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The 5th Annual Oshkosh St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Tent Party

2017 St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Tent PartyGet ready for the wearing of the green! The 5th annual Oshkosh St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Tent Party, held in downtown Oshkosh, is almost here. Saturday, March 18th, 2017, beginning at 1pm.

Oshkosh knows how to throw a party – the kind that welcomes everyone – and St. Patty’s Day is no exception! Oshkosh’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Tent Party is held each year in downtown Oshkosh. 2017 marks the 5th year of this popular event. The parade and party are bound to be bigger and better than ever!

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade begins at 2pm. It starts off from Ceape Avenue,  travels North up Main Street, and ends at Irving Avenue. This is one parade you don’t want to miss. Bagpipers, floats, vintage vehicles, horses, bands, and more will all be on tap. After the parade, you’ll want to be sure to head to the St. Patrick’s Day Tent Party!

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Hops & Props 2017 at the EAA AirVenture Museum

Hops & Props 2017It’s time for the 13th annual Hops & Props at Oshkosh’s EAA AirVenture Museum! Hops & Props is an annual beer-tasting event with food, live music, and over 85 breweries in attendance! March 4th, 2017.

Craft beer, microbrews, independent ales – whatever you want to call them – have exploded in popularity and quantity in the last decade. Consequently, beer-tastings have had an unprecedented opportunity to become beloved and sought after events.

That’s certainly the case with the annual Hops & Props celebration in Oshkosh, WI. Held at the EAA AirVenture Museum, Hops & Props has only grown in size with each successive year. This year’s event features over 90 different breweries, including some specialty brews from Europe!

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Attend the 2017 EAA Skiplane Fly-In in Oshkosh, WI!

2017 EAA Skiplane Fly-In in Oshkosh, WIThe EAA Skiplane Fly-In, one of the Oshkosh region’s most colorful winter events, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. February 18, 2017 at the EAA AirVenture Museum’s Pioneer Airport in Oshkosh.

Whether you’re a fan of airplanes or just enjoy a festive atmosphere,  you’ll get a real charge out of the EAA Skiplane Fly-In! Held every year in mid-February since 1992, the EAA Skiplane Fly-In is a fascinating spectacle of tens fo skiplanes landing and taking off, along with warm food, and a plethora of fun activities for all ages.

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Take The Plunge – The 2017 Oshkosh Polar Plunge!

The 2017 Oshkosh Polar PlungeCome on out for the 2017 Oshkosh Polar Plunge and jump into Miller’s Bay help raise money for Special Olympics Wisconsin, February 17th and 18th, 2017!

If throwing yourself into freezing cold water is something you look forward to, this is the event for you! If on the other hand, the whole affair sounds more than a little nuts consider that, in this instance, it’s being done for a very good cause. Last year’s Oshkosh Polar Plunge raised more than $455,000 for Special Olympics Wisconsin!

The annual Oshkosh Polar Plunge attracts many brave souls every year. 2016’s Polar Plunge drew more than 1,500 people and even more are expected for this year’s event!

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Avocado Baked Eggs

So its January and you want to start eating healthier for the new year? I was never a big avocado fan, but I try to limit my cheese consumption when I can, so avocado became a staple for me. They replaced my cheese on salads, in tacos and is now my new condiment with crackers rather than cheese spread. Below are just a few little tid bits about avocados that you may already know.

  1. Avocados are a superfood with an array of essential nutrients. What most people don’t know is that they lower cholesterol. This food contains monounsaturated fat, a type of fat that is healthy and necessary. A cup of avocado provides you with approximately 30% of this type of healthy fat per day.
  2. Avocados have an anti-inflammatory agent called polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols. These help to reduce inflammation in your body. Since arthritis is an inflammatory disease, reducing inflammation helps to decrease the stiffness and pain associated with the condition. Keeping inflammation levels low may also help to prevent someone from developing arthritis in the future. It is also rich in vitamin E and C that are also antioxidants which help fight against chronic inflammation.
  3. Avocados are rich in fiber and monounsaturated fatty acids. This fiber helps you to experience hunger pangs less often since your body digests it slowly. With the healthy fatty acids, your body does not store them as fat, but as a type of slow-burning energy. This means that you are not going to feel hungry as often, allowing you to cut calories and lose more weight.
  4. Everyone knows that fiber helps you to stay full which means it helps you to lose weight. Avocados are full of fiber which helps to prevent spikes in blood sugar because your body does not quickly metabolize it.

These Avocado Baked Eggs are fast and easy, so it won’t take you long in the morning to throw your favorite ingredients together. I have tried many different groupings. Depending what you have laying around, and what you like, anything is good. I have listed a bunch of ingredients here that I have used and have worked well. Use them all and load it up or just try a couple at a time. Serve with fruit, yogurt or whole grain bread.

avocado-baked-eggsAvocado Baked Eggs – Serves 1

1 avocado, halved lengthwise, 2 eggs, any seasonings that you like. My favorites are ( sea salt, cracked pepper, cayenne pepper, cumin, oregano, basil, chives, dill, rosemary, chili powder and/or garlic powder), green onions, salmon, ham, turkey, and crumbed bacon (not a healthy choice but yummy).

Cut avocados in half lengthwise and remove pit. You may need to slightly hollow out the avocado hole in order to make room for eggs and other ingredients.

Put avocados on a lined baking sheet. If you using ham, turkey or salmon, lay in the hole first, followed by the egg. Sprinkle other ingredients over the egg/avocado.

Bake at 425 degrees for about 10-15 min depending how you like your eggs cooked. Remove from the oven and enjoy.

Where in the world are Nicole and Scott?

 Travel and play along

USA MAP

Where in the world are Nicole and Scott? That will be the question for several weeks this winter. This is a work and personal excursion rolled into one. Departing on January 1st and returning in February, we will be traveling this great country. A very gracious and dear friend will be watching over the inn while we are on the road. No worries though, you can still check availability and make reservations online.  I will also be available when and where reception is available.

To make this fun for all, I will be posting a picture of one or both of us at our planned and spontaneous destinations. Where do you come to play in this adventure? The person that can correctly guess the most locations we are at, based upon the pictures that we take, will win a gift certificate good for 50% off their stay at Brayton Bed and Breakfast this Spring. One guess per person per location please. The winner will be announced when we return.

This is the first year that Scott and I have decided to take a break from the snowy Wisconsin winter and see the country. We look forward to this road trip and can’t wait to see where the car takes us. I also look forward to seeing who follows us and the guesses that roll in. Good Luck and have fun!

Turtle Cookies for Christmas

I make a big batch of Christmas Cookies every year, always sugar and molasses since these are a favorite around here, but a few experiments too. These turtle cookies probably won’t be new to anyone since there are so many different variations out there. I have tried several and this seems to be the one I like the best because its easy (even making the caramel) and because it really does taste like a turtle. I do recommend though not to overbake these. It may look like they are not quite done, but they will finish baking once you take them out.

turtle-cookies-2Turtle Cookies– Makes about 30

Cookie Ingredients: 1 C flour, 1/3 C cocoa powder, 1/4tsp. salt, 1 stick of butter(room temp), 2/3 C sugar, 1 egg  yolk and 2 egg whites, plus one egg white, 2 TB milk, 1 tsp. vanilla, and 1 C chopped pecans.
Caramel Filling:

1 stick of butter, 1 can sweetened condensed milk, 4oz. light corn syrup, 4 oz. brown sugar.

Combine flour, cocoa, and salt. Set aside. In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg YOLK, milk and vanilla. Once blended, reduce speed and add dry ingredients. Mix until blended, then form into a ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.

After an hour, whisk the egg whites in a bowl until frothy. Place chopped pecans in a separate bowl. (Your chopped pecans will not be fine enough, so put them through a food processor and pulse a few times to break them down more). Roll the cold dough into 1 inch balls, dip each ball into the egg whites and then roll in the pecans. Place on a cookie sheet. With your thumb, make a well in the center of the dough and then bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.

For the caramel, place all the ingredients in a medium saucepan, on medium heat. Stir CONSTANTLY, as you bring the caramel to a simmer. The caramel with start to change color to a darker brown. Once thickened, about 15 minutes, spoon caramel mixture into the thumb print of the cookie. Let sit about 15 minutes before moving to a rack to cool. You will probably have extra caramel left over, but that’s okay. Use it for ice cream, or caramel apple crisp.

Chocolate Creme Pie

Want to make something decadent this holiday season for the family? Boy, do I have a recipe for you. I found this recipe in Saveur Magazine. I am not going to lie, it is not fast or easy, but anyone can do it, with a little patience. Definitely let this sit up for a couple hours after you make it. It only gets better with time. Also, give yourself a good twenty four hours if you can, but this pie is better if left to sit in the fridge overnight before adding your whipped topping to finish it off.

Chocolate Crème Pie – Makes one  9″ pie chocolate-creme-pie-too

Crust – Oreo Cookie Pie crust ( or make your own as I did below with 24 Oreo cookie and a 1/4 C melted butter), 2/3 C heavy cream and 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips.

Filling – 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips, 1 1/2 C whipping cream and 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Topping- 1 C whipping cream, 1/2 C powdered sugar and milk chocolate shavings (optional)

Use an Oreo cookie crust or make your own by pulsing 24 Oreo cookies (filling included) in a food processor to get them really fine. Pour cookie crumbs into a bowl with the melted butter and stir until they are moist. Spray a 9″ pie pan and dump cookie crumbs in pan. With your fingers move the crust around and gently pat it in the pan until it goes around and up the sides. Chill for 30 minutes.

After the crust has chilled, in a saucepan, bring 2/3 C cream to a simmer. Place 6oz. of bittersweet chocolate chips in the simmering pan and then gently whisk until smooth. Pour filling over the bottom of the Oreo crust and freeze for 20 minutes.

While the crust is freezing, put a metal or glass bowl in the freezer and starting working on the filling. Use a double boiler and heat 6oz. of bittersweet chocolate chips with 1/2 C whipping cream until the chocolate is melted, stirring often. Let this mixture cool until room temp. Grab your chilled bowl from the freezer and whip 1 C of whipping cream, 1/2 tsp. of vanilla and your cooled chocolate mixture until soft peaks form. Spread this chocolate mouse over the truffle filling in the pie crust. Refrigerate at least four hours, but best if left overnight.

Just before serving, whip 1 C of whipping cream and 1/2 C powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Spread the whipped cream over the top of the chocolate mouse. Garnish with milk chocolate shavings, sever and enjoy!

 

 

 

Banana Pecan Crunch Muffins

I have always been known for the best banana bread around. The secret ingredient, I think is the applesauce. Years ago, I had asked the question on Facebook if people liked nuts or no nuts in their bread. Though it was pretty split down the middle, a lot people said, chocolate chips were the way to go. I had never heard of such a thing, but tried it out and fell in love. So,  every once in awhile I add chocolate chips to my banana bread recipe which I have included.

The other day a few of my guests had to leave early. I like to pack muffins rather than bread for them to take as a to go item. They seem to travel better. If you don’t know this, bread recipes and muffin recipes should go hand in hand, however they don’t. So, I was on the hunt for a superb banana nut muffin recipe.  I just want to let you know that I struck gold when I found this  Banana Pecan Crunch Muffin recipe on the Spend with Pennies website. This muffin belongs in a bakery that should be marked at about $5.00. It is so worth it as the pecan streusel topping leaves a lasting impression after each bite. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Banana Pecan Crunch Muffins – Serves 12 jumbo

banana-pecan-muffins

Muffins – 1 1/2 C flour, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1/4 tsp. salt, 3 ripe bananas, mashed, 2/3 C sugar, 1 egg, 1 tsp. vanilla and 1 stick of butter (melted).

Crunch Topping – 1/3 C brown sugar, 2 TB flour, 2 TB butter, 2 TB oatmeal, and 1/3 C pecans.

Preheat heat oven to 375 degrees. Line a muffin pan with liners. Combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, mix together mashed bananas, sugar, egg, vanilla and butter. Add in flour mixture and stir until just combined.  (do not overmix as this will make the butter tough).  Divide batter evenly over 12 muffin cups.

In a small bowl combine flour, brown sugar, and butter until mixed. stir in oats and pecans. Divide topping over muffins.  Bake 20 minutes or until done.

Tis the Season in Oshkosh

Tis the season this year in Oshkosh! Last month I posted about so many great happenings in November. Many of those events are also going on this December. If you don’t get a chance to visit now, plan your month ahead. In review, Nutcracker in the Castle is happening at the Paine Art Museum, Deck the Halls at the Oshkosh Pubic Museum and Celebration of Lights at the Menomonee Park is all happening in December as well.

grand logo blackIf you are looking for a special treat to celebrate the holidays, look no further than the Grand Opera House. They have a plethora of shows for you to choose from this December. We also have a great package which includes dinner and a show so you can make an evening out of it. Book early for the best seats possible.

Friday, December 2nd is the Holiday Cabaret Night with Marissa Mulder and Bill Zeffero at 7:30 PM.

Saturday, December 3rd, the Oshkosh Symphony Orchestra presents Symphony for the Season at 7:30 PM

Sunday, December 4th, add a little comedy to your day with the WhiskeyBelles at 3:30 PM.

December 8-10, always a favorite, the Oshkosh Community Players puts on A Christmas Story at 7:30 PM

Sunday, December 11, the Oshkosh Community Band puts on Christmas Carol Sing a long at 6:30 PM

December 16-18, Hysterical Productions puts on A Christmas Carol, Scrooge and Marley

Tuesday, December 20th. The Church Basement Ladies: Away in a Basement at 2:00 and 7:30 PM

Thursday, December 22, The Second City puts on Holidazed Confused Revue at 7:30 PM

Friday December 23, New City Church puts on Community Christmas Celebration at 7:00 PM

 

 

 

Cilantro Cooks Interview

cilantro-cooksI was so excited to get asked to do an interview with Cilantro Cooks. It has happened a few times before with others and I am always eager to help.  I am a big online shopper! When people ask me where I typically get something, it is usually an online source. If you have never been to this website, they have so much fun stuff to look at and buy from kitchen gadgets to food. If you are looking for the hard to find item or even looking for something that is unique, this is your online resource. They also have videos on how to prepare meals to forums from people who have the same questions as yourself. They even have giveaways. Who doesn’t want to get something for free everyone once in awhile? I know I do! Check out my interview above and while your reading, check out their site too for your next fun find.

Caramel Apple Fruit Cup

This Caramel Apple Fruit Cup came about as a complete accident. I think the best recipes tend to happen that way though. I was whipping up some whipped cream for a chocolate crème pie (recipe to follow at a different day) when I had a little left over. Yes, I could have just tossed it however, I didn’t know what I was going to make for my fruit portion for breakfast the following day, so I started looking in the pantry for what I had extras of. I found a few packages of cook and serve butterscotch pudding. You know how you buy something and don’t realize you already have it in the pantry. That must have been what happened to me with the pudding. Anyway, I pulled a box out and starting cooking the pudding. It is my husbands favorite, so I figured if it didn’t turn out, he would have a treat for later. He didn’t have a chance though. Once I cooled the pudding and mixed in the ingredients, I knew I had my newest fall fruit recipe.

Caramel Apple Fruit Cup – Serves 12 caramel-apple-fruit-cup

1 box of cook and serve butterscotch pudding, 2 C whipping cream(separated), 2 granny smith apples, 1 C walnuts or pecans(separated), and caramel topping.

Cook one box of butterscotch pudding according to directions. Cool completely.  Whip up your topping. Add 1 1/2 C whipping cream to butterscotch pudding when chilled and combine.  Cut up two, large, granny smith apples and add to pudding mixture. Add 3/4 C nuts to mixture and stir to combine. Chill until ready to serve. When ready to serve, put in dessert cups, and top with additional whipped cream, nuts and caramel drizzle. Enjoy.

 

 

Apple Cider Sangria

Each weekend from 5:00-6:00 PM we offer a wine and cheese social as a thank you to our guests for choosing to stay with us. It also giapple-cider-sangriaves our guests a chance to relax, unwind and meet the others that are staying with us if they choose. I am a big fan of Autumn with all the apple and pumpkin recipes. I figured why limit it to just regular wine this weekend. We dug out the apple cider and spiked it up a bit. The best part about this recipe is that you can make it without the alcohol or add more or less to your liking. Whatever you do though, do not forget the pomegranate seeds. Yes, you can taste them in each sip, but they really add a nice pop of color to the pitcher.

Apple Cider Sangria

2 Apples, I prefer granny smith, Pomegranate seeds, 2 C or more of apple cider, and a bottle of dry sparkling wine.

Dig out a pretty pitcher. Dice or matchstick your apples and toss them into your pitcher. Add apple cider. Pour your bottle of dry sparkling wine into the pitcher. Add ice and stir. Add pomegranate seeds and serve. If you want to amp it up a bit more, add a little cognac, brandy or whiskey, but be careful not to take away from this refreshing autumn beverage.

Peach Hand Pies

These Peach hand pies are one my favorite recipes. I like it because  they are easy, quick and you can pick it up and go. They are also perfect this time of year as a fall dessert. Want to switch up the flavor? No problem, just doctor up your favorite apple pie fill or blueberry for that matter and you have a great selection for all pallets.

Peach Hand Pies -Makes 12-14

peach-hand-pies1 box Pillsbury pie crust, 1 can peach pie filling, 2 tsp. cinnamon, 1 C powdered sugar, 1/8 C milk, and 1 egg white (beaten).

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Remove pie crusts and let sit out at room temperature while you are preparing the filling.

Dump the pie filling in a bowl and dice peaches into smaller pieces. Add cinnamon and stir.

Unroll pie crusts and cut 6 circles from each crust. The can of pie filling works good as a guide for cutting your circles, however I like to make my circles a little bigger (about 5″).  You will probably have to roll crust out after cutting 5 circles to get your 6th.

Use about 1 Tb filling and add to the center of your pie crusts.  Fold in half and pinch edges and then crimp edges with a fork.  Poke hand pie with fork once to prevent bursting.

Beat egg white until frothy and brush over the tops of each hand pie.  Bake on a parchment paper for about 15 minutes until browned.  While pies are baking, whisk together the powdered sugar and milk until smooth. Remove hand pies from the oven and drizzle glaze over the tops of the pies. Allow to cool completely, if you can.

Its beginning to look a lot like…in Oshkosh

Well, its beginning to look like…in Oshkosh. Well, not quite but it will if you can start looking ahead and planning for the holidays. In case   you don’t want to move that quickly, you can click back on our events for October and take it a day at a time.

For those of you that would like to plan to ahead, check into what Oshkosh has going on starting Saturday, November 12th. Free admission into the Holiday Wonders Shopping Expo & Craft Fair from 10:00-4:00 at Sunnyview Expo Center. There will be over 75 vendors selling a wide variety of hard to buy and custom wares. Toys for Tots will also be raising money for all NE Wisconsin kids. Drop off any new, unwrapped toy to make this a special Christmas. Cash donations are also welcome.

November 17-19th is going to be one busy weekend in Oshkosh. Starting Thursday, November 17th, come downtown Oshkosh for the annual tree lighting and holiday parade. This years theme is Whoville holidays, where the downtown businesses will have their windows adorned with decorations. The tree lighting begins at 6:00 PM in Opera House Square. The Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce Holiday Parade that travels from the 100 to 700 blocks of Main St. will follow after.

NutcrackerThe well anticipated Nutcracker in the Castle at the Paine Art Museum begins Friday, November 18th and will go through January 9th. You may take a self guided tour, candlelight tour or guided tour with each style offerd at separate times. See website for tour types, dates and times.

The 7th annual Handmade for the Holidays Urban craft show takes place, Saturday November 19th. at Beckets.  40 artists and crafters from all over Wisconsin will be available for you to find that special gift from 10:00-3:00.  Goody bags will be handed out the first 50 adult shoppers filled with donations from the artists and the Oshkosh community.

Also, starting on Saturday, November 19th is the Deck the Halls exhibit at the Oshkosh Public Museum going through December 31st. This annual extravaganza features the historic Sawyer home decorated as only the wealthy could do. Holiday “dressings” as reported in periodicals and newspapers of the decades from 1880 to 1919 are recreated to delight and perhaps provide inspiration. The life-size Christmas Village exhibit windows will be filled with toys representing a different decade from 1930 to 1990.  At the center of it all will be the unbelievably-detailed Magnusen family wooden toy circus.

Starting Tuesday, November 22nd through December, The Celebration of Lights in beautiful Menomonee Park, transforms the park into an illuminated holiday wonderland. Come see the 100 foot tree, sculptured scenes and animated light displays with holiday music. With over 13,000 vehicles annually, this is no longer the “best kept secret in Oshkosh”.

Turtle Brownies

TURTLE BROWNIESDo you ever get a craving for something? Turtle Brownies were whispering in my ear the other day and I just couldn’t let it go. I started scouring the internet to find what I thought sounded like the perfect cure for ailment and came across this recipe from chefsavvy.com, that I adapted just a bit. Don’t take my word for it though, try making these for yourself. They are  pretty decadent, so all you need is a small piece to get you through that craving, unless that is, you crave more once you have it.

Turtle Brownies – Serves roughly 18 2×2 squares.

4 TB butter, 1/4 C sugar, 1/4 C brown sugar, 2 C chocolate chips(divided), 2 eggs, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1/2 C flour, 1/4 tsp. salt, 20 caramels, 1 TB milk, and 1/2 C chopped pecans.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×9 pan with aluminium foil(IMPORTANT). Lightly spray with cooking spray.

Combine butter and both sugars to a medium saucepan and stir until melted.  Take off the heat and stir in 1 1/2 C chocolate chips until melted.

Add eggs and vanilla to a medium bowl and whisk to combine.  Stir 1 tsp. of chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.  Add the rest of the chocolate to the mixture, slowly and whisk to combine.  In a separate bowl, combine flour and salt. Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture and fold gently, making sure not to over mix. Add batter to 9×9 pan and bake for 30 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

While the brownies are baking, place caramels and milk in a microwave safe bowl and melt, stirring every so often until smooth.  Drizzle the melted caramel sauce on top of the brownies and spread carefully. Top with pecans and remaining chocolate chips.  Place in fridge to chill. When ready, lift foil and brownies out of the pan and cut into small squares. These will keep in a container in the fridge for up to a week.

 

October in Oshkosh

October in Oshkosh is such a great time to be part of the community and come and visit. With a slight chill in the air, downtown Oshkosh has so much offer.

OktoberfestSaturday, October 1st, the 7th annual Oshkosh Oktoberfest takes place on the corner of 6th and Oregon by Dockside on the river from 8:00-5:00 PM. Come taste authentic German food from the Roxy Supper Club. Enjoy great German music, watch some incredible dancers and learn about the unique German heritage all while participating in various contests.  Included this year is the Masskrugstemmen Stein holding contest, barrel rolling, cheese toss, Sheepshead games and lessons and our Oktoberfest 2K Bier run plus exciting raffles and prizes.  That evening, Oshkosh Gallery Walk holds its monthly art walk.  Area businesses are open from 6:00-9:00 PM to showcase local artwork from canvas, to jewelry to pottery.

BOSS holds annual Bash and Chili Cook-off

One of my favorite events in Oshkosh is the Oshkosh Chili Cook Off which takes places Saturday, October 8th. With over thirty different amateur chili cook-off teams, this is a great way to explore everything from the traditional chili recipe to fruit and even chocolate chili’s. Plus you even get to vote for your favorite.  Other activities include a beer tent with micro brews as well as great music by Salza Manzana from Noon – 3pm. Gates open at 12:00pm with Free Salsa & Pico de Gallo tasting at each booth.

 

Gamepalooza, October 14-16th is a new event that has come to Oshkosh. This weekend long table top gaming event takes place at Gruenhagen Conference Center. Family games, miniature games, role playing, collectible card games, war games, you name it, it is here. There will be vendors selling games and game related items. This is great weekend to learn a new game or expand on the ones you already know and love.

 

 

 

 

Crab Puffs

I have been making these crab puffs for as long as I can remember. This recipe was given to me by daughters Great Grandmother. She gave me a lot of great salads and casserole recipes. I miss her tons! I have never been a big crab fan but mix some chopped imitation crab with some cheese and you have yourself another story. My daughter tells me that I do not make them as good as her Grandmother did, probably because she adds a lot more crab than I do, which my daughter loves. So with that being the case I am going to give you her recipe. I cut down the crab by about 2 oz. and add a little extra horseradish and garlic salt but you can doctor how you like it and let me know how it turns out .

Crab Puffs – serves 12 Crab Puffs

6 English muffins, 1 stick of butter, 1 jar of old English Cheese, 6 oz. imitation crab mea, 1 1/2 tsp. mayo, 1/2 tsp. garlic salt, and a dash of horseradish.

Mix all the ingredients together. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread mixture on muffin halves and put on a sprayed cookie sheet. Bake 20 minutes until slightly brown on top.  Cut into quarters or pick up an eat. Serve as an appetizer or quick snack.

 

Back to School

Back to school time already? I almost titled this blog post about fall, but I am just not ready to admit that it is Autumn yet. Based on what is happening in Oshkosh though in September, I guess I can’t deny it.

ribfestI am not going to lie and say that I am not excited about this first event happening Labor Day weekend just a mile down the road from us at Menomonie Park. For the most part, I try to eat vegan and splurge when I have chicken. I love Ribs, but to be honest, there really isn’t any around here that get me going. Therefore, you will see me at the park, hoping to find that rib recipe that I cannot stop talking about. Oshkosh is hosting the Wisconsin Rib Fest Sept. 2-5. Admission is just $5.00 where you will get to enjoy the best ribs around and some great live music.

The Great Lakes Logging and Heavy Equipment Expo will be taking place Sept. 8-10 at Sunny View Expo Center. Now in its 70th year, this event has been known to attract over 3500 attendees daily covering 875,000 square feet. Over 200 indoor and outdoor exhibitors attend each year to showcase the best lost splitters, compact tractors, logging equipment, pellet stoves and so much more.

ChalkWalk, in downtown Oshkosh will also be taking place Saturday, Sept. 10th. from 8:00 -6:00 . Artists and community members of all ages and levels are able to participate. You are invited to chalk up the sidewalk around Opera House Square or just come and enjoy these works of art. There will be food, fun and music. Help support the downtown business owners with this great event. Of course this is the same day as our downtown farmers market, so make a great day of it.

Saturday, September 17th is full of activity downtown. Start off with the Oshkosh Farmers Market, which was voted the top 100 best markets to visit in the United states!  SquareFare is taking place in the Opera House Square with over 50 vendors selling arts, crafts, food, antiques and collectibles until 1:00 PM. Over the Edge  is the most unique fundraising event to come to Oshkosh! This experience will challenge you to take your support to new heights. This urban adventure fundraising event gives you a chance to rappel 104 feet down the historic First National Bank building. 92 spots are available, so register today! The 45 annual Gem and Mineral Show is also taking place Saturday and Sunday, September 18th at Sunny View Expo Center. 80 vendor will be display rare gems, minerals and jewelry. Food and music are also provided with a $2.00 admission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guests with a past

Shirley and Dutch RennartI could post a picture and a story about nearly every guest we have ever had. Lets face it, we all have a past and some juicy stories to tell, but some of them never get told. I have had the greatest opportunity and pleasure to get to know two people that will forever leave an impression on my heart. Shirley called me late spring inquiring about a 10 day stay in Oshkosh at our inn. Originally from Oshkosh, now living in Florida, Shirley and her husband Dutch would be coming for a family reunion, possibly being the last one. After talking to Shirley for several minutes, I wanted nothing more than to have this sweet couple, I had not met yet, stay with us. I was eager to meet, what I knew would be a spunky gal, but would have to wait until mid July for their arrival. Over the next several months, Shirley called me with all sorts of questions from parking, to payment, to the timing of their arrival. Needless to say, I felt like I had already knew her.

Since I had talked to Shirley so often, I knew the exact time they would be coming, who was dropping them off and what they would be driving. I saw the car pull up and I rushed out to meet this incredible lady. She was exactly how I had expected. The grandmotherly type that you just wanted to spend your days with. She hopped out of the car and I rushed to introduce myself.  I didn’t hesitate once to give her a big old hug. I mean, why wouldn’t I? I felt like I had known her for years. You know what, she gave me the same old big bear hug back.

I knew they would be tired from their travels, so I showed them to their first floor room, went through all the ins, outs and questions and gave them some time. Not too long had passed though, when Dutch comes out of the room looking for a place to sit outside and relax. I should him to a couple of chairs right off of the back porch where they both made themselves comfortable during their stay. I had this opportunity to find out a little more about Dutch since Shirley and I had already hit it off.

Dutch Rennart is his name and this is a man with a past. Originally from Oshkosh and finally making it big as an umpire in the National league from 1973 to 1992. He was most known for his animated loud strike calls. Dutch is one charming, cool cat, that is laid back and easy going with just a little bit of spunk to his step that lets you know that he has still got it. How could you not though, with three world series under your belt.

My husband and I not baseball fans, so this name really didn’t mean a lot to us, but then again it didn’t matter. These two people had already warmed our hearts even before they arrived. Word started getting out though that this legend was back in Oshkosh. So my husband took it upon himself to set up a small gathering at a place called Jerry’s Bar, which is not only one of the oldest bars in Oshkosh, but also pays tribute to Dutch by displaying photos on their wall. Thinking that my husband was just taking him out for beer, Dutch walked into a place where nearly 50 plus people were waiting see and talk to him about the “good ole days”.

I hated to see this adorable couple that had been married for 50 plus years and still showed such warmth and compassion towards each other, leave our home after nearly 2 weeks, but I knew the time had come. I hope on our journeys this winter, we will see them again. I would hate to think this was the first and last time of seeing them,but if it is, I know that they have left an impression that will forever change my life.

Oshkosh Landmark

historic landmarkAfter several months of waiting, we have finally been presented and have proudly displayed our Oshkosh landmark plaque at the front entry of our inn and home. In January I had learned that our property may be eligible for this award due to the age and history of our home. I rushed home and dug up all the research that we had done, along with others along the way and shared that with Landmarks commissions. After further research, more information was found and we were ecstatic that we were to be included. Thank you to the Oshkosh Historical Society and the City of Oshkosh Planning Department for acknowledging our home and property. We couldnt’ be happier to be able to share it with others as so many did before us.

For those that do not know the history of our inn, it was built in 1867 as a private residence. A middle class lumberman by the name of John Rich purchased the land and built a three bedroom, two story, crème city brick Italianate home for his wife, two children and live in nanny for $5000.00, which would be about the equivalent of almost $81,0000 today. Just five short years later, John passed away. The home had been sold three times over the next 60 plus years when it was was finally turned into “Bachelors Hall” in 1930, which was a Mens boarding house until 1975 and then to a group home up until we purchased the home in 2004.

I tell many that I feel we have come full circle. What was once known as the address of 71 Church St. as a family home, turned into a boarding house, then group home and now to a bed and breakfast and our home, has always been a place for people to lay their heads and find comfort. I couldn’t be more please with this honor that we are able to present so vividly for all to see.

Tomato and Zucchini Strata

Who can pass on these wonderful vegetables at our local Farmers Market. The tomato and zucchini were calling out to me the other day and saying I need to utilize these two amazing vegetables together. I just happened to come across a Midwest Living magazine with this delightful little strata recipe. I did tweak it just a bit to make it my own, just as you can yourself. I like making mine in their own individual dishes as they look much prettier coming out of the oven, however feel free to make this in a large casserole dish for a crowd.  Oh, and did I mention that you can prepare this the night before and pop it in the oven in the morning? Its actually best that way so the flavors can all mesh together.

Tomato and Zucchini Strata – Serves 1 generouslyTomato Zucchini Strata

1TB butter, 1/2 C grape tomatoes, 1/2 C sliced zucchini, 1 1/2 C day old French bread(cubed) 1/2 C pepperjack cheese (or swiss if you don’t like the spiciness), 2 eggs, 3/4 C milk, dash of parsley, basil, chives, garlic salt and pepper.

In a large skillet, melt better over low heat. Add tomatoes and zucchini. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until tomatoes begin to lose their firm shape. Remove from heat.  Spray your cooking dish and place half of the bread cubes in the dish. Top with half of the zucchini mixture and cheese and then repeat layers.

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, parsley, basil, chives, garlic salt and pepper. Carefully pour egg mixture over bread mixture.  Using the back of a spoon, gently press down gently.  Cover and chill at least two hours.  Remove from the fridge after chilling. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake for 50 minutes or until puffed, golden and set.  Serve immediately!

 

What’s happening in August in Oshkosh?

What’s happening in August in Oshkosh, you ask? Read on, because you won’t want to miss some of these annual events and some brand new events coming to Oshkosh in just a few weeks.

Everything Tuesday until August 16th.
LIVE at the Leach Concert Series is a FREE event held at the Leach Amphitheater in Oshkosh every Tuesday night until August 16th from 6:30-9:30 with different music each week. Bring your blankets and lawn chairs. Concessions and beverages will be available for purchase.

At The Fair

The Winnebago County Fair is always a good time each year. Starting August 3rd and running through August 7th. Auto racing, tractor pulls, rodeo, fireworks, a demolition derby and new this year is Mr. Eds Magical Midway.

midsummers nights dream paineIn August the Paine’s gardens will come to life with characters and scenes from Shakespeare’s fantastical play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The “theater-in-the-round” performances will engage you in a world of fairies, kings and queens, and magical spells. Especially intended for children, this fun and interactive theatrical experience will reveal the wonder of William Shakespeare’s lyricism, imagination, and brilliance.

Performances will last approx. one hour. Guests will be seated throughout the performance but afterwards, children will be invited to mingle with the fairies. Performances will be held, Sunday, August 7 at 5:30 PM and 7:00 PM, Wednesday, August 10th at 6:30 PM and Sunday, August 14th at 5:30 and 7:00. Reservations are a must!

Weekend of August 12-14

symco shakedownNew to Oshkosh this year, is the Symco Shakedown. Not a car show, not a music festival, but a “Summer Camp for Hot Rodders” August 11th -13th.

The Shakedown is Wisconsin’s largest and oldest traditional hot rod and custom multi-day car show.  It also features a huge music festival featuring over 20 bands each year. Cars are driven from all over the country.  This event is 1964 and older vehicles. Symco Shakedown brings Rockabilly, Surf Rock, Classic Country, Outlaw Country, Rock & Roll and whatever else fits in the theme.

The grounds are filled with cars that would have been seen cruising the streets of America pre-1965. If you’re building a car with parts that weren’t available at that time, it won’t get in. But the cars are really only half the story. The show grounds is a vintage style airport known as the Pioneer Airport, an airport museum setting with a park setting surrounding it. Two main stages for your listening enjoyment, playing until 11pm both Friday and Saturday nights. Mini-bike drags are scheduled about 11am on Sat. A raffle drawing is Saturday at 6pm. Also vendors and swap meet running all day, both days.

outdooer sportmans festivalThe state’s best outdoor sport show of it’s kind with the latest gear and equipment is being held at Sunny View Expo Center August 12-14th. Kids archery, fishing, rock climbing, training dogs and more will be offered. This is the time to get he season’s hottest prices on boats, RV’s, ATV’s, UTV’s and more. There will be new competitive events this year too with a 3D archery tournament.  Hunters are invited to test the skills of their favorite four legged hunting dog in a series of retrieving competitions throughout the weekend while getting some training and tips from the pros. A special appearance from Jeff Fuller from Cabela’s Sporting Dog Adventures TV will be available to offer training tips and demonstrations for your young or experienced hunting dog!

Iron Horse Bicycle Race Durango Men 2

Sunday, August 14th, Race the Lake is a 90 mile bike race around the majestic Lake Winnebago either as an individual or with a team.  The course will begin in Fond du Lac and journey through the west side of Lake Winnebago and traveling through Oshkosh, Neenah, Menasha, Appleton and to the half way point at High Cliff State Park. Riders then take the east shoreline of Lake Winnebago.  The course goes through Calumetville, Marytown, and St. Peter, and finishes at Lakeside Park (158 E. Harbor Drive) in Fond du Lac.

 

cornhole tourney

The Wisconsin Cornhole Tourney is a social bean bag toss tournament that includes music, side games, concessions, t-shirts, a free beer mug for participants and lots of cheering fans! Located this year at the Leach Amphitheater on Saturday, August 20th at 10:00 AM.

The Oshkosh Color Vibe 5 K run comes back to Oshkosh this year also, on Saturday, August 20th at EAA starting at 9:00 AM.

 

gus mackerSunday, August 28th is the 5th annual Oshkosh Gus Macker 3 on 3 tournament in downtown Oshkosh. The Oshkosh Farmers Market will also be going on just down the road on Saturday, August 27th.

Once again, the popular slam dun contest for the high flyers and a 3 point shot contest will be presented. New this year is the “Dream Court” where the youngest Mackers play games with an announcer doing play-by-play and receive prizes. The real charm of a Gus Macker tournament is that no matter your level of experience you get matched up with players of similar experience in a setting that is right for you! It is basketball in the streets made for everybody. The Macker Tournament is designed so that anyone can play: male or female, young and old, short and tall, the most experienced or no experience at all. Teams are computer-matched into male and female divisions within one of the following categories: Junior, Adult, or Top. The age, height and experience of all four (4) players are considered.

Teams receive at least three (3) scheduled games each tournament. The Macker is a double elimination tournament with a consolation bracket: the “Toilet Bowl” for teams losing their first two games.

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy cookies (Vegan and Gluten Free)

These cookies really are healthy!  I made them with gluten free flour and did NOT add any eggs, butter or sugar. This recipe is adapted from the Blueberry girl blog. I have tried using other nut meals which work great too. Since making this recipe, I have also tried dried blueberries and made them without the chocolate chips when I was feeling really disciplined, but as far as I am concerned, a little chocolate never hurt anyone.

Vegan and gluten free scrumptious cookiesHealthy Cookies – The size you make them depends how many you get. Mine were about 3″ wide and I got about a dozen cookies.

1/2 cups gluten free old fashioned oatmeal, 1 C coconut flakes, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp allspice, 1/4 C almond meal, 1/2 C walnuts and pecans(finely chopped), 3/4 C craisens or dried cherries, 1/4 C dark chocolate chips, 3 ripe bananas, mashed, 1/4 C canola oil and 1 tsp. vanilla.

Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine rolled oats, almond meal, mixed nuts and coconut flakes. Stir in allspice and cinnamon. Add dried fruit and chocolate chips and stir until evenly mixed.

In another bowl, combine canola oil, mashed banana and vanilla extract. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and stir until well combined.

Form balls with your hands and flatten slightly. The dough will be slightly wet. Bake for about 20 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

Guest Room Masterpiece Renovations

We think our two most recent renovations are true masterpieces. We try to update our rooms, make an addition or provide a service each year to keep our inn fresh, current and interesting. A couple of years ago, we added the pergola out in back which gives our guests another option on where to lounge or even enjoy breakfast while they enjoy the serenity of the garden around them.  Last year we added a Keurig bar to those who wanted coffee, tea or hot chocolate late in the evening to enjoy at their leisure, along with filtered water to fill water bottles so we can help with landfill overuse.

belle vanityThis year, we added a new vanity to the Belle Suite which is absolutely stunning! It really fits the setting much better than the white pedestal sink and it gives our guests a little more room to spread out with their belongings.

The Blue Room also got a much need makeover with the shower. We wanted to make the Blue Room to feel more spa like and traditional in a sense. We took out the old shower and replaced it will a tiled masterpiece. Though the glass door is about an inch narrower than the previous door, the shower is wider and we were able to add shelves on the wall by the sink to give our guests more room for toiletries, which has always been a challenge in this room. blue room shower

If you have not visited us in a while, we would love to have you back to check out our renovations and if you are considering a trip to Oshkosh this summer for the first time, please consider staying local. We would love to spoil you. There are so many great activities, concerts, and events happening, Oshkosh is defiantly the place to be this summer. Check out our area events page to find the perfect time for you to visit.

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