The Air Smells Sweeter

October 12, 2010

I’m not kidding – the air up here in Charlottesville has a sweet smell.

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A breath of fresh air! I noticed it when we first moved here and stepped out of the car, and I noticed it again today. And y’all know I have a supernose!

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This morning Matt and I wrapped up our visit to Charlotte with a final yoga class and Caitlin.

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The class was 90 minutes of hotness. I missed Tanner, who is somewhere tropical right now, but I still enjoyed the good flow.

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After quick showers, we went by Great Harvest to stock up.

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Lots O bread and a muffin for me!

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Even though we know most of the flavors, we always have to "try" something :)

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I had a nice hunk of Cran Orange Scuffin!

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Check out these cute pumpkin loaves and a witch’s finger! They are special order for Halloween.

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We also picked up sandwiches for the road

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We also ran by Trader Joe’s – a guess that needs to go on the "things I miss" list. Hopefully Charlottesville is getting on in the next few years!

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I got the VERY LAST pumpkin butter!! I know you can make it from scratch, but I’ve tried it and none are as good as TJ’s

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I’ve gotten countless emails from people over the years on what to stock up on from TJs. Well, here’s what we snagged. I’m sure there are other good staples, but these are ones I don’t feel I can get in Charlottesville for the same bargain or taste

  • Olive oil
  • Smoked herring
  • Wild salmon (boneless, skinless)
  • Salty peanuts! (These are the best)
  • Capers
  • Pumpkin butter (none like it)
  • Cinnamon Almonds (love these!)
  • Peanut Flour ( <– the new blog world craze. Must try it)
  • PB
  • Coconut milk (tastes better from TJs!)
  • Soaps
  • Wines (I have always liked the Velvet Moon for $5.99!)

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We left Charlotte at 1PM and broke right into lunch.

I got "The Masters" = pimento cheese, hot pepper jelly, spiced pecans, tomato, lettuce, cuc on Dakota

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My fav!!

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Comes with a pickle for an appetizer

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Plus a huge apple I picked up from TJs

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That bread made our car smell HEAVENLY! It was not sliced or I would have had an end piece. Otherwise I’d ruin the loaves!

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Instead, we broke into the almonds

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The bag says "an irresistible snack." I concur!

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We also picked up some chocolate covered cacao nibs (Matt requested "something chocolate for dessert") and they were delish. Just a tiny sprig of chocolateyness

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4 hours later (a shorter drive than usual because we left from north Charlotte!) we were home

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A huge thank you to Karen for treating us to dinner to catch up and save us from having to cook!

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We went to Zinc, a restaurant that’s been on my list for a while now.

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It’s got the perfect bistro ambiance

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We dined out on the patio

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I had a salad to start

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And the Butternut + Walnut Soup to finish. It was THICK like a smoothie!! So good.

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Also had 2 bread nuggets …

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And a few bites of Matt’s beer-battered fish n chips. The best beer batter I’ve tasted!

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We have some more unpacking and cleaning to do. I’m so glad to be home sweet home!

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{ 70 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jessica @ How Sweet It Is October 12, 2010 at 7:34 pm

I wish we could get wine at TJs. No can do here! I love their pumpkin butter too.

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2 Kelly October 13, 2010 at 7:24 am

That is a travesty!!

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3 Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg October 12, 2010 at 7:35 pm

Yum! That restaurant looks like the perfect welcome home meal! Glad you’re enjoying your sweet air :-)

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4 Dorry October 12, 2010 at 7:36 pm

I love your road-trip snacks and I totally jealous of that sandwich. They need a GH in Dallas. Really, they need one everywhere. :) Trader Joe’s needs to come to Dallas, too. We’re missing out for sure!

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5 Estela @ Weekly Bite October 12, 2010 at 7:37 pm

I love the wine at our TJ’s, the prices are great!

Your soup looks so rich and delicious!! Hmmm, now I’m craving thick soup :)

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6 Alyssa October 12, 2010 at 7:38 pm

Looks like sweet potato fries too?? My fave!!

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7 Lily's Health Pad October 12, 2010 at 7:42 pm

Your last day in Charlotte pretty much covers everything Diana and I did when we came for a brief visit! Trader Joe’s and Great Harvest, all the way.

I had no idea Great Harvest sells sammies?

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8 Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine October 12, 2010 at 7:42 pm

I’ve yet to try the TJ’s pumpkin butter- the TJ’s in NYC are always NUTS!! Glad you had such a good trip!

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9 Tabitha (From Single to Married) October 12, 2010 at 7:43 pm

I fell in love with Great Harvest when I lived in Utah – they have these amazing Mazurkas (spelling?) that I haven’t been able to find at the Great Harvests in the East. :(

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10 christina cadden October 12, 2010 at 7:47 pm

All that food looks so good!

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11 diana October 12, 2010 at 7:48 pm

i’ve gotta try the great harvest. i don’t think we have it in nyc ); those breads look so good!

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12 Chelsea @ Strawberry Sweat October 12, 2010 at 7:52 pm

I love Trader Joes, and your post reminded me that I should make a trip soon! I love stocking up on all sorts of things at TJ: pizza sauce, fruit butters, soups, almonds, and of course, their wine!

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13 MLT October 12, 2010 at 7:53 pm

Their pizza dough is cheap and good and the wasabi mayo is amazing.

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14 Allie (Live Laugh Eat) October 12, 2010 at 7:59 pm

I like McCutcheon’s pumpkin butter better than TJ’s (despite the fact that I worship that place!). It is more pumpkiny and TJ’s is my syrupy. I’m sure you’ve had it since you visit MD often.

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15 Mary @ Bites and Bliss October 12, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Glad you had a safe trip back :) I don’t think I could have been so strong not to break into some bread on the drive home!

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16 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey October 12, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Those are some great things you stocked up on at TJ’s! I love those nibs – they are the best!

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17 Jean@RoastedRootsandPumpkinSpice October 12, 2010 at 8:03 pm

Oh my, that butternut and walnut soup sounds like an amazing combo! I think I’m going to try to create my own soup with those two. :)

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18 holly @ couchpotatoathlete October 12, 2010 at 8:03 pm

Oh man, cinnamon almonds are the best!

I’m glad you got home safe and sound!

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19 Heather (Heather's Dish) October 12, 2010 at 8:06 pm

butternut and walnut soup sounds like heaven in a bowl to me! YUM!

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20 Stephanie October 12, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Let me know if you want any pumpkin butter or other TJ’s goodies before next Wednesday’s dinner – I live seriously 2 minutes from the TJ’s in the west end of Richmond! I’m most likely going this weekend so I’d be happy to pick it up for ya :)

Don’t you just love Virginia?!

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21 claire October 12, 2010 at 8:12 pm

I also just picked up that pumpkin butter…so good on an english muffin with raw almond butter! Love that restaurants atmosphere and cork menu, so cute!

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22 Lori October 12, 2010 at 8:14 pm

Now that your in Virginia ya got to try Virginia Diner Peanuts – they are the freshest tasting. Would love to have TJ here in Roanoke, or anywhere within an hours distance. When my daughter lived in Tucson the first place I went when I got in was to TJ to pick up things for the week. I did find an even better place out there called Sunflowers. They had the most amazing produce.

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23 Megan October 12, 2010 at 8:18 pm

I was at trader joe’s the other day and saw a whole end-aisle of pumpkin butter.. I am OBSESSED with anything pumpkin (coffee, beer, muffins, etc).. but what do you put pumpkin butter on??

I will definitely go back and pick some up.. just clueless.. crackers? bread?

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24 Kath October 12, 2010 at 8:26 pm

Oatmeal! Yogurt. Toast. Anything!

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25 Kristi October 12, 2010 at 8:22 pm

I’m not sure why…but I LOVE the name Zinc for a restaurant!

In fact, I just recently learned from a traveling friend that zinc deficiency is a serious dilemma in the ‘developing world.’ He was volunteering at a small clinic in the mountains of Nepal and was shocked at the number of issues related to this deficiency. Of course, my love for the restaurant name and this problem are unrelated…but it’s certainly ‘food for thought!’

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26 Manon October 12, 2010 at 8:22 pm

TJs is finally opening here in Des Moines next month and I CAN’T WAIT!!!!

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27 Amanda (Eating Up) October 12, 2010 at 8:27 pm

I’m going to Trader Joe’s tomorrow. It really is my favorite store. It’s about a half hour out of the way for me, but I think it’s worth it to go two-three times a month!

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28 Lauren at KeepItSweet October 12, 2010 at 8:27 pm

now i’m wishing i got pumpkin butter at trader joes the other day! next time:-)

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29 Kaitlyn (College Girl Runs) October 12, 2010 at 8:33 pm

Cinnamon almonds are my fav!! I’m glad you had a good trip!

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30 Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef October 12, 2010 at 8:36 pm

i love TJ stock up trips! i live an hr from it so i go whenever i’m in town. :)

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31 Krystina October 12, 2010 at 8:44 pm

That soup looks amazing! and those pumpkin loaves are totally adorable.

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32 Paige @Running Around Normal October 12, 2010 at 8:45 pm

Another musthave from TJ’s – their raw, unsalted almond butter. Un-be-leiv-able!!

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33 stacey-healthylife October 12, 2010 at 8:53 pm

I love soup and salad combo’s, especially with a little side of bread. :)

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34 Lindsay October 12, 2010 at 8:55 pm

I wish our TJ’s had cheap wine!
Durrrnit, Maryland alcohol laws =(

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35 Lindsay October 12, 2010 at 8:55 pm

I wish our TJ’s had cheap wine!
Durrrnit, Maryland alcohol laws!

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36 Hannah October 12, 2010 at 9:05 pm

Any posts with Trader Joe’s make me want to cry. What I wouldn’t give for their turbinado sugar chocolate almonds, dried mangosteen, pumpkin butter… I hate Australia sometimes! :P

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37 Helen October 12, 2010 at 9:06 pm

I so wish we had a TJ’s….closest one is 8 hours away :( Glad your trip was great!!

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38 Kris October 12, 2010 at 9:08 pm

I stocked up at the TJs in Charlotte before we headed back to FL; wanted to stop in Great Harvest, but DH was in a hurry. I can’t believe TJs won’t come to FL :(

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39 Jamie @ Food in Real Life October 12, 2010 at 9:14 pm

Your “in transit” eats look wonderful! Those cinnamon almonds especially. I’m totally going to hop on the peanut flour bandwagon any day now. I’m looking forward to seeing what you make with it!

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40 Cati @ crave and create October 12, 2010 at 9:27 pm

Haha, the pumpkin loaves are seriously cute, but the witch’s finger is GROSS! Thinking about serving that for Thanksgiving dinner is cracking me up!

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41 lynn (The Actors Diet) October 12, 2010 at 9:29 pm

those special halloween breads are so cute! i wonder if they have that sandwich at the great harvest in pasadena?! it sounds good…

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42 Stacy R. October 12, 2010 at 9:35 pm

I love Virginia, my brother lived there years ago and it is such a beautiful place to live in the Fall! The Great Harvest bread looks so yummy, I’m going to need to make a special trip to the one near Sacramento next time I’m in Town.

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43 Lisa @bakebikeblog October 12, 2010 at 9:38 pm

oooh I love that you get a pickle as a side to the sammie =- brilliant!

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44 Jaime October 12, 2010 at 9:39 pm

So jealous you get to go to Trader Joes. I think Texas has just about everything except that. Whole Foods is coming to town, but from what I have read, it seems exspensive. We shall see…

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45 Food & Other Things October 12, 2010 at 9:57 pm

Thanks for the list of Trader Joe’s buys, I hope to visit one soon! I’m desperate to try the pumpkin butter!

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46 Lindsay October 12, 2010 at 9:59 pm

Thanks for sharing your TJ list. Need to add some of those to my normal list! I love TJ’s quick cook steel cut oats, plain greek yogurt and their sandwich thins – the only ones I can find without a sweetener in the ingredient list!

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47 Jessica @ The Process of Healing October 12, 2010 at 10:37 pm

That sandwich from great harvest sounds SERIOUSLY amazing!!!!

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48 J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) October 12, 2010 at 10:55 pm

I love stocking up at Trader Joe’s! Our cloest one is 75 miles away, so we make it worth the visit. We even taken coolers and ice packs for our frozen stuff. I love their cinnamon almonds, but the honey roasted mixed nuts are even more addictive, IMO.

Your dinner looks perfect! Love little bistros like that. :)

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49 Camille October 12, 2010 at 10:58 pm

GH always makes me salivate :)

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50 Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] October 12, 2010 at 11:50 pm

That PB is such a score. $1.79 is perf for my college budget…though, wish it was organic of course. I have that olive oil in my cupboard now, too – great on salads :)

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51 Kim October 13, 2010 at 12:43 am

Is the peanut flour like PB2? Defatted peanut butter?

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52 Cara Craves... October 13, 2010 at 5:06 am

I have never experienced TJ’s before…they don’t exist in Canada (to my knowledge),
but I am sure I would be like a little kid in a candy store.

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53 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) October 13, 2010 at 6:15 am

Really you can’t go wrong with Trader Joe’s! I saw peanut flour in your cart! You will love it! I have been going crazy over it and I swear I am feeling stronger due to the increase in protein from eating so much of it! I have made an oatmeal peanut butter cookie waffle, oatmeal peanut butter pancakes, peanut butter muffins and tons of peanut butter “fudge” with it. I have gone through 2 of those bags in 3 weeks! I think I need an intervention! Have fun creating with all your goodies!

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54 Christine October 13, 2010 at 8:02 am

Yeah, that peanut flour really is great! I am putting a tablespoon or so in everything I can think of!

The only advice I have about it, is that it is a little clumpy. I run mine through a mini mesh strainer with the back of a spoon before using it.

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55 whitney October 13, 2010 at 6:16 am

I need to eat pimento cheese more often. I love trader joes though. Good wine choices. I have tried all.

Trader Joes is one of a kind :)

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56 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin October 13, 2010 at 6:43 am

I hope we eventually get TJs here in Canada. I want one just for the pumpkin butter! :P

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57 Andrea (@ Puppy Dog Tales) October 13, 2010 at 7:33 am

THose cinnamon nuts look awesome. I would have zero portion control with those babies!

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58 Kasey October 13, 2010 at 7:36 am

I wish we had a TJs here! I’m dying to try that pumpkin butter.

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59 Samantha @ Bikini Birthday October 13, 2010 at 8:05 am

I love that you can sample bread at great harvest. It always makes me more likely to buy some.

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60 kate October 13, 2010 at 8:20 am

TJs has the best coconut milk! I love Trader Joes :)

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61 Dana October 13, 2010 at 8:31 am

In case you don’t know already, there is a Trader Joe’s in Short Pump (far West End of Richmond). It’s probably about 45-50 minutes from you. There is also a Whole Foods and Tom Leonard’s in the same area.

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62 Kath October 13, 2010 at 8:42 am

I’ll be down when I get some TJs withdrawal this winter :)

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63 Heather October 13, 2010 at 8:42 am

Do you have any suggestions on how to use the peanut flour?

Thanks! Heather

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64 Jessie October 13, 2010 at 8:53 am

Diddo on the Velvet Moon! So good! I also think TJ’s coffee is good….the Ethiopian Fair Trade one. You would like I think! Try it next time….

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65 Megan (Braise The Roof) October 13, 2010 at 11:41 am

Some of TJ’s frozen foods are definitely staples for me- their vegetable “bird’s nests” are amazing. Made of carrots, onions and scallions, you just pop them in the oven for 20 minutes and they’re a perfect, minimal effort appetizer. I like having some TJ’s frozen food in my freezer for no-cook days!

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66 Rachel October 13, 2010 at 11:51 am

I try to stock up at TJ’s whenever I see one. I love the Cacao Nibs and the Green tea mints! the pumpkin butter has always been a bit too sweet for me though.

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67 Jil October 13, 2010 at 12:01 pm

I was looking at those almonds last time I was there…looks like I should have gotten ‘em. haha

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68 lauri (RedHeadRecipes.com) October 13, 2010 at 4:18 pm

I SO miss Trader Joe’s!!! I could swing an hour and a half drive, but not 3 hours :(
Their pumpkin butter is good, but I almost think I like the BareFoot Contessa Brand from Crate&Barrel better!! http://www.crateandbarrel.com/kitchen-and-food/desserts-sweets/barefoot-contessa-harvest-pumpkin-butter/s402799

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69 Nikka B October 13, 2010 at 6:40 pm

Those fish & chips look deliciously yummmmmmy!

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70 Laurab @ foodsnobstl October 13, 2010 at 8:08 pm

The wasabi wow trail mix from TJs is the best. I have tried to recreate on my own, but it is not the same.

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