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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Trader Joe's Danish Pancakes

People eat spherical pancakes in the merry land of Denmark. How delightful. How novel. How delicious. 

Why pancakes would taste better in the form of balls, I haven't the foggiest clue. They just do. Why "Munchkins" taste better than regular Dunkin Donuts, I'm not sure of either. Why "balls" sounds so much more vulgar than "spheres," well, I do have a clue why that's the I shall strategically avoid that terminology for the rest of this blog post.

A few years back, I visited a touristy Danish village in Southern California known as Solvang. It means "sunny meadow." It's cute and quaint, full of wine-tasting establishments, four-seater quadricycles, and German-looking fachwerkhäuser. Along one of the picturesque side-streets, an unassuming hole-in-the-wall consistently attracts a crowd of people waiting to try what the Danes call "aebleskivers" (eh' bil skee vers). Sonia and I took a gander at the plates of some of the patrons. They served the pastries with a raspberry sauce and an optional scoop of ice cream. We immediately decided to brave the long queuing line and get a plate for ourselves. The aebleskivers were amazing. 

When we first saw these Danish Pancakes at TJ's, we thought, "Hmmm, I wonder if those are similar to aebleskivers?" Upon closer inspection, we noticed that Trader Joe's writes on the packaging, "aka aebleskivers." Score!

Trader Joe's Danish Pancakes are every bit as good as the aebleskivers from Solvang. They were slightly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. We heated ours in the oven, and we can't imagine them turning out nearly as well in the microwave, although they list that as an option on the packaging. My biggest complaint about these confectionery spheres is the lack of "fixins." If the product had come with powdered sugar and raspberry jam, these might have been real candidates for our Pantheon of Great TJ's Foods. Of course, we used our own powdered sugar, and fortunately, there's not a lot of variation from one brand of powdered sugar to the next. That raspberry jam from Solvang, on the other hand, would be very difficult to replace. It's very unique. We used some of our Welch's grape jelly instead, which actually wasn't as bad as I expected it to be. We also tried them with maple syrup. No, sadly it wasn't Trader Joe's Organic Grade B Maple Syrup, but maybe we'll try them with that next time. Homemade whipped cream goes well with them, too.

Click here to watch 52 seconds of aebleskiver madness on YouTube, featuring my repulsive attempt at a Danish accent!

Sonia and I each give them 4 stars.

Bottom line: 8 out of 10.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Trader Joe's Light Coconut Milk

Clickety click click click. Click. Click clack moo.

"Whatcha doing over there?" asks my wife, laying on the other couch, relaxing after dinner with her Nook as Baby M snores away n her car seat (She's been asleep since we got home, and don't you mess with a sleeping baby).

"Uhhh..nothing" I say. "Really, not much at all."

"You're typing something. I can tell by that fourth-grade style hunt and peck you do. You're thirty, learn how to type like an adult. Typing something up for your TJ's blog or that other one you do?"

"Like, I said nothing really. Go back to your Nook."

"Nah, you're typing something. I'm going to guess it's your TJ's blog. Whatcha reviewing? Aren't you gonna nag me again for your Golden Spoon rating? You and your spoons, thinking you're so clever...."

"Okay, fine, I am writing a TJ's review."


"Uhhhh......Trader Joe's Light Coconut Milk."

"What the heck can you write about a can of friggerin' milk?"

"I don't know, but we seem to pick it up pretty often. I mean, every time you make your Tres Leche cake, you add some in to make it a 'Cuatro Leche' cake. You really need to make that again sometime, and by that, I mean, like right now. Or last night, when I used a can to make some Thai-style coconut and chicken soup. Even with all the spices and stuff I put in, you still tasted the coconut, right? Or didn't we use it that one time with some mango and make that really good coconut-mango rice we both really liked?"

"Yeah, but, it's still just a can of milk."

"Well, no poop, but...everything at TJ's can't be cookie butter and impossibly good ice cream and candy bars. It's a grocery store, and they got to get some of the staple stuff right, or they'll just be some sort of store all full of gimmicky stuff and not much else. Sometimes I want all the gimmicks, but I still need me some groceries too. It can't hurt to write about those every once in a while, too. Like the maple syrup last week. Right, my dearest of loves? Right?"

"....Sure, you're right. I guess. Have fun. I'm just going to lay here and read my Baby Sitter's Club book for the 693rd time. This one is one of my favorites. It's the one where Mallory has to try and beg and plead her parents to get her ears pierced. It'!"

"Well, you know what else is good? I'm pretty sure we've picked up both the the regular and light versions of this coconut milk, and kinda like regular and Diet Dr Pepper, it's hard to tell the difference. Well, it's not impossible, the regular has just a little more coconut richness but, they're both good, and get enough coconut flavor in. I think the difference is the light version because it's made from coconuts that were jumped on their way out of a Weight Watchers meeting. Ha! That's a funny line I need to remember to put in. Nah, seriously it's because it's the second time they press the coconuts and the first time all the...."

"Excuse me, I'm trying to read here. What are you prattlin' on about coconuts about?"

"I'm just thinking out loud about how smokin' you'd look in a grass skirt and coconut top...."

"Errr, no. And don't put that in your review. Or the line about coconuts going to Weight Watchers. That's stupid."

"I thought you weren't listening."

"I wasn't. Mallory almost has them convinced!"

Ladies and gentlemen, this conversation, which completely did not happen, is why when you choose for whatever reason to write a review about a can of coconut milk, you just go and write it, and leave your better half alone. That said, both Sandy and I like the canned coconut milk and heartily recommend it for all of your coconut milk needs.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Light Coconut Milk: 8 out of 10 Golden Spoons.

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