Private Selection from Kroger

I was recently sent some coupons for sampling free products from the produce section of my local Kroger. As it turns out, not only do I already love these products, I use a lot more than just the produce.

Private Selection® thrives on the notion that high-quality, culinary­ inspired foods and ingredients deliver amazing eating experiences. Private Selection’s Iove and appreciation for food is fueled by the culinary passion of their customers and the deep-seeded belief that food is truly at the heart of experiences with others. They have a desire to create delightfully unexpected flavors and bring joy and excitement to the Kroger Co. Family of Stores shopping experience. Private Selection invites you to join them in their journey to transform something to eat into something to savor.“

The Private Selection Line offers meat and seafood, dairy, deli and bakery items, pastas and sauces, spices and baking goodies, spreads, condiments, and dressings, produce, frozen goods, beverages, snacks and candy, and breakfast items. The available product line is growing all the time. If you check the numerous links in this blog, you will find that the products in the store are quite like the photos on the website – unlike a lot of advertised items from other companies.

Certain items, like the Himalayan pink sea salt are a constant in my kitchen, Just a twist or two and a rich, bold spark is added wherever I include it. I often have a Private Selection pepper grinder handy as well, for my partner in gastronomic adventure. He rpefer black pepper, though there are other blends available.

Whole grain garlic mustard coupled with the petite medley potatoes make a colorful and flavorful German potato salad. It goes incredibly well with BBQ, burgers and dogs, or any time you crave a hearty potato dish.


German Potato Salad

The simmer sauces, notably the Tikka Masala, help create intriguing international dishes. We love curry in many forms, and these simmer sauces make for a delightful dinner plan any night. Add in a package of the gourmet blend mushrooms and quartered purple petite potatoes for color and texture, and serve over brown rice.

With the heat rising, I’m getting back into salads in a big way. With Private Selection, I was recently able to throw together a salad using Sweet Gem living lettuce, seedless cucumbers, sliced fresh strawberries, and sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms (hidden on the bottom, I think.) I also used a Private Selection lemon dill aioli for the dressing.


I just can’t help making salads! Here’s another delicious toss from the Private Selection goodies I had on hand. I love the results I’m getting in flavors, textures, visual appeal, and consistency of the produce. With Private Selection, I was one again able to throw together a salad using Sweet Gem and Tango living lettuce, seedless cucumbers and sliced fresh mushrooms, I also used that Private Selection aioli for the dressing again. It’s truly tasty!


I don’t eat raw tomatoes, myself, but my daughter claims the Campari tomatoes are “outstanding in texture and flavor”. Still on the vine and a ripe red, they are “incomparable”.

Here’s hoping you decide to give Private Selection a try. Their products are a staple in my own kitchen.

Ann Cathey

Conroe Farmer’s Market – Conroe, Texas

Conroe, Texas may still be a pretty small town on the big city map, but it hides a lot of interesting things in its borders. One of those things is a Farmer’s Market. Rain or shine, hot or cold, all year round, local produce growers and other artisans gather every Saturday morning to share their wares with the public. They start setting up around 8 am and are ready to greet all comers by 9am.

The Conroe Farmers’ Market is currently located in the large parking lot behind the theater on Main and Collins under a series of pop-up sun-shades. The vendors offer an interesting variety of goods from locally grown organic fruits and veggies, pickles and preserves, hand-made soaps, and baked goods, to jewelry, and other treats that await those who venture out to visit this little known venue. Each Saturday brings different surprises!

The first time I visited the market in person, I found all the vendors to be friendly and helpful without being pushy. They were even welcoming to the potential for competition in their market niches. All the prices are reasonable considering that none of the goods are mass produced and the creators are generally on hand to answer questions and offer information about their products.

The folks at PEAS Farm were offering jalapenos and other peppers, sweet tomatillos, squash, tomatoes, and plenty of other organically grown veggies. They also had eggs, honey, and several varieties of peppers pickled, in salsa, and in sauces. Want to know if they have something available in advance? Contact them on Facebook. They are friendly and knowledgeable about everything they grow!

Creekwood Creations offers a wide selection of baked goods, from cookies and brownies to breads of all kinds. Marli is available for just a snack, or for corporate gatherings. Standard sugar and white flour are available, though the baker prefers natural ingredients. She is also available for low-carb and gluten free goodies. For more information, contact Marli at if you don’t catch her at the market.

The Black Bear Soap Company offers a lovely variety of scents and applications in their hand-made cold process soaps. They even make a shampoo bar just for dogs. All the ingredients are listed on the label for each bar – and you can easily pronounce every ingredient! They are located in Montgomery, Texas, and if you don’t catch these guys at the market, look them up at Black Bear Soap.

Off Your Rocker Jewelry, created by the lovely Nancy, offers a delightful selection of neck, ear and wrist adornments. All of the work is hand-made as befits the rules of the market. Many of the pieces were built around antique beads and findings, and is quite suitable for period re-enacting and steampunk wear. If you don’t see Nancy at the market, look for her on Etsy.

There are more vendors who come out on various weekends, but these are the lovely folks I was given the opportunity to meet and chat with. For advance information about which vendors will be out on a given Saturday, check them out on Facebook.

Come on out on any given Saturday morning to the Conroe Farmers Market and see for yourself some of the hidden treasures in this corner of Texas!

–Ann Cathey