My regular readers know I was in Austin these past few days...and since I missed my opportunity to shop Central Market during my February trip, I had a little list I'd been saving up.
I have been wanting to make Macarons...the French meringue sandwich cookies using almond flour for some time now. I went to our local stores and did find it at one location...a very small package for TWELVE FREAKING DOLLARS!
Uh, I don't think so! I bought some almonds...I have a food processor...and knew I could grind my own. It's been so horribly humid down here I've been afraid to make them...so I still have the almonds waiting. So, when I went to Central Market in South Austin (my favorite store) I was so happy to find Almond "Meal" aka ground almonds for $6.99/pound. I got 1/3 pound and it only cost $2.52! Happy days!
Then I got some Turbinado Sugar...bulk $1.49/pound. Awesome.
10 whole nutmegs for $1.36.
A quarter pound of sesame seeds for under a dollar....and
.15 pound of poppy seeds for $1.35 (that's a goodly amount of those tiny seeds!).
Also got some beautiful pecan halves...not that cheap, but they were local to South/Central Texas, and I like that. They taste fabulous (I have nibbled on a small handful). Got more of the bulk Callebaut semi-sweet chocolate chunks I love for baking. Oh, yes...and organic roasted soy nuts for munching. Yum!
I was nearly dancing in the aisles :-)
Next I was searching for some pure vanilla extract and found, instead (well, in addition to), a jar of Pure Vanilla Bean Paste...which I'd been searching for since I started seeing it in recipes.
I was nearly exhausted from my excitement in the bulk section - and seeing Source Code at the theater around the corner at the Westgate Theater. My hubby and I agreed...the movie really kept you engrossed...I didn't nod off once (I'm prone to nodding off in a theater when they lose my attention). We both give it two thumbs up. It's kind of freaky premise, but it is a good movie. I also had an awesome lunch in the Central Market Cafe...their Asian Chicken Char Sui Salad is a great favorite of mine.
We attempted to go to Costco...because I like Kirkland's Vanilla...but there was not a parking place to be found!!! We went to the Sam's Club instead. Tone's 100% pure Vanilla extract with no corn syrup was under $7 for 16 ounces...it smells pretty good...hope it is a "good buy". My sister likes this brand and I saw lots of the Tone branded spices in her cupboards. They used to own a bakery...they should know. Hope it's good because I am going broke buying vanilla down here in little bottles!!!
OK, well, that's that for the Austin food shopping excursion.
At the risk of being repetitious...buy bulk when you can...but only if it is a large volume turnover bulk seller. A wonderful way to have low-cost fresh spices, flours, nuts, and sugars that you pay big bucks for when pre-packaged.
Now, I'm off to find recipes for these fun products!
Bon Appetit, Y'all!!!