Sneaky snack


When I feel a mite “peckish” like they say in regency romance novels, if I am near grocery store that has a sushi guy, ( many of them in our area do nowadays) I get a sushi roll snack.

I love that sushi ginger and could eat it just plain. But I do like to smother my veggie sushi in it. Like this blurry picture. You can get one of these for under 5 bucks, don’t feel guilty, has some nutrition even. Tasty vegetarian snackage.

I like the ones where they have really teensy julienne veggies in them. One place near us makes that style. I have made these at home but only for more than one person.


United Fresh 2012 workshops


Some other food retailing events happened concurrently with United Fresh–FMI2012 where I had an opportunity to attend this enlightening  workshop –

Know Your Customer

The Business Side of Social Media
Dallas Ballroom, Omni Hotel
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

The world of Facebook and Twitter goes far beyond simple messages between friends. Increasingly it is becoming a fantastic communication and relationship-building tool for both customers and associates. Learn how businesses like yours can create strategies to build stronger bonds and selling opportunities with shoppers through a new in-depth study from the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council. This session will outline steps a company of any size must consider to build a robust and useful social media strategy that can lead to sales, customer loyalty and even improved associate communication.

Moderator: Michael Sansolo, President, Sansolo Solutions, and Research Director, Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America
Panelists: Jerry Golub, President and CEO, Price Chopper Supermarkets
J.K. Symancyk, Chief Operating Officer, Meijer, Inc.
Jesse Spencer, Social Media Manager, The Integer Group
Catherine Green Burns, President, Food Lion, Harveys and Reid’s

Some of the interesting points and comments I heard from panelists at this event:

  • You can’t control what customers say on Twitter, It’s like a window or a megaphone right in the soul of your brand
  • You can end up competing with your own .com
  •  Those who manage you social media, need to be the best “truest” version of your brand, who is that spokesperson and what are the implications for your content?
  • Decide how you will interact with real time incidents and and feedback, positive e and negative
  • Amazing how powerful it is when your customers want to build your brands
  • The challenge is keeping up with the ever evolving expanding platforms
  • Understanding the persona of the social media communicator/facilitator

Lots of great free marketing trend/networking advice  from CocaCola researchers… on their graphic–

Stainless Steel Spice Box part Deux


Here I am starting to fill my spice tiffin. I used my handy dandy P-touch labeler to make my own labels for this, It works! It was easy to fill all my little cups. Unfortunately all these spices I bought at the Indian Grocery stores and they come in pretty big bags, about half a bag fit in this cup. The truth is I will probably never use all these spices fast enough for them to stay fragrant and potent. I am going to give away some of the leftover spice to my friend who bought 7 boxes for her family who also love Indian food and need spices. I should stress that I am planning to do all the rest of my  spices that I do not use everyday this same way?

Dallas Downtown Farmers Market Review


Folks kept asking, ” Why don’t you go down to the really BIG farmer’s market in downtown Dallas?” We went to buy three things, some really fabulous tomatoes, ripe peaches and get some kale. Our local Walmart decided to stop carrying kale. Even the little tag to show it’s spot was gone, Boo hoo! It was the cheapest kale around. Since it is a major component of our morning green smoothies we needed to get some more.

Road trip, on Saturday morning! We went at 8 a.m. The farmers market is located on:

Dallas Farmers Market  1010 S. Pearl Expressway  Dallas, TX 75201

(At the corner of Harwood and Marilla Streets, in the southeast corner of Downtown Dallas.)

Information: 214-939-2808

Open seven-days-a-week from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, 362 days a year.
The Market is CLOSED on New Years Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day

The fresh tomatoes from this stand were amazing! We asked a local farmer who grew mushrooms to point us to the best tomatoes and she pointed out Lemley’s. We bought a small bag of about 8. Turns out that would never be enough! We had friends over and they raved about these tomatoes, just like home grown and what they remembered tomatoes should taste like. The pico we made with these and the fresh Texas sweet onions was so flavorful we used it as salad dressing.

We ended up buying the peaches from them too. They were equally yummy, and we bought some yellow and zucchini squash from another farmer and they were tasty ( but it is hard to ruin squash if the are not too large and seedy). The only disappointment was the watermelon we purchased, it was just OK.

Then we decided to go to the produce wholesalers and buy some corn for corn on the cob with friends, we found a box of 48 ears. Wow, that is a lot of corn, even after friends ate with us for several nights, we still ended up freezing some. The case of kale had like 30 big bunches in it. At 16 dollars a case it’s a great price, I just do not know how to use it before it spoils. I guess I will cook some down and freeze for soups.

The market is open air with covering overhead. The parking was right in front of the stands. There were aisles of local only, then aisles with some additional outside product (like pineapples and Mexican mangoes). They were clearly marked. Lots of selection, Farmers and workers very willing to sample anything . Nice people, everywhere. I will go back often. A lady I met said they have a neighborhood co-op group of 4 ladies who alternate going once a week. That seem like a nice idea, But I am so picky!

Ethnic Market : Tian Tian Supermarket and Caravelle Chinese/Vietnamese Restaurant


Tian Tian  Is located In Richardson, TX, near Arapaho  and 75 at:

400 N Greenville Ave
Richardson, TX 75081

(972) 907-8898

My son Zack and I love this store. We used to always buy the “cup of soup” top ramen style bowls. They have an entire aisle of them, some of them are even vegetarian. Cheap, easy snack and filling!  Easy to fix for the high school/ college man.

They also have beautiful produce for great prices, especially the fresh rice noodles and herbs. I used to go there for the Makret lime leaf for Thai food and cannot seem to find it for sale anywhere local now. I need to grow one of the trees in my backyard this summer. I see the restaurants get it from somewhere?

The place has an extensive fresh fish market with live crayfish, crabs and tons of live ocean critters in fish tanks. Thus you can expect the authentic asian market smell.

There is an entire aisle of soy sauces and one of asian condiments, one of rice and freezers of good looking steamed buns and stuff that I cannot guess what it is!

Nearby is the Caravelle restaurant where we had the best tofu dish ever! Crispy tofu with green beans. I wish I knew how to make mine that crispy.

We also had a mixed veggie stirfry with Chinese Broccoli. The tofu was a revelation and it hooked us on that Chinese broccoli. So  you can shop and eat at this strip mall.

Most days at lunch at Tian Tian they have these steamed banana leaf parcels that have sticky rice and beans and sometimes meat in the center. They look like triangular cones wrapped with banana leaf and strings and are near this counter. They are a great value for lunch too.

They also have a large selection of fresh egg roll and dumpling wrappers and also a nice selection of dried rice paper wrappers and the more elusive tapioca starch wrappers. Interesting asian fruits and veggies here too.

Here is a pic of Caravelle’s fried tofu with green beans, making my mouth water. They have an extensive Chinese and Vietnamese menu. I could eat there every day, but it is pricey–


Ethnic Market- Fiesta Mart

Fiesta Mart
1200 East Parker Road
Plano, TX 75074-5383
(972) 881-3211
There are lots of outlets of this grocery store in the DFW area, This one is the closest to us. We go for the El Salvadorean little red beans, rice, fresh produce ( such gorgeous cheap Produce) and their nice cafe lady who dishes up some yummy beans and rice. She cooks nopalitos ( cactus paddles) with tomatoes and onions too.They have their own tortilla machines, a lovely bakery ,and someone making the fresh bebidas ( fruit and water) drinks.
Last time I went for this  product, Which I am stocking up on. I am afraid it may not be

available after I decided it is the key ingredient in my veggie tamale masa dough! It has a smoky roasted flavor and little brown bits of caramelized vegetables. I love this product I think I have 2 jars left, it used to be available at Walmart but now only at Fiesta, so I guess I will go get some more–


Ethnic Market- Super Providencia Community Market



Super Providencia Community Market

This is a local Mckinney (Hwy 5) Hispanic market.

821 N Mcdonald St
Mckinney, TX 75069 -2141

(469) 952-3090

The have lots of interesting finds here. They have their own bakery, with lovely sweet rolls. The have lots of great tortilla selections. we bought some bottled passion fruit concentrate there. You can buy fresh Masa dough for tamales in huge bags in the fridge. They have lots of spices.

They have cheap prices on produce too. Often it has an organic look that the average western shopper will not like. However, many times the flavor is just as good or better. I buy corn husks for tamales here, and tomatillos and poblanos. I buy chipotles made into salsas.

I must have  some chile lime salt to flavor my watermelon. This is a popular brand, they have several types at La Independencia!

I know it is an acquired taste but I love the stuff! So does Nick, My son-in-law who I have hooked on it too.   I like it on all kinds of fruit, cucumbers too and even on slices of raw fresh coconut!

Ethnic Market- Desi Bazaar


This is a small local market on the corner of Bethany and Greenville in Allen, Tx. This is not the place I usually buy produce, it has a pretty limited selection. They do have wonderful spice blends and mixes in boxes, Ready to heat and eat Indian Meals, and great prices on rice and garbanzo beans, cashews and pistachios.

They have many unusual dals (lentils and dried beans) and special flours for cooking Indian at home. They have Indian sweets and snacks. I go about 2X a month to restock, mostly, It is for the Jumbo Vegetarian Samosas ( potato filled pastries)  in the freezer section. These are great and come with some sauce packets. I buy tamarind chutneys and cilantro chutneys in jars here, for when I am too lazy to make the samosas and sauce from scratch. They are always a favorite with my guests. This is the closest Indian Market to me and I go often.

Here is some info from them but no picture.  Wait, here is a picture of a samosa! They usually have this cone shape.


“We gladly not only meet the price of our area competitors within 5 miles radius, but also beat it by 5%. Our competitors excludes price clubs, wholesale shops, Super markets, special Holiday sales, and reflects the size of business operation. Remember we proudly represent and serve Indian, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi communities.”


801 S Greenville Ave., Suite 117 Allen, TX 75002 – (214) 383-2046
Open Mon-Sat 10am-9pm; Sun 10am-8pm