I’m pretty fond of the Near East line of flavored couscous (http://www.neareast.com/#products/couscous). My favorite is the Mediterranean Curry flavor, but the Roasted Garlic & Olive Oil and Wild Mushroom & Herb flavors are excellent as well. They’re also the quickest cooking sides I’ve ever made. A full saucepan will cook in less than five minutes, pretty awesome.
Also on the Middle Eastern front is Tribe Hummus (http://www.tribehummus.com/) and Ralphs market Tabouli. You can probably get fresher and tastier from a specialty store, but for the folks that live out in the smaller cities this is the best option. Tribe makes a wide variety of flavored Hummus, but I’ve found that the regular classic recipe is still the tastiest.
Not being a big fan of salmon in general I found myself addicted to Trident brand Wild Alaskan Salmon Burgers (http://www.tridentseafoods.com/retail/products.php?id=537). They’re surprisingly easy to make and taste great even to a seafood hater like me. I think they’re formed firmly like a meaty hamburger so there’s no fragile flaking that you get with a standard fish fillet.
Gekkeikan Kobri Plum Wine (http://www.gekkeikan-sake.com/product.cfm?start=10&type=domestic) is a white wine that’s infused with plum flavoring and caramel so it’s the most golden-colored white wine money can buy. This plum wine isn’t for everyone, but it's so sweet and candy tasting it’s hard to resist. It’s got a fruity versatile taste that matches well with meat and fish alike. Dig in.
On the cooking front I’ve been using Armenian Cucumbers, aka The Snake Melon, because they stay crunchy longer than the average cucumber. I think this is due to the fact that it doesn’t hold as much water so it keeps longer. At any rate, I use these for my cucumber salads and I think they taste better than regular cukes, anyway.
These are a few of my favorite things I’ve been cooking and eating lately. It’s a great antidote to the eating-out blahs I’ve been experiencing. Cooking with these great products eliminates any kitchen nightmare you could possibly think of.
I leave you with a picture of some salt-stick rolls I baked last week. We couldn’t eat these breadly devils fast enough. Starch out!