Saturday, May 24, 2014

A Holiday to Remember

We have come to know Memorial Day as the start of the summer vacation season, just as we know that Labor Day marks the end. 

Memorial Day Tablescape
But the final Monday of every May is truly about remembrance – remembering those who have passed while serving our great country.

Mini flags in the centerpiece
Whether you are attending a holiday parade, cooking out with family and friends, or just enjoying a day off, have a Happy Memorial Day!

Sparklers for guests
And, remember the men and women who serve and keep us safe.

Old Glory in the breeze
God Bless America. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Encore...Savory Beef and Chicken Marinade

Fire up the charcoal......  turn on the propane......  ignite the wood......

Whichever your grilling technique, the season is upon us!  The Midwest has had some beautiful weather this week, and we are elated to make the transition from indoor to outdoor cooking.  This marinade recipe is one that I posted when I first started writing my blog - it's so good it deserves an encore.  

Savory beef and chicken marinade
This one's a grilling staple for me and my Mom.  Neither of us really remembers where it first came from, but we love it.  My Mom started using it for fajitas back in the 70s when fajitas and tacos were becoming popular to make at home (think Michael Jackson - Don't Stop till You Get Enough).

We’ve used this marinade with chicken and beef - like flank steak.  It’s really versatile and has loads of flavor. 
Corn pudding - a perfect summer side dish
This time around, I'm including one of my favorite summertime sides - Corn Pudding.  It pairs really well with the chicken/beef recipe or any of your grilling specialties.

Enjoy, share and happy grilling!
Savory Chicken and Beef Marinade
¼ c. red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon summer savory
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon dry mustard
½ teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons steak sauce

Whisk all ingredients together.  Place chicken or beef in a plastic, sealable bag and pour in the marinade.  Marinate for 2-6 hours.

It's all about the seasonings...
Corn Pudding
1 15 oz. can corn, drained
2 tablespoons flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 c. cheddar cheese
1 c. milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup bread crumbs

Combine corn, flour, eggs, sugar, salt, pepper and cheese.  Warm milk and add to mixture.  Pour into a buttered casserole and top with breadcrumbs and melted butter.  Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  This recipe can easily be doubled to share the love with more friends.....

Happy Grilling!

P.S. "Keep on... with the force don't stop.....don't stop till ya get enough." -  Michael Jackson



Monday, May 12, 2014

A Step Back in Time

Located east of downtown Detroit, along the shores of Lake St. Clair in Grosse Pointe stands a glorious home where Edsel and Eleanor Ford and their family once lived.  Edsel was the only child of Henry Ford and succeeded his father in serving as the president of The Ford Motor Company from 1919 until his death in 1943.         

The Edsel and Eleanor Ford home - view facing Lake St. Clair
I first heard about the estate a few years ago and have wanted to visit ever since.  With a non-committed vacation day and the fact that it was my birthday, it seemed like the perfect time for a road trip.

The right side of the front circle drive

Construction of 20,000 square foot Ford House began in 1926 and became the family’s home in 1929.  Complete with stone roofs, lead-paned windows and vine-covered walls, the home was designed to resemble row homes in Cotswold Village in England.

All of the Ford meals were served in this dining room

This was quite different from what we were expecting - maybe something that aligned more with Victorian architecture.  Rather it is a home filled with an eclectic mix of art and antiques.  Part of it feels somewhat castle-like with its limestone walls, wood paneling and imposing fireplaces that were brought from old English Manor houses. 

The grand entrance to the Ford Home

Other areas of the home include a spacious butler’s pantry with 23 sets of china to choose from, a kitchen with sterling silver countertops, and a flower room used to prepare the fresh arrangements that were placed around the home each day.

Daffodils in bloom

After our home tour, we strolled the grounds, took in the lake views and visited other buildings on the property including the playhouse built for the Ford’s daughter, Josephine.

Josephine's playhouse

Before departing for home, I was treated to a birthday lunch at the quaint Cotswold café, just a short walk from the main house.  My husband and I were pleasantly surprised by the exceptional service and quality of food.

View of Lake St. Clair

Along with a glass of Pinot Noir, my lunch included a petite Sonoma salad with fresh strawberries, feta cheese and tangy vinaigrette and a Monte Cristo sandwich served with a raspberry dipping sauce.  All guests are treated to the café’s signature popovers - light and fluffy rolls served warm with butter.

A section of the entrance to the estate

The Ford House experience makes for a lovely day – a true gem in Detroit.  It’s beautiful in the spring but perhaps even more so at Christmas time.  Looks like we are going to need a return visit…

The home was built to resemble the row homes in Cotswold England

Have a wonderful week!