Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

How fun: Columbus's very own Spencer Budros, of Pistacia Vera fame, is quoted in this NYT story on the favorite Halloween treats of foodies, chefs and nutritionists.

Though my companion and I usually celebrate Halloween with a festive, spooky dinner, tonight we'll be en route to Washington, DC because tomorrow we'll be visiting the White House! Check back Friday to find out why.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Mmm...bison chili

When I was shopping at North Market Poultry and Game recently, one of the salespeople encouraged me to try a one-pound package of ground bison meat along with the chicken I was purchasing. I politely declined, but the suggestion intrigued me enough to come back for some the following Saturday.

As it turns out, bison contains less fat than the white meat of chicken. It’s also low in calories and cholesterol, and high in protein. Added bonus: The bison is raised without hormones or chemicals at Red Run Bison & Horse Farm, about 100 miles northeast of Columbus.

I’m happy to report that bison meat, when substituted for ground beef or even ground turkey, makes for excellent chili. I used this recipe for cherry peach pumpkin chili. (Yes, you read that right.) The recipe calls for one jar each of Cherry Peach Salsa and Pumpkin Chipotle Roasting Sauce from American Spoon—a scrumptious line of salsas, chutneys, jams and grilling sauces made in my home state.

I highly encourage Columbusites to give it a try. And a big “grazie” to the nice man in the hairnet behind the counter. That was a great tip, and I’ll be back for more soon.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Flavor bombs

If you've been to my house to eat, you know that I love making and eating appetizers. I love the fact that they're the first thing you eat after a long day of working or playing--usually when your hunger is at its peak. That's why they taste so good.

I discovered a great appetizer recipe this weekend, courtesy of Maureen Petrosky's The Wine Club: dates with goat cheese, almonds and prosciutto. Equal parts sweet, salty, creamy and crunch, these pretty little nuggets are flavor bombs that explode in your mouth. You can make them ahead of time, store them in the fridge, and crisp them up right before your guests arrive.

Sorry I don't have a photo to share--they disappeared too quickly!

Dates with goat cheese, almonds and prosciutto
12 large whole Medjool dates, halved and pitted (I bought mine in bulk at Wild Oats.)
2 oz. goat cheese (Eyeball it.)
24 whole almonds
8 thin slices prosciutto, cut into 4 strips each
2 T. olive oil

1)Fill each of the halved dates with 1/2 t. goat cheese. Push one almond into the center of the goat cheese. Wrap one strip of prosciutto around each stuffed date.
2)Heat olive oil in a skillet. Cooked wrapped dates about 2 minutes on each side or until crisp. Remove the dates from skillet; drain on paper towels.

Makes 24 stuffed dates.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Food finds

  • Homemade pesto in the New York Times. Freeze it for the winter and think of how great it will taste in February.
  • D.I.Y. graham crackers at The Kitchen, via Not Martha.
  • Cute and cuddly T-bone from Mr. Pickles. Or would you like a slice of ham?
  • Turkey tealights from Sur la Table. Oh, I am such a sucker for kitsch.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Now serving pumpkin spice

Thanks to two full days of research for a story I'm writing + a bank holiday (Yay!) I've had more time than usual to be a girl about town. (And I mean all about town.) For those of you in Columbus who are craving all things pumpkin spice this time of year, I'm sharing a few fall food finds:

Does anyone have anything else to add to the list? I'd love to hear about other fall foodie finds.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Not so cheffy

I've been doing lots of cooking and baking lately, but I have no photos and no reviews to share with you, dear readers, because I've had a streak of bad luck lately in the kitchen: creamy artichoke dip that tasted a bit too sour, chiles rellenos casserole took way too long to make, chocolate cupcakes that weren't nearly chocolately enough.

It's good to be reminded sometimes that things don't always go well in the kitchen, either because of operator error or mediocre recipes. I was reminded of that recently reading Not Martha's review of The Amateur Gourmet Cookbook, which I just reserved at the UA Library!

But I soldier on... more soon!