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.

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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)

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  • 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.

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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:

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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!

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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:

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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.

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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?

Oct 122016
 

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After hitting a few fruit stands and doing the pumpkin patch we stopped at Wy’East so I could do a quick tasting. I wanted to buy a bottle of the wine I bought at my Bachelorette Party wine trip but couldn’t remember what it was. So of course I had to taste them all. 🙂

Well it turned out to be the first one I tasted! It was a nice little wine tasting, very chill because it was just around 12:30 or 1 and not too crowded yet. I bought a bottle of the Pinot Gris.

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After that we stopped at the White House Winery for lunch. The reviews for the food cart were good and several people had recommended it for lunch.

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Michael got the BLT and I got the Caprese sandwich with coleslaw. My sandwich was excellent! So flavorful and it hit the spot. Michael said his sandwich was great, too. He got a beer in their beer/cider tasting room and we just hung out and ate lunch inside the cafe.

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After lunch we grabbed Bella from the car and put Logan in the Ergo and we walked around the gardens.

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This parent was smart:

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We’ll have to remember that for 5 years from now. 😉

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We lucked out on Sunday. It was supposed to rain all day but it wasn’t bad. It just sprinkled here and there. We were able to meander around outside for most of our outings without getting rained on.

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They had a GORGEOUS dahlia farm, too! I loved taking photos of my favorite flowers.

After that we made one more stop at Phelps Creek Tasting Room. By this time the rain had hit and it was pouring outside! So a good time to go INSIDE and get some wine poured!

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The tasting room is at the golf course near the house we stayed at. It was the perfect spot for our last hurray of the day. I think the rainy weather had scared everyone else away, too, because we basically had the tasting room to ourselves. Another older couple joined us. They were members of the wine club and so we got to try some tastes of wines only members get just because it was just the 4 of us. Winning!

I ended up buying a bottle of Pinot Noir that we both liked and it was just a fun way to spend the late afternoon. The other couple was chatty and friendly and he convinced me to taste their Chardonnay even though I do not like Chardonnay. I guess Phelps Creek does it in steel barrels instead of oak so it doesn’t taste like a buttery Chardonnay (which I dislike). And he was right! It was quite tasty.

It was time to go back to the house. I wanted a little down time to relax so I got to soak in the clawfoot tub at the house:

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I put on some Sarah Vaughn on Spotify and relaxed in a bathtub that I can actually fit into! I hate that our bathtub at home is so tiny. Someday….

Michael went out to pick up dinner at Double Mountain Brewery and we settled in to watch the 2nd Presidential Debates with our pizza. The pizza was just ok. We both remembered it being better last time we had it. Not sure what happened there.

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Monday we awoke to sunshine and warmer weather! Thank goodness. I was looking forward to it not raining.

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We packed up and then went to breakfast at Bette’s Place in downtown Hood River. The restaurant we wanted to go to was packed and so we tried this place and it was good! We got seated right away and the food came out fast.

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I wanted some comfort food so I got the French toast with a sausage patty (which was huge!). Then we went for a hike. Logan’s first hike!

I had a list of a few nearby hikes in Hood River. Since it was our first time trying a hike with the baby I wanted something easy and fairly flat and not too muddy. We lucked out with Indian Creek Trail.

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It was a short hike, but it was perfect for what we were looking for as a beginning outing with Logan.

Look at Bella:

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She says HURRY UP! LET’S GO!

It was a good little trail. It was pretty flat but had some easy climbs here and there. It wasn’t muddy or rocky. It was a great trail running path and we saw a bunch of runners with their dogs.

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Logan did great for his first hike! He looked around at the trees and wasn’t fussy. Then he fell asleep and pretty much slept on daddy for the whole thing. 😉

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There were some great views of the Hood River below. It was such a gorgeous (and warm) fall day! The perfect day for a hike.

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We ended up doing around 2 miles. We got to what looked like the end of the trail and turned around.

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After that we loaded everyone back in the car and drove back to Portland. It was a good little trip. The house we stayed in was the perfect location and it was really cute. I don’t know that we’d stay there again (the bed was REALLY uncomfortable) but the rest of the house was perfect for us.

We had a good time doing a little wine tasting, doing some kid stuff and a hike. All around a good first family vacation! It definitely wasn’t a relaxing weekend getaway like we used to have–and maybe this is now our norm?? But it was still a fun trip. I also bought 4 pounds of apples at the Packard Orchard that I turned into applesauce! More on that soon.