Sunday, May 15, 2022

Tulip Time

We live about 20 minutes from Holland Michigan.  Every year, in May, Holland hosts a Tulip Time Festival and people come from all over our country, and some even come from other countries.  Tulip Time is a celebration of Dutch heritage and culture, and it's been held every year since 1929, except the last two years because of covid.  There are about 500,000 visitors, representing 40 countries.  One of the highlights of the week is the tulips - over 6 million bulbs are planted each year.  Another highlight is the Dutch Dancing, over 900 dancers in the traditional clothes worn in the late 1800's to early 1900's, including wooden shoes.
I usually try to visit Holland to see the tulips after the Festival is done, so I don't have to fight the crowds. This year my days off after the festival were looking busy, so my daughters Laura and Heather, and granddaughter Cassie braved the crowds and check things out last week.
It was a little cloudy the day we went but still very warm.

It's fun seeing people walking around in these Dutch costumes.

This is a covered carousel.

An old Dutch mailbox.

There are lots of things to buy in the shops, including so much delft!

Here's a view that includes the old windmill and the bridge over the canal.

The star of the show - acres of tulips!

Tulips of every variety...

and color!

The DeZaan Windmill - an authentic Dutch windmill that is 125 feet tall.  It was built in the Netherlands in 1761, and was moved to Holland, Michigan in 1964. It's the last windmill to leave the Netherlands. It is a working windmill.

Cassie riding on Mama's shoulders.

Cassie, Heather and Laura in front of the windmill.

It wasn't easy getting a picture of her, every time we set her down she got up and started investigating!

You could tour the windmill if you wanted to.

An authentic Dutch street organ.  We got to hear it play.

Another view of the canal...

It feels like you are actually in the Netherlands, with the old buildings and tulips.

I'm leaving you with my favorite tulips of the day:

If you're ever in Michigan in the beginning of May, stop in Holland and check out the tulips!

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Cooking Thursday

 Here's a crockpot recipe we had recently.  It's kind of like lasagna in the crock pot!  It's got meat and sauce, a cream sauce, gooey cheese and pasta you don't have to cook ahead. It makes a lot and it is yummy!

Crockpot Million Dollar Pasta

2 lbs ground beef
1 (8 oz) block cream cheese softened
½ cup sour cream
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried parsley
2 (24 oz) jars spaghetti sauce divided use
1 (24 oz) jar water
1 (16 oz) box cavatappi or elbw pasta
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Brown and crumble ground beef (season with salt and pepper.) Drain excess grease and set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, sour cream, ricotta cheese, minced garlic and parsley.
In the bottom of a 6 quart (or larger) slow cooker, add half a jar of spaghetti sauce.
Evenly layer half the box of the pasta on top of sauce.
Pour remaining jar of spaghetti sauce over noodles.
Pour on half a jar of water.
Then layer half the cooked ground beef mixture over top.
Dollop the entire cream cheese mixture evenly as possible over the beef layer. Do not stir.
Evenly layer the rest of the pasta on top of the cream cheese layer.
Top with remaining jar spaghetti sauce
Pour another half jar of water on top of spaghetti sauce.
Finally, layer the rest of the cooked ground beef on top.
Cover and cook on low for about 3-4 hours.
Stir mixture, then layer with 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese.
Cover for an additional 15-20 minutes (until cheese is melted.)