Today's Grocery Store Bargains = Eatin' good tonight

In the markdown meat bin, (aka the used meat bin) I found this beautiful prime NY top sirloin steak. Then in the produce dept. I scored some organic shitake mushrooms. 
Sooo, tonight while the mushrooms are lounging around in their butter sauna, I'll pan sear the steak and baste it with some herb-infused butter.
Of course, to counter all the butter goings-on I think a tossed green salad would fit the bill. 


Don't worry, I'll be sure and bore you with the photos of the finished meal. 

One of the things on my list was my beloved Spicy Chili Crisp so I replenished that, and also bought a jar of the Hot Chili Sauce. I haven't tried that yet, I'll see if it's as good as the Chili Crisp that I'm totally addicted to. 


I ran across this Youtube video a while ago talking about all the Lao Gan Ma products.  I'm so happy I was able to find it again. It's Every Lao Gan Ma explained
I'd love to try all of them.  No these were not on sale, darn it. 

And that's that. 

Bristol Farms Market Run

I get the Bristol Farms (I am in no way associated with them) newsletter, mainly to see what’s on sale in the wine dept. I’ve been able to try some new and different wines at pretty reasonable prices. Of course, their description of the featured wine always reads like prose, here’s an example of what draws me in. 

This is their description of the wine I bought.

KCB_1602Balanced and refreshing

“It’s summer and it’s hot! Sip on this Italian beauty which offers hints of apricot that carries through to the flavors of melon, bright grapefruit, toasted almonds, and lime. Mouthwatering minerality and a slight tartness from the acidity gives this white good structure and balance.
Pair with appetizers, seafood-based dishes and of course, enjoy on its own.”

See. P.T. Barnum was right. I couldn’t wait to get to the store to buy this wine. FYI I'm going back for more, it's everything they say it is and the price point is just right for me. 2 bottles for 12.00 more than half off. 

Of course, while I was there I had to look around to find something I couldn’t live without. 
The first thing I can’t live without is my own personal eco-friendly straw in plant-based eco-friendly packaging.


I’m always on the lookout for grain-free products and I was pretty sure I’d find some there, and I did

The cauliflower crackers are about the size of cheez-it but thinner. Very good and nice and crunchy.

The Quinoa chips look like Ruffles and crunch like Fun yum. Do I know my snacks or what! Really good also. I'd buy either of these again. 

I don’t remember seeing these big wheels of cheese in there before or at least they never caught my eye until now. Throughout the deli dept were big ol’ wheels of cheese.



I did get some Grana Padano. Deeevine. 

And that's that!



Just like following a recipe only not as much fun.

Arrived in a box and after carefully reading the instructions like a recipe, and getting my mise en place,  6 1/2 hours and a few Advil later I have my new grill assembled and ready for dinner


and I did it all by myself. 


The first thing I did was season it. I wiped it down with vegetable oil inside and out, 
then I cranked it up and "baked" it for an hour. I'll be grilling chicken wings tonight. 

The directions said it's a two person project but I did it all by myself.
I know I'm breaking my arm patting myself on the back ;-)

When things got a little wobbly and I needed an extra hand I used masking tape to hold the pieces steady while I put them together and sometimes I used cans to prop up or hold pieces steady. When I was finished I had only one screw and washer unaccounted for so I don't think it will fall apart soon. 

Excuse me, I need to get the chicken on the grill now. 

And that's that.  


Cupboard Confidential

I'm blaming this mess on a cooking group friend.  I'm getting ready to make her Cochinita Pibil recipe and it calls for achiote paste, I know I have some somewhere.

After assaulting the cupboards I discovered I had none, but I did find some things I forgot I had, some things I have multiples of and 12 bottles of different types of vinegar. I do have a couple of interesting flavors of vinegar, I have; black vinegar, red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, orange muscat champagne vinegar, sweet moscatel vinegar, burgundy wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, 18-year-old balsamic vinegar, white balsamic vinegar and sherry vinegar,

I decided to list what I have on each shelf and tape the list to the inside of the cupboard door.
So I'm sitting at the computer, feeling very organized and efficient until I look at the counter and see the chore I have looming over me, putting things back in order. OH CRUMB!

Dang what a mess!!!!


Whew! finally done and I did find some achiote paste Yippie!!!!
and the list is taped to the cupboard door. Much better no?

Here's the recipe that got me into this mess in the first place. 

Cochinita Pibil.

CATEGORIES meat, Mexican

Cut 8-10 pounds of Boston butt into 2" cubes, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Mix together:
achiote paste, 2-3 boxes
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
2 to 3 cups (total), orange juice, lime juice and pineapple juice
garlic, to taste
2 to 3 sliced onions
Banana leaves, optional

I placed these ingredients in a jar (not the pork, onions, or banana leaves) , I used a stick blender to mix well. Pour over the pork chunks, add sliced onions, mix well, cover and refrigerate 12-24 hours. Line your pan with banana leaves (they say it is best to pass the leaves over a flame, both sides, first). Cover the pork with banana leaves, then aluminum foil and bake at 325(F) for about 4 hours, or until tender. When done, shred the pork and stir the shredded pork in the marinating/cooking liquid. Taste for seasoning.
We eat these as tacos on corn tortillas and we top them with pickled onions, cilantro, avocado slices.
Note: if you do not have banana leaves, just omit the banana leaves, cover the pork with aluminum foil and bake.

This recipe is approximate, so feel free to change it to suit your tastes.

And that's that. 


Latest Thrift Store Find

I enjoy finding unique kitchen items, especially when I can find them on the cheap in the thrift store.  


$7.99 for the set, there's not one chip or scratch anywhere. 


The largest bowl is 3 cup capacity, next one is 1 2/3 and the smallest is one cup. 

I can't wait to start using them. Just looking at them makes me happy.


 And that's that.   

Kale/Herb Stripper

Never met a gadget I didn't like. Not only do I buy gadgets, I actually do use them. 


I try not to buy one trick ponies but this is one I'll use a lot, especially when stripping the leaves off of rosemary and thyme. 

This morning It worked great on the kale, so it's a keeper. Looking at the larger holes, I think it can be used it for collard greens too. 

And that's that

Kimchi Pot

I love the housewares aisle at any supermarket, but I especially love the housewares aisles in ethnic supermarkets. Today I was shopping at Zion Market  and, of course, I had to peruse the housewares aisle. I found this really cool pot but wasn't sure if it was for cooking or serving, so I asked the nice lady that was shopping next to me if it could be used on a stove top, or was it for the oven; not for cooking she said, it's a kimchi pot. Oh, that made me so happy because I was there shopping for my kimchi ingredients. 


I don't have to use canning jars anymore, I have my very own kimchi pot. 
Happy, happy, joy, joy. 


Sooooo while I was there I walked the aisles and came across something else I'm not familiar with, am I that far behind the times?


 According to the back of the package, it can be used in tea, coffee, and when baking and cooking. 
Can't wait to try it. 


And that's that

Grasshoppers in my salt, you say!

I always seem to find something new (to me) and interesting when I shop at Specialty Produce.
A couple of things I bought yesterday is grasshopper salt, yep, real ground up grasshoppers, and Basil Crystals. I've already tried the worm salt and they taste pretty much the same, a little bit smoky, but the grasshopper salt isn't as spicy. I think the grasshopper salt will be great on vegetables. 

The Basil crystal ingredients are basil and sugar. They have a good strong basil taste and aren't too sweet. I think it's mainly for rimming a drink glass, but I'm all for sprinkling them on a baked potato or some squash too.





I also bought some 12 inch chipotle flavored flour tortillas.  


 I'll be making wraps with these for the Women's Fellowship on Wednesday.
That recipe and step by step will be posted later this week.

These are pretty spicy, so I think I'll keep the filling light, and gently seasoned.


And that's that



Oregano Hair Cut Time

I was happily <not> washing dishes when I noticed my oregano was getting a little bushy. So my Adult ADD <my diagnosis> kicked in, and before I knew it, I was trimming my plant. 



My first intention was to lay it out on the cheesecloth and dry it.

Then I had to decide where in the world in my small kitchen I could safely put it to dry out. 


So I decided to suck it up and freeze it. Hopefully it will be fine. 

Back to the dishes now. 


And that's that

More Kitchen Tchotchkes

Like I need more kitchen tchotchkes, but when I saw this I couldn't resist. I get good healthy food and a tchotchke thrown in. That's right up my alley. 



See, here's a nice reusable bucket, filled with sweet & healthy cherry tomatoes. 

Wait, what is that nestled in the top of the lid?..



Why it's a handy dandy little cherry tomato toter. 


And that's that