Thursday, 5 March 2015

FOOD: Pizza, Detroit Style

Americans love pizza - on any given day, 13% of the country will eat a slice (or five). Whether it's eating a deep dish in Chicago, a couple of slices of Hawaiian or perhaps a New York style pizza, there's a pizza style and topping for everyone. 

But little did I know there's even a Detroit style pizza, apparently I've been eating one for a while and just didn't know it. Sounds about right for me. But what makes a pizza a "Detroit pizza"? Well start off with cooking it in a deep square pan, it doesn't even have to be a pizza pan - it's probably better if it's not. It'll be a delicious thick, deep dish and your toppings will typically go pepperoni, cheese, everything else and finally topped off with your marinade. 

Historically it's Sicilian pizza style came out of what's still known as Buddy's pizza back in the mid 1940's. As cooks came and went variations began cropping up across the metro region. Then as Michiganders moved around, they took the recipes with them to be point of being able to find and eat a Detroit style pizza in Florida to Nevada and California. Buddy's has even inspired the chains spinning off their own take - Jets, Little Caesars, Happy's - yeap all inspired by the Detroit style.

Don't say you don't ever learn anything from my rambles!

Pizza

While we may not have tried the place everything Detroit Pizza originated from, we did try Loui's Pizza in Hazel Park, a place that often comes on or near the top rankings, certainly award winning when it comes to pizzerias in the area. It was founded by a former chef of Buddy's so it's no surprise the Detroit style of pizza left with him. Louis itself feels a little untouched by time - as if often the case in Hazel Park, it's old school, it's not fancy - the plastic plates see to that. But it sicks to what it knows and does it very well. 

Service was great, if all be it a little slow but they were packed to the rafters and they sure make their cocktails strong. As for the pizza (we ordered a cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions & green pepper) - perfectly crusty around the edges, a little charred but in a good way and basically pretty delicious.

You could say I'm a bit of a fan of this Detroit pizza malarkey.



Fancy a slice? You'll find Loui's Pizza at;
23141 Dequindre,
Hazel Park, MI

What's your favorite pizza style or topping?! Come make me hungry and share them in the comments!

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Monday, 2 March 2015

CREATIVE: A Garden Party Stitch Along #2

SAL

The passing of February marks another entry of my cross stitch stitch along with Cross Stitch Collection Magazine. After getting into a roll in January I was hoping to continue my productivity into the new month. I'll be honest, I managed to cram in so many more stitches than I had hoped, to the point I've set this project aside for the last week or so to focus on my other stitching. Let's say I'm getting a little carried away!

SAL

After January's stitching, this month I focused some more on the backdrop - the old house, sky and trees and working across towards some more of the figures. I have to admit to finding all the quarter stitches annoying, perhaps because there's so many of them.

SAL

The upside however of all the cold wintry weather is that it has given me a chance to work on my cross stitching - not only for this stitch along but the Transformers piece and a sampler I'm working on. I also bought a daylight crafting light as a Christmas present to myself, which I love for having that extra light source. Luckily the nights are getting longer, 6PM is no longer that dark black sky outside.
SAL
January (left) and February's check in (right).

I have to admit, it wasn't until I placed the two check in's together that I realised just how much progress I was making. Hopefully through March I'll get the time to finish the ladies dress, give that dude his face back, finish off the the sky and start working on some of the back stitching which I'm hoping, will bring out all the details and make it appear a little less flat.

SAL

I'll get the balance between working on this SAL and all my other pieces eventually!

Saturday, 28 February 2015

LIFE: Some More Questions and Some Answers Too

tag

Continuing from that other Saturday tag post a couple of weeks ago and my mission to get around to answering all those tag questions. Here's the second bunch of questions is from Debi for the Sisterhood of the World;

1. If there was nothing holding you back, no lack of money and no fear, what would be the first thing you would do tomorrow?
Pay off all our debts - all the credit cards, the mortgage, the student loans, the car repayments. All of it. Just to have the financial freedom of having more control over our earnings and then to be able to have our own money to spend on doing the things we want to do - doing up the house, travel more etc. How extremely grown up of me.

2. Where is the on place that you've always wanted to visit but you just haven't gotten around to it yet?
Falling Water in Pennsylvania, we get so, so, close when we're visiting Pittsburgh but it's always at the wrong year or we just don't have the time, or money. That and Washington DC.

3. Who is your hero? Why?
I guess I should probably explain my answer to the same question previously and my lame answer. I'm basically of the mind that I'm of my own person and don't tend to see any particular person as inspirational. I find elements like being kind, open minded, being emphatic etc - I find having characteristic I want to have under my belt to be more inspiring that someone has a whole.

4. When you picture your future, what do you see?
Me, Joe, our house, our cats and probably a dog.

5. How would you describe yourself to someone who had never met you, in five words?
A creative sarcastic, day dreaming stress(ed) head. Okay that's only four but you get the idea.

6. If you could be better at one thing or skill what would that be?
I'd love to be better at embroidery or knitting neither I can get my head around. Or being able to send emails on eBay without sounding so passive aggressive.

7. What would you like to have accomplished by the end of 2015?
A proper veg patch, a lovely wildflower garden and at least some of the house improvements ticked off and a bit more financially secure, ya know boring grown up stuff.

8. If you were to write an autobiography what title would you give it?
I actually have no idea ...

9. If you could live anywhere in the world for one month, where would you live?
Chicago most likely, I loved visiting that city and there's just so many places to visit, drink at, eat that that we just didn't get the chance too.

10. What is your favourite thing to do to pass the time? Do you do it often enough?
Cross stitching is my biggie. I neglected it during my teenage years after starting when I was bout 6/7 with chicken pox. It's my go to thing if I have a half hour spare and I try and do some most days, sometimes that doesn't work out but I certainly got back into the swing of things. Save during the spring through autumn when I juggle it with working in the garden.

I'd love to hear how you'd answer the questions! Let me know the the comments below.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

EXPAT REVELATIONS: The Seasons

Weather and the seasons, that age old tradition that us Brits love, love, love to talk about. As you might have noticed, it does frequently feature on my blog. Which is why I enjoyed putting together this topic for the Expat Revelation series with Holly. I didn't consider the seasonal differences before moving here I will be honest. Maybe if I had, I would have been mentally prepared for the differences between South East Michigan and East Yorkshire. 

Michigan is both warmer (yey) and colder (boo) than Yorkshire. Average temperatures hit a high of 82F (28C) in July to a cold 17F (-8) in January. It seems in the last three plus years that America has been home, all averages have been smashed. Especially the average cold temperature, -8C would be a pretty warm seeing I've spent most of 2015 in -20C. Luckily, Michigan is a lot dryer than good old Yorkshire, not that that's at all surprising it does like to rain in Yorkshire. Less rain, more snow, I can't win. 

So let's start as we mean to go on with the season right out my window, winter:

Lake St Clair Weekend
PHOTO: NOAA via The Detroit News

Right now i'm covered under that super cold whiteness. Yes it's that cold and wintry.  

I have to admit, I have never seen as much as snow as I have until moving here. In winter you're guaranteed a good foot or four or snow throughout the season with -20C becoming the new norm this year. In fact in 2013 we hit about 100 inches in total of snow. Around here winter is measured by how much the Great Lakes freeze over. Currently that stands at nearly 85% of the Lakes being covered by ice. Which is pretty awesome when you consider the Great Lakes is home to 21% of the worlds fresh water by volume (ta wiki for that fact). Unlike the UK, Michigan doesn't grind to a halt and just gets on with it. Wearing four layers becomes the norm, -8C feels warm, and snow shoveling is a nice winter work out.

Downtown Detroit

Spring brings hazy days but not until late April and May. Temperatures are much like a warm British summer day. As  far as seasons go, it's pretty uneventful but lovely all the same. 

Sunset Ren Cen

Oh summer with your long hot days around the high 20's into the 30's (C). Still a little hot for this Brit to fully enjoy. Sometimes we get a tornado watch or warning when it's the season (late spring through early summer). Sometimes one passes through, although rarely. Long warm days lead to stormy nights. The thunder is eerily loud and threatening enough that it use to scare me the first year or so.

Fall Colours Michigan Cooke Dam Fall Colours Michigan

And what's the result of those warm spring days, lovely summers and a mild autumn with it's colder nights? A beautiful colorful colourful autumn finale. The fall colours Michigan has to offer because of it's seasons is one of the reasons I love calling the mitten home. Burnt oranges, to crisp reds and dazzling golden yellows, the Michigan landscape comes alive. By the end of October the trees are naked and Thanksgiving always rolls around with a snow shower or three.

We're lucky in Michigan that we actually get to enjoy all four seasons with their quirks and charms. According to all the seasonal information out there, Michigan is more cloudy than the norm. It's one of the affects of being surrounded by all the Great Lakes. Many leave the mitten and it's surrounding northern states for the warmer climes of the south to retire, it certainly tests what you're made of. But those fall colours, having those of your doorstep, that makes it all worth while in my book.