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Enjoy a Picnic Lunch at Castle in the Country

Today is a perfect day for our guests to stay on site, enjoy the nice weather sitting in our lakeside screenhouse, and munch on all the goodies we pack in our picnic lunch, including our own sourdough bread.

Recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

We take our cues from the local seasonality for this excellent dessert. Here in our corner of West Michigan we are in that special time when the rhubarb is winding down and the strawberries are just beginning. The combination of rhubarb’s tart, almost astringent, flavor with the natural sweetness of strawberries is magical. Especially when…

Recipe for Sourdough Bread

We make sourdough bread multiple times per week here at Castle in the Country from a starter that began life on April 15, 2005. It is used here for french toast, croutons, picnic baskets, dinners, breadcrumbs…very little goes to waste. I like the simplicity of ingredients: Flour, water, salt. I like the complexity of the…

Recipe for Brownies with Bacon

  There seems to be an increasing use of bacon in sweet dessert items like chocolate brownies. The combination of smokey, salty bacon with sweet, rich chocolate is better than it may sound at first.     So, we thought it would be fun to try this pairing as part of our in room dinner…

Recipe for Cream Scones

Most traditional scone recipes use both butter and milk or half&half. Here we skip the butter and a few of the mixing steps by using only heavy cream. This simplifies and shortens the preparation process, and the end result yields a crispy, more glazed crust with a moist interior. Any dried fruit such as cherries,…

Tonight’s Secret Ingredient Dinner Menu

Appetizer: Grilled Shrimp (as always) Soup: Roasted Butternut Squash with Ginger Sourdough Breadroll Salad: Savoy Cabbage Slaw with Apple Vinaigrette and Mustard Seeds with toasted walnuts Main Entree: Pork Chop with Caramel-Apples, Grilled Brussels Sprouts, and Turnip Gratin Dessert: Pear Gallete with Rapberries and Cardamom (Sent from my BlackBerry)

Secret Ingredients

No shortage of interesting things coming from the good earth here in SW Michigan. Kale, Savoy Cabbage, Turnips, Leeks, Brussel Sprouts, and Asian and European Pears. The bumpy green orb is an Osage Orange-not edible but it looks interesting.  

The Secret Ingredients Plan

Pears! Maybe I got a little carried away, but they had an assortment of Asian, d’Anjou, Bosc, and Red Bartlett. I have them out in the kitchen ripening. Thinking about freshly sliced Asian pears with the salad greens and a Dijon vinaigrette. Maybe some toasted walnuts? Since I have so many, they will also be…