Friday, July 22, 2016

Banning State Park

Banning State Park
July 22nd 

11 electric sites and 4 sites over 46ft. 
17 miles of hiking trails

Banning State Park is about a hour and half drive from the Twin Cities, just off of 35W and north of Hinckley.  Banning offers some beautiful waterfalls on the Kettle River.  The best set of waterfalls are located at the Big Spring Falls.

Campground has only 11 electric sites and only 4 sites over 46ft.

Park does have a dump stations on site which is very handy.

When we made our reservations there was only one electrical site open.  In the spring the state parks made all of their site reservable from same day sites.  This was the only way we could even get into Banning.

There are 17 miles of trails through the woods and along the river.  We really enjoyed hiking alone the High Bluff, which had big boulders to climb around.  This took us to a 10-15ft falls flowing into wolf creek.

Big Spring Falls was the highlight of the trip and the best kept secret.  The Big Spring Falls is hard to find and the road is very rustic road to drive down, keeps most visitors away.  One has to drive into Sandstone and rely on google map to find Pine Ave S because this state park location is not marked.  But it is so worth the stop.

Careful where you hang over the edge looking down at the river.  We found places to cross over to the island and looked back at areas we had been standing.  You could see not much under supporting the top.  So areas you could see sink holes.  In area connecting the island was sink hole pounds which looked pretty deep.  You could see where in high waters these areas were covered in water.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Pumpkin Pound Cake - Queensland Pumpkin

Pumpkin Pound Cake 

using Queensland Pumpkin

from Cooking Light 2006

warning this recipe is very touchy.  I made it twice now.  Both time it needed a lot more time than what the recipe states.  :45 more


  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin or fresh dry pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 4 large eggs 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup fat-free buttermilk


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. To prepare the cake, lightly coat a 10-inch tube pan with cooking spray; dust with 1 tablespoon flour. Spread pumpkin over 2 layers of paper towels; cover with 2 additional layers of paper towels. Let stand about 10 minutes. Scrape drained pumpkin into a bowl.
  3. Place 3/4 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, and 1/2 cup butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 3 minutes or until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in pumpkin and vanilla. Lightly spoon 3 cups flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture and 3/4 cup buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  4. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from pan, and cool completely on wire rack.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Flandrau State Park

Flandrau State Park
July 4-7

#12 without electric
34 electric sites
8 miles of hiking trails. Swimming pool

Things to also do and see while in New Ulm;
Hermann Heights Monument  and climb the stairs to the top.
New Ulm's Glockenspiel
German Park and statues
Kiesling House
Tour Schell's Brewery and sample beer
Historical Downtown New Ulm