Monthly Archives: September 2006

SHF23: Jewish Apple Cake

This month’s Sugar High Friday, hosted by Alannna of A Veggie Venture, surprised me when she announced the theme: “The theme for September’s Sugar High Friday is … ta da … Surprise Inside. Let the creative juices flow! What’s your inside surprise, a secret ingredient? a chocolate-covered raspberry? an almond in rice pudding? a gush of lava chocolate?”

I pretty much waited until the last minute on this one, because I changed my mind about a hundred times before settling on a dish that I thought would work for this challenge. So what did I decide on?? Jewish Apple Cake!

Jewish Apple Cake

This cake recipe is from my mom, who used to make this regularly for office functions to the raves of her co-workers. I have fond memories of eating the leftovers, and as soon as I was old enough to bake on my own, I asked her for the recipe.

There are actually two surprises with this one – the most obvious one is apples, as you can’t tell that this is anything other than a bundt cake from the outside. The second surprise? Orange juice. It gives the cake a slight citrusy kick that complements the apples and cinnamon quite well.

Jewish Apple Cake Slice

Jewish Apple Cake (Mom’s)

3 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 c. white sugar
1 c. vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/4 c. orange juice
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
5 tsp. white sugar

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour one 10-inch tube or bundt pan. Combine the ground cinnamon and 5 tsp. of the sugar together and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder and 2 cups of the sugar. Stir in the vegetable oil, beaten eggs, orange juice and vanilla. Mix well.

Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Top with half of the sliced apples and sprinkle with half of the cinnamon sugar mixture. Pour the remaining batter over the top and layer the remaining sliced apples and cinnamon sugar.

Bake at 350F for 70 to 90 minutes.

Columbus Events 9/22/06 to 9/28/06

This week is a quiet one for Columbus events, enjoy the lull in the action and check out some of the farmer’s markets this weekend, since the growing season is coming to an end soon!

September is the month for cultural festivals, and coming up on Saturday the 23rd is the India Festival at Veteran’s Memorial on Broad Street in Columbus. From 10 am to 10pm, enjoy Indian cuisine, health and wellness, musical and cultural performances and much more! You can purchase tickets for $6 per person (over age 5) at the door.

Still going on this weekend: Jack Hanna’s Fall Fest at the Columbus Zoo. According to the Columbus Zoo web site, “join Jack Hanna and his animal friends for a festival of the harvest season with special demonstrations including composting and pumpkin carving. Enjoy seasonal treats like kettel corn and grilled corn on the cob and take a hay ride around the Zoo.” Admission to the Fest is free with regular zoo admission.

Also, finishing up this weekend: The Delaware County Fair is in full swing from September 16-23rd. Get ready for agricultural events, rides, harness racing, and best of all – FAIR FOOD! Admission price depends on the day that you go, but is usually $5 per person.

Classes this week at Sur La Table:
September 23 – Kids Cupcake Workshop Ages 6-9 (Hands On) 10:30a $35
September 25 – Saveur Italian (Hands On) 6:30p $75
September 27 – Part 2 of Basic Cooking 3 Part Series: Sauteeing and Frying 6:30p $195 for the series
September 28 – Flavors of India Series: Healthy Vegetarian 6:30p $65

As always, if there’s an event that you’d like me to mention in this weekly post, drop me an email at columbusfoodie at gmail dot com.

Childhood Food Memories Meme

This is an old meme, but I just ran across it while reading the archives of Danno’s Cook’s Journal blog. The point of the meme is to give 5 childhood food memories. Here are mine.

1. Helping Opa (grandfather) plant and tend the backyard garden, in the middle of summer. Remembering the squishy feel of the warm soil between my toes. Him letting me have my own area to grow anything I wanted. Helping him harvest everything and helping Oma (grandmother) prep the beans by snapping off the edges before cooking and freezing them for winter.

2. Taking it upon myself to cook dinner at age 11 without asking permission first, and making pineapple meatloaf that tasted horrible. I figured if it was in a cookbook, it tasted good. I was wrong.

3. Eating all of Oma’s wonderful food, and her showing me how to make it (oh, how I wish I would have paid more attention or wrote things down, some things are lost to me forever now). Sauerbraten, Gulasch, Kartoffelknodel and Brotknodel, Spaetzle, Gemuse mit Kartoffel, Frikadellen, Apfelkuchen, and so much more…

4. The subs at McCluskey’s Deli on the corner of 7th and Main in Millville, NJ. Instead of spending my lunch money on lunch, I’d go there with the $2 and buy an Italian sub (.99), a bag of sour cream and onion chips (.89), and 12 Swedish Fish. All the time. McCluskey’s is long gone, but the memories are still fresh.

5. My mom’s cheesecake, which is the best I’ve ever had. She didn’t bake it that often, but when she did, we descended on it like a pack of wolves.

Those are my choices. What childhood food memories do you have?

Weekend Dog Blogging #52

Weekend Dog Blogging is an event held by Cate of Sweetnicks, and today is my first time participating. She posts a round-up of all participants every Sunday night, so be sure to check it out!

Here’s Sadie in her usual spot, curled up on the leather chair in my den. She looks slightly annoyed because she was awakened by the sound of my camera turning on. But, being the calm and sweet dog she is, she just gave me that “just take the picture already” look and let me take as many as I wanted.

Sadie 9/16/06

Diva, on the other hand, is the rambunctious one. It’s hard to get her to stay still for anything, let alone a picture. Husband distracted her long enough with a Bobo to get her to stay still for this shot.

Diva 9/16/06


Weekend Cat Blogging #67

Here is my first effort at getting involved in some of the weekly blog events. With two cats and two dogs, this seemed like a logical choice. This week, the event is being hosted by

Here’s Frankie, curled up on his favorite spot in our bedroom – the perch on the window above our bed.

Frankie 9/16/06

And here’s Sammy, having been deposed by Frankie, sulking in his cat bed:

Sammy 9/16/06

ETA: The host’s CMS isn’t letting me comment or send a message, so this entry probably won’t be in the round up. If someone else is doing WCB this week, could you drop her my permalink as well when you send your message? Thanks.

Friday Round Up 9/15/06

I found another Columbus food blogger at The Holy Crepe! Cool..I wonder how many of us are out here? Maybe one day there will be enough of us to have a Columbus (or Ohio?) Food Blogger Picnic or Potluck or something.

I really want to try this recipe for Schmarren (German Omelet). It sounds interesting, like a really eggy pancake. I wonder if this would be good with apples in it?

The Dispatch wants to know Who has the best spaghetti in town?. Too bad Carfagna’s isn’t a choice. If I write it in, will it count?? (Since they aren’t technically a restaurant). Cast your vote, and you might win a $25 gift card. BTW, last week readers chose Cap City Fine Diner as the best meatloaf in town. Do you agree or disagree? I’ll admit, they came to mind as the best, until I remembered the EXCELLENT chicken meatloaf at North Market Poultry and Game. Yum.

Speaking of the Dispatch, their restaurant reviewer gave Tropical Bistro (or as I like to call it, Kahiki Lite), a scathing review. Way too brutal. I can’t say I’ve ever been to Kahiki, so I don’t know how it compares, but the times I’ve been there at dinner time, the food was excellent, the drinks were inventive, and the presentation was superb. I do review restaurants on my blog from time to time, and before I write a bad review, I’ll visit a restaurant at least twice, during two different times of the day. While I’ll admit that lunch at Tropical Bistro probably was off when he visited, it’s a shame that Jon Christensen wasn’t patient enough to give it one more try before writing a review that can make or break a new restaurant, that at least for me, fills the void that the closing of Kahiki left in the Central Ohio restaurant market. But then, of course, I disagree with Jon Christensen on many of his reviews. To each his own, I suppose. But take it from one foodie to another, don’t let the Dispatch review put you off, give it a try at least once (preferably at dinnertime, when it’s sit down rather than buffet), and you’ll see what I’m talking about. It’s as much about the experience as it is the food.

Lots of good instructive food blog posts this week. Alanna from A Veggie Venture teaches us how to make salad dressing, and Kate from Accidental Hedonist tells us about the different types of butter.

I guess I won’t be buying any bagged spinach for a while. While Ohio isn’t one of the states listed, I’m not taking any chances.

I’ve found a way to use those heirloom cherry tomatoes that we got at last weekends farmers market, thanks to Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen.

I’m going to New York in December for a vacation I won, and frankly, I’m a little intimidated by the size of the city. It’s way outside my comfort zone – I’m used to getting where I need to go in a car, finding sufficient parking (even valet parking in LA freaked me out a bit), planning out where I’m going to go before I get to the vacation destination, etc. But for some strange reason, New York seems like a foreign country to me – a foreign country where I’ll stand out like a sore thumb, because while I’m no country bumpkin, I’m no urban type either. I’m unsure about the subways, the safety factor, etc. And I’m probably just being paranoid. But Adam, The Amateur Gourmet wrote a entry about his experience at Le Cirque that has me really worried. Why? Because there’s no doubt, I’m the person that they’d seat at the bad table. Hell, it happens here in Columbus from time to time – fat folk like my husband and I get stuck in the corner all the time. But in New York? We’ll both stick out like sore thumbs.

So, I put the call out to any New Yorkers that read this blog. We’ll be staying at the Westin New York at Times Square at the corner of 43rd and 8th. Can anyone recommend a place within 1-2 blocks of there that has great food and no attitude toward non-beautiful/rich/elegant people? Just good food and good service? I have to say, I looked at the menu for Le Cirque, and I wasn’t impressed. $24 for a pea appetizer at lunch time? Are they high? While I can certainly afford it, I’d rather spend my money on good take-away if need be. Ethnic food is a plus, and a good deli (with good food at a decent value) is a must. I’m open to any/all suggestions, just as long as they don’t involve a subway ride.

Now that there’s a slight chill in the air, why not whip up some September Soup? Christine from Christine Cooks tells us all about her yearly ritual. It sounds like a great way to use all those CSA and farmer’s market veggies to me! And if you’re in the mood for something a little more spicy, L of Cookbook 411 offers up a recipe for Kitchen Sink Green Chile Stew that would really hit the spot.

I think a road trip to Cleveland is in order soon. Between this excellent review of Balaton on Blogging Ohio, and the reminder of why I love the West Side Market by Skillet Doux, the two hour trip must be made soon. There’s two places in the West Side Market that have food that I’m craving – the Pierogie Palace (because I love the ‘rogies, and they have tons of different flavors), and some shop that has UK delicacies like pasties and scotch eggs and bridies that I can’t remember the name of right now. Besides, it will give me a chance to see friends while I’m up there.

Until next week….

Columbus Events 9/15/06 to 9/21/06

This weekend is the Columbus Maennerchor Oktoberfest – offering German music, food, beverages and more. Friday 5pm to midnight, Saturday 3pm to midnight, and Sunday noon to 6pm. Admission is $6 on Friday and Saturday, and free on Sunday. The Maennerchor is at 966 S. High St. Call 614-444-3531 for more information.

Every Saturday and Sunday until October 22nd, the 17th Annual Ohio Renaissance Festival will be held in Harveysburg, OH (about an hour south of Columbus). Lots of enterainment, crafts and food. Tickets are $16.99 for adults, $9.99 for children ages 5-12, and children under 5 enter for free. Please see the web site for more information.

On Saturday, September 16th from 8:00-11:30am, the Whetstone Music Boosters Pancake Breakfast will be held. Tickets are $5 and include all you can eat pancakes, sausages, and beverages. Call Joe Jackson at 614-431-1220 for tickets.

Also on Saturday at the North Market is the Columbus Microbrew Festival. Several local breweries will be pouring samples of their favorite drafts. Admission is free, but if you’d like to taste the beer, tasting admission is $12 and includes a commemorative pint glass and six tasting tickets (additional tickets available for .50 each). If you go to one of the participating microbreweries before the event, you can get a discount coupon for $2 off of the tasting admission fee. While you’re there, eat from some of their wonderful vendors or pick up a few things at the farmer’s market. Festival hours are 12-7pm. For more information, call 614-463-9664, or visit the North Market web site.

The Delaware County Fair is in full swing from September 16-23rd. Get ready for agricultural events, rides, harness racing, and best of all – FAIR FOOD! Admission price depends on the day that you go, but is usually $5 per person.

This weekend (September 16-17) and next weekend (September 23-24) is Jack Hanna’s Fall Fest at the Columbus Zoo. According to the Columbus Zoo web site, “join Jack Hanna and his animal friends for a festival of the harvest season with special demonstrations including composting and pumpkin carving. Enjoy seasonal treats like kettel corn and grilled corn on the cob and take a hay ride around the Zoo.” Admission to the Fest is free with regular zoo admission.

September 21st is the Columbus Chamber of Commerce’s 83rd Annual Clambake, held at the Columbus Zoo in Powell from 5:00PM-9:00PM. Do some networking while enjoying a seafood feast. $75 for members, $90 for non-members, contact Susan Merryman at 614-225-6946 for more information.

Classes this week at Sur La Table:

September 16 – Basic Cake Decorating (Hands On) 10:30AM $65
September 19 – The Global Table: Vietnamese Cuisine (Hands On) 6:30PM $65
September 20 – Part 1 of Basic Cooking 3 Part Series: Stocks and Soups, Sauteeing and Frying; Grilling and Roasting (Hands On) 6:30PM $195 for the entire series
September 21: Flavors of India Series: All About Curries (Hands On) 6:30PM $65

Call the Easton store at 614-473-1211 for more information about classes.

As always, if there’s an event that you’d like me to mention in this weekly post, drop me an email at columbusfoodie at gmail dot com.

Event: Taste the Future 2006

Last night was the 18th Annual Taste the Future 2006 event, and Paul and I were lucky enough to bbe able to attend. We definitely weren’t disappointed. Amazing food. Amazing atmosphere. And the chance for us to try tons of things we’ve never had the opportunity to try before. For example, the seared (but mostly raw) tuna you see below. It was fantastic, not at all what I expected.

I love the plating on this Togarashi Crusted Tuna with Ginger Scented Edamame Puree and Chilled Mint Cucumber Broth from The Rossi Bar. It’s definitely an establishment we’ll have to try out soon, as I’ve heard nothing but great things about their food:

Togarashi Crusted Tuna w/ Ginger Scented Edamame Puree and Chilled Mint Cucumber Broth

This fundraiser is held every year by the Columbus State Development Foundation in order to raise scholarship money. It’s an opportunity for budding Central Ohio chefs to show off their skills and knowledge. I was so impressed by the talent of the bunch that were here, if the quality of the food last night was indicative of what we have to expect in the next decade in our restaurants, we’re in excellent hands.

It also gave me the opportunity to try the wares from restaurants/stores I’ve been meaning to check out, like these Parisian style Macaroons from Pistachio:

Assorted Parisian Style Macaroons

There was so much food and so many restaurants represented here that we were full very quickly, but managed to make it to all 58 tables in around 3 hours. By the end, I wasn’t tasting as much, and was doing more ooh-ing and aah-ing about the pretty presentation, while hubby was still tasting. Look at the beautiful colors on this roasted pepper antipasti from Katering by Keni/Posh Nosh:

Roasted Sweet Bell Peppers

The biggest surprise of the evening was that I actually enjoyed foods I don’t normally like in combinations I thought wouldn’t taste good, but actually did. The runaway hit of the night, at least for me, was the Roasted Duck Breast and Foie Gras “Sliders” with Figs, Preserved Ginger, and Port Wine Glaze from The Winding Hollow Country Club – it was an amazing combination of flavors, but unfortunately I didn’t get a clear picture of it. Another amazing combination, according to my husband was this Roasted Rack of New Zealand Lamb with Blackberry-Horseradish Demi and Black Mission Figs from The Granville Inn:

Roasted Rack of New Zealand Lamb with Blackberry-Horseradish Demi and Black Mission Figs

All in all, we had a great time and look forward to attending next year.

Dessert Exotique

In the meantime, check out the complete photoset of 60 pictures at Flickr. There were so many amazing pictures that I couldn’t fit them all in my blog entry.

OLS Week 11 – 100% Local Breakfast

Sunday is more of a day for relaxation, and eating the fruits of the labor of the day before. I love taking the time to make a nice big breakfast on Sunday morning, as it gives me the energy to do all the cooking on Sunday afternoon when I inevitably process all the purchases from the Saturday farmer’s market.

While most Sundays breakfast entrees consist of something local, this is the first time I’ve made a conscious effort to make sure that the entire breakfast is local. The One Local Summer project hosted by Liz at Pocket Farm was just the thing I needed to push me over that threshold of mostly local to COMPLETELY local. I’m coming in late in the game, but better late than never! So without further aideu, let me describe what graced our plate this week.

100% Local Breakfast

Clockwise, from the top – potatoes and onions from Just This Farm CSA, sauteed in a touch of canolive oil until browned – to say that we’ve been receiving a bounty in the past few weeks CSA boxes is an understatement. We’ve got so much stuff that we’ve been sharing much of it with family and our neighbors.

Next, Chicken Breakfast Sausage Patties from Speckled Hen Farm, purchased at the Worthington Farmer’s Market. Great flavor. We also purchased some chicken brats that we’re cooking later today, and a stewing chicken for making stock later this week.

At the bottom is an omelette made from 3 Aracauna eggs from Just This Farm CSA, filled with local sharp cheddar cheese purchased from a vendor at the Worthington Farmer’s Market.

At left, is seedless watermelon purchased at the North Market Farmer’s market, and at 11 o’clock is half of a ham and cheese croissant from Omega Artisan Bakery.

Needless to say, we’re both stuffed. And feeling pretty good about supporting local farmers.

Friday Round Up 9/8/06

Benjamin Christie offers some great advice to new bloggers or those looking to increase their visibility and traffic in his Food Blog Aggregator and Content Syndication article. Lots of good pointers and links to places to submit your food blog.

Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb brings up an interesting discussion in the article Obesity: A Product of Affluence or Poverty?. He brings up interesting points about personal responsibility for one’s weight despite their ability to afford “good” food. My take??

I’ve been poor, I’ve been rich. I’ve had to live on a grocery budget of $105/month for 3 people, and I’ve had unlimited access to buy as much food as I want. The trends I’ve noticed?? When I was poor, I was buying lots of high-fat, high carb food like spaghetti, ramen, mac and cheese, potatoes, etc. I would buy 70% lean meat. Very little meat, produce, or protein. Lots of fast food because it was cheaper to eat every other day from the dollar menu than to buy groceries and make something. Surprisingly, I didn’t gain weight during this time – ONLY because of my level of activity. Since I didn’t have a car, I’d have to walk to get groceries, or to work, or to run errands.

Now, when I’m more comfortable financially, I’m eating much better (lots of organics, free-range, produce, etc) but my weight is fluctuating up and down — all directly related to my activity level. My diet is more balanced, but I’m not losing weight. I’m also not exercising, so there you go.

So, while I do think that being poor does contribute to obesity because of the cost of better-for-you food, your activity level has way more to do with it.

My solution is probably silly. I’m thinking back to the days where people (like my grandparents) had a backyard garden and grew their own fruits and veggies. Cheap enough to start (seeds or seedlings – from my $1 tomato plant alone I must have got $30 worth of tomatoes this year), bountiful, lots of exercise tending to the garden, and the abundance can be canned/preserved for less bountiful times. For those with no backyard, community gardens can acheive the same thing. Share the work, share the bounty.

Oh, and fast food is evil and what I think is the biggest contributor to obesity. Hubs wanted something from Baja Fresh yesterday. I took one look at the nutritional info and almost had a heart attack – from what is supposedly “healthy” food. Your average Chipotle burrito has 1,000+ calories.

I’m fat, was fat when I was poor, and am fat now. And always will be until I get off my duff and exercise more and eat less.

Jeanne at Cook sister! posts a picture that gives a whole new meaning to food porn! Hee hee…

Nicky from Delicious Days gives us a rare view behind the scenes of food manufacture.

Redhotjezebel from A Variety of Fine Pickles posts about getting ready to go to the Texas State Fair this year. I *love* fair food, and unfortunately missed the Ohio State Fair this year because I was under the weather last month. Sigh. What I wouldn’t do for something on a stick or a funnel cake right now.

As a budding locavore, I read with great interest the article posted by Leah from Good Shmeats, entitled Local is the New Organic: What on Earth Am I Supposed to Eat?. Personally, that’s why I prefer buying my produce at farmer’s markets or buying into a CSA. That way, I know what I’m buying, where I’m buying it from, when it was picked, etc. And yes, there is a difference in taste between a fresh peach and a supermarket peach? Don’t believe me? Go to your farmer’s market tomorrow and buy one of the last peaches of the season. Your taste buds will thank you. 🙂

Küchenlatein posts a pic of a bratwurst of epic proportions. Lord have mercy, I really need to go to Germany next year if it kills me. I’ve never seen a brat that size in the US.

In Columbus news:

The Columbus Dispatch thinks that Rooster’s has the best wings in town, but I have to disagree. I much prefer BW3’s or Quaker Steak and Lube over Rooster’s. What about the rest of you locals? Who do you think has the best wings in town??

The Dispatch also wants you to vote on who has the best meatloaf in town. Cast your vote by September 11th and be entered to win a $25 gift certificate. Personally, I’m crazy about the Cap City Fine Diner meatloaf, so much so that I’ve dug up the recipe and make it regularly at home, but then again, I’ve never had the meatloaf from any of the other choices.

Until next week, folks…