Trader Joe’s: Yay or nay?

I’ve had this box of Trader Joe’s Jalapeno Blue Cornbread Mix in my pantry for going on six months. I’ve wanted to make muffins or corn dogs or something different with it for ages, but every time I base a recipe on something from TJ’s, I get this little stab of wonder: how many of you really have access to these great (and usually “shortcut”) ingredients?

Do me a favor: Take a second and leave me a comment to let me know whether you shop at Trader Joe’s – just a yay or nay will do. I’m curious.

Blue Cheddar-Corn Muffins 2

Recipe 259 of 365: Blue Cheddar Corn Muffins

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a muffin tin with vegetable oil spray, and set aside. Stir up a 15-ounce package of blue cornbread mix per the package instructions (mine requires 1 egg, 1/2 cup oil, and 3/4 cup milk), adding a generous cup of grated sharp cheddar cheese and a cup of corn kernels in at the end. Divide the batter between the 12 muffin tins. Top each muffin with a big pinch of grated cheese, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until puffed and firm in the center. Cool 5 minutes in the pan, then run a small knife around the edge of each muffin to loosen, and enjoy warm.



Filed under bread, mexican, recipe

25 responses to “Trader Joe’s: Yay or nay?

  1. Yay — in fact we just made pizza using their dough and sauce (we just returned from 2 weeks in France and I didn’t feel like making them myself).

  2. erinh

    Yes – love Trader Joe’s. In fact, I had noticed the aneletti last time I was there, and then when I saw your pasta salad recipe on Friday, I knew I had to stop in and buy some. The pasta salad was a hit with company last night and I get to enjoy the leftovers for lunch this week!

  3. Yay- TJ’s is a frequented stop for us.

  4. Rachel H.

    Yes! to TJ’s in general. However, I was not impressed with their regular cornbread mix when I made it (following the instructions, no extra ingredients). Wished I had just gone for the 30-cent box of Jiffy at Stop & Shop. Maybe the blue kind is better.

  5. Amy

    Sadly, Trader Joe’s has not yet made its way to Boise. There is a rumor that we are getting a Whole Foods but no groundbreaking yet.

  6. sheryl

    Yay. I go frequently. The Trader Joe’s on Cape Cod does not always have the ingredients that you have in your recipes, however. I once questioned a sales associate who said that chili paste was a California thing! They have a smaller store than others I have been in probably due to the Cape Cod Commission. Oh well, we make the Cambridge trip on occasion for wine anyway and I stock up on missing items.

  7. kathy g

    Dude, we have no Trader Joe’s in sight. I can drive to the outskirts of Boston if I am truly desperate. I say you should get on their pay roll-you do great PR for them! GREAT recipes!!

  8. Beth

    Alas, there are no Trader Joe’s in Florida. And the closest Whole Foods is an hour away in Sarasota. Publix is great, but low on fun specialty items. For those, I head to Fresh Market.

  9. Nay – unfortunately, the closest ones are Hartford or Boston for me. I try to stock up everytime I’m near one, though!

  10. Trader Joe’s doesn’t see as much of my paychecks as Whole Foods does, but it’s there when I need it! Keep up the TJ’s recipes, they’re fun!

  11. Noah

    Ya sure, ya betcha!

  12. Liza

    Jess- Yes, I LOVE trader joes! One great reason I love Norcal. Thanks for all the advice on pain and joint management. My RA is getting better. talk soon. Liza

  13. Jenny

    Yay!!! Love TJ’s – way too fun. Always some unusual or interesting new product to try. I must confess, I do shop there weekly. As a matter of fact, I’m trying something new tonight – lemon pepper pappardelle pasta. Before we moved from Detroit to Seattle, I had to go online and scout out the TJ’s close to my new home! Hmmm.

  14. Kim

    yay! I live in Seattle. I have many TJ’s to choose from. I discovered them when I lived in LA (hermosa beach, to be exact) about 9 years ago, and it’s amazing to se them grow from the “poor man’s wanna-be-chef” to “organic-market-for-all.”

    I love TJ’s. That’s all I have to say.

    Jenny: I was in TJ’s recently, where they used that lemon pepper pasta with crab. OMG, it was delish.

  15. Kyle

    Love TJ’s and happy we have it in Chicago.

  16. Thanks, y’all. I’m going to have to get me some of that lemon pepper pasta, for sure! Sounds like an overwhelming number of you have TJ access, but not all – check out what Elaine writes:

    Yes, I have access to the Hyannis TJ … but they stopped carrying that
    particular mix–which is probably the only mix I’ve used and liked in
    20 yrs!. Maybe you need to give two versions of the recipe 1) with the
    mix and 2) a recipe for people who don’t have the mix. Cornbread is
    pretty easy. What do you think?

    —-Good idea! For this one, I guess you’d have to use 2 1/2 Jiffy mixes (I think they’re 6 oz each) . . .

    A few more from my email inbox:

    Yay,, I do shop at Traders Joe, one of which is like two hundred yards
    from Em’s LA apartment. And I dig the corn bread.


    Nay. I think the nearest Trader Joe’s is in Seattle, about 6 hr drive from our place (or
    Boston, which is only 1.5 hrs, but that’s too far for us 🙂 However, I save the recipes for a rainy day, when I may be near a Trader Joe’s. So I don’t mind TJ-based ideas.

    Yes, I go to Trader Joe’s. It is about six blocks from my home. I was there yesterday getting the salsa for the beef stew.

    you bet we shop at trader joes and have bought that mix before so
    recipe is most intliguing indeed.

    Hi I’m a big trader Joes fan now that we have one within 5 miles. I always find something.
    Love the nuts ,chips, crackers, toasted flax seed and rack of lamb. Frozen vegs always great and some of the dairy. Favorites are the chocolate covered edemame, give them to friends all the time.

    It’s Boise, so it’s a nay

    We don’t have access to a Trader Joe’s , as you know. It would be great to use their products in your recipes except for the fact that they don’t even have a mail order option. I might suggest waiting until that’s an option at least.


  17. Jaimi

    yay! i loooove tj’s!

  18. Yes to Joe’s. My son(8years old) said to me the last time we left Trader Joe’s, which we can only hit on the way home from my Mom’s house in Western MA because there are not any near us in Maine, that when he grows up, he will build a Trader Joe’s near me. Love that boy!

  19. Dick

    TJ’s stopped carrying the Blue jalapeno cornbread mix and I miss it. Had I’d known they were discontinuing it i would have stocked up before last winter.

  20. Darn! Thanks for the heads up, though, Dick.

  21. YAY ! I found your blog because I was wondering if I could make muffins with TJ’s cornbread. I am using the mix as a shortcut to make cranberry millet muffins from the January Martha Stuart Magazine. Combining Traderjoe’s shortcut ingredients with recipes from popular magazines would be a great way to drive traffic to your blog. Thanks for the inspiration.

  22. I just got home to Sarasota, Florida from Kansas City, Overland Park area. There are two Trader Joe’s stores with 5 miles of each other one on the Kansas side and one on the Missouri side. And, there going to open another one in the north part of Kansas City, Missouri. It sucks when all we have in the Sarasota area is Whole Foods and Fresh Marke

  23. Nancy George

    Love TJ’s. Discovered them while living in Tucson and had to wait 10 years before getting them in SC’ s upstate. Love them and Whole Foods is just a few blocks away to I am totally covered. Thanks for all the suggestions.

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