Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Grill Out *Follow Up*

After the yummy grilled veggies and chicken, we realized we had an abundance of leftovers! So instead of gnawing on a veggie platter for three days, I turned it into a pasta primavera...

Chop all items into bite size pieces.

Cook up a potful of your favorite pasta. I like penne best for this- the bite size pieces blend well with the other small bites.
Once cooked al dente, toss everything together with juice from 1/2 a lemon, 1 cup shaved Parmesan cheese, a handful of basil chiffonade and salt and pepper.

Oh, but watch out for pasta thieves... they may look cute, but they're really just after your lunch!

Long Weekend Grill Out

Memorial Day was the perfect chance to work on recipes for Great Lakes Adventures (and to also lounge by the pool with Shop Dog for hours on end!)

Starting with garden fresh vegetables, I had zucchini, summer squash, scallions, bell peppers, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and asparagus on hand.



A summer grilled platter was definitely just the ticket...

Shallot Vinaigrette
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
Juice from 1/2 lemon
2 shallot cloves
1 garlic clove
Mixed herbs (I chose mint, basil, oregano, chive and parsley)
Pinch of sugar
Sea salt, to taste

Whisk all ingredients together and season to taste with salt.

Then... get to grillin'!!

As you do, brush the shallot vinaigrette over the vegetables (watch out for flame ups!). And cook each until tender.


Also, it helps to have a friend to grill with you (and catch any scraps that may fall...)

I had some chicken thighs marinading in a garlicky delicious olive oil reduction that I decided to grill up as a last minute addition. A few minutes on each side, finished in a hot oven and we're talking perfection.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Shop Dog

When we were young and foolish, we dreamed of owning businesses where we could surround ourselves with the things we love. Years later, after office jobs, kitchen crews, crazy bosses and underpaid grumblings... we're finally getting there.

One of the biggest pillars of our  mission is our love for dogs. Big, small, smart, dopey- we love them all!
But dogs don't understand 9 to 5. They are full time buddies who wait patiently while we trudge to our offices 5 days a week. Which is why we believe in Shop Dogs. Those crazy critters you find in quaint stores, boutiques and even some small restaurants. Great Lakes Adventure is all about "Bring Your Dog to Work" day... everyday!

Meet Scout. Our official Shop Dog.

At 12 weeks old, this rescued Black Lab mix puppy is training like a pro- learning how to heel, sit and stay- as well as the ins and outs of tents, sleeping bags, backcountry trails and how to run alongside a bicycle.

Keep an eye on our future trips- because there will definitely be some dog-friendly travels in our future!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Springtime Picnic

The backbone of any trip, no matter where you go, is good food. And that's where we begin our journey. At the heart of Great Lakes Adventures will always be really good food. And here is where those recipes get tested, tasted and photographed for your viewing (and commenting!) pleasure. We'd love your feedback- always!

Let's start with springtime in Michigan! Bright purple lilac bushes, honey bees, lemonade and cool breezes... we tried a picnic this past weekend off a woodsy trail north of Whitmore Lake. A big muffuletta (truly, the best sandwich in America), fresh fruit salad, crackers and cheese and a bottle of crisp Holmes (ahem, "Pinot") Grigio from the Spotted Dog Winery. Nothing fancy, just solid good food.

Michigan Muffuletta
serves 4 (or 2 if you're really hungry!)

1 round loaf of sourdough bread (thank you, Zingermans!)
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced thin
1/2 vidalia onion, sliced thin
2 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove
2 tbsp marinated artichoke hearts (I love Delallo)
Drizzle of balsamic vinegar
3 oz mozzarella cheese
3 oz smoked turkey breast (deli-style)
3 oz honey glazed ham (deli-style)
1/2 cucumber, sliced
1 oz fresh basil, chiffonnade
Cut the top off of the bread (about 1/2 inch from the sides and 1/2 inch deep). Remove the lid and pull out all of the inside bread. Set the filling aside and use for something yummy. Set the now hollow loaf aside.
In a nonstick saucepan, head olive oil over medium high heat. Add red peppers and onion and cook for 6-8 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool.
In a food processor, blend garlic with marinated artichoke hearts and a drizzle of balsamic. Taste and season as desired with salt.

To assemble the sandwich, spoon half of the artichoke blend into the base of the bread. Layer the cheese, turkey, ham and cucumber on top. Add red peppers and onion, followed by cucumber, basil and remaining artichoke mixture. Add the lid, wrap well in plastic and let sit in a cool place for at least an hour before slicing and serving.

Great Lakes Adventures

Welcome to the world of Great Lakes Adventure Travel. We're all about the basic pleasures of life... good food, wonderful company and breathtaking scenery. Our travels take us all over the midwest, from bicycling to backpacking, wine tasting to shipwreck scuba diving! And we do it in style with gourmet al fresco cooking and luxury campside arrangements.

There is so much more to come- and we hope you're just as excited as we are to take this journey!
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