Thursday, September 29, 2016

Pineapple Pretzel Salad

Pineapple Pretzel Salad

      Pretzel mixture
  • 1 cup crushed pretzels
  • 1 stick better, melted
  • 1/3 powdered sugar 
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 20 oz can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 8 oz cool whip

In a bowl, mix crushed pretzels, butter, and powder sugar.  Spread on a cookie sheet and bake at 400° for 6 minutes until lightly browned.  Let cool.  Break up pretzels mixture. 

In a bowl, mix cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer.  Add pineapple to mixture.  Fold in cool whip.  Fold in pretzel mixture to the salad.  Refrigerator.  

Broccoli Salad

Broccoli Salad

  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp vinegar
  • 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 6 slices cooked bacon slices, crumbled
  • 1 bell pepper, cut into small cubes
  • 2 heads of broccoli, cut into small pieces

In a bowl, mix Mayo, sugar, vinegar, cheese, bacon, pepper, and broccoli.  Refrigerate for a hour before serving.

Homemade Scones

Homemade Scones

  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup raisins, cranraisins,or currents
  • 4 to 6 Tbsp 1/2 & 1/2 or milk
  • 1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 400°.  In a large bowl mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Cut the butter into the mixture until it is fine crumbs.  Stir in 1 egg and mix thoroughly.  Add raisins and mix.  Add milk and mix, add until dough leaves the sides of the bowl.  

Prepare a surface with lightly flouring the surface.  Knead dough about 10 times on surface.  Roll out dough to an inch high thickness.  Cut out pieces using a cookie cutter or glass.  Place them on a uncreased cookie sheet.  Brush the last egg over the tops of the pieces so they will brown.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.  

Serve with Butter or Raspberry Dip

Raspberry Dip for scones

Raspberry Dip for Homemade Scones 

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 8 oz package of Neufchatel cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1 Tbsp Raspberry extract

In a large bowl, mix with an electric mixer the sour cream, cheese, sugar, Raspberries and extract until smooth.  Transfer to serving bowl and cover, place in refrigerator for 30 minutes or longer.  

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Broccoli Pasta Salad with Tomatoes

Broccoli Pasta Salad with Tomatoes 

  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 8 oz bow-tie pasta 
  • 1 pound fresh broccoli, cut into small pieces.
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into very small cubes
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups red or yellow tomatoes,  halved
  • 8 cooked bacon slices, crumbled

Cook pasta noddles per package directions.  Once done set a side and let cool.
In a large bowl, add mayo, sugar, vinegar, salt and mix.  Add bacon and nuts,  mix.  Add tomatoes and mix.  Now add broccoli and pasta and mix.  Turn mixture to get all ingredients coated.  Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 3 hours. Stir bacon and pecans into salad just before serving. 

Camping Beef Fajitas

Camping Beef Fajitas


  • 1/4 cup Tequila
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 2 pounds steak, cut into thin slices
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • large plastic bag

In a bowl, combine and mix Tequila, garlic, lime juice, cilantro, oil, Worcestershire, oregano, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper.  In a large plastic bag add meat and contents from the bowl.  Make sure all the meat is coated.  Seal the bag and place into the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours, turning the bag a couple time while in the refrigerator.


  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into thin long sections
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin long sections
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin long sections 
  • 1 orange bell pepper, cut into thin long sections
  • 1 large white onion, cut into thin long sections
  • 1 large plastic bag

Place in a large plastic bag add bell pepper and onion, seal bag tightly and refrigerate.  Make sure it is tight so the smells doesn't fill your refrigerator.

Time to cook

In a large skillet add 1 Tbsp of oil and heat on medium.  Add the vegs to the skillet.  Add a 1/3 of the juice from the meat bag.   Cook until they become soft or to how you like them to be.
Remove the meat from the bag with a tong and place into a large skillet.  Add 1/3 of the juice from the bag and keep cooking.  Turn meat a couple of times.  If the juice cooks down add more.

Heat in the microwave flour tortilla for a couple of seconds, to make pliable.  Place meat and vegs on the tortilla and fold.  

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Iced Pineapple Pumpkin Soup - recent work

Iced Pineapple Pumpkin Soup

  • 3 tbsp. of frozen concentrate drink of your choice -tropical -orange -pineapple
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 squash puree (one that smells like a cucumber and or cantaloupe)
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh mint
Combine orange juice, lime juice, lemon cucumbers, cantaloupe and honey in a food processor (or blender) and blend until smooth. Stir in yogurt and mint. Chill for at least 2 hours and serve cold.

note this pumpkin I used smelled like a cucumber and cantaloupe so I created a recipe for it and not all pumpkins and squash not work.   

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Pumpkin Bread Pudding - Long Island Pumpkin

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Long Island Pumpkin was used

from the Food Network website.


  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 whole eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 16 ounce fresh pumpkin
  • 1 loaf of Hawaiian bread cubed, enough to fill a 9 by 13-inch baking dish.
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  
  2. In a mixing bowl, blend all ingredients, except for bread and cranberries. 
  3. Fill a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with bread cubes. 
  4. Sprinkle cranberries over bread cubes. 
  5. Pour custard mixture over bread cubes, making sure that all cubes are submerged (push cubes down if necessary). 
  6. Bake for about 1 hour, or until pudding is set.
 Serve warm.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Charles Lindbergh state park

Charles A. Lindbergh State Park         
Sep 23-25

15 electrical sites
7 miles of Hiking Trails

When picking site it is nice to know you are not just steps away from a well traveled trail.   Site 10e is too close to the trail for us.

Just behind this spot are steps to lead to an overlook to Pike Creek.  
Located within the park is a historical land marks.  Once home to Congressman Charles August Lindbergh. This was small farm where Charles's wife and son son Charles Lindbergh lived full time for many years.  Charles Lindbergh is famous for flying Spirit of St. Louis solo non-stop from New York to France in 1927.
There are 15 electrical sites.  Dump station is open seasonally.   

The family donated to the state 110 acres including the house and farm in the memory of Charles Lindbergh.  Now the park has 570 acres of land with 7 miles of hiking trails. 

Fall camping is wonderful with a fifth wheel camper and electric hook ups.    But the non electrical loop has trees and questionable obstacles to maneuver around.

There is plenty of room for a camp fire to sit around and tree to shelter from the passerby.   

Our spot was 10e but next time because of the trail we would pick 11e.  And for backing in there isn't much of an issues because the road's turn helps you back in.  

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Winter Squash & Apple Bisque - Fairytale Pumpkin

Winter Squash and Apple Bisque 
using a  Fairytale Pumpkin
(Butternut, Hubbard, Turks Turban, Orange Hubbard, baby bear, Ambercup or pumpkins like Fairytale
from the Williams Sonoma Soup & Stew Cookbook

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 shallots finely, chopped 
  • 2 tart apples, peeled, cored and cut into cubes
  • 2 pound of Winter Squash, cubed
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  1. In a soup pot melt butter over medium heat, saute onions and shallots until softened, about 5 minutes.  
  2. Add the apples and squash, cook about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the stock, rosemary and thyme.   
  4. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover, until vegetables are tender.  About 25 minutes.
  5. Cool before using a handheld blender to puree the soup.  
  6. Stir in half and half.
  7. Reheat over medium low heat. 
  8. Garnish with sour cream, rosemary and thyme   

 This was made with Turks Turban Squash

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Forestville and Mystery Cave State Park - Camping

Forestville and Mystery Cave State Park
Sep 8-11

23 electrical sties
20 miles of Hiking trails

This park offers two parks in one, history from years ago and a cave with all years of nature. 



Mystery Cave Tour is the longest cave in Minnesota with 13 miles.  The Mystery Cave ha a underground pools.  When we were there they were preparing for a flood.  Which the park experienced two floods in the past.  Before walking into the cave we cleaned our shoes to help protect the bats.  When we were there they added one more tour because of the demand.  Along the way we got to see a bat hanging from the celling.  After we left we again cleaned our shoes to help control the bat flu.  

Our site number 61

lots of room to have others tent with you at this site.  

This is the best site in the Park 63

Forestville and Mystery Cave State Park - Hiking

Forestville and Mystery Cave State Park 
 Cave State Park
Sep 8-11

20 miles of hiking Trail
 17 miles of horse trail

 Couple trails lead to a house foundation, or brickyard or cemetery or school foundation.  

Forestville and Mystery Cave State Park - Forestville

Forestville and Mystery Cave State Park
Sep 8-11

This park offers two parks in one, history from years ago and a cave with all years of nature.   

Forestville State Park

This history site brings you back to 1899 at the hight of Forestville.  You walk across the Carnegie Steel Bridge you see a couple of buildings.  

The Forestville Town Tour
Tour starts and ends at the big barn.  A short talk about how Forestville town started and end.  The town was a nice size.  It had a general store, a brickyard, blacksmith, post office, a school, hotel, saw mill, and a cabinet shop.  Because the railroad did not come close to the town many people left the town.  The Meighen gave the site to the state and it became a state park in 1963.  In 1978, the Minnesota Historical Society operates the Historical Foresville.

Part of the tour takes you though the general store owned by Thomas Meighen family. There are many things to see in the store from that time period.  

They walk you into the Thomas Meighen Family home where you see his office and post office. Then walk  you into the living room to see old family photos, games and furniture they used.  

Tour bring you into the kitchen where the cook is making food for the family, guest and workers. 
Then the gardener takes over the tour, showing their garden.

The barn near the house has a number of heirloom chickens, which roam freely on the grounds.

Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

Best Pumpkin Recipe
Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
  • 2 cups dried elbow macaroni (8 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 ounces Fontina cheese, shredded (1 cup)
  • 1 15 ounce can pumpkin or fresh *see below*
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh sage or 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf sage, crushed
  • 1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Sage leaves (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook pasta in a large pot following package directions. Drain cooked pasta, then return to pot.

2. For cheese sauce, in a medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour, salt, and pepper. Add whipping cream and milk all at once. Cook and stir over medium heat until slightly thickened and bubbly. Stir in cheese, pumpkin, and sage until cheese is melted. Stir cheese sauce into pasta to coat. Transfer macaroni and cheese to an ungreased 2-quart rectangular baking dish.

3. In a small bowl combine bread crumbs, Parmesan, walnuts, and oil; sprinkle over pasta. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until bubbly and top is golden. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. If desired, sprinkle with sage leaves.


Fresh Pumpkin math from BHG's site.

Fifteen ounces of canned pumpkin is almost just shy of 2 cups (16 ounces would be 2 cups). A 3-pound pie pumpkin will likely give you enough puree for your recipe. Here are some good tips for using fresh pumpkin:

Pumpkin math: After cooking and draining, this is about what to expect from a typical cooking pumpkin.
2 1/2- lb.pie pumpkin =1-3/4 cups puree
3 1/2-lb.pie pumpkin =2-1/2 cups puree
6-lb. carving pumpkin=2-3/4 cups puree
5-lb. round=3-1/3 cups puree

Pumpkin storage: Puree can be refrigerated in a tightly sealed container up to 3 days or stored in the freezer up to 6 months.

Cooking Fresh Pumpkin Puree
Prep: 50 minutes   Roast: 1 hour   Stand: 1 hour   Oven: 375°
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Scrub pumpkins thoroughly. Cut pumpkins in 5-inch-square pieces, discarding stems. Remove seeds and fibrous strings (save seeds for roasting, if desired). Arrange pumpkin pieces in a single layer, skin side up, in a foil-lined shallow baking pan.
2. Roast, covered, for 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until tender. When cool enough to handle, scoop pulp from rind. Place, in batches if necessary, in a blender container or food processor bowl. Cover and blend or process until smooth (or for a chunkier puree, blend or process until slightly chunky).
3. Place puree in a 100% cotton cheesecloth-lined fine mesh sieve (use a double thickness of cheesecloth). Allow to stand for 1 hour to drain. Press lightly to remove any additional liquid (discard liquid).

Monday, September 05, 2016

Goose Island, Lacrosse

Goose Island, LaCrosse Wisconsin
Sep 5-8th

Campground has a huge number of camping sites.  Our site was on the last road in the middle.  We camped there on the end of a holiday weekend and stayed a couple days after.  Not many people were on our loop.   

Views from Grandad Bluff.  Because of road construction it took us about 5 miles out of town to get to the Grandad Bluff.  The views were wonderful.  You could almost see were Goose Island County Park was.  

Mrs. Frank Dixon

La Crosse Queen Cruise

Bald Eagle
Views from on top or you could sit in covered area.

An animal at the entrance to the river boat.