Every month, Trader Joe’s removes and adds amazing products to its gigantic collection of wonders, items that are discoveries and that amaze you every time you find them. But, unfortunately, many of them are limited editions that arrive for short seasons, and the Holidays are precisely a time of year when more interesting products appear in all TJ’s stores.
The colors and flavors of Christmas transport you to those beautiful family dinners back to your childhood, like when my family and I met at my Aunt Tina’s house on Bainbridge Island, or when we traveled to Wisconsin to play in the snow and eat my grandmother Martha’s chocolate cake (handmade, no baking mix!). Trader Joe’s has that magic with their high quality products.
Six Trade Joe’s treats for the Christmas dinner
There are flavors that, no matter where you are or what month of the year it is, you are going to teleport to Christmas dinner at Grandma’s house in Wisconsin or your aunt’s on Bainbridge Island, where you had beautiful dinners and carols were sung by the warmth of the fireplace.
Oh dear, I love Brussels sprouts! I used to be that weird kid that actually ate their vegetables, and my Nana used to prepare them oven-baked, just with olive oil and salt.
You can also add other ingredients to the Brussels sprouts to give them more flavor. For example, try tossing them with garlic, lemon juice, and Parmesan cheese before roasting. Or, try adding some bacon (or pancetta) for a smoky flavor. Experiment with different seasonings and ingredients to find a combination that you like.
Trade Joe’s seems to have a giant laboratory where they catch those tastes, smells and sensations, and translate them into food. I don’t know how they do it, but when you try any of these five products that I’m going to mention, you’re gonna find out what I’m talking about.
Chocolate Peppermint Loaf & Baking Mix
Whoever invented the combination of mint with chocolate, deserves a Nobel Prize. It is, without a doubt, one of the best combinations in universal history, and this Chocolate Peppermint Loaf & Baking Mix from TJ’s comes out of the oven being a soft, delicious and deeply chocolaty cake.
It is very versatile because the mix batter can also be turned into a loaf, or even into some crispy mint and chocolate cookies. And as if that weren’t enough, they can also be transformed into an S’more-type mint cake. A 19-ounce package is priced at $3.49 at any TJ’s in the country.
Dark Chocolate Covered Gingerbread Cookie Folks
Trader Joe’s also launched this year the renewed version of the Dark Chocolate Covered Gingerbread Cookie Folks, a simplified version of the traditional German lebkuchen, which are nothing more than delicious gingerbread covered with bitter chocolate of the best quality.
They are perfect to accompany a tea with milk, an eggnog or a hot chocolate after Christmas dinner. They can even be accompanied by a scoop of vanilla or mint ice cream, to add another Christmas element to the palette of flavors.
The 7 ounce (260 gr) box is worth $3.49, but I recommend buying several because they are going to disappear: everyone will love them.
Minty Flavored Cocoa Truffles
Trade Joe’s was filled with autumn and winter flavors since mid-October. In all the locations of the American retailer you will find aromas of cinnamon, cloves, pumpkin, and ginger. In this beautiful range of delicacies, I found the other day these Minty Flavored Cocoa Truffles, of the wonderful combination that I already praised before.
They are a dessert with a fresh mint flavor factor and crunchy pearl sugar chips to give texture and make something familiar, but completely new. I’m in love with them! The 8.8 ounce (332 g) box is worth $2.99.
Jingle Jangle Tin Can
Do you know what a Jingle Jangle is? It’s a combination of fantastic things from Trader Joe’s, delicious little creations in assorted flavors that you’re going to eat by the handfuls.
It’s a unique assortment at Trader Joe’s of a lot of things that taste great, look beautiful, and best of all, are dipped in chocolate! Inside some beautiful cans decorated with Christmas motifs you will find: mini pretzels covered with milk and dark chocolate and sprinkled with white chocolate; popcorn with caramel covered with dark chocolate; broken Joe-Joe’s cookies covered with dark chocolate; milk chocolate gems with a layer of red caramel; and mini peanut butter cups with milk and dark chocolate.
It only shows up during the holidays, so hurry up because they go really fast, and the 22.7 ounce (858 g) can is worth $9.99.
Glazed Maple Donuts
The morning after Christmas dinner, there is nothing more delicious than getting up in your bear claw slippers and your old-fashioned Christmas sweater, to prepare a delicious coffee with some donuts. And if the donuts are glazed, so much the better!
These Glazed Maple Donuts taste as if you took Christmas and transformed it into a delicious round belly and covered with sugar icing. The inside is dense, soft and deliciously doughy, and the sweet maple frosting on top is literally the icing on the cake. TJ’s announced in their newsletter that they are going to be available for a short time, so if you find them do not hesitate to buy them because they will be back -if we are lucky enough- next year. The box of six units is priced at $4.49.
Making a Christmas dinner on a budget
In order for a Christmas party to be within reach of your pocket, you have to learn to avoid some bad practices when going to the grocery store, even if it is Trader Joe’s, which has very good prices.
One of them is to make a list of what you need to buy before going to the supermarket, and try not to buy anything that is not on the list. You can also compare prices and search for offers instead of buying the most expensive products: try the house brand of the store instead of famous brands. In addition, avoiding going to the supermarket when you are hungry can help you keep off buying things impulsively. Another way to save money when shopping food is to buy products in larger portions (bulk shopping), as they are usually cheaper in the long run.