Tag Archives: ann arbor food blogs

Detroit 48 Hour Film Project: Team Midnight Oil

midnight

48 Hour Film Project 2013 Team Midnight Oil

I am going to be doing a 48 hour film this year. It is kind of improv for film makers. You get a theme and then you have to write, shoot, edit and hand deliver a film in 48 hours.

It is truly an amazing feet.

Our team is currently doing a fundraiser to help support the project.

48 Hour Film Project 2013 Team Midnight Oil 

Most of the money I am told goes to help feed the some 20 person crew.

I figure that I will be the crew chef as well as video crew and maybe even act and write. I really never thought about the food element of film making.

Please help out if you can. We are 1/3 towards our goal.

Thanks

Whole Wheat Strawberry Short Cake

I have been getting into whole wheat baking these days. Here is a recipe that works great. I use whole wheat pastry flour and butter milk in this traditional recipe. I provided a Straight Rhubarb option here, having found some great organic bright red local Rhubarb.

As for the Strawberry version, I can’t seemed to get myself to cook fresh strawberries. So I simple slice them and put them on top.

Whole Wheat Short Cake (makes 6 large short cakes)

2 Cups of whole wheat pastry flour
5 TBSP Sugar
1 stick of cold butter
1 TBSP baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 large egg for egg wash
sugar for dusting top

Rhubarb Filling

2 pounds rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup of water
1 tsp minced ginger
zest of one lime

Place all of the ingredients in a thick bottom pan. Bring to a boil then simmer until thick. let cool. If it is still not thick enough, add a few table spoons of corn starch to thicken by stirring it in and bringing it to a boil them letting cool.

Top filling with a shortcake and ice cream and enjoy.

Procedure

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda in a bowl and mix. Chop up the cold butter into the flour mixture into small pea size pieces. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the butter milk and the egg. Mix to combine. Don’t over work.

It will be a wet dough. Scoop the dough into six equal sized blobs on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Brush with egg and sprinkle sugar on top.

Bake for 12-14 minutes on a center rack.

Cool and serve with whip cream and your favorite fresh berries.

Nightshade Army Industries Salsa: Get Yourself Some

YPSI Salsa

YPSI Salsa

I was at the Ypsilanti Farmers Market yesterday, and I picked up some great salsa. In fact it is the only salsa I every want. It is by Nightshade Army Industries and it is made locally. They grow the tomatoes and peppers and they process the salsa at Beezy’s Cafe.They feature classic red and green and hot sauce and chilly vinegar. It reminds me of Southwest Style, the kind of salsa I loved in New Mexico.

Their partnership with Beezy’s Cafe makes this possible. In order for Nightshade to make their salsa, they need access to a commercial certified kitchen. These kitchen are everywhere. Every restaurant,cafe, or deli has one, but the are hard to come by.

Nightshade comes in after hours to make their salsa. I thought how many other local food products could we have if we could take advantage of a handful of kitchens after hours. What a huge untapped resource.

Think about all of that extra squash/pumpkin in your garden. That can be turned into pie filling. Or that apple tree in the back yard could make for a large batch of apple butter. Or how about small batch pickles, frozen dessert, or any number of food products that take advantage of local food, flavors and creativity.

Nightshade Army Industries does not just make great salsa, they are true local food heroes.

Go get yourself some.

 

These Boots are Made for Walking

ImageI have been looking back to my ghosts of weight loss success past and my time hiking on the Appalachian Trail comes to mind.

Mathematically speaking, WHEN I was hiking the trail, I was successful losing weight. The key words here are WHEN I WAS HIKING because coming back is another story.

But hiking is weight loss gold. The average Thru Hiker burns 4000-6000 calories a day. This means that even a fatty like myself will lose weight while hiking no matter how much food he eats (when hiking).

The reason for the huge daily calorie burn is because hikers hike ALL DAY. That is really all I hiker does after breakfast to coming into camp. We are talking 8-10 hours of hiking. At 500-650 calories an hour, that starts to add up quick.

Picture your last hour session on the elliptical and times that by ten.

Case in  point, a buddy has started posting his runs on facebook. Here was his last run. Here runs at a good pace, but how many runs does he do, 3-5 a week for about 30 minutes?

miles

So I thought, “What if I can take the hiker model and apply it to the “real world?”

If I took one day a week and “Hiked” (on the trail I would hike six days a week) I would burn more calories then a good week or two of going to the gym assuming a 1-2 hour aerobic session per gym visit.

A full day on the trail or in my case the 1.4 hiking loop in my town park would equal 8-10 exercise machine session.

I like those numbers. So I created a plan. I call it my Urban Thru Hiker Plan.

Unlike hiking the actual trail, this is ONLY one hiking day a week.

It is kind of the whussiest plan there is for actual thru hikers. For those hikers reading this, imagine a distance hike where you only hiked one full day a week, ridiculous right?

But in the real world, a full day seems massive, extreme, not practical in the least, the stuff of Forrest Gump like singular focus. “I just felt like walking.”

Unlike actually hiking in the woods, my Urban hiker plan means no sleeping in the woods, I walk on wide manicured trails, having access to treated water (a water fountain every 1.4 miles), a bathroom, a shower at home waiting for me, a comfy bed to sleep in and picnic lunches with fresh fruit and even a Whole Foods Market about 10 minutes off the trail.

It is comfort hiking to the extreme. And I don’t even need to carry a pack.

Now non-hiker might not get my plan, but distance hikers will see the merit and even ease of this plan.

The idea here is that a full day on the Urban “Trail” will add up to 4000-6000 calories burned and/or over one pound of exercise burning weight loss a week.

Southern Comfort Food

Ann Arbor Food

Big Bob Gibson the best ribs ever

Here is a quick pic take of my trip down south (Alabama, Knoxville, and Chattanooga  Tennessee, and Ashville, NC.

This year was a little different because I am off of gluten, which for the south mean no biscuits and some fried foods. But BBQ is gluten free.

Food notables of American Southern Food:
Cornbread, grits, creamed corn
Biscuits
Collard Greens and Turnip Greens
Sweet Potato
Okra
Oysters
BBQ
Catfish
black eyed peas
Pecans
Boiled Peanuts
Sweet pickles

Ann Arbor Food

Big Bob Gibson BBQ Full Rack of Pork Ribs

Big Bob Gibson in Decatur, AL

Fresh Pecans at road side stand Ann Arbor Food

Fresh Pecans at road side stand

Mojo Burrito, Chattanooga
(
Great hippie burrito joint, better than a chipotle and they serve bear, located near the Incline railway

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House that nature is taking back a common site in Northern Georgia and through out the south

Breakfast Burrito at Tomato Head in Knoxville

Breakfast Burrito at Tomato Head in Knoxville

Tomato Head, Knoxville, Tenn
(located in the historic square, great brunch spot with an omelette station, fresh baked goods and pizza)

Yee-haw Industry Print shop
(We are fan’s of a Knoxville printing house that does really fun prints of Southern themes. Find out the downtown shop had closed do to a marriage break up, but a store around the corner carried a good supply of prints.

yee-haw

 

 
 

 

 

 

Latke’s The Festival of Frying

Ann Arbor Food Latke's

Ann Arbor Food Latkes

I know Hanukkah is over for the year, but the holiday kind of blends all together with Christmas and vacations, so i made my Latke celebration dinner tonight.

Latkes and other jewish holiday fare hold power over the non-jewish folk who are lucky of enough to have someone make the real thing for them.

The mere statement, “I am a little tire, I’ll make Latkes tomorrow,” can be met with epic pouts too down right addiction withdrawal.

And by all means, make enough of them.

Here is how I make them.

Latke’s Recipe: Makes 15 Large Latke (serves 4)

1 Five pound bag of russet potatoes, peeled and grated
1 large onion minced
7 large eggs
salt and pepper
Oil for frying, I use a combination of Safflower with some Olive OiL

Procedure

After peeling and grating the potatoes, place them in a colander and salt them.

NOTE: Do not run your potato peels down your sink food disposal. The starch will gum up the works and you will need drain-o to fix it. Believe me I have done it before making Latke’s. Also run the sink with cold water when rinsing the potato starch of the colander and plate.

Place a plate under near and let the liquid and starch from the drain off.

Shake the colander to remove the liquid, then finally in small batches squeeze out as much of the liquid as possible. One of these days I will get a press to speed up this process, but it is not a huge deal with a five pound batch.

Place the potato in a large bowl and add the minced onion. Mix and add the eggs and salt and pepper.

Ann Arbor Food Hanukkah Latke's

Ann Arbor Food Hanukkah Latkes

Portion into balls and place on a plate to stage for frying.

Heat a pan with the oil until it is hot. Use a few strands of potato to test the oil. If the potato instantly floats to the top and dances around, it is ready.

Place the balls in the fry oil. Be careful to not get burned.

Then flatten them down with a spoon to 3/4 of an inch thick. Place as many was will fit in your pan. I make my Latkes large about the size of a large hamburger patty.

Ann Arbor Food Hanukkah Latke's

Ann Arbor Food Hanukkah Latkes

Ann Arbor Food Hanukkah Latke's

Ann Arbor Food Hanukkah Latkes

Cook them until they the are golden brown and flip them. (about 3-4 minutes per side, but it varies. Like pancakes, it seems the second side does not need as much time as the first side)

Drain on paper towels.

Add more oil between batches, wait a minute or two for the oil to warm up before adding a new batch.

NOTE: If you are making these more then one night of Hanukkah, filter the oil from the previous night and use it again. Fry cook experts will tell you that using some older oil helps with crisping. (not sure why)

Also the flavor from the odder oil is infused with onion. and potato. The fam swore that tonight’s batch was better then two nights ago probably because of the oil.

I cannot say, but Hanukkah is the holiday of the miracle of the oil.

After frying 12,  place them in a 350 degree oven to warm up while the last three are frying.

Serve immediately with apple sauce, sour cream, smoked salmon and sliced oranges.

 

 

 

 

Roasted Chestnuts

Ann Arbor Food Roasted Chestnuts

Ann Arbor Food Roasted Chestnuts

 

Lets talk chestnuts. These rich, sweet and creaming nut is a staple for fall and winter eats. It takes some effort to prepare them, but they are worth it.

One my favorite items from my macrobiotic days was sweet rice with chestnuts. It tastes like dessert.

So you probably seen the mess bag of mahogany color chestnuts in the grocer and wonder how to prepare them.

Well here is how.

The common wisdom is to cut an X into them. They even have chestnut X-er gadgets to do it. The thing is chestnuts are kind of slipper and smooth. So what I usually do is take a scissors and make one slit. No X required.

Next roast them in a pan in a 425 degree oven for about 12-15 minutes.

Ann Arbor Food Roasted Chestnuts

Roasted Chestnuts

The picture above shows the chestnut shells busted open. The trick to peeling a chestnut is to peel it hot. I use the sleeves of my longs sleeves to work them and I rest the chestnut on a oven mitt.

Pressing the shells breaks the shells apart, which come off easy.

The real trick is peeling off the papery skins inside the shell. The hotter the chestnuts the easier they come off. I tooth pick helps. Squeezing the chestnuts usually works to loosen the skins.

If you are working a large batch, you will have to re-heat them as you go. I figure I can only peel about 5-7 at a clip before heating them up again.

Roasted chestnuts are great in stuffings and can be boiled and pureed to make a chestnut cream for desserts and baked goods.