Well hello there. Haven’t heard from me in awhile, huh? I’m back to share some of the things that are currently in heavy rotation in this house. I often get emails and texts from friends asking for advice on what wine or brand of cereal or frozen pie crust I like, so here are a few of the mainstream grocery items that make me happy every time… (and p.s. no one is paying me or perking me to give these shout-outs.)
Fage 2% plain Greek yogurt I used to roll my eyes at the people who spent extra money buying Greek yogurt when I would buy the cheaper regular yogurt and strain at home. Then I tasted Fage, and I am a convert. It’s not the same as straining yogurt at home. Even though this is low in calories and fat, it’s extremely thick and creamy tasting. Honestly, it tastes like full-fat, which would be my choice if I wasn’t concerned about all that artery-clogging cream. Oh, and the 0% isn’t as good. I’ve tried it and, trust me, it’s far less tasty.
Pure maple syrup (NOT pancake syrup!) If I could teach the world to sing, it would be a song about getting rid of fake pancake syrup from our kitchens. I choose few things to be a food snob about, and this is one of them. Now, clearly, since I grew up in Florida, I wouldn’t really know the difference between maple syrups, so I just make sure it’s 100% pure and grade A dark amber. I love it on top of the aforementioned Greek yogurt. It’s an obsession. If you usually put sugar in your coffee, try maple syrup—a trick my mom taught me. Just a teaspoon or so…it’s sweeter than sugar (to me) so I use less. It’s a natural food and it’s not refined…so I feel like it’s a better choice.
Wild Planet Tuna Big lunch salads are a common occurrence at Chez Farmand, and for added protein, our canned fish of choice is this tuna. Besides the fact that it’s sustainably caught and low in mercury,it’s really delicious. Meaty, never grainy or mealy, and not as dry as other brands. We get it at Whole Foods and it is not cheap, but it’s worth it.
Dansk Farms Raw Orange Blossom Honey Do yourself a big favor and get some of this immediately. You know how I said I wouldn’t know the difference between maple syrups? Well, I can absolutely tell the difference between honeys after tasting this one. Dansk is my favorite. It’s so pure-tasting, not saccharine or cloying and just plain good. I find myself thinking of ways to use it…a touch in salad dressings, drizzled on toast, in my tea, on a frozen banana, in smoothies…the list goes on.
Gia Russa Tomato & Basil pasta sauce Yes, this sauce costs twice what Prego or Ragu does. But it’s also much, much better! As far as I can see, this is one of only 2 or 3 brands on Publix or Target shelves that doesn’t have sugar in the ingredients list. It’s light, but has a really nice body to it. Their vodka sauce is also fabulous, but contains a whole lotta cream, so it’s not something I like to have on hand. Because I’ll eat it. All of it.
Chateau Ste. Michelle Chardonnay and Cupcake Chardonnay No, I am not a wine connoisseur, and perhaps these are not the most high-end choices. But I love these wines. I never used to be much of a white wine drinker, but lately, buttery, oaky chardonnay is my drink of choice. It might even be edging out Champagne (just don’t tell Mme. Cliquot). Both are less than $10, and both are fab on their own and with food. p.s. I’ve heard Cupcake red wine isn’t stellar. Haven’t tried it, but just so you know.
Morningstar Farms Veggie Sausage Patties Now, I love pork as much as the next gal. In fact, I probably love it more than she does. But it’s not the best for your heart (or your waistline). I picked these up on a whim because I had a coupon and I hadn’t tried anything more adventurous than veggie burgers. And I have to say, these are pretty awesome. They get super crispy in the oven, and each patty has 10 grams protein and only 80 calories and 1/2 gram saturated fat. But seriously, the best part is, they taste good. They taste like sausage. I swear!
C2O Coconut Water I have fully hopped on board the coconut water bandwagon. It’s like natural Gatorade—only better since it’s 100% natural. It’s loaded with potassium and other electrolytes you need to stay hydrated but it doesn’t have added sugars. After a long workout, it’s so perfect. After a night of too many glasses of Cupcake chardonnay, it’s so perfect. I think C2O is the best tasting, and it happens to be the least expensive at Whole Foods. I prefer the brands that come in cans instead of the little cardboard bottles, because I think those taste like cardboard.
So that’s what I’m loving right now. What are your favorite, go-to grocery items?