Tag Archives: how-to

If it’s watermelon time, it must be summer

2 Jun

It’s not the heat and it’s not the pool opening. It’s not the strappy dresses and sandals or the birds chirping too early and the fire-pitless porch parties lasting past midnight.

What tells me it’s summertime is the large, cardboard box full of big green orbs that greets me when I enter Trader Joe’s.

I received that happy welcome last weekend. There was even a woman handing out watermelon samples at a makeshift tasting station. She advised that the sweetest watermelons were ones with yellow on them. Taking her word for it, I grabbed (if you can “grab” a bowling ball without finger holes) a fine looking specimen and weighted down my cart immediately.

At the official tasting station, they were sampling Watermelon Cucumber Juice. Good stuff! I’d bought a container the week before, but hadn’t opened it yet. As Persian Cucumbers are one of my shopping-list staples, I looked in my cart and thought, “Cukes, watermelon…why not make my own juice?!”

Hydratedly inspired, I searched for a recipe and found a three-ingredient drink I thought I could master. The third ingredient was lime juice – and I found that it makes ALL the difference!

(Although there are several sites with similar recipes, mine came from AllRecipes.com. Thanks, AllRecipes!)

How To Make Watermelon Cucumber Cooler:

I used:

  • 4 Persian cucumbers
  • 1/2 the fruit from a watermelon
  • 2 limes

Trim the ends off your cukes and cut into bite-sized chunks.

Cut the watermelon into chunks.

Combine the cuke and watermelon chunks and liquify in a blender or food processor.

Stir in the juice from the limes. It’s OK if a little lime fruit drops in, too!

It makes a pitcher-full of juice. Enjoy!

This is what it looked like:

Glass2 ingredients

Notes: The cukes were unpeeled. The watermelon had very few seeds, so I just let the few involved get mixed in the batch.

I had planned to make a fizzy drink by adding carbonated water to half a cup of juice, but I got caught up in the deliciousness, and the batch was finished before I remembered I wanted to do that! Next time.

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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!

Cooking tip: How to squeeze lemons without a fine mesh strainer

13 Oct
Trader Joe's garlic bag saves the day

Garlic bag saves the day and the pain of lemon seeds

I don’t have a fine mesh strainer, and I don’t want to lose a drop of juice to a seed-protective squeezing cloth. I was tired of digging seeds out of the lemon, always missing some and having to search for them in food.

THEN, I always missed some in the food and a mid-meal bite with the promise of being delicious came to a screeching yuck when I bit into the little lemon renegade.

Enter: The garlic bag. I was grateful to discover a good use for an item I was about to toss out.

Do you have a tip using an item in a new way? We’d love to hear about it! Please share your discoveries in the comments.

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.

The daffodil: A killer lurks within

27 Mar

Last weekend, Trader Joe’s had a deal on daffodils that I couldn’t resist; a small bunch for about $1.50. A cheap way to bring home some fragrant cheer.

As I was checking out, the TJ’s cashier advised that the daffodils should have their own container. She warned that the delicate and frilly flowers tend to murder their vasemates.

Who knew?!

Daffodils: Enemy of the flowers

A gang of daffodils

I heeded her advice, but I also looked it up for myself. I’m from Missouri, the skeptic’s state, after all. And I started finding other posts with the same thing – a newly informed daffodil owner in dismay, someone who was searching to confirm this dire indictment, and people who learned to deal with the recently acquired knowledge that their flowers were hiding a deadly secret.

I also found some tips about reforming these criminal beauties. It’s the sap that does the deed. Allowed to ooze, the chemicals the daffodils release make nearby flowers unable to absorb water and so they find their demise.

Thank you, Trader Joe’s cashier!

And thank you for visiting Things I Love at Trader Joe’s!

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

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Related links:

Daffodils of spring

Daffodil flower care (Martha Stewart)

DYI: Turkey chili with Trader Joe’s

27 Feb

And this is what I faced when I woke up this morning:

Another day; another 10 inches of snow.

Another day; another 10 inches of snow.

Round two for snow; round two for chili. This time, it was homemade turkey chili.

Almost as simple as pairing a can of TJ’s veggie chili and onion soup, I combined ingredients learned from wintery Midwestern kitchens throughout my life:

  • Ground turkey
  • Crushed tomatoes
  • garlic
  • Kidney and black beans
  • Sweet onion
  • Spices: Cumin and chili powder
DIY chili: Ingredients from Trader Joe's

The homemade goodness of a batch of chili you made yourself.

Then I added a little balsamic vinegar and a layer of shredded Parmesan cheese.

I’m set for days. And the best thing about homemade chili … the longer it sits, the better it gets!

(For those who prefer more specifics, check out last year’s batch from “best chili recipe.”)

Thank you, Trader Joe’s!

And thank you for visiting Things I Love at Trader Joe’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:

Simple turkey chili recipe

Best chili recipe

Another cuppa Joe from Trader Joe’s

5 Oct

Thanks once again to a sample at the tasting bar, I’ve added a new coffee to my list of faves from Trader Joe’s.

Dark Sumatra – a tasty brew

Trader Joe’s Dark Sumatra coffee is a delicious roast. The taste is closer to espresso than breakfast blend. Smooth, full of the caffeine we depend on in the morning and packed with the depth of flavor we hope for in every cup of Joe. This is a coffee to keep high on the shopping list!

Thank you, Trader Joe’s!

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

What’s your favorite coffee at TJ’s? Have you tried Dark Sumatra? 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:

Trader Joe’s coffee how-to

The straight dope: Review

Averie Cooks

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