Game Day Munchies

Butter Beer Cupcakes

This past weekend we hosted a board gaming day for a group of friends. It was potluck so I made turkey and ham sliders, slow cooker hot cocoa, and butterbeer cupcakes. All of the recipes were a hit! Especially the sliders and hot cocoa.

Hot Cocoa Bar

The Slow Cooker Hot Cocoa from Number 2 Pencil was very easy to make. I doubled the recipe since we were expecting 18 people. It was good, but a little too sweet for me especially after I added a shot of butterscotch schnapps (it was a hot cocoa bar!). If I make this again, I would leave out the second can of sweetened condensed milk and maybe all of the granulated sugar.

Ham & Turkey Sliders

The Darn Good Ham and Cheese Sliders from Perfecting the Pairing were ridiculously easy to make. I bought sweet Hawaiian rolls for the ham and cheese sliders and white rolls for the turkey and cheese sliders. I did half of each kind of sandwich with cheddar or provolone cheese. I cut the half a cheese slice in half again and placed one piece on the bottom of the roll and one on top of the meat. I did that all ahead of time. I put all the ingredients for the glaze into a microwave safe container and stored that in the fridge as well. When we were ready to eat, I microwaved the glaze and poured it over the sandwiches before popping them in the over for about 15 minutes or so. Delicious!

Lastly, I finally made something from one of my favorite YouTube channels, Rosanna Pansino’s Nerdy Nummies! I made a double recipe since I was unsure of how many the recipe would make, which was way too many (48!). I also bought heavy cream instead of buttermilk by accident. I ended up using whole milk with a couple of tablespoons of vinegar in place of the buttermilk. I think if I had actually used buttermilk, the cupcakes would have puffed up nicer. Since the cupcakes were so short, I spooned on the butterscotch ganache rather than dipping them and this worked just fine. The were quite tasty and super cute!

Mark’s Carts

Dumplings

I had tried San Street at Mark’s Carts for lunch previously, but Dave had never gone so we tried it for dinner one night. I ordered dumplings from Xdelica and Dave got a sandwich from Simply Spanish.

Dave’s sandwich was billed as the best sandwich in the world which I think is just setting up one for disappointment. Dave liked it, but it wasn’t the BEST sandwich in the world. The bread was nice and crusty, but soft on the inside. It was filled with ham and tomatoes.

On the other hand, the pork dumplings I ordered from Xdelica were delicious! The rice was also good (though I picked around the mushrooms!). Everything was moist and flavorful and while food from the carts can be a bit pricey, my meal came with 10 dumplings as well as the rice and sauce. A good deal at $10.

We’re both eager to try some of the other carts at Mark’s Carts (or just eat more dumplings) in the future.

Blank Slate Creamery

TherBlank Slate Creamerye’s a new ice cream parlor in town, Blank Slate Creamery! The creamery is located on the corner of Ashley and First Street. The property had been numerous things during the years and it’s been fixed up nicely.  All of the ice cream is handmade on site using fresh, local ingredients.

On our first visit to Blank Slate Creamery, I ordered the salty caramel coffee, but I received just salty caramel. No worries though! The salty caramel flavor was delicious. The flavor was slightly more subtle compared to the salted caramel flavor at Kilwin’s, but it was still very good. Dave tried an unusual flavor, malted stout and he really enjoyed it. I’m not a beer drinker, but I tried it and I really liked it too!

We’ve been a second time and I finally got to try the salty caramel coffee! And boy was it worth the wait, it was the best coffee ice cream I’ve ever had. It had loads of coffee flavor and a real depth of flavor as well. The salty caramel was swirled throughout the coffee ice cream. So good! It’ll be tough getting a different flavor on future visits! Dave tried chocolate fudge brownie and it really delivered on the flavor too.

I can’t wait for our next visit!

Coach Insignia at the Ren Cen

detroit

Recently we stayed the Renaissance Center during DetCon, the North American Science Fiction Convention. We had a great time at the convention and we really enjoyed staying in the Ren Cen. On the first evening of our stay, we headed up to the seventy something floor and had drinks and an appetizer at Coach Insignia.

For our appetizer, we tried the short rib arancini, which are balls of risotto stuffed with short rib meat, coated with bread crumbs and then deep fried. It was served with a lovely sauce and a nice little salad. Dave had a blackberry Manhattan and I had a creamsicle martini.

While the food and drinks were good, the view was even better!

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YpsiTasty Local Food Crawl

The Wurst Bar

After hearing good things about last year’s YpsiTasty grub crawl, we were eager to try it this year. The theme was locally-grown food and it benefited Growing Hope. Here’s an overview of what we had at each location organized by what part of town the restaurants are located in. We assumed that each location would have a “taste” of what they were offering and the size of the sample ranged from a small taste to a large portion. We were plenty full when we were all done!

Downtown

  • Bona Sera Cafe – I really enjoyed the caramel gelato, it had great caramel flavor and was nice and creamy. The hibiscus lemonade was refreshing, but the hibiscus flavor was really subtle.
  • Red Rock Downtown Barbecue –  I really liked the smoked Anaheim pepper stuffed with cream cheese and chipotle rub, it was kind of like a non-deep fried jalapeno popper. I would have liked a few more!
  • Terry’s Bakery/Full Flavor Foods – Instead of a baked good from Terry’s Bakery like we were expecting, Full Flavor Foods was selling soup mixes and offered tastes of each of their varieties. Disappointed, we left without trying anything.

Depot Town

  • Ypsilanti Food Co-op – Weirdly enough this was my favorite spot of the night! We had risotto cakes, lemon cake, a slice of banquette with cheese. Everything was really delicious and super flavorful.
  • Sidetrack Bar and Grill – Sidetrack was the most organized and prepared for a large crowd, serving room temperature items including grilled salad wraps (which were just OK) and Caprese bits, which were very tasty.
  • Aubree’s Pizzeria & Grill – Aubree’s didn’t do anything special, they just offered pizza from their pizza buffet. I don’t think they were expecting the volume because we had to wait quite a while for pizza to be brought out.
  • Cafe Ollie – I loved the blueberry scone and the rhubarb shrub soda, it was made with balsamic vinegar so you have to have a taste for the sour/tart flavor of vinegar. I think I was the only one in our group that liked it!
  • Harvest Kitchen – I was going to pass at the Harvest Kitchen as the choices were curried chicken salad or beet, carrot, and cucumber salad and I’m not a fan of curry or beats, but I thought I’d be adventurous. I tired the beet, carrot, and cucumber salad and I actually liked it!
  • Maiz Mexican Cantina – I tried the carnitas toastada (the other option was black-eyed pea and kale soup) and thought it was tasty. They were being made to order, so the wait was a bit long.

North of Depot Town

  • ABC Microbrewery - Not being a beer drinker, I didn’t try any of the beer samples at ABC, though Dave did try two varieties that he hadn’t tried before. I’m totally blanking on which ones they were though!

Campus

  • Tower Inn Cafe – We were too full to try Tower Inn Cafe, maybe some other time!
  • The Wurst Bar – Also one of my favorites of the evening. We enjoyed the mini bratwursts topped with the traditional Chicago dog fixings (pictured above).