Friday, September 30

Sleeping Bear Dunes Trip

Here's my long overdue post. A Labor Day weekend recap of our getaway at the majestic Sleeping Bear Dunes on Lake Michigan.

We stayed in Empire, home to the Headquarters of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. We were pretty much right next to the beautiful beach.

After settling in the first night, we were off to climb the dune the next morning.

After that we went to Glen Arbor for lunch and shopping. Then, we visited Historical Fishtown in Leland.

The next day, it was a gorgeous sunny morning so we went kayaking for a couple of hours along Crystal River, in Glen Arbor. Then, after the storm passed, we visited the Dune Overlook.

We also visited Lake Michigan Overlook. It was stunning!

Absolutely, one of my most favorite vacation spots -- right here in #PureMichigan. We'll be back!

Thursday, September 22

Hoophouse Gala 2011

This year, at MSU's third annual Hoophouse Gala, about 250 guests came together to enjoy the harvest dinner and also raise money to create scholarships to support the training and education of the next generation of Michigan's organic farmers.

The gala was held on the ground of the MSU Student Organic Farm, last Sunday, September 18. Dining al fresco under the beautiful sky, guests were served Michigan beers and wines, and seven-course meal prepared by the Spartan chefs. The day was gorgeous, and the dinner was amazing!

A hoophouse is an unheated passive solar greenhouse used to help farmers extend their growing seasons and increase, vegetable, fruit, flower and herb production.

Upon arrival, guests enjoyed their beverages and appetizers, including beet shooters.

Receptions appetizers (above and more) by chef Brad Curlee, chef Jeff Fisher, and chef Rob Trufant.

While enjoying the reception, guests got to bid at the featured silent auction, as well as had a farm walk at our leisure. Then, we sat down for a Michigan sustainably-produced harvest dinner.

Here's what we had:

Appetizer by chef Eric Batten:
Herb-seared Beef Carpaccio pea shoot salad & Michigan grape vinaigrette

Soup by chef Michael Clyne:
Michigan Sweet Corn Soup tiny dumplings with pork belly, chili oil, ginger & cilantro.

[Vegetarion option for appetizer and soup]

Salad by chef Kurt Kwiatkowski:
Michigan Caprese Salad MSU Student Organic Farm heirloom tomatoes, basil, & micro-greens

Fish by chef Eric Batten:
Fire-grilled Okemos Shrimp diablo oil with stone circle dipping bread & cilantro

Intermezzo by chef Gerhard Steiner:
Michigan Blueberry Sorbet St. Julian Winery vodka, Michigan blueberries & essence of lemons

Entree by chef Matthew Wilson:
Pasture-raised Organic Pork forest mushroom. rutabaga duchess, baby zucchini & huckleberry jus

Optional vegetarian entree:
Sweet Potato Gnocchi with brown butter and sage

Dessert by chef Michael Clyne:
Cornmeal Brown Butter Cake MSU Student Organic Farm blueberries, sweet & salty popcorn, and strawberry rose geranium ice cream

Lynne & I before dinner started

Some of guests at our table: Nori, Emma, and Libby are Student Organic farm crews. We had a good time, and I've learned a lot more about the program and what they do at the farm.

MSU Student Organic Farm crews

Sunday, September 11

An Evening in Lansing

One beautiful evening a few weeks ago, I visited Mill Supplies Corp. building on Michigan Avenue, Lansing. My friends, Camron and Lisa were there greeting their guests, giving a tour and telling stories about this historic and iconic building.

Originally built in 1910 by the Rikerd Lumber Co., its most recent owner was Mill Supplies Corporation. Now that the third owner with amazing vision has set his foot in it, I am excited and can't wait to find out the upcoming plans for the use of this cool building.

What a neat old freight elevator!

Welcoming guests who wanted to have a ride.

Right across the street is Lansing Center.

Then, I took a walk along Michigan Avenue and got to really enjoy Lansing scene.

My walk ended at Lansing City Market.

At Waterfront Bar & Grill, my friend, Lynne and I enjoyed drinks and appetizers while appreciating Lansing's beautiful evening...


Thursday, September 1

Yogurt Parfait

What's your favorite breakfast?
Here's mine!

Greek yogurt, strawberries, blueberries, maple syrup, and granola

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