December Roundup

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Friday Round Up

It’s been a busy, busy, busy month for me, and before it ended, I just wanted to take a few minutes to round up everything that caught my eye in the blogosphere this month for posterity. I’ll be returning to the normal Friday roundup format next week. Weekly events will now be replaced by a Event Calendar that you can find on the right side pane.

If you haven’t made plans for tonight yet, here’s a list of the various places in town that have something going on. Many of them require reservations, which may be filled at this point, but it’s a place to start.

And speaking of the New Year, I guess it’s time to reflect on what I’d like to accomplish, at least with food, in 2007. Here’s what I’ve come up with:

- I’d like to have a healthier relationship with food in 2007. I’d like to gain enough control over it to lose 100 lbs. by this time next year. This will mean more moderation on my part, something which I severely lacked in 2006, and also increased activity, which means I’ll need to incorporate exercise into my life. Kalyn’s post about the South Beach Diet is almost enough to convince me to give it a try, especially considering my known insulin resistance problem.

- I’d like to attend more food related functions this year – last year I attended the North Market Apron Gala and Taste the Future, which I hope to attend this year as well. I’d like to attend more industry functions and more festivals next summer.

- I’d like to learn how to take better photographs, which means learning how to use my new photo in a box for lighting, and acquiring and learning to use a DSLR by the end of the year.

- I’d like to learn how to preserve food, either by canning or cold storage, so that I can enjoy nature’s bounty in the months of no local food.

- I’d like to expand the site to include links to more restaurant menus, more local resources for foodies, and more things that make this a Columbus-centric site rather than having the focus so much on myself and my family.

- I’d like to get to know more local artisans and food producers.

- I’d like to eat out more often – I’m shooting for one restaurant review every 2 weeks, since we have plenty of places in town yet to try.

- I’d like to either establish or join a supper club this year.

There are many more small things I’d love to do, but these are the biggies for 2007.

In local restaurant news, it looks like DaVinci, which had been torn down several months ago to make way for a new strip mall, has reopened as a much smaller Caffe DaVinci at the same location. I wonder if they still have that wonderful lunch buffet?

Speaking of pictures, check out the amazing color of the fruit in this entry by winoandfoodies.com. It makes me long for early summer and Ohio strawberries!

I wish I would have seen Dumneazu’s post about Katz’s Deli before my trip to New York. I had the hardest time trying to find a decent corned beef sandwich while I was there.

Savory recipes that I’d like to try are Pork Goulash and Sauerkraut Casserole from the Columbus Dispatch, Wasabi-Crusted Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Apples, Curry, and Honey from Acme Instant Food, Roasted Butternut Squash Puree with Caramelized Onion, Goat Cheese and Sage from Adventures of a Digestive Diva, Leek and Vegetable Gratin from Albion Cooks, Migas and Holubki from Coconut & Lime, Chicken and Dumplings from Cook & Eat, Osso Buco from Cookthink, Risotto with Leek, Broccoli, and Feta from Dinner for One, Tramps on Horseback from Eat, Mustard Pork Chops and Colcannon from English Patis, Porcupine Meatballs from Flavors, Hungarian Chicken Paprikash with Pierogi from Garlicster, Kalyn’s 2006 Herb Blend from Kalyn’s Kitchen, Chicken Thighs with Balsamic Vinegar from The Kitchen – Apartment Therapy, Potato Latke Master Recipe from The Kosher Blog, Two Onion Tart from Live to Nibble, Truffle Egg Pasta from Local Eats, Farfalle with Pistachio Cream Sauce from Pinch My Salt, Orecchiette with Cherry Tomatoes and Arugula from Smitten Kitchen, Poblano Rice Cake from Too Many Chefs, Bread Pudding with Ham, Leeks, and Cheese from Trivialissimo, and Finnish Meatballs and Hummus from The Wednesday Chef.

Sweet recipes that are keepers: Fleur de Sel Caramels from 28 Cooks, Ultimate Turtle Brownies from Cooking Debauchery, Croissant Bread Pudding with Pecan Toffee Sauce from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody, 2006 Holiday Cookies from Dessert by Candy, Salted Caramel Ice Cream from Gastronome, German Pancakes from Smitten Kitchen, and Rolo Pecan Candies from Something So Clever.

In informative posts this month, The Columbus Dispatch tells us all about cheese, and in an older (but new to me and related to cheese also) post, Cake and Commerce tells us how to assemble a cheese plate. Also, Candy Addict gives us an amusing, but insightful look at Boxed Chocolate – Rules of the House. Cooking for Engineers explains how to temper chocolate, and Cookthink shows us how to prep and use leeks. The Ethicurean answers the question, What is a Whole Grain?.

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A few new foodie sites have launched. Among them is Serious Eats, a collaboration of several food bloggers, and FoodCandy.

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Anne from Anne’s Food had a post last month about what she misses from the US. Since I’ve moved from my hometown, it inspired me to reflect on what I miss from places of my past.

- I definitely miss Philly cheesesteaks something fierce. The stuff we get in Ohio doesn’t even come close – I miss the honest to goodness steaks at Jim’s Steaks, served on an Amoroso’s bun “wit Whiz” and fried onions.

- I miss cheesesteak strombolis, which are IMPOSSIBLE to find outside of the Philly/South Jersey area. If you’re lucky enough to find someplace in Columbus that makes strombolis in the first place, they will look at you like you’re insane if you ask if they can make a cheesesteak stromboli. I’ve yet to find a place that will.

- I miss Tastykakes, specifically Peanut Butter Kandykakes. So much so, that when we visitors from the East Coast, the price of admission for our accommodations are a couple of boxes of Tastykakes. We had some fantastic absolutely fresh Butterscotch Krimpets in a little corner deli in NYC, and it was pure heaven. Probably the best thing I ate my entire vacation.

- I miss Yocco’s Hot Dogs, based in Lehigh Valley, PA – this is my husband’s home area, and he introduced me to the crack which is a Yocco’s Dog. Paired with an order of three deep fried Mrs. T’s pierogies, this is manna in a paper bag. Again, we ask our East Coast visitors to bring a Doggie Pack with them when they visit.

- I miss Grandma Utz’ potato chips, the thick cut chips that are hand-cooked to perfection in lard. Sometimes, with the folded over chips, you get a caught dollop of lard, which is pure bliss.

- I miss Italian subs from Giovanni’s Deli on the corner of Oak and East in Vineland, NJ. Absolutely the best Italian sub I’ve ever had in my life, and from what I hear, 20 years later, the place is still going strong and is still the best Italian sub in Vineland, NJ.

- I miss apple strudel from Friedman’s Bakery in Vineland, NJ. This place closed a few years ago, and I haven’t been able to find a suitable replacement since.

- I miss Philly/NY style pizza. Pizza in Ohio is either cracker crust or too thick. NY style pizza is huge slices, thin soft crust under the toppings (which makes it foldable), and nice chewy outer crust. The best of bost worlds. The closest I’ve found locally is Whole Foods, believe it or not.

- I miss Puerto Rican food. You absolutely, positively can’t find it here. I keep telling myself if I opened a Puerto Rican restaurant in Columbus I’d make a killing, because the food is so delicious. In particular, every time I visit my home town I must visit Penalvert’s. Of course, this desire for Puerto Rican may be driven by the fact I have a pernil roasting in the oven as we speak. ;P

Please comment and tell me what foods you miss the most, if you’re far from your hometown in this holiday season.

Have a happy new year, everyone. I hope to be back in 2007 with lots more stuff!

3 Responses to “December Roundup”

  1. Christiane Says:

    Wow – Yocco’s hot dogs?? I haven’t had one of those in years, but I still remember how much I used to love them. I live in Lancaster, and I know what you mean about Amoroso rolls and cheesesteak strombolis!

    Happy New Year, and here’s hoping there’s a Yocco somewhere in 2007 for you!

  2. Kalyn Says:

    Thanks for mentioning my spice rub. Good with your weight loss efforts, no matter what plan you decide to try. A blog that I find very inspiring as far as showing someone who has lost a lot of weight using South Beach is this one:
    http://www.pastaqueen.com/halfofme/. Plus she is a great writer too.

  3. Taylor Says:

    I’m new to the area and I’ve been reading your post off and on. Could you offer me some advice on local food shopping… italian grocer? fresh food and vegetables? mexican grocer? seafood, meats? good, large liquor store? I’d be very appreciative for your (or anyone’s) advice. creative23ma@yahoo.com

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