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Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Trader Joe's Organic Cold Brewed Hibiscus Tea & Lemonade Beverage

It's starting to warm up in the southwest, and folks down here will be needing refreshment soon. Whether you'll be mowing lawns like I'm accustomed to, or tilling gravel like they do down here, you'll be craving a cold beverage of some kind. So let me give it to you straight: if you're into drinking flowers, this hibiscus tea lemonade hybrid is pretty darn refreshing.

Although, if you want to get into semantics, I must admit no part of this screams "lemonade" to me. There's just a hint of sweetness, but the lemon element tastes more like plain lemon juice to me. That's not necessarily a bad thing. I do enjoy sweet beverages historically, but not-so-sweet, subtle flavors definitely have their place—and this product embodies that sophisticated, understated ideal perfectly.

There's a surprising amount of sediment on the bottom of the bottle. I'm not even sure what it is: little pieces of hibiscus flowers? It does say "shake well before using" on the label. Whenever I can see visible bits of sediment, I always worry that the beverage will have a gritty texture, but this selection didn't at all—light and smooth all the way.

I'm on record on this blog stating that I don't like hibiscus that much. And it's still not my favorite, but I must say it didn't bother me as much in this case as it has in previous incarnations. I think the sourness of the lemon juice helps balance out the "plantiness" of the flowers.

Since readers have scolded me when I score something that I generally have an aversion to, such as hibiscus, I'll let Sonia do all the rating here. She likes hibiscus just fine, and she gives this drink four stars. So I'll just double her score. If you want to know what I would have given this product: a three, maybe three and a half. Hibiscus still just isn't my thing. I'll take flavored sparkling water over this kind of beverage if I want something unsweet, and I'll reach for a fruit juice blend if I want something a little more sugary. 

If I were hella thirsty, though, you better bet I'd down this bottle in seconds.

Bottom line: 8 out of 10.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Trader Joe's Organic Chocolate Chip Cookies

My poor wife.

Sandy had just finished a long day at work and a run with a friend. She had no chance to go home for dinner before our usual kids dance class routine. She also gave up sweets for Lent...but she was pretty hungry...and of course I forgot to grab her a dinner as I was too busy wrangling all our own kids plus one more through dinner and out the door to get to said dance class, and I remembered everything except her dinner...and it'd be at least an hour til we got home...and all I had was Trader Joe's Organic Chocolate Chip Cookies with me (i.e., kid bait to get them all moving)...

Husband fail. She broke Lent because of me. It wasn't her fault. I think God will understand.

Worth it? Maybe. I mean, these are really pretty basic snacky chocolate chip cookies. Of course, even a middlin' chocolate chip cookie is pretty tasty in my book.

What these cookies really have going for them more than anything else is at least the perception of quality ingredients. Good stuff in equals a good outcome more times than not. The closest approximation to a name brand cookie I could make for these TJ's snacksters would be Famous Amos - similar in size, feel, taste - except these just taste better in a not totally quanitifiable kinda way. Maybe it's just that word "organic" messing with me.

Regardless, these cookies are worth a try, especially if in need for a portable confectionary motivator for either yourself or the juvenile crowd. There's five mini cookies to a serving - you should see a four year old's eyes light up when you tell her she can eat five cookies if she'll just get her little biscuits moving. It works like a charm. Good, not great, cookies. Kid approved, mama and dada approved, and budget friendly at less than $3 for the baggie, so they do have all that going for them. Yumz.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Organic Chocolate Chip Cookies: 7.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons

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