Memorial Day BBQ for Two

BBQ for Two

We had a pretty low-key Memorial Day. After a busy weekend, we planted our garden in the morning and then enjoyed a BBQ for just the two of us. Our entree was chili cheese and bacon bratwurst from Biercamp. We love Biercamp’s cheddar jalapeno hot dogs, but I’ve been really wanting to try their chili cheese and bacon bratwurst. They did not disappoint! Super flavorful, very juicy, I would definitely get them again. If you haven’t visited Biercamp yet, I highly recommend it. They have a great variety of products and their products are a very good quality.

We served those brats on homemade jalapeño cheddar rolls from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures. We thought the flavor was nice, though Dave would have like it to be a bit stronger, especially the cheese flavor, but the texture was a bit off. It was quite dense and too bready. We prefer the light brioche burger buns from Smitten Kitchen.

For sides, we had grilled Michigan asparagus and tzatziki potato salad from Smitten Kitchen. This is a favorite of mine, though it doesn’t keep very well. Water from the cucumber and the yogurt tends to seep out over time. It’s best eaten the day you make it.

And finally for dessert, another favorite chewy lime sugar cookies, from My Baking Addiction. These are great tasting sugar cookies with a nice, but subtle, lime and coconut flavor. However, mine never puff up as much as the photo on the recipe!

I can’t forget about the cocktails though! We had our first mojitos of the summer. We use the recipe that we got from the farm-to-glass cocktail class offered by Tammy’s Tastings, which she’s offering again this year on July 28 (register here).


  • 1 sprig mint (4-6 leaves)
  • 1/2 large lime, cut into wedges
  • 2 oz light rum
  • 1 oz simple syrup
  • 2 oz club soda

Place mint sprig in the bottom of a cocktail shaker and add the lime wedges on top, this will prevent the mint from becoming bruised as you muddle. Muddle either using a muddler or the end of a wooden spoon, to release the juice from the limes and the oils from the mint. Add rum, simple syrup, and ice. Shake aggressively for 20 seconds or so and strain into a tall glass filled with ice. Top with club soda and garnish with a sprig of mint if desired. Enjoy!

Unity Vibration Kombucha Beer

Unity Vibration Kombucha Beer

I’m not much of a beer drinker. I like cocktails mostly. I like some wine. But I haven’t found a beer that I really like (other than raspberry lambic!). On a whim I bought a bottle of Unity Vibration Kombucha Beer from Arbor Farms. I tried the Triple-Goddess Raspberry and I liked it! It reminded me of the shrubs we made in the farm to table cocktail class last summer. A shrub is a vinegar that has been infused with fruit or other flavors and then is used as a base for a cocktail (or with a little club soda for a non-alcoholic drink). It had a fruity flavor, but a vinegary bite.

Kombucha is a sweet and tart fermented drink that is naturally carbonated. It is made from friendly-bacteria or yeast, which gives the drink it’s fizziness as well as the tart taste. Unity Vibration Kombucha Beer is gluten-free, vegan, organic, and raw and made in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

I’ve also tried the Triple-Goddess Ginger flavor, but I prefered the raspberry and I’d like to try the Triple-Goddess Bourbon Peach sometime. I’m not sure about the KPA, I don’t like bitter flavors and the hops would definitely add some bitterness.

Kombucha Beer is not for everyone. My beer-loving husband and my beer-loving friend both did not care for it. My husband doesn’t really like the taste of vinegar, so I was expecting him not to like it. My my friend loves pickles, so I thought she’d love it, but alas not.

Savco Bar Crawl

At Babo Market

Last week, Dave and I went on a bar crawl to the three Savco locations in Ann Arbor. We started at Sava’s, then we headed over to babo market, and we ended the night at Aventura.

We were given a name badge and a social bingo sheet to get to know the other attendees. Dave and I weren’t really expecting this aspect of the bar crawl, so we were anti-social. LOL We thought we could go from location to location whenever, but we moved as a group. I think one improvement would have been to split the groups in thirds and have us rotate through the three locations. It would make things less crowded, especially at Sava’s where we felt particularly cramped. At each location we enjoyed a cocktail or two as well as light appetizers. It was $35/person which we thought was fair given the amount of cocktails we consumed, but it would have been nice if the appetizers had been more robust.

Savco Bar Crawl

At Sava’s we started with the Churango, a cocktail made with pisco (a South American brandy), melon liqueur, mint, housemade sour, cucumber, and orange blossom water. Dave had tried this drink before and we both enjoyed it. The appetizers were the Mediterranean trio: hummus, tabbouleh, tzatziki served with grilled pita. We finished up at Sava’s with their Ruso Blanco cocktail, a specialty white Russian made with housemade Kahlua, vodka, and vanilla bean ice cream. This was one of my favorites of the night! The housemade Kahlua had wonderful coffee flavor and great depth of flavor, you really could tell the difference between it and standard Kahlua.

We started with a Sunglower cocktail at babo market, which we enjoyed on the patio even though it was a bit chilly out. The cocktail was made with Sutra Dolin Blanc, honeydew melon, soda, and orange. It was very refreshing as was the second cocktail, which I didn’t get the name of, but I did get the ingredients: Lillet, basil, strawberry, and grapefruit Sanpellegrino. For appetizers, there were two kinds of cheeses and two kinds of meat. The Toma cheese was creamy and buttery, whilte the Campo de Montalban was a drier cheese that was a bit nutty in flavor. The meat was Porcheta roasted pork and Prosciiutto di Parmi dry cured ham.

At our final location, Aventura, we had a choice of sangria de tinto, a red sangria (Garnacha, Brandy, Cinnamon, Star Anise, Coriander, Cherry, Pineapple, Pear, Seasonal Fruit) or sangria blanca, a white sangria (Verdejo, Brandy, Cardamom, Fennel, Apricot, Green Peppercorn, Pear, Seasonal Fruit). I really enjoyed the sangria blanca and Dave enjoyed the red, which he thought was quite different from other red sangrias he has had in the past. It was spicy, almost like chilled mulled wine.

The first appetizer was manchego cheese, jamón serrano, and quince paste on a slice of baguette. And the second was candied red peppers and goat cheese also on a on a slice of baguette. We were still hungry so we ordered Patatas Bravas. We had expected Aventura to push us to order more food since it was our last stop, but we had to ask for a menu.

Overall it was a lovely evening and we’d probably do it again!

eat Ann Arbor

Sloppy Yusef

After hearing about takeout from eat from a friend, we finally gave it a go! I was on that side of town for a meeting that ended right before dinner, so it worked out perfectly (I even managed to get out of that TINY parking lot on one try!).

I ordered Dave the Cubano sandwich: pork confit, proscuitto, aged gouda, pickled jalapeño, aioli, and whole grain mustard pressed and grilled on an onion bun. I ordered a sloppy Yusuf, eat’s take on a sloppy Joe: Moroccan spiced ground lamb with cucumber yogurt sauce on an onion bun. Both sandwiches were flavorful and very tasty.

I also ordered the mac and cheese for us to share as a side dish, which was good, but nothing phenomenal. It was also a tad small for the price, which was sold as an entree.

Artini Martini Crawl


A couple of Fridays ago, we attended the Ann Arbor Art Center’s fundraiser Artini with friends. Artini is basically a martini crawl. There are 11 bars and restaurants that participate and you get six tickets, each good for one drink. And martini here is basically a cocktail. The event was sponsored by Pearl Vodka and Gin, so all of the drinks contained a Pearl spirit.

We started at mash with the drink pictured above: blue curacao, cranberry juice, and vodka. And it was disgusting, it tasted just like cold medicine. It was good to start with the worst drink of the night as things went up from there! We also got dinner while we were there, so our stop at mash took a little over an hour while the stops at the other bars were only for 10 minutes or so as we were only there for a drink and were not seated.

Second up was Vinology Wine Bar & Restaurant. The drink was served in a glass (I state this because some places used plastic) coupe, my favorite cocktail glass! It was made with basil-infused vodka, melon-serrano chile simple syrup, and lemon juice. It was garnished with a lemon zest “marble.” This drink was good, but not great, though miles above than the mash attempt! I wanted more heat and flavor from the peppers.

Our third location was Habana. The cocktail was pretty and was made with coriander vodka, black cherry vodka, tamarind, and vanilla liquor. It was a little bitter for me, but overall not bad. After Habana, we went over to Vellum. They definitely win for best garnish, a wedding cake-flavored cake ball! The drink was made with cake-flavored vodka, creme de cacao, and orange liqueur. I had a little of the drink and then ate the garnish, the super sweet garnish make the drink sour tasting so I definitely liked the drink before the garnish better.

Our last two stops were the Alley Bar and Bab’s Underground Lounge. While we’ve been to Bab’s many times before, this was our first visit to the Alley Bar. And we were glad we stopped there! They had our favorite drink of the night and they ended up winning best drink of Artini 2014! It was made with ginger-infused gin, lime cordial, and Sprite (I think, my notes say sprit, whatever that is!). It was so delicious! I’m not usually a gin fan, but it wasn’t really that herbal flavor that I associate with gin. The ginger and the lime worked so well together. I really wanted another! My second favorite drink was at Bab’s, whipped cream vodka, Irish cream, and hazelnut liquor. It was a nice dessert drink to finish the night!