Oct 182016

I go to Trader Joe’s once a month. Generally I skip a lot of the produce there because it’s really expensive and nothing special. I just don’t see the worth in it. I can get similar organic produce at my Fred Meyer. And during the summer I usually buy my produce at a local farm stand by the house.

But Trader Joe’s is the perfect spot for specialty items.

I generally buy most of my cheese at TJ’s. You can try tons of different kind of fun flavored cheeses and it’s not that expensive! Definitely my favorite go-to cheese spot. And if I’m craving Indian food, I love the TJ options.


Some of my favorite TJ finds that I get every time: 

  • The Vegetable Masala Burger (these veggie burgers are DELICIOUS!! and only 140 calories)
  • Kefir
  • Crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (great for on top of steaks or in salads)
  • TJ smoked Gouda slices (great for snacks and only 100 calories)
  • Cottage cheese
  • Cubed butternut squash (because I’m lazy)


  • The fingerling potatoes are super cheap at TJ’s and delicious with breakfast
  • A big bag of kale
  • Chocolate
  • TJ pizza dough (I buy a bag every time I go and throw it in the freezer for the next time we want homemade pizza)

New to me this trip:

  • Riced Cauliflower – after hearing about this for like a year I finally decided to buy a bag and see what all the fuss is about
  • Buttermilk biscuits
  • Cinnamon instant oatmeal
  • Tri-colored carrots (I know they’re just regular carrots, I got taken in by the purple ones–what can I say?)

So after my grocery visit I whipped up lunch while Logan took a nap. Roasted butternut squash, sliced apple and a slice of Smoked Gouda cheese. It hit the spot on the gray, rainy day.


Portland was hit with some stormy weather this weekend. I was glad I went out in the morning to get my grocery shopping finished before the wind and rain got really bad. (The so-called storm of the century never really hit, by the way.)

I was craving some comfort food. After a week of being sick and the rainy Fall weather, all I wanted was some soup and biscuits. I made the buttermilk biscuits from Trader Joe’s and then this soup:


The mixture made a ton of food! But that was good for lunches for the week. And I froze a ridiculous amount. Seriously, make this if you have to feed 10 people!


Yes, I did use the “good” wine in this recipe! The only change I made to the recipe was using spicy sausage instead of mild. Because we always like spicy more than “mild”!

Trader Joe’s Buttermilk Biscuits:


Damn, these biscuits are to die for.

I ended up leaving out the zucchini at Michael’s request. After eating the soup I agreed that the zucchini would be a weird addition, even though it called for it.


I don’t know that I’m a good critic of this soup because I’ve been sick with a head cold turned sinus infection turned bronchitis…I asked Michael what he thought of the soup because it tasted “bland” to me…and he was like “um it tastes like fire”…so yeah. 😉 Not a good gauge. But I will say that it felt very hearty and filling and healthy. And the biscuits were the perfect addition!

What are your favorite must-have Trader Joe’s items?

Aug 222016

What a week! Last week was busy. First, we were having a new roof put on our house. So working from home and listening to the banging, clanging, pounding all day and all week was not what I’d call fun. Plus Portland got another heat wave. This time, 100 degrees several days in a row! Ouch. Too hot for me. But at least a few weeks ago we got a new AC, furnace and water heater installed!

Michael’s dad came to visit from Texas and he did not mind the weather. 😉

Thursday after work we went to the Happy Valley food carts for dinner. It was 100 degrees out but we remembered they had an indoor beer garden and we kind of wondered if it would have AC…spoiler alert, it did not have AC. 🙁 It was so so hot! A little too hot for my little guy so we didn’t stay long.

The last (and first) time we were at the Happy Valley food cart station was the weekend before Logan arrived! I was bummed when we arrived this time and the food cart I tried last time was gone. It was SO GOOD and I was planning on getting it again.


Michael and I both got dinner from the E-San Thai cart. I got the Pad Prik Khing with tofu. It was good and spicy but nothing amazing. I’ve had better dishes at the E-San food cart that is downtown.




I usually don’t choose tofu but I enjoyed it with the veggies. And of course, my beloved Boneyard IPA:


I ate about half of my dinner and saved the rest for leftovers. Then we headed home to our air conditioned home! The beer garden was cool and they had a TON of really good beers and ciders on tap. I would have liked to hang around longer and check it out but it was not the day to do that. We’ll go back another time when the weather is a little more pleasant.

Saturday we had planned on going to Hood River for the day but since it was going to be 102 degrees we decided against it. It was just too hot for the baby. So we went out to breakfast to Sckavone’s instead. At 9:30am it was 80 degrees but really pleasant in the shade so we sat outside to enjoy the summer morning.


I got a DELICIOUS iced coffee that really hit the spot (although I could have used a second one honestly). The three of us ended up getting the same thing for breakfast — the chorizo breakfast bowl. It was black beans, chorizo sausage, scrambled eggs, avocado, pico de gallo, and sour cream.


It was really tasty and filling. We enjoyed our breakfast outside and then headed home where I went to the gym and the guys watched the Olympics in our air conditioned house.

Saturday we went to an early dinner at Jake’s. It’s a favorite of Michael’s and his dad’s. We went early to avoid the crowds since we were taking Logan with us. First time going to a “real” restaurant (as in, not a kid-friendly restaurant). We figured he’d be ok because most of the time when we take him to restaurants he either sleeps through the whole thing or there’s so much going on around that he’s quiet and just looks around. And he did really well this time, although he was a little more vocal and active this time (of course, right?) but at least he didn’t cry or make noise.

We shared the calamari appetizer (sorry the photo was blurry, I was feeding Logan a bottle while we ate it). And I got a glass of the Malbec. For dinner Michael got the salmon with green beans and potatoes; his dad got the blackened rockfish with zucchini; and here was mine:


I went “light” and got the house salad with blue cheese and candied walnuts and a cup of the Dungeness Crab bisque (with crab sprinkled on top). It was all very delicious! I’m glad I got the small cup of the bisque, though, because it was VERY rich. I don’t know that I could have eaten more of it.


Someone was getting a little antsy so I scarfed down the rest of my salad and then took him out of the carseat while the guys finished their dinners.



He was super fascinated by the paper on the table. We skipped dessert and headed home after that. It was definitely time to get out of there. Overall he did great and didn’t make much noise but it was kind of stressful being at a restaurant that wasn’t fast food with a baby!