Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Product Placement Wednesday - Trader Joe's Carefully Curated Collection Flavored Olive Oil

Yes, Product Placement Wednesday is back! Think of it as a recurring character in the cast that is my blog rather than a series regular. Too many things to blog about and not enough time to do it! For this "PPW" I have a GREAT item. One you will not want to miss!

Trader Joe's Carefully Curated Collection Flavored Olive Oil

Our friends at Trader Joe's are starting to fill their shelves with their fall seasonal items (pumpkin lovers take note!) and one of my favorites from last year is on the shelves ahead of schedule! I was told that this just arrived this week which was perfect timing as I am running dangerously low on all three flavors. So what are these wonderful flavors? Included in this pack you received Basil, Lemon & Hot Pepper. You can see some of Trader Joe's recommendations via the link above but here are some of my favorite uses:

Basil - Toss with whole wheat pasta, fresh tomatoes and your cheese of choice.

Lemon - Drizzle on a salad of butter lettuce, Parmesan cheese, avocado and blueberries.

Hot Pepper - Try this oil with the Jalapeno Chicken Sausage, brown rice, sauteed tomatoes, and feta cheese.

Keep in mind these are finishing oils - not cooking oils. I have experimented with all of them and the combinations are endless. I recommend adding a bit of nice salt to bring your dishes to life.

You can find the Carefully Curated Collection Flavored Olive Oil either in the olive oil section and/or in the new product section depending on your store. These oils have a great date on them (mine is 2015) so if you cook for a crowd you may want to pick up more than one! They would also make a great gift for the chefs in your life.

What are your favorite combinations with the flavored olive oils? I would love to hear from you!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

It's Picnic Season!!! - Part 3

Okay, so in many parts of the country "picnic season" might be starting to wind down but if you live in a warm weather state like I do it is basically picnic season year round! This is the third in a series of posts that were originally posted in 2011. You can find the previous posts here and here.

I am excitingly planning a picnic item or two for this coming weekend and wanted to share some great picnic sandwiches I have created since my last picnic post. I hope you enjoy them be it on a picnic, at the beach or in your lunch box! Also, I apologize for the quality of the photos. These are rather old and I have upgraded my camera since then. Future photos will be of much higher quality and even if the food does not look appetizing I promise it is delish! Let me know if you make any of these sammies and what you think!

Cucumber Tea Sandwiches
My favorite tea sandwich is always the cucumber one so why not pack it for a picnic?! Makes for a refreshing bite among heavier picnic fare.

1 loaf of dark rye or pumpernickel bread
1 container of boursin cheese
2 large cucumbers, peeled and sliced thin to medium
dried dill

1. Cut the crusts off of your bread for that tea sandwich feel. (You can give your neighborhood birds a treat or turn them into homemade croutons!)

2. Spread boursin cheese on two slices of bread. Top the cheese layer on one piece of bread with a layer of sliced cucumbers and a healthy shake of dried dill. Place second slice on top cheese side down and slice sandwich in half.

3. Repeat until you have made the appropriate amount of sandwiches or are out of ingredients. Please note that when I make these sandwiches I am usually making in "bulk" so I continue until I run out of cheese (usually first) or bread.

Turkey, Apple & Wasabi Sandwiches
Trader Joe's used to carry a wasabi arugula that was used in this sandwich. I found that it didn't give it enough wasabi flavor so you will not miss it. I am recommending a wasabi mayo or aioli as an alternative which you can either purchase or make to taste. This recipe calls for 4 oz of turkey per sandwich - feel free to adjust as needed depending on your preferences.

8 slices of dark rye or whole wheat bread
16 oz deli turkey breast, roasted
2 large avocados
1 large green apple, thinly sliced
2 cups of arugula
2 tablespoons wasabi mayo or aioli

1. Cut the crusts off your bread if you desire.

2. Mash 1/4 an avocado on one slice of bread and top with the following (in this order): 4 oz turkey breast, slices of apple, and 1/2 cup of arugula.

3. Spread wasabi mayo/aioli on a second slice of bread and place on top of the sandwich. Slice sandwich in half. Repeat for remaining ingredients. Makes 4 full or 8 half sandwiches.

Healthy Turkey Club Sandwich
Toasting the bread before assembling the sandwiches helps keep them from getting soggy.

8 slices of whole wheat bread, toasted
16 oz deli turkey breast, low salt
2 large avocados
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced
6 slices turkey bacon, cooked
2 cups butter lettuce
2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
garlic olive oil

1. Mash 1/4 an avocado on one slice of toasted bread and top with the following (in this order): 4 oz turkey, tomato, turkey bacon, and 1/2 cup butter lettuce.

2. Combine Greek yogurt, garlic olive oil, and salt to taste to create an aioli. Spread aioli on a second slice of bread and place on top of sandwich. Slice sandwich in half. Repeat for remaining ingredients. Makes 4 full or 8 half sandwiches.

Mediterranean Style Chicken Lavosh Wrap

1 large whole wheat lavosh (I purchased mine from Trader Joe's)
8 oz grilled lemon chicken, cut into strips (Again, purchased prepared at Trader Joe's)
1 red pepper, roasted (The kind that come in a jar are fine.)
2 cups butter lettuce
4 tablespoons Trader Joe's Reduced Guilt Spinach and Kale Greek Yogurt Dip

1. Divide lavosh in half. Cover 2/3 of each half in the Spinach & Kale Dip.

2. Top dip with remaining ingredients in this order: lemon chicken, roasted red peppers, and butter lettuce.

3. Roll lavosh starting with side covered with dip. Slice and serve. Makes 2 full or 4 half sandwiches.

Sorry no photo of this sandwich.

Beet & Goat Cheese Sandwich

1 olive roll from Trader Joe's (or your favorite hearty roll)
4 oz chevre with herbs
2-3 baby beets, steamed & peeled (Trader Joe's has these in the refrigerated vegetable case)
2 cups arugula
lemon olive oil
good quality salt, if desired

1. Slice olive roll in half lengthwise. Spread chevre on bottom half of roll.

2. Thinly slice baby beets and place them on top of the chevre. Top with arugula.

3. Drizzle with lemon olive oil and salt if desired. Top with the upper half of the roll, slice and serve. Makes 2 sandwiches.

Sorry no photo of this sandwich.