Monthly Archives: August 2008

Oma’s Red Cabbage

Yesterday, I saw a red cabbage at the farmer’s market – and I thought back to the recipes that MY Oma used to make, and remembered that red cabbage kraut was one of her favorites. So even though this recipe is called “Oma’s Red Cabbage”, it’s not one of my Oma’s recipes, although it very well could be because it tastes nearly identical.

I can’t believe how quickly it came together. From raw cabbage to really tasty sweet-sour kraut in about an hour. Goes great with pork, to which my family can attest (we had it tonight with mashed ‘taters and mushroom-stuffed pork tenderloin with a port wine reduction). Lots of flavor, perfect if you’re trying to lose weight.

Oma's Red Cabbage

Oma’s Red Cabbage
recipe courtesy Recipezaar

1 red cabbage, shredded
1 medium onion, shredded
1 tablespoon Crisco
1 cup red wine
1/2 cup vinegar
5 tablespoons red currant jelly
salt and pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (more if you like the taste)

Put all together in a large pot. Cover and simmer for 1 hour.

Farm Fresh and Local Produce – 8/30/08

What does it say about me that I never made it to Clintonville today because I blew my whole budget mid-way through Worthington? Last week, all the shopping I did was for the BBQ on Sunday, and other than that, I spent the whole week eating convenience foods (I think I kind of knew I was coming down with something and took that into account when shopping last week). So needless to say, I got a LOT of stuff today. I just went plum hog wild, as they say.

We were up to all hours of the night playing Rock Band on the Wii, but still got up and out the door by 7:15. Most of the vendors were set up at the North Market by the time I got there. I picked up a lot of staple items – onions, sweet potatoes, red bell peppers, etc. But over at Bridgman Farms, I was charmed by these teeny tiny eggplant, each one no longer than my finger, and not that much wider than a thumb. I’m not sure yet exactly what I’ll be doing with these – all I know is that it will be tasty.

Baby Eggplants

From the same vendor, I also picked up some heirloom tomatoes and a pint of my favorite Sungolds. Enjoy them while they’re still around, folks. It seems like the farmers market just started, and here we are approaching fall already. Is it just me or did summer FLY by?

Sungold Tomatoes

Over at Rhoads they had freestone white peaches, so I picked up some of those for making something soon – maybe some cobbler, maybe something different? They looked and smelled too good to pass up. I also got some Bosc pears over at Quiver Full Farms, plus a pound of shiitake mushrooms from Toby Run.

Loved the look of these heirloom tomatoes over at Comb’s Herbs.

Heirloom Tomatoes

You can tell that fall is nipping at your heels with the arrival of two things – OSU football and apples. Today is OSU’s first home game and getting around on 315 was a friggin’ nightmare this morning. And apples? Everywhere I looked today. Like these Macintosh? apples from the Orchard of Bill and Vicky Thomas.


By this time in the growing season, most summer squash is the size of a baby’s arm, but Toad Hill had some normal sized yellow squash that looked really good.

Yellow Squash

So, off to Worthington. Even with the snarls in traffic, we got there really early, around 8:20ish or so. I picked up a really fragrant honeydew from Wishwell Farms, and then stood in an already long line at Crum’s to pick up a couple of quarts of some nice looking fall strawberries and a punnet of raspberries. I got a few other items here and there – a few bulbs of garlic to separate and plant in my garden bed so I have home-grown garlic next July, and also some carrots and a few baskets of these Italian Prune Plums for making my yearly dose of German Plum Cake this week.

Italian Prune Plums

More beautiful flowers for sale everywhere – these little ones (again, don’t know the variety) were my favorites this week.

Purple Flowers

Over at Wayward Seed Farm, I got more ground cherries, some Russett-like potatoes, and another variety of fingerlings. I got corn at Wegman’s, with plans of making a lamb chorizo/heirloom tomato/sweet corn risotto this week. And picked up a really great looking Heirloom Tomato Tart and a tasty lemon-blueberry muffin (which I already devoured while typing this, yum!) at the Sassafras Bakery stand. Got some lemon quark from Blue Jacket Cheese to go with the berries. Also got 40 pickling cukes so I can make another batch of pickles tomorrow to put up for the winter. A few other things that are slipping my mind at the moment, I’m sure….

As I said, I skipped out on Clintonville entirely this week. I had pretty much gotten everything I needed (and already spent the money I had taken out) at the other two markets, so no need to stop there, especially since it was already after 9am and Clintonville becomes unbelievably crowded if you wait until after 9 to get there. I’ve got enough eggs to carry me through the week anyway, so I’ll survive.

So where did you go and what did YOU get? What are your cooking plans for all those locally grown goodies this week?

Cherry and Zabaglione Cream Tart

Sorry I haven’t been around for the past few days, folks – I’ve spent the better part of this week in a NyQuil induced haze while a really nasty chest cold took it out of me and completely drained me of any energy. I’m finally feeling better, so I’m back on the computer and back in the kitchen. So while I’m planning what to cook, I’ll give you guys one from my backlog.

I made this when cherries were still in season at the farmers market earlier this summer.  Next time around, I’d probably skip the crust and serve it in custard cups or ramekins, as the crust got kind of soggy – but the taste was delicious.

Cherry Zabaglione

Cherry and Zabaglione Cream Tart
recipe courtesy Epicurious

Zabaglione Cream
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons Marsala
1/2 cup chilled whipping cream
2 tablespoons sour cream

1 9-inch refrigerated ready pie crust (1/2 15-ounce package), room temperature
1 teaspoon (heaping) all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups pitted fresh cherries or frozen, thawed and well drained
3 tablespoons grated bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate

Preparation For zabaglione:
Whisk yolks and sugar in top of double boiler over simmering water to blend. Gradually whisk in Marsala. Continue whisking until mixture is tripled in volume and holds shape in spoon, about 5 minutes. Set top of double boiler over bowl filled with ice and water and whisk zabaglione until cool. Remove from over water. Beat cream and sour cream in medium bowl to stiff peaks. Whisk in zabaglione. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead.)

For tart:
Preheat oven to 400°F. Dust 1 side of crust with flour. Gently transfer crust to 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom, floured side down. Press into pan and press to seal any cracks. Trim edges. Pierce all over with fork. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Cool on rack.

Drain cherries on paper towels. Arrange in crust. Spoon zabaglione cream over. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour. (Can be prepared
3 hours ahead.)

Sprinkle with chocolate and serve.

Party Recipes and Notes

Just a quick aside to those of you who attended the BBQ here yesterday and asked me for recipes – like I said, nearly everything I made has been blogged about before, but to save you some time from looking through the archives, here’s a quick list of links to the recipes.

The pears were drizzled with Lavender Honey from Mockingbird Meadows. You can buy it at her stand at the Worthington Farmers Market.

The cheeses that were on the cheese plate were Rogue River Blue, Cypress Grove Purple Haze, Brie with Rohini’s Medium Hot Cranberry Chutney, Rembrandt (Aged Gouda), and Port Salut. You can get Rogue River Blue at Curds and Whey at the North Market, and the Cypress Grove can be found practically anywhere (it’s on sale right now for $5.99 at the Whole Foods on Lane Ave). Brie and Port Salut can be found in any supermarket. The only place I’ve been able to find the Rembrandt locally is Giant Eagle. Rohini’s Chutney can be purchased on Saturday at the Worthington Farmers Market or Wednesdays at the Westerville Farmer’s Market.

I haven’t blogged about the fruit dip yet, but it’s a simple recipe – 1 box of Jello Vanilla Pudding mix to 1 small container of Cool Whip to 1 pint of sour cream. Mix it all together and chill overnight. I made my version low-fat/low-sugar by using light sour cream, Cool Whip Lite, and No Sugar Added Vanilla pudding.  The little yellow orbs that were on the fruit plate next to the grapes were ground cherries. I got them this past weekend at the North Market farmers market at the Wayward Seed Farms stand. The grape variety was Canadice, also available at the North Market Farmers Market at the Orchard of Bill and Vicky Thomas. The yellow fleshed watermelon is from Wish Well Farms (also North Market Farmers Market).

The variety of wine I poured was Piemonte Moscato 2005 and/or 2007. It’s currently my favorite wine. It’s available for $9.99/bottle at Grapes of Mirth in the North Market.

I hope this has answered any questions you all had about what was served. If you have any more, don’t hesitate to ask. I had a wonderful time, thank you everyone who came and brought something for making the party a success! (Anne, could I please have your yogurt cheese recipe? It was wonderful!)


One of the things I miss most about living in South Jersey/Philly are the ubiquitous cheesesteak shops on every corner. But lucky me had the benefit of working for one of those cheesesteak shops as a teenager, so even though it’s near impossible (with the exception of Benny’s, natch) to get a good cheesesteak here in Columbus, I can just make one at home when the mood hits me.


The secret to making Philly steaks at home (you know, in Philly they just call them “cheesesteaks” because the Philly part is assumed) is having the right kind of meat, usually very thinly sliced top round. You can pay $4+ a pound at the butcher, or do like we do and go to the Mexican supermarket and get it for $2.49/lb. (for locals, we get ours at La Plaza Tapatia right behind Westland Mall). Slice up a bunch of onion (the more the better), and put a bit of oil in a pan and throw the onion in. When the onion is starting to soften, add the steak and cook until browned. Add plenty of salt and pepper and whatever other kinds of seasonings float your boat. Serve on a sub roll with whatever toppings you want (I like cheese, tomatoes, mayo and ketchup myself). If you want to shake it up a bit, there are several variations, like the pizza sub – use Italian seasonings while frying it up, mozzarella cheese, and pizza sauce. You can also add green peppers and/or mushrooms to the onion mix if that’s your thing. The possibilities are endless.

Now, there are some who say that a Philly steak isn’t authentic if it’s not an Amoroso’s roll. While I subscribe to that theory as well, they don’t sell Amoroso rolls around here so I use the super sub buns from Meijer. Not even close, but works in a pinch. Just wanted to mention that if you’re in the Delaware Valley area, look for Amoroso’s rolls if you can get them.

Farm Fresh and Local Produce – 8/23/08

We kind of knew before we started that this would be a long morning. I had a few items I needed to get from the North Market (some cheese from Curds and Whey, wine from Grapes of Mirth, prosciutto from Best of the Wurst, rosemary walnuts from the Greener Grocer) for tomorrow’s BBQ/Potluck, which necessitated sticking around until after 8am when these vendors opened. Luckily, I got all my farmers market shopping done while Paul was making the rounds getting the other stuff.

The weather has turned hot again. I was so enjoying the mild summer, even if my garden wasn’t. Hopefully the weather will hold out for tomorrow. One of the things I got this morning were some of those Canadice grapes from The Orchard of Bill and Vicky Thomas to go on the cheese board I’m putting together. Should be yummy.

Canadice Grapes

One of the things that Alana was passing out the other night as an amuse bouche were ground cherries, right out of hand. We enjoyed these so much that we picked up a pint of them today from Wayward Seed Farms. I’m still not sure if I’m going to keep them all for myself or pass them around myself tomorrow. Should I share?

Ground Cherries from Wayward Seed Farms

Heirloom tomatoes are everywhere and as much as I enjoy them, I prefer the cherry/grape varieties.

Assorted Chery Tomatoes

Also pretty much to be found everywhere was eggplant. Even though I stopped to admire these grafitti eggplant, I ended up getting a basket with 4 large eggplant in it for $2 instead.

Graffiti Eggplant

And Mrs. Rhoads had beautiful golden raspberries, but I passed as I wouldn’t have been able to use them in the next couple of days, and it would have been a shame to let these gorgeous berries go to waste.

Golden Raspberries from Rhoads Farm

And at Wishwell Farms (I believe), I picked up a couple of these lilac peppers. They taste unusual – not sweet at all for some reason.

Green and Lilac Peppers

We didn’t get out of the North Market until 8:45, and really didn’t find much else at Worthington, unfortunately. At least not much stuff that I hadn’t already bought at the North Market. So no pics, as it was too crowded to really take any.

Ditto with Clintonville – we got there after 9:30, and there was a line 40-deep for peaches (needless to say, they ran out quickly), and navigating it was near impossible. After picking up my eggs (they were out of CNG by the time I got there, and only had cage-free left), and some yummy foccacia, I got out of there quickly.

I love the markets, but hate the crowds. Are there any secret gem markets that you all know about that has the same kind of selection, without the aggravation? And how was your trip to the market this morning? What did you get, and what’s on the menu for you?

Review: Alana’s Food & Wine

Our first experience with Alana’s was at the Slow Food Columbus United Estates Wine Dinner back in April. We were so blown away by the food after that dinner that we meant to go back to Alana’s right away for dinner; but you all know how life gets in the way sometimes, and it wasn’t until tonight that I got to go back.

We wanted someplace a little more “fancy” than normal, as Paul wanted to take me out to celebrate my birthday, but not someplace so fancy that we would feel the need to dress to the nines. In other words, we wanted good food in an unpretentious atmosphere, and from what I remembered from my experience in April, Alana’s fit the bill. We made reservations last week, early enough so that we could be seated on the patio.

I was feeling in the mood for a cocktail, so I ordered a Watermelon Lemonade w/ Vodka ($9) – a bit pricey, but very refreshing and went down smoothly because of the top shelf Grey Goose.

Watermelon Lemonade with Vodka

While we were waiting for that evening’s menu to be printed, we decided to split a cheese plate ($15), which included three different cheeses – a Cypress Grove Purple Haze goat cheese, which was incredibly creamy and tangy with just a bit of sweetness; a nice aged gouda, and my personal favorite, a marbled, brandy-washed and cured with grape must Rossini, which I plan on picking up at Curds and Whey at the earliest opportunity. Lovely selection of cheese, and all three complimented and contrasted with each other at the same time.

Cheese Plate

While we were waiting for our starters, our server brought out a basket of bread and some garlic and rosemary infused olive oil. I especially enjoyed the honey wheat bread, which was soft and hearty and sweet all at the same time.

Bread Basket and Olive Oil

Paul and I shared a couple of starters. Our first was probably the best risotto I’ve ever had, a Creamy Petit Herb and Goat Cheese Risotto ($8) with Brandywine tomatoes that made this dish stand out. Perfectly cooked, extremely filling, and it almost made me wish I had gone with the risotto as my entree rather than the lamb.

Petit Herb and Goat Cheese Risotto with Brandywine Tomatoes

The other starter, Fried Green Tomatoes with Queso Fresco, Chorizo and Corn Vinaigrette ($8) was a celebration of all things seasonal right now – the spicy chorizo, crisp sweet corn, and slight vinegar tang of the vinaigrette offset the fried outer surface of the tomato nicely.

Fried Green Tomatoes

Paul ordered a bowl of Hot Yellow Jubilee Tomato Soup with Smoked Chicken, Queso Fresco and Tortilla Chips ($7), which I tried. This was my least favorite of the dishes. While it was a very credible chicken tortilla soup, the mildness and sweetness of the tomatoes got obliterated by the spice – it was good but didn’t stand out as any different from normal tortilla soup – certainly not enough to justify the high price for a smallish bowl. I guess we just expected something a little more…tomatoey.

Hot Yellow Jubilee Tomato Tortilla Soup

For my entree, I chose the Peppercorn Smitten Rack of Lamb with Wilted Spinach, Roasted Baby Redskin Potatoes and Blackberry Demi-Glace ($22). While it was cooked well, and it tasted as it should, neither the portion size nor the dish itself knocked my socks off, as I had hoped it would. There had originally been a typo on the menu (it said $32 instead of the $22 it really was) – if the price had been the former rather than the latter, I would have felt a bit ripped off. At $22, however, it stung a lot less. I tend to eat protein heavy, and a rack of lamb consists of about 4 bites, tops. I was still a bit hungry after eating my main, unfortunately.

Rack of Lamb

So I started digging into Paul’s, as he was finishing off the potatoes on my plate. He went with the Capellini with Crushed Tomatoes and Lump Crab ($20), which was perfectly cooked angel hair in a nice tomato broth – the menu indicated that the broth was truffled, but if it was, it was so subtle that I didn’t detect it at all. The angel hair was topped by nice chunks of lump crab meat, which we both enjoyed greatly.

Crab Angel Hair Cappellini

For dessert, we shared one – he says it’s a Violet Orange Creme Brulee, I say it’s a Lavender Orange Creme Brulee ($8), which was so rich and creamy that it was almost ganache-like in texture. The flavorings were subtle, and worked very well in this particular dessert. It was paired with some of Jeni’s Strawberry Buttermilk ice cream, which was absolutely delicious.

Orange Lavender Creme Brulee

While our budget couldn’t endure regular trips to Alana’s, it’s a nice place to go for a special occassion. Her attention to detail, and use of seasonal local ingredients is to be commended. Her strong area is appetizers, which we loved everything about. Overall, we enjoyed our experience, and eating on her beautiful patio which is one of my favorites in this city. We’ll certainly return again, at least once a season, to see what she’s doing next. Next time around, we’ll even consider opting for the degustation menu.

If you’d like to go: Alana’s Food and Wine, 2333 N. High Street, Columbus, OH, 614.294.6783

Alana's on Urbanspoon

One Local Summer 2008 – Week 12


Wow, summer really is winding down now, isn’t it? Sadly, next week is the last week of One Local Summer, which seems to be over as quickly as it began. Is it just me or did summer just fly by? Why does winter seem to drag on, while summer is “blink and you’ll miss it”?

For this week’s edition of One Local Summer, I made a recipe that I’ve done previously, this time making it with as many local ingredients as possible. Making moussaka in late August/early September is starting to become something of a tradition around here. I was tempted to try a new recipe, but this one is just so good that I don’t even want to look for another. The kalamata olives in the sauce is what makes it special. You can find the recipe here. I kind of screwed up and made the non-modified version, but it still came out tasting pretty good, just way too meaty.


Local Ingredients:
Ground Lamb from Cota Farms (Cardington, OH), bought at Clintonville Farmers Market
Eggplant from Wish Well Farms (Bellfontaine, OH), bought at North Market Farmers Market
Potatoes and Onions from Pop & Judy’s Patch, bought at Worthington Farmer’s Market
Garlic from Little Wild Micro Farm (Westerville, OH), bought at Clintonville Farmers Market
Oregano and Basil from my backyard
Walnut Creek Butter (Ohio-based)
Snowville Creamery milk, bought at Clintonville Farmers Market
Eggs from 2 Silos (Mt. Gilead, OH), bought at Clintonville Farmers Market

Now I just need to start sourcing more Ohio staple items, and I’ll be set…

Happy Birthday to Me

Today is my birthday, and I have just got to say that I’m the luckiest girl alive. See what my wonderful husband made me, from scratch? :::swoon::: It tastes as good as it looks.

Italian Cream Cake

Italian Cream Cake
recipe courtesy Southern Living Magazine
serves 12

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, separated
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup flaked coconut

Nutty Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 cup chopped pecan, toasted
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 (16 ounce) package powdered sugar, sifted

Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating until well blended after each addition.
Add vanilla; beat until blended.

Combine flour and soda; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in coconut.
Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter.

Pour batter into three greased and floured 9-inch round baking cakepans. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool on wire racks. Spread Nutty Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake.

Nutty Cream Cheese Frosting: Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla at medium speed with and electric mixer until creamy. Add sugar, beating at low speed until blended. Beat at high speed until smooth; stir in pecans.

"Chef" Jasper J. Mirabile, Jr: Content Thief Extraordinaire

Well, it looks like I’ve finally made the big time. (j/k) I’ve joined such illustrious bloggers like Pim and Haalo (two of my favorites, btw) in getting my content stolen by one “Chef” Jasper J. Mirabile Jr. I don’t know whether to be pissed or flattered, really. I mean, it’s not even a good picture, compared to some others on my site. I checked his site closely after Haalo made a post about 4 or 5 other instances of his fraud/theft.

He stole my picture of the rum cake I made last year, from this post. And the funny thing? After I made a comment about the pic on Haalo’s entry, my pic disappeared off of his site (without even a “by your leave” or apology – it’s OK since I hate insincere apologies anyway, and since he’s a serial content thief). Too bad for him that I took a screen shot of the offending entry on his site before posting the comment:

While I would expect this kind of nonsense from your run of the mill Google Ad spammer, I hate to say that I expected more from someone who is supposedly a Kansas City institution, and who obviously has more training than I do. You have an entire restaurant and staff at your disposal, ingredients to make your own awesome dishes, and you resort to stealing a recipe for rum cake that uses a boxed cake mix? Really?

With so much to lose (a restaurant, work w/ the media (a radio show, regular media coverage), I wonder about his motivations – is ganking a bunch of pictures from food bloggers really worth if it costs you your reputation, that you’ve obviously put a lot of work into building? I guess the one thing Jasper doesn’t realize is that us bloggers communicate virally – and in an industry where your business is affected by public perception, do you really want to earn a reputation as a talentless hack who can’t generate their own content? I didn’t think so.

So, to be honest, I’m more confused than pissed. And just wanted to give a heads up to any of you other food bloggers to check his archives and see if any of your pics have been ganked as well. I never thought mine would be, let alone be among the most excellent (and professional looking) ones he took from others.

PS – I guess fraud runs in the family, according to this document. Judging by the date, I can see the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree (looks like it’s dad, not Jr.) and he comes by his dishonesty honestly.

PPS – He’s made his blog “invite only” now – guess he wanted to get that baby offline before more examples of his photo theft came to light. Too bad there are cached pages floating around the internet, huh?