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Trader Joe's Yea/Nay Thread - 2nd quarter 2012 [OLD]

greygarious Apr 1, 2012 09:29 AM

For April-June.

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    elise h RE: greygarious Apr 1, 2012 07:23 PM

    Perline Pasta with Proscuitto. Big yea. Purse shaped pasta stuffed with a harmonious blend of veal, proscuitto, vegetables and bread crumbs. Cooks quickly in 2 minutes. I'm not a proscuitto expert and some may prefer a stronger flavor. But at $4 for multiple servings, combined with parmigiano and heavy cream, this is simple, fast, and flavorful. What other fresh TJ pastas do CH prefer?

    2 Replies
    1. re: elise h
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      littleflower RE: elise h Apr 1, 2012 10:36 PM

      You sold me with your description - will definitely have to put on next TJ's "to-try" list. Personally, have not yet tried any of the fresh pastas, but some of the dried ones are tasty as well.

      1. re: elise h
        gingershelley RE: elise h May 22, 2012 11:51 AM

        Love this one, and somehow - it even is kind of 'light'. Pasta not too thick and is tender. Really clear this is a fresh product when you eat it.

        We like it with a sauce of sage, finely chopped walnuts, 1/2 strong chicken stock/cream, and minced parsley.

      2. l
        littleflower RE: greygarious Apr 1, 2012 07:40 PM

        YAYS:

        Peanut Butter with Sea Salt: This was one of their samples recently, and I was hooked. Not sure if it was the sea salt or what, but the "peanut butteryness" beats out any other brand I have tried.

        Organic Multi-Grain Bread: Really good taste, great with the Peanut Butter w/Sea Salt. One of the best breads that I have tried at Trader Joe's.

        Gourrmet Jelly Beans: 18 all natural fruit flavors - the only one I didn't really care for was the liquorice but I don't like liquorice anyways. Other than that, the huge plus was that the jelly beans tasted like real fruit juice and did not leave a sugary aftertaste.

        MEH:

        Fig Butter - it was just okay. It didn't wow me over to want to purchase it again.

        Pulled Pork - I SO wanted to like this one, too. Unfortunately it had just a bit too much heat for my taste. Otherwise, the texture and flavor were really good - just wish it didn't have quite as much kick to it or else we would definitely make this a repeat buy.

        22 Replies
        1. re: littleflower
          mattstolz RE: littleflower Apr 1, 2012 08:01 PM

          hows the consistency of the peanut butter? im currently working my way through a container of the almond butter with sea salt and it is VERY runny... even after a ton of mixing to make sure theres no thick dryness at the bottom.

          1. re: mattstolz
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            littleflower RE: mattstolz Apr 1, 2012 08:57 PM

            mattstolz, I didn't have that problem with the Peanut Butter with sea salt, maybe that was just the case with the almond butter. It is not as thick as some of the brands in the regular grocery stores with all of the unhealthy additives, but definitely not runny. It had good spreadability, and I personally like that it isn't as thick as the peanut butters I ate growing up.

            1. re: littleflower
              mattstolz RE: littleflower Apr 1, 2012 09:06 PM

              i might have to try the peanut butter. the almond butter is so thin that my method of "spreading" it is opening the jar (that i keep in my pantry upside down) and holding the lid over my bread as the almond butter drips (more like flows in a steady stream) from the lid.

              tastes great though!

              1. re: mattstolz
                goodhealthgourmet RE: mattstolz Apr 2, 2012 07:27 AM

                keep it in the refrigerator - it'll firm up.

                which almond butter is it? i've never had a problem with theirs being *that* runny. the Maranatha from Costco is much worse - plus they switched to plastic jars - so i decided it was worth the extra expense to go back to the TJ's.

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                  mattstolz RE: goodhealthgourmet Apr 2, 2012 08:14 AM

                  its the creamy almond butter with sea salt. i actually am not totally opposed to the consistency... it makes it pretty easy to distribute in most cases, just surprised me. it flows with about the same consistency as a thicker molasses. plus, like i said, it really is pretty tasty.

                  1. re: mattstolz
                    GraceW RE: mattstolz Apr 2, 2012 06:49 PM

                    Yes, you will like this peanut butter! It is not too runny and not too firm. I am the wanna-be-(bite-sized)-builder, and I am using it as another protein source.

                    1. re: GraceW
                      mattstolz RE: GraceW Apr 2, 2012 09:10 PM

                      will definitely add it to the list for my next trip then! ill report back!

                      1. re: mattstolz
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                        littleflower RE: mattstolz Apr 3, 2012 10:23 AM

                        Also, what really makes it great (besides being delicious) is that the ingredients list reads as follows: Roasted Peanuts, Sea Salt. Two ingredients!! Somehow they took the best of those two ingredients and made an all-natural peanut butter that tastes way better than all of the sugar-laden, preservative-filled peanut butters on the market.

                        1. re: littleflower
                          GraceW RE: littleflower Apr 3, 2012 03:29 PM

                          To be honest, I can't taste the salt though. I don't know what that means.

                          1. re: GraceW
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                            littleflower RE: GraceW Apr 3, 2012 04:07 PM

                            GraceW, you are correct in that there is not a WHOLE lot of sea salt in it (I think just 80mg). I am one of those who adds extra salt to my food, so I actually sprinkle on a little more Trader Joe's Sea Salt in it which makes the PB taste amazing.

          2. re: littleflower
            goodhealthgourmet RE: littleflower Apr 3, 2012 05:18 PM

            Valencia PB with Sea Salt in the plastic jar, or organic PB with Sea Salt in the glass jar?

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet
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              littleflower RE: goodhealthgourmet Apr 3, 2012 07:23 PM

              Ooh, I didn't even know there was an organic PB with Sea Salt....GHG I actually bought the Valencia PB with Sea Salt and was quite impressed with it.

              1. re: littleflower
                GraceW RE: littleflower Apr 3, 2012 09:08 PM

                Yes, I also have the Valencia pb with Sea salt. It is also good if you add flax seeds, as most things are. (Yes, I know TJ also has some with it mixed in, but I am addicted to trying new products.)

                1. re: littleflower
                  goodhealthgourmet RE: littleflower Apr 4, 2012 09:10 AM

                  definitely stick with the one you got since you're enjoying it. the reason i asked is because i tried the Organic with Sea Salt (i only eat organic PB, i have a "thing" about it), and it was pretty bad. the verrry pale color should have been my first warning - really bland, insipid flavor. i decided it's PB for people who don't like peanuts.

                  BUT, they did just bring back an Organic Valencia PB, and from the looks of it, the roast is nice and dark...

                2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                  mattstolz RE: goodhealthgourmet Apr 3, 2012 08:03 PM

                  i really wish those could still be the same product. the natural valencia was the best!!

                  1. re: mattstolz
                    goodhealthgourmet RE: mattstolz Apr 4, 2012 09:11 AM

                    matt, they just brought back an Organic Valencia - i saw it a couple of weeks ago. no idea if it's any good (damn those plastic jars!), but it looks like a nice dark roast.

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                      mattstolz RE: goodhealthgourmet Apr 4, 2012 10:45 AM

                      well then. looks like its time for me to make a PB re-stocking trip

                      1. re: mattstolz
                        Will Owen RE: mattstolz Apr 6, 2012 04:47 PM

                        Yup, our last jar was the nice dark Organic Valencia. Went back yesterday for a replacement, and we're back to Organic *or* Valencia! WTF … ?

                        1. re: Will Owen
                          goodhealthgourmet RE: Will Owen Apr 6, 2012 05:25 PM

                          hopefully they were just out of stock on the shelf. i know i must sound like a broken record at this point, but did you *ask* them about it?

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                            mattstolz RE: goodhealthgourmet Apr 13, 2012 11:25 AM

                            I picked up some of this (Valencia with Sea Salt) last time I was in TJ's and it really is very good. actually winning out over almond butter in number of uses since i bought it. which is something PB hasnt done in my house for a while now

                          2. re: Will Owen
                            goodhealthgourmet RE: Will Owen Apr 13, 2012 12:14 PM

                            sigh. ignore my last question - i just asked today at my store, and they said the crop of organic Valencias was so small that it was a limited-run item...won't be back unless/until they can find another crop source.

                            and so it goes.

                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                              Will Owen RE: goodhealthgourmet Apr 16, 2012 02:13 PM

                              I think organic Valencias are a crop exclusively from that Deaf Smith County in Texas, because there are acres and acres that have never been sprayed … and of course Texas has had one bad drought year after another lately. Just my speculation, could be wrong; it's happened at least twice before!

                3. r
                  rizzo0904 RE: greygarious Apr 1, 2012 08:02 PM

                  Yay: gourmet jelly beans....gotta get over there and buy more before they are gone

                  Nay: feta cheese...very dry and bland

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: rizzo0904
                    Rilke RE: rizzo0904 Apr 2, 2012 07:13 AM

                    The jelly beans are a year round item . . . they come in a little box year round, as opposed to the generous bag at Easter.

                    1. re: Rilke
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                      rizzo0904 RE: Rilke Apr 2, 2012 01:19 PM

                      good to know...thanks!! i also noticed today that they are made in ireland...you don't see that too often.

                      1. re: rizzo0904
                        Rilke RE: rizzo0904 Apr 2, 2012 03:14 PM

                        Bless them ;)

                    2. re: rizzo0904
                      Dommy RE: rizzo0904 Apr 4, 2012 08:02 PM

                      Trader joes has several different types of feta, some certainly better than others. My everyday favorite doe salads or to crumble on to dishes is the onion the tub. For a spurge my absolute favorite is the Isreali Feta. Great on its own or for feta forward dishes. Creamy, not too salty, great flavor but not too acidic.

                      --Dommy

                      --Dommy

                      1. re: Dommy
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                        noya RE: Dommy Apr 7, 2012 05:36 AM

                        the Israeli feta makes all the others a waste of money. It's incredible!!!

                        1. re: noya
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                          walker RE: noya Apr 7, 2012 12:16 PM

                          Ditto on the Israeli feta; I take mine out of the plastic wrapper and put it in a glass storage thing and it lasts for about a month. (I like it on my salads.)

                          1. re: walker
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                            noya RE: walker Apr 7, 2012 05:09 PM

                            yes, it holds well. We like it in salads, baked with lentils and veggies, and just plain with some fresh herbs and olive oil. YUM!

                    3. r
                      robin_o RE: greygarious Apr 2, 2012 08:35 AM

                      Love TJ's regular whipped cream cheese, but I'm disappointed in their organic version...not a great consistency. Love their frozen pear tarte (and no palm oil, either) a lot! I like putting shaved dark chocolate on top before heating it up! (I leave the tarte frozen and cut individual servings when I'm ready to eat them.)
                      I love their Highbrow Chocolate Chip Cookies (no palm oil, either!), although their regular chocolate chips are just ok.
                      The organic low sugar apricot spread is fabulous...better than any jelly.
                      Finally, love their Organic French Roast coffee. Wish they'd make a big container available so the price would be less.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: robin_o
                        Savour RE: robin_o Apr 3, 2012 12:23 PM

                        Have you noticed a change in consistency in their whipped cream cheese? I'm a longtime buyer, but lately it's been almost runny.

                        1. re: robin_o
                          clubtraderjoes RE: robin_o Apr 4, 2012 06:10 AM

                          Stay far away from that fake cream cheese stuff. Yuck! Called "This is not a tub of cream cheese"

                          www.clubtraderjoes.com

                        2. opinionatedchef RE: greygarious Apr 3, 2012 07:50 AM

                          someone in the previous thread raved the jalapeno cheese twists, which are indeed good.

                          1. janethepain RE: greygarious Apr 3, 2012 08:18 AM

                            NOrmally a yay, but this batch of the big containers of Greek yogurt (nonfat) is very runny - it's indistinguishable from regular yogurt. What gives?

                            And has anyone had a problem with their butternut squash chunks going moldy soon after purchase? This is the third time it's happened!

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: janethepain
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                              chez cherie RE: janethepain Apr 3, 2012 08:48 AM

                              janethepain, butternut squash, once it's been cut, does spoil quickly, unless preservatives are used. my advice is to grab from the back of the rack, if you need to keep it for a few days before using. the stuff at the back is fresher, as they stock from the back. if i need some for today, of course, i'll take a pack from the front of the display, but if i need it for a few days from the purchase date, it's back-of-the-rack for me. pre-cut bnut spoils reallllly quickly.

                              1. re: chez cherie
                                janethepain RE: chez cherie Apr 3, 2012 06:23 PM

                                Really helpful! I had just bought them on a Monday and tried to use them on Wednesday when I (luckily) spotted spores - ICK. Strangely, their expiration dates are so far out, which tricked me.

                                1. re: janethepain
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                                  chez cherie RE: janethepain Apr 3, 2012 10:12 PM

                                  ick, indeed. they will happily give you a credit---usually dont have to bring the moldy product back to show them. receipt will usually suffice. (sometimes, just y0ur word, if you are a regular customer.) glad that was useful info to you--i don't know why the expiration dates are so lengthy on that very perishible item. i think they use a standard produce shelf life? but those squash cubes go south quick!

                              2. re: janethepain
                                Caitlin McGrath RE: janethepain Apr 11, 2012 10:35 PM

                                Yes, I had the same experience with the weirdly runny Greek yogurt.

                                1. re: janethepain
                                  goodhealthgourmet RE: janethepain Apr 12, 2012 09:21 AM

                                  that's interesting about the yogurt - i wonder if perhaps there was a run that was improperly strained. did either of you tell them?

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                                  Firenzilla RE: greygarious Apr 3, 2012 12:50 PM

                                  has anyone tried the chicken and vegetable wonton soup?? I've been meaning to try it ever since I read about it in the fearless flyer, but I always forget when I'm in the store.

                                  EDIT: I just went back to the 1st quarter threads and saw the good reviews... Does anyone know if they can be prepared without a microwave?

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: Firenzilla
                                    clubtraderjoes RE: Firenzilla Apr 4, 2012 06:11 AM

                                    I don't see why you can't just put boiling water in the bowl, cover it up for a couple minutes and enjoy!

                                    Steve

                                    www.clubtraderjoes.com

                                    1. re: clubtraderjoes
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                                      christy319 RE: clubtraderjoes Apr 6, 2012 05:33 PM

                                      No way. It takes 4 minutes to thaw and heat in my very powerful work microwave. You won't be able to make this work with just hot water (there's frozen meat in there!).

                                      1. re: christy319
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                                        Firenzilla RE: christy319 Apr 7, 2012 01:07 PM

                                        that's what i figured... maybe i can empty the cup into a small pot of boiling water? Guess it's worth a try. Or maybe I should just eat them for lunch at work like you do =P I don't have a micro, but work certainly does.

                                        1. re: christy319
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                                          Atochabsh RE: christy319 Jun 17, 2012 04:21 PM

                                          what if you put a serving in the refridge to defrost the day before.....then add boiling water when you want to eat it.

                                    2. g
                                      gator28 RE: greygarious Apr 3, 2012 03:44 PM

                                      Yay on the organic 3-grain tempeh - a nice change from my usual tofu. Also a yay on shelled edamame. It's a great healthy afternoon snack. Another yay on TJ's brand veggie burger. I like it better than the Dr. Praeger's brand that I have bought previously at TJ's.

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: gator28
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                                        noya RE: gator28 Apr 7, 2012 05:38 AM

                                        is the TJs veggie burger as 'clean' as Dr. Praeger's? What I like about the latter is that all of the ingredients are natural...

                                        1. re: noya
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                                          gator28 RE: noya Apr 9, 2012 11:02 AM

                                          it sure tastes cleaner but i will have to look up the ingredients and report back.

                                          1. re: noya
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                                            gator28 RE: noya Apr 9, 2012 01:08 PM

                                            noya, here are the ingredients. dr. praeger's is cleaner and less calories. i think i will stick with dr. praeger's now too.

                                            Tj veggie burger ingredients (230 calories – 99g)

                                            Freekeh wheat, carrots, onion, celery, liquid eggs, bread crumbs (wheat flour, contains 2% or less of the following: sugar, yeast, soybean oil, salt), lemon juice, olive oil, soybean oil, parsley, salt, garlic, coriander, cumin, black pepper.

                                            Dr. prager’s (110 calories – 78g)

                                            Carrots, onions, string beans, oat bran, soybeans, zucchini, peas, broccoli, corn, soy flakes, spinach, expeller pressed canola oil, red peppers, arrowroot, corn starch, garlic, corn meal, salt, parsley, black pepper

                                            1. re: gator28
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                                              noya RE: gator28 Apr 9, 2012 01:13 PM

                                              I'm impressed with the TJs ingredients relative to most veggie burgers out there--but Dr. P's seem like a more healthful choice. Thank you so much for checking in, gator28!!! Much appreciated :-)

                                        2. opinionatedchef RE: greygarious Apr 5, 2012 12:09 AM

                                          I'd like to really thank whoever mentioned the steamed pork buns. OMG, they are not only fantastic, but, imo, superior to those served in our excellent dim sum restnts here in Boston. Unlike the others, the TJ buns are not super sweet, and have a good soy presence + depth of flavors. And the dough is just lovely soft tender. I am THRILLED!!

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: opinionatedchef
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                                            Firenzilla RE: opinionatedchef Apr 5, 2012 12:28 PM

                                            Ohhh good to know! I didn't even realize TJ's had these... I just tried some from Costco a few weeks ago that were underwhelming.

                                            1. re: Firenzilla
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                                              thursday RE: Firenzilla Apr 5, 2012 02:10 PM

                                              +1 we keep these on hand for quick lunches. Also the veggie dumplings - not a new product but SO good and easy to make in a flash.

                                          2. f
                                            Firenzilla RE: greygarious Apr 5, 2012 12:51 PM

                                            Yays:
                                            M. Chevallier Cava... A fantastic bubbly at $4.99 it's a great value, I've been buying this one almost exclusively since I discovered it. Trust me, you won't be sorry.
                                            Cheese crunchies! too addictive.
                                            Stone IPA
                                            Buffalo jerky
                                            Fleur de Sel caramels (seasonal- xmas... i always buy 2 or 3 extra to stock up)
                                            Triple ginger snaps
                                            Tamales

                                            Nays:
                                            Journey to the center of the cookie (or some such nonsense) like a chocolate chip cookie with a lava cake center... sounded good in theory, in reality- not so much.
                                            Burritos

                                            I'm sure there are more Nays (like a frozen pizza or 2) but I can't think of anything specific right now... I'll report back later if I think of some.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: Firenzilla
                                              mattstolz RE: Firenzilla Apr 5, 2012 06:28 PM

                                              when i saw the choco chip cookie thing in the fearless flyer, i immediately thought "hey thats a good idea.... but probably better when made with your favorite cookie dough recipe"

                                              i feel like ccc's are one of those things where preferences are so variable... some people might think TJs uses the perfect cookie recipe, and some may not. also, when making yourself, you can adjust the amount of liquidy chocolatey center goodness (in my preference, it would be a very lot of chocolate!)

                                              1. re: Firenzilla
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                                                littleflower RE: Firenzilla Apr 5, 2012 06:43 PM

                                                As far as frozen pizzas are concerned, we always used to go with the Pizza Parlano (the one with the pepperoni, sausage, peppers, onions). The past couple of times that we have purchased it, there was a noticeable difference in the amount of cheese (a lot less than before) and the crust wasn't as good in my opinion (didn't get as crispy on the bottom for some reason despite cooking it the same way as always). It has been about six months since we have tried it again, so hoping those couple of times were just bad batches!

                                                1. re: Firenzilla
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                                                  christy319 RE: Firenzilla Apr 6, 2012 05:34 PM

                                                  Speaking of nay on burritos, I just had the roasted veggie burrito and it was awful. Nay indeed.

                                                2. c
                                                  chops888 RE: greygarious Apr 5, 2012 11:12 PM

                                                  YAY

                                                  - "ode to potato chips" We usually get either kettle type chips or Lays. these TJ chips tastes more natural than Lays and have a tiny bit of the skin left on it, and are perfectly salted.

                                                  -little 6 pack full fat yogurt containers creamy and custard like

                                                  -pudding in a plastic tub, choc or vanilla. choc is rich.

                                                  -vanilla bean wafers - very crispy and buttery

                                                  -gummies - has a liquid center

                                                  -seaweed fried rice

                                                  - the 2 pack frozen chick tamales, heat well in micro and had chick breast instead of dark meat

                                                  -butternut squash risotto. I wasn't sure at first, but it grew on me
                                                  -tuscan pane sliced bread. doesnt taste great out of package, but is really good and crusty when toasted and perfect for butter

                                                  nay -
                                                  enchiladas - too salty
                                                  skinny fries
                                                  lemongrass cashews - don't like the spice
                                                  mini raisin oatmeal choc chip cookies. can't taste the raisins
                                                  tub of cinnamon grahams - these are big and hearty crackers but too sweet, and heavy molasses flavor
                                                  smores cookie sandwich does not remind me of smores at all
                                                  mango lassi just missing a richhness that I'm used to

                                                  12 Replies
                                                  1. re: chops888
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                                                    elise h RE: chops888 Apr 6, 2012 12:28 AM

                                                    I love mango lassi, but found the TJ lassi just didn't taste right. Something is off. The TJ pomegranite and strawberry lassis, though, are superb!

                                                    1. re: elise h
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                                                      chops888 RE: elise h Apr 6, 2012 08:43 AM

                                                      the pomegranite is a bit tart for my tastes but strawberry is great

                                                      1. re: elise h
                                                        Llamalicious RE: elise h May 10, 2012 10:56 AM

                                                        Do they add rosewater into the lassi? For me that's a deal breaker..must have rose water.

                                                      2. re: chops888
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                                                        Val RE: chops888 Apr 6, 2012 08:10 AM

                                                        Their 2-pack frozen beef tamales are really delicious..shredded beef, not ground...we like them better than the chicken/cheese tamales, just saying, but both are quite good!

                                                        1. re: chops888
                                                          paulj RE: chops888 Apr 6, 2012 08:25 AM

                                                          what can you expect from choc chip cookies with mini raisins? :)

                                                          1. re: paulj
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                                                            chops888 RE: paulj Apr 6, 2012 08:50 AM

                                                            I thought so too but those cookies have been around for awhile - I figured they might be good if TJs continues to stock them
                                                            the raisins are pretty non-exisitent. You can se tiny specks in the cookie, like they were ground up, and since they are baked to a crisp, the faint taste of raisin tastes burnt to me
                                                            even the kids didn't like them

                                                          2. re: chops888
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                                                            Sharuf RE: chops888 Apr 7, 2012 12:54 AM

                                                            Their cheese enchiladas are part of my regular rotation.

                                                            1. re: chops888
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                                                              littleflower RE: chops888 May 10, 2012 11:05 AM

                                                              Oh I so WISH that my local TJ's here on the East Coast carried vanilla pudding in a tub, they only have the Belgian Chocolate kind and tapioca. I am on the lookout for any company that carries a ready made vanilla pudding with all natural ingredients, so far have only been able to find chocolate flavored natural pudding that a couple of companies make.

                                                              1. re: littleflower
                                                                paulj RE: littleflower May 11, 2012 04:47 PM

                                                                Do you need this natural pudding because you don't have a recipe for pudding, or because you need to eat it at work, or some such place where a sealed container is required? I was going to say, where you don't need refrigeration, but these TJ puddings are in the cooler.

                                                                A home made vanilla pudding just requires milk, cornstarch, sugar, and vanilla flavoring.

                                                                1. re: paulj
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                                                                  littleflower RE: paulj May 11, 2012 05:27 PM

                                                                  Thanks paulj for giving a basic recipe for it....quite honestly I didn't consider trying to make it myself from scratch, will have to try it soon as I don't seem to have many other options. Other than that, it just would be nice for convenience sake to have a vanilla pudding in a container that I can buy and tote around with me. There's another company out there that WF carries with natural ingredients in their pudding (no HFCS or Partially Hydrogenated Oils) but again the only flavors they offer are chocolate, tapioca, and rice.

                                                                  1. re: littleflower
                                                                    goodhealthgourmet RE: littleflower May 11, 2012 06:09 PM

                                                                    Kozy Shack has an "all natural" pudding line called "Cowrageous" that comes in vanilla. looks like you might be able to find it at Shop Rite or Walmart if that helps.

                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
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                                                                      littleflower RE: goodhealthgourmet May 11, 2012 08:05 PM

                                                                      Great to hear, ghg, didn't know they offered it also in vanilla...Kozy Shack was the brand that I was referring to earlier, and our Walmart carries the Cowrageous chocolate but not the vanilla. I will call to see if any other Walmart in the area does carry it, and at last resort will call the company to see if any other stores in the area carry it. Yay - great lead!!

                                                            2. t
                                                              toopie28 RE: greygarious Apr 6, 2012 01:40 PM

                                                              Yays:
                                                              Freeze Dried Red Grapes - sweet (thxs to clubtraderjoes for review)
                                                              Mini Taco's - don't know why but I really like them - greasy and yummy!
                                                              Meatless Meatballs
                                                              Baked Onion Rings - Addictive - yet another thing I won't be buying due to my lack of discipline!

                                                              Nays:
                                                              Chickenless Crispy Tenders - did NOT like at all.
                                                              Dark Choc Edaname (sp?) - weird aftertaste for me
                                                              skinny fries - too bland (THIS I can buy and not eat in one sitting)

                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: toopie28
                                                                LaBuonaForchetta RE: toopie28 Apr 6, 2012 02:10 PM

                                                                Agreed on the skinny fries. They sounded so promising and were borderline inedible.

                                                                The freeze dried blueberries and oranges are good too.

                                                                1. re: LaBuonaForchetta
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                                                                  toopie28 RE: LaBuonaForchetta Apr 6, 2012 04:04 PM

                                                                  Yes! Had the blueberries too and love them in my cereal. But they are so expensive for what you get.

                                                                  Also, YAY to the egg white salad (and plain and spicy one) - these 2 are a staple every week in my fridge.

                                                                  1. re: LaBuonaForchetta
                                                                    Bob W RE: LaBuonaForchetta Apr 13, 2012 05:05 AM

                                                                    I'll second the YAY for the freeze-dried mandarin oranges. Seems weird at first, but they are addictive. Really crispy, with a nice orange aroma and taste.

                                                                    Too bad the TJ freeze-dried fruits are so expensive!

                                                                    1. re: Bob W
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                                                                      valerie RE: Bob W Apr 17, 2012 11:50 AM

                                                                      +1 on the mandarin oranges. Like you said, Bob W, weird at first, but addictive and good!

                                                                2. LaBuonaForchetta RE: greygarious Apr 6, 2012 02:09 PM

                                                                  Yay

                                                                  Raisin Rosemary Crackers- reminiscent of pricier "raincoast crisp" crackers from Whole Foods
                                                                  Greek Yogurt and Kale dip- Like a healthy spinach dip- highly addictive
                                                                  Egg White Ranchero Salad- this is my favorite TJs item ever- only available on the West Coast I believe
                                                                  Burgundy marinated lamb tips- excellent with the tzatiki sauce and pita
                                                                  Light champagne vinaigrette
                                                                  Frozen breaded chicken tenders- great version of the childhood classic, and my husband's favorite TJs item

                                                                  Nay

                                                                  Chicken Poblano frozen entree- shockingly bland and skimpy portion

                                                                  Ok

                                                                  Pork Masitas- I wanted to love it, but thought it was just okay. The plantains were nicely done.
                                                                  Frozen lamb vindaloo- great flavor, skimpy portion

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: LaBuonaForchetta
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                                                                    littleflower RE: LaBuonaForchetta Apr 6, 2012 04:42 PM

                                                                    LaBF - thanks for the burgandy lamb tips recommendation. We have been meaning to try it...in the past we have tried the already cooked rack of lamb, and it was just so-so (a bit grissly/fatty, not enough lamb in my opinion). Can't wait to try the tips!

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                                                                    phxjcc RE: greygarious Apr 6, 2012 02:56 PM

                                                                    NAY - TJ's Raisin Bran - flakes have awful texture and flavor. Raisin are nice and plump though.

                                                                    Anyone missing the frozen Chicken Enchiladas in green sauce? They seem to be d/c'd, at least where I am.

                                                                    Apologies if this has been covered before, but I am a newbie here.

                                                                    28 Replies
                                                                    1. re: phxjcc
                                                                      goodhealthgourmet RE: phxjcc Apr 6, 2012 04:00 PM

                                                                      bummer about the Raisin Bran - i bought Mom a box to try. now i'll be really curious to hear what she says about it...

                                                                      DC'ed. i always ask at the Customer Service desk when something is missing - they can look it up and tell you the status.

                                                                      oh, and welcome to Chowhound!

                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
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                                                                        phxjcc RE: goodhealthgourmet Apr 6, 2012 11:15 PM

                                                                        Thanks for the welcome.

                                                                        Just got back from TJ's, bought a HAM, told them they should have their scalloped potatoes and sweet potato side dishes at Easter Time.

                                                                        Also got some Pimento Cheese spread so I can watch The Masters.

                                                                        Also d/c'd. last year some time--their [fresh] Ranch and Blue Cheese dressings. Told me they had QA issues with the supplier.

                                                                        YAY - Dark Chocolate Bars next to the checkstands in the 3 pack. Great Choc fix, with lowest possible calorie count.

                                                                        1. re: phxjcc
                                                                          goodhealthgourmet RE: phxjcc Apr 7, 2012 06:56 AM

                                                                          Mom loves those 70% dark chocolate bars - i grab a pack for her every time i'm there. (FYI, if you do a lot of baking with chocolate, their "Pound Plus" bars are a terrific deal on good Belgian - they're relabeled Callebaut for a fraction of the price.)

                                                                          a few others that you might want to check out if you're a chocoholic:
                                                                          - Laceys (TJ's version of florentine cookies w/milk chocolate & macadamias)
                                                                          - Dark Chocolate Covered Mints
                                                                          - Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds with Sea Salt & Turbinado Sugar

                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
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                                                                            littleflower RE: goodhealthgourmet Apr 7, 2012 11:34 AM

                                                                            GHG (or anyone else who may have tried these out) - any recommendations for those of us who prefer milk chocolate candy at TJ's? Preferably looking for a good Belgian milk chocolate bar, but any milk chocolate bar/candy will do. I know I am probably in the minority here on CH when it comes to liking milk over dark chocolate, but there are a few of us out there I am sure. :-) Thanks in advance!

                                                                            1. re: littleflower
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                                                                              phxjcc RE: littleflower Apr 7, 2012 12:31 PM

                                                                              They have milk choc bars by the same maker--and yes they ARE Belgian.

                                                                              1. re: phxjcc
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                                                                                littleflower RE: phxjcc Apr 7, 2012 03:37 PM

                                                                                Great! Milk Chocolate AND Belgian! Thanks for letting me know phxjcc, I will try them the next time we go to TJ's.

                                                                                1. re: littleflower
                                                                                  Savour RE: littleflower Apr 10, 2012 11:58 AM

                                                                                  They're pretty good, and they have a high cocoa content (I think around 40%) which I like in milk chocolate.

                                                                                2. re: phxjcc
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                                                                                  littleflower RE: phxjcc Apr 13, 2012 10:26 AM

                                                                                  Big thanks to phxjcc, ghg, and savour...picked up the Fair Trade Organic Belgian Milk Chocolate Bar, and it's easily one of the best milk chocolate bars out there. Huge bonuses that it's fair trade organic milk chocolate, a product of belgium, and only $1.99/bar! So good in fact that I am even going to try the belgian dark chocolate as well, because I have heard eating dark chocolate has added health benefits.

                                                                                  1. re: phxjcc
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                                                                                    gnomatic RE: phxjcc Apr 16, 2012 10:42 PM

                                                                                    Thanks for recommendation on the milk chocolate bar! I prefer milk chocolate, and I really enjoy the TJ organic bar. It's comparable to TCHO's "classic" in taste, and at 1/5 the price.

                                                                                  2. re: littleflower
                                                                                    goodhealthgourmet RE: littleflower Apr 9, 2012 10:51 AM

                                                                                    if you like peanuts with your chocolate, i just remembered that my sister - who loves milk chocolate but won't eat dark - inhaled the "Peanut Butter Goodies."

                                                                                    here's a review:
                                                                                    http://gastrophoria.blogspot.com/2011...

                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                      mattstolz RE: goodhealthgourmet Apr 9, 2012 01:14 PM

                                                                                      i had these IN my basket this morning and put them back. i was afraid i would eat the entire box before i got home from the shopping trip.

                                                                                      1. re: mattstolz
                                                                                        goodhealthgourmet RE: mattstolz Apr 9, 2012 02:55 PM

                                                                                        good move - i think Sis may have polished off the box in under 48 hours.

                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                          mattstolz RE: goodhealthgourmet Apr 9, 2012 03:21 PM

                                                                                          well the plan was to have a few then drop the rest off at dad's work for he and his clients... but i had a feeling that my generosity would have evaporated quickly a few cookies in

                                                                                      2. re: goodhealthgourmet
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                                                                                        butterfat RE: goodhealthgourmet Apr 20, 2012 04:29 AM

                                                                                        love the PB Goodies!

                                                                                    2. re: goodhealthgourmet
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                                                                                      sciencediet RE: goodhealthgourmet Apr 8, 2012 11:00 AM

                                                                                      The dark-chocolate-covered raisins are my new favorite dark chocolate delivery system, but the peanut butter cups are my standby.

                                                                                      1. re: sciencediet
                                                                                        goodhealthgourmet RE: sciencediet Apr 8, 2012 11:55 AM

                                                                                        how could i forget the Dark Choc PB Cups? Mom *loves* those. never bought her the raisins - maybe next time.

                                                                                        when i leave, the woman is going to realize how spoiled she's been having me schlep over to TJ's every week to get all these goodies for her - i don't even eat any of them myself!

                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                          paulj RE: goodhealthgourmet Apr 8, 2012 09:19 PM

                                                                                          I keep the PB cups in the freezer.

                                                                                        2. re: sciencediet
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                                                                                          Firenzilla RE: sciencediet Apr 9, 2012 10:18 AM

                                                                                          If you think the peanut butter cups are good, wait til you try the "Dark Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Wafer Cookie" Best choco/peanut butter combo in the history of the world.

                                                                                          1. re: Firenzilla
                                                                                            goodhealthgourmet RE: Firenzilla Apr 9, 2012 10:48 AM

                                                                                            may have to grab those for Mom on my next trip!

                                                                                            1. re: Firenzilla
                                                                                              mattstolz RE: Firenzilla Apr 9, 2012 01:12 PM

                                                                                              this.

                                                                                              its exactly what i did NOT need to see.

                                                                                              there goes the rest of the willpower i had that was resisting buying those.

                                                                                              1. re: Firenzilla
                                                                                                mattstolz RE: Firenzilla Apr 9, 2012 10:38 PM

                                                                                                i ended up convincing moms to split these with me tonight due to this post. they get a "meh" from me. if you are a person who likes your choc-pb combo balance to be tipped far towards the chocolate-with-a-hint-of-pb side, these are for you. me, i make my own reeses because then i can stuff those suckers with peanut butter.

                                                                                                1. re: mattstolz
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                                                                                                  Firenzilla RE: mattstolz Apr 10, 2012 12:17 PM

                                                                                                  Ah. I guess I am more fan of dark chocolate than peanut butter, but I found these superbly well balanced with a great texture. Good peanut butter flavor but definitely not pb-overload. Sorry you didn't love them as much I do... Maybe I hyped them up a bit too much!

                                                                                                  How did your mom like them?

                                                                                                  1. re: Firenzilla
                                                                                                    mattstolz RE: Firenzilla Apr 10, 2012 12:30 PM

                                                                                                    haha dont get me wrong, theyre still very good. but what choc pb combo of any kind isnt?? i just happen to LIKE pb overload haha

                                                                                                    moms has so many snacks/chips/crackers in her pantry that theres a good chance she will forget theyre even IN that pantry for a week or so. the things i find in there when i visit are scary sometimes...

                                                                                              2. re: sciencediet
                                                                                                Caitlin McGrath RE: sciencediet Apr 11, 2012 10:45 PM

                                                                                                I bought a few of the small 99-cent bags of dark chocolate PB cups they had during holiday season, but the tub is out of the question - much too dangerous.

                                                                                                I love PB cups in theory, but don't like milk chocolate, so these things are like kryptonite for me.

                                                                                            2. re: phxjcc
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                                                                                              littleflower RE: phxjcc Apr 7, 2012 11:38 AM

                                                                                              LOL...guess it's "Ham Season" again at TJ's. :-) That still makes me laugh that it seems from what I have heard that they only carry their hams during this time of year.

                                                                                              1. re: littleflower
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                                                                                                chez cherie RE: littleflower Apr 7, 2012 02:58 PM

                                                                                                and the fab sweet hot mustard! iwas told that was seasonal for "ham season" too. lol.

                                                                                                1. re: chez cherie
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                                                                                                  phxjcc RE: chez cherie Apr 7, 2012 05:11 PM

                                                                                                  No sweet hot mustard last night at my TJ's. Dijon and organic yellow only. $%^&

                                                                                                  Honey mustard is easy enough to make. 1:3 respectively. of H:M. w/dash of salt.
                                                                                                  Hint--nuke the mustard until its lukewarm, it will blend better with the honey.

                                                                                                  TA

                                                                                          2. re: phxjcc
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                                                                                            John Francis RE: phxjcc Apr 7, 2012 05:58 PM

                                                                                            TJ's raisin bran is fine with me - a regular buy for several years. No problem with the bran flakes' texture and flavor; a little less sweet than Kellogg's and Post's, but that's OK with me.

                                                                                          3. gmm RE: greygarious Apr 6, 2012 04:53 PM

                                                                                            Yay on the Japanese Style Fried Rice with Edamame, Tofu and Hijiki Seaweed. You can either microwave or heat on the stovetop. From the picture on the package, it looks like the tofu is the fried version, though I didn't see any noticeable pieces in the portion I heated up. A different flavor from the standard fried rice you get from a Chinese restaurant, slightly fishy, probably from the hijiki, but in a good way. My mother is Japanese and she said it was very good.

                                                                                            1. mcel215 RE: greygarious Apr 7, 2012 01:54 AM

                                                                                              I just bought a bag of Sky Valley Heirloom Navel Oranges and they are by far the most delicious oranges I have every had. Just so sweet and succulent. I wanted to make sure it wasn't just me, so I served them to my co-workers, who were blown away too. Hopefully, it isn't just this one bag. :)

                                                                                              14 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: mcel215
                                                                                                Rilke RE: mcel215 Apr 7, 2012 05:38 AM

                                                                                                Definitely not just that bag. A crowd of CHs were raving about these on the last thread.

                                                                                                1. re: Rilke
                                                                                                  mcel215 RE: Rilke Apr 7, 2012 05:41 AM

                                                                                                  Good to know, thanks. I'm headed back this weekend for another bag this weekend.

                                                                                                2. re: mcel215
                                                                                                  goodhealthgourmet RE: mcel215 Apr 7, 2012 07:24 AM

                                                                                                  those oranges are a HUGE hit in our house...and it's all thanks to CH recommendations :)

                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                    gmm RE: goodhealthgourmet Apr 7, 2012 08:05 AM

                                                                                                    Love those as well. I must be needing the Vitamin C because I polished off an entire bag by myself in two days.

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                                                                                                      FlyerFan RE: goodhealthgourmet Apr 7, 2012 07:36 PM

                                                                                                      We just bought two bags of these based on CH recommendations - they may not last the week! Best oranges I've had in years....

                                                                                                      1. re: FlyerFan
                                                                                                        mcel215 RE: FlyerFan Apr 8, 2012 03:51 AM

                                                                                                        Yup, me too. I went back and got two more bags yesterday as well.

                                                                                                        www.saffron215.blogspot.com

                                                                                                    2. re: mcel215
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                                                                                                      Ummm RE: mcel215 Apr 14, 2012 04:05 PM

                                                                                                      We bought a bag of the Heirloom Navel Oranges and Cara Oranges. Both were fine, but didn't wow them. Not sure if that's because we live in MN...?

                                                                                                      1. re: Ummm
                                                                                                        mcel215 RE: Ummm Apr 15, 2012 03:28 AM

                                                                                                        Hmm. Don't know, but I am on my third bag and they are still wow-ing me.

                                                                                                        www.saffron215.blogspot.com

                                                                                                        1. re: Ummm
                                                                                                          goodhealthgourmet RE: Ummm Apr 15, 2012 06:45 AM

                                                                                                          it's interesting, Mom & Sis have been *raving* about the heirlooms, but i hadn't eaten any yet so i grabbed one the other day, and i wasn't wowed either. it was good, but i thought the Sumo mandarins earlier in the season were better.

                                                                                                          oranges usually "peak" in January & February, so my guess is that the best of this year's harvest is just behind us now. gotta get on it earlier next year ;)

                                                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                            Savour RE: goodhealthgourmet Apr 16, 2012 01:49 PM

                                                                                                            They had Sumo mandarins? I think comparing navels to Sumos is like comparing, well, mandarins to oranges. I generally prefer Satsumas (or Sumos, which are the marketing name for Dekopon's and are pretty spectacular -- see this link -- http://www.sippitysup.com/mighty-sumo...) or Ojai pixies, which I've occasionally seen at Trader Joe's to navel oranges, but these are very good navel oranges.

                                                                                                            1. re: Savour
                                                                                                              goodhealthgourmet RE: Savour Apr 16, 2012 02:11 PM

                                                                                                              i probably should have clarified that the Sumos weren't from TJ's :)

                                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                Savour RE: goodhealthgourmet Apr 16, 2012 02:34 PM

                                                                                                                Ha yes. I'm in there weekly and would have snapped them up if I had seen them! I've gotten Sumos this winter from Whole Foods and Bristol Farms.

                                                                                                                1. re: Savour
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                                                                                                                  Atochabsh RE: Savour Jun 17, 2012 04:27 PM

                                                                                                                  I bought the Sumos at Whole Foods as well. Very expensive but nice for a treat.

                                                                                                          2. re: Ummm
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                                                                                                            noya RE: Ummm Apr 15, 2012 11:59 AM

                                                                                                            Agreed--the Heirloom navel oranges were really good--but not better than other good ones that we've had this season, and certainly not the best.

                                                                                                        2. mattstolz RE: greygarious Apr 8, 2012 06:08 AM

                                                                                                          so i really like the Sweet and Hot Buffalo Jerky. it starts with a good sweetness and then the heat creeps up on ya a few seconds later! very tasty.

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: mattstolz
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                                                                                                            Firenzilla RE: mattstolz Apr 9, 2012 10:19 AM

                                                                                                            I'm snacking on that right now =P tasty indeed.

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                                                                                                            azveggieguy RE: greygarious Apr 8, 2012 01:32 PM

                                                                                                            Don't know how new this is, but just tried the "Stacked Eggplant Parmesan." Has a bit of pesto in it and is quite tasty.

                                                                                                            1. mattstolz RE: greygarious Apr 8, 2012 06:14 PM

                                                                                                              Two more Yays:
                                                                                                              Stone Ground Grits: not sure if it was the recipe or the grits themselves... but they turned out awesome

                                                                                                              Goat's Milk Cheddar: Related to above, because it went INTO the grits. very nice cheddar flavor with a good tang from the goats milk. made the grits so good.

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: mattstolz
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                                                                                                                butterfat RE: mattstolz Apr 20, 2012 04:40 AM

                                                                                                                making cheese grits tonight and I wish I had some of that goat cheddar! sounds delicious. Thanks for the tip.

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                                                                                                                littleflower RE: greygarious Apr 9, 2012 12:21 PM

                                                                                                                YAY:
                                                                                                                Mango-Passionfruit Juice: very refreshing and love that it does not have fruit bits floating in the juice

                                                                                                                NAY:
                                                                                                                Tuscan Italian Dressing: I am not kidding when I say this looked, tasted and had the consistency of a cross between Heinz 57 sauce and A-1 sauce. Probably would taste great on a steak, but did not work at all on vegetables. So disappointed - bad batch perhaps??

                                                                                                                1. mattstolz RE: greygarious Apr 9, 2012 01:48 PM

                                                                                                                  finally found the Wasabi Roasted Seaweed Snack. Has a background of the same fishiness that I enjoy from the regular seaweed snack, but punches you right in the nose with the wasabi, even as your bringing it into your mouth for the first bite! the heat doesnt hang around for too long, but itll clear ya out for a second, so if youre not a heat fan, beware.

                                                                                                                  i, however, am. so i found these super addicting.

                                                                                                                  18 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: mattstolz
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                                                                                                                    Val RE: mattstolz Apr 9, 2012 05:19 PM

                                                                                                                    what are the ingredients, matt? I can't do palm oil...

                                                                                                                    1. re: Val
                                                                                                                      goodhealthgourmet RE: Val Apr 9, 2012 05:39 PM

                                                                                                                      honestly not a great ingredient list (IMO), but no palm oil...

                                                                                                                      seaweed, expeller pressed canola oil, wasabi seasoning (maltodextrin, salt, modified cornstarch, mustard oil), sesame oil, sugar, sea salt

                                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
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                                                                                                                        Val RE: goodhealthgourmet Apr 10, 2012 11:57 AM

                                                                                                                        (((((GHG)))))) thank you so much!

                                                                                                                        1. re: Val
                                                                                                                          goodhealthgourmet RE: Val Apr 10, 2012 12:11 PM

                                                                                                                          you're quite welcome!

                                                                                                                          if you want to make a version at home, try to track down Eden brand wasabi powder - no additives or artificial colors. then just cut nori sheets into squares, brush with toasted sesame oil, dust with wasabi powder & sea salt, and bake at 250 for about 20 minutes. (if you want a tiny aspect of sweetness to balance the salt & heat, mix a couple drops of stevia into the oil before brushing it on.)

                                                                                                                          1. re: Val
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                                                                                                                            Firenzilla RE: Val Apr 10, 2012 12:19 PM

                                                                                                                            Does Trader Joe's stock products that use palm oil? That would surprise me.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Firenzilla
                                                                                                                              goodhealthgourmet RE: Firenzilla Apr 10, 2012 01:02 PM

                                                                                                                              actually, they do. and in fact, their ever-popular Joe-Joe's cookies contain palm oil. their 'justification' is that palm oil is "the only natural alternative to hydrogenated oils."

                                                                                                                              more here - make of it what you will:
                                                                                                                              http://gettingonmysoapbox.wordpress.c...

                                                                                                                              1. re: Firenzilla
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                                                                                                                                robin_o RE: Firenzilla Apr 10, 2012 09:09 PM

                                                                                                                                I was surprised that there were so many products at Trader Joe's that contained palm oil. One of the reasons I buy their Highbrow Chocolate Chip Cookies (aside from the delicious taste) is that these cookies don't have palm oil, even though their regular chocolate chip cookies do.
                                                                                                                                I also wanted to buy their frozen pie crusts, but don't because of the palm oil in them. Wish they'd stop using something so unhealthy!

                                                                                                                                1. re: robin_o
                                                                                                                                  goodhealthgourmet RE: robin_o Apr 11, 2012 06:24 AM

                                                                                                                                  there's nothing inherently "unhealthy" about palm oil. the greater concern about its use has to do with the negative environmental impact of harvesting it...but since TJ's isn't exactly known for eco-friendly packaging, it's not much of a surprise (at least to me).

                                                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
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                                                                                                                                    Val RE: goodhealthgourmet Apr 11, 2012 04:05 PM

                                                                                                                                    Well....not everyone would agree with your statement about it being okay except for environmental issues...my internist nixes the palm oil and he specializes in lipids...and these folks also nix the palm oil in this "oil comparison chart" for what it's worth...GHG, you know I love ya but palm oil is kind of way down there, health-wise, from what I've seen, just gently saying--hope this link works:
                                                                                                                                    http://www.eatingrules.com/Cooking-Oi...

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Val
                                                                                                                                      goodhealthgourmet RE: Val Apr 11, 2012 06:22 PM

                                                                                                                                      read the fine print - one of the reasons it's as "low" as it is on that chart is due to environmental concerns. he also incorrectly labeled it as "high in omega-6's" when in fact, palm oil is less than 10% omega-6...that's lower than lard, olive oil, peanut oil, rice bran oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil AND flax oil. (and let's not forget that though we should limit our omega-6 intake, we don't want to eliminate them from our diet completely. they're called *essential* fatty acids for a reason.)

                                                                                                                                      mind you, i'm not saying we should load up on the stuff - the environmental impact alone is enough to keep me away. besides, if we're talking "tropical" oils i'll always choose coconut. i'm just saying that i personally believe palm oil has been unfairly demonized from a health perspective.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: goodhealthgourmet
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                                                                                                                                      robin_o RE: goodhealthgourmet Apr 12, 2012 11:27 PM

                                                                                                                                      Palm oil is high in saturated fat (50%), so it should be limited in people's diets since; saturated fats are the ones that clog your arteries and can lead to heart problems.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: robin_o
                                                                                                                                        paulj RE: robin_o Apr 13, 2012 08:27 AM

                                                                                                                                        In past decades tropical oils (palm and coconut) got a lot of bad press in this USA, some fueled by competing temperate oils (soy, corn). But with hydrogenated fats getting a particularly bad name in recent years, the saturated tropical fats have been partially rehabilitated. In Europe I don't think they ever had as bad a reputation. Saturated fats have baking and cooking qualities that can't be duplicated with more liquid oils.

                                                                                                                                        Now some tropical fats actually get plus marks, e.g. TJ sells jars of coconut oil, and Spectrum markets an organic palm shortening (grown by small farmers in Columbia, is the story).

                                                                                                                                        I'm not totally sold one way or the other. But it's clear than the health benefits and harm of various fats, mono, poly, saturated and other, is a complicated business.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: paulj
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                                                                                                                                          robin_o RE: paulj Apr 13, 2012 08:48 AM

                                                                                                                                          None of that addresses the fact that heart disease is a serious problem to millions of people and that fats, whether hydrogenated or saturated aren't part of the problem. Talking about how saturated tropical fats are partially "rehabilitated" doesn't mean people should think they're "fine", just as the fact that slathering on butter or drinking large amounts of whole milk as a regular part of your diet is ok. Arteries get clogged on too many people for that.
                                                                                                                                          So even if it is "complicated business", it's clear that some fats are worse than others and should be used with that in mind.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: robin_o
                                                                                                                                          goodhealthgourmet RE: robin_o Apr 13, 2012 09:01 AM

                                                                                                                                          saturated fats are the ones that clog your arteries and can lead to heart problems.
                                                                                                                                          ~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                          never been proven. in fact, a couple of years ago the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a meta-analysis of related studies which concluded that there is *no correlation between saturated fat intake and cardiovascular disease risk.*

                                                                                                                                          http://www.ajcn.org/content/early/201...

                                                                                                                                          and there's more where that came from.

                                                                                                                                          as i said to Val, i'm not suggesting people go overboard with palm oil - or with ANY one type of fat - but it's not the nutritionally evil substance that some people have made it out to be.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                            paulj RE: goodhealthgourmet Apr 13, 2012 09:50 AM

                                                                                                                                            However the last line of the abstract is important:
                                                                                                                                            "More data are needed to elucidate whether CVD risks are likely to be influenced by the specific nutrients used to replace saturated fat."
                                                                                                                                            Studies that simply look at saturated fat levels don't show much correlation with CVD problems. However when the replacement is polyunsaturated fat, the positive evidence is stronger.

                                                                                                                                            Note that a couple of the follow on articles (ones citing this) specifically deal with palm oil.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                                              goodhealthgourmet RE: paulj Apr 13, 2012 10:12 AM

                                                                                                                                              However when the replacement is polyunsaturated fat, the positive evidence is stronger.
                                                                                                                                              ~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                              and palm oil is only 9.1% PUFA. in fact, the ratio of MUFA to PUFA in palm oil is 4:1.

                                                                                                                                              Article titled: "Palm olein increases plasma cholesterol moderately compared with olive oil in healthy individuals"

                                                                                                                                              Conclusion: "The relatively lower plasma triacylglycerol concentration after the palm olein diet than after the olive oil diet was unexpected."

                                                                                                                                              so the subjects in the palm oil group experienced a *more pronounced reduction* in TG levels than those in the olive oil group did.

                                                                                                                                              okay, we've drifted so far OT here we might as well be on a different website at this point. i think we've beaten this horse enough.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                              Vetter RE: goodhealthgourmet May 7, 2012 08:00 PM

                                                                                                                                              Amen, GHG! The science just isn't there, and we've all been told otherwise. I'll keep eating my coconut oil and grass fed butter, thank y'all very much! :)

                                                                                                                                            3. re: robin_o
                                                                                                                                              Savour RE: robin_o Apr 13, 2012 10:14 AM

                                                                                                                                              Right, but we're talking about its inclusion in chocolate chip cookies and pie crust here. I mean, if that's a major part of your diet you've got problems other than palm oils.

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                                                                                                                                littleflower RE: greygarious Apr 13, 2012 10:04 AM

                                                                                                                                HUGE YAYS:
                                                                                                                                Barbecue Popped Potato Chips - Amazing. I think they are new - if you like barbecue potato chips you will love these - we couldn't stop eating them! Also, they are only $1.99/bag, over $1.00 cheaper than the fancy popped chips brand charges for the same thing.

                                                                                                                                Speculoos Cookie Butter - Tastes so good eaten right off of the spoon - now I understand why so many of you raved about this product. One of the best things I have bought at TJ's.

                                                                                                                                12 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: littleflower
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                                                                                                                                  vttp926 RE: littleflower Apr 14, 2012 06:31 AM

                                                                                                                                  The BBQ popped chips are my favorite in the world. Too bad they were out the last time I went to TJ's.

                                                                                                                                  I am praying that they will have my Soft & Juicy Mango in stock the next time I go back to TJ's. They have been out of stock for at least a month now. :(

                                                                                                                                  1. re: vttp926
                                                                                                                                    goodhealthgourmet RE: vttp926 Apr 14, 2012 07:22 AM

                                                                                                                                    there's been plenty of the S&J mango on the shelves here in NJ so don't fret - i suspect you'll get it back soon.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
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                                                                                                                                      vttp926 RE: goodhealthgourmet Apr 14, 2012 07:26 PM

                                                                                                                                      They told me by the end of April is when they are expecting it at this distribution center for NC which I think comes out of VA. I just been looking for them since February and haven't been able to get my fix. :(

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                                                                                                                                        Ummm RE: vttp926 Apr 15, 2012 09:05 AM

                                                                                                                                        Do you know if their dried mango ever come from the Philippines? I thought I bought one (sweet, juicy whatever... I forgot what it's called) that was really good and for some reasons I thought that bag was from the Philippines (my favorite). I went to get some more bags (the same ones or so I thought) but they were not good at all and they were from Thailand so I returned them all... so I don't know if I was just imagining that one bag was from the Philippines? Or I just lucked out that one time with a good bag? I just wonder if they use mango from different countries based on season...

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ummm
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                                                                                                                                          vttp926 RE: Ummm Apr 15, 2012 07:12 PM

                                                                                                                                          I don't know if they come from the Philippines or not. But there are 3 different kinds of mango. One is called Soft & Juicy, Just Mango and Chili Spiced Mango. I think my co-worker may still have a bag at home and I will ask her to look. I know the Just Mango says it is a product of Mexico. The chili spiced mango does not have a country of origin.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Ummm
                                                                                                                                            v
                                                                                                                                            vttp926 RE: Ummm Apr 29, 2012 02:48 PM

                                                                                                                                            Was finally able to get a couple bags of the Soft & Juicy Mango today and it is a product of Thailand. Hope that helps.

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                                                                                                                                              Ummm RE: vttp926 May 12, 2012 12:22 PM

                                                                                                                                              Thanks vttp926. I think that might be what I'd returned... I'm picky about my dried mango, what can I say :)

                                                                                                                                    2. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                      coney with everything RE: littleflower Apr 18, 2012 04:28 AM

                                                                                                                                      Are you finding the Speculoos spread NOW? I only saw it at our TJ's as a Christmas item.

                                                                                                                                      I like the TJ's better than the Biscoff, it seems to have more texture to it. And it's cheaper :)

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                                                                                                                                        littleflower RE: coney with everything Apr 18, 2012 08:45 AM

                                                                                                                                        Yes, my TJ's store here not only has it in stock, but they were giving samples of it out last week along with the ready bake brownie mix. One spoonful of the Speculoos and we were hooked. Are you on the East Coast b/c there's defintely plenty in stock here.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                          mattstolz RE: littleflower Apr 18, 2012 11:16 AM

                                                                                                                                          they had whole palettes of it sitting out at my TJs when i was there a week ago. didnt look like they were plannin on runnin out anytime soon

                                                                                                                                          1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                            coney with everything RE: littleflower Apr 19, 2012 05:07 AM

                                                                                                                                            I'm in Michigan...I'll have to keep checking. I planned a TJ run this weekend anyway!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: coney with everything
                                                                                                                                              coney with everything RE: coney with everything Apr 23, 2012 04:57 AM

                                                                                                                                              Yay! Found it, stocked with peanut butter and such.

                                                                                                                                      2. goodhealthgourmet RE: greygarious Apr 14, 2012 07:24 AM

                                                                                                                                        i saw mentions of the frozen kimchi fried rice in the last thread, but has anyone tried the new refrigerated bags of kimchi? i grabbed one yesterday but haven't tucked into it yet. the cashier told me it was *very* spicy, so i'm hopeful.

                                                                                                                                        also spotted (but not purchased) in case anyone's interested, bags of organic maple sugar.

                                                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                          GraceW RE: goodhealthgourmet Apr 14, 2012 10:50 AM

                                                                                                                                          I have had the kimchi, and (go figure) my biggest criticism was that it wasn't spicy enough.. but it was still good, and it is great with eggs.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: GraceW
                                                                                                                                            goodhealthgourmet RE: GraceW Apr 14, 2012 12:24 PM

                                                                                                                                            thanks for the feedback - i'll likely try it tonight. the cashier admitted that he's not really a fan of spice and said it was too hot for him...but i have asbestos mouth, so like you, i may find it to be on the mild side. i was just so excited that it contains no added MSG!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: GraceW
                                                                                                                                              goodhealthgourmet RE: GraceW Apr 19, 2012 09:11 AM

                                                                                                                                              you're right. the stuff turned out to be wimp chow - not even a tongue tingle! oh well.

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                                                                                                                                                goodeatsgal RE: goodhealthgourmet Apr 19, 2012 12:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                Would you recommend it, though, for the flavor if not the spice?

                                                                                                                                                1. re: goodeatsgal
                                                                                                                                                  goodhealthgourmet RE: goodeatsgal Apr 19, 2012 12:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                  actually i guess i would. the flavor's nice. just don't expect much heat!

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                                                                                                                                                    goodeatsgal RE: goodhealthgourmet Apr 19, 2012 01:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                    Okay, thanks. I can always add heat if I'm putting it in a soup or stew.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                              Caitlin McGrath RE: goodhealthgourmet Apr 21, 2012 06:48 PM

                                                                                                                                              Thanks for the heads-up on the organic maple sugar; I bought some today that I'll use in a future baking project of some sort.

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                                                                                                                                              Ummm RE: greygarious Apr 14, 2012 04:08 PM

                                                                                                                                              Mango nectar. I like that it's not overly sweet or thick. Maybe I am a little biased because we bought a whole bunch of juice and the V8 ones (the "smoothie" and other blended fruit juice, not the straight vegetable ones) were so bad... the berry ones tasted like cough medicine even my non-picky husband didn't like them. So it was great to find the mango nectar!

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                                                                                                                                                littleflower RE: Ummm Apr 14, 2012 05:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                Ummm, if you liked the mango nectar then I highly recommend trying the Mango Passionfruit Juice. It is thin like regular juice, not a nectar, but absolutely delicious and very thirst-quinching.

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                                                                                                                                                  Ummm RE: littleflower Apr 15, 2012 09:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                  Yes I have tried the mango/passionfruit juice too. I thought that was good but I was craving for something thicker and the mango nectar fitted the bill (but not as thick as some other apricot nectar I'd had, which could be too sweet or too thick.) Great to use the mango nectar in smoothie too!

                                                                                                                                              2. alkapal RE: greygarious Apr 15, 2012 12:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                pita bite crackers -- good, crisp, hefty wothout heaviness, not salty, but some salt

                                                                                                                                                turkish apricots -- great accompaniment to a nice cheese plate, and at $3.49 per pound, a great deal; they are plump and moist vs. california ones twice the price and dry and shriveled-up looking.

                                                                                                                                                anyone tried he dried white peaches?

                                                                                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                  Rilke RE: alkapal Apr 15, 2012 02:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Dried white peaches you say? I didn't know such delicacies existed... Hoping someone weighs in with a review :-)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Rilke
                                                                                                                                                    alkapal RE: Rilke Apr 15, 2012 09:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                    it looked promising -- california origin. $4.99 or thereabouts.

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                                                                                                                                                      Ummm RE: alkapal Apr 18, 2012 02:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                      I think I had tried the dried white peaches, but just meh to us (I am kinda picky about dried fruits though). It was a while back... just not quite what I expected I guess. Have the turkish apricots, not bad, and good price.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Ummm
                                                                                                                                                        greygarious RE: Ummm Apr 23, 2012 11:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                        You can't beat TJ for price but having discovered www.apricotking.com (which sometimes has both dried white peaches and white nectarines), dried fruits from other sources disappoint. Raisins and prunes are the only dried fruits I'll now buy at my local stores.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: greygarious
                                                                                                                                                          alkapal RE: greygarious May 2, 2012 04:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                          wow, greygarious, those look awesome. sounds like they have gotten a lot of fans!

                                                                                                                                                          and i spied some apricot syrup there. mmm.

                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                  2. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                    Dommy RE: alkapal Apr 15, 2012 10:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                    They also have multi-grain pita bite crackers, which I LOVE. They are a picnic staple...

                                                                                                                                                    --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Dommy
                                                                                                                                                      mattstolz RE: Dommy Apr 16, 2012 06:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                      they are a eating peanut and almond butter straight outta the jar staple as well

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                      Bob W RE: alkapal Apr 16, 2012 09:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                      Yes, we've tried the dried white peaches. I like them. I don't like dried fruit that is too sweet, and these are not. Nice concentrated peach flavor. I'm actually not a huge fan of white peaches in general, which often just taste of sweet and not of peach, but somehow these won me over. I'd probably go for dried yellow peaches first, but these are worth a try too.

                                                                                                                                                    3. mattstolz RE: greygarious Apr 16, 2012 10:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                      im sure this one has been mentioned before, but i roasted a cornish game hen yesterday with some salt and TJs 21 Seasoning Salute.... it was excellent! perfect seasoning for a roasting game hen

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                                                                                                                                                        littleflower RE: mattstolz Apr 16, 2012 11:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                        That reminds me that it has been a long time since I have cooked up a cornish game hen...thanks for the suggestion of the TJ's spice blend. Curious though...is it similar to a rotiserrie type spice blend that I often see in stores that mimicks the taste you get from a store-bought rotisserie chicken?

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                          mattstolz RE: littleflower Apr 16, 2012 04:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                          hmm not really sure, heres the list of spices in it:
                                                                                                                                                          onion, black pepper, celery seed, cayenne, parsley, basil, marjarom, bay leaf, oregano, thyme, savory, rosemary, cumin, mustard, coriander, garlic, carrot, orange peel, tomato granules, lemon juice powder, citric acid

                                                                                                                                                          pretty much everything in the spice drawer in one little flavor punch. not sure whats in the, for example, kc masterpiece, poultry blends, but mixed with a little salt and EVOO, this one made a pretty solid rub for the game hens.

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                                                                                                                                                            littleflower RE: mattstolz Apr 18, 2012 09:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                            Thanks for the run down of the spice list...looks fantastic. I will buy it and give it a try.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                            alkapal RE: littleflower Apr 19, 2012 05:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                            i would not say that the 21 seasoning salute is like any "rotisserie" seasoning. it is just a non-salt herb blend.

                                                                                                                                                            notably, matt's list does not include sage as a component, which is almost invariably associated with seasoning poultry.

                                                                                                                                                          3. re: mattstolz
                                                                                                                                                            EM23 RE: mattstolz Apr 18, 2012 06:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                            And for pork chops!

                                                                                                                                                          4. Will Owen RE: greygarious Apr 16, 2012 02:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Great big fat YEE-HAAA! to the Free Range Organic chickens!! Got two of them for a Southern dinner party we put on Saturday night, introducing such delights as Shrimp & Grits, chess pie and baked chicken with cornbread dressing to a bunch of California folks. The chickens were about 5 1/2 pounds each, not dirt cheap at $20 for the pair but reasonable. I cut out the backbones on Thursday, flattened them out on a rack laid over a plastic tray, rubbed them with plenty of Kosher salt, laid a clean towel over and stuck them in the back fridge. Saturday afternoon I got them out, laid the rack in the roasting pan, rubbed the birds with butter and covered them with buttered foil. baked them for two hours at 350º, uncovered them, gave them another 30-45 minutes, or until they registered 160º internal and the juices were clear. The meat still had a blush to it, I think more from the dry brining as it was quite cooked, but this is the most delicious chicken I've eaten since the days I was bringing live ones home slung over the handlebars. Tender but firm, flavorful, meaty. I was going to have a little breast meat for lunch today and wound up devouring a wing and a leg just standing at the sink!

                                                                                                                                                            A word about those heirloom navels: none of the others at TJ have been reliably good this year so far, but except for one or two merely okay ones the heirlooms have been delicious, sweet and full of flavor. When I could afford it I'd been buying the $1.50/lb. navels from my favorite dealer at the South Pasadena farmer's market, but these are just about that good and half the price.

                                                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Will Owen
                                                                                                                                                              Rilke RE: Will Owen Apr 16, 2012 03:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                              As someone who enjoys chicken but has noooo expertise in preparing it, I appreciate your detailed and simple instructions. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Rilke
                                                                                                                                                                Will Owen RE: Rilke Apr 16, 2012 03:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Ovens do vary in cooking power, so start checking after an hour and a half. Mine were also pretty chilly still, as they'd been out of the fridge for only a couple of hours and the kitchen wasn't particularly warm. I use one of those small spike-type thermometers with a clip on the sheath so I can clip it to the top of my apron, or even a shirt pocket. Run the spike into the meatiest part of a thigh or breast, avoiding any bone.

                                                                                                                                                                All this aside, chickens are dead easy. The first time I made a baked stuffed chicken for some friends, my actual expertise topped out at tuna-noodle casserole, but it still came out pretty good. Don't cook it so as to dry it out, but enough so the juices don't run bloody, and you're okay.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Will Owen
                                                                                                                                                                mattstolz RE: Will Owen Apr 16, 2012 05:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                everyone deserves to experience a well made bowl of shrimpngrits at some point in their life.

                                                                                                                                                                did you use the TJs stone ground grits?

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mattstolz
                                                                                                                                                                  Will Owen RE: mattstolz Apr 17, 2012 11:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  No, I found a deal on ten pounds of stoneground hominy grits from Angelina Gourmet, about $26 including shipping. That's about a year's worth …

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Will Owen
                                                                                                                                                                    alkapal RE: Will Owen Apr 19, 2012 05:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    will, WHAT A DEAL! and your tips on buying and cooking the chicken are terrific. thank you. i always enjoy your posts.

                                                                                                                                                                    (and matt, those grits are the thing i was trying to remember that i needed to pick up and try).

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Will Owen
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                                                                                                                                                                  robin_o RE: Will Owen Apr 19, 2012 08:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  I find the chicken and meats more expensive generally than Whole Foods. I can't quote all the prices, but I've compared chicken parts at both places and ended up skipping TJ's for their vegetarian fed chicken, since all of the organic chicken is over my price limit, unfortunately.

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                                                                                                                                                                  brilynn79 RE: greygarious Apr 19, 2012 01:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  I was in love with Rio Red Grapefruit juice, until I read the label. After sampling it, I bought a few jugs. As I was pouring a glass, I noticed it was 100% juice, but grape juice was the first ingredient.

                                                                                                                                                                  I tried the dried white peaches and they are okay.

                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: brilynn79
                                                                                                                                                                    alkapal RE: brilynn79 Apr 19, 2012 05:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    one of the problems with the 100% "juice" drinks all over the grocery stores!

                                                                                                                                                                    they use "juice" (with its inherent sugar) instead of cane or other sugar. i'd rather have grapefruit juice without anything but grapefruit juice. not being in florida anymore, getting cheap grapefruits is impossible. ideally, fresh-squeezed every morning is best. alas and alack, it ain't happenin'.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                      Savour RE: alkapal Apr 19, 2012 10:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      Trader Joe's does sell a grapefruit only grapefruit juice -- I forget what it's called. Not as good as fresh squeezed, but decent. I want to say something sunset? I love the Rio Red, but it's not pure grapefrtui.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                        Savour RE: alkapal Apr 19, 2012 10:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        And I've been getting decently priced big bags of pink grapefruits from TJ's all winter!

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                                                                                                                                                                          brilynn79 RE: alkapal Apr 19, 2012 02:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          They got me at the sample table! I usually avoid juice, but it was an impulse buy.

                                                                                                                                                                          I agree about the fresh squeezed, one of my favorite things about visiting my snowbird grandparents is the fresh squeezed grapefruit juice every morning.

                                                                                                                                                                          The all grapefruit is an organic grapefruit, its stats are similar with 20 less calories per serving. I may try it, but I know it is better for me to eat whole fruit anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. janethepain RE: greygarious Apr 19, 2012 06:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        Anyone "try" those potted herbs? I examined a few, and the tag lists all these different kinds of herbs, but I could only distinguish three growing in the pot. How would they squeeze in all those different herbs in one small pot?

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                                                                                                                                                                          robin_o RE: greygarious Apr 19, 2012 09:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          I tried the soft chewy chocolate chip cookies, since I'd never seen them before (sorry, I don't know the exact name, but they were the only chocolate chips whose name described them that way). NAY! They tasted like raw dough. I'm sticking with those incredible "Highbrow Chocolate Chips"!

                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: robin_o
                                                                                                                                                                            Rilke RE: robin_o Apr 19, 2012 10:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            The Highbrow ones were too crispy for me. I prefer soft cookies. . . . maybe I'll try the raw dough ones ;)

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                                                                                                                                                                              r
                                                                                                                                                                              robin_o RE: Rilke Apr 19, 2012 11:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              Maybe you'd like them better. I do agree that the Highbrow's are a little crispy, but I accidentally found them to be perfect after leaving them out all night. Perfect (for me) the next day!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: robin_o
                                                                                                                                                                                mattstolz RE: robin_o Apr 19, 2012 04:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                lol @ "accidently found them to be perfect"

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                                                                                                                                                                            christy319 RE: greygarious Apr 19, 2012 04:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            The TJ's " A Dozen Sweet Bites" are back! Staff told me they'd been discontinued. I am normally VERY picky about my sweets and these are shockingly good for what they are (frozen small pieces of opera cake, raspberry macaron cake, and a chocolate caramel cake with a crispy layer).

                                                                                                                                                                            My work lunch staples right now are the Kao Soy Noodles, the Butter Chicken, and the Chicken Wonton soup. The Kao Soy in particular is really tasty, though I wish it had tofu or some kind of protein in it.

                                                                                                                                                                            Recent nays are the frozen spinach artichoke dip (I know it's been around forever but I only just tried it--tasty cheap and cheesy, like something you'd get at a bad chain restaurant) and the Tom Yam Soup.

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                                                                                                                                                                              Firenzilla RE: christy319 Apr 20, 2012 12:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              Okay I'm convinced I must try the chicken wonton soup. Putting it on the list.

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                                                                                                                                                                                christy319 RE: Firenzilla Apr 20, 2012 01:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                I don't mean to say it's great. It's good for a work lunch, and those three things I listed are my favorite TJ's items for work lunches. But none are so good I'd eat them at home.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  Ummm RE: christy319 Apr 20, 2012 06:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  I like the Kao Soi, but for some reasons I always make a mess in the microwave with the sauce spilling!

                                                                                                                                                                                  Chicken Wonton is better than expected - at least the wonton skin is not as thick as some other wontons I'd had. (Wonton is supposed to have thin skin, dumplings have thicker skin.)

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                                                                                                                                                                                    c
                                                                                                                                                                                    christy319 RE: Ummm Apr 21, 2012 05:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    My Kao Soi always spilled/leaked too. So I nuke it for a couple minutes, until it's partway thawed, then dump it in a bowl and finish nuking it.

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                                                                                                                                                                              walker RE: greygarious Apr 21, 2012 12:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              I've now tried both the pears in white grape juice (glass jar) and peaches and I really like the peaches, they are nice and firm, not sweet like canned, more like real fruit. But, I won't buy the pears again because they are way too soft.

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                                                                                                                                                                                butterfat RE: greygarious Apr 21, 2012 04:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                YAY for the stone ground grits. I finally cooked up a pot of them for dinner tonight, added some half and half towards the end of cooking and stirred in some sharp cheddar before serving. Topped with some cooked greens, browned andouille sausage (just the TJ's chicken andouille sausage, which is okay but not authentic or anything, I'm guessing), some caramelized onions and roasted red peppers. Really nice creamy texture to the grits.

                                                                                                                                                                                NAY on the Lemongrass Chicken Stix (I don't like that spelling--they are like spring rolls from the freezer section). They weren't inedible (anything dipped in sweet chili sauce is more or less edible to me!) but the filling was on the mushy and bland side. I'm on a mission to find a decent egg roll or spring roll at TJ's if anyone has any recs.

                                                                                                                                                                                Yay on the Triple Ginger Snaps (the ones in the clear plastic tub). I know, not news to anyone, but I bought them recently for the first time in ages and was surprised at how nice and simple and satisfying they are with a cup of tea. The ingredients are pretty solid too. I doubt if I could bake a better version of that exact sort of light, crunchy ginger cookie.

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                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: butterfat
                                                                                                                                                                                  c
                                                                                                                                                                                  christy319 RE: butterfat Apr 21, 2012 05:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  I agree, nay on the Lemongrass Stix and also on TJs regular eggrolls.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    opinionatedchef RE: christy319 Apr 22, 2012 12:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    i don't love the filling texture (all ground together) but i do like the flavor of the Lemongrass Stix, myself. Really like the Butter Chicken; YAY on the Syrah soaked Toscano cheese (my new cheese addiction).

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                                                                                                                                                                                    littleflower RE: butterfat Apr 21, 2012 06:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    The way that you prepared the stone ground grits sounds delicious - I personally have never tried cooking up grits at home but enjoy a good bowl of grits out at a restaurant during breakfast. How long did it take to cook them up?

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                                                                                                                                                                                      butterfat RE: littleflower Apr 22, 2012 01:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      littleflower, I let them cook for about 35-40 minutes and they definitely still had some bite/texture to them. They were cooked, but just not smooth pasty mush, which is a good thing!

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: butterfat
                                                                                                                                                                                      mattstolz RE: butterfat Apr 21, 2012 10:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      i agree on loving the grits... did you notice that they drank up WAY more liquid than the instructions on the package recc though?

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                                                                                                                                                                                        butterfat RE: mattstolz Apr 22, 2012 01:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        hmm, did you cook yours covered? I did mine covered and at a very low heat and the proportions on the package worked pretty well for me. I doubled their recipe though. I think I used 1 cup of grits, 3 cups of water, and 1 cup of 1/2 and 1/2. They seemed like they absorbed a ton of liquid at first, but then after I added the cream/milk they stayed nice and hydrated :)

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: butterfat
                                                                                                                                                                                          mattstolz RE: butterfat Apr 22, 2012 02:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          i started with them uncovered, with 1 cup of grits, 2 cups of milk, and 2 cups of stock, but then about three minutes later after they immediately drank all that up i covered them... probably had to add another 2-3 cups of stock/water though overall.

                                                                                                                                                                                          not complaining really cuz they came out great, just surprised me

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                                                                                                                                                                                      littleflower RE: greygarious Apr 22, 2012 07:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Big NAY for the regular Toaster Waffles. Ugh - bland is not even the word for them, they are pretty much inedible. I didn't want to waste food by throwing them away, so I tried to eat them and only managed to eat three bites before giving up. I only wish that I hadn't used up my pricey TJ's 100% Maple Syrup and TJ's/Kerrygold Butter for those!! I really need to invest in a waffle maker so I can make them homemade.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. mattstolz RE: greygarious Apr 22, 2012 08:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Good and Bad qualities for the Kettle Corn Cookies. the flavor is very good: buttery, salty, sweet... pretty much like kettle corn! however, for some reason i was picturing that it would be a soft cookie with kettle corn in it... not a crispy one. personally, i'm not really a fan of crispy cookies... i prefer mine just cooked enough to not be called "dough" anymore.

                                                                                                                                                                                        so, if you like kettle corn, and you like crispy cookies, i predict youd like these alot. not for me though.

                                                                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mattstolz
                                                                                                                                                                                          GraceW RE: mattstolz Apr 22, 2012 09:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Have you ever tried the Cookie Dough in the freezer section? I have always wondered if it is good--especially because it says you can eat it, which is probably why I don't buy it... as a dough lover, it wouldn't ever turn into cookies.

                                                                                                                                                                                          But I definitely don't buy any of the cookies in tubs because nearly all of them are so crispy I am scared I might break a tooth,

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: GraceW
                                                                                                                                                                                            mattstolz RE: GraceW Apr 22, 2012 10:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            in my house, all cookie dough is edible. the risk of salmonella is insignificant compared to the joy of eating cookie dough for the Stolz's.

                                                                                                                                                                                            but no, i havent tried it. because i love my CCC recipe, and actually the best part about it is the fact that its SUPPOSED to be baked straight from frozen. so there are always frozen balls of cookie dough in my freezer.... ya know, just in case.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mattstolz
                                                                                                                                                                                              GraceW RE: mattstolz Apr 22, 2012 07:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              Do you share this 'Stolz' recipe? I understand if it is a top-secret recipe. Just curious. Unless it has protein-powder mixed into it, and then I would understand, but probably not bother. Some things, like a good CCC should not be tainted.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: GraceW
                                                                                                                                                                                                The Chowhound Team RE: GraceW Apr 24, 2012 02:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                We've split off the Levain cookie recipe to the Home Cooking board; do follow it here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/845910

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                                                                                                                                                                                          littleflower RE: greygarious Apr 23, 2012 01:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Tried three new (to me) items...

                                                                                                                                                                                          YAY - Organic Corn Chip Dippers - delicious, made from organic ingredients, and salty but not overly so.

                                                                                                                                                                                          YAY- Dark Chocolate Speculoos Candy Bar - I love the Speculoos Cookie Butter, but was skeptical to try this one b/c it was made with dark chocolate. I am hooked now, and it was even better when I sprinkled a little bit of sea salt on the bar to highlight both the chocolate and Cookie Butter flavors. A must try at only $.99/bar!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                          MEH - Soup and Oyster Crackers. I remember that someone else on a past thread said they loved these but I thought they didn't have much flavor...was substantially better after I crushed them and put sea salt on them, but I shouldn't have to alter the product to get the result that I want. I will probably finish the box since I paid for it, but don't think I will go out of my way to buy this again.

                                                                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: littleflower
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                                                                                                                                                                                            Ummm RE: littleflower May 16, 2012 07:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Couldn't find the Dark Chocolate Speculoos Candy Bar. Where are they at? Near the checkout?

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ummm
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                                                                                                                                                                                              littleflower RE: Ummm May 27, 2012 07:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              Yeah, they have the Dark Chocolate Speculoos Bars pretty well hidden. You can find it right as you approach the checkout stands, and at my TJ's they were on the very bottom shelf of the what we call the "goodies cart". This one is my personal favorite, but also offer a Milk Chocolate w/Caramel and a Dark Chocolate w/Buttercream filling bar also for $0.99.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                u
                                                                                                                                                                                                Ummm RE: littleflower May 28, 2012 10:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                Yep I found the Milk Chocolate w/Caramel and liked it! I checked all over the shelves by the cashier for the Dark Chocolate Speculoos Bars but no luck last time... will try again next time :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Ummm
                                                                                                                                                                                                  coney with everything RE: Ummm May 29, 2012 04:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  in our store they're above the frozen pizzas

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ummm
                                                                                                                                                                                                    mattstolz RE: Ummm May 29, 2012 05:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    i really was a fan of the dark w caramel and sea salt. give it a try!

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. mattstolz RE: greygarious Apr 23, 2012 04:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              pretty solid YAY:
                                                                                                                                                                                              Smore's Frozen Sandwiches. Described as "Graham crackers with marshmallow-chocolate swirl gelato and milk chocolate flakes"

                                                                                                                                                                                              at first i thought it tasted more like Graham crackers dipped in milk (definitely not a bad thing) and yes, that was the consistency of the graham sandwich, not crunchy and crispy... but on the next bite i got a nice hit of marshmallow flavor and a chocolate flake. they really nail the smore's flavor pretty well here. wish the chocolate was a little stronger (but i double it up and use dark chocolate on my smores...) but overall really good!

                                                                                                                                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mattstolz
                                                                                                                                                                                                Rilke RE: mattstolz Apr 23, 2012 05:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                Is this a new item?! -drool- I am on a graham cracker kick!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Rilke
                                                                                                                                                                                                  mattstolz RE: Rilke Apr 23, 2012 07:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  my parents say theyve been at TJs since the one in Naples opened, which was at least a couple months ago at this point. but this week was the first time ive noticed them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: mattstolz
                                                                                                                                                                                                  u
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ummm RE: mattstolz May 16, 2012 07:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Couldn't find Smore's Frozen Sandwiches. Asked an employee, and she said they carried them last summer, but there were some quality issues or something and hadn't seen them since?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ummm
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                                                                                                                                                                                                    LAWoman RE: Ummm May 17, 2012 03:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have seen these all over recently -- east coast, west coast but NOT in the midwest where I want them. Arrrghhh!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Ummm
                                                                                                                                                                                                      mattstolz RE: Ummm May 17, 2012 05:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      very sorry to hear that. cuz you really are missin out

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mattstolz
                                                                                                                                                                                                        u
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ummm RE: mattstolz May 20, 2012 02:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I hope they'd stock them in the midwest soon! (yes LAWoman, I am in the midwest!!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ummm
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                                                                                                                                                                                                          LAWoman RE: Ummm May 22, 2012 03:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Got em at the Arlington Hts IL store last week. They are pretty darn good but not quite as good as I'd hoped. I'd actually be happier if the portion size was smaller and there were more per box.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LAWoman
                                                                                                                                                                                                            emily RE: LAWoman May 24, 2012 09:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I find these to be really, really sweet. They don't even freeze completely due to the high sugar content.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. clubtraderjoes RE: greygarious Apr 25, 2012 09:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thumbs up for the brand new Kung Pao Chicken in the freezer section! Usually I'm not a fan of the frozen Chinese foods but they did OK by this one! It's sure to be a popular selection there!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      fogeylv RE: greygarious Apr 25, 2012 11:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yea: Soy Creamy Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert, Cherry Chocolate Chip flavor and Vanilla flavor--to me, the flavor and texture are more ice-cream-like than Soy Dream. Yea--Old Fashioned Blister Peanuts--this is a childhood rediscovery for me; never knew what "blister peanuts" were back then. Peanuts with a harder, almost crunchy texture. I love 'em. Nay: Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert (made with Coconut Milk), Strawberry flavor--had a vague, unpleasant sourness that I think came from the combination of ingredients (not the strawberries alone). Wouldn't have it again, though I might try the chocolate flavor.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        christy319 RE: greygarious Apr 27, 2012 12:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Meh on the TJ's veggie burgers. They aren't awful but the taste and texture is like mediocre falafel. Cumin is not a flavor I want in my veggie burger. I suppose they might be okay with appropriate toppings but not with the gruyere and sourdough I used.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
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                                                                                                                                                                                                          John Francis RE: christy319 May 7, 2012 03:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I agree. TJ also carries a couple of other brands of veggie burgers which are much better - hope they don't give their own product a monopoly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          But TJ's Vegetable Masala Burgers are a completely different thing. "Burger" is a misnomer; they're vegetable patties spiced Indian style, and totally delicious. I always have some in the freezer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: John Francis
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                                                                                                                                                                                                            John Francis RE: John Francis Jun 10, 2012 03:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Haven't seen the vegetable masala burgers in my local TJ's for some time. Hope they haven't been discontinued! My favorite of TJ's chicken sausages is apparently gone, the chicken mango sausage. As far as I can tell, these were pretty popular at least in this store. Hope it's only temporary.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: John Francis
                                                                                                                                                                                                              susans RE: John Francis Jun 18, 2012 05:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I saw the masala burgers yesterday in Long Beach, CA, so they have not been discontinued.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. carbonara RE: greygarious Apr 28, 2012 05:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Google says this has been around for years, but I'd somehow never noticed it before--a heartfelt yea for the buffalo mozzarella. We had a modified caprese salad with the mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, basil, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar (all of which was from TJ's, except the olive oil, which was California Olive Ranch), and were so happy. Buffalo mozzarella can be disappointing, but this one is so flavorful and rich.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: carbonara
                                                                                                                                                                                                            gmm RE: carbonara Apr 28, 2012 06:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            The mozzarella is great with their refrigerated bruschetta sauce (the one in the red/white/green tub.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. gmm RE: greygarious Apr 28, 2012 06:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            The frozen cannoli are a nay for me. They taste okay and even though they're coated in chocolate, they lose the crispness that makes cannoli so good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. clubtraderjoes RE: greygarious Apr 29, 2012 08:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I just revisited the Speculoos again now that they seem to have it just about everywhere again. I love this stuff. BTW, did you know that Haagen Dasz has a Speculoos flavored Ice Cream! I bet Trader Joe's comes out with one soon...

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Steve
                                                                                                                                                                                                              www.clubtraderjoes.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. GraceW RE: greygarious Apr 29, 2012 09:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Has anyone had the new Crimson Blossom Green Tea?

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: GraceW
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  littleflower RE: GraceW Apr 30, 2012 03:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm curious about the Crimson Blossom Green Tea myself...saw in the new flyer today that it includes licorice root. I generally do not like the taste of licorice and wanted to know if it is detectable in the tea. Hopefully it is a sweeter type of green tea (would be a bonus if it tasted anything like the iced green tea at Panera!).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    GraceW RE: littleflower Apr 30, 2012 06:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It has licorice root! I love licorice! Ok, in the next two weeks, I might have to go get some. And I've never had the green tea from Panera.. so I'll have to try that too. Thanks.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    manhattanmom RE: GraceW May 1, 2012 08:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I had the Crimson Blossom Green Tea and I have to say Meh to that. It's way to "floral", and smells like a cross between Twizzlers and cough medicine to me. My adult son likes it tho (sorta), but says it made a better iced tea. I don't really taste the licorice root. I'm curious to know how others like it.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      littleflower RE: manhattanmom May 1, 2012 09:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks for the review...for me personally, I do not particularly like any flavored teas hot (only like black tea or plain green tea hot teas), but love naturally flavored iced teas. I may give this one a try to see how it tastes as an iced tea.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sniffy RE: manhattanmom May 11, 2012 03:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        When I had a sore throat as a kid my mom would make me a mug of warm cherry Kool-aid to wash down a spoonful of children's cough syrup. I had forgotten about the taste of that combo until today, when I tried this tea. NAY.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. clubtraderjoes RE: greygarious May 1, 2012 09:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Two big thumbs up/Yeas for the Trader Joe's Chunky Chocolate Chip Dough in the fridge section! I can't make cookies that good from scratch!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Steve
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      www.clubtraderjoes.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: clubtraderjoes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        mattstolz RE: clubtraderjoes May 1, 2012 03:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        major props on purchasing cookie dough and actually being able to turn some of it into BAKED cookies before just eating it all in dough form.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        that doesnt really happen in my house.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: clubtraderjoes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          GraceW RE: clubtraderjoes May 1, 2012 07:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, thank you Steve. Especially if it is good, now I know I definitely should never buy it :)))

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            toopie28 RE: clubtraderjoes May 2, 2012 02:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yet another product I won't be buying - those cookies look AMAZING.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Big yay - Trader Joe's Belgium Dark Chocolate with Speculoos Cookie Spread - OMG! And I don't even like dark chocolate.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              littleflower RE: toopie28 May 2, 2012 02:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I don't care for dark chocolate either, but LOVE the Dark Chocolate w/Speculooos Bar. Try it with a sprinkle of sea salt...sets it over the top!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. clubtraderjoes RE: greygarious May 2, 2012 09:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A big YEA for the new The Best (Bar None) ice cream bars on a stick. (Yes that is the goofy name for them with the parenthesis) They look like Haagen Dazs ice cream bars on stick. The chocolate coating is dark chocolate and the inside is really high quality vanilla ice cream! The whole family went nuts for them! I would stay away from them if you have a ice cream thing...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Steve
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            www.clubtraderjoes.com

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: clubtraderjoes
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              littleflower RE: clubtraderjoes May 2, 2012 10:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Okay, there are SO MANY new (or at least new to me!) products that you and everyone else on this board have suggested the past week!! I am on a self-imposed food budget, and now can't decide whether I want to try the cookie dough frozen cookies or the ice cream bars first! Wish I had more leeway in the food budget to not have to choose. :-)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                betterbeheaven RE: clubtraderjoes May 2, 2012 11:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I really wanted to buy that, but looked at the nutrition facts and got scared away! I don't remember but I seem to recall it was something like 98% of daily recommended saturated fat in one bar...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: betterbeheaven
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  clubtraderjoes RE: betterbeheaven May 6, 2012 12:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Then just go fat free the rest of the day! ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Steve

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  www.clubtraderjoes.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: clubtraderjoes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    GraceW RE: clubtraderjoes May 6, 2012 08:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My first reaction was... find a product with 2% saturated fat so then you can get a perfect 100% for the day! Just pretend it's like getting an A on a test (Except really not!)--but sometimes the best thing to do is just poke fun at yourself. There's always tomorrow to balance it out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: GraceW
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      mattstolz RE: GraceW May 7, 2012 08:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      lol me during offseason says, "better eat two servings then, just to make sure you are getting the entire recc daily allowance."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      me during dieting says "best to just not even go into trader joes to avoid the temptation"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mattstolz
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        GraceW RE: mattstolz May 7, 2012 11:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        From some earlier post I was reminded of this--which you should make during your offseason: Cinnamon Roll the size of a pizza pan...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://frugalanticsrecipes.com/2011/0...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That's not my website though... Enjoy! It is good that Trader Joes doesn't have that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Although the garlic marinated mushrooms in a jar (by the pickles) are just about better than anything on earth. So good you would think they are bad for you! (But obviously not.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: GraceW
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          mattstolz RE: GraceW May 8, 2012 07:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          that. is. awesome.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          too bad its not offseason right now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          oh wait. yes it is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: GraceW
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ummm RE: GraceW May 16, 2012 07:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I don't usually like pickles much, but I really like these mushrooms! I think it's the garlic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ummm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              GraceW RE: Ummm May 16, 2012 09:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The best is when you get to the end of the jar, you can use the garlic nibs at the bottom for your eggs. And I save the garlic-juice to marinate other things in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: GraceW
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                u
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ummm RE: GraceW May 20, 2012 02:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oh good idea! I have to remember to save the garlic juice and use the garlic nibs on eggs!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: GraceW
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Rilke RE: GraceW May 20, 2012 05:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Finally found your mushrooms yesterday! My cashier commented on them out of everything I bought -- said she loves 'em in salads. I will try them this week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: betterbeheaven
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        u
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ummm RE: betterbeheaven May 16, 2012 07:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It is 80% saturated fat, so not quite as bad!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        We thought the ice cream bars were fine, kinda like Dove bars. I make my own vanilla ice cream though, and I think my ice cream is better :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. mattstolz RE: greygarious May 2, 2012 04:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      another yay:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      the 70% chocolate bar with caramel and sea salt. so good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. v
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        violin RE: greygarious May 3, 2012 08:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yay: frozen Sage sweet potato gnocci (it haunted me later!), Bao (although I wish they were bigger and more per package), frozen scallops (reliable, but pricey),

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        so-so: frozen polenta with spinach and carrots (veggies not great), milk chocolate covered potato chips

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: violin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Rilke RE: violin May 3, 2012 09:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I too thought the polenta with spinach and carrots was so-so -- not enough veggie, too much sauce. So I nuked half a package of TJ's frozen chopped organic spinach and mixed it in. Bingo. Even better reheated the next day, when everything had had time to mingle.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            toopie28 RE: Rilke May 3, 2012 11:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Just tried Trader Joe's Spicy Shrimp Bao last night. Very good... for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Never tasted Bao in my life so not sure how close they are to the real thing.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              u
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ummm RE: toopie28 May 12, 2012 12:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Spicy Shrimp Bao was just okay to me. Like the Asian/Chinese BBQ pork buns better (bao = buns).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: violin
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Briek RE: violin May 3, 2012 12:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yum! I love that gnocchi! We've purchased it a few times.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: violin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              alkapal RE: violin May 3, 2012 01:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              i look forward to trying that gnocchi. i do like the version with gorgonzola.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Berheenia RE: greygarious May 3, 2012 09:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Eating one of the tuna wraps touted in the May Fearless Flyer for the Boston area and it is just meh. Healthy but boring. A deal for 4 bucks. Of course they count a serving as half a wrap so the calorie, fat count etc. is deceptive.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                chops888 RE: greygarious May 4, 2012 07:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                chicken enchiladas in the refrigerated section for $4.99
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                500 cals per serving, 300 from fat!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                but really good

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. c
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  chompy RE: greygarious May 4, 2012 02:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Organic cultivated frozen blueberries. Big, fat, juicy, slightly tart berries, perfect for pancakes or muffins. To me they are so much tastier than the tiny, grainy, nearly flavorless wild frozen blueberries that TJ's carries. They don't always seem to be in stock, but I've been finding them sporadically over the last several months.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    thursday RE: greygarious May 4, 2012 09:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yea to Dark Chocolate Nutty Bits - I'm not a big fan of chocolate, and don't like to keep snacks in the house, but oh my!! I honestly could have eaten the whole bag in one sitting; the only thing that stopped me was my husband sitting nearby with a raised eyebrow... Perfect amount of crunchy nuts with just enough dark chocolate to hold it togerher, but what really makes them is the little bite of fleur de sel. I may have to go buy another bag just writing about them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. clubtraderjoes RE: greygarious May 6, 2012 12:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yea for the new frozen Paparedelle with Chicken, mushrooms in a creamy wine sauce. I thought it tasted like homemade!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Steve
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      www.clubtraderjoes.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. dailywaffle RE: greygarious May 6, 2012 02:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Nay, nay, nay: Turkey Corndogs (in the freezer section). This was a guilty pleasure purchase and I caved since we generally don't have hot dogs around (husband doesn't eat them). I should have known better...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I didn't have any delusions that these would be match what you'd have at the mall or a fair, but the corn breading was on the sweet side and a bit flabby from being microwaved, and the hot dog nearly flavorless. Granted, microwaving it probably wasn't the ideal heating method, but I wasn't in the mood to wait around for the oven to heat up.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          littleflower RE: greygarious May 6, 2012 04:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yay for the Cocoa Almond spread, I thought it tasted good considering I don't even like anything that has an almond flavor to it. Honestly though, I do prefer a Chocolate Hazelnut spread, and kinda wish this had a hazelnut flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          BIG YAY for the toasted French Baguette that the TJ's Cocoa Almond spread sample was on. I tasted a portion of the toasted baguette slice that did not have any chocolate spread on it and was in heaven. I liked it so much that I called up my local TJ's and asked if they put any butter on the bread before toasting and they said no. The taste of the plain toasted French Baguette was phenomenal!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. puzzler RE: greygarious May 7, 2012 01:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips -- NAY

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            TJ says "where potato chips meet tortilla chips in a very tasty way!" Well someone forgot to invite the potato chips to the party. These are not very good corn tortilla chips with a murky taste and color. If I were fed these on a blind taste, sweet potato would be the last thing I'd guess.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            If you're hoping for a sweet potato chip, these miss the boat completely.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Briek RE: puzzler May 9, 2012 09:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I agree!! IMO, this was just a tortilla chip.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              sesameseed RE: greygarious May 7, 2012 06:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I second Steve's yea for their new frozen Paparedelle with chicken and mushrooms. It is fantastic!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sesameseed
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                gmm RE: sesameseed May 13, 2012 01:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                +1 on the Pappardelle with Chicken and Mushroom Mascarpone Sauce. The pasta is tender, but still with a good bite, the sauce has a nice mushroom flavor and there is a decent amount of grilled chicken . The microwave instructions call for heating covered for 4 minutes, stir, and cook for another 3 minutes uncovered. I'd recommend covering the dish with a paper towel for the second portion of cooking unless you enjoy cleaning bits of exploded mushrooms out of your microwave.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  opinionatedchef RE: gmm May 13, 2012 01:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  i found it tasty as well. cooks very quickly stove top. i added marsala before i tasted it but i think it would be fine, just as is (white wine).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ummm RE: opinionatedchef May 28, 2012 10:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Also like the Pappardelle with Chicken and Mushroom, though the portion is smaller than expected - lots of air in the package!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Also tried the salmon/asparagus pasta, it was okay... like the chicken/mushroom better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Vetter RE: greygarious May 7, 2012 08:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                This one was so bad I made a point to come here tonight and post: the Costa Rican peaberry coffee is AWFUL. I'm a coffee addict and heavy cream can mask many sins, but this stuff is abysmal even when freshly ground and doctored. The smell off the beans just gets worse with heat.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Vetter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  goodhealthgourmet RE: Vetter May 9, 2012 06:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  agreed. they've been sampling it at my store lately and i took one sip and dumped it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. alkapal RE: greygarious May 8, 2012 10:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  anyone seen the almondina cookies product there, and what name does it go by? http://www.almondina.com/

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    chompy RE: alkapal May 8, 2012 12:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have gotten those at TJ's in the past, and I think they still carry them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    They go by the name of Almondina. ;-)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      alkapal RE: chompy May 8, 2012 01:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      OK! haha-- great, they look like they'd be gpod.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    littleflower RE: greygarious May 8, 2012 08:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    YAY: The Espresso Blend Coffee with Organic Maple Sugar...really, really good. Great well-rounded coffee flavor and loved how I only had to use half my normal amount of sugar to sweeten my coffee. This is a definite repeat buy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    So-So: Organic Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce - it was just okay. Not the best tasting yet not the worst sauce that I have had. I also wish that it did not contain soybean oil in it, but that I know is just a personal preference of mine. Honestly I think the Traditional Marinara Sauce for a dollar less actually has a better flavor, even though the ingredients are not organic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Savour RE: greygarious May 9, 2012 10:24 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yay the Bacon Cheddar ranch dip. Tastes like loaded potato skins. Would be decadent on potato chips but is pretty good with carrots. I can also imagine it would be good as a hamburger topping.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Not really food but nay on the Sea gummies. Taste like gummy bears and like fish.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        littleflower RE: greygarious May 10, 2012 10:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        YAY: TJ's Bold and Smoky Kansas City Style Barbecue Sauce - now I see why this sauce has won a few BBQ sauce taste tests, this is a definite winner. Nice amount of spice to make it smoky yet not spicy, this is by far one of the best BBQ sauces that I have ever tasted. Bonus: No HFCS in the ingredients list AND it tastes great!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        NAY: Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chips - these lacked a good crunch and the nacho cheese flavor in my opinion was just not there. If I closed my eyes in a blind taste test, I would think these had a middle eastern spice flavor to them and do not taste anything like Doritos. This was disappointing as we love Doritos but wanted a healthier version of it to taste more like them (perhaps just wishful thinking)!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          opinionatedchef RE: littleflower May 13, 2012 01:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          cheese and spicy- if you haven't alrdy had them, you might like the jalapeno cheese sticks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          (cheese puffs). though i do hesitate to rec them because i have become hooked, major.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            littleflower RE: opinionatedchef May 13, 2012 04:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks for the recommendation - have you by any chance tried the Reduced Fat (baked?)Cheese Puffs - regular not jalapeno? I am not a huge spicy foods fan (well, I am but my stomach has another opinion) but still craving something cheesy - similar to Doritos or Cheetos Puffs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              sunangelmb RE: littleflower Jun 3, 2012 01:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Love those reduced fat cheese puffs, but man are they addicting

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: opinionatedchef
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              littleflower RE: opinionatedchef May 14, 2012 05:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I did try the reduced fat cheese puffs that they carry and loved them! Very cheesy!! Thanks for the tip on trying their different kinds of TJ's cheese puffs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. alkapal RE: greygarious May 10, 2012 04:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            naaaaaay to that horrible peaberry costa rican coffee. weak and acidic. yuk!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. clubtraderjoes RE: greygarious May 11, 2012 09:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Big YEA on the new Trader Joe's Popcorn with Herbs and Spices. A very adult savory popcorn!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Steve
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              www.clubtraderjoes.com

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Val RE: clubtraderjoes May 12, 2012 08:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Wow, never thought of putting herbs/spices on my popcorn...might check that out sometime to put celery salt on it next time!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  mattstolz RE: Val May 12, 2012 08:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  i like to put cinnamon sugar on my kettlecorn....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  guilty pleasure ftw

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    GraceW RE: mattstolz May 12, 2012 08:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    If you ever need a really, really special version of that try cinnabun popcorn...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.ourbestbites.com/2009/09/c...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    (Not my website) And sorries for the abundance of cinnamon recipes. I love cinnamon everything.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      mattstolz RE: GraceW May 12, 2012 08:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      haha to be honest, even REAL cinnamon sugar would be a special version. cuz its normally cinnamon-splenda. and there is never a problem with extra cinnamon recipes. its delicious!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        GraceW RE: mattstolz May 12, 2012 09:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes, I only have splenda in my apartment for me. But if/when I make the cinnabun popcorn (or basically any treat), I go out and buy sugar so that they get the real-deal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Unfortunately popcorn is my weakness.. so I don't keep any in the house regardless. But I figured I'd share since it makes an AMAZING gift for others

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          mattstolz RE: GraceW May 12, 2012 09:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          haha im the same with splenda/sugar. and with popcorn. except i have one of the small bags as my pre-bed meal each night (no carbs before bed be darned!)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        alkapal RE: GraceW May 12, 2012 09:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        holy smoke! deee-licious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Val
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      opinionatedchef RE: Val May 17, 2012 12:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      my fav popcorn topping is tamari.hope you'll try it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. alkapal RE: greygarious May 12, 2012 03:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    yay -- mini chicken tamalitos -- microwaveable and a tasty snack, esp. with some nice salsa alongside. discovered at the tasting station. i gather that the "mini" version is new. $3.99 for 10 approximately 3" mini-tamales.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      solarstar RE: greygarious May 13, 2012 09:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yea for three items I never got until recently: Crunchy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, Frozen Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, and Frozen Chocolate Croissants! The oatmeal raisin cookies are bite-sized and very crunchy and oaty without being too sweet. The frozen dough and croissants both tasted amazing and were easy to prepare, just as directed on the package.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Two other things that I always buy are the Chili Pepper Sauce (decent amount of heat, very deep flavor profile, a bit sweet and smoky, a bit like Cholula) and Ginger Mango Chutney (not overly sweet, and imo much better flavor than other chutneys twice the price)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Nay on the Manchego Cheese, Lemongrass Chicken Stix, and Vanilla Joe-Joes. The cheese was less nutty and a bit more fruity than I expect from Manchego, but had a weird waxyness to it. The lemongrass definitely overpowered everything else in the stix, and they didn't crisp up as nicely as expected. Finally, it may be up to personal preference, but I found the Vanilla Joe-Joes a little too oily and a little too sweet, I do prefer Whole Foods' version here (which, amazingly, is the same price.)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Expat1234 RE: solarstar May 13, 2012 04:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The frozen chocolate croissants, if they are the ones that you set out overnight to rise, are like eating at a French cafe. Some remarkable croissants in that package.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          robin_o RE: Expat1234 May 14, 2012 11:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I agree...the croissants are delicious, especially when eaten still warm! Sometimes I eat it with bites of banana, too...delicious,either way! I usually set mine out to defrost and rise in the morning so they'll be timed for dessert after dinner.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            mcel215 RE: robin_o May 14, 2012 05:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I serve those to company as a brunch item and they are a huge hit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mcel215
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              opinionatedchef RE: mcel215 May 17, 2012 12:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              they really are perfect. the only trouble i have is in the winter sometimes they don't rise, even when i put them in an oven with a pilot light. (I'm in Boston)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                mcel215 RE: opinionatedchef May 17, 2012 02:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                oc,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm in Boston also and haven't had a problem with them rising in the winter. hmm.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I usually buy them right before I am going to use them though. One time I had a box in the freezer for a few months and they didn't rise well overnight. Perhaps that's it.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                www.saffron215.blogspot.com

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  christy319 RE: opinionatedchef May 22, 2012 02:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's really uncanny how good these croissants are.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    robin_o RE: opinionatedchef May 24, 2012 07:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have to agree with mcel215 about the winter rising issue. In the morning, I usually put them on a little baking pan that fits into the toaster oven, and add that little plastic tray they come in on top (to trap some heat without weighing it down on the rising croissant) and place the whole thing on the cable box (because it's always warm). It's only happened twice (out of about 100 times) that it didn't rise...probably because they were in my freezer for over a month.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. opinionatedchef RE: greygarious May 13, 2012 01:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I adore the new shiraz soaked Tuscan cheese. And a really great price too.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Cathy RE: greygarious May 13, 2012 02:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yay- Vanilla chai spiced coffee. Similar to the pumpkin spice coffee, which sold out in about a week in October.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The pumpkin spice has pumpkin spice oil, orange peel and allspice while the chai has cardamom, ginger and cloves. Both have vanilla and cinnamon and are medium dark roasts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              If you wrapped this chai coffee in a "winter" designed can, I don't think anyone would know the difference unless a side by side tasting was done.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                littleflower RE: greygarious May 14, 2012 05:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                YAY: Reduced Fat Cheese Puffs - Wow, these are fantastic - very cheesy but made with good quality cheese (no day-glo orange fingers after eating them), no artificial colors or flavors. Also, I noticed how fresh these tasted, not at all stale and by no means tasted like they were a reduced fat snack!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                SEMI-YAY: Butter Waffle Cookies - These were good, but in my opinion not great unless paired with chocolate (or perhaps Cookie Butter). I ate a few by themselves and didn't notice a distinct butter flavor that I had hoped for. I had a chocolate bar that I melted down and dipped the butter waffle cookies in, sprinkled them with a bit of sea salt and thought they were much tastier that way.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Rilke RE: littleflower May 15, 2012 02:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  So you added chocolate and salt to something and it was improved? I am shocked ;-)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    littleflower RE: Rilke May 15, 2012 04:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I know, what a complete surprise. :-) Perhaps just a bad batch that I purchased, but the butter waffle cookies without some good TJ's chocolate and sea salt tasted pretty bland.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      robin_o RE: Rilke May 15, 2012 10:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I agree...I really love the pear tarte, but I love it more when I shave some dark chocolate on top before putting it in the oven!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      alkapal RE: littleflower May 15, 2012 06:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      i like those butter waffle cookies -- they are like a light walker's shortbread to me. i bought some speculoos spread, and the tj's employee recommended the cookies. actually, i haven't even opened the speculoos jar yet.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        littleflower RE: alkapal May 15, 2012 07:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Exactly, alkapal! I love Walker's Shortbread cookies and was hoping for that delicious butter flavor but it just didn't come through for me (I think you or someone else had mentioned that about the walker's in a review that I read about the waffle cookies). Having said all of that, I would buy these again to give them another try...and in the meantime have a great excuse to dip some in melted chocolate!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      mrsgray RE: greygarious May 17, 2012 06:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      YAY: Spinach & Kale Dip, Strawberry Coconut Ice Cream, Frozen Brown Rice, Triple Ginger Snap, Reduced Guilt Breaded Shrimp
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      NAY: Seaweed Snacks, Marinated Chicken

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mrsgray
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        littleflower RE: mrsgray May 20, 2012 02:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mrsgray, what marinated chicken are you referring to? Also, if you don't mind sharing - what was it about the chicken that you didn't care for?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Savour RE: greygarious May 17, 2012 07:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yay! Pagliarino cheese from Italy. Tastes like the Camembert you get in Europe.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Bax RE: greygarious May 19, 2012 06:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The "Almondictive Bits" are SO GOOD. My boyfriend & I have to make sure to measure out a single serving to eat because if we just sit and eat out of the container we'll end up eating FAR too many.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            cstr RE: greygarious May 20, 2012 07:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            just bought TJ Spanish EVOO, tastless.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Rilke RE: cstr May 20, 2012 11:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I disagree; we like that one. The President's Reserve is not as good.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                bigwheel042 RE: Rilke May 24, 2012 11:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                This one really comes down to what you like in an olive oil. If you are hardcore into grassy oils, the Spanish olive oil at TJ's isn't going to be your thing. If you like mellower, fruitier oils like I generally do, you'll like the Spanish - though I do get tired of it and tend not to buy it twice in a row, instead alternating their other olive oils in the rotation. (Agree that the President's Reserve is inferior, found their kalamata oil too grassy at first but have warmed to it, hated the non-extra virgin "Olive Oil" for non-frying uses.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: bigwheel042
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Rilke RE: bigwheel042 May 25, 2012 06:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Haven't tried the Kalamata. . . . The best olive oil I've found at TJ's is the 2011 harvest olive oil they had for a brief time back in November (I think). Excellent taste, and a nice big bottle for $20.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: bigwheel042
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    cstr RE: bigwheel042 May 28, 2012 09:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I wasn't expecting greatness for $5.99 but, I do like a robust peppery EVOO. This was meh, I'm using it for cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: cstr
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Caitlin McGrath RE: cstr Jun 16, 2012 04:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      For $5.99, I like the California Estate extra-virgin olive oil; it's fresh, with a nice peppery finish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        goodeatsgal RE: Caitlin McGrath Jun 18, 2012 02:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I agree. The California Estate tastes very fresh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          EM23 RE: Caitlin McGrath Jun 18, 2012 04:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Another fan of the California Estate.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  littleflower RE: greygarious May 20, 2012 01:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  YAY: TJ's British Muffins - very flavorful and toasted up well. They went great toasted up with eggs and bacon for a quick on-the-go breakfast sandwich.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  YAY: TJ's Hot Dog Buns - these were a bit on the large side for the average size of a hot dog, but tasted very fresh like they had just come from the bakery.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  NAY: Chicken Hot Dogs - I tried, I really did try to like these because I wanted an alternative to an all-beef hot dog. It just didn't even come close to tasting like a hot dog should. I sauteed them in a little oil the first time in the pan and didn't like them. I even resorted to sauteeing a couple the next day with some leftover bacon fat that I had in the refrigerator, thinking this would impart some good flavor into them. Neither attempt was successful.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    John Francis RE: littleflower Jun 17, 2012 08:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Agreed abvout the chicken hot dogs. As for the hot dog buns, until last week they always came six to a package, while TJ's hot dogs are 8 to the package. Somebody finally put 2 and 2 and 2 and 2 together and now the buns also come in 8s.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: John Francis
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      mattstolz RE: John Francis Jun 24, 2012 07:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      this could actually be a major step forward for all mankind.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ummm RE: greygarious May 20, 2012 02:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Meh - Golden Caramel Swirl Super Premium Ice Cream. Not enough Caramel. Didn't taste the sea salt (I think it said it has some sea salt or something in it? Too lazy to go check).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Okay - coffee ice cream.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. trolley RE: greygarious May 22, 2012 04:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      YAY: Svelte Ice Cream Sandwiches...only good if you're into this type of stuff. if you're looking for full fat taste this isn't it. it's strictly diet stuff but tasty. exact replica of Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        littleflower RE: greygarious May 24, 2012 07:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yays:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1) Crunchy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies - mini ones in the tub, very good for a chocolate chip cookie but it is not particularly "oatey". However, we couldn't stop eating them so that definitely qualifies for a "yay".
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2) Social Snackers - crisp buttery crackers, good flavor
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3) Strawberry Vanilla Greek Yogurt - tried it as a sample at the sample table and was amazed at how good this yogurt is...we will put this on a later TJ's grocery list since we're stocked full of yogurt right now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        NAY - Organic Marinara Sauce, Low Sodium...bought after a friend of ours recommended it, and we both thought it was too tomatoey for our taste plus was spicy but not in a particularly good way.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          trolley RE: littleflower May 24, 2012 05:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          agreed YAY to the Strawberry vanilla greek yogurt but certainly not a 'health' food coming in at around 380 cal per container! although my 3 yr old loves it and he can take some fat on his body. a good suggestion!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: trolley
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            littleflower RE: trolley May 24, 2012 09:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Very true that it is probably not the *healthiest* yogurt on the market....but wow, oh-so-tasty!! Also honestly, for some reason I have always been a bit more partial to regular yogurt instead of greek, but that strawberry vanilla greek yogurt tasted like a gourmet dessert!! A definite buy for the TJ's basket.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              butterfat RE: littleflower May 27, 2012 06:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I just bought some of this today and the cashier was raving about (I haven't tried it yet). I'm planning to use it to dip blueberries into and then freeze for a treat for my 3 year old. (This idea is all over the internets these day it seems.) For this application its less than optimal healthiness is not a major concern since he'll be eating so little of it in each serving of berries.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          butterfat RE: greygarious May 27, 2012 06:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yay to some things I tried because they were recommended upthread:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Paglierini (sp?) cheese (I believe it is the spotlight cheese right now, at least at my store), the Shiraz-soaked Toscano cheese, and the Reduced Fat Cheese Puffs. I never buy anything Reduced Fat, but these are totally solid and are satisfying my pregnancy cravings for something ridiculous and trashily cheesy without making me feel as gross as Munchies mix does.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yay for the bags of Jazz "snacking" apples. Perfect size for my 3 year old and so crisp and yummy. They haven't been in stock the past couple weeks but if they have them I will always buy them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yay for the Dolmas (in the refrigerator section) and the Falafel (in the freezer section). These are reliable and just taste the way they should (even if they are nothing spectacular), and I really like having them on hand in the summer to have with cold salads and dips.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: butterfat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Dommy RE: butterfat Jun 1, 2012 01:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I really liked the italian runny cheesecheese. More buttery than funky... Look forward to more of their spotlight cheeses...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            --Dommy!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ummm RE: greygarious May 28, 2012 10:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tofu edamame nuggets - like! Thought it'd come with a sauce (the picture suggested so) but it didn't (and if you read the fine print below the picture, it did say it is not included...) Taste pretty good as is without sauce, but I think it'd also go well with a variety of Asian sauces like soy, plum, sweet chili (maybe even the toasted sesame salad dressing I have bought elsewhere!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Also like the dark chocolate covered pomegranate seeds, a combo of sweet (but not too sweet) and tart, and slightly crunchy due to the seeds.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ummm
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              robin_o RE: Ummm May 30, 2012 10:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Tofu edamame nuggets do sound interesting...are they frozen or refrigerated or what? Where do they put them out in the store?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: robin_o
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                gmm RE: robin_o May 30, 2012 10:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                They are frozen. I just picked up a couple more bags today. If you're familiar with Japanese food, I'd say they are the TJ's version of Ganmodoki.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ALITIN RE: greygarious May 29, 2012 06:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yey to the Pumpernickel prezzels

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. gmm RE: greygarious May 30, 2012 10:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Just tried the refrigerated crab dip today. The package advertises 35% crab, and yes, you can see a good amount of crab. The bad news is that you can't taste it at all. It's has a mayo/pickle/celery flavor, but if I didn't know it was crab dip, I would have no idea based on the taste. Nay.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: gmm
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  thursday RE: gmm Jun 10, 2012 08:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tried the crab dip myself today, and a Yay from me. There were giant hunks of crab in my container, and though it was a bit mayonaisse-y, I could definitely taste crab. Great with the multigrain crackers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. trolley RE: greygarious May 31, 2012 07:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Nay- to the Soughdough pretzels. although if you ever wanted to taste a plastic bag in a hardened edible form this may be for you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Nay- Soba noodle salad in the fresh salad section. Once again i was tricked by the calories/per serving (there's 2 servings in it so at a glance it seems very low in calories) so totally my fault here. The soba noodles were good. they're somewhat al dente and i like the edamame but not enough. what i couldn't get over was the slimy texture of the dressing. it also tasted a bit too salty and not enough complexity in the flavor of the dressing. the chicken pieces were bland and had the texture of processed meat. i think this salad would have been great if they used pressed tofu to give it more depth in flavor.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: trolley
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    givemecarbs RE: trolley Jun 1, 2012 03:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My dog would not even eat those pretzels trolley, and she is not a picky eater. The vanilla chai coffee was a fail for me. Two hours after drinking two thirds of a cup I still had the taste in my mouth. ugh. And I am not fussy about coffee.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I do have some almond croissants in my freezer. If they are anything like the choc ones I'll be very happy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: givemecarbs
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      chinchi RE: givemecarbs Jun 1, 2012 07:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      They have almond croissants now?! Going on my list now. Please update once you've baked them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I purchased the Vanilla Chai coffee after another chowhound's rec and we like it. Reminds me of the Wintry Blend TJ's offers during the holiday season. But yes, it is a strongly spiced coffee.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chinchi
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        givemecarbs RE: chinchi Jun 2, 2012 12:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The almond croissants were just as I hoped and dreamed. What a rush it was to wake up and find those plump little darlings just waiting to be popped into my convection toaster oven. They even had almond slivers on top. The box instructions suggested generously sprinkling the warm croissants with powdered sugar but that seems like gilding the lily.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Next time, if I can trust myself I'm thinking of getting a box of chocolate and a box of almond croissants and baking up two of each to make my own variety pack. But that would require restraint.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Trolley I pamper my pup with raw chicken, sometimes from TJ's. She loves it! (go figure)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: givemecarbs
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          chinchi RE: givemecarbs Jun 2, 2012 04:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thank you for the report! I'm happy to hear they are just as good as the other frozen varieties.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: givemecarbs
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            thursday RE: givemecarbs Jun 2, 2012 11:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            These are going to be the death of me. I can usually resist the charms of Trader Joe's "fun" foods, but almond croissants are my favorite thing on earth, and those chocolate croissants are so good as to have converted me into a chocolate person, which I am not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thank God for proofing time. If I can just stay strong each evening at bedtime I might survive! If they were microwaveable I'd be a goner.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              GraceW RE: thursday Jun 3, 2012 05:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I am not sure if you have a WHF in your area, but they also have fresh almond croissants daily--you can buy them individually (and due to former employment, I can 100% say they are legit 'fresh' each morning). :o)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: givemecarbs
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              gnomatic RE: givemecarbs Jun 11, 2012 02:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ditto..thanks for the heads up on the Almond Croissant! I wouldn't have noticed them otherwise.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              They plumped up very nicely overnight. I am not even a fan of Almond Croissants, and they were delicious. I did find the filling a bit too sweet for my taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: givemecarbs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                MisterBill2 RE: givemecarbs Jun 24, 2012 08:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Glad to hear the almond croissants are great as we just bought them today. We've been big fans of the chocolate croissants for a while now but my daughter does not eat chocolate (a source of embarrassment :) ) and loves almond croissants, which she buys at Fairway. Now she can join us for weekend warm from the oven croissants.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Interestingly, on the receipt, the almond croissants rang up as "Dessert Almond Croissants". The chocolate ones just say "Frozen Chocolate Croissants".

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  brilynn79 RE: MisterBill2 Jun 25, 2012 02:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Can't wait to try the almond, had the chocolate ones today. They were so good. Love the idea about mixing the two for variety.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. re: givemecarbs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              trolley RE: givemecarbs Jun 1, 2012 08:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              givemecarbs, your dog must have discriminating taste. i don't blame your dog. i wouldn't eat them even if i were a squirrel. the chai coffee! oh forgot about a big NAY on that one. they were sampling it one day and i didn't really look at what kind of coffee they were serving. at first taste i thought someone had dumped old lady perfume into the vat. blah!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                robin_o RE: givemecarbs Jun 1, 2012 11:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Since I love the frozen chocolate croissants, but thought the non-frozen were terrible, I wondered which the almond croissants are...Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: givemecarbs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  emily RE: givemecarbs Jun 6, 2012 09:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks for the heads-up on the almond croissants -- mine didn't turn out as flakey as the regular croissants, but the almond filling is delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: emily
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    givemecarbs RE: emily Jun 11, 2012 02:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have got to get me some more of these. They are calling my name!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: givemecarbs
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    mrsjoujou RE: givemecarbs Jun 17, 2012 12:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I didn't care for the almond croissants at all. The texture was way off. It was not flakey or crisp at all and the paste was on the sweet side. I much prefer the plain and then the chocolate ones to this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: trolley
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    littleflower RE: trolley Jun 1, 2012 12:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Have to "yay" your witty humor on the description of the Sourdough pretzels...due to your review and others after you I am not going to put this one on my list!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      trolley RE: littleflower Jun 1, 2012 04:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      littleflower, thanks but my attempt at humor is literal. it really tasted like the plastic bag it came in!!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    littleflower RE: greygarious Jun 1, 2012 12:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yays:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Carmelized Onion Dip - loved this one, but must say that you need to really like the taste of onions because it is very onion-y in flavor - much more so that the standard sour cream and onion dip. Yay on this one due to tasting homemade not store-bought and a nice consistency. Would buy again and serve to guests.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Salted Popped Potato Chips - reviewed the barbecue flavor of popped potato chips a few weeks back but we like this one even more. Great on their own, with the carmelized onion dip (surprising they held up well and did not break when dipping!), and really good with freshly ground black pepper sprinkled over them - salt and pepper chips!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Mini Party-Sized Frozen Meatballs - family came in town to visit and loved these - made of pork and beef - turned out better in the oven than microwave (not much of a surprise).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Okay - Bella Napoli 4 pack mini pepperoni pizzas - great cheese, sauce, pepperoni with good flavor and a good spice, but crust cooked inconsistently (outer crust overcooked but bottom crust did not get crispy). Overall not bad for frozen little pizzas but can't quite qualify with a yay.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. GraceW RE: greygarious Jun 1, 2012 12:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ya/Nay--Freeze dried grapes--too good. taste like candy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ya/Nay--Fancy berry Melody--I have purchased this before, but I will say despite that it is tasty: it has only about 4 strawberries which is somewhat sad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Nay--Pom & blackberry tea unsweetened (in a bottle)--bland. You could probably get something more flavorful from a tea bag (which I probably knew beforehand anyway).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      FYI: They said they no longer carry the Kimchi in a bag.. which was superb since that is what I went there for....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. greygarious RE: greygarious Jun 2, 2012 04:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The blue cheese pecan dip may not be new but I'd never noticed it before. I found it a little strong on the cheese, and lacking in pecans, while thinnish in texture. I was happy, though, once I doctored it by adding neufchatel cream cheese and a dollop of Stonewall Farms Roasted Garlic and Onion Jam (not a TJ item). That way, very good with celery sticks.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          John Francis RE: greygarious Jun 4, 2012 04:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It's astonishing - nearly all of the 368 posts in this thread are about snacks and desserts. Doesn't anybody here eat real food? I'd appreciate some posts about vegetables, meat, and fish suitable for a main course.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I eat a lot of TJ's frozen vegetables and like them, both plain and prepped; also the frozen fish. Don't eat that much meat, but their chicken sausages in various flavors and the turkey meatballs are pleasing. Their rice and pasta seem to me as good as any in the supermarkets. Their breads are as good as any and priced lower than the national brands - they were a standby until I returned to baking my own. But I'm always looking for new things to try. Let's hear about them!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: John Francis
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Rilke RE: John Francis Jun 4, 2012 05:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            They have a frozen meal with cod, ratatouille and rice that is one of my favorite frozen meals ever. The cod is not pre-cooked: It actually cooks in the microwave.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Produce Addict RE: Rilke Jun 13, 2012 05:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              strong rave for this. they also have a similar salmon--it isnt as good. the cod is great!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: John Francis
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              trolley RE: John Francis Jun 4, 2012 07:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ok, John Francis- i have posted YAY's about meats before but not in this quarter. i usually only post what i find new to the store and not so much new to me....so here i go.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              NAY- chicken meatballs (theres two and i had the dried tomato and cheese flavor) in the meat section. i thought they were way too salty.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              YAY- broccoli slaw and packaged organic broccoli. so easy in a pinch. i usually buy broccoli from the farmers market but when I'm out in the mid week these items work.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              YAY- organic baby carrots.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              YAY- to the kosher organic chicken thighs. i'm very careful when buying meat from TJ's as i've had some bad experiences but i cooked this one right away in a curry and it was perfect. oh and did i tell you i don't like thigh meat?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: trolley
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                John Francis RE: trolley Jun 5, 2012 06:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thank you - this is helpful. For those like me for whom running around to a half dozen specialty vendors is hardly possible, and who need to depend on one or two conveniently located stores, the more I can get from those stores the more varied my meals will be. And since I'm concerned about my health controlling my weight, I hardly buy snacks and sweets at all,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: John Francis
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Val RE: John Francis Jun 5, 2012 06:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Frozen Bainghan Bharta is very good, must say! Tried it recently! Baby carrots? Why not just buy their ORGANIC WHOLE carrots @ .89 per pound...much better! Also their organic fresh broccoli cannot be had anywhere else for $2.69 per bunch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: John Francis
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                paulj RE: John Francis Jun 4, 2012 09:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I mostly buy staples - but there isn't much point in posting a quarterly yea-nay on something that I've been buying for the last 3 years (eggs, flour, cream, frozen green beans, lb+ 72% chocolate etc). So I'm not surprised by most of the posts. There's more turn over in these impulse items, as well as more chance of some being good, and others a miss.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  thursday RE: paulj Jun 4, 2012 09:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  +1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: John Francis
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Dommy RE: John Francis Jun 4, 2012 10:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Someone else pointed this out... and I didn't think it needed to be said, but I guess it does...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Although I love my Trader Joes...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Most of my Meat comes from real butchers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Most of my seafood comes from fish mongers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Most of my produce/fruit comes from farmers markets

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Most of my dairy items come from local dairies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Most of my bread comes from my local bakery.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  All that is pretty much left is snacky items and the occasional packaged salad because I don't have a full kitchen at my job, which I must have to afford everything above...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: John Francis
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    elise h RE: John Francis Jun 5, 2012 01:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hi John, I feel the same way. I prefer "real food"! Two frozen itemsI recently discovered and love, although they might not be new TJ items:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Misto alla Griglia marinated grilled eggplant & zucchini-This is about $4 for 1 pound, which may seem pricey. Try it and it will be worth every penny. I don't have a grill or even a gas stove. This is as close as it gets and it is marvelous grill flavor. I just let them defrost at room temp over and hour, cut and toss into salads.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. country potatoes, mushrooms and green beans - I don't remember the exact name. I was dubious of how good this could be, but the flavors shine and the several kinds of mushrooms are abundant. The amount of effort to make this from scratch and to get as good results makes this a real keeper.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hope you enjoy them!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      John Francis RE: elise h Jun 6, 2012 03:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Both of those sound good to me. I'll see if my local TJ's stocks them. Thanks!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        John Francis RE: John Francis Jun 12, 2012 06:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I've just tried the country potatoes. Delicious! I wouldn't have recognized them from greygarious's description; For me the garlic is just right, and the dish isn't oily at all. But I only made half of a package, and if there are sauce pellets in the other half that didn't make it to the pan this time,.. Well, we'll see.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        mrsjoujou RE: elise h Jun 6, 2012 09:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I didn't care for the grilled eggplant and zucchini. I felt it had more zucchini than eggplant and the texture was not great.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I purchased the country potatoes per your recommendation and I will try it soon.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          greygarious RE: mrsjoujou Jun 11, 2012 05:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I will not buy the country potatoes again. Garlic overpowers the other flavors. In itself, I would not mind that, but there is just way too much oil in this combination.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        littleflower RE: John Francis Jun 8, 2012 12:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Here are a few yay/nays you may find helpful...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        NAY: Uncured Chicken Hot Dogs - void of flavor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        YAY: Sweet Italian Sausage Links

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        YAY: Organic Frozen Strawberries - delicious and will use in the off-season as well as in smoothies

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        YAY: Frozen Artichoke Hearts - LOVE these...they defrost quickly (in one minute under runnning water) then microwave for ~2-3 min. and done. We toss with a homemade viniagrette for a great side dish.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          noya RE: littleflower Jun 25, 2012 05:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          the organic frozen strawberries are good--but compare them side by side to Whole Foods' version. You may find that they're inferior, like we did.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        silleehillee RE: greygarious Jun 11, 2012 12:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        If you like green tea, the TJ green tea mints are fantastic. It's not too sweet and has a good green tea flavor with a slight mint taste for $1.99.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm already hoarding 5 boxes in case they don't restock. Is that going a bit far?

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Rilke RE: silleehillee Jun 11, 2012 05:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Not at all -- I love these as well and buy them in large quantities at a time. Same with the uncrystallized ginger.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            givemecarbs RE: silleehillee Jun 11, 2012 01:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Those mints sound amazing. Would I find them with the candy bars do you think?

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Rilke RE: givemecarbs Jun 11, 2012 02:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              They are in the checkout lines with the little sweets. Small square green tin, about 2x2 inches, clear plastic window in the lid so you can see the leaf-shaped mints.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                givemecarbs RE: Rilke Jun 12, 2012 09:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks Rilke! They sound perfect!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Briek RE: greygarious Jun 13, 2012 10:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Some recent discoveries...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Big Yea to the Tofu Edamame Nuggets.. we are meat eaters in our house but we loved these. They got so crispy in the oven. Will definitely be purchasing again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Big Yea to the Pappardelle Pasta with Chicken & Mushroom Mascarpone Sauce. This was really, really good. Really big chunks of white meat chicken in a delicous sauce. Hopefully this one sticks around for a bit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Big Yea to the Coconut Water ice pops.. again very refreshing and delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Big Yea for the goat cheese with honey... delicious on roasted figs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Medium-Size Yea for sliced spanish cheeses (there are 3 kinds in the package)... 2 out of the 3 tasted exactly the same to me. Would make for an easy prep for appetizer plate. Would (maybe) buy again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Huge Nay for Trader Ming's Citrus Glazed Chicken... bad quality chicken and veggies.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              christy319 RE: greygarious Jun 14, 2012 12:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Big thumbs down to the reduced guilt stuffed shells. The cheese is inedibly chewy by the time the stuffing is done. The sauce has a strange bitter taste. And, you only get 2 shells--hardly a lunch.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Rilke RE: christy319 Jun 14, 2012 12:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Stuffed shells are nothing to mess around with!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                shaebones RE: greygarious Jun 14, 2012 11:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                These quarterly TJ threads are endlessly long. Takes ages to dowload in my "dial up" connection @ the Maine house. What do folks think about doing a monthly TJ thread instead?

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  marti RE: shaebones Jun 15, 2012 12:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Great Idea!!!! At same time,get the chowhound team toput a lock on this thread so it does not continue! Go for it!!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    trolley RE: marti Jun 15, 2012 05:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    great idea. sometimes i'd like to refer a YAY and have to open each post just to get to what i wanted.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Rilke RE: trolley Jun 15, 2012 06:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Couldn't you "expand all" and ctrl+f?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Not that I'm against the monthly thread idea :P

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        trolley RE: Rilke Jun 15, 2012 08:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        sure, i could go back to the thread and expand all but i still have to go thru each one to kind of figure out who said what if you know what i mean.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Rilke RE: trolley Jun 15, 2012 08:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yup, I gotcha.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    John Francis RE: shaebones Jun 16, 2012 03:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    For me, it's more convenient to search a single large thread than open three threads one after another and search each of them - or try to remember which one to look in.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Dommy RE: John Francis Jun 16, 2012 11:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Agreed... although I am not a fan of unwieldy threads, this one rarely goes off tangents & I like being able to keep an eye on one thread. What is going to happen is that there will be duplicate items. Then, someone will reply to one from last month. And then someone will post to the current month wondering why no one has mentioned it. & then, someone will mention it was talked about two months before...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      --Dommy!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        trolley RE: Dommy Jun 16, 2012 03:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        very true...ok, i'm still down for the quarterly thread!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      noya RE: shaebones Jun 25, 2012 05:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      agree--great idea. Moderators, would this be possible?