Hello. My name's Nathan, and I love Trader Joe's. My wife Sonia does too. She's a great shopper, has excellent taste and knows good value when she comes across it. As many of you know, Trader Joe's is unsurpassed in the world of good-value grocery stores, so we spend a lot of our time and money there. Although the store fairly consistently delivers great taste with its own unique line of food products, there are definitely some big-hits, and unfortunately, there are some misses...

After doing a couple of internet searches for reviews of TJ's food items, Sonia discerned an apparent dearth of good, quality reviews for the store's offerings. So, at her suggestion, we decided to embark on a journey of systematically reviewing every Trader Joe's product, resulting in the blog you are about to read...

A couple of months into our Trader Joe's rating adventure, an old college friend, Russ, who unbeknownst to me had been following our TJ's blog, decided that I had been slacking in my blogging duties (which, of course, I was) so he decided to contribute his own original TJ's reviews to the blog, thus enhancing it, making it more complete and adding to it a flavor of his own. He and his wife Sandy are also avid TJ's fans and, as you will soon discover, he is an excellent writer and is nearly as clever, witty and humble as I am.

Seriously though, Russ: You go, boy!

So here it is: "What's Good at Trader Joe's?"

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Trader Joe's House Whip and Trader Joe's Greek Style Yogurt

Alright, I'll admit it, I'm scrounging a little here for some review matter. It's not entirely my fault. As part of some healthy eating kick the wifey and I are on, we're buying less prepackaged TJ's stuff, and especially we've cut down on all the tasty treats we used to gorge ourselves on. It's working. But then there's less selection from our grocery basket, unless you want to read about my thoughts about an apple or a bag of carrots. That's boring. From our last trip, I was thinking about two things in particular, but found out that Nathan had already reviewed some wasabi snacks, nixing that. No matter, we still had this new-fangled candy bar...except I spent too much time deedling and dawdling about what to write and how to work in some whole bit about kids and dinosaurs and this random Family Guy clip (true story) that Nathan swooped in and reviewed the new-ish PB&J chocolate bar before I could. Consider yourself spared. We've scrounged once or twice for review matter in the past, so I guess here goes my turn.

I'm left with two kinda boring, kinda plain products. However, I have a recommendation for both of them that you might not expect. I'm usually not one to give out cooking tips, leaving it to the pros who wrote the TJ cookbooks, but this is what I'm resorting to here.

First, let's go with Trader Joe's House Whip. Hmm, it's organic cool hwip. That's right, cool hwip. That's how I've been saying it around Sandy just to yank her chain. It drives her crazy. I don't know why. Anyways, I'm not usually a cool hwip kinda guy, and don't even get me started on that nasty spray junk from a can. But I like this. First, it's organic, and that's cool. Sandy says it shades towards tasting vanilla-y. Plus, while I'm sure it'll be a perfectly adequate ice cream topping or whatever else you use cool hwip for, Sandy's a genius and found a Weight Watchers dessert recipe that's simply cool hwip swirled around with a few dollops of your favorite peanut butter, separated into cupcake papers and frozen. My goodness. It helps I'm a peanut butter fiend, but man, those are awesome.  She made a dozen of them, and we were good and spread them out over a little more than a week, and just polished off the last of them tonight, and I want more already. Do it. Trust me. It's like rich peanut butter ice cream, except better, and in a few manageable, satisfying bites. You'll thank me.

You may also thank me after my suggestion for Trader Joe's Greek Style Yogurt. Sure, it's Greek yogurt, so use it as a sub for sour cream, or mix in some berries or honey or whatever. We've featured for many a taco night, or on top a baked potato, or a quick breakfast snag. That's not what I'm going for, even though I highly recommend it for all that. Did you know you can make pizza dough with just Greek yogurt and some self rising flour? I didn't. It's true. We've done it. Twice. It takes a little work and patience (because it looks NOTHING like pizza dough until all the sudden it does), but both times we've done it for homemade pizza, it's made an absolute killer crust. I like thick crust that's crispy on the outside and chewy in the middle. That's what this makes, plus it doesn't really taste like Greek yogurt at all. If you like thinner and all-the-way-through-crispier, I think you can just spread it a little thinner, and it'll work. We go back and forth between the regular and low-fat versions (depending on who's shopping/paying attention) and have been equally pleased with both.

Well, there you have it. There's not much else to be said about the House Whip or yogurt. Trying them together might be a little odd. The Greek yogurt is an absolute staple in our house, and the House Whip just might as we come up with some different dessert ideas using it as a base. There's no great way to really rate them, but here goes:

 Bottom lines: Trader Joe's House Whip: 7 out of 10 Golden Spoons
Trader Joe's Greek-Style Yogurt: 8 out of 10 Golden Spoons



 

6 comments:

  1. How the heck did u come across that 2 ingredient recipe? Never heard of it.. Will try it tho... As far as cool whip, rather have the real thing- real whipped cream... then again tj scores again for the 'house whip' name.

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  2. 1. It isn't two ingredients if the first ingredient already contains 3 or more ingredients. 20+3 does not equal 2.

    2. Beware on the Cool Whip timing. I have been buying it for a year. The container says it is good for 2 weeks after the container is opened, but after 7-8 days it starts to smell and taste funny. It is hard to describe, but there is a slightly acidic smell and taste after it sat in my fridge for over a week. I would still buy it again, but make sure it is used up quickly..

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  3. I'm a Weight Watcher and those two items are staples in my fridge/freezer.

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  4. Wow, the trans fat is really high in the yoghurt. In fact yoghurt shouldn't have any trans fats at all.

    The pizza dough is great 1 cup of sr flour, 1/2 cup of real greek yoghurt.

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    1. You do realize that's naturally occurring in ruminants, and therefore dairy products, right? It is NOT the same as partially-hydrogenated oils.

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