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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Bottrall

Mackinac Island Summer

John Lennon once said that life is what happens when you are making your plans. And so while the plans for this blog are exciting, life has intervened with a family situation. While not ready to go into details yet, the situation requires that we be in Grand Rapids for an unspecified length of time. The flowers up above were two of the last pictures I took of the Island before we left.

We considered putting the blog on hold, but when I am stressed I cook. That means I've been cooking up a storm from my Grand Rapids kitchen. Many of you enjoy the recipe part of the blog, and so I've decided to share some of my comfort food creations with you.

The grill is much more accessible here in Grand Rapids than on Mackinac Island, so we have been cooking out for most of our dinners. BBQ's always make me think of baked beans. My mother and my mother in law both think they have the worlds best recipe for baked beans. There are certainly favorites within each family. Below is the recipe for Joyce's baked beans. Later this summer, we will do the recipe for my mom, Jackie's baked beans. There really is no contest between the two recipes. It would be like comparing apples and potatoes. Both recipes have a very different flavor profile. Joyce's beans are not as sweet as many baked bean recipes you are probably used to. They carry the unique flavor of onion overload. Mom Jackie's recipe is overloaded with sweetness.

Joyce's beans took center stage at every corn roast for 40 years. And in Joyce's honor I am making them with some steaks later this week.

Reminiscing over family recipes always makes me crave Grandma Bishops wonderful chocolate cake. She would always make a cake or a pie when family came to visit. I turned this recipe into a cupcake recipe years ago. I made them to resemble the famous ding dongs, but filled with chocolate cream, they are so much better. Perfect for any gathering, they bring out the little kid in all of us. I hope you the recipe included below.

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