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Friday Q & A

Instead of the usual Friday Funnies, today we’re going to do a Friday Question and Answer. A loyal blog follower emailed me and asked:


Q: Linda, do you always cook your family dinners from scratch or do you sometimes buy ready-made dinners?

A: Of course, I buy ready-made! And we order take-out and delivery pizza and I cheat, not just sometimes, but often enough.

Trader Joes bag

Last night for instance… after a long day working on the upstairs with Connor, we ran into Trader Joe’s and picked up a “quick cheaters” meal.

Allow me to explain. For an entire week, the two of us have been working on cleaning out and changing up the upstairs area of our house.


Upstairs there is a linen closet and five rooms; Marissa’s bedroom, a bathroom, Dave’s office, Connor’s bedroom, and a big room that we’ve always called “The Playroom.”

playroom doors

When I say big, I’m talking about a rectangular 26 feet long by 19 feet wide room without closets or other cutout areas. Just four walls, 2 windows, 1 sliding glass door that leads to the deck, and double doors that open into it. There is so much potential for that room, now that a “playroom” is no longer needed.

More on what we’ve been cleaning out and changing up later. The point is – I was too tired to make a homemade meal after all that work and heavy lifting. So while we were in Trader Joe’s, I asked Connor what he wanted for dinner. He said, “Noodles.”

What a huge help that is! I didn’t feel like making a pasta dish from scratch, so I looked at their ready-made pasta and all the saucy ready-made items that might go well with pasta… and this is what I came up with.


I turned this refrigerated pasta and bruschetta sauce into this…


I boiled the pasta for 3 minutes, heated the sauce in a pan, and put it together in a bowl with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.


Since Connor loves lobster, I also turned this package of lobster ravioli and a carton of lobster bisque into this…


Again, I boiled the pasta for 5 minutes and heated the soup up in a saucepan to reduce it to a sauce consistency.

Dinner was ready in 5 minutes for a tired and weary mother and son.

Mission accomplished!

If you have a question for me… ask away and I’ll answer it next Friday. If not, it’s back to the Funnies.

Have a happy weekend!

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1 Tram Mai { 02.07.14 at 11:55 AM }

Yeah! So glad there are times when you’re like the rest of us!! 😉 Now if only Trader Joes was closer to me… xoxo

2 Ronnie Jaap { 02.07.14 at 12:43 PM }

Some of my favorites from TJ’s. Brendan loves the Lobster Ravioli too!

3 Shelley J { 02.07.14 at 2:38 PM }

Now that looks like the kind of recipe that I can manage 🙂

4 Lori V { 02.11.14 at 12:53 AM }

Love this! Okay, I have been thinking about questions I can shoot your way . . . . after all, how often do you access to a fabulous chef’s mind!

So, in random order:
– I know with your vast database, it is practically impossible, but can you tell us your list of the top-10 recipes that are quick, easy-peasy, crowd-pleasing, always get asked for the recipe, recipes? I am always overwhelmed when I get on your website and start looking through everything. I get so sidetracked sometimes, I totally forget why I went on in the first place.

– Weird random question. Is there a way or rule of thumb to adapt any recipes for the oven to a microwave? I literally never use the microwave except for re-heating in the US, and sadly that is all I have to use here in Japan (along with my tiny stove-top). Thanks Linda for always mixing it up and keeping us tuned in. Miss you my friend! xoxo

PS Are you going to unveil your plan for your “playroom” when you figure it out?!?

-You are I talked about this before. If you were going to take me shopping @ Trader Joe’s . . . . . . what are their top products in your mind, that you use all the time and are consistently delicious and versatile. Basically what are your “go-to’s” that you simply can’t leave the store without.

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