Food Stuff 

SNOW FUN — At this year's "Detroit Winter Blast" (Feb. 6-8), you're encouraged to leave your snacks at home and "Dine in the D." For this celebration of the city's dining scene, restaurants have banded together to offer patrons a 15 percent discount during the whole frost-filled weekend. The deal encompasses eateries in Mexican-town (Los Galanes, El Barzón), Corktown (Slows Bar B Q, Baile Corcaigh), Midtown (Traffic Jam & Snug, Cass Café), downtown (Coach Insignia, Seldom Blues) and Eastern Market (Vivio's, Roma Café). Fortify yourself for the wintery fun, or work up your appetite with an ice slide and ice skating. Learn more at and enter to win a chance to "Dine in the D" free for a year.

SCOTCH TREAT — Enjoy an assortment of Glenlivet Scotch at a special dinner at D'Amato's in Royal Oak. In the company of Glenlivet "ambassador" Winston Evans, a generous array of scotches, including varieties aged for 12 to 21 years, will be paired with an ensemble of dishes as only D'Amato's can prepare. At 222-224 S. Sherman Dr., Royal Oak; 248-584-7400;; $60 per person plus tax and tip; reservations required.


Now that we're all scared of carbs, the time may be right for Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, With Recipes (Ten Speed Press, $32.50), Jennifer McLaglan's ode to fat. After reading the book, fat may strike you as a luxuriant coating that will bring out meat's essence: flavor. Without fat, meat has very little flavor. (Think Delmonico vs. tenderloin.) And McLaglan extols the indispensable benefits that fat provides. Combining knowledge with many recipes, this book could render you a believer in fat.


Black tea from the Fujian province in China, Lapsang Souchong is one of the more unusual teas you'll come across. Dried in bamboo baskets over burning conifer, it is redolent of sap and smoky campfires. These aromas — combined with the sweet and tangy liquor — create a sip reminiscent of the wet decay of a cedar forest. A quality Lapsang Souchong is a transcendent drink for those of us captivated by all things smoked. It's also handy in the kitchen for flavoring everything from vegetarian stew to oven-baked ribs.


Forget the parchment paper. Forget pastries stuck to baking sheets. And forget the pain-in-the-ass cleanup. Silpat, the original nonstick baking mat, resists any and all sticky foods. From cinnamon rolls to toffee, Silpat defies it all, claiming to be reusable thousands of times at temperatures as hot as 475 degrees. Cleanup is a cinch. Wipe it down with hot water and dish soap, rinse and dry. Food-grade, silicon-based, it is approved by the FDA and it is even certified kosher. It's available at cookware stores for about $20.

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