Thursday, September 29, 2011

Eastern Market (food) Truck Stop

I've been spending an awful lot of time in Detroit this week. I'm not complaining. Tuesday night my former Detroit roommate, Maureen and I went to Eastern Market for their last Tuesday market and Truck Stop event. The Eastern Market Truck Stop welcomed several Michigan food trucks, carts and eateries to Shed 2 including: Trailer Park'd from East Lansing; El Guapo Grill, Good Girls Go to Paris Crepes, and Urban Grounds from Detroit; San Street and Debajo del Sol from Ann Arbor; and Treat Dreams from Ferndale to name a few. We arrived around 6PM and it was standing room only for a while but we managed to find the line for Trailer Park'd. 

Everything on their menu looked great and was slowly being crossed out because they were selling out fast. I ended up with the Ballin' A$& Tacos which were made with chorizo, queso fresco, mole verde, cilantro and lime. Maureen got a sandwich with rabbit, brie, homemade mustard and apple cider which was unbelievably delicious.

It was a hard decision to skip out on pork buns from San Street but I figured I would try something new since I can get San Street in Ann Arbor at Mark's Carts. Note to self: pork buns soon. 

For dessert I went with Salty Carmel Ice Cream from Treat Dreams. It was as good, if not better than it sounds. Fad or not, that flavor combo rocks. 

Given the turnout, it seemed like a great event for both vendors and the Market. I hope this becomes an annual (or even seasonal) event! Additionally, I hope it gave Detroit and other Michigan cities a head's up that people want these businesses on the street. 

For more pictures from the event check out Eastern Market's Facebook page.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tour de Troit

On Friday night my Mom, Dad and I set out for Detroit to ride in the Tour de Troit on Saturday. We stayed at a hotel and woke up early Saturday morning to head to Roosevelt Park in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood.

Tour de Detroit is a 22-mile bike ride (62 miles for ambitious folk) through the historic areas of Detroit. This year's event attracted 4,300 bike riders and benefited the Southwest Detroit Greenlink. The areas we biked through included Woodbridge, New Center, Indian Village, Belle Isle, Downtown and obviously, Corktown. After completing 17 miles, including the 5 mile loop of Belle Isle, there was a rest stop for riders on Detroit riverfront with water, apple's and granola bars. Perhaps, the most exciting part of the rest stop was this tent with a logo designed by my summer roommate, Maureen!

Following the rest stop was a leisurely 5 miles through downtown back to Roosevelt Park. And then of course the post-ride festivities began - food, drink and music at Roosevelt Park. I enjoyed an Ethiopian vegetarian plate from Traffic Jam & Snug and pulled pork chili from Slow's BBQ - all delicious. Twenty-two miles and lunch later it was still only 1:00 so we drove to Eastern Market so that my parents could experience it on a market day. :)

The bike ride was such a fun experience. It was so nice to share what I love about Detroit with my Mom and Dad. I think they enjoyed it as well. My dad noted three firsts of the day: first time riding a bike in Detroit, first time visiting Belle Isle and first time visiting Eastern Market. My mom was talking about next year's ride on the car ride home. We'll be starting recruitment in a few months, friends. Here are a few photos from the day:

Helmet hair. 
M & D. Aren't they cute?
Approaching downtown. RenCen to the left. 
My favorite photo of the day. I took the photo blindly by holding my camera above my head as I rode away. I didn't realize until later that I caught two smilers on the right. 
Ambassador Bridge.
Post-ride party. 
Apple @ Eastern Market. Part of the Michigan Apple Trail.

Tour de Troit Post & More Coming Soon

Hey friends! Sorry for the delay on the Tour de Troit post. My computer charger died on Sunday (about the same time my computer did). And of course my photo's on my dead computer. Have no fear, a new charger is on its way. . .

Happy Tuesday! If your in or around Detroit today stop by Eastern Market's last Tuesday market and their food truck celebration this evening.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Nectarine & Pear Breakfast Crumble

Thursday night I experienced an abnormal amount of productivity. After finishing up class at 1:00, I drove to Detroit to pick up my packets for a biking event this weekend. I grabbed some of my favorite Detroit grub (Goodwell's Famous Pocket Sandwich and Sea Salt Chocolate Chip cookies from Avalon Bakery), drove straight back to Ann Arbor and headed to "the other D" (or the library). I stayed there for a few hours, spending minimal time on Facebook and Twitter, before going back to my apartment and doing homework until midnight. Soon enough it will be normal to stay up this late but I hadn't mustered the energy to do so before yesterday.

By midnight, I must have hit my second wind and decided to make my breakfast for the next morning. I had several pieces of fruit from the farmer's market, bought almost two weeks ago, that were looking pretty sad. I decided to make a breakfast-y fruit crumble. 

I made a quick crust out of flour, flax seed and oats moistened with a little bit of water and butter and pressed the "crust" onto the bottom of an oval ramekin. Then I layered slices of nectarine and pear that were lightly tossed in flour. For the crumble top, I hand mixed a little cold butter, flour, oats, cinnamon and a little bit of brown sugar and salt. I spread the crumble mixture on top of the fruit, wrapped up the ramekin and put it in the fridge overnight. Next time I make this I'll pay closer attention to the amounts of each ingredient and report back. 

Yesterday morning, I put the ramekin in our "Toast R Oven" at 350 degrees (F) for about 20 minutes while I showered. I turned the oven to broil for the last 2 minutes or so, and voila! A great use of fruit I would likely not eat otherwise and a fun change in my breakfast routine.

Tour de Troit post coming tomorrow. I have big plans to do homework and take advantage of the People's Food Co-op Member Appreciation Day today. What are you doing this weekend?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

News on the Global Food Movement

I'm in the library. I should be studying. I'm reading food articles instead. Story of my life.
Photo courtesy of "The Nation." 
Anyways, I stumbled upon (not on StumbleUpon) an article by Michael Pollan earlier on Twitter and quickly realized that this weeks issue of "The Nation" is all about the global food movement. I'm eager to get my hands on a copy, although the closing of my local Border's this week is making it difficult. You can read it online though, definitely worth a look.

What do you think about a weekly or bi-weekly food link digest? I love the food link digests put out by Bon Appetit and Mark Bittman. Is the world ready for a MitM link digest?

Monday, September 12, 2011

I hate GRITting confused.

Hello from Ann Arbor! This first post of the school year got me thinking about my first post ever around this time last year. This also means I failed to throw my blog a proper birthday. To make up for it, I'll eat cake this week and maybe even recap my blogging over the past year here. 

On to today. After a week of downpours and drizzles, today's beautiful weather was welcomed. Mondays are my best class days because I only have two and am done by noon. I came back to my apartment after class, power napped and then biked to the Arboretum to find a shady place to study. I got more studying than expected done and was also able to relax and take in the great outdoors for a while. I returned from my excursion refreshed with big plans to run (it was pretty short, slightly pathetic) and make dinner. 

The recipe for Roasted Tomato Grits with Goat Cheese has been on my mind since it appeared on Love & Olive Oil last week. I've been wanting to expand my grit repertoire (ok, well start my  repertoire) for quite some time and it is prime tomato time in Michigan, so it didn't take much to sway me into trying this recipe. 

I roasted cherry tomatoes from the Farmer's Market, and found the suggested 400° oven to be a bit too hot. Next time I would stay closer to 350°. 


I ran into problems when cooking my grits, I'm still not sure where the misstep was. The recipe suggests cooking stone-ground grits for 45 minutes. I purchased these grits from Bob's Red Mill, but it took less than 10 minutes start to finish to cook them. I was worried about the grits drying out so I added the butter and goat cheese right away hoping that would provide enough moisture until the tomatoes were done. When it the grits continued to dry out, I divided them into two ceramic dishes and popped them in the oven for about 10 minutes. My grit vs. polenta knowledge is minimal and I'm not exactly sure which one I ended up with. 

Nonetheless, I was pleased with the end result. I topped my "grits" with the roasted tomatoes, freshly chopped basil, and a little more goat cheese. The rich flavor of the roasted tomatoes was the star of the show. 

Off to study grits, polenta, and direct object pronouns in Spanish. . .

Updated 9/13/11: I checked out what Mark Bittman had to say in How to Cook Everything about grits and polenta. It appears grits are a coarse grind of corn and hominy, while polenta is a less coarse grind of cornmeal that sets as it cools and seems to lend itself to more savory dishes. Tomato, toma-toe, I think my dish was more polenta-ish.