November 23, 2007

Chipotle Ranch Fries

Favorite Trader Joe’s Item #23: Chipotle Ranch Fries

chipotle ranch fries

The other night I came home from work and craved a hearty meal. The cold weather mixed with the chaotic day battling spreadsheets warranted something REALLY comforting. I decided to make Casey & I a steak with fries and a salad.

One of my friends told me about these Chipotle fries a few weeks ago- so I HAD to pick some up. Don’t be turned off by the Chipotle- it comes in a package that you can use/not use if you feel the inclination.

I put the fries on a baking sheet lined with foil & cooking spray (because I don’t like having to spend a lot of time cleaning my baking sheets!)

in the oven to crisp you

I heated up the Chipotle sauce by soaking the package in HOT water. The directions recommend dumping the entire packet all over the fries, but I’m just not that into soggy fries. Who wants to eat soggy fries with a fork? Not this girl!

the chipotle dip you have to defrost

The sauce is pretty good by the way. It’s like a tangy BBQ sauce.

Here are the golden babies after I took them out of the oven:

i could eat this whole plate


i'll take you, you you and YOU
I have to say that they were delicious! They tasted a lot like Burger King fries–but substantially larger. I would keep these in my freezer all the time….but due to my carb addiction, I will restrain myself from stocking up! I can never be trusted near french fries. I clearly do not have THAT much discipline.

The all-around comforting meal. Everything on the plate came from Trader Joes:

my plate

November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

today was a good day…..

mom's table table settings thanksgiving thanksgiving centerpiece the yam dish i made i love grandma's beans the spread my plate use that spoon, and dig right in. pumpkin tiramisu i made

I hope that when look at these pictures tomorrow, I will still be hungry. I’m soo stuffed! Hope your holiday was yummy!

I made this pumpkin tiramisu for dessert. It was a hit! I substituted crushed up ginger snaps for amaretto cookies for the topping. I highly recommend!

November 22, 2007

Vanilla Cake Mix

Favorite Trader Joe’s Item #22: Vanilla Cake Mix

vanilla cake & baking mix

So, last weekend I decided to make a coffee cake out of this mix. It was a Sunday, and I was aching to bake the second I woke up. The sun was out and I wanted something warm and nutty to go with my coffee. This cake mix is extremely versatile by the way!

I followed the directions on the box (add an egg, some milk & a melted stick of butter). Here’s an extreme closeup. Notice the vanilla beans?

hello vanilla beans

To make the topping, I combined a heaping 1/2 cup of brown sugar with a teaspoon of cinnamon. Then I added some Trader Joe’s chopped pecans to that & mixed it all up in a small bowl. I poured the cake into a greased (9×9) brownie pan. Then I topped the cake with the brown sugar/pecan mixture. I baked it in the oven for the required time- checked with a toothpick to make sure it was done. Watched out for burning bits!

I noticed that even though I spread the topping on the entire cake, the edges came up while baking and brought some of the topping towards the center. Don’t fear, the edges were still pretty darn good!

Here’s the little baby fresh outta the oven:

fresh outta the oven

Extreme closeup of my favorite crunchy/sugary combo:

my favorite thing

Witness my first piece:

taking the first bite

And yes, I did save some for my husband :

almost done!

If you make this, you will have a deliciously moist cake with a nice crunchy topping.  I’m pleased to tell you that it gets better on the second day! It’s not as moist, but it’s easier to dunk into your cup of coffee.  That’s why it’s coffee cake!

I hope that this cake fills your house with a warm cinnamon vanilla aura. I’m dreaming of a piece right now……


November 21, 2007

Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s

Favorite Trader Joe’s Item #21: Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s (seasonal for obvious reasons)

Trader Joe's Candy Cane Joe-Joe's

Last night was the first time I tried these. I’m now totally hooked. They taste like Oreos infused with Peppermint Patties!!! Every now and then you get a little crunch from a candy cane bit. Oh dear GOD!

So many beauties waiting to be devoured…..

yes i'll take the middle row please

One of the things I love most about Trader Joe’s is that they have these really cool/fun/seasonal items like these cookies that I can’t help but try. Because their prices are so reasonable, I can just buy an *adventurous* item on a whim and not feel regret for spending too much money. When an item like this turns out to be fabulous, the price always becomes a shock! This whole box was less than $3.

I don’t mind if I do…

i'll just help myself

Eat them plain- or crush them up and top them on ice cream. Is it bad to have cookies this early in the morning?

November 20, 2007

5 random things about me:

today i’ve been tagged by Jen.

Here are five weird/ random things about me:

1. I have a squeezing problem. I like squeezing things a little too much. I have to watch out when I’m in stores because I’ve been known to ruin bags of hot dog buns. I’ve broken a few hollowed chocolate Easter Bunnies & Santas….

2. I’m the first girl in 3 generations on my dad’s side of the family.

3. One of my favorite things in the world is diving into a fresh container of peanut butter with a spoon.

4. I have over 25 striped shirts in my closet. (i’m wearing one right now)

5. Watching people trip makes me laugh.

November 20, 2007

Cinnamon Almonds

Favorite Trader Joe’s Item #20: Cinnamon Almonds

If you have a thing for almonds-buy these.

cinnamon almonds

If you have a thing for snickerdoodle cookies-buy these.

cinnamon almonds

If you have a sweet-tooth and want something that’s portable and addictive-buy these.

cinnamon almonds

If you think you might not be able to stop at one handful, then make sure you have another bag.

Just read the bag. It’s an irresistible snack!

November 19, 2007

Banana Crisps

Favorite Trader Joe’s Item #19: Banana Crisps

banana crisps: just a little bit sweet

These banana chips are delightfully thin & crisp. I’ve eaten many banana chips in my day and am always shocked to see how many calories/grams of fat they contain. These are a lot less than most banana chips.


It’s the fact that they’re *crisps* that are lightly sweetened that make them better for you.

pandas love banana crisps too

They are very tasty! You won’t feel AS guilty if you eat the whole bag. I’ve been there…..I swear.