A Few of My Favorite Things — March 2014

by Dorothy Reinhold on March 28, 2014

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1. Cool carrot

I am such a fan of stop-motion video. It’s whimsical and just plain fun. My pal Diana Lundin has shot another one (you saw her red heart constructed out of food last month), and this time it’s a cool carrot assembled piece by piece out of various orange and yellow colored fruits and vegetables. Set to a lively tune, this is 13 seconds that will make you smile, and you can see it below! The carrot is the logo for ShockD friend Melissa’s Produce, and talented food stylists Cindie Flannigan and Tasha Anne Powell of the Denise Vivaldo Group get the credit for giving that carrot such a fun personality! I wonder if I can do rudimentary stop-motion with my smartphone…hmmm. Not like this though!

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2. Phil’s 21 Spice Rub

Phil's 21 Spice Rub on Shockingly DeliciousA well-balanced spice blend can be a joy in the kitchen, making it easy to flavor lots of different dishes. Phil’s 21 Spice Rub has been my workhorse for a year now, first while it was in beta, and continuing now that it has been unleashed on the public. It took food industry pro Phil Gruszka 10 years to perfect this blend of 21 Mediterranean herbs and spices, and in my book, it was worth the wait. It has curry and garlic and salt, that’s for sure, but I would bet on oregano, and my nose sniffs out some pepper and um…let’s see, that leaves 16 other secret spices (inspired by his travels through Europe). I can’t worm the secret list out of Phil, but I can tell you what I have used it for:

  • fantastic roasted chicken thighs
  • Add 2 tsp. to 1 1/2 cups of brown rice and then cook it, for a great curried rice (stir in some chopped sauteed apples and raisins and almonds when the rice is done cooking)
  • a little sprinkle on fresh summer buttered corn is sublime
  • Sprinkle onto chunked potatoes before you roast in the oven or microwave
  • if you want your mashed potatoes elevated to the next level, leave out the salt and throw in a bit of this blend

The sky’s the limit on what you can do with this! Vegan, no MSG, gluten- and dairy-free. $6/4-ounce package through the website or Amazon.

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3. Fun with fonts

Food fontWhat font are you?   In this fun quiz, I got Times New Roman (big surprise there!), which this quiz says means, “You’re a classic — a constant, reliable, secretly sexy classic. (Just look at those serifs!) Anyone who thinks they can turn in a term paper or a resumé that doesn’t feature you is fooling themselves, and you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank.”

But…but…but, why couldn’t I get a cool food font like this here?

(This quiz might more accurately be titled, “Which typeface are you?” but who’s splitting hairs?)

♥ ♥ ♥Parfait Perfection from Redwood Hill Farm on ShockinglyDelicious.com

4. Breakfast parfait inspiration

So, you want to make one of those cool breakfast parfait concoctions you’ve seen on your friends’ Facebook feeds and Pinterest, but you aren’t sure exactly how to do it? To the rescue comes Redwood Hill Farm with simple but delicious ideas to make your own parfait and personalize it for yourself or your family. These are dietitian-approved and ready for prime time. The graphic using their goat yogurt is here, and the graphic using their Green Valley Lactose-Free Cow Milk Yogurt is here.  I have them both printed out for inspiration in my own kitchen.

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5. Coolest Kitchens

These way-cool kitchens are the edgiest you’ll see! I want the glass garage door wall, above, and if I can’t have that, I want the giant chalkboard wall and the wall garden. How about you?

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6. Look who’s making my recipes!

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Not Ketchup a new dipping sauce condiment7. Not Ketchup on your ham sandwich

There’s a lot of leftover ham about to come into your life (Easter, anyone?), and I’m here to remind you that a ham sandwich needs a little oomph to jazz it up. My oomph of choice is Not Ketchup,  a fruit-based condiment that will bring your lunch to life. I suggest either the Cherry Chipotle or the Smoky Date flavors (but the Blueberry White Pepper wouldn’t be wrong, either). It’s so versatile you can do a million things with it, AFTER you slather it on your ham sandwich. $8.99/14.4 ounces; available online or at select grocers.  

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Marinated Mushrooms from Lindsay Albert on ShockinglyDelicious.com8. Mother’s Marinated Mushrooms

My friend Lindsay Albert posted this amazing looking pot o’ ‘shrooms on Facebook the other day, and I couldn’t stand it. Turns out it is her mother’s mushrooms, beloved among the 14 kids (yes, I’ll wait while you absorb that) in the family. Apparently all the children crave pickled-vinegary foods, and although her mother did not, she indulged the family with these mushrooms, kept in the fridge along with a vat of pickled eggs and served when entertaining. Lindsay pronounces them “scrummy.”

Recipe: Mushrooms a la Greque (Mother’s Marinated Mushrooms)

Summary: Scrumptious marinated mushrooms circa 1970s-1990s, great for snacking or parties, from Lindsay Albert’s mom.


  • 3 (8-ounce) cartons of mushrooms (a mix of white and Crimini)
  • 2/3 cup white wine
  • 2/3 cup vinegar (either white balsamic or white wine vinegar)
  • 2/3 cup oil (1/3 cup walnut oil + 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil)
  • Fresh herbs of your choice (Lindsay uses rosemary; her mom used tarragon or parsley)
  • Shallot
  • Salt (or use 2 tablespoons preserved lemon pulp)
  • Dash of fish sauce (optional; leave it out if it scares you, but Lindsay advises it gives umami and encourages foodies to use it)
  • Cracked black pepper


  1. Add all ingredients to a pot, bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat, allow to cool and refrigerate (leave herbs in the container).

Preserved Lemon pulp

If you took my advice and made your own preserved lemons (and if you didn’t, allow me to boss you around and firmly ask you to do it), you’ll know that after they cure for a couple of weeks and are ready for use, there are two parts that can be used. There’s the skin, which is most often called for in recipes, and then there’s the pulp and thick, salty liquid left behind. Lindsay uses that pulpy liquid in this recipe.

Recipe source

Heirloom mom recipe from the family of Lindsay Albert.

Preparation time: 7 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Diet type: Vegan, vegetarian
Diet tags: Gluten free
Number of servings (yield): 12
Culinary tradition: Greek

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Tortatos on ShockinglyDelicious.com9. Potato and corn chip together in one

Have you tasted Tortatos yet? It’s a cross between a potato chip and a corn chip, and it’s the best of both worlds. Made from red potatoes and white corn, these snacks come in original, barbeque, salt & vinegar and salt & pepper flavors. They’re sturdy enough to use as dip chips, have that great all-important tortilla chip crunch, contain 25% less fat than traditional potato chips, are non-GMO, trans fat free, without additives or preservatives and are gluten free certified. They went over big at my house. Available nationally; $3.49 per bag.

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Flatware sculptures by Gary Hovey10. Fantastic flatware

Have you seen the whimsical animal art scultpted by industrial welder Gary Hovey of Ohio? He’s really an artist who expresses himself using forks, knives and spoons. You have to see this…note how delicate the baby deer is. Just goes to show you when someone discovers his true artistic passion, there is no stopping him.

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Map of U.S. made of food11. Food maps

Speaking of artists, NY photographer Henry Hargreaves and food stylist Caitlin Levin has fashioned maps made entirely of food. They’ve used corn for the USA, noodles for China, tomatoes for Italy and seaweed for Japan, and these are simply magnificent cartography. Have a look.

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12. Your preserving questions answered

put-em-up-preserving-answer-bookWhether you grow your own or simply take advantage of farmers markets, you are likely about to be inundated with spring and summer fresh fruits and vegetables. So many people are becoming interested in preserving the bounty that canning, drying, fermenting and making infusions has become something of a cottage industry, or at least a passionate hobby. Ready to answer all your oddball questions is expert Sherri Brooks Vinton, with her new “Put ‘Em Up! Preserving Answer Book” (2014, Storey Publishing; $16.95). You last met this author on ShockD in April 2013 with her recipe for Limoncello from “Put ‘Em Up Fruit.” I can’t tear myself away from this book, which is perhaps surprisingly engrossing. There are recipes sprinkled througout, as well; always a plus.

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Ataulfo mango from Melissa's Produce on ShockinglyDelicious.com13. Ataulfo mangoes

I used to only consider buying the big fat mangoes, figuring that there was more flesh per fruit, and mangoes were all the same anyway. Oh how wrong I was! My new favorite is the variety called the Ataulfo mango, which is small, golden yellow skinned when ripe and sometimes labeled a “champagne” mango. When you cut it, you’ll notice right away it has a wafer-thin pit, and the flesh is silky smooth with no fibers. Ah…mango me! We share them for breakfast, and dice them into salads. Available March through September, with the peak of season May-July.

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Disclosure: Phil’s 21 Spice Rub, Not Ketchup, Tortatos, Storey Publishing and Melissa’s Produce sent products for review. There was no expectation of a positive review and all opinions are, as always, my own. I only recommend things I like, use and would buy for myself. 

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Tina Muir April 3, 2014 at 4:15 am

I love everything about this post, I am not sure what to comment on first! Love all the foodie things; map, video, font! Love the new mango you just introduced me to, and I love the not ketchup! Never heard of it, but sounds great! I should get my hands on a copy of that book too! Phew! You have given me too much to think about 😛


Dorothy Reinhold April 3, 2014 at 7:41 am

How great, on all of the things that interest you! I think that’s a good problem to have…too much to think about. 🙂


Christy April 2, 2014 at 1:08 pm

I believe I have some shopping to do now. Great list!


Erika Kerekes {Not Ketchup} March 31, 2014 at 7:00 pm

Dorothy, thanks so much for including Not Ketchup on your list. I am honored that Not Ketchup is one of your favorite things this month!


Dorothy Reinhold April 1, 2014 at 9:20 am

Have been smearing it on sandwiches. It makes them all better! Well, haven’t tried it with peanut butter yet. 🙂


Christina Peters March 31, 2014 at 11:47 am

So much fun! Love the world made of food


Dorothy Reinhold March 31, 2014 at 1:14 pm

Aren’t those maps just wonderful?


GALINA March 29, 2014 at 6:39 pm



sippitysup March 29, 2014 at 3:19 pm

Well I went and tested for my font. I’m Lumos. Evidently I’m “sheer magic”. Really it said that. GREG


Dorothy Reinhold March 29, 2014 at 4:16 pm



sippitysup March 29, 2014 at 3:14 pm

I wonder what typeface I am? GREG


Jeanne @JollyTomato March 29, 2014 at 12:57 pm

I think I want everything on this list (especially the glass garage door kitchen)!


Dorothy Reinhold March 29, 2014 at 2:53 pm

You do, you do!


Nancy @ gottagetbaked March 28, 2014 at 11:27 am

Thanks for mentioning the banana bread I made, Dorothy! I really need to make your original recipe without all the tweaks because I know that it’ll be amazing! As for those Ataulfo mangoes – they’re my absolute favourite! I don’t buy any other kind. When summer comes, I usually buy a box per week and I’ll eat a mango a day. Love them!


Dorothy Reinhold March 28, 2014 at 12:24 pm

I am so happy to hear there are others in the mango-a-day club. Seriously, we can go through 4 or so of them every day at our house. It’s crazy!


Liz March 28, 2014 at 8:29 am

Thank you for sharing and have a Wonderful Weekend!


Dorothy Reinhold March 28, 2014 at 10:01 am

Thank you, Liz! You are my most consistent fan!


TheSoulfulSpoon March 28, 2014 at 8:07 am

Lovely list of finds Dorothy:) I have never had goat’s milk yogurt but heard it’s great:) Thanks for the cute parfait chart! I’ll also have to try your kale salad, it sounds delish!:)


Dorothy Reinhold March 28, 2014 at 10:03 am

I was surprised at how much I liked goat’s milk yogurt. It isn’t super goaty, if you know what I mean. I love having a chart of parfait ideas. Sometimes my brain just needs a jolt from an outside source!


Sally Newton March 28, 2014 at 7:44 am

Great round up!

I had to smile at Phil’s 21 spice mix, sounds way too appropriate as a gift for my beloved husband 😉


Dorothy Reinhold March 28, 2014 at 10:04 am

Seriously, I use this stuff ALL THE TIME!


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