Caramelized Onion Goat Cheese Pizza

This Caramelized Onion Goat Cheese Pizza shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older. #CallieCrew #CollectiveBias

Caramelized Onion Goat Cheese Pizza with a balsamic glaze and Callie Collection Wines for easy entertaining with friends and moments that stop time.

I’ve belonged to a book club for the last dozen years or so. We started out as (library) card-carrying, book-toting readers back when we had kids with curfews still living at home. The kids are all out on their own now but we still get together and though you’d think we have even more time now, somehow we don’t, so we now skip the book and somewhere along the way morphed into a Wine Club. The women in this club, my friends are each beautiful, strong, supportive and just happen to enjoy a glass of wine and really good food as much as I do, like this Caramelized Onion Goat Cheese Pizza


Beef Braciole (Italian Beef Rolls)

This Beef Braciole (Italian Beef Rolls) shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PickedAtPeak #CollectiveBias

Beef Braciole ~ thin slices of beef filled with breadcrumbs, cheese, prosciutto and fresh herbs, rolled then braised in Prego Farmers’ Market® sauce.There’s nothing snobbish about my wardrobe ~ jeans, tee shirts, warm, comfy sweaters and this time of year, cute boots. But there are two things I am a total snob about. One is nachos (for the love of all things Mexican — load them up!), the other is pasta sauce which should always taste like the vine-ripened tomatoes, garlic and basil used in it were picked at just the right time from the nearest farm. I’m already a fan of Prego Farmers’ Market® sauces. Awhile back I shared my 20 Minute Asparagus Tortellini Marinara recipe featuring Prego Farmers’ Market® sauce. Today, the heat is blasting inside and the wind is whipping outside so I’m going slow cooker, comfort food all the way with Beef Braciole (Italian Beef Rolls) ~ thin slices of sirloin filled with a delicious mix of seasoned breadcrumbs, two kinds of cheese, prosciutto and fresh herbs, rolled tightly then braised in Prego Farmers’ Market® Classic Marinara. Oh man . . .the aroma alone will get you.


Homemade Pizza

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GiveItASparkle #CollectiveBias


If you think Homemade Pizza is strictly for cold weather, think again. Summer is actually the best time for homemade pizza because of all the fresh produce, including vine-ripened tomatoes for the tastiest, no-cook – let’s repeat, no-cook pizza sauce. While this pizza is amazingly delicious, cleanup is. . .less than amazing. A layer of flour along with some olive oil cover the counter and stovetop and I don’t even twirl my pizza dough ~ though I aspire to one day. It’s even on the floor. Let’s face it. Life is messy, but unlike the Bradys of Brady Bunch fame, I don’t have an Alice. I don’t even have a Rosie, the robotic maid from the Jetsons and friends, I surely don’t have a Tony from Who’s the Boss. What’s a girl to do? I’m sharing my not-so-secret cleanup tip today ~ ocelo™ No-Scratch Scrub Sponges, which are not only pretty, but you may even say they make cleaning up as easy as (pizza) pie!


Indian River Select Juices Now at Meijer!

indian river select juice now at Meijer

“This post was sponsored by Indian River Select® Brand and I have received compensation for this post. All opinions are mine”. 

Michigan is a great place to live, work and raise a family. That doesn’t mean though that if given the opportunity to escape the harsh Michigan winters we won’t head south to Florida. My family and I love vacationing there and made the trek many times when our kids were small. . . all 1200+ miles. . .in a mini van. . .with young children. Are you getting the visual? Driving happens to be my husband’s favorite mode of transportation. We’re spurred on though, smiling through comments like “she’s on my side!” by memories of warm, sunny days there. Because we’ve spent so much time in Florida, we’re familiar with where to shop and brands we could only get there, like Indian River Select juices (my personal favorite is the ruby red grapefruit).  Guess what? Indian River Select juices are available now in Michigan in local Meijer stores!


20 Minute Asparagus Tortellini Marinara

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

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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

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

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

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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.