Trader Joe’s Mac and Cheese. This is also goes by the moniker Joe’s Diner Mac and Cheese, but we all know it’s from Trader Joe’s, they can’t fool us with all these different names! This is one of those products you walk by a million times and never pick up because you would never eat it in a million years, but suddenly something changes and it’s around you and it’s in your freezer all the time! That something is a ravenous 11 year old boy that has taken a liking to all things Mac and Cheese and would be happy to eat it every night of the week!
The gold standard in the Mac and Cheese world, other than homemade, is Stouffer’s Mac and Cheese. It’s been around a long time and it’s the standard by which many people judge all Mac and Cheeses. My wife says she grew up on the stuff and I can’t really remember eating it before college, but it is a good, cheap, fast way to fill the empty spot in your stomach. Not exactly the most nutritious meal ever created, but it does fill you up and for picky kids, it’s an easy way to fill them up.
When I compare Stouffer’s Mac and Cheese against the Trader Joe’s version, in my humble opinion, there is no comparison. The Trader Joe’s version wins hands down! The Stouffer’s version is the bright, un-natural orange color, but I do like the flavor. The consistency is very much more runny than the Trader Joe’s version, which I’m not sure I like that much.
The really nice thing I like about the Trader Joe’s Mac and Cheese is that you can see real cheese when you take it out of the box and before you heat it up. The flavor and consistency is more what I would think that homemade Mac and Cheese would be like, plus I really like the melange of the four different cheeses and that adds a bunch of complexity to the dish.
If I had my choice, I think the Trader Joe’s Mac and Cheese wins, hands down, over the Stouffer’s! I am going to give the Trader Joe’s Mac and Cheese 9 Bells!
Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter Sandwich Cookies. You know when you had your first serious girlfriend/boyfriend how special it all was. You were in love and nothing was going to come between you. By the time you were in your 3rd or 4th it was still special, but didn’t have the magic. By the ninth time, you may have found the special someone, but you are old hat at this relationship thing now. That’s kind of how I am about these Cookie Butter sandwich cookies. I may love them to death, but it doesn’t have that special first time love thing going on anymore…
As I predicted, Trader Joe’s keeps pumping out the cookie butter hits! It seems like almost every other week, they come out with another product that has Speculoos Cookie Butter in it, on it or all over it. I didn’t see this one coming, although not a huge leap like the Cookie Butter ice cream, it is a new product and I predict a long line in a succession of products containing Cookie Butter in one form or another. It’s kind of out of character for Trader Joe’s to release a cookie in January, but hey they know better than me when to release new products!
Trader Joe’s Crispy, Crunchy Broccoli Florets. Broccoli in recent years has fallen by the wayside as the great superfood of the moment, replaced by Kale. Kale is in everything now. Just walk down the aisles in Trader Joe’s and you’ll see it everywhere… Poor sad broccoli sits on the side lines and watches as kale gets all the recognition now! Funny… but in reality both plants are from the same family (cabbages) and offer many of the same benefits. So, you can’t go wrong eating either one!
I just recently reviewed the newest kale chips snack from Trader Joe’s, and didn’t like it that much, I know how popular these snacks can be with the vegetarian crowd looking for a healthy snack. I thought the Seasoned Kale chips were a mess and tasted like grass with some weird seasoning thrown on to cover the flavor. I hoped that these weren’t that bad too!
Just like the green beans and the kale chips, these are freeze dried, just all like that freeze dried food that campers and end of worlders hoard in their basement waiting for the apocalypse to wipe out all our food. Some of them can be quite good and very light, if you want to go camping and make gourmet food. But, I don’t think this was Trader Joe’s goal here.