Dessert Archives | Stephanie Dreyer


December 9, 2019

I’m a huge Trader Joe’s fan. It’s my main store for my weekly shopping because of the abundance of plant-based products it offers, but this time of year, it’s also my go-to for all of its delicious holiday hacks. Their huge selection of meal helpers for making homemade-ish meals is a time saver with all of the holiday cooking and entertaining in my house.

(Homemade-ish a term I coined that means preparing a homemade meal in less than 30 minutes using prepared products from the store, such as sauces, frozen foods, or prepped produce.) During the holidays when we have so much to juggle and cook, I love a little help from the store…and Trader Joe’s is my go-to helper.

While Trader Joe’s offers lots of dinner hacks and meal solutions featuring their spreads, dips and bagged salads, today I’m focusing on the holidays—and specifically, appetizers and desserts! I go big on the meal so that’s where I can use the most help. Check your Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer because they’re always adding new seasonal products that may surprise you and become the inspiration for your next family favorite dish. Below are a few holiday hacks to inspire you!

Trader Joe's Holiday Hacks for Appetizers


Small bites are easy to throw together with everything that TJ’s has to offer. These appetizer ideas are fun and easy.

Holiday Antipasto Wreath or Tree

This was a huge hit with my family last year! Choose from the assortment of marinated vegetables and olives that Trader Joe’s offers and also include raw vegetables, such as sliced cucumbers and cherry tomatoes. Secure each bite with a toothpick, arranged in a pattern.

Crispy Vegetable Pouches

Find these in the frozen section and serve with their Carrot Miso Ginger Dressing (found by the salads). I think a bag of Tempura Cauliflower would be a delicious addition to a serving platter with these pouches on them.

Meatless Meatballs with Cranberry Orange Relish

Find the meatballs in the frozen section. Serve with toothpicks for a very simple, yet elegant small bite.

Hold the Corn! Appetizers

These savory cones are the perfect handheld for a cocktail party. Serve with Trader Joe’s Gyoza Dipping Sauce or Soyaki. 

Trader Joe's Holiday Hacks for Cocktails


Everyone loves a festive drink for the season. I’m looking forward to one of these!

Winter Wassail

This “punch” blends nicely with red wine and mulled on the stove or mix it with Prosecco for a lively party libation.

Coconut Milk Nog

This nog is the perfect mixer with Kahlua and vodka…for sipping by the fire. 

Trader Joe's Holiday Hacks


I’m not a baker so I love to take help from the store when it comes to dessert. These are just a few ideas.

Holiday Cookie Plate

Trader Joe’s offers a variety of vegan cookies (chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal chocolate chip, Peppermint Joe Joes, Speculoos cookies, Soft Baked Snickerdoodles and Brownie Crisps are a few of my favorite plant-based options. For the holidays, TJ’s also has Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies and Scandinavian Tidings candies that would add a festive touch to the cookie plate.

Peppermint Marshmallow Brownies

Add flax eggs and vegan butter to TJ’s Brownie box mix and stir in peppermint marshmallows for a chocolate mint treat.

Peppermint Rice Crispy Treats

Swap the peppermint marshmallows for regular in your favorite rice crispy treat recipe. Cut into squares and dip in melted chocolate (use Trader Joe’s semi-sweet chocolate chips).

Do you have a Trader Joe’s holiday hack to share? I’d love to hear it in the comments below.

Want more plant-based meal planning tips? Check out my new Ultimate Guide to Plant-based Meal Planning. 

Trader Joe's Holiday Hacks



Smoothies are my new favorite breakfast! I have been alternating them with my green juices in the mornings. As summer nears and the kids start begging me for popsicles, I’ve been inspired to turn my favorite smoothie recipes into pops. Why not? Green smoothie blends are too tasty to restrict to just sipping. It’s easy to pour the sweet and fruity liquid mixes into your favorite molds and freeze for an afternoon or dessert treat. Or why not mix it up even further and enjoy one of these smoothie pops for breakfast? My kids might think I’ve really gone nuts. Ice cream for breakfast? Yes!!

I’ve rounded up a few slurp-worthy smoothie recipes that would taste just as refreshing frozen on a stick as poured in a glass. I dare you to try one for breakfast!

5 Smoothie Recipes That Make Great Popsicles

1. Tastes-Like-Ice-Cream Kale Green Smoothie

5 Smoothie Recipes That Taste Great As Pospsicles

This kale-riffic smoothie by The Blender Girl, Tess Masters, is full of nutrients and flavor! It gets its sweetness naturally from pitted dates. As its name suggests, this blend is perfect for standing in as a popsicle.

2. Mint Chip Superfood Smoothie

5 Smoothie Recipes That Taste Great As Popsicles

Blissful Basil has taken my favorite ice cream and turned it into a powerful protein and health booster. With superfood ingredients like spirulina and hemp seeds, this smoothie would make one powerhouse of a popsicle!

3.  Cherry Limeade Smoothie

5 Smoothie Recipes That Taste Great As Popsicles

The Minimalist Baker’s refreshing blend is a natural pop pick. Cherry lemonade is always a favorite summer treat. This smoothie freezes that popular drink on a stick!

4. Piña Colada Smoothie

5 Smoothie Recipes That Taste Great As Popsicles

Yuuuumy! This tropical treat from Foodie With Family is perfect for summer days and nights…and for making us feel like we’re on vacation!

5. Vegan Chunky Monkey Smoothie

5 Smoothie Recipes That Taste Great As Popsicles

A smoothie named after a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream flavor has to be a popsicle winner! The gals from Veganosity add spinach and hemp seeds to this recipe for a rich and creamy dessert treat that is packed with health benefits.


Who else is eating smoothie popsicles for breakfast?!!

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