Wednesday, July 24, 2013

What I’m Loving… [at Trader Joe’s]

If I am being completely honest with you, I would tell you that I was intimidated to go into Trader Joe’s for the first 4 years I lived near one.

I’m not sure why, but the thought of shopping at a new unfamiliar grocery store scared me… especially one that sold all of it’s own products.

My roommate before I got married shopped there all the time and convinced me to try it out.  After much persuading, I finally gave in… and I was hooked!

Now, the closest TJ’s is an hour away, but that doesn’t stop me from packing a cooler in my car and driving an hour for all my favorite goodies.

I thought it would be fun to make a list of my favorite TJ’s currently.  They do change often, and I find a lot of new things after reading this blog.

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Gnocchi al Gorgonzola
Found in the freezer section, these gnocchi have been a long time favorite of Zack and I’s.  We like to pair them with roasted brussels sprouts, it makes a delicious (and easy) meal!
 
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Enchilada Sauce
This enchilada sauce is the perfect amount of spiciness for both Zack and I.  I am pretty picky when it comes to enchilada sauce in restaurants, but this is the best sauce I’ve tasted both in or out of a restaurant.

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Spinach & Kale Greek Yogurt Dip
This. Dip. Is. good.    On bread (like the fresh bread at TJ’s) or on pita chips, or on veggies… heck, spread it on a sandwich! I would say, this dip would be delicious on just about anything.  There’s little chunks of water chestnuts that give it a little crunch which I love.  Perfect for a picnic.  (Or just about any occasion…really, it’s that good.)

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Veggie Sticks
This is going to sound really strange…but I think these taste like McDonald’s french fries.  I happen to actually like McDonald’s french fries, so this is a great healthy alternative for me.  (And this blog agrees!)  I like these to snack on, they make me feel less guilty than eating other chips—but I’m not sure if they really are any healthier.

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Coconut Oil
I like to use coconut oil, especially in baking.  TJ’s has a competitive price when it comes to just buying a small jar of it.

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Crispy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
The first time I had these were at our 4th of July picnic.  They were an impulse buy, a great one at that.  I’m not really a cookie person, but these are delicious!  They are mini too, which I think makes them taste better.  I just love mini things though. :)

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Chocolate Croissants
My mother-in-law made these while we were visiting once and we fell in love.  We now like to buy them when we have any excuse to…mostly when we have visitors or holidays of some sort.  Any excuse for a delicious treat!  You have to let them rise overnight, so it takes a little forethought…but they are worth it.

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Mac & Cheese Balls
Once upon a time my best friend and I decided to live together for a summer (because had always wanted to, and we knew we may never get the chance otherwise.) Somehow we managed to find a 3 month lease in a little basement apartment.  The young couple who owned the house were seriously amazing and it was an ideal situation… undoubtedly one of our favorite summers ever.  Anyways—on Monday nights we would get together with the lady who owned the house and watch the Bachelorette (Ashley’s season.)  We had the best time making fun of the show, chatting during the commercials, and eating these little treats all throughout.  They are not healthy by any means, but definitely a good snack to pop in the oven when you have guests.  To this day, eating these reminds me of those summer nights watching the Bachelorette and having girl time.

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Pizza Dough
Finalllllllly, we have TJ’s pizza dough.  Let’s face it… making your own pizza is just fun.  When I was younger I would always choose making our own little pizzas as my birthday meal of choice.  Now, I still think it’s fun…and this pizza dough makes it pretty easy.  (Because honestly I am not about to attempt making my own dough. Especially when these are so yummy!)  Zack and I love to think up our own pizza concoctions… (Ok, who are we kidding?  I like to think up fun concoctions, Zack would rather stick with the basic pepperoni.)  I’ve heard these are freezable too…but I have  yet to try that. At our TJ’s we have plain, whole wheat, and garlic and herb pizza dough.  All equally delicious.

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I swear, we eat vegetables and healthy food too… those just aren’t as fun to share with the world. :)

Do you have a TJ’s near you? 
What are your favorite Trader Joe’s products?

11 comments:

  1. That dip and those cookies area among my TJ favorites. They also have a pecan praline granola that I recently found...it is my new favorite!! If it was just me, I would only shop at Trader Joes. I am definitely going to look for the pizza dough the next time I am there!

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  2. I like their pesto-filled tortellini pasta, and the ravoli. Very good! Don't buy the spinach linguine, though...I cooked it for just a minute and it became a wet paper mache-like mess!

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  3. My mother loves this store - ours is about an hour and a half away, so we don't get there too often. When we do - because they change products, it's more about browsing and finding new things to try. Last time we were there, mom found some frozen vegetables she wound up loving so hopefully next time we get there, they'll have something similar. :)

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  4. Mmmm this post just made me so hungry. That all looks so good!

    xo,
    Mariamma

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  5. Our closest TJ's is over three hours away! :( I had never even been until I visited my friend Don in Portland (yay Oregon!). We bought a bunch of stuff there for my stay, including what he calls "people treats"--the tiny peanut butter cups. He calls them that because he says they're packaged like dog treats. Haha. Man oh man are they tasty.

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  6. What great finds! I really shoud shop at Trader Joe's more often. I just really like the prices at Winco...

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  7. Trader Joe's is always a fun place to shop at--it makes normal grocery shopping more fun, in my opinion because there are just so many more different foods that I normally wouldn't find.

    Some of my faves (and my family's faves) are their cat cookies, frozen Japanese friend rice, hummus, and kettle corn. But I pretty much love their entire store, so that's safe to say, too. :)

    I'm a huge fan of those veggie sticks, too! Definitely a good snack.

    And I really want to try baking with coconut oil! I've heard there are so many good uses for it aside from just baking, so I just might have to pick up a jar next time I'm there.

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  8. Oh, how I wish we had a Trader Joe's nearby. I would raid that store all. the. time. Those mac and cheese balls look delicious! I had never been to a TJs until I lived in California. Wherever I live permanently, there is going to need to be one nearby! ha

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  9. I love the pizza dough too! And I may have to try those croissants!

    TJs is the only place I grocery shop these days. I know the aisles like I know the back of my hand, so it makes shopping easy.

    I love TJ's OJ. I have some every morning.

    I also love their genoa + provolone small packets (3oz) paired with "Original Savory Thins". It's my grown-up version of lunchables. Even better when you have a side of TJ's persian cucumenders and heirloom tomatoes sliced up and lightly salted. This is my favorite snack ever

    Elena

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  10. LOVE TJs - their pasta bags are amazing! I totally want to try those mac&cheese balls now!

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  11. We have a Whole Foods close to our house, but the closest TJs is three hours away so I've actually still never been to one. But I love Whole Foods!

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