Tag Archives: snack

Epic Bars: Stylish snacking

8 Dec

epicbars

You know what these are. You might deny it, but, come on. You can tell.

Even with the sleek packaging and the cool name promising an “Epic” experience, (though it delivers), you know.

It’s clear even though each parcel is veiled with the requisite hipster labels: “100% natural,” “X g. Protein,” the predictable “Sriracha” and the inevitable, “Gluten Free.”

There’s chicken, because that’s what’s for dinner anymore. And it’s NOT beef. It’s bison, the cow’s sophisticated cousin from the range.

You knew what these REALLY were from the moment you flipped the pretty package over and saw the enticing block of melded meat parts, albeit including cranberries, the tight-fitting plastic wrap clutching the treat within.

These are the next generation of on-the-go meat snacks. But you won’t find them sold at a service station. They rest in woven baskets at gourmet, high-end and unique food stores. They sit waiting for the lucky consumer in bins at the exclusive corner market in Brooklyn, and yes, at our favorite grocery mecca, Trader Joe’s.

Come on. You knew it: Beneath the slick wrapper and trendy words, these are your old friend Slim Jim with an advanced degree in delicious. “Stout James,” you might say.

What the new set of duds and fancy stores really do are take away our Slim Jim guilt. “Look at all these great qualities,” we say, trying to fool ourselves that Epic treats are more energy bar than meaty meat bomb.

We’re wrong, of course. But it’s a nervous, naughty, joyful wrong. When Epic slips out of his pop packaging, this bad boy’s all Jimbo. Healthier, classier, but still. Wink.

And while we’re devouring every speck, we choose to ignore the truth for a giddy glimpse of gas station bliss.

How to make the best popcorn ever

31 Mar

How to make popcorn that’s easy, healthy and super yummy! It just takes three ingredients from Trader Joe’s and a microwave popcorn popper.

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Happy Chocolate Cupcake Day!

18 Oct

Celebrating chocolate cupcakes around the world

Nuts about Trader Joe’s

7 Aug

I received the following message from my friend Maria. She, her mom and brother each have a favorite nut offering from the shelves of their local TJ’s on the East Coast of the U.S.:

First: Raw Almonds. My brother loves  these healthy raw almonds. They’re already packed in convenient single-serving bags so you don’t overeat.

And they’re a great price, less than $6 per pound. You don’t pay extra for the convenience of single packs!

packs of almonds

Single servings of handfuls

Second: Marcona almonds. My favorite. How did I miss these on my first trip to southern Spain in the ’90s, and how did I go so long without knowing about this special almond?

I just discovered these this past May on my second trip to Spain. Marcona almond trees only grow in the southern part of the country. They’re pricey but so worth it — crunchier and flatter than regular almonds. They’re roasted in oil, and the Trader Joe’s version includes rosemary seasoning.

Marcona almonds from Spain

A Spanish find

Finally: Pepitas. Shelled pumpkin seeds. My mom loves these.

They give you extra magnesium in your diet and taste great! No struggling with shells either. 🙂

Delicious pumpkin seeds

Pepitas: Not just a seasonal snack

Thanks, Maria!

Trader Joe’s crackers from South Pacific

31 Jul

Not from THE South Pacific,” but “South Pacific,” the musical.

They’re crunchy, they’re grainy, and they’re as big as an elephant’s eye. (Different musical. Same size.)

Another choice cracker from Trader Joe's

It’s a Trader Joe’s sing along.

Happy National Cheesecake Day!

30 Jul

Celebration suggestion: Buy Trader Joe’s New York-Style Cheesecake. Grab three forks and a couple of friends, and dig in.

Ed. note: I learned this through years of experience. It was hard, but I managed somehow. All for your benefit, dear readers.

You’re welcome.

A little cheesecake is the right thing to do

Over-the-top, creamy sweet goodness

Inspired combo: Cheddar and horseradish in a chip

5 Jun

I’m pushing outside my safe zone today. Chips and me, we’re joined at the hip. In my case, both hips. If I’m choosing between a plate of dessert and a bowl of salted, crunchy tortillas, the salt always wins.

That places the favored evil in the danger zone. Lately, I’ve only indulged in healthier options. So, to pick up a bag of flavor-coated, not-baked, not-popped chips sends the red lights flashing. “Warning, Will Robinson” blasts from my internal speakers.

But the will of this bag of taste-filled wrong was too strong:

not on the list of things that are healthy

Beware: Bewitching

I’m a spice wimp, too. But I like a little zing, so I often brave the heat to sample something with a little bite.

Loved these. At the check out, checker Matt said the reviews he’d heard included adoration as well as people saying they couldn’t taste the horseradish.

My take: The horseradish blazes on the tastebuds. Oh, yes. It’s definitely there! The life of the party in your mouth. The cheddar is its subdued chaperone; the straight man to horseradish’s zingers.

So, the bag was finished in three restrained sittings. I don’t know when I can buy them again because I won’t be able to stop eating them. If only I didn’t like them so much, I could have them around all the time!

*Sigh* The price of love.

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