Posts Tagged 'trader joe’s'

Ahhhhmazing

Not only was this past weekend amazing, but a couple of the items we picked up at Trader Joe’s also earned the prestigious amazing rank.

TJ’s always suckers me in by offering samples of new products along with coffee.  Since it was very warm, I skipped the coffee but grabbed a free sample of almond cookies with their new cocoa almond spread.

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I think the name alone lets you know that this is going to be delicious.  When I saw the jar, I expected more of a chocolate almond butter, but this product is much thicker and incredibly smooth.  It’s almost like fudge.  Obviously, the nutrition stats aren’t the greatest since this is a decadent treat, but once you taste it you forget all about those pesky little numbers (if only that made them not count, right?).  After sampling one tiny bite of this cocoa almond spread, I quickly grabbed a jar to take home (after paying for it first, of course).

Last time I got to make a Trader Joe’s run, they were out of their famous Cookie Butter, so I HAD to get some this time.

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It’s just as good as everyone in the blogosphere says it is!  It tasted extremely familiar to me, even though I’ve never had this product before.  I thought for a few minutes, and then it hit me.  It tastes just like the Biscoff cookies they hand out on airplanes.  One of my friends at work brought in some Biscoff spread that WalMart carries, and the taste is basically identical to TJ’s Cookie Butter.  So, if you’re anything like me and don’t live very close to a Trader Joe’s, you can still get your cookie butter fix.  In case you’ve never had Biscoff cookies, I think they are the love child of ginger snaps and graham crackers (ginger crackers?  graham snaps?  snap crackers?).

Both of these products are great on their own, but together, they are a deadly heavenly combination.  I have to keep them hidden behind other healthier items in the pantry so I don’t consume both jars completely.

Don’t worry, these delicious treats were added to balance out all our healthy purchases from the shopping trip.  We also found frozen fire roasted corn, jalapeno chicken sausages (which will be featured in a recipe in tomorrow’s post!), crunchy curls, black bean and quinoa infused tortilla chips, dark chocolate, unsweetened dried mango, and a few other things.  Looking back, I guess we did buy more treats than anything else.  Oops!

Have a great Friday-Eve!  Can you believe the weekend is almost here already (not that I’m complaining)?!

So tell me…

Have you ever tried Cookie Butter or Biscoff spread?

Weekend Recap

Better late than never, right?  My internet issues resolved themselves today, so you can all breathe a deep sigh of relief.  😉

This past weekend can be described in one simple word: amazing!

On Friday night, I got in a sweaty workout, enjoyed Panera take-out with Daniel, and tackled another flat of strawberries, which turned into quite a comical vlog tutorial.

Saturday morning, we headed for Nashville around 8.  We arrived at our hotel by 10 a.m. and were quickly checked in.  Since it was race weekend, we didn’t want to pay the high dollar price for a room downtown.  Instead, we opted to stay a few exits away at a modest yet updated Holiday Inn.  I was actually quite impressed with the room.  After getting everything situated, we drove to nearby Opry Mills, which recently reopened after major flood damage nearly two years ago.  I found a few cute things at Forever 21, but that was about it.  Much to Daniel’s joy, I’m not a big shopper.  I think it’s mainly because I’m frugal and somewhat impatient, so shopping at a big mall doesn’t suit my personality hahaha.  Now, online shopping – that’s a different story!  In fact, I already ordered a few things online that I saw at the mall on Saturday but didn’t want to stand in line to purchase.

The food court at the mall smelled delicious, but after seeing the lines at every single place and hearing all the kids banging their tambourines (apparently some place was giving away free noise makers to all kids – genius), Daniel and I decided to drive to East Nashville and find some lunch.  We first stopped at Marche Artisan Foods, but then realized they were only serving items from their brunch menu, which looked delicious, but contained mostly breakfast items, which we weren’t really in the mood for.  We walked a little way and ended up stopping at a place called Battered and Fried (not the type of place I would normally choose, but we were so incredibly hungry by this point) and grabbed a table outside.  I was excited to find that they also had a sushi bar, and I ordered a red dragon roll and a spicy tuna roll.

Both rolls were quite tasty, but I couldn’t finish them all because I was saving room for some frozen yogurt!

Daniel and I drove around East Nashville for a bit, stopped at Sweet CeCe’s for froyo, and then headed back towards the hotel to chill before dinner.  I ended up taking a little nap before we got ready and went to a new-t0-me restaurant, The Silly Goose.  I cannot say enough good things about this cool little place, but I can say that I’ll definitely be going back!  They buy all their ingredients from local farmers, and you can tell that each dish is made to order.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t in blogger mode this night, so I didn’t take any food pictures.  I did mange to get this one of Daniel and me before our food arrived!

Have I mentioned how much I love Instagram for Android???

Daniel ordered their dinner special, which was a pork chop with pureed sweet potatoes and roasted vegetables.  I ordered the Saylor sandwich, which is grilled eggplant, roasted red pepper, avocado, basil, arugula, lemon-kalamata olive aioli on grilled ciabatta.  Instead of a side salad or roasted vegetables, I opted for one of their famous grain salads.  I chose the small portion of the Albert Prince, a cold salad with organic quinoa, sweet potatoes, black beans, avocado, roasted tomatillos, spiced pepitas, manchego, and orange vinaigrette.  Needless to say, my meal was incredible.  However, the items that truly stole the show was our appetizer, the Flower Shop.  Roasted mushrooms, black pepper mascarpone, artichokes, walnut pesto, and mustard pinot noir emulsion – yeah, I kept mmm-ing with each and every bite.

As fun as Saturday was, Sunday was my favorite part of the weekend, because I got to meet Kristen from Confessions of a (not so) Domesticated Newlywed!  She ran the Music City Half Marathon on Saturday, and she and her husband, Brandon, were sweet enough to spend a couple of hours with us at Mad Donna’s before they headed back home to Atlanta.  Kristen was incredibly sweet and adorable, and we definitely hit it off.  We are already planning another weekend get together this summer.

The food at Mad Donna’s is always great, but instead of describing each dish, I’ll let the pictures do the talking (yay for remembering to actually use my camera!!!).

Kristen’s choice – served with sweet potato fries!

Brandon’s show stopping Captain Crunch French toast

Daniel went with his favorite – chorizo

fresh crabcakes + eggs benedict = heaven

We talked for a couple of hours over our delicious foods, and then it was time to say our goodbyes, but not without another picture!  Daniel and Brandon were stoked that they were able to take pictures of us, and they really loved it when we made them retake pictures with different poses and lighting.  We’re both lucky girls to have such patient men!

Before heading back home, Daniel and I made the necessary run to Trader Joe’s, where we found all kinds of goodies!  After such a perfect weekend, I am already anxiously awaiting our next weekend trip to Nashville.

Before this post gets any wordier, I better wrap it up!  Have a great Wednesday!!!

So tell me…

Have you ever been to Nashville???

Trader Joe’s = Happiness

I absolutely love Trader Joe’s.  As soon as I walk through the doors, I always stand there and smile thinking about all the fresh produce, unique products, and amazing deals (until people start giving me weird looks, then I move on to the shopping).  I’m one of the crazy people that LOVE to shop for groceries.  I enjoy reading labels, discovering new products, pairing foods, and finding good deals.    Couple that with the awesomeness of Trader Joe’s, and you will have something that resembles a kid on Christmas morning. 

excited

Unfortunately, the closest TJ’s is two hours away.  I know, sad.  However, I have a couple of friends that share my affinity for the quaint store.  One of us is usually heading that way at least once a month, so we take turns stocking up for each other.  We are going at the end of October, and last week I was thinking about all the stuff I desperately needed wanted from there, and that I didn’t know if I could wait that long.  That’s when my client/friend/fellow TJ’s fan told me she was going THIS WEEKEND!!!  I was so happy that I let her skip the last circuit of our workout.  Okay, that’s a lie, I would never ever do that, but I did say that I was happy enough that it crossed my mind.  Luckily she is hard core and wouldn’t skip anyway haha.

I took her a cooler, some cash, and a looooong list of the products that had been on my mind.  Some of my favorite items that I always get from there:

  • goat’s milk creamy cheese
  • raisin rosemary crackers (seriously – these are like crack)
  • roasted seaweed snacks
  • pizza dough (only $1 – and so so good)
  • pumpkin butter
  • organic dark chocolate bars
  • crunchy curls
  • dried mango
  • balsamic vinegar
  • almond butter with roasted flax seeds (I am definitely addicted to this)

Of course, there were several other items on my list, as well as a note that read “anything else you think I would like or may possibly need.”

On Tuesday, I will have my stash of TJ’s products, and I will probably open almost everything to sample and savor the goodness that is Trader Joe’s. 

trader-joes

Do you have a Trader Joe’s in your area or have you ever been to one?  What are some of your favorite products from there?

Homemade pizza and a basil tragedy

Wednesday night when I got home from Zumba, I got out my pizza dough, turned the oven on , and was getting ready to cook.  Daniel politely said, “I’m not really hungry – sorry.”  With a huge smile on my face, I turned the oven off, put the dough back in the fridge, and came and joined him in the den.  Seeing as it was already 9:00, I was completely fine with not cooking, but I was secretly craving that pizza… 


Well, last night, I got my pizza!


Trader Joe’s pizza dough

Delallo pizza sauce

Honey goat cheese

Sargento light mozzarella string cheese

Fresh jalapeno

Onion

Chopped tomato

Fresh basil

The basil was a welcomed but unexpected addition to my ingredient list.  We are in the process of having a new roof put on our house.  Yesterday, they moved my basil and rosemary plants out of the way so they wouldn’t throw shingles on them as they were tearing them off.  I offered to move them elsewhere, and the young man said they had already moved them and they were fine.  I jokingly said “don’t kill my plants, okay?” and he laughed and promised they would be fine.  Well, yesterday afternoon I decided I was going to move them to the back of the house to get more sun, and do you know what I found?   A shingle had been thrown down and broke off one stem of my basil plant (about 10 inches)…grrrr…  Instead of getting upset and demanding  a new basil plant from that lying kid ;), I decided to make the pizza with fresh basil.

Man, it was good!  Fresh herbs always make the biggest difference in recipes.

Do you make pizza at home?  If so, do you buy pizza dough/crust or make it?

I buy Trader Joe’s pizza dough every time I go to Nashville.  I always have at least 2 regular and 2 whole wheat in the freezer.  It’s only $1 per bag, and it is seriously delicious dough.

What’s your favorite fresh herb?

Basil, rosemary, parsley 


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The Lean Green Bean