Friday, November 11, 2016

Featured Food Friday #3: Thanksgiving Chips and Two Things to Sip!

Today is Friday, which means it's time for good eats and delicious reviews. Seeing as how it's less than 2 weeks until Thanksgiving, I thought I'd make a point to find something related to thee most gluttonous day of all (don't worry, I don't actually think you're sinning when you scarf down that extra slice of turkey and 2 pieces of pumpkin pie nor do I think of Thanksgiving as a gluttonous holiday). 

A few days ago Trader Joe's had a new daily sample - as they do every day - to try and entice you to purchase an item or mix of items. I will be honest right now and say that I personally am a sucker for all things sample related. Costco is my best friend and you better believe I make numerous rounds to every sample they have. 

On this particular day, they were handing out samples of mashed potatoes drizzled with gravy and "Turkey Stuffing and Seasoned Kettle Chips". Now I'm a flavor fanatic and I love trying new chips in wacky flavors, similar to how Lays occasionally puts out packs for people to try and vote for. 

Initially I didn't think much of it, seeing as how it can be hard to really pinpoint a flavor significantly and sometimes it's just down right awful. This however was not the case with this batch of chips. 

Upon placing the crisp kettle chip on my tongue, I was greeted with almost an immediate burst of Thanksgiving stuffing, down to the last seasoning. Every bite was as if I was chomping on crunchy - but scrumptious - stuffing. And not the dry stuffing that you choke on, but pretend to love to not hurt you Aunt Petunia's feelings, but the good stuffing that you devour in bucket loads, because it's creamy and full of mouth watering flavor. 

These chips are not only a perfect resemblance to the grand Thanksgiving side called stuffing, but they will only run about $1.99. With turmeric, celery, parsley, sage, thyme, and black pepper all working together to give you a savory chip, you won't be disappointed one bit!

To compliment this cheap - and stick with the theme - I chose to test out a very common beverage that is often paired with turkey and cranberries, apple cider. 

I don't drink anymore, so non-alcoholic sparkling apple cider is my go-to drink. It actually has been for holiday feasts, since I was little and could handle fizzy drinks. I've always been a Martinelli's girl, but I figured since Trader Joe's has managed to replace multiple prior favorites with their alternatives, I thought I'd give their cider a try as well. The price is about even with Martinelli's at $2.49 a bottle and while the flavor is similar, it's not exact. 

The fresh apple is very apparent in this drink, with less bubbly, which could be beneficial for parents with padawans who love apple cider, but can't handle too much carbonation. The overall taste is smooth and freshness, with a hint of sweetness. It's an excellent alternative and definitely get's a 4/5 stars from me, but Martinelli's will always be the 5 star between the two in my opinion. If you don't like the additional bubbles in Martinelli's apple cider, but still want a close call to the infamous drink, Trader Joe's is the way to go.

My last review for the night is a beverage not related to Thanksgiving so much, although some like to enjoy a nice cup of this with a slice of pie, but since I tried it this week - and it seems to be a new craze going on - I thought I'd include it in today's post. I'm talking about Trader Joe's "Cold Brew Coffee in Vanilla" for only $1.79. 

The skinny can's I tried, came in two flavors, Black or Vanilla. I'm not a bold flavor person when it comes to coffee, so of course I went for the vanilla. 

The claim is that this cold brew coffee has a better flavor that's balanced and smooth, making this the perfect can for on-the-go coffee lovers. I loved the idea of convenience, but knowing that I'm a big creamer momma, I wasn't expecting extravagant results, but that's because of the user and not the product. 

While I know I wasn't expecting a tan colored liquid to come out of the can, I was a bit surprised by the complete darkness of it all. With one sip I was overwhelmed with a strong, almost tart, taste that made me wince. Like I said, this is due to the user or in this case, taster. This is the part where I cheated a bit, I added my own creamer. Yes I said it, I mixed in a good amount of Trader Joe's vanilla creamer and proceeded to drink it. 

With the creamer in it, it was actually quite tasty. The smooth and perfectly balanced flavor came through with shiny gold stars, showing me that this is actually a really good can of joe. 

I know that it isn't entirely accurate, because I had to add my own creamer to make it drinkable for me, but to be honest I feel like this is a really good brew. If you can handle a stronger taste and don't require creamer, these - I believe - will prove to be perfect for you and give you ultimate flexibility in plopping a few in your purse (or man bag), as you head out the door. If you do like you coffee the color of french vanilla ice cream, then these may not be the best idea, since you'd have to alter it. Although, having an already brewed can of coffee, may be easier than having to make your own. So in the case of the canned coffee, I'd say it's up to you and how you want your morning brew. 

Another Friday with more food - and drink - reviews. I gotta say, this week wasn't an extremely adventurous meal, but sometimes I just want to taste holiday food without cooking it or leaving my couch. With these items, I can do just that. 

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