Sore? SORE?! HA!
I didn’t even know the meaning of the word sore until TODAY. I wish I was only as sore as I was yesterday. Damn you second-day soreness! Damn you!
I’ll spare you my whining, but today was…not pretty. I refused to stay in another day though, plus we had some semi-warm temps, so I hobbled to the local basketball court with Ben to shoot some hoops after work! Well, he shot. I stood in one spot and hurled the ball at the backboard with my noodle arms…
After 10 minutes, my better half got annoyed that I couldn’t run after the ball, and some kid was hogging the court anyways, so we ditched and went for a nice, albeit slow, walk around the ‘hood. Mercifully, my thighs finally loosened up a few minutes in. Not enough to you know, bend more than 15 degrees, but at least my stride surpassed 5 inches for the first time in 2 days! Wheee!
Got home, and went the craaaaazy easy route for dinner. I cooked the simplest Trader Joe’s Night meal to date – Gnocchi & Meatballs!
I’ve seen these two in the frozen aisle several times, and I thought it was high time I give ‘em a go.
Up first, Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina.
Aka gnocchi in a cheesy, tomato-basil sauce. Stats were not too bad, although we halved the bag – no way it was 3 servings!
I opened it up and giggled. Frozen sauce pucks!
All you do is dump the bag in a skillet with a tablespoon of water and heat.
The sauce simmers and loosens up,
and the last thing to melt is the cheese. It gets all gooey and stringy and happy.
This is the third Trader Joe’s gnocchi I’ve tried – the other two being Whole-Wheat Gnocchi and Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Butter & Sage – and while it was good, I think I’d give it third place. The sauce was very flavorful and restaurant like, but the gnocchi were much more firm than the others.
Nestled on top were Turkey Meatballs.
These babies are fully cooked then frozen.
You can bake them for a crispier ball, or go the lazy-gals route and use the microwave like I did.
The flavor was excellent, but we didn’t dig the texture so much. I didn’t study the package hard enough when buying, and learned while preparing the balls that they have mechanically separated turkey in the ingredient list which made them kind of spongy.
Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina: 7/10. The sauce was great but personally I’m looking for a more tender gnocchi.
Turkey Meatballs: 4/10. Good flavor, and I bet they would have been better if crisped up in the oven, but I don’t think I like eating things with mechanically separated turkey in them no matter how good it tastes!
So Trader Joe’s Night was kiiiiiind of a let down this week, folks! But hey, it’s what I do. I make and eat marginal Trader Joe’s food so you don’t have to.
There was ONE redeeming item on my plate: steamed broccoli.
This is actually frozen broccoli the Schwan man sent me!
FYI there are three veggies I never ever buy frozen:
1. Brussels sprouts: why would you when fresh are SO good?!
2. Green beans: the texture of frozen green beans is like tire rubber
3. Broccoli: usually the only thing in the bag are stems. I only like the “trees.”
I was totally pumped when I got my Schwann delivery though, because the re-sealable bag of broccoli included in it was chock-full of big, beautiful crowns, which cook up in minutes. It’s so convenient to have in my freezer, and the broccoli taste just as good as fresh-cut!
Gosh, the Schwann man always makes me think of eating massive spoonfuls of cookie dough, from those giant pails they sell, with my best friend circa fourth grade. Her parent’s fridge & freezer was always stocked with the best Schwann goodies!
Ok I’m off to read! Unbroken has my complete attention. I am fascinated by the story of a young Olympian runner who gets lost at sea during WWII and has to fight sharks off his tiny life raft with oars! I can’t put it down!
ps Top Chef All Stars finale tonight – Team Blais!
What did your parents ALWAYS have in the cupboard for after-school snacks?
Mine always had at least one type of Little Debbie snack – star crunch, zebra cakes, ho-ho’s, nutty bars (still can’t eat Little Debbie to this day) and/or Nacho Cheese Doritos. Other than that, it was all pretty healthy stuff. My Mom refused to buy what we really wanted – Fruit by the Foot!!!