Where has February gone? I realize that it is the shortest month of the year and all…but still. It went by far too quickly. It even had an extra day this time, so that the earth’s trips around the sun are equal, to clocks, the calendar, and apparently the entire space-time continuum. I’m not a scientist and I’ve never played one on TV, so that’s as good an explanation of Leap Year as you’ll get.
You might be wondering what Trader Joe’s has to do with February. Here’s the short version: I have a February birthday. We won’t go into which one this was, but let’s just say that we are beyond using candles on the cake without a fire permit. My kids shared the special day with me and were very generous with their gifts. A Trader Joe’s gift bag was part of the loot, and among the items in it were a Gift card and an interesting cook book.What was Mama D to do? As this site illustrates, I generally cook with more than 5 ingredients at a time. Still the book was fascinating. Lots of the recipes sounded delicious, and the limited number of ingredients made it all seem do-able, so armed with my gift card and some recipe ideas from the book, I paid a visit to my local Trader Joe’s. I came home with two bags of goodies. A few of my favorites like White Cheddar Popcorn and Frozen Artichoke Hearts had to come home with me (just because), but I also picked up some recipe specific items. Case in point; Frozen Country Potato Blend and Frozen Pie Crust both of which were new to my kitchen. These were the cornerstone of what sounded to be a great Meatless Monday supper, Country Potato QuicheBesides these two ingredients the remaining cast was filled out with eggs, grated Italian Cheese blend, and some fat-free half and half (the last 2 being my personal substitutions). This was my first foray into frozen pie crust and I can’t say that I am a fan. The crust thawed into pieces, but once I gathered the pieces together and re-rolled the crust, I was in business. The filling was easy enough to make. All I had to do was mix the ingredients together in a bowl. The potato medley was quite unique as are many of the items at T.J.’s. Fried potatoes, green beans, and mushrooms made an intriguing and tasty base.I decided to pre-bake the crust for 10 minutes to guard against a soggy bottom. Then it was a matter of pouring the generous filling into the crust (thankfully the pan was on a rimmed baking sheet which averted sure disaster). Once out of the oven it rested on its laurels for 15 minutes before making its way to the table, our plates, and ultimately our stomachs. A simple salad was the only other thing that was required (oh yeah, and a nice Pinot Noir)
This recipe is from: Cooking with Trader Joe’s 5 Ingredient Cook Book by Deanna Gunn & Wona Miniati. I have inserted my substitutions and changes in procedures, but the idea originated with these two lovely ladies.
The Trader Joe’s adventure will continue. There were plenty of other goodies in my bags that will find their way into the kitchen and maybe into this blog, as I continue to explore the idea that less (ingredients) can be more.