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.
- 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!)