Posts tagged ‘tj maxx’

May 10, 2011

a vagrant for the day

Hi all! Hope you’ve had a great Tuesday!

Today was my “Sunday” (going back to work tomorrow) so I was expecting to sleep in a little and have a nice relaxing day. Instead I was bombarded with construction workers who are remodeling the apartment I am at right now and I had to leave the apartment ASAP. I knew that they were going to be doing some remodeling work but I thought they were working on one room at a time and that I would be able to just chill in a room they weren’t working on. NOPE! I didn’t have have time to shower – just time to change and LEAVE.

They did make a lot of progress, but I won’t be staying here long enough to enjoy the remodeled changes!

Putting in a central AC system…

Took away the fireplace and extended the kitchen slightly…

Completely changed the bathroom sink…it used to be a white counter and half of the counter used to extend over the back of the toilet.

And completely stripped the kitchen down.

Yeah…no cooking here anytime soon!

So since I was basically kicked out of my place for the entire day I decided to kill some time walking around stores. I went to one of my favorite places…TJ MAXX!

I walked out of TJ Maxx with these – and only $13 poorer!

A cute, small bowl and something I’ve been looking for for a while – a utensil holder! I’ve been looking for one with a little more “character.”

Like I usually do while shopping at TJ Maxx, I looked up these products on my iPhone – just to see any reviews and compare prices. On Amazon, this utensil holder is being sold for $48.49 (including shipping)!!! At TJ Maxx, it was $7.99. I didn’t even have to debate with myself, I was taking it home with me!

I love that it is deep and the utensils have enough room in there.

I didn’t really have any reason to buy this bowl other than the fact I loved the color, it was $3, and I could see myself using it a lot. It’s the perfect size from cereal to serving homemade whipped cream.

When Jeff got off work, we were going to go watch Thor in IMAX 3D. But it was going to end up costing practically $40 for the both of us! YOWZA. I guess it was so expensive because it was 3D AND IMAX – but $40 was just ridiculous. We decided to pass on the movie and get an early dinner instead at La Salsa where they were having Taco Tuesday for $.99/taco. Much better than $40 for a movie!

LOOOVE salsa bars. My favorite salsa is Pico de Gallo. And of course I love that thing in the top right corner…

Well tomorrow I’m back to work with the cupcakes bright and early at 6am! And later in the evening I’m meeting with the landlord of the studio that I’m really wanting to move into. Hoping it goes well!!

What is your favorite type of salsa? Chunky Pico de Gallo? Smoother restaurant salsa? Green salsa? Salsa from a jar?

April 26, 2011

macarons a la trader joe’s

Ever since a Fresh & Easy market opened up right next to my house, I haven’t gone back to Trader Joe’s – not once! I felt bad, but I guess I was just in the Honeymoon stage with Fresh & Easy.

Today, I finally took a trip to Trader Joe’s, and I think I’m “back.” I compared some more prices between Trader Joe’s and Fresh & Easy, and it seems in GENERAL, Trader Joe’s is usually cheaper than Fresh & Easy. I’ll keep going to Fresh & Easy for items such as Key Limes and cilantro, but will probably be sticking with Trader Joe’s for my regular grocery shopping.

To celebrate my “come back” (yeah, nice excuse!) I purchased a couple goodies on top of my regular old purchases.

Strawberry Ice Cream made with coconut milk and French Macarons!

I REALLY hemmed and hawed over whether I should buy these French Macarons. I never really was a fan of French Macarons, but I think that was because I never had a REALLY GOOD French Macaron. They were usually stale and generally not very well made. I didn’t KNOW that it wasn’t well made though, because I had never had a WELL MADE Macaron.

That all changed on Sunday. My friend bought a box of French Macarons from Miette Bakery and let me have a couple, and my goodness, I was converted. THIS was a well made Macaron, and it just tasted so fresh and perfect.

Macarons have been on my mind since then. So when I saw these Macarons in the frozen aisle at Trader Joe’s, I was extremely tempted. In the end, I decided to give them a try.

2 Vanilla Macarons for me, and 1 Chocolate and 1 Vanilla Macaron for Jeff. I didn’t care to try the Chocolate Macaron.

I was really, really impressed with these Macarons. Sure, they’re not exactly Miette or Laduree and I am not a French Macaron connoisseur by any means, but as a product of Trader Joe’s and from the FROZEN aisle, I enjoyed these. A LOT. All the vanilla ones are gone. I guess I’ll have to try a chocolate one tomorrow.

They say to defrost from the freezer for about 30 minutes or so, but I find they’re perfectly good straight out of the freezer. Unless you have a super buff freezer, then you may want to defrost. Defrosted or undefrosted, I loved these and will definitely be getting them again!

Unfortunately, I was not a fan of the other “goodie” – the Strawberry Ice Cream made with Coconut milk. I didn’t taste any coconut very much at all and just wasn’t a fan of the flavor very much. Jeff liked it though, so he can have the rest. =)

(By the way, I bought this OXO ice cream scooper from TJ Maxx (along with Kitchen Aid tongs, which I am now weirdly obsessed with). I think TJ Maxx is my new favorite place to buy Kitchen tools! I do try to look up the reviews of the tools on my Amazon app before buying them though because sometimes the tools sold there have less than stellar reviews (which may be why they’re at TJ Maxx now), but so far I’ve had a really good experience with these products sold for less from TJ Maxx!)

The Macaron helped the ice cream a little though!

In other news, I made my VERY FIRST batch of hummus today! Jeff has found recently that he really likes hummus so I decided to try my hand at making it. I didn’t want to buy tahini though because it tends to be a bit pricey so I decided to try to make it without the tahini.

Simple ingredients, simple recipe!

In place of the tahini, I decided to use sesame oil. If I’m not mistaken, I think tahini is sesame paste, so I thought it wouldn’t be missed too much if I used sesame oil.

And I ALWAYS have sesame oil in my house. Always, always, always. It is hands down my favorite oil.

I have a huge container of sesame oil and just refill this bottle. One day I plan to get a oil dispenser just for sesame oil because I use it so often! And because it does tend to get oily and messy.

Anyway, back to the hummus! Just blend those 5 ingredients (I used a single-serve blender because I don’t have a blender or food processer and it worked great!).

You can add some of the juice from the canned chickpeas if you want it to be a thinner consistency.

And serve with pita chips or your favorite veggie!

Yum. Sesame-y and garlicky – 2 of my favorite flavors! (Those are Garlic Gold Nuggets sprinkled on top.)

I’ll definitely be making my own hummus again and experimenting with different flavors!

Hummus made without Tahini

Makes: 1 medium bowl of hummus


1 can of chickpeas, drained

1/4 cup sesame oil

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1-4 cloves garlic, peeled (depending on how garlicky you want it)


Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processer. If you want a thinner consistency, add in a little juice from the canned chickpeas. Serve with pita chips or veggies.

Nutritional Information for 2 T hummus: 52 calories, 4g fat, 0g saturated fat, 110mg sodium, 3g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 0g sugar, 1g protein