Monday, December 12, 2011
Here's how to use your digital camera (or iPhone!) to capture the best of the neighborhood's Christmas light displays.
- HOLIDAY GUIDE
Monday, December 12, 2011
Holiday lights around town range from the simple to the spectacular. Capturing the light shows can be challenging, though. Click on the images in our gallery for some expert advice from professional photographer Edward Maurer. (And if you've got a great display on your house, use the photo to enter Patch's Deck the House contest -- prizes include $100,000 for our public schools and up to $500 for your December light bill!)
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Proceeds from the Northville/Novi group's fund-raiser will benefit local charities, groups and scholarships.
There may not be very much snow on the ground to make it feel like the holiday season is upon us — but the season is definitely here. To ring it in, the 8-year-old Optimist Club of Northville/Novi is holding its annual Christmas tree sale from this weekend until Christmas Eve or until the trees are sold, said club member and past president Karen Farhat. There are 200 trees sold at the site each year, on the lawn of the American Legion Hall. Trees range from $55 to $85 depending on size. Proceeds from the sale will benefit scholarships, schools and local charities, she said. The club's theme this year is "Bring About the Best in Kids." Check out more details about the Optimist Club's Christmas tree sale here.
Monday, November 28, 2011
Black Friday spending reached all-time levels this year, but the biggest jump was in 'couch commerce.' Have you shopped mobile this year?
Spending reached all-time Black Friday highs this weekend as a record 226 million shoppers jumped into holiday purchases – many of them using mobile devices to do so. The average holiday shopper spent $398.62 Black Friday and Saturday, according to a National Retail Federation survey. And Black Friday global mobile payment volume increased 516 percent from 2010, according to data from PayPal. A lot of mobile shopping appeared to take place from the couch following Thanksgiving dinner: Five times as much was spent that day via mobile as was spent on turkey day 2010, PayPal's blog reports. According to eBay, U.S. shoppers purchased nearly 2 1/2 times as many items through mobile devices this Black Friday compared with 2010. What about you…
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Check out the roads around Somerset, Twelve Oaks and Oakland malls before heading out.
Heading out to the mall this Black Friday. Make sure to check out the traffic around (from top to bottom) the Somerset Collection in Troy, Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi and Oakland Mall in Troy. Also, note any current construction with the yellow icons. Here are mall hours and other "if-you-go" details: Address: 27500 Novi Road, Novi, MI 48377 Mall hours: Friday: 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Photos with Santa: At the Ice Palace; every day now through Dec. 24 during mall hours (generally 10 a.m.-9 p.m.). Breaks are from 12:30-1 p.m. and 5:30-6 p.m. on Mondays-Saturdays. Break on Sundays are 1-1:30 p.m. More Holiday events in Novi Address: 412 W 14 Mile Rd, Troy, MI 48083 Mall hours: Friday: 6 a.m.-10 p.m. …
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Tips for creating an enchanting tablescape that’s also comfortable.
To catch up on Megan Swoyer's first 11 steps of the “turkey day” planning process, read the full series. There are dozens of torn-out magazine pages in my recipe files that don’t have recipes on them. Instead, the worn sheets showcase beautiful images and tips for the second (food is No. 1) most important key to a good meal: dining table ambiance. I come from the land of linger. My family sits at the table long after dessert is served, for coffee, after-dinner drinks, chitchat and big laughs. So the table décor, seating, etc. need to be as inviting as if we were sitting in front of the fireplace in the living room (which usually follows the table talk, before card games begin). I’ve been hosting Thanksgiving pretty regularly for the past …
Monday, November 21, 2011
These handy tips from the turkey trenches will help you with the last few crucial days of preparation.
To catch up on Megan Swoyer's first nine steps of the “turkey day” planning process, read the full series. Chef Jim Bologna of The Townsend Hotel in Birmingham could be considered a kitchen boy scout: He’s always prepared, especially when hosting a feast at home with family and friends. Here are some of his tips: Keep appetizers frozen until the big day: Bologna also is big on having cheese and crackers with some cured meats on hand — that’s “always a win and they will hold for quite some time, and go great with wine.” Plan, plan, plan: “Write your menu so that most of your items can be done ahead,” he said. “Most if not all of the sides can be done a day or two beforehand.” Plan the oven space: This is important so that everything that …
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Stock up now on bread, mayo, pickles, mustard and more to create a healthy or not-so-healthy sandwich.
To catch up on Megan Swoyer's first eight steps of the “turkey day” planning process, read the full series. A lot of people enjoy turkey sandwiches the day after Thanksgiving. I don’t wait that long. Growing up, we indulged in turkey sandwiches around 10 Thanksgiving night. It was our family tradition to clear the big round table (used as a buffet for dinner), gather some chairs, pour some beverages, get out the poker chips, shuffle up the cards and ante up! My mom loves poker, and the poker chips didn’t fall far from the tree. We’d even play for money. These games would go on until well past midnight. But we’d always take a sandwich break, after maybe seven or so hands, and haul out the leftover turkey, white bread, mayo, etc. As a kid, I…
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Traveling down the bumpy (er, lumpy) road of whipping up perfect mashed potatoes.
To catch up on Megan Swoyer's first seven steps of the “turkey day” planning process, read the full series. “Megan said she’s doing the potatoes.” That’s what I heard upon entering my parents’ house one Thanksgiving a couple decades ago. There was a whirlwind of activity in the kitchen as I carried in a few sticks of butter and a bagful of potatoes, plopping them on the counter. “I’m here, no fear!” I told my mom and siblings as I took off my coat and got right to the task of potato peeling. No one paid much attention to me, until … I pulled out my huge, beat-up Betty Crocker Cookbook. “What’s that for?” Mom asked. “I know, weird," I said. "But, I want to be sure I do them right.” “Do what right? The mashed potatoes?” she asked. The …
Monday, November 14, 2011
You can serve anything from a Riesling to a Rose with the big bird, say area wine experts.
Day 1 was The List; Day 2 was Delegation Day. Here's Day 3 of the Turkey Day planning process: If anyone knows about wine it’s Linda Jones of the Lansing-based Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council. Come Turkey time, Jones starts contemplating her favorite pairings with a Thanksgiving feast. “For a Pure Michigan Thanksgiving dinner, I’d suggest with turkey a dry or semi-dry Riesling, perhaps by St. Julian, Chateau Grand Traverse, Black Star Farms, Bowers Harbor or other Michigan producers,” she said. Michigan wines are available at a variety of different stores in the area, including Whole Foods, Busch’s and Cloverleaf Fine Wine in Royal Oak. “Michigan wineries make a variety of Rieslings of varying sweetness levels," said Jones. "…
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Follow along with Patch Home & Gardens writer Megan Swoyer as she prepares for Thanksgiving, with daily tips to keep readers on track. Today: Get out a pen and start The List.
Thanksgiving 2011 – and once again my husband and I are hosting! Things we work around to make the day special: health issues range from a teen with Crohn’s disease (sensitive to too many fat grams, digestive issues) to an adult who requires a gluten-free diet. With that, fat grams and wheat and gluten factors are top-of-mind (Example: there’s no way I can open a jar of, say, Spartan-brand gravy and call it a day … most mainstream canned and jarred gravy has wheat and gluten ingredients, not to mention fat grams aplenty). Other challenges: Between family members attending or volunteering at America’s Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit and Lions football fans (especially this year!) glued to the television, it’s not always easy to have an ETD (…