Saturday, September 18

Hoophouse Gala 2010

The 2nd annual Hoophouse Gala was held last Sunday, September 12th. It was a gorgeous day! My friend - Lynne, her husband - Gary, and I -- along with over 200 attendees were dining al fresco under a harvest sky on the grounds of the MSU Student Organic Farm. The proceeds from this harvest dinner fund scholarships that support the training and education of Michigan's future organic farmers.

Venue: The MSU Student Organic Farm. At the Horticulture Teaching & Research Center. Michigan State University. Beautiful and amazing!

Towering Pineapple fruit trees

Selection of Michigan cheeses and breads

Appetizer Stations
Shrimp and fresh herb summer rolls
Vegetable spring rolls
Okemos-raised shrimp station

Dinner time...

Music by the MSU Jazz Combo

Wedge of Black Star Farms Raclette
Michigan apple chips and spiced walnuts

Gathered MSU Student Organic Farm Greens
Michigan dried cherries, toasted almonds, farm-fresh raspberries
and honey-raspberry vinaigrette

Tuscan-Poached Salmon
with heirloom bean and barley cake,
topped with tomato-basil salata and fried basil

Michigan Peach Sorbet

MSU Student Organic Farm Pasture-raised Pork
roast center cut pork loin filled with Michigan dried fruit
Michigan apple cider-braised pork shoulder with caramelized onions
Sweet Potato Dauphinoise
Pan-roasted Seasonal Vegetables

Vegetarian Entree (option)

Michigan Blueberry Bread and Butter Pudding
MSU Student Organic Farm Honey Vanilla Ice Cream


Our meal was prepared using local, seasonal and sustainable produce -- by MSU's award-winning Spartan chefs. The event also showcased products of Michigan farms and wineries. Kudo to sponsors, volunteers, donors, student farmers, chefs, and all who made this great event happened. I am actually looking forward to next year's dinner already...

Thursday, September 16

Student Organic Farm

A Farm Walk
The MSU Student Organic Farm
At the Horticulture Teaching & Research Center, Michigan State University

Sunday, September 12

Woods Restaurant - Mackinac Island

My most favorite eat during our trip on Mackinac Island is the dinner at Woods. The restaurant is located in the center of the Island, and operated by the Grand Hotel.

I think the atmosphere at Woods is absolutely amazing! The place is Bavarian themed, with a rustic ambiance - but elegant. The food was great, a little on a high side for price - but a lot less than Grand Hotel, and less formal.

Baked Ashley Farms Chicken Breast
with sweet corn and cheddar cheese bread pudding, and charred tomatillo sauce

Seared Tasmanian Salmon
with lobster mash, ham hock consumme', and fresh horseradish

Vanilla Panna Cotta
with blood orange sorbet

Our evening ended with a horse-drawn carriage ride through the beautiful Island woods, back to our hotel. The darkness, chilly night, and galloping sound in the deep woods somehow were pretty magical... especially, after a good meal with great friends. If you visit Mackinac Island, make sure to eat at Woods!

Woods Restaurant:
Stonecliff Rd
Mackinac Island, MI 49757
(906) 847-3699

Monday, September 6

Mackinac Island Fudge

As soon as I stepped off the ferry and onto the dock, I could smell the aroma of the famous Mackinac Island fudge! There are many different fudge vendors on the Island -- so wherever we went, the scent of these rich, creamy, and delicious treat was always with us.

Beforing leaving the Island, I visited Joanne's Fudge to pick up some and bring back home to share. They have 30 flavors of authentic, made-daily fudge to choose from. Watching the fudge-making demo, sampling some fresh made ones, and making decision what to get were quite a lot of fun!


Mackinac Island is just fantastic!

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