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Trader Joe’s Coming to Salt Lake City, UT

by Lucky Red Hen on June 8, 2012

You may not be as excited as I am, but Trader Joe’s is finally coming to Utah (634 East 400 South, Salt Lake City) by the end of this year and I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself during the wait.

For those of us living in Utah, the nearest Trader Joe’s is in Las Vegas. That’s a SIX HOUR DRIVE (although many would argue that Candy Cane Jo-Jo’s are worth it) to the Sin City store.

Oh? You aren’t familiar with TJ’s? (That’s what the fans call them… funny story about fans and nicknames at the end of this post; however, it has nothing to do with Trader Joe’s.) How about my Favorite Five items to pique your interest? Here they are, in no particular order:

Trader Joe’s Bruschetta (or the Italian version, Trader Giotto’s, haha) spooned out of the jar, slathered on some thick bread (like a Pugliese, which I get from Costco in a two-pack). Or kick it up a notch by heating in the oven in a shallow, oven-safe dish with a dollop or two of goat cheese (THAT idea I got from our Carrabba’s Restaurant in Orem, the Scotty Thompson appetizer of marinara and goat cheese with toastettes; it’s an off-menu item if you’re looking for it in print). Perfect to have on hand for a quick snack or appetizer for unexpected guests. Tomatoes, garlic, and basil… I could live off that medley.

Trader Joe’s Triple Ginger Snaps are small enough to eat a few without guilt, but pack enough punch that you feel satisfied without eating 1/2 the container. You’d THINK you would want to, but the fresh, crystallized, and ground ginger bits satiate your sweet & savory tooth.

Now. The Trader Joe’s Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s only come out during the Christmas season, which is the reason I have a stash of these in the top of my pantry throughout the rest of the year when they’re unavailable. The TSA at Sea-Tac airport looked at me funny when they zipped open my backpack to find six boxes neatly puzzled into place. I’m even known to have given a box to our UPS man after publicly declaring online that “if the UPS man gets here with my package in the next five minutes, I’ll give him one of my precious boxes of peppermint Joe-Joe’s.” He was there in the next two minutes and received said box just before I took a photo of him with his loot to prove that I’m a girl of my word. That’s how I roll.

A box for a box… seems a fair trade. You wish you were my UPS delivery guy, huh?


For my ladies in the house who dig themselves a chocolate fix, this little palm-size tin of Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Nibs fits almost anywhere. Although, I cannot guarantee they won’t melt if you stick them in your bra or under your arm, at least they’d be close in case of an emergency. They have a slight crunch, have a  dark chocolate loveliness, and make my mouth happy. Maybe they’ll make your mouth happy, too!

This one isn’t an every day item, but sprinkle these Trader Joe’s Gourmet Fried Onion Pieces on your food and turns something boring into instantly fancy.

THE FUNNY STORY: So we’re at Dixie’s BBQ in Seattle in line to order (and, yes, I’ve met The Man; yikes). LJ was SERIOUS about ordering, so you better know what you want before it’s your turn or you might get yelled at and/or thrown to the back of the line (Soup Nazi-style). Wanting to help my friend order smoothly, I asked her what she was getting that day. “The 520 Special,” she said. “Oh, instead of saying the whole thing, you just say ‘Special’ like a regular,” I insisted. “You SURE?” “Of course!” So she tells LJ she’d like the Special. LJ barks back at her, “WHICH special? There are two.” O_O (In case you’re new here, those capital O’s with the underscore is supposed to be a look of shock.) Yeah, there’s the 520 Special and the Dixie Special and I’m an idiot that got my friend sent to the back of the line that day. P.S. If you go in there, my baby daughter’s picture is still on the wall from eight years ago (she’s wearing a pink sweater, Gene is holding her and written in black Sharpie it says, “Yeah, baby!”)

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20 Questions

by Lucky Red Hen on September 30, 2012

My little girl has been asking us questions about our favorites and writing them in her little notepad like a reporter (she even comments on each answer, encouraging us and acting interested). She lost interest with me and moved on to someone else when it took me minutes to think of my answers because I don’t usually have just one. I like options.

Favorite animal? Well, in the zoo it’s a giraffe, but at home I dig dog’s, and although I don’t want the mess of their droppings and seed scattering I yearn to hear the “cheepa cherpa” of society finches.

Yes, I yearn but, if there is such a thing, Ben anti-yearns for them and that’s why we don’t have any. <sigh>

What if I were on a game show and had to answer fast about myself? What if YOU had to? Could you answer quickly or are you more like me and would have to think about each one first?

Play with me. Let’s figure these out BEFORE we’re on a game show. I’ll tell you mine then you tell me yours (add your link in the comments; or if you’re too private, email me yours instead). If you don’t want to play, don’t read the rest of this post. Also, no judging.


  1. COLD BEV: fresh-made lemonade (Newman’s Own, Chick Fil-A, Ooba’s)
  2. HOT BEV: hot cocoa with Pero and half-n-half (or heavy cream, like a mocha breve)
  3. SUMMER: meh (prefer spring), hammock, too hot, t-shirt, casual skirt, barefoot
  4. WINTER: bundling up cozy, watching snow fall, hoodies, jeans, staying home to snuggle
  5. BREAKFAST: cereal or green smoothie, but out I like hash browns (because I can’t make them at home), French Texas Toast, scrambled eggs sprinkled with hot sauce
  6. ACTOR: Heath Ledger (I refuse to watch the Batman movie he’s in because I don’t want The Joker as my last image of him); Robert Downey, Jr. (I’ve loved him from the beginning, not just because of Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes); Matthew McConaughey (would he PLEASE voice the male version of Siri?!?), Oliver Platt, Sam Elliott, Jeffrey Dean Morgan (those DIMPLES)
  7. ACTRESS: Sandra Bullock (I enjoyed her sister’s book, Confections of a Closet Master Baker), Frances McDormand (Fargo, anyone?), Charlize Theron (I love her versatility)
  8. CHILLIN’: crafts (jewelry, fabric), Sudoku, magazine, sit on the porch
  9. FUN: playing games with others, hanging with friendly people, craft fairs, in-home parties (like Tupperware), riding my Harley, experiencing new things (but I won’t bungee jump or sky dive, I’m afraid I’d die or mess my pants)
  10. FOOD: thin-crust pizza (no green peppers or pineapple), Alfredo (or just melted cream cheese like at The Pizza Factory with their bread twists), thick-cut fries (especially with the new ketchup packets you can dip into), Pugliese bread with stuff on it (artichoke dip, crab dip, Trader Joe’s bruschetta, pesto, whatev), grilled salmon, Thai
  11. DAY: Saturday, it’s usually open to do something fun with the kids or work on projects
  12. TIME TRAVEL: mid-evil times with knight’s or Pride & Prejudice era (as long as I live comfortably and I don’t get beheaded or a deadly infection)
  13. MOVIES: romantic comedy’s (Return to Me), dance movies (started with 1984’s Breakin’, classic), period pieces (Pride & Prejudice with Colin Firth, although I like the 2-hr version for a quickie), definitely NO horror
  14. TV: FRIENDS and Firefly (Nathan Fillion) fan; we Hulu+ Castle, WHITES, New Girl, Grimm (it’s cheesy fun)
  15. CAMPING: I love not camping. Motel 6 is as camping as I want to get, and that’s pushing it… have you been barefoot on their floor?!? <shiver>
  16. ASSET: firm handshake, hug like I mean it, honest, tie cherry stems in my mouth to get free drinks
  17. FLOWER: peony, tulip, ranunculus, but not into cut flowers (they’re so expensive for as short as they last, I’d rather have a smile or the cash)
  18. GAMES: Mexican Trains (dominoes), Things, Pictionary, squirt gun into the clown mouth at the carnival
  19. TALENTS: wire wrap jewelry like a pro, being non-fashionable, self-with-friend cell phone portraits, organizing, trouble-shooting, secret keeper, eagle-eye target shooter
  20. TREATS: non-frosted brownies (corners), Chewy Spree, raw almonds, celery, Tillamook cheese with crackers, Tillamook Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream, basil-infused homemade hummus, fresh fruit shake (huckleberry or peach), Rice Krispie treats, naked popcorn or way-buttered popcorn (depends on my mood), my husband’s peanut butter cookies

Alright, if you got this far it means you want to play 20 QUESTIONS with me, so copy/paste and plug in your answers then send me a link. I’m excited to get to know more about YOU!

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