Saturday, January 5, 2013

A New Year's Trip to TJs!

Does anyone have a New Year's resolution to be healthier? I have a resolution to eat more vegetables. This means I'll be eating vegetables I've never had before and finding new ways to cook familiar vegetables. I can't wait! Of course, this resolution of mine necessitated a trip to my two favorite foodie spots in Spokane: the Rocket Market and Trader Joe's. At the Rocket Market, I only ended up buying a Carlito Burrito for lunch, which has chorizo sausage, egg, sweet potatoes, yams, and spices. It's delicious! But at Trader Joe's, I snagged all this: 
And yes, I am going to repeat a former post in which I told you all about what I bought at Trader Joe's and why. :) It's easy for me to be hospitable at the beginning of the year because I have a number of friends visiting Spokane who live elsewhere. This coming week, I'm hosting two friends for dinner, and hosting another friend for a week's stay. The good news is that I get to cook for other people besides myself. YAY! A lot of what I bought at Trader Joe's today is for my hosting gigs this week. Here's what I bought:
1. Kale: I've recently been eating kale in salads. It's yummy, versatile, and healthy. My gluten-intolerant cousin made a delicious salad for Christmas with kale, dried cranberries, and goat cheese that I wanted to replicate. I have a potluck on Tuesday with women from Colbert, so I'm thinking of taking my cousin's salad.
2. Rice Medley: I don't normally buy frozen food because my freezer's already plenty full. But this rice looked really tasty. It's a combination of brown and red rice and black barley and each little package is ready in just three microwavable minutes. I'm thinking of making a West African Chicken Peanut soup this week when Kari's in town and thought this would be a great accompaniment.
3. Smoked Gouda: I bought Gouda cheese from Trader Joe's back in November for ham sandwiches and thought I'd try the smoked variety this time. Last Saturday, I bought a 6.5 pound ham from Egger's Meats, some of which is destined for sandwiches with this cheese. I had a yummy ham sandwich at Petit Chat recently that had mango chutney in it, so I think I might add some of my homemade tomato jam to the ham and gouda. Yum! :)
4. Prosciutto: When Kari's here, I'm thinking of making this butternut squash pizza. It doesn't call for prosciutto, but how could you go wrong? Plus, I can't recall every eating prosciutto, so I'm going to give it a try.
5. Goat Cheese: This is for the salad with kale and cranberries. I was tempted to get a bigger package, but I'm not quite sure how I would use it.
6. Polenta: I had just seen a polenta recipe in this Moosewood cookbook. The recipe is Polenta Casserole with Greens and Winter Squash. I'm thinking of making this for Angela Hunsaker and Jessica Leonardi, the friends who will be over for dinner this week. But I do have a dilemma now. Should I use the bagged kale for this recipe or for the salad? Any thoughts? I was thinking of buying two bags of the kale at Trader Joe's, but decided against it. Silly me.
7. Meyer Lemon Cookie Thins: A couple of my coworkers and I are watching the premiere of Downton Abbey Season 3 tomorrow night. This is my contribution to our party. My one coworker loves these cookies, and I have to agree that these elegant cookies have just the right aristocratic air.
Do you have any new year's resolutions? Tell me about them! I'd love to hear.
I hope everyone's having a blessed Saturday!

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