TJ’s Snack Attack

I thought it was about time I put in another Trader Joe’s post, seeing that it’s been a few months and we really oughtn’t miss summertime at TJ’s. T’would be a shame.

A friend recently pointed out to me that I often buy more snacks than I do actual meals, and while I wanted so badly to argue with him, I knew it to be true.

I do like snacks, darn it. They are lovely and small and charming. And easy to not mess up because, well, you really can’t mess them up. And if you spill them on  yourself (or someone else, God forbid) at least they are usually not hot or sticky or very wet.

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Anyhow, having said that, I must tell you I am an excellent Snack Selector.  I may not be the best cook around, but by golly I know how to snack.

Sometimes they call me the Snack Lady. (I don’t particular like this label because it makes me sound like a trendy soccer mom driving around in a big SUV, a person I could not be furthest from, but whatever)

TJ’s Yogart Stars

These sort of remind me of a sophisticated, fruitier version of those pink and white cookies with sprinkles that always seem to be around during Christmas time. I enjoy those, but I enjoy these even more. Delicious, and again, won’t get your hands all grubby.

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TJ’s Espresso Pillows

Don’t you just love that? Pillows. So much more alluring than ‘beans’, although I’m afraid thats exactly what they are. Beans.  Toffied espresso beans covered in dark chocolate. And oh man, they have caffeine. Oh yes they do.  I keep my little container in my desk at work for my ‘terribly tired days’  They work like a charm and are oh-so-yum. Plus you can tell you co-workers you have ‘espresso pillows’ and make them stare at you funny and wonder what the crap you’re talking about.

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Cheddar and Horseradish Potato Chips

Ok guys, this one is so good it made it to my buy-every-time -I-stop-at-Trader Joe’s List. I suppose you have to like horseradish to really enjoy them, but they are so very tasty I have a difficult time imagining anyone not liking them.  Just try them. Please.  So much flavor, and if you happened to be one of those weirdos (like me) who have a strange joy for cheesy fingers, these are for you.

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Frozen Vanilla Greek Yogart 

While I normally prefer 1-2% in my dairy, this stuff proves that it’s not always an absolute neccesity in delicious food. I decided to try it because it was the only frozen yogurt they had, plus the container was a pretty shade of lavender and I didn’t feel like eating sorbet.  I loved this as a late night snack, scooped with summer fruit and granola, or when my tummy wasn’t feeling the best. It’s not too sweet, has just the right amount of tart and vanilla, and could go with just about anything.

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TJ’s Mesquite Smoked Seasoned Almonds

I wish I could take credit for these, but once again I’m going to have to thank my boss KG for finding these guys.  They sort of take me back to beach night bonfires after a day surfing in the sun. Maybe  it’s their ingeniously smoky flavor and allure. In any case, they’re enchanting.

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Asiago Cheese with Rosemary & Olive Oil 

And what would be a Trader Joe’s post without some cheese? Nothing at all I say, we must always have the cheese.  I feel a bit ridiculous writing a description about this one, seeing that it sort of speaks for itself. Cheese needs no introduction if you ask me, it’s always good. Never met a cheese I didn’t like. Unless it’s fake cheese in which case it really isn’t cheese at all and should be banned from all human contact.

Tofu is not cheese. 

This, however, is.   Quite delectable really, I won’t ruin the surprise, go try it for yourself my friend.

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A Bruise with a Story

You know those occasional bruises you discover upon your knee or across your abdomen, those whose inception remains a mystery to you for the extent of their existance?

Yes, well, I get those often…..quite often actually. It is, in fact, a rarity that I should awake to find my body void of some random bruise that has seemingly appeared sometime in the night to visit me, only to drive me half mad trying to acertain it’s origination whilst sitting in bed, rubbing my sleepy, still half-sleeping eyes.

The trouble is, I can only suspect their most likely culprit is myself and myself alone.  If you know me but at all this can hardly come as a surprise to you, as I am, to my chagrin, the World’s Most Graceful Klutz.

Alright, so I added the graceful part, but it’s not like I’m falling on my face all the time or tripping down the stairs. No, my klutziness sort of has a life of it’s own, described here in a former post, disclosing another one of my many flaws.  http://charliesbend.wordpress.com/2011/02/01/memoirs-of-a-klutz/

And oh it felt so good to admit it.

Anyway, the reason I said all that was to let you know that I finally have a good sized bruise that I actually have the story behind.

Congratulations to me:)

I know exactly when I got it, how I got it, and am happy to report that (at least this once)  was not my fault.

Haha!

Ok, before I start gloating over a story most people would probably not want to tell at all, let me begin and so end any false perception of me being a girly-girl.

I’d seen the guy and his dogs before on numerous occasions down by the water.  The horse trail I like to run after work runs parallel to a nice little bubbling creek below, or whatever sound creeks make. I know there are are tadpoles in it because I used to capture them there when I was a child, and watch them grow into frogs at home before setting them free again.

On this particular day the sun was exceedingly sunny and the heat was exceedingly hot. It was the sort of day that makes the bottom of your shoes so warm that you wonder if they’re going to melt away or become one with your foot.  But, as a summer SoCal girl I enjoy it all and was running despite the possibility of losing my feet.

As I passed by I waved to the dude and his dogs, as I do with all the regular folks by the creek whose names I don’t know.  I tend to be a very observant person and am  intensely aware of my surroundings to the point where I’ll notice if even a small bush has been trimmed back or if there are footprints in new places in the dirt.

And I always notice people.

I made note of his location down below, that he had one of his dogs on leash, one was loose, and that he had a cell phone in his right hand and seemed to be preoccupied by it.  None of this I cared about at all, I just observed it as I do everything else.

About ten seconds later I found myself crashing headlong into the dirt trail I had been running, then rolling to my side until I stopped and was staring up at the sky.

“What the crap?”, said I to myself while I laid there, aware that whatever I had crashed into was, for once, not me.

Suddenly my assailant was looming directly above my head, disclosing his identity. Instead of the sky I now found myself nose-to-nose with a big fluffy cocker spaniel and two sweet, glossy brown eyes staring down at me.  Before he had a chance to kiss me hello, his companion came up to greet me as well, followed by the man who obviously belonged to them.

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He sort of fell all over himself apologizing, to which I laughed and merrily waved my hand up at him from the ground, begging him not to worry about it,  and that ‘dogs will be dogs’.  I must’ve looked a disgrace indeed, as he kept looking at me with deep concern, as if I were half dead or something. Once he’d helped me up I had to assure him three times I really was quite alright and wave him away. He just kept apologizing and staring at me like I was about to fall over.

It was only after I’d returned from my run that I realized how bad I actually did appear. Covered in sweat from head to toe from the heat, all the dirt and dust and dead leaves sort of stuck to me everywhere, giving the distinct impression of a dirt monster.  In addition, the blood from the cuts on my knee and leg had mixed with the dirt, making a sort of muddy-bloody paste on both my legs.

Yeah,  pretty scary.

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BUT, do you know what I got out of it? Yes! I got a bruise, with a story, that I cannot take any blame for.

Score (: