I like to think I'm a good enough cook to no longer have to use measuring spoons or cups and to know exactly what spice each dish needs to kick it up a notch. But a little reminder and confidence booster is always a good thing. For example, I never thought of using cheese to boost up a dish that didn't turn out quite right. Now I know thanks to Copps and Pick N Save.
I always rely on copps.com and picknsave.com to give me cooking tips and ideas on their recipe page. This article on seasoning foods contains a lot of good tips on how to use fresh herbs, seasoning salts and rubs and mustards and relishes. If you're looking to expand your cooking skills this is a great read. Make sure to check back every week for new cooking tips, chef tips, recipes for the week and more. It's now my go to tool in the kitchen! For the seasoning article just click here.
I grew up along the shores of Lake Michigan across the lake from Chicago. Very few people know this, but it has some of the most spectacular sunsets in the United States. It's actually known as the Sunset Coast and each year hundreds of photographers from around the world come to photograph those sunsets along the southern shoreline. And for as much as I love the beauty of Lake Michigan from my hometown IN Michigan there is one place on this beautiful body of water that feels even more like home to me. That place is Door County.
With nearly 300 miles of shoreline, it's a place where you can experience both a beautiful sunrise and sunset in the same day since the peninsula is only 18 miles wide. I always like to take the "road less traveled" on my way up each year to get unchanged glimpses of the shoreline. And yes, each year I feel compelled to take my annual trek to explore something new each time. Last year I took Truman with me for a week of hiking the endless state and county parks and sitting out by the water to enjoy the shore birds. A bald eagle flew within 20 feet of us along the shore and that was a sight I will never forget. (Also because Truman broke loose and chased that eagle along the shore for quite a way. I thought for sure that eagle was going to swoop down and pick him up and carry him away over Green Bay)
I know there are some who think Door County is too small or too isolated or too boring to stay more than a couple of days. Small, yes. Isolated, perhaps. But boring? Never! When I need to get away from everything and everyone and just unplug and get back to appreciating nature and the beauty of something beyond what we can create, my heart always draws me to this ethereal place. I applaud the Chamber and community members who are committed to keeping it just as it is. With 11 lighthouses to discover, 5 state parks and 19 county parks, 11 golf courses, 7 wineries, 2 islands and endless quaint places to stay and shop and eat, I never tire of venturing there. I make it a point to visit once a year, whenever I can, no matter what the season.
I love Door County so much my dream is to one day retire there. Yes, I know the winters can be unbearable. I know it can be expensive because of the limited grocery stores and non-existent malls and box stores. But the views. The beauty. To me that is what life is all about. I could live on that. But for now, I'll take my annual trip and savor every sunrise and sunset from the lake that has always called my name.
Most of us like variety in the foods we eat. I know I do. I can't eat salmon EVERY night of the week. I also find it challenging to flip through recipe books or go to this website or that website to find new recipes. Who has the time to do that, really? So, once again I give huge props to Copps.com and Picknsave.com for providing me with ideas I can use every single day.
It's simply called Meal Planner and you'll find it under the recipe section of each website. It gives you new ideas for a main dish, side dish and dessert for every day of the week and the recipe for each course. If you don't care for one of the recipes you can search from hundreds more. You can even narrow your search by food, prep time, ease of preparation and more.
A grocery store that makes life simple? Yep, that's Copps and Pick N Save. To see this week's Meal Planner click here.
If there is one sound that will forever make me melancholy it's the sound of crickets at twilight in late summer, early fall. Every year in late August when they start their chirping it immediately takes me back to childhood and the impending start of another school year. Crickets meant having to go to bed an hour earlier when it was still light out and having to lie there with nothing else to do but listen to them with my stomach in a knot wondering how the first day of a new grade would go. Crickets meant no more staying up late to catch fireflies. Crickets meant no more sleeping in on summer days that gave me the freedom to catch butterflies, make mud pies and lie on my back to watch the clouds float by.
I do love to sit outside this time of year and listen to all the chirps and buzzes and trills and croaks of nature as it says goodbye to summer. But it never takes long for me to still get that knot in my stomach and that sad feeling of having to say goodbye to long, lazy days and fresh air and crickets. And I'm glad for that.
With the days getting shorter and chillier I'm reminded of how important sunshine really is to boost our moods. There are other ways to get that kick during the autumn and winter months without having to invest in a sun lamp. Diet is especially important when it comes to how we feel. Eat junk, feel like junk. This is something we all know. But do you really know WHICH foods will give you that extra boost of happy feelings?
Copps and Pick N Save have come up with a simple list of foods that will help keep us all on track when it comes to keeping our blood sugar and hormones and everything else working how it should so we always feel good no matter the season. This is why I love them. They care enough to give me the information I need and the foods I need to stay and feel healthy all year long. For the list of "feel good" food just click here.
Ask any of my friends and they will tell you that I am obsessed about food safety. I'm afraid of gas station sandwiches. I don't order sunny side up eggs at restaurants. And I go through enough kitchen hand soap in a year to turn the Atlantic Ocean into a bubble bath. And when the holidays come around and I'm cooking a big bird of some sort for my family and friends, secretly I worry about poisoning everyone with undercooking or letting raw juices touch utensils. I'm a freak. I'm fully aware of this. But if I'm going to be obsessed about anything I figure food safety is….well…..safe.
Thank goodness there are others in my camp. Like Copps and Pick N Save. I count on them to not only give me great recipes and 5 minute cooking videos on their websites but also give me food safety tips. Like this article on how to know exactly when your meat is cooked safely. It's like my one stop website when it comes to food. A grocery store that really cares about how I enjoy what they sell. Now that's Copps and Pick N Save!