a whole new world, via Whole Foods!

About two weeks ago I heard thru the grapevine that we were going to be getting a Whole Foods Market. I instantly became excited. When I moved to South Carolina I had high hopes for Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Cost Co. How disappointed was I when I found out the closest ones were 3+ hours away! I figured moving from a rural town in New York to a southern state like SC I’d find them, but no…  no I did not. But anyways, happiness now because two days ago I found out that it (being Whole Foods) opened its glorious doors on October 25th. So we set out this morning for a mere 26 mile journey and it was totally worth it.

After several spins around the parking lot we finally found a parking space and when I walked thru those doors, I was in heaven. There were fruits and vegetables piled high in amazing colors, I could see the bulk section from the doors, they were sampling chocolates and cupcakes and cheeses. Pure bliss I tell you. Unfortunately, even though it was a Monday it was still incredibly crowded. I’m assuming it was due to it only being open a few days, I’m hoping the crowds will die down eventually.. I don’t think I’d enjoy grocery shopping and playing bumper carts too. But anyways, my loyal boy pushed the cart dutifully thru the crowded aisles and never complained once. I even went thru the bulk section twice, just because I wanted to and he never said a word. This is why I love him.

So, my favorite parts were as follows:

Beautiful sparkling new bulk bins filled with all sorts of things.. including 10 different types of dried mushrooms, 8 different types of flavored sea salts, 6 different types of grind your own nut butters and all the regular beans and grains you’d expect from WF.

The produce section. Oh, my, goodness. I wasn’t joking earlier when I said the fruits and vegetables were piled high in amazing colors.. unfortunately I have been succumbed to Wal*Mart produce for far too long and I felt like my eyes were going to bleed from the insane amount of colors. Plus they had great variety and in the first cooler case were packages of freshly cut fruits & veggies and freshly squeezed juices… I’d normally not buy pre-cut fruits and veggies, but they were so beautiful.. soo soo beautiful.

The 10+ foot long bakery counter! They had bagels. BAGELS I TELL YOU. Do you know how hard it is to find a freaking BAGEL down here?! Creme puffs and cheesecakes and fudgy brownies, cookies by the pound… they had whole wheat breads, sourdough breads, rosemary and thyme. Baguettes and french breads and perfectly executed roses on top of decadent cakes.

The cheese counter. They had cranberry cheddar for sampling. I easily would have devoured the whole entire case if I had no self control. I’m thinking about buying some for Thanksgiving or Christmas to have as an appetizer.

Pretty much, I could just talk about every single aisle and department in the whole place all night and be perfectly content with it. Obviously I loved the whole store. My biggest disappointment was not having a ton of cash to spend and the fact that I will be out of town for 2 weeks and couldn’t stock up on too many perishable foods.

What I did buy was a few ridiculously good deals.

We got…

a small Tofurky roast to try before Thanksgiving.. the boy wants to make sure his vegetarian turkey is up to par before the big day arrives. I know for a fact I enjoy it, but we got it for $6 and I really couldn’t say no to that since it’s usually $10+ dollars.

Two different and unusual flavors of Tofurky sliced deli meats… a roast beef and an Italian deli. I’m a fan of the sliced deli meats because I enjoy making a sandwich every now and then and it’s a lot more convenient to have them pre-cut and ready to eat.

And the hummus was to awesome of a deal to pass up. 99 cents for those suckers. Hummus is usually pretty expensive so the shelves were almost wiped clean. Plus, have you ever seen Cinnamon Raisin hummus?! Couldn’t pass it up. Same with the wasabi… I do love me some wasabi.. especially with cucumbers… yum! The artichoke and spinach is for the boy, he claims he doesn’t like hummus but said he’d try this flavor. So whatevs. 99 cents, who cares! I’m freezing these packages since I’ve already got one opened, so I can’t vouch on their flavors yet, but I’ll definitely be reviewing them as I open them.

I also bought a bag of sea salted Rice Chips (not pictured) because I love them. All together, I spent 15 bucks. Megan, I know you’d be disappointed. But I assure you, when I get home from NY and I’ve got some groceries to get, I’ll surely be going to Whole Foods.

october is seriously my favorite

I absolutely love October. Love it. I love everything about it. The leaves are almost always completely changed and beautiful, the air is crisp, apples are in abundance, pumpkins, Halloween, scary movies!!! My list could go on and on and on.

This year is quite different however. I’m no longer in apple country… it’s no longer 50 degrees out and rainy/windy/just plain ol’ cold. The leaves haven’t QUITE changed yet.. it was 80 when I carved my pumpkin!! Life has certainly changed.

Wanna see our pumpkins? Okay!

This is Matt’s (my fiance) pumpkin.. he chose the bat clawing the pumpkin. So cute =)

This is mine! It’s a cute little kitty with a pumpkin and some spoooooky bats. Adorable.

These are all 3 that we did… the third one we worked on together and although it was the easiest one, it ended up looking the crappiest.

They always look so much better when they’re lit up!

So obviously, if you carve pumpkins, you should always always always roast the seeds. And of course we did. We decided on plain ol’ salted and cinnamon & sugar. The cinnamon sugar ones could have used double the amount, but they’re still delicious.

We all had quite the debate though… Half the family was saying you aren’t supposed to eat the harder shell on the outside and the other half was saying you could, and should. I had never really heard of anyone cracking the shells open like sunflower seeds until I met this family.. I always eat the seeds whole. The only time I actually eat the inside part by itself is when I buy them specifically (also known as pepitas!). What do ya’ll do? Do you shell them like sunflower seeds? Do you suck on them and spit them out? Or do you devour the whole delicious thing?

It has been far.too.long!

I’ve realized I do a lot of apologizing on this blog and I’ve really got to change that. So this is my last apology..

I AM SORRY I HAVE NEGLECTED YOU, BEEN A BAD BLOGGER & HAVE NOT SHARED MY FOOD EXPERIENCES SINCE MARCH.

Okay. So in saying that, without getting too personal, things have SEVERELY changed (and for the best!!).

1: I’ve moved to South Carolina, officially.

2: I’ve gotten engaged! =D

3: We are expecting our first child in January, a special little boy =)

Now on to the foodz.

These are amazing Buffalo Cauliflower bites we made for pizza night.. they were deliciously spicy and were excellent thrown into a salad the next day!


BBQ Chicken pizza with mushrooms and green peppers…

This is the Pioneer Woman’s taco pizza… IT IS SERIOUSLY AMAZING. I have made this sooo many times and it’s seriously one of my favorite foods. Out on the grill with little charred bits of dough, mm mm good. It’s awesome too because you can serve it cold or room temperature, so you don’t really have to worry about it being HOT when guests come over. Downfall, it’s severely messy. But that’s what forks are for! =)

This is kinda just a shot of the counter on pizza night. Pizza, buffalo bites, salad, soda, board games & family… perfection!

Orange Scented Apple Bundt cake with cider glaze.

No Knead Bread… freaking fantastic. Super easy, even a 4 year old could do it!

This was originally a recipe from the Food Network magazine for Sausage Broccolini risotto, but being a vegetarian my fiance and I changed it up quite a bit and fell in love with it. We make this seriously, like once every two weeks or so. It’s so delicious and it cooks in the oven, no stirring required.

These are from the cookbook 750 Best Muffin recipes and are a combination of 3 different recipes. I ended up calling them Pumpkin Apple Struesel Muffins. They were, of course, delicious.

These last few pictures are a thing of beauty. Apple Cinnamon Pretzels. I actually JUST made them, this very  morning.
Look at how puffy that dough is, how golden and crispy the pretzels came out. The dough recipe was seriously one of the easiest I’ve used.. it only had to rise for an hour and it turned out exactly how I would have expected. I’m going to use the dough recipe for future things… like garlic knots =) But seriously, the hardest part was rolling the dough into ropes. The apple chunks kept falling out and they would make parts of the ropes too thick or too thin. They are not overly sweet, they have just a hint of cinnamon and apple…. they could easily be dipped into something super sweet like caramel, or something more savory like honey mustard. In fact, that’s how I’m going to be eating them later. The only regret I have is that I wish I had sprinkled some coarse salt on top before I baked them, because they could definitely use some salt.

So those are my recent food adventures. I’m not going to make any promises or say any more apologies, but I really really do miss this blog and I’m going to do my best with updating it. I hope that there are still a few of you who linger, occasionally checking up on me..
Bon Appetit!

ps: I’m going to add a link to my food board on pinterest. Some of the recipes I’ve been using lately have come from pinterest and I have pinned them on this board. Plus, I think it’s the coolest thing ever to be able to pin delicious recipes for later! Leave a comment with your food boards too, I’d love to view them! =)