Forest Lake Country Store March 2011 Newsletter with a few recipes

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Sitting back, relaxing and reading about the local happenings in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.  What better  way is there to spend a morning.  I have trips booked to head back up north this spring and fall.  The dates seem so far away but when reading the Forest Lake Country Store’s monthly newsletter, it maks the time pass so much faster.  I can’t wait to head up north and visit my freinds Mark and Kris.  By the way, they have great Pizza and if you want to talk fishing, Mark will be glad to help point out a few Land O Lakes hotspots.

Forest Lake Country Store March 2011 Newsletter

Great food and a whole lot more,,,

Spring.  More than a fleeting thought of something in the distant future.  You can see and feel some of the harbingers of the seasonal change.  A grouse atop a snow pile.  Plumage puffed, crown upright, showing off for the world.  Is he getting ready for the spring mating ritual or just enjoying a warm day?  Swans swimming in an open piece of water on a river.  We are blessed with their presence while they awaiting more open water further north.  There is more than grey skies on the early morning rides to the store to make donuts, and the skies stay bright ’til nearly 6 PM.  And then there are the roads.  Every ounce of “winter coat” put on during winter hibernation can be felt bouncing on your belt while driving down many county roads.  The roads stay rough ’til after the road limits go off.

Grey squirrels are making frequent forages out of their winter hides.  We are still waiting for other signs.  Songbirds, still mute, will start to be heard.  As the snow in the woods drops down the deer will start to move around a lot more, more willing to leave their well worn trails.. 

Another sure sign of spring is the locals out ice fishing.  There is a sixth sense of when the fish are biting, and the trucks of the local anglers can be seen with shanties, ice rods and tip ups loaded.  Rumor has it that the perch are very cooperative, walleyes are starting to feed again and the pike are suicidal at mid day. 

Yup, spring is not far away.

New in the Store

Our Forest Lake Country Store clothing continues to be popular.  The fleece lined, hooded sweatshirts are a great outer garment for these warm days of spring.  Long sleeve T’s and others.  Check these out hanging by the coffee/hot drink area.

We have found a supplier of several new rice, couscous and quinoa.  These are sure to be a delight on your table.  Here is a list of some of the items we have just received:  Rainbow Couscous, Black Japonica Rice, Carnoroli Rice, Lemon/Garlic Orzo, Southwest Orzo, and Red Quinoa. 

Carnaroli Rice is a short-grained white rice featuring small, plump grains that are slightly larger than Arborio Rice. Carnaroli Rice is considered to be one of the finest white rice used to make Risotto because of its high starch content. When cooked it has a creamy texture with the inner germ kernel remaining firm. Carnaroli Rice retains its shape while cooking and can absorb much more liquid than other rice, which makes it perfect for Italian dishes. Carnaroli is often referred to as the “Caviar” of rice.

Black Japonica combines Asian black short-grain rice and medium-grain mahogany rice for an end result that is both spicy and earthy. When cooked it portrays a nutty somewhat mushroom flavor highlighted with a sweet spiciness that is extremely moist. Rich in color, this dark rice makes a striking plate presentation.

Quinoa (Keen-wah) is new to the American market it was a widely used grain by the Incas and has been grown in the Andes for centuries.  Quinoa contains more protein than any other grain and is considered a complete protein due to its containing all eight essential amino acids.

Rainbow Couscous is a combination of Spinach, Tomato and Natural flavored Couscous. Couscous is made from Semolina Flour, the roughly milled endosperms of Durum Wheat. The Semolina is moistened with water and rolled until little balls are formed. A granule of Couscous is about the size of a pin head and lightly flavored. Couscous is very versatile and can be used in place of rice, as a side salad, added to soups, mixed with sautéed vegetables, and as a breakfast cereal.

Lemon Garlic Orzo has a robust garlic flavor with just a hint of lemon. Orzo is made with Durham Wheat Flour (Semolina) which makes it pasta. Chieftain’s Lemon Garlic Orzo is about ½ inch long, yellow colored and rice-shaped. Orzo maintains its shape when cooked but the color may fade slightly. Lemon Garlic Orzo can be prepared in a pilaf or in minestrone soups or prepared plain with a little touch of butter. Toss with chopped spinach and sliced almonds for a delightful side dish.

These are unique items that will differentiate your dinners and impress your family and friends.    We are very excited about the new opportunities these items offer us and you as a good customer.  We will add new items as we get closer to the busy summer season.  Look below for a couple unique recipes,,,

Kitchen Ideas from the Country Store


2 Cups Rainbow Couscous (for flavor variations cook couscous in wine/chicken broth with a splash of lemon juice)
1 Tbsp. Butter, melted
2 Cups thinly sliced Red & Yellow Onions
5 Cloves of Garlic, diced
1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
3 Eggs, beaten
¾ Cup Milk
¾ Cup Parmesan Cheese
½ Cup cooked Dry Roasted Wild Rice
½ Cup shredded Italian Cheese Blend
Cook Couscous according to package instructions.  Mix 1 Tbsp. melted butter and 1 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese with couscous.  Press couscous into an 8 inch pie plate, making sure that it is evenly distributed so it covers the sides and bottom.  Sauté the onions, mushrooms and garlic in butter or olive oil till tender.  Add cooked bacon and wild rice and toss together.  Spread this mixture into the couscous crust.  Mix together the milk, eggs, Dijon mustard, ¼ cup of the Parmesan, salt and pepper.  Pour into the pie.   Top with remaining parmesan cheese, shredded Italian cheese blend and cilantro.  Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes or until set.  Edges will be brown.  

Black Quinoa & Rainbow Couscous Salad

1 1/2 cup Rainbow Couscous, cooked and cooled
1/2 cup Black or Red Quinoa, cooked and cooled
chicken or vegetarian broth              
3/4 cup diced yellow bell peppers
3/4 cup diced red bell peppers
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped fine
1/3 cup flavored olive oil of choice
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/8 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 1/2 Tbs. grated orange zest
4 Tbs. red wine vinegar
garnish with mint sprigs and orange or lemon slices
Cook couscous in chicken broth according to instructions, cool.  Cook quinoa in chicken broth according to instructions, cool.  Placed cooled couscous and quinoa in bowl and toss until mixed.  Add remaining ingredients, scoop onto lettuce and garnish with mint sprigs and lemon or orange slices. Serve.

Curried Lemon Orzo

8 oz Lemon Garlic Orzo or Mediterranean Orzo, cooked and cooled
2 tsp sweet Curry Powder or hot Curry Powder
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Juice of half a lemon
1/4 cup golden Raisins
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup diced cucumber
1/4 cup chopped cashews or peanuts
Blend the curry powder, mayonnaise and lemon juice in a mixing bowl.  Toss in orzo of choice and remaining ingredients.  Stir until all ingredients are coated evenly then chill until ready to serve. Preparing ahead of time will enhance the flavor.

Warm Southwest Salad

2 C. Southwest Orzo
4 C. Chicken Stock
2 Ea. Rosemary Sprigs
2 Ea. Jalapeno, minced
1 Tsp. Lime Zest
1 Tbsp. Lemon juice
2 Tbsp. Cilantro, minced
1 Tsp. Cumin
1 Tsp. Smoked Paprika
2 Tbsp. Chipotle Puree
1 Tsp. Oregano
To taste Salt/ Pepper
Start by bringing the chicken stock to a boil, then add the southwestern orzo and rosemary sprigs, cook for approx 7 min or until al dente; remove from heat and drain the orzo. While orzo is still hot add the rest of the ingredients and toss them together, season to taste.

Risotto Rustica with Prosciutto and Arugula

· 7 or 8 cups of chicken stock
· ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
· ½ cup finely chopped yellow onion
· 3 cups Carnaroli rice
· 1 cup dry white wine
· 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
· Salt and pepper to taste
· 6 large, thick slices of prosciutto
· 1 bunch of arugula stemmed
· Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for serving


In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the stock to a gentle simmer and maintain over low heat.

In a sauté pan or large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the rice and stir until each grain is well coated with oil and translucent with a white dot in the center, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and stir until it is completely absorbed.

Add the simmering stock a ladleful at a time, stirring frequently after each addition. Wait until the stock is almost completely absorbed (but the rice is never dry on top) before adding the next ladleful. Reserve 1/4 cup stock to add at the end.

When the rice is tender to the bite but slightly firm in the center and looks creamy, after about 20 minutes, remove from the heat and stir in the butter and the reserved 1/4 cup stock. Season with salt and pepper.

Line warmed shallow individual bowls with prosciutto slices. Top with the risotto. Make a well in the risotto and fill with the arugula, tearing large leaves into bite-size pieces. Using a vegetable peeler, shave paper-thin slices of cheese over the top. Serve immediately. Serves 6

Watch for more great recipes using these unique items!

News from the North Woods

This winter has been tough.  Not much snow, this means not many snowmobilers coming to the north woods.  Snowmobiling is the driving force of the winter economy in the north woods.  Less sledders also mean more layoffs in the area and that sends many families to the Headwaters Food Pantry to supplement their family’s food needs.  The Headwaters Food Pantry is now serving nearly 70 families every day they are open this winter.  You can help by dropping off dry or canned goods at the many drop boxes in the area (one is in the Country Store) or you can send cash donations to: The Headwaters Food Pantry  PO Box 561 Land O Lakes WI 54540 (identify them as food pantry donations).  Anything you can do to help is greatly appreciated by the many volunteers and the people the Headwaters Food Pantry serves.

When you are in the Forest Lake Country Store, you see all the art that lines the store walls.  This art is all created by Sharon Molinaro.  She rotates original art and prints on the walls and has a rack full of prints as well.  She also has done several coffee mugs with a view of Forest Lake on one side and loons on the other.  (as a side note, she can customize these for any lake in the area)  Recently she set up a website to show off her incredible work.  Take a look at her art at  

Also, when you are in the store, check out the beautiful 2 man saw over the piano.  This is more of Sharon’s work and a gift she and her husband Mark gifted to us at the store.  She is a very talented artist, we hope you appreciate her work.

Jack Koller is a frequent visitor to the north woods.  Jack vacations at his house on Thousand Island Lake and spends time at the Country Store.  His son-in-law has started a new company that specializes in camping and hiking equipment.  There is a lot of equipment that may be of interest to you.  Here is a hot link to the web site:  We hope you enjoy this web site.

Road limits will be put in place soon.  If you need LP delivered to your house, Septic pumped or other services that require large trucks on side roads, get it done soon.  The County sets road limits while the frost comes out from under the road beds.  There is no travel of big trucks allowed on all but the biggest of roads (Hwy 45 or Hwy 2) from about mid March to mid April or later.  The dates change every year, but the cycle does not.  Get you service work done soon!

Events in the North Woods

February 27th Kid’s Ice Fishing Jamboree 9AM – 3 PM

Lake Vieux Desert West Shore Boat Landing

Held off the LVD West Shore Public Boat Landing, this is a great family oriented fishing opportunity.  This is free for kids 18 and under.  Free bait is available on site.  There is free food.  There are also prizes for the kids.  Holes are drilled by volunteers and if you need some coaching on how to ice fish you can find that there as well.  Karen Koskellin from the Tackle Box works hard to put together a quality family oriented event.  As such there are no pets or alcohol allowed at the event.  Bring the kids out for a day on the ice!  If you see Karen around town, thank her for the great job she does on this event.

March 5 & 6 Klondike Days Eagle River Northland Pines High School

This annual event is one of the biggest winter events in the north woods.  A turn of the century theme sets this event apart.  One Horse and two horse log pulls, artists, tug of wars, a living historical encampment and more.  This year they have added an antique sleigh rally and snow shoe races.  This is a new date for this event but the same great winter party!

March 9, 2011 1:00 pm  e-Reader workshop Land O Lakes Library!

You are invited to bring in your own e-Reader device or look at the ones available and ask questions. 

We will discuss how to check out a library book for your e-Reader. 

If you would like more information please call the Land O Lakes Library at 715-547-6006. 

We look forward to an interesting workshop!

March 11, 2011  1:00 pm Movie Afternoon Land O’ Lakes Library!

March’s movie is “The Social Network.” 

A chronicle of the founding of Facebook, the social-networking Web site.   

Movie, popcorn and coffee are free of charge.

Please call us at 715-547-6006 if you have any questions.  Thank You, Julie

March 11th Fish Fry St. Albert’s Catholic Church 5:00 PM ’til ???

St. Albert’s Church, highway B, will be serving their famous fish fry buffet.  All You Can Eat Fish Fry for just $10 per person!  Children under 5 are free, and children 5 – 10 are $5 each.  Price includes beer batter Pollack, Baked potato dish or potato salad, coleslaw, rye bread, and dessert.  Coffee and milk included.

Service starts at 5 PM and takeouts are available. 

Money raised from this fish fry go to St. Mary’s Haiti Project; maintenance of the school and teachers salaries.  The Catholic Order of Foresters will match the first $750 raised.  This is thanks to local agent Dave Schmitz. 

March 11 – 25 LOLA Center for the Arts

“What will Kid’s Imagine Next?”

Wendy Powalisz will do an art project with children of the area.  This year they are “deconstructing” books.  Using obsolete library books they will create art projects.  See the exhibit at the LOLA Center for the Arts on Highway B in Land O’ Lakes.

People around Land O’ Lakes

March 1 Boo Loader celebrates her birthday
March 3rd is a shared birthday for Patricia Stopczynski and Jerry Fassbender
March 4th is Kristin Sarama’s birthday
March 6th is another shared birthday for Ralph Sitzberger and John Fassbender
March 7th Joy Craig (Meyer Insurance) has her birthday.
March 9th is Maryellen Otterpohl’s birthday
March 10th Dennis Wasielewski’s birthday
March 11th is Ned Morris’s birthday and also Maryellen and Sam Otterpohls anniversary!
March 17th Pete Lavris celebrates his birthday
March 20th Dennis Snyder and Tom McDermott share their birthday.
March 21st is Noah Millers birthday
March 28th is a shared birthday for Glenda Boniface and Suzanne Clayton
March 29th is Carolyn Rohlen’s birthday
March 31st is Mary Olk’s birthday

Last opportunity, we have attached a list of either overstock or closeout wines.  As we slow down for the mud months we have time to look at our inventories and make an effort to sell off overstock products.  You must bring a copy of the list with you to receive the special prices.  All inventories on the shelf are priced at the regular prices listed on the sheet.  Get here quick for the best selection!

We appreciate you taking the time to read our newsletter and look forward to seeing you in the store.  Spring is an exhilarating time of year in the north woods.  If you have not witnessed the ritual first hand come up and watch spring slide into the North Country.

Best regards,

Kris and Mark Gostisha and girls

Forest Lake Country Store
6256 County Road B    
Land O’ Lakes WI 54540    

715 547 8222
Winter Store Hours
Thursday – Saturday 7 AM – 8 PM
Sunday, Monday and Wednesday 7 AM – 3 PM
Closed on Tuesdays
Closing for the “Mud Months” .  Spring cleaning and visit the grand kids.
Closed Saturday March 26th       
Re-Open Friday April 15th

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