Tag Archives: Trader Joe’s

Who Knew?

5 Sep

First things first… have you “liked” For the Sake of Cake on facebook yet?! 😉 If not, what are you waiting for?

**********

Who knew that I could put away so much red meat? Steak was on the menu for dinner tonight again (just like last night), but let’s back up a bit, shall we?

**********

Like (most of) the rest of the world, I had off from work today. Even still, I was up at about 6:30, but laid in bed until 7:00. The early wake up call was a combination of dogs wanting to go out & feeling all congested. 😦 I’m not sure if I have a cold, or it’s just allergies, but either way I couldn’t really breathe & in turn, couldn’t really sleep.

Eventually, I rolled out of bed, took Stewie for a quick walk, & headed to the gym.

I had a long to do list for today because I wanted to get a “jump start” on the week ahead. Around 10:30, I texted my mom asking if she’d be interested in grabbing some frozen yogurt for lunch. (Hey, we’ve been known to eat frozen treats as meals before!)

Our closest frozen yogurt place is a good 25 minutes away, but we made the trip & I think we’d both agree it was worth it, right mom?

Kiwi Frozen Yogurt opened recently, but we’ve already been there once before. Today, I loaded up my cup with 3 different types of yogurt plus lots of yummy toppings!

In the mix —

  • Peanut butter yogurt
  • White chocolate mousse yogurt
  • Cookies n’ cream yogurt
  • Reese’s pb cup topping
  • Cookie dough topping
  • Rainbow sprinkles

It was really, really delicious & even though it wasn’t the healthiest lunch, we felt surprisingly full afterwards!

**********

Chris & I had plans to finally use the grill he got for his birthday this evening. Remember what happened last week? Well sadly, this week didn’t turn out much better. We couldn’t get the grill to light for some reason, so we’ll have to figure out what the deal is. In the meantime, I heated up our grill pan!

I used this recipe from Campbell’s to make our marinade. (Seriously, what would I do without these Campbell’s recipes?!)

I followed the recipe exactly & Chris & I both couldn’t stop raving about the marinade!

I grilled the steaks for about 10 minutes (5 on each side), coating it with the marinade frequently.

On the side, I cooked up some Trader Joe’s harvest grain blend that I picked up on Friday. It included Israeli-style couscous, orzo, baby garbanzo beans, & red quinoa. This side dish was by far my favorite part of the meal!

I also steamed some broccoli. Even though I wasn’t feeling it, I figured it’d be good to get a veggie in there.

As we were eating, I asked Chris if it was bad that we were eating steak for the second night in a row. His reply? “Yeah, we’ll back off for a little.” Probably a good idea! 😉 Growing up I hated steak, but I’ve come to enjoy it as long as it’s cooked the right way!

Off to go relax & get ready for the season premiere of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills! 🙂

Are there any foods that you disliked as a kid, but enjoy now?

Advertisements

Long Weekend

2 Sep

I’m lucky enough to have had today off, as well as Monday. If only every week could consist of 4 days of work & 4 days of vacation… the world would be a much happier place, don’t you think? 😉

I kicked off my long weekend with a nail appointment first thing this morning! Afterwards, I made a trip to the closest Trader Joe’s, which unfortunately for me is about a 30 minute trip.

I was able to stock up on lots of goodies:

I purchased a few new-to-me items, including these dark chocolate covered peanut butter wafer cookies:

And got some old favorites, like my beloved soft peanut brittle:

Remember this recipe?

After my little shopping trip, I did some cleaning around the apartment, caught up on my DVR, & mustered up some energy to hit the gym. I really, really didn’t feel like going (& can’t say that I worked up much of a sweat) but at least I got there & did something, right?

**********

Eventually it was time to get dinner going. On the menu tonight – turkey burgers!

No Measure Turkey Burgers

Makes 6 burgers

(All ingredient measurements were “eye-balled”.)

Ingredients:

  • About 1 pound lean, ground turkey
  • About 1/2 c. (I used two palmfulls) of bread crumbs
  • About 2 tbsp. ketchup
  • Chopped peppers & onions
  • Sprinkle of poultry seasoning
  • Sprinkle of garlic salt
  • Black pepper
  • Lemon juice

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients.
  • Heat a large grill pan or griddle to medium-high heat; spray with cooking spray.
  • Cook turkey burgers through, flipping every few minutes. (I didn’t time exactly how long each burger took… whoops! I just cooked until I didn’t see any more pink!)

I served these burgers up with a side of Alexia Waffle Cut Sweet Potato Fries. This was my first time trying any Alexia product, & I was very pleased. These frozen fries tasted fresh & had a nice “kick” to them (they’re seasoned with salt, onion, garlic, & a chili/black/red pepper combo).

   This was the perfect end-of-summer meal!

After dinner, Stewie started whining about how he hasn’t gotten much blog attention the last few days. I told him I’d be sure to post a really cute picture of him tonight! 😉

Do you have any fun plans for the long, holiday weekend?

What’s your favorite way to enjoy a burger?

Three Easy Meals

25 Aug

With back-to-school on the horizon (I go back Monday!) I’m trying to build up my arsenal of quick, easy meals. Actually, I prefer that every meal I make is quick & easy, but it’s of the utmost importance when time is limited! Here are three easy meals I’ve made throughout the last week!

Stromboli

I saw this recipe for “garbage bread” on Courtney’s blog & decided to try it out for myself!

The most difficult part of this recipe for me was tracking down frozen pizza dough! I have no idea why it was so difficult to find, but I ended up finding whole wheat pizza dough at Wegmans.

First, I cooked up some fresh mushrooms, then chopped up some green pepper & onions to go inside our stromboli.

Before rolling everything up, I topped the pizza dough with some sauce, then piled in the rest of the goods.

Rolling up the stromboli got sort of messy. I think next time, I’ll concentrate the ingredients closer to the center of the dough! Next, I baked everything in a 350* oven for about 30 minutes!

  This was simple, delicious, & could make you feel like you’re eating a fun, “weekend” dinner any night of the week!

Chicken Quesadillas

Quesadillas have always been one of my go-to’s! In fact, when I lived on my own, it was something I made quite frequently, but usually I stuck to cheese quesadillas. These days, I realize how important it is to make sure I incorporate protein into my meals, so I’m not ravenous 30 minutes after eating!

First, I fired up my Crate & Barrel griddle (which has a completely flat surface on the other side; love that it’s double-duty).

I used leftover pulled chicken from our BBQ chicken, & started creating my quesadillas with a Wrap-Itz whole grain tortilla.

I layered salsa, shredded chicken, peppers, onions, & cheese, then grilled up the quesadillas to get everything nice & gooey!

I topped the quesadilla with some plain Chobani instead of sour cream. I loved that I could faintly see the grill marks on the outside of each quesadilla! 🙂

Trader Joe’s Lobster Ravioli (For One!)

Once a week, Chris & his band mates work on their music in a studio outside of Philly, which means I’m on my own for dinner that night.

While I’ve been trying to stay away from frozen/pre-made meals, I love Trader Joe’s lobster ravioli!

The list of ingredients is long, but at least I can pronounce everything! 😉

These cook up quickly – in about five minutes – & I like to top mine with vodka sauce & some parmesan cheese.

Something to keep in mind about this product, however, is the serving size. There was plenty for me to enjoy for dinner (served with a side salad), but there would definitely not be enough to serve both Chris & myself.

If you’ve made it all the way to the end of the post, I’ll reward you with this gratuitous picture of Stewie, resting on his new “birthday” toy. 🙂

Do you ever eat frozen/pre-made meals?

Failure or Success?

7 Jul

I love to bake. In fact, I’ll take baking over cooking any day, but I think I’ll have to learn to love cooking soon when I become a newlywed!

I had some Trader Joe’s walnuts to use up, plus some chocolate chips from last week’s chocolate chip cookies.

I visited Supercook.com, where you can enter ingredients you have on-hand & a list of possible recipes is generated. I was immediately intrigued by these cookies – dubbed “Magic Walnut Cookies.”

I followed the instructions pretty closely. First, I chopped up my walnuts. I think one of my first “failures” was chopping instead of grounding them (I think a super-fine texture would have worked better to achieve the cookie effect).

Walnuts Next, I mixed the chopped walnuts with 2 egg whites. The recipe called for 1 cup of sugar, but I used a little less than that & a squirt of honey.

I dropped the “dough” onto a cookie sheet, & baked them for about 8 minutes.

Ready to bake Ready to bake

As the cookies were baking, I melted about a cup of mini semisweet chocolate chips in the microwave. I usually don’t have much luck with this melting method, but luckily I didn’t burn anything today – success!

Yum!Well, I should have known from some of the “reviews” on this recipe, but these little walnut dollops did not bake like a cookie. I let them cool for about 2 minutes, but when I tried to move them from the baking sheet, they came apart & were pretty much the same consistency as when they went in the oven – fail!

I tried desperately to make these cookies a success by “reforming” them into a cookie shape, dropping a spoonful of chocolate on top, then toping with an additional walnut “cookie.”

Ready for the freezerTo help them solidify, I popped them into the freezer for a few minutes.

The end result was very, very sweet; dare I say too sweet? I have the biggest sweet tooth ever, so if I’m saying these are too much, there’s a problem.

I’ll definitely give them another chance, but if I try this recipe again, I’ll definitely cut back on the sugar & not pretend that I’m going to end up with real cookies in the end! 😉

Finished product  Not so bad after all?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you consider yourself better at cooking or baking? What’s your favorite thing to cook/bake?

Take It To Go

30 Jun

I’m doing things a little “backwards” from my normal routine today! So far this summer I’ve been trying to go the gym first thing in the morning, but I decided I’m going to go to my “normal” BodyPump class this evening (the one I take during the school year).

I had a few errands to take care of this afternoon & would be out between breakfast & lunch. I wanted a little something to hold me over until I’d be back for lunch, so I whipped up a smoothie… to go!

I picked up raspberries at Trader Joe’s this weekend, & had been thinking up a raspberry-chocolate smoothie in my mind for the past few days.

Raspberry-Chocolate Smoothie

  • 1/2 very ripe banana
  • Handful of raspberries
  • About 1/2 c. plain Chobani
  • About 1 tsp. cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s)
  • Splash of skim milk to get everything moving
  • 2 packets Splenda (I added these after doing a taste-test & realizing the smoothie was a tad too tart.)

Combine all ingredients & blend!

Ready to blend!     I poured my smoothie into my to-go tumbler & sprinkled a few chia seeds on top! This baby was dunzo by the time I reached my first stop!

Chias    Ready to go!

When I returned from my errands, I whipped up a quick lunch. I made a turkey sandwich on a sandwich thin, with a slice of American cheese & tomato. You may recognize one of my staplesSmartfood white cheddar popcorn! I also enjoyed my favorite flavor of Chobani – strawberry banana!

Lunch**********

I haven’t mentioned this on the blog yet, but Chris & I are getting ready to move into our new apartment. Currently, we both live with our parents & we won’t actually be living in the apartment until after our wedding. I had my own place last year, but have been living at home for the last 10 months or so to save up some money! We get to pick up the keys tomorrow, & we’ll be working throughout July to move everything in & get set-up in our new home.

Needless to say, I’ve got some work to do in preparation for the start of the big move!

Have a great Thursday! 🙂

Extra Special Chocolate Chip Cookies

29 Jun

Let’s save the best for last, shall we? First, a recap of yesterday’s dress fitting…

Well I can sum this up quickly because it was awesome! My mom & I arrived in NYC around 2:15, & upon our arrival to Kleinfelds, found Kelly Ripa standing outside of the store! (She appeared to be getting ready to film something.) After our “celebrity sighting,” we got to the dress fitting & everything went perfectly. Of course I need some alterations, but the dress was just as beautiful as I remember it & I can’t wait to go back for fitting #2!

After waking up this morning, I checked a few items off my “to do” list, then headed to the gym. Today’s workout was 45 minutes on the elliptical.

**********

Now, onto the good stuff!

Let me preface this by saying I am not trying to pass this off as a healthy recipe. When I do desserts, I like to go big. The purpose of my blog is to show my attempts at balancing healthy eating choices & exercise all for the sake of being able to thoroughly enjoy cake cookies all desserts!

The original chocolate chip cookie recipe came about earlier this year on a snow day. I was bored & craving fresh-baked cookies, so I started searching online for an easy recipe. I couldn’t find one for which I had every ingredient, so I experimented & came up with my own little recipe. Well, today’s cookies are extra special because of these little guys…

Peanut brittleTrader Joe’s Soft Peanut Brittle

I picked up these delicious treats last week & just as I was finishing the bag, noticed the suggestion on the back of the bag to add these brittle bites to cookies! Cookies + peanut brittle = perfection! So on Sunday evening, I picked up another bag of the good stuff!

To make these fantastic cookies, combine the following:

  • 1/2 stick butter (melted)
  • 3/4 c. white sugar + 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1-2 tbsp. maple syrup (I ended up using about 1 and a 1/2.)
  • Splash of vanilla extract

Wet ingredients       Next, combine the following dry ingredients:

  • 1 and a 1/2 c. flour
  • 3/4 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tbsp. salt

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet & combine. Next, add in mini semisweet chocolate chips, & the extra special ingredient… chopped peanut brittle!

Ready to bake! Bake the cookies at 350* for 8-10 minutes.

This receipt makes about 24 cookies depending on how much batter you eat!

Cookies Cookies

Wow, wow, wow! These cookies are delicious  and they remind me a lot of Mrs. Fields! I only wish the peanut butter flavor were slightly more prominent!

Cookies

 If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s by you, I’d suggest substituting chopped Snickers for the brittle! 🙂

What’s your favorite dessert?

I love me some cake! 😉

First Post!

21 Jun

So I might not be winning the “most creative first post title” award anytime soon… Hopefully you can cut me some slack seeing as though it’s my… first post! Welcome, thanks for stopping by!

If you took a peek at my About Me page, you might have read that I’m a teacher. Being that it’s summer time, my schedule has opened up a bit & I have more time to spend at the gym. I’m getting married on August 6th (46 short days away!) so I’ve tried to step up my workouts a bit before the “big day” arrives.

Today’s Workout

Body Pump followed by 20 easy minutes on the elliptical.

After running a few errands this afternoon, it was time for a quick snack! I wanted something cool & fruity that would allow me to incorporate some of my Trader Joe’s finds from yesterday evening. Smoothie time!

Strawberry-Pineapple Smoothie

SAMSUNG

Fresh strawberries, frozen pineapple tidbits, & about 1/4 cup skim milk.

It doesn’t get much easier than that! 🙂 This was tasty, but I think the addition of some Greek yogurt would have made it even better.

Off to check some items off of my to-do list!