16649 96th Avenue Chippewa Falls, WI 54729

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bed and breakfast

Breakfast Cowboy Hash Recipe

This savory breakfast skillet is adaptable to whatever you have on hand. Throw in your summer veggies from the farmers market or strip it down to the basics of hash, bacon, and eggs. 

What You’ll Need

2 lbs russet or yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
½ large onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
Bacon, chopped
4 large eggs
Fresh chives, minced
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper

 

Instructions

  1. Peel and chop 3 leftover baked potatoes (russet or Yukon golds) into ½” pieces. Also roughly chop ½ large white onion and red bell pepper.

  2. In a cast-iron skillet, cook a few slices of bacon (or desired meat) until crispy. Remove meat and set aside.

  3. Add in the onions and red peppers and saute over medium heat for 3-5 minutes until softened and the onions develop color.

  4. Add in the chopped potatoes and give a thorough toss, making sure the potatoes are evenly coated in fat. Press everything down into an even layer, and let sit over medium heat undisturbed for 2 minutes.

  5. Using a firm sharp spatula, dig under the potatoes and flip them before patting them back down into an even layer. Let sit undisturbed for another 2 minutes. Repeat this process about 4 times, until everything is cooked, crisp, and browned.

  6. Before the final flip, add in a couple finely minced fresh sage leaves along with chopped bacon from earlier.

  7. Give the hash a flip and thoroughly mix to combine before digging 4 small divots in the mixture. Crack in 4 eggs, one into each divot.

  8.  Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 4-5 minutes, or until the whites are set and the yolks are still runny.

  9. In addition to kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, finish the potato hash with fresh minced chives.

Original recipe courtesy of Basics with Babish

 

stairs to the Inn from the dock

Here at the Inn we’ve been spending a lot of time down on the water and we thought the view looking up at the Inn is worth sharing. Join us down by the water and drive right into mid-summer!

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Crustless Potato Quiche Recipe

 

This is a true fan favorite and a recipe we’ve had to write down and share with many guests. Use it to feed the family or friends in town OR simply because you deserve it – which of course you do. We hope you enjoy making and eating it as much as we do!

 

What You’ll Need

6 eggs, beaten
3 cups frozen hash browns (26 0z)
4 oz (1 cup) cheddar cheese
½ cup cottage cheese
1 green onion, chopped
¼ tsp salt
⅛ tsp pepper
6 slices crispy bacon, crumbled
sprinkle of paprika

 

Inn on Lake Wissota coffee mug

Instructions

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Pour yourself a cup of coffee. Grease a 9 inch pie or square pan. In large bowl, combine all ingredients except paprika and bacon; mix well. Pour mixture into greased pan. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, or until set. Maybe get yourself another cup of coffee. Sprinkle with bacon; bake 5 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

 

 

 

view of the lake from IOLW

Although we suggest eating this overlooking Lake Wissota during a calm water sunrise, it will taste delicious wherever you are. Try the recipe out and share it with a friend if you enjoy it!

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Key Lime Pie – Your New Favorite Summer Dessert

key lime pie on a countertop

Photo by Nathan Lemon

Nope, this isn’t a breakfast recipe, but it does embody the the Inn and what it stands for more than we’d like to admit. We believe dessert is best shared with friends (as long as you get plenty), and they should leave you with sweet sugary dreams once it’s gone. Prep this pie the day before and when everyone’s gathered you’ll look like Harry Houdini with surprise dessert! 

This recipe comes from Sobo, a restaurant surrounded by beaches in Tofino, Canada. Feel free to close your eyes and picture yourself eating this on a beach in the sun. We promise, it’ll make it even better. 

 

What You’ll Need

1¾ cups graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup butter, melted
6 egg yolks
2 3o0ml cans sweetened condensed milk (2½ cup)
¾ cup freshly squeezed limes
3 cups Whipping Cream
2 tsp vanilla
2 tb powdered sugar

 

graham crackers on a table

Graham Cracker Crust

1¾ cups graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly butter a 9-inch pie dish. In a medium sized bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar with the butter until it resembles wet sand. Press the mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom and sides of the prepared pie dish and bake in the center of the oven for 7–9 minutes. Remove and allow to cool for about 20 minutes. Leave the oven on. 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Benigno Hoyuela

Pie Filling

6 egg yolks
2 3o0ml cans sweetened condensed milk (2½ cup)
¾ cup freshly squeezed limes

In a separate bowl whisk the egg yolks lightly. Add the condensed milk and whisk to combine. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the key lime juice, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. Pour the filling into the cooled pie crust. Bake for 5–7 minutes.

Let the pie cool completely, then place in the fridge
uncovered for at least 4 hours to set. 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Kayli Hendricks

Whipped Cream

3 cups Whipping Cream
2 tsp vanilla
2 tb powdered sugar

Put whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla in a medium-sized bowl and whip until soft peaks form.

To serve, slice the pie and top generously with whipped cream. Enjoy!

 

 

 

This summer, there’s a million reasons to celebrate, and what is a celebration without dessert after all? Come find us on Lake Wissota down by the water, key lime pie in hand. We can’t promise we’ll share, but once you taste this recipe you’ll see why. 

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3 Kinds of Inspiring B&B Guests

We’ve greeted a lot of guests here at the Inn on Lake Wissota, and we’re starting to see some trends. Our guests seem to always take the path that leads to adventure, we like to call them new experience enthusiasts. Whether they’ve stayed with us before or not, they’re often here for something new. Sometimes this is an activity, a brewery, or a new back 9. They’re stepping out of their zone, to explore new territory.

We think highly of our guests and their prioritizing of adventure. There are so many types of guests that make the Inn the special place that it is. Today we’re sharing three common types of Inn on Lake Wissota guests that could be you, or might inspire you as they’ve inspired us.

 

1. The Escape Artists

These sly guests know just when to pack up and step away from the day to day for a refresher. We admire their loyalty to adventure. They focus on the rejuvenation of themselves, which looks different across them all. Some rejuvenate by sticking near the Inn playing board games and fishing off the dock. Others pack a day so full of activities and come back to the Inn, where they know the details are taken care of. Some of our escape artists actually live here in Chippewa Falls. Those guests are seasoned pros at the local entertainment and make sure to live like tourists in their own home town. Shouldn’t we all aspire to do this too?


2. The First Timers

These newby’s come in many ages but they all have a common thread – spontaneity! We love when guests choose our Inn as their first B&B experience. We get to see them experience it through fresh eyes. It always makes us reminisce on our first B&B experience, too. They often make the absolute most of what Chippewa Falls and the Inn have to offer, renting kayaks or our boat. They seem to fall in love with the custom experience that comes with B&B’s and often times we get to greet them again! It takes going outside the norm to do something new, and we try to hone The First Timers gusto in everything we do.


3. The Gatherers

We often find the Inn as a meeting ground for larger groups. These type of guests always bring such joy with them. They remind us to reach out to our friends and family for gatherings more, too. Seeing family or old friends is something we cherish yet isn’t always on the top of our very full day to day lists. Yet for something that brings us so much joy, we don’t do it enough. May The Gatherers inspire you as they’ve inspired us. Perhaps we’ll be lucky enough to greet you all here at the Inn.

We don’t choose our guests, but we’re so grateful that they’ve chosen us. Cheers to all the fire pit laughs and coffee chats we’ve shared with our guests. The stories we hear and the people we meet make this Inn the special place that it is.

To all our guests we’ve greeted, thank you for shared memories and kind reviews. To the trailblazers we have yet to meet, we look forward to showing you the Inn and all she has to offer. Whatever kind of guest you may be, we can’t wait to greet you here at the Inn to relax, renew, and refresh.

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5 Reasons to Travel Locally

Got the travel bug and feeling unable to scratch that itch? It’s time to set everything aside and hop in the car for a weekend getaway. With the ease of road trips and the spontaneity it allows, you don’t have to spend hours planning, just book a place to sleep, and hit the road. The memories are sure to make themselves. Here are 5 reasons to travel locally. 

1. Skip the travel days that eat up precious vacation time.

Driving to the airport, flying from one plane to the next, to then drive some more, and finally check-in. While these getaways have perks of their own, you can utilize those travel days to instead be sipping Cab Sav at River Bend Vineyard, or hitting balls on the back 9 at Lake Wissota Golf. Sounds much better, don’t you think?

bakery

2. Allows for sponteneity

When you’ve got your car, a pal, and good spirits, those roadside stops can become the most memorable part of the trip. Feeling hungry? Time for a stop a local bakery. Time to stretch the legs? Check out the nearest State Park. These laid back drives will make your 14 year old self proud. We all know we told ourselves we’d do this. 

3. Explore your home

Why should tourists get to experience the best of your area when you haven’t capitalized on all it has to offer? Fall in love again with your area, rent a canoe and find a water access beach for a picnic. These plans are always within reach near home, but we might not make it happen enough. Find that waterfall you’ve seen friends photos of, and enjoy the local scenery on the way.

passing box from 1 hand to the next

4. Keep the $$ to yourselves

By travelling locally you’re able to keep the money within your community, knowing exactly where it ends up. You might get a chance to meet some of the latest entrepreneurs and make some new community connections.

the girls laughing together

5. Travel more frequently

Vacations are known for providing a sort of reset that rejuvenates us to our cores. Spending all your vacation fund on one trip can be grand, but the short and frequent trips might leave you feeling like your cup is more full.

Make a list of all the things you’d like doing near you. I bet there’s a lot you haven’t done yet. Set some goals to cross some of these things off and see how it feels. We can almost guarantee you won’t regret it.

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Inn on Lake Wissota will be reopening Friday, April 24, 2020!

IOLW Backyard view of Lake Wissota

IOLW Backyard view of Lake Wissota

After being closed for more than 3 weeks we are excited to be welcoming guests back to the B&B!

Spring is in the air, Inn on Lake Wissota is here to provide you a safe, socially distant Staycation!

How Inn on Lake Wissota can provide a safe Staycation during the Covid-19 Precautionary timeframe

A view of the sunset over Lake Wissota from the deck at Inn on Lake Wissota

Sunset from the deck at Inn on Lake Wissota

  • A 60ft deck allows for acceptable social distancing while watching the sunsets.
  • A new wood burning fire pit in the yard allows for a warm fire on a beautiful spring evening.
  • We will accept no more than 4 rooms for any given night.  The maximum number of people in the B&B won’t exceed 10, including Beth & Roger.
  • Complimentary room service provided, no need to come down to the dining room.

 

 

Why Stay at Inn on Lake Wissota?

1)  Impeccable Cleanliness

As many of you know, Inn on Lake Wissota is our home and not just a place of business. Roger and I have been passionate and committed innkeepers for more than 5 years and are grateful for the opportunity to serve our guests.  We have always had strict sanitizing and cleaning procedures in place.  In addition to those standard policies we have added procedures to clean and sanitize surfaces that are touched often not only by guests but by B&B staff as well. We believe our cleaning and sanitizing procedures exceed the top industry standard.

2)  Check-In/Check Out Procedures

With social-distancing now being the norm, we are offering alternative self check-in and out for those who do not want to interact with anyone.  Just let us know in advance that you would prefer a self check-in and we will be happy to send you the directions on how to use the keyless entry and where to find your room.  Check-out is easy enough, just give us a shout that you’re leaving so we know we can get in and clean the room.

3)  Other Social-Distancing  

While we have temporarily eliminated the plate of cookies in the common area and the airpot of coffee in the beverage nook, there are still treats and beverages available.  We will leave cookies in your room prior to arrival and for those who long for a cup of coffee first thing in the morning we can arrange to have a tray of coffee delivered to your room at a designated time.

There is one local restaurant that delivers to Inn on Lake Wissota and most other Chippewa Falls restaurants are offering take-out.  Each guest room has either a table or a set of tray tables for dining.  Need plates, silverware and napkins?  We can provide those on request.  There is always the option to eat on the deck or at the picnic table in the yard.

Beth is always available by cellphone if you need to be in touch without being face-to-face.

The common area features a gas fireplace, comfy seating and a breathtaking view of Lake Wissota.

The Atrium

4)  Breakfast  

Beth is a certified ServSafe Food Protection Manager and follows all of the best practices of the trade so you can be rest assured the food she prepares for you has been done so not only with love, but all necessary safety requirements and precautions.

For those who prefer the privacy of dining in their guest room, complimentary room service is available. There may be some folks who would rather  eat in our beautiful dining room overlooking Lake Wissota, we can offer staggered dining times to accommodate those guests.

5)  B&B Versus Other Lodging Types

Guests who have stayed with us at Inn on Lake Wissota find comfort  in the smaller size of our B&B as there may be less of a chance of exposure to other people. The small size is easier to ensure cleaning efficiently and completely through the day too.  There is plenty of room at the Inn, both indoors and outdoors, to rest, relax & renew.

Need a place where the whole family can stay?  Inn on Lake Wissota rents out the entire B&B to famililes and/or friends.  Give us a call for more details (715) 382-4401.

6)  Cancellation Policies

Inn on Lake Wissota has worked with all of the guests who were scheduled to stay with us during this pandemic.  For those who requested a refund, we granted those without any penalty.  For those who wanted to reschedule, but weren’t sure when that would be, we issued gift certificates.  We would like to especially thank those guests, as it really helped our small business during these uncertain financial times.

What can we do while visiting Chippewa Falls?

While indoor recreation is difficult to come by these days, there is plenty of outdoor activity and the weather is warming up.  Now is a great time to get outdoors and enjoy all mother nature has to offer.  Would you prefer to spend time indoors?  Bring your favorite book and cozy up in the common area.  We have plenty of board games to keep you occupied.

Enjoy biking on the Old Abe trail, less than 1/2 mile from the B&B

Couple biking

  1. Biking on the Old Abe State Trail.  Bring your bikes and hit the trail located just 1/2 mile from Inn on Lake Wissota! As of March 24, 2020 the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has waived all fees for the parks and trails it oversees.
  2. Hiking or biking at Lake Wissota State Park.  Located just 2 miles east of Inn on Lake Wissota.  The park has over 11 miles of trail open to off-road biking, 7 miles of horseback riding trails, swimming, boating, canoeing, kayaking, water skiing, picnic areas, fishing, hunting and trapping (based on regulations, 8 miles of cross-country ski trails groomed for traditional stride and skate skiing, and 5 miles of snowmobile trails.
  3. Walking in Irvine Park & Zoo.  In 1906 William Irvine had a dream. The dream was to establish a reserve that would enhance and protect the Chippewa Valley environment. The park has grown through the years with the help of many generous residents. This park on 318 acres includes walking trails, cross country skiing with the winter months, a band shell, preserved schoolhouse and log cabin, zoo, petting zoo, bears, hyeanas, cougars, tigers, and a overlook of Glen Loch Dam.
  4. Walking or fishing in Erickson Park. A 15-acre park with 400 ft of shoreline. Amenities include a handicapped-accessible boardwalk and pier perfect for fishing, a handicapped-accessible boat launch, a bike trail, and a bridge that connects Erickson and Irvine parks.

    Erickson Park Bridge. Photo taken by Stacie Stafford Hansen

    Erickson Park Bridge. Photo taken by Stacie Stafford Hansen

  5. Fishing. Chippewa County has 449 lakes totaling 20,027 acres and ranging from 1 to 6,300 acres. Most lakes are small, unnamed pothole lakes located in the scenic moraine area in the northern part of the county. Many smaller lakes do not support a substantial fishery but offer solitude and serenity for those wanting to get away from the crowds. Chippewa County also provides 81 miles of trout fishing opportunities in 24 classified trout streams, most of which are class I trout waters. Trout populations have good to excellent reproduction, thus no trout stocking is conducted in streams.
  6. Biking or hiking at Brunet Island State Park on the Chippewa and Fisher rivers, offers more than 1,300 acres of scenic beauty, wildlife and recreational opportunities. Quiet lagoons and channels are excellent for canoeing and wildlife watching. The landscape in Chippewa County is a product of the most recent Ice Age. The rolling terrain carries a wide variety of forest types and is home to a multitude of wildlife.
  7. Hiking in Beaver Creek Reserve.  With more than 400 acres of diverse habitat including upland woods, river bottom forests, wetlands, and savannah areas, Beaver Creek Reserve is home to a multitude of flora and fauna. Our nature reserve is bordered by the Eau Claire River and two trout streams that run through the property.
  8. Hiking at Chippewa Moraine Ice Age Unit.  Situated along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, the Chippewa  [Location] Moraine State Recreation Area offers unspoiled beauty with kettle lakes and many glacial features. The Chippewa Moraine is one of nine units of the Ice Age National Scientific Reserve. Hiking, snowshoeing, outpost camping, fishing and bird watching are popular activities.
  9. Hiking or biking Riverview Reserve Trail.  Paved and unpaved two mile trails that criss-cross through the Reserve and provide great viewing opportunities of the Xcel Energy Dam. This trail connects to Duncan Creek Parkway Trail and the Old Abe State Trail and is located east of Seymour Cray Blvd and south of County Highway I.
  10. Sightseeing: 9 Unique Wisconsin Foot Bridges in Eau Claire You have to see. Eau Claire, nestled in the rolling hills and valleys of the Chippewa Valley in Northwestern, WI, lies in a region known as the “Driftless Zone.”  This is an area of twisting rivers, deep gorges and large hills, which creates a setting for a beautiful Midwestern town.  Eau Claire’s downtown area forms along the confluence of the Eau Claire and Chippewa Rivers, which have been encased with parks and trails for recreational purposes.  Crossing these rivers are numerous bridges, many varying in age.  These bridges create strong connections in the community, carrying a rich history and incorporating it into a diverse future.  The entire region played host to a strong railroad economy, which led to the numerous railroad bridges in town, almost all of which still exist today.

We hope to greet you soon!

A breakfast of smoked sausage served with blueberry french toast bake. Maple syrup is being drizzled over the french toast.

Blueberry French Toast bake with smoked sausage

Whether you come for some quiet time at the Inn or to explore the scenic outdoors of the Chippewa Valley, Inn on Lake Wissota is here to help you with that experience and create some Springtime 2020 memories you’ll never forget!

We hope to greet you soon as our guests!

15 year old starts his own Maple Syrup company

I can’t wait to tell you all about Will Wanish and his entrepreneurial spirit!  Will’s mom, Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, and I both belong to Polka Dot Powerhouse (Please excuse the shameless plug). Polka Dot Powerhouse is a connection company for women.  At one of our meetings Heather was sharing with the group her teenage son was starting his own company. Will wanted to start a Sugar Bush, tap maple trees and make maple syrup.  Including local products in my breakfast dishes helps me to support other area small businesses.  I just had to check this out!

Will standing next to the metal sign he made for his new company

Will standing next to the metal sign he made for his new company

First I let Heather know I would be interested in purchasing 4 quarts of the maple syrup.  Purchasing by the quart insures the syrup stays as fresh as possible until we open the next bottle.  I asked if I could come out & and take a few photos of the operation.  So, one Friday afternoon I had a couple of free hours (thanks to the Covid-19 social distancing) and headed out to Wanish Sugar Bush.  It turns out they’re located just 20 minutes from Inn on Lake Wissota, we can’t get much more local than that!

How Will got started

As I pulled into the driveway the first thing I saw was the brand new shed with a very cool metal sign hanging on the side of it welcoming me to Wanish Sugar Bush.  What the heck?  This kid has been in business for just a couple of months and he already has a new pole shed and this cool sign?!!  I couldn’t wait to meet him and find out more.  Not long after I pulled in the driveway Heather and Will came out of the house to greet me.  I have to admit, when Heather was talking about her teenage son starting his own business, I was expecting to meet a 17 or 18 year old.  This young man is just 15 years old.

Initially Will was shy. After some prodding from his folks, he warmed up and was excited to share his new business venture with me.  I asked how he became interested in starting his own sugar bush. He said he has been helping his uncle tap 200-300 trees since he was 12 years old. Most 15 year old kids would be happy to work for their uncle and earn a few bucks on the side.  It turns out Will loves to work and has a great understanding of what it takes to run a small business like a sugar bush.  Only, he didn’t start out with 300 taps. Will wanted to make as much syrup as possible.  This meant a pole shed and expensive equipment.  No wood-fired boiler for Will. He wanted a reverse osmosis system to eliminate a good portion of the water content from the sap before they boil it down.  This shortens the amount of time required to boil down the sap into syrup.

Support from Family and Friends

So how does a 15 year old finance such an operation?  With a business loan of course. I can’t imagine there are many 15 year old’s who would qualify for a business loan. Will isn’t most kids and this kid has a plan. More importantly, support from his parents.  They were able to secure a small business loan from a local non-profit who offers low-interest loans to area businesses.  This meant Will had to have a business plan put together & sit in front of that board explaining his vision, how he would generate income and how his company would benefit the Chippewa Valley.

With the help of nearby family and friends they have run over 19,000 ft of line to tap maple trees and collect syrup.  So far this season, they have processed over 15,000 gallons of sap.  They won’t collect all of that syrup themselves.  Will estimates purchasing at least 1,000 gallons from several different suppliers.  Apparently there are folks who have a hobby of collecting sap but have no interest in converting the sap to syrup.    Negotiating skills are required for this. The purchaser and the supplier need to agree on the sugar content and the quality of the sap which will determine the price paid to the supplier.   Having this extra sap available to them will be a big help this first year so they can make enough syrup to send to market.  I asked Will how much sap he could convert in one day.  He said the day prior they had boiled down 2400 gallons and were hoping to do at least 1,000 gallons the day I was there.

A bottle of Wanish Sugar Bush Maple Syrup on the table next to an Inn on Lake Wissota coffee cup and a breakfast plate of pancakes and bacon

Sometimes a traditional breakfast is the best, Pancakes and syrup with some bacon!

Will and his dad, Todd, Wanish

Will and his dad, Todd, Wanish

Will’s Ingenuity

Will took a few minutes to show me a pump motor he created so they could pump the sap through even more lines.  The pump they had purchased was quite expensive, over $4,000.00.  So, to save money he made two more pumps that streamline their operation by saving countless hours of hauling sap from the trees to the tank.  I can’t begin to tell you how impressed I am by this young man. It will be fun to follow up with him in 5 years to see what else he has accomplished.  Inn on Lake Wissota is proud to offer his maple syrup.

We hope you’ll come join us some day to sample their syrup and of course our fantastic view of Lake Wissota.  Enjoy the comfort of the Inn no matter the time of year. Delight in the gourmet breakfasts we serve each morning.  Until then, stay healthy and safe!  We hope to greet you soon as one of our guests.

 

The Best Cross Country Skiing Trails in the Chippewa Valley

Couple cross country skiing in the woods. canstockphoto55798447

There are plenty of winter visitors to the Chippewa Valley who put Cross country skiing and snowshoeing at the top of the list for reasons to spend time in the area. What better way to experience the natural beauty of the region than to strap on a pair of skis or snowshoes and create your own adventure.  Although the terrain can be somewhat of a challenge to some, there are plenty of parks and recreation areas that offer groomed and ungroomed trails for your level of expertise and comfort.

Be sure to include Inn on Lake Wissota as part of your trip when passing through the Chippewa Valley.  We are a true Bed & Breakfast with 5 guest rooms.  With plenty of amenities to ensure your stay with us is unique.  This winter has brought plenty of snow and we are blessed with a winter wonderland without the bitter cold of 2019!  Find your own adventure at our Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast and book your room today!

5 Great Cross-Country Ski Trails in the Chippewa Valley

Folks from Wisconsin and surrounding states love to spend time outdoors.  Since we have long winters here in the upper Northwest portion of Wisconsin, we love to spend time with the elements, even when it’s cold.  Strapping on a pair of skis and hitting the trails is an invigorating experience, one that gets folks hooked on immersing themselves in all the beauty and magic mother nature has to provide this time of year.  Here are some suggestions to get you started.

Couple skiing near pine treesLowes Creek County Park

Just minutes south of Eau Claire, experience 250 acres of cross-country ski and snowshoeing bliss. The two-way trail system separates skiers from snowshoers, and has many loops and shortcuts giving you a wide selection of route variety.

Irvine Park

Just 5 miles from Inn on Lake Wissota, Irvine Park offer trails that are easy to navigate. Woods trails above the zoo area double as ski trails. Loop back down and visit the zoo afterwards. Trails also go past Glen Loch Lake.

Tower Ridge 

Tower Ridge is the largest cross-country ski trail complex in both Eau Claire County and in west central Wisconsin. It is located on Eau Claire County forestland in the town of Seymour off CTH L. It has approximately 12 miles of trail with terrain of varying degrees of difficulty offering something for all levels of skiers. The ski trails include wooded, rolling terrain, and are groomed and tracked on the highest priority basis of the four ski trails offered by the county. The recreation area includes a Chalet with flush toilets, additional pit toilets, approximately 3 km of lighted trails and a snowshoe trail adjacent to but separate from the lighted ski trails. Tower Ridge requires a winter vehicle entrance pass.

Lake Wissota State Park

Lake Wissota State Park is located just 2 miles east of Inn on Lake Wissota.  Several trail options go through woods, meadows, lowlands, marshes, and Lake Wissota’s shoreline. Scenic lake trail is also a highlight. Daily and annual state park vehicle admission passes vary in price. Located on the northeast section of Lake Wissota.

Beaver Creek Reserve

A 30 minute drive in your car and you can spend an entire afternoon in the quiet beauty of the woods. Beaver Creek Reserve has a number of wooded, groomed trails for snowshoeing and cross country skiing. Rental equipment is available there, as well.

Relax, Renew & Refresh at our cozy B&B!

Inn on Lake Wissota Potbelly coffee mug sitting on the breakfast table

After you’ve filled your day with outdoor winter adventures, you’ll want a beautiful, cozy place to sit back and relax.  Inn on Lake Wissota is waiting for your arrival!  Innkeepers Beth & Roger have years of experience greeting guests and helping them to relax, easing away the cares of the day.  The aroma of fresh baked cookies wafts through the air upon your arrival.  In the morning you will wake to the smell of freshly brewed coffee and enjoy a bountiful gourmet breakfast.  Book your next winter getaway at Inn on Lake Wissota today.  We hope to greet you soon.

 

 

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.

 

A Low-Key New Year’s Eve at a Bed & Breakfast

A time to slow down the pace of life.

The holidays are wonderful and exciting, an opportunity to spend time with family and friends, which can be stressful and challenging.  While I cherish these times with my family and wouldn’t trade them for the world, by the time New Year’s Eve rolls around I am ready to step back from all of the hullabaloo the holiday season has provided.  I’ve never been one to enjoy an evening with 100 or more people counting down the minutes until the new year arrives.    Up here in the north woods it can also be brutally cold on December 31st, so getting all gussied up and heading out for the evening does not appeal to me either.  I prefer a quiet evening with my hubby, a few friends and some good food.

Do you prefer a quiet New Year’s Eve?

So what kinds of opportunities are there for folks like me to have a relatively quiet New Year’s Eve and aren’t really interested in hosting a get together for friends and family?   I’d like to suggest a stay at a Bed & Breakfast. This gives you the opportunity to create the kind of experience you are looking for without all of the hassle.  Staying at a B&B ensures a smaller crowd since, in Wisconsin anyway, there are eight or fewer guest rooms at the B&B.  Most likely there will be no more than 16 guests at the celebration.

Are you yearning for a quiet evening for two, just you and your honey?  No problem, if the innkeepers are planning some sort of gala to ring in the new year it doesn’t mean you are required to participate.  For those heading out for dinner, some advanced planning is suggested.  Reservations are pretty much a requirement for New Year’s Eve.  If you need help with figuring out where to go, a call to your innkeeper can provide some insights.

Celebrate at the Inn

At Inn on Lake Wissota we offer a complimentary Champagne reception for guests from 5:00 – 7:00 pm.  This allows them time to check in and get settled then enjoy time in the Atrium sampling some goodies, enjoying some champagne, and getting to know other guests and the innkeepers.  Guests are free to spend as much time with us as they like, either the entire 2 or more hours, or just a few minutes, then head out for a dinner for two.  Depending on the group of guests we have and what they like to do, we are happy to linger in the Atrium and play some charades or other games.  The point is to relax and have fun.  We allow our guests to set the pace.

Some like it lively

Some of those joining us in Chippewa Falls are hoping for a more lively event.  The Chippewa Valley offers plenty of choices to ring in the New Year.  For those who like to put on their dancing shoes the Heyde Center for the Arts is hosting Prelude to an Eve: Troppo Big Band Jazz Orchestra.  The Snout Saloon will have live music from Dead Ringers and music Bingo, and  Eau Claire will be turning downtown into the ultimate New Year’s Eve Celebration during the third annual Light Up Eau Claire. This event brings excitement, energy, music and lights to the streets of downtown Eau Claire.

New Year’s Eve Champagne Hors d’Oeuvres reception at Inn on Lake Wissota

As for me, you will find me at the Inn, looking forward to getting to know my guests and making new friends just in time for the new year.  As always, I will prepare a fabulous gourmet breakfast on New Year’s Day so there’s no need for you to worry about heading out into the cold to nourish yourself in the morning.

Of course, the beauty of B&B’s is they are unique, no two of them the same.  So be sure to find out what the innkeepers plan to do for their New Year’s Celebration before making your reservation so you are confident you will get the experience you are hoping to get.

We hope to greet you soon as one of our guests, if not this year then in the next.

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