Pure Flavors

Featured in Pure Michigan 2013 Spring/Summer Issue, beginning on page 53.

When you rank Michigan's natural wonders, these five native ingredients score high. Savor them while they're in season!

Blueberries and Cream. Photo courtesy of Midwest Living/Robert JacobsMore Pure Flavors More Blueberries 

Recipes to try:

Very Blueberry Pie 

Makes: 8 servings
Start to finish: 3 hrs 5 minutes
Prep: 40 minutes
Chill: 2 hours or until set
Cool: 10 minutes
Bake: 1215 minutes

Juicy blueberries pair with a tender, flakey crust for the ultimate fruity dessert (www.midwestliving.com/recipe/pies/very-blueberry-pie).

112 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
12 teaspoon salt
12 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons lemon-flavored gelatin
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup water
4412 cups fresh blueberries or raspberries
Whipped cream (optional)

1. For pie crust: In a 9-inch pie plate, combine flour, the 2 tablespoons sugar and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together oil and milk; pour over flour mixture. Mix flour mixture with a fork until crumbly. Press evenly onto bottom and sides of pie plate. Bake in a 400 oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack.

2. For glaze: In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup sugar, the gelatin and cornstarch; stir in water. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 minute more. Remove from heat; let stand to cool slightly (about 10 minutes).

3. Fill baked pie crust with blueberries and slowly pour glaze evenly over berries. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or until set. If you like, top with whipped cream. Makes 8 servings.

Blueberry Ice Cream 

Feature your Michigan blueberries in a creamy, chilly treat (www.midwestliving.com/recipe/ice-cream/blueberry-ice-cream/ ).

Makes: 16 to 18 servings
Yield: about 2 quarts
Start to Finish: 7 hrs 39 minutes
Prep: 40 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Chill: 4 hours to 24 hours
Freeze: 2 hours 30 minutes

3 cups fresh or frozen unsweetened blueberries
12 cup sugar
2 teaspoons finely shredded orange peel
1/3 cup orange juice
14 teaspoon salt
1 cup whipping cream
112 cups sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups milk
4 slightly beaten egg yolks
2 tablespoons vanilla
1 teaspoon ground cardamom or cinnamon
3 cups whipping cream
2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted (optional)

1. In a medium saucepan, bring blueberries, the 12 cup sugar, the 1 teaspoon of orange peel, orange juice, and salt to boiling over medium heat, mashing berries and stirring with a fork; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Remove 1 cup of the mixture; set aside. Transfer the remaining blueberry mixture to a food processor or blender. Cover; process or blend till almost smooth. Pour blueberry mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a medium bowl, pressing on solids with back of a spoon; discard solids. Add the reserved 1 cup of blueberry mixture and the 1 cup of whipping cream to sieved mixture. Cover; chill blueberry mixture in the refrigerator at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.

2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, stir together the 112 cups sugar and flour. Gradually stir in milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until slightly thickened and bubbly. Cook for 1 minute more. Stir about 1 cup of the hot mixture into beaten egg yolks; return to remaining hot mixture in saucepan. Cook and stir just until mixture returns to boiling. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and cardamom. Cool slightly. Cover the surface with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.

3. In a chilled large mixing bowl, beat the 3 cups whipping cream with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into the chilled milk mixture. Spoon mixture into the freezer can of a 4- or 5-quart ice cream freezer. (The can should be no more than two-thirds full.) Freeze the ice cream according to manufacturer's directions. Using a sturdy rubber spatula, fold in the blueberry mixture, remaining orange peel, and, if you like, the pecans until just swirled. Ripen; transfer to a freezer container. Freeze to store. Makes about 2 quarts (16 to 18 servings).

More things to do South Haven 

The Blueberry Store
Take home a bit of the blueberry capital of the world with a souvenir from the Blueberry Store. Choose from a wide variety of preserves, syrup, tea, soap, lotions and more. www.theblueberrystore.com 

Kilwins Chocolates
Downtown, the wooden floors and oak display cases give Kilwins an old-fashioned feel. They serve sweet treats including caramel corn, chocolates and ice cream in a variety of flavors.

Lindy Lou River Cruise
An hour-long tour aboard the Lindy Lou passes by marinas, riverside inns and wetlands. The boat replicates those used by visitors from Chicago who came by steamship and then used the smaller boats to reach their inns.

Sams Sweet Corn and Fresh Produce
Fresh sweet corn, onions, squash, zucchini and tomatoes fill baskets lined up inside Sams refrigerated roadside stand. No one mans the stand full-time, rather, Sams operates under the honor system drop your money in the locked cash box before taking your produce.

Sea Glass Cottage Home Decor
Beachside cottage style home decor including quilts, towels, lamps, wall hangings, art, furniture and more fills this shop. True to their namesake, Sea Glass Cottage also has sea glass for sale by the bag or the pound.

South Beach
Relax in the sand on the shore of Lake Michigan while watching boats bob along the horizon. A stroll down the pier leads to the South Haven Lighthouse (269/637-0726).

More places to eat South Haven 

Chocolate Cafe
Chocolate covers pretzels, strawberries, Twinkies and plenty of other goodies at the Chocolate Cafe. Relax in the comfortable atmosphere with a few sweet treats and a mug of warm hot chocolate.

Golden Brown Bakery
Freshly baked cakes, doughnuts and pastries featuring local cherries and blueberries fill the cases on the bakery side of the shop. Have a seat in the opposite side to enjoy breakfast or lunch in a diner atmosphere.

The Phoenix Street Cafe
This cafe claims to serve the best breakfast in South Haven. Beyond traditional omelets, pancakes and bacon, Phoenix offers dishes like eggs Benedict Florentine with spinach and artichoke hearts and bagels with salmon, lox, capers and fresh vegetables.

Shermans Dairy Bar
A green cow marks this popular ice cream joint. Shermans specializes in simple sundaes and cones featuring dozens of ice cream flavor options.

Tello Italian Bistro
Made with locally produced ingredients, Tello Italian Bistro serves dishes such as Penne con Porcini and Spaghetti alla Carbonara. Pair your meal with an Italian or local Michigan pour from the extensive wine list.

Thirsty Perch Grille
Specializing in local perch, the Thirsty Perch Grille features the fish fried, seared and in a taco. Not a seafood lover? Don't fret, salads, steaks and chicken are also available. www.thirstyperch.com 

More places to stay South Haven 

Carriage House at the Harbor
A short walk from downtown and the beach, this inn has a beachfront cottage style. Enjoy relaxing on a private balcony or any of the sun porches and patios.

Victoria Resort
Built in the 1920's, this hotel is decorated all in Victorian-inspired garb. One block from Lake Michigan, each room includes breakfast as well as access to the tennis courts and outdoor pool.

Yelton Manor
This two-building bed and breakfast sits across the street from Lake Michigan. Explore each building to find quiet nooks to read and relax in.

More Pure Flavors More Fish 

Grilled Whole Whitefish 

This grilled, citrus whitefish from Midwest Living magazine, is served with seasoned rice for a complete meal. www.midwestliving.com/recipe/seafood/carlsons-grilled-whole-whitefish/ 

Makes: 6 servings
Start to finish: 55 minutes
Prep: 20 minutes
Grill: 35 minutes

1 2 123 14 pound dressed fresh or frozen whitefish, pike, cod, tilefish, rockfish, sea trout
or orange roughy (scaled, with head and tail intact)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, thinly sliced and seeded
2 sprigs fresh thyme
3 cups cooked brown rice
1 large onion, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
2 tablespoons snipped fresh basil, or 1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
14 teaspoon salt
14 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Lemon wedges (optional)
Thyme sprigs, optional

1. Thaw fish, if frozen. Rinse fish; pat dry. If you like, remove head and tail. Lightly grease a 24x18-inch piece of heavy-duty foil. Place fish on foil. Lay open fish and season cavity lightly with salt and black pepper. Arrange half of the sliced lemon and a thyme sprig in cavity.

2. Close fish. Top with remaining lemon slices and thyme sprig. Bring up 2 opposite edges of foil and seal with a double fold. Fold remaining edges together to completely enclose fish, leaving space for steam to build.

3. In a medium bowl combine rice, onion, tomato, basil, 14 teaspoon salt and 14 teaspoon pepper. Tear off a 36x18-inch piece of heavy-duty foil; fold in half to make an 18-inch square. Place rice mixture in center of square. Bring up 2 opposite edges of foil and seal with a double fold. Fold remaining edges together to completely enclose rice, leaving space for steam to build.

4. For a charcoal grill, arrange medium-hot coals around edges of grill. Test for medium heat in center of grill. Place fish in center of grill rack. Cover and grill for 10 minutes. Add rice packet next to fish but not over coals. Grill 25 to 35 minutes more or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork and rice is heated through. (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Adjust for indirect cooking. Grill as above.)

5. To serve, use 2 large spatulas to transfer foil packet from grill to a large serving platter. Serve fish with rice mixture. Garnish with lemon wedges and additional fresh thyme sprigs, if you like. Makes 6 servings.

Michigan Smoked Whitefish Cakes
Use smoked Michigan whitefish in these flavorful, crispy cakes served with a creamy dipping sauce.

1 pound fresh pan-dressed whitefish or trout, with heads, tails, and skin removed
12 pound smoked whitefish or trout, skinned and cut up
2 beaten eggs
12 cup fine dry bread crumbs
2 teaspoons dried dillweed
1 medium red and/or yellow sweet pepper, finely chopped (3/4 cup)
1 stalk celery, finely chopped (12 cup)
1 green onion, finely sliced
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
14 cup cooking oil
Sour Cream Dipping Sauce (optional) (see recipe below)

1. Rinse fresh whitefish or trout. Bring 14 inch of water to a simmer in a large skillet. Add fresh whitefish or tout. Simmer, covered, for 5 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Remove from skillet and flake into small pieces (should have about 112 cups).

2. In a food processor bowl or blender container, add the smoked fish pieces. Cover and process until finely chopped (should have about 112 cups). Set aside.

3. In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs, bread crumbs, and dillweed. Stir in the sweet pepper, celery, and green onion. Add the flaked cooked fish, chopped smoked fish, and the mayonnaise; mix well. Using 1/3 cup fish mixture for each, shape into ten 12-inch-thick patties (or for appetizer-size cakes use a 14-cup portion and shape into fourteen 12-inch-thick patties). Refrigerate for up to 24 hours at this point, if you like.

4. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add half of the patties. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes per side or until golden brown. Drain the patties on paper towels. Keep warm in a 300 degree F oven while frying remaining patties. Serve warm with Sour Cream Dipping Sauce, if you like.

Sour Cream Dipping Sauce 

12 cup dairy sour cream
1 teaspoon lemon juice
14 teaspoon dried dillweed

In a small bowl, mix dairy sour cream, lemon juice, and dried dillweed.

More things to do Leland, Glen Arbor (19 miles from Leland) and Suttons Bay (10 miles from Leland) 

Cherry Republic
Made up of three establishments in Glen Arbor Great Hall Retail Store, Cherry Bakery and Cafe and Stomphouse Winery and Tasting Room Cherry Republic highlights the best of cherries. Enjoy cherry baked goods like pie, cake and cookies at the Cafe, choose from 175 cherry products at the retail store including dark chocolate covered cherries and peach and cherry salsa and taste nine varieties of cherry wine at Stomphouse. www.cherryrepublic.com 

L. Mawby Vineyards
This Suttons Bay Vineyard specializes in sparkling wine. Taste two pours for freea popular favorite is the house rose, a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Omena Cut Flowers
An acre full of colorful flowers lies next to the coast in Suttons Bay. Walk through the garden and build your own bouquet by picking flowers before dropping your money in an honor-system-based lock box.

Platte River
Flowing from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Glen Arbor and into Lake Michigan, float along the Platte River in an inner tube or canoe.
www.sleepingbeardunes.com ).

Tandem Ciders
A white barn marked with a red tandem bicycle over the door in Suttons Bay holds Tandem Ciders. Each hard cider served here is made with Michigan grown apples. Try local favorites like Honey Pie and Pretty Penny.

More places to eat Leland, Glen Arbor and Suttons Bay 

The Bluebird Restaurant and Bar
Along the Leland River, The Bluebird is known for their Lake Michigan whitefish that comes fresh from nearby Carlsons Fishery. Enjoy a seafood-laden dinner with scenic water views.

Martha's Leelanau Table
In downtown Suttons Bay, a vintage house holds Martha's Leelanau Table. Martha is well-known for her made-from-scratch breakfast dishes including an open-faced egg sandwich on Italian sourdough with bacon, pesto, tomato, arugula and parmesan cheese and the blueberry oat pancakes with warm local maple syrup.

Nonna's at the Homestead
The Italian menu at Nonna's changes with the seasons in order to bring farm fresh ingredients to the table. Expect to find soups, pasta dishes and entrees featuring meats like duckling.

More places to stay 

Black Star Farms
A bed and breakfast-winery hybrid, Black Star Farms provides entertainment and a place to stay. Head to the tasting room to try the in-house wines or explore the 160 acres of orchards, vineyards and wooded trails on foot, cross-country ski or snowshoe.

Homestead Resort
Guests have access to sandy beaches, outdoor pools, tennis courts and treatments at Spa Amiri. Purchasing one treatment allows entrance to relaxing lounges overlooking Lake Michigan and a hammock hanging in the wooded area outside.

Cherries at Roadside Stand. Photo courtesy of Kevin Miyazaki/Midwest LivingMore Pure Flavors More Cherries 

Cherry-Berry Rich Shortcakes
Layers of pastry, whipped cream, blueberries, raspberries and cherries combine for a juicy dessert full of flavor (www.midwestliving.com/recipe/desserts/cherry-berry-rich-shortcakes-mi/).

Makes: 6 servings
Start to finish: 45 minutes
Prep: 30 minutes
Cool: 5 minutes
Bake: 10 minutes

2 cups fresh or frozen unsweetened blueberries, thawed
1 cup fresh or frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed, or sliced strawberries
1 cup fresh or frozen unsweetened pitted sweet cherries, thawed
14 cup sugar
3 cups packaged biscuit mix
14 teaspoon ground nutmeg or ground cinnamon
14 cup cold butter
2/3 cup half-and-half, light cream, or whole milk
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
12 teaspoon vanilla

1. In a large bowl, combine blueberries, raspberries, cherries and 14 cup sugar; set aside.

2. For shortcake: In a large bowl, stir together biscuit mix and nutmeg. Use a pastry blender to cut butter into flour mixture until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center of the mixture. Add half-and-half all at once. Using a fork, stir just until moistened. Drop dough into 6 mounds on an ungreased baking sheet; flatten each mound with the back of a spoon until about 3/4-inch thick. Lightly sprinkle each mound with additional sugar.

3. Bake in a 425o oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, in a chilled medium bowl beat whipping cream, 2 tablespoons sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer with chilled beaters on medium speed until soft peaks form.

5. To serve, split warm shortcakes in half horizontally. Using a wide spatula, carefully lift off the top layer. Place bottom layers in 6 shallow dessert dishes. Spoon whipped cream over the bottom layer. Spoon fruit mixture over whipped cream. Carefully replace the top layers. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.

Michigan Tart Cherry Pie
A heap of Michigan cherries inside a buttery pie crust make for a delicious, tart dessert (www.midwestliving.com/recipe/pies/michigan-tart-cherry-pie-chesterfield-mi/).

Makes: 8 servings
Start to finish: 4 hours 30 minutes
Prep: 30 minutes
Cool: At least 2 hours
Bake: 1 hr 15 minutes
Stand: 45 minutes

114 cups sugar
2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
2 tablespoons cornstarch
512 cups fresh or frozen unsweetened pitted tart red cherries
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 Crust Pie Shell (Helen Fletcher's No Fail Pie Crust, recipe follows)
1 tablespoon sugar

1. In a large bowl, stir together the 114 cups granulated sugar, quick-cooking tapioca, and cornstarch; add frozen cherries and lemon juice. Gently toss until coated. Let mixture stand about 45 minutes or until fruit is partially thawed but still icy; stirring occasionally. (If using fresh cherries, let cherry mixture stand about 15 minutes or until a syrup forms; stirring occasionally.)

2. Prepare and roll out Two Crust Pie Shell pastry. Line a 9-inch pie plate with half of the pastry.

3. Transfer cherry mixture to the pastry-lined pie plate. Cut slits in remaining pastry to make a pretty design; place on filing. Trim overhangs to an even 1 inch all the way around. Tuck the crusts under and flute the edges. Lightly brush top pastry with a little water. Sprinkle the 1 tablespoon sugar on top pastry. To prevent overbrowning, cover edge of pie with foil.

4. Place pie plate on middle shelf in oven; place foil-lined baking sheet on lower rack beneath pie. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil. Bake about 50 minutes more or until filling is bubbly and crust is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack at least 2 hours before serving. Makes 8 servings.

Helen's Two-Crust Pie Pastry 

3 cups cake flour or all-purpose flour
12 cup all-purpose flour
112 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
14 cup shortening
7 tablespoons cold water
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons lemon juice or vinegar

1. In a large bowl, stir together cake flour, all-purpose flour, and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter and shortening until pieces are pea-size.

2. In a small bowl, stir together 6 tablespoons of the water, egg and lemon juice. Using a large fork, gently toss the flour mixture and egg mixture together. If there are any dry parts add the remaining 1 tablespoon of water and gently toss to moisten evenly (should be a mass of very large crumbs).

3. Turn crumb mixture out onto a lightly floured surface. Using your fingers, gently form a ball. Using just a bit of flour, knead 4 to 5 times to form a ball. Divide in half. Using your hands, flatten each into a disc about 1 inch thick. If necessary, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours or until easy to handle.

4. On a lightly floured surface, roll 1 disc of dough from center to edges into a circle 12 inches in diameter. To transfer pastry, wrap it around the rolling pin. Unroll pastry into a 9-inch pie plate. Ease pastry into pie plate without stretching it and gently fit pastry into dish.

5. Roll remaining dough disc into a circle 12 inches in diameter. Cut slits to allow steam to escape. Place pastry on filling. Trim both overhangs to an even 1 inch all the way around. Tuck the crusts under and flute the edges. To prevent over browning, cover edges with foil. Bake as directed in individual recipes. Makes 2 pie crusts.

More Things to Do Traverse City 

Chateau Chantal
Just north of Traverse City lies 45-acres of vineyards. Visit the tasting room and to try their span of Michigan wines including Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Summer hours include cellar tours, tapas tours and wine dinners.

Chocolate Den
Handmade confections such as truffles, creams and toffee fill the display cases. Have a custom request? The chocolatiers are willing to give anything a try, just call ahead. www.chocolateden.com 

Chocolate Exotica
Artisan chocolates pair with coffee roasted locally for a satisfying treat. Chocolate Exotica has up to 20 different truffles available each day along with other sweets including biscotti, cookies and cake pops.

Fustinis Oils & Vinegars
The original location downtown has expanded to include a full tasting room and a space for special events and classes. Thirteen local restaurants use Fustinis flavor-infused oils and vinegars in their establishments.

The Village at Grand Traverse Commons
One mile from downtown, The Village occupies 63-acres of restored buildings that were once the Traverse City hospital. Walk the paths of this historic complex and duck in and out of eclectic shops and restaurants.

More Places to Eat Traverse City 

The menu at Amical changes with the seasons and features meat and seafood entrees, salads and soups. Try the popular Tomato Soup en Croute, baked tomato soup with a puff pastry crust that is always available.

Eurostop Cafe
Being on the Traverse Area Recreation Transportation (TART) trail makes Eurostop the perfect place to pick up lunch before a hike or bike ride. Choose from an extensive menu of deli sandwiches, soups and salads.

The Filling Station Microbrewery
In an old train depot, get a sampler of The Filling Stations spread of IPAs, as well as a Dublin Stout and Denver Brown. The microbrewery also specializes in wood-fired flatbreads such as the savory Wolverine with marinara, pepperoni, fresh pineapple, jalapenos and mozzarella and the sweet S'more Caboose with Nutella, graham cracker crumbs, marshmallows, caramel and chocolate.

Morsels Bite-Sized Bakery + Gourmet Coffee
Bite-size treats made from scratch fill the cases at Morsels Bakery. The small bites make it possible to try a few of the available 17 options including chiao it down, Italian cream cake with cream cheese frosting and walnuts and olive you, cheddar cheese biscuit with a green olive in the center.

Patisserie Amie/Chez Perez
What is a bakery by day turns into a bistro by night. Patisserie Amie whips egg breakfasts including omelets and eggs Benedict in the morning with croissants, pastries and tarts. In the evening Chez Perez serves dinner entrees such as rib-eye with bearnaise sauce and salmon with mussels and shrimp.

Grab a bite to eat downtown at Poppycocks on the weekend when live jazz and blues fills the contemporary dining room. The extensive menu includes small plates such as coconut chicken skewers, entrees like key lime shrimp and scallops pasta and chipotle honey beef brisket.

More Places to Stay Traverse City 

Guest Ranch at Chateau Chantal
The bed and breakfast rooms at Chateau Chantal offer views of the East and West Grand Traverse Bays. Each room displays a unique theme and includes a patio and whirlpool tub.

Tamarack Lodge of Traverse City
Each beachfront condo at the Tamarack Lodge is complete with an outdoor patio. Enjoy daily amenities such as beach bonfires, movie nights and wine tastings.

More Pure Flavors More Morels 

Morel and Asparagus Crispy Pizza
Save the red sauce and mozzarella for another day, this pizza layers flavor with seasoned mushrooms, asparagus and melted Gruyere cheese on top (www.midwestliving.com/recipe/morel-and-asparagus-crispy-pizza/).

Yield: 2 pizzas
Start to finish: 1 hr 42 minutes
Prep: 30 minutes
Rise: 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes
Bake: 12 minutes

1 package active dry yeast
114 cups warm water (105o to 115o)
2214 cups all-purpose flour
112 cups semolina flour
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
10 ounces morel mushrooms, cleaned and sliced 12-inch thick
1 tablespoon butter
12 cup sliced shallots (about 4)
14 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons snipped fresh thyme
8 ounces thin asparagus, cleaned, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
8 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded (2 cups)
Olive oil
Cracked black pepper

1. In a large bowl combine yeast and water. Let stand until yeast is dissolved; about 5 minutes.

2. Add 2 cups all-purpose flour, semolina flour, 3 tablespoons olive oil, salt and sugar. Mix by hand or on low speed of an electric mixer until well-combined. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining all-purpose flour for 6 to 8 minutes or until a smooth elastic dough is formed.

3. Transfer dough to a bowl lightly coated with additional olive oil, turning to coat all sides. Cover and let rise in a warm place until about doubled in size, 1 to 112 hours.

4. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high cook and stir mushrooms in hot butter for 2 to 3 minutes until mushrooms just begin to soften. Add shallots, wine and thyme. Cook and stir for 4 to 6 minutes or until shallots are tender. Add asparagus; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

5. Preheat oven to 475o. Grease and dust 2 extra-large baking sheets with cornmeal. Punch dough down and divide dough in half. On a lightly floured surface roll out one portion of the dough to 1/8-inch thickness (don't worry if its not perfectly round). Transfer to one prepared baking sheet.

6. Brush lightly with additional olive oil. Top with half the mushroom mixture and half the cheese; season to taste with pepper. Bake in oven on lowest rack about 12 minutes until crispy and brown. While first pizza is baking, repeat with remaining dough and toppings.

Spring Pasta with Morels Ramps and Peas
The flavors of spring are peppered throughout this creamy pasta with ingredients like mushrooms, ramps, peas and ham (www.midwestliving.com/recipe/spring-pasta-with-morels-ramps-and-peas/).

Makes: 4 servings
Start to Finish: 35 minutes

12 ounces fresh morel mushrooms, cleaned and very coarsely chopped*
46 ounces ramps, cleaned and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (or 1 medium leek, cleaned
and thinly sliced, plus 1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon butter
12 cup diced cooked ham
14 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup whipping cream
12 cup reduced-sodium chicken stock or broth
114 cups frozen peas, thawed
112 teaspoons snipped fresh thyme
Salt and cracked black pepper
10 ounces dried linguine pasta
14 cup chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
Shaved Parmesan cheese, optional

1. In a very large skillet over medium-high heat cook and stir morels and ramps in hot butter for 4 to 5 minutes until just tender. With a slotted spoon, remove mixture to a bowl.

2. Add ham to skillet. Cook and stir for 3 to 4 minutes until just starting to brown. Remove skillet from heat. Add white wine to skillet. Return to heat and cook for 1 minute. Add cream and stock. Cook and stir occasionally for 6 to 8 minutes until sauce coats the back of a wooden spoon. Return morels to skillet with peas and thyme. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until peas are just tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Meanwhile, in a large pot of salted water cook linguine according to package directions; drain. Return to pot over low heat with sauce and parsley. Toss until well-combined. Transfer to serving bowl. Serve with shaved Parmesan, if you like.

* If morels are unavailable, use stemmed shiitake, cremini and/or button mushrooms.

More Things to Do Boyne City 

Alpine Chocolate Haus
Stop in this candy store near the lake for a beach snack. Choose from caramel corn, chocolates, saltwater taffy and bark in flavors such as key lime and boysenberry. www.alpinechocolathaus.com 

Freshwater Studio
In Boyne City's new art district, SoBo, this studio displays and sells a wide variety of art. More than 100 Michigan artists are represented among the furniture, paintings, sculptures, music and bags.

Horton Bay General Store
An old-fashioned soda counter is the centerpiece of this historic general store where breakfast and lunch items are served. Horton Bay also sells antiques, local goods, packaged foods and wine.

Lavender Hill Farm
Fields of lavender lead to the farms gift shop, which sells Michigan-made products utilizing the flower. Among the lavender soaps, cookies and jelly is the popular laundry bar, rumored to remove the most hideous stains.

Local Flavor
New and used books line the shelves at this local hotspot. The long-time bookstore now includes a cafe where coffee and pastries can be enjoyed (231/582-7499).

Wine Emporium and Market
Local meats, cheeses, jams and coffee sit alongside a wide spread of wines in the market. The Wine Emporium also sells more exotic foods like squid ink pasta (231/582-2151).

More Places to Eat Boyne City 

Cafe Sante
Next to Lake Charelvoix, this bistro serves wood-fired pizzas and pasta dishes like cheese ravioli in a dining room with water views. Browse the extensive drink menu to choose from local brews and European imports.

Lake Street Market
Put together a beach picnic at this market a couple blocks from the beach. Fresh meat and fish for sandwiches make up the deli and scones, bars and bagels fill a bakery case. www.lakestreetmarket.com 

Red Mesa Grill
Red Mesa Grill fuses Mexican, Carribbean as well as South and Central American flavors in dishes like Cuban black bean cakes, Costa Rican garlic steak and Peruvian chicken. www.magnumhospitality.com/redmesa 

More Places to Stay Boyne City 

Water Street Inn
Within a walk from downtown, each beach condo is equipped with a kitchen and balcony. Enjoy views of Lake Charlevoix from the room and take advantage of the Inns private beach (231/582-3000; www.boynewaterstreetinn.com).

Trattoria Stella, Traverse City. Photo courtesy of Kevin Miyazaki/Midwest LivingMore Pure Flavors More Asparagus

Scalloped Asparagus
The crispy breading on top compliments the texture of the creamy sauce on the asparagus beneath (www.midwestliving.com/recipe/vegetables/scalloped-asparagus/).

Yield: 4 main-dish or 6 side-dish servings
Start to finish: 45 minutes
Prep: 25 minutes
Bake: 20 minutes

1 pound asparagus, trimmed* and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
Milk (about 1-3/4 cups)
14 cup all-purpose flour
14 teaspoon salt (optional)
14 teaspoon pepper
1 pimiento, chopped, or one 2-ounce jar diced pimiento, drained
4 hard-cooked eggs, sliced
12 cup shredded American cheese (2 ounces)
12 cup fine dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup butter or margarine

1. Cook asparagus in 12 cup boiling water for 3 minutes (asparagus still will be crisp). Drain, reserving liquid. Add enough milk to the cooking liquid to measure 2 cups liquid.

2. For sauce, in a medium saucepan, melt the 1/3 cup butter; stir in flour, salt (if you like), and pepper. Stir in milk mixture all at once. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in pimiento.

3. Cover bottom of a greased 112-quart casserole with half of the asparagus, reserving 6 asparagus tips for garnish. Arrange half of the eggs over asparagus. Spoon half of the sauce on top; sprinkle with half of the cheese. Repeat layers. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and drizzle with the melted butter.

4. Bake in a 425o oven about 20 minutes or until bubbly. Garnish with reserved asparagus tips. Makes 4 main-dish or 6 side-dish servings.

* To prepare the asparagus, wash and scrape off the scales, if you like. Break off the woody bases. 

Salad Asparagus & Arugula Salad with Shaved Parmesan
This salad features fresh produce paired with a lemon dressing for a tasty, light meal. (www.midwestliving.com/recipe/salads/grilled-asparagus-arugula-salad-with-shaved-parmesan/ 

Makes: 4 servings
Start to finish: 30 minutes

14 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel
3 tablespoons lemon juice
12 teaspoon sea salt or coarse salt
14 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound fresh asparagus spears
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups arugula or spinach
4 ounces Parmesan cheese, cut into thin slices (curls) with a vegetable peeler

1. For dressing: In jar with screw-top lid, combine the 14 cup oil, lemon peel and juice, the 12 teaspoon salt and the 14 teaspoon black pepper. Cover and shake well; set aside.

2. Clean and trim asparagus; coat lightly with the 2 tablespoons oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside. Meanwhile, clean arugula or spinach and remove excess stems; dry. Set aside.

3. For a charcoal grill, grill asparagus crosswise on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals for 4 to 6 minutes or until crisp-tender, turning spears occasionally. (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Place asparagus crosswise on grill rack over heat. Cover and grill as above.)

4. While asparagus is warm, toss with arugula and dressing (this will wilt the arugula). Divide among 4 dinner plates and top with Parmesan curls. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

More things to do Ludington and Pentwater  

Decors by Sandra
Gifts and home decor fills Decors by Sandra in downtown Pentwater. Find a wide variety of items including costume jewelry, vintage-style handbags, frames, wall hangings, candles and toys.

Gardeners Folly
Beyond garden gear and home decor, Gardeners Folly sells women's apparel and gift items. Choose from beachwear and accessories, jewelry, candles, lotions, frames and vases.

Ludington State Park
The Lower Peninsulas second-largest state park consists of 5,300 acres of beaches and campgrounds as well as hiking, cross-country skiing and biking trails in Ludington. Visit the lighthouse or utilize Lake Michigan and Lake Hamlin for fishing, boating, kayaking and canoeing.

Marilyn's Style Boutique & Gallery
In downtown Pentwater, watercolors of Lake Michigan, glazed pottery and individually-crafted jewelry from local artists fill the gallery at Marilyns. Find clothing made from recycled materials and locally crafted jewelry and accessories in the boutique.

Waterfront Park
Complete with a band shell, playground, sculpture park and two marinas this park rests between downtown Ludington and Pere Marquette Lake. Bring a picnic and enjoy an evening walking among the flower beds, benches and picnic tables. www.visitludington.com/stories/ludingtons_waterfront_park 

More places to eat Ludington and Pentwater 

Cottage Garden Cafe
This favorite for breakfast and lunch sits along Pentwater Lake. Breakfast features a quiche of the day and popular scones made with locally grown fruit. For lunch, choose from a variety of sandwiches, soups and salads full of farm fresh ingredients (231/869-8188).

PM Steamers
Watch ferry steamers pull into port while dining on Pere Marquette Lake in Ludington. PM Steamers entrees feature Great Lakes fish and local produce like the perch served with grilled asparagus.

More places to stay Ludington and Pentwater 

Cartier Mansion Bed and Breakfast
Its easy to see this Ludington mansion was built in the lumber era. Original woodwork, fixtures and flooring furniture fill the interior for an antique feel.

Naders Lakeshore Motor Lodge
Being a walk away from both the beach and downtown make Naders a convenient place to stay. Each room opens to a courtyard featuring a pool, picnic tables and grills. www.nadersmotel.com