Tailgate Treats: Two for A2

The weekend has finally arrived… the time when every Michiganian is forced to make a choice… Wolverine or Spartan?
Tomorrow is the long awaited match
between our in-state rivals- the University of Michigan and Michigan State University and I’ve barely been able to contain myself all week! Now it’s no secret that Drew and I are huge Michigan fans (and both have been since basically birth), so it seems only right that we make the long trip down to Ann Arbor for the big game. This year there is a lot more hype than in past years- with a new coach in Ann Arbor, both teams ranked, and college game day coming to town- A2 is sure to live up to its name. To prepare for the long awaited day, I tried out two different tailgate recipes to bring to the table. Both turned out great- I hope you have a chance to try them out yourself! 

1. Sausage Cheese Breakfast Muffins

Last year, one of our close friends (shout out to Margaret) brought some delicious breakfast muffins to the MSU/UofM Tailgate in East Lansing. This year, I couldn’t imagine not having them there, so I had to try them out myself. They are super easy to make, and a super simple yet yummy breakfast item to have on hand at the early morning tailgate setup.

Ingredients:

1 lb. hot ground pork sausage

1 tsp. onion powder

3 cups all purpose baking mix

1 can (10.75 oz) condensed fiesta nacho cheese soup

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

3/4 cup water (you can substitute buttermilk or milk)

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 375. Cook sausage and onion powder over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes or until it crumbles you can no longer see pink meat. Drain and let cool. 

  
Mix cheese, baking mix, and sausage together to coat sausage in dry ingredients. Create a well in the middle of the mixture. 

  
Mix soup and water in a separate bowl. Pour wet ingredients into well and stir into dry mixture just enough to coat dry items in wet mixture. 

  

Spoon into non-stick muffin tin or muffin cups to top. 

 
Bake on 375 for 15-18 minutes until slightly brown on top. Hello Breakfast! 

  
2. Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels

By now, we’ve all had some version of the buffalo chicken dip that took Ponterest by storm. This time, I decided to try something a little more finger food friendly, with some Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels. I used my regular Buffalo Chicken dip recipe, and just added a few extra simple steps that make this a no mess tailgate treat! 

Ingredients: 

4 oz. cream cheese

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 rotisserie chicken (shredded)

1/2 cup Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo sauce

1/2 dry ranch packet 

1/4 cup green onion (chopped)

4-6 tortillas or flatbread of your choice 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 (Perfect right? You can make both these tailgate treats at the same time)! Mix all ingredients into one bowl. Bake for 10 minutes. Mix. Bake for an addition 10-15 minutes until all ingredients are melted and fully combined (I usually mix every 10 minutes).    

  

 Next, spread buffalo chicken dip across flatbreads to all edges.    

Roll tightly into logs. Place in fridge to let cool. Cut logs in half, and then each half into 6 pieces. 

  

  
After you try out these recipes, let me know what you think! Feel free to share your favorite tailgate recipe in the comments. Oh, and as always… Go Blue! ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’›

Fall Funday

Although it’s mid-October, Traverse City has been hit with some awesome autumn weather this past week. Yesterday, Drew and I decided to take advantage of this Indian Summer and had a fall funday with our little fam! 

First on our list was Gallagher’s Farm on M-72. Wrangler was in tow, and he was super excited to check out all the pumpkins! 

After picking out our future jacolanterns, we headed into the little market area to pick up some gourds, Indian corn, and mini pumpkins. There was also lots of yummy fruit and vegetables!  While dad was paying for all of our fun harvest must-haves, Wrangler and I headed down to the barn where they had a mini hay maize, farm animals, and picnic tables for cider and donuts. We didn’t have any ourselves- but we were sure regretting it later!  

After we loaded up the Jeep, we headed to The Filling Station over by Boardman Lake. This is a favorite spot of mine and Drew’s for pizza, but we were pleasantly surprised to see that they have expanded their menu! We tried the beer cheese and pretzels, our favorite Eurail Salad, and The Memphis Line pizza. It did not disappoint! 

 The Filling Station staff was super accommodating to our pup, and even brought him a water dish; he was so tuckered out he just snuggled up under our table!  

 Later in the day, we headed down to West End Beach for a little kayaking. Since we love to kayak, we wanted to introduce Wrangler to it early, and even bought him a puppy life jacket. He was a little hesitant of his life jacket and the water, but once we set sail, he was all good! 

 We paddled over to the West Bay tree line to test out my new portable hammock that I got for my birthday. It was a hit! All three of us cozied up for a nice little nap on the bay. 

      Snoozin’ in the hammock was the perfect end to our busy fall day! 

Like the hammock or Wrangler’s puppy life jacket? Check them out by clicking the links!

For more adorable pics of our little golden dood, follow him on Instagram: WranglerMaize

Welcome Wrangler Maize

So as some of you may have noticed, I’ve been on a little hiatus, but it’s been crazy with the end of summer, start to the school year, and welcoming our new puppy Wrangler Maize to the Crawford Family!

It’s been almost a month since my early birthday surprise, but we couldn’t be more happy to have this little guy in our life!

For those of you who don’t know, I’ve wanted a dog my whole life, but never had one. For my 26th birthday, Drew decided to surprise me with a golden doodle (we’ve had our eye on this breed for a while). I received a text the night before saying that we had to get up early to drive and get my present the next day. I was so excited to pick out my pup and neither of us could sleep that night… we were like kids on Christmas Eve! When we arrived at our destination, Wrangler instantly caught our attention. Check out our video of Wrangler’s First Day

Not only is Wrangler a gorgeous dog, but he is calm, chill, sweet, and playful. We have loved watching him grow over the past few weeks, and can’t wait to share all of our adventures with you! Here’s a little glimpse of our escapades thus far:
   
  Welcome home Wrangler Maize!    First trip to Lake Michigan!   Family Photo ๐Ÿ’™  

  Learning to climb the stairs…  It’s a jeep thing…  First trip to the vet!  How Wrangler enjoys car rides…First softball tournament… Go Blue!    Pyramid Point! Pitstop in Glenn Arbor.      First walk at The Commons!  First bath…     First big roadtrip for Auntie Kar Kar’s birthday! The softball fields are our second home…  All these adventures really tucker him out, but we can’t wait to see what else is in store for our new little family!

Caramel Apple Sangria

Autumn is here- which means all the apple and pumpkin treats our hearts desire! 

This past weekend I went downstate to celebrate my best friend’s birthday, and we decided to try out a new recipe with some girlfriends! 

This caramel apple sangria is delicious, but oh so easy to make! We even had to whip up a second batch it was so popular. 

  
Ingredients:

2 bottles sweet white wine (Moscato or Riesling- we used Riesling)

5 cups apple cider 

2 cups caramel vodka 

2 cups ginger ale

3 apples

3 pears

cinnamon sticks

Directions: 

Cut fruit and mix in wine, cider, and vodka. Let sit for at least 2 hours. Add ginger ale just before serving. Garnish with cinnamon sticks and serve over ice. Cheers!

   
 
After trying this delicious sangria, I’d love to hear from you about your favorite fall recipe in the comments below! 

Cherry Sangria

Yesterday, my mom and I took a little time to enjoy some Traverse City wine. After stopping at my two favorite wineries on Old Mission Peninsula (Peninsula Cellars and Black Star Farms), we decided to try our own version of Peninsula Cellars’ Cherry Sangria. The sangria is light, fruity, and refreshing- a perfect drink to sip on during those hot summer days! 

Ingredients:

2 bottles of your favorite cherry wine (we used Peninsula Cellars’ Hot Rod Cherry)

2 Lemons

2 Limes

2 Peaches

2 Oranges

2 Quarts Strawberries

2 Liters Club Soda

  
  
  
  
  
Directions: Wash and slice fruit. Add liquids into mixture. Allow fruit to soak in liquid for 4 hours before serving. Serve cold, but do not add ice. 

When I made my batch, I cut the recipe in half since only a few of us would be enjoying the sangria while watching Bachelor in Paradise. I would suggest making the full batch though! 

Once you try out the recipe- let me know what you think! If you have a great summer sipper- feel free to share the recipe in the comments!  

 

Just Peachy: Happiness in a Glass

Each morning, Drew and I enjoy a breakfast smoothie using varied flavors of Shakeology and fruit combos. For those of you that haven’t heard of it, Shakeology is a superfood protein shake made from all natural ingredients. Drew’s favorite flavor is vanilla (while mine of course is chocolate), and today I’m going to share with you one of our favorite vanilla based smoothies! 

Ingredients:

1 cup peaches (if using fresh- you will need to add ice as well)

1/2 cup unsweetened original almond or cashew milk

1/2 cup water 

1 Tbsp. honey 

1 scoop vanilla Shakeology (or your favorite vanilla protein powder) 

To make, simply pour all ingredients into blender, and blend until smooth. Top smoothie with a little extra honey. So quick. So easy. So delicious. Enjoy!

  
Once you try the smoothie- let me know what you think! Do you have a favorite smoothie recipe or protein powder? Feel free to share with me in the comments! 

A Reunion with Regular Steve

A little over a month ago, I posted about a pleasant encounter I had with a homeless magazine vendor, โ€œRegular Steve.โ€ Yesterday, after enjoying a great lunch downtown with friends, Drew and I saw Steve selling Traverse City’s latest issue of Speak Up by the heart wall on Front Street. Now, one thing you must know about the self-proclaimed โ€œRegular Steveโ€ is that there is nothing ordinary about him- he is just humble enough to say so. In reality, Steve is full of endless stories and jokes, and anyone could sit and talk with him for hours on end. The magazine usually sells for a $2 donation, but since I only had $1 I asked if that would be okay (I knew from my research that the vendors purchase each copy at 40 cents apiece, so he would still be making a profit- plus I knew I would get him back next time). Steve quickly and happily agreed to sell it for $1 in exchange to share one story with us. Once again, Steve did not disappoint and got us laughing. Since we were with friends, we set off on our way, but I couldnโ€™t wait to get home and dive in to the newest issue of the magazine.

 
This issue of Speak Up Zine was different than most other issues, in that it is mostly written by the volunteers, rather than the vendors. It is a great twist on the magazine because it helps the reader to better understand the reason for the zine, the work behind it, and how the making of this zine not only impacts the vendors, but also changes the lives of those volunteering to make it happen.  One of the articles that captured my attention was a piece discussing the recently adopted Homeless Bill of Rights by the Traverse City Human Rights Commission. The document is comprised of ten rights that are often taken away from homeless persons. The Bill of Rights is modeled after similar resolutions passed in other cities, and once Traverse Cityโ€™s legal department goes over the document, it will be sent to the full City Commissions. Reading through the Bill of Rights brought awareness to the struggles that the vulnerably housed face, which often leaves them deprived of their basic human rights. Itโ€™s important for everyone to keep in mind that vulnerable housing and homelessness do not define these people, and that they should be treated with dignity and respect, just as you would treat any other human being. I am pleased to see that the local community is recognizing this fact, and doing something to ensure all community members are given those rights.

 
This issueโ€™s zine also includes a slew of informative and eye opening pieces, including an interview with a volunteer board member, a zine quiz about the vendors, a board game to better understand the struggles and triumphs of the vulnerably housed, an interview with one of the Traverse City vendors, an international piece on the sister street magazine, Surprise, sold in Switzerland, and much more! Of course, my favorite piece has to be the article sharing one of Steveโ€™s great stories- no worries, I won’t spoil it for you! 

  
If youโ€™re interested in reading Steveโ€™s story, among the other amazing articles featured in the current issue of Traverse Cityโ€™s Speak Up Zine, be sure to pick up your own copy from your local street vendor or at one of the local zine racks throughout TC!