Poached Cardamom Pears with Mascarpone + Honey

Poached Cardamom Pears with Mascarpone + Honey Recipe // @nicoledula

I have had this dessert on my mind since summer. Ever since I had that perfect wine-poached peach with whipped mascarpone at 9 Bean Rows in Traverse City. Such a simple dessert, but completely delicious. I put a winter spin on that concept and poached pears with fragrant holiday spices. I used a dry Michigan Gewurztrtraminer that we bought during the trip for the poaching liquid, too. Poached fruit is so elegant, but really easy to make and great for entertaining because it can be made well in advance. I’m going to have to throw a party, just so I can serve… Continue reading

Food Adventure // Mabel Gray in Hazel Park, Michigan

Mabel Gray Restaurant in Hazel Park, Michigan // @nicoledula

We went to the new restaurant, Mabel Gray, with friends on Halloween night and I was charmed from the moment I walked in. First of all, 90’s Janet Jackson was playing and I wanted to start dancing plus high five the person in charge of the music. Instead, a big smile crossed my face and I took in the whole place. Warm and friendly smiles from behind the bar greeted us and some of the staff was dressed for Halloween. I noticed a few distinctive and trendy Hedley & Bennet aprons, too. Everything looked polished and organized. The restaurant is small, 42… Continue reading

Thanksgiving Recipes + what I’m eating this year

22 Thanksgiving Recipes + what I'm eating this year // @nicoledula

This morning I washed the cranberries and tonight I’ll make the cranberry sauce and prep my kale gratin. Last year we started a new tradition of the whole family gathering in Holland for Thanksgiving at my brother and sister-in-law’s house. A few weeks before last year’s event, I sent a slew of recipes over to my sister-in-law so we could pick the perfect inaugural menu. She added a couple of her favorite recipes and soon we had a great menu. This year, we’ve adjusted it slightly, learning the limits of oven and stovetop space. Here’s what we’re eating! Turkey – My Mom was never… Continue reading

Cheesecake with Pomegranate-Vanilla Bean Cranberry Sauce

I’ve tried to find out who started making this cheesecake in Marc’s family and I think I’ve traced it back to Marc’s (honorary) Aunt Ruthie, his grandma’s good friend. I wish I knew the cookbook or magazine it was clipped from, but we may never know. Marc’s grandma and mom have made this cheesecake for years and it’s been a staple at many family gatherings throughout our 15 years together. Every time I see it, I get excited because it’s creamy and wonderful and has lots of good memories attached to it. If you can believe it, I’ve never made… Continue reading

Pumpkin Tahini Overnight Oats

Pumpkin Tahini Overnight Oats Recipe // @nicoledula

Back in our newlywed days, when we couldn’t afford cable, I had to find something to replace my addiction to Food Network. The answer is always PBS, no? Many of those early Saturdays were spent getting acquainted with America’s Test Kitchen, Lidia Basitanich, Julia Child + Jacques Pepin and hey girl hey, registered dietician Zonya Foco. You may not know that last lady, but she talked about low cal and low fat cooking in her oak-cabinet lined kitchen. She’d go to the grocery store to navigate the aisles in a healthy way and exercise with a trainer. In later seasons, she… Continue reading

Food Adventure // Lunch with Wolfgang Puck

Lunch with Wolfgang Puck at The MGM Grand Detroit // @nicoledula

Last week I had lunch with Chef Wolfgang Puck! It’s all a blur now and I still can’t believe it happened. I received a short email on Thursday morning asking if I would like to have lunch with him and later I found out that I’d be one of 6 people. Whoa. The first thing I did was freak out a little. The second thing I did was text Megan to ask if she was going and SHE WAS. We made carpool plans and I tried to figure out what to wear to such an event. I ended up in… Continue reading

Beet Gravlax

Beet Gravlax Recipe // @nicoledula

By some cruel twist of fate, I live in the Great Lakes State, but have trouble finding really fresh fish in my city. If you’re making ceviche or gravlax, you don’t want to be on the fence about how fresh the fish is. This year at the farmers market, we have a fish vendor that offers walleye, salmon, whitefish and trout that was caught the day before in cold Lake Huron. I did a little dance of joy, knowing I could finally make ruby-hued beet gravlax at home (!!!) You need a few tools and a couple of days, but… Continue reading

Pickled Giardiniera

Pickled Giardiniera Recipe // @nicoledula

I used to tell Marc that buying me a smart phone would be a waste of money. How many cry-laughing emoji can we insert here? Then I distinctly remember going to an Italian market and seeing a giant jar of Nutella and thinking to myself, I would totally take a picture of this comically large jar of Nutella. Fast forward to the release of the iPhone 4 in 2010 and us waiting in line for 2-3 hours. Not because we had to have it immediately, but because we wanted to people watch and experience the line. The sun came up while… Continue reading

Seasonal Snapshots // Summer 2015

I’m late in getting these summer pics up, but it was a good one! It was fun to look back at my whole 30 recipes from June and all of the ice cream cones I ate. Enjoy! (Photo above is from our Nashville trip!) Whole 30 was a challenge, but meals like this slow cooker stuffed cabbage rolls recipe helped! Our favorite Whole 30 breakfast was this curry lamb dish with eggs. The prettiest ombre lettuce from our CSA. My surprise anniversary gift! I’ll be putting this to good use now that the weather is cooler. One of our CSA shares from… Continue reading

Vegan Roasted Autumn Panzanella Salad

Roasted Autumn Panzanella Salad Recipe // @nicoledula

Sometimes you just need a hearty fall salad in your life. Now that it’s pretty chilly in Michigan and I saw snow floating in the air on Saturday (!!!) it’s ok to turn on the oven and roast things again. I roasted up some of my favorite fall veggies and combined them with kale, red onion and a punchy lemon vinaigrette. The roasted brussels sprouts and delicata squash get crisp and caramelized while the onion and the vinaigrette add a touch of acid to heighten and balance those flavors. The bread cubes act like delicious sponges, crispy on the outside, but… Continue reading