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Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - April 2013 [OLD]

Lots of great discussion on TJ's products in March - over 400 posts! Let's continue it here on the April 2013 yay/nay thread...

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    1. YAY: TJ's Uncured Spiral Cut Ham - after trying a sample of it we decided to buy one to prepare for our Easter main dish. The ham was delicious and we're going to buy another one to keep in the freezer since TJ's "ham season" only comes twice a year - Easter and Christmastime.

      MEH: Vegetable Radiatore Pasta (dry pasta - the one with all the different pasta colors). Tasted just okay - left us with kind of a heavy feeling in our tummies. Don't think this is one we'll repurchase.

      17 Replies
      1. re: littleflower

        Regarding the hams, I have seen them at a big discount after Easter. I think it may have been $1.50 a pound or so.

        1. re: chompy

          Thanks for the tip, chompy...we hope to head over to TJ's tomorrow and crossing my fingers that they still have some hams left!

        2. re: littleflower

          I bought the TJ's Uncured Spiral Cut Ham because of my fellow hounds recommendations and as usual hounds did not steer me wrong. Served the ham on Easter with some huge sweet potatoes from TJs and a bodacious amount of asparagus (from Costco) for an easy and wonderful meal. I used the glaze mix as well.
          Thanks for the tip, I probably would have gone with Costco ham steaks if I had not seen the glowing reviews.

          1. re: givemecarbs

            Woohoo glad you enjoyed the TJ's ham givemecarbs! I appreciated that their ham didn't taste overly salty like most spiral cut hams...in fact I added just a dash more of sea salt which was the perfect amount for me. The best part are all the leftovers we now have for ham and egg omelets, ham biscuits, and what we call late night refrigerator "pig pickin'" right off the bone!

            1. re: littleflower

              Ha! Sounds similar to what we call "chicken pickin'" :-D

              1. re: Rilke

                Oh I've been known to do that too (chicken pickin' off the bone) - am famous for raiding the refrigerator late at night for happy leftovers. Even better that the phrase rhymes!

              2. re: littleflower

                Thanks littleflower. Leftover ham is so much fun. I need to make another TJs run tomorrow and I'm planning on buying the wide egg noodles in the dried pasta section and some jarred alfredo sauce and adding ham chunks and tjs frozen peas. Maybe I'll grab some garlic bread too.
                If I delay much longer though, that ham will be gone!!!

                1. re: givemecarbs

                  Made an incredible ham omellette tonight using leftover TJ's spiral cut ham...SO GOOD!

                  BTW Chompy...asked our TJ's and they only have the larger hams left for 3.50/pd! We do not have the freezer space unfortunately for the larger one (we bought the smaller one for Easter). I need to call the other TJ's which is about a half hour away to see if they still have any smaller hams left (and hopefully at a discounted price)!

            2. re: littleflower

              I liked the ham too, and I am not a ham eater!

              I love the vegetable radiatore! It makes a fantastic pasta salad, and the shape is really excellent for holding onto sauce.

              1. re: littleflower

                My daughter loves the pasta. Eats it one color at a time. I don't eat it, but she seems to love it.

                1. re: cheesecake17

                  Okay, with two others on this board saying that they love the vegetable radiatore, I think to be fair I need to give this one another shot. We did not use it in a pasta salad, I think perhaps we would have enjoyed it more if it was used in that dish with a viniagrette dressing similar to the good ol' Suddenly Salad's boxed pasta salad my mom used to prepare!

                  1. re: littleflower

                    Is the pasta supposed to have any flavor to it?

                    I've never had a pasta that really tasted like much of anything, with the exception homemade pasta. Its just kinda bland and absorbs the flavor of the sauce.

                    1. re: Mellicita

                      The vegetable radiatore is tri-color; the green is my favorite because it is spinach-flavored!

                2. re: littleflower

                  I bought one of their smallest quarter hams. It was truly really yummy. The glaze was a tad too clove-y for me, so I went and added a little maple syrup to the glaze when it was heating. It toned it down. I had ham coming out of my ears for the past 4 days, but it made fantastic lunches and dinners for me!

                  1. re: chowing kat

                    So glad to hear that you enjoyed the TJ's ham, chowing kat! It was the best ham I have ever tasted, and yes the glaze was a tad smoky-tasting (like they somehow smoked the glaze?) to us but we added a sprinkling of brown sugar (similar to you adding the maple syrup) and that made all the difference.

                    We still have ham left despite using the leftovers since Sunday, so we are going to freeze the rest of it in multi-packs so if we want an omelette - we can just pull out 2 slices versus having to thaw out the whole lot.

                    1. re: littleflower

                      We had a quarter ham for a third straight year last Sunday. I love that it is well-trimmed, has terrific flavor, and is an ideal size for us. We've got several ham packages in the freezer for a couple of different quick dishes. So happy that others enjoyed this!

                      1. re: nikkihwood

                        This is killing me. I really want to buy one of these & freeze it in small packs but the last time I did this, it lasted more than a year. I'm already trying to use up all the little tasty bits we have stashed in the freezer and can't really justify stuffing it with another big item.

                        Enjoy some ham for me! :-)

                3. meh: Dark chocolate covered espresso beans. I love chocolate covered coffee beans, but these have the ratio way too unbalanced in favor of waxy dark chocolate.

                  yay: Kona coffee dipped shortbread cookies. They're just so good. I do wish the glaze was a little less sweet, but seeing as they're only half-covered, it balances out OK.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: alliaphagist

                    I love their shortbread with the chocolate dots in the middle; will have to try the Kona shortbread.

                  2. YAY for their almond coffee cake,on a table full of fresh baked items.It is like an almond croissant. DON'T nuke it, quarter it and warm a portion for about 5minutes, the other portions will go quickly

                    1. NAY: Crunchy Peanut Butter Granola Bars - One of my go-to snacks has been the Nature Valley Crunchy Peanut Butter Granola Bars and was looking for a substitute with slightly healthier ingredients. The TJ's version fails to deliver in that PB goodness...and most of the time I can finish off whatever product I bought in an effort not to waste but after 1/2 of a TJ's PB bar I couldn't go back for another bite.

                      This is unfortunate because the NV PB bars have yellow corn flour in their ingredients while TJ's version does not.