The 2010 list was pretty good. So I scrapped all of those and offer 10 new simple things:
- Make a dessert plate with a box of good cookies jazzed up with the candied fruit from Estrellita Market in Elkridge.
- Stock up on bulk coffee at Sidamo in Fulton. They roast delicious coffee (and make great sandwiches that they should advertise more).
- Grab smoked trout at the Town Grill in Lisbon. (Last year, I pushed the smoked salmon.) It's a great stop on the way to or from Larriland Farms. Grab the house-smoked salmon and use it for pasta or other recipes.
- Pick a skirt steak at Laurel Meat Market. You also can't beat the ground chuck. Ideal for hamburgers, the ground chuck would also work wonderfully for meat balls or pasta sauces. This is real meat, ground in the shop. The only kind that I want to eat these days.
- Grill some oysters from Frank's Seafood in Jessup. They'll sell you delicious bivalves, along with the oyster knife and Kelchner's cocktail sauce.
- Grab the guacamole at Roots Market. It's second to Mrs. HowChow's recipe with the chipotles, but Roots makes fresh dip that makes an easy dinner.
- Sweeten your vegetable buying by also picking up a bottle of Gorman Farm's honey. The bees work the fields, then their honey ends up in the stand with the tomatoes, peppers, greens and other produce.
- Purchase a turkey from Maple Lawn in Fulton. Go beyond a Thanksgiving beast and consider buying their smoked turkey, ground turkey or their dark-meat "saddles" for stock.
- Start checking out the Asian grocery stores like H Mart and Lotte. An easy start: the udon, soba and somen noodles that could make a dish right out of your pantry.
- Spice up your cooking by driving to Penzeys in Rockville. That's a run from Howard County, but you can buy so many different spices and mixes. It's an inspiration to spend $30 on small packages and throw away all those dried out herbs that have lived for yours in your drawer.
This week, I'm posting a series of "best of" posts starting with best restaurants and best food experiences. Then some posts about finds at stores -- the best grab and go items and the best ingredients for cooks. You can click for all the "best of" posts.