This is my first time reviewing a cookbook, so bear with me…
When I was at BEA in June, I spied a copy of the I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook, by Cherie Twohy, at the Ulysses Press booth. I knew I had to have it. I shop at Trader Joe's several times a month, and the thought of a cookbook whose ingredients could be obtained in their entirety from Trader Joe's was very appealing.
The cookbook has not disappointed. I am in the midst of one of those kitchen renovations that takes twice as long as it is expected to and renders the preparation of fresh food impossible. But before the renovation started, I was able to make two different recipes from the cookbook: Nutty and Wild Rice Salad, Shrimp on Polenta Pillows. Both were delicious.
The cookbook has entrees (poultry, beef/lamp, pork, seafood), pasta, vegetables, salads, soup, beans/rice/grains, and desserts. The dishes are elegant enough to be ok "for company", but they are also easy to make. Twohy offers substitution hints in case a key ingredient is out of stock (Trader Joe's seems to have a maddening way of phasing out products or being out of stock for weeks at a time), and offers vegetarian, gluten-free, and vegan variations where possible.
I also enjoyed the author's ode to Trader Joe's at the beginning of the book, as well as the strategies for how to get the most out of your Trader Joe's shopping experience.
So if you're also addicted to – or even just a fan of – Trader Joe's, pick up The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook. Definitely worth the $12 on Amazon. (Though, as the FTC would like me to point out- I did get mine for free as a review copy from Ulysses – thank you!). This will likely be the first cookbook I pull out when the kitchen is ready.