Trader Joe’s Cookbooks

bookcover.phpIn keeping with our recent Trader Joe’s theme, Shari has reviewed one of the many Trader Joe’s cookbooks in our collection.

Cooking with Trader Joe’s Cookbook:  Easy Lunch Boxes By Kelly Lester

This cookbook is so amazing I wished I still had kids to pack lunches for!  The author and 32 of her friends share their stories, favorite recipes and time saving tips in this kid-pleasing, mom-friendly cookbook. Colorful and creative, this cookbook offers such a variety you’ll find something for everyone, including vegetarian and gluten free selections. With all these great ideas, packing lunch will be as easy as one, two, three!  Using these healthy and unique recipes your kids will be sure to look forward to what awaits them when lunchtime rolls around. Continue reading

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Put on Your Thinking Caps and Have Some Fun!

Calling All Crafty Cooks!
DCL is hosting two edible book competitions this year. One at Parker and the other at our Philip S. Miller branch in Castle Rock.

What is an edible book you ask.  Edible books are culinary interpretations of a book title, cover or character.  Here is one I made as an example, it’s up on display in Castle Rock.


And this book title is … Continue reading

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Trader Joe’s is Here

TJ ext

This post is a bit late, but I wanted a chance to sample all my Trader Joe’s goodies.  Melissa and I went to Trader Joe’s on the 21st of February.  Of course we had to go to the one off Colorado Boulevard because that’s the only one in the state which has the Trader Joe’s liquor store too.  I was sent to get a case of “Two Buck Chuck” so we really had no choice but to go to the liquor store. Continue reading

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Awesome Lentil Soup with Prosciutto Chips

You may remember back in October when I reviewed the book Tasting Colorado.  I said there were several great recipes that I really wanted to try.  One of them was a lentil soup recipe and as I’ve stated before, I love soup.  This recipe is so great I’m going to share it with you.  I modified it a little bit from the original but I’ll tell you what I changed if you want to try the original instead.

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Choosing Sides by Tara Mataraza Desmond.

choosing sides

The book celebrates side dishes for every meal and occasion. So many recipes looked delicious that I was not sure how to choose what to make. Then I saw it…Garlic Chive Corn Pudding (pg 195). I love corn so it was a done deal. As a bonus I had all the ingredients in my kitchen so I figured it was meant to be. I served it at dinner and Al said, “This is Thanksgiving worthy!” High praise indeed. The pudding was easily one of the best things I’ve made in a long time. There are so many other recipes in this book that I want to make, but it’s due back at the library so I’m putting it on hold so I can check it out again.

photo-15 corn pudding recipe

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Trader Joe’s is Coming!


I have never been to a TJ’s before, but I hear great things from my friends that have. Three are opening here in CO. One in Greenwood Village, one off Colorado Blvd in Denver, and one in the Springs. The Greenwood Village store is closer, but the one in Denver has wine so that’s the one I’m planning on visiting. They open on February 14th (Valentine’s Day) and I can’t wait!
I usually shop at Sprouts, but grocery shopping is my favorite kind of shopping and this is a new store. Here are the criteria I will be judging the store on:

1. Organic Humanly Raised Meats – I’m a vegetarian but I cook meat for my friends and family. I like to know the animal had a good life before it ends up on my husband’s dinner plate. That said I’m looking for good prices and quality.

2. Produce – Can I get the same stuff for the same quality and pricing elsewhere? If so why bother driving?

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The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook

heirloom dessert

Every picture and recipe in this cookbook made my mouth water. I wanted to eat it all, but since I’m a new mom and I only had a babysitter for two hours I had to choose one recipe. I had all the ingredients on hand to make Double Chocolate Pudding (pg 119) so the choice was easy. Pudding, real pudding, is one of my favorite desserts so I was excited to give this recipe a try. Unfortunately Baby Hank was not excited to be held by the babysitter while I cooked. He was crying his eyes out so I took the baby and my sous chef Natalie (AKA the 15 year old babysitter) agreed to make the pudding. I gathered the ingredients and read the directions while Natalie cooked the pudding. It looked good and smelled amazing, but…it never set up. In the end I used it as a chocolate sauce. I poured it over a brownie and ice cream. It tasted great so I may try to make it again if I can get Hank to take a nap. The recipe is below so if you make it and it turns out perfectly let me know.


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The Cheesy Vegan by John Schlimm

cheesy vegan

I’m vegetarian not vegan, but the cover of the book looked amazing so I had to take it home. The first part of the book is full of recipes for making your own vegan cheese. I love this because I’ve tried many brands of vegan cheese and some of them are pretty gross. Since I have a baby who only naps a short time during the day, I decided against making cheese. Instead I picked a recipe that looked good to me and tried it out: Powwow Mushroom Soup (pg 72). The soup was good and I will make it again. I’ve never eaten Cream of Mushroom Soup before. I’ve used cans of it for cooking, but never tried to just eat the soup. I liked the cheesiness of the soup and I might freeze some to use in place of the canned stuff the next time I make something that calls for Cream of Mushroom soup. I didn’t make it vegan and I wanted it to be thicker than the recipe called for so I used cornstarch to thicken it up. I’ve noted my changes on the recipe below. Continue reading

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Root to Stalk Cooking by Tara Duggan


I love the idea of this cookbook because I hate to throw food away. The idea of the book is that we can cook with and eat the whole vegetable. I picked two recipes that I thought I could get my husband to eat. Carrot Top Salsa Verde with Roasted Root Vegetables (pg. 34) and Shaved Broccoli Stalk Salad with Lime & Cotija (pg 129). The carrots were okay because it was just roasted vegetables. I used the carrot tops to make the salsa verde. I roast vegetables all the time and I liked it. The real problem was finding carrots that had the greens attached. I had to pay extra for organic and that kind of stunk. I made the Broccoli Stalk Salad, but again I had to buy organic in order to get the stalks. A lot of the food in the grocery store is cut up into the parts that most people eat. (Baby carrots and Broccoli Crowns instead of the whole vegetable.) Instead of saving money by using the whole vegetable I spent a lot more to get the whole vegetable. What do you think the farmers are doing with the rest of the vegetables?
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Warm and Hearty on a Cold Day

Well, it’s wintery outside and I’ve got a hankering for some tasty soups.  Also, I got a new crock pot for Christmas and I think it’s time to break it in.

crockI just finished off the last of some great lentil soup from the book Tasting Colorado that I reviewed a few months ago.  I like to keep soups frozen in single portions so I can grab one for lunch or thaw one out for dinner but my freezer is now bare.  My standbys are Split Pea, Chili, and Ham and Bean.  My Ham and Bean soup is fabulous; I’ll give you the recipe and some cute cat pics. Continue reading

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