Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Incanto Chardonnay Pinot Grigio

First, let me lay this on the line:  I have coveted this big ass blue bottle of wine every year when Trader Joe’s brings it out around the holiday time.  TJ’s always have special, super huge wine bottles, and they are sooooo appealing to my eyes!  Seriously, every year I want to buy them.  David and I normally grocery shop together, and I know that he, being the more realistic (and once in a while the more responsible) of the two of us must think these big ol’ wine bottles are ridiculous.  And, in my heart, I have always known he was right.  So, year after year I have held back and not snuck one of these big wines into our cart.

But this year – oh, this year I WENT FOR IT!  I got brave enough to snag one of these bottles on a night I was shopping without David actually 😊 .  But look at it – it is gorgeous!  The shape of the bottle.  The size.  But mostly, the color! I mean, how bad would this Italian blend have to taste to undo all of those positives???

Here is David before the bottle was opened.  See - it is LARGE!
So, this holiday season, I got one and we hauled it down to Florida with us.  I thought we might drink it if we had friends over, but (as almost always happens in our lives), we were hermits and didn’t have a dinner party.  We were invited to a friend’s house for New Year’s Day dinner, and I guess it would have been nice to bring this bottle, but it just felt a little strange.  There were going to be 5 people at the meal, and in we would walk with a huge ass bottle of wine?  What if we were the only wine drinkers?

Close up of the label
Now January is ticking by and we still hadn’t opened this bottle...  One night our friend Sarah said she was going to stop by (and I know she likes wine).   Voila – there’s my chance!  I had David open the bottle and the 3 of us did a taste test.  Here is what we thought:

Well isn't this elegant??  Bottle is too big for the fridge
Susan:  Before I can discuss the taste of the wine, I must talk through the logistics of it.  This.  Wine bottle.  Is.  Ridonkulous!!  It is white wine and we wanted it chilled, but the big bottle most certainly could not stand up in our refrigerator.  It ended up lying on its side and taking up a big chunk of the fridge (though to be honest, for a day or so it served as a “shelf” as David rested his used paint brush (wrapped in Saranwrap) on top of the horizontal bottle…).  OK, now on to the taste:  The taste is sort of water-y to me – there is not much taste.  Because of that I wound up drinking it pretty fast.  So, if your goal is to down wine quickly (and therefore feel a bit tipsy quickly…), this might be a good pick.  Artistically it is beautiful.  Logistically it is stupid.  And to be honest, the actual wine seemed sort of incidental!  I will give the taste of this wine 3.75.  If I gave a score for the look of the bottle it would be a 5, but if I gave a score for the usability of the bottle (squishing it in your fridge) it would be a 2.  So, I will average those scores together and give the overall product a score of 3.5.

David gives Incanto a try
David: “I think this is good, it is nice and cold which is good for this wine.  It has a little bit of a fruity taste.  It has a hint of a chardonnay kind of oakiness – I don’t like chardonnay but this was not too much, so I thought it balanced it out kind of nice.  This is not a wine I would seek out, but I am delighted to drink it.  I guess I will give it a 4.  (David added that he should have docked his score because of the unwieldy size of the bottle.)”

Sarah refilling her glass
 (by the way, this bottle is hard to pour, too!  It comes out super fast.)
Sarah: “I did not like this wine at the first sip, because it tasted like chardonnay and I do not normally like chardonnay.  But I kept drinking, and (like most wines) then I enjoyed it more.   It ended up being more fruity than dry, which I liked.  This is a super easy wine to drink.  I will give it a solid 4.5.”

Overall, I suggest only buying this big bottle of wine if you have plans to drink it all in one sitting.  That way you can chill it, uncork it, and drink it all without having to worry about re-corking it to lay sideways in your fridge.

Price:  $12.99 (cheap when you consider it is the equivalent of 2 bottles of wine)

Rating (average of 3 raters):  4

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Lay's "Do Us A Flavor" Potato Chip Finalists 2017

OK, this is unusual…  This is a blog to review TRADER JOE’S PRODUCTS, and here I am about to review a special selection of Lay's Potato Chips (not sold at TJ’s).  But it is a very unique circumstance, this is the one and only time I am going to stray in the blog mission, and I am feeling the need to do it, so please, humor me, ok?

Our next-door neighbors in Florida are James and Carol.  I say “James and Carol” as a unit, a grouping.  We never refer to them as “James” and “Carol”.  It is really JAMES-AND- CAROL, a one-word unit.  But now Carol is very sick.  It is inevitable that it will soon be James (sans Carol), and that is a sad reality for all of us. 

Carol, one of the sweetest neighbors you ever could meet
James-and-Carol are about as different from my partner David and I as you can imagine.  They are true Southerners – from the accents to the attitudes.  It is fun to hang out with them and chat.  They look at things from a whole different perspective than we do, and they think David and I are a bit crazy with our gallivanting around the world (ok, more than a bit crazy…).  In fact, just yesterday when I was visiting and a hospice nurse remarked to James that there was a “crazy neighbor” she had seen on our street, Carol (in her morphine induced state) smiled and quietly said, “Susan and David!” – calling us the crazy neighbors!  When we were in Florida late summer of 2017 the doctors had announced Carol’s cancer had spread.  It was getting bad, and honestly, no one knew if she would still be around when we came back to the Sunshine State in the winter. 

So, before we left town, I thought of what I thought was a fun project we could all do together:  they would help me review potato chips for my blog!  I had seen Lay's Special Flavors Potato Chips advertised and had never heard of the concept before.  Apparently Lay's has a contest (called “Do Us A Flavor” – a catchy title that sounds like something Trader Joe’s would come up with, no??) to see who can come up with the best NEW flavor, and the winner gets $1,000,000 and their chip flavor is made and sold!!  People who taste the chips go online and VOTE for which new chip flavor they like best.  I ran around to a couple of different stores to collect bags of the 2017 finalist flavors:

Crispy Taco

Wavy Fried Green Tomato

Kettle Cooked Everything Bagel (with Cream Cheese)

And then, one night shortly before we left to drive back up to DC, I busted out the chips!  I figured, hey, one of the flavors is Fried Green Tomato, they are bound to like that one!  And it was a game we didn’t have to leave the comfort of their home for, so it seemed perfect.

Everyone was all smiles before the bags were opened...
Perfect, that is, until we actually tasted the chips……

James-and-Carol (who will have to be separated and referred to individually for the rest of this article, since they reviewed the food individually) did NOT like these chips!  Their comments cracked me up – I was rolling on the floor laughing as they ate them.  The whole idea of reviewing food seemed ridiculous to them, too.  But hey, it was crazy neighbor Susan’s game, so they went along with it.

Meet the reviewers:
James – age 77, from Kentucky
Carol – age 67 – also from Kentucky
David – our normal TJ’s reviewer, from a suburb of Washington DC
And me – originally from Nebraska, but a tried and true East Coast girl since 2000

We rated these chips like David and I normally rate Trader Joe’s products – on a scale of 0 – 5, with 5 being the highest). 

First. we tried the CRISPY TACO chips.  Here is what the reviewers thought:

James:  “Well, it sorta tastes like a regular old BBQ chip.  It smells like it’s done been eat
once before!  This ain’t something I’d buy.  It smells like it’s been eat once and threw up! 
I give it a 2.”

Carol:  “This smells like poop!  I’ve never tasted poop before…  This is NOT ok. 
James gave it a 2?  That is too many!  I give it 0.”

David (lover of most snack foods):  “Hmmm, taco…  This tastes like a taco to me.  It
smells ok.  I wouldn’t buy this chip, but I would EAT it.  It’s ok.  I give it a 4.”

Susan:  “Peeuuu – this bag of chips smells b-a-d.  The taste is like you are eating a packet
of taco seasoning.  This isn’t a chip I want to eat much of.  I give it a 2.”

"This smells like POOP!" - Caro
Next up was the FRIED GREEN TOMATO chips, the one I suspected our Southern friends might like:
James:  “It tastes like they left the tomatoes out!  Well, these I could eat.  They are a lot
better than them taco chips.  I could eat these all day.  They are bland, but I could eat
‘em.  I give them a 3.5.”

Carol:  “These are bland!  There is no taste.  I keep waiting for it to taste, but there is
nothing.  It says they are “Green Tomato” but they taste like I am eating air!  I give them
a 1.”

David:  “These taste odd to me.  They are astringent – tastes like vinegar.  I am not a
big fan of this one.  I give them a 2.5.”

Susan:  “These are not bad. I would never, ever have guessed the flavor was Fried
Green Tomatoes though, it doesn’t taste like that to me.  But I could eat these.  I give
them a 3.5.”

"I could eat these all day," James

And finally, we tried the EVERYTHING BAGEL flavor:

James:  “Well, these are not my favorite, but I could eat ‘em.  If you had a dip it would
probably work out ok.  I give them a 2.”

Carol:  “These are as bad as the taco ones.  They taste like stale chips that have been in
the cabinet for a whole year.  All the flavor is gone out of ‘em.  I give them a 0.”

David:  “The cream cheese flavor is a mistake.  I do not like the texture and the taste is
greasy.  I might not even eat these if they were open and left in front of me.  (Editor’s
note:  this is highly unusual!  David will normally eat any snack food placed in front of
him.)I give them a 1.5.”

Susan:  “These taste just like sour cream to me – I do not get any “bagel” taste.  These are
a chip flavor fail.  I give them a 2.” 

David, a very discerning taste tester

So, as you can see, poor Carol, the one who is sick and I thought might have fun doing this project, HATED EVERY SINGLE CHIP.  Hahahaha!  Poor Carol!  It was as if I was doing a taste torture on her instead of a taste test

When we average our scores together these are the results:

I guess we can all be thankful that I didn’t hear about this chip flavor contest until after the finalists were selected, otherwise we might have had to suffer through lots more tasting (though I am not sure these other 2017 semi-finalist flavors were available to the general public):
  • "Lay's Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Popper" from Nick Arndt (Massillon, Ohio)
  • "Lay's Toasted Ravioli" from Trezette Dixon (St. Louis, Mo.)
  • "Lay's Wavy Avocado Toast" from Vanessa Herberger (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.)
  • "Lay's Kettle Cooked Everything Bagel with Cream Cheese" from Lindsay Hoffman (Palm City, Fla.)
  • "Lay's Nashville Hot Chicken" from Hope Pan (Gainesville, Fla.)
  • "Lay's Wavy Fried Green Tomato" from Gregory Pope (Charlotte, N.C.)
  • "Lay's Kettle Cooked Smoked Gouda and Honey" from Brandon Foster (Saratoga Springs, Utah)
  • "Lay's Wavy Spinach Artichoke Dip" from Scott Merz (Grand Haven, Mich.)
  • "Lay's Crispy Taco" from Ellen Sarem (San Antonio, Texas)
  • "Lay's Sloppy Joe" from Chris Vail (Seattle, Wash.)
The winner of the votes in the “Do Us a Flavor” competition ended up being (drum roll….) …  CRISPY TACO!!!  Yes, the chip that Carol said smelled like poop and James said tasted like vomit took home the grand prize of $1 million bucks.  Big Winner Announcement from Lay's link

So, while we did not quite agree with the rest of the voting public on the winning chip, I think all 4 of us neighbors had fun trying the finalists.  I think James summed up our evening pretty clearly when he declared that the Fried Green Tomato chips were the best because, and I quote, “They had no taste”.

We will miss you, Carol.  Thanks for being a great neighbor all these years, making us laugh, watching over our house, and putting up with our craziness.

Carol, one sweet neighbor 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Bust Out The Mistletoe

It's that time of year -


Mistletoe from Trader Joe's - the most important decoration of the season!
We have been a bit frantic this holiday season - traveling, working, rushing about...  So, I am just gonna tell it like it is:

SO FAR THE ONLY HOLIDAY DECORATIONS WE HAVE OUT ARE A MENORAH (with no candles in it yet...) and A MISTLETOE from Trader Joe's (that is not actually HUNG UP yet...). 

And, umm, it is Christmas eve!  And Hanukkah is over.  Yes, it is December 24th and we have practically NO decorations! 

But honestly, we are non-traditional celebrators.  We celebrate any and all holidays (hence the menorah AND the Christmas spirit).  Oh, and we do not celebrate ON TIME.  We celebrate when we choose!  Why be ruled by a silly calendar when you can celebrate on whatever day feels right??

This is us under what we deemed THE WORLD'S LARGEST MISTLETOE in Stockholm, Sweden, November 2017
So perhaps we will find someone's Christmas tree put out for the garbage men in a day or two...  And perhaps we will "recycle" that and make it our own.  Or maybe (most likely) we will forego a tree this year all together and find another way to express our holiday spirit.

In the meantime, we are holed away in Vino Volo at the St. Louis airport (near gate E18 :) ) enjoying our Christmas Eve dinner during a 3 hour layover.  We visited my family in Omaha all week and are on the way back home. 

Ho ho ho - Merrrrry Christmas (with a wine flight)
But we wanted to take a moment to wish you a happy, merry, joyous WHATEVER (and whenever) you celebrate. 

And though it is probably too late to snag some mistletoe at Trader Joe's THIS YEAR, just know that next year when you see it you should grab some.  It is totally effective and works wonders!  (Original reviews here: 

2016 crop Trader Joe's Mistletoe review click here
2015 crop Trader Joe's Mistletoe review click here

THIS PRODUCT STILL RATES A 5 STAR REVIEW!  Year after year, Trader Joe's mistletoe delivers.

Happy holidays to all.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Flowers -- Holidays or Everyday

This is my periodic reminder to YOU, dear reader, to BUY FLOWERS FOR YOUR MOTHER.

Go to Trader Joe's.  Pick up a poinsettia if they still have some in stock.  Get one of those sweet little Christmas trees in pots.  Get a bouquet of pretty colored blooms.  Get ANYTHING - just GET FLOWERS FOR YOUR MOTHER!

Sure, she may say, "I don't need flowers,".  She might say, "Oh, you shouldn't have...".  But trust me, you SHOULD.

And you might think, "But I can't afford flowers!  I mean, it is the holiday season, I have spent so much on gifts already, I am strapped for cash".  But flowers at Trader Joe's are very, very reasonably priced, and your mom will SMILE when you give them to her.  

Don't wait for a special occasion-  do it today.  Think of all she has done for you - all of the "gifts" she has given over the years (some that came in boxes and some that were gifts of time and love).  Gift her back!  Show her you care.  Do it today.

Do it while you can still look her in the eye as you hand them to her.  Tell her how thankful you are for all she has done for you.  If you are 6, 16, or 50 - if your mom is still here on earth, GIVE HER FLOWERS.

Because someday, you won't be able to hand them to her.  Sure, you might still buy them in her memory, but trust me, it is not the same.  Give them to her NOW, while she can appreciate them.

Happy holidays one and all.  And God bless us, every one.  

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Cinnamon Roll Wreath

Today’s review is of a holiday product – Trader Joe’s Cinnamon Roll Wreath.  We are visiting Omaha, Nebraska to have an early Christmas celebration with my family, so I thought, “Who better to invite to be guest reviewers than my dad and his wife??”.  May I present – John (my dad) and Evelyn (his wife)!!
Ho, ho, ho - MERRRRRY CHRISTMAS!  Santa stopped by early!
This photo was taken the night of our family Christmas, when Santa showed up!  Yup, the big man himself made an appearance!  It was quite fun.  We have 5 believers in our family – well, 4 believers and 1 too young to really get it…  But they all liked Santa (wellll, that is stretching it…  In all honesty, the 2 toddlers were not so fond of the jolly old fat man).  But the adults loved him! 

Tallis is one of our BELIEVERS.  She WHISPERED what she wanted to Santa!
Anyway, David and I stopped at the Omaha Trader Joe’s in One Pacific Place and picked up a few things, including a CINNAMON ROLL WREATH.  The whole family was crashing my dad’s house (uninvited) to eat pizza after a hockey game, and I thought a few cinnamon rolls after pizza sounded great.  However, I failed to read the package instructions…

Oops, I should have turned the box over and read the other side...
These suckers are not simple to prepare.  I mean, they are not DIFFICULT by any stretch of the imagination, but they are not like a tube of Pillsbury rolls that you just pop open and bung in the oven.  These need to sit and rise before baking.  Also, they do not come with the GLAZE…  Again, I should have read that and known before we bought them, but it was a “grab and run” because we are rushing around doing family things.  Had I KNOWN we needed to make glaze, we would have picked up some powdered sugar (because, let’s be honest here, my dad and Evelyn do not cook much., let alone BAKE, so finding powdered sugar that was not expired a decade ago in the pantry would have been impossible…).  In the “fly by the seat of your pants” category, David Googled and learned he could make the glaze with regular (not powdered sugar), which he found and mixed with water and vanilla to make glaze.   

So, due to these treats needing to rise before baking, having them as a late night snack was out.

Hey look - a WREATH made out of CINNAMON ROLLS!  (Pre-glaze)
But that left them for breakfast the next morning!  Evelyn had sort of a hard time waiting for them (because, like I said, they had to rise).  But when they were finally ready, she was thrilled with the results.  Here is what everyone thought:

Dad:  “These are delicious!  I give them a 4.95.  It sounds hard to make them, but it really wasn’t.  Susan is making it sound like they are very difficult to make, but they really are not (editor’s note:  Dad did not assist with the preparation… 😊 ) .  I like them WITH the frosting best – David makes a mean glaze.  If they were any better they would be perfect!  I give these a 4.95.  (Editor’s note:  I explained that normally in this blog we only use .25 variations, so he could give them a 4.5 or a 4.75 or a 5.  But he INSISTED on the 4.95.  And he is the dad, so he gets to pick his score!)

Dad loved them
Evelyn:  “I would say these are perfect!  I prefer them with the glaze.  They are perfect! Let’s have them again!  I give them a score of 5.”

David:  “The taste is nice.  The glaze is good.  They are a little under-cooked, a bit under-done tasting.  (Editor’s note yet again:  I followed the instructions and baked these right in the middle of the recommended baking range time.)  I like them.  I give them a 3.5.”

David liked 'em
Susan:  I agree with David that the centers of the cinnamon rolls were a bit underdone, but I sort of like that taste.  I agree with everyone else that the frosting/glaze is a good addition.  I think the whole “wreath” concept is super pretty.  If I got them again I would bake them a bit longer.  These would be good for Christmas morning breakfast.  I give them a 4.5.

Sweet, fluffy, and buttery - good description
There you have it.  If your Trader Joe’s still has these in stock, grab a box.  They are fun and tasty.

MERRY CHRISTMAS from Susan and David (and Santa, of course)
Price: $4.99

Rating (average of 4 raters):  4.5

Friday, December 15, 2017

Sweet Corn, Burrata and Basil Ravioli

This is a fancy review, because not only does it include a product review, not only does it also include a STORE LOCATION review, but it also includes a GUEST REVIEW!!!  One of my readers, who is also a friend, WARD, asked a looong time ago if I would consider a guest review from him and his wife.  I answered with a resounding YES, because he is a fun guy, a great writer, and because it would be something new and different for the blog!  A fresh point of view!!  

May I present Ward and Ann - the guest reviewers!
So here it is – let’s start with what Ward and Ann have to say about Trader Joe’s Sweet Corn, Burrata and Basil Ravioli:

“This is one of those meal items that has me saying, “It’s good, but it needs … something…” I am talking about Trader Joe’s Sweet Corn, Burrata & Basil Ravioli. The subtitle on the package says, “Creamy ricotta and burrata cheese ravioli filled with sweet corn and basil.”  It comes in a sealed, refrigerated eight-ounce plastic tray with two servings per container. It is not a gluten-free product, nor is it vegan, but it qualifies as vegetarian.

Here is the package
Ann loves ravioli and loves to impulse shop at TJ’s. So, this came into our kitchen, and I made the meal. The ingredient list is long, including mostly recognizable things like durum wheat, cheese, canola oil, sea salt, turmeric, cayenne powder, and microbial enzymes (which I believe are used in cheese-making as a vegetarian substitute for rennet.) At our Trader Joe’s in Rochester, NY, this ravioli package sells for $3.49.  (Editor’s note: Rochester, NY is where I met my sweetheart David!  And on our very first date we went to a grocery store, Wegman’s!  I wish I could say we went to Trader Joe’s, but I don’t think there was one in Rochester at the time, and besides, Wegman’s is a quintessentially Rochester experience…)

Before adding anything else to it, I sampled a plain cooked raviolo. (Yes, raviolo is the singular of ravioli!)  It was good, but not very exciting. The filling was mostly corn, and the corn was fairly coarse and unsweet. Maybe I am spoiled by having the luxury of choice when it comes to seasonal sweet corn in upstate New York. If we get corn that is not tender or sweet enough, it goes into the freezer for soups or stews. The corn in these ravioli would have barely met my soup standards. The cheese and basil part of the filling was fine, but there could have been more of it.

Pretty good price for this item
Now, about the pasta - the casing of these ravioli was rather fragile. As a result, a few of the ravioli spilled their guts in the cooking water (and I was very careful not to overcook – the package directions are clear about not boiling.) So, if this happens when you cook it, make sure you drain through a sieve or colander that will catch all the interior bits that have escaped into the cooking pot.

So, here are my secret magical additives to bring this dish from a 2.5 to a 4.5: greens, chickpeas and garlic. These are my basic go-to additives for many pasta dishes. Saut̩ some chopped greens like chard, spinach, or rabe until tender. Add minced garlic and cooked chickpeas (canned is okay, but I prefer cooking dry beans in a pressure cooker Рless salt and more flavor.) When the veggies are tender, melt in plenty of butter (yes, real butter) and add red pepper flakes and salt to taste. The chickpeas will add a nutty and creamy protein factor. The greens will add a fresh garden goodness. And, well, garlic is garlic.

Ahhh, with Ward's magical enhancements it looks delightful, no?
Drain the ravioli (and whatever filling has spilled out) and add them to the skillet with the other ingredients. Toss and serve onto warmed plates (editor’s note:  warmed plates??  Remind me to eat dinner at Ann and Ward’s house next time we are in Rochester – fancy!) with grated parmesan to sprinkle on top. Ann suggests a wine pairing of Pinot Noir. Since we live near the Finger Lakes, we poured one from Ravines Winery.

Rating:  without Ward’s magical enhancements – 2.5
Rating:  with Ward’s magical enhancements – 4.5  "

And now let’s look at what David and I thought of Trader Joe’s Sweet Corn, Burrata & Basil Ravioli, shall we?   We served it with fresh basil (from our garden) and grated parmesan on top.  It will be interesting (to me anyway…) to see if our tastes are similar to Ann and Ward’s!

David: “These ravioli are very nice.  They are light, a little bland, but the cheese inside is a nice choice to give them some flavor.  I would personally prefer – I mean – the pasta itself is VERY tasty, so it is nice that the sauce doesn’t obfuscate that, but I like a little bit more taste, so I would recommend serving this with sprinkled bacon bits, or a tomato and sausage sauce.  Something that would bring a little more zing to the flavor palate.  But, that is not the ravioli’s job!  Their job is to be the best pasta ravioli they can be!  And since the ingredients are corn and a kind of bland cheese, I think it does a great job.  I give it a 4.0.”

David looks a bit unsure of this product before we tried it...  Aren't the stripes on the raviolis pretty?
And here is my take:  I am glad we added the fresh basil and parmesan, I think those were good with this dish.  The label said that the ravioli included basil, but I couldn’t taste that in it at all (and neither could David).  We served this with just olive oil for a “sauce”, and I think that is the only way to go with it, because the taste is so mild that any other sauce would overpower the ravioli. 

The corn is chunks of corn, which I thought was nice.  This pasta has the problem that other TJ’s raviolis have – how do you safely get them OUT of the pot after they are cooked?   You really need a large slotted spoon to gently remove them, and when we had these we were not in a kitchen that was stocked with one of those.

Overall, I like the taste of these.  I agree with David’s score of 4.0.

Look - we are visiting YET ANOTHER Trader Joe's! 
I think this brings the total to around 33 locations visited in 12 states so far.
And finally, a note about a new to us Trader Joe’s location – the store on West Sand Lake Rd in Orlando:  This was a very nice store.  It was clean, well lit, and well laid out.  The employees were friendly (although none offered to help us).  I did not notice anything really unique about the store, but they did have some cool flamingos at the check-outs.  I asked if those are always up and they said that they had put them up months earlier and just left them, because customers liked them.  😊

Flamingos make anything look more "Florida", even check-out lanes

Orlando Trader Joe's signage

Here is a recap of ravioli scores:

Price:  $3.49

Rating: (average of 6 raters, since Ann and Ward rated it using 2 different cooking techniques) 3.75

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Honey Crisp Apple Cider is BACK!

Everyone who is a regular at Trader Joe's has their "go to" items, their favorites.  We mourn them if TJ's discontinues them.  But if they are seasonal, we DELIGHT when their season rolls around and they magically appear on the shelves again...

May I have a drum roll please....

Party in the juice aisle - Honey Crisp Apple Cider is BACK!

If you haven't had the pleasure of drinking this cider, boy are you in for a treat :) .  It.  Is.  Delicious!  I have to warn you though - last year I developed a bit of an "addiction" to it...  Every afternoon last winter for about 90 days I would get incredibly sleepy around 3:00 pm.  It was like clockwork!  The clock struck 3:00, my yawning started.  But the yawning was accompanied by a CRAVING...  I neeeeeeeeed a mug of hot Trader Joe's Honey Crisp Apple Cider!  Lucky for me, that is an easy, healthy, cheap, and legal craving to satisfy!  So for about a month and a half there, I drank a mug of this warmed up every afternoon!

And, truth be told, I sort of drank too much of it.  "OD-ed" on it, if you will.  I had stocked up on a few bottles, but left them untouched until this fall rolled around.  I have since busted them open and resumed my adoration of this cider.  And you should, too!!!

Who has 2 thumbs and think this price point is perfect for a cider this good?  THIS GIRL!!
If you have tried the other TJ's ciders and think those are good - well I hate to say you are wrong, because we all have our own preferences.  But...  TRY THIS ONE, TOO!

And if you like it (and you will) make sure to squirrel away a few bottle down in your wine cellar (ok, seriously, is anyone who shops at TJ's rich enough to have a WINE CELLAR?  Perhaps I guess.  I squirrel away my collection WITH the wine in the basement, which just so happens to be stored in a rack on top of a shrunk (which is like an extra pantry closet). 

Wherever you have room to store it, all I am saying is, get a few bottles!  Because it is seasonal, and like most good things, seasons will change and this will disappear until next year. 

Price:  the same as it has been since I first wrote about it 2 years ago, $2.99 and not a penny higher
Rating: still an amazing 5 stars