free sample addict aka Tracy L's Profile

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What do you think is the future of grocery stores?

I got an email last week that my local Fresh Market was closing 6 months after opening. They blame it on the area's unfamiliarity with their branding. I personally think an overall poor marketing strategy is to blame.

A few days before the closure Albertson's announced they were in the process of buying Safeway. Of course there is speculation on how the acquisition will affect Safeway's existing stores. I also listened to a Forum segment on San Francisco's NPR affiliate about the merger and the future of grocery chains. According to one of the guests big grocery stores will be a thing of the past and smaller and more neighborhood friendly stores will open.

http://www.kqed.org/a/forum/R20140307...

Personally, I think in the next few years there will only be one or two major grocery chains with a few niche stores like Trader Joe's in the mix. It isn't something I want.

I would imagine a lot of hounds have a vested interest in their local grocery stores whether it be a big box store or a small mom/pop grocery with a limited yet well curated selection. What are your thoughts on the future of grocery stores?

Mar 13, 2014
free sample addict aka Tracy L in Not About Food

great online reviews that don't match your visit experience

I must be simplistic. I don't rely on yelp for written reviews. If I do use yelp, I judge a restaurant by the amount of photos. The places with the most appealing photos gets my attention.

Mar 12, 2014
free sample addict aka Tracy L in Not About Food

The Fresh Market on Fair Oaks Blvd in Sacto is closing 3/12

I know how you feel, they were only open 6 months. Everything is now 40% off.

Mar 11, 2014
free sample addict aka Tracy L in California

The Fresh Market on Fair Oaks Blvd in Sacto is closing 3/12

I received an email that they are closing and that everything is 20-30% off. They had some great products so you may want to swing by there and stock up.

2339 Fair Oaks Blvd, next to Pavillion's in the old Border's location.

Mar 08, 2014
free sample addict aka Tracy L in California

Great Bandera experience

I took an old friend to dinner to celebrate her new job. I remembered she said she likes Bandera but had not been there in a long time. I hadn't been there in years and thought this would be a good excuse to go. Recently some of my old favorite places have gone down hill or have closed. I went hoping that Bandera hadn't changed. Much to our delight the meal was amazing. We both had a Brussels sprout side dish that had dates and a cherry vinagerette. It brought the sprouts to a whole new level for me. The service was great too. We had a lot of catching up and the waiter picked up on it. Sometimes friends belittle chain restaurants, but I think if a chain is managed well it can be an asset to the community. I like to travel and will definitely look for other restaurants run by Bandera's parent company Hillstone when I am out of town.

http://www.hillstone.com/

Mar 07, 2014
free sample addict aka Tracy L in Chains

Affordable brotform/bread rising basket

Thanks.

Jan 30, 2014
free sample addict aka Tracy L in Cookware

Affordable brotform/bread rising basket

Thank you!! Which seller did you use? I think I might purchase several and give them away as gifts.

Jan 29, 2014
free sample addict aka Tracy L in Cookware

Affordable brotform/bread rising basket

Thanks Sam, I'll check it out.

@Kaleo let us know what you think after you receive it.

Jan 23, 2014
free sample addict aka Tracy L in Cookware

Affordable brotform/bread rising basket

Wow, this is a great idea. SF isn't too far from where I live, it would be interesting to take a weekend workshop there. Thanks so much Kaleo.

Jan 16, 2014
free sample addict aka Tracy L in Cookware

Affordable brotform/bread rising basket

I am meeting up with a friend on his boat in Mexico. He misses good bread and the last time I visited we made bread together. I'd like to bring a bread rising basket/brotform. I am bringing some other goodies as well so I need to keep within a budget. Most baskets I have seen are $30+ I was wondering if there any sources for affordable brotforms?

Jan 14, 2014
free sample addict aka Tracy L in Cookware

Applebee's $375. Not $3.75....$375

Location, location, location.

Dec 30, 2013
free sample addict aka Tracy L in Chains

What's for Dinner #263. "Can I hear him yet?" [through December 30, 2013]

I am in the process of tweaking bacon wrapped onions stuffed with meatballs. I had a stuffed onion last night it was really good, but the onion needed needed more time to roast. I going to enjoy it with leftover stouffer's spinach souffle. Next time I think a wilted spinach salad might be a nice accompaniement.

Dec 29, 2013
free sample addict aka Tracy L in Home Cooking

☺Supermarket scavenger hunts: "Why'd they put it THERE?"☺

At my local grocery store they have the big, puffy campfire brand marshmallows in the summer, but not the rest of the year. So not only do I have to hunt where they put them I can't find the brand I want.

Dec 22, 2013
free sample addict aka Tracy L in General Topics

What I do NOT want in a Cookbook

Uses a trendy appliance/pot/pan/utensil that is not an investment or multitasker
Counts the variations of several recipes as separate recipes, if there are 100 recipes in a cookbook I want 100 different recipes.
Too expensive so that even on sale, used or with a gift card I can't afford it.
Is a part of series, but you can't buy it as a boxed set to get a price break or give as a gift.
Doesn't have recipes for bacon or chocolate.

Dec 21, 2013
free sample addict aka Tracy L in Home Cooking

☺Supermarket scavenger hunts: "Why'd they put it THERE?"☺

Pet food next to the insecticides.
Tomato products around the corner from the pasta.
Oil across the store from the vinegar.
Pancake mix next to the tea.
Butter near the cold cuts.
Promotional yummy popped popcorn in a bag across from the body lotion and deodorant. (and I wonder why they no longer carry it)
Gluten free products by the seasonal goods.
Health food by the magazines (it's near the medication aisles so I sort of get that one).

I am glad they don't rearrange the grocery stores I frequent as it would end up being a days outing for me.

Dec 21, 2013
free sample addict aka Tracy L in General Topics

What do make for dinner on a Friday night?

My New Years resolution is to only eat out once a month (except for invitations from friends to eat out). I got an early start and I have not had food delivered or bought take out in about 2 months. What do you make after a long week when you are too tired to cook?

Dec 21, 2013
free sample addict aka Tracy L in Home Cooking

What kitchzey foods do you crave around the holidays?

I like those cheese balls covered in nuts. I usually buy one every year and use the last tablespoon or so in an omelet. What about you?

Dec 21, 2013
free sample addict aka Tracy L in General Topics

Home delivery of specific ingredients for individual meals.......Plated.com

I don't think it is for a lot of people I know. OTOH, it gives the uninitiated an opportunity to try new cuisines w/o the risk of having half used jars or containers of ingredients just sitting around in the fridge. Also, there are a lot of people who hate to go to the grocery store or are too intimidated or have no interest in finding out of the ordinary ingredients.

Dec 21, 2013
free sample addict aka Tracy L in General Topics

Home delivery of specific ingredients for individual meals.......Plated.com

>If you're not seeing the point then it's not for you.<

love it.

Dec 21, 2013
free sample addict aka Tracy L in General Topics

What would you want named after yourself. . .

A pickle or pickles.

Dec 18, 2013
free sample addict aka Tracy L in Not About Food

Sacramento: Where to find tamales on Christmas Day or Eve?

I prefer finding someplace near or along Franklin Blvd. Thanks

Dec 18, 2013
free sample addict aka Tracy L in California

Cool product; Searzall

Perfect for those of us who use pressure cookers.

Dec 18, 2013
free sample addict aka Tracy L in Cookware

How do you feed your family if you don't cook?

I have a friend with 4 kids and she gets home too late to cook. She has ramen on hand, makes big batches of spaghetti w/jarred sauce and ground meat and buys a few rotisserie chickens over the week. In the morning she has frozen waffles, granola bars and cereal available. Lunch is bought at school. Weekends it is takeout pizza or frozen food for dinner, fast food for lunch and she makes pancakes from a mix for breakfast.

Dec 16, 2013
free sample addict aka Tracy L in General Topics

"Broccoli Cheese Soup for Dummies!" like me.... It's MY recipe!

I just love when a post devolves into comparing equipment.

Dec 16, 2013
free sample addict aka Tracy L in Home Cooking

Induction cooktop - an unexpected benefit

Oh I get it. As long as you don't use metal any utensil or bowls etc. that you are using is unaffected by the heat element. That is why removing a wayward piece of food off the unused element is safe because humans are not made of metal. I like that given that I have very little counter space and am kind of a clumsy cook.

Dec 16, 2013
free sample addict aka Tracy L in Cookware

Pot sticker people... have you gotten creative with your filling?

Lois, I found this on Facebook today:
http://rasamalaysia.com/potstickers-c...

Dec 15, 2013
free sample addict aka Tracy L in Home Cooking

Lower fat creamy/ cream based soup recipes needed

I used potato flakes to thicken the broccoli soup. I was really able to adjust the thickness.

Dec 12, 2013
free sample addict aka Tracy L in Home Cooking

Lower fat creamy/ cream based soup recipes needed

I made a good broccoli cheddar soup Monday night for dinner and discovered I hit on the perfect lunch for myself. It was cheap, (came out to about $0.70/serving), filling, easy to reheat and easy on the to digest. It really surprised me as I am not a cream of whatever soup person. I have a plethora of recipes for all other types of soups except for cream based soups. I'd love to hear about some other good yet healthy creamy or soups .
I am also interested in alternatives to cream/milk. I make a cauliflower soup that is very creamy yet it only uses stock as the base.

Dec 12, 2013
free sample addict aka Tracy L in Home Cooking

Pot sticker people... have you gotten creative with your filling?

I'll have to check out the videos, thanks. Tempeh might work. There is a sushi bar near my house that uses yam on their sushi, I love the flavor combination of the yam, ginger, wasabi and soy. I think a sweet potato or yam filling mixed with some nice vegetables could work.

Dec 11, 2013
free sample addict aka Tracy L in Home Cooking

Pot sticker people... have you gotten creative with your filling?

Thanks for the pork chive dumpling link. I love making my own pot stickers In the past I would use any leftover veggies chopped up combined with ground turkey and an egg for binding it together. Since making pot sticker involves some oil for frying I liked the less fatty aspect of ground turkey.

I did try salmon once as a filling w/ a fruity vinegar dipping sauce. It was just ok and not something I was inspired to doctor up in order to improve it. OTOH, one night I had a craving for Thai angel wings, but didn't have chicken wings so I put angel wing filling inside wrappers and used sweet chili sauce as the dipping sauce. The recipe called for chopped up skinny rice noodles mixed in with the meat mixture. It added an interesting dimension. I think the steaming part of the process brought out the Thai flavors better than it did for the fried wings. My former husband loved them.

Dec 11, 2013
free sample addict aka Tracy L in Home Cooking