Don’t have the patience to learn origami from scratch? Origami Napkins come pre-printed with folding instruction for four different designs. Amaze your dinner guests â€” or kids â€” with everything from a napkin polo shirt to the bird of paradise. $8.99 for 40 napkins at ThinkGeek. â€” Sarah L.
I saw this recipe on The Pioneer Woman and since it promised to be quick â€” 16 minutes â€” and I already had everything I needed, I gave it a try. My risk-averse kids loved it and although I was afraid it would taste a bit Hamburger Helper-ish instead of homemade, I was pleasantly surprised. I’ve made it twice since and substituted cheddar for the mozzarella and mascarpone for the sour cream and it still turned out great. â€” Sarah L. Click for Bow Tie Lasagna! (more…)
Though itâ€™s not a new idea by any means, the local foods movement is gaining momentum. Weâ€™ve posted before about joining community supported agriculture programs, and here in New York, our grocery delivery service has been promoting nearby farms with special shopping sections and discounts for buying locally. Iâ€™ve also had my eye on the Local Foods Wheel for the region. Available for the San Francisco Bay Area, the New York Metro Area and most recently the Upper Midwest, the wheel is an illustrated guide that details foods that are grown locally by peak season, so you can tailor your local buying to your taste. As a resident of a congested city itâ€™s hard to know where my food originates, but these incentives have inspired me put more thought into the issue. What about you? Do you buy with local farms in mind? â€“ Sarah C.
Each wheel is available for purchase on the site for $12.95, or you can also find yours locally (of course!) by consulting the â€œPlaces to buyâ€ section on each regionâ€™s page.
Trader Joe, if you were a man, and not simply the cartoon pirate representing the life-renewing grocery store chain that is single-handedly resurrecting the Hawaiian shirt, Iâ€™d marry you. To be clear, I love you, and I am in love with you. You are the North Star on my urban grocery map. Economically, you are a yes in world of no. I am committed, and I promise to never stop loving your dark chocolate-covered pomegranate seeds or eating them after the sister who bought them goes to sleep. I know Iâ€™m not alone in my love for you. If I was, someone wouldnâ€™t have written this: The I Love Trader Joeâ€™s Cookbook, $12.21 at Amazon.com. Joining other volumes of fan non-fiction including Cooking with All Things Trader Joeâ€™s, The Trader Joeâ€™s Companion, and sister spin-off The I Love Trader Joeâ€™s Party Cookbook, the volume includes more than 150 recipes that can be made using only ingredients from the store. Conveniently, my birthday and Christmas are both in December. Just sayinâ€™. â€“ Sarah C.
Last Sunday at our local farmers market we were delighted to come across Foraged and Found Edibles. Owner Jeremy Faber scours the Pacific Northwest for naturally growing mushrooms and berries. We bought the most tender chanterelles and some interesting (good, just a new texture to us) lobster mushrooms, and on a whim decided to try a pint of his huckleberries. He had bags and bags of them — dark blue, shiny, and as it turned out, bursting with flavor. Smaller than blueberries, grapelike in texture, huckleberries taste a little bit like blueberries, a little bit like raspberries, a little bit like pomegranate — oh, heck, they’re just really good. We ate quite a few by hand, then sprinkled some on homemade French vanilla ice cream (the ice cream maker is working out well) and discovered that they are an excellent ice cream ingredient, too. I knew nothing about huckleberries prior to this week, and I just found out that you can only find them in nature — they are not commercially grown. So if you can get ‘em, try ‘em! — Mary T.