Thursday, December 17, 2009

For the Love of Joe: Product Spotlight

As you have heard time and time again, I LOOOOOOOVVVEE Trader Joe's. If I'm having a bad day, I just step through their hula-inspired doors, and everything seems right with the world.

Maybe it's the wonderful selection of unique and gourmet items. It might be the friendly staff, the clever packaging, the out-of-this-world prices or the stuffed lemur they hide around the store to keep my kids entertained while I shop. Perhaps it's because of the free samples they are always giving out or the quaint, neighborhood-grocery-store vibe of the whole place. Whatever the reason, TJ's just makes me happy when I'm feeling blue. What can I say? I'm easy to please.

Yet, unbelievably, I have several friends who don't shop at TJ's because they say they feel intimidated when they go in and don't know what to buy. They know that Trader Joe's is an absolute treasure trove of delectable delights, just waiting to be unearthed. But they just don't know where to start diggin'. So... I've decided to do weekly TJ's product spotlights of some of my TJ's favorites and how I use them. Consider it a little piece of foodie-aloha from me to you!

Today's product spotlight hails from the bread section on TJ's. She's a seasonal gal who loves butter, jam and leisurely dips in egg batter. That's right, folks... please welcome bachelorhood number one... It's TJ's Sliced Panetone Bread!

Panetone is an Italian fruitcake-inspired bread that is big around the holidays (Giada is a big fan, of course). It is a sweet, dense bread loaded with candied orange peel, almonds, cranberries and raisins (I'm usually not a fan of raisins, but they are good in this). YUM!

I spotted this beauty at TJ's yesterday, while looking for sandwich rolls, feeding small bits of grape to Mallory to keep her from screaming and telling Bennett for the ump-teenth time to please stop standing up in the cart.

I brought her home, and this morning we used her to make a batch of festive, holiday French Toast!

Here's what you do:

Crack a few eggs in a shallow dish. Add a splasheroo of milk, a shakeroo of cinnamon, another splasheroo of vanilla extract and a zesteroo of half an orange. These measurements must be exact.

Whisk it all together and dredge (that's a fancy way of saying "dip.") the bread slices in the egg mixture.

Now slap those dredged puppies on a hot skillet and cook both sides until golden brown.

Serve up your fancy-schmancy Panetone French Toast with butter and warm maple syrup!



  1. YUM! I like the four-eggs-in-a-bowl picture. Looks like art. Raw food art.

    I miss you!!! :)

  2. yummy. we love panetone dipped in milk, so Mat and I would love this. I will not tell the boys it is panetone, then they will love it.