Friday Round Up 9/22/06

Congratulations to (sorta) local food blogger Barbara of Tigers & Strawberries on the birth of her beautiful new daughter Kat.

This week, Columbus Dispatch readers voted Giammarco’s as the best spaghetti in town. Can’t say I’ve ever heard of the place, I’ll definitely need to check them out. Now, they want your input on who has the best beef brisket in Columbus. My vote definitely goes to City Barbeque! Cast your vote and be entered to win a restaurant gift certificate.

Let’s just suffice it to say that my chicken soup experiment earlier this week was a total failure. Which is odd, because usually even though my chicken soup doesn’t usually come out great, it at least tastes better than dirty dishwater. Next time around, I’m definitely going to use Meghan of Bay Area Bites recipe for Shiksa Matzo Ball Soup.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Inspired by this post by Tania of The Candied Quince, I made a Rahmapfelkuchen (note: link broken so recipe below):



1 ½ c. all purpose flour, sifted
5 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. grated lemon zest
2/3 c. butter
1 large egg yolk
1 tbsp. milk

½ c. bread crumbs
2 tbsp. butter, melted
4 c. tart apples, sliced
1 tbsp. lemon juice
¼ c. sugar
¼ c. seedless raisins, soaked in ¼ c. rum for ½ hr
¼ c. rum
3 large eggs, beaten
1/3 c. sugar
1 ¾ c. milk

To make crust, mix flour, sugar and lemon rind. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add egg yolk and 1 tbsp. of milk, mix gently to form a dough. Pat into bottom of a 10 inch springform pan that has sides only greased. Press dough up sides of pan for 1 inch.

To make filling, toss together bread crumbs and melted butter. Spread evenly over pastry crust. Toss apple slices, lemon juice, and ¼ cup of sugar. Spread apples over crumbs. Drain raisins, reserving rum, and sprinkle raisins over apples. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 15 minutes. Beat eggs and sugar until thick and lemon colored. Stir in milk and reserved rum. Pour custard over apples and bake for 45 to 60 minutes at 350F until custard is set. Cool completely before serving. Do not remove springform pan sides until cool.

and inspired (to the point of actually going out and buying bananas to purposely let them overripen) by Faith’s Ultimate Banana Bread at Mekuno Cooking, I made three loaves of banana nut bread:

Banana Nut Bread

My pics didn’t come out nearly as pretty as either of theirs, but the desserts sure tasted good! The recipes for both can be found on their blogs. If this is indicative of the cooking skills of other food bloggers, then I’m certainly impressed!

Must have this. I love fresh soft pretzels, but mine always come out looking mutated. I know what Alton says about unitaskers, and this is a unitasker if there ever was one, but I’m still tempted.

It never ceases to amaze me exactly how much I have to learn from other food bloggers. The amount of information out there is staggering, and each week I’m humbled by the knowledge of everyone else. For example, Maria from Garlicster gives us a lesson on the different types of garlic. I just discovered hardneck garlic this summer through the CSA I belong to. I’d love to try the taste test myself. Ditto with trying different types of honey.

Maki from I was just really hungry tells us how to navigate a farmer’s market. Even though she lives in Switzerland, her advice applies no matter what part of the world you’re in.

Love, love, love this post on Slashfood that informs us how and where to store produce in a handy printable chart. Needless to say this is getting printed out and stored on my fridge. Speaking of Slashfood, I have tons of leftover rice from making fried rice last night, I really need to use it up by trying this recipe for rice pudding. I’ve never had any success with making rice pudding before (it always turns to scrambled eggs before it’s done), but this seems worth trying because it doesn’t call for any eggs and the picture looks so yummy and creamy.

Also love the concept highlighted by Miss Ginsu The Hedonista in her post earlier this week about local growers who offer online ordering. Of course, my dream store would have nothing but local produce and meat and dairy, and all other items for sale would be produced by local artisans. A girl can dream, can’t she? The farmer’s markets come close, but I’m thinking of something indoors that isn’t dependent on the farmers being there to man the stands.

I’ve been wondering what to do to promote my blog around town – meaning, sometimes when I talk to different vendors, people I run into, etc. in the course of normal conversation it comes up that I have a food blog, which always leads to them asking for my URL – so at that point, its a mad scramble through a messy purse to find a pen and some scrap paper to write down the URL. I’ve been playing around with the idea of printing up some business cards at home with just the URL on them. And then I ran into this. Flickr MiniCards. This is PERFECT. Food porn on one side, my URL on the other. You can get 10 free if you have Flickr Pro, or order 100 for $20. It’s a bit tricky to crop my existing pics to fit the format of the cards, but then again, it gives me a whole new ratio to take pictures in, too. I went with 4 each of 25 different pictures, but you can choose as many or as few pictures as you want.

I am really, really, really craving red meat. Steak. Medium rare. I don’t usually like sauces sullying up my steak, but this recipe for Filet Steaks with an Irish Whisky & Cream Pan Sauce from Sheri at Pork Cracklins has got me drooling. And Lord have mercy, a spinach salad on the side would truly hit the spot.

Speaking of spinach. I wanted to save this part for last, as I’ve got quite a bit to say on the matter, much of which has been said by so many others, and much more eloquently than I could ever put it.

I’m not making light of the people who have gotten really sick or died because of the E. coli outbreak, but personally, I think this whole spinach thing has gone from what should have been a limited recall, to out and out hysteria and overreaction. The fearmongering of the media and regulatory agencies has made it so that I likely won’t see any fresh spinach salads for far into the future. I don’t know if spinach is in season currently in Ohio, but if it is, I’m definitely going to buy my share. On the news tonight, they said that fresh spinach won’t be offered in stores until current harvesting and processing methods are improved. Frozen spinach just doesn’t cut it. This just reinforces my belief that eating local is the best. I trust my local farmers. I have much more to say on the whole subject, and am still trying to think and process the whole thing in my mind.

Until next week, folks…