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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Recent Foodie Finds

I am always on the look-out for foodie items I can't find easily at home. It isn't surprising that a few foodie extras get tossed into the shopping cart as well especially if I find them for a good price. I'm always excited when I find something that comes highly recommended or something I saw on the food channel that I want to try.

recent foodie findsRecent Foodie Finds

Pictured are a few of the foodie purchases I made on this road trip. I honestly don't think you can have too many rice varieties. I discovered Calrose rice a few years ago. This is a medium grain rice 'radiation-bred' grown in California. In comparison to plain long grain rice ($6.99 for 8 kg/18 lb) Calrose is about triple the price ($7.69 for 2.26 kg/5 lb). However, it has a lovely flavour and texture suitable for sushi rice. Nishiki is a new variety of medium grain milled rice also suitable for sushi and stir fry. Other purchases included organic sugar, flavourings, bouillon, a glass pie plate, meat tenderizer and a few more items I've likely already posted about in the past. Some of the items in this purchase deserve a bit further comment.

bouillonBouillon

I make a lot of my own stocks so bouillon is not an item I use a lot of still it is good to have on hand especially as part of your dry storage. The biggest problem with bouillon is always the salt content. However a newer product called Better Than Bouillon is now available and it comes highly recommended. Better Than Bouillon does not contain MSG, yeast extract or artificial flavours and is gluten free. Unlike my brand Aurora used for homemade dry mixes the first ingredient is not salt so that is a huge plus. The down side is once opened Better Than Bouillon must be refrigerated so it cannot be used as a replacement for Aurora. The jar I bought is shelf stable until at least 10/08/2011 so still suitable as a pantry product. It would be an ideal substitute in the even I ever run out of homemade stock. In comparison to Aurora ($3.99/454 g) Better Than Bouillon is more expensive at $4.79 for 227 g that will mak 9.5 quarts of broth. Aurora is Canadian made while Better Than Bouillon is American made and I have not seen this product in Canadian grocery stores yet. You can order Better Than Bouillon online, minum purchase of $15 with UPS shipping (ground, select, air).

organic sugarOrganic Sugar

I've been using organic sugar for quite some time. I like organic sugar because it is less refined than white sugar so has a unique flavour beyond just sweetness. Florida Crystals® is now producing USDA certified organic sugar that is also certified carbon free. In order to earn the carbon free certification the products' carbon emissions must be offset by the company's production of renewable energy. This results in a lower carbon footprint that helps to reduce our use of fossil fuels. Why should this matter? Every eco-friendly thing we can do on a personal level ultimately helps. So look for the new certified carbon free logo when you shop for eco-friendly purchases. In terms of cost a 907 g (2 lb) bag of organic sugar cost me $4. I would guess this is about twice the cost of regular white sugar. However, this price is well within the costs of other sweeteners like maple syrup, local honey, molasses and stevia.

LorAnne gourmet flavouringsGourmet Flavourings

When it comes to candy making LorAnne Gourmet Oils are highly recommended. These are highly concentrated flavourings that are 4 times stronger than extracts. They are used for candy making and baking. Each bottle is 3.7 ml (.125 fl oz or 1 dram). The amount used of course depends on the recipe. During the holiday season a larger variety of these oils are stocked in the baking section of department stores. After the holiday season they are often marked down significantly as in this case at 70% off. Now you have to check each flavour label especially if you want to avoid artificial flavours and colourants. In this case the cherry contains both artificial colour and flavour, the butterscotch contains artificial flavour but natural colour and the orange oil is all natural.


2 food lovers commented:

A Year on the Grill said...

exciting to find new stuff

Garden Gnome said...

I love finding new foods and ingredients to play with :)