16649 96th Avenue Chippewa Falls, WI 54729

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Month: December 2018

The Best Fresh Green Bean Recipe

Growing up my mom made the same turkey dinner for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, and we all loved it.  We all looked forward to the special meal she prepared, which took her most of the day.  A large turkey that fed the six of us, and enough for leftovers throughout the week.  There were a variety of side dishes to compliment, plenty of creamy mashed potatoes with gravy, cloverleaf biscuits, cranberry bread, cranberry sauce, and, my favorite, green bean casserole with the crispy fried onions on top.  My mouth is watering just reminiscing about it.

Fresh Green Beans

When I became an adult and married, my husband’s family did not share the same traditions I grew up with and green bean casserole was not always a staple at the holiday dinner.  While I have missed this tasty holiday treat over the years, this has actually worked to my benefit in the long run.  Let’s just say I am counting my calories more now than I did back when I was younger.  I am looking for ways to enjoy the foods that are good for me without all the added calories and fat.  Which leads me to the best fresh green beans I’ve ever tasted.

Years ago when my kids were in their late teens we took my husband out for a Father’s Day dinner to an Italian restaurant that served their food family style.  This restaurant happened to be over an hour’s drive away, so it was a great family adventure.  We took our time reviewing the menu then all collaborated and ordered a few main dishes we could share along with some side dishes. I had a hankering for some of the green beans listed on the  menu and wanted to try them but wasn’t sure who else would be willing.  I knew my husband would’t be game to try them since he eats very few vegetables, and when he does they certainly are not cooked.  My kids are particular about their vegetables, too, but surprised me by saying they would try the beans.

To be honest, I can’t recall the main dishes we ordered that night, but the kids and I all remember those fresh green beans, so delicious and crisp!  They arrived at the table on a small serving plate, piled high and as green as could be.  One bite and I could tell there was fresh lemon juice, some butter and salt. But it seemed as if there was something else I couldn’t quite figure out.  We all managed to finish the beans that night.  No need for a box to take home leftover beans.

Fresh lemons are key to this recipe

Over the next several months I tried duplicating that recipe myself.  I knew for sure it had the fresh lemon, butter and salt, but what else?  I tried adding a little vinegar, I recalled as a young child some of the adults in my life would drizzle vinegar over their beans.  Nope, that wasn’t it.  How about a touch of hot sauce?  No, that wasn’t it, either.  Well, we finally concluded was it was possible we could never match the wonderful experience we had that evening, dinner as a family at a new restaurant, trying different foods.  It was determined the recipe we would call Bucca beans from here on out was very simple, fresh green beans, butter, fresh lemon and kosher salt.  If there is another ingredient, we never did figure it out, but enjoy this recipe we developed ourselves.

Bucca Beans Recipe

1 lb fresh green beans

1 fresh lemon

2 Tbs butter

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 cup water

Wash the beans and snip the ends off.  I cut in half so they fit in my pot.  Place beans in pot, add enough cold water to the pot to cover the beans, add 1/2 tsp kosher salt.  Cover and let sit off to the side for an hour or so.

Drain the beans add 1/2 cup water to the pot.  Cook over medium heat for approximately 5 minutes, or until the beans are to the firmness you prefer.  We like our beans to be crisp.  The point is to steam the beans, you will want to stir them around every few minutes so the beans at the bottom are not boiled and get too soft.  You could always use a steamer if you have one.

Drain the water from the beans, keeping the beans in the pot.  Add the 2 Tbs of butter tossing to coat the beans while the butter is melting.  Squeeze the lemon juice onto the beans, tossing more to coat.  We’ve tried using the lemon juice in a bottle with this recipe, fresh lemon is definitely the way to go.

Serve and enjoy.

While I’ve never served beans for breakfast at Inn on Lake Wissota, this is a recipe my family has enjoyed for many years now.  I hope yours will, too.

 

Winter Outdoor activities in Chippewa Falls

Thanksgiving has come and gone, the cold weather continues to descend upon us, and most of us are anxiously awaiting the Christmas holiday.  We all know the winter months in the north woods can be brutally cold some years.  It seems the older I get, the longer the winter seasons last, as I don’t particularly enjoy spending a whole lot of time outdoors when it is cold.  I do, however, realize the benefits of getting outdoors and getting some exercise, despite the cold weather.  I do always feel better after spending some time in the fresh air.  Whether it’s just a 15 minute walk in my neighborhood or grabbing the snowshoes and going for a walk on the Chippewa River or through Lake Wissota State Park, I never feel as if I have wasted my time when I return to the warm, cozy bed and breakfast.

So, if you feel the need to take a little break this winter and want to get away for a few days, we hope you’ll consider Chippewa Falls.  Winter in the Chippewa Valley is breathtakingly beautiful, with the snow covered rolling hills, the vast white expanse of frozen Lake Wissota, and the serenity of the meandering Chippewa River.  There are plenty of outdoor activities for you partake in some adventure and help keep those winter doldrums at bay.

Ice Fishing

Ice fishing with Roger

My husband prefers to go ice-fishing. I have often stated he loved fishing long before he ever met me.  I’ll admit, I don’t understand the allure of sitting in an ice shack waiting for a fish to bite your lure.  But, he has all the gear for it and really enjoys his time on the ice. As far as ice fishing goes, the main portion of Lake Wissota doesn’t get much activity, only when there has been plenty of sub-zero temperatures and we have several feet of ice on the lake do we see ice fisherman out there.  This is due to the fact there is no open public access to the main lake during the winter months.  The majority of ice fishing takes place on Little Lake Wissota and Moon bay.  Chippewa County has several access points on both Little Lake Wissota and Moon Bay at no charge. Lake Wissota State Park also has access to Moon Bay.  There are also plenty of smaller lakes in the area that offer great fishing.

 

 

Snowshoeing and Cross-Country Skiing

The Chippewa Falls and Eau Claire areas have lots of opportunities for snowshoeing.  Lake Wissota State Park has approximately 10 miles of open snowshoe trails and 8 miles of cross-country ski trails.  On January 19, 2019 be sure to come out to Lake Wissota State Park to ski, hike or snowshoe on beautiful candlelit trails. Campfires will be provided, but please bring your own provisions for hot dogs or s’more’s. Hot chocolate and hot cider will be available.

Snowshoeing is a great way to get outdoors and enjoy everything Mother Nature has to offer

The Chippewa Morraine State Recreation Area doesn’t groom their trails, but they are open for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.  They have 3 self guided trails that start at the Interpretive Center and take you past a variety of glacial features.  Tower Ridge in Eau Claire may seem challenging at first, but don’t let the mounds of snow keep you from exercising; Tower Ridge is a great place to enjoy the snow and workout, offering cross-country and snowshoe trails. There are hilly and flat groomed trails for all levels. There are about 3 kilometers of lighted trails and a warming shelter that allows for night outings, a nice precursor to a warm fire. If you don’t own a pair of snowshoes and would like to try out the sport before you make the investment, Lake Wissota State Park & Spring Street Sports in Chippewa Falls both rent snow shoes.

Snowmobiling

Well let’s face it, the snowmobilers are certainly at the mercy of Mother Nature when it comes to enjoying their sport, especially here in the north woods. In the past 4 winters that Roger & I have owned Inn on Lake Wissota we have had snowmobilers stay with us only one weekend.  There just hasn’t been enough snow over that time period for the trails to be open.

Snomobiler

But, when the trails are open, Chippewa County offers snowmobile enthusiasts over 500 miles of snowmobile trails to ride on. The variety of landscapes that the trails cover is what makes them so fun and exciting. While riding our trails check out the glacial formations, rolling hills, and the beautiful wooded forests. This trail system travels through Chippewa County and connects with many other county trails with the opportunity to travel by snowmobile statewide. The Chippewa Valley Snowmobile Organization maintain and groom the trail system and keep the trails in excellent riding condition during the snowmobile season.

 

No matter what kind of winter sports you enjoy – or if even if you prefer to just curl up by the fireplace with a good book, we hope to greet you soon as one of our guests.

 

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