Trader Joe’s Tamale Pie

Oh, Trader Joe’s.  How I love thee.

Really, I think I have a little bit of an obsession with Trader Joe’s.  You can not believe my excitement when Louisville got a Trader Joe’s in October 2011.  I finally lived in a town where there is a TJ’s and to top it off, it’s less than 3 miles from my house.  Heaven, seriously heaven.

And, one of my favorite things about Trader Joe’s is trying new ingredients.  Each time I go, I try to grab one or two things that are new to me, just to give them a try.  And, I had been wanting to try their tomato-less salsa, made with corn and peppers.  The TJ’s website had a recipe that included this ingredient, so I thought I would give it a try.  Here’s my version for the Tamale Pie.

The pie is polenta with a mixture of chicken chili and the tomato-less salsa and cheese, and topped with more polenta and more cheese.  Because I was able to buy pre made polenta and a can of chicken chili at TJ’s, it took minutes to put together.  I served it with a little sour cream to go on top.

Here’s a snapshot of my version of the tamale pie.  As you can see, we dug in and it was polished off in two days.  It was delicious!  The polenta was creamy and has a wonderful corn flavor.  The chicken chili and the tomato-less salsa was the perfect filling.  Needless to say, we are officially adding this to the rotation at the Bosscher house.

There are so many products at Trader Joe’s that I want to try that I’ve started a Board on Pinterest to keep track – my Trader Joe’s Shopping List.  Because I have Pinterest on my iPhone, it’s easy to access the list when I’m at the store.  Just one more reason that I love Pinterest.

“So Good You Can’t Stop Eating” Rice Krispies Treats…Made with Coconut Oil!

Oh, brother.  This is one of those pins that I almost wish I had never found.  And here’s a random story to go with it!

Trader Joe's Coconut OilSo, my baby girl has a little cradle cap.  And last week, I was hanging out with my sister, Kathy, who suggested that I use a little coconut oil on her head to heal those scaly things.  Kathy happened to have some with her, so I took a bit and rubbed it all over her head.  It not only worked, but now I had a little Hawaiian Tropics baby because she was smelling so good!  I ran out to Trader Joe’s the next week to pick up a jar of the coconut oil for my own.

The jar was a little bigger than I had anticipated, so being my thrifty self, I was determined to find another use for coconut oil.

Behold, Rice Krispies Treats with Coconut Oil!  According to WhiteLotusCooks.com, coconut oil is a healthy substitution for butter.  It turns your ordinary treats into a rich, gooey dessert that you can’t stop eating.  (This was my first bite.  The whole pan was gone not long after that.)

Rice Krispies

 

I have to agree with WhiteLotusCooks.com that the coconut oil gives the treats a nice hint of coconut that makes you want to go back for seconds…or thirds in my case.  We had a few friends over the night that I made these, and they agreed that the flavor was subtle but delicious.  

And, since the recipe is so short, I thought I would add it right to the blog:

Rice Krispies Treats with Coconut Oil (courtesy of www.whitelotuscooks.com)
makes one 9 x 9 pan (about 16 generous squares) or a 9 x 13 pan (makes about 30 thinner squares)

Butter or coconut oil for greasing the pan
3 Tablespoons coconut oil
6 cups Rice Krispies Cereal
1 10 oz. bag of large marshmallows (about 40)

With butter or coconut oil, grease the baking pan and set aside.

In a large pot over medium heat, melt the coconut oil. Once all liquified, add all the marshmallows, stir for one or two minutes until everything becomes an ooey gooey mess. Once melted, remove from heat and mix in the rice krispies cereal. Place the marshmallowy cereal in the buttered pan. If the cereal is sticking to your wooden spoon or whatever you used to stir the pot, I will sometimes switch to a rubber spatula when placing it in the pan. Let cool and set for 5 minutes or so before serving.

Hanging out with my baby…

Baby Activities

So, I’m officially a stay-at-home mom!  It’s a little crazy to think that I’m not going to an office every day or that I don’t have a boss to report to.  Here are a few of my favorite things about being a SAHM!

  1. The dress code – no more work pants!
  2. The food – it’s nice being able to just eat leftovers or make something else instead of eating what I brought to the office.  I like the variety.
  3. The commute – walking across the hall to grab Avery in the morning is pretty nice.  Especially when she sleeps in until 7:45 a.m. (like she did today!!)
  4. My co-worker – Avery is a doll!

One of the challenges of being a SAHM is thinking of things to do with your kid.  Avery is only 3 months old, so she’s not really into toys yet.  I pinned this on Pinterest way back when I was pregnant, and I’m glad I did.  The Activity Library from ProductiveParenting.com is great!  It has lots of suggestions for things to do with your kid at every age, including Early Infant.

So, today I decided to try the Paper Kick by placing a piece of wax paper underneath Avery and letting her wiggle and move.  The paper makes noise when she moves, so it teaches her the whole “cause and effect” thing.  I love watching Avery learn, especially when her little face lights up when she figures something out.  She loved the wax paper activity.  I think it freaked her out at the beginning, but she got the hang of it and was smiling each time she moved her legs and figured out that she was making all that noise.

I’m excited to try a few more of these actives.  Some of them are a little lame (Swaying?  Really?) but some of them are pretty cool.

Especially when it makes her smile.  🙂

Avery smile