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Thickening agents (10/6/2010)
Food Stuff (10/6/2010)
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Big Ten — Ferndale's Assaggi Bistro marks 10 years in Detroit dining with a special celebration running almost two weeks. May 2-14, you can celebrate 10 years with a four-course prix fixe dinner. It all happens at 330 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; reservations at 248-584-3499; $25 per person.
Mae oui! — For the longest time, Anna's, a little café on Woodward, seemed to be the only restaurant in Pleasant Ridge. Anna is gone, but her diner has been reborn as Mae's. The 1950s charm remains, and word is that people are lining up for a taste of retooled diner fare. Try it yourself, at 24060 Woodward Ave., Pleasant Ridge; 248-548-5355.
Sonic Boom — The nationwide Sonic chain heats up, with a new drive-through location in Royal Oak. Tool on through at 305 W. 11 Mile Rd., Royal Oak.
The new olde — Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe is all set to open for business in former Zaccaro's Market. Word is that the owners, who have decades of experience in the grocery business, are opening this May in Zaccaro's old space. Keep an eye on 3100 Woodward Ave, Detroit.
As warm weather returns to Michigan, you can get a jump on the hand-picked freshness of summer by perusing Southern Living Farmers Market Cookbook: A Fresh Look at Local Flavor (Oxmoor House $29.95). This compilation of mouthwatering recipes, many accompanied by color photos, evokes summer's flavors to get your juices flowing this spring. It also has tips for selecting and storing fresh produce and herbs.
Micro-roasted to a medium-dark, full-city roast to best develop its particular flavor characteristics, the Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company's Costa Rica (Lomas al Rio) is a single-origin, high-grown Fair Trade organic coffee. A properly made cup has aromas of moist malted barley and dry-roasted nuts. The brew is medium-bodied but balanced with a fine acidity and flavors of soft ripe pear, more roasted nuts and a mild chocolate finish. It tastes best when freshly ground and steeped in a French press.
The manufacturer claims this is the ultimate surface scraper. It looks tough enough. The hard resin "SkrAPr" can be used to remove burnt food and stubborn spills from pots and pans, granite countertops, pizza stones, even glass-top stoves — almost any solid surface — without scratching. We tested it on an accumulation of crusted residue on a grill grate. It worked, but there was a small nick on the blade. A couple of passes on the SKrAPr paper (included) smoothed it out. It comes with a lifetime warranty. Find one at theskrapr.com or qvc.com.