Sunday, February 22, 2015

Trader Joe's Grand Opening

*trumpets of joy* FINALLY, after months of waiting, my most beloved grocery TRADER JOE'S is open, literally less than five minutes from our house!!! No more driving ~45 min to the other two locations in the heart of Houston and having to stock up for two months at a time!!! I can finally go back to being able to pop in & out, to trying more of their new, unique items w/o fearing we'll fall in love & not be able to get back for more anytime soon. And I can't decide whether this is good or bad...but we can bring home their ice creams, again, now! :-P Our freezer finally no longer looks like Trader Joe's warehouse storage. :-D It's OK to just buy 2 of our faves at a time, instead of 15, b/c I drive by now literally every single day. I don't know how to express enough what a HUGE HUGE HUGE (first world ;-)) blessing this is to me!!! As if we needed further confirmation that we are never moving, again... ;-)

We showed up right on opening day (OF COURSE!!!) and Sis got her pic with the local high school cheerleaders, who were there to pump up the grand opening celebration:
(We didn't think until we were driving away that we should have asked them to stunt with her! :-D)

So, what exactly are we sooo obsessed with at TJ's? Everything. :-P No, seriously - it's the best quality food at the lowest prices. Think of it as the Aldi of Whole Foods. It's smaller than you would imagine, and while their fresh produce is amazing, my faves are their pantry staples and frozen foods. I love to eat, but I'm not the biggest fan of cooking, anymore. I grew up loving to cook - I liked proving that I could be great at it...but now I hate cleaning up the kitchen & dishes a million times more than I ever enjoyed cooking, and so many of the things I would like to put in the effort to make, my family doesn't enjoy. Enter TJ's. Healthier frozen meals, and everyone can decide which they'd like best! (Obviously not every night :-P but it's ALWAYS an option when no one can agree!) They also have my kids trying more adventurous flavor profiles, funky ancient grains, ethnic foods, etc. It's all better & easier than anything I'd try on my own; and I don't feel as bad paying $3.99 for me to try a unique, exotic Indian dish as I would had I spent $$$$ to buy all of the individual spices & ingredients separately and poured a couple hours into the recipe, just to have my whole family say, "I tried it. I don't care for it. Can I have cereal?" :-D

Will's fave is Fettuccine with Mushrooms, Annelise's is Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina, and mine is Spelt Risotto. JB's fave, Confetti Rice With Lemongrass, Baby Corn & Ginger, was just discontinued :'( but at least we have easy access now to experiment! (FWIW, I love every single one of those, too!!!) He chose Quinoa Duo with Vegetable Melange to try next.

Their seasonal specialties are another grand highlight...but perhaps I'll save that report for fall: pumpkin-o-rama!!! I'll close with sharing one of their current seasonal specialties, the best candy bar I've ever had IN MY LIFE: the Fireworks Chocolate Bar!!!

"Ooh, there are going to be fireworks. On your tongue. Oh yes indeed. Trader Joe's Fireworks Chocolate Bar is here to put a little spark in your life (and your mouth), add a little spice to your everyday experience, and of course, deliver fine chocolate at an explosively good value.

Trader Joe's Fireworks Bar is crafted for us by a stateside chocolatier known for adding intriguing flavors to high quality chocolate. Here, they start with smooth, rich dark chocolate - always a good beginning. And then come the fireworks, in the form of "popping candy". You remember the stuff; it "sparkles" on your tongue, tingling and tantalizing with every bite. But that's just the beginning. The bar is also spiced a bit, with chipotle and pasilla chiles, a touch of sea salt, and a dash of cayenne pepper. It's not hot hot, but it'll definitely give you a warm feeling inside. Just like fireworks. Just like love - and we do love this bar.

The Fireworks Chocolate Bar is available at your neighborhood Trader Joe's for a limited time - if we offered it every day, how would we keep the spark alive? We're selling each 2.8 ounce bar for $1.99, while they last."

6 comments:

  1. Well, now I'm wishing I had a Trader Joe's within 5 minutes of my house so I could go grab one of those chocolate bars!!!

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  2. I just went back and bought 2 more to hide in the pantry! ;-)

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  3. It's interesting that you think they have good produce, the one here in Royal Oak (and the one I used in Georgetown next to my apt there) had lousy produce. I'm glad to see that it is good in other places…it bums me out when a grocery store can't get the basics right.

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  4. Oh, wow! All 4 TJ's I've ever lived near have had amazing produce!

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  5. I dream of a trader joe's by me. I just have to stop when I happen to be by one.

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  6. Our Naperville house was less than a mile from that one!!!

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