Date Archives: February 2022

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Cooking Seasonally Is Easy With These Tips

If you're not used to cooking seasonally, now is the time to start! Here's how you can pick the best ingredients throughout the year.

If you love cooking at home, the best way to eat fresh all year long is by cooking seasonally. Seasonal cooking means creating meals and menus around ingredients as they come into season. Seasonal ingredients taste delicious and are less expensive, and the best part is that you're supporting local farmers, businesses, and the community when you add them to your meal plans.

Our real estate agents are big believers in the benefits of seasonal cooking. After seeing some of the amazing kitchens in these Grand Haven homes for sale, we were inspired to create a list of seasonal cooking tips to help you improve the freshness and quality of the food you eat. Here is what we recommend:

Build Your Menu Around What's In Season
The key is to plan your meals based on what is currently in season, not necessarily what's on sale. Take the time to learn what fruits and vegetables are at their peak around Michigan. Here is a quick guide:

  • Winter: Winter is the time to make good use of root vegetables, as these plants tend to thrive in cooler / cold weather. Kale, carrots, squash, and turnips all make for great choices. You can easily throw these tasty root vegetables into a nice stew or bake them into a casserole.

  • Spring: Now is the time you'll start seeing fresh leafy vegetables and certain fruits at their best. Asparagus, radishes, mushrooms, peas, and strawberries are all great seasonal foods come springtime. Spring is one of the best times of year for seasonal cooking.

  • Summer: Those warm summer months are the right time to enjoy so many of your favorite fruits and vegetables. From a fruit perspective, peaches, apricots, raspberries, cherries, and blueberries are all ripe and ready to be harvested. On the vegetable side, you'll find your brussels sprouts, cucumbers, zucchini, and corn are all fresh. Remember, people enjoy corn on the cob in the summer for a reason.

  • Fall: While we often associate fall with changing leaves and dying plants, there are many fruits and vegetables that thrive during these cool weather nights. Apples are perfect in the fall, as are broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens, and sweet potatoes. It's no surprise that many of these ingredients are found in traditional Thanksgiving dishes. 

Don't Forget To Use Local Ingredients
Purchasing ingredients from local farmers or small businesses is the best way to know exactly what you're eating. Some local supermarkets may sell local products, or you can make a stop by some of our wonderful local farmer's markets. Don't be afraid to ask local vendors and farmers how they grow their crops.

Trust Your Eye And Try Something New
You can often recognize seasonal ingredients at the grocery store or farmer's market. Not only will they be prominently displayed, but they'll look good too. Fruit and vegetables appear bigger and brighter when they're in season. Take a stroll through the produce aisle and see what looks good.

Seasonal cooking is great for both your health and the overall community. For more tips on how to make the most out of your kitchen this year, contact us today.


Find Delicious Sweet Gifts In Grand Haven This Valentine's Day

Grand Haven shops have the perfect gifts for this Valentine's Day. Here's where you can find the best chocolate and candy.

Regardless of your relationship status, Valentine's Day is the perfect opportunity to show love for those you care about the most. There's no better way to do so than with a sweet gift.

If you're looking to get out and do some last-minute Valentine's Day shopping, finding the right gift is easy in Grand Haven. We have so many wonderful local businesses serving up delicious chocolate, candy, baked goods, and more. Here are seven recommendations from our real estate agents:

  • Sweet Haven - 411 Phoenix Street, South Haven Michigan 49090
    The ultimate candy shop — Sweet Haven offers both old school candy, new candy, and a great selection of chocolates, fudge, and caramels. For Valentine's Day, you can customize your own gift box, so you can give your special someone exactly what they like. If you love this candy store, you might consider checking out some nearby Grand Haven homes for sale.

  • Grand Finale - 225 Franklin Ave, Grand Haven, MI 49417
    Delicious desserts, amazing pastries, and gourmet baked goods can all be found at Grand Finale, a spectacular local treat shop with tons of sweet options that make for great Valentine's Day gifts. Grab a delicious cake or some amazing cupcakes, so you can top off your romantic Valentine's Day dinner with a tasty dessert.

  • Betty Jane's Sweets - 518 Pine St, Spring Lake, MI 49456
    This family-owned and operated business has become a Grand Haven staple. At Betty Jane's Sweets, you'll find all the chocolate, candy, and popcorn you need. The Chocolate Covered Oreos and the Coconut Clusters are both highly recommended. Specialty gift boxes and baskets are available for Valentine's Day.

  • Ryke's - 623 A Way, Grand Haven, MI 49417
    One of the best dessert destinations in all of West Michigan, Ryke's offers a wide selection of sweet baked goods including cupcakes, cakes, and cookies. Your mouth will start watering as soon as you walk in the door. They're accepting custom orders for Valentine's Day, so make sure to get yours in!

  • Blueberry Haven - 213 Washington Ave, Grand Haven, MI 49417
    If your special person loves blueberries, a gift box from Blueberry Haven could make for a great gift. Start off Valentine's Day morning with the ultimate Blueberry Breakfast Box — pancake mix, fresh blueberries, blueberry syrup, blueberry butter, blueberry topping, and blueberry coffee. Or try one of the famous blueberry jams.

  • Patricia's Chocolate - 126 Washington Ave, Grand Haven, MI 49417
    Premier ganache and caramel chocolates and extraordinary specialty confections can be found at Patricia's Chocolate, located in downtown Grand Haven. A custom chocolate package makes for a great gift. Choose from 4 to 18 pieces of handcrafted chocolate. Stop by the store or submit your order online.

  • Kilwins - 101 Washington Ave, Grand Haven, MI 49417
    For a great selection of chocolate, fudge, and ice cream, make a visit to Kilwins as part of your Valentine's Day. If you're in need of a great gift, Kilwins has traditional heart-shaped boxes of assorted truffles in all different sizes. Their caramel apples are also a must-try! Stop in or order pick-up or delivery online.

Finding the perfect Valentine's Day gift isn't always easy, but you can never go wrong with something sweet. Shopping local is the best way to find a great gift while supporting local businesses. Contact us today for more information on Grand Haven.

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