20 Minute Asparagus Tortellini Marinara

Dinner, Some Gouda Times | June 22, 2016 | By

This 20 minute Asparagus Tortellini Marinara shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PickedAtPeak #CollectiveBias #ad

20 minute asparagus tortellini marinara

We had a bumper crop of tomatoes last year ~ I’m talking tomatogeddon, so store-bought sauce wasn’t on my radar. The tomato season here in the Midwest doesn’t last long though; usually 4-6 weeks at best, so we harvest, share, freeze, share and freeze some more until there’s no more room in the freezer. I chopped, roasted, sautéed and simmered my way to a freezer full of marinara (among other tomato dishes). But by early spring the only sign left of tomatogeddon and my homemade marinara was the faint aroma of garlic that refused to leave my fingertips. Actually, I kind of like that aroma, but that’s for another post. I used to make 20 Minute Asparagus Tortellini Marinara during ‘tomato season’, but a homemade marinara turned this 20 minute dish into 60. I was intrigued by the NEW Prego® Farmers’ Market sauces now available in Walmart stores. When I read the label ~ the same farm-fresh ingredients picked at just the right time that I use in my own homemade garden-fresh marinara ~ I jumped.


TAZO® Chai Latte K-Cup® Pods

TAZO® Chai Latte

This post was sponsored by Starbucks as part of an Influencer Activation. I received compensation and complimentary products to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own.

TAZO® Chai Latte K-Cup® Pods

It’s rare when the lake is as flat as it is today ~ I’m talking hardly a ripple. It’s a great day to be out on the boat and today we’re going fishing, which, for me is actually code for paging through a good book or one of the junk magazines the grocery stores stock near the checkout. They get me every time. My husband could fish every day he likes it so much but for me, it’s more about relaxing and enjoying the view or the spray of lake water on my face when we’re cruising. Even though the calendar says May, temps in our area are fickle, early mornings and evenings are still chilly. So when I knew we were heading out early, I wanted a beverage to keep me warm and thought about a thermos of coffee but then I remembered the NEW TAZO® Chai Latte K-Cup® Pods  that came in the mail. I wish I had taken a picture of the box they came in ~ beautifully wrapped with a big orange bow but in my excitement, I ripped it open, Christmas-morning style and the remnants were not pretty. Anyway. . .back to “fishing” ~ even though the boat is docked behind our house so there’s no travel time involved, when the captain says the boat is leaving the dock at 8 a.m. ~ the boat is leaving the dock at 8 a.m., so if making this Chai Latte was time consuming, well . . .


Selden Standard – Review

Some Gouda Times | November 2, 2015 | By

Selden Standard – warm, welcoming and pretty much everything my mouth has been begging for in a meal. We’re coming into maybe the busiest time of the year, but I urge you to slow down, if just for one night, make time for those important in your life and if you’re looking for a meal you’ll be thinking about long after it’s over, make a reservation at Selden Standard. Our experience at Selden Standard was, well. . .anything but standard. 


Traffic Jam & Snug

Traffic Jam & Snug

Some Gouda Times | September 25, 2015 | By

Dear Traffic Jam & Snug: I wanted to like you. In fact, I wanted to l.o.v.e. you. I wanted to use all sorts of ♥♥♥♥♥♥ and !!!!! when I described our meeting to my friends and family. I wanted us to be a perfect match, to rendezvous again and again.  I’ve had my eye on you for a while now and I couldn’t wait for us to meet. I even checked you out online. I just wish our first date had gone better. I wanted to like you. . .


Jolly Pumpkin

Jolly Pumpkin - Detroit

Some Gouda Times | August 14, 2015 | By

If you haven’t been to midtown Detroit lately, it’s time to go. This is the Detroit you’ve been hearing about. . . the one you need to experience. New restaurants are opening everywhere and though it’s not brand new, Jolly Pumpkin Pizzeria and Brewery was new to most of our monthly Dinner Club. Good food, good company, some laughs — what else do you want in an evening out? Jolly Pumpkin did not disappoint.

There was a generous, lively crowd when we arrived, but ample seating inside and out, much of it communal style. It’s walk-up, counter service to order. You’re given a number and in under 10 minutes our food was delivered to the table.

Jolly Pumpkin is located in what used to be called the notorious ‘Cass Corridor’ many years ago — the connotation, visuals and stories of crime in the corridor were rampant — but the area has been dramatically transformed and is now welcoming, thriving and renamed Midtown Detroit. Also in the area are Traffic Jam and Snug and Motor City Brewing Works  — Come back in September for the Traffic Jam and Snug review.

 Jolly Pumpkin - Detroit

This fresh mint spiked lemonade hit the spot on a warm summer evening, though you won’t go wrong with any one of their cocktails made with specially infused spirits. Beer drinkers have a large selection of artisan beers to choose from too.

So many great food options that I would recommend sharing to cover more food ground. We started with the Truffle Fries with Rosemary Aioli and as my daughter put it — you could easily sit on the couch with a basket full of them, along with a glass of wine and binge on Netflix .

Jolly Pumpkin - Detroit

I’m not one to usually eat fries without ketchup but these shoestring fries with a hint of truffle flavor in every bite were amazing on their own. The Rosemary Aioli was an unexpected, shut-the-front-door bonus.

From there we moved onto pizza. So many unique and delicious sounding options, but we decided on the Lamb: tomato sauce, perfectly seasoned lamb, roasted red peppers, mozzarella, feta, arugula and the most delicious pickled red onions that literally made the pie!

We also tasted the Mushroom pizza: shiitake mushrooms, creamy goat cheese, mozzarella, truffle oil and also a bed of arugula in the center. This one alone will having me coming back.

Don’t wait until you’re in the area to stop in. There’s something for everyone at Jolly Pumpkin — it’s worth a special trip.  

Lake Perch, a time honored family tradition

Some Gouda Times | June 20, 2015 | By

Tradition. Tevyethe bearded patriarch in Fiddler on the Roof sang about it. While most of us have traditions, we don’t generally sing their praises as he did, but you have to admire his enthusiasm. When my children were young one tradition was eating dinner together as a family each night. It didn’t  matter if my daughters brought friends home from school with them as they frequently did. The family unit just got a bit bigger and the volume a little lot louder. When my husband travelled for business, dinner was sometimes served as appetizers (same dinner just cut up with toothpicks inserted into the bite-size pieces) picnic style on a blanket in the family room, but the tradition of eating dinner together remained. It was the time to share not only a meal, but stories about our day. Now in case you’re picturing a Norman Rockwell setting — allow me to pull you back to our reality. It was noisy, chaotic, voices talking over other voices and often involved beverages being spilled, but it was  our tradition and my daughter and son-in-law have continued this tradition of eating dinner together with my grandson as well. 


Saturday in Detroit

Some Gouda Times | June 15, 2015 | By


Hello! Hope you all had a good weekend. I spent most of Saturday in Detroit. . .in the ‘D’, as they say with a childhood friend and fellow Detroit-lover. We don’t agree on everything, but what we do agree on is that Detroit is. . .full of life. . .full of fun things to do. Detroit is.back. Not coming. It has arrived.

Our first stop on Tour de Detroit was Indian Village Manor, a riverfront high-rise apartment building built around the 1920’s, now gone condo where she lived many years ago . . . think Sex & the City — young career women, living, dating, indulging, thriving in the big city. Indian Village Manor is on Jefferson, a short drive from Belle Isle and worlds away from what many people think of when they imagine life in the City of Detroit (oh and shhhhh, we talked our way inside the guarded, buzz-entry building – yay!). 

We continued our tour onto Belle Isle where the Scott Fountain greeted us in all her splendid beauty.

indian village 16Belle Isle is another Detroit treasure that if you haven’t been — or been recently, go. It’s safe, clean and quite simply, amazing. . .reminiscent of fountains you’d see in Europe. Though not crowded, you won’t be alone on Belle Isle. The banks of the Detroit River are spattered with fishermen, you’ll share the roads with bicyclists and other motorists eager to see the sights and of course, there are plenty of boats along the River to check out.

After snapping a few pictures (we needed more time!), we wound our way (after asking for directions OFF the island — yes, we are those people!) further along Jefferson into the city where we parked, bought tickets for the Tigers vs Indians game, imbibed on a delicious, fruity concoction of Jungle Juice at Cheli’s, indian village 13 then headed inside to root on our beloved Tigers! Unfortunately, though we cheered, clapped, whistled, ate not only Ball Park hot dogs but nachos too! — our Tigers sadly went down in a 5-4 defeat — we still you Tigers! All in all, it was the kind of day you don’t want to end with the kind of person you want to keep doing this stuff with well into your 80’s. . .and I think we will. . .’cause, well. . .we’ve got it.

Annnnnd . . . my friend made two men smile like they were 5 years old on Christmas morning (don’t go there) when she found their car keys on the ground near where we parked and returned their keys to them. At least that’s how we saw it. Our husbands (two men who share a gift of cynism) agreed when we relayed the story later that those car keys may not have belonged to the those men. Hmmmm. . .guess you could still say we made their day.

More later on Sunday Funday dodging torrential rain for an afternoon at the Detroit Institute of Arts. I’d love to hear where your plans took you this weekend



Wright & Co. Detroit

Some Gouda Times | April 25, 2015 | By

wright bar

It was Friday night . . . girls’ night out and Wright & Co.well. . . you had me at hello . . .



The beauty of the interior alone is worth the trip.

Wright & Co. seemed to represent the pulse of the city last night . . . a racing pulse . . . an active, lively, I’m-in- sort of pulse. Wright is situated on the second floor of a Dan Gilbert owned building, directly above the newly opened John Varvatos menswear store, and Wright’s wall of windows are ideal for a view of city below in all her beautiful, dynamic glory.

When we arrived, we were told it would be about an hour for a table, but after just a few minutes, we snagged newly-departed seats — in my opinion — the best seats at the far end of  bar, closest to the windows on the world that is Detroit. Even if you prefer a table — at least get a drink at the bar and watch these bartenders in action, clearly having a lot of fun on the job, thereby making your night that much more enjoyable. And the drinks they’re mixing — well, they aren’t just tappin’ beer.wright vermouth

Okay, onto why you’re reading, right? The food . . .we shared several items, which allowed us to taste more, but let me tell, I will.be.back. ’cause there are so many other enticing items on the menu that need my attention!

 Wright & Co. personifies the hope of resurgence of the City of Detroit. Detroit . . . has arrived. So come down with your family and friends . . . fall in love with Detroit and Wright & Co. and while you’re at it, share some delectable food and some mighty fine cocktails.

 On a side note, a Google search of the oh so yummy Ditalini pasta revealed none other than the recipe – compliments of Hour Detroit so oh yeah, I will be trying it. http://www.hourdetroit.com/Hour-Detroit/April-2015/Italian-Mashup/


1500 Woodward, Second Floor, Detroit





Zac Brown’s Southern Ground

Some Gouda Times | March 2, 2015 | By

zb skeleton 2 So we’re on a road trip, my husband and I to a land far, far away where wind chill factors are as common as unicorns — a land without heated seats or 4-wheel drive. My niece, a fellow foodie and ZB devotee suggested while en route to this land we make a stop at ZB’s Southern Ground,  ‘cause when in Rome Georgia, you simply must partake in some fiiiiiine southern cuisine. Now my husband has a very conservative palate so when I described ZB’s menu as ‘eclectic southern’, his brow furrowed. He suggested we eat ‘regular’ barbecue’ and then pretty much firmly planted his feet  in the Georgia clay.

A few hundred miles, some bartering and okay fine, I admit— the teensiest bit of pouting later, we arrived at ZB’s Southern Ground. Can I get a high five? We discovered a hip, fun atmosphere and the décor — well, it made you want to pull up a stool with the guy at the piano! We couldn’t wait to dive in! Drinks were served: Bud for my husband and a French Matador Margarita zb margarita with fresh grapefruit juice and cilantro for me. This pink beauty could make anyone forget about the long Michigan winter! We also munched on a creamy, yet still chunky tangy, citrusy guacamole with just a hint of garlic (mmmm) while we waited for the main event.     

zb sandwich I chose the ZBBLT, an amped up BLT: perfectly crisp maple-pecan glazed bacon – oh baaaaby, fried green tomatoes (I’m practicing saying it with a southern accent), topped with romaine and a peach aioli on toasted whole grain. I paired it with Papas Con Chorizo — potatoes with spiiii-say chorizo. . .and oh so yummy.

Now perhaps you’re wondering what my conservative-palate husband ordered. A burger? Nope. He embraced . . .dare I say it . . . he welcomed southern cuisine, ZB style and chose the Carne Asada tacos (I’m so proud!): tequila-marinated skirt steak, topped with garlic sauce, pico de gallo, and arugula in corn tortillas. Whaaaaat?and loved it. Our one mistake – we passed up homemade peach cobbler! I woke up this morning not with a tequila hangover, but filled with regret. Life lesson: Do not pass up dessert. Ever. Especially if it’s peach cobbler and Sweet Jesus, especially if it’s made by someone with a southern accent. ZB’s Southern Ground is well worth the diversion off I-75 and even worth plowing through traffic in downtown Atlanta which moves about as quickly as kidney stones pass through . . . well, you get the picture. Enjoy y’all!  

Gold Cash Gold

Some Gouda Times | February 25, 2015 | By

gold coast gold Gold Cash Gold, a former a pawn shop on Michigan Avenue, amid the heart and soul of a now thriving Corktown was the perfect stop for — what else? #ladieswhobrunch! There’s so much history in this place, including a connection to Hardcore Pawn owner, Les Gold. This fascinating story is worth a look: http://corktownhistory.blogspot.com/2014/10/sams-loan-office-aka-gold-cash-gold.html

Now onto why we came. We kicked off brunch with the ’72 Fiat Coupe (beverages are named after items that had been in the pawn shop) — a fresh grapefruit concoction with a kick we paired with the Daily Baked GoodNatalie’s Whim Win,  a delicious, moist tangerine coffee cake (very generous portion and easily splitable) with tangy bites of tangerine in it and topped with a vanilla streusel that we promptly devourrrrred.tangerine cake

We followed the tangerine coffee cake with a variety of other brunch items: the Ham & Cheese, Pig’s Head Pierogi and the Chorizo Frittata and sampled from each other’s plates — I mean how else can we call ourselves foodies in the truest sense of the word  ? My own selection, the Chorizo Frittata  was the perfect mix of fingerling potatoes, peppers & onions, pickled anaheims and medium-spice level chorizo sausage. The fresh herbs lovingly folded in were deliciously apparent in each bite. A few scattered jalapenos and red onions on top, along with a drizzle of crème fraiche took this dish from mmmm to mmm-mazing!

The latest buzz words, ‘farm-to-table’ are, in my opinion, used pretty casually these days but this place is the real deal. #goodgoldjustgo