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Friday, April 3, 2020

Trader Joe's Organic Milk Chocolate Caramel Eggs

Not gonna lie. I've been sitting here for a while trying to figure out how to make this interesting and/or unique...can't.

So here goes: Trader Joe's Organic Milk Chocolate Caramel Eggs.

What all is there to know? Not much. Our TJ's trips are somewhat limited and "sustenance/mission-at-hand" focused these days. Can't blame us. Maybe there's new and exciting stuff. If there is, please tip us off!

Easter's coming up soon. Can't exactly cancel Easter. Eggs are somehow probably one the two biggest secularly acceptable symbols of Easter, second maybe only to the Easter Bunny that supposedly hides the eggs. Never really understood all that, but after a while, you just accept it.

I'll tell ya where the TJ candy eggs can hide, though. Right in my belly.

You probably get the whole concept here already. Typical milk chocolate shell surrounding a small resevoir of oozy goozy silky caramel. That's precisely what we have here. There's nothing all that special or unique or outstanding about them. Nothing horrible either - everything is of good quality, as one would expect.

Tasty? Absolutely. Delicious? Positively. A little bit too easy to eat a few more little guys than ya should? Guilty as charged.

Amazing and earth shattering and sure to change your whole world? Nah, fam.

As a small note, I will say I didn't even realize they were organic. There's still part of me that expects organic stuff to taste weird or odd or a little different or, like, happier or something. There's none of that. It just tatstes like regular ol' milk chocolate and caramel. I'd say that's a positive.

Well, there ya go. Hope to hit ya with something more exciting next time. I liked 'em, my kids loved 'em. My poor, lovely bride somehow managed to not even try one before they all disappeared. it wasn't all me, love, I swear! Not like ya missed all that much anyways. At a couple bucks for a bagful, it's not a bad little seasonal pick up for the ol' Easter basket, but should not be a focal that honor for the jelly beans. Think I'll just say the eggs aren't bad and rate them appropriately.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Organic Milk Chocolate Caramel Eggs: 6.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Trader Joe's Pappa al Pomodoro

Well, we know that in the last days a loaf of bread will cost a day's wage. When that day comes, it's time to go Mad Max on your neighbors to obtain some at any cost, because this stuff turns ordinary slices of white or wheat into scrumptious tangy tomatoey sourdoughy delights.

Just kidding about going Mad Max on your neighbors. We need to stick together now more than ever. But you should totally get down on your knees and beg them for a slice of bread if you don't have any, because it pairs really, really well with this stuff.

At first, I thought the box might contain a few pieces of bread or breadsticks, because look, right there adjacent to the a delicious-looking breadstick. But then I looked closer, and sure enough it says "serving suggestion" in the upper left-hand corner. But then I read the ingredients. Look! "Sourdough bread" is right there on the list right after "vegetable broth." I was overjoyed...until I opened the box several seconds later only to be crestfallen by the lack of sourdough breadsticks.

Maybe Italian folks already know this, but apparently pappa al pomodoro is a soup that's made with bread. I had no idea. What a weird concept.

But it's a darn good one.

After heating the product on the stovetop and pouring it into a bowl, Sonia and I sampled the soup by itself. It was very thick, tangy, tomatoey, and had just enough basil to balance the other flavors. I dipped a slice of semi-stale wheat bread into it.

Man, I don't know if I was just really hungry or what, but that was the best piece of bread I've eaten in a long time. The sourdough in the pappa al pomodoro seemed to magically transform my cheap, old bread into a scrumptious sourdough breadstick with an amazing Italian pasta sauce. We finished the bowl in short order, alternating bites of bread with spoonfuls of soup. Sonia was even more impressed than I was.

This fantastic pappa al pomodoro would work well as a pasta sauce, a pizza sauce, or as a stand-alone soup. $3.69 for two 9oz pouches. We like that it comes frozen and you can save it as long as you need to. We think this will be a repeat purchase. 

Perfect five from Sonia. I just wish it came with a couple little breadsticks. Four and a half from me.

Bottom line: 9.5 out of 10.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Trader Joe's Olive & Herbs Mixed Nuts

Well, working from home has been an adventure thus far.

For about the past week, I've been set up on a card table in the basement. It's a bit cool and drafty down there, but it works. I never knew I was raising a herd of elephants though - man, my kids are LOUD stomping around. My colleagues are still kinda catty, and the commute still kinda stinks (I mean, I walk right by the litter box), so not everything is completely different...

One thing that'll never change: need work snacks.

Vending machine or work cafe not an option for now, so instead I gave Trader Joe's Olive & Herbs Mixed Nuts a try.

I always gotta try new and interesting looking nut mixes, especially ones that aren't primarily peanuts. I have nothing really against peanuts, but nothing really for them...I mean, technically, they're not even a nut. There's just so many better nuts out there, especially cashews and pecans, and almonds aren't that bad, either.

Those aforementioned nuts are the basis of this entire snack. If asked for ratios, my bag seemed to be about half almonds at most, then a quarter each of cashews and pecans. That's above and beyond acceptable in my box. Each nut is roasted nicely,, enough to give them a satisfying crunch and bite, while displaying their respective nutty earthy flavors.

But that's not quite all.

Nah, you see, when I read the "Olive & Herbs" part of the title, I presumed without looking further that it meant just the flavoring sprinkled atop. Indeed, there's a lot of herbal medley plastered everywhere, and while I'm not knowledgeable enough to really point out which herb was strongest - there was some variance from bite to bite - I figured olive would be a flavor in the mix, too.


Dried Kalamata olives, in the actual mix, along side the nuts.

Wasn't prepared for that.

Maybe I'm over-sheltered but I've never had dried olives before, I don't think. They're...a bit odd. Think dried out raisin, not chewy, more of a just a shell than anything. Olive mummies, maybe. Their oddness stands out more if consumed solo, but with a couple cashews, the bite is pretty seamless. In fact, I wasn't even aware I had some in a handful until I tasted them, because it's unmistakable. So potent. So strong and vibrant. So...dry. How is this even possible? I don't know.

Good thing my brilliant and lovely bride had the foresight to pick up not one but two bags - one for her, and one for me. At $4.99 for a 10 oz sack, it's not an awful deal by any stretch. Over the past two days I've eaten my entire ration, leaving me wondering what I'll find to graze on today. I'll have to go to work on that, I guess. For a unique-to-me snack at a good value, and all those cashews and tasty olives, I gotta go full five. Wouldn't change a thing. Sandy, who has way more self control than I do, shrugged and gave 'em a four based on her few small handfuls.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Olive & Herbs Mixed Nuts: 9 out of 10 Golden Spoons