My family has discovered a number of new foods, eateries and cooking accessories in 2011, some of which were great and some were total busts. The list below has the top five highlights of the year in Cook a Little, as nominated by the four member of our little tribe of foodies.
The Spitfire’s best store-bought food: Skippy Natural Peanut Butter with Honey. With a daily intake of peanut-butter-and-honey sandwiches comes increased mess and expense from the honey side of the bread. This peanut butter, which we buy in bulk, cuts the prep time in half, eliminates the need for added honey, has no HFCS, and taste wonderful. My mother-in-law is the latest convert to this brand, after trying it at our house several times. It does have more sugar than regular peanut butter, though, because of the honey: 5g per serving.
The Energizer Bunny’s Favorite new toy: Sassafras ice cream maker. When he asked for an ice cream maker for his birthday, I gave a tentative OK. Most of the ones I have seen make more of the treat than I’d care to have in the house. This model makes about a pint and is extremely simple to use. And, it doesn’t take up much room in the freezer. We made a batch of Vanilla ice cream last night that is better than even Amy’s serves, in my opinion.
The Mama’s favorite new toy: Cuisinart immersion blender. I make a smoothie for breakfast almost every morning, and this “stick” blender is easier to clean, quieter and faster than my traditional blender. It’s also much better for blending soups, for the added reason that I don’t have to wait for the soup to cool or deal with hot, spraying soup.
The Mama’s favorite new store-bought food: Amazing Meal Amazing Grass. For the aforementioned smoothies. I get a serving of veggies in without the extra bulk (and pulp).
The Papa’s favorite new bagel spot: Wholly Bagels. Our town doesn’t have many options for bagels outside of the Einstein’s chain, so we rejoiced to learn that a New Jersey baker had opened a shop in our neck of the woods. And the nova lox are heavenly.
What were your favorite foodie finds of 2011?