Superior 4th Of July

I think the 4th of July is my favorite holiday.  First, I love summer foods.  Fresh and grilled veggies, fruit salads, potato salads, BBQ’s, watermelon, and s’mores just to name a few. Yum! I am currently eating my way through my MIL’s left over potato salad.  It’s my favorite.  I love getting together with friends and/or family and I love the fireworks and the feeling you get while watching them.

This 4th my hubby and I both had to work a day shift which was totally perfect because then we had our evening free.  For the first time in 20 years the city of Superior had their 4th of July celebration down Barkers Island water front.  They had a small carnival for kids, a car show, vendors and bands playing right up until the fireworks.

Of course in true Northern Wisconsin fashion it was 57 degrees. 4th3My in laws came over and we had a delish summer meal and since we only live 5 blocks from Barkers Island it was an easy walk down to enjoy the festivities.  We arrived just as the last band for the night, Aftershock was beginning to play.   They were great!  We will definitely be hunting down where and when their shows are. My kid danced the night away and had a blast.  One of the lead singers even came down and danced and sang with my him.  It was such a great time!

The fireworks were AMAZING!  Perfect length and really beautiful.  It was so relaxing to sit near the lake bundled under blankets (note a small tone of sarcasm) and watch the fireworks surrounded by my fellow Superians.

Superior you did an amazing job with the 4th of July celebration this year. I can’t wait to see what you have planned for next year!  I love my city!

http://www.aftershockduluth.com

Wisconsin Point

During the summer one of our favorite places to go is Wisconsin Point.  It’s a long stretch of sandy beach surrounded by forest and Lake Superior.  You can see the hillside of Duluth and the ships out in the lakes.  There is a stoic white lighthouse with a red roof. On a still day, the gentle lapping of the water is mesmerizing and on a strong windy day the powerful waves crashing on the beach are a site to behold.  Nothing can soothe the soul after a long day like a few hours at this beautiful beach.

Wisconsin Point is also an entry point for ships.  wp6We have been out there numerous times but we have never been out there when a ship has come through. Then the other night we were just starting to pack up to leave and I noticed a ship that looked as if it was lining up to come in. We jumped in the truck and drove down further down the beach to the entry point.  I was right! The ship was coming through the entry point!  This huge ship was close enough to talk to the crew.  They even blew the horn for Noah when he asked.  I had no idea how long these ships, or are they boats? Anyway, I had no idea that these Great Lake’s ships are so long.  It was so fun and so exciting to actually be there when a ship came through the entry.  I am hoping since we spend so much time at this beautiful place that we will get to see another ship come through.  Maybe next time it will be a salty (a ship that does both lake and ocean) and we can see what the differences are.

If you haven’t been to Wisconsin Point you should definitely put it on your list of destinations this summer.

Quick and Tasty Paleo Breakfast

My favorite breakfast pre-paleo was eggs Benedict.  The English muffin, the sauce, the eggs.  Delish! One day near the start of this life style change I was really craving eggs Benedict so I googled paleo English muffin.  I was not expecting to find anything but to my great delight I did!  I’ll share the link to the recipe at the end of this post.

My favorite thing about this recipe is how quick and easy it is! Here is the cast of ingredients required.paleo breakfast 4

The English muffin comes out light and fluffy and looking like this.

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Sometimes I toast it and put honey on it but today I made my version of eggs Benedict.  I added some ham and made a couple of over easy eggs and put those on top.  The yoke of the eggs acts as the sauce.  Delish!

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Here is the link to the recipe.  The original recipe calls for coconut flour but I prefer to use almond.  It takes 3- 4 Tablespoons of almond flour to get the consistency of the 1 Tablespoon of coconut flour.  Thank you beautyandthefoodie.com for this great recipe!

http://beautyandthefoodie.com/quick-paleo-english-muffins/

Mini Holiday – Part 1 Stonegate

My husband’s birthday was this past Monday and since his primary love language is quality time I decided to take him away for the weekend.  We went to a wonderful resort on the North Shore of Lake Superior.  Have you ever needed time away from your day to day life? Time to sit and stare aimlessly at a beautiful view and let your mind rest?  If so, you need to plan a trip to this place.

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Stonegate On Superior is a beautiful 8 cabin resort nestled right up to shore of the lake.
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We stayed in cabin 1 and it is literally feet from the water. stonegate3
It is their smallest cabin with a small eat in kitchen, bathroom and large living space that includes a couch, chair and bed.
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As you sit on the couch and look out the big picture window at the lake and listen to the waves crash against the rocks your worries and stresses melt away.  As we sat watching we saw a loon swim by and boats making their way to Duluth/Superior and/or Two Harbors.  Going to sleep at night watching and hearing the waves was incredible.  Relaxing and peaceful are two words that just being to describe the tranquility of this resort.
The sunrises over the lake are fuhgeddaboutit. (New Yorker for unequivocally excellent no need to discuss further) This is the only phrase that would come to mind when thinking of how to describe these sunrises. One morning I woke up early, grabbed a cup of coffee and made my way onto the rocks just below our cabin and watched the sunrise.  I happened to be the only one out on the rocks enjoying the beautiful sight that morning.  It was so peaceful. I can’t even describe the beauty so instead I’ll just post the pictures and let them do the talking.
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We enjoyed our stay at Stonegate so much and will definitely be going back. It’s a great resort to use as a home base for day trips up the shore or to just as a peaceful getaway to relax, take a breath and catch up on your reading while enjoying the beautiful view.
Make sure to check them out at http://www.stonegateonsuperior.com or on Facebook Stonegate On Superior.

Northland Farming – Part 2

The sun was shining and the temps were in the 40’s today we went out to our friend’s house to work on the big garden.  In Northern Minnesota/Wisconsin there are lots of little and big critters that love to eat your garden, especially when you live out in the middle of the forest like our good friends do.  The guy’s project was to build a fence to keep the critters out and boy did they hit it out of the park. They had an idea of what they wanted to do and then they scavenged and built as they went along with what they had on hand.  Super resourceful!  My BFF and I are married to some really talented guys.

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We have two tilled plots.  A 16×16 and a 12×12.  They found a dog kennel and are using it as the fencing for the 12×12 plot.  For the 16X16 fence they are using boards from a deck that was torn down last fall.

They didn’t get completely done, but what they did get done was spectacular!  It just needs the last wall with the gate and some extra supports to finish it up.  My BFF and I are going to stain the wood and add some hanging plants that deer and other animals don’t like as an additional measure to keep them out of our garden.  Stay tuned for finished project pictures. As there is more snow expected tomorrow night, we have plenty of time to finish this project before we can plant.

I just love these pictures.  I am so impressed with how awesome they did.  I can’t wait to start growing our vegetables.  Now we just have to get the weather to cooperate.

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Northland Farming – Part 1

As I sit here typing this it is 33 degrees.  The sky is alternating between showering us with rain, snow and these little ice pellets that hurt your face.  There is actually snow on the green grass!

snow picture 1

I shouldn’t be surprised.  It is only April 26th.  In Northern Wisconsin. But seriously, the day I was planning out this post it was 70 and sunny and beautiful.  My son spent the whole day outside playing with the neighborhood kids.  The dog laid on her dirt pile next to the house and sunned herself the whole day.  People were out taking walks, working in their yards soaking up the warm rays of sunshine.

I am digressing.   This post is called Northland Farming not the ramblings of a deranged vitamin D starved person who is really ready for summer.

When we lived in Iowa we had a huge garden.  We loved growing things and we loved the fresh veggies all summer long and the ones we froze and canned all winter long.  We also had chickens.  And eggs.  Farm fresh eggs.  There is nothing better than farm fresh eggs.  We’ve miss all of that so much, we decided who cares if we live in the city we can have a little Northland farm right here.  We checked out the regulations and made our plans.

Saturday we were up early and we headed out to Dan’s Feed Bin to get all of the needed chick necessities and the chicks.  The nice thing about chicks is they can live in a box in your home for at least 3-4 weeks.  Plenty of time for us to build a coup.  These are our 5 little ladies.  Henrietta, Pikachu, Bat Chick, Squirtle and Gengar.  Yes, we let Noah (9) name the chicks.  He’s a great chicken mama.

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We also started our herb garden.  Adam built me a planter for herbs years ago and we finally took all the shoes out of it and are using it for its actual intended purpose.  This planter is great because we can move it inside when it gets cold out and have herbs all winter long!

Peppers and tomatoes are on the list too.  We’ve started our seedlings and as soon as the weather starts to cooperate we’ll be getting these adorable babies in the ground!

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We have plans for a raised garden or two.   Right out there.  Once the snow is gone.

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We also have plans for an expanded garden at our friends house, but that I’ll share and the chicken coup building process in another Northland Farming post.  Until then let’s hope spring returns and winter goes away for a for quite a while.

The Paleo Life…

I have started a new adventure, journey, lifestyle…whatever you want to call it.  Just don’t call it a diet.  To me diet means a temporary change you make to lose weight.  Though when I googled what it means none of the definitions said the word temporary, but that’s what the word diet means to me.

I started transitioning to a Paleo way of life about 3 months ago.  I say transitioning because I didn’t want to waste the food I had in the house.  So instead I ate it all and as I ate it I replaced it with Paleo approved food.  I’ve been completely compliant for 4 weeks! Yay!

Now my boys are still eating what is normal for them and I am the only one eating Paleo in my house. This can make it super hard, especially that first few weeks when your body is going through withdrawal from the sugar and grains.  Watching my son munch on Cheese Its and my husband enjoy a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup made me realize I needed to have some Paleo go to foods that would curb that cravings and help me not to grab the box of Cheese Its out of my son’s hands and run to the bathroom, lock the door and eat the whole box.
I don’t eat these products everyday – but in the emergency moments where I am craving something salty or sweet these are my go to’s.
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Roasted Plantain Chips from Trader Joe’s
When I am craving salty, crunchy goodness I used to turn to potato chips or the fore mentioned Cheese Its, now I turn to these and they are amazing.  They totally knock out that craving for salt and crunch.  The only problem with them is that I could probably eat the whole bag.  I’m obviously working on my portion control issues too.
larabar
Lemon Larabar’s are my sweet go to.  They have other Paleo compliant flavors too like apple pie and pecan pie but I LOVE lemon. Lemons, lemon curd, lemon bars with that flaky crust, anything lemon. The sad fact is that most lemon stuff that I love has something in it that isn’t Paleo compliant so finding these Lemon Larabar’s was a huge win for me.  So now when my hubby is munching on a Reese Peanut Butter Cup and that super strong craving for something sweet hits I run and grab a Lemon Larabara.
Stay tuned for more on my Paleo life.  Next time: Why Paleo?