Missing Grand Rapids

Dear Grand Rapids,

It has been about a month and a half since our last encounter, due to being on the east side of Michigan for the summer after coming home from college. The food is not the same over here, and I spend many days thinking about all the wonderful places I miss….

(breaking the love note to Grand Rapids, I have an odd sense of humor to say the least)

I do miss the city and food incredibly much, It reminds me of the quality of food I had when visiting my family in Montreal every year. I also just miss the environment that the city has, for those who haven’t been to Grand Rapids it is not the Biggest city you could go to, but it is full of amazing people. It is a very “do it yourself” city, what I mean by this is so many people are hard at work crafting products in the city, or sourcing local ingredients. There is a focus on building a great city, that is eclectic with its own quarks. I’m not saying it is a perfect city but there are numerous reasons why I appreciate being a part of it. It has managed to create a blossoming accepting inclusive environment which is rare for the places surrounding it, which brings so much joy for my heart. I know it sounds cheesy but there are so many amazing hidden things going on in Grand Rapids. Especially food wise. I haven’t been able to fully explore Grand Rapids, but I have three more years and a car, mind you I am also pretty strapped financially being a college kid. I will continue to explore this lovely city because there are so many places for me to love to come.

Anyways I want to focus this post on a few of the parts of Grand Rapids that I have taken comfort in, these are places that I do sincerely miss being able to bus and walk to. I had a big year, a crazy year with a lot of loss, change, problems, and overcoming to do; these places provided me with some happiness and warmth.(many tears, many laughs) For this I am grateful, I really looked forward to going to these places and just enjoying myself. I know you should find happiness in yourself and I do, but these were just places I went to treat myself. It was always comforting to have such a lovely city with so many places I could look forward coming to.

  1. Ferris Coffee and Nut CO.: I listed this first because it was my favorite coffee store to go to, I started going every Friday my second semester of college. This is because I used first Semester to try all the other lovely coffee stores I could in Grand Rapids. (the bitter end, Palatte, The lanturn, Go Gava, Mad Cap, and a couple more) To say the least I had a lot of coffee. I started going to Ferris because it was close, and it served amazing coffee roasted in store (in store roasting is a big thing for me, just because I feel that it is cared for more, its another extra step that shows they care about what they are doing). I adore their new sea foam green cups, they just sit comfortably in your hand, they are rounded and made me feel at home. In addition they have lovely latte art, and a very modern rustic interior that I just loved to be in. Let me tell you I walked through many stormy days with no umbrella to get a cup of their coffee. Always worth it. I had their cafe meil once, and it was amazing (this was the first drink I had a every coffee store, basically it was my baseline drink I judged each shop by). After that I stuck to their lattes, which you can get house-made syrups in, and once spring hit the lavender latte was my regular order, which reminded me of the drink I get at the coffee store I go to at home. (As you can see I loved it, and could go on about the hours I spent studying and drawing in this coffee stores, I wont even get into the nut and candy/chocolate store inside the coffee shop that they also make, to die for).
  2. Two Beards: This was one of my go two lunches in Grand Rapids, because it is always amazing. I love their menu, for multiple reasons a.) all the sandwiches are named after people with beards B.) They have options, you can bring in anyone in and they will find something they can and want to eat (Vegan, GF, Vegetarian, ect..) C.) It is all high quality in store made stuff. Another thing I love is the people who work there are always friendly and just interesting people, and the place is decorated with gnomes which is so niche. It is just great. Plus you pay 10 dollars and get a large sandwich and I always had enough to have leftovers and eat it again. (Ten dollars for roughly two meals is not bad at all) Plus there are so many different choices I never get bored of it. They are also good about substitutions which was great for me because I always want to have options on top of options. You can always get just what you want.
  3. The Downtown Market: I fell in love with this place as soon as I pulled into the parking lot for the first time. What I loved the most about this Market is that it is great for going out to eat with a group of people, because they have everything that you could want all in one place. Seafood, Tacos, Sushi, Thai food, BBQ  just anything. Not only is it great for this reason, but they stores that sell cooking items (or dessert or plants) all have a very specific and perfected craft. I like my food to be unique in someway or at least well sourced. I basically look for people who are creating or sourcing food out of great love for the food that they work to bring to the public. This market unties so many wonderful food concepts and promotes a very holistic community. It is pricier but it is a welcomed treat in my opinion.
  4. Furniture City Creamery: I would just like to throw out my favorite part about this ice cream store, Vegan ice cream, in-house, made in small batches. They make everything their from scratch. It is a welcomed cozy ice cream parlor, and they have a great variety of flavors. They also make dairy ice cream, and they have gf options, meaning they point out the ice creams that wont have any cookie crumbs or things that could irritate someone with gluten intolerance. Not only do I love their concept, acceptance/accommodation to so many diets, and the atmosphere, I love their product. Its not enough to try to make vegan ice cream, it needs to be delicious for it to be successful in my opinion, and their vegan ice cream was the BEST ICE CREAM I HAVE EVER HAD, actually ever, no comparison. It was creamy and rich and had a complex texture (I had the no-bake peanut butter chocolate cookie in the vegan flavor), It was ice cream at its finest, as are their dairy ice creams (I mixed salted caramel and root beer, which sounded weird but it is fabulous). It is the gold standard of ice cream in my opinion.
  5. Martha’s Vineyard: I only managed to go here once, but they have everything needed for a perfect picnic, and it is all very reasonably priced. I built my own vegan pizza there and it was cooked in a wood-fire oven, it was one of the most delicious pizzas I ever had for 10 dollars, yeah I ate the whole thing by myself in about 24 hours. Along with this they have craft sodas, beers, extensive wine selections, fresh produce, dips, tea, coffee, and a variety of prepared foods. It is a truly delicious place to be, and is located next to a fantastic coffee store (Lyon st. cafe) and an amazing bakery which serves vegan cookies that are to die for (Nantucket baking company).

I have been to a bunch of other places but these are the 5 places I felt most comfort in and just flat out loved the most. I crave them. I cannot wait to return to you Grand Rapids, I miss you so much.

Lots of Love,

Melina ❤

Taking time off

I know that I have not posted much, and I really wish I could post more frequently. My last post was a week ago I believe and I won’t be having a sufficient amount of time to post until 3 weeks from now! Life has just gotten very crazy, but I will be working on posts for then. I take long to create posts because I try to have good pictures and along with this I want to craft each post meaningfully. For my inconstancy I apologize, and hope to have a very productive post construction. I hope everyone has been taking time to do some adventuring of their own this summer!

Korean BBQ Inspired Chicken

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I have been awful about updating my blog! (I sincerely apologize for this) I would like to have more time to focus on my blog, but life gets kinda filled up. Cant’t complain though, because I am blessed with amazing people to visit, a job, a home, a garden, and many adventures which I have been collecting in my back pocket (plus a load of other things that life throws at everyone)! I have a bunch of ideas I have been meaning to post about, and a handful of recipes (which are delicious to say the least), so I am currently trying to play catch-up! Anyways enough excuses from me, I’m working on some experience posts that will comb over more things about me and my hectic life, so Food?

YES this recipe is my favorite way to eat chicken. This may sound like an over exaggeration, because chicken is so versatile, BUT IT IS THE BEST. I came up with this recipe as an attempt to recreate the Korean BBQ chicken at one of my favorite restaurants in Ann Arbor, Tomukun. Reasons why I love this place are endless: the food is always bountiful, flavorful, and sharing oriented. On top of this the environment is modern but friendly, and you get to interact with the food by cooking it on a grill inside the table, like every other Korean BBQ place, but still the marinades are so fantastic. So as you can imagine I crave their food all the time, and always want to go there when I am in Ann Arbor. I don’t always get to journey over to Ann Arbor when a craving hits, so I have recreated their chicken to make something that I would say is pretty darn close to what they do. It tastes almost identical to those I have made it for, and also I endorse it (My awkward wording just makes me laugh, I try to write how I talk, I hope it doesn’t bug anyone too much!)

TOOLS:

  • A Grill (of some type you could even use a stove top cast iron grill, whatever you can get your hands on)
  • A large Ziploc bag
  • 4 cup liquid measuring cup (a 2 cup one will also work)
  • Cutting board
  • Good Knife
  • Tongs

INGREDIENTS:

  • Boneless Chicken Thighs (tastes the best with this cut of meat)
  • 3 to 4 medium-sized garlic cloves
  • 1 and a half teaspoons ginger (powdered, you could use 1/4 knob of fresh peeled and sliced ginger)
  • 1 teaspoon dry chili flakes
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 splash of rice wine vinegar (about 1/2 a tablespoon)
  • 2 to 3 drops of sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup citrus juice fresh is better (I use orange or and orange lime mix)
  •  2 to 3 green onions roughly chopped
  • 1 stick of lemongrass (totally optional have made it without this and it tastes amazing still!)

RECIPE:

  1. First make the marinade. I’m gonna tell you how to do this all in one step. In the liquid measuring cup you should pour out oil, soy sauce, and fresh citrus juice (that way you can just measure it in your container), then add in the rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, brown sugar. After this smash the garlic cloves on the cutting board using your knife, to crush the cloves and remove the peals, then place this in the measuring cup along with the chili flakes, ginger, and green onions (and possibly the lemongrass crushed).    OKAY so that wasn’t to bad!
  2. Now take the chicken thighs and trim about 85% of the fat off, don’t leave any big chunks of fat on, this will enhance the flavor of the chicken and melt into it once its grilling. If your chicken thighs are thick, butterfly cut them meaning: cut into two pieces width wise (to cut the thickness down). Then WASH YOUR HANDS!!! After roll down the Ziploc bag so that you can avoid getting raw chicken on the outside of the bag. Then use your clean hands to place all the chicken thighs into the bag. Dispose of the knife, and cutting board, then Wash Your Hands (Again I know its tedious but food safety is important!). Following this pour in the marinade and then remove all the excess air from the Ziploc before sealing it up. Then massage the chicken around to get it acquainted with the marinade. Let It sit for about an hour at least preferably no more than 24 hours due to the acidic components of the marinade which will start to breakdown the meat and indirectly cook it.
  3. Almost to Korean BBQ, so make sure your grilling surface is clean to start with and is on medium high heat. You should brush the grill with oil so there is no sticking sometimes I will just put oil on a paper towel and then use my grilling tongs to coat the grill with oil. Then lay the chicken on the grill giving space between each piece. The chicken should get very charred during its cooking time, the more grill marks the deeper the flavor will be. Also if the chicken is sticking to the grill while its cooking it’s because it isn’t ready to be flipped, and it will easily lift off when it is ready. You should use a meat thermometer before you remove the chicken off of the grill, the internal temp should read 165 degrees F.
  4. Then you are done you can serve it with sticky rice, salad, or grilled veggies! It is definitely a worthwhile effortless chicken dish!

I apologize for not having more pictures than this! It is hard to capture everything on my phone!

 

Tiramisu Cannolis!!!

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I’m not Italian by any means so this might not be an authentic recipe, but it doesn’t mean it can’t still taste amazing. To be honest these are two of my favorite things put into one. Which truly does kill two birds with one stone, I love not having to make a choice between two desserts, it is always so much better to have both. So I purchased some cannoli shells, yes I do make semi-homemade recipes, I think it is important to not always fuss with things. Being completely real, we needed desserts for when guests came to visit for coffee, and instead of just buying pre-made cannolis, I bought the shells so I could make the filling but avoid all the shaping and frying. We all need easy desserts one time or another, there is no shame in that. Doing part on your own is never something to be ashamed of, everyone is so busy with their lives, jobs, and life in general!! Especially with summer and wanting to enjoy beautiful weather (when it is beautiful at least).

So I was going to just made plain cannolis, but for me plain anything is boring. I like to mix it up and as I was scrolling through recipes on pinterest, which I do so often, as people who follow me on pinterest know!!! I saw a picture of tiramisu, and thought what if I flavored my filling like that. Let me just say YUMMMM! Coffee and chocolate filling, is definitely a score in my book, yes I left out the booze (I didn’t want the filling to be runny, but You could totally brush the cannoli shells with some if you want!). Cream filled deserts also feel so fancy and seem like they took hours when I could easily say this took like 20 minutes at most!

TOOLS:

  • Mixing bowls
  • Whisk, hand mixer, or standing mixer
  • Piping bag
  • Tall water-glass
  • Rubber spatula
  • Fine mesh strainer

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups ricotta cheese (I used whole milk ricotta)
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup powder sugar (roughly you should sweeten to taste)
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons strong powder coffee (I use nestle cafe because it’s a Greek persons go to for frappes)
  • 1 tablespoon coco powder (I use dark but use what you like and have on hand)
  • Store bough cannoli shells
  • Toppings: chocolate chips, mini chocolate chips, lady finger crumbles, totted almonds etc.

RECIPE:

  1. In a bowl whip your heavy cream with your coffee powder and brown sugar, Let me say I do know most people don’t use sugar when making whipped cream, but I always do, and brown sugar gives more flavor, and it still always comes out great. You can use powder sugar if you’d like to in this case. So whip until stiff peaks, it will take time and effort by hand but all mixing methods will get you there eventually! “Stiff peaks” means that if you lift the whisk out and turn it so the cream is facing the ceiling the peak does not fall over it holds its shape. You want to check where the whip cream is at frequently because if you over-whip the cream it will not look or taste delicious.
  2. In another bowl place all the ricotta and begin to whisk it on medium high-speed this is to make it smoother and creamy so that there are no lumps, I add the coco powder to this and then as much powder sugar as you like.
  3. When the ricotta is smooth fold in the coffee whip cream, and fold in thoroughly to fully incorporate but be gentle so the volume isn’t lost.5d19cfb7-9f83-4263-a488-1c311cdeec5d
  4. Place the piping bag into a cup and roll the top of the bag over the rim of the glass so that the bag has an open cavity for you to fill it with the mixture. Fill the bag so that it is only about 3/4 full, you need space to twist the top. Make a medium-sized hole in the tip of the piping bag to allow easy filling of the cannoli shells.
  5. Insert the piping bag into the middle of the cannoli at one end and then begin to pipe, I did this in a circling hand motion, and move steadily with even pressure on the bag as you back out to the edge of the cannoli with the piping bag. Do the same thing on the other end of the cannoli and repeat this for all of them! Should make about 8 Large ones6415cc10-27bb-4610-a154-cda342a7368f
  6. NOTE: I would recommend filling closer to when they will be served so that the shells do not get soggy. You can dip the ends in mini chocolate chips, cut up lady fingers, toasted almonds, really anything your heart desires!

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This is a super quick and effortless desert that doesn’t take much skill to make it look and taste amazing! So if you are a newbie to deserts this is a perfect place for you to start!

No Guilt Mac and Cheese

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I have been slacking on posting recipes on my Blog! I have been spending a large amount of my time this week in the kitchen, and made sure I photographed a good amount! Which means that I will be busy trying to post all the recipes. Life this week has been a bit chaotic, seeing people, applying to jobs, and trying to iron out my summer plans. As well as chopping all of my hair off! It isn’t totally gone, but it’s very short now and so much more manageable! Enough about all my excuses, its time to focus on the food!

Okay so oddly I have cravings for Mac and Cheese, its odd to me being that I am Greek and French Canadian that I would crave something that was never a comfort food for me growing up. Let me tell you I just love cheese and when you have cheese and carbs together I will probably be satisfied. However the Kraft*(probably shouldn’t name brands but oh well) stuff doesn’t curb my cravings, I like gooey thick flavorful Mac and Cheese. Let me also denounce that this craving hits me multiple times a month, and it is a very demanding craving, which can make me feel guilty for overindulging in what is typically such a fat filled dish. Except I have created a recipe for Mac and Cheese with layers of flavor and veggies! Yes veggies, because every meal should be well-rounded in my opinion, and you feel so good after eating something with some nutritional value. I don’t skimp on any of the cheese and if you aren’t a huge veggie fan, you won’t notice them at all. I can also say that this will help you get some veggies in your tiny humans belly if they are a picky eater, because most kids lovvvve Mac and Cheese. This is a grown up Mac and Cheese that appeals to all ages, and cures cravings! I will not lie it looks intimidating and does take some time, but it is a good weekend meal to make with people you loved and get others involved in the kitchen, the more love put in the better the recipe will turn out.

TOOLS:

  1. Cutting board
  2. Vegetable peeler
  3. Box greater
  4. Knife (sharp, your favorite kind, pick one that you are comfortable working with)
  5.  Large Deep Pan, or you can use a good-sized Pot for the sauce
  6. Food processor or Blender
  7. Large Pot to boil noodles
  8. Colander to strain the noodles
  9. Spoons
  10. Baking dishes
  11. Liquid measuring cup
  12. whisk

INGREDIENTS: (may look like a long list but fear not, its worth it)

  1. Extra virgin olive oil (before I started cooking I put two smashed garlic cloves, four basil leaves, some peppercorns and red pepper flakes and warmed the oil, This is optional but it can help build layers of flavor if you have the time and want to do this!)
  2. 1/2 a stick of butter
  3. 2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar (I get pre-shredded it saves some time)
  4. 1 cup of shredded mild cheddar
  5. 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  6. 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
  7. 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (not vital, so if you don’t have it don’t feel pressured but I do find it a good ingredient to build flavors)
  8. 1 medium white onion
  9. 2 medium garlic cloves
  10. 1 leek
  11. 2 medium carrots (should get two cups once grated)
  12. 1 to 2 teaspoons dry rosemary
  13. 1 medium acorn squash
  14. 2 tablespoons flour
  15. 4 cups of milk (I use whole milk)
  16. Noodles, I like Cavatappi they are super curly and hold the sauce extremely well
  17. Salt and pepper to taste
  18. 1/4 cups of my basic breadcrumbs or use store-bought Italian ones!
  19. Salt and pepper to taste

(I KNOW THE LIST IS LONG BUT YOU PROBABLY HAVE MOST OF IT AT HOME AND IT IS SOOOOOOOO WORTH  IT, please don’t let it intimidate you)

RECIPE:

  1. First off pre-heat your oven to about 400, on the bake setting to get our squash softened. I always do the squash first so I can work on everything else as it’s doing what it needs to do. Okay so cut the squash in half, and then cut the halves if half, basically just quartering it. Then wrap a baking dish in foil and place the quarters in it, prick them with the tip of your knife and then drizzle oil on them. Top them off with a dash of pepper, and healthy sprinkling of salt (better to start with less and add more at the end of the dish), and 2 to 3 pinches of rosemary! Then pop it in the oven for like 40 minutes until they soften up. That is all, You can peel it before hand but i think it’s easier to do it once it is cooked and cooled off.
  2. Take the pan you are going to make your sauce in and heat up the oil, while that is heating finely chop the onion, leek, and mince the garlic cloves. Add them to the pan and keep the pan on about medium-low heat so that it doesn’t burn, we want to caramelize it. After about 10 minutes of being in the pan add the balsamic vinegar, BUT do NOT add salt, because salt will prevent the onions from caramelizing. If the onions are taking long to soften and caramelize then crank up the heat a bit. Add oil as needed never let the pan get dry!                   02b0ba77-000e-4bd2-8482-b1f6f47c7604
  3. Okay so, now we are gonna prep our second veggie carrots. So first peel the outer layer of the carrot off with a vegetable peeler, leave the tops in tact but cut off the tip, because they never really look fresh.Then take the grater and grate the carrots with the finest setting you have on yours. Then place the two cups of finely grated carrots in the pan with the onions after 10 minutes to start to soften it up. (This will end up looking like cheese in the mac and cheese and won’t be noticeable!) e87cfd8e-12cb-4bda-b102-4bfd453c1bf9
  4. Now fill the pot you will cook the pasta in with water and crank it to high so that it can begin to boil and you don’t have to wait on it.
  5. I then measure out the cheeses on the cutting board and bring it to the stove, I also measure out the flour, butter, and milk (using a liquid measuring cup). This is because when you start making the sauce it is hard to stop. At this point you should try to peel and puree the squash to a smooth finish, you can use chicken stock or water. Now everything should be by the stove, so that you can be ready and not have to run around! This will help cooking be less stressful. Now the pot of water should be at a boil so its time to drop the pasta, salt the water heavily to give the pasta flavorful cooking fluid, it’s all about layers of flavor.5af9c079-642f-4782-b64b-5372838ab21f
  6. Now add the butter and about a tablespoon of oil, and then with a whisk add in the flour, you will need to cook it out for about 2 minutes. Then slowly whisk in the milk, the slower the better to avoid clumping, which is your worst enemy in cheese sauce. So slow and steady my friends. Now once the milk is added start to slowly sprinkle in all the cheese whisking vigorously, so that the cheese doesn’t melt together and form a blob, if it does that increase the heat and add some more milk. Once the cheese is integrated then you can add the squash puree, I also add Dijon mustard at this point about a tablespoon (to taste), salt and pepper also to taste. Whisk until thick, coats the back of a spoon and is thick enough that if you draw a line through it with your finger it doesn’t fill in.
  7. Drain the pasta with the colander, put the pasta into the pot with some olive oil, so it doesn’t stick. Then pour the cheese sauce and stir, depending how gooey and cheesy you want it you might not use all the sauce, don’t pour it all in at once, stir the noodles with the sauce using a wooden spoon.
  8. Set the oven to broil, pour the mac and cheese into a glass baking dish and top with breadcrumbs to toast them in the oven until golden brown! (IF not everyone in your family likes topping, then toast the breadcrumbs in a pan and keep them in a bowl as an optional thing, but the textural contrast is well supported by me and my tummy)
  9. Done! Hopefully enjoy my hearty, semi-healthy, mac and cheese.

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Basic Breadcrumbs (with GF modification)

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I personally use store-bought Italian breadcrumbs on so many occasions, but I have become more conscious of what I am eating. I want to minimize my waste but also know what ingredients go in my food. It personally makes me feel better when my food is more homemade and less processed! Not that there is ever anything wrong with using store bought pre-made products when needed. Still I think that if I have extra time, and trust me this recipe takes 10 minutes tops with no knife skills, why not? I know that when cooking for one I often have leftover white bread, like sliced loaf bread from the grocery store, all the time and it is so easy to waste it and just toss it out. Even when I am home my family of four runs into this problem.  Especially because my father is Gluten Free, because of this I have noted an easy swap to make this recipe -! So here it goes. Also keep in mind that this is a very playful adjustable recipe and you don’t have to be super precise.

INGREDIENTS:

  1. 6 slices of white bread or any bread you have on hand! (if GF just use about 2 cups of rice cereal)
  2. A hand full of parsley leaves (if you don’t have fresh then add in about 1 and a half tablespoons of dry parsley)
  3.  4 leaves of fresh basil (use about a teaspoon of dry basil if you don’t have fresh)
  4. 2 largeish cloves of garlic
  5. 1 teaspoon of pepper
  6. 2 pinches of dry rosemary (or fresh if you have it!)
  7. Salt to taste (this should be adjusted)

Note! Possible add-ins: Parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper flakes, toasted pine nuts. The list could go on! So be adventurous and customize this blank canvas!!!

TOOLS:

  1. Food processor (if you don’t have one, chop the herbs and garlic finely and then place the bread in a large Ziploc bag)
  2. Baking sheet

RECIPE:

  1. Toasting the bread: rip the bread slices into manageable chunks that will fit into your food processor, then evenly spread it out onto your sheet tray. Preheat your oven to about 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Let the bread toast and get golden, then turn the oven off and let the bread dry out. The longer you let it dry the better, but if you are pressed for time its okay to continue! (if you choose to make it GF no toasting is necessary)
  2. Peal the two cloves of garlic, place them in the food processor, place all the fresh herbs and spices into the food processor (no chopping necessary), then top it off with the dry toasted bread. Also add a modest about of salt it will be about half a tablespoon At Most!
  3.   Pulverize everything together! I like mine to be sandy with a few bigger (pebble sized) chunks in it. This is because I like breadcrumbs to add textures to my dishes and hold up! but that is a personal preference. My biggest suggestion is to do what makes you happy and fix things to your liking! (Example of what it should look like, used a ninja food processor for this!)                           f610f677-154a-4059-82f6-374768e7a60a
  4. That is it! So simple, and quick! The flavor also makes whatever little effort put in totally worth it, not to mention an added impressive factor to your recipes!

I hope that this helps you create lovely dishes and crisp toppings! Also just a reminder that they should be stored in a container that is able to keep them dry.

Hello, Its Nice to Meet You!

Sorry for the awkward title, but since it is my first life based blog post and I’m introducing myself to any readers for the first time I felt it fit! So hello, my name is Melina! You can read some basic information about me under my about tab, if you’d like to get some background on where I am currently at in my life! I didn’t post anything very in depth under that page, because I am hoping to grow relationships with my readers through this page on my blog (specifically the experience category in the category drop down bar). This section of my website will be more conversational. This is because I plan on writing reviews on restaurants/coffee shops (You will eventually see how much I love getting coffee) that I go to. Note most of them will be in the mitten state (MI), I don’t mean to be exclusive. As well as those type of posts I will also try to post food related outings, like picnics which I deeply love. Most of the things I do in my life are food related in some way, so there will probably be many exciting and interesting posts that end up here! I also possibly may do general Q and A  or tutorial posts, assuming this takes off and there is interest in my webpage! To make it easier to find my posts I have a Category drop down bar. I will eventually have posts in 4 categories: Experiences, Baked Goods, Pastry, and Savory Foods. Theses are summarized near the bottom of my home page! (sorry for being a bit all over the place!)

I cannot wait to share my passion and love for food, I am hoping that I can inspire others to embark on their own unique food journey! Since I am just beginning to blog the format of my site may be subject to change. So with this brief introduction I welcome you to Secondhand baking. Before I close this post I would also like to take a moment to explain the name of my webpage, It was originally inspired by a band  that sprouted my love for alternative music called secondhand serenade. The name for me has become much more than this, because my style of cooking involves changing family and classic recipes, making them my own and unique, reinventing them and hopefully changing the way they are thought about.