Saturday, August 29, 2009

Farmers Market! Yeah, Baby!

I have been missing the Ann Arbor Farmers Market so bad! I finally, finally got to go this morning.

My customary first stop, as it was this morning, was the Zingermans food booth. I say food - usually all they bring out is cheese. If you don't know Zingermans from my constant bragging on it, hit them up online. They have a catalog, you could order most of their stuff. You should be ordering most of their stuff!

They have a deli in Ann Arbor, and they make, grow, bake, and come up with as much stuff as it's reasonable to do on their own, and anything they can't, they've pretty much got the inside track on what's the best out there. Apparently, they grow good olives in Iowa, because that's where they get theirs. Iowa. Who knew?

At any rate, back to the cheeses. They are always quick with a sample, or with a recommendation on how to use their cheeses. Although admittedly, I tend to not get as far as their recommendations, I usually smear it on a cracker, or a piece of fruit if I've got one, and go to town.

I sampled the Honey Almond today, which I went ahead and bought. Although, I need to find something to do with it, because it's a bit of an acquired taste, I think. I also sampled their Lincoln Log cheese. It's a aged goat cheese, and I think it's a little closer to what people generally think of when they think of goat cheese. Firm texture, nice feel in your mouth - a little similar to Ricotta in both respects - with a interesting aftertaste of beer. The suggestion for using the Lincoln Log was to slice it up, and melt it over a hamburger, which sounds really good.

But I knew I'd end up sharing with James (my three year old), and I knew he wouldn't go for beer, so we went honey almond. Got a yummy for dinner, stored right in the tank! :D

Our next stop was the Roos Roast booth. I've been recognized!

The last time I got to stop at the Roos Roast booth, I came here and blogged about my visit. The guy was totally cool, the coffee was good, the coffee names were funny, I was in love!

I mentioned today during my stop that I blogged about them last time I was here (I'd actually sent them a link to the post), and the man running the booth today remembered coming to my blog to read about it! Shout out! How funny is that?

I get a total, total kick out of giving a little extra press to local businesses, and I'll do it again today.

I love Roos Roast!

I just read something in Rachael Rays magazine that says that flavored coffees are out, and flavored teas are what's in style. Don't tell anybody at Roos Roast! Although they don't do flavors like I think the Rachael Ray piece was talking about, just the same - no one mention it!

Because I don't drink caffiene, I don't get to partake in all their yummy flavors - Lobster Butter Love and Rich French Neighbor are two that always stand out for me, but their De Calf is excellent! Smooth, mellow, with a little substance to it, if that makes any sense. I was driving home, happily enjoying my coffee, trying to think on WHY I liked the coffee. It's hard to describe - it's just got a nice body to it. It makes me happy. It's happiness in a cup - how's that for advertising?!

I was asked to pass along the message that Roos Roast is a hard drink to find. And it kind of is - they have a list of places that you can see them in the average week, and well, let's put it this way - if there's a Farmers Market to be had in Washtenaw County, they are there!

But if you don't have access to Washtenaw County and their Farmers Market schedule, might I suggest ordering online?, they ship anyplace. If you live in an area where it's possible to do it, they even deliver by bike!

Ok, I was just poking around on their website, and I found, and I kid you not - Coffee Camp. Really. Every way you can figure out how to talk about coffee - where it comes from, how to roast it, how to brew it, how to drink it...their talking coffee at Coffee Camp. Oh, I'm so there!

I love the people at Roos Roast, and I love their coffee. Enough that I'd consider buying a coffee pot to make some at home! The vibe at their stands is always really fun as well. Everybody's laid back, hangin' out, just making good coffee. Love!

Our next stop was the Stod's Berry Farm. I won't lie - not the cosmetically most attractive berries out there, but the price was good, and my three year old deserved some reward for trooping around the Farmers Market behind me all day, didn't he?

He got one. A pint of blueberries. And, our berry friend threw in a extra half pint for free! My son ate so many that his lips were starting to turn blue! I was joking that that would happen, but I didn't know that that could actually HAPPEN! It's very temporary - by the time we made it back around the corner, he was fine again.

We made another stop at a stand that I didn't catch the name of, and admired the gorgeous bounty of Heirloom tomatoes, and mused on the watermelons. I'm so curious on whether a orange or yellow watermelon tastes different then a red, but in the end, I decided I just didn't want to carry around a three year old AND a watermelon, so I figured that that'd be a quest for another day.

My last customary stop is the people at Pillar's. It's a little street cart that serves tamales, and plantains, and lots of other yummy treats. I usually walk up to the cart, go "I want the lunch special. What do you recommend?", and see what happens. The lunch special is a tamale, with sides of black beans and rice, some sort of slaw (that I always promise I'm going to know the name of so I can blog about it, and I promptly forget), and plantains, and a drink. The last time I went, the drink was a hibiscus tea, but I truthfully don't know what the drink was today. It was hot, so it wasn't the same hibiscus tea. I actually was so contented with my coffee from Roos, that I haven't tried the drink from Pillar's yet!

Alright, in the time I've been sitting here, I'm pretty reasonably convinced my three year old has lost every reasonable brain cell he's got left, and I need to remember to send my email to apply for coffee camp!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Got A Crush On Michael Chiarello!

Ok, I'm two timing on my Culinary Boyfriend Michael Symon, but I gotta do it.

All season long on Top Chef Masters, they've been showing promo shots of Michael Chiarello barking orders at some non-descript ponytail.

That non-descript ponytail, as it turns out, belongs to none other then Season Twos "I've got no apparent reason to be so angry, but what the h**l else am I gonna do in this joint?" villian, Miss Betty Frasier.

Have I told you all lately how much I love Michael Chiarello?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cat Cora Becomes A Mom...Again!

Cat Cora had her baby! I knew she'd been pregnant, but I'd not ever heard that she had the bub. She did, and fairly recently too!

I realize this is a questionable source at best, but:

Cat Cora Is A Momma!

July 24, Cat and her partner Jennifer welcomed baby Nash, who joins baby Thatcher who was born in April (no, Cat is not a superwoman. She and her partner were pregnant at the same time!), 2 year old brother Caje and 5 year old brother Zoran.

Yay for Iron Chef babies!

And from the "that's cool, but probably more information then I needed" files, I found this tidbit online:

April 4- Iron Chef Cat Cora and her wife, Jennifer, welcomed a son, THATCHER JULIUS. Jennifer gave birth to Thatcher and Cat is due with a baby boy in July. The couple are also moms to sons, Zoran, 5, and Caje,2. Zoran and the baby Cat is carrying are from Jennifer's eggs. Caje is from Cat's eggs. Thatcher's biological mother is unknown. The same sperm donor was used for all of their sons.

So that means that Zoran and Nash are biologically Jennifers, Caje (which I assume is pronounced "Cage", but I don't know) is biologically Cat's, and Thatcher was a wildcard? In a weird way, I like that they all had the same dad. That's funny that they are all boys too. I don't know why. It just makes me smile. Perhaps because I live with all boys, so it makes me feel better when other people do too?

Jack In The Box Commercial. Woah.

This commercial is SO messed up. I'm laughing thinking about it, but I seriously couldn't help but go "OM...What the what now?" when I was watching it.

Pasta Salad...Forever. Pasta Salad Forever.

My mom is in town this week, and I made a couple of pasta salads for the big grill out fest on Sunday.

I made a "summer salad". Saute up some zucchini and summer squash, green onions, parsley, dill and goat cheese, and toss with some orzo pasta.

I also made an Asian pasta, without anything to dress it up. Angel hair pasta, toss it with 1/3 cup of Soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar, and green onion.

The Summer Salad was terrific as it was (might have used a little lemon zest or something to brighten it up just a touch), but the Asian pasta was too plain. My fiacee asked me if I'd made ramen noodles. Hah! It could have used something to make it a little more fancy.

Incidentally, I've got both of these salads coming out my nose. I didn't think anything about it - I fired up two pots of water to boil, and when they did, I tossed in the pasta. I never guessed that little envelope of dried orzo pasta was going to cook up to like, two pounds worth of pasta. Seriously. It goes on forever!

Is delicious though. :)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Live Blog Of The Best Thing I Ever Ate.

I'm trying the craziness known as live blogging!

OMG, The Best Thing I Ever Ate Pizza. Are you kidding?!

Ted Allen: Graziella's Pizza in Brooklyn, NY. He prefer the Arugula and Parmesan. Incidentally, he says that's about two blocks from his house, so if your in for a little Ted Allen sighting, hit it!

Duff Goldman: Gino's East in Chicago. Sausage and Pepperoni. Why am I not surprised? He seems like a pepperoni and sausage guy. At any rate, he's FLIPPED over the disk of sausage. Like, FLIPPED. They also ship too, so if your dying to try the sausage disk, you totally can.

Mark Summers: Osteria Pizza in Philadelphia. He's a purist - he likes the Margarita pizza. Talkin' trash about LA too - says you can't get a good pizza there. True?

At this point in the show, I've lost interest in the "fight" aspect they're trying to bring in. Just talk to me about the food!

Tyler Florence: Serious Pie in Seattle. Chanterelle mushrooms and truffle cheese. Why is it not that surprising to me that Tyler Florence likes a pizza with toppings like that? I think they thought that would be more interesting then that. Heh.

Alex Guarneschelli: Five Points Pizza in NYC. The Yukon Gold Potato. Is interesting, yes? I'm intrigued by that. I'd try that. Actually, I'd try all of them, although Duff and his sausage disk flipped me out a little bit.

Adam Gertler: Likes pizza for breakfast. And he wants you to know about it. Little Dom's in LA. The Breakfast Pizza. See - Summers was wrong!

John T. Edge: Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix, and the Rosa is the best choice. Pistachio, red onions, and a whole bunch of other stuff I was trying to process. lol! It looks a little intriguing. Hmm. The guy that runs the place insists that he be the only pizza maker. Hmm. I bet that place always has a line! Heh. "Blistered to hell crust". lol!

Commercial note: What Would Brian Boitano Make? How much do I love whatever marketing person came up with THAT?!

Aaron Sanchez: Chocolate Pizza at Max Brener in NYC. OMG. Is anyone besides me a little bit in love with Aaron Sanchez right now? It's chocolate, and marshmallows, peanut butter, hazelnuts. OMG. I just...OMG. That's all I've got.