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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Peanut Butter & Jelly Frooze Balls


Just a quick hit for today. It's our first non-Trader Joe's brand product of 2023. It is widely available at Trader Joe's stores as well as a few other major retailers and grocery chains.

Frooze Balls. Not sure how I feel about that name for the product. Like I guess it could be a contraction or portmanteau of the words "fruit" and "ooze." They are made mostly of fruit, and there is a sort of ooze in the middle of them, so "Frooze Balls" it is.


They're made of date and coconut squished into a soft, moist texture, filled with peanut butter and various fruit purees and juices to make up the "jelly" part of the equation. They're fairly filling for how small they are, and they taste kind of like you'd expect: sweet, fruity, nutty. I like them okay, but I tire of them quickly after I've had one or two. They lack...pizzazz in my book, though many will disagree.

Sonia's a tad more into them than I am. She gives them four stars. We've also tried the chocolate hazelnut variety, which I like about the same as these. Sonia prefers PB&J over chocolate hazelnut. $1.99 for five balls. Vegan. Kosher. I give the Peanut Butter & Jelly Frooze Balls three and a half stars.

Bottom line: 7.5 out of 10.

Monday, January 30, 2023

Trader Joe's Everything Ciabatta Rolls


Every time I go to the grocery store and get cold cuts, cheese, greens, and plain wheat or white bread, there's a process that inevitably follows over the next few days in our kitchen. On the first couple days, if I get hungry around lunch time, I remember we have sandwich stuff, and I make a sandwich, and it hits the spot.


After the first few days, I try to think of something...anything other than a sandwich for lunch because I'm tired of the same thing day after day, but then I realize it's just Sonia and me and I better eat a sandwich before one of the ingredients spoils. By the end of the tub of cold cuts or the loaf of bread, I'm only eating the sandwich out of a sense of obligation to not let anything go bad, and then I don't want homemade sandwiches for a long time.

I present to you the remedy for this conundrum: Trader Joe's Everything Ciabatta Rolls. No matter how many times I make sandwiches with this stuff, it never tastes or feels boring. It always feels like I went out to a cafe and had some professional sandwich artist craft some deli-fresh food of the gods just for me.

The bread itself is great quality and the "everything" seasonings just throw it over the top. There's onions, garlic, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, and sea salt in the mix. It's just the right combo to make a sandwich feel uncommon, even if it did just come from my own kitchen.

$2.49 for four rolls. Sonia and I will definitely purchase again. Four and a half stars a piece on Trader Joe's Everything Ciabatta Rolls.

Bottom line: 9 out of 10.

Friday, January 27, 2023

Trader Joe's Organic Mediterranean Style Salad Kit

If you want to pique my interest in any food product, slap the word "Mediterranean" on it. The promise of garbanzo beans, feta cheese, and any kind of pita or flatbread will reel me in every time, guaranteed.

Throw in other ingredients like romaine lettuce, radicchio, and red wine vinaigrette, and there's a good chance we'll have a winner on our hands. Speaking of red wine vinaigrette, does Subway still have that stuff? I don't go to Subway anymore because the last half dozen times or so I've gone, the prices have gone up, and there's no red wine vinaigrette. I digress.

So the ingredients in Trader Joe's Mediterranean Style Salad are good, but these kits rarely, if ever, have enough of the dressings, toppings, and fixins. 


I mean the vinaigrette, cheese, and flatbread strips were all lacking in our package. I'm not paying four bucks for a bag of lettuce here, Trader Joe's. I want a complete salad kit. 

The photo we took might lead one to conclude there were plenty of toppings, but this was our first little bowl of salad. Subsequent helpings were not as abundant in terms of flatbread strips, cheese, and dressing. We always have some vinaigrette on hand, so that wasn't really an issue. 

The bites that had each and every ingredient were delicious, but there were plenty of bites that were mostly just lettuce. I wasn't a fan of the little sun-dried tomatoes, either. I'm weird about tomato, though. I gave mine to Sonia. She was fine to finish them all but thought they were overly dried and too hard somehow. I just thought they were overly tomatoey somehow.

$3.99 for three and a half servings. A few tweaks here and there would put this in repeat-buy territory. As of right now, three stars from me on Trader Joe's Mediterranean Style Salad Kit. Sonia gives it three and a half.

Bottom line: 6.5 out of 10.