Sometimes all it takes is a little dip…

Trader Joes. Have you heard of the place? Up until last summer, I had heard of the place, but no clue what wonders it contained. While in Philadelphia visiting my brother last summer, we stopped at his favorite grocery store which just happened to be this glorious place. I was in awe. I was immediately jealous that he lived literally blocks away from the store and we didn’t even have one back home. But as luck would have it, rumors had just been confirmed that Trader Joe’s would be coming to Des Moines in the fall. Joy to me!

Prior to Trader Joe’s opening in Des Moines, Jake and I decided to scope out the store in St. Paul to get a feel for their products. I have to admit, we went a little crazy. There were just too many things we wanted to try and ended up coming home with several bags full of items.

When Trader Joe’s opened in Des Moines, we waited at least a good week before going, but the place was still jam packed. We had purchased a couple of  identified “must-haves” from our St. Paul trip and were excited to see what else they had to offer. We are always sure to leave the store with at least one new item.

One of our new finds on our most recent trip was a bag of Garlic Fries. Although it was a heat index of 105 outside, Jake and I agreed that it would be the perfect pairing for our shrimp skewers.

We both enjoy garlic and french fries, so we were excited to see how Trader Joes did with their version. We were not disappointed. DELICIOUS. I will warn you though, you have to like garlic, and I mean a lot of garlic, to enjoy these bad boys.

The fries took about 15 -20 minutes in the oven to turn a light golden brown. As they are cooking, the directions have you thaw the bag of garlic seasoning sauce in a bowl of warm water.  Once the fries come out of the oven, you slater on this intoxicating garlic seasoning.

Jake wanted to add his contribution to dinner and declared he was going to find us a sauce to dip the fries in. He went searching online and found this flavorful dip which turned out to be a perfect match for the garlic fries.

I asked Jake how he came to find this recipe and this was what he had to say:

“I google searched Raising Cane dipping sauce”.

I was curious as I had never heard Raising Cane’s before and inquired further.  Jake went on to tell me that the sauce is THE reason people go there. That people go and order a ton of the sauce to dip EVERYTHING in. He basically summed up the conversation with stating:  “It’s just SO good. That’s why I went there every day”. Huh. Who would have known?

Cane’s Sauce Ingredients

  • ketchup
  •  mayonnaise
  • worchestershire sauce
  • garlic powder
  • pepper

Jake also informed me that he didn’t measure anything out, just basically put it all a bowl, mixed and then did a little taste test and adjusted accordingly.

I asked him if it tasted like the Raising Cane dipping sauce and he stated no, but good on it’s own.

I know I enjoyed the sauce and it is definitely worth checking out if you are looking for something new to dip fries or chicken in to.

On to the main course. Jake and I are not huge seafood eaters, but slowly trying to work our way to having it at least one seafood dish a week. But let’s be real, I will be happy if we have it at least once a month. 🙂 Tonight it was Shrimp Skewers with my seafood rub.

Spicy Seafood Rub

  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Northwood Fire spice (found at Penzeys)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cumin
  • 2 green onion leaves and bulbs diced
  • 1/2 of a lemon juice

I placed all ingredients in a tupperware container and added 20 skinned, devained shrimp with the tails still on to the container. Shake container and let marinate in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Using bamboo skewers that have been soaked in water (so that they do not burn or catch fire), place five shrimp on each skewer, being sure to rub extra rub over shrimp.

Using our calaphlon grill pan, I grilled the shrimp over medium heat. Shrimp can be a little difficult to cook in that it can be really easy to overcook. When you do this, the shrimp becomes rubbery tasting. I usually cook them at least 2 minutes on each side, making sure that they changed color from the light pink to a slightly darker color.

Jake, being our sauce guy of the night, made the following shrimp dip found on cdkitchen

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 3/8 teaspoon garlic powder

This dip was also amazing and matched well with our spicy shrimp. Jake and I did take note that next time we make this dip we will only add 1 tablespoon of sugar as it was a little too sweet for our liking, but still pretty dang good.

I have to say that I enjoyed having Jake in the kitchen with me and will be thinking of new ways to get him motivated to cook with me!

What are your favorite seafood recipes? I am always looking for new ideas, and if you have any, please send them my way! 


3 thoughts on “Sometimes all it takes is a little dip…

  1. Cane’s sauce for the win!!!

    Just another note:

    You can get your “maniac” meal with coleslaw, but it is common practice to sub that out for either an extra toast or another cup of sauce. I personally sub for the toast AND purchase an extra sauce!!! You can even purchase a fourain drink sized cup of the sauce to take it home and enjoy!


    • This just cracks me up because as I was reading this out loud to Jake he got REALLY excited and said Tthat’s what I do”. I will have to say Shawn, I am rather disappointed that I wasn’t able to check this place out when we passed through last September. It will be on our list of places to go to eat next time we are in your neck of the woods!

  2. Pingback: My Three Joys- St. Paul Edition |

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