This is my 2nd post on a list of my favorite things. So just to repeat here in case you missed it last time, for my Type A self, it’s always fun to write lists. I do so almost everyday, either on paper or on Evernote, or even on my electronic post-it note app. Yes, it’s noted. I’m confused about my note-taking devices.
I also love to read lists on blogs, on Amazon, in magazines and brochures. My friends used to make fun of me for gathering pamphlets everywhere I go. I collect lists!
So, here are a few of my favorite things right now. They include the gamut of everything I find that is enjoyable, interesting, or beneficial to me right now: in food, music, websites, books, and moments.
Today, it just all happened to be about food
Here you go!
- Texas Olive Oil. We try to be as locavorous as possible for many reasons. But truly this is high quality olive oil, which I believe to be pure and unadulterated, unlike the rapport some other “imported” olive oils are getting. We love the lemon olive oil from Texas Olive Ranch and for my daughter’s 8th birthday present, we gave her a bottle of their basil olive oil as part of her birthday package. She gawked at it for a whole minute in front of all her little 7 and 8 year old friends.
- Cultured Cream Cheese. It’s hard to go back to Philadelphia after this. Cultured cream cheese has a faintly tart taste that falls back so it’s almost unnoticed. Great with bagels.
- Scotch. I started enjoying the fine flavor of good scotch. But then it gave me heartburn. And I realized I’m not an Indian uncle. I really must be aging!! It’s still on my favorites list right now, but may disappear later.
- Butter. This is most certainly not a new favorite thing of mine but since this is a new column for me, I need to put a few brands I like in here, such as Plugra or Lurpak for baking, softened Amul for spreading, Kerrygold’s garlic herb compound butter (they’ve done all the hard work for us!), Vermont Creamery’s excellent cultured butter with sea salt crystals, so enticing in its cute little basket and adored by all last Thanksgiving on our dinner rolls. My everyday butter is Double Devon salted butter (for buttered peas, buttered toast, buttered veggies, etc..). At this point on this list, you are probably realizing I spend a lot on food. I learned that from my parents who taught me to spend money on food, not clothes. Unfortunately, I do both.
- Harmless Harvest’s 100% raw coconut water. Again, it’s hard to go back to those other brands. But with that crazy price, despite my efforts to try to realize that good food costs money, I may have to go back
- Qia Chia Seed brand cereal. It’s not really cereal in the cold milk and cold sweet flakes in a bowl sense. But on the rare occasion that we do Breakfast for Dinner, I tried soaking some of this in cold milk and the kids lapped it up, like good little obedient puppies…I mean children.
- Lattes at Hillside Farmacy. Yes a few good coffee and espresso shops abound in Austin now (check out the Austin Food Blogger City Guide list here). And my husband is his own barista and roasts his own beans, etc.. but I do like their lattes here. I like the size of the latte, the foam is perfect, and the beans are topnotch. Size and mug of latte is strangely important to me. If it’s a large cup, like a teacup, the latte gets cold too fast for my liking. Besides the foam tends to dissipate faster. And I just can’t drink 12 ounces of latte, so right now, Hillside has my favorite latte. I’ve loved Cafe Medici’s, Houndstooth’s, and JP Java’s before.
- Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson. Reads like a novel. He’s an inspiration.
- Blog communities. We have a really great one in Austin. I didn’t realize it’s rather uniqueness until recently. We published our very own gorgeous cookbook, which I blogged about earlier.
- Grocery co-ops. I would drive by Wheatsville Co-op in college wondering who on Earth would shop there. Such a teeny store, no parking, and HEB had everything, and cheaper! (or so I thought at the time) Well, that is truly the thoughts of a college kid. Boy how I’ve grown up. As mentioned before here on my blog, I almost exclusively shop there now for the last couple of years, and a little bit at Whole Foods and Central Market. But we can get virtually everything we need at the co-op and much of it is local so I actually still don’t even belong to a CSA. Last Fall, I was hired to shoot some cooking videos for the National Grocery Co-op Association. They were finally produced and went online recently. Those videos will be available here on my site very very soon!
Stay tuned for this bi-monthly column on my blog on my favorite food finds (and more!).
What are your favorites right this second?