Store Spotlight: Alice’s Wonderland

Minnetonka Store Spotlight: Alice’s Wonderland 1581 Route 6 Greeley, PA 18425

Today meet owners, Jenn & PJ Karpiak, along with their family Matt, Jane and John, in our Q&A and learn more about Alice’s Wonderland of Greeley, Pennsylvania!

What’s your Minnetonka story?
We are a family owned, year-round, outdoor specialty store, that has been in business since 1941. Greeley, Pennsylvania is a seasonal resort area, but our store’s main focus is on work apparel and footwear, which has included Minnetonka since October 1982!

What is your favorite pair of Minnetonka mocs?
Currently my favorite pair are the Feather Mocs, but I also like all of the bright colors in the Boat and Kilty Mocs.

What is the most popular Minnetonka style in your store?
Currently the most popular style is the Men’s Pile Lined Hardsole Slipper, with many of the other cozy slipper styles in a close second for popularity.

How do you like to style your Minnetonka mocs or boots?
We have several areas in the store where we like to showcase various moccasin and sandal styles outfitted on our mannequins, as well as displayed in our footwear department.

What are a few must see destinations near your store?
A few of our favorite must-see destinations near Alice’s Wonderland include -
Shohola Falls Recreation area featuring beautiful waterfalls and hiking trails; and Lake Wallenpaupack which is a 13 mile long man-made lake that offers swimming, fishing, power boating and sailing!

Also near us is Promised Land State Park – perfect for hiking and camping, along with the Delaware River which has become very popular for bald eagle watching, and is also great for rafting and tubing in the summertime.

Everyday Adventure: Modern Pioneering

Meet Georgia Pellegrini, a new monthly contributor to the Minnetonka blog.  Today she shares her approach to finding adventure in every day life, along with a delicious Rose Petal Hazelnut Cake recipe from her new book “Modern Pioneering.”

Because of my Great-Aunt Gray, I have always liked to get dirt under my fingernails.  I can still picture her standing in her gardens, hunched over with shovel and trowel, her white hair puffing out from below the brim of her baseball hat, her floral skirt falling just above her oversized muddy sneakers.

She opened my eyes to what it means to be a fearless girl, the last of a generation that knew how to kill a chicken in the backyard for dinner, that wasted nothing, that made the best of what they had and never pointed out what they didn’t. Thanks to her, I learned to cook with economy and respect for simple ingredients.

For her it wasn’t about survival, it was a way of life, and she taught me to stop and smell the rosemary and to look for purslane in between the sidewalk cracks, and turn it into a tangy healthy salad. I also learned to wear a little homemade beet juice tinted lip-gloss while doing it.

There was comfort and strength to be found in the deliberate churn of Aunt Gray’s ice cream maker, which set the day’s tempo. Aunt Gray was famous for her rustic cornbread and her homemade ice cream, which she prepared with the bare minimum of sugar in order to accentuate the other flavors. She probably would have eliminated sugar from their recipes altogether if she could have gotten away with it, such was their disdain for added sweetener.

In the years since my time with Aunt Gray, I have spent countless hours in the outdoors, but I have also traveled constantly, and have lived in small urban spaces without the luxury of lush land around me. Yet I still have the desire to feel the dirt slip between my fingers, to stir ruby-colored jam in a pot and watch it grow thick.  And I have come to realize that Aunt Gray’s generation got more than a few things right and there are still ways, both large and small to “get back to the land,” even if the “land” is only a fire escape or a patio planter; even if the land is a parking strip where you are picking wild dandelion greens for a salad.

Even in my urban Austin home, I can still mark the seasons by the scents of the herbs growing on my windowsill and the rose petals blooming in the parks. Yes, Aunt Gray taught me that those pale pink rose petals that grew on her arbor were edible too, and make the most festive party presentation on a cake.

Thanks to her, I’ve realized that we can all be both modern and a pioneer if we seek out new experiences with a sense of fearlessness. Sometimes stepping outside of our comfort zone is a reminder that the lost world we seek can be within arm’s reach.

It is empowering ourselves to find adventure in new experiences and in a little self-sufficiency that is what makes us feel truly full. And sometimes it can be as simple as scattering a fistful of rose petals onto a hazelnut cake on a warm sunny afternoon.

Rose Petal Hazelnut Cake

Serves 8

This is a simple, nutty cake good for afternoon tea. Because it is flourless and not too sweet, eating it any time of day is suitable. You can of course dress it up with whipped cream or frosting if you would like.

Tip: If you whisk the whites by hand, use a large, heavy whisk for efficiency and make sure the whisk and bowl are very clean and dry so that your whites form stiff peaks.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes

Unsalted butter for greasing the pan
1½ cups hazelnut flour (or finely ground hazelnuts)
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 large eggs, separated
½ teaspoon almond extract
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup heavy cream
½ cup fresh organic rose petals

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. butter an 8-inch fluted tart pan with a drop bottom and set aside. You may also use a cake pan, but if you do, be sure to use a toothpick to check for doneness.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the hazelnut flour and baking powder and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, combine the egg yolks and sugar and whisk vigorously until pale yellow. Add the almond and vanilla along with the cream and whisk again until fully combined.

4. Add the dry ingredients to the yolk mixture and mix together until uniform.

5. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form.

6. With a spatula, fold a third of the egg whites into the batter, then incorporate the rest of the whites all at once.

7. When the batter is uniform, gently fold in the rose petals.

8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Place the pan in the oven on the middle rack and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let the cake cool for 10 minutes, then remove the cake from the pan and let it cool to room temperature.

9. Sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar, slather it with whipped cream or frosting, or leave it be, whatever you please. It will keep for about 3 days, and should be stored in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic.

Click here to enter for a chance to win a pair of Minnetonka boots and a copy of Georgia’s new book “Modern Pioneering.”

About Georgia Pellegrini:
Georgia’s taste for simple food and outdoor adventure evolved as she grew up in the Hudson Valley. She followed her passion to the French Culinary Institute and then to Gramercy Tavern, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and La Chassagnette in France. Georgia is the author of “Food Heroes,” “Girl Hunter,” and the new book “Modern Pioneering.” She has appeared on Today, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Iron Chef, and much more, and her outdoor Adventure Getaways have been featured everywhere from the New York Times, to the Wall Street Journal, to HBO. She lives in Austin, Texas and chronicles her adventures on her wildly popular website and her Facebook fan page.




Store Spotlight: Funky Munky

Minnetonka Store Spotlight: Funky Munky 323 N. Randall Rd. Lake in the Hills, Illinois

Meet owner Jodi Galle in our Q&A below and learn more about Funky Munky of Lake in the Hills, Illinois!

What’s your Minnetonka story?
Before I took the jump into “brick & mortar” retail, I would vend at music festivals & universities.  It was a great  environment of creativity and expression.  In 1993, I opened Funky Munky with the goal of creating the same experience within a store.

In 2008, Minnetonka was added to our merchandise mix. It is a great partnership; as our customers value the quality of the brand.  Music fests continue to be a big part of our customers lives.

What is your favorite pair of Minnetonka boots?
My favorite style is the 5 Layer Fringe Boot.  The cushion sole makes you feel like you are walking on air. It looks great with jeans, leggings, skirts or shorts. And is one pair of boots that always gets compliments!

What is the most popular Minnetonka style in your store?
The 5 Layer Fringe Boot continues to be the most popular style.  As of late, the El Paso Moc and Suede Ankle Boot have been getting a lot of attention.  Our merchandise comes from all over the world and the El Paso fits right in with its tapestry detail.

How do you like to style your Minnetonka mocs or boots?
Fringe boots and moccasins are a perfect way to create an amazing outfit. Customers are treated to a daily style inspiration with our mannequin, Fiona. Of course every outfit includes a pair of Minnetonkas!  We also style little sister Winnie in our kids mocs.  We try to always have something unique & unusual to catch the customer’s attention.

What are a few must see destinations near your store?
Lake in the Hills is a wonderful town. It’s less than an hour from Chicago, yet far enough away to have a country feel. There’s even a small municipal airport if you feel like dropping in!

A great way to see the nearby natural prairie is the Prairie Trail.  It takes you north to the the Wisconsin state line or south to a series of additional trails.

And summer means music fests!  A couple that are a must see for our customers include Summer Camp in Chillicothe, Illinois, May 23-25, and Lollapalooza at Grant Park in downtown Chicago, August 1-3.

For the Love of February: Kevin + Angela

For our latest lookbook, For the Love of February, we spent the month following a few of our friends around town, capturing their favorite ways to celebrate the season. Today meet Kevin & Angela!

Whether it’s spending a snowy day outdoors, grabbing a bite to eat at your favorite diner or just laying low at home with friends – how will you be sharing the love this February?

Photos courtesy of Cliff Englert

View our entire For the Love of February lookbook here.