Tag Archives: quick

Taking the easy way out: Chunks of sweet potato and butternut squash

14 Dec

Last week, I bought one of the biggest sweet potatoes known to mankind. A real show stopper. It barely fit in the shopping cart.

Proudly, I hauled it home, dreaming up the many pies I could make, the enormous pans of sweet potato casserole it would produce, a month’s worth of sweet potato stew and perhaps even a scarf or two I could knit from the sturdy scraps.

A week later, it sits on my counter, having taken on the personality of a stoic beast. What do you do with something that big?! It might take two hours to boil, three hours to bake, and if I put it in the microwave, it might explode.

And so, I left it sitting on the counter as I went for my next TJ’s trek.

I walked into the store and was mysteriously led to the vegetable aisle. Next to the green bags of lettuce, an orange glow emanated from what were to become my new best friends: Cut Sweet Potatoes and Cut Butternut Squash.

Butternut squash and sweet potatoes in manageable chunks

Bags of chunks: My new best friends

I now know how to deal with my current situation – cut the giant down to size. And I know what to do the next time I have visions of getting creative with squash and sweet potatoes.

What do you do with your butternut squash and sweet potatoes?

Thank you, Trader Joe’s, for shining the light on this situation.

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:

Butternut squash recipes – AllRecipes

Sweet potato recipes – Southern Living

Sweet potatoes with balsamic maple glaze – Cooking with TJ

Potato pancakes how you like ‘em: From Trader Joe’s freezer or from scratch

10 Dec

A staple of Hanukkah food is a serving of the traditional Hanukkah “Latkes.” In English, that means potato pancakes. Although they might look like a patty of hash browns, done right, they pack more potato punch than any shredded starch side dish you’ve ever had.

In Trader Joe’s style, we have options when it comes to latkes. The store offers a package of frozen ‘kes as a holiday specialty.

Latkes are potato pancakes

You say, “potato pancakes.” I say, “latkes.” Let’s just eat!

I tried one today – but I cooked it in a way that might be considered a sin against latke and Trader Joe’s. Instead of searing it or baking it, as recommended on the package and from thousands of years of Jewish cooking, I steamed it. I can be weird like that.

It was good! The flavor was tasty. Baked or seared, it would have been crispier, and I like a crispy latke. But I steamed it, and I was OK with my decision. At risk of committing further blasphemy, I’d recommend having a package on hand for times when latkes are demanded but time is short and hunger is urgent.

Of course, there’s the old school, make-your-own latke choice, too. TJ’s has a bag of the most colorful potatoes you’ll ever see. (If you’ve seen more colorful potatoes, please share your photos with us!)

A sack of potatos - latkes in the raw.

Trader Joe’s Potato Medley. Harmony in nature.

Basically, a latka is comprised of potato, onion and matzoh or bread crumbs. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper. Pan fry it in some oil and eat it with some apple sauce, sour cream or as it comes naturally from the stove.

Potato pancakes are also one of those dishes – like ravioli – that are a part of the cuisine of many cultures. I’d recommend exploring all of the flavors enjoyed with the cakes from different parts of the world, like Austria, Poland, India, Iran and Switzerland.

Toda rabah, 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:

Review from What’s Good at Trader Joe’s?

AllRecipes potato latkes

Epicurious potato latkes

Martha Stewart latkes recipes

Chow latkes recipes

Thanksgiving stuffing from Trader Joe’s

19 Nov

Thanksgiving dinner is my favorite organized, national meal of the year. It’s the night to come together in group form to eat homemade comfort food.

Trader Joe’s offers short cuts to comfort. Their Chicken Sausage and Cornbread Stuffing makes it easy to deliver a yummy essential to the dinner table quickly.

Box of stuffing from Trader Joe's

Box of stuffing from Trader Joe’s

Stuffing in a pan

What’s inside the box: Pan of stuffing

Or maybe you’re like me. The T-day dinner is a made-from-scratch spread. I’m often, gratefully, at someone else’s house, so I return home to a refrigerator lacking in one of the best outcomes of a traditional Thanksgiving – leftovers.

Needing a bigger fix of yams, masheds, turkey, gravy, green beans and stuffing, I look around for smaller quantities. I’m thinking this year, TJ’s pan of stuffing will be on my week-after menu.

Thank you, Trader Joe’s.

And thank you, too, for reading and following 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:

Review from Club Trader Joe’s

Nutrition info

Price check: Kind Plus energy bar

17 Sep

I was introduced to the lovely Kind bars a few weeks ago at a Starbucks in Dallas. I bought one for a friend. At $2, it seemed like a reasonably priced mid-day energy booster.

Kind Plus … a better price at Trader Joe’s

A week later, though, I was in a favorite Kansas City grocery store. They offered Kind bars for about $1.50.

But then, on my next shopping excursion, I noticed that TJ’s also sells Kind Bars … about 10 cents less than the grocery.

Another price victory for Trader Joe’s.

Thank you for keeping the prices kind, 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:

Nutrition info for Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew Kind Bars

Snack Girl review

I really like food – review

Tom Yam Soup. Verdict: Yum!

13 Jan

Classic Thai Tom Yum soup is one of my faves. I was skeptical that Trader Joe’s packaged version would satisfy, let alone come anywhere near the taste sensation of homemade TY.

I know, I know. “But this is TJ’s! Full of surprise and tasty bits!” But still…

Somehow the package you see below made it into my basket. I am a weak girl. And what happened next is witnessed below that in the bowl.

Verdict: YUM! OK…perhaps there’s a shade of pale versus a freshly made batch of soup, but I was pleased, satisfied and plan to enjoy again and probably again, and perhaps, no, definitely again. Recommended.

NOTE: They’re liberal with the lemongrass chunks. Next meal, I might explore ways to limit the annoyingly high lemongrass-chunk-per-bite ratio.

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