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!