WHISKEY DOWN — Want to sample Irish whiskey affordably?On Thursdays, Detroit's Woodbridge Pub has a special "Irish Whiskey Appreciation Night," with reduced prices on popular pours. At 5169 Trumbull Ave., Detroit; 313-833-2701.

MODERN TIMES — Modern Food & Spirits is doing all it can to entice diners to drop in, with a crowded schedule of brunches (10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday), dinners (dinner only, after 4 p.m. Sunday through Thursday) and special events, all with recession-proof pricing. Drop in or call for details. At 1535 Cass Lake Rd., Keego Harbor; 248-681-4231.

MAKE A DEAL — We've only just heard about a novel idea that the Whistle Stop Restaurant & Bakery is trying out. It's called "Name Your Price Week," and it runs 4-8 p.m. until March 27. Diners can order anything on the menu (other than dessert) and decide what the meal is worth. The Whistle Stop is located at 501 S. Eton Rd., Birmingham; 248-647-5588.


Though the term "cracker" was once considered a slur on poor, working-class Southerners, it has been lovingly appropriated by some Southerners proud of their culture and cuisine. One of them is Janice Owens, whose Cracker Kitchen: A Cookbook in Celebration of Cornbread-Fed, Down Home Family Stories and Cuisine (Scribner, $25) tempts the reader with Texas sweet onion pie, black-eyed peas and hog jowls, Fourth of July flag cake, and tomato, onion and cucumber marmalade.


If you're throwing a cocktail party for more than just a couple of friends, labor can be drastically reduced by serving a punch. Try our proven Detroit version of the Philadelphia classic Fish House Punch: 1 bottle of Pisco brandy, 1 bottle of dark rum, 24 ounces of lemon juice, 2 cups of sugar, 1 quart of water and 4 ounces of peach liqueur. Keep it all chilled with an ice block or ring. Known for both its strength and drinkability, it will keep a small group happy all night and you free from mixing drinks.


Key lime pie is a delicious, sweet and tart, refreshing dessert enjoyed everywhere, especially in Florida, evoking the taste of summer. On a recent trip to Key West, we discovered Nellie & Joe's Famous Key Lime Juice, a shortcut to a luscious homemade Key lime pie. The recipe is on the bottle. It's a simple dish in its original form, as well as in other variations that are included on Nellie & Joe's website ( along with Key Lime recipes for cocktails, sauces, appetizers, entrées and, naturally, desserts.

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