Food stuff 

NUMEROUS NIBBLES

Had a blast at the Comerica TasteFest but still hungering for more gourmet tidbits? Head over to Windsor for the Windsor/Detroit Tunnel Festival Epicure.

Dubbed a "celebration of regional food, wine and music," the weekend-long event features treats from 28 food and beverage exhibitors, including the Walkerville Brewing Company, four Ontario wineries and numerous Windsor-area restaurants. Sample goodies from The Olde Fish Market, Farron’s Gourmet Butcher Shop, Nuccelli’s Frozen Yogurt, Pitt for Pasta, Chanoso’s and many more.

While you’re nibbling and noshing, you can also listen to music by, among others, Alexander Zonjic and Friends, the Imperial Swing Orchestra, Bonne Temps Roulle and Eight Guys Named Moe.

Festivities get under way at Windsor’s Civic Terrace on the Riverfront at 4 p.m. on Friday, July 9, and run until 1 a.m. the next morning. On Saturday, July 10, events begin at noon and carry on until 1 a.m., and Sunday’s program runs from noon until 11 p.m. For further information, call the festival hotline at 519-971-5005, or visit www.festivalepicure.com.

SMOKE-FREE EATS

If you’re a non-smoker, or just don’t like the way secondhand cigarette or cigar smoke flavors your food, check out the new Michigan Guide to Smoke-Free Dining, published by the Michigan Citizens for Smoke-free Air. It lists more than 2,500 Michigan restaurants that are especially designated non-smoking, organized alphabetically by city. For your own copy, call 248-547-2600, visit www.smokefreemich.org, or e-mail mcsfa@flash.net.

MERLOT MNEMONIC

Next time you wake up and can’t remember the name of that great wine you had last night, think about this: The Unique Restaurant Corporation now offers a handy way of noting all your favorite wines. The URC Wine Card, created by the URC’s master sommelier, Madeline Triffon, is a handy wallet card where you can note the name, vintage and characteristics of all the great wines you encounter. Much handier than wrinkled-up scraps of paper or half-torn labels. Ask about it at any URC restaurant.

BETTER BBQ-ING

Love barbecuing, hate slopping sauce down onto the coals? So did Al Flores and Glenn Cox, two barbecuing buddies from Livonia and Trenton, respectively. Together, they invented the BBQ Basting Buddy, a handy gadget that’s half pastry brush, half turkey baster, and all useful when it comes to smearing your favorite barbecue sauce on that sizzling slab of tofu or whatever else you’ve got on the grill.

The invention, which attaches to the mouth of any standard barbecue sauce bottle, has a one-way valve that keeps the sauce flowing out, not in (so no meat juices contaminate it). It’s dishwasher safe, and has a handy cap for when it’s not in use.

You can find the Basting Buddy at any Westborn Market, or by mail from Uneek Enterprises Inc., 19548 Hilllcrest, Livonia 48152, for $6.95 plus $3.50 shipping and handling.

WEIRD TREAT

Naturally, the first appliance you think of when you want a milkshake is the microwave, right? The fine folks at United Dairy Farmers think so. Two new frozen flavors of Micro Shake are now available – Butterfinger and Cookies ’n’ Cream. Hey, who has time to waste over a hot blender?

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