What’s Cooking in the UP

Alex Palzewicz, Event, Find Local Food, Recipes, restaurant

I am not sure what I was thinking when I asked the owners of Belgiumtown Bar & Restaurant if I could host a locally sourced Chef Dinner in the dead of the UP winter. Part of me liked the idea of the challenge, but the goal was also to highlight the local food in our area and how we can better utilize products being grown by our neighbors. 


An Ode to Dairy

Drinks, Emma Beauchamp, Find Local Food, Recipes, Southeast Michigan, Specialty Producers

When was the last time you truly appreciated the milk in your fridge? Do you know where it comes from and how the cows were treated? Sure, milk is good on cereal and with chocolate chip cookies, but what about all of the other great things it can be become?

This week, I stocked up on all sorts of delicious dairy from Michigan Dairy Farms, specifically Calder Dairy and Guernsey Dairy. Calder Dairy of Lincoln Park, MI has been around since 1946. To this day they still deliver straight to people’s home. Guernsey Dairy of Northville, MI is committed to providing the same great products that they have since 1940. Both of these local milk producers provide a wide array of products perfect for drinking or creating with.

I bought heavy whipping cream, buttermilk, natural milk (creamline or non-homogenized). From there, I marveled at the possibilities that can be done with these ingredients.

Here are some easy links to follow for great ways to use dairy: mascarpone, tiramisuricotta, a ricotta berry cake, chocolate pudding and whipped cream.

I didn’t get a chance to make it, but Butter is also super easy to make. Check out this fun video from my favorite Test Kitchen Manager at Bon Appetit magazine on how to make cultured butter.

Sure, mascarpone, ricotta, and butter can all easily be bought. But there is a sense of satisfaction that comes with making it yourself. Plus, when you make your own, you can often save money in doing so. Making 2 cups of Mascarpone cost me $3.50 — I’ve seen it between $3-8.50 per cup!

Copy of IMG_4483Here’s how I made Mascarpone cheese:

Mascarpone is a super rich soft cheese, often used in tiramisu and cheesecake recipes. It is made out of only two ingredients, heavy whipping cream and a citric acid, like lemon juice.

Copy of IMG_4492I slowly brought 2 cups of heavy cream to 180 degrees Fahrenheit and kept it there for about 3 minutes. Then, I added 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. I kept it at 180 for another 3 minutes. Turned off the heat and stepped away for 30 minutes.  

I lined a strainer with a few layers of cheesecloth and carefully poured the cream mixture into the bowl and let it strain overnight.

Voila! Mascarpone cheese. I didn’t have the patience to make tiramisu before trying it, so I slathered it on toast with some homemade raspberry jam. (Is my millennial showing?)

What are you planning on making?

Emma Beauchamp is the Communications Manager for TLD. She enjoys experimenting in the kitchen and cooking for other people. Contact her at

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Winter on the Farm: Daybreak Dreamfarm

Bailey Samp, Farmers Markets, Find Local Food, Recipes, Stories

We’ve asked three different farmers during the long winter months, “What are your plans this winter?” The winter is a very different time for farmers, it’s a time for reflection, a rapid change of pace, and occasionally a chance to relax!

This month, we spoke to Patrick and Kelly of Daybreak Dreamfarm. The two met working for the Maine Conservation Corps, found their way to Pond Hill Farm for an internship a few years later and decided to cultivate their own dream and start a farm in 2014!


Spicy Kimchi and Pork Ramen for a Savory Arctic Stretch

Find Local Food, Molly Stepanski, Recipes

This time of year, as fresh greens dwindle to paltry proportions, and our northern Michigan season extension expiration looms, I start looking to my fall self to see what fabulous items I put aside via freezing or fermenting for the impending arctic stretch.


Once Upon a Pasty

Emma Beauchamp, Find Local Food, Recipes, Stories, The Local Dish, Uncategorized

If you’ve been to the Upper Peninsula, you have probably had a pasty. In the 1800s, many Cornish migrants came to the US, particularly the UP, to work in the iron mines. With them, they brought Cornish pasties. These hearty hand pies are traditionally packed with beef, onions, potatoes, and rutabagas. Today, they remain wildly popular throughout the UP and northern Michigan acting as a reminder of Michigan’s mining history.


Thanksgiving Favorites

Holiday, Thanksgiving, Tricia Phelps

TriciaPhelpsFacebookLive-InstagramOur former Operations Director Tricia Phelps, has just taken the reins and become Taste the Local Difference’s new CEO. Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities featured a story on Tricia and the path that led her to local food and TLD.

Read the story here and learn more!

AND with Thanksgiving on the horizon, Tricia shared recipes for some of her new and old favorites — dig in, and have a wonderful holiday, filled with lots and lots of local food!



Award-Winning Fruit Syrups Celebrating Local Flavors

Farmers Markets, Find Local Food, Kelly Wilson, Recipes, Stories

Drive due south of Michigan State University’s campus and in 5 short miles you’ll happily find yourself at Swallowtail Farm. This charming diversified fruit, vegetable and flower farm is operated by Anne Rauscher with help from her husband and two children. The 150 year old farmstead was purchased in 2005 and planted with its first fruits (raspberries) in 2006. Over the last 11 years, Anne and David have worked tirelessly to promote healthy land and soil, develop strong community, and grow delicious food. Visiting the farm, these values are on obvious display.


Harvest Apple Crisp

Emma Beauchamp, Find Local Food, Recipes

Does making a pie crust seem daunting? Do you have a jumble of frozen fruit in your freezer that needs to be eaten? Do you have a hankering for something sweet, but not too sinful? Then, look no further than apple crisp!