Sunday Brunch

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Croque Madame

Brunch is the best leisurely event that happens on a Sunday. Yes, football fans, it’s even better than the all American tradition of Sunday football. What could be better than being able to enjoy a decadent, midday meal that also comes with an adult beverage? Ok, that sort of describes watching football, but being immersed in brunch doesn’t involve cooking for anyone.

I enjoyed brunch this week at The Laundry in Fenton. Opened in August of 1997 as a small deli and bakery, The Laundry focused on great breads, desserts and specialty sandwiches. The Laundry of today looks quite different with an expanded dining space, a liquor license and a microbrewery facility. Though, the atmosphere and quality of excellence has always stayed the same.

The Laundry is now considered one of the best breakfast spots in America according to Thrillist.  I totally agree with them, the food is so delicious. We started with a beverage and went super traditional with a mimosa—conventional but a fun beverage to have with a good friend. I’ve heard all about their infamous Bacon ‘n Brie Hotcakes but, again, I went a little old school with the Croque Madame. Salty applewood smoked ham, sweet house-made raspberry preserves in between thick slices of French toast all topped with an over-easy egg—just dreamy.

Room in our bellies for nothing else but stellar company and delightful conversation, our brunch came to an end. The good news is my good friend and I will meet again in four weeks, as we always do, to eat, drink and catch up on our lives. Should we try another brunch venue or meet up for dinner or a glass of wine? So many options for good food here in Michigan, any suggestions? —Pam Aughe, R.D.

 

The Local Sandwich

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House-made Pastrami Sandwich

My first attempt at home curing was with Monty’s Beef Company Brisket. Cured for 7 days then slow cooked in the oven, this pastrami sandwich could challenge some of Michigan’s finest deli sandwiches.

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Thinly sliced and slightly warmed pastrami was placed on Russo Bakery marble rye and topped with McClure’s Sweet and Spicy Pickles and Backwoods Mustard—all Michigan products for the perfect local sandwich. Delicious and worth the wait!

Fresh Food Share

Pam

Why do we volunteer? Everyone seems to have their own reasons —to meet people, learn a new skill or connect with their community. Whatever our motivation, what unites us all is the positive feeling volunteering generates. According to Psychology Today, volunteering decreases stress and improves mood. So it makes sense to volunteer just because it feels good.

My most recent volunteer experience was at Gleaners Community Food Bank with their Fresh Food Share program. Fresh Food Share is a community based produce delivery program that for a small fee provides a box of fruits and vegetables each month. Each group of volunteers prepares and packs boxes that are delivered to sites in Detroit, Hamtramck, Highland Park and Pontiac. Our group packed over 200 boxes of assorted fruits and vegetables to 200 households in Detroit and Pontiac.

Every box contains high quality, nutritious fruits and vegetables that are purchased wholesale often from local farmers. Increasing access to local fresh food is a no brainer to improve the health of our communities. And, as a dietitian, I always recommend eating more fruits and vegetables as part of an overall healthy diet.

Volunteering at Gleaner’s Fresh Food Share program was a perfect match for me. Where can you help out in your community? Check out volunteering opportunities near you with http://www.volunteermatch.org.

Perfectly Cooked Carrots

Adapted from Fresh Food Share Newsletter, January 2016

Try a simple, fresh method for cooking this widely available root vegetable. Consumed hot as a side, cold in a salad or pureed as a soup, cooked carrots are highly nutritious and adaptable to many recipes.

1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced ½-inch thick

1 ½ tablespoons olive oil

1 clove garlic, crushed

Heat a small sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add oil, carrots and garlic. Cover and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 to 10 minutes. Discard garlic clove. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and additional olive oil as desired.

Cook’s Note: Double the amount of cooked carrots, sauté 5 to 10 minutes longer (or until very soft), place in a blender and puree with vegetable stock to desired consistency. Serve as a soup topped with chives and sour cream.