Tag Archives: Trader Joe’s

Chocolate-Covered Cookie Butter-Filled Oreo Thins

23 Sep
Chocolate-Covered Cookie Butter-Filled Oreo Thins

Chocolate-Covered Cookie Butter-Filled Oreo Thins

Surprise, surprise, I have a a dessert on my blog! If you’ve followed me for any length of time you know I really don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but when my friend Jodi at The Creative Life In Between posted this, I thought heck yes, I can handle that! I know my husband and daughter really like Oreos so surprised them with this recently. I think I more shocked than surprised them, as in sugar shock. Zowee, one bite is certainly a head rush.

I only made four of them in case they didn’t like them. They both liked them enough, but daughter could only eat half of one, and hubby took one bite and said it was like eating three cookies in one bite! Anyhoot, they store well in Tupperware so the fam gets to take a bite or two from them when they want.

I attempted to make fancy squiggles with chocolate on the top, but they came out more like scribbles, lol. The recipe below is taken directly from Jodi’s website here, so please navigate over there if you want to see a prettier version of these cookies. I even stole her idea to use my daughter as a hand model for them. Jodi is an excellent photographer, painter, and writer too!

p.s I’ll be gone the next two weekends fishing and crabbing! So hopefully all the sugar in this will tide you over until we get back and I can post a new recipe.

Chocolate-Covered Cookie Butter-Filled Oreo Thins
From Jodi at The Creative Life In Between

One box of Oreo Thins Chocolate cookies
One jar of Biscof or Trader Joe’s Speculoos cookie butter (I used Trader Joe’s)
One and 1/2 bags of Wilton’s Candy melts in dark chocolate (I used a microwavable tub of Baker’s Semi-Sweet Dark Chocolate)

Place the amount of Oreo Thins Cookies on a cookie sheet that you plan on making.  Top each cookie with a teaspoon-sized scoop of cookie butter.  Press a second Oreo Thin on top to make a sandwich.

Assembling the Cookies

Assembling the Cookies

Freeze for approximately 30 minutes.

Melt the chocolate in microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after each increment, until chocolate is melted and smooth.

Take 3-4 cookies out of the freezer at a time, and carefully dip – one at a time – in the melted chocolate.  Use a fork to tap excess off, and slide the bottom of the cookie along the edge of the bowl to remove excess.  Set on parchment or wax paper to harden. (Since I am SO GOOD at reading directions, I put them in the freezer AFTER I added the chocolate, sheesh! They still came out fine. 🙂 )

Dipped Cookies Ready to Harden

Dipped Cookies Ready to Harden

Add sprinkles (if desired) before chocolate hardens, or drizzle with white or contrasting chocolate after it hardens. (I just drizzled the same chocolate over top.)

P.S. I’ve added this recipe to The Secret Recipe Club site! Pop on over to The Bewitching Kitchen here to see her creation, and tap on the frog to see many more great recipes!

Half Eaten Cookie

Daughter Modeling her Half Eaten Cookie

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Sausage and Garbanzo Beans in a Spicy Tomato Herb Sauce

16 Oct
Sausage and Garbanzo Beans with Tomatoes in a Spicy Herb Sauce

Sausage and Garbanzo Beans with Tomatoes in a Spicy Herb Sauce

Well. This meal got totally mixed reviews. My daughter loved it. My husband didn’t like my choice of sausage but really enjoyed the spicy bean sauce and herbs, and ate mostly that. I found it middle ground because of my choice of sausage. I  liked it OK, just OK. But that is what cooking is about. Experiment! Next time I will make this with standard smoked turkey sausage or Kielbasa, and my husband agreed it would be outstanding with that instead of this fancy-schmancy stuff I bought.

I got the idea for this dish from a blog I follow, TasteFood:   Mediterranean Smoked Sausage, Tomato and Chickpeas. She has some fabulous recipes. Why oh why didn’t I use standard smoked sausage for this? I will tell you why.  I was in Target in their new upgraded store with a food section, and saw these and thought, “Wow! I wanted to make this recipe I just saw on a food blog site, but how neat to make it with this instead!” It was touted with all natural, no preservatives, yada yada. And spinach and garlic! Winner! (not)

Sausage Tomato Herbed Spiced Garbanzo Bean Skillet Ingredients

Sausage Tomato Herbed Spiced Garbanzo Bean Skillet Ingredients

I was also excited to use a canned jar of my tomatoes, and I scrounged in my herb garden to get the last of my herbs for this. I got some fresh tarragon, but my basil plants had frozen overnight and looked horrible, my cilantro had expired long ago, but luckily had some store-bought cilantro in the fridge. For this recipe, just use whatever fresh herbs you have on hand (parsley, basil, cilantro, etc.) or use dried, which is always acceptable when you don’t have fresh. It’s not like we all have greenhouses in our backyard.

So that’s the back story. Now I present the recipe, but I shall suggest smoked sausage (turkey, Kielbasa, or otherwise) instead of ground chicken and spinach froo-froo stuff. ‘Nuff said,

Sausage and Garbanzo Beans in a Tomato Herb Sauce

Smoked sausage of preference  (hint, hint)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2  tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup homemade or low sodium chicken broth
1 can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
1 can of tomatoes, your own homemade, or store bought
2 tablespoons of minced fresh herbs, any kind (halve that if they are dried)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Ground black pepper, to taste

Slice your sausage on a diagonal, to look cool for a photo, or just slice it normal in about 1/4 inch slices. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a skillet on medium heat, then add the sausage, with a about a 1/4 cup of water. Cover and cook until the water evaporates. Now it’s just a test of patience to get the sausage browned to your liking.  Uncover, and using tongs, flip the sausage over and over until you are satisfied with the outcome. I’m impatient. You would only have to flip them once if you are not.

Garlic Spinach Chicken Sausage in Skillet

Garlic Spinach Chicken Sausage in Skillet (I was finally satisfied)

Once the sausage is done to your liking, remove to a paper-toweled plate and set aside. Add the other tablespoon of oil to the skillet, then add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions start to soften. Now add the chicken broth (or wine, I wish I had some!) to deglaze the pan.  Simmer that for about 5 minutes until the liquid reduces about in half. Now add the garbanzo beans, tomatoes with liquid (drain off any unusually large liquid amount if homemade canned type), the herbs and the crushed red pepper flakes. You can sub in cayenne pepper if you don’t have that on hand.

Garbanzo Bean and Tomato Herb Mixture

Garbanzo Bean and Tomato Herb Mixture

Smoosh the tomatoes down if you used homemade, or you are home free if you uses canned diced tomatoes. Stir and simmer that all around until it looks nice and thick and yummy, and don’t forget to grind a bunch of black pepper over it, to taste. Now add the sausage and simmer until heated through, just a minute or so. This can be served  over couscous, rice, or pasta, or like I did with Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains (no I am not paid to endorse that) or just eat as is! This really is a simple and great weeknight meal idea with very few ingredients.

Chicken Sausage in Tomato Garbanzo Mixture

Chicken Sausage in Tomato Garbanzo Mixture

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Balsamic Gravy over Pork

2 Oct
Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Balsamic Gravy over Pork

Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Balsamic Gravy over Pork

This has all the makings to be an elegant meal, but somehow I just did not quite pull it off. Now don’t get me wrong, you can keep reading as I’ll still share the recipe. But let me ask you this. How on earth can onions be tough after cooking them for almost 20 minutes? Somehow I managed to do that. But the sauce was still good, and not all the onions were hard. I can only guess that I should have peeled the onion down one more layer after taking off the skin. Anyways, I plan on making this again some day and will cross my fingers for softer onions.

Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Balsamic Gravy over Pork

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 large sweet onion, sliced thin and cut in half
4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Blend
Black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons flour, divided
2 thin-cut pork loin chops
1 cup homemade or low sodium beef broth
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
Pinch of dried basil

Caramelizing the Onions and Mushrooms

Caramelizing the Onions and Mushrooms

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the onions in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until starting to soften, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms, and cook until onions and mushrooms have caramelized, about 15 to 20 minutes total. Turn heat down if needed if they start to burn.  Once caramelized, remove to a bowl and set aside.

Season the pork chops with Mrs. Dash and ground black pepper, to taste. Lightly dust each side of the pork chops with 1 tablespoon of the flour. Add another tablespoon of oil to the skillet, and cook each side of the pork chops for 2 to 3 minutes over medium-high heat. Remove to a plate and tent with foil.

Add a tablespoon of flour to the oil left in the pan, adding a touch more oil, if needed. Mix until a paste forms. Slowly whisk in the cup of beef broth and balsamic vinegar. Mix in the honey and herbs, then turn down heat to a simmer. Add the onions and mushrooms back to the skillet and mix into the sauce. Last, add the pork chops back to the skillet, cover, and cook for a few minutes more to heat them through. We served this with fresh Trader Joe’s Haricot Verts and Harvest Grains cooked in beef broth. If you have good luck with caramelizing onions, then this is an easy dinner for any night of the week.

Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Balsamic Gravy over Pork

Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Balsamic Gravy over Pork

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Harvest Grains and Pork Stuffed Red Bell Peppers

18 Sep
Harvest Grains and Pork Stuffed Red Bell Peppers

Harvest Grains and Pork Stuffed Red Bell Peppers

Hey, I finally caught a salmon on my line! (And… he got away, boo hiss.) But it was fun and exciting, nonetheless. So you may have noticed I didn’t do a weekend post, because, well, I was gone fishin’! But the night before we left I made these crazy-good stuffed bell peppers, and I think we’ve found our new-favorite vegetable stuffing. I was perusing through Trader Joe’s last week and noticed this package of Harvest Grains. It sounded so delicious, with couscous, quinoa, orzo pasta, and teeny garbanzo beans. Wow! What a bunch of cool grains and stuff all in one package! And the flavors were just wonderful. So much better than plain old white rice.

Trader Joe's Harvest Grains Red Bell Peppers and Tomatoes

Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains, Red Bell Peppers, and Tomatoes

I decided I would make my roasted bell pepper recipe using this instead of rice, and yowza, what a hit with the family! Seconds for everyone. I thought I had some ground turkey in the freezer, and I was going to be really healthy using that instead of ground beef, but alas, it turned out to be a package of ground pork (plain, not breakfast-type.) Well, what the heck, I used that instead. I also used some of my tomatoes from our hanging tomato plant experiment, which are coming in fast and strong. Now if I can only ward off the frost until I get most of them harvested, as it’s cooling down quick in my neck of the woods. I hope you enjoy this, and if you don’t have a Trader Joe’s in your area, you can substitute rice, but I would simmer it longer and use more liquid.

Simmering Bell Pepper Stuffing

Simmering Bell Pepper Stuffing

Harvest Grains and Pork Stuffed Red Bell Peppers

2 large red bell peppers (or 3 or 4 if you want all the stuffing inside)
1 pound ground  fresh pork (or turkey or beef)
1/2 cup onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3/4 cup Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains (or rice)
3/4 cup homemade or low-sodium chicken broth (or water)
2 cups diced fresh tomatoes and liquid, or 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Dash of cayenne pepper
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Cut 1/2 inch tops off of the bell peppers, and dice the tops up except for the stems. Clean and rinse the inside of the peppers and place with small amount of water in covered microwavable dish. Microwave for five minutes and let rest until ready to stuff.

Stuffed Bell Pepper Ready for Oven

Stuffed Bell Pepper Ready for Oven

In a very large frying pan, sauté the ground pork (or turkey or beef) along with chopped pepper tops, onion and garlic until your meat is browned. Drain. Add the rest of ingredients except cheese and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer until the Harvest Grains are done, about 15 minutes. (Longer if using rice.) Stir in half the cheese.

Stuff the peppers with mixture and place in a lightly oil-sprayed casserole dish, and spoon the extra stuffing around the peppers. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over top and bake 5 minutes longer. Dinner is served!

Asian Green Bean Chicken Noodle Soup

7 Sep
Asian Green Bean Chicken Noodle Soup

Asian Green Bean Chicken Noodle Soup

This is another great use for leftover rotisserie chicken. I had bought one the other day for the three of us, but then my daughter unexpectedly had dinner and a sleepover at a friend’s house. With a half a chicken to deal with, I decided to make some Asian soup with the leftovers and frozen Trader Joe’s Haricot Verts (skinny green beans) I had bought a few days before. You can use fresh green beans in place but those in the store didn’t look so fresh that day.

Chicken Green Bean Noodle Soup Ingredients

Some of the Many Chicken Green Bean Noodle Soup Ingredients

As with most Asian cooking, you will want to prep everything in advance. I finally found some rice noodles in town, and word to the wise: a 6.5 ounce package makes a TON of noodles! Next time I’ll use half the package. But since you assemble these bowls individually, you can bag up and refrigerate the leftovers for another use.

The other thing I did today was go on the hunt for canning supplies to make homemade canned salsa. I wanted pint jars, and the two stores I went to were all out of them. I asked the checker at one store if they had any in the back, and she said there has been quite a run on them lately. But my mom came to the rescue and found some for me on her way home at another store. (She took me clothes shopping today, what a nice mom!) Now, on to the recipe! Simple, satisfying, soothing.

Sauteing the Green Beans

Sauteing the Green Beans

Asian Green Bean Chicken Noodle Soup

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen green beans, snapped in half
6.5 ounce package of dried rice noodles (can be halved)
1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced Serrano pepper
2 green onions, chopped, white and green parts divided
2 teaspoons sesame oil
6 or 7 cups homemade or low sodium chicken broth
2 or 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped or shredded
Fresh lime wedges
Fresh chopped cilantro
Fresh chopped basil

If using fresh green beans, blanch them in boiling water for about four minutes then dunk in a cold ice bath. Otherwise, set the frozen green beans aside to thaw out a bit. In a large bowl, add the rice noodles then pour boiling water over them. Let them soak for about 15 minutes, then drain and rinse with cold water and set aside.

Meanwhile, prep the ginger and veggies, etc. In a soup pot, saute the ginger, garlic, Serrano pepper, and white and light green parts of the onion in the sesame oil for a few minutes over medium heat. Toss in the green beans and heat them up for a few minutes more. Using tongs, remove the green beans and set aside. Now add the chicken broth, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and chicken to the pot. Simmer for about ten minutes to let the flavors meld. When ready to eat, add a serving of noodles to a soup bowl, top with some of the green beans, then ladle the chicken and chicken broth over all. Garnish with lime wedges to squeeze over, dark green onion parts, cilantro, and basil. Add additional soy sauce according to taste.

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Asian Green Bean Chicken Noodle Soup 2

Asian Green Bean Chicken Noodle Soup

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