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Posts Tagged ‘Chateau St Croix Winery’

After the semi-disasterous first show of 2013 (Hopkins Mainstreet Days) Husby and I set up camp at the Chateau St. Croix Winery and Vineyard.  I’m a little late in keeping  you up to date on the show, but then again I’m a little behind in everything I’m undertaking these days.  The Fete des Fleurs took place on June 8th and 9th and was much more enjoyable than the first show we did in Hopkins.  For one thing it didn’t rain the entire time.  For another thing a lot of people like to visit the Chateau.  Sunny Skies + People + Wine = Respectable Sales for Auntie B.

Prior to the sunny day on Saturday the St. Croix Falls area had been having a lot of rain and the ground was completely saturated.  It was pretty squishy, but the water didn’t penetrate my shoes or threaten any of my wares.

A beautiful patch of grass became pretty muddy after a little traffic. My tennies needed a good hosing down when I got home.

Strolling along with a glass of wine, perusing the offerings by local artisans ~ a lovely way to spend a day.

One of the things that brightened our day was the fact that Dave Ybarra of the North Side Dukes came to our canopy and gave us a complimentary CD for being such an enthusiastic audience.  It’s not hard, as the band is one of the things we like best about the Chateau’s festivals.

Husby and I aren’t the only ones who like the North Side Dukes. Combine some bluesy music with good friends and good wine and you’ve got yourself a good time.

There’s another Dave at the Chateau I’ve come to adore – Dave the wine/beer guy. He teases me with the bottles of Chateau wine and thinks I should start drinking earlier than I do. Hey Dave, I’ve got a business to run! I usually have a glass about an hour before closing time. Dave likes to give me a very generous glass of wine.  He’s nice that way.

Look! Tiny little hipsters! You just never know what you’ll see at the Chateau.

It was a really good Saturday, but Sunday came around with more rain.  Despite that some brave people came out with their umbrellas to visited the artisans and listen to the music.  Good times can happen rain or shine.  Luckily the sun came out by the time we had to pack up for the weekend.  Anyone who sets up a booth at an outdoor event knows it’s a challenge to set up or tear down in the rain. 

All in all it was a good weekend and I was honored to be a part of the Chateau St. Croix’s 2013 Fete des Fleurs.  If you missed the spring festival remember there’s another festival at the Chateau St. Croix in September.  Keep in touch with my Events page for updates.

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You know how it is when you get so busy you don’t make time for fun?  Or you make time for fun and something comes up to thwart your attempts?  All summer long Husby and I wanted to taste some pizza from A Wandering Fire, and last Friday we finally did it.

The mighty Wandering Fire

Todd and Maaren Schweim started an adventure with a traveling wood fire oven and haven’t looked back.  They make regular appearances at the Chateau St. Croix Winery throughout the summer and autumn months and are available to cater your event with some of the most delicious pizza I’ve ever had.

The pizzas have real ingredients that are fresh.  The dough, sauces and sausage are house made.  The herbs and shiitake mushrooms are grown by Todd and Maaren.  They had two basil plants on site, using the leaves straight from the plant to the pizza.  How cool is that?

Check out those healthy basil plants.  Maaren and Shannon are busy setting up some pizzas.

Shannon assembles a pizza like an artist.

Todd cooking a pizza in the wood fire oven.

Why do they call themselves A Wandering Fire?  Because the wood fire oven is portable!  It can travel to whatever location they’re called to easily.

OK, that’s all fine and cool, but you’re asking how good is the pizza?  Well, let me tell you.  The pizzas are personal-size, so Husby and I ordered two different flavors.  The first was the St. Croix pizza ~ a traditional pizza with red sauce, Italian fennel sausage, shiitake mushrooms, fresh basil, and a mozzarella/provolone blend.  I love the cheese blend, and the sausage was extraordinarily flavorful.  Excellent!

The St. Croix Pizza

The second pizza we ordered was a bit of a surprise.  It’s called Sand Creek and is made with maple-roasted sweet potatoes, pancetta, a blend of bleu and Asiago cheeses and a maple syrup drizzle.  I’ll tell you right now I was a little nervous about this one.  Sweet potatoes have made me gag since I was a child.  Guess what?  I loved it!

The Sand Creek Pizza

We had such a nice time enjoying these delicious pizzas with a glass of Chateau St. Croix wine.  It isn’t often (read: never) I go out to eat and know the chefs so I felt like kind of a hot shot mingling with them while they assembled our pizzas and even joined us at our table for a while.  It’s fun being friends with such nice and talented people!

Shannon, Maaren and Todd ~ our hosts from A Wandering Fire

A Wandering Fire will be appearing at the Chateau St. Croix a couple of more weekends, so take a little drive to St. Croix Falls, WI and check them out.  Remember, they’re also available for catering.  Check out their website for more information.  You can also Like them on Facebook to keep up with the latest happenings.

I’m so glad Husby and I know some interesting people ~ who else would have ever served me a sweet potato pizza?!  Good job you guys!

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As some of you may know Husby and I spent last weekend at the Chateau St. Croix Winery and Vineyard selling my wares at their Fall Festival.  The weather was absolutely perfect and people came to the festival by the thousands.   One of the most fun things to do when at an event like that is people watching.

I saw them from a distance, walking down the grassy aisle toward the music tent.  They were two ladies, same small stature.  They were in their eighties if they were a day and were spiffed up for their outing at the winery.  They both wore slacks (yes, when you’re in your eighties they’re called “slacks”) and identical sequined blouses.  They also sported identical, jet black beehive hairdos, puffed up to make their heads look much too large for their tiny bodies.  If they weren’t twins they were sisters very close in age.  I speculate they never married and still live in the house they in which they grew up.

They paid no attention to my booth, but I think they might have appreciated this ~

You can find this magnet in my Etsy shop in the Word To Live By Magnets section, or check out the sheet magnet tab at the top of this page. You’ll find the Sisters magnet there, along with tons of others.

I wonder which of those two old sisters was the bad one.

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Dive Night is a once monthly adventure undertaken by me and Husby, along with our friends Ruthie and Ray. Each couple alternates choosing a restaurant, one which must come under the category of “dive.” Our definition of dive: a neighborhood gathering spot hiding under the radar with a laid-back atmosphere and good food. We’ll find the interesting hang-outs in the Minneapolis/St Paul area.  Casual attire required. A sip of beer or wine doesn’t hurt either.

Here’s the thing about Ray:  He wants to keep us guessing for a long time where they have chosen to take us for Dive Night.  To keep us guessing that long he has to take us far, far away.  This month we took a nice drive down Highway 8 all the way to Chisago City, MN.  Husby and I are very familiar with Highway 8 as that is the route we take to attend the ever-famous Chateau St. Croix Winery Fete Des Fleurs and Fall Festival, but that’s another story.  Ruthie and Ray, after a leisurely drive in the country, pulled into the parking lot of The Chisago Roadhouse Tavern.

We were all really surprised at how small it actually was once we were inside. Like, really small compared to the size of the building. We were also greeted with stares from everyone when we walked through the door. Stares from the locals, because I’m guessing locals are pretty much the only people who stop by.

There are very few tables at The Roadhouse.  We were lucky a couple was just leaving when we arrived.  And I was under the impression The Roadhouse isn’t frequented for its food as no one there was eating.  Surprising, because the food was quite good.

We started with a combination appetizer basket.  It contained two generously-sized chicken strips, gigantic onion rings, cheese curds, and waffle fries.  It was served with a delicious ranch dip.  Plenty for four people, and nice and hot straight from the kitchen.

The Appetizer Combination Basket

Three of us had burgers, Ray had a hot dago.  He can’t resist the hot dago.  However, he was a little taken aback by The Roadhouse hot dago.  It was kind of lost in the sauce and cheese; it actually confused poor Ray.  He ate it all up though, so it must have been good.

Ruthie's Cowboy Burger with BBQ Sauce and Onion Rings

Ray's Hot Dago

Husby's Philly Burger

My Mushroom Swiss Burger

The thing I liked best about the burgers was the bun.  Nothing makes a good burger better than a good bun.  These are those light, airy buns which were grilled with real butter.  Excellent!  The burgers were done to perfection and the fries?  Yum!  Skin-on, hot, and lots of them.

I usually get a few shots of the dive ambiance when we have our monthly dive night, but this time I felt a little uncomfortable shooting pictures.  The people there knew we were from the “outside,” and I didn’t want to chance offending anyone by making them think they were part of some stranger’s photo collection.

The full-chest tattoo of the bartender/waitress was very impressive ~ I would have never taken a picture of that anyway, but she should be singled out as being very efficient, friendly, and apologetic when she thought she was running behind.  We had no problem with the service she gave us, especially considering she was serving an entire tavern full of drinkers in addition to the city slickers’ food.

I could get a picture of this neon sign because it was on the wall directly behind us, no people would accidentally get in the shot.  It’s a great sign.

Oh, forgot to mention, The Chisago Roadhouse also has a meat raffle. Another activity I was a little uncomfortable participating in. I would have felt terrible if someone at our table (not one of them) won a big hunk of meat. I was glad to participate, paying $1 a ticket to help whatever cause they were supporting, as long as I didn’t actually win. Lucked out with that one!

Great food, I’ll say that much.  If you’re into motorcycles, snowmobiles, or vintage cars check out their website for events at The Roadhouse.  In the summertime they have a ton of outdoor seating, so you won’t look like such a dork (like we did) waiting for a table.  And if you show up with a Harley I’m sure you’ll be a hit with the locals!

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