Sunday, January 30

St. Louis & Schatzi

this is what $200 looks like at Trader Joe's.. yikes!
Earlier this week, we decided to make a trip to St. Louis this weekend.  The highlight of the trip?  Trader Joe's!  And if you're going to drive an hour and a half for groceries, you have to make it count.  As you can see, we piled the cart full and left the store almost $200 poorer.  This is a place that I don't mind spending money... although, Chad would argue there are a lot of places at which I don't mind spending money!  I like that, other than checking for the usual dairy/egg ingredients, we don't have to scour the labels for unknown ingredients, high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors and so on.  We also finally went in with a shopping list for dinner for the next two weeks.  We should only have to purchase fresh produce, otherwise we're probably set for a good month on staple pantry goods.  Of course, a few unnecessary things usually make their way into our car.  Here are some new things we bought on this visit:
1.  Pound plus dark chocolate bar:  As the name implies, over a pound of dark chocolate!  I've read that this is great for baking.  I stuck it in my baking box right away, so I'm not tempted to nibble on the giant block of chocolate.
2.  Organic Ruby Chai Tea:  Chad has been kind enough to make tea for us each morning, so I picked up a new variety.
3.  Brown Jasmine Rice:  I usually stick to the basic long-grain brown rice, so I thought I'd venture into the world of Jasmine rice.
Sea Salt and Turbinado Sugar Dark Chocolate Almonds:  "Roasted almonds drenched in dark chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt and turbinado sugar."  How could I resist that?!
5.  Salt & Pepper Ridge Cut Potato Chips:  Chad grabbed these, but I'm sure I'll sample a few.
6.  Rice Sticks:  These were a perfect find for only 99 cents, since Pad Thai is on this week's menu. 

We also stopped for lunch at Sweet Tomatoes.  I love their salad bar, and they had two prepared salads that I'm going to try to recreate for weekday lunches-- Fiesta Couscous and Wheat Berry Curry.  They seemed simple enough, so I'll see what I can do. 

"I'll shake for a treat!"
While we were stocking up on groceries, Schatzi spent her day at the PetSmart Spa!  Okay, not really a spa (she's not THAT spoiled), but she was bathed and groomed.  She's snuggled in bed right now resting after her rough day. 

Also, yesterday I became the proud owner of a library card!  I checked out "Vegan Brunch" and "How it all Vegan," so I hopefully I'll find a few new recipes to try out in between the cookbook challenge!

Now it's time to organize the pantry, straighten up the house, and relax a bit before another crazy week begins!

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