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Michigan Insurance Blog

Cookout Season

Grilling Safety and Apple Pie

It’s hot in Michigan and we’re all ramping up our time spent outside! Everywhere you go you see (and smell) cookouts with friends and family. We’re only just approaching tailgate season so we’ve compiled a few of the most important grilling safety tips for you to review prior to your meal prep. We’ve also included a special apple pie recipe here for those of you who are looking for a memorable dish to bring to a cookout. This pie is only an hour and half from start to finish and it’s so tasty too!


Grilling Safety:

1. When grilling with gas, make sure that you’re at least 10 feet away from your home. It’d be bad enough to have an accident with your grill but if you get yourGrilling home caught up in it too then you’re mess will be 100x worse. It’s better to stay safe and keep your grill 10 feet away from the house.

2. Keep the grill in a more secluded area of the cookout. You don’t want kids, pets, and backyard games too close or someone could get seriously injured. Grilling is an event of its own!

3. Always keep your lighters/matches away from the grill (and away from children, as per usual). This is just one of your basic safety rules.

4. Never leave your lit grill unattended. You may think that it’s no big deal to walk away for a minute but it only takes a second for a child to wander over there and let their curious hands get the best of them or for a tree/porch/home to catch on fire. Let’s be cautious where we leave our burning coals!

5. Keep a spray bottle of water and a fire extinguisher handy. You need know when you might need one of these and having one right next to you can make a huge difference in the event of an accident.

6. Clean your grill regularly. Allowing grease and fat to build up on the grill will only provide more fuel for a fire. Make sure to clean this more often than not.

7. Make sure that you’re always grilling outside. Grills release carbon monoxide and that’s not something to mess around with. You want to make sure that you have plenty of ventilation so nobody gets carbon monoxide poisoning. The best way to ensure good ventilation is to grill outside.

8. Never throw water on grease fire. Water can make the fire bigger and hotter by feeding it. Instead of water, use baking soda to suffocate the fire and dehydrate the flames.


Apple Pie by Grandma Ople:

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook: 1 hour

Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes


1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie

½ c of unsalted butter

3 Tbsp of flour

¼ c of water

½ c white sugar

½ c brown sugar

8 Granny Smith apples – peeled, cored and sliced.


1). Preheat the oven to 425. Melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in flour to form a paste. Add the water, white sugar, and brown sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce temp and let simmer.

2). Place the bottom crust in the pan and fill with apples, mounded slightly. Cover this with a lattice work crust and gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust. Pour slowly so that it doesn’t run off.

3). Bake 15 minutes at 425. Reduce temp to 350 and continue baking for 35-45 minutes, until apples are soft.

Tip: Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.


You can find this recipe and nutrition facts at:

These grilling safety tips are for the safety and precaution of everyone. A cookout or tailgate is the most fun when nobody gets hurt and nothing catches on fire. If you have any grilling safety tips to add to our list, comment below!

When you make this pie, be sure to let us know how it goes! Send us a photo of your masterpiece and share some tips and tricks that you discovered along the way! We want to hear from you and get your feedback on this recipe so comment your thoughts!

Family Activities for Hot Days!

School will be back before you know it! You need to start now, and get all of your activities planned for the summer. We’ve compiled a list of all your basic summer activities that you can’t miss out on! If you haven’t done these yet, you had better get started! It’s time to get the planner out and get scheduling, these are activities that you won’t want to miss! 

Camping: The most common activity that people think of in summer. Quality family time, bonfires, s’mores, what more could you ask for? Bring your tent, hammocks, and hiking shoes and get out in the fresh Michigan air! This is a great way to get away from the busy life, spend some time with those you love, and unplug from the screens. Make sure you know the rules and precautions for bonfires wherever you camp, you don’t want your camping trip to turn into a nightmare.

Water balloons: Much less expensive and LOADS of fun! It’s been very hot and humid lately too so this activity will be awesome for everyone. Fill up 500 water balloons and have a huge water balloon fight in the yard! Make sure you clean up as many of the balloons as you can when you’re finished, the less rubber that we leave in the environment, the better cleaner it is.

FairSplash Parks: These are also good for a hot day! Grab the sunscreen and go have fun at the park, playing and splashing around. The younger kids will love this and it’ll cool you off. This is going to get the kids some exercise while you can relax and enjoy the sunshine. Pack some snacks and make it an all-day adventure!

Theme Parks: These are fantastic for a slightly older family. You want to ride all the roller coasters and every water ride in the park! This makes for a thrilling and heart racing day! You’ll need lots of food to fuel yourself and TONS of water! Being outside all day with your heart pumping is going to wear you out, water is going to be necessary to keep you ready for your next ride!

Fairs: There’s probably a fair going on near you right now. It’s fair season in Michigan and they’ll be plentiful across the state. You can find some smaller rides, delicious food, and animal shows! Some fairs will also have photo booths and petting zoos so make sure you check out your local fair and get the details!

Festivals: There are hundreds of festivals going on in Michigan right now and each one is different! Visit this website to choose a festival that fits your family and go have a blast! Spend the day together and celebrate the things you love most!

Beaches: We have been overly blessed with Lakes in Michigan. It’d be a shame to miss out on going to the Lake for the summer. Pack a cooler, get the sunscreen and your sunglassesFootball and head out to the beach near you! This makes for a relaxing day with the family to de-stress and get some vitamin D. Make sure to check out our Summer Swim Safety blog and review some basics to help have the best beach day possible! One beach that I would personally recommend is Duck Lake. It’s the most perfect beach to describe the Great Lakes; you won’t regret going!

Cook Out: Have some family and friends over and get together for yard games and a meal! It’ll be a good way to hang out with your loved ones while enjoying the fresh air from your own back yard. Get the yard games out and play some cornhole, horseshoes, or croquet! If you’re looking for something a little more intense and you have a large family, play some football, baseball or volleyball! These are great ways to grow as a family by practicing teamwork and communication.

Back to School Shopping: I know this isn’t what you wanted to hear but school is coming whether we like it or not! This is a good time to turn something that may be dreadful into quality family time. This is the perfect opportunity to keep up with your growing kids and get to know them better. Some people loathe back to school shopping, but this is an excellent time to work on knowing your children, building them up, and reestablishing a firm foundation of trust and respect. All this can be done with one simple shopping event and make sure to take some time and sit down for a good lunch together.

Keep us updated! We’d LOVE to hear more about what family activities you have planned for this summer or any that you’ve already done! Have a wonderful summer!

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