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Archive for the ‘Food & Beverage’ Category

A few weeks ago, David and I headed up to the Early Bird in Leland for a big breakfast. It was a late morning breakfast and this mama was hungry! I ordered a large orange juice, a plate of scrambled eggs, sausage and hash browns AND a 2-stack side of buttermilk pancakes. My meal also came with sourdough toast. I’m proud to report that I ate every last bite! I could really get used to this bottomless pit appetite! I guess that with all of the awkward discomforts of pregnancy, eating well is one of the perks!

The picture above is after I conquered my big meal! I look quite satisfied, right?

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It’s certainly not every day that a meal turns out absolutely stunning enough to snap a photo and rave about it. But there are a few occasions in the kitchen when a meal looks picture perfect and tastes as good as it looks. These delectable culinary creations will hopefully make your mouth water. The images make my stomach growl, but it doesn’t take much to get a pregnant woman’s taste buds piqued!

The first savory dish is vegetable lasagna. This dish was inspired by having bought too many vegetables at the grocery store. I looked up a recipe to use them up and this was it!
 

The lasagna pan was almost overflowing and it was extremely dense! There are endless veggies and 4 kinds of cheese! Yes, 4! Parmesan, ricotta, cottage cheese and mozzarella! We enjoyed this lasagna for a few dinners and packed the rest away for lunches. I would definitely make it again!

Next up is a fruit smoothie that I made a few times prior to going to volleyball practice on Saturday mornings. It’s not your average smoothie either! The ingredients included:

  • Banana
  • Fresh blueberries
  • Frozen organic raspberries
  • A generous spoonful of organic Naturally Nutty Vanilla Peanut Butter
  • Orange juice (enough to give it a smoothie-like consistency)
  • Dash of cinnamon

And the smoothie result is below. Mmmmm…. this smoothie recipe makes for some truly satisfying fruit intake! The peanut butter and cinnamon give it a little extra pizzaz!

On one of the days this spring when we’ve been spared of rain and snow, we grilled out. The menu was simple: grilled potatoes, grilled asparagus and BBQ chicken. It tasted just like a hot summer day. Ahhhh.

The only pregnancy craving I’ve had so far has been for homemade popcorn. …and a few weekends ago, I indulged myself. I wasn’t planning on making two monster-sized bowls of popcorn, but it just kept a-poppin’! David was able to partake in my craving as well. (It’s always nice to share anyway.) Once the popcorn was popped and transferred into HUGE popcorn bowls, I heated up some butter in the hot pan to spread on top. It was finger-licking good!

Last but not least, I made my first chicken pot pie. It was a recipe that I got from a friend after she served this wonderful down-home-style dish at a dinner party. My attempt at the recipe yielded the same delicious results as my memory served from that long-ago dinner party. This sumptuous meal will be on the fall/winter menu for years to come in our household!

I hope you aren’t too hungry now! I sure am.

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Some early spring M-22 touring led us to Glen Haven, a charming historic settlement that is now preserved and maintained by Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Below, I am pictured in front of the Glen Haven Canning Company building where fruit was processed and shipped to market via Lake Michigan. Now the Cannery building is home to the Great Lakes Boat Museum.


Our M-22 tour continued as we drove up the Lake Michigan Coast to the village of Leland, home of Fishtown. Since, it was a Friday night, we decided to dine at the Bluebird Restaurant for their 1/2 off pizza special.

The bacon and pineapple pizza was a taste sensation!

We concluded our trip with a drive through Suttons Bay and along the West Grand Traverse Bay coastline back into Traverse City. Not a bad way to spend an evening…touring the scenic M-22 highway, stopping in historic villages and enjoying great food with great company. That’s what life is all about here Up North.

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Movies were free all week at the State Theater downtown for Spring Break. Last week, we went to see Fast Times at Ridgemont High… 1982 flashback! Caddyshack was showing after Fast Times, but we didn’t stay for the double-header.

Instead, we headed over to the Blue Tractor for dinner because we happened to have 2 coupons for $2.95 burgers from the Blue Tractor… talk about a cheap date*!

*It wasn’t totally cheap… because we did have the couples special at the movie theater (2 drinks and a large popcorn for like $8)… and at the Blue Tractor we added a basket of fries for $3.99, my fruity N/A drink was $2.99 and David had a $6 beer… so it wasn’t a complete cheap date… but it was still a lot of fun!

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A short drive up the coast of West Grand Traverse Bay brings you to the quaint village of Suttons Bay in Leelanau County. The village offers a bevy of restaurants and boutique shops, including Bahle’s department store. We recently made the drive to partake in the Bahle’s annual winter sale where winter clothes, shoes and gear is 50% off! It’s worth the drive, if you’ve never been!

We stopped at Martha’s Leelanau Table for lunch, a former residence on the main street that was converted into a restaurant.

If the charming red facade isn’t enough to lure you inside, certainly the from-scratch cooking will win your taste buds over.

Once inside, the homey atmosphere makes you feel welcome and at ease. The friendly wait staff is quick to tempt you with the daily soups and specials.

I opted for a soup and sandwich combo. The soup was a bell pepper-tomato-swiss combo with the perfect blend of spices. It was amazing. The Croque Madame panini sandwich was exquisite!

It was a great! I couldn’t have asked for a better afternoon!

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OK. I realize the Cherry Fest was weeks ago, but that just is evidence of how behind I am with this little ol’ blog of mine. Please forgive me and read on.

A friend had extra tickets to the Cherry Festival’s “global wine pavilion event” so David and I decided to partake. We joyfully rode our bikes down the TART Trail to the event located in Clinch Park where the former zoo once stood. The only remnants of the old zoo are the imitation rocks that flank the landscape that once provided the allure of natural habitat for the animals.

We arrived at the event area and David continued on to attempt to withdrawal some cash from the ATM at his bank located on Front Street. We both forgot about the Fest’s Junior Royale Parade with the famous Bed Races. Yep, teams decorate a bed and race it down Front Street. Winners are judged by bed design, attire and speed. Oh yeah, and someone has to actually lie in the bed during the heat. It’s a hoot to watch… when you’re not trying to cross a street lined with people to get to your ATM. Needless to say, David never made it across the street even after he tried to go around the parade, but the parade cue went on endlessly down Washington Street. He came back to the wine pavilion without any tenspots, but no worries, the event was all set up to take plastic. Woo hoo.

We sipped our first complimentary wine pour in our commemorative wine glass, toured the tents to scan the wine offerings and plan our next move. We were delightfully surprised to see a fantastic selection of craft beers.

Our table happily drank frothy beers from our wine glass and collectively wondered, “is it wrong to drink beer at a wine event?” In the end, we didn’t care. The Moose Drool beer was amazing and was quite fun to drink from a swanky wine glass. Paired with some amazing pulled pork tacos offered by The Cooks’ House restaurant in Traverse City, we were happy as clams sipping our Moose Drool surrounded by the many vino drinkers.

On our bike ride home, we wandered past the midway, the festival food court, listened to the sounds of  Big Bad Voodoo Daddy playing on the big stage, peeked over the fence of the beer tent and marveled at the many people out and about enjoying a beautiful summer evening in Traverse City. Thanks Cherry Fest, for a nice night on the town.

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If you are looking for a venue that offers great views and outstanding food, then look no further than Apache Trout Grill. Perched directly on West Grand Traverse Bay, there’s not a bad seat in the house. Apache is located next door to the Grand Traverse Yacht Club, which keeps the Bay alive with much activity. Wednesdays are race night for the Yacht Club, so Apache diners are not only treated with a bayfront scene but also can be mesmerized watching the many sailboats tack back and forth.


During the height of the summer, Apache often has a 30-40 minute wait for a table, but their waterfront Tiki bar will couch your hunger pangs (or at least make the wait enjoyable).

The Apache fare includes zippy salads, soups, barbecues, sandwiches, pastas, fish, steaks, and a selection of homemade desserts.

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