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Hello My Foodie Friends!

When I was growing up, there was a small but very well stocked family grocery store three houses away from my family home. It was called Mule’s Market and it was located on Liberty Street in Meriden, Connecticut. It was run by an Italian family and when I say family, I mean all the brothers, sisters, wives, mothers, fathers, grandparents and well, a lot of people! This was before big chain grocery stores existed.
Therefore, this family market had to have a little bit of everything. If it was Italian foods you wanted, Mule’s Market had it and it was delicious. I had the opportunity to work there when I was 16 years old and I was always coming home with giant care packages for my mom, who they loved. They would send me home with spaghetti and meatballs, fresh Italian bread, lasagna and fresh cuts of meat, as they were butchers as well.  All their prepared foods were from family recipes and that is why they were beloved in the community. Whenever they would bring out a new recipe, they wanted to know my mother’s opinion right away. They tried to recruit her, but all they got was me. The store was always filled with wonderful aromas of different foods. My experience in the market and the trying of new recipes began my journey to becoming a “foodie.”

Over the years, more and more people (of all ages and backgrounds) are experimenting with food dishes more than ever before. Hence, the term ‘foodie’ has become increasingly popular and trendy. We can all call ourselves “Foodies,” enjoying food, cooking, and experimenting with different ingredients, methods, and recipes. You may find that you are pulling up old traditional recipes from generations past and love sharing your creations.  

Through the many years Compliments to the Chef has been in business, I have had a multitude of individuals come in and share stories of being a foodie. What I truly enjoy seeing are individuals who are very young venturing with the culinary arts. The knowledge and interest in quality tools has been amazing and very rewarding to see. Many are focused on food preparation and optimizing nutrition. Food has become a huge social culture being something that engages all the senses and brings people together in a physical space. 

For people who love cooking but are not professional chefs, what is it about cooking that you really love most? Many of our customers have stated that; although they are not a professional chef, they absolutely love cooking! They love the ability to be creative. It allows experimentation with different types of spices, cultural cuisines, and cooking techniques which can be educational. Cooking can give you a sense of satisfaction knowing that you created something amazing. Cooking a meal is one of the most personal and intimate things you can do for someone. The best part is when that special someone “compliments the chef!!”

Stop by Compliments to the Chef, your Neighborhood Kitchen and Cutlery store located at 33 Railroad Place in Saratoga Springs and share your foodie stories. Our growth as a business continues through the conversations and recommendations from our customers. We love hearing how you experimented, the successes and “catastrophes,” and your aspirations for learning a new recipe or conquering a family tradition. I have served some wonderful meals that I am proud of. However, there have been plenty of times that I thought something was a disaster. I just try again. Have fun. 

Remember my Foodie Friends: “Life Happens in the Kitchen.”

Take Care, John & Paula

Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Pie


Chocolate pie dough: 

• Dough for single-crust pie
• 1-1/2 cups light corn syrup
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 4 large eggs
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Optional toppings:
Chopped peanuts, broken Nutter Butter cookies, whipped topping


For chocolate pie dough:

1. Preheat oven to 350° On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to a 1/8-in.-thick circle; transfer to a 9-in. pie plate. Trim to 1/2 in. beyond rim of plate; flute edge.

2. In a large bowl, beat corn syrup, sugar, peanut butter and salt until blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth. Pour into crust. Bake until top is puffed and center is almost set, 60-70 minutes; cover top loosely with foil during the last 30 minutes to prevent overbrown-ing.

3. Remove foil. Cool on a wire rack. (Top may sink and crack slightly upon cooling.) Serve or refrigerate within 2 hours. Top as desired.