Monday, January 3, 2011

Planning, Planning, Planning

Isn't this the cutest little place?  We have been planning for about a year, to take our vacation this spring, here, at this adorable little place called "Apple Tree Cottage".  Yes.  A year, folks.  See last year, we went looking for cabins and found this one but you had to rent by the week and we were only looking for 2-3 days.  So I book marked it and last week, wrote my e-mail giving the dates and asking to confirm the price.  Because we go in the "off-season" we get a really good rate.  This place is just awesome - it is twice as big as my house, has a loft for the kids to play in and lots of toys (She'll even paint their names on the door before we get there and you can send photos and she'll put them in the frames!!), a wrap around porch, outside kids toys with bikes and wagons.  I mean it has everything.  I was already planning our week.  Than, today, I got an e-mail back.  Guess what?  They aren't taking any rental applications right now because they are in the middle of a remodel.  Seriously?  When I've been planning for a year??? Come on folks!!!  She suggested e-mailing her back around the 1st of May but, I can't really wait that long because other good, well-priced properties will be gone :-(   I'm a little disheartened as I start my search again.  See, last year, I searched for weeks to find the perfect little place we went to in the UP (and in doing so found the above gem).  Now, I'm back at square one and here, I thought I was done!  So, it is a-searching I will go.  I've already sent one e-mail to a place located on Lake Michigan to find out if our "week" falls into their "off-season" rate but I have a feeling the answer will be no!!!!  We really love Lake Michigan and had hoped to be able to spend a week there . .. I may have to search other areas now though . . .crazy, isn't it?

Spinach Salad with Cranberries, Pecans and Blue Cheese

Yes, I've been posting lots of recipes lately but that's because that's what I've been doing - cooking :-)  This week, life gets back into "normal" and I have crafts to make and show off, organizing projects to share, home updates to blog about and more.  I took a break yesterday and didn't post anything but wanted to post this today :-)  Not sure if I'll get the craft started today that I wanted to share so . . ..this is my "craft" :-)  I have also started posting my weekly menu on the right side of the blog - just scroll down.  I'm still working on it but would like to post links to any recipes that appear on the blog.  I do have more to post from the last few weeks too.  If you haven't guessed, I like to cook :-)

I love Blue Cheese.  I made this recently to go with Sunday dinner despite the fact that I knew my husband wouldn't like it.  Why, you might ask?  He doesn't like salad with "stuff" in it :-(  So I made it more for me and it was SOOO good - I think I'll be planning this one for lunch soon.

This recipe comes from Food Network.

This picture doesn't really do it justice - it tastes so much better!


  • 1/2 pound hickory smoked bacon slices, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 2 (6-ounce) containers baby spinach
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup dried cranberries


  • 1/2 cup Danish blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Fry chopped bacon in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until brown and crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel-lined 1/4-sheet tray to drain.
Toast pecans in the oven on a 1/4-sheet tray until lightly golden and fragrant, about 6 minutes.
In a medium bowl mash the blue cheese with a fork. Mix in the buttermilk, sour cream, sugar, salt and pepper, to taste.
Combine baby spinach, red onion, pecans, dried cranberries and bacon in large bowl. Toss with the dressing immediately before serving

*I did not put the dressing on the salad at all - that way, what ever was left, I could save (which I did) and eat for lunch the following day (which I did!).