Saturday, June 30, 2007

Amazon Grocery

I've recently discovered Amazon's new grocery section and so far I like what I see. They have an extensive herbs, spices and seasonings that even includes things like hard to find Indian spices, European brands and fancy salts. I also like the pasta and grains section-it has all sorts of pastas and grains including gluten-free options and exotic pastas. It is a great resource for people who maybe live far from an ethnic market or who are looking for a specific product they can't find in their area.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Tangentally Food Related



I just had to share my new rainboots. I haven't had rainboots since I was in pre-K and when I saw these, I couldn't resist-they have cupcakes on them and were only $20. Now it just needs to rain.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Eating Locally: Dogwood Deli


After getting my haircut at one of only 2 organic salons in the country, Sprout, I decided to continue the responsible living theme and pick up lunch (to go, although they do have dine in service-it is currently closed for remodeling) at the nearby Dogwood Deli. Their focus is on local and organic ingredients and sustainable eating and have partnerships with farmer and independent businesses in the area. Their food is also really, really good. The roast beef sandwich is amazing- just read the description from the menu:
Rosemary – Peppered Roast Beef and Blue grass-fed beef from Pa. slow roasted and sliced thin, served on ciabatta bread, topped with apricot-horseradish chutney, blue cheese, and thyme-grilled onions.
It came with some waffle chips (very potato tasting). And I love any place that has Boylan seltzers for sale.
Check out the rest of the menu here.
The place is fairly reasonably priced too, my sandwich was one of the pricier selections on the deli menu at $8.75, but well worth it. It was simply delicious. And if you consider the higher price of buying biodegradable packaging for takeout, working with local farmers and the cost of running a business, it's a steal.

Dogwood Deli in Baltimore

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Fuze

I am kind of enjoying Fuze. I've tried a couple of flavors and while they are not my most favorite beverage in the world, they aren't bad at all. Their "slenderize" line (although I general avoid anything that even sounds remotely dietetic) is basically a lightly fruit flavored water but with no corn syrup or sugar. As someone who doesn't like to drink water (blah) or juice (too heavy) with meals, it is a good compromise. I haven't had it yet, but their "refresh" line is all fortified with calcium and vitamins, which is a great idea, I love drinks with extra calcium and things added.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

New Can opener!




We finally broke down and bought a new can opener while we were at the Weg today. We bought the recommended OXO Good Grips Smooth Edge Can Opener, which looks disturbingly gynecological in this picture, but seems just fine in real life. The only real drawback was that it cost $20. They had the (also recommended) kind that didn't leave the smooth edge, but they were only $6 or so cheaper and I have a tendency to slice my fingers open, so I thought, why not splurge.
We also bought this pink ice cream scoop from Zyliss. Also sort of overpriced at $10, but hopefully it will do a better job than our current scooper.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Dinner?

Okay, this post has a short shelf life because I need help deciding what to make for dinner. Here's what I have to work with:

fresh pork (loin and loin slices, I think)
bacon
some frozen stuff (tilapia, ground beef, maybe steak)
asapragus
eggplant
cucumbers
zucchini

plus the usual staples, spices, beans, rice, pasta etc

Any ideas?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Reusable Bags For Groceries


I've been seeing a lot of mentions of these Envirosax reusable grocery bags. I really like the idea of them, I hate all of the plastic bags we accumulate even when I don't let them put bulky/handled things like milk or detergent in bags. I sort of think we might need more than just one set of bags though. We really tend to stock up when we go to the store!

I love how they are so collapsible, come in a tote and are really gender-neutral looking. You can also buy them individually, but it really makes more sense to buy the set, it is cheaper and really, who only comes home with just one bag from the grocery store every time?

Monday, June 18, 2007

Coconut & Lime Contest!

The contest: to help celebrate Coconut & Lime's third birthday by making dishes that use the ingredients coconut and lime.

The entries:
A Couple of Cooks made the tasty sounding Coconut & Lime Chicken Curry.

Truly yummy looking cupcakes and a key lime tart over at Fruit Tart.

Peabody whipped up a blondie-cake hybrid and made Key Lime Coconut Blondies.


Curiously Ravenous made Coconut Beignets with Lime Sugar that made me audibly gasp when I read the recipe.

Eat With Me made a pineapple mint sorbet.

Trips and Treats went for a Key Lime Pie with a Coconut Graham Cracker crust. I love key limes!

On of my favorite bloggers, Sweet Mary, made a coconut lime sorbet.

A Veggie Venture has the fabulous sounding Thai Roasted Eggplant Salad

Tonia Cooks made the inventive Key Lime Chill.


Trivialissimo made some yummy looking "ripoff" muffins inspired by other bloggers.

What Holt and Barbara Had for Dinner was...coconut and lime chicken!


It was a tough choice but the award goes too....Simone at Curiously Ravenous. My mouth is still watering! Please email so I can get you your prize!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Double Vote day!

Remember to vote for Coconut & Lime in the GrillMe contest! Today is a double vote day, so even if you voted for me once, you can vote again and it will count twice. This means twice the chance of you (or I!) going to Napa Valley!

Friday, June 15, 2007

ISO A Good Can Opener


I can't seem to find a can opener that I like, can easily use and that holds up over time. I used to like the classic swingline, but when it broke I bought a can opener that you squeeze rather than turn a crank. Now that one isn't working either-it is a struggle to initally pierce the can. I don't want an electric one, just a manual one that works. It took longer to open the cans than it did to cook the chili the other day. Something so simple shouldn't be so hard.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Dining Outside?


Now that is warm out and almost officially summer, how many of you are eating meals outdoors? We have been doing it a bit, but I'd like to do it more. Something about sitting outside makes the dinner, no matter how ordinary, seem a little bit more special.


Don't forget to vote for Coconut & Lime in the GrillMe contest, did you know that when you vote for me you are also voting for yourself? You might win the reader half of the contest to go on the same trip to Napa Valley. How fun is that?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Contest!

I recently learned I was nominated to enter the Culinate GrillMe contest as a food blogger. It is an amazing trip to the Napa Valley for a grilling class. Here is where you come in: the food blogger with the most votes is the one who gets to go. So, please, take a second and vote for me!



I've never been to California before and the trip is on the weekend of my birthday so that would make it extra special. So, if you want to vote for me, I'd really appreciate it. I was amazed by and appreciated all of the people who voted for me during the food blog awards and I am asking for your help again: send me to Napa!


And thanks to whoever nominated me!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Waverly Farmers Market





This weekend the fabulous Heather and I ventured out to the Waverly Farmers Market. Surprisingly, it was my first time there. I have gone to the big one under 83 many times, but never to the Waverly one. It is actually much closer to my house which makes up for the fact that it is on the small side. It is early in Maryland's growing season, but I still was able to score some goodies: great rhubarb (I've already made both granita and rhubarb martinis), some garlic, lettuce, green onions and best off all...popcorn on the cob! It was like a dream come true. Popcorn on the cob. I can't wait to pop it.
I was also interested in the dairy stall. I am always a little leery of buying dairy that has been sitting out on a hot day, but they did seem to have some sort of refrigeration on the truck and people were coming back with empty bottles for fresh milk, so it must be okay. Or else these people have lower standards than I do. Which is quite possible, I also feel sort of funny about buying open air, unwrapped baked goods. Something about the flies and the chance of random people touching them before you buy it kind of creeps me out. But that's just me.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Elvis Reese's Cups



I am not sure how I feel about this! From the ad copy: "Limited Edition REESE'S cup that spotlights Elvis' favorite flavor combo - peanut butter and banana! Reese's Limited Edition Elvis Big Cup with Peanut Butter & Banana Crème. ". They should be in stores in July.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Suddenly Illusive

I normally accept, if somewhat grudgingly, when a product I like is taken off the shelves. As with nearly every one of my favorite TV shows, I realize that I seem to consistently hold the minority opinion and that whatever I enjoy will soon leave me. But I didn't think it would happen to this.

As I have recently revealed, I am not a fan of water. I have only recently acquiesced to drinking it in the form of club soda. As with coke, I prefer it in cans for maximum carbonation and freshness. This was no problem, as the local Safeway always had it stocked in 6 packs, frequently for about $1.25. However, for the past few weeks, there has just been an empty shelf where the cans used to be. We had to resort to buying liter bottles for 80 cents a piece, which not only go flat before I can finish them, are not as cost efficient. Normally I would just switch my club soda alliance to a different store, but it does not appear that Super Fresh or Wegmans sell club soda in cans. Surely I am not the only one who drank it?

Monday, June 04, 2007

Chameleon Cafe

This weekend my in-laws were in town and took us to dinner (to celebrate Matt's and his mom's birthdays) at the extremely nearby Chameleon Cafe (4341 Harford Rd Baltimore, MD 21214, 410.254.2376). We've been wanting to go there for ages after reading so many good things about it, but there are only open for dinner and it is too expensive for just a casual night out and their Winter menu was very heavy. The Spring menu is suitably lighter. The dining area is surprisingly large and decorated with children's artwork (I am assuming for a special display) and the dining room layout really makes the most of the space without making you feel crowded.

For starters we had grilled lettuces ($7.95, grilled romaine, endive, and red leaf with garlic cream dressing, walnuts, and Parmesan cheese) and the charcuterie ($10.95 an assortment of house made sausage and pâté) both of which were good. We split them amongst the four of us and there was plenty for each of us to get a taste. The charcuterie was very good, the sausage was flavorful and the chicken liver pâté was tasty. We actually got to try the calamari ($8.95, cornmeal crusted fried calamari, and red pepper relish) as well, apparently they dropped part of our charcuterie and had to remake it, so they brought out from calamari to eat while we waited. It was quite good.

Then for the main course, Matt and his dad got the lamb (26.95 grilled lamb loin, pistachio butter, fennel artichoke confit, English pea risotto, and duxelle sauce), Matt's mom got the hanger steak ($21.95 grilled hanger steak served medium rare with baby potatoes, cippolini onions, lardons, béarnaise sauce, and sauce piquante) and I got the scallops ($23.95 pan-seared dry packed scallops, baby carrots, ramps, and colcannon). Matt and his dad loved and raved over the lamb. The hanger steak looked and tasted amazing, as did the potatoes and onions it came with.

And me? I was underwhelmed. I ordered the scallops because we rarely buy scallops and it seemed a little lighter than some of the other choices. I was tempted to order the hanger steak (an now sorely wish I had) but was worried the béarnaise sauce might be too much-my stomach occasionally gets upset after eating to much of a heavy, creamy sauce. However, the scallops arrived sitting in a pool of a creamy sauce that was completely unmentioned on the menu and the steak had only the tinest bit, so I should have just went for the steak. The scallops were tasty and large, but overall the meal was skimpy in a way that the other entrees were not. I had only four scallops, the "baby carrots", while tasty were 2 pencil thin bits, there were a couple of spears of asparagus and the "colcannon" was not colcannon at all, but whipped potatoes with onions and (I assume) the ramps that were mentioned in the description. I had sort of assumed at it would actually be colcannon (which is generally potatoes with kale or cabbage) or a creative twist on colcannon. Instead they were basically the same mashed potatoes with onions or leeks that I'd make for an every day meal, possible spiked with a bit of shrimp or seafood broth.

It was a bit disappointing, especially when compared with everyone else's fabulous meals. It was disheartening to go to a place you have been thinking about for a year only to go home hungry after spending $24 on four scallops, four thin stalks of vegetables and a mound of mashed potatoes. Thank god there was some leftover steak to nibble on or I would have had to come home and make myself a second meal.

The dessert menu was limited: a strawberry and rhubarb crumble (tempting, but such a easy, homey dish it seemed a waste to order at a restaurant) and the ubiquitous creme brulee and flourless chocolate cake. I didn't get any thing, but the bite I had of the chocolate cake was good, nothing exciting, but very chocolately and dense.

All in all, I'd go back, but will avoid the scallops.

Chameleon Cafe in Baltimore

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Favorite Snacks

I am not a big snack person. I generally don't eat in between meals, except occasionally when I come home from work and need something to keep me from eating my arm in the time it takes me to make dinner. My snack repertoire is pretty limited, mostly: vegetable crackers w/cream cheese (a childhood favorite) , strawberries/cherries in season, sharp cheddar on tart apple slices and popcorn. What's your favorite snack?

Saturday, June 02, 2007

I'm a winner


When I saw that I had won a little contest Jenn of JustJENN Designs had on her blog to win a little goodie box from a shower she was hosting I was excited. I was even more excited when I received the box and saw all of the other fun food related stuff she sent. It was like she knew me: ice cream/lollipop notecards, a monKEY, cute rice molds, food shaped erasers and best of all: personalized stationary: some note cards with my name and a notepad with the Coconut & Lime logo. Very cool. So if you ever need some personalized stationary, you know where to go.

Revenge of the Sushi


No, not food poisoning. A new shirt from Threadless. I'd get it myself if it was on a different color.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Hopeful Chicken



Super cute, food related shirt over at Threadless. If you buy it now it is only $10! Can't beat that. Click here to check it out.


I think I might buy this one.