About Me

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Lansing, Michigan, United States
I am a Lansing townie, lawyer, and restaurant reviewer for the City Pulse. I love traveling, reading, yoga, and baking, but my favorite hobby is stuffing my face.

Monday, January 19, 2015

State Room for City Pulse

My State Room, my favorite.
Gingerbread cake.

Goose confit cassoulet.






Sunday, January 18, 2015

Top 5 of 2014

Read the article here.
Strange Matter latte.
When we visited Ham Sweet Farm in October, we saw our turkey.
He was delicious.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Holiday Whirlwind

This past holiday season I depended heavily on Mert's Meats. They have quickly become my very favorite butcher shop.


The gorgeous 28 pound fresh turkey I made for Thanksgiving. I used Alton Brown's brining technique and probably won't ever make a turkey another way. It was perfect.


Although he looks like the King of the Creeps, my brother liked it.

We went to parties. The outfits are intentionally ugly.

The nephew turned one. I made him a cake all for himself.


We went to more parties.

We had holiday dinners with holiday crackers.

We posed in front of Christmas trees and gingerbread house displays.

We had peppermint lattes.


We had a fondue lunch before a pasta-making class at The Local Epicurean in Grand Rapids. (For the record, I stink at making pasta.)

We got one of each at Propaganda Doughnuts.

We went to my firm's Christmas party in Detroit.


Mert's came to the rescue again when I made my absolute favorite recipe- Ina Garten's Slow Roasted Filet of Beef with Basil Parmesan Mayonnaise (for book club.)

It was last year's best thing I made. I think I'll stick with it for this year too. 


The boyfriend surprised me with the world's most appropriate mantle decoration. I'm in love with it.


We celebrated in Adrian with his family. I brought the Smitten Kitchen cranberry orange breakfast buns.


We showed off tiny snowmen.


Mert's. Again. Christmas Eve prime rib.


Recipe for garlic and herb-rubbed prime rib from the Pioneer Woman, as well as her recipes for Yorkshire Pudding (so delicious, decadent, and dead easy), and roasted Brussels sprouts. Roasted potatoes with pancetta and parsley, and grilled lobster tails. The cheesecake didn't stand a chance of being photographed- my brother got into it while I wasn't looking.


Alton Brown's brining recipe again. Ham Sweet Farm heritage turkey, roasted for Christmas Day. Word to the wise- if you're going to use this recipe, also look up the YouTube videos for how to make the tin foil breastplate. It'll save the white meat from being dried out.


The nephew, or a tiny elf/police officer?


His and hers hot chocolate with marshmallows and Ninja Turtle mugs.


Happy 2015! We wore sweatpants and tiny hats to ring in the new year.


And I spent the next two days on the couch, wearing H&M fair aisle leggings, drinking endless mugs of Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride tea, and reading The Traitor's Wife. Highly recommend.


And then, shortly after the new year, we got a pup.


Wally the Weimaraner is four years old and came from the Humane Society. He likes to spend time on his bed and join me in the kitchen.


Wally made this guy so happy that we went to Zoobie's and ate our weight in truffle popcorn.

Holiday season, I love you. Until next year-


December Bon Appetit- Skillet Roast Chicken with Fennel, Parsnips, and Scallions


In December, my mother and her friends came over for brunch. I made this chicken for them.


Post-browning the bird, he perched on top of slices fennel and parsnips to be finished in the oven (in my treasured Le Creuset cast iron skillet.)


A sprinkling of fresh herbs, a slightly torn skin, and he was good enough to eat. And thus I completed my year-long project of making at least one recipe per month from my issue of Bon Appetit.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Selden Standard, Detroit

Much has already been written about one of the newest, hottest restaurants in Detroit, Selden Standard.

Eater- read it here.
Sylvia Rector for the Free Press- don't miss it. She is such a wonderful writer. Also, I did sit at the chef's counter, and Nyle did graciously offer me some olives. It hurt me to tell him that olives are the ONE THING that I can't abide.

Anyway, I abode other things.

 

In law school, we learn the phrase "res ipsa loquitur," translated from the Latin as "the thing that speaks for itself." At Selden Standard, I had a fried chicken sandwich and roasted Brussels sprouts. It was lunchtime on a Friday, and after I finished the day in Ann Arbor I considered driving back to Detroit for dinner. Res ipsa indeed.

Monday, December 1, 2014

November Bon Appetit- Pumpkin Scones (with or without cinnamon butter)

I took a few days off before Thanksgiving this year. The boyfriend I would be hosting Thanksgiving dessert for about 20 of our nearest and dearest, and I knew that I would need to get it together and clean the house. Those 3 days were lifesavers, and they also gave me a chance to make something a little luxurious, something that screams "holidays" to me- breakfast baked goods.

Flip to Bon Appetit's November issue and the recipe for pumpkin scones with cinnamon butter. The only time I'd ever made scones, I admit, was from a mix. You know those ones that they sell at World Market? Sticky Fingers brand? That name is the truth. Scone batter adheres to your fingers and doesn't want to release.


I made the batter in the evening, formed it into scones, and froze them on a baking sheet overnight. In the morning I got home from my workout, popped these in the oven, and by the time I was showered and Keurig-ed, the house was fragrant with the aroma of breakfast.

Full of chopped cranberries and pumpkin.
I skipped the cinnamon butter, because my brother always used to make me go to Texas Roadhouse and I always hated the cinnamon butter with rolls. I just don't think butter should be sweet. Give me an herby, tarragony butter any old day. I just drizzled a little melted butter on the scones.


A scone of some stripe is now a contender for Christmas morning. Not pumpkin, obviously, because eating pumpkin after Thanksgiving is tantamount to wearing white after Labor Day. Or whatever. I'm not even sure that they must be sweet. Savory scones are a thing, right?

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Le Chat Gourmet- Croissant Workshop

As I write this I am laying in bed, covered up by my most festive bright red down comforter, sipping coffee laced with my most-anticipated holiday treat- Peppermint Mocha Coffeemate.


Every year, the weekend after Thanksgiving, I buy the biggest bottle I can find. I go hog wild with the stuff until the end of the year. If there's anything remaining in the bottle at midnight on New Year's Eve, it gets dumped. But man oh man, that's a glorious month.

Back to it. A few Saturdays ago, my most cookingest girlfriend and I finally padded our stomachs with scrambled eggs and fruit and headed into Eaton Rapids, a town south of Lansing where, frankly, not much exists. But what DOES exist in Eaton Rapids is Le Chat Gourmet, a cooking school which owner Denene Vincent has built in her home. The kitchen is drop-dead gorgeous and Chef Vincent's skills make you forget that you're in Eaton Rapids.

I wrote about Le Chat Gourmet here, a few years ago. (It was before the boyfriend made his debut. No guys stood a chance of getting my email address this time around.)

At 10am that Saturday we arrived and started our six-hour submersion into all things butter, flour, and French. That's right, a Croissant Workshop.


We rolled.


How weird is this creepy video?
 We pinched, we prodded, and most of all, we waited. 
 

We banged on a sheet of butter with a rolling pin.


Croissants take a few days to come together. The flakiness comes from multiple rollings of the dough, and after each roll, the dough has to rest. At one point, the dough has to rest overnight. Chef Vincent had prepared dough beforehand that rested overnight, so we cheated a bit and used that to make our final products. We did, however, double back and make the dough from the start, so I'm sure some other, later eaters enjoyed the fruits of our labor.

Finally, we had baking trays full of plain croissants, pain au chocolat (my favorite), and almond croissants.


We baked them, and I'd never felt more French in my life. Even when I lived in St. Amand-Montrond in a French boarding school and spoke French for the majority of every day. I still wore my Americanism like a hot pink scarf.


Stacey gazed upon the pastries and thought about the meaning of life.


Finally, we feasted.


Mon dieu.

If I'm being honest, I will probably never make croissants unless my French friends or my British friends come to visit. They are all better cooks than I am and could lend needed assistance. Otherwise, I'm not sure these beautiful babies will ever emerge from my kitchen. They were delicious, oui. But a girl's gotta work, you know?

Bien sur, if any of you want to come over and make a day (and slumber party) of it, I will reconsider. These would certainly make for a memorable Christmas morning, non?