Google Tag

Search This Blog

Friday, June 3, 2016

Trader Joe's Turkey Burgers

I've always liked turkey burgers. At their best, they're flavorful substitutes for traditional beef burgers, but with fewer calories and a little less fat. I like red meat from time to time, too, but I don't feel the need for it every day. All things being equal, I'll usually choose a turkey burger if that option is available to me.

Trader Joe's offering is great in the texture department. It's not that they're an especially good approximation of beef burgers. But they maintain their moisture and juiciness even after cooking or grilling. They come frozen, and they look like little pale hockey pucks before heating. Speaking of hockey...D'OH!

If anything, they're a little on the bland side, flavor-wise. Lacking any fancy combo of spices, TJ's kept things simple as far as added flair: just a little kosher salt and rosemary extract up in the mix. So you might want to dress these up a bit. I found them to taste better when cooked on our charcoal grill. Some good quality bread, cheddar cheese, Miracle Whip, mustard, and pepper really helped give them some gusto, too. 

I think these were $3.49 for four raw burgers. So they're cheap, convenient, and juicy—we just weren't dazzled by the flavor, although I wouldn't say it's anything to complain about either. We'll go with double 3.5's on this one.

Bottom line: 7 out of 10.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Trader Joe's Organic French Roast Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate

It's freakin' June already. Which is fine, I guess. June is good enough of a month. One of the highlights of June (other than no longer being subjected to Alexander Ovechkin's ugly mug since his season is long done, as is usual by now) is <insert drumroll effect>'s officially iced coffee season!

When it's hot, hot coffee just makes it stickier than it has to be. But you can't just give up coffee. And please...iced coffee is not just regular coffee with ice in it. I've tried doing that, and the results are diluted murky brown tepid water. Nah, you gotta go cold brew to do this properly. Some people, by the wizardry of either French presses or cheesecloths, claim it's simple to make your own cold brew batches. Others, like me, think it's easier to shell out $3 or $4 for a large cupful. That obviously gets spendy quickly. So, for the MYO-inept crowd who would to enjoy some cold caffeine while saving a couple bucks, things like Trader Joe's Organic French Roast Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate seem like a good enough of a deal. $9.99 seems like an okay enough price to swallow for at least eight cups, right?

What's not easy to swallow: if you get the proportions wrong. Sandy preferred to mix her coffee in with some almond milk "beverage" (as pictured - as a bonus you can watch it swirl around!) while I did mine straight up with water. Either liquid worked fine, but if the ratio was even the smidgiest of smidges off the 2:1 balance of liquid base to coffee concentrate...ugh. Either it tasted a watery mess if too weak, or like motor oil if too strong. Speaking of motor oil: Don't bother taking a sip of it straight on. I tried in the name of science. It was a bad idea. The bottle says there's over half a pound of beans used in making this...yeah, it definitely tastes like that. Woo.

Other than that: Yes. I haven't tried TJ's other cold brew concoction to make a direct comparision, but as would be expected for French roast, this is a darker, heavier, fairly robust roast. In some ways, this is a great thing for iced coffee, because the stronger potency would withstand the inevitable ice meltoff a little better. I'm pretty happy drinking it black, while Sandy was happy enough with the taste that I think she skipped adding any sugar to hers....she may have snuck in some flavored creamer though (ugh).

Sandy and I were able to get plenty enough cups out of it to make our ten buck investment seem just about worth it. Sadly, there was a cup or two we ended up dumping and redoing, because of measurements being a little off, and by trying to fix things, we somehow made them even worse. That's really the only demerit here - if there could be somehow just be a little more built-in grace, that'd be great. Also, we're really not sure why it costs an extra $2 over its lighter, more normal well. Different roast, and organic, sure, but still.

Enjoy an icy glass as the summer starts up. Or try it Ovechkin-style - no cup. In any case, this cold caffeinited concentrated concoction could be your summer sipper of choice.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Organic French Roast Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate: 8 out of 10 Golden Spoons

You Might Like: