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How to survive the summer heat

18 Jul

I don’t tell many people about this, but I have Almostitis.

Almostitis is the condition where you want one thing, but you buy something almost like it to save on money, calories and fat content.

Almostitis is not a matter of simply deciding to buy something you like that’s healthier than something else you like. It causes you to buy something you don’t like as much, when you have a craving for something else. Yet, in the moment of purchase, you delude yourself that “this” is going to be just as good, and maybe even better!

Then these cheaper, less-caloric and lower-fat selections sit in our cabinets, refrigerators and freezers until they evaporate or mold.

What does this have to do with surviving summer heat?

A big part of my Almostitis has been about not buying the ice cream I really want. There are pints of fruity sorbet frost-bitten in my freezer. Bars of ice milk cushioning my frozen dumplings.

These cold symptoms boiled to a head a few weeks ago when I wanted to make a root beer float. Instead of buying some vanilla ice cream, I  brought home a container of vanilla frozen yogurt. The most unsatisfying result of so-called good intentions, and the pinnacle of wrong.

The only cure for Almostitis to go to the root of your desire and buy the seminal item. Delicious, refreshing and satisfying.

So, this is one way I’m beating the heat this week:

Trader Joe's Mint Chip ice cream

Pint of summer survival

It’s been a long time since a pint of real, creamy ice cream was walked through my door.

Welcome home.

What’s your favorite TJ way to survive the summer heat?


Trader Joe’s “must haves” Faves from 2012

2 Jan

Trader Joe’s constantly comes up with wonderful items. While I love trying the new offerings, I find there are staples that I buy over and over. I have to have them on hand – TJ “must haves.”

I’d love to hear what TJ products you can’t live without! Please share your faves in the comments.

Here are 15 of mine that were featured on Things I Love at Trader Joe’s in 2012:

Roasted chicken from Trader Joe's

Pure deliciousness, without the oiliness.

Dark chocolate espresso beans by Trader Joe's

Dark chocolate espresso beans by Trader Joe’s

Peppermint hard candy

Peppermint hard candy

Trader Joe's Gummi Vites

Trader Joe’s Gummi Vites


Grilled Chicken Breast Strips

Grilled Chicken Breast Strips

Trader Joe's Chicken Sausage

Trader Joe’s Chicken Sausage

Tj's bananas, 19 cents each - No joke!

Tj’s bananas, 19 cents each – No joke!

Orange Blossom Honey, oo la la!

Orange Blossom Honey, oo la la!

Snack mantra: tomatoes and edamame. (Y)om.

Snack mantra: tomatoes and edamame. (Y)om.

Quinoa Duo with vegetable melange

Quinoa Duo with vegetable melange

Dark Chocolate Honey Mints

Dark Chocolate Honey Mints

Balsamic vinegar

Balsamic vinegar

Savory Thin Mini Crackers

Savory Thin Mini Crackers


Thank you, Trader Joe’s for a year filled with good things!

And thank you for visiting Things I Love at Trader Joe’s!

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Twitter: @TraderJoesKC

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Pinterest: Trader Joe’s

Happy Hanukkah! Blue and white from Trader Joe’s

7 Dec

Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, begins at sundown on Saturday, Dec. 8. While Christmas is identified with the traditional green-and-red combo, blue and white is the Hanukkah color scheme.

To celebrate Hanukkah (or Chanukah) in a healthy and appropriately hued way, combine one part blueberries to one part milk.


A tasty tribute to Hanukkah: Blueberries and milk.

L’chaim (to life) and shalom (peace)!

Thank you, Trader Joe’s!

And thank you for visiting Things I Love at Trader Joe’s!

Note: While researching for this post, I found mention that milk minimizes the anti-oxidant benefits of blueberries! Sadness. Skim is better than 2 percent or whole milk. I didn’t find anything conclusively for or against substituting a cow’s milk alternative, such as coconut, almond or soy milk.

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Twitter: @TraderJoesKC

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Pinterest: Trader Joe’s

Related Links:

About Hanukkah

Bon Appetit’s Hanukkah food

Blueberry milk recipe

Delicious, demi-sized and unexpected from Trader Joe’s

5 Dec

Things happen for a reason, right? A series of fortunate events proved that point.

Last weekend included a series of impromptu gatherings, one of those rare occasions where open schedule meets spur-of-the-moment invitation. The subject of this post came together on Sunday.

In the morning, a friend called pleading me to help her out that night with an overabundance of ham-and-bean soup.  I was happy to be of assistance.

Shortly after that call, another friend texted to join her for lunch and a TJ’s shopping trip. Loyal friend that I am, I obliged.

Then, while at TJ’s, there was a special mid-store temporary tasting station by the cheese section, sampling a new dairy item: Unexpected Cheddar Cheese.

Parmesan cheese is the twist to this classic. The Dickens, you say!

In the words of Monty Python: No one expects the Parmesan cheese!

What’s unexpected is the Parmesan cheese that laces the cheddar. SO delicious!

Then I walked a few steps and saw the cutest demi-baguette of olive bread ever:

Demi-baguette of olive bread

Cutest little olive bread ever!

Everything came together at that moment! The cheese and bread would be my contribution to the soup dinner. And, voila, I made that happen with Trader Joe’s help.

Thanks so much, Trader Joe’s!

And thank you so much for visiting Things I Love at Trader Joe’s! If you love cheese, bread and olives, you have GOT to try these! Let us know what you think when you do.

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Twitter: @TraderJoesKC

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Pinterest: Trader Joe’s

Related Links:

Nutrition info – olive demi-baguette

Nutrition info – Unexpected cheddar cheese

Spicy pumpkin grits with bacon and cheddar

Cheese: The best thing since sliced…

24 Oct

Brie always comes in that distinctive round shape. Right?  It’s the traditional party wheel. Which is why my eyes widened unnaturally, and I stopped mid stroll, nearly causing a six-cart pile up.

I may have gasped.

There in the pricier cheese section was a long, rectangular brick labeled: Sliced Brie. What the formaggio?!

Block of Brie

What a discovery! Brie has come down off its round horse and joined its cornered brethren. Cracker Barrel, welcome home the prodigal son; the long-lost dairy daughter; the wayward double-cream kid.

Let the party season begin!


Related Links:

How to cook with Brie

Food Network: Brie recipes

Pear and Brie Fancy Flatbread: recipe from Trader Joe’s

It’s Greek to me

6 Jul

Today’s guest post is from Janet:

I’m what you might call a “late adopter.” Generally, when something becomes popular, I avoid it. Sometimes my avoidance is deliberate, and other times I am only semi-aware that I am avoiding.

Ironically, I nearly always end up eventually trying the thing I’ve avoided. This was the case with Greek yogurt.

Trader Joe’s Greek Yogurt

Of course, when I finally decided to try Greek yogurt, my first stop was Trader Joe’s. I am now a believer. They have several flavors, and at 99 cents each, the price is much better than other places.

I could go on and on about the luxurious texture, the natural flavors, and how, with 14 grams of protein per serving, it keeps me satisfied all morning. But suffice it to say, it’s good. It is really good.

Thank you, Janet!

Thank you, Trader Joe’s.

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Twitter: @TraderJoesKC

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Pinterest: Trader Joe’s

Related Links:

San Francisco Chronicle’s “Trader Joe’s is goddess of Greek yogurt”

Chow’s “Trader Joes Greek Style Yogurt 0% “

TJ’s Greek Style Non-Fat Yogurt nutrition info

Price check: Fage yogurt

16 Apr

I tried a Greek yogurt at Trader Joe’s several months ago, and registered a yogurt fail. Now, all that has changed.

Enter: Fage yogurt. Oh. Yum. First of all, the base yogurt is proudly plain, sitting coyly next door to a ready-and-willing reservoir of flavor.

At first opening, I was about to pour the raspberry jam into the yogurt and swirl like a crazy person before my friend GC stopped me from making a mammoth mistake. She instructed me on the nuances of Fage (pronounced Fah-yeh!) eating.

Instructions: Take a bit of yogurt on your spoon, dip lightly in the jam and proceed to mouth. Swoon. Repeat.

Price check: Fage yogurt

Other local grocery I frequent: $1:59

Trader Joe’s: $1:49

Fage yogurt

Thank you, TJ’s!


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