Monday, April 25, 2016

Grilled Teriyaki Chicken

Plant pansy pots - check. Scrub patio - check. Set up patio furniture - check. Fire up the grill - check, check, check. This gorgeous past weekend gave us an opportunity to get a jump start on our spring yard work, and of course, grilling season!

Grilled Teriyaki Chicken and sauteed veggies on a bed of brown rice

Kick start your barbecue with this sweet and savory marinade for Teriyaki Chicken. Add a heaping helping of sautéed veggies and a side of rice and you’re good to go.

Steamy, sauteed veggies - snow peas, shredded carrots, broccoli, water chestnuts and red bell pepper.

Teriyaki Marinade
¼ cup lite soy sauce
1 cup water
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
5 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1-2 tablespoons honey
Minced chives for garnish

In a small bowl, whisk together marinade ingredients. 

Pour over chicken and allow to marinate for two to three hours. Grill and serve with sauteed veggies over brown rice and sprinkle with chives.

Make it a great week!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Discover the small town charm of Tecumseh, Mich

Need an excuse to break up with your weekend routine? Head 35 miles northwest of Toledo to the quaint town of Tecumseh, Michigan. The town’s hub is easily accessible -it’s situated right on M-50 or Chicago Boulevard as it is known locally. There you’ll find charming eateries; boutiques; antiques shops; a winery, brewery, bakery, and ice cream parlor; and a history museum all within walking distance of each other plus hiking and outdoor adventure nearby.

Antiques shops are abundant in Tecumseh.

Upon arrival, visit Lev’s Bakery, a Tecumseh institution. Rumor has it that their donuts and soft, German pretzels (only available on Saturdays) are all the rage, but get there early in the day to indulge as they sell out quickly.

A stroll along the boulevard reveals a plethora of shops, eateries and small businesses.

A stroll along the boulevard provides a healthy dose of shopping opportunities. Visit Antiques & Vintage on the Boulevard and Hathaway Antique Emporium to scout out treasures from the past. For unique gifts, peruse the floral arrangements, candles, linens and home décor pieces at the DG II gift shop. Into hobbies? Browse the thousands of plastic kits, train sets, die cast cars, and accessories offered at J-Bar Hobbies.

The Boulevard Market

The sign at The Boulevard Market says it all – wine, chocolate, cheese. Owners John and Erika Aylward craft their own cheeses with fresh local milk and create chocolates using Sicilian chocolate-making techniques. 

The market also carries specialty foods and offers the best selection of boutique wines in the area. If you feel like staying in Tecumseh longer than just the day, reservations and $89 will get you an overnight stay in one of the three hotel rooms located on the second floor of the market.

Wines, chocolates and cheeses are available at The Boulevard Market.

Speaking of wine, Tecumseh boasts not one - but two wineries. Pentamere Winery is an urban venue and tasting room right in the heart of downtown, and J. Trees Cellars is an industrial-farmhouse style tasting room housed in the historic Hayden-Ford Mill, a short drive from downtown.

Evans Street Station

When you are ready for a bite to eat, the options are abundant. Enjoy a relaxing lunch of farm-to-table fare at Evans Street Station. Check into The Dog House for an all-beef hot dog embellished with one of their creative combos like the Junkyard Dog and the Frito Pie Dog, or design your own. 

Sample the many craft beer varieties along with a cheeseburger and tots at Tecumseh Brewery. For soups, salads and sandwiches with a side of espresso, look no further than The Daily Grind.

Tecumseh Area Historical Museum

After lunch, visit the Tecumseh Area Historical Museum, located in a former church, and learn how the community has developed since it was first settled in Lenawee County in 1824.

Indian Crossing Trails Park

Up for a little outdoor recreation? Drive a mile or so east of downtown on M-50. Indian Crossing Trails Park is a 130-acre park with several walking paths. The one-mile main trail winds along River Raisin. 

For a bit of adventure, visit the adjacent Satterthwaite Park where kayaks, paddleboards, canoes and row boats can be rented from the Tecumseh Paddling Company beginning on weekends in May.

Peruse the many antiques for sale in Tecumseh.

With so much to offer, Tecumseh’s inviting personality and close proximity to the Toledo area will beckon you to make a return trip, or two.

Monday, April 4, 2016

In the Scone Zone

Not long ago, I took a little excursion up to Detroit to visit Sister Pie bakery and get some shots for a column I was working on. While there, I was just enamored by the unique combinations of ingredients used in their muffins, scones, cakes and pies. Ingredients like kale, parsnips, radishes and leeks – ingredients I would have never thought about adding to baked goods.

Intrigued by this, I asked the owner how she came up with such incredible combinations. She told me that you just have to have a good, basic recipe, and then you add what’s in season. “It comes naturally after a while,” she added.

With that inspiration in mind, I decided to try my hand at scones. Now, I do realize that cheddar cheese and chives are not exactly unusual ingredients; however, having never made scones before, I thought the cheddar and chives would be a great addition to the basic scone recipe that I found in a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. Here is how I made them.

Cheddar and Chive Scones
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons chilled butter
2 tablespoons chives, chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 beaten egg
½ cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon half-and-half

Heat oven to 400 F. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. With a pastry blender or fork, cut in butter. Lightly stir in cheese and chives. Combine egg and ½ cup half-and-half; add to dry mixture. Stir just until moistened.

Turn dough onto a floured surface. Knead 10-12 strokes – don’t overdo it. Pat dough into a circle, about ½ inch thick. Cut into 8 wedges. Place scones 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush tops with 1 tablespoon half-and-half. Bake for 12 – 14 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Enjoy warm.

Here’s to coming up with new and unique combinations!