Food Stuff

Up there Speaking of far-off destinations, we received a friendly reminder from Leelanau Wine Cellars that they'll be hosting their Harvest "Stompede" Weekend. Want a way to burn off those carbs and wine-borne calories? Their 5- and 15-kilometer runs and walks will fit the bill nicely, and will be followed with the Harvest Stompede Wine Trail Tasting (Sept. 22-23), where one may sample wines, gourmet pastas and other culinary treats from the 13 wineries of the Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association. Advance tickets required. For more information, see

Slow lit Royal Oak's Vinotecca will host the inaugural meeting of Slow Food Detroit's book club, a literary column in Slow Food's campaign to reconnect the community with its local heritage. The first selection is Russ Parson's How to Pick a Peach, with future selections to be made collectively by book club participants. Vinotecca will furnish a Slow Food-inspired menu selection for participants to purchase optionally. Their regular extensive wine offerings and menu will also be available.

Across the street, Barnes & Noble will stock copies of the book club's selection, and has offered Slow Food members a 20 percent discount on book club selections. The first meeting will begin at 7 p.m. on Sept. 20 and is open to the public. For more information about Vinotecca, please visit For more information on Slow Food Detroit, visit

Eat the Page

Sure, plenty of fast food tastes good. But precious few of us swear by it as a cure-all, and those who can resist it will likely live longer. Nevertheless, In Fast Food Fix: 75+ Amazing Recipe Makeovers of Your Fast Food Restaurant Favorites (Rodale Books, $14.95), Devin Alexander offers recipes that aim to satisfy our cravings with recipes for slightly kinder and gentler Big Macs and nacho supremes. Other recipes cover Kentucky Fried Chicken's "popcorn chicken" and Popeye's "Cajun-battered fries," all with their fat and calories "reduced." Hey, if it tastes like the real thing, this will be a best seller.

A Tasty Beverage

Historically, Imperial stout was brewed in England for the courts of the Russian czar. This was a dark and roasty beer, stiff with alcohol not only to survive the long voyage into Asia but warm an emperor's body and soul once it arrived. The Old Brewery at Tadcaster makes the benchmark — Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout. It's a dreamy drink of chocolate syrup freely poured over baked berries, anis wafer cookies and a spoon of vanilla ice cream. Despite the massive flavor Sam Smith's is versatile. Savor one with a cigar, stilton or oysters.

It Works

Don't Break the Bottle is a wine puzzle — that to say, it's a puzzle especially for the wine drinker in a hurry, perhaps one who wants to keep the buzz going. Consisting of a few pieces of wood, some beads and a bit of rope, this seemingly simple device is guaranteed to frustrate your guests when they realize that it's not as easy as it looks to free the bottle that is tightly enclosed in the parts. Detailed instructions offer the solution, but the fun is watching the frustrated partygoer who can't wait for the solution.

Know of any new restaurants, special dinners or food-related events? Let us know. Send comments to [email protected]

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