Hip bacon — Just in time to rescue bacon from hipster fatigue, Zingerman's co-owner Ari Weinzweig has written Zingerman's Guide to Better Bacon, a deep history of the subject. Want to find out if it sizzles? Weinzweig will celebrate the book's release with a tasting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 1; upstairs in the Next Door Cafe, 422 Detroit St., Ann Arbor; 734-663-3400; reservations recommended.
Salad skills — Hiller's Market is helping its customers make satisfying, nutritious meals at home for less than a Hamilton with their summer in-store "samplings" at noon and 1 and 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 11, for a primer on summer salads at the mini-chain's Ann Arbor store (3615 Washtenaw Ave.; 734-677-2370); free.
Feast of July — Want to celebrate Independence Day, but with independence from cooking and cleanup? At Shiraz, they'll host an affordable Independence Day Feast, featuring a barbecue buffet. It happens 5-8 p.m. Saturday, July 4, at Shiraz, 30100 Telegraph Rd., Bingham Farms; 248-645-5289; call for reservations; adults, $30; children 11 and younger, $16; age 4 and younger, free.
You can follow the travels of Food Network host Guy Fieri with his Diners, Drive-ins and Dives: An All-American Road Trip … with Recipes (William Morrow, $19.95). The show that spawned the book gets Guy into some of the most unusual roadside joints that serve some killer chow. From converted gas stations to rib shacks — and everything in between — he begs for recipes for everything from mac and cheese to chicken fried steaks, all making for fun reading
Julius Reed opened an orange juice stand in Los Angeles in 1926. A few years later his real estate broker came up with a tastier and frothier version. Soon folks were hollering, "Give me an Orange, Julius!" and kids were sucking them down at malls across the country. We like it even better at home. Crush 8 ice cubes in a blender; add 1 cup of orange juice, 3/4 cup of water, 3 tablespoons sugar, 2 egg whites and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and blend until frothy.
For $10, you can pick up a King Kooker jalapeño rack, the perfect tool for any chile lover. Cut the stem off the top of the peppers, remove the seeds and veins, and stuff the hollowed peppers with cheese or whatever — maybe some barbecue sauce. You might wrap them with a piece of bacon. Drop 36 in the holes and put the whole thing on a hot grill. Cover it and in a few minutes and enjoy a great hot treat. This bad boy even includes a pepper corer.
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