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Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Trader Joe's Everything but the Leftovers Seasoning Blend

What does a good holiday dinner taste like to you?

Key word: dinner

There's so many great desserts, of course. Plethora of pies, preferably pecan, possibly pumpkin. Apple acceptable, cherry is choice. A cacophony of cookies, munchable mint, chewy chocolate chip, peanut butter is plenty better. Quality cakes as well...I could go on...

But we're here to talk the dinner itself. Tons of turkey, mounds of mashed potatoes, steep states of stuffing, generous grabs of green beans, copious corn...anything else? Oh goodness, gallons of gravy.

Don't you wish everything could taste like that?

It's now possible with Trader Joe's Everything but the Leftovers Seasoning Blend. 

You know that scene in the 1970s version of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory where Violet Beauregarde marvels at the different elements of taste in the gum? Like how it tastes like roast beef and gravy and all that, just like that? That's almost the same concept here, except of course this isn't gum and I'm fairly certain the TJ's seasoning won't turn you into a giant blueberry that needs to be juiced. I mean, it is mainly salt, so a little ballooning is possible, but I digress. 

My potato of a phone isn't capable of getting a good pic of the ingredients for some reason, so here they are, in order: dehydrated onion, sea salt, yeast extract, salt, ground black pepper, dried yeast, turmeric powder, natural flavor, dried celery seed, citric acid, ground sage, rosemary powder, dried thyme, dried parsley. This kind of blend leans more towards turkey and poultry than beef, but it could still probably work.

Different aspects come out at different points. Sometimes it's more Scarborough Fair-inspired parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. Other times there's a little more black pepper kick, and sometimes, yeah, it's kinda straight up salty. But overall, the savory impact implores the memories of great holiday foods, so sprinkle some on some eggs, veggies, meat, taters, heck, even popcorn for a little reminiscing treat.  That's the real winning part of the EBTL spice blend: while not tasting precisely like any dish in particular (closest to gravy and stuffing, but not quite), it tastes enough like any of them that you're sure to find a particular taste to latch on to and think of while this is sprinkled on something else.We love it. Likely we're late to show as we usually are here for anything new in Pittsburgh. I mean, Bon Jovi still takes up a third of the local hit charts. Pick it up if you see it, if you haven't already, as the EBTL won't be a bad medicine for everyday use. I won't give it a bad name with double fours. Have a nice day.

Trader Joe's Everything but the Leftovers Seasoning Blend: 8 out of 10. 

Friday, November 6, 2020

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice Batons

The weather here in the upper midwest has been absolutely gorgeous this week. Highs in the low 70s, lows in the low 40s, not much humidity, and often not a cloud in the's like the fall we didn't have in October, when we saw a week with highs in the 20s and 30s and even an early snowstorm. So we've been spending a lot of time in the backyard.

We put out our lawn chairs, get a campfire going in the fire pit, let the dogs run around. Sometimes we even work out there during the day. I might smoke a cheap cigar or have a beer. Sonia will either have a cider or an insulated cup of coffee. We try to stay off our phones while we're out there. It's a great way to unplug from all the madness—not that we watch any mainstream media anyway, but we still get a good enough dose of the outside world to raise our blood pressure when we're on Youtube and Bitchute or surfing conspiracy investigative research forums.

This week we both sat out with some java and munched on these pumpkin spice batons. I think these are the third or fourth flavor of batons that we've sampled from Trader Joe's. We missed the mango batons in summer 2016, but we've had enough to know what to expect, and in general, we're fans of the crispy little snacks.

Each iteration of baton has had a wafery outer shell that's delicate, crunchy, and lightly sweet. There's also an inner layer of creamy, smooth filling, which is significantly sweeter and provides most of the flavor. This particular variety has a nice pumpkin spice blend that's not overbearing or too subtle—it's right in the middle as far as pumpkin spice intensity, and it's decidedly satisfying.

They go particularly well with coffee and are obviously fairly dunkable by virtue of their long, skinny straw-like shape. They soak up just enough of the beverage to get slightly soggy on the outside, but not enough to become structurally unstable. In other words, you can dunk repeatedly without much fear of half the baton breaking off and going for a plunge to the bottom of your drink.

For only $1.99 these are great for a fall snack or as a pairing for your morning cuppa joe. We're looking forward to a relaxing weekend in our backyard sanctuary, and we'll probably polish off the rest of the canister while we're out there. We'd definitely consider purchasing again next fall. Four stars from Sonia. Three and a half from yours truly.

Bottom line: 7.5 out of 10.

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