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Friday, September 25, 2015

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Flavored Dog Treats

Happy Friday, everyone! Here's a bonus review for anyone who has dogs. (It's really just an excuse to throw that hot keyword "pumpkin" out there a few more times before the human pumpkin foods roll in.) I mean, sure, Russ has found a few "harvest" items lately, but they're nothing like the "p-word" in terms of search engine love. So here we go, PUMPKIN!

Like other Trader Joe's brand pet treats, Alfred and Sadie loved these. They're too big for small dogs and they're super hard, but our hounds couldn't care less. Also, they don't taste much like pumpkin at all. Do the dogs know that? Do they care? Probably not. Just watch the video. Sorry for the run-and-gun-style shooting, shoddy editing, and poor sound quality. But hey, there are cute puppies and pretty fall pumpkin treat things. Plus, I eat dog food! Again!

For those of you pining for human pumpkin food, hang on, get ready, and stay tuned. There's a pumpkin storm coming that will utterly blow your mind!

If you're interested in the nutrition info for this product, just click here.

Bottom line: 7.5 out of 10 paw prints.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Trader Joe's Salmon & Vegetable Croquettes

When I was a little kid, my dad brought home some croquettes from the supermarket once. They weren't salmon and vegetable...they were potato and something I think. But anyway, that doesn't matter. And honestly, I don't even remember what they tasted like, but I must have liked them because I remember asking for them more than once. 

I had never heard of a croquette before, but the way I remembered the name was that it was similar to the sound a toad makes: "croak." So the next day I used my (faulty) memory device and asked my dad for another "ribbit."

Silly the things you remember and the things you don't. And one thing I'm not soon to forget is the fishiness of the last salmon product I reviewed or that of the worst salmon product I've ever had. But fortunately for me, this salmon dish is the exact opposite of those fishy salmon dishes. It still tastes like salmon, but with virtually none of the bad kind of fishiness. That is to say, it was quite tasty.

I pan fried mine on the stove top with some coconut spray until they were golden brown on the top and bottom. As per the instructions, I thawed them in the microwave for about 45 seconds prior to the actual cooking. I still think they needed a couple extra minutes in the pan—maybe because my microwave is old and weak. But I trusted my eye instead of following the instructions to the letter, and I wasn't disappointed.

They were slightly crispy on the outside and all the ingredients were nice and soft—almost like crab cakes—in the middle. Flavor-wise, everything was well balanced and delicate. There was a good bit of that high-quality salmon, and it was definitely the main attraction, although the edamame, kale, broccoli, and chia seeds gave it a nice veggie base, with subtle notes of nuttiness.
At first, I thought $5.49 was a bit steep, but if you compare this product to an appetizer at a restaurant, it's not a bad deal. And yes, these croquettes are indeed restaurant-quality, if you ask Sonia or me. The wifey was just as impressed as I was. She really enjoyed this salmon, but also really loved this particular medley of veggies. Double fours here.

Bottom line: 8 out of 10.

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