Gouda goodness

One of my favorite comfort foods is a delicious grilled cheese sandwich; they just make me happy! So, last night, we made some super yummy grilled cheese sandwiches with some new combinations that we’ve never tried at home & served them with roasted asparagus on the side & it all turned out to be delicious. DO try this at home!

This is not so much an exact recipe with measurements & specific portions for everything – just enough for one sandwich with my details below; but, grilled cheese should be a free-form thing anyway, don’t you think?

2 slices of the bread of your choice (we used wheat bread this time)
Several slices of the cheese of your choice (we used a really yummy smoked Gouda this time)
2 slices of fakin’ bacon (or real, if you prefer – my only complaint with the fake stuff was that it didn’t get extra crispy like the real stuff does, but it did have nice flavor)

Put these all together, spread the bread on both of the outer sides with some butter (we use Earth Balance), & grill ’em up in a grill pan (don’t forget to flip your sandwich to toast both sides) until everything is melty & oozy… I’m drooling now!

And, like I said, we served this with one bunch of asparagus, which we roasted in the oven & seasoned (coat lightly with olive oil & seasonings – salt, pepper, veggie seasoning mix) & sprinkled with a little lemon at the end – yum!

More on other yummy grilled cheeses to come… I do have a soft spot for mozzarella grilled cheese sandwiches with pesto & tomato.

by Valerie | 08.31.10 | Recipes | No Comments »

I had a bad day…

I had one of those days yesterday & was not in a good mood at all on my walk from work to meet Ryan in downtown Ann Arbor – when suddenly, I came across these two things on my walk & they really made my day…the first (The Lorax), I found at the corner of Liberty & S. Division on top of a tree stump (right next to Bar Louie) & the second was in a shop window a couple blocks down on Washington. It’s funny the things that can turn your day around; to whoever was kind enough to put these things along my path, thanks for making me smile!

by Valerie | 08.27.10 | Around town | No Comments »

Chelsea Fair

We really enjoyed heading out to the Chelsea Fair last night! There were rides & junk food (it’s true, we couldn’t leave without having french fries, pretzels, & a watermelon slushee!), a demolition derby, & animals to pet & view.

The demolition derby was a lot of fun – all those cars & trucks smashing into each other & sliding around in the mud…it might sound odd, but it was very entertaining!

And on our way out, we stopped by the barns to see all the animals; I can’t help myself, I just love them & especially the baby ones of course…what is it about baby animals that makes my voice suddenly higher & the “awww…” come out of my mouth? I really loved the little, black lamb with the white spot on his head in the bottom of the picture above – too cute! 

Here’s more photos from the fair; Ryan took some great ones with our Canon that we’ll eventually get online too.

by Valerie | 08.26.10 | Around town, For Funsies | No Comments »

Camping & a day at the beach

We had a wonderful weekend camping with friends at the Laka Macatawa Campground in Holland, MI! Although we had a rough start on Friday afternoon getting out of town & arriving at the campground after dark & in the rain, it turned out to be a very nice weekend away.

It was a lovely campground & the best part was that Ottawa Beach on Lake Michigan was just a short walk from our camp; once the rain cleared up on Saturday morning, we all headed to the beach to enjoy a day of fun in the sun & many of us, especially me, got a little too much sun – but we definitely had a lot of fun.

It was wonderful to sit around a campfire with friends, roast marshmallows & eat s’mores, listen to the pitter-patter of rain on our tent, enjoy a day at the beach, & be disconnected from our phones, TV, & internet for most of the weekend. It really was nice to get away…but, I have to admit, it was also really nice to come home to air conditioning, a clean shower, & a soft bed to sleep in too!

You can view more photos from our trip here.

by Valerie | 08.23.10 | For Funsies, Travel | No Comments »

We’re off to see the Wizard

We had the best time attending the Sing-a-Long Wizard of Oz at the Michigan Theater this afternoon & I was sure to wear my red shoes, of course. They gave out gift bags with bubbles, kazoos, lollipops, etc. & the words were right there on the bottom of the screen so that everyone could join in…”We’re off to see the Wizard…”!

The Michigan Theater has a great summer classic film series that you should really check out – Ryan & I saw the Creature from the Black Lagoon in 3D there a couple summers ago & enjoyed that one too.

by Valerie | 08.15.10 | Around town, For Funsies | 1 Comment »


Behold, the fruits of our labor; harvested today, fresh from our very own garden – limes, herbs (basil, mint, & parsley), nasturtium, red onions, tomatoes, & peppers!

by Valerie | 08.11.10 | Around our home, Garden | 2 Comments »

Northern magic

Ryan & I had the pleasure of taking a vacation to northern MI & the U.P. last week & it was simply magical! We’d never made it up north, in our 6 years of living here so far, & I’m not sure why – now I can’t wait to go back again.

We began our trip on Wednesday afternoon & drove all the way up to Grand Marais, MI where we stayed for two nights at an adorable little motel that had a lovely view of the harbor & Lake Superior. When we got there it was very late & dark & so it was such a nice surprise to wake up to the most glorious sunrise over the water, which we could view just outside our motel window on Thursday morning. The view from our room looked like this…

We had a busy day of hiking & sightseeing along the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on Thursday, but my favorite part of the whole trip had to be our hike up to the Au Sable Point Lighthouse & along the beach there – it really was breathtaking; we could stand on the remains of three shipwrecks along the shore & we were just about the only ones on the beach – the wind, the waves, & the sky were beautiful!

 We continued on to Chapel Falls & Chapel Rock on Thursday, which were lovely as well.

Friday, we packed up & started heading towards Mackinaw City. We stopped at Oswald’s Bear Ranch, Tahquamenon FallsWhitefish Point Lighthouse/Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, & the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie along the way.

Saturday we took the ferry over & spent the day on Mackinac Island – took a horse-drawn carriage ride, visited the butterfly house & Ft. Mackinac, sat on the porch at the Grand Hotel & had a drink, bought & flew a kite, & bought some fudge.

It was an amazing trip & I’m dreaming of walking along the beach right now; it was so wonderful to get away, relax, & enjoy the wind & the waves!

View more photos from our trip here (more to come as well, once we add the photos we took with our good camera – these are just the ones I took with my iPhone as of today).

by Valerie | 08.09.10 | For Funsies, Travel | 1 Comment »

Birthdays, Eagle Scout projects, wedding photos, friends, & Maker Faire!

We had an amazing weekend, full of lots of fun times & wonderful friends. We celebrated our dear friend, Jen Seibert’s, birthday & had fun bowling on Friday night. Saturday we enjoyed lending a hand with a friend’s Eagle Scout project – building a fence at the historic Dewey School – & we loved the beautiful countryside & the charming schoolhouse; we then had a wonderful evening taking wedding photos of our friends Stephanie & Ken & enjoyed a delicious dinner at Terry B’s in Dexter. And today we had a blast at the Maker Faire, held at the Henry Ford Museum, where we got to see a lot of really cool stuff & picked up some great things to take home too. The weekend really flew by, but we enjoyed the ride!

Some photos I took at the Dewey School…

And here are some photos I took at the Maker Faire & photos that Ryan took at the Maker Faire.

by Valerie | 08.01.10 | Around town, For Funsies | 1 Comment »

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