I’ve recently come in contact with some ridiculously delicious retail food items so I thought I’d share my discoveries with you.
First, Julie Anne’s granola.
Julie lived across the hall from my brother in the dorms at UNLV. Yeah, that was a while ago. I had dinner with her in Jackson this summer while she and her hubby were on vaca there, and looked my brother up. I was lucky enough to get a box of her goodies in the mail when I arrived back in Chicago.
She makes all of it herself, with no help, from all natural ingredients. She even packs it and hand labels every little pouch of crunchy deliciousness. She started with just one flavor, Sweet Citrus, sort of a creamsicle flavor profile; orange and vanilla. Then, when the Whole Foods in Vegas picked it up, they started asking what other flavors the could sell. Apparently it was flying off the shelves. Now she has 5 flavors: Raspberry Truffle, Maple Blueberry, Tropical Bliss and, my personal favorite, PB&J which has salty roasted peanuts and fat, chewy dried whole strawberries. YUM!
She suggests it not only for breakfast, but also as a snack or sprinkled over ice cream or frozen yogurt for crunch factor. Ummm… OK!
If you don’t happen to live in Vegas, you can order it through her website: www.julieannes.com.
And speaking of ice cream… there’s something else I want to talk to you about: Graeter’s Ice Cream. WHOA! Seriously. I thought all ice cream was good… until I tasted Graeter’s… then I realized that some are just WAY better than others.
A little ice cream fairy dropped 6 pints in front of my front door a couple of weeks back and boy-oh-boy are my taste buds grateful for it!
Apparently this is an old school Chicago company that’s has been around forever (like, since 1870) but is having some kind of resurgence. I’m happy they are. It’s family owned and makes AMAZING small batch ice cream from all natural ingredients. Really, did I say amazing?
My fave is the butter pecan. My pops would FLIP over this stuff (butter pecan is always his favorite but this is way beyond what you get in the grocery store). The black raspberry with chocolate ‘chips’ is pretty damn wonderful too. As is the vanilla… and strawberry… and mocha… AND mint chocolate ‘chip’. I put the word ‘chip’ in quotes because, unless you consider a 3″x3″ SLAB of dark chocolate a ‘chip’, I’d probably call it something else.
Last night I got an even bigger hunk (which I dropped the ball on photographing, sorry) in the luscious black raspberry scoop I had. Wowza.
I think they sell in some local groceries (maybe even Whole Foods?) in Chicago but they also mail order (www.graeters.com). I think it’d make a great gift for the ice cream lover in the fam… just sayin.
So those are my recommendations/props to some people making food better than they have to. Just wanted to say “Thanks” for doing that.