Groceries
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Throw Away Expired Food? Not So Fast.
We’ve all seen those small “Sell by” dates printed on food products. With the holidays over, and the fridge clearing begun, you may find yourself with a few items supposedly past their prime. But how seriously should you take those expiration dates?According to The Salt, “sell by” dates are more about protecting the reputation of the food, and less about food safety.
Jan 2, 2013
How Rotisserie Chicken Became So Popular
Rotisserie chickens—skewered birds roasted in rotating rows and sold everywhere from grocery stores to member-only club stores—are immensely popular, if you didn’t already know. In 2010 six hundred million rotisserie chickens were sold in the U.S. What is the secret to this bird?A recent article in The Washington Post shared a few interesting tidbits into how the rotisserie chicken is made:1.
Nov 1, 2012
Whole Grain, Whole Wheat, Multigrain: What’s the Difference?
We all know we should be consuming more whole grains and fewer products made from refined grains, but that doesn’t make the bread aisle any less confusing. Is multigrain the same as whole grain? And where does whole wheat fit in? Here’s a quick guide to these three common, sometimes confusing terms. • Whole grain means that all parts of the grain are used, including the nutritious germ and bran.
Sep 12, 2012
$6.00 For a Dozen Eggs: Are You Willing To Pay More For Pasture-Raised Eggs?
Three years ago I wrote a post asking if $7.50 was too much to pay for a dozen eggs. The eggs in question were gathered from pasture-raised chickens and in my post I brought up how pasture-raised poultry was handled differently than free-range or cage-free and why it was worth it to me. The debate in the comment section was lively, as I’m sure you can imagine. Today I usually pay $6.
Sep 4, 2012
Where’s My Milk From? New Site Tracks Dairy Back To Its Farm Source
Trying to eat and buy local is all well and good until I can purchase a giant tub of cottage cheese from my local Costco for $5. Writing for a food blog leaves me with a little guilt about that, but this new website helped me discover that my tasty breakfast snack comes from a dairy farm right here in Illinois! Want to see where your dairy comes from?
Aug 6, 2012
A Farmers’ Market Solution to the Bagged Lettuce Dilemma
Many people, myself included, will tell you that buying bagged, pre-washed lettuce mixes makes it easier to eat more salad. More organized folks will point out that washing and drying your own lettuce isn’t that difficult and that bagged lettuce isn’t always that safe. What’s the best way to go? Well, the answer is complicated.I picked up the bag of lettuce pictured above at Happy Boy Farms, one of my favorite stalls at my local farmers’ market.
Jul 10, 2012
Young and Kenneth’s Winey Neighbor: A Boutique Wine Shop in Brooklyn
Who: Young and KennethWhat: The Winey Neighbor, a boutique wine shopWhere: Prospect Heights, Brooklyn Sometime last year I noticed work had begun on an empty storefront on Washington Avenue in my neighborhood of Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. My curiosity piqued—Man, please let it be something cool and not another boring real estate office—I was encouraged when I saw a blue and white polka dot awning go up, with a cheeky name: The Winey Neighbor. A wine shop with a sense of humor?
Apr 5, 2012
Mail-Order Turkey: Williams-Sonoma’s Organic Willie Bird Product Review
Now that you’ve seen how beautifully this turkey turned out, I can confess how much actually went wrong while cooking it. The turkey cooked in half the time I expected, while my guests were an hour late. When re-heating the turkey, I managed to forget it was in the oven. I neglected to remove the giblets. And so on.But in spite of all my mess-ups, this was still one of the best turkeys I’ve ever eaten.
Nov 17, 2011
Product Review: La Chamba Soup & Bean Pot
There’s a lot of praise for the La Chamba Casserole dish to be found on The Kitchn already, but I can’t resist joining in the love-fest with my newest crush, the La Chamba Soup & Bean Pot. I received this beauty as a gift several weeks ago and have been putting it through its paces ever since. Read on for my review.What is La Chamba? La Chamba is a line of clay cooking pots that are handmade in Colombia. The non-toxic clay naturally contains mica which makes it extra-strong.
Oct 28, 2011
Good Wines at Trader Joe’s: Cheerful Summer Wine Picks
I realized that it is quite a while since I did a Trader Joe’s wine tasting. So on Monday I headed off to the Trader Joe’s Wine Store in New York City to see what I could find at less than $10 a bottle for easy summer sipping. Well, some gems and some disappointments — read on to see which I liked, and which I didn’t enjoy as much.As you all know Trader Joe’s is the name synonymous with ‘Two Buck Chuck’.
Jul 21, 2011
Smarter, More Organized Shopping Lists: Grocery iQ App
My day job requires trips to the grocery store at least three times a week, and sometimes up to five times a week. Needless to say, I’m always looking for tools to help make shopping quick and efficient, with a minimum of forgotten ingredients — nothing is worse than having to return to the store for one stupid thing! — and I think I’ve found it all in the Grocery iQ app.
Jun 17, 2011
Duty-Free Food Souvenirs: Cadbury Chocolates
Unless you’re lucky enough to shop at a grocery that carries international candy, you may only know Cadbury, the UK chocolatier conglomerate, just for their Easter eggs. Next time you’re passing through an airport, be sure to check for these creamy chocolates!Although Cadbury is no secret (Kraft purchased the company in 2010 and the duo are officially the world’s largest confectionary company), their chocolates still aren’t widely available in the US.
Jun 6, 2011
Product Review: Aveda Comforting Tea
One place I wouldn’t expect to find my new favorite tea is my hair salon. But that’s what happened last time I stopped in for a trim. And as it turns out, it’s no supermarket variety tea blend.Aveda salons and stores always have tea brewing. At first taste, I was surprised at the light flavor and sweet aftertaste. However, when I asked what the shop sweetened their tea with they told me it was a natural taste from the herbal blend and that the tea was unsweetened.
Mar 21, 2011
Trader Joe’s Pantry: Canned Smoked Trout
When concern about high mercury levels in tuna sent my household hunting for a replacement for our beloved tuna salad sandwiches, Trader Joe’s canned smoked trout stepped in. And honestly? I think it’s even more tasty &mdash and much more elegant — than plain old tuna. The fillets of fish are packed in oil, so they just need to be mixed with a dab of mayonnaise, a squeeze of lemon and some chopped herbs to make a flavorful sandwich filling.
Mar 8, 2011
Product Review: Trader Joe’s Giant White Beans
I discovered this jar in the back of my pantry, and on an evening when my dinner options were sparse. Cracking open the jar, these giant (they really are huge!) beans didn’t seem like much. But when heated up with couscous and a dusting of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, I was surprised at the meal that resulted!At first glance, the beans seemed rather oily, but the tomatoes and chunks of spices kept my hopes up.
Feb 7, 2011
New Love: Cinnamon Toast Butter from Ronnybrook
Not to dismiss the innovation of Ronnybrook FarmsMmm. We first spotted it at Whole Foods but ended up buying it at the farmers’ market, straight from the Ronnybrook vendor. And we’ve been eating it every morning for the past week, spread on raisin bread and toasted.Here’s what happens when you run this stuff under the broiler (or the toaster oven): The butter melts, and the cinnamon and sugar that are mixed in get bubbly and slightly crispy on top. Delicious.
Oct 26, 2010
It’s True! Yuengling Beer Is Coming To A State Near You
America’s oldest beer maker, D.G. Yuengling & Son Inc., announced plans to expand this week. Are you familiar with this sought-after beer? Remember the first beer you learned to order in a bar? You know, your go-to choice when you were too young to know much about beer except that you were happy to get it? Yuengling (pronounced ying-ling) was mine. It sounded a lot cooler than Bud or Miller and tasted better, too.
Oct 22, 2010
Which Spring Roll Wrapper Do You Use?
In our list of top 5 foods, a fantastic Spring Roll is near the top. The crispness and combination of flavors always leaves us satisfied and not too full for whatever adventures lay ahead of us. We’ve been making them at home for years, but we still haven’t decided which wrapper is best. Do you have a favorite?We’ve used all different shapes, brands and purchased them from different locations.
Sep 21, 2010
Crisp & Refreshing: 19 Fabulous White Wines for Summer
It is hot out there, and while I do love a full-bodied red wine with dinner, these days I am all about refreshing whites, rosé or lighter reds that I can serve slightly chilled. This week let’s talk about the whites that are great for these hot summer days.
Jul 15, 2010
Provel Cheese: A Taste Of Missouri
What do you get when you combine Cheddar, Swiss and Provolone into one gooey cheese? If you’re a resident of Missouri, you probably already know, but for the rest of the country — allow us to enlighten you. We just can’t keep our state secret or our undying love for this super tasty treat quiet any longer! Provel was originally invented in St. Louis, Missouri back in 1947. (It is now owned by Kraft.
Mar 15, 2010
Siggi’s Skyr: Thickest Yogurt Ever?
We just tried Siggi’s yogurt for the first time, and whoa this stuff is thick! Siggi’s yogurt is actually a strained version of yogurt, and it’s made with traditional Icelandic methods. In Iceland, this thick, creamy stuff is called skyr.Siggi is actually a real person; his name is Siggi Hilmarsson, and he’s a rather young yogurt-maker from Iceland. The story goes that he got homesick for his homeland’s skyr-style yogurt, so he started experimenting.
Jan 26, 2010
Trader Joe’s Is Carrying Proper Sugar at Last!
We do quite a bit of our shopping at Trader Joe’s. It’s nearby, relatively inexpensive, and well-stocked with many of the fun foods we enjoy (hello prosciutto!). We buy most of our grains and produce items at a local co-op or the farmers market, and a lot of our other food comes from TJ’s. We’ve always been annoyed, though, at the baking section.Trader Joe’s, at least in our part of the world, has never carried “proper” sugar, or sugar you can bake with.
Jan 15, 2010
Pantry Essentials: Roasted Red Peppers from Trader Joe’s
Raise your hand if you’ve ever been caught on a weeknight with no fresh veggies in the fridge. Or if the veggies you thought were fresh turn out to be…not so fresh. Meet your new best friend: jarred roasted red peppers from Trader Joe’s.Each 12-ounce jar usually contains one very large or two smaller red peppers and costs about $1.99, which is really no more than how much fresh peppers often cost at our market!
Sep 10, 2009
Farmers’ Market Find: New Zealand Spinach
We encountered a new (to us) green at the Echo Park farmers’ market last week: New Zealand spinach. Have you tried this?Like Malabar spinach, New Zealand spinach (Tetragonia tetragonioides) is not actually a true spinach, but it is similar when cooked and is considered a “summer spinach” because it thrives in hot, dry weather.As the common name implies, the plant is native to New Zealand and Australia, where it grows on coastal dunes and bluffs.
Aug 31, 2009
MixMyGranola: Custom Granola at the Click of a Mouse
Do you like granola? We do. We always think about making it ourselves, but never seem to get around to it, sadly. So we jumped at the chance to try out a new online product: MixMyGranola, which lets you mix up custom batches of granola that are shipped to you overnight. What would this be, we wondered? Gimmick? Great granola?A little of both, it turned out, in the end.
Jun 15, 2009
Trader Joe’s Pasta Wins a Taste Test New York Magazine
May the cheapest pasta win! That’s what happened, anyway, when New York convened a panel to sample different store-bought, dried pasta. At 99 cents a pound, TJ’s was the least expensive pasta of the bunch, and it beat out some very fancy brands. Which grocery store staple came in last?
May 11, 2009
Queijadas de Sintra: Sintra Cheesecakes
Although I’m still kicking myself for not joining my boyfriend on his recent stay in Sintra, Portugal, I have been happily enjoying the culinary souvenirs he brought home. Among them were these local specialties called queijadas de Sintra, or Sintra cheesecakes. The ingredients are simple – sugar, cheese, flour, egg, and cinnamon – but their effect is intoxicating, and I’ve found myself craving more of these little cakes ever since I polished off the last one.
Mar 2, 2009
Farmers’ Market Report: Kumquats Los Angeles
We hope you’ll forgive us for writing about kumquats again, but these ones are different! We just can’t contain our excitement over finding these two unusual kumquat varieties at the Hollywood farmers’ market this weekend. They exemplify one of our favorite things about farmers’ market shopping – the unexpected discovery of new colors, textures, forms, and flavors.
Feb 23, 2009
Look! Wax-Dipped Pears in France
Here’s a small, colorful note from my time in France last week. At the market some of the pears had dabs of something bright and scarlet on top. What was it?It turns out that all of the stems were dipped in wax to seal them. My market tour guide, Rosa Jackson, told me later in the week that this was done to keep the pears from ripening too quickly.I’ve never seen this done in the States – have you? Does anyone know why keeping the stem sealed prevents ripening?
Nov 20, 2008
Where To Buy Spices In Paris: Goumanyat & Son Royaume
When visiting friends who like to cook and bring back edible souvenirs ask me where to shop for spices, I always send them to Goumanyat & Son Royaume, a treasure trove of high-quality spices on the rue Charles-Francois Dupuis near République…Run by Jean Thiercelin (who speaks English, by the way), Goumanyat has been in the fine food business for seven generations. This is where chefs like Alain Ducasse and Joël Robuchon shop for high-quality spices.
Sep 22, 2008
Farmers’ Market Report: Fresh Dates Los Angeles
Last weekend, we found branches full of fresh Barhi dates at the farmers’ market. While we were sampling the crunchy young fruits, the man who grew them urged us to peek around the corner…Along the sidewalk, just behind the Dates by Davall stand at the Hollywood Farmers’ Market, are several date palm trees, laden with green fruits. Although we’d seen such trees around town before, we admittedly had no idea they were the same as the dates we snack on.
Sep 17, 2008
Store Review: Lehr’s German SpecialtiesSan Francisco
If you’re in San Francisco and you have a hankering for Kinder eggs, elderflower syrup, some spaetzle, and a copy of Der Spiegel, have we got the store for you.In Noe Valley at the corner of Church and 28th, just a stone’s throw from the MUNI J-Line is Lehr’s German Specialties, a quaint little shop on a quiet street in San Francisco flanked by Victorian row houses. They have tons of German candies – Kinder eggs, marzipan, and other German chocolates.
Sep 12, 2008
Rosé Wines: Versatility and Affordability in a Glass
I just love rosé wines. I get so excited at this time of the year, as the new vintage arrives on the shelves, and I know that I have a whole four to five months to enjoy them. Over the past four to five years sales of rosé wines worldwide have exploded. Call it the Rosé Renaissance! Whatever, it’s great. Despite this I am still surprised when people tell me again and again “I don’t like rosé wine”, “I never buy rosé wines”.
May 15, 2008
Olive Bars vs. Pre-Packaged Olives: Which Do You Prefer?
So many grocery stores now have olive bars, with big barrels full of olives sold in bulk. They are great when you want a mix to serve as appetizers, and although some people get squeamish about germs (yes, we’ve seen people use their fingers), we don’t tend to.Recently, though, we picked up a container of pre-packaged, Kalamata olives at a store that didn’t have an olive bar.
Apr 25, 2008
What is Kewpie Mayonnaise?
Kewpie mayonnaise was prominently mentioned in Wednesday’s Times Dining section article on MSG and its ubiquitous presence in processed foods. We only knew Kewpies as those eerily big-eyed dolls – what was this mayonnaise? According to Kewpie’s official website, mayonnaise was first introduced to Japan in 1925. Since then, Kewpie mayo has been one of the predominant household condiments there. People often use it on vegetables and as a salad dressing.
Mar 7, 2008