Since becoming a mother, I’ve missed cooking. I have always prided myself on being able to loosely follow a recipe or make up my own, and get pretty delicious results. It’s also a joy to make a scrumptious meal for my husband, who appreciates a tasty morsel.
I have seen many slow cooker (“crock pot”) recipes in magazines, and heard fellow moms talking about loving this kitchen device.
It seems I have found my way of cooking. I bought a Cuisinart 3.5 quart Monday and I am rockin’ and rollin’. I made a paella that was yummy – threw in a flakey turbo filet from Whole Foods and smoker saffron I had from Sur La Table. Tuesday it was a turkey white bean chili with green salsa and avocado. Tonight, beef stew. Holler!
I’ve also wanted to make some nutritious food for my Ladybug. (Note to regular blog readers: I am now going to call the baby “Ladybug” or “Bug” instead of “Bean”. We actually call her the former at home regularly.) I improvised on a friend’s good suggestion to create little balls of food for the baby. I prepared four ingredients: 1) steamed yams, 2) steamed kale, 3) cous cous cooked in low-sodium chicken stock and 4) turkey browned in olive oil. Result? A mushy yet form-holding mess that Bug LOVED to pick up herself and eat! Look at me: I am a chef.
Now that I’m a culinary queen once more, I thought it wise to pull together a list of the grocery stores and markets in town. Check it out:
- New! Coming Soon! The Fresh Market. Word on the street is that there is a new, upscale grocery market coming in to the space formerly occupied by That’s Amore and Hancock Fabrics at the edge of town toward Tysons on Maple. Hey, at least it’s not another bank, pharmacy or mattress store.
- Maple Avenue Market. Right on Maple, this is a small, family-owned local shop boasts local produce and mostly organic or naturally grown foods. They are committed to supporting farms and producers, and helping us all learn about where our food comes from. They also offer a delivery service.
- Thai Market Place. As I’ve mentioned in one of my first blog posts, Drew and I discovered this little shop days after returning from our Thai honeymoon, with a hankering for homemade green curry.
- Aditi Spice Bistro. I think Aditi has the most competitive prices around for spices. And if you need a few pounds of rice, this is your place.
- Healthway Natural Foods. Located in Fairfax near Lifetime Fitness, I went here seeking knowledge about natural cures for Bug’s ear ache. They have natural foods like Whole Foods, but the selection of herbal and natural remedies seems to be larger. I think the prices are fairly comparable.
- Assal Market. Here you’ll find a bakery and supermarket that features a Hallal butcher and Persian baked goods. I haven’t been there yet, but it seems to be a sizeable store on Glyndon Street.
- In the spring, summer and fall, the Vienna Farmers Market is where we get pretty much all of our produce, dairy and some meats. I miss you Farmers Market.
And there’s also the standard big grocery stores:
- Whole Foods is my go-to place for free range, organic meats and dairy, and the variety of organic and high quality goodies I need for Bug’s basic food (i.e., wheat germ and flax seed for her oatmeal) and the special stuff for us (goat cheese crusted in red peppercorns).
- Safeway in the Pan Am Shopping Center (outside the town limits) is where I go for the, well, standard stuff—despite the always-long lines.
- Giant on Maple is the largest store within the town limits. I go when it’s convenient for me.
- Magruder’s. Magruder’s is the Washington area’s only locally owned supermarket chain and has served the community for over 131 years. I’ll get some produce there if I’m in the shopping center, on Maple and Center Street, picking up a prescription at Vienna Rexall Drugs.
- Trader Joe’s is worth a mention, even though I go to the Fairfax store, because of the fun, well-priced and high quality food they offer.
- There’s an H Mart in Fairfax kind of near Trader Joe’s, selling all sorts of Asian delights. I know it’s popular, but I’ve never been there so can’t vouch for it.