March 31, 2009

Trader Joe’s Apple Cranberry Chutney

chutneyappetizer

The picture doesn’t do it justice, but what you see above is possibly the simplest, tastiest, most addictive appetizer I have ever had. It’s simple because all it takes is pouring a jar of Trader Joe’s apple cranberry chutney over a log of goat cheese and serving it with crackers. It’s tasty because the chutney is made from all sorts of delicious spices I can’t stop thinking about. And it’s addictive because, well..I just can’t have enough.

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December 20, 2007

Holiday Gluttony

There’s nothing like the holidays! I swear, we don’t hold anything back. It isn’t enough to have caramel popcorn. No of course not…we need to add crushed up peppermints to our caramel popcorn…and then! THEN! We need to drizzle it with dark chocolate.

Thank youuu Trader Joe’s!

I’m serious, thank you. It was delicious.

And if you don’t live near a Trader Joe’s and want to join in on the holiday gluttony, perhaps you can be inspired and make your own with these recipes:

Caramel Popcorn Kit in a Jar (great gift!), Cinnamon Popcorn, Lemon Meringue Popcorn, Honey and Spice Popcorn, Pina Colada Popcorn Crunch, OR Swirled Popcorn Mix,

October 12, 2007

Talk about quick and easy

Last night I went to a friend’s for a quality dinner and TV night. It was sort of a last minute get together so we opted for a quick and easy, last-minute kind of meal.

My friend raves about Trader Joe’s Mandarin Orange Chicken, so I agreed to giving it a try. All it took was a few simple steps and we had restaurant-quality orange chicken on our plates.

1. Place chicken in the oven for about 15-20 minutes.

2. Microwave sauce for 2 minutes, and pour sauce over chicken.

…and Voila!

Pretty painless for such an enjoyable meal!

But hey, if you feel like making your own from scratch, by all means try this recipe.

-Hillary, planning on doing some real cooking this weekend
Editor, Recipe4Living

August 22, 2007

I’m getting pretty good at this

Another successful meal made without a recipe! Sure, it may have been heavily reliant on Trader Joe’s packaged foods, but let’s ignore that for a moment. Driving home from work on Monday, I tried to envision the contents of my refrigerator: milk, shredded cheddar cheese, OJ, (expired) tofu, (expired) eggs… Not exactly the makings of a gourmet meal, or any meal for that matter.

Since I moved a few months ago and began living without a roommate for the first time in my life, I quickly learned that perishable food goes bad very quickly. It absolutely kills me to throw out food, so I’ve cut back the grocery trips to an as-needed basis and on Monday it was certainly needed.

Contrary to Hillary’s experience, I am a frequent shopper at TJ’s and an adamant supporter. True, their produce department isn’t extensive, but it’s got the basics. And I just love the global flavors and ethnic dishes they make available at pretty darn reasonable prices. That’s my plug for good ole TJ’s, but let’s get back to my Monday car ride.

So, I’m sitting in traffic, picturing my empty fridge staring back at me and all I can think of is tomato vodka sauce. I’m not a huge fan of marinara or red sauces in general, but an occasional tomato vodka can really hit the spot (must have something to do with the heavy cream…). I (briefly) considered making it from scratch, but the hunger pains felt otherwise and who was I to argue with a hungry stomach?

Luckily, TJ’s makes a handy jar of Tomato Vodka sauce that I combined with some chopped asparagus spears, fresh tomato and sliced mushroom. Poured over mushroom-filled tortellini, this was a dish that filled me up without being too heavy. The sauce was perfect – not too creamy, but plenty of flavor and I really enjoyed the veggies I had added in. It was certainly a quick and easy dinner (ready in less than 30 minutes!) that I will be making again.

PS If you are more adventurous than me (show off), try this recipe for Penne Pasta with Tomato Vodka Sauce.

PPS For a fantastic collection of Presto Pasta Recipes each week, check out the roundup at Once Upon a Feast.

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