Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things.
Whoever decided My Favorite Things was a Christmas carol must have been on something. I guess I can see it with the mittens, and snowflakes, and sleigh bells mentioned. But there's not a single mention of anything Christmas related, and it has nothing to do with Christmas in A Sound of Music either. And yet, The Surpremes did a great version of it on the Motown Holiday album and now it's part of the plethora of options to sing and play this time of year.
So I got to thinking about what some of my favorite things are and I decided to write a few entries to celebrate the theme. Food, household, and entertainment stuffs will all be talked about. And I'm kicking it off with one of my favorite things ever, food!
Pillsbury Pie Crust - I have very little patience, and making home made pie crust definitely requires some. Everything has to be blended perfectly and then rolled out smoothly. I am not skilled with my rolling pin, and because I acknowledge and accept my limitations I just buy Pillsbury pie crust. Even after it's been frozen for awhile, people still think it's homemade.
Trader Joe's Smoked Gouda - As if it wasn't obvious enough, I love smoked gouda cheese. I've tried a lot of different kinds and I like the one from Trader Joe's the best. It's not oily, melts really well, and it extremely cheap compared to other brands. And of course, it's delicious smokey and sweet.
Drunken Goat Cheese - My other favorite cheese of all time? Goat cheese of course. Goat cheese doesn't just come in the chevre variety (which is what most people think of, the bright white spreadable kind). Goat cheese is really any cheese made from goat's milk. Right now I'm stuck on drunken goat cheese. It comes in a purple rind and I've seen it at places like Andronico's and Whole Foods. It's smooth and not as sharp as chevre and goes really well with dates.
Club Crackers - So what kind of crackers do I eat with my cheese? Club crackers. I like how they're buttery and rich. I could be healthy any day of the week and get some kind of wheat thing, but seriously, I'm eating cheese. And a lot of it. I don't want to be bothered by being healthy during appetizer time.
Trader Joe's Cornbread stuffing Mix - Trader Joe's really has some awesome products, don't they? Their cornbread stuffing is my favorite stuffing. Besides the fact that I like cornbread better than white bread when making stuffing, their seasoning packet is amazing. I make their stuffing into dressing. 3 cups of chicken broth, 2 sweet apple sausages, 5 pieces of bacon, 1 apple, 3 baby bella mushrooms, 1/2 a large onion. Best stuffing ever.
All Natural Cheetos - These are addicting. I think they put crack in them. When Nick is on business, I'll buy a bag and eat the whole thing for dinner, it's not that I plan it that way, it's that you can't stop eating them. Made with white cheddar and therefore not an annoying bright orange color, these Cheetos can be hard to find sometimes. But if you get them for your next party, I guarantee you they will be gone fast. Just don't be fooled, they're still unhealthy it is a chip after all.
Potato Bread - I understand the value of a good whole grain bread, and I do really enjoy it (I'm not all about eating butter and bacon all the time). But there are some times when you need a really good thick soft bread. For example, when making homemade breadcrumbs for the top of your mac and cheese or when making french toast. The type of bread and texture of it really make a difference. If you can't get really good sliced white bread (for example, at our farmer's market there is a bread maker and his white bread puts Wonder Bread to shame), then potato bread is definitely the way to go. It's much heftier than white and sweeter too. And really, for what you're going to be using bread like this for, why do you need to be healthy? It's like going to McDonald's and getting a diet Coke.
Rosemary & Nutmeg - These are my go to spices for just about everything. Rosemary tastes great on chicken, steak, potatoes, squash flavored pastas, and so many other things I make. And as per my Aunt Susie who was married to an Italian, I put nutmeg is all my Italian cooking, and a lot of my other cooking as well. Meatballs, mac & cheese, you name it. It all tastes good.
Applegate Farms Sunday Bacon - Bacon makes everything taste better and the better quality the bacon, the better your food. I really like Applegate Farm's Sunday Bacon. It's smoked (and when you have real smoked bacon and not that poor quality meat you get from Oscar Meyer or Hormel, etc. you really really notice the difference) and less fatty than just about any bacon I have ever tried. I haven't been able to find it since moving to California, and the others just aren't the same.
Bittersweet Herb Farm Smoked Maple Chipotle Sauce - A lot of my recipes require adding some kind of smokey BBQ type sauce. I like to add it to my burgers and meatloaf and lots of other random things. I've tried to find a good supermarket BBQ sauce and none of them have really matched up to this one from Bittersweet Herb Farm. It's thick, sweet, and smokey with just a hint of kick and doesn't have that generic BBQ sauce taste. It's killer in anything that would need a BBQ sauce. It's definitely up a notch, or three.