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6 Make-Ahead, Travel-Friendly, Winter Recipes

What's better than a winter vacation in the Northwoods of Wisconsin? A winter vacation where you don't have to cook after you arrive of course!

Winter in the Northwoods is a special time of year. There's a cozy feel of comfort in the darkness and the gray skies. There’s ample to do: cross country skiing, skiing, snowmobiling, fat tire biking, and simply enjoying the crisp, white, snow-covered view from the cabin. Regardless of which activity you choose, having already prepared, homemade meals to come home to is a real treat!

Explore these 6 make ahead, travel-friendly recipes to take on your next road trip up north and enjoy a relaxing, almost cook-free get-a-way while you’re here.

Orange Maple Glazed Butternut Squash

It's the perfect winter weekend comfort food! Warm up with this hearty, sweet and savory recipe loaded with nutrient-rich butternut squash and sweet maple syrup. This dish can be made up to 3 days ahead, refrigerated and reheated for an easy meal up north!

roasted butternut squash
image courtesy of

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

If you don't want to fuss over a hot pot while on vacation, check out this wonderful crockpot version of the classic beef stew. Rich, hearty and very filling, this stew is sure to warm your heart and tummy after a day out in the snow. Make ahead in your crockpot using a crockpot liner, then let cool. Tie the bag, freeze and pack in your cooler for up north. When you're ready to reheat, simply empty the bag into a soup pot in your cabin and heat up. Once it's hot, it's ready to enjoy!

beef stew

Roasted Garlic and Herb Mashed Potatoes

This delectable side dish can become the star of the show when paired with 2 vegetables for a vegetarian change of pace. Make ahead before leaving for your trip and freeze in a casserole dish, covered with tin foil. Once you arrive, pop it in the oven at 300°F for 30 minutes to heat thoroughly. While it's heating, simply steam, sauté or microwave your veggies to complete your meal. Top with a dollop of butter or sour cream for an added touch of flavor!

mashed potatoes
image courtesy of

Cranberry Walnut Loaf of Bread

While traditional, homemade bread is a labor of love, this recipe makes the process so simple. Enjoy the delightful flavor, nice outer crust, and soft inner texture of this berry and nut-infused loaf. Make the day before you leave to come up north and enjoy a fresh, buttered slice every morning with your cup of coffee. Don't have the time? Make weeks ahead of time and freeze, then let thaw when you arrive.

loaf of cranberry bread

Crockpot Italian Sausage & Lentil Soup

This hearty, delicious combination of sausage, lentils and veggies is sure to provide the warmth and comfort we all look for on a cold winter night. Another crockpot favorite, simply prepare this recipe in the crockpot at home before you leave, freeze and thaw once you arrive at the cabin. Reheat in a soup pot while sipping a glass of chianti and chatting about the day's events with your cabin-mates. Relax as the Italian aromas fill the air without you having to lift a chef's finger while on vacation!

bowl of lentil stew
image courtesy of

Hot Chocolate Mix

If coffee is not your thing, or you simply enjoy the rich flavors of chocolate, try this recipe for a homemade, hot chocolate mix sure to excite your taste buds! Anytime before your trip, make a full batch of this mix. Keep some at home and bring some up north. When you're ready to enjoy a cup, simply combine equal parts dry mix with equal parts boiling hot water; let dissolve and cool slightly. Toss a couple mini marshmallows on top and wha-la! A sweet treat to warm your fingers and toes after a long winter's day in Minocqua.

hot chocolate on wooden box

Enjoy these 5 make-ahead winter recipes while enjoying a cozy cabin with beautiful views here at Birch Trail Resort Bed & Breakfast. Plan a short weekend or an extended week-long trip and experience all that a Northwoods winter has to offer. Ready to book your trip? Call us today!



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