Posts Tagged With: Trader Joe’s

Thirsty Thursdays: Trader Joe’s Low Calorie Pink Lemonade

This is quite possibly the most delicious store-bought lemonade I’ve ever had. Trader Joe’s has thrown down a gauntlet for all lo-cal beverage manufacturers in creating a drink with only 40 calories per 8-ounce serving. And the secret to their success? STEVIA. Stevia is, admittedly, a bit of a shock to the system when it’s the only sweetener in the cup; but TJ’s has softened it with the addition of a small amount of organic cane sugar. The result is a guiltless guzzle of epic proportions.

For you organi-philes, this will be an especially refreshing drink. The front label proudly states that the lemonade is made with organic lemon juice, but it also includes other organic ingredients: cane sugar, lemon extract, lemon juice concentrate, and flavor (all certified by QAI).

.Now, if you go searching for this gem in your local TJ’s, you will see that there are actually TWO lo-cal lemonade options: yellow and pink. There are people who insist that you cannot tell the difference, but our family has tried them both and swears that you can. DH, DS, and I prefer the pink version; my parents prefer the yellow. The only discernible difference on the label is the addition of black carrot extract (for color) to the pink version. Both versions contain “organic flavor” and “natural flavor”, so the secret may lie therein. I’d like to believe that, somewhere in the pink’s natural and organic flavor formulary, there is just a tiny extra bit of sunshine and happiness that seems lacking in the yellow. Or maybe I just like the color better. Either way, it rocks my tastebuds.

Incidentally, in our house the half-gallon container is a one-day supply. It’s a safer beverage alternative for the DH, since it’s reduced-sugar and low in phosphorus (two considerations for Type-1 diabetics everywhere). So on my once-weekly trip to TJ’s, I generally purchase 7-10 1/2-gallon bottles. The one time our local store was out (since the warehouse was out also), DH had to go without for almost two weeks. One the outside he was calm, but I know on the inside he was practically rabid over the loss.

Categories: Beverages, Food, type 1 diabetes | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

OK, so… Easter.

Easter was a really pleasant day. Like one of those days where you actually fall asleep smiling as you drift off, just reviewing the preceding hours in your mind.

We started the day with a late-morning brunch at my parents’ house. Their backyard is mind-boggling. There is a pool,  an outdoor kitchen, a fireplace, and even a waterfall made from rocks that they have collected from their trips to the mountains over the years. It’s *that* cool. So of course we braved the drizzly weather to enjoy brunch in the backyard. Mostly straightforward brunch-y stuff: eggs, grilled ham, toast/bagels/English muffins, fresh fruit, coffee and juice. Basic stuff. But there were a couple special items on the table as well. Armenian nibbles! Yay! Mom drove out to Anaheim to buy basterma (paper-thin slices of buttery, spicy, air-dried beef, not unlike pastrami), good Armenian string cheese and lahmejun (the Armenian version of pizza: spicy flatbread with veggies and sometimes meat). Just forget everything else on the table. These little morsels of mezze are what I’m really craving. There isn’t much on the table, so most of us are being very selective about how much we eat. Neither DH or DS care for basturma or lahmejun, which is fine with me because that means I get their portion.

After we got home and DS is down for a nap, I grab the keys and I’m off to Trader Joe’s. I admit it; I have a “thing” about shopping at TJ’s. I always go in with a list, and then I buy an additional 50% of new-and-interesting-and-oh-jeez-I-better-buy-that-because-next-week-it-could-be-discontinued stuff. You can find me there at least once a week, usually on Sunday, prepping the fridge and pantry for a week of culinary craziness.

Fast forward to 6:30ish. The house is clean, the table is set, the wine glasses are polished, friends have arrived and I am ready to ROCK AND ROLL. I start rapid-firing courses out to the table. The first is Ceaser salad, with homemade dressing and homemade garlic Parmesan croutons. The out goes the traditional Gruyere fondue (I’m not taking any credit for that one; it’s a microwave-ready cheese-o-rama from TJ’s). Next is the French onion gratin (like French onion soup, but without the soup part). There’s bread and apples and raw vegetables and wine being passed around the table. The whirlwind starts to die down, so I go in for another kill: linguine tossed with wild mushrooms, baby spinach, Parmesan cheese and white truffle oil. The red wine gets passed around. We are talking politics and culture and whatnot, but every sentence is peppered with praise for the food on the table. I am  so happy that I forget (for the moment) what my kitchen looks like.

After DS is put to bed, we move the party to the living room. Time for dessert! Someone has brought an angel food cake, which I lay out buffet-style with vanilla bean ice cream (TJ’s), sliced strawberries, sliced pineapple, chocolate sauce (TJ’s) and fleur de sel caramel sauce (TJ’s). There’s a general feeling of contentment in the air. All of a sudden we realize it’s 11:30, and we all start clearing away dishes. They get piled upon piles in the kitchen. It starts to look like a scene from a Shel Silverstein poem, but I tell everyone I’ll deal with it later. Guests shuffle out the door, filled with dairy products and pasta and good cheer. Shortly thereafter I too shuffle off, this time for bed, wearing the aforementioned smile as I drift off to sleep.

Then Monday morning comes. And until I round the corner into the kitchen, I have somehow forgotten what is waiting for me in there.

Can someone call ServPro?

Who's gonna clean up that mess?

Categories: Cooking, Food | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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