A Trip to Paradise (Michigan)

This past week, my mom, sisters, and I went to Paradise, Michigan for Run for the Light, a fundraiser for the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum. It was a chilly but sunny weekend, and we had a great time!

My mom ran the half marathon, and nailed it! This was her second half, and she beat her previous time by 14 minutes. Go, Mom! We’re so proud of you!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI ran the 10K. I shaved 10 seconds off my previous 10K PR. It was such a small race, I won 2nd place in my age group.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAbby couldn’t run because of her leg, so she volunteered at the finish to be the secondary timer.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd Naomi had a cold, so she couldn’t run either. She was our photographer!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter Mom finished, we stayed to check out the Shipwreck Museum–it was really great! We climbed to the top of the lighthouse (the oldest, still functioning lighthouse on Lake Superior) to see a view of Whitefish Point and the beautiful fall colors.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe buildings on the lighthouse grounds are open and house different exhibits. The light keeper’s house is beautifully restored to what it would have looked like around 1900. The coast guard building features old boats and lifesaving equipment. The museum itself had displays about shipwrecks on the Great Lakes.

More than running and museums, I simply enjoyed spending the weekend together. The night before the race, we lounged in the hot tub for awhile and relaxed in our room. After the museum, we stopped in St. Ignace to go out to lunch.  I love being able to spend so much time with my family!


Pasties: the food

Before any of you get the wrong idea, this pasty is a food. Pronounce it so that it rhymes with “nasty,” not “tasty.” Though, they really are tasty. Not nasty. I promise. Anyway,  they are extremely popular in the upper peninsula of Michigan. As the boyfriend lived in the UP for 5 years, they’re pretty popular in his book as well. So we made pasties for dinner!

Plan on almost 2 hours from the time you start until the time you can eat. Though time consuming, these are great food to make ahead. Store left overs in the fridge or freezer for easy grab and go eats.

Beef Pasties

Adapted from Pasty Recipes. Yield: 10-12 pasties

First, start by making your dough. This is much like pie crust dough, don’t be scared.

  1. Mix 6 cups of flour with 1 Tbs. of salt.
  2. Using a pastry blender, cut in 1 1/2 cups of cold butter.
  3. Add cold water, tablespoon by tablespoon until it just barely combines into a ball. The amount of water that you need will vary, but it will be approximately 12 tablespoons. Try very hard not to get the dough too moist; this will make the end product dense, and you’re going for light and flaky.
  4. If you need to do some light kneading with your hands, feel free, but be aware that too much will melt the butter.
  5. Chill dough in the fridge while you make the filling.

While your dough is chilling, you need to get chopping. I highly recommend enlisting in help!


  • 5 carrots
  • 2 large onions
  • 2 large potatoes
  • 1/2 cup of rutabaga or turnip

Mix it all together with 2 tsp. of salt and 1 tsp. of pepper.

Add 2 lbs of ground beef (or other ground meat of choice) and mix it in.

Now the fun part! Fetch your dough from the fridge and form it into a log. Chop it into 10 or 12 disks. Whatever floats your boat.

Using a rolling pin or a wine bottle, roll each disk of dough out. I highly recommend rolling the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper. This keeps it from sticking and tearing when you pull it off the table.

After each disk is rolled, dump some of the filling in the middle. Use enough filling that you can barely close the top of the dough. Bring the sides of the dough together in the center so that it all seals into a lovely pocket of pasty goodness.

Stab holes in the top of each pasty so that the steam can escape.

Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. After 30 minutes, pull them out at baste the tops with melted butter.

After they come out of the oven, make your gravy. Combine in a saucepan:

  • two beef bouillon cubes
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 cups water

Heat it until it combines into the consistency you prefer. Serve pasties with gravy on top.

What a perfect way to spend a Friday night! Serve up with a nice glass of red wine or a bottle of your favorite brew.

I wanna know: Do you have a favorite regional food? Have you ever tried to make it?