French treat — Josephine Crêperie & Bistro is hosting one of their end-of-the-month dinners, and this time the theme is "April in Paris." It's five sumptuous courses for $30 per (plus tax, tips, drinks). At 241 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; call 248-399-1366 for reservations.
Niki's 2.0 — Anybody who's spent time in downtown Detroit knows that Niki's Pizza is a good place to get a quick slice or two. But what a remodel they've had? After closing for a week, they've reopened in grand style, with marble flooring, attractive booths and lots of wood tones. See for yourself, at 735 Beaubien St., Detroit; 313-961-4303.
Cheese it! — The folks at Traffic Jam & Snug's dairy department are gearing up to host a cheese-making workshop, giving us the opportunity to make Asiago, with plenty of scheduled breaks to enjoy the restaurant's house-made bread, beer and ice cream. It all happens 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, April 24; it's at 511 W. Canfield St., Detroit; workshop is $60; reserve your spot by e-mail ([email protected]) or by calling 313-872-2202, ext. 207.
What's good about Southern baking has been captured in Classic Southern Desserts: All-Time Favorite Recipes for Cakes, Cookies, Pies, Puddings, Cobblers, Ice Cream & More (Oxmoor House, $29.95) by the editors of Southern Living Magazine. Thumb through this book's mouthwatering photos and you won't know what to bake first: cookies, cakes, old-fashioned pies, cheesecakes or frozen desserts. The luscious-sounding "Buttered Rum Pound Cake with Bananas Foster Sauce" takes some time, but is not otherwise difficult.
Located near an ancient buffalo crossing on the banks of the Kentucky River, Buffalo Trace Distillery stands as the oldest distilling site in the United States. With a nose full of pecans, peaches, driftwood and marshmallow, their flagship brand, Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon, was the clear champion of a recent blind tasting pitted against more expensive and popular bourbons. Sweet in the middle with a slightly dry finish it makes both a nice sipping whiskey and a quality julep.
Any chef worth his salt will tell you not to overbeat batter because it will toughen it. But how do you keep a light touch when your flour is always clumping and sticking on the mixing tool? The folks at King Arthur Flour, established in 1790, sell a flour dough whisk for $14.95 that eliminates the problems by cutting through cookie dough and sliding off bread dough. This is not a stand mixer or a food processor, but it's inexpensive and easy to clean and store.