I love grocery shopping, it's my down time, time to relax, unwind a bit and think about all the things I could make for dinner or just for fun! I'm pretty methodical about my shopping, It seems that most stores begin with produce and then work your way through the rest of the store to the dairy section. Meats always seem to find there place in the back of the store so that no matter what aisle you come out of your in the meat section.
Wegman's is laid out a little differently which makes my shopping more of a criss cross pattern. Produce first, but all the meats and seafoods along with the bakery are on the right, everything else in the store to the left.....of course that means as a creature of habit, I pick up almost all of my produce first, then move on to groceries, dairy, and finally onto meats and seafood, with one last stop at produce to pick up any fresh herbs or veggies to go with the proteins I just picked out. Wegman's is a huge store, and its a good hour and half before I'm out of there, you know some marketing guy is doing a happy dance when he hears that news....you see the more time you spend in the store, the more you buy!
I'm really lucky to have such a great selection of fresh seafood this close to home, and it is hard to decide some days. I like to vary my selection, but my wife does love flounder, and this time of year its coming from Iceland (our local flounder is still a few months away). As I walked away with my flounder for the night, I saw the jumbo lump.....sigh, it was back! What's a chef to do! Of course I picked up a pound of that beautiful fresh Maryland crab meat, although a bit pricey it would make 2 good dinners which makes it an economical choice vs dining out (that's the logic I try to use when ever I spend that much for seafood), and of course it was a special occasion. My wife passed her Praxis exams as a Reading specialist! I had told her I would take her out to celebrate but when I saw that beautiful crab meat I decided to make something special instead!
To say she was over joyed with the meal would have been an understatement, the Stuffed Flounder was the perfect meal to celebrate her success and would be one we would be revisiting! The nice thing about this dish is that it can be prepped ahead of time, so the only work you really have to do is pop it in the oven when your guests arrive. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
Ask Chef Dennis
I have been asked many times about social media etiquette, and it's really no different than blogging etiquette. Just follow the one basic rule, do unto others as you would have them do unto you! It's not rocket science people!! If someone follows you, and they're a blogger just like you, then follow them back! Now there are certain circumstances where I do not reciprocate, some followers are the equivalent to spam, or represent something completely unrelated to food, in that case use your judgement. But if Aunt Martha from Aunt Martha Cooks, likes your page or follows you, show them the same courtesy.
Social media is definitely not going away, so it's to embrace it and let it help you grow. It's not just about accumulating friends or followers, but its about finding those people you really connect with or that you can learn from. You never know where your next inspiration or new friend might come from, and if you don't put yourself out there, your missing a great opportunity to grow.
I also remember how it felt to start out, and how alone I felt, and how I wondered if anyone out there was reading what I wrote, or even knew or cared that I existed. What I learned during that time, was to be kind to other bloggers, not to be afraid to ask for help, and not to make this a competition. As a chef not being competitive was one of the hardest habits to break.....but look at the wonderful friends I would have missed if I had isolated myself and not taken the time to make new friends.
Where would we be without social media, Facebook, Foodbuzz, Twitter and everything in between!
Speaking of social media, I have come across a few new sites and some tools to use them. Facebook is getting some competition, one new site made up of former Facebook associates is Path.com. It looks like they're taking a different approach to interacting with your friends with pictures of what your doing.
Check it out and get your screen name before its too late! Another fun site I came across is Foodspotting.com, it's not your normal foodporn site, instead it's a place to showcase your favorite restaurant food in pictures. I was surprised at how many entry's were already in my area, why not add yours as well! Check it out and have fun!
I have to admit, I'm still in the learning stage with twitter. I no one stumbling block is my phone......half of it's dead and it wasn't social media friendly to begin with!
But I did come across some really fun apps to make your twitter experience easier and more fun!
Now one thing I did discover with Twitter, were the spam like followers, or even foodie followers who stop following you after you have followed them. How many of us really think about it after we follow someone? I found a few tools that will help weed out those types of followers. Check out Tweeter Karma, and see who is following you, and who you are following......believe me it will be an eye opener!
The other app I used was Qwitter which emails me when someone stops following me on twitter, I guess I'm just to easy going and follow those that have followed me.....well fool me once...lol!
Now I get notified if what I thought was a friend was really spam.
For those of you that are looking for a tool that will give you, your tweets, email, IM's, facebook and Linkedin messages, look no further.......Digsby is here! This is definitely the king of social media apps, check it out, it might actually save you time!
I would like to take this time to give a shout out to my friend Nancy at Spicie Foodie, please take a minute and head on over to see the May edition of Your Best Recipes. Its quite an impressive collection of incredible dishes, you will be so happy you stopped by!
Nancy has been kind enough to run this once a month to let us highlight our favorite dishes of the month, and luckily I remembered this month....sigh.. thanks Nancy!!
Well my friends, that's about it for today, I hope where ever you are, your having good weather, enjoying good food and spending time with those that you love! Even with out the first, life can be pretty good!
As I wind down the last few days of school, I take a final look at another graduating class. Girls that started at the Mount four years ago will be graduating this Saturday and that will be the last time I see most of them. It gets harder every year to say goodbye to them. But that is the cycle of life.
Thanks so much for stopping by today and enjoy the rest of your week. Just remember.......
Share Your Knowledge-Together We Are Stronger
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