Thursday, January 28, 2010

Turkey Tetrazzini

Alright, now that you’ve had your fill of turkey sandwiches, I’m going to give you a recipe that will use up the rest of that turkey breast you cooked in the crock pot.

I love this dish. A friend and co-worker of mine used to bring this into the office. She always sent the leftovers home with me because I made such a pig of myself that it was obvious this was a favorite! And I do mean pig! Years later here I am still making a pig of myself with it!

So once again, I say thanks to Debbie Engle for one of my very favorite casseroles…and it uses up leftovers, too!

Turkey Tetrazzini

3 tablespoons butter
1 cup diced mushrooms
3 tablespoons chopped green pepper
1 cup diced celery
½ teaspoon grated onion
2 tablespoons flour
1 ¼ cup chicken broth
1 ¼ cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper
4 cups cooked turkey
6 oz cooked spaghetti
1 hardboiled egg, chopped
shredded Parmesan cheese

Melt butter in a large saucepan. Sauté mushrooms, green pepper, celery and onion in butter. Blend in flour to make a roux. Add chicken broth and cook until smooth. Stir in heavy cream, stirring constantly. Add salt & pepper to taste.

Stir in cooked turkey, cooked spaghetti and hardboiled egg. Toss gently to mix.

Pour into greased casserole and top with plenty of shredded Parmesan cheese.

Bake uncovered at 350˚ for 30 minutes.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My Thai

Hi all,

Tim and I ate at the new Thai Grille in Westerville (at 15 E. College Ave., where Michael's Pizza used to be) last week. It was a very cold night; we walked there from our house which is a couple of blocks north. The spicy, tasty food warmed us up!

We each tried a bowl of soup -- Tim had a coconut soup and I had a really good, but very spicy, shrimp soup with a wonderful clear broth loaded with lemon grass, lime zest and fresh vegetables. I loved mine, even when my lips went numb; Tim wasn't crazy about his because I think he expected something sweeter and traditionally "coconutty" (I asked him, "what did you expect, coconut cream pie?") We asked the waiter to recommend an entree, which we shared because the soup filled us up. The house specialties are the noodle dishes (pad thai?) ; we had a chicken and rice noodle plate full of chicken, veggies and really good, wide sticky rice noodles. Very good. The young couple who own the restaurant (she's from Thailand) have vowed to serve organic, locally sourced foods as much as possible.

Not being experts in Thai food, we nevertheless found it to be a great new place and we plan on going back. Prices at dinner are in the $11-15 range, with a filet mignon dish around $25. They are open for lunch too.

According to our local paper, this is a dream come true for the young couple who own it. Give it a try and help support their dream!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Spring Salad

Thank heavens for my kitchen. After a very busy and stressful fall and winter, life is getting back to normal, and normal for me is puttering in the kitchen and trying new things. Again, thank heavens. My newest thing. I take this to work and top with a grilled chicken breast to make more of an entree.

1 bag baby greens
sliced fresh strawberries (as many as you want)
fresh blackberries, raspberries, blueberries (as many as you want)
sliced almonds
grilled chicken breasts (optional)
balsamic dressing
thinly sliced red onion (optional)

WASH all produce. Assemble salad with greens, almonds and berries. Top with sliced chicken breast and onions if using. Dress with balsamic. Enjoy. Sometimes I get really crazy, leave the chicken off and serve with feta.

Turkey in a Crock Pot?

I know, I know! I thought they were crazy, too! And when I looked at the recipe I darn near laughed out loud. Then I started reading the reviews. There are 539 of them. I read several pages and I couldn’t find a bad review among them. Go figure.

So I tried it. May I just say this? O.M.G. This was the easiest thing in the world! And it was delicious!

Leave it to Allrecipes to come up with this wonder of a recipe. It was submitted by “ms_sally”. And I for one want to thank her. The entire recipe consists of two ingredients; the turkey breast (bone in) and a package of dry onion soup mix. I kid you not this is incredible! You rub the dry soup mix under the skin of the turkey breast and all over it. Then you put it in the crock pot. That’s it! No liquid! (Of course Bob added some white wine to ours, because he liquors everything up if he can get away with it!)

Depending on how much the turkey breast weighs, cooking time will vary. The recipe suggests using a 6 pound breast and starting it on high for an hour and finish on low for 7 hours. Bob and I both thought that was a little too long. The meat will dry out if it is overcooked. Just remember that you want it to be 165˚F when you check it with a meat thermometer.

I am telling you, this is so good. You absolutely have to try it! Yeah, it was that good.

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

• 1 (6 pound) bone-in turkey breast
• 1 (1 ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix

Rinse the turkey breast and pat dry. Cut off any excess skin, but leave the skin covering the breast. Rub onion soup mix all over outside of the turkey and under the skin. Place in a slow cooker. Cover, and cook on High for 1 hour, then set to Low, and cook for 7 hours.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Happy Birthday “Dishing-It-Up Columbus”!!!

I cannot believe that today marks one year of the existence of this blog! The idea began with the hope that this would be a place where you could read a review of restaurants we’ve visited, get good recipes on a regular basis, share cooking information, and maybe have a few laughs.

I have to tell you that it has turned out to be my passion. I love this blog! I think about it constantly. I know that there have been occasional time gaps in my posting due to illness and whatnot. But believe me; I never stop thinking about this blog!

For instance…I was in the ICU in Hawaii and was pretty darn sick. But what did I do? I started telling my nurse about the blog. I even instructed Bob to dig through my purse and give her one of my cards! The next night when she came on duty she told me she’d read it and was very excited to try the Indian restaurant that we’d gone to. What fun!

I love to read your comments. I wish there were more…hint, hint. Sometimes I’m writing and I wonder if anyone is out there? The interaction with you is so much fun for me! It spurs me on to try to make the blog better and better.

I have also been privileged to meet some wonderful people through this blog. It’s not called “social media” for nothing! I’ve met some awesome chefs, restaurant owners, and other bloggers. Truly, my life has been enriched by these new acquaintances.

So thank you for sharing this first year of “Dishing-it-Up Columbus!” with me. This venture has turned into an exciting journey. I hope it continues for a long time.

Thank you to all of you!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Not for kids

Just 'sampled' these this evening. Oh my. Enjoy!

Pudding Shots

1 package, 3-1/2 oz. instant chocolate pudding mix

3/4 cup of milk

1/4 cup of vodka

1/2 cup irish cream

8 oz. cool whip

Mix pudding and milk together in a bowl.

Add alcohol and stir well.

Fold in cool whip.

Divide into plastic shot glasses and keep in the freezer. Add a rosette of whipped cream. (Our hostess served these in the small plastic containers like condiments come in for carryout meals and a spoon). Brilliant.

Fromage Fort

You know how you have a recipe that you've cut out of the paper, torn out of a magazine, saved on the computer, etc? And you are really excited about it at the time and swear you are going to make it, 'cause you just know you are going to love it? Yeah, well I have way too many of those to count. But there is one that I keep running across and putting it at the top of the pile. I never have gotten around to making it...until today.

I saw the recipe at last February. I just could not get it out of my mind. I knew the moment I saw it that I wanted to make it. I printed it off and put it in a plastic page protector and had every intention of making it. You know the rest of the get busy and other things come up and so on and so on.

So today I dragged Bob into the kitchen (poor Bob; he just got back from a week in Seattle, has a lousy cold and here I am not even giving him a choice about helping. But he got his reward. He's napping as I sit here writing this). This was something I wanted us to make together because I knew it was going to be something special. And boy was it ever!

This is a recipe for "Fromage Fort"; "a traditional French cheese spread made with assorted leftover cheeses, various herbs, sometimes garlic, wine or other spirits." You know, all those odds and ends pieces of cheese in the drawer that are leftover? The ones that aren't big enough to do a whole lot with, but you just can't bare to throw them away because after all this is cheese we're talking about! So in this recipe you're going to combine all those lovely pieces of cheese with garlic, butter and wine. O.M.G. What could possibly be better?

This is the blog post that began my obsession with fromage fort:

What I had to work with today were small chunks of fontina, havarti with basil, aged gouda, manchego, jarlsberg and peccorino romano. Bob combined these with a clove of garlic, a couple of tablespoons Plugra butter (as if!) and I don't know how much chardonnay. We wanted a creamy, spreadable consistency so he eyeballed it with the wine. We added the butter to kind of smooth it all out to the perfect consistency.

We spread some on a wheat thin. The angels began to sing. The ceiling lifted and light from above shown through. Okay, not exactly. But I'm telling you it was pretty darn close! This stuff is beyond amazing! And it's made from leftover bits and pieces. But who has to know that? All I know is that it is my new favorite appetizer! And think of the wonder of it all. Everytime you make it, it will be different! All according to what cheese you have on hand! Wow.

Read the post from Mattbites. He is a hoot! And try the recipe...NOW! Don't wait almost a year like I did. Now that I see what I've been missing I need to make up for lost time!

Look for me in the cheese aisle!!!

Fromage Fort
Reprinted from

You can use almost any cheese you have on hand but be gentle if it includes any from the blue family (Cabrales, Roquefort, Gorgonzola) as they tend to overpower the mix. And for the love of god do not use Velveeta. And if you’re like me throw a bit of caution to the wind and cut off any mold that has grown on your hard cheeses but never use any soft cheeses that have gone moldy. That’s not a good thing but I am not a scientist or health professional so tread carefully and don’t blame me for nuthin’- that’s my disclaimer.

1/2 pound of cheese pieces (without the rinds)
1/2 garlic clove
1/4 to 1/2 cup of white wine (depending on the desired texture. Crumbly or spreadable? You decide!)
freshly ground black pepper

In a processor add the cheese bits, garlic and white wine and process until fully blended. Depending on your cheeses and their moisture level you may need more or less white wine. I tend to eyeball it until it resembles a cheese spread. Feel free to add herbs and I’ve even seen some recipes that include butter because clearly this spread isn’t rich enough, right? Once fully mixed place into small ramekins or a bowl. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Most Delicious Pot Roast in the World!

So today was Saturday and Bob and I headed out to do a few errands. We were over at Easton and made a stop at one of our favorite stores, Trader Joe’s. We’d chosen a gorgeous bunch of flowers including pink stargazer lilies, made it through the cheese section with a lovely wedge of Jarlsberg cheese, and had started to make our way through the busy produce department. What were we doing here on a Saturday afternoon anyway? It is crazy busy on Saturdays and we know that from previous experience!

Weaving our way through the traffic, we were stopped by a darling young lady in an adorable pink coat. (Go figure that I noticed that right away.) She approached us holding a pork tenderloin packaged in pre-made marinade. Very politely she said, “ Excuse me, may I ask you a question? You look like you would know more about this than I do.” I was absolutely charmed. She asked if this piece of meat would be appropriate for a crock pot. Both Bob and I commented that the tenderloin was much too lean for a crock pot. She asked me to help her pick out a package of meat that would work better.

As we made our way back to the meat section I asked what it was that she had in mind. What she explained to me sounded like a good old fashioned pot roast. A hunk of beef with onions and potatoes and carrots that is slow cooked to absolute goodness. We rummaged around but didn’t find at all what she needed.

Chatting for a few brief moments, the conclusion was she needed to go to Giant Eagle. This week a bottom round roast can be gotten for a song; as in buy-one-get-one free! Then I just couldn’t stop myself. I know, I know. She asked one question and here I was practically going home to cook dinner with her! But I had to tell her about my most favorite way in the world to cook a roast! And then, I realized I’ve never shared it with all of you! My bad…

Greta, this is especially for you!

The Most Delicious Pot Roast in the World

1 can (10 ¾ oz) Campbell’s Golden Mushroom Soup
1 can (10 ½ oz) Campbell’s French Onion Soup
Bottom round roast, or other “pot roast” type cut of meat, 3-5 pounds
Mushrooms, optional

Mix Golden Mushroom and French Onion soups together, blending completely. Pour enough to just barely cover the bottom of your crock pot.

Trim roast of any outside excess fat. Place roast in crock pot.

Cut potatoes, onions and carrots into approximately the same size chunks. Add to crock pot. Pour remaining soup mixture over all. If using mushrooms, add the last half hour of cooking.

Cook on high for 3-4 hours, or low for 6-7 hours. Cooking times are approximate as size of roasts will differ.

I kid you not this will make the most tender roast, the most wonderful vegetables and the most delicious gravy that you just about want to dive naked into it!

Serve with a big salad and a loaf of crusty bread and you have heaven on a plate!

Greta, I so hope you enjoyed dinner!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Elaine's Kidney Transplant

Today was a nerve-racking kind of day. A nail-biter day. A jitters in the pit of your stomach day.

My big sister, Elaine was going to the OSU Transplant Center for pre-transplant screening. Her potential living donor is my niece, Tashia. Yeah, double whammy. Elaine is at the point where she really needs, and is really ready for this transplant. Tashia has offered her kidney. Pretty awesome, huh? So today is the day that they spend at OSU meeting a bazillion people, getting total information overload, and giving vials upon vials of blood; and urine, too. (Urine is very important in our family.)

So here I am at home. Waiting. I get on Facebook and ask for prayers. I send out an email to 99% of my contact list. And the most amazing thing happens. Within mere minutes, literally, I begin receiving responses. Prayers are being said from around the corner to around the world. Prayer chains are activated. A truly beautiful thing happens. People are praying everywhere, responding to the request for needed prayers. Wow. I was blown away.

I really love Elaine. She thinks she knows how much, but I suspect she underestimates me. After all, I am her baby sister. But she has no idea.

So what did I do while waiting? I have to admit to you that I began drinking. Yes, if I am to be at all honest with you, and of course I’m always 100% honest (ahem), I drank...all day.

I began the morning with Chai Tea lattes. From there I moved on to Cranberry Tea. I do know my limit. After the 3rd Cranberry Tea (sugar free, thank you) I knew that one more would put me over the edge. At this point I switched to diet ginger ale. Canada Dry is my brand of choice. I can do Giant Eagle’s, but CD is the best ever.

About this time my phone buzzed indicating an incoming text. Holding my breath, I flipped open the phone. Elaine. Things were looking good. There will still be a few more tests for them. One of those is a nail-biter. We might be looking at as soon as mid February!

Guess I’d better make more Chai Tea concentrate and Cranberry Tea Concentrate. I’m gonna have to start a 12-step program when this is all finished.

I’m okay with that.

Chai Latte Concentrate
Recipe from:

12 Chai tea bags
4 cups cold, fresh water
1 1/2 cups milk

Place the tea bags, cold water and milk in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil. When you reach the boil, drop the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the pan from the heat and squeeze the tea bags to extract as much flavor and liquid as possible. Discard tea bags and transfer the Chai Latte Concentrate to a heat-safe container. Allow to cool to room temperature, put a tight fitting lid on the container and store in the refrigerator for up to 12 days.

To prepare a Chai Latte:
When making the Chai Latte you have ultimate control over flavors, sweetness and creaminess. If you like a richer latte, use chocolate syrup as your sweetener and substitute half and half for your milk. If you’re watching your calories, use low-fat milk and artificial sweetener. You can be as high or low maintenance as you want and no barista will give you the stink eye.

1/3- 1/2 cup of milk
1/2- 2/3 cup of Chai Latte Concentrate
Sweetener to taste

Optional for serving:
Whipped cream
Cocoa powder
Ground cinnamon

Pour milk and concentrate into a saucepan or a microwave safe measuring cup. Heat just until steaming. Pour into your serving glass and sweeten to taste. Top as desired. I give mine a tall cap of whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon.


1 – 1 lb bag cranberries
2 sticks cinnamon
5 cups water
6whole cloves

Boil together uncovered about 45 minutes.
Strain through colander, reserving liquid.

To liquid add:
1 – 12 oz can frozen orange juice concentrate
1 – 12 oz can frozen pink lemonade concentrate

Keep concentrate refrigerated.
Makes about 5 cups.

To make “tea”:
1 cup concentrate
3 cups water
½ cup sugar (I omit sugar and sweeten with Splenda)

Combine and serve hot.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

oops!...wrong Restaurant Week

You guys are awesome! I saw a sign for "Restaurant Week" on the door of Mia Cucina in New Albany. But I couldn't find any information about it on Dine Original's website. To add to my befuddlement, I'd never heard of "614-Magazine". *sigh*

To be so un-in-the-know...and to be turning 51 in a few days.

I vowed to get to the bottom of it. Then I got sick. Today is the first day back checking email and here you all are to set me straight! You know, that is why I absolutley love food bloggers! Everybody looks out for each other. You guys rock!

And how dare they call themselves "Restaurant Week"! ...and confuse me...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Restaurant Week Winter 2010

Just a quick note to let all of you know that Dine Original's winter Restaurant Week is January 18th (ahem...that is also the birthday of someone we all know) through January 24th.

I tried to go to Dine Original's website for more info but it states the website is under construction. So, as soon as I find out more details I will let you know. I have seen a press release that promises new restaurants including Ruth's Crist, Moretti's of Upper Arlington and lots more!

Stay tuned...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

New Year's Eve Shrimp

OK, I'm late on this, but can be made any time. Adapted from a recipe we tried at Giant Eagle.

Baguette, sliced thin and toasted (we actually prefer ours untoasted)

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped green onion tops
zest of 1 lime
juice of 1 fresh lime
slight dash of garlic powder

40 count or smaller cooked shrimp, tails off (you want these to fit nicely on your baguette)

About two hours ahead of time, mix mayonnaise mixture. Refrigerate. About an half hour before serving, spread mayonnaise mixture on baguette, top with shrimp. Garnish with cilantro leaf and lime zest. Enjoy. Note: we found the lime mayonnaise to be excellent on grilled chicken sandwiches too.

Not Your Mama's Chicken & Dumplings!

Jean and Bob ... as promised .... good to see you. I made and it's getting rave reviews. Not for purists, but uses ingredients we have on hand. Adapted from this month's issue of Southern Living.

1 rotisserie chicken (yes, Jean, I did it!) picked clean
1 large carton chicken broth
2 cans cream of chicken soup
carrots, onions, parsley
1/2 carton fresh mushrooms
1 cup frozen peas
1 tube jumbo buttermilk biscuits (like Pillsbury)

In large stockpot (I used my mothers's), add broth, chicken, diced carrots, onions and parsley to taste. Let simmer until vegetables are tender. Add cream of chicken soups and water or milk to reconstitute (I used water, cholesterol tests tomorrow). Add peas and sliced mushrooms. Let simmer until you cannot stand the smell any more. Bring to boil. Open biscuits. Sprinkle flour on counter, and roll biscuits thin. Take pizza cutter and slice into strips (I found halving the biscuit first and then stripping was better). Add to boiling mixture. Stir after each addition. Let cook 10 mins uncovered, then cover and cook another 10 mins, stirring frequently. Salt and pepper to taste. Delicious, and yes, serve over mashed potatoes!

Friday, January 8, 2010

It's a Soup Kind of Day

We have 9 inches of snow on our deck. Last night it started snowing and would not quit. So, today is the kind of day that you want to stay inside and make a big pot of soup. But you want something easy; something quick; something that you probably have all the ingredients on hand ‘cause you sure as heck do not want to have to run out to the store!

Oh my goodness! It warmed me up just to think about what soup recipes to give you. I have a couple of standbys that we really like. I couldn’t decide which recipe to post, so Bob suggested I do both. He’s not only cute, he’s smart too!

A-Maize-ing Corn Chowder came from quite a few years ago. I have no idea how long I’ve been making this, but we just love it. The chicken noodle soup is delicious as well. I adapted it from a recipe off of (my "go-to website). Whichever soup you choose, I know you’ll be so glad you did!


6 slices bacon
1 onion, chopped
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
½ cup water
2 cups milk
2 (14.75 oz) cans cream style corn
1 (15.25) can whole kernel corn
½ teaspoon salt
ground black pepper to taste

Fry bacon in a Dutch oven until crisp; remove bacon, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings. Crumble bacon and set aside. Sauté onion in reserved drippings until tender; add potatoes and water. Cover and simmer 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Stir in milk, corn, salt and pepper to taste; continue to cook, stirring frequently, until heated through. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon before serving.

Adapted from

1 tablespoon butter
½ cup chopped onion
¼ cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 (14.5 oz) cans chicken broth
½ pound chopped cooked chicken breast (I use rotisserie chicken)
1 ½ cups egg noodles
1 cup sliced carrots
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried marjoram
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter. Sauté onion, and celery in butter until just tender; about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté an additional minute. Pour in chicken broth and stir in chicken, noodles, carrots, basil, marjoram, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes before serving.