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A Trader Joe's Care Package

ElsieDee May 24, 2012 12:03 PM

I've a dear friend who is a great cook in her own right and is an adventurous (though vegetarian) eater. She is located far, far away in a land where there are no Trader Joe's to be found. I'd like to send her a care package of shelf-stable favorites from TJ's and am curious as to what you'd include in the box.

So far, my shopping list includes:
* Triple Ginger Gingersnaps
* Speculoos
* Dark Chocolate Covered Blueberries
* Peanut-butter Filled Pretzels

Please help me fill out this "must send" list with your recommendations.

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  1. b
    Bax RE: ElsieDee May 24, 2012 07:06 PM

    Almondictive Bits!!

    1. v
      vttp926 RE: ElsieDee May 24, 2012 07:40 PM

      Speculoos cookie butter!
      Chili Mango
      Turkey Jerky-Teriyaki

      2 Replies
      1. re: vttp926
        Boychucker RE: vttp926 May 27, 2012 08:56 PM


        1. re: Boychucker
          vttp926 RE: Boychucker May 28, 2012 07:27 AM

          I am sorry. I must not have been reading thoroughly when I posted my list.

      2. Rilke RE: ElsieDee May 25, 2012 08:00 AM

        Perhaps a trek mix or two? There are so many good ones: Salty Sweet & Nutty; Tempting; Rainbow's End; Monkey Business . . .

        I also second Bax on the Almondictive Bits.

        1. g
          gordeaux RE: ElsieDee May 25, 2012 09:51 AM

          Vaccuum fried pineapple and vacuum fried banana. Two bags each. Maybe four each.

          3 Replies
          1. re: gordeaux
            Bob W RE: gordeaux May 25, 2012 10:13 AM

            That pineapple is really good! But don't you mean dried and not fried? LOL

            1. re: Bob W
              gordeaux RE: Bob W May 25, 2012 08:37 PM

              Absolutely not.
              Vaccuum Fried with an F.

              1. re: gordeaux
                Bob W RE: gordeaux May 26, 2012 07:48 PM

                Yes, my apologies. I was at TJs today and saw they have two types of pineapple -- Vacuum fried chips and dried baby sweet pineapple. We have the latter and it is excellent.

          2. s
            sciencediet RE: ElsieDee May 25, 2012 09:56 AM

            I like the Almondictive Bits too, but (this week) I prefer the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups. Also some big tub o'cookies (the chocolate chip with oatmeal ones work for me), and the peanut butter-filled pretzels.

            1 Reply
            1. re: sciencediet
              sciencediet RE: sciencediet May 25, 2012 09:57 AM

              Oh, and the cinnamon almonds. I actually can't stop eating them so I don't buy them any more, but I'd happily buy them for someone else.

            2. Bob W RE: ElsieDee May 25, 2012 10:11 AM

              Last time I was at TJ's I tried the Wasabi Seaweed Snack. Perfect for a vegetarian!

              1 Reply
              1. re: Bob W
                Kitchen Imp RE: Bob W May 26, 2012 08:37 PM

                I second the Wasabi Seaweed Snack - and don't forget Wasabi Peas!

              2. pamf RE: ElsieDee May 25, 2012 10:48 AM

                Since your friend cooks, add in some items from TJ's spice aisle. They have different spice blends and salt in the container with a built-in grinder among other things. Some of those things might be hard to find and/or very expensive where she lives.

                It's a lot of fun to put together a personalized box. Reminds of when I used to bring TJ's packages to my friends in the Midwest when I visited from California. But time marches on and they now have a local TJ's of their own.

                1 Reply
                1. re: pamf
                  Rilke RE: pamf May 25, 2012 06:23 PM

                  We love the Everyday Seasoning blend. They also have pink sea salt quite cheap.

                2. g
                  gator28 RE: ElsieDee May 25, 2012 03:14 PM

                  Dark chocolate covered pretzel slims - my favorite.
                  And I love the uncrystallized candied ginger!

                  1. b
                    bulavinaka RE: ElsieDee May 26, 2012 10:24 PM

                    TJ's carries a fair amount of nut butters. Don't know what your friend's tastes are, but you might look over this section, particularly since she's a vegetarian. We regularly eat the almond butters. The salted roasted has the most flavor, the raw unsalted seems healthier. I can't remember if they still carry cashew butter, but that was very good. But the Valencia peanut butter with flaxseeds has a nice roasted peanut flavor and the roasted flaxseeds add another nice nutty dimension in flavor and texture.

                    TJ's carries at least three different dark chocolate almond products that I get regularly. The one with sea salt is very nice and even vegan friendly. But if you think you package will be going to an area with a lot of heat, reconsider these products or any others with melty things...

                    1. biondanonima RE: ElsieDee May 26, 2012 11:58 PM

                      I love their chili lime cashews and their dark chocolate covered ginger-I can't have them in the house or I will inhale them within 2 hours. If your friend is a baker, she might appreciate a couple of Pound Plus chocolate bars-Callebaut chocolate, repackaged for TJ's, at an incredible price.

                      1. carolinadawg RE: ElsieDee May 27, 2012 04:43 AM

                        Milk Chocolate Caramel Salted Butter Cookies. Oh yeah!

                        1. b
                          butterfat RE: ElsieDee May 27, 2012 06:30 PM

                          I recently did something similar for friends in the midwest. Some of my items were chosen to be kid-friendly, but for a grown-up I'd include the Habanero Hot Sauce if they like spicy foods, some interesting nuts, something ridiculous and chocolatey (I chose the Chocolate Covered Toffee Popcorn), and maybe one of the jarred tapenades or spreads.

                          1. j
                            justalex RE: ElsieDee May 27, 2012 06:37 PM

                            I love their butternut squash soup in the shelf stable box. I dress it up with a little cayenne or smoked Spanish paprika and a good dollop of sour cream.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: justalex
                              bulavinaka RE: justalex May 27, 2012 09:08 PM

                              Try blending it with carmelized onions, a can or two of coconut milk, and a teaspoon of green curry, some salt and pepper. Get some good shrimp (TJ's frozen will do in a pinch), blend half of it in with the soup, save the other half to serve with the soup. Garnish with their fried onions in a can.

                              1. re: bulavinaka
                                justalex RE: bulavinaka May 30, 2012 07:39 PM

                                Now that's a clever (and easy) curry! Thanks for the fantastic idea. I will try it out.

                            2. ipsedixit RE: ElsieDee May 27, 2012 09:58 PM

                              Green tea mints

                              1. coney with everything RE: ElsieDee May 30, 2012 05:58 AM

                                I like the freeze dried strawberries and raspberries, especially this time of year when fresh fruit isn't a great option yet.

                                They have good prices (at least they did last time I looked) on pine nuts although not everyone likes theirs. And Chili Lime whatever nuts they have.

                                Rosemary Raisin Crisps

                                Do you mean speculoos spread or their cookies?

                                1. cellophane_star RE: ElsieDee May 30, 2012 05:58 PM

                                  I've only been to TJs once... No stores in Canada.

                                  I loved their dark chocolate edamame and requested them in a package once.

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