Five things Friday

Five things always found in my pantry / fridge from Trader Joe's this summer:

1. Trader Joe's White Corn Chips + Salsa Authentica. This combo is by far the best out there (in my opinion). I used to be a Reser's-Medium-Chunky-Salsa-girl until I sampled TJ's blend, and let me tell you: it's amazing. I use it to top my eggs, hashbrowns, burrito bowls, rice bowls, burritos, etc. Perfect deliciousness. It's kind of runny, but I like it that way. It doubles as a sauce/salsa combo (at least for me), and it's under $2 a jar. Can't beat it.

2. Trader Joe's Gorgonzola Gnocchi Pasta (frozen foods section). We looooooooove this easy-to-make dish, especially on busy nights or Sunday afternoons. We mix up what we include in it-- sometimes chicken, sometimes broccoli, sometimes red pepper flakes, sometimes all three... It takes about 5 minutes and it's done. Drizzle a little olive oil on the bottom of the pan, sprinkle a little cheese in, and you're set.

3. Trader Joe's Chocolate French Truffles. They come in a red box, look totally fancy and expensive, and are most certainly anything but that. They're delicious, taste a little bit cold when you first bite into them, but are really some of the smoothest tiny desserts my mouth has ever tasted. I enjoy them in small moderation, but T absolutely loves them, which is why they have become a permanent pantry staple at our house. 

4.  Trader Joe's Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream. Again, another husband pick. For those of you who are lactose intolerant or prefer not to eat dairy, this coconut ice cream is delish. It comes in a little guilt-free pint, and leaves your tummy feeling good afterwards. I try not to eat too much ice cream anyway, but my sweet (lucky) husband can have as much of it as he wants with no ill effects. Smooth, chocolatey and fresh: perfect combination. 

5. Red Truck Winery Pinot Noir I'm not a huge pinot fan (sorry, Oregon), but this one is definitely the best I've tasted under $10. The 2009 vintage is getting close to selling out for the summer, but I am stocking up because it's just too good. Very light, smooth and flavorful, but not with those harsh biting tannens that your cheeks feel afterwards. I'm really impressed with this particular winery, and their label is one of my favorites (I'm kind of guilty for selecting a wine based on the label...)

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Do you shop at Trader Joe's? If so, what are some of your favorite things to buy there? I'm always looking for new ideas!
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