It's fun to shop at regional grocery store chains and specialty food shops, but on our tour of Highway 101, we've really missed going to Trader Joe's. Like many TJ fans, we've got a long list of go-to items we toss in the shopping cart on the regular.
So, when we traveled to lovely Sonoma wine country after the Kincade Fire was contained, a move to show our support for the folks affected by that event, we were excited to learn there was a Trader Joe's or two.
Top of the list are "healthy" snacks like dried fruit, almonds, granola, yogurt, those flour tortillas made with olive oil. And don't forget the goat cheese, some wine and the diced pancetta, plus shishito peppers, tzatziki and a few bottles of fizzy water.
Though it's not always in stock, I was pretty giddy to find the porcini mushroom ravioli was available. That fresh pasta has become locked into the dinner rotation, especially in the fall.
Here's how I make it: I simmer those stuffed pasta pockets in a mushroom broth, made from bouillon cubes I picked up at DeLaurenti in Seattle. I've seen them elsewhere, so look for a yellow and green package that's been imported from Italy. I serve the broth with the pasta, usually over some arugula, topped with sauteed mushrooms, and maybe a drizzle of pesto. So darned easy!
As we continue to roll down the road, it's important to keep the pantry and fridge stocked, but to reckon with the limited space. We'll continue to keep looking for Trader Joe's along the way.