What’s a Mangy Moose

Mangy Moose LogoBreakfast At The Mangy Moose

Mangy Moose

The Mangy Moose is casual dining at its finest. Grab a booth, mosey up to the counter and place your order. The staff will bring it out when its ready.  I ordered the French toast. The portion was huge!French Toast At the Mangy Moose It didn’t cost an arm and a leg either! Service was quick. I was happy for that because I was late for my Gaperguide appointment.

 

I’m Late, I’m Late, for a very important date!

Gaperguide

I found Gaperguide online when I was planning my trip. It’s kind of a backward GPS. Instead of  you getting directions to something it tells you what you are seeing when  you get there. It’s perfect for Grand Teton and Yellowstone. It’s definitely a step up from those DVD/tape road trips where you have to stick to their route or it doesn’t match. I figured it was worth a try. I was about an hour late getting to the store but the owner was waiting for me with his dog Indy.

Along with the electronic gadget I got a map of the area. It was pretty clear that the GPS I had rented would not be needed.  There are only a few roads in the area so you really can’t get lost. With my new electronic BFF I would always know where I was.  I couldn’t wait to try it out but with the storm increasing I put my exploring on hold. Instead I continued  to the airport  where I returned my GPS.  They were very gracious about it. They probably knew it was stupid to rent it to me anyway.

Storm on the way to the airport

I’ll tell you more about the Gaperguide when I start exploring. I kept the unit for 3 days. By that time I was pretty familiar with Grand Teton National Park and the Lower Loop of Yellowstone. Once I turned it in the car felt empty. I missed my electronic companion with all its tips, stories and details. I would rent it again and highly recommend it to anyone exploring the area.

 

Airport Cowboy

So This is Wyoming

Day One Wyoming

Wyoming has certainly made a good first impression. I’ve arrived and settled in. Believe it or not that sandwich at Dornan’s was a long time ago. With no restaurant on premises it was time to figure out dinner. Time to test the concierge. I guess my question was easy. They had no hesitation recommending a nearby restaurant, Spurs. Located in Teton Mountain Lodge, next door, it was an easy walk, even for gimpy old me.

Beef, it’s what’s for DinnerSteak

I asked about a dress code and was assured it was “Resort Casual” and that I looked fine. A hostess greeted me immediately. There’s no waiting line in the “off season”. The menu was not extensive but it was varied. It was also on the pricey side, of course this is a high end resort. I don’t remember the day’s special. I only remember it was $51.00. Not quite ready to try elk meat I selected the SRF American Kobe Butcher Steak. I know what KOBE is but I had to ask about SRF. That stands for Snake River Farm, a local cattle ranch. I ordered rare but what I received was a strange looking lump of meat with an onion reduction. I cautiously took a taste. It was “like butta”. It melted. This was the most tender, flavorful steak I had ever eaten. 

Ruffed GrouseWhy Aren’t you Sleeping?

 It was a good thing I was walking after that meal. I startled a bird of some kind. It didn’t want to fly. It just ran ahead of me. I got a pretty good look. It reminded me of a chunky roadrunner with short legs. I made a guess that it was some kind of grouse. I later confirmed this with some of the locals. They said it sounded like a “Ruffed Grouse”. Doing a little internet search resulted in a picture. It sure looks like the same bird. I’m not sure why it was still awake after dark. Maybe it had a “big night out”?

 

Wy-O-Wy-O-Wyoming

Where do I start with Wyoming?

Wyoming is such an amazing place! At least the Jackson Hole area. I don’t even know where to start. Maybe we should start at the beginning, when I landed in Jackson Hole. The Jackson Hole airport is small but beautifully appointed. There is western art everywhere. I collected my luggage at baggage claim and made a bee line for the rent- a- car desk. Since this trip is on a budget I had reserved an economy car instead of an SUV. I would have been an easy up-sell if the agent had tried. I wasn’t sure a little economy car was appropriate for the mountains. They gave me a Toyota and a GPS device.

First order of business- LUNCH!

Tepee

The car rental clerk told me if I wanted to have a nice but quick lunch to head to Moose. Its just 5 miles away. I had to take a left out of the airport and look for the tepee. I wasn’t sure what he meant by that but I figured I’d soon find out. The road I was on was well maintained and sure enough there was a sign for Moose. I didn’t think it had been 5 miles and I didn’t see a tepee so I drove on by. Big OOPS. A couple of miles more and I turned around and came back. That’s when I spotted the tepee. You have to actually turn in toward Moose. That’s when you see the sign for Dornan’s.

Restaurant, Groceries and WineTeton Mountains

I think Dornan’s is Moose. Maybe I exaggerate a little. The little group of shops that make up Dornan’s does have a restaurant. It also has a grocery store ( small), fuel pumps, a liquor and wine shop among other things. I availed myself of the restaurant. The main fare is Italian so I indulged in a hot meatball sub. Pretty tasty. Service was casual but nice. The restaurant is small but very busy. And the views are magnificent! If we didn’t have 70-75 mile an hour winds I’d have eaten outside on the deck.

Time to find the Resort

With a decent meal under my belt it was time to locate my resort. The rent-a-car clerk said many of the roads were closed so the GPS wouldn’t help. ( Funny, how he didn’t mind renting me one) I had directions and after he read them he said they should work so off I went. I’m kind of glad for the early flight now. I’ll have daylight to get lost in instead 0f the dark.

 

It’s Baking Season in New England

It’s Baking Time

Fall is the time for baking in my house. Summer time is for grilling. Outdoor cooking keeps the house cool while the aroma of charcoal and grilling meat drift on the breeze. With cooler days and evenings its time to get the oven going. Homemade breads, muffins and cakes begin to appear. Fresh apples and cranberries lie in wait on the counter.

Apple MuffinsApples

The cranberries haven’t quite hit the store shelves yet. They will be here any day now but apples are beginning to come in season. As I considered my options I thought Apple Muffins might be a good breakfast choice. I’ve never made apple muffins but I didn’t see any reason why they wouldn’t be just as good as blueberry or cranberry. With that in mind I began an internet search for a good day to day recipe. I found a promising one at Allrecipes.com 

Granny smith apples

Time to Refresh the Pantry

I made a quick trip to the store for flour, baking powder and apples. I had everything else on hand but I wanted to be sure the flour and baking powder were fresh. For apples I selected Granny Smith. I wanted Macintosh as that’s just what I always think of for baking but like the cranberries, there weren’t any on the shelves.

Breaking in a new Recipe

I’ve never tries a new recipe that didn’t need a little tweaking but this one looked pretty straight forward.

Easy Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Easy Apple Cinnamon Muffins

  • Prep 20 m

  • Cook 25 m

  • Ready In 45 m

Recipe By:Mindy
“A really easy apple cinnamon muffin recipe.”

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 apples – peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease six muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.
  2. Stir together 1 1/2 cup flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt, baking powder and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Mix in oil, egg and milk. Fold in apples. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling to the top of the cup.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, butter and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix together with fork and sprinkle over unbaked muffins.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

The Results

Yummy, but next time I will use the jumbo baking tins and only fill 3/4 of the way. I’ll add the strudel topping to top it off. My regular sized tin was overflowing even with 8 muffin cups instead of 6 and I had to trim the strudel topping to get the muffins out. I found it easiest to eat them with a fork. But sooooo good! These are going to be very popular around here.

 

The Road Less Traveled

I picked the road less traveled

To paraphrase Robert Frost I took the road less traveled. Heading back home from New York I made a quick decision to take an alternate route. Traffic on the Mass Pike has been horrendous the last few trips so even if the route is longer I’ll probably make better time. At least it will be more interesting than the car bumper in front of me.

Sometimes Slow is Better

With no time deadline I headed toward Vermont on Route 4. I planned to stop at Quechee Gorge for lunch. There’s snack bar and a gift shop as well as the gorge. If you are in a hurry or just don’t want to walk far you can look down into the gorge from the bridge. But, if you feel ambitious, the view is better from the bottom. There is a well maintained trail that takes your down to the river. The gorge is 165 ft deep and the deepest gorge in Vermont.

Quechee Gorge

Woodstock Vt covered bridgeI found a covered Bridge

When you figure that there are over 100 authentic covered bridges in Vermont I shouldn’t be surprised that I found one. Actually I found 3 along my chosen path. The first was just outside Woodstock Vermont. No relation to the famous Woodstock Music festival of 1969. That was a farm in NY. I’ll call this covered bridge #1 because it didn’t have an ID name or number.

Covered Bridge #2Taftsville Covered Bridge

I’ve passed the 2nd bridge many times. I just never stopped to look. This one has a marker identifying it as Taftsville Covered bridge. This is one of the oldest covered bridges in Vermont and the nation as a whole. It’s only one lane so you have to wait your turn to cross. It was a a busy place. Lots of people with cameras and lots of cars lined up.

 

The Covered Bridge in Quechee

Quechee Covered Bridge

The surprise bridge was one in Quechee just before you get to the Gorge. OnStar told me to leave Route 4. I thought it might be taking me to a different section of the gorge so I went along. Almost as soon as I made the turn I spotted the bridge. Kids (teens) were climbing on the railings to jump into the river. Ugh! Scary drop! Lots of rocks! I guess I’m getting old because I’d never try that jump.

Quechee Swimming Hole

 

I turned around and headed back out to Route 4. The Quechee Gorge Snack Bar was calling my name.

Lunch

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.