Friday Roundup 1/26/07

Sorry about the amount of time it’s been since my last post. With the health problems I have, I never know when my condition is going to flare up – when it does, I barely have enough energy to function, let alone cook or go out or even think about eating. I’ve been eating a lot of convenience foods this month, and have only left the house a handful of times. So it ended up turning into an unexpected three week hiatus. But I’m feeling much better and hopefully will get back in the swing of things soon.

I already have a bunch of stuff to post about, since I did manage to cook a couple of meals this past month. Plus I still have to post about December’s Christmas cookies (and here it is almost Valentine’s Day already!)

Tom Barlow posts a nice list of Columbus restaurants that would be perfect for Valentine’s Day. Remember to make your reservations early, folks. My husband and I are either going to celebrate on the weekend before or after, or maybe go out of town to a bed and breakfast or something. Haven’t decided yet.

Interesting reading. I’ve been made aware that the Columbus Health Department’s inspection reports for local restaurants are now online. I have to say, I was honestly surprised. Places that I thought would pass with flying colors had some severe deficiencies, while some I expected to have a nightmare record had no problems whatsoever. I can’t put too much stock in that, though. I’ve spent my time in the restaurant industry. If I think too hard about that stuff, I’d never go out to eat again. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Lisa the Restaurant Widow waxed poetic about one of my favorite local meat shops, Thurns. And then graced us with a wonderful recipe for Knackwurst and Kraut to use up those purchases. This place is the greatest – I went after Rosie did a great writeup of the place and mentioned it when we had dinner.

If you haven’t been yet, don’t hesitate for a second to go. It’s one of Columbus’ hidden treasures. You’ll thank yourself as soon as you walk in and the smoky smell hits you in the face. ๐Ÿ™‚ Word of warning, though – they don’t take plastic, so make sure you have cash or your checkbook with you if you go.

So Dispatch readers think Bob Evans has the best breakfast? Oy. Not to pooh pooh the opinion of Dispatch readers…but Bob Evans?? I think my mission this year is to convince my visitors to go outside of their comfort zone a bit and try some non-chain restaurants. One of these days I’ll do a post on the best breakfasts in town, and believe me — Bob Evans is not on that list. The Northstar Cafe definitely is. ๐Ÿ™‚

This week’s poll question is about one of my favorite subjects – chocolates and sweets. They want to know who has the city’s best sweetheart treats? No surprise here, for me it’s Pure Imagination all the way! Cast your vote by Monday to enter to win a $25 gift card from one of the winning restaurants.

Lots of recipes and stuff to list here, since it’s been a few weeks since my last roundup.

Savory recipes I’ve earmarked to try (and there’s a ton of them, bear with me!) are Zuppa Toscana from the Columbus Dispatch, Cauliflower Soup with Gorgonzola from 101 Cookbooks, Red Potato, Turkey Sausage, and Kale Soup from A Fridge Full of Food, Red Wine Beef Stew with Lentils and Whisky from Anne’s Food, Stir-Fried Brussels Sprouts, Shiitakes and Scallions from Bay Area Bites, Troffiete in a Spicy Tomato-Bacon Sauce from Blue Lotus, Chicken Pot Pie from Chez Megane, Cauliflower Gratin from Chocolate & Zucchini, Frikadellen from Cookin’ with Cyndi, Cheesy Grits and Eggs from Copperpots, Spiced Honey Chicken Tagine from Cucina Bella, Zucchini Souffle from The Culinary Chase, Bread Dumpling Soup from Eat, Macaroni and Cheese with Buffalo Chicken from Fancy Toast, Sesame Marinated Steak on Spinach and Soba Noodles from Coconut & Lime, Ricotta and Herb Dumplings from Fresh Approach Cooking, Leek Fritters from Gluten-Free By the Bay, Balsamic and Onion Pot Roast from Kalyn’s Kitchen, Macaroni Gratin from Leite’s Culinaria, Individual Sausage and Egg Casseroles from Little Spatula, Beef Braised in Red Wine with Creamy Polenta from Lox, Stock and Barrel, Black Summer Truffle Penne from Morsels & Musings, Linguica Chili from Slashfood, Tarocco Orange Chicken ala Panda Express from Rubber Slippers in Italy, Caramelized Onion Quiche and Greek Meatballs from Simply Recipes, Gulaschsuppe and Pork Fillet with Sherry Sauce and Polenta Flans from thepassionatecook, andย Cheese Dumplings in Chicken Broth from What Did You Eat?

In sweet recipes, I’m bookmarking Creme Brulee for Two from A cat in the kitchen, Chocolate Nut Truffle from Anne’s Food, Chocolate Custard Tart with Homegrown Raspberries from Bron Marshall, Guinness Stout Brownies and Small Batch Chattanooga Chew Chews from Cookie Madness, Chocolate Walnut Tart with Cajeta from crispy waffle, Sticky Buns from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody, Sables au chocolat et a la fleur de sel from foodbeam, Simple Mixed Berries Gratin from La Tartine Gourmand, andย Chocolate Crepe Cake by masak-masak.

In informative posts, the Columbus Dispatch instructs us on how to roast garlic, Anthony from Bachelor Cooking shows us how to make homemade paneer, Helen from Beyond Salmon shows us how to make pasta dough, Calendula & Concrete present us with a nifty link to an online tool for planning a vegetable garden, Chez Pim gives us a primer on Pad Thai for beginners, Brys of Cookthink tells us how to prep (and use) avocados, Katerina from Daily Unadventures in Cooking shows us how to clean a spice grinder or coffee grinder and how to use lemongrass, and Slashfood talks about freezing fresh herbs.

In other news, Frank Bruni checks in on the subject of photography in restaurants. Now, I’m approaching this from a purely food photography perspective, and will be the first to admit that I’m one of these fools who uses a flash (if I don’t, my pictures don’t come out with my crappy point and shoot digital camera). I try to be considerate, and go at times other than when it’s busy, or be seated away from other people, etc. But I’m finding that I’m not taking as many pictures as I used to because I don’t want to be perceived as rude. I think I need to stop being so paranoid – it’s not like I set up a photo shoot in the dining room or use a tripod or make the wait staff pose or anything. And really, is it that much different than taking a shot of the people at the table? I usually only take one shot, two tops of each dish. What’s your take on it? It seems to be a very controversial subject.

Am I the only one surprised that Trader Joe’s and Aldi’s are owned by the same company? Am I the last to know? In retrospect, I can see how their business models are similar. Good to know, since I’m a big fan of both stores.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now. Thanks for sticking around while I’ve been not feeling well. ๐Ÿ™‚

6 thoughts on “Friday Roundup 1/26/07

  1. Kalyn

    It’s nice to hear you’re feeling better. That’s quite an impressive list of recipes you’ve marked to try. They all sound great.

  2. Cynd

    Glad you’re feeling better. I hope you like the frikadellen. I’m going to take a look at some of the things you’ve marked to try – bet I’ll find some good ones to try, too!

  3. Jule

    Glad to see you back! I do have to say, though, that I love Bob Evans. I have eaten there my entire life, and it is like comfort food to me. Most chain restaurants are a no no for me, but Bob’s is one of the exceptions. I would love to see your list of great breakfast places in Columbus, though! I need to branch out on my breakfast restaurants. I still haven’t gone to Northstar Cafe, even though I hear wonderful things about it from so many people.

  4. Katerina

    Wow, you have so many things earmarked – how will you ever get to them! Of course, the more of them I look at… the more I agree with.

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