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Category: trader joe’s

  1. Tuesday, January 29

    New Kitchen Loves

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    I have a few new kitchen loves. Like, I’m really loving these things so I have to share them!

    With this move we are finally living in a house. It’s short term until we find something more permanent, and it’s nothing fancy, but it’s a house. With a yard. And space for a family of five. It’s heavenly and I am feeling very grateful and blessed.

    Included with the house is a kitchen, as is often the case. ;) Again, nothing fancy, but it is definitely a step up from my previous kitchen, which served me well but was TEENY TINY. As in, I had one drawer and one plug and next to no counter space. Yeah, not missing that kitchen so much.

    Our new kitchen isn’t huge, the cabinets are chipped, there is tile everywhere the eye can see (tile makes me nervous since it’s so easy to break things and I hate cleaning the grout, but I can deal), and the dishwasher doesn’t clean worth a darn. BUT, I have a full-sized oven! There’s a gas stove! There’s more counter space! There is TONS of light, perfect for a food blogger who photographs everything she eats! Here are my three most favorite features after one week in the new kitchen. You’ll see I’m pretty easy to please.

    1. Kitchen Faucet with Pull-Out Spray. I hate dirty sinks. The pull-out spray on the faucet indulges my OCD to the max. It’s just so quick and easy to wash everything down the drain! It’s much easier cleaning off Owen’s high chair tray and comes in quite handy when washing dishes. I love that the spray hose is built into the faucet rather than having it off to the side, making it super convenient.

    2. Clear drawers in the fridge. Okay, seriously, having clear drawers in the fridge is a revelation!

    3. Pantry space. I filled the pantry shelves NO PROBLEM. So happy to have a dedicated place to store our food! Woohoo!

    I also did a Trader Joe’s run the other night and found two new-to-me items that are pretty darn cool.

    1. Baking soda in a baking powder can. Three cheers for easy baking soda measuring!

    2. Small boxes of shelf-stable whipping cream. Talk about handy! I will definitely be keeping these stocked in my new pantry. ;)

    On a related note…it’s so nice to be cooking more regularly again. House is still a mess…but life is starting to feel a bit more normal!

     

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  2. Friday, July 13

    An Almondictive Bit By Any Other Name…

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    …would taste as sweet. It’s true. I’ve tested the theory.

    For some reason, Trader Joe’s changed the name of their Almondictive Bits to Dark Chocolate Almond Bits. Wanted to make sure you knew about the switch in case you went looking for my new obsession after my recommendation a few weeks ago. The new name is not so cute and endearing and I will continue to call them almondictive bits. Because that’s what they are….ADDICTIVE. In fact, I’m a little worried that I had to crack this container open for the photo this morning. I don’t know how I’m going to resist these bitsy chocolate goodies all day…

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  3. Friday, April 20

    Trader Joe’s Obsessions of the Day

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    I try not to mention Trader Joe’s too often for two reasons. First, they’re not paying me. Second, I know that not all of you are lucky enough to live close to a Trader Joe’s, so I try not to torture you. But, today, torture I must. Because those of you who DO have a Trader Joe’s nearby need to get on over there and indulge in my latest obsessions.

    Almondictive Bits. I’m just going to quote the package because it says it all: A compulsively, compelling candy, caramelized almond morsels covered in dark chocolate. The name and the description speak for themselves.

    Mini Heirloom Tomatoes. I hesitate to even mention these because it means I am encouraging you to purchase produce that has traveled a bajillion miles…but sometimes a girl needs a tomato. Especially when her CSA has basil. So, I blame my CSA for my irresponsible produce-buying habits this week. Okay, seriously, I really truly did feel guilty buying these, and I fully expected them to not taste good because when do tomatoes from the grocery store ever taste good? THESE DO. I cannot believe the flavor punch of these mini heirlooms. I really try to keep our produce purchases local and organic, but I may have to spring for these mini heirlooms occasionally. And, in case you were wondering, they tasted GREAT with that locally-grown CSA basil I mentioned. ;)

    Organic Tomatillo Roasted Yellow Chili Salsa. I. Love. This. Salsa. If you’re looking for chunky, look elsewhere, but the flavor and texture of this salsa is to die for. Everyone in our family gobbles it up.

    Belgian Chocolate Pudding. My friend Michelle was telling me how this stuff is amazing. So amazing she bought it and hid it in the fridge so no one else in the family new it existed. Michelle is onto something. This pudding tastes like rich chocolate mousse, with a really great, thick pudding texture. SOOOOOOOOO good. Please note that my crazy sister who doesn’t “really like chocolate that much” {what?!?!} actually didn’t really like this pudding that much either…because it is all chocolate, people. GREAT chocolate. {Sister is nuts. Although she is as addicted to the almondictive bits as I am…there’s hope!}

    I’m done. You’re welcome.

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  4. Wednesday, March 9

    Costco and Trader Joe’s Favorites – Update!

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    Hello Everyone! I was going to share a delicious Swedish recipe with you today, but, um, it’s not quite ready. So…you’ll get it tomorrow. Until then, I would like to revisit two older posts with you, and give you a little homework. Oh, and we’ll talk cannoli a little bit, too.

    Here’s the deal. Two years ago I wrote this post asking people for their favorite Costco items. I wrote a similar post about Trader Joe’s FOUR years ago. Those posts are a great resource that readers check frequently. I would love to keep them fresh, especially since items get discontinued and new things get introduced.

    SOOOO….here’s the homework portion of today’s program:

    • If you have a favorite Costco item (or items) you want to share, PLEASE CLICK HERE and add it to the comments.
    • If you have a favorite Trader Joe’s item (or items) you want to share, PLEASE CLICK HERE and add it to the comments.

    And because I hate putting up posts without pictures, the above cannoli is a recent discovery of mine in the Trader Joe’s freezer section. The verdict? Not one of my favorite Trader Joe’s items, but if you need a cannoli fix (which I sometimes do), they’ll do the job. The filling is actually very good. The only downfall is the shell isn’t super crispy and fresh. Which is understandable. They’ve been frozen with filling inside. I think the coating of chocolate on the inside of the shell helps.

    Now, get to work, people. Click on those links above and share your Costco and Trader Joe’s favorites!

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  5. Friday, January 14

    Frosting Mix

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    When I was a kid, my mom would often make frosting from a mix, especially chocolate. The mix came in a box like a cake mix and was a powder that you simply added butter and probably milk to. And the frosting was delicious. Sometime around fifth grade, my mom and I stopped by the Smith’s grocery store on the corner of 106th South and 7th East in Sandy, UT. We walked down the baking aisle and no matter how hard we looked, not a frosting mix was to be found! For some inexplicable reason, the big cake mix companies decided to stop making the frosting mixes and force us to eat their yucky canned frostings. Which we refused to do. It was homemade all the way after that. But we certainly missed those quick and delicious mixes. (P.S. For other inexplicable reasons, this memory is burned into my brain. It’s funny the stuff that sticks with you.)

    Imagine my surprise and delight the other day walking down the aisles of Trader Joe’s and seeing this:

    Chocolate Frosting Mix! Yes, it’s a powder! Yes, you add butter to it! Yes, it’s delicious! I called my mom that night to let her know the good news, and she was even more excited than I was. I know her well.

    I had a random hankering for cupcakes the other day, which I indulged. It gave me a chance to try this stuff out. The frosting is in fact delicious. I think I needed to add a bit more hot water because it wasn’t super spreadable, so the cupcakes weren’t very pretty (my 6 year old kept insisting the cupcakes were beautiful, what a sweetie). But the frosting was great regardless.

    My apologies to those of you without Trader Joe’s. I know I pretty much torture you with these posts. Good news, this mix isn’t perishable. All you have to do is convince your loving friends in Trader Joe’s markets to mail it to you. Easy peasy. ;)

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  6. Wednesday, May 9

    The Goods: Trader Joe’s Shopping List

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    I know, I know…those of you without a Trader Joe’s nearby are sick to death of me talking about it! Listen, if you just move somewhere with a TJs you’ll be happier. Really!


    Reader Jenny said she has a chance to get some TJs stuff this weekend and wondered what is good. The real question – what isn’t? People ask me all the time what to buy at TJs, so thought I’d share a “quick” TJs shopping list. I’ll divide it by perishable/non-perishable and share my most favorite items. Please share your favorites as well!

    Non-perishable:
    - Simmer sauces: There are tons of these throughout the store – Indian, Italian, Asian. All the ones I’ve tried are great…Cuban Mojito, Spinach Punjab, Masala, Marsala, Picatta, Cacciatore, Orange (asian) are a few.
    - Chocolate covered pretzels (dark chocolate!)
    - Great trail mixes, dried fruit, bagged nuts
    - Candy nuts – you know, Cocoa Almonds (YUM), etc.
    - Whole wheat pasta
    - Cereal – TJs brand knock-offs are yummy and great prices on all the cereal
    - Kashi TLC crackers – cheaper at TJs
    - Hawaiian Potato Chips – salted
    - Blue Corn Chips – salted
    - Chocolate chips (cheap and GOOD)
    - Olive oil and oil spray – good prices
    - King Arthur’s flour – great flour, less expensive here
    - Pasta sauces – good prices, great flavors
    - Canned beans, veggies, fruit – all good prices

    Perishable:
    - Frozen prepared foods are GREAT. Gnocchi, Mandarin Orange Chicken, Stir Fry packs, Hors D’Ouevres (so many options)
    - Frozen meats are well-priced and good
    - Eggs are CHEAP
    - TJs smooth and creamy yogurt – come in 6-pack, so so so delectable
    - Bagged veggies – just snip corner and microwave for perfect veggies
    - Pizza crust – in refrig section
    - Cheese – I get all my cheese at TJs, cheaper, yummy
    - Butter – $2/lb
    - Fresh flowers – prices can’t be beat, long-lasting, beautiful
    - Cream, cottage cheese, sour cream, cream cheese – I get all this stuff at TJs
    - Breads – they have great fresh breads – totally beats grocery store

    Oh my, I could go on and on. I’m going to stop. I’m certain I’m forgetting things – please share!

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