From now through the new year, going to Trader Joe's is not just a trip to the grocery store – it's a seasonal excursion. Pumpkin products are hitting their peak and soon Thanksgiving and Christmas/winter holiday items will start rolling in. It's the most wonderful time of the year!
Speaking of seasonal shopping, are you listening to the Inside Trader Joe's podcast?? The most recent episode is all about holiday items and they mention a few new ones heading to stores this year! I am very excited for a bûche de Noël ice cream and an apple brandy cheese.
There are too many fall items to share just four so I have a roundup for nine for you. This week in my cart at Trader Joe's I tried ...
Pumpkin Greek Nonfat Yogurt: I tend to be skeptical of interestingly flavored yogurts. What can I say? I guess I'm conservative when it comes to yogurt. But this pumpkin flavor isn't scary and has a mild pumpkin flavor. I tried it plain but it would be even better with granola or on top of pancakes. Bottom Line: Like it.
Honeycrisp Apple and Vanilla Pumpkin candles: My heart flutters when I see candles at Trader Joe's and both of these are new this season. Both have nice smells that aren't overpowering. I prefer brighter, clean scents and the Honeycrisp Apple is my favorite but I've enjoyed the Vanilla Pumpkin as well. Bottom line: Love it.
Candy Corn Popcorn: You either love candy corn or you hate it and I...hate it! So I approached this popcorn with a little trepidation. (Has anyone ever said that about popcorn?) The good news is this popcorn tastes like a vanilla candy corn but did not blow me away. I'd pick it over candy corn any day but would prefer a caramel and cheddar popcorn mix to this one. Bottom line: Pass.
Maple Leaf Cookies: These are the cutest and most delicious leaf-shaped sandwich cookies. Although they are on the shelves all year long I don't think of them until the fall. Each cookie is pretty hefty with two thick shortbread cookies sandwiched around a maple cream filling. Maple is not usually my favorite flavor because it can get overly sweet but these cookies are maple pitch perfect. These are great for a fall picnic in the cooler weather or alongside an afternoon cup of coffee. Bottom line: Love it.
Fall Leaf Wreath: When wreaths and home decor appears at TJ's you have to be quick! Made of real dried leaves, this wreath looks beautiful hanging on the back of my front door even after several weeks. Bottom line: Love it.
Haunted House Chocolate Cookie House: I picked up this kit for the boys to do with a babysitter a few weeks ago and it was a hit. We had it sitting on a shelf as decoration until the roof started coming off. I guess icing only holds for so long! This is a fun family (or babysitter) activity for yourself or a friend. Bottom line: Like it.
Pumpkin Joe-Joe's: Okay pumpkin spice, you've gone too far on this one. This seasonal Joe-Joe has pumpkin-flavored cookies and a pumpkin cream filling. I think it's trying too hard and might have been better if either the cookie or the cream was not pumpkin flavored. However, the rest of my family had no problem polishing off the box. Bottom line: Pass.
Ghosts and Bats: These crispy potato snacks are so cute! Although they don't offer much in the way of taste or nutrition. My boys had fun eating these as a snack for about two-thirds of the bag and then grew tired of them so I think one bag a season just for fun is about right. Bottom line: Like it/pass.
Harvest Blend Herbal Tea: Also adorably known as fox tea in our house, inspired by Lesley Miller. The boys look forward to seeing fox tea at TJ's in the fall but to be honest they are usually more excited about the idea of fox tea than actually drinking. But I'll make them a warm cup alongside a maple leaf cookie and they'll have a few sips. I enjoy a cup of this sweet-with-a-hint-of-spice red tea in the afternoons. Bottom line: Like it.
For more fall taste testing and general fall shenanigans, don't miss the recent Fall Extravaganza episode of the Girl Next Door Podcast where we tried several of these items plus others. The episode is guaranteed to put you in a jolly fall mood!
Do you have favorite fall items at Trader Joe's or your local grocery store?