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Friday, February 28, 2020

Trader Joe's Vegan Chicken-Less Seasoning Salt

I find it kinda funny how they decided to market this particular blend of spices. I wouldn't limit myself to only using this seasoning with vegan dishes...unless, of course, I were vegan. And I would think just about any spice would be considered vegan to begin with, unless it contained cheese—like the elote blend.

Anyway, onion, garlic, and turmeric are some of my favorite flavors on earth, so how do they go together? Quite well, just as I'd assumed. Tastes like chicken? Hmm. Well, lots of things do—particularly other non-red meats. This product? Not so much. Again, I'm totally fine with that, I just can't get over the marketing wizardry at play here.

I mean, it does sorta taste like the broth you get with chicken-flavored ramen soup. It's much more potent and flavorful than that, and a lot better quality, too. I don't think they put a lot of turmeric in ten cent fake chicken ramen, although maybe they should. Not only does the flavor go well with most soups, but it flaunts loads of health benefits, as well.

The flavor is somewhat salt-forward, by my estimation, but it's hard to stifle the savory flavors of garlic, onion, and turmeric together. None are significantly bolder than the others. Combined, they add a nice pungent zest to foods that otherwise might be on the bland side. We tried it with some potatoes and green beans and weren't disappointed. We had it with salmon, too, and were pleasantly surprised. 

I think this product is significantly more versatile than the aforementioned elote seasoning that we looked at earlier this week. Almost anywhere you'd want garlic, it's not going to hurt to have sea salt, onion, and turmeric as well. This seasoning just brings a broader spectrum of taste than any single one of its constituent parts. Sonia agrees and gives the product a thumbs up. She immediately compared it to Knorr Chicken Flavor Bouillon, something she grew up with. She likes this blend at least as much as Knorr's, so I think we're looking at four stars a piece here.

January and February 2020 have been long months. I think tonight we'll get warm, watch a movie, and have some chicken-less soup for the soul.

Bottom line: 8 out of 10.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Trader Joe's Pearl Sugar Cookies

Um, sorry. Just sitting down to write this review, and I realize it's potentially very bad timing for some of you. It's gonna be the start of Lent when this gets published, it's a common deal to give up sweets...and here we are, leading off with a review of Trader Joe's Pearl Sugar Cookies.

My bad.

Let's get less awkward and just talk cookies. After all, if you're still reading this, you're either not observing a no-sweets Lent, or you feel pretty strong in your resolve, which is important so early in the game.

Mmm, pearl sugar. The only other experience I have with pearl sugar is with Belgian liege waffles, which are AMAZING. So, forgive me, but I really wanted these cookies to taste like Belgian liege waffles. I wanted them to magically be Belgian liege waffles but only in cookie form.

Spoiler: they're not. What these cookies are, though, are very decadent sugar cookies. Extremely. They may have been soft and crumbly when we first bought, but then by some voodoo I forgot we had them while my lovely bride was out of town for a week, so they sat atop our fridge until her return. That's the likely reason my most recent experiences with the cookies have been that they're still plenty bite-able but absolutely kinda dense and chewy, not the advertised "soft" word.

The batter itself is pretty rich. You can tell by the taste that there's a lot of eggs and butter ugh margarine in it, maybe enough to make Paula Deen repent. Sugar cookies aren't my favorite type - it'd take a extremely good sugar cookie to pass by an above-average chocolate chip, in my opinion - but if you're into sugar cookies, you'll like these quite a bit, I'm sure.

And then there's the pearl sugar, of course. Big ol' sugar beads are studded everywhere about the cookies. There's a really fun crunch to them, as one may expect, but with not as quite as sweet, sugary taste. It's...more refined than standard refined sugar? I don't know how to say that right. But it's different, if you've never experienced. And it's goood.

Good cookies. Just one seems more than enough. And if you're doing a no sweets Lent but all this sounds so good, here's a pro tip to run by your local priest: right now it's 46 days until Easter. Lent is supposed to be 40 days. Why the discrepancy? Because on Sundays, you're supposed to take a Sabbath from all work...including your fast. Lent has built in "cheat days." So go to TJ's, grab a box, and wait til the weekend. Cookies were $4 or $5, well worth the cost for a dozen. Double fours.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Pearl Sugar Cookies: 8 out of 10 Golden Spoons

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