Hello! It is your friendly, local, traveling Trader Joe’s evangelist coming to you with Spring’s hottest eats. Some people eat seasonally and I would say I do, too – just at Trader Joe’s. This Spring they’re leaning into dill pickle everything: from dill pickle mini corn dogs to dill pickle cold-smoked salmon. My suggestion, as always, is to go to TJ’s and just vibe, let it tell you what you need, but please don’t go hungry. You will purchase the store. No one has the trunk space for that.
Let’s go, Joe!
New On The Scene
• Korean Gochujang – This is a sweet, spicy, savory sauce that has become a staple in my house. I happen to live by Thai, Vietnamese, and Korean grocery stores and this sauce has been my sidekick while I explore dishes from these cultures. Highly recommend.
• Cookies & Creme Pretzel Slims – Beware, this one is dangerous and the perfect purse snack (you know I love a purse snack). Sweet, creamy, cookie-y, salty? Win. Win. Win. And WIN.
• Chromatic Celebration Cake & Baking Mix – We all know it, children and adults alike love it forever, you really can’t go wrong here. I think this cake with the best chocolate buttercream frosting would be *kisses fingertips* perfection.
• Slightly Coated Dark Chocolate Almonds – Okay, don’t hate me but I’m not the biggest chocolate fan. If offered I will take dark chocolate over milk chocolate any day. I usually end up biting off half the chocolate first on chocolate covered almonds because I’d actually like to taste the almond. This does the job for me and adds sea salt! I bought two bags!
• Sumo Mandarins – Citrus season is cruising past us, so please don’t sleep on these mandarins. They peel somehow easier than a mandarin orange and they taste like citrusy bursts of pure light.
• When Life Gives You Lemon’s Make Ice Cream – I love a creamy lemon combo, which seems very odd. They shouldn’t go together right? Wrong-o! A frosted lemonade is a dream and Jeni’s Lemon & Blueberries Parfait is among my top 3 favorite ice cream flavors ever. This ice cream ticks all my boxes with a lemony swirl alongside buttery soft shortbread cookies.
• Lemon Curd – As a person who grew up with a baking mom, I believe having a jar of lemon curd on hand is necessary in one’s pantry. My mom makes a yellow cake from a box mix, and warm out of the oven tops it with pineapple juice, then spreads on lemon curd to keep it moist, and ends with cream cheese frosting and shredded coconut. It’s so simple but so life-changing. Much like Joy’s favorite coconut cake (to which lemon curd would be a beautiful addition).
• Daily Facial Sunscreen – This Super Goop! *dupe* has all the girls talking, and saving money! No white cast, incredibly light, and no weird smell. Don’t sleep on TJ’s body care section!
All The Time Finds
• Tomato Paste – Absolutely a must have in your kitchen. Yes, of course, you can buy cheap cans of tomato paste from ALDI (that is legit what I do) and freeze portions. Or! You can make your life easier and squeeze it out of a tube. It’s almost so logical it doesn’t make sense.
• Tangerine Juice – Isn’t this just orange juice? Technically, yes. To me, this is what orange juice tasted like when I was a kid. It’s super bright and a little sweeter and I’m right back at my childhood kitchen table again for breakfast.
• Goat’s Milk Creamy Cheese – Let me build you my perfect breakfast. One slice of sourdough bread, toasted on a comal in Kerrygold butter, spread with apricot jam. Top the toast with two soft scrambled or fried eggs (um, also scrambled in butter – oh wow I have a problem), and on top of that? This creamy goat cheese. It hits all the right notes: sweet, savory, crunchy, luscious, and unctuous. If you try this let me know, it’s truly my favorite breakfast ever.
• Vanilla Bean Mini Scones – I don’t know what else to tell you as to why you need these. The reason is in the name!
• Burrata – Hi, hello, good morning friends, I need your rapt attention. Please pair this burrata with grilled peaches, a drizzle of balsamic glaze, and fresh torn basil, a glass of wine, a steamy book on your iPad or Kindle, followed by every step of your skincare. Love, a Taurus who always passes the vibe check.
• Ketchup Flavored Sprinkle – Okay, this one was more intriguing than anything. What would you put this on? My only thought is plain potato chips, because we don’t have ketchup chips in the US. Could this be used in/on meatloaf? Homemade BBQ sauce? On top of eggs, even?! The options seem endless, yet baffling.
• Cookie Butter Cookies – The butteriest shortbread (think Walker’s level) and a subtle smear of biscoff – trust me when I say you will need more than one box.
• Everything and the Elote Dip – Do not judge this book by its cover, because I did and almost missed out on my blessing. This dip has the nicest smoky, spicy kick, and I ate the whole tub in one sitting. I should probably feel more remorse than I do.
• TJ’s greeting cards – All my greeting cards come from here – every single one. They’re the right amount of cheesy and super heartfelt, even the blank ones are beautifully designed. “Alpaca bag and go anywhere with you??” Bravo to their creative team.
• The Plant/Flowers Section – I would safely say Trader Joe’s has the best flower selection outside of an actual flower market. I know several people who get their flowers the day of their wedding for bouquets. I frequently buy their eucalyptus for my shower (do you do that? It’s heavenly!) and they regularly have gorgeous orchids, fiddle leaf figs, and other plants that are 3 times the price elsewhere. I believe they have my picture posted behind the customer service counter banning me from buying anymore plants in… several states.
What are we buying at TJ’s these days? I write all of your suggestions down!