Archive for the ‘Trader Joe’s’ Category

Trader Joe’s – Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese – Food Review

01/07/2018

TJ, trader joe's, cabot, extra sharp cheddar, review, price, calories, nutritionJanuary 7, 2018

This is a very nice cheese with a very good flavor. The cheese is sharp, but I wouldn’t call it extra sharp as the label does. The cheese is nicely aged to a crumbly consistency.  The cheese should be good for cooking as it melted nicely with a quick microwave test.  Per the label, the cheese is produced by a farmer’s cooperative, which is nice to know in this age of mega-scale industrial food production.  As a domestic cheese from the Northeast, it’s reasonably priced to boot.

Price  $6.99 per pound      Calories  110  per ounce (28g)

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Trader Joe’s – Beef Chili with Beans – Food Review

01/02/2018

Trader Joes, beef chili with beans, review, price, calories, nutritionTrader Joes, beef chili with beans, review, price, calories, nutritionJanuary 2, 2018

This is a fairly spicy chili leaving a lingering heat at back of the roof of the mouth. However with the heat are overtones of sweet.  There’s a lot of tomato sauce in this chili, giving it a different flavor profile than most of the usual canned chili suspects on the supermarket shelves.  Along with the meat are two types of beans in the chili.  Jalapeno is listed on the label, which also helps explain part of the different flavor profile. If you’re open to a different flavor in your chili, you might like this. If you have a favorite brand of chili that you love, this may not be to your liking.

With recent low temperatures here at around -22 C (it always seems much colder using Celsius), this is a good winter warmer-upper.  For the environmentally inclined, chili with beans may also be a potential untapped source of a recycled fossil fuel. And it may be the all-convincing proof that global warming really is man-made.

Price – $1.99 per 15 ounce can

Calories – 210 per serving (about 2 servings per can)

Trader Joe’s – Bourbon Barrel Aged Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review

12/23/2017

trader joe, coffee, whole bean, review, price, aged bourbon barrelDecember 23, 2017

Rolling barrels down the road is one of those things kids do. Rolling barrels down the road with coffee beans in them is not something kids do. That’s just because kids don’t have any coffee beans. Rolling coffee beans in a barrel seems to be the basic mechanism how this coffee was created. Coffee beans are gently rolled around in old empty barrels used for aging bourbon. Well, at least that’s what the package claims.

The coffee itself is fairly good. This is the first Mexico-grown coffee I’ve had, and it’s promising. Now, the flavor added to the coffee from rolling around in an old bourbon barrel is up for personal interpretation. It’s not a particularly bad flavor and it’s not a particularly good flavor. It’s an earthy flavor that’s noticeable, but not obtrusive. Perhaps a real shot of bourbon in the coffee would make it complete?

To follow up on the spiked coffee theme, I made due with what was on hand, adding some O’Donnells Caramel Cream to the coffee.  Ummm, so good!  The little extra flavor from the barrels, the coffee and the “cream” came together in a very smooth cup of holiday joy.  Price, $9.99, 10 ounce can.

Trader Joe’s – Zambia AA Small Lot Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review

12/23/2017

trader joe, coffee, whole bean, review, price, zambia, AADecember 23, 2017

Here’s another lighter roast coffee from Trader Joe’s.  A nice aroma permeates the air when the bag is first opened.  The beans have a medium brown color indicative of a medium roast.  While brewing in the coffee press, the coffee looks flat.  There are few oils and carbon dioxide bubbles on top of the brew.

This is a smoother cup of coffee than the other TJ lighter roasts reviewed here.  However there’s still some roughness around the finish.  This is a fairly good tasting coffee and drinkable black. Although, considering this is the holidays, I’ve been adding a little Irish cream lately, which as always makes coffee better.  While a better and less bitter lighter roast from Trader Joe’s, this wouldn’t be my choice as an everyday drinker.  If you’re a Starbucks drinker, a couple of weeks with this would be a good pallet cleanse.

One reason to not buy this coffee is the bag.  The bag has one of those small resealable narrow slits on the wide side of the bag near the top making it difficult to reach in to get the beans.  Think of the mouth of a stingray.  Price, $8.99, 12 ounce bag.

Trader Joe’s – Parmesan Cheese – Food Review

12/20/2017

tj, trader joe, parmesan cheese, nutrition, review, calories, priceDecember 20, 2017

Make no mistake about it, this is a hard cheese.  Grating it can be a grating experience.

For me, this is a cheese better eaten by itself than used in recipes.  As noted above, the cheese is hard and will give both your knife and jaw a workout.  The cheese has a nice, but mild, parmesan flavor to it.  A glass of wine is a nice accompaniment.

Surprisingly, as a grated cheese, I actually prefer the pre-grated sprinkle on stuff.  Not only is the pre-grated cheese easier to use, but it has more flavor pop than this cheese.  The cheese was used as a topping to flavor pastas and salads for this review.

Now, if you’re trying to impress your significant other with a home cooked meal as Billy Joel’s Italian Restaurant plays in the background, grating this at the table is the way to go.  And as above, an extra bottle of red is a nice accompaniment.

price $5.99 per pound   calories, 110 per ounce (28g)

Marzipanstollen – Food Review – Trader Joe’s

12/20/2017

tj, trader joe, marzipanstollen , nutrition, review, calories, priceDecember 20, 2017

Don’t open this in the presence of law enforcement.  There’s enough powered sugar loosely coating this cake to make your kitchen look like a coke lab.

The cake part is a little dry and tasteless. The raisins are sweet and moist. The marzipan and small pieces of candied fruit are even sweeter. When you get enough fillings with the cake in one bite, it all comes together in the mouth. While this cake is not bad, unless you really like this kind of cake it might be better to save your calories for something else.

tj, trader joe, marzipanstollen , nutrition, review, calories, pricePrice $3.49

Calories  340 per 1/6 slice of cake

Mindiarte Reserva Rioja – Tempranillo – 2012 – Wine Review – Trader Joe’s

12/02/2017

Trader Joe's, red wine, review, price, mindiarte, rioja, 2012December 2, 2017

Well this is another experiment in spending an extra couple of dollars for an older red wine.  The general principle being tested here is that red wines improve with age.  With most of the inexpensive red wines on the shelves being sold at around the two to three year mark, does another couple of years aging make an inexpensive wine better?

At five years this wine is decidedly better than most of those other two to three year olds.  The wine has had time to blend itself together into more of a whole.  The wine is generally smoother than a younger wine, with less rough edges.  What does that mean?  Consider a new t-shirt, put it on straight out of the package and it feels stiff and rough.  Wear it for a while and put that t-shirt through a couple of washes and it gets softer and cozier.

This wine is relatively cozy.  There are less of those little sharp edges.  There are still a few, so maybe another two or so years in the bottle will make the wine cozier still.

Just because age tends to make the wine cozier, doesn’t mean the basic characteristics of the wine have changed.  After all, a blue t-shirt is still going to be blue after a few cycles.  This is a strong wine, very much like a strong Cab, even though the grapes are 100% Tempranillo.  In fact rather than a nice mellow blue, this is more of an in-your-face red, a red that doesn’t fade in the wash.  So buyer beware, there’s lots of character in this wine.  If you’d like to see how the various styles of Rioja wine compare, check out this.  If you like a strong California Cab this may well be the best $10 “California Cab” you’ll ever buy.   In general, the wine gets a little above average reviews on the web, 3.5 out of 5, with a few nods to the relative value of the wine (quality/price).  Price of $9.99

Trader Joe’s – Veggie Corn Dogs – Food Review

12/02/2017

trader joe, review, price, calories, nutrition, veggie corn dogsDecember 2, 2017
The corn is there. The dog is almost there.  This dog will hunt.

I’m always on the lookout for a veggie meat substitute.  More specifically, I’m always looking for a good veggie meat substitute.  The best I’ve found so far is Trader Joe’s Soy Chorizo.  These veggie corn dogs aren’t quite up to that standard.  But still, they’re pretty good.  What’s better than that is, they’re pretty good veggie “junk” food.

trader joe, review, price, calories, nutrition, veggie corn dogsThe texture of the dog is just about right. Even the color is about right. The taste is more of a neutral taste than a real hot dog. The fatty moisture from a real hot dog is obviously missing. However as long as it’s not overcooked, the dog remains fairly moist.  Watch the time in the microwave, just a little too much time (even just 10 or 15 seconds) dries out both the dog and the corn.

Overall, just like a real corn dog,  the corn bread makes up around half of the taste and texture. The veggie dog in the center adds some flavor and texture, but more importantly does not take much away in the form of negatives.

These are slightly smaller than a standard corn dog and missing the animal fat, so the calories are lower.  Unfortunately, the sodium content is relatively high just like a real corn dog.  They’re labelled as meatless and veggie, but not vegetarian.  So check the ingredient label to make sure this conforms to your personal vegetarian standards.

Price $2.99 (4 veggie corn dogs, 10 ounces )

Calories 160 per veggie corn dog

Trader Joe’s – Crispy Crunchy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies – Food Review

11/29/2017

Trader Joe, review, price, nutrition, calories, cookies, crispy oatmeal raisinNovember 29, 2017

Crispy is the key word on the bag.  Pay attention.

Homemade might be another word for the bag.  What’s meant by that is; not your homemade, nor grandma’s homemade, but my homemade.  Cookies and my oven don’t get along.  I blame it on the oven, of course.  Any kind of cookie I’ve ever attempted came out thin and so crispy that they bordered on just this side of burnt.  That’s the feeling I got with these oatmeal raisin cookies from our favorite Trader.

Trader Joe, review, price, nutrition, calories, cookies, crispy oatmeal raisinThe cookies were so thin that the pretty much hard and dried out raisins tended to pop out of the cookie on their own leaving small holes in the cookie.  Look in the bottom of the bag for the raisins.  The cookies were crunchy, as most things toasted beyond tan tend to be.  Now of course, even in their current condition, I ate them up, because any oatmeal raisin cookie is better than none.  But if you prefer the softer thicker chewier kind of oatmeal raisin cookies, like I do, pass these up.

Price $3.99 (7 ounce bag)

Calories 130 per ounce (2 cookies)

Trader Joe’s – Unexpected Cheddar Cheese- Food Review

11/17/2017

Trader Joe, review, calories, price, nutrition, cheese, unexpected cheddarNovember 17, 2017

Unexpected?  You bet it was unexpected. After months of searching for this on the top shelf where all the other Cheddars live, I found this in with the Bries, Camemberts and who knows what else.

TJ says there’s a touch of Parmesan in the taste which makes this Cheddar unexpected. By my taste buds, I didn’t detect any Parmesan. And also by my taste buds, this doesn’t really taste like other Cheddars. But the taste of this cheese is very nice, having a touch of tanginess mixed with a touch of sweetness. The texture is similar to other TJ cheese blends, firm but tends to crumble when cutting. That’s not a negative, just an observation. In the mouth, there are a few bits of what seem like cheese crystals characteristic of an aged cheese. Whatever the blend of cheeses here, or whatever the process that went into making this, this is a nice cheese, perfect for enjoying by itself or even better with a glass of wine.

Trader Joe, review, calories, price, nutrition, cheese, unexpected cheddarPrice $3.99 per 7 ounce package

Calories 120 per ounce


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