Not a gamble For Valentine's Day, consider dining at the MGM Grand Detroit. At Wolfgang Puck Grille, there will be a three-course prix fixe menu for $60, with a $25 wine pairing option; choice of entrée includes sautéed swordfish with Maine lobster, grilled beef tenderloin with horseradish potato puree, or organic free-range chicken. At Bourbon Steak, it's a three-course Valentine's Day menu for $70, with a $35 wine pairing option. That meal's entrées include prime filet and Alaskan halibut. At Saltwater, it's a three-course Valentine's Day menu for $75, with a $35 wine pairing option. That means entrées include filet mignon and salt-baked salmon. Then there's the Valentine's Day deal at the Palette Dining Studio, which will be $22 for lunch, $28 for dinner. It's all at 1777 Third St., Detroit; 877-888-2121; mgmgranddetroit.com.
Sweet stuff You can also enjoy a sweets-oriented holiday in downtown Milford. The owners of 117-year-old Milford Baking Co. (408 N. Main St.; 248-685-2200) will have an arsenal of heart-shaped cookies and cakes, doughnuts and even scones for the holiday, all made from scratch. Just down the street, Sweet Retreats Chocolate Shoppe (314 N. Main St.; 248-685-9201) offers everything from foil-covered chocolate roses to elegant truffles to Michigan dried cherry clusters to an edible chocolate "I Love You" card.
Meatless pop-up Detroit vegans rejoice. There's a once-a-month, gourmet, raw, vegan supper club pop-up! It's called Chartreuse, and it aims to create "a memorable culinary and social moment that exists briefly and disappears immediately." Certified raw-vegan chef, writer and teacher Corinne Rice oversees the experience, which involves raw, cold-pressed juice, vegan food, and a one-man folk band. The next menu will includes chipotle minestrone, butternut squash ravioli, cinnamon apple crostata and more. It takes place 5-7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 12, at Dell Pryor Gallery, 4201 Cass Ave., Detroit; BYOB; tickets must be purchased by Feb. 3, at chartreusedetroit.com.
Dragon time P.F. Chang's, the Chinese chain known for its quality Asian cuisine and upscale dining experience, is ringing in the Year of the Dragon with special gifts for diners. Until Feb. 6, guests will receive red envelopes containing an unknown reward. On the guests' next visit, a P.F. Chang's manager or server will open the envelope and reveal its contents. The secret offer could be a discount on the meal, a free appetizer or dessert and must be redeemed by March 4, 2012. Check in at a local P.F. Chang's, in Clinton Township (17390 Hall Rd., Unit R-103; 586-263-0860), Dearborn (18900 Michigan Ave., Space R-101; 313-429-2030), Northville Township (17905 Haggerty Rd.; 248-675-0066) or Troy (2801 W. Big Beaver Rd., Space D112; 248-816-8000), or look online at pfchangs.com.
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Gluten-Free Made Simple: Easy Everyday Meals That Everyone Can Enjoy
Carol Field Dahlstrom, Elizabeth Dahlstrom Burnley and Marcia Schultz Dahlstrom
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder triggered by eating gluten, proteins that are found in wheat, barley and rye. For those who cannot eat it, gluten is a plague, causing abdominal pain, aching joints and skin rashes, among numerous symptoms. But there are culinary workarounds. Gluten-Free Made Simple: Easy Everyday Meals That Everyone Can Enjoy, by Carol Field Dahlstrom, Elizabeth Dahlstrom Burnley and Marcia Schultz Dahlstrom, offers alternatives that allow sufferers to eat healthy, tasty foods without discomfort, focusing on many gluten-free ingredients that can found in most markets. Enjoy snacks, soups, entrées, sides, desserts and snacks that make this malady bearable.
the works The pesky twist ties that are used to keep plastic bags closed are a pain in the ass. For one thing, we often find ourselves twisting in the same direction that was used to secure them, thus making them tighter. When you reverse the motion, the coating comes off leaving you with a piece of thin wire to deal with. OXO, the manufacturer of all kinds of useful utensils, makes a reusable bag cinch that seals bags of bread, rice, nuts, beans, dried fruit, frozen foods and more. They are non-slip, brightly colored, easy to find, and inexpensive — $4.99 for a set of three.