Trader Joe’s MARBLE RYE BREAD


I just checked out a new product at Trader Joe’s, thier Marble Rye bread.

Opening the bag, you get that slightly sour wonderful smell that rye bread has. Now as a native New Yawk’r (and a member of the tribe) I know what a good rye bread tastes like. So I can’t tell you this TJ’s rye ranks high up with top NYC Jewish bakery rye breads. However the TJ Marble Rye is pretty good. It’s not at all like that supermarket rye bread (think “Levy’s crummy rye bread). This is way way better and good and when you toast this rye bread, which really improves this, you will know what it really tastes like. Toasted, this rye bread is delicious –in fact I would basically suggest you always toast this at least a little, as toasting it makes this rye bread be all it can be. Toasting it really improves the flavor and texture. The dark part as you can see in the picture is just a bit darker than the lighter part, unlike “real” marble rye breads from a NYC bakery which typically have very dark parts (black/pumpernickel) mixed with lighter rye. This bread is $3.49 for a 20 oz loaf. A bakery rye bread here in NYC is really expensive now, likely $6-7 a loaf -so this is a decent deal for a decent rye bread.

I would buy this again. Check it out if you like rye bread.

Trader Joe’s TRADITIONAL CARNITAS Mexican Style Oven Roasted Pork


Trader Joe’s sells packages of “CARNITAS” (Mexican style oven roasted pork). Frankly in the package it may not look look very appealing but trust me, this is not just good, TJ’s Carnitas are delicious. Tender, slow roasted, melt in your mouth, delicious porky goodness. Carnitas (“little meats) are a traditional Mexican preparation & cooking method with the pork typically cooked in enormous copper pots by special masters, slowly stirring it for hour with long handle wooden paddles. Cooking carnitas is an art. You can’t even really make carnitas at home. When done the pork is so tender and juicy it is almost falling apart. Typically the cooked carnitas meat is chopped up for tacos or other dishes. “Trader José’s” version of carnitas can be used to make excellent tacos. Now even though it’s fully cooked, it will be far tastier if you brown it and I strongly recommend you do. Its worth the little extra effort and your tacos will be far tastier. Please do not microwave it – despite the fact they say you can on the package. Just toss it in a pan. I cut up the big piece of meat into a few pieces and cooked it on low-med heat for about 10-20 minutes turning the pieces every 5 minutes or all the side were golden brown and delicious. Some interior fat in the meat will melt doing this too. The carnitas may start to fall apart as you turn it, that’s fine. When its all done, take out the meat, rest it a minute or two and then either chop it up into bite size piece or what I like to do: shred it up using two forks. You can use the carnitas as a filling for tacos or quesadillas with your desired accompaniments. Personally I like traditional Corn Tortillas but use any tortilla you like. Now besides using this for tacos, this tasty roasted pork can be used for other things too of course. So for example this pork is great used for Chinese cooking. I make fried rice using this pork chopped into bite size pieces instead of Cha Siu and it’s super yummy. How about Ramen? Sure. Cut into slices, grill them a bit and use these as the Ramen topping like the traditional slices of Cha Siu. Italian? Chop up the meat for a super easy tasty meat sauce, which you add to tomato or marinara sauce – voila, an instant “Ragu” or meat sauce for pasta or gnocchi. You can even just serve this delicious pork on its own with some lime or salsa or as a topping for a salad. Or make a Cuban Sandwich with this, ham and some Swiss! Trust me, you will find this TJ Carnitas useful to use for many things. The 12 oz. package of TRADITIONAL CARNITAS goes for $6. I would buy this again

BTW – TJ’s PINEAPPLE SALSA goes very well with this pork carnitas for tacos etc.

Trader Joe’s NEW ZEALAND GRASS FED SHARP CHEDDAR CHEESE


This is a Trader Joe’s STAFF PICK favorite and I completely agree. TJ’s New Zealand Grass Fed Cheddar is an excellent cheese, a sharp cheddar aged from 6-12 months. This cheese is one of my favorite cheeses that TJ’s carries, and I buy this almost every time I go to Trader Joe’s as it goes rather quickly in our house. This cheddar has just the right amount of tang if you are a fan of a sharp cheddar, good for both adults and kids. The other standout cheddars at TJ’s are the CABOT VERMONT EXTRA SHARP and of course UNEXPECTED CHEDDAR. You can not go wrong with any of these cheddar cheeses but I do like the fact that this New Zealand cheese is “grass fed” meaning from milk from those contended Kiwi cows munching away on grass if they anything like the ones in this picture! This cheese is great by itself, on a cracker, in a sandwich, with fruit, and it’s superb melted. Grilled cheese sandwich, omelets, in a pizza, tacos… it’s especially fantastic melted. You can just give me a Granny Smith apple, a hunk of this cheese and a knife and I will be almost as contented as one of the Kiwi cows.

Update: It used to be 5.99 / lb but unfortunately the price has gone up 50 cents to $6.49 / lb (April 2022)

TJ’s BLARNEY SCONE (Irish Soda Bread)


SEASONAL ITEM (ST. PATRICK’S DAY)

I guess someone at Trader Joe’s thinks naming this “Blarney Scone” is pretty funny, huh? It’s Irish Soda Bread just so you know, and not a scone. It’s quite good. Loaded generously with raisins (or are they currents?) I like this best sliced thin and lightly toasted, spread with good butter. Yum! The Irish Soda bread goes for $3.99 for a 20 oz loaf. If you want some, grab it up as I don’t think Trader Joe’s will stock this much more than a week or two around St. Patrick’s Day every year.

TJ’s SOUTHERN GREENS BLEND


Trader Joe’s “Southern Greens Blend” Greens For Cooking” Cut, cleaned and Ready To Cook.

I think this is a fairly new product at TJ’s or at least I don’t recall seeing it until recently. It’s good. No, make that terrific. This Yankee boy is really digging on these Southern Greens. TJ’s Southern Greens contains a blend of greens typical in Southern cooking, specifically Mustard, Turnip, Collards and Spinach, prepped and ready to cook with. Similar to TJ’s bags of prepped kale but these are different/better with a little funky spicy, slightly bitter taste I love. There are a few recipes on the back which will give you some ideas. These greens take anywhere from about 10-30 minutes to cook depending on how cooked you like your greens. Now of course you don’t need a use a “recipe”. You could just sauté the greens in some olive oil with some chopped garlic, covered on low-med heat with a touch of liquid (stock or water), season to taste with salt and pepper and cook them for 10-30 minutes to your desired degree of greens “done-ness”. They start bright green and get darker and softer as they cook down. Taste them along the way and see how you like them best. TIP: If you find them a little too bitter for your palate you can toss in a tiny amount of sugar to taste. I don’t! I love the little bitterness from the mustard greens. Frankly I am finding myself throwing some of these greens now into whatever I’m cooking. I recently mixed some raw greens into a pot of Jasmine rice as I was cooking it and that worked really well (cook time was about 16 minutes total). I’m throwing some greens into many things I’m cooking to “green up” the dish.

GREENS IS GOOD! They are HEALTHY, and good for y’all ! Eat more dark green leafy vegetables easily using these Southern Greens. They are $2.99 a 1 lb bag. One thing, use it up pretty fast; cut leafy greens start to go bad fairly quickly; so use it in about 3 days. TIP: I poke a bunch of holes (tip of sharp knife) in bags of greens to let in a little air so they don’t rot quite as fast. These greens need to be used pretty fast before they go bad (3-4 days?)

These can go great on top of some cheesy TJ STONE GROUND GRITS

TJ Christmas MARZIPAN STOLLEN Cake


This is a Seasonal item that will be in stores for a limited time !

Trader Joe’s is selling these German traditional Marzipan Stollen at the moment (post Thanksgiving / Holiday season). Stollen are a traditional holiday German cake filled with dried fruits and marzipan. These are Made In Germany by “KuchenMeister”, the same brand TJ’s has carried in years past. They are pretty good, loaded with raisins and candied orange and lemon peel and are completly covered with powdered sugar., which looks like snow. So they look nice and Christmas-y. There is a decent amount of soft tastyyellow marzipan in the center of the cake (I cut the end so you don’t see it, as it starts a few slices in). The cake was pretty tasty served with coffee and tea. For $3.99, this is a good buy. I’ve bought them from specialty stores, and they were about $15-20. Of course those were loaded with butter, and this cheaper one is doesn’t list butter which is where they cut some costs. I once bought one for $20 from a special German style bakery and when I tasted it could not help thinking it was not worth 4 times the price of this cheap one, which does have a fair amount of marzipan and lots of dried fruits and frankly for just four bucks it’s not bad especially if you warm it up before serving. If you find these, I’d say try one as they are perfect for the holidays and a nice thing to give friends and neighbors. That is if you can find them, they are only there for a month or two around Thanksgiving/Xmas.

“KuchenMeister MarzipanStollen – A German sweet fruit filled bread that makes a great gift for friends and neighbors

https://www.kuchenmeister.de/en/productDetail/articleId/EP07110/

TJ’s Sweet & Spicy Pickle Chips & Onions


Thin slices of pickles and onions in a sweet and spicy brine. Emphasis on spicy. You have to try these, they are just terrific.

Now when Trader Joe’s calls these “spicy” on the label, in this case they are not kidding! They are quite hot and seriously SPICY! Containing “capsicum oleoresin”. However they are Spicy Delicious. With a hamburger these were particularly terrific. For me these pickles are just one more amazing TJ Wow Product, something that’s unique and special. I’m even a bit addicted and once I start eating them I keep going back for more. While they are Seriously Spicy if you just eat them their own, when you add them as as ingredient and eat them say on top of a hamburger or tucked into a sandwich, you will get a moderated amount of the heat. These are about $2.70 a jar.

TJ’s “Everything but the bagel” seasoned SMOKED SALMON


Is there anyone reading this who would not enjoy smoked salmon on an everything bagel shmeared with cream cheese and squeeze of lemon? Well Trader Joe’s had a decent idea when they decided to combine smoked salmon and their wildly popular “Everything but the bagel seasoning” as yet another addition to the populoar “Everything but the Bagel” seasoning blend family. I found Trader Joe’s Everything But The Bagel SMOKED SALMON to be very tasty. The Everything seasonings do not overpower the (cold smoked) Atlantic salmon. The seasonings add a nice top note to the mild farm raised salmon which has a nice buttery texture. I tasted the salmon in two ways, the first being in a classic Sunday breakfast, of smoked salmon on a bagel with cream cheese, a little pickled red onion and a squeeze of lemon, all on top of a very fresh TJ’s Artisan everything bagel, with a nice slice of EB salmon…. So delicious and totally satisfying. The second way we enjoyed this EB salmon was using the salmon in some “Temaki sushi (hand rolls)”. I made sushi rice and which we ate topped with pieces of smoked salmon, some sliced avocado and cucumber sticks nestled into a piece of Trader Joe’s seaweed treats for little tasty sushi hand rolls. This was incredibly tasty and made an easy and super yummy dinner.

simple sushi handroll

A package is $5.49 make that was, it’s increased to $5.99 for 4 oz., and yes the four slices inside went very quickly! But is an affordable splurge, this smoked salmon being still a fairly decent value. FYI at Zabar‘s smoked fish counter, the sliced smoked salmon goes for $50 a pound now! (winter 2021). TJ’s is less than half that though yes it is not hand sliced from a whole side of salmon right in front of you by a seasoned counter guy. Those guys are artists.

TJ’S EB SMOKED SALMON is worth trying. I would buy it again as well as TJ’s very tasty Pastrami smoked salmon.

TJ’s Sweet Pull Apart ALOHA ROLLS (Sliders!)


Trader Joe’s Sweet Pull Apart Aloha Rolls

I think we can safely assume Trader Joe’s are calling these “Aloha Rolls” to reference KING’S HAWAIIAN famous sweet breads.

In any case, TJ’s pull apaprt “Aloha Rolls” are really good. Small but pudgy high, slightly sweet and really soft bread dinner rolls. My-oh-my are they yummy, we kept eating one more when we were tasting them. The rolls are small but very pudgy tall and are terrific just with butter or for making little sandwiches. Actually I was looking for the mini hamburger buns I love… which I realized I haven’t seen them for some time, and I am now assuming TJs Disco’d them (argh!) When I saw these little Aloha Rolls I wondered why couldn’t these rolls work for making mini hamburgers slider’s….kind of my own version of White Castle (which I don’t eat actually). The answer is Yes they can. Check out my picture of the little mini burgers aka “Gourmet White Castle” slider’s. Granted there looks to be too much bread though it is so soft and it squishes right down and didn’t seem to bread-y in relation to the meat. These mini hamburgers were so delicious we scarfed them down. Next time though I thought I should maybe trim a little bit of bread off the top of the buns. I used under 2 oz of ground beef for each little mini burger with a lot of chopped onions sauteed at the same time and a little square of TJ’s sliced cheddar cheese melted over the tops. OMG. We loved them. They were so yummy, we ate three little sliders each!

Try making these sliders with these rolls, or just make some little sandwiches with them. Yes they will improve even more with a little warm up in the oven or toaster oven, as it says on the package. Any cute little sandwiches made with these rolls will be great, so let your imagination run wild. I am really thinking smoked salmon, cream cheese and arugula would be very good.

$2.99 a bag (12 oz / 12 rolls)

MINI SLIDERS NO-RECIPE RECIPE: I weighed out the ground beef into little balls and made each about 1.5-2 oz each. I sauteed a whole chopped onion in a cast iron pan for 5 minutes in olive oil until translucent. I spread them around the pan and put the burgers on top. Turned up the heat to high, cooked one side then turned them after 3 minutes and topped with little squares of sliced cheddar. Heated the buns meanwhile in the oven. If you want less bread you can try to slice off a bit of the top of the bun. Serve immediately with your favorite sides. We served these with mashed potatoes and green peas. Naturally this mini burger thing would work using something other than ground beef such as ground turkey, chicken, meatless impossible burgers or even Soy Chorizo I would guess….

I bet you they will be a big hit as they were for us.

Trader Joe’s Sweet Pull Apart Aloha Rolls

Here’s what the TJ website says:

“Light, fluffy, and perfect for sopping up all the leftover gravy goodness on your Thanksgiving plate, we love Trader Joe’s Sweet Pull Apart Aloha Rolls because they’re both tasty and time-saving. They come loosely attached to one another in a convenient, three-by-four-roll rectangle, which can be pulled apart (hence the name) and eaten as-is, or given a quick warm-up in the oven just before serving. Their sweet, simple flavor profile and soft, easy-going texture pair brilliantly with a touch of Cranberry Sauce or a drag through a puddle of savory Turkey Flavored Gravy. And aside from their usefulness at the holiday dinner, proper, they also make a great base for sandwiches. Leftover turkey sliders anyone? We’re selling each 12-ounce bag of 12 Sweet Pull Apart Aloha Rolls for $2.99, every day. Look for them on our bread racks.”

TJ’s Pain De Campagne (country bread loaf)


Trader Joe’s Pain De Campagne (French Country Bread) – Minimalist packaging huh? But trust me, if you see this bread, grab it. It’s delicious. In a bakery I’m thinking this would sell for about 6 or 7 bucks? Trader Joe’s had it for about $2.80 for just over a 1 lb. piece.

Ingredients include: Water, Unbleached Unbromated Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Rye Flour, Whole Wheat Flour, Dark Beer…. We are talking serious bread folks, good bakery bread. Naturally this will greatly benefit from being refreshed with a baking or toasting in the oven for 10 minutes to get it crusty again.

I do find it pretty funny they write on the package: “Contains Wheat. May Also Contain Gluten”.

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