The Family Cabin

Presented by author/architect Dale Mulfinger

“It’s not that families simply want a cabin.  Families need a cabin to bring balance into their lives, to recharge those rundown batteries, to cleanse their souls, to reconnect to nature…”  (anonymous cabin owner.) 

Architect, author and “Cabinologist” Dale Mulfinger has been designing and writing about cabins for more than 20 years and is widely acknowledged as the foremost expert on cabins in North America.

His new book, The Family Cabin, is a collection of fascinating cabin stories from 37 unique second homes across America.

Mulfinger’s practical wisdom for the getaway structures we cherish is a joy to listen to, whether your family already owns a cabin or dreams of owning one soon.

He will be rekindling his love for everything cabin in a special presentation each day on the Cabin Living Stage at the Lake Home & Cabin Show.  Don’t miss your opportunity to share your own cabin stories with Dale and to pick up a signed copy of his new book.

Dale Mulfinger was born and raised on a dairy farm in Minnesota, and the rural landscape and vernacular architecture have informed his many designs. After graduating from the University of Minnesota, he worked nationally and internationally before becoming a Founding Partner in 1983 of what is now SALA Architects, Inc. The breadth of his work at SALA includes modest remodels and additions, lakeside cabins, along with urban and rural homes from St. Paul to Buenos Aires.


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Pasta Made Perfect

Presented by Chef Patrick Moore, the “Getaway Gourmet”

If you think great pasta comes from a cardboard box filled with macaroni and a foil pouch of orange powder…think again.  The easy meal many of us grew up with is going to get a big overhaul at this year’s Lake Home & Cabin Show!


Chef Patrick Moore, the show’s very own “Getaway Gourmet” from Brule, Wisconsin is bringing three of his famous pasta recipes to the cooking stage this year!   As always, his unique cooking presentations combine great award winning flavors with his own belief that cooking at the cabin can be a wonderful experience that doesn’t have to take all day.

“You came to the cabin to relax with family and friends,”  Chef Patrick said, “I’m going to teach you how to make memorable meals and still leave time for play.”


This year’s “Pasta Made Perfect” recipes include; Rigatoni Bolognese, Roasted Pepper Chicken with Pesto Tortellini and Shrimp & Garlic Butter Sauce with Angel Hair Pasta.





Free recipe cards and “Pasta Made Perfect” samples will be served!  Cooking demonstrations will be presented a number of times each day at the shows




The “Getaway Gourmet Cooking Stage” was created and built by

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“Pollinators Live!” with Rob Mies

Presented by conservation biologist Rob Mies

Why are pollinators important?  Without the actions of pollinators agricultural economies, our food supply and surrounding landscapes would collapse!  Birds, bats, bees, butterflies, beetles and other small mammals that pollinate plants are responsible for bringing us one out of every three bites of food we eat.  Between 75 to 95 percent of all flowering plants on our planet need help with pollination.

Pollinators also support healthy ecosystems that clean the air, stabilize soils, protect from severe weather and support other wildlife.  Unfortunately, many key pollinator populations are in decline.  This decline is attributed most severely to a loss in feeding and nesting habitats, pollution, the overuse of herbicides and pesticides, disease and changes in climatic patterns.

What can responsible home and cabin owners do about this?  Plenty!  According to Rob Mies, founder of the Organization for Bat Conservation and a member of the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC), the first step always includes awareness and education.

Mies will be speaking on pollinators at the 2018 Lake Home & Cabin Shows and will teach attendees how to identify the most common pollinators around their lake homes, cabins and urban residences.  He will also discuss the best ways to attract native pollinators by planting wildflower gardens and providing roosting and nesting homes for these important animals.

Don’t miss the interactive and educational  “Pollinators Live” presentations on the Cabin Living Stage with Rob Mies at each show.

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Eight Steps to Buying a Lakeshore Home

Is it time for a home away from home? Buying a lakeshore home has different considerations than a primary residence. Here are insights you can use as you consider purchasing waterfront property in Minnesota or western Wisconsin.


1. List your requirements

First, make a list of everything you want from your lakeshore home experience. Are you hoping to have a ski boat, or to spend your days fishing or kayaking? Do you want to be able to eat at waterfront restaurants you can travel to by boat? Do you want neighbors close by or something more remote? Start researching different areas to see what they offer, down to the types of fish in each lake.

In addition to listing your preferred lakeshore home features, start ranking what’s most important to you. Whether you’re most excited about having a home large enough for visitors or living on a chain of lakes so you can spend all day on the water, ranking your criteria will help you narrow down your options.

2. Hire a trusted REALTOR®

Once you’ve narrowed down your preferred area, find a REALTOR you trust and who understands your buying goals. Your agent will be a trusted guide who can provide insights on the quality of the lake lot, elevation, lakeshore and the right types of lake and lake home or cabin. In an ideal world, the perfect waterfront property will already be listed, but it’s possible that your agent will have to help you over the course of a few months or longer to find the perfect lakeshore home for your needs.

3. Tour waterfront properties in person

While it may seem like you can get a good idea of a home online, it’s especially important to see waterfront properties in person. Everything from the lake size to the home’s natural light to the shoreline and elevation to the lake is important to consider when buying a lake home — and almost impossible to gauge from even the most beautiful listing photos. Work with your REALTOR to block off a day or weekend to tour several lakeshore homes in your preferred area.

Remember to go back to your ranked list as you narrow down your choices. Lakeshore homes, like any segment of the market, come in varying sizes and conditions. A buyer with an eye on a particular lake may want to overlook the updates required on a fixer-upper; conversely, a retiree may focus more on finding a perfect long-term home in good condition than one on a certain body of water.

4. Apply for a mortgage loan

If you’ll need financing for your lake home, work with your REALTOR to get in touch with a mortgage loan officer who can walk you through your options. If this is will be your second mortgage, read these tips on securing a loan for a vacation home.

5. Factor in outside costs

Your real estate agent and mortgage loan officer can also help you factor in the costs of owning a lakeshore home, especially if this will be a secondary residence. Non-mortgage related costs include utilities, any homeowner’s association fees, repairs and winterizing services. By planning for these expenses in advance, you’ll ensure that your first year of memories as a lakeshore homeowner will be marked by coffee on the deck and sunset cruises to end the day instead of emergency repair calls.

6. Start the duplications process

Once your offer has been accepted, it’s time to start planning for the future. If your lakeshore home will be a second property, you’ll need to buy duplicates of many home items including furniture, bedding, kitchen and bath towels, table settings, small kitchen appliances, cookware, cooking utensils and flatware. To keep costs down, pay attention to flash sales and visit estate sales or garage sales of other waterfront properties.

Keep in mind that in some cases, lakeshore home sellers are willing to include furniture, décor and even their kitchen and dining items with the sale. This is especially common if the seller isn’t planning to purchase another waterfront home. Talk with your agent to determine if this is common in your local marketplace, and how you can incorporate this agreement into the terms of your contract.

7. Join the lake association

Many lakes, oftentimes depending on where they are located, have community meetings or neighborhood groups that discuss upkeep, water trends and testing and residential and commercial growth of the area. Not only will you learn more about the kind of community you’ll be moving into, you’ll also meet neighbors and new friends you can invite for happy hour or brunch once you move in.

8. Get to know local festivals and customs

You’re about to enjoy your first full summer as a lakeshore homeowner, so make it count. Once your closing date looms, start researching local customs and festivals and make sure you’re in town for them. Visit the in-town bakeries, shops and restaurants and ask the proprietors for insider tips on the best places to boat, hike, fish and more. Soak it all in—you’re a weekend warrior now!

Getting started on the path to owning a lakeshore home

Edina Realty has 2,300 local market specialists serving every neighborhood — and lake — across Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We’d love to put you in touch with one of the lakeshore specialists. Reach out today to get connected or start your lakeshore home search now.

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Lake homes are a popular destination for thermally modified wood.

The 2017 Lake Home and Cabin Show was recently held in the Chicago area and attendees got their first look at thermally modified wood and how it could be beneficial to use both as a decking or siding option for their lake home or cabin.

Everything for your special getaway home was on full display by companies who specialize in product or services catering to this market place. Thermally modified wood because of its dimensional stability was a very popular topic of discussion as attendees wanted to know how this attribute of the wood could be beneficial to their new or renovation project of their lake home or cabin.

Simply put, thermally modified wood loves water. It can be used in many water side applications such as docks, boathouses due to the fact that the wood will not expand and contract at the same rate as other woods such as cedar. Once thermally treated the woods acceptance of water is greatly diminished while decreasing the woods ability to rot.

unnamedMany lake homes due to their close proximity to water need construction products that will not break down in harsh environments that are often associated with living near open bodies of waters that have freezing and thawing cycles in the northern climates. Thermally modified wood construction materials such as exterior decking and siding give homeowners piece of mind knowing that their choice of materials will last for a very long time when exposed to these constantly changing weather conditions.

Thermally modified wood is also environmentally friendly as it will not leach and this is an important consideration when using around open bodies of water. Many states have regulations restricting the use of certain wood materials on or near water as they have the ability to leach harmful chemicals into the water system. There are no chemicals used in the process of thermal modification so the wood remains chemical free and environmentally friendly to use around all bodies of water.

Nearly half the worlds population live in close proximity to water and with the continued advancement of climate change the environment is becoming more extreme between hot and cold and building materials need to adapt to be able to perform within these environments and thermally modified wood manufacturers have seemed to be able to produce a natural wood product that fits this criteria.

North American Distributor of Thermally Modified Wood


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Summertime Sizzle!

Presented by Chef Patrick Moore, the “Getaway Gourmet”

“Don’t bother dad!  He’s grilling the steaks and if he gets distracted he’ll ruin them!”  Some of us grew up living with this fear — drenching our shoe-leather steaks in ketchup or other sauses — just to make them palatable.  And, now that it’s our turn at the cabin grill we don’t want to make those same mistakes!

Relax.  You’ve come to the right place.  You’re at the Lake Home & Cabin Show and you have your own personal chef about to teach you how to grill the perfect steak!  The show’s very own “Getaway Gourmet,” Chef Patrick Moore from Brule, Wisconsin will be taking the mystery out of grilling.

His unique cooking presentations combine great award winning flavors with his own belief that cooking at the cabin can be a wonderful experience that doesn’t have to take all day.  “You came to the cabin to relax with family and friends,”  Chef Patrick said, “I’m going to teach you how to make memorable meals and still leave time for play.”



This year’s “Summertime Sizzle” recipes include; Grilled Steak Fajitas, Grilled Steak Oscar with Cajun Hollandaise and a Grilled Steak Sandwich with Caramelized Onions and Horseradish Cream Sauce.  Free recipe cards and “perfect steak” samples will be served!  Cooking demonstrations will be presented a  number of times each day. (Friday – 3, 5 & 7 p.m.; Saturday – 11 a.m., 1, & 3 p.m. and Sunday – noon & 2 p.m.)


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“Superheroes Of The Night!” with Rob Mies

Presented by the Organization for Bat Conservation

Did you know that a single little brown bat — the most common bat in Wisconsin — catches more than 1,200 mosquitoes in one night?  Imagine what a colony of these nocturnal workers can do to keep the stinging insect population in check at your cabin!



This special feature was hugely popular last year and Rob and his bats are back at the shows again after a busy year afield.





In early spring, He was one of the star scientists on the Discovery Channel’s Trailblazers show, bushwacking his way through the jungles of Papua New Guinea (north of Australia) with a team of other explorers in search of undiscovered bat species and their potential genetic value to the world.






In April, Mies was a key member of the USDA Pollinator Exhibit which was set up on the lawn of the White House during the annual Easter Egg Roll event.  This year’s Lake Home & Cabin Show attendees will get a chance to meet Rob and learn about the benefits of bats and the challenges we face to conserve them.



Through his “Live Bat Encounter” special stage programs and “Superheroes Of The Night” floor display you’ll see lots of live bats and learn fascinating facts about these unique flying mammals.  You’ll encounter a brown bat from North America and hear its high-pitched echolocation with a “bat detector,” meet fruit bats from Africa and Asia, and finally, come face-to-face with the largest bat in the world, the Gigantic Flying Fox Bat from Malaysia — with a 6-foot wingspan!

Don’t miss the interactive and entertaining “Live Bat Encounter” presentations on the Cabin Living Stage with Rob Mies, presented at 4 and 6 p.m. on Friday, noon, 2 & 4 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Sunday.


Rob Mies is an exciting and adventurous scientist, conservationist, TV personality, and animal expert whose passion is educating and entertaining people about the unique life on Earth. Co-founder and Executive Director of the Organization for Bat Conservation, Rob is an outspoken advocate for bat conservation in the United States. Over the past 25 years, Rob has appeared on numerous TV shows promoting bat conservation including The Doctors, The Tonight Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Today Show, Live with Regis and Kelly, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Fox & Friends, CBS Early Show, and Martha Stewart. He is currently a featured scientist in the Discovery Channel’s Trailblazers TV show and is an advisor and member of the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign, American Zoological Association Bat Taxon Advisory Group, North American Society of Bat Researchers, Association of Nature Center Administrators and Michigan Wind and Wildlife Advisory Group.  He is the Chairman of the Michigan Bat Working Group, President of the Midwest Bat Working Group, and Coordinator of the North American Bat Conservation Alliance.

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Feed Backyard Birds this Season

(BPT) – When you fill your bird feeders and put fresh water in the birdbath this season, you’ll definitely be giving your feathered friends a helping hand. But you could also be serving the greater good!

Take note of the birds that visit your yard, and you’ll be ready to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC), a four-day annual event during which thousands of people around the world record information about the species of birds they see. The information backyard bird-watchers gather assists scientists in better understanding the movement of species around the globe, how well different species are — or aren’t — doing and how factors like climate change are affecting bird populations everywhere.

And when the bird count is over, you’ll still enjoy a yard filled with the pleasing colors and sounds of wild birds.

Birds are important

“We enjoy birdwatching and feeding birds because they brighten our backyards and entertain us with their antics, especially during long winters,” says Richard Cole, co-founder of Cole’s Wild Bird Products. “But birds also play an important role in maintaining environmental balance around the world. They pollinate plants, scatter seeds so new plants can grow, help control insect populations and recycle nutrients back into the soil. It’s critical for us to have a greater understanding of how bird species are doing around the world, and to do our part to help take care of them.”

Bird populations are so diverse, large and widespread that it would be virtually impossible for scientists to gather all the data they need without help from backyard bird enthusiasts who participate in the GBBC. The information gathered help scientists identify species whose numbers are decreasing or increasing, changes in range or migratory patterns and more. Fluctuations in bird populations are often the earliest signs of greater environmental changes.

What you can do

Founded in 1998, and co-sponsored by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the National Audubon Society and Bird Studies Canada, the next Great Backyard Bird Count will be Feb. 17-20, 2017. You can start preparing to participate by taking steps now to make your own backyard an oasis for birds.

* Start by offering a variety of feeders. Different species prefer different styles of feeders. Tube feeders are versatile and appeal to a wide range of bird species. They can also handle large (think sunflower) or small seeds (like petite mixes) equally well. Some birds prefer to cling to feeders while dining, rather than perch, so use a versatile Mesh feeder; or try a Bowl feeder, perfect for serving suet in kibble form, dried mealworms and fresh fruit. You can find a variety of feeders from Cole’s. Be sure to keep all feeders clean and in good condition to help prevent disease and injury.

* Serve a variety of birdfeed. In winter, seeds with a high fat or oil content are best for birds, so offer black oil sunflower seeds, niger, raw peanuts and suet. To attract the greatest variety of birds, try Cole’s Blue Ribbon Blend, which incorporates black oil sunflower seeds, sunflower meats, white proso millet and cracked corn. Special Feeder is a high-energy blend that also attracts large numbers of birds, with the perfect mixture of black oil sunflower, sunflower meats, black stripe, raw peanuts, safflower and pecans. Birds also need (and love) suet, Cole’s offers no-melt suet cakes, specialty suets and a seed and suet mix, Nutberry Suet, to help ensure birds get the fat stores they need to weather winter.

* Fill every feeder with quality food. Birds won’t be satisfied with birdfeed that contains cheap fillers, and they won’t get the nutrition they need. Think of it as the difference between serving your family fresh veggies instead of fast food. Serve birdfeed that contains quality ingredients and is free of chemicals or other toxins that could be harmful to birds. Cole’s formulates all its feed to attract birds, and uses only natural, top-quality seeds. Their products contain no fillers, preservatives, mineral oils or pesticides.

Be sure to also offer birds plenty of fresh water; it can be very difficult for them to find unfrozen water sources in winter.

By feeding backyard birds and participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count, you can be counted on to help protect the wellbeing of wild bird populations. What’s more, the work you do prepping your yard for the count will benefit you — and your feathered friends — throughout the year. For more information about birdfeed and how to attract birds to your yard, visit

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3 Tips for a More Flavorful Holiday Meal

(BPT) – Holiday gatherings and backyard barbecues have a lot in common as they are occasions for gathering and for eating. And for both, successful execution of a shared meal means preparing what everyone likes and preparing it perfectly.

While holiday staples such as turkey, ham and brisket create the centerpiece for many of our holiday dinners, it is important to remember that the way they are prepared need not be limited to the printed instructions on your meat’s plastic wrapping.

“Famous Dave” Anderson is the founder of the popular Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que Restaurants and has won over 700 awards for his expertise on smoking and grilling meats. He was recently crowned “Smoked Champion” on the TV show Smoked, taking home the top honors for being “The Best of the Best” when it comes to smoking meats. Anderson shares his expert tips for adding flavor to your holiday meal.

“To elevate the taste of your ham, turkey, brisket or other meats, consider applying the lessons learned during the warmer seasons,” Anderson says. “I’ve always wondered why smoking seems to be forgotten as soon as the holiday decorations come out. Holidays are a time to bring joy to the table. And if you want to see joy, watch your guests take their first bites of cherrywood smoked turkey, or hickory smoked ham!”

In order to help you bring out the best flavors in your meats for your next family gathering, Anderson offers these three important tips:

Smoke it low and slow.

Holidays are a time to escape the hustle that consumes us the rest of the year. Why not apply the same relaxed approach to your holiday meal? As Anderson explains, rushing the process can rob your meats of both texture and flavor. “Slow smoking under low heat allows the meat to relax, and for the fat to properly render,” Anderson says. “It doesn’t matter what piece of meat you are cooking, it’s all about temperature and time.”

He suggests cooking temperatures of between 225 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit for the tastiest and juiciest final product.

Skip the wood chips.

Wood chips are popular and convenient, but you will never get the same satisfying smoke flavors out of wood chips that you will from using a small log. “Wood chips are a shortcut. And who takes shortcuts when preparing the perfect holiday meal,” Anderson says. Wood chips also have the tendency to catch fire, which can negatively impact your cooking temperature and cooking time.

Though a fan of the flavors derived from oak and applewood, Anderson takes a different approach when the weather turns colder. “I like cherrywood for Turkey. And for ham, nothing beats the smokey aromas that come from hickory,” he says.

Season(ing)s greetings.

In order to treat your guests to the most vibrant, mouthwatering flavors, Anderson insists that you check the dates on your spices. Spices greater than 6-months-old will lose much of their flavor, robbing your meal of the holiday’s signature tastes. “At home, I grind my own spices. There’s no better way to achieve the best possible flavors,” he says. For the rest of us, Anderson suggests we refresh our aging spice racks in order to bring real flavor to the table.

Smoking the meats you typically serve over the holidays takes the best of tradition and introduces a new level of flavor. “This is the time when treating the people who are most special to us really matters. A little extra effort can make a holiday meal more meaningful and memorable than ever before,” Anderson says.

To learn more about Famous Dave’s and how you can make your holiday meal even better, visit There, you can also find Anderson’s recipe for his famous bread pudding.

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5 Tips For Cabin Flipping on a Budget

By Lee Flynn

House flipping lost some popularity after the real estate bubble burst in 2008, but it remains a fact that fixing up an older or damaged home can net you a profit. It’s easier to start out in flipping with a lot of money to invest in property and repairs, but it’s still possible with even very tight budgets. Get your money back without going into debt by using these five flipping tips.

Leverage the Property
Wondering how to get the money to buy a property and fix it up when you only have a few thousand dollars in savings? Using a hard money lender allows you to leverage the property itself. These loans come with much higher interest rates than you’re used to for mortgages, but if you can stay on track and quickly resell the home, you can close the loan out before paying too much of that interest out-of-pocket.

Get Professional Training
Hoping to make flipping your new profession, or at least a part of your life for the next few years? Take a few basic construction classes to learn how to do as much of the repair work yourself as possible. Even if you want to leave the rebuilding and installation of new materials to the professionals, learning how to safely and cleanly demolish a room can help you absorb labor costs when you’re just starting out.

Find a Supply Deal
Aside from saving on the labor costs, it’s well worth it to trim down spending on materials and supplies too. Even if you don’t have a contractor’s license, you may be able to talk your local hardware store or big box home improvement chain into giving you a professional’s account. These accounts tend to come with discounts on merchandise and revolving lines of credit, two benefits any flipper can use when working on a budget. For more savings, look for a reclamation warehouse that sources unused or like new materials from failed construction projects to save up to 75%.

Organize the Work
Imagine that you know your tile installer is coming on Friday to do the kitchen floors, but that you also want tile in the bathroom. When you can arrange your work plans so that skilled laborers get as much done as possible in each visit, you’ll find your costs staying under budget. Loading up the equipment and driving out to your work site will result in at least one hour of billable time even if you have nothing for your team to do, so keep the schedule organized and clump similar projects together even when they’re spread out across the house. Skilled home remodelers know that it’s best to get all the flooring done at once rather than trying to complete a room at a time, so take a page from their book even if you’re still a beginner.

Look for Safe Corners to Cut
When you first find a property with potential, you likely want to polish it up perfectly before putting it on the market to get the maximum resale value. However, you may end up earning less if some of those projects, such as cabinet refacing in kitchen, that help you reach perfection cost more than alternative options. For example, most home flippers want to tear out all the original furnishings and start from scratch. However, if the flooring is in decent shape and just needs an affordable carpet cleaning to look like new, it makes more sense financially and saves time.

Your first house flipping project may not go exactly as planned, but if you use these tips, you should get enough of a profit to make your next purchase easier to plan. Keep building upwards with your flipping goals and soon you’ll be an experienced remodeling expert yourself. Don’t feel rushed when choosing your first property to flip since making it a success is the key to continuing the chain of profitable sales.

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