Tag Archives: easy

How to make the best popcorn ever

31 Mar

How to make popcorn that’s easy, healthy and super yummy! It just takes three ingredients from Trader Joe’s and a microwave popcorn popper.

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Happy Hanukkah!

13 Dec

Another example of TJ’s “One-Buck-Chuck” greeting cards for every occasion! We hope everyone celebrating this holiday of light had a bright Hanukkah!

ChanukahCard

 

 

 

 

When is pasta not pasta? When it’s mushroom.

2 Mar

For me, cooking is usually an arts-and-crafts project or a science experiment. I imagine that certain flavors will go together well and then test the theory.

Other times, I challenge myself by trying to recreate an amazing dish I’ve had at a restaurant. Like I did this week.

Recently, I went with friends to John Bentley’s in Redwood City, Calif. Everything on the menu sounded delicious and I thought it was going to be hard to decide what to order, until I got to the end of the menu and found: “Trumpet Mushroom “Pappardelle” with tomato, garlic, basil,Kalamatas, edamame and Pecorino Romano.”

Mushroom Pappardelle

A carbless delicious beauty from John Bentley’s

The waiter said the chef created Pappardelle from mushrooms. The dish had a red sauce, and it was like a pasta dish without the pasta. I was so intrigued I had to order it. And WOW! It was SO delicious!

A week later, I decided to try to recreate the dish with a few embellishments.

For my mushroom pasta, I did not use edamame or fresh basil, although there was basil in the pasta sauce. I used shiitake mushrooms, garlic, Kalamata olives, spinach, onion, tofu and a sprinkle of shredded Parmesan on top. I went with the short cut of using Trader Joe’s Tomato Basil Maranara sauce.

I started by sautéing garlic and onion in olive oil.

Step one, saute onions and garlic in olive oil.

Onions and garlic sautéed in olive oil.

Then I added the mushrooms, olives, tofu and spinach.

A garden in a skillet

Ingredients. Not pictured: sauce, cheese.

After the vegetables were softened, about 10-15 minutes, I poured in some marinara sauce, sprinkled shredded Parmesan on top and. SOOO good!! (To make it vegan, don’t add the cheese at the end.)

As you can tell with the difference in ingredients and stage presence, it wasn’t exactly the meal I had at John Bentley’s, but it was close enough and very satisfying!

Give it a try!  Add your own twists, and please share your recipe thoughts in the comments.

Bon appetite!

How to Make a Killer Sangria: A Trader Joe’s Shopper Shares Her Secret

10 Jul

Michelle Walton knows good sangria. She spent $100 mixing a batch from a South American recipe. But with a bottle of Maria Ole Sangria from TJ’s, Michelle now impresses her friends for a fraction of the cost. Take 30 seconds to listen to how she does it. She makes it seem so easy! Thanks for sharing, Michelle!

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

Tuna salad sandwich salad

12 Aug

How to make a tuna salad sandwich without the bread

Combine:

  • One can of tuna
  • 1/4 to 1/2 onion, chopped
  • Several chopped dill-pickle sandwich slices
  • A bowl of torn lettuce
  • Chopped tomatoes to taste (not shown)
  • Dressing: A smattering of olive oil, drizzled balsamic vinegar and the juice from half a lemon
The alternative tuna salad sandwich

Forkfuls of gluten-free goodness

Same sandwich, just served in a bowl instead of a plate. Oh, and without bread. Details.

Raspberry Tarte: Fresh from the box

18 Jun

Another tasting bar moment.

Raspberry tart from Trader Joe's

Delicious fruity pie

Truth: The tart being sliced into looked just a little tired; not as perky as the picture on the box. I still bit, and took the taste.

The tart might have looked a wee bit weary, but the flavor was alive and kicking! The raspberries tasted fresh and the crust was light and buttery.

The back of the box was nice looking, too:

Serving per container – 4 (you read that right!)

Calories per serving: 290

Fat content per slice: 90

It’s in the running to become my party go-to dessert.

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