I wandered by one of our neighborhood Italian specialty stores, Rosario’s today. It is a pretty friendly place carrying an interesting array of yummies. Good rose hip jam, lingonberry preserves, some French items, some local items (Beth’s jams!), quality canned tomatoes of varied brands, wide variety of olive oils, pastas, etc. The Mozz is NOT as good as Sorriso’s. It just is not. But they carry marinated anchovies (the sweet and savory, delicious kind you buy cold in sealed containers. These aren’t your normal anchovies in a JAR/CAN.) a good two dollars cheaper per container, though and they ARE just as good. They also carry taleggio which I haven’t seen anywhere else in the ‘hood. I had a little pile with the cheese and anchovies and a soda and woman grabs my taleggio and starts asking the guy attending ME how much the anchovies were…

Um. Rude from several angles.

That is the second time this month I’ve seen someone handle food that wasn’t THEIRS at a store I frequent. The first was way worse. NEVER buy olives from the bar. Anywhere… is all I will say, but this was kinda weird, too. Yeah, it was wrapped but REALLY? Hands on someone else’s purchases while they are right there obviously purchasing. Little weird.

Also, the prosciutto wasn’t sliced thinly…at ALL. It was tasty but not as tasty as it would be if sliced correctly. Sad.

No Great Shakes

June 2, 2010

I’m sharing some enthusiasm for good food, local food, greenmarkets, CSAs and a few recipes as they present themselves. MOSTLY? out of boredom. No Shakespeare here. I would venture to say I’m not even rivaling Danielle Steele so…yeahhhhh. The writing is no great shakes on Frugal Foodie in Astoria. As. You were.

That being said, here is a summer treat that is a great shake:

“The Mark”‘s Chocolate Shake

Ideally, you have a glass or metal blender attachment and can chill it prior to adding the following:

– 4 cups high quality vanilla ice cream (Mr. John’s is ideal but also VANILLA BEAN is really excellent. I think Aiden’s makes one and there are others.)
– 4 cups whole milk
– 1/3 cup of Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup

Blend until creamy but pourable. Do not liquify (highest setting on a Kitchenaid). It is supposed to be lightly chocolate flavored so if you want to add more syrup or shave on chocolate to top, go for it, but I think the genius in it is the simplicity.

Raining Babies

June 2, 2010

Three women I know have had babies this month and more are to follow SO this past week I’ve been cooking up a storm. I’ve made batches of the tabouli recipe, “Kick-A** Hummus” from Crunchy Chicken Cooks blog (which is EXCELLENT), two giant pans of vegetarian lasagna, two kinds of pesto, pumpkin applesauce muffins, banana muffins, warm lentil salad…yeah…it got out of hand. The warm lentil salad is great over a bed of spinach with some of the tabouli on the side and some roasted chicken, if you feel like it:

Warm French Lentil Salad

– 2 cups of french lentils
– 4 cups of broth (I used vegetable)
– 3 to 5 cloves of garlic
– 1 red onion, medium
– 5 carrots, roughly chopped
– 3 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
– sea salt
– 1/4 cup olive oil
– 1/4 cup tarragon white wine vinegar (or what you have…champagne and red wine are both fine)
– herbs on hand (I used fresh rosemary, dried herbs de provence and thyme)

Boil the lentils, herbs and chopped carrots for 35 minutes in the broth. Most liquid will be gone. Let cool slightly then add chopped celery, onion, olive oil and salt. Meanwhile, saute garlic and add to the mixture. After the mixture comes to room temperature, add the vinegar. Serve over a bed of baby spinach. Crumbled feta or goat cheese over this is lovely.