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!

2018 Year in Review

2018 is almost complete and I have had a year of ups and downs I’d say. From the standpoint of the blog I’m please to say I have more followers and have enjoyed my blog so much this year! So thank you for making this a bright spot for me! Thousands of views and likes so I must be doing something right.

That being said, I went back to see what you all enjoyed the most this past year. It looks like the activity in my kitchen, and travel reviews are taking home top prizes for 2018!

Here ia a list of my top 10 post from 2018:

#10 Flamingo Hotel and Casino -review

#9 S’More Bites – Fall cookie series

#8 Fall Blog Series

#7 Chocolate Chip cookies take 3

#6 Cheers to 20 years

#5 Pumpkin Spice No-bake Cookies

#4Oatmeal Cream Pies with a Twist

#3 Kitchen Reveal

#2 Zak Bagan’s Haunted Museum-Review

#1 Strawberry and Cream Jelly Roll

It looks like the Fall Cookie Series was a huge hit and we will definately be doing that again! I’m think about doing a series this winter on Soups, Stews, and Chili let me know if that sounds good to you guys too!

Another big announcement…my BFF Amber and I have started a new adventure you can find us on instagram @tour_the_town. We will be visiting local restaurants, attractions, and events and documenting everything for you all to enjoy along with us! My “Inspiring Finds” tab will be converted soon after the new year to “Tour the Town” so no need to subscribe to something new you’ll get all that content right here or watch our pictorial review on Instagram! I can’t wait to get started with it!

Tomorrow I will update you on how my resolutions came out for the year and let you know what I’m thinking for 2019! Happy New Year everyone and Thank you so much dor following along with me!

Hand-piped Spritz Cookies

My final recipe from round one of my holiday baking are Spritz cookies. These light, crispy sweet short bread cookies are perfect when you want something sweet but no too sweet this holiday season.

Spritz cookies are traditional Christmas cookies in Scandinavian countries. They are simple butter cookies, shaped by putting the dough through a cookie press. The name comes from the German word spritzen, meaning “to squirt” because the soft dough is squirted or pushed through a cookie press to make fancy designs.

My great Grandma Reeves would make these every Christmas and they were always one of my favorites because although homemade they always looked so perfectly pretty. The collar for my cookie press was found to be broken this year when I went to make my cookies…probably from being moved all over the place during the kitchen renovation, accidents happen I guess… so I improvised and used a piping bag with a large star tip to hand pipe these pretty little cookies.

This is a simple recipe with common ingredients making it all that much better so here is my recipe for Hand-piped Spritz Cookies. Enjoy!

1c. butter

1/2c. granulated sugar

2 1/4 c. all purpose flour

1/4 tsp. salt

1 egg

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

colored sugar or sprinkles for decoration

Pre-heat oven to 350F

Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in flour, salt, egg, and vanilla extract. Place dough in cookie press or piping bag. Form desired shapes on ungreased cookie sheet. top with decorations. Bake 5 to 8 minutes or until set but not brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. To decorate cookies after baking, use a drop of corn syrup to attach decorations to cookies.

Kitchen reveal!

So…it’s been awhile sorry about that. We have been rushing to finish all of the details on the kitchen remodel that we have been doing on a budget and all on our own! I can’t wait for you all to see the transformation it’s amazing!

Our kitchen was original to the house built in the 1950’s by my husbands grandfather. Needless to say all of the changes have been made with a lot of thought and respect for this family home. It means a lot to us to be able to update the home that his family gathered in for so many wonderful years. I didn’t get a true before…my husband jumps right in! Lol but here is a before that shows a bit of the layout.

Once cabinets were removed and we started measuring for stock cabintry we realized the windows are oddly offset, and the previous cupboards had been built very big to fill that space. Our budget wasn’t flexible enough for custom cabinets so we opted for a trendy look without any upper cabinetry! Risky but worth it you guys I love the look and feel of the new kitchen!

We added a new peninsula workspace, a soffet for additional lighting, and corner shelving.

There are a few details left to tend to they include drawer pulls, roman shades on the windows and the microwave hood vent has to be installed over the stove, but with the holidays creeping up fast we’re choosing our battles. Lol!

I’d love to know your thoughts on our project! Thanks for following along!

Happy Halloween!

This time of year is one of my favorites! I thoroughly enjoy the changing weather, the beautiful fall colors in Michigan, and it’s the time of year when I throw one of my biggest celebrations of the season our annual Halloween Party!

This past weekend months of preparation and planning came together in a fun night full of dancing and laughter with some of my very best friends, and neighbors! Each year we choose a party theme, and decorate our pole barn accordingly. This years theme was Masquerade! I really thought this theme was going to be easier to plan for than what it was. I found it challenging to decorate for… I ended up with a gold black and purple color scheme, lots and lots of balloons… I’m still winded…, and a few decorative mask centerpieces. Oh and I found a fabulous 9ft wide mask on Amazon that was a perfect match to our colors and theme!

I cooked a big crock pot of chili, made apple crisp and some cobb salad dip with crackers, many of our friends brought along passing dishes, and we had plenty to share!

We held a costume/ mask contest this year for the first time… I have no idea how it is I hold an annual Halloween party and never had a costume contest but we remedied that situation this year! Our big winner was Kasey with her Adams Family inspired look! It really was impressive!

We danced the night away, and paid for it the next day witha bit of a headache…perhaps not so much from dancing as from jello shots but well worth this great time! Hope you’re enjoying the Fall season and spreading a little Halloween Cheer, Happy Halloween!

Fall cookie series, Finale!

I wish I had a grand finale for you but with my kitchen out of commission I decided to share another bloggers fall cookie recipe for you to enjoy!

I started following Michael J. Wurm several years ago, and I love his blog http://www.inspiredbycharm.com

He and another blogger joined forces for a fall cookie week and here is one of my favorites!

Salted caramel shortbread cookies! Enjoy!

Salted Caramel Shortbread Cookies

I thoroughly enjoyed the fall cookie series and will likely do it again. I’ll be following up on kitchen progress soon hopefully, and then we’ll select a new wonderful thing to blog all about!