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Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Trader Joe's Crunchy Chili Cranberry Orange & Onion

So here's an odd little condiment we've been experimenting with over the past few weeks. I wrote a song about it. Wanna hear it? Here it goes.

To the melody of the Tiny Toon Adventures theme:

"It's oily, it's crunchy,
it's just a tad bit munchy.
Will this little bunchy
enhance charcuterie?
It's a citrus dispenser
that cracks up taste bud sensors.
Let cranny orange onion
spruce up your lame turkey!"

And that's all I've got so far. I know you were all hoping for a full length song, so sorry to disappoint. Anyhoo, it's pretty obviously the classic Chili Onion Crunch but with a festive, fruity blend of citrus and berry flavors added in.

I liked the original product okay, but I thought it really shined when applied to other condiments such as hummus. See: Crunchy Chili Onion Hummus. And like the original, it's not super apparent to dummies like me what this sauce is wanting to be paired with.

We experimented with chicken and turkey mostly. The picture you see is actually Oscar Mayer Natural Plate AKA "Healthy Lunchables" or "Lunchables for Adults" with a bit of Trader Joe's Crunchy Chili Cranberry Orange & Onion sauce applied. It worked pretty well. I always said those natural cracker, meat, and cheese snacks needed to come with a condiment, but I never thought to add something as exotic as this. I usually reach for dijon mustard with that stuff.

I must admit it worked much better, however, on actual turkey sandwiches. We just added turkey, swiss, and arugula to sourdough bread, grilled them panini style, and also added this sauce. That worked even better than pan-fried chicken if you ask us.

There's a fair amount of heat here from the ancho chili. In fact, I'd say that's the dominant flavor. It overshadows the cranberry orange elements by a good bit. I wish the fruit flavors were a little stronger. It's also too heavy on oil. I'm sure there's a reason for that, but I found myself applying it with a fork all the time so I could let the olive oil drain out before distributing the condiment.

$4.49 for the jar. Not sure if we'd buy again. We still have a good bit left and I wouldn't be surprised if there's some still at the back of the fridge come the 2024 holiday season. It should still be good then, right? As long as it smells fine, we'll still eat it. Three and a half stars from the beautiful wifey. Three out of five stars from me for Trader Joe's Crunchy Chili Cranberry Orange & Onion.

Bottom line: 6.5 out of 10.

Monday, January 1, 2024

Trader Joe's Apple Overnight Oats

Well, 2023 was an interesting year. There's no doubt 2024 will be even more so. I've mused about New Year's resolutions before on this blog, so there's no need to wax philosophical today. Suffice it to say that if I were to make any intentional changes in my life, eating better and being less fat healthier is always somewhere on the list.

I like oat-based cereal, oatmeal, and overnight oats. Sonia has some oaty stuff on hand more often than not, so I'm not sure why I don't eat it more frequently. It's filling, nutritious, and generally not very expensive. This product is no exception to those rules.

Plus, this oat and almond-based breakfast tastes surprisingly good. Overall, it's nutty and hearty, and there are plenty of sweet date and apple pieces throughout. Honestly, I didn't notice the dates until I looked at the ingredients. They just blended in with the slightly more familiar taste of apple, and there's plenty cinnamon flavor too—for a distinctly apple cinnamon vibe.

There's a good bit of moisture all through the oats. It's almond milk,, sorry—it's almond beverage. Is there a copyright on "almond milk"? Meh. Who cares? Anyway, the mixture is nice and wet, but it's still quite thick. I was pleasantly surprised at how dense and rich the mixture was. It's not watered down at all. Sonia actually wanted the overnight oats to be thinner, with more liquid. Interesting. That's the only point we disagree on.

We both like the product quite a bit and are eager to try other flavors. $1.99 for the 5.5 oz cup. Gluten free. Kosher. Would buy again. Four stars a piece from Sonia and me for Trader Joe's Apple Overnight Oats.

Bottom line: 8 out of 10.

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