Saturday, March 31, 2007

S'ghetti Eddies



We had read a fairly positive review of the new(ish) sub & pizza shop S'ghetti Eddie's (410 W Cold Spring Lane) in the Baltimore Sun and decided to overlook the cutesy name and give it a shot. We don't live exactly in the neighborhood (about 10-20 minutes away, depending on traffic) but we decided to take out some subs.

Matt went over to order in person. The place was very crowded and apparently smelled great. However, Matt ordered and then sat there for almost 45 minutes before someone noticed that he was still waiting. Apparently the order had been up for some time, but no one had called his name. Their excuse was that they thought it was a phone-in order but still, wouldn't it be worth a quick shout out if you notices an order sitting on the counter for a while? Anyway, Matt grabbed the subs and then sped home. We worried they'd be cold, but we could feel a vague warmth through the layers of paper they wrapped them in, so we weren't too disappointed.

Or at least we weren't disappointed until we unwrapped them. I had gotten a chicken parm with broccoli rabe (broccoli rabe being a topping choice is really what drew us in) and mushrooms and Matt got a meatball with the same. Unfortunately, when they made them, rather than placing the cheese against the roll to form a barrier between the meat/sauce and the roll, they placed it on top. This meant two things: the meatball sub was very soggy (the chicken parm oddly had very little sauce so this wasn't a problem for that one) and the cheese stuck to the paper they wrapped it in.
Exhibit A:

Note the paper that is fused to the entire top of the sub. In order to peel it off so I could eat, I had to remove 99% of the cheese and some of the meat and roll and still got the occasional bite of paper bits when I took a bite. I have never had this happen with a sub before. I think it is the result of a few factors: one, they put the cheese on top, instead of the side; two, they used a sheet of waxed paper and wrapped in more butcher paper that wasn't nonstick enough and lastly, the the subs were rolled in paper really, really tightly.

Beyond the cheese/paper fiasco, the subs were fairly good. Like I said, Matt's meatball sub (or hoagie or grinder or hero) was a bit soggy-the sauce even made it through the 6 or so layers of paper they wrapped it in but it was tasty and we both liked the broccoli rabe addition.

My chicken parmesan was okay, it didn't have cheese any more, and there was very little sauce and while this meant the sub wasn't soggy, I also didn't get too good of a taste of it. The chicken was all breast meat and appeared to be coated in panko crumbs and was fairly grease-free. One odd thing was that the chicken, rather than being in fillet form like all of the other chicken parmesan subs I've seen in my life was in "finger" form, stacks of little logs of chicken, rather than one (or two) large flat pieces. This meant that the breading to chicken ratio was pretty high, and the sub was a little unwieldy- the chunks of chicken were stuck in some what randomly and had a tendency to fall out of the sub (much to the delight of our pug) when I bit in. It also meant that there was a lot of chicken in some parts of the sub, and very little in others.

So all in all, the flavor of the subs were good, but the presentation was awful and made the eating experience way more tedious and less enjoyable than it could have been. In the amount of time it took us to extricate the subs from the paper and heat them up again, I almost could have fried up my own chicken breast and made my own sandwich with some leftover sauce and a roll. If it wasn't so far away and we weren't so hungry, I would have turned around and returned them when I saw how mangled they were.

So, I would recommend eating in if you want to try S'ghetti Eddies, or at least waiting until they learn how to make a sandwich. It's a shame, really. There aren't too many sandwich shops around and their other restaurants, Alfonso's and Loco Hombre are fairly good.

S'Ghetti Eddie's in Baltimore

Friday, March 30, 2007

Dandy Tablecloth


I totally love this dandelion tablecloth. I really like anything with a dandelion silhouette and the colors in this particular item are so pretty and Spring-y. I think I am too messy to be trusted with a white tablecloth, though.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Vosges Haut-Chocolat


I know I have posted about my deep and abiding love of Vosges here before. Matt and I received a box of the truffles as a wedding gift from our friends Heather and Chris and ever since we have wanted more. However, is just not easy to get Vosges here in Baltimore. Wegmans some times carries the bars, but the more exotic things like the truffles and chips have eluded me.
I have especially wanted to try the new(ish) chips and recently added them to my food wishlist. Imagine my delight when someone stumbled onto this blog, saw them on the list and offered to send me some. Imagine my further delight when I received the box in the mail today and found not only a pack of the Black Pearl chips and a pack of the Red Fire chips, but also a goji bar and a green truffle set. I nearly cried with joy. I can not wait to make some thing with the chips this weekend, and the truffles are amazing-the flavors are so complex and I love the snap of the chocolate when you take a bite. I am the luckiest food blogger ever!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Easter Candy

As you might know, we are an Easter AND Passover family, so this is a very busy time for us. I was looking for Easter candy today at Target (the one in White Marsh, for you locals) and they had hardly any Easter candy left and what was there, was seriously picked over. Has anyone else noticed this? Isn't Easter still about 2 weeks away?

I was hoping to find some of those orange eggs* that were reviewed at the Candy Blog but had no luck. I did manage to score a bag of the mini Robin Eggs, which were a little difficult to find this year for some reason.




*Looking at the Jelly Belly site, I am noticing all sorts of confections I have never seen before. Anyone know a good source for non jelly bean Jelly Belly products?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Fisher's Bakery & Anniversary Doughnuts


When we got married in 2005, I didn't want a big wedding. Instead, we went to the courthouse in Ellicott City and got married by a justice of the peace. We don't live near Ellicott City, but the courthouse is located near the historic main street, which is pretty, and I thought we could walk around afterwards. Matt made the appointment for 3PM. When I learned that, I was actually a little annoyed- I had hoped for an earlier appointment. Why? I was worried that we wouldn't be able to get my favorite doughnuts from Fisher's Bakery that late. We rarely go to Ellicott City but Fisher's doughnuts haven a special favorite of mine since I was a child and lived some what closer. The only problem was that they often sell out early in the day and close up shop*. My plan had been that we'd get married, drop the announcements/invitations (Matt's parents threw us a wedding party in NYC in April) in the mail, then go get a doughnut snack. If I was going to drive all the way to Ellicott City, I wanted my doughnut! Luckily, they still had some at 3PM and all was well in the world. I had a new husband and my favorite doughnut. What more could I ask?

Today, for our anniversary, Matt got up early and drove to Ellicott City so I could have my favorite (chocolate iced, custard filled)doughnut when I woke up this morning. I wasn't disappointed: creamy, rich custard, sharp dark chocolate, light and airy dough. Doughnut perfection achieved.


*Or at least they used to, now they sell sandwiches and things so their hours are a little more standard. They still might sell out of your favorites, though.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Wishlist Update & Honeymoon Memories: Sint Maartin Guavaberry



This time two years ago, it was the day before we got married and two days before we were on a cruise to the US Virgin Islands and St. Maartin. When ever we go any where we always go to a local grocery store and see what's new. We had heard about the famous guavaberries of St. Maartin, so when we were there (after stopping at a local store and stocking up on Haribo gummy candies and other odds and ends) we went to the Sint Maartin guavaberry emporium (which is on the site of a synagogue that was abandoned in 1781, interestingly enough), had guavaberry colodas and picked up a couple of bottles of the guavaberry liqueur and a bottle of the lime rum. The lime rum was spectacular and the guavaberry had a very unique fruity but not sweet flavor. We quickly drank the lime rum and one bottle of the guavaberry. Then one day my husband accidentally dropped the remaining bottle of the guavaberry liqueur. We were so disappointed because it was a reminder of our honeymoon.and difficult to find. While they do have mail order, it is illegal to receive alcohol in the mail in Maryland and even if we chanced it and ordered anyway, it was about four times as expensive online than it was in the store. So we resigned ourselves to having to wait until we or someone we knew (and who wouldn't mind being our guavaberry mule) went to St. Maartin.




I recently added it to my food wishlist on the side column, more as a reminder to myself than anything else-I know it isn't available for sale here, and even our most accommodating liquor store said they couldn't order it. So imagine my surprise last week, just a few days after adding to the list, a eagle-eyed reader, Judy, emailed me and said she had a bottle she'd be willing to give me. Luckily, she lives in Maryland and suggested meeting up at Wegmans. So I drove up to Wegmans (for the second time in 4 days-I think they are starting to recognize me) and met the very generous Judy. She had gotten a couple bottles from a friend and didn't think they'd ever drink the (unopened) second bottle. So she nicely gave it to me! It was perfect timing too, because I was able to give it to my husband for our anniversary this weekend.

I was here!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Food Blog Etiquette



I think it is time for a little blog etiquette refresher course. Most people I encounter are delightful but every once in a while, you run into a bad apple.


Do:
  • Leave comments on new posts. Everyone likes to receive feedback!

  • Leave a comment on an older post if you made and liked the recipe. I know I love hearing that people made and loved the recipes I created!

  • Suggest tips and offer your experiences in a positive way.

  • Ask questions! I get a lot of emails with various questions and am happy to answer any that I can.

  • Ask permission before posting someone else's recipes on your own blog.

  • Ask permission before using someone else's photographs on your own blog.

  • If you are confused by a recipe, email the person and ask for clarification.
  • Make food suggestions.

  • Feel free to email the food blogger if their email is readily accessible on the site. I know I love hearing from readers and have "met" a lot of great people, found a lot of cool sites, and got some new food ideas from emails I was sent.

  • Don't:

  • Demand that some one create or post a certain food or recipe. Remember, it is ultimately up to the blogger what they post. They might be interested in knowing you like their (for example) Thai recipes and that you would like to see more, but it is not appropriate to repeatedly email them asking when they are posting more Thai food or to say that you need them to post the recipe because you have a party coming up and want to get cooking.


  • Don't leave comments that are basically just invitations to see your blog. Chances are, if you leave a comment they will go and look at it anyway.


  • Tell the food blogger that you would never eat that or that you don't like that sort of food. It is fine to share a different technique, tip or idea , but really, no one cares that you don't like Chinese food, especially if you say it in a hostile or overly negative manner.


  • Do not ever post a recipe without permission or worse yet, post it and make it look like it was yours.


  • Do not make minor changes to a recipe (like say, numbering the steps in the directions while keeping the wording of the instructions and ingredients the same) and claim it was your own.


  • These are just a few issues I have both enountered myself and heard about recently...any thing I missed?

    Thursday, March 22, 2007

    Kohlrabi

    I have a certain fondness for kohlrabi and was delighted to see this big bunch of it for only $1.70 at Wegmans. I tried growing this last year, but for some reason, they never got big enough to eat.

    It is at times difficult to find in stores, but lately I have been seeing some really fresh bunches in the stores even though the official season isn't until late Summer. Both the greens and the "bulb" (it is generally called that even though it is not a bulb and grows above ground) are edible, you can cook the greens the way you would mustard greens or chard and the peeled bulb can be eaten raw or roasted or boiled.

    It is hard to describe the taste of a kohlrabi. It almost tastes like the peeled stem of a crown of broccoli but milder. The texture is similar to that of a crisp apple, but it is not sweet at all.

    Wednesday, March 21, 2007

    Washington Post Express

    Recently I was interviewed about Baltimore food for the Washington Post Express which is a free, daily newspaper in the DC area. I won't see it until I am sent a copy but if you are in the area, the article should be in today's issue so pick it up if you see it and let me know what you think.

    Tuesday, March 20, 2007

    Butterflies in my Kitchen



    My favorite new cooking items for Spring? This butterfly shaped spatula and these adorable pancake molds. I like how the molds come in a pack of three (if you have a large griddle, you could make three at once) and that each mold makes a fairly large pancake. Now I just have to convince my husband that I need them!

    Monday, March 19, 2007

    Flat Earth Vegetable Crisps


    While I was at Wegmans last week stocking up on exotic soda, I came across these Flat Earth crisps. We generally don't have any snack foods like potato chips or pretzels around the house, but the flavors were intriguing so I picked up a bag. I bought the Tangy Tomato Ranch flavor, even though I generally don't like "ranch" flavored things as they tend to be a bit sweet. These crisps, however, were not sweet at all and had a good tomato-y flavor. They are made with rice flour and potato flakes, which sounds odd but was actually pretty tasty. They are very crisp and airy. The flavor comes from the sort of powdery substance one finds on cheese curls but it much tastier and doesn't seem to flake off as much or stain your hands. The serving size is one ounce and since they are so light, that is about 12 chips. Each ounce contains a 1/2 serving of vegetables, which might be a good way to sneak some vegetables into a veggie-phobe's diet. The other flavors are Farmland Cheddar(which might be a good substitute for the aforementioned cheese curls) and Garlic & Herb Field (which I just picked up today).

    They also sell some fruit flavors: Wild Berry Patch, Apple Cinnamon Grove, and Peach Mango Paradise which have 1/2 serving a fruit in every ounce. I held off buying them because I am not a fan of sweet snacks, but I'd be interested in hearing about how they taste and if they are in fact, sweet. I think having fruit flavored crisps is sort of a bold move, I don't think people generally think of fruit flavors when they are looking for a potato chips substitute. Actually the whole Flat Earth healthy chip thing is a bit of a departure for it's parent company, Frito-Lay. You can read what they have to say about the product here. All in all, a good alternative to traditional, fried potato chips.

    Friday, March 16, 2007

    moules, frites and beer


    One of the places I'd like to visit most in the world in Belgium. Food-wise it seems to have the perfect combination to satisfy both me and my husband: mussels, beers, fries and chocolate. Until we can go there, Belgo is as close as we can get. This cookbook, based on the restaurant of the same name, not only gives recipes and tips for the moules & frites novice, but has interesting bits about Belgium's festivals, a Belgian beer guide and several quirky essays and illustrations. Belgo is a British restaurant (and I just read there is a location in NYC) and the measurements and instructions have not been "Americanized" like some European and Australian cookbooks are when they are published here, but it really isn't difficult to "translate" as the instructions are extremely clear. I only mention it because I have seen this mentioned in a number of reviews of book, but frankly, I didn't really notice. This would be an excellent cookbook on its own merits, but given the difficulty in locating Belgian cookbooks, it is invaluable.

    Thursday, March 15, 2007

    Food Wishlist Update: Cane Sugar Coke, Japanese Soda and Ribena




    I went to Wegmans today to see if they had gotten any kosher for Passover coke in. Last year they had some, but they sold out really quickly. I was in luck-they said it had just come in and probably would be gone by the weekend. Why is kosher for Passover coke so exciting? It is made with cane sugar and not high fructose corn syrup (which is made from corn with is banned during Passover)! I love coke anyway, but coke with cane sugar is so much better, and closer to the original taste of coke. Cane sugar had been used long before using high fructose corn syrup came into vogue in the mid 1980s. Coke made with cane sugar has a lighter flavor and no sticky sweet aftertaste. It also has smaller bubbles and is less foamy.
    Wegmans only had it in 2 liter bottles, which is my least favorite way to drink coke (in order: cans, glass bottles, 12 oz plastic bottles, 2 liter bottles) because it goes flat quickly but it is better than nothing. I have heard that Mexican-made cane sugar coke is some times available in glass bottles at Mexican stores, but so far I haven't found that to be true here in Baltimore.
    If you are looking for kosher for Passover coke, I suggest first going to an area with large Jewish population and looking for the bottles with the yellow cap. All coke is kosher but the special kosher for Passover coke is marked OU-P and has a yellow cap. Do not be fooled by the circle k mark that is on "regular" coke.
    According to the OU Kosher website:
    "Coca Cola will again be available with an OU-P for Pesach. Aside from the New York metropolitan area, Coke will be available in Boston, Baltimore-Washington, Miami, Atlanta, Houston, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles. This year, in New York, Coca Cola items will be made with an OU-P in 2 liter bottles and in cans."

    So it is available in cans, but only in NY. I might have to put a call into my in-laws to be on the lookout. All of my NYC food lovers, let me know if you have a sighting! We are planning a NYC trip for the end of the month or early April.



    Wegmans also had Ribena, which was also on my list. I asked why I hadn't seen it before and they said they just started carrying it in the last few weeks. It was a little pricier than I was expecting (almost $7 for 20 oz!!) but I had to get it so I can cross it off the list. Thanks for the tip, Beth!



    One last Wegmans find: individual bottles of Ramune soda ($1.25). It wasn't on the list, because I knew where to find it, but until today, I've only seen it in multipacks for $8-10 and I didn't want to spend that much on soda I wasn't sure if I'd like. The main reason I wanted to try it is that it comes in a fun shaped bottle and has a marble sealing the top. I haven't tried it yet, but I hear it tastes like Sprite or 7 Up.

    Fiber One Granola Bars


    I have to say that this one food that I am surprised I liked as much as I did. Something with all that fiber just doesn't sound tasty, but it really is. They are sweet without being too sweet (although I could have done without that extra drizzle of "chocolate" down the middle, and really fill you up. I am not a huge granola bar eater but I do like to keep them on hand. I often take them with me to doctor's appointments and other places where I might get trapped at for long periods of time with nothing to eat. These bars are very filling and could almost replace a meal.

    Wednesday, March 14, 2007

    In My Kitchen: Oster Beehive Blender



    I can't say I frequently blend things, but I love my blender. I bought it because it had a retro design but was also very strong: it can crush ice! I don't think I have ever had the occasion to crush ice (I actually don't like ice very much) but it seems like an important feature to have. According to the website it can also grind coffee (which I don't drink but again, showcases how powerful it is) and shred coconut, which sounds useful. It also has a metal shaft that attaches to the base to the blades, rather than the plastic one that a lot of newer blenders have which makes it very sturdy. It does only have three settings (on, off and high) but really, what else do you need? It blends quickly and throughly so you don't need 8 speeds.

    A blender is one of those appliances that is always good to have on hand, even if you use it rarely. There are just somethings that you need a blender to do: food processors can whip a dough into shape, but are pretty much useless when it comes to milkshakes and margaritas. I used it to make my first smoothie last week and it mixed everything together in just a couple of seconds. I've also made hummus successfully in a blender back before I had a food processor.


    We actually have two blenders; my husband bought one shortly after we met and then just a year later we were married, so we ended up with two fairly new identical blenders. If we had known we would get married so quickly, maybe he would have held off on the blender purchase, but it actually has come in handy when making drinks for guests. I like having a extra jar, if you are blending two different things or make a mistake and need to start over, you can just switch the jars and not have to stop and clean.

    Replacement parts and second jars are pretty affordable too, I recommend picking up an extra ($2) set of the rubber gaskets, because they have a tendency to disappear when you go to wash it.

    Monday, March 12, 2007

    Woe is Tomato


    Late last December when we were trying to get the ingredients together for the totally '80s sun-dried tomato/pesto pizza we made for New Year's Eve, we had the hardest time finding sun-dried tomatoes*. We went from store to store and they either wouldn't have any sun-dried tomatoes at all or they'd have them but they would be out dated or extremely expensive. Finally we paid $6 for a (small, skinny) jar of sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil. So imagine my surprise when I went to our local neighborhood Safeway today and they had not one, not two but seven varieties of sun-dried tomatoes! Did they finally hear my plaintive pleas two months too late? There was a whole section in the isle devoted to sun-dried tomatoes. I am not kidding. They had 3 brands and sizes of the tomatoes packed in oil, one organic, one packed with pesto, one packed with peppers and even two kinds of sun-dried tomatoes not in oil (which is actually what we wanted for the pizza, we had to blot the oil soaked ones) . I could choose from either halved or julienned! For $2.50! With no oil and in a resealable bag! I picked up a bag of the halved oil free variety (even though I generally never eat sun-dried tomatoes) just because I could.



    *We also had a hard time finding fresh basil for the pesto, but at least that could be explained by the fact that it was out of season. Sun-dried tomatoes don't have a season! Suffice it to say, the actual physical making of the pizza, dough, pesto and all was the easiest part of this adventure.

    Sunday, March 11, 2007

    Food Magazines

    Why is it that all of the yummy looking food magazines I see online are foreign? I'd love to get Olive or even the Donna Hay magazine, but it costs a fortune to get them in the US. My very first post here was about how excited I was that Dazzling, Delightful Delicious was coming out with a US version. Then 5 months later, I get a letter saying that there would be no more issue. Why can't the US support the more upscale food magazine?

    Friday, March 09, 2007

    French Bull Espresso Cups


    Last week I was lucky enough to win these French Bull espresso cups from Hostess with the Mostess. It is a set of 4, and each cup/saucer set has a different design. They are so tiny and pretty they are almost like doll dishes, but for grown ups. They are small (only about 2 oz each-the cup can fit in the palm of my hand!) but they are very sturdy and well made. I've already made some rich hot chocolate for them, and I can't wait to use them again!

    Thursday, March 08, 2007

    TrueBlue Blueberry Juice


    Recently, I was sent two 16 oz bottles of TrueBlue Blueberry Juice to sample: one was plain blueberry juice and the other was blueberry-pomegranate. I was interested in trying the juice for a couple of reasons: first, I have rarely seen blueberry juice on its own* . I always assumed that there was something about blueberries that didn't make it a good choice for juice, either cost or flavor but I guess that is not the case any more.

    The second reason I wanted to try the juice is that the juices are made with cane sugar and not high fructose corn syrup. I love drinks made with cane sugar and will go out of my way to seek them out. You'd be surprised how much better they taste than ones made from with high fructose corn syrup. Even soda benefits from being made with cane sugar. Of course, juices made without any added sugars are out there, but the majority have some sort of sweetener, and when they do, I prefer cane sugar.

    I tried both of the juices and was pretty much impressed. They have a good blueberry flavor without being over powering. The blueberry-pomegranate is definitely blueberry-pomegranate and not pomegranate-blueberry, the blueberry taste is strong and clear. It was my favorite out of the two. The pomegranate provided a good balance to the blueberry. They are both high in antioxidants and are high pigment fruits so that makes it seem like a particularly healthy beverage choice.


    The plain blueberry (like the one pictured above) is actually a mix of blueberry and grape juice** and while the flavor is clearly blueberry and not grape, is a little sweeter than I like my juice to be. Grape juice tends to be on the sweet side so that might be the culprit here. The pomegranate version didn't taste as sweet even though it too contained grape juice, although I am assuming in smaller quanities. I think this one would be best thinned out with some club soda or served as a mixer in a cocktail to cut the sweetness a bit. I also am going to look for larger bottles at the store to experiment with-maybe make some sorbet with fresh blueberries and juice instead of water?

    Blueberries are shown to promote good urinary track health (not a major concern of mine, but if this is an issue with you and you drink cranberry juice for that reason, this might be a good substitute), are shown to lower cholesterol and help prevent blindness. Each 16 oz bottle, although it contains 2 servings, has as much juice as a full (1/2 cup) serving of blueberries. Each 8 oz serving contains your daily allowance of Vitamin C. If all that isn't a reason to pick up some blueberries or try this juice, I don't know what is. TrueBlue juice is also more affordable than the few other blueberry juices I've seen at places like Whole Foods. This might be because it is made from concentrate, but honestly, I normally can't taste that much of a difference between berry juices that are made from concentrate or are fresh pressed. It is also sold in the big 64 oz bottles at large chain grocery stores which is convenient if you drink a lot of juice and don't want to go out of your way.




    *Which is why the part of the label that said it won "best new blueberry juice 2005" cracked me up. How many other "new" blueberry juices debuted in 2005? Is there a wave of blueberry juice that passed by without my noticing?

    **A lot of commerically made fruit juices are actually blends of two or more fruits. Cranberry juice, for example, is frequently made by blending cranberries with other fruit juices to off set the cranberry's intense tartness.

    Wednesday, March 07, 2007

    Odds and Ends

    • I added my ingredient wishlist to my sidebar. I will update when I find anything and add new items. I've gotten so many emails and comments about it and I am now hot on the trail of some of the goods. If anyone wants to have a swap for regional foods, let me know!
    • Does anyone else have an ingredient wishlist they'd want to share?
    • I need suggestions on things to make that will help me try out my new rolling pin.
    • If any food blogger wants to be interviewed on this blog, send me an email.

    Tuesday, March 06, 2007

    Thrifty Tip #5: Keeping Food Fresh


    A sneaky way to save money is to store fresh produce properly so it doesn't go bad before you use it.


    On the counter, out of direct light:
    • Unripe fruit like citrus or apples (they will not ripen if chilled)
    • Tomatoes (they lose flavor and texture if chilled)
    • Garlic
    • Fresh ginger
    • Potatoes (or in a dark cupboard)
    • Winter squash
    • Onions
    • Stone fruits
    • Strawberries
    • Avocados

    To be refrigerated:
    • Ripe citrus (can also be left on counter)
    • Berries (in a vented container)
    • Celery
    • Carrots
    • Apples (can also be left on counter)
    • Cut fruit
    • Radishes
    • Greens such as spinach and lettuce (wrapped loosely in plastic)
    • Fresh herbs
    • Asparagus (can be stored standing in a cup of water for maximum freshness)
    • Rhubarb
    • Kiwi
    • hot peppers
    • cucumbers

    Keep fruits and vegetables separate as some fruits (apples are one) give off ethylene gas which can speed up the ripening process of other foods and can lead to spoilage. It is also important to clean out your produce bin frequently as possible- any rotten food can cause fresh food to spoil more quickly.

    You all you know I love Tupperware more than I should but they have a line of products called FridgeSmart® which are amazing. They are like little extra produce bins for your refrigerator and they keep things fresh forever.

    Monday, March 05, 2007

    Cadbury Eggs


    Matt picked up some Cadbury creme eggs for me the other day and I thought they felt lighter and smaller. I was curious so I looked them up on Candy Blog and I was right: she has them listed at 1.38 oz each (in 2006) and the ones we bought this year are only 1.2 oz. Same price, smaller product! It is annoying, but mostly I am glad that I am not cracking up and that they are in fact, smaller.


    Matt also bought some Cadbury mini eggs in both original and Royal Dark! The dark ones are pretty good but then I have a special fondness for the miniegg, so pretty much anything would be good for me as long as they were in that matte sugar shell.

    Ingredient Wishlist Update

    So, after posting my ingredient wishlist, I got some comments and emails that have lead me to some potential sources. I now have a reason to get up early and hit the farmer's market-we sort of slacked off when we moved further away and grew more of our own vegetables.

    I am also happy to say that we did find a good source for sushi grade fish. Matt went to H Mart (over off Rolling Rd, for you locals) and they had sashimi grade salmon. So he brought some home and we made raw sushi rolls! I don't think they always have it in, but they did yesterday. Very exciting! So I can cross that off the list. If you are interested, here is a blog post I found about the safety of raw salmon.

    Sunday, March 04, 2007

    Food Network Canada

    Just something I thought I'd share. The Canadian Food Network has some great recipes. They have some different shows than we do here in the US, some of which appear to be very good. The search engine is well organized and best of all, you never end up with Semi-Homemade results.

    Saturday, March 03, 2007

    CB2




    I remember reading about CB2 a few years ago when they opened their store in Chicago. They are an off shoot of Crate & Barrel. I had checked out their website but then promptly forgot about them. I was sent there recently via a link to some cute bicycle baskets and clicked over to the "party" and "eat" sections and was pleasantly surprised. They have some really fun, high quality stuff that is a lot like what you find at Crate & Barrel but a bit cheaper and in modern colors and designs. They had some pricier items like sofas, art and housewares, which is understandable, but all of their glasses, plates and serving ware were all very inexpensive for what seems to be quality merchandise. Underpainted glass dishes and platters are only $5-15. I think I had avoided it thinking it was a Crate and Barrel for teenagers, and while it does seem to be aimed at youngish professionals, there is something there for everyone. My only complaint is that there are no actually cooking items for sale; there are lots of drinking and eating items like plates, cocktail glasses and ice pitchers but no mixing bowls, measuring cups, etc.

    Friday, March 02, 2007

    Ingredient Wishlist

    Am I the only one with a running ingredient wishlist of things I just can't seem to find? I know with the internet, most things are within reach but it is often cost prohibitive. There is also a certain thrill you get from seeing something you've been looking for right on the shelf. Smoked paprika was on my list for a long time until one day at my local Safeway, there it was as if it had been there all along. We also used to have to special order hot paprika (we have a lot of paprika needs) but suddenly that is available too. This gives me hope.

    My current list:
    + sushi grade fish (FOUND! salmon at H Mart)
    + pearl sugar (I saw it on Julia Child's chefs show and have been wanting to try it ever since)
    + matcha powder (for less than a billion dollars an ounce, please)
    + goji berries at Hmart (I hear they are cheap there but I can't read the labels)
    + edible silver dust
    + red currants (never available fresh)
    + golden kiwi (I've had them, just not in ages)
    + Ribena
    + those cordials (fruit syrups, I assume) that are always in Australian books/movies
    + Gooseberries
    + Valomilk
    + Haribo gummi rainbow mini frogs and fizzy soda bottles* (on my Amazon wishlist)



    What's on your list?


    *True story: several varieties Haribo candies (including the mini frogs) are made here in Baltimore, but according to the company are only available at a couple XtraMarts in MD, none of which are near us. Ironically, when we went on a cruise for our honeymoon the ship had several varieties in the gift shop all marked "made in Baltimore, MD" and a grocery store in St. Maartin had even more; some were made in Europe, but about half were marked "made in Baltimore, MD". So we had to go to a foreign country to get something that was manufactured not 5 miles from where we were living at the time.