Trader Joe’s Summer in October

I can hardly believe it’s nearly the end of October and my last Trader Joe’s post was back in July.  I figure thats either a sign of a really good summer or else one rather lacking in food.  Fortunately, it was the former.  While I find sunshine quite conducive for things like rest and outdoor exploration,   it does not generally evoke the most contemplative side of me.  So though I’m sure I found plenty of new Trader Joe’s treasures, I’m afraid I will likely be unable to remember all of them at once.  As I think back to the past summer, these the ones that stand out in my mind.

Red pepper and Eggplant garlic Spread



Not sure what exactly I was supposed to do with these, but since I rarely read directions anyway and almost never follow them when I do, I suppose that doesn’t matter anyway.

At first I tried them on toast, which was nice but nothing that would cause me to think of buying them again.

Then one day I found I was entirely lacking in that thing they call food as I peered whistfully into my hollow fridge.  All I could find was an onion, some ground turkey and something that was once something quite different from the form in which I now found it.  I threw the unnamed thing away, chopped up the onion and threw in some ground turkey.  Then I saw that I had some of the aforementioned spread and mixed that into the saucepan as well.

Brilliant, brilliant I tell you.     Now I find myself actually making it on purpose, which for me says something.

Bacon Chedder Cheese


There I was, minding my own business when along comes a TJ’s employee who politely hands me a toothpick with a little square of cheese at the end.  I thank her and continue walking as I give it try, only to find myself suddenly changing directions.  It was nonnegotiable, really, once it hit my mouth.  Too delicious to be reckoned with, just get some next time you’re there.

Peanut Butter filled Pretzels. 


So this one’s sort of a stretch, since I’ve never actually tried them myself.  The topic of their presence at Trader Joe’s came up in the office the other day, and when I innocently mentioned I’d never tried them, my two co-workers nearly lost their minds. “WHAT YOU HAVEN”T TRIED THE PEANUT BUTTER FILLED PRETZEL? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU JEN, ARE YOU HUMAN??”.

I’m generally not a big fan of pretzels (unless they are big warm soft ones, yum) and so it stands to reason that I would have likely walked by these a million times without notice. However, since they do have peanut butter in them (and you know how I feel about peanut butter) I’ve decided to recommend them and give them a try next time I’m out and about.


Broiling ice cream

The other day I found myself sitting cross-legged on my kitchen floor, staring contentedly into my oven, waiting for my bowl of ice cream to soften under the gentle heat of the broiler.

That’s right, I melt ice cream in my broiler. Well, I do now, ever since my microwave decided to die and leave me all alone with a bowl of half cooked quinoa in my arms.

That was a very sad night.

I tried finishing it off on the stove, but then the smoke alarm went off and a robotic voice from inside began chanting ‘Fire. Fire. Fire’.  Goober must have heard her, because as I was trying to shut the thing off , he came flying through the living-room and into what used to be a lamp to escape the flames he was sure were about to erupt behind him.

Poor beast, he hides when I so much as step into the kitchen, usually ending up here:


So anyway, thats when I said ‘screw it’ and scooped some ice cream into a bowl, notwithstanding all the ‘lupus fighting foods’ I knew I ought to be eating instead, reasoning that at this point it was either ice cream or an empty tummy.

Quite logical, really. Ice cream has calcium.  Yes yes. very logical.

You may be wondering why I was using heat at all with ice cream, since it is, after all, a frozen sort of thing to begin with.  While you do have a point, I have always preferred my ice cream more on the soft-serve side of things as opposed to the brick-o-cream it always seems to start as.  To be able to stir it but not have it fall from an overturned spoon…..ah. That is perfection.


I admit it felt a bit ridiculous using the bloody broiler the first time around, but also rather brilliant.  Since I can be ass-ishly stubborn when it comes to figuring out a way of getting something done when there is ‘no way’, and because unorthodox paths seem to be more common for me than normal ones, the fact that I found a way to try fix the ice cream didn’t surprise me.

What surprised me was that it worked. And it worked better than the microwave.


Take that, standard microwave.  I’ve got me a broiler now.

Added bonus, I got to sit in front of a warm broiler in my kitchen and pretend it was a fireplace.  My own personal ice-cream cookin’ fireplace.