RECIPE: SWEDISH MEATBALLS.

So I’ve been searching for something to make as my bring-along to Thanksgiving dinner this year. I was thinking of something that could play as either an hors-d’oeuvre or a side dish to the main meal. In order for it to play well with the traditional meat – the turkey – I chose to try ground turkey meatballs. These were DELICIOUS! Enjoy 🙂 YOU WILL NEED: 1 cup Stove Top stuffing mix, separated 1 lb ground turkey 1/4 cup milk (I used unsweetened flax) 1 egg 2 tsp pepper 1/2 tsp lemon peel 1 tsp paprika 1 tsp nutmeg 1 Tbsp parsley 1/2 tsp onion powder 12 oz broth (I used chicken) 12 oz gravy (I used turkey) WHAT TO DO: Place stuffing mix in a one quart baggie, seal with a small opening left for air to escape, and roll stuffing with a rolling pin (or wine bottle, etc.) …

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RECIPES: AVOCADO SMOOTHIE.

HEY YOU!  Even if you HATE avocados, just keep reading — I used to too, and I’ve grown to love them now.  This smoothie will be a great “gateway” snack into appreciating this superfood because the other ingredients change the way the avocado tastes and feels (the two reasons I hated them to begin with). This month, I tried a “green smoothie” for the first time. (Hey! I tried a new food!) I’ve decided to make an effort to eat more fruits and veggies as well as to have something for breakfast, so a smoothie seemed perfect. Most suggestions say to start with spinach (as opposed to more in-your-face greens, like kale) to “ease” into a green smoothie, so I made my first five or so smoothies with a spinach base; then I started to experiment. While I like the liquidy goodness of the spinach smoothies, I wanted to find something …

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RECIPES: FRITTATA.

For Christmas, I received a cast iron skillet from my parents, and since, I have been racking my brain deciding what its first dish should be. The idea of an egg bake of some sort had been rolling around, but I didn’t know what they were “officially” called. I ended up “winging it” and later discovering that you could probably call this concoction a frittata: A frittata is similar to an omelette, but with four key differences: 1) There is always at least one optional ingredient in a frittata and such ingredients are combined with the beaten egg mixture while the eggs are still raw rather than being laid over the mostly-cooked egg mixture before it is folded, as in a conventional omelette. Eggs for frittata may be beaten vigorously to incorporate more air than traditional savory omelettes, to allow a deeper filling and a fluffier result. 2) The mixture …

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#12: TRY NEW RESTAURANTS (FOREST MEXICAN).

A week ago, Brian and I had dinner at a new restaurant in town, Forest Mexican Cantina. This place is not just new to us, but new to Lake Orion – it opened up in May in what used to be a Mediterranean restaurant (or two) and I believe an old Ruby Tuesday’s before that. It’s one of those “cursed” locations in which things don’t seem to last. There’s a very popular Mexican cantina already in downtown Lake Orion (Sagebrush), but because of the way the owner runs it (never opening the second floor, not allowing other restaurants in the area to open), it’s ALWAYS crowded at dinner. Sometimes there’s a 2+ hour wait. While I LOVE Sagebrush, it’s pretty much just a bar to me, not a restaurant, so I have a personal interest in Forest succeeding (I love Mexican and don’t want to wait an hour for it). …

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DRINKS: SPICED SWIZZLE.

Happy July 4th! I made a new adult beverage today – a Spiced Swizzle. I’ve adapted a recipe I found through the drink kiosk at Meijer, so enjoy: DRINK INGREDIENTS: 5-10 mint leaves (to taste) 1-2 oz simple syrup (more for sweeter)* 2 oz spiced rum 3/4 oz lime juice* 3 dashes bitters DRINK PREPARATION: Muddle mint leaves with a splash of the simple syrup at the bottom of a Collins glass. Add the rest of the simple syrup, spiced rum, lime juice, and bitters. Fill glass with ice, garnish with mint sprig, and enjoy! I used about ten mint leaves for a really minty taste, but also tried a more subtle version with just five leaves — both delicious. *If you use fresh lime juice, you may want to adjust the amount of simple syrup to account for the sweetness missing from bottled lime juice.

RECIPES: BLUEBERRY HONEY (NO RISE) BAGELS.

When I came across the recipe for pretzels the other day in my cookbook, I also came across a recipe for honey bagels. Having just made everything & cheese bagels, I felt safe enough to try bagels again! These take about an hour to make, start to finish, and you don’t have to wait for dough to rise.  I added blueberries to the mix since I had a carton just waiting to be used. BLUEBERRY HONEY (NO RISE) BAGELS (MAKES 12)

RECIPES: SOFT PRETZELS.

When I was a kid and my mom took us to Target, she’d sometimes buy us one of those really big, soft, chewy pretzels. Now that I’m older, those pretzels don’t seem quite as large… and my mom doesn’t buy them for me anymore. So when I stumbled across a recipe in one of my cookbooks for pretzels, I knew I’d have to try them out. CHEWY SOFT PRETZELS (MAKES 12)

RECIPES: BAGELS (EVERYTHING & CHEESE).

The other day, I decided to get adventurous and try to make my own bagels.  Now, I LOVE bagels!  And I love all different kinds… plain, onion, everything, blueberry, cinnamon+raisin, garlic, and the list goes on…  I love bagel shops and restaurants that sell bagels (hello Panera!) and I love fresh bagels from grocers.  But, buying one at a time isn’t as economical as I like; and buying a half dozen at the stores usually guarantees me one or two that don’t get eaten.  With a household of two, six of the same flavor is just too much sometimes. EVERYTHING BAGELS + CHEDDAR BAGELS (MAKES 8)

LOCAL TREATS: JODI BEE HONEY FARM.

September, 2011, Brian & I went to the Michigan Renaissance Festival – me, for the very first time 🙂  One of the things that stuck out to me was all the little shops.  It’s like a giant themed farmers’ market / craft show.  It’s great!  I was so overwhelmed though with all the wares that I walked out that year purchasing nothing.