Tag Archives: gluten free

An introduction to Earth Fare plus a $50 gift card giveaway!

Note: Contest is over. Please see the bottom for the winner!

As I mentioned in a previous post, we recently moved from the Southwest US to the Southeast.  I was very set in my ways in the Southwest with Sprouts and Trader Joe’s. I was devastated that my new location had neither of these stores and worried that grocery shopping would never be the same again.

Then I met Earth Fare.

What is Earth Fare, you ask? It’s like a small Whole Foods, which makes it more my style. I tend to get lost in the giant Super Markets that have become America (Wal-mart, Publix, Safeway, etc). So much food that isn’t really food, but rather chemical concoctions made to look like food and fool us. I don’t need any of that nonsense. Now, don’t get me wrong, Whole Foods is a great store with great products. But it is big, too big for me.

Earth Fare is perfect for your weekly grocery shopping. It has an excellent produce section, most of which is local and/or organic.  They have a bulk section for grains, nuts, and legumes.  Also in the bulk section is freshly roasted coffee, with the roast date. A must for any coffee lover. And for the tea lovers, an entire wall of tea, plus a bulk tea section. And, to my delight, an excellent selection of King Arthur Flour products, including bread flour, AP flour, and cake flour, all at prices comparable to places like Publix, and even a good supply of their gluten free products! Finally, my most favorite part on the grocery side: the cheese section and olive bar. Right next to the great wine selection. It’s my little slice of heaven! (You may think I only do desserts but I am a huge fan of wine and food that compliments wine.) This is just a sample. They also have a huge herbal remedy section, dry goods, a meat counter, dairy (aside from the speciality cheese section), olive oils, etc. I’m wondering how they cram so much good stuff into a little store!

Now, if all that wasn’t enough, they also have an excellent deli, salad bar, and bakery section. They’ve got who knows how many hot foods to chose from, paninis, and I don’t even know where to start with their bakery section! Great place to pick up a healthy dinner on the run, or to sit and enjoy breakfast.

Oh, and I almost forgot the most important part. Earth Fare does not sell anything with high fructose corn syrup (sorry, don’t believe those corn commercials sayings sugar is sugar!), artificial sweeteners or preservatives, animal by-products, and a really long list of bad, artificial things that you don’t want in your body. You can find that list here. If you eat like I do, you avoid these kinds of products which is very hard to do if you shop at places like Wal-mart or other gigantic stores. If you’ve never looked at the ingredients of the items you are buying, give it a shot. You will be blown away. Bread does not need 50 ingredients. Pasta doesn’t need anything but flour, eggs, and water. Yogurt doesn’t need a list of 20 things I can’t pronounce! We need real food for our bodies. Earth Fare makes that easy. Now to hop off my soap box.

As you can see, I like Earth Fare. So much so I think you should give it a try. For the awesome $50 gift card giveaway, tell me why eating healthy is important to you and what you’ve done to make changes in your life in the comment section.

Rules:

1. You must live within 100 miles of an Earth Fare.

2. You must make a comment in the comment section regarding healthy eating.

3. Contest ends on Sunday, February 27, 2011 at 11:59pm.

4. Winner will be chosen at random and announced Monday, February 28, 2011.

Good luck, and happy shopping!

Contest is over!

Thanks to Random.org, the winner is:

Hoppy!

Congrats and please email me at lets.talk.cookies @ gmail.com to claim your prize!

Thanks to everyone who entered – really great responses and so glad to see everyone making an effort to be healthy and support their local Earth Fare! Keep working towards a healthier you!

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Chocoholics Beware: Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies

I’ll be the first to admit I am 100% addicted to chocolate. I must have some every day, whether it be in the form of a delicious dessert or simply just a handful of my beloved Guittard chocolate chips. So imagine my delight when I found this recipe for Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies.

First, however, I need to discuss my new favorite book, Bon Appetit Desserts, given to me as a birthday gift from a dear friend. This book will now be referred to as “My Bible”. It is an astounding 689 pages full of baking instruction, equipment and techniques, and recipes ranging from cakes all the way to candy. I’m almost considering throwing out my other baking books because everything I need seems to be in this one book. (Of course I won’t do that, since I love my cookbooks.) And what a steal at only $25 on Amazon. That comes to about three cents per page. Well worth your money.

Back to the cookies! I was looking for a new cookie and one that was fairly easy to make. Chocolate is always a bonus too. These satisfy both of those requirements. The dough ends up being almost like truffles, because there is no flour (gluten free!) and no butter or egg yolks (cholesterol free!). I was very curious as to how they would turn out with no butter or flour. Turns out, pretty amazing! They are very rich and just one will satisfy your sweet tooth. Perhaps then we could also call them “Diet Friendly”?

The recipe is very easy and I did not modify it at all, which is on page 539 of the book.

  • 1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate, about 9 ounces, divided
  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder (not dutch process)
  • 1 TB cornstarch
  • 1/4 Tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 400F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silpat. Melt 1 cup chocolate chips in glass bowl in microwave, stirring twice, about 2 minutes. Watch carefully to keep from burning.  Let cool slightly.

Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites in a large bowl (or use stand mixer) until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in 1 cup powdered sugar. Continue beating until mixture resembles soft marshmallow cream (soft meringue). Whisk 1 cup powdered sugar, cocoa powder (sift first!), cornstarch, and salt in a medium bowl. On low speed, beat dry ingredients into meringue. Stir in lukewarm chocolate and remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Dough will become very stiff.

Place remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar in small bowl. Using a scoop, roll 1 tablespoon of dough into a ball; roll in powdered sugar, coating thickly. Place on prepared sheet, repeat with remaining dough. Cookies will spread, but not much. Bake cookies until puffed and tops crack, about 10 minutes. Cool on sheets on racks 10 minutes. Transfer to racks and cool completely.

Then pour yourself a glass of milk and enjoy!

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