Speckled Hen Inn

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Perfect Spots for Romantic Sunset Views in Madison

Sunset over Lake Mendota in Madison, WI

Sunset Viewing in Madison Lately, as I walk through the neighborhood on any given evening, there are several times I have to take in a deep breath and take in the aroma of a grill prepping for dinner. Finally, after days of torture, I put together the fixings for shish kabobs and grilled asparagus. I even happened to have some fresh cut rhubarb available and used it to put together a tasty treat for dessert. It was well worth the wait. After dinner, concluding that we really would enjoy ice cream as a companion to our dessert, we headed out for the errand. To make it more worthwhile, we decided that it would be a beautiful night to watch the
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Bacon Wrapped Asparagus Recipe

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How many Wisconsin specialties can you list? Artisanal cheeses, craft beer, the Packers, our beautiful, great outdoors. There’s a lot to be proud of. One thing that likely does not come to mind is asparagus. Is it really a Wisconsin delicacy? Well, maybe not to everyone, but it is delicious and Wisconsin does grow some of the most tender and flavorful asparagus.  The Bacon Wrapped Asparagus recipe that follows is proof that you can even enjoy Asparagus for breakfast.   Being able to grow an asparagus patch takes patience, the perfect soil conditions and, because it can take two to three years to establish and produce a crop, it requires even more patience. Even though it can grow in most
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Good Advice for Runners

Good Advice for Runners

Now that we’ve emerged from the winter dungeons of treadmills we thought that it might be a good time to pass along some good advice for runners in the Madison, WI area. Running safety is a serious concern and shouldn’t be taken lightly. That means bringing out the bright running gear to ensure attentive drivers can see us. Regularly changing up your running route, facing oncoming traffic, and running without headphones are other simple measures a runner can take to ensure safety. There have been many tragedies for runners and bikers over the years and the Maureen Mengelt 5k Memorial Day run in Sun Prairie is just one of many that honor fallen athletes from our area. There is still time
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Great Cheese Shops in Madison WI

Great Cheese Shops in Madison WI

Read this to find useful information about some great Cheese Shops in Madison WI. Ask anyone around the country (and possibly other areas of the world) and they’ll tell you that Wisconsin is known for the Packers, cheese and chilly winters…and maybe beer. Likely, in that order. Growing up in Wisconsin, the love of cheese seems to be an integral part of our DNA although I didn’t realize the intensity of this desire for quality cheese until I lived outside of the state for a few years. On my visits home, I would purchase cheese en masse from cheese factories, package it, freeze it and ration the precious contents until I could once again return to replenish the supply. I
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Relax and Enjoy the Free Things To Do in Madison

View of Downtown Madison from Lake Monona

Whether you are enjoying a visit with us at the Speckled Hen Inn  and are here for a short while or live in Madison with unlimited time to seek out new adventures, the free and simple riches Madison holds can easily be forgotten. I fell in love with this great city and its people was by observing and absorbing the great sense of community that Madison is, all while relaxing in its midst.  So here are some suggestions that will encourage you to relax and enjoy the free things to do in Madison, WI.   On any sunny day the activities around the Capital Square make for great people watching. There have been many days that I’ve taken a blanket and
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Planning the Garden

flower garden

It is easy to find information on planting a garden but we think that planning the garden is just as important.  Only a good plan, well executed and blessed by Mother nature can assure the best results. Days like today are perfect for working outdoors: when the sun is shining yet there is a good breeze to keep you cool. The April rains have been preparing the soil to be easily cultivated yet full of moisture to help the plants quickly adapt to their new environment. We’ve also been working hard cleaning up the property and preparing our flower and vegetable gardens for planting. Although most of your gardening choices will be determined by the space you have available through
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Making Homemade Maple Syrup

Making Homemade Maple Syrup

A specialty of the Speckled Hen Inn Bed and Breakfast is our breakfast feasts. We always provide our guests with fresh eggs from our chicken coop, seasonal fruits or vegetables from the property, homemade pastries and Bob’s specialty; thick-cut bacon fried and topped with our homemade maple syrup. Many locals will travel around the state to find excellent maple syrup but we are fortunate to have acreage populated with Silver Maple trees growing along the creek, the required equipment and the personal motivation spurred by a passion for quality. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, tis the season of maple syrup making in these parts.   Given the name, maple syrup, it is usually assumed that the product can only be made from sap
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We Still Love our Madison Bookstores

The Gazebo at The Speckled Hen Inn

As technology becomes more ingrained in our daily life, there are other aspects that get shoved to the wayside. Once upon a time, seemingly forever ago, we had conversations with people verbally, our children were taught with the simple tools of a pen and pencil and we once read stories written in ink, on paper in a bound version of a book. And to get those books we frequented Madison bookstores and libraries. But, we don’t visit bookstores and libraries anymore because our iPhones and tablets have made it so much more convenient to get all of the books we love without ever having to leave the comfort of our couch and blanket. What a difference a decade has brought
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Favorite Ethnic Restaurants in Madison WI

Spring Rolls are a favorite of guests at The Speckled Hen Inn

  We want to share with you a bit of information about a couple of our favorite ethnic restaurants in Madison, WI. Many guests here at the Speckled Hen Inn ask for recommendations on local restaurants especially seeking those that are ambassadors for the unique flair of Madison. I find it intriguing how much of our behavior depends on the weather and the timing of the rise and setting of the sun. Often we feel sluggish during the deepest days of winter and our spirits and activities liven with the first signs of spring. There is something about those spring signs that signal my brain to get off the couch and try something I’ve never tried before. Growing up in a
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Find what is real and important in life.

Promise of Spring

Every now and then I need to be grounded, to find what is real and important in life. In a time of controversy and divergence, it is easy to view the world as a conflicted web of despair especially if, like me, you view a daily news source. Being inundated with details of humanities worst offenders is taxing on us mentally, physically and emotionally. I want to be a positive influence in the world, but sometimes, it seems impossible. As an individual, I don’t know how to combat the root causes of poverty. I wish I had the answer to drug use and overdose. And I certainly can’t provide enough love for every child or animal in an abusive situation.
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