Trader Joe’s HASH BROWN POTATOES


Trader Joe’s sells these frozen hash brown shredded potato patties. They are pretty good. I see a lot of people buying them. Maybe because they kind of resemble MacDonald’s potato patties? Basically these consist of three ingredients, potatoes, oil and salt. You can bake them as suggested on the package. A toaster oven will work for that too. It doesnt say this but you can make them on the stove in a pan, which is what I did. I added a tiny bit of oil to a non-stick pan and cooked them on low until the first side was golden brown, then flipped them, about 15-20 minutes in total. I would say you want these as crispy as possible. Now I don’t have an Air Fryer but I’ve seen other people report you can cook these in and Air Fryer and they work well getting nice and crispy without adding more oil.

The patties were pretty tasty, especially with the fried egg I had them with. I gave them a good dusting of black pepper and that improved them too. I can see you using these at breakfast, lunch or dinner. Things they match well with include ketchup, eggs, bacon, sour cream, or of course pretty much anything that would go well with potatoes. There are 10 patties in a package which now goes for $2.29. Trader Joe’s also sells frozen shredded hash brown potatoes in a bag, that is not in patty form just loose, the way you would normally make hash browns. Those would be good for adding things in during cooking such as some chopped onions and peppers, so also useful.

Seen at Trader Joe’s: DRACAENA Plants for sale


Very healthy looking robust plants, $15

Trader Joe’s UNEXPECTED CHEDDAR CHICKEN SAUSAGE


I was pretty impressed with these new sausages, called UNEXPECTED CHEDDAR CHICKEN SAUSAGE.

They are the bomb: we are talking very juicy and very flavorful. The overall flavor of these sausages is terrific. FYI, they didn’t drip or ooze out cheese, if that’s what you are are expecting. I guess it melts in and gives them a lot of flavor and obviously juiciness. We both really enjoyed these when we ate them for dinner cooked up with sautéed veggies.

These can be served in so many ways. I grilled the sausages in a pan on the stove. I made sautéed vegetables (potatoes, onions, peppers and some cabbage) with them and the combination was quite good together, a bit German in style? We ate this along with TJ’s MARBLE RYE and DIJON MUSTARD and some of TJ’s excellent SAUERKRAUT. These sausages are already fully cooked however browning them up is a must IMO. I just learned you should not prick sausages as we’ve been taught to do, they stay juicier if you don’t. OK one of them burst a tiny bit but it was fine.

Ingredients include chicken, cheese, caramelized onions and red bell peppers. Personally I like the snap of the natural (pork) casing. One sausage has only 160 calories, and while they are not low in sodium, they are not super high either, these sausages have a bit less sodium compared to TJ’s Andouille Chicken Sausages.

I think these CHEDDAR CHICKEN SAUSAGES are a terrific addition to all the other chicken sausages that Trader Joe’s carries. In fact for me, these are so impressive I’d say these go right to the top of my list of all of TJ’s chicken sausages.

I would buy them again. These are $4.49 a package (12 oz)

https://www.traderjoes.com/home/products/pdp/unexpected-cheddar-chicken-sausage-074048

Seen at Trader Joe’s: RUBBER PLANTS (Ficus Elastica) for sale


As the owner of a by-now very spindly 20 yr old rubber plant, I was pretty impressed at how robust and thick these Ficus Elasticas at Trader Joe’s were. They’re beautiful. $12.99

(PS the next day I didnt see any. Sold out?)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ficus_elastica

https://www.houseplantsexpert.com/rubber-plant.html

Seen at Trader Joe’s: OLIVE TREE Plants For Sale!


Olive Trees?!? Yes….wow, cool. For $13 it’s yours. Need to make up with someone? You could give them an olive branch!

Trader Joe’s TEA TREE TINGLE Body Wash (hot weather must!)


Trust me, you want this.

This body wash is a must have for hot weather! “Invigorates with Peppermint, Eucalyptus and Tea Tree botanicals….” It’s the perfect product especially right now for the heat wave that much of the U.S. has been experiencing (July 2022). TJ’s Tea Tree Tingle body wash has tea tree oil, peppermint, eucalyptus and other natural essential plant botanical oils, which make for a really refreshing and invigorating body wash for your shower. It smells terrific. It was so refreshing sponging up with this after a really hot summer day in NYC where the thermometer hit 95 today. This stuff was a lifesaver.

Also, I’ve found its great to add a little when I am washing out my gym clothes!

Certified Organic. Trader Joe’s sells this for just $3.99, a wow price and its a huge 16 oz bottle to boot.

I would buy this again.

Trader Joe’s new Asian products: Gochujang and Red Boat Fish Sauce !


Seen at Trader Joe’s

Red Boat Fish Sauce is back at Trader Joe’s! Red Boat brand is one of the best fish sauces on the market. TJ’s is selling it for just $4.99!? Wow, super price folks. Grab a bottle. Red Boat is a Top, Famous brand that usually costs about double that price (Amazon has it for $9). You’re lucky IF you can find it at a well stocked Asian supermarket. I suggest you grab up a bottle if you see it, even if you don’t think you would ever use it. Because you will, and should. What is Fish Sauce anyway?

https://www.bonappetit.com/story/what-is-fish-sauce

We’re talking UMAMI all day long. Believe it or not, a teaspoon of fish sauce is the secret ingredient you should add to your tomato sauce. Again, its umami. Just like Parmesan has umami and Tomato Paste too. Anchovies! The ancient Romans had their beloved “Garum” (a fermented fish sauce) which they put on everything according to historians.

The other New Asian Product seen at Trader Joe’s: Korean GOCHUJANG pepper paste, sweet, hot and savory. Review coming. If you want to know what you can use this for, watch Aaron and Claire on Youtube to get some terrific ideas for Korean dishes.

Trader Joe’s THAI SWEET GINGER SAUCE


Trade Joe’s new product: THAI SWEET GINGER SAUCE. It seems to be flying off the shelves, people seem to love it. I am guessing mostly for all the frozen DUMPLINGS they buy?

I tried it and I can say it’s pretty good. It is quite thick and garlic-y. Ingredients include pickled garlic, coconut sugar, and coriander. Personally I think it needs more ginger. So I added some fresh grated ginger. For me, it was way better with fresh ginger. However even just poured out of the bottle this stuff is good. Serve this with all of your frozen dumplings obviously, either fried or steamed/boiled ones. Its quite good on sautéed tofu. Grilled chicken of course! Grilled shrimp? Perfect for shrimp or any fish for that matter. Even just try this on top of rice or just grilled veggies. It will add lots of flavor.

THAI SWEET GINGER Sauce is $2.49 for a 10 oz bottle.

Yesterday it was out of stock. It’s popular and people are really buying up this stuff!

Is this replacing the red bottle of SWEET CHILI SAUCE? I am afraid thats gone now. I like both sauces and the chili sauce has been a must have item for me for ever. Sigh. I will have to go back to getting CHILI SAUCE in Chinatown. Its a staple condiment in Asian cuisine.

Trader Joe’s TURKEY BOLOGNESE “just sauce”


You can serve this sauce with PAPPARDELLE noodles, or of course any pasta. This is just the sauce, as opposed to another frozen version which has both sauce AND noodles . A “Bolognese style” tomato based ragu / sauce made with ground turkey.

It’s $3.29 (12 oz). I am guessing this version is a better value than the frozen one which has noodles (one portion). Make your own noodles. You can have a dinner for two for about five bucks with this sauce and the Pappardelle noodles ($2) or for about four bucks if you just buy regular pasta ($1).

I tried this making this TJ’s “Just Sauce” along with TJ’s PAPPARDELLE noodles (which BTW are really good). Now as I am a pretty good cook, on occasion I will make my own Bolognese sauce. So for comparison, lets be fair and say my own homemade turkey bolognese sauce is better. Of course TJ’s Just Sauce can’t compare with a homemade ragu. Still this TJ’s Turkey Bolognese sauce is not bad. It’s OK if nothing special. Obviously this is very convenient and easy which is it’s main selling point. Its a bit bland for me for one thing. So if you get this sauce you can – and should, fix this sauce up a little bit with adding a few things to it: some garlic and Italian herbs and spices, good olive oil and of course some Parmesan or Pecorino, after defrosting. Simmer it for a few minutes with the additions. Oh and be sure to finish cooking the noodles in the sauce for the last minute or two so they can absorb the sauce a bit. This translates into if the package says “cook 7 minutes or till al dente” you pull it one or two minutes before, toss in a pan with maybe a ladle or two of this sauce and cook it on low until the noodles are done till al dente or to your preferred liking. Then top with a little sauce and cheese. As shown below you can see the pappardelle have absorbed some of the sauce.

I would encourage you to try your hand sometime at making this sauce yourself. Here’s an “easy version” I came up with. Really it’s easy, cheaper and will taste way better of course.

RECIPEFAST & EASY TURKEY BOLOGNESE: Brown up a pound of ground turkey (optionally you can use ground beef, or mix of 1/2 pound each ground beef and pork, or Impossible meat for that matter). Sauté on high heat in a tablespoon of EVOO. Once the meat is browned nicely add 4 cloves of crushed fresh garlic, 1/2 a chopped onion (optional: a grated carrot) and turn down to medium heat. Add a spoon of wine, balsamico or just water to deglaze the bottom of the pan scraping up any bits. Saute on low covered for about 3 minutes then add a can of ROASTED TOMATOES (with or without chiles). Rinse out the the can 1/2 way full with milk. Add that in. Season to taste with salt, pepper and Italian herbs. Simmer on low for 20 minutes. Serve the sauce with a hearty noodle like Pappardelle.

Another one here….

Trader Joe’s PAPPARDELLE egg noodle pasta (RECIPE)


“Pappardelle is a hearty noodle with many uses. Traditionally this hearty noodle is served with high-flavor chunky sauces made from game or pork… We like it with a robust Bolognese. It’s perfect for soaking up the flavorful juices of a pot roast and an ideal noodle for soups…”

Trader Joe’s Pappardelle noodles are good, hearty Italian egg noodles. These are especially perfect with robust chunky sauces, like a ragu Bolognese. A bag is $1.99 (8 oz). Here’s what I learned from making these a few times. To bring out the best of these noodles I suggest you don’t just cook them and put them on a plate and top with sauce. If you are just serving these with butter and cheese that’s OK to do. But if you are serving with a sauce (Bolognese maybe?) these will taste best if you finish cooking them in the sauce for a minute or two at the very end. Meaning pull them out of the water at about 4 or 5 minutes, drain (but not too thoroughly) and finish cooking them with 1/2 your sauce till they are al dente (save a little of the cooking water, which you can add to get the sauce consistency you want). Again grab them after about 4 minutes of boiling, throw them into a pan with about 1/2 cup of sauce per portion, cook and toss gently for a minute or two, until the noodles are cooked to your liking. The noodles will absorb the sauce and all the flavors, and make for a very hearty dish (see my dish, served with some asparagus as a side). Top with a bit more of your (reserved) sauce and a little grating of Parmesan.

Pappardelle with Bolognese sauce is made for each other so that’s definitely a combo you should think of for these noodles. If not a homemade ragu Bolognese you can easily use Trader Joe’s TURKEY BOLOGNESE “just sauce”. I can’t say it’s great, but it’s decent if you don’t want to make your own (see my easy turkey ragu bolognese recipe below)

RECIPEFAST & EASY TURKEY BOLOGNESE: Brown up a pound of ground turkey (optionally you can use ground beef, or mix of 1/2 pound each ground beef and pork, or Impossible meat for that matter). Sauté on high heat in a tablespoon of EVOO. Once the meat is browned nicely add 4 cloves of crushed fresh garlic, 1/2 a chopped onion (optional: a grated carrot) and turn down to medium heat. Add a spoon of wine, balsamico or just water to deglaze the bottom of the pan scraping up any bits. Saute on low covered for about 3 minutes then add a can of ROASTED TOMATOES (with or without chiles). Rinse out the the can 1/4 to 1/2 way full with milk. Add that in. Season to taste with salt, pepper and Italian herbs. Simmer on low for 20 minutes. Serve the sauce with a hearty noodle like Pappardelle.

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