My Trader Joe’s Favorites


So I know that I love seeing posts about others Trader Joe’s favorites so I thought I would share mine.

IMG_3194Trader Joe’s Strawberry Lemonade is amazing.  If you like lemonade – you must buy this.  It’s amazing in mixed drinks too.  IMG_3212Asian Style Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette.  I have to admit I’ve never had this on salad, but I bet it would be great.  I like to eat this on the Chicken Gyoza Potstickers (below).  IMG_3213Pepper Jelly.  I’m a North Carolinian and pepper jelly, cream cheese and crackers is a staple in my life.  IMG_3214Butternut Squash Triagnoli.  I’m obsessed.  This is one of my 3 top favorites (spoiler alert: wine is in the top three).  I always serve this tossed in butter and sprinkled with parmesan cheese.  It’s amazing. I always buy at least two packages because they sell out.  IMG_3215Chicken Gyoza Potstickers.  My second favorite thing.  I go through these like crazy.  Absolutely amazing with the spicy peanut vinaigrette.  IMG_3253Mediterranean Hummus.  This is a new addition but I cannot get enough of it.

So these are my “I buy these every single time I go” staples.  I tend to also buy a case of the Vinas Chilenas Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon and if I’m feeling adventurous, I get the Sauvignon Blanc.

Tell me: What are your Trader Joe’s Favorites?

Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Burgers Review


Well, I’m back from Las Vegas – and I have a ton to share with you! In the meantime, I thought I would share my review of a new-to-me Trader Joe’s Product!

I am very excited to share my latest TJ’s find with you.  On my last trip over to everyone’s favorite store – (the one where I intended to buy just a few things and came out with over a hundred dollars worth of goodies) I discovered TJ’s Chili Lime Chicken Burgers.

I absolutely love Trader Joe’s customer service and the fact that when I start walking around looking like a little lost puppy – at least 2 different sales associates always come up to be so see if they can help.  My last visit was no different – I was looking for my beloved Chicken Burgers (fully cooked in the refrigerated section) and an associate told me that they were still out of stock (something about a manufacturing issue).  Of course, I was slightly heartbroken – but very excited when the associate told me about these Frozen Chili Lime Chicken Burgers.

Since we all know that I do not eat beef (maybe once or twice a year – if that), turkey/ chicken burgers are my go-to staples for any summer time cookouts or any lazy nights when I do not feel like cooking.  Needless to say – I ended up getting these and made one that very night.

I love when I am able to reuse specialty ingredients from my other recipes – in this case – I used some of the leftover Sweet Thai Chili Sauce from my Lighter Bang Bang Shrimp recipe on my burger.  It was absolutely fantastic.  The amazing flavor combinations of the Chili Lime Burger, the Sweet Thai Chili Sauce and the nuttiness of Smoke Gouda  were absolute heaven.  I really love these burgers and I will definitely continue buying these even when the others are back in stock – I actually think that the Chili Lime Burgers have more flavor.  So if you live anywhere near a Trader Joe’s – pick these up: you will not regret it!

Question: Have you ever tried any of the Trader Joe’s Frozen specialty foods?  What are your favorites?

Trader Joe’s Chocolate Cheddar Cheese


Have you heard about the new Trader Joe’s Chocolate Cheddar Cheese?

It is one of their February items – so hurry up maybe you can grab one.

I went to Trader Joe’s to pick up just a few things. You know how that place is though – I ended up with about $70 worth of goodies.  Naturally, I stopped by the cheese section to see if they had any delightful goodies and I found the Chocolate Cheddar Cheese.

After talking to my cashier – who said the staff was pretty divided on the cheese – I knew I had to have it.  As always – I try any new foods with a completely open mind and this cheese was no different.  I expected delicious cheddar and that is exactly what I got.

This cheese is an absolutely delightful cheddar – with an every so often hint of chocolate.  I love it.  I have been enjoying it on my apples and in my oatmeal. Maybe I’m gross, but it is delicious.

I wish I had gotten more.  I will say – I love this cheese but if you are expecting chocolate then do not get it.

To read a more in depth review (the reviewers were not big fans of this) click here.

Question: Would you or have you ever tried Chocolate Cheddar Cheese?

Easy Shrimp Stir Fry for One


Well, I have another Shrimp recipe for you today.

Remember my Lighter Bang Bang Shrimp and my Shrimp Stuffed Peppers?

This one, is actually courtesy of my cancelled dinner plans from Monday – so I ended up at home earlier (and was starving).  After a brief perusal of my fridge – I determined I had all of the ingredients for some easy stir fry.

Easy Shrimp Stir Fry (For One)

1 serving shrimp (cooked, and peeled)

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup cooked Brown Rice

3 tbsp Soy Sauce (I used Trader Joe’s Soyaki)

chopped peppers and onions

1/2 tsp Sriracha sauce

1 tbsp chopped green onions

1. Sautee shrimp on medium in 1 tbsp soy sauce until warm.

2.  Add remaining ingredients and sautee until peppers and onions are soft.

Enjoy!

This is SO good and easy to make.  I’m not usually a fan of Asian inspired foods, but this is delicious.  I also love that it was ready in like 10 minutes flat. As far as the peppers and onions go – I actually used some out of a bag that I have had frozen for months – can you tell that I picked out most of the green peppers (my least favorite)?

Question: Are you a fan of Asian – Inspired foods?  Do you like green peppers?

The Result of a Successful day of Errands…


Yesterday, consisted of errand after errand.  I woke up, visited the gym, met a friend for lunch and headed to Trader Joe’s and then the grocery store with my 2012 resolutions in the back of my mind.

I managed to squeeze in a quick 30 minute elliptical workout before heading out to do my errands (every minute counts, right?).

I headed to Trader Joe’s after hearing from multiple people that know how much I love French Onion soup that I needed to try Trader Joe’s frozen FO Soup – and believe me, I LOVE IT.

Located in the frozen foods section at Trader Joe’s the French Onion Soup comes in packs of two.

Each soup comes individually packaged in plastic that you pull off and place the soup into a mug or bowl and bake 40 minutes at 400.

Probably one of my favorite things about this, is that each soup contains a crouton and cheese on top – and the nutrition facts aren’t half bad.  I was kind of skeptical about this at first since it is vegetarian and most french onion soups use a beef stock base but this is seriously delicious.  A little high in saturated fat and sodium, but fairly low calorie.

Absolutely delicious.

Real onions.  Seriously, I am so happy to find these.  I am going to save ALOT of money (and time) since I will no longer have to go to Panera for my weekly (sometimes bi-weekly) bowl of French Onion Soup ($5.03 at my Panera vs. $4.49 for a pack of two at Trader Joe’s). I give this a 5/5.  I sense many a French Onion Soup in my future.

Since I discovered I liked crab, I have been on a mission to find decent priced crab or even crab cakes.  I picked up a pack of Trader Joe’s Maryland Style Crab Cakes ($3.29 for a pack of two).  As soon as I got home, I sauteed up a delicious crab cake in a teaspoon of olive oil.


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It was delicious!  Not too much filler and a great flavor (especially considering it was frozen).  I also found a more detailed review of Trader Joe’s Maryland Style Crab Cakes for you here. Next time, I’m going to try it with some of Courtney’s Avocado Mango Salsa.

Let’s mark this up for two delicious new finds at TJ’s!

Question: What is your favorite Trader Joe’s product?

Trader Joe’s Sweet Potato Gnocchi Success!


Remember a few weeks ago when I got this:

Yes, I’m talking about the Sweet Potato Gnocchi from Trader Joe’s. Well today during lunch I finally had the opportunity to have it. It is AMAZING.  I love the buttery sage sauce! I seriously cannot remember who recommended this to me – but whoever you are – THANK YOU!

You should definitely try this if you like sweet potatoes!

Looks kind of like my Herb Roasted Garbanzo Beans….

Dinner was a lot less exciting. I actually started by heating up some of my leftover BBQ Chicken Pizza but for some reason, once I started eating it I just didn’t want to.  Is that strange? I think it’s because the cheese got kind of rubbery.  Since I had the oven on, I decided why not just make some mini pizzas using bagel thins.

So I ended up eating two of these.  They were much better.

Since I’m moving, I’ve been trying to eat all of my food and not buy more.. This is putting me into quite a predicament because most of the time, I don’t even want to eat what I make.  Typically, this happens when I make myself eggs (any form) for dinner.  Eggs are one of those things that I really have to crave in order to eat them.  Otherwise they just gross me out… Maybe it’s a texture thing?

If I could have it my way, I would eat oatmeal for breakfast and for dinner every night. It’s so much easier than cooking since I’m only cooking for myself.

Question: Are there any foods that you don’t eat because of their texture?

For me, its eggs unless I’m really craving them.

Trader Joe’s Got Me Again + Apartment News


So in cased you missed it, Chocolate, Cheese and Wine now has its own Facebook page so like Chocolate, Cheese and Wine on Facebook to stay up-to-date with all of my new recipes, reviews and musings!

Yesterday after work, I went to Trader Joe’s with the intention of just getting some Organic Shells and White Cheddar.

So mission accomplished, right?

And then some…..

Yeah…. I love that store.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi – someone recommended it… I can’t wait to try it.

Cilantro salad dressing, black beans, Fire-Roasted Tomato Salsa.

Rosemary, Corn, Cats Cookies, Jasmine Tea.

Since it was almost 7 – I made dinner out of my Trader Joe’s goodies.

You know how Trader Joe’s gives out samples? Well, yesterday they were giving out samples of black beans, corn and salad mixed topped with the delicious Cilantro Salad Dressing.

It was such a good salad.

I’m really hoping that this delicious dressing will help me get back into salads.

Yep – I’m a salad chopper. Chopping your salad distributes the dressing so much better – its the only way I’ll eat a salad :)

Dessert – starring fresh blackberries.

Into the bowl, vanilla yogurt, blackberries, almonds, granola and whipped cream.

All mixed up – not the prettiest (anymore) but so delicious.

I love getting fresh produce!

So, for apartment news, I found a potential place yesterday.  The kitchen was AMAZING (you know that’s all that matters, right?). I’m going to go back today to look at a larger floor plan and I’m really hopeful about it.

Question: Do you chop your salads before you eat them?

You know I do :)