Friday, November 25, 2016

Food Feature Friday #5: Thanksgiving Special + Special Announcement!!!

Happy Friday once again Jedi's! I swear these days are getting shorter and shorter. I'm not necessarily complaining, because it just means that these next 29 days until Christmas will fly by! Which makes me excited for the big day, but also a little bummed that the amount of anticipation for the big day will go by in a flash. Anywho...

Earlier this week I mentioned how I was so focused on cooking this past Thanksgiving Eve, I completely and totally forgot to take pictures of the glorious items I had purchased (see that post HERE). Well today I had made it my mission to take a photo of the items I cooked, that are definitely worth repurchasing for Christmas - or any holiday - feast! You have no idea how amazing these items are and while I was devastated to not have quality pics for you guys Wednesday, I tried my best to make it up to you all! Also, there is a very important announcement at this end of today's post so keep on reading!!!

For Thanksgiving Eve, I included a few "peculiar" items into this years menu. I normally like to twist up the "usual" suspects normally expected during Thanksgiving feast, so in high hopes - and with amazing results - I decided to pick out a few newbies for this years dinner! With such a delicious success, I knew I had to share these items with you all! 

The entire menu consisted of:
Corned Beef Brisket - not featured
Cornbread Stuffing 
Cranberry Sauce
4 Cheese Scalloped Potatoes
Turkey Gravy
Avocado Bacon Salad with Sweet Onion & Bacon Vinaigrette
Baked Carrots - not featured 
Sweet Hawaiian rolls - not featured
Banana Cream Pie
Vanilla Ice Cream - not featured 
Martinelli's Sparkling Apple Cider - not featured

Everything that is NOT featured - while still delicious - won't be discussed into today's post. It's everything that IS featured, I feel you should all purchase and devour.

First couple items on today's featured list are the cornbread stuffing, cranberry sauce, and turkey gravy. While they may not be the most exciting items I've featured, they are certainly worth recognition. Both are considered common items on Thanksgiving, but these two particular items are mouth watering. 

The cornbread stuffing is a very moist dish with excellent flavors from Trader Joe's. For $3.99, you get more than enough stuffing to feed 5 people and a very distinct taste that compliments any meat - or meatless - main course. With the cornbread being the main ingredient, it's filled with an array of spices that mix excellent. Personally I wouldn't mind having this on regular days, just because. It's a side dish that can be whipped up in the same time it takes you to toast the rolls! Seeing that it's a simple and quick dish, you won't have to worry stretching your time to make a homemade stuffing, without sacrificing the authentic flavors. 

The cranberry sauce is another simple yet decadently tart side dish. If you like the tartness that cranberries usually bring to the table, this will be the perfect addition to your plate. If you prefer a sweeter cranberry, a little brown sugar and a scoop of ice cream will give you a fruity twist on your dessert for the night. While it looks jellied like the cans you find in the stores, it's not quite the same texture. It's smooth yet strong flavor makes me quite pleased to add this to turkey sandwiches or even a small salad! Regardless of the occasion. For $1.99 you can have a topping that makes for an tasty addition.

Another topping I highly recommend is the Trader Joe's turkey gravy for only $1.49. Not only can it subtly cover any meat, but it alters it's taste to - again - compliment anything that you drizzle it over. It's not just for turkey, I know that first hand. With a salty brisket, 4 cheese scalloped potatoes, and eggs with bacon the next morning, I've come to realize that this gravy is something I'd love to keep on hand in my pantry. Everyday dinner's could easily be given a little "pizzazz' with a layer of this gravy!

The next three items that are on my featured list for this week are the four cheese scalloped potatoes and the sweet onion & bacon vinaigrette from Trader Joe's, with a banana cream pie to finish off the list from Ralph's (brand is Claim Jumper and can be found at multiple grocery stores). 

*please note: The four cheese scalloped potatoes - also known as "quattro formaggio" - and the sweet onion & bacon vinaigrette were both sold out at Trader Joe's when I went to take pictures of the items, but I was able to find both items on the Trader Joe's website. The picture of the banana cream pie is mine.*

My all-time favorite find of this year's feast was by far the four cheese scalloped potatoes. This was a huge hit at the dinner, not to mention the grocery store as well! For only $4.49, you are gifted a portion big enough for 2 people in one serving. After simply warming up the potatoes in the microwave or the oven - I chose oven - you will be greeted with an intoxicating aroma of melted cheese and heaven. Pure creamy, rich, cheesy heaven. These potatoes are so good that they flew off the shelves in a few days at Trader Joe's. If you happen to see this in your store, grab at least one - possibly two - and get ready to experience a potato that not only deserves to be an every day dinner item, but a meal in itself. These are filling yet not overwhelming. I'm a cheese person, but I'm also quite picky when it comes to cheese mixtures. I have had experiences in the past with Trader Joe's "multi cheese" products being a bit too "grainy", but these are FAR from that. These potatoes are the greatest potato product I've had the good fortune to taste. Warning, they are EXTREMELY addicting. 

My second all-time favorite find this past Thanksgiving was the Trader Joe's sweet onion and bacon vinaigrette. Normally I'm not a fan of vinaigrette's, but this one was very very different. For a mere $2.99 you'll find yourself with a new love for salad. If you want to jazz up your greens, simply pour this sweet yet savory dressing on it and you'll instantly be amazed that these two items could come together to create such beauty. The bacon nor the onion is overpowering, nor do they battle each other for the power flavor. They coexist with such harmony and create a very unique taste that can only be explained as exquisite. Because neither flavor is immense, you can add some bacon or onions into your salad, without the worry of it being "too much". I added bacon and avocado to the Trader Joe's Sorrento blend salad mix, for a really crisp and fresh flavor, making this the perfect side salad to any dinner or holiday dish. 

At the end of every good meal there is a palatable dessert. This year it was a Claim Jumper banana cream pie that has been a favorite of mine for quite a while. The only necessary thing to complete this dessert is simply thawing it overnight in the fridge. So not only is it whipped with banana delight, but it's easy to "make". It has a thin layer of whipped cream on top, but don't be discouraged, it's the perfect amount for this soft crusted beauty. The sprinkled almonds on top also give this tiny crunch and subtle nut flavor that pleases almost any taste bud. The crust isn't thick or hard, but soft and flaky. The overall portions of each section throughout the pie, sit in perfect harmony with one another. A big reason why I absolutely love this pie. I'm also a big "banana lover", so this was an easy decision for me to grab for this year's dessert. Prices vary, but you can find this at Ralph's, Food 4 Less, Vons, Target, Walmart, and Smart and Final. Along with any other major grocery store chain. 

With so many featured foods this Friday, you'll have so many choices to taste. I recommend eating them, but some people may prefer certain things over others. If you do try them, please don't forget to share your pics with me on Instagram! #thewhiterockingchair

As for my special announcement...

I mentioned a while back about my upcoming giveaway that I was hosting after Thanksgiving. Well Thanksgiving has come and passed, so it's time to announce the "TWRC Winter Box" Giveaway!

I love Christmas and I love giving! So to honor each and every one of you guys, I thought I'd giveaway a very special box filled with all sorts of cuddly prizes. From special snacks to artistic goodies and a few silky smooth skin products, you'll have a chance to win a box that I've personally created to help you have a relaxing and cuddly winter! I will officially launch the giveaway on Monday with pictures that will showcase all the prizes and the official rules on how to enter. With this giveaway you will have multiple options to enter, so don't get discouraged if you aren't on social media! I've created this box with you in mind and I stand by all the products I've chosen for this giveaway! It's super awesome and I can't wait to share it with you guys! I want to have a full week of entries, but I thought waiting ti'll after the weekend would be best. 

I know it's not the "grand announcement", but hopefully it inspires you all to check back in on Monday to see the 9 prizes that you could win in Monday's "TWRC Winter Box". 

I hope you have an amazing weekend and a safe one! If you're traveling home or just resting these next few days, remember to stay awesome you beautiful Jedi's!

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