May is for Foodies!

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Charity, Columbus, Events, North Market

May is always, always one of my favorite months of the year – if not for the great weather (the cold snaps of early spring are behind us, and the weather is still cool enough to enjoy spending time outdoors), then definitely for the events for food lovers that are held this month. Today I’m going to talk about a couple of my favorites – the Taste of Dine Originals and the North Market Apron Gala.

Last May, I was definitely in a whole different place than I’m in this year – I started out the month with a slim to none prognosis of survival, with the best case scenario was that even if I managed to make it through my acute respiratory distress alive, I’d be tethered to a ventilator for my remaining time on earth, which would probably be no longer than a year because human lungs aren’t designed to handle that kind of stress before other organ systems start to fail one by one. When I woke up the second week of May, I was still a bit delusional about my condition – here I was unable to even sit up in bed without falling over, but still thought somehow that I’d be recovered enough in the next week or two to handle all of my usual May events. What the heck was I thinking? But miracles do happen, for sure, and I’m fortunate enough to not only be fully recovered, but to be able to attend both events that are near and dear to me for a multitude of reasons. And you can see why this year is extra special to me.

Lamb Sirloin with Sweet Pea and Minted Pesto from Basi Italia

Tonight’s event, the Taste of Dine Originals, lets the 50 member restaurants of Dine Originals Columbus put their best food forward, offering delicious examples of what makes them restaurants that I’m happy to patronize. Each one is different, and the variety of restaurants that belong (all independents, natch) are a direct reflection of the awesome mix of people we have in our fine capital city. There are fine dining options to go along with the casual spots, ethnic or as American as apple pie, spots at all price points, spots that are open all day, spots that are only open for a few hours a night. In addition to trying dishes from some of my favorite local chefs, there are also other reasons to go – a new venue, local wines and microbrews, and new this year, Edible Columbus is hosting a Food & Artisan Fair at the event, which offers local farmers and artisan food producers to offer samples and information about their methods, farms and products.

Parfait of Walnut Cake with Buttercream Espresso from Alana's Food and Wine

The food is always fabulous at the event – you can see my coverage of previous years here: 2010, 2009.

According to the event planners, “Our signature annual event, Taste of Dine Originals, is one of Ohio’s best food and wine events, featuring tastings and samplings from 50 regional restaurants, 30 vineyards, 2 craft breweries, and a couple of micro distilleries. Whether you’re a seasoned foodie or an intrigued beginner, chefs, brew masters, and winery representatives welcome you as they mix useful knowledge with tastings of signature dishes and interesting beverages. The silent auction features cooking lessons, private dinners, special events, works of art and rare bottles of wine. This year’s event will be held at Capital University’s Capital Center, at 2360 East Mound Street, Columbus, OH 43209. The event will be open from 6-9:30pm. Tickets are $100, proceeds from this event are shared by Dine Originals Columbus and The Buckeye Ranch, which offers mental health treatment and alcohol and drug services for children. Dine Originals Columbus celebrates, supports and promotes the culinary diversity that locally owned and operated member restaurants contribute to the identity and culture of our city. We are committed to strengthening the local economy and enriching our community through education and charitable partnerships. The Buckeye Ranch and Dine Originals both support this community and strive, each in their own manner, to make Central Ohio a better place for everyone.

Later this month is the other event that is one of my annual favorites, the North Market Apron Gala – we’ve personally been attending since 2006 (Paul attended last year, although I couldn’t make it). In many ways the event is the same from year to year, but with each passing year the landscape of the North Market has changed – it is a living, breathing entity unto itself which has its own ebbs and flows – as old favorites disappear, new favorites appear in their place. No matter what, each year is worth attending – not only does it help support a vibrant public market, but it’s also one of those events that you can’t go five feet without seeing someone you know. Catching up with everyone while noshing on delicious food? Count me in!

Pastry from Mozart's

This year, the event is being held on Saturday, May 19th from 7-10pm. Tickets are $75 per person and are available online or through the North Market Business Office (2nd floor of the market at 59 Spruce St, Columbus). Call 614-463-9664 for more information.

Farm Fresh and Local Produce 5/5/2012

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Columbus, Eating Local, Farmer's Market, North Market, Produce

Here it is the second full week of the 2012 growing season, and this week it was especially crowded because both the Market to Market Ride and the Half Marathon were being held at the same time. Because of that, finding parking was a little more difficult, and the North Market especially was very crowded. Good news for the farmers that sell there, not so good news for us. We finally did manage to find parking (in part because that part of Spruce St. was closed to thru traffic). And this week we had three very special little ones with us – my nephew Brandon and my nieces Autumn and Amber. They had never been to a farmers market and when I tried to explain it to them, they didn’t quite understand it (because they’re used to only seeing fruits and vegetables in the grocery store), so I asked them if they’d like to come along. There was a rousing chorus of “yes!” and off we went.

We went to the North Market first, where we picked up some more strawberries from Rhoads – last weeks, although the first of the season and therefore a little less sweet (because strawberries sweeten best when the temperature is ~80F, according to Mr. Rhoads), still were much much tastier than the berries available in the grocery stores. And while I love the ease of being able to pick up a quart of great berries a the market, I still prefer picking my own, an activity in which I plan to include the young ones in within the next few weeks. After that, I’ll get to teach them about preserving and canning. I’m hoping they’ll have fond memories in the future of the time we spend together on these activities. They’re helping me out with the garden, too – there will be a short update in a few days on how that activity is going. We’re finding it necessary to redo the bones of the garden this year to rot-resistant wood and resin. More about that, and what we’ve planted so far and have yet to plant real soon.

Strawberries

I think their favorite part of the farmers market was sampling a little bit of everything: cheese, pie, salsa, honey, and more. They especially liked the cheese.

Cheese

The hothouse tomatoes are looking good this year… these will definitely do just fine until August. 

Tomatoes

And all of the lovely produce at the markets is just screaming to be made into salad – no better base for that salad than some local spring mix.

Spring Mix

I missed out on the creamed honey this week (but Paul definitely didn’t, hence the picture) – I won’t pass this up next week.

Creamed Honey

Off to Clintonville, where there were three things in great supply – crowds, dogs, and baked goods. We navigated the first two and couldn’t pass up the third. Would *you* be able to pass up a scone like this?

Scones

Next week is the first week of the outdoor market in Worthington (and also Race for the Cure, if I’m not mistaken) so we’ll probably be skipping the North Market (or visiting it last), and definitely be hitting Worthington first. So how did you fare at the markets this past weekend? What did you pick up?

April 2011 Roundup

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Meta, Monthly Roundup, Recipes

I’m finally caught up on going through the backlog of my feeds (100,000 posts and 8 months later, I’m breathing a sigh of relief!) so these roundups should be coming fast and furious now. The new system of posting the recipes as links on Pinterest is a fabulous solution, much easier for people to browse through and bookmark as needed. Once again, if you’re not already following me on Pinterest, you can do so by clicking on this button:

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April 2011 Roundup

Now up on Pinterest:

April 2011 Roundup of Recipes

Not just football on the Villa Park Xmas menu.(Features)

Birmingham Mail (England) October 10, 2006 THERE’S an extensive programme of Christmas party ideas at Villa Park Stadium that’s certain to mean you can find the right celebration for you, your family and friends, or for you and your work colleagues.

The choice is yours! A diverse programme of discos, lunches, tribute acts and grand parties will ensure your group really get into the Christmas spirit at Aston Villa Football Club.

Prestigious suites, elite cuisine and a range of entertainment from Abba and Robbie Williams nights to Grand Christmas Parties, Stadium Tour and lunch days and Beer and Balti nights. There’s even a very appealing Treasure Island pantomime visiting on 28th and 29th December, where children are sure to be encapsulated in the enchanting tale of Long John Silver and the Jolly Roger! With a dedicated member of staff to handle your booking and extensive free car parking, the only thing you need to worry about will be selecting who’s lucky enough to be invited. go to website christmas party ideas web site christmas party ideas

In the spotlight this week at Villa Park is the superb Robbie Williams Tribute Show on November 25th and the Abba Tribute Act on November 26th. Matthew Holbrook emulates the sound, the look and especially the persona of the man himself – Robbie Williams. Matthew, whose show has travelled the world, has been described by the New Zealand press as ‘Robbie’s Clone’, Norwegian press as ‘Fantastic’, and the British press as ‘Perfectionism’. Tickets to both events cost just pounds 26.95 including a two course buffet and a disco. Individual table bookings for meals are also available through out the Christmas period in the elegant Cornerflag Restaurant overlooking the pitch.

Call Aston Villa’s ticket office on 0871 423 8101.