Trader Joe's 2024: YEA/NAY/MEH

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No idea if the recipe is still on the (Kraft? Nestlé?) bag, but used to make the butterscotch chip cheesecake bars. 8 or 9 inch pan with a pat-in crust made from graham cracker crumbs mixed with melted chips and butter. The cheesecake topping is under a quarter inch thick so if I wanted a dessert for guests I doubled the filling. Even the thinner bars are pretty addictive!

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To cut the sodium, you can make the soup with a can of their regular or fire-roasted tomatoes — just stick an immersion blender in. I add some onion either in the puree or the tempering or both.

Super yay: lemon pesto. Just a little stirred into pasta with some sauteed garlic, toasted walnuts, and a splash of cream is shockingly good.

Yay: mineral spray sunscreen. Every year. The smell is a little weird but it’s so easy to apply.

Meh: fresh lychees – oddly bitter/tannic while also sweet. Kid didn’t like. Is that usual?

Didn’t find ground chicken, which I prefer to turkey, this trip. Anyone know if it’s been discontinued?


Don’t think so, I saw it last week. Some of the stuff goes in and out, I wanted chicken thighs and they were out on 2 visits but then they were back


This sounds amazing!


Your lemon pesto idea sounds incredible. And I have definitely gotten ground chicken there recently.


Glad to hear you like the lemon pesto. Couldn’t resist picking up a jar last week, but haven’t tried it yet.


picked up a couple jars of the sour cherry spread while it’s still available. and a jar of the lemon pesto, which i misses last year.

and — right next to the sour cherry spread were amarena cherries, which are usually only available for the holidays (and which i also. missed).


It’s a winner. Just start small. Save some pasta water.


Top with a chicken cutlet seasoned, dredged, and sauteed in butter and oo and…swoon.

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thinned out a bit of the lemon pesto with some evoo; roasted 1/2 head of romaine (drizzle with evoo, s&p; 10-15 minutes@400-degrees); topped with a handful of toasted pine nuts


It’s also great in shrimp scampi pasta and chicken picatta.

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Sounds fantastic! So like a grilled salad-ish? Or mixed into pasta?

Having “controlled” myself against picking up another product I didn’t have a plan for, now I have Lemon Pesto fomo :joy:

I’m wondering if, in the event they are out when I get back, preserved lemons could be applied — which might also finally use up my pandemic preserved lemon stash :rofl:


our Italian supplier crushes whole lemons and combines them with sunflower seed oil, savory Grana Padano cheese, almonds, a touch of salt, a pinch of black pepper, and extra lemon zest for good, citrusy measure

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YEA for the new italian crackers with green olives.

But I wish they weren’t so broken up inside,

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a grilled salad. since i ate the entire box of confit onion swirls on the way home from tj’s, i didn’t need any more carbs:)

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Just bought these on a whim today, looking forward to trying them! And I had a feeling they would probably have structural integrity issues, but if they’re really good I can overlook that.

I don’t think that would be a very good sub, unfortunately, as it does not have a very pickle-y flavor. I believe I bought two jars so if you do miss out, I will consider mailing you one :sweat_smile:

YEA: Frozen chiles rellenos. Done as directed, in an air fryer, they come out with just the right crispness. The sauce is nothing special but works well on the rellenos.

YEA: Dark chocolate covered pistachios. In a wild plot twist, it turns out these are pistachios covered in dark chocolate. I mean, what else is there to say?

MEH: Dried red & yellow bell peppers. Flavor is nice, but the skins are kind of unpleasant (to me–for reference, I don’t like to eat unpeeled apples). They were better when I threw them in a pan sauce (I braised Italian sausages in vermouth), which they flavored nicely. Still probably wouldn’t buy them again.

MEH: Baked pizza-flavored pillow crisps. IMO, any snack that leaves dust on your fingers should have a lot of flavor to make up for it. These do, and don’t, respectively.