Michigan resorts cook up culinary fun in the snow

If you’re anything like me, it doesn’t take long each winter for cabin fever to strike.

Luckily, there’s still plenty of time to plan a getaway to northern Michigan where they have special ways of celebrating that take the dreariness out and put some real fun in to snow season. And most of those ways have something to do with food.

Take the Cross Country Ski Headquarters in Roscommon, for example. They’ll be stirring up a giant, cast-iron pan of Spain’s national dish, paella, over an outdoor fire pit on Sunday, Feb. 7, that will make skiing through pretty wooded trails doubly worthwhile.

Owners Bob and Lynne Frye learned how to make the hearty rice-based dish from a paella chef master while visiting Nerja, Spain, and are looking forward once again to serving “Paella on the Sun Deck.” The feast, which has become a popular Cross Country Ski Headquarters tradition, stars saffron-infused chicken, shrimp and vegetables and is served piping hot to hungry skiers from 1 to 3 p.m.

On tap Feb. 20, Ski the Beer Trail will feature a barbecue lunch and beer tastings from Grayling-based Paddle Hard Brewery at Trapper’s Cabin on the Cross Country Ski Headquarters property. Event participants may cross country ski, snowshoe or trade-out and do both from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for $25.

Check here for special package rates and details for both culinary events:

Over at Treetops Resort in Gaylord, they’re cooking up plenty of culinary events, including Wilderness Sleigh Ride Dinners and trail-side foodie experiences called Skiable Feasts. The latter features five food and beverage stations for cross country skiers and snowshoe enthusiasts. The Skiable Feasts are $89 per person; call 877-476-9308 for more information and dates.

Worthy of a Valentine-month treat, the four-course dinners are served in a cozy cabin after a horse-drawn sleigh ride and include adult beverages and a bonfire. The gourmet menu stars cream of morel soup, smoked trout Asian salad and filet of beef atop a crawfish-roasted potato corn cake with Bernaise sauce and fried onions and served with candied vegetables. Dessert is a blackberry double layer cake topped with Michigan blackberry wine reduction sauce.

The all-inclusive cost is $119 per person. Call (855) 222-5449 for dates or check




Susan R. Pollack
Globetrotting journalist and former Detroit News staff writer Susan R. Pollack has covered travel since 1985, visiting scores of countries on five continents, 49 states, six Canadian provinces and hundreds of cities, islands and outposts along the way. From Alaska, the Galapagos and New Zealand to South Africa, Thailand and Wales, she has suffered the occasional lost luggage, jetlag and Montezuma’s revenge but still delights in sharing travel adventures with readers. In addition to The Detroit News, her award-winning stories and photos have appeared in major newspapers including the Dallas News, Toronto Star, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Chicago Sun Times; and magazines including Delta Sky, Midwest Living, Long Weekends, Experience Michigan, Jetsetter, Home & Away, Lakeland Boating, Hour Detroit, Prevue Meetings and Group Tour. She has contributed to several books including "Rand McNally 2008 Ultimate NASCAR Road Trip Guide." She also writes for websites including, and