It’s Friday. Finally. I’m doing my first 10k this weekend. Followed by a massage just a few hours later. Then I have dinner plans with a friend and Brunch on Sunday with some more friends. It will be a busy weekend, but a good one.

What are you doing this weekend?


Road Trip, Part 3: Shopping

So in between snacks and meals, we stopped at a few shops along the way. We bought flavored olive oil and tomato sauce and cheese and chocolate and, well, you get it. Oh, and apples. Lots of apples. But when we heading back north we drove through a favorite town, Red Wing, and stopped at their famous little warehouse stores on the north end of town. I’m not one for antiquing, but we found ourselves in an antique store and wow, there were some cool items!

Love these glasses. I could become addicted to antiquing if these were easy to find.

And this coffee set. Love the graphics.

And of course, the classic Fisher Price barn animals. There was even a barn that “Moos,” remember that?

And that pretty much wraps up our Scenic Mississippi Trip to Pepin. Such a beautiful area. I hope to get back there again this winter to snowshoe and relax, right Lisa?



Sorry to interrupt my own tour of the Midwest, but I have to share this video.


We got married in St. John five years ago and I still miss it every day. Now you’ll see why.


Road Trip, Part 2: Eating

I got the idea to spend a day driving to Pepin and back after reading this article in our local paper. Just like the article, I wanted to eat my way through the small towns on both sides of the river. We started with fresh pastries in Prescott, WI. A glazed donut for Husband and a Caramel Roll for me. I also bought a pack of blueberry bagels to bring home. (And when we got back into our car I saw a man very quickly approaching us. I couldn’t see his face from where I sat, but he was nearly running, and I wondered why and what we had done! Marc turned and yelled out, “Clint!” It was an old friend on his way down to Winona for a meeting. What. A. Small. World.)

After Prescott we did some shopping in Maiden Rock, and the worked our way down to Pepin for lunch at the Harbor View Cafe. And that name is perfect, just look at the view they have of the harbor!

What a cute place. Just enough tables, a long bar and a menu written on a chalkboard. There were lots of options and it was hard to decide. Eventually Husband went with the Hawaiian Ahi (which was slightly overcooked)…. and I went with the fish cakes (wrapped in salmon, topped with shrimp, served with root mash).


We’ll just saw it was more than enough food. And that yes, I passed on Ice Cream at the Nelson Cheese Shop. (Our next stop in Nelson, WI).

But isn’t this back room amazing? They serve wine. Yes, wine!

After our fill of lunch and goodies at the cheese shop it was time to turn north and back into Minnesota. We stopped at Pepin Heights (in Lake City, MN…. go figure) and picked up apples (Honeycrisp & SweeTango) and cider.

We also stopped at Rabbit’s Bakery. I ordered a large hot cider (a cold weather favorite) and a loaf of the lifted corn bread. It is a yeast corn bread and was really amazing. So good this time of year, heated up and smothered in butter. Yum.

We made just one more stop outside of Hastings so I could buy some gourds for the table, but I never did get an apple cider donut. Not that I had room for it. Guess that will be next weekend when we head back down to the Carpenter Nature Center for their Apple Fest. I love this time of year…..


Road Trip, Part 1: Hiking

Husband and I took a day off last week and went on a little road trip. We had to be back by late afternoon to pick up Daughter, but we made the best of it by driving along the Mississippi River for seven hours. We went south on the Wisconsin side and came back north on the Minnesota side.

Before we crossed the River we stopped at Carpenter Nature Center and did some hiking. It’s a beautiful place with miles and miles of trails, but along the bluffs and below along the water. We saw a bald eagle flying above the water and another one in the rehab building. They truly are amazing.

And on the way back up the hill we ran into this fuzzy little guy. More on what we ate and where we shopped later this week.


Holiday Cookies, Already?

Have you started thinking about your Holiday baking. I haven’t. In fact, I’ve barely come to terms with September. But it appears that others are ready to think Cookies. So dig out your recipes and find one that matters. I’d love to see you smiling face in the paper. And while we’re sharing, what’s your favorite holiday cookie? Mine? Gingerbread Men. No question.


pesto & tomatoes

I made pesto last night. A lot of pesto. I planted 10 basil plants a few months ago for the sole purpose of making pesto. All but one of them thrived. And I’m thrilled. We’ve now got eight batches of pesto to get us through the long Minnesota Winter. (yes, it deservers a capital W, if you’ve survived one you know why). We’ll add it to pasta and gnocchi and spread it on sandwiches. And we’ll be reminded ever so slightly of warm sunny days with flip-flops and sprinklers.
And then this morning I stopped at the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market and grabbed a 1/2 bushel of tomotoes. I’m making this tomato sauce this weekend. And if I like it, I’m heading back to get more so I can make more. Anything I can do to bottle up this summer. Yum.


They say we might get a frost tonight. Part of me can’t wait. I need a frost to kill this ragweed. That with a Sinus Infection is no fun. But the other part of me says, Wait! I still have Basil growing. And tomatoes! And I have so much Pesto to make! Guess I’ll be making it this evening. Before the frost. More on both tomorrow.