One of the things I missed the most about living in Arkansas was Trader Joe’s. And one of the main reasons I wanted our apartment was because it was literally right across the street from Trader Joe’s.
Seriously. This was taken in the shopping center’s parking lot. That building you see is our apartment complex. I was sold as soon as the leasing agent pointed that out. Although the other wonderful features our apartment has are very much appreciated ;).
Anyways. Trader Joe’s. Home of so many amazing things. Every time I stop in, I find something else I love. And honestly, there have only been one or two things I’ve tried that I haven’t cared for. Here are a few of my (current) all time favorites. What are some of your favorite TJ’s finds that I should be on the lookout for?
I saw this stuff on Instagram once, and mentally filed it away under ‘stuff I need to try’. One day I was at TJ’s on a carrot cake cookie run and I decided to pick up a bag of this for dinner that night. It was so good. Graham was amazed that we were just now discovering it, and that we had wasted almost a year of living right across the street from TJ’s and hadn’t been eating this all that time. The only problem is that according to the bag, it is four servings. For us it’s two. Oops.
Carrot Cake Cookies
These cookies are probably my very favorite dessert item at TJ’s. I don’t buy them very often though. Since I love them more than Graham does, I tend to eat more of them than Graham does, and they’re not exactly figure friendly. But they are so, so good. The cookie by itself is wonderful. But when two of the cookies are sandwiched with a delicious cream cheese frosting? It’s magical. Whenever I buy these, I never even make it out of the parking lot before I open the package and eat one.
Coconut Caramel Dark Chocolate Bar
Our first night in our apartment in Virginia was spent unpacking, grabbing a quick dinner at Panera and a stop by TJ’s on the way home for the necessities (i.e. wine & chocolate). I saw this candy bar at the register, and I couldn’t resist. I typically don’t like dark chocolate (its way too bitter), but this was amazing. It’s filled with caramel and the hint of coconut. The sweetness of the caramel balances the bitterness of the dark chocolate perfectly. I love these because it takes me a few days to finish it. I have 1-2 squares a day, and it’s the perfect after dinner treat.
I used to be a cookie butter hoarder. When we lived in Arkansas, we’d always stop by TJ’s on our way out of Charlotte and pick up a few necessities. We’d always leave with about 8 balls of pizza dough and a jar of cookie butter. I used the cookie butter very sparingly, so it would last as long as possible. I’m so happy I don’t have to do that any more. I’m even happier that I discovered the Speculoos cookies on a recent visit. Speculoos cookies dipped in cookie butter is a wonderful, wonderful thing.
Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
I’m not good at pizza dough. I have no trouble making bread, but I can never get the yeast to work when I try to make dough. So, I’ve given up and just buy the premade stuff. This was more challenging when we were in Arkansas and didn’t have a TJ’s (I actually couldn’t find dough anywhere except for Whole Foods, and I was not driving 45 minutes for frozen, premade pizza dough…). I always just bought the Pillsbury stuff, which isn’t all that good. Every time we went home to Charlotte, we’d load up a cooler on the way home. We’d buy lots of things to bring back, but the cooler was full of Yuengling (you couldn’t buy it in Arkansas, pizza dough & livermush. TJ’s makes three varieties: regular, whole wheat and herb & olive oil. I love the herb and olive oil best, but I typically buy the whole wheat, so I don’t feel as guilty about indulging in pizza. This crust is so good, and it’s seriously only $1.19. We use it for all of our homemade pizzas, and every time it’s absolutely perfect. As much as I love making things from scratch, it is seriously not worth the hassle of dealing with yeast when I can buy a delicious product we love for $1.19. Seriously: $1.19.