Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘Trader Joe’s’

Lemons Out Of The Jar

Posted by terrepruitt on May 16, 2015

You might have read a little over a month ago that I put salt in a jar and filled it with lemons.  (Click here for that post.)  I had heard about it from a friend on Facebook.  When writing the post for my blog I did a really quick search and learned that preserved lemons are a “gourmet food”.  Also, after I posted about it two of my friends told me that they had seen jars of them at Trader Joe’s.  So this is not a completely unique food.  It is actually common in Moroccan and Middle Eastern recipes. I sealed my jar on April 7th so the schedule was to open it 30 days later on May 7th.  Well, I was making something on May 6th and decided to use the lemons for it.

I was making chard.  I think of chard as bitter so I usually use a lot of seasonings when cooking it.  I didn’t read the instructions when I prepared the jar, and true to form I didn’t read, or more accurately, I disregarded the instructions when cooking with them.  I did not rinse the lemons.  And on top of that I salted the chard as I was cooking it.  So two huge errors.  I used a lot of lemons because I wanted the greens to be very flavorful.  But it is imperative that the lemons be rinsed!  The chard was actually too salty to eat!

I was a bit sad because I thought these lemons were going to be a new “thing”/flavor I could cook and prepare food with.  I did hold out faith that it was my bad decision not to rinse the lemons that made the lemons icky.

A few days after my chard disaster I made some rice.  This time I rinsed the lemons thoroughly then cut them up and put them on top of the rice in the rice maker.  Success!  YES!  It was sooooo yummy. The lemons gave just enough flavor but did not over power.  It was good.  Yay!

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYoSince I had had success with the rice a few nights after that, I made some broccoli with the lemons.  I used a tiny it of oil and a couple of slices of onion.  I didn’t want to overpower the lemons so I didn’t want to use too much of anything else. Again, I rinsed the lemons really well, cut them up and then put them in the pan with the broccoli to cook.  Again, yummy!

One thing about the lemons is they are so slimy.  I don’t care to touch them because they are so slimy, but once you rinse them they are ok.

The information I’ve seen is that lemons, salt, and water is more common for is recipes in North African and Indian cuisine.  The recipe I followed is just salt, lemons, and the juice of the lemons.  No water.

As I said in my original post about this, I used a small jar.  I was thinking after I tried it, if I liked it, I would make a larger jar, but, I don’t see the need for a larger jar for us.  The small one is fine.  If I were to start a new jar now, we would probably finished with the present jar by the time it is ready.  I think I might try that, but this time add some other flavor.

Have you ever had preserved lemons?  Have you have made them?  What do you think of them?

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

No More Oil Wrestling

Posted by terrepruitt on November 10, 2012

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaOk, so just like the Green Smoothie kick I am a little behind on the olive oil sprayers.  I have seen them for a long time, but I thought they were just regular pump sprayers, which is fine, I could do that, but I have a little bottle that does a great job for me.  It “pours” a drop at a time.  But being in that HUGE warehouse store recently I decided to grab a package of the Misto sprayers.  They came in a two pack.  So as I often am late to the party, I JUST got them.  These things are cool.  Although they might be a little leaky, it is still cool to get the misty spray of an aerosol without the added chemicals that they put in the aerosol cans.  I am not sure what it is — probably the additional chemicals they put in the cans — but when I used one of those “cooking sprays” like Pam the pan gets this weird coating on it that won’t come off.  My first thought is, “Dang I don’t want that weird coating on my dishes.”  But then I get that “D’oh!” moment and realize I don’t want that weird coating in my body.  I don’t even know what it is, but it DOES NOT COME OFF.  So now with the sprayer I am getting a nice mist and no weird coating I have to try to wrestling off of the pan.
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When I was excitedly sharing information of this new-to-me spray bottle with my friend, she laughed at me and said they had been around for a long time, but I did start my story with that same statement.  I had explained that I had seen them for a long time, but never bothered.  The path of our conversation lead to the stuff that coats the dishes when other cooking spray is used.  So I was happy to know it was not just my imagination or my sub par dishwashing skills.  After having noticed that weird coating, I was buying Trader Joe’s Olive Oil spray which does not leave a weird coating on things, but still has additional chemicals in it.

This pump and spray Misto is cool.  I like it.  I prefer a sprayer because not only do I use it to “oil” my pans, but I use it to dress my salad.  I just use olive oil and vinegar on my salad so it is so nice to not have to pour.  My little bottle works good, but so does the sprayer!  Then, of course, I also use it to spritz the veggies as I am cooking them. I feel I use a lot less oil with the sprayer!

Since the package came with two I will probably use the other one for vinegar that way I can just completely spritz my salad.

So I know I am late on actually using one of these, do any of you have an oil sprayer?  Do you have a sprayer that you use for something other than oil or vinegar?  What do you use it for?

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Butternut Squash Soup Adaptation

Posted by terrepruitt on November 22, 2011

Yesterday, after my Nia class in Central San Jose, I went to Campbell to pick up some locally “grown” honey.  It has been pretty cold here so I have been drinking tea and I was thinking soup.  It was at the last minute and through a chance of “well this light is green so I will turn this way” that I ended up at Trader Joe’s.  I don’t get to Trader Joe’s often because it is just not in my regularly traveled areas.  I didn’t know what I was going to get there until I saw the package of cut butternut squash.  Then I was on my phone trying to find the recipe so I could make certain I got all the ingredients for butternut squash soup.

I have made this soup at least twice before, but the last time I made it I put too much pepper in it.  Probably not even as much as the recipe calls for, but it was WAY too hot for me to eat.  I was soooooooo disappointed.  But at least it didn’t go to waste because my hubby loves spicy hot food so he ate it.

I remembered from the times before that one package of cut butternut squash is about 6 cups of squash and that is what the recipe calls for.  With Thanksgiving coming I thought that we could just eat it all week if I doubled it.  I am fortunate in that my hubby doesn’t mind eating the same thing over and over.  So my plan was to make a double batch.  But my plan was also to not follow the recipe exactly.

Before I had made it the very first time, I had read the reviews and I believed what the majority of them said so I was already adapting, but I was even thinking of more modifications.  The problem is I don’t always know what I am going to do until I do it.  As I am cooking an idea will pop into my head and then I don’t always remember what I did when it comes out great.  I thought to write as I cooked but I didn’t.

After I sat down to eat it though I decided I had to make note of what I did because to me and for me, this is the best batch I have made and I want to make it EXACTLY like this from now on.  Please excuse me for being brand specific.  Normally I like to be more Rachel Ray than Martha Stewart, and I will say use whatever, but for me, I am going to use these exactly ingredients to make this soup.  I really think that these particular flavors are what made it so yummy.  But you of course are free to use the brands and flavors you like, but if you don’t want to lick the pot when you are done than it really might be the brands.  😉  I would have taken pictures of the cooking process had I thought I was going to post about this. Dance exercise, Nia classes, San Jose Nia Classes, Nia classes in the San Francisco bay area I had thought NOT to post, but then after I ate it, I realized I HAD to post just so I would have record of it.  The pictures of the products are after I fished the packages out of the garbage.

Butternut Squash Soup Adaptation

Two packages Trader Joe’s cut butternut squash (2 lbs each)

Olive oil spray

salt

4 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup chopped onions

1 box (32 oz) Trader Joe’s Low Sodium Vegetable Broth

4 packages Trader Joe’s Savory broth – chicken flavor

3 1/2 cups water

1 tsp marjoram

6 turns of the smoked pepper pepper mill

two light sprinkles of cayenne pepper

1 8 oz package cream cheese

2-3 tablespoons of whipped cream cheese

dance exercise, Nia teacher, Nia class, Nia San Jose, San Jose Nia, Nia in the San Francisco Bay, South Bay NiaHeat the oven to 450.  Spread the squash on a pan or two, spray with olive oil, sprinkle with salt.  Roast the squash.  The goal is to cook it until it is soft, but it is nice to have some of it browned.   Roast for at least 30 minutes.  Flip, stir, or shake so as to move the squash around a bit.  Here is where you decide how roasted you want your squash.

Melt the butter in the stockpot, add the onions, and a little salt.  Cook the onions until tender.  Put the roasted squash in the pot, add the box of broth, add the water, add the contents of the broth packages, add the marjoram, add the pepper, sprinkle the cayenne.  Bring to a boil.

Take the pot off the burner and blend the soup until smooth.  (I use the immersion blender).  Add the cream cheese.  Stir.  Blend until the cream cheese is full incorporated in the soup.  Depending on how long it takes you to blend the soup and how hot you want to serve it.  You might have to put it back on the stove.

This recipe makes a nice creamy squash-flavored soup.  It is not sweet, but it is not spicy hot.  If you like spicy hot you can add more pepper.  The actually recipe on Allrecipes.com calls for a 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper and a 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper.  That is too hot for me.  I just put a few twists and a sprinkle.  The thing about making the pot mild is that people can add their own heat.  My hubby sometimes adds hot sauce.  But then sometimes he doesn’t.  He can decide.

As with any recipe, of course, you can modify it as you want.  But for me THIS IS IT!  Also as with anything, I would love to hear what you think.

Posted in "Recipes", Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »