History

Where the hell have I been?

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Alright, so it’s been some time since I’ve been writing. ¬†I know, I know — I am ashamed ūüė¶ ¬†But things happen in this thing called life. ¬†Not to make excuses, but I was trying to adapt to the new schedule caused by my new job. ¬†Then I got a weird volleyball injury that took up my time trying to rehab that. ¬†Then I got really sick really fast around Christmas and found myself admitted to the hospital several times. ¬†Lucky for me this happened in December and January so I got to fulfill two massive deductibles back to back. ¬†Hurrah! ¬†And hospitals are not fun — especially when you get the bill months later and can’t decipher what charges came from where and from whom and for how much. ¬†I will say to my insurance company that your estimate on what a CT scan costs is sooooo completely off from what the hospital says ($800 estimate vs. $1700 charge). ¬†All that fun and the multiple docs couldn’t even tell me what was wrong; just treated the symptoms and see what could be managed.

Then after getting to know the hospital, I got a weird infection that sidelined me for over three weeks. ¬†Meds didn’t work, I was weak all the time, I couldn’t walk without getting dizzy (which is a challenge if you have to navigate stairs to get to your truck — not that I could drive anywhere even if I managed to make it to the garage). ¬†Things eventually cleared up, but since I missed so much work, I ended up losing my job. ¬†Which I guess is alright aside from the fact that I am penniless. ¬†I don’t blame them for firing me; it just sucks for me. ¬†So much for my first stint in Corporate America!

But losing my job meant that I could focus on the physical therapy for the injury that happened months ago. ¬†And lucky for me (or unlucky for me), I met my out-of-pocket maximum for the year back in January so no charge! ¬†Well fast-forward a couple of months and my knees are still shit. ¬†I can’t afford COBRA anymore so I guess I will have to tape them up and just go on with life.

And that is what I am trying to do — go on with life. ¬†I think I’ve done enough wallowing in self-pity and it is time to git goin’! ¬†I’m finally able to work out again (with some obvious limitations) and I’m getting back to what I love — FOOD! ¬†And booze, of course. ¬†Actually, right now I am in the Corner Brewery here in Ypsilanti trying to raise my spirits. ¬†Some pulled pork tacos and a Buzzsaw IPA can sure help with my mood, but more on that later! ¬†Although it is a bummer that no one wants to join me here — stupid friends and their stupid jobs and families and prior commitments!

But in all seriousness, I plan on getting back to blogging and sharing my foodie adventures. ¬†I did just take another trip up to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and found some amazing pasties, and breweries , and wineries, and distilleries. . . . I’m also trying to make a theme cake (note the emphasis on trying). ¬†What’s wrong with a round cake? ¬†I can do those, no problem. ¬†Dinosaur shaped? ¬†Ugh, I need to practice this. ¬†A lot. ¬†Plus I have some posts that should have gone out last year (oops!), but they’re still relevant.

So Stay tuned! ¬†More food and booze and hijinx heading your way! ¬†And for no good reason — here’s my sweet idiot dog Cooper enjoying the summer sun!

 

Cooper luvs summer!
Cooper luvs summer!

 

For those that think all Pit Bulls are mean -- you are wrong!
For those that think all Pit Bulls are mean — you are wrong!
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What a great day to repeal Prohibition!. . . and have a Ginger Lime Martini

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On this day (April 10th) way back in 1933, the great state of Michigan became the first state in the union to repeal prohibition — huzzah!¬† Yup, Michigan became the first state to ratify the 21st amendment, which overturned the 18th amendment — that’s the one that made booze illegal.¬† In your face Wisconsin!!!¬† They were the second state to do it, but there’s still a little bad blood over here for them trying to call themselves the “Mitten State” a few months back.¬† At least both travel boards worked together to use the controversy to help a good cause.

But I digress. . . back to the end of prohibition.¬† Historians estimate that about 75% of alcohol consumed in the States during prohibition came through Detroit.¬† Right across the border, Ontario went dry but Canada didn’t ban the manufacture of alcohol for export.¬† Put that all together, and you can see how Michigan became Booze Central for the country.

Ginger Lime Martini yumminess

I, for one, love the end of prohibition.¬† If you’re a regular reader, it should come to no surprise.¬† But here is how I intend to celebrate — with a Ginger Lime Martini!¬† Sure it’s 10 o’clock in the morning, but what else am I going to do today?

This is taken from Eve Aronoff’s book which was part of my blogiversary give-away (I did pick the winner BTW).¬† Consider this a preview for those who didn’t win the book.¬† Maybe you’ll see it a bookstore near you; hopefully you’ll pick it up!¬† Now I absolutely love these, and I may have had more than my fair share at that wedding reception I was talking about a couple of posts ago ūüôā¬† I just can’t say stop when there’s ginger and lime involved. . . and vodka, don’t forget the vodka.¬† Here’s what you need:

  • 1 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 t. grated fresh ginger
  • 1 T, plus 1 t simple syrup
  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 1 T chopped crystallized ginger

1.  Combine the lime juice and the ginger and let sit for at least an hour.

2.  In a cocktail shaker combine lime juice, ginger, simple syrup, and vodka with ice and shake vigorously.

3.¬† Pour into a martini glass and garnish with the crystallized ginger (I was fresh out so I didn’t add that last bit)

Thought I'd try to get some of the garden in the picture. Pics don't always work out the well I planned. At least the foot of the glass looks clean here ūüôā

Notes — The color may be a little off from what y’all get.¬† The vodka that I use has some Bison Grass in it and the grass gives it a greenish hue.

Happy 1st Blogiversary Jereme’s Kitchen

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Just a quick post / announcement — today is my Blogiversary!!! I can’t really believe it’s been one year already.¬† Hope that I can still try to keep things going!¬† I will probably make some changes to some things, like adding more things to the blog roll or, adding more links, or adding a resource page or two.

And great news — I’ve finally figured out what to do for my anniversary give-away.¬† You’ll have to stay tuned tomorrow when I post what it is (I have to actually go out and pick it up).¬† And it will probably involve Facebook!

And Happy Black Forest Cake Day!

Here are Daisy and Cooper wishing me a Happy Anniversary. As you can tell, they are clearly excited.

March Foodie Holidays

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Here's Daisy and Cooper with this month's holiday announcements!

Happy March everybody!¬† It’s another big month for foodie holidays — including my 1st blogiversary (can’t believe that it’s been a year already, not that that’s a foodie holiday).¬† I was thinking about having an anniversary giveaway but I’m not sure yet.¬† Maybe I’ll post something on Facebook (11 likes so far!¬† check out the bottom of the side menu)!¬† More on that later, but check me out on Facebook anyway.¬† Anyhoo, here’s what we have in store for this month (check out some of these links):¬†¬† Celery Month, Flour Month, Frozen Food Month, Noodle Month, Nutrition Month, Peanut Month, and Sauce Month.¬† Now here are some of the special days that we can celebrate in March:

1¬† Peanut Butter Lover’s Day, Fruit Compote Day

2  Banana Cream Pie Day

3  Cold Cuts Day, Mulled Wine Day

4  Poundcake Day

5  Cheese Doodle Day

6  Frozen Food Day, White Chocolate Cheesecake Day

7  Crown Roast of Pork Day, Cereal Day

8  Peanut Cluster Day, Agriculture Day

9  Crabmeat Day

10  Blueberry Popover Day

11  Oatmeal Nut Waffles Day

12  Baked Scallops Day

13  Coconut Torte Day

14  Potato Chip Day

15¬† Peanut Lovers’ Day, Pears Helene Day

16  Artichoke Heart Day

18  Lacy Oatmeal Cookie Day

19  Poultry Day, Chocolate Caramel Day

20  Ravioli Day

21  French Bread Day

23  Chip and Dip Day, Melba Toast Day

24  Chocolate Covered Raisins Day

25  Lobster Newburg Day

26  Waffle Day (in Sweden), Nougat Day

27  Spanish Paella Day

28  Black Forest Cake Day,  1st Blogiversary!

29  Lemon Chiffon Cake Day

30  Turkey Neck Soup Day

31  Clams-on-the-Half-Shell Day

I have no idea how these two ended up hugging like this. I could just barf it's so cute.

Paczkis Galore!

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Today is Paczki Day!¬† While other folks may be celebrating Mardi Gras or Carnivale, here in the Midwest we have Paczki Day.¬† Well, it might not be particular to the Midwest, because if you live anywhere with a large Polish population, you probably know about Paczkis.¬† But here in SE Michigan, we can’t get enough.¬† According to AnnArbor.com, we here are crazy about paczkis and lead the nation in Google searches about Paczki Day.¬† Personally, I never even heard of a paczki until I started living in Michigan.¬† And thanks to the large Polish population in Hamtramck, MI (which is a city within Detroit), I am hooked!

What's in the box?

But, let me back up a little bit.¬† Some of y’all might not know what a Paczki is.¬† First of all, it’s pronounced POONCH-key or PUNCH-key.¬† These are Polish jelly-filled donuts which are traditionally served the day before Lent, which is the 40 days of sacrifice and penance before Easter.¬† They came about as a way to use up all the lard, butter, sugar, and eggs in the pantry, because if you do celebrate Lent, you won’t be using any of those ingredients for the next 5 1/2 weeks.¬† So, much like Mardi Gras, paczkis are one last indulgence before 40 days of fasting.

Surprise! It's Paczkis!

In the Ann Arbor / Ypsilanti area, probably all over Michigan, you can find local big box grocery stores stocked with them.¬† I even found them as early as the first week of February.¬† At places like these, you can find fillings like strawberry, lemon, or custard, but you probably won’t find the traditional flavors like prune or rosehip.¬† Prune you’re more likely to find, but you have to work to find rosehip.¬† Again, if you don’t know, rosehips are the fruit of the rose.¬†¬† When you leave the rose on the bush (particularly Rugosa roses) and allow it to wither, what eventually develops is a rosehip.¬† They kinda look like those tiny tomatoes you find at the grocery, but on a rose bush.¬† And in case you were wondering, they are very, very, very high in vitamin C.

Paczkis!!!

There are several places around here where you can find some paczkis.¬† All the big grocery stores have them — Kroger, Meijer, and Busch’s — and some other specialty establishments like Plum Market and the renowned Zingerman’s.¬† Normally, I go to Copernicus Deli (where you can find some rosehip), but this year I got my first sampling of the goods from Ypsilanti’s Dom Bakeries.¬† They were already my favorite donut shop in town (their apple fritters are ridiculously good!), but I never thought to stop in for some paczkis.¬† But I’ll be heading to Copernicus this morning anyway to get some rose ones due to a special request from a Michigan ex-pat down in Key West.

Strawberry filling for days

So, if you have a Polish neighborhood in town, be sure to go on a hunt for paczkis today.¬† Better yet, make a trip down to Hamtramck, MI and participate in the festivities throughout the day (I really should work for the Michigan tourist board).¬† Don’t deprive yourself of this yearly event of sweet, deep-fried culture.¬† And be sure to visit me on Facebook — I’m up to 7 likes now!

That's like a bushel of apples in there

February Foodie Holidays

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Punxy Phil is so friendly!

So this is a little late, and I apologize.¬† As I said in my last post, I’ve been having issues with the editing software on here.¬† I did a little adjusting of the settings here and there and I think I’m set.

No pictures of Daisy or Cooper this time.¬† But since Groundhog Day is February 2, I did include some pics from Punxsutawney, PA.¬† We made a stop there on the way moving from Maine back to Michigan.¬† It was a little bit out of the way (well a lot out of the way, and it was especially difficult driving a moving truck on those twisty mountain roads), but I couldn’t resist meeting the famous groundhog!

In addition to Groundhog Day, we celebrate National Cherry Month, National Grapefruit Month, National Hot Breakfast Month, National Macadamia Nut Month, and National Snack Food Month.  Plus we get National Pancake Week during the last week of the month!  Here are some of the fun holidays (along with some links, as always) we have this month:

The origins of Groundhog Day

1 – Baked Alaska Day

3 – Carrot Cake Day

4 – Stuffed Mushroom Day

7 – Fettuccine Alfredo Day

8 – Molasses Bar Day

9 – Bagels and Lox Day

10 – Cream Cheese Brownie Day

11 – Peppermint Patty Day

12 – Plum Pudding Day

13 – Tortellini Day

14 – Cream-filled Chocolates Day, Valentine’s Day

15 – Gumdrop Day

16 – Almond Day

We knocked, but Phil wasn't home. As you can see, this was no where near Groundhog Day when we stopped by.

17 – Indian Pudding Day

19 – Chocolate Mint Day

20 – Cherry Pie Day

21 – Sticky Bun Day

22 – Cook a Sweet Potato Day, Margarita Day

23 – Banana Bread Day

24 – Tortilla Chip Day

25 – Chocolate-Covered Peanuts Day, Clam Chowder Day

26 – World Pistachio Day

27 – Strawberry Day, Kahlua Day!

Have some German Chocolate Cake on Michigan’s 175th Birthday

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Happy 175th Birthday to the State of Michigan!¬† So in honor of Michigan’s birthday today and tomorrow’s National Chocolate Cake Day, I present this German Chocolate Cake.¬† Of course, from what I can discern, the (un)official state cake of Michigan is a German Chocolate Sauerkraut Cake.¬† It’s listed in Warren Brown’s book, United Cakes of America.¬† Now these two cakes are very close — one uses pickled cabbage, the other uses some sweetened coconut.¬† Those two ingredients are readily interchanged in any number of recipes, like kielbasa for example ūüôā¬† See?¬† Virtually the same!

Did you know that German Chocolate Cake isn’t actually German?¬† It was named after Sam German, who developed a type of sweet, dark chocolate for Baker’s Chocolate.¬† This recipe was developed in his honor, using the chocolate that he created.¬† Originally, it was called German’s Chocolate Cake, but that was changed along the way, as things are wont to do.¬† Now this cake wasn’t in my normal rotation, but after a couple of special requests for it, I’ve decided to add it.¬† I couldn’t be happier with the results.

I used a chiffon cake for the base.¬† Chiffon is an oil-based cake that was really popular in the ’40s and people loved it because it stayed so moist.¬† The actual recipe was closely guarded secret until it was sold in the mid or late ’40s and later popularized in those box cake mixes you can find in the grocery store today.¬† So if you ever make one of those cakes from a box mix (ugh!), you will be making a chiffon cake.

So since National Chocolate Cake Day is on the 27th, I’ll be posting on my Orange Devil Cake and my Chocolate Ice cake in the next few days.¬† Stay tuned!

By the way, I got that Michigan birthday cake pic from the State of Michigan website.¬† I’m not sure if they found the image or developed it themselves, but I just wanted to give them a shout out.¬† Happy Birthday Michigan!