Thursday, November 11, 2010

Yellow Door Pumpkin Bash is this Sunday!

It's finally here! A delicious, divine event featuring pumpkins galore. The Yellow Door Pumpkin Bash is this Sunday, November 14, at Free Methodist Church on Werkner Road in Lyndon Township from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

There's still a chance to RSVP. Send us an email to let us know you're coming. Then, on Sunday, bring a pumpkin dish -- traditional or totally unique -- to share and serve 10 to 14 people. Be sure to use as many local ingredients as possible, especially the pumpkin! Also bring a serving utensil, your recipe to share and a $10-15 donation to benefit the Chelsea Community Kitchen.

Arrive at 4:30 p.m. to nibble on pumpkin pizza pies and sip pumpkin juice. At 5:00 p.m., we'll dig in to an assortment of pumpkin appetizers, soups, main dishes, side dishes and desserts. Taste, sample, and devour the yummy dishes. Vote for your favorites!

The Yellow Door Pumpkin Bash is a super way to savor the season!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pumpkin pizza & more at November 14 Pumpkin Bash

The scoop:

What? Yellow Door Pumpkin Bash... come get squashed! Bring a favorite or first-time-ever-made-this pumpkin dish. Must use Michigan pumpkins. (Easy to do with a zillion pumpkin farms a pumpkin throw away!)

Sunday, November 14

What time? 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Where? Free Methodist Church on Werkner Road in Lyndon Township

At 4:30 p.m. on November 14, come nibble on pumpkin pizza pies and sip some pumpkin juice.

Then, dig in at 5:00 p.m. on an assortment of pumpkin appetizers, soups, main dishes, side dishes and desserts. Taste, sample, and devour the yummy recipes featuring local pumpkins and other fresh ingredients. Vote for your favorite dishes in fun categories (see below).

Coffee, tea, and cider will be provided with beautifully set tables as the accent. All you need to do is bring your dish to serve (for 10-14 people), a serving utensil, your recipe to share and a $10-15 donation. (Net proceeds benefit Chelsea Community Kitchen.)

Bring your dish, taste a bounty of pumpkin dishes and vote for your favorites! Potential dish categories include*:

  • Best ingredient combo that we wouldn't have thought of in a million years
  • Most dramatic presentation
  • Reminds us most of Grandma's dishes
  • Takes the meaning of squash to a whole new level
  • * Submit your own category!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Get Squashed at Yellow Door Pumpkin Bash: November 14

Tis the season for pumpkins! So come get squashed at Yellow Door's Pumpkin Bash on November 14. Bring a pumpkin dish to pass and a recipe to share. Bake your favorite tried-and-true, or get nutty with a new dish. Everyone is welcome!

When? November 14
Time? 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Where? CCK's kitchen location @ Free Methodist Church on Werkner Road in Lyndon Township, just a wee bit north of downtown Chelsea

A donation is suggested to support Chelsea Community Kitchen. All proceeds benefit the CCK! More details to come.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Yellow Door is closed -- for now

Thursday breakfast at Yellow Door is on hiatus. So, dear friends, please visit other favorite downtown Chelsea breakfast destinations like Zou Zous, Pierce's Pastries and Gourmet Chocolate Cafe on Thursday mornings. Do not walk into Yellow Door... for Yellow Door is closed for now...

So, no dangling, artsy fork and spoon will be hanging outside Yellow Door... no fork, no spoon, means no breakfast is being served.

We know; it's all a bit sad. Cheer up, though, buckeroos, we are kicking around some new ideas for Yellow Door and hope to share these thoughts soon. If you have a superb location and a yearning desire to host Yellow Door, a farm-to-table initiative ignited by passionate Chelsea-area folks, let us know! Send us an email and we'd love to chat:

Monday, September 20, 2010

September 23: Everyone gets a yellow market bag for One Year Celebration

A year ago, a little seed was planted after a visit to SELMA Cafe in Ann Arbor. (Read cool, recent article about SELMA here.) Jane and Janice proposed the same crazy idea for Chelsea: a weekly breakfast fundraiser to (1) cook up local ingredients and share farm resources with Chelsea residents and (2) raise funds for a nonprofit organization to grow agriculturally-minded businesses from the farm up. More than $10,000 was raised in one year. The new Chelsea Community Kitchen was the recipient of the goodwill and net proceeds.

A little group of volunteers who repeatedly expressed, "We think we can, we think we can..." bonded together to keep Yellow Door truckin' for a year. A garden was planted by 7 Dirty Virgins and, along with dedicated promoters, shoppers, cooks, servers, greeters, Flos, silverware organizers and cleaner-uppers, Yellow Door presented Thursday delicious dishes for the Chelsea community.

Now, it's time to celebrate Yellow Door's one year of, "We did it!" Everyone who comes for breakfast gets a yellow market bag, big enough for leftovers, your mutt Millie and a bushel of apples. Dress code: yellow, if you have it. Casual, as always. No RSVPs required.

The BIG Breakfast REVEAL for Thursday's 1st Anniversary Celebration:

Peachs N' Cream Stuffed French toast
  • Stuffed with local cream cheese
  • Topped with homemade peach preserves
  • Michigan maple syrup
  • Calder Farms butter
  • Homemade crème fraiche
  • Bacon
Pork Shoulder and Sweet Potato Hash with Fried Egg

  • Spicy roasted red pepper sauce
  • Brown butter thyme cornbread
  • Apple slice garnishes

Pumpkin Bread and Yogurt Smoothie

Beverages: Local apple cider and grape juice; coffee & tea

Ingredients from:
  • Greystone Creamery
  • Calder Dairy
  • Ernst Farm
  • Tantre Farm
  • Kapnick Orchard

Friday, September 17, 2010

Come one, come all to Yellow Door's One-Year Breakfast Bash

What? Yellow Door's 1 year Anniversary
When? September 23 - Next Thursday
Where? You know... and if you don't, get in touch. All are welcome. No RSVPs needed.
Time? 7:30 to 9:30 a.m.
Celebrity chefs: Yellow Door Initiators-Creators-Geniuses, Jane and Janice, are cooking in the kitchen
Other scoopage: wear yellow... overhead at planning meeting: giveaways (including a Lunasa membership or two) / yellow napkins / peach bread pudding

Friday, September 10, 2010

Homegrown Festival: Saturday, September 11

Celebrate harvest time at tomorrow's Homegrown Festival in Ann Arbor. The fun, lively fest on Saturday, September 11, features farmers and producers and their delicious fare. Yellow Door, Chelsea Community Kitchen and Lunasa will be sharing a table at the festival. Look for Jane and Dawn among the posse of people.

The festival is a celebration of local food. Children activities, live music and happy people -- some of whom will be getting their "happy on" with Michigan beer and wine -- round out the day's offerings. Sample heirloom tomatoes and other fresh treats.

Go to for more details.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Volunteer, eat free and earn a yellow market bag that can carry your dog around (it's that big!)

Every time you volunteer at Yellow Door, you dine free! Commit to four volunteer days at one time and earn a yellow market bag that is airy and light -- until you fill it with goodies from the farmers markets or your best canine friend. Email Janice at and let her know you wish to volunteer.

Skills we're seeking? Willingness. Awesome attitude. Friendliness. A good hearty laugh is always a bonus. Oh, and we have duties, like shopping, cooking, food prepping, greeting, serving and washing/drying dishes. We need tidy-uppers after breakfast and Flo, who flows between the greeter and kitchen, welcoming guests and ensuring mugs are filled and silverware is provided.

Don't miss our One-Year Celebration on September 23!

At this point, we know there will be great food... and great people volunteering and eating. We encourage you to wear your brightest yellow when you dine with us on September 23. Details to follow soon... very, very soon...

New September Menu -- features whitefish, raspberry, watermelon and more!

  • Frittata with green beans and cheese, minted watermelon and red onion salad, pumpernickel toast
  • Multigrain pancakes with warm peach and raspberry compote, whipped cream, sausage patties
  • Smoked whitefish mousse on pumpernickel toast (chopped tomato and dill garnish), cucumber soup, watermelon salad
  • Yogurt with peaches and raspberries, chocolate zucchini bread
  • YD Small Plate: Egg over easy, sausage, watermelon salad, pumpernickel toast or chocolate zucchini bread

Chelsea Community Kitchen News

September 9, 6:00 p.m.
Ignite Chelsea @ Chelsea Clocktower

Come out to hear super-brief (5 minutes!) presentations on topics relating to Chelsea wellness and local initiatives. CCK is selling salads and desserts as a fundraiser. Bring tons of fives and ones and savor yummy delicious foods from the CCK.

September 21, 7:00 p.m.
City of Chelsea Planning Commission Public Hearing

CCK is seeking permission to open a second (yes, second!) incubator kitchen in the Chelsea First United Methodist Church on Park Street. Come out to support the CCK!

October 19 - 7:00 p.m.
CCK Board of Directors' Annual Meeting

The first hour will be devoted to celebrating CCK's first year as an organization with supporters like the YD volunteers and contributors.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Meet Volunteer Extraordinaire Janice

Janice Ortbring gets the title of Volunteer Extraordinaire for her extreme Yellow Door volunteerism. Together with hubby Todd, Janice opens her home every Thursday and her home becomes, essentially, Yellow Door. Indeed, her yellow front door inspired this local foodie hangout's moniker.

Janice (and Todd) own Edgar Norman Creative, a creative agency based in Chelsea. A fan of everything Chelsea, Janice shares some of her most intimate thoughts... on volunteering.

So, Janice, why do you volunteer at Yellow Door?

The community. I love seeing happy faces gather around the doors (the Yellow Door tables). I enjoy telling and listening to stories, meeting new friends and, of course, eating! It's also fun when musicians show up!

Do you have any words of wisdom to share with others about getting involved?

Just do it! It feels like hanging out with friends, both new and old. Invest as much time as you can afford, learn about food and food sources, and help improve the process. The more, the merrier at Yellow Door!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Taste late summer's harvest in Yellow Door's featured August menu

Chilly autumn air is around the bend, so what a great time to passionately savor late summer's grand harvest. Our Yellow Door menu for August captures the essence of what summer is all about: sweet, sweet corn, juicy, mouth-watering peaches and summer-at-its-best cantaloupe. Come eat with us this Thursday:

* Frangipane-peach brioche tart and crème fraiche and bacon
Featured growers/producers: Wolfe Orchard peaches, Westwind Milling Co. flour, Back Forty Acres eggs, Calder cream, Ernst Farm bacon

* Corn fritters with fried egg and sauteed Swiss chard-tomato salad (walnuts, blackberries with Fustini blackberry balsamic dressing, oil, salt pepper) and crème fraiche and bacon
Featured growers/producers: Tantre Farm corn, Westwind cornmeal, Yellow Door garden chard, Brines Farm tomatoes, Wolfe Orchard berries, Fustini dressing, Calder cream, Ernst Farm bacon

* Corridor pate, cantaloupe, Millpond toast points, Greystone Manchego, Swiss chard-tomato salad
Featured growers/producers: Corridor sausage pate, Goetz Farm melon, Kapnick bread, Greystone manchego

* Yogurt sweetened with honey, peaches and blackberries, granola
Featured growers/producers: Thomas’ yogurt, Bobilin honey, Wolfe Orchard peaches, Ed’s granola

Monday, August 2, 2010

Yellow Door is open this Thursday!

Yellow Door is back in the original, homey destination near downtown Chelsea this Thursday, August 5. The fork and spoon shall be hangin' by the yellow door, starting at 7:30 a.m.

Chef Alan Merhar of Evans Street Station (of Tecumseh) is preparing a seasonal dish sure to tantalize the taste buds. The rest of the menu is equally fresh, surprising and tantalizing... and, well, surprising....

Come and be surprised! (It's our way of saying that we're still whipping up the menu!)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Closed this Thursday /Open next Thursday, August 5

See you at Sounds & Sights Festival this week. Check out all the scheduled activities at:

Next week, we're soooo excited to be back under the original Yellow Door roof and behind the actual yellow door for Thursday, August 5, breakfast. Chef Alan Merhar of Evans Street Station (of Tecumseh) is joining us in the Yellow Door kitchen. His dishes always comprise the freshest fruits and veggies of the season. We'll post his Thursday menu soon.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Eat local wherever your "local" is at the moment

Juicy, red raspberries, wild blueberries and oh-so-fresh lobster. Dorothy, we're not in Michigan anymore. A two-week road trip to Acadia National Park included dining on mussels, freshly boiled lobster, wild blueberry pie and, eaten by my daughter, the local favorite, "Whoopie Pie." On the return trip home, we ate Vermont cheese, chocolate and maple syrup, took in the Ben & Jerry's icecream tour and stopped at two farmsteads where local cheese, raw milk, maple syrup and granola are produced, and grass-fed cows and free-range chickens pluck at lush, green hillsides. (Incidentally, the creamery owner is from Marquette, Michigan, and a graduate of Ferris State University.)

Apparently, we are not the only Michiganders to travel to Maine this summer. In addition to running into my daughter's schoolmate twice, and Chelsea resident and Yellow Door diner Kathy Mueher and her husband on a whale boat tour (sorry if I butchered your last name, Kathy!), we ran into Michiganders at every point of interest. We Michiganders love our outdoors!

It's fun to experience other local foods and points of interest (anyone been to the world's largest nickel before in Sudbury, Ontario?). It's so, so, so nice to be home, though. After touring several eastern states these past two weeks (and having experienced many western states before), I can honestly say Michigan is one of the most beautiful states in our country. We're surrounded by rich agriculture and four of the five Great Lakes. Chelsea is a charming gem of a community. Give thanks for all the goodness surrounding us!

Friday, July 9, 2010

What is Yellow Door?

Yellow Door is an *underground* breakfast destination* in Chelsea, Michigan, which is open every Thursday from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Dishes are prepared with fresh-from-the-farm ingredients. Your donation of $10-15 for breakfast benefits Chelsea Community Kitchen, a training center and incubator for food entrepreneurs.

Yellow Door is completely run by volunteers. Volunteers are the heart of Yellow Door. Our volunteers donate an hour (or many hours) to ensure communication, shopping, menu planning, food prepping, cooking, greeting and serving seamlessly occurs each week. Interested in volunteering? We'd love your involvement. Email us at:

What (and who) else do we love? ('Cause we're full of it.) We love to feature *celebrity* chefs in the Yellow Door kitchen. What do we mean by celebrity? Celebrity is anyone who can cook up a sigh-inducing, I love Michigan for its agricultural bounty dish. Your Grandma may be a kitchen whiz with eggs. Or, maybe your neighbor makes the best breakfast pasties this side of the Big Mac. Super. Contact us! And, yes, we feature chef celebrities like Chef Craig from Common Grill and Paul Cousins, both renowned for their stylish dishes bursting with panache, as well as local flavors. (Hmmm... we'd love to have you both back soon in the Yellow Door kitchen!) You see, we love a variety of celebrities. Get in touch with us today.

* We're not really under the ground. (Geezzzz, breakfast underground? A little too dark and damp for me. We're hush-hush in regard to location. Hint: we're close to downtown Chelsea.)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

New online store makes buying local easy

LUNASA…making local easy. With seeds sown in the Raisin River Co-op, the Chelsea Community Kitchen and the Yellow Door, Jane Pacheco and Dawn Thompson are making it easy to buy local. Jane and Dawn are both proponents of celebrating Michigan’s bounty and eating local foods, but know the difficulty in trying to buy everything local throughout the year. They have now put together an online storefront called Lunasa (loo-nah-sah), a name derived from the annual Celtic celebration of the harvest.

e and Dawn are working around the clock to line up farmers and producers to create a one-stop online shop for local Michigan products. Twice a month, producers will upload their products to and then members order and pay for their purchases online. Producers and members then meet every second and fourth Tuesday each month to make the exchange.

As a Lunasa member you will have the opportunity to order what you want, when you want it. If a producer has it listed as available online and you order it, it's as if they will be picking it, baking it, or processing it just for you. You can customize your order every time you log in and personally shop from a variety of local Michigan producers of meats, eggs, dairy, produce, maple syrup, honey, beverages, and household items such as natural soaps. All products are made in Michigan and brought to you in person by the producer of the product to the Lunasa warehouse on market day.

To become a member of Lunasa, you purchase an online $40.00 annual membership beginning July 1, 2010. Membership gives you access to producers of local goods, year round, through an online order system and an in-person distribution transfer location. Other benefits of membership include connecting with local producers, meeting new people through the market, building confidence in your purchases, contributing to the health of the local economy, and the overall feeling that you've done something to make a difference in your community.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Give a hand: please volunteer to keep Yellow Door going

Yellow Door exists because of volunteers. We have amazing guest chefs (such as Craig Common of Common Grill, Barbara Wilson of Mindo Chocolate, Paul Cousins, Annie and Paul of the Ann Arbor Community Garden and our Yellow Door regulars), stellar hosts in Janice and Todd, shoppers in Dawn and Jane, prep cooks and day cooks in Deb, Jane, Dawn, Judy and others.

Debi ensures we have volunteers at Yellow Door cooking, serving, greeting and cleaning. Janet helps behind the scenes with ensuring linens are cleaned, and she pitches in on clean-up duty. Angie manages the financials and donations, greets and serves. Mully greets, serves and offers sage advice to the 7 Dirty Virgin gardeners who grow veggies for Yellow Door. Sharon (that would be me) sends the weekly newsletter, updates the Yellow Door blog, snaps photos and serves. Bernadette and Lisa are great on clean-up duty, and a handful of others chip in as their schedules permit. Every effort is so very much appreciated --- and needed to make Yellow Door run! It's because of volunteers that Yellow Door has raised $10,000 and the Chelsea Community Kitchen is benefiting from the net proceeds of this fund-raising effort!

Last fall, Yellow Door was launched to connect community members, introduce fresh Michigan agriculture and raise money for Chelsea Community Kitchen. If we can grow our volunteer foundation, we're sure to keep Yellow Door open and the community spirit alive for in-season Michigan breakfasts. Become part of the team. Email us at:

Yellow Door in new location in July

Our usual, much-loved Yellow Door location is undergoing renovation in July. Some of our gracious volunteers are hosting Yellow Door at least once, possibly twice and maybe even three times in July. The plan, today, is to hold an informal (yeah, like we were formal before - ha!) breakfast gathering at Timbertown* on July 8 from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m., followed by an afternoon or early evening gathering on July 15 and a maybe gathering on July 22.

Yellow Door is definitely closed on July 1. So, be sure to visit your favorite Chelsea breakfast destination, like Zou Zou's or Pierce's Pastries, instead!

*For those who don't frequent Timbertown, the outdoor picnic-play destination is just off Sibley Road in Chelsea.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

June ServSafe canceled; July and August classes are still open

Please note that the June ServSafe class has been canceled because of a last minute scheduling conflict on the part of the instructor. July and August sessions are still open and we encourage people to sign up as soon as possible.

June 26: Breakfast on the Farm

Mark your calendars for Saturday, June 26, if you're interested in enjoying a free Michigan-made breakfast while experiencing family fun and a chance to learn about local farm families who produce the food you eat.

Breakfast on the Farm is a family-oriented program that welcomes neighbors and area residents to enjoy a complimentary breakfast along with a self-guided tour of a family-owned farm. Attendees will be able to visit various educational stations and have opportunities to ask local farmers questions about raising animals, growing crops and living on a farm. The June 26 breakfast and farm tour takes place rain or shine from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (breakfast served from 9 a.m. to noon) at Horning Farms, 11834 E. Pleasant Lake Road, near Manchester.

The event is hosted by Earl and Diane Horning, winners of the 2010 Michigan State University (MSU) Dairy Farmer of the Year award, along with their son, Jeff, and his wife, Lynda, at the family's six-generation family dairy operation started in 1877. Today, the farm consists of 360 milk cows, 410 head of young stock and 700 acres of cropland.

Domino's Pizza will be supplying and preparing the food for the breakfast, which will include the introduction of a new breakfast pizza product that has, up until now, only been sampled in school meal programs. We are expecting 1,500 to 2,000 attendees.

Tickets are not required to participate in the farm tour, but they are required to receive the free breakfast. For tickets or more information about Breakfast on the Farm or to download directions to the Horning farm, call the Washtenaw County MSU Extension Office at
734-997-1678, email, call directly at 222-3825, or visit the Washtenaw County MSU Extension web site at
or go to

Monday, June 7, 2010

This Thursday: Renowned Chef and Community Advocate Paul Cousins Cooking at Yellow Door

Paul Cousins is a masterful chef and well-respected, long-time advocate for this region. We're thrilled that Paul is cooking in the Yellow Door kitchen this Thursday to help raise more funds for Chelsea Community Kitchen -- and fill us with his artful fare.

Yellow Door is a must-visit this Thursday. Feel like summer on the inside after eating Paul's tantalizing, in-season dishes:

* Poached eggs with a cream of leek sauce, fresh shell peas, toast rounds and brown sugar glazed bacon. (Eggs: Back Forty Acres / Cream: Calder Dairy / Bread: Mill Pond Bread / Bacon: Ernst Farms)

* Brunch Torte with swiss chard, smoked ham and gouda cheese. served with whole wheat toast and jalapeno green pepper jelly. (Swiss chard: Tantre Farm / Ham: Legacy / Cheese: Greystone Creamery / Bread: Mill Pond Bread / Jelly: Homemade by Paul Cousins)

* Buttermilk blintzes filled with cream cheese, topped with a spiced rhubarb-strawberry compote, creme fraiche and served with brown sugar glazed bacon. (Cheese: Greystone Creamery / Cream: Calder Dairy / Bacon: Ernst Farms)

* Apple-pear coffee cake (Westwind Milling Company).

* Rhubarb-Iced Tea

Many of you may already know Paul or spent many nights dining in his former restaurant. For those who don't know him, Paul was the owner and chef at Cousins Heritage Inn in Dexter for 17 years. He was also instrumental in saving historic Gordon Hall in Dexter and has been actively involved in community affairs for years.

Join us on Thursday to wave at Paul, and linger over
his fabulous fixins'.

Dirty Virgins, Dirty Virgins, how does your garden grow?

Dirty Virgins, Dirty Virgins, quite contrary, how does your garden grow? With silver bells, and cockle* shells, and pretty maids all in a row!

So, I happen to be at Timbertown today for a Kindergarten bash. One of the Dirty Virgins (newbie gardeners who are growing veggies for Yellow Door), Angie, gave me a quick tour of the garden plots in the Community Garden.

Ten adventurous ladies, with no gardening experience, planted some seeds and are caring for the garden that is already blooming green with a slew of veggies. I was quite surprised to see the neat garden rows (hmmmm... neat rows.... note to self!) and the beautiful buddings of garden greens. We caught DV Denise and her son working the plot and snapped some photos to share. Enjoy!

* What is a cockle, anyway??? A cockle is
a group of small edible saltwater clams. And -- as you guessed it -- not found in Michigan!

Asparagus Guacamole

2 cups chopped, cooked asparagus
2 tablespoons plain yogurt or sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons minced green onion
2 tablespoons tomato salsa
1 tablespoon minced cilantro
1 teaspoon minced garlic, pressed to a paste with a pork
1/2 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste

Puree asparagus, yogurt and lime juice in food processor or blender. Stir in remaining ingredients. Serve with tortilla chips or crackers, or as a sandwich spread. Makes 1 3/4 cups.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Food Safety Classes this Summer

Are you a beginning food entrepreneur looking for a class that will certify you as a Food Protection Manager?

Chelsea Community Kitchen (CCK) is offering a two-day ServSafe Food Protection Manager Certification class three times this summer. The training fulfills the Michigan Food Law requirement to have a manager certified in food safety in each food service establishment.

CCK offers the classes on weekend days:

* Friday evening, 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. & Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
* Choose your weekend: July 30 & 31 and August 27 & 28.

The fee for the class is $200. This includes the cost of the ServSafe materials, a valuable reference for you after the class as you apply for your license.

Interested? Send an email to and mention the class you want to attend. In return, CCK will send detailed information about how to enroll.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

New June menu: Scrumptious strawberry waffles, poached eggs, goat cheese quiche

  • Poached eggs with bean and sausage patties served with asparagus guacamole and tortilla chips
  • Strawberry waffles with fresh strawberry topping, maple syrup and whipped cream and a side of
  • bacon
  • Wilted greens and goat cheese quiche, with minted spring salad
  • Rhubarb-Mint Iced Tea

Next week, June 10, Paul Cousins is cooking up a custom menu. Be sure to join us this month for our fabulous-o breakfast specials. We may shake things up a bit in July, so get your fix of Yellow Door this month before summer travel, summertime events and sleeping-in days.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Meet Volunteer Angie O'Neill

We thought it'd be fun to introduce you to our volunteers. This week, we chat with Angie.

Yellow Door: Why do you volunteer at YD?

Angie: I like the community connections, supporting local foods and farmers, and working with fun I love Janice Ortbring and it's super fun to go to her house for breakfast every Thursday.

YD: How do you benefit from the experience?
Angie: Professionally, as a program evaluator and soon-to-be Health Educator, it's been a great experience to see how YD has progressed since it first started. Passion and people make all the difference in any community program, and I've loved seeing this concept come to life at YD!

YD: What do you love about YD?
Angie: YD is all about opportunites for people to connect, share stories, and enjoy good food while raising money for a good cause..the Chelsea Community Kitchen. I love the learning opportunities, too, like our new garden club in which inexperienced gardeners will learn together how to grow foods of the season to be enjoyed at Yellow Door breakfasts.

YD: Do you have any words of wisdom to share with others about getting involved?
Angie: Please do! Volunteering at YD is giving back to the community in a unique's one of my favorite things in Chelsea to be involved in!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Yellow Door welcomes a slew of guest chefs

In the Yellow Door kitchen this Thursday, May 20:

Annie and Paul from Community Farm are cooking nettle and kale quiche (or a fried egg or two), mashed potatoes with onion garlic gravy and a touch of field greens. They are also bringing Paul's special home-grown wheat sourdough bread! YUMMIE.

"All ingredients are local... but the flavors are out of this world."

In the kitchen on Thursday, May 27:

Barbara of Mindo Chocolate is cooking up some chocolate delights: huevos ranchero with a savory chocolate mole sauce, chocolate dipped strawberries and hot chocolate. Deeeee-lish!

In the kitchen on Thursday, June 10:

Paul Cousins is cooking in the kitchen in June. Paul was the owner and chef at Cousins Heritage Inn in Dexter for 17 years and is a huge community advocate focused on quality of life in the region. Notably, Paul received the 2006 Citizen of the Year Award, along with Gil Campbell and Paul Bishop, for his efforts to save historic Gordon Hall. And, of course, he's a fabulous chef! We'll post his menu as soon as we have the details.

In the kitchen on Thursday, June 24:
Durrette Lauckern - details coming soon!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mystic Morel: The Incredible Edible

The morel is an elusive edible. So delicious, so mysterious. To capture this incredible edible, you must become The Great Morel Hunter.

The morel pops up in the spring, typically under a canopy of trees, nearly blending in to forest floors. The morel is known to be sighted elsewhere, though, too. You must be focused, be dedicated and, when you find your treasure, take great care in harvesting the magnificent morel.

This spring, Yellow Door has done the hunting for you. Taste the incredible edible mystic morel in our featured beef brisket this month: an explosion of intermingling flavors offered by the morel, free range beef brisket, polenta and fiddlehead ferns with every bite. A side of sautéed ramps and an optional egg on top complete this delicious breakfast.

Don't miss this spring treat! Eat with us at Yellow Door this Thursday. Arrive any time between 7:30 and 9:30 a.m. Children are always welcome!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Q&A with the actual yellow door

Q: So, I've been hearing some buzz around town... what's this yellow door thing?

Yellow Door (Door, for short): Every Thursday, walk through me into a friendly, uber-casual eatery in the home of long-time Chelsea residents, the Ortbrings. Volunteers cook up eclectic (gourmet!) and familiar breakfast offerings using seasonal ingredients. We shop at farmers markets, direct at farms and, in a pinch, the local markets. We're on a quest to share Michigan's agricultural bounty. (Hey, did you know Michigan is the second most agriculturally diverse state in the U.S.?)

Q: Sounds kind of cool, though it seems a bit odd. What do you mean? I can just walk through their door, like anytime? Won't I, like, wake them up?

Door: Think of Yellow Door as a weekly breakfast cafe in a comfy home with loads of character near downtown Chelsea. You'll smell breakfast as soon as you step on the sidewalk. Oh, and the Os are already up, ready for work at their downtown creative gig or lingering over coffee at the yellow door tables. So, don't hesitate!

Q: Okaaaayyyy. Hmmm.... Do I need to RSVP? Do I need to arrive by 7:30 a.m.? (Because that isn't happening!)

Door: No RSVPs. Arrive anytime -- before closing at 9:30, that is. If you're off to work by 8:00, stop by for speedy take-out. Simply BYO plate and let us know you're in a hurry.

Q: Sounds pretty cool. May I bring my younger children?

Door: Absolutely! Little ones are always welcome!

Q: How much is breakfast?

Door: We appreciate a $10-15 donation with all net proceeds benefiting the Chelsea Community Kitchen, a new incubator for food businesses.

Q: Okay, last question. So, where the heck are you located? Why don't you make it easier to find you?

Door: Sssshhhh... we're an "underground" breakfast cafe. If you need the address, walk three steps, scratch your nose and tuck some hair behind your ears. So, kidding!!! Just email us here.

Monday, May 3, 2010

New May Menu "springs" to life: morels, asparagus & more

Put a spring in your step this May. Eat divine dishes every Thursday morning specially crafted to showcase the season's best:
  • Slow roasted local free range beef brisket served with polenta, morels and fiddlehead ferns with a side of sautéed ramps and an optional egg on top
  • Plain or walnut whole wheat pancakes served with a warm strawberry- rhubarb compote and topped whipped cream (optional) with a side of pork sausage links or veggie sausage

  • Asparagus soup with a poached egg and buttered toast

  • Scones from Zou Zou's Cafe!

Featured resources & ingredients:

Westwind Milling Company:
Back Forty Acres:
Calder Dairy:
milk, butter, cream
Black Oak Farm:
pork sausage
Heim Farm:
asparagus soup
Farmer's Supply:
Mill Pond Bread:
Locally sourced (stashed in freezer after last summer's harvest)
from somewhere local... we'll let you know soon!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day! Thank you David @ The Brinery!

A big, yummy thank you to David Klingenberger of The Brinery (his new food biz) for cooking deeeelliiiicccioous frittata with fresh, just-plucked-from-the-earth asparagus with shitake mushrooms, kale, eggs and cheese -- all ingredients from Tantre Farm. David guest chef'd at Yellow Door today, making Earth Day memorable and expressive.

David is crafting naturally, brine-fermented veggies, such as sauerkraut, kimchee and pickles. His new bright pink beet-carrot-cabbage sauerkraut is sooooo yummy. Be a fan of David's new biz on Facebook!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Get the dirt at Timberton - this Saturday at 4:30!

Yellow Door’s Seven Dirty Virgins gardening venture is launching Saturday at 4:30 p.m. at Timbertown. The Dirty Virgins will prep and plant a garden and learn to can at the end of the season. Garden goods will be used at Yellow Door breakfasts, of course!

Why "Dirty Virgins" you may be pondering? Well, it is dirty work. And, we're seeking gardening neophytes... greenhorns... apprentices... virgins... (you get the picture) to learn gardening from the ground up.

This Saturday, it’s time to prep the garden plot! One lucky volunteer will learn how to use a rototiller, in a private lesson provided by Gardening Pro Mully. All are welcome -- well, anyone who wants to learn gardening and contribute to Yellow Door through dirty, hands-on labor! Grab a hoe, come to Timberton and get the dirt!

Yellow Door donates another $750 to CCK!

A HUGE thank you to you (yes, you!) for dining with us each week, and to our volunteers who make it happen. Due to our terrific teamwork, we donated another $750 to the Chelsea Community Kitchen. Yahoo!

Learn more about the CCK here:

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Did you know? April is Michigan Wine Month.

Eat locally-farmed foods... drink regionally-produced wines. A big "eat local" proponent? Well then, you should also be a "drink local" proponent. Wine is grown from the ground after all.

Thinking of a girls' night out this month? Toast with Michigan wine. Family visiting from Texas? Pair your barbecue chicken with Michigan wine. Surprise yourself and your friends with the taste of Michigan wine.

We grow wines that reflect our maritime climate here. You'll find Pinot Grigios, Chardonays (oaked and unoaked), Pinot Noirs and wonderful blends that capture the essence of our Great Lakes state. Don't compare Michigan wines to California wines -- you can't.

Toasting with Michigan wine this month is official... Get the scoop from Governor Granholm's official press release:

Michigan's wine and grape industries contribute nearly $800 million to the state's economy each year.Sales of Michigan wines in the state rose 10 percent in 2009, while total wine sales increased 6 percent. Michigan wine sales have outpaced total wine sales for the past 10 years, doubling the Michigan wineries' market share to 6 percent. Get the full press release here.

Get your Michigan wine at the New Chelsea Market or spend the day visiting area tasting rooms -- within 45 minutes of here. (Arrange for a designated driver for a safe, fun day trip!)

Take-out, stay-in @ Yellow Door

Yellow Door is open every Thursday from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m.... this local foods Thursday destination is an easy way to get your weekly fix of foods cooked and dished up using ingredients grown in Michigan, or creatively crafted by Michiganders.

Bring your own plates for convenient take-out -- just let us know you're in a hurry. We *heart* our local business owners and hope you can enjoy Thursday take-out. Stop by for a quick dish to go! For those who can linger -- stop in, stay, pour a second (and third) cup of joe and say, "Hello!"

All of you help us raise funds for Chelsea Community Kitchen. Super cool. Thank you to our volunteers, too.

Monday, March 8, 2010

It's maple syrup time in Michigan!

I'm trying to wean my husband from Hungry Jack "butter flavored syrup" to the taste of real maple syrup. To me, there's a massive difference between syrup and real maple syrup. Real maple syrup tastes lighter and sweeter. The other is processed with high fructose corn syrup, water and "2% or less" of natural flavors. Hmmm... which sounds yummier? I have real maple syrup on my corner of the dining table.

Buy direct from farmers and you can save a bundle, too. I paid $14 for a quart of maple syrup through Jane's local food co-op. In the store, the same amount is well over $20! (Making maple syrup is labor intensive, after all.) Eith
er way, I want the real taste of Michigan on my Saturday morning waffles... how about you?

Interesting tidbits for you:

  • Michigan ranks 5th in maple syrup production in the U.S.
  • Only about 1% of Michigan's maple forest resource is used in maple syrup production.
  • It takes about 40 gallons of maple syrup sap to make one gallon of syrup.
  • In an average year, one tap hole will produce about 10 gallons of maple syrup sap... enough for about one quart of pure maple syrup.

To learn other amazing facts, visit:

Saturday, March 13: Attend, "Maple Syrup Making: From the Tree to the Pancake" at the Gerarld E. Eddy Discovery Center in the Waterloo Recreation Area. See the classic movie "Maple Sugar Farmer," after which naturalist Tom Jameson will share his time-tested techniques for do-it-yourself maple syrup making. Learn more at: and scroll down to the March calendar.The Discovery Center hosts a maple syrup festival every other year, so mark your calendar for next year's demonstrations!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

New March menu features Michigan peaches, sweet corn, goat cheese and more!

Michigan Sweet Corn* Waffles
* Sweet corn picked up in season from Curtis Farm in Brooklyn

Omelette Florentine

French Toast
  • Stuffed with local cream cheese
  • Topped with homemade peach preserves (peaches plucked in season from Fruit Acres Farms)
  • Warm Michigan maple syrup
  • Calder Dairy and Farms butter
  • Homemade crème fraiche
  • Side of local bacon by Graham's Organics

    Also, enjoy a side of cherry almond biscotti with tea, Michigan-roasted coffee or apple cider from Kapnick Orchards in Britton. (Purchase their cider at Arbor Farms Market in Ann Arbor.)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dinner at Yellow Door canceled this Saturday evening!

Please note that the Yellow Door... At Night dinner has been canceled due to unforseen events. We apologize for any inconveniences!!!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Volunteer! We need you.

Volunteers are essential to the continued success of Yellow Door. Our little group of volunteers really loves contributing in small ways to make Yellow Door run like a well-oiled machine each week. (Sometimes, we may forget the coffee (oops, me) or run out of coffee (yikes! hide) or we don't have spoons for your tea (great idea!).)

We are fully committed to promoting sustainable agriculture, buying local foods and supporting local businesses. We'd love your help!

We need cooks, shoppers, greeters, servers, cleaner-uppers and great ideas to make Yellow Door even more of an experience for guests each week. We've found that, just by volunteering, we learn more about ingredients, regional foods, cooking, prepping plates for guests and more. And it's really fun!

At Yellow Door, you'll meet really creative, happy people who put their hearts into Yellow Door. We'd love you to join our volunteer effort! Interested? Contact

Monday, February 8, 2010

Winter root vegetable pancake... sooooooooooo delicious!

Honestly, when I hear, "Winter root vegetable" for breakfast my immediate response is not, "Oh, how delicious!" Quite frankly, breakfast food for me generally consists of a bowl of carbs. My morning routine is very routine. I stumble to the coffee pot to get the brew going and dump my Kashi Autumn Wheat and no-fat milk into a bowl. Breakfast is served. Thank goodness for Yellow Door.

When I finally had a chance to eat last Thursday morning, I ended up with a plate of "Valentino's" winter root vegetable and Michigan dried cherry pancakes with pork sausage. (Originally, I was vying for the hash.) Cherry compote made with cherries from beautiful northern Michigan complemented my dish.

As I was meeting with one of my Chelsea Center for the Arts board co-horts, I distractedly bit into my pancake. I was immediately awed by the full flavors that burst in my mouth and exclaimed, "Wow! This is soooooooo good!" Winter root veggies are anything but routine. And just think, eating these veggies are so good for you -- and made for you each week this month at Yellow Door.

Yellow Door hash is back!

This month's menu is divinely tasty, loaded with veggies and seasoned with local ingredients.

Our popular hash is back! This time, "Cupid's Hash" is a wintry blend of roasted local artisan goat cheese by Four Corners Creamery of Tecumseh, celeriac, fennel and potato. Top it with an optional fried egg for a heartier serving. A side of Zingerman's toast and cherry jam completes this delectable dish. Aaaahhh, February! Bring on the chilly weather, 'cause I'm warming up each Thursday at Yellow Door.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Michigan cherries at Yellow Door in February

Each month we bring you a new menu at Yellow Door. This month, we feature a *splash of* high-in-potassium and rich-in-Vitamin C cherries in our featured dishes. See our full menu to the right.

And just for fun, do you know that Michigan produces 70-to-75 percent of the tart cherries grown in the United States? Michigan is also among the top four producers of sweet cherries in the nation. This makes Michigan the nation's number one cherry producing state.

We all know cherry pie. Do you know cherry compote? It's time to taste freshly-prepared-by-Yellow Door dishes with a taste of Michigan. See you Thursday!

Warm-your-soul with Papa Bear's Porridge in a bowl

Warm your soul with one of Marie's favorites: Westwind Milling Company's "Papa Bear's Porridge." Cooked with milk from Dairy Delight Cow Boarding, the porridge is a light and delicious way to kick-start your day.

Westwind Milling Company, located in Linden, is a certified organic stone mill.The 1836-built mill was first established as part of a land grant under President Andrew Jackson, then completed under President Martin Van Buren. Proprietors Lee and Linda Purdy grow grains without the use of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides in naturally enriched soils.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

What is compote?

A compote comes from the French verb compoter, which means to cook something gently until it breaks down into a puree. Whole fruit compote is when the fruit is cooked gently in liquid and sugar until it softens and sweetens while still holding its shape.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Get warm this winter with Yellow Door pumpkin waffles

I never thought I'd sigh over waffles. (And my hubby makes some very good waffles!) This month, Yellow Door features pumpkin-buttermilk waffles. The pumpkin adds a light, spicy taste of autumn -- what you think autumn tastes like. (Yeah, yeah, it's winter.) The apples from Almar Orchards are lightly dusted with apple cider syrup and the side of local ham steak is really tasty. Its flavors warm you from the inside out; a very nice feeling in the midst of a Michigan winter.

Interestingly, Almar Orchards's 250-acre farm has been family owned since 1885 and grows organic fruits and veggies. Visit them in Flushing this year. In the meantime, though, come to Yellow Door and taste their apples atop delicious waffles.

Yellow Door buys new freezer from Heydlauff's

We own a freezer! On Wednesday, January 13, Angie, Janice, Kiera, Todd and Jane bought Yellow Door's first freezer. Peter Heydlauff at Heydlauff's Appliances and Electronics in downtown Chelsea helped Yellow Door get the most appliance for our money. (Angie paid for the freezer in dollar bills, a few 20s and change). Thank you to the chair sponsors for making this possible!

The freezer enables us to stock up on seasonal foods and freeze them for use throughout the year. This means, you have access to Michigan foods all year long at Yellow Door when you eat with us on Thursdays.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Go ahead... indulge. Every Thursday, we're here for you.

Yes, our food will fill you. Don't feel guilty. Feel good. You're eating freshly-prepared, artisan food that is made with local ingredients. Local pumpkins. Local milk. Local eggs. Local pork. Local greens. Local apples. You get the picture...

So skip that bowl of Wheaties this week. Know where your breakfast is grown. Eat at Yellow Door. See you there! (Get this week's menu at the right.)

Thank you, Richard Andres and Tantre Farm!

Yummmmmmmmm. Last Thursday's Yellow Door breakfast was delicious! Tantre Farm's coleslaw was light and tasty. The veggie scramble tasted as if the Kale was picked fresh from the garden -- geez, who knew I'd enjoy Kale for breakfast?!?! The sesame fries were lightly toasted.

I left feeling a bit decadent, with a full belly and feeling quite pleased with myself that I started my Thursday eating so organically and locally. Care to join me this week?

On another note, a big thank you to Richard for cooking in the Yellow Door kitchen and to his mom, Lois, for entertaining the Yellow Doorers with lively, beautiful music... she and another Tantre Farm gentleman (sorry, I didn't catch his name!) played together for the first time. Lois played on her restored 200+ year-old violin... he played on his flute. Together, they provided an organic, musical backdrop to a memorable Yellow Door. See more pictures on Facebook. Join the Yellow Door fan club today!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

February 27 teen cooking event to benefit Chelsea Community Kitchen

Old World New Cooking School (of Chelsea) offers free "be a French chef!" class in Chelsea on Saturday, February 27, 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., for up to eight teens, as a benefit for the Chelsea Community Kitchen.

If you enjoyed "Ratatouille" and thought you'd like to be the rat chef genius, here's your chance. Eight teens pile into two different cars, with adult supervision, and race to Ann Arbor to shop: A2 farmer's market, Zingerman's, Monahan's, etc. Eat lunch. Back to Chelsea to the Yellow Door. Prep! Prep! Music, laughter, big knives, mincing, dicing, much learning, much fun. Make the sauce! Adjust the seasonings! Make it perfect!

At 7:00 p.m., the guests arrive. (Up to 30 guests, so RSVP today!) Appetizers must be ready! Tables must be set! Light the candles! Serve the wine! The guests are seated and... as Lumiere said, "Dinner is served." Poisson au Beurre Blanc. Boeuf Bourguignon. Porc Rillette. Ooh-la-la... très fancy-schmancy.

Only room for eight teens -- size of the kitchen and considerations of safety permit no more. If this is a success, other classes and dinners will probably be offered. Please share this with any teens or parents of teens who might be interested.

To dine with us this evening
, RSVP with Dawn at: To sign your teen up for this fun cooking experience, RSVP with Jeff at

Suggested donation of a minimum $25 per seat. (What a deal!) Drop off your payment at Yellow Door or send a check to Yellow Door, c/o Dawn Thompson, P.O. Box 431, Chelsea, Michigan 48118.

Learn more about the Chelsea Community Kitchen project here:

Meet Richard Andres of Tantre Farm, our featured guest chef this week

Richard Andres grew up in the Plymouth-Canton area in a small neighborhood. He fondly recalls the gathering of neighbors of varying ages and the sharing of foods with one another surrounded by fruit trees. This sense of community has directed Richard’s path in life and culminated on his Chelsea farm with wife Deb Lentz.

“I have always enjoyed gardening from a young age, just being outside, being with people and sharing food,” says Richard. “Gardening is very authentic.”

Together, Richard and Deb grow more than 50 vegetables and a handful of fruit varieties at Tantré Farm. Notably, their farm has been certified organic since 1993. This is not always an easy feat, though one to which they are committed.

“Running an organic farm requires an increased level of management,” says Richard. “You have to have different strategies for minimizing disease and you have to apply these strategies repeatedly throughout the seasons.”

The end result of this effort? “Crops are clean…beautiful; the effort is worth it,” says Richard.

Richard and Deb, who taught elementary school for 16 years, see the farm as an educational opportunity. Indeed, Deb is actively involved in the Farm to School program with 30 schools, where she visits classrooms and inspires kids to eat more naturally by sharing how agriculture is grown and the tasty rewards of eating foods plucked fresh from the ground. Visitors are welcome to their farm, where they are happy to give edible walking tours in the spring, summer and fall. You can also join their CSA.

When asked about the farm's springtime asparagus, Richard shares that you won’t see the soil when you visit. The 10-year-old asparagus field is covered in straw, which helps feed the asparagus. This will be the first year they are experimenting with mushroom strata underneath the asparagus; the mushroom crop will pop up and benefit from the fern of the asparagus plant that shoots out after the four-to-eight week asparagus season. (Did you know that asparagus is the only perennial vegetable?)

“The mushrooms help feed the straw, which helps feed the asparagus,” explains Richard. “We like to grow polycultures… many things growing together in combination. This saves space and benefits the plants and the farmers. It’s a symbiotic relationship.”

While Richard admires spring’s lush, green growth, he loves the winter season for his greenhouse spinach. “Winter is the best time for spinach,” he says.

Eating local food is about, “getting together and eating foods that make us feel better,” he shares. It’s also about, “knowing someone nearby who has fresh eggs and supporting their livelihood."

Sounds like a reason to eat at Yellow Door each week.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Thank you Yellow Door Volunteers!

A huge thank you to Yellow Door volunteers for making Thursdays happen! Interested in volunteering? It's fun, it's community and it's for a great cause! Email today to be a volunteer. We need chefs, servers, greeters and more!

Volunteers pictured below: Jane, Janice, Mully, Tracy, Tina, Marie, Deb, Sharon, Todd, Dennis, Guest Chef Craig, Dawn, Angie, Debi, Tracy, Mary and Janet.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Guest Chef Craig Common and Yellow Door chefs pack the house

Familiar and new faces streamed in Yellow Door on New Year's Eve morn for a tasty breakfast, festive cheer and plenty of warm smiles and embraces. Mully welcomed guests on the temporarily-insulated porch for coffee and a quick overview of the day's meals.

Dennis and Janet greeted guests and placed meal orders. Pointy hats and shiny crowns graced several heads of those cheerfully willing to mess up morning hair in the spirit of the New Year to come. Shimmering bugles blared boisteriously between sips of coffee roasted by Zingerman's and Mighty Good. (The coffee pots were brewing non-stop!)

Chef Craig Common, assisted by regular Yellow Door Volunteers Tracy, Dawn and Marie in the kitchen, cooked up chicken frittata and salmon scramble. A dollop of traditional bread pudding, meat or Mama Mofoods veggie sausage, and yogurt parfait complemented many meals. Yellow Door guests were excited to see Guest Chef Craig Common of the region's renowned Common Grill in the kitchen.

Bugles blared intermittenly from the Kids Room between bites of Jiffy muffins and delicious grapes. Laughter rang out throughout the morning. And while we filled the house and rotated guests in and out, guests never had to wait long for a seat. The morning could not have been more perfect! Thank you to Guest Chef Craig. Please come again! :*)

What's really cool? We raised more than $1,000 for Chelsea Community Kitchen. We could not do it without you. See you next Thursday!