Tag Archives: trader joes ingredients

The Spanish Days of Summer

6 Aug

This one’s in honor of Santa Barbara’s Spanish Fiesta Days, which began yesterday. And we had this last night…hmm, I wasn’t even thinking about that at the time! I guess the excitement of our trip up to Santa Barbara (we’re leaving in a few minutes!) put me in the mood.

Grilled corn and my $7 corn scraper from Sur la Table

So, viva España! Pork is rarely better than with some smoked paprika slathered on it. And, before you vegetarians and vegans turn away, I’m sure this marinade will be super delicious on tofu or seitan, and certainly grilled. Just make sure you marinate it for longer!

I love getting my mortar and pestle out—as a matter of fact, I love it so much that I hunted it down for our very dear friends C+E. Turns out it’s very easy to find at Williams Sonoma, even though I brought mine over from the UK after buying it from the delightful Lakeland Limited catalogue.

Ahhh...smoked paprika. If only we'd had some rioja!

Anyway, on to the recipe. It was delicious, if I do say so myself. And yes, you will need a mortar and pestle, or a coffee grinder. If you’re really fancy, you’ll have a special spice grinder, and if so, wooo, get you! Continue reading

English Lesson

31 Jul

Most of you will be aware that I lived in the United Kingdom for some time. Eleven years, to be exact, give or take a few months. In that time I developed a fondness for many of the English delicacies. I’m talking a proper mug of tea, Marmite on toast, bangers and mash, and shepherd’s pie.

The small one was reserved for The Husband—it was too good not to save him some!

Ooh, shepherd’s pie! What a delightful dish to have when it’s cold and rainy outside. Technically, a shepherd’s pie is made with ground lamb (or “mince” lamb in the vernacular), and cottage pie with ground beef, but shepherd’s pie is the term usually used for the meaty, mashed potato-topped—well, casserole, I guess we’d call it over here.

Even though it’s the height of summer in California, not the usual season for such a hearty meal, I made this one for our dear friend Paddy. She lives up at Top of the World, and The Husband used to deliver Meals on Wheels to her. She’s a British expat, and on her own now that her husband died about five years ago and her dear Boston Terrier died earlier this year. I decided this lovely lady needed a bit of good food and cheering up.

Seeing as how Paddy is in her 80s, I threw caution to the wind and a lot of butter in the pan. Continue reading

Yes, we like tacos. So sue us.

23 Jul

Are you bored yet? I hope not, because I’m really enjoying writing this blog! So, this is a few days late, as we had these on

Black bean tacos

It wasn't even Taco Tuesday!

Wednesday night, another veggie-dinner night. I was happy to find the tomatillos at Whole Foods, because I love a green salsa, even though The Husband usually doesn’t. But I knew if I made it from scratch I’d win him over. Which I did–he loved them, and especially the salsa. Which I must say, was quite good.

And non-vegans, please, add cheese to these tacos! We were on our cleanse, so no dairy, but they really deserved some nice cotija cheese crumbled on top. In SoCal, you can find this and other delicious Mexican cheese varieties in the cooler section near the processed cheese. I would recommend investing–it lasts for a while and is great in salads as a nice substitute for feta. Speaking of feta, those who do not live in SoCal, like my dear friend Gaby in London, should use feta on top of these tacos. Although cheddar would work in a pinch.

And Londoners, if you can’t find tomatillos, try Booths near St. Paul’s Cathedral. They have a stall at Borough Market, or at least they used to. (How I miss that market!) You can get jalapeños there too, but I’m not sure about serranos. Substitute a green Thai or Indian chili if you can’t find the Mexican variety.

So here we go with the recipe, with my notes, as usual! Continue reading

Sunday Afternoon Snack

17 Jul
Shrimp Tacos

Nothing like tacos on a Sunday afternoon...

So, The Husband mentioned again today that we should start a blog (and by “we” he meant “me”) about the food we put together so often, from the place in the house we like to call the “one-butt kitchen”.

Sometimes we can fit in there together, if what I’m doing isn’t too complicated, and The Husband can squeeze in the corner to make some drinks. Which is why I’m going to be adding some of his frankly amazing creations with alcohol and whatever else happens to be in the fridge or fruit bowl.

Today, since we’ve been on a Trader Joe’s cleanse for a week (one more to go), we looked for something we could snack on that would fall in the “no red meat, no dairy, no wheat” category. The Husband suggested we use the leftover shrimp from last night’s dinner, some mango salsa from Whole Foods and some corn tortillas that had been loitering with intent in the meat drawer since my birthday weekend two weeks past. Add a little fresh avocado and Melinda’s Extra Hot Sauce*, and we were good to go.

Sadly, we couldn’t have a beer or a margarita with this snack, as we usually would, but it was delicious nonetheless!

If I had made the salsa, I would have put a little more kick in there, so I think I’ll add a very loose recipe for everything below. Continue reading