When Whole Foods Market asked me if I wanted to participate in their Citrus Showdown, I enthusiastically said yes. I adore fruit in general and look forward to each new season not necessarily by the changes in weather but by what fruit is available. October & Pomegranates of course are my favorite. My second favorite is the citrus that appears in the produce section in December. I never had a lot of citrus as a child except for conventional oranges from time to time. It wasn't until I became a mother and switched to an organic diet that I really got to know the citrus family.
The Citrus Showdown happens to be between two of my favorites: Satsuma & Clementine.
Seedless and easy-to-peel
Simply sweet, less acidic finish
Hails from California, Spain and Morocco
Mild sweetness pairs well with simple flavors
Use juice instead of water in baking
Seedless and easy-to-peel
Hails from California and Florida
Peel is delicate but packed with flavor – feel it with a vegetable peeler and then finely chop and add to grain salads, vinaigrettes or desserts
I was able to choose from a fabulous list of recipes which actually led me to realize how fantastic the recipe selection is on the Whole Foods Website. This recipe for Crab Dip has actually become a staple in our home since we are in the swing of crab season in the Bay Area. I'll be honest with you and share that this crab dip recipe is the best I've ever tasted. I highly recommend it, especially if you love artichokes.
Rather than just make the recipes and offer to them to my family, I decided to take the completed recipes down to the Antique Society where I have a booth of Mid Century Modern Wares and offer the completed recipes to some of the Antique Dealers.
The overwhelming feedback was that it was hard to compare the two dishes because one was very sweet and the other was overall savory. I was ruthless though and persuaded each person to give me their favorite. I needed the details.
By far the Satsuma & Pomegranate Pavlovas were declared the winner. When people took that first bite and they were met with the crunchiness of the meringue, the sweetness of the cream and the juicy tartness of the Satsuma, most of them rolled their eyes in absolute pleasure. It was the combination of sensations and flavors that left them asking for a second one.
The Brie with Cardamom Scented Clementine Chutney was also popular because of the tantalizing blend of flavors but it was no match for the Pavlovas.
Image courtesy of Wholefoods Market
My personal favorite though was the Brie with Cardamom Scented Clementine Chutney. In fact I'll admit that when I went back out to my van I uh....probably ate at at least 15 crackers with the brie and chutney before driving home. I uh, even will go so far as to say that I finished it off which is why I was forced to stop at 15. It was so heavenly. I love food practically more than anything on the planet and with the right cocktail of flavors, I become lost in edible bliss.
Whole Foods kindly gave me compensation for purchasing the ingredients. The opinions and thoughts though are truly mine and as most of you know me, I'm honest about what I eat. I. Adore. Food.
Which recipe do you think would be your favorite of this Citrus Showdown?
I don't think the start of my week can get much better than writing a Thrift Share Monday post here at ATG and now a Mod Mondays post on Flavorstitch. When I came up with Mod Mondays I was really looking for a way to incorporate a bit of Mad Men into my food blog. As you know I heart vintage, especially around the style of mid century modern. I didn't want to call it Mad Men Mondays for fear of infringing on copyright issues on the name so hence Mod Mondays was formed.
Mod Mondays celebrate the vintage flair that encompassed kitchens in the late 50′s, 1960′s and early 1970′s. From the mod designs of Vera Neumann to the fabulous enamelware by Cathrineholm to the wacky and a little crazy recipes that filled magazines such as McCalls. Flavorstitch will features recipes, art, design and style from the Mod era each Monday.
At this point I'm not sure if I will turn it into a Link Share or not. But bloggers can take part and mention their link in the comments on each Mod Monday post. As I mention above, Mod Mondays isn't just about food. It is about anything that fits into the style of Mod whether it is a recipe you make, a piece of art you own or a 1960's car that you drive.
Did anyone notice Ashton Kutcher's house in No Strings Attached? His home was full of MCM furniture and design. He even had a a Broyhill Brasillia dresser which made my heart skip a beat.
This week's Mod Monday post featured a vintage ad recipe from French's Mustard.
You can read about my post here and find out if French's Cheeseburgers were fabulous or a complete recipe fail.
I hope you'll join me next week for Mod Mondays.
What's your favorite 1960's cookbook with some crazy recipes?
Keiran was quite vocal about his birthday cake wishes this year.
he wished for a spice cake
he wished for a giant number on his cake
he wished for fancy candles (colored flames)
Since the rest of his celebration was rather frugal I decided to go with it. We shopped local at a party store called Nancy's Fancy's where we found the candles. Since we've used beeswax candles for the last 7 years I agreed to let him choose this year.
For the cake we went with Namaste which has the most incredible Gluten Free Spice Cake ever. It's rich, moist and so delicious. You wouldn't ever guess that it didn't contain wheat.
I modified a recipe from Joy of Cooking for the frosting:
Combine the powdered sugar and softened earth balance (or butter) in a mixer. Beat until well blended. Add half & half slowly while continuing to blend. Finally add the zest and lemon juice and beat until smooth.
This frosting is fluffy and so full of flavor. The slight zing of the lemon dances perfectly with the spices in the cake. The cake was such a hit that Dave has asked for the exact same one for his birthday in July. (sans the number candle(s) of course)
Yesterday as I was reaching for the coffee concentrate out of the fridge, I realized that I haven't really talked much about our coffee since I wrote this post in 2008.
This summer it will have been three years since I wrote that post. Although I stop drinking coffee from time to time when I have fallen ill or I am trying to break up my relationship with half-n-half to this day we are still drinking this amazing alternative to regular coffee.
The thing that I have noticed most is that whenever I drink coffee at Starbucks whether it is a latte or a drip coffee it never taste as rich or as smooth. It certainly taste potent and the slap-in-the-face jolt of caffeine can be useful compared to the somewhat slow but steady dose of caffeine with cold press. But it just doesn't taste nice.
I consider this a healthy coffee because it contains considerably less acid than normal coffee.
When we last went on vacation and didnt' take our concentrate with us I could tell the difference in my body after a few days. I began to get small stomach aches and I became jittery. I couldn't wait to arrive home and go back to our home brew.
We still use our Filtron system but apparently there is a fancy new system on the market.
You can buy this fancy, modern style cold brew system at The Sharper Image for $49.99. The only drawback is that it makes only 8 servings of coffee. My favorite system is the Filtron.
I always take a to-go cup of coffee every Friday and Saturday morning so that I don't have to buy any conventional coffee while I am thrifting. At this point I love avoiding anything but cold press coffee. I never expected to break my Coffee Shop Latte addiction on my own. Not only is cold press coffee healthier but in the long run it is truly the frugal choice.
I realize this sounds completely like a paid advertising post but it's not. It's just something that I truly believe in. If you get stomach aches, painful caffeine spikes or the jitters, consider trying out cold press coffee. It might change your life like it did mine.
I adore coffee and my favorite way to drink it is a half inch of concentrate, hot water, a spoon of local honey and a far too large dash of half-n-half. What's your favorite way to drink coffee?
I'm doing a bit of juggling between ATG, my thrift blog and Flavor Stitch my food blog. I'm heading to the Blogher Food 10 conference on October 8th and I am currently adding a lot of content to Flavor Stitch and getting used to writing about food rather than yard sales. I simply love to write so to me it's quite exciting to have a new topic to focus on. I'm not going to ignore ATG but for a few weeks there will be some crossover posts and I may switch from writing Monday-Friday to a few times a week. Hopefully after the conference I can figure out what balance I need to look after both blogs accordingly. I hope you'll stick with me during the next few weeks.
I was invited yesterday to a sneak peak of the new Whole Foods Market at the Coddingtown Mall in Santa Rosa,
California. The store is set to open Wednesday September 22nd. The day
will begin with a bread breaking ceremony at 9:45 a.m followed by
tastings, prizes, give-aways, and live music.
I've written a complete article with photos about our exciting new store. Many of my future blog posts may be written from their free wi-fi cafe.
I'm planning on being there at the opening tomorrow? If you are local, will you be there too?
I loved receiving a comment yesterday suggesting that I take a picture of me reading a magazine with the title "gone fishing." Well more to the point I'm going to thrift today. I plan on really trying to take it slow and make sure I enjoy the day with no pressure to find anything that I.have.to.sell.
Yesterday I spent three hours with Cathe, sipping coffee and discussing my goals and future of blogging. I left renewed and inspired. I picked up Keiran from his half day of school and took him to ice cream at Screaming Mimi's in Sebastool, followed by a visit to a thrift store.
We finished our day together grocery shopping. Two moments stand out from yesterday. The first is when we were eating ice cream. We were each on our own bench although the benches were side by side in a park in Sebastol. He said to me "I want to sit next to you and be closer." What a tug at my heart. The second thing happened when he was reading Martha Stewart Living on the ride home and he exclaimed "this is the best magazine ever!" Of course it was the Halloween edition which he is excited about. He's counting down the day on the fridge. Spending time with him yesterday was the perfect and needed reminder to slow down.
Cooking more is also going to help remind me to take it easy. I plan on spending a lot more time on my foodie blog Flavor Stitch and in the kitchen. Here's a favorite recipe of mine from my past Chicken Teriyoki.
Do you have a favorite taste from the past that you have tried to replicate as an adult? What is it?
When I returned home from Washington I was very excited to see a parcel from Pamela's, my favorite gluten free company. Followed closely by Udi's. Who was I to say to no about doing a review on brownies. I realized that day that in the last few months Apron Thrift Girl has really taken the path of focusing on Thrifting, Collecting and ReSelling. It doesn't mean that I shouldn't mention food here but since I have had my food blog sitting and waiting for me for six months, maybe it was about time that I used it. What do you think?
This was my first post, written last February. I had arrived home from Blissdom with a renewed energy for blogging.
February 22, 2010
Welcome to Flavor Stitch. A food blog dedicated to the artistry of
flavor and taste. Many of us have rediscovered the very essence of
food. A journey for the many Chefs, cooks, bakers, farmers and those
dining on and preparing our own food have embraced the stitching
of flavor into this tapestry of our 21st century diet.
I welcome you to my new adventure in flavorful food.
am my father's daughter in so many ways. My dad tends to leave a
lasting impression on anyone he meets. He adores and loves food. He
wakes up thinking about food, flavors and how they intermingle. He
plans his daily meals in his head while lying in bed in the morning. My mother has
kindly catered to my father and his obsession with food for forty-nine
years now. She also likes food but she doesn't let her life revolve
around food like my father has, and like I have.
I too adore
food. I love how walking into a room and catching a scent of a food
that I haven't tasted in fifteen years will bring back a wave of
memories and emotions. I love how the chemistry of food can create a
perfect cookie with the ideal amount of salt & sugar. I embrace the
Autumn when pomegranates finally come back in season after too many
months away and I can enjoy them on a weekly basis until they once
again disappear. Food is simply my life.
Flavor Stitch will
offer a combination of recipes, stories about food, photography,
giveaways and the romance of food. Food should leave you inspired as it
dances across your senses.
Today I've written a food review for Pamela's Single Serve Brownies as well as a small giveaway.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on my new blog. It won't get enough attention of ATG until school begins (21 days and counting) but I figure that I had better get going on it since I have a ticket to BlogHer Food '10. I should at least arrive there with a working food blog, right?
Traditionally we always have a small party during the major summer holidays. They include Memorial Day, 4th of July and Veteran's Day. We were hesitant this year to have one because we weren't' sure if it fit into our frugal goals or if we were really ready to entertain. We haven't hosted a single party in our rental house and have only had a few dinners here with friends. While Dave was away on business and couldn't talk me out of it, I decided that we were going to have one.
To begin the party prep I used Pingg for the first time after receiving a very sweet invite from Rachel of No. 17 Cherry Tree Lane. Pingg is a free online invitation site that offers paperless options. I chose this Martha Stewart design. It was very easy to use and best of all free.
Our rental came with three long picnic benches and combined with our thrifted patio set $45.00 for table & chairs, we had enough seating for everyone.
I may have been tempted to buy disposable plates and silverware. Instead I stayed green and cheap by using our Ben Seibel dishes (I've collected over 40 of them) & flatware from the kitchen which I placed them in Ben Seibel creamers.
I was inspired by my friend Holly to keep it even greener by using cloth napkins. Here's a small sampling of my Vera collection. Most were purchased for .25¢ - $1.00.
I brought out many of our glasses, a combination of thrifted, won on Reluctant Entertainer or bought from Ikea. The glasses on the right were featured in a Mad Men episode. Well not my glasses, but the same style exactly.
Instead of buying juice for the children I made some herbal iced tea and mixed in some honey.
W used our $5 thrifted vintage cooler to hold the beer. We did buy ice which came to $8.83. The beer we had in our pantry that I had purchased on sale in the last two months.
Although it wasn't planned, costs were kept low when people offered to bring food. Cathy brought a pasta salad and Kathleen brought a potato salad. Wine was also an unexpected gift. The flowers were picked by Cerys from our garden.
The biggest expense of the party was the organic ground beef. We did buy it at Costo which offers 3 pounds for around $12.00. We bought 6 pounds although we didn't use it all. If you were really on a budget you could ask your guests to bring their own BBQ options. I also made a huge serving of Sangria. It included 4 bottles of cheap wine. It went a long way and tasted incredible.
While we only invited a handful of people to test the waters, I'd say doing a party on the cheap was successful. Our next party will be bigger and we will try to keep our expenses even lower. It was a lovely touch the following day when Pingg sent out an automated Thank You note to our guests.
Do you throw frugal parties? What tips do you have to share with us all?
I was looking through the current issue of Everyday Food on the way to the Farmer's Market on Saturday when I saw that they had published a second cookbook. I nearly jumped out of my seat startling Dave and the children.
I adore everything about this magazine. I use their original cookbook nearly every single week. It is by far my favorite one in my collection. I am crazy about it because the recipes are fairly simple, they do use everyday foods but add a few key ingredients like lemon zest or cilantro to make the dish mouthwatering and fabulous. I must have tried at least 50 if not more of their recipes and have only been disappointed with a few. Some of the recipes like their turkey burgers have become our family regulars showing up at least once a month in our menu plans.
My day was complete when we found the book at Coscto for $14.99
I am really looking forward to diving into this book and planning our meals around their recipes. They decided to go with a different format than with the original book. The original was broken up into seasons. I loved opening the Spring section and planning my meals. Now I have to instead look through main course and then go to the side dish section. It is still packed with beautiful photographs and pretty effortless recipes.
My friend Guusje told me a couple weeks ago about an App for Everyday Food. I finally bought it today for .99 cents.
I've barely had a moment to explore this App so I don't have much feedback at this time.
The last Everyday Food bit of news to share is that in this month's issue offers a subscription card that not only gives you Everyday Food Magazine but also Body + Soul for only $12.00. They are also going to send 2 grocery totes as a bonus with my subscription. That equals to .60 cents an issue. Personally I've yet to see a lower price on these two magazines. I filled out the subscription card in the car and had Dave make a small detour to the post office.
If you like to get inexpensive magazines, keep an eye on Savings With Amy blog or follow her on Twitter. Amy alerted me to an offer subscription for Everyday with Rachel Ray for $3.50 last week. Amy also has the latest on many discounts and coupons. It kind of makes your frugal head spin with excitement.
Do you have a favorite coupon or deal blog or website?