We recently had the opportunity to host a creative collaboration for Midwest Living Magazine. The focus of the story, in the current print issue (Mar/April 2017) was simple entertaining with a small group of friends, based on Megan Gilger’s tips for creating “Lovely-But-Laid-Back Dinner Parties“.
The collaboration included The Fresh Exchange husband and wife duo Megan & Mike Gilger, Sarah Peschel of At Home in Suttons Bay and Epicure Catering co-owners Andy Schudlich & Cammie Buehler. Andy worked to develop a menu that was approachable for a home cook, yet beautiful in its presentation. Cammie teamed up with Sarah & Megan to style the details of the tabletop aesthetic.
As the overarching goal of the shoot was to illustrate how to host a laid-back gathering of friends (delegate!), care was taken to create a scene that spoke authentically to an elevated simplicity of the everyday. Cherry Basket Farm provided a rustic backdrop while greenery, white china and soft pastels brought in the crisp vitality of Spring. Photographer David Tsay captured perfectly the charm and warmth of the space and meal, and overall the shoot was a glowing success.
We are thankful and grateful as always for the chance to work with such incredible people. Thank you all.
Creative Collaboration for Midwest Living Magazine Photo Recap (iPhone photos!)
A tour of Epicure Catering’s indoor and outdoor kitchen with chef and co-owner Andy Schudlich.
The culmination of the tour is a farm to table meal served alfresco (weather permitting).
This food tour begins Friday, June 9th and concludes June 11th, with the Cherry Basket stop on Sunday, June 11th. To learn more about the Grand Traverse Bay tour including other stops, lodging, and ticket availability please visit zingermansfoodtours.com
The following photos are from the 2016 Zingerman’s Food Tour at Cherry Basket Farm.
When we worked with Brittany and Bryan to plan their farm wedding, we were struck by their sweetness and enthusiasm for each other and their life together. As self-proclaimed foodies, they were a delight to work with in the menu planning process and to cook for on their special day. They wanted their wedding to be relaxed and fun and achieved this through simple yet sophisticated decor, yard games and of course, their sweet and easy-going personalities! Brittany was kind enough to share her thoughts on their big day below. Cheers B & B!
What attracted you to Cherry Basket Farm?
The moment you see photos of the Cherry Basket Farm or have the opportunity to see it for yourself, you become immediately drawn to it. The property exudes natural beauty with its stunning white-barn, lush greenery, and quiet ambiance. Bryan and I knew, almost instantaneously, that this was the place we wanted to say our “I do’s” at and celebrate with our closest family and friends. Surprisingly enough, that is only the beginning….
Cammie, Andy Schudlich, and their team are truly unbelievable. We didn’t only choose CBF for their venue, but we chose them for their service. Having worked with Cammie and Andy before, I knew they were like no other. They are top-notched in preparation, service, and execution. Not having to worry about anything on the day of the wedding is every couple’s dream come true. They are simply the best!!
How would you describe your style as a couple?
Modern, rustic chic.
What was the overall vibe and feel you wanted your guests to experience at the farm wedding?
One of our favorite things to do is to get together with our friends at one of our houses to drink, play games, laugh, and relax. We wanted our wedding to mimic our weekend hangouts but on a bigger scale. Most of all, we wanted our guests to relax and enjoy themselves just as much as we knew we would.
What were the most important elements of the big day?
There is so much beauty on the property, so we wanted to make sure that our details did not take that away. However, I (the bride) am such a detail oriented person, that I had to add in some things here and there to really make it ours. We added in simple details through our floral (we did a lot of greenery, natural moss, and air plants), table elements, as well as subtle leather touches.
Bryan and I share an immense passion for food, so that was a huge element shared by the both of us. We thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the menu making process and wanted our guests to enjoy all the dishes that were chosen for our special day. Needless to say, they did, and continue to still talk about how amazing everything tasted.
As cliche as it sounds, we wanted our guests to just have fun. Whether it be dancing in the barn, playing yard games, or conversing in the tent after dinner, we just wanted everyone to have a great time celebrating.
What advice would you give to engaged couples as they move through the planning process?
To find those hidden moments to take it all in with your soon-to-be husband/wife during the planning process. The day itself is over in a flash, so just enjoy it all.
Want more intel? The vendor team from this wedding is listed at the bottom of this post. For more weddings at the Cherry Basket Farm visit our Weddings page and scoll down to our Farm Wedding Portfolio. Thanks for stopping by! – CB
Venue: Cherry Basket Farm / Caterer: Epicure Catering /Florist: Field of Flowers / Ceremony Entertainment: Brady Corcoran / Reception Entertainment: 2 Bays DJ / Decor: A Day in May / Linens: BBJ Linens and The Event Theory Rentals / Officiant: Judy Grimes / Transportation: Celtic Shuttles / Photographer: Two Twisted Trees / Attire: Bride: Blue by Enzoani, Groom’s: H&M and JCrew, Bridesmaids: Shirt (ASOS), Skirt (Chicwish), Belt (Ann Taylor) / Hair & Makeup: Escape Salon
I love these two! Laid back and fun, Mikki and Jeff wanted their farm wedding to echo their personal style. Guests were treated to a fantastic meal and fabulous wine. Decor was minimal, as the couple wanted the property to speak for itself. Focusing on fine food and drink and a relaxed, casual atmosphere gave Jeff and Mikk’s farm wedding just the right mix of sophistication and style. I want to do it all over again!
The property itself is beautiful! An August wedding found the trees and flowers in full bloom! The barn and surrounding grounds were spectacular and made for the perfect reception! Epicure & Cherry Basket Farms came highly recommended. Just one visit and it was love at first site!
How would you describe your style as a couple?
Simple elegance/casual sophistication
What was the overall vibe and feel you wanted your guests to experience at the wedding?
We wanted a sophisticated, casual feel to our wedding—nothing too formal. Our goal was to host a great dinner party with “slightly” nicer outfits! As self proclaimed foodies we wanted our guests to have an experience that shared our passion for food, wine and their friendship. Cherry Basket Farms far exceeded these dreams with the most amazing celebratory feast.
What were the most important elements of the big day?
Fun / Food / Drink! We wanted those elements to be directed by Cammie and Chef Andy and produced by us. We could not have been in better hands. The crew at Cherry Basket Farms took care of us like we were family.
What advice would you give to engaged couples as they move through the planning process?
Simple is better. Put your inner control freak to be. Limit Pinterest exposure and listen more, talk less.
Want more intel? The vendor team from this wedding is listed at the bottom of this post. Thanks for stopping by! – CB
Guest post courtesy of Janene Centurione, Great American Food Tours host.
Hungry for your next Food Adventure? Explore with Zingerman’s Great American Food Tours!
Zingerman’s Great American Food Tours are designed to highlight iconic American food communities by immersing guests in the local food, culture, and history. What better way to experience a new place, than through taste and the stories of folks who live and love their local food? We’re bringing our love and passion for the Grand Traverse Bay area to Zingerman’s’ guests from all across the country.
For over 30 years, Zingerman’s has brought the best and most flavorful foods of the world to your table. Our food tours take you to the source. They go beyond just tasting great food where it was grown and made. We call it “Farm-to-Table 2.0”: learning the passionate backstory from the folks who are making a living in this complex world of agriculture and food in addition to tasting and seeing where that food is produced.
This Fall, we’ll be showcasing the Grand Traverse Bay region. The unique growing seasons and Great Lake breezes support the best farms, orchards, wineries and fishing in the Midwest. We want to tell tell the stories of this vibrant community of chefs, artisanal food producers, farmers and distillers. The Grand Traverse Bay region is one of the most interesting and robust food hubs in the country, and we’re proud to highlight it.
We’re going behind the scenes with our local hosts, tasting their wares and experiencing their passion for their craft. Our guests will tramp across fields, dine in barns, taste from kegs, pick from the vine, and sail across the bay at sunset, sipping local wines. We’ll use food to discover and understand this special world, so deeply connected with the winds and weather of Lake Michigan.
Zingerman’s Food Tours has used food as a way to connect to the history of a region, the spirit of its people and the regional rhythm of daily life. Zingerman’s Food Tours is your concierge to the best local guides, food, and cultural experiences. Our tours give you the chance to relax while enjoying and experiencing the best our destinations have to offer. We’ve scoured the globe to make connections in the food and travel world. After experiencing one of our tours, you’ll take home some pretty unique souvenirs: a deeper understanding of a unique region, a sense of their place in our increasingly connected lives, fantastic images, tasty memories, recipes to share, and a sense of discovery fulfilled.
Zingerman’s Great American Food tours are short, one to three day, energetic jaunts behind the scenes with local chefs, farmers, distillers, and vintners. We want our guests to come along to understand their world and listen to their story, while we eat and drink at their table. Authentic, tasty and fun, we strive to get beyond the postcard and to taste the world, the Zingerman’s way. We’ll be in the Traverse City area in September, and are also leading day trips into the vibrant Detroit food scene as well.
To get more information on upcoming Great American Food Tours or learn more about our discoveries, sign up for our email newsletter here.
Dan and Janene Centurione, Great American Tour hosts
Grand Traverse Bay Tour Highlights:
-Lunch and learn from the founder of the Little Fleet Traverse City’s Food Truck hub.
-Brewers and distillers taking you behind the scenes in their businesses, while we taste their wares.
-“Farm-to-Table 2.0” – getting out in the fields, helping to harvest our meals, and working with our chefs and hosts to prepare our family style farm spreads.
-Morning at the Market – tasting our way through the Farmer’s market during the height of Fall harvest.
-Sunset sail on Grand Traverse Bay – picnic dinner while pondering the land, water and history of the region from the waves.
-Our Common Table dinners are known not only for their tasty food and drink, but also for their engaging, entertaining and thought provoking discussions with our local food hosts.
Tour Dates: Friday September 23-Sunday September 25.
We loved hosting Colleen & Andy’s barn wedding at Cherry Basket Farm. I can’t think of a more fun-loving couple! The day was all about a relaxed good time with family and friends. We had a blast planning the menu and all the details! Colleen was sweet enough to answer a few questions about the big day. Cheers to you, Mr & Mrs Rathburg!
What attracted you to Cherry Basket Farm?
We had always pictured a backyard, barn wedding but found many of the barn venues to feel kitschy or cookie cutter. We loved that Cherry Basket is a working farm with a field that grows most of the produce in our meal. The views are spectacular – it feels like a family farm with elevated dining.
What was the overall vibe and feel you wanted our guests to experience on the big day?
The overall vibe was casual elegance but we had so many out of state guests that we wanted to celebrate Michigan, especially the Leelanau peninsula and share our love for the area.
What were the most important elements of the big day?
The food and the dancing!
What advice would you give to engaged couples as they move through the planning process?
Savor every moment, but don’t overthink your choices. And at the end of the day, it is about you and your love, nothing and no one else.
Thanks for everything! You and your team made our day perfect!
Want more intel? The vendor team from this wedding is listed at the bottom of this post. Thanks for stopping by! – CB
The farm really comes alive when there is a celebration of love on the grounds. Kirsten & JT’s Northern Michigan wedding was one of those special days. Kiersten was kind enough to answer a few questions about the big day below. We truly enjoy and value the time we get to spend assisting you in creating a memorable event. Cheers to you, Mr & Mrs Gray!
What attracted you to Cherry Basket Farm?
The location, the barn and the food!
Northern Michigan is heaven on Earth in my opinion, especially in the summer. Since I was a little girl I knew I wanted to have an outdoor summer wedding in Northern Michigan.
The next biggest attraction to me was the beautiful white barn. My parents got married in a barn, and I love the feel of a casual barn wedding. What more fun than dancing and stomping around in a barn with all our favorite friends and family!
Finally, the food. This is how I came across Cherry Basket Farm. My #1 priority for my reception was great food for my guests. When we were on the search for great food in Northern Michigan we were taken directly to Epicure Catering. It was one of those examples of fate because when I found the most amazing catering company, I also found the beautiful white barn I had been dreaming of!
While I had been dreaming of my wedding my entire life, my wedding at Cherry Basket Farm was above and beyond anything I had ever dreamed of!
What was the overall vibe and feel you wanted our guests to experience on the big day?
J.T. and I are both more casual people. We wanted the vibe to be low key, casual, and FUN!
What were the most important elements of the big day?
Once I confirmed my wedding date at Cherry Basket, immediately the most important element for my big day became the weather and the beautiful back drop and scenery for my guests. I love that our guests could walk around the grounds and see the gardens, kitchen, cherry orchards and all the other beauty surrounding the property. While it was raining the morning of our wedding, the sun came out around noon and it ended up being the most picture perfect day and into the evening for our wedding!!
What advice would you give to engaged couples as they move through the planning process?
Try not to take it so seriously, and just have fun. You only get one go at it all, and its over in a quick flash.
Also, if you’re getting married at Cherry Basket Farm you don’t need to fuss over the details, because you really don’t need much . They provide the fabulous venue and the fabulous food. All you need is your closest friends and family along with some great music and booze!
Want more intel? The vendor team from this wedding is listed at the bottom of this post. Thanks for stopping by! – CB
Venue: Cherry Basket Farm / Catering: Epicure Catering / Florist: Field of Flowers Farm- Christina Pfeufer / Entertainment: Blue Water Kings Band /Decor: DIY – BAR Sign, LOVE sign, chalkboards, Family Photos on the door / Transportation: By The Bay Transportation / Attire: Bride- Monique Lhuillier; Bridesmaids- Lulu Kate; Groom and Groomsmen- JosABank and Knotty Ties / Hair & Makeup: Bride Hair- Katherine Stuart; Bride and Bridesmaid Makeup- Kristyn Noelle Artistry; Bridesmaids Hair: Epiphany Salon / Paper Goods: (programs, menus, name cards): Hello Happy Print Co / Table Seating Chart: Charm Studio- Chicago / Videographer: Overneath Creative Collective
This is a time of year when many are making charitable contributions. There are so many established non-profits in our area that need support. I’ve chosen some reputable charities, and provided their mission as well as links to their websites below. If you are unfamiliar with the non-profit landscape in our area, I urge you to educate yourself about these organizations and the vital work they are doing.
I’ve mostly focused on issues that are in line with the values of Epicure. There are non-profits listed below which focus on fighting food insecurity, preserving farmland, and promoting green business practices. As there is great need, I’ve also included a few organizations which focus on support for families in need and aid for the homeless. This is by no means an exhaustive list of non-profits in our area…the need is great, and this post is just an attempt to ask you to give what you can, when you can. -cb
The mission of Food Rescue of Northwest Michigan is the collection and distribution of soon-to-expire fresh foods and beverages from available sources (e.g., grocery stores, restaurants, caterers, bakeries, etc.) to people in need through the area’s food pantries, shelters and community meals programs.
Noteworthy: $10 can provide up to 50 meals for those in need. Last year, Food Rescue rescued and distributed the equivalent over 1,000,000 meals that otherwise would have gone in the landfill.
NMCCA provides valuable services related to financial literacy, tax preparation, utilities assistance, and family self sufficiency, in addition to housing assistance, home repairs and food programs, including senior nutrition.
The mission of the Leelanau Christian Neighbors (LCN) is to serve residents of Leelanau County by providing food for the hungry and aiding those who have inadequate resources to respond to emergencies in their lives.
Noteworthy: Leelanau Christian Neighbors runs the food pantry, baby pantry, and the Blessings in a Backpack program in Leelanau County.
The mission of The Leelanau Conservancy focuses on “Conserving the land, water and scenic character of Leelanau County.”
Noteworthy: The Conservancy has preserved over 11,500 acres and created 24 Natural Areas for public enjoyment with more than 15 miles of hiking trails. Their latest project? The proposed 707-acre Palmer Woods Forest Reserve near Glen Arbor, slated to open in winter of 2016, which will have miles and miles of hiking and ski trails. The Conservancy has also worked with over 200 landowners to protect family farms and cherished private lands with legal agreements called conservation easements. These agreements restrict development and protect the land’s most important natural features.
The mission of Bay Area Recycling for Charities (BARC) is to further recycling activities in the communities we serve through service, education, and philanthropy. We envision zero-waste communities, where virtually everything is reused, repurposed, or recycled to better the environment and support local charities. Help us become a zero-waste community.
Noteworthy: Bay Area Recycling for Charities is excited to announce the Focus Green 2020 campaign to help the Grand Traverse region become the greenest community in Michigan by the year 2020. Focus Green envisions a network of zero-waste communities in our region, where we reduce what goes into landfills and as much as possible is reused, repurposed, recycled, or composted.
Pete’s Place: The purpose of Pete’s Place is to provide safe alternative shelter for youth in crisis, reunite and/or strengthen families, provide individual and family counseling, outreach, advocacy and referrals, enhance the lives of youth and families in crisis in our community by providing and advocating for services, and to provide opportunities for change that will lead to emotional and economic self sufficiency and positive participation in society.
Windfire: Third Level’s Windfire program’s mission includes the following : Inspire the creation of safe space for LGBTQ youth, empower adult mentors in schools to challenge harassment based on sexual or gender orientation, to remove obstacles which lead LGBTQ students to feel unsafe in their school environments and to developing a network of adult allies and mentors in the community to increase visibility and availability of the adult LBGTQ community to youth.
The mission of the Goodwill Inn Shelter is to provide safe, supportive shelter to homeless adults and families. We instill hope through service and compassion, offering guests a path to rebuilding their lives.
Noteworthy: The Goodwill Inn is the largest homeless shelter in Northwest Michigan.
At United Way of Northwest Michigan, our mission is to improve lives by connecting and mobilizing the caring power of communities in our region; Antrim, Benzie, Kalkaska, Leelanau and Grand Traverse counties, to advance the common good.
Noteworthy: All money donated stays in our 5 county area.
Dedicated to the preservation of the physical health and spiritual welfare of people experiencing homelessness, a primary goal of Safe Harbor is to offer food, shelter, and hope for guests staying in our shelter. As part of the Continuum of Care, we also focus on community partnerships in order to better collaborate on long-term solutions to ending homelessness in our region.
Noteworthy: 23 area churches participate and a nightly average of 64 individuals are expected over the season spanning from November through April.
It’s been a bit of a whirlwind summer – sorry for the radio silence on the blog! We’ve had an outstanding season of events https://www.acheterviagrafr24.com/viagra-pour-homme/ with an even more fantastic team than we could have ever imagined. Their diligence, and hard work and invaluable feedback is what makes Epicure a success. I have never been more proud of our food and service than I am now, winding down our 13th season. We’re looking towards 2016 and feeling stellar about the future.
On that note, we just spruced up the site (thank you, Wild Measure!) with new content for your viewing pleasure. There are fresh images, a revised aerial map, and expanded focus on the bios of our team. We’ll be posting new wedding albums as the images from this summer’s weddings come in, as well. In the meantime, please check out the work of some of the fabulous photographers who have honored us by sharing their images of our work and venue: Amy Carroll, Jen Kroll, Tec Petaja, Michelle March, and Cory Weber, to name just a few.
We also had the pleasure of spending some time this summer with EE Berger, a talented Detroit-based editorial photographer. Her images from the kitchen are below. I love seeing Andy, Gabe and Mickey in action. You’ll see more of her work on our blog in the coming months.
Thanks for stopping by, we appreciate your interest in our team, our food and our venue.
This is the fourth and final post in a series about my recent trip to Mexico. Catching up, slowing down, cultural immersion, and time in the sun all proved long overdue and much needed. It goes without saying that food was a big part of the travels, too…
For the last leg of our trip, we opted to stay in a hip, up-and-coming neighborhood in Mexico City called Hipódromo. Funky and eclectic with tons of Art Deco architecture, Hipódromo has a completely different vibe than Coyoacán. Street art, lovely boulevards and a mix of upscale and low-brow (I mean that as a compliment!) made this neighborhood great for exploring. Nearby neighborhoods of Condesa and Roma also had great spots to explore on foot. Roma Market is a modern collection of vendors of artisanal cheese, tea, spices, charcuterie and chocolate shoe-horned among delicious food stalls with everything from sushi to contemporary Mexican fare, all under one roof. Only a quick jaunt away is the super traditional Mercado Medellín, which has every kind of produce, meat, floral, housewares and hardware item you could imagine, in addition to an amazing piñata collection and my favorite street snack, fresh fruit with chili and lime. This is the essence of Mexico City to me…the seamless blending of old and new, side by side. Cultural traditions are maintained, honored and revered, while the younger generation bring in urban influences from all over the globe.
Next on the list was a trip the the insanely mind bending Museo Nacional de Antropologiá. By far the coolest museum I have ever visited, the route through the Museo essentially starts with the Pre-Columbian Aztec codices and winds through time, moving closer to modern day as you make your way through the museum. The collection is absolutely unparalleled, and laid out in such a way that it easily digestible in it’s enormity. In addition to full scale replicas of temples and murals, all the galleries open to gardens, which have sculptures that coincide with the particular gallery. For example, one has a scale model of the ancient Aztec capital of Teotihuacan made of concrete in the center of the garden. All these gardens connect, as well, so essentially you could walk the whole perimeter of the museum, moving through a different gardens. Between the layout and scale of the collection and the brilliant architecture of the building itself (by Mexican architect Pedro Ramírez Vásquez), this is a do not miss!
All that history makes one hungry. Taking the recommendation of friend, we opted to eat at Quintonil. The food was sublime, with my favorite item being an unexpectedly delicious loaf of freshly baked wheat bread with peanuts, served with huitlacoche butter. The smoked marlin was also lovely, and I love cactus anything so the sorbet was a high note as well. We paired it with a Mexican rosé.
The following day was spent in the Historic District. We started in the most logical place, the zocalo, and wandered around from there, hitting all the important stops: notable churro and pastry shops, and of course, more markets.
The Palace of Belle Arts was a must on our list as well. With it’s stunning art nouveau exterior and jaw-dropping deco interior, the palace does not disappoint.
Clearly we like museums. Another one we opted to visit (you could literally visit a different museum every day for a month in Mexico City…it’s hard to choose!) was Museo Soumaya, which was built to house the private collection of one man- Carlos Slim. The collection has everything from renaissance works by Da Vinci and Botticelli to the impressionist through avant-garde gallery, full of works by Manet, Monet, Renoir, Degas, Pissarro, Van Gogh, Vlaminck, Chagall and Miró. The crown jewel is the collection on the top floor, comprised mostly of Rodin and Dali sculptures, among others.
For our last night in Mexico City, we opted to dine at a restaurant we could walk to easily from our place. There were many, but we chose MeroToro, which was a restaurant that focused on the cuisine of Baja, California. The first item we tried was “Vuelve a la vida de maíz criollo con leche de tigre,” which loosely translates to “dried corn brought back to life with tiger’s milk”…which wasn’t much help in figuring out the flavor profile. I had to look it up, of course. Tiger’s milk is essentially run off from ceviche, so although this dish didn’t have fish, per se, it had a lovely acid-forward fishy flavor and was super clean on the palate. A salad, braised iberico jowl with poached egg, and crunchy lamb with charred onions all followed. The finale was coconut wanna cotta with blood orange granita. It was the perfect way to end the night, and the trip.
So many adventures. Thanks for sticking with me through the mega post. Travel season is over and catering season is upon us….more to come from the Epicure Kitchen in the coming months.
This is the third in a series of posts about my recent trip to Mexico. The first week was spent at a yoga camp with some girlfriends and another ten days was spent traveling with my sister in and around Mexico City. Catching up, slowing down, cultural immersion, and time in the sun all proved long overdue and much needed. It goes without saying that food was a big part of the travels, too…
Puebla is about an hour and a half southeast of Mexico City, but seems to be off the beaten path of many travellers. The fifth larest city in Mexico, with 7 million residents, Puebla is indeed a major commerce hub, although you would never know it once you are in the Centro Historico. Founded in the early colonial era, it is one of the few cities in Mexico not built on an existing native community. Its beautifully preserved downtown features early colonial architecure in all its glory, and cialis generique has been designated a world heritage site by the United Nations. Ornate churches, palaces and ex-convents are all throughout the Centro Historico, many adorned with Puebla’s distinct signature, Talavera tile. It also has the prettiest zocalo of any of the towns I visited in Mexico.
I haven’t even gotten to the food…oh the food! Puebla is a culinary hub and the birthplace of mole. The signature of the region is Mole Poblano, which is made from a base of dried chilis, nuts, herbs, cinnamon and chocolate. Pipián Verde and Pipián Rojo, which have a bit cleaner flavor are made with a base of tomatillos or tomatoes, respectively, onion, fresh chilis, pumpkin seeds and bread. Then there are the robustly flavored Mancha manteles (which is actually Oaxacan in origin, and contains fruit, such as pineapple), and Adobo, which commonly contains orange juice and Achiote paste (also called annatto). Let us not forget that more stew-like incarnations like Mole de Panza (menudo) and Mole de Olla (deep meaty broth fortified with herbs, chilis and cactus or tomatillos and served with fresh vegetables) can all be found here, among others. It is an absolute joy to walk through the markets and see and smell the moles simmering away in huge cazuelas, the traditional earthenware cookware with handles. It is truly a feast for the senses.
So the moles are one thing… but we must not forget the cemitas. Cemitas are tortas, or sandwiches, which are served on an sesame bun and piled high with carnitas, quesillo (string cheese) salsa rosa, avocados, onions and an herb called pápalo. Unfortunately I don’t have photos of a cemita because we ate it before it was captured! Ha, typical. Palenquetas, pozole and tamales were all part of our rounds.
Like many towns in Mexico, Puebla has a craft for which it is known…Talavera tile. Talvera pottery can only come from Puebla or a few neighboring towns, because of a specific type of clay found here. Traditional production methods go back to the 16th century, when the craft was originally brought here by the Spanish. This pottery has been woven into the fabric of daily life, appearing on building facades, in market stalls, and on the tables in many restaurants.
One of my favorite things to do when visiting a new city it to set out for a long walk with a relatively far away destination and no plan, stopping anywhere that looks interesting. The images below are from our walks.
One fantastic side trip from Puebla that I highly recommend is Cantona. Cantona is a Mesoamerican archaeological site about 2 hours from Puebla. It has only been about 10% excavated, which is a mind bending statistic once you are there, given it’s size. It is unique in that there is no mortar used in the construction. It also must be stated that we were one of about three groups visiting the entire site, which made it that much more surreal and breathtaking. I also thought that the dichotomy between the bus station we left from and the one we arrived into was worth documenting. More to come next week, if you’ve made it this far, I owe you a “thank you” !
This is the second in a series of posts about my recent trip to Mexico. The first week was spent at a yoga camp with some girlfriends and another ten days was spent traveling with my sister in and around Mexico City. Catching up, slowing down, cultural immersion, and time in the sun all proved long overdue and much needed. It goes without saying that food was a big part of the travels, too…
After spending the better part of an hour trying to find one another in the Mexico City airport (hardest part of our trip, frankly!), we arrived in lovely Coyoacán on a Saturday evening. As soon as we arrived at our air b n b and met up with our host, we dropped our bags and headed our to stretch our legs and take in the atmosphere.
Cortés used this area as a base of operations during his conquest of the Aztecs in the 1500’s. Many of the narrow streets of modern Coyoacán still maintain their colonial architecture, plazas, churches and gardens. Its own municipality until the 1850’s, Coyoacán is now one of the 16 boroughs of Mexico City.
We walked to Plaza Hidalgo & Jardín Centenario, which is the main zocalo for the town, anchored by the beautiful Iglesia San Juan Bautista. The plaza was alive with couples on date night, families out for a stroll, street vendors, organ grinders and musicians. After a cocktail and a snack, we tucked in for a solid night of rest before our first full day.
Our only real agenda was a visit to Casa Azul, also known as the Museo Frida Kahlo. After a quick breakfast of Eggs La Michoacana (in a rich tomato and chili based broth, served with a generous amount of queso fresco and topped with avocado), we were on our way. Many of our guidebooks and suggestions from friends said there there would be a long wait so we planned to arrive right before the museum opened. It proved to be a great call.
Casa Azul was the house where Mexican painter Frida Kahlo was born, raised and eventually lived in with her husband, Diego Rivera, who was also a Mexican painter known for his murals. Their lives and art are absolutely fascinating…both were revolutionaries and are beloved by the Mexican people. Having the opportunity to visit their home and learn more about their upbringings and political beliefs was really interesting and insightful. Her self portraits are so iconic but my sister and I were both really taken with her still lifes (and of course, the kitchen).
Frida passed before Diego, who mandated the bathrooms in their home to be sealed off until 15 years after his death (1957). The woman who took over the estate left the rooms sealed and never opened them before her death (2002). The museum finally opened the rooms in 2004 to reveal all of Frida’s wardrobe, personal affects, and correspondence, among other things. There was a fabulous collection of Frida’s clothing, curated by Vogue, while I was there… it was stunning. You can read more about Frida and her wardrobe here.
After the visit to Casa Azul, we walked from Frida’s to the main zocalo. Cinnamon from churros and fresh cookies baking, coffee roasting, adobo and roast pork made for a heady mix of smells.
After a trip the the craft market, which had booths offering everything. Piercings, tattoos and dreadlocks, huilaches (oaxacan shirt and dresses), silver pieces and Talavera pottery were all available. Coming up empty handed, we decided that some ice cream was in order. The best ice cream in Coyoacán is on the zocalo, called Helados Siberia. I opted for the nuez de macadamia- Macadamia Nut, while Jen went for the Maracuyá – passion fruit.
We really just spend tons of time walking around and checking out the architecture in Coyoacán. This little church, Iglesia La Conchita, was right by our place and was one of the first churches in Mexico City. The relief work, the paint jobs and the plant life combine to make this city very enchanting.
Just off the square on Calle Higuera is the Mercado de Antojitos. The mercado is a grouping of food stalls, about a dozen in total, selling everything from elotes to tacos, pozole and quesadillas. We got a tip about the fried quesedillas at booth number 14. 14 is my lucky number, so of course I took it as a sign that these quesdillas and I were meant to be together. There were many offerings, from panza (belly), sesos (brains) and requeson (cottage cheese) to huitlacoche(corn fungus), chicharrones (pork skin, slow braised then ground in this instance) and frijoles y queso (beans with cheese), which are the three flavors we opted for. Made by hand, right in front of us, then fried, these were packets of pure joy. They were served with crema, salsas rojo and verde, which you could add yourself in any quantity. We also opted for a glass bottle coke as an accompaniment. So tasty!
Evenings were spent strolling around. One of those happy accidents was finding the Cultural Center Elena Garro. This cultural center was built on the site of a colonial estate, where the facade still stands inside the bookstore. The cultural center also has a large courtyard and garden, cafeteria and offices.
All in all, our stay in Coyoacán was fantastic. We averaged about 8 miles a day on foot, just taking in the sights. Side trips to San Angel and Xochimilco were nice little respites and provided an opportunity to see more of this dynamic city. If you love architecture, mexican food, practicing your spanish, Frida & Diego and proximity to fantastic side trips, then Coyaocán is for you.
This is the first of a series of posts about my recent trip to Mexico. The first week was spent at a yoga camp with some girlfriends and another ten days was spent traveling with my sister. Catching up, slowing down, cultural immersion, and time in the sun all proved long overdue and much needed. It goes without saying that food was a big part of the travels, too…
Rare trips where you get to spend time with an old friend are such a gift. I’ve known my friend Kate for over 20 years, and we rarely get to see one another but when we do it’s like we haven’t skipped a beat. As if that wasn’t enough amazingness to absorb, we had a third, Danielle, who Kate has known forever but I had never met…what a gem!
We were at a small yoga retreat on the beach in Troncones, which is about 30 minutes by car from Zihuatenejo, in the state of Guerrero. Kate (an interior designer) and Danielle (an attorney) both own their own businesses, like I do. We were all desperate to carve out some time where we could focus on ourselves and simply not have obligations or a schedule. A much needed regroup, if you will, in a beautiful setting and with great friends.
The food, staff, grounds and architecture at our place were fantastic, and other than a day trip to Zihuatenejo, we stayed in our small resort. Being in one place was important…usually when I travel I really push to see as much as I can (which I love), but it was so nice to be able to widen the scope and let my head fill with dreams and loves and ideas…or nothing. Nowhere to go, no phone calls, no meetings…just letting the days unfold as they may.
Days were spent meditating (not my strong suit, but I’m learning), doing yoga (on what might be the most beautiful and peaceful yoga platform ever), and simply sitting on the beach while watching the birds. Egrets, pelicans, turns, cranes, and gulls put on a real show. We also indulged in bodywork with some of the best practitioners I’ve ever experienced. Swimming, walking, reading, and napping were also high on the priority list.
Nights were spent catching up, chatting, and enjoying healthy meals of locally caught seafood. We may have even enjoyed a few drinks.
I could get more into specifics (which I will do on subsequent posts…) but to be honest with you, I didn’t write down any notes. Enjoyed for the sake of enjoyment and nothing else, the week in Troncones was a gift. I hope you have a chance to carve out time to do the same. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones. xox
Morgan & Justin’s Cherry Basket Farm wedding was picture perfect! Lovely weather, handmade details and a family of musicians all made this a day to remember. Enjoy these beautiful images by the fantastic team at Weber Photography.
Brit & Phil’s Cherry Basket Farm wedding was a show stopper! We had brief torrential downpours and ample sunshine which made for some beautiful and dramatic light. A good time was had by all! All the photos you see here were captured by the brilliant Amy Carroll of Amy Carroll Photography. You can
As you may know, Epicure is one of the founding members of Simply Blue Weddings, which is an online resource for engaged couples looking to Northern Michigan as a destination wedding location. We recently approached Rachel Moger of Sincerely Ginger about taking over the site. Read more about the transition below.
The end of one year and the beginning of a new is a time of transition, taking stock, and reflection. It is a time for fresh starts and new beginnings. Gratitude abounds.
Gratitude, indeed. When we started Simply Blue Weddings in 2010, none of us ever imagined the path our journey would take. We spent hours and hours pouring ourselves into the design, content and functionality of the site. We wanted to curate something beautiful and helpful- it was our intention to build an online space to connect engaged couples planning their weddings in Northern Michigan with all of the amazing, service oriented vendors of the region. We felt the work being produced here by local event industry leaders was on par with nationally recognized vendors in well-known destination locations. All the elements were in place- we had a consortium of the best local talent, endless natural beauty and locations, and a growing national recognition of Northern Michigan as a sought after destination for weddings. All we needed was a well-designed, cohesive space to connect engaged couples to the magic that is Northern Michigan. These vendors- and this region- needed to be showcased to a broader otras alternativas al viagra audience.
As with all small business ventures, we have had missteps and mistakes, heartbreak and home runs. It has been quite the ride but one that brought much more than digital code and pretty pictures. We have met so many great people though the years as the website and local wedding industry matured simultaneously. As the demands of Simply Blue grew, so too did the demands of our individual businesses- A Day in May Events, Weber Photography and Epicure Catering & Cherry Basket Farm. We have learned so much from this process, and from one another, but it is time to pass the torch. It became pretty apparent within the last year that Simply Blue needed (and quite frankly, deserved!) a fresh start, one that would come from someone who could give more to the beliefs and core that Simply Blue Weddings stands for than the three of us could.
But who would this person be? It was a tall order. This person needed to have a trained eye for design , be familiar with the local wedding scene, and be a skilled writer and blogger. Above all else this person had to be a self-starter and possess a strong work ethic. We were looking for someone to honor the work and the original intention of the site, but who could take it to the next level and make it even better for engaged couples by making it their own? Enter Rachel Moger of Sincerely, Ginger Weddings.
We are thrilled to introduce Rachel to you as the new owner and creative director of Simply Blue Weddings. One look at Rachel’s background will illustrate why she was a natural choice for the job: she has a degree in Business Administration and Entrepreneurship, runs her own successful planning company and blog, and her event design and styling work has been recognized by national industry leaders. But that is all on paper. Once you meet her in person, you realize that this beautiful, bubbly and always smiling woman values what is truly important – personal relationships, collaboration and drawing inspiration from her surroundings. She possesses what we as founders feel is essential to the long term success of Simply Blue- an inherent and deep love for Northern Michigan and it’s people, and a desire to help elevate the local wedding industry to recognition on a national level. We could not be more excited that Rachel and her team will usher Simply Blue into a new era with fresh eyes and fresh ideas!
Gratitude, Indeed, yes. We could not be more grateful for the journey and the opportunity for new beginnings. We are so proud of the relationships we have built and the knowledge that the collaborative spirit with which SBW was founded will continue under the direction of Rachel and Margaret at Sincerely Ginger Weddings.
During this pre-Christmas week, I find myself so grateful for the support we have received as small business owners from the community, our staff, vendors and clients over the past 12 years. I recognize the magnitude of this support and am humbled by it. Although it is very difficult, I try to keep quiet and under-scheduled this time of year, in an attempt to create space for reflection. I remind myself that the support of family and friends means everything and I renew my intention to convey to them how much they mean to me.
Part of this reflection leads me to recognize as well that the holidays can be a very challenging time for many people, for various reasons. I’m sending love and light to those who struggle during this time, may you find peace and support.
How are you spending your holidays? What are you grateful for?
I recently had a chance to sit down with The Yellow Table Cookbook by Anna Watson Carl. WOW! In addition to being a sweet friend and wonderful person to collaborate with, Anna is a private chef, NYC based food writer, and Author of The Yellow Table Blog.
There a lot of things that are remarkable about how this book was created. Once Anna made the decision to write the book, there was no stopping her! She developed and tested over 100 recipes for the book in 100 days, documenting the process in her series The Cookbook Diaries. All the action, from recipe development and testing to the shooting of the book itself, took place in Anna’s 6th floor walk up. That element certainly added another layer of logistics to an already ambitious project.
As the project progressed, so too did the level of collaboration. Of course Anna’a husband Brandon was on board from the start as the Chief Advisor, but by the end, Sommelier Jean-Luc lu Dû, Designer Dana Tanamachi-Williams, Photographer Eric Ryan Anderson, Photographer Nate Poekert, Designer Katie King Rumford, and Editor Lauren Salkeld would all have a hand in the project. Also in on the project was Danish born, NYC based food-photographer Signe Birck, who shot all the recipes for the book using natural light in Anna’s apartment. The images are honest and beautiful. Anna lovingly and humbly refers to the book as a “community -sourced endeavor”. Indeed!
All the elements were in play- tasty (and tested!), well-written recipes, thoughtful images, fab design, delicious wine pairings. Now the tough part: how to pay for the book?
Anna launched a Kickstarter campaign last June, and organized a cross-country road trip with dinner parties in 8 cities, collaborating with other bloggers to co-host each gathering and help promote her book project on their blogs. She partnered with several large brands as well: Volkswagen lent her a car and Whole Foods donated all of the groceries and wine for the parties. Not only was the trip an amazing experience, but Anna went above and beyond her goal, pre-selling nearly 2,000 books and raising $66,000 in 6 weeks, which covered the costs of the first print run.
Ambitious, right? Again, wow! All the hard work paid off – the book itself is gorgeous. The recipes are well written and well tested, using easy to source ingredients. Lovely photography and hand-drawn illustrations, as well as wine pairings, accompany the recipes. The photos and design are fantastic! Every ounce of effort that went into this book is evident, right down to the hard cover, paper choice and printing (printed in the USA- somewhat of a rarity in today’s cookbook market!).
I am so proud of Anna for this accomplishment. It was amazing to watch the project unfold, and I am completely inspired by the story of how this book came to life. It is truly wonderful to see someone take a dream and turn it into a reality though hard work, dedication, and collaboration. I highly recommend adding the book to your collection, or giving it as a gift to your favorite cook. Bravo, Anna and crew for a delicious triumph!
You can order The Yellow Table cookbook online here.
All Photos by Signe Birck except the one immediately above, by Nate Poekert.
There will be heavy stationary appetizers, pairings of grilled wild game bites and Stormcloud brews, live music (Bluegrass Association…yay!) and of https://www.acheterviagrafr24.com/sildenafil-100-mg-ligne-vidal/ course plenty of lively conversation. You don’t want to miss this one…last chance for Epicure food for 2014.
As you may know…we love to collaborate with other local businesses, and offering pop-up dinners is one of our favorite ways to join forces. The Clean Plate Club Vegan Dinner was one of those glorious collaborations. We teamed up with the fantastic folks at The Little Fleet and At Home to bring the Clean Plate Club to the table. Gary Jonas, the owner of The Little Fleet, expressed interest in offering a vegan dinner. Most of the pop up dinners in our area are more focused on appealing to the to carnivores of the region. We felt the vegans needed their own pop-up, and what better time to offer it than during harvest?
I approached the design team at At Home with a rough skeleton of an idea for decor and let them take it from there. The vintage wallpaper table runners were the design impetus for the tabletop, and the team at At Home chose to keep it clean and fresh with mixed white planters and greenery. Modern votives provided some warmth and additional decor elements. The clean, simple palette allowed the focus to remain on the food.
Epicure Catering & The Little Fleet present
The Clean Plate Club
Red popcorn with fennel pollen and nutritional yeast
Vegan terrine of celery cabbage, butternut squash, porcini mushroom, red pepper, caramelized onions and garlic aioli
Beet salad with field greens, rainbow sprouts and Pressmeister smoked peanut oil
Squash involtini with bulgar, barley, tofu, peppadew peppers and herbs with roasted heirloom tomato sauce
Brûléed peach with Pressmeister poppy meal and cashew cream
Today is an exciting day (aren’t they all?)! Today is the release date for America: Farm to Table, written by Mario Batali and Jim Webster. There may be some local farmers and cooks from Leelanau County highlighted…like Bardenhagen Farms and Epicure! The book features chefs and farmers from across the country as well as essays and over 100 recipes. Find more details, including where to purchase, below.
AMERICA — FARM TO TABLE: Simple, Delicious Recipes Celebrating Local Farmers
Mario Batali, who knows the importance of ingredients to any amazing dish, sees farmers as the rock stars of the food world. In this new book he celebrates American farmers: their high quality products and their culture defined by hard work, integrity, and pride. Batali asked his chef friends from Nashville, Tennessee, to San Francisco, to tell him who their favorite farmers were, and those farmers graciously shared their personal stories along with their top-of-the-line produce and products.
In Seattle, Chef Matt Dillon introduces readers to Farmer Pierre Monnat, who produces fava beans and lamb. Batali then features those ingredients in such mouth-watering recipes as: Lamb Shank Sloppy Joes and Fava Bean Guacamole. In Washington, DC, Chef Jose Andres from Jaleo introduces us to Farmer Jim Crawford, who grows corn, broccoli, and strawberries Batali’s accompanying dishes include: Chilled Sweet Corn Soup and Grilled Salmon with Strawberry Salsa. Other stops along the way include: Tampa; Austin; Nashville; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; New York, San Francisco; Portland, Maine; Chicago; Cleveland; Suttons Bay, Michigan; and Vail, Colorado. With over 100 superb recipes, this is the book that every home cook will want upon returning from the farmer’s market or grocers.
About the Author
Mario Batali counts 24 restaurants, nine cookbooks, nurmerous television shows and the 50,000-square-foot Eataly marketplace among his ever-expanding empire of deliciousness. Mario and his business partner, Joe Bastianich, recently opened B&B Burger&Beer in The Venetian Hotel & Casino, their fourth restaurant in las Vegas. Mario is also the author of nine cookbooks including the James Beard Award Winning Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes (Ecco 2005); and Molto Batali: Simple Family Meals from my Home to Yours (Ecco 2011). Mario appears 3 times a week on ABC’s “The Chew,” a daytime talk show that celebrates and explores life through food.
Jim Webster is a newspaper copy editor, writer, blogger, culinary tourist and amateur caterer. He works at The Washington Post and has worked at the Miami Herald and St. Petersburg Times.
One of my favorite things to do every fall is visit Kilcherman’s Christmas Cove Farm.
The Kilcherman Family grows well over 200 varieties of apples on their farm near Northport, MI on the Leelanau Peninsula. Many of the varieties grown are from antique seeds which are no longer available in most orchards or in the market-some of the varieties grown on the farm date from the 1600’s. Through extensive research and a collection of rare books, journals and publications on the subject, the Kilcherman’s have become a treasure much like the varieties they lovingly cultivate. Rhode Island Greening, Salt Shaker Apple, Winter Banana and Old Fashioned Snow Apple are a few of the many varieties you will find. The farm has been honored with an award of merit by the Historical Society of Michigan, featured in the New York Times, and commended by Governor Engler for their contributions to Michigan history. In addition to antique varieties, the farm also specializes in modern varieties.
Visiting the farm market is fascinating. There are apples upon apples laid out in quart containers on long tables. All are labeled with a brief history of the variety, as well as the best use for the apple- baking, frying, eating out of hand, food pairings, etc. If you are as interested in food as I am, you will appreciate from an educational standpoint the amount of care and time it took to research, grow, and present these apples.
In addition to close to 240 varieties of apples, the farm also boasts a collection of over 10,000 antique pop bottles. The silk screened labels and the glass bottles themselves are each a piece of art from years past. They are alphabetized by title, which makes looking for your favorite varieties from years past easier to find.
But my favorite part of visiting the farm is the icy cold cider. Upon checking out, I asked “do you have any cider today?” Andrea Kilcherman replied with a smile “yes, it was pressed this morning”… music to my ears! All these varieties combine in the press to make a unique tasting and utterly delicious cider.
Next time you are in the area, I highly recommend a visit to the farm- it is genuine Michigan-and you won’t be disappointed.
I’ve been working with the brains and beauty that is Alicia Caldecott (owner, A Day in May, Event Planning & Design) for close to a decade. And for the sake of full disclosure, I am one of her partners in a side project called Simply Blue Weddings. Dynamic, spunky, smart and fun, she is implementing event designs in Northern Michigan which are unique in the truest sense of the word, and have been recognized by top leaders in the event industry. Catering these events always challenges our tiny company in a way that simply doesn’t happen in our normal scope of work. I love her for trusting us with her vision and truly appreciate the sweet clients who value her experience in creating an unbelievable experience for the guest.
Kim and Mark are some of those sweet clients. After attending sixteen ( ! ) weddings in one year, they longed for something different for their own big day. Their courtship involved lingering over many memorable meals with fantastic conversation, fine food and wine. Dining out was one of their favorite things to do with one another, so this was the key element Alicia focused on when designing the dining experience for their wedding.
Have you ever seen a dining tent with an open, restaurant style kitchen? Me neither! When Alicia shared the concept with me about a year before the event, I was blown away. It was brilliant! We worked closely with the team at A Day in May Events to communicate our needs in terms of kitchen space and functionality. As the dining tent was surrounded by mature hardwoods on all sides, the guests were immersed in an experience with all the amenities and vibe of a fine dining restaurant, with all the natural beauty that Northern Michigan has to offer. It was the best of all worlds rolled into one. The menu was designed to maximize the time the guests were seated, encouraging conversation over fine food and drink, just as Kim and Mark intended.
We come into contact with a lot of amazingly talented and creative people in this industry. Alicia is a standout – a gift! – and one I am thankful for every day. Her designs are innovative and logistically very difficult yet executed with seemingly effortless precision. I don’t tell her enough how she blows me away with the experiences she creates for the guests, which is the ultimate test of those of us in the hospitality industry. So…thank you Alicia for all you do, and thank you for including us on the wild ride. Cheers! xo
Carlsons smoked whitefish in a cucumber roll with fresh dill and horseradish creme fraiche
Crostini trio with country pate, aged raclette with local fava bean puree, heirloom tomato and herb mash
Local rabbit braised in shiitake sherry cream wrapped in puff pastry
Grassfields Gouda, Zingerman’s Manchester, and Wisconsin buttermilk blue with
local produce, honey, candied nuts, and compotes
Poached, marinated Lake Superior Walleye served cold with pine nuts, pink peppercorns and green onion- parsley oil, served with rose pesto crostini
Local grilled apricots, Leelanau Cheese Fromage Blanc, pistachios, mint/basil vinaigrette
Local rolls and fennel honey
Leelanau Cheese Fromage Blanc ravioli with black pepper with heirloom tomato brodo and microgreens
Braised local beef shanks with morel risotto, local green beans
House made trifle with lemon sponge cake, local maple whipped cream, mixed fresh berries
Pie station with locally made strawberry-rhubarb, cherry and mixed berry pies
Venue & catering: Cherry Basket Farm / Wedding cake & desserts: Chimoski Bakery / Vintage furniture rental: Fancy Fray / Flowers: Bridesmaids arranged all floral, flowers from Fifty Flowers / Wedding ceremony dress: 1930s from DearGolden / Reception dress: 1950s from Lived In/ Reception Belt: Bhldn / Shoes: Anthropologie / Photography: Michelle March Photography / Custom wedding bands & bridesmaids bracelets: Dallas Maynard / From the bride: “Veil: I found a vintage fascinator in a $1 bin at a rummage sale in Missoula, MT several years ago & knew I wanted to have it made into my wedding veil. My friend Sarah from http://www.lostgirlsvintage.com went to school for hat design & made into my dream veil!”/ Grooms carbon fiber & wood wedding band: Hersteller ./ Brides engagement ring: http://www.agelessheirlooms.com / Ring box: End Grain Wood Shop / Vintage stamps: Darlingone Custom wedding invitations & guest book: https://www.etsy.com/people/ellothere / Grooms suit: Brooks Brothers / Groomsman suspenders: SunMark Studios / Groomsman bow ties & ties: Fox & Brie / Cake topper & bride/groom signs: First Snow Fall / Tie clip: Spiffing Jewelry / Videographer: Lonetree Productions / Pine tree favors: GreenWorldProject / Officiant: Kelly Lambert email@example.com DJ: Eternal Entertainment Group / Bagpipes: Jack Fellows firstname.lastname@example.org
The long days of summer are about being outside and eating fantastic peak season food. We combined both for a summer supper at Chetonka, the home of a dear friend on Lake Michigan. Our favorite part of cooking at Chetonka is the out-of this world outdoor kitchen designed by owner and skilled cook Michael Chetcuti. The kitchen not only has an amazing view of Lake Michigan, but features an imported Italian wood fired oven, Grillworks grill and an Evo grill, in addition to burners, ample counter space and a sink. There is nothing the kitchen can’t handle! Did I mention this kitchen has an amazing lake view? It’s the little things, like being outside and cooking with your friends. Bon Appetit!
We’d like to thank our friends over at Wild Measure for the images.
Local cheese board with house made local pickled vegetables and condiments
Grilled local stone fruit with Leelanau Cheese Fromage Blanc and mint
Beef tenderloin braciole with breadcrumbs, parsley, salami toscana,and scamorza
Gigante bean, kale and plum salad with champagne plum vinaigrette
Summer vegetable ratatouille
Heirloom tomato salad with coppa, aged local goat cheese, basil and balsamic
Location: Cherry Basket Farm, Omena, MI / Accommodations: Grand Traverse Resort and Spa / Cakes & Desserts: Celebrations Cake Design and Epicure Catering / Décor: Etsy / Entertainment & DJ: DJ Dave and Tony G Productions (friend of the Bride and Groom) / Fashion: Handmade bridal gown by Mignonette Bridal (Chicago, IL), Groom’s suit by Banana Republic / Florist:Field of Flowers Farm / Hair & Makeup: Hair by Michelle at Salon Elan Vital, and make-up by the Bride / Officiant: Father of close friend of the Bride / Photographer: Alicia Magnuson of Alicia Magnuson Photography / Rehearsal Dinner Location: Paesano’s Pizza (Traverse City) / Stationer: Wedding Paper Divas / Transportation: Arranged by Wedding Planning staff at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa / Videographer: Filip Kojic of Studio Q Productions (Chicago, IL) / Dance lessons provided by Ballroom Dance Chicago
Every once in a great while, we like to put up a recipe- like this one for spicy carrot ribbons. We grow carrots right here on the farm, so making any that we can’t eat fresh into these spicy carrot ribbons is a great way to preserve them for later use. When catering, we often serve these with cheese displays, but I really like them on burgers or tacos.
For the brine:
5 cup water
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup white vinegar
4 T kosher salt
1 T sugar
1. 5 – 2 pounds fresh carrots, washed and cut into ribbons with the peeler on a box grater
4 jalapeños, halved (seeded if you want less spicy pickles)
4 bay leaves
4 cloves garlic
2 T red chili flake
Sterilize (4) 1 quart canning jars by running them through the dish machine or boiling them in water. Meanwhile, boil vinegar and water with salt and sugar to make the brine. Pack ribboned carrots with the aromatics into the warm jars. Pour the hot brine over carrots, seal, and turn upside down overnight or until cool. Store in refrigerator for 3 months. These are ready to eat in just a few days!
Accommodations: Leelanau Sands Casino, www. VRBO.com / Pie: Grand Traverse Pie Company/ Floral & Decor: Field of Flowers Farm / Invitations: Rock, Paper Scissors / Golf Outting: The Leelanau Club at Bahle Farms / Rehearsal Dinner Location: Gill’s Pier Winery / Rehearsal Dinner Pig Roast Caterer: Ebels General Store / Beauty: Pavlova Salon / Officiant: Daniel Richards, Grace Episcopal Church / Ceremony & Reception Venue: Cherry Basket Farm / Catering: Epicure Catering / Photography: Weber Photography / Transportation: By The Bay/ Michigan Food and Beverage: MI Beers: Bell’s Brewery, Founders All-Day IPA MI Wines: Black Star Farms, Chateau Grand Traverse, French Valley Vineyard, Bel Lago MI Bubbles: L. Mawby Cocktails: Thatcher’s Organic Vodka, Thatcher’s Organic Liqueurs, Journeyman Distillery Bourbons.
Salt packed walleye is a relatively simple preparation. Essentially, whole Lake Michigan walleye are stuffed with aromatics and baked in a salt cocoon. The preparation yields flavorful, tender flesh which we’ve opted to serve with garden herb chimichurri. I’ve added captions to walk you through the process.
Andy decided to stuff the fish with fennel from the garden at Cherry Basket as well as lemons. Dry the inside of the cavity, and pepper liberally prior to adding the herbs and citrus.
Combine salt (3 parts), flour (1 part) and water to create a dry paste. Make a bed of the mixture on your baking pan, then pack the fish on all sides with the mixture. Andy orients the fish upright so they cook evenly. Take care not to make the cocoon too thick, aim for about 1/2 inch-1 inch. Completely encasing the fish will keep the steam from escaping, but if the crust is too thick the fish won’t cook properly. We opted to use our in-ground oven, but you could certainly use a residential oven. This hardwood fire was burning for hours to make a nice deep coal bed. If cooking in your home oven, set it to 500 degrees. The fish is lowered into the pit, then covered. The fish is done when the cocoon is hard to the touch and has an internal temperature of 145 degrees.Let the fish rest for 10-15 minutes. The brown coloration is from the smoke in the pit; if using a home oven the cocoon will retain its white color. Crack open the cocoon with the back of a spatula, or a similar tool that won’t gouge the flesh in any way. Remove the cocoon in pieces until you can get to the meat. Put the fish on a platter and serve with your favorite pesto or condiment of choice. Put out a spread, pair with a dry white from Leelanau County and enjoy with friends!
“My husband and I met in culinary school, so what better way to celebrate our passion for food and love of Michgan than a farm to table wedding. Everything down to the alcohol was local. All of our vendors were truly amazing and created the most perfect day including the weather and sky!” – Sandy
Ceremony: St. Wenceslaus Church / Reception :Cherry Basket Farm / Accommodations / Grand Traverse Resort & Spa / Cakes & Desserts: Everything Gal / Rentals: American Rentals / Decor: Father of the Bride , Bride, family & friends and Etsy / Entertainment & DJ: Main Street Dueling Pianos / Fashion: Gown: Marisa Bridal, Earrings: Fire & Ice, Wedding Band: Achikian Jewlers, Bridesmaid Dresses:Light In The Box, Flower Girls:Nordstrom, Suits: Joseph A. Banks / Catering: Epicure Catering / Florist: Field of Flowers Farm / Hair & Makeup: Chicory Dodge and team at Style North Salon and Spa / Officiant: Father Zeljko Guberovic of St. Philip Neri / Photographer: Weber Photography / Rehearsal Dinner Location: Harbor 22 (Traverse City, MI) / Stationer: Arlene Lebowitz of Paper Talk US / Transportation: Crystal Limo Service and Blue Lakes Charter
I recently had the good fortune to enjoy a farm visit to Boss Mouse Cheese in Kingsley, MI. I met owner/cheesemaker Sue Kurta a while back and the more time I spend with her, the more I enjoy her company- plus anyone who offers me mid-day wine and snacks is kind of a hero. My dear friend Kristin, who also happens to be a cook and owner of K2 Edibles, joined me on the adventure.
Sue grew up in Detroit, and her pursuits led her to a career in corporate finance in New York City. After a number of years she longed for a change. As a home cheese maker for many years, Sue knew she wanted to take her cheesemaking to the next level. She moved back to Northern Michigan and bought a farm in Kingsley. Except for the help of her awesome parents, Mike and Margaret, she is a one-woman show. She produces about 100 pounds of cheese every week, and sources her milk exclusively from Moomers Creamery. Cheddar, montasio, Alpine-style swiss, havarti, parmesan, cheese curds- you name it. This woman likes to practice her craft, with delicious results.
Andy and I are very fortunate to work with amazing food artisans. I am so grateful to Sue for hosting me! You can learn more about Sue from her website. The best way to get your hands on some of Sue’s cheese is to find her at the Sara Hardy Farmers Market in downtown TC.
I’ve selected images from the day below (with narration, of course!), but there is a complete slideshow at the bottom of the post.
We began the day in the creamery. Once the milk and culture are heated to the correct temperature, vegetable rennet is added.
Sue has an 8 x 12 temperature and humidity controlled aging cave. We spent some time in the cave while the milk was heating in the kettle.
Just a little experiment, labeled “Yogurt Cheese WTF Wheel”.
Havarti and friends.Tasting the cheese is essential. Sue uses a tool called a cheese trier to remove a core from the wheel.Sue checks for aroma, flavor and texture, among other things. After she tastes, she replaces the rind end plug of the sample from the trier into the hole to prevent air from entering the cheese as it ages. A girl and her cheese. While the warm milk, cultures and rennet were doing their thing, we had a chance to wander the farm and have wine and snacks. Meet Rudy, aka Princess Hitler. Back in the creamery, the curd is ready to be cut. Sue tests the consistency with a custom tool her father made for her. Cutting the curd on a batch of sweet swiss.Once the curd is hand cut, Sue adds another Mike-made device, which is basically a motorized paddle mixer. Mixing with the paddle provides a consistent curd shape. This step takes a while, so we wandered off again… The plumbing seems to be the most sophisticated infrastructure in every creamery due to the heating, cooling, cleaning and sterilization that needs to occur during the cheese making process. Boss Mouse is no different. This is Sue’s trusty schematic. Time for a tour of the barn! One of the many casualties of our record winter here in northern Michigan was the functionality of Sue’s barn door. The Dukes of Hazzard method proved to be the most successful means of entry. All the ladies (plus a rooster).Head cheese and rescue-rabbit, Licorice. Meet Cozy… …and Max. Meanwhile, back in the creamery it is time to separate the curds from the whey. Straining the whey. In this step, Sue puts the curds into the mold once they are separated from the whey. Sue packs the curds in the mold to help give the wheel a consistent shape.
Once the cheese is pressed into the mold, Sue adds weights to the mold, using another mechanism created by her dad. The weights press the remaining whey from the cheese. The wheel stays in the press for about 16 hours, and is flipped once during the process to keep the shape consistent.
Me with Cozy, who is kind of a close-talker.
I had such a great day on the farm with Sue and Kristin! Farm visits are my favorite part of my job, and this was my favorite farm visit. xoxoxo
See more images from my awesome Boss Mouse Cheese farm visit in the slideshow below.
We love collaborating with and gathering inspiration from other small business owners and food artisans. When Simon Joseph of Roaming Harvest asked if we would like to be a part of the Food Truck Dinner Series, of course we jumped at the chance. The Food Truck Dinner Series hosts all different area chefs, but the dinners are always held at The Little Fleet and hosted by Roaming Harvest. Most of these dinners are held in the winter, so it’s a nice change of pace for all involved.
Gary and Alison Jonas, owners of The Little Fleet, and Simon proved to be awesome hosts. Andy wrote the menu based on what was in season and Simon added his luscious duck confit and duck cracklings to the menu. I made a rustic chocolate dessert, Gary provided delicious libations. Good times were had!
House smoked Lake Michigan burbot with horseradish creme fraiche, capers & minced red onion
Bare Knuckle Farm beet salad with Werp Farm arugula and champagne vinaigrette, topped with Roaming Harvest duck confit and duck cracklins
Bare Knuckle parsnip-sunchoke soup with green oil and fried onions
Braised Drettmann Ranch venison shank and Carlson-Arbogast Farm white beans with Werp Farm microgreens and dinosaur kale gremolata
Big Ass skillet cookie, served with Odd Side Ales Java Chip Mint Stout
We kept the styling & decor fairly simple, taking a cue from the 18th century paintings of French rococo painter, engraver and tapestry designer Jean-Baptiste Oudry. I really wanted the focus to be on the food, and Oudry’s lush still lifes were a great source of inspiration. The tables were dressed with crinkled brown kraft paper and simple runners of black burlap. We made cedar serving boards to serve the cheese course and house smoked fish, all of which were on the tables when the guests arrived, in addition to house-made pickles, rustic grissini and hand made crackers.
For floral, I gathered simple brass and pewter vessels, then consulted with my friend and owner of Terrarium Bar, Megan Kellogg. She knocked it out of the park with bold arrangements of ranunculus tecolote, anemone coronaria, garden rose ‘hearts’, acacia baileyana, ‘after dark’ eucalyptus, and eryngium planum blue sea holly. We scattered brass and pewter candlesticks on the tables with simple white tapers to add a bit of light and warmth. I rounded out the look with antler sheds borrowed from a bow hunter friend of mine (thanks, Ryan!) and a few sheepskins on the benches.
We had such a great time working with Simon, Gary, Allison, Megan, and the whole crew at Little Fleet. A huge thank you is in order to Cory Weber, owner of Weber Photography. He shot all of these stunning film images. Thank you Cory!
Thanks also to all who bought tickets! Your laughter, smiles at the dinner table and unyielding support mean so much to us. We will be doing more dinners at The Little Fleet in the future and do hope you will join us. Cheers!
We are so proud! The Epicure kitchen in Omena has earned a Barn of the Year award for 2014! A huge thank you goes to the Michigan Barn Preservation Network for their continued preservation and recognition efforts on these historic structures so essential to our landscape.
The Hog Barn circa 1880 and 1910 was constructed in two increments with the first being a stick framed structure under a gabled roof with a loft and a cold cellar below. Somewhat later another larger gabled structure was added, also with a wooden construction on a concrete pad with a metal roof.
During the transformation into our kitchen, countless structural, electrical, and plumbing upgrades were made. Modifications for a walk-in cooler, as well as a gravel patio with in-ground oven were also added.
The front entrance to the hog barn/kitchen at Cherry Basket Farm
Inside the hog barn/kitchen at Cherry Basket Farm
Back patio and rear entrance to the hog barn/kitchen at Cherry Basket Farm
The in-ground oven on the back patio
Marsha & Tom Buehler, the owners of Cherry Basket Farm, with their award from the Michigan Barn Preservation Network
“After” photos, top to bottom: Michelle March Photography, Epicure Catering, Epicure Catering, Tec Petaja Photography, Michigan Barn Preservation Network.
Our friends at eatdrinkTC wrote a feature on our friend and beloved Epicure team member Mickey Humpula. Head on over to their blog to catch up on the latest happenings in the Traverse City food scene. Read the post as part of our Cocktail Corner series:
Mickey Humpula is a bartender at Low Bar in Traverse City and is one of the creative minds behind their custom cocktail menu. He’s led a colorful life that includes 5 years in an ice factory. In addition to tending bar, he’s worked as a farmer, baker, cook and caterer. Mickey rides his bike a lot and dreams of homesteading.
Mickey and the completed “Social Medicine”
Mickey named this cocktail “Social Medicine” and prescribes it for increasing sociability and false courage. Find him and his cocktails tonight at Low Bar!
2 slices of lemon
1 oz Art in the Age of Root
.75 oz brown sugar simple syrup
1.5 oz Sparkle Donkey Tequila
.5 oz Pimms
6-7 drops house bitters
6 ice cubes
4.5 ounces soda water
Muddle lemons in tumbler. Add all ingredients except for the soda water and shake for ten seconds. Add soda water to tumbler, lightly stir, gently pour into a zombie glass and serve.
Epicure Catering is part of a collective of area vendors, including the amazing teams at Weber Photography and A Day in May Event Planning and Design, who teamed up to create Simply Blue Weddings as a resource for couples looking to get married in Northern Michigan. Part wedding blog and part vendor guide, SBW is packed with Real Weddings inspiration and the contact information of the area’s finest vendors.
We have spent a lot of time revamping the site over the winter months and just went live with the new site. Please take the time to visit Simply Blue Weddings for wedding inspiration and essential vendor information.
Each Spring in Northern Michigan brings excitement for Maple sugaring in Leelanau County. “Maple sugaring” is the name given to the collection and cooking of maple sap to produce syrup. The Native Americans were the first to innovate this process, prior to the arrival of European settlers on American soil.
In cold climates such as ours, maple trees store starch in their trunk and roots before the long winter. The starch is eventually converted to sugar in the form of sap. Maple sugaring in Leelanau County is a simple but relatively long process, but well worth the reward of that beautiful amber colored liquid that is a delicious Northern Michigan staple.
The sap is collected by “tapping” the tree. Our sap run begins in late winter/very early spring, usually sometime in late February to the end of March. The sap is collected into buckets or bags. Some farms like to use plastic tubing from the tap to the collection vessel but a simple metal tap like the one pictured above works well, too. Once the sap is collected, the long process of heating the sap to evaporate the water begins. A long shallow pan aids in evaporation due to increased surface area. Evaporating the water from the sap can take many hours; the syrup is determined as finished when it reaches a certain sugar content and color.
It can take up to 10 gallons of sap to yield one quart of syrup. The sap is boiled at about 220 degrees, which is about 7 degrees higher than the boiling point of water. Under-boiling can produce a watery syrup while overcooking produces crystallization.
Andy’s friend Russell Madson was kind enough to invite him along for the harvesting and cooking of the sap. Some more images of Maple sugaring in Leelanau County are below. If you are interested in purchasing some Michigan maple syrup, check out this site. Enjoy!
Winter has had it’s icy hold on us for what feels like an eternity. I must admit I have spent way too much time inside as of late due to the frigid temps, and it was starting to take a toll on me mentally…I needed to get outside! What better way to spend the day than Ice Fishing on West Grand Traverse Bay? I’ve been asking the guys to take me out because I had never been ice fishing. Saturday was the day.
Although I myself am not an experienced angler, both Andy and Tyler have spent many hours near the water, in the water and in this case on the water, in the pursuit of fish. This winter is unique in that 90% of the Great Lakes are frozen. We have never had this much ice in March before! These conditions have made for an amazing ice fishing season. Many of the fishermen I talked to informed me that this has been the best year for ice fishing in the last decade.
The ice was about 18 inches thick. There were a bunch of people who drove out to the spot, although we opted to walk. It was beautiful- not much wind and the temps were around 25 degrees. Among the group, two lake trout and a whitefish were caught. It was great asking the guys how they were going to cook their catch. “Pan fried!” was the consensus. It was also consensus that the flesh is firmer and less oily this time of year due to the water being so frigid.
It was a fantastic day! I got some much needed exercise, a sunburn, made some new friends and learned a lot. So, all in all a successful first foray into ice fishing. I can only hope I will be fortunate enough to spend more days Ice fishing on West Grand Traverse Bay.
Last Winter, Andy had the unique opportunity to go on a hunting trip to Beaver Island. Beaver Island is an island off the Northwest coast of Northern Michigan and is about 54 square miles in area. Accessible by plane or ferry from Charlevoix, Beaver Island is most popular as a summer destination, but offers fantastic small game hunting in the Winter.
This particular trip was a rabbit hunt. One of the hunters who invited Andy has a cabin on the island and has been coming to Beaver Island since he was born. The group drove up to Charlevoix, then flew over to the island.
There are about 8 guys who go on the trip. Many of the hunters are cooks; there is a large emphasis on honoring the animal and eating each animal taken. Days are spent out in the woods and evenings are spent around the wood stove, laughing and sharing food and drink.
The group made the trek this year as well. As this winter has been far more bitter, the hunt was not quite as fruitful and the group ended up getting stuck on the Beaver Island a few extra days (which they were thrilled about!). The added down-time on the trip allowed them time to visit Mark Valente, who has lived on the island since 1978.
Mark Valente is a furrier and owner of Flattail Furs, along with Lisa Green. With their combined skill sets, the pair produces beautiful mittens, headbands, hats and jewelry. Check out their Etsy shop (the mittens are awesome!).
The images below are actually from last year’s trip. This year, the visibility was so poor that the hunting and photography opportunities were limited. Regardless, getting to hunt snowshoe hare on Beaver Island is a unique opportunity not afforded to many…and one I thought worthy of sharing.
Of course, it is exciting so I’ll start with the menu. There is more text about the dinner below the images.
Roasted potatoes with dill cream
Beet and buttermilk terrine with radishes and horseradish-lardo vinaigrette
Tomato bread salad with corn, zucchini and cucumbers
Grilled sausage with blue corn polenta, kale, carrots and roasted red pepper-eggplant relish
Idyll Farms goat cheese with fennel chickpeas, melon and chili oil
White peaches and cream with brown butter sea salt cookies
Every once in a great while, our crew takes a Sunday afternoon off. What better way to spend it than to attend a farm to table (table being literally at the farm) Sunday Supper at Bare Knuckle Farm?
Bare Knuckle Farm was established in 2009 by Jess Piskor and Abra Berens. We get the majority of our stunningly gorgeous produce from the team at Bare Knuckle, and we have them to thank for making our job of presenting food beautifully that much easier.
Bare Knuckle Farm sits in an idyllic valley near Northport, MI. Although the farm has been in active cultivation with cherries and chestnuts for over a century, the frosty valley floor does not lend itself to tree crops, making the way for Jess and Abra to plant everything from potatoes and herbs to corn, radish, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, peppers, hearty greens and more. Jess handles the majority of the gardens while Abra uses her cooking skills honed at Ballymaloe to produce stellar farm-to-table cuisine. Simple, delicious food that is served as close to its source as possible. What could be better?
We were thrilled to break bread at Bare Knuckle Farm, and recommend you take the time to not only visit this special place, but meet these magnificent people and take part in their delicious, lovingly grown and mindfully prepared cuisine.
Rebecca & Brian’s wedding at Cherry Basket Farm was a beautiful affair, and one we are excited to share. A wonderful team of vendors came together to make the event happen, including stellar florist Amy Kate Hendrickson of Amy Kate Designs. Amy Williams Photography was also on the scene to document the special day. You can see more images on her blog.
I did the styling, keeping it simple but with a few impact pieces. Inspired by McClure’s branding, I opted for natural and black as a simple, clean theme. I knew I would be incorporating antiques which were a nice contrast with the contemporary setting of the space. I absolutely love antiquing, and depression era ebony glass or “amethyst glass” has always been a particular favorite of mine. It was a natural fit for the table decor, and I focused on candlesticks. I collected them for about 3 weeks from various antique stores in the area. Textures on a tabletop are also great but I am a bit burned out on burlap. The jute upholstery webbing used for the table runner was a nice way to keep that natural feel of burlap but with a bit more sass. Air plants and succulents added a touch of color to the table. The place settings were very simple, just the basics plus a jar of pickles with a tag for favors/place cards.
In addition to pickles, McClures makes the best bloody mary mix around, and Joe McClure crafted some amazing bloodies for the dinner. You can read more about them, including the recipes, on Megan’s blog. There were 3 options: the Southbend (tequila/beer/lime/cilantro/bloody mary mix), the Farmstand (gin/cucumber/lime/bloody mary mix), and the Northerner (smoked whiskey/bloody mary mix, beef jerky garnish). All were insanely delicious, as you can imagine.
And the food….oh, the food! Luciano inorrporated McClures pickles and chips into each course, which was awesome and truly showed his versatility and creativity as a chef. Chef Luciano is such a mean cook, everything was so delicious.
Here’s the menu:
McClure’s potsticker surprise- this ended up being aged beef, ground and made into a potsitcker with McClures pickle relish. The sauce? Ketchup of course. Ended up being delicious.
“fish and chips”- Lemon and parsley stuffed branzino atop a spicy McClure’s potato chip-I loved the play on traditional fish and chips.
Hand made gnocchi Carbonara with fried pickles- so incredibly delicious, and the vinegar from the pickle was a nice accompaniment to the creaminess of the pasta
Rabbit stuffed with Bacco house sausage and spicy pickle relish- all these components complimented one another in a way I would not have expected. Again, another delicious course.
Spicy pickle gelato with vanilla tuille -pairing heat with desserts in nothing new, but adding pickles and still having a palatable (tasty even!) flavor is a work of art. Bravo, Luciano!
So, a huge thanks to all involved: the fine folks over at McClures Pickles, Cloverleaf Fine Wines, Wild Measure and The Fresh Exchange, Chet and Kyle and of course Luciano.
Add all ingredients except for soda water to a cocktail shaker. Shake like hell for 1 minute. Add ice to shaker and shake like crazy for about 1 minute more. It should be nice and frothy. Pour into a glass and top with a splash of soda water.
As I mentioned in my first post, we will be doing a fair amount of collaborating and tapping into the talent of our amazing friends and family. This is the face of the voice behind the Craft Cocktail Corner. Jen loves her some craft cocktails. She is my big sister and she lives far far away in the land of stupendous food and drink (Portland). This is bad because I wish she lived closer so we could have more face time and share these cocktails together more often (because I, too, love a tasty cocktail). It is also good because I basically have an outpost in a great food city on the west coast whenever I can tear myself away from catering-type duties.
In her professional life, Jen is a home decor seamstress. You can read more about her and her work here. All that sewing can make a girl thirsty so mixing up whoop-ass cocktails of the utmost deliciousness can be a creative way to wind down from the daily grind. Look for Jen’s craft cocktail posts about once a month, or whenever the mood strikes her.
PS Jen is also a completely bad-ass crafter and is always working on a cool project. From time to time, we will share these as well if they cross over to entertaining. Enjoy!
Mix 1 Tablespoon of honey with about 2 Tbs. of boiling water to make a honey simple syrup. Chiffonade the Thai Basil. Put the vodka, lime juice, thai basil, and simple syrup in a shaker with some ice. Do your thing with the shaker for about a minute. Pour into a glass, garnish with a lime wheel and proceed to have an amazing time.
Celery is the redheaded stepchild of the cocktail world. It has none of the glamor of exotic fruits, nor the great p.r. that cucumbers have been enjoying. It is, however, really refreshing and complements Gin
beautifully. Also, I had about a bushel of it in my garden that needed to come out to make way for summer crops. So, behold, the Celery Gin Sour!
To make one cocktail………
1 oz. celery juice
juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1/2 oz.)
1 and 1/2 oz. gin
1 oz. simple syrup (2 parts sugar to one part water. simmer until
sugar is dissolved)
mint sprig for flair
First, you are going to need to juice some celery. You can use a juicer if you have one, or just throw a couple of de-stringed ribs in a blender with a splash of water. Put the celery juice in a shaker and add the gin, simple syrup, and lemon juice. Shake that mother up. Pour over ice and garnish with a mint sprig if you are extra fancy. Enjoy!
Wet the rim of the glass and roll it in a bit of flake salt until you have a fully salted rim. Mix together tequila and grapefruit juice and pour over ice in your glass. Add a splash of soda and Viola! Delicious cocktail. You are welcome.
I am a lucky girl. Sometimes my job takes me to some truly inspiring places. Recently, I had the opportunity to hang out in Moab, UT and cook for an insanely talented group of folks who man the helm (drive the Jeep?) at American Expedition Vehicles (AEV). Every year the week prior to Easter, there is a convergence of the off-road industry in Southeastern Utah. Days are spent testing vehicles, taking faithful customers on guided trail rides and training the newer drivers in the bunch. All of this hot 4 x 4 action can make a person hungry. This is where I come in. In the evenings, delicious dinners are a great way for these guys to unwind, refuel and talk shop. As any awesome day spent out in the fresh air should end, the evenings are spent around the campfire. I spend the week making box lunches, cooking dinners and catching some rays when time allows. It is a privilege to cook for this company, to see the passion they put into their work and the camaraderie they share. It is no wonder their brand is so strong and that they are at the top of their industry. While I was in Moab, my friend who happens to be one of the owners of AEV was doing some daily dispatches for the Detroit Business blog. You can read more from him about the trip here. I would love to thank them again, so …THANK YOU! You guys are the best. Until next year…
There has to be a first post, right? Well here it is, for your reading pleasure. I know it is not entirely necessary to lay out my master plan for the blog (which is great because I don’t have one…), but I do at least want to give you a loose framework of what you can expect to see on this page in the coming months.
This blog will basically showcase the projects and collaborations we are involved in here in Northern Michigan and beyond. Our venue is seasonal, which means lots of events at our home base in the summer and allows us time to work as travel chefs in the off season…cooking for hunts, jeep safaris, and all sorts of other escapades. Andy and I share a love of the outdoors and the kitchen. This will be a common thread among our posts.
Much of our time in the summer is spent hosting weddings and events at our venue. I will be sharing event details and photos with you, as well. The farm really comes alive when there are people there to enjoy the green, open space it provides. We feel honored to host these events and cook for these extremely personal milestones in peoples’ lives. Each party brings a unique vibe to the farm, and I see it in a new light with each event. I will attempt to honor their vision as I share details with you.
We are fortunate enough to have an amazing network of talented individuals around us. Just as I rely heavily on their talent for inspiration in my daily life, this blog will be no different. Expect to see collaborative projects between our friends and clients who also happen to be writers, artists, gardeners, designers, bloggers, athletes, restaurateurs, photographers, hunters, anglers, baristas, cocktail enthusiasts, and of course…cooks. These people shape who we are and how we navigate this mess called life. I will be sharing their talents, as well as ours, with you.
I am excited to have this blog as a creative and collaborative space, and I hope you are too. As always, we love feedback of all kinds so stay tuned and tell us your thoughts when a new post goes live.
Celebrating over a decade of
Contemporary Local Cuisine
in Leelanau County, Michigan.
PO Box 212
5530 N West Bayshore Drive
Omena, Michigan 49674
Planning an event?
Are you planning a wedding or event in Northern Michigan? Look no further than beautiful Cherry Basket Farm in Omena, MI. Located about 30 minutes North of Traverse City, between Suttons Bay and Northport, Michigan on M-22, Cherry Basket Farm provides an accessible yet rural setting for your wedding or special event. In addition to serving our Contemporary Local Cuisine at our venue, Epicure Catering also caters weddings and special events at your home or venue.