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A year has come and gone since I happened upon a flame-orange paste created from roasted squash and red peppers. I call it magma because it’s red and earthy, but I could also call it autumn mayonnaise because it improves everything it touches. more
Since I first tried it my freshman year of college, Indian food has become one of my go-to takeout cuisines. I order it when I’m famished since the portions are typically huge, and it has never … more
If nobody told you this dessert was composed primarily of root vegetables, you’d simply think it was a magnificent fudge bar — moist like a rainforest, rich like a truffle and creamy like … more
Former food truck Bangos’ long-awaited conversion to a brick-and-mortar space has come at last, and Lansing-area foodies — myself included — are rejoicing. more
I made it surprisingly far through life without thinking deeply about onions. It took an acid trip in college, during which I watched my friend Wayne fry an onion that had been cut in half. We stood … more
Modern grocery stores put their predecessors to shame with the number of items available for purchase. Gone are the days when grocery stores featured roughly 12 aisles and stocked shelves primarily … more
The five biggest shopping days of the year for candy are all in October, thanks to Halloween, which sells more candy than any other holiday. more
With seven locations throughout the state, Jolly Pumpkin Café & Brewery has come to be celebrated for its artisanal, granite-baked pizzas, but it also offers equally enticing appetizers, salads, bowls, sandwiches and desserts. more
During Germany’s infamous Turnip Winter of 1916 to 1917, World War I had left villagers so desperate for food that they would break into cattle barns and steal the turnips meant for cows. For similar historical reasons in countless places, turnips have a reputation for being a famine food. more
It’s easy to take ketchup for granted. But once our all-American burger and fries arrive, if we don’t have ketchup, we have a problem. more
Despite the enduring summerlike weather, co-workers at both of my jobs have been calling in sick like any other turn of the season, and this week, I was finally taken out myself. It’s strange … more
My first kitchen job involved making six gallons of gazpacho every Sunday. This was back when earning your chops meant something, and making that whole batch with just a knife and peeler — no … more
Fall is the perfect time to slow down and savor the last days of sunshine and temperatures in the 70s. Way out in Meridian Township, fields are turning yellow, farmers are pulling in the last of their harvests, and Pho 777 is serving up perfectly spiced Vietnamese soups to fortify diners against the coming cold. more
Few foods boast the versatility of pork. It can be grilled, smoked, slow-cooked, fried or baked, and professional and amateur chefs alike know there’s no end to recipes where pork is the main attraction. more
Imam bayildi is an eggplant dish named for its ability to separate a man from his consciousness. The Turkish phrase means, “The imam fainted,” and the implication is that the decadent and aromatic experience of eating this glorious dish knocked the imam out cold. more
This week, I thought I would step out of my comfort zone and try a type of cuisine I haven’t had much experience with, so I made my way to Okemos to visit Social Sloth Cafe & Catering for its Turkish offerings. more
I somehow made it through childhood with minimal exposure to what I now realize was a cherished part of many growth spurts: grilled cheese and tomato soup. more
Williamston’s Old Nation Brewing Co. offers a relaxed atmosphere, creative sides and plenty of locally crafted beers to choose from. Its masculine design aesthetics — think open-concept with exposed HVAC, a la Lansing Brewing Co. — are balanced out by the genuine friendliness of the staff and little touches of care such as a phone-charging station at the bar. more
Caprese salad is a simple dish. Yet the mere combination of tomato, basil and mozzarella cheese, dusted with salt and slathered in olive oil, accomplishes so much. Dressed in the colors of the Italian flag, Caprese exemplifies the fresh, ingredient-centric ethos of Italian cuisine. Like a margherita pizza without the crust and heat, Caprese is the perfect way to enjoy the downslope of summer. more
It would take me multiple pages to express my love for The Avenue Cafe, a dive bar and music venue on East Michigan Avenue. I can get a 16-ounce beer for $4, test my knowledge of various topics in weekly trivia, enjoy live performances by some of my favorite local bands — often for free — and put all my loose quarters to use at the plethora of pinball machines. more
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