It's summertime!---The time for delicious steaks sizzling on the grill. The time when a great steak knife becomes a necessity. We love these handsome steak knives from Tramontina, super sharp with a full tang, partially serrated with a nice wooden handle. Since you can buy them individually, you can purchase exactly the amount you need. Perfect for dinner on the deck!
Welcome to Acorn Farm's blog.
The answer is .......a fabulous tour group from Acorn Farm. Next May 26th - June 5th, we'll do our second Acorn Farm tour, and this time we'll visit Paris and the Provence region of France. We're hammering out the details now, but we'll have the trip open for registration by the beginning of August. Stay tuned!
Just returned from an amazing trip to Barcelona Spain with my 15 year old Grandson, Austin. We both had so many new experiences starting with him conquering the Metro, to me eating Paella and enjoying dinner at a Tapas cafe.
We shared a rice and a noodle Paella-with no shells (recommended by the waiter) along with Sangria. An outstanding meal!
Even though there was a 50-year difference in our ages, it was fun for me to see things through the eyes of a teenager and for him to think "maybe Grandma is cool after all."
Last week we had a lot of fun at our Texican Tapas class. It was all delicious but one of the standouts was Marty's Put-the-Lime-in-the-Coconut Cheesecake. Oh, my! To quote my husband, "that is the best thing you've ever brought home for me from cooking class."
I'm only a little offended that I wasn't the best thing I've ever brought home for him but I'll get over it. The cheesecake was truly amazing. The crust could have been a great dessert all on its own! And the filling.
Marty's a great cook and we're so glad to have her. She frequently assists Steven when he's teaching a class here and she has set the bar pretty high. When she's out of town and the rest of us fill in for her, it's just not the same.
Unfortunately, I was otherwise occupied the evening of this class but I heard it was outstanding and that is no surprise to me. These two made homemade pasta look simple and they turned out some dishes that were as gorgeous as they were delicious. Isn't that salad spectacular? The lemon pasta was fabulous (or so I hear---there was none left to taste,) the homemade herbed ricotta was a standout, and well, everything was on point and delicious!
Thank you Susan and Theresa!
I love Thursdays. Theresa is here on Thursdays and she loves to cook. She also loves to share what she cooks! Today's treat was an Egyptian Lentil Soup. It was definitely a delicious diversion on a drippy, dreary day. We all love Theresa, with or without the soup!
We've had such fun with our Feasting with Friends series of cooking classes! We had Diane Fikany in on March 16th for a wonderful menu that included her fabulous Baked Shrimp Scampi. As you can see, she knows what she's doing and the dish was as pretty as it was delicious! We enjoyed some great sides as well as a little Aperol Spritz---a fun memory of the trip that some of our staff & customers took to the Amalfi Coast a year ago.
We can't wait to have Diane back next time we do a Feasting with Friends series! She's a delight, as always, and it was nice to have her on the other side of the butcher block for a night!
This morning when I came into the store and started my usual routine; make the chips, make the tea, listen to messages, and sweep outside, I was happy about spending a few minutes out in the sunshine. I started sweeping the front walk and finally pushed the last of all the leaves and twigs toward the curb. I turned around to walk back into the store, and in my path I saw a few little piles of leaves and string that hadn't been there just a few seconds earlier. I looked up to find the little guy pictured above, furiously pulling stuff out from behind our sign and apparently fashioning a new nest for future family members. We continued our little game for a few minutes, with me sweeping and turning around a few more times to find another bit of fluff waiting for me.
It was a nice reminder that in a few weeks, we'll be enjoying all the sights and scents that come with spring. Along with the daffodils and tulips come the fresh breezes that hint of fresh starts, renewal, growth and all those other things in life that are so important.
When you go outside today, soak in that beautiful sunshine and take a deep breath of spring. It does the heart good!
What a fun evening with Paul & Tracy Beauregard as they took us on a 'ride' into the life of a Louisianan. Paul & Tracy brought along their Creole music to set us in the mood, provided the historical significance of each dish they made, and gifted each guest with Mardi Gras beads and colorful napkins. Paul started the evening off with his mouth-watering Cajun crab cakes and remoulade sauce. mmmm,mmmm good! Thank goodness Paul had plenty on hand because everyone was asking for seconds. I may have even seen some ask for thirds. Oh, wait! That was me, haha. Paul revealed that the secret behind a great gumbo is in the roux. He also revealed what it is that makes the beans so tender in his Red Beans and Rice. Tracy made the traditional and oh-so-delicious King Cake complete with the hidden baby, promising the finder a year of prosperity & good luck. Our guest, Rick, found the baby in his piece and won a prize.
Truly a delightful evening! Stay tuned.....our class list for April and May will be out within the next two weeks.
On the eighth of February, we welcomed Beverly Paisley, one of Kathy's dearest friends and her cooking inspiration through the years. She demonstrated how to make her wonderful Hungarian Goulash, complete with an authentic spaetzle. Her flaky, delicious apple strudel brought our class to an end with a sweet memory. It was a fun night....so enjoyable to hear how Beverly's mom's recipes are being passed down and around Beverly was so gracious and we felt priveleged that we were the recipients of some of her family's culinary treasures.
We try to make all of our cooking classes top-notch, but once in a while we have one that our customers just can't get enough of. Our own Kim K., (100% Polish, by the way), taught a Polish class last year, using her family recipes. It was the first to fill up and was SO good, we had to run it again. The encore performance this Monday night certainly did not dissappoint. Her dill pickle soup brought rave reviews from the guests, many of whom are very accomplished cooks. Next came the best-ever pierogies. She demonstrated how she makes the dough, cuts them into small circles and then stuffs then with either a sauerkraut or potato mixture - both delicious. Their side kick was a mouth-watering cabbage rolls, slowly cooked in a tomato sauce with bacon. I believe everyone licked their plates.
As if that all wasn't enough, she then proceeded to teach her outstanding Polish Cheesecake.
Thanks, Kim, for sharing those old family recipes--indeed the most treasured.
You should have been at last Thursday's class. Talk about wonderful!
Teresa Silver, a friend of Acorn Farm and guest chef, presented her delicious Porcini Crusted Filet Mignon with a twice-baked potato. Her appetizer was a mushroom croustade and it was easy to make, freeze ahead, and oh---so tasty! Such a fun evening. It was fun to see some new and young faces, too!
Thanks, Teresa, for coming into our Acorn home and making it a night to remember.
PS - The fudge pudding cake was absolutely "ooh la la"---the perfect ending!
Last May, I had the opportunity to take a cooking class in Florence, Italy. What a fun day! After walking through the markets and picking up the fresh ingredients, we went to a villa overlooking the city and cooked a complete meal.
We enjoyed making bruschetta, pasta, meat sauce, roast pork, roast potatoes, and ending with tiramisu. You can see it in the picture above, and even make it yourself from the recipe below.
What a great way to spend the day in a beautiful country.
She's always there to greet me when I come though my back door. Usually she'llhave her bone-shaped pillow or a stuffed Mickey Mouse toy in her mouth while her tail wags enthusiastically. When I'm home, whatever room I'm in-----she's there too! At night, when I settle on the couch to watch tv, she's resting her head on my lap. She seems to know when I've had a hard day and cuddles even closer. I think I need her as much as she needs me. I know there are reasons for not having a dog, but to not experience that kind of unconditional love is a sadly missed miracle of life.
Working behind the cash register, you see all sorts of things. We've seen all types of personalities and people from all over the world. We've been able to celebrate in some of our customers' greatest triumphs, and weep with some through loss. Once in a while, we get to see something fun, and special, and we're moved to tears. Last week we experienced just that. A mom was in with her daughter purchasing something nice for Christmas and then was trying to decide whether or not to also purchase a nativity scene. Another customer behind them stepped up and said, "I'd love to buy that for you." The mom and her daughter barely knew what to say, and the man's wife said, "please let him do it---he does it all the time! He really likes to do this." He did, in fact, treat them to this beautiful Christmas gift. Tears were shed, thank-yous were exchanged, and everyone's day was just a little brighter.
Welcome to our new website... and especially MainStreet Musings, the blog feature we've all been excited to debut! That is, until I realized I'd be the one doing the debuting... Karen's the writer around here, not me! So for the past few days, now that the store is finally decorated and the windows are done, I've been pondering what I wanted the first blog to be about. I've thought about my favorite Christmas memories, beloved traditions... holiday recipes – we are a kitchen store after all! In the end, what I settled on was...a door. Yes, our door does look festive. Marty decked the plain wreath I'd picked up at Brainers with berries and bows... she would have added glitter if she could, but the two of us have been banned! The white snow looked a bit stark against the golden Angels in last year's windows. Two jars of glitter later, the girls protested, "Never again!" We're still vacuuming glitter from between the floor boards! But enough of that, back to the door. Why a door, you ask? Because a door represents so much of "my" story of Acorn Farm.
You see before there was Acorn Farm, there was The Village Peddler.Some of you old-timers will know what I'm talking about. It was the store I started back in the eighties. It's crazy to think enough years have gone by that the '80s is a whole category on Pinterest and Party City! Back then it wasn't a kitchen store...heck, I didn't even know HOW to cook back then, but it was the "door" God opened revealing an affection for retail I didn't know was there. It was the "door" He graciously closed (although it didn't always seem so at the time) replacing retail with the task of raising four rambunctious boys. It was the same "door" He left slightly ajar, until eighteen years later, just as our last was getting ready to leave the nest, He seemed to be opening again. It looked like the perfect answer to the silent prayers I'd prayed as I'd walk down Main Street, past the store... PAST because those four boisterous boys would have turned it upside down in no time... seeing someone else behind "my" counter. Perfect, that is, until several months into the renovation the economy crashed! Hardly a day went by the first few months after reopening, that someone wouldn't remark, "There are a lot of stores closing. Doesn't seem the best time to be opening your doors!" Just goes to show... His ways are not our ways... His timing... always perfect!
It's been this same "door" He's used to bless me with so many wonderful friendships... the amazing women that work alongside me, the many of you that came in as customers, but quickly became friends.. .the folks from near and far that come through our door each day, sharing a bit of their lives and enriching ours in the process. In the coming weeks, this door will see a lot of hustle and bustle, and many times it's that same hustle and bustle that keeps me from focusing on what the season is all about. I'm hoping instead, this year, each time it opens, I'm reminded to welcome the season...the gift of a "door"
Merry Christmas everyone!!
"I am the door..." John 10:9
Acorn Farm Special:
Limited Edition Gefu Gift Set
The perfect gift for the cook, the healthy eater or those of us trying to live nutritiously! The new, improved Gefu spiralizer is able to turn even more vegetables into "veggie pasta"... carb-free and delicious! From zucchinis to sweet potatoes, you'll be hooked on your spiralized veggie spaghetti in no time! Beautifully packaged with their always-popular peeler!
Holiday Special $29.99 (Regularly $59.99), while supplies last
'Tis the season for gift giving! This year, we've made the task a bit easier. The Acorn Farm Hot List features some of our best holiday specials, tried and true favorites, and tasty Michigan offerings for those out-of-town-folks on your list. Use it for inspiration, along with the featured products on the Gathered Goods section of the website. Call ahead, we'd be happy to festively package your selections and have them ready for pick up!
1. Le Creuset's Heirloom quality kitchenware - on special!
Le Creuset's 2.75-quart round oven & 3.5-quart braiser with glass lid are destined to become a treasured heirloom. They're durable, perfectly designed and oh-so-beautiful. You need these. There. I said it. If you like to spend any time at all in the kitchen, you’ll fall in love the very first time you use a Le Creuset enamel-on-cast-iron round oven. What can you make in it? It would be easier to tell you what you can’t.
2.7qt. round oven in Cerise (Red) - regularly $295 now only $129.95
Le Creuset 3.5 qt. braiser w/glass lid - regularly $370 now only $169.99
2. A Tisket, A Tasket, our Favorite Cookware Gadgets
Rotomac Chopper – This is one of our super-faves! Tired of pulling out a food processor for small everyday chopping chores? Then you need this handy little chopper. It easily chops carrots, celery, onions, nuts, and herbs with just a couple of pulls. Perfect for making tuna or egg salad, fresh salsa, or pesto. Quick clean-up, too! -- $22.99
Rosle Peeler – This is the peeler that brought my sister to tears. You’ll never find a sharper peeler. More a fine kitchen tool than a gadget, and you’ll feel the difference in the nice, weighted handle. I gave one to my sister just before Thanksgiving when she was dreading peeling potatoes for 35 people. She called me right after she tried it, and let’s just say it worked so well it made her cry! -- $29.99
3. Your Go-To Gift Of The Season
Whether you choose the traditional or flavored varieties, Ariston Olive Oils & Balsamic Vinegars are one of the easiest ways to add flavor to food. They’re wonderful as gifts because they don’t have to match the recipient’s colors or décor. When paired with Mudpie's little Initial plate, the Ariston Oils are a perfect gift of appreciation! Use the Initial Plate for olive oil dipping dishes, spoon rest, rings & things, spare change……you decide!
Mudpie Initial plate - $8.99
Ariston oils and vinegars, assorted - $12.99
4. Timeless Tools from Wusthof - on sale!
Wusthof 8 Piece Steak Knife Set - Wusthof puts together some great seasonal specials and this is the best of the bunch. This beautiful set of stainless steak knives comes in its own wooden presentation box. What a perfect gift for the newly married couple, the grilling guru, or the foodie in your life -- Regularly $120, now only $49.99
Already love your steak knives? We have many other exceptional specials from Wusthof!
The 18-piece Gourmet Block Set with all the knives you need in their own wooden block! This is a quick & easy way to help someone start stocking their kitchen with essentials. Regularly $658.00 now $199.99. Wusthof's Classic 6” or 8’”Cook’s Knife is the perfect gift for the cook or aspiring chef in your life. Exceptional quality...our favorite knife for chopping or dicing. 6" Cook's-- Regularly $109.99, now $59.99. 8" Cook's--Regularly $139.99, now $99.99.
5. I Wish and Then I Wish Again, That I was Back in Michigan
Give them a little taste of home with these fun Michigan-made and Michigan-themed gifts. American Spoon Jams, Preserves, Fruit Perfect, or Cherry Pie Filling. Made right in Traverse City with fresh, Michigan-grown fruit. We're also excited to be carrying Cherry Republic's line of delicious cherry products! From the beloved chocolate-covered cherries, to our favorite cherry salsa! Everyone's favorite Glen Arbor products are available right in Milford! Both, American Spoon's Jam's & Cherry Republic's Salsas are $10.99 pair them with some of our other Michigan favorites... Michigan cutting boards, cheese slates, towels, aprons, even a cast iron skillet in the shape of our beloved state! The perfect gift to bring "home" to those afar!
Psssst! Insider's tip: our 'Hot List' is the perfect size to print! Bring it into the store, or pass it onto a loved one as part of your wish list!