Trader Joe’s – Crispy Crunchy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies – Food Review

11/29/2017 by

Trader Joe, review, price, nutrition, calories, cookies, crispy oatmeal raisinNovember 29, 2017

Crispy is the key word on the bag.  Pay attention.

Homemade might be another word for the bag.  What’s meant by that is; not your homemade, nor grandma’s homemade, but my homemade.  Cookies and my oven don’t get along.  I blame it on the oven, of course.  Any kind of cookie I’ve ever attempted came out thin and so crispy that they bordered on just this side of burnt.  That’s the feeling I got with these oatmeal raisin cookies from our favorite Trader.

Trader Joe, review, price, nutrition, calories, cookies, crispy oatmeal raisinThe cookies were so thin that the pretty much hard and dried out raisins tended to pop out of the cookie on their own leaving small holes in the cookie.  Look in the bottom of the bag for the raisins.  The cookies were crunchy, as most things toasted beyond tan tend to be.  Now of course, even in their current condition, I ate them up, because any oatmeal raisin cookie is better than none.  But if you prefer the softer thicker chewier kind of oatmeal raisin cookies, like I do, pass these up.

Price $3.99 (7 ounce bag)

Calories 130 per ounce (2 cookies)

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WPC – “The most interesting turkey in the world, eats Tofurky.” – Photography

11/23/2017 by

Happy non-Turkey Thanksgiving

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Stay veggie, my friend!”

WPC – Experimental Manipulation – Photography

11/17/2017 by
wpc, experimental, birthday balloon, gimp, image manipulation

For more experiments gone wrong, click here.

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Adventure Series Chianti – 2016 – DOCG – Wine Review – ALDI

11/17/2017 by

ALDI, wine, review, price, Chianti, DOCG, 2016November 17, 2017

This is perhaps the best $5 wine you’ll ever have.  For about the last year or two the very good Tuscan wines ALDI used to stock have been missing from the shelves.  I was pretty happy to see this one on my last visit, even if it has the unlikely sounding generic name of Chianti with a further Adventure Series qualifier.  What gives, where are the nice Italian names on the bottle that I usually can’t pronounce?

The wine is: a medium-dark red color, mildly dry in the mouth with gentle tannins, medium bodied, has no bad tastes, and has little aroma in the glass. There’s nothing outstanding about this wine except that there’s also absolutely nothing bad about this wine. Because it’s a mild inoffensive wine, it should make a good sipping wine for anyone liking a red wine with these characteristics. It also makes a nice table wine, which should go well with just about any food red wines are generally associated with.  Paired on different occasions with some homemade pizza and lasagna, the wine was a perfect fit.

While most DOCG Chianti wines don’t appear on the shelves for around two years, this wine is a 2016 vintage making it a little young.  However  the wine is perfectly ready for drinking now.  I suppose that’s why it’s on the shelf.

For $4.99 a bottle this is a true bargain. It’s not a WOW! wine, but it’s also not a wine where you’ll find people leaving 3/4 full glasses on the table. Having a party? This should be a safe red wine where your investment in several bottles will not go to waste.

Trader Joe’s – Unexpected Cheddar Cheese- Food Review

11/17/2017 by

Trader Joe, review, calories, price, nutrition, cheese, unexpected cheddarNovember 17, 2017

Unexpected?  You bet it was unexpected. After months of searching for this on the top shelf where all the other Cheddars live, I found this in with the Bries, Camemberts and who knows what else.

TJ says there’s a touch of Parmesan in the taste which makes this Cheddar unexpected. By my taste buds, I didn’t detect any Parmesan. And also by my taste buds, this doesn’t really taste like other Cheddars. But the taste of this cheese is very nice, having a touch of tanginess mixed with a touch of sweetness. The texture is similar to other TJ cheese blends, firm but tends to crumble when cutting. That’s not a negative, just an observation. In the mouth, there are a few bits of what seem like cheese crystals characteristic of an aged cheese. Whatever the blend of cheeses here, or whatever the process that went into making this, this is a nice cheese, perfect for enjoying by itself or even better with a glass of wine.

Trader Joe, review, calories, price, nutrition, cheese, unexpected cheddarPrice $3.99 per 7 ounce package

Calories 120 per ounce

WPC – Peep Peek – Photography

11/07/2017 by

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Want to peek some more? Click here.

Landshut Riesling 2016 – Wine Review – ALDI

11/07/2017 by

aldi, landshut riesling, 2016. white wine, sweet, review, price. moselNovember 7, 2017

This wine is a very clear pale yellow color with a few happy bubbles once the screw cap is taken off and the wine meets the glass.  There are slight notes of sweet fruit on the front of the tongue.  There is no burn on the tongue, roof of mouth or back of the throat.  I liked the 2013 version and have no complaints with this one either, other than it’s a touch too sweet for me.

Paired with a Trader Joe’s Balti Curry pie, it went well.  The sweetness helping to balance out the curry.  While an unusual pairing, the wine is probably better by itself as a sipping or party wine.  The wine is fine at room temperature, but a slight chill makes it a bit better.  This is advertised as an 88 point wine.  While some might argue rating points, no one can argue the price and the value that represents.  Price $4.99.

I had this at the same time as a 2016 Crystal Creek Riesling also from ALDI.  As neither was my cup of tea, what I did was “blend” them in the glass.  The sweetness of this wine helped balance the negative burn from the Crystal Creek.  The sum was better than the parts.  Forced with making a selection, I’d pick this over the Crystal Creek.

Crystal Creek Riesling 2016 – Wine Review – ALDI

11/07/2017 by

aldi, review, wine, white wine, crystal creek, 2016, rieslingNovember 7, 2017

A fruit fly, probably making its way into the house via a bunch of bananas, immediately found the bottle once opened.  A good sign.  And he/she made repeated return trips to the glass. I don’t like sharing that much. The wine is very clear with a pale yellow, almost white, color. There’s a nice fruity aroma, reminding me of apples and apple cider.  The wine produced a warm feeling in the mouth and a slight burn in the throat, otherwise there wasn’t much flavor. By the end of the glass, I had a very tipsy fruit fly.

Paired with some tasty cheddar cheese, the fat from the cheese helped balance the wine, reducing some of that harshness at the back of the throat.  The wine also picks up some sweetness and fruit flavors when cooled.  The cooling also helped with the throat burn. Price $5.99.

I had this at the same time as a 2016 Landshut Riesling also from ALDI.  As neither was my cup of tea, what I did was “blend” them in the glass.  The sweetness of the Landshut helped balance the negative burn from the Crystal Creek.  The sum was better than the parts.  Forced with making a selection, I’d pick the Landshut over this.

Trader Joe’s Panama Boquete Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review

11/05/2017 by

trader joe's, panama boquete whole bean coffee, review, price,November 5, 2017

The first bad sign was the tear-off tab failing while trying to open the bag.  I had to resort to a Kelly clamp to fix that.  The second bad sign was the aroma of slightly burnt coffee beans coming from the bag.  It should be difficult to burn a light-medium roast.  The third bad sign was the aroma of almost tea coming from the cup.  Or maybe it was bouillon?  The fourth bad sign was the weak bitter coffee coming from the cup.

Well I’ve had worse and despite the four bad signs, the coffee is still drinkable.  For those who prefer less body in a coffee, this one’s for you. This coffee reminds me of the recently reviewed Nicaraguan Coffee.  Trader Joe does a really good job with their medium-dark roasts, so far the lighter roasts have generally been not as good.

And Boquete?  Boquete is a small city in Panama in the western coffee growing region.

Price  $8.99 (12 oz bag)

Trader Joe’s – Pumpkin Tortilla Chips – Food Review

11/05/2017 by

Trader Joe's, Pumpkin Tortilla Chips, review, price, calories, nutritionNovember 5, 2017

Almost burnt pumpkin pie crust, that’s what these taste like.  You know, no matter what we do, some part of that pumpkin pie crust is going to be burnt.  Now I’m not talking about the stuff we buy from the store.  That never seems to have burnt edges.  I’m talking about the stuff that comes out of our oven.  Whether it be a store-bought frozen pie cooked at home or a from-scratch homemade pie, once it gets in our oven there’s some part of that crust that’s going to be burnt.  Wrap the edges with foil or stick a pin in a voodoo doll, some part of that crust is going to get burned.  The oven makers must program that into their ovens.  There’s no avoiding it.

Trader Joe's, Pumpkin Tortilla Chips, review, price, calories, nutritionThese chips don’t taste like the absolutely burnt portions of crust, but like the almost burnt pieces next to the very burnt stuff.  More specifically, it’s the parts of the crust where the filling overflows onto the edges.  You know what those are.  In fact, those pieces of crust are actually the pieces I break off and eat first.  They sort of build anticipation for the rest of the pie with the pumpkin filling covered with whipped cream.  Hmm,  sounds like I know what I’m having for dessert tonight.

But enough about pumpkin pie.  The first ingredient on the label of these chips is corn.  So these are mostly corn tortilla chips with pumpkin puree used to add some pumpkin flavor. The back of the bag suggests these will hold up to any salsa.  I have no reason to doubt that since they are very stiff chips.  But it’s the taste of most salsas I question.  It seems to me that what’s needed is a pumpkin pie dip/salsa to make these complete.

Price   $1.99 – 7 ounce bag  Calories  140/ounce (28g) (about 8 chips)

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