Top Ten Trader Joe's Items. Go.

July 7, 2008

I stole this idea from littlemissmel. She does one of these lists every once in awhile. Just when I am convinced I've tried everything from Trader Joe's, a friend (or a peek in someone else's cart) turns me onto something new and tasty. Right now, these are the items that come to mind (there are many more, but I figured this was all you could handle):

1. Frozen Chocolate Croissants. I'm not usually one for sweets in the morning, but oh my. I will make an exception for these. They aren't all that sweet anyway....just a bit of bittersweet chocolate tucked into the fluffiest and flakiest croissant. Served piping hot from your oven. And there's absolutely no work involved. Just place them on a baking sheet the night before to let them proof, then bake them the next morning. I can't imagine you would need anymore convincing.

2. Refrigerated Pizza Dough. Such a great base for any number of toppings. Try this one (my friend Helena-the-chef made this for me): caramelized onions and zucchini, asparagus tips, grape tomatoes, little dollops of ricotta and just a bit of grated mozzarella.

3. Lavender Dishwashing Soap. Sorry, a little boring, but it's just about the only one I like. All natural, but still foams up and smells purty.

4. President's Reserve Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I've tried many, many, many but this is the one I always come back to for everyday salads, bruschetta, vegetables, etc.

5. On a related note: the Extra Virgin Olive Oil with Balsamic Vinegar. I don't really buy salad dressings (I find them too sweet usually), but I love keeping this on hand for a quick salad toss.

6. Sea Salt (in the tall blue container). Great flavor. Super cheap. Don't pour directly into dish as the top has tendency to become dislodged. I still have a little heartburn over the lovingly made tomato sauce from last summer (from tomatoes from our garden, no less) that turned into a salty mess thanks to this product. It wasn't enough to keep me from going back for more, however.

7. Fage Greek Yogurt. If you haven't tried this yogurt, do so, and be prepared to have your life changed. Tastes like sour cream, but has nutritional value! I am assuming here that you like rich and creamy things the way I do. I know there are those of you out there who don't like heavy, creamy, yummy tastes (Like. My. Husband. huh???), but for the rest of you this yogurt is as good as it gets.

8. Frozen Mini Chicken Tacos. Great snack to eat while watching sports with said husband while kids are napping (ideally). Pop them in the oven until they reach crispy perfection and serve with salsa, sour cream and guacamole.

9. Which brings me to the new Cabo Salsa. Not sure what make it "Cabo" but that's the name they picked. Fire-roasted, tangy, fresh. Yum.

10. Raw Almond Butter. We started using this when C-Man was little because I was all freaked out on peanut allergies. (He doesn't have one, I was just a freaked out mom. Of course, I no longer am, in case you were wondering.) Anyway, this makes great sandwiches or a little dip for sliced apples or celery. Plus almonds are supposed to have a lot more nutrition than peanuts do. I've been meaning to make almond butter cookies. I'll let you know when I do.

What about you? What can you not live without from Trader Joe's?


  1. I am with you on the Fage . . . But I am totally addicted to their guacamole and chocolate covered blueberries!

  2. I usually am not a fan of the salads at Trader Joe's (wilted lettuce, tastes a day old), but their new Pasadena Salad is so yummy! cashews, grilled chicken, romaine, crunchies, and an asian vinegarette...sooo good!

  3. The All Natural Chicken (whole, breasts, legs, or tenders) is the best chicken I have ever had. I have bought and prepared it almost ten different ways by now, and I have never been disappointed by the quality of the meat.

  4. I just tried the TJ chocolate croisants over the weekend. AMAZING!!!!! I used to buy the William Sonoma's for 50 bucks. But not anymore.....
    Another butter you might want to try that is really good, is the sunflowerseed butter.( yellow lid, sunflower on the label) Our family really likes that one.

  5. I love their dark chocolate covered caramels (one or two is all you need at night after the kiddies go to bed for that chocolate fix) and something that is ALWAYS in our freezer is the frozen brown rice. You pop it in the microwave and it's done in 3 minutes. There are just some days when waiting 20 minutes for the rice to cook is too long!

  6. Besides 2 buck chuckles, I love their Mediterranean hummus. That with their flatbread warmed up is creamy richness, just like the Fage.

  7. white bean hummus, brown rice in a bowls (2 minutes in the microwave and it's done), big bucket of goat milk yogurt, basically any cookies, and thanks to Jora - the cioppino and the Indian entrees in a box.

  8. Here's my list -

    1. The chocolate raisins - milk chocolate only though, for some strange reason.
    2. Whole organic chickens for roasting
    3. Bay Blend coffee - though lately I'm into some that I found at Fresh & Easy.
    4. The croissants and STICKY BUNS. Oh my gah.
    5. The tubs of organic plain yogurt
    6. Niman Ranch bacon
    7. their organic and Plugra butter
    8. frozen brown rice
    9. wines - charles shaw sauvignon blanc (I am not ashamed!) and honeymoon viognier are favorites.
    10. the coffee ice cream is the best anywhere - and the frozen brownies that you bake in the paper pan are amazing. The ingredients are nothing but cocoa, butter, sugar, flour, eggs and vanilla.

  9. I absolutely love their Ham and Gruyere Frozen Tarts. If you've never had one- go buy it tomorrow!

    I also am a big fan of the:

    Il Fornaio Par-Baked Bread
    Cranberry, Almond, Cashew Trail Mix
    Parmesan and Garlic Croutons (when I'm too lazy to make them)

    PS. I have the Chocolate Croissants in my freezer right now. YUM! Plus I second those mini tacos are great! But now I've got to look for the Frozen Brownies in paper...

  10. hi jora-
    i know this is an old post, but i'm catching up- i really love your blog. we are hooked on the croissants now, oh well. skyler and i set out to get the president's reserve extra virgin olive oil, but all we could find was "first lady" olive oil? freudian slip maybe?? want to make sure i get the right stuff.


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