Trader Joe is My New Boyfriend


After a really long hiatus (maybe a month), I headed back to Trader Joe’s (TJs for the cool crowd). I needed to stock up on essentials like cheap white wine and imported cheeses – you know, pantry staples.

I spent $133.90 but I got a boatload of food and six bottles of wine!

Frozen Food Finds

OK, I’m lazy when it’s hot and don’t want to cook much, but I also have a big assignment to finish by end of June. So I need easy food. Here’s what I found in the frozen food aisle.

  • Ahi Tuna fillets – Does it bug you when people say, “filets” when they mean fillets?
  • 3 Bento Boxes – These were marked down to .99 each! Cute little individual compartments w/ rice balls and other fun things.
  • Brussel sprouts – Don’t groan. If you hate Brussel sprouts it’s because all you’ve had are the crappy, gray-green ones. Try fresh. OK, these are frozen, but my pal Rhonda swears that when you roast them w/ olive oil drizzled on top that these things are amazing.
  • Rosemary leg qtrs. – Have to say these were a bust. No marinade as promised and the 20 minute thaw time and 30 minute bake time were way off. For $2.99, it’s not such a loss.
  • Reduced Guilt mac & cheese – I’ve had this before and it’s surprisingly good.

Fresh Stuff

  • Pasta Perline Proscuitto – I’ve seen perline in recipes, but never had it. They look like little purses. I’m going to probably just toss w/ olive oil and a little Parma.
  • Greek honey yogurt – This stuff is full of fat, but I eat 1/2 a container and I’m good.
  • Smoked salmon – This might be my “desert island” food.
  • Rosemary ham – Yes, it’s a bit silly to pay $2.99 for 6 thin slices, but this stuff is wonderful.
  • Sweet potato – You were probably wondering if I was going to buy anything in the veg. or fruit category.
  • 2 red peppers – I roast them.
  • 3-layer hummus – Reg., cilantro and red pepper.

International House of Cheeses

Cheese is my other “desert island” food. Yes, I know it’s all fat and I don’t care.

  • Fresh caprese mozarella – Make a salad by slicing this, a nice tomato (not one of those pathetic things) and some fresh basil. Drizzle w/ olive oil and you’re in heaven.
  • French swiss – I know, odd, huh?
  • English Stilton – If you’ve never had this blue, try it.
  • Italian gorgonzola – Yes, I guess most gorgonzola is Italian. If you are afraid of blue cheese, try this. You’ll be fine. I promise.
  • Mascarpone –For the uninitiated, this is Italian cream cheese – lighter than “ours.”
  • Parmesan Reggiano – This is the good stuff and it’s expensive. I think this was $15.99/lb (and that’s sort of cheap). But you only need a small amount and for topping pasta, etc., you shouldn’t waste your time/money on anything else.

Other Non-wine Stuff

  • COOKIE BUTTER – I’m convinced there’s a CB cult and I was indoctrinated into it. Members recognize each other. Two TJ cashiers and I did the secret CB sign and watched as a newb bought their first jar. That’s how it starts…
  • Salsa verde – I dip “healthy” tortilla chips in this goodness.
  • Herb & Spice popcorn – New thing. Will report later.
  • Capers – See smoked salmon above.
  • Olive oil -Get the good stuff. Extra-virgin. (Make 3rd grade joke here.)
  • Premium chocolate-covered Bing Cherries – New to me.


  • Gruner Veltliner – This may be a new one for you. It’s a German/Alsatian. Nice white to try. And you’ll have fun saying it to people you want to impress w/ your esoteric wine know-how. (Groon-r Velt-leener)
  • Rose – OK, you know there’s an accent on that, right? Try it – it’s not the pink wine that has scared you in the past. Trust me. Get a good French one. You can find inexpensive ones.
  • Vinho Verde – Another one to try if you haven’t. It’s from Portugal, has a little fizz and very low alcohol (9% or so). Great summer white.
  • Some new French white – The label looks like it says, Communist Revolution, but I doubt that’s right.
  • Blue Fin Viognier – Another white to try if you haven’t. It’s fruit-forward, but not sweet. It’s one of my ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) wines. This TJs one is $4.99. Nice.

So, that’s probably more than you wanted to know about my shopping trip to TJs. But it’s my damn blog and I’ll post if I want to. (Let me know if you’re old enough to get that reference!)


8 responses »

  1. We could live together. But that would interfere with your new boyfriend.

    Seriously. Wine, cheese, smoked salmon? I knew I liked you when I met you.

    Brussels sprouts are wonderful roasted with olive oil. I actually think the frozen ones roast better than fresh. They get soft on the inside and crispy and caramelized on the outside.

    Spanish roses are good too.

    I must get myself to Trader Joe’s for some cookie butter. I’m a virgin.

    You may laugh.

    • Oh, I do not jest about Cookie Butter or the little dk. choc. bars w/ CB filling…oh, I digress.

      Yes, I knew you were part of the cool crowd when I met you, too. It might have been that sharp yellow, faux leather jacket at first, but your humor got me hooked.

      We need to commune on my deck for some of the above treats.

      Your Wine and Cheese Cruise Director

  2. Yeah, the dark chocolate bar with the CB filling. I bought a jar of cooking butter and it vanished. I know how much I ate, and there is another person in the house. Just sayin’ I’m loving TJs blend of gruyere and cheddar. I know, I know, it sounds awful, but you get the intense gruyere hit for a cheddar price.

    • Oh, that cheese would make some kick-a** mac & cheese. Love Gruyere!

      When you get your next hit, I mean, jar of Cookie Butter, try nuking a couple tablespoons and drizzle (a thick drizzle – what’s that called?) over ice cream. OMG…

      • And if that ice cream just happens to be salted caramel swirl with pretzel chunks, no one needs to know, and the resulting food coma is quite pleasant. Want to feel virtuous? Put it in celery. Also good, and high in fiber!

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