GO RAW — If the holiday's heapin' piles of home-cooked ham leave you feeling all pigged out, the new year offers an excellent excuse to turn over a new leaf. Our friends over at Detroit Evolution Laboratory have cooked up — er "prepared" a schedule of January courses on raw and vegan food. The fun, informal classes include "The Fundamentals of a Raw Vegan Diet" (4-7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 3; $45) and "The Importance of Greens" (7-9 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 14; $30). For more information, call the lab at 313-316-1411 or see detroitevolution.com.
ROLL WITH IT — Another meal idea that rolls in the face of holiday feasting is sushi, with its bite-size wonders. At Asahi Sushi, they've even created a "Christmas Roll," a combination of crab meat, asparagus, cucumber and cream cheese, covered with a festive green-and-red topping of seaweed salad and fish eggs. A new holiday tradition? Try it at Asahi Sushi, 41860 Garfield Rd., Clinton Twp.; 586-412-2700
EAT THE PAGE
For most folks, this is not the season for outdoor cooking. But if you're looking for something to tide you over (or motivate you to hit the road), take a peek at Barbecue Road Trip: Recipes, Restaurants, & Pitmasters from America's Great Barbecue Regions (Voyageur Press, $30). Written by Michael Karl Witzel, the author of several books that laud Americana, the book explores four barbecue regions, Memphis, North Carolina, Texas and Kansas City, which all vie to be known as the best.
A TASTY BEVERAGE
Single malt whiskeys are all the rage these days and their prices reflect it. So when we saw a bottle of 12-year-aged Knappogue Castle Irish single malt on the shelf for less than $40 we snagged it. This is drinkable whiskey. Nose of dried citrus peel, nut shells, rushes in a marsh, and hints of booze-soaked fruit trifle. A sip is initially chocolaty, something like roasted coffee beans without the oily texture. It finishes dry with a wisp of vanilla sweetness from the wood barrels.
Stylish and useful, the Sagaform "pasta and Parmesan tool" is like something out of Batman's arsenal. It has a handle that can be used for measuring the pasta, a "fork" that can be used for serving the pasta and the sauce, a built-in grater used to top the dish with Parmesan. Well worth the price ($16) at cookware stores online and off, the Scandinavian-designed, stainless steel gizmo makes pasta dinners easier to prepare and to serve, as well reducing the number of items in the Batcave left to clean.