In The Kitchen With…Lissa

I cook all the time. I love cooking and baking and trying new things in the kitchen. New products, new foods, new appliances. I love trying to substitute ingredients in recipes that might be more flavorful or healthier than what was originally called for.

And I only hate going grocery shopping if I don’t have the money to splurge on anything different or new. Because it’s such a big passion of mine, being in the kitchen, I always try to shift funds around to make sure I can get a few things I am curious about trying.

I’m the one who views food and recipes and cookbooks and appliances and food stores the way some women view shoes, clothes, and jewelry…

Do you try new things? New ingredients? Switch out favorites?

A few of my newest finds that I’d read about or wanted to try on my own lately, or that I have tried and found I wanted more of, have been:

Larry’s Beans… whole bean coffee in awesome varietal names such as Cowboy, Bad Kitty, Mightier Mocha Java

So Delicious French Vanilla Coconut Coffee Creamer... now, because of my coffee love, I try different creamers all the time. I have made my own, I have used half and half plus sugar/flavored syrups (until I stopped using the syrups unless I can make my own), Organic Valley French Vanilla Half and Half (my fave, honestly, but high in carbs and sugars and calories), Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss, Bailey’s non-alcoholic, Silk, etc… I decided to try this product when I saw it in Earth Fare the other day. I’m not a fan of coconut unless it’s straight out of the shell, but there are a few products with coconut or made with coconut that I do love (coconut oil, homemade granola). The coconut creamer is good. Very good. I’ll be using it more often. It’s light on coconut flavor, but creamy and full of vanilla flavor.

Trader Joe’s Fire Roasted Peppers and Onions… frozen peppers and onions, but I use these in all recipes calling for fresh onions and peppers. They give an excellent flavor to everything.

Trader Joe’s Sprouted 7-Grain Bread… I don’t like sprouted grains very much. I’m not big on nutty texture in food and I’ve tried sprouted grain breads before like Ezekiel brand, but couldn’t get beyond the price and texture. But the Trader Joe’s brand…delicious and the texture is just right for me.

Sucanat… I use this in place of white and brown sugars. It’s a deeper flavor and I love it.

Coconut Palm Sugar… It smells like graham crackers, but has a different taste. It can be used in place of other sugars as well and it’s low on the Glycemic Index.

Whole Wheat Pastry Flour… I use this in muffin recipes, have used it in chocolate chip cookie recipes, waffles, pancakes, etc… It’s wonderful in place of all-purpose white flour. Harder to find (I buy mine from Earth Fare in the bulk bins), costs more, but it’s worth it to me.

Quinoa… I’m still getting used to this super grain that is high in essential amino acids. It’s got an odd taste, I can’t quite describe it. An odd texture, not unlike couscous. I don’t like couscous, but I’m able to eat the quinoa, especially mixed with other foods like chicken, vegetables…

I am always up for trying new things, eating different foods, researching foods that may be more flavorful, healthful, etc… Do you try new foods and ingredients? If so, what have you found lately that you have grown to love?

~lissa

Some news coming soon…

See, for so long y’all didn’t think you’d ever get any new news out of me. Well, and you’re not. Yet. But soon… Maybe even by Friday I’ll have something more I can say. But if not, soon.

Until I can though, just be assured that I am writing and working my little, okay well, not so little, behind off for you, my darlin’ readers.

Oh, and Oh. My. God. I have found a store I think I am going to love as much as I love Trader Joe’s. I know, you’re shocked, right? I won’t be shopping there often because holy moly it’s expensive, but the organic foods, the natural foods (both of these would be why it’s so much more expensive), the fun stuff like you can make your own peanut butter right there in the store stuff… Lissa will be going there at least a couple times a month. You know, when I need something special like grains in bulk (whole wheat pastry flour) or specialty dairy (organic flavored half and half or REAL butter) or the natural sweetener (dried cane sugar) I’ve been searching all over town for that I can bake with that won’t send my husband’s blood sugar through the roof kind of special stuff…

The store is called Earth Fare. It’s like a smaller Whole Foods.

I do feel a contest coming on soon, too, y’all… I’m thinking about it and when I’ve got down what kind we’re going to do, I’ll let you in on it.

And there was something else, some other thing… Really important too… Ummm… Oh yeah, I remember now! It’s that time of year…

Florida State Seminoles Football. Game Day 9/3/2011, 3:30pm. Oh yeah! I’m gonna be fixing some game day munchies Saturday morning… probably to include some boiled peanuts!

What game day snacks do you like, need, crave, will kill to have?

~lissa