Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Trader Joe's: What I Like To Buy At Everybody's Favorite Place

You want to know something I really love? TRADER JOE'S. I seriously just freaking love Trader Joe's.

Let me tell you, I was real happy at our office holiday party last week when our CEO handed out a little gift to everyone - a $100 TJ's giftcard!!!

Before I started cooking, I never thought I'd be one of those people who went to more than one supermarket. I remember when I used to go WEEKS without going to a SINGLE supermarket because I cooked so infrequently - but now, I cook so often that TJs is only ONE of my regular spots to stop at each week, and by far it's my favorite!

I thought it might be fun to share some of my favorite things that I like to buy at TJs - maybe you'll discover a new fave?!

One of my favorite post-dinner snacks. All you need is a small handful of these if you're feeling hungry or if your blood sugar is low - the almonds fill you up with a bit of protein and the dark chocolate is delicious... ESPECIALLY with the sea salt flakes!

My freezer is rarely without these mushroom turnovers - they are perfect to pop in the oven for when friends come over and you want to feed everyone a little snack! They have real chunks of mushrooms and onions and they are absolutely delicious. I've been known to heat some up with a salad or cup or soup as my dinner when I'm feeling lazy :)

I first tried this goat cheese at my best friend's bachelorette party and FELL IN LOVE. What could be better than fresh goat cheese... unless it's fresh goat cheese smothered in delicious blueberry compote?! If you are a cheese lover, run - don't walk - and add this to your cart. Bonus: right around now there is a seasonal version out - goat cheese with cranberry compote!!! YUM.

I like these marinated artichokes way better than the canned version - they come in a lovely light oil, seasoned perfectly with all kinds of delicious spices, and the actual artichoke chunks are just the right size. I stir them into pasta sauces and add them to salads all the time.

Like the mushroom turnovers above, these are always in my freezer to make as an impromptu appetizer for guests. I will confess that the first time I made these, I didn't read the directions through and accidentally baked them WITH their plastic coating on them and completely ruined them... but I'm happy to report since then, I've mastered putting them in the oven :) The sweet and savory aspect of these can't be beat and they are the perfect bite-sized treat!

Before I became obsessed with making my own meatballs (more on that later - I have seriously made them six times in the past few weeks from scratch) - I used to buy these puppies ALL THE TIME. I still love them and pick them up whenever I'm not in the mood to spend hours in the kitchen. My favorite is the sun-dried tomato & basil meatballs, but they also come in a buffalo sauce & blue cheese flavor. They cook fast, so they are great to serve at parties - I usually buy a couple packages and heat them up while making homemade tomato sauce and pasta. Voila, Italian night!

YOUR TURN! I would love to know... what do you like buying at Trader Joe's? I'm always looking to add new must-haves to my shopping cart! Please share!


Katie said...

Dark chocolate peanut butter cups. Amazing.

Diana M. said...

SO many TJ loves! I agree with you on that goat cheese! The one with cranberries for the holidays is OMG! The other holiday item they have that KILLS me are the Candy Cane Joe Joe's. I just can't stop eating them! They used to make Candy Can Joe Joe's Ice Cream, but I haven't seen it for a few years. :(

The sundried tomato/pesto/cheese torte thing is amazing with crackers!

Their sparkling pink lemonade! Yum!

Their whipping cream is better than everyone else's really!

They have a caponata/bruschetta thing in a jar that is fantastic!

Oh wow - I could go on and on! Let's do TJ's for lunch one day! :-)

KW said...

such a TJs OCD over here!!!! In no particular order: cheese, string cheese, jarred bruschetta, almonds, water crackers, whole grain bread, meatballs and WINE! Such wine bargains! I'm off to buy a case of bubbles for a party this weekend.


Other things you must try sweet potato sage gnocchi, the mushroom-ementhal flat bread, the dark chocolate chips, the jumbo golden raisin I will go on.

Anonymous said...

Frozen turkey bolognese plus a half jar of their creamy tomato sauce & cooked pasta. Dinner is DONE.--Steph