Monday, September 28, 2015

Day 271 - Mike's Hot Honey

You can’t imagine how thrilled I am. 

First off, this whole blog...  I started this as a “project” – one of many that I do.  Most of my projects are local – stuff around my neighborhood.  For example, I turned the “do not cross” red hand on the crosswalk sign next to our house into an “I Love You” ASL sign (black tape, shhhh!). 

Our crosswalk.  Shhh, it has been this way for 2 years. Sharing some love in our hood.
For another project I hung digital cameras (in Ziploc baggies to protect them from the weather) on our front and side gates for a couple of months and put up signs asking people to use them to photograph what to them was “Inspiration, Beauty, and Joy” (if you want to read about that project and see more photos from it, I wrote it up here: Inspiration, Beauty, and Joy )  Here are some of the photos that random strangers who walked by our house took, aren't they great??
Dogwood tree in bloom - mystery photographer at side gate

Mystery shoes
Selfie?  Mystery kid at front gate

Who isn't inspired by iced coffee on a hot day?  Side gate

Peace and roses - beautiful (side gate)

Night time image captured by someone who left a note for the project, too - guy from Brazil.  Cool eh?
So this Trader Joe's blog was one of THOSE types of projects.  Something to let me express my creativity and explore.  But it has turned into so much more!  Today (or tomorrow) I will hit 30,000 views!  30,000 views on my Trader Joe’s reviews!  That seems remarkable to me (maybe in this day and age of stuff “going viral” 30,000 doesn’t sound like a lot to you, but to me, the person whose projects normally only reach people who walk by my home, 30,000 is a lot J ).

This blog has given me a sense of a wider community.  Visiting Trader Joe’s in 10 states (and one District…) so far has been a blast!  We have met cool people in all of those locations.  And so many people are reading this blog - people from all over the world, which is insane to me!  There is someone reading in Bangladesh, in the Ukraine, places that certainly do not have a Trader Joe’s (blog analytics show me the countries which is how I know).   Maybe those readers just end up on the blog through a Google search, maybe they have a friend shipping them TJ’s stuff from the USA, who knows.

And some people take the time to COMMENT on my blog posts.  I LOVE THAT!  Whether they agree with my review or have a different opinion, I love when people comment!! 

One person comments frequently.  I do not know them.  I did not know where they lived.  Just knew that they were reading, enjoying the blog, and sometimes commented.  And every time they DID comment, it made me smile so big.  Well, when I published the review of Turkish Honey (Turkish Honey Review ), they commented:  “  I don’t have this at my Trader Joe’s!  L  Honey on Greek yogurt with fruit is like the perfect breakfast.  I’m sure you’ll use it in hot tea and oatmeal this winter.”  
This stuff is delicious!
Well, I replied to that comment and told them I would be happy to SEND THEM some Turkish Honey!  Heck, I felt like we had commented back and forth so much on the blog that we were friends of a sort!  Cyber friends. 

So we switched the comments over to email and guess what?  THEY OFFERED TO DO A HONEY SWAP!!  If I sent them Turkish Honey, they would send me a special honey that only their Trader Joe’s in Brooklyn carries – Mike’s Hot Honey!  Well you didn’t have to ask me twice!  They could have offered to send me a lump of dirt in exchange for the Turkish Honey and I probably would have accepted cuz I was so excited!!

Mike's Hot Honey, infused with Chilies...  Intriguing, no??
Fast forward – the Turkish Honey arrived in NY, they love it!  J  And the Mike’s Hot Honey arrived at my house this weekend.  I was SO EXCITED!   I opened it last night.  Guess what?  Not only did they send HONEY, they sent a TRADER JOE’S NYC BAG!  You may not know this if you do not shop often at TJ’s, but most states have their own reusable BAGS. They feature something special about that state/city.  This NYC one is great!!!  I love it and will feel very fancy carrying it this afternoon to my local TJ’s.  (Note – the Ohio stores do not have special bags, and their staff was sad about that when we were there.  Corporate, I said it before and I say it again, OHIO NEEDS BAGS.  Please get on that.  J )

Awww, there is a TJ's CARD in the package!
What the what???  A cool NYC TJ's bag, too????
Honey that is HOT??  I am a little worried...

So I opened the Mike’s Hot Honey (honey infused with chilies).  Let me just say that from the get go, before even tasting it, I loved this product.  I loved that it is LOCAL – most Trader Joe’s have one or two local items (often local beer, sometimes wine) but the rest are standard across the stores.  I love finding the local stuff.  I think it is SO COOL when local companies get their products into Trader Joe’s.  I think it must be a great move for them.  I like the PACKAGING of this product – the artwork on the label is really good and the sort of old fashioned plaid pattern on the bottle is so in conflict with the concept of mixing HONEY with CHILIES – definitely NOT an old fashioned thing to do…  I love the COLOR of this honey – it is a golden amber.  And last (but probably most importantly) I loved that it was given as a gift from a reader of this blog!  A cyber friend!!!

So all that was left to do was TASTE it!

Isn't is a gorgeous color??
I made (not from scratch) pumpkin cookies this morning.  David and I both have the day off and we are in slow motion, so breakfast wasn’t until 11 am.  Grapefruit, kefir (to be reviewed soon), espresso, and pumpkin cookies.  But wait – how about PUMPKIN COOKIES DIPPED IN MIKE’S HOT HONEY??  I thought the spice (like nutmeg spice, not hot spice) of the cookie might be a perfect combination with the SPICY spice of the honey.

Please let this mystery Honey Swap Honey be good...  (This is me in the morning, got my hair pulled back and robe on...)
And I was right!

IT IS GOOD!!!  What a combo!
Oh man! 

This is a 12 oz bottle of awesomeness.  The first taste you get when eating this is HONEY.  Followed shortly by spice…  After that you get a huge kick in the ass of CHILI.  It is; HONEY, WARM, ON FIIIIRE all within a millisecond.

The label says you can enjoy it on “pizza, chicken, ribs, salads, cheese, yogurt, fruits, ice cream, roasted veggies, in cocktails and many other foods”.   I can imagine if you had chicken for dinner and had hot biscuits – put a glop of butter and some of this hot honey on the biscuit.  Oh and dipping fried chicken in it would be amazing.  Or drizzling it on CHEESE – maybe a hard cheese.  But I cannot imagine putting it on yogurt, that doesn’t sound yummy to me.  But PIZZA crust dipped in it I think would be good!  The person who sent it to me told me that a local pizza place has this honey for just that use. 

David, a careful dipper
Here was David’s take on it:  “Nah.  This is an example of cramming two things together that don’t belong together in a desperate effort to create a new product to sell.  You need this as badly as you need a formal ball gown that comes complete with a parachute harness.  I will take my honey sweet, thanks.  I like my honey like I like my women – nice and sweet.  I give this honey a 1.”

Not a fan.
Susan:  THIS IS FUNKY AND COOL.  I, as the author of the blog, completely override David’s lame review and give this a 5. 

David:  “Now you are just being spiteful…”

So this entry was a bit long, but I wanted to share with you the joy I get from writing here, from meeting people in the stores, and “meeting” some of you virtually.  Thanks for being so supportive of this blog.  And if you want to get this Mike’s Hot Honey (you should try it!) and do not live in Brooklyn, you can order it online at:

Price - $6.99 (which is crazy, cuz ordering the same size bottle from the company that makes it is more expensive…  I guess this is a deal TJ’s cut with them to sell it at a discount and do a high volume)

Rating - 5


  1. Wow! Your blog has reached a LOT of people!! That customized walk sign is freaking awesome btw.
    What a fun match of the honey with a pumpkin cookie! The play by play photos really make it :)

    1. THANKS! I love our "walk" sign, too.

  2. That honey sounds good wish we carried it! Falls church TJs just got in kambucha from capital kambucha company. Maybe your next review?

    1. Ohhhh my... We actually went to a new (for us) Trader Joe's on Sunday in DC and saw that kambucha. We both thought it sounded disgusting, but I was going to get it for the sake of the blog to review. :) However, the only flavor they had was GINGER, which somehow sounded ULTRA disgusting to us. There was another flavor but they were out of that one. I will get that other one and give it a go. Have you tried it yet???

    2. Ive tried it not as good as real kambucha, but its great place to start for those that can't stomach the good stuff

  3. This is my favorite of all your TJ's reviews yet. Utterly delightful read. And I especially loved the link to your photo project--a long read, but lovely and heartwarming. Excellent stuff all around. Please keep it up.

    By the way, would you like a North Carolina TJ's bag?

    1. I would LOVE a NC TJ's bag! :) Would you like a DC one?? :)

    2. Look for a private message on Facebook about this.

    3. Please look for private message under your TJ365 Facebook account. I have bag plus a little extra something to send, but need name and address.

    4. Thanks Rakewell! Can't wait! :)

    5. Loved reading this story :) Am going to try both honeys asap (I've seen the Turkish, but haven't seen the hot honey. Hopefully it will be at my local TJs).

    6. Hey JK - thanks for commenting. :) Grab the Turkish Honey- it is awesome! I cannot get the hot honey in my store - it is local to Brooklyn. :( I am not sure where you are - if you are in Brooklyn GRAB SOME!!