Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Nothing Left Over: Thanksgiving Leftovers in the Form of Shepherd's Pie

After much time spent with family, friends and of course food, I headed back to campus and the inevitable return to daily life at Denison. With me I brought back leftover mashed potatoes from Thanksgiving dinner and leftover beef sautéed with peas and onions so I could put together a proper shepherd's pie and, eventually, this relatively short blog post.

Thanksgiving Break 2011, Part IV: Farmington Hills

I think it's safe to claim the number three (and, in most cases, all other odd numbers but the number one) as one of the more common numbers in gastronomy. For example, plating involves three main elements (plate, food, and arrangement); basic multi-course meals include an appetizer, entrée and dessert. And further still, the typical healthy plate (2) contains an organisation of three foods: 1/4 protein, 1/4 starch, and 1/2 vegetable (check out this site for healthy meal planning). Carrying on with this trend, my Thanksgiving break included a trio of cooking days, the third of which took place in Farmington Hills. From grade school and high school to the college years, my Saturday evening was spent with friends I met while at Albion-- Tony, Christina, and Andy. Tony had also been among the group of us who met for early Friday shopping after Thanksgiving and after back and forth discussions for a few days prior, we settled on a rather ambitious menu (yes, I know there are only four dishes...) which in total took about 90 minutes to complete. Now if we could just master five in 60...

Thanksgiving Break 2011, Part III: Southfield

Out of (now) tradition, the Friday after Thanksgiving is a special time to hang out with friends on one of the most commercial days of them all. Arguably still tired from the tryptophan and late night following a day of food festivities, the early morning caffeine fuel was in full force and clearly apparent at the shopping centers, with adrenaline kicking in at the sight of a great holiday deal. I eventually made it to the evening hours (midday I had brunch with Tom and Hua, two classmates and lifelong friends since grade school) and was presented with an interesting cooking opportunity. Having never cooked with Hua before, but knowing of his shared appreciation for the tv series, "Friends," I set forth to create a special dessert befitting this time of the year.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Thanksgiving Break 2011, Part II: White Lake (The 100th Post!)

Well, here it is... Post #100! Okay, actually, if you're paying close attention, at the time of this post, I've only written 96 others, but the remaining four are still backlogged from my summer voyage in France. But knowing I'll eventually get those caught up, this post has destined to become my 100th chronicled foodie experience. While this in itself is a personal landmark, I find this to be a quite timely one at that. Indeed, what better way to mark another blogging milestone than to feature one of the most quintessential food holidays: Thanksgiving?

Monday, 28 November 2011

Thanksgiving Break 2011, Part I: Detroit

Just when I thought I was all caught up with my blog posts, a string of foodie opportunities seems to good to pass up. Alas, with the holiday season officially now underway following Thanksgiving, I find myself in need of having to get everything in line before December and the cooking month approaches. I begin, then, with my foodie experiences, relegated in large part to the eating (definitely nothing wrong with that!), in Detroit.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Food and Culture Programme #2: French Food Fare

Happy day-after-Thanksgiving! Alas, an upcoming season full of food and the company of friends and family has officially begun with Thanksgiving now seeming to have passed ages ago and the hectic shopping schedule fills the air. But, before I get to my Thanksgiving break posts, I still need to catch up on my second residence hall food and culture programme. Last Wednesday, in consultation with the RA of a female-only building, we went with one of my favourite cooking themes: French. (No bias... well, not much anyway.) For about $2.75 per person, some of the students helped me in preparing four dishes from four regions of France for our menu: ratatouille (Provence, southeast), poulet à la crème (Bresse, east) with an apple-based cream sauce (Normandie-inspired, northwest), brie en croûte (Île-de-France, central), and a play on brochettes de fruits frais served over vanilla ice cream.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Farmers Market, Cooking and Boxing: A Saturday in (Metro) Detroit

Following a rather strange work week and, most recently, on and off again electrical issues, I find myself now ready to blog about my food experiences in Metro Detroit last weekend. It seems like such a long time ago I was last at home, but already I'm now gearing up for the same drive this upcoming Tuesday for the Thanksgiving holiday. And so, before I get too bogged down with missing posts, following is a synopsis of last Saturday's foodie adventures.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

My Second Dine Originals Week in Granville: The Oak Room at the Granville Inn

 Granville Inn on Urbanspoon 

Twice a year, a consortium of independently-owned Columbus area restaurants hosts a week long prix fixe menu(s) in their respective locals. As Katharine Moore wrote, "We go all out with this twice a year, because we believe that the surest way to turn a stranger into a customer is to get them in the door…so we turn our chef’s loose with unique menu items and persuade the business managers that the affordable price point is an investment. Then we just sort of sit back and watch it unfold." My first experience with one of these opportunities was back in March; indeed, until it's unfortunate closure, the Short Story Brasserie became one of my favourite staples of life in Granville, for both the food and the attentive and personable staff. For this season's Dine Originals week, I went with two fellow foodies and colleagues to The Oak Room at the Granville Inn to experience its lunch time prix fixe menu set at $10 per person. And with three people and three second course options, we were able to try everything!

National Vanilla Cupcake Day 2011

Greetings, dear Reader! Nearly already halfway through the week, I find myself once again catching up on blog posts. Up first is a quick and easy recipe I whipped up for National Vanilla Cupcake Day last Thursday. This time around, and unlike what I had done for National Chocolate Cupcake Day in mid-October, I went with mini cupcakes, and combined three separate recipes which can be found here, here, and here. This recipe makes about 3.5 dozen individual servings of deliciousness.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Do Have Homemade Doughnuts...For Breakfast!

Whew! It's definitely been a busy set of days following Jill & Sam's visit last Thursday in Granville. On Friday, I went with my supervisor and twelve students to Allegheny College for the 2011 GLCA Students of Color Leadership Conference. Without question, it was (as it always has been) a great experience; not only did we get to learn about diversity efforts from peer institutions, but this year's theme of "New Decade, New Challenges: Access, Justice, Leadership and Sustainability" was both fitting and eye-opening for all of us. To read more about the conference's impact on some of our students, check out this week's diversity newsletter which I published on Monday. But before all of this took place, and before bidding farewell to Jill & Sam as they traveled onward to Kentucky, I made a fresh batch of dough for breakfast and in celebration of National Doughnut Day on Saturday. [Edited 7 June 2013, given this important spelling distinction and this confirmation]

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Another Road Trip, Another "From Scratch" Dinner

Prior to the academic year starting its full swing, I had a wonderful visit from road trippers Trevor and Helena. Within a span of 14 days, their goal was to make it to L.A. and put B.U.'s academic training into practice. Just a few days ago, two more B.U. Paris Internship Program classmates--Jillian and Samantha--embarked on a ten day road trip journey of their own from the northeast with sights set on Myrtle Beach. (Check out their awesome road trip blog linked above.) Having safely arrived from their earlier stop in Cleveland earlier today, I had presented one of two choices: hibachi-style steakhouse in Columbus or cooking in my apartment... like I even had to ask. We went to the Granville market to buy ingredients, though there was no plan prior to entering (other than for sure wanting to have chocolat chaud at some point during their visit). My prompts: what are you in the mood for, and name a region in France. With cheese and the Alps in mind, and without much thought as to the (in)accuracy of what would be proposed, I eventually ended with the following menu for dinner: breaded pork chops with a freshly grated Swiss Mornay sauce served atop chunky garlic mashed potatoes with a red wine au jus gravy, a side of crispy green beans and onions, and baked brie with toasted baguette. Whew. And for breakfast in the morning, freshly made donuts.