2.15.2017

Trader Joes Cooking Class Handouts


I finally have some pictures of one of my cooking classes.  My sister was in town to help me out with this one!  It is always so much work to plan these, but I love sharing recipes and seeing other women get excited about cooking for their families.

Baguette with Trader Joes Garlic Onion Jam and Dubliner Cheese

Brushetta





Favorites from Trader Joes
Thursday, February 2, 2017



Produce:
Colored Carrots
Cauliflower Rice
Premade salads
Salad Dressings
Deli Meats
Yogurt
Cream Fraiche
Pizza Dough

Breads:
Tortillas: 
Handmade (thicker)
Whole Wheat/Corn
Flour/Corn
Cracked Wheat Sourdough


Canned Goods:
Coconut Cream
Coconut Milk


Bottled Goods:
Pickles
BBQ Sriacha/Garlic
BBW Carolina
Smokey Peach Salsa
Masala Simmer Sauce
Balsamic Glaze
Soyaki
Roasted Garlic and Onion Jam
Eggplant Spread
Cookie Butter
Pumpkin Butter (Seasonal)

Drinks:
Spiced Cider (Seasonal)
Honeycrisp Cider
Sparkling French Lemonades

Frozen:
Italian Style Meatballs $3.99
Frozen Roasted (Blackened) Corn
Garam Masala Veggie Burgers
Coconut Shrimp $5.99
Fries
Spinach Artichoke Dip
Pesto Pizza $4.99
BBQ Pizza
Samosas Chicken Tikka Appetizer $3.99

Other:
Coconut Oil Can Spray
Shelf Stable Whipping Cream$1.29
Organic Vegetable/Chicken Broth $1.99
Dried Fruit (not sulphered)
Dried Fruit Bar (fruit leather)$.69
Fruit Bar (thicker than fruit leather bars)$0.99
Fruit Bar w/ Chia Seeds $.99
Herb Popcorn
Colored Corn Chips
Pita Multigrain Crackers $2.49
Raisin & Rosemary Crackers $3.99
Popcorn Seeds (to make own popcorn)
Gluten Free Pumpkin Pancake Mix (seasonal)
Flowers/Plants at entrance
Seasonal Gifts
Coconut Body Butter

Treats
Caramel Sauce
Fudge Sauce
Cookie Thins (lemon, coconut, ginger)
Cat Cookies $2.99
Vanilla Wafers

Spices:
$2 a bottle
Everyday Seasonings Grinder




Bruschetta with Feta Spread and Balsamic Glaze

Serves 12-15
Cheese mixture:
6-8 ounces good feta, crumbled
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup good olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper
-Place the feta and cream cheese in bowl and mix with a spoon until the cheeses are blended. Add 1/3 cup olive oil, the lemon juice, ½- teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and stir until smooth.

Tomato mixture:
2 teaspoons minced garlic (I prefer just one clove)
2 tablespoons good red wine vinegar
2 TBS balsamic glaze (or balsamic vinegar)
2 pounds ripe heirloom or cherry tomatoes, diced
3 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves, plus extra for serving
-Combine the garlic, vinegars, tomatoes and basil.  Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.

Assembly:
30 diagonal baguette slices, toasted
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
-To assemble the crostini, spread each slice of bread with a generous amount of whipped feta. With a slotted spoon, place the tomatoes on top. Put the crostini on plates and scatter with the pine nuts. Sprinkle with extra basil, drizzle Trader Joes Balsamic Glaze on top and serve.

Roasted Vegetables
This is a DELICIOUS vegetarian main dish, or you can use it as a side dish.  We eat a big bowl of this with a spinach smoothie.  The purple potatoes really make the dish look colorful and gourmet.  Note, the smaller you cut the vegetables the faster they will roast.  This recipe is flexible when it comes to proportions and feel free to experiment with your spices!

Cut a medley of the following:
Carrots
Purple potatoes
Mini-creamer fingerling potatoes
Zucchini
Bell peppers
onion
Cauliflower
Cherry Tomatoes
Kale
Parsnips


-Pre-heat oven to 425
-Chop the veggies you are using into bite size pieces and place on 11x 17 cookie sheet.
-Drizzle on some olive oil, season with salt/pepper, and other desired spices & mix thoroughly
-Spice ideas: Season with Tones Spicy Spaghetti Seasoning (from Sam's Club) or Italian Seasoning or whatever seasoning you want!  You can add a bit of cayenne or red pepper flakes, fresh garlic, garlic powder, etc.
- Roast for 15-25 minutes until veggies begin to brown around edges.
-Sprinkle with some grated parmesan and toasted pine nuts and serve.  What sends this over the top is to drizzle with Trader Joes Balsamic Glaze


Thai Vegetable Salad
When it comes to salads, I like a LOT of toppings!  I make this salad all the time and it varies depending what I have in my fridge.  Feel free to use ALL or just some of any of the following ingredients!


Shredded red and green Cabbage
Romaine lettuce
spinach
Shredded Carrots
Cucumbers
Sliced Red Peppers
Pea pods
Sesame Seeds

Blanched green beans
avocado
Grilled Chicken
Canned mandarin oranges, juice drained
Peanuts or Cashews or toasted almonds
Crushed Ramen Noodles or Rice/Chow Mein Noodles



-Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Toss with Trader Joes Asian Style Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette

2.02.2017

Trader Joes!

Where to start?  Here are just a few Trader Joe items you may want to try!

Coconut Cream is often hard to find. Great for Indian and Thai cooking. This is also tasty in smoothies.

This veggie broth is darker in color and more robust in flavor than your average brands.

These fruit bars have only two ingredients: Apple and Mango. No added sugar, dye, or preservatives.

I love this Soyaki sauce! It's great as a marinade for steak (I like to use thinly cut flank steak for a beef stir fry served over rice). It also makes a great teriyaki sauce for salmon.

With a hint of mustard, the Carolina Gold BBQ sauce is one of our favorites!

The Roasted Garlic & Onion Jam is to die for! It's great as an accompaniment with bread and cheeses. Try it on a gourmet hamburger with your favorite brie cheese and a little bacon!

The Caramel Sauce and Fudge Sauces could make concrete taste good. We fight over who gets to enjoy the spoon that's been used to serve the sauce!

These spreads are great with any Greek platters, pitas, crackers, bread, etc. Try them on your panini or regular sandwiches.

Use on waffles, tarts, crepes, fruit pizza, filling for cupcakes and cakes. Delicious with berries!

This Sriracha BBQ sauce is quite addictive with a sweet flavor up front and a kick at the end! It's great on beef brisket, pulled pork or chicken sandwiches.

TJ's spices are really high quality for a low price.

This shelf stable whipping cream is a cook's best friend. There's often times when I need whipping cream and don't have any in the fridge.

The Handmade Flour Tortillas taste truly homemade. They don't have the pasty flavor of Mission tortillas and don't have the preservative-y taste either.

I love popcorn as a healthy snack. This version is great because it skips the butter calories in favor of herbs and spices.

These don't have any added sugar although they are plenty sweet since they're made from juice concentrates.

This is hands down the best store spiced apple cider! It's delicious cold; however, it makes a great hot cider. I use this in making wassail which is a winter staple.

It's always nice to have a good pie crust on hand to simplify some desserts. This one has a more buttery flavor and browns nicely, although this BUTTER HOMEMADE CRUST is always better!

For French Macaron fans, these are beautiful.  Avoid the stress of making your own--they are very tricky to make, I've tried!  Look in the Freezer section. These are a great Gluten Free dessert!

As good as Haagen Daz, this ice cream is for those who will appreciate it!

The best Mint Chip ice cream in my sister's opinion.  I prefer mint chip ice cream with smaller chocolate pieces, but this is good.

For a quick dinner, TJ pizza's are nice to have on hand.
Our favorite frozen pizza!

While you can buy hash browns anywhere, I'm partial to these.

These cookies come in Myer Lemon, Coconut, and Triple Ginger. I love serving the Lemon ones with my frozen berry yogurt. The coconut ones are a great foundation for individual cheesecakes (add some lime zest and juice to the cheesecake for a yummy Coconut Lime Cheesecake).

This shrimp makes great fish tacos with a cabbage slaw. You can also pair this with an Asian chili sauce for an appetizer.

I have an addiction!

TJ fries are just really tasty.  Just bake them in your oven and you have a tasty side dish with your favorite burger.


Great plain or with cheese spreads.  These seem very weird and you may be hesitant to try, but be daring and give them a try.  They just may become your favorite.

The best prepared Spinach/Artichoke dip. Keep in the freezer and just microwave for a quick appetizer with chips or bread.

Great crackers for appetizers

I love the Dark Chocolate Truffle bar. Hide it so it doesn't disappear without you getting some!

2.01.2017

Valentines Fun!

Valentines Day is one of my favorite holidays.  One of the reasons is probably because I LOVE making Valentine Cards.  I planned and schemed every year as a child coming up with fun homemade ideas.  Valentines Day is an all-inclusive "tell everyone close to you you love them holiday" for me!

This is a picture of my sister's kitchen table chandelier.  I love her cute paper valentines streamers!  My mother-in-law decorates her chandelier for every holiday.  It is such a simple way to decorate!

1.31.2017

The BEST Pie Crust

I'm a fan of ALL BUTTER 
when it comes to my pie crust.  
It has a flakiness and tastiness that you can't get any other way!  
You can roll out and press into your pan days ahead of time and just keep it in the fridge, 
or even freeze the pie crust in it's pan.  This makes the stress of pie making much easier when it comes to entertaining and holidays. 

For 1  9” PIE CRUST
1 c. all purpose flour
½ tsp salt
1/3 c. butter (cold)
2 TBS cold water (more if needed)
-Stir flour and salt together.  Cut or grate in cold butter.  Add 2 TBS water.  Mix together with fork, then work to mixture into a ball with your hands.  Work as little as possible!
-Roll out on floured flat surface.  Flour top of dough and rolling pin as needed during rolling out process.

1.30.2017

Spinach Frittata


Buy a fun heart casserole dish to use for Valentines Day!
Frittatas are easy and simple to make and are delicious for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Vary flavor by adding different cheese and herbs and add as many or as few vegetables as you'd like. It is an easy dish to make for one or twenty, and for entertaining use a mini muffin pan to make mini frittatas.

Here's a simple recipe-(feel free to experiment!):
6 eggs
1 green onion
2 cups spinach, chopped
diced bell peppers (optional)
1/4 c. (swiss, gruyere, chedder, etc)
1-2 TBS cream or milk (cream works better for mini frittatas)
salt/pepper
fresh herbs (basil, thyme, etc--optional)
-Place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet and place in oven. Preheat oven to 450. While oven heating, combine all ingredients and whisk until smooth.
-Remove heated dish from oven, coat with butter or oil spray. Immediately pour egg/vegetable mixture into dish and top with a little cheese. Bake until frittata is puffed up and golden brown 15-20 minutes.

1.25.2017

Rigatoni D

This recipe evolved from a recipe of a family friend.  I turned "Steve's Chicken" into a pasta dish that reminded my husband and I of a favorite dish from the restaurant Maggianos.  This is simple and delicious!  The sauce is on the "runny" side, so I suggest serving it in a bowl.


In Crock pot place:
1 small package white/button mushrooms, sliced
4 large cloves garlic, minced
6 chicken breasts (NOT frozen...adds too much extra water)
1 c. chicken broth
2 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1 large onion, diced
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 tsp. salt
-Cook on low 6-8 hours.  
-Shred chicken and add 1 c. heavy cream and 1 lb Rigatoni (cooked al dente).
-Dish into bowls and serve.   Pasta will absorb cream and juices over time if you want to let it sit for awhile before serving, that works too.

1.18.2017

Breakfast Bruschetta


No fancy recipe here, just a picture is enough :)  Top some buttered artisan toast with your favorite scrambled eggs (I like to put in some fresh parsley or chives), and top with fresh cherry tomatoes, ground pepper, and some pecorino romano cheese.  BAM!  You have one delicious, simple and yet FANCY meal!

1.14.2017

Tour of Italy Sausage Lasagna (Red, White, and Green Sauces)--Vegetarian Options Included

This picture is from kraftrecipes.com.  Taking a good picture of lasagna is IMPOSSIBLE!  And if I posted a picture of my own, you'd probably never make this amazing recipe!  This Lasagna recipe is unique for the following reasons:

1.  It does NOT use ricotta cheese
2.  You use sausage for the meat
3.  It has a layer of cartelized onions--YUM!
4.  It has THREE kinds of sauce:  Tomato, Alfredo, and Pesto
5.  It FEEDS A LOT.  
7.  BEWARE This recipe is not for the traditional 9x13 pan.  If you do not have a large pan (size noted in recipe) you can make two 9x13 pans.  
8.  You DO NOT have to cook the noodles ahead of time.
9.  It has the secret ingredient...of green spanish olives.  I don't like Spanish olives myself since they are so strong, but don't worry, they are minced and it adds a secret flare that is a must!  I buy the large jar of Spanish Green Olives stuffed with pimento from Costco.

My husband lived in Rome, Italy for quite awhile, so he is the resident "pasta" expert.  I have learned a lot from him.  In Italy they NEVER put ricotta in lasagna.  That is an American-Thing.  We have made variations of this recipe for years, and finally decided to commit to a predictable product.  The recipe is now here for you!  You can really layer in ratios however your want as long as you do FOUR layers of noodles (just the regular ones--not oven ready since they have a weird consistency--and you do NOT cook them ahead of time).  Hopefully this makes sense!


FOR 15.5 x 11.5 x 2.5 Pan
2 large sweet vidalia onions, carmelized w/ 1/4 c. butter and 2 TBS brown sugar
1 15 oz bottle Classico Alfredo
1 c. Costco Basil Pesto
20 green olives, minced
Mozzarella Cheese
1 lb. Jimmy Dean Regular Pork Sausage, cooked and fat drained
1 jar 28-34 oz. Bertolli (or Classico) Organic Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
fresh basil (optional for garnish)
Lasagna Noodles (DO NOT COOK THEM and DO NOT USE OVEN-READY)


Layers:
1.  1/3 of red sauce, meat, 1/2 of the olives
2.  Noodles
3.  Pesto, meat, cheese
4.  Noodles
5.  Alfredo sauce, onions
6.  Noodles
7.  1/3 red sauce, cheese, 1/2 of the olives
8.  Noodles
9. 1/3 Red Sauce
10.  Mozzarella (add just last 10 minutes of baking)

Bake 375 for 80 minutes COVERED in foil.  Remove foil, sprinkle with shredded mozzarella and bake uncovered 10 minutes more.  Remove from oven and garnish with fresh basil if desired.

***For Vegetarian version, omit sausage and add a layer of shredded carrots, one layer of shredded zucchini, and two layers of swiss chard or spinach or both! (chopped finely).
15.5 x 11.5 x 2.5 Pan