Monday, September 27, 2010

Cider Mill Crawl 2010

If you don't know what a cider mill crawl is... check out last year's post:

For more pictures of this year's crawl, check out Molly's blog post:

Cider Mill #1:
Plymouth Orchards-  This was last year's winner so we decided to keep it in the rotation and add 2 other local mills.  I like this place.  It has a nice store, large seating area inside, hayrides, animal farm, cut outs to stick your head thru, and delicious donut and cider.

Cider Mill #2:
Wiard's-  This was easily our least favorite place.  However, this is the only one of the 3 that offered pasteurized cider for the preggos and their plain donuts were very cakey.  Plus they had a DIY caramel apple bar!  But the store was a maze and we had to walk like a million miles from the parking lot.  Plus you had to pay for all the added activities on the grounds.

Cider Mill #3:
Apple Charlie's:  Their freshly fried plain donuts are super delicious.  Nice crunch outside and warm and fluffy on the inside.  They had lots of crazy animals on their farm (like an ostrich) and they had face painting and tons of other food like hot dogs.  Parking was annoying and it was very busy with children everywhere.

Here are the results:
We voted 1-5 for the overall experience of the mill, then 1-10 each for donuts and cider for a potential score of 25 points.  There were 5 people voting so a perfect score would be 125.

Overall score:  Apple Charlie's 104, Plymouth 103, Wiard's 83
WINNER:  Apple Charlie's, new champion by 1 point!

Donut score:  Apple Charlie's 46, Plymouth 41, Wiard's 34
WINNER:  Apple Charlie's

Cider score:  Apple Charlie's 43, Plymouth 41, Wiard's 34
WINNER:  Apple Charlie's

Experience score:  Apple Charlie's 15, Plymouth 22, Wiard's 17
WINNER:  Plymouth

Mmmm first taste at Plymouth

Molly and Katie....

....sampling the goodies

Cute group shot... Monica, Stephanie, Me, Molly, Katie

Yes it is sideways.... Baby H's first trip to a cider mill! haha

Molly thinks tractors are the best.

Katie laughing with a mouthful of donut at Wiard's

Group shot at Wiard's (missing me)

I made little shopping bags for us....yes I am a dork.

Molly was fascinated with the donut maker at Apple Charlie's

Molly's tablescape.... isn't she awesome at this?

We had salad for lunch.... last year we had lunch then did the crawl then had dinner then did the donut tasting.... BAD IDEA

Awwww so cute!

I think I still prefer Plymouth Orchard and Cider Mill in all 3 categories, but majority rules!  I can't wait until next year's crawl!!!  We were already planning for next year while scarfing down the donuts this year =)  Thanks girls for making this year's crawl super fun!!!  Love you all.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

It is that time of year again...

You all were super amazing last year and submitted your votes... and Simplicity placed in the top 5 of WDIV's Vote 4 the Best Contest.  Thank you soooo much for your support.

But it is that time of year where we need your help again.... we have once again been nominated for Best Wedding Planner in Detroit and we would love to have your continued support!

If you could take 2 minutes to vote for us we would be super excited.  If you voted last year, you can still use the same log in information.  THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!

Remember to check out/become a follower of our blog!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Cajun Pasta and Shrimp

(sorry no pictures) This was pretty darn tasty and we will definitely make it again.  Matt rejected my idea of Jambalaya for dinner last week so I snuck the flavors into our standard shrimp pasta we make sometimes.  Evil delicious genius.

Cajun Pasta and Shrimp
Serves: 2

-2/3 box linguine
-about 18 shrimp (the 36-40/lb size), tails removed
-1 tablespoon butter
-1 garlic clove minced
-2 tablespoons butter
-2 tablespoons flour
-3/4 cup diced green pepper (I used frozen)
-3/4 cup diced onion (again, frozen)
-1/2-3/4 can petite diced tomatoes, drained
-2 cups half and half
-1.5 tablespoons cajun seasoning (I used 1 T but it wasn't enough)

1.  Add 1 tablespoon butter to a 10" skillet and melt, add the garlic and the shrimp.  Cook just until done and remove to a plate and dump out any liquid.
2.  Start boiling a pot of water and cook the pasta according to the box.
3.  Add the other 2 tablespoons to the skillet and melt, add the flour and cook over medium until it thickens.  Add the onions and green peppers.  Cook until done.  Add the tomatoes.  Add the half and half and the seasoning.  Bring to a bubble and simmer over medium until thickened (about 10 minutes).
4.  Throw the shrimp back into the sauce to warm up.  Serve over pasta.

If you want to spice it up (because it is actually pretty mild) add some cayenne pepper or Franks Red Hot Sauce.  Yum.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Marshmallow Cakes

So I have baked oreos and raw cookie dough into cupcakes, I started wondering what else I could do.  I had this bag of marshmallows ... I have no idea why I bought them since I don't really ever use them.  Well.... that led me to thinking about baking mallows into cakes.  My friends were split 50/50 on whether or not this could be done.  My friend Stephanie decided to be my mallow sous chef and see if we could try a whole bunch of combinations to see if it would work.

We tried mini muffin cups, regular sized, and texas sized.  We tried whole mallows, cut up ones, and marshmallow fluff.  Plus we tried putting them inside the batter, on top of the batter, during the last half of baking, after baking.................. pretty much anything we could think of.   We even tried squishing a mini cake between two grahams frosted with fluff.

The verdict?  If you encase the mallow in batter, it mostly bakes away into the batter.  If you put it on top and bake it, it blows up all huge and then loses all its air and deflates after you take it out.  The best solution was a full sized marshmallow placed into the regular sized cupcake halfway thru baking.  This yielded a slightly browned mallow while still holding most of its shape.

The biggest problem, surprisingly, is we couldn't get the right chocolate flavor to make it taste smore-y.  We used a devil's food cake with chocolate pudding to make it more dense.... it just wasn't a strong enough chocolate flavor.  I stuck with a box cake mix and canned frosting just to make it easy and concentrate on techniques of stuffing the mallow inside.  We also tried putting chocolate chips inside the cakes to get more chocolate flavor.  Then for the graham taste we tried straight graham crackers.  Then we tried the recipe for a graham cracker topping we found on top of the box.

I still haven't tried all the different combinations yet, but overall the ones we did taste just weren't DELICIOUS.  So get the real marshmallow taste you really need to put the fluff on after the fact, and then it is just a cupcake frosted with fluff.... boring.  It might be tastier if I had one of those little creme brulee torch thingies to get some color on the fluff.