Two Pure Michigan Bakers Weigh in on Pie Day

According to our fans, Apple is the official flavor of a Pure Michigan pie! Between locally-grown apples, blueberries, cherries and many other delicious fruits, it’s no wonder why Michigan is a mecca for delectable pies, pastries and other mouth-watering delicacies. In advance of Pie Day (Jan. 23), two Pure Michigan pie experts weigh in on why Michigan is an ideal destination for owning a bakery and some other sweet bits of knowledge you might not know.

Photo Courtesy of Zack Achatz

Linda Hundt – Sweetie-Licious

Since I was a little girl, I’ve always been very proud to call Michigan my home state.  I love the way we as Michiganders get to experience the seasons, each one intensely vibrant, and defined by its color, temperature, activities and the food it brings to the table!

Whether you’re picking fruits or vegetables from a tree, bush or garden, Michigan’s seasonable bounty is plentiful, especially our delicious, juicy apples that sets autumn apart from all the other seasons.

Michigan apples taste as close you can get to a crisp and sunny fall day here in the Great Lake State, and also happens to be the perfect fruit to make pies with!  At Sweetie-licious, one of the cutest little pie shops in the whole world, we use only Michigan apples for our national award winning apple pies.  Folks wait all summer for them, as the sweet aroma of cinnamon apple pies soothes our souls and secures our memories like no other comfort food can.

For the trueness of comfort food is indeed indisputable.  And pies are the ultimate in comfort, for they have the ability to carry on traditions and homemade goodness that takes you home…to beloved Pure Michigan.

Photo Courtesy of Zack Achatz

Ariel Achatz – Achatz Handmade Pie Company

Did you know Michigan is the top cherry-producing state in the nation and the third largest for apple and blueberries? What better use for a bountiful harvest than to use it in pies!

At Achatz Handmade Pie Company, we use 98 percent local Michigan ingredients. It’s a no-brainer to buy Michigan produce as it’s some of the best in the country, works well in pies, and grows in our own backyard.

AHPC is best known for their Michigan 4-Berry pie which uses Michigan blueberries, blackberries, cherries, and raspberries and their Apple pie which uses thinly-sliced Northern Spy Apples! Buying Michigan products allows us to work directly with local farmers that we know personally, and also lets us guarantee we get the best and freshest fruit.

Whether it’s blueberry, apple, raspberry, or strawberry-rhubarb, utilizing Michigan fruit in your pie this year for National Pie Day, January 23, won’t disappoint!

Photo Courtesy of Zack Achatz

GTPC

 

Looking for your own slice to celebrate National Pie Day? On Jan. 23, Grand Traverse Pie Company  will celebrate the delicious comforts of PIE during National Pie Day  by serving up a FREE SLICE of Michigan fruit pie – Apple Crumb or Cherry Crumb with ANY purchase all day long. Yum!

 

ArielAchatz

Achatz Handmade Pie Company was established in 1993 by Dave and Wendy Achatz, who began selling pies out of their home and at local farmer’s markets. AHPC soon outgrew their small home kitchen and moved to a 10-acre apple orchard in Armada – where they still sell today. AHPC now has 7 retail locations through Michigan and has been featured on Good Morning America and The Today Show. Don’t forget to like on Facebook and follow on Twitter! Pictured: Guest blogger Ariel Achatz.

 

LindaH

Linda McComb Hundt grew up in Lansing with a huge sweet tooth, loving her Easybake Oven, and dreaming of owning her own pie shop someday. She married her high school sweetheart, John Hundt in 1985, graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Education and worked as a substitute teacher until 1989.

Later, Linda quit her job to pursue her life-long dream of starting her own pie shop business. As a home-based business, she sold her fare at farm markets and high-end restaurants. In 2005, the business grew into a retail café bakery in DeWitt. The entire business is based on love and nostalgia through the business’ mission, comfort food, vintage ambiance, and merchandise. Visit the Sweetie-licious Bakery Cafe website, Facebook page and Twitter for more!

Seven Buzzworthy Spots to Grab a Bite in Detroit

Whether you’re planning a visit to the North American International Auto Show or have a day downtown on your radar later this year, Detroit is brimming with culinary hot spots to help you refuel.

Detroit Skyline at night

Photo by Instagram user @joshtallyphotos

So, after you’ve worked up an appetite exploring the Cobo Center or any other attraction unique to the Motor City, make a pit stop at one of these seven spots that are putting the restaurant scene in the 313 on the map.  Antietam – 1428 Gratiot Ave., Detroit, MI 48207 For a feast fit to remember, look no further than Antietam. An experience at this downtown restaurant offers you French cuisine and other mouthwatering entrées. From market greens to whitefish and leg of rabbit, you won’t go home hungry, or unsatisfied, after enjoying a meal at Antietam. Bobcat Bonnies -  1800 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI 48216 Bobcat Bonnies, a gastropub which opened last August in Corktown, looks to “provide high-quality, inviting service within a fun and welcoming atmosphere, while serving upscale food at a friendly price”.  The fun atmosphere exists in part due to the arcade games in the back of the restaurant. From Captain Crunch french toast to bruschetta burgers, you’re sure to find something you’ll love. Dime Store – 719 Griswold St. #180, Detroit, MI 48226 Dime Store is an American Brunch Bar in downtown Detroit that earned its claim to fame specializing in breakfast, lunch and booze. From hot omelets, to savory sandwiches and salads, the Dime Store menu is a unique blend of scratch-made traditional favorites and creative combinations.

Beer Taps at HopCat Detroit

HopCat Detroit

Gold Cash Gold – 2100 Michigan Ave., Detroit, MI 48216 Gold Cash Gold considers themselves “farmstead fine food with a nod to the South, rooted in old world tradition.” – but don’t think that GCG isn’t still uniquely Detroit! Visit the restaurant for lunch or dinner, or even to enjoy a few drinks with friends. Between the southern cooking and hospitality, you may never want to leave. HopCat Detroit – 4265 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48201 This Grand Rapids hot spot has made its way to Detroit. The HopCat staff prides themselves on serving great food, and even better beer. From pilsners to IPAs, HopCat is already a popular destination among Detroiters and those traveling to the city. Rated one of the “Best Beer Bars on Planet Earth” by BeerAdvocate, you’ll want to check out what’s on tap when you venture to this new bar that opened its doors in late 2014.

Bowling Lanes at Punch Bowl Social Detroit

Photo via punchbowlsocial.com

Punch Bowl Social –1331 Broadway St., Detroit, MI 48226 Punch Bowl Social opens its doors to those who seek an establishment with an old-school feel. Besides the delectable menu options and craft beer offerings, Punch Bowl includes karaoke rooms, darts, shuffleboard, ping pong tables, and to its namesake – bowling lanes. Punch Bowl is great for breakfast, lunch and dinner, or just a night out on the town. Selden Standard – 3921 Second Ave., Detroit, MI 48201 Selden Standard aims to bring friends together to share a meal born through local flavors. Selden Standard’s atmosphere and dining room are rustic and casual and invite you to come as you are. If you’re looking for great food, great company and a good time, don’t miss Selden Standard. Did we miss one of your newest favorites? Let us know! 

5 Indoor Staycation Destinations Around Michigan

Going on vacation is an incredible way to recharge. Studies suggest that taking a vacation is good for your health and can help boost your happiness, particularly when it’s cold outside.  While weeklong getaways to far-away destinations are popular, Michigan offers incredible staycation destinations that aren’t too far from home. If you need some ideas to get started, we’ve put together a few suggestions for your own Pure Michigan staycation.

Splash Village Hotel and Waterpark at Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth

Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth

Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth has a ton of attractions that are appealing to all ages. Bring your family and stay at the Splash Village Hotel and Waterpark. It offers great accommodations and suites perfect for larger groups. The waterpark  is mid-Michigan’s largest indoor waterpark and has over 50,000 sq. ft. of aquatic fun. There is no shortage of activities for everyone to enjoy. In addition to the pool area, Mushroom Grille concession area and locker rooms, the new Atrium Waterpark includes: A six story family raft ride, action river, The Super Loop – a thrilling 6-story speed slide, zero entry pool with water geysers, water basketball, private family cabanas and large family hot tub.

Even if you don’t enjoy the water, there are still  activities to partake in such as the expanded arcade with games that will keep you and your family entertained for hours.  If you’re more concerned about what food is available, fret not. Eat your fill with traditional All You Can Eat Family Style Chicken dinners at Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth or visit the Marketplace for delectable goodies. Z Chef’s Café, located in the Marketplace, offers a unique dining experience as well.

MGM Grand Detroit

MGM Grand Detroit

For the adults looking to get away, step inside MGM Grand Detroit for a whole new world of gaming and luxurious accommodations. There are over 90 table games and 4,500 of the latest slots and video poker to choose from. It’s easy to get recharged by staying in one of the 400 luxury rooms and suites. For restaurant fare, there is no shortage of options. Three signature restaurants from Wolfgang Puck and Michael Mina provide an upscale experience. Add to that their creative new tapas concept, Palette Dining Studio, and a quick serve area, Breeze, and you’ll never be tired of the food.

For those who want to relax and rejuvenate, IMMERSE Spa is a great way to unwind after a long day of fun. There is even a personal spa concierge who can help you design a custom body treatment! If you decide to stay at MGM Grand, don’t forget to go out and explore Detroit! There are many must-see destinations such as the Detroit Institute of Arts, Campus Martius and the Charles H. Wright Museum.

Indoor Waterpark at Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City

Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City

Take a trip to Traverse City with your family and have blast at Great Wolf Lodge! There are many accommodation options including suites with whirlpools or even a KidKamp suite, which includes a private tent for your children to enjoy. Of course, you can’t visit Great Wolf Lodge without splashing in the waterpark! With over 38,000 square feet of splash-loaded rides, slides and pools you’re sure to find a favorite. It features eight waterslides, five unique pools, a multi-story interactive tree house, and a 1,000-gallon tipping bucket.

However, there are even more fun activities on land. Grab a wand and battle a dragon in MagiQuest or get an ice cream-themed manicure at Scooops Kid Spa before gathering your family in the Grand Lobby for nightly fireside Story Time. There’s plenty for the adults too with a full-service Spa, fitness room, and plenty of shopping and dining options like Camp Critter Bar & Grille or indulge in pizza at Hungry As A Wolf.

Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark on Boyne Mountain

Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark on Boyne Mountain

Your trip wouldn’t be complete without playing in the arcade with over 50 games and a redemption counter providing awesome prizes. After you’ve worked up an appetite grab a quick bite at the Snack Shack or fill up with a full menu at the Apres Ski Pub, both located inside the park.  And if you don’t mind the cold, Boyne Mountain is an excellent skiing location.Even further north is Avalanche Bay!It is the largest indoor waterpark in Michigan offering huge amounts of water fun no matter your age.

Centrally located at the heart of Boyne Mountain Resort, this waterpark is always 84 degrees and open all year ’round, making it the perfect vacation destination. Avalanche Bay features six exciting water slides, including the park’s newest thrill, The Big Couloir – a ProSlide SuperLOOP with the steepest drop in the industry, as well as a Rip Zone surf simulator, Splasherhorn Mountain interactive play structure, lazy river, children’s pool, relaxing hot tubs, and many other unique waterpark attractions.

Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire

Shanty Creek Resort has activities all year for any season. During the spring and summer, you can play 72 holes of championship golf on four different courses. Right now in winter though, it’s the time to ski! Shanty Creek has 53 ski runs on two mountains, Schuss Mountain and Summit Mountain, along with 30km of cross-country skiing, a 6-lane alpine tubing park, winter sleigh rides, and Michigan’s most awarded terrain parks. You can also bike or hike in the resort’s 4,500 acres or explore the single track of nearby Glacial Hills trail system.

There are over 400 lodging choices including hotel guest rooms, suites, condos and private rental homes so you are sure to find the right fit! There are other amenities available for the whole family to enjoy including indoor and outdoor pools, a fitness center and wellness spa, tennis courts, and now FootGolf, a combination of soccer and golf.

What staycation destinations did we miss? Tell us below!