Monday, August 29, 2011


Grouper Back on the Menu at All Columbia Restaurants

We have new lunch and dinner menus at The Columbia! Grouper is back on our menu again at all six of our restaurants in Florida after a four year absence.
“We took grouper off our menu back in May of 2007 due to overfishing, which led to the difficulty in meeting the demand for authentic grouper,” said Richard Gonzmart, 4th generation family member and Columbia Restaurant President.

“According to the National Marine Fisheries Service, red grouper is harvested in the Gulf of Mexico, and the red grouper population is healthy and is harvested at sustainable levels,” Gonzmart said.

“We are proud to once again offer our guests classic and unique Columbia preparations of this delicious mild fish with five red grouper entrees on our new dinner menu, and two items on our lunch menu,” Gonzmart said.

New Grouper Dinner Entrees:

Baked Stuffed Grouper - Boneless fillet of red grouper stuffed with fresh lump blue crabmeat and a tropical passion fruit butter sauce. Gently baked. Served with yellow rice and fresh vegetables.

Grouper “A la Rusa” - Columbia’s signature preparation for fillet of fish breaded in Cuban bread crumbs and grilled. Garnished with chopped parsley, hard boiled egg, and a mild lemon butter sauce. Served with yellow rice and fresh vegetables.

Grouper “El Greco” - I created this recipe after many visits with my college roommate and lifelong friend, Jimmy “The Greek” Philopoulos and his family in Canton, Massachusetts. They are the multi-generational owners of restaurants, including the legendary 57 Restaurant in Boston. Boneless fillet of red grouper, grilled on a flat top with olive oil, smothered with seasoned onions, garlic and oregano. Served with yellow rice. OPA! RG

Grilled Grouper - Simply delicious. Seasoned and grilled. Served with yellow rice and fresh vegetables. 

Grouper “Bilbao”- Traditional Basque preparation of fillet of red grouper, baked in a casserole with sliced tomatoes, potatoes, onions, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and lemon. Served with fresh vegetables.

Grouper "Bilbao" and Grilled Grouper have also been added to the lunch menu.

Cooking Light Tasting Sessions: What Goes On?

Thorough testing of recipes is a "must" towards ensuring the reliability of recipes published in a cookbook,on a web site, or in a magazine. The following was a post describing the tasting process at Cooking Light:

A Guide to Taste Testing at Cooking Light

Taste-testing is a daily working session in which we analyze and rate dishes for publication in Cooking Light. Here is the method, and what you can expect:

1) The TK staffer responsible for the recipe summarizes the ingredients and procedure (see "Procedures" below for criteria).
2) The recipe is discussed.
3) All participants then rate the recipe on a scale of:

3 = Superior in all aspects
2+ = A high-quality recipe
2 = A very good recipe overall
1+ = A good recipe overall
1 = A simple recipe that is sometimes just okay
Retest = Recipe with a chance of passing, but needs adjustment in
flavors, procedure, yields
Fail = Poor procedure, bad taste, unacceptable appearance,
misfit for CL.

Criteria for Taste Testing

These are the items that taste testing participants evaluate before rating a recipe with one of the above values:

1. Appearance - is the food appetizing.
2. Taste/flavor
3. Texture
4. Ease of Preparation
5. Number of Ingredients
6. Accessibility of Ingredients
7. Creativity
8. Realism (Would you make this at home?)
9. Wow factor (Would you tell friends about it?)
10. Worth (Is the end product worth the effort, time, and cost?)
11. Repeatability (Can you get the same results time after time?)
12. Context (How good is it for what it is?)
13 Amount of equipment used and how it affects clean-up time.

Here is what the Foods staff is looking for or discussing during taste-testing:

1) The Recipe Summary
- The responsibility of identifying and relating pertinent and/or questionable parts of a recipe rests on the TK staff either during testing, taste testing, or meeting with the food editors afterwards.
- Standardized procedures facilitate testing, taste testing, editing and the reader success.
- Talking through funky procedures allows them to be addressed and streamlined.
- Preparation time is relevant when: First because of AOL, and the end product is not worth the effort; every recipe in the story takes so long or is so involved that raders might not prepare them; or if the recipe is in Dinner Tonight and Superfast.
- Ingredient amounts and procedures are important in how they affect the end product.
2. Yields
- The serving size and the yields must equal for correct nutritional info at the end of the recipe.
- Must discuss how to juggle ingredients or procedures to fit yield.
3. Ingredients
- Ingredients should be discussed when national availability is questionable, the cost of the ingredient or several in the recipe are expensive, the amount of sodium and/or fat may be too high or need to be decreased, the ingredient is not what we usually call for, or to identify ingredients that may need to fall in the Glossary.

The Participants
Anyone is welcome to attend taste-testing. The TK Director sends a Group Page alert to those who normally participate. There are some things to keep in mind:
1) This is business that is central to the magazine's identity. It is not social hour; though not a drudgery either.
2) Arrive as quickly as possible after being alerted; please don't expect a well-balanced meal.
3) Help us stay focused on the recipe at hand; whispered conversations are very distracting.
4) The majority rules on whether a recipe passes or fails.
5) Everyone should rate the recipes.
6) Diversity of opinion is welcome and expected. So is working together amicably.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Monday, August 15, 2011


Shirley Lasseter to shirley

show details 11:28 AM (7 minutes ago)

Hi all,

We have another important film opening at the Hipp this Friday, August 19th. It's a great new nature film about Bees, called "Queen of the Sun".

Can you help us spread the word by posting it to your websites, emails lists and most importantly, bringing your friends and colleagues with you when you come to see it.

We have timed the film to coincide with National HoneyBee Awareness Day and because of that we have going to be hosting the visiting National and State Honey Princess and Queen at a fun and fabulous "Honey Reception" from 6:30-8:30 on the opening night sponsored by the Alachua County Beekeepers Club.

There will also be a honey bee mascot and several speakers throughout the week.

Here's a little about each speaker:
Aug 21st Sunday 4:30 show (6pm-6:50) Jerry Latner has been working with honeybees for over 50 years. This father of two is the owner of Jerry’s Beehives and has been the manager of the Dadant & Sons Beekeeping supply company in High Springs for over 40 years where he does research and development on new items for the Dadant Company. Jerry serves on the Honey Technical Council and has served on the Board of Directors for the Lake City Farm Bureau and is also a member of the Alachua County Beekeepers Club. Always willing to help a new beekeeper get started is one of his strong points.

Aug 24th Wed 5:15 (6:45-7:45) show Jason Graham: The recent honeybee declines have shown us that we should not remain solely dependent on the European honey bee for the pollination of our crops. There are an estimated 4,000 bees that are native to the United States and over 300 bees have been identified in Florida. Though these bees do not produce honey or beeswax, they are efficient pollinators. Currently these bees are providing "background pollination" and have been termed "the unsung heroes of pollination". During this presentation, he will discuss what you can do to help native bees in your area and will introduce you to some of the bees that may be residing in your own backyard. Jason Graham earned his Bachelor of Science degree at University of Delaware. He went on to obtain his Master of Science degree with the Honey Bee Research & Extension Laboratory at University of Florida. Jason is continuing pursuit of his PhD at University of Florida, majoring in Entomology & Nematology with a minor in Agricultural Education and Communication. The Native Bee Nesting Sites which are providing data for his project can be found at many places in and around Gainesville including: Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, the Santa Fe Teaching Zoo and Morningside Nature Center.

Watch the Trailer
Queen of the Sun
Buy Tickets

"Queen of the Sun" is as soulful as it is scientific, as uplifting as it is alarming. —

A remarkable documentary that's also one of the most beautiful nature films I've seen. —Roger Ebert

What it is doing, and beautifully, is making a sunny and optimistic case for why the world is worth saving, via gorgeous imagery and poetic appreciations of the bees themselves. —NPR

From the director of The Real Dirt on Farmer John comes a profound, alternative look at the tragic global bee crisis. In 1923, Rudolf Steiner, a scientist, philosopher & social innovator, predicted that in 80 to 100 years honeybees would collapse. His prediction has come true with Colony Collapse Disorder where bees are disappearing in mass numbers from their hives with no clear explanation. In an alarming inquiry into the insights behind Steiner’s prediction Queen of The Sun examines the global bee crisis through the eyes of biodynamic beekeepers, scientists, farmers, and philosophers. On a pilgrimage around the world, 10,000 years of beekeeping is unveiled, highlighting how our historic and sacred relationship with bees has been lost due to highly mechanized industrial practices. Featuring Michael Pollan, Vandana Shiva, Gunther Hauk and beekeepers around the world, Queen of The Sun weaves a dramatic story which uncovers the problems and solutions in renewing a culture in balance with nature. 1hr 23min | USA | NR

Directed by: Taggart Siegel

Featuring: Gunther Hauk, Michael Pollan and Vandana Shiva

Fri (08/19) 6:30 8:30
Sat (08/20) 2:30 4:30
Sun (08/21) 12:30 2:30 4:30 7:00
Wed (08/24) 5:15 8:00
Thu (08/25) 6:30 8:30

Sunday, August 14, 2011

WWW.THECOOKBOOKBLOG.COM: New Blog that focuses on cooking from a few cookbooks

I just found this blog and love its premise. Basically, the writer focuses on cooking from a small number of cookbooks and using many (or all) recipes from each book. Right now, the blog is focusing on the Southern Foodway Alliance's Community Cookbook. Other cookbooks that the blog has "cooked from" include one of Lidia B.'s Italian cookbooks, Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art, and the revered Essential Cuisines of Mexico by Diana Kennedy.

The writer's taste in food writing is exemplary and the format of diving deeply into each work is unique and welcomed by this reader.

I feel lots of reading and cooking in my future.......