Showing posts with label Food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Food. Show all posts

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Oil & Vinegar $30 Surprise Bags!

My family recently came to South Carolina for a visit, and stayed in downtown Greenville! One of the highlights of our many excursions shopping the shops of Main Street, was our visit to Oil & Vinegar on North Main. The store carried fabulous specialty products from Europe, Africa, and elsewhere. My Mom told us right away she wanted us to pick some things out so she could get them for us. She knows that my sis-in-law and I both love to cook! "Hmm, what to get . . ." I thought. Everything looked so good. 

As I perused the rest of the shop, there was one display I could not get out of my mind, the surprise bag table, which was strategically placed right at the front of the store as we walked in! The table was full of bags priced from $15- $50. There was a sign on the table that said that each bag contained twice the monetary value of the price tag on the bag! Sounded exciting to me. I picked out a $15 bag, my Mom saw me do so, and said I should pick out a $30 bag instead! "No problem," I thought. By that time, my sis-in-law had also decided to go for a surprise bag as her souvenir from my Mom, from our family time!

Although I've never been on a game show, opening the bags kind of felt like what I would imagine winning a surprise prize on a game show would feel like! We had so much fun discovering what we had "won" after my Mom purchased the bags for us! Jess and I each pulled out an item at a time. One of the kind, knowledgeable shop owners, and one of the nice, insightful shop keepers gave us recommendations as to what recipes to make with the products in the bags. My Mom also got an additional bag to take home to my sister in Pennsylvania. 

I quickly put my perfect chef's gift from my Mom to good use in my kitchen. This week already, I have been loving using the ingredients from my Oil & Vinegar surprise bag! I baked chicken one night with the chicken rub and lemon sage olive oil I received. Two nights ago, I made the best wrap sandwich ever, the secret ingredients being lemon sage olive oil and sherry vinegar from the gift bag! Other ingredients that were part of my special wrap included: 1 sun-dried tomato wrap, turkey, turkey bacon, shredded mozzarella, romaine lettuce, oregano, grated parmesan, salt & pepper, and ranch salad dressing. 

Jess and me opening our Oil & Vinegar surprise bags.

Holding up seasoning packets.

Jess and me with Veera Gaul, one of the owners.

Jess: Organic Pasta
Me: Olio di Oliva al limone e salvia

Me: Jerez Sherry Vinegar

Us, with another shopkeeper.

Me: Mustard Dill Dressing
(Great marinade for salmon and chicken)

Items in my bag:

Lemon Sage Olive Oil
Sherry Vinegar
Mustard Dill Dressing
Chicken Rub
Provencal Thyme & Bay Leaves
Dipping Bowl

Friday, August 1, 2014

Food Writing: Comparing Edibles With Non-edibles

Will Write For Food by Dianne Jacob, Chp. 1, Ex. 2


-"compare the following foods to non-edible objects
-write a long sentence"

(A) "The cheese was as ripe as . . ."

the smelly shoe of a long-distance runner who had trekked sock-less.

(B) "The donut smelled stale, like a . . ."

 used aged set of Dutch Blitz cards shelved in an arid basement.

(C) "The roast beef sandwich tasted as though . . ."

it were a dried-up bath towel, that had been manipulated to clean five rooms of hardwood floors with vinegar and water, and then hung out to dry.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Writing Exercise

Will Write For Food by Dianne Jacob, Chp. 1 Ex. 1


"-write a long paragraph about eating your favorite fruit
-use the 5 senses, simile, metaphor
-sub generic nouns for concrete nouns
- include both short and long sentences"

A Chocolate Covered Strawberry

Picking out a favorite fruit is a steep order when you're in the throes of cravings and loathings. In the past I have enjoyed apples: crisp honey sweet ones. Since marriage, my husband Anthony has gotten me quite fond of bright navel oranges bursting with flavor which are his favorite fruit. Perhaps, I do not have a favorite fruit at the moment because fruit is not my favorite at this very minute . . . alas, if I must complete this exercise since I do want to . . .what sort of fruit shall I write about? A chocolate covered strawberry because it is chocolaty like a delicious snack I just ate this very afternoon, a Magnum Belgian double chocolate ice cream bar. I rather like a good chocolate covered strawberry, for when I bite into a perfect one, it is altogether sweet, tart, beautiful, and velvety smooth to the touch. However, it does crunch menacingly, precariously, as if it were a mini avalanche planning to explode and plunge onto my outfit beneath my bite. A chocolate covered strawberry is such an experience. If you happen to be an inexperienced chocolate covered strawberry eater, let me give you a few tips. You don't want to eat the strawberry leaves at the top of the chocolate covered strawberry because doing so will leave a bitter taste in your mouth. Further, don't eat a funny looking chocolate covered strawberry. Yes, the chocolate will still look good, but check the top of the strawberry that is sticking out of the chocolate to make sure it is not a discolored pinkish, or grayish color. Also, be sure to smell your chocolate covered strawberry before you bite into it. If it is bad, and you do not realize it, then your mouth will be filled with a horrible rank disgustingly sweet and sour stinging mildewy flavor that is hard to get rid of.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Shastya Goes To "The Store"

A trip to see my family in Pennsylvania is never complete without a trip to see the latest and greatest at Henning's Market, or as my family often refers to it as, "The Store!" Shastya loved her momentous first-time trip to the gourmet grocery store during our little family's recent trip to Pennsylvania. This time, the latest was banana whips from "Henning's Coffee House." The banana whips were made up of whipped frozen bananas, but they tasted like ice cream! Baby Shastya enjoyed eating her banana whip with Daddy and Mommy under a covered table in the open air on the sidewalk in front of "The Store!" There's always something new at the on-trend upscale food store that has been in my family's line for many generations. It's quite the story really. . .

Let's see, from present to history, some key family patriarchs that work there or that worked there include my brother Bobby, my Dad, my Poppop, my great grandfather "Poppop Henning," and Poppop Henning's father-in-law. Of course, there are countless other family members and friends that were, and/or are an integral part of the family business as well.

"The Store" was started five generations ago as a general store, and has seen a wide variety of changes and locations in Harleysville, PA over the years. It may have gone back six generations . . . however many generations ago it was that "The Store" started, there was a relative that had three businesses. That relative left one business each to the husbands of his three daughters. The general store was one of the three businesses.  The general store operated out of a three-story building that sold everything from furniture to food. I've been told, one of the patriarchal owners was excommunicated from a local mennonite church for selling TVs in his general store! Along the way, the store became distinctively a food store, no longer sold furniture, and was labeled Henning's Market.

Henning's Market today is still located in Harleysville, PA, a historic Philly suburb. Some of my favorite regional hallmarks of Henning's Market include "Henning's Homemade" bakery, authentic PA Dutch foods, sushi, specialty cheeses, wedding catering & cakes, specialty foods, a wide variety of organic foods, a homemade gourmet smorgasbord buffet, and "The Terrace" upstairs eating area that overlooks the whole store!

From organic baby food to gourmet refrigerated pet food, my Dad's historic and hip store is ever progressing and has something new for everyone everyday! It's a happening place! In a day and age when local and family-owned is not as common as it used to be, Henning's Market holds its own. May God continue to bless the historical and futuristic Henning's Market.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Food Review: On The FlipSide

I recently purchased some two-sided snacks called FlipSides at a local grocery store. The snacks were half pretzel and half cracker, and were kind of odd. Eating them was sort of like eating stale pretzels. However, they did taste good, and they tasted more buttery than anything. We kept eating them, but on the "FlipSide" . . . we will not be buying them again.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Shari's Favorites From This Week's Groceries

1. Bread Flour. I'm excited about making bread this week instead of buying bread.

2. Munchies (Seaweed Snacks & Spicy Sriracha Peas). I love international snacks.

3. Dried Beans/Peas. I bought these because they are economical and hearty.

4. Cheeses. I got sharp cheddar in addition to our usual mozzarella to peak the flavor of our pizzas.

5. Rice. We eat lots of rice because we love Indian and Chinese food!

6. Cauliflower/Tomatoes. I'm going to make cauliflower curry again this week because we really like it.

7. Baking Cups. These will make having muffins more fun.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Amazon Grocery Shopping List

I told Anthony, I started an online Amazon groceries list in addition to my regular brick and mortar grocery store shopping list. I had converted my Vera Bradley "Russian nesting doll" sticky note into an Amazon shopping list. I told Anthony, I wrote three things on my list so far: agar agar, liquid nitrogen, and dumpling wrappers! He said, "What!? I don't think Amazon would have liquid nitrogen." I said, "Just because I am shopping/looking for something doesn't mean that I will find it." Then I asked him if it was legal/possible to even order liquid nitrogen. We agreed that ordering it by mail was not very likely. We have often seen liquid nitrogen used on Iron Chef America by Iron Chef Cat Cora. I started a list of ingredients to order online because yesterday Anthony informed me that I should get some agar agar and similar stuff we saw on Chopped to experiment with:) I put the wonton wrappers on my list because while I often make my own wonton wrappers, most of my Asian friends use store-bought wonton wrappers when they are making dumplings. I wanted to try using store-bought wonton wrappers to be authentic! Lol.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Triple Leftovers

Yeah, uh huh. Who blogs about leftovers? I do. My lunch today is the combination of leftovers from three different dishes: red lentils, green lentils, and rice. I heated them all up together in the microwave for a delicious lunch.

Growing up, my family "ate out" a lot so we brought home a lot of leftovers. Restaurant portions are ginormous and nobody should eat them in one sitting! I got lots of practice through the years cleaning out the fridge, and salvaging leftovers from it. I even got excited about leftovers. I looked at them as stepped up, processed, or ready-to-use ingredients.

Sometimes I see competing chefs on Chopped snub there noses at leftovers or random processed ingredients. I just smirk watching those chefs! I don't like to see leftovers trashed.

Unusual To Our Household

When I purchased a collection of aloe, rutabaga, dates, qumquats, and bosc pears, I had never cooked with them before. I purchased the produce assortment for nutrition and experimentation. Another interesting item shown in the pictures is a crown of figs. I bought a crown of figs for the first time on a previous trip to the store. We enjoyed dried figs so much that I bought a second crown of figs this trip to the grocery store. We, especially Anthony, like to just snack on the figs. You will also see a large purple eggplant in the picture. I have cooked with eggplant before, but not recently.




Bosc Pears

Kalamata Crown Figs

Pitted Dates

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Not Feeling Adventurous

I passed on the bone marrow, the quails, the Cornish hens, the pork loin, and the filet mignons. "Not today," I thought. I just was not feeling very adventurous. I did not even pick out so many exciting vegetables and fruit. Actually, the only cool new-to-me veggies I got were rappini/ broccoli rabe, parsley root, and a leek. Furthermore, I purchased some safe apples and oranges.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Indian Cooking

A church friend, Rachel Singapogu is teaching her first season of workshops called Indian Cooking For Beginners. I will be attending one of these classes soon. Not only will she be teaching people how to make their own curries among other things, but she is also selling Indian Cooking Starter Kits! I already purchased one of these from her. She is selling a small kit with basic Indian spices for $15. She is selling a second larger kit that has additional products in it for $80, which after talking about it with Anthony, we purchased because we love Indian food. When I brought the kit home and checked it out, I was amazed at what all Rachel had given me for just $80! One spice alone at a lot of stores can sometimes cost $6, but I received 36 items in my Indian Cooking Kit for only $80. Rachel keeps a beautiful blog called My Indian Recipes that are easy to follow. I know I will be referring to her recipes frequently.

CURRY Leaves