Category Archives for "Food"

Add These Handmade Cutting Boards To Your Lake House Kitchen

Every lake home needs a cutting board; it is something that you use every day. You can up your game with a handmade cutting board that will be functional, decorative, and make a statement.

You use a cutting board so much that the board is left on the counter or utilized on the table as a way to serve food items.

As it is always on display, a handmade cutting board at your lake house adds a distinctive and decorative element in your kitchen or on your table.




Made by our neighbors to the north, this Canadian made walnut cutting board designed by Mevell and is reversible.

The dark shade wood grain adds style and practical function wherever you use the board.


These unique and gorgeous cutting boards, crafted from solid olive wood, are harvested from Italy’s Umbria Region.

Olive wood is a beautifully grained wood, but historically, it has been a symbol of abundance, glory, peace, and wisdom


The Amish in America has been long revered for their expert artistry, and their items are sought after and desireable products.

You would be able to have this handcrafted Amish cutting board for your lake house or to use it as a wonderful gift that is sure to be appreciated


All Buckeye fans will love this excellent handmade cutting board from the Rustic Red Door. This cutting board is handcrafted with care and is the perfect size for chopping and mincing.

A bit on the smaller side, the board is 9″ X 10″, the board is the right size for hors d’oeuvres or cheese and crackers.

Handcrafted Cutting Boards Are Beautiful And Unique

Handcrafted cutting boards are unique and one-of-a-kind. They add a flair and warm ambiance to your kitchen and make for an appealing surface for food items.

We have selected four wonderful and unique handmade cutting boards that will be a welcoming addition to your lake house.

The pure black walnut wood is solid and durable. Use the board for cutting, slicing, dicing, and for shredding meat, fish, or vegetables.

A handy groove runs a border around the front side of the cutting board and will gather any juices and keep them off the cutting surface.

The board’s reverse side is flat, making it perfect for serving by placing the board on the table. This makes this board dual purpose and so useful for your lake house.

It does double duty in form and function. It makes a beautiful serving board that can be brought right to the table with crackers and cheese or meats for a fondue.

This large-sized cutting board is 17″ X 11″ by .75″ thick. Not only would this board be great for your lake house, but it also makes an impressive gift for a wedding, anniversary, or birthday.

When the Mevell cutting board arrives at your lake house, it will have already been soaked in mineral oil and then treated with a conditioner.

You will want to treat your board regularly to keep it in good condition. Our Canadian friends are so confident that this board will bring you years of good service that they have a 100% money-back guarantee for one year. Last but not least, for every board bought, Mevell will plant a tree. This is a win-win!

These unique and gorgeous cutting boards, crafted from solid olive wood, are harvested from Italy’s Umbria Region.

Olive wood is a beautifully grained wood, but historically, it has been a symbol of abundance, glory, peace, and wisdom.

Olive wood is a very hard wood and prized for its durability, color, and grain pattern.

All of that combines with a live edge on the cutting board. The live edge leaves the natural form that wood had been in, without any cutting or shaping in the preparation process.

You will get the shape of the wood as it was on the tree, which makes it a truly unique item for your lake house.

Because of this, the boards are one of a kind; no two will be entirely alike.

The board is like having a work of art for your lake house, making a statement on your table or in your kitchen.

When you are entertaining at your lake house, this olive wood board will definitely be a conversation piece.

Olive wood is a hard wood that will hold its integrity as you use it for cutting and dicing meat, fish, vegetables, or any other food items.

There are three different sizes; small, medium, and large. As this board is a unique work of art, please don’t place it in a dishwasher, but wash it by hand.

Season it with a natural seed oil (or olive oil) to maintain its luster. Here is a video of the beautiful Arte Legno Spello olive wood cutting board.

The Amish in America has been long revered for their expert artistry, and their items are sought after and desireable products.

You would be able to have this handcrafted Amish cutting board for your lake house or to use it as a wonderful gift that is sure to be appreciated.

Handcrafted, each cutting board comes from solid American Black Walnut hardwood. These live edge cutting boards are non-stick, and you can use them for all of your cooking needs.

This Amish, made in America product, is crafted to last a lifetime so that you will be able to count on this product for a long, long time.

While this cutting board is a functioning tool, it is also a work of art with a classic, timeless style that you will be proud to use and display in your lake home.

With an easy to clean surface, simply wipe the live edge cutting board with a damp cloth.

Please don’t put this handcrafted board in the dishwasher, but wipe it clean and condition your board with mineral oil periodically.

This solid walnut board will make a treasured gift and be a valued addition to your lake home.

All Buckeye fans will love this excellent handmade cutting board from the Rustic Red Door. This cutting board is handcrafted with care and is the perfect size for chopping and mincing.

A bit on the smaller side, the board is 9″ X 10″, the board is the right size for hors d’oeuvres or cheese and crackers.

Other Ohio natives and supporters have used this board, made from a variety of woods, as an eye-catching statement on your wall at the lake house.

The food-grade woods used in the cutting board are oak, maple, walnut, purpleheart, cherry, corsage orange, and padouk.

This variety makes for a beautiful display that enhances the uniqueness of the Ohio state shaped board.

You can show your Ohio pride when you have guests over to the lake house by using this board to serve a party platter on your table.

The oil-based coating put on this sturdy board helps to protect the integrity of the cutting board.

It is best to hand wash this distinctive piece and condition it regularly with mineral oil.

What To Look For In A Handmade Cutting Board

You use your cutting board every day. It may take you a few minutes of chopping or a half an hour. Over the weeks and months, that means that you use your board a whole lot.

With an item that you will use on a regular basis, it is important to get one that will suit your purpose, so you will be happy with it.

Standard options for cutting boards are wood, plastic, bamboo, rubber, glass, and marble.

When you choose a cutting board, no matter the material, you need one that is sturdy and durable.

The surface should be stable and not become slippery when you are cutting meats or items that generate a lot of juices like tomatoes.

The material should also be of a material that does not dull your knife with every cut.

What About Plastic Cutting Boards?

Plastic cutting boards are lightweight and come in a variety of vivid colors. So it seems like plastic should be the best material for cutting boards.

Plastic does have some advantages, as it is both tough and yet friendly on knives. Plastic tends to be less expensive and is easy to sanitize.

So it sounds as if the plastic is ideal, but it does have some shortcomings. When plastic sustains a cut, it stays cut, which leaves the areas open to bacteria.

When first used, plastic seems to be easier to clean, and it is. However, once the boards see continued use, they become more prone to retaining dirt, stains, and smells.

They get harder to clean and keep clean. The thinner the plastic, the more unstable the work surface it offers.

When using sharp knives, you want a surface to be stable and secure. Plastic also tends to be harder on your knives than wood is.

What About Rubber Cutting Boards?

Rubber cutting boards find their place in commercial kitchens, and you will also see them on kitchens in cooking shows.

Rubber is heavy and durable and is relatively gentle on knives. These cutting boards can stand most food-safe cleaning solutions.

The downside is that rubber melts. The rubber cutting board also looks very industrial, and so it is not often used at a table.

Rubber cutting boards are also about the same price as a quality wooden cutting board.

Because of the cost, most people would rather have a beautiful piece of equipment that can be used as a platter for appetizers or in the kitchen for cutting vegetables.

What About Glass Or Marble Cutting Boards?

Both glass and marble have been popular, and they definitely look nice, crisp, and clean. Unfortunately, neither glass nor marble is suitable for cutting on.

It is not just that the sound is loud and unpleasant; it quickly dulls your knives with each slice. In addition, the surfaces of both glass and marble are always slick.

Both your hands and knives are more likely to slip on these surfaces. That does not make either of those materials worth using.

Marble, in particular, is exceptionally heavy and so it is hard to lift and move from place to place.

Both glass and marble have their place for various items, but not for a cutting board.

With a cutting board, the harder the surface, the faster it will dull your knives. Hardwoods can dull your knife but are still better than glass or marble.

How To Care For A Wooden Cutting Board

The first thing to do in cleaning a wooden cutting board is to scrape off any food residue from the surface of the cutting board.

It is best to hand wash a wooden cutting board. Even though you might have an urge to toss it in the dishwasher, don’t!

It takes just a minute or two to use warm water and mild dishwashing soap to clean the board.

Don’t ever submerge the board or leave it to soak in a dishpan. Rinse the board thoroughly and leave it out to air dry completely.

If you use your wooden cutting board every day, wipe the entire board down with a food-grade mineral oil every week.

Don’t use a food-based oil, such as vegetable or walnut oil, as this oil can turn rancid.

Treating your wood cutting board will help condition the board and remain splinter, odor, and stain-free.

In Conclusion

Even with all the various materials available today, wood remains the best option for a cutting board.

Wood is dense, it is durable, and has it the perfect amount of pliability that makes it knife friendly.

Wooden handmade cutting boards can also be cut into shapes that can make it both beautiful and exciting.

Handcrafted cutting boards can turn a necessary kitchen tool into a work of art that you will be proud to use at your lake house.


Can you put a wooden cutting board in the dishwasher?

It is not a good idea to clean any wooden item in a dishwasher. Wood is porous and can absorb water that makes the fibers in wood expand.

It is best to hand wash any wooden time, including a wood cutting board.

What types of wood are not the best for cutting boards?

Open-grained woods such as oak and ash have many pores that can catch small bits and pieces of food.

These small bits can cause bacteria to flourish. That bacteria can cause illness, so it is essential not to use a wooden cutting board made from wood types.

What do people eat at Sun Moon Lake? Taiwanese Dish Ideas for your Lake Vacation

What do people eat at Sun Moon Lake? Taiwanese Food

Good food has the ability to make any vacation marvelous. When you visit Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan, it is wise to know what type of food to expect. It also helps to know how to make a few recipes. If you would like to know how to prepare a few dishes and where to go on your visit to Sun Moon Lake, then keep reading.

Easy to Make Taiwanese Dishes for Lake Vacation

Ginger Scallion Beef Stir Fry

This recipe requires ten ingredients and takes a total of 30 minutes to prepare. Its main components are beef, ginger, and scallions, and they make a wonderfully tasting combination. It is recommended that large amounts of ginger and scallions are used for the best flavor. It is best served with hot rice.



1 tablespoon of oil

2 teaspoon of cornstarch

2 tablespoons of low sodium soy sauce

½ lb. of beef sirloin or top round (needs to be sliced thinly)

1 tablespoon of rice wine (or as substitute: shaoxing cooking wine)

2 teaspoons of freshly grated ginger

1 teaspoon of cane sugar

Freshly grounded pepper (to taste)

5-6 stalks of scallions

Salt (to taste)

Asian Broccoli Stem Salad

This recipe requires only five ingredients and takes a total of 40 minutes to prepare. Its main component is the part of the broccoli that is not typically eaten, which is the broccoli stem. For this dish, it is best to use organic broccoli that has a wider stem. It’s also best to keep to finished product in the fridge overnight so that the dish can be extra crunchy.


1 teaspoons sesame oil

½ teaspoon of salt

¼ teaspoon of cane sugar

1 clove of garlic, minced (this part is optional)

Broccoli stems


  • First, separate the broccoli stems from the florets and conserve the florets for another dish. For now, all that is needed are the stems.
  • Using a sharp knife, carefully trim off the outer layer of the broccoli skin from the stem. If it is easier, a vegetable peeler can also be used.
  • Next, thoroughly rinse off the stems before cutting them into bite size pieces.
  • After placing the broccoli stems in a small bowl, season them with salt and garlic. Let them marinate for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, any excess liquid can be drained from the bowl. Next, rinse off the broccoli and drain them to remove any excess salt that may remain.
  • Lastly, add the sesame oil and cane sugar and place the dish in the refrigerator to serve cold.

Chinese Chili Sauce

This dish is almost a guarantee at any Asian restaurant. It only requires 6 ingredients and it only takes 15 minutes to prepare. This dish is a staple for anyone who enjoys spicy chili sauce. However, it is important to sample the peppers before using them to use a big batch, so that the dish will not be too spicy to eat.


¼ teaspoon of salt

¼ teaspoon of sugar

3-4 tablespoons of canola oil

5 red fresno chilies

1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar

1 clove of garlic


  • Lightly saute the chopped chilies in a pan on low heat for a minute, and allow all the extra moisture to cook off the chilies
  • Add sugar, salt, canola oil, and vinegar and then continue to saute the chilies for an additional 6-8 minutes
  • Reduce the heat and add in the garlic. Saute for another minute, allowing the flavors from the garlic to absorb in the chili and then let it cool before serving.

Taiwanese Tea Oil Noodles

This dish is often served for breakfast and only requires 10 minutes to prepare. The noodles cook fairly quickly, and they are often served with Tea Seed oil, which has a very unique taste. The oil can be described as slightly bitter-sweet combined with light soy sauce and a bit of sesame oil.


1 bunch of dried noodles (thin)

Toasted sesame oil (drizzled over the noodles)

1-2 tablespoon of Tea Seed Oil (can be substituted with olive oil)

1-2 teaspoons of light soy sauce

Cilantro (to garnish the dish)


  • Raise the water to a boil and cook the noodles for 3-5 minutes, or until finished cooking
  • Drain the noodles and toss with the sauces before serving

Authentic Taiwanese Milk Tea (Bubble Tea)

This is a famous drink invented in Taiwan in the 1980’s. It’s a drink with a tea base that’s very popular in Starbucks in Taiwan. Many times, tapioca pearls, lychee jelly, or coffee jelly is mixed in to add a chewy texture to enjoy along with the drink.


8 oz.- 10 oz. of hot water

Ice cubes

2-3 tablespoons of cane sugar

2-3 tablespoons of vegan creamer

2 bags of Red Rose Tea Original Blend

Cooked boba or tapioca pearls

Taiwanese 3 Cup Chicken

This dish gets its name because it was traditionally cooked with 3 cups consisting of 1 cup of soy sauce, 1 cup of rice wine, and 1 cup of sesame oil. This dish has a great reputation because of how well the flavors pair together. It’s savory and sweet simultaneously and also has a hint of spiciness with the fragrance of red basil leaves. This dish is best served with plenty of white rice and a plain garlic stir fry. This dish takes a total of 25 minutes to prepare.
15-20 cloves of garlic, peeled (don’t skimp on the garlic; this gives it taste)
1 small piece of ginger, sliced
1-1 ½ lb. of chicken drumettes
Fresh Thai basil leaves (red basil)

For the sauce:
⅓ cup of rice wine
½ teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of cane sugar
⅓ cup of Asian sesame oil
1 teaspoon of dried chili flakes
⅓ cup of soy sauce (low sodium)

Before adding in the sauce mixture, first brown the chicken for a few minutes
For 15-20 minutes, cook the chicken and the sauce mixture together
When mixture is almost finished cooking, add the fresh basil leaves and stir fry, and cover the pan with a top for 1 minute to simmer
After moving the dish to a serving bowl, serve it hot


There are plenty of restaurants and cafes to eat at Sun Moon Lake. We also highly recommend that you try street food instead. There is a vast array of foods to try that are unique to only that part of Taiwan. Here are different foods that you should consider trying during your visit to Sun Moon Lake.

Roasted Millet Muah Chee (Mochi)

What makes the Muah-chee different at Sun Moon Lake is the fact that they are made from a special species that are unique to the Thao tribe. They are molded into a triangle and served after being roasted over a fire. They are seasoned to taste according to your preference, which is something that is not prevalent in other parts of Taiwan.

Wild Boar Sausages/ Skewers

Wild Boar Sausages are a must have while you visit Sun Moon Lake because they are a specialty of the aboriginal Taiwanese people. You will see many food stalls selling selling Wild Boar Sausages.

Sun Moon Lake Assam Red Tea

Sun Moon Lake is actually famous for their black tea. It is known as the Ruby Red #18 or Assam Red Tea. You will see many stalls selling a number of bubble teas and bubble milk teas that are made from the tea leaves of this unique type of tea.

Fan Fan Chicken Wings

Fan Fan Chicken Wings are popular with both locals and tourists who visit Sun Moon Lake. The chicken wings are deboned and then stuffed with rice that is indigenous only to the Thao tribe. You also have the option to add cucumber, chili, pepper, or spring onions according to your taste. If you are a huge fan of spicy food, it is suggested that you request more servings of chili paste and pepper.

President Fish

The President fish is also known as Aruzay. Its name stemmed from when former president Chang Kai-shek visited the area and was served that fish. From that time onward, Aruzay was known as the President’s fish. It’s best to have this fish steamed to preserve the taste. It does have a lot of small bones, so it is important to be very careful when eating it. The fish has a fresh taste and the meat is very tender.


Exploring the Lake

There are no ticket fees to enter Sun Moon Lake. It’s completely free to visit. A popular activity for visitors of the lake is to take a boat tour around the lake. You are able to buy tickets for that at the counter of the Shuishe Visitor Centre.

The ferry is also a popular mode of transportation because it allows you to cover a lot of the lake and enables you to reach all the main destinations. The ferry has three stops. The first stop is Shuishe, which is the main pier. The second stop is Xuanguang Pier, which is the home to a legendary tea egg store. It has been run by the same woman for about 50 years. The last stop is Ita Thao, which is home to many food stalls with delicious food to try.

Where to Stay

Ita Thao is a popular place for tourists to stay while visiting Sun Moon Lake. Many of the hotels at the pier provide a beautiful view of the water.

Wen Wu Temple

Wen Wu Temple is located at the edge of Sun Moon Lake. It’s majestic appearance is enough to wow any passersby and it provides a wonderful view of the lake from there as well. Below the temple there are 366 steps known as “Year of Steps”. Each step represents one day of the year. On each one of the steps is carved a date and the names of internationally famous people born on those corresponding dates. Information about the 24 solar periods are also carved into the steps with purpose of educating people about China’s traditional folk culture as they walk up the steps.

Interestingly enough, before the road to the temple was built, visitors had to take a boat to the pier below the temple. They had to climb up a steep flight of stairs to get to the temple. This is what gave the stairway its nickname: Stairway to Heaven.

Visitors have hung wind chimes by the stairs. The windchimes have their specific Chinese animal zodiac sign.


Sun Moon Lake has a wealth of delicious foods to try. These foods are rich in history and culture. It also has a number of beautiful sights to see. By learning recipes for dishes, foods that you should try, and places you should visit at Sun Moon Lake, you’ll now know what to expect on your trip there.

The Best and Healthiest Natural Foods for Your Lake Living

The Best and Healthiest Natural Foods for your Lake living

You look forward to your time at the lake.  Life moves, not so much at a slower pace, but time moves at a pace that you can dictate.  You zip through the necessary chores, and have time to spend on the water or in the hammock.

It also seems like mealtimes are more of an event at the lake.  When you are home, breakfast is what you rush through to get out the door.  Lunch is in a bag or on the go. Dinner is what happens when you get home and before helping the kiddos with homework or running to various practices before you fall into bed. 

At the lake, there is time to contemplate what comes next.  Time to think about what would be good to eat, what might be easy or involved, and what you could make as a joint venture with family members. 

It is also a time when you can take the opportunity to truly enjoy natural foods with a mindfulness that this food is an essential fuel for a strong and healthy body.


If you are smart (I am sure of it!) your lake house does not possess a big screen TV, but it has a big table.  A table for playing board games and eating family-style healthy meals. 

People have made the connection between food and well-being at least since the beginning of written history, although it has been as much a matter of educated guesswork as it has been science.  

There is no doubt that natural foods are much better for the body than highly processed foods. Processed foods are usually loaded with added sugar... or its evil twin, high fructose corn syrup.

Processed, packaged foods contain chemicals that prevent the food from spoiling. They can also contain chemicals that give the food color, flavor and texture.  They are low in fiber and nutrients.

All the more reason to skip the processed offerings and concentrate on healthy, natural food not only while you are at the lake, but also in your everyday life.

We are very fortunate to have an abundance of natural foods readily accessible and the lake house is no exception.  The time at the lake house provides us the opportunity to consider those healthy options.

It is no longer a difficult proposition to find healthy food. Increasingly, both grocery stores and restaurants have healthy, natural food options.  It used to be considered a fad to seek out natural foods, but no more. The correlation between the food we ingest and the resulting health benefits, or health issues is clear. 

Which brings us to ask, what are the healthiest natural foods?  While you are at your lake house, you should have no problem stocking up on the options.  Here is what you need to look for:

  • Whole grains:  Wholemeal bread, pasta, and cereals in which each grain included the germ and bran. 
  • Fruits and Vegetables: These are rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber. Choose a variety to maximize intake of nutrients. 
  • Protein: Vital for repairing tissues. Sources are meat, fish and eggs. Beans, nuts, quorn and soya are also good sources of protein. 
  • Dairy:  Low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese.
  • Fats: Unsaturated fats will help reduce “bad” cholesterol.  Get these fats from avocado and oily fish. 
  • Sugars: Limit the amount of added sugars in your diet. The American Heart Association  recommends limiting added sugars to 6 teaspoons a day for women and 9 teaspoons for a man. 


There are so many choices for natural, healthy foods.  Those times at your lake house can be full of family, fun and natural foods.  We have prepared a list of healthy, natural foods. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it gives you an idea of what healthy foods to choose when you are shopping for your lake house meals.  I am sooooo excited about number 42!  

There are also some recipes at the end of the list use natural, healthy foods.  They might provide a fun option to try at the lake!

Natural, Healthy Foods:

  1. Apples
  2. Avocados
  3. Bananas
  4. Blueberries and cherries,grapes, grapefruit,kiwi, lemons, mango, melons, olives, peaches, pears, pineapples, plums, strawberries and raspberries
  5. Oranges
  6. Eggs
  7. Lean beef
  8. Chicken breasts
  9. Lamb
  10. Almonds
  11. Chia seeds, nuts and peanuts
  12. Coconuts
  13. Macadamia nuts
  14. Walnuts

  1. Asparagus, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, celery, eggplant, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, radishes, squash, swiss chard, turnips and zucchini.
  2. Bell peppers
  3. Broccoli
  4. Carrots
  5. Cauliflower
  6. Cucumber
  7. Garlic
  8. Kale
  9. Onions
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Salmon
  12. Spinach
  13. Black beans
  14. Beets

  1. Lentils
  2. Sardines
  3. Shellfish
  4. Shrimp
  5. Trout
  6. Tuna
  7. Brown rice
  8. Oats
  9. Quinoa
  10. Legumes
  11. Green beans
  12. Kidney beans
  13. Sweet potatoes
  14. Dark Chocolate  YAY!!!!! Dark chocolate is loaded with fiber and magnesium, and is one of the most powerful sources of antioxidants in existence.

Here are a few recipes that should be easy and fun.  We hope you enjoy them!

  • Banana Oatmeal Pancakes


  • 2 bananas

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • pinch of salt

  • maple syrup to serve (optional)


  1. In a blender, combine the peeled bananas, eggs, oats, baking powder and salt.

  2. Allow to blend until mixture is as smooth as you want it and blended well. Allow the batter to stand for 10-20 minutes until thickened slightly.

  3. Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat.

  4. Fry spoonfuls of batter until golden brown on both sides.

  5. Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup and fresh fruit of your choice

  • Baked Lemon Chicken


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

  • 3 tablespoons margarine (a healthier option than butter)

  • 1/3 cup chicken broth

  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic

  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

  • salt and pepper to taste (I used 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper)

  • optional: fresh rosemary and lemon slices for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a baking sheet or large casserole dish.

  2. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook chicken 2-3 minutes on each side just until browned. Transfer chicken to prepared baking sheet.

  3. In a small bowl whisk together chicken broth, lemon juice, honey, garlic, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper.

  4. Pour sauce over chicken. Bake 20-30 minutes (closer to 20 for smaller chicken breasts, closer to 30 for larger) until the chicken is cooked through. Every 5-10 minutes spoon the sauce from the pan over the chicken.

  5. Garnish with fresh rosemary and lemon slices if desired and serve.

  • Steak Stir Fry


  • 1 1/2 pounds skirt steak, cut into 4-inch-long pieces, then cut against the grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

  • 1 serrano chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped

  • 2 teaspoons stevia (a sugar substitute)

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (1 to 2 limes)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, grated

  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced

  • 6 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced

  • 1/4 pound snow peas or green beans

  • 1 12-ounce can baby corn, drained


  1. Season the steak with salt and pepper. In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, chile pepper, sugar and lime juice until the sugar is dissolved. Add the beef, toss to coat and set aside.

  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering, about 1 minute. Add beef and cook, stirring, until cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes.

  3. Remove the beef from skillet and set aside. Allow the liquid in the pan to reduce until thickened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and scallions and cook 1 minute more. Add mushrooms and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more. Add the snow peas, baby corn and bell pepper and continue cooking until all the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Return the beef to skillet and toss to combine. 

Total: 30 min

Prep: 15 min

Cook: 15 min

Yield: 4 servings

  • Baked Salmon in Foil


  • 4 (5 ounces each) salmon fillets

  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil plus 2 tablespoons

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 tomatoes, chopped, or 1 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes, drained

  • 2 chopped shallots

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Sprinkle salmon with 2 teaspoons of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stir the tomatoes, shallots, 2 tablespoons of oil, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper in a medium bowl to blend.

  3. Place a salmon fillet, oiled side down, atop a sheet of foil. Wrap the ends of the foil to form a spiral shape. Spoon the tomato mixture over the salmon. Fold the sides of the foil over the fish and tomato mixture, covering completely; seal the packets closed. Place the foil packet on a heavy large baking sheet. Repeat until all of the salmon have been individually wrapped in foil and placed on the baking sheet. Bake until the salmon is just cooked through, about 25 minutes. Using a large metal spatula, transfer the foil packets to plates and serve.

Total: 40 min

Prep: 15 min

Cook: 25 min

Yield: 4 servings

  • Quinoa Salad


  • 12 cups water

  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed

  • 5 pickling cucumbers, peeled, ends trimmed, and cut into 1/4-inch cubes

  • 1 small red onion, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

  • 1 large tomato, cored, seeded, and diced

  • 1 bunch Italian parsley leaves, chopped

  • 2 bunches mint leaves, chopped

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar

  • 1 lemon, juiced

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 heads endive, trimmed and separated into individual spears

  • 1 avocado, peeled, seeded and diced, for garnish


  1. Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the quinoa, stir once, and return to a boil. Cook uncovered, over medium heat for 12 minutes. Strain and rinse well with cold water, shaking the sieve to remove all moisture.

  2. When dry, transfer the quinoa to a large bowl. Add the cucumbers, onion, tomato, parsley, mint, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper and toss well. Spoon onto endive spears, top with avocado, and serve.

Total: 40 min

Prep: 20 min

Cook: 20 min

Yield: 8 servings

  • Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli 


  • 1 small head cauliflower (2 pounds), cut into florets

  • 2 large stalks broccoli (1 pound), cut into floret

  • 1 head garlic, broken into cloves

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

  2. Place cauliflower and broccoli into a 9 by 13 inch baking dish, toss with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Cover the dish and bake for 1/2 hour. Remove the cover, stir and cook for 30 to 40 minutes more, until vegetables are tender and nicely browned, stirring occasionally.

Total: 1 hr 15 min

Prep: 15 min

Cook: 1 hr

Yield: 8 servings (1 serving is 1 cup)

  • Avocado Bruschetta


  • 2 slices of thick bread slightly stale

  • 1 large tomato

  • 1 small red onion

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • Sea salt

  • 1 ripe avocado

  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 fat clove garlic


  1. Toast the bread on both sides - either in a toaster oven or under the grill until it's a medium-dark brown. If it's too lightly-toasted, it won't hold up beneath the toppings.

  2. While the bread is toasting, finely chop the tomato and onion, and place into a bowl with 1 tsp olive oil, a few grinds of black pepper, and a smidge of sea salt. Mix together so everything has a light coating.

  3. Open up the avocado, remove the pit, scoop out the flesh into a bowl, and gently mash it with a fork.

  4. Once the toast has cooked, rub the clove of garlic over each slice. If you have any left over, mince it up, and sprinkle over the toast.

  5. Spread half of the avocado over one slice of toast, followed by half of the tomato and onion mixture.

  6. Repeat for the second slice.

  7. Finish by grinding some more black pepper over the top.

  8. Serve immediately.

  • Frozen Fruit Smoothies


  • 1 frozen banana, peeled and sliced

  • 2 cups frozen strawberries, raspberries, or cherries

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1/2 cup plain or vanilla yogurt

  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons honey or to taste


  1. Put all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve.

  2. For non-dairy smoothies, substitute 1 cup rice milk for the milk and yogurt. Or, use soy yogurt or milk instead of dairy. 

Total: 5 min

Prep: 5 min

Yield: 2 servings

The Best Way to Catch, Clean, and Cook Fish

The best way to catch, clean, and cook fish

Did you know that every year more than 44 million Americans enjoy fishing?  There are about 21 million fishermen and almost 200 million people depend on fishing to survive. If you are interested in knowing what it would be like to depend on fishing for your survival, or just want to enjoy catching your own dinner, I have listed below awesome and easy techniques from catching, to cleaning and cooking fish that you can try.


1. Gear. Make sure that you have the right equipment.


Small Rod

To catch a small fish you can use a rod around 4 - 5 ft (1.2 - 1.7m). This kind of rod is often used to catch bass, trout, bluegill, and crappie.


Long Rod

For larger fish go with a 5 - 8.5 ft (1.5 - 2.6m) rod. The extended length is great in helping balance the weight of the fish. For the needed flexibility of your rod, you can choose fiberglass or graphite.


Bait-casting Reel 

If you are casting larger lures you should use a bait-casting reel. Larger lures means larger fish.


Spinning Reel

Most beginners start with a medium or medium-light spinning reel. An open or closed-bail spinning reel has a mechanical pick-up that retrieves the line and an anti-reverse lever that prevents the crank handle from rotating when the fish is pulling.



Fishing hook sizes range from 32 to 1 (the larger the number, the smaller the size of the hook). There are 3 basic types of hooks: Spin-cast lure hook, fly-cast, and bait-cast. Know which type of hook you will use depending on the species of fish and fishing method. You may check online, or you can also ask any sporting goods store employees to guide you in choosing your hook.



There are two major kinds of bait, live and artificial. Choosing which kind of bait does not depend on your mood or preference. Fish have preferences. Check online for a better understanding of this, and which type of bait to select.


Fishing Line

This is the cord connecting the rod to the hook and the reel. You can choose from different types of fishing lines available to suit your fishing technique needs.


Sinkers and Floaters

Sinkers weight down your bait while floaters are small pieces of plastic that float on the surface of the water so you can monitor your line.


Tackle Box

You can put all your gear and extra fishing tools in this.

2. When to Fish 


Between the New Moon and Full Moon 

Freshwater fish are influenced by the gravitational pull of the moon.


Sunrise and/or Sunset 

Take advantage of freshwater fishes feeding time. During the hot and muggy part of days, they tend to be less active.

3. Legalities 

Before you get too excited and head to the lake, make sure that it is legal for you to fish in your area. Some states require a general fishing license and additional stamps for some types of fish. Also, be aware of other regulations for tackle restrictions, catch limit and seasons.

1. Catching Your Fish (Source: )

    1. Place your bait onto the hook.

    2. Bring the rod over your shoulder and flick forward to make a cast. Press the release button and hold it down. With your dominant hand, lift your rod over your shoulder, and let go of the release button to release your line. Move the rod quickly and consistently to make your cast.

    3. Wait for a bite. Patience is truly a virtue in fishing. Sometimes fish will bite right away, but if they don’t, just relax and enjoy the view.

    4. When you feel something tug, set your hook, pull straight up on your rod. 

    5. Reel In. Quickly reel in the fish to bring in your catch.

    6. Keep or Release. Identify the type of fish and, having  reviewed local laws ahead of time, decide if you will keep the fish or release it.


This may not seem the most awesome part of your fishing journey,  nonetheless it is still a part of it, and a vital one. You will be able to consume your fish once you’ve cleaned it thoroughly.


Prepare the following items: 

A. Clean work station

B. Trash Bag

C. Knife

D. Cutting Board

E. Newspaper



This can be messy, so to lessen the cleaning session afterward, lay the newspaper on your workstation. It will also help in absorbing liquids that would spill from the fish.


Disposal System

Prepare your trash bag (preferably not too big) right on your table so that you can have easy access to it and avoid spillage on the floor.



Some use a dull knife or a spoon to remove the scales, but it is also effective to  use the unsharpened side of a knife. Rake the scales against its normal direction. You need to get under the scales and push them up quickly. This can also be done under running water.


Get In

Using a sharp knife, make a lengthwise incision along the belly of the fish up to the base of the gills. Don’t cut too deep, you wouldn’t want the innards to burst. Next, use your hand to remove the innards completely.



Thoroughly clean the fish inside and out with cool water. Now your fish is ready to be cooked.


You’re on your weekend getaway, so I’m pretty sure you’d rather not spend an hour cooking but still would like to savor your fish. Here’s an easy recipe of Whole Grilled Trout (


  • 2 Whole trout, cleaned
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil, divide
  • 1 pinch coarse sea salt to taste
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • ½ lemon, thinly sliced
  • ½ sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 Sprigs fresh thyme

Directions: (Prep Time: 15 mins Cook: 15 mins)

  1. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil the grate.

  2. Rub each trout generously with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt; sprinkle inside of cavities with salt and black pepper. Place half the lemon and onion slices into cavity of each trout, along with minced garlic, and place a sprig of rosemary and thyme into cavities.

  3. Turn preheated grill down to low and place the trout directly onto the grill; cook until flesh flakes easily and the skins are browned, 6 to 7 minutes per side, flipping once.

As the old saying goes, “Give a man a fish and you’ve fed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you’ve fed him for a lifetime.” Fishing may seem challenging at first, but give it more time and practice it can be rewarding. It’s a lifelong passion that will enhance your life. Enjoy your first catch, clean and cook adventure!

Why You Should Take a Nice Afternoon Tea on Lake Windermere

Take a nice afternoon tea on Lake Windermere

Standing alone, as from a rampart’s edge,

I overlooked the bed of Windermere,

Like a vast river, stretching in the sun.

With exultation, at my feet I saw

Lake, islands, promontories, gleaming bays,

A universe of Nature’s fairest forms

Proudly revealed with instantaneous burst,

Magnificent, and beautiful, and gay.

William Woodsworth

Afternoon tea is awesome, but an even more fantastic experience would be tea by the lake, Windermere Lake to be specific. 

The history of the lake district, the tradition of taking afternoon tea, and the origin of tea itself, are fascinating subjects. If you are truly brave, you can delve into what type of pot the tea should be in, milk in the mug first? Or tea first?  Even a debate as to how the water is heated, along with the best way to do even that small task.


Rather than get into all of that debate, we are going to concentrate on what is indisputable, the scenic beauty of Lake Windermere and the joy of an afternoon tea by the lake. 

Windermere is the largest natural lake in England. It has been one of the country's most popular places for holidays and summer homes since the arrival of the Kendal and Windermere Railway's branch line in 1847. 

Forming part of the border between Lancashire and Westmorland, it is now within the county of Cumbria and the Lake District National Park.

At 10.5 miles long, one mile wide and 220 feet deep, Lake Windermere is a ribbon lake formed in a glacial trough after the retreat of ice at the start of the current interglacial period.  

The lake contains nineteen islands, the largest being the privately owned Belle Isle, which is about forty acres in size. The lake is also fed by numerous rivers. 

The fort of Galava was built by the Romans at the lake’s northern end, and for more than a thousand years,  the lake was an important waterway for moving heavy materials. 

Fast forward to the end of the 18th century and the beauty of the lake area was attracting visitors. “Guide to the Lakes” published by Wordsworth in 1810 promoted the lake as a popular destination.

When the railway reached Windermere in 1847, it brought  with it an influx of visitors. The village of Windermere grew up around the railway station, which was located about a mile and a half from the lake. 

By the late 19th century, the area saw wealthy businessmen building mansions overlooking the splendor of the lake.  Many of those former homes have since been turned into hotels, from which you can enjoy tea by the lake. 

There are also passenger services that operate the entire length of the lake.  Some of the boats operate just part of the route, or they offer an out and back service, while others will run the whole distance. 

Windermere is an area where you could immerse yourself in the beauty and culture of England.  Participating in afternoon tea by the lake would complete the experience. 

Afternoon Tea

The custom of drinking tea dates back to the third millennium BC in China.  This was made popular in England in the 1660’s by King Charles ll, but it was not until the mid 19th century that the concept of “afternoon tea” was first conceived. 

That being the case, the most quintessential of English customs, afternoon tea, is a relatively new tradition. 

The custom was introduced to England by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford in 1840.  It seems that the Duchess would be come hungry around four o’clock in the afternoon. With dinner not due to appear until eight or nine o’clock in the evening, this can be understood.  

It became the habit of the Duchess to request a tray of tea, bread and butter, and cake to be brought to her each day about four o’clock.  She then began inviting friends to join her.

It did not take long for this pause for tea in the afternoon to become a fashionable social event, with the society women changing into long gowns, gloves and hats for their afternoon tea, usually served in the drawing room between four and five o’clock in the afternoon. 

A traditional afternoon tea would offer a selection of dainty sandwiches, scones served with clotted cream and preserves. Cakes and pastries are also served. The upper class would pour the tea from silver tea pots into delicate bone china cups. 

Another fast forward in time finds that in the 21st century, afternoon tea at the Ritz is now one of the hardest-to-book dining experiences in London.  And outside the famous Betty's Tea Rooms in Yorkshire, the lines circle the block. 

There are currently almost 1,500 different teas in Britain. They all vary in style, taste, and color. Which makes you wonder, what ones of those 1,500 are the favorites for afternoon tea?

Earl Grey

The first and foremost tea favored across the pond is black tea. Earl Grey is one of those teas.  It is a robust tea infused with just a hint of bergamot oil. The oil comes from the bergamot orange, and so it adds just a suggestion of citrus.

History says that this tea could be named after Charles Grey, the British Prime Minister in the 1830’s.  But Twinings Tea company says the tea was presented by a Chinese envoy to Lord Grey. The one thing that is known for sure...Captain Jean Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise drinks ONLY Earl Grey. 


Next in popularity is Darjeeling, a tea light in color with a mild floral aroma.  This particular tea originated in India and is available in black, green, white or oolong tea. It is distinct for being refreshing and thin-bodied.  

Breakfast Tea

The most common of all tea types in Britain is breakfast tea.  And yes, you can have breakfast tea in the afternoon. This tea is a blend of black teas.  It has a full-bodied, rich flavor with a strong aroma.  

The drinking of this tea for breakfast can be traced back to colonial times. 

Green Tea

The tea leaves for this type of tea are minimally processed.  As the tea has gone through less oxidation, the tea is light green in color and has a mild, slightly “green” flavor. 

Japanese green tea has been considered the gold standard for green tea. This tea is brighter green in color and can have a bitter aftertaste. 

Oolong Tea

This tea is processed by letting the leaves wither under a strong sun, which triggers oxidation. After the leaves are dried, they are curled and steeped.  

With careful preparation, the tea brings out its roasted aroma and a fresh fruity taste.


It would be hard NOT to find a place to have an afternoon tea by the lake in Windermere. Here  are just three of the many places that we found offering an afternoon tea.

Lakeside Hotel and Spa
Newby bridge, Cumbria

Relaxing afternoons by Lake Windermere – Catching up with friends – Celebrating.

Nothing works better than combining the panoramic views from Lakeside with a unique afternoon tea experience.

Our SWEET Afternoon Tea starts with pickled beetroot and goats cheese salad, continues with smoked salmon éclair, avocado en croute and a selection of finger sandwiches, before moving on to buttermilk and currant scones and a creative selection of sweet treats.

Our plant-based VEGAN options are equally appealing whether savoury with: parsnip croquettes, broccoli & avocado, onion Mexican bean burger…or sweet with: coconut & chocolate mousse, lemon drizzle cake, panna cotta passion fruit…

For the meat-eaters our SAVOURY Afternoon Tea includes a pickled beetroot and goats cheese salad and tasting of soup before moving on to the main event featuring lamb slider, honey glazed smoked sausage, scotch egg, crackling & sage dust…there will be scones and something sweet to finish.

Laura Ashley Hotel
The Belsfield, Windermere
Kendal Road

Laura Ashley Hotel The Belsfield, Windermere, is in the heart of the Lake District National Park, an area of outstanding natural beauty that was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 2017. Situated on the Eastern shore of Lake Windermere, directly overlooking the “Belle Isle”, The Belsfield is set in 6 acres of landscaped gardens. The hotel offers unparalleled views over the lake and beyond, to the farther shore where the often snow-capped Langdale Pikes and the Fairfield Horseshoe can be seen.

The house became a hotel in 1892 when Lieutenant A. D. Macleod became proprietor. His tenure was marked by his colleagues by the presentation of a rifle, now displayed in the corridor along with historic photographs and other information about The Belsfield’s history.

For a quintessentially English experience, The Belsfield offers delicious Afternoon Tea with beautiful views of Lake Windermere. 

Our expert chefs have designed a sumptuous menu to cater for all tastes and dietary requirements, including Vegetarian, Vegan, Dairy-Free and Gluten-Free Afternoon Tea, as well as Traditional Afternoon Tea. Each may be accompanied with a choice of loose leaf teas or, for the ultimate luxury experience, a glass of champagne.

Storrs Hall
Cumbria, LA23 3LG, UK

Storrs Hall Afternoon Tea is served daily between 12.30pm and 4.30pm. Celebrate a special occasion or catch up with family and friends, whilst you relax in one of our comfortable lounges or conservatory. Wherever you choose to sit you will be able to enjoy wonderful views over the grounds to Lake Windermere and the surrounding fells.

Our Afternoon Tea

Indulge in delicious homemade cakes, pastries and freshly baked scones served with Cornish clotted cream and preserve. All of which are served alongside a selection of finger sandwiches and a choice of tea blends and infusions.

A delicious gluten free option is also available.

Simple Food for the Lake House Menu

Lake House Menu on a table by the lake

Lake houses provide such  marvelous views and adventurous experiences of nature that you just want to spend as much time as possible absorbing it all.

How can you get the most out of your trip?

One answer is simple: easy meals.

That’s right, we are going to go over some delicious, easy and quick recipes so you can get back to what you truly want – enjoying your time by the lake. In this guide, we’ll show you some simple but delicious foods for your very own lake house menu.

Great Recipes for a Lakeside Picnic

The right snacks and meal can make your lake house trip even more memorable. Your options are bountiful, especially if you’re willing to get a little adventurous and forage outside. However, some of the easiest side dishes and snacks can be prepared beforehand.

Great snacks or side dishes include:

  • A gallon of your favorite beverage
  • Thinly cut watermelon
  • Oranges, apples, grapes, and other whole fruits
  • Sliced cucumbers or tomatoes
  • Almonds, pecans, or mixed nuts


Everyone loves a good finger food when relaxing outdoors. These options are perfectly easy to create and delectably delicious.

  • Cheese and cracker spread
  • Whole fruits like grapes, strawberries, blueberries, apples or pears
  • Cut peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the children
  • Oven-roasted corn - Without removing the husk, back at 400 for 30 minutes. Sprinkle some salt and pepper to taste
  • Lots of little chocolates - an assortment of milk, white and dark


Bear with us here. Yes, we said hard-boiled eggs.

These are such a simple treat that offers health benefits along with packing a lovely flavor.

Grab 6 to 8 large eggs and place them in a saucepan. Cover the eggs completely, going over just an inch, with cold water and bring this to a boil. Once a boil is reached, cover the pan and remove it from the heat.

Let them stand for about 17 minutes before placing them in a bowl of ice water. Let them fully cool before peeling the eggs. Proceed with the recipe for the desired flavor that you want.

Notes: Use eggs that are at least 10 days old for the best results. If there are cracks in the eggshells, this may cause cracking while cooking.


This recipe packs a lot of flavor for something that is relatively easy to make.

How can you make this faster?

Pre-make the sandwiches before you go on your picnic or leave for the lake house. Ingredients prepared beforehand can also help.

Makes 10 sandwiches


  • 2 pounds of chicken
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Olive oil
  • Cheese, to taste
  • Bread, 20 slices
  • Mayonnaise, to taste  

So, let’s get the cooking started.


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Place the chicken in the oven for 45 minutes
  • Let cool

Now it’s time to make the sandwiches.

In a large bowl, dice the chicken and add pepper, brown sugar, and salt. Now, add a generous amount of olive oil to the mixture and stir everything together. Add cheese and mayo as needed and put the sandwiches together.


With elegant finger foods and delicate sandwiches, we are not going to turn down refreshing champagne. That’s right. Champagne.

A trip to the lake house is not complete without a fancy beverage to help you relax.

If you are not interested in anything containing alcohol, that is perfectly fine, too.

A glass of ice cold, fresh squeezed lemonade with a bit of sugar to take away some of the lemon’s tarty bite is marvelous for a bright day overlooking a lake.

And, of course, not much can beat a nice glass of cool water.

Feeling Adventurous?

The great outdoors is teeming with edible food that you can find so long as you know what you are seeking.

So, what are some wild treats that you can find?


Wild leeks, also called ramps, are closely related to leeks and onions and have a delightful garlic-onion flavor.


If you are in an area where ostrich ferns grow, then you might be lucky enough to stumble upon a fiddlehead. These are the young, unopened fronds of fern species. Make sure the ones you find are unfurled as they develop an acidic flavor after they have opened. The best part about fiddleheads? They are likely found along the edges of bodies of water; such as rivers, streams, and, yes, even lakes. Your lake house might secretly be harboring tasty snacks along its water banks.


Wild mushrooms are a flavorful and versatile option. Fresh morels, for example, are very sought after during prime picking season. Make sure that you know what you are looking for with mushrooms since many can have sinister lookalikes.

Wash Your Foraged Treats

Make sure to rinse the dirt off of these edible finds before consuming them or using them in recipes.

More Recipes

Do you want more recipes and tips like those mentioned above?

The Lake House Cookbook written by Trudie Styler and Joseph Sponzo was made for people like us who want an easy meal while living out our dreams at a lake house. This book provides advice on sustainable farming and general countryside/nature living along with earthy and delectable recipes that range from complex to exceedingly easy.

You can’t really go wrong with a book like that.


At the end of the day, you just want to enjoy your time while out at the lake house. Experiencing the surreal beauty of a lakeside sunset is dreamlike and, if you can experience it without the beeping of cooking timers blaring at you, then you have yourself the perfect evening. Take these recipes and explore the stupendous natural world around you while breathing in the fresh lake air.

Don’t let cooking hold your enjoyment back. Take the reins by making these easy meals and treats for you and your guests.