Dubuque, Iowa

Just returned from a weekend trip to Dubuque, Iowa! It was a nice 3 hour road trip where we passed the most beautiful scenery’s.

Dubuque, Iowa is a small town with city comforts. While I was touring the city I was awestruck with the beautiful architecture and loved the mansions up on the hills looking out to the beautiful Mississippi river. I quickly looked up all of the special events and happenings going on in town and decided to check out there farmers market.

As we parked I couldn’t help but feel excited to check everything out! There was a ever expanding variety of pumpkins laid on the streets, on tables, and in every crook and cranny. I was in heaven! Scattered along the streets with street food carts selling breakfast burritos, shaved ice (although it was quite chilly for that), and a delightful vegetarian egg roll that I just adored. There is something about street food that just makes me feel right at home.

I of course immediately started scoping out bakery stands and VIOLA! I was greeted with homemade pies of all  kinds and breads filled with delicious nuts and cinnamon sugar crusts. If I hadn’t died already while sampling all the different street food carts I surely just found myself stepping into heaven. I wanted to buy and try everything!

I had bought a rhubarb bread with a sugary crust and a banana nut bread from Josa’s Country Store. I had never tried rhubarb before and it intrigued me. It was quite different yet refreshing. I liked the hints of sugary crust intermingled with the rhubarb bread which made it lusciously delicious.

Before leaving the farmers market carrying loads of miniature pumpkins and sweets I had to stop by one more bakery stand. The Moundside Bakery caught my attention with their vast array of assorted cookies. There were delicious snicker-doodles, mouth watering chocolate chip, tempting oatmeal, and many more cookies stacked high. Their pies looked delicious with chunks of fruits and a flaky and buttery looking crust! While I made my way back to my car I had a sudden feeling to run back and to join the fun again but there was a town to be explored and festivals to attend.

I have been waiting excitedly to go to the Czipar’s Orchard for their annual Apple Festival that is held the last weekend of September! I was greeted with the warm smell of apple cider and to my delight a sea of apples. I had a hard time choosing what type of apple I wanted to buy. Should I go with the honey crisp or the McIntosh! In the end I picked McIntosh for there wonderful sweet tanginess and there divine taste and wonderful texture for pie making.

As I wondered around the festival I spotted a wine tasting that I just had to try!

Have any of you ever tried apple wine?

It is delicious! The wine connoisseur served it both hot and cold. The hot apple wine was truly different. It was like drinking warm apple cider with the fermenting taste of wine. I preferred it served cold for the reason that you could taste the sweetness of the apples. The wine was so smooth and aromatic that I purchased a bottle to bring home to share with friends and family.

With all of the excitement my mini vacation came to an end. I was sad to leave Dubuque. This charming little town had captured and wrapped me up in all of its warmth and as I made my way back onto the highway crossing the big bridge that had just welcomed me a few days ago I had an achy feeling of farewell. I will definitely be back soon to get lost again in the magic that Dubuque has created for me.

An unanticipated warmth of inspiration flooded me.

I cannot wait to get in the kitchen to start creating my apple desserts for fall!

And as always my sweet cupcakes. Bon-Appetite.