How were your weekends? We had a great time seeing the White House Christmas decorations, having our annual drink at The Willard, hitting The Hamilton for half priced sushi, and ending the night with chocolate cake + vanilla ice cream. I got in a couple of workouts and we meal prepped with slow cooker meatballs, so I’m feeling pretty ready to jump into a busy (social) week!
Coming at ya with a few great holiday buys from Trader Joe’s because I’d be remiss not to do a roundup this time of year. I feel like I’m buying something new every time we’re there!
(P.S. More gift guides are coming, starting with ideas for men tomorrow!)
Bûche de Noël ice cream: I first heard of this on the Trader Joe’s podcast earlier this fall and we picked it up last week! It does not disappoint–I will always miss the Joe Joe’s Peppermint Ice Cream (RIP), though–but is definitely on the very sweet side! The benefit of that is that a small portion goes a long way in satisfying a sugar craving.
Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread: Snag this version even if you aren’t normally gluten free–it is SO good! It’s perfectly moist and is insanely easy to make. It would also make a great hostess gift if you wanted to bake a loaf, wrap it in plastic wrap and tinfoil, and tie a ribbon around the whole thing.
Blue Cheese Mustard: We just picked this up yesterday and J tried it while putting on his sandwich this morning. He said it’s basically exactly what it sounds like: a mix of blue cheese and mustard. It’s an inexpensive way to elevate a simple condiment and I’d try adding it to a cheese plate, too.
Crispy Vegetable Pouches: TJs’ vegetarian frozen food game is consistently strong, but I still get so excited when they introduce new items! One of my favorite things to do with apps like these is to heat up a few and eat them alongside a simple salad for an easy weeknight meal. They’re too good to reserve solely for entertaining! (I especially love doing these with the Mushroom Turnovers.)
Winter Wassail: A delicious holiday concoction that tastes great alone (heat it up!) or in a cocktail. The sample station is what got me on this and I’m not even mad about it because it’s such a good seasonal treat! I’d almost compare it to a non-alcoholic mulled wine (so would be perfect if you’re looking for alternatives for kiddos)–the prominent tastes include cinnamon, blackcurrant, orange peel, and lemon juices.
Peppermint Joe Joe’s: A favorite year after year and one I don’t think they’ll ever discontinue! I remember discovering them for the first time and buying three boxes to eat year-round, because they’re just as good alone as they are crumbled over ice cream, dipped in chocolate, or atop a cake for the holidays.
Sipping Chocolate: A spin on American hot chocolate, but equally good with marshmallows piled high! TJ’s sipping chocolate yields a European-style chocolatey beverage, so one’s that more dense and rich than the packaged stuff we typically drink in the States. It’s become our go-to!
Mini Mousse Presents: TJ’s always has these seasonal mini mousse treats and they are SO good! I usually don’t let myself buy them since #selfcontrol, but they’re ideally-portioned treats if you can exercise self control, or if you want to take something sweet to a hostess along with a bottle of something.
Cranberry Chevre: If you’re a fan of slightly sweet-meets-tart, you’ll love this cranberry goat cheese. There are literally cranberry chunks in it, which makes for the perfect blend of textures. TJ’s always has some kind of fruity goat cheese over the holidays, so if they’re out of this variety at your location, there’s probably something similar!
One more thing: Champagne Gummy Candies! I haven’t actually acquired these yet because our store didn’t have them this weekend, but I’d imagine they’re a fun treat, especially if you’re entertaining! I’ll be snagging them as soon as I spot ’em. I could also write an entire post about my love for their Cauliflower Gnocchi but will save that for another non-holiday post. If you see it, pick up a bag (and sauté it in olive oil and cover the pan mid-way through, instead of following package instructions!)
If you’re a TJ’s shopper, what’re your favorite Trader Joe’s holiday items?