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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Garage Sale Scavenger Hunt

I know that it is still january, and we are still a couple months away from the Garage Sale season kick off, but I am excited. I don't know what it is, but I love digging through other peoples crap. Wether its neatly arranged on a table, or on a blanket in the grass along the driveway, I love rummaging. I have a few things I collect, and I like to do some selling of things on Ebay, but mostly I just like meeting people and scavenging.

I think this year I am going to do a couple things. First I am going to try and start putting together a complete 1st edition of Stephen King hardcover books. The older ones will be harder to find, but that will make the search all that more fun. I have a couple other authors I would like to do this with as well. I will also continue to buy old video game stuff, MN sports memorabilia, other books, watches, music memorabilia, Nascar stuff, stuffed animals for the dog, and Sesame Street Characters to pack full of fireworks this 4th of July.

My second thing is that I would like to start a scavenger hunt among all of my friends who like to hit up garage sales as well. I am thinking people will put in a $10 entry fee and they will then be given a list of items they need to track down at Garage Sales. I will open it up so they can go wherever they want, as long as they finish the list. The list will be made of typical garage sale items. Here is what I am thinking of putting on the list so far

- A McDonalds Glass featuring some sort of cartoon character pre 2000 era (1999 and earlier)

- A Pair of Novelty Sunglasses in some sort of neon color

- A Angel or other Christmas tree topper

- A 35 MM Camera

- A T-shirt with a kitten or a fish on it

- Some type of homemade food item (Jam, jelly, rolls ect)

- A themed Beanie Baby (celebrity, Sports, ect)

- A Walking Cane

- A Framed Picture of the Old Man Praying

- A Christmas Record

- Any Madden video game (for any video game system)

Thats what I have so far, but I am not set in stone in any of the ideas. What are some other typical items that are weird that you see at garage sales that I could add to the list. I would like to keep the costs of all these items fairly low. At the end of the day, the first team to finish their list, or the team to get the farthest would be the winners. What do you think?

1st Giveaway In The Books!

I really want to thank everyone who entered my 1st ever giveaway! I love seeing all the new people pop up! A big thanks to my winner Diane! Congrats. I will get that out to you soon! I have a Ipod Shuffle giveaway that I am going to start on Friday, so check back! Thanks again for everything!


Monday, January 30, 2012

Taco Burgers, The Best Burger Ever!

So this weekend was the Chaska Minnesota's Fire Departments Annual Fishing Contest, and as is the trend for the past couple years, I didn't catch anything. I did however win big in a side drawing. I walked away with a brand new Vermont Casting Signature Series Gas Grill. This is a nice grill. it lists for a $1000, but we found them on sale for a average of $800! Not to shabby! it worked out perfect because my plan for yesterday was fix old gas grill! Now I had to decide what I was going to make on my new grill. I went with my favorite burger - Taco Burgers! If you love Tacos and Burgers, check this out. They smell so awesome grilling! Here is what you need to do


Taco Burgers

- 1 lb Burger
- 1/2 Packet of taco seasoning
- Hamburger Buns
- Tortilla Chips crushed - I use the Hint Of Lime
- 1 Egg
- Taco Cheese
- Assorted Taco Toppings

In a large bowl, mix together your hamburger, taco seasoning, egg, and tortilla chips. Mix together all of the stuff and make the patties to the size you want.

Heat your grill to a medium/high heat. Throw your burgers on and cook them to what your preference is. I like my burgers Medium. Make sure you put a chair next to your grill to enjoy how awesome these smell. Right before you pull them off thegrill, sprinkle them with cheese, let it melt. Top your burger with your favorite taco toppings and enjoy.


It is such a easy thing to make, but it is so rockin good! Flame Broiled Tacos are the way to go! Enjoy. Let me know what you think!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Eelpout Festival Facts

I am twitching I am so excited. I got my official Eelpout button yesterday. For $10, I got a chance at winning a Ice Castle custom fishhouse and other prizes, and I am helping to fund future Eelpout Festivals. So, since I can't get it out of my head, I thought I would throw some Eelpout facts out there for ya!

- Started in 1979 as the brainchild of Walker resident Ken Bresley, the Annual International Eelpout Festival began as a way to try and lure visitors up to Leech Lake during the winter months.

- There was 700 people at the first Eelpout Festival

- The original cost of a button was $3 (now $10)

- Unique Events that happen - Events such as Ice Drilling, Eelpout On-Ice Auto Race, Polar Plunge, Sled Dog Rides.

- The International Eelpout Festival brings more than 10,000 people to Walker every year

- Leech Lake is MN's 3rd Largest Lake

- It has gotten so big, it is now sponsored by brands like Coors Light, Mike's Hard Lemonade, Ice Castle Fish Houses, Red Bull, Northern Lights Casino, Aqua Vu and more

I will try and dig up some more facts the closer we get to the big day. Theres still time to book a flight or find a cabij in the area. You don't want to miss out!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Cupcakes

Let me start with this quick comment "WORST IDEA EVER"! I love Buffalo Chicken, I love cupcakes, and I love trying new things, so when this buzz started on the web about these Buffalo Chicken cupcakes started, I had to make them. They didn't seem to difficult, and sounded interesting enough. The only thing I didn't like was all the Blue Cheese required to make this. I am not a Blue Cheese fan.

I tweaked a few things on this recipe. First off, just in case you are curious to try it, here is the original recipe.
Buffalo Chicken Cupcake Recipe

Yield: 10 cupcakes


For the cake:
1/2 cup hot sauce (I recommend a hot sauce that is typically used for Buffalo chicken. Frank's is the classic choice. I used Bella's Medium Wing Sauce.)
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sour cream
1 egg
1 cup flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
For the blue cheese buttercream frosting:
2 ounces crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar

To make the cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a medium-sized saucepan on medium-high heat, heat hot sauce and butter until butter is melted.
Add the blue cheese and mix periodically until blue cheese is melted.
Remove from heat and mix in the sugar.
In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream and egg.
Once the hot sauce mixture is cool enough to touch, mix the sour cream mixture into the hot sauce mixture.
In another small bowl, mix together the flour and baking soda.
Fold the flour mixture into the hot sauce mixture.
Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.
Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
To make the blue cheese buttercream frosting:
Mix blue cheese on high speed until smooth.
Add the unsalted butter and mix on high speed until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).
Slowly mix in the powdered sugar until fully combined.
Pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes.


I used Blue Cheese in the batter mix, and I followed all those ingredients and steps to a T. When it came to the frosting, I substituted Cheddar Cheese for Blue Cheese. I thought about Ranch, but then thought that the frosting would be to runny. Also, instead of using a chicken wing on the top, I got some Tyson pre cooked chicken chunks and tossed them in Franks Red Hot and topped the cupcakes each with a few pieces.

I took a bite and almost instantly regretted the trip I made to the grocery store to buy the stuff to make these. It was way to sweet (the cupcake) and the Buffalo sauce did not mix well. I didn't have any complaints about the frosting except for the fact that it was a little to thick. I barely finished one bite!

If you try it, I would recommend finding a substitute for the brown sugar. I didn't mind the Cheddar Cheese in the frosting, but I think I would try mixing in a pack of Powdered Ranch Dressing instead of the cheese. Good luck, and if you make them, let me know what you think.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Walgreens, My New Favorite Place

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Walgreens for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I will be honest, I never really shopped at Walgreens up to about a year and a half ago.  I had a bunch of friends who worked there, even one who manages his own store, but I just never shopped there.  I lived in a small town and we didn't have a Walgreens and the nearest one was about 15 miles away.  Not to far, but I passes other drug style stores on the way so it was hard to commit to driving all the way there.


Now that a Walgreens has opened up in my home town, I have done a complete 360.  I find it hard to go other places now!  I buy all my every day need items there now, and I get all prescriptions filled there.  I am also pleasantly surprised with the wide selection of holiday items they carry.  If you don't shop there, give Walgreens a chance!


Walgreens is offering a special discount on annual membership for its Prescription Savings Club:


Prescription Savings Club at Walgreens

For $10 a year, a family membership covers everyone in your immediate family, including a spouse, dependents 22 and younger and pets.  Individuals may join for $5.  Join and receive discount prices on your prescriptions.


Other benefits include:

-Savings on more than 8,000 brand-name and all generic medications

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Support Walgreens and stay updated by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter @Walgreens.  


Walgreens on Twitter


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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Eelpout Festival! My Favorite Time Of Year!!

Well, its almost that time of year! The International Eelpout Festival is almost upon us. For those of you who don't know what A) a Eelpout is, or B) what Eelpout Festival is, let me fill you in. The eelpout is a fresh water fish that closely resembles a Eel. They are very slimy, and anyone who has caught a big one will tell you that they will wrap around your arm if you give them the chance. Super gross fish. Eelpout Festival is a magical celebration that celebrates this super gross fish. It is held in Walker MN on Leech Lake. Leech is one of MN biggest lakes. Eelpout Festival has grown in popularity so much that even Jay Leno did a segment from Eelpout Festival last year. You can find more info about Eelpout Festival here and they also have the Late show clips on the homepage

This will be my eighth year attending and I don't ever want to miss it. It started out on a whim. While we were at a friends cabin fishing only about a hour away, we decided to grab our gear and head over and try and catch us some Pout. Once we got there and saw what was happening, we quickly realized that our fishing gear would do us no good. One problem, my lonely case of beer was not going to be enough for the day.

The first thing we witnessed was the Polar Plunge. A giant hole cut into the lake, where people throw on some crazy outfits and jump in the freezing water for a chance to raise some cash for charity. There was also, helicopter rides, a rugby game happening on the lake, a ice fishing bikini show, lots of vendors selling Winter gear, and the official Eelpout weigh center. Once we saw the mild stuff, it was time to see where everyone else was going.

We headed onto the lake and around the point and the first thing we saw on the ice was a 30 foot tall inflatable Gorrilla. I knew it was going to be a good day. Everything is set up similar to Vegas is the best way to describe it. There is a giant road on the ice, and on each side are themed encampments. These encampments are usually around 30' x 30' big and inside they have dance floors, fully stocked bars, couches, beer pong tables, flip cup tables, hot tubs, you name. All you do is walk up and down the row and go encampment to encampment to party.

There really is no way to accurately describe Eelpout festival besides some of the most fun you could ever have on a frozen lake! Everyone we have ever brought has loved it and come back with us. I think our group was around 30 people last year! Maybe we will make our own encampment next year! Check It Out!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Resident Evil 6 Official Trailer US

Resident Evil 6!! Possible Announcement

I have been a fan of the Resident Evil series ever since the mansion outside of Raccoon City. Fighting crazed dogs, lickers, zombies and Wesker on a original Playstation being scared every time I heard a creak. Now granted, the games are nearly nowhere as terrifying as they started out being, and they have even gotten away from the traditional Zombie aspect, but the games have proven to entertain me. I played Resident Evil 4 at least 5 times and we beat RE5 close to 10 times. Great games.

It has been about 3 years since RE5 and now, there are rumors that there will be a announcement today about Resident Evil 6. There is a big Viral marketing campaign going on right now that keeps pointing to a website called No Hope Left that shows pictures of desolate destroyed areas with kind of a inverted Biohazard emblem spray painted on walls next to the words "No Hope Left". The date on all these pictures state 1/19/12. Lets hope there is a awesome announcement today! I am ready to get back to not being able to play video games in the dark!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Red Bull Crashed Ice in St Paul MN

This past weekend in St Paul Minnesota, Red Bull decided to feature its new extreme sport they are trying make popular here in the states. Its called Crashed Ice. It's basically a steep luge track that instead of going down in a cart, competitors race down on ice skates and basic hockey pads. Down this nearly 5 story drop track, there is jumps, hair pin turns, moguls, and screaming fans. Speeds reached are near 40 mph.

I guess the origin of the sport goes back to Austria, when a local drunk snuck on to the local Luge track and skated down it. The rest is history. It is still trying to gain some popularity as there is only 3 more red Bull events for this around the world this year, and I believe there is only 2 permanent tracks in the World.

The event itself was cool. The track was sweet, and we got there super early, so we got a prime spot towards the finish line right on the wall. The down sides, no free red Bull. You would be sure that a event they were sponsoring, there would of been some free Red Bull. 93x had a "Crash Zone" set up that was no where near a good view (or any) of the track, and they wanted $15 to get in and have the privilege of buying a beer and watching the event on a big screen. Lame. Another down side was the lagging in action at times. When they only send down 4 people at a time, sometimes 2 people would finish, and then you are just waiting for the rest. They should send down at least 8 people pre heat.

Overall, I am very happy to say that I can check that event of my to do list. The Red Bull events all ways seem to be pretty awesome. If you want to look at more photos I shot that day, check out my photography blog Capturing Minnesota

Thursday, January 12, 2012

This Weird Winter

So, the temp today is 0, -8 with the windchill. Just 38 hours ago, it was 52 degrees. In a Minnesota Winter where anything can happen, a 60 degree turnaround in 2 days is just another one of those odd quirks we are finding this Winter. Along with the crazy temp, we are still snowless. At the almost middle of January, it makes me a little worried. A few years ago, our first snowfall was on my birthday (Jan 21st).

This bad Winter makes me worry for a bunch of things. Eelpout Festival which is only a month away. A giant party held on the ice. Last year no cars could drive on the lake because of ice conditions. This year may be no different. I am worried about all the fishing contests coming up. A lot of these non profit organizations really rely on these in order to support their causes. Further out, I am worried for the farmers. No snow could equal a severe drought this Spring. Lakes and Rivers will be down majorly, poor fishing, poor Summer recreation. Come on Winter, lets get going!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Beer Ball - My New Favorite Game

So at the bar this weekend, a friend introduced me to a new game that I have never seen before. Its called Beer Ball. It is exactly like Skee Ball, but instead of racking up point tickets to by some cheap stuffed animal or RC car, you can win free beer, pizzas, or even a flat screen TV. For a $1 try, you get 9 balls. 400 points gets you a free beer, 500 gets you a pizza, and if you get a perfect 900, you get a 40" LCD TV. It helped that my friend was already pretty good at the game, and the fact that they had it set to a cheaper setting than a dollar. We got 4 tries per dollar. By the end of the night, we had 30 free drinks (we were drinking tall taps) and 8 pizzas. It was awesome. We couldn't find enough people to give free stuff to. Next time your at the bar, check it out. If your good at those types of games, you could have a cheap night out!

Friday, January 6, 2012

The #1 Tip For Sealing Your Home For Winter

When prepping for the Winter chill, you always want to keep your home protected. You want to keep your family warm and you want to keep your heat bill down, but if you have a big home, it is a long and pain staking process to plastic seal all of your windows and unused doors. Is there a better solution you may ask yourself, I am here to tell you I may have seen the most genius thing ever. Instead of wrapping the windows, why not wrap the entire house in plastic, and then just cut out a door! These people are innovators!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Minnesota Snow Storm

I just got off the phone with a friend living in northern Minnesota near the Canadian border. He said that since early this morning the snow is nearly waist high and is still falling. The temperature is dropping and is at about 15 degrees and the North wind is increasing to near gale force. His wife has done nothing but look through the kitchen window and just stare. He says that if it gets much worse, he may have to let her in …


Grilled Tilapia

One of the hardest things to grill I think is fish, and I always love the chance to take on the challenge. Last night I headed up to one of my favorite seafood stores, Costal Seafood. If you have never been there, and you are a fan of fish and seafood, check it out. There is 2 locations in Minnesota. Minneapolis and St Paul. The St Paul location is in a way less bad neighborhood! Here is a link if you want some more info.

So, I got my Tilapia fillets and I am all excited to do some grilling tonight. Here is the recipe I am going to use

6 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets
6 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for brushing
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
6 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon hot sauce, to taste
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Place the fish in a large nonmetal dish. Whisk together the 6 tablespoons oil, the orange zest, orange juice, ginger, hot sauce, salt, and pepper, to taste; pour over the fish. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 to 60 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare grill. Brush the fish with additional oil. Grill until fish just flakes when tested with a fork, about 5 minutes per side for each inch of thickness.

The fish will only cook about 10 minutes. It is a very quick thing to grill. I love to crank the heat up a little hotter on the grill for the first minute or so. I put the filet down, and after about 30 seconds, I rotate the fillet 45 degrees so I get the seared criss cross pattern on the fish. Then I turn the heat back down to a little bit lower setting. I love fish on the grill.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Sony NEX5 Camera

For the longest time, I have wanted to get a new camera. Ever since I quit smoking 3 years ago, I have spent that smoke money on new camera. I have finally evolved into a pretty sweet camera. I upgraded from my Canon to the new Sony NEX 5. This camera is rockin. I by no means am a professional photographer, or am I even the biggest wiz with gadgets, but the more and more I play with the camera, the more I learn. It has some pretty awesome features that I specifically bought it for, but I am learning about features I never knew I wanted.

One of my biggest gripes about digital cameras is the screen is impossible to see or view anything if you are outdoors in the sun. I take a bunch of Winter shots outdoors, and the it is overly bright during that time of year. With the Sony, there is a 3" screen that pivots so I should be able to angle it any direction to get rid of that glare.

With my last 2 cameras, the Sony Cybershot and Canon), it couldn't do a feature that my first Kodak digital camera could do. That is the Panoramic picture. I missed that so much! I love taking Panoramic's. With the Kodak, I had to take 3 pictures, and then the camera spent 5 minutes stitching the images together. With the NEX, I just have to select the Panoramic option, hold down the Shutter button and sweep the camera across the landscape. It even shoots 3D Panoramic pictures.

I love Youtube. I love taking videos. Along with wanting a cool SLR digital camera, I needed to have a something that took high quality video. This camera shoots in 1080i quality. Another awesome feature is that I can jump right into taking a video by clicking a button, and I can be back to taking photos with another click. Before it was a matter of switching modes, a pain. The ability to zoom in and zoom out while taking a video is also awesome. The microphone is located right next to the record button, so I spent a bunch of time blocking the sound unknowingly with my finger. Only down fall so far.

The night time settings are sweet. They can really bring out the current light and make the pictures crisper. I am excited to take a bunch of night time shots.

Those are some of my favorite features so far. As I learn more, I will talk more. I can't wait to see all the shots I will get.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Resolution Day 3 Update!

So my charge towards drinking 1 beer every day for the next year resolution is so far as enjoyable as I had hoped it would be. Tonight will mark me trying my 3rd different beer of the year. Granted I have had them before, but the point was to just drink at least 40 different beers, not 40 new types of beer. I love this resolution, and I can't wait to see what the rest of the year has in store for me!

1. Coors Light
2. Mich Golden
3. Blue Moon

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all my friends. May 2012 bring everything you need and want!

Halloween 2011

Halloween 2011
Pumpkin Carving