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November 2016

J Michel Photography - Coralville

J Michel PhotographyExperience Award winning photography in the Iowa City and Coralville area by National Award winning Photographer Janell Ploof-Michel.

J Michel Photography is owned by Janell Ploof-Michel and Mary Bunting. Janell has more than 25 years of photography experience. The Studio has been in business since 1998.

We are a full service photography studio. We are happy to provide photography for special events, graduates, families, children, professionals, pets and more. We photograph in our studio or on location within 50 miles of Iowa City.

J Michel Photography – Through all of the cycles of life!

Award winning photography – come experience the difference yourself!

Studio Location:
100 Oakdale Blvd. Suite 200A
Coralville, IA 52241


Serving the Iowa City, Coralville, North Liberty and surrounding area



HIM Hearth-N-Home Cooking


While planning your next event, take care of your food needs with HIM Hearth-N-Home Cooking. We can cater any event or party with delicious food.

We have a variety of home style and gourmet foods that you can choose from. You can also get a chocolate fountain for a special dessert.

HIM Hearth-N-Home Cooking

1012 Juniper Ave., Kalona, IA 52247-9117

Email: [email protected]

Tel:  319-656-3518



Movie Review: Dr. Strange

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

So my boys and I went to see Dr. Strange over the Thanksgiving holiday.

If you're into the Marvel movies, it's a must see.  If you're not into Marvel movies so much, it's still a good time.

It's a good origin story and actor Benedict Cumberbatch was the perfect choice to play Dr. Strange.  There is dazzling imagery throughout the film with plenty of comic relief one-liners in the script. 

It's not the best Marvel movie, but it is good.

I give Dr. Strange 3 out of 5 stars.

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Aero Rental - Iowa City

Aero RentalAero Rental & Party Shoppe is a locally owned and operated business serving Eastern Iowa for over 40 years. A truly unique business offering a wide range of construction and tool rental combined with party rentals. Our party store includes a large retail section consisting of themed, decorative and everyday party supplies. A true must see.

Our mission statement says it best: Aero Rental exists to provide its diverse rental and party customers with the finest service, products, and equipment available.

Serving Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Coralville, North Liberty, Tiffin, Solon, Mt. Vernon, Hills, Riverside, Kalona, Washington, West Branch, West Liberty, Tipton, Muscatine, Oxford, Amanas, Williamsburg, and all other surrounding communities with top-quality, affordable equipment rentals and party rentals.

227 Kirkwood Ave., Iowa City

PH: 319-333-7737




Chili Ginger Spiced Pork & Noodles

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

Chili Ginger Spiced Pork NoodlesThis is a great tasting, low budget, easy to make oriental inspired dish with a little kick using whatever you might have on hand. Leftover grilled pork chops makes for some GREAT stir fry!

And so you don't have any oriental style noodles you say?  No problem, use fettuccine or spaghetti and YES, Ramen noodles will work great!  Don't have any beef stock?  No problem, use chicken stock instead.  Don't have any leftover pork?  No problem, use some sliced up chicken or beef.   Sure, you can chop up some turkey lunch meat if that's what you have on hand!


  • One package Oriental Style Noodles (yes, Ramen noodles will be just fine!)
  • 1 teaspoon and a pinch of crushed red pepper/chili flake
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 4 - 6 ounces of sliced, leftover pork
  • 1/2 cup celery
  • 1/2 cup carrots
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon sweet & sour sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon and a splash of canola oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon Louisiana Hot Sauce


Cook the noodles per package instructions, set aside.  Heat up a wok or similar vessel on medium high heat.  When the pan is hot, put in the pepper flake, letting it roast for about 30 seconds before adding the oil.  Add onions, celery and carrots, stir.  Season with the salt and pepper, stir and let it sizzle for about 2 minutes.  While that's cooking, mix together the corn starch, beef stock, a splash of canola oil, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic powder and a little more red pepper flake in a small bowl, set aside.  Add the leftover pork, hot sauce, cilantro and sweet & sour sauce to the veggie mixture, stir, let those flavors marry for about a minute.  Add the noodles and corn starch mixture to the veggies, stir to incorporate.  Serve this deliciousness immediately!

It doesn't get much cheaper than creating something delicious with leftovers.  That's why it's important to have a variety of noodles, rice, veggies and the makings for sauces on hand so you can create something from a previously delicious meal you prepared.

How do you eat low carb on Thanksgiving?

By Mike Thayer

The answer to, "How do you eat low carb on Thanksgiving?"

You don't.

It's Thanksgiving, it's a "cheat" day.  Hopefully you've been disciplined in the days leading up to Thanksgiving.  Enjoy the day, there's just too much good food and family to enjoy, there is no sense in putting a damper on a great American tradition.

Just get back to a disciplined diet on Friday. 

Remember, cheating every once in awhile is the only way to stay sane.   Enjoy Thursday, then pick up the routine again on Friday, which means, pass on the stuffing leftovers.....


Jerry and Margie's Catering - Riverside

Jerry & Margie's CateringJerry and Margie's Catering specializes in providing catering services throughout Southeast Iowa for corporate events, birthdays, weddings, anniversary celebrations and other private events.

Football fans will find Jerry and Margie's famous brats and delicious tailgaiting fare at every University of Iowa home football game.

For any type of event that calls for a celebration, we are the catering company for you!

Check out our menu to see the great food we offer. We will make your celebration a truly memorable and unique event.

If you have questions or wish to make an appointment, please contact us:

Jerry and Margie's Catering
3030 135th St
Riverside, IA 52327

Telephone: 319-648-2537



Bachelor on the Cheap: Cold weather comfort food - Hamburger soup

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

It's cheap, it's easy to prepare, it satisfies that cold weather craving for soup and the best thing, it's DELICIOUS!

Hamburger soup is kitchen friendly, you can pretty much make it with a pound of hamburger, some beef stock and whatever veggies you have on hand.  It's not the kind of recipe where you have go to the store and buy a bunch of ingredients.  And here's a Bachelor on the Cheap plus, it freezes well, although, this soup is so comfort food good you may not have any leftovers to freeze.


  • One pound of ground beef  
  • One medium onion, finely diced
  • One cup carrots, diced
  • One cup celery, diced
  • One jalapeno pepper, finely diced
  • One cup fresh green beans cut into bite size pieces
  • One cup frozen corn
  • Two medium potatoes, peeled and rough chopped into bite size pieces
  • One packet artificial sugar
  • One Tablespoon seasoning salt
  • One Tablespoon garlic powder
  • One teaspoon oregano
  • One teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • One 6 ounce can of tomato paste
  • 32 ounces of beef stock


Hamburger soupGet out a soup pot, start browning the ground beef, add the seasoning salt, onions, celery and carrots.  I like to use a 88/12 or 90/10 here.  Lean grinds are great for soups, there's just enough fat in the meat to brown it and soften the veggies.  There won't be any excess fat, you won't have to drain it off.  And you don't have to worry about the hamburger getting too dry either, you are after all, making soup!  Once the meat is browned, add in the remaining ingredients, stirring to mix until the tomato paste is fully incorporated.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer the soup for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender.

Enjoy with some warm dinner rolls!   The combination of the beef stock and the tomato paste gives this soup a rich, deep, comfort food goodness.  And you can really play with this soup with whatever you have on hand.  If you like crushed tomatoes, put some in your soup.  If you have zucchini on hand, chop some up and put it in the soup.   Like a little more heat?  Add more jalapeno or some chili pepper flake, perhaps both! 

It's another does of YUM!




Michael Kreiser Photography

Michael Kreiser PhotographyA joyful grin. A mischievous smirk. That sheepish shrug, recognizable to anyone who knows you. Eyebrows raised in wonder. An unexpected kiss. We see it all.

Michael Kreiser Photography and Associates capture the moments you don't want to forget. With more than twenty years of experience and clients ranging from brides and new mothers, to Newsweek and The Wall Street Journal, our eyes are trained to see you - and reflect that vision back to the world.

We offer a variety of services to capture life events. Knowing that people are eager to see their photos, we offer fast, online proofing, so that you can quickly share your photos with family and friends and make selections for yourself.

When your wedding day arrives and MK is your photographic team, you can relax and celebrate each and every moment. We pride ourselves on our understanding of the special needs of a bride as she takes one of the most important steps of her life. Simply call us or email us and we will talk with you about your expectations, make plans to meet you in order to plan specific portraits and we'll make appointments for your bridal and engagement shoots, which are included in every personalized package. We will work with you to create a package that meets your needs perfectly.

Portrait Sessions
Families and Kids are FREE! We completely understand the importance of preserving those images of your growing family; let the MK team make it easy! Just send us an email and we will schedule your free portrait session.

Portrait Parties
Hosting a Portrait Party for your next family reunion, special event or birthday party is a blast! As the host, you will invite 5-12 guests and their children. You will receive a complimentary photo package, as well as a portion of the proceeds from print orders, while your guests will have the opportunity to take advantage of our special rates and packages. There is NO SESSION FEE! We have found that this familiar environment results in fantastic, natural images. We bring all of the equipment and set up a 'mini-studio' right in your home. Each guest, guest's child or grouping of children will have a 20-minute photo session, during which 15 images will be taken of the individuals and/or group, if desired. This is sure to be a hit at any family party! For more information on this unique opportunity, email us or give us a call.

PH:  319-339-1698



Lake MacBride Golf Club & Event Center

Lake MacBride Golf ClubLake MacBride Golf Club and Event Center is located 10 minutes north of Iowa City/Coralville or just 15 minutes south of Cedar Rapids.  We are a picturesque golf course with multiple tees, watered fairways and large challenging greens.  Stop in our newer clubhouse for a light lunch or come out on Friday night and enjoy our full menu including steaks and seafood or try one of our “Friday Night Specials”.  If you are looking for a great place to hold your next event at a reasonable rate, look no further than Lake MacBride Golf Club and Event Center.  We have an event center that looks out at the first tee and is great for weddings and receptions, private parties, corporate events and off site meetings.  Our experienced staff and amazing food will make sure your experience is memorable.

Lake MacBride Golf Club & Event Center

3891 Pro Road Northeast
Solon, IA 52333

(319) 624-2500

Hours: 7am – 9pm Monday through Friday