Saturday, April 21, 2012

My fav's at TJ's

I went to Trader Joe's today! If I could buy one of everything in that store, I would. I love how their food is cheaper AND healthier than the regular grocery store. I thought I'd tell you some of my favorites.

Fage greek yogurt is the best brand of greek yogurt in my opinion. Add a little granola, and this is a great, healthy breakfast. This actually isn't exclusive to TJ's, but it's always cheaper there.
This Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal is on the more unhealthy side of breakfast, but it tastes so good! It has so much flavor compared to other instant oats, and is really good with a chopped up banana mixed in. Even the packet smells all mapley!
Ohh arugula, I am so glad I found you. When I moved to Chicago, I was first introduced to this peppery green as a salad, and whenever I see it on a sandwich or as a salad at a restaurant, I usually get it. I don't even really like pepper that much, but this stuff is full of flavor! It adds a nice punch to a boring sandwich. It's also great with just parm cheese flakes and oil and balsamic vinegar.
This. cheese. is. amazing. It has fennel seeds in it, which can be pretty powerful, but it adds another flavor to the already strong goat cheese. I actually don't think I bought this at TJ's now that I think about it, but they do sell really good cheeses like this.

Another cheese that is awesome is Humbolt Fog. If you haven't tried it, do it asap! With some fig jam.
Ok this really is TJ's cheese. Fontina is usually sold in a brick, but TJ's was nice enough to cut it into slices for us! They make it so easy to eat good food.
Last but not least, Baba Ghannouj! It has a more tangy flavor than hummus, which I think makes it more interesting. Eat it with some warm Naan and it is delish!

After today's purchases, I'll have more to tell you about I'm sure! This weekend is pretty relaxing for me, which I don't mind at all. Catching up on some zzzz's, Mad Men, Biscoff spread and banana slices on an english muffin for brekky, and maybe getting a vanilla cupcake from Southport Grocery if I'm good and work out!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

I'm back! And Banana Agave Muffins

Hey! Did you ever think I was going to update this ol' thing again? Well it's been about a year, so I figured I've give a recap of what's been goin on. I really really want to try and keep updating this, but sometimes it's hard when I am working until 7pm every night and then trying to go to the gym after work and then trying to fix dinner at home and then before I know it I have to go to bed! And weekends are my chance to grocery shop and spend time w/ B and any other friends that I still might have...
So yea I just need to suck it up. One thing I do update regularly is Yelp. I love Yelp. Living in Chicago has really made me become a foodie, and I love trying new restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores, and other interesting businesses. There are so many, sometimes it's overwhelming! But while I am living here,
I want to experience all the variety there is, so I usually write a review on Yelp so that I can remember it better.
Ahh so these Banana Muffins are so good, I've made them lots of times. They have agave instead of sugar, so they are a little bit healthier. And of course I had to go and make them unhealthy by adding a Nutella frosting.
Just in case you were interested, here is what has happened over the last year. My niece Presley got cuter.
We had B's parents stay with us in our tiny apartment in Chicago for Thanksgiving, and made our first turkey in our tiny kitchen with no counter space! But it turned out delicious.
I gave B some Baconnaise in his stocking for Christmas. It didn't taste quite as good as it sounded. But oh well.
B gave me this AWESOME shark potholder. I love it!
We got a teeny tiny fake tree at Target. It was just enough to help bring Christmas cheer into our place.
Presley and Josh visited us in Chicago for a few days, and we did all the touristy stuff like go to the Bean, eat Lou Malnati's deep dish pizza, walk down Michigan Ave, and go to Pickle's Playroom. Oh wait that last one isn't touristy, but we needed to do something that a 3 year old would enjoy for the afternoon, and it was really cool!
Presley and I made chocolate covered pretzels for everyone, and she was a pro at dipping the pretzel in the chocolate. She was also a pro at licking her fingers and touching all the pretzels.

Next update will be soon!

Banana Agave Muffins (taken from Vanilla&Lace blog)
3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 - 1 cup agave
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350°F With a wooden spoon, mix oil into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the honey, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix. Pour mixture into oiled muffin pan (or loaf pan if making a loaf). Bake muffins for 18-20 minutes, (if baking a loaf about 1 hour). Cool on a rack.