Drink & Eat

Calling all "foodpreneurs"

Do you have a homemade edible product you want to sell, but a commercial kitchen is out of reach? For once, Lansing has made it easier to get your creations to consumers.

Fresh on the books is the new "Cottage Food" Law, which allows food entrepreneurs to make and store certain foods in an unlicensed kitchen and sell those products at farmers markets and farm and roadside stands. The list of permitted products doesn't require time or temperature controls to maintain safety and includes items such as bread, cookies, popcorn, flavored vinegars and jams and jellies. The foods cannot be sold to retailers, restaurants or other food distributors or via the Internet.

The law requires specific labeling requirements and a disclaimer that the food was made in a home kitchen not inspected by the Department of Agriculture. There is also a $15,000 gross sales cap on the amount one household can earn annually from a "cottage food" operation.

State Rep. Dan Scripps (D-Leland), who voted for the law, has also recently launched a buymichfirst.com website where visitors can learn more about the new homemade food business.

What's for dinner?

If you're sick of hearing (or asking) that question, help is on the way: especially if you're interested in easy and super-satisfying. Oryana Natural Foods Market in Traverse City recently released a cookbook, "What's for Dinner?" It features 80 of the most popular recipes from the market's "What's for Dinner?" program, which offers samples during the week of easy to prepare meals along with the recipes.

The cookbook offers many vegetarian meals that can feed a family of four for less than $15. It is categorized by season to make use of locally-sourced ingredients where possible.

The recipes are a combination of Oryana creations, adaptations of previously published recipes and recipes from other cooking resources. The cookbook, a collaboration of Oryana's education and outreach team, costs $9.99 and can be purchased at the market (260 E. Tenth) in Traverse City.

New Buckley hangout

The Southside Hideout opened in late July in Buckley. It offers a full lunch and dinner menu, including homemade soups, salads, burgers, steak and pasta dishes and seafood.

The 200-plus seat restaurant (formerly the site of Allstars and the Skyliner Lounge) has been completely renovated with a 1930s gangster/mob feel and is owned by Jeff Topous. It also offers live entertainment on the weekends.

The Southside Hideout is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. and is located at 620 Wexford Avenue, just west of the M-37 intersection. 269.3738.

Local crunch

Oh, potato chips. Once you start, it's just so hard to stop. But some new crunchers now on grocery store shelves are good for the local and state economy, in case that helps lessen your guilt just a bit.

Great Lakes Potato Chips hit the market last month and are the creation of father/son team Ed and Chris Girrbach, who first dove into the food scene in 2006 when they opened Pangea's Pizza in downtown TC.

The kettle-cooked, skin-on potato chips currently come in three flavors – original, barbecue and salt & vinegar. They are made in Traverse City from Michigan potatoes (fun fact: Michigan is the largest producer of potatoes used for potato chips) and utilize spices from Suttons Bay Trading Company.

Find out where to grab a bag at greatlakespotatochips.com.

New Brewer

Corey Wentworth has taken control of the hops at Right Brain Brewery as its new brewer. As RBB describes him, "He is a chef with a brewer's brain, which equates to dangerous!" John Niedermaier was the brewery's first and only brewer until his recent departure.

St. Julian winemaker leaves

Dave Miller, former vice president winemaking/viticulture of St. Julian in Paw Paw has left to start his own winery, White Pine Winery, in St. Joseph. He's targeting a Labor Day opening. Miller will continue his work as a visiting professor for Michigan State University and collaborate on restarting its wine teaching and research program.