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Friday, January 31, 2020

Trader Joe's Fig Butter

Ah, the wondrous fig. Did you know that figs aren't technically fruit? They're inverted flowers. And did you further know that there are, in fact, dead wasps inside each fig? Not particularly appetizing. But not to worry, the wasps are completely digested by the fruit—er, flower—by the time they're turned into delicious fig butter. Yum?

Anyway, this fig butter has been around Trader Joe's for a long, long time. It's been a mainstay on their shelves and in our pantry for years. Some time ago, Sonia took a recommendation from a TJ's employee to put fig butter and almond butter in a sandwich together. It has completely replaced peanut butter and jelly in her diet. I'll admit, it's a tasty combo, but nothing can take the place of good old PB & J for this guy.

Still, there are many uses for this yumtastic fig butter. I'll have toast with cream cheese and fig butter on occasion. It goes well with goat cheese and crackers. I'm sure you could use it as a glaze for certain meats, a topping for puff pastries, or even in a salad dressing mixture. What else could you do with Trader Joe's Fig Butter? You could make figgy pudding I suppose. Then when those carolers come around next holiday season you could really surprise them when they get around to that obnoxious verse in We Wish You A Merry Christmas.

It's naturally sweet, mostly smooth, and has just a bit of grit from the seeds. No, those aren't wasp parts, at least according to that article I linked to in the first paragraph.

This might be Sonia's favorite Trader Joe's product of all time. "Simply scrumptious," she says. Perfect five stars from her for this fig butter. I like it a lot, too. Four stars from me. I can't believe we didn't review this earlier. Better late than never, I suppose.

Bottom line: 9 out of 10.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Trader Joe's Miso Vegetables and Brown Rice Sauté Kit

"Best by" dates on perishable refrigerated goods can be a tricky subject. Sometimes, at least in our experience, that bag of spinach that was supposed to be good for at least another three days looks like a soggy handful of seaweed. Conversely, sometimes, that broccoli that was supposed to be compost by now? Looks fine, tastes why not?

So in our house we try more or less to abide by them, but as our garbage can on trash night indicates, we're not always the best. Maybe that stamp could be renamed to "Best intentions by and best discretion after" but that's probably a few too many characters for an itty bitty stamp...I digress.

The best by date on our Trader Joe's Miso Vegetables and Brown Rice Sauté  kit was 1/25/20. The evening of 1/26/20 rolls around, my lovely bride is taking a pre dinner break, my turn to make dinner...and I see the date. Looks alright enough, alright, so we're going in.

In and of by itself, it's a pretty decent kit. Lots of good ol crunchy cruciferious veggies in here, and who can hate on that? I mean, chances are, everybody likes at least something  in there - broccoli, Brussel sprouts, carrots, cabbage, kale, carrots and snow peas? I personally say yes please to all of them! If you don't enjoy one of them, it's all easy enough to work around. There's also brown rice, which is more plentiful than first appearance - that little vacuum packed baggie holds A LOT of rice. A bit harder to work around, but really, why would you?

And it's a simple enough kit to follow. Warm up a pan, drizzle some EVOO (I found it needed more than the recommended tablespoon), add veggies, sauté  for a bit (preferably with cold beverage in hand), add rice which explodes out, heat it all back up, mix in miso sauce....BOOM. Simple easy awesome.

It all tastes good and holds together well. The miso is typical miso, which is a great thing IMHO. Mild with some good umami tingles. Kick it up a notch with a little actual seaweed action (no, not that month old saggy sack int he back corner of the fridge!) if ya want, it'll work, trust me.

Love it, no real complaints. There could something a little extra, maybe, but then that's borderline messing with a classic staple and if you're gonna do that, you best come correct. Am I right, Crystal Pepsi? Definitely healthy, can't argue otherwise.

Like it, 7.5 out of 10, would buy again, with best of both intention and discretion in mind.

Bottom line: : Trader Joe's Miso Vegetables and Brown Rice Sauté Kit: 7.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons

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