Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Top 5 Tuesday

Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Well, I did give hints of my literary leanings last week, and being that my last paper for winter quarter is due in less than 24 hours, I feel justified in a less than intellectual Top 5 Tuesday. I have decided to catalogue my favorite items from that beloved of grocery stores, Trader Joe’s. Known for its quirky products and the infamous “Two-Buck Chuck,” the mostly California-based chain is a real bonus for someone like me, who thoroughly enjoys cooking, but likes to do it without spending a million dollars. The produce is beautiful and fresh, store brand items cheap but perfectly satisfactory, and the sweets and frozen section boast all kinds of unusual and delicious things! The only real down side to Trader Joe’s is that it’s not entirely consistent when it comes to produce, and there aren’t bulk vegetables. You just can’t have it all.

Here are my tried and true favorites, the things that are always in my cart:

5. Broth Packets. These ingenious little packets have saved me from many a wasted container of chicken stock. I know, I know-I could just buy those bouillon cubes, but the sodium content for those is quite high, and I find them crumbly and gross. With these little guys, I just squeeze them into hot water, swirl around thoroughly with a spoon, and ta-da! Perfectly portioned, ready made stock! I’m obviously a cooking nerd, if this kind of thing brings me joy, right? Please try to avoid focusing on my terrible nails and man-hands. Seriously.

4. Ginger Snaps.
Hands down, the BEST ginger snaps I’ve ever eaten. I’ve always enjoyed the traditional, super-hard but pleasantly spicy Ginger Snap. Trader Joe’s has somehow infused their version with a most delicious, buttery flavor that complements the ginger perfectly. It also doesn’t hurt to have tiny shards of candied ginger scattered throughout each cookie.

3. Sparkling Blueberry Juice.
Blueberry is a super fruit, in case you didn’t know. We should all be eating them by the bucket, which is a little difficult considering their seasonal and often costly nature. I am happy to quaff this lovely, rich purple juice as a substitute. Tastes like a delicately sweetened blueberry. Check out my new glasses from Ikea, by the way! Aren't they cute and almost vintage-looking?

2. Dark Chocolate Bars.
These bars have become my go-to dessert. I buy one every time I’m grocery shopping and place it in the freezer, taking a small chunk after every meal. I’d like to say that I manage to eat only one bar a week, but that’s just exaggerating. They don’t last longer than a couple of days. I can’t help myself.

1. Mushroom Turnovers. Definitely my favorite item, without question! These perfect little turnovers are filled with a delicious creamy mixture of mushroom and sautéed onions, and they are irresistible. Every time I make them, I inevitably burn my fingers attempting to take a bite before they’ve cooled properly. It would not at all be impossible that I eventually devour a whole box by myself. They’re perfect for appetizers, when company is coming, or even if you’re making a really simple meal, and you have a husband like mine who needs a little something extra.

I'm off to finish writing! I thrive on urgency!


J & Co. said...

I didn't know you like mushroom turnovers?! I would have never known! I think this post is very necessary. I am always wanting to state my favourites in hopes someone will appreciate the tips! :)

David and Abi said...

those sound like good girls trip items...i'll put you down for ginger cookies, dark chocolate bars and blueberry drink.