How’s your holiday shopping going? I have a few new things you might want to look for as you are out and about in the stores or browsing on Amazon. In the past week I have found myself in Costco, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, CVS Pharmacy, Macy’s, Crate & Barrel, Cost Plus Imports, Raleys, Sur La Table and most likely a few others stores that I have now forgotten about it. Of course I also did a little shopping on Amazon as well. A quick look at my checking account would reveal the whole story but I don’t think I want to see it all tallied up right now!
This can be purchased from Amazon. It’s a salt free seasoning that has a nice mild yet salty flavor. I use it on veggies, in soups and stews and veggie burgers. It’s a blend of nutritional yeast, dried vegetables and herbs.
These new to me Parma seasonings were found at Whole Foods. I love them – the garlicky green is my favorite flavor. They are nice on popcorn – but be forewarned it doesn’t stick real well on dry popcorn but does impart some nice flavor. Sprinkle over cooked veggies for a nice treat and it would also be good on pasta. The garlicky green is a mixture of walnuts, nutritional yeast, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, kelp, hemp seeds sesame seeds a little salt basil and oregano. Just 20 calories for 2 teaspoons and 30 mg sodium. Check out the Parma Store Locator to find some where you live.
Pom Wonderful pomegranate arils all ready to eat. I love these ruby red gems on top of mixed greens, tossed in a fruit salad, over soy yogurt or just to eat by the spoonful. This is a Costco find but check your local grocery store and Trader Joe’s as well for smaller containers. All of the joy and non of the mess!
Fuyu persimmons are in season and I bought a big container of them at Costco. Of course they can also be found in the grocery store and the local farmer’s market. To me they taste like a pumpkin crossed with an apple. The Fuyu ones while firm can be peeled, sliced and eaten like any other fresh fruit – they are not overly sweet. I like them in a winter fruit salad too. I was just given a dozen of the hachiya persimmons and have to figure out what to do with them – from what I have read they are better used in baked goods.
The beautiful bottle and packaging caught my attention for this barrel aged red wine vinegar. It has a wonderful flavor perfect for salads and adding a little acid to a variety of dishes. This was another Costco purchase. Pretty enough to give as a gift to a foodie friend!
Just in time for the holidays – wine glasses from Costco. These are restaurant quality – break resistant! They are dishwasher safe but I will still hand wash them. Don’t limit yourself to just serving wine in pretty glasses- they are perfect for sparkling cider, bubbly water with lemon or lime and a fruit smoothie takes on a whole new level of sophistication when served in a stemmed glass!
While shopping in my local Raley’s grocery store I found these parchment baking cups in the health food aisle where the bulk foods are located. Parchment is a wonderful non stick product so when you bake muffins or cupcakes using these liners they easily peel off. What an amazing find – I adore them! To find some where you live use the Paper Chef Product Finder. Also available on Amazon.
I haven’t used this cashew meal yet but I plan on using it in recipes in place of almond meal for a little different flavor.
It should work well for baking gluten free muffins or cookies like the family favorite Deluxe Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Pomegranate Juice mixed with some sparkling water (or a little champagne/white wine if you prefer) makes for a pretty holiday beverage when served up in the new wine glasses. A couple ounces in a smoothie adds flavor and a nutritional boost like in this Pomegranite Green Smoothie. Use it to make delicious Go Berry Breakfast Bars. Costco sells these jumbo sized bottles but smaller ones are available at most grocery stores.
My two new best friends are these Chef’s Kitchen Resilience Cushion Mats for my kitchen work areas. I will be the first to admit that they aren’t all that attractive but after using them for a couple of weeks I am sold on having them. They reduce the foot and leg fatigue from standing in one place. Since having foot surgery one year ago standing on this hard wood floor has caused me a great deal of foot pain. If you have followed my blog for very long you know I love to cook and often engage in marathon cooking sessions so these mats are getting a work out! I found them at Costco but I have also seen different brands on Amazon at Sam’s Club and Bed Bath & Beyond. I find myself moving them around depending on where I am working in the kitchen. Everyone who comes in the kitchen wants to stand on them – they are so amazing! My only regret is that I didn’t buy them sooner.
I am doing quite well with my “Do Less – Enjoy More” approach to this holiday season. I have turned down a few product reviews because I know I don’t really have the time to do more than I have already committed to doing in the next couple of weeks. Once you start saying “no” it seems to get easier and easier to do it with no guilt!
My holiday shopping is done. There are some things to wrap and a couple things I want to make but I have plenty of time for all of that.
Doing Less – Enjoying More!
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I like to drive around at night and look at the festive holiday lights displays. If the weather is nice it’s even more fun to bundle up and walk through the neighborhood and look at the houses all lit up.
What is one holiday tradition you are looking forward to?