Saturday, November 21, 2009


"Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop."
~ Ovid

Saugatuck, Michigan

Owned by Julee Rosso co-author of the Silver Palate Cookbook and her husband Bill Miller, the Wickwood Inn in quaint Saugatuck is a historic treat in many ways.

November garden

Please sign the guest book!

Living Room
(dressed for the holidays)

Welcoming brownies, cookies,
hot tea, coffee & cold beverages

~ Traditional brownies from the Silver Palate Cookbook
1/2 lb. (2 sticks)
4 (oz.) unsweetened chocolate
4 eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup coarsely chopped shelled walnuts
  • Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Grease and flour 9 x 12-inch baking pan.
  • Melt butter and chocolate in top part of a double boiler over boiling water. When melted, set aside to cool to room temperature.
  • Meanwhile, beat eggs and sugar until thick and lemon-colored; add vanilla. fold chocolate mixture into eggs and sugar. Mix thoroughly.
  • Sift flour and fold gently into batter, mixing just until blended. Fold in walnuts.
  • Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes, or until center is just set. Do not overbake.
  • Allow brownies to cool in pan for 30 minutes before cutting into bars. (28 brownies)


Evening Wine Buffet
(believe many of these recipes are forthcoming in Julee's new cookbook)
POMODORO (pom-oh-DOR-oh)
(Tomato Bread Soup)
~ Perfect compliment (upper left photo) to the other offerings for the wine feast. Recipe compliments of Julee's Wickwood Inn Notebook
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. minced garlic (or to taste)
1½ Tbsp. minced shallots
2 lbs. ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
¼ cup slivered fresh basil leaves
2/3 cup chicken broth
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
5 slices day-old country bread, sliced ½ inch thick
Chopped fresh basil (optional)
Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and shallots, and cook over medium-low heat until soft and translucent, 10 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes, basil, stock, and salt and pepper. Stir, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Tear the bread into 1-inch pieces and add them to the soup. Let it cook for one minute, then remove from the heat and allow to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Serve sprinkled with chopped basil and Parmesan cheese. (Serves 4-6)
  • Note: To change this from a chunky soup to a more “drinkable” soup for hors d'oeuvres, puree soup with an immersion blender and add up to 4 cups of great quality tomato juice. The flavor is so substantial that it remains delicious.

The Lodge Suite
"A Great House of the Adirondacks or a spacious cabin in the wide open spaces of Montana ... you decide. Red tartan taffeta ... uptown country roses ... antique linens on a Queen four poster feather bed. Red Wing Backs reflect in a roaring fireplace."
(description from website and ... truly, true)

~ Julee's miniature pecan tarts ... a memorable bedtime 'Sweet Dreams' Snack

1/2 cup soft unsalted butter
3 oz. cream cheese
1 cup sifted flour
1 slightly beaten egg
¾ cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp. melted butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2/3 cup chopped pecans

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Using a hand held mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese together and add flour continuing to mix until smooth, about 1 minute longer. Shape into 2 dozen 1-inch balls, press into 1¾-inch muffin cups.
  • In a small mixing bowl, mix the egg, brown sugar, melted butter, salt, and vanilla.
  • Divide ½ pecans among the pastry lined pans. Add filling and top with remaining pecans. Bake for 17 minutes. Reduce to 250°F and bake 10 minutes longer. Cool and remove from pan. (24 tassies)

~ From Julee's website comes this shared recipe for these delightful bite-size versions of Julia Child's Flourless Chocolate Cake ... trust me, the burst of rich chocolate is memorable!

9 oz. best quality bittersweet chocolate (60-64% cacao)
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
5 lightly beaten eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

  • Roughly chop chocolate into pieces. Transfer to medium-sized bowl and add the butter,. Place the bowl over the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until the two ingredients have melted. Mix well and transfer to large bowl and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 325-degrees. Sift sugar and flour together, then stir into chocolate. Add eggs and mix well. Cover and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. The batter will thicken as it stands.
  • Line 1 1/2-inch miniature muffin tins (24 to the pan) with cupcake papers. Of course, you can make these in regular muffin tins, but they are too rich to be large for our palate. Spoon batter to 3/4 full for each cupcake into the paper-lined cups. Bake 16-18 minutes (if large bake 30-35 minutes). The brownies will still be moist when done, but tops will puff up and the look crisp and rounded. They will fall slightly as they cool. Let cool in pan, if you can leave them alone. They're fragile and will fall apart if not cool. Best to disappear within 48 hours. (32-36 Little Bites)

Christmas tree in Breakfast Area

Fresh berries with Creme fraiche, Baked ham and sausage,
Apple Bismarck with Spiced Maple Syrup

Homemade granola, juices, yogurt, coffee and teas,
and Bishop's Cake

~ Classic, moist pound cake from the Silver Palate Cookbook

1/2 lb. (2 sticks) sweet butter
2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
5 eggs (always organic for me)

  • Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan.
  • Cream butter and sugar gradually; beat until fluffy.
  • Sift flour and add to butter mixture. Stir just enough to blend.
  • Add lemon juice and vanilla; stir well. Add eggs, one at at time, mixing well after each addition.
  • Pour into prepared bundt pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted onto the center of cake comes out clean. (After 30 minutes cover closely with aluminum foil.)
  • When cake is done, cool in pan on a cake rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely. (8-10 portions)


Holiday Amaryllis blooming in every room

"Don't underestimate the value of Doing Nothing,
of just going along,
listening to all the things you can't hear,
and not bothering."

~ A.A. Milne
(Pooh's Little Instruction Book)


The Mermaid Cottage said...

Hi Joey!

Lucky you to have stayed at the Wickwood...and to meet Julie Rosso! Isn't Saugatuck a fun place to shop and stroll? We live about and hour and fifteen minutes north of Saugatuck/Douglas...did you get to shop in Douglas? Our friends and family have spent many enjoyable weekends exploring the area. If you get a chance to head "west" again, also try to visit Holland and/or Grand Haven...wonderful dining/shopping and water!

As usual, I've loved your photos and continue to enjoy the great recipes. Hope you have a lovely glad most of your family is close by. We will be heading home to my brother's place in Frankenmuth to enjoy ours!

Auf wiedersehen, Sheila from west Michigan

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Wow, Joey, that looks like a lovely place. And the food is always good!

Chloe m said...

This was a VERY pleasurable post, chock full of treats and delights for the eyes. THanks for posting the brownie recipe, I am craving some chocolate!
I have been to Saugatuck, ONCE about 20 years ago. A very lovely town.

joey said...

Hi dear Sheila ~ Time away was short but sweet. Actually, Mr. Ho-Hum had a meeting in Holland so briefly toured the town then raced to Saugatuck. Would love to return in the spring for the tulip festival. Had planned dinner in Douglas but the inn was too charming to leave ... did run through on the way to Oval Beach in a rush home to scoop up grandboys from school (staying with us on/off over weekend). Happy Thanksgiving in Frankenmuth (are you having chicken :) How can I reach you besides my site ... can't get past your profile :(

Monica, it was my dream to visit the Wickwood Inn and a double treat to meet and hug, Julee, my 'foodie' mentor. (Her cookbooks are some of my favs)

Thanks, Rosey. Saugatuck has changed over the past 20 years ... time to visit again ... you won't be disappointed :)

donna said...

I enjoy pictures of food as much as garden photos. The Pecan Tassies are going to be part of our Thanksgiving dinner.

This post and the Wickwood Country Inn are both delightful.

Gail said...

Joey, Love all the Silver Palate cookbooks! I don't think any of the recipes I've tried from them have ever been disappointing... I didn't know that Julee Rosso had an inn in MI! It looks wonderful and the food fantastic. Hope your weekend was peaceful! gail

joey said...

The Pecan Tassies are delicious, Donna. Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm a huge Silver Palate fan, Gail, and Julee (dear friend's sorority sister) is delightful. Wickwood is one of the most charming inns we have ever stayed in ... from walking in the front door until sighing goodbye (and look at all the yummy goodies served plus staff is delightful). We raced home, across state, to pick up grandboys from school(have enjoyed them on/off over weekend). Wishing you a thankful week ahead :)

Anonymous said...

Dear Joey, it was nearly as good as being there in person, along with you of course to add to the joy! The Inn looks splendid, all dolled up for the holidays and the food made my mouth water. Pecan Tassies are a tradition in our family too. Labor intensive but well worth the effort. You have certainly put me in the mood for the coming season of food, family and fun, thanks. :-)

Unknown said...

Note to self: Do not read Joey's blog when hungry. I now want to eat the computer screen! Making brownies tonight and also apple-blueberry cobbler. Just to help push back the wintery feel of the day.

joey said...

You're a dear, Frances, and thank you. The inn was indeed splendid (don't know how they keep all the fresh greens, amaryllis that bloomed too soon so taking stock for more) and rosemary. And yes, now food prep, family and fun. Happy Thanksgiving!

Too cute, jodi! Yum, brownies & apple-blueberry cobbler! Don't forget some fresh fruits & veggies ... don't want you to get scurvy :)

lindalou said...

All I can say is YUM!! What a great place to stay and eat. I love food pictures. Just gets my mouth watering. I love some of the detail in your photos. And thanks for all these great recipes.

Kerri said...

Oh, there's so much to be thankful for in this post, and all the posts below! Thank you dear Joey, for always offering up delicious recipes and sharing such wonderful photos.
You are such a creative and clever photographer!
What an absolutely delightful place to stay. Lucky you and Mr. Ho Hum :)
Glad you got to enjoy the grandsons too. Aren't they the best fun?
Hope you have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving.

joey said...

Thank you, Lindalou. Indeed a memorable stay. Julee's recipes are the best(Will have to chech out your Pioneer Woman)!

... and wishing you a beautiful Thanksgiving also, dear Kerri. Thank you for the kind thoughts. I'm thankful for our blogging friendship :)

TYRA Hallsénius Lindhe said...

This is too much Joey! I can't take it all in. I put the whole post among my favourites. What a wonderful place at that lovely food and it looks so cosy too. You are a lucky girl!....sigh

Roses and Lilacs said...

Those lovely photos are just what I needed to take my mind off the miserable, dreary weather we have here. Those Christmas decorations are so bright and cheerful.

joey said...

Indeed lucky, Tyra, and thanks ... it was one of the loveliest inns we have ever stayed in and the food, delightfully delicious!

Thanks Marnie and sorry about your weather :( that here is pleasant for November (50s plus the sun is trying hard to peek out). Though normally not into Christmas before Thanksgiving, the inn and town was bustling, trimmed with fresh greens and lights ... it did tug and I'm feelin' a bit holiday-ish ... Happy Thanksgiving!

Kathryn/ said...

Hi, Joey! You have, indeed, been delightfully, deliciously busy! And how wonderful of you to have included the Brownie recipe, which, of course, I have entered in the Brownie Recipe Contest! (All brownies going to local Food Bank!) So, thank you, my dear. Your trip sounds so vitalizing and restoring and inspiring! Happy for you to have started the holidays in such a charming way! Big hugs! Happy holidays! Kathryn xoxo

joey said...

Oh yes, dear Kathryn and a huge part of my time was spent wondering ... what brownie recipe to include in your Brownie Recipe Contest @

Do hope that all who read this might think about ... hum ... the 'bestest' brownie recipe in the world and send the recipes again your way ... (love that all brownies tested will be donated to your local Food Bank). Hugs & Happy Thanksgiving, dear one!

Nutty Gnome said...

When can I move in?!
It looks just perfect!

donna said...

Joey, question about the Pecan Tassie recipe. Is it 1-3/4 C brown sugar or 3/4 C brown sugar? The 1 in your post doesn't look like the other 1's and I'm thinking 1-3/4 C is too much. Hope I'm not being annoying. Going to make these for T-Day dinner.

Rose said...

Joey, you have put me in the holiday spirit! What a gorgeous place to spend the weekend. And now I'm getting hungry, too...:) The little chocolate bites are definitely going to be added to my recipe file.

joey said...

Indeed it is, Nutty. Wish you lived near, you'd love it!

Hi Rose and, yes, the inn was gorgeous, a pure delight for me since I had dreamed of visiting for many years. Both the tassies and chocolate bites were offered before bedtime ... definitely, sweet dreams :) Wishing you a beautiful Thanksgiving!

Indeed 3/4 brown sugar is correct, Donna, and thanks or catching the blip. Happy Thanksgiving!

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

When we lived in Minnesota, we would take weekend bike trips (summer) and cross country ski trips (winter) to a number of these lovely inns. Thanks for sharing all these goodies!

PS: I gave you an award over on my blog. Please stop by when you have a moment. :)

bg_garden said...

The pecan tassies have been a family favorite in my home for many years! Thank you for sharing your recipe and your WONDERFUL day.

joey said...

How fun, Kate. One of my favorite things to do also. Thank you for sharing the kind award. I'm honored and most thankful that we have connected. You are a delightful! Wishing you a beautiful Thanksgiving.

I agree, they are yummy, Bren. I've been making Julee's recipe for years, always a treat. You are one amazing woman, able to juggle many balls so well. I'll be thinking of you on Thanksgiving :) Do hope the day is wonderful!

marmee said...

wow...i love b&b's. the people who run them are usually so interesting and truly want you to have a great time. this looks like just the place to take a day maybe i'll make it up that way...if i do i know right where to stay.
happy thanksgiving joey.

joey said...

Oh, do come, dear Marmee! There are 28 or so Bed & Breakfasts (the Bed & Breakfast Capital of the Midwest) in the Saugatuck/Douglas area (you could stay for a month and try them all :) plus many old historic inns. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your beautiful family.