A Few of My Favorite Things — August 2015

by Dorothy Reinhold on August 27, 2015

Print This Post Print This Post My Favorite Things for August 2015 | A Baker's Dozen Favorite Things for Foodies | ShockinglyDelicious.com

A baker’s dozen delightful things to eat, cook, use, read and think about this month.

1. Fear No Fruit film

Have you heard of Frieda Caplan? If you’ve had a kiwi (or any of the other 200 exotic produce varieties she introduced to this country), you have tasted the fruits of her incredible 50-year career. Frieda, now 91, rose from being the first woman entrepreneur at the Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market in the 1960s, to transforming American cuisine. Although she has turned over the reigns of her company to her daughters Karen and Jackie, the heart and soul of Frieda’s Inc. is the legend herself, who still works there 5 days a week. “Fear No Fruit” is a breezy 96 minutes, and worth your while to watch, especially if you’d like to see the inspiring life of a leading figure who transformed the produce department at your grocery store. It was released in June and is available on the following VOD platforms: iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, Xbox Video, Vudu and Vimeo on Demand.

Dorothy Reinhold, Frieda Caplan and Valentina Wein at Fear No Fruit screening

Dorothy Reinhold, Frieda Caplan and blogger Valentina Wein at the “Fear No Fruit” screening.

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Kerrygold Soft Dubliner cheese on ShockinglyDelicious.com2. Spreadable Dubliner cheese

New to me are these soft, spreadable Dubliner Cheese Wedges, from the folks at Kerrygold, whose pampered Irish cows deliver some of the finest grass-fed butter and cheese on the planet. It makes perfect casual picnic fare. Here’s the recipe: Spread it on baguette slices, top with a seasonal fresh blackberry, and call it done! Keep it simple, fresh and delicious, and enjoy your time outside in these last weeks of summer. Available in the specialty cheese case at your grocery store.  

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Bloomin Blossoms Full Spirited Flavours cakes on ShockinglyDelicious.com3. Boozy cakes!

Just in time for all your upcoming fall and holiday needs, I present Bloomin’ Blossoms, little liqueur-infused cakes that are perfectly sized and perfectly spirited. Made by three sisters who run Full Spirited Flavours, the box has Limoncello, Chocolate Razz,  their original Amaretto, and Mango Coconut Rum. All have their respective spirit in the cake AND the infused glaze, making them moist and doubly delicious. Sure, they’re spirited, but not so alcoholic that they chase away the kids. My whole family, including kids, loved them, and we had fun sharing them for dessert. Although you can get a full-size cake or a junior-size cake, I recommend this sampler set for the flavor variety. We truly could not pick our favorite; they are all that good. Rachel Ray featured them as snack-of-the-day twice. Just sayin’. A sampler is about $25, available online, or at a number of local spots on the east coast. ) 

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4. New ways to enjoy vanilla

Heilala Ground Vanilla Beans on ShockinglyDeliciousWe’ve talked on the blog before about Heilala Vanilla, a super high quality brand from New Zealand. We’ve made a Vanilla Margarita and a Vanilla-Orange Cranberry Sauce (among other things) out of their out-of-this-world vanilla syrup, and a killer Butter Pecan Fudge using their fragrant vanilla extract. But have you ever seen or tried Vanilla Paste or Ground Vanilla Beans? They’re both wonderful, and be used interchangeably for vanilla extract. Use the paste in my memorable Meyer Lemon Vanilla Salad Dressing, and try the ground vanilla in this Vanilla-Infused Olive Oil. Seriously. No, I mean it, like right now. Both are carried by Sprouts and Bristol Farms markets, or online.

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Hormel Slow Simmered Beef Tips & Gravy on ShockinglyDelicious.com5. Quick school night dinner

Yep, August isn’t even over and we’re into our second week of school. A pox on the early starting of the school year. However, the other day I discovered a new tasty dinner that was comforting and nostalgic and ready very quickly — a necessity once team sports and homework starts. Hormel Slow Simmered Beef Tips & Gravy really hit the spot. It heats in the microwave in 4 minutes. I served it over wide egg noodles one night, and over brown rice another night, with steamed broccoli on the side (broccoli steams in the microwave in about 2-3 minutes on high; easy peasy). It’s available in the refrigerated case, probably near the meat counter in your grocery store.

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Can You Identify These 98 Foods Cut Into Identical Cubes6. Is it art or a game?

Can you identify these 98 foods cut into identical cubes?

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7. Tina Fey parodies a food blogger! Priceless…

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Fresh Mini Blueberry Pies on ShockinglyDelicious.com8. Look who’s making my recipes! 

Chef Patricia Rose, who blogs at Fresh Food in a Flash and teaches cooking classes in Southern California, did her interpretation of my Fresh Blueberry Pie, and don’t they look good? She calls them Fresh Mini Blueberry Pies, and they are so cute in tiny form. This is the pie recipe that chef Evan Kleiman called “genius,” so now’s your chance to hop on board and make it yourself, while fresh blueberries are still in season. 

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No-Bake-Horse-Cookies-from SavoryExperiments.com9. No-bake horse cookies!

Really, is there anything more you need to know? No baking, just assembling and decorating. I must make these for the horse-lovers in my life. A little bit o’ genius from Savory Experiments.

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Kale Stem Pesto on ShockinglyDelicious.com10. Eat the whole thing

Don’t discard your kale stems, make kale stem pesto out of them! So advises Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine. I’m up for the challenge, are you?

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11. ‘The Gluten-Free Cheat Sheet’

Gluten-Free Cheat Sheet by April Peveteaux on ShockinglyDelicious.comNew from hilarious foodie April Peveteaux (author of “Gluten is My Bitch“) is this useful paperback, whose subtitle tells it all: “Go G-Free in 30 Days or Less.” If you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, wheat allergy or another disease that demands you rid your diet of gluten, you’ll want this. Rather than wallow in gluten grief  for all the waffles, donuts and pasta you can’t eat, she gives you solid advice on myths and facts, restaurant solutions, the mental health aspects and most importantly, solves your “what am I actually going to eat?” dilemma with inspired recipes. Bring on the Sugar Cookie Cheesecake, Cheesy Quinoa Broccoli Mac and BBQ Chicken Salad. Yes please.The Gluten-Free Cheat Sheet,” by April Peveteaux (Perigee; $14.95).   

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12. Sprouted Rice

Planet Rice Sprouted California Blonde Rice on ShockinglyDelicious.comColor me a BIIIIG fan of rice. I often throw brown Jasmine rice into the rice cooker, not even knowing what I’m going to do with it later. But it is never a problem to have cooked rice in the refrigerator, especially on school nights. #AmIright? So I was thrilled to be introduced to Planet Rice Sprouted California Blonde Rice. Sprouted…blonde…say what? It’s a lighter flavored rice than a regular brown, with a slightly sweeter taste, a longer shelf life and quicker cooking time. It was ready in 25 or so minutes, compared to brown rice’s 45-minute cooking time. They sprout it, which means germinating the seed, which releases enzymes designed to support growth (although they don’t let the rice grow into a plant). It’s gluten-free, non-GMO and whole grain, just like you want it to be. I highly recommend it.   

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Harry Bliss cartoon about Don Julio tequila13. The best foodie cartoonist!

It’s like cartoonist Harry Bliss knows me. Don Julio tequila…my fave.

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Disclosure: Kerrygold, Full Spirited Flavours, Heilala, Penguin Random House and Planet Rice sent products for review. Hormel sent the product for review and compensation for my time. All opinions are, as always, my own. 

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Patricia@FreshFoodinaFlash August 28, 2015 at 9:44 am

Thanks Dorothy for featuring my Fresh Mini Blueberry Pies in your favorites of August. Thanks for your recipe. I love these pies and am honored to be included in your list.
P.S. The Tina Fey video is a hoot. Thanks for sharing.


Valentina August 27, 2015 at 11:08 pm

Dorothy, these are the best favorites ever! Loved Fear No Fruit and had never seen the Tina Fey video – SO FUNNY!


Dorothy Reinhold August 28, 2015 at 5:33 am

Thanks! Tina Fey…she is now more of a goddess in my eyes than ever, and she was already pretty perfect!


Jessica (Savory Experiments) August 27, 2015 at 5:47 pm

Thank you for sharing my Horse Cookies- they are always the hit of any party!


Dorothy Reinhold August 27, 2015 at 6:32 pm

I just adore these! So, so clever.


Dorothy Reinhold September 1, 2015 at 5:08 pm

Frieda’s/Fear No Fruit,
You are most welcome. I truly loved this film. I need to watch it again, because I always get different things out of a film from the second viewing.


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