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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Trader Ming's Chicken Shu Mai

My Asian friend, Trader Ming, has brought us yet another jewel from the Orient.

These aren't terribly dissimilar from the Chicken Cilantro Mini Wontons. However, here are a few ways they do differ: Trader Joe brought us the Wontons...Trader Ming brought us the Shu Mai, The Wontons have more cilantro than the Shu Mai, and the Wontons are sort of dumpling-shaped little thingies...and the Shu Mai is round-ish.

Sonia says these are way better pan-fried than steamed in the microwave. Makes sense.

We both liked them. Sonia gives them a 4 and I give them 4 and a half. Bottom line: 8.5 out of 10.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Trader Joe's Chicken Chow Mein

So here again we have the name "Trader Joe" on a Chinese food product instead of "Trader Ming" or whoever...makes you wonder about the inconsistency...

At any rate, this was pretty good. The noodles were thick and there were plenty of veggies. I kinda remember wishing there were just a few more pieces of chicken in the mix, but overall, I was satisfied. The sauce was decent. Sonia thought it was too salty. Is there such a thing as "too salty"? If God wanted us to be wary of salt, He wouldn't have spoken of it so highly in the Bible, what with all that talk about "the salt of the earth" and everything.

Anyway, Trader Joe's Chicken Chow Mein is nothing to write home about, but worthy of the moderate amount of time, effort, and money it takes to buy and cook it, as opposed to getting the same thing for take-out at a Chinese restaurant or buying a comparable product from another grocery store.

Sonia gives it a 4. Same here. Bottom line: 8 out of 10.

Trader Joe's Crispy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

These happy little cookie bites are sure to produce post-dinner smiles. Good texture. They are crispy, as the label indicates. They are slightly crunchy as well, but "crispy" is indeed the proper adjective to describe the level of tooth/cookie resistance present in these snackable treats.

They're made with oatmeal, which is better for you than bleached wheat flour, and they have a moderate amount of chocolate. Just enough to make them dessert-like and fun.

I'd say they're better than Famous Amos or any other big name vending machine type cookie, and probably better for you. And, if you broke down the price to find out the cost per cookie, I'm willing to bet they're a better value, at $3.99 for one package.

Sonia gives them a 4 out of 5. I do, too. Bottom line: 8 out of 10.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Trader Joe's Honey Nut O's

Trader Joe's
Honey Nut O's

That rhymes.

They should have a little bee that raps about this cereal on commercials. "Honey Nut O's, mine not yo's..."

But I guess that would kinda be copying the Cheerios bee. Not that the Cheerios bee raps...only because "Honey Nut" doesn't rhyme with "Cheerios." If it did, I'm sure the Cheerios bee would bust it out like Jay-Z...Hey, they could call him "Jay-Bee." Get it?

Lol. That's terrible, I know...

Since they're made of oats, they could have a rapping horse...since horses like oats I think. And they could name it after some famous horse...Mr. Ed...Secretariat...Seabiscuit...I guess they could call him Honeybiscuit.

Anyway, I like this cereal. It's very close to the Honey Nut Cheerios in terms of flavor and texture, and it's generally cheaper. Good Stuff. Sonia and I give it Four and a half Stars a piece. Bottom line: 9 out of 10.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Trader Joe's Organic Mango Nectar

I like the thick, rich texture of this juice. And that's about all I like. The taste leaves a little to be desired. Sonia wasn't a huge fan either.

I like mangos. I guess they just don't translate into nectar the way I was hoping they would. My logic was "I like the way mangos taste, therefore, I will like the taste of this organic beverage made from mangos."

It's as if the good people at TJ's found a way to create a delicious mango flavored beverage, but they couldn't get the texture quite right, so they decided to see if monkey urine would smooth everything out, and even though the flavor was completely ruined, they just left it that way because they ran out of ideas.

Sonia says she thinks it's bland...I disagree...I think it tastes the way a mango tastes, but with something extra...something that just ruins it. Not sure what it is...the package mentions white grape juice and vitamin C, but I've never heard of either of those things ruining the taste of a fruit juice before.

With this Mango Nectar, TJ's has offered us a healthy beverage flaunting near perfect texture and consistency, with a flavor not unlike the fluid waste of a diseased chimpanzee...not that I know what that tastes like...I'm just guessing.

If you're really really crazy about mango, you should try it...I might be wrong. It gets 2 stars out of 5 from this reviewer. Sonia gives it a 2, stating "And that's being generous." Bottom line: 4 out of 10.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Trader Joe's Strawberry Kiwi Juice

Yummy-licious! We like it. We like it a lot.

We may have a new favorite beverage from TJ's here. The long-time champ, Pomegranate Limeade may have just been de-throned by the Strawberry Kiwi Juice. This sexy blend of those good-for-you fruit pals, strawberry 'n kiwi, has got it all. It's got flavor, it's not bad for you, it comes from TJ's, you can recycle the bottle and get 5 or 10 cents back for it, it's nutritious, it's delicious, it'll make you run faster and jump higher, it's a magical cure-all that takes you to a fantasy world of love and eternal happiness...

All that for just $3.49!

No, we didn't spike it. We just had it straight.

It's sweet enough for me, but not too sweet for Sonia. It tastes like real fruit. This might be the first beverage I've had where you can actually taste strawberry and kiwi. And not like fakey type strawberry 'n kiwi, either. Despite its definite sweetness, it has a complex flavor. An official taster might describe it like so:

(Think of this being said by an aristocratic wine-critic with a fake English accent) "The attack of this beverage is delightfully fruity, yet suitable for sophisticated palates. From there, a bouquet of fine fresh strawberries delights the senses, with just a suggestion of flinty undertones. The exquisite juice finishes with a faintly acidic wash across the tongue, inviting the partaker back for another indulgent taste."

Yeah. We give this one a perfect 10.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Trader Joe's Mini Eclairs


I thought these were really good.

The last time Sonia and I had eclairs, we were in Vegas at one of those all-you-can-eat buffets, and they had eclairs out on their pastry table. And boy, these Vegas eclairs were disgusting! Worst. Eclairs. Ever.

So, after that experience, it didn't take much to impress me. I thought these Trader Joe's Mini Eclairs were tasty. The chocolate and the filling were very good. I must admit, the bread was a tad dry. That's what got Sonia. She is an eclair enthusiast, and she wasn't thrilled with these. She'll admit they were better than the Vegas buffet eclairs, but still not up to par with the fine pastries she is accustomed to.

Once these eclairs sat around a bit longer, they got slightly more moist. They come frozen, and you're supposed to eat them thawed. The only one Sonia had was about an hour or two into the thawing process. I think they need a little longer than that...For pre-packaged, frozen eclairs, I don't think you can expect too much more than what TJ's delivers. I give them Four and a half Stars out of Five. Sonia gives them Three and a half. Bottom line: 8 out of 10.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Trader Joe's Organic Strawberry Lemonade

Well...I definitely like this stuff. That may indicate that it would be too sweet for some people. It's actually quite similar to the Pomegranate Limeade...except think of a strawberry instead of a pomegranate...and a lemon instead of a lime...

But really, it does have a similar texture and flavor to the Limeade. The main difference, I would say, is that this beverage is not quite as tart. The sweetness level is about the same, but the strawberry finish generates a milder pucker than that of the Pomegranate Limeade.

Sonia gives it Four Stars, and it would have gotten that fifth one if not for the excessive sweetness. I give it Four and a half. I really like it, and it's a nice break from the Pomegranate Limeade once in a while, but overall the flavor isn't quite as impressive. But it's a very close second in my book...

Bottom line: 8.5 out of 10.