A Few of Our Favorite Things – March Edition

By Ann Fulton & Emily Russo, MS, RD, CDN

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We never thought dental floss would be on our favorite things list, but it made the cut this month along with our favorite new book, new kitchen accessories, and springtime recipes to get us excited for the warmer weather!

The groundhog saw his shadow last month, but given his track record (he’s been right 4 out of 10 of the last years), we’re optimistic that springtime will come sooner than we think.🤞

This Favorite Things collection is one of our most random – and we think that’s a good thing. After all, different things appeal to different people, right?

Make sure to also scroll down for our seasonal menu ideas that highlight March produce…green is in the air! ☘️

Charcoal Dental Floss
Yes, this is a thing! With an upcoming procedure on her mind, Ann has been perusing the dental aisles a bit more carefully these days. She stumbled upon Oral B Charcoal Infused Dental Floss ($5.99) that claims to remove plaque while also whitening teeth.

She likes it because it slides easily between teeth but is “grippier” than many standard flosses, and as a result seems to clean better. Despite what it may seem, there is no black residue left behind either.

Favorite Things Charcoal Dental Floss

Ann gives the product a 👍 and has recently gone one step further and tested Coco Floss. It’s infused with coconut oil (a natural antimicrobial), and comes in fruity flavors and colorful packaging that may appeal to kids who are reluctant to floss. The 4-pack seems expensive at $33, but the rolls are generous (32 yards per box) and the company offers a 10% discount with a new purchase.

Finishing Salt
Jacobsen Salt Co. will tell you that they are the first company to harvest salt in the Pacific Northwest since the 1800s, and that it’s harvested from the cold, pristine waters of Netarts Bay on the Oregon Coast. Their flake and kosher sea salts have garnered worldwide acclaim from chefs and home cooks thanks to their beautiful presentation and pure taste.

Jacobsen Sea Salt

We love this flaky salt as a finishing touch that balances sweets (like Nutella Brownies), or to liven up avocado toast, scrambled eggs, or simply roasted vegetables.

Weee!
Emily first noticed this company when she saw boxes with the label ‘Weee!’ piled high in her apartment building lobby. Upon closer look, she discovered that her fellow residents were ordering hard-to-find, fresh and shelf-stable pan-Asian groceries (such as Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, and Korean).

This Favorite Things Collection has something for everyone, including a new book, kitchen accessories, and springtime recipes!

She decided to try for herself, and describes it as an Amazon-Instacart hybrid. Weee! would be fun to try if you’d like to make sushi rolls with authentic Japanese sushi rice and roasted seaweed, or sample new produce like Korean pears and yellow dragon fruit.

Personalized Placemats 
A simple placemat design has the power to stimulate conversation at mealtime, especially when the designs are particularly innovative. Ann and I like these adult coloring placemats, which include laminating pouches.

Dean Sarah + Abraham Placemat

We have also sent these personalized Sarah & Abraham placemats to friends with young kids as a housewarming gift.

Organic Cotton Beeswax Wraps
If looking for ways to reduce waste and use of plastics, check out these products from Supra Endura. We love the food wraps and the Swedish dishtowels which are cute and colorful and can make for a more sustainable kitchen.

Supra Endura Banan Wax Wrap

Adult Board Game
Emily’s dad is a serious gamer. He loves playing bridge, but has the mind for any card game. He also happens to be a history buff! He decided to test out Scythe, a board game set in 1920’s war-torn Europe.

It’s intense, competitive, and fun to play with a small group or for a family night at home. For ages 14+. Good luck!

Favorite Cheese
If you have never tried mimolette, you are in for a treat. It’s a semi-soft cow’s milk cheese traditionally produced in France. The younger varieties taste more like Parmesan and as they age become harder to chew and develop a nuttier flavor profile.

Mimolette

Its appearance is attention-grabbing, as the color resembles the flesh of a cantaloupe. Curiously, this is due to the work of tiny mites that play an important role in the aging process. They eat the mold off of the rind creating that crater-like facade. The flavor of this delicious cheese would pair well with our next item on our list…

Orange Wine
For starters, this is not wine made from oranges and the color is less orange than the title suggests. The processing – not the type of grape or region where it comes from – led to this name.

Orange Wine

The technique uses a white grape but instead of removing the skins, the skins macerate along with the rest of the grape which causes the wine to take on more color and tannins. We have tried it and like it, and feel like further exploration is warranted…any takers?

Quote of the day (with some fun trivia!)

“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” ~Dolly Parton

Put differently, Parton said that “enduring hardship is necessary to appreciate life’s joys.” The interesting backstory to this quote is that in 1974, Parton (who has written more than 3,000 songs!) was overjoyed when Elvis Presley wanted to record a cover of her latest hit, “I Will Always Love You.” The deal was that he’d only move forward if she signed away half the song’s publishing rights. Parton said she cried all night after declining the offer, but it ended up being one of the smartest decisions of her career. Not only did she have a No. 1 hit with the song, but Whitney Houston made the ballad one of the most popular recordings of all time after she recorded it for the 1992 movie “The Bodyguard”–and Dolly kept all her royalties! 

Favorite Book of the Month: Homegoing

Homegoing

Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi, is a historical novel about an African family that was split apart by the slave trade. It follows the descendants of two half-sisters, Effia and Esi, who were born into different villages in what is now Ghana. Their lives follow very different paths and set the stage for their children, grandchildren, and beyond, as the story spans 2+ centuries of generational change. Themes of slavery, racial hatred, segregation, cruelty, and redemption are forefront in this powerful story, which comes full circle in a very poignant way. 

Recipes for March
An all-in-one fresh and fulfilling meal, this Asparagus Cobb Salad is the perfect introduction to the flavors of spring.

For something hearty, this Pasta with Sausage and Shortcut Broccoli Pesto highlights a seasonal veg while sticking to the basics. A crowd-pleaser for sure!

One Pan Chicken Teriyaki Stir-Fry is a great weeknight comfort dish that incorporates Brussels sprouts in a unique way.

Spinach is so versatile and easy to cook with – but have ever used it to make a pesto? This Spinach Pesto is perfect to use before basil comes into season, and a great way to enjoy the springtime abundance!

Braised Cod with Tomatoes and Leeks is one of Emily’s most favorite Fountain Avenue Kitchen recipes. It’s easy, tasty, and highlights leeks that are such an underrated vegetable!

We can’t sign off without suggesting a fun new recipe to make for St. Patty’s Day, and Slow Cooker Corned Beef & Cabbage Soup is a family favorite and a fitting way to celebrate the holiday!

We love hearing more from you. When you make a Fountain Avenue Kitchen recipe, please show off your work. Take a picture and tag us @FountainAvenueKitchen on Facebook or Instagram and we will share your creations!

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