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

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littleflower Apr 1, 2013 12:29 AM

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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    littleflower RE: littleflower Apr 1, 2013 12:47 AM

    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
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      chompy RE: littleflower Apr 1, 2013 04:19 PM

      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
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        littleflower RE: chompy Apr 1, 2013 08:52 PM

        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
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        givemecarbs RE: littleflower Apr 1, 2013 08:29 PM

        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
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          littleflower RE: givemecarbs Apr 1, 2013 08:50 PM

          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
            Rilke RE: littleflower Apr 2, 2013 04:05 AM

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

            1. re: Rilke
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              littleflower RE: Rilke Apr 2, 2013 04:14 PM

              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
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              givemecarbs RE: littleflower Apr 2, 2013 06:57 PM

              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
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                littleflower RE: givemecarbs Apr 2, 2013 08:09 PM

                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
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            ohmyyum RE: littleflower Apr 2, 2013 12:09 PM

            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
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              cheesecake17 RE: littleflower Apr 2, 2013 07:20 PM

              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
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                littleflower RE: cheesecake17 Apr 2, 2013 08:05 PM

                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
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                  Mellicita RE: littleflower Apr 2, 2013 09:32 PM

                  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
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                    ohmyyum RE: Mellicita Apr 3, 2013 10:23 AM

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

              2. re: littleflower
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                chowing kat RE: littleflower Apr 3, 2013 08:48 PM

                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
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                  littleflower RE: chowing kat Apr 3, 2013 09:53 PM

                  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
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                    nikkihwood RE: littleflower Apr 4, 2013 09:27 PM

                    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
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                      1MunchieMonster RE: nikkihwood Apr 5, 2013 08:54 AM

                      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! :-)

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                alliaphagist RE: littleflower Apr 1, 2013 03:43 PM

                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
                  emily RE: alliaphagist Apr 3, 2013 06:46 AM

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

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                  51rich RE: littleflower Apr 1, 2013 04:51 PM

                  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

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                    littleflower RE: littleflower Apr 1, 2013 09:10 PM

                    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.

                    1. helen_m RE: littleflower Apr 2, 2013 08:07 AM

                      I love these threads, I'm new to the US and Trader Joe's so I've been reading back to find the gems.

                      These will all be old news to CHs but I've now tried and like:

                      California estate ev olive oil - green and peppery tasting, so good for the price. Great for dressings.

                      Greek yoghurt - TJs is the only place I've found whole milk greek yoghurt, most places have a few varieties of 2% fat but mostly it's all non fat.

                      Organic unsulphured dried apricots - these are deliciously chewy.

                      NAY to the unsweetened dried cherries though, these were horrible. I was sad, I love dried cherries but I can only find sweetened ones elsewhere.

                      17 Replies
                      1. re: helen_m
                        goodhealthgourmet RE: helen_m Apr 2, 2013 08:59 AM

                        I'm curious, what was "horrible" about the unsweetened cherries in your opinion? I love them. Then again, I'm always partial to less sweet items.

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                          helen_m RE: goodhealthgourmet Apr 2, 2013 09:05 AM

                          I think I was expecting them to be more tart but they were very sweet and a bit synthetic tasting.

                          1. re: helen_m
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                            Dan D RE: helen_m Apr 2, 2013 10:05 AM

                            Have you tried the dried pitted tart Montmorency cherries? I think they have a natural taste, though they include a little sugar and oil according to the label, and they are nicely tart.

                            1. re: Dan D
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                              cheesecake17 RE: Dan D Apr 2, 2013 07:18 PM

                              I love those! Especially in arugula salad.

                            2. re: helen_m
                              goodhealthgourmet RE: helen_m Apr 2, 2013 10:19 AM

                              Hmm. I wonder if you got a bad batch. Every so often I've found that packaged dried fruit tastes "off," almost plasticky as if it picked up something from the bag. Is that the synthetic type of flavor you mean?

                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                helen_m RE: goodhealthgourmet Apr 2, 2013 03:49 PM

                                I am willing to give them another go!

                                I have found another brand of cherries I like in Whole Foods - Eden Valley, these are sweetened with apple juice, but they're pretty expensive, I use a pack a week to make homemade almond and cherry granola.

                                1. re: helen_m
                                  goodhealthgourmet RE: helen_m Apr 2, 2013 07:00 PM

                                  I'd probably stick with the ones you like. I haven't bought the TJ's cherries in ages, so I guess there's a chance they've changed suppliers, and maybe they're not so good anymore! If I pick them up anytime soon I'll report back.

                                  1. re: helen_m
                                    NuMystic RE: helen_m Apr 4, 2013 10:44 PM

                                    I get my Eden Dried fruits (all juice sweetened) from Vitacost along with a number of other higher cost items as they're generally WAY cheaper than Whole Foods and have free shipping on $49+ orders.

                                    1. re: NuMystic
                                      coney with everything RE: NuMystic Apr 19, 2013 04:49 AM

                                      numystic, are you still buying Eden products?

                                      1. re: coney with everything
                                        NuMystic RE: coney with everything Apr 19, 2013 05:20 AM

                                        It's been a while since I've bought any, but still have quite a few in the pantry and fridge. Pickled daikon, seaweeds, dried cranberries, and some organic canned beans. Why do you ask Coney?

                                        Edit: Don't bother answering that, a quick Google News search just painted me a pretty clear picture. :-/

                                        1. re: NuMystic
                                          IndyGirl RE: NuMystic Apr 19, 2013 06:43 PM

                                          What?? What about Eden? I googled and didn't find anything. We buy their stuff all the time.

                                          1. re: IndyGirl
                                            NuMystic RE: IndyGirl Apr 19, 2013 06:52 PM

                                            IndyGirl being that it's a political issue I'd prefer not to respond in detail here but if you search Google News (not just regular Google) for "Eden Foods" you'll get a loooong list of articles.

                                          2. re: NuMystic
                                            IndyGirl RE: NuMystic Apr 19, 2013 06:46 PM

                                            Never mind... I was googling Eden Organics, and then tried Eden Foods. I see. Sigh. While I'm not at all pleased, at least it isn't some dangerous food issue---I'm pregnant and am really trying to avoid BPAs, but it's pretty hard for me to avoid things like canned beans as a vegetarian.

                                            1. re: IndyGirl
                                              NuMystic RE: IndyGirl Apr 19, 2013 07:00 PM

                                              Well that brings us back on topic then IndyGirl since TJ's canned beans are BPA free. :)

                                              1. re: NuMystic
                                                IndyGirl RE: NuMystic Apr 20, 2013 08:29 AM

                                                That's what I thought, and am relieved to have confirmed! Sorry for my little freakout. :)

                              2. re: helen_m
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                                littleflower RE: helen_m Apr 2, 2013 04:08 PM

                                Hi helen_m, I've seen your posts on the WFD threads - welcome to this board! You'll find a lot of good recommendations for products and also which ones to be a little cautious about.

                                I too love TJ's full fat greek yogurts...have you tried the Apricot Mango and Strawberry Vanilla kinds? They are both delicious!

                                1. re: littleflower
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                                  modthyrth RE: littleflower May 2, 2013 08:18 AM

                                  Oh man, the Apricot Mango yogurt is one of my favorite things in the world! It reminds me of making peach ice cream in the summer as a kid and getting to lick the dasher.

                              3. Savour RE: littleflower Apr 2, 2013 12:04 PM

                                Not a new product but new to me:
                                Yay to the Wasabi almonds. Totally addictive and infinitely superior to wasabi peas.

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                                  ohmyyum RE: littleflower Apr 2, 2013 03:12 PM

                                  Oh YAY! Has anyone tried the frozen Belgian waffles? Imported from Belgium, 4pk, $1.99.

                                  So good! I just had one, toasted, with mighty maple peanut butter and it was the perfect size for a snack. So light and airy! These have definitely earned a spot on my regular list.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: ohmyyum
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                                    littleflower RE: ohmyyum Apr 2, 2013 04:10 PM

                                    I have contemplated trying these in the past but after seeing your description of them, we'll be adding them to our TJ's cart during our next shopping session!

                                  2. helen_m RE: littleflower Apr 2, 2013 03:53 PM

                                    Not new but new to me is TJ's burrata - it's not the best I've ever had but it's really good value at $4.99 for 2 balls. It's deliciously creamy inside. Perfect for the roasted beetroot, burrata and mint salads that I'm addicted to.

                                    I know it's not their brand but I'm so glad they stock 71% cacao Valrhona - again, it's $2.99, loads cheaper than I could get it in London.

                                    1. emglow101 RE: littleflower Apr 2, 2013 05:05 PM

                                      Nay / The latin style black bean soup. I just can't get past the chalky taste. Awful.
                                      Yay / Red pepper and tomato soup

                                      7 Replies
                                      1. re: emglow101
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                                        littleflower RE: emglow101 Apr 2, 2013 05:16 PM

                                        I have heard very good things on Goya's brand of black bean soup. I am not sure of the quality of their ingredients compared to TJ's version but you may want to check this out.

                                        +1 on the Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup - I love to combine this with the Organic Creamy Tomato which is a great blend of creamy tomato with a little red pepper heat/kick to it!

                                        1. re: littleflower
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                                          LAWoman RE: littleflower Apr 9, 2013 03:28 PM

                                          The Goya brand is on a very regular rotation in our house. Love this stuff so much that I couldn't even bring myself to try the TJ brand!!

                                        2. re: emglow101
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                                          ohmyyum RE: emglow101 Apr 2, 2013 06:24 PM

                                          I liked the black bean soup but hated the texture and felt it needed a good bit of "tweaking." It was much improved with some canned no salt added black beans and TJs roasted corn. I topped it with shredded cheese, plain Greek yogurt, diced avocado, and chopped lettuce; and served it with the quinoa black bean chips on the side.

                                          1. re: ohmyyum
                                            NuMystic RE: ohmyyum Apr 4, 2013 10:38 PM

                                            Something about this reminds me of the old "stone soup" parable ohmyyum. :))

                                            1. re: NuMystic
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                                              Mellicita RE: NuMystic Apr 9, 2013 12:02 PM

                                              LOL! yes... however, I dont necessarily mind buying a product to use as a "base" to more quickly build a better meal. (it would take a while to soak beans, sautee the veggies, simmer, etc)

                                          2. re: emglow101
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                                            John Francis RE: emglow101 Apr 3, 2013 03:42 AM

                                            I like the black bean soup. Chacun a son gout.

                                            1. re: emglow101
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                                              DelishDi RE: emglow101 Apr 4, 2013 12:40 PM

                                              Agreed to both.

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                                              Mellicita RE: littleflower Apr 2, 2013 09:41 PM

                                              Forgot to mention in my post on the old thread.

                                              Yay, if you drink this sorta thing....for the "green plant green food beverage" , large nonrefrigerated plastic bottle. It looks horrifying, like you pulled up a bucket of slimey green swamp water! But it tastes like a pleasant viscous pear juice! I dont really drink a lot of juices, but if you like Naked Juice type drinks, this one is supposed to be chock full of wheat grass, spinach, and broccoli goodness.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: Mellicita
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                                                DelishDi RE: Mellicita Apr 4, 2013 12:40 PM

                                                These are way better than the ones sold in the regular grocery stores. Cheaper, too. Big thumbs up to the TJ juices in the plastic bottles.

                                                1. re: DelishDi
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                                                  cheesecake17 RE: DelishDi Apr 8, 2013 06:42 PM

                                                  Speaking of juice, we like the tart cherry juice and blueberry juice. Mixed with seltzer

                                              2. NuMystic RE: littleflower Apr 3, 2013 02:52 AM

                                                Massive YAY - Napa Cabbage Kimchi (pouch in same refrigerated section with salsa, hummus, guac and tofu)

                                                Being that I make my own kimchi and kraut at home, regularly shop at asian markets, and have had a great deal of Korean food over the years I was skeptical to say the least. Buy Kimchi at Trader Joe's… in a pouch???

                                                You bet your bimbibop!

                                                I want to thank all those that reviewed it well here as I would not likely have tried it otherwise. Now you can add my voice to that choir.

                                                Not sure if it's their addition of shiitake powder, or just getting the seasoning and ingredient balance just right but Trader Joe's Kimchi ROCKS! Rivals every jarred kimchi I've ever sampled and even tops most I've had in restaurants. Perfect balance of moderate heat, tart, salty, savory, generous garlic and that elusive umami that the mushroom is probably bringing to the party.

                                                This will definitely be a household staple that I can reach for when I'm between my own batches. (which may be longer periods now due to this blasted stuff!)

                                                If you have any interest in krauts or kimchi at all do go out and buy a pouch of this on your next visit. If for no other reason than to ensure that it doesn't get discontinued so I can continue buying it at TJ's. :)

                                                 
                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: NuMystic
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                                                  shoo bee doo RE: NuMystic Apr 3, 2013 06:54 AM

                                                  I totally agree with this assessment. I was very impressed with the kimchi. I eat a lot of homemade kimchi and buy a lot of different types. This will definitely become a regular.

                                                  1. re: NuMystic
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                                                    calmossimo RE: NuMystic Apr 3, 2013 07:00 PM

                                                    wow, thanks for the great review! i would have been skeptical of this as well, but it may go onto my shopping list for the next TJ's trip.

                                                    1. re: NuMystic
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                                                      DelishDi RE: NuMystic Apr 4, 2013 12:39 PM

                                                      I was a little worried about this, but I just got back from a shopping expedition at Trader Joe's and picked up the kimchi and had a bit for lunch. Definitely a YAY!

                                                      1. re: NuMystic
                                                        bagel20 RE: NuMystic Apr 18, 2013 06:45 PM

                                                        !!!!!!!!!! At first, I was skeptical. But now I'm no longer fearful because of your detailed review. Thank you.

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                                                        andieb RE: littleflower Apr 3, 2013 07:10 AM

                                                        Not new, but new to me, a friend bought the buttermilk biscuits in a can, and they were fantastic. When I went to pick some up, I also noticed one lone can of the cinnamon rolls. Snagged that and made for Easter morning. They are great! Not something you could make regularly but I highly recommend.

                                                        5 Replies
                                                        1. re: andieb
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                                                          cheesecake17 RE: andieb Apr 3, 2013 05:33 PM

                                                          I make "cheese Danish" out of the crescent rolls.

                                                          1. re: cheesecake17
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                                                            andieb RE: cheesecake17 Apr 4, 2013 05:36 AM

                                                            I'll try the crescent rolls next.. I am usually not a fan of any of these items, but the TJ's versions are just great. I'm raving, and they are probably made by Pillsbury.. lol...

                                                            1. re: andieb
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                                                              cheesecake17 RE: andieb Apr 4, 2013 05:44 AM

                                                              I've never tasted any other brand, but these were delicious. Husband LOVED them stuffed with mascarpone and blueberries.

                                                              1. re: andieb
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                                                                ohmyyum RE: andieb Apr 4, 2013 07:05 AM

                                                                My guess would have been immaculate baking company!

                                                                1. re: ohmyyum
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                                                                  winmeover RE: ohmyyum Apr 29, 2013 04:23 AM

                                                                  Immaculate's products tend to taste rancid to me. I buy them from WF. Not sure if it's a shipping/storage problem.
                                                                  TJ's versions are much fresher tasting to me.

                                                          2. BeeZee RE: littleflower Apr 4, 2013 10:32 AM

                                                            Nay - PB&J milk chocolate bar. No taste of "J" and the chocolate had a strange bitter taste. Actually threw half of it out, a rare feat for chocolate.
                                                            Yay - honey toasted almond slices...not overly sweet and I love tossing them into my plain greek yogurt,

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                                                              adrienne156 RE: littleflower Apr 5, 2013 11:25 AM

                                                              Nay - Smoked Wild Coho Salmon. I always thought Coho was one of the milder species and was expecting salty, butteriness but instead got mushy, fishy, and slightly bitter. I don't know if I keep making bad decisions or what, but I am now two for two on Trader Joe's salmon products (other being the jerky) so unless someone says otherwise I think I'm done.

                                                              Qualified Yay - Prob not new, but new to me - the "Brown Tomatoes" (Kumato?). Tomatoes are my favorite food and I usually mope through until summer, but decided to try these out and was pleasantly surprised. They are not at all acidic and actually quite sweet. I will buy these again.

                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: adrienne156
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                                                                51rich RE: adrienne156 Apr 5, 2013 12:24 PM

                                                                years ago tj had good smoked salmon, but nowadays i just go to fairway, even their pre-packed scottish is very good (their own label), and if you are willing to wait, if they hand slice and do a good job of it, even better. i stopped using tj for salmon ages ago

                                                                1. re: 51rich
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                                                                  adrienne156 RE: 51rich Apr 5, 2013 03:03 PM

                                                                  I'm in the San Francisco bay area. I don't think we have Fairways in California. Thanks for the rec though.

                                                                  1. re: adrienne156
                                                                    goodhealthgourmet RE: adrienne156 Apr 5, 2013 07:06 PM

                                                                    Fairway is one of the very few benefits that NY has over CA ;)

                                                                2. re: adrienne156
                                                                  Savour RE: adrienne156 Apr 9, 2013 09:36 AM

                                                                  The wild smoked that isn't Coho (the black package) is MUCH better. Some of the better smoked salmon I've had. The Coho is oversalted, I think.

                                                                3. olyolyy RE: littleflower Apr 5, 2013 08:36 PM

                                                                  Yay: Ranch dressing in the refrigerated case, not too heavy or overpowering.

                                                                  Nay: queso dip in snack aisle, way too spicy, wish they had a milder version.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: olyolyy
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                                                                    Mellicita RE: olyolyy Apr 9, 2013 11:59 AM

                                                                    Is this the Trader Joe's Low Fat Parmesan Ranch Dressing? Or did they come out with a new one? (the one I mentioned, tastes very different from all other ranch dressings, almost like a ceasar dressing)

                                                                    1. re: Mellicita
                                                                      olyolyy RE: Mellicita Apr 9, 2013 01:28 PM

                                                                      It's that parmesan ranch one -but- I did not realize it is low-fat when I bought it. It does taste a lot like ceasar possibly from the (seems like fresh) garlic and parmesan. It's funny I usually make my own "low-fat" buttermilk ranch type dressings and felt so "guiltily indulgent" being somewhat heavy handed with this on my salads. Like it was a gluttonous salad. When I make real ranch dressing I will thicken that shit up with a ton of mayonnaise, should have known this runny parmesan one was low fat. It's still fresh tasting and delicious though!

                                                                  2. AmyH RE: littleflower Apr 6, 2013 01:18 PM

                                                                    Yay - the all natural Fruit Jellies in the candy aisle. I didn't buy any fruit slices for Passover and was kind of missing them. I saw these fruit jellies today and just had to have them. They're delicious and actually taste fruity without all the artificialness. Delicious! They're made in Greece.

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: AmyH
                                                                      NuMystic RE: AmyH Apr 6, 2013 02:56 PM

                                                                      Amy, can you share what the jellies are sweetened with?

                                                                      1. re: NuMystic
                                                                        goodhealthgourmet RE: NuMystic Apr 6, 2013 03:02 PM

                                                                        Beet sugar & corn syrup.

                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                          AmyH RE: goodhealthgourmet Apr 6, 2013 03:23 PM

                                                                          You beat me to it!

                                                                      2. re: AmyH
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                                                                        ohmyyum RE: AmyH Apr 6, 2013 08:23 PM

                                                                        Love them! They remind me of those individually wrapped sunkist fruit gems that I haven't had in forever!

                                                                      3. AmyH RE: littleflower Apr 6, 2013 03:24 PM

                                                                        big Yay: the dukkah nut and spice blend. Really good as a crust on roasted sockeye salmon, and also really good as the label suggests (dip crusty bread in olive oil and then in dukkah).

                                                                        26 Replies
                                                                        1. re: AmyH
                                                                          NuMystic RE: AmyH Apr 6, 2013 04:27 PM

                                                                          The dukkah is also fantastic for crusting roasted cauliflower!

                                                                          1. re: NuMystic
                                                                            AmyH RE: NuMystic Apr 6, 2013 05:57 PM

                                                                            That sounds delicious! We love roasted cauliflower and I can see how the dukkah would really add a nice taste and crunch to it.

                                                                            1. re: NuMystic
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                                                                              IEatMyVeggies RE: NuMystic Apr 7, 2013 09:55 AM

                                                                              Do you have a "rough" recipe for this?

                                                                              1. re: IEatMyVeggies
                                                                                NuMystic RE: IEatMyVeggies Apr 7, 2013 11:11 PM

                                                                                Definitely just threw that together without measuring anything.

                                                                                Broke down two heads of Cauliflower into florets, tossed with a bit of olive oil, bit of salt (less than usual since the dukkah also has salt in it) perhaps 3 TBSP of nutritional yeast (parmesan is a good sub for this if you don't have it), and then a very generous amount of dukkah to coat since it's quite mild in flavor.

                                                                                Tossed in the oven at 400 until the edges started to look like they were at risk of burning.

                                                                                1. re: NuMystic
                                                                                  AmyH RE: NuMystic Apr 8, 2013 05:11 AM

                                                                                  Interesting! What does the nutritional yeast do in this recipe? Help the dukkah stick? Or just add flavor?

                                                                                  1. re: AmyH
                                                                                    NuMystic RE: AmyH Apr 8, 2013 06:33 AM

                                                                                    Definitely "umami" flavor. It's the primary ingredient used in most vegetable bouillon to add depth and character to veggie soups.

                                                                                    If you've ever experienced the notorious Vegemite spread from Australia that's like an intensely concentrated version of the same flavor that nutritional yeast flakes impart in a much more subtle way.

                                                                                    1. re: NuMystic
                                                                                      AmyH RE: NuMystic Apr 8, 2013 07:07 AM

                                                                                      In fact I have tried Vegemite and definitely understand what you mean. I actually liked the stuff except for the incredible saltiness. Marmite, too. Does nutritional yeast go bad? I think I have some from when my daughter was a vegetarian.

                                                                                      1. re: AmyH
                                                                                        NuMystic RE: AmyH Apr 8, 2013 07:17 AM

                                                                                        I completely hear you about the salt factor of vege/marmite which is why I love nutr. yeast since that's the main ingredient in both but with no added sodium.

                                                                                        I've definitely had it keep for up to a year but never had a batch last longer than that since it's something I use regularly.

                                                                                        1. re: NuMystic
                                                                                          AmyH RE: NuMystic Apr 8, 2013 08:39 AM

                                                                                          I'll give it a sniff before I use it. Do you think the roasted cauliflower would still be good without it?

                                                                                          1. re: AmyH
                                                                                            NuMystic RE: AmyH Apr 8, 2013 10:53 PM

                                                                                            I'm certain it would still be quite tasty with only oil, salt, dukkah, and some fresh ground pepper Amy.

                                                                                            As I mentioned earlier though, the ideal substitute for nutritional yeast would be some fresh finely grated parmesan, romano, or pecorino cheese.

                                                                                            If subbing the cheese though you'll want to add that at the end. Once the cauliflower is starting to brown lightly, sprinkle the cheese generously on top and then roast for another 10 minutes or so, checking regularly and removing once the edges get dark brown.

                                                                                            1. re: NuMystic
                                                                                              AmyH RE: NuMystic Apr 9, 2013 04:56 AM

                                                                                              Thanks, NuMystic! I look forward to making it.

                                                                                  2. re: NuMystic
                                                                                    AmyH RE: NuMystic Apr 15, 2013 03:48 PM

                                                                                    NuMystic, I made your roasted cauliflower for dinner tonight and it was fantastic! The dukkah really gave it a nice flavor and now the house smells wonderful, too. I didn't have nutritional yeast after all (must have finally tossed it now that my daughter eats meat) but the parmesan was a great substitute. Thanks for the tasty suggestion!

                                                                                    1. re: AmyH
                                                                                      NuMystic RE: AmyH Apr 15, 2013 04:28 PM

                                                                                      So glad you enjoyed it Amy! Whenever I find something new like Dukkah I have to use restraint or everything I make for the month will have the same flavor. :)

                                                                                      1. re: NuMystic
                                                                                        AmyH RE: NuMystic Apr 16, 2013 05:41 AM

                                                                                        That is definitely a danger of a new product. Luckily something else new will come along quickly.

                                                                                    2. re: NuMystic
                                                                                      TXMandy RE: NuMystic Apr 23, 2013 04:12 PM

                                                                                      NuMystic, I just made your Dukkah Cauliflower and it's wonderful! Thanks! I agree with AmyH, the house smells great :)

                                                                                      1. re: TXMandy
                                                                                        AmyH RE: TXMandy Apr 23, 2013 05:53 PM

                                                                                        Maybe when your husband comes home and takes a whiff he'll become a cauliflower convert! Glad you liked the recipe, too.

                                                                                2. re: AmyH
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                                                                                  ohmyyum RE: AmyH Apr 6, 2013 08:24 PM

                                                                                  I also liked someone's suggestion (on CH) to sprinkle it over celery stuffed with cream cheese. Nom

                                                                                  1. re: ohmyyum
                                                                                    NuMystic RE: ohmyyum Apr 6, 2013 10:44 PM

                                                                                    Literally munching on this as I type…

                                                                                    Celery filled with TJ's crunchy almond butter topped with a very generous amount of organic raisins and dukkah. The anise and fennel notes lend themselves perfectly to this salty and sweet adult version of ants on a log.

                                                                                    1. re: NuMystic
                                                                                      AmyH RE: NuMystic Apr 7, 2013 10:00 AM

                                                                                      I just happened to have some celery (why are the packages of celery at TJ's so big?), cream cheese, cashew butter and raisins so I made some for lunch. I think the flavor of the dukkah comes through more with the cream cheese, but the ones with cashew butter were definitely tasty too. Thanks for the suggestions!

                                                                                    2. re: ohmyyum
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                                                                                      calmossimo RE: ohmyyum Apr 7, 2013 10:05 PM

                                                                                      ack, this sounds so good! I wish I had celery... and cream cheese... I do have the dukkah though. Maybe I'll snack on this later in the week.

                                                                                    3. re: AmyH
                                                                                      AmyH RE: AmyH Apr 7, 2013 10:02 AM

                                                                                      I should have added that when my son took his first bite of the salmon, he blurted out "holy $h*t this is good!"

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                                                                                        cheesecake17 RE: AmyH Apr 8, 2013 06:41 PM

                                                                                        Bought it, was delicious.
                                                                                        Bought a second container, smelled funny and tasted rancid

                                                                                        1. re: AmyH
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                                                                                          seamunky RE: AmyH Apr 10, 2013 03:43 PM

                                                                                          Where would I find the dukkah? I've never heard of it and am intrigued. Is it with the spices or with the nuts?

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                                                                                            cheesecake17 RE: seamunky Apr 10, 2013 03:49 PM

                                                                                            It was on a shelf on top of a display of baguettes

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                                                                                              ohmyyum RE: seamunky Apr 10, 2013 04:01 PM

                                                                                              In my store it is with the spices as well as near the artisan bread.

                                                                                              1. re: ohmyyum
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                                                                                                seamunky RE: ohmyyum Apr 11, 2013 08:00 AM

                                                                                                Thanks cheesecake and ohmyyum. I'll check it out!

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                                                                                            littleflower RE: littleflower Apr 7, 2013 07:35 PM

                                                                                            Mini Yay: Perline Pasta with Prosciutto - will preface this by saying that I am not a huge fan in general of pre-made ravioli type pastas, but this one was pretty decent. I liked that it didn't go heavy on the cheese - this one definitely featured the meat here. Most likely will buy this one again in the future, just maybe not right away.

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                                                                                            1. re: littleflower
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                                                                                              emu48 RE: littleflower Apr 13, 2013 12:43 AM

                                                                                              What I've learned over the years is that some pre-made raviolis from TJ's or Costco will be excellent, some so-so and some not very good. For that reason, I often take a chance on a new one. You just never know unless you try them or you know someone who did.

                                                                                              1. re: emu48
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                                                                                                littleflower RE: emu48 Apr 13, 2013 01:04 PM

                                                                                                Very true emu48...what are your favorite raviolis that you have tried from TJ's or Costco? We recently became members of Costco, and are having fun exploring all the yummy foods they sell there.

                                                                                                1. re: emu48
                                                                                                  Njchicaa RE: emu48 Apr 19, 2013 02:28 AM

                                                                                                  I loved loved loved the Gorgonzola ravioli. So sad it is gone.

                                                                                                2. re: littleflower
                                                                                                  tracylee RE: littleflower Apr 15, 2013 10:38 PM

                                                                                                  I love the Perline Pasta! I toss it with sage brown butter and go through about half the package in one sitting.

                                                                                                3. EM23 RE: littleflower Apr 8, 2013 07:09 AM

                                                                                                  Yay for the lavash flat bread. I have made pizza with it and, last night, baked it until cracker-like, and used it as a vehicle for steak salad. I think it was a little over $2 for a package of 6 legal-sized breads.

                                                                                                  1. AmyH RE: littleflower Apr 8, 2013 03:41 PM

                                                                                                    Big Yay: balsamic marinated grilled boneless skinless chicken breasts in the refrigerated section. They're great on a salad! Really good taste from the marinating and grilling.

                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: AmyH
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                                                                                                      littleflower RE: AmyH Apr 9, 2013 09:20 PM

                                                                                                      AmyH, just to be sure I'm thinking of the right one - is this the fully cooked balsamic chicken that comes in approx. 2-3 chicken breasts per package?

                                                                                                      Have you tried any of their uncooked marinated chicken - I think there's a pesto and a curry one...

                                                                                                      1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                        AmyH RE: littleflower Apr 10, 2013 05:17 AM

                                                                                                        Yes, that's the right one. I had never tried it before, but while I was standing there staring at all the cooked refrigerated chicken products, a woman came up and bought 4 packages of the balsamic grilled breasts. She told me it was fantastic and that she buys extra packages to freeze. She said she loves it on salad, and that's exactly what I needed it for. She was right!

                                                                                                        No, I haven't tried the uncooked marinated chicken products.

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                                                                                                      Briek RE: littleflower Apr 9, 2013 06:22 AM

                                                                                                      New to me.. roasted coconut chips. HUGE YAY!! I've been adding them to yogurt but they are also great to just snack on.

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                                                                                                      1. re: Briek
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                                                                                                        shell1106 RE: Briek Apr 10, 2013 06:07 AM

                                                                                                        Those are the best!! I have yet to add them to anything because they never make it that long in my house ;-)

                                                                                                        1. re: Briek
                                                                                                          IndyGirl RE: Briek Apr 10, 2013 06:36 PM

                                                                                                          oh, I love coconut... these sound just up my alley.

                                                                                                          1. re: IndyGirl
                                                                                                            IndyGirl RE: IndyGirl Apr 11, 2013 05:17 PM

                                                                                                            I made a big TJs trip today inspired by this thread and the top five TJs items thread. I got the roasted coconut chips and ate almost the whole bag. They are absolutely terrific. We all have to buy these so they never get discontinued---PLEASE!!

                                                                                                            1. re: IndyGirl
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                                                                                                              Val RE: IndyGirl Apr 12, 2013 04:56 PM

                                                                                                              heh, but the *numbers* are baaad....I think they are almost ALL FAT...I was somewhat tempted last time I was at the TJ checkout (where they were STRATEGICALLY placed)...and then I didn't ...just saying.

                                                                                                              1. re: Val
                                                                                                                IndyGirl RE: Val Apr 12, 2013 07:03 PM

                                                                                                                oh god. I didn't look. I'll have to resist from now on!

                                                                                                          2. re: Briek
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                                                                                                            ohmyyum RE: Briek Apr 11, 2013 05:47 PM

                                                                                                            I love them too but I'd be interested in whether anyone has found other uses for them, besides eating out of hand as a snack, and topping yogurt/ice cream/oatmeal. Baking? Savory applications?

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                                                                                                              gnomatic RE: ohmyyum Apr 11, 2013 09:16 PM

                                                                                                              I have bought similar roasted coconut chips as a topping on a chiffon cake made with coconut milk. I put a layer of the chips at the bottom of the tube pan, and pour the cake batter on top.

                                                                                                              1. re: gnomatic
                                                                                                                IndyGirl RE: gnomatic Apr 12, 2013 11:36 AM

                                                                                                                I bet that's TDF.

                                                                                                              2. re: ohmyyum
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                                                                                                                Bax RE: ohmyyum Apr 17, 2013 08:16 AM

                                                                                                                I've sprinkled some on my salad several times. Very nice!

                                                                                                              3. re: Briek
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                                                                                                                calmossimo RE: Briek Apr 14, 2013 12:32 PM

                                                                                                                Another HUGE yay on the roasted coconut chips! They are addicting straight out of the bag or on yogurt. I can't buy them too frequently because my waistline and wallet can't handle it. Those bags don't last long enough...

                                                                                                              4. Savour RE: littleflower Apr 10, 2013 03:48 PM

                                                                                                                Yay: The Daniele brand deli packages of salumi - the Italian one is good, but I've been buying the Spanish one lately and it's delicious!

                                                                                                                1. valleychip RE: littleflower Apr 10, 2013 09:08 PM

                                                                                                                  Yay: Ode to the Classic Potato Chip. Tastes like Lay's to me. For $1.99 it's a good price.

                                                                                                                  Trader Joe's brand Pecorino Romano cheese. Has a sharp salty nutty flavor perfect for grating on pasta or egg's or anything except maybe chocolate.

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                                                                                                                  1. re: valleychip
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                                                                                                                    littleflower RE: valleychip Apr 10, 2013 10:02 PM

                                                                                                                    valleychip, how much is TJ's Pecorino Romano? This is my favorite Italian cheese to grate over spaghetti - have yet to try TJ's. brand.

                                                                                                                    1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                      valleychip RE: littleflower Apr 10, 2013 10:14 PM

                                                                                                                      Heres all the info on the package:

                                                                                                                      Aged a minimum of 8 months. Made with raw sheep's milk. Product of Italy. $6.49/lb. This is the one that they sell in whole form, not the pre grated tub. Darn good price if you ask me!

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                                                                                                                        littleflower RE: valleychip Apr 10, 2013 10:41 PM

                                                                                                                        Absolutely it is a great price for that kind of quality...much better than what I was paying elsewhere for a comparable Pecorino Romano. Okay, sold! Need to try as soon as I run out of the kind that I already bought.

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                                                                                                                    littleflower RE: littleflower Apr 10, 2013 10:04 PM

                                                                                                                    This new TJ's product sounds like a potential "yay" - can't wait to try it out!

                                                                                                                    Brioche toasts from France - hope it's a winner...!

                                                                                                                    http://www.traderjoes.com/whatsnew.asp

                                                                                                                    9 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: littleflower
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                                                                                                                      ohmyyum RE: littleflower Apr 10, 2013 10:09 PM

                                                                                                                      I tried it! I liked it! It was like Melba toast but lighter, and very slightly buttery. It would be great with a laughing cow cheese. And in whatever other application one might use a Melba toast-type product.

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                                                                                                                        littleflower RE: ohmyyum Apr 10, 2013 10:42 PM

                                                                                                                        Great, thanks! It is nice to buy a product from TJ's when there has been at least one person who's tried it and confirmed it's worth trying out.

                                                                                                                        1. re: littleflower
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                                                                                                                          walker RE: littleflower Apr 11, 2013 09:03 AM

                                                                                                                          I, too, like the Brioche toasts; it's only 140 calories for 4 and it's about the size of 2 saltines only thicker.

                                                                                                                          I'm hooked on the Italian truffle cheese; it's $11.99 lb. (It's not going to please everyone, maybe not children.) My two Abby cats beg for it, do little dances. I give them a few tiny pieces and 5 minutes later they throw it up. Now I try to hide when I eat it because I can't resist giving them some when they beg.

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                                                                                                                        Pwmfan RE: littleflower Apr 13, 2013 05:00 PM

                                                                                                                        I just got back from TJ's and have made a huge dent in the box of Brioche Toasts I bought to have with the Cheese of the Month, which hasn't even warmed to room temp yet. They may be gone before that happens. I love these! I'm going back tomorrow to buy up as many as I can in case they disappear.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Pwmfan
                                                                                                                          AmyH RE: Pwmfan Apr 21, 2013 07:42 AM

                                                                                                                          We really enjoyed the brioche toasts with the cheese of the month (Pont L'Eveque) and some fig butter. I was surprised at how large they are, though. Definitely twice the size of a cracker.

                                                                                                                          1. re: AmyH
                                                                                                                            Dommy RE: AmyH Apr 24, 2013 12:12 PM

                                                                                                                            I am a cracker FIEND, so of course I had to try these...

                                                                                                                            Sadly, for me it was a Nay. The crackers were much too crumbly and pourous. I know it's probably the nature of the broiche, but I really didn't like how it got soggy in 10 seconds (I ate them with TJ's curry chicken salad which I love) and then go crumbs all over the place. Plus, the flavor of the cracker was kinda bland.

                                                                                                                            --Dommy!

                                                                                                                        2. re: littleflower
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                                                                                                                          John Francis RE: littleflower Apr 21, 2013 01:01 PM

                                                                                                                          I've had a pack and liked it - it really is brioche, with that buttery, slightly sweet flavor. Don't need to put anything on it, I like to munch it as is.

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                                                                                                                            littleflower RE: John Francis Apr 21, 2013 02:45 PM

                                                                                                                            I'm thinking that those brioche toasts would make a fine substitute for toasted bread crumbs in a recipe! There's a Cooks Illustrated recipe for oven-fried chicken that recommends using crushed up melba toast for the toasted bread crumbs - these brioche toasts when crushed would be yummy to use, too.

                                                                                                                            1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                              Rilke RE: littleflower Apr 21, 2013 03:35 PM

                                                                                                                              Splendid idea.

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                                                                                                                          ceekskat RE: littleflower Apr 11, 2013 08:25 AM

                                                                                                                          Recently discovered Mini Chicken Tikka Samosas and have to say it is a fantastic addition to the already great line up of TJ's frozen appetizers. Crispy pastry shell (may be won ton wrapper?) filled with chicken & spices. Was skeptical at first since I'm used to the traditional pea & potato filling but now I'm a convert. Highly recommended.

                                                                                                                          http://www.traderjoes.com/fearless-fl...

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                                                                                                                            chowing kat RE: littleflower Apr 11, 2013 07:00 PM

                                                                                                                            I bought a bunch of the frozen stuff to be able to make quick lunches (that are actually my dinner since I work swing). I actually give a big YAY to:
                                                                                                                            frozen gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce. Oh my. lovely dough-y gnocchi and a pretty decent sauce where I really taste the gorgonzola.
                                                                                                                            Frozen sweet potato gnocchi in butter and sage. Not as good as the gnocchi above, but still pretty good. I wish I could have the sweet potato gnocchi and put them in the gorgonzola sauce!

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                                                                                                                              Mellicita RE: chowing kat Apr 28, 2013 11:40 PM

                                                                                                                              Ditto YAY to the frozen gnocchi with Gorgonzola!! I had a sample, and as Kat described, little balls of comfort with a rich scrumptious sauce! i actually don't like blue cheese, but the gorgonzola sauce had a beautiful mild flavor. I wish it was not so carb-olicious or I would buy it!!

                                                                                                                              1. re: Mellicita
                                                                                                                                alkapal RE: Mellicita Apr 29, 2013 03:43 AM

                                                                                                                                that is a freezer staple around here! so easy and quite delicious!

                                                                                                                            2. IndyGirl RE: littleflower Apr 12, 2013 11:38 AM

                                                                                                                              I keep reading about the raisin rosemary crisps and I finally bought them---wow. They really are that great. The raisins aren't raisiny---more figgy. I'm eating them with an artichoke parmesan dip from Whole Foods but I think they would be fabulous with goat cheese. and maybe honey.

                                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: IndyGirl
                                                                                                                                NuMystic RE: IndyGirl Apr 13, 2013 06:17 AM

                                                                                                                                I can confirm your hunch IndyGirl.

                                                                                                                                They're decadent with TJ's blueberry goat cheese.

                                                                                                                                Not a cheese I would have ever tried if not for the strong recommendation from the girl who handles that section at our store.

                                                                                                                                I usually lean towards very sharp savory cheeses, but this combo is luscious.

                                                                                                                                Granted it's so rich that I rarely eat more than a few crackers worth, but I see that as a positive. :)

                                                                                                                                1. re: IndyGirl
                                                                                                                                  tracylee RE: IndyGirl Apr 15, 2013 10:33 PM

                                                                                                                                  I second that! I had them as a lunch with fig jam and brie. Great texture and flavor combination.

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                                                                                                                                    Briek RE: tracylee Apr 17, 2013 03:02 PM

                                                                                                                                    One of my fave combos! Crisps with brie cheese. Delicious.

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                                                                                                                                    schrutefarms RE: IndyGirl Apr 21, 2013 01:03 PM

                                                                                                                                    How funny- I've been eating the raisin rosemary crisps with TJs honey goat cheese. So delish.

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                                                                                                                                      ohmyyum RE: schrutefarms Apr 21, 2013 01:10 PM

                                                                                                                                      It's such a perfect pairing. And I love that honey chèvre.. not overly "goaty," and just a hint of sweetness.

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                                                                                                                                        walker RE: ohmyyum Apr 21, 2013 02:29 PM

                                                                                                                                        I'll have to try the honey chevre; they stock so many kinds of goat cheese!! I was looking for the blueberry one, finally found it; I think it's too dry. I'll finish it but doubt I'll buy it again.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: IndyGirl
                                                                                                                                      gmm RE: IndyGirl Apr 23, 2013 10:10 PM

                                                                                                                                      I'm typically not a huge fan of raisins or rosemary, but I picked up a box of these on a whim today and I love them. I wanted to try the kimchi, but all they had was the dried.

                                                                                                                                    3. Caitlin McGrath RE: littleflower Apr 12, 2013 12:31 PM

                                                                                                                                      For those who make Vietnamese coffees, Thai iced tea, or other occasional uses of sweetened condensed milk, I noticed that TJ's has plastic squeeze bottles of organic SCM for $2.49. It's with the baking ingredients.

                                                                                                                                      7 Replies
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                                                                                                                                        ohmyyum RE: Caitlin McGrath Apr 12, 2013 12:48 PM

                                                                                                                                        Yup it's perfect for squeezing onto a ripe avocado half!

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                                                                                                                                          rosewood RE: ohmyyum Apr 13, 2013 01:11 PM

                                                                                                                                          Being a cider vinegar on my avacado kind of girl, it never would have occurred to me to put sweetened condensed milk on one. Darn, not I have to try it!

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                                                                                                                                            ohmyyum RE: rosewood Apr 13, 2013 07:06 PM

                                                                                                                                            It's perfect for a summer dessert!

                                                                                                                                        2. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                                          IndyGirl RE: Caitlin McGrath Apr 13, 2013 07:03 PM

                                                                                                                                          oh, awesome! I'll need to pick that up stat!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                                            helen_m RE: Caitlin McGrath Apr 25, 2013 02:09 PM

                                                                                                                                            Thanks for mentioning this! I make chocolate and ginger squares (Green & Black recipe) that need condensed milk and this is the perfect size for them, I love that it's organic too.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: helen_m
                                                                                                                                              Caitlin McGrath RE: helen_m Apr 25, 2013 03:26 PM

                                                                                                                                              Helen, is this the recipe? Because if so, that's something I'll have to make - I'm a ginger fiend, and ginger + dark chocolate is certainly a weakness around here.

                                                                                                                                              http://puddingpielane.blogspot.com/20...

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                                                helen_m RE: Caitlin McGrath Apr 27, 2013 06:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                Yes, that's the one! It's delicious and so easy.

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                                                                                                                                            mollyschmolly RE: littleflower Apr 12, 2013 06:11 PM

                                                                                                                                            It's not a "Yay" or "Nay", but more of a "Meh"...to the Chocolate Hazelnut Sandwich cookies. I wanted the filling to be gooey in the center (like Nutella), but was stiff and chewy. The cookies were too soft (I wanted them to be a little crispier).

                                                                                                                                            YAY to the Strawberry Licorice. I bought it for my co-workers (since I normally don't care for licorice), but fell HARD for those deep red twists. They taste a little like dried fruit (and NOTHING like a Twizzler).

                                                                                                                                            Another YAY to the 1,000-day Gouda. It's a flavorful intense cheese that is great for snacking.

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                                                                                                                                              littleflower RE: mollyschmolly Apr 12, 2013 11:54 PM

                                                                                                                                              I am one of the rare few that does not care for Strawberry Twizzlers, but I may give the TJ's version a try if it really does taste different.

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                                                                                                                                                brilynn79 RE: mollyschmolly Apr 13, 2013 11:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                I love Red Vines, but hate twizzlers. These were more twizzler-like to me. I did not care for them.

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                                                                                                                                                  sugartoof RE: brilynn79 Apr 17, 2013 01:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                  Second that. These tasted like poor generic Twizzler knock offs, with heavy strawberry flavoring....but I too have a preference for Red Vines.

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                                                                                                                                                littleflower RE: littleflower Apr 13, 2013 12:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                YAY: Chocolate Almond Smooth and Vanilla Almond Smooth milks (shelf stable in the cartons) - I cannot digest milk very well and have been drinking Almond Breeze almond milk for quite some time. Based on a really great review of TJ's Chocolate Almond Smooth almond milk from What's Good at Trader Joe's, decided to give it a try. I love combining the Choc. and the Vanilla flavored ones together - nice balance - and they are also good on their own. The Chocolate kind is very chocolaty, so if you like rich chocolate milk you will love it.

                                                                                                                                                YAY/MEH: Brioche Toasts from France - Have to give these a Meh when trying them on their own without any toppings, kinda wished they could stand on their own as a snack but they did not have much flavor at all. However, when I used the product as I think it's intended to be used and put some Kerrygold butter on it and a drizzle of honey, they were pretty tasty. Nice crispness and perfect for using as a vehicle for toppings - great for appetizers if entertaining.

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                                                                                                                                                  ahuva RE: littleflower Apr 13, 2013 07:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                  I had high hopes for the Trader Joe's couscous. i thought that the inclusion of chickpeas and lentils would make for a food product that was not only tasty but texturally interesting. Everything kind of cooked to the same mushy consistency (excuse my un-ch use of the word 'mushy'). I cooked it the way that I always cook up couscous, but the chickpeas and lentils, rather than lending satisfying crunch, cooked to the same texture. It was tasty, but boring.

                                                                                                                                                  1. trolley RE: littleflower Apr 14, 2013 09:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                    i know this has been said before in the march thread but BLAH and NAY to the dried kimchi. who is buying this stuff? there were suggestions on the packaging and one was to sprinkle it over ramen or something like that. maybe it needs to be a condiment? i don't know but all i know is that it tastes awful and i love spicy kimchi.

                                                                                                                                                    1. NuMystic RE: littleflower Apr 14, 2013 01:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                      Meh/Nay - Ridge Cut Sweet Potato Chips

                                                                                                                                                      Had high hopes for these but along with the thicker ridge cut comes extra oil absorption it seems.

                                                                                                                                                      I've always enjoyed sweet potato chips but these are a fair bit more oily in taste than any others I've tried.

                                                                                                                                                      I'm not talking downright greasy old-school Wise chips here but still more than I can enjoy. Might finish the bag, but it definitely won't be a repurchase.

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                                                                                                                                                        John Francis RE: NuMystic Apr 15, 2013 07:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                        I like 'em but don't buy 'em since once the bag is open I can't stop munching.

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                                                                                                                                                          Rilke RE: John Francis Apr 15, 2013 07:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                          This is how I feel about the ridge cut sea salt potato chips. I crave them at least once a week, but don't allow myself to buy them :-(

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Rilke
                                                                                                                                                            GraceW RE: Rilke Apr 15, 2013 06:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                            The Hawaiian BBQ chips (original version.. not reduced guilt) are the ones that I go down the aisle.. look at.. nod.. and then carry-on. I am not even a 'chip' person; I just like anything smothered in spice. ... Too good to buy.

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                                                                                                                                                          givemecarbs RE: NuMystic Apr 17, 2013 12:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                          MMmmmmm downright greasy old-school Wise chips. I will have to try these.

                                                                                                                                                        3. AmyH RE: littleflower Apr 15, 2013 05:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                          partial yay: coconut oil. I got some of this because of all the yays on the previous TJ threads. I was making a pie crust for a pecan pie and the crust recipe suggested solid coconut oil as one option for the fat (others were lard, butter, etc.) and I thought that sounded like a good way to use it. I hadn't opened the jar yet and when I did I was surprised by how coconutty it smelled. I had thought it would be a bit less obvious. Well, it made an excellent pie crust; very flaky. And the coconut taste was very nice with the pecan pie. But I can't imagine what else I'll use this for. It's not a flavor I'd want to add to a lot of other dishes.

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                                                                                                                                                          1. re: AmyH
                                                                                                                                                            NuMystic RE: AmyH Apr 15, 2013 05:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                            It's a perfect compliment to virtually anything asian (both Indian, South-East and Far East) and ideal for any kind of stir-frying.

                                                                                                                                                            Use it instead of butter on toast, crackers, or a bagel whether going savory (coconut / miso / pickled ginger / toasted sesame etc) or sweet (coconut and mango, banana, insert-fruit-here… what fruit doesn't pair with coconut!)

                                                                                                                                                            Brilliant for roasting vegetables, melding beautifully with sweet potatoes, butternut, carrots, acorn squash, beets and more.

                                                                                                                                                            A NYTimes article I saw mentioned that it was a superior replacement in olive oil pound cake recipes and a classic match with shrimp. (haven't tested myself)

                                                                                                                                                            Just google coconut oil recipes and you'll be buried in literally millions of returns.

                                                                                                                                                            Being a favorite of the raw foodists there are also some wildly creative things from that culinary subculture. I've had some shockingly tasty raw "fudge" that had only a few ingredients and almost no prep time. Googling Raw Chocolate Coconut Fudge will get you variations on that by the dozen.

                                                                                                                                                            Coconut is my second most used oil after EVOO. (with grapeseed coming in a close third when I need something entirely neutral in flavor)

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                                                                                                                                                              shoo bee doo RE: NuMystic Apr 15, 2013 06:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                              You can also use it for non-food things. I use it as a cream and lotion.

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                                                                                                                                                                calmossimo RE: shoo bee doo Apr 15, 2013 11:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                I use as lip balm. It can also be used to make deodorant.

                                                                                                                                                                Foodwise, I use it for the roasting and pan-frying for many of the veggies that NuMystic listed above. I blob it onto sweet potatoes, no matter how they are prepared.

                                                                                                                                                                I forget to try it in place of butter on toast and similar. I'll have to get to that next.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: NuMystic
                                                                                                                                                                AmyH RE: NuMystic Apr 15, 2013 07:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                Wow! Thank you for all the suggestions! That makes me feel a lot more confident about trying it in other things.

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                                                                                                                                                                  emily RE: AmyH Apr 15, 2013 07:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  It makes a great homemade "magic shell," too.

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                                                                                                                                                                    NuMystic RE: emily Apr 15, 2013 08:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    Thank you for reminding me about that Emily!

                                                                                                                                                                    I'd seen a few recipes for that a few years back, wanted to try it, and then promptly forgot all about it.

                                                                                                                                                                    This time I won't procrastinate and will try some on home made peanut butter banana soft serve… tomorrow. ;)

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                                                                                                                                                                      emily RE: NuMystic Apr 16, 2013 05:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      It's super easy. I put about 1/2 cup broken up chocolate in a bowl (usually a mix of Valhrona bars and chocolate chips - both from TJ's) and add a heaping tablespoon coconut oil (I like a bit more than what many recipes call for) and then heat in the microwave for about a minute or two. Stir to make sure everything is melted and then pour over ice cream. Yum!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: NuMystic
                                                                                                                                                                        goodhealthgourmet RE: NuMystic Apr 16, 2013 09:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        If you eat popcorn, use coconut oil for popping.

                                                                                                                                                                        You can also make your own flavored spreads with coconut oil. Just blend it in the FP or blender with a pinch of salt and whatever flavor you desire. Some ideas:
                                                                                                                                                                        - banana, cinnamon & honey or maple syrup (or other sweetener)
                                                                                                                                                                        - cocoa powder or cacao nibs, a pinch of espresso powder, vanilla & sweetener
                                                                                                                                                                        - toasted macadamias or pecans, vanilla & sweetener
                                                                                                                                                                        - peanut or almond flour or butter, cinnamon & sweetener
                                                                                                                                                                        - peanut or almond flour or butter, cayenne or chipotle, & a hint of sweetener
                                                                                                                                                                        - fresh fruit or preserves

                                                                                                                                                                        So many possibilities!

                                                                                                                                                                        If it's not turning out as velvety as you'd like, add a scoop of avocado or a piece of banana.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: NuMystic
                                                                                                                                                                    trolley RE: NuMystic Apr 15, 2013 10:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    although i usually agree with everything NuMystic has to say, i have to put out there to be careful with Asian and coconut oil. Asian like plain stir fry as opposed to curry flavors and south east flavors. I made our weekly chicken breast, noodles, cabbage, bean sprout, garlic stir fry in the coconut oil and none of us liked it. the coconut flavor was too strong and somehow took away from the soy and sesame flavors. however, we did make our curry chicken briyani with it and it was perfect.

                                                                                                                                                                    desserts OTOH come out great with the coconut flavor. brownies!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: trolley
                                                                                                                                                                      NuMystic RE: trolley Apr 15, 2013 11:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Always good to hear additional perspectives trolley!

                                                                                                                                                                      I should also note that I've only used Nutiva and Vitacost coconut oil, neither of which I find particularly strong flavored and certainly not enough to overwhelm any type of stir fry.

                                                                                                                                                                      That said I also use oil sparingly so there's rarely more than 1-1.5 Tbsp in an entire wok / pan full of veggies, so that may also be a factor.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: NuMystic
                                                                                                                                                                        AmyH RE: NuMystic Apr 16, 2013 05:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        I hope you'll have the chance to try the TJ's coconut oil soon. I'd like to hear how it compares to the other ones you've tried.

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                                                                                                                                                                          NuMystic RE: AmyH Apr 16, 2013 05:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          It'll be awhile Amy. I'm working my way through a 54oz tub!

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                                                                                                                                                                            AmyH RE: NuMystic Apr 16, 2013 06:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            I hope it doesn't go rancid!

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                                                                                                                                                                              NuMystic RE: AmyH Apr 16, 2013 07:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              Not a concern Amy. One of the great things about Coconut oil is that it's shelf stable for a really long time thanks to it being higher in anti-oxidants than most.

                                                                                                                                                                              I've tossed a number of bottles of oil due to rancidity over the years but never had to do that once with coco.

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                                                                                                                                                                                AmyH RE: NuMystic Apr 16, 2013 07:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                Good to know, because it may take me a while to get through this jar! Thanks!

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                                                                                                                                                                      thursday RE: NuMystic Apr 15, 2013 10:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      In recipes where the coconut flavor is overwhelming (and yes, I feel overwhelmed by it often) I throw in a little olive oil or peanut oil to cut the coconut - you only need a tablespoon or so when cooking vegetables or anything you want a little more neutral.

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                                                                                                                                                                        AmyH RE: thursday Apr 16, 2013 05:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        At that point why not just use the neutral oil?

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                                                                                                                                                                          thursday RE: AmyH Apr 16, 2013 10:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          I like the way the coconut crisps things, and I think it's healthier at high heats - a splash of the neutral cuts through some of the coconut flavor without changing the cooking properties too drastically. It's like using oil and butter on the griddle for pancakes. (Another great use of the coconut oil! Awesome on a pancake griddle)

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                                                                                                                                                                            AmyH RE: thursday Apr 16, 2013 11:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks! That makes a lot of sense. Great idea for the pancakes, too. I wish I had thought of that last Sunday morning.

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                                                                                                                                                                        thursday RE: NuMystic Apr 15, 2013 10:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        We usually buy the smoked sockeye (black package), but I thought of this thread the other day and couldn't remember whether people liked the Coho better or worse...so we took a chance. Definite Nay. The Coho was so mushy down the center that it was almost gag-inducing. The Sockeye is so much better.

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                                                                                                                                                                          schrutefarms RE: NuMystic Apr 21, 2013 01:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          Also, I melt a tablespoon of coconut oil in a bowl until it's melted (but not too hot), and pour in with my dogs dry food. It's really good for their skin and coats. Also, they love it!

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                                                                                                                                                                            coney with everything RE: schrutefarms Apr 22, 2013 04:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            great idea...we were just noticing our dog's coat is quite dull. So going to try this!

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                                                                                                                                                                              alkapal RE: coney with everything Apr 22, 2013 05:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              (plus it is shedding season).

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                                                                                                                                                                        John Francis RE: littleflower Apr 16, 2013 03:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        Some non-food items I buy at TJ's because it's convenient, and that are at least as good as the national brands I used to use and supposedly environment-friendly:

                                                                                                                                                                        ...Next to Godliness Dish Soap. I get the orange-scented kind.

                                                                                                                                                                        ...Next to Godliness Automatic Dishwashing Detergent.

                                                                                                                                                                        TJ's Liquid Laundry Detergent.

                                                                                                                                                                        And:

                                                                                                                                                                        Molecularly Distilled Omega-3 Fatty Acids Dietary Supplement. 90 1200 mg capsules of fish oil.

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                                                                                                                                                                          littleflower RE: John Francis Apr 25, 2013 02:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          Is the Next to Godliness Automatic Dishwashing Detergent and the TJ's Liquid Laundry Detergent scented?

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                                                                                                                                                                            John Francis RE: littleflower Apr 26, 2013 08:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            Not in the dishwashing detergent. The laundry detergent contains "lavender essential oils" that I can smell in the bottle but not in the finished laundry.

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                                                                                                                                                                              littleflower RE: John Francis Apr 26, 2013 02:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks! Will have to check out the dishwashing detergent then - I am looking for one that is not scented as most of them in the stores are.

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                                                                                                                                                                                Val RE: littleflower Apr 27, 2013 05:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                thank you...also seeking dishwashing eco-friendly detergent...will seek it out.

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                                                                                                                                                                          cheesecake17 RE: littleflower Apr 16, 2013 05:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          We loved the cheddar rockets. Just cheesy enough, and no powdery orange costing. FWIW, my daughter thought they were fish

                                                                                                                                                                          1. trolley RE: littleflower Apr 17, 2013 07:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            has anyone tried the sriracha? saw it on the new items shelf yesterday. i'm so darn excited.

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                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: trolley
                                                                                                                                                                              NuMystic RE: trolley Apr 17, 2013 07:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              I am going to be doing cartwheels in the store if the Sriracha is preservative free. There are only two brands that I know of that don't and I've got to trek into Jackson Heights now to get one.

                                                                                                                                                                              edit: this from the TJ's web page sounds very encouraging!

                                                                                                                                                                              " Trader Joe’s Sriracha Sauce delivers the expected fire and flair, without the funky ingredients that load up other cock-sure versions in the marketplace."

                                                                                                                                                                              I'll pick some up and do a side by side tasting to report back in the next day or two.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: NuMystic
                                                                                                                                                                                trolley RE: NuMystic Apr 17, 2013 08:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                i'm leaving on a short trip so i don't have a chance to get it this week. let us know how it is!!

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                                                                                                                                                                                ohmyyum RE: trolley Apr 17, 2013 02:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                The TJs sriracha is preservative free but it is definitely NOT the same sauce private labeled for TJs-- it doesn't taste like it, in any case. The TJs has good flavor but it is slightly sweet, markedly more garlicky, and no where near as spicy as the huy fong brand. Not bad but not the same!

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                                                                                                                                                                                  NuMystic RE: ohmyyum Apr 17, 2013 05:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Do you mean as compared to the Huy Fong plastic bottle Rooster label variety?

                                                                                                                                                                                  There are a half dozen different Srirachas on the market and they all have slightly different flavor profiles. The Huy Fong is actually a Chinese-Vietnamese knock-off made in California, and very different than the authentic made in Thailand Panich for example.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    ohmyyum RE: NuMystic Apr 17, 2013 07:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Oops, my mistake, I totally thought there was just one sriracha, and yes that is the brand I was referring to! That's the one that's most widely available around me, so I don't have any other basis for comparison but the TJs was very different.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      NuMystic RE: ohmyyum Apr 17, 2013 08:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      You're not the only one! Being that Huy Fong is basically everywhere it's pretty much synonymous with Sriracha for most people in the US. It's the Heinz of Srirachas! ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                      Stopped by TJ's today to check it out but unfortunately they were already sold out.

                                                                                                                                                                                      So for all of it's difference from what you're used to, did you like it enough to repurchase or do you prefer the Rooster brand you're familiar with?

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                                                                                                                                                                                        ohmyyum RE: NuMystic Apr 18, 2013 06:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        There was even a sign comparing it to the 'rooster sauce you all know and love.' :)

                                                                                                                                                                                        I am not partial to any brand of sriracha or any hot sauce because I have a fairly low tolerance for heat. I add a dash to chili, for example, but I would never liberally douse my eggs or pizza with it. I anticipate getting more use out of the TJs sriracha because it is tamer, and the garlicky note is another layer of flavor. I hope it is back on the shelf at your store the next time you go so you can give it a try!

                                                                                                                                                                                        Also noticed a new rice bran oil-- the shelf tag noted that it was excellent for stir frying and could also be taken as a supplement. Anyone have any info on/experience with either application? Is it a neutral oil?

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ohmyyum
                                                                                                                                                                                          NuMystic RE: ohmyyum Apr 18, 2013 09:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm not someone that has in any way given up on rice due to all the flap about arsenic, but I am a bit more conscientious.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Being that rice bran is specifically where the arsenic found was most highly concentrated (which is why it tested so much higher in brown vs white rice) I'm not going to be adding the oil to my collection.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Dr. Oz promoted it's benefits which helped catapult it into the national spotlight. Dr. Weil on the other hand is not keen on it.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Regarding flavor, the cold pressed variety definitely has a strong character but I'm guessing that TJ's is carrying the refined oil if it's being promoted for stir frying.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            littleflower RE: NuMystic Apr 20, 2013 11:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            NuMystic, what oils have you bought from TJ's that you do like using? I wish that they would carry avocado oil, I have heard its health benefits touted quite a bit lately. The problem is that it is pretty pricey and somewhat difficult to find in mainstream grocery stores.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                              NuMystic RE: littleflower Apr 20, 2013 11:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              I hear you littleflower, I'm underwhelmed by all but their olive oil selection as well. My only two regular TJ's oils have been the California Estate EVOO (which I love) and their toasted sesame.

                                                                                                                                                                                              (pet peeve alert) I'm not going to keep restocking the latter though because the wide mouth irritates me on an oil that you generally only need scant amounts of. Most other brands have a shaker top on their toasted sesame for this reason which makes dispensing much more controlled.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                littleflower RE: NuMystic Apr 21, 2013 12:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                Have heard good things from many about TJ's California Estate EVOO, too. Just from reading a lot of your posts on here I see that you keep up on the health trends for a lot of foods/ingredients, so if you don't mind my asking - what oils in general do you heavy saute/fry with? Heard that coconut oil and avocado oils are two of the best to use for a heavy saute/fry. Have not personally gotten around to trying TJ's coconut oil yet, still a bit hesitant because of the coconut flavor it can impart on food (would be fine on some applications I guess but not on others).

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                  NuMystic RE: littleflower Apr 21, 2013 01:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  My oil of choice when I need something absolutely neutral is La Tourangelle Grapeseed Oil, though other brands are fine too if you don't have access to theirs. I like that their oils come in light-proof metal containers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Grapeseed has a smoke point (420) almost as high as peanut so it fares well in almost any cooking application. Being high in vitamin E it also doesn't go rancid quickly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  La Tourangelle has a Toasted Walnut Oil that is supposedly superb that I'm eager to try, but that's for dressings and drizzling rather than cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  They also sell avocado oil which I've spotted at the discount chain stores that have a gourmet food aisle. (TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Home Goods, etc)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    ohmyyum RE: NuMystic Apr 21, 2013 12:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    NuMystic, you've seen avocado oil at stores like TJ Max and Marshall's?! I thought they sold discount clothes?

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      cheesecake17 RE: ohmyyum Apr 21, 2013 02:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      They do. But they also have a "gourmet" aisle, with spices, crackers, coffee, and oils...

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cheesecake17
                                                                                                                                                                                                        NuMystic RE: cheesecake17 Apr 22, 2013 10:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        They do indeed have a gourmet foods aisle as cheesecake17 mentioned and there are some occasional finds amongst the overpriced gift packaged goods.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        They also have a large selection of kitchenware with some great deals sometimes including bigger brands like like all-clad, le creuset, kitchenaid, cuisinart etc.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          cheesecake17 RE: NuMystic Apr 22, 2013 04:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I bought some le crueset baking dishes for a steal!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            ohmyyum RE: cheesecake17 Apr 22, 2013 05:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Alright I am going to HAVE to check this out!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mellicita RE: NuMystic Apr 23, 2013 10:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hmm.... I might be totally blind, but I have never seen a "gourmet" aisle. (I shop their Plano, Texas store). Definitely no cookeware. I'm jealous!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          Pwmfan RE: ohmyyum Apr 23, 2013 11:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have never had a quality issue with any of the edibles (walnut/grapeseed/olive oils, chocolates and cookies from Maxims, pink salt) I've purchased from Marshalls/TJMaxx/Homegoods. There is a lot of junk brands to sort through but there are treasures to be found.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ditto for cookware. All Clad on clearance is a particularly good buy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. re: NuMystic
                                                                                                                                                                                                          TXMandy RE: NuMystic Apr 21, 2013 02:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I found a 16.8 oz bottle of avocado oil at my local (Dallas) Cost Plus World Market for $11.99 that's very good.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            littleflower RE: TXMandy Apr 21, 2013 02:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks TXMandy - someone else on another CHOW board also recommended that I try looking at CP World Market's price for avocado oil. Quick question for you - do you find you're able to heavy saute/fry most foods in the avocado oil without having a taste of avocados imparted on the foods (as is the case sometimes with coconut oil)?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                              TXMandy RE: littleflower Apr 23, 2013 01:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Littleflower, I haven't used it much, but I remember the flavor of the avocado oil being really mild and not at all overpowering. I've noticed the TJ's coconut oil doesn't overpower as much as other brands I've had, but it's definatly coconutty when cooking with it.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        ohmyyum RE: NuMystic Apr 21, 2013 01:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        NuMystic, I can totally relate! I once poured a huge GLUG of sesame oil into a marinade I was making and it was overpowering. I've taken to transferring my sesame oil into one of those condiment/sauce squirt bottles from the restaurant supply store, and it has worked perfectly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Also, have you tried the TJs brand grapeseed oil? Grapeseed is my go-to neutral oil because canola oil just tastes so bad to me, and TJs has a great price on it- $3.49 for 16fl oz-- that's like half the price of the WF 365 equivalent.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          littleflower RE: ohmyyum Apr 21, 2013 02:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have seen the grapeseed oil there at TJ's, but have been a bit hesitant on buying it because I have heard a few conflicting reports on using it for heavy sauteeing/frying (most say it's perfectly fine, but some have said that it's not as good for your health as using avocado oil or coconut oil).

                                                                                                                                                                                                          In regards to TJ's packaging of some of their items (referencing the toasted sesame oil) - and don't get me wrong, I love my Trader Joes - but they really need to reconfigure their packaging to make a few of their items more user friendly!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                            NuMystic RE: littleflower Apr 22, 2013 11:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            While it's true that Avo and Coco may be a tiny bit "healthier" when cooking with oil, ultimately no heated fat is good for you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Since I already eat my fair share of fried food while out I try and keep my use of it at home to a bare minimum and rarely use more than tbsp or two when I do. Being that grapeseed is unquestionably better than canola, corn, and the like, it hits the right balance of value vs health for me personally given how little I use.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: NuMystic
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                                                                                                                                                                                                              littleflower RE: NuMystic Apr 22, 2013 03:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I appreciate your input on this because of all the knowledge you have about what foods to eat, NuMystic - thanks. I am leaning towards buying TJ's grapeseed oil for those occasions that I will need more than one-two tbsp. for a heavy saute/fry (based on it being cheaper than avocado oil). I will also try avocado oil and if I find that it doesn't leave my foods tasting too much like avocados then will use that for recipes calling for <2TBS. oil (since it's quite a bit more expensive than grapeseed oil).

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: ohmyyum
                                                                                                                                                                                                            NuMystic RE: ohmyyum Apr 22, 2013 10:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I considered transferring it as well, but given that sesame oil is just as cheap at the asian markets I regularly visit I'll probably just go back to that once this bottle runs out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Haven't tried the TJ's grapeseed but at that price I will definitely be doing so when the La Tourangelle is done. I can't honestly say I've ever noted a difference between brands when it comes to grapeseed, so I'm fairly sure I'll be happy with it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: littleflower
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                                                                                                                                                                                                          ohmyyum RE: littleflower Apr 21, 2013 12:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Littleflower, I love avocado oil and also wish TJs would carry it-- if only because I'm sure they could offer it at a more reasonable price. IIRC, you have access to a Fresh Market? They do stock it, as does Whole Foods, but it is quite expensive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ohmyyum
                                                                                                                                                                                                            l
                                                                                                                                                                                                            littleflower RE: ohmyyum Apr 21, 2013 02:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I do have a Fresh Market near me, and if memory serves me correctly the price for their avocado oil is fairly pricey. I too wish that TJ's would begin to stock it because of their ability to get the prices down a bit! :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. re: NuMystic
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ruth Lafler RE: NuMystic Apr 30, 2013 10:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Rice bran oil is very neutral and has a high smoke point -- perfect for frying. The price at TJ's is very reasonable. I'll certainly consider buying it next time I need a neutral oil.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: NuMystic
                                                                                                                                                                                                            goodhealthgourmet RE: NuMystic May 2, 2013 10:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm not someone that has in any way given up on rice due to all the flap about arsenic, but I am a bit more conscientious.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            ~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                                            I looked at the bottle when I was at TJ's, and their rice bran oil says "Product of Thailand." If the rice used to make it is grown in Thailand and they don't import rice from somewhere else and just produce the oil in Thailand, that's a good thing. Of all the products tested, Thai rice has been shown to contain the lowest level of inorganic arsenic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I personally wouldn't use the TJ's oil anyway because it's packaged in plastic, but as far as arsenic goes it might be one of the safer bets. The greatest danger with arsenic in rice is really to children under the age of five, and rice isn't the only concern for them - some fruit juices contain levels higher than federal limits for drinking water.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Just thought I'd put that info out there for anyone else who might want to try the new TJ's rice bran oil.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                              NuMystic RE: goodhealthgourmet May 2, 2013 08:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thailand being the country of origin is not at all something to take comfort in because what we're discussing here is Rice *Bran* Oil.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              The reason the Thai rices in the report came up lower than a lot of others is because all the thai varieties tested were *white* rice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Brown rice tested highest for inorganic arsenic across the board because the highest concentrations are found in the bran which is removed in the processing of white rice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              If you compare apples to apples and look at the thai white rice it is actually on the high end vs. other white rices sampled.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Therefore when it comes to rice bran, Thailand is actually one of the sources you want steer farthest from as it's likely to have the very highest concentrations in their bran and brown rice, not the lowest.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              While it's true that the *greatest* danger is to young children and infants, further testing showed that amongst those groups that consumed rice products on a daily basis (notably amongst latino and asian populations) worrisome levels of arsenic were indeed detected in adult human subjects, so it's definitely a consideration even for adults depending on quantity and frequency of consumption.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              It's worth restating after all that, I absolutely do still enjoy rice and rice products! But I most certainly have taken these things into consideration when given easy choices and alternatives. (going with a non-rice based oil, almond vs rice milk, organic corn vs rice cereals, opting for white rice when eating out and thoroughly rinsing brown when I do cook with it are just a few examples)

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: NuMystic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                goodhealthgourmet RE: NuMystic May 4, 2013 01:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I was hoping not to get completely OT here, but I guess that ship has sailed :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I just looked back over the data, and my previous post should have said more accurately that Thai rice samples were *among* the lowest in inorganic arsenic - India actually tested the lowest. But even if we're comparing apples to apples, I don't know where you got the idea that Thai white rice "is actually on the high end vs. other white rices sampled." Thai white rice is indeed still a safer bet than US-grown white rice. In the Consumer Reports study that sparked the big concern in the first place, Thai white rice tested lower than all the US-grown white rice samples except for a single sample from California:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.consumerreports.org/conten...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                And yes, I know that rice bran oil is made from the *bran* and arsenic concentration is highest in that layer. The concentration/level of arsenic in each layer of the grain increases by orders of magnitude from the endosperm outward to the bran (no need to consider the chaff in this scenario). So from a mathematical perspective, if the arsenic level in endosperm/white rice grain #1 is lower than it is in white endosperm #2, it follows that the bran from #1 is likely lower in arsenic than the bran of #2. At the end of the day, even though there's more arsenic in the bran than in the other layers of rice, there should be less arsenic in the bran of Thai & Indian rice than there is in US rice. Hence, oil extracted from the bran of Thai or Indian rice would be lower in arsenic than oil from US rice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Furthermore, I did as much digging online as I could to find testing results for arsenic levels in the actual oil. There’s not much info out there - one study abstract I came across on PubMed said the oil was included in the testing but that the results weren't significant - I'd like to see them for myself but can't access the complete article. And I have to wonder why no one has done a large sampling in light of the results from other rice products. I did find the test results for Suriny Rice Bran oil, which indicate concentrations of less than 1 mcg per ounce; that's lower than even the lowest white rice samples. There are also several mentions around the web by people who contacted the California Rice Oil company and were told that their tests haven't detected arsenic in their oil samples, but I may actually contact them myself to verify. Anyway, *if* that information is accurate across the board - and I'm not saying it is - perhaps most of the arsenic in the bran is lost during the extraction process...?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Regardless, IMHO a tablespoon or two of rice bran oil for cooking once in a while shouldn't be of much concern if you're not gorging on other rice products.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  John Francis RE: goodhealthgourmet May 4, 2013 01:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Besides:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  There was a king reigned in the East:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  There, when kings will sit to feast,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  They get their fill before they think
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  With poisoned meat and poisoned drink.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  He gathered all that springs to birth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  From the many-venomed earth;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  First a little, thence to more,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  He sampled all her killing store;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And easy, smiling, seasoned sound,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sate the king when healths went round.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  They put arsenic in his meat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And stared aghast to watch him eat;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  They poured strychnine in his cup
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And shook to see him drink it up:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  They shook, they stared as white's their shirt:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Them it was their poison hurt.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  --I tell the tale that I heard told.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mithridates, he died old.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  (A.E. Housman, "Terence, This Is Stupid Stuff," last stanza)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    NuMystic RE: goodhealthgourmet May 4, 2013 02:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I appreciate all your due diligence, and offer my own apologies for not being more clear. I made a glaring omission in not mentioning that I was only comparing the non US based rice tested.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I never buy domestic rice and as such was only comparing the asian varieties. There's no question that even though the Thai tested higher than the Indian varieties it would be a better choice than almost any US grown rice for those who are concerned with dietary sourced inorganic arsenic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "a tablespoon or two of rice bran oil for cooking once in a while shouldn't be of much concern if you're not gorging on other rice products." - goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Of course that goes without saying GHG, and I even went out of my way to make it clear I still personally enjoy brown rice products on a semi-regular basis in spite of all the hub-bub.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    But being that we had comments from those specifically looking for a go-to neutral oil and concerned with the healthiest options for regular use, I think it's quite reasonable to point out the potential concerns.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    So once again, I'm not in any way suggesting that people avoid rice and rice products altogether.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Simply that for those who *are* concerned with limiting their total consumption of brown rice products, rice bran oil is certainly one of the very easiest to avoid and find alternatives for.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: ohmyyum
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                                                                                                                                                                                                              littleflower RE: ohmyyum Apr 20, 2013 11:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I too have a low tolerance for heat, and think I will give TJ's version of sriracha a try if it has less heat than the Huy Fong brand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: ohmyyum
                                                                                                                                                                                                        alkapal RE: ohmyyum Apr 20, 2013 05:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        oh, more garlickly and not as spicy as rooster brand sriracha? sounds like i'll have to get some, as a comparable with my chili-garlic cholula.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ohmyyum
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                                                                                                                                                                                                          Dave B RE: ohmyyum Apr 22, 2013 04:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Related - I noticed this: http://blogs.ocweekly.com/stickaforki...

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm sure I will buy a bottle to try it out, but based on the comments about the heat rating I may end up relegating it to a "red-colored food flavoring/eye-wash." Anything less-hot than the Huy Fong sriracha, can't honestly be called "hot" sauce in my book. Tasty, yes - but spicy?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Evidently there are a lot of "dainty" palates out there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Dave B
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                                                                                                                                                                                                            ohmyyum RE: Dave B Apr 22, 2013 05:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Interesting! I taste more garlic in the TJs because all I taste with the huy fong rooster brand is pain! I am admittedly a wuss when it comes to spicy food, but it's grown on me. I wouldn't have tried it even if you triple dog dared me a few years ago!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: ohmyyum
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                                                                                                                                                                                                            brilynn79 RE: ohmyyum Apr 27, 2013 12:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sadly,I could not find this product in IN. I did pick up some steak sauce that I intend to try this weekend.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              littleflower RE: brilynn79 Apr 27, 2013 02:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Please do let us know what you think of the steak sauce. A1 Steak Sauce is one of the few brand names that we still buy (another being Heinz 57) because we haven't found a suitable substitute as well as it's difficult to recreate from scratch . Would like to know how this steak sauce compares to A1 before I give it a try!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: littleflower
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                brilynn79 RE: littleflower Apr 27, 2013 10:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I think I would like it better on pork than steak. It has a sort of BBQ quality to it, a little sweeter and smokier than A-1.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Nothing beats A-1 for me, but it was worth a try.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: brilynn79
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  littleflower RE: brilynn79 Apr 28, 2013 01:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks for your take on TJ's steak sauce - yeah, I thought it would be pretty tough to mimic A1's distinctive taste, but still held out hope. It sounds like a decent sauce for perhaps pork or chicken - for the price it may be worth me giving it a try.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. AmyH RE: littleflower Apr 18, 2013 04:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          big Yay:Just Grilled Chicken frozen chicken strips. These things are great and actually taste like chicken, not chemicals! The ingredients list is basically what you'd use if you grilled your own chicken breasts, cut them up and froze them. They were great in the wraps we made for dinner tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: AmyH
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                                                                                                                                                                                                            ohmyyum RE: AmyH Apr 18, 2013 06:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Are those the ones that are already sliced, in a gold or orange bag? I've eyed those a few times but I was very disappointed by one of the prepared just chicken breast products (gristly, fatty) so I haven't given them a go but they would be great to have on hand for a quick no fuss salad topper, or in wraps as you used them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ohmyyum
                                                                                                                                                                                                              AmyH RE: ohmyyum Apr 19, 2013 12:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes, those are the ones. I didn't notice any gristle or fat.They were so handy to just defrost and add to our wraps.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: AmyH
                                                                                                                                                                                                              alkapal RE: AmyH Apr 20, 2013 05:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              if you have a target with groceries nearby, they have until closing TODAY Buy One Get One Tyson's brand frozen cooked ("grilled") chicken breast sliced strips or chunks. So, I got two bags for $7 total. That is at least four meals for two people.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: AmyH
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                chinchi RE: AmyH Apr 20, 2013 07:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I used to love these, but slowly became averse to their flavor -- now I haven't bought them in months. I don't know what exactly put me off, but the taste and texture started to seem too processed (for lack of a more descriptive word).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I picked up the fresh balsamic roasted chicken breasts that another chowhounder recommended in the thread, so I'll give them a try for a quick protein option.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chinchi
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  AmyH RE: chinchi Apr 21, 2013 07:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I eat this kind of product very rarely, so it would take me a while to start disliking it. And in a wrap with other flavors they're very good. I find them less artificial tasting than the Tysons (sorry, alkapal). I believe I'mk the one who recommended the balsamic grilled breasts, so I'm interested in hearing what you think of them. I found them to be great in a salad, but with their strong flavor they might not work in all kinds of wraps.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: AmyH
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    chinchi RE: AmyH Apr 21, 2013 10:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Topped my salad with the balsamic grilled chicken breasts -- delicious! Thank you for the recommendation. The flavor worked well with my salad ingredients and dressing.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                ohmyyum RE: littleflower Apr 18, 2013 06:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                YAY: canned corn! I finally gave this a try based on NuMystic and others' reviews on the Top 5 thread. I've always bought the frozen organic corn or the frozen roasted corn but the canned will now replace those in my kitchen! It was indeed super crisp and sweet and fresh. I actually picked up a can a while ago, but didn't get around to using it until tonight when the fresh corn on the cob I bought today was more starchy than sweet and pretty disappointing. It's my own fault because it's not sweet corn season yet but I couldn't resist. The canned corn was a great backup; in fact, it is probably better tasting than fresh sweet corn 11 months out of the year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                15 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ohmyyum
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  linguafood RE: ohmyyum Apr 18, 2013 06:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That corn is outstanding. Beats any frozen corn I've had, and will do quite well when it's not in season.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ohmyyum RE: linguafood Apr 18, 2013 06:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You were the other enthusiastic endorser, I believe!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: ohmyyum
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mellicita RE: ohmyyum Apr 18, 2013 08:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hmmm.... I bought TJs canned corn (I assume there is only one type, right?) and I just wasnt impressed. It was fine, but basically the same as other brands of canned corn. It was kinda disappointing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Mellicita
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      gmm RE: Mellicita Apr 22, 2013 05:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have to agree with you Mellicita. I tried it and was unimpressed. I prefer frozen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Mellicita
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        o
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ohmyyum RE: Mellicita Apr 22, 2013 07:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Aw man, the kernels in my second can were a bit mushier.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: ohmyyum
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        NuMystic RE: ohmyyum Apr 18, 2013 08:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        So glad you enjoyed it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Despite my recent evangelism I have to thank many others here for mentioning it in the first place or I'd never have tried it myself!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm frequently using it to whip up a 5 minute black bean / corn salsa that rivals the "cowboy caviar" at a fraction of the price.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        - 2-3 16 oz cans of organic black beans (or one of the double sized Goya) drained and rinsed thoroughly.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        - 1 can of TJ's sweet corn mostly drained (maybe 1.5 TBSP
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        or so of the liquid reserved)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        - 1 jar of the Trader Jose's Roasted Garlic Salsa (or half jar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        of the Fire Roasted No Sodium Added Salsa)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        - Juice of 1 lime
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        - Squirt of Sriracha or bit of cayenne measured according
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        to your heat preference
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        - Touch of Apple Cider or Red Wine Vinegar (1 tsp?)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        - Light drizzle of EVOO (1/2 tsp?)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        - Seasoned with sea salt to taste (will be more or less
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        depending on the salsa used)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And optional depending on where you land on the love/hate continuum but strongly recommended if you're not averse:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        - Generous amount of fresh chopped cilantro
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        - 1/4 tsp of freshly ground cumin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Stir.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Devour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Great with your favorite tortilla chip of choice and even better spooned over the TJ's jalapeño cheese tamales. (steamed!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My wife enjoys it over a scoop of quinoa on a bed of spring mix or arugula for a packed salad lunch. I add a sprinkle of pepitas for crunch and spoon a bit of extra liquid in lieu of dressing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thickens nicely after refrigeration, provided you actually have any left over. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: NuMystic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          alkapal RE: NuMystic Apr 20, 2013 05:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          do they sell pepitas at trader joe's?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            NuMystic RE: alkapal Apr 20, 2013 06:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sure do alkapal, both raw and roasted w. salt. At my TJ's they're on the bottom shelf of the nut, seed, dried fruit, and trail mix section.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: NuMystic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              alkapal RE: NuMystic Apr 20, 2013 08:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              thanks, that's good to know. that is not a section i normally shop in. i love small nuts like these on top of salads.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                goodhealthgourmet RE: alkapal Apr 20, 2013 09:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                TJs pepitas are great. The raw ones always taste fresh, and for the rare occasion when I buy packaged roasted ones instead of doing it myself, theirs are neither greasy nor overly salty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: NuMystic
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ohmyyum RE: NuMystic Apr 21, 2013 01:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks for the recipe! This sounds so light and refreshing, especially for the warmer months! I actually happen to have a jar of the no salt added fire roasted salsa on hand so this will be the perfect way to use it up. I think it would pair well with the quinoa black bean chips!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ohmyyum
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              NuMystic RE: ohmyyum Apr 22, 2013 10:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Let me know what you think! Crushed garlic is also a worthy addition for fiends of that stripe. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: NuMystic
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ohmyyum RE: NuMystic Apr 22, 2013 07:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It was fantastic! Even though this can of corn was not quite as good? My first can had kernels that were so crisp they were crunchy, but this can was a kind of mushy. I may stick to using the canned in cooked dishes, and fresh or frozen in salads. The end result was still good, and all the flavors worked so well together. I used the TJs sriracha and it was perfectly spicy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Buying all the components separately added up to more $ than the jar of cowboy caviar but this version was much better (not as sweet) and it made quite a lot. I've got lunch for at least 2 days so I am pleased!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ohmyyum
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  NuMystic RE: ohmyyum Apr 23, 2013 12:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  So glad that you enjoyed it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  As for cost, being that this makes 48-64 oz (depending upon 2 or 3 cans of beans) vs the 13 oz jar of Cowboy Caviar, it's dramatically cheaper by the oz even if you spend more up front than that single jar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And I completely agree, it's great being able to completely tweak the sweet/acid/heat ratio to taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm disappointed to hear that a few cans of sub-par corn have turned up. I haven't hit one yet, and at first thought that Mellicita and the one other negative comment were just nuts to compare it to typical canned corn.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Every can I've ever had has larger kernals and a crunch that no canned corn has ever offered, but it sounds like there are some bad batches out there. I keep enough on hand that if I came across one I'd just open another and return the mushy batch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I know it's often a once burned twice-shy situation but I encourage anyone that hasn't gotten a good can to try again after a while as you can be sure they've gotten the rave reviews for a reason. Those bad cans are definitely the exception and not the rule and this corn has nothing in common but the name with any other canned corn I've ever had.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: NuMystic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mellicita RE: NuMystic Apr 23, 2013 07:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Interesting.... I'm willing to give the canned corn another go.. I might wait a little bit to let the shelves clear out and replace with new. My can didnt have crunch :-(
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Your recipe for "cowboy caviar" looks great, Numystic!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. c
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          chinchi RE: littleflower Apr 20, 2013 07:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Nay -- Turkey club wrap. Not a new item, but I was looking for a non-messy handheld dinner to eat at a baseball game. Generic sliced turkey, hard bacon bits, way too much mayo, and some lettuce shreds and tomato cubes. Bland -- but satisfied my "non-messy" requirement at least.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Atomic76 RE: littleflower Apr 20, 2013 09:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            They've got a great selection of freezer items, that's one of the main reasons I go there. I particularly like their mashed potatoes - they come in discs, so it's easy to portion out a small amount here and there without having to cook the whole bag.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I also liked their pasta sauces and spices. Their California garlic powder is fantastic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A very big nay on their produce, which never really looks good and goes bad almost immediately. Also, I've had several bad experiences with their fresh meats. A number of times when I opened the package they reeked of a strong sulphur smell.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Mellicita RE: Atomic76 Apr 20, 2013 11:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The produce issues may be a regional thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The produce in my area (Dallas) has actually been ok so far. I really like their selection of bagged lettuce mixes (esp 1.99 for 3 big hearts of romaine is a great deal). I bought two perfectly ripe sweet pears today. They had beautiful fresh spring asparagus. The prices are occasionally a good deal,, but generally on par or even more expensive the standard supermarket prices (whereas most other products are good deals with regard to price)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              TJ's selection is not huge.. esp compared to even our standard supermarkets like Albertsons or Kroger, not to mention Whole Foods or Central Market's beautiful displays.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                aching RE: Mellicita Apr 23, 2013 10:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The asparagus in LA (Westwood store) has been FANTASTIC for the last week. I can't get enough of it, although my husband piteously asked me after about six bunches if we could have a different vegetable. =)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Savour RE: aching Apr 23, 2013 04:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, I've been getting good (and cheap!) asparagus in Pasadena.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    thursday RE: Savour Apr 23, 2013 11:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Which Pasadena store, please? We frequent all 3 but I haven't picked up any asparagus lately-

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Savour RE: thursday Apr 24, 2013 01:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I want to say Arroyo? But I might have picked it up in Eagle Rock.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Dommy RE: aching Apr 24, 2013 12:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    YEP! They had great fatty organic ones at the Westchester, Ca store as well! I also love TJs for their Fennel... two HUGE bulbs... great for braising! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    --Dommy!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  littleflower RE: Atomic76 Apr 20, 2013 11:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I too really like their mashed potatoes. For those really busy weeknights, TJ's frozen mashed potatoes are a lifesaver. When we prepare them with butter, milk/cream, salt and pepper it really it is pretty close to having homemade mashed potatoes!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mellicita RE: littleflower Apr 20, 2013 11:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  YAY! Trader Joe's Crunchy Slaw with Chicken, Crispy Noodles & Peanut Dressing (with prepared refrigerated salads)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This is a mix of shredded cabbage and romaine lettuce, with shreds of carrot and green onions and cilantro. The cilantro provides little pops of fresh herb taste to the mix, which I loved... so this is also a warning that if you dont like cilantro, you definitely taste it, and its impossible to pick it out! The dressing is sweet, viscous, with flavors of soy sauce, garlic, singer, and a hint of peanut. (Compared to TJs bottled spicy Asian peanut dressing, its a little sweeter and heavier on the soy sauce flavor) There is a packed of crispy fried Asian noodles to add, which provide a great crunch and taste good with the dressing. The salad is topped with some plain dry, flavorless chicken breast chunks, which are the only lousy component of this (I suggest just removing the chicken and serving this as a side dish or topping with your own protein of choice)... I did eat the chicken, masked with some dressing, so its not awful, but it brings down the overally greatness of this salad. (Is this new? I had never seen it before)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yay, raisin rosemary crisps. Finally got to try 'em! Delicious with honey goat cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yay, Red Quinoa (in aisle with self stable foods, like rice and pasta). This you have to prepare yourself. I had a sample made with water and a touch of butter and some Trader Joe's Everyday Seasoning with Built in Grinder (the seasoning ingredients are: Sea Salt,mustard Seeds, Black Peppercorns,coriander,onion,garlic,paprika & Chili Pepper) The quinoa was nice and fluffy and "al dente" (if that is a correct term to use on some thing other than pasta).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  YAY Unexpected Cheddar cheese, an old item, but REALLY yummy sharp white cheddar cheese, I do get notes of parmesan flavor, as advertised on the label.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Has anyone tried the new frozen True Thai Pad See Ew?

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Dommy RE: Mellicita Apr 24, 2013 12:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I LOVE that crunch slaw and completely agree with you about the chicken... I would gladly buy it if it had no chicken!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    --Dommy!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      elise h RE: Mellicita May 3, 2013 09:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      the Pad See Ew-first, don't expect it to taste like it just came out of a searing wok. With that mindset, it's pretty good. The noodles retained nice chewiness and the flavors are good for a frozen, convenient product that takes less than 10 minutes start to finish. The chinese broccoli, tofu, carrots in the dish are the best you can expect. Would I buy it again? Since I live in a city with tons of thai restaurants, probably not. Otherwise, I sure would.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. AmyH RE: littleflower Apr 21, 2013 07:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      YAY!: frozen authentic Belgian waffles. These were so tasty and had that great malty flavor that real Belgian waffles have. Nothing like Eggos. Cooked up quickly in the toaster oven.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ohmyyum RE: AmyH Apr 21, 2013 12:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I loved them too AmyH! Great price, too. Well there you go, littleflower, you will definitely have to try them now. :)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          littleflower RE: ohmyyum Apr 21, 2013 02:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You know, I was meaning to add them to our last TJ's grocery list and I totally forgot. Yes, you are correct - must add these to the next list and try them!!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          littleflower RE: AmyH Apr 21, 2013 02:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Quick question for you or ohmyyum - will these belgian waffles fit into a regular toaster, or are they too wide to fit into most toaster slots?

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ohmyyum RE: littleflower Apr 21, 2013 04:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            They are definitely wider than your typical waffle. I also used a toaster oven but if your pop-up toaster can fit bagels, then it should be fine.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              littleflower RE: ohmyyum Apr 22, 2013 04:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I don't think that my pop-up toaster can fit bagels, but I will give it a try. We don't have a toaster oven (although the more I have gotten into cooking the more I realize how handy a toaster oven would be!) so I think I will just toast them in the regular oven if they don't fit in the pop-up toaster.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ohmyyum RE: littleflower Apr 22, 2013 07:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                OT, but I love my convection toaster oven. It's the perfect size for turning out a small-ish batch of cookies or a single pan of brownies. To bring it back to the thread, I never used it for anything other than toasting or baking until the sample lady at TJs told me that she had made the mozzarella stick sample in the convection toaster in their kitchen, and said they used it to make everything they baked! Since then I've used it for roasting veggies and quiche and anything really when I just want to make a small batch. I am especially looking forward to not heating up the kitchen in the summer.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  GraceW RE: ohmyyum Apr 22, 2013 07:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Do you recommend a particular model/brand? I have a very small apartment and find it unbearable to turn on the oven during the warm months--this would be ideal. (Moreover, I love roasted veggies!)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          schrutefarms RE: littleflower Apr 21, 2013 01:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My go-to dinner lately has been a farro and kale salad...a big YAY on TJs 10 minute farro-always cooks up perfectly, and lasts in the fridge for a while (if it gets a little dried out, I just add some water and microwave for a minute). But I'm giving their bagged kale a MEH...the taste is great, as is the freshness, and it lasts for a long time in the fridge, but since it's in little florets, I have to pick all the ribs out, then chop it all up...I would prefer buying a head of kale, and then shredding it, but their are no heads at my TJs...not too big of a deal, but takes a few extra minutes.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            NuMystic RE: schrutefarms Apr 22, 2013 10:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That's probably because not many people use the kale raw schrutefarms.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've only used the bagged kale when cooking it and am glad for the crunch and texture the stems provide, and it's broken down to just the right size where no extra prep is necessary.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            With raw though, I definitely also remove the stems altogether so I can see where that would be a bit annoying.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              cheesecake17 RE: NuMystic Apr 22, 2013 04:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I buy the raw kale mostly to cook, but I have used it raw. I don't mind picking out the stems. They sometimes have lacinato kale precut

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                givemecarbs RE: NuMystic Apr 22, 2013 05:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My friend always has me pick up the kale for him. Been two years now and he has never cooked it. Green smoothies are him! (and I get some too)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  schrutefarms RE: NuMystic Apr 22, 2013 07:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yeah, I figured most people would either sauté it or use it for juicing, which it's perfect for. But I'd still rather have to prep it than drive to another grocery store for a head of kale :) I'm healthy AND lazy!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                calmossimo RE: littleflower Apr 21, 2013 04:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yay for the 1000 day aged gouda! I actually bought a chunk of this a while back, and liked it then, but rediscovered it in my fridge drawer today and have been nibbling at it for snacking today. I've been storing it wrapped loosely in parchment paper and in a ziploc baggie in the fridge cheese drawer. Seems to be a bit drier and more crumbly, but equally delish. Paired with water crackers that were left over from wine and cheese tasting last week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. alkapal RE: littleflower Apr 22, 2013 02:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  yay to the frozen chocolate covered banana slices. good chocolate flavor and texture, and perfectly ripe banana.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    littleflower RE: littleflower Apr 22, 2013 03:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    SUPER YAY: Bakery Fresh Cinnamon Rolls (found in, yep you guessed it...the bakery section) - I tried these on a whim and was wowed by them. They somehow struck the perfect balance of everything to make an outstanding cinnamon roll. There was just the right amount of icing, sugar, and cinnamon without any of these overwhelming the taste of the whole cinnamon roll. I usually find cinnamon rolls to be overly sweet or not sweet enough - these were just right. If you like cinnamon rolls and your TJ's carries them - definitely give these a try (best eaten warmed with a pat of butter - over the top yum).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    YAY: Fresh Pressed 100% Apple Juice (located in the juice aisle, not the refrigerator section) - I read one review that raved about the juice, noting that her son said it tastes like biting into an apple, and they were right...this is by far the best apple juice I have tasted next to freshly squeezed. I almost bought TJ's Organic Apple Juice but read that the only TJ's Apple Juice that passed the test for safe levels of arsenic was TJ's Freshly Pressed not the Organic kind.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. AmyH RE: littleflower Apr 22, 2013 03:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I don't remember which month it was, but someone recommended the frozen turkey burgers. i just wanted to say thank you because they were a big YAY for us. Cooked up very tasty on the grill.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Also a Yay for the fresh whole wheat hamburger buns. Very short sell-by date (as is usual for all their baked goods) so I froze them for a couple of days until we ate them. They still tasted great when thawed. Almost buttery.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        littleflower RE: AmyH Apr 22, 2013 03:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        John Francis was the one raving about them - he gave me the idea to give them a try and I agree with you AmyH, they are really good. Huge bonus points that they only contain three ingredients - turkey, rosemary extract, and sea salt - yet somehow taste incredible.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          KellyD123 RE: littleflower Apr 22, 2013 03:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Can you taste the rosemary extract in these? I've seen that in a lot of frozen turkey burgers and it's always put me off but I've never tasted it for myself.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            littleflower RE: KellyD123 Apr 22, 2013 04:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The flavor of rosemary in these turkey burgers definitely is not overpowering by any means, and I think I would go as far as to say it is hardly noticeable. I am not a huge rosemary fan and I loved these.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              John Francis RE: KellyD123 Apr 22, 2013 04:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I agree - these aren't rosemary-flavored burgers, but they are more savory than plain ground turkey or ground turkey with salt, so the rosemary extract is contributing something. I pan-fry them (frozen) over medium heat with a bit of oil, maybe 3 minutes on each side; cook them to well done and they aren't nearly as good.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                AmyH RE: John Francis Apr 23, 2013 05:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yes, that rosemary extract does something to them that makes them really good. But you'd never think "rosemary!" when you taste them. My husband probably cooked them a little longer than necessary on the grill, but they were still delicious.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ohmyyum RE: AmyH Apr 22, 2013 07:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I loved them too! They've become a regular purchase. I love these threads, I've made so many new discoveries!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            As far as the bread goes, you are right that they are usually pretty short-dated. I brought back a loaf that got moldy very quickly and they gave me a replacement AND a refund even though it was 1 day past the sell by date-- now that's customer service! They also mentioned that the baked goods are extremely perishable because they don't use any preservatives, and recommended storing in the fridge or freezer. I haven't had any problems since!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              littleflower RE: ohmyyum Apr 22, 2013 09:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              We buy at least one loaf of Tuscan Pane bread every week, and immediately put the loaf in the refrigerator (I'm not a huge fan of putting bread in the freezer, because sometimes when I thaw it out I can taste the difference). Even on the rare weeks where we won't go through the entire loaf, it has lasted in the refrigerator for up to three weeks past exp. date without turning moldy.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                AmyH RE: littleflower Apr 23, 2013 05:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I don't care for bread that's been frozen, but somehow I don't mind previously frozen rolls. Maybe it's because they're cloaked in crust and the bad flavors don't get in.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                John Francis RE: ohmyyum Apr 23, 2013 03:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It's kind of a Hobson's choice, because refrigerating bread makes it go stale sooner, or so it's said. Moldy or stale, which to choose? Stale, of course - there are tons of uses for day-old bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. EM23 RE: littleflower Apr 23, 2013 09:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I took my auntie for her first Trader Joe's visit last week and she bought the applewood smoked bacon, on my recommendation, and gave it a big yay. She also bought a box of organic peanut butter filled crackers. I had a couple of them after she opened these in the car on the ride back, and I thought they were ok, but nothing special. She loves them – yay.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              For me, maple syrup, Grade A (my store doesn’t carry B), another yay, and at a reasonable price.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Canned corn – not wowed by this. I thought it was just ok.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Rilke RE: EM23 Apr 23, 2013 11:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Your store doesn't carry B? :0( It's the best.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  EM23 RE: Rilke Apr 23, 2013 11:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Nope. I asked and the salesperson said something about the B grade being the one used in the cleanse diet, but they don't carry it. I had no idea what that meant, so I googled it up, and it is some ridiculous diet made popular by Beyonce - gagarooney. That said, the Grade A is really nice.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ashibi RE: EM23 Apr 29, 2013 11:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I am a big fan of Grade B maple syrup. I always have one in frig and one in my pantry. i think Grade B is more flavorful.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Mellicita RE: littleflower Apr 23, 2013 11:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Nay - the frozen Fire Roasted Vegetables with Balsamic Butter Sauce. The sauce tasted odd... almost like beef gravy from a packet of powdered mix (even though there is no meat in the product). The veggies suffer from being a mix of things that require different cooking times.. Tomatoes that became mushy, peppers that cooked up well, green beans that were very tough, carrots a little tough but passable, pearl onions that were still almost raw. It also shrinks down quite a bit, so it would barely serve 2 people a realistic scoop of veggies. Its odd because it says there are six 1/2 cup servings in the 16 oz bag... but I dont get that even when measuring it frozen.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I made them in a pan, with the recommended 1/2 cup water... on a blog it was recommended to actually roast them from frozen in the over, and the blogger said they came out much better that way.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It did prompt me to experiment and realize that I can make my own really yummy balsamic butter sauce by reducing a cup of no salt added chicken stock with a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, and sprinkling of sugar... and then when only about 2 tbsp are left, swirling in a pat of butter.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  John Francis RE: Mellicita Apr 23, 2013 08:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I like the fire roasted vegetables well enough to have them now and then, but I'd agree that it isn't TJ's best vegetable medley. For me that might be the frozen Fire Roasted Bell Peppers & Onions, great on their own and also with Italian sausage on the plate or a roll. (But I see in another thread that a lot of people put bell peppers among their bottom five vegetables. No accounting for tastes.)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    NuMystic RE: John Francis Apr 23, 2013 09:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    re: the lack of bell pepper love...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    For many it's specifically green bells that get the cold shoulder. I'm not completely averse to the the greens when cooked, but can totally taste the soapy notes that so many find offensive, especially when they're raw.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yellow, orange, and especially red bells though... mmmm. If organic colored bells weren't typically so pricey I'd have them perpetually on my table.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mellicita RE: John Francis Apr 24, 2013 08:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I normally LOVE roasted red peppers (made fresh or in a jar). Love raw peppers in salad. I definitely love peppers. (I do agree with NuMystics assessmen of red peppers being sweeter and more appealing than green)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'll give the fire roasted peppers and onions and try then.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My main complaint about the fire roasted vegetables with balsamic butter sauce was the sauce - it was like a fake gravy with balsamic flavoring.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yay/Ok was the frozen "Harvest Medley" The name is a little wierd, because its basically a medley of vegetables meant for an Asian stir fry - baby corn, water chestnuts, mushrooms, peppers, broccoli (I forget what else). Nothing that really says "Harvest" or fall to me. But it was decent for a frozen vegetable mix. Nothing special, but met expectations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. TXMandy RE: littleflower Apr 23, 2013 01:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've tried a lot of TJ's products this month and have to share the love! Also, it really must depend on the store, because I have had no problems at all with the fresh meats, fruits and vegetables at the Plano, TX location.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    YAY - A Midsummer Night's Cream. This is super moisturizing and I love that it's unscented!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    YAY - Black Forest Uncured Bacon. We thought this was delicious, although it won't replace our beloved Applewood Bacon. (I picked up two packages of these ends and pieces). It's a little thinner than the applewood and the sugar seemed to caramalize when baked in the oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    MEH - Frozen Vegetable Eggrolls. They taste fine, but don't get very crispy when baked, so I have to use a fork to scoop up everything falling out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    HOLY MOLY YAY! - Canned Yellowfin Tuna in Olive Oil. Thank you, thank, thank you to those that recommended this! Drained and mixed with Greek yogurt, dill and salt and pepper is my to to lunch lately.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    YAY - Sriracha Sauce. This is thinner, not quite as spicy and much more garlicky than the original rooster sauce, but I loved it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    YAY - Mediterranean Hummus. My favorite of all the hummus I've tried so far. A perfect balance of oil, spices and pine nuts. I love this on the small, round flat bread grilled up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    YAY - Fresh Super Spinach Salad with Carrot Miso dressing

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    YAY - Fresh Soft Pretzel Bread mini loaf.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    YAY - Kettle Green and White Unsweet Tea on the shelf. Very refreshing and I drank half the jug on day one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Things my husband gives a YAY too (I haven't tried) Chocolate, Peanut Butter filled Cupcakes from the bakery and refrigerated Jumbo Cinnamon Rolls.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A few things we picked up and look forward to trying are refrigerated Pizza Dough, frozen Spinach Mushroom Quiche, frozen Chicken Pot Pie, frozen Chili Relleno, bottled General Tsao Cooking Sauce, Dukkah spice blend and packaged Taco seasoning.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    We've only had a TJ's since September here. Can you tell I'm a fan?

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: TXMandy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      NuMystic RE: TXMandy Apr 23, 2013 01:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Okay, I'll bite... how does the lack of eggroll crispness contribute to the filling falling out? :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You're going to love the Dukkah! I'm enjoying it so much, I think I'm going to start checking out different recipes for it online and try my hand at making some from scratch.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        TXMandy RE: NuMystic Apr 23, 2013 01:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        lol, When I try to pick it up, it's mushy and completely falls apart, so I've just given up trying.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My husband hates cauliflower, and he has a business dinner tonight, so I'm going to use this chance to make your dukkah cauliflower recipe from above tonight :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: TXMandy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          NuMystic RE: TXMandy Apr 23, 2013 06:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          How did you make them Mandy? They weren't a repeat buy for me as I wasn't enchanted with the sweet/savory flavor but had no problem at all getting them crispy in the oven. Placed them on an open wire rack oiver a rimmed baking sheet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          So glad to hear you enjoyed the Dukkah Crusted Cauliflower! My wife is the exact opposite of your husband. If she had her way we'd eat cauliflower 5 nights a week. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Speaking of which with all positive feedback I think it's time to make it again soon. (only did it the once before posting the suggestion)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: NuMystic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            TXMandy RE: NuMystic Apr 23, 2013 06:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It's been a while, but I think I just put them on a baking sheet in the oven. I have some in the freezer, so I'll give 'em another go and hope for better results this time. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            No matter how good the cauliflower was, he will not be converted. More for me :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: TXMandy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              NuMystic RE: TXMandy Apr 23, 2013 06:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Definitely ditch the sheet next time other than as a way of catching oil and juices and you'll get better results. (and even on a wire rack they'll need to be turned a few times)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: TXMandy
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        littleflower RE: TXMandy Apr 23, 2013 02:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Isn't that yellowfin tuna in olive oil fantastic? That tuna holds a permanent spot on our weekly grocery list. It even rivals some of the really expensive imported jarred tuna filets that I have tried in the past from other gourmet stores, and at more than 1/2 the price! We don't even drain out the olive oil, just mix it up with the tuna - I have never had a canned tuna in oil before that I have not drained out the oil first.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          TXMandy RE: littleflower Apr 23, 2013 02:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A thousand thank yous to you littleflower! The tuna IS amazing! I probably never would have picked it up without your recommendation and it has a permanent place in my house too now, I never bought tuna in oil before, because I didn't think it added much to the flavor for the extra fat and calories. Hmmmm, now dinner may consist of canned tuna and NuMystic's roasted cauliflower with dukkah lol

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: TXMandy
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            littleflower RE: TXMandy Apr 23, 2013 03:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Glad that you liked the tuna, TXMandy! I also cannot go back to eating tuna packed in water after trying TJ's Yellowfin Tuna in Olive Oil. A gourmet find at TJ's for an excellent price.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            TXMandy RE: littleflower Apr 23, 2013 02:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Littleflower, have you tried the canned smoked trout? I really like this too as a different alternative to tuna sometimes (mixed up the same way). It doesn't need much added to it because of the awesome smokiness.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: TXMandy
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              littleflower RE: TXMandy Apr 23, 2013 03:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have not, and was tempted to try it since I like trout but what held me back was first trying the canned smoked sardines. I love TJ's Boneless Skinless Sardines in Olive Oil from Morocco but when I tried the Smoked Sardines in Olive Oil - I didn't like the smoky taste of the sardines.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I should give the smoked trout try though and see - maybe the smoky flavor will complement the trout better than the sardines.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                alkapal RE: littleflower Apr 24, 2013 10:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                it is not too smoky, in my opinion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alkapal
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  littleflower RE: alkapal Apr 24, 2013 06:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Well, that's two of you that *yay* the canned smoked trout, and seeming as how much I 1) like trout and 2) like their other canned fish products (sardines and anchovies), then I will give these a try as well. Do either of you recall how much they are - if memory serves me correctly they are slightly more expensive than the canned sardines.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    chinchi RE: littleflower Apr 24, 2013 11:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I too love the smoked trout, but I consider it a splurge at over $3 a can. I treat myself once in awhile. The can has two servings, but I always manage to polish it off all at once.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The smoked sardines were a major nay, though I love TJs boneless/skinless in olive oil as well. The smoked trout is in a different league than the lousy smoked sardines.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      TXMandy RE: littleflower Apr 25, 2013 09:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I just checked the receipt and the smoked trout is $3.29 a can.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. GraceW RE: littleflower Apr 23, 2013 02:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            YAY--the wasabi seaweed sheets. I had only had the regular flavor before, and thought it was no big deal (and not much substance for the money--because you could get hooked easy). Definitely the wasabi version is flavorful and fun, although I won't be buying that often.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            NAY--the Blondie mix. I didn't buy it, but they were sampling it, and I noticed it was thin, did not have that much flavor, and very very crispy. I am not a crispy-person.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: GraceW
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              SavoryTv RE: GraceW Apr 25, 2013 12:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              GraceW are these the seaweed snacks sold where the chips are? If so I need to try those, I love the original seaweed snack (and so, strangely, does my kitten!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: SavoryTv
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                NuMystic RE: SavoryTv Apr 25, 2013 12:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Not strange at all actually as most cats love seaweed due to its distinctly fishy flavor. Not a great idea to feed these in particular though as they're heavily salted and cats have no need for excess sodium in their diets. Especially since felines are already prone to not staying hydrated enough as it is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You can just buy unseasoned nori sheets for the furry one and keep the TJs snacks all to yourself! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And yes, they're the ones near the chips... fittingly too, as I easily plow through a whole pack whenever I open one!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: NuMystic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  SavoryTv RE: NuMystic Apr 25, 2013 01:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh thanks NuMystic! I usually do give her a sheet or two, I had not been thinking about the sodium, thanks so much for mentioning that. I'll try the nori sheets per your rec.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I love them too, there was a time when I ate at least one package per day....somehow the guilt factor is lessened when I snack on something green :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: SavoryTv
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    NuMystic RE: SavoryTv Apr 25, 2013 10:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Apart from the salt and bit of added oil these really are an exceptionally healthy and guilt free snack. Certainly leagues more so than chips, and seaweeds are packed with minerals and nutrients.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I was already a fan of snacking on nori and used to lightly toast full sheets over an open gas burner, but thanks to TJ's (as with SO many other of their items) I've become spoiled, lazy, and a bit less healthy for it now. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: NuMystic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      GraceW RE: NuMystic Apr 25, 2013 03:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, I think it is a healthy-indulgence (due to price) because I know I could get a bale of seaweed at the local chinese grocery store for a few dollars.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: GraceW
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        NuMystic RE: GraceW Apr 25, 2013 04:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ah! Now that makes perfect sense Grace.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I never thought of these as pricey since I usually buy organic nori which is absurdly expensive compared to the bulk asian variety. And of course that's an entirely baseless comparison since the TJ's snack is... not organic. (insert facepalm here)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Just another expression of how lazy-making TJ's is for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I've bought more pre-prepared food in the last 6 months of living near a Trader Joe's than in the 6 years prior. Such is the blessing and curse that is TJ's. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. d
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              DandelionFluff RE: littleflower Apr 24, 2013 09:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              UMMM?: The April spotlight cheese in my Trader Joe's is Trader Jacque's Pont L'Eveque, a mild, washed rind cheese with warm, buttery, savory flavors and a creamy texture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I only recently started trying TJ's wine & cheese pairings because, you know, drinking wine in a grocery store in the middle of the day makes me question too much about myself. But when I tried the coastal reserve merlot ($4.99 a bottle) with the December Cinco Lanzas cheese, I was hooked. I loved that cheese. The iberico is similar, but not the same!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This cheese looks like a crusty, aging square piece of something or other--tempeh, maybe, but felt squishy to the touch. I had to try it! Even though it was a soft cheese and I figured it would be like brie or some such thing, the "buttery flavor" description won me over. Plus I like gross things.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I unwrapped it, and the smell was terrible. I'm not a cheese connoisseur, I don't even know how to spell connoisseur. It was like an old person's bad breath. Namely like my mother's bad breath. I don't know what was going on with that woman, rest her soul, but her morning breath could kill you. This cheese not-so-fondly reminded me of her--and maybe a little of my own morning breath sometimes, which I can taste, and which sends me running to the sink to brush my tongue thoroughly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That wasn't actually my first thought though. My first thought was that it smelled like cheese I would make in my belly button with some raw milk, if I had enough room in my belly button to make cheese, and if I urinated in there too...there is an ammonia flavor, but not as strong as most brie I've had. I guess this is because it's a washed rind cheese, only a bit of that moldy stuff remains, which is why I found the yellowing rind appealing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I ate a bite, it left a bad taste in my mouth, had to eat something else to get rid of that flavor, and had to wash the scent off my fingers. I was tempted to toss it, but ever practical, I put I put it back in the fridge. Yesterday I opened my refrigerator and smelled something rotting. I thought it was the wilted swiss chard, but then I sniffed the Pont L'Eveque and remembered.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This morning I decided to eat some on a Trader Joe's onion bagel with Earth Balance--I'm sure that's they way french cheeses are meant to be eaten. This was when I realize the halitosis connection. Yet, I ate quite a bit of it, at first just scooping out the middle, and then going whole hog and eating the rind too. Yes, it still kind of reminds me of stuff that comes out of a cyst, but it tastes pretty good...mild as far as cheese go. And maybe because I haven't brushed my teeth yet this morning, it hasn't left an aftertaste that I can tell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              So, Yay, I guess. I'll finish it off.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: DandelionFluff
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                puzzler RE: DandelionFluff Apr 24, 2013 09:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oh yum, pus and urine -- I can't wait.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: DandelionFluff
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  alkapal RE: DandelionFluff Apr 24, 2013 10:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  i guess we have a big leg you are pulling.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: DandelionFluff
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    EM23 RE: DandelionFluff Apr 24, 2013 04:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yay for the great tip! I never thought of using my belly button for cheesemaking – I am totally pinning this idea!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mellicita RE: DandelionFluff Apr 24, 2013 08:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      OMG! This needs to win an award for most descriptive cheese review EVER! LOLLL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: DandelionFluff
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        tracylee RE: DandelionFluff Apr 26, 2013 02:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I popped in to my local TJs today to find some of the things mentioned here, as well as some of my staples, and specifically looked for this cheese. Since it's wrapped in slightly different sizes, I was looking for a smaller size when things started to smell funny - through a few layers of plastic wrap.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I put it down and backed away. Good thing 'cause I ran into the ex-husband on my way out of the store, and after we were done talking, no one would have wanted to enter as it warmed up!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: DandelionFluff
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          gingershelley RE: DandelionFluff Apr 28, 2013 11:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          BIG YEAH to STINKY CHEESES!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Tho I have never before of making any in my belly button (and I have a deep 'inny'...) - I may have to suggest this to the next French cheese-maker I meet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. AmyH RE: littleflower Apr 24, 2013 04:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          OK: Pesto Tortellini (refrigerated) and Alfredo Sauce (jar). The basil in the tortellini gave it a nice flavor, I thought. I didn't want to overwhelm it with tomato sauce so I used the alfredo. It was good, but it seemed like something was lacking. Any suggestions for a different sauce for those pesto tortellini?

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Rilke RE: AmyH Apr 24, 2013 05:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I like to make a sort of warm caprese with those with good extra virgin olive oil, sauteed chopped garlic, halved grape tomatoes, perline mozzarella, and black pepper.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              AmyH RE: Rilke Apr 24, 2013 07:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh that sounds lovely! Thanks for the suggestion. It'll be great when I'm loaded with cherry tomatoesfrom my garden.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            DeborahL RE: littleflower Apr 24, 2013 05:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            YAY:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            TJ's Savory Thin Mini Edamame Crackers. An impulse buy at the register, and one I'm glad I gave in to. These are tasty, offer a bit of protein, and at 38 chips per 120-calorie serving, they make a truly satisfying snack.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            TJ's Organic Fruit Wraps. They're all some variation on apple (apple-banana, apple-blueberry, apple-raspberry), and at 50 cents and 50 calories apiece, they're both affordable and a not-guilty pleasure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            NAY:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            TJ's Indian Fare Palak Paneer and Punjab Eggplant. These are extremely convenient non-frozen work-lunch options, and they're also extremely affordable. But the sodium level will strangle you: for example, 1720mg total in the Palak Paneer. And using "1/2 package" as the serving size for the nutritional panel on the packaging seems disingenuous bordering on deceptive. Half of one of these packages is nowhere near a meal, unless I suppose you add rice and bread and salad. Maybe that would then make them more appealing, but for me, I won't buy them again.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: DeborahL
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              littleflower RE: DeborahL Apr 24, 2013 07:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hi DeborahL - just curious as to what you think of the taste of the Punjab Eggplant? I have been eyeing this one but haven't yet purchased it. Although I personally wouldn't be detoured from buying it just based on its high sodium count, I can appreciate why you nay'ed this one. The average person probably feels the same way you do about the sodium level being so high in it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I very much agree with your Yay for the fruit wraps - much healthier than the regular store brands and taste great!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: littleflower
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                John Francis RE: littleflower Apr 25, 2013 01:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I've had the Punjab Eggplant and like it; there's another one in my cupboard. Haven't tried the Palak Paneer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: littleflower
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  DeborahL RE: littleflower Apr 29, 2013 10:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hi littleflower! Apologies, I just saw your reply to my post. I did actually like the flavor of the Punjab Eggplant, more so than the Palak Paneer. With bread or rice to soak up the salty flavor, and salad to brighten things up, it'd probably make a nice little meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: DeborahL
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  aching RE: DeborahL Apr 30, 2013 04:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I liked those Edamame Crackers too. I had them with guacamole and it was a win.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. Njchicaa RE: littleflower Apr 24, 2013 06:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Not new products but new to me:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Frozen shrimp gozoya (??) -- tried both fry/steam and straight nuke cooking methods. Even made a dipping sauce of soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine vinrgar, etc. ... Didn't like it. Tasted too much like cheapo seafood and even my homemade sauce couldn't improve the situation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Also disliked the chicken and cilantro won tons. Probably the only people who found them on a platter being offered to them at the next party would take one out of politeness, but they just aren't yummy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  YAY--Frozen Chicken Quesadilla. My husband told me a couple of months ago that it was the best quesadilla he ever had. He wasn't kidding. I'm hooked!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Njchicaa
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    chinchi RE: Njchicaa Apr 24, 2013 11:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    We often have the frozen quesadillas for a quick meal. Delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Njchicaa
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      calmossimo RE: Njchicaa Apr 29, 2013 09:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I tried the frozen Thai shrimp gyoza on another past CH rec, and I thought it was just mediocre. I think I've had better frozen potstickers from Costco, but maybe I've just gotten used to that style of potsticker because I grew up eating the Costco ones.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. SavoryTv RE: littleflower Apr 24, 2013 08:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks for your posts everyone! I always check this thread before a shopping trip!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yay: The Spanish Cheese Tapas Sampler - Perfect for the lazy, it comes with several slices of Iberico, Manchego, and Cabra Al Vino, all of which are fantastic, especially the Iberico.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yay: The Strawberry Kefir, it's a staple in our house. Great on it's own or as a base for fruit smoothies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Nay: The Smoked Turkey Jerky, I was sad because this had so much potential, it was the perfect texture. But way way too sugary. I would have loved it with more smoke flavoring and less sugar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Nay for me, only because I am not an anise fan: The Dukkah nut blend. Just too strong of an anise flavor, otherwise lovely.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I am still LOVING the South African Spice blend (found by the Dukkah), it's awesome on grilled burgers.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: SavoryTv
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        SavoryTv RE: SavoryTv Apr 25, 2013 06:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Adding a big YAY: the Chunky Olive Hummus, so good! Had some last night with the pumpernickel pretzels, two thumbs up :)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        littleflower RE: littleflower Apr 24, 2013 09:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        YAY: Split Pea Soup (in the canned soup section) - wow, I can't believe I am actually writing this because I detest peas, but I really liked this soup. It had a good depth of flavor, and although I believe it is vegetarian, it tasted like it had chicken broth, ham, or some other meat-type product in it. He loves split pea soup which is why we picked up a can (his mother made it for him when he was a kid), and must admit I was wrong at initially turning up my nose at it before I tried it. I did add a little S&P to it, but even without it I give it a definite thumbs up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. LizGW RE: littleflower Apr 25, 2013 05:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I love the fig butter. It is great with the raisin Rosemary crackers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            thistle5 RE: littleflower Apr 25, 2013 10:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Just tried the frozen spinach/ kale pie, thought it tasted good, although the phyllo didn't brown in the middle, only along the edges. I think it was better than the spanokopita (which, admittedly, I haven't had in a while, so it's not a side by side tasting).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Mellicita RE: littleflower Apr 25, 2013 04:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I had to go back to Trader Joes just to get two more refrigerated salads "Crunchy Slaw with Chicken, Crispy Noodles & Peanut Dressing" - I already reviewed it, but it gets another nod, because I think its so good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              YAY!! Frozen blueberry cheesecake bars "an ice cream that thinks it's a cheesecake". YUMMY creamy cheesecake flavored icecream with blueberry swirlled through it in the form of a wedge about the size of a 1/4 of a standard bread sandwich. There are graham cracker crumbs stuck the the sides. My only compaint is that its so small! You can seriously eat this in two bites. No wonder its "only 100 calories". I had to eat two

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yay = refrigerated cilantro dressing (old product). So rich and thick - its kinda like a tangy ranch dressing with cilantro and a poblano or mild green chile flavor (Bottle says it has jalepenos, but there is zero heat to it). Incredible for having 45 cals/2 tbsp. I feel like this would be good on fish tacos, even though that sounds weird.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yay- I had a sample of blood orange Italian soda. Its very sweet, more of a standard orange soda flavor (I didnt really get "blood orange")

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yay - sampled their refrigerated pesto on some spiral pasta. Solid rendition of a standard pesto. Not super special, but good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yay - roasted coconut chips. Is there some way of using these in cooking? or what would you put them on? (other than on top of icecream, or frozen yogurt, I'm kinda drawing a blank)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yay - bartlett pears. this my be regional to Dallas, but their pears are really good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                littleflower RE: littleflower Apr 25, 2013 07:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                YAY (WITH RESERVATIONS): Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Filled Cupcakes (bakery section) - I'm not sure how to tackle this review...have mixed feelings about this one. First of all, the chocolate cupcake part was extremely moist in a very good way, like they were just baked. The peanut butter filling was outstanding - think TJ's Peanut Butter Cup filling but even better. The dark chocolate icing was thick but kind of creamy at the same time - so yay for that part, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The one reservation that I had about this cupcake - it was SOOOOO rich! I could only take two bites then had to literally take a break. I then broke it down and tasted each individual part (icing, PB filling, and chocolate cupcake) and all were outstanding - just when combined together I personally thought it was a bit much.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Having said all of that, these cupcakes were given rave reviews by the people over at "What's Good at Trader Joe's" website and also received a yay on here (I believe TXMandy), so give these a try if you tend to like rich chocolate baked goods.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  TXMandy RE: littleflower Apr 25, 2013 08:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Glad you liked them littleflower! I didn't try them, but my husband said your description was spot on! The only difference for him is the richer the better ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    tracylee RE: littleflower Apr 25, 2013 10:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I tried those cupcakes and really didn't like them much. I think it was the peanut butter which was more sweet than peanutty. It's been awhile since I tried them, but they got a resounding "Meh" from me.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    littleflower RE: littleflower Apr 25, 2013 08:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    HUGE YAY!! - Canned Smoked Trout - many thank you's to TXMandy for suggesting this one! You were right that they do not need anything added to them - tasted a little bit straight from the tin and then ate the whole thing without even salt, pepper, or lemon juice. You, alkapal, and chinchi were absolutely correct - the smoky flavor very much complements the trout and was a hundred times better (in my opinion) than the smoked sardines.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    However, two minor drawbacks but don't think even these will keep me from buying more of the smoked trout - 1) the price, pretty expensive at 3.29 per tin b/c one tin just didn't hold that much trout and 2) really wish these were packed in olive oil instead of canola oil!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      TXMandy RE: littleflower Apr 25, 2013 08:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Soooo glad you gave them a try! I'm with you on the price, but it's such a quick, yummy lunch, I'm never without a tin in the fridge.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Val RE: TXMandy Apr 27, 2013 05:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        gawd...you GUYS !!!! will now have to try the smoked trout ...eaten without ANY condiments??? you say???!!!! holy hell...will check ...it....out!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          littleflower RE: Val Apr 27, 2013 06:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yeah, the smoked trout really is that good. I was skeptical to try it out b/c I did not care for their smoked sardines, but I ate the whole tin of trout in one sitting and wished that I had bought more than one. Even though the price is kind of high for the amount they put in there, this will easily be a multiple repeat purchase for us. Hope you enjoy them as much as we did - let us know how you like them!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Dommy RE: littleflower Apr 26, 2013 10:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      BIG HUGE YAY!!! TJs at least in So Cal is carrying beer from the Bruery and it's priced lower than most places. This is a small OC based Brewery that has gained a lot of distinction around the world. I had a friend who traveled to Belguim and was able to trade bottles of this for some REAL primo trappist stuff....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      https://twitter.com/Dommy_in_LA/statu...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I dunno if this going to be an on going thing or just an opportunity buy... but get SOME!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Nay to the Frozen Pad See Yew... Just a BAD idea... it was like eating snot and I LOVE Pad See Yew!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      --Dommy!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Rilke RE: Dommy Apr 26, 2013 11:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks for the Pad See Ew heads up -- I had a feeling it'd be bad. I'll stick to take out.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          modthyrth RE: Dommy May 2, 2013 03:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Agreed--I was excited to try the Pad See Ew and it was just *awful*. You're exactly right about the texture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. AmyH RE: littleflower Apr 27, 2013 09:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          big YAY: dried mandarin oranges. Who knew you could even makes something like this?! They're segments of mandarin oranges, dried but not hard. Just the right amount of chewiness, maybe a bit sweet, and loads of orange flavor. Yum!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            GraceW RE: AmyH Apr 27, 2013 05:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I agree--YAY--mandarin oranges, and I never buy dried fruit, but I saw what Amy said and figured.. why not.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              calmossimo RE: AmyH Apr 29, 2013 09:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              wow, I haven't been to TJs in a while but might go to try these. They sound wonderful!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                schrutefarms RE: AmyH May 1, 2013 11:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I tried these today, based on the reviews here. To me, dried oranges did not sound appealing. Boy, was I wrong-these are AMAZING!!! Sweet, tart, chewy, and somehow juicy. Like Sunkist fruit gems, but real fruit. And better. Giant, giant YAY!!!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  cheesecake17 RE: schrutefarms May 2, 2013 06:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  These sound. Amazing!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  What's the texture like? Too chewy for a toddler?

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    AmyH RE: cheesecake17 May 2, 2013 07:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Not super chewy like fruit leather. More like dried apples maybe. Do you give your toddler other dried fruits that are bigger than raisins? They are of a size that might be a choking hazard, but you could chop them into smaller bits.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      schrutefarms RE: cheesecake17 May 2, 2013 10:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm the wrong person to ask-I am clueless about what a toddler can or can't eat! But I will say they are almost like...really stale fruit gems, I guess. They seem to break apart easily when you chew them.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        GraceW RE: schrutefarms May 2, 2013 02:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sunkist fruit gems =LOVE and a great comparison

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        (Also I tried making chocolate-covered mandarin slices.. using the TJ Mandarin slices and everyone at work loved them!)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          littleflower RE: GraceW May 2, 2013 03:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Excellent idea, GraceW! I bet they taste yummy together when dipped in chocolate!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: schrutefarms
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      tracylee RE: schrutefarms May 2, 2013 06:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      They are good, but are really sweet. Luckily that 30g of sugar/serving is 17 pieces, so I can have one once in awhile.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. GraceW RE: littleflower Apr 27, 2013 05:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    HELLZ YAY--Kale chips--I know this is old to many, but I figured why would I pay so much for what I make often on my own... because it tastes like MAGIC. I ate a bunch and now I am hiding the bag from myself so that I can still have some for tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Nay--Kimchi--Sorry I think this went downhill. Although I am used to the 'real-deal' so I am probably biased.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yay--Prep salads---I never purchase these, but I am impressed how much they pack into them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yay--Dried Mandarin oranges--as noted earlier.. sweet and juicy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yay--Puffins Peanut Butter--are these candy or cereal? They could definitely work for either. I could see myself taking them to a movie.. although they are rather big and crunchy so maybe not.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Meh--Puffins Cinnamon--Cinnamon is my favorite, but these taste like pumpkin-pie to me.. and I don't like pumpkin pie.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yay--Organic Strawberry Lemonade--they were giving out samples of this. It was delightful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    (On a side note, this is the second TJs where I could not find the 'bits and pieces' from the fruit-leathers.. maybe they don't have that anymore?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And they also did not have any of the Srircha.. all sold out.)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      littleflower RE: GraceW Apr 27, 2013 05:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      GraceW, is the Organic Strawberry Lemonade that you sampled found on the juice aisle, or is it a "fresh" juice found in the refrigerator section next to the orange juice?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Also, reading your description of the Puffins Peanut Butter makes me want to buy these now. If they are anything like Cap'n Crunch Peanut Butter cereal or better, then I would like them.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        GraceW RE: littleflower Apr 27, 2013 06:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It is shelf-stable--before it is opened. However, I noticed after a quick google search that it appears they used to/do have a 'fresh' version. Mine did not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have never had Cap'n Crunch, but I usually don't eat cereal so I am impressed at Puffins (especially because it is a pretty "healthy"/hearty indulgence). They are very big and puffy too. I noticed the PB ones are bigger than the cinnamon ones. I prefer the big puffsters!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          chinchi RE: GraceW Apr 27, 2013 08:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I am a Puffins fanatic, and the boxes at Trader Joes are larger and cheaper than those at most other grocery stores.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I usually purchase the regular, but recently "rediscovered" the cinnamon. On my second box. I don't notice the pumpkin spice flavor, but I love pumpkin pie so maybe it's undetectable to someone not averse to the flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The peanut butter puffins are tasty as well, but don't pack as much fiber as the other kinds for some reason. Barbara's also makes Chocolate Peanut Butter Puffins, but TJs doesn't carry that variety.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The Multigrain Puffins didn't win me over, and I've never repurchased them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I like Barbara's Toasted Oat Squares too. Hearty and full of whole grain goodness. A bit more sugar than I like in my cereals, but they don't taste overly sweet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: GraceW
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            cheesecake17 RE: GraceW Apr 28, 2013 06:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We love the puffins. Great snack.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            FYI sometimes they're cheaper on amazon.com

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Mellicita RE: GraceW Apr 28, 2013 11:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              On the topic of lemonade, the shelf stable lite pink lemonade is also quite good (I think it is 40 cal per cup)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                littleflower RE: Mellicita Apr 29, 2013 12:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I personally cannot WAIT for the Original Lemonade in the carton to come back this summer! It can be found in the refrigerator section with the orange juice, and although it is not shelf stable it truly is one of the most craveable lemonades out there. The closest to homemade fresh lemonade that I have tried - and the price is not bad at 2.79 for a half gallon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: GraceW
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            tracylee RE: GraceW Apr 28, 2013 12:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Interesting about the Sriracha, the store here had tons of them in the regular condiment section, and lining the freezer bins just a couple of days ago.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            acssss RE: littleflower Apr 28, 2013 11:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            YAY - love their European Style yogurt and can't beat their prices on Cod pieces for $3/lb.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              brilynn79 RE: acssss Apr 28, 2013 12:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I just used these for the first time last night to make fish tacos. They were really fishy. I usually do not find that typical of cod?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Maybe a not so fresh batch? The price for me was $3.99/lb. I have another pack in the freezer, hope it is better.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                acssss RE: brilynn79 Apr 28, 2013 12:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You are right, if they smell fishy - they are not fresh.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                littleflower RE: acssss Apr 28, 2013 01:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                +1 on the European Style yogurt - great for the price

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                littleflower RE: littleflower Apr 28, 2013 07:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                YAY: Soft Pretzel Stick (bakery section) - thanks for the recommendation, TXMandy! Impressed with the freshness of the bread and thought it tasted great. Only thing keeping me from giving it a stronger yay is that I wished there was pretzel salt on top of the bread...I added some sea salt to it and it brought out the authentic pretzel taste even more.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  NotLucky RE: littleflower Apr 28, 2013 08:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm originally from So. Cal. so grew up with Trader Joe's. And now I live about 5 blocks from one, so here goes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  MEH/NAY - Chocolate Hazelnut Sandwich cookies. I tossed these.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  NAY - They have a roasted tomato salsa that has sugar in it! Gross. What WERE they thinking?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  YAY - Peanut-butter filled pretzels. Yum yum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Extreme YAY - They have biscuits for strawberry shortcake that are like normal biscuits but a bit sweeter. God how I love these. I need to just learn to make them. They are only sold during strawberry season.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  YAY - Dill flavored cheese. Yum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  YAY - There's a packet of prosciutto, capicola and some other type of salami. Yum yum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  YAY =) - Chicken Tikka Masala. Good stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  YAY - Stacked eggplant parmesan (make sure to get the right one because there are at least 2). This is yummy, with sliced tomatoes on it and pesto.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  YAY - Almond Breeze almond milk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  YAY - Fresh tangerine juice (100%).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  YAY - Pita chips.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  NAY - Multi-grain pita chips (taste stale).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ok I'll stop now. The list is too long.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    littleflower RE: NotLucky Apr 28, 2013 08:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks for your reviews, NL. You can always put some more of your yay/nay's in another post. :-) Personally, (within reason) the more input on items that I hear about from others trying them out, the better. This is how I and others on here learn about good products to try out there - in fact, just based on your above post I want to buy the Italian meats pack!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      schrutefarms RE: NotLucky Apr 28, 2013 10:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      OMG I LOVE those Chocolate Hazelnut Sandwich Cookies!! I must have gone through four boxes during the holidays!! Those are a giant YAY for me! :) Agreed on the Tangerine juice.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        cheesecake17 RE: NotLucky Apr 29, 2013 09:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I bought the multigrain reduced guilt pita chips a few weeks ago, but opened them today. I thought they were way too salty and definitely stale tasting

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        schrutefarms RE: littleflower Apr 28, 2013 10:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        YAY- Trader Joes European Style bread--kind of like a damp, nutty pumpernickel. I broil it, until the edges get crispy, then spread on some Earth Balance and lay a few thin slices of Dubliner cheese on top, then back under the broiler for a minute or so...usually for breakfast, but sometimes an afternoon snack. Keep the bread in the fridge though--it's damp enough that it won't get stale quickly, but if left on the counter it will mold in a few days...

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          littleflower RE: schrutefarms Apr 29, 2013 12:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ooh I love pumpernickel bread so I definitely want to try this out, too - is it a small mini loaf like the pretzel loaf?. The mini soft pretzel bread that we purchased was really damp too - but we polished it off in one evening so this time didn't have to refrigerate it. I agree though that with these types of breads it's a must to keep it in the refrigerator if not eaten right away!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            schrutefarms RE: littleflower Apr 29, 2013 10:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It's sliced, I guess about as big as a regular slice of bread, but much, much thinner. I'm guessing about 10 slices or so? The whole package ends up being pretty small. It's in the bread area, but kind of hard to find, usually near the muffins and cranberry bread.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              cheesecake17 RE: schrutefarms Apr 29, 2013 10:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I love this bread!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. NuMystic RE: littleflower Apr 28, 2013 11:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          As the April thread is nearing a close I just wanted to highlight the new "Recommend" feature that Chowhound recently added, and how it could be put to greater use in these long sprawling threads we all love so much. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          When you hover your mouse down near the bottom of any post there's now an opportunity to click "recommend" which shows up as an icon on the right hand side of the page when all the comments are collapsed. (with the total number showing)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          If more people start using it this could be a great way of highlighting two things in particular:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          - Particularly useful or informational posts

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          - Items that the greatest number of people share sentiments about, whether that be a Yay or Nay.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I've always thought it would be fantastic if we actually had a database of TJ's items with compiled ratings, but in the absence of something so comprehensive (and unrealistic) here, the recommendation button could serve at least some of the same function.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Only takes a second to click when you agree with a review, and if we use it more actively it can help visitors to the threads see at a glance those comments that are most widely thought to be worthy of note. Especially useful now that even the regular monthly discussion is hitting the high 300's in number of posts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Only downside I can think of is that if this were to take off, it would then be advantageous to split our Yay/Nay reviews into individual posts. (the more Yays/Nays included in each, the more likely for each person to agree with only part but not all of a given post)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Just a few thoughts about the potential of the feature and I certainly welcome other perspectives and ideas on best taking advantage of it.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mellicita RE: NuMystic Apr 28, 2013 11:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Wow a database of trader Joe's items with ratings would be very cool! I wonder if Trader Joe's has ever thought of putting such a feature on their own website?

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              littleflower RE: NuMystic Apr 28, 2013 11:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hi NuMystic - thanks for addressing this, and I too like the recommend function and think it's a good idea, especially for yay/nay posts on one item. You may have addressed this in your post (sorry, it's kind of late and I was skimming your post a bit), but what happens if there are multiple reviews for products within one post - then how would people know what product is actually recommended vs. not recommended? Maybe there is a solution to this, and I very much agree with you that it would be great to find a way to way to use that function in these threads.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Any thoughts/suggestions/ideas?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                NuMystic RE: littleflower Apr 29, 2013 02:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I did address that littleflower but completely understand the late night skimming. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: NuMystic
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  littleflower RE: NuMystic Apr 29, 2013 04:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You most certainly did - sorry I didn't catch that the first time! I like the idea that you all have about how to use the recommend button while still trying to maintain the yay/nay descriptive posts like we've been doing.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                John Francis RE: NuMystic Apr 29, 2013 01:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I don't think I'd do that. *All* the posts in these threads are useful to me. Well, I don't get as much out of the cookies and desserts, but since these seem to be the most popular of all, the recommendations wouldn't do much for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: John Francis