Sunday, February 26, 2012

Simplicity is Underrated

This last week was one for the books! Literally! I haven't read this much since I was a lifeguard in the summers. Reading was the only thing that gave me an escape from the hours of screaming kiddos, so I read at work whenever I had a break! These days reading takes a back burner to design and projects, but there's one hide-away that Chad and I have come to totally escape from technology, TV, and to-do lists!

So where is this magical place? My grandparents old house near Portage, WI; the place I've (ironically) been physically trekking "over the river, and through the woods" to since I was in middle school. It now belongs to my Aunt and Uncle who generously lets Chad and I escape to whenever we get the chance! It's away from things like town, TV, internet, and it barely gets cell reception. It does have luxuries like washer/dryer, dishwasher, and my favorite - a wood-burning fireplace!

Building a fire is our first priority when we get to the house, along with filling the bird feeder so we can watch them when we wake up. It's usually dark out when we get there on Friday night, so we quick unload, get the fire blazing (Chad is the rightly-named, fire-master!), and get dinner cooking while cracking one of our our well-deserved, favorite beverages!

Stepping back a few steps, our trip actually starts with planning a menu. We go there to get away, so we try to make sure we have everything we need to be locked in for the weekend. Favorite meals are the simplest we can find, or something that doesn't take a lot of maintenance. Great beer or cocktails are always a ritualistic splurge.

This particular trip our poisons of choice were 2 beers. The first was Lake Louie, Arena Premium, a great Wisconsin brew that is one of our favorites right now. On a scale of 1 to 5, I give this beer a solid 4 stars. Its neither light nor heavy, but smooth and satisfying bodied beer that goes well with the pizza and nachos we had for dinner.

For desert we indulged in Chad and my favorite, La Peche! I don't know another beer like this one. We found this amazing Belgian beer on tap at one of our local favorite eateries, but this is our first bottle - here's to celebrating getting away! It is best described as a peach beer/wine/ champagne because it has the best qualities of each. It's not so sweet as champagne, but bubbles. It is dry like a good wine but has a tart bite after-taste that keeps you wanting more. It's a little heavier build like a beer which makes it great for sipping. We drank while we played kicked Chad's butt at rummy-500 and enjoyed the fire.

Beautiful Sunrise over the marsh and lake
Found my Aunt and Uncle's money jars from their games. I think it's pretty clear who is the winner.
My Aunt's jar is on the left :)
View of Marsh and golf course. See any deer?
Coziest living room, ever!
 Fridays in Portage are always my favorite way to decompress after the long week. There's nothing better than having a whole weekend ahead of you to do whatever you want! That is until you get to Saturday mornings - Chad and I woke about 7:30am feeling extremely rested. I guess we are definitely evolving into morning people. Chad even said he enjoys waking up because you have the whole day to do whatever and get a nap in if you want (yay! I love waking up earlier so you can later be spoiled with a nap!)
Our stash and remnants from dinner.
This morning was especially beautiful with the sun shining. There's not much snow for this time of year, but enough that we get the fire going right away to start the day. Yay! The birds have found us so Chad gets the coffee going and while I start breakfast - Monkey Bread! One of my favorites and SO EASY! I, of course also make eggs (gotta have protein or I'll be hungry in about an hour) and bacon - another splurge for this trip! :)

Time to get breakfast going.
Chad is rocking the coffee beans!
We actually sit at the table and enjoy our meal, and then retire to the couches where we read for the entire day! The kindle I received for Christmas is getting lots of use! I finished what turned out to be a great read, John Grisham's', "The Litigators". If you like John Grisham, I recommend this one. It's a lot more witty than his typical works, but a quicker read (this coming from a slower reader.)

I forgot my slippers, so I'm sporting the next best thing - My awesome boots!

It never ceases to amaze me how much the little things make me the happiest of all. I feel so fortunate to have a place like this to escape to where I can forget about daily stresses and just enjoy sitting next to my honey and looking at a fire. We used to have cable at Portage, but I have to say I appreciate it so much more not having that distraction. It's amazing how much time slows when you can flee technologies (with exception of my kindle) and take the time to watch the birdies!


Cmon, birdies! Don't you know breakfast is ready?
Here is my easy recipe for Monkey Bread. Warning, this is not a diet food:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
3 teaspoons of cinnamon
2 sticks of butter
3 cans of Buttermilk Biscuits (non-flaky) (these are the small cans that come in a set of 4 cans to a pack)

Pretty much all it takes! Oh, and lots of butter!
Since I like to take as few ingredients to portage as possible, I take a gallon zip-lock and throw in the brown sugar, sugar, and cinnamon. Easy!

Preheat oven to 350.

Cut up each biscuit into 4 pieces.
Throw 4-8 chunks in bag at a time and shake to coat with sugar mix.
The goal is to get the pieces covered so they stay separated. Oh, and don't
do like me - make sure the bag is totally closed.
Melt butter in bowl in microwave. I do in 30 second increments until melted.
Add sugar balls to bundt pan and drizzle butter over top.

Bake for 30-40 min, until golden brown.

Gotta love a large breakfast!
aahhhhhhhh! This recipe is so amazing with a fresh cup of coffee,
it just makes you want to sing! 
If  you don't have time to sit down for a meal, then you're
taking too much time doing things that don't really matter!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a beautiful weekend! Monkey bread...we use to have that all the time yummy!

    ReplyDelete

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