Lora Hogan > Recipe  > I would marry Trader Joe

I would marry Trader Joe

Hello Joe!

We just got our first Trader Joe’s in Florida.





If Trader Joe was a real man, I would totally date him.

I grew up with Trader Joe’s. My Mama shops at the Athens, Georgia store religiously.

I was psyched to drive 40 minutes to get to the new location in Sarasota, Florida.

More importantly, I will be happy to continually make the drive to the new store in Sarasota, Florida. (Dear TJ, maybe this means you should open one in Tampa Bay? Pretty please? I met so many people in line from St. Pete, Treasure Island, and Tampa! I think that means we need our own!!)

My friend and I went on the opening weekend Saturday. Maybe we were a little crazy, but it was COMPLETELY worth it!! I love you, TJ.

Here we are waiting to check-out:

I got some of my favorite basic TJ staples, a bottle of wine, and am now prepared to make a trip to TJ’s for supplies a regular occurrence.  I <3 Trader Joe’s! Quality food at super low prices. What’s not to like?

I came back and was pooped from shopping, my drive from the East Coast of Florida, and other things. Not a night to go out on the town.

Decided to make one of my favorite recipes using Trader Joe’s AMAZING frozen shrimp.  Their frozen shrimp is so good, the best I’ve had from a grocery store!! I need to get a BIG freezer bag so I can better transport the cold goods back from Trader Joe’s.  40 minutes in the hot Florida sun would NOT be good for my food, otherwise! As it was, I had the AC turned up full blast on the way home to make sure that my goods stayed cool.

Shrimp and Grits, with Trader Joe’s influence:

TJ Shrimp and Grits:
Serves 4

Ingredients (for shrimp)

  • 1 lb large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 5 slices uncured bacon
  • 1/3 cup skim milk
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 tbsp hot sauce (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon low-sodium Cajun seasoning (or salt-free Cajun sauce, if you can find it!)
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • Ground Pepper
  • 1 hass avocado, cubed.

Ingredients (for grits)

  • 14 oz chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 3/4 cup quick cooking grits
  • salt
  • 2 cups freshly grated white cheddar cheese
  • 3 cups corn kernels (I get the frozen and then thaw prior to use)
  • Dash of hot sauce


  1. Bring the chicken broth and milk to boil. Reduce to simmer and whisk in the grits and dash of salt. Cook for 10-15 minutes, following grit cooking time instructions. When grits are done cooking, stir in the cheese, corn, and dash of hot sauce immediately before serving.
  2. Cook bacon of medium-high heat for approximately 5 minutes, or until done. Remove bacon to paper towel. 
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low, keeping the bacon grease in the pan. Add onion, garlic, and dash of pepper to bacon grease. Cook for one minute.
  4. Add red pepper and cook for one minute.
  5. Add shrimp, 1/3 cup skim milk, flour, hot sauce, and Cajun sauce. Cook for 5-8 minutes over medium to medium-high or until shrimp is done.
  6. Spoon cheese-corn grits into bowls. Pour cooked shrimp sauce over grits.  Crumble bacon and garnish with cubed avocado.  Serve immediately with your favorite white Trader Joe’s wine!


  • Spamwich

    September 9, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    You went without me? Booooooo! Lol. I’m down for the next trip. I keep trying to explain the magic to Marshall but he just doesn’t get it! I miss my Trader Joe’s!

  • Jenna

    September 10, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    Yes, it was SO worth the madness! I can’t wait to go back, hopefully when it’s less busy!