Some people dream of going to Disney World; I dream of going to Trader Joe’s.

I also spent a good hour taking & uploading pictures of my groceries today. I think I’m a bit loopy. You may think I have no life. I find I fall somewhere in the middle.

I thought I was being secretive and all, telling you that I “just returned from my favorite place” on Facebook, but you know me too well. Almost every single one of you on Facebook and Twitter guessed Trader Joe’s. I guess I’m an open book.


So here’s a serious question… do you think I got enough mandarin orange chicken?

According to Mr. How Sweet, probably not. There is some sweet and sour chicken up there too. One bag equals one meal for him. If I am not home/don’t cook, it’s either a bag of this or a frozen Laura’s lean beef burger.


And I found this too! I think this is new?

Hopefully this is as delicious as the orange chicken. Minus the broccoli of course.


I also bought him these mini pizzas for snacks.

Some people eat apples for snacks. He needs an apple, a banana, and some form of meal as a snack. These little pizzas have less than 300 calories and 12 grams of protein, which he will tell me is not nearly enough… but I think they’ll work.


I have no idea how these ended up in my cart.

I’ve heard rave reviews from many of you and reallllly want to try making my own veggie/bean burger soon. Hopefully I’ll like these – smothered in three cheeses and some bacon of course. I’m also 99% sure they are soy-free. But I’m too lazy to get off the couch and double check.


A chicken for roasting.


An impulse purchase.

These sounded SO good to me. I think it’s the idea of “comfort food” considering I have a massive sinus infection right now. I also had bought a ton of produce already this week, so I spent an extra long time perusing the beautiful frozen processed food aisle. I’ve never eaten frozen meals, and Trader Joe’s has the best!




Double yum.


Favorite hummus.

Nothing compares to this!


Some treats.


Trader Joe’s FINALLY has kale!

I’ve never bought kale that is packaged in a bag before, but Trader Joe’s is so cheap compared to my local grocery store and I plan on using it for kale chips only – so I’m hoping it’s a hit.


Some produce.

Mushrooms, jalapenos, peppers and green beans. Produce is my FAVORITE reason to go to TJ’s. They have the best fruit and vegetables (yuck).


I want to combine these with some of that mozzarella above.

And salt + olive oil + basil. And crumbled bacon. Mmmmm.


Cereals and English muffins.


Snackity snacks.


Our favorite on-the-go snack!


Some replacement staples/condiments.

Nothing new here, but we love the sweet chili sauce and TJ’s soy. I am also completely obsessed with their vanilla extract. I want to drink it.


I quickly detoured to Whole Foods, mainly because I saw these coconut bars in the most recent issue of Real Simple and was praying Whole Foods would have them. I am a coconut freak! Gimme gimme gimme.

No luck.

So I got some of this super seedy bread instead.


And THIS. I can’t even tell you how excited I am for this.

I have been eyeing this for a few months (I saw it in McGinnis Sisters in early Spring) and finally picked some up. Turns out this is a local company too! Just give me a spoon.


Some of this deliciousness.

I am really weird about drinks. I highly dislike carbonation as it burns my throat, chest and nose, but there are a handful of beverages that I adore.


The lack of the coconut bars was made up for by these.

I probably would have ripped into this, but considering I can’t smell, taste or find my appetite, I didn’t want to waste them.


So that’s it! I’m done being a freak and posting my groceries on the internet. Now the real question is… when will pluots be back in season? They are one of my favorite summer fruits!

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142 Responses to “My Favorite Place.”

  1. #
    Gina @ Running to the Kitchen — June 22, 2011 @ 4:45 pm

    Please tell me I’m not the only one who found the disclaimer “some giblets may be missing” on the chicken hysterical!


  2. #
    Heather from Snacktive — June 22, 2011 @ 4:46 pm

    Let us know how the beef and broccoli and veggie burgers are! I had the mandarin chicken last night and added some steamed green beans in the mix. You could barely tell they were there!


  3. #
    Mellissa — June 22, 2011 @ 4:48 pm

    Seeing this all just made me so hungry at my desk. And, does Trader Joe’s vary the products by region. I haven’t seen a lot of those things at my TJ’s in Minneapolis. Boo!


    • Jessica — June 22nd, 2011 @ 4:50 pm

      I think it does – I’m pretty sure I’ve heard that before. I think our TJ’s is fairly small too!


  4. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — June 22, 2011 @ 4:49 pm

    WOW! What a haul! I’d love to find some pre-washed kale at my supermarket because washing veggies is one of my most loathed tasks. Keep us posted on the veggie burger!


  5. #
    Melissa — June 22, 2011 @ 4:49 pm

    Tip for the kale — it’s so fab that it’s already prepped! However, there are to many stems in there for my taste, you might want to take the time to sort through and be a little picky. I’m always too lazy but then as I’m crunching on not-so-delicious stem along with my salty kale chip I wish I had taken the time!


    • Jessica — June 22nd, 2011 @ 4:51 pm

      I can see SO many stems in there through the bag – that was the only downfall! I will definitely try to remove most of them.


  6. #
    carly — June 22, 2011 @ 4:50 pm

    I am counting the days until Trader Joes opens in Kansas City! (We’re actually going from 0 to 2 this year – wahoo)


    • liz — June 22nd, 2011 @ 5:11 pm

      ditto on the trader joes here in KC! no more hoarding while visiting STL. :) except.. i will avoid TJ’s for about a few weeks when the grand opening hoopla dies down (maybe?!)


  7. #
    Michelle P. — June 22, 2011 @ 4:51 pm

    Ah! The whole chicken reminded me that I wanted to tell you: I roasted my first chicken last night! Followed your recipe and it came out ALMOST perfect! The almost was because, well, I roasted it upside down. Yes, breast-side down. So the only delicious crispy skin was attached to . . . the ribcage. Not my finest moment. But the meat was delicious, and so simple! Thanks for the recipe!

    PS: less than 8 weeks til the wedding . . . :-)


    • Jessica — June 22nd, 2011 @ 4:53 pm

      LOL – I have roasted mine upside down SO many times. I just don’t think when I roast it! 8 weeks… so close!


  8. #
    Danielle A — June 22, 2011 @ 4:51 pm

    Ugh! I so wish there was a Trader Joe’s near me… All look so yummy, and delightful!


  9. #
    Rachel @ I'm Loving Today — June 22, 2011 @ 4:52 pm

    ARRGGHH! This post just reminded me that I forgot to pick up the peanut-butter-filled pretzels from TJs during my trip there yesterday!

    Oh darn…. guess I’ll just have to make another trip…. shucks.

    (p.s. nice haul)


  10. #
    Ida — June 22, 2011 @ 4:53 pm

    I had no idea that TJ’s carried Justin’s stuff. I love his nut butters! My current favorite is the Chile Mango Fruit Floes- they are spicy and amazing.


    • Jessica — June 22nd, 2011 @ 5:00 pm

      Oh no – the Justin’s is from Whole Foods!


  11. #
    Carrie — June 22, 2011 @ 4:53 pm

    I AM SO JEALOUS!!! I miss Trader Joe’s so much (I moved from California to Montana)!!!!


  12. #
    Rachel — June 22, 2011 @ 4:55 pm

    I feel your pain with the sinus intection-Ive got one too and having my ears syringed tomorrw ;-(. Unfortunatly my appetite had disappeared along with my sense of smell, and taste! hope your feeling better soon-can I come round for mandarin chicken and ice cream with sprinkles?!


  13. #
    Liz @ Tip Top Shape — June 22, 2011 @ 4:56 pm

    TJs really does have an awesome frozen food aisle. I think I spend more time there than in produce!


  14. #
    Kelly — June 22, 2011 @ 4:56 pm

    I love trader joes!!!


  15. #
    Shari @ Chicago Cuisine Critique — June 22, 2011 @ 4:56 pm

    I love Trader Joe’s! I do not blame you for the excitement. If I didn’t have one a few blocks away, I think I would plan on stocking up on everything imaginable. I have way too many favorites. :)


  16. #
    alexandra — June 22, 2011 @ 5:00 pm

    How are you not 800lbs!!!! Unreal, if i ate like you i would be a house. I am beyond jeal…


    • Jessica — June 22nd, 2011 @ 5:01 pm

      This is not an example of what we eat through the week at ALL – this is more like pantry and freezer staples that I stock up on every 2-3 months.


      • alexandra — June 22nd, 2011 @ 5:04 pm

        Amazing stuff! But what about all of the other things you make are so divine! Who eats all of the recipes?

        • Jessica — June 22nd, 2011 @ 5:07 pm

          I really only make 1-2 super decadent recipes a week, which we may use as dessert or maybe for entertaining, it just depends on the week. This is my full-time job so I make food for the blog specifically – I don’t only make food that we eat. There is more about this in my FAQs! :)

  17. #
    Joelle (On A Pink Typewriter) — June 22, 2011 @ 5:01 pm

    Haha I would consider both TJ’s and Whole Foods to be two of my favorite places.. I am looking for a new apt and just saw one above a TJ’s in town, and I just about called and begged the current tenant to move out so I could live there – without seeing the inside of the apt yet. TJ just has that allure.


  18. #
    Stephanie @ LiveCookLove — June 22, 2011 @ 5:02 pm

    Once again, Austin reallllllly needs to get a TJ’s!!!! For now, I’ll just live vicariously through you :)


  19. #
    Kitten — June 22, 2011 @ 5:04 pm

    I think I need to make a trip down from Erie to go to Trader Joe’s, stat!


  20. #
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet — June 22, 2011 @ 5:04 pm

    I was so excited to find the TJ’s kale a few weeks ago, it is such a good deal and saves a decent amount of time! Hope you are feeling better soon… no sense of smell is no fun for eating!


  21. #
    Dannie — June 22, 2011 @ 5:07 pm

    I am the same way about Whole Foods so I totally understand where you’re coming from-I spend oodles of time in there because it’s just awesome….


    • Jessica — June 22nd, 2011 @ 5:09 pm

      I walk around looking at everything with my head in the clouds. People have to think I’m crazy.


  22. #
    Jenna — June 22, 2011 @ 5:15 pm

    I wish we had Trader Joes in Canada. I LOVE their sunflower seed butter. My boyfriend is going to the US in August, and I’m making him (ahem…demanding) that he make a stop at Trader Joes and bring me back a jar or 2 of their sunflower seed butter. I think I might also need peanut butter filled pretzels, yogurt Os, mini PB cups….damn. If I lived in the US, I would end up spending all my money there!


  23. #
    Nicole — June 22, 2011 @ 5:15 pm

    LOL @ the “british muffins” so as not to offend those of us in Scotland, Wales and Nor’n Ireland! .


  24. #
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — June 22, 2011 @ 5:17 pm

    no no 1000x no… your favorite place is a sprinkle store/palace :p I’m positive that exists somewhere and I know if you ever find such a place that’ll replace your top spot.


    • Jessica — June 22nd, 2011 @ 5:19 pm

      Hahaha I wish I could LIKE this.


  25. #
    Megan — June 22, 2011 @ 5:20 pm

    My vegetarian friend made me try veggie patties. Covered in bacon and cheese, they’re actually pretty yummy. Sometimes I get scared that I’m blogging in my sleep under your name because we love so many of the same good things. My top food groups are sprinkles, cheese and BACON (and alcohol). I also love pickle juice and peanut butter filled pretzels. I can’t stand veggies but I really love sautéed mushrooms. I have tried so many of your recipes and have loved every one of them. While my boyfriend was in Afghanistan, he said he craved coconut shrimp from Joe’s Crab Shack. I just made your coconut shrimp for him and he said it was the. best. ever. I’ve also told my sister and mom about you and they love you. My mom said just today that she wished you were her next door neighbor. Thank you for entertaining me daily and being my food loving twin!


    • Jessica — June 22nd, 2011 @ 5:22 pm

      You are right… I think we ARE twins!!


  26. #
    Heather (Heather's Dish) — June 22, 2011 @ 5:21 pm

    If I had a TJs near me we would be BROKE!


  27. #
    Victoria — June 22, 2011 @ 5:23 pm

    I so wish there was a Trader Joe’s ANYWHERE near me. *sigh* So jealous.

    Oh, and I’m totally the person who dreams about going to Walt Disney World. :)


  28. #
    Michelle @ KissedBySweets — June 22, 2011 @ 5:26 pm

    I am soooo jealous right about now! I LOVE Trader Joes! But I live in England now and they don’t have it here!! Have you tried the Powerberries?! You will buy like 5 bags and eat them all! Also, try the Mochi Green Tea Ice Cream-seriously, you won’t regret it. Eat for meeee please!!!



    • Jessica — June 22nd, 2011 @ 5:30 pm

      I LOVE the Mochi!


      • Michelle @ KissedBySweets — June 22nd, 2011 @ 5:32 pm

        Awesome!! I’m so glad someone else knows what it is!!! It’s sooo delish! Enjoy it for me please!! :)

  29. #
    Kari — June 22, 2011 @ 5:27 pm

    Next time you go to TJ’s you MUST try the flur de sel carmel sauce. It is so freaking amazing. Its great with ice cream, on brownies, with a good soft pretzel, in my coffee, or heck, just on a spoon. Trust me. AAmmmaazzziinngg.


    • Jessica — June 22nd, 2011 @ 5:30 pm

      Ooooh trust me I’ve already had it. I’m on like jar 6 or 7!


      • Kari — June 22nd, 2011 @ 5:32 pm

        :) Good! I was worried you’d been deprived!

  30. #
    Ann Claire — June 22, 2011 @ 5:29 pm

    I’m so jealous, I’ve never been to TJ’s. I’m pretty deprived, huh?
    Justin’s makes peanut butter cups? I must try them!


  31. #
    Erica — June 22, 2011 @ 5:33 pm

    THis post makes me so happy! Our tjs opens next month! Now i wont have to have joshs mom ship me goodies-whooop


  32. #
    Sarah — June 22, 2011 @ 5:36 pm

    TJ’s Mandarin Chicken is a staple in our house; we also recently discovered the beef and broccoli, and love it!


  33. #
    Holly — June 22, 2011 @ 5:51 pm

    I’m so excited, we’re finally getting a TJs here soon!
    I was sent to NYC for business for 2 weeks, went in Trader Joe’s at least 5 times while I was there, and brought home lots of snacks!


  34. #
    Maris(In Good Taste) — June 22, 2011 @ 5:55 pm

    Now that’s what I call a shopping spree!


  35. #
    Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) — June 22, 2011 @ 6:05 pm

    your shopping pictures are making me hungry!


  36. #
    Dishes of Mrs. Fish — June 22, 2011 @ 6:08 pm

    My TJ hauls look like that! Ours is half hour away and the traffic and parking is horrible, so I only go every few months!! Yummy finds!


  37. #
    lynn @ the actor's diet — June 22, 2011 @ 6:16 pm

    tj’s is the greatest, but disneyworld is pretty awesome too. when i go to disney i always bring my TJ’s snacks! those veggie burgers are awesome, by the way.


  38. #
    Katie — June 22, 2011 @ 6:21 pm

    I get so angry about the lack of TJ’s in Colorado everytime you mention it. I might have to search for those Justin’s PB cups online or something, I’m not sure I can live without them now that I know they exist.


  39. #
    Kelley — June 22, 2011 @ 6:27 pm

    Copy. Paste. Now I have my grocery list for the week. Done.


  40. #
    CC — June 22, 2011 @ 6:45 pm

    I totally understand your addiction to Trader Joe’s. When my husband first started thinking about retirement he ask where I saw us settling; I went to the computer and pulled up the locations of all Trader Joe’s and told him it had to be within 25 miles of a Trader Joe’s. That was non-negotiable!


  41. #
    Ashli — June 22, 2011 @ 6:59 pm

    thanks for the pics! I always get great ideas from you!!! :)


  42. #
    Gen — June 22, 2011 @ 7:00 pm

    Aaaah I really want to find a Trader Joe’s someday!!!! Memphis doesn’t have one, and Recife definitely doesn’t! :P


  43. #
    mrsblocko — June 22, 2011 @ 7:03 pm

    I feel the exact same way about carbonation. I thought I was the only “weirdo” out there!


    • Jessica — June 22nd, 2011 @ 7:07 pm

      Heck no. I really hate carbonation! Once in a blue moon I crave it, but after 2 sips or so I’m done.


  44. #
    Samantha Cernock — June 22, 2011 @ 7:08 pm

    I too, dream of Trader Joes. And the closest one is over an hour away! I guess it could be worse, it could be a lot further away.


    • Jessica — June 22nd, 2011 @ 7:13 pm

      I’m about 45 minutes. It’s rough but close enough to go every few months!


  45. #
    Nicole — June 22, 2011 @ 7:11 pm

    Sadly, I’m another who has never experienced the world of TJ. I think because of the crazy liquor laws here in Utah, they’ll never open a store. The closest I’ve been is seeing your inventories and the funny Trader Joe’s Song unauthorized commercial on youtube. So funny. However, my local grocery store does have pluots.


    • Jessica — June 22nd, 2011 @ 7:13 pm

      Wait… really?? Here in PA we cannot buy liquor in grocery stores either (well, they are JUST starting with a handful) and have always had to go to beer distributors and state stores. From what I hear, I am REALLY missing out on the booze that is sold in other TJs!


      • Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga — June 22nd, 2011 @ 7:24 pm

        Two Buck Chuck, i.e. Charles Shaw wine, sold in Tjs for 2 bucks, now i think 3, is VERY good for what it is.

        And for 6 bucks you can get killer wine at Tjs.

  46. #
    vann — June 22, 2011 @ 7:18 pm

    so, kansas city has never had a trader joe’s before and TWO ARE OPENING here on july 15. one of them is like a mile from my house. I cannot even express how excited i am and this post has me on the edge of my SEAT!!!!


  47. #
    Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga — June 22, 2011 @ 7:23 pm

    So much I have to mention…

    I also spent a good hour taking & uploading pictures of my groceries today. = OMG me too and i can tell from this post you spent AT LEAST an hour..SO TIME CONSUMING but we all appreciate it.

    TJs vanilla, so good. The bourbon one i think i spy behind the other one in your pic

    the Fiberful bars. The use of the word “We”. Good to know.

    I cant believe you bought cookies given how many you make. lol

    kale in a bag! never even noticed it but i can get a huge head for 99 cents at the reg groc store so i am never on the lookout but for kale chips that’s so perfect i may need that too

    veggie burgers. there’s one called veggie masala burger that CA TJ’s don’t get but east coast TJs do, that everyone raves about

    i have a to-die-for recipe for coconut chocolate cashew butter and also chocolate coconut kale chips on my site. You would probably really like both!


  48. #
    Claire — June 22, 2011 @ 7:26 pm

    I just bought a ton of pluots last weekend when I was home in southeast Wisconsin!!! They are so delicious :D


  49. #
    Clare — June 22, 2011 @ 7:33 pm

    Oh I LOVE pluots! Up in Minesota (please say with a Fargo accent for full effect) we call them plumcots! And that spicy beef and broccoli is DELISH. We got it on a whim and and my whole family devoured it.


  50. #
    Rach — June 22, 2011 @ 7:39 pm

    So after seeing this post I’ve decided that I totally need a TJs in my city! So many delicious goodies! Your plans for the tomatoes sound absolutely divine!


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