This weekend I had an impromptu trip back to my parent’s home in New Jersey for a doctor’s appointment. Being home (away from the stresses of work!) is always so rejuvenating, especially around this time of year. The skies were a bit sunnier, the grass was a whole LOT greener, and it was just the tiniest bit warmer. Right now, I’m living and working in Scranton, PA and I’ll be the first to admit that I’m really harsh on the area. There are simply too many things (and people) that I miss. I’m not a fan of Northeast Pennsylvania life and until I can be back closer to my homestate, I truly do try to make the most of my visits home. And what does that mean? For one thing, trips to Trader Joe’s!
One of the very first things I did upon my arrive was head to Trader Joe’s. There are a few staple Trader Joe’s items that I simply couldn’t leave without:
- Beet hummus – This is always a favorite. Who doesn’t love deep pink… anything?! Creamy, with little chopped up pieces of beet, this is easily a must-buy!
- Cinnamon apple snack sticks – I’m not really a snacker in the crunchy sense, but I do love these! Sweet and crispy, they’re the perfect little lunch time snack and taste almost like apple dumplings.
- Triple ginger cookie thins – gingersnaps? Yes, please! And the extra crisp of these? *Perfect!*
- Ravioli – I’m not a big fan of pasta dishes, let alone ravioli. But I do love Trader Joe’s ravioli. This time, I bought butternut squash (fun spring recipe below!) and the pictured goat cheese and sundried tomato.
- Goat cheese – Oh, cheese. Goat cheese is definitely a kitchen staple for me – I use it in recipes, in salads, as a spread. And this one was $3.99. $3.99!!! For 8 oz!
I bought a slew of other things – spices ($1.99 each?!?), nuts and seeds, cheap wine (duh), and some other typical grocery store buys. It’s safe to say, Trader Joe’s is always a highlight of my weekends home.
Tonight, when we arrived back home in Scranton, my boyfriend and I took the butternut squash ravioli up a notch by whipping up this light and seasonal meal:
There wasn’t really any measuring in this meal, but here’s a general overview of what we did.
- Butternut squash ravioli (we used the whole package, which came to about 23-25 ravioli – just about 3 servings)
- Fresh green beans (about 1 cup, chopped)
- Asparagus (about 1 cup, chopped)
- Olive oil (about 2-3 tbsp)
- Parmesan (we used shaved)
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- Bring about 2-3 quarts of water to a boil. Place asparagus and green beans in the water and cook for about 4 minutes. Drain and submerge in ice water.
- Bring another 2-3 quarts of water to a boil. Place ravioli into pot and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Drain and run under cold water.
- In a sauce pan, heat about 2 tbsp of olive oil and the minced garlic over low-medium heat until the oil is warmed and the garlic is slightly cooked.
- Place the ravioli, asparagus, and green beans in the sauce pan, along with the garlic olive oil. Mix, along with a sprinkling or salt and pepper, and drizzle with more olive oil, as needed.
- Plate and top with shaved parmesan.
It really was a super simple, perfectly spring recipe. I can’t wait to see what we do with the goat cheese and sundried tomato ravioli 😉
So now, I’m asking you! Are you of a fan of TJ’s? What are your favorite products?