1. Cocktail Corner | Heirloom Tomato Margarita recipe

    September 13, 2017

    Heirloom Tomato Margarita | Epicure Catering | Farm to Table Catering | Fall CocktailAnother tasty creation from on-staff Sommelier Emily Jo Larkin, this Heirloom Tomato Margarita uses peak season heirloom tomatoes and fennel seeds to create a dynamic flavor combination. The tomato water is a subtle yet delicious way to incorporate one of our favorite fruits of summer. We hope you enjoy this drink as much as we do. Enjoy! 

    Heirloom Tomato Margarita

    Note: This recipe is for 1 cocktail. Simply scale up as needed.

    2 oz                 Silver Tequila

    2-3 oz              Heirloom tomato water (recipe below)

    ½ oz                Fresh squeezed lime juice

    1 t.                    Agave syrup

    Ice

    Fennel Salt (recipe below) & lime wedge for rim

    Method:  Use lime to wet rim of each glass. Dip wet glass edge onto a small plate containing the fennel salt. Combine tequila with tomato water, lime juice and agave in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake and pour into fennel-salt rimmed glassware. Serve & Enjoy!

     


    Heirloom Tomato Water

    Pulse 4 medium red heirloom tomatoes in a blender until they are a rough puree.

    Strain with fine strainer or multiple layers of cheesecloth. Discard solids. Will keep one day but is best if used immediately. This amount will make 2 cocktails.

    Fennel Salt

    Use equal parts salt to fennel seed. Dry roast the fennel seeds in a saute pan over medium heat to release the oil, then add seeds to mortar or coffee grinder. Grind till almost the consistency of coarse salt, add Maldon sea salt to the seeds and finish pulverizing until a uniform consistency is reached. Store in an airtight jar.

     

    Heirloom Tomato Margarita | Epicure Catering | Farm to Table Catering | Fall Cocktail

    Heirloom Tomato Margarita | Epicure Catering | Farm to Table Catering | Fall Cocktail

    Heirloom Tomato Margarita | Epicure Catering | Farm to Table Catering | Fall Cocktail

     

  2. The Farm Dinner Wedding of JaCinda and Joe

    August 21, 2017

    Images by Dan Stewart Photography
    Omena, MI Farm Wedding Venue | Cherry Basket Farm | Epicure Catering | Sunflower Wedding Bouquet

    We loved collaborating on the farm dinner wedding of JaCinda & Joe. This sweet couple couldn’t have been more easygoing and lovely! This 25 person wedding was the essence of intimate, with the guest list consisting of close family and friends. JaCinda & Joe wanted good food & drink in a beautiful setting, which is right in our wheelhouse! JaCinda provided a few words below for you lovely readers to peruse.

    Cheers to you, JaCinda & Joe!

    xoxox -cb


    What attracted you to Cherry Basket Farm?

    Magic – We weren’t looking for it, but it found us by accident (I was looking for a potential caterer, and found a location…).  It was actually the only place we visited for a potential site as we knew it was exactly what we wanted.

    How would you describe your style as a couple?

    Adventurous, Active, Happy-Go-Lucky, Michigan Loving

    What was the overall vibe and feel you wanted your guests to experience at the wedding?

    Intimate, Colorful, Decadent

    A relaxed day with family… where everyone would be comfortable being themselves.

    What were the most important elements of the big day?

    KISS – Keep it Simple & Sincere

    What advice would you give to engaged couples as they move through the planning process?

    Trust your vendors – they are the experts you hire, and you chose them for a reason.

    It only has to be a chaotic as you want it to be.

    Have fun – there’s no reason to stress.  I didn’t even have a dress/shoes until 4 days before.  Things will come together in time.


    For more images from this and other weddings at Cherry Basket Farm, please visit the galleries located on the bottom of our weddings page.

    Omena, MI Farm Wedding Venue | Cherry Basket Farm | Epicure Catering

    Omena, MI Farm Wedding Venue | Cherry Basket Farm | Epicure Catering

    Omena, MI Farm Wedding Venue | Cherry Basket Farm | Epicure Catering

    Omena, MI Farm Wedding Venue | Cherry Basket Farm | Epicure Catering Farm to Table

    Omena, MI Farm Wedding Venue | Cherry Basket Farm | Epicure Catering | Refreshments

    Omena, MI Farm Wedding Venue | Cherry Basket Farm | Epicure Catering | Farmhouse

    Omena, MI Farm Wedding Venue | Cherry Basket Farm | Epicure Catering | Jewel Toned Wedding DecorOmena, MI Farm Wedding Venue | Cherry Basket Farm | Epicure Catering | Wedding Beer and WineOmena, MI Farm Wedding Venue | Cherry Basket Farm | Epicure Catering | Wedding Reception GamesOmena, MI Farm Wedding Venue | Cherry Basket Farm | Epicure Catering | Farm DinnerOmena, MI Farm Wedding Venue | Cherry Basket Farm | Epicure Catering | Historic Barn

    Florist:Field of Flowers North/Officiant: Brian Grace/Photographer: Dan Stewart Photography – Luke Norris/Attire: Her: Kate Spade, Him: Calvin Klein/Hair & Makeup: Pavlova Salon/Catering: Epicure Catering/Venue: Cherry Basket Farm

     

     

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  3. Coriander Plum Old Fashioned

    August 16, 2017
    Coriander Plum Old Fashioned | Epicure Catering Omena, MI | Classic Cocktails

    Photos: Sarah Peschel

    Give the classic Old Fashioned a festive fall spin by substituting the sugar cube and maraschino cherry with coriander simple syrup and local plums.  The coriander adds an unexpected flavor twist and the plums provide tartness and a pretty jewel tone your guests will love.  
    Coriander-Plum Old Fashioned
    1 small ripe red or purple plum, sliced (If large, use 1/2 plum)
    1 orange slice
    1 dash bitters
    2 teaspoons coriander simple syrup (recipe to follow)
    2 ounces bourbon
    Ice
    Orange twist for garnish
    Method:
    Combine plum, orange slice, bitters and simple syrup in a heavy bottomed rocks glass.  Muddle. Fill glass with ice, add bourbon. Stir and add orange twist to garnish.
    Serve immediately.
    Coriander Simple Syrup:
    2 tablespoons whole coriander
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup water
    Method: 
    Put sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat to melt sugar.
    Meanwhile, place coriander in dry saute pan over low-medium heat. Keep pan in motion until the seeds start to brown and release their aroma. Crush seeds in a mortar and pestle.
    Add the crushed seeds to the sugar-water mixture and bring up to just below a boil. Remove from the heat and let seeds cool in the syrup.
    Strain & set aside. Will keep for 2 weeks tightly covered in fridge.
    Craft Cocktail | Epicure Catering | Farm to Table Catering | Classic Cocktail
    Epicure Catering | Coriander Plum Old Fashioned | Classic Cocktails


  4. The Boardman Review + Epicure Catering

    August 9, 2017

    We are excited to announce a recent collaboration between The Boardman Review + Epicure Catering!

    A long time dream of brothers Chris and Nick Loud, The Boardman Review is a print & digital magazine including travelogues, lifestyle profiles, literature, music and documentaries that all showcase the young and established creatives whose work and lives form the greater community we call Northern Michigan. The magazine publishes several articles in each issue and includes multi-media elements with each piece.

    For Issue 1, Epicure contributed a written piece detailing a day in the life of a caterer called “Event Day & the Keys to Success”. I wrote the piece with the intention to bring a deeper understanding of the nuance that goes into an event day. Nick & Chris also shot a short film during one of our events to provide a behind the scenes glimpse of this nuance. They captured the motion, detail and camaraderie of our team, which are all key pieces to an Epicure event.

    Smaller in size than a standard magazine, the physical copies of The Review are pleasing in hand and feel more like a book. Matte pages and gorgeous photography make this a great addition to your collection. Print copies can be purchased at the Tribune and Dog Eared Books in Northport, and at Brilliant Books and Millie & Pepper in Traverse City.

    We are honored to be included in this first issue, and enjoyed collaborating with the Louds on this project. We are so excited to share it with you! Please Like, Follow or Subscribe to the Boardman Review!  – cb

    Click on the image below to access the article & short documentary film.

    Cover image from The Boardman Review Issue 1


    A bit more about the Louds: Chris and Nick Loud grew up in Ann Arbor and are dual residents of Los Angeles & Northern Michigan. The brothers work in the film industry and collectively have experience in every element of film production, from writing to camera work and editing. The Boardman Review is a years in the making passion project and has now come to fruition. Please Like, Follow or Subscribe to the Boardman Review to keep tabs on the Louds and their current projects.

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  5. Epicure Catering in Traverse Magazine

    July 21, 2017

    We are pleased to announce that Epicure Catering is featured in the August 2017 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine. Pick up a copy today to read about our business and to enjoy some of Andy’s tasty recipes. We will post a link once the online version is available. Thanks again for your support and we hope to see you on the beach! xo cam
    Photo by Megan Newman

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  6. The National Historic Designation of Cherry Basket Farm and the Village of Omena

    July 10, 2017

     

    Cherry Basket Farm Historic Gambrel Barn | Barn Venue | Omena Michigan

    Historic Cherry Basket Farm Gambrel Barn | Photo ee Berger Photography

    In late 2013, discussion began on the possibility of historic designation for Cherry Basket Farm and Omena Village. Historic Architect Ken Richmond suggested contacting Dr. Ted Ligibel, director of EMU’s graduate Historic Preservation Program. Plans were made with Dr. Ligibel to bring his Preservation Research Techniques class to Omena.  The students visited Omena in March and April 2014, and their research formed the basis for parts of the National Register Nomination. Tom Buehler drew the maps, Cammie Buehler took the photos, and Marsha Buehler researched and wrote the nomination, which was submitted in final form to the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office in August 2016. The State approved the Nomination in September, and in January 2017, the Omena Historic District was listed on the National Register by the United States Department of the Interior.

    The district extends from Sunset Lodge through Omena along the North side of M-22 through the Barth House property; from the Township beach north along the east side of M-22 to approximately opposite Craker Road, to include the church property and the homes along that side of M-22, Cherry Basket Farm, and the Cherry Basket Neighbors orchard.


    Brief History of the Town of Omena

    In 1848 Chief Aghosa’s band, with forty families purchased land north of present-day Omena and named the area Aghosatown. Rev. Peter Dougherty decided to follow and establish a mission school (the “New Mission”) nearby, one mile south of Aghosatown, at what came to be called Omena. He built the New Grove Hill Mission Church, ( Omena Presbyterian Church) in 1858.

    The importance of the agricultural potential of the Omena area cannot be overstated. The raising of food crops in the area had taken place for centuries; when the missionaries arrived they found mature apple and plum orchards, as well as corn, beans, squash, and potatoes. The availability of agricultural land for his Native American followers was an important consideration for Dougherty’s establishment of the school at New Mission, and instruction in up-to-date American agricultural practices was a fundamental of mission life.  The first US patent for the Cherry Basket farmland was issued to Rev. Dougherty on behalf of his mission’s Native American teacher, Peter Greensky. The 1870 census records for Leelanau County indicate a preponderance of farmers in the region; as of 1874, there were 678 farms within the county, with a population of 5,031. Cherry Basket Farm continues active farming in the Omena Historic District today.

    For the area’s agricultural potential to be realized, the densely forested land first needed to be cleared. Cordwood provided an early industry for the inhabitants of Leelanau Peninsula, with the wood both being shipped to Chicago and sold as fuel directly to passing vessels. Some aspiring farmers worked for the lumbermen to earn money to purchase their own land for farming, while others bought land and harvested their own timber, growing crops between the stumps at first.

    Omena’s harbor became a hub of activity beginning in the mid-1880s when agricultural development in the area, growing local commerce, and Omena’s growth as a summer resort all coalesced. Over the next several decades, produce, goods, and the growing number of summertime visitors who came to Omena’s hotels and guest houses were served by steamers, including the Illinois, Manistee, Manitou, Missouri, Puritan, Kansas, Crescent, and Columbia. Omena Bay provided a rare safe deep harbor in the Great Lakes, and over the years had at least four commercial docks. A few pilings of John Anderson’s dock, built in 1886, still rise out of the water in front of the public beach.  In 1903 The Traverse City, Leelanau & Manistique Railway from Traverse City to Northport was completed, and limited passenger service continued until 1948.

    The 1880s and 1890s were a pivotal time for Omena when enough settlement had taken place that the community could support basic businesses. Among the first new businesses to come to the burgeoning community of Omena in the 1880s were two general stores. The Anderson Store (Tamarack Gallery) was built in 1885, and Paul R. Barth opened his competing establishment to the east in 1889 (Omena Bay Country Store). These two businesses created lasting anchors for the community. Both Andrew Anderson and Paul Barth also farmed, and their farms helped to furnish their stores.

    The stores in the small row of buildings in the village seemed to promise future growth for little Omena, but unlike other communities, the building boom never extended beyond the boundaries established by 1890. Three two-story frame houses grew up near the stores, each accompanied by a number of outbuildings meant to serve the interests of the stores as well as the proprietors’ families. Omena preserves as well the building, built c. 1890, which housed an ice cream parlor, and which has served solely as the U. S. Post Office since 1959.

    John Putnam’s fruit stand is now the home of Leelanau Cellars and Knot Just a Bar Restaurant. Except for the construction of a fire station and community room, just across from the bar, little else has altered the landscape.  A notable addition to the village was the Putnam-Cloud-Tower House, moved from a short distance away in 2004. Local residents banded together to rescue the house from demolition at its former location and, under the auspices of the Omena Historical Society, moved the building to the center of Omena, between the Tamarack Gallery and the Anderson House.

    Within the historic district, Sunset Lodge preserves the built legacy of the resort era in Omena. Its Victorian buildings were built between 1890 and 1907 and it continues in operation as a hostelry today.

    Most of Omena’s buildings are still in use as originally intended, some still in the same family ownership since the 1800s. Many have had less than a handful of owners in their existence. Omena’s changes have been adaptations built upon its existing structure, and the village has not suffered the wholesale eradication, wasteful misuse of resources, and reconstruction that is so common in this country.

    We are honored to play a role in the preservation and protection of this important part of Leelanau and American history. 

    Epicure Catering and Cherry Basket Farm | Barn Wedding and Event Venue | Omena Michigan

    Photo Dan Stewart Photography

    Epicure Catering and Cherry Basket Farm | Historic Barn Venue | Farm to Table Catering | Omena Michigan

    Historic Cherry Basket Farm Gambrel Barn | Photo ee Berger Photography

    Epicure Catering and Cherry Basket Farm | Historic Farm Venue | Farm to Table Catering | Northern Michigan

    Epicure Catering Commissary | Photo Weber Photography

    Cherry Basket Farm | 9 Bean Rows Agriculture | Farm to Table Catering | Omena Michigan

    9 Bean Rows Crops | Photo ee Berger

     Omena Presbyterian Church

    Historic Omena Presbyterian Church (New Grove Hill Mission Church)

    Tamarack Gallery | Omena Michigan

    Tamarack Gallery (The Anderson Store)

    Omena United States Post Office

    Omena United States Post Office (ice cream parlor)

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  7. MK & Dave’s Farm-to-Table Barn Wedding at Cherry Basket Farm

    June 15, 2017

    All Images Courtesy Amy Carroll Photography

    Working with MK and Dave on their farm-to-table wedding was such a pleasure for me and our team at Epicure Catering and Cherry Basket Farm.  MK’s warmth and her enthusiasm for our venue and her marriage to Dave were contagious! We enjoyed working with her to pull together all of the details as she coordinated and planned from her home in Brooklyn.  She and Dave wanted their wedding celebration to feel warm and inviting and they succeeded in achieving this through simple yet elegant decor and farm style seating.  Below, MK talks about her wedding day and all of the things that made it special.  Cheers to you, MK & Dave! XOXO

    Want more intel? The vendor team from this wedding is listed at the bottom of this post.  Thanks for stopping by!  – CB

    What attracted you to Cherry Basket Farm?

    EVERYTHING: The barn, the fields, the cherry trees, the food, the staff, and Cammie! The ambiance of the entire farm was what we were looking for.  It was such an added bonus that we loved working with Cammie and her team! They are beyond amazing; so professional and so helpful through every step of the process. We live in Brooklyn and planned the wedding remotely which was a challenge, but Cammie made everything so easy. I (MK, the bride) actually found Cherry Basket Farm through Instagram. I was up at my family cottage on Glen Lake during the summer of 2014. I was clicking through images tagged on Glen Lake, I somehow stumbled upon Amy Carroll’s Instagram account and she had just shot a wedding at the CBF. I became obsessed with it, stalking the CBF website, looking for pictures from other weddings. We did not get engaged for another year! But I just knew that is where we were meant to get married!

    How would you describe your style as a couple?

    Hmm tough question, modern, classic with an edgy twist

    What was the overall vibe and feel you wanted your guests to experience at the wedding?

    We wanted it to feel like an intimate dinner party. We wanted our guests to feel like they were a part of our family. I think we executed that vibe with the long tables with low floral arrangements, lots of votives, and an amazing, delicious seated dinner followed up with an epic dance party!  Everyone was a part of our family that day!

    What were the most important elements of the big day?

    The ambiance, the food, the wine and the band!

    What advice would you give to engaged couples as they move through the planning process?

    Go with your gut and try not overthink every detail. It can be stressful, so try and remember that no matter what you are going to have an amazing time.  Some good advice a friend told us was that on the day of the wedding, stop every few hours and look around, take a mental picture. Enjoy every second of it! It goes by so fast and you don’t get to relive it!

    Want to know more about this real wedding at Cherry Basket Farm? Vendors from this wedding are listed at the bottom of this post. For more weddings at the Cherry Basket Farm visit our Weddings page and scroll down to our Farm Wedding Portfolio. Thanks for stopping by! – CB

    Want more intel? The vendor team from this wedding is listed at the bottom of this post.  Thanks for stopping by!  – CB

    Coral Dahlia Bouquet | Farm to Table Wedding | Barn Venue | Epicure Catering and Cherry Basket Farm | Omena MI

    Succulent Boutineer | Epicure Catering | Cherry Basket Farm Omena MI

    Navy and Coral Wedding Decor | Farm to Table Wedding | Epicure Catering and Cherry Basket Farm | Barn Wedding Venue Northern Michigan

    Wedding Dress | Farm to Table Wedding | Epicure Catering and Cherry Basket Farm | Northern Michigan Barn Wedding Venue Omena MI

    Mother and Bride Wedding Dress | Farm to Table Wedding | Epicure Catering and Cherry Basket Farm | Northern Michigan Barn Wedding Venue Omena MI

    Blue Wedding Shoes| Farm to Table Wedding | Epicure Catering and Cherry Basket Farm | Northern Michigan Barn Wedding Venue Omena MI

    Outdoor Wedding Ceremony Seating | Farm to Table Wedding | Epicure Catering and Cherry Basket Farm | Northern Michigan Barn Wedding Venue Omena MI

    Outdoor Wedding Ceremony Seating | Farm to Table Wedding | Epicure Catering and Cherry Basket Farm | Northern Michigan Barn Wedding Venue Omena MI

    Ceremony Floral Decor | Farm to Table Wedding | Epicure Catering and Cherry Basket Farm | Northern Michigan Barn Wedding Venue Omena MI

    Flower Girl Flower Crown | Farm to Table Wedding | Epicure Catering and Cherry Basket Farm | Northern Michigan Barn Wedding Venue Omena MI

    Bride | Farm to Table Wedding | Epicure Catering and Cherry Basket Farm | Northern Michigan Barn Wedding Venue Omena MI

    Bride Walking Down Aisle | Farm to Table Wedding | Epicure Catering and Cherry Basket Farm | Northern Michigan Barn Wedding Venue Omena MI

    Bride and Groom First Look | Farm to Table Wedding | Epicure Catering and Cherry Basket Farm | Northern Michigan Barn Wedding Venue Omena MI

    Bride and Groom First Kiss | Farm to Table Wedding | Epicure Catering and Cherry Basket Farm | Northern Michigan Barn Wedding Venue Omena MI

    Bride Family Photo | Farm to Table Wedding | Epicure Catering and Cherry Basket Farm | Northern Michigan Barn Wedding Venue Omena MI

    Blush Bridesmaids Dresses | Farm to Table Wedding | Epicure Catering and Cherry Basket Farm | Northern Michigan Barn Wedding Venue Omena MI

    Blush and Navy Bridal Party | Farm to Table Wedding | Epicure Catering and Cherry Basket Farm | Northern Michigan Barn Wedding Venue Omena MI

    Blush Wedding Bouquet | Farm to Table Wedding | Epicure Catering and Cherry Basket Farm | Northern Michigan Barn Wedding Venue Omena MI

    Farm to Table Wedding | Epicure Catering and Cherry Basket Farm | Northern Michigan Barn Wedding Venue Omena MI

    Beverage Dispensers | Farm to Table Wedding | Epicure Catering and Cherry Basket Farm | Northern Michigan Barn Wedding Venue Omena MI

    Bride and Groom | Farm to Table Wedding | Epicure Catering and Cherry Basket Farm | Northern Michigan Barn Wedding Venue Omena MI

    Bride and Groom | Farm to Table Wedding | Epicure Catering and Cherry Basket Farm | Northern Michigan Barn Wedding Venue Omena MI

    Bride and Groom Dance | Farm to Table Wedding | Epicure Catering and Cherry Basket Farm | Northern Michigan Barn Wedding Venue Omena MI

    Farm to Table Wedding | Epicure Catering and Cherry Basket Farm | Northern Michigan Barn Wedding Venue Omena MI

    Venue: Cherry Basket Farm / Caterer: Epicure Catering / Planner: Sarah Rhodes-Boyce from Sincerely, Ginger, Weddings / Florist: Kaci Muller from Damsel Floral / Entertainment: The Blue Water Kings / Decor: The bride’s mama! / Officiant: Stephen H. Shook (Bride’s Uncle) / Transportation: Celtic Transportation / Photographer: Amy Carroll Photography / Attire: Bride: Alexandra Grecco dress, Rue De Siene lace topper, J.Crew shoes. / Groom: J.Crew suit, Drakes London tie / Groomsmen: Michael Kors suits rented from Menguin, Drakes London ties / Bridesmaids: J.Crew dresses / Hair & Makeup: Hair by Cassie Harwood- Jacquet, Makeup by Onsite Bridal, Brenda Shuman

  8. An Evening for the Great Lakes to benefit FLOW

    June 1, 2017

    An Evening for the Great Lakes to benefit FLOW poster artwork by Jim Schuessler

    We are very excited about hosting An Evening for the Great Lakes to benefit FLOW.  Born from a desire to collaborate for good, this event lineup is sure to deliver a spectacular evening.

    The fundraising event An Evening for the Great Lakes to benefit FLOW will take place at our award winning historic event venue, Cherry Basket Farm, on Tuesday, July 18th 2017.

    To begin the evening, a delicious farm to table meal by Epicure Catering will be served along side locally produced wine from Baia Estate Leelanau and craft beer from Traverse City’s The Workshop Brewing Company.

    Readings by local water lovers author Mike Delp and celebrity chef Mario Batali will also be featured.

    To round out the evening, Grammy Winner Blake Mills will play a set in the barn. Some special guests may even sit in…

    In an effort to keep the evening intimate, only a small number of tickets will be available. We do hope you will join us for this unforgettable evening in support of a worthy cause. Tickets are available through MyNorthTickets, and will be available for purchase on June 9th.

    Here is a snippet about FLOW’s Mission:

    Our mission at FLOW is to protect the common waters of the Great Lakes Basin through public trust solutions. As the Great Lakes Basin’s only public trust policy and education center, we demonstrate how policies like the public trust and commons can provide an overarching policy framework that empowers decision-makers to safeguard 20 percent of the world’s fresh water.

    __________________________________________________________________

    A huge thank you to Jeremy Turner, who initiated the collaborative effort to bring this event to life, and to graphic designer Jim Schuessler, who created all the artwork for the event.

  9. Epicure & Cherry Basket on Cooking Channel’s Man Fire Food

    May 23, 2017
    Fire pit featured in Cooking Channel's Man Fire FoodPhoto: Dan Stewart Photography

    At long last, we are thrilled to announce Epicure Catering’s appearance on Cooking Channel’s Man Fire Food.

    The season 5 finale, called “In the Pits” will air on Tuesday June 6th at 8 pm. Cooking Channel’s Man Fire Food is hosted by Chef Roger Mooking and focuses on inventive ways American chefs and pit masters cook with fire.

    Epicure Catering Chef and Co-Owner Andy Schudlich designed and built the pit from materials on hand at our farm & event venue, Cherry Basket Farm. Andy has been cooking out of this pit for about 10 years, and it’s had quite an evolution.

    Tune in to Cooking Channel on June 6th at 8 pm to learn more about the unique pit and how Andy uses the pit to cook porchetta.

    The episode is also available on iTunes.

  10. Creative Collaboration for Midwest Living at Cherry Basket Farm

    March 21, 2017

    Midwest Living Magazine the Secret to Laid Back But Lovely Dinner Parties

    Photos above by David Tsay Photography

    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!)

    Epicure Catering Midwest Living

    Sarah Peschel and Cammie Buehler Epicure Catering for Midwest Living

    Megan Gilger Lovely But Laid Back Dinner Parties

    Barn Dinner Farm to Table Epicure Catering

    David Tsay and Cammie Buehler Midwest Living Magazine

    Chef Andrew Schudlich Epicure Catering Midwest Living Magazine

    Pink Linen Napkin and Basil Bouquet Epicure Catering and Cherry Basket Farm Barn Dinner

    Farm Dinner Epicure Catering Midwest Living Magazine

    David Tsay Photography Midwest Living Magazine

    Epicure Catering Chef Andrew Schudlich Midwest Living Magazine

    Lemon Curd Epicure Catering and Cherry Basket Farm

    David Tsay Photography Midwest Living Magazine

     

  11. Epicure Catering & Cherry Basket Farm to Host Zingerman’s Food Tour

    March 8, 2017

    Photos courtesy of Weber Photographers 

    Zingerman’s Great American Food Tour is returning to the Grand Traverse Bay region and we are thrilled at the opportunity to welcome travelers to the Cherry Basket Farm for the second year in a row.

    The Cherry Basket Farm stop includes the following:
    • A tour of  the historical Cherry Basket Farm barns and outbuildings with Cammie Buehler of Epicure Catering & Cherry Basket Farm
    • A cheese history and tasting with Boss Mouse Cheese owner and cheesemaker Sue Kurta
    • A tour of the Cherry Basket Farm fields and discussion of farming with grower Nic Welty, owner of 9 Bean Rows Farm and Bakery
    • 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.
    Epicure Catering Commissary at Cherry Basket Farm
    Zingerman's Food Tour Epicure Catering Cherry Basket Farm Bouquet
    Zingerman's Food Tour Charcuterie Epicure Catering & Cherry Basket Farm
    Zingerman's Food Tour Charcuterie Epicure Catering
    Cherry Basket Farm Historical Barn
    Cammie Buehler Epicure Catering Zingerman's Farm Tour
    Zingerman's Food Tour Group Cherry Basket Farm
    Historic Cherry Basket Farm Barn Omena
    Nic Welty of 9 Bean Rows in Cherry Basket Farm Field
    Cooking Channel Man Fire Food Fire Pit
    Farm Table Setting Epicure Catering
    Farm Table Setting Epicure Catering Zingerman's Food Tour
    Farm to Table Dinner Wine Pairings Epicure Catering & Cherry Basket Farm
    Farm to Table Dinner Epicure Catering & Cherry Basket Farm
    Zingerman's Food Tour Epicure Catering Farm to Table Dinner
    Zingerman's Food Tour Farm to Table Dinner Epicure Catering Dessert Course
    Zingerman's Food Tour Janene Centurione Epicure Catering & Cherry Basket Farm
    Epicure Catering, 9 Bean Rows, Hillside Homestead, Tandem Cider, Boss Mouse Cheese
  12. Brittany & Bryan’s Cherry Basket Farm Wedding

    February 21, 2017

    Photos courtesy of Two Twisted Trees

    Bride and Groom by Historic Barn

    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

    Epicure Catering and Cherry Basket Farm

    Wedding Dress Hanging on Northern Michigan Barn

    Wedding Ceremony at Cherry Basket Farm

    White Wedding Bouquet Cherry Basket Farm

    Groom Boutonnière Cherry Basket Farm Wedding

    Wedding Ceremony Bride and Groom Cherry Basket Farm

    Wedding Party Epicure Catering Cherry Basket Farm

    Guest Seating Northern Michigan Farm Wedding

    Wedding Tent Epicure Catering and Cherry Basket Farm

    Bride and Groom Head Table Cherry Basket Farm Wedding

    Wedding Table Decor Epicure Catering and Cherry Basket Farm

    Rattan Chargers and Leather Napkin Rings Epicure Catering and Cherry Basket Farm Wedding

    Apothecary Dome Floral Table Decor Northern Michigan Farm Wedding

    Hurricane Candle Wedding Table Decor Cherry Basket Farm Northern Michigan

    Wedding Food Epicure Catering Northern Michigan Wedding

    Cherry Basket Farm Barn Wedding

    Wedding Beverage Dispensers Epicure Catering Northern Michigan

    Wedding Reception High Top Tables Northern Michigan Farm Wedding

    Wedding Bouquet Table Linen Epicure Catering Northern Michigan Wedding

    Bridal Party Asos Cherry Basket Farm Wedding

    Epicure Catering Cherry Basket Farm Yard Games

    Wedding Party Epicure Catering Cherry Basket Farm

    Cammie Buehler Epicure Catering Northern Michigan Farm Wedding

    Cherry Basket Farm Northern Michigan Wedding Venue

    Bride Groom First Dance Northern Michigan Barn Wedding

    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

     

     

  13. Mikki & Jeff’s Northern Michigan Farm Wedding

    October 26, 2016

    All images by Weber Photography.Mikki & Jeff - 34

    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!

    xoxox – cb


    What attracted you to Cherry Basket Farm?

    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

    All images courtesy of Weber Photography

    Mikki & Jeff | Traverse City Barn WeddingMikki & Jeff - 1 (1)Mikki & Jeff | Traverse City Barn Wedding Mikki & Jeff | Traverse City Barn WeddingMikki & Jeff | Traverse City Barn Wedding Mikki & Jeff | Traverse City Barn Wedding Mikki & Jeff | Mikki & Jeff | Traverse City Barn WeddingMikki & Jeff | Mikki & Jeff | Traverse City Barn WeddingMikki & Jeff - 9 Mikki & Jeff | Traverse City Barn WeddingMikki & Jeff | Mikki & Jeff | Traverse City Barn Wedding Mikki & Jeff | Mikki & Jeff | Traverse City Barn WeddingMikki & Jeff | Mikki & Jeff | Traverse City Barn Wedding Mikki & Jeff | Traverse Local Food WeddingMikki & Jeff - 16Mikki & Jeff - 17Mikki & Jeff - 18Mikki & Jeff | Mikki & Jeff | Traverse City Barn WeddingMikki & Jeff | Mikki & Jeff | Traverse City Barn WeddingMikki & Jeff - 20Mikki & Jeff - 23Mikki & Jeff - 22Mikki & Jeff - 36Mikki & Jeff - 33Mikki & Jeff - 32Mikki & Jeff - 31Mikki & Jeff - 28 Mikki & Jeff - 30 Mikki & Jeff - 29Mikki & Jeff - 24Mikki & Jeff - 26 Mikki & Jeff - 27Mikki & Jeff - 38Mikki & Jeff - 35

    Venue: Cherry Basket Farm / Caterer: Epicure Catering / Florist: Field of Flowers Farm / Entertainment: 2BaysDJs / Decor: Mother Nature /  Transportation: Grand Traverse Tours / Attire: Tadashi Shoji (bride), Custom by NL Suits & Nas Laine Milwaukee, WI (groom), Romper Encore by Watters (Maid of Honor) /  Hair & Makeup: VenusTC /  Invitations: minted.com / Photography: Weber Photography—Megan Newman

  14. Zingerman’s Great American Food Tours “Farm to Table 2.0” Leelanau & Traverse City

    June 23, 2016

    Guest post courtesy of Janene Centurione, Great American Food Tours host.

    shutterstock_319394015

    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

    jcenturione@gmail.com

    734-775- 1037


    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.

     

    Susan Odom Hillside Homestead

    schooner-inland-seas

    shutterstock_121968133 Little Fleet food trucks

    For more information: Zingerman’s Food Tours Grand Traverse Bay September 23-25, 2016

  15. Colleen & Andy’s Cherry Basket Farm Wedding

    April 24, 2016

    Cherry Basket Farm | Omena, MI Wedding Photography | Colleen + Andy | © Dan Stewart Photography

    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

    All images courtesy of Dan Stewart Photography

    Colleen & Andy's Cherry Basket Farm Wedding photos by Dan Stewart Photography.

    Cherry Basket Farm | Omena, MI Wedding Photography | Colleen + Andy | © Dan Stewart Photography

    Omena, MI Wedding Photography | Colleen + Andy | © Dan Stewart Photography | http://danstewartphotography.comCherry Basket Farm | Omena, MI Wedding Photography | Colleen + Andy | © Dan Stewart Photography

    Cherry Basket Farm | Omena, MI Wedding Photography | Colleen + Andy | © Dan Stewart Photography

    Cherry Basket Farm | Omena, MI Wedding Photography | Colleen + Andy | © Dan Stewart Photography

    Cherry Basket Farm | Omena, MI Wedding Photography | Colleen + Andy | © Dan Stewart Photography

    Cherry Basket Farm | Omena, MI Wedding Photography | Colleen + Andy | © Dan Stewart Photography

    Cherry Basket Farm | Omena, MI Wedding Photography | Colleen + Andy | © Dan Stewart Photography

    Cherry Basket Farm | Omena, MI Wedding Photography | Colleen + Andy | © Dan Stewart Photography

    Cherry Basket Farm | Omena, MI Wedding Photography | Colleen + Andy | © Dan Stewart Photography

    Cherry Basket Farm | Omena, MI Wedding Photography | Colleen + Andy | © Dan Stewart Photography

    Cherry Basket Farm | Omena, MI Wedding Photography | Colleen + Andy | © Dan Stewart Photography

    Cherry Basket Farm | Omena, MI Wedding Photography | Colleen + Andy | © Dan Stewart Photography

    Cherry Basket Farm | Omena, MI Wedding Photography | Colleen + Andy | © Dan Stewart Photography

    Cherry Basket Farm | Omena, MI Wedding Photography | Colleen + Andy | © Dan Stewart Photography

    Cherry Basket Farm | Omena, MI Wedding Photography | Colleen + Andy | © Dan Stewart Photography

    Cherry Basket Farm | Omena, MI Wedding Photography | Colleen + Andy | © Dan Stewart Photography

    Cherry Basket Farm | Omena, MI Wedding Photography | Colleen + Andy | © Dan Stewart Photography

    Cherry Basket Farm | Omena, MI Wedding Photography | Colleen + Andy | © Dan Stewart Photography

    Cherry Basket Farm | Omena, MI Wedding Photography | Colleen + Andy | © Dan Stewart Photography

    Cherry Basket Farm | Omena, MI Wedding Photography | Colleen + Andy | © Dan Stewart Photography

    Cherry Basket Farm | Omena, MI Wedding Photography | Colleen + Andy | © Dan Stewart Photography

    Photography: Dan Stewart Photography

    Ceremony & Reception Venue: Cherry Basket Farm / Catering: Epicure Catering / Floral: Field of Flowers Farm / Favors: Leelanau Coffee Roasters / Entertainment: 2Bays DJ’s / Decor: DIY –  handmade by bridal party / Transportation: Celtic Shuttles / Attire: David Tutera bridal gown, Asos groom’s suit / Hair & Makeup: Pavlova salon in TC


  16. Kiersten & JT’s Northern Michigan Barn Wedding

    March 8, 2016

    Kiersten & JT's Traverse City Barn WeddingThe 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

    All images courtesy of Shutter Sam Photography.Ceremony set up from Kiersten & JT's Traverse City Barn WeddingGuests in the farmland at Kiersten & JT's Traverse City Barn Wedding Cellist at Kiersten & JT's Traverse City Barn Wedding Ceremony images from Kiersten & JT's Traverse City Barn Wedding Floral bouquets from Kiersten & JT's Traverse City Barn Wedding Wedding party | Kiersten & JT's Traverse City Barn Wedding Cheese display from Kiersten & JT's Traverse City Barn Wedding Cheese display from Kiersten & JT's Traverse City Barn Wedding Kiersten & JT's Traverse City Barn Wedding Guest seating detail from Kiersten & JT's Traverse City Barn WeddingKiersten & JT's Traverse City Barn Wedding Floral from Kiersten & JT's Cherry Basket Farm wedding in Northern Michigan. Kiersten & JT's Traverse City Barn Wedding Kiersten & JT's Traverse City Barn Wedding Kiersten & JT's Traverse City Barn Wedding Kiersten & JT's Traverse City Barn WeddingKiersten & JT's Traverse City Barn Wedding Kiersten & JT's Traverse City Barn Wedding Kiersten & JT's Traverse City Barn Wedding Kiersten & JT's Traverse City Barn Weddin Kiersten & JT's Traverse City Barn Wedding Kiersten & JT's Traverse City Barn Wedding Kiersten & JT's Traverse City Barn Wedding Kiersten & JT's Traverse City Barn Wedding Kiersten & JT's Traverse City Barn Wedding Kiersten & JT's Traverse City Barn Wedding

    Photography: Shutter Sam Photography

    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

  17. Charitable giving in Northern Michigan

    December 12, 2015

    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

    Please Give


    FIGHTING FOOD INSECURITY


    Food Rescue of Northwest Michigan

    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.

    Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency

    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.

    Noteworthy: NMCCA is a part of the Community Action Partnership, America’s Poverty Fighting Network.

    Leelanau Christian Neighbors

    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.


    FARMLAND PRESERVATION & GREENING OUR COMMUNITY


    The Leelanau Conservancy

    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.

    Bay Area Recycling for Charities

    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.


    SUPPORT FOR THOSE IN NEED


    Third Level Crisis Center

    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.

    Goodwill Inn Shelter

    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.

    United Way of 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.

    Father Fred Foundation

    We will listen to the community needs, care for the distressed, the poor, the hungry and the suffering, and share resources in a loving and respectful manner.

    Noteworthy: Now until Jan 2, buy a $10 Simply Give card at Meijer checkout or customer service desk and Meijer will match your $10 –so your $10 donation to Father Fred becomes $20!

    Safe Harbor of Grand Traverse

    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.

  18. … and, we’re back!

    September 29, 2015

    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.

    DSC_0625DSC_8678DSC_3844 DSC_3630 DSC_3543 DSC_3393 DSC_3163 DSC_1949 DSC_1915 DSC_1886DSC_1894 DSC_1818 DSC_1793 DSC_1776 DSC_1762 DSC_1471 DSC_1419 DSC_1288 DSC_1265 DSC_1206 DSC_1136 DSC_1130 DSC_1059 DSC_1020 DSC_0993 DSC_0876

     

  19. Mexico Travels | Mexico City: Hipódromo & Centro

    April 4, 2015

    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…

    Hipodromo02

     

    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.

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    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!
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    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. Hipodromo08 Hipodromo09 Hipodromo10 Hipodromo11 Hipodromo12 Hipodromo13

    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.Hipodromo14 Hipodromo15 Hipodromo16 Hipodromo18 Hipodromo20 Hipodromo21 Hipodromo22 Hipodromo23 Hipodromo24 Hipodromo25 Hipodromo26 Hipodromo27 Hipodromo28 Hipodromo29 Hipodromo30

    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. Hipodromo31 Hipodromo32 Hipodromo33 Hipodromo34 Hipodromo35 Hipodromo36

    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. Hipodromo41Soumaya2Soumaya1 Soumaya3 Soumaya4 Hipodromo39 Hipodromo40Hipodromo38

    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.

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    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.

    Gracias and hasta luego!

  20. Mexico Travels | Puebla & Cantona

    March 30, 2015

    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…

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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” !

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  21. Mexico Travels | Mexico City:Coyoacán

    March 23, 2015

    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…

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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!

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    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.

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    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.

  22. Mexico Travels | Troncones

    March 15, 2015

    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…

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    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

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  23. Brit & Phil’s Cherry Basket Farm Wedding

    February 2, 2015

    Photos acheter viagra by Amy Carroll 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

    see more images from the big day on Amy’s blog. Enjoy!Brit & Phil- 04

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    All images by Amy Carroll Photography

  24. New beginnings for Simply Blue Weddings

    January 15, 2015

    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.

    Cheers, all. Here’s to new beginnings!

    With love and gratitude,

    Cammie Buehler, Alicia Caldecott and Cory Weber

    EXIT POST

  25. To you and yours…

    December 22, 2014

    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?

    Cheers to you prix viagra marche noir and yours this season. XOXO

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  26. The Yellow Table Cookbook by Anna Watson Carl

    December 8, 2014

    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.

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    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.

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    All Photos by Signe Birck except the one immediately above, by Nate Poekert.

  27. Megan & Nate | Cherry Basket Farm

    November 24, 2014

    Please enjoy this photo essay of images from Megan & Nate’s wedding at Cherry Basket Farm! Vendor info can be found at the bottom of the post. Cheers!

    All images courtesy of Weber Photography.

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    Photo: Weber Photography / Ceremony Venue: Cherry Basket Farm / Reception Venue: Cherry Basket Farm / Catering: Epicure Catering / Cake: Top Tier Cakery / Floral: Field of Flowers Farm / Linen: BBJ Linen / Entertainment: Mr. Music DJ / Hair & Makeup: Pavlova / Transportation: Celtic Shuttles

  28. Shotgun Wedding: Not a Beer Dinner

    October 29, 2014

    We hope you will join us! We are so thrilled to join up with the team at Stormcloud Brewing Company for this fabulous event in honor of Traverse City Beer Week. And of course, you know we are huge fans of collaborating with The Little Fleet (see here and here). All the elements are in place for this killer party!

    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.

    Tickets available online.

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  29. Clean Plate Club Vegan Dinner | The Little Fleet

    October 27, 2014

    Vegan Dinner15As 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

    Vegan Dinner

    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

    Food partners:

    Carlson-Arbagast Farms

    Cherry Basket Farm

    Bare Knuckle Farm

    Paradise Farm

    Pressmeister Oil

    Providence Farm

    Green Rock Farm

     

    Collaborators:

    Gary & Allison Jonas, owners

    The Little Fleet

    venue hosts & libations

    Andy Schudlich, chef

    Epicure Catering

    menu creation & preparation

    Cammie Buehler, managing partner

    Epicure Catering

    décor & styling

    Mickey Humpula, sous chef

    Epicure Catering

    menu creation & preparation

    Sarah Peschel & Peggy Miller

    At Home Suttons Bay

    décor & styling

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  30. America:Farm to Table|Mario Batali & Jim Webster

    October 7, 2014

    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_cover image-1

    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.

    Locally, the book is available at Brilliant Books or Horizon Books. The book is also available through Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

  31. Farm Visit: Christmas Cove Farm

    September 29, 2014

    One of my favorite things to do every fall is visit Kilcherman’s Christmas Cove Farm.

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    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.

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  32. Restaurant inspired wedding design | Alicia Caldecott

    September 15, 2014

    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 & Mark7Kim 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.

    Kim & Mark 7Have 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.

    Kim & Mark 27We 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

    Passed Appetizers:

     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

     Stationary Appetizers:

    Grassfields Gouda, Zingerman’s Manchester, and Wisconsin buttermilk blue with

    local produce, honey, candied nuts, and compotes

      Plated Courses:

    Fish:

    Poached, marinated Lake Superior Walleye served cold with pine nuts, pink peppercorns  and green onion- parsley oil, served with rose pesto crostini

    Salad:

    Local grilled apricots, Leelanau Cheese Fromage Blanc, pistachios, mint/basil vinaigrette

    Local rolls and fennel honey

    Pasta:

    Leelanau Cheese Fromage Blanc ravioli with black pepper with heirloom tomato brodo and microgreens

    Beef:

    Braised local beef shanks with morel risotto, local green beans

    Dessert:

    House made trifle with lemon sponge cake, local maple whipped cream, mixed fresh berries

     Dessert station:

    Pie station with locally made strawberry-rhubarb, cherry and mixed berry pies

    Kim & Mark 34

    Kim & Mark9Kim & Mark2Kim & Mark 31Kim & Mark 30Kim & Mark 32Kim & Mark3 Kim & Mark4 1211Kim & Mark5 Kim & Mark612521115114512491245Kim & Mark1 Kim & Mark 401369

    Kim & Mark 35Kim & Mark 381392Photos: Jen Kroll Photography

     

     

  33. Samantha & Donovan | Cherry Basket Farm

    September 1, 2014

    Sam & Dono’s wedding was captured by Michelle March Photography.
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    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   revkelly58@gmail.com DJ: Eternal Entertainment Group   / Bagpipes: Jack Fellows   jackfellows@charter.net
     
  34. Summer Supper | Chetonka

    August 18, 2014

    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.

    Menu:

    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

    Local peach and blackberry clafouti

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  35. Jackie & Asif’s Cherry Basket Farm wedding

    August 4, 2014

    Jackie & Asif’s gorgeous Cherry Basket Farm wedding was captured by Alicia Magnuson Photography.serajian_wedding_0016serajian_wedding_0115 serajian_wedding_0116 serajian_wedding_0327serajian_wedding_0105serajian_wedding_0117serajian_wedding_0118serajian_wedding_0123serajian_wedding_0227serajian_wedding_0243serajian_wedding_0257

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    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

  36. Spicy Carrot Ribbons

    July 21, 2014

    carrot1

    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!
  37. Karen & Dave | Cherry Basket Farm

    July 7, 2014

    Karen & Dave’s wedding was captured by the fabulous team at Weber Photography. 

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    Michigan Vendors:
    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.
  38. Salt Packed Walleye

    June 23, 2014

    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.

    Salt Fish01Andy 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.

    002936-R1-010Combine 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.
    Salt Fish02Salt Fish03We 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. Salt Fish04Salt Fish08The fish is lowered into the pit, then covered. Salt Fish09Salt Fish06Salt Fish05The fish is done when the cocoon is hard to the touch and has an internal temperature of 145 degrees.Salt Fish10Let 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.
    Salt Fish12Crack 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. Salt Fish11Put the fish on a platter and serve with your favorite pesto or condiment of choice.
    Salt Fish13Salty1 Salty2 Salty3Put out a spread, pair with a dry white from Leelanau County and enjoy with friends!

    Salty4

  39. Sandy & Stephen | Cherry Basket Farm

    June 9, 2014

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    From the bride:

    “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

    You can also check see more from Sandy & Stephen’s wedding over at Simply Blue Weddings.

    All images courtesy of our friends at Weber Photography.

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    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

  40. Farm Visit: Boss Mouse Cheese

    May 12, 2014

    Boss Mouse01I 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.

    Boss Mouse18We began the day in the creamery. Once the milk and culture are heated to the correct temperature,  vegetable rennet is added.

    Boss Mouse03Sue 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.

    Boss Mouse06Just a little experiment, labeled “Yogurt Cheese WTF Wheel”.

    Boss Mouse08Havarti and friends.Boss Mouse12Tasting the cheese is essential. Sue uses a tool called a cheese trier to remove a core from the wheel.Boss Mouse13Sue checks for aroma, flavor and texture, among other things. Boss Mouse11After 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. Boss Mouse16A girl and her cheese. Boss Mouse20While 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. Boss Mouse24Back in the creamery, the curd is ready to be cut. Sue tests the consistency with a custom tool her father made for her. Boss Mouse26Cutting the curd on a batch of sweet swiss.Boss Mouse27Once 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…
    Boss Mouse30The 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.
    Boss Mouse31Time 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.
    Boss Mouse35All the ladies (plus a rooster).Boss Mouse34Head cheese and rescue-rabbit, Licorice. Boss Mouse39Meet Cozy…
    Boss Mouse40…and Max. Boss Mouse45Meanwhile, back in the creamery it is time to separate the curds from the whey. Boss Mouse41Straining the whey. Boss Mouse49In this step, Sue puts the curds into the mold once they are separated from the whey.
    Boss Mouse50Sue packs the curds in the mold to help give the wheel a consistent shape.
    Boss Mouse53

    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.Boss Mouse55

    Me with Cozy, who is kind of a close-talker.

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    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.