family, pulled pork, the small town foodie in me

Momma’s BBQ, South Haven

We pass this little BBQ Airstream every South Haven trip, it wasn’t until today that we followed our nose in. On the corner of Blue Star Highway and Phoenix Street, the trailer/smoker is located next to a great produce stand with outside seating. From the stand we added local strawberries to our picnic. The stand also sold a good selection of Michigan beers.

A friendly recent, Allegan grad greeted us and we knew we made a great stop. The prices were decent, the smells heavenly, and I fell in love with the Airstream turned functional take out kitchen. Rib tips and smoked chicken are popular. In fact we snagged the last chicken and it was only 12:15. The usual sides of slaw, beans, and corn on the cob were available. We opted for 1/2 a chicken, two pulled pork sandwiches, and two corns. $17.00 with a can of pop.

Missing are the delicious, mouthwatering food pictures. Apparently my love for pulled pork has passed on to the kids. All I had was a 1/2 of ear corn and 1/3 of a sandwich that was nibbled on by the youngest. The husband did share one small pull of his chicken. Thank goodness we had the strawberries. I ate a few handfuls before the kids finished them off. The sauce was mild and did not over take the smoked meat. The chicken was the charmer! It had a pleasant smoke taste and was not over powered by the sauce. The corn was bland, missing smoke, butter, and salt. The meat though made up for it! By the time I remembered to take pictures, all was left were a few BBQ stained wet wiped and a few full bellies.




We will not be passing up this place again. It was a great stop for our trip to the children’s park! So glad we picked BBQ over ice cream.

cooking, family, food, parenting, pulled pork

Spring Break pork

To ring in the start of Spring Break, we planned a party. Unfortunately little R came down with the flu. Since the food was already prepped, we feasted away when the little guy crashed. Maybe it’s a good thing we didn’t have to share…so good! We will be eating until we leave for vacation; pork nachos, pork omelette, pork pizza…

Pulled pork tacos
3-4 pound pork sirloin roast or pork of your choice
1 packet taco seasoning
1 lime
1 12 ounce can of beer, root beer, or cola. (Root beer is my favorite. This time I used a ginger beer.)
Rub roast with seasoning mix plus black pepper. Spray slow cooker. Place roast in cooker, pour can contents around roast. Cook on low for 6 hours. Shred. Squeeze lime and mix. Serve with chopped cilantro, minced onion, and salsa verde on a corn or flour tortilla.

cooking, food, pulled pork, the small town foodie in me

Bacon Crack Candy

I am in heaven just reading this…chocolate, good. Bacon, yum. Together, pure bliss. MUST. MAKE. THIS. SOON! Might be the perfect snack for the upcoming Pork party.

Shut the Barn Door!


1 package of bacon

1.5 sticks real butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

1.5 packages of semi-sweet chocolate chips

sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment or foil.  Add an even layer of pre-cooked bacon (you can cook it or buy pre-cooked) that’s been torn into bite sized pieces (the crispier, the better).


Melt butter and then add brown sugar in a pan. Let boil for about 5 minutes while stirring continuously. Be careful not to let it burn.

When it’s “fluffy-ish”, it’s done.


Pour toffee mixture over pan of bacon.


Pop in the oven for 5 minutes.  Take out of the oven and add a bag and a half of chocolate chips.


Pop in the oven for 5 more minutes.


Take out of the oven and spread chocolate chips over entire pan.


Add a generous amount of sea salt.


Place in freezer…

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aldi, camping, education, family, food, grilling, parenting, pulled pork

I agree with many of the author’s moments!  Seriously, I would love to fold laundry and have a matched set every time.  Or the clean house?  Who doesn’t want that?!  Lobster?  Yes please!   Cozy in front of the fireplace?  Now would work as it is currently 28 degrees!  Brr.

My Jelly Belly Moments…

my daughter’s good morning hug, so sweet and full of love

having the kids do something the first time asked

being proud when we can drop everything and get our family of 5 out the door in under 20 minutes for impromptu outings and adventures

catching the light bulb moments when teaching

turning the radio on to the perfect song for the moment

my husband holding my hand

shopping at Aldi, no more coupons!

watching E twirl and sing the night away

friends that warm my heart, fill my soul with laughter, and even if it has been months since last meeting, pick up where you left off

camp fires, traveling the back roads, and everything in between

hanging out with gentle, imaginative M

small town living

a glass of wine and my husband’s company

tasty pulled pork and creamy, tangy cole slaw

family adventures whether in the back woods, along the beach, or out on the road

seeing the world through little R’s mischievous eyes

eating, cooking, grilling, and talking about food

Saturday morning family snuggles

decorating for the holidays, any holiday

clean sheets

So this is such a small bag of my jellies, my mind is filling with more as I type. What are some of your Jelly Belly moments?

Raising 5 Kids With Disabilities and Remaining Sane Blog


Having been on a diet for forever, I was starved for something sweet. I admit that I used to eat a lot of “comfort food”, so finding a way I could still do this and not gain weight has been a challenge.  Fortunately,  I came up with secret of packing little bags of Jelly Bellies, these great little jelly beans that really taste like what they say they taste like. My favorites are licorice, cotton candy, and, (of course for anyone who KNOWS me,) buttered popcorn.  I purchase only my favorite flavors, and package about 20 of them into little bags. Then, throughout the day when I need a little boost, I eat a few, and I am happy.

It has dawned on me that my life is full of little jelly belly moments, not in relation to the real jelly bean, but as a reaction to little events that…

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family, food, pulled pork, the small town foodie in me, traveling

Ribfest 2012

Our oldest is quickly becoming a pulled pork aficionado.  I am one proud mama.  So when he heard Community Advocates Ribfest was nearby, he had our day planned.  As much as our kids would love the festival evening with live music and people watching, we knew that the free entry until 4:00 was better for mama and papa’s pocketbook.

The smoke and smells pulled us through the gate and lifted us down rib lane.  The lunch crowd was just beginning to gather at a few booths.  It was easy to see why the masses traversed to a few lines, enticing aromas, friendly faces, and billowing, inviting smoke.

See what I mean? Don’t you wish you could smell the ribs??

We quickly settled on Porky N Beans for all of the above reasons.  Again, see that guy?  He sold us on Porky N Beans and I am so happy that we let our nose do the picking.  Hee hee.  For the family of 5, we picked a Porky Platter consisting of a MOUND of chopped pork with sauce, 1/2 a rack of ribs, beans, slaw, and cornbread.  Just to make sure we over did it, we also ordered a 1/2 smoked chicken.

Porky N Beans welcome banners

Let’s start with the pork.  If you’ve read my blog, my husband and a few others, you know that I am a pulled pork gal.  Breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, it doesn’t really matter, I’d eat it anytime, anywhere.  Did you get the pulled pork part?  My experience with chopped pork is usually dry or tough, same with sliced.  Pulled pork produces succulent, moist pork.  Debate away, but pulled pork and I are a match made in heaven.  Porky N Beans pork was okay, the sauce good, but not something to go on about.  Now the ribs are worth a trip to Ribfest.  Quick, go now!!  I can see why they proudly display recent trophies and banners boast their award-winning ribs.  No sauce, all rub flavor.  ‘Nuf said.  Seriously the best ribs I have EVER had.  About the sides, the slaw was marginal, beans good, and the cornbread was sweet, moist, and mopped up the porky juices perfectly.

The smoked chicken was A M A Z I N G!  A good smoke ring, strong, but not over powering smoke flavor, and moist.  The hubby and I enjoyed the chicken so much we skipped the pork and savored the finger lickin’ chicken.  The guy smoking the chicken needs a raise, he is a master.  He can come and cook chicken for me any day.

As M and E scarfed down the last of the chopped pork, M asked if we could go back.  If only money grew on trees or someone would sponsor us…but that is another blog.  So if you are looking for something a little piece of pork heaven this weekend, head to the Arcadia Creek Festival Place in downtown Kalamazoo!  Quick, go now!

Arcadia Place kid area 
Several tents for covered seating

Tickets for sale to purchase beverages of all kinds.