Raw power — We note with interest that the Raw Café, Detroit's newest spot for organic cuisine and natural juices, has finally opened in the old home of CPOP gallery. Two weeks ago, it had a soft opening, just for lunch, but we hear they are supposed to stay open for dinner hours. The menu items are inventive too — their "raw pasta" is actually a creative serving of "spaghetti squash," for instance. Drop in to try something fresh for a change, at 4160 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-778-9774; therawcafe.com.
Bottles delivered — Heard about Mad Crush? It's a wine club bearing the imprimatur of Madeline Triffon, a Detroiter, an internationally recognized authority on wine, and the first female certified master sommelier in the United States. Triffon and company promise to comb the world for overperforming wines and deliver them to your door, or as a gift to your friends and colleagues. The three-month, six-month and yearlong memberships can be had for as little as $30 per month, and they include Playful Duo ($30 for a bottle of red and white), Playful All-Red Duo ($30 for one bottle each of two reds), Playful Quartet ($60 for three bottles of red and a surprise), Splurge Duo ($50 for a bottle each of white and red) and Splurge All-Red Duo ($50 for one bottle each of two reds). Learn more by seeing mad-crush.com.
Road trip! — If you didn't imbibe enough at the recent beer fest in Eastern Market, there's an event out in Grand Rapids that may be worth the car fare. The Grand Rapids International Wine & Food Festival will offer more than 1,000 beers, wines, ciders and spirits, almost 200 of them Michigan-made. The event takes place in the Michigan Brewers Guild's Michigan Craft Beer Hall, and will include brews from Ann Abor's Arbor Brewing and Detroit's Atwater, as well as spirits from Ferndale's Valentine Vodka. Expect plenty more from outstate producers at an annual fest that can draw 10,000 people during three days. It all happens Nov. 18-20 in Grand Rapids; for more info, see grwinefestival.com or call 1-800-328-6550.
Faygo-frosted — Fresh off its 103rd anniversary, the Faygo Beverage Company has announced its first-ever tie-in: A deal with Just Baked specialty bakery means that you can snap up cupcakes that use Faygo's official flavored syrups. Right now, they're offered in Red, Grape and Orange flavors, and available at Busch's and Hiller's stores in metro Detroit. To learn more, see justbakedshop.com.
Watch it! — The good people at State Farm Insurance want us to remind you that grease fires and cooking fires double on Turkey Day, and that Michigan ranks fourth in those sorts of mishaps. Don't use too much oil in the fryer, let birds thaw before dunking, keep away from flammables and water, and keep an eye on things, OK?
If the mere thought of cooking intimidates you, Jane Hornby's What to Cook & How to Cook it (Phaidon, $39.95) is the book for you. The first page of each recipe not only lists the ingredients, but also has a full-color photo of them. The user-friendly instructions that follow all have photos too, so if you're going to screw up, you'll find out before the end. There are ethnic recipes such as pad thai and Mediterranean fish stew — and such classics as steak with garlic butter and roast lamb with rosemary potatoes. The simple steps lead to results the will knock you out.
Something like a citrus cola with bittersweet and herbal flavors, San Pelligrino's Chinotto is flavored with the small, bitter citrus fruit that grows on chinotto — also known as myrtle-leaved orange — trees in western coastal Italy. San Pellegrino, the leading Italian beverage company today, claims to have invented chinotto-flavored soda back in 1932. The chinotto fruit is an essential flavor component of most Italian bitters and of the popular Campari aperitif. Accordingly, it works well when mixed with gin, Italian vermouth, fresh lemon juice and ice.
Why'd the chicken cross the road? To lay egg cubes, of course. Absent a cube-laying chicken, there's always the Egg Cuber that creates cubed eggs, odd as that may seem. Peel a warm, hard-boiled egg and pop it into this kooky device. Screw down the top and you'll soon remove an egg that will make folks wonder about an odd-shaped fowl part. Try cooking one wrapped in sausage for a unique Scotch egg. Think about how they fit with the corners of sliced bread for a bacon and egg sandwich. Weird!
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