Michigan Food Finds


I’m taking off my dietitian hat for a moment and eating a donut. I often sample all types of foods as an advocate for the local food scene. Though, in this case, this is where I repeat the mantra—everything in moderation. So, I’m sampling donuts at Dilla’s Delights with complete joy and no regrets. Once you taste these delicious creations, you will understand.

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Dilla’s Delights is a specialty donut business in the Ashley Building in downtown Detroit. Founder and operator, Herman Hayes, named this donut shop in honor of his nephew James Dewitt Yancey (J. Dilla) who was a musician and producer with passion for donuts, Detroit and music. Right when you walk in the door, it’s easy to recognize that donuts and music are the central theme.

Like most delicious treats, it’s hard to have just one. Therefore, I recommend sharing a variety of donuts. The chocolate cake glazed and the mixed berry fritter was a nice combination. Produced with 100% organic flour and fried in rice bran oil, Dilla’s Donuts are a step above in quality and taste. Uncle Herman makes donuts all night long in Avalon International Bread’s commercial kitchen to be open at 5 in the morning for his customers.

With my dietitian hat back on, my recommendation is a little exercise post-donut consumption. Comerica Park is only a 5 minute walk from Dilla’s Delights and would make the perfect snack right before an afternoon ballgame.

—Pam Aughe, R.D.


Made in Michigan Meat & Cheese Board

Last weekend I took a break from dinner duty. Forgoing the challenge of cooking a meal that tries to please everyone is a welcome change. Although we still are required to eat something and take-out food is underwhelming, I took the opportunity to prepare what my family calls “the meat and cheese board.” What this usually involves is a hard salami, smoked meat or sausage along with a variety of hard and soft cheeses. The add-ons depend on what is available and looks tasty. I use fruit spreads, crackers, olives, nuts or hummus.

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I took great pleasure in making this particular platter because I used only products that were grown or produced in Michigan. Our great state is an agricultural goldmine and it is quite easy to find just what I needed. My Michigan smorgasbord contained three cheeses, two bratwursts, a fig spread, fruit and multigrain bread.

I shopped for all of these products at Argus Farm Stop in Ann Arbor. Argus Farm Stop is a direct-to-consumer market for local producers of vegetables, fruits, meats, baked goods, dairy and artisans. Open since August of 2014, this seemingly small market sells over 100 products from local farms and producers year round. These are all the wonderful products I brought home for dinner:

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As the weather gets warmers and the days get longer, linger on the deck or porch with a glass of wine, good company and your artisan platter. It is a perfect no-cook dinner, yet still a filling, satisfying and local meal.

—Pam Aughe, R.D.

Michigan Food Finds


While patiently waiting to plant vegetables in my outdoor garden, the returning perennial herbs having kept me busy. Fresh thyme and chives have returned bountifully and can be found in many of the foods I prepare. Recently, the tops of the mild oniony fresh chive have a beautiful blossom. I have found a great use for these purple beauties that highlight the onion flavor along with the lovely color—chive blossom vinegar.

Chive Blossom Vinegar

2 to 2 ½ cups chive blossoms

1 clean pint jar with screw top lid

1 ½ cups white distilled vinegar, white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar

Parchment paper or wax paper

Decorative bottle to store flavored vinegar


Fresh chives and blossoms


Place chive blossoms in a bowl of water and stir gently to remove dirt. Remove blossoms with a slotted spoon and place in a colander to drain; shaking gently to remove excess water. Pack blossoms into a clean pint jar; set aside. Heat vinegar in a small saucepan until hot, but not boiling. Pour warm vinegar into pint jar filled with chive blossoms. Press blossoms down with a spoon to immerse in vinegar; cool slightly. Top jar with parchment paper and screw on metal top. Place in a cool, dark place for 2 weeks then strain vinegar into a decorative bottle. Store in a cool, dark place and use within 6 months.





Cooking Note: Use the chive blossom vinegar to make vinaigrette with additional chopped chives from your garden.                                                                                        —Pam Aughe, R.D.



Chive Blossom Vinegar