Category Archives: Food & Wine

Learn Social Media from The Fresh Market

I went shopping at Fresh Market yesterday and what a treat that was!  When they say “fresh” they meant it.  I was greeted by fresh flowers, fresh produce, fresh meats, they even make fresh sushi daily!  I swear, there were two sushi chefs preparing sushi right there, in front of your very eyes.  But sushi aside, I love how there are wide selection of exotic fruits and vegetables.  I LOVE how they stack them ever so neatly.  I also love, love, love the fresh aroma of foods being prepared to entice you and make you salivate.  But most of all, I LOVE the way the staff greeted me when I walked in the door and offered a sample of their fresh cut pineapples and fresh baked pound cake, which happened to be one of their Tuesday Special items.  The staff were so friendly, so engaging and they were simply being!  One the way out, one of the staff members even helped me to put my groceries in my car.

One other time I was there with my husband looking for something to make for our date night when one of the workers greeted and asked us, “How would you like to experience nirvana?”  What?!  Well, yeah, take me there!  🙂  He was referring to the filet mignon he was preparing.  Let me tell you, it was exquisite!  The filet mignon and the date night!  Hee!

OK, why am I telling you all this?  We in social media need to take the same advice from Fresh Market.  There they are in their store, working, doing what they do best, doing what they love and sharing it with whoever happens to walk in the door.  They talk to you, they offer help, they offer you a taste of what they have on special or otherwise.  They make your experience from beginning through end extra special.

That’s what we all need to do when we launch a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or any other social media account.  Don’t just have a social media account for the sake of it.  Get to know your customers, ask them what they like, offer a sample of what you have, talk to them, respond to them, engage with them.  It’s a two way communication.  Social media is not about being out there and yelling at people about what you do.  We already know that. We read it in your bio.  Consumers need to know that they’re being treated well, being entertained, being made to feel special.  Social media is about communicating.  Give your customers that nirvana they’re all looking for.  Because you know what?  If you won’t, they’ll go somewhere else.  It’s as easy as hitting the “dislike” and “hide” buttons.

Remember, social media is not about you — it’s about them!

And here’s what I have for you….a simple recipe from one of the items I bought.

Fresh packets of sauce mix from Chef Rick Bayless.  That’s it!  Just provide 2 pounds of boneless pork roast, cut up in chunks, brown then slow cook as instructed on the packet.  Plain and simple and it was oh so tasty!   If you could only smell the wonderful aroma in my house, you would think I labored all day.


This is what I made from the other night.  Shrimp tacos, also made with Frontera Shrimp/Fish Taco Seasoning Sauce.

Enjoy!

PS:  I dedicate this blog post to one of my online friends, Jen Olney.  Writing about our passion is what this is all about.  “Anything goes, no rules, no limits….LIFE……Just {BE}!”  Thank you Jen for the inspiration!

Chicken Flautas

What to do with left-over roast chicken?  I made chicken flautas!  Before I give you the recipe for the flautas, let me first share with you my simple roast chicken recipe that’s always 100% satisfaction guaranteed!  🙂

Rub the whole chicken with 1/4 c. olive oil.  Then on a small dish, mix 1/2 T. sea salt, 1/4 t. black pepper and 1/4 t. paprika.  Rub the dry mixture all over the chicken, as well as inside the cavity.  Stuff the chicken with 1/4 c. of sliced onion, sprigs of thyme and a whole bulb of garlic (yes, a whole bulb – don’t worry it’s an aphrodisiac!).  Cut the garlic crosswise (so the garlic flavor will slowly infuse on to the chicken as it cooks).  Slice a few cloves of garlic and put some in between the skin of the chicken and the meat.  Roast the chicken in the oven for 30 minutes in 425 degree F .  After 30 minutes, decrease the temperature to 350 degree F and cook until a thermometer inserted into the chicken breast registers 165 degree F, 30 to 45 minutes.  Enjoy!

So if you have left-over roast chicken you can make another YUMMY meal with the following recipe….

  • 1  Hass avocado, halved and pitted
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • 2 limes (1 halved, 1 cut into wedges)
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups shredded chicken
  • 1 1/2 c fresh salsa (bet you want my recipe for that one too, eh? – perhaps next post!)
  • 16 corn tortillas
  • 2 T. chopped fresh cilantro
  • sea salt
  • Vegetable oil
1)  Scoop the avocado into a blender.  Add the sour cream and the juice of 1/2 lime and pulse until smooth.  Season with salt.
2)  Squeeze the remaining 1/2 lime over the radishes in a small bowl and sprinkle with 1/4 t. salt.  Toss the chicken with 3/4 c. salsa in a medium bowl.
3)  Wrap the tortillas in paper towels and microwave until soft, about 30 seconds.  Make sure to do this step, as I tried skipping it and the tortillas broke as I try to wrap the chicken mixture in it.   Spoon the chicken mixture down the middle of the tortillas.  Fold in the ends and roll up like a burrito; secure with toothpicks.
4)  Heat 3/4 inch vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 375 degrees.  Fry the flautas, turning as needed, until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.  Remove with tongs; drain on paper towels and remove the toothpicks.  Serve with the avocado cream, radishes, cilantro, lime wedges and the remaining 3/4 c. salsa.
This sure was a hit with the family!  They requested I put this on our  Top 10 list of regular meals to cook again!  Take my word for it, it was muy delicioso!  I know, you can’t taste it, but look at how it turned out!  
 

Stir-Fried Noodles (Pancit)

Let me bring you a sampling of a well-known recipe from my native land, Philippines, called Pancit.  It’s pronounced, “Pan-set”.  It’s mainly stir-fried noodles with fresh vegetables and it can be served with or without meat.  It’s very simple to make.  Very light in calories and oh so tasty!

Here are the ingredients:

  • 8 oz. pack of egg noodles (available in your grocery store mainly in the Asian isle)
  • 1 c. chicken, pork or shrimp
  • 1/2 c. fresh carrots (thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 c. fresh peapods (with ends removed)
  • 1/4 c. fresh scallions (chopped)
  • 1/2 c. onions (thinly sliced)
  • 1 clove of garlic (crushed)
  • 1 c. chicken stock (you may use water, but I find the chicken stock to add more flavor)
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • 1T sesame oil
  • salt and pepper to taste (optional)
  • sprig of cilantro

In a skillet, on medium high heat, stir fry the meat in vegetable oil, until no longer pink, then add garlic and onions.  Cook until transparent without burning the garlic.  Then add the carrots, peapods and scallions, waiting 2 to 3 minutes in between.  I like my vegies crispy.  Spoon the ingredients in a bowl and set aside.  Meanwhile, in the same skillet (without rinsing the skillet, as this will enhance the seasoning of the noodles) add the chicken stock , soysauce and sesame oil.  Add the noodles and stir fry until the noodles are tender to your liking.  Mix the vegetables and meat mixture in with the noodles.  You may season with more salt and pepper if you wish.  Serve with a sprig of cilantro.

You may also serve this with a slice of lemon on the side.  I find that a light squeeze of the lemon juice gives the dish an added zing!

Yields:  About 4 to 6 servings.

Let me know if you try this recipe and how you like it!  I always like to hear feedback…  Enjoy.

"Stir Fried Noodles" "Pancit"

Top Chef or Top Scallops?

Here I am sitting on my comfy chair, drinking a glass of Wildekrans Pinotage 2007, while watching “Top Chef” and as usual he always says something really funny, “You’re Top Chef. Not Top Scallops”…..who said that?  Can you guess?  Answer can be found here!  Or you can post your guess and include a link so I can visit your blog too!  😉

Oh boy!  I am shocked!!!!  My favorite Top Chef contestant is going home.  I’ve always liked this contestant.  “N” took a risk and didn’t deserve to go home.  Bummer 😦

Do you watch Top Chef?  Who are you rootin’ for?