Tag Archives: appetizer

Party trick with stuffed grape leaves

20 Nov

My dear friend Sabin taught me this trick years ago. It’s a clever way to keep costs down and gourmet points high.

This is what you’ll need:

  • 1 can (per 3-4 guests) of TJ’s Dolmas/Greek stuffed grape leaves
  • 1 lemon
  • Olive oil to drizzle
  • 1 pretty plate

Directions: Select your serving plate (very important step). Open the pop-up can of dolmas – no opener needed. Arrange the stuffed grape leaves on the plate artistically. Slice the lemon. Use one slice for the middle of the plate. Cut a wedge and squeeze the juice over the dolmas. Drizzle the olive oil over the dolmas sparingly.

Serve to your guests like you slaved all day.

Dolmas from Trader Joe's

Greek grape leaves serve up gourmet cred

Trader Joe’s crackers from South Pacific

31 Jul

Not from THE South Pacific,” but “South Pacific,” the musical.

They’re crunchy, they’re grainy, and they’re as big as an elephant’s eye. (Different musical. Same size.)

Another choice cracker from Trader Joe's

It’s a Trader Joe’s sing along.

Dip ahead: Artichoke + Spinach

26 Jun

I think there’s a petition circulating that is lobbying Congress to make artichoke spinach dip the sixth food group.

If there’s not, there should be.

I’ve eyed TJ’s box of A+S, but I’ve been shy of acquiring the package, afraid of choking on the thick fat and calorie counts.

But, there are no fat or calories in the samples at the tasting bar, right?!

Sampling Trader Joe's spinach artichoke dip at the tasting bar

Just a wafer-thin sample…

The taste I had proved to be as delicious as I’d feared dreamed.

And, actually, the pounds-per-inch factor wasn’t so bad:

[Thanks for info from fatsecret.com]

Screen Shot 2013-06-25 at 10.26.44 PM Screen Shot 2013-06-25 at 10.27.13 PM

Cheese: The best thing since sliced…

24 Oct

Brie always comes in that distinctive round shape. Right?  It’s the traditional party wheel. Which is why my eyes widened unnaturally, and I stopped mid stroll, nearly causing a six-cart pile up.

I may have gasped.

There in the pricier cheese section was a long, rectangular brick labeled: Sliced Brie. What the formaggio?!

Block of Brie

What a discovery! Brie has come down off its round horse and joined its cornered brethren. Cracker Barrel, welcome home the prodigal son; the long-lost dairy daughter; the wayward double-cream kid.

Let the party season begin!


Related Links:

How to cook with Brie

Food Network: Brie recipes

Pear and Brie Fancy Flatbread: recipe from Trader Joe’s

Foraging nuts for the winter at Trader Joe’s: Mesquite Smoked Almonds

8 Oct

What’s your favorite sign that autumn is here? The urge to make hot chocolate? Raking leaves from the yard? Wearing sweaters again?

For me, it’s the smokey smell of fireplaces consuming wood. The first neighbor lighting up lets me know that it’s certifiably time to pack up the summer frocks and get ready to enjoy the pleasures that come with a chill in the air. It’s the red flag dropped that announces, “Autumn is on!”

That’s a big reason why seeing this bag of smokey, salted almonds lured me to buy it. It was like the siren call of Fall, with a Southwestern twist. “Mesqueeet….Messs….KEEEEETTTTT!!!” the packaging sings.

Mesquite Smoked Almonds: A taste of Fall with the flavor of the Southwest

The almonds are great party nibbles, but don’t fool yourself. If you buy a bag 24 hours or more before delivering them to an event, they won’t make it. It’s one of those two-bag purchases – one for the group, and one for solo snacking. Just saying.

Thanks, TJ’s.

And thank you for reading and following Things I Love at Trader Joe’s!

What’s your favorite snack at TJ’s? Have you tried Mesquite Smoked Almonds? If so, what did you think?

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Twitter: @TraderJoesKC

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Pinterest: Trader Joe’s

Related Links:

Mesquite smoked almonds recipe

Trader Joe’s Mesquite Smoked Almonds nutrition info

Trader Joe’s Edamame Hummus

1 Oct

When it comes to dips and spreads, Trader Joe’s is on a roll. And a chip. And a cracker. As often as possible.

Trader Joe’s Edamame Hummus

In several other groceries we’ve visited, a container of hummus is twice this price and not necessarily as tasty. And the edamame base ingredient is healthier than other choices. (Although, TJ’s sells a fabulous array of hummuses. It just happens that this base is one of the best for you.)

Highly recommended as one of those items that taste many times more decadent than it really is! A win-win product.

Thank you, Trader Joe’s!

And thank you for reading and following these posts! If you’ve had Edamame Hummus, what did you think?

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Twitter: @TraderJoesKC

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Pinterest: Trader Joe’s

Related Links:

Nutrition info

Edamame Hummus recipe

What’s Good At Trader Joe’s: chips and Edamame Hummus

Trader Joe’s: Party over here!

13 Aug

Years ago, when I was living in Los Angeles, I was a week away from coming to visit the Midwest for three weeks during the Christmas/New Year’s holiday season. I had planned a few parties with friends there during my stay.

During that week, I stopped off at Trader Joe’s. They had several displays featuring party faves – olive tapenade, other dips and festive foods. I looked around and realized that if I wanted to offer the same things at the holiday parties in the Midwest, they would either be found at nearly five times the price of TJ’s offerings, or not available at all. I was so sad.

Speed ahead a few years, and we know that TJ’s has come to the Midwest and holiday parties are happier for it!

But the picture below was actually at a little party in L.A. last week, when I was hosted by my cousin and her husband. The spread was simple and delicious – all from Trader Joe’s.

The Raisin Rosemary Crisps were a nice, sweet complement to the blue cheese chunks. The taste of the almond sparkling wine was surprising. It was also really sweet and novel – a conversation piece.

Thanks, cuz!

Thanks, TJ’s.

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Twitter: @TraderJoesKC

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Pinterest: Trader Joe’s

Related Links:

The Frugal Tasters rate Almond Champagne

Cooking with Trader Joe’s

Egg white salad recipe and Raisin Rosemary Crisps



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 323 other followers

%d bloggers like this: