Archive for May, 2009

westSideMarketWe spent the long weekend in Cleveland with my parents, and almost every time that we go up to Cleveland, we visit the West Side Market – one of our favorite places in Cleveland.

The market is only open on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. On Saturdays, the market is loud and crowded, and that is part of the experience. The munchkin loves the crowds and is happy to sit in her stroller as long as she has something to snack on. Navigating a stroller through the aisles can be difficult, but everyone at the market is courteous.

The West Side Market has an amazing selection of food. Vendors at the market carry cheese, periogis, fruit, vegetables, spices, grains, coffee, olives, and every kind of meat and bakery item imaginable.

One of our favorite things is the crepes from Crepes De Luxe. The munchkin loves them. One of my favorites is the loaded baked potatoe periogis from the Periogi Palace. Yum!

[Photo Credit: Market]


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basilAfter reading Barbara Kingsolver’s book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle last summer, I wanted to go live on a farm and grow everything we eat.

Since that really isn’t a pratical option right now, I started a container garden in the back patio of our apartment.

I bought the plants last weekend at the Worthington Farmer’s Market and the OSU Chadwick Arboretum Plant sale last weekend with my mom and dad. The OSU plant sale is over, but many of the farmers I talked to last weekend said they would have plants at this weekend’s farmers market.

Our garden has three different tomato plants, Sunburt, Brandywine, and Sprite plants, along three basil plants, dill, chives, lettice, and edible flowers. I’m still hoping to get a few more herbs.

I planted everything while the munchkin was at her dad’s. She is so excited about helping me water the plants. As soon as I told her that we were going to have a garden, she started looking for her watering can that we use in the bathtub.

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After reading Mark Bittman‘s book Food Matters, which is a good book, I tried his recipe for whole wheat bread. This recipe is the first yeast bread I have made in the oven. I have always been very imitidated about making yeast bread at home.

But this recipe is simple and easy. The baking bread smells amazing, and the bread is delicious. It is a dense, heavy loaf.

It’s a cool recipe too because the munchkin can help with it. She sprinkles on the cornmeal after the dough is in the loaf pan. She calls it sprinkles and is so proud that she helps. This is the first recipe she has helped me with, and I am excited that she likes working in the kitchen.

Whole Wheat Bread

3 cups of whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive or grapeseed oil
cornmeal for dusting the top of the bread

1. Combine the flour, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Add 1 1/2 cups water and stir until blended. The dough should be wet and sticky, but not liquid. You can add more water if it seems dry. I usually add up to 1/4 cup of water. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest in a warm place for between 12 and 24 hours. (I always let mine sit for 24 hours because my house is always chilly.)

2. Grease the metal bread pan with some of the oil. Put the dough in the bread pan and use a rubber spatula to settle it evenly. Brush the dough with the remaining oil and sprinkle with cornmeal. Cover with a towel and let the dough rise again for about an hour or two.

3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the bread for about 45 minutes until it is golden and sounds hollow when you tap on it. Immediately turn out the loaf out of the pan onto a cooling rack and let it cool before slicing.

Notes: You must you a metal bread pan for this recipe. I tried to use a glass pan about four times and the loaf would never release from the pan. First time I use a metal pan, the bread comes out perfectly. Lesson learned!

[Photo Credit: Book]

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downtown-1This weekend was a great weekend. On Friday night, we (and the gallery) surivived our visit to the munchkin’s first art gallery. In the car on the way home she kept asking, “Why couldn’t I run in there?” Really?

Then, we drove through a freak monsoon and had dinner at Jeni’s. (You can have ice cream for dinner, right?)

We also had out-of-town family in for the weekend, and we took them to some of our new favorite places in Columbus. Every place we went this weekend was kid-friendly – as we had a two-year-old and a six-month-old with us.

We went to:

Jeni’s – Everyone loved Jeni’s ice cream, of course. And, yes we went there twice in one weekend. My new favorite flavor is Queen City Cayenne (new to me, not Jeni’s). The munchkin usually eats at least half of my ice cream, but I had to explain that this was chocolate with hot sauce, and she couldn’t try it. Her comment was, “I’ll eat hot sauce when I’m a big girl.” Yup, in our house, only the big girls eat the hot sauce. (This is a conversation we have a lot, as I put hot sauce on a lot things.)

Ying’s Teahouse and Yum-Yum in Clintoville – This is my new favorite Chinese restaurant in Columbus. Everything that we have eaten here has been amazing. Our favorites are the crab ragoon and veggie/tofu dumplings. The staff were also very nice and accomidating with the kids.

North Market’s Artisan Sunday – This was our first Artisan Sunday, and we will be back. They are the first Sunday of every month. We got cute hair scarves from Emily Kitturah-Westenhouser and an adorable apron and cupcake hat from Circa Circus. Every mom needs one of Emily’s cute hair scarves. Perfect for bad hair days.

Corner Cafe – We loved their sandwiches and their patio. It was the perfect weekend for an outdoor lunch too. We got three different sandwiches and shared them. They were all amazing. My favorite was the Fig & Proscuitto

We had a great weekend showing off our city and hanging out with our family.

[Photo credit: Columbus]

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no-oneOn the eve of my daughter’s first gallery reception, (Yes, I am taking a two-year-old to a gallery reception with glass at it. Lots of glass.) we have been reading some great books that my favorite aunt bought for us at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.

The books are No One Saw…Ordinary Things by Bob Raczka and Matisse Dance with Joy by Susan Goldman Rubin.

No One Saw…Ordinary Things discusses how great artists saw ordinary things differently than anyone else. “No one saw stars like Vincent Van Gogh.” It is a great book that she loves. I love exposing her to art at an early age, and I hope she’ll love it. She certainly loves these books

If you’re interested in checking out some art in Columbus, go to “Materials Matter” at Art Access Gallery in Bexley.

[Photo credit: No One]

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