Lately I have been loving Italian Homemade Limoncello!

Limoncello makes the perfect holiday gift that the receiving end can put to use  right away. During the Christmas season it is a delicious aperitif to have on hand, especially if you have a little Italian in you (like me!)  It is pretty easy to make and very easy to enjoy… The simple mixture only requires fresh organic lemons, vodka, sugar, and water. Last week, over the course of a few days, I make some of this yellow liquor and have been enjoying it ever since! Store in the freezer and serve ice cold.

What you need: Organic lemons, pure grain alcohol 190 proof/ 95% vol (I used vodka), sugar (to make simple syrup), water, and a glass container. In short, using a vegetable peeler, you peel the lemons. Put them in an airtight jar with the vodka. Let the mixture sit in a cold dark place for a few days (I used my garage refrigerator). Then you strain the mixture, add some simple syrup. Pour it in to a pretty jar and enjoy! Here is a link to the exact recipe that I used. I also made a milkier version, which tastes more like a lemon Baileys after dinner drink. I will look for the link to that recipe and post it here once I find it.

After peeling the lemons, I used the actual lemon to make my kids mouth watering homemade lemonade… It was SO AMAZING! To make my simple organic lemonade I hand juiced all of the lemons into a glass container. I added simple syrup to taste which I had leftover from making the limonchello. It was one of the best cups of lemonade I have had in years!

 

Raspberries might just be one of my favorite foods (behind ice cream.) To honor my life long love for this sweet berry, earlier this summer I took a trip up to an adorable U-Pick Raspberry Farm on Old Mission Peninsula. Here is what I found…

Take a drive up Center Road on Old Mission Peninsula to visit Edmundson Orchard, a sweet u-pick raspberry farm with ripe berries ready for picking! It’s about 3/4 of the way up the peninsula, and you will see the sign on the road (see picture). Drive up the dirt road to find rows of yummy raspberries ripe for the picking! I visited the second week in July 2020 and the berries were just starting to ripen. There were more than enough to pick however it was clear that they will be in season for at least a few more weeks. The farm is open from 10 am to 4 pm- Remember to bring cash, a small bucket is $4 and a larger $7. They do not use pesticides, so if you happen to sneak a taste while picking you will be safe! I also love that this is a local farm owned and operated by local families. Supporting local is one of my top missions in this blog, so it always feels good to visit local farms and experience food straight from the earth. Freshly picked berries are DELICIOUS and even better when locally grown. Happy Picking 🙂

Rip & Delicious Berries!


 

BOILED & BAKED: Bubbie’s Bagels

Location: Traverse City, MI (base of Old Mission Peninsula, next to Little Ceasers and Thai Cafe. Across the street from the drive-through Starbucks) 

You might want to CALL in your bagel order RIGHT NOW- Because Bubbie’s Bagels are going FAST! EVERY DAY! They open at 8 am and are often sold out by 10 am and earlier on the weekends. Especially during these days quarantine, where a delicious homemade bagel literally makes your day! 

The word is spreading and recently opened Bubbie’s Bagels is a new local go-to for bagels that make you smile. I personally stopped by a few times, parked in front of the store to call in my order (as we were currently in a Stay-at-Home order in Michigan) only to find out they had SOLD OUT! So, I learned my lesson and since then have called ahead to place my order. Today, my family got the baker’s dozen with an assortment of a poppy seed, salt, plain, and everything. We topped it off with some whipped cream cheese and were NOT disappointed! Owner Sam just opened his shop about a month ago… All of his bagels use a sourdough base, and fermented for over two days, allowing them to develop ultimate flavor. They use traditional techniques of boiling the bagels before baking, rather than steam them, in order to develop a perfectly chewy interior and crispy outside. If you are visiting Traverse City this summer make sure to save one breakfast for Bubbie’s and perhaps enjoy them on the beach! 

 

Bubbie’s Bagels
1215 E Front St, Traverse City, Michigan 49686

Call – (231) 252-3587

Open Tuesday-Sunday 8am-Noon

For the latest BAGEL news follow them on Instagram @Bubbiesbagels

 

 

GIRLFRIEND’S HAPPY HOUR: FOODIE FINDS

A few recommendations straight from one girlfriend’s kitchen to yours via our zoom happy hour… 

Here we are again! For the last few weeks my girlfriend and I have hosted a zoom happy hour  (because we are stuck in our homes right now due to Covid-19- Stay safe ladies)- Soooo, we are doing it again this week… with a topic, I like to call: FOODIE FINDS! These are just simple food items straight from one girlfriend’s kitchen to yours… Some of our favorite basic food items that are a go-to in good times and bad. And just in case you wanted to try them out yourself, I have added some links (when possible) below the product- just click on the link find where you can purchase the product.  If you like what you see or have any FOODIE FIND suggestions, please share it in the comments below. Stay safe and healthy. xoxo Kristy & her Happy Hour Girl Friends

Carrine’s Chocolate Love 

Lundberg Organic Chocolate Covered Thin Stackers

Carrine loves these organic chocolate covered thin stackers in the decadent dark by Lundberg Farms

“These are the rice cake/chocolate things that I just love! Delicious!” -Carrine

Carrine & Lauren’s milk pick 

ALMOND & OAT MILK 

Carrine recommends this specific healthy brand and blends: Califia Farms Almond Oat Milk, unsweetened, oats & almond blend. She says, “I do a banana smoothie in the morning, so I use it for that. Or I’ll put it in my coffee. I get it at the Olson’s Grocery Store by the Old State Hospital in Traverse City- not every store carries this specific kind of almond milk. It is a little creamery. If I make coffee, I’ll put it in there with a little maple syrup.”

Lauren prefers the Almond Coconut flavor of the same brand. “I am chia pudding, I like to use the Almond Coconut to make chia,” she says. “I add cinnamon and maple syrup.”

Erica’s best box

Green Chef BOX

Erica loves the Green Chef meal delivery box: “We love Green Chef in our family- It’s awesome. We order one box that comes with three meals for the week (for 4 people each). You can choose from many organic options: keto, paleo, family plans… My daughter has been cooking it for us every day in Quarantine! She is learning all about cooking – it’s been such a cool thing! It’s super simple (more simple than Blue Apron). It’s rare that we even need to help her. They give a calorie count and carb count. We get it for a family of four, and the kids love it! Organic and yummy flavors!”

LAUREN’S SALSA 

Mrs. Renfro’s Hot Green Salsa Verde

“Lauren recommends you try Mrs. Renfros Hot Green Salsa Verde – She buys it locally in Traverse City at Tom. “I eat it on everything and I buy multiple at a time to keep stocked.” -Lauren

MACKENZIE’S FARM FAV

MICHIGAN FARM-TO-FREEZER

This company takes local produce, like veggies and fruit, they package it up, freeze it, and sell it in grocery stores. It allows Mackenzie to easily use all local blueberries and strawberries for her smoothies- even in the off season. They are often at the end of the aisle at the grocery store.

MACKENZIE’s CBD DRINK 

DRAM DRINK

DRAM is a cbd sparkling water in a can. Mackenzie recommends “beauty bubbles” flavor- it is gluten-free, plant-based, antioxidant, healthy eyes, and so much more. The company is based out of Colorado, and you can order online. She says, “they are tasty!”

GROWING WITH MAC 

THAI BASIL PLANT

“I have been inspired by the nice weather and I’ve wanted to plant,” explains Mackenzie. “So, I bought this thai basil, it makes me happy! I also like to plant mint and other herbs. I’ve been putting them in my kitchen window. I bought them at the new Oryana West in Traverse City.”

ERICA’S CHERRY BLOSSOMS

Terrain.com

Erica recently discovered Terrain.com and loves their white and pink cherry blossoms for only $58.  “I had a box delivered, they will bloom over the next four weeks- I’m going to send my step-mom in Florida the white one in honor of Traverse City. I was so excited, instead of flowers and they last a month! So, TC, if you have a mother-in-law out of town, it’s perfect!”

BUTTER-ME-UP with kristy

KERRY GOLD IRISH BUTTER

Kristy’s go-to butter is Kerry Gold Irish Butter, it is all-natural, and a great go-to for any kitchen needs!  Kristy knows the importance of pure quality butter for a healthy diet- she picks this one!  You can find this brand at most of your local grocery stores. 

 

 

“Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.”

-The Good Bowl, on Front Street in Traverse City, donates $1 to charity for every bowl sold.

Foodie Find: The Good Bowl Eatery 

It is a simple concept, “do good” while “eating delicious.” The Good Bowl Eatery, located on Front Street in Traverse City (right next door to Yen Yoga and WestBay Handmade), does just that. They donate a dollar for every bowl sold to one of three quarterly charities: A local, national, and global. Mix that goodness with a friendly chic atmosphere and home-made Vietnamese cooking- there isn’t much better! The picture at the top of this post is from one of their many speciality events which they hold throughout the year and feature gourmet Vietnamese dishes that are not usually on the menu. It makes a great night out with a group of your best girls! 

Order at the counter and grab a seat. Some of my favorite dishes include The Vietnamese Classic Pho– it is truly PHO-bulous! The broth is my favorite part, however, the fresh basil, cilantro, lime, and jalapeno bring it over the top!  #GoodBowlHackTIP You can order just the bone broth take-out style. A personal favorite is the Vietnamese Crispy Pork Ribs, unique with just a bit of spice from the home-made rub. For a nice lunch, option try the Banh Mi sandwich with your choice of protein topped with pickled carrots and daikon, fresh jalapeno, cucumber, cilantro, and our house mayo in a toasted traditional banh mi baguette.

To drink start with a Vietnamese Iced Coffee, which is French roasted coffee with sweetened condensed milk and an adorable paper straw. Others prefer the bubble tea, and, lucky for us, The Good Bowl is one of the few spots in Traverse City where you can find it! A bubble tea consists of a black iced tea blend with flavored milk powder and tapioca pearls. And yes, they have adult beverages! For dessert, try the black sesame ice cream, sounds strange, but it truly is amazing and worth a taste, even if you’re on a diet! 

Make group dinners easy with their catering box, but make sure to order a day ahead of time. Your guest will be impressed by the fresh ingredients and easy “group” dinner made easy.  The boxes feed 6-10 people depending on which one you order or choose the appetizer platter, which is perfect for watching football on Sundays in the fall. The GÀ RANG MUỐI (Vietnamese Chicken Wings) which are flash-fried and served with a spicy chili-lime dipping sauce. Num, num, num. 

The Good Bowl founder, Soon Hagerty, launched the restaurant with Executive Chef, Tony Vu, based on their belief that “business can and should be a force for good.” They developed their unique charity component, donating over $50,000 to local, national, and global charities since opening in July 2018. Yes, they surely are using their talents to be a force for good! Both Vu and Hagerty’s Vietnamese ties were an ideal mix and a blessing to bring delicious cuisine to our Northern Michigan town! Find them working their butts off at the restaurant most days, Tony in the kitchen, Soon front of house. 

And there is even more good news: The Good Bowl Eatery now has online ordering and curbside pick-up for easy-to-go food options, both lunch, and dinner.

The Good Bowl: 328 EAST FRONT STREET, TRAVERSE CITY, MI 49684

Phone:(231) 252-2662

www.goodbowleatery.com