Sunday, July 14, 2013

Honey Vanilla Lime Pineapple at Frederick Meijer Gardens


It’s been a while since I put up a blog, I know shame on me.  But in defense, well, I’ve been busy since becoming official Self Employed as a Personal Chef. 

Not just the work itself, but the paperwork, the tracking, the billing, the research and my own personal think drain!  It’s been fun.  But now I must keep my promise of a blog a week.  It might not always be on Sunday’s, I just might keep that my day of rest – not sure quite yet!
This weekend I am back at Frederick Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids, MI – if you’ve never been to the Gardens, it needs to go on your bucket list! It’s a beautiful setting, children’s garden, botanical garden, green houses, learning centers and more.

We are celebrating honey, and I’ve been in love with honey since I was a little girl – my mom would put honey in our tea, give us spoonfuls, and we never knew what sugar was, until we went to school.  Whenever I’m on the road and see honey advertised, I check my wallet and see how much I have!  It’s a good thing I don’t carry lots of cash, because local honey, farmers markets, and kitchen stores are my downfall!

I am in the barn for my honey demonstration, and it can be warm and dusty, but a friendly atmosphere.  This is a replica of Lena Meijer’s home, and the entire area is lovely (well except for all of “the bell ringing”– come to the gardens when there are children, young and old, and you’ll understand!)

Doing food demonstrations can be an interesting challenge.  It’s not like the Food Network, where multiple people help you out, you have all of your prep, backups, and the finished product waiting to pull out of an oven.  Live demo’s can be tricky!  Always a challenge, Always Fun!  We had to put on our imaginary thinking caps and pretend my butane burner was a grill, complete with my “whooshing” sound effect t hat are always good for a laugh!!  Saturday my wonderful husband Jeffery and our good friend Wayne came to surprise me, along with good friend Sue Osgood and her husband Ron!  That's Jeffery in the picture! 

It’s summer and here’s a quick appetizer or dessert! This can be grilled (no grill in the barn, I’d hate to burn it down so we did it in pans), put in a sauce pan or in the oven.  The left over sauce makes a wonderful ice cream sauce.  In fact the honey vanilla pineapple over ice cream is wonderful!


1 vanilla bean
4 oz honey
4 ounces (1/ cup) dark brown sugar
½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
Pinch kosher salt
1 whole pineapple
8 skewers.


A Good Quality vanilla bean ice cream! (optional)

Split open the vanilla pod and scrape out the pulp, and add the pod and the pulp to a small saucepan along with the honey, brown sugar, lime juice and salt.  Whisk together and place the mixture over medium high heat and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.  Remove from heat and cool for up to two hours, remove the vanilla pod.  Place syrup in a squeeze bottle
Preheat grill:  peel the pineapple.  Cut the pineapple into chunks and thread the pieces onto skewers.  Coat with the syrup.  Grill on all sides until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. 
Serve with ice cream.

If using wooden skewers, soak in water for approximately 20 minutes to prevent burning. 

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