Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tipsaw Lake Camping Trip

Tipsaw Lake Campground - Catbrier Loop
Since the end of camping season is quickly approaching and the cooler air is coming in, we had our final camping trip of the year at Tipsaw Lake in Hoosier National Forest in St Croix, Indiana.  We stayed Friday through Sunday with three friends and our three dogs.  Since we sold our camper in hopes of upgrading and haven't yet done so, Jason and I tent camped for the first time with all three dogs.  They did great!

We stayed in the Catbrier Loop of the Tipsaw Lake campground, one of five loops in the park and the only one with water hookups. (The other two loops are electric only). We stayed at site #005. When we arrived there were two other sites occupied and only one other site occupied by the time we left on Sunday morning so we almost had the entire loop to ourselves, which was surprising given the perfect weather.  We think this must be a hidden gem that a lot of people aren't aware of.

The Catbrier loop was a short hike away from the public beach on the lake where there were also playgrounds, pavilions, bathhouses and a giant sun dial.  Since the beach generally has lifeguards on duty, they close down after Labor Day through Memorial Day for swimming, but you can still go down and walk on the beach and use the other facilities.

There is also a 6+ mile hiking trail that goes around the entire lake. The trails are cleared and provide beautiful views of the lake and the forest. I personally only hiked about 2 miles with a friend because we had two of the dogs with us and I didn't think they would make it through 6+miles of hiking.  So we turned back and our other two friends went along and hiked the entire trail.

Tipsaw Lake Beach

The campground was very nice and peaceful. The sites are very large - we had a camper and two good sized tents plus two trucks and a dog pen set up with plenty of room to spare.  This is probably one of the largest campsites we've ever stayed on. The campground is very quiet - no playground, no traffic noise and no artificial lighting. By nighttime it really did feel like we were out in the middle of the forest!  The sites were level and had electric and water hookups.  There were restrooms located in our loop, however we had to go to a different loop to access a bathhouse.  The bathhouse was very clean and very spacious with large, concrete showers.   This was also the place to go to pick up ice and firewood as the loop host was parked beside the bathhouse and readily available for anything we needed.

I really can't think of any negatives for this campground unless you require full hookups (sewer) or WIFI. We generally require WIFI, but since this campground is fairly close to the interstate we were able to pick up a decent 3G signal with our Verizon plan. However, our friend with AT&T didn't get very good coverage at all.

This is a highly recommended campground, particularly if you are looking for a quiet get-away.

Have a look at all of our photos of our trip to Tipsaw Lake.

Monday, September 29, 2014

No Bake Cheesecake

Photo from http://yourlighterside.com

  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp vanilla
  • 2-4 Tbsp sugar replacement sub (taste as you go)

  1. Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a microwave-safe bowl.

  2. Cook on high heat for 90 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds incorporating all ingredients.

  3. Refrigerate until serving (at least one hour).

Optional: Top with fresh fruit, whipped cream and nut meal.

Makes one, one-cup serving.

Nutritional Information per serving:
Calories: 299, Carbohydrates: 2.5 g, Fiber: 0 g, Net Carbohydrates: 2.5 g, Protein: 11 g, Fat: 27.6 g.

Original recipe from Your Lighter Side

Monday, September 22, 2014

Mock Potato Salad - Low Carb

From Linda's Low Carb Recipes

  • 16 ounce bag frozen cauliflower 
  • 4 hard boiled eggs, chopped 
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped 
  • 3 green onions 
  • 3 tablespoons yellow mustard 
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise 
  • 2 tablespoons dill pickle relish, optional 
  • 1/8 teaspoon celery seed, optional 
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper, or to taste 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste 
  • Pinch dill, optional

  1. Cook the cauliflower until soft, but not mushy; drain well.

  2. Cool, then cut in small pieces.

  3. Mix the mustard with the mayonnaise, then mix all ingredients into the cauliflower.

  4. Chill at least 2 hours.

Makes 6-8 servings
Do not freeze

Per 1/6 recipe: 215 Calories; 19g Fat; 7g Protein; 6g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 4g Net Carbs
Per 1/8 recipe: 161 Calories; 14g Fat; 5g Protein; 5g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 3g Net Carbs

Artichoke Parmesan Dip


  • 1 (13.5 ounces) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed (can use 1 teaspoon jarred, chopped garlic or 2 tsp powdered garlic)
  • Paprika

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

  2. Mix artichoke, mayo, cheese and garlic together in a medium mixing bowl until well blended.

  3. Pour the mixture into a greased, oven-proof casserole, sprinkle a little paprika over the top. Bake for 45 minutes. Serve hot with pepper strips, cucumber rounds, celery sticks, low-carb fiber crackers or pork rinds.
Makes 4 servings each with 3 grams of carbohydrates and 1 gram of fiber for a total of 2 grams usable carbohydrates and 10 grams of protein. (This does not include vegetables or crackers, only the dip itself).

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Vermin Control

I was out in the shed today looking for camping supplies and just poking around minding my own business.  Jason came out to help me and while I was standing right in front of the stack of plywood he quietly said, "Don't move fast, but slowly look up".  At first I though maybe there was a spider hanging from a web in front of me.  So I looked ahead and slowly moved my gaze upwards until I spied the snake.  Lucky for me it's just a harmless rat snake getting a free meal in the shed that is usually overrun with mice.  Had Jason not been there I very well may have grabbed the plywood without paying attention and gotten bit...because it was a snake!  ( Get it...had it been a snake it would have bitten me...hehe. )

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

End of summer succulents... They sure grew a lot!

Wow, these things got huge!  If you recall, during the spring we bought a bunch of small succulents to plant around the house. These particular plants started out about the size of a coaster,or smaller, and are now about the size of a saucer. Some of the others ended up with some really cool colors and growth as well.  We will be bringing all of these guys into the house this winter in hopes that we can put them back out next spring without harming them.  They are so pretty and such low maintenance. It's nice to not have to worry about our plants dying when we leave for camping trips and vacations during the summer.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Dog Prize Pack

This is a prize pack I won from Earthfare here in Louisville.  It was a Twitter win and the dogs highly enjoyed it!  It came with a pineapple rope toy, a set of 3 rawhide donuts, a box of Buddy Biscuits and a bottle of dog shampoo.  Nice for my first online win!