Archive for March, 2011

Back in Michigan!

Glad to be back in Michigan. Our house that we own was under a lease/purchase agreement while we were in Madison, so we are going to stay in the house for a while until I find a job in the Detroit area, or the house sells/leases. Guess what I have been doing for the last week? Cleaning, cleaning, and more cleaning. Now it is time to paint, not my favorite thing to do but it needs to be done..

Lunch was very light today. I am a salad and soup girl so this was right up my alley .

The salad consisted of organic romaine lettuce, tomatoes, orange pepper, and a veggie burger to top it off. Drizzled with light ceaser dressing. Yummy!

Hit the gym later (5:30) for boot-camp class at the local wellness center to get the heart pumping. It was rough considering my last workout was two weeks ago.

Dinner fulfilled my craving for some nice warm soup with a little bit of spice.

Chicken, Black Bean and Cilantro Soup

(Makes 6-8 servings)

1 small onion, diced small
1 cup celery, diced small (use celery leaves too if available)
2 tsp. olive oil
1 T ground cumin
1 T chile powder
1 tsp. celery seed
1 tsp. garlic powder or garlic puree
3 cans chicken broth
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 cup salsa
1 can black beans (not drained unless you choose to rinse the beans to reduce the amount of sodium)
2 cups cooked chicken, cut in very small pieces (leftover rotisserie chicken is great for this)
1 cup chopped cilantro leaves and stems (chop the stems very small), plus more for serving if desired
sour cream, for serving (optional)

In a large heavy soup pot, saute onions and celery in olive oil 3-5 minutes, until soft but not browned.  Add the ground cumin, chile powder, celery seed, and garlic and saute about 2 minutes more. 

Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, and salsa, and simmer 10 minutes.   After 10 minutes, add black beans and chicken and simmer 15-20 minutes more.  While the soup simmer, wash, dry and chop enough fresh cilantro to make 1 cup chopped cilantro.

After 15-20 minutes, add the chopped cilantro and simmer 5 minutes. Serve hot with sour cream and additional chopped cilantro to sprinkle on top if desired.

Recipe adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen.

March 30, 2011 at 12:55 am Leave a comment

Wedding Re-cap.

Roy and Erica Pierce.

Date: August 28, 2010.

Place: Rosewood Inn, Lansing, MI

Colors: Pewter and Blue

Link: How I meet my Husband (Roy created this page).

1. We had a little over a year to plan the wedding as we got engaged on April 24, 2009!! We found the Rosewood Inn just by word-of-mouth through a good friend (Susie) and fell in love instantly. It was everything we were looking for, including a man cave in the basement (as Roy would call it). The Bed and Breakfast owners take care of many aspects of the wedding , including the flowers, food, music, cake, and much much more. We had our fair share of work and planning with the invitations, programs, and favors.

2. Next was the dress, this was not an easy task. After trying on many dresses I decided to take a break and search online. I found what I was looking for on the Maggie Sottero website! The dress is called the Milana, and it fit me perfectly like it was meant to be, no alterations needed. We went to Becker’s Bridal in Fowler, MI to purchase the bridal dress, bridesmaid dresses and mother of the bride dress.

The shoes were almost as important as the dress. I love shoes! Although I do not have a ton of them (from a girl’s perspective), the ones that I  do have are very special and make me feel fabulous when I have them on.  I choose the color blue (for my something blue), with a moderate heel since the events were outside.


3. Formal wear: The men wore gray tuxes, while the women had pewter dresses and shoes. My sister made the wonderful hair-pieces, which were made of silk flowers and feathers.


4. And of course we have to talk about the food which was delicious: The menu consisted of- Appetizers: bruschetta and toasted baguette slices. Salad: Traverse city with poppy-seed dressing. Potatoes: “smashed” garlic potatoes. Vegetables: glazed carrots, and roasted cauliflower with kalamata vinaigrette. Entrees: asiago stuffed chicken breast, and marinated brisket. Bread: dinner rolls (homemade).

We cannot forget about the Cake!! Vanilla with buttercream frosting under fondant. It was a very classic wedding cake and it was sooo good. Defiantly one of the highlights of the wedding.

5. It truly was a perfect day, and I could not be happier. We danced the night away with our family and friends.

March 24, 2011 at 11:17 pm Leave a comment


Well big news is abrewn! My husband and I are moving back to Michigan. It has always been in the back of our minds to eventually get back to our home state, it just has not been an option lately related to the economy. We of course have really enjoyed our time here in Madison, but at this point in our lives we would like to be closer to our families. Roy has accepted a job with an engineering consulting company in Novi, MI  pretty much doing the same thing that he does now. I on the other hand will be job hunting once again.

So the packing (procrastination) begins, I dislike the moving process with a passion. My parents will be here to help for a long weekend in March, so they will have some time to visit and experience some more of WI prior to leaving. Our plans include seeing the House on the Rock, eating some cheese curds at The Old Fashioned, and the amazing brunch at Nau-TiGal Restaurant. I think my favorite thing about WI is their deep-fried cheese curds, oh how I will miss them!


Cornbread-Stuffed Cornish Game Hens.


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups 1/2-inch cubes purchased cornbread or corn muffins (about 11 ounces)
  • 1 large egg, beaten to blend
  • 1/2 cup (packed) coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 2 ounces)
  • 6 tablespoons (about) fresh apple cider or fresh apple juice

Game hens:

  • 2 1 1/4- to 1 1/2-pound Cornish game hens, rinsed, patted dry
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 bacon slices, each halved crosswise


For stuffing:
Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and celery; sauté until beginning to color, about 5 minutes. Mix in sage, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; transfer to large bowl. Let stand until almost cool, about 10 minutes.

Mix cornbread into vegetables. Add egg and toss to blend. Mix in cheese, then enough apple cider by tablespoonfuls to form stuffing that is moist but not wet.

Game hens:
Sprinkle cavity of each hen lightly with salt and pepper. Pack 1 cup stuffing into each (place any leftover stuffing into buttered ramekins and cover with foil). Skewer cavities closed with toothpicks or turkey lacers. Tuck wing tips under; tie legs together to hold shape. Mix sage, coarse salt, and pepper in small bowl; sprinkle over hens.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place 2 hens in skillet. Sauté until brown, turning often with wooden spoons (to prevent tearing skin), about 10 minutes. Transfer to rimmed baking sheet, breast side up. Drape 2 bacon strip halves over breast of each hen. Using kitchen string, tie bacon strips in place. (Place any ramekins of stuffing on baking sheet with hens.)

Place hens (and extra stuffing) in oven. Roast hens until cooked through and juices run clear when thigh is pierced, about 45 minutes. (Roast stuffing 30 minutes.) Cut strings off hens. Transfer hens to plates.

Recipe adapted from Epicurious.

March 8, 2011 at 11:26 pm Leave a comment

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