The rumor on the street is that we have the best food pairings for our events.  The Bluebird Restaurant, a staple in Leland for 80 years, is a great partner so check out the pictures and recipes below. 

Pumpkin Crisp (Taste the Passion feb 2015)

Serves 8-10


  • 1 15oz can of pumpkin
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 18.25oz package of butter-flavored yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • whip cream (optional)

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Stir (not mix or blend) together the first 5 ingredients
  2. Pour into a lightly greased 13x9 baking dish
  3. Sprinkle cake mix evenly over the mixture
  4. Sprinkle evenly with pecas
  5. Drizzle butter evenly over the top
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 to 65 minutes or until golden brown
  7. Remove from oven and let stand for at least 10 minutes
  8. Serve warm or room temperature with whip cream

Chicken floutas


  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 8 oz shredded Monterey Jack cheese & 8 oz shredded cheddar
  • 1 cup roasted corn
  • 1 cup cooked black beans
  • ¼ tsp Garlic
  • ¼ tsp Cumin
  • ¼ Cup green chilis
  • Salt/pepper to taste
  • 2 T vegetable oil.
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 C Sour cream
  • ¼ cup bunch of fresh cilantro, very finely chopped
  • 8 – 10 6” flour tortilla shells

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Combine first 8 ingredients and reserve a total of 4 oz of the shredded cheese
  2. In each shell, place ¼ Cup of the mix in the center of a tortilla, edge to edge
  3. Egg wash edges of the tortilla and roll like a cigar
  4. In skillet, heat oil, not smoking.  Put flauta in hot oil, brown and turn
  5. When brown and warm to center (2 minutes/side), place on plate, top with remaining shredded cheese.
  6. Top with 1 T of your favorite salsa
  7. Blend cilantro and sour cream, and drizzle on top

Smoked white fish chowder

For our first event of our new winery, the Bluebird created a smoked whitefish chowder. 

50 pounds of smoked whitefish from Carlsons in Fishtown was combined with butter, cream and local vegetables to create this smoky chowder with a hint of spicy heat.  We offered two wine pairings - our Pinot Noir and our Pinot Gris.  Both were perfect pairings, complimenting the food rather than over powering it.  The Bluebird has promised to share the recipe in the future!!




Start with a 3 oz dough ball stretched or rolled out and char-grilled - gas or charcoal for a few minutes on each side (you can make from scratch or use a pre-made dough)

Place on baking sheet and top with fresh chopped spinach and a few sundried tomatoes.

In a bowl, make the sauce - white onion sliced thin, extra virgin olive oil, basil, oregano, and garlic. No specific amounts, it is best to make this to your own personal taste (we like to sample the sauce on bread as we cook!)  Put a little sauce on top of spinach.

Finish up with a little mozzarella and feta bake at 350 for about 6min.








Santa Fe corn chowder

This chowder had a mild smokey taste and just a kick of heat that really paired wll with our Pinot Gris.  Here is the recipe which will make about 6 quarts of soup or 24 - 8 oz servings:

1# yellow onion, cubed small
12-16 oz. diced green chilis
1 each red and yellow pepper diced small
1 ½# corn – roasted
1 gallon vegetable stock, or chicken stock
1 T sliced garlic
Diced celery
Diced bacon
1 qt Heavy whipping cream
Pepper Jack Cheese
Cumin, black pepper, granulated garlic

Brown bacon, celery, onion, peppers
Add garlic, careful not to burn
Add stock, corn, potatoes, green chilis
Season with cumin, black pepper, granulated garlic to taste
Add 1 quart heavy whipping cream
Add pepper jack cheese to taste

Baked brie in puff pastry with fresh fruit preserves and granny smith apple sticks

Serves 12


One 12” round of puff pastry cut from square
One 5” round of French Brie
One Granny smith apple, cut into matchsticks
One egg, slightly beaten
½ cup of Fruit preserves
Puff Pastry scraps for decoration

Pre-heat oven to 400 deg.  Lay ¼ cup of preserves in center of puff pastry, and set Brie on preserves.  Fold excess pastry around the Brie wheel, completely enclosing it.  Turn it over, smooth side up, and place it on a parchment lined sheet tray.  Cut out desired decorations using a paring knife or small cookie cutters.  Place your decorations on top of pastry, and brush with egg.  Bake for 15 – 29 minutes, or until outside is golden, then reduce oven to 325 and cook for 5 – 10 more minutes to fully melt Brie.  Place finished product on a nice plate and top with remaining preserves, and sprinkle apple sticks on top.

Baked Focaccia with relish

This little treasure of a dish is supper easy and great for your next party.  The hardest part is the Focaccia, and to be honest my Aunt Lynn from the Bluebird said just go out and buy it fresh from your local bakery or up north here at Stone House.  Save the headache!  If you have your heart set on making the Focaccia there are amny recipes online for smaller portions (my Aunt's recipe makes 4-16x12 pans!) and the herb mix was chives, basil, oregano, onion and garlic. 

Now the relish, that spectacular topping.  Best part about this is that it is very straight forward.  It is a combination of the following:

  • Ham (ask deli counter for quarter inch thick slices)
  • Pepperoni (I use turkey-roni in mine)
  • Onion
  • Green pepper
  • Mozerealla cheese
  • Garlic (fresh, finely chopped)
  • Tomato (not too much as can cause it to get watery)
  • Basil
  • Olives (green and/or black)

Dice up everything very, very small, mix together in a bowl, salt to taste and add just a bit (seriously, a little bit) of Italian dressing to very lightly coat.  You don't want dressing pooling at the bottom of the bowl or running all over the plates.  That is it.  The beauty of this relish is you can customize to your taste.  Don't like Green Peppers, don't add them.  Vegetarian, take out ham and pepperoni.  Garlic too strong for you, don't add it or add very little.  Be creative, think about adding other items like finlely chopped artichokes or sun-dried tomatoes.  Oh and remember, the cook should always have a glass of wine (ahem, Verterra) while prepping! 

Leelanau Apple Tart with maple mousse and carmel

Crust:  Puff Pastry is best, or Graham Cracker Crust

Puff Pastry – Mist a sheet with water and sprinkle with sugar/cinnamon, and bake at 400 degrees until light and crisp.  Pull from over and “dock” it down flat (1/4”), crust size.


Cream Cheese filling -

Cream together 1# Cream Cheese (room temp) and 1 ¼ cups Sweetened Condensed Milk       

1/8 cup Lemon Juice

1 tsp Vanilla Extract


Maple Mousse Filling –

2 – 3 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream – Whip until creamy, not stiff. (if anything, under whip)

Add 4 oz. Vanilla Pudding Mix – Now whip until like whipped cream.

Add Brown Sugar and Maple Syrup to taste


Crumb Topping –

1 ½ cups Flour

½ cup Sugar                                       

½ cup Brown Sugar

2/3 cup Butter

Mix together until crumbly – Spread on sheet pan, bake until brown and cool.

To build Tarts:

Spread layers on crisp pastry crust, cream cheese filling, then whipped cream/mousse, then top with crumb topping.  Refrigerate to set, 3 – 4 hours.

Cut into squares and top with your favorite fruit sauce/pie filling.  We used warm apple filling, and drizzle with caramel, and serve.

Verterra Winery  •  103 E. River Street  •   Leland, MI 49654  •  231.256.2115