Grab Bag Nutrition Tip:
I KNEW the crust was the best part! Real Age reports that the high heat of baking shifts the carbs and proteins in whole grain dough into compounds that have high antioxidant properties. These were found in highest concentrations in the dark brown crusts.
Manna from heaven, baby! Current fav of mine, with a super dark and thick crust that I just discovered is Trader Joe’s Pain Pascal Organic Demi Miche. Love the list of USDA certified organic ingredients: Organic Whole Wheat Flour, Filtered Water, Sea Salt. Period. Nada mas. End of statement.
AND it is SO good with my favorite extra virgin olive oil, Santini, found also at TJ’s. I put olive oil on whole grain toast at breakfast instead of butter… maybe that sounds a bit odd, but try it… I bet you’ll never butter your buns again in the morning 🙂
Here’s what a chowhound.com forum contributor had to say about Santini olive oil:
There can be no doubt that the Santini Brand Sciclian olive oil at TJ’s is one of the best buys for the money,to be found anywhere. The fruitines of these thousand year old olive trees are a taste treat that one will long remember. My classic test for finding great olive oils is the one I grew up with. Simply fry a farm fresh egg in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. When you find yourself using the toast to mop out the pan, you have found a keeper.
Grab Bag Helping Hand:
So many of you are talented in so many ways. Let’s all think about sharing those talents with those who are aching to learn, but challenged by physical and societal circumstances. Check out how to share what you know at
Grab Bag Green Tip:
So… we’re all bringing our own bags to the market by now, aren’t we? Feels great when you stuff ’em back in your purse/glove compartment and have no bags to throw away or fold up and stack in a cupboard until you just have too many!
NOW… let’s take the next step and tuck some of THESE slick little willies inside one of those bags that you’ll be carrying in to the market:
I have numerous alternatives for you. There are many more, but I have chosen these because…. wait for it….. you can see the produce in all these bags! So you can wash and store your produce in the same bag you pop it in at the store. I am such a whiz in the kitchen… Rachel, Schmachel… Padma, Schmadma… you got nothin’.
2. BYO Bags
3. Washable Produce Bags – also available at Whole Foods
4. Reusable Snack Size Bags – Great for packing lunches:
AND… at the following website you can find fabric velcro-closure snack bags, as well as very cool “bulk bags” for buying nuts, grains, rice, etc. at your local market. Check out Plum Creek Mercantile
Grab Bag Fall/Holiday Getaway:
This is a personal recommendation, coming from first hand experience:
If you want to get REALLY far away without flying, you really need to experience Chateau du Sureau in Oakhurst, California.
Sitting a few miles outside the south gate of Yosemite, it is an extremely luxurious alternative to camping in that Queen of National Parks. Even if you never venture into Yosemite, a vacation at Chateau du Sureau is really Chateau du Surreal.
Start with the cozy and adorable 10 rooms in the Chateau. Each is unique.
Then realize there is a full service, top quality spa recently added to the property.
Add to that the actual origins of the whole place, the renowned Erna’s Elderberry House restaurant… outstanding food in a truly wonderful setting. They also offer cooking workshops for those so inclined.
And if you really want to mark a very special event or impress the majoojoo out of someone you adore, reserve the Villa Sureau. I swear… if Napoleon and Josephine had a small country villa, it would have looked like Villa Sureau. This is on the grounds of the property, and a short walk from the main Chateau and restaurant.
Grab Bag Good Guide Quiz:
The folks at Good Guide have put up an easy little quiz on a supermarket version of “This or That”. You won’t find it hard. What you will find is some interesting info that pops up after each question is answered, letting you know why the wrong choice is the worst one on their list, and why the “right” choice is better, but may not even be all that great.
Grab Bag Brain Game:
See how close you can get to pinpointing 10 random US Cities:
Grab Bag Funny Stuff:
Actually, funny once you know that everyone involved was apparently OK. But this hits home, as I am in the midst of bears climbing trees near my house and generally causing some havoc at this time of year. My dogs go nuts. At least mine are cute black bears, not the grizzly beast in the pictures below.
This came to me with the following captions which, while perhaps not written by the gents involved, certainly rings true:
“Next time, I’LL take the pictures………
…. and YOU release the friggin’ bear”.