubbie and I spent camping.


We parked loaded up the kayaks with what we needed for an evening and kayaked across the lake, set up camp and explored the area. Before we left home I made us a wonderful stuffed bread wrapped it foil and we roasted it over the campfire for dinner.


  Great time until dusk, when every bug in Minnesota came out and found us :)  And then the storm hit, hubbie slept right through it, wish I did!


I have written about our trip to GM before, we hit up a lot of the same places.
On our way there we travel through Duluth and we ALWAYS have to stop at Northern Water Smokehaus, split an amazing smoked salmon bagel with cream cheese, it comes with a pickle and a mint.  Amazing!



One place we had not explored yet was the stunning Naniboujou Lodge.  We enjoyed a lovely dinner, and the french onion soup, wow!



Naniboujou opened in 1920, the interior is the original paint.  My cousin has heard that the fire place is the largest in Minnesota.



We took a short walk to the waterfront after dinner, there a river runs into Lake Superior, there were tons of people agget hunting here.


The condo we rented was right off the main beach in downtown Grand Marais.  What a great view we had, very nice place, just a little confusing on check in.  


I found it on Air B&B.  
My morning view, pretty nice huh?!


Lets see, we had dinner and drinks at The Birch Terrace Supper Club, my cousin calls the bar "The Dirty Birch". It's pretty old school and right on the main strip.

We did a little window shopping popping in and out of cute shops.

One of our favorite places to kayak is 2 fish house beach, that is up the coast a bit further.  The sun was shining, but it was cool and breezy.  We ate lunch on the shore we picked up at the grocery store. 

Another stop would be the rooftop at Gunflint Tavern, what a great view! 



Voyagers Brewery is a great place to go, rooftop seating, most weekends there is a band.  Good small plates and beers!  


There is so much more to do and see, shops, national parks, hikes, lakes galore.  
Make the trip, you won't regret it!  









Sunday, June 24, 2018

Last Minute Party Dip

My sweet daughter gave me a fantastic cookbook, as of now I have made 4 recipes from it already!
And of course I wanted to share with you the appetizer that I made.
Joanna Gaine's wrote this wonderful cookbook, just jam packed with everyday family styled recipes.

This "last minute party dip" is great for those days you don't have time to get to the store or plan food for a get together. Most of these items I have in my pantry or on hand daily.

What you need:
2 8 oz cream cheese (I used my homemade cheese, you can find on the blog)
1 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
1 cup green onions,chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper, or less "to taste"
Serve with bagel crisps, crackers, vegetable sticks (asparagus, celery, carrots, endive).

How to make it:
Pretty darn easy!
If you have a mixer, mix all ingredients well. Top with a bit of green onions and pepper if desired.
No mixer?  No prob!  Just mix manually, by hand.
Joanna said this stores in fridge for up to 3 days, and makes about 4 cups.

We very much enjoyed this dip!
This is one of those cookbooks that you will forsure go back to time and time again with "real people" recipes, I suggest you check it out!

Enjoy!

*Thanks Sam!  XOXO

Friday, April 27, 2018

Homemade Cream Cheese

SO for a long time by husband has been trying to talk me into making my own cheese.  He's kinda the self sufficient state of mind fella.
I didn't want to do it because I love cheese so much, I didn't want to get turned off by the process.
One day I just changed my mind, Pintrest is my friend so many ideas and recipes on there.
I found several cheese making ideas, I started off with ricotta.
Next was cream cheese, so dang easy!

What you need:
2 quarts of half and half
1 packet of mesophilic starter

How to make it:
Leave the cream out until it reaches room temperature.
Pour into a large enough bowl, stir on the starter.
Cover with plastic wrap. 
Let it set for 12 or more hours. 
Mine actually took 4 days to set because my house is kept so cool.

Next step would be to line a colander with a tea towel or muslin.  Not cheese cloth that is to thin.
Pour your cheese into the cloth, gather and tie shut around a wooden spoon that will suspend your cheese above the colander to drain into a large bowl.

Now let that drain for 12 more hours.
Bam you got cream cheese!

I divided mine into different containers, some I added chopped chives and others I made garden vegetable.

Store in the fridge.

It was really good, it made equivalent to 5 tubs of store bought cream cheese and it keeps for a long time! 
Do you save more money doing this, no not really but come on you just made your own cheese! 


I found this method on Chickens in the Road's website, there you can find photos of the process, sorry I did not take any photos.

* We found the starter and a brewery supply shop that carries cheese making products.  You get a pack of 5 that you store in the freezer