Granny’s Travels…Mackinac Island!

July 11, 2013 § Leave a comment

The most charming part of Mackinac Island is that there are no cars on the island.  You walk, ride bikes, ride horses (unless you are me and are still really traumatized by Jake, the horse from heck).  Many friends had summer jobs on the island during our college days.  And of course, there have been many trips to the Island to welcome the boats in the harbor for the Port Huron to Mac race week.  There are so many things that make Michigan special- the mitten shape, UP NORTH, M-22, Sleeping Bear Dunes, Torch Lake, the Great Lakes, Petoskey Stones, the beaches, Iva’s Chicken Dinners (plug for my sister’s restaurant Up North), but Mackinac Island takes the cake!

When you are on the Island there are plenty of people around who were there during the filming of Somewhere In Time and will talk about how nice Christopher Reeve was and Jane Seymour, well, not so much.  No judgment.

Granny loved the little shops and the pure beauty of the Island.  She always brought back Mackinac Island Fudge from Murdick’s.  A little slice of heaven.  I imagine that her heaven is full of fudge and lava rocks.

If you haven’t been, put Mackinac Island on your bucket list.  You won’t be disappointed.


Pink Pony’s Smoked Whitefish Dip

  • 8 ounces, weight Cream Cheese, Softened
  • 2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
  • 1 whole Small White Onion Chopped
  • ½ whole Lemon, Juiced
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
  • 2 dashes Black Pepper
  • 3 dashes Salt
  • 2 cups Fresh Smoked Whitefish (or Salmon)
  • Lemon Wedges, Optional, For Garnish


With a hand blender, cream together all ingredients except the fish. Fold in the fish pieces and place in a serving bowl. Garnish with lemon wedges and serve with crackers


Doud’s Deli Islander Panini

  • Peppered Salami
  • Smoked Gouda
  • Artichokes
  • Sprouts
  • Hummus
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Onion
  • Roasted Red Pepper


Doud’s Deli Michigan Cherry Salad

  • Michigan Dried Cherries
  • Chicken
  • Tomatoes
  • Red Onions
  • Granola
  • Lettuce

Screen shot 2013-07-01 at 9.42.10 PM

The Island House 1852 Grill Room’s Northern Michigan Perch

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 8 ounces fresh perch fillets
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 lemon, cut in half

Smores at Sunset Resized

  1. Whisk flour, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper in a bowl. Gently press perch fillets into flour mixture to coat, shaking off any excess flour.
  2. Heat butter in a skillet over medium heat until butter is foaming and nut-brown in color. Working in batches, place filets in skillet and cook until light golden, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer cooked fillets to a plate, squeeze lemon juice over the top, and serve.


Round Island Bar and Grill at Mission Point Resort Whitefish and Chips

For the Chips:

  • 3 medium russet potatoes (1 1/4 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt

For the Fish:

  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 2 3/4 cups crispy rice cereal
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless Pollock (or other firm white fish), cut into 2-by-4-inch pieces
  • Tartar sauce and/or malt vinegar, for serving (optional)

Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F using the convection setting, if available. Place a baking sheet on one of the racks to preheat.

Prepare the chips: Cut the potatoes into 1/4-inch-thick sticks. Toss with the olive oil and cayenne in a bowl. Carefully remove the hot baking sheet from the oven, add the potatoes and spread in an even layer. Use a rubber spatula to scrape any oil from the bowl over the potatoes. Bake on the top oven rack, turning once, until browned and crisp, 25 to 30 minutes. Season with salt.

Meanwhile, make the fish: Set a wire rack on a baking sheet and coat with cooking spray. Lightly crush the cereal in a bowl with your fingers. Add 2 teaspoons salt, and black pepper to taste. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites and a pinch of salt until frothy.

Dip the fish in the egg whites, then roll in the cereal crumbs to coat. Place the fish pieces on the rack (position them on their sides so that the majority of the crust is exposed) and mist with cooking spray.

Bake the fish on the bottom oven rack until crisp and just cooked through, about 12 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper. Serve the fish and chips with tartar sauce and/or malt vinegar, if desired.


Murdick’s Mackinac Island Fudge
Makes approximately 1 pound of fudge.


• ½ cup milk
• ½ cup butter
• ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
• ½ cup granulated sugar
• ⅛ teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
• ½ cup nuts (optional)

Method: Vanilla Mackinac Island Fudge

1. Mix milk, butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and salt in heavy pan.
2. Cook at medium heat until boiling.
3. Boil exactly 6 minutes, stirring constantly.
4. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract and confectioners’ sugar.
5. Beat with mixer until smooth and thick.
6. Add nuts, if desired.
7. Pour into a buttered pan and freeze 20 minutes.
8. Cut into pieces.

Method: Peanut Butter Mackinac Island Fudge
• Reduce butter to ¼ cup and add ½ cup peanut butter.

Method: Chocolate Mackinac Island Fudge
• Use basic recipe, adding ½ cup cocoa with the confectioners’ sugar.


Afternoon Tea at the Grand Hotel

In keeping with more than 100 years of Grand Hotel tradition, Afternoon Tea is served each day in the Parlor.


Guests enjoy tea, sherry and champagne, petite finger sandwiches, fresh-baked scones, and an array of pastries, accompanied by a chamber music recital.


And one of my favorite spots in the Grand Hotel is the Red Geranium Bar.


I love the color palette.  Those green walls are to die for!  And the chairs are embroidered with red geraniums- so dear!


Whether it is spelled Mackinaw as in Mackinaw City or Mackinac as in Mackinac Island, they are pronounced the same way: Mack-i-naw. Why? It is because of the area’s rich history with the Native Americans, French, and British.

As I stared out into the beautiful, mystic Lake Huron
Surrounding Mackinac Island,
I was intoxicated by an unknown mystery.
I could feel the soft saline breeze,
The warmth from the sun.
I felt the cool water nudging my feet
As they sink into the softness of the sand.- by Dancing Diva

Until that next ferry ride to the Island...It is June 27, 1912. You are lying in your bed in the Grand Hotel and it is 6 p.m. on the evening of June 27, 1912. Your mind accepts this absolutely. 6 p.m. on June 27, 1912…




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