Snow Daze

I haven’t gotten out much lately. And neither have most people in Fort Worth. On the heels of a storm that wouldn’t have touched the well-equipped north, we have been stopped in our tracks, many enduring rolling blackouts as they try to keep their homes heated and their children entertained, subsisting on whatever food happened to be on hand Monday night. Side streets are still encrusted in ice, and now the ice has a couple inches of fresh snow on it. I haven’t seen any plows. There seems to be sand but no salt. I’m a little embarrassed for our city that we’re so ill equipped. The public school system is on its fourth day of hiatus, and so is the local university. Garbage collection isn’t happening this week. And those poor restaurateurs who were all pumped up to serve the Super Bowl crowd? You can imagine. So this week, my culinary musings are more basic:

1. The new Sprouts Market at Hulen and I-20 is already filling its role of being the neighborhood market we were missing in this corner of Fort Worth; it was my first venture out after the storm. They have their own line of sandwich bread that’s great; I’m partial to the whole wheat-and-oat variety. They have great deals on various items, not so-great-deals on others (so keep an open mind when you shop). They have fewer fresh organics than I expected from a place that calls itself a farmers’ market, though good prices on organic apples, and a big supply of organic frozen vegetables. It’s very good to have them in the neighborhood, and it’s definitely not scary.

2. The Mexican chocolate I have leftover from testing molten chocolate cakes for a February story for Indulge magazine makes divine hot chocolate; in fact, that’s its intended purpose. My children are as unable to sit still as I am, so even in the extreme cold, they’ve played outside every day, coming in to warm up. The cinnamon-scented hot chocolate has been a favorite this week. (I bought it at Central Market, but it's widely available.) We like it with popcorn.

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3. If you’re watching a certain football game this weekend, then follow this link for some dip recipes. This was a fun story to put together, and I made most of the dips, since we shot it at my house. The Modern Green Goddess dip is a recipe that my mother-in-law and I perfected when we were visiting over the winter, and it’s good enough to eat with a spoon, though it’s even better with potato chips. The cheddar dip for pretzels was also a big hit at the shoot.