Luxury in plain sight - Tuesday Tips

9/02/2013

Today's contribution comes from another dear friend of mine, Laura Morey. Laura is an actress and online blogger. We have worked together in the past, most recently when I had the pleasure of photographing her for her video blog website Simple Solutions Diva. Because she is the queen of simple solutions I posed a challenge to her. What unlikely places can you find luxury? Here is what she discovered.

Laura Morey - The Simple Solutions Diva


Finding Luxury in Unlikely Places

by Laura Morey

I’m always up for a challenge, and this one was good: “Find Luxury in the Grocery Store,” asked my friend, the lovely Amy West of Like Love Want Need!  I happily took the challenge, but then realized I had to define luxury for myself, first. 

To me, Luxury means it needs to be something that felt expensive, maybe something I wouldn’t do at home, and something indulgent.  A bonus would be that it is easy to make! And of course, because it is the grocery store, it needed to be about food. So off I went, perusing the food aisles of my local, Super Target.

I decided to explore the international food aisle and was so impressed by the selection.  First, I found in the Asian section some unusual Indian simmering sauces by Archer Farms.  I enjoy Indian food when out at restaurants, but I just haven’t been brave enough to make it at home.  So I gathered up the mild, Tikka Masala Simmer Sauce and the hot, Vindaloo Simmer Sauce.

Are you brave enough to try something new at home?

With both sauces, I sautéed chicken chunks with onions and peppers, poured the simmer sauce over the mixture and cooked until it was hot. Both were served over basmati rice. I used Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice  - it is rice in a bag, takes only 90 seconds to cook in microwave, and is terrific in a pinch (and beats waiting 25-30 minutes for the rice to cook)!

The entire process from start to finish took under 30 minutes to make the meal – so quick and easy!  And both sauces were excellent! Tikka Masala was creamy, with a light curry flavor and it was mild; the tomato-based Vindaloo Sauce was spicy, but not too spicy. My kids and husband loved the different flavors and I was thrilled.  A couple of new, luxurious meals to add to my “Quick and Easy” repertoire!

I moved further down the international food aisle and stumbled upon a HUGE display featuring “Giada DeLaurentiis For Target” products. The foods featured are all Italian or Mediterranean inspired.  I zeroed in on a few products that looked upscale, rich and easy to make.
Food Channel Goddess Giada de Laurentiis brings her creations within our reach at Target.
First up was the Marsala Simmer Sauce; I sautéed thin chicken fillets in olive oil and a little garlic; once cooked, I added the simmer sauce and cooked until hot. As it cooked, I could smell the Marsala wine and the balsamic vinegar used in sauce – YUM!
You can smell the Marsala wine and balsamic vinegar immediately.

I served it with garlic-mashed potatoes. To keep with the “quick and easy” theme, I used Crystal Farms Simply Potatoes Garlic MashedPotatoes  – these are refrigerated, pre-packaged mashed potatoes that are so good, you may give up making homemade mashed potatoes for the holidays! Thirty minutes later, the Chicken Marsala was a success with the family!

Along with the Marsala Simmer Sauce, I found a bunch of other yummy and rich looking products in the Giada line. I haven’t used them yet, but they are things I would not have made on my own.  Products like Marinara With Artichokes Pasta Sauce, Tuscan-Style White Bean & Fire Roasted Garlic Soup Starter Mix, and finally, a Lemon Ricotta Cookie Mix. To me, they are all indulgent and luxurious items that I wouldn’t normally make at home.
Indulge in something new. 
On my way to check out at Target, one last thing caught my eye, and I realized I HAD to include it as a luxury -- A cooler filled with chilled champagne and wines! So yes, readers, you can find quick and easy, “Luxury at The Grocery”!  Best of all, they are Simple Solution meals you can make for dinner in under 30 minutes!
Luxury can be easy!
Laura Morey is a video blogger and host of www.SimpleSolutionsDiva.com, where she shares simple solutions for the home, kitchen, garden, DIY, and more.  Check out her on-going video series, “Putting Pinterest To The Test, where she tests popular pins from Pinterest to see just how easy and effective they are.
Laura Morey brings simple solutions to life! 


Thank you again Laura for meeting my challenge. What test shall we put Laura too next? Give us your suggestions and we will request Laura to meet our challenge again!

Enjoy the Journey!

xo-Amy West

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