Fresh Fruits & Vegetables at The Fresh Market

 

THe Fresh Market

Grapes for Sampling

Grocery shopping is a treat when going to The Fresh Market in Houston – especially with your grandchildren. The market has an amazing concept, one I’ve never seen at a grocery store. When you walk in, it’s like touring a garden. A variety of colors in flowers beautify the entrance.

Next you walk into an area of fruit displays that are meant for sampling – with toothpicks included. There were apples, grapes, and pineapples.

The Fresh Market Fresh Fruit

Grapes on a Toothpick

To the right of the fruit section was the fresh vegetable produce. The veggies looked like they had been freshly picked that same day.

The Fresh Market

Fresh Vegetables at The Fresh Market

Nearby the fruit was a section of Halloween candy in abundance. What I found fascinating, though, is that my 2-year-old toddler grand didn’t even notice the candy but wanted the fresh fruit on a toothpick. This is proof that if you place nutritious snacks in front of children, they will eat them. Feed them lots of candy, and they will feel miserable later – just like you do when you eat too much sugary snacks.

The market had a huge section of fresh and organic snacks such as dried fruit and wholesome nuts and crackers. If you are looking for nutritious and organic appetizers for a party, this is the place to go.

The Fresh Market even has deli food that you can purchase and eat in a pleasant dining area. The store is a fun place to shop. At the back of the market is the meat section and definitely has some of the best steaks you’ll find. The next blog post will include an anecdote about Ribeye steak. Visit again soon!

Candy & Flower Shopping at The Fresh Market

Halloween Candy at The Fresh Market

Candy Galore at The Fresh Market

Shopping at The Fresh Market in Houston is like going to the candy store, especially during the week of Halloween. Look at all the candy – a variety that includes Jelly Bellies and Candy Corn, two types of candies that either you love them or hate them. 

The Fresh Market

Trick or Treat Candy

Pumpkins decorate both sides of the entrance.

The Fresh Market

Pumpkins at the Entrance

Flowers and more flowers…

Flowers at The Fresh Market

Flowers Everywhere!

Festive fall flower eye candy is in abundance with gorgeous colors.

The Fresh Market Flowers

Fresh Flowers at The Fresh Market

The best part of a grandma Grummy shopping at The Fresh Market is being with her lil granddaughters and picking out pretty flowers…

The Fresh Market Flowers

Shopping for flowers with the Grands at The Fresh Market

And then there is SOOO much Halloween candy (have you ever heard of Pumpkin Pie Almonds?)…

The Fresh Market Candies

How Can You Pass Up These Pumpkin Pie Almonds?

very tempting, but Grummy’s Halloween goodies are more fun to make with the Grand-girls (and what toddler doesn’t love a grandma’s homemade sweets?) – like fun recipes such as Candy Corn Hugs Pretzel from Patty Cakes Pantry…

Patty Cakes Pantry

Candy Corn Hugs Pretzels

but shopping with a little granddaughter who loves her stuffed animals, no way can you pass up fun animal crackers from The Fresh Market.

 

Thank you for visiting Houston Blog Network! I hope you’ll visit again Saturday. I’ll be blogging next on fresh veggies, fruit, and the best steak to purchase at The Fresh Market in Houston. 

Share your stories of foods you love at The Fresh Market in the reply section. I’d love to hear from you!

 

Today’s linking party:

Full Plate Thursday

 

Dress Up Like a Cow on July 14th for FREE Food at Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A FREE Food

Cow Dress Up

People looking for a free meal or to have some fun, tomorrow is dress-up-like-a-cow and get free food at Chick-fil-A. Fully dress up as a cow, and get a free meal. Dress up partially like one to get a free entree. Houstonians, go have some fun and free food for your family – eat chicken!

There are over 1900 locations in 42 states and Washington D.C., and the highest number of greater Houston locations mentioned on cfahouston.com is 68. Find the nearest one, and “moo” on over there for your free food.

While you’re at Chick-fil-A tomorrow, consider ordering the limited-time old-fashioned “yummy-licious”-looking peach milkshake. That is, unless you’re watching nutrition. However, if all you care about is how much protein is in it, then you’ll be happy to hear that it has 12 grams of protein.

You know what else looks good on the menu? Frosted Lemonade! It must be the summer heat making the milkshake and lemonade look so enticing. The good news is the Frosted Lemonade has low numbers overall on the nutrition scale (except the sugars, but they do have a diet one).

Got a community-related event? Chick-fil-A Houston is community friendly. You never know ’til you ask, so call them and ask how to plan your youth or local community event.

 

Detoxing for a Flatter Stomach

Detox Plan

Fruit and Vegetables for Detox

I recently attended a talk to which I had been drawn in an attempt to get the “secrets to a flatter stomach”.  My son had his interest piqued, so he went along with me.  As it turned out, the session was about diet, the function of the liver and how toxins affect the human body.

I was already aware of the need to have a diet made up of mostly fruits, vegetables and lean meats. What I found fascinating was the need to have a liver that is functioning at its optimum. The liver works to filter the toxins from our food and in time it could get sluggish and not do its job properly. We were told we all probably needed to do a liver detox.

I decided to try the Fast Track Liver Detox. This program required a special diet 7 days before day of the detox. I really didn’t mind having to eat so many vegetables, since I already eat a good variety. I was pleased to see that my favorite vegetables, asparagus, broccoli and cauliflower were on the list. I wasn’t too keen about having to learn to eat beets or to give up my sweets for one week, but was willing to do whatever it took to properly prepare my body. The one day detox consisted of a specially prepared juice. It was followed by a three day follow-up of much of the same diet as the seven days before the detox.  We were also required to take a few supplements in addition to probiotics.

I am now past the detox process, and I must say I did enjoy the foods on the diet although I found it difficult at times to eat such a variety of foods in one day. I was pleased to find that I lost 7 pounds in 8 days. I must admit that I cheated a little; I found it necessary to drink some coffee on a couple of days when I had a considerable amount of driving to do. I found that I do feel better after the detox but the first two days were difficult. I found myself to be a little cranky on the second day; I am assuming that it was because I was craving coffee.

It has been about 2 weeks since I completed the diet and one result is that I am more careful about what foods I have in my diet. I have cut down on my sugar intake as well. I recommend this plan to anyone who is interested in clearing toxins from their system in a short period of time.

 

The Humble Cucumber

Using Cucumbers for moisturizer

Natural Use of the Cucumber

As I was getting ready for work one morning recently, I was drawn to the television by a doctor on the news, discussing ways to keep the skin hydrated during the winter months.  He said that cucumbers are natural moisturizer.   I was fascinated because when I was a child my mother would peel cucumbers and tell me to rub the peel on my face.  She would tell me that she learned as a little girl that cucumber juice would keep the face soft and wrinkle free.

Out of curiosity, I decided to do a little research about the benefits of using cucumbers as part of a skin care regimen.  Evidently, cucumbers do have properties that fight inflammation and aging.  They can be used as an astringent to clean your face.  It can help tone the skin on your neck as well.  Cucumbers can soothe sunburn because of its high water content.

It is beneficial for the skin around the eyes too.  Placing cucumber slices on your eyes can reduce the dark circles under your eyes.  Ascorbic acid and caffeic acid in slices on the eyes can reduce puffiness.

As it turned out, Mother was right.  I’ve had many people tell me that I look much younger than my  years.   When I’ve inquired as to why, I am usually told that I appear younger because I have so few wrinkles.

So the next time you are at the grocery store, pick up a cucumber or two.  It can be an inexpensive and natural alternative to skin care products that may or may not be as beneficial.

 

Authentic Cuban Dessert Recipes

Potatoes

Cuban Potato Recipe

Since I am an avid eater, I am always on the lookout for new recipes.  Recently it occurred to me that I really don’t need to go any farther than my own kitchen. My mother is in her 90s but still is able to whip up some pretty tasty dishes.  I thought I would share some of my favorite Cuban desserts.

Boniatillo is a dish with only a few ingredients:  boniatos and crème of coconut.  You will need 4-6 boniatos. Boniatos can be found at a grocery store that carries products from Latin America.  They are sometimes called Cuban sweet potatoes or batatas.  Wash the boniatos and place them in a pan; cover them with water and add a little bit of salt.  Bring them to a boil.  You will need to check them after about 15 minutes. It would be best to remove them from the heat before they get too soft.  Remove the skin and mash them with a fork.  Mix in a can of crème of coconut.  Sprinkle with cinnamon powder and then refrigerate.  That is all there is to it!

Dulce de Toronja also has just a few ingredients, but the preparation process is a little longer.  This dish will require about 4-5 grapefruits.  You will need to cut the grapefruits in half and remove all the fleshy fruit part.  Peel off the hard, orange exterior peeling. Then cut in half again; there will now be 4 pieces to each grapefruit.  Put them in a pan to boil for about 20 minutes.  Strain them, discard the water and place them back in the pan and boil again for about 20 minutes.  Repeat this process about 2 more times.  This is necessary for the grapefruit peels to lose their tart flavor.  Once the grapefruit peel is soft, it will be necessary to remove the pieces and squeeze the water out of them.  Place each piece in the palm of your hand and press down with your other hand.  When you have done this to all of the pieces, place them back in the pan and add water (enough to cover all the grapefruit peels), 1 cup of sugar and 4-5 cinnamon sticks to the pan.  Bring it to a boil and let it boil 10-15 minutes.   Refrigerate and enjoy!

 

Apple and Chickpea Dip Recipe

lean foods

Apple and Chickpeas Dip

Looking at my January lean food list this evening, I chose the following ingredients and came up with a recipe good for dipping crackers.

  • apples
  • chickpeas
  • lime

These additional ingredients not on the lean food list were also added:

  • cilantro (handful)
  • celery (2 stalks)
  • sour cream (3-4 heaping Tbsp.) – optional Greek yogurt
  • freshly made guacamole (I used about 2 Tbsp., but you can use avocado, tomatoes, and jalapeno instead)

Directions:

Chop apples, drain and rinse a can of chickpeas, and squeeze a little lime juice in. Next chop the cilantro and celery. Add the sour cream (or Greek yogurt) and guacamole and stir. It’s a meal in itself. I included a few blueberries on the side.

I will be creating and trying more new recipes using some of the ingredients from my lean food list. Doing this reminds me of Improv games. Come up with words or phrases, the first ones that come to your mind. Then use those words and phrases in some sort of game. Creating the list of lean foods for the January Organizing in the Kitchen would fit the first step of the Improv game. Next would be creating a recipe using one or more ingredients from the food list. The interesting part of it would be the results – meeting the tasty test!

January Organizing in the Kitchen

 

Kitchen Organizing January 2015

IKEA Houston

During December holidays I was already geared up already for January organizing in the kitchen. If you need a little motivation, just go to IKEA like I did and walk around. You’ll find plenty of inspiration as there are many kitchen gadgets, pots and pans, dishes, etc.

What are your kitchen organization needs? One of mine is the dishtowel basket. There are too many towels that need replacing. Some are new, but several are worn. That’s one of the things I picked up there.

Don’t feel too badly about buying new dishtowels for the kitchen. They make good cleaning rags for the house or car.

Make a list for your lean kitchen needs. There are two types of lean to plan for. For instance, store silverware in a drawer closest to the dishwasher. Move gadgets closer to where they can be handy. Cups taking up space? Consider upcycling. Hang them on the wall. Get creative with it.

chair springs upcycling

Upcycled Chair Springs Cup Holder

Now is the time to make a note of your January lean grocery list if you haven’t already. The only way we can keep lean is if we eat lean.

Suggested lean food items to add to that list:

  • gluten-free almond flour
  • quinoa
  • coconut oil
  • jicama
  • eggs
  • bananas
  • apples
  • grapes
  • lemons
  • limes
  • oranges
  • cauliflower
  • carrots
  • spaghetti squash
  • chickpeas
  • kale
  • chicken sausage
  • mushrooms

Okay, I’m excited about this lean grocery list. Looking at nutritious recipes this evening by AdvoCare friends, I can’t wait to try some new recipes with items on this list. See what you can come up with any of these lean foods. Try them, and come back to comment about it.

Houston in December!

Blogging in Houston, Texas

Angie, Houston Blog Network

 

I love Christmas – and taking pictures of places I go and people I meet. That’s the reason for the ginormous Christmas photo. It’s a fun time of the year for many. Not so fun for others who have no family nearby or for those who must work during holidays.

Making someone smile by showing genuine interest in them and what they do is part of Christmas. It’s not all about the presents under the tree. It’s about you and me inspiring others. Becoming motivated to be creative.Finding good things to think about and to do – like going to look at Christmas lights.

 

Houston Christmas

Houston Christmas Lights

Houston Christmas

Houston Christmas Lights Tour