Monday, June 26, 2017

Travel Adventures: Indy Car Races at Road America

Fast. If you are not careful watching these cars you will get whiplash.  This weekend turned out to be perfection. The weather held out and it ended up being the perfect temperature. Many of my readers have never heard of Road America. I will now state my personal opinion about this race track. It is my favorite and I would argue the best race track in America. I have been to many tracks, heck my dad even ran a race track in South Dakota for two years so I feel like I have seen my fair share. The track itself is difficult and a road track. See their site for the history and some pictures of this 14-turn road circuit track. I would say the scariest part of the track is "the kink". It ate up 4 cars this weekend. As far as watching the races turn 5 is my favorite as it is a good location to see turn 5 and turn 14. The food and drink at this track is really good and not as expensive as you would think. I like to get the corn, ice cream and brats. The track is part nature park, park race track and it is beautiful. I have included some picture high lights from watching the Indy cars going 180 MPH plus around the track. They also had the GT series there which was fun to watch as well.

It was so hard to take pictures of the Indy cars. They move so fast! This is the hill going into turn 5. They get to upwards of 180MPH on this stretch of course.

Saturday day one with the track in back of us. This is before we got really sunburnt. We did find a beer stand in the woods walking along the track. This place is awesome.

This is the legit speed of the cars going into corner 5. This sign would tell you their speed as they came into the corner.

Day two started with a fun drive with some family friends to breakfast. We always have a blast on the way to breakfast. :)

I have read this book two times. It was time to stop by Mr. Levy and get my signed copy and sticker for my car. This book is fantastic if you want a good read about cars.

The Indy cars are super fun to watch but so was the GT series. Look at all those BMW's!

This is legit. A Mader golf cart. Ryan was laughing so hard. He asked me if I thought that the golf cart followed the race cars around asking if they needed help.  
This poor Maserati was in third for most of the race. He spun himself out at corner 14 towards the end of the race. I always sing that Joe Walsh song "My Maserati does 185"... Sadly this one is doing 0 MPH. Had some damage to the front.

My mom recently sent me an article about how people that spend money on experiences are happier in life I think I would have to agree.

Until next time~
XoXo Emily 


Monday, June 19, 2017

Strawberry/Rhubarb Bars

Tart and yet sweet this is the perfect dessert or breakfast bar. It is rhubarb and strawberry season everyone! I made this on my day off Friday. My rhubarb plant is once again a dinosaur and huge in the backyard. What that means it is time to bake a ton.  I wanted to branch outside of my usual breads and crumbles I usually make. This is a new favorite. I could eat an entire pan by myself I swear.


1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cold butter


2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup diced strawberries
1 cup diced rhubarb


Start by pre-heating oven to 350 degrees. Whirl the crust ingredients in a food processor. Make sure that the butter is firm it needs to not be melted. Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper. Press the crust mixture into the pan. Bake the crust for 15 minutes. While it is baking whisk together filling items adding the strawberries and rhubarb at the very end. Then pour over hot crust and return to the oven. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Let cool before removing from pan and cutting into bars.

Ready to bake

The smells!

Removed and ready to cut into bars.

 This was one of my favorite things I have baked in recent memory. I like it because it is not overly sweet. I really like having it for breakfast with a cup of tea.

Until next time~
XoXo Emily

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Sweet Potato/ Broccoli Bake

Finally another food post!
Traveling and adventuring does not usually allow for much time at home or cooking/baking for that matter. Felt good to settle in and cook a real home cooked dinner. Last night during the crazy storm I threw together this tasty veggie bake with some fish. This made a 9x13 pan and I had a ton of leftovers which is great.

What you need~
Two sweet potatoes peeled and diced to about 1 inch cubes
About 2 cups of broccoli
1/4 cup panko breading
Seasonings of your choice
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese

Yum! Chili mix.

A favorite.

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F. Start by boiling a pot of water. Flash boil the potatoes and then broccoli till almost tender. Potatoes for about 5-6 minutes and broccoli for about 3-4 minutes. Strain the potatoes and broccoli and add to your 9x13 pan. Coat the veggies in your seasoning. I used the texas seasoning I love so much that  I use for chili. I had also mixed some of that seasoning in the bread crumbs. Top the veggies with the cheese and then the seasoned bread crumbs. Bake this for about 10-15 minutes. You want the topping brown but not burnt.

Boiling the potatoes.

Boiling the broccoli.
Ready for toppings.


 Serve right away and it is a big hit. It was cheesy from the cheese but had a great crunch from the topping. I would make this again and you can do it with a lot of different types of vegetables.

Until next time~
XoXo Emily

Crunchy and cheesy goodness.


Monday, June 12, 2017

Travel Adventures: Blue Ox Music Festival

It was hot, we were sweaty but it was so worth it. The music was hopping all weekend and the beers were a flowing. Every year Ryan and I try to go to a new festival. This year we set our eyes on Blue Ox right in Eau Claire Wisconsin. I will break the festival down by day below. I only took pictures of the bands I really enjoyed and will talk about them below. Overall it had to be my favorite festival thus far.  The grounds were kept extremely clean no porta-johns were gross and the stages always started on time. We had super fun neighbors from Oregon that flew in for the festival.



Thursday Day 1
The Ox!

First here is our campsite for the weekend. We have collected things over the years to get our camping set up almost perfect. We still need to get a little table so I do not have to cook on our stove on the ground. We got a used Coleman propane stove at a retail store for $20 that works like magic recently.

Them Coulee Boys
Them Coulee Boys-- They opened the night and did a great job. The have a classic blue grass sound to them. They had great energy and got the crowd singing along and dancing right away.

Fruition and the beer koozie I bought with their name on it.
Fruition-- I loved them so much I had to buy a bar koozie with their name on it. Each of the band members sings and they all sound different which allows them to have a huge range and sound to their music. The female singer who plays guitar and mandolin was soulful and brought some funk to their sound. The bassist had a deep rasp to his singing which added some fun tone as well. I just could not get enough of them.

Charlie Parr

Charlie Parr-- I saw Charlie at small festival and was blown away by him. He is a little old man that is soulful. He almost looks homeless in how he dresses and how his hair hangs down. Don't let that fool you he is outstanding at his craft. He was the first late night act that went up at 12am. He rocked those woods and had everyone losing their minds with his upbeat tunes. Just a man and his guitar.

I am only going to go over the food we bought for dinner each night. We did eat two meals at the campsite each day.

I tried the BBQ stand first because that is what I was craving. Had a
pulled pork sandwich called a "jenny sloppy" topped with coleslaw. I loved their hot BBQ sauce I could have drank it.

Natural cup holders.
The beer was all Bells all weekend. Which was totally fine with Ryan and I we made it a point of Ryan trying every beer on tap by the end of the weekend. There were a lot of them to get through. If you paid $20 the first time you got an awesome metal cup to use for $5 beer refills all weekend. Those cups worked well for bloody marys and water too.

Friday Day 2
Sun was shinning

Colter Wall

Colter Wall-- We found some shade and watched Colter work the crowd with his folk songs and fun stories. He has an interesting way he writes songs some of them based off of him being from the backwoods of Canada. I thought upon hearing him that he was a old man but he is actually really young.  Some of his song is fun and cheeky like his song "motorcycle".

Trout Steak Revival

Trout Steak Revival-- I actually had not listened to a lot of their music before the festival but what I heard I loved during. It was hot so we stood up on the porch area in the shade and watched from the side. Their harmony is on point and they have some really cool songs. I liked how merry their music is it almost forces a smile on your face.
Trout Steak Revival

Dead Horses
Dead Horses-- This band is a huge reminder on why I love going to festivals. Ryan usually creates a playlist for us to listen to before hand and I fell head over heels in love with this band. I played all their music on repeat and memorized all their songs. They lived up to the hype I had in my head too. Deep harmonies and complex song lyrics. I loved every minute of their split set. Sarah the lead woman of the group (guitar) was shy and funny. Dan was humorous (The bassist). Their voices blended so well and the music was perfection.

Horse Shoes and Hand Grenades
Horse Shoes and Hand Grenades- YES!!!! 
Okay they were sandwiched in between Dead Horses and it was like all my musical dreams came true in one day. I originally saw them on a PBS music special and was so interested in their unique style. They use a central microphone and all sing together off of it. They have one guy that just plays harmonica and has a belt with like 10 of them in it. They really seemed to feed off the energy of the crowd and because they are local you could tell they were SUPER stoked to be playing. One of the band members was celebrating his birthday so we all sang happy birthday to him. It was fun and I wish their set was like 3 hours long.

The Infamous Stringdusters

The Infamous Stringdusters--
I danced and I danced a lot.
"Hey rattlesnake shake on out of here!"

Pert Near Sandstone--They hosted the event and helped headline it two nights. Both nights they played the same set which was a little annoying. I really like them though. Their music is really good and will get you grooving.They also had a dude that like tap danced.

Greensky Bluegrass-- I saw them at Electric Forest last year and they were the only band I had to wear my ear buds for due to their blow away sound. This year was better and we finished the night to an outrageous prince cover song. I will say more dancing and confetti was involved. They are a well polished bluegrass band. Classic with a modern twist.

I was pretty hungry at dinner time and Ryan and I got gyros. They were wrapped up like a burrito and were huge. The meat was shimmering away in a giant pot and got this really good flavor by that process. Packed with fresh veggies it was a perfect meal and filling.

We also drank bloody marys in the morning.

Bloody Mary's
On this day I tried the other offerings outside of Bells beer they had some Loon cider's. I disliked them all besides the pear. The pear was the right amount of tart and sweet. It was really light and refreshing for all your dancing fuel needs.

Saturday Day 3
Ginger drink!

On this day Maggie and Marshal joined us for a hot but fun day of music.

Joseph Huber--He started the day off on a good note. He has a really interesting depth to his voice and some interesting lyrics.

Billy Strings
Billy Strings-- Billy may have been slightly under the influence as he rambled a lot during his set. I wanted to yell at him to get it together. He was funny though and he has some fun songs.

Evergreen Grass Band-- Another band I really wanted to see. Somewhat of a let down as they are not as good live as they are recording. Neatherless it maybe because Greg the bassist was missing. No one knows where he went and we thought maybe he had went to our neighbors site to use their fancy $80 pool they bought from a guy off a truck... Who knows if he was ever found.

Punch Brothers
Punch Brothers-- Yes, yes and more yes. It does not hurt that the band is all young attractive young men but their music is outstanding. Some of it was almost like classical music. The lead singer (Chris)  hosts a popular Minnesota radio show A Prairie Home Companion. I think I will need to go to a taping as he is electric on stage. One thing I love about this bands and really all bluegrass is how they take sad stories but pair them with upbeat music. That mix sometimes makes one really laugh.

Railroad Earth--
Railroad Earth
They are like the funk of the bluegrass world. I do not think I stopped dancing the entire time. It was infectious and they really know how to bring the groove. The cool thing about them is they are all cute little old men. Really talented and fun.

Late night stage final--
We arrived and were right away filled with good vibes all around us. I think they had like 30 musicians on stage from a mix of all the bands that weekend. This set sums up the magic of a festival perfectly. All the bands get together and just jam through made up songs. Sometimes they know a song and others just add in as they go.

Final night show!
Eggs and Bacon
Korean taco
We may have ate a ton of eggs and bacon for breakfast with Tara's bread from Great Harvest. Who says you cannot eat good while camping?

Pot Stickers
We sampled a couple of items to make up our dinner starting with a Korean taco of beef, pickled veggies and a spicy sauce. I want to make this now it was the perfect starter. We then ate a fire baked pizza which was okay. Worth trying for sure. The star of the meal was these little pot stickers filled with yummy pork and served over a bed of rice. They topped it with a soy type sauce. They were huge but I loved them.

Last beer!
Ryan did it he finished off all the beers that they offered at the festival. This is our excited face. My favorites included the pear cider mentioned above and the Oarsman ale.

Light dancing
Fire dancing at 5am
Bubble man with his huge bubble wand

The Ox!
Ryan even got the Ox on him for the weekend!


In closing get out there and experience fun events and be brave. Sometimes I worry about traveling that it will be a waste of time and money. I have yet to be let down by a fun adventure trip like this. We made some awesome memories and I cannot wait for the next adventure.
Until next time~
XoXo Emily