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. #
    Krystina (Organically Me) — June 22, 2011 @ 7:41 pm

    I think Trader Joe’s is the one thing I’ll miss when I move from Mass to Florida.


  2. #
    Joanna (DrizzleofSunshine) — June 22, 2011 @ 7:59 pm

    WHOA! You got WAAAY too much food. I think you need to send some over to me before you regret your purchases. No worries, I love gorditas and bacon. I dont know about those mini pizza’s though…I’d pop em like chips.


  3. #
    chelsey @ clean eating chelsey — June 22, 2011 @ 8:00 pm

    YOU JUST MADE MY DAY!!!! TJ”s has KALE?!?!?! Yahoo! And I must say, I’m proud of that purchase.


  4. #
    Julie H. — June 22, 2011 @ 8:21 pm

    Chocolate coconut spread…. It’s a good thing we aren’t friends in real life, because we wouldn’t be anymore….. Wait, I be you’d share. Yah, so we could still be friends! :)


  5. #
    Mariah — June 22, 2011 @ 8:35 pm

    We just had a TJ’s open up near me, and I was wondering what all the hype was about. Guess I’m going to have to go try it out now! Oh, and I take pictures of my groceries too. Super exciting!


  6. #
    Kim - Liv Life — June 22, 2011 @ 8:37 pm

    Our shopping carts look pretty darn similar! I thought I was Trader Joe’s biggest fan, but you are giving me competition. We LOVE the Mandarin Chicken as well, and I love those Fiber O’s too! And the mini pb cups?? Can’t keep ’em around as they just seem to get eaten up so quickly.
    Have you tried the TJ”s Carne Asada? It’s in the fresh meat area, and is a skirt steak. I live in Southern California, and we have found this to be the best Carne Asada around.
    Love it!


    • Jessica — June 22nd, 2011 @ 8:40 pm

      Ah! I had that in my hand and set it down. Now I’m kicking myself!


  7. #
    Laura (Cookies vs. Carrots) — June 22, 2011 @ 9:21 pm

    I totally know how you feel. Trader Joes = Adult Disney World. Grocery shopping is one of my all time favorite activities!


  8. #
    Meghan — June 22, 2011 @ 10:13 pm

    The orange chicken is definitely the best. And I’m pretty sure, if it’s the seedy bread I’m thinking of, the Whole Foods in London would regularly have samples of it when I was living there and I’d just stand in the bakery and eat half of the samples!


  9. #
    Jessica — June 22, 2011 @ 10:30 pm

    OMG! I love when you do trader joe’s posts. Except that it makes me so jealous that we don’t have them in Texas. :(


  10. #
    Veronica — June 22, 2011 @ 10:38 pm

    I love that you posted all your groceries from Trader Joe’s!! I live in Florida and we don’t have them there but I go to school in VA and all my friends rave about this place. I went to one for the first time last week because I’m living in NJ this summer and saw one on my ride home!! It was amazing; I wanted to buy the whole store. I saw the white bean hummus you got. I bought a triple layer hummus (zesty cilantro, roasted red pepper, and original) and it is sooooo yummy. the three flavors combined on crunchy toast is amazing. You need to try it next time. OH and i dont know if you saw it, but they got a new product in called “honey apple butter” it’s highly addictive!!!! In other news, I made your blueberry brown sugar cookies the other night and my sister said they were the best she’s ever had!!! Thank you for the amazing recipe!!! :)


  11. #
    Keelie (SweatEqualsSuccess) — June 22, 2011 @ 10:51 pm

    They make the most amazing edamame hummus! You MUST try it!

    Those groceries look like they’re taking up a lot of room in your fridge- I’d like to submit an application to be adopted, please!


  12. #
    karenc — June 22, 2011 @ 11:59 pm

    A TJ’s opened nearby this last year and the crowds have not subsided yet! It is a real treat to go there and browse so I plan on plenty of time! The variety is endless and the prices are reasonable! During the Christmas season they offered the best Apple cider and PEAR cider!


  13. #
    Amanda — June 23, 2011 @ 1:05 am

    Trader Joe’s is my happy place.


  14. #
    Cait @ Beyond Bananas — June 23, 2011 @ 2:59 am



  15. #
    Lynne @ 365 Days of Baking — June 23, 2011 @ 3:20 am

    Oh, Trader Joe’s baklava and their tub of little chocolate chip cookies…
    Now I’m hungry!


  16. #
    Kiran — June 23, 2011 @ 3:39 am

    We must have a Trader’s Joe in Orlando, Florida. Please Send Help, Now :D


  17. #
    Cara — June 23, 2011 @ 3:44 am

    WOW! Great job at Trader Joe’s! I can’t wait to go there! I get back in the States Friday afternoon and you will most definitely be able to find me at Trader Joe’s come Saturday morning, for sure!


  18. #
    Foodmuster - courtney — June 23, 2011 @ 6:32 am

    Yay! I’m not the only freak in the world!! I love going to supermarkets too and even more so, I love going to a supermarket when I am in another country. To me it can often be either ‘the’ one or one of the highlights!!! I do take pics of my favourite purchases and post them on my blogs, so you aren’t weird!! I’m from Sydney Australia, so Trader Joe doesn’t exist here, but Costco is opening here next month!! Love your blog:)


  19. #
    Lisa {Smart Food and Fit} — June 23, 2011 @ 6:52 am

    TJ’s is my favorite place too, actually it’s my kid’s favorite place to go grocery shopping. That coconut chocolate spread looks good. I hadn’t seen it there, now I’m going to go look for it at my next visit!


  20. #
    Erin S — June 23, 2011 @ 6:53 am

    I am so jealous of everyone that gets to go to a Trader Joes. I see all the purchases you guys make for cheap! I live in NY and we don’t have one anywhere near me. No fair!


  21. #
    Kim in MD — June 23, 2011 @ 7:53 am

    You can’t smell, taste, or find your appetite and you bought all of that? ;-) Feel better soon!

    I love TJ’s really is a wonderland, isn’t it? My family loves so many of the items you buy- especially the orange chicken! The beef and broccoli is really good, too! The only problem is the dang portion size. I have to use two bags for 4 people (with rice and a vegetable on the side) and I still feel like it wasn’t enough!


    • Jessica — June 23rd, 2011 @ 8:00 am

      I feel ya Kim!


  22. #
    Amelia — June 23, 2011 @ 8:10 am

    I <3 those itty bitty pb cups from TJ's. I made mamapeas chocolate chip pb dough balls last night and added them to the cookies instead of the peanut butter chips. Oh my word! So freakin' good!!!


  23. #
    Ann — June 23, 2011 @ 8:40 am

    You had a GOOD time grocery shopping! I need a freezer before I buy any more meats…


  24. #
    Barb in Palm Beach, FL — June 23, 2011 @ 8:46 am

    Your adventures in shopping is fun. We only have Whole Foods in FL, but still fun poking around as they get new items all the time. Have you tried Silk’s brand Coconut Milk? Oh, so creamy, and yummy. We use it to make smoothies EVERYDAY! My kids think we are at the pool with frozen cocktails :) Try it if you love coconut, we like the Vanilla variety and only 90 calories too!


    • Jessica — June 23rd, 2011 @ 8:47 am

      I LOVE coconut milk! Haven’t tried Silk’s yet but I do love the So Delicious brand!


  25. #
    Amber @ Caleigh's Kitchen — June 23, 2011 @ 9:12 am

    First of all…I am SUPER jealous there is a Trader Joes near you….we dont have one remotely close. Or any fancy grocery store for that matter.
    Secondly, everything looks delicious…can you ship some stuff to me????


  26. #
    @stampylisa — June 23, 2011 @ 9:18 am

    my tj’s list just got longer ;) and my Whole Foods had organic pluots last Friday, so check again. they were a little tart (insert smooch face here) for my taste, but went well w/the Purple Haze Chevre that I’ve been portioning out to make it last! on a crusty bread of course. mmmm


  27. #
    Emily — June 23, 2011 @ 9:40 am

    I recently started working at Trader Joe’s outside of Philadelphia, and it’s always wonderful to see when you post your grocery updates. It’s funny because now when people ask me for suggestions I ALWAYS suggest the white bean hummus and a bunch of the other products you consistently buy. I like seeing things that I’ve actually stocked this past week (I stocked soooo many of those pizzas last week)and I’m hoping all of the products treat you well. If they sell dark chocolate covered powerberries at your store, you should try them! I had them at my first training meeting (along with some ice cream sundaes) and they were sooooo good.


    • Jessica — June 23rd, 2011 @ 10:28 am

      LOVE that you work there! It seems like such a fun place to work. I haven’t seen the powerberries… gotta look next time!


  28. #
    Alaina — June 23, 2011 @ 9:50 am

    Trader Joe’s is the only place where I buy frozen items. I LOVE their mandarin chicken!!!


  29. #
    Alana — June 23, 2011 @ 10:17 am

    Gahhh…i love mozzy, tomato, olive oil, basil with s&p. but add bacon!? you’re brilliant.


  30. #
    shannon mundelius — June 23, 2011 @ 10:24 am

    I just saw a “bits and pieces” bag of Fiberful bars at our Trader Joe’s! Looks good!

    Also, a great cocktail out of the orange pellegrino:
    vanilla vodka + orange pellegrino = yummy, creamy orangsicle!!! try it! you’ll love it!!!

    Next I’m going to try a splash of pom juice + lemon pellegrino + vodka

    Love your TJ finds/habits!!!


    • Jessica — June 23rd, 2011 @ 10:26 am

      Bits and pieces?! I need that!! And you are right… that drink sounds amazing. Maybe with some whipped cream vodka too!


  31. #
    Adele — June 23, 2011 @ 10:45 am

    YUM!!! I <3 Trader Joe's. The mandarin chicken is the BEST. And we love those gorditas! You can heat them up in the toaster! Easiest/fastest lunch or dinner ever with canned black beans and that microwavable jasmine rice they have.


  32. #
    Debbie — June 23, 2011 @ 10:46 am

    I adore TJ’s! My fave thing from there was the dark chocolate covered pomegranate seeds. They didn’t last long ;). I actually used to drive four hours to hit the closest TJ’s and Whole Foods. Road trip!


  33. #
    Jane @ In the Pink and Green — June 23, 2011 @ 10:46 am

    I heart Trader Joes, looks like you got a lot of great groceries! I’ve never tried their white bean hummus before, but I’ll definitely have to pick some up next time I’m there! I have tried those mini chocolate pb cups those…they are so tiny and cute…but deciptive because I could seriously eat that whole container in one sitting! They’re great for putting in cookies or brownies instead of chocolate chips :)


  34. #
    Lindsay — June 23, 2011 @ 10:58 am

    Ummmmm can we talk about my obsession for San Pellegrino Aranciata?! It started when I was studying abroad in Italy, it was literally the only thing I would drink, in fact there is a six-pack of this stuff sitting in my fridge right now…ooo I bet we could think of some kind of delicious cocktail that would include it…anyway I’m jealous of your shopping trip! It looks delicious! And don’t worry, my boyfriend eats the same way, when we moved in together it blew my mind that the man would cook 5 chicken breasts (1 of them being for me) I guess that’s what sports do to giant men? <3 !


  35. #
    Christa — June 23, 2011 @ 11:11 am

    I made my first official shopping trip to Trader Joe’s Monday while I was in Atlanta…a depressing 4 hours away from my beautiful (right now smoky) home on the GA coast…and I. FELL. IN. LOVE. Like deep adoring stare into the eyes love. It was a good thing I didn’t get there until 830 cause I would have spent all day and all my money in there. I picked up some caramalized onion dip, cilantro and chive yogurt dip, sundried tomato and goat cheese ravioli, 2 6-packs of mini bags of kettle corn, crushed garlic, the 21 spice blend, 2 bottles of 2 buck chuck, a bottle of blood orange soda (to be combined with vodka at some point), pita chips, and some pasta sauce. Next time I will take a bigger cooler, but until then I’m going to lobby their home office for one closer to me…I’m ok with Jacksonville :)


  36. #
    Helen — June 23, 2011 @ 11:54 am

    LOVED your shopping journey to Trader Joe’s!!!! Thanks for posting!


  37. #
    Molly — June 23, 2011 @ 12:57 pm

    I’ve had the Trader Joes Gorditas and they were super yummy. My 4 and 2 yr old loved them too. My next goal is to recreate them. Enjoy!


  38. #
    Gina (Yogattude) — June 23, 2011 @ 1:04 pm

    OHMIGOSH! I got those coconut bliss bars at my WF last week and they were the most delicious, creamy bars with bits of crunchy coconut throughout. I went back to buy more and they were GONE! I haven’t been able to get them since…I do hope they come back very very soon!


  39. #
    Amy — June 23, 2011 @ 1:27 pm

    Your man sounds JUST like mine :)
    And the cashiers without fail always make fun of how many fiber bars we buy each trip, too! “whoa…you like your fiber….” they DO make good snacks, ok?!
    Also my fave hummus.


  40. #
    Lisa — June 23, 2011 @ 2:22 pm

    I had never heard of Trader Joes before I started hanging out at your blog. I just went to TJ’s website, becasue I just wasn’t “getting” all the hype – couldn’t figure out what the bid deal is. I’m still not getting it, really, but I see that there are two new TJ’s opening in Kansas City next month, so maybe I’ll have to take a 3-hour road trip and check it out. Honestly, what do you do with chocolate-coconut “spread” ? I am thinking, though, that mozzarella/heirloom tomatoes/olive oil combo sounds tasty!


    • Jessica — June 23rd, 2011 @ 2:25 pm

      I think one of the big pulls for Trader Joe’s is that they have mostly all of their OWN brand products that you can’t find anywhere else and they have really cool stuff. Their produce (most of which is organic) is super cheap too, as are most of their items. The chocolate coconut spread is from Whole Foods and I will probably use it like a nutbutter – on breads/toast, with fruit, on ice cream, in oatmeal, to bake with, etc.


      • Lisa — June 23rd, 2011 @ 2:55 pm

        Ok, my interest is piqued! I’m always a sucker for “really cool stuff”. Guess I’d better take my biggest cooler, or two, when I go. And I’ll be watching for further mentions of that chocolate coconut spread :)

  41. #
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — June 23, 2011 @ 2:27 pm

    I am so jealous of Trader Joe’s… We don’t have one anywhere near here, so I always stock up when I’m traveling. LOVE that S Pellegrino Aranciata… I always keep it on hand, especially in the summer. Delish w/ a bit of vodka :)


  42. #
    Jodie — June 23, 2011 @ 3:14 pm

    Ok, now I am driving straight to TJ’s after work. No sesame honey almonds??? They are my new obsession.


  43. #
    Krista @ Journey To A Healthy Berg — June 23, 2011 @ 7:10 pm

    Look at all the veggies! Go you.

    And I love how you probably make the best chocolate chip cookies in the world, yet you still opt to buy them at the store. Love it.


  44. #
    Jayme — June 23, 2011 @ 7:22 pm

    I also heart Trader Joe’s and actually bought those Gorditas a few months ago. I’m anxious to see what you think of them. I LOVE mexican food and especially anything that includes masa but these were a complete let down to me. For the amount of fat each one contains I didn’t think they were worth it and I haven’t been watching what I eat that closely as of late. That chocolate coconut spead, however, is calling my name. I may have to run to Whole Paycheck, i mean Foods this evening! I hope they carry it in Boston.


  45. #
    Kelly — June 23, 2011 @ 8:55 pm

    Peanut butter filled preztels are my favorite snack….ever.


  46. #
    Missy — June 23, 2011 @ 8:58 pm

    No bacon? You must go back so that you can get the stuff to make this: It SO reminded me of you!!!


  47. #
    Jessica @ Bake a Little — June 24, 2011 @ 11:40 am

    If I could, I would LIVE at Trader Joe’s. You HAVE to try their better n butter- its actually amazing. Their pre-made pizza dough is also to die for.


  48. #
    Allison Baker — June 24, 2011 @ 12:31 pm

    My favorite TJ’s combo (right now) is Nonfat Tart Frozen Yogurt + Powerberries. It’s so good I had to ban the two treats from my grocery list because I have a really hard time making them last longer than two days. Ok, one day…


  49. #
    Holly — June 24, 2011 @ 7:23 pm

    SO so so so so so sad that we do not have a TJ’s in FL. :( I was hoping they franchise, I would totally consider opening one! :D
    And I would LOVE it if you had a recipe for a veggie burger!! I know that it would be the best veggie burger that I have ever had.


  50. #
    Sydney Mayes — June 25, 2011 @ 9:37 pm

    I love how much you love Trader Joe’s!! You have to try TJ’s Raisin Rosemary Crisps next time if you haven’t already. They’re these thin, wonderful, adorable, crackers that taste sooo good just by themselves but probably even better with thick slices of cheese. Definitely my newest obsession.


    • Jessica — June 26th, 2011 @ 8:34 am

      I just saw them this week! Will grab some next time.



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