I am totes excited because this month marks my 1 year Trader Joe's anniversary. No, I don't work for Trader Joe's but this time last year was the first time I ventured through the doors of this wonderful food mecca. *Enter Dream Sequence* It all started last December when I went to St Louis to surprise my cousin Christy for her dirty 30. Since it was the weekend of Christmas Eve and I still had a butt ton of shopping to do, my Aunt took me shopping. (she is my favorite Aunt by the way) I love going to St Louis mainly because you can buy WINE in the grocery and I even discovered that you could buy it in Target!!! Catch up Tennessee catch up. After the Target run she said "let's go to Trader Joe's" of course I had no clue what that was but I said ok. I was not a vegan at the time but I'm pretty sure when I walked through the doors I squealed a little bit. I was so excited. There were so many fresh fruits and veggies, the staff was super friendly and laid back plus the food is so affordable. The icing on the cake is they have a whole wine section. I was in love and love is a four letter word in my book. This was a magical place.
After that one magical trip I was hooked on Trader Joe's. Every month I try to get out of Memphis just to recharge and if there is a Trader Joe's in the city Cassi Is there! So just about every month, this year I have been to TJ's. Yes, in the past 12 months I have grocery shopped at a TJ's and the isn't one in my city, don't judge me. It has gotten to the point to where I plan my trips around them so I can do my grocery shopping. My staples are the Mock orange Chicken, a bag of Kale, TJ's mock meatballs and the TJ's vegan cheese shreds and I always attempt to pick up one TJ's exclusive item.
Sadly I have never met a TJ's brand item I didn't fall in love with. Charles Shaw wine melts my heart, I will buy the good stuff for parties and hoard my 2 buck Chuck, the TJ's vegan mozzarella cheese shreds are so close to the real thing that I get pissed when I run out and have to turn to Dayia and my brand new heart throb Trader Joe's Speculoos Cookie and Cocoa Swirl. (Insert swoon here.) Bianca turned me on to it during our Vegfest Atlanta trip, where we went to not one but two TJ's. (we are gangster like that) I had no clue what to do with the madness and Bianca said you eat it with a spoon. My response I'm not eating it with a fucking spoon that's gross". (excuse my language) It looked like peanut butter with a chocolate swirl in it. Needless to say it stay in my pantry for 2 weeks before I cracked it open. Oh but when I did open it, I tried it on a spoon as suggested and I tell you what! I sent Bianca a text that said "I never need to have to have sex again" It was just that good! (Sorry Aunt Ann, I know you are reading this) Needless to say I wasn't going to continue to eat this with a spoon, its has 90 calories per serving. So I my next option is to cook with it. I attempted to sub it for chocolate chips in a cookie recipes but vegan baking is hard and my cookies came out more cakey that cookie but they still tasted awesome!!
Fast forward to December, my beloved cookie butter is running low and I had to find more. I called TJ's they don't ship, Amazon has it but its 8 bucks a jar. I was DOOMED no cookie butter until after the winter weather broke or my friend Josh came home for Christmas. Think Cassi Think! I called my Aunt in St. Louis. As I was leaving a voicemail she picked up and I made my request. Her response to me you are lucky I love you. Success! My Aunt went to TJ's and nabbed 3 jars of cookie butter but not before sending me a text to make sure it wasn't butter. She supports me in my veganism. My Aunt is AWESOME and not because she ships me cookie butter. Two days later I cookie butter was on my door steps and I almost peed myself with excitement. Opening the box I was like a kid a Christmas, she even shipped it in a shoe box!! Sadly one of my little soldiers did not make the journey I was crushed but two full jars plus half jar in the pantry should hold me until Christmas. (Josh for Christmas I need Cookie butter and Vegan cheese please and thank you.)
I am trying to find a way to conclude this post but today I am drawing a blank plus I have to prep myself to bake 13 dozen cookies for my Cookie Club tomorrow. So if you haven't tried Trader Joe's Speculoos Cookie and Cocoa Swirl PLEASE do and save me from eating it by the spoon and send me recipes. Please my waistline thanks you.