Throwing a cocktail party or just a birthday party? Celebrating Thanksgiving with your family or Christmas with your friends? Trader Joe's on Shelbyville Road is a great snack source. Here are a few of my favorites.
1. Cookie Butter
Cookie butter is probably the best invention of all time. It's ginger-y sweet and salty, like peanut butter but made of cookies. Cookie butter is perfect by itself, but you could also use it to make:
2. Organic Flavored Lemonades
Trader Joe's has a ton of varieties, but almost all of them would be good with Bourbon or champagne. You could also try:
3. Thai Lime and Chili Cashews and Wasabi Almonds
An invaluable addition to any snack table.
4. Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Feeling lazy? Don't want to put the work into pie crust or frosting or sugar cookies? Just get some pumpkin bread pudding and add some Comfy Cow ice cream. Voila, best holiday dessert ever.
5. Chocolate Covered Everything
They say everything's good covered in chocolate or cheese. You probably don't have time to make elaborate Christmas candy creations, so these little candies can fill that gap.
6. Milk Chocolate Salted Caramel Butter Cookies
Don't pretend like these will even make it out to your guests. You're going to eat half the package while you watch Netflix and keep the rest to yourself. It's okay. Take them out of the wrapping and bring them to a cookie swap. We'll never tell.
7. Apple Cinnamon Goat Cheese
Trader Joe's can stock your cheese plate with all kinds of more traditional flavors, but this sweet cheese is our favorite. Spread over a cracker, worked into a cheeseball or melted over apple slices, apple cinnamon goat cheese is perfect.
Photos: Elizabeth Myers