Saegerville Chili


Beer, coffee and brown sugar?!? In chili? Heck yeah! I came across this chili recipe over ten years ago and over the years have modified it to the taste of Saegerville. It's my go to for a hearty late fall to early spring meal on the weekend because it takes some planning and some time to simmer. I've even won an in office chili contest with it. Happy National Chili Day cedar lovers! Now here's the recipe...

8 Servings

2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb lean ground beef
3/4 lb cubed beef sirloin
2 bottles of your favorite local lager or pilsner
   (One for marinating the cubed beef in and one to add to the pot)
1 (14 oz) can beef broth
1 cup strong brewed coffee (we use local favorite Caribou Coffee)
1 (14.5 oz) can peeled and diced  tomatoes w/ juice
2 (6 oz) cans tomato paste
4 (15 oz) cans kidney beans
3 tbsp and 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1  tsp dried oregano
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
Chopped scallions, shredded cheese and sour cream (optional)

Marinate cubed beef for a minimum of 30 minutes in 6 oz of beer. We’ve marinaded as long as overnight though. What you do with the other 6 oz. is up to you. NOTE: We don’t use the good beer for cooking. There is usually a bottle or two of these other beers laying around. Bud or Miller Lite are good cooking beers. They’re not our favorite for drinking. 

Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Liberally salt chopped sirloin and ground beef and cook with onions and garlic for 10 minutes or until meet is browned and onions are tender.

Mix in remainder of ingredients and simmer for 2 hours. If you choose not to marinade the beef in beer only add one bottle to the pot for cooking. 

Divide into bowls and top with cheese, scallions and/or sour cream if desired and enjoy around a fire or the dinner table with company. Don't expect too many leftovers unless you double the recipe which is what we do and freeze some to enjoy next week.


The Saegerville Cooler Beverage Side Table

The next evolution of the beverage side table. With this side table you will never leave your fire unattended to run and grab a beverage. 

• Interior liner is removable for easy stocking for the night and cleaning when the fire is over
• Battery operated LED light for when the sun goes down
• Beverage holders accommodate pint glasses, cans, and stemmed wine glasses
• Side mount bottle opener

Cooler Side Table_open.jpg

Custom Sign Making Available

How it's done.
1.  Computer design layout (I know this killer graphic designer)
2. Computer numerical controlled (CnC) routing of wood, 
    in this case - cedar.
3. Wood is stained and letters are hand painted.

Have an idea for a custom sign or saying routed into wood. Let me know.

Another view with a little more daylight.

Another view with a little more daylight.

Close up of the painted letters.

Ribbon Chair

I can only imagine how exhausting battling an enemy like cancer can be and this beast has entered my world three times now in the past year. Brian contacted me to work on this special project of two chairs for Colleen. Congratulations Colleen for kicking Non-Hodgkin lymphoma's ass. I'd like to think beating cancer has never smelled so good.

They are Awesome!!
— Brian D. Van Asten
The color can be changed to reflect any awareness. Cancer, autism, supporting our troops, etc.

The color can be changed to reflect any awareness. Cancer, autism, supporting our troops, etc.

Here is how it's done. 
1. The ribbon shape is routed into the cedar at three separate depths. This adds dimension to the shape.

2. After sanding the rough edges the wood is painted three shades of the color. Again this adds to the ribbon's depth.

3. An epoxy resin is poured into the shape and hardens to a glossy finish protecting the color and shape for years to come.

Homemade Applesauce


(Original recipe makes 8 servings)

    8 apples - peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

    1/2 cup water

    3/4 cup packed brown sugar

    1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice


    Combine the apples and water in a slow cooker; cook on Low for
    6 to 8 hours. Stir in the brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice;
    continue cooking another 30 minutes.

Cedar Plank Salmon

What’s for dinner? I’ve taken this cedar passion to a whole new level. Now I’m cooking on it. So, have you all heard of grilling salmon on cedar planks? I had and finally tried it on a camping trip earlier this year. It’s pretty simple and very DELICIOUS!

First, we soaked the cedar planks in the lake our site was on for 1-2 hours. While we were waiting, we enjoyed a couple beers (from the cedar-clad keg cooler).

A pot of water would work too.

A pot of water would work too.

After soaking, so they wouldn't burn so quickly, we placed them on the grate with the salmon filets on top, skin side down.



We cooked the salmon 12-15 minutes after covering the filets with aluminum foil.

The aluminum foil kept in some of the heat to cook the salmon from all sides.

The aluminum foil kept in some of the heat to cook the salmon from all sides.

When the salmon flakes off the skin with a fork, it's time to eat and enjoy.

The cedar plank doubled as a plate.

The cedar plank doubled as a plate.

Since we were camping, we ate directly from the cedar plank. When we were done the 'plate' went into the fire.


Night Light Chair

I told you it was R&D time in Saegerville and this one I just can't keep to myself.

Pinterest can be a time suck, no doubt about it. Before you know it an afternoon can be spent pinning dozens of images. I've compiled a number myself. I have a board that includes what inspires me to keep building. On that board one might find a couple images that look out of place (seen below). It includes accents, or as my dad might have put it "accoutrements", to items that aren't chairs. I saw these images and ... looked at them differently.

That's where the Saegerville Cedar Night Light Chair was born. How its done is relatively easy, it took me less than ten minutes once I had all the supplies. Here are all the items you need to complete this project: (Image A) a solar powered rope light kit (available at Home Depot), a hammer (this one pictured is a special hammer, you'll see it serve double duty in this post), plastic cord staples, two 1-5/8" screws, a drill with a 3/32" bit and a Saegerville Cedar chair.