Monthly Archives: September 2007

A Fun First Week of October!

Fall is looking good! Leaves are turning, we’re digging the long sleeved shirts out of the closet, and getting ready to enjoy the many autumn activites in our area! Here are some suggestions; enjoy!


10:00AM-2:00PM Through Sunday, Free Kids Day at Coopersville Farm Museum.


Through 7th, Pumpkinfest. Zeeland.


9:00AM Kids Workshop, Home Depot Stores.  Crayon Holder.

10:00AM through Sunday, Harvest! The Festival! Blandford Nature Center. A free weekend-long event featuring fresh farm markets, children’s activities, food demonstrations, ecology tours, local music and vendors of ecologically sensitive and healthful products.

11:00AM-3:00PM Dairy Discovery tours at SwissLane Farms.  $4.00 per person, kids under 1 are free.Family rate: $16 for 5 people.  Tours include: bottle feeding calves, watching cows being milked, playtime in the corn box, straw maze, a dairy snack, and goodie bags for kids. Hayrides $1.

11:00 Pulaski Days Parade, part of the Pulaski Days Festivities.

12:00 noon, through Sunday. Bowens Mills, “It’s Cider-time” Festival. Middleville.


1:30 PM, Cascade Branch KDL, “Very Hungry Caterpillar and Friends” make and take early literacy event with Bright Beginnings.


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Filed under Things to do Thursday

Wordless Wednesday


“Grand Rapids Night Sky”

Photo Credit: Anne Teliczan

More Wordless Wednesday here.



Filed under Wordless Wednesday

Worldwide Day of Play


Doesn’t that sound like fun??

This weekend the American Heart Association in a joint venture with Nickelodeon (who I love for one reason and one reason only… Blues Clues. That is the best kids show ever.) is sponsoring the Worldwide Day of Play this Saturday, September 29.

Local events this year will be held at various YMCA branches from 1-3pm and all are free and open to the public:

Grand Rapids

  • David D. Hunting YMCA, 475 Lake Michigan Drive NW, (616) 855-9622
  • Southest YMCA, 730 forest Hill SE, (616) 285-9077


  • Wolverine World Wide Family YMCA, 6555 Jupiter Ave, (616) 363-3000


  • Visser Family YMCA, 3540 Fairlanes SW, (616) 530-9199


  • Lowell YMCA, 1335 W. Main Street, (616) 897-8445


  • Maple Street YMCA, 1001 Maple Street, (269) 345-9622

For more info click here.

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Filed under Breaking News

Mid-day At The Oasis

4Our Tasty Tuesday for this week actually occurred on Monday. Why? Well, A.P. didn’t have school and I am cheap, so I go to the Museum on Mondays when it is free for Grand Rapids residents. 

The first big hit of the day was the Juke Box Heroes exhibit. Both of my kids bust a move immediately upon hearing any type of music, (this includes walking past Abercrombie and Fitch at the mall; it can be embarassing) so they had a lot of fun with that. The only downside is that I can’t get that song out of my head now.

The other exhibit I had to bribe them to get them to leave  they really enjoyed was the Dolls exhibit.  I don’t know what it was, but a pretend tea party in the midst of a bunch of dolls hit the spot for them both.


Why is this Tasty Tuesday you ask? Well, we stopped at the Oasis Café on the second floor for lunch.  It is a cute little place with an awesome view of the river, the new Marriott, and the 6th Street Bridge which for some reason, A.P. always refers to as “our little Blue Golden Gate Bridge”.

I had a delicious portobello mushroom and roasted tomato bisque and a Ginger Peach tea, and the kids had grilled cheese and a hot dog.  The kids meal is a pretty good deal; it includes a drink and chips as well as a token for a ride on the carousel (usually $1) for $4.95.  They also have sandwiches for grown ups and gigantic brownies and cookies too.

We’ll be back soon, as I learned that there will be an exhibit from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame coming in November about The Supremes. I am SO excited. I love anything and everything Motown and was crushed when my childhood dreams of being a backup singer for Martha and the Vandellas didn’t materialize.  I’m totally not kidding. Now is my chance. I’m hatching a plan right now to sneak into the exhibit and sing.  You can’t hurry love, no, you’ll just have to wait.


Filed under Tasty Tuesday

And The Winner Is….YOU

Hands holding up a trophyOh my … I did the drawings for the Eat Local contests.  While there were days that over 300 people were reading about Eating Locally on Big Binder, only a few folks entered the contests.  Lucky you!!

Here are the results, listed by entrant.  Some of you entered several contests and won several prizes! 

The Diaper Diaries – Cheeze Kurls Munchster Doll, Alicat Kitchens Gift Certificate, Environmental Club Tote Bag

E Doc – Cheeze Kurls T-Shirt

Paige – Cheeze Kurls T-Shirt

Look, Mom, Look! – Cheeze Kurls T-Shirt, Environmental Club Tote Bag

Silly Sister In Law – Litehouse Dressing, Environmental Club Tote Bag

Deb Mom Of 3 – Litehouse Dressing, Environmental Club Tote Bag

Catherine – Cheeze Kurls Munchsters Doll 

Cleaver Mama – Stehouwers Beef Sizzlers, Cheeze Kurls Munchster Doll

Good Idea Momma – Litehouse Dressing; Cheeze Kurls T Shirt

Brendalyn Eustice – Cheeze Kurls Munchster Doll, Mrs. Dogs Jerk Marinade, Environmental Club Tote Bag

Dan H – Litehouse Dressing, Mrs. Dog’s Jerk Marinade, Environmental Club Tote Bag

Char – Litehouse Dressing, Art & Bev Gift Certificate, Environmental Club Tote Bag

Amanda – Litehouse Dressing

Urban Mom – Environmental Club Tote Bag

Call Me A Bookworm – Environmental Club Tote Bag

Jenniflower – Litehouse Dressing, Mrs. Dog’s Jerk Marinade, Environmental Club Tote Bag

Adventure Mom – Litehouse Dressing, Environmental Club Tote Bag

J2andn2 – Litehouse Dressing

Sarah – Litehouse Dressing, Art & Bev Gift Certificate, Environmental Club Tote Bag

Megan – Onion Crock Soup, Cheeze Kurls Munchster Doll, Environmental Club Tote Bag

Rose – Golden Legacy Turkey Breast, Environmental Club Tote Bag

Spartan Jill – Golden Legacy Turkey Breast, Cheeze Kurls Munchster Doll, Environmental Club Tote Bag

PLEASE E-MAIL ME at to make arrangements for getting your prizes to you.  Thank you all for participating!


Filed under Contests, EatLocalChallenge

Freezer Finds

FreezerBuiltinFlyingFood.jpg (53464 bytes)

I am trying to make room for some applesauce I am making this weekend so this menu comes to you from the depths of my freezer.  I am making full use of the manufacturer’s websites today as I am at a loss for what to do with some of this stuff.  Hope you enjoy what I came up with...


Pork Vindaloo

  • 5 tbsp. Penzey’s Vindaloo Seasoning
  • 5 tbsp. water
  • 2 tbsp. oil 
  • 1 1/2 lbs pork, cubed
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 cups potatoes, cubed

Mix Vindaloo Seasoning and 5 tbsp. water; set aside.

Heat oil and brown pork.  Remove, then brown onion.  Put browned pork back in pan and add Vindaloo paste, 1 cup water, vinegar, and salt.  Cook 30 minutes.

Add potatoes and cook until tender, about 45 minutes.

If a very hot dish is desired, add 5 tbsp cayenne pepper to Vindaloo seasoning and water to make paste. Serve over rice if desired.

This recipe is from a Penzey’s Spice catalog.

Stuffed Zucchini - bowl, blender, blackberries, raspberries, refrigerate, unsweetened, white bread, Italian, cooking, ingredients, baking, dinner, tablespoon, cup, measure, heat Stuffed Zucchini

  • 6 medium zucchini
  • 1 1/2 cups soft bread crumbs
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded cheddar or parmesean cheese (2 oz)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

Wash zucchini and trim ends; do not peel.  In an 4-6 quart pot, cook whole zucchini in boiling, lightly salted water for 5 minutes; drain and cool slightly.  Cut a lengthwise slice off the top of each zucchini.  Remove pulp with a spoon, leaving about a 1/4 inch shell.  

Chop enough of the pulp to measure 2 cups; place chopped pulp in a medium bowl.  Stir in bread crumbs, egg, 1/4 cup of cheese, onion, parsley, salt, and pepper until well mixed.  Fill zucchini shells with pulp mixture.  Place in a shallow baking pan.  Bake in oven at 350 for 20 minutes.  Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.  Bake for 5-10 minutes more or until golden brown and heated through.

This recipe is from American Baby magazine.


Sausage Scrambler

Breakfast for Dinner 

Scrambled Eggs

Alfresco Chicken Sausage


Fresh fruit – bananas and apples


Grilled Steak SaladSteak Salad

I’m going to use this recipe for grilled steak; then just slice it and put it over mixed greens and serve it as a salad. I found a loaf of Panne Provincio Black Bean Salsa Bread in the freezer so I’ll drag that out too.


 Penne With Hot Sausage

  • 1 package Jennie-O Turkey Store Hot Lean Turkey Sausage 

  • 1 package (16 ounces) penne pasta, cooked and drained 

  • 1/3 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil 

  • 1 cup refrigerated light Alfredo pasta sauce, heated 

  • 1/2 cup ripe pitted olives 

  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley

Cook sausage according to package directions. Cut sausages into 1/2-inch slices. Cook penne pasta according to package directions. Drain sun-dried tomatoes; rinse. Add cooked sausage, sauce, olives and sun-dried tomatoes to cooked pasta; toss to coat. Sprinkle with Parmesan and parsley. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

This recipe is from Jennie-O Turkey Store.


One Step Meatless Lasagne

  • 1 can (14 1/2 oz.) diced Italian style tomatoes

  • 1 jar (14 oz.) spaghetti sauce

  • 8 ounces Morningstar Farms Meal Starters Grillers Recipe Crumbles

  • 8 ounces lasagna noodles uncooked

  • 16 ounces fat-free cottage cheese

  • 3/4 cup Mozzarella cheese

  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Combine tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, and  Crumbles in a large mixing bowl. Mix well.

Spread 1/3 of tomato mixture in bottom of 11 x 7-inch baking dish. Arrange 1/2 of the uncooked noodles over the sauce. Spread 1/2 the cottage cheese over the noodles. Top with another 1/3 of the sauce. Repeat using remaining noodles, cottage cheese, and sauce. Cover with aluminum foil.

Bake at 350° F for 50 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Return to oven uncovered for 5 minutes to melt cheese. Let stand for 10 minutes, sprinkle with parsley and serve.

This recipe is from Morningstar Farms.

I will do a little baking this week too.  I have some friends that are Tastefully Simple Consultants, so I will just say that these next recipes taste exactly like are an acceptable substitute for the ‘real thing’.

Beer Bread

  • 1 12 oz bottle beer
  • 3 cups self-rising flour
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup melted butter

In a large bowl, mix together the sugar and flour.  Add beer and continue to mix.  Batter will be sticky.  Pour into a greased loaf pan. Pour melted butter over bread.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes. 

Not Nana’s Apple Cake

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg or mace
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • 6 cups peeled, diced tart apples

Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients and add to mixture. Stir in apples. Spoon into greased 11 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean.


Filed under Menu Plan Monday

Going, Going, Almost Gone…

The Eat Local challenge wraps up today with our final contest.  Let me first thank all of these awesome companies and organizations for donating these products for this contest. I think we have all come a long way in the past two weeks as I read the comments and see that people learned something new about products made right here in Grand Rapids. That is really exciting to me.

Second, thanks to everyone who has participated in this contest, either by entering or passing along the information to an interested friend.  I feel so grass-rootsy.

Let me recap the chances you have to win. If you aren’t in the Grand Rapids area, please play anyway! If you win something that I can’t get to you; I’ll swap it out with another prize. This is Grand Rapids; we do stuff like that.  We’re a special breed of nice here.  

I will close the contest Sunday at midnight E.S.T. and do the drawing Monday morning. 

Today we got a chance from Mrs. Dog’s to win one of three Jamacian Jerk Marinades. 

We got a good reminder from the kids at Thornapple Elementary’s Environmental Club to say no to paper and plastic, and a chance to win one of 15 swell canvas bags from them. 

Art & Bev Bistro donated two $5 gift certificates for two of you to have a chance at your own Tasty Tuesday.

On Monday we had a word from Ben Franklin and a chance to win one of two All Natural Golden Legacy Turkey Breasts from Michigan Turkey Producers.

We launched the contest last Monday with Litehouse Dressings and one of ten chances to win a jar of this delicious treat.

On Tuesday we warmed up with Onion Crock Soup and a chance to win a case of tasty goodness.

Wednesday we heard all about Alicat Kitchens and got the chance to win a $25 gift certificate.

Thursday brought us the chance to win one of 5 Cheeze Kurls t-shirts or one of 5 Munchster’s dolls.

Friday we stirred up quite a bit of excitement with a case of Stehouwer’s Beef Sizzlers to win.

Play ’em all, why not? Good luck!


Filed under Contests, EatLocalChallenge