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Thickening agents (10/6/2010)
Food Stuff (10/6/2010)
How's them apples? (9/29/2010)
Slice of life — The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit has come up with a delicious idea for a benefit. It's called Home Slice, and it's a strolling supper featuring local restaurants, noteworthy cocktails and locally produced beer and wine, tunes from DJ Brian Gillespie, as well as a marketplace of urban farm produce and locally made delectables, with some proceeds benefiting MOCAD. It's pricey, yes, but with dozens of sponsors, ranging from Atlas Global Bistro to the Detroit Zymology Guild, you can be sure there'll be no shortage of flavor. It all happens 7-11 p.m. Oct. 8, at Shed 3, Eastern Market, Detroit; $75 for MOCAD members, $85 nonmembers; get tickets by Oct. 1 at mocadetroit.org/homeslice or call 313-832-6622 for more information.
Local heroes — Oakland Community College's Culinary Studies Institute is proud to present a special dinner prepared by its culinary students. It's called the Michigan Locavore Dinner, and it will be an evening of locally grown food, including hors d'oeuvres and a five-course dinner, as well as entertainment and a variety of Michigan beers and wines. It happens at 6 p.m. on Oct. 7, at OCC's Orchard Ridge Campus in Farmington Hills; $55 per guest; contact Maureen Gilbert at 248-522-3700 for more information.
Frankly speaking — Master Sommelier Laura Williamson, in association with Ann Arbor's Everyday Wines and Little Guy Wine Company, will discuss the German estate wines of Rudi Wiest. Williamson earned her distinguished title in 2005 becoming the 13th female master sommelier in the world. It starts at 7 p.m. Oct. 6, at 415 N. Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor; 734-222-0711; $55 per person plus tax and tip; reservations required.
Eat Detroit — From the Warren-Conner Development Coalition comes the 22nd annual celebration of all things east side: "A Taste of Detroit's Eastside." The strolling buffet dinner will feature cuisine from Sindbad's, Sala Thai, Milt's Gourmet Barbecue, the Sunday Dinner Company and more. It's all hosted by City Council President Charles Pugh, and it all goes down 7-9 p.m., Oct. 1, at the Roostertail, 100 Marquette St., Detroit; 313-822-1234; $60 per person; 313-267-1100 or warrenconner.org for reservations; dressy attire.
Soup switch — A few weeks ago we discussed Soup at Spaulding, an innovative donation-only meal and fundraiser. It's going to continue all winter, but it will move indoors due to the weather. Grab a spoon and a bowl and look for it at 7 p.m. Thursdays at its new location, the cafeteria inside Spirit of Hope Church, at 1519 Martin Luther King Blvd., Detroit; 313-964-3113. For more information, see Soup at Spaulding's Facebook page.
The World Kitchen (Williams Sonoma, $29.95) is the latest offering from the folks at this cooks' mecca, which has published numerous cookbook series, often with international recipes. This one has 150 dishes from France, Italy, Mexico, India, China, Thailand, Vietnam and around the Mediterranean. Orecchiette with sausage and broccoli raab, an Italian classic, is one of our favorites. Spice it up with hot sausage instead of the sweet. Chiaquiles — a tortilla casserole — with poached eggs in a zesty tomatillo salsa is perfect way to start a lazy weekend morning. Become worldlier.
Walk into any convenience store or gas station for a soft drink and you're faced with an enormous selection of flavored beverages, the vast majority sweetened with high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners. Finding a product like Ito En Oi Ocha bottled green tea is like water in the desert. Unsweetened and all-natural, it is made with first-flush green tea leaves. The flavor of actual tea is unmistakable, a bit grassy and herbal with a hint of roast nuts and a bit of dusty tannins on the finish.
Sur La Table, self subtitled as "the Art and Soul of Cooking," has recently opened a store in the Somerset Collection in Troy, long anticipated by local foodies. It's not often that we can find useful gadgets for less than $10. Here's a good one, however: a Norpro Instant Beverage Heater. Simply immerse the electric coil in hot water for tea or reheat a cup of coffee at your desk. Take it when you travel and a lot cheaper to use than room service. It's available, of course, at Sur La Table.