• Sweet & Vicious Cookbook Signing

    Sometimes you know that you just need to stop what you’re doing and go to a cookbook signing. That’s what Margot and I did last week right after we made our pizza dough and left it to rise.

    Meet Libbie Summers. Author of the new cookbook Sweet and Vicious.  Libbie was so warm and welcoming like her recipe for Salvation Cinnamon Rolls. She took so much time to chat with me and Margot and to help us decide what we should make first. Which is hard with a cookbook like this. With every turn of the page you will find yourself saying, “No, what about this one first!”
    Sweet & Vicious

    Sweet & Vicious

    We left determined to make the Fruit Cobbler Bread with the last of our sour cherries and the chocolate compound butter. (I’m into butter these days if you haven’t noticed.) But then we made a different decision. We left on road trip with the Hiker’s Bravado Cookies which seemed like a great co-pilot. Made with peanut butter, chocolate chips, cranberries and then rolled in pretzels.
    Hiker's Bravado Cookies  (dough)

    Hiker’s Bravado Cookies

    I’ve prepped Libbie for the No Chefs Allowed second annual Cookbook Swap. Like or Tweet this post to encourage her to participate. And if you do too … you may just find a signed copy in your mailbox come early December.
    So, what do you do while you’re waiting for your dough to rise?
  • Souper Heroes Food Swap, September 23rd at The Market Italian Village!

    We ended our first season of Souper Heroes Food Swapping on Tuesday at The Market Italian Village. The turnout was wonderful. The drinks were tasty. The swapping was fierce.

    images courtesy of Sue DeHaan

    images courtesy of Sue DeHaan

    Just kidding. This event is full of chatting, recipe exchanging, trying what people brought. I really really really wanted this fermented sauerkraut because I had tried to make it before but my husband said that mine literally smelled like garbage.
    Later I learned from Michael Pollen’s book Cooked that if your fermented sauerkraut smells like garbage you need to keep fermenting it. Problem solved, but I’ve been gun shy to try again. Now, I have a sample of what it’s supposed to taste like so I can give it another go.
    Thanks to everyone who came out to swap. The most encouraging thing was when more than one swapper said, “I’m sad it’s the end of the season.” Have no fear, I’m planning some pop up swaps over the winter so sign up here to stay informed of the details!
    images courtesy of Sue DeHaan

    images courtesy of Sue DeHaan

    (all photos courtesy of Sue DeHaan – Thanks, Sue!)
  • #flightofsoup

    Let’s talk about #flightofsoup. How is this not a thing? Rest assured, I have added it to the menu of the restaurant I am opening in my head. There’s lots of great things on that menu. Ha!

    Seriously though, thanks to everyone who came out to Too Many Cooks Soup Base(ics) last night. I presented a very hands-on soup making class and all the students were happy to participate.

    For them … and you, in case you missed it … here are the recipes we covered last night.

    Chicken broth for colds … and soup!

    The easiest and most fabulous Tomato Soup!

    Grandma Minnie’s Wedding Soup!

    And remember students, you can do whatever you want. 😉


  • Roasted!

    I stumbled upon a pig roast the other day at my friend and fellow Souper Hero, Sue Dehaan’s house. She told me she was doing it and I stood there silently until she got the hint and said, “You want to come see it?” Since you asked …

    Enter Robert Besaw. I think I found a new cook for the Keels Backyard Restaurant. And he agreed! Whole roasted pig may just make the menu now! Plus Margot and I got our first taste of cracklin’. Delicious! Using a pig roasting box to roast your pig is a great way to get a great tasting pig.

    Robert’s the nice guy on the right. Not the pig!


  • Why Souper Heroes Will Exist

    I’ve been working a lot lately on the upcoming season 3 of Columbus Soup and Bread and rebranding into the official not-for-profit Souper Heroes. The not-for-profit business model is new to me and sometimes I get overwhelmed. But as we were running from errand to errand the other day, our 4-year-old Margot gave me new inspiration.

    As we crossed through a familiar intersection she said, “Mom, that guy has a sign that says, I. Need. Food.” She said it just like that. She can’t read but having me as her mother has taught her that anyone standing on the side of the road with a cardboard sign could probably use lunch. I didn’t even see him. We were on our way to Sanfillipo Produce to pick up fresh lemons for my son’s lemonade stand, he only makes the good stuff, and I suggested to Margot that we get this man something to eat.

    As soon as we arrived I went straight to the citrus trying to keep on schedule when Margot tapped on my leg with the largest apple you have ever seen. “Let’s get him this,” she said. Yes. Let’s.

    On our way back to the intersection she held that apple with pride. We pulled up and luckily got a red light so we could stop safely. She rolled down her window and handed the man with the sign the apple. He thanked her and bit into it immediately.

    This gesture is exactly why Souper Heroes will exist. One of our core values is to take Mother Teresa’s quote literally, “If you can’t feed 100 people, then just feed one.”

    Thanks Margot.


  • There is nothing like community. Nothing like it. Family and friends all coming together to celebrate and enjoy the life we live here. That is exactly what the Backyard Restaurant celebrates.

    Over the past three years we have opened and closed a restaurant in our backyard in one day. With our limited knowledge of the restaurant business, we organize the best we can over the summer and let the community jump in and fill in the gaps for the one-day debut. The kids do something they don’t get to do very often, wait tables and make tips. And I watch people laugh and stress all at the same time in only the way restaurant life can; the pancakes aren’t coming out right, we need three tacos on the fly to get Scarlett out of the weeds, 3 grilled paninis are dying in the window; we need a runner! Not to mention with 150 people arriving this year, we needed to learn to turn tables.

    The mission of our new not-for-profit, Souper Heroes, is to have fun with food and community while providing for those who don’t have enough of either. The Keels Backyard Restaurant embodies this at its core. We did have fun and we provided a bit too. Over $900 raised for Neighborhood Services Inc. so they could provide school supplies to those in need.

    Enjoy this video that gives you a complete look at what these kids accomplished. And we can’t wait to open up next year. We should have the place cleaned up just in time.


  • Green Goddess Dressing

    This recipe comes to us from our second Food Swap. It was a hot trade item. Your salad will thank you for it.

    Green Goddess Dressing


    • 2 Avocados
    • 3/4 cups greek yogurt
    • 3/4 tbsp honey
    • 1 clove garlic
    • 3/4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
    • 1 green onion
    • 1 cup cilantro
    • 1 cup parsley
    • 1/4 cup basil
    • pinch of smoked paprika
    • salt and pepper to taste


    1. Coarsely chop all ingredients.
    2. Pulse in food processor until creamy.
    3. Add a small amount of water if needed to thin the dressing.
    4. Enjoy the green goodness!
  • June’s Columbus Food Swap!

    Our second Columbus Food Swap was nothing short of delightful. Maybe because of Sylvia’s homemade mead and infused spirits. Or maybe because of bringing together like-minded people to exchange goods made with love (I know … I’m cheesy … but no one brought cheese so I thought I’d fill in here ;). We did have Kimchi, Berry Jam, Japanese Style cookies, blueberry muffins, pickled radishes and many new faces.

    Looking forward to planning another one for the end of July so sign up to stay tuned for news on that. Plus, if you missed it, you can sample some of what you can expect to find from swappers with this Green Goddess dressing from Natalie and Moishe Appelbaum.

    Happy Summer!

  • A Dash of Reality

    Life is never dull here raising 3 kids, having a part-time job and running charity events just for the love of it. I’m not complaining, but it can get super hectic at times with just little pockets of sanity.

    I experienced one of those pockets for 12 seconds on Wednesday. I had the entire family organized, Adam was at art camp, Atticus was with his Dad getting ready for his swim meet and the snacks were packed ahead of time for Margot.

    I pulled up to Adam’s art class a little early (that’s right … I said early), was going to pick him up and meet the rest of the family at the swim meet. I took a deep breath and thought to myself, “Wow, I feel like we have it all together.” Literally 12 seconds later my cell phone rang. It was Chris, “We’re at the pool you sent us to, but there’s no swim meet here.”

    Oops … wrong pool. HAHAHAHA. Life is funny. It makes me laugh out loud daily.

    The moral of my story: Relish the 12 second pockets and laugh at the rest. Or to reference this sweet photo above … when life sends you a rainstorm in summer, just go put your bathing suit on.

    Did you get a 12 second pocket this week?

  • Meet our peeps!

    Our trip to Meyer Hatchery went off without a hitch. The bins of extra super cute chicks without homes almost had me impulsing buying extras. But in the end, we came home with our three Colombian Wyandottes ready to raise.

    The kids have each all picked one out and we can tell the difference now. As they start to grow and change I wonder if it will get harder or easier to tell. We put them in their new ‘temporary’ home and watched them go through their pecking order ritual. They are named, Gloria, Scooter and Teddy (formally known as Water Fairy. The boys were having none of that and convinced Margot to continue to brainstorm.) They are already growing feathers and we are learning a lot.

    So far so good. Now on to buying a coop.





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