On Saturday, April 25, the Michigan State University on-campus Starbucks team braced cold weather and wind to participate in a community service project working with the City of East Lansing Environmental Stewardship Program.

The team cleaned up flower beds and planted new flowers at the East Lansing Soccer Complex donor gardens located on Coleman Road. Twenty student volunteers weeded, edged and planted perennials that will pop up each spring at the complex.

Heather Surface, environmental stewardship coordinator for the City of East Lansing Parks, Recreation and Arts Department, shared that the department has received several “thank yous” for the efforts put forth by the Environmental Stewardship Program and the MSU Starbucks team.

“We are proud to partner with the City of East Lansing Environmental Stewardship Program,” said Michelle Pell, MSU Culinary Services Starbucks service manager. “The MSU Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement connected us with the program last year, when the Starbucks team cleaned up White Hills Park. The partnership is fun and rewarding and we look forward to another community service project next semester.”

To view photos from the project, visit the East Lansing Healthy Parks Facebook page.

Starbucks team members cleaning flower beds at East Lansing Soccer Complex.


By Peggy Crum, MA, RD, Health4U Nutritionist

ChivesChives are the smallest member of the onion (allium) family with bulbs so tiny you may not have noticed them. Ever wonder how they differ from scallions (green onions)? Both are alliums but chives are grown for their narrow green leaves and globes of lavender blossoms whereas scallions are grown for their white bulbs and green stalks. Chives are perennial. Scallions must be replanted each spring. Scallions are mild with more of a bite than delicately flavored chives. Scallions can be cooked but not chives—their flavor seems to disappear with cooking.

Choose chives with long slender leaves and fresh purple or pink flowers. Chives typically flower in cool weather so bunches of chives in the market may or may not have flowers included. Avoid bunches with yellowing leaves or flowers with brown on the tips of the petals. To store, wrap the roots in a damp paper towel then cover the base loosely with a plastic bag and place in the refrigerator. Chives freeze well—just slice as desired and seal in an airtight bag.

You could try your hand at growing your own. Perfect for container gardening, chives thrive just about anywhere as long as they have well-drained soil and sunshine. Cut off a few leaves at a time or a whole bunch. They like to be cut back completely, within an inch or two of the base, about every four to six weeks.

Chives have such delicate leaves that they tend to get bruised and mashed when chopped using a typical rocking motion. Instead, align chives in a bunch on a cutting board, place the tip of a very sharp knife in front of the bunch, and pull the blade slowly across them. Snipping with scissors works well, too.

Use fresh or frozen chives like any other herb. Gently stir them in at the end of cooking or sprinkle on top as a garnish. Use chive blossom petals to sprinkle on salads for a similar flavor as the leaves only milder.

Join Culinary Services Corporate Chef Kurt Kwiatkowski from 12:10 - 12:50 p.m. on Wednesday, April 8, at the Demonstration Kitchen in Brody Square as he demonstrates his chive rolls with compound butter recipe during the Health4U Recipe for Health program.

Can’t make it to Brody Square for the event? Join us online for an MSU Alumni Association LENS live stream presentation. Learn more by watching this trailer and view the live stream here:


It’s finals week—the MSU Spring 2015 semester is coming to an end and summer break is around the corner. MSU’s on-campus Starbucks locations are welcoming summer as well, offering some new and favorite summer beverages.

Enjoy the new S’mores Frappuccino with delicious, gooey layers of milk chocolate and marshmallowy whip below a creamy blend of graham, coffee, milk and ice, and finished off with more marshmallowy whip and a crunchy graham cracker crumble. Or, if you enjoy other Starbucks summer favorites, the Caramel Ribbon Crunch is back for a limited time, featuring buttery caramel syrup blended with Frappuccino roast, milk and ice, and topped with a layer of dark caramel sauce, whipped cream, caramel drizzle and crunchy caramel sugar topping.

Join us for Happy Hour! Enjoy half off any Frappuccino at our on-campus Starbucks locations from 3 – 5 p.m., May 1 through May 7 and 1 – 3 p.m. on Friday, May 8! My Starbucks Rewards® (MSR) members receive an additional hour of Happy Hour from 5 – 6 p.m. May 1 through May 7.

S'mores and Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino outside Starbucks at Wells.

For a limited time, Starbucks is excited to introduce a fun, new and undeniably cute way to enjoy Frappuccino blended beverages! Starting May 11, you can enjoy the new Mini Frappuccino blended beverages. Customers have been asking for a smaller size Frappuccino blended beverage to enjoy smaller portions and fewer calories while still enjoying a full-flavored treat.

If you crave a hot beverage for the chilly mornings, look forward to Teavana Youthberry and Pineapple Kona Pop brewed teas, coming soon.

Pair your beverages with the new Frappuccino Sugar Cookie—a sugar cookie in the shape of a Frappuccino blended beverage with chocolate icing. Dream of summer bonfires with the new Smore’s Tart, a fun new tart with delicious graham crust filled with chocolate ganache and topped with a hand-cut marshmallow that toasts in the oven. Enjoy summer berries with the Raspberry Swirl Pound Cake or the Red Berry Cheese Danish.

Available at Starbucks at Wells Hall, enjoy your favorite Frappuccino blended beverage at home with the new La Boulange Frappucino blended beverage Cookie Straw! You can also purchase new Starbucks Sweetened Iced Coffee K-Cup packs (Wells Hall only), or prepare your own Starbucks VIA Refreshers: the Strawberry Lemonade or the Instant Caramel Iced Coffee.

Bakery offerings, tumblers and VIA.

New Case Tumblers are also available for purchase at Starbucks at Wells. The tumbler is perfect for hot or cold beverages and offer personalization options with new colorful cases—collect them all!

Visit for our Starbucks locations. Finals hours are in effect starting Sunday, May 3. To view finals hours of operations visit


MSU Culinary Services hosted the third annual Student Spartan Chefs competition on April 21, 2015, at the Brody Square Demo Kitchen. Four teams of two student Culinary Services team members competed in the final challenge: Alex Brannon and Jeff Burnette from South Neighborhood; Team Earth, Wind & Flour, Brittany Coder and Ashlee Sanders from Brody Square; Team Sundae, Yixuan “Sunny” Wang and Dawei “David” Guo from East Neighborhood; and Ryan Barlow and Melanie Wong, aka Team Smokestack from the Culinary Services test kitchen.

Inspired by Food Network’s "Chopped," the student teams were tasked to prepare a recipe from a mystery basket of ingredients: pork butt, papaya, mustard greens and pork rinds. Each team was given 60 minutes to prepare, cook and plate their meals. Student Spartan Chefs judges Kari McGee, corporate kitchen sous chef, The Gallery at Snyder/Phillips Sous Chef Melissa Martinez and Robbia Pipper, Culinary Services special projects coordinator, tasted the dishes and provided feedback to each team. The teams were judged on serving presentation, overall flavor and creativity of the dish.

Congratulations to Team Smokestack, the 2015 Student Spartan Chefs, for their first-place braised pork taco. “They had the strongest dish, as far as how they represented the four mystery items,” said Chef McGee. “They went simple with the ingredients and made a pork taco with braised pork, brunoise tomatoes, pork rind-coated cilantro, thinly sliced papaya and mustard greens. The flavors came together well and their knife cuts were spot on.”

Winning dish: braised pork taco

Barlow and Wong competed in a preliminary challenge against other teams from the test kitchen, The Vista at Shaw, Riverwalk Marketat Owen and The Gallery at Snyder/Phillips for the chance to compete in the finals. “Working in the test kitchen, a lot of us interns really have a passion for food,” said Wong, a dietetics major and Culinary Services test kitchen intern. “I know that we all have competitive spirits, so we were just like, ‘game on!’”

“I like to cook, and if you’re not pushing yourself, then you’re not really learning anything new,” said Barlow, also a test kitchen intern and food science major. “Working in Culinary Services drew connections between science and food and helped me figure out what I wanted to work on as a career. And I want to keep working with food and the science behind it.”

Team Sundae from East Neighborhood earned second place in the competition. Both Wang and Guo are international students from China who began working for Culinary Services when they arrived on campus. “When I came here I wanted to have some job experience,” said Wang, a Culinary Services student cook supervisor and accounting major. “I came to enjoy working at the school—I know it’s not helping with my major at all … but I still wanted to keep on working on campus because I really enjoy working with a lot of people. I just like this place!”

Congratulations to all student chefs who participated!

Ryan Barlow and Melanie Wong (Team Smokestack)


By Peggy Crum, MA, RD, Health4U Nutritionist

SunchokesDo you know these gnarly little tubers as sunchokes or as Jerusalem artichokes? Or maybe you don’t know them at all! Jerusalem artichokes are not from Jerusalem and they are not artichokes. So the story goes, the Jerusalem part of their name comes from the Italian word for sunflower, girasole (pronounced jerr-uh-so-lay) which sounds a lot like Jerusalem. The artichoke part of the name seems more credible. While artichokes and Jerusalem artichokes are quite different from one another, they are cousins in the sunflower family and taste a lot alike. Since Jerusalem artichokes are native to North America, it seems only right to correct the misnomer and call them sunchokes.

Sunchokes have a distinctive flavor that is nutty and delicately sweet. Like potatoes, sunchokes are a starchy root vegetable but different in that their carbohydrate is mainly inulin (not to be confused with insulin). Inulin is not easily digested in some people giving rise to yet another name for this tuber—fartichokes. Best to take the cautious approach and start with small amounts if you never ate them before. The culinary benefit of inulin is a smooth and pleasant mouth feel.

You will find sunchokes in the produce department of most supermarkets. Choose plump-looking tubers. Avoid any that are sprouting, green tinged, shriveled  or molding. Wrapped in heavy plastic, they will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

To prepare, scrub them clean using a vegetable brush under running water. They do not need to be peeled. If you peel or cut into them, place them in a bowl of water with lemon juice or vinegar added to keep them from turning dark. Served raw, they add crunch similar to water chestnuts. Sunchokes sliced thin and cooked in oil or butter until golden brown and crisp makes a delicious appetizer or side dish. Steaming or boiling is an option but don’t expect them to cook evenly—some will remain firm while others soften.

Join Culinary Services Corporate Chef Kurt Kwiatkowski from 12:10 - 12:50 p.m. on Wednesday, April 8, at the Demonstration Kitchen in Brody Square as he demonstrates his twice cooked sunchokes recipe during the Health4U Recipe for Health program. Try the sunchokes during lunch at Brody Square, Riverwalk Market at Owen Hall and The Gallery at Snyder/Phillips.

Can’t make it to Brody Square for the event? Join us online for an MSU Alumni Association LENS live stream presentation. Learn more by watching this trailer and view the live stream here: