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My Town: Pizza to help pets Aug. 27

My Town: Pizza to help pets Aug. 27

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- Crash’s Landing & Big Sid’s Sanctuary invite the community to help rescued cats Wednesday, Aug. 27 by picking up a pizza.

Print a flyer from Crash's Landing's website and present it to employees at any of the 14 participating Pizza Hut locations Wednesday to donate 20 percent of your total bill to Crash’s Landing & Big Sid’s Sanctuary.  The benefit runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Aug. 27 and includes dine-in, carry out or delivery orders.

The flyer has the list and addresses of the 14 participating Pizza Hut locations in the Grand Rapids area.

In the Kitchen with Kal: Easy bake chicken and veggies

In the Kitchen with Kal: Easy bake chicken and veggies

I was on vacation in Maryland recently abd had the pleasure of having my daughter-in-law's sister, Terri, make this dinner for us. It was all part of my son Mark's recovery from hip surgery. (You know that theory- send over a dish when someone is sick.)

Anyway, the dish arrived in time for dinner as a surprise, but Donna, my daughter-in-law, had already prepared a pork dinner for the family, so she just let this cool on the counter and put it away in the fridge overnight and we had it for dinner the following evening.  It turned out to be a very versatile dish.

Recipe:

In a 9" x 13"  pan, cut three boneless chicken breast in three pieces, add two cans of green beans on one side, and cut up red potatoes on the other side.  Drizzle one stick of melted butter all over it. Sprinkle an envelope of zesty Italian dressing mix over everything. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for one hour. 

My Town: Four fun ways to prepare for heading back to school

My Town: Four fun ways to prepare for heading back to school

The start of the 2014-15 schools year is just around the corner.

As a parent, don’t let the start of a new school year catch you off guard- start preparing your students now to hit the books this fall.  While some activities, like waking up early, may be met with less enthusiasm, back-to-school preparation can be fun. 

Educators at Michigan Connections Academy have developed four fun, yet educational, activities parents and students can do together to help prepare for a successful start to the new school year— and the best part is the students won’t even realize they are learning!

My Town GR North: Volunteers needed for back-to-school drive

My Town GR North: Volunteers needed for back-to-school drive

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— Volunteers are needed to help stuff backpacks for hundreds of children in need.

D.A. Blodgett-St. John’s  has been collecting backpacks and school supplies at its Leonard Street and Knapp Street locations since Aug. 11. This is the eighth year for the drive, which provides classroom necessities for more than 500 children who are recovering from abuse and neglect, or live in poverty.  Approximately 23 percent of children in Kent County live below the poverty line.

People interested in volunteering to fill backpacks on Aug. 15 should contact Katie Wybenga at (616) 361-4118 or kwybenga@dabsj.org.

My Town GR North: Back-to-school donation drive begins

My Town GR North: Back-to-school donation drive begins

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— Back-to-school shopping season is here, but hundreds of West Michigan children can't afford a trip down store aisles.

That's why D.A. Blodgett-St. John’s is holding its Backpack & School Supply Drive now through Aug. 15.  This is the eighth year for the event, which provides classroom necessities for more than 500 children who are recovering from abuse and neglect, or live in poverty.  Approximately 23 percent of children in Kent County live below the poverty line.

The donation wish list includes:

Cooking with Kal: Roll out the zucchini bread

Cooking with Kal: Roll out the zucchini bread

This is the season- zucchini is growing wild and people with gardens can barely keep up with the harvest of this vegetable.

I got a large one last week from Denise, here at work, and could not use all of it right away, but I did process and freeze it for future use. I have never done that before but thought, what have I got to lose? Hopefully, when the snow is flying and I feel like baking zucchini-apple bread, I will be all set.

In the meantime, the following recipe is wonderful. I made it recently but did not have any apples in the house, so I substituted with an approximate amount of crushed pineapple. I did not have any walnuts like I usually use, so I used toasted and salted sunflower seeds. I also added a bag of dried cranberries. It's easy to make changes in recipes, especially if you have made it before. I hope people will give this recipe a try; it is good and it makes three loaves, so you will have plenty to share or freeze. Enjoy!

My Town: Back-to-school donations needed for Grand Rapids area children

My Town: Back-to-school donations needed for Grand Rapids area children

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—As the back-to-school shopping season nears, a Grand Rapids organization is encouraging community members to pick up an extra backpack or set of supplies for children in need.

D.A. Blodgett-St. John’s is in need of donations for its Backpack & School Supply Drive.  This is the eighth year for the event, which provides classroom necessities for more than 500 children who are recovering from abuse and neglect, or live in poverty.  Approximately 23 percent of children in Kent County live below the poverty line.

D.A. Blodgett- St. John’s will be accepting donations Aug. 11 through Aug. 15 at its Leonard Street and Knapp Street locations.  The donation wish list includes: