Mackinac Island Cottage Cookbook: Savor Summer All Year Long

Now with summer officially over, we can hold on to the season by savoring can hold on to the season by savoring the Mackinac Island Cottage Cookbook (Touch Down Books 2017; $29.95) written by two former Southwest Michigan residents, Barbara Toms and her daughter Marcia Dunnigan.  For years, their families and friends have been gathering together…

Queretaro: Colonial Charm in the Highlands of Mexico

My first morning in Queretaro, about a 90 minute drive north of Mexico City, I walked along the cobblestone streets in the city’s historic center to the fairy tale castle-like La Casa de la Marquesa, once a private home built in the 1756, now a restaurant and hotel. The menu reflects the vast citrus groves,…

Tiffani Thiessen Pull Up a Chair

  Only six or so when she started helping out in the kitchen, Tiffani Thiessen grew up in a family where dinners were a gathering time to enjoy great cooking and conversations. She upped her game from traditional American fare when she and other stars from “Saved by the Bell” toured in Europe. “It definitely…

Searching for Schweinshaxe: From Heidelberg to Michigan

           My search for started back in 2012 when Frank Buesing of Stevensville, after returning from a trip to Bavaria, wrote asking if I knew where he could find pork knuckles (schweinshaxe in German) in Southwest Michigan. On his trip, his guide had recommended he try some and, liking the dish  so much, he’d…

Hot Chicken Takeover: Good Food & Second Chances

Hot Chicken Takeover hadn’t opened yet and already the line on the second floor in North Market, Columbus Ohio’s super food emporium was about a half hour long. “It’s always like this,” said my friend Kari Van Treuren who was showing me around the city. As an aside, I’d never thought much about Columbus and…

Ann Arbor vibe: Where social consciousness meets creativity

There’s a definite vibe in Ann Arbor — one where social consciousness and creativity converge. And so I mapped out interesting places in the eclectic Westside to immerse myself in all this trendy city has to offer. A first stop is the Selma Cafe, located in the home of Jeff McCabe and his wife, Lisa…

Crazy Sista Cooking: Cuisine & Conversation with Lucy Anne Buffet

When my daughter was in high school, I drove her and a friend down to Gulf Shores, Alabama for spring break. While we were there, a friend insisted we go to Lucy Buffet’s Lulu’s Gulf Shores, a bayside beach restaurant. I was pretty sure, no make that positive, that this would be some kind of…