Devil's Lake State Park - Baraboo, Wisconsin

On Sunday afternoon, I was presented with the choice to

a) wash laundry, unload the dishwasher, and complete a host of other responsible activities to prepare myself for the week ahead


b) hurdle myself down a 10-story waterslide.

Guess which one I picked?

On our way home from an overnight camping trip with friends (SO FUN!), Ben and I passed a sign for “America’s Largest Water Park.” We had our swimsuits in the car and exactly enough sunscreen to survive an afternoon in the sun. The universe was being clear with her intentions, so who were we to disappoint her?

Poised at the top of our first ride, whose precise name was something along the lines of “Scorpion,” “Black Anaconda,” or “This Is Probably a Bad Idea,” my entire body sprouted goosebumps and I realized my knees were wobbling.

I adore roller coasters, and I’ve never been scared of heights, so I was surprised at my own nervousness. I can’t remember the last time I was on a waterslide (age 13? 14?), but I remembered it being a lot easier…and less steep.

Just as I was seriously considering taking the walk of shame back down the stairs past everyone still in line eagerly awaiting their turn, I spotted a boy no older than nine tapping his foot impatiently in line behind me. If a kid who barely passed the height requirement could do this, so could I.

One big breath and…COWABUNGA! I slid down the chute. It was fast, freezing, and what felt like six gallons of water went straight up my nose. I stood up, laughed, and did exactly what my 13-year-old self would have wanted me to:

I ran right back around to stand in line for a second time.

In addition to our water park shenanigans, Ben and I also had a fantastic weekend hiking at Devil’s Lake State Park (pictured above) hiking and camping overnight with friends. While I can’t say we roughed it—our spread included a bottle of Prosecco, hummus, and a cheese board—we did stay in tents, toast s’mores over the fire, and stay up way too late talking: the essentials of a great camping trip.

To kick off the month of August, I have a fresh roundup of favorites for you! Here’s a sneak peek at upcoming blog recipes, some fun finds that caught my eye, and (my favorite) some of YOUR photos from Instagram too!

Most popular recipe on my site right now: Mediterranean Chickpea Salad.

On this week’s meal plan: Grilled Vegetable Paninis. Spoiler: I am going to add goat cheese.

Upcoming blog recipe I’m most excited to share: Blueberry Quinoa Breakfast Bars. Recipe coming Friday.

Reading: Evicted. I originally selected this book because it is set here in Milwaukee, but the issues it describes apply to cities all across the country. It’s fascinating, heart breaking, and expertly written.

I have way too much: Zucchini. Here’s how I’m using it!

Ina Garten and I sing the same songs while we cook! I nearly died.

Which gimmicky Instagram food are you? Apparently I am a “Unicorn Drink.” I must say, I was slightly offended. I’ve always considered myself to be more of a warm chocolate chip cookie sundae kind of girl. If you take it, let me know your results! I’m curious what the other options are.

Speaking of gimmicky food: The Legend of the Choco Taco.

Favorite fun wardrobe addition of the summer: This dress! It felt like a splurge at the time, but I wear it so often that I’m glad I went for it. It’s cute, comfortable, and easy to dress up or down.

Life skillz: How to get ketchup from a bottle without the water messy and goo, complete with scientific explanations.

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. I enjoyed reading about your roller coaster story! That would have been me wanting to turn around and go back down the stairs. Sounds like you are enjoying your summer! Campimg with the extra special touches and the spontaneity of the roller coaster.

  2. hey girl- great post! Us ladies from church ( 6 of us) went camping last week! It was so cool! We drove about 2 1/2 hours north to Osage Hills State Park in Pawhuska,OK . It was so quiet and pretty with lots of trees! And yes we did to stay in tents! We had a Raccoon get in our ice chest at night (it was in the back of the truck) and ate 4 hot dogs and 2 candy bars! ha ,ha We found a hairball in there to . Crazy times! And yes we did go to Pioneer Women’s Merc sop cool! The food was so yummy! Got to see her husband and Father in law to! So cool!

    1. Shawnna, that sounds like an amazing trip! (Except for the part about the raccoon, but what an crazy story to tell!) Thanks for sharing. :)

  3. I took the food quiz and got: ice cream cone held up against a brick wall.

    You’re brave with the water slide. Rides aren’t my thing at all. I actually really like cleaning, so I’d be fine with doing laundry, dishes, and other household chores. ;) That picture from your hike is lovely. Sounds like you are enjoying your summer!

    1. Nice—thanks so much for taking the quiz and reporting back! I thought it was so fun. I hope you’re having a wonderful summer too!