Archive for the ‘Trader Joe's’ Category

Flattened Bananas

August 21, 2007

Alda and I went to the beach this weekend. Alda brought snacks. Snacks from Trader Joe’s. Banana slices in a plastic bag for 99 cents. No sugar, no preservatives, just… bananas. Joe is a genius.



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TRADER JOE’S IN BROOKLYN!!!

July 12, 2007
BREAKING NEWS!


Trader Joe’s to be opening at 130 Court Street (Brooklyn Heights/ Cobble Hill/ Boerum Hill)!!!!! No wine, but we’ll take what we can get. Opening date still to be announced.

Check out all the live blog updates at Racked.com

Photos of the exterior building and the interior courtesy of Racked.com

Thanks Matt for the tip!!!

2 Ways to Cook a Dumpling

April 26, 2007

In my book, the world’s most perfect food is the dumpling. I love dinner items that are an all-in-one meal. Like dumplings… vegetables, carbs, all of it in one perfect, neat little package. What more could you ask for? My dad makes these delicious fresh-from-scratch dumplings filled with shrimp, white fish, scallion and ginger. He wraps them with store bought wrappers and gets the thick skin that give the dumplings a little more texture. He knows I love them so when I come home to Cupertino, he packs me two huge Marina Food grocery bags of 100 beautiful little frozen dumplings and sends me on my way. But, what to do with all of these dumplings?

When my dad sends me home with dumplings, it is pretty much all I eat, every night until I run out. Thus explains the title, “2 ways to cook a dumpling.”

Tonight I cooked the dumplings two different ways for me and my lovely bf. It only takes 10 minutes if you already have the frozen dumplings, which if you don’t have a homemade cook to make them for you, you can get some from any asian grocery store, chinatown, japantown, or my favorite, Trader Ming’s (Trader Joe’s, very cleverly titled, asian food line).

7 Easy Steps to Dumpling Soup

Dumpling soup with egg, seaweed, baby bok choy and green onion:

  1. Boil a medium pot of water and carefully drop the frozen dumplings in.
  2. Meanwhile, cut up some baby bok choy (also called shanghai bok choy) and split each heart into quarters. Include the bok choy into the dumpling water and cook for 3-5 mins. Don’t overcook, otherwise it will be rubbery and tough to chew! Take out of the boiling water and set aside.
  3. In your serving bowl, add a few pinches of japanese fish seasoning, I forgot what it is called but I’m sure Kayoko knows. It is made out of fish and is delicious in seasoning. Also add a few tablespoons of soy sauce, a tablespoon or so of sugar and spoon some of the hot boiling water that is cooking the dumplings. The hot water will help disolve the japanese fish pellet seasoning and the sugar. Optional step: Add very finely minced raw garlic to the bottom of the bowl. Again, the hot water will cook partially cook the garlic.
  4. In a separate pan, beat an egg and fry it up with a little bit of oil. Make sure it is a flat sheet and cut it up in the pan with the spatula. Set aside.
  5. After the dumplings are done, spoon the dumpligs and pasta water into the bowl to the top.
  6. Add the baby bok choy, the chopped up egg, and if desired, tear up some seasoned sushi nori and green onions and add to the top.
  7. Finish the soup off with a tiny drop of sesame oil. A little goes a long way, if you add too much it will overpower the soup.
***

5 Easy Steps to Pot Sticker Dumplings

  1. Heat some oil in a pan. When the oil is hot, add the frozen pot stickers and let the bottoms brown for 5 minutes.
  2. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water mixed with a generous pinch of flour. This will help to create the “crust” on the bottom of the pan. Throw the water into the pan and put a lid on. You will hear it sizzle.
  3. Wait for 5-8 minutes. Don’t check on it too early!
  4. Prepare the dipping sauce. Soy sauce, sugar, vinegar (I like rice wine vinegar), sesame oil, green onions.
  5. Take the pot stickers out and plate.

I heart dumplings and I hope you will too!

$100/ 2 Weeks/ NYC: Day 11 & 12

April 4, 2007

$100/ 2 Weeks/ NYC: Prologue
$100/ 2 Weeks/ NYC: Day 1 & 2
$100/ 2 Weeks/ NYC: Day 3, 4 & 5
$100/ 2 Weeks/ NYC: Day 6 & 7
$100/ 2 Weeks/ NYC: Midway Meditation
$100/ 2 Weeks/ NYC: Day 8, 9 & 10

Monday 4/2

Total Spent: $0

LUNCH–> $0

Fumiko and Kayoko Lunch Club. Fumiko brought leftovers from her Malaysian dinner in Chinatown on Sunday night. I’ve been to this place with her and Jorge before– seriously the best Malaysian food (i don’t have such an extensive knowledge of Malaysian food, but this place was THE spot). it is hidden in this little alleyway between Elizabeth and Bowery. it’s a great little secret– i don’t even know what it’s called!

DINNER–> $0

i’m feeling like hell, so i went home early and went straight to bed (wait, i blogged too, apparently…). just had a congee-like dish of white rice and egg. warms the soul when you are sick.

***

Tuesday 4/3
Total Spent: $1

BREAKFAST
–> $1

two bananas and an orange from my Fruit Stand Man.

LUNCH–> $0

my fridge is literally empty at the moment, so what did i do? i went through my freezer when i woke up this morning. this is what i found:

thank goodness for Trader Joe’s. i bought this stuff probably about a month ago– always so smart to have Trader Joe’s frozen foods stashed away for emergency meals. ALWAYS. this Thai green bean dish is a relatively new item i think, at TJ’s– at least i had never seen it before.

Nasi Goreng, an Indonesian rice dish– i had always been curious about this but never bought it because i always ended up with the Biriyani instead (the BEST). i finally got this i remember, because they were out of the Biriyani (the TJ’s in Union Square is the most poorly stocked place EVER! sometimes i walk out with literally, nothing. it’s maddening).

so literally, all you need to do with both these dishes is put them in a frying pan with a little bit of oil. that’s IT. no water, no spices, no nothing. you open the bag, discard beans and rice over the pan, et voila!, you have both dishes finished in 10 minutes. it’s miraculous- something you can do even at 8 in the morning, i promise.


and just as i thought, these dishes went very well together. the snowpeas, carrots and mushrooms in the Nasi Goreng tasted fresh considering they had been frozen; and the green beans were crispy. the sauce for the green beans wasn’t too salty, a light soy flavor, with some bite to it.

this lunch was assembled under 10 minutes, cost under $5, is vegetarian, and there was enough for about 3 meals. Trader Joe’s, i salute you.

DINNER–> $0

had to go to a lecture at Columbia. the second i walked onto the campus, i was transported back to my college days– the frenzy of learning, the uncompromised idealism, the palpable academic synergy. i was nostalgic for a hot second, and then the rush ended– i am no longer a part of that world.

but god, remember college? being broke and hungry all the time and then blowing your money on really outlandish activities and everything when you actually had it? wait… not much has changed, has it? pretty depressing if you think about it. i may be totally financially independent now, but i still spend my money in ridiculous ways like i used to in my college days. sigh…

ok, so anyways, the lecture: disappointing. however, there was a SUSHI reception afterwards. man, oh man, what a delightful surprise– so happy i somehow stayed strong and made it through the bore-a-thon lecture.

there is nothing less attractive than watching the hungry masses descend upon free food, so here are a few pointers to make it look like you are NOT there just for the food:

– observe, and wait until the initial crowd dies down and (finally) leaves the food table– although this may take a while, you DON’T want to be a part of that ugly scene

– hang back and have a few drinks: usually, people are so preoccupied with getting their grubby hands on the food, that the bar is totally deserted. take advantage– free alcohol is just as exciting as free food

– work the crowd: take your drink and talk to people you recognize (better to get the talking/ schmoozing out of the way BEFORE you start eating)

– NEVER follow the servers with the passed hors d’oeuvres around. BIG NO NO!!!

buon appetito!!! there’s nothing like a free sushi dinner when you are living on $100 for 2 weeks!

***
COMBINED TOTAL:
$1 + $83.25 (Day 1-10 total) = $84.25

LEFT FOR 2 DAYS:
$100 – $84.25= $15.75

*k*

$100/ 2 Weeks/ NYC: Day 1 & 2

March 25, 2007

before i start, let me lay out some ground rules for $100/ 2 Weeks/ NYC:
– i cannot be “taken out” for a meal, but i would love it if you would cook for me!
– i will, however, graciously accept “in-kind donations” if we go out. example, if you get a side of fries, i am allowed to steal a few (something i would do anyways)
– having drinks is INCLUDED in the $100 limit
– generally, i don’t eat breakfast (bad habit i picked up when living in italy), just yogurt and granola if i do at home before leaving the house, so i will usually only be talking about lunch and dinner (but will include breakfast if i spend $ on it at some point)
– i may not be able to find time to blog everyday, but you will just need to trust that i am not cheating

ok, here goes!

Friday, 3/24
Total Spent: $6

LUNCH
– leftovers from Sepi’s delish Nouroz dinner party
–> $0

DINNER
– decided on Mee Noodle Shop in midtown after seeing a performance at my work. a bustling chinese takeout place (at least during lunch), with decent noodle soups. i’m sorta feeling under the weather so i got the large chicken noodle soup and the three of us shared the meat buns. i especially love their chicken noodle soup cause it comes in this metal tin bowl, like we’re camping or something.
–> $6


***


Saturday 3/24
Total Spent: $4

LUNCH
– i’m rushing to make it to a movie at BAM, with not so much time. after burrowing around in my fridge for a sec, i find frozen shrimp from Trader Joe’s– so i decide on a shrimp and scallion omelet (i saw a video piece by Mark Bittman about a month ago, which inspired me. LOVE Bittman!).

i make the rice, and the omelet is done in literally 5 minutes. ALWAYS good to have frozen shrimp from TJ’s in the freezer- it really adds that extra umph when you need some thing to add to salads or fried rice or whatever. as a rule, i always also have eggs and scallions in the fridge for the same reason.
–> $0

simple ingredients of eggs, scallions and shrimp.

***

run frozen shrimp under cold water for about 4-5 minutes.

***

heat up about a teaspoon of oil (veggie or olive, your preference) into a pan, and add chopped scallions and shrimp- fry for about a minute. add eggs. cook to preferred runniness.
***

serve egg concoction over steamed rice, and season with salt, fresh ground pepper and soy sauce (preference). et voila! you have a delicious protein-packed meal in under 10 minutes.

***

DINNER
– after the movie, we head up to this relatively new burger place up the street from BAM called 67 Burger. it’s sorta pricey, about $7-8 for gourmet burgers, but they had a grilled cheese on the menu for $3.75. excellent.
–> $4

very crowded by 6pm.

***

excellent grilled cheese–you even get to choose what kind of cheese you want (american, cheddar, swiss, blue, pepper jack). AND, the tomatoes and onions were free additions! SCORE! the garlic pickle chips are also worth noting– they passed the crunchy/ salty/ sour test, vital for pickles.

***

fries were good, freshly fried. they had all sorts of great beers on tap too: Bass, Stella and Blue Point. thanks Fumiko and Troy for sharing this!! Fumi’s blue cheese burger was very good as well (i of course stole a bite!!)– from what i can tell the bun didn’t get all soggy with grease, which is the downfall of many a hamburgers in this city.

***
COMBINED TOTAL: $6 + $4 = $10
LEFT FOR 12 DAYS: $100 – $10 = $90

*k*

Broccoli and Tuna Yumminess in 5 Minutes

March 11, 2007

here’s something i make that is VERY quick, healthy, tasty and also makes for a good lunch.

steam broccoli for about 3-5 minutes, more or less. keep poking at it to get it cooked to your desire– oversteamed broccoli is the worst.

drain broccoli and run it under cold water.

open up a can of tuna (for me, it’s gotta be packed in olive oil. this Genova brand one is only $0.99 at Trader Joe’s and is a decent substitute for the canned tuna of Italy and Spain – the BEST, but the imported cans here are too expensive).

tuna goes on top of broccoli. grind fresh pepper on top, and sprinkle with fleur de sel (my friend Fumiko brought this stuff above back from France for me. it’s better than MSG, i swear). buon apetito! *k*

green tea frenzy

March 1, 2007

FOOD FINDS

*Matcha flavored low fat yogurt from Trader Joe’s. so effing good. creamy and tastes like green tea pudding. i guess they came out with other flavors under the “European Style” yogurt line- i highly recommend it, give it a whirl.

*Pinkberry– is this so last year or what? i first heard about this through my friend Beth a month back and since then everyone seems to be talking about it. even the NY Times did a whole feature on this frozen yogurt chain a few weeks back. i guess it’s been big in LA and it’s finally made it’s way over to NYC. i went to the one in Chelsea just this past weekend and i guess there’s another in Koreatown.

anyway, i think that what makes Pinkberry stand out is the fact that it actually TASTES like yogurt. it’s got that tartiness of it, which reminds you that you are eating chilly, icy yogurt, as opposed to god knows what that’s in Tasti Delight. there are only 2 flavors- plain and green tea- which makes it easy to choose. the green tea was a bit too tart which loses the flavor of the green tea, but pretty great that it’s a choice. the toppings are awesome- cap’n crunch, coco pebbles, juicy fresh fruit- but a cup of this stuff is pretty pricey ($5 for a plain small with 2 toppings), so it’s a good thing that they are not on every corner…yet…

*k*