Around Town · Food & Cooking · Seen/Heard/Tried · Summer Bucket List

Our Anniversary Weekend <3

Yesterday night marked the end of a relaxing, love-filled three and a half-day weekend spent celebrating our sixth anniversary. We had so much fun lounging, going for a 4-mile run to Grand Haven’s beautiful beach, enjoying our niece Lydia’s fifth birthday party, and even crossing some things off my summer bucket list!

On Friday, we started the weekend by driving to Battle Creek and going to Binder Park Zoo. It was a nice, sunny day, so the ride was really enjoyable.IMG_0781 IMG_0782I really appreciated how much space the animals had at Binder Park. For the most part, none of the exhibits really surprised me (perhaps because we saw a lot of the animals abroad, sometimes even in the wild), but I was still really impressed with the giraffes. I got to touch one for the first time, and it just blew my mind how big it was. I also really liked all of the peacocks roaming around (though I failed to get a pretty picture!).

IMG_0785This llama was actually kind of terrifying. You can’t see it in this picture, but it had really huge bottom teeth and could swing its head around at an alarming speed. I suppose I do that sometimes at the prospect of chocolate or good beer, but that’s beside the point.

IMG_0801Mugs at Dark Horse Brewing Company hanging from the ceiling

Speaking of good beer, the next place we headed was Dark Horse Brewing Company. We enjoyed a beer in the beer garden.

IMG_0802This table looked nice from a distance, but it was really awkward to sit in because the top came up above our chests. We felt like little kids trying to reach above for our beverage, and so we moved to another spot.

IMG_0804 IMG_0805 The next place we were headed was Arcadia Ales, but we ran intoย Sweetwater’s Donuts on the way and (obviously) had to stop.

IMG_0806So many choices! IMG_0807They have a coffee club with mugs!

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Chad helped me eat a New York cheese cake donut that tasted exactly how it looks: like SUGAR. (I’m not complaining…)

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Nom, nom, nom

Finally, we made it to Arcadia Ales, where Chad tried a reuben:

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I tried the Garden and Goat Quesadilla, which was fabulous. Pesto, tomato, red onion, spinach, mushroom, and goat cheese in a flour tortilla with a jalapeno salsa and sour cream on the side. *drools*

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The next morning, we went to Starbucks and finished off a Turtle donut (above) from Sweetwaters that was delightful. We read and talked in the sunshine before heading around town to do some shopping.

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Next up was lunch at a restaurant called Taste of India. We were a little worried at first because the diner was completely empty, but it was nearly 2:00 in the afternoon. We tried the buffet, and enjoyed the curry and other options. I had a yummy mango lassi, and particularly enjoyed the rice pudding offered.

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After lunch, we headed out to see Godzilla at a Cheap Flix theater. I was glad the film only cost $3 to see as I wasn’t too impressed, but I was still filled with a longing for Japan (minus the crazy creatures, obviously).

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Next up, we drove home, and biked around town (Chad ran) before getting some groceries for a picnic dinner.

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We chose proscuitto, fresh mozarella, tomatoes, a warm baguette and fabulous Santiago Olive Oil.

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We also prepared sliced pear, apple and plum.

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It started thunder storming outside, so we decided to have our picnic inside on our living room floor. I reminded me of when we first bought our house and sat on the floor in the dining room with champagne.

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Cheers! Happy Anniversary โค

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The next morning we lounged around the house, enjoying coffee and nutella croissants (which you know I love!)

These are just a few of the fun things we did over the weekend. I was so happy to have days devoted exclusively to hanging out with my sweetheart, who I am grateful for every day. Looking forward to so many more years with him ahead.

xx

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Good news! My long-time friend and sister-in-law Ariel will be joining me on Little Snail with occasional blog posts! She’s always up to creative and clever things, so I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us ๐Ÿ™‚

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Seen · Seen/Heard/Tried

Gold!

It’s been a rather chilly start to summer here in Michigan, and to top it off, Chad and I have both been battered down by an evil, relentless cold. Today when I woke up I decided to look for all of the orange, yellow and gold I could find to help me focus on the bright sunshine instead of our sniffly, mouth-breathing disposition. I took pictures at the Muskegon Farmer’s Market, and at Saugatuck Brewing company where we had a Father’s Day lunch. Unfortunately after lunch we both passed out for several hours at home with exhaustion, and I lost my voice. We even had to cancel our evening plans ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Still feeling like crap, but at least I took some fun pictures!

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Someone was selling rubber duckies…!

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We bought some of this awesome honey.

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Totoro Birdhouses made out of gourds!

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A sculpture near the market entrance.

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IMG_20140614_125607_361Lunch! A yummy portobello burger.

IMG_20140614_125551_658Chad got a French dip. I was happy to find my colors in our lunch!

IMG_20140614_124552_717Chad took this cool picture with my brother in the background.

IMG_20140614_125522_083He also took this one, which I think turned out to look kind of like a painting!

IMG_20140614_124514_502ย ย ย ย ย ย ย ย ย  Last, but certainly not least…

Well lovelies, I am off to get some more sleep. I hate being sick *cries*

xx

 

Food & Cooking · Seen · Seen/Heard/Tried · Tried

Week in Pictures

This week was one filled with lovely nature, marketplace excursions, culinary delights (such as that jambalaya we tried for Fat Tuesday!), and a pattern search in and around our house. (Anything to keep us busy and keep our spirits up ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

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Rosy Mound #1

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Rosy Mound #2

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Rosy Mound #3

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Goodies from our Asian Market trip (some of which were used for our Hina Matsuri dinner)

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Bubble Tea at a restaurant next door to the Asian marketplace

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We tried pho for the first time!

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Pretty flowers sent to us

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My favorite beer

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Nutella French Toast #1

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Nutella French Toast #2

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Patterns #1 (Don’t the knots in the tree look like eyes?)

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Patterns #2

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Patterns #3

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Patterns #4

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Patterns #5

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Patterns #6

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Patterns #7

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Patterns #8 (Okay, so maybe I just wanted to take a picture of our kitties because I love them…)

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Goodies from a trip to The Cheese Lady in Muskegon (We tried the Vanilla Balsamic drizzled over fresh strawberries!)

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I made homemade Crab Rangoons and Gyoza…

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And Chad made amazing homemade ramen!

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Dinner party dishes #1

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Dinner Party Dishes #2

I wonder what the weekend has in store for us! What have you been up to this week?

Food & Cooking

Fondue!

Captain America: Well, what about you and Stark? How do I know you two haven’t been fondue-ing?

Agent Carter: You still don’t know a bloody thing about women.

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I’ve been meaning to try fondue for a while now, and this weekend, we finally gave it a go! I borrowed a cute little fondue pot I brought my mom for Christmas from Japan a few years ago, and set to work making a cheese recipe I found on this fondue website.

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We dipped bread, steamed broccoli, red & yellow bell peppers, grilled zucchini and gnocchi into our cheese. I got the idea to use gnocchi from my sister-in-law, who said she had it at a recent fondue dinner party she attended. The meal was SO good, but we ate way too much!

I used the recipe below for the cheese:

Beer Cheddar Fondue: Welsh Rarebit Fondue Recipe

30 ml (2 Tbsp) Butter
250 ml (1 cup) Beer (Ale)
550 g (1 lb) Aged cheddar cheese, shredded
30 ml (2 Tbsp) Flour
2 ml (1/2 tsp) Cayenne pepper
5 ml (1 tsp) Dry mustard
Salt and pepper

1. Melt the butter in the cheese fondue pot.

2. Add beer and warm it up without bringing it to a boil. (We used Honey Badger from Short’s Brewing Company.)

3. Reduce heat. Mix the shredded cheese with flour, and gradually add the cheese/flour mixture.

4. Mix with wooden spoon and let it melt. Keep adding more cheese until all of it is melted.

5. Add remaining ingredients.

6. Add salt and pepper to taste.

7. If the mixture is too hard, add beer. If the mixture is too soft, add cheese.

8. Dip toast into the melted cheese.

9. Let the toast cool off for a few seconds, then enjoy and repeat but no double-dipping!

(Recipe taken from bestfondue.com)

 

What kinds of fondue have you tried, and what kinds of food did you dip in it?

Around Town · Tried

Detroit Beer Festival in Pictures

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Equipped with maps, sampling cups and tokens, there was no stopping us as we ventured through the Detroit Beer Festival. (Well, except when we’d definitely reached our limit. Then we stopped.)

20131030-211557.jpgWe had a lot of fun trying all of the different beers, and just being together. My favorite beer? A Kombucha Ginger beer from Unity Vibration in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Kombucha beer is not something I think I would ordinarily try, but 1) a beer festival is a place to expand your horizons, and 2) after several other samples I was feeling adventurous.

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Several samples and unintentionally stolen sandwiches later, we were still standing.

Our evening consisted of playing Cards Against Humanity, lots of laughter, and too much amazing food prepared by our friends (one of whom is the fellow pretending to be angry in the picture above). I’ve been told there will be a Winter Beer Festival in Grand Rapids, so I’m excited to potentially try more interesting flavors. I tend to be an IPA girl myself–what kind of beer do you like?

Monday Matters

Over the Weekend…

I watched my husband become a black belt in judo:

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Chad’s name on the list of competitors

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Opening Remarks

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After he won his third match & got his black belt

I saw these cute, pink construction worker signs:

20130211-181401.jpgI participated in an awesome nomihoudai, or all-you-can-drink at Rokko Diner to celebrate with Chad (they had a Valentine’s special–only ยฅ2000 for girls, ยฅ3000 for guys, for 2 1/2 hours, any beer!):

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Crystal Amber Ale & karaage (fried chicken) made with Rokko Pilsner

I bought really cute dessert forks and spoons:

20130211-181818.jpgWalked to China town with a pit stop to split a rice croquette:

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There was curry inside!

Saw huge lines at the China Town for nikkuman, or meat-stuffed buns, and other Chinese food:

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Many people were checking out China Town to see events related to the Chinese New Year.

And split a nikkuman and “burger” with Chad:

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And was generally happy because it was a much needed three-day weekend. Oh yeah, and because I saw this guy with a pig face:

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How was your weekend?