What a difference to today! I LOVE grocery shopping now...finding out what's on sale, my brain already coming up with fun ideas to make with the produce that is on sale this week. And...most grocery stores only have one aisle I can go down...much simpler and stress-free. I don't cut coupons or worry...I very rarely go over my budget. And now that I've found price matching, why I have plenty to spare and buy specialty items (or just more organic produce!).
The fun thing about having one isle to shop down is that you get to see EVERYTHING in that isle very well. You learn quickly what greens your store has, if they have any organic produce and where they have tucked it away at. Most grocery stores have SUPER inflated prices for produce, and that is a topic for another day..don't get me started, but that's why I love price matching. You get the conventional produce that you really shouldn't get all year round but are essentials (i.e. bananas, pineapples, apples, etc) at very low prices. Like four pounds of bananas for a dollar. Woah. That's a lot of bananas....which I'll take, thank you very much. Anyway...back to the topic...which was?! Oh yes, discovering things in your grocery store.
I tend to frequent Asian markets for things like Young Thai Coconuts, Unroasted Seaweed, and other such lovelies. Well, this past visit had me peeking at every nook and cranny, even if I can't read most of the labels, the foods look so inviting. I found two fruits that I had never tried but had heard of: Lichees and Rambutans. They look crazy, which I love. The Rambutans are the spikey, hairy things that taste a little like grapes...very fun. The Lichees I bought were...not so good. But that's okay, you win some, you lose some. Other fun Asian fruits: Jackfruit, Durian, Cherimoyas...go take a look and take a risk! ;)
The woman who harvested her fig tree picked a LOT and gave them to me for FREE (score!), but asked me to make her some raw treat with them. So I came up with these cute little tarts: Fig/Blueberry/Cinnamon filling on an Almond/Date/Cinnamon Crust. Oh, so delicious. (I had the leftovers last night for dinner...just pudding. Yum!)
I've been thoroughly enjoying myself in the kitchen lately. I've made some interesting sauces that lead to fun dishes: My friend was craving a Thai Peanut sauce, so we used cashews and made an interesting combination, which led to Thai Cabbage Wraps, and a Thai Cabbage Salad: