We also road around looking at new housing developments (staking out Poppy's competition, *smile*). We ended up stopping at Whole Foods. I so hope that you have a whole foods location by you. It is a grocery store, that is amazing. The food is gorgeous in the way that it is marketed. The company mission statement describes Whole foods as the following:
We obtain our products locally and from all over the world, often from small, uniquely dedicated food artisans. We strive to offer the highest quality, least processed, most flavorful and naturally preserved foods. Why? Because food in its purest state — unadulterated by artificial additives, sweeteners, colorings and preservatives — is the best tasting and most nutritious food available. http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/
I agree. There are all sorts of samples throughout the store. The fresh seafood on display and the vegetables are like art in display, as is the CHEESE section and OLIVE OIL station. I don't even have to talk about the food buffet for prepared to go salads, meats and vegetables.
I have been on a mission since my trip to my cousin Elaine and Paul's cabin to find this certain compote. Paul's niece had brought home from Italy. Try finding it in the states-HA! But finally yesterday at Whole foods I found something comparable and bought it. The compote I purchased is called Roasted Garlic and Onion Jam. The way you eat it, as told to me by Elaine, is to take a slice of the fresh baguette, top it with the compote and then a slice of really amazing cheese. She used a big wheel that she cut from, also from Italy. It tasted like something from the Parmesan family. At Whole Foods there were a ridiculous amount of cheeses available, all ready to be tasted. I chose to purchase the Gruyere Surchoix. It had a rich and nutty flavor, similar to a Parmesan, yet a slight bit softer in texture. Oh, So good. DELICIOUS.
While in the CHEESE SECTION, a lady there was cooking up something undeniable delicious, and offering samples. It was basically Mac and Cheese. It made me feel so happy. I almost cried.
Anyway, I asked her how she made it and she gave me the recipe below. I made it on Saturday night and got rave reviews. I think the secret was the cheese, using Wisconsin Seaside Cheddar. It was a light yellow cheddar. I am sure if you cannot find it at your grocer that any cheddar will compare. This melted so well (I cut it into chunks) and was so creamy.
Seaside Cheddar Mac and Cheese
1 package of pasta
1 stick butter
1 half and half
1 cup (more of less) of Wisconsin Seaside Cheddar
salt and pepper to taste
Cook pasta according to package. Allow water to mostly cook out of pot .Do not drain all from pot, allow some to remain (I reserved about 1/2 cup). To that I added my stick of butter (I didn't use a whole stick, about 5-6 TBSP), then the half and half. I again didn't add the entire amount, I used reserved about a forth in the container. Cheese, I used all. In cooking, play with it until it is the texture and taste you prefer. Mine was a big hit for me and Big Daddy. My kids preferred the orange cheddar. True this is not a healthy dish, but it was so good on a cold blustery day. Comfort food. Don't deny-just enjoy in moderation.
After estate sales, whole foods, mom and I ate lunch at Taziki's. I finally got to try their special, balsamic penne pasta. Lets just say, I had lunch their two days in a row. The special is only available Friday and Saturday. Then we went back to mom's house. Her house sits back in a cul de sac and behind that is all woods. It is the perfect spot for bird watching. I sat at their kitchen table with my mom and dad, sipping hot tea and photographing bird while they looked up species in their bird book. It was really enjoyable and relaxing. A nice day.