1. My dad sent me the link to a very interesting article about the origins of Trader Joe’s. It’s a bit lengthy, but definitely worth a read! A few interesting tidbits:
- Joe Coulombe, the assumed founder*, “sold whole bean coffee years before Starbucks debuted in 1971, and he became the country’s largest importer of Dijon mustard and Brie”.
- Theo Albrecht, the business man responsible for taking Joe’s vision to the national level, was “a former soldier in Hitler’s army.”
- *”Trader Joe’s will not admit that Albrecht or his family ever owned the grocery chain. It will also not concede that Joe Coulombe founded the business. The corporate Web site describes only a fantasy merchant named “Trader Joe” who opened the first store…Trader Joe’s is so evasive on the subject of itself that it has figured out a way to shut down journalists…stories in which journalists communicate with Trader Joe’s are almost nonexistent.” <– Just a little bizarre, no?
2. I just finished the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins. Although I was a little disappointed by the third book, I thoroughly enjoyed the first two, and will definitely be joining the crowds of teenagers who flock to the theaters to see the first movie this spring.
3. I made Flour’s Famous Banana Bread from the cookbook Flour by Joanne Chang on Saturday, and it was – as expected – delicious!
I used whole wheat pastry flour in place of all-purpose, swapped half of the canola oil with unsweetened applesauce, and cut the sugar (evaporated cane juice) down to 3/4 cup (I might even cut a bit more sugar out next time).
4. It was my intention to save up a few more recipes for a full seventh installment of Blog Bites, but I just had to share both of these fantastic recipes with you!
First up: Angela’s 5 Ingredient No-Bake Vegan Date Squares from Oh She Glows.
These bars are seriously delectable.
Almonds. Oats. Salt. Medjool Dates. Coconut Oil.
The only 5 ingredients you need to make a dense, sticky, sweet, tasty date bar.
I’ve been attempting to cut way down on my sugar consumption, and this date-sweetened dessert has been a big help in staying the course.
Sure – dates are high in natural sugars… but I’m cool with that.
I wonder if all-fruit jam would work in place of the pureed date paste for another version?
I’ll get back to you on that, as I definitely plan on finding out!
Next up is Jenna’s Southwestern Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet from Eat, Live, Run.
A tasty, healthy, and easy meal made in one skillet?
I – for one – absolutely love the combination of sweet potatoes and black beans. Add in some thawed roasted corn, Mexican spices & grated cheese, and top with runny eggs?
5. I would greatly appreciate your vote for my Peanut Butter Banana Baked French Toast with PB Yogurt Sauce in the Nutty About Yogurt recipe contest/sweepstakes!