Monday, October 26, 2009

Eating My Way Through The Goods

Welcome to the last week of October! Can you believe it? In just a few short weeks, we will all be gearing up for Thanksgiving and then it's the Christmas craze. Wow, I certainly don't know where the time goes these days, do you?

Before I get into my regularly scheduled agenda items, I wanted to first thank you all for your kind words of encouragement regarding my MRI that took place this morning. Everything seemed to go fine, I just have to wait for the doctor to let me know the results and then decide where to go from there. I will keep you all posted but for now, I just wait.

Well, since Monday's are my Product Review days and I neglected to reveal my latest Trader Joe's trip with you all, I thought that I would disclose some of the new things that I purchased and have been trying.

First, we have Apricot Mango Greek Yogurt

I have been eyeing this every trip but this weekend, I actually bought it. Boy, am I glad I did. Anything apricot/mango just excites me, so take one of my favorite things on this earth (greek yogurt) and add the two flavors that bring me great joy (apricot and mango) and you will have one satisfied little lady.

I sampled a generous scoop on my cereal this morning and let me tell you, it was just like eating icing. I think this was also my first try at eating full fat Greek Yogurt. The full fat version is definitely more rich and luscious. I could tell a distinct difference in the texture; thick, creamy and fully flavored with chunks of apricot/mango. I don't know if I would be able to handle a large quantity by itself, as it may be a tad too rich; however it made the perfect addition on some Kashi Go Lean with blueberries.

Next, 1000 Layer Crackers

(Allie, these pictures were totally stollen from you! I'm sorry girl, I didn't have my camera and I remembered you reveiwed them a few weeks ago.)

This must be a fairly new product to hit the TJ shelves because when I asked a worker where I could find them, he had no idea what they were. Once we spotted them, he replied "these must be new!"

(Picture credit from Allie of Live Laugh Eat)

Now, as for crackers go, I am all about a fully bold flavored wafer. I prefer one with texture and volume rather than a wimpy little wheat thin. The first thing that impressed me with these crackers was the packaging. They come individually wrapped in a single serving size for an easy on-the-go snack. Not so great for the environment, but perfect for the take-along option.
The cracker itself was substantial; thick and loaded with texture from the apparent evidence of grains, flax and seeds. Biting into its delicate surface was a pleasurable experience. The cracker actually crumbled like a cookie in my mouth. Must have been from all of those fabulous layers! I loved these!

Lastly, Organic Sweet Apple Chicken Sausages

Now, you all know that I don't eat much of any meat (no red meat and very few poultry) however, when it comes to organic all natural chicken sausages, I make the exception. Maybe its because of the bold and unique flavors or the fact it doesn't really taste like chicken; but I adore every single flavor of chicken sausages from Trader Joes.
When I read about the Sweet Apple flavor, I knew this would be my next one to try. How seasonal!

I decided to use this and another fun product that I have been anxious to make for inspiration behind dinner tonight.

(Rising Moon Organic Butternut Squash Ravioli with Feta and Hazelnut)

(This recipe was created all from the visions in my crazy and eclectic head)

Butternut Squash Feta and Hazelnut Ravioli with Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage, Kabocha and Brussels Sprouts in a Creamy Cranberry Pumpkin Sauce

1 Package of Butternut Squash Feta and Hazelnut Ravioli (cooked)
1 Trader Joe's Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage (sliced)
1 cup of cubed Kabocha squash
1 cup of Brussels sprouts
2 T of dried cranberries
¼ cup of canned pumpkin puree
½ cup of chicken or veggie broth
1 Laughing Cow Garlic and Herb Cheese Wedge
Salt, Pepper, Rosemary, Parsley
1 T crumbled feta cheese
1 t chopped hazelnuts

Cook the squash (I microwaved the cubes first for about 3 min and then sautéed them for an additional 10 min until they were tender and browned). About half way through the cooking of the squash, add your Brussels sprouts and chicken sausage. Add salt, pepper and rosemary. While this is cooking, make the pumpkin sauce by mixing the pumpkin puree, broth, parsley and cheese in a small bowl. (Microwave for about 30 sec to loosen the sauce a bit) Add the cranberries and ravioli to the pan with the veggies and sausage and then the pumpkin sauce. Stir together and let the flavors cook and combine for about 5 min on Medium heat.

I eat almost everything on a bed of spinach but you can omit this part if spinach isn't your thing. I topped a generous portion of spinach with the hot pasta and veggies, crumbled a little feta and hazelnuts on top and put under the broiler for about 3 min. Lastly, a little dollop of Apple Cranberry Chutney and this was a bowl of beauty.

Please excuse the horrid picture (Toly had the camera and I was forced to revert to my crappy camera phone)

Despite the less than perfect image, this bowl was FANTASTIC! Really, every single flavor in this bowl delighted me.

Oh, and as for the Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage…..

Funny thing. As I was about half way through my bowl, I realized I had COMPLETELY FORGOTTEN to add the sausage!!! Haha, see, I wrote this recipe earlier and was planning on making it tonight. Even as I was cooking, I kept thinking to myself that I was missing something major but just couldn't put my finger on it.

Well, seeing as I missed one of the main ingredients....I can't tell you what I thought about them. But I can tell you, that I didn't even miss them because this dinner was outstanding on its own.

Don't worry, I plan on making another spectacular recipe this weekend and I will remember to use them then.

Oy, sometimes I just don't know where my head is.

I'm having the best time working my way through all of my new goodies. Jen and I both agreed that we each bought about 15 different kinds of cookies (okay more like 4, but when you open my pantry, all you can see is cookies!) I can't help myself in this store, they all just look so good and since my trips are few and far between, I end up just buying them all! Good thing I have a cookie loving hubby to share them all with. ;)

I hope you all had a wonderful start to a glorious week!


  1. I adore all things sausage, seriously. Isn't that ridiculous! Those apple ones look DEVINE!

    Oh my god, I could spend hours in TJs...just looking for new products.

    We'll have fun! :)

    Happy Monday evening friend.

  2. mmmmmmmmmmmm TJs. You are amazing. Apricot Mango Greek Yogurt? Sounds so so good. And the crackers also look delicious. I've totally forgotten main ingredients multiple times- whatever ;) As long as the outcome is fab, no big thang.

    I've never been on a cruise! I know I'd have a blast for you since we're twinkies ;)

  3. ...that was supposed to say a blast with you not for you...

  4. omg, the last week of october?? No way! I can't believe it.

    That greek yogurt looks delicious! I've never had the full-fat kind, but I bet it tastes great. The crackers look so good, too! Have a lovely night :)

  5. this recipe, even sans chicken sausage, sounds incredible wow! gotta look for these crackers next time I'm there... have you seen their dark chocolate crisps yet? just found those this past weekend - sooo good!

  6. Wow! All TJ ingredients...I LOVE it! Funny, I just posted a recipe with TJ sausages, too! But mine was Apple-Chardonnay...amazing! I LOVE it! So I'll bet this dish is freaking amazing, too!

  7. I love Greek Yogurt! Also, Squash Ravioli is probably my favorite food. I'm going to have to scour the grocery stores for some premade ones...we don't have TJ's here!

  8. Haha no problem!!! I wish I had taken better photos of them :)

    Didn't the 1000 later crackers make you feel like a super posh French woman? They were so rich!

    That ravioli looks amaaaazing!