Happy Fat Tuesday!

I have done fat Tuesday posts in the past and to be honest not much has changed. I had a lemon filled paczki this morning for breakfast. Not great for my diet, but it was delicious!

Fat Tuesday is the last night of feasting before the ritual 40 day fast of the Lenten season. Are you giving anything up for Lent? I’m not per se but I am working hard right now a better physical, more healthy me. So that was my last donut for a long while, I’m glad it was a good one lol!

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Marble Cake with Vanilla Frosting

Sometimes it’s just nice to be in your kitchen. After a quick inventory I realized I had everything I needed to make a homemade marble cake with a light fluffy vanilla frosting. I literally had everything! Who can resist that!

This delicious cake is moist and not to heavy the vanilla and chocolate flavors are perfect together and the light marshmallowy frosting adds just enough sweetness. And I’m here to tell ya making a cake for no real reason other than just to have some cake is awesome!

Here’s what you need:

Cake

2 1/4c. Flour

1 2/3 c. Granulated sugar

3 1/2 tsp baking powder

2/3 c. Butter or Shortening

1 1/4c. Milk

1 tsp. Vanilla

5 egg whites

3 tbsp cocoa powder

1/8 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350°F Grease and flour a 9 x 13in glass cake pan.

Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder in a large mixing bowl add butter milk and vanilla mix on medium speed till well blended. Add egg whites and mix on high speed 2 minutes scraping the sides of the bowl as you mix. In a medium bowl reserve 1 2/3c. batter. Pour remaining batter into the cake pan. Add cocoa powder and baking soda to reserved batter mix well. Spoon onto the top of the vanilla batter and use a butter knife to swirl together for marble effect. Bake 40-45 minutes.

Frosting

2 room temperature egg whites

1/2 c granulated sugar

1/4c. Corn syrup

2 Tbsp. Water

1 tsp. Vanilla

In a large mixing bowl mix egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form. Set aside. In a medium sauce pan stir together sugar, corn syrup, and water. Heat to a boil covered. Uncover and boil 4-8 minutes or until candy thermometer reads 240°F. On medium speed slowly pour syrup mixture into the egg whites and mix until glossy peaks form. Add vanilla and mix well. Place in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.

Cool cake completely before frosting. Enjoy!

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!

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!

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