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Archive | Seasonal

2013 Halloween Coloring Contest winners…

 

Winners can pick up their prizes on or after Friday, November 1, 2013 at The POST’s office located at 36 E. Maple St., Cedar Springs.

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No Tricks or Treats for Pets this Halloween

By Mona Shand, Michigan News Connection

HAL-No-tricks-or-treats-for-pets

Halloween is one of the most fun-filled nights for kids of all ages, but unless pet owners take precautions, the holiday could pose serious risks for four-legged friends. When trick-or-treaters bring home the Halloween loot, most people know to keep the chocolate away from pets, but, according to veterinarian Dr. Jamie Snow, keep the whole candy bowl out of reach of Rover and Fluffy, because the artificial sweetener xylitol found in most sugar-free gums and many other candies can be fatal to animals.

“I won’t let it in my house,” she declared. “If a dog eats that and ingests it in a good enough amount, it can cause severe liver failure and very profoundly low blood sugar and kill them.”

Snow said Halloween safety begins with securing pets inside the house or in a place where they won’t get overexcited by an onslaught of children, and to be sure all animals have proper identification. It’s all too easy for pets to escape amid all the Halloween commotion, but Snow says a few simple precautions will greatly increase the chance an animal will be reunited with its owner if that happens.

“Almost on a weekly basis, we have somebody that finds a dog or a cat with no collar, no microchip, and it’s very hard to find their homes if they have no identification,” she warned.

As for dressing pets up in Halloween costumes, Snow said to treat animals the same as toddlers: beware of choking or breathing hazards, and don’t leave them unsupervised while they’re suited up.

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Fresh Market-Jack o’ the Lantern

AWE-JackolanternBy Vicky Babcock

 

Most of us have heard the story of the wily rascal, Jack, and how he tricked the devil and thereby secured his own soul. Many versions of the tale exist, but all agree on the conclusion that Jack—having barred himself from hell and being unworthy of heaven—was made to wander the world, a lost soul.

One such tale suggests that Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him. Not wanting to pay for his drink, Jack convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that he would use to buy the drinks. But Jack instead put the coin into his pocket next to a cross, which prevented the Devil from turning back. Jack agreed to release the Devil on the condition that the Devil never take his soul.  When Jack passed away, he found himself barred from heaven. The devil had provided him with a lit coal in which to light his way. Jack placed his coal into a carved out turnip and so the practice of Jack o’ lanterns began.

In truth, the practice began long before the story of Jack. Carved vegetables, usually turnips or beets, were used in celebrations around the world for centuries.  Wikipedia associates the term jack-o’-lantern with ignis fatuus (foolish fire) named for the phenomenon of strange flickering light over peat bogs.  You may have heard it called the will-o’-the-wisp. Gourds were the choice of the Maori, who used the carved fruit as lanterns over 700 years ago.  s gourds (the pumpkin is one) are the earliest produce known to be cultivated by man—dating back over 10,000 years—it is likely the practice of carving lanterns from them extends back thousands of years.  Irish immigrants have been credited with bringing the practice to the United States however, where they discovered the pumpkin made a much better media than the turnips they used in their home country.

The origins of Halloween can be traced back to the Celtic festival of Samhain—the celebration of their new year, the day of the dead—which took place on November 1. The day marked the harvest, the end of summer and the beginning of the dark, cold winter. The Celts believed that on the eve of their new year the bounderies between the world of the living and the world of the dead became blurred and the dead could return to earth. The advent of Christianity changed and blended with the old rites. November 1 eventually became All Saints Day and November 2 All Souls’ Day to honor the dead. It is commonly believed that the church was attempting to replace the Celtic traditions with more sanctioned beliefs and the two holidays share many aspects, including bonfires, parades and dressing in costume. All Saints’ Day, or All-hallowmas—from Middle English for All Saint’s Day—has itself changed to include more of its pagan roots.  All Hallows Eve, or Halloween as we know it today, became the date of choice and the Jack-o-lanterns we all love, once used to frighten the dead and demons away from our doors, can be found on doorsteps everywhere. Trick or Treat, a mostly American tradition, probably resulted from the old practice of feeding the dead.

You’ve most likely carved your pumpkins for this year. Next year, consider saving the bits of carved out fruit (minus the peal) and throwing it into a pot of chili for a healthy and tasty addition. And the seeds—well we all know what pumpkin seeds are good for.

Have a safe and Happy Halloween, everyone—and Happy Haunting!

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

If you’ve never had pumpkin seeds, you’re in for a treat!  While these are great simply roasted and salted, you can make them your own by adding your own special blend of spices. If you’ve already carved your pumpkins, consider purchasing another. Roasted or baked pumpkin makes a great addition to soups and stews, breads, cookies and pies.

Basic ingredients:

Approximately 1 ½ c. pumpkin seeds

2 or 3 tsp. melted butter or olive oil

Salt

Optional choices (partial list):

A dash or two of soy sauce

Garlic powder

Seasoned salt (I like Morton’s)

Chili powder or cayenne pepper

Pre-heat oven to 300◦ Fahrenheit.  Rinse seeds thoroughly in a colander under running water, removing the majority of pulp and strings.  In a medium bowl, toss together seeds, oil or melted butter and seasons of your choice.  You can also make a sweetened version by substituting sugar and cinnamon.

Spread seeds out onto a baking sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until golden, stirring occasionally. Once these start to brown, they will do so quickly, so be sure to keep an eye on them. Cooking times are approximate.

Fresh Market is brought to you by Solon Market located at 15185 Algoma Avenue.  For more information call 616-696-1718.  Like us on facebook for updates.

 

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Trick or treat in Cedar Springs

Are you ready to trick or treat in Cedar Springs?

Are you ready to trick or treat in Cedar Springs?

It’s only one week until Halloween—are you ready for a night full of fun? Does the thought of greeting scores of trick or treaters make you break out in a cold sweat? Forget staying home! Pack up the kids and come out Halloween night for the Annual Cedar Springs Halloween Spooktacular in Cedar Springs! Sponsored by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, area businesses and churches, the fun starts at 4:30 p.m. with spooky storytime at the library, at the corner of Cherry and Second, and scavenger hunt by En Gedi that starts at City Hall. That is followed by trick or treating from 5 to 7 p.m. at Main Street businesses.

The Cedar Springs Fire Department will hand out hot chocolate and donuts at the firebarn at W. Maple and Second St. again this year, and the Cedar Springs Historical Museum will host a haunted school house at the museum in Morley Park for the first time.

A youth center and two area churches will also be part of the festivities. The En Gedi youth center will host a “Ghost in the graveyard” at North Park (NE corner of Pine and Main); Calvary Assembly of God will host a carnival at North Park; and The Springs Church will host Trunk-or-Treat from 6pm-8pm, in their parking lot at the corner of Maple and First Street, along with a giant slide, and the Double K Farms petting zoo. They will also serve donuts, hot chocolate and coffee inside for trick or treaters and their families.

 

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Bootacular!

N-Bootacular1Ghouls and ghosts were in abundance last Saturday at Solon Market, as they kicked off their first annual Bootacular Event!  There were prizes and treat bags and a craft with lots of room to run! Favorite quote?  “I love this mask because I don’t have to smile for pictures!”

N-Bootacular2Solon Market is closed for the season.  Look for them in the Spring  and watch their facebook page for future up-dates.

 

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Whoooo is that?

N-Dear-Halloween-costumeJeremiah Dear, the son of James and Tracey Dear, of Solon Township, is looking forward to his first Halloween in Cedar Springs. He’s wearing a great looking owl costume. What a hoot!

 

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Halloween Happenings

Halloween Fest

Oct. 26: Halloween Fest for all ages at East Nelson UM Church, 9024 18 Mile Rd., Cedar Springs on Saturday, October 26 from 4-7 p.m. Games, snacks, haunted house, costume contest! Trunk or treat in the parking lot. Car trunks packed with treats for the young ones. Everyone is welcome to come and enjoy the party! Sponsored by the C.I.A. (Christians in Action-Youth Ministry)

Harvest party

Oct. 26: Cedar Creek Community Church, at 2969 14 Mile RD NE Sparta, will host a free harvest party on Saturday, October 26, starting at 5 p.m. There will be hayrides (using straw due to allergies), pumpkin bowling, bounce houses, cake walk, games, face painting, soup, hot dogs, popcorn, and lots of fun! All are welcome. Call 866-9829 for more info.

Pumpkin Carving and Lit Trails Walk

Oct. 26: Pumpkin/Carving and Pumpkin lit trail hike at Howard Christensen Nature Center, 16290 Red Pine Dr., Kent City, on Saturday, October 26. Suggested donation is $8 per person or $30 for family of four or more, including pumpkin to take home. (No one turned away for inability to pay. This donation helps keep HCNC operating.) Pumpkin carving from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and pumpkin lit walk through our spooky Enchanted Forest from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Includes pumpkin to take home or leave at the center for the wild animals to munch on. Dress up as your favorite nature character. Open to all ages.

Trunk ‘r Treat  at Courtland-Oakfield UMC 

Oct. 26: Whether pirate, zombie, princess, or other, you’re invited to go trunk to trunk and fill your goodie bag at Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church, 10295 Myers Lake NE, on Saturday, Oct. 26, from 6:00-8:00pm. Get candy, chili, and hot dogs, while they last. Safe, friendly, fun!

Awesome Autumn Adventure

Oct. 29: Celebrate the season with autumn crafts, pumpkin decorating, games and bountiful farmyard fun at the Sand Lake/Nelson Township Library, Tuesday, October 29, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Please bring your own pumpkin. For all ages. The library is located at 88 Eighth St., Sand Lake.

Fall Festival – The Great Tomb Raid

Oct. 30: The Solon Center Wesleyan church presents its annual Fall Festival on Wednesday, October 30th from 6:30 to 8 pm. For families with children 5th grade and under. Discover Jesus’ power and enjoy candy, snacks & fun through this archaeological based festival. There will be Great Tomb Raid games, digs and artifacts, an Israel Bones Excavation station and a Tomb Raiders Cafe. A prize will be awarded for the best Indiana Jones look alike, so kids wear your costumes. The church is located at 15671 Algoma Ave., just north of 19 Mile Rd. See you at the dig!

Family Harvest Celebration

Oct. 31: Pine Ridge Bible Camp invites you to its annual Family Harvest Celebration on Thursday, October 31, from 6 to 8 p.m. This free event includes candy, games, gospel magician, wagon rides, cider, treats and a lot of fun decorations. It is a fun night for the whole family. Cider and treats will be served in our new dining hall. Pine Ridge is located just 5 miles east of town on 17 Mile Rd. Call 616-696-8675 for more information.

Cedar Springs Spooktacular

Oct. 31:  The Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, businesses and churches in Cedar Springs are sponsoring the annual Main Street Halloween Spooktacular on Wednesday, October 31. There will be a Haunted School House at the Cedar Springs Historical Museum in Morley Park; a Kids Carnival, hosted by Calvary Assembly of God in North Park (NE corner of Pine St. and Main St., behind Cedar Rental); a Ghost in the Graveyard, hosted by En Gedi at North Park; Trick-or-Treating at local businesses between 5-7pm, and Trunk or Treat at The Springs Church from 6 to 8 p.m. (see more details below).

Traffic Squad/Fire Department

Oct. 31: There will be cider, donuts and candy at the Cedar Springs Fire Department on Maple Street from 5 to 7 p.m. or while supplies last. Chief Marty Fraser will have the fire building open and staffed during this time period.

Trunk or Treat at The Springs

Oct. 31: Creative costumes—check. Oodles of goodies—check. Lots of giggles and loads of fun—doublecheck! You’ll experience it all at The Springs Church at Trunk or Treat on Halloween night from 6 to 8 p.m. There will be lots of candy for the taking, carnival games, a giant slide and a petting zoo! For the adults there will be hot chocolate, cider and donuts. It will be fun for the whole family, and a safe, well-lit environment for kids. The church is located at 135 N. Grant St., in Cedar Springs.

Sand Lake Fire Department

Oct. 31: The Sand Lake Fireman’s Association will host their annual Halloween festivities at the fire station at 2 Maple Street in Sand Lake from 6-8 p.m. There will be games, a bounce house, prize drawings, goody bags, cider, donuts, and coffee. There will also be a costume contest, with judges walking around from 6:30 to 7:30 looking at the costumes. Judging is at 7:30, must be present to win the contest. Call 636-8854 for more info.

 

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Grill Up a Father’s Day Feast

FATH-Fathers-day-feast

(Family Features) Make Father’s Day special by combining two of Dad’s favorite things – sweet treats and the grill. Hot dogs have gone gourmet and a big, juicy hamburger or steak is a tried-and-true classic. But, this year, show Dad how much you love him with a healthy twist on two  American favorites – the chicken wing and watermelon.

If Dad is usually the one manning the grill, review these simple tips for cooking chicken outdoors before you begin:

Preheat the grill on high.

Make sure the grate is well oiled to prevent sticking.

Transport the chicken to the grill on one plate and use a clean plate to take the prepared food back to the kitchen.

Use tongs to turn the chicken instead of a fork, which may tear the meat.

Keep the grill covered as much as possible for quicker, more even cooking.

Have a spray bottle filled with water handy in case of a flare up.

Once you remove the chicken from the grill, allow it to “rest” for five minutes so it will retain its juices when cut.

Get the kids involved in the meal preparation by creating a fun dessert. They can use a small ice cream scoop or melon baller to scoop out watermelon, cantaloupe or honeydew. Serve the cool, refreshing treat in a pretty bowl or thread the melon balls onto skewers. Slices of watermelon can also be cut into fun shapes with cookie cutters. Add the shapes to the plate for a fun garnish or place one or two on the rim of a glass to add a festive flair.

Grilling out is a time-honored tradition so fire up the charcoal and let the celebration begin.

Look for more fun ways to enjoy watermelon and sign up for a free newsletter, at www.watermelon.org.

 

Chipotle Maple Citrus Watermelon Wings

Watermelon Glaze:
2 cups watermelon puree

Juice from 3 fresh lemons
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 cup maple syrup (can use light version)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper, or to taste
Chicken:

Chicken wings or drumettes
2 cups pineapple juice
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
3 cloves minced fresh garlic

 

To prepare the watermelon glaze, simmer ingredients together in a heavy saucepan for 20 minutes or until sauce is thick. Makes 2 cups. Keep warm.
To prepare the chicken, place the chicken in a large zipper lock bag with rest of the ingredients and seal tightly. Allow to marinate at least 2 hours or up to 12. Grill until cooked and arrange on a warm platter. Pour the glaze over the chicken and serve immediately.

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Mother’s Day Guide: How to Choose the Best Gift for Her

What gift will make Mom happy this Mother’s Day?

What gift will make Mom happy this Mother’s Day?

 

NewsUSA

(NU) – Last year, flowers and jewelry topped the list of popular Mother’s Day gifts — naturally. Many women enjoy the warmth that fresh flowers add to a room, almost as much as supplementing a never-ending jewelry collection.

But if you honored Mom with tried-and-true gifts last May, show your appreciation by exercising a few creative muscles this year. Do something different — seize the op- portunity to show unflinching love and gratitude.

Need a little help? The gift experts at RedEnvelope (www.redenvelope.com) — a trust- ed source of ideas and inspiration for any occasion — compiled sug- gestions about how to find the best present for the moms in your life.

For the traditional mom: Tra- ditional moms rarely stop working for their families yet never ask much in return. Whether she rel- ishes a new book, long baths or champagne brunches, she deserves it all. Give her a reason to sched- ule some “me time” with a home spa treatment, like a Lavender Re- laxation Spa Set and a new spring robe. Or if she likes to share with friends, indulge in a Champagne Treats Basket from Shari’s Berries (www.berries.com).

For the contemporary mom: Whether it’s your sister, daughter wife or mother, the contemporary mom maintains a stylish home and makes strollers look fashionable. While her glamour may appear effortless, reminders don’t hurt. Brighten up her office or desk with a Mother and Child Orchid Garden (www.proflowers.com). If you’re brave, consider a pair of Enamel Stud Earrings, only offered at Re- dEnvelope. The big, bold enamel earrings have a versatile feel that can be both retro and mod.

For the gourmet mom: The gourmet mom tends to throw the best dinners, perhaps a result of restaurant experience or just a deep-rooted love of good cooking. Either way, her taste buds deserve some treats she didn’t make. If she has a sweet tooth, Shari’s Berries delivers handmade Mother’s Day chocolatey-covered strawberries and Cake Pops. For the potluck regulars, customize a glazed Stoneware Casserole dish with a nickname or favorite phrase at Personal Creations (www.personalcreations.com).

For the entertaining mom: If it’s possible to have a monopoly on holiday parties, leave it to the entertainers. Entertaining moms are the first to send out a Google group invite to Sunday “Fun-day” at their house. Even though we can’t attend every single one, they are admittedly some of the best parties. Surprise her with a lavish token of love, like a box of gourmet dipped berries one day, followed by two dozen rainbow roses the next. New Personal Cre- ations picture frames allow for col- lage cut-outs reading anything from “I Love Mom” to “Family.”

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Tips for new Mother’s Day and Father’s Day traditions

(BPT) – Families have many special traditions to celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Starting new traditions around these days is also common. If your family is looking for some new ways to enjoy Mother’s Day or Father’s Day this year, check out these tips and gift ideas that will help make your celebrations special:

* Shop, dine or donate – Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are when we recognize parents for starting their families. This year, March of Dimes is launching the imbornto campaign to celebrate a powerful truth that every baby is born to do something great, but first they have to be born strong and healthy. Every time a baby is born, so are a new mom and dad. That’s why March of Dimes is the “Official Partner of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day,” encouraging you to shop, dine or donate where you see the imbornto seal to help continue the organization’s 75 years of research, education, vaccine development and medical breakthrough. imbornto partners include Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc., The Bon-Ton Stores, Bliss Carpets, Farmers Insurance, Kmart, Mud Pie, Beaulieu, ProFlowers and First Response. Visit www.imbornto.com to learn more.

* Good eats – New delicious recipes always bring flair to family gatherings around the dinner table. Make it a fun event by having family members create these recipes together, and then present them to mom or dad with a flourish of colorful cards, fresh cut flowers or brightly-wrapped packaging. Here are some great recipes from the kitchens of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. to try:

 

Grilled Potato Slices with Salt and Vinegar

Prep time: 5 minutes

Total time: 50 minutes

Yield: serves 4

Ingredients:

1 pound potatoes, preferably fingerling, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices

2 cups white vinegar

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt, plus more for sprinkling

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Directions:

Bring potatoes and vinegar to a boil in a medium saucepan (vinegar should cover potatoes). Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer potatoes until just fork tender, about 5 minutes. Let potatoes cool in vinegar for 30 minutes. Drain well, and gently toss with oil, salt and pepper. Preheat grill to medium-high. Grill potatoes in a single layer until browned on both sides and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Sprinkle with salt before serving.

 

Brown Sugar and Pecan Sticky Buns

Prep time: 25 minutes

Total time: 55 minutes plus resting

Yield: serves 12

Ingredients:

All-purpose flour, for work surface

1 recipe basic pizza dough, or 2 pounds store-bought pizza dough, thawed if frozen

1 cup plus 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 3/4 sticks), room temperature

1 cup packed dark-brown sugar

1 1/2 cups pecans, chopped

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

Directions:

On a floured work surface, roll dough to a 10-by-18-inch rectangle. Dot upper two-thirds of dough with 1 cup butter and fold dough like a letter. Roll dough to a 10-by-18-inch rectangle. Refrigerate on a baking sheet until firm, 1 hour (or up to 1 day). Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine sugar, pecans and salt. Leaving a 1/2-inch border, dot dough with 6 tablespoons butter and sprinkle with sugar mixture. Starting at a long end, roll up dough like a jelly roll. Cut crosswise into 12 pieces. Place each piece, cut side down, into 2 jumbo muffin pans or a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Bake until golden brown and cooked through, 30 to 40 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Immediately invert buns onto a serving platter or baking sheet. Serve warm.

Cook’s note:

Folding butter into the dough creates a flaky, rich result. This recipe works well with store-bought dough, but it’s exceptional with homemade.

 

* Family activity time – Spending the day together is the best way to celebrate Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, so find an activity everyone can enjoy. Maybe it’s heading out to watch a movie, going to the local park for a long walk or bike ride, or crafting a household decoration together.

All members of the family can enjoy Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, so consider trying out a new family tradition and make the celebration even bigger this year.

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