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Friday, October 29, 2021

Trader Joe's Turkey Sausage Stuffing Fried Rice


Earlier this week, we discussed rice turned into stuffing, so in the name of equality, it's only appropriate to now cover stuffing turned into rice...right?

Look, I was just as bewildered as you may currently may be at the existence of something known as Trader Joe's Turkey Sausage Stuffing Fried Rice. I mean...well, as my duty, I shall grab a couple bags and make it for dinner and let y'all know what I think. I chance family dinner time for you all a lot. 

In all honesty, though, the stuffing fried rice is a decent enough product. The first bites are a bit odd, yes. Wish I would have filmed the reaction of my lovely bride. She's the cutest when she looks all quizzical. There's the initial comfort of, yes, stuffing..all that rosemary and sage and customary flavorings...but also the realization it's in a different form, known roughly equally as well for its comfort vibes. It's unmistakably stuffing in fried rice form. Taste and texture do not match. Brain must compute. It's odd. 

Once you get accustomed's good stuff. 

There's carrots and green beans and corn all mixed in for some good veggie representation. Every here and there, you'll get a breadcrumb clump to help remind you'd its kinda like stuffing. Plenty of spices and flavorings all point towards stuffing

Turkey sausage though? That's an interesting choice. That's meant as no offense against turkey sausage. Generally speaking I appreciate it just fine. But still...maybe some turkey shreds might have been a better choice. A couple turkey chunks, all roasted and whatnot? Yeah, there we go. As is, the turkey sausage mini-meatball guys are somewhat nondescript and not overly suggestive of turkey. 

Overall though, the stuffing fried rice is a pretty decent dinner pickup for a quick, easy crowd pleaser. Our kiddos gobbled it down and asked for seconds. And at $3.99 a package, and a few minutes of heating up in our wok, it's not a bad choice and one we are looking to repeat. 

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Turkey Sausage Stuffing Fried Rice: 8 out of 10 Golden Spoons

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Chocolatissimo Harvest Collection

You tricksy Chocolatissimo chocolatiers, you! You fooled me into thinking this was a Trader Joe's brand product, but it's actually not. It is, apparently, widely available at many Trader Joe's stores, it employs Trader Joe's-esque fonts and packaging, and really isn't this just like something TJ's would do: chocolates shaped like corn cobs, pumpkins, and nuts? Maybe, maybe not.

I think it seems Joesian enough anyway, and I was really excited about reviewing it. Funfact: out of the 1,660 posts on this blog, at least half a dozen have been non-Trader Joe's brand items. At any rate, it's most definitely harvest time around here and time to look at this chocolatey Harvest Collection.

First impressions: the shapes of the chocolates are intricate and detailed. You can see individual corn kernels on the cobs. The nuts and pinecones have actual ridges and bumps like you'd see on the real thing. There's even a green stem atop the orange pumpkin.

Each candy is filled with a particular flavor of cream or praline. It's not liquid cream—it's solid chocolate, but it's nice and soft and the flavors are very tasty. Sonia and I both agree our favorite is the walnut praline filling. Imagine if they made a chocolate spread with walnuts instead of hazelnuts. It works significantly better than I thought it would.

The hazelnut praline filling errs on the side of sweet milk chocolate rather than that of actual nuts. The crispy variety (the corn cobs) also flaunt a hint of crunchiness, which I think might be teensy tiny little morsels of actual hazelnut. I like the crispy pieces more than the plain smooth ones.

There's also one caramel cream "nut" in the pack. It's like a sweet creamy caramel-flavored chocolate. It's on par with something you mind stumble across in a Whitman's Sampler or something along those lines. Not bad at all, but not Sonia's or my favorite.

$3.99 for a top quality pack of super-cute fall-themed chocolates imported from Belgium. Would work great as a party favor, gift, or mid-day serotonin booster. Might pick up again just for another taste of that walnut flavored filling. Four stars a piece.

Bottom line: 8 out of 10.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Trader Joe's Gluten Free Stuffing Mix

 So listen...yes, it's Halloween in a few days and I hate the seasonal creep as much as anyone else. One holiday at a time. Yes, absolutely, yes. 

But stuffing really shouldn't be relegated to "just Thanksgiving" right? Like, when it's one of the first cold rainy days of the fall, when it's a great day to stay inside, watch some movies, play some games, read some books and snuggle some cats, a little warm stuffing will only do, right?

Such as it was this past weekend, and my lovely bride and I wanted to make one of her mom's classic comfort foods, chicken and stuffing. It's...what it sounds like it is, except with some cream of whatever soup and cheddar cheese all dumped in and mixed up. Not classy, per se, but pretty darn delicious. 

As you guessed by now, we used Trader Joe's Gluten Free Stuffing Mix. 

And you know what? it worked. Everything about the celiac friendly stuffing mix hit all the right buttons. We have no express need to be gluten free so we tend to judge these kinda products a bit closely. Honestly, and I mean this a compliment, I'd have no idea this was sans wheat if I didn't know.

No graininess. No dryness. No weird vibes. Okay, a few bites were a bit granular and sandy, but none so more that can happen with "regular" stuffing. That can be the fault of inadequate mixing more than anything. I'd never think that rice flour were capable of such a thing, but technology these days, I guess, right?

For taste, the stuffing gives off all the right flavors. There's all the savory aspects of chicken broth and celery and pepper and yeah, absolutely, a lot of salt. It's all there. If not making our particular dish, adding some apple slices or raisins like my mom did would have been a nice little touch. 

There's really not much to suggest that the TJ's GF stuffing is all that much different from Stove Top or even a decent homemade variety. It's easy and convenient and delish - all our kiddos gobbled it down and begged for seconds. Winner winner...turkey dinner? Grab some if you see it. $3ish bucks so it's worth it. 

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Gluten Free Stuffing Mix: 8.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons

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