December 9, 2007

Turkey, Pesto, Sando

Today’s Lunch:

Turkey Pesto Sandwich with Parmesan Cheese

Take your leftover pesto:

leftover pesto

Spread a LOT of it on two pieces of sourdough toast:

pesto, sourdough

Top each slice with a little bit of parmesan cheese:

pesto sourdough parmesan

Roll up some slices of turkey and put that on top:

pesto sourdough parmesan turkey

Place one slice on top of the other slice:

eat it up

Cut in half (or not) and EAT:

slice it up

December 8, 2007

Fresh Basil Pesto

Whenever I make pesto, I always try to make a huge batch. Because there’s nothing more disappointing than eating pasta that doesn’t have enough sauce on it!

If you don’t have a food processor, a blender works fine. If you don’t have either- hope your knife skills are excellent!

Ingredients were all from Trader Joes:

  • 2 containers fresh basil
  • 2-3 cloves fresh peeled garlic
  • 1 lemon squeezed
  • a dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1 large handful of pine nuts
  • 4 heaping tablespoons of parmesan cheese
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil

Chop up a few cloves of garlic (I used 3 for this batch)

chopping pepper

Now add the basil. Make sure to leave off the stems. You can see I left one on! Woops!

leafy greens

Make sure to scrap down the sides…

scrap down the sides

Now, start adding your olive oil.

I added a little over 1/4 cup of the oil to get the consistency I wanted.

whizzz bang whirl twirl pesto

I tossed in a handful of pine nuts (they’re even better when toasted)

adding pine nuts

I added 1 fresh squeezed lemon to the mix (prevents discoloration)

A dash of cayenne pepper for spice.

Some fresh ground pepper to even out the flavor….

Now put about 4 heaping tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. (Skip this part if you’re vegan)

The cheese is in place of salt.  It adds a LOT of flavor. Mix that all up!

adding pepper, cayenne & parm cheese

Now we have some pesto!

presto! pesto!

When I made dinner the other night, I added some of the pesto to my shrimp (with red pepper & olive oil) to make jazz them up before grilling:

added some pesto on the shrimp

I put those on skewers (4 to a skewer-except 1 had 5!)

read to go on the grill

I grilled them on high heat for about 2-3 minutes per side!

grilled pesto shrimp

I think this weekend I’m going to have a slice of bread toast with pesto on it. Stay tuned.

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!