Friday, August 29, 2014

We wait all year for the Cider mill to open. I'm very happy to announce that it has reopened. But it's a Good thing that the best donuts in town are only available for 10 weeks....

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Zegli take Acadia

We hit Acadia national park so hard this week, biking & hiking, that Mama ate as much crab as she wanted.  And what spectacular local Bar Harbor crab it was! It beat the lobster, which I wasn't expecting. It was finely shredded and succulent, and perfect in cakes, curried salad, grilled crab sammies. We have been driving all day, are away from the great ocean and back in the land of the lakes. At least I have Monahan's. Right?!

Here were a few highlights.
First lobster roll of the week at RedBarn in Augusta.

Even the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are special on vacation. Pb layered with fluff, Maine blueberry jam, sliced bananas & cinnamon.

Grilled crab and cheddar on whole grain. Preceded by crab Louis dip at Thurstons in Bass harbor.

Best for last: the Burning tree in Otter Creek. My kind of creative combinations of smart concepts and playful flavors led us back a second time. The above was a crab Napoleon: pappadum layered with spoonfuls of lightly curried crab salad. So wonderful! 

Thursday, August 07, 2014

A tomato sandwich

White lotus farms Sesame levain
Sliced Avocado
Green zebra heirloom tomato
Kale pesto
Red chili oil drizzle

Come over...&  I'll make you one!

Friday, August 01, 2014

Ummm, no!

I don't normally do negative blog posts. It's not my style. But this stuff is terribly atrocious!! DO NOT buy it. It bites your tongue and throat with an awful nail polish poisonous water flavor, with the added benefit of an aspartame aftertaste. 
A complete Waste of money and swallows. I took one sip and poured the rest down the drain, violently. I normally don't fall for the skinny girl rigamarole, but the end cap at Meijer suckered me. Damn! 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Birthday bash

Sometimes I get the urge to cook an extravaganza. I'm always happy when it lines up with someone's birthday- because then I'm honestly grateful that I get the excuse to cook for a couple hours uninterrupted for someone I love. Last night's meal was no exception: 

Maryland crabbies: with spicy mayo and smoked paprika tartar
Fried green tomatoes: with garlic scape ranch 
Olive oil poached gulf shrimp: the texture on these was incredibly sexy
Michigan garden flatbreads (rubbed with kale pesto topped with charred corn salad and homegrown sweet pea sprouts) 

These sprouts gave their life for you Buns!

Passion fruit key lime bars were the sweet course, but it looks like theygot eaten before they were photo-ed.

Monday, July 28, 2014

west side of the mitten

live at Sonic lunch last Thursday

Don't ever drive by this fishery in Ludington, MI thinking it's just a shack. Oh man, will you be sorry. 

You can get it smoked....

or dipped lightly in crumbs & flash fried. 
Then you can take it across the street to Bortell's landing and watch Lake Michigan's clear waters as you enjoy.  Warning: bring your own ketchup. And ask for extra salt!

Friday, July 25, 2014

I scream, you scream!

Jeni's ice cream is mouth slapping good.  Usually ice cream is rich, sweet and satisfies your need for a cool treat, but even your favorite is only mildly flavored. But Jeni's ice cream is different.  It takes real flavors of desserts that are also your favorites and turns them into amazing concoctions of deliciousness.

Check out their website that has picto-stories of certain flavors, and is just generally cool.
Preview Sweet Cream Biscuits & peach jam. 

In Ann Arbor you can buy Jeni's at Plum Market in pints. Otherwise spend a few extra dollars and get a party pack shipped to your house. It's an indulgent luxury but it's worth it!  It's especially sweet because it hails from Columbus, Ohio, the city of my new cool sister-in-law, Emily.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

a photo story: making Elderflower cordial

I found some of these on my property, and others off the side of the road nearby.  Is foraging the same as stealing?

add lemon slices and zest of lemon
cover with simple syrup
set overnight & strain.  mix with soda water and a splash of Hendricks gin

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Smack in the middle of summer

Farmers market finds:

White lotus heaven:
A goat crottin & baguette

With this for dinner:
Brown butter trout 
On a bed of Brown rice salad 
Of wilted kale and zatar viniagrette

Countdown until school starts: 4 weeks

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

High summer

Garden bounty: cool and wet defines this summer.  

a new lavender patch for the honeybees

a butternut hiding in the parsley patch

broccoli which gets eaten in its raw state by my little guy


marigold (for beeswax soap)

look who made it inside!

Monday, July 21, 2014

restaurant gleaning

Save money. Reduce waste. PareUp. 

Everyone loses when food gets thrown away. PareUp is developing a mobile marketplace for surplus or unsold food. Retailers post their quality excess for a discount.  Users enjoy delicious goods and keep them from the trash.

This is a very cool concept!  Check out the website.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Slow's BBQ hits the spot

The yardbird satisfies! I love Slow's outpost on Cass. Same great food without the two hour wait! 

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Raising the bar :: Part one

I'd like to try to (yeah, that's right. I said "try" to. I'm a realist)  start a series called Raising the Bar.  I don't know if you realize it but there is a revolution happening in Ann Arbor.  It's a facet of the artisanal food movement, one where granola bars & other bar cookies are being HANDmade in small batches, right here in Ann Arbor.  As a general grouping, they are wonderful unique and you can totally taste the love added to each batch.

Here's my first recommendation:  At first I only noticed them at Juicy Kitchen, in whose kitchen they're made.  These Solid Gold Bars are now available at Babo Market, and I think I even saw some at Arbor Farms.  

It's definitely not an average granola bar, and it does indeed taste like solid gold.  Check out the limited quality ingredients found in this bar.  But that doesn't mean that they're low on taste!  The little ginger bits are perfectly zingy and the cocoa nibs add the tiniest bit of indulgence. The soft consistency is a welcome change because you can taste that it's due to the freshness of the ingredients not to a preservative. 

I can't find a website dedicated to marketing these, but I did find this facebook page & this link which describes his mission.   Try to grab one if you see them. It's a snack you can feel good about. 

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Too much!

When you have a full house in the coop,
And you find a handful of these,
With these springing from the garden,
You should most definitely sauté them together in butter.
And fill an omelet with them. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Tantre farm 2014!

Eight satisfied years of a Tantre farm CSA membership leaves me coming back for more. Today was the first pickup of the season; always a good excuse to visit the farmer's market at Kerrytown. 

I always feel like I've won the lottery when I walk away with this box chock full of the goodness of the earth. This definitely feeds my family on many levels, yes, physically, but definitely spiritually and emotionally.

Thank you, Tantre!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Ann Arbor finds: #349

The relationship with your town is a relationship like any other. You've got to nurture it. You can't ignore it or small dissatisfactions turn into larger faults. That's why I'm always exploring the alleys, finding little gems to add to my Treetown repertoire.

Case in point: The Lunch Room ( (blogger app won't let me embed a link). I had heard that the food cart, The Lunch Room, had opened a brick and mortar, but not being particularly passionate about vegan ways it's never been on the top of my list of places I had to visit.

On Friday before a class period of practical exams, I knew I'd need something unique to carry me through. I would need an inspirational muse. I was walking through Kerrytown and The Lunch Room seemed to call out to me, so I went inside.

The ambiance is really cool, fits the vibe of the food. You can take your meal into the sweet Kerrytown courtyard that often gets overlooked. 

This sandwich was amazing, a riff on the classic Bahn Mi. A house-made baguette with a perfect consistency for this sandwich, full of flavor but not tearing the roof of your mouth apart on the first bite. Marinated tofu layered with a carrot sesame slaw spicy mayo and a few hidden jalapeño slices.  

It was just so flavorful that I found myself looking at the menu to see if this was indeed the same vegan place that I thought it was.  No meat or dairy products on the menu.  At home we often eat vegetarian, but in my mind making the cross over to vegan feels too sacrificial.  But if I could fill the docket with items like this, I would never miss animal products again. 

They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a seemingly new rotation of evening specials, like tapas or taco night.  Not to mention that the dessert counter was full of beautiful desserts. I didn't try any, but I can imagine that they'd leave you wanting another.  I'll leave that for the next stop, which will come very very soon.

As I was driving away, so satisfied with myself I stumbled on this: 
Street music? I'd pay to listen to this. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

What's on the menu?

I stumbled upon an amazing resource:  New York Public Library's collection of historical restaurant menus. Explore this gem at What's on the menu? with images as well as text.

And a parallel find: a researching blogger 
@ Restaurant-ing through history

Monday, May 19, 2014

Pearls of wisdom from culinary school Day 6

Use chicken feet to make a stock with body--one of the characteristics of good stocks. The other four are color, clarity, flavor and aroma.

Not just in the kitchen my friends. My life motto.