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Showing posts from 2017

Trader Joe's Organic Lemongrass Spearmint Herbal Flavored Water

In case you live under a rock,  Amazon recently acquired the organic grocery store [that I love to trash talk] - Whole Paycheck. To be fair, there are things that I like about Whole Foods, and there are certain products that I like and have purchased from Whole Foods. I have a certain respect for Whole Foods. I just prefer not to spend my whole paycheck there for various reasons. Anyway, all this means for me is that with a new Trader Joe's store slated to be opening 15-20 min away from where I currently live, I fully intend to double down on my brand loyalty. No, this is not sponsored by Trader Joe's - none of my posts are - but wouldn't it be nice if it were so? 

Trader Joe's Dried Mango Chokanan Variety

To understand this post, I'm assuming y'all have a baseline knowledge of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. By that, I mean the interpretation where she looks for that bowl of porridge and the bed that is "just right," not the one where she crashes an innocent (are they really innocent though? Maybe they should have paid more attention to the ADT guy who came soliciting while they were trying to watch their Netflix in peace) bear pad, eats their food, breaks their chairs, and ruins all their stuff like an entitled princess. Where does this variety of dried mango sit with me? In the "just right" zone. 

Trader Joe's Carrot Spirals

What could be better and better for you than noodles? Fake noodles of course. I ain't knocking fake noodles. In fact, I've contemplated getting a spiralizer for some time to encourage more veggie intake around here. 

Trader Joe's Sweet Plantain Chips

"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars." Some people like The Power of Positive Thinking (which I have never read and likely never will). Sure, I'd like to be an optimist on most days but at the core, I'm a realist. C'mon. The closest star is the sun, which makes the moon closer, so if I shoot for the moon and fail I will either land in the dark abyss of outer space or get burned through the earth's atmosphere.  And why should I shoot for the moon in the first place? There's nothing there and it's not even inhabitable. motivational posters would read something like, "the grass is greener on the other side. Until you get over the fence and land in a pile of geese poop." 

Trader Joe's Unsweetened Golden Oolong Tea

Every now and then, an under marketed product slides in under the radar while everyone else is going gaga about cauliflower pizza crust. This tea is the jam y'all. 

Trader Joe's Pepperoni Pizza Mac & Cheese Bowl

I tend to like healthy food. So much that people think that I'm "healthier" than I actually am. But can I be real? As much as I espouse kale and fiber-rich, bowel motility-enhancing foods, anyone who knows me knows I can go ham on a bag of chips (particularly of this, this, this, or this [sadly sadly discontinued] variety). Any day. Or night for that matter. Working nights has made me particularly susceptible to that. Thank God for the divine fruit of self-control (which y'all know does not come me). And a husband that hides the chips really well and promises not to give them to me even when I beg. :P 

Trader Joe's Matcha Joe-Joe's

MATCHA MATCHA MATCHA YOU'RE BACK. I had to try these. It fits my brand. :D

Trader Joe's Scallion Pancake (Pajeon)

I tried these a long time ago, and they recently resurfaced at my house, courtesy of TJ's-loving friends. Why make something yourself when you can pay someone else to do it for you? This is what people make of us millennials. :P

Trader Joe's Sriracha Seafood Potstickers with Shrimp & Crab

This post is dedicated to my mother, who taught me how to fold dumplings, and my mother-in-law (MIL), who taught me recently how to make the most bomb-diggity wontons (no Trader Joe's wonton, potsticker, or gyoza has anything on that of course). Those kinds of foods are best made with fam, for the fam, and in ridiculous quantities for freezer stock. But seeing as TJ's products tend to cater to those that might like to cook a little but not too much, that might not happen here. Instead, I got sucked into the matching sriracha packaging seen here and here and the fact that TJ's trips are now far and few between. And I didn't want to miss out (MO) something potentially good. (There's no fear of MO here. Just MO). 

Trader Joe's Kimchi

This is one of those foods that elicits one of two distinct responses from most people. "YAAAAAAAS. LIFE." Or if you can't stand the fermentedness, the sourness, or the spice - it's a *stink face.* I'm trying not support the deterioration of English language to mere emojis, but c'mon. Stink face is pretty darn appropriate for some. And while yes I like to categorize people and things, I acknowledge that you could be indifferent. Or uninitiated. Either way, you can't deny its presence. This is the lifestuff stuff of an entire people. 

Trader Joe's Nutritional Yeast

I've been meaning to try nutritional yeast for a long time. I've encountered it on various food blogs, especially vegan-oriented ones. Apparently nutritional yeast, aka "nooch," is the cheese-less cheese-tasting Christmas miracle. For awhile you could only get it at health food stores, some of which ironically don't even sell actual food, but TJ's has finally caught on. This discovery, however, still begs the question - is this even a food??

Trader Joe's Cowboy Caviar

After I graduated and moved back home, I discovered that one of the wonderful things about suburbia is that in order to keep up with your friends, or catch up with long-time-no-see friends, you might have to drive 45+ minutes one way to meet halfway between you to hang out for a couple of hours. So the question is this - if Trader Joe's were a friend, would I be willing to drive 40 minutes one way to hangout for like 20 minutes? If so, how often am I willing to do so? And if I'm willing to do it weekly (let's be honest. No.), or biweekly, or triweekly, am I willing to do that to see friends? Oh how revealing. :P 

Trader Joe's Cold Brew Latte Dessert Bars

I haven't been to a Trader Joe's in a month. A MONTH. It feels strange and wrong. It wasn't just a summer fling. I'm pretty sure what we had was real. And now that I'm farther away, it's just not the same. I miss you, TJ's, every time I walk up and down the aisles of a different store. All of the cliches   hold true. I would walk a thousand miles. You don't know what you're missing until it's gone. Actually you're not gone. I'm smack dab between two TJ stores. It's a matter of taking a 20-30 min drive. I guess I don't have any excuses after all. :P 

Trader Joe's Dark Coffee Squares

I'm starting to feel the pain of those who don't live near a Trader Joe's. Now to be fair, things could be worse. I could be living in Canada (no TJ's in Canada!!! Not that living in Canada is bad. But there's no TJ's there!!!). I suppose you could pay double or triple the price for something off of Amazon or eBay (beware of those darn scalpers). But even if you manage to get your hands on some TJ's goods, it's just not the same as navigating those aisles and stumbling upon hidden gems yourself. The journey is half the fun! 

Trader Joe's Matcha White Chocolate Bar

Matcha matcha matcha. I love matcha, and I hate* white chocolate. This should be interesting. 
(*Hate is too strong of a word. By hate, I mean I very much dislike white chocolate and have a horrible tendency to turn up my nose at any consumption of such, and I personally believe in the gospel of dark chocolate. Maybe not like 85% cacao like some of you out there, but maybe I'll count myself a convert to that one day when my desire for the sweet in bittersweet ceases.) 

Trader Joe's Roasted Butternut Squash, Red Quinoa and Wheatberry Salad

This most recent salad pick was the result of me spending like 15 minutes deciding which salad to try. It required re-circling the store a few times like a vulture as to not hover over the TJ's crew member restocking the salad case. Isn't it kind of weird when you're trying to do your job and this petite Asian lady stands over you for 15 minutes? 

Trader Joe's Kona Coffee Cookie Mocha Swirl Ice Cream

Ima be honest. I find it difficult at times to rave about ice cream when there's evil and ridiculous stuff happening in the world. I don't consider myself a crier, but I've cried at least a handful of times in the past week from news. Wut. I suppose that makes me human. Or hormonal. Life under a rock looks pretty good right about now, but that ain't no way to live y'all. Bring on the ice cream. :) 

Trader Joe's Mahi Mahi Burgers

A few weeks ago when my fridge was bare, I hangered* for a protein that wasn't chicken or steak. Which landed me somehow on frozen mahi mahi "burgers." Not sure how that happened. 
*Hanger: "A lethal combination of hunger and anger, the result of waiting so long to eat that your blood sugar drops to dangerously low levels impairing both your mood and judgment." Here I have used it as a verb. 

Trader Joe's Sliced French Brioche

"THIS IS LIKE CRACK." No it's not (but it certainly could be), but A says that's how I tend to overhype stuff. The funny thing is that I know I overhype a lot of things, so I actually try not to overhype it. Because I don't want to proclaim, "THIS IS THE BEST THING I'VE EVER TASTED" about everything I try. But sometimes I can't help it, and the overhype spills out. Anyway, this is my meager attempt at NOT overhyping this bread (because it is pretty good actually and you should give it a try but I'm trying to restrain myself). 

Trader Joe's Organic Pea Soup

This post represents all the things I have done instead of pack for the move. Tomorrow. (A and I are moving across town. Away from Trader Joe's. Minor detail. The shock hasn't hit me yet. Ask me in a month. :P) Wash the dishwasher. Do tricep pushups. Read How to Hygge. Have a cup of coffee. Ponder organic pea soup. Anything but pack. 

Trader Joe's Caramel Flavored Coffee Granola

There was once a time where I was astonished at coffee drinkers - how can you consume something so dark? So bitter? With nothing??? Needless to say I converted eventually (because coffee can make your day go like THIS), and I guess someone up in the TJ's invisible hierarchy decided more people should too. They've spiked sausages, almonds, pecans, chocolates, ice cream bars, etc. with ground coffee and other coffee-esque-flavored delights. Considering that the next International Coffee Day doesn't happen again until September 29, it looks like TJ's created their own coffee mania in a scheme to take my money. And your money. All the monies. 

Trader Joe's Sumatra Coffee Brownies

Curiosity, my friends, is the name of this particular game. Sometimes, curiosity leads you down a rabbit hole to a magical world of possibility. Other times, it leads you down a path toward mediocrity, because it turns out our human standards for perfection are inevitably subjective. Yes, I got these because a TJ's blog that I follow and respect rated these as 10/10 perfection. Curious indeed.

Trader Joe's Raw California Walnut Baking Pieces

Over my years of patronizing Trader Joe's, I've become quite loyal to the baking section. They don't have the largest selection, but they carry most essentials (except plain white sugar...that is far too processed and un-organic. :P) at a reasonable price. Of course, they carry all of those alternative baking ingredients for those who adhere to vegan and gluten-free diets, which is great compared to Whole Paycheck prices. I, however, am not about shelling out $5-$8 for a tiny bag of coconut/almond flour that I won't use. I do plop down proverbial cash (millennials don't carry cash y'all) for good ingredients - white whole wheat flour on occasion, vanilla extract (TJ's carries my fav), and nuts for the times I decide a recipe is worth excluding those with nut allergies. 

Trader Joe's Old World Rye Bread with Caraway Seeds

St. Patrick's Day is coming up. I know almost nothing about it except that you should wear green unless you want to get pinched by a bunch of elementary schoolers. And that it happens to be the same day as Match Day. Either way, lots of celebration or potential crying coming around the corner. Hopefully tears of joy. 

Trader Joe's Organic Ginger Turmeric Herbal Tea

Admittedly, I initially wrote off this product as too "granola crunchy" for me. Keep in mind - I lean sympathetically towards the crunchy-anti-Ron-Swanson side. However, I draw the line at trendy turmeric lattes (it also doesn't help that *TMI* I'm becoming lactose intolerant. Ish. Especially with cheese. WHY CHEESE. WHAT IS LIFE WITHOUT CHEESE). Anyhoo, a mere mention from a friend that this was actually pleasantly interesting dispelled most of the doubts. 

Trader Giotto's Organic Marinara Sauce

I'm reeling from a weekend of overdose on spaghetti sauce and all things tomato. The sight of a jarred marinara sauce currently makes me gag. Which makes this the perfect time to review a jarred sauce. *shrug*

Trader Joe's Mixed Nut Butter

I may or may not be eating this out of the jar with a spoon as I write this post. In my mind, it's a little more acceptable than licking the knife. :P 

Trader Joe's Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend

Every once in a while, there comes along something we never knew we were missing from our lives. When my friend AMOOSE became the first of my friends to get an iPhone, I thought to myself, "why on earth would you need an Apple phone? That's so dumb." Shortsighted, I'll admit. I jumped on the bandwagon eventually. Who knew that this would go from something we were missing to something we would want and onto something that we need? It's not really a need, if we're honest. I can go on breathing without a smartphone, although it's hard to say that about other people. But has it been revolutionary? Certainly. The smartphone has permanently altered our lives, for better or for worse.
As for this seasoning? I'll let you be the judge of that for yourself. As for me? LIFE-CHANGING.

Trader Joe's Honey Butter Flavored Potato Chips

The moment I laid eyes on these new chips, I knew I had to try them. Not because I would like them (far from it. I'll take it on a sweet bun or dessert or something but I can't stand that sweet savory combo), but there was something strangely familiar.  Yes, it's new to TJ's but where had I seen them before? 

Trader Joe's Supersweet Filipino Carabao Mango Chunks

I have a track record of lampooning TJ's attempts at recreating ethnic foods.  There are some that frankly deserve that while others are actually a modest nod at the real thing. But I can only lampoon the foods that I've actually had the privilege of having out there in the real world. Is TJ's not real food? Yes and no. Can I honestly expect a fair comparison between frozen aisle meatballs dunked in a jarred sauce against an Italian grandma's meatballs in slow-simmered marinara? Of course not. But how many times, much to A's displeasure (turkey falls low on the meat hierarchy for him. It's down there next meatloaf. A wannabe meat), have I fallen back on those trusty turkey meatballs? Authentic or not, real people flock to TJ's for real food that gets them through their days. TJ's does a decent job of scouring the globe for interesting and perhaps unfamiliar foods, packaging them in cute and sometimes irresistible packaging, and exposing them to the mas…

Trader Joe's Tart Cherry, Chia & Pumpkin Seed Oatmeal & Strawberry Raspberry Oatmea

I used to hate the idea of boring. Where's the spice? The adventure? Feelings are great and all but like the icing on top of the cake, they can be fluffy at times and ultimately need to be founded on something a bit more solid if you're going to be in it for the long haul. Perhaps I'm becoming more grandma or that for me, simple acts of service go a much longer way than a box of chocolates. Life is like a box of chocolates and you never know what you gonna get. Which is great. We need that. But sometimes we need life to be like a bowl of oatmeal where you know exactly what you gonna get. Especially after that disaster

Trader Joe's Honey Walnut Shrimp

To think. I was going to save this to eat with my honey for Valentine's Day. Barf. On multiple levels.

Trader Joe's Matcha Green Tea

Dear reader, you may notice in the coming days that there are changes coming to this blog. Not nearly as dramatic, controversial, or dlfjepotigfjad;lkgjadsf (for my readers not as fluent in internet speak, that was a keyboard pound of frustration) as say, the government, but changes nonetheless. Mostly because there is coming a day where I will not live within a stone's throw of a Trader Joe's store. A sad sad day. But probably a good day for my wallet. :P 

Trader Joe's Battered Fish Nuggets

Ever have one of those days where you get up feeling like a battered fish nugget? Like waking up from the twilight zone, where you ask yourself, "what happened? where am I? what am I doing? who am I?" Perhaps the night before, you were out swimming with your fish friends and having a good ole time. And then you wake up after a night of intense fun or several nights, or a week, or three years - don't know how much time as passed exactly except that it has passed - hardly recognizable, battered, and ready to be eaten.  Like when you finally consciously realize what stands before you, perhaps in a not-so-sunshiny kind of way.

Trader Giotto's Oven-Baked Cheese Bites

Lest we be tempted to live under a rock - I must declare this. Cheese is the best, most miraculous food in the world. Eating nothing but cheese everyday promotes glowing skin, weight loss, cancer prevention, a clean house, and growth of my money tree. How thrilling it is to live in a world of "alternative facts." 
I jest. As much as life under a rock doesn't look so bad, we must continue to live in the light. As salt and light. With cheese preferably. 

Trader Joe's Fair Trade Malawi Coffee

There is nothing like drinking a cup of bitterness to start your morning. I love drinking bitterness in the morning. It gives that energy jolt and puts me in a productive, contemplative state. While I consumed physical bitterness, I would contemplate all the reasons why I should not allow myself to be consumed by bitterness. Toward people, the world, life. We have many reasons not to be consumed by bitterness people! And many reasons to consume bitterness in the form of a steaming hot cup of coffee! 

Trader Joe's Trimmed Radishes

Well isn't this about as exciting as sliced bread, which apparently people like. I highly doubt radishes  tickle our fancies in the same way. "Life is all about balance" or at least an attempt at homeostasis, so obviously sliced radishes help to cancel that bag of chips I recently demolished...

Trader Joe's Restaurant Style White Corn Tortilla Chips

New year new me? It's just not that simple y'all. Change is easier said than done and old habits die hard. Who am I to refuse a salty and crunchy snack. How nice of TJ's to release a new snack in the middle of January. Come to meeeeeeee. 

Trader Joe's Cruciferous Crunch Collection

Everybody needs a little roughage in their life to y'know clean out them pipes. Have you ever been without vegetables for an extended period of time? I'm just trying to spare you that pain and suffering and offer a review that is gluten free, Whole30 approved, New Years resolution diet friendly, etc. 

Trader Joe's Happy Trekking Trail Mix

To date, I've only reviewed one other trail mix. My narrow-minded trail mix philosophy goes something like this - once you've had one trail mix you've had them all, more or less. Yes, of course there are seasonal varieties. Pumpkin spice. Apple harvest. Tropical sunburst or whatever variety with dried pineapple or something. Some have chocolate. Some don't. Frankly the only things I really care about is spending the least amount of money for the most value and taste. More bang for my buck, because the only thing I like more than spending money is saving it. 

Trader Joe's Puff Pastry

Happy New Year! Did you have a nice holiday? A holiday break? A holiday of working? Are you begrudgingly starting a new diet in hopes of fulfilling a New Year's resolution? If so, good luck, because this post is not for you. But no worries, I'll get back to posting about healthy things and foods that move your bowels very soon. :P