Uncharted

Friends forging a course together through the unexpected

Halfway Baking- Cinnamon Biscuits August 26, 2014

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 11:55 am
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Do you remember the post I made back last June about Lazy Cake Cookies?  It’s the one where you use a boxed cake mix to create a delicious pan of bar cookies in no time at all!  That post is one of our most popular posts ever in the history of the blog.  Just last month our visitor numbers skyrocketed.  I’m talking over 800 views in one day alone!  I was floored and I quickly realized that most people, not unlike me, love easy baking recipes.  I am not ashamed to admit that I am not a natural at baking and I don’t even like it that much {cooking is a different story}.  At the very least, people are short on time so I decided I should share my latest lazy baking find.  By the way,  instead of calling it lazy baking, I’m going to start calling it ‘Halfway Baking.’ Sounds more acceptable, right?buns

Okay so I’ve had this short cut to cinnamon rolls pinned on Pinterest for far too long without trying it.  This recipe is on Erin’s blog called Table for Seven.  I am so thankful that she shared this recipe and pinned it!  I had purchased the roll of biscuits a while back when I first pinned the recipe and never felt there was an occasion to make it.  Until two weekends ago when I wanted to stay inside all day and do nothing.  There were not many options for breakfast and I was dreading going to the grocery store when I spotted the biscuits in the fridge.  I hurried to look up the recipe and prayed I would have everything I would need.  The only item I did not have was regular milk, but I did have almond milk {picked this up a while back after pinning a Cookie Butter Smoothie recipe still have to try this one out!} and I decided that would suffice.

Ingredients:

¼ cup brown sugar

3 tbs melted butter

1tsp cinnamon

Roll of biscuits {I bought Grands Layers}

Glaze:

1 cup Powdered Sugar

1 tbs vanilla

2 tbs melted and cooled butter

1-2 tbs milk {or in this case almond milk}

 

Start off by mixing the first 3 ingredients together in a large bowl.

Next open the package of biscuits and cut them in pieces.  I chose thirds.

Place the cut up biscuit pieces in the dry mixture and stir until all pieces are coated fully.

Grease an 8×8 pan and place the coated biscuits in the pan

Pour 3 tbs of butter over the top and place the pan in the oven for 25 minutes.

Now while that is baking you can make the glaze!

Using a wisk, mix together all of the glaze ingredients.  This part was easier than I thought it might be.  I did add 1 extra tbs of milk to thin it a bit so it would be easier to apply the glaze. 

Remove the biscuits from the oven and let them cool a little bit.  Then you can drizzle the glaze over the top and watch it melt into the crevices. 

buns 2

I served myself two servings of fruit with this so I wouldn’t feel so unhealthy.  I was probably over my sugar limit for the day after that breakfast, but hey I reached my goal of not leaving my apartment and I got some much needed rest.

boss

Needed to get a bit of reading in for bookclub!

 

The Cheapest Round of Golf You’ll Find in the NW Suburbs August 25, 2014

Filed under: Kate — Uncharted @ 4:13 pm
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So it turns out we live close to an awesome little 5 Hole Golf Course located in Barrington, IL and we had no idea! We believe the course is owned and operated by the Barrington Park District, but I can’t say for sure. If a volunteer is not collecting money/donations ($10 non-residents, $8 residents of Barrington), they leave an Honor Box out for you, so you can still be a good person and contribute to keeping this little course going.

So the course consists of 5 Holes. Your payment buys you two rounds though, so you’re actually playing a Round of 10 Holes. The course is well maintained, especially considering the price, though the “Rough” is quite rough and the Greens are a wee bit slow (OK, really slow, but hey!). Also of note: the holes are great for practicing on some Par 3’s, but the longest hole is only 200 yards. Don’t let this little course fool you though, Hole’s 1 and 5 have quite a few trees, which always seem to get in the way!

Hole 1   Hole 3

Anyway, Eric and I have been going every weekend since our discovery of this neat little place because it’s super casual (you can literally wear whatever you want), cheap, and a great way to practice our golfing. Eric’s even birdied – twice! If you’re in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago and looking for a relaxed and fun place to golf (it’s a great place to take beginners or kids to learn!), you should check it out!

 

 

Chicago Air and Water Show August 20, 2014

Filed under: Karla — Uncharted @ 10:00 pm
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This weekend I enjoyed my first Air and Water Show in downtown Chicago. Yes, I’ve lived almost 30 years in the suburbs of Chicago and this was my first opportunity to see the performance.

On the other hand, Matt had seen the show three times before. Naturally he gave me a play-by-play of what I could expect. When we were driving down I-55 into the city, he pulled up different YouTube videos and  Wikipedia snippets. Don’t worry, he was designated navigator and not driver for this particular reason.

Our picture perfect spot for viewing was a rooftop in the south loop, courtesy of my boss. He and his wife hold an annual viewing party for the Air and Water Show on their rooftop deck. They provided snacks, beverages and chairs. All we had to do was show up, meet some new people, grab a chair and or beer and enjoy the show.

Blue Angles over Lake Michigan

Blue Angles over Lake Michigan

Watching the U.S. Navy Blue Angels was amazing. Sometimes you heard them before you saw them. Your eyes were constantly scanning the skies waiting for the aircrafts to throttle out of the clouds. Our southern location provided many breathtaking turns and formation set-ups literally right above us.

I was in complete awe at how fast and seamless the pilots flew. One of our friends mentioned that the pilots fly within 18 inches of each other…18 inches! Combine that with the backdrop of the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan and of course you’re going to be in awe.

My only regret from the day was not putting on enough sunscreen. I know better for next year and most importantly, so does Matt.

 

Traveling to New Places August 19, 2014

I took a business trip last week and while some people might not be excited about a trip to North Dakota and Minnesota, I was thrilled to visit a state I’ve never been to (ND) and have a chance to get out of the hustle of the big city and into the more relaxed small town life.  It took me 2 flights, a 2 hour layover at MSP { By the way, the MSP airport is honestly the nicest most up to date airport I’ve ever visited as far as my memory goes.  The bathroom I used when I got off the plane made me feel like I was at a spa.  Although compared to O’Hare, maybe anything would impress me?}, a 1 hour conversation with a terrified flyer, and a 1 hour drive before arriving at my hotel.  The hotel informed me that they didn’t have my room available {uh oh!} but they did have a nicer room and would that be a problem?  Oh, what a pleasant surprise!  The event that evening was a dinner held at Bagg Bonanza Farm.  I fell in love the minute I turned onto the ‘dirt’ road.

baggBy the way when I mentioned that once at the venue, the locals laughed at me and told me it wasn’t a dirt road but a gravel road.  I told them there is dust in the air with a bumpy ride so it seemed like dirt to me!  It’s a historic place with lots of history, so naturally I loved it. This was the perfect way to forget about the city and I was automatically relaxed.  We had a lovely home cooked meal there and caught up with a lot of people I’ve ‘met’ over the phone but never in person.  I had work to do the next day so didn’t see much but I was back on the farm for a bit and another home cooked meal for lunch.  I could get used to that…

My last day there I got a tour of our plant, shown around town, and took a quick trip to our nursery.  This is where the magic happens and was the coolest part of the trip for me.

Sunflowers as far as the eye can see!

Sunflowers as far as the eye can see!

How can you be stressed while you look at a field of these?  Right!  You can’t!  This was the perfect ending to my trip and made me want to go back as soon as possible.  California is next and hopefully it’s just as good of a trip.

 

Kate Dabkey Shoes – Clearance August 18, 2014

Filed under: Kate — Uncharted @ 11:39 am
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I have bittersweet news. As you may know from my bio, I started my own company in 2009 where I design and sell fabulous women’s shoes. They exude confidence, ambition and class and I am proud to have my name on them. The shoes are handmade overseas and use high quality materials to keep the shoes comfortable and clean. I’ve worn all four pairs around town for years and they are some of my favorite shoes.

So here’s the bitter part: Kate Dabkey Shoes is clearancing ALL Shoes. The inventory needs to move out and our doors are shutting. We’re in the process of updating prices on the website, but plan to get a pair in your size before they’re gone for good! It is always an honor to attend an event and see someone wearing a pair of my shoes and I hope you will love them as much as I do!

Here’s the sweet part: it’s time to start a new venture. Though I had a wonderful time designing shoes, it’s time to try something new and different. I don’t know what it is yet, but when I do, I will certainly let everyone know. Thanks for all of your love and support. It’s been wonderful!

Here is a link to the website: http://katedabkeyshoes.com. Look for pricing and inventory changes this week!

 

 

Summer Vacation Recap: The Northwoods August 13, 2014

Sorry for missing last week readers, but I was off the grid. Yes, there are still places where people choose not to have internet access. One such place happens to be my parents’ lake house in northern Wisconsin.

We spent a glorious week eating, drinking, relaxing and working. Matt’s best friend also came along for part of the trip. I love having the chance to show off my favorite little northwoods town. I’m pretty sure he had a good time, I know I did! Here’s my top ten list from this trip.

  1. Enjoying morning coffee on my parents’ new deck. It’s amazing how adding three feet can make such a difference!
  2. Picking out a new kitchen countertop and backsplash for the cottage with my mom at Home Depot.
  3. Porter jumping out of the boat in the middle of lake, successfully freaking out Matt and I. (We’re ordering his own PFD.)
  4. Rolling out of bed early to take advantage of a morning kayak trip around our lake.
  5. Catching a snowshoe baseball game.
  6. Winning a raffle ticket prize at snowshoe baseball…a delightful banana boat from the Korner Drive.
  7. Watching Matt’s face brighten with glee when my dad’s new tractor arrived.
  8. A delicious dinner at Little Bohemia. Order the prime rib, you will not forget it!
  9. Fishing off the dock.
  10. Hitting up our one of our favorites, Minocqua Brewery, for a sampler paddle of brews and appetizers.

35 more days until we’re able to go back. Not like I’m really counting or anything…

 

Fast Chicken Fajitas August 12, 2014

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 10:32 pm
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Tonight I had to make a super fast dinner.  As you may have noticed from my last post, I’ve been a bit stressed lately.  This week I have to travel for work, I still haven’t packed and Dave’s coming over for dinner.  I didn’t plan on going grocery shopping this week since I would only be home 2 days, but I did a quick stop by Trader Joes last night so we’d wouldn’t have to go out tonight.  I decided on chicken fajitas.  All I had to pick up was some chicken and some frozen peppers and onions.  I already had tortillas, cheese,  salsa, jalapenos, and greek yogurt (my new replacement for sour cream) at home.
photo 2Today while at work I remembered that I don’t have any seasoning packets at home.  I didn’t have time to grab anything on the way home so I Googled ‘homemade fajita seasoning’ once I got home and found a couple recipes.  I honestly wasn’t even paying attention to where it was from.  I just got excited because I found one that included a pretty unique ingredient….soy sauce!  It was too intriguing not to try so below is the recipe from About.com by Laura Dolson.  I didn’t exactly have time to marinade the chicken so I wisked it together and placed a pound and a half of cut up chicken in the mixture for 10 minutes.

Marinade Ingredients:

¼ cup lime juice
¼ cup soy sauce {yes really!}
2 tbs olive oil
1tsp chili powder

I cooked the chicken in two batches in a bit of heated olive oil and then set the chicken aside.  I opened my bag of frozen fire roasted bell peppers and onions from Trader Joes and cooked those for about 5 minutes and then returned the chicken to the pan to heat everything together.  It was that simple!

 

photo 1

 

 
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