December 5, 2007

Dinner Tonight. Project Runway. Project Pesto.

my plate

grilled pesto shrimp

penne with pesto & lemon

roasted asparagus

i love garlic bread. to death.

Pesto Recipe/Garlic Bread Recipe/Grilled Pesto Shrimp Recipe… to follow.

Everything from Trader Joe’s!

December 2, 2007

Hello, December.

This weekend was chilly.

december 1st

I spent time on my computer with a slice of buttery toast and a cup of coffee.

Yes, it is a Halloween mug. Yes, I know it’s December.

breakfast of champions

I did some landscaping in the backyard:

doing some landscaping mint under water

The weather kept changing on me:

you're my favorite moment the weather was weird today

I soaked in all the beautiful colors of the fallen leaves:

leaves will fall.  and then i get to see my neighbors shitty house. red orange brown yellow so glad we stained you, deck 

I made a very yummy rustic/savory tart with carrots, sweet potatoes, bacon, goat cheese, red onion, rosemary & butternut squash:

carrot porn hmmmmm  added goat cheese

rustic tart eat that up!

I watched Gilmore Girls with Whitney.  I think we got in 6 or 7 episodes!

I made more mushroom soup.

I drank a lot of coffee.

I got my hair colored.

I went to the library & got some cookbooks to admire.

I did some glittering.

We bought our Christmas tree & did some decorating.

Oh! I finally did the dishes:

constantly doing dishes

Now it’s time to watch some Dexter.  I hope you all had a good weekend too!

December 1, 2007

30 days of Trader Joe’s

30 days of tj's

Phew!  That was a quite a project I got myself into!  I just wanted to thank all of you who stopped by & commented.  You kept me going!  It makes me thrilled to hear from other Trader Joe’s lovers out there!  And thanks to you, I have some new items from Trader Joe’s in my pantry right now!  Thanks for the recommendations!! I’ll let you know how it goes.

For those of you who wondered if I will be continuing this—-FEAR NOT, I will be posting more Trader Joe’s Favorites/Concoctions.  The frequency might not be as great….but for now my goal is to post a few items/favs per week!  So look out!

Thanks once again! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!


November 30, 2007

Mediterranean Couscous

Favorite Trader Joe’s Item #30: Couscous

cous cous

Cook couscous according to directions.

I doubled the recipe so that we could have leftovers for the next few days.

Let’s begin with the recipe……

Chop 1 red onion:

chopped red onions

Drain & rinse 1 can of garbanzo beans:

garbanzo beans, chokes, onions, tomatoes

Chop up some little tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes (half of the TJ’s jar), two handfuls of basil, 2 lemons & 1 jar of marinated artichokes:

Open 1 package of crumbled feta:

Mix those ingredients with the Cous-Cous.

Make sure to add some Extra-Virgin Olive Oil.

Squeeze the lemons on top & mix. Add salt & pepper to taste.

Serve in a bowl:

Dig in with a fork or spoon:

It’s pretty good with grilled sausage on top:

i added some sausage

Now you have a tasty meal & a few leftovers to last you a few days. The end.

November 29, 2007

Creamy Mushroom Soup

Favorite Trader Joe’s Concoction: Creamy Mushroom Soup

Ever have one of those nights where you come home from the grocery store with SOOO many potential dinner options and you can’t think of what you REALLY want to make/eat?  And then all of a sudden you make something that you had no intention of making when you bought your groceries?  That’s what happened Tuesday night.

I bought mushrooms on Tuesday.  I LOVE mushrooms.  Husband-not so much.  But he’s been eating mushrooms in stuff lately….so I figured I should go full force and make some mushroom soup.  Baptism by fire anyone?

Over the summer I read Ruth Reichl’s Comfort Me with Apples: More Adventures at the Table (fabulous book btw).  I whipped out her recipe for mushroom soup from the book because it sounded so damn good….This makes about 4 bowls worth. Maybe less… I lost count because I was in a mushroom soup coma.

Here are the ‘shrooms I used along with the whipping cream (don’t be a hater!) and Beef Broth Concentrate from Trader Joe’s (totally easy/excellent!)
sliced crimini mushrooms- as it says

cream makes everything good  savory beef broth has an affair with butter. don't tell anyone

Here’s your ingredients:

  • 10 oz. sliced mushrooms (I used crimini for this soup)
  • 1/2 stick butter (you can cut that in half if you are feeling chubby)
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup of beef broth (I used 1 packet of the TJ’s condensed beef broth mixed with 1 cup water)
  • 2 cups half & half  (I used 1 3/4 cup whole milk mixed with 1/4 cup whipping cream)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste (I added a lot)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Trader Joe’s Black Truffle Oil (when in Rome-right?)

Melt butter over medium heat in a heavy saucepan. When foam subsides, add onion and sautee until golden. Add mushrooms and sautee those babies until brown.

Here’s me sauteeing some mushrooms.  They’re not brown enough yet:

browning the mushrooms & onions

Stir in flour to coat the mushrooms. Then slowly stir in broth.  Heat half and half/milk on the stove or in the microwave and slowly add to pot. Add the nutmeg & bay leaf.  Stir thoroughly to ensure that everything is incorporated. Simmer on low for ten minutes (do not boil). Add salt & pepper to taste.

I was thinking a little red wine or brandy would be good mixed in.  I’ll have to try that next time!

Pour into your bowl & top the soup with little splashes of the Black Truffle Oil and more Salt & Pepper.

mushroom soup

Put a spoon in and moan. You will. I promise.

bits of mushrooms...mmmm

The only thing that I didn’t like about this soup was that there were no leftovers!

November 28, 2007

Wasabi Tamari Almonds

Favorite Trader Joe’s Item # 28:  Wasabi Tamari Almonds

wasabi, tamari, almonds, heaven, spicy!

Have you noticed that I’m a HUGE  fan of almonds??  They are my favorite nut ever!

I eat them by the handful….

wasabi! almonds!

Sometimes I put them in little bowls to prevent an out-right binge.

I will only eat this much today.

But not that often!  Perfectly spicy! Perfect snack food!  I’ll covet these… until my next TJ’s run…where I’ll buy more!

November 27, 2007

Chicken Gyoza Potstickers

Favorite Trader Joe’s Item #27: Chicken Gyoza Potstickers:

chicken gyoza potstickers

(they come in an all veggie kind too)

I like to keep these in the freezer. On nights when I’m feeling super lazy and the husband needs to be fed, I can easily whip something out to the table.

I like the pan fry them & serve them with a dipping sauce.

Sunday night I was feeling really anti-social and didn’t want to face crowds of people in the supermarket. So, I looked in the fridge and found some ingredients to make us some soup.

By the way…another main contributor to this soup is Trader Joe’s Shredded Carrots:

shredded carrots

I like to use these when I make my Vietnamese chicken salad- but that’s a whole other post…..

I digress… Here’s your ingredient list:

  • Chicken Gyoza Potstickers (the more the merrier, I think)
  • 2 large handfuls of Shredded Carrots
  • 4 green onions chopped (both white & green parts)
  • 2 big splashes of Soy Sauce
  • 1 32oz container of chicken stock or veggie stock
  • a few pieces of sliced ginger

Pour entire container of chicken stock in soup pot.  Add half of the green onions & all of the sliced ginger.  The more ginger, the spicier it is.  I used about two thin slices for the entire pot.  Let that simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the carrots, soy sauce, and the pot stickers to the soup. Bring the soup to a slow boil (10 minutes).

Finish off the soup with the rest of your Green Onions….Add some pepper & more soy sauce if you need some more kick…..

mmmm hmmmm

Tada! This recipe makes about 4-5 servings

won-ton soup

I think bits of fresh Baby Spinach would go well in this soup too! If only I had that the other night…  Next time!