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"Up North" In May – What To Do And Where To Eat


April 24, 2019 | Marci Palajac

Chef holding morel mushrooms

The Restless Chef

Blog for The House on the Hill Bed and Breakfast in Ellsworth, Michigan. Entrepreneurship, cooking, Northern Michigan living.

Chef holding morel mushrooms

Spring is here! Since our bed and breakfast is dependent upon tourism, spring is a time of gearing up. Although the snow brings out adventurers to the B & B, summer brings out all of those wanting to play in our sparkling blue lakes. All winter I have been testing recipes and making menus as well as deep cleaning our rooms and guest spaces. Once the crowd hits, I have to stay one step ahead. Our lake has melted and soon we will see the boats, kayaks, paddle boards and canoes skimming the water. The woods are starting to green up and birds are returning to our countryside. Truly a magnificent sight!

Lake with trees and summer sky

The month of May is all about Morel mushrooms in Northern Michigan. This is the time of year they can be found in the woods of Northern Michigan. Here is a tasty omelet prepared with a Morel flavored cheese.  

Baked Morel and Leek Omelet (Serves 4)

Butter for greasing baking dish

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 leek sliced (white part)

8 large eggs

1/3 Cup whole milk

1 teaspoon kosher salt 

Cracked black pepper (to taste)

1/2 red pepper, thin slices

1 1/2 Cups Morel and Leek cheese, shredded*

1 Tablespoon Boursin cheese

1/4 Cup chopped fresh parsley 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter an 8 X 8 inch baking dish. Warm olive oil in a saute’ pan and saute’ leek and red pepper until softened. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Stir in one cup of the shredded cheese, leeks, red pepper and parsley. Pour into baking dish. Sprinkle Boursin cheese on top of egg mixture. Sprinkle remaining shredded Morel and Leek cheese on top of Boursin. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cut the omelet into 4 squares.

 *This omelet is named for the cheese I use. Morel and Leek cheese can be found in the International Cheese section of your local grocery store. If you can’t find it, you can substitute the cheese for any that you like (for example, Gruyere is a good one to use for this dish) and you can change the leeks out for green onion or sweet onion. 

Feel free to add meat to this dish as well. 

Baked Morel and Leek Omelet

Trending – Morel Mushroom Hunting

Have you ever seen or tried a Morel mushroom? Ok, I admit it is an ugly mushroom. Chefs all over the world seek out this delicacy! Sautéed with a little butter and garlic is my favorite way to prepare these mushrooms. Where do I get them? Lucky me, they grow on our land. Our guests come to wander our land and hunt for these Morels. Morels live in forested areas and usually around trees such as aspen, oak, ash and elm. Look for a south facing slope for your best opportunities to find them. Here are events to attend for Morel season:

  1. The National Morel Mushroom Festival is flooded with die hard mushroom hunters. 
  2. Our local restaurant, The Rowe Inn, pays homage to the Morel with dedicated dinners May 17-19 at 7:00 p.m. each night. If you would like to see the menu, click here

Trending – Memorial Day Weekend 

The unofficial kick-off to summer, Memorial Day Weekend has been dubbed an “Up North” weekend. Folks from all over look forward to escaping to Lake Michigan and all the inland lakes that northern Michigan has to offer. Here are some Memorial Day Weekend ideas for you:

The Landing waterfront restaurant in Ironton will be open and will certainly get you in the mood for summer. Dockside seating right on Lake Charlevoix where you can watch the boats come in.

1918 Cellars

Season Kickoff will feature 10 wines produced in Michigan and live music at Castle Farms.

The House on the Hill Bed and Breakfast has paddle boards, kayaks, canoe and a paddle boat to get out on the Chain of Lakes and explore 75 miles of natural scenic beauty. 

Come Visit Us!

As summer approaches, it is time to plan your vacation. We have set special weekday prices this year for you to take advantage of. Your room rate covers your three course breakfast, a guest center stocked with snacks, hot and cold drinks and fresh baked cookies, and use of the water craft to explore the Chain of Lakes making your visit an all inclusive vacation. Visit our brand new website to fully plan your trip and see what our area has to offer. 

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