Monday, May 30, 2011

Checking In

Ugh, sorry I haven't been keeping up on my blogging. So much to do lately, not to mention the weather was beautiful today. You may be wondering (but probably not) what I've been eating. Well, in the past four days I have enjoyed a Polish feast in Hamtramck, Middle Eastern food in Dearborn, Latin fare at a wedding, a pulled pork brunch post-wedding, my Mom's french bread, and little bit of Zingerman's. I'm not sure when I will feel hungry again.

In between all that eatin' I got to go home for less than 24 hours. It was so wonderful to go home. I haven't been home for a month - that almost sounds like a record. Anyway, I knew Detroit was a pretty intense place but I didn't realize just how intense until I was away for a bit to process. With less than a month left here I can say it has been a great experience. I have learned more than I ever expected about the city, myself and more. I need to better reiterate all the great things I have learned here soon.

Tonight I biked around with my friend B-Rad (side note, Detroit is a really fun place to bike). We took a short ride to Michigan Central Station, an iconic spot in Detroit. You can't really go inside as it is surrounded by razor wire, but there has recently been a little more talk of the building being renovated.

Michigan Central Station, Detroit. This is a good example of the "ruin porn" people come here to see. I promise some of the beautiful non-ruined things too because there is a lot of that too. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Safari Supper: Round Two

Last night, was our second Safari Supper. My room had appetizers. I was a little nervous we were going to run into to problems when my roommate and I didn't get back from the movie theater (Bridesmaids, go see it) and grocery until a half hour before our start time. We agreed to "Top Chef" it (or work really fast). Luckily everyone else was running behind too and it all worked out. In fact, we agreed this dinner was even better than our last.

For appetizers we used this recipe for French Fries with Three Dips from Epicurious, except we only made two dips. I'm ashamed to say I have never used the method of boiling and then baking potatoes described in the recipe to make the french fries, but I vow to from this point forward. The dips were the real stars of the show. We made the curry ketchup and rosemary mayo. I loved the curry ketchup, I'll definitely be making it again.

We also cut up a loaf of Italian bread and served it with a selection of tasty jams and EVOO w/ dill and chives. 

The entree was mac n' cheese, fried chicken and green beans prepared by the boys room. Everything was so good. For dessert we have frozen kiwi pops covered in chocolate served by the 8th floor girls, so delicious and light.

Next time we will be serving dessert, any suggestions?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Noodle Night

Read my post on the Semester in Detroit blog on Neighborhood Noodle: Semester D Blog.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Safari Supper

Sunday morning I biked to Belle Isle with three other students in my program. It was the perfect day for a ride and we stumbled upon the Heidelberg Project on the way (I actually ended up there again today). As I understand the project was intended to give Detroit residents an alternative view of the blighted neighborhoods they know all to well. Pretty interesting stuff. I think there may be a similar neighborhood elsewhere in Detroit that I heard about on NPR too.

...and then my camera battery died, so no pictures of Belle Isle this time. BUT, if your unfamiliar with Belle Isle it is a city park/island in the Detroit River. You can get there via bridge and once there have a good view of the Detroit and Windsor, Canada skylines. We biked around the island a bit and visited the Conservatory.

We couldn't stay too late though because my classmates and I had planned a progressive dinner (or Safari supper) Sunday evening. Since we are divided nicely into three apartments, one room did appetizers, another the entree and the last desserts.

Appetizers included some tasty breads and oil, deconstructed bruschetta and mozzarella sticks.

My roommates and I were in charge of the entree and we made spaghetti and roasted carrots, served alongside some bread sticks we bought at Eastern Market the day before. The spaghetti sauce ended up being quite the event. We made a meat and vegetarian version. My roommate "Manni" did a great job with the veggie version and really my only job with sauce was to cook the meat. We haven't been eating too much meat here and so we borrowed some frozen meat from the boys apartment. In an effort to split up the 4lbs of frozen ground beef I snapped off the tip of my chefs knife (thanks TJ Maxx) in the meat as well has "butchering" it in a variety of other ways. The boys think it is still edible though, so that's good. 

Finally, dessert was served in the boys room. This dessert may in fact illustrate how awesome the people in my program are. Warm chocolate chip cookies with two choices of ice cream AND an option of coconut cream pie AND candlelight AND music. It was a great end to a great evening with friends. Next Safari Supper on the calendar - can't wait!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Eastern Market: Trip 2 of Many

Happy Saturday! I don't know about where you are, but the weather here is taking a turn for the better. I even got a little sunburn today at the market. :(

When I say "the market," I mean Eastern Market in Detroit. It is a huge market in existence since 1891 and includes some permanent vendors. Today was my second ever trip, and it was much better than my last off-season visit. Tons of flowers, plants for your garden, produce, baked goods, coffee and everything in between.

I left the market with: MI carrots and apples, honey-almond goat cheese, Parmesan, bread sticks, salad greens (grown in Detroit) and rosemary. I also had some coffee from Urban Grounds and pierogi from Peoples Pierogi Collective that were enjoyed at the market.

From top to bottom: blueberry, mushroom, mushroom pierogi's + sauerkraut.
The trip to the market was a great way to wrap up a busy first week in Detroit. From unpacking, attending program orientation, starting new classes and internships to meeting new friendly faces; life has been both crazy and exciting. I feel like have been able to both appreciate some of the City's gems (I'm talking to you Slow's To Go, Goodwell's and Cass Cafe) and in a very small way, scratch the surface at understanding some of it's challenges (where do I get groceries in the City? And yes, it is possible contrary to popular belief. Although, more difficult in some areas). I am excited to learn as much as I can about the city in the next few months.

Next up, Safari Supper.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Almond Biscotti

I’ve just wrapped up a week at home. My big plans for cooking and blogging elaborate meals were defeated by my need for sleep (and laziness). However, I did check one item off my list of things to make – biscotti.

I love biscotti. Over Christmas break my family and I killed an entire container of Nonni’s Biscotti. This led to an expensive coffee shop biscotti habit, and - well you know how these things can end. I decided to try my hand at making my own biscotti. It is safe to say I will never revert to my old coffee shop ways.

For my biscotti I used this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. I omitted the orange zest and liqueur since I didn’t have them on hand, and instead added the slightest bit of almond extract (less than a ¼ teaspoon). Oh and the chocolaty goodness at the end, that was extra. I eyeballed it and used one part milk, one part butter and three parts semi-sweet chocolate chunks.

The finished product was dense, delicious biscotti with all the features of a decadent almond cookie.

P.S. Remember my hint about hanging in Detroit for the summer? Well, I’m here! Look for weekly updates intertwined with munchings on the latest happenings from me in the D for the next couple months.