Traverse City’s Harvest

I’ve been craving the Korean beef tacos from Harvest Restaurant in Traverse City, Michigan. If you’re not from Michigan, you might not have heard of a great place called Traverse City. It’s a bay town that offers the best of what is trending across the country, i.e. food trucks, organic cafés with Vegan offerings, etc. and still manages to preserve the best of that “up north” feel that Michigan treasures so much. It was a few years ago now that my sister (the chef) and her family made their way up to Traverse City and visited one of those food trucks, the Roaming Harvest Food Truck to be exact. In the area known locally as “The Little Fleet” a variety of food trucks can be sampled. Other members of her family ventured out towards other good things, but in the end everyone wanted her Korean beef tacos. With those kind of reviews, I had to plan a trip myself. (Where wouldn’t you travel within reason to try good food?) The Roaming Harvest Food Truck is seasonal, like many of its menu items. They support local farms and businesses that supply their ingredients in an effort to provide the best and most sustainable food for their customers. Thankfully, the Harvest Restaurant is open year round, and the Korean beef tacos are always on the menu… along with the sweet potato fries that you can dip in a green cilantro style chimichurri. Yessss!


If you get the opportunity, I encourage you to check out the whole town. Traverse City has so much to do, from the beach to great shopping downtown, sailing to wine tasting… and the food scene is booming. Of course if possible, make sure you try to hit up the Harvest Roaming Food Truck or Harvest Restaurant. Their seasonal items only last so long, and you’re sure to want to taste them. (And just know that if I am not there eating along side you, I am envious and wish I was.) For more information and the seasonal menu visit roamingharvest.com.



Harvest Chili

This is the ultimate harvest chili. It’s loaded with autumn vegetables and goodness such as sweet potatoes, onions, apples, and turkey. It looks like the prettiest fall tree color-changing picture (in abstract food form) ever! It’s really healthy, so some of you are going to love that. For the rest of you, don’t let that hold you back because it’s also delicious. It’s a little spicy, a little sweet, a bountiful treat. And if I may, I think the ground turkey could easily be substituted with leftover Thanksgiving turkey… which would be awesome. Just sayin’.

As organic as possible:

2 large Orange sweet peppers, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces

2-3 canned Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, roughly chopped

4 cloves Garlic, roughly chopped

2 pounds ground turkey

1 large Onion

1 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground Black pepper

1 Tbsp Chili powder

1 Tbsp Cumin

1/2 tsp Oregano

1 – 15 oz can Pinto beans, rinsed and drained

2 – 14.5 oz cans Red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 – 14.5 oz can diced Tomatoes

4 cups Chicken broth

1 Tbsp sugar* (I think this adds balance, but if you prefer healthier leave it out)

2 Sweet potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1/2″ pieces

2 medium tart Apples (such as Granny Smith)

*Spicy Chipotle seasoned Pine nuts (Recipe follows), Optional

Place orange peppers, chipotle peppers, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Set aside.

In a large Dutch oven brown turkey with onion, salt and pepper. Drain excess fat (but a little left is okay). Add pepper-garlic mix, stir and cook about 5 minutes. Then add tomatoes, pinto and kidney beans, and chicken broth. (Side note: This much can be made ahead and allowed to simmer as long as needed until about 35 minutes before serving.)

Stir in sweet potatoes and apples. Bring to boiling and reduce to simmer, about 25-30 minutes until sweet potato is tender. Taste for seasonings. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly, about 5-10 minutes before serving. Top with Spicy Chipotle Seasoned Pine Nuts (Optional), or corn chips. Enjoy!

Spicy Chipotle Pine Nuts

2 Tbsp Butter

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp Water

1 tsp ground Chipotle chili pepper

1 tsp snipped fresh Rosemary (or 1/2 tsp dried)

1/2 tsp Celery salt

1/2 tsp Garlic powder

1 1/2 cups Pine nuts

1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 325°. Line a baking sheet with Silpat or parchment paper. Set aside. In a small saucepan melt butter, add Worcestershire sauce, water, chipotle pepper, rosemary, celery salt, and garlic powder. Simmer over low heat for about 2 minutes. Stir in pine nuts and remove from heat.  When well coated, spread onto prepared baking sheet and bake about 10-15 minutes (shaking pan a couple times in-between), until lightly toasted. Sprinkle with salt while warm. (Side note: Nuts can be prepared ahead of time and stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. They are delicious on their own, and would be a nice addition on top of a salad too!)

This recipe has been adapted, tweaked, and changed from a Chipotle Harvest Chili recipe I found a few years ago in a Midwest Living Magazine. I think it’s perfection.

If you were going to use leftover turkey, I would sauté onions in 1 Tbsp olive oil for a couple minutes. Add pepper-garlic mixture and let cook 5 minutes more. Then add turkey with the tomatoes, broth, etc., and follow the remaining instructions.



Loving Lately ❤️

Loving Lately #1: Fabulous Finds; Linens

You never know what you’re going to come across at an antique store or flea market; which is all the excitement! I consider fabulous finds to be great deals on great items. There is actually a thrift store not far from my house with the same name, brilliant! I had the opportunity the other day to find some beautiful linens at fantastic prices. For example, pictured is a hand embroidered harvest themed table cloth. Down the center is corn, artichokes and pumpkins to name a few, with more fruits and veggies in every corner. It’s also extra long to accommodate my dining table, but the best part is it only cost $8.50! I’m a happy girl.

Loving Lately #2: Fabulous Finds; Kitchen Gadgets

Fabulous finds could make a regular appearance on Loving Lately. They are as fun to me as easy appetizers. As much as I appreciate antiques, I’m not looking for decorative gadgets or collector’s items. I love finding utensils that can still be used today; which is why I got really excited to find the pasta cutter for round raviolis and the pie cutter/crimper for my pastries! (Also pictured is another cute linen.) I got both utensil for less than $10. I can’t wait to see what kind of beautiful things come out of my kitchen! Now if I could only justify the pasta attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer…

Harvest Season at The Orchard

As far back as I can remember we would take a family trip in the Fall to visit a good sized orchard in the southeast corner of Michigan. My mom still tells the story of the blustery day they first walked into the large barn structure with a huge warming fire roaring in the (now closed) stone fireplace. It has grown into quite the attraction since the earlier years since we used to go, complete with bouncy house, tent sales and music shows. And sadly I think they do most of the apple pressing for the cider on weekdays, not on the weekends while the kids are out of school and we actually have the chance to go. I loved watching the apples get crushed through the viewing window, while the bees were buzzing everywhere. But the donuts and cider still taste the same, and the country store still sells local homemade treasures. They offer a huge variety of Michigan made jams, jellies, candles, honeys, and more. They still make a corn maze, where you can get lost in dried stalks grown over your head. I take my children on the hay ride, where they bring you out to pick a couple of apples right off of the tree, just like I did as a kid. And you can feed the farm animals, like goats, right out of the palm of your hand, jump in large bales of hay, ride a pony, and pretend you’re driving an immobile tractor. I love getting my kids to farm country.

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