Food

Whole Foods/Trader Joe’s Haul

Like I said in an earlier post, I’ve been working on clearing out my pantry in anticipation for my quarterly Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods excursion. My boyfriend and I almost messed up. The weekend before Christmas, we went to Moore County to visit his family for the holidays. On our way up, as we passed through Raleigh, we decided that we would stop to Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Cabela’s on our way home. Monday came and it was a dreary day as we set off back to our house with a truck full (and I mean jam packed) with gifts.

We stopped to Cabela’s but decided to bail on the other two stores. We were tired, ready to get home, and most of all – our truck was FULL! So we decided to stick to our original plan of making a day date of it while I was out on break.

That same Monday night, I attacked the kitchen in a whirlwind after we arrived home. I cleaned out our pantry – putting items that have been in our pantry for months – into a bag to donate to the local food bank (I ended up with two large bags full), throwing some expired items away. Then I started on the spices. There were spices in there from back in 2011! I let Robb go through everything before I tossed it and if he said keep it, we kept it (fair trade).

When we went to Whole Foods/Trader Joe’s the day after Christmas, neither of us were feeling at our best. That may have been why we didn’t go as crazy as I had anticipated. But that’s okay. It still ended up being a good “date” day for the two of us and I enjoy spending time with Robb. Even if it’s doing something that seems as mundane as going to the grocery store!

Here’s what we purchased:

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Some of our favorite purchases were:

  • Growler of Ginger Kombucha from Barefoot Bucha (first tried at the Heritage Festival at Monticello) from Whole Foods (Me)
  • Olives from Whole Foods (Robb)
  • Creamy Corn & Roasted Pepper Soup  from Trader Joe’s (both of ours)
  • Trader Joe’s Roasted Potatoes (mentioned before in this post)
  • Bob’s Red Mill Masa Harina Flour from Whole Foods (Me) – this is for homemade corn tortillas using the tortilla press I got for Christmas!
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Molten Chocolate Macarons from Trader Joe’s – this thing is HUGE!

Since we went on Monday, we were able to take advantage of the Pasta Night at Whole Foods. For $12.99 we were able to get a pound of fresh cut pasta (our choice was spinach pappardelle), 16oz of Severino sauce (we went with the Fra Diavolo) and 4oz of grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

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Our pasta night deal from Whole Foods with chorizo, mushrooms, and onions thrown in. Delicious!

A few nights ago, I was able to try out my new tortilla press. I know that a tortilla press is a weird thing to ask for but I love the idea of being able to make fresh corn tortillas. I still need to practice but I think I did okay! I paired my homemade corn tortillas with homemade pico de gallo, homemade lime crema, cilantro, coleslaw mix, and pan seared Alaskan halibut (with a adobo seasoning purchased from Whole Foods).

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Tacos?? A good first try.

I’m already looking forward to our next trip!

Food · Life

Farmer’s Market Haul 12/10/2016

This will be my last farmer’s market post of the year. While there is one more Saturday market before Christmas – I won’t be able to attend because of a previous engagement. The Edenton Farmer’s Market will start back up in January with an indoor market on the second and fourth Saturdays of January, February, and March. I’m going to try to be a vendor at least once a month to help continue to showcase my brand (and with plans to create something deliciously edible soon).

I did super good, spending wise, at the market this time. I spent $39.48, slightly under my $40 goal.

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So here is what I purchased from the farmer’s market:

  • Hot Italian Sausage – Will be used in spaghetti soon
  • 2 mini loaves of banana/pineapple/walnut bread
  • 3 bars of soap from a vendor that supported me in return
  • a handmade winter hat ornament (only $1!!)
  • 4 pack of oreo truffles
  • 3 rabbit ears for the dogs
  • Package of English walnuts
  • More garlic!!
  • Beets (I’m think Chioggia because of how they looked when I cut into them – see below)
  • Baby bok choy
  • Mustard Greens
  • Kale
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I stayed at my mom’s house the weekend and spotted this precious moment – the animals coexisting peacefully for once. Mom’s dog was being a bit mischievous and was sleeping on her bed when I snapped this photo.

I also volunteered in the kitchen the Cupola House on Saturday evening, making sure the wassail and cookies remained stock for the guests who wondered in while on the Edenton Candlelight Tour. The Cupola House is one of my favorite houses (I swear I saw a ghost in it when I was in elementary school) and the reason why I started studying herbs (they have a huge herb garden in the back). Even though I met some wonderful people, the major perk was being able to bring home a bag of cookies and a gallon of wassail!

 

Last but not least – I finally have a photo from Alaska for y’all.

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This photo (of my boyfriend and I) is from our trip to Alaska in October – when we went fishing more specifically. I’m finally getting around to going through my photos and selecting some for the blog.
Food · Movie

Expressing My Excitement to Come!

(Note: I’m filling this posts with pictures of some of the food I made when I lived in Raleigh – pulling these from my defunct flickr stream)

When I lived in Raleigh (in what seems like another lifetime now), I tended to shop at either Food Lion or Harris Teeter (depending on where I was living at the time) with visits to Whole Foods every other week. Mostly to enjoy the prepared foods bar, but also to view what new and unusual products they had in the produce section. Typically it was items that I could either not afford on a student’s budget or thought I didn’t like (such as mushrooms) but it was fun to view them. I think that was the budding foodie in me starting to emerge. About once a month or so, I would venture over to Trader Joe’s – that was back when “Two-Buck Chuck” was actually $2. If you are a Trader Joe’s fan, then you’ll know what I’m referring to.

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A delicious chicken & vegetable soup I made using brother, corn, potatoes, carrots, spices, and a rotisserie chicken back in October 2010.

Since moving back home, my grocery store choices have been limited to Food Lion, mostly to supplement what I can’t grow myself. Sure there are a couple of other grocery options (Farm Fresh and a small health food store), but I find their prices are typically higher for the same products I find in Food Lion. As the years passed, I found myself missing my Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. Finally, my mom and I ventured up to a Whole Foods in Virginia and you would have thought that I was a kid in a candy store. It was heaven even though I didn’t buy much, if anything. Fast forward to dating my boyfriend. We were bored one weekend and after driving up to Bass Pro Shops, we traveled a bit further to Trader Joe’s. I think that it when he started to see the magic.

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My dinner in March 2010 – pork roast and frozen potatoes from Trader Joe’s (the potatoes were delicious) and cucumbers from a family recipe.
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Trader Joe’s purchases from March – the potatoes and pork roast pictured above are included.

Half a year later, I took him up to Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s and he realized that they really had some awesome things and that it wasn’t just for “hippies”. Though we spent more than we probably should have at both stores (but how could he resist the olive bar??), we made a vow that we would try to go a few times per year.

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Chicken katsu with tonkatsu sauce and cucumbers from the same family recipe as before. I crave this meal (from October 2009) even now.

So guess what time it is now? YES, it is time for our quarterly trip. Our last trip was over the summer so I wasn’t able to get the frozen items I wanted but I have a few days off from work between Christmas and New Year’s making it the perfect time for our little adventure. We are making the effort during the next two weeks to empty our fridge, freezer, and pantry of as much food as possible with no trips to the grocery store.

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Preparing for the Superbowl in February 2010 – I made shrimp dip, pigs in a blanket, velvetta cheese dip, and we had oreos.
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Shrimp dip (as mentioned above) – this recipe will be coming soon!
Food

Farmer’s Market Haul 12/3/16

I definitely went over my $40 budget this time. I ended up spending $50.50! But in my defense, there was a new vendor this week that had some awesome goodies. Also in my defense, I was working as a vendor myself so while I spent money, I made money. 🙂

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So here is what I got from the Edenton Farmer’s Market:

  • Homemade Peach Vinegar – I love this! She also had homemade red wine vinegar available as well but I had to make the tough choice between the two.
  • Rabbit’s ear chew for a dog
  • Tasty truffles
  • Carrots
  • Two kinds of sweet potato (Burgundy and… another kind)
  • Pickled Okra
  • Amish butter – Yes, it is a brick of butter. I let it soften over the weekend and divided into small rounds and froze those rounds so I can use what I need.
  • Sample of a shave oil to try (I love the smell already – lavender and sandalwood)
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These pickled okra did not make it past the weekend. They were delicious and I wish now that we had put up more okra.
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Belle enjoying her rabbit’s ear.
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This interesting looking vegetable is a Sunchoke a.k.a. a Jerusalem Artichoke. I have a whole post coming soon about it.

Along my discounted pork roast that I purchased at the grocery store the other day (encrusted with the lamb rub I purchased a while back from the farmer’s market), I decided to toss a bunch of vegetables in to roast. So in the pan below, there are carrots, sunchokes, turnips, garlic, sweet potato, butternut squash (all from the farmer’s market), along with potatoes and onions. I added a bit of vegetable broth in the bottom as well.

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Friday night, I ventured to downtown Elizabeth City for the SPCA’s second annual cookie extravaganza. Located in an old jewelry store,  there are cookies EVERYWHERE. For $5, you get to pick out any dozen cookies that are available. I stumbled across this event randomly last year but make it a point to attend this year.

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Travel

Heritage Harvest Festival (2 of 2)

This is a continuation of yesterday’s post detailing my adventures at the Heritage Harvest Festival at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. If you missed part one, please check it out.

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This is probably my favorite photo out of them all.
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TJ and I

For lunch, I ate at Gryffon’s Aerie (grass fed beef burger with aioli, arugula, local tomato) while my mom ate at Bada Bing (philly cheesesteak). My burger was absolutely delicious while mom’s cheesesteak had a nice heat to it. For dessert, we shared a refreshing popsicle from King of Pops (lemon basil). It was delicious (which I’ve had their popsicles a couple of times before in Atlanta).

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That afternoon, after leaving mom in a nice breezy spot, I went to watch Jeanine Davis’ presentation on Unusual Edible Plants & Fungi for Home Gardens. Fun fact: Jeanine is a horticulture extension specialist with North Carolina State University (my alma mater). Listening to her presentation made me want to try growing wasabi again and is making me very curious about the status of the ginseng I planted last fall. It was a great presentation and she brought lots of goodies – grey griselle shallots and Japanese hull less popcorn seeds for us to plant and a dried ramp spice rub (which smells delicious). I haven’t had the opportunity to try ramps before and am delighted experience them.

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We walked around, checking out some of the other sights – such as the farm animals. I love goats and cannot wait until I can have a goat of my own!

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Before we left, I made it a point to stop back by Southern Exposure Seed Exchange and take advantage of their 3 for $5 seed packet special (and no shipping!). SESE is one of my favorite companies to order from every year, right next to Baker Creek. I went with some seeds that were on my wish list (White Sage, Tulsi Kapoor Holy Basil, German Chamomile, Resina Calendula, Carolina Gold Rice), a few that sounded interesting (Seminole Pumpkin – which Jeanine discussed in her workshop, Rouge d’Hiver Romaine, Monticello White Sesame), and one “practical” seed packet (Georgia Green Collards).

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My goodies.

Thank you to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation for making this a great weekend for my mother and I! I hope to come back again next year and encourage everyone to go at least once in their lifetime.

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For a review of several of the places I ate and stayed at – Virginia Diner, The Fitzroy, and the KOA Charlottesville – please check out The Edible Coast. My post on the KOA Charlottesville is currently up and the others will be added soon.