The Restless Chef
It’s the season for connecting or reconnecting with a loved one. Unless you live in a perpetually warm state, winter has been brutal this year. Getting away from it all and just spending time with your loved one can be good for the soul. I had guests last weekend that were celebrating 30 years of marriage. The wife told me she had to drag her husband along to stay in a bed and breakfast. Why the stigma of a bed and breakfast, fellas? Private bathroom, fresh baked cookies, breakfast served to you, happy wife. What’s not to like?!!! Needless to say, he came around and realized that it wasn’t so bad and they left to go home hand in hand. Cute!
For Valentine season at the bed and breakfast, I like to use color. Right now, I have white blindness from all the snow. So, I’m definitely using color in my food. Have you ever made a Dutch Baby? The name coined for these small German pancakes was actually a mispronunciation of the daughter of a restaurant owner in Seattle in the early 1900’s. She couldn’t pronounce Deutsch and turned it into Dutch. The pancakes are on the smaller side, so she called the pancake a Dutch Baby. This particular recipe is filled with colorful berries and bananas to brighten up any morning. Even a February one. Enjoy!
Fruit Dutch Baby (Serves 2)
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 Cup flour
1/2 Cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 teaspoons sugar – divided
1 1/2 Cups strawberries, quartered
1/2 Cup blueberries
1 Cup bananas, sliced
Confectioner sugar to dust
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine flour, milk, eggs, vanilla and 1 teaspoon of sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk together. Place the strawberries, blueberries and 2 teaspoons of sugar in a bowl and toss together. Let the fruit marinate. Place the 2 tablespoons of butter in a 9 inch pie dish and melt in the oven. Once the butter is melted, use a brush to spread the butter up onto the sides of the pie dish. Pour the batter into the pie dish and bake for 14 minutes (be sure it is on the bottom rack as it will rise into a bowl shape). Remove from oven and lift out of the pie dish carefully. Cut the Dutch Baby in half and place each half on serving plate. Fill each half with marinated fruit and the sliced banana. Dust each Dutch Baby with confectioner sugar, then pour on desired amount of strawberry syrup.
Top Eight Restaurants to Visit in Northwest Michigan for Valentine’s Weekend
Winter is trudging along, so you need something to look forward to. If a romantic getaway is in order, Northern Michigan has the most romantic places to go for dining. Authentic, locally sourced food is key to eateries in this region. Dining with ambience and expertly prepared food can make for a wonderful evening. Add to that dining experience a perfectly paired bottle of wine or a craft beer, and all the more better.
Here are the top eight restaurants to dine in for Valentine Season in the Ellsworth, Charlevoix, Bellaire and Petoskey area.
Ellsworth – Located on the Chain of Lakes
The Rowe Inn Restaurant
With their extensive wine cellar and locally sourced ingredients, it is a dining experience. Check it out http://www.roweinn.com
Charlevoix – Located on the shores of Lake Michigan
Offers a variety of New American dishes in an elegant Victorian surrounding. Check it out http://www.greygablesinn.com
Bridge Street Tap Room
Local alehouse with a view of Round Lake featuring local craft brews and an area-sourced bar menu. Local music for entertainment. Check it out http://www.bridgestreettaproom.com
In a renovated grist mill with a gorgeous view of the channel between Lake Michigan and Round Lake. Enjoy lovely ambience and great regional food. Check it out http://www.staffords.com/weathervane-restaurant/
Bellaire – Located on the Chain of Lakes
Nationally known Short’s Brewery is here in Northern Michigan! A gastropub offering 20 house beers and eclectic menu. Local music for entertainment. Check it out https://www.shortsbrewing.com
Petoskey – Located north of Charlevoix, on the shores of Grand Traverse Bay
Cozy up at Chandler’s for New American dishes and sushi. With a 4,000 bottle wine cellar, you will have a hard time deciding on a bottle. Check it out http://www.chandlersarestaurant.com
American food inspired by Mediterranean traditions. Beautiful views of Lake Michigan and located in the Gaslight District. Check it out http://twisted-olive.com
A double-decker cafe with bay views. Gourmet Mediterranean fare and wine. Check it out http://www.palettebistropetoskey.com
BOGO (Buy One Get One) Free!
There are two more BOGO weekends coming up. How often do you get to buy one and get one free? Take advantage! Here are the dates:
March 22-24, 2019
April 12-14, 2019
Happy Valentine from The House on the Hill Bed and Breakfast!