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Friday, April 27, 2018

Trader Joe's Cauliflower Gnocchi

Cauilflower...what can't it do?

Well, plenty, I suppose. Top of the list no-can-dos have to include facilitating world peace and being an adequate bacon substitute. But really, here's yet another product predominantly and scientifically featuring  Brassica oleracea var. botrytis...Trader Joe's Caulifower Gnocchi.

Cauliflower was a definite punishment veggie growing up. You know what I mean: the kind you were made to eat for dinner after a day full of misbehavin'. Gnow this is the kid of stuff we gnaturally reach for. Odd.

Anyways, we sauteed our gnocchi per the recommended prep directions. As is our usual, we gneglected to take an actual picture of the finished product - tsktsk, I know - but let me assure you: it looked GNOTHING like the package picture. Look at that gnocchi, with it's fine tan lines and gnice browning. Gnope. Our was pale and limp and and kinda soggy. That may have been our fault, a little, but we did the best we could. Sandy said somewhere on the interwebs there were some folks who suggested alternate methods to achieve that gnice gnocchi as advertised, but we didn't get there with what TJ's was telling us to do.

The rest kinda tasted as it looked. Soft, doughy, not really all that firm, slightly gnuanced with maybe a slight garlic flavor (coulda been our EVOO there, gnot sure what Sandy used), with a definite cauliflower taste. Gnot bad, and okay, but the rest of the fam kicked it up a gnotch with some marinara and cheese, which is common enough for gnocchi consumption I suppose.

Of course, it's gnot just cauiflower here. There's also cassava (basically fancyish potato) and potato flour as ingredients, I guess to help hold it all together. I'm gnot an expert on such things, but, say, if the point of cauilflower rice is to enjoy a rice-like substance which is gneither rice gnor grain, then what's the point of this gnocchi? Is it to be more gluten-free than anything else? It seems to me that this TJ's cauli-gnocchi contains right about as many carbs as regular gnocchi, so if that's a concern for you, you may have to pass. Maybe that's a gknock, maybe gnot.

Sandy said she'd buy again and experiment with prep for her lunches. I could take it or leave it with this gnocchi to be honest. Kinda like uneccessary silent letters in that regard. Middlin' marks from the two of us.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Cauliflower Gnocchi: 6.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons   

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Trader Joe's Just a Handful of Olives Pitted Salted Manzanilla Olives

Ah, it's springtime, and the forsythias are blooming again. Who knew forsythia bushes yielded green olives? Not this guy, that's for sure. Fun fact: they don't actually. But we put these manzanillas there anyway, because, you know...pretty picture.

I hablo enough of the EspaƱol to know that "manzana" means "apple." So I figured "manzanilla" might mean apple...something or other. Applicious? Probably not if they're salted. I didn't really think that one through.

Actually, "manzanilla" translates to "chamomile." Do these happy, snackable olives taste like chamomile? You'll just have to watch our short video review to find out.

Closing thoughts: are olives fruits or vegetables? Technically, they're fruits, but for culinary purposes, they're treated as veggies, so I tagged them as both. 4.5 from Sonia. 4 from me.

Bottom line: 8.5 out of 10.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Trader Joe's 4 Authentic Belgian Waffles

What's your breakfasty carb of choice?

Speaking solely for myself, it's gotta be potattoes. Hashbrowns are king. But sweet potatoes mixed in with some eggs, cheese and salsa...mmm.

But for my fam as a whole? Undoubtably it's waffles. A freezer waffle on the go is a busy weekday morning breakfast of choice for our kiddos. There's a place within easy walking distance of our house that started a weekly waffle brunch every Saturday, and if we're in town, we're there. My brother and his wife even throw a fancy homemade "Wafflepalooza" every year complete with mountains of almost every kind of homemade waffle and topping imaginable.

So...we know our waffles.

And of course, waffles aren't just for breakfast anyways. Like with what we did with Trader Joe's 4 Authentic Belgian Waffles when we used them as a base for an open faced ham/cheese/egg sandwich for dinner. Okay, that's like breakfast for dinner, so kinda cheating...but nah.

Perhaps this is just recency bias, as we almost literally just ate them, but I cannot think of a better frozen waffle I've had in quite some time. These Beglain boys are a bit thick to fit in our toaster, so instead Sandy heated them up in our oven for a few minutes, which of course worked just as well if not even better. The outcome: hefty, square doughy grids with a crisp outer shell giving way to a warm, almost creamy interior. There's a slight sweetness to the batter which plays well with the buttery aspects. Really, it's a surprisingly decent Belgian waffle, and although a serving says two waffles, really one is reasonably enough.

And there's no way to argue it's not an authentic Belgian waffle either. They're right from Belgium, not some Belgian style imposter by way of Vancouver or something silly.

 Sandy and I were pleasantly surprised by how overall decent these waffles were. And remember: we're waffle people. Our two little waffle experts weren't as impressed, though. Might have something to do with the rest of dinner (eggs are give or take) or whatever...I'm sure if we scooped ice cream atop or covered with fruit and whipped cream or did any number of other tasty waffle options that they'd be much more amenable.

These are worthy waffles to be freezer staples. Can't believe we've not had them til now. Deeeee-lish.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's 4 Authentic Belgian Waffles: 8 out of 10 Golden Spoons  


p.s. Perhaps appropriate this week while also on the topic of waffles.