A Squared: Up North Winter Weekend Recap

Monday, January 13, 2014

Up North Winter Weekend Recap

Hey all! In all of the craziness of the holidays, first of the year work projects, and Chiberia (the social media nickname for our recent deep freeze in Chicago) I never really shared any photos of our trip to northern Michigan with you-- with the exception of those beautiful turducken dinner pictures, of course. So to start this week off, here are a few snapshots from our visit to the winter wonderland Up North:

The snow was high this year-- there was close to 2 feet on the ground and it looked so beautiful. And how about that view out over the lake? Not too difficult to see why my parents love this place so much.

We got to spend some quality time with our niece. She is just 2, very chatty, smart, and hysterical. She loves to color and demanded that "Ax" (read: Alex) get down on the floor to color with her. He obliged, of course.

She loves Frosty the Snowman, so I pulled it up on my phone and she seated herself on my pelvis to watch and then said "we're buddies." I die.

I mean, seriously... How funny is this kid?

Between my mom, my little sister Libby (a girl after my own heart... she is in high school and loves to bake!), and me, we were well stocked with cookies and baked goods.

Libby made a huge batch of homemade gingerbread men with royal icing (which she also made). I brought my maple date crumble bars, dark chocolate peppermint cookies, and an apple strudel. Have you ever made one? It is quite a project!

Mom baked up some of our favorites: Magic cookie bars (a.k.a Seven Layer Bars), Mexican Wedding Cakes, Raspberry Linzers, and these delicious buttery pecan cookies too. I ate a LOT of cookies.

Alex and my brother Tim got in some serious 'guy time,' doing some work with my dad in his shop and then doing some shooting. When in Michigan, right?

They strapped on the snowshoes and walked across the frozen lake to set up their shooting target on the island across the way.

I also got to try out the snowshoes for the first time. Alex and I took a little snowshoe trip around my parents' property and through the woods and the family Labradors Tucker and Sully came along too.

Sully (the lab on the left above) ended up falling through some ice on our trip and struggled to get out of the freezing water. Tucker saw it happen and panicked and tried to help his brother, which was sweet and sad. Luckily, my hubby pulled him out and we got him inside with just a few scratches on his belly.

They were very worn out after their adventure that day.

And of course, we did a lot of cooking. We made the famous turducken with a great sweet potato and Brussels sprout side dish, but a lot of you saw a photo the roasted onions that we made on Instagram and wanted to know about those too. It's actually a Tyler Florence recipe and it's delicious! Check out the recipe for Roasted Red Onions with Butter, Honey, and Balsamic Vinegar here.

One of the highlights of the trip-- for me-- was teaching my husband how to build a snowman for the first time! Growing up in Dallas, he occasionally saw snow, but never enough or that good packing kind that you need to roll up and build a snowman. How cute is our little family?

And in a nutshell, that was our trip. It's always so nice to get away for a few days and visit with family. Heading Up North is also a great reminder of how beautiful winter is in the Midwest. It can be easy to forget that when I'm trudging through the slush on my way to work in Chicago, but up here... it's like a different world!

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