Restaurant Scene: The Buffet offers Valentine’s chocolate weekend

Restaurant Scene: The Buffet offers Valentine's chocolate weekend There are many meal options available during a visit to The Buffet at Four Winds Casino in New Buffalo, Michigan.The eatery, which is open daily, stars an assortment of food stations with international offerings in the spotlight.Guests visiting the restaurant this weekend will be in for a treat. In honor of Valentine's Day, The Buffet will offer a Valentine's Chocolate Weekend from Friday through Sunday. Sweets lovers will find a chocolate fountain, assorted chocolate desserts and made to order chocolate beignets.The Buffet regularly features an all-you-can-eat smorgasbord of varied dishes. Stations include Italian, Asian, Mexican, Salad Bar, American fare, a separate Pasta station and more.There's a spacious dining area at The Buffet and most seats are not far from the food area.For those starting with the salad bar, selections include everything from tossed salad, pickled herring, kidney bean and seafood selections to noodle, vegetable and other creations.Guests can choose everything from tacos, beans, chips and salsa at the Mexican station to sweet and sour chicken, egg rolls, salt and pepper shrimp, sweet and sour soup and more at the Asian station.If you want helpings of meat, visit the carving station which usually features turkey and beef with prime rib on certain days.Have your fill of mashed potatoes, corn, ribs, pot roast and other items at the American side of the restaurant.Breakfast dishes are available during both breakfast and lunch hours.And desserts are plentiful at The Buffet. Included on the list are hand-dipped gelato, chocolate cake, specialty pastries, cookies and much more. Look for a surplus of chocolate sweets this weekend.Other special days at the eatery include Signature Seafood Buffet from 4:30 to 11 p.m. on Saturdays; and Sunday Supper from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. every Sunday. Gather for breakfast or lunch at The Pancake Club Diners looking for a place to have breakfast, won't Continue Reading

Restaurant Scene: Gather for breakfast or lunch at The Pancake Club

Gather for breakfast or lunch at The Pancake Club Diners looking for a place to have breakfast, won't go wrong choosing The Pancake Club in Schererville.The eatery, located in a strip mall on busy U.S. 41, has a cozy small town atmosphere and friendly servers.During a recent visit to the restaurant on a recent Sunday morning, the eatery was packed. The hostess asked if we wanted to be seated at a booth or table so we chose a booth near the eatery's counter and open kitchen.The Pancake Club features a setting akin to an old-fashioned diner where families and groups of friends can easily gather to enjoy a meal and conversation. Many diners in the restaurant that day seemed to know one another as they shared conversation across the various tables.The restaurant's menu is fairly extensive and includes everything from specialty pancakes and waffles to Gourmet Burgers, Gourmet Sandwiches and Greek specialties.For our breakfast, we decided on Crepes, ($7.99) which is one of the restaurant's specialties, and the Golden Malt Waffle ($6.19).The Strawberry Crepes are served either stuffed with fresh strawberries or have fresh strawberries sprinkled on top. For my crepes entree, I had the crepes stuffed with strawberries and a side of strawberries sprinkled atop. As a berry fan, it was a perfect combo.The Pancake Club's menu also features French Crepes ($6.49), which are ultra-thin; Country Skillet ($8.59); the Gypsy Skillet ($8.99); Omelets such as The Works ($8.99); Tex-Mex ($8.29); Hawaiian Paradise ($8.29); Eggs Benedict ($7.99); Breakfast Sandwiches, Wraps and various Breakfast Combos.There are also items for healthy eaters under the For The Healthy Enthusiasts category. Dishes include Bill's De-Lite ($7.99); Veggie Omelet ($7.99); and Wheat French Toast ($6.99).On the A Little Touch of Greece side of the menu, guests will find dishes such as Spinach Pie ($9.99); and Chicken Kabobs ($9.99).Among other menu items are Chicken Caesar Salad ($8.99); Ham & Cheese Club Continue Reading

There’s an Apple for That

(Family Features) If you’ve ever stood in the produce aisle and wondered what apple to select among the many varieties available, you’re not alone. Apple varieties can differ greatly when it comes to taste, texture, cooking and storage properties, making it important to make the right choice to get the best results for your recipe or pairing. At, visitors can type in what they plan to cook – from broad categories such as salads, smoothies and snacks, down to specific recipes, such as pink applesauce, fritters, candy-coated snacks and more. The website provides information on the perfect apple to use plus suggests recipes and further information – like tips, health benefits and insights on storage and cooking – helping make the decision easy, no matter what you’re making. Using the right apple can make or break your recipe. For example, some of the best baking apples are Granny Smith and Pink Lady because these apples hold up particularly well under high heat, retaining a firmer texture. Using a good baking apple is what brings that delicious, subtle crunch to pie and other pastry delights, versus a mushy filling. The special Pinata apple by Stemilt Growers is particularly well suited for baking, as it holds up to heat and boasts classic apple flavor with a tropical twist. For everyday fruit platters, snacks and appetizers featuring fresh, sliced or chopped apples, Honeycrisp is a fantastic option because of its incredible fracturing crunch and a refreshing sweetness similar to fresh apple cider. For whipping up a classic chicken salad, try Fuji or Golden Delicious apples, which are among the sweetest around – the extra sweetness contrasts with the savory ingredients for a more complex flavor. These apples are also ideal for applesauce due to their soft textures. For more heart-healthy recipes loaded with antioxidants, vitamin C and fiber, such as this easy, two-minute version of a traditional apple Continue Reading

Best uses for apple varieties

By Edmund Tijerina Updated 2:00 pm, Monday, October 24, 2011 window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-5', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 5', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-10', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 10', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-15', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 15', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-20', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 20', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-25', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 25', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); Photo: HELEN L. MONTOYA, San Antonio Express-News Image 1of/25 CaptionClose Image 1 of 25 TASTE: Apples, photographed Monday Oct 17, 2011. HELEN L. MONTOYA/[email protected] TASTE: Apples, photographed Monday Oct 17, 2011. HELEN L. MONTOYA/[email protected] Photo: HELEN L. MONTOYA, San Antonio Express-News Image 2 of 25 BraeburnFlavor: Sweet, spicy, crispBest for: Eating raw, frying, bakingSeason: October-July BraeburnFlavor: Sweet, spicy, crispBest for: Eating raw, frying, bakingSeason: October-July Continue Reading

Tree Top Now Makes Clear Applesauce Pouches For Concerned Parents

Following the recall of GoGo SqueeZ applesauce two years ago and an investigation after a Texas mom found mold inside a Mott’s applesauce pouch, it’s no surprise some parents are worried about just what is inside the squeezable snacks they give their kids. The pouches are convenient and kids love them, but not being able to see inside has understandably deterred some parents from purchasing them. Now, packaging from Tree Top—a Washington-based cooperative that produces fruit products like juice and applesauce pouches—is looking to put those concerns to rest with new packaging that you can see through. Tree Top says it has the first transparent applesauce pouch on the market. “As the mother of three school-aged children, I want to know that I am giving them the best food to eat,” said Brooke Goodrich, marketing manager at Tree Top. “I love the convenience of the on-the-go fruit pouches but I didn’t like not being able to see what was inside the pouch before giving it to my kids. Product packaging isn’t 100-percent fail proof and when a pouch seal isn’t perfect the food inside can spoil and that’s just gross.” Tree Top’s clear applesauce pouches come in six flavors: apple, cinnamon, strawberry, mango, tropical and mixed berry. They are also available at several restaurant chains including Arby’s, Shari’s and Sonic Drive-Ins. Later this year, consumers in the western United States will be able to find them at retail stores in either four- or 12-count boxes. If Tree Top is not sold near you or you’re simply looking to repackage a different puree into clear containers, you can purchase your own see-through pouches, like these ones from Infantino for $16.99 from Kohl’s. That way you don’t have to worry about the snacks your little ones are squeezing into their mouths. This story originally appeared on Simplemost. Checkout Simplemost Continue Reading

Heirloom apple of Sonoma County’s eye

Lynne Char Bennett Updated 3:04 am, Tuesday, August 5, 2014 window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-3', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 3', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); Photo: Russell Yip, The Chronicle Image 1of/3 CaptionClose Image 1 of 3 Buy photo Gravenstein apples are seen on Friday, July 18, 2014 in San Francisco, Calif. Gravenstein apples are seen on Friday, July 18, 2014 in San Francisco, Calif. Photo: Russell Yip, The Chronicle Buy this photo Image 2 of 3 Chicken Paillards with SautŽed Apples and Apple Gravy is seen on Tuesday, July 25, 2014 in San Francisco, Calif. Chicken Paillards with SautŽed Apples and Apple Gravy is seen on Tuesday, July 25, 2014 in San Francisco, Calif. Photo: Russell Yip, The Chronicle Image 3 of 3 Heirloom apple of Sonoma County's eye - the Gravenstein 1 / 3 Back to Gallery Sonoma County: It's Wine Country now, but once upon a time it was apple country. And to some extent, it still is. But what sets it apart from other apple-growing regions is the Gravenstein, an heirloom variety that does especially well in Sonoma. In fact, a portion of Highway 116 that runs through Sonoma County from Guerneville to Cotati is known as the Gravenstein Highway. All the same, many of Sonoma's orchards have been replaced by the more-profitable vineyards. Paul Vossen, a Sonoma County farm adviser, has the stats to show the change. In 1950 there were 10,874 acres of apples in Sonoma County, about one-third Gravensteins. Now there are 2,155 acres and fewer than 500 planted with Gravensteins. LATEST FOOD VIDEOS Now Playing: Now Playing These Continue Reading

Core Muscle Workout: Which of the affordable American muscle cars is best?

Should you buy a Chevy Camaro, a Ford Mustang or a Dodge Challenger? The answer to that question likely has as much to do with loyalty to one of these models as it does anything else. But let’s say you’re new to the American muscle car segment, finally ready to get rid of your faithful but sleep-inducing Toyota Camry in favor of something cool, something totally bad-ass, something that proves you are, indeed, the boss. I hate to throw a cold, wet blanket over your sports coupe conundrum, but before you sign on the dotted line for a rip-roarin’, tire-smokin’ Camaro SS, Mustang GT, or Challenger SRT, you’d better check in with your insurance agent to see how much the coverage is going to cost. After that discussion, you might realize that one of the less powerful and more affordable versions of these cars will best fit your budget, especially if you’ve got a significant other chiming in on the decision. Just as your core muscles stabilize your body and provide the foundation for dynamic movement, the most basic versions of the Camaro, Mustang and Challenger stabilize muscle car sales and provide the foundation for the dynamic performance that drew your attention to them in the first place. They are, in essence, the core muscle cars offered by Chevy, Ford and Dodge. For this “Core Muscle Workout” review, I drove three relatively basic versions of these cars, each equipped for maximum driving enjoyment: Chevrolet Camaro 1LT with a base price of $26,695 (including $995 for destination). It had the RS Package, the Heavy-duty Cooling and Brake Package, the Technology Package, bright yellow extra-cost paint and premium floor mats. The window sticker read $30,575. Dodge Challenger SXT starting at $28,090 (including $1,095 for destination). Enhancements came in the form of Plus trim, a Blacktop Package, a Super Track Pak, high-performance brake pads, a Driver Convenience Group, a navigation Continue Reading

Apple growing has a rich history in NY

Whether freshly picked off the tree, baked in pie, dipped in candy sugar or cooked into sauce, apples are a fruit for all ages. And this time of year, it’s the focus of many events throughout the Hudson Valley.School buses and family vans pull into pick-your-own farms. Friends pack picnics and enjoy a day in the country, and multigenerational outings for apple picking are the norm.“Apple picking has definitely become a tradition,” said Rick Remsnyder, director of Ulster County Tourism, “and it’s grown over the years. It draws a lot of people to the region.”Many credit the rise in farm outings to the surging farm-to-table movement, however apple growing has a rich history in New York.Norman Greig’s father started his farm in 1942, at a time when the state was the largest apple producer in the world. They opened a pick-your-own feature in the 1950s and it’s a tradition Greig proudly carries on today. In summer there are blueberries, blackberries and strawberries, but the beautiful fall days when the apple harvest is ready for picking are his favorite.“The nights are cool and there’s an early morning fog on the ground, and it’s just beautiful,” Greig said of his Red Hook farm. It’s a memorable setting. “I talk to some families when they’re here and the parents say they remember coming here as kids,” Greig said. “That’s great to hear.”The farm offers a diverse apple crop, which not only caters to different taste buds, but also protects against the whims of Mother Nature.“Each variety harvests at a different time and each one blooms at a different time,” Greig said. “So something can be a problem for one variety, but not for another.”And apples are not only tasty, there’s a good reason the old adage of “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” still rings true.One medium apple is only 80 calories, but it has 5 grams of Continue Reading

Get picking: It’s apple time in New Jersey

Every year, for as long as I can remember, my family has loved to go apple picking.The anticipation starts in late summer, when we choose a date based on the orchard's harvest schedule. We have always picked at Battleview Orchards in Colts Neck; I am not sure how we first ended up there, but it may have something to do with the warm apple cider doughnuts sold at the nearby farm store.But before the doughnuts comes the picking. We head to the orchard, grab a bucket and apple picker and head into the trees. We look for the signs that tell us where to find the Romes, Stayman Winesaps and Granny Smiths: Each has its own qualities and is best used in a particular way in the kitchen. If Mother Nature has cooperated, we may go home with all three. FARM FRESH: Flavors shine at local marketsWe, all self-proclaimed apple experts, gather only the best: Our talk in the trees is peppered with "Not that one, it's too green" and "go higher, I see a perfectly red one at the top."Before long, and with the help of the newest and smallest members of the family, the buckets are full. We pay for our haul and head to the farm store, doughnuts are purchased and inhaled, and soon we take our places around a table covered with apples, spices and homemade dough. In a few hours' time, there are pies, crisps, muffins and applesauce - and memories of another day in the orchardIf you are planning an apple-picking trip, read on for tips on when to go and which apples to choose.Apple-picking season is now under way in New Jersey and will last until the end of October. But it is better to go earlier than later: Dave Barclay, whose family started Eastmont Orchards in Colts Neck in the 1920s, said his crop is smaller than usual this year "because of good old Mother Nature's effect on us. We'll have everything, but less of some things." FALL FLAVORS: A seasonal dinner at AmaBefore you leave for the orchard, call to Continue Reading

The secret to perfect Chanukah latkes: It’s all about the food processor

The knuckle-sparing secret to perfect golden latkes? The food processor, says Lauren Braun Costello, cooking teacher and cookbook author, most recently of "The Competent Cook.""The beauty of this latke recipe is that you don't need to use a box grater," Costello says. "So you save a little time and energy, and your knuckles, too. You get the best result from the modern convenience of the food processor."If you like a "bird's nest" look and texture in your latkes, Costello advises going with the grater disk. But for cooks who like the texture of a latke to be smoother and fluffier, she recommends first the grater disk and then the standard blade. Latkes, those addictive potato pancakes fried in oil, are traditional for Chanukah, the Jewish Feast of Lights. Costello, who has been making and eating them since her childhood, recommends using a starchy potato -- she likes Russet or Yukon gold. "And I like to have fun with the flavors," she says. "I use kosher salt and white pepper, and lots of chopped onion."As for the applesauce that’s the classic latke complement, Costello says the flavor and moisture content of the applesauce will change depending on what kind of apple you use. Granny Smiths give a chunky texture and a full, dense flavor, Costello notes, and Cortland apples, which have more water, produce a lighter, thinner and finer applesauce. One more Costello twist? She spikes her applesauce with a tablespoon of white horseradish, just for fun. After all, fun for kids of all ages is what Chanukah parties are all about. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading