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Packaging Pumpkins

Hope you’ve all had a fabulous Halloween! Zoë brought cheer to those around her (and hopefully good luck) by transforming herself into a Rainbow Unicorn. 

This was the first year I did not go trick or treating with her. It’s just not as cool anymore, now that she’s in Middle School. One or two parents with the group is just fine. I stayed home and enjoyed a treat I picked up for myself. 

Dark Chocolate Almond Toffee pieces from my absolutely fabulous favorite grocery store; Trader Joe’s.

I decided to step away from my computer yesterday and stop in for a visit. Even though it’s my fave; I don’t go often. Itis not  super close by and I have a tendency to overspend when I do go. I mean how could you not?!! They have food items you did not think you needed but break down once you see or try it in the sample area (yesterday was vegetarian chili and pumpkin bread).

I was so excited by everything that I saw, I thought I’d share some highlights with you.

Look at these perfect persimmons! 

Pumpkin was (of course) a prominent ingredient/feature in the aisles. I mean every aisle… pumpkin cream cheese, pumpkin hummus etc….

Or how about, Pumpkin Spice Salted Caramels?!!! 

I thought the Pumpkin SeedBrittle might go nicely with some Bourbon. 

Speaking of Bourbon; these gorgeous bottles of Bourbon-barrel Aged Maple Syrup would make a great gift or lucious topping on the Gluten-free Pumpkin Pancake mix. 

“You can have your (pan) cake and eat it too.” So, so funny and clever!!

In case you get invited to a party or Thanksgiving dinner, and you need a host/hostess gift; this gorgeous box of Shortbread Truffles would be perfect. 

Perhaps you’re the one who is prepping your list of ingredients and menus for the parties; TJ’s has all of those ‘bonus’ ‘on-trend’ ingredients.

Like Turkey-bone broth.

This broth is sure to amp up your gravy or soup. Want to take that stuffing to the next level? Try a dollop of Umami paste. 

I’m sure I seemed like a crazy woman while I was wandering the aisles ooohing and ahhhing over everything. Like these new bars for example; Picky Bars. Not sure we need new energy-bars out there, but the packaging sure is eye catching. I now wish I bought one. As I sit here quietly writing about food, I find myself utterly starving. 

Now I have an excuse to head back soon.

My out-loud utterances could even be heard in the frozen aisle when I was stopped in my tracks over phyllo dough. That’s right Phyllo!! Now phyllo dough you buy at the store, is always kept in the freezer. No one sees it but you when you pull it out to make Baklava or Greek Spinach Pie. This box however, would need to be on display at my house ( let’s face it, all of it would). It is very similar to packaging made famous by my favorite graphic designer Louise Fili

It’s so gorgeous!

You might have guests popping by unannounced this season. One must always be prepared. These cookies would be perfect to pull out of your pantry and arrange on a nice plate served with tea. 

Pretty sure my last utterance in the aisles was, “Oh wow!” When I saw these exotic figs in the frozen section. I need to think about what to do with these. 

I did in fact purchase some needed groceries including a snack for the ride home. 

Believe it or not, Halloween eve is the busiest night for pizza places. I can’t call for delivery when I can make my own pizza. Zoë requested cheese. Easy enough. I let my Trader Joe’s ball of dough sit at room temp for about 20min. and then rolled out to fit in my pan. 

I then spread some TJ’s pizza sauce and sprinkled with mozzarella cheese. Put into a preheated-425 degree oven and cooked for 20min. 

I have to say, I was not happy. The dough never seemed to “cook” despite getting a crispy bottom. Also the cheese got too brown too soon. Oh I was so disappointed! How can you blow a simple cheese pizza?!! 

That being said, Zoë thought it was good and even wanted more upon her return from trick-or-treating. Perhaps it was an issue with the dough. I’ll have to think on that.

I now can’t wait to go back to Trader Joe’s to find some perfect packaging to “put on display” in my pantry!

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