lounge

Oshkosh Choices

There is so much to choose from again this weekend in Oshkosh, that there will be something to do for everyone. For me I am going to try to get some flowers in the ground and in pots, so hopefully I will have some great summery photos to share with you in a few weeks.

Lets start with Friday night. Starting at 7:00 PM is the the Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway at Sunnyview Expo Center. Pits open at 4:00 and Grandstands at 5:00. Not into racing, how about Free Movie Fridays the Time Community Cinema. At 8:00, Journey to the Seventh Planet is playing. Just down the street, starting at 10:30 is Stand Up Comedy and Open Mic at the Backlot Comedy House.  You have 5 minutes to show your stuff up on stage. Not comfortable with that, thats okay. Sit back and relax and watch others become famous.

 

 

Want more, well Saturday is jam packed in Oshkosh again. Starting at 8:00 AM and going through Sunday, Sunnyview Expo Center hosts the 4H horse show and Oshkosh Kennel Club All Breed Dog Show. Admission is FREE for both events. Spring graduation at UWO is happening at 9:00 AM and at 2:00PM. One of my favorite events is Festival of Spring at the Paine Art Museum and Gardens starting at 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM. Over 200 vendors will be selling their original art, fine crafts, plants and garden supplies. There will also be a flea market at the corner of Elmwood Avenue and Congress Street. Destination Downtown is also taking place where brunch, a style show and tons of prizes will be given for $25.00 per person. It also includes a silent auction, great sales and discounts at downtown retail shops and finally ending in a happy hour at the Algoma Club. How about ending the day at the Grand Opera House for Steve March Torme’ from 7:30-10:00 for finger snapping jazz and pop tunes.

Whooo! That is a lot to choose from. Have fun. Memorial Day Weekend is already next weekend, so that means the start of Summer when even more will be going on in Oshkosh.

 

Margarita Cheesecake

Margaritas are one of those beverages that many people make, but they tend to always taste different. Nothing beats a good margarita on a hot summer day though, but did you know that they are the most caloric alcoholic beverage there is to consume. Well, that takes a little fun out of it. Most of those calories comes from the simple syrup though. For those that know me, I am always looking for alternatives so agave and me have become good friends when it comes to sweetening your favorite recipes. Sugar free triple sec also tastes just as good without all those sugar calories. Give it try and see what you think the next time to whip up a batch.
Since Cinco De Mayo was on Monday, I wanted to make a dessert over the weekend that celebrated this wonderful holiday, so margarita cheesecake sounded like just the thing to celebrate with.  For this recipe I used regular ingredients without cutting out any of the calories, but I have made it both ways by using light cream cheese, sour cream, sugar free triple sec and agave. It is a little lighter but still excellent! If you can, give yourself a day to prepare so you have time to chill before serving.
Margarita CheesecakePresenting:  Margarita Cheesecake- 10 slices. 
CRUST - 1 1/4 cups Graham Cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted. 
FILLING - 3/ 8-ounce cream cheese blocks at room temp., 1 1/4 cups sour cream, 3/4 C sugar, 3 1/2 TB triple sec, 3 1/2 TB tequila, 3 1/3 TB lime juice, and 3 large eggs.
TOPPING - 3/4 C sour cream, 2 TB lime juice, 2 tsp. grated lime peel (don’t be stingy), and 1 TB sugar.
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 10″ springform pan on the bottom and sides with nonstick spray.  Mix graham cracker crumbs with sugar and butter in medium bowl until blended. Press crumbs over bottom and 1 inch up sides of prepared pan. Refrigerate crust.

Beat cream cheese in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in sour cream, then sugar, triple sec, tequila and lime juice. Beat in eggs.
Pour filling into crust. Bake until the outside looks set but the center still  moves slightly, roughly about 50 minutes. Remove from oven and turn off the oven. Immediately start preparing the topping.
 
For the topping, whisk sour cream, lime juice, lime peel and sugar in small bowl to blend. Spread evenly over cheesecake. Return cheesecake to hot oven that has been turn off. Keep off! Let stand in warm oven for about 45 minutes. Cheesecake will look very soft, but it will set up once chilled.) Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 6 hours.
Run knife around pan sides. Remove pan sides. Place cake on platter.
 

Happy Mothers Day

Mom's 50th b-day

My Mom- Debbie

First off, I just want to say Happy Mothers Day to my Mom and all the other Moms out there this weekend. As much as I enjoy what I do for a living, I usually miss out on weekend activities with our friends and have to cut short holiday gatherings with family due to having guests at the inn. This Mothers Day day is no exception. My Mom lives on the other side of the state, and though it is only a 2 1/2 hour drive, I will have to find another time to visit. She runs a greenhouse, so I know she will be plenty busy herself.  Since I am a Mom myself though, I am very lucky to be able to spend the day with my daughter. Traditionally, we like to get flowers in the ground on Mothers Day but the last few years we have learned that we usually get one more freeze and we are outside covering up and hoping that we can save our new garden, so we may put it off for one week.

If you are lucky enough to be able to spend the day with your Mom and want to do something special, may we recommend having a girls weekend away at a bed and breakfast :) where a comfy bed and delicious home made breakfast is always included plus home made desserts and a wine and cheese social both Friday and Saturday night.  If that is not possible, brunch is always lovely, as Oshkosh has many brunch choices to choose from this Mothers Day, including the Roxy which is located downtown among many great retail stores. Oshkosh Community Players also presents, Barefoot in the Park at the Grand Opera House May 8-10.

Whatever you decide to do this weekend, tell your Mom that you love her. It will be the best gift you can give her.

Breakfast Quinoa

I have been trying to eat a little healthier, so I have been looking for for new inspirations to help me feel full longer. I have incorporated flax seeds and chia seeds into almost everything I eat since they they are literally flavorless, good for me, I don’t even know they are in things and it has helped me feel full. I do tend to get bored eating the same thing all the time though, so I like to try new things.  When I first tried quinoa, I really liked it.  If you are not familiar with quinoa, it is a grain and it is cooked similar to rice. It does not have a lot of flavor, so as a side dish I like to add some chicken broth, craisens and some vegetables. Since I figured it was so versatile I thought why not add some cinnamon and brown sugar. I may even try some maple syrup as a substitute next time, but this was really good, very satisfying, something different than oatmeal, better for me and really stuck with me all morning, even after a workout.

Breakfast Quinoa – Serves 2 

1 3/4 C skim milk, 1 C quinoa, 3 TB brown sugar, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 C Greek yogurt or lowfat yogurt, and 1 C fresh fruit

Bring milk to a boil in a saucepan. Add quinoa and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered until about three quarters of the milk has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.

Stir in sugar and cinnamon. Cook, covered until almost all the milk has been absorbed, about 10 minutes.

Add yogurt and fruit and enjoy!

 

 

 

Oshkosh Events

Courtesy of Oshkosh Convention and Visitors Bureau

You should not have any problems this weekend finding something to do in Oshkosh. With the vast array of events taking place, there sure will be something to do for everyone. UWO, Sunnyview Expo Center, Menominee Park,  and St. Jude Church all have great events happening.

UWO has two large events taking place. First is the WIAC Outdoor track and field and the other is the WI Parents Association Conference at Gurenhagen for home schooling.

For the second time in four years and fourth time overall, the UWO will host the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships, May 1 and 2 at JJ Keller Field at titan Stadium at the Oshkosh Sports Complex.

The UW-La Crosse men will strive for their 19th consecutive title after winning last year’s championship, whereas Oshkosh came in third last year. On the women’s side, UW-La Crosse goes after its third straight title after winning last year’s meet with Oshkosh in third place as well.  

If you just had a child or have toddlers and are thinking about if home schooling is right for you, this is the conference to be at. Maybe you have children already in public school elementry or high school and are thinking about switching over.  Maybe you are a veteran to all of this and you just want to learn from others or purchase a curriculum, create your own or want to look into unschooling, you don’t want to  miss this.

Saturday,  May 3 at Sunnyview Expo Center is The Natural & Organic Food Expo from 9:00-4:00. This is the time to connect with the  farmers who grow organic food and the chefs who transform it.  It is time to connect with the people behind one of the most productive and distinctive food producing regions in the Midwest! This one-of-a-kind event that gives the attendee the opportunity to connect with other food enthusiasts and sample recipes prepared by some of the state’s finest restaurants while shaping the future by changing the way Wisconsin eats.

From 6:00 AM -2:00 PM at Menominee Park, come and see the Oshkosh Bird Festival. They call it the tailgate party for bird watchers! Bring your binoculars and a chair and sit, watch and listen. There will be demonstrations, exhibits, a bird walk, concessions, kids activities followed by Gallery Walk which will also have bird inspired events. The Oshkosh Birdfest headquarters will be at the Oshkosh Masonic Temple at 204 Washington Ave. Bird photographers, artists, a falconer, and bird-related fare at participating retail shops.

May 3 and 4, visit the hundreds of beautiful African violets and related plants on exhibit and for sale at St. Jude Apostle  Church Hall at 551 Knapp St. Designs using African violet plants as well as blossom will be on exhibit. Pots, soil, and fertilizer will also be for sale. Club members will be on hand to answer your violet related questions. Free admission and parking. Hours are 10:00-4:00 on Saturday and 11:30-3:00 on Sunday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mixed Berry Muffins

I try out a lot of recipes from the Food Network, magazines, Pinterest, make up my own, etc. Sometimes they turn out, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes I like a recipe, but I don’t love it. I will only post my recipes that I really enjoy, and only after I have had time to tweak them to what I think is shareable. That means that sometimes our guests will get to try things that I may never post. I made some lemon sugar cookies the other day that I thought were good but I was not overjoyed by them, so unfortunately you will not see those. If you stayed with us though and really love them, let me know and I will share the recipe with you.

This next recipe is one that I got off of Pinterest, but had to work really hard at tweaking. It just was not working out for me, but I knew it had potential. So,  I added a few a things and minimized a few others and I have to say, I think they are pretty darn good and very summery, which I am trying to make happen. I hope you enjoy.

Mixed Berry MuffinsMixed Berry Muffins – Serves 18(regular size)

2 C plus 2 TB flour , 1 C sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, 2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 C vegetable oil, 3 eggs, 2/3 C Greek Yogurt, 1 1/2C mixed berries. I used blueberries, strawberries and raspberries.

Streusel Topping- 2/3 C brown sugar, 1/3 C flour, 1 tsp. cinnamon and 1 1/2 TB butter.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a med bowl, mix together 2 C flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. In a smaller bowl, add vegetable oil, eggs and yogurt and whisk to combine. As liquid mixture to flour mixture and until just combined.

In a separate bowl, combine fruit with 2 TB flour ( to prevent berries from sinking to the bottom and clumping together). Fold the berries into the batter gently. Put into  muffin liners or your muffin tin.

Combine your streusel ingredients not it is crumby. Sprinkle streusel on top of muffins and bake 20 minutes. Garnish with raspberries to dress it up.

 

Celebrity sighting

I am not really someone who gets crazy over seeing or being around a celebrity. I mean, they are not any different than you or I. However, that does not mean that I don’t enjoy getting the opportunity to spend some time and get to know someone that I might have never had the chance to meet. I have said this before and I will say it again. The best part of my job is getting to meet so many wonderful people. Honestly, a lot of the time I don’t even know that someone is a celebrity until we start a conversation and realize that we have  more in common that either of us knew. The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh is very generous at sending people are way. A couple of weeks ago, I had the honor of meeting Ms. Kara Laricks . I loved her style from the moment she walked in our door and her energy filled the inn and lifted my spirits. We sat for for nearly two hours during breakfast, just her and I talking freely and exchanging thoughts. I walked away feeling very lucky to have met her and inspired by her story of taking chances.  I hope one day, she may be back in Oshkosh again.  

Pina Colada Cupcakes

Pina Colada Cupcakes. Just the sound of them sounds too good to be true. This is fun recipe that you can get pretty creative with. I thought about coloring the icing or topping them with tidbit pineapple pieces, but I like to keep it simple most of time. I figured this would be a great little recipe to feature right before Easter. If you do not like to use alcohol, you can always use an extract. They actually taste very similar.

pina colada 2Pina Colada Cupcakes – 12 jumbo cupcakes

1 box yellow cake mix, 1/3 C vegetable oil, 1/4 C water, 1 tsp. rum, 1 Can(8oz) crushed pineapple, drain but save juice and set aside), 3 eggs, and 1 tsp. coconut extract, 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place muffin liners in cupcake tin. I like using jumbo, but use whatever size you have. In a large bowl beat cake mix, oil, water, 1 tsp. rum, pineapple(not juice), and eggs with an electric mixer. Divide batter among muffin cups. Bake 20-25 minutes for jumbo muffins. Cool for a few minutes before removing from pans. Cool completely, before frosting.

Buttercream Icing – 1 1/2 C powdered sugar, 3 TB butter, 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract, 1 tsp. rum, 1 tsp. pineapple juice, and milk.

Mix all ingredients except milk together. Slow add milk, 1 tsp at a time until you get a smooth, thick consistency. Whip until creamy  and easy to spread or pipe on. Garnish with coconut flakes, or pineapple, colored sugars or whatever you like.

 

Friday nights in Oshkosh

Two great ways to spend your Friday nights in Oshkosh. Now that the weather is finally warming, we can get outside and experience even more ways to enjoy Oshkosh.

 

FREE Fridays at the Time Community Theater at 445 N Main.  Doors open at 7:30 and movie at 8:00. Cheap concessions and  great mix of movies from frightening, to family oriented to just plain fun. Check out the Times Facebook page for updates and movie presentations.

 

 

Picture courtesy of Oshkosh Convention and Visitors BureauStarting on Friday, April 25 through August 29th from from 7:00 PM -11:00 PM, at Sunnyview Expo Center, weekly racing every Friday night. Pit gates open at 4:00 with grandstands opening at 5:00. Regular races featuring IMCA modifieds, IMCA stock cars, IMCA sport modifieds, Grand Natioinals, Street Stocks and Dirt Devils. Admission is $10.00 for adults and Students (11-15) $5.00 and 10 and under are FREE with a paid adult. Pit admission is $25.00 and special races take place periodically.

 

 

Breakfast Grilled Cheese

This breakfast grilled cheese is probably one of my new favorite recipes. It has a wonderful mix of sweet and savory with just the right amount of heat. This recipe was featured on channel 5 roadtrip segment a couple of weeks ago and was favored well, so we wanted to share our recipe with you. I considered entering this in the bedandbreakfast.com contest a month ago, but I figured it was not sweet enough. I may have to reconsider this one for next year.

I use very specific ingredients in this sandwich for a few of the items. You can tweak anyway you like, but I have found that using these key ingredients makes a big difference.

Festival Foods bakery cinnamon bread-unsliced, Butcher Block Raspberry pepper or Raspberry Japlepeno jam,( there are two companies that make this jam that Butcher Block sells. I forget the name, but they are both incredible, Hennings Mango Fire Cheddar Cheese sold at Butcher Block as well. If you have never been in Butcher Block, you should really check it out. A lot of specialty items only found in Wisconsin and really nice owners too!

breakfast grilled cheeseBreakfast Grilled Cheese – Serves 1

Two slices cinnamon bread, 2 Large eggs, 2 TB  Raspberry Pepper Jam, 2 slices maple bacon (fried), and 2 slices mango chipotle cheddar cheese and butter.

Scramble eggs and pour into a frying pan. Cook without scrambling, but flip to keep the eggs together. Set aside.

Butter both slices of cinnamon bread on one side. Lay one slice, buttered side down, in frying pan. Spread one TB of raspberry pepper jam on bread. Layer with eggs, bacon, and cheese. Slather the other 1 TB of raspberry pepper jam on opposite side of buttered bread. Lay the jam side down on the egg, bacon and cheese with butter side up. Flip to cook other side until desired doneness. About one minutes. Cut in half and serve with fruit.

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cheesecake Bread Pudding

Chocolate covered cherry cheesecake bread pudding. Wow, thats a mouth full! This is the recipe that I entered into the national bed and breakfast.com contest.  The criteria was make up your own, authentic “sweet” breakfast recipe. We made it to the top 16 but unfortunately, did not  make it past that, as competition was pretty stiff. I love bread pudding recipes because you can make them for a crowd or for just one. When making them for one in these cute little soufle bowls, they puff up so beautifully that I was hoping the picture alone would sway some voters. Though we did not make through, I wanted to share the recipe with you. I hope you enjoy.

Chocolate Covered Cherry Bread Pudding- serves 1chocolate covered cherry cheesecake bread pudding

4 TB. graham cracker crumbs,1/2 TB butter, 1 egg, 1/2 C milk, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg, 1 Challah or Hawaiian bread, 3 oz. cream cheese, 1/4 Can cherry pie filling, 1/4 C sugar, and 1/4 C mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray an 8oz. ramekin with non stick cooking spray.
Melt butter. Add graham cracker crumbs to melted butter and spoon into bottom of ramekin until it covers the bottom. Pat down.

Whisk together egg, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and 1/3 of the sugar until combined and sugar is dissolved.
Tear bread into pieces (larger rather than smaller) and add to egg mixture. If too soggy, add a little more bread. Mix well.
Put half of the bread mixture on top of the graham mixture.

Combine cream cheese with 1/3 of the sugar (still having 1/3 left) until combined.
Spread cream cheese mixture on top of bread mixture.

Sprinkle about 10 or more chocolate chips on top of cream cheese mixture, depending how chocolaty you like it, you can always add more.
Add cherry pie filling over the cream cheese and chocolate chips.

Place the remaining bread over the top and sprinkle with remaining sugar.
Bake 45-50 minutes. Sprinkle more chocolate chips on the top when done baking. Serve immediately.

Big Weekend in Oshkosh

 

April 11-13 is a big weekend in Oshkosh. You know when multiple events start happening in Oshkosh on the same weekend, that the weather must be warming up, right? Please tell me Spring is on the way!

Friday, April 11 is Dancing with the Little Stars. At 6:30 at the convention center registration, cocktails, Hors d’ oeuvres and a silent auction kicks off the night, followed by an award presentation and then a friendly competition among couples and groups of “local celebrity” dancers. Tickets are $50.00 pp and all proceeds from Dancing for Little Stars support Parent Connection, a parent education and early learning program that encourages, strengthens and supports families throughout Oshkosh and the Fox Cities.

Saturday, April 12 start your day at the Paine Art Center with the Maria Pinto Fashion Event. Maria Pinto, a Chicago based designer, is a Contemporary American designer and artist who creates beautiful, versatile fashions with a modern urban edge. She is best known for designing for First Lady Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey. The fashion show will be held in the Paine’s conservatory at 12:00 with lunch consisting of a plated cheese course, marinated grilled chicken on a bed of greens with blood oranges, pomegranate, feta cheese, pine nuts and a citrus vinaigrette followed by dessert and wine choice. An interview and runway show will follow. Reservations can be made by April 7 at a cost of $60.00/$50.00 Paine members.

Later that evening from 7:30-10:00 PM, check out Oshkosh on Broadway at the Grand Opera House. In its eighth year, Oshkosh on Broadway continues to be the most talked about fundraiser for the community. Just under 100 community/celebrity members sing and dance, all to raise funds for the Grands educational and free community programs.

 

 

 

Photo provided by the Oshkosh Convention and Visitors Bureau

Photo provided by the Oshkosh Convention and Visitors Bureau

 

Sunday, April 13th is the annual Oshkosh Half MarathonThis is the 10th season for the Oshkosh half marathon/5K run/walk and kids run which takes participants around scenic area, historic homes and by the river. There will be themed water stations and massage therapists at the finish line.The course begins on Ceape/Main, taking you past the historic Paine Art Center,  catches the Wiowash Trail, then heads south on the river-front trail. The final mile goes through the heart of downtown Oshkosh, catches the river trail behind the Convention Center and finishes inside the Leach Amphitheatre. The 5K course starts and ends at the same point. This event benefits the Boys and Girls Club of Oshkosh, Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services, Inc. and the Oshkosh Area Humane Society.

 

Mint Truffles

Mint truffles. Yum! This really isn’t a new recipe, just an adaption of a previous one, but that doesn’t make it any less indulgent. Reading my old post, I commented that I had never tried it with mint Oreos or chocolate Oreos, so this seemed like the right time. Original recipe . Adapted recipe is slightly different. You don’t need as much cream cheese since for some reason the mint oreos are much softer.  Also include peppermint or mint extract and white chocolate.

1 package of Mint Oreos, 4oz. cream cheese, (add more if necessary) white chocolate, green food coloring, mint or peppermint extract. Set aside a couple of cookies so you can crumble cookie crumbs over the top. Oreo balls (mint)

Add the entire package of Oreos to the food processor. Process until crumbly. Add softened cream cheese and process again.

Scoop out Tablespoons of crumb mixture and form into a ball.  Put on a cookie sheet and store in the freezer until ready to coat with white chocolate. (It will be much easier when they are firm like this)

Melt white chocolate. Once melted add as much green food coloring as you want to get to the desired color. Then add your extract. If you really want to go crazy, add some peppermint schnapps! Dip the frozen Oreo balls in the mint chocolate or drizzle with the mint chocolate or both. Add cookie crumbs for a little more flair.

30-35 balls depending on the size you make them. Store in the freezer until ready to serve.

WineFeast

WineFeast! What more can you say. Sign me up. 100% of the proceeds from WineFeast directly benefit over 4,000 youth at the Boys and Girls club of Oshkosh.

Saturday, April 5, starting at 7:00 PM at the Oshkosh Convention Center, sample a diverse selection of over 150 wines, domestic and imported beers, a wide variet of non-alcoholic beverages and delicious appetizers and entrees from over a dozen local restaurants.

A silent auction will be head with over 50 sought after items along with a wine raffle with a chance to win a bottle from an assortment of 1450 different bottles of wine ranging from $5.00 to $100.00.  You will also receive a complimentary Riedel white wine glass and be able to hear music from Janet Planet.

Tickets are $75.00 a piece or 2 for $125.00 or 4 for $200.00.

Want a little more out of this experience. Elect to be a cellar select. For $125.00 pp,  you will receive a champagne reception starting at 4:00, a full access pass to WineFeast, a relaxing five course dinner, live auction, complimentary Riedel red wine glass and entertaining harp music by Virginia Rogers.

There are also several other packages as an upgrade or for a group. You can purchase your tickets at Festival Foods in Neenah and Oshkosh, Blue Moose convenience stores in Oshkosh or at FNB Fox Valley.

Breakfast Quesadilla

A little Tex Mex for Breakfast, why not? This breakfast quesadilla is probably one of my favorite new recipes that I pulled off of Pinterest. Of course I tweaked it to make it my own, which is what you can do too.  Really easy to make, looks great on the plate, satisfying and completely creative that you can add whatever ingredients you want. You can’t see the avocado in the picture, but they are in there. ( My little hint of green for St. Patricks).

breakfast quesadilla unpublishedBreakfast Quesadilla – Serves 4

8 – 6″ flour tortillas, 6 eggs, 1 Kielbasa sausage (sliced), 2 avocados, sliced, 2 C shredded Mexican cheese, 1 onion, chopped, 1 red pepper, chopped, 3 med. potatoes, sliced, 2 TB. olive oil, 2 TB butter, salt and pepper to taste and salsa and sour cream (optional).

In a large skillet, heat 1 TB olive oil and cook the onion and the potatoes until the potatoes are tender. Set aside.

Add the other TB of oil to the skillet and fry the sausage until lightly browned. Beat egg and pour over sausage. Scramble eggs with sausage and cook until eggs are done. Remove to a plate and set aside.

In the same skillet, melt half TB of butter over med. heat and place a tortilla on your skillet. Layer with 1/4 C cheese, 1/4 potato mixture, 1/4 egg/sausage mixture and slices from half of an avocado. Add another 1/4 C cheese and top with second tortilla.

Carefully flip tortilla when one side is lightly browned and cheese is beginning to melt. Add more cheese to the top of tortilla and cook until bottom tortilla is lightly browned.

Slice the quesadilla into 4 wedges and serve with home made salsa (see previous recipe) and sour cream.

WPS Farm Show

The WPS Farm show is happening March 25-27, beginning at 9:00 AM at the EAA grounds. The farm show will showcase the latest farming equipment, machinery, tools and service along with many seminars.  Ranging from the latest, money making alpaca raising information, to energy efficient uses on the farm.  This is a FREE event to attend with a silent auction.   The kids will love the adventure as well with a kiddie tractor pull on Wednesday at 1:00. There will be more than 700 booths and 400 vendors.

Cinnamon Yogurt Fruit Cup

Cinnamon yogurt fruit cup. Refreshing, crunchy and good for you too. Plus there is some green fruit in here for my St. Patricks Day themed month.

Cinnamon yogurt fruit cupCinnamon Yogurt Fruit Cup – Serves 12 small fruit cups.

Dressing – 1/2 C lowfat yogurt, 1/4 C sugar, 1/4 C brown sugar, 1/2 tsp. lemon juice, and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 Granny smith apple, cored and diced, 1 pink lady or red apple of choice, cored and diced, 1 pear, cored and diced, 1/2 C red grapes and 1/2 C green grapes and 1/4 C chopped walnuts.

Mix all the dressing ingredients together and put in the fridge while you are cutting up your fruit.

Once you have everything chopped up, pour your dressing over the fruit and stir.

Enjoy right away and refrigerate any leftovers, if you have some.

 

St. Patricks Day Parade and Tent Party

Monday, March 17th is St. Patricks Day, but Oshkosh is celebrating it this Saturday all day and into the night with a tent party and parade.  Starting at 2:00 kick off Irish Cider School at Barley and Hops, who will introduce you to the wonderful world of cider from 2:00 pm – 3:00. Registration includes commemorative glassware, multiple samples of Irish and other UK Ciders, and a presentation on these tasty drinks and their popularity in America. Products to sample include Magners Original, Magners Pear, Hornsby’s Amber, Hornsby’s Crisp, and Blackthorn. Price is only $15 per person. Must be over 21 to attend. Sign-up at Barley & Hops 663 N Main St or online at www.OshkoshStPats.com.

At 4:00, just down the block at 547 N Main enjoy the beginning of a fun filled night tent party starting with the Irish band Dornan. For the next couple of hours have fun with the childrens reddest hair and freckled face contest, meet the Irish wolfhounds and join the Kinsella Academy of Irish Dance for a little fun.

At 6:30 starts the parade beginning on Main going to Ceape and ending at Irving. Watch for the Oshkosh and Convention and Visitors Bureau brand new Oshcar. You can’t miss it.  Richards School of Irish Dance will be performing around 7:30, follow by Sheamus Fitzpatrick and the McNally Boys.

Bagpipers, cultural displays, Fox Valley hurling Club, Irish food, merchandise, silent auctions and raffles will be held throughout the day.

Want to celebrate even more? Meet up at the Roxy every Sunday in March for an authentic Irish breakfast.

Kahlua Mint Cupcakes

Mint cupcakes, just in time for St. Patricks Day. I figured since I devoted the month of February to chocolate, why not devote March to green. That leaves it to Mint and avocado in my opinion. The only green food that looks appetizing is mint and there is only so  much you can do with mint that is not redundant and that is mostly in dessert format and well, avocado,  a lot more variety, just not as much for breakfast, but I will try to sneak in both.

This one is so darn pretty though that I couldn’t wait to share it with you. Now, I think box devils food cake is great, so if you are short on time, do the box. If you like to put in a little extra effort, use this recipe. I have tried many but really like this one and if you don’t care for mint, try a chocolate buttercream with these little darlings. Scrumptious too.

Kahlua Mint Cupcakes – Makes 24 regular cupcakesMint cupcakes

2 C sugar, 2 C flour, 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda, dash of salt, 3/4 C  hot chocolate powder, 2 sticks butter, 3/4 C Kahlua, 2 eggs, 2/3 C sour cream, and 1 TB vanilla

Mint Filling- 1/2 C chocolate chips, 4 TB heavy cream, 2 Tsp. mint extract. and 1/2 C powdered sugar.

Melt chocolate chips and heavy cream together in the microwave. Stir in mint extract and then powdered sugar. Fill insides of cupcake with filling.

Mint Buttercream – 8 oz. cream cheese, 6 TB butter (softened), 4+ Cups powdered sugar, 1 TB heavy cream, 1 tsp. mint extract and green food coloring.

 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a regular size muffin tin with cupcake liners and fill about 2/3 full of batter.

In a large bowl whisk together sugar, flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a saucepan, melt butter. Stir in Kahlua and simmer. Remove from heat and whisk in hot chocolate until smooth. Let cool slightly. Once cool, beat in eggs and sour cream. Pour into muffin liners and bake for about 15 minutes. Let cupcakes cool completely.

Once cupcakes are cooled, scoop out the middle with a baby spoon and fill with mint filling.

For buttercream, beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar, heavy cream and mint extract. Add a couple drops of green food coloring and stir. Pipe butter cream over cupcakes. Drizzle with any mint filling you had left and top with and Andes mint.

 

Hops & Props at EAA

Hop & Props

Photo provided by Oshkosh Convention and Visitors Bureau

Hops & Props is back again for another year at the EAA grounds. Hops & Props is the premier event for beer connoisseurs and fine food tasting this Saturday, March 8 from 7:00-10:00 PM. You can be part of a VIP experience prior to the general session. More information coming soon.

If you have never had the chance to attend this event, there is sampling of over 250 different  beverages provided by micro-breweries and distributors from across the world. You will learn about the brewing process, history, and become a distinguished  beverage taster.  You will also have the opportunity to meet master brewers and understand the different characteristics of ales, lagers hybrid or mixed styles of beers, wheat beers, fruit beers, stouts, English Bitter, porter and meads. You will defiantly get a chance to try something new and perhaps find a new favorite. 

Great music from several live bands, food, coffee and sweets also add to this incredible event!

Funds raised support  museum activities offered by EAA. Admission price includes museum entrance, commemorative beer glass, tasting guide, hors d’oeuvres, live music and a lot of fun.

Rooms of Blooms

 

The Paine Art Museum brings back Rooms of Blooms for the fifth year. Rooms of Blooms is the greater Fox Valley floral show. The lead presenters will be House of Flowers, Hrnaks and Fleur Couture here in Oshkosh and Buds ‘n Bloom Design Studio from Green Bay.

If you have never been, March 6-9, talented designers and artists will showcase their talents in the interior of the Paine Art Museum. Interior rooms will be filled with fresh flowers in artistic arrangements from table settings, to large scale settings and entire room showcase filled with floral aromas. March 7th and 8th, educational programs will be held in the new carriage house.

This year, for the first time, The Paine will also offer the opportunity to have brunch among the floral display in the conservatory on Saturday, at 9:00. March 8th (reservation is required). On Sunday, musical ensembles will perform live music in the conservatory as well. For pricing and the brunch menu, you can visit the Paine Art Museum

Chocolate Chip Egg Bread

Chocolate chip bread. The last of the chocolate recipes for February, but defiantly not the last that you will ever see, not even soon.  Two recipes for you two choose from this week. The first recipe is just an adaption from a past recipe. Remember the Crusty Bread recipe I shared with you last year? Its one that I use all the time for a lot of our wine and cheese socials. I am always playing around with different ingredients and this time I threw in some chocolate chips and a little extra sugar in it. Last week, I cubed up the bread and used a mascarpone cheese spread with it. Delicious! You can grab the recipe by clicking on the crusty bread link above. The next recipe is a bit different. I got it from my Taste of Home cookbook that I have had for years. Its a little sweeter and does not have the crunchy outer shell. I would say this is more of a dessert bread. It would be fun to hear which you prefer. I know my favorite.

Crusty Chocolate Chip bread.- Cut into cubes and serve with honey butter, cinnamon butter or mascarpone.

crusty chocolate chip bread

 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Chip Egg Bread – 2 loaves

3 1/2 C flour, 1/4 C sugar, plus 1 TB divided, 3/4 tsp. salt, 1/2 TB yeast, 3/4 warm water, 3 TB oil, 2 eggs, and 4-5 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips.

Egg wash – 1 egg and 1 tsp. water

cc bread whole cc bread sliced

Whisk flour, sugar and salt in a stand mixer.  In another bowl whisk 1/2 TB sugar, yeast and water together. Set aside for 5 minutes until foamy. Whisk in oil and eggs. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Beat first until blended. Then use your dough hook and knead until incorporated. Knead in chocolate chips by hand.

Divide dough in half and place in two separate greased bowls, turning dough to coat. Cover and allow to rise about 90 minutes until doubled in size.

After 90 minutes, roll each each a smooth round loaf. Place both loaves on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover an let rise until doubled or proof in the oven until happy with the size.

Beat egg and water. Brush over loaves. Sprinkle remaining sugar over the top of each loaf. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Cover with foil and bake and additional 15 minutes until golden. Cool before cutting.

25 things to do in Oshkosh for under $10.00

25 things to do in Oshkosh that are under $10.00? How many times have you said there is nothing to do or I am broke. Well here is a list compiled by our wonderful convention and visitors bureau of 25 things to do this winter and upcoming spring. I thought it was so worthwhile that I had to share. Many items are available as a discount with the complimentary Convention and Visitors Bureau coupon book.

Bowling Sign

1. Enjoy our winter farmers market at the Washington Hall (formerly The Eagles Club)

2. Check out the WIOUWASH Trail ( walk, cross country ski, snow shoe or bike)

3. Visit the art galleries on the UW Oshkosh campus.

4. Sled down Garbage Hill at Red Arrow Park

5. Grab a day pass at the YMCA and go ice skating, rock climbing, swimming, and so much  more. ( Youth and high school $10.00, adults $14.00.

6. Enjoy a budget movie at the Time Community Theater.

7. Visit the Nativity collection inside the Algoma Blvd. United Methodist Church

8. Explore the Oshkosh Public Museum

9. Visit the Paine Art Center and Gardens

10. Enjoy Gallery Walk and AfterWalk inside the Grand Opera House.

11. Take your dog to the free dog park at  Winnebago Community Park

12. Get your laugh on at the Backlot Comedy House on Main St.

13. Tour the historic Morgan House

14. Catch a show at the Fredric March Theater on the UW Oshkosh Campus

15. When is the last time you went bowling? Oshkosh has 4!

16. Go to a parade, including the St. Patrick’s Day parade coming up soon.

17. Pick up a comic book or board game from House of Heroes

18. Pick up a book at the Oshkosh Public Library

19. Check out the EAA Air Museum.

20. Play some pool at The Magnet

21. Go treasure hunting at one of our thrift and antique stores.

22. Grab some coffee and a sandwich at Caramel Crisp, Planet Perk, New Moon or Piloras

23. Attend Tuesday night $5.00 movies at the Marcus Cinema

24. Grab some great chili at Dr. Benzie’s.

25. Enjoy a frish fry at South Shore Ice Yacht Club.

 

 

Cookie Dough Brownies

Cookie dough brownies! What else is there to say. The best of both worlds, right? Fudgy brownies for the base and raw egg less cookie dough for the top. I had this recipe that I had planned to share with you this week but I think its going to have to wait since I promised a few people that I would post this after sharing with my Valentines couples last weekend. I wanted something very special for Valentines weekend and this one had been calling my name for awhile. It came off of Pinterest from recipegirl.com. I give her a lot of credit for the genius idea except next time I make these I will be using my own cookie dough recipe. Why I didn’t to begin with? Well, I like trying to new things. The cookie dough is tasty but the texture is pretty grainy but I think cutting back on some of the sugar would help. Needless to say, they are quite over the top. One bite for me was enough many had seconds. 

This recipe is a little putzy but only because you have to let the chill before proceeding. Other than that, its pretty easy.  Yields 16 brownies.

cookie dough brownies2Brownie Layer

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips. I used melting chocolate here since that is what I had on hand.
1 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour

COOKIE DOUGH:
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature or almost melted
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons milk or cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup miniature chocolate chips
additional miniature chocolate chips, if desired (to garnish the top)

Directions:

Prepare the brownie layer- 
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×9-inch pan with nonstick spray, then line with a strip of parchment paper so that it covers the bottom and comes up two sides of the pan. Spray the parchment with nonstick spray too. (This is a must)
2. In a microwave safe bowl, microwave in 30 second bursts to melt butter and chocolate together until all is melted and smooth. Whisk in the sugars, then whisk in the eggs, vanilla and salt. Sift flour into the bowl and stir. Scrape the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the brownie layer is cooked through (toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean). Place the pan of brownies in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process (or cool at room temperature and add the cookie dough layer later).

Prepare the cookie dough layer:
3. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the butter, sugars and salt until soft and creamy (1 to 2 minutes). Mix in the milk and vanilla. Sprinkle in the flour and mix in until combined. Stir in the 1 cup of chocolate chips. Refrigerate dough for about an hour. When ready, scoop the cookie dough onto the top of the brownies and spread onto the brownie layer. Brownies must be cool to do this! Wet your hands or spray them with nonstick spray and pat the cookie dough on top in a even layer. Sprinkle additional chocolate chips on top to create a nicer, visual appearance. For easy, clean cutting, chill the brownies (wrap the brownies with plastic wrap and chill until firm- 1 to 2 hours).
4. Cut the brownies: Run a knife along the sides of the brownie pan and then use the parchment paper to lift the brownies from the pan and onto a cutting board. Slice the brownies with a sharp knife, wiping the knife with a paper towel between cuts. If you’d like all of your slices of brownies to look clean-cut without edges, use the knife to cut the sides of the brownies off before cutting pieces. Keep brownies slices covered and chilled until ready to serve.

Source: RecipeGirl.com

Battle on Bago

Battle on Bago (Winnebago) is here again this Friday February 21 and Saturday February 22nd. It is the largest ice fishing tournament around with over $160,000 in cash and prizes to be given away.

For those that don’t know, Lake Winnebago is 10×30 miles, 88 miles of shoreline and an average of 15 to 21 feet deep.

How safe is it to be out on the ice with the tent, thousands of people, cars and music? Great question? This year is one of the best with the brutal cold temps we have had. Clear, solid ice around 2″-3″ thick only is sufficient to hold one person walking. This year though the ice is about 30+ in thickness and the has been great fishing conditions. Sturgeon Spearing which is usually a two week season, was called short last week due to the large number of sturgeon speared last week. First time in years.

Pack

The tournament begins at 6:00 AM Friday morning, with a fish fry from 5-10 PM and the band, Road Trip playing from 7:30-11:00 PM.

Now as exciting as all this is, for me it just won’t compare to last year when we had a few of the Packer alumni staying with us for the tournament. This picture was from last year, but it was probably one of my most memorable times to date.

 

»