Saturday, August 14, 2010

Fresh, fresh, fresh

Not knowing what to make for Sunday dinner this week, I visited the grocery this morning. Probably a bad idea; I hadn't had breakfast yet and EVERYTHING looked great. Also, I had no plan. That said, I think we can be happy tomorrow.

I picked up some scrumptious looking local grown produce: purple eggplant, Italian eggplant, and heirloom tomatoes. I also picked up some sweet potatoes and portabello mushroom caps. After the grocery I stopped by my sister's house and picked up some cucumbers from her garden. And, then I wondered what am I going to make with these? Well, I'm going to make that yummy tomato bread salad I've been talking about (and making at the drop of a hat) this summer. I'm going to put together some kind of an eggplant Parmesan with portabello mushrooms dish. The sweet potatoes will be reserved for another day.

But that's not all I bought at the grocery. I also picked up a seedless watermelon, a fresh pineapple, a couple of mangoes, some pluots, strawberries, and cherries. I'm going to put together a fresh fruit salad too! We have blueberries, nectarines, and plums at our house already. I'm not sure yet what exactly will make it into the fruit salad. I also picked up an angel food loaf to go along with the fruit salad.

I made a similar fresh fruit salad to take to my friend Liz's house a few weeks ago and it was delicious!!! It had watermelon, pineapple, cherries, nectarine, blueberries, and strawberries. What originally really spurred me to make the fruit salad is a new tool from Pampered Chef: the pineapple wedger. This totally cool tool has truly transformed my willingness to use fresh pineapple. I used to really dislike cleaning, cutting, and slicing fresh pineapple because of how slippery it is. Well, the pineapple wedger takes care of it all in one smooth motion (ok, so not the slicing, but it's much easier once the wedger has been used first). I cannot profess my happiness with this tool enough. If you like fresh pineapple, you too might want one of these for your kitchen.

Oh - and one more tool that makes preparing fresh cherries a breeze is the cherry pitter. Pampered Chef used to have one, I don't see it on their website today. Mine is not from Pampered Chef, but I also don't know where I bought it. If you find one, I highly recommend this tool too.


  1. My Mom got that pineapple wedger from Pampered Chef and had to return it. She said it was so hard to push down -- even my Dad had trouble with it. Were they doing something wrong, you think?

  2. Annette - the pineapple wedger was really hard for me the first time I used it too. In fact, because I'm short, I stood on a stool to get a good angle to push the wedger down. I had my husband help me at the bottom of the pineapple because I couldn't seem to get the wedger all the way through (you also have to use the cover at the end of cutting to raise the pineapple up in order to get through the bottom). I think I had three things going there: I think the pineapple itself was a little too tough; I think I was a bit hesitant about the wedger because it is so very sharp on the cutting edge; and I think the pineapple may have been too big/wide. The second time I used it, the wedger worked much easier; I had a skinnier pineapple (I didn't pick out the biggest of the bunch); I also felt like I knew what I was doing the second time around. Sorry to read it didn't work for your parents. I completely understand how that is possible.