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Thursday, December 30, 2021

Trader Joe's Chicken & Chimichurri Empanadas


Despite her Latin-ness, Sonia isn't an expert when it comes to empanadas. That is, she didn't grow up eating them and I certainly didn't either. However, we've sampled a few tasty ones here and there throughout the years, so we're not entirely unfamiliar.

In the manner of tamales, mole, and flan, empanadas are eaten year round but are often associated with special occasions, including the Christmas and New Year's holidays. So I guess these are appropriate for this final week of the year when it's difficult to discern what day it is and 2022 resolutions still seem abstract and irrelevant.


Air fryer instructions are given on the back of the box. Hallelujah. And for the first time EVER I wound up heating the product for LESS time than was suggested on the packaging. The box said 375° for 15 minutes, but the chicken and chimichurri empanadas were fully cooked and crispy at about 13 and a half.

The crust was nice and flaky. It was crispy but not brittle. I wouldn't have minded a tad more filling inside each pocket, but what was there was impressive—finely shredded chicken and a delicious blend of veggies and spices. Very flavorful. Mildly spicy.


Sonia remarked that they were "very salty...but really good." At just shy of a quarter of your daily sodium in each empanada, I think that qualifies as "very salty."

$4.29 for two empanadas. It's not the most food for your buck at Trader Joe's. Each empanada feels more like an appetizer to me rather than a main dinner entree, but the quality is there in my opinion. Nearly restaurant quality for nearly restaurant prices. Four stars each from Sonia and me.

Bottom line: 8 out of 10.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Trader Joe's Mini Chocolate Chip Pancake & Waffle Mix

 

Monday nights are breakfast for dinner night in our house. Just is. Almost always has been, just maybe will be forever, we'll see. My lovely bride and the kiddos like to call it brinner, I will too on occasion, but that sounds weird. Absolutely better than brupper, I guess.

Anyways, if bacon and eggs aren't what we're doing, then it's gonna be bacon and pancakes or waffles. Bacon makes Mondays better, so it's nearly nonnegotiable. But when something new gets tossed our way, like the new Trader Joe's Mini Chocolate Chip Pancake & Waffle Mix, we'll give it a whirl for sure. The sidekicks can always be open to discussion. 

By now, I've had enough homemade pancakes and waffles to know my lovely bride is awesomely, perfectly capable of making a darn good pancake and/or waffle. Mixes never have that same from scratch vibe. That's kinda the same thing here with the TJ's mix - nothing wrong per se, but not anything overwhelmingly special. 

 What it's got is convenience. Homemade stuff takes time. Sometimes we got that...sometimes we don't. Getting stuck at work late then having one kid needing to go to Girl Scouts and another wanting to play Ticket to Ride means not as much time. Bam. Dump the mix in the bowl, stir in some water, heat up a griddle and go. Sandy pounded these out in no time flat. 

And the outcome was pretty acceptable. Firm, a bit fluffy, a little buttermilky, and plenty of milky chocolate chips. I swear they multiplied somehow because it didn't look like that many, but every bite had multiple chocolate chips. That'll make the kids, even the middle aged ones, happy. These went right down the hatch. Though we made them as pancakes, both the Mrs and i noted we thought the experience would easily transfer over as a waffle as well.

Only complaint is, there's no whole bag of mix instructions. There's about 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups of mix in the bag. The highest the mix-to-water chart goes is two cups mix to 1 1/3rd cup water. That means if you want to do the whole bag of mix at once (like we did) you either gotta eyeball it or do some fancy math and hope for the right end consistency. Mondays are hard enough, don't put multiplying fractions into it, please. 

Anyways, for only like $2 for the mix, it'll be a regular pick up. Not amazing, but good enough as is to not really elicit too many complaints.I'll take that any day but especially Mondays...

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Mini Chocolate Chip Pancake & Waffle Mix: 7 out of 10 Golden Spoons



Thursday, December 23, 2021

Trader Joe's Hot Cocoa Ornaments


Well these look fun. Clearly each pack of hot cocoa mix comes in a plastic ornament you can put on your tree after you empty out the cocoa mix. Wait. What? You put the whole thing in your milk and let it dissolve like hot chocolate bombs? They're too big. They'll never fit.

Fortunately, Sonia has an oversized coffee mug that reads "I'm not a morning person." She's not. It's true. Ah, good. The ornament fits in there. And I'll let you know as an aside: these would have just barely fit into any of our normal size mugs too, however, I'm not sure if there would have been any room left for milk.

So first we nuked a bunch of milk and got it nice and piping hot. Second, we dropped in the ornament. Nearly immediately, the gold coloring from the ornament began to melt off and slide onto the surface of the milk like a metallic oil slick—reminiscent of the One Ring dissipating in the lava flows of Mount Doom, or if you prefer a different nerdtacular film reference: the T1000 destruction sequence at the end of T2 featured some nearly identical shots to what I saw going on in my mug of milk, but with Trader Joe's Hot Cocoa Ornaments maybe making fewer scary faces than the liquid metal terminator.


After about 30 seconds, there were a few puffs of air from the ornament, bubbles from its underside, and an audible "pfft" or two. At one point, the ornament let out a gasp so violent that a bit of scalding hot milk jumped out of the mug and landed on my hand. Ouch. Anybody else? Maybe we should organize a class action lawsuit against TJ's. Just kidding. It's the holidays. And as much as it burned for a second, I don't think I'd be able to prove damages in court.

After a few big bubbly emissions, the ornament capsized and succumbed to the milky recesses of the very large mug. I waited, eagerly anticipating the arrival of fluffy, buoyant mini marshmallows... waited... waited. But they never came. I grabbed a spoon and began stirring, dredging the bottom of the mug for any sign of my missing marshies. All I found were a couple wads of thick semi-melted, syrupy chocolate. What happened? I guess my milk was too hot and the marshmallows dissolved before even floating to the surface..?


The taste is like a very sweet milk chocolate hot chocolate. There's nothing dark about it. Practically no mint flavor at all. It leaves a funny aftertaste, too. Some of you might remember how I feel about pork gelatin. We've got that going on here too. Nothing like a bit of pork in your Christmas cocoa.

$6.99 for four ornaments. They really do look and feel like real plastic Christmas tree ornaments. Unfortunately, neither Sonia nor I were blown away by any other aspects of the product. Would not buy again. We'll be a little grinchy and throw out only two and a half stars a piece.

Bottom line: 5 out of 10.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Trader Joe's Ginger Bread Cream Liqueur

Of course I love my kids. And I love holiday cookies. Heck, I even kinda love baking holiday cookies, but...

You ever try to make batch after batch after batch of holiday cookies with small kids clamoring to being 'helpful" each step, with limited space and tools,, what, with turn taking and problem solving and different abilities (sure, the nine year old knows how to crack an egg or accurately measure flour, but the three year old? Lololololol), with diminishing interest, the mess multiplied, with the only assistance in cleaning up afterwards is when it comes to licking clean the spoons and beaters?

Ay. It's a fun combination.

Want to know another fun combo to toss into all this, to make it all a lot more tolerable?

Grab your coffee mug, pour in a little Trader Joe's Ginger Bread Cream Liqueur, skip any other cream or sugar, and pour your coffee over. You're welcome. 

At only 29 proof, it's not gonna knock you down. Heck, if I were to drink the whole bottle, I think I'd be more buzzed from the sugar than the booze. Not gonna even attempt that though. Way too much dairy...

But anyways, this ginger bread liqueur is remarkably tasty. It's ginger infused vodka mixed with decent quality dairy cream that results in a cool, smooth, milky beverage that actually offers a pretty respectable gingerbread-esque flavor. It's mild yet fullbodied and plenty well balanced in all aspects. No boozy burn at all. It just flows. 

It is a bit too sweet and rich for me to entirely enjoy as a stand-alone drink. That's just me and my usual drinkable dairy aversion more than anything else - the gingerbready booze would make a killer ice cream flavor. Aside from  mixing in coffee, a small glass over ice would likely be an enjoyable after dinner/cookie time treat as well. 

Thanks, Ohio, for having cool laws that made this available in your TJ's stores. Wish we stocked up more. Get on board, Pennsylvania. 

Really good. My lovely bride was in love at first sip. Not gonna lie, we half contemplated playing hooky from all responsibilities just to make another road trip to procure some more. At less than $15 a bottle (I'm thinking $12.99 but I may be wrong) I cannot recommend picking up the TJ's gingerbread liqueur as a little holiday treat any higher if you see it. Tis the season to maybe be a bit generous here...so double fives. 

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Ginger Bread Cream Liqueur: 10 out of 10 Golden Spoons




 

Friday, December 17, 2021

Trader Joe's Fried Olive Bites


Kalamata olives I'm familiar with. It's one of the few foods Sonia is allergic to that I'm not. And that's one of the reasons I chose this app for elevensies yesterday—so I wouldn't have to share with the beautiful wifey. Haha. You think that's mean? Wouldn't it have been much meaner to share them with her under the circumstances? She actually has a pretty severe reaction that involves swelling in her extremities and face.

But there were also Castlevania olives, er Castelvetrano rather, in the box. Neither of us recognized that ingredient. If there's some way to tell the Kalamata olives apart from the Castlevania ones, we didn't figure out how to do it. It all tasted pretty much the same to me: salty, earthy, slightly bitter.


The fried breadcrumb coating was nice and crispy but didn't add a ton of flavor. As far as the stuffing was concerned, cream cheese was fine, but I would have preferred mozzarella or possibly even something more exotic than that. There's blue cheese listed in the ingredients, but it's pretty low on the list. Both Sonia and I are sensitive to blue cheese, but I didn't feel it at all. It might have lent an extremely subtle moldy tang to the filling, but for the most part, it's just plain cream cheese in there.

Trader Joe's put out a similar product stuffed with chicken a few years back. Not sure if Sonia and I tried those at the time. If we did, they weren't very memorable, and apparently the Shelly family wasn't super enthused.

Before it was all said and done, Sonia did take her life into her own hands and tried a bite. She was much more positive about these olive bites than I was, but I think that's mainly because she can't have them. "People always want what they can't have" and all that.


These would go pretty fast at a fancy Christmas party if they were piping hot straight out of the oven and people were quickly grabbing just one or two. I don't recommend them as a mid-morning snack or a substitute for lunch—although I'm thinking most normies don't do weird stuff like that like I do—at least not with the same regularity.

Anyway, these aren't bad if you're into olives and cream cheese, but we probably won't purchase again.

Bottom line: 6 out of 10.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Trader Joe's Kentucky Straight Bourbon Cream Liqueur

 

What makes existence possible is a good supply of beverages, right? I'm not talking about just hydration needs...I mean, who drinks a half gallon of high quality H2O daily, right? But for basic enjoyment in life...the what helps you get through or get over your day. Know what I mean?

My usual go-tos: Coffee. lots of coffee. Fizzy water. Regular water. Occasional kombucha. Then at night, a beer or two, or maybe some bourbon. mm, straight up bourbon the rocks. Hits the spot almost every time, and best not to mess around with that too much...

...except, yeah, sometimes a little change-up is needed. Something like Trader Joe's Kentucky Straight Bourbon Cream Liqueur. Saw it at an out-of-state TJ's and had to nab. Rock on, Cleveland.

A few years back I reviewed the regular TJ's KY bourbon, to pretty solid marks. To the best of my tastebud's memories, the bourbon flavor here is very evocative of that same bourbon - basic, not overly amazing or with deep character, but solid in its own right. Of course, in cream liqueur form, there's a cool milky smoothness flowing here as well, with more cream forward and bourbon on a backsided humble burn. Naturally, there's quite a bit of sweetness here - perhaps a touch cloying and almost syrupy sweet at times - but overall, it's a very smooth, balanced beverage that manages to highlight the oaky notes of the bourbon well enough. 

To note: it's only 30 proof, not anywhere close to normal bourbon levels. I'm guessing that's how it slid into an ohio store, as they sell beer and wine but not the real hard stuff. That ABV probably juuuust slides under the permissible in Ohio. Would never see this in a PA TJ's. Thanks Quaker heritage. 

It's tasty. Sipping some straight as is or over ice can make for a cool, rich after dessert drink, or for something not too hardhitting when just a dab will do ya. Probably putting some in a hot cup of coffee would work well, too. Is this gonna be my new favorite drink? Nah. At the end of the day I'd still prfer a regular straight up bourbon, but I can appreciate the bourbon cream for what it is. And yes we may or may not be plotting our next out of state run to TJ's soon enough to restock...

Good price at $13.99 for the 750mLs. Tasty, creamy, fresh, somewhat festive, and boozy. These are all good things. Huzzah! Now drink up.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Kentucky Straight Bourbon Cream Liqueur: 8.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons


Monday, December 13, 2021

Trader Joe's Organic Taralli and Friends Crackers

Wikipedia describes a taralli cracker as a "toroidal Italian snack food." For those of you who neglected to snag your masters in geometry from a prestigious university, a toroid is basically a donut shape.

The toroidal taralli crackers in this bag are kinda like Italian wontons I guess, at least flavor-wise. There's a vague sourdough vibe, too. Some people say you can dip them in sweet stuff. So if you dunk wontons in duck sauce as an appetizer or snack, you could dip these in...I dunno...cream cheese and fancy Italian marmalade?

I guess there are many different kinds of taralli crackers? Some get dipped in wine, some get paired with cheese, and others get dunked in spicy stuff. I need some Italian folks to weigh in on these because I clearly have no background with this fare.

The straight sticks taste very much like classic garlic croutons, but maybe a little softer. They're tasty, with a complex spice blend. There's a melt-in-the-mouth quality that most croutons lack. But I would totally throw these into any savory soup and I'm sure they'd enhance the taste and texture significantly. Both Sonia's and my favorite.


The square crackers are like sesame sticks kinda. But they're crackers instead of sticks. If you like sesame sticks, you'll like these. There are actual sesame seeds listed in the ingredients, so my tastebuds must be working today.

The twisty sticks are probably my least favorite of the bunch. They're a bit like plain saltines but puffier. And twistier. Fun shape, boring flavor. Could make a decent vehicle for a cheese dip I suppose.


$3.29 for the bag, imported from Italy. A sack of crackers with no chocolate or toffee or dipping sauce packets doesn't seem super Christmassy or exciting to me, but then I'm about as Italian as a spot of tea and crumpets. How do you serve these? How does TJ's offering compare to what Nonna used to make? For now, I'll score with a very neutral 3 out of 5 stars. Sonia will go with three and a half.

Bottom line: 6.5 out of 10.

Friday, December 10, 2021

Boatswain Hazy IPA

 


Have you seen this meme? Ugh...I mean, I can't argue, really...but that doesn't mean i like it. At all. 

Sometimes the truth is tough.

Love me a good IPA and I'm always eager to try a new one, especially of the unfiltered/"hazy"/New England style variety. That's my jam. So, I was pretty excited when I spotted a new-to-me can of Boatswain Hazy IPA at an out-of-state TJ's last weekend. Didn't see a full sixpack so i just slid one into a make-your-own sampler...

Thank God.

Ugh. Straight up not good. it's...I don't know...lacking too much. There's no real full body or anything. Instead, it's just like watered-down bitterness that funkifies itself into some sort of ghastly brew. First sip to last, it's straight up not enjoyable...at all. I can't even explain how bad it is, it just is.

The can boasts it's supposed to be fragrant and offer notes from mosaic, ella and citra hops. That's uusally a good thing. But the hops used must be last year's or something. It's all...not vibrant and stagnant, and, for lack of a better word, bitter, but not in the good bitter way that an IPA is supposed to be. It's bad bitter. Really bad bitter. 

Managed to drink it all, though I was tempted to pour it all down the sink. 

For what it's worth, I think the can cost a nice price of 69 cents. So, well, there's that. But if you see this TJ's exclusive branded Boatswain Hazy IPA, spend the extra buck or two and get yourself a local or regional brew instead. You'll be much happier.

Bottom line: Boatswain Hazy IPA: 1 out of 10 Golden Spoons


Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Trader Joe's Cookie Mug Hangers


Apparently these have been a thing for a while. Makes sense. It's not the first time I've been oblivious to a product that has existed in the world at large for months or years, only to have Trader Joe's draw my attention to it when they offer their own iteration of said product.

If I'd had these as a kid, I'd have undoubtedly played with my food until yelled at by one or both of my parents. I would have lined the little cookie men up on the side of a mug of hot chocolate and pretended it was me and my friends by the poolside in the summer. I'd have imagined the marshmallows as little floaties and tried to get the gingerbread men to lay on top of them without sinking into the hot cocoa.

Or I'd have imagined the cookie men were villains about to be summarily executed by being thrown into a vat of boiling liquid or perhaps eaten by a hungry dinosaur—played by yours truly—limb by limb, all the while begging for mercy.


I might have imagined them as deep sea divers, about to plunge into the abyss to explore an unknown trench, only to be consumed by a giant sea monster, again played by me. At any rate, I'd have had fun. Lots of fun.

And I'm not saying they're not fun as an adult. They are. They're cute, seasonally-appropriate, and quite tasty for pre-packaged gingerbread. If they'd had guts made of cookie butter, they might be even more impressive.

And they actually hang on to the side of your mug. I was thinking maybe we needed mugs with wider rims or something, but each mug we tried was easily straddled by the little mug-hangin' buggers. The foot on the inside on the mug actually dangles into your hot beverage of choice and is fully saturated within seconds, ready to be slurped off the cookie. Of course, he doesn't hang quite so well with only one leg left so you've got to do some old-fashioned cookie dunking at that point, but I'm perfectly fine with that.


The recipe seems pretty much like classic gingerbread. It's got a sweet, cinnamony essence and wheaty base. There's not much in the way of real ginger or any other pungent spices, so it's more of a "kids' gingerbread" flavor by my estimation. I'm usually turned off by an overabundance of clove and allspice, so plain sweet cookies are fine with me, especially when paired with a beverage.

The cookies are plenty crunchy and crispy until they get wet, at which point they become nice and soft and even more delicious. Not sure if we'll pick these up again next year, but they'll get two thumbs up and about four Christmas stars a piece from Sonia and me.

Bottom line: 8 out of 10.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Trader Joe's Salty Honey Toffee Milk Chocolate Covered Crackers

Really when it comes to it, whoever came up with the idea of chocolate covered saltines is a genius.

Saltines aren't sexy. No way. Versatile? Sure. But...boring. A little chocolate always spices things a bit, but the concept of chocolate covered pretzels or even potato chips is about ten times more exciting than the averagest of crackers out there. 

But if you're supposed to pile stuff on saltines to make them a tasty treat...why stop with just chocolate? Genius. 

Here we are with Trader Joe's Salty Honey Toffee Milk Chocolate Crackers. That's quite a mouthful to say right there. 

And to eat! Wow. It's almost hard to find the cracker in there, it's enrobed in so many layers of silky milky chocolate. TJ's really has it down on its chocolate game - across the board it's much higher quality and tastier than the usual Hershey's fare. There's no exception here. Usually I'm a dark chocolate guy, the darker the better, but I could nosh on this milk chocolate all day, it's so good. 

And then uptop of course is the salty honey toffee bits. There's not so much honey except maybe a small twinge of sweetness, as mostly it tastes of salt and toffee. That's not bad thing. Tastes rich and somewaht decadent, and gets amplified even more by a little choco-drizzle atop. It's quite good. 

And yeah, there's a saltine in there...somewhere...serving as a base and actually helping keep everything in check. If this were fall on chocolate and toffee, it'd probably stray towards too much, too rich, too whatever. That's the not the case as just little taste of plain ol' boring cracker  somehow helps rein it all in. 

The package says there's a little touch of coffee in there too. I couldn't detect it, but I'm also getting over a cold so my tasters aren't 100%. 

The package comes as a sleeve of eight of these treats that won't be the star of any holiday cookie plate, but would make a nice, somewhat fancy addition for only a few bucks. It's not bad deal, and not an all the time purchase, but I can appreciate them for what they all, a humble saltine all dressed to the nines for the holidays. 

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Salty Honey Toffee Milk Chocolate Covered Crackers: 9 out of 10 Golden Spoons

Friday, December 3, 2021

Trader Joe's Advent of the Cocktail Hour


Ever since I was a little kid, I've had a thing for advent calendars. There's just something about a countdown that's so suspenseful and fun. In elementary school, we'd make chains out of construction paper, with each of 25 links to be broken as the days crept closer to Christmas. We'd alternate red and green paper for the links, or maybe we'd throw in some white to represent the snow that we hoped for throughout December.

We even looked at Trader Joe's Advent Calendars on this blog a whole decade ago. Can you believe it's been that long? Since then, we checked out the Advent Calendar For Dogs. Some years we'll even purchase separate advent calendars for Sonia and me, as well as two individual ones for each of our mutts.

This year, we got two of these calendars with Boozy Little Chocolate Truffles. It's a different assortment of confections/liqueurs than its predecessor. The original boozy chocolate assortment featured gin, whisky, rum, and prosecco, while these candies contain liqueur de cafe, honey caramel, peach bellini, eggnog, coffee martini, and pink champagne. We're gonna jump ahead until at least December 6th so we can hopefully sample one of each flavor and give you the lowdown on all of them.


Wednesday, December 1: we got liqueur de cafe. It's a vaguely Kahlua-esque flavor, nice and chocolatey with a coffee booze edge. Probably Sonia's favorite.

Thursday, December 2: coffee martini time. Similar to the previous selection, but there's more of a harsh gin-like essence mixed with traditional coffee flavor.

Today, Friday, December 3: we found an eggnog chocolate. It actually tastes like eggnog with alcohol. I wanna say it's eggnog mixed with rum..? Not as tasty as it might have been if they had gone with Jagermeister, but hey, these chocolates are from the UK, not Deutschland.

Then we got in our magical time machine and jumped ahead to:

Saturday, December 4: and we got honey caramel. Tastes a bit like actual honey. And caramel. Imagine that. Pretty high quality. I'm not complaining.

Sunday, December 5: peach bellini. There's actual peach puree in there. It's barely tastable, but it's there. And peach Schnapps, too. This one might be my favorite, although the peach flavor struggles to shine even when paired with plain white chocolate.

The order of the chocolates appeared to repeat at that point, starting over again with liqueur de cafe. I warped ahead to Christmas Day in my magical DeLorean TARDIS time sled hot tub and found what we were missing: a pink champagne chocolate truffle. Awwww yeeeah.


The verdict: a bit anticlimactic. Meh. It's not bad. Sonia said, "This doesn't taste like anything." I wouldn't go that far. I tasted something champagne-esque. It still tasted more like white (pink) chocolate than anything else, with maybe a hint of being spiked with white wine. Acceptable. Don't get your hopes up too high and you won't be disappointed.

For $6.99, this imported set of 25 unique chocolates presented in 6 different flavors is fun, giftable, and pretty. It's in a whole 'nother ballpark quality-wise compared to those original Trader Joe's Advent Calendars with 24 bites of barely edible "chocolate." I mean, granted, we're paying 7 times as much, but it's worth it.

I should mention, too, that the fillings in each chocolate are smooth, semi-solid cream, rather than liquid. You can totally get away with biting them in half and not having random shots of liquid alcohol squirt out onto your clothing. 2.5% ABV.

Three and a half stars from Sonia. Four from me.

Bottom line: 7.5 out of 10.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Trader Joe's Sweet & Salty Snack Mix

Ah, December. 

If you're a real TJ's fan, you know exactly what time of year it is officially now: time to run to your local shop and snatch up anything and everything covered in chocolate. 'Tis the season. 

Granted, there's nothing really definitively overtly holidayish about the new Trader Joe's Sweet & Salty Snack Mix.I mean, there's not even a reindeer or elf on the packaging, let alone little fun shapes or something. But c'mon now. Look at that little bowl on the front. Wouldn't that look great as part of your holiday spread?

There's four main components to the mix, two of which incorporate a good thick drizzle to coating of good ol' silky smooth rich milk chocolate. 

First and foremost would be the caramel popcorn - that seems to be the real base of the snack, as I'd say it's at least 70% popcorn. That's not a bad thing, as it's decent munch crunchy popcorn. With the substantive carmale overlay, the popcorn packs a good crunch even though it's kernel-free (or however you would describe the floofiest part of regular popcorn), and hits some rich notes with the chocolate on top of that. Lots and lots of caramel and chocolate, in a highly snackable form. Yum.

Let's keep on the choco-choo-choo by hitting the real winning tidbits here: Little shards of chocolate coated potato chips. Deeeeelish. Addictive. Too few of them so far, though I'm hoping there's a little pocket further down the bag of them. I'd feel like I hit gold. I kinda want to go mining for them, but thats against the rules with snack mixes in our house. You get what you get and you don't get upset...but man, hit me up with these choco-chips anytime. Thick, crunchy, salty, chocolatey. Yum. 

Those first two items have enough chocolate that none is really needed for the mini peanut butter filled pretzels. They're naked, regular, ol' pb pretzel nuggz in baby form. Tasty of course, with a surprising amount of peanut butter sensation despite its diminutive form. Regular sized nuggets would have taken over the feel and texture of the mix, so the smaller sized ones were the right call, despite me craving a touch more peanut butter...

...which perhaps is why there's roasted peanuts in there, too. Yup. Regular ol' roasted peanuts. Not bad at all but what can be said?

Altogether this $4ish grab bag of snacks would be a fine addition to pretty much any occasion. Or, if you're like me, for getting that early to mid afternoon sugar rush to finish out the work day. Or...well..do you really need justification to get it? No way! Treat yo'self. 

Double fours. 

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Sweet & Salty Snack Mix: 8 out of 10 Golden Spoons