Monday, February 13, 2012

Stuff I like

I love when I find something really good. When I do I want to share it with all my friends. The last time I shared here was more than  3 years ago. BTW, I still love those things I wrote about then, especially the sponges.

This is not a new favorite thing, but definitely worth mentioning. If you hate the taste of licorice, feel free to move on, though it is hard to imagine there is anyone who could hate this. So delicious. It has a natural sweetness and wonderful fragrance. Stash brand teas are made here in Portland, but I think they are available widely.

A more recent discovery.

Wow, is this good! From my old reliable Trader Joe's, this very dark (85% cacao) chocolate from Colombia is better than any of those expensive chi chi chocolate bars. At $1.49 for two bars in a package, it is an affordable addiction. I love reading about all the antioxidant health benefits dark chocolate has. That makes it sort of like vitamins or exercise in my book. I eat it for my health, plus it is intoxicatingly delicious.

So, you know I have white hair. Have had for years. If you have white hair you know it can look dingy and yellowish, which is just not pretty. Ugh. The simple, but apparently little known, solution is purple shampoo, made for white hair. This is my favorite, Jhirmack Silver Plus. They recently changed the packaging. I hate when they do that. It makes it so hard to spot in the store. I thought they had stopped making it, but I finally found it again.

The shampoo itself is just about exactly the color of the lid—really purple. My supposition is that it has just enough purple coloring to neutralize any yellow tones. Whatever, it really works to keep white hair bright and white. Geezer beauty tip of the day!

And last, but maybe best—carb-free noodles. Not really noodles, but the best substitute I have come across. I am really trying to cut carbs in my diet, both to lose some weight and to lower my blood sugar. I just came across this idea. Zucchini noodles.

Take a fresh zucchini, peel or not (I peel) then slice off thin "noodles" with a potato peeler. Work your way, in a circle, around the zucchini until you get to the seedy center. When it starts to break down as you peel it, discard the center seedy part (or save for soup, as one web site suggested, but who does that?). Put the strips in a colander or sieve and sprinkle liberally with salt and toss. Let sit for 30 minutes to an hour while the salt sweats some of the water out of the zucchini.  Before serving, rinse the salt off and squeeze the water out. DON'T cook. Cover with something delicious in the way of sauce. I had it with beef Stroganoff yesterday and it was incredibly like good, al dente pasta. You do not taste zucchini, but you get the texture and consistency of noodles. One medium sized zucchini yields a generous serving. (That's one in the photo)

I also like spaghetti squash or eggplant as a pasta substitute, but the zucchini strips are even better, in my opinion.


  1. It is 2am - What am I doing? Cracking up over your comment "Geezer beauty tip of the day". What a wit you are. Especially love the zucchini idea.
    Your secret word is "grinatia" - maybe that is a new word for people who sit grinning at their computer in the middle of the night.

  2. thanks so much for the zucchini tip. I will try it today! We are trying to work the lo-carb thing around here for the same reasons and I am running out of ideas.

  3. Terry, I am so with you on the changing of the packaging. I'm still having trouble finding Total for my husband since they changed the package - and now they changed it again!

  4. Anonymous5:31 AM

    What wonderful ideas! I will try them all. Happy Valentine's day to you.

  5. Oh that is good to know about the zucchini. I am not a big fan of spaghetti squash, but I do like zucchini. And thx for the heads up on Trader Joe's dark chocolate, I usually end up at Whole Foods as it is closer and has my favorite yogurt always in stock, but the price of the dark chocolate bars make them a rare luxury.

  6. Oops. Darn comment authorization. I accidentally "deleted" instead of "posted" Joanne's comment, but here it is:

    Joanne S has left a new comment on your post "Stuff I like":

    I also adore the zucchini strips and have actually thought about taking a serving with me if I eat Italian out.

    I cut mine, dangerously, on a julienne cutter and have also sliced my thumb. My husband likes to pour his pasta water over my strips--thus cooking them--which is okay but not al dente.

    Now I intend to check out the sponges.

  7. Jesisca G.10:12 AM

    Ooooh...the licorice spice tea is certainly not new, but I do love it. We can get Stash here, but it's been a while since I've seen it in the store. I could probably check the Co-Op. And the zucchini strips are calling my name (I see it and I crave it at this point in my pregnancy!) We won't even broach the subject of chocolate!

    Thanks for reminding me of things I love too! :)

  8. Thanks for posting the directions on the zucchini noodles! I've tried making them several times before but they were always incredibly watery, thus making the sauce watery and making the whole dish rather meh. I haven't tried this idea with the salt, though, so I'll try the zucchini once again! :) Thanks!

  9. I've been using spaghetti squash for years as a pasta substitute...I'm definitely going to do the Z thingie...thanks for the tip!