Monday, August 25, 2014

A Summer for the Memory Books

I don't know about you, but we have had a very nice summer here overall. The weather has been cooperative for gardening, boating and walking the many trails around here. The garden is changing everyday and right now the phlox, cleome, oriental lilies and pee gee hydrangeas are wonderful! For some reason none of my Endless Summer Hydrangeas are blossoming. Anyone else with that problem?

The veggie garden is profuse with grape (more the size of roma) tomatoes, zucchini and of course mint. The dill is ready and the garlic will be shortly behind. Because I left the zucchini checking for a few days I have some whoppers so decided to include a recipe for you, a guest favorite and I served it this morning. 

Butterscotch Zucchini Cake
3/4c vegetable oil                               
2 eggs
1c sugar
1c brown sugar
2 1/2c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp each salt, cinnamon and vanilla
1/4tsp each nutmeg, ginger and cloves
2c grated zucchini- no need to peel
Mix all together. Grease a 9 x 13 pan and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Pour in cake batter and sprinkle top with more cinnamon and sugar. (Sometimes I skip the bottom layering). Sprinkle a small package of butterscotch chips - or about 1 c.
Bake at 300 degrees for 45- 60 minutes. No need to frost as it is delish without - and I don't often give up the chance for frosting!

Don't forget about the MesabiBike Trail that starts here in Grand Rapids. It is a gorgeous paved trail and was recently repaved in our area!  The bugs are less, the temps are coming down and pretty soon the leaves will start changing. Birders - the birds are starting to come back from up north and the hummers are crazy around the flowers!

On a final note for now, some of you may already know the b&b is for sale. We are no longer with a Realtor and look forward to being able to really sell the physical property and the general business of b&b hospitality. We have so enjoyed these past 12 years and, if we were younger, would relish a few more years. But alas, it is time to pass the torch to others. If you or someone you know would like to be a part of a wonderful way of life in a beautiful home and setting, please contact us - we'd love to hear from you! If you have a reservation with us in the future DO NOT worry, we will give you plenty of notice and since this process takes time, most likely we will still get to enjoy your visit!


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Winter at the Morning Glory

What a winter we have had so far and to think most of the cold weather so far was actually in the Fall! Oh well, it is slowly getting warmer - that is, above zero for more than a day at a time- and the Northland is gorgeous!  Ron and Billy the Dog have been running everyday, well sometimes Ron sits in the truck listening to the news while Billy runs circles around it and I am a fair weather friend who watches HGTV at home while they are out freezing their toochies off!  

We do have a couple of favorite trails we like to hike/snowshoe. One is right on the edge of town at Itasca Community College. There is an old growth pine forest planted behind the experiment station at the back of the college. It is beautiful - most of the plantation is around 75-100 years old and you feel very far away and peaceful in there. The snow hanging on the trees....ahhh.

The other trail is the John RoweMemorial Forest Trail about 10 minutes northeast of town. It is a mix of pines, balsam and hardwoods and we love it all year round. In the fall it was ablaze in orange and red from the maples and birch. The trail is nice and wide and you may even see the occasional critter- deer, coyote, mink.
We have soooo many trails here that we love, those are just two.  

A highlight this winter for us was the hosting of our first guest wedding! It was supposed to be an outdoor ice candle, tree lights, bonfire-lit wedding but with actual temps in the teens below zero made it quickly become an indoor candlelight ceremony in front of the fireplace. Still beautiful! Congratulations to Mike and Jess! Hopefully I will have some pictures for you in the near future.

In the next couple of months I hope to be blogging from the southern regions of the US. We are leaving for a 2 month trip in the motorhome currently waiting for us in Hot Springs, Arkansas and headed to Louisiana, over to Florida (to do some seashell hunting, of course), up to the Charleston area and back home. We have our wonderful inn sitters lined up to take great care of everyone, so head up here to cross country ski, snowshoe (we have 2 extra pair) or take in a wonderful performance at the ReifArts Center. Check out our Theatre Package on Visit Grand Rapids for ticket/room package discounts! This will be the first time we have ever been away from home this long and I know I will miss you all terribly, but I will try to have fun anyway!

Happy Winter!