I’m a “culinary adventuress” living, working and playing in and around Detroit. I discovered a love of food and cooking through studying various languages, living in Toulouse, France and traveling in Europe and elsewhere.  I created this blog to share my experiences, ideas and opinions on food, with hopes that you will share yours. In addition to my recipes and experiments, you’ll find posts on restaurants, potlucks with friends, holiday meals with family, cookbook and food-related book reviews and more.

Why “Simmer Down”? In our increasingly frantic lives, cooking our own food helps keep us grounded; I’m certainly not the only cook or blogger to have noticed the calming effects of an afternoon spent puttering about the kitchen or farmers’ market. It’s also a personal mantra to remind myself to slow down, as I have been known to embark upon recipes after skimming the instructions, only to discover halfway through that I’m missing a key step or ingredient!

When I’m not cooking, I can be found behind the drum kit/microphone in my band, Scarlet Oaks (RIP Scarlet Oaks as of March 2011), making jam for my company Beau Bien Fine Foods,  hawking vintage clothing in my online boutique, Aller-Retour Vintage, or writing for Model D and Patch. I’m available for freelance writing jobs and recipe testing/ development; please send inquiries to simmerdownfood(at)gmail(dot)com.

Thanks for visiting, and Happy Eating!


All photography copyright Noëlle Lothamer 2008-2012 except where noted.  If you would like to borrow a photo for noncommercial use, please give proper credit including a link to the original post.  For any other usage, please contact me at simmerdownfood(at)gmail(dot)com for permission.

18 responses to “about

  1. Hey-awesome blog Noelle–tell Marvin the pictures look great!

  2. Well done, Noelle! (Get it?)

    Although I can follow a basic receipe well enough, I don’t fancy myself a cook. My oven doesn’t even work for crying out loud!
    But you may be proud to learn i’ve totally embraced my Slow Cooker, and armed with the recent gift “Crock * Pot; The original Slow Cooker Recipe Collection”, i’m going to be well-fed this winter ( albeit cheating a little)!

  3. Linda Pfeifer (Noelle's mom)

    Noelle was helping me in the kitchen from the time she was small. I remember making fortune cookies with her and her Blue Bird group when she was in grade school. In high school she hosted her first dinner party. She used recipes from a French cookbook her Uncle Joe had given us. I remember the tomato pie was absolutely delicious!

  4. I’m so happy several people I know have recently started food blogs. I enjoy cooking, but am def. a novice. So, guidance, recipes and ideas from friends are much appreciated!

  5. Bonsoir Noelle,
    Quelle belle surprise! A fellow food blogger who lives in the Detroit area, plus who speaks French!! C’est trop beau pour etre vrai 🙂
    Are you in Royal Oak?

  6. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I too love to cook and read and think your book club is a great idea!

  7. Hello Noelle, it’s me, Monique from Al Dente Pasta. I love your newsletter. I’m hoping you can contact me asap—for a lot of reasons. I don’t want to make my cell phone available to everyone on your blog so can you email me. My son is heading to Toulouse for next year and working on cool projects that you will find interesting. Our first exchange student from France is here right now. etc. etc. etc.
    Monique moniqued@aldentepasta.com

  8. About duck confit. Confit is so worth it. I was intrigued recently by a post where the person did confit chicken legs. Confit of course means cooked in fat. If you didn’t reder enough duck fat you could use chicken fat (schmaltz),lard or even olive oil (or any combiation in a pinch). Part of whats important is the seasoning and letting it get into the meat before cooking. Also to give it some time after cooking (the French used this method to keep meat throught an entire winter).

  9. Wow, interesting and diverse life you lead! Keep up good work on your blog.

  10. Hello Noelle!
    I lived in Strasbourg for nearly ten years and learned to make tartes flambees from my ex-boyfriend’s mom, a true Alsatian farmer. We were lucky enough to have a brick oven and we’d make the dozens of tartes flambees each year when we’d harvest the grapes and make wine (all done the very same day with the help of all our friends).
    I’ve been back in California for some time and I’ve made tartes flambees a couple of times. I just wanted to suggest using greek yogurt instead of creme fraiche, it is really very similar to fromage blanc and you’ll love it.
    That’s all!
    Very nice blog, thanks.

  11. I found your site via twitter…think it’s great. Have enjoyed reading it. Recently entered the food blogging world myself and have had such a blast. Keep up the great work…you’ve been bookmarked!

  12. Hey Noelle,

    We just also found your site and are digging it…would love to ask you to the next underground dinner as a diner or volunteer, but if you can’t make it, we’ll be reading for sure…

    Bona Sera’s Bad Fairy

  13. HI,
    Great column. I’d love to invite you to one of our Come Hungry, Leave Happy strolling and tasting tours at Eastern Market.
    There’s lots of exciting things happening with food, drink and fun.

    We have some tours called: Great Forks and would like to get the word out.
    One of our specialties, is to customize a culinary-food type tour for groups, so there are many things we’ve done that are not on the website.
    Call us and we’ll create something.
    Keep up the good work !!


  14. Hey. Grew up in Lansing, and was thinking about El Az and the jocoque and blue corn enchiladas. Any idea if the recipes are published anywhere?

  15. Just wanted to drop in and let you know how much i appreciated your article in Model D about the international grocery shops in Hamtramck. Can’t wait to go out there and explore…i’m originally from cleveland. i used to frequent the west side market and all the divine international food stores in the same vicinity. reading your article made me feel nostalgic. currently, i live in ann arbor. of course there are a plethora of food shops here, but they are all incredibly $$$$$$$. anyway, thanks a bunch.

    • Thanks Nadia! If you’re looking for Indian/ Bengali groceries, I think there are places in Canton, which would obviously be closer. But Hamtramck is fun for a visit and to stock up, for sure.

  16. I’m really enjoying your blog. Makes my mouth water!!!!

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