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

For April-June.

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  1. 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

      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

        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. 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

          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

            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

              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

                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

                  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

                    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

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

                      1. re: mattstolz

                        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

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

                          1. re: GraceW

                            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

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

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              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

                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

                  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

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

                  1. re: mattstolz

                    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

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

                      1. re: mattstolz

                        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

                          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

                            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

                            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

                              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. 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

                    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

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

                    2. re: rizzo0904

                      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

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

                        1. re: noya

                          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

                            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. 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

                        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

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

                          www.clubtraderjoes.com

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

                          1. 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

                              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

                                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

                                  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

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

                                1. re: janethepain

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

                                2. 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

                                    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

                                      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

                                        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

                                          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. 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

                                        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

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

                                          1. re: noya

                                            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

                                              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. 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

                                            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

                                              +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. 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

                                              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

                                                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

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

                                                2. 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

                                                    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

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

                                                      1. re: elise h

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

                                                      2. re: chops888

                                                        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

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

                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                            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

                                                            Their cheese enchiladas are part of my regular rotation.

                                                            1. re: chops888

                                                              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

                                                                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

                                                                  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

                                                                    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

                                                                      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. 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

                                                                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

                                                                  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

                                                                    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

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

                                                                2. 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

                                                                    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!

                                                                  2. 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

                                                                      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

                                                                        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

                                                                          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

                                                                            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

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

                                                                              1. re: phxjcc

                                                                                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

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

                                                                                2. re: phxjcc

                                                                                  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

                                                                                    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

                                                                                    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

                                                                                      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

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

                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                          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

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

                                                                                      1. re: sciencediet

                                                                                        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: sciencediet

                                                                                          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

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

                                                                                            1. re: Firenzilla

                                                                                              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

                                                                                                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

                                                                                                  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

                                                                                                    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

                                                                                                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

                                                                                              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

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

                                                                                                1. re: chez cherie

                                                                                                  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

                                                                                            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. 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. 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

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

                                                                                                1. re: Rilke

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

                                                                                                2. re: mcel215

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

                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

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

                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                      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

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

                                                                                                        www.saffron215.blogspot.com

                                                                                                    2. re: mcel215

                                                                                                      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

                                                                                                        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

                                                                                                          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

                                                                                                            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

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

                                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                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

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

                                                                                                          2. re: Ummm

                                                                                                            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. 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

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

                                                                                                          2. 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. 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

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

                                                                                                              2. 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. 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

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

                                                                                                                    1. re: Val

                                                                                                                      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: Val

                                                                                                                          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

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

                                                                                                                            1. re: Firenzilla

                                                                                                                              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

                                                                                                                                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

                                                                                                                                  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

                                                                                                                                    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

                                                                                                                                      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

                                                                                                                                      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

                                                                                                                                        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

                                                                                                                                          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

                                                                                                                                          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

                                                                                                                                            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

                                                                                                                                              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

                                                                                                                                              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

                                                                                                                                              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.

                                                                                                                              2. 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

                                                                                                                                  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

                                                                                                                                    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

                                                                                                                                      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. :(

                                                                                                                                      1. re: vttp926

                                                                                                                                        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

                                                                                                                                          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

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

                                                                                                                                            1. re: vttp926

                                                                                                                                              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

                                                                                                                                      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 :)

                                                                                                                                      1. re: coney with everything

                                                                                                                                        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

                                                                                                                                          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

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

                                                                                                                                            1. re: coney with everything

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

                                                                                                                                      2. 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

                                                                                                                                          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

                                                                                                                                            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

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

                                                                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

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

                                                                                                                                                1. re: goodeatsgal

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

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

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

                                                                                                                                            2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                              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.

                                                                                                                                            3. 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!

                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: Ummm

                                                                                                                                                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.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                  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. 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

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

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Rilke

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

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                      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

                                                                                                                                                        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

                                                                                                                                                          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

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

                                                                                                                                                    --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Dommy

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

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                      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. 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

                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mattstolz

                                                                                                                                                        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

                                                                                                                                                          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.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mattstolz

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

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                            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. 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

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

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Rilke

                                                                                                                                                                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

                                                                                                                                                                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

                                                                                                                                                                  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

                                                                                                                                                                    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

                                                                                                                                                                  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.

                                                                                                                                                                3. 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

                                                                                                                                                                    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

                                                                                                                                                                      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

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

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                          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. 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?

                                                                                                                                                                        1. 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

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

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Rilke

                                                                                                                                                                              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

                                                                                                                                                                                lol @ "accidently found them to be perfect"

                                                                                                                                                                          2. 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.

                                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: christy319

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

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Firenzilla

                                                                                                                                                                                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.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: christy319

                                                                                                                                                                                  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.)

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ummm

                                                                                                                                                                                    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.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. 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.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. 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.

                                                                                                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: butterfat

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

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: christy319

                                                                                                                                                                                    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).

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: butterfat

                                                                                                                                                                                    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?

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                      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

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

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mattstolz

                                                                                                                                                                                        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

                                                                                                                                                                                          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

                                                                                                                                                                                    3. 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. 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

                                                                                                                                                                                          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

                                                                                                                                                                                            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

                                                                                                                                                                                              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

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

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. 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

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

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ummm

                                                                                                                                                                                              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.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                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

                                                                                                                                                                                                  in our store they're above the frozen pizzas

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ummm

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

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. 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

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Rilke

                                                                                                                                                                                                  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

                                                                                                                                                                                                  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

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Ummm

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mattstolz

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ummm

                                                                                                                                                                                                          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

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. 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!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. 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.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. 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
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: christy319

                                                                                                                                                                                                          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

                                                                                                                                                                                                            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

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. 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

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. 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. 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. Has anyone had the new Crimson Blossom Green Tea?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    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.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    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.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: manhattanmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      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.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: manhattanmom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        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. 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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        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

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: clubtraderjoes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            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.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: toopie28

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              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. 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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: clubtraderjoes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              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. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: clubtraderjoes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                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: clubtraderjoes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          that. is. awesome.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          too bad its not offseason right now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          oh wait. yes it is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: GraceW

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ummm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              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

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        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. another yay:

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. 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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          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.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Rilke

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            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.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: toopie28

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: violin

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: violin

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. 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.

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. 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.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. 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. 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. 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.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. 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. 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.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: puzzler

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

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sesameseed

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                +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.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: gmm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  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).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    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. 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.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Vetter

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

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    They go by the name of Almondina. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chompy

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. 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. 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.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. 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)!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          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.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            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

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: opinionatedchef

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

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Steve
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              www.clubtraderjoes.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: clubtraderjoes

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Val

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  guilty pleasure ftw

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mattstolz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    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.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      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!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mattstolz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          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!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Val

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. 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.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. 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.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: solarstar

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        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.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Expat1234

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          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.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: robin_o

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mcel215

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's really uncanny how good these croissants are.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: opinionatedchef

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. 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.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. 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.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: littleflower

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Rilke

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    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.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Rilke

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      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!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      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.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        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!

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mrsgray

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. 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.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. just bought TJ Spanish EVOO, tastless.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: cstr

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Rilke

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    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

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I agree. The California Estate tastes very fresh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Another fan of the California Estate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. 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.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    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

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. 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. 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.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. 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.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            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.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              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.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. 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.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: butterfat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I really liked the italian runny cheesecheese. More buttery than funky... Look forward to more of their spotlight cheeses...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. 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.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ummm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                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.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Yey to the Pumpernickel prezzels

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. 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.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: gmm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  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. 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