Posts Tagged ‘Trader Joe’s’

When Winter Is Summer

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

Spanish TortillaThe duplicity of the season for ChezHelvetica inspires dishes made with relative ease and some warmth, a nod to lazier days and the ever-present chilling fog. Crunchy Celery and Chickpea Salad and creamy Corn Chowder (both recipes from The New York Times) fulfilled these needs. With fresh produce from the VA Farmers’ Market and Trader Joe’s, jewel-like Yellow and White Corn Kernels, Red Pearl Tomatoes, Green Celery and Italian Parsley decorated the kitchen like confetti. Yukon Gold Potatoes and Green Onions sautéed in Extra Virgin Olive Oil, combined with Organic Eggs, created a delicious, sizzling Spanish Tortilla. Then, Marqués de Cáceres, a velvety smooth Rosé from Spain’s famed Rioja region, delivered that extra excitement!


Corn chowder   ChickpeaCelerySalad   Rosé





Until ~~~

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

FrittataUntil softened, until the tomatoes burst, until the eggs just begin to set, until the guests arrive … Welcome to ChezHelvetica’s Spring Vegetable Frittata dinner. Beautiful pencil-thin Asparagus spears, gloriousFrittataSlice Broccoli florets and jewel-like, multi-colored Cherry Tomatoes (from the VA Farmers Market) starred in this delicious Frittata, seasoned with Kosher Salt and Pepper, followed by a sprinkling of velvety Goat Cheese. Watercress, dressed with Sherry Vinegar (made from Balsamic Vinegar and Sherry) and Extra Virgin Olive Oil, freshly baked Trader Joe’s Ciabatta and Kalamata Olives completed the savory course. The sweetest, ruby-red Strawberries á la Mode then crowned this fun evening. Until we meet again ~~~



Fare Trade

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

CobbNanci Q. How to thank a dear friend for an exquisite painting? A. work of art for a work of art – fare trade! While ChezHelvetica’s centerpiece Cobb Salad doesn’t match the effort taken to create the beautiful canvas, the overture was heartfelt. Robert Cobb’s classic Brown Derby recipe received a new coat of culinary paint with the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market‘s freshly-picked Romaine Hearts, Curly Endive, Rotisserie Chicken and award-winning Point Reyes Farmstead Blue Cheese. Safeway‘s Farmer John thick-sliced Bacon, Open Nature Cage-Free Eggs, Kalamata Olives, and Trader Joe’s Avocado and Pearl Tomatoes completed the platter – all dressed in Stonehouse Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, Dijon Mustard and a touch of Organic Cane Sugar. (Sadly, I found the perfect Chives purchased to garnish the Salad untouched in the refrigerator the next day…) Wild Mountain Raw Honey showered Medina Farms Blackberries, Strawberries and Tory Farms Oranges, also sweetening Mighty Leaf Ginger Tea, as confidantes shared exciting secrets in the new chapters of their lives!NanciPainting2


Monet Meets Cava V

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

CaveCupcakesChezHelvetica shared stories, pictures and the amazing flavors experienced Down Under with a group of very creative, special friends (the exclusive members of Cava V). With inspiration from meals at Middle Eastern Maha Halloumi SaladRestaurant in Melbourne and the Amora Jamison Hotel in Sydney, a Grilled Halloumi and Eggplant Arugula Salad opened the celebration. Halloumi is a traditional cheese from Cyprus, and when grilled, has a sensational savory taste. Yotam Ottlenghi’s Burnt Eggplant, Wild Rocket Arugula and Pomegranate Lemon Dressing completed the dish, accompanied by Pita, Flatbread and Kalamata Olives. Velvety Marqués de Cáceres Rosé from Rioja accompanied this course, soon followed by delicious Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut to pair with Dungeness Crab Cakes and Sweet Chili Sauce, a recipe learned at The Culinary Arts Center aboard the Noordam. Washington state Crab Meat mixed with Celery, Onion, Chives, Lemon, Egg, Worcestershire and Tobasco Sauces, Garlic, Thyme and Panko Bread CrumbsCavaCrabcakes bathed in a luscious Sauce comprised of Butter, Cream, Sherry (instead of Sake), Lime Juice, Ginger and Sweet Chili Sauce. Then the art project sparked by Mini-Monet Cupcakes seen at The Flats in Sydney . . . ChezHelvetica’s Chocolate Ganache and Vanilla Bean Mini Cupcakes decorated like colorful fireworks by the Cava V with assorted frostings, sprinkles and toppings. Simply Spectacular!



Joy, Sorrow, Champagne and Tea

Sunday, January 10th, 2016

Champagne TeaBeachwood High School > The Ohio State University > California Bay Area. Longtime friends with intersecting life journeys shared laughter and tears at ChezHelvetica’s Champagne Tea as very private stories were revealed. Scottish Smoked Salmon with Green Onion Cream Cheese on Everything Bagels, drizzled with Honey and Truffle Oil, brought both comfort and delight. The juxtaposing flavors of Deviled Eggs, Blue Stilton, Brie, Blueberries and Tangerines delivered even more happiness, as did those sips of bubbly, golden Champagne and Darjeeling Tea. Special friends reset your compass to New Horizons!CT Flowers



Saturday, October 24th, 2015

MichaelStrataFor some Strata defines a level or class, at ChezHelvetica this means a delicious breakfast. Behold Apple French Toast Strata. The evening before serving, preparation for this French toast bake was almost done with the exception of the Sliced Almonds added just before going into the oven. Sautéed Trader Joe’s Organic Honey Crisp Apples andMichaelBreakfast Safeway’s 15-Grain Whole Wheat Bread soaked in Eggs, Milk and Half & Half, then scented by fragrant Spice Ace Organic Ground Nutmeg, Vietnamese Cinnamon and Sonoma Syrup Co’s Madagascar Bourbon Organic Vanilla Extract. Imagine the aroma when baking in the morning along with freshly brewed coffee. Juicy Strawberries and Blackberries from the VA Farmers Market and Dark Amber Maple Syrup from Quebec’s Beauce-Appalache region sent this down-to-earth meal straight into the Stratosphere . . .

MichaelFruit      MichaelSlice      MichaelCenter




From the Land of Don Quixote

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Liz&JanBeforeMiguel de Cervantes beloved literary tale “Man from La Mancha” revealed new significance, and romance, on this summer evening at ChezHelvetica. With Spain as the exciting accent of this anniversary celebration, we toasted with Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs along with Green and Manzanillo Olives, Almonds and Salmon Ahumado con Queso Fresco Montaditos (Smoked Salmon with Cream Cheese) and Honey Truffle bites. Tyler Florence’s warm Roasted Tomato Soup opened the meal with rich, savory flavors – Early Girl and Cherry Tomatoes, Garlic, Onion and Basil. The soup was accompanied by delicious Manchego, so named for Spain’s famed cheese made from the milk of sheep grazing the country’s La Mancha region. Pearl white corn kernels had fallen weightlessly into a bundt pan when making the featured entrée, a Salad of Grilled Chicken and Corn, Avocado and Baby Spinach, dressed with a Garlic and Liz&Jan appetizersRosemary-infused Vinaigrette (from Real Simple), paired with velvety Etude Pinot Noir. Like windmills spinning bliss, Neiman Marcus Delicate Lemon Squares, made with Meyer Lemons and crowned with Yellow Raspberries, created the perfect conclusion for “Life Happily Ever After, not an Impossible Dream!” (Muchas Gracias to the Fillmore and VA Farmers Markets, Trader Joe’s and Safeway as the food and beverage sources for this meal.)




Liz&Jan Tomato Soup




Cavolo Nero

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

With the usual Italian sex appeal, this name for Tuscan Kale enticed ChezHelvetica to finally succumb to temptation. This leafy cabbage doesn’t form heads, but rather resembles palm fronds with deep greenish black leaves that can be up to a yard long with pronounced ribs. Its surfaces have a distinctive bubbly appearance. Rich in vitamins and antioxidants, the earthy taste transforms when roasted or sautéed. The primo pasto paired roasted Kale, Garbanzo Beans, Spices (Coriander, just because) and Garlic in Extra Virgin Olive Oil with delicious Rana Mushroom Ravioli. The secondo featured Kale sautéed in Garlic Oil and Balsamic Vinegar with Vicolo’s legendary Cornmeal Crust Pepperoni Pizza –  the perfect complement. Grazie mille to Trader Joe’s, Costco and Ferry Plaza Farmers Market for these adventures to Italia!


Yearning for a dry rub? Spice with heat? Sweetness?

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Enter the world of ChezHelvetica food fantasies. A San Francisco Chronicle recipe for Dry-Rubbed Flank Steak with Spicy BBQ Sauce truly defines sensational, wowing taste buds with the heat of Smoked Paprika and Cayenne Pepper and the sweetness of Brown Sugar and Maple Syrup. Rubbed and grilled, the Flank Steak later swims in BBQ Sauce along with Roasted Fingerling Potatoes and Broccoli with Garlic. Organic Pain de Pascal from Trader Joe’s and scarlet Zinfandel from deLorimier Winery in Alexander Valley completed this course. Another summer dream appeared with a luscious Blueberry, Raspberry and Peach Dulce De Leche Crisp, thanks to Tory Farms, the VAMC Farmers’ Market and the magic of making Dulce De Leche from a can of sweetened, condensed milk. Fantasies fulfilled!


A Cobb To Covet

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

Brown Derby, Hollywood of the ‘ 30s meets ChezHelvetica more than 80 years later in the creation of Cobb Salad. While this classic American salad was first pulled together on a whim by Robert Cobb, the one on this table was a focused study on the finest ingredients available. Hunting and gathering ensued with the juiciest Rotisserie Chicken and sweetest Campari Tomatoes found at Costco and Organic Romaine at the VAMC Farmers’ Market. Blue Stilton jumped the pond from England, imparting its sophisticated Blue Cheese taste to the salad. Hot from the frying pan Applewood Smoked Bacon, creamy Avocados and hard-boiled Eggs completed the entree, accompanied by a warm Sunflower Seed Mini Loaf (all aforementioned from Trader Joe’s). The final flourish: a dressing of Balsamic Vinegar, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Dijon Mustard and touch of Sugar. A dessert of hand-picked Blackberries from the Florin Gardens, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Carob Honey from Cyprus and Mint from the ChezHelvetica Garden evoked the ultimate pleasure!