Conroe Saturday AM market

  (Conroe, Texas)
Exciting ways to use Produce
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An aspiring new Baker comes to Market

A talented young aspiring Baker found her way to Conroe's Farmer's market today. Ready to make her mark, in her corner of the world. Gluten free breads. Brownies, Muffins, and cookies. I was sold on the large loaves of bread and Peanut butter cookies. 

Peas Farm produce was offering several varites of Greens, Potatoes, Tomatoes and Winter squash. Cassava root was also available and I understand it is tricky to prepare. 

Good Eats 2 Go  was ready with Hot Chocolate , Baked potato soup, Sausage, and Chicken Salad sandwiches.

 A great day for eating and enjoying the outdoors in downtown Conroe TX.

When I returned home the Wife and i broke into our White loaf of bread. And what a pleasant surprise. Bologna was readily available, Mayonaise on the bread first, Baby spinach leaves then SamM Salsa (Diced tomato,White onions, & Apple cider vinegar). Bologna was last. After I realized how wonderful the bread was I decided not to use any more processed Bologna. And I made 2 more sandwiches during the course of the evening with the veggies only. Sharing this experience with you causes the juices to flow and I may make another veggie sandwich before retiring tonight. 





The Wife is home from Hospital

Last Thursday The Wife went into the hospital unexpectedly. I have been out of sorts for a few days . Today she came home. I brought her home after market. I learned she is on a Low Fiber diet. Conroe's farmer market is open again tomorrow before the Clint Black Benefit concert. I will speak with Chef Michael Fleshner and Elvis from Peas Farm and learn about Low fiber diets.

Before picking up The Wife I bought Fresh Tomatoes, Large Baked Potatoes, Fresh Green Beans,Yellow pepper, Macintosh Apple, Cilantro, and I also picked up Fresh spinach, and White onions. Until I speak with Chef Michael or Elvis I will not know if I bought the best fresh produce for a low fiber diet. I will do my research and prepare what is best for The Wife.

Tonight I put together Cream tomato soup for The Wife, Lime jello, and Chocolate pudding. It's what she was used to in the hospital. On our way home we stopped at the grocery store so she could pick the items the nurse told her to eat. Slowly we are going to get back to solid foods and I will learn a healthier way to prepare our meals.



The wife and I were Secret Shoppers at a local Cafe

The Woodlands La Madeleine  Visit

On Wednesday Aug. 31, 2011 the wife and I visited The

Woodlands La Madeleine Cafe between 7:30 and 8:15 pm. It

was a pleasant visit. My wife knowing that we were Secret

Shopping chose to be the difficult customer to see how

the staff would handle it.

Allow me to start from my first impressions. As we

approached the Cafe I noticed retail food jars neatly

displayed in the window. And the Cafe had WiFi. Upon

entering we were greeted by a friendly fella in a red

shirt and fancy French hat. We explained it was our first

visit and needed someone to walk us through the ordering

process.( that was not totally honest b'cause our

daughter had previously been employed at La Madeleine's

and we had visited her in the past as guests) Our red

shirted greeter explained the Rosemary Rotisserie Chicken

Dinner to my wife. My wife settled in on the mid range

price item but thought she was getting a side of

vegetable also. The youngest of the servers told her "Our

greeter doesn't know how the pricing works, I will not be

giving you Broccoli" After we paid and sat down my wife

returned to the cashier and fussed that she was given two

different stories at the door about how to order her

food. And the orange haired lady offered a dish of

Broccoli that my wife readily accepted.I found the Men's

restroom acceptable clean and organized. The wife comment

on the Women's restroom was. " Did you see dirty pipes

under the sink ? We had dirty pipes."

Now that we have the difficult customer handled let me

share my observations. I chose the Savory Sampler, I had

Spinach Pochette with a Caeser salad, Tomato basil soup

and I added a $1.79 cent version of Tiramisu. Upon going

to the self serve bar I chose Lemon ice water Several

pieces of 7 Grain bread, Honey and Berry Jam. Balancing

all of this on my tray I headed for the the dining room

that would allow me to observe the staff while we

visited. I started to lose my balance as I stepped from a

tile floor to a wooden floor. I caught myself and and

dinner was saved. I did agree with my wife that her 1/2

chicken was a little dry, yet at the same time my wife

prefers her food cooked med well. My wife and I enjoyed

each others company. Made plans to see a movie after

dinner and reminisced over past meals we had enjoyed

while visiting as guests when our daughter was employed

at La Madeleine's.

Other observations I made had to do with staff

attentiveness to the 20 customers that were in the cafe

while we visited. Mr. redshirt and gal with orange hair

visited continuously clearing tables and making sure our

needs and those of the other guests were being taken care

of. Servers behind the line would visit and when the

older of the two servers(dark hair) noticed a customer

they would both react to take care of customers needs.

Cook/chef in kitchen was the only  employee in a

different hat (baseball cap). And the only comment to

make about the cooking area were the clutter of loose

life binders in the back corner on the top shelf.

Otherwise the area appeared to be organized. The serving

line also was well maintained. I would find it rewarding

to be part of this establishment. Especially as it

pertains to Fresh baked 7Grain bread every day and the

dining room staff attentiveness.





SamM salsa a winner again Say la Vie

Coming home this afternoon I could visualize 4 boxes of Macaroni and Cheese in the pantry. S0, I decided one needed to be cooked off. I started with cooking liquid from the fridge. Brought it to a boil and added the macaroni noodles. Thawed out 2 hotdogs under running water and 1/2 inch sliced them into the hot pasta. Opened the cheese packet into a jar and added 1/2 cup of cooking liquid. Stirred, and added it into the hot pot. Separated 2 raw eggs and incorporated the egg yolks. Then whipped the egg whites until frothy, seasoning with Sea salt ,sage, and nutmeg. The Seasoned egg whites were added back in to the hot pot with the fire now turned off. After it cooled for 10 min. I portioned the pasta dish into bowls. And topped with the current SamM salsa { Tomato, Onion, Balsamic vinegar Yellow sweet pepper, & Spinach}

While I was creating this pasta dish the wife was eating nine of twelve mini cinnamon rolls.  When I received her bowl back from her , She ate the SamM salsa off the top and told me that is all she was Hungry for. I ate all of my pasta bowl and then some of hers. Say La Vie


Smoked Chicken, Corn and Potato or Broccoli rice

Dinner tonight was started 3 hours early in anticipation of a 4pm dinner. The wife loves her Large baked Potatoes. And I did not want that to hold up dinner. So into the oven at 1pm on a 1 hour timer at 350F went the Large baker. When that came out it was time to bake the 4 Chicken thighs in Broccoli rice that had Parmesan tomato soup added to it. That baked at 350 F as did the potato with the sea salt, black pepper and canola oil.One more comment about the Chicken thighs, When I purchased and divided the Chicken thighs into manageable packages, I marinated them in Allegro smoke marinade. I also prepared Corn on the cob by boiling water with margarine and fresh guajillo pepper seeds {from a dish in the kitchen window}. At 4pm when the wife walked in the door, Dinner was ready to be served. As I anticipated she chose the Potato, one Smoked chicken thigh and the largest piece of Cobbed corn. I had 2 of the three thighs, Tomato parmesan broccoli rice, and the smaller cobbed corn. The meal was filled with lively conversation as we shared our accomplishments for the day. And now the wife has asked me to enjoy a TV program on 'Fit and Health' channel with her. I will oblige.

SamM Salsa re-vamped for dinner tonight

Dinner tonight was Steak fajita. I had it leftover from a Sunday potluck at church. So what do I add to tortillia, Steak strips, Shredded colby cheese and shredded Lettuce that the wife packaged up and brought home. Simple, I add Mondays Rice and Broccoli minus the chicken. And then I take my SamM salsa, being sure to pour some of the Balsamic vinegar on top of the finished fajita.

 I did change the SamM salsa a little tonight by adding diced Yellow sweet peppers, Fresh chopped Baby spinach, Tbsp. of Balsamic vinegar and 4 more variety Tomato. I now have 2 cups of a fabulous salsa to season food the rest of this week.

SamM salsa is such a versatile seasoning agent. I picked up a Fresh loaf of Italian Bread today. Problably before I hit the pillow tonight I will cut off the ends of the loaf, dip them in the salsa juice. And have sweet italian dreams.


Store bought Baby dills WON Hands Down

I waited to share the results because I had to show my salsa infused sliced Pickles to Chef Michael and Elvis at Market today.                   Here's what I told them:

1) When I opened the jar on Friday the pickle juice was bubbling.

2) I threw away the Fresh Spices that were on top saving the Garlic     cloves.

3) When I pulled out the 1/8 inch thick slices the cucumber flesh disintegrated and I was holding on to the skin only.

4) I was not able to detect a foul smell. It was my first attempt at trying to create pickles.

5) I lied; I tasted one and was not sure if I was tasting something unique.

Elvis had half a smile as he explained, "Because of the bubbling effect a bacteria had been somehow been introduced to my final product." It was time to say goodbye to my Salsa / Pickle experiment.                          What could the cause had been?

1) I may not have used a sterile canning jar.

2) I skimped on the vinegar because I added salsa when I was making them.

3) The acidity from the tomatoes in the salsa, suggested Chef Michael, May have had a factor in encouraging bacteria growth.

I have decide to give the thin slice pickle experiment one last shot. Elvis suggested I re-sterilize the lid and Mason jar. Before I add in my thin sliced cukes I should shock them in an ice bath.This will retain their crunchiness. Chef Michael added,"And leave out the Tomatoes until after the 5 day curing process." It will be later this week before I try again. I will share the results, good or bad, in a few weeks.

Also, This weeks find at Market were Fresh Green Beans and several different varities of Tomatoes for the SamM salsa. I am still wanting to play with making Fresh mozzarella. The thermometer that reads 88 F and 102 F has to still be purchased.  




I am Ba-a-a-a-ack with an Omelet

It was a wonderful trip to see a Friend graduate from college. And now that I am home I will begin sharing again. Our internet is acting up at home so, I may be sporadic until our connection improves. This morning waking up after  a 14 hour trip I decided I would go for an omelet. Yesterday when we made it home, a take-out chicken tender dinner, was our meal of choice. This morning I sauteed Peas Farm Green peppers. Mixed 4 eggs with 1/4 c Country Gravy. Scrambled the eggs with the peppers. And added mozzarella cheese. To finish out the breakfast entree I took 2 yeast rolls from last nights dinner. Placed the rolls in the bottom of a bowl added the eggs and topped it off with more country gravy. And now my body will recover as I return to my fresh veggies diet. Time away with friends is great. We always love it though when we get back home. 

SamM I Am, I like green eggs and ham

SamM I Am "I like Green eggs and Ham". Until a few months a go I did not know Green eggs were real. Peas Farm showed me the reality. They bring Organic Eggs to Market every Saturday and often they are the first thing they sell out of. Here is my twist on Green eggs and Ham. Last week a neighbor was helping me locate Kiwi Strawberry drink. I shop at that grocery store that he is a supervisor at. And they have not been stocking their brand of the drink on the shelves, so I asked for his help in finding where they do. He found the Strawberry Kiwi juice in a competitors refrigerator section. I have been searching the refrigerator section at my preferred grocery stores, now, and still have not found the juice. So I am stocking Passion Fruit juice at my house in the meantime. I woke up this morning wanting a glass of Passion Fruit. I had to decide ; What will go great with it ? And when I was done creating I realized I was having Green Eggs and Ham. I started with Bacon pieces in the hot frying pan. I added leftover shredded potatoes. Poured in an egg mixture that included,meat first,Chicken base and day old bread that had been soaked in Corn Beef stock. I love cleaning out my fridge and finding unique flavors that marry well.Chef Michael Fleshner taught me that he found success during job interviews asking  his prospective employers to show him the current contents of their walk-in cooler and I will create a fabulous meal for you NOW.On with my twist for Green eggs and ham.  I stirred this egg and bacon concoction until the eggs were scrambled and cooked. I then added my current SamM salsa {Tomatoes, Green honeydew, Yellow Hungarian Peppers, Honey, Balsamic vinegar} and finished it with shredded cheese. I poured my completed entree over Flat bread in a bowl cut into quarters. It is unfortunate that I cannot show an exact picture of my creation. The wife and I have not figured out how to transfer pictures from our phone or camera to our computer. One of our techy children will have to intervene.



Omelot to finish out the week

Tomorrow Saturday July 9 should be another exciting visit to dwntwn Conroe. I am hoping that Elvis with Peas Farm will have Guajillo Peppers so I can learn to make Adobo sauce from scratch. This evening for dinner I cleared out the fridge with the weeks leftovers and made a 5 egg omelot for the wife and I. " How was dinner ? Honey. " Her answer," You did not see anything left for the dog on my plate. I finished it b'cause it was good." Into the omelot pan went 1) 4th of July  Italian Sausage, 2) Potatoes O'brien, 3) Parmesan Cheese and 4) SamM Salsa with Frederickburg Peaches 5) Cilantro for a garnish and 6) Whole grain Wheat bread, tstd. I poured the juice from the SamM salsa on the toast instead of margarine and I shed a tear as I tasted a new way to flavor my toast. If I find the Guajillo Peppers at market tomorrow next week may be filled with 10 ways to use Adobo sauce.
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