Sunday, July 16, 2017

Key Lime Pie

Full disclosure from the get-go:  I am not a key lime pie kinda girl.  I don’t know why, as far as I know key lime pie never did nuttin’ to me to make me hate it, but for some reason it is just not on my list of favorite desserts.  So I am recusing myself from reviewing it (that wouldn’t be fair, would it, to average my number in, since I know from the get-go I am not going to rave about it…).

We tried this key lime pie at our local Trader Joe’s one time when they were tasting it.  I thought it was good as far as key lime pie goes (see paragraph above…) but David really liked it.  Sadly, it is just the 2 of us at home, so unless it is a product we both like, it normally doesn’t get bought (which is the reason I forego okra and David foregoes lamb…). 

David hit the jackpot when my sisters came to visit us in Florida, though, cuz it turns out they like key lime pie!  And while I was out of town on a work trip and he was in Orlando picking them up from the airport, they swung by Trader Joe’s Winter Park and got a bunch of goodies, including one of these pies.  They “prepared” it by just taking it out of the freezer for a bit.  I would say that is easy peasey key lime squeezy! 
Oops - I forgot to snap a photo before the pie had basically been devoured...
 Here are the reviews:

Annette (my middle sister):  When I asked, “Annette, what do you think??” she replied, “I think I would like to have another piece, please!!  It is absolutely delicious.  It is probably the first time I’ve ever had key lime pie.  I love it!  The graham cracker crust is sooo yummy.  It is delicious!   Just when it gets a little too sour, that graham cracker crust kicks in. I give it a solid 5 stars.”


Two thumbs up from Annette!!!  :)
David:  “I agree with Annette.  I think it is a GREAT version of key lime pie!  It is sweet, it is tangy, it is sassy (editor’s note:  he likes his key lime pie like he likes his women…).  It is set up and laid out perfectly by the graham cracker crust.  It is a great balance – a great double act – at work.  I don’t usually go for key lime pie or lemon meringue (its down-market cousin…).  I agree with Annette – I give it a 5.”

The intrepid team of reviewers!!!  
Sherry (my oldest sister):  (When we started reviewing this pie I asked Sherry if she had tasted it yet so that she could form an opinion to review it.  She had to confess that she had indeed been eating a little bit of it every morning before going off to the beach for her solo walks!!  Sneaky sister!)  “I have always loved key lime pie, but I only get it when I am in Florida, where key limes are from.  I never really ate it until I lived in Florida.  I think this Trader Joe’s version is very good.  It is tart, it is a little sweet, it is not messy to eat.  I would give it a 5, but I like key lime pies.”

Bonus photos:  We worked hard to get a good JUMPING photo of all 3 sisters on the beach.  These are what I consider 2 very funny outtakes.  In photo one, Sherry is sailing in the air, eyes closed in concentration.  Me?  I am smiling ear to ear and am actually off the ground!  Annette??  Oh, she is in the middle - CRACKING UP.  Annette, you can't JUMP if you are LAUGHING!!





And here in outtake #2, again, the oldest and youngest sisters have followed instruction and jumped together.  Sherry is somber again, perhaps she cannot smile and jump at the same time...  And Annette, the middle child, looks like she is squeezing every muscle she has (including her eye muscles) to get off the ground.

Honestly, there are much better jumping photos of the sisters, but these 2 crack me up.  :)






There you have it, folks.  This pie gets a solid 5!!  You should definitely get one to enjoy on a hot summer day.

Price:  $5.49

Rating:  5

BONUS PHOTO - CHECK THIS ONE OUT!  Annette is getting some serious AIR!  Sherry, too!  I, meanwhile, have my feet firmly planted on the ground...  #TimingIsEverythingInLife


Monday, July 10, 2017

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Apparently, this new Cauliflower Pizza Crust from Trader Joe’s is all the rage.

But let’s be clear – like other things that are “all the rage”, this does not mean it is a wise thing to rush out and buy.  And to prove that point, may I present, the come-back of the jumpsuit for women. Here is what H & M says about jumpsuits for women on their website:  "Jumpsuits are effortless, chic and fun. In our selection of women’s jumpsuits you can be both bohemian and classic chic – just alter your accessories and heel height."  To that I say - BWAHAHAHAHA!

A Google search for "Women's Jumpsuit" led me to this, a "bridesmaid jumpsuit".
Oh sure, she looks all classy NOW.  Just wait til she has to pee...
As anyone who has ever made the ridiculous decision to wear one of these “must have” all in one outfits on a long distance flight will tell you, DON’T.  Peeing in one of these contraptions in a public restroom, ANY public restroom, is a nightmare.  Now couple the grossness of a public restroom and pieces of your outfit scraping the pee-stained floor with the NYC-studio-apartment-sized-ness of an airplane bathroom.   You get where I am going with this, right??  Just because something is “all the rage” doesn’t mean you should JUMP ON BOARD.

But I digress.  Back to the TJ’s Cauliflower Pizza Crust

It comes in a box, frozen
One of my Facebook friends mentioned how great it was, so while at TJ’s I sought one out.  Only, it was suuuch the rage that they were sold out of them…

Fast forward a couple more shopping trips, and we “snagged” a cauliflower pizza crust of our very own.  We topped ours with A LOT of stuff – homemade pesto, red onion, green pepper, garlic, TJ’s grilled balsamic chicken (which is great and I need to review!), TJ’s kumatos (which we eat a lot of, the review of them can be seen here: kumato review ), TJ’s feta in brine (which is the BEST grocery store feta you can get (outside of Greece… 😊  ) and whose review can be seen here:  feta in brine review ), and TJ’s mushrooms (plus salt and pepper).

David:  “It is nice.  What can I say?  It has got carbohydrate crunch but vegetable tastiness.  Then when you pile it high with all of the vegetable and meat and cheese and olives that we did, it’s great!  The one downside is that it is really hard to cut.  What a pizza!  I dunno – I will give it a 4.”

Photo of David BEFORE eating this product.  He looks very hesitant.
But, as you can read in his review, he actually liked it when we ate it.
Susan:  I don’t read other TJ’s blogs and reviews because I do not want them to influence my opinion before I taste and review something, but I DID get a glimpse of something before eating this product that basically said, “TJ’s Cauliflower Pizza Crust is the BOMB and you MUST get one!”.  To that I say:  I DON’T GET IT

It took 24 minutes just to cook the CRUST.  Then you put the stuff on it and broil it.  The taste of the crust (to me) is grainy, I guess because of the corn flour in it?  The texture reminds me of a bad polenta.  The texture definitely leaves something to be desired.

Here is our Cauliflower Crust, loaded down with goodness.  The burned bits tasted a little better than the rest of the crust.
And sadly, I do not get any of the CAULIFLOWER taste, I just get a BAD CRUST taste…  I confess that we piled ours high with too many toppings, so maybe they are masking the cauliflower?  I tried a bit of burnt crust, and I liked it better…  But still, overall, if you are not on a gluten free diet or something where you need to avoid gluten, I say go with a regular pizza crust.  Trader Joe’s has a terrific one that you roll out (which garnered a coveted 5 star review and only costs $1.19!  Review and photos here:  pizza dough review) – get that instead!  It is more fun to prepare, doesn’t feel grainy when you eat it, and is much tastier than this cauliflower contraption.  I give this 3 stars.

Price: $3.99

Rating (average of 2 raters): 3.5

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Secco Grapefruit Pompelini

MY SISTERS CAME TO FLORIDA TO VISIT US!!!

We have a little beach house in Ormond Beach (it is a vacation rental home when we are not crashing in it).  It is rare that friends and family come when we are here, so this was a treat.  And what made it even MORE fun is that my 2 sisters and I all have summer birthdays, so we decided to whoop it up while they were in town and celebrate one birthday a day by doing whatevvvver the birthday girl of the moment wanted to do.  It was super fun! 

But because the closest Trader Joe's is 90 minutes away, we needed to stock up on a few essentials before leaving DC.  And by essentials, I basically mean WINE...

David displaying our boatload (ok, cartload) of TJ's wine -
 ready to hang out in Florida for a while!!
Oh sure, there are grocery stores and liquor stores in Florida where we could pick up wine, but it just wouldn't be the same as ol' TJ's wine, now would it??  So we loaded up a cart of wine (plus other "staples" we needed for the visit).  Then we happened on Irene (at the Bailey's Crossroads, VA Trader Joe's).  Irene quickly became my new BFF.  This is because, a mere 10 days before my 51 birthday, she CARDED ME TO SAMPLE WINES!  

Me and my new buddy, Irene!  
Basically, after that compliment, I probably would have bought anything Irene was peddling.  But it turned out that what she was peddling, Secco Grapefruit Pompelini, was actually tasty!!  So into our cart went a bottle.  Then another one, for good measure...

Even the bottle is pretty, don't you think?
One of the items on my sister Sherry's birthday wish list was "sunrise on the beach with mimosas".  We figured this Secco Grapefruit Pomelini was just as fancy as any mimosa, so we chilled it and packed it in a beachbag, along with 4 of the finest plastic champagne flutes money could buy!  Then off we went to watch the sun rise!!

Sunrise at Ormond Beach, Florida - Mother Nature at her finest, no filter needed
We busted out the Secco Grapefruit, toasted to birthdays, and had a lovely day.

A TOAST!!
Here are the reviews of the drink (reviewed while we swished our feet around in a blow up swimming pool :) ):

Sherry:  "It is kind of tart, bubbly, and refreshing.  It is perfect for a hot summer day.  It would be great at a brunch.  I give it 5 stars."

Susan:  "I also think it is great for a hot summer day.  It should be served well chilled, and if you want to be fancy like us, you need to serve it in champagne flutes (though the plastic of the flutes does make it tend more toward redneck than fancy...).  It would be good with fruit - maybe strawberries.  It would also be good with salad.  I think this is an all-around nice drink and worked well as a substitute for mimosas.  The frosted glass bottle is very pretty.  I also give it a 5."

David:  "This is a perfect balance of grapefruit, refreshing-ness, with the slightest hint of wine/alcohol, but nothing overpowering in the least.  It is not too sweet.  I give this a 5."

(David's comment of this only having the slightest hint of alcohol made me curious so I checked - it is 8%.  Fair warning - it does seem like the type of thing you might just sip and slurp and knock back until you were a bit tipsy...)

Annette:  "I rate it a solid 5!!!  It was so delicious!  I don't really care for wine that much, but that was delicious!!"

Sunrise toast from my sisters and me - HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!
My sisters helped review several other products while we were all together - more of those reviews to come!

Price:  $5.99
Rating (average of 4 raters): 5

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Peaches and Cream Tarte

This is a new seasonal product.  We picked it up at Trader Joe’s the other day when we were invited over to our in-laws for a cook out and were tasked to bring DESSERT.  Let me just say, the last time I had that assignment with this same group of people I failed MISERABLY, and I have not recounted that dreadful experience here yet, but I will!  But for now, let’s focus on the positive – PEACHES AND CREAM TARTE!  (As with all TJ's tarts, the "e" on the end makes it fancy!)

Here's the box, doesn't it look tasty?
We cooked this dessert for 30 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees.  There is also a microwave option listed on the box, but we haven’t tried that yet.  Here is what the reviewers thought of this treat:

David’s opinion (Note: David topped his peaches and cream tarte with vanilla Haagen Dazs ice cream): “The tarte crust, as with all Trader Joe’s tartes, is really good.  The peaches are delicious.  There is something else goin’ on here, and I am not sure everyone else is gonna like this…  there is a little hint of some kind of a creamy thing going on here.  There is a yogurt-y, cream cheese-y thing goin’ on that is different than your straight American sweet fruit pie.  I think it is a valuable addition to the overall palate of pie land.  I am gonna give it a 4.5.”

David before we even tried it - you can tell he expected good things...
Greg (David’s brother, and if you follow this blog and have seen any of his other reviews you will know he is a very harsh judge of food) (Greg also topped his peaches and cream tart with vanilla Haagen Dazs ice cream):  “This was very, very, very good.  Really the best, ever, in the history of the world.  Big-ly (big league) (you may be able to guess what voice Greg was impersonating…).  It has a lovely balance of sour and very sweet.  I didn’t detect the underlying creaminess – it seemed to be just the fruit which I was delighted with, because I liked the fruit.  The crust was superb; crispy but not hard, and delicate.  I would give it a 4.5.  It was great!”

Here is what it looked like out of the box
My opinion:  “I ate half of my piece of the TJ’s tarte, then remembered that we had just picked a bunch of fresh blueberries out of Greg and Joan’s backyard, so I put some of those in with my dessert!  The blueberries were amazing with it because they were tart and were a perfect blend with the sweetness of the peaches.  I think this dessert is really good.  I love the crust!  At first, I thought it was a little too “jam-y” instead of just peachy – the first bite seemed more like pie filling than fruit.  But it only took one more bit for me to get over that issue – I like this tarte very much!  Plus, if you have leftovers I think they would taste amazing for breakfast the next morning.   I also give it a 4.5.”

Chris’ opinion (our college age nephew):  “I agree with most of what has been said.  But unlike most of the other reviewers (the old geezers), I would say the crust was a bit lacking.  I thought it could have had more flavor.  It could have added more to the dish.  (Editor’s note: At this point I felt I HAD to shout the term “snowflake” repeatedly at Chris.  He needed to be brought down a peg.  I mean, the crust on this tarte is amazing!  He was totally wrong in his assessment… 😊 )  I did really like the fruit, and the Haagen Dazs ice cream added a lot, but I think the crust could have been a little bit better.  I would give this a 3.5.”

Here is Chris.  He is a lousy judge of crust.  I mean, he is a good KID and all,
but he wouldn't know a good crust if it bit him in the butt...
Joan (our sister-in-law, also typically a very stern reviewer of food in this blog): “I give this a 4.75.  This is a delightful dessert.  It is very yummy.  I had mine with ice cream and blueberries, I am not sure I would like it quite as much alone since I like complexity of flavors.  However, I thought this was terrific.  The only thing better is my mom’s pie!  But, you have to make the crust and peel the peaches for that, which is a lot of work.  This dessert is a great thing to bring to any summer BBQ you are attending.”

This is a photo of a bird that attended the BBQ.  Isn't he pretty?
There you have it folks!  This one is a winner!!  In fact, now that I have written this up my mouth is watering and wishing that I had one of these tartes to dive into…  Alas, we are 90 minutes away from the closest Trader Joe’s.  Sigh.  Oh well, David is going to be in the TJ’s neighborhood in just a few days and I am making a shopping list for him.  Guess I better add “Peaches and Cream Tarte” to the list!

Price:  $4.99 (CHEAP and well worth the price)

Rating (average of 5 reviewers): 4.5

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Price cut - Basmati Rice

Trader Joe's always has reasonable prices.  Seriously.  You can save money by shopping at TJ's.

But one thing I really respect about the store is that, every once in a while, they CUT THEIR PRICE on something.

They don't have "sales" like other stores do.  They don't have an ad in the Sunday paper like other chains.  But they keep their prices down overall, and, like this sign says, sometimes when THEIR cost goes down, they pass that savings onto you, the customer:

As they say, "When our cost goes down so does our price" - now only $2.99!
I am not naive.  I mean, obviously they are still making a profit, and I want them to!  I want them to stay in business, employing lots of people and filling my belly with (mostly) healthy, great food!!!

But man, when they can sell super delicious basmati rice for only $2.99 a bag???  Yup.  That is when I sorta worship them.  Try finding this much delicious rice for this low of a price somewhere else - it'll be tough.

Last note:  the packaging still sucks.  :)

Original review of TJ's Basmati Rice
Original review of how hard the packaging of said rice sucks:  Packaging Fail

And finally, here is how I feel about scoring a big bag of basmati for under 3 bucks!!



Price:  $2.99
Rating:  still a solid 4.5

Friday, June 2, 2017

Campfire S'Mores Bar

I am guessing that this is a seasonal item, for s’more season.  The package says a serving size is 1/3 of the bar.  Here is what we thought when we tried it for dessert after a late night dinner while watching the very disappointing final episode of the Amazing Race on DVR (the wrong team won):


David when we bought this treat.  He looks not 100% convinced, which surprises me!  He loves chocolate stuff.
David:  “Very good.  The chocolate is good.  The marshmallows are very good.  I would just say it could use more graham cracker to set it off, to give it substance.  As it is, it is kinda more a “chocolate bar with marshmallows with a little bit of graham cracker”, and if it had more graham cracker then I think it would be a nicer balance.  I’m going to give this a 4.0.”

Here is the TJ's Campfire S'mores before David dove into it.
My take on it: The thing that makes a S’MORES special is a campfire.  I think Trader Joe’s knows that, or they wouldn’t have named this product CAMPFIRE S’mores Bar, eh?  The whole concept of a s’mores brings to mind camping, sitting around a fire, smelling the smoke from the flames, laughing or singing with friends, and roasting marshmallows.  On the contrary, this “s’mores” from Trader Joe’s has us open a box and cut open a little bag.  Let’s just say that, in my mind at least, that destroys the “magic” of the s’mores.  Not making it yourself around a campfire defeats the purpose.

Also, this bar is weird.  Its base is a layer of mini marshmallows coated in chocolate, where a S’MORES base is a GRAHAM CRACKER.  Am I right here??  Can I get an “amen”???  This TJ’s s’more has no graham cracker bottom, let alone graham cracker top (yes, in my world a s’mores both begins and ends with a graham cracker.)  This TJ’s product is false advertising, man!!  It is calling itself something it is not 😊 .  There are only a few wimpy pieces of graham cracker scattered on top to make it look pretty.  I’m telling you, in a REAL S’MORES, the graham crackers serve a function, to hold your treat together!!   This is a campfire fail.  Why, if I was camping and someone handed me one of these puppies and said, “Would you like a s’more??” I would say, “Are you out of your frickin’ mind?  That is no s’more!  Where are the graham crackers?”. 

David pigging out
The taste of this treat is okay.  It is not amazing.  I am not a calorie counter, and even I say this is not worth the calories.  It is not that it tastes gross or anything, it just isn’t mind blowing and it is not a s’more. 
Price tag - see, it is NEW

Pretty packaging - doesn't it look like you would
 find graham cracker as a base??















One thing this has going for it is the packaging – the faux s’more is displayed nicely.  Though that display is also part of the trick – it makes it look like there is a traditional graham cracker base (which, I know am beating a dead horse when I mention this again, there is not…).   But dude, David even went through our cupboards looking for spare graham crackers to ADD to this treat (alas, we had none). 

Lest you think we are real CAMPERS, I must confess:  we do not camp.  Growing up my family "camped" in an RV (sorta faking it I guess, I mean, we had a little tv with us (though I am so old that it WAS black and white if that makes it sound more like "roughing it"...).  David hates bugs, so therefore hates tents.  However, we went GLAMPING a few years ago and it was insanely fun and cool.  We went to Yellowstone Under Canvas and loved it.  Here are a couple of photos - there was even a campfire!  (Link to the glamping site here:  Yellowstone Under Canvas Glamping

Oh, don't mind us.  We are just enjoying morning coffee on the "deck" of our "tent".  

See, a real live CAMPFIRE!!

Gorgeous set up and stunning surroundings 
Despite all of my misgivings about this Trader Joe's Campfire S'mores, I guess I will give this thing a 3.25

Price:  $2.99
Rating (average of 2 raters):  3.5


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Cold Brew Latte Dessert Bars

This is a brand new product for us (and new to Trader Joe's, too).  It is the 2nd of 2 “cold brew” Trader Joe’s products we have tried lately (in case you missed it, here is my review of - French Vanilla Cold Brew ).  

Cold Brew Latte Dessert Bars - how will they taste???
We tried this “dessert bar” on a lovely spring day (it was 75 degrees!) after we had spent the entire day outside doing things that needed to be done:  cleaning out the car port, trimming rose bushes, pulling weeds, repairing outdoor steps, and cleaning picture frames that I will use in an upcoming art project.  After all of that work, I thought we deserved a treat!  So, we plopped down on the back stoop, sat in the sunshine, listened to birds sing, and ate COLD BREW LATTE DESSERT BARS.  Here is what we thought:

One of the rose bushes I trimmed!  
Susan:  Honest truth:  we do not eat popsicles at our house much.  The only time we ever have them is if someone is sick with a fever (and that someone would have to be ME 'cuz I don’t think David would ever be lying in his sick bed and ask for a popsicle…) or if it is colonoscopy prep time (HEALTH NOTE:  IF YOU ARE AGE 50 OR OLDER OR HAVE A FAMILY HISTORY OF COLON CANCER, NOW WOULD BE A GREAT TIME TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT FOR A COLONOSCOPY!  This reminder brought to you by someone on the “every 5 year” plan.)  In those situations, we buy a box of popsicles.  The sick/colonoscopy person eats one, perhaps two popsicles, and the remaining frozen confections stay in the freezer until they have ice crystals all over them and are so gummy they stick to the paper, at which point I throw them out.  Sometimes I am smart enough to give them away to someone on my local “Buy Nothing” group, which I prefer to wasting them for sure.

But back to the Cold Brew Latte Dessert Bars…

Here is what they look like (with the green, green backdrop of our backyard!)
These are the same consistency as Dreamsicles.  I would think that would make me not like them, since I am not a Dreamsicle fan, but apparently it is not the texture but the taste of Dreamsicles that is yucky to me, cuz I like these TJ’s Cold Brew Latte Bars.  They taste good!  I personally would prefer a bit more coffee flavor in them, but even as is I like these.  They are good for a warm summer day.  They taste like an adult version of a popsicle. 

I am not sure if Trader Joe’s will keep these in stock, or if they were just a part of their recent coffee mania where every 3rd product on the shelves was coffee flavored (including a body scrub…).  I hope they keep them in stock through the summer.  I give these dessert bars a 4.

This baby bunny lives in our yard and entertains us all the time.  He prefers grass to Cold Brew Latte Bars
David:  “I am not a big popsicle fan, but this is very nice.  It has enough milky, creamy stuff in it to make it quiescently frozen."  (Editor’s note:  The word “quiescently” made me giggle.  I mean, QUIESCENTLY??  Who USES a word like that??  Don’t worry, I look it up so you don’t have to:  “Quiescent:  adjective  1.  Being at rest; quiet; still; inactive or motionless.”   Yup, now that I know the meaning, I can confirm, these dessert bars were motionless!) 

Back to David’s review: "So, this is nice!  It is kind of like a coffee flavored, no, a CAPPUCCINO FLAVORED Dreamsicle.   I would give it a 4.”

Nice treat after a long day of working outdoors.

Not too expensive - try 'em!
Price: $1.99

Rating:  4

Bonus photo: Yikes!  Sean Spicer is in our bushes!!!!  

Monday, May 8, 2017

Basmati Rice BAG - Packaging Fail

We.  Love.  Rice.

We eat a boatload of it.  People who swear off rice as part of their diet always amaze me.  When they talk about cutting out rice, in my head I am thinking, "But whyyyy?  And HOW???".  Let's just say, if you and I were on the same team in Survivor, you would have to guard the rice pile...

And we think Trader Joe's Basmati Rice is a great deal and tastes awesome.  Why, in the original review of it we gave it an almost perfect score - it got a 4.5 ( link to review here ).

A bowl of rice, one of life's simple pleasures.
But when we ate it last night we were once again reminded of the goofy, incomprehensible PACKAGING of this stuff.  Check it out:

When full, it was very dangerous to open and handle this bag!  This photo is taken after some has been used.
See how the opening is like a third of the way down the bag?  WHY???
WHO DOES THAT?  Who puts the opening to a RICE BAG, remember, rice is made up of teeny tiny bits that like to jump around - who puts the opening part-way down the package??  Trader Joe's, that's who!  Yes, instead of opening at the TOP, their Basmati opens part-way down the front.  It is downright bizarre.

Poor David, working hard to try and pour rice out of this ridiculous bag without spilling any.
So, Trader Joe's, what say you?  Certainly we cannot be the only shoppers who are confounded by this!  Readers, have you noticed this oddity?  Let's speak up!  Let's make signs!  Let's have a protest!!  Let's make a petition!!!  (Can you tell the current political climate has gotten me worked up?)  Seriously though, I just want to understand the reasoning behind this odd packaging choice.

The product still ranks a 4.5 rating, but the bag gets a 1.


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Teeny Tiny Avocados (and Zechery)

Guys, you need to go to Trader Joe’s soon.  They have the most adorable thing right now – little tiny baby avocados!!! 

SHOPPING COMMUNICATION FAIL!  Me: "David, please hold a bag of those cutie patootie teeny tiny
avocados for a photo!"  David (grabbing bag of regular, NOT teeny tiny avocados):
"OK!".  Yeah - wrong avocados in photo.  The ones in this review are teenier and tinier.
I know, I know, tiny versions of stuff is usually a rip off.  You usually have to pay MORE to get LESS.  But in the case of Trader Joe’s Teeny Tiny Avocados, you don’t get ripped off!!  Au contraire, mon frere!  If you have bought avocados lately you know the price is super high right now.  But at TJ’s you can get a bag of petite cutie patootie avocados for $2.99 (each bag has 6 tiny avocados, as opposed the the regular sized ones like David is accidentally holding in this photo which come 4 to a bag).  So teeny tiny avocados come out to 50 cents each!

A medium size price for some teeny tiny avocados
 And with these teeny tiny avocados you don’t give up TASTE for cuteness, either!!!  These little suckers taste amazing!  And, like the sign says, they are perfect for a single serving!  Why, just last night I cut one open and drizzled TJ’s balsamic vinegar (and non-Trader Joe’s olive oil…) in it.  I topped that with salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper, then got myself a bit of TJ’s feta (which we are addicted to and is reviewed here) and a few TJ’s raw English peas (reviewed here).  It was a delicious and healthy side dish!

Here is a little glimpse of a little avocado.  My hand is included for size reference, though
the angle of the photo is a bit tricky I guess.  Sorry.  But you get the idea!
So the long and the short of it is: YOU SHOULD GO GET A BAG OF THESE ADORABLE AVOCADOS.  I wouldn’t say they are Barbie sized, cuz a Barbie avocado would be the say of, what, like a jelly bean??  These could be Cabbage Patch sized avocados

And before I go, let me introduce you to one of our favorite Trader Joe’s employees.  His name is Zechery and he works at our local TJ’s at Bailey’s Crossroads in Virginia.  

BEST Trader Joe's ambassador - Zechery!
Zechery is the friendliest, sweetest, nicest TJ’s employee!!!  He smiles at us every single time we see him, and he always gives us a big hello and stops to talk.  I egotistically thought he just liked us, and that’s why he was so nice!  Then the other day I realized, it has nothing to do with US and everything to do with ZECHERY!  He is that way with all of the shoppers!  He makes everyone feel happy to be strolling the aisles and putting stuff in their carts.  Trader Joe’s is lucky to have him.

So, go get yourself some teeny tiny avocados while they still have them.  And if you live in the Washington DC/Northern Virginia area, go to Bailey’s Crossroads, pop into Trader Joe’s, and introduce yourself to Zechery.  Trust me, you will leave a happier person than you were when you went in.

Price (of the avocados, not of Zechery): $2.99

Rating (of both Zechery and the Teeny Tiny Avocados):  5

Friday, April 28, 2017

Chocolate Almond Butter Tarte (the "e" on the end makes it fancy!)

We had a very special guest reviewer help us out on this one – our friend AMEDEO who was visiting from Italy!  We served him pasta with our homemade pesto (he loved the pesto!!  A rave review on our pesto from a real live Italian, that made me proud.)

An out of town (out of country!) visitor meant we got to sight see in our own city - I love that!
Here are David and Amedeo at the Lincoln Memorial.
But we are not here to review our pesto, we are here to review Trader Joe’s Chocolate Almond Butter Tarte!  Here is what David thought:  “This tarte is very good.  It is chocolate-y, but it is not too chocolate-y.  It is not like a chocolate bar.  It is between the softness of mousse and the moistness of pudding (EDITOR'S NOTE:  It is chocolate GANACHE, isn't that fancy schmancy??).  It has a bottom that I like (I like my tarts like I like my women, with a nice bottom!) (Editor’s note again: he’s here all week, folks!).  It is flavorful.  It has a hint of nuts on it.  it is good for the end of a meal and would be good with an espresso.  I would give this a 4.5.”

Doesn't it look SO PRETTY on the box?
Amedeo thought: “E molto buona dopo cena (it is very good after dinner). I think 4.5 is good.”

It is just as pretty in real life!
My take on it:  I think this is GOOD.  I was worried it might be a bit too chocolate-y for me after eating a big meal, but it is not too much chocolate.  It is a light rather than strong chocolate taste.  It’s a nice dessert and pairs well with a red wine.  I personally could use a little more NUT taste.  We all liked the texture – it is a bit of a double texture when considering the chocolate part and the crust.  That’s nice!

Delicious!  
The box says there are 4 servings, but we all agreed that the servings would be too big to cut it into 4.  6 servings seems more reasonable.  Because we did not eat it all for dinner, we had some leftovers the next morning for breakfast and reviewed it again.  I preferred it for DINNER because it was so good with red wine.  I do not oppose eating it for breakfast, but I liked it better at night.  Amedeo agreed that it tasted better for dinner, the mousse part was not as good in the morning after being refrigerated overnight.  David thought it was delicious for breakfast and loved pairing it with coffee, so he votes to eat it for breakfast!!

We all agreed that whenever you eat it, eat it in one sitting for the best taste.  This one is a treat worth getting – try it!  The signage at our local Trader Joe's said it was a new product, so pick one up next time you are shopping. I think the boys got the rating spot on so I will agree with them – it gets a 4.5 from me, too.

This is very reasonably priced.  Recommended!
Price: $5.99

Rating: 4.5 (from all 3 reviewers)

Bonus photo - David and Amedeo with the Washington Monument behind them :)