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Trader Joe's Yea/Nay Thread - December 2012 [OLD]

Okay, I'll start the thread since it's already December 4 and nobody else has!

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  1. YEA - Cubed butternut squash (produce section). I absolutely hate cutting a whole butternut squash, and TJ's precut is so much cheaper than at my local Ralph's.

    3 Replies
    1. re: aching

      all right! thanks! i know there's been a lot of YAY's on the chicken samosas already but here's another yay. so easy and not as caloric as the restaurant version. This post got me thinking so I fired up a few and noticed the meat is a bit too crumbly for my liking but it still tastes ok.

      1. re: aching

        Also love butternut but hate prepping it. You may already know about this, but just in case it helps someoneā€¦

        For applications where the squash is just going to be blended or mashed in the end it was a time and effort saving revelation to learn you can just throw the whole squash in the oven for 90 minutes, let cool, and then effortlessly scoop out the seeds and flesh from the completely softened skin.

        Don't even pierce it, just lay on a rimmed sheet or roasting pan to catch any juices that may leak out.

        1. re: aching

          I like the cubed squash too. So fast and convenient. I served mine with rack of pork and mashed potatoes. There were leftover squash and potatoes so a coupla days later I made potato squash pancakes. They turned out delicious.

        2. I was really happy to find whole, pre brined organic chicken for $2.99 per lb at TJ's in E. Northport, NY. Saves a step I often lack time for when I decide to make it.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mcf

            Post script: made it last night and it was really, REALLY good. Will be a new staple unless it disappears like too many other products I've liked there.

          2. Nay- Dark chocolate peanut butter salted caramel truffles. It is too sweet.

            1. Yea - Artisan Puff Pastry Sheets (freezer section). They contain only pronounceable ingredients, defrost quickly, are a great value and taste great.

              YEA! - Dark Chocolate Almond Toffee candies (in 2 oz bags near checkout lanes). Crunchy, slightly salty, caramel-y, chocolatey awesomeness.

              Nay - Dark Chocolate Caramallows (boxed candy). They had a great texture and the caramel/chocolate/marshmallow balance was good, too - but they also had a distinct hay/grassy flavor that was off-putting.

              2 Replies
              1. re: hanaumamama

                I won't be trying the Dark Chocolate Caramallows--due to your NAY and also last year their MINTY mallows tasted bad to me.. a bad texture and toothpaste-flavored.

                1. re: GraceW

                  I'll give another nay on dark chocolate mint marshmallows - way too "chewy".

              2. yea: peppermint macarons. Not as fabulous as the pumpkin macarons but good. Peppermint cookie filled with dark chocolate mint ganache. The ganache is a little thicker and firmer than the pumpkin filling, making the macaron seem heavier, is my only complaint.

                nay: coconut strips. My store was out of the coconut chips which I absolutely LOVE (clerk said they were just out of stock, not discontinued. whew!), but I was in the mood for something coconut so got the strips instead. Thick, chewy strips of sweetened coconut. Flavor is just not there, bland and overly sweet, and I don't like the chewy texture. The sweet/salty combo and crunch of the coconut chips is much better.

                2 Replies
                1. re: stargazer77

                  I was going to Meh the peppermint macarons. I think it may be time to face up to the fact that I just don't like macarons that much. Unless they're made by Pierre Herme.

                  1. re: Savour

                    I love macarons but it was a big Nay in our house. Tasted like a breathmint - overpowered the ganache. The texture was OK, typical of frozen, like the Picard brand in France, but not good.