Serenbe Style and Soul

with Marie Nygren

Serenbe Farmhouse



March 2013



Mother’s Day at the Farmhouse

Written by , Posted in Serenbe Farmhouse, The Inn at Serenbe

It’s not too early to make plans for Mother’s Day 2013.  Treat the caring mothers in your life to a day or weekend in the country.  The Inn at Serenbe provides comfortable and indulgent accommodations, and there are limitless opportunities for recreation and relaxation for the day or the weekend while visiting Serenbe.

Mother’s Day Menu at the Farmhouse
May 12, 2013 | 11:30am-7pm

Mixed Lettuces with Pickled Red Onion, Radish,
Feta Cheese, and Lemon Vinaigrette

Farmhouse Famous Fried Chicken, or
Seared Trout

Grits Souffle
Garlic Green Beans
Black Eyed Pea Salad

Lemon Pound Cake with Minted Strawberries and Whipped Cream

Please call the Farmhouse at (770) 463-2622 or visit us online at to make your dining reservations. For Inn at Serenbe accommodations, please call (770) 463-2610.



March 2013



This Week at the Farmhouse

Written by , Posted in Serenbe Farmhouse, Serenbe Playhouse, The Inn at Serenbe

Spring is here, and Easter is only days away!  We have a delicious menu planned for this week and a special menu for Easter.

Join us for dinner |  March 28-30, 6-9pm

Butternut Squash Soup, or
Serenbe Farms Mixed Greens with Apples, Pecans, Pickled Shallots, Goat Cheese, and Sorghum Vinaigrette

Flat Iron Steak with Horseradish Potato Puree, Kale, and Bearnaise Sauce,
Seared Salmon with Serenbe Farms Sunchoke Puree, Toasted Hazelnuts, and Asparagus, or
Margaret’s Cheese Souffle with Horseradish Potato Puree, Kale, and Bearnaise Sauce

Banana Pudding Panna Cotta, or
Chocolate Pecan Bourbon Pie with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Visit Serenbe this Saturday for the annual Easter Egg Hunt, 11:30am-3pm, on the Inn at Serenbe’s croquet lawn.  Meet the Velveteen Rabbit, hunt for Easter eggs, enjoy face painting and storytelling, and meet our farm animals.  The $5/child admission benefits Serenbe Playhouse’s production of The Velveteen Rabbit, coming this summer.  While here, enjoy the Farmhouse’s famous fried chicken lunch, served from 11:30am until 3pm.

Dine with us on Easter Sunday | 11:30-7pm

Mixed Lettuces with Serenbe Farms Radishes, Scallions, Feta Cheese, and Mustard Vinaigrette

Fried Chicken, or
Baked Ham with Coca Cola Glaze

Horseradish Potato Salad
Sauteed Asparagus
Roasted Brown Sugar Carrots

Sour Cream Pound Cake with Fresh Strawberries and Whipped Cream

Call the Farmhouse at (770) 463-2622 or visit us online at to make reservations for the weekend.



November 2012



Farmhouse and Serenbe Happenings

Written by , Posted in Fern's Market, marie nygren, serenbe, Serenbe Farmhouse, Serenbe Playhouse, Serenbe Stables

This Weekend’s Dinner Menu at The Farmhouse

November 29 – December 1
Dinner served 6pm – 9pm

Farmhouse garden lettuces with Farmhouse garden radishes, bleu cheese, and herb vinaigrette – or – sweet potato soup with candied pecans


Stuffed chicken breast with Serenbe Farms cauliflower puree, Farmhouse garden swiss chard, and bacon – or – baked pork chops with Serenbe Farms cabbage, granny smith apples, Georgia peanuts, and apple cider jus

Apple turnovers with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce– or –
chocolate sticky toffee pudding
Visit the Farmhouse on line to make your reservation.
Come early and enjoy 2-for-1 happy hour from 4pm to 6pm.

There are many festive events in Serenbe, and you’re invited to participate:

  • Santa comes to Serenbe December 1, 8, and 15 for family (or individual) photos.  To ensure your special time with Santa, reservations are required and accepted by the Inn at Serenbe, 770 463 2610. 
  • Serenbe Playhouse’s holiday production, A Diva’s Christmas, will be held at the Hil in Serenbe on December 1 and in various venues throughout metro Atlanta during the month of December.  Visit Serenbe Playhouse on line for dates, times, and locations and to purchase tickets.
  • Purchase fresh Christmas trees, garland, and wreaths at Fern’sMarket on December 1 and 8.
  • Serenbe’s merchants offer wonderful goods and services. Fill your shopping needs in Serenbe. 
  • Find unique gifts from area artisans at the Holiday Bazaar in the Serenbe Stables December 14-16 (Dec 14, 3-7 pm; Dec 15 and 16, 11 am – 5 pm).
  • Unwind and enjoy a delicious meal at one of our eateries: The Farmhouse, the Hil, and the Blue Eyed Daisy Bakeshop.




September 2012



2013 Southern Chefs Series Lineup Announced!

Written by , Posted in Anne Quatrano, Hugh Acheson, Kevin Gillespie, Linton Hopkins, marie nygren, Michel Nischan, Serenbe Farmhouse, Southern Chefs Series, The Inn at Serenbe, Wholesome Wave

The lineup of amazing Southern chefs for the 2013 Southern Chefs Series is sure to interest foodies from the region – and beyond!  Registrations are being accepted now for the coming year’s Southern Chefs Series, and we’ve made it bigger and better than ever!  Twelve of the South’s best chefs will be cooking in my kitchen, and I want you to be part of the fun! 

It’s been difficult keeping this under wraps for the past few weeks as dates and chefs were confirmed; I’m so happy to be able to let the proverbial cat out of the bag.  

One of the best parts of the coming series is that all the proceeds will go to a seed fund to help establish additional Wholesome Wave chapters in our region.  Wholesome Wave Georgia, launched in 2009, is going strong, and Wholesome Wave founder Chef Michel Nischan’s goal is to establish additional Southern chapters.  Your participation in the Chefs Series will help achieve this important goal.  

Wholesome Wave’s mission is to improve access and affordability of fresh, healthy, locally grown produce to historically underserved communities.  Doing so creates economic viability through local food commerce that can rebuild our nation’s food system.  Wholesome Wave, a national 501(c)(3) organization, partners with farm-to-retail venues, community leaders, healthcare providers, nonprofits, and government entities to implement programs that benefit both consumers in underserved communities and the farmers who provide for them. 

The organization reaches over 28 states, working with more than 60 community-based organizations that manage more than 300 farm-to-retail venues and impact nearly 2,500 farmers.  Wholesome Wave’s innovative programs address issues of food insecurity, farm viability, economic vitality of local communities, and diet-related diseases.

To read more about the exciting chefs, with links to their websites, please visit the 2013 Southern Chefs Series button on the Inn at Serenbe’s website.  Registration is $650/participant and includes Sunday afternoon/evening class with dinner, overnight stay at the Inn, and Monday late morning class with lunch.  Classes are limited to 10 participants.  Historically, the series sells out quickly, so register today!

To register, please call the Inn at 770 463 2610.  

For more on Wholesome Wave and their programs, please visit their website

I look forward to cooking with you in the coming year.



June 2012



Sorrel, Sweet Sorrel

Written by , Posted in farmers market, Recipe Articles, Serenbe Farmhouse, Serenbe Farms

I was asked recently what food item is a quintessentially spring-season food to me.  My answer – sorrel.  Are you asking yourself, “What is sorrel and what do I do with it?”  Sorrel is a slender plant, resembling spinach in appearance but with a citrus taste.  Young leaves taste different than their more acidic older counterparts.  I use sorrel as a lettuce, in the preparation of my favorite soup – sorrel soup – and in sauces.

The color and flavor evoke an image of spring in my mind.  I adore it.  Unfortunately, I’m not the only one; sorrel is quite popular with moths and butterflies, rabbits, deer and probably countless other creatures who I compete with for the most tender leaves. 

Thankfully, Serenbe’s talented resident farmer, Paige, has perfected growing sorrel at Serenbe Farms, so I’m assured a supply of the brilliantly green leaves for Farmhouse patrons as well as for my family’s pleasure.  You, too, can pick it up at the Serenbe Farmers’ Market. 

I hope you are enjoying the foods that remind you of spring.  It’s such a great time of year.   

One of my favorite ways to experience sorrel is sorrel soup.  I’m sharing my recipe.  Please enjoy!

Sorrel Soup

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 pound onions, coarsely chopped

1 small garlic clove, minced

6 cups chicken stock

½ pound potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped

¾ pound sorrel, trimmed and torn in large pieces

salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

sour cream

Heat butter in a deep pot and sauté onions until wilted and turning golden, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for another minute.  Add stock and heat, then add potatoes. Simmer until potatoes are done, about 10 minutes.  Stir in sorrel and heat thoroughly. 

Transfer to a food processor and puree.  Return to the pot and heat for another few minutes, correcting seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream on top of each serving.  This recipe doubles and even triples quite nicely and easily.



April 2010



Life at Mary Macs

Written by , Posted in "mary mac's", marie nygren, Serenbe Farmhouse

With Mother’s purchase of the building in 1972, she took over the last of the storefronts in the building that she was in on Ponce de Leon. That expansion gave her more seating, more kitchen space and a proper waiting room. Mother’s seating capacity became 375.
A number now that just amazes me because my restaurant, The Farmhouse, seats 65. To imagine that multiplied times 6 just boggles me because my mother seemed to handle it with such ease. On Mother’s Day, we will potentially have 360 guests or more. In the height of Mary Macs popularity in the late 70’s and 80’s, Mother served over 2000 meals a day! That is a lot of turnip greens, corn and green beans. And it was all fresh. Just think about all that corn shucking- like 500-600 ears a day.

When I am in the kitchen every Wednesday prepping with my staff for the week’s menu, we often discuss the amount of vegetables Mother had to have prepared every week. Of course, she had 40 in the kitchen prepping and cooking. But don’t we all just marvel when we find ourselves in a situation or job very similar to one our parents had and remember the grace and beauty in the way they dealt with it. I always had an amazing amount of respect for Mother and the job she did but I have even more now. Especially every Sunday when I am preparing my orders to place for the week ahead. When I call in my produce order for a case of green beans and whatever else, I think of Mother ordering 25 cases of those same beans and bless her for her fortitude and teachings. Love you Mama!



April 2010



Easter Lunch

Written by , Posted in "mary mac's", fried chicken, Serenbe Farmhouse

I am just now catching my breath from Easter Sunday. We started cooking Fried Chicken at 5am on Sunday morning (that was our sunrise service!!) in anticipation of a big crowd. When the doors opened at 11:30am, it was nonstop until the last chicken was served at 3:30pm. We served 258 guests out of what used to be my home kitchen. Of course the kitchen has been revamped, but when I stood back at the end of the day I had to smile knowing the Sunday lunch numbers were much smaller not so many years ago.

As I drove up to the kitchen early Sunday morning, I had a “conversation” with Mama.”Can you believe this Mother? Here I am on the way to the kitchen to cook Fried Chicken for several hundred just as you did so many mornings at Mary Macs.” Never in my wildest dreams did I see this as my Sunday work but as so many of us have learned, life has a very funny way of bringing you back to the destiny you were meant to live.

In the Atlanta restaurant scene, Mother’s title was “Queen of Dixie Cuisine.” And, it does not get more Dixie than Fried Chicken. So who would want to go up against a Queen’s chicken?  Until  I took over the Farmhouse restaurant just this past year, I had never fried a chicken in my life!!  Steve and the girls and I had dinner with Mother at least one night a week at Mary Mac’s  so it wasn’t as if they were deprived. When your Mother has the best chicken in town , why cook it at home. Plus, I had seen so much of it in my lifetime that it was never a choice of mine when we went out for Southern.

But I here I was in my “kitchen” serving Sunday chicken with horseradish potato salad, steamed asparagus and Mother’s squash souffle to all the guests dressed in their Easter finery. 

When I finally left the kitchen at 6pm, I could feel Mother with me, see her smiling and saying “mighty tasty chicken.”



January 2010



Farmhouse Biscuits

Written by , Posted in biscuits, marie nygren, Recipe Articles, Serenbe Farmhouse

The first Monday of the New Year has been a good day. I feel like I was finally able to catch my breath today. After the last two weeks of the holidays, cooking at the Farmhouse, interviewing since I lost my weekend fried chicken cook, helping with new recipes for the Daisy, holiday decorating and several family holiday dinners….. life here in Serenbe has been very full.

This week I am excited about trying out some new recipes the girls want to use at the Blue eyed Daisy. We will try many and have multiple taste testings……. sounds like a lot of fun.

For now though, my thoughts go to the biscuits at the Farmhouse. My plan was to post this recipe this week once I settled back into blogging and by coincidence, we received a comment the other day from a Farmhouse guest who requested the recipe. Perfect timing.

Upon the first bite of a Farmhouse Biscuit, the sound we most hear from guests is always the same…. “YUM”.

They have become a regular favorite at the Farmhouse, and I am happy to share the recipe for you to also enjoy them at home.

The ingredients are few but the flavor is delightful.

After mixing together the flour, butter, sour cream and chives in a large bowl, the muffin tin is ready to fill.

Just out of the oven, the muffins should be a nice golden brown.

Ready to serve!

Farmhouse Biscuits

  • 2 cups Lily White Self Rising Flour
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 sticks melted butter 
  • 1/4 cup chives
Preheat oven to 375º. Melt butter. In a bowl, combine flour, sour cream and chives and melted butter. Stir gently until combined. Put 1/4 cup mixture into greased muffin tin. Bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly golden brown.

Makes approximately 12 biscuits.



November 2009



Holiday Bazaar

Written by , Posted in "serenbe holiday bazaar", serenbe, Serenbe Farmhouse

The Serenbe Holiday Bazaar is tomorrow from 1-4. Every year our bazaar is great fun with a wonderful selection of arts and crafts, a delicious sampling of food and live music. You may even want to stop by the Farmhouse around noon for our fried chicken lunch before your shopping begins.

Tomorrow’s weather calls for a sunny and warm spring like day so we hope to see you in Serenbe.

To see all of our vendors, activities and details on our contest, click Holiday Bazaar!



November 2009



Holidays in Serenbe

Written by , Posted in inn at serenbe, Serenbe Farmhouse, thanksgiving

The holidays are quickly approaching and it is a wonderful time to be with us in Serenbe. We often hear residents and visitors say they love “stepping off the treadmill of life” and enjoying the calming relaxing feeling Serenbe provides, which makes the holiday season a perfect time to visit.

While here it will be a great way to kick off your holiday shopping in our unique shops. And don’t forget to stop by our galleries. We have two art galleries and a photography studio for your enjoyment. Click “shopping” to see the shops of Serenbe.
After your day of shopping, enjoy a relaxing walk around the community, our nature trails and a visit to see our beautiful farm animals. To end your day of relaxation on a perfect note, enjoy some time in our newly opened Blue Med spa or the chance to have your hair done in the Paisley salon.

For Thanksgiving we would love you to join us as we serve you a traditional holiday dinner at the Farmhouse restaurant while providing an intimate, relaxed atmosphere in the historic main house of the Inn at Serenbe.

If you would like to join us, call 770.463.2622 for reservations. Our hours are 11 am- 7 pm.