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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.

 

 

Don’t Miss the Christmas Village in Chippewa Falls

Photo taken by Andrea Paulseth of the entrance to the Christmas Village at Irvine Park in Chippewa Falls

Photo taken by Andrea Paulseth of the entrance to the Christmas Village at Irvine Park in Chippewa Falls

For those who enjoy a dazzling display of Christmas lights, you will want to be sure to get to Chippewa Falls this season.  The Christmas Village display is located in Irvine Park, on the north end of the downtown area.  Established in 1987, the Christmas Village has become a tradition for the citizens of Chippewa Falls and surrounding areas.  Preparation for the display begins in October and relies heavily on local volunteers to hang the lights and set up the various displays.  There is an amazing display of life size scenes from Victorian times, with references to local historical businesses and other organizations.  December 14, 2019 offers a great opportunity for folks to walk through the parks without any vehicles in the area from 5:00-6:30 pm. The display is open daily until 9:00pm, and on Christmas Eve, as a special treat, the display will be open until midnight!

Andrea Paulseth photo of Irvine Park Christmas Village

A Tunnel of lights in the Irvine Park Christmas Village. Photo taken by Andrea Paulseth

If you’re in town for the Christmas Village, or any other time of the year for that matter, you’ll want to stay at Chippewa Falls’ premier place for lodging, the Inn on Lake Wissota.  This quiet, romantic inn is the perfect place to relax, renew & refresh. After a chilly evening of walking or driving through Irvine Park gazing at Christmas lights there’s no better place. Maybe you prefer to spend time on the cross-country or snowshoe trails at Lake Wissota State Park.  No matter what adventure you prefer for the winter season, Inn on Lake Wissota, located on the quiet shores of the north end of the lake, is the perfect place to unwind.  The Christmas Village has become a tradition for many families is the area to visit each holiday season.  As you plan to make your trip to the Chippewa Valley make sure to book your stay with us at Inn on Lake Wissota today! 

Best Lodging in the Chippewa Valley

If you prefer to avoid the weekend crowds, consider coming during the week.  Inn on Lake Wissota’s weekday rates are lower than our weekend rates.  Take advantage of these great deals and avoid the lines you find on the weekends.  Inn on Lake Wissota is just 5 miles from downtown Chippewa Falls, which makes it easy for you to shop the quaint downtown area, tour the brewery, or grab a bite to eat at one of the local establishments, we have plenty to choose from!

No matter what the reason is you decide to come to Chippewa Falls, we’re glad you did and we hope to greet you soon as one of our guests!  Be sure to book your room today.

 

 

 

 

 

A No Stress Turkey Breast Recipe

Home Made Thanksgiving Dinner with Turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, stuffing and green beans

Home Made Thanksgiving Dinner with Turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, stuffing and green beans

Savory Turkey Breast

For years I had a monthly subscription to a Betty Crocker magazine.  Usually it contained about 20 recipes, most representing the upcoming season.  I found this recipe in that magazine and have loved it from the first time I ate it.  What I like even more about this recipe is how easy it is to prepare ahead of time, then warm up in the oven prior to serving.

While I love serving a beautiful meal such as Thanksgiving Dinner, because we don’t get to see our families often, I prefer to spend time with my family while they are here for the day, not slaving over a hot oven all afternoon.  With some careful planning and preparing as much food in advance, which allows me to create some wonderful memories with my family by spending time with them and not in the kitchen.  Depending on the size group I need to feed I may need to make more than one turkey breast.

If you’re lucky, you’ll have leftovers to make sandwiches or your favorite casserole.  Hmmm, that reminds me of another recipe I found in the Betty Crocker magazine using leftover turkey & wild rice.  I’ll share that recipe at a later date.

Prep time:  15 min             Total: 8 hours, 15 min

10 servings

Ingredients:

6 ½ lb turkey breast                                  ½ cup chopped celery

½ cup chopped onion                               1 dried bay leaf

1 teaspoon salt                                           ½ teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

1 cup chicken broth

 

  1. Save yourself some time with crockpot liners.  I use crockpot liners, clean up time goes much quicker and it’s easy to pour the turkey broth into a storage container if you like to use it for something else.  Line your 5-6 quart crockpot with one liner.
  2. Remove gravy packet or extra parts from turkey breast. I rinse the gravy packet off and store in an airtight container until I am ready to make the gravy.  The gravy should keep in the fridge for 1 week.  Rinse the turkey off and place in the crockpot with liner.  Place the onion, celery and bay leaf inside the cavity of the turkey.  Sprinkle with salt & pepper.  Add the chicken stock.
  3. Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours.
  4. Take your turkey out of the crockpot. If serving right away, keep the turkey warm while you make the gravy.
  5. If serving at a later date, let the turkey cool for about 15 minutes, then slice. I keep my turkey in a glass 9×13 baking dish that has a lid that seals.  Pour about 1 cup of the turkey broth over the turkey just before you put in the fridge or freezer.  The turkey will keep in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 days.  If you freeze it you will want to use it within 6 months.  See this article from Food52 for more information about freezing your lefovers.
  6. Reheating your turkey is easy. If you have frozen your cooked turkey, you will want to pull it out of the freezer a couple of days in advance and let it thaw in the refrigerator.  Cover you glass baking dish with foil.  Preheat your oven to 350°  Heat in oven for 30-45 minutes until the turkey is hot.

Serve and enjoy!

 

Happy Thanksgiving and we hope to greet you soon as one of our guests!

The top 3 things to do on a summer day in Chippewa Falls

I sit here just a couple of days after the July 4th extended holiday break bemoaning the fact  it seems as if the summer is half over already.  We all have the same experience, the older we get the faster time flies by.  It did occur to me I may be approaching this situation all wrong, maybe I should consider the glass to be half full, so to speak.  You know, we still have half of the summer to go.  And what better place to have fun in the summer than Chippewa Falls!

A Day on the Water.  Chippewa Falls and the surrounding areas have so much to offer to those visiting on summer vacation.  When guests of Inn on Lake Wissota ask what there is to do in Chippewa Falls, it’s hard to know where to begin.  For outdoor enthusiasts I say it’s hard to ignore beautiful Lake Wissota and the bounty of activities is offers both residents in the area and visitors.

A group of friends fishing

  • If you’re into fishing, Lake Wissota is known for musky, walleye, and bass. Of course there’s an abundance of pan fish to help out with your shore lunch.  With over 6,200 acres, there’s plenty of fishing to be done on the lake.  Duncan Creek runs right through the heart of the city of Chippewa Falls.  The local Rod & Gun club recently deposited 700 trout into the stream and is working with the DNR in hopes to get that stretch of the creek classified as a Class 1 brook trout stream.
  • Maybe you’d prefer just paddling around the lake, or, down the Chippewa River. For a river float in a kayak, canoe or inner tube, Loopy’s Grill, Saloon & River Rentals will drop you off just below the dam in downtown Chippewa Falls then you can float to either Loopy’s and get out, or continue your float for a few more miles and they will pick you up.

    Tubing down the river

    Lake Wissota State Park rents canoes and kayaks.   Moon Bay is accessible from the park and offers a more manageable area to paddle than the main lake does.  Over on Little Lake Wissota at the SandBar & Grill you’ll find White’s Rentals Paddle Shop.  In addition to canoes and kayaks, they also rent paddle boards.

  • For larger groups a Pontoon rental might be what you’re looking for. There are a couple of options for that, both located at the north end of Lake Wissota.  The Edge Pub & Eatery has pontoons available as does Inn on Lake Wissota.  What better way to spend time with friends or family than
  • floating around on the lake, enjoying everything mother nature has to offer.

 

Biking.  Whether you’re an avid biker who relishes the challenge of putting on 40 or miles in a day, or just the recreational biker who enjoys the outdoors and getting some exercise, Chippewa Falls has several bike trails to choose from to fit your style.

  • The Duncan Creek Parkway Trail is a five mile paved loop around the city. It’s a great way to get to know the city, just be aware the trail is shared with motor vehicles in some places. 
  • The Duncan Creek trail connects with the Old Abe State Trail, which is a paved trail that runs from Chippewa Falls to Cornell. For nature lovers this trail is a must see, the trail winds through agricultural land, along the Chippewa River and along the shores of Lake Wissota.
  • If you’re in need of renting bikes to explore the Chippewa Falls area, Spring Street Sports is located in downtown Chippewa Falls. Joe & Dave started the shop back in 1987 and have a variety of bikes to choose from.  If you’re already out on the north end of Lake Wissota and would like to take a ride on the trail up there, Inn on Lake Wissota has a few bikes for rent, give us a call.

Hiking.

  • One of the many gems of Chippewa Falls is Irvine Park features 2 miles of walking trails. Free of charge to the public, this is a nice way to get out and enjoy some nature.  There’s plenty of playground equipment for the kids to burn off some energy.  They’ll also have fun watching the bears, white bison and elks.
  • Don’t forget the Old Abe Trail for hiking, not just for biking, it is very pedestrian friendly.
  • Lake Wissota State Park has several hiking trails for hiking depending on how far you’d like to go and what you want to see. The Beaver Creek Meadow trail is 1 mile long and the most scenic.  In addition to this the park offers 7 miles of additional hiking trails.

So, no matter what you like to do outdoors, Chippewa Falls is a great place to visit and explore.  Here at Inn on Lake Wissota we hope to greet you soon as one of our guests!

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!

 

 

 

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