Sunday morning the air was chilly enough to convince me that turning on the oven for a few minutes wouldn’t force us to turn on the air conditioner. Gwen Steege’s book, The Search for the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie, was squeezed between other cookbooks on my bookshelves; there are 137 pages of recipes for award winning cookies, but I decided to try one that I printed off after a friends mother posted a link on Facebook. Personal references can be a bit more trustworthy. Of course my batch didn’t have exactly the same ingredients, so… In the end the fresh cookies were good, and even the day-old and two-day-old ones were still tasty. The edges were crisp and the centers were soft. I’d like to find something that looked more plump and had a bit of the raw cookie dough flavor, but these will do.
Deals and Sales don’t always equal savings, but I was happy to find a way to use a few things I found this week. Aldi’s sale tag on the buffalo wing and cheese flavored sausages had caught my eye. Marshall’s discounted foods section had told me that I would save two dollars by purchasing their Hot & Spicy Cajun Style spice blend. The grocery store’s bottle of four cheese alfredo sauce had been less expensive than ingredients to make it from scratch, so there was savings there, too.
My husband suggested I combine these so that we could have cajun pasta. The meal turned out tasty, but it was something too rich too eat every night. Actually, we did have it several times over two weeks, since I bought two packages of the sausages. The first time I made the alfredo from scratch. The flavor from the freshly shredded Asiago cheese was superior to that of the bottled four-cheese alfredo sauce. However, it isn’t easy to keep a scratch alfredo creamy very long.
My boss flew down to Colombia this week. With the anticipation of his trip came memories of the foods that we enjoyed when my husband and I spent three plus years in Bogota. Even if my boss would sneak food through customs, by the time the almojabanas made it to us they would no doubt be stale. Instead, my husband and I drove around what you might call “the ‘hood” of Philadelphia looking for a store that would sell us Colombian groceries. Cousins did not disappoint (except for the fact that they are not close to our apartment): we walked away with cheese-filled refrigerated arepas, a bag of masarepa (to make fresh ones ourselves), and a ball of Mexican Oaxaca cheese. Pretty as they make look, the arepas turned out rather bland. I also need to figure out the right ratio of masarepa to water before I try to make my own.
“Yeah, Me Too” is unique. We knew we would miss the neighborhood store front where we could buy small batch roasted coffee back in Columbus. We sort of expected a big city like Philadelphia to have a few more options, but right now it seems that here non-chain coffee roasters are as elusive as non-chain bookstores.
Elcy’s Cafe is at the Glenside train stop, about two miles from where we live. They sell Valley Green Coffee. The first time we bought beans from them, Joel ended up buying a two-pound bag, because the rest of the selection was date stamped several days past. We added cinnamon each time we brewed that “Devil’s Pool” roast. This week we got a smaller, 12 oz. package. “Forbidded Drive” is described as, “Refreshes your soul like a summer morning’s walk with your best friend. Hints of dark chocolate.” Since Forbidden Drive is an actual place in quite nice Fairmount Park, we had hopes that the description would match the flavor. It certainly is different, but the hint of chocolate might have to speak up a bit.
“It kind of had a sense of twigs to me at first.”