About Me

My photo
My friends call me the "grammar goddess." Really. ;-) I own a freelance writing, editing and tutoring business. Previously, I served three years as food editor for The Morning Sun in Mt. Pleasant, which kindled my interest in food writing. My other areas of expertise in writing include features, community news, architecture/construction and engraving/personalization. I have a frightening number of cookbooks and watch too many DIY, HGTV, Food Network, Cooking Channel and Antiques Roadshow (BBC and PBS versions) shows. And I tweak nearly every recipe I make.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Unbelievable Sushi: Ichiban Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar

Last night, I stayed overnight at a friend's house in Ann Arbor. (I had something to cover at 7 a.m. that is quite close to her house, and we'd been trying to get together for a while. It was a fun time and made for a much shorter trip this morning than it would have been from home.)

Neither Jen Halls nor I had eaten dinner yet; she asked how I liked sushi. And we met up at a place just down the road from her called Ichiban Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar on Washtenaw Ave. east of US-23. 

I love sushi, as long as it's cooked. Now some people consider cooked sushi an oxymoron and still others would call me a sissy for not eating sushi with raw seafood. I have tried it and I don't like it. And it was a tuna roll my former office mate Becca dared me to try, if you really want to know.

Even considering my requirements, that still left me with fabulous sushi rolls to choose from at 30 percent off because it was after 7 p.m. (not sure that discount applies on weekends, but you can check). The decor also was quite an experience; we sat in an adorable wooden booth with little curtains. Nice and quiet to talk, in contrast to the show going on in the next room (the steakhouse part, where chefs cook your dinner in front of you in an exuberant, party-like hubbub.

We started off with the Tiger Eye special roll, a spicy California roll and a Philly roll. They were all excellent, but most amazing of all was the Tiger Eye special roll. We got it on a whim because it sounded like an interesting combination of ingredients, including smoked salmon, shrimp, jalapeno pepper, rolled in soybean paper, tempura battered and deep fried with eel sauce. It was, hands down, the best kind of sushi I'd ever eaten. 
Yes, deep-frying sushi sounds kind of odd, but this roll was very thinly battered and not crusty at all. It also still tasted light, as sushi should, and was slightly crisp. 

Then we really went for the gusto and got another Tiger Eye roll. Still fabulous. This wasn't a fluke. Oh, and the total bill was just over $23, excluding tip.

Jen suggested we make the Tiger Eye roll our traditional dinner when we hang out, and I agreed wholeheartedly. Of course, there's still the dessert menu and the whole other fun, loud steakhouse atmosphere to try out, but we'll still start with a Tiger Eye roll. Or two. (She took the photo you see with her phone. It looked even better in person.)

Address: 4641 Washtenaw Ave. Ann Arbor, MI 48108 
Phone: 734-975-0989
website: http://www.ichibanannarbor.com/index.cfm?websiteid=5390
(Note: menu with regular prices is available on the website.)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Is Everything Really Better With Bacon?

Ack. It's been over a month since I've shared anything on this blog. Time flies.

To make up for this lapse, I'm sharing some of my recent, interesting finds.
I've also been on an odyssey trying to discover some neat recipes with bacon, which I think makes everything better. Well, nearly everything. I have yet to try it in desserts. 

I'm going to try the turkey Lil' Smokies recipes with the bacon and brown sugar ... still haven't decided if I'm using low-sodium regular bacon or turkey bacon to wrap the tiny sausages in, though. Here's the recipe I'm thinking of trying, which also uses turkey bacon. It's for a graduation party I'm attending Saturday night. Will let you know how it turns out.

Other interesting-sounding, bacon-heavy recipes include: 

Next up is the Progresso Souper You® Contest. The blog I Like it a Latte, discusses the event details here, so I won't go into exhaustive detail. But three winners will receive a LA-based makeover, including their flights out there, their new look and some new clothes, which is pretty cool.

Enter by going to www.SouperYou.com; entries include submitting a photo and brief essay about why you love Progresso soups and deserve a makeover by Feb. 22. Check the site again for the top 10 finalists March 12 (you can vote for your favorite finalist until March 25).

And now for my final question: wouldn't most (if not all) Progresso soups all taste better with a little bacon? 

Try it and let me know.