It’s been so long…

I’M BACK!

Yay!  I’ve missed posting so much- it has really become therapeutic for me-and I’ve really missed interacting with my readers too. 🙂

Well, let me catch you up on what’s been happening. I know I said I’d be gone for one week up in Michigan (which I was) but then I turned around and had to travel to North Carolina for work for another full week. Being on the road is always tiring and I barely had time to check my email let alone get in a blog post.

Besides, I was eating out every single day, 3 meals a day (ewww) and the food was nothing to write home about. Although I did have breakfast-for-dinner at a Waffle House. That was awesome. (Fried eggs, hashbrowns, biscuit and cheese grits to be exact)

Ok, so I’m back now and it’s time to share the deets on my super awesome-very relaxing vacation at the cottage up north.

The cottage is a tradition. More like an institution actually. My mom went when she was a kid. I went when I was a kid. I hope my future kids go too. The cottage is a noun, an adjective and a verb. As a noun: the cottage isn’t a singular place, its a collection of 4 family owned cottages all within walking distance of each other on the lake. As an adjective: the cottage is an attitude that means laid-back, no worries, no plans, just relaxing with a beer and chatting with aunts, uncles and cousins.  As a verb: “It’s time to get my cottage on!!”

For the last couple years my husband and I have rented a 5th cottage near the others.

Where the cooking magic happened…. 🙂

Lake in the front, woods in the back, it’s perfect

Our very own dock

Since he is still on his overseas assignment, I shared the cottage with my brother and his girlfriend. Both are amazing photographers by the way, check out these sunset shots:

The sunset side

The cottage is in a small town but they take July 4th seriously and go big with a parade every year. There are lots of floats and they also throw candy. I love a good fat slice of Americana.

Fish float!

Don’t see this everyday, also, slightly creepy

Cousins lined up, waiting to grab some candy

So after the parade there was beach time and then fireworks later that night.  The week was great. I got to cook for my family and they cooked for me too. Blonde brownies, banana cream pie, gingerbread muffins and sour cream coffee cake, oh ya, those were just the desserts 😉 Wait till you see what I made. Yum.

More to come tomorrow 🙂  Can’t wait? Check out the monkey bread I made for breakfast the first day up north, here.

– Erin

Cottage Update and Monkey Bread

Hi friends! Greetings from Pure Michigan 🙂

As I write this, I am sitting on the back porch looking out onto the Lake. I’m drinking tea my brother’s girlfriend brought me as a gift (awww) and eating a warm, gooey and cinnamony piece of Monkey Bread. This is making typing difficult…

I promised to provide some of our traditional up north recipes and Monkey Bread is the place to start. It is for breakfast after all!

I made this last night and despite the fact I was working in a rental cottage kitchen I had everything needed to make this amazing bread. Bundt pan- check, measuring cup-check, oven set to 350°- check.

Alright you need a few other ingredients too, the main one being refrigerated biscuit dough. Snip the dough into quarters, the quickest way to do this is with some kitchen shears.

Roll these lil’ dough nuggets in a cinnamon sugar mixture. Then layer over chopped pecans.

Drizzle a brown sugar and melted butter mix over the top- it will seep down and make every morsel gooey and yum- and then bake for 35-40 minutes.

If you make the night ahead, as I did, just reheat the pieces* in the microwave to give it the gooey just-baked taste again!

Grandma’s Monkey Bread

  • 3 10 oz tubes of buttermilk biscuit dough
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Grease a bundt or tube pan.  Put chopped pecans in the bottom. Snip the biscuit dough into quarters. Combine the cinnamon and sugar mixture, then roll the dough pieces in it; layer them into the pan. Melt the butter and brown sugar together over low heat in a saucepan. Stir until the sugar dissolves most of the way.  Drizzle of the dough in the pan.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350° for 35-40 minutes. The bread will really puff up and get golden brown on top. Let cool for 10 minutes, then invert on a serving plate. Eat warm, cold, or somewhere in between. It’s awesome either way!

*Note: Why say pieces and not slices? Monkey bread is bread only in the loosest sense. Really, it is many balls of biscuit dough that bake together but are easily pulled apart into pieces as you eat.

Enjoy!

– Erin