Speckled Hen Inn

farmers market

Dane County Farmer’s Market Insider Tips

The Dane County Farmer’s Market moves outdoors to Capitol Square on April 14th!   At last – spring has sprung and the air is cool, crisp, new life is in bloom, and we are all so happy to be outside again! If you’re a new visitor to Madison, or just new to the Dane County Farmer’s Market, here are some insider tips for you to make your adventure successful (and fun)! 1. Get there early!  It starts at 6:15am and the early bird gets the worm (and sometimes the last of the baked goods!). 2. Get a good parking space in one of  the nearby parking structures and enjoy the walk to the Square. 3. The line (or swarm, depending on when
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Relax and Enjoy the Free Things To Do in Madison

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. If you have never done it, try taking a blanket and
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Madison’s Top 10 Things to do in Fall and Winter

Madison Wisconsin is a lovely place for a spring or summer getaway but don’t forget just how charming this city can be in the cooler, even frigidly cold, months of the year.  Here is a list of the top or first 10 things that the innkeepers at The Speckled Hen Inn recommend to their visiting guests. 1.   The Dane County Farmers Market  The largest producer-only farmers market in the nation is a year-round affair.  In mid-November the market moves indoors to the Monona Terrace Convention Center and then after Christmas you can visit the market at the Mifflin Street Senior Center.  You will be amazed at the bounty of the market while the gardens sleep.  The markets just before Christmas are
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Bacon Wrapped Asparagus Recipe

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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Raspberry Chocolate Muffin Recipe from the kitchen of The Speckled Hen Inn

Raspberry Chocolate Muffin Recipe from the kitchen of The Speckled Hen Inn Raspberry Chocolate Muffins 1 2/3 cup flour 3/4 cup oatmeal 2/3 cup sugar 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1 egg lightly beaten 3/4 cup milk 1/3 cup canola oil 2 Tablespoons orange juice 1 teaspoon vanilla 3/4 cup fresh or frozen raspberries 1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips Combine the first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl.  In another bowl combine the egg, milk, oil, orange juice and vanilla.  Add the chocolate chips and raspberries to the dry ingredients and toss lightly to combine. (If you are using frozen raspberries,do not thaw them). Add the wet ingredients and stir just until all
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Four Sure Cures for Spring Fever in Madison, WI

I have Four Sure Cures for Spring Fever that you can find in Madison, WI.  I’m sure that this is just what you need after a long, rough winter.  It’s time to get out of the house, get a little exercise, and bring a little color back into our lives. Beginning on Saturday, April 19, the Dane County Farmer’s Market will move back onto the Capitol Square.  Go to seek out fresh spring veggies, herbs and bedding plants for your own home and garden or go just to be a part of one of Madison’s greatest traditions. You can also go visit The Allen Centennial Gardens on the UW campus.  The spring bulbs always put on a bright show of
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The End of Another Season

There are only three more Saturday Farmer’s Markets before the market moves indoors for the cooler months.  Now is a great time to stock up on all the great winter squash and pantry staples to see us through the winter months.  My fall shopping list always includes honey and baby rice popcorn even though I know I can buy those in the later months.  This just seems like the right time to stock up and fill the shelves.  It is also the time of year when I feel the need to put together a hearty soup and let it simmer in the slow cooker while I tend to clearing off gardens and composting leaves.  But the project du jour is
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Things To Do In Madison

Folks who live in Madison, WI or who visited before know what a great city it is.  It seems like there is always something to do.  But visitors coming for the first time may not know what to do first so here is the list compiled by our staff at The Speckled Hen Inn.  There are the Top Ten Madison Experiences inside the city.  We will get to that long list of things to do, using Madison as a hub when you explore South Central Wisconsin, later. Take a tour of the Capitol.  Madison is the capital of Wisconsin and the building is truly a treasure.  Do take the tour because the wonderful guides know all those fun stories that bring
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A Foodie Visits Madison

A foodie visits Madison, WI and wants to know our Top Ten Foodie places.    It’s hard to pare the list down to just 10 places and I’ll not even attempt to include places where you could eat.  Here are my picks for the top 10 places for foodies to shop for things to eat, drink, and bless their home kitchens. Dane County Farmer’s Market.  Yes, it is a year-round love affair with all that is fresh and local.  The market is held every Saturday morning.  In the summer months a Wednesday market is added.  In fact, in the summer months there is a farmers market somewhere near Madison every single day of the week. Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier.  Madison’s finest dark
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Start Your Saturday in Madison Right

When my guests at The Speckled Hen Inn ask me what there is to do on Saturday morning in Madison, my automatic response is, “Go to the Farmers Market!”  The Dane County Farmers’ Market is the largest producer-only farmers’ market in the country.  All the items are produced locally by the vendor behind the table.  The market is back on the Capitol Square for the summer months and thousands of locals as well as and tourists and market lovers from far and near flock to the brightly colored vendor stands to fill their shopping baskets with the freshest fruits and veggies imaginable.  You will also find meats, baked goods, specialty food items like honey and pesto, and, of course, lots of Wisconsin
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