Trader Joe Favs

Today I wanted to share a few items that have been in my cart every time I head to Trader Joe’s. To be honest, Trader Joe’s always used to be an extra stop for me. I’d go to my regular grocery store then if I wanted something specific would pop into Trader Joe’s to pick it up. A few months ago I popped in and realized it was silly of me to be doing two grocery stops, they have so many great items! Here are a few things of my favs!

  1. Everything But The Bagel seasoning. Okay, a few weeks ago I asked on Insta if other people were as obsessed with this as I am. I got a resounding YES! I love this seasoning on ezekiel bread with laughing cow cheese or on top of scrambled eggs.
  2. Gluten Free Buttermilk Pancake & Waffle mix. If you don’t make your own batter from scratch and prefer to be gluten free, this mix is surprisingly delish. I usually think GF can be a little… sawdust-y;  I truly think this mix is your best GF option out there.
  3. Creamy Spinach Artichoke Dip. I totally fell into the TJ trap… They were sampling this dip a few weeks ago and I was surprised at just how creamy & delicious this was. I actually took it to our Super Bowl party last weekend and it was a huge hit. I also love to keep this in my freezer in case we end up having guests over last minute.
  4. Dr. Praegers California Veggie Burgers. These are SO good. While I still enjoy regular burgers, I’ve been trying to keep healthier option readily available at home so I’m not tempted by takeout. I just pop one of these into the oven and eat it plain- it’s so good!! They have other types too but this one if my favorite.
  5. Acai Puree Packets are perfect for those gorgeous Acai bowls you see on Instagram but are rather pricey to buy. A great option is to make it yourself at home. These are unsweetened so it’s a great way to know just how much sugar you’re adding into your breakfast (or whenever you decide to make one).
  6. Carrot Ginger Miso Salad Dressing. This is an awesome alternative to making your own carrot ginger dressing. I love it so much that once I stopped at three different locations because they fly off the shelves.
  7. Corn & Chile Salsa – great to add to taco salads!
  8. Makings for a BOMB charcuterie board. Have you ever been mesmerized by the wall of cheese available at Trader Joe’s? Guilty. They have a great range for cheeses + meats to make a fantastic charcuterie whether it’s  a night in for one or a cheeseboard to top all over Instagram cheeseboards.

What did I miss? What are your Trader Joe’s favorites?

Cheers

Three Thrills by Thursday

one.

Last weekend, Dave & I registered for our wedding. I had gotten up early that day to make spin class before we shopped till we (literally) dropped, so by the time we reached the end, we were hungry. On our way out of Crate & Barrel, I spotted the most perfect mini waffle maker from Dash. Of course, it came home with us. Coincidentally it seemed like the perfect night to have waffles for dinner.

While I normally like to make my own batter, we made a quick stop at Trader Joe’s on our way home to pick up a few things & to save on time, I grabbed their Gluten Free waffle mix. I added a little vanilla to the recipe and you guys, SO delish. Highly recommend if you prefer a pre-made mix.

two.

Last week, I followed clickbait and ended up reading 127 amazing facts in honor of national trivia day. If you need a little break from your daily emails at work, click away and prepare to be amazed!

three.

<hey, Brad!>

I recently purchased several new matte lipcolors & I am obsessed. As if naming their colors after men isn’t cute enough, Lawless prides itself on being FREE of harmful chemicals that you might be surprised to find in your other cosmetics. Did you know our bodies absorb 5 POUNDS of makeup a year!? ew. So important to know what’s going on your skin. Besides that, the colors are amazing and the wear is great. Usually matte can be so drying, but this gives a nice matte feel without looking cracked on your lips by mid-afternoon.

Cheers

Three Thrills by Thursday

Finally! Thursday! I don’t know about you guys but I am SO ready for the weekend. After having a bug for the last ten days- I am finally feeling back like my regular, healthy self.

one.

When I started to get sick, I stopped into my neighborhood Le Pain Quotidien and ordered their hot Honey Lemon Ginger. It was the perfect warm up from the chilly winter air and immediately soothed the tickle in my throat; it’s no secret that the three ingredients are packed full of health benefits. Fully knowing I wouldn’t be able to sustain my obsession, I attempted to make it at home… at it worked! It should be noted that I never really measure anything but just ballpark it, you can always even out the flavor once you try it.

How To:
1 cup water
knob of fresh ginger, about an inch depending on how prominent you want the flavor
1 lemon
honey

Instructions:
1. Peel & slice ginger, about ¼ inch pieces.
2. Add the water, honey and ginger to the pot.
3. Juice ½ the lemon into the pot (reserve the other half in case you like it more lemon-y).
4. Heat over very low heat for 5-10 minutes, covered, so it’s barely simmering.
5. Strain liquid and add fresh lemon slice into cup & enjoy!
two.
After I posted a few of our engagement photos, I got a lot of questions about my this outfit but especially my tulle skirt. Truth is, I love dressing up a tulle skirt and in fact, I couldn’t find a top I loved, so that’s actually a dress. I’ve linked a few tulle skirts below that (some) may or may not be hiding in my closet.
1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9
three.
Two weeks ago we visited some of our best friends in Pittsburgh. We hadn’t been back since Dave moved but it was great to revisit some of our favorite spots and even try a few new (amazing) places. I think we ate our way through the entire city!
Iron Born Pizza at Smallman Galley 
Shopping at No. 14
Dinner at DiAnoia’s – I highly recommend their gnocchi and of course, prosecco on tap
How are the holidays coming along for you guys? Did you wrap up your shopping? I’m still finishing off a few things but tonight we’re seeing The Nutcracker, so I suppose it will just have to wait.
Want to follow along? As always, follow me on Instagram 🙂
Cheers,

Jicama, Orange & Avocado Salad

Last week I posted a few Instagram polls asking what you’d like to see more of on the blog as I’ve been a little remiss lately. Well, I’ve heard you & I’m excited! Lots of fashion, travel, cooking & entertaining and even a little bit of wedding planning coming your way.

Today, I want to share a new recipe I learned while taking a cooking class this weekend at Sur La Table. Sidenote: I love taking classes at Sur La Table- they make an excellent date activity and a few, I’ve even flown solo (macaron class a few weeks ago) and always have the best time. This last weekend’s class was Authentic Mexican and this Jicama, Orange & Avocado Salad stood out as a repeat recipe for sure.

What You’ll Need:

1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced on mandoline
3 large oranges, rind removed, quartered & cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 medium jicama, skin removed with a knife and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon chile powder
2-3 tablespoons of fresh lime juice
1 large avocado, sliced into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
sea salt<I love this OXO mandoline & always use it with this cut resistant glove to avoid a nasty cut>

How To:

Combine onion, oranges, jicama, oil, chile power and lime juice and toss to combine. Gently fold in the avocado and cilantro. Taste & adjust seasoning with salt or additional chile powder. Allow to chill for a few minutes for flavors to marinate & serve in a large chilled salad bowl.

*Consider making ahead by combining all ingredients except for the cilantro and avocado, and marinating the flavors so it can be absorbed into the jicama. I find it to be a little like tofu in the sense that it takes on whatever flavor its paired with.

I also fell in love with a shrimp taco recipe that I’ll be sharing later this week. Crazy week for me as I’m doing a quick flight out to Phoenix and topping the week off with our engagement photos! Here we go…may your coffee be strong & your Monday be short!

cheers

Three Thrills by Thursday

Has anyone else been thrown off all week? I woke up Tuesday morning, thinking it was Wednesday & my days have been mixed up ever since. But we’re here! Thursday! Finally.

one.

Tuesday night I took a calligraphy class with the very talented Crafted by Anamarie. I have always loved calligraphy & thought it would be a fun girls night. Anamarie is so talented & incredibly helpful throughout the entire class. While I have a lot of practicing ahead of me, the letters are starting to build muscle memory, so here’s to hoping for a lot of lovely lettering in the next year! She also teaches chalkboard lettering classes as well. You can catch her in NYC or Stamford. Sign up here, you won’t regret it.

 

two.

I think part of my day-of-the-week mix up can be attributed to not getting a great night of sleep. Sleep is such an important factor regarding our health & wellbeing but let’s face it, sometimes eight hours just can’t happen. Here are ways to make it through those long days after a bad night’s sleep.

 

three.

Truth be told, the saying of “A Sunday Well Spent, Brings A Week of Content” really hits home for me. I love nothing more on Sundays to be in the kitchen, cooking, prepping food for the week or (embarrassingly enough) reorganizing the cabinets. It brings me a sense of solace. While I plan meals for the week, Sunday’s meal is usually a game time decision. Ravaging through odds & ends of what’s leftover married to a few of my kitchen staples. This week, we ended up with quite a delicious pizza. Plum & Prosciutto. I’m sharing the recipe (I use that term loosely as I admittedly never measure anything) below.

Plum & Prosciutto Pizza

What You’ll Need:

Stonefire Naan Bread
Fresh Mozzarella
Gruyere
Prosciutto
3 Plums (I used three smaller, European plums)
Arugula
(teeny bit of) Balsamic Glaze (I made my own, but this one is great to keep in your cupboard)

How To:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place naan bread onto baking sheet and add sliced mozzarella onto naan. If you don’t have access to fresh mozzarella, shredded would work, too. Grate some gruyere over top of the mozz and place in the oven for the cheese to melt, about 5 minutes.
  2. Remove pizza from oven and add quartered or halved plums (depending on size) as well as a few slices of prosciutto. Place back in oven for 10-12 minutes.
  3. Once the cheese is nice & melted, remove pizza from oven and sprinkle with balsamic glaze. Add arugula to the top of the ‘za and…
  4. Enjoy!

Cheers!

Summer Chickpea Salad

 

This is one of my very favorite recipes, especially in the summer when almost all the ingredients can be picked up at my local farmer’s market. Full disclosure, this is not my own recipe, but reblogged from one of my very fav food blogs, How Sweet Eats. Jessica recommends the salad be enjoyed on bread but I love it so much, I eat it as a lunch salad by itself. It also maintains extremely well in the fridge as I usually make it on Sunday & enjoy throughout the week.

Summer Chickpea Salad with Honey Garlic Lime Vinaigrette

yields: serves about 4                          total time: 30 minutes

What You’ll Need: 

3 cups chickpeas (or 2 (15-ounce) cans, drained and rinsed)
4 green onions, thinly sliced
2-3 ears grilled corn, cut from the cob
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons fresh chives
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 lime, juiced and zested

The How To:

In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas, onions, corn, tomatoes, basil and chives. Toss well with the salt and pepper. Separately, in a small saucepan, add the oil, vinegar, honey, garlic, lime juice and zest. Heat over low heat and whisk until the mixture is warm and garlic cloves are sizzling a bit.Pour the liquid over the chickpeas and and toss well to coat. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Check out How Sweet Eats for this recipe & many fantastic others!

Cheers!

Cookbook Giveaway: Graze

You know I love to share my fav cookbooks but this one may take the cake. My friend, Suzanne Lenzer, chef & food stylist extraordinaire, has recently debuted her newest cookbook Graze which emphasizes the joy of tapas style meals. A less-of-more mentality; smaller portions for more variety. Um, yes please! The book is fantastically written and along with incredible recipes she includes sections on how to shop & what essentials you should have lying around your kitchen to make grazing totally stress free. Suzanne also feels, “life is better with bread” which paints a great picture of why we get along so well (#rootinforgluten).

Suzanne and I met each other while working on a food client at my old agency. She was the preferred food stylist of this brand & from our first photoshoot I was amazed. Her kind demeanor & mind blowing food styling are just a tiny tidbit of how lovely it is to work with (& know) her.

If you’re thinking tapas aren’t really your thing, there are plenty of recipes you can double to eat as a full meal. If you’re still not convinced, then I’ll direct you to her mouthwatering pizza cookbook: Truly Madly Pizza….which describes many of my nights in college & let’s face it, grad school, too. In Truly Madly Pizza, Suzanne prefaces the book with two particular sentiments I think we can all get behind:

  1. Pizza is not junk food.
  2. It should always be paired with wine.

And the people said AMEN!

Ok, ok the giveaway! Super simple to enter, just follow the steps below.

  1. Follow me on Instagram
  2. Like & tag your favorite cooking partner in the comment section on my photo of Suzanne’s cookbook
  3. Follow Suzanne on Instagram

Winner will be announced this Thursday! Good luck!

Cheers,