Food Products

Food was a big part of our family's upbringing. Our mother was a talented and daring cook who made every kind of fondue, curries with fresh coconut, and shrimp dishes in every imaginable way. She was an even better baker. Cheesecake was Mom's masterpiece. For school parties and scouts over the holidays, I can still picture her baking  and decorating hundreds of sugar cookies. Of course, she made a dozen kinds of pies from scratch.

My grandmother grew fresh vegetables in her backyard when we were young, and we had many southern summer dinners with squash or green beans, blackeyed peas with a few tender okra pods, sliced homegrown tomatoes, homemade chow-chow and cornbread, and sweet tea. These lazy summer days with Granny are some of my favorite memories.

Now that we are grown, we have to temper our love of food with the realities of eating to stay well. The truth is, our Granny, who was a big fan of Jack LaLanne and Adele Davis, would talk to us about eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and nuts and avoiding junk food. She went to the farmers market and would buy 50 pound bags of carrots to juice for her children and grandchildren. My daughter has become a vegan and convinced me that I should join her on her path. I've had baby kale, avocado, and cannellini bean salad the last two days for lunch. It was very good, although I was happy to hear something else was on the menu tomorrow. My husband is joining us for many of these healthy meals.

We are just starting on the recipes for our ezine, and we have many family favorites to share. With Lizzie's help, we'll include the best of our vegan dishes, like Walnut White Bean Hummus. 

On this page, we'll include ingredients that we love and use often, along with complimentary recipes and ideas. We hope you'll try the Asian Chicken Salad recipe and other recipes we've made over the years. If there are any recipes you'd like to share or suggest, please let us know at

Our Favorite Food Products

bottles of flavored oil

Favorite Oils 

La Tourangelle Roasted Walnut Oil is great in salad dressing, on pasta with walnuts and herbs, and in baked goods like banana bread. Deep, earthy flavor.

Truff Truffle Oil adds something special to pasta, mushroom dishes, and homemade french fries.

Chosen Avocado Oil is great for cooking, baking, and salad dressings.

Extra-virgin olive oil is essential for so many recipes. Our favorite everyday brand is Rustico, and we get it at our local grocery store. Another great choice as a bread dip and salad dressing we enjoy is this Garcia de la Cruz Organic Spanish Extra Virgin Olive Oil, especially smooth and fruity.

La Tourangelle Expeller-Pressed Grapeseed Oil, High Heat Neutral Cooking Oil, Cast Iron Seasoning is both healthy and versatile. 

chili sauce, garlic

Spices, Condiments, Miscellaneous

Nutty Gourmet Pistachio Butter

Pistachio butter, where have you been all my life? This spread is wonderful on toast and anything else you can think to put it on. I sliced fresh figs on top of my whole grain toast with pistachio butter, and it was divine. Best of all, it saves about $4.50 for the two jar pack with Prime over buying it at our grocery store. 

Big Tree Coconut Aminos are terrific for stir-frys, salad dressings, and flavoring anything that needs a bit of depth. A great substitute for soy sauce.

Smoked Paprika is an essential ingredient in many of my favorite dishes, especially tacos and chili, and is also good with chicken, fajitas, and any dish that needs a bit of smokiness. This is the most cost-effective way I've found to buy it.

The Spice Way - Traditional Lebanese Zaatar with Hyssop, 6 oz  We love this brand of zaatar to sprinkle on our homemade hummus. It is also good with olive oil as a bread dip and sprinkled on soft cheeses like labane. The hyssop is what makes it distinctive, and this is a well packaged, dependable brand.

Our favorite salts can make all the difference in the taste of your food. Starting with Maldon Salt, Sea Salt Flakes, 8.5 oz. This makes a great finishing salt or seasoning as you are cooking. Maldon Smoked Sea Salt Flakes, 4.4 oz . We love this on hamburgers, steaks, and anything that tastes good with a hint of hickory smoke.

cute guy taking croissants out of the oven

Baking Ingredients

Simply Organic Pure Vanilla Extract is our preferred brand out of all the ones we have tried. Great for smoothies too.

Rodelle Gourmet Baking Cocoa, 1.54 Lb, Pack Of 2 This is the best cocoa I've found, and the most cost-effective way to buy it. The bag has a must-try brownie recipe. Bob's Red Mill Baking Powder, 14 oz (2 Pack) Double-Acting: No Added Aluminum. Or buy Rumford Aluminum-Free Baking Powder. None of us need aluminum in our diets, and it can give food a metallic flavor.  If you have someone to share the second bag with, this is an economical option with a trusted brand.

SAF Instant Premium Yeast - 1 LB

We all remember when we couldn't get bread, yeast, or flour anywhere, and how we all ended up making sourdough. I kept it up for a year, then got tired of the mess. I have a bag of this SAF instant yeast in my fridge that I'm still using, and it is a wonder. It stays fresh longer than those expensive little packets. I can make pizza crust or dinner rolls in 30 minutes. It works wonderfully for bread, even with all purpose flour. To go with it, I always keep a couple of bags of King Arthur flour on hand.