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Category Archives: Places to go for Good Ingredients!

Places we shop for Good Ingredients

Trader Joe’s in Grand Rapids, MI!

We’ve been dreaming of having a Trader Joe’s in Grand Rapids, and when we woke up this morning, our dream has come true!

The grand opening was yesterday, but we got there early today to beat the crowds and were rewarded with multitudes of GMO-free wonderfulness, all at amazing low prices….we’ll be back often!

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Joe’s Brother Coffee!

My friend and co-worker Steven Prevost has recently progressed on his mission to bring really good coffee to the masses. (People like me who’ve given up coffee due to inflated costs and just plain “it’s hard to find something worth the money…”)   I was fortunate enough today to be gifted with a sample of his first batch of home-roasted coffee. imported directly from Columbia.  Narino Supremo has a clean flavor that I’ve never experienced before in coffee.  Although I probably didn’t do it justice by brewing it in a Mr. Coffee drip coffee maker, I’m here to say that it’s by far the freshest, and best tasting coffee I’ve had at home.  Imagine no bitterness, a brew with such smoothness and chock full of coffee flavor goodness.  Here’s a quick picture just to tantalize all you coffee afficianados…

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I haven’t consumed a lot of coffee for a while now for various reasons, the main one being that “good” coffee – and what I mean by that is something other than the weeks-old product available at your local grocery store – is hard to find. You can slap your product in a fancy package and charge a lot of money, or require a $100+ brewing unit that pollutes the earth (admitted by it’s inventor) that uses coffee costing in excess of $25-$20 a pound – somehow that just doesn’t seem right. But enough of my rant – let’s take a look at what’s at the heart of Joe’s Brother Coffee…

The Beans came from high up on a mountain in Columbia…right to the local roaster in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Did the last coffee you bought see so few degrees of separation?

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The next step to experiencing a robust yet smooth taste is proper roasting. The Joe’s Brother Coffee team have a lot of knowledge on this subject, and if their initial efforts are any indication, this may be the “Go-To” local supplier for the ultimate fresh coffee experience.

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There’s a lot of technicality in the type of roasters out there, and I’ve been told this particular beauty is a convection type of  heat, which precludes the more “burnt” taste that direct heat roasters can produce. Not knowing the difference, I can only say that the roaster Joe’s have is top drawer, and the product is equally elevated.

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I’m a big fan of Sustainablity, Organic, Local and Ethical (Eat with SOLE), and Joe’s Brother Coffee hits all the notes! Good people putting out a superior, passionately produced product.  It’s especially nice when a local purchase provides the quality and subtle flavors that put a huge smile on your face “cause it tastes really good!”

The coolest thing about Joe’s Brother Coffee is that when you support them, you’re also supporting the fight against ALS (Lou Gehrigs’s disease).  Every purchase includes a donation to fight this insidious malady that steals away too many people.  Please click on the donation link and give what you can….let your heart guide you.

You can visit Joe’s Brother Coffee here http://www.joesbrothercoffee.com

 

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The Cheese Lady is now in Grand Rapids!

I wrote about The Cheese Lady in Muskegon earlier on Snausy Snacks – and now there’s a location in Grand Rapids!  I’m just going to post a couple of pics and a link to their website…a visit to The Cheese Lady will reward you many times over.  My recommendation?  Get there as quickly as possible and immerse yourself in the cheesy goodness…what are you waiting for?

http://thecheeselady.net/


The Cheese Lady on Urbanspoon

 
 

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David Delski’s Prime Meats!

A good friend of mine sent this over to me recently and I felt compelled to share – I’ll let you know when I get a chance to visit for myself.

Here’s a link to David Delski’s Prime Meats FaceBook page – and a fine description of Todd’s last visit….enjoy!

http://www.facebook.com/pages/David-Delskis-Prime-Meats/123818257935

“It’s a real old school butcher shop in the Chateau Center Plaza by 44th & Burlingame. Very high quality meats, with the orders packed in butcher’s paper like the old days. An amazing selection of just about everything you could think of. I tried the ground chuck, babyback ribs & beer brats & was most impressed. The prices are a little higher than the grocery store, but not too bad really & the quality is well worth it. Very friendly folks. The capper was they were playing “Don’t ease me in” from the “Go to Heaven” album, so they’re a bunch of Deadheads too! It’s like the butcher shop equivalent of what Shakedown Street used to be?”

 

Canning in Michigan!

“Locally-grown, farm fresh ingredients”….sounds yummy, right?  Well good luck pulling that off in about three or four months.  In our never-ending quest to use quality, locally-grown ingredients in our home cooking, we embarked on our 2011 canning sessions.  We started with a half bushel of San Marzano tomatoes acquired from Under The Pines, our local farm market where these tomatoes were actually grown!This variety of tomato is meatier and a little sweeter than your standard garden variety tomato, and is my fruit of choice when concocting the soon-to-be-famous Chef Snausy Margherita Napoletana pizza.  But I digress…in order for a canning session to be properly executed, we must first enjoy another fruit grown locally in Michigan – Pinot Noir, 2008 from Ciccone Vineyard near Sutton’s Bay, MI.

We set out to put up 5 pints of Salsa, using Mrs. Wages Medium Salsa mix – Ingredients Dehydrated Vegetables (Onion, Green Bell Pepper, Jalapeno, Chili Peppers, Garlic), Salt, Spices.   The process is pretty simple – tomatoes go into the boiling water for a few minutes until the skins split, shock ’em with ice water, then they get peeled and chopped, then mixed up with the spice blend…then into the jars and off to the hot bath!

Here’s the finished product – gorgeous!

The balance of the half bushel were simply hand crushed/diced and put up in pint and quart jars.  Now we’ve got enough San Marzanoes to make pizza and spaghetti sauce all winter long – with real robust tomato flavor!

 

 

Fulton Street Farmer’s Market

I queried Grace Young (author of “Stir Frying to the Sky’s Edge” wok cookbook) about a particular recipe yesterday. I had an inkling of what she might say, and sure enough, her response to what ingredients would work was a resounding “Pair with seasonal vegetables” – always a brilliant idea!

So off I went to one of Grand Rapids’ oldest and largest farmers markets – the Fulton Street Farmer’s Market. I could smell the fresh produce as I got out of my car – and the aromas got even more delectably pungent and delightful as I walked through the myriad of vendors. Produce is on full blast this time of year – potatoes, tomatoes, beans, squash, onions, radishes, peaches, raspberries, blackberries, plums…the list is rather extensive now. Here’s a link to their website where you can preview what’s in season http://fultonstreetmarket.org/

I managed to score some awesome green onions, a couple of beautifully-colored peppers, some summer squash and just look at those eggplants – gorgeous!

My wok will be busy the rest of the week – can’t wait to see what culinary creations the produce will produce…stay tuned!

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2011 in Places to go for Good Ingredients!

 

More Goodies for the Wok!

Since beginning to read Grace Young’s awesome wok cookbook “Stir Frying to the Sky’s Edge” it’s become apparent that some of the ingredients necessary for proper wok cooking just can’t be found at Meijer…or at least not authentic ingredients, which Chef Snausy is all about these days.  So today, for the first time in my life, I walked into A’Dong, an Asian food market in Wyoming, MI http://local.yahoo.com/info-16483376-a-dong-oriental-food-market-grand-rapids  Here’s what I bought today – I want to go back for the live Tilapia they have swimming in their gigantical tanks!  Fresh Asian produce, some of the best looking shrooms I’ve ever seen, and their prices are incredibly low compared to Meijer and Wal-Mart – BONUS!