At Home with Vicki Bensinger

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Spooky Foods

I feel terrible that I’ve been gone all week and haven’t posted a thing.  This past week was crazy and exhausting.  My poor little dog Cody has been so sick all week and has kept us up for the past 3 nights asking to be let out every 2 hours.
Cody is an English Lab who eats everything you can imagine and never gets sick.  So when he vomited 2 days in a row and then kept running to go outside I knew something wasn’t right.  Yet, he was relatively playful and still wanted to eat.  Staying up all night and then busy working during the day makes for a very tired ME!The culprit appears to be his food.  The company that we purchase his food from changed their packaging but I didn’t know they changed the ingredients – all of them. He’s been eating the same kibble for years, so when I mentioned to the gal at PetSmart, the spokesperson for this brand about the new packaging, she just said they gave it a face lift.  Apparently though they added more fat to his kibble resulting in major intestinal upset, exhaustion, a sore bottom and a dose of medication.  Rule of thumb: Never switch a dog over to new food without gradually weening them off the old – unfortunately I wasn’t aware of the change.  Hopefully we will all be catching up on our rest now.

In the meantime, I had all these great things I wanted to share with you for Halloween, but it’s come and gone.  I received a wonderful box of Spooky Foods from Frieda’s that I’d hope to share.  Since I couldn’t share them prior to Halloween I’d still like to tell you about these very cool and hot foods.
Frieda’s Produce carries some very unique exotic fruits and vegetables. To find a store near you that carries Frieda’s Produce view this map.  Of course if you live in a remote area you may not be able to find Friedas but don’t worry you can order what’s in season here.  With all these unique foods you’ll want to keep updated on the latest items to hit the market shelves through Frieda’s social media sites and newsletters – there’s always something fun going on, including lots of recipes to create with their wonderful produce.I’d like to share with you some of the fun foods Frieda’s Produce sent for me to sample – I think you’ll be surprised that some you’ve never heard of!

The first was the Buddha’s Hand Citron. Wow what a cool fruit.  This is a large citrus fruit with finger-like tentacles, larger than my hand with 16 fingers – ooh very creepy!


Although this fruit is large and extremely fragrant, it has very little juice.  It’s best use is in the rind that can be turned into candied citron, jams, infused vodkas – I think it would be great for Limoncello, liqueurs or even to give a room in your home a lemony scent.  Wherever you use the zest of a lemon you could use the Buddha’s Hand Citron instead.
With cold and flu season rapidly approaching you might want to pick up a Buddha’s Hand Citron to make an old Chinese cold remedy that is sure to ease a cold and fever.Buddha’s Hand Citron Chinese Cold Remedy


Slice thin slices of Citron (can use mandoline or vegetable peeler) and place in a colander with about 1/4 cup of salt and let sit for 30 minutes.

In a saucepan combine with 1 cup Rock Sugar (pulverized)
1 1/2 -2 cups water
1 tablespoon cloves
1/4 cup sliced fresh ginger

Cook slowly until liquid evaporates and mixture is very thick.

1 cup local raw honey and blend all together.  Store in a sterilized jar with lid in the refrigerator for months.

To Serve:
Place one tablespoon of the mixture into a mug and pour hot water over it.  Stir and enjoy!

Drive your cold away with this Chinese remedy!
Note: Rock Sugar does not burn
Tomorrow I’ll share with you some of the other Spooky Foods Frieda’s sent to me.  So be sure to stop by!
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15 Responses to “Spooky Foods”

  1. claudia lamascolo — November 2, 2012 @ 7:13 pm

    Very cool! love the info. The remedy will be bookmarked as I love natural homemade cures… this post is fabulous!

    » Reply

    • Vicki Bensinger replied: — November 2nd, 2012 @ 7:18 pm

      Thank you Claudia. I’ve been playing serious catch-up since I’ve been out of the loop with my dog being sick. He was sick and I was so exhausted I could barely function. I’m glad you like the post.

      Have a great weekend!

  2. Angie's Recipes — November 2, 2012 @ 7:34 pm

    Poor Cody…it’s relief to know that he is okay now.
    That buddha’s hand citron looks way too cool.

    » Reply

  3. Hotly Spiced — November 2, 2012 @ 8:50 pm

    Your poor dog. He looks so sad. I’m glad you found out the reason for the problem. How weird of that company to change not only the packaging but also the ingredients. I have never seen such a strange fruit before. Amazing! xx

    » Reply

    • Vicki Bensinger replied: — November 6th, 2012 @ 5:02 am

      I know you would think they’d tell you. When I said something to the rep for the line she didn’t indicate there was any sort of change other than the packaging.

      I agree the citron is strange looking but has a wonderful aroma.

  4. Balvinder Ubi — November 2, 2012 @ 11:22 pm

    Oh Poor Cody!it feels sad to see when our pets get sick. Thank goodness, You checked that it was his food was bothering him.
    That fruit looks like lemon from its skin but its finger like tentacles does make it spooky.

    » Reply

    • Vicki Bensinger replied: — November 6th, 2012 @ 5:04 am

      He’s feeling better now. The citron smells similar to a lemon but stronger.

  5. Guru Uru — November 3, 2012 @ 7:12 am

    Oh your darling dog I hope this cutie feels better soon!
    And gosh I love this spooky fruit :)

    Choc Chip Uru

    » Reply

  6. Anne Regalado — November 3, 2012 @ 8:55 am

    Vicki , hope Cody’s doing well now :) The Buddha’s Hand citron looks like a chayote ! lol

    » Reply

  7. Lizzy Do — November 3, 2012 @ 11:10 am

    Aw, poor Cody. He’s adorable…hope he’s on the mend. Going to check the link next…I haven’t seen the Buddha’s Hand Citron around here!

    » Reply

  8. SavoringTime in the Kitchen — November 3, 2012 @ 5:10 pm

    I’m so sorry about your pooch, Vicki! Hope he’s doing much better and you’re getting some needed sleep 😉

    I’ll have to try Buddha’s Remedy if (or more likely when) I get a cold!

    PS: I posted about your maple roasted carrots and parsnips last week. Coming up next, a post on Mamma Agata!

    » Reply

  9. Kitchen Riffs — November 4, 2012 @ 3:49 am

    So sorry to hear about your dog’s problems! Sounds like things are looking up, though, and you’re finally getting some rest! Frieda Products are so interesting – I don’t buy them often, but they usually have cool things. And usually the quality is quite good.

    » Reply

  10. mjskit — November 5, 2012 @ 3:22 am

    Poor Cody! Animals are as sensitive to diet changes as we are. I can’t believe the company changed ALL of its ingredients. I’ve never heard of Frieda Products. I’m going to have to check it out. Looks interesting and some very strange food. Love your cold remedy!

    » Reply

  11. Baker Street — November 5, 2012 @ 7:25 am

    Oh no! Poor Cody! I hope he’s better now!
    Love all the info you shared in this post, Vicki! :)

    » Reply

  12. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef — November 5, 2012 @ 3:57 pm

    I love candied citron. I like it best shaved on the baking paper before smoothing over a genoise.

    Poor little Cody. I’m glad you got his belly and bum sorted out. :)

    » Reply

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