This was the impetus behind her desire to open a coffeehouse in Detroit.
So um, yeah I don’t have any chocolate cake for you this week. Or for Jason for that matter. I feel like such an evil witch! Thing is, after coming back from Florida and eating like rabid pigs the entire 10 days I sorta felt like we needed to dial back a bit and treat our bodies to more healthful and nutritious things. I’ve also upped my workout game for this month and was excited to hear from Jason that he was going to start running after work. I’m kind of a fitness junkie (if you haven’t already noticed from all my obsessive Instagram photos) so the fact that he decided to do it on his own made me really happy.
When we got back from Florida, one of the first things I noticed was my overflowing herb garden. I was surprised to see that my cilantro had grown back. I thought that was an annual? My oregano and thyme were flowering, but my chives…oh my chives! I have to tell you, I’ve had this original plant since we were still living in the apartments about 9 years ago and back then it was a tiny little sucker in one of those brown plastic pots you buy them in. Since then, it’s grown (and over-grown and invaded) into huge, massive plantings in our raised garden bed. It’s even started to creep out and into the grass! I never realized how invasive this thing is. I’m not too bothered by it though because I’m just happy it continues to come back each year with little effort from me. Jason might have a different sentiment though since he’s the one that has to trim them back. Oops!
I really, really love this pasta dish. Whenever I make it for my clients I always tell myself, ‘This is really good. I should make it for myself sometime.’ It’s really rather comical– there will be times where I’ve made a refrigerator-full of delicious gourmet food for my client and then I come home and stuff my face with a lazily put together piece of peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It’s then that I wonder, ‘Well, how does that work?’
The chives in this pesto are really somethin’. And I like adding a little bit of lemon to this to perk it up. Walnuts always seem to be my first choice when making pesto, mainly because it’s what my grandma uses but also because I happen to think it tastes the best. Remember to keep a little bit of pasta water to add to the pesto later to make the sauce– it is your friend.
Whole wheat fusilli with chive-basil pesto and Pecorino Romano
1 cup chopped chives
1/2 cup chopped basil
1 large garlic clove
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted
Zest 1 lemon
Juice 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon mayonnaise, preferably homemade
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Pinch Aleppo chili flakes or red pepper chili flakes
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
12 ounce box whole wheat fusilli
1/3 cup pasta water, reserved
1/3 – 1/2 cup walnuts (depending on how many nuts you want dispersed through the pasta), toasted and chopped roughly
Pecorino Romano cheese, for serving
Set a large pot of water to boil. Once it does, throw in a generous amount of salt and toss in the fusilli, stirring, and then letting cook until al dente. When it’s done cooking, ladle out 1/3 cup of the pasta water and put it into a large bowl where you’ll combine the pasta and pesto together. Drain the pasta and set aside.
In a food processor combine the chives, basil, garlic, walnuts, lemon zest and juice, mayo, Pecorino Romano, Aleppo/red pepper chili flakes, salt and pepper. While it processes, drizzle in the olive oil until completely incorporated. Taste for seasoning.
Add pesto into large bowl with pasta water and then add in the fusilli. Toss together gently with large spoons until the pesto sauce has coated all the noodles wonderfully. Add in the toasted chopped walnuts and toss again. Serve immediately or at room temperature with freshly shaved Pecorino Romano.
Note: If you have leftovers, eat them straight out of the fridge or at room temperature. I find that if you warm up pasta that already has pesto on it, the sauce dries out. Cold or room temperature pasta though is very delicious and makes for a light, spring lunch!
|Behold: the saddest beer bar in the world.|
Eater is looking for a Detroit blogger. No, it will not be me. The reasons are simple:
(a) The pay. It's bad. REALLY bad.
(b) One year ago I didn't mind the pay being bad because I thought I really wanted to blog, about food, for a living, and this would give me a national platform to do so.
(c) In the past year I've found that I can have a very lucrative career as a freelancer covering a wide spread of topics, which means I really don't have time leftover to blog for practically free or just limit myself to food.
(d) Turns out I don't really like blogging, at least not from a professional standpoint. Well-researched pieces that take time and talent to craft -- yes. Being chained to a desk waiting for news to happen all day every day and the panicky rush to be FIRST when an announcement is made on Facebook or a press release goes out -- fuck no.
(e) Did I mention how bad the pay is? You would cry.
(f) I went down this road already with them last year when they offered me the job then decided EID was too much of a conflict and wanted me to shut 'er down. I built this brand from nothing and it is a strong brand and will continue to be, even with Eater here (perhaps even more so because they'll have no choice but to aggregate the shit out of me).
(g) I got that national platform thing taken care of now, so I'm good there too.
(h) Eater has a slightly different focus than EID -- with EID I like to really share and promote events. I like doing niche lists. I like in-depth features. I like first-person narration and positioning myself as both brand and personality. All of these things are outside Eater's wheelhouse. Similar, yet different, and I like mine better.
(i) Remember that comment about being chained to a desk all day waiting for news to happen? As a freelancer I have the enviable ability to work remotely from wherever I want, and if I plan my weeks out well enough I can take whole chunks of time off to travel and spend my days exploring things and living life. You know when you can't do that? When you are running a daily news-oriented blog with minimum post requirements and must ALWAYS BE FIRST. It's seriously stressful.
(j) I'm not a one-trick pony, and food isn't my only or even my primary interest. It's barely in my top 5. I like being able to write about travel, arts and culture, film, development, entrepreneurship, and all the other varying kinds of coverage that I do. Those are my interests. If I just focused on one very narrow thing, I would go out of my mind. Also, I want to get more into arts + culture, film, and travel. Taking on a daily food blog that makes a huge demand on my time and energy (for practically no pay) is not amenable to that plan.
So. I think I've covered everything. Thank you for the phone calls. The texts. The emails. The Facebook messages. The Facebook posts. The Tweets. I appreciate you all caring so much. But this is a position for a person in a very different place than I am professionally, and with different professional aspirations. That being said, I look forward to being aggregated the shit out of by Eater.
I wasn't going to do this little PSA, but honestly I'm getting sick of explaining myself over and over and over and over and over again. So: there^. Moving on!
Save the date: on June 29 I'm going to be doing a thing. Stay tuned. [EID]
So, what's this Detroit City Distillery all about? Find out the who, what, when and where here. [Crain's]
In case you missed it:
~Whole Foods Midtown will be unlike any other Whole Foods in the country. And yet people are still going to cry about it. [Model D]
~Anthology Coffee has found a new permanent home at Ponyride, and apparently I (and persons of media) did too good of a job hyping up the Guns + Butter dinner because now it's sold out and I can't go. DON'T YOU KNOW WHO I AM????????? [Model D]
~Drink with your dog. [Real Detroit]
Confirmed: Atlas Global Bistro is closing when their lease is up at the end of May. From the Freep: "...Silveri said Monday that, contrary to some reports, the restaurant is not moving to the former Agave space on Woodward." Mmmmmm-hm. Told you. Just you wait. They 'gun get Gilberted. [Freep]
Papa Joe's Gourmet Market to open ANOTHER new location downtown, this one in the Ren Cen and catering to office workers with prepared foods. When Detroit does something, we fucking DO IT. [Crain's]
Pure marketing! [Michigan.org]
Meet the new Prohibition. Why ban something when you can just criminalize it to the point of effectively banning it? [Detroit News]
Read more about the food justice work being done at Food Lab. [Mode Shift]
Urban farming is building Brightmoor. [Freep]
Quickenstan will have its own outdoor markets this summer. [Curbed]
Blessed BE; Sunday markets are coming to Eastern Market Corporation next year, and they'll focus on all Michigan vendors! About time that other weekend day (you know, the other one of only two) got put to some actual use. Maybe this will spur other area businesses to follow suit. This city is like a fucking ghost town on Sundays. Seriously, doesn't everyone want a full weekend to do stuff? How do you nine-to-fivers manage? [MLive]
Charter One's Growing Communities Program is investing $160,000 in Eastern Market Corporation to strengthen Detroit’s local food economy, job creation efforts and small business development, and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation is contributing an additional $50,000! The Market, long known as a regional food hub, has transformed into an arts district, business incubator, and collaborative makerspace space just in the last two years, and will continue to evolve in that direction even more. EID ♥'s EM! [WXYZ]
Thrillist got Charley the Singing Hot Dog Man to taste-test some of the offerings at the newly-opened The Grindhouse Food Truck. The results are sausage-filled poems in pictures. [Thrillist]
Bikes. Beer. Community. It's the BBC (minus Doctor Who). Plus they're good for local businesses! [Mode Shift / Good]
I'm not quite feeling the excitement for this WORLD OF BEER national chain bar opening in A2. Last year in New Orleans I went to a place called "Beer Fest" on Bourbon Street that made all the same promises of many, many taps from around the world, etc. (Actually, there were two of them on Bourbon and I went to both.) These were two of the saddest bars I've ever been to in my life. I feel like World of Beer is going to be Ann Arbor's version of that. [AnnArbor.com]
Michigan fruit growers are looking to be in much better shape this year than last. [Crain's]
The title of this story is "Hops Enthusiasts are Ruining Craft Beer for the Rest of Us." Is what I'm saying. [Slate]
At some point things stop being tacos. Also food. [USA Today]
There's a reason they're called man's best friend: people go nuts over their dogs. (In a way that is usually endearing, but also sometimes creepy.)
Liz Blondy and her team at Canine to Five – with locations in Midtown and, as of this past January, Ferndale – understand. Canine to Five offers both doggie daycare and boarding, and they baby your babies as if they were their own.
|Anthology Coffee's new space (still under construction.)|
2011 Hatch Detroit semi-finalist Anthology Coffee is continuing to build its brand and work on a permanent café in Corktown – happy news, as just a couple of months ago it seemed like they were going to cease all operations.
In 2012 Anthology signed a lease at 2051 Rosa Parks (an office building in Corktown). After some initial efforts were made towards build-out, progress stalled for months and Anthology owner Josh Longsdorf made the decision to leave. At the same time, Anthology also fell short on an Indiegogo campaign that was meant to purchase new equipment; Longsdorf had to use that money to pay off coffee contracts he had purchased in anticipation of being fully open at 2051 months early.
Tremendous efforts were made to ensure that this Detroit store reflected the personality of the city itself. While the five other Michigan Whole Foods locations are relatively generic, this location aims to be deeply and distinctly Detroit. "We took the time and effort to really reflect Detroit," says Amanda Musilli, Whole Foods Market Community Liaison.
|Irish potato wedges. Photo by Stefanie Cobb.|
It was Jason’s birthday this past Saturday and we spent the entire day gallivanting around Ann Arbor, using this birthday deal Wiki page as a guide, and scored free cupcakes, cookies, and chocolates. He even got his lunch and dinner free! I’m sorta beating myself up for not discovering this goldmine sooner– we could have been milking this sucker dry for years! Oh well, I’m already planning out my birthday route and will have lots of goodies come August. Apologies if I sound like a greedy 12 year old.
I was initially planning on baking a chocolate yellow cake for Jason’s birthday (his favorite cake ever and probably would have been totally fine with a boxed mix but, eh…you feel me right?) and blogging about it today if it came out well. But since we have desserts galore in the fridge (did I mention all the free things we got?!) I thought to postpone until maybe next week.
So, instead I give you tacos. These are the kind I make for my clients all the time. They’re super easy, fairly healthy (don’t mind all that mayo sauce…), and totally good. They’re sorta sweet and spicy from the brown sugar and New Mexico chile powder and the queso fresco and cilantro-lime sauce gives it a yummy savoriness. I’m going to insist you make New Mexico chile powder a staple in your spice repertoire because it’s seriously so dang good and makes everything taste that much better. It’s got a wonderful earthiness and spice to it which I love and I always reach for it as a dry substitute for aji colorado, a Peruvian chile base.
New Mexico chile + cumin-spiced butternut squash tacos with cilantro-lime sauce
Serves 4 people
2 3/4 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed (about 7 cups total cubed squash)
// Preheat oven to 375 degrees and arrange grates so that they’re closest to the center.
Line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil and divide cubed butternut squash onto them. Measurements for spices are per baking sheet. If you’d prefer, you can dump the butternut squash into a large bowl and mix the spices in there; just make sure to double the measurements I have specified below. I like to just do them straight on the baking sheet so I don’t have extra stuff to wash later.
[Measurement amounts are per baking sheet]
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon coriander
3/4 teaspoon New Mexico chile powder
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
// Toss butternut squash with spices until totally coated and spread out on baking sheets. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, give the squash a toss with a spatula and move baking sheets to the other grate. Cook for another 25 minutes. Toss again and let cool slightly.
For the cilantro-lime sauce:
Makes 3/4 cup
3/4 cup mayonnaise, preferably homemade
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/3 cup packed cilantro leaves
1 garlic clove
1 1/2 teaspoons Cholula, or hot sauce of your choosing
1 tablespoon lukewarm water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
// Put all ingredients into a mini food processor and give it a whir until everything is combined. Taste for seasonings. This keeps in the fridge, covered, for about a week.
Corn tortillas, softened and warmed through on a grill pan
Sliced red onions
Queso fresco, crumbled
Fresh lime wedges
Fresh cilantro leaves
// Serve tacos with warm corn tortillas, cilantro-lime sauce, red onions, queso fresco and cilantro. Squeeze extra lime juice and Cholula on top too if you’d like.
|Stella's got an eye for design. Photo by Josh Hanford, courtesy of Stella Good Coffee.|
New distillery coming to Eastern Market! About time I get something civilized within walking distance. (Well, stumbling...all of downtown is within walking distance, but stumbling distance is better.) Sorry Vivio's, but you don't count. [Detroit City Distillery FB]
We're one step closer to being able to fill growlers at bars and restaurants and have wine tastings at farmers' markets! [MLive]
Seriously you should go to this. Guns and Butter at Ponyride. [Thrillist]
Here's more about B Spot in the D spot. [Crain's]
Two out of two news section editors at Model D agree that The Grindhouse Food Truck is pretty spiffy. Read more about Corridor Sausage Co. going mobile, as well as their recent USDA approval allowing them to wholesale. [Model D]
I spent a whole day in Midland. This is why. More to come (including why this is news and why I would drive all the way out to Midland for it) ... later. (Much later.) [EID]
In case you missed it:
-The best-designed public spaces in Detroit right now are its ever-growing number of thoughtfully-designed coffeehouses. The newly-remodeled Stella Good Coffee inside the Fisher Building is joining those ranks. [EID]
-No but really. [Model D]
-I've got tickets to the sold-out Baconfest Michigan event on Saturday, June 1 to give away, but nothing in life is free. You need to give something in return. [EID]
Trinosophes is now serving brunch. [Trinosophes FB]
Mac and cheese: Detroit's contribution to the culinary world. Aside from hot dogs slathered in chili and square pizza with a thick crust. [Freep]
Speaking of square pizza with a thick crust, Buddy's Pizza was featured on Cooking Channel's "Pizza Cuz." [Freep]
Nice SCOOP, lolololololz. Concentrate writer Kim North Shine profiles Go Ice Cream, an artisan ice cream maker based in Ypsilanti which will be available to purchase online, at select markets, and (if you live in the area) by bicycle delivery. [Concentrate]
You don't have to drive four hours out to Traverse City to be in wine country, though you DO have to cross an international border. The 2013 WindsorEats Windsor-Essex Bikes and Beers and Wine Trail Rides have started; this beautiful country is less than an hour away and a lovely way to spend an afternoon IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY! [WindsorEats]
Dominion House Tavern (The DH) - another great reason to cross the border. [Windsor Star]
Ferndale's Woodward Avenue Candy Shoppe is closing. The space has a new tenant and owner Janie DeJaeghere plans to move somewhere else in Ferndale, while still taking orders for candies and baked goods as she looks for a new space. [Ferndale Patch]
Ferndale loses one sweets shop, gains another. [Ferndale Patch]
What's going in the old Five Lakes Grill/Cinco Lagos spot in Milford? UPSCALE BBQ. [EID FB]
The 'burbs are gettin' graffiti'ed up: first Birmingham (at Toast Birmingham), now Franklin. [Bloomfield Patch]
This "Simple" evening was anything but. Thrilled and flattered to have been a part of it, with thanks to all of the wonderful, lovely people who made it happen -- Luciano, Chet, Kyle, Joe, everyone! Now peep these pretty pics. [The Fresh Exchange]
This is kind of a quick-hitting list of different developments in the works downtown happening with the oversight of Quicken et.al., among them a possible second location for the owners of Vicente's Cuban Cuisine also serving Latin food. [Detroit News]
Vander Mill has completed their $600,000 renovation and has started canning three of their ciders, which will be available in stores starting this month. [Promote Michigan]
Travel blog-thing Gadling profiles Detroit. [Gadling]
~Grand Rapids says to Kalamazoo, others: "SAY MY NAME, BITCH!" Welcome back, Beer City USA! Way to reclaim your title and MURDER the competition! (Just look at the stats.) [Examiner]
~Get ready for even more Chicagoans to infest Traverse City's wine country. [Chicago Tribune]
~MTV: still not playing music videos; now trying to be the Food Network. [MTV]
|Photo from Baconfest Michigan.|
You want Baconfest Michigan tickets? For free? Of course you do, especially since the event is sold out.
It just so happens I've got a pair of general admission Baconfest tickets to give away to a lucky reader. Last year I made people drive all over the many, many miles of metro Detroit in search of clues on a sadistic scavenger hunt I thought no one would actually complete (one team did, and that very same day if memory serves).
This year I quite frankly do not have the time to be so detailed, but one of the most valuable things you can learn in life is that nothing is really FREE. So, I'm making you give something to get something.
My friend Nikita Santches of Rock City Pies is in the middle of a crowd-funding campaign through Indiegogo for his new venture, Rock City Eatery in Hamtramck. So here's the deal. Click on the link (^^^THAT IS A LINK, RIGHT THERE IN ORANGE), make a donation of $25 or more, and be entered for your chance to win a pair of free Baconfest Michigan tickets for Saturday, June 1.
You might remember Rock City Pies as being the first vendor to run out of food at Baconfest last year. Nik will be back at Baconfest again this year (and with more food this time, you fucking savages).
But wait, there's more! With 12 days and counting left in his campaign, Nik still has a long way to go. If you guys put him over the top and fully fund his project, then I will personally put together for you your very own Baconfest grab bag filled with Baconfest T-shirts (you tell me the sizes), a poster, bacon-themed art, food items from local purveyors, and other freebies. At my own expense. Just for you. This grab bag will be worth over $100 in free stuff, PLUS the general admission tickets, PLUS your face all over EID + Baconfest + Rock City social medias.
Plus plus PLUS, not only do you get entered for a chance to win tickets; you'll also get whatever prize is listed on the Indiegogo campaign for the amount of your donation. So really, either way you win.
So! Donate, and get your friends to donate too. My contest will run through the end of the Rock City Eatery campaign. The winner will be selected at random by Baconfest staff on Friday, May 24, and will be notified immediately. Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor.
Nicole Rupersburg, HBIC of EID