Monday, April 30, 2007

Hot off the Presses

If you're a Columbus Monthly reader, you'll see my story "The Chosen One" in this month's issue, which sailed into mailboxes and newsstands over the weekend. It's a profile of Rabbi Naphtali Weisz, a 26-year-old rabbi who leads the same Orthodox Jewish congregation his grandfather once led. This was one of my favorite stories I've written in a while. He is a remarkable person, as his his wife, Abby, about whom I wrote a fair amount in the story as well. It became very clear to me that together, they're an inspiring example to the members of their congregation. I could tell, even from the brief amount of time I spent with both of them, that they're going to make not only their faith community, but this city, a better place.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Weekend Eats

With a couple of time-consuming freelance articles finally signed, sealed and delivered, I had time to do some some cooking this weekend with my companion. We had our foodie friends Em and Brian over, and we selected an all-Bon Appetit lineup for the occasion. It was all so good, not because of anything we did, but simply because these are fabulous (and quick) recipes. Try them!

Pineapple and Cardamom Chicken with Mint
Tip: Cardamom is very expensive--the most expensive spice, in fact, behind saffron. I saved $ by buying mine in bulk at Wild Oats. It cost under a dollar.

Coconut Basmati Rice
Editorial: I've tried many coconut rice recipes over the years, but I've never been satisfied with the amount of coconut flavor. This recipe is right on the money, and the toasted coconut sprinkled on top is an added bonus.

Lemon Meringue Ice Cream Pie in Toasted Pecan Crust
Tip: Use store-bought lemon curd instead of homemade to save time, and use low-fat vanilla ice cream to make this a little less unhealthy.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Wednesday Food News, a day late

  • Craving the junk foods you ate when you were a kid. From the New York Times. (I loved this story, though I rarely ate junk food as a kid. I grew up in an uber-health-conscious household. That's why, every time we visited my grandparents, I'd barely kissed them hello before I'd be down in the basement, emptying my grandpa's can of Planter's cheeseballs. To this day I still get nostalgic about the powdery orange residue on my fingertips.)
  • Making your own sauces. From the Seattle Times.
  • Editor's note: All you Domers out there, be sure to wish Fr. Ted a Happy 90th Birthday.

Monday, April 23, 2007

What to eat when you're in a hurry

Things have been a bit crazy around here, and as I often do when I get stressed out, I've been doing more eating than cooking. (Three cheers for carbs!) That being said, I highly recommend the fish taco recipe from Robin Davis in last week's Dispatch. We made it last night, and they were not only quick, but also delicious, and sure to stay in my recipe file for future healthy weeknight meal.s

In other news, I've just finished the final edits on a story for Columbus Monthly's June issue. I'm so excited about it. I can't yet say what it is, but I started working on it last year, and it's all about food. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

What a Pear

I'm always excited when I get to interview Chef Magdiale Wolmark for a story, and not just because Dragonfly's vegan fare is my favorite food in town. I recently worked with him on this article on stuffed pears for Plate magazine, an upscale magazine for chefs. If you've never seen paw paw gelato before, take a peek.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Wednesday Food News

  • Three excellent brownie recipes. From the New York Times. (Am fighting the urge to make all of them and host a massive tasting party on Saturday. We still haven't done our taxes. For this weekend, anyway, budgets have to come before brownies.)
  • Peanutty chicken lettuce wraps. From the Dispatch.
  • How to learn more about wine while at home. From the Times.
  • If your freezer is stuffed to the gills, this will make you laugh. From the Seattle Times.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Shabby Apple

Normally this blog is dedicated to food, but a friend of mine has just done something very cool and I want to help her spread the word. My friend Emily, whom I met in journalism school, has just launched Shabby Apple, a line of adorable, affordable dresses and accessories. She and her co-owner have opened up shop just in time for summer celebrations. Congratulations, Emily!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

I'm not so sure this is a good idea...

...but this Peep latte could have indeed been mine. The espresso cart in the building where I work featured these toasted-marshmallow-flavored drinks all week. Alas, by the time I had the chance to run down there today, the woman who runs it was packing up to go home. I can only imagine the sugar buzz and writerly inspiration that would have ensued.

Speaking of work, the nicest thing happened to me today. I was picking up some tomato basil soup at Cafe Brioso downtown, and was standing at the cash register with my steaming bowl o'soup and Diet Coke when I realized I had left my wallet on my desk at the Big Company three blocks away. "I'll be right back," I said to the cashier. "I just need to get my wallet." Two seconds later, a five dollar bill was waving in front of my face, and a complete stranger said, "I'll pay for your lunch." Despite my protests, she insisted. I was so grateful not to have to run back to the office in the 30 degree weather, especially since I was in a hurry. Guess it's time for me to pay it forward now. A big "grazie" to the woman at Cafe Brioso who helped a stranger today. It meant a lot.

Random Easter tip to get you ready for the weekend, if you celebrate Easter: Some instructions for folding your cloth napkins in the shape of bunny rabbits. (Hat tip: Not Martha)

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Wednesday Food News

  • Peep s'mores in the Chicago Tribune.
  • Grilled asparagus salad from the Seattle Times.
  • Warm rhubarb crisp from the Dispatch.
  • Luxury scrambled eggs from the Splendid Table.
  • Does anyone know where in Columbus I can find the rhubarb cider (Nectar de Rhubarbe) that got a brief mention in the print version of today's New York Times? It would be a fun and festive sipper for the Easter weekend.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Spring Fare

California strawberries and asparagus are starting to crop up in grocery stores here, which put me in the mood for some spring fare this morning. (Though it will be a few weeks yet before we can get them locally grown.) I adapted some recipes from the Easy Easter Brunch menu in this month's Bon Appetit. It's a great brunch lineup for spring. Thanks to some shortcuts and major multitasking, I had everything ready in 45 minutes--no crack o' dawn cooking going on here.

This is a pretty simple menu, but there are a few things you can do to speed up the prep. Instead of following BA's lengthy directions for poaching eggs, I just left mine simmering in individual ramekins on the stove. (In a shallow pan of water.) Instead of the strawberry sorbet, I sliced some strawberries and sprinkled them with sugar. I also skipped the chive oil and used sea salt and black pepper to season the eggs, asparagus and prosciutto.

To make this menu healthier, I baked corn bread using part whole wheat flour in lieu of BA's corn muffin recipe. I loved the idea of having corn bread for brunch--I never would have thought of it otherwise. I used a recipe from my friends Jen and Matt, who made us a cookbook with their favorite recipes as a wedding gift. (Aw. So nice.) The cornbread tasted great slathered with the maple butter--it was a fantabulous way to start out the day. E-mail me if you'd like the recipe--tonight I'm on deadline and don't have time to type it out. Perhaps I should have spent more time writing today rather than making brunch. Ah, well--it was absolutely worth it.