By the way, don’t eat the yellow snow

I love Trader Joe’s. I started going to Trader Joe’s in college, exploring the aisles and discovering new foods. Then when I moved out on my own to a tiny little studio right under the flight path to the airport, I started shopping there almost full time.

Today, I still do about 75% of my shopping there. I do a lot of price comparison and milk is significantly less expensive than the Albertson’s grocery a block from where I live.

Other goods that save me money at TJ’s is eggs, butter and pasta — a good chunk of the necessities. Sure, I would be saving in gas money if I walked to Albertson’s instead of driving to Trader Joe’s but I have a long-standing commitment to that store and it has some good stuff. And sometimes I do walk/ride my bike to Trader Joe’s if I have the energy.

Aside from the staples, Trader Joe’s has fantastic seasonal merchandise. I’ve tried their panettone and liquor cakes and it is all very good, but I’d never tried the very popular Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s.

Candy Cane Joes

I have resisted the Candy Cane Joe Joe’s because I don’t like Oreo cookies very much, but decided to give it a try after seeing a box of it in the company refrigerator. The regular flavor Joe-Joe’s are available year-round, but the Candy Cane version has a cult-like following because of the candy cane specks in the creme filling. I’ve read forums telling of how the cookies have sold out at some stores and how some people stock up on them so they can keep it in the freezer year-round. The cookie itself is very refreshing and tastes like a Thin Mint but with a creamy center. But two Candy Candy Joe-Joes are all I can take in one sitting without overdosing on its peppermint goodness. A box of 36 sells for $2.49.

Dark chocolate cover Candy Cane Joes

Since I was already at Trader Joe’s, I had to also pick up the over-indulgent cousin of the Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s. Meet the dark chocolate covered variety. I prefer these to the regular Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s, possibly because it cuts down on the almost overwhelming peppermint flavor. But one is all I can handle. Plus, it has more calories than two CC Joe-Joe’s. I hate watching what I eat but it’s 150 calories for one chocolate-covered vs. 140 for two regular Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s. A box of 10 is $3.99.

Buche de Noel

I stopped in my tracks in the frozen dessert aisle when I saw a Buche de Noel. I’ve been wanting to make one but with everything going on at work, I’m surprised I’m still cooking dinner every night. A traditional Buche de Noel is a cake roll decorated to resemble a snow-covered log, usually with a mushroom or two decorating it. The Trader Joe’s version is a dark chocolate mousse cake. The cake is definitely a chocoholics dream but it was just so-so to me. The buche de noel serves up to 7 people — or one very hungry person for $8.99.

Xmas goods from Trader Joe's

Since all of these purchases were spur-of-the-moment and I’m not in love with any one of them, I’m going to drop them off at work to have my hungry co-workers devour them instead.

8 thoughts on “By the way, don’t eat the yellow snow

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  1. When we first moved to L.A. 14 years ago, we thought Trader Joe's was some sort of upscale, really expensive place and never went. I don't remember when we decided to go in, but like you said, a lot of staples (milk, tortilla chips, fizzy water) are CHEAPER than at the regular market. I love the Candy Can Joe-Joes and have been dying to buy a box. Someone brought some to work today though and I think I had my fill. However, I did not know about the chocolate covered ones and will be buying some of those tomorrow. My one complaint about TJ's–the hours. They open long after I've gone to work and close way too early for my habits. Darn.

  2. What. A Buche de Noel!! I haven't seen that one! I used to make my own buches for years. Now I can be buche free. Thanks TJs.

  3. We just found an all Trader Joes Cook Book at Borders fro my wifes siter. It basically uses all Trader Joe's ingredients in the recipes."Cooking With All Things Trader Joes" by Deana Gunn and Wona Miniati.

  4. Jodi–I agree about the hours. I think all stores are 9-9 or something like that. A really expensive, upscale place in your neighborhood is Gelson's on Riverside Dr.JustJenn–I bet your buche tastes better than the one at TJs. Send some down south!TheJohn–I just saw the cookbook recently at Borders. There were some combinations I hadn't thought of.

  5. I miss TJs so much! The closest one might be still about 75 miles south, in MD. But after the holidays we are definitely making a road trip.

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