Have You Tried…Mango Spritz Vinegar?

May 15, 2012

Meet my new obsession. I stumbled across this little bottle in the grocery store by chance and it intrigued me, so I brought it home. I’m using it on everything. It tastes like a fruity lemon juice with lots of nice mango flavor. It is fantastic on fish. It is also really great on vegetables, instead of butter or other toppings. It also works on chicken and is really nice on salad with a little olive oil. I love the spritzer bottle so you can evenly distribute it on your food and manage to get just a little (too much would not be good I don’t think) on the item. The fact that it is mostly mango means it is not super sour like straight vinegar, so you don’t get that pucker effect.

The first ingredient is mango juice (78%), followed by wine vinegar, mango extract, stabilizer, xanthan gum and sulphur dioxide. The 8.4 ounce bottle cost me $6.99 but I’ve barely made a dent in it after using it quite a few times.


Have You Tried…34 Degrees Crackers?

April 20, 2012

I love cheese. And cheese needs the perfect cracker. I grew up on Stoned Wheat Thins which are still pretty high on my list, but I have a new cracker obsession. They’re called 34 Degrees Crispbread. These are super, super thin crackers. Meaning few calories from the crackers, leaving more calories for the cheese, or more cheese and cracker combos sitting on your plate. There are 150 calories in a serving, and a serving is 19 crackers. And because they are so thin, there are more per package – almost 80 in fact! That’s a lot of cheese plates! They are fantastically crunchy and they do not break when you spread cheese on them. They come in different flavors, but I just prefer the plain (“natural”) variety (my store does not have the whole wheat variety or I would buy that). They are coming out with chocolate, caramel, graham and cinnamon varieties as well, which I would eat just as a snack, obviously not with cheese. I’ve got a package in my pantry at all times!

Have You Tried….Korean Butter Pears?

March 30, 2012

I recently brought home some Korean Butter Pears from the grocery store to try. In the past, I’ve had something that looked similar, but wasn’t quite as big as this and was not called a butter pear. We sampled them one night for dessert. The skin has the texture of a pear, kind of thick and not smooth when you chew it. The flesh of the fruit tastes a lot like melon to me. It has that watery crunch to it that melons do, but it is also very pear-like. I didn’t think it tasted anything like apples (though it is supposed to be a combo of apples and pears). My son liked it a lot, so I will be buying more of these when I shop next. Have you tried this variety? Do you have any suggestions for things I should be trying?

Have You Tried…Cultured Butter?

March 15, 2012

Cultured butter is made from fermented cream and has live cultures in it. It has a stronger taste than regular butter, one that I find very tasty. It is somehow more “buttery” tasting. This is actually how butter used to be made – cream was collected for several days before it was churned into butter. Michael Ruhlman talks about how to make your own, which I am going to try. If you haven’t tried cultured butter, I urge you to try it. It just tastes so much better!

Have You Tried… Ponzu?

January 13, 2012

I recently discovered ponzu just by happenstance when I saw it on the shelf in the Asian section of my grocery store. I had never heard of it so I picked up the bottle to read what it was. I ended up bringing a bottle home to try and really, really love it. Ponzu is a combination of soy sauce and citrus and is much lighter than soy sauce. It’s just the perfect blend of citrus flavor and the light saltiness of soy. It’s pale in color. I used it recently in a salmon recipe and was really thrilled with the result. It’s also great as a dipping sauce for sushi for something different. I’m going to use it with chicken next. It brings a really great fresh pop of flavor to anything you use it in. This is definitely one of my newest favorite finds!

Have You Tried…Tomato Paste Tubes

December 16, 2011

This is one of things where I find myself asking “what took them so long?” My fridge has long been a wasteland of tomato paste cans with one tablespoon scooped out, the rest left to die. I never use an entire can and it seems every time I need some, I have to open a new can since the old one has become an alien life form. These great new squeeze tubes let you use just as much as you want without creating waste. I paid $2.99 for a tube. And they contain only tomato paste and salt – no nasty preservatives! Love ’em.

Have You Tried…Yogurt Cheese

November 25, 2011

Have you tried yogurt cheese? I actually made Martha’s version of yogurt cheese a while ago, and it was a disaster. That didn’t stop me from buying some in the deli department when I found this organic version. I really, really like it. And you get the added benefit of probiotics from it. It’s a little tangy, but not so that your kids wouldn’t eat it. Let them think it is white American and no one will know.

Have You Tried…Parsley Root?

November 11, 2011

I ran into this new entry in the produce department and couldn’t resist. I paid $4.99 for the bunch, but wait! Not only do you get the roots, but the tops are just regular parsley, so it’s like getting a bunch of that too.

I peeled the roots and roasted them with some carrots (about 45 minutes with 1 tablespoon oil, plus salt and pepper, then drizzled balsamic vinegar before serving). It tasted just like parsnip to me, but with a little bit of parsley flavor. They were fun to try. Have you tried this veggie?

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