Light and Fresh Fish Taco

I’ve been searchong for some new healthy dinner options. I feel like I’ve had dinner on loop lately. So last night I started back to through the loop woth tacos…but decided at the last minute instead to make this a lighter and tad healthier by using fish as the primary protein instead of the usual ground beef. I have to say it was a delicious change of pace and I’m so glad I decided to change things up!

Here is what you need!

1lb. Fresh cod

3Tbsp butter

2 lg cloves garlic

Zest of one lime

2 Tbsp lime juice

2 Tbsp chicken taco seasoning, I use McCormicks brand.

1/4 c. Cilantro or curly parsley

Shredded lettuce

Shredded cheddar cheese

Cubed avocado

Fresh pico de gaillo

Flour tortillas

In a large sauce pan melt the butter add the garlic and fish. Cook on medium high heat 3 minutes each side. Once you turn the fish add lime zest juice seasoning and cilantro using spatula cut fish into chunks and stir the ingedients around in the pan till coated. Turn down heat and layer fish in the tortilla with any of the additional ingredients you prefer. Enjoy!

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Jackson Coney Island

@Tour_the_Town has had a busy day! After a quick downtown photo shoot in the freezing cold we made our way to local favorite, Jackson Coney Island!

Jackson Coney Island first opened it’s doors in 1914 under the ownership of George Todoroff. It’s original name was Todoroff’s eatery and the name later changed to Jackson Coney Island in 1931. It’s convenient location next to train depot meant lots of visitors and train depot employees would frequent the small establishment.

George sold the restaurant to the Andy and Don Lazaroff twin brothers with a knack for the restaurant business.

In 1965, Jackson Coney Island itself moved on to bigger things when the original building was torn down along with the McCain Block building next door to make way for the current restaurant and its parking lot.

In 1970, Andy Lazaroff sold out to his brother and Christoff to focus on Andy’s Pizza restaurants. They kept Jackson Coney Island until selling it to Dave White in 1972.

Now more than 100 years later the restaurant continues to call the community together with the diner concept that specializes in a Jackson Coney Dog. A humble hot dog on a steamed bun topped with a perfectly seasoned meat sauce, onions, and mustard. The Jackson Coney is so much more than it’s sloppy southern counterpart. The Jackson Coney has a characteristic meat sauce that isn’t runny sloppy overly greasy or difficult to eat. It’s iconic flavor is something you’ll never forget!

The restaurant also sells a variety of lunch and dinner options as well as some very tasty desserts and classic malts!

The restaurant today keeps with traditon. It has a small dining room with booth spaces and a long bar where you can enjoy your dessert and cup of coffee while visiting with the very friendly staff! There is definitely a taste of Nostalgia when you walk in!

Jackson Coney Island was voted one of the top 5 coney island restaurants in State of MI in 2018, and is a must see when you tour our town!

We want to thank the wonderful staff for allowing to take photos and ask questions! You guys rock! You can find out more by visiting their website, see their menu, and like them on facebook! http://www.jacksonconey.com @JacksonConeyIsland

Hope you enjoyed this weeks tour! Find more behind the scenes photos this week on our instagram page @tour_the_town. Thanks for following along!

Barnwood’s Best Lemon Bars

I know I have shared a lemon bar recipe before which was a bit more pf a short cut recipe. Great of you short on time and usually a little cost saving due to fewer ingredients…BUT…it’s no replacement for a really great, from scratch, recipe.

That what these babies are. Fresh made shortbread crust with a custardy lemon topping that is just amazingly creamy and the perfect blend of tart and sweet. Here’s what you’ll need.

Shortbread crust

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 10 tablespoons butter, cubed. I ise mine cold but you can warm to room temperature for easier mixing.
Lemon Filling:
  • 4 lemons, juiced and zested
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • powdered sugar, for dusting
  • Preheat your oven to 350F then butter and line an 8×8 inch baking tin, set aside. In a large bowl combine the sugars and the flour. Next using a pastry blender or large fork blend in the butter until you’ve reached the texture of coarse breadcrumbs. Continue to bring the shortbread together using your hands until the dough forms a ball. Transfer the shortbread dough to your lined baking dish and press into one even layer using your fingertips and the palm of your hands. Then prick the crust all over with a fork.Bake the shortbread crust for 25 minutes. While the base is baking, make the lemon filling.

Lemon Filling:
In a medium bowl combine the egg yolks, sugar, flour, baking powder, soft butter, lemon juice, and zest then mix to combine. If the mixture looks a bit separated, don’t be alarmed. Remove the crust from the oven then fill with the lemon filling. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the top has formed a crackle crust and is golden brown.Allow to fully cool before dusting with powdered sugar and cutting into squares, of ot’ warm at all it will melt into a horrible little messy altgough tasty pile. Cover and store in the fridge for up to 4 days. That’s it! Enjoy!!

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

A recent Audubon Society meeting had me in the kitchen…seems odd I know but it was my turn to help with the refreshments and thats when I rise to the occasion! So for the meeting I prepared Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, and Lemon bars! They were so good that I literally came home with clean plates! Here’s what you need!

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350F. Line cookie sheets and set aside. In a medium mixing bowl combine dry ingredients except sugars, and oats. Stir together and set aside in a large mixing bowl combine sugars, butter, vanilla mix on medium speed until well combined. Add egg and mix again until light and fluffy. Add in dry ingredients, mixing together with a spatula until combined add oats and raisins fold together. Spoon onto baking sheet and bake 6-9 minutes until golden brown. Enjoy!

Jackson Audubon Society – Birds of Prey

I recently paid a visit to our local Audubon Society meeting. They host 6 meetings a year. Sept- Nov. and then January – March. Meeting are on the second Tuesday of the month and hosted at the Ella Sharp Museum community room.

In an effort to really give you an accurate picture of the amazing town that we live in we aren’t just focusing on restaurants, and huge community events. We decided to include the important work of some of these civic organizations as well. I could not have chosen a better meeting to feature!

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The National Wildlife Association from Midland MI brought out a variety of LIVE birds for us to observe and learn about. The turn out for the meeting was fantastic, and it was so nice to see so many kids there to experience this up close look at these amazing birds.

T

he National Wildlife association is an organization that assists with the rehabilitation of injured birds of prey. They deal extensively with many species of owl, eagles, falcons, and hawks. They get appropriate veterinary care for them, feed them, rehab them fully and when possible they release them back to the area where they were found. They travel all over the State of Michigan caring for these amazing birds. They rely on program nights like these to help fund their mission. Last year alone they helped save 100 birds!

The birds that they brought along with them have been under their care for a long period of time and have truly bonded with them. These are also animals that could not be rehabbed enough to send them back out to the wild. They brought in a tiny wet-saw owl and the pour thing was found so badly injured that a portion of it’s wing had to be amputated, but thanks to programs like this he has found a new educational purpose in life and he clearly loved his handlers.

The Jackson Audubon Society is a birding enthusiasts dream organization. They host monthly outings, regular meetings, and as a member you’ll receive newsletters and email information to keep you up to date on events, and political calls to action around the State of Michigan. They help maintain two local bird sanctuaries, The Haehnle Sanctuary, and the Kate Palmer Bird Sanctuary, these are fantastic hiking trails with points and outlooks to capture great photos of local birds, wildlife, and flowers. Having been a member now for a couple of years I can honestly say this is a wonderful group of people who have a common enthusiasm for our feathered friends, and it has been my pleasure to become a greater part of it as a Jackson Audubon Society Board Member.

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The program I attended last night was so much fun and so informative! We met a former racing dove, several species of owls, a peregrine falcon, and a Merlin Falcon, as well as a ruff legged hawk, and the largest pigeon I have ever seen!! I ended the night with a fabulous Owl selfie… bucket list check mark… and a few new friends! If you have a chance visit the Audubon Society website, http://www.JacksonAudubon.org, for more information or to become a member. Thank you!

Klavon’s Pizzeria and Pub

Amber and I are kicking off the 2019 tour with a visit to Klavon’s! The Vandercook Lake location opened it’s doors in 2014, and has become a “go-to” location for locals and visitors alike!

Justin Klavon started his career in pizza as a teenager and quickly found that he had an aptitude in business as well as in the culinary space. His first venture Justin Tyme Pizza opened in Clark Lake MI, and quickly spread to three locations before he conceptualized Klavon’s. Klavon’s began as a small sports bar concept in Rives Junction MI, and has since brought Chicago style stuffed pizza to the forefront in Jackson County. But Justin wasn’t done yet! His concept took on a new look and feel when he developed the Vandercook Lake location. The restaurant is much more high end sports bar than pub and pizzeria. Justin credits his staff for the success of his restaurants, and would eventually like to create an available franchise model for loyal employees looking to be part of the companies growth. Klavon’s looks forward to opening it’s Mason MI location later in 2019, and to be honest I can’t wait to see how Justin’s vision grows and changes with each addition!

@Tour_the_Town got permission from store manager Marissa, to take some photos and share our experience with you. We want to thank her and the Klavon’s staff for being so lovely to us and allowing us to share your story! Because it was an incredibly busy Saturday night we made our visit quick, snapped a few pics, and got our pizza to go. One of the many perks of this location is the drive up window, however anytime we can we visit and stay to watch a game on the tv chandelier, or hangout with friends we do. The vibe and atmosphere are outstanding.

Spring and summer bring new opportunities to enjoy Klavon’s as they open the patio for additional outdoor seating. Large groups are welcome, and reservations making seating availability a breeze. Need space for an event? No problem! Klavon’s “K-Lounge” seats up to 25 guests with private servers for your convenience. They have literally thought of everything!!

Now let’s talk about what’s really important here… THE FOOD! Klavon’s offers a full menu from appetizers, soup and salads… to burgers, wraps and of course their famous pizza! They haven’t forgotten the most important details offering dessert menus, and specialty drink menus all presented on I-pads when you’re seated for a convenient way to browse and choose your favorites.

We selected the hand- made tortilla chips with their specialty peach salsa, pepperoni pinwheels, a small “Detroiter” pizza, and a specialty barbecue chicken stuffed pizza, a personal favorite of mine! We were feeding 5 adults and two teenage girls and there was more than enough to go around, we even had some leftovers.

The tortilla chips were restaurant made, thin, crispy, lightly salted, and totally addictive. Couple with the handmade peach salsa it was a perfect starter. The peach salsa is just what you would expect, very fresh, lightly sweet, with a little heat. A nice light way to start a meal.

The pepperoni pinwheels will get your mind turning about that delicious pizza that’s one it’s way! Pepperoni, and Mozzarella wrapped in a yeasty handmade dough the bottom of the pinwheel is coated in a delicious crust of parmesan, and romano cheese. So Yummy!

And on to the main event! The pizza!!! The Detroiter is a new menu addition and I my husband couldn’t eat it fast enough lol. This authentic Detroit-style pizza is topped with pepperoni, Italian sausage, peppadew peppers and a blend cheeses. It’s finished with a signature tomato sauce, ricotta cheese, oregano and pecorino. It has some spicy notes, but is a deeply satisfying pizza unlike anything I’ve tried before.

My all time favorite pizza from Klavon’s though is the barbecue chicken Chicago style stuffed pizza. This monstrously sized pizza starts two layers of crust filled with chicken, bacon, mozzarella, red onion, and topped with a sweet barbecue sauce and parmesan cheese. One slice fills me up and it’s so delicious!

If you’re interested in a fun night out with some delicious, and uniquely creative dishes. Visit Klavon’s pizzeria and pub. You can peruse their menu by visiting their website http://www.klavons.com or follow them on twitter @klavons or find them on facebook! Thanks for following along! Behind the scenes pics will be shared all week on instagram @Tour_the_Town

Tour the Town!

During a recent hangout with my BFF Amber, we decided we wanted to inspire something a little different for 2019. We were talking about some of the Instagram pages that really strike us, how the imagery makes us want to do more, and travel more, and eat more, and figure out internet fame! We cracked up over how popular some pages are and for such simple content. This discussion became a rabbit hole of ideas and before we new what was happening we were starting something pretty awesome!

We have decided to take 2019 and discover everything we can about our own hometown, and any other place that we might travel too or stumble upon along the way! And whilst exploring we’ll share these adventures with all of you here, along with pictorial reviews on Instagram! You can follow us @Tour_the_Town

Amber and I met 7 years ago when she and her husband moved back to Michigan from South Carolina. Her husband and I went to high school together, he and my husband grew up playing baseball together, and we had one other rather sad connection…. Her son was a cancer survivor and my late son was at the time a newly diagnosed cancer patient. Not something you expect to bond over but there was an empathy there that I needed, and 7 years later I don’t know what I would do without her!

We live a block away from each other in a small Michigan town that we both grew up in. We have thrown parties, held fundraisers, gone to community and school events, and even vacationed together! Our families often feel like one big family and we love that! So now that we are starting Tour the Town we hope you’ll have fun with us, laugh with us, and get to know us a little better.

Since we are so close to our little district of Vandercook Lake we plan to start there! There are a couple of awesome little restaurants right around the corner from us, and we plan to highlight these locations each week, or as often as our schedules allow! This week we visit Klavon’s pizzeria and pub in Vandercook Lake! This locally owned restaurant and sports bar has quite a story to share and we can’t wait to get to it! More soon, until then enjoy some memories from Amber and I. Thanks for following along!