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Get Your Groove on in the Chippewa Valley this Summer

Music Concert

Are you hankering to go to a music festival this summer?  Let me tell you how you can get your groove on in the Chippewa Valley this summer.  The Chippewa Valley has an abundance of concerts and festival to offer this summer.  Here’s a list of just a few, you’re sure to find one to fit your style.

Blue Ox Music Festival.  The first music festival to kick off the season in the Chippewa Valley is scheduled for June 13-15, 2019 in Eau Claire.  With 3 stages, there will be plenty of opportunities to hear your favorite band play.  The Blue Ox is celebrating it’s fifth anniversary this year and will be providing quality performers to back up that longevity.  You’ll find long-time favorites such as Del McCoury, The Infamous Stringdusters, and Railroad Earth.  As in the past, Pert Near Sandstone will take the stage both Friday and Saturday nights.  Local favorites Charlie Parr and Them Coulee Boys are also scheduled to appear.

Northwoods Blues FestivalJune 21-22, 2019.  For a number of years this festival was held in Spooner, WI.  Due to the growth of the popularity of the festival they have moved to Chippewa Falls, and are excited to host this year’s festival in the brand new Chippewa Riverfront Park.  Some of the artists who will be perfomin areMark Cameron Band Bridget Kelly Band Howard “Guitar” Luedtke & Blue Max Joyann Parker Ray Fuller and the Bluesrockers Lindsay BeaverJoanna Connor Band Scottie Miller Band Corky Siegel’s Chamber Blues Bernard Allison Savoy Brown Kim Simmonds & P.K. Mayo.

Country Fest. June 27-29, 2019 in Cadott.  The largest Country Music and Camping Event in the U.S., they have been bringing quality talent to the Chippewa Valley since 1987 (that’s more than 30 years, folks!).  Some of this year’s headliners include Luke Bryan, Sugarland, and Little Big Town.  You won’t want to miss local favorites Dawn Marie (a native of Menomonie, WI), and Roadhouse 6 (ok, I guess we can consider the Twin Cities local-they’ll keep you dancing all night anyway).

Northern Wisconsin State Fair.  July 10-14, 2019.

Rock Fest July  18-20, 2019 in Cadott.  No, that’s not a typo.  Cadott, WI is home to both Country Fest and Rock Fest.  Even though Rock Fest hasn’t been around as long as Country Fest, they are hosting a their 26th festival, very respectable by anyone’s standards.  Headliner’s this year are Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death Punch and Evanescence (one of my favorites).  You won’t want to miss one of Eau Claire’s hometown favorites, Stare Across.

Country Jam USAJuly 18-20, 2019 in Eau Claire.  It is unfortunate when 2 of the area’s best music festivals schedule the same dates for their celebrations, but there we have it.  This weekend in July will offer some of the best of the best for Rock Music and Country music right here in the Chippewa Valley.  So, you won’t want to miss this year’s headliners, Toby Keith, Jake Owen and Keith Urban.  We hope you have already purchased your tickets because this year’s runner up of The Voice, Chris Kroeze will be performing both Thursday and Friday nights.

OneFest. July 26-28, 2019 in Chippewa Falls.  OneFest is returning to the Northern Wisconsin State Fairgrounds.  There is plenty of family entertainment with fun, new artists and activities on Friday night. Saturday will feature a variety of music, kids activities, speakers and more. Sunday will again be an amazing worship.

 

3 of the best Wineries to visit in the Chippewa Falls area

As we dream of the warmer weather that is sure to find it’s way to northern Wisconsin our thoughts turn to spending relaxing afternoons visiting local wineries, taking tours and sitting outdoors tasting the fruits of their labors.  We are here to tell you we have 3 of the best wineries to visit right here in Chippewa Falls.  Many of the guests who stay at Inn on Lake Wissota enjoy touring our wineries.  Each of the wineries approach wine making differently and have won awards for their craft.

River Bend Winery & Distillery

River Bend Vineyard & Winery logo

We’ll start with River Bend Winery & Distillery, just because it is the closest to the Inn.  Located about a 20 minute drive southwest of the Inn you will find the winery that Al & Donna opened in 2009.  Donna specializes in the wine making process and Al handles the mechanical side of the operation. They offer free wine tastings.  For those who are new to wine tasting they have an excellent staff to walk you through the process.  If you are curious about the wine making process they do offer tours for groups of 10 or more. Once you’ve decided which bottle of wine to purchase the staff can open it for you. Be sure to savor your new discovery out on the patio which overlooks the vineyard.  I can’t think of a better way to spend a summer afternoon, can you?  River Bend does a great job of bringing in a variety of events such as local musicians, food trucks, even a treasure hunt!  For more information on their event schedule check out their website, Events – River Bend Vineyard .

 

Autumn Harvest Winery

Autumn Harvest opening Day is May 4, 2019

Next on the tour is Autumn Harvest Winery Located in the town of Lafayette, Chad & Jean are working hard to continue a family legacy of growing apples and making wine.  The first winery to open in the Chippewa Falls area, Chad & Jean purchased the winery in 2015. Since then they have continued to hone their craft of making award winning wines.  Using apples from their orchard, they make wine in small batches and do everything by hand.  They’ve even perfected an Apple Cider recipe that you just have to try.  Summer weekends at Autumn Harvest are a wonderful place to spend an afternoon, sitting outdoors soaking up the sunshine and the panoramic view of the apple orchards, not to mention sipping on their tasty wine! They do a great job of bringing in local musicians throughout the season, check out their events page on their website for more information: Autumn Harvest Events.

 

O’Neil Creek Winery

O'Neil Creek Winery Logos

Make sure to save enough time to travel north to visit O’Neil Creek Winery located just west of Bloomer.  Joe & Dorinda opened the winery in 2009.  Joe is a retired law enforcement officer and was dabbling in making wine for friends and family.  The hobby grew so much it only made sense to open the winery.  Joe’s wines are made from fruits and vegetables he grows in his orchard and on the property.  Joe has perfected his recipes and has won numerous awards for a variety of his wines.  One thing that sets O’Neil Creek winery apart from the rest of the area wineries is his support of local artists by featuring a different one each month throughout the season.  Each artist displays their artwork in the wineshop for all customers to see and hopefully purchase, and they are featured on the website as well.  You will find a monthly event called Wine Women & Wednesdays which offers the ladies a chance for a night out in the middle of the week to enjoy some wine, live music.  If you’re hungry they partner with Fat Boy’s Family Restaurant in Bloomer, you just order at the winery & Fat Boy’s will deliver!

 

 

Just in Time for Spring- A Yummy Vegetable Frittata Recipe

Vegetable Frittata with sausage links and a creme puff drizzled with chocolate sauce sitting on top of an orange slice.

Vegetable Frittata with sausage links and a creme puff drizzled with chocolate sauce sitting on top of an orange slice.

 

Just in time for spring a yummy vegetable frittata recipe to help bring in the new season.  I can’t remember exactly which website I found this recipe on, but was thankful I did.  I found in December, just before Christmas.  There is a group of women, a board of directors for a non-profit organization, who have been coming the same time every year for at least 6 years – in fact, since before I owned Inn on Lake Wissota.  One of those women is vegetarian.  As you know, I am not afraid to accommodate special dietary restrictions or preferences, and vegetarians are pretty easy to accommodate.  I have been keeping track over the years what I have served them so I don’t prepare the same thing twice.  It can get to be a challenge to find new recipes that an entire group will enjoy.  Fortunately for me, this particular group of women is not fussy, so they are easy to please.  Even though I found this in the winter and served it a number of times, with rave reviews each time, I think this recipe is a great one to serve on a beautiful spring morning.  So, with no further ado, here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

8 Large eggs
1/3 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 TBS olive oil
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded, thinly sliced
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
2 cups packed baby spinach
4 ounces feta cheese

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350ºF with rack in center position. In a large bowl, beat eggs with milk, salt and pepper.

Warm oil in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add red pepper and onion and sauté until softened,
about 7 minutes. Stir in the spinach and sauté until wilted. Spread the vegetables evenly in the skillet and
pour in egg mixture. Crumble feta on top. Cook without stirring until eggs are just beginning to set
around the edges, 2-3 minutes. If you don’t have an ovenproof skillet, preheat a pie plate in the
oven for 5 minutes, sauté the vegetables and wilt the spinach, then put those ingredients in the pie plate and
add the egg mixture.

Place in the oven and bake until almost set in the center, about 15 minutes. Turn broiler on high; broil frittata
until the top is golden brown, approximately 2 minutes. Be sure to watch carefully to prevent over-browning.
Remove from oven, let stand for about 5 minutes before serving.

Remember, recipes are road maps, you can add or subtract ingredients as you like.  I have added mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes for something a little different.  In the photo you can see ocassionally I top it with some cherry tomatoes, sliced in half.  Serve it with some sausage links if you like to have some meat with your breakfast.  This spring I plan on serving it with a salad dressed with raspberry vinaigrette.

I hope you and your family enjoy this recipe as much as my guests have.  Happy Spring and we look forward to greeting you as one of our guests soon!

4 Reasons to host a Role-playing Game Retreat at a B&B

Cartoon of men sitting around a table playing a game under a spotlight

Role Playing Game

 

Last month we had the pleasure of hosting a group of folks from around the upper mid-west. They descended upon Inn on Lake Wissota for a weekend dedicated to Role-playing Games.  The event was initiated by our son who has been into RPG’s for almost 2 decades now.  He uses the pen name PK Sullivan when he is writing RPG blogs, designing games and contributing to RPG books. PK thought  why not host a Role-playing Game Retreat at a B&B?  They decided to rent out the entire place for a weekend.  What fun for 12 players to participate in a weekend of  role-playing games.

1. Plenty of room for several groups of 4

These folks were coming from 3 different states, so it was fun to watch them arrive.  Some had never met in person, which is a kick to think about.  The group of 12 broke into 3 groups of four and found separate areas in the B&B to play their particular RPG.  The dining room offers a large table, plenty of room for them to spread out with their game stuff with plenty of room for snacks and beverages.  Another group gathered in our common area, at a high top table near the fireplace.  The last group gathered in the Northwoods room, which is a suite that has a large sitting area with a couch and an overstuffed chair.  We put another chair in their so they could all sit comfortably around the coffee table.  Throughout the weekend they switched up groups, games and GM’s, which added to the experience.

2. The Bed & Breakfast is free of distractions

Once each one of those guests walked through the front door of the bed and breakfast they were able to leave behind their cares and concerns from their day-to-day lives.  There are no TV’s or computers in any of our common areas (unless a guest brings one from home).  The Northwoods room has a tv, but it is tucked away in an entertainment center that has doors.  Since they were the only guests staying at the B&B there were no disturbances from other guests coming and going during their games.  With 5 guestrooms there were plenty of restrooms available when they took a break.  We have a small fridge for complimentary bottled water and sodas, they brought their own adult beverages and snacks.

3. No meal prep or cleaning required

The onerous duty of planning meals, grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was left up to me, the innkeeper.  Of course, we took into consideration any food allergies and dietary restrictions or diets the group had. The most difficult decisions they needed to make was what clothes to pack, which of their favorite snacks to bring, and what adult beverages they wanted stow in their cooler. Each morning we served breakfast in the dining room at 9:00 to the entire group. I was also able to get the kitchen & dining room cleaned up as quickly as possible so they could get back to the games.  Friday night they took a break to have pizzas delivered, then got right back to their RPG’s.  Saturday night they went to a local supper club so they could get out and about a bit and have a change of scenery.

4.  Offseason rates make it affordable for the entire group

The winter months up here in the Northwoods of Wisconsin can be rather quiet, so when I have an opportunity to book out the entire place for 2 nights, I will certainly give a good deal to the group.  The housekeeper doesn’t mind either, she gets Saturday off!  This seemed like the perfect win-win situation for everyone.  They got an inexpensive weekend away playing games and I was able to have a full house!  For those who are interested in hosting a Role Playing Game in their own home, RoleplayingTips.com has more good information for you to build on.

We sure enjoyed having these folks stay with us.  While I have been aware of Role Playing Games for many years, I was able to gain a better understanding of how they are actually played.  We would welcome PK’s group back anytime.  Maybe sometime when the weather is nicer and games can be played outside on the deck or in the yard near the lake.  If you have a group of friends you like to RPG with, give us a call when you’re ready to host your own retreat here at Inn on Lake Wissota.

 

 

 

 

 

3 Reasons why You Should Attend SpringFest 2019

After a long, cold winter with record breaking snowfalls, it is only fitting Chippewa Falls once again starts the celebration of Spring and everything that goes with it, i.e., warmer weather, tulips blooming, lilacs on the verge of bursting forth their beautiful lavendar color and iconic fragrance.  The Chippewa Falls Rotary Foundation will be hosting the 9th Annual SpringFest April 26-28, 2019.  This year’s list of activities is one you won’t want to miss, there is plenty of fun for everyone.  Here are the top 3 reasons why you should attend SpringFest 2019.

1. Honoring those who serve our community

SpringFest 2019 will kick-off on Friday afternoon at 3:45 pm with a Flag Pole service to honor those who have served our nation, our state and our community.  Not only veterans and current military service members, but firefighters, police officers, emt’s, all just need to present a current ID card to receive free admission on Friday.  Kids will be able to enjoy Cassidy’s Critters and Petting Zoo along with free inflatables.

2. Family Friendly

There will be plenty of things for the kids to do on both Saturday and Sunday.  There will be a free balloon artist and facepainting; Cassidy’s Critters Petting Zoo will be there as well.  On Saturday afternoon you won’t want to miss the Hillbilly Silly Science Spectacular.  The show combines clean family humor with educational material.  Kids will learn about basic science concepts and developing a hypothesis for what will happen with each experiment. Inflatable World is place for all the kids to have fun.

Sunday is Youth & Family Day, admission to the event is free.  Yes, I typed that correctly, FREE.  Sunday’s events will be geared towards the kids, and those, too will be free of charge. In addition to the facepainting, Cassidy’s Critters, inflatables and baloon artists you will find free pony rides. Doug Wozniak, the One Man Polka Band will be returning and have us all dancing a jig in the streets of the Northern WI State Fairgrounds. You won’t want to miss the Chi-Hi Wire Choir, always a big hit, it’s so much fun to see these talented kids turn out some music and dance you would least expect with instruments typically used in the orchestra.  Another must see is EXA Athletics from Eau Claire, they will be demonstrating cheerleading, gymnastics, tumbling and ninja.  Now what kid wouldn’t love that?

3. Music, Music, and more Music

As the old saying goes, last, but certainly not least, SpringFest 2019 has music to fit anyone’s genre.  On Friday afternoon starting at 4:00 folks will be able to enjoy Rockin Ivy. a Chippewa Valley local favorite that always draws a crowd.  Wrapping up Friday evening is Contradiction; since 2002, Contradiction has remained one of the most fun and diverse rock and roll bands in Wisconsin. Mix in some kickin country, and you’ll be dancing and fist pumping all night.  Fronted by a very powerful singer that can nail vocals from bands such as Metallica and Godsmack, to Seether and Jason Aldean or Luke Bryan, you will want to stay all night just to see what he does next.  Collectively, Contradiction covers decades of party music, and has the extensive song list to prove it.

Saturday will be jam packed with some perennial favorites, including Sage Leary who grew up in nearby Holcombe, WI and is now attending UWEC.  Sage has a passion for writing music, and that passion flows through to his listeners.  Later in the afternoon the Sue Orfield Band will perform beginning at 4:00 pm. Nothing else needs to be said, the Sue Orfield Band has been performing in the Chippewa Valley for years and is loved by many.  Year after year, Boogie and the Yo-Yo’z draws a crowd larger than the tent can hold at the NWSF grounds.  This year the Rotary Foundation has invested in a larger tent and more places to purchase your favorite beverage which cuts down on the amount of time you are spending in line and maximizes the time you are boogieing with the yo-yo’z!

If these three reasons aren’t enough to draw you to Chippewa Falls at the end of April, then maybe I can compel you to come for one more reason, all proceeds from the event stay in Chippewa Falls, primarily benefiting the Chippewa Falls Area Mentor Program.  With a focus on kids, the Chippewa Falls Rotary Club chose the Chippewa Area Mentor Program as it’s signature benefactor from SpringFest because it offers a structured, school-based mentoring program, serving students in grades K-12 in the public and Catholic schools in the Chippewa area. The program operates September thru May, during regular school hours, and serves over 200 mentor-mentee matches annually.

We hope to see you at the end of April at the Northern WI State Fairgrounds for the 9th Annual Chippewa Falls SpringFest!

 

 

 

3 Reasons Why a Night at a B&B is the Perfect Valentine’s Gift for Your Guy

Happy Valentine's Day_canstockphoto521583

Happy Valentine’s Day

Are you having a difficult time choosing that perfect Valentine’s gift for your guy?  I’m here to tell you a night at a B&B is the perfect Valetine’s Gift for your guy.  Choosing a gift for the love of your life can be challenging sometimes.  If you’re like me you feel you want to get him something extra special to show how much he means to you and you appreciate all he does for you.  Somehow that stuffed animal just doesn’t send that message. And, I don’t know about your guy, but mine would not appreciate having flowers delivered to his office, that’s not how he rolls.  I would most certainly be in the dog house for that maneuver!  So why a night at a B&B?  Let me give you three reasons:

  1. A quiet place for you to spend some quality time together.  One of the first things you notice about a B&B is the quietness. Many B&B’s don’t accept young children, so you don’t have to worry about the hockey or basketball team running up and down the hall, slamming the doors as they come and go, which is what we are likely to find at a hotel during the month of February here in the Northwoods.  Your guy will love having you all to himself, with no interruptions.
  2. A new adventure.  If you’ve never stayed at a Bed & Breakfast before, this will be the perfect time to explore one.  If you’ve already enjoyed staying at B&B, try to find a new one so you can have a different experience than what you’ve had in the past. Each Bed & Breakfast is unique, no two are created equally, just like their owners!  If you have a B&B the both of you absolutely love going to, then by all means, make that reservation.  I’m sure the innkeeper will be pleased as punch to have you as a repeat guest.  Creating memories just the two of you to share will make this Valentine’s gift one your guy will never forget.
  3. Breakfast in bed.  Who doesn’t enjoy having a lazy morning, lingering in bed a little too long, enjoying each other’s company?  Many B&B’s offer room service so you can have breakfast in your jammies just the two of you.  Again, your guy will feel pampered (in a guy sort of way) and be able to spend quality time with you.  Isn’t that what we all crave, just some intimate moments with the love of our life?

So why not mix things up a little bit this year for Valentine’s Day?  You can take the initiative to make the reservations and surprise your guy with one of the best Valentine’s gifts he’s ever received!

As usual, we hope to greet you soon as one of our guests here at Inn on Lake Wissota!  Happy Valentine’s Day!

5 reasons to hold your team building event in Chippewa Falls

Chippewa Falls, geographically speaking, is very blessed to sit on the banks of the Chippewa River.  The river has lent itself to a rich and varied history for the city.  The city was built amidst the logging industry followed by shoe factories, a woolen mill company, banking, supercomputing, and we can’t forget to mention a world renowned brewery!  All of these business required team work and helped create a vibrant community that has stood the test of time.  Natural resources abound as well.  All of these elements come together to help you develop a team building event your group will never forget.  A team building retreat in Chippewa Falls will help your teammates connect, develop new ways to communicate which helps foster creativity and productivity.

Team building activities

Consider taking a tour

Tours can offer interesting insights to a community, how it was built, the businesses and industries that contributed to it’s growth.  The Chippewa Falls Museum of Industry and Technology tells the stories the story of important, unique, and groundbreaking innovations in industry and technology that were developed in the Chippewa Valley.

The Cook-Rutledge Museum is a truly unique 1887 restored and furnished lumber baron’s home. It is one of the finest remaining examples of High Victorian Italianate architecture in Wisconsin. Visitors to the stately, red brick home will be awed by 19th century extravagance.

The Leinenkugel’s Brewery has been brewing beer in Chippewa Falls for more than 150 years.  A tour of the brewery offers visitors a chance to sample their beer, tour the brewery and shop at the Lodge.  We recommend taking the Family Tour.  The tour is delivered by one of the Leinenkugel family members! Leinie’s fans can join Dick, John, or Matt Leinenkugel as they guide them around the brewery, sip fantastic beer, partake in cheese pairings, and take home a gift.

Outdoor activities

Hiking and walking opportunities abound in Chippewa Falls.  The Lake Wissota State Park has more than 18 miles of hiking trails.  There are two, self-guided, scenic, nature trails.  Downtown Chippewa Falls has experienced some wonderful revitalization over the past several years, but is still maintains it’s historical vibe.  The Chippewa Falls Walking Tour gives visitors a chance to take a self-guided tour of downtown Chippewa Falls and learn about our history and see beautiful, historic homes and buildings.  The Old Abe State trail is located just 1/2 mile from Inn on Lake Wissota, a 19.5-mile abandoned railroad grade connecting two State Parks, from Chippewa Falls to Cornell, Wisconsin. The trail is flat and easy going.

Community Service

A small community service project can give your team an chance to connect on another level unavailable in the workplace.  When working towards a common altruistic cause co-workers are able to get to know one another outside the workplace.  This fosters a different kind of bond than that in the office.  Community service projects offer a win-win situation for both the employees and the organization benefiting from the volunteer work.  Employees feel good for contributing to a needy organization and the non-profit is able to continue serving it’s mission.  There are plenty of non-profits in Chippewa Falls who would be grateful for whatever time you are able to give.  From packing weekend backpack meals for school kids or serving a meal at Ruby’s pantry, just to mention a couple, there’s a volunteer project in the Chippewa Falls community to fit your team building event.

Lodging at a B&B

An overnight stay at a Bed & Breakfast can extend the team building experience for your group.  Usually there is a common area large enough for a small team of 4-10 members to gather, creating a relaxed atmosphere for further bonding and communication.  The team leader has another opportunity to build on developing company objectives and goals.  Encouraging employees to give their input on how to work towards those company objectives helps increase motivation and productivity in the workplace.

A team building event booked during our off-season (November through Mid-May) gives your team an opportunity for an earlier check-in and later check-out, as most B&B’s in Wisconsin are not as busy this time of year.  The personalized service you’ll receive and beautiful breakfast will help facilitate that special experience you’re trying to provide to your team mates to show them how important they are to the team and you appreciate all they do.

We hope to greet you and your team members soon at Inn on Lake Wissota.

 

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.

 

7 Reasons to Visit Chippewa Falls and Eau Claire in December

Chippewa Falls and Eau Claire have plenty of things going on during the month of December to help you get into the holiday spirit and create some memories.Whether you like spending time outdoors in the fresh air or listening to some seasonal music or watching a play, we’ve got just the activity to inspire your yuletide cheer.

Entrance to Irvine Park Christmas Village

1. Irvine Park Christmas Village

11/22/2018 – 01/01/2019

The Chippewa Falls Christmas Village, in beautiful Irvine Park, is an impressive display of life size Christmas scenes reminiscent of the Victorian era and local historical replicas. It is set up during the holiday season along with a dazzling display of over 60,000 lights.

2. 30th Annual Bridge to Wonderland Parade

12/1/2018 6:00 pm, downtown Chippewa Falls

Join us for the Annual Bridge to Wonderland Parade and enjoy over 50 illuminated musical floats, walking units, and animal entries as they light up the winter skies. This year’s theme is A Candy Christmas.

Bridge to Wonderland Parade

Don’t miss this beautiful winter parade and beloved Chippewa Falls tradition! Afterward, join us along with the Chippewa Falls Public Library down at Riverfront Park for campfires and s’mores, free hot chocolate, and visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

 3. Christkindlmarkt at Lazy Monk Brewing

12/1/2018 – 12/8/2018 12:00-4:00 pm

Lazy Monk Brewing is excited to bring to the Chippewa Valley a true German Christkindlmarkt!  The first two Saturdays of December, check out this outdoor shopping market for your holiday gift giving! Vendors will include local potters, chocolate maker, handcrafted wooden gifts, handcrafted soaps, bakers and other locally made products for your buying pleasure. Delight your senses with the feel of a true European Holiday.

4. Winter After Hours

Thursdays at Pinehurst Park in Eau Claire 11/22/2018 – 02/28/2019 6:00 – 8:00 pm

It’s about that time of year again to get out and have some outdoor winter fun.

Winter After Hours at Pinehurst Park in Eau Claire

Winter After Hours at Pinehurst Park have started and will continue every Thursday night throughout January and February. Activities include sledding, ice skating, snowshoeing, winter KUBB, and snow sculptures along with cross-country ski and fat-bike trails. Ice Skate and snowshoe rentals are available. If you’re feeling chilly, hang out by the fire pit, or sit in the warming house. Help yourself to the free hot chocolate and enjoy some great music!

 

5. Hold the Lutefisk! It’s Beginning to Smell a lot like Christmas…

The Looney Lutherans

at the Heyde Center for the Arts 12/15 – 12/16 2018

When you want an old-fashioned Christmas, you know who to turn to — the musical, merry, menopausal members of the Looney Lutherans! These warm and witty women have created a brand new show of family-friendly comedy skits and songs to help audiences enjoy the spirit of the season, and maybe even create a new holiday tradition to boot.

Looney Lutherans

The idea for the “Looney Lutherans” was cooked up in 2006 when the founding members were appearing in the cast of the hit musical CHURCH BASEMENT LADIES at the Plymouth Playhouse in Plymouth, MN. The company has since expanded to include four additional “Loonies”, but all of these talented women have been performing for years as professional actresses, writers, singers, and improvisers. Dinner by Sweet Clarisse Catering will feature your favorite Lutheran potlucks all rolled into one! A delightful selection of entrées, Wisconsin-inspired sides and desserts. Don’t forget to leave room for the jello mold.

 

6. Annual Ugly Sweater Fun Run at Lazy Monk Brewing

in Eau Claire 12/22/2018 10:00 am

Come join us in your ugliest Christmas sweater for a fun 5k run. Good people, good fun, good cookies & prize drawings.

Eau Claire Annual Ugly Sweater Fun Run

7. Arch Allies at Loopy’s

12/22/2018 Chippewa Falls Doors open at 6:30. Show is from 8:30pm – 12:15am.

PRE-NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY AT LOOPY’S! The surrounding area has been such great fans, we can’t wait to come back.
We’re doing the whole night up just like New Year’s, with a count down, party favors and champagne to toast with at midnight!

December is one of my favorite times of the year.  We would love to greet you as one of our guests during this beautiful holiday season.

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