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Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - December 2013 [old]

fldhkybnva Nov 30, 2013 05:25 PM

I hope that everyone enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday among loved ones and good eats. The holiday spirit is alive and the season promises to be one of happiness, joy, celebration and love. The aisles of Trader Joe's will be bustling with shoppers seeking out old favorites, and new, unique and tasty delights.

What items have you tried recently, would you rate these items with a Yay/Meh or Nay?

  1. RussTheRaccoon Nov 30, 2013 08:45 PM

    The shelf-stable box of mushroom soup is very good. It's vegetarian, very flavorful, with chunks of mushroom and a nice rich color. The only criticism is it is perhaps just a little on the salty side. I added only a little milk and mostly water to it.

    2 Replies
    1. re: RussTheRaccoon
      w
      wrldtrvl Dec 3, 2013 12:47 PM

      Yes, I like it too but find it too salty as well. It is definitely too salty to have on its own but added to other things in a casserole (with NO other salt added) it does fine I think.

      1. re: wrldtrvl
        RussTheRaccoon Dec 3, 2013 04:32 PM

        They were still out of it today. : (

    2. a
      autumm Nov 30, 2013 09:24 PM

      A week or two ago I found Danish Feta cubes in brine. Oh salty treat Yum! They might have been there before , but I"m so happy I've made the container last 2 weeks!

      4 Replies
      1. re: autumm
        Dommy Dec 1, 2013 08:34 AM

        I love to use these in my work salad... they are cut just the right size and I like the basket i comes in, makes much less of a mess. It'd also be good if you are making a salad in pot luck and don't want to hog someone else's kitchen...

        --Dommy!

        1. re: Dommy
          j
          josephnl Dec 7, 2013 07:59 PM

          Agree that the Danish feta is very good, but it will never replace the Greek Feta in brine that's always in my fridge...it's delish and has a ridiculously long shelf life before the expiration date.

          1. re: josephnl
            Dommy Dec 7, 2013 10:53 PM

            I feel the same way! But for convinced sake, I'm glad they have the danish. :)

            --Dommy!

            1. re: josephnl
              fldhkybnva Dec 12, 2013 03:07 PM

              I agree, love that Greek Feta and it lasts forever if you don't eat it before then. My last tub I think I had for at least 2 months.

        2. h
          HeyImBack Dec 1, 2013 09:13 AM

          YAY: Chocolate lava cakes (frozen item). 45 seconds in the microwave, top w/ a scoop of ice cream = pure deliciousness.

          2 Replies
          1. re: HeyImBack
            h
            Harts52 Dec 1, 2013 12:31 PM

            Oooh!! My grandsons will love these!

            1. re: Harts52
              q
              Querencia Dec 24, 2013 04:37 PM

              When you use the TJ chocolate lava cakes, save the plastic cups they come in as they are perfect for freezing individual portions of mashed potatoes.

          2. p
            pugsam Dec 1, 2013 12:44 PM

            Yay! - TJ's organic sweetened condensed milk. If you like your coffee with sugar and cream, try this instead. A spoonful (small or large, to your taste) transforms your daily Joe into a mellow Vietnamese treat.

            Yay! - TJ's Baingan Bharta eggplant curry. Nicely-seasoned: spicy, but not too much, with a smoky undertone. Excellent over rice or as a dip, with chips.

             
             
            12 Replies
            1. re: pugsam
              a
              ALITIN Dec 1, 2013 01:23 PM

              like the Baingan Bharta

              1. re: ALITIN
                aching Dec 7, 2013 03:33 PM

                I third that - it's a staple in my house!

              2. re: pugsam
                p
                pugsam Dec 11, 2013 12:15 PM

                Yesterday, our TJ's had no Baingan Bharta! And a crewman told us that it's been discontinued!!! Anyone else finding that?

                So, instead, we got the Channa Masala........Haven't tried it yet.........

                 
                1. re: pugsam
                  Dommy Dec 11, 2013 08:47 PM

                  I really like the Channa Masala. I'm not a frozen meal person... but this is really good!

                  --Dommy!

                  1. re: pugsam
                    aching Dec 12, 2013 12:15 PM

                    I find the Chana Masala particularly good with raita or even just plain Greek yogurt on top.

                    1. re: aching
                      Rilke Dec 12, 2013 02:11 PM

                      Thanks for the tip. I like the Channa Masala okay, but always thought it needed something.

                      1. re: Rilke
                        aching Dec 12, 2013 02:57 PM

                        Me too!

                    2. re: pugsam
                      RussTheRaccoon Dec 12, 2013 07:13 PM

                      Oh no! I love the eggplant. I hope the employee was wrong or maybe just your store isn't going to stock it because it wasn't selling. I have found they are frequently wrong about what has happened to an item that is out of stock.

                      Those shelf-stable boxed Indian meals are made by Tasty Bite so if TJ's no longer is going to carry it, you can find it in grocery stores or order from Amazon. Sometimes Amazon will put Tasty Bite on sale or you can use Subscribe & Save.

                    3. re: pugsam
                      v
                      Val Dec 20, 2013 08:29 AM

                      yep, the Baingan Bharta is quite delish! love it!

                      1. re: Val
                        p
                        pugsam Dec 20, 2013 08:59 AM

                        It's been out at our store. Does yours still have it?

                        1. re: pugsam
                          v
                          Val Dec 25, 2013 05:37 PM

                          pugsam, pretty sure we do have it...I've been avoiding TJ's the past few days to be honest...just cannot stand the insanity in there before Christmas but will check tomorrow since I need to get over there.

                          1. re: pugsam
                            v
                            Val Dec 29, 2013 01:53 PM

                            pugsam, you're right...NO baingan bharta at our store in Naples...I've been twice since Christmas. yikes...well, maybe it will show up again. Their organic green tea (bags) were MIA for a while but are back now...but have noticed their organic frozen spinach is still missing after a few months now. argh!

                      2. j
                        JulesNoctambule Dec 1, 2013 04:02 PM

                        The frozen petit fours were a Yay at our house; they're faintly almond-y with a little raspberry jam inside, and they made a great pre-Thanksgiving dessert for the visiting family!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: JulesNoctambule
                          h
                          Harts52 Dec 6, 2013 06:44 PM

                          Someone was on the TJs holiday thread asking for an opinion on these. I forget who....

                        2. g
                          givemecarbs Dec 2, 2013 02:57 AM

                          Not a new item but a seasonal one. I had my own pre black friday shopping moment at TJs this year. Someone was hastily grabbing boxes of the vanilla cinnamon black tea all decorated with the lemur. I just wanted one box and the eager man stared at me for a moment as I timidly reached for one and then asked the handy tjs employee with a clipboard if they would be getting more in because at his house they drink this tea all the time.
                          Thank goodness he was told that more were incoming and he turned and left a few boxes on the shelf including one for moi. I don't know what would have happened if the guy in the hawaiian shirt hadn't been there. I obtained my box without further incident but noticed there there were no decaf peppermint seasonal teas at all. Gasp.
                          I asked the patient dude and he assured me that two cases were in the back ready to be stocked but that they were flying off the shelves.
                          I decided to get out while the getting was good and stayed home entirely on black friday but I will be back for more of those seasonal teas. I also got the cultivated tea collection and the cinnamon tempest. /glug glug

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: givemecarbs
                            Foodapotamus Dec 5, 2013 04:40 PM

                            My sister and I fondly refer to this as Lemur Tea. We both snagged two boxes before they sold out at each of our stores (Reno and Chicago.) I'll have to check back and see if they got more!

                            1. re: givemecarbs
                              z
                              ZimCooks Dec 6, 2013 12:34 PM

                              I have been drinking that Vanilla Cinnamon tea every night for at least a month! I like it a lot but the aftertaste reminds me of oatmeal for some reason lol. How is the cultivated tea collection? I have most of my pantry filled with teas so I really shouldn't buy more but it caught my eye

                            2. Savour Dec 2, 2013 11:04 AM

                              Nay: Heklas, in the bakery section. Cinnamon sugar pastry dipped in chocolate. Too dry and too sweet.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Savour
                                5
                                51rich Dec 2, 2013 03:54 PM

                                *L* i thought a big yay for the heklas- nuked for about 8 seconds. the only nay is because my stomach is already too big- and these will only add to it.

                              2. b
                                bugablue13 Dec 2, 2013 11:58 AM

                                They were giving samples of their corn pudding at our store. My MIL and I both grabbed two boxes! Not sweet, more a stuffing with whole corn. Yum!

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: bugablue13
                                  h
                                  Harts52 Dec 2, 2013 12:06 PM

                                  Reminds me of my daughter's recipe for "Corn, Corn, Corn." Calls for 1 box Jiffy Corn Bread (ugh), 1 can corn, 1 can creamed corn, mix and bake. They love. I give it a meh. Kind of reminds me of something I had at a Mexican restaurant once ( think the one that closed down for giving people liver failure).

                                  How would you rate it on a moisture scale?

                                  1. re: Harts52
                                    b
                                    bugablue13 Dec 2, 2013 12:28 PM

                                    I'd say a 7, 10 being very squishy. I like a sweet corn pudding and this is more savory with a little sweetness from the corn.

                                    1. re: bugablue13
                                      h
                                      Harts52 Dec 2, 2013 12:34 PM

                                      Thanks !!

                                    2. re: Harts52
                                      l
                                      libgirl2 Dec 5, 2013 10:11 AM

                                      I make that but add sour cream. You can dice so jalapenos in there too.... so good.

                                  2. k
                                    kseiverd Dec 2, 2013 12:03 PM

                                    I don't have a TJs that's "on the way" for typical errands. SOOO, if remotely near one, will stop in to browse.

                                    My YAY product is also a "snooze, ya lost" item from a while ago. Had seen some cooking show use solid tuna, in olive oil, in a JAR... never seen in regular markets in my area. At first almost PASSED cuz it was $5+ a jar!?! Then realized it was at least equal to TWO normal sized cans, so bought ONE! That was my SNOOZE moment! It was delicious... better than any other "good" imported tuna I'd ever had. Immediately was wishing I had bought 4-5 jars as a splurge. And ya KNOW I haven't seen this product since!?! WAH!!

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: kseiverd
                                      sandiasingh Dec 5, 2013 08:53 AM

                                      I have seen jarred tunas in other stores and it is expensive--I think I paid $8/jar. Whole Foods carries some and also The Spanish Table if you have one in your area. You might also try Cost Plus. I'm pretty sure they are on Amazon.

                                    2. Caitlin McGrath Dec 2, 2013 03:59 PM

                                      Two seasonal-item yeas:

                                      Pound Plus Extravaganza - the standard "dark" (54%) chocolate, with almonds, dried cranberries, and candied ginger. The chocolate I keep for eating is in the 70-73% range, but the semisweet works well with the inclusions. I'd prefer more ginger (the other stuff is much more dominant).

                                      Roasted Nut Oil Trio (hazelnut, walnut, pistachio) - I haven't opened any yet, but they get a big yea for the price alone. At $15 for three 250-ml cans, this is a nice deal. Nut oils can turn rancid at room temp, but if fresh when open last a very long time in the fridge, in my experience.

                                      1. AmyH Dec 2, 2013 04:04 PM

                                        Big Yay: Pear cinnamon cider. I wasn't sure I'd like it, but it was really great. Both the pear and cinnamon flavors were well balanced. Very nice.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: AmyH
                                          c
                                          cbg84 Dec 3, 2013 07:26 AM

                                          I'm glad you posted this, I didn't see it in the new Fearless Flyer and was worried that meant it might not be back.

                                          1. re: AmyH
                                            linguafood Dec 4, 2013 03:53 PM

                                            I tried that one and thought it might work well in a vodka cocktail :-)

                                            1. re: linguafood
                                              a
                                              adrienne156 Dec 9, 2013 09:55 PM

                                              Someone brought a bottle of that Smirnoff Caramel vodka to Thanksgiving and I dumped some into a cup of hot TJ's Spiced Apple Cider. Sweet, but not bad.

                                          2. g
                                            gnomatic Dec 2, 2013 06:53 PM

                                            Just picked up a box of Kouign Amann from the freezer, $3.99 for 4. Won't get a chance to try it out till this weekend though.

                                             
                                            21 Replies
                                            1. re: gnomatic
                                              Rilke Dec 2, 2013 07:11 PM

                                              What's in (on?) them?

                                              1. re: gnomatic
                                                c
                                                Cathy Dec 2, 2013 07:27 PM

                                                I took two boxes. Have one rising now; same instructions as the croissants (proof 6-8 hours, bake @350º for 25 minutes).

                                                ////////////////////////////////////////////////
                                                Kouign-amann is a Breton cake. It is a round crusty cake, made with bread dough containing layers of butter and sugar folded in, similar in fashion to puff pastry albeit with fewer layers. The resulting cake is slowly baked until the butter puffs up the dough and the sugar caramelizes. The name derives from the Breton words for cake and butter . Kouign-amann is a speciality of the town Douarnenez in Finistère, in the west of France, where it originated in around 1860.

                                                1. re: gnomatic
                                                  c
                                                  Cathy Dec 3, 2013 07:22 AM

                                                  Very buttery, so with the sugar tastes like caramel. Not as flaky/not as many layers as a croissant. Taste and texture like a soft, buttery palmier. Wonderful.

                                                  (first photo shows a pumpkin croissant proofing; you can see size comparison just out of the box)

                                                   
                                                   
                                                   
                                                  1. re: Cathy
                                                    r
                                                    rynnyb Dec 5, 2013 12:31 PM

                                                    sounds delectable! dare I ask about the nutrition info? -cringe-

                                                    1. re: rynnyb
                                                      c
                                                      Cathy Dec 5, 2013 12:51 PM

                                                      340 calories; 37 carbs-the numbers I care about. It is quite rich tasting and sharing half is enough.

                                                       
                                                      1. re: rynnyb
                                                        roxlet Dec 5, 2013 04:18 PM

                                                        I stopped and looked at it in the store. It's one of my favorite things, but the numbers on the package scared me away!

                                                      2. re: Cathy
                                                        AmyH Dec 8, 2013 07:38 AM

                                                        Had these for breakfast this morning. Amazing! Like a sugary, flat, less flaky version of the croissants. Calorie-wise they're only a few more than the chocolate croissants. I'll definitely be buying them again, just not too often.

                                                        1. re: Cathy
                                                          r
                                                          rynnyb Dec 8, 2013 10:10 AM

                                                          firmly rooted in the knowledge that gym memberships will soon be on sale, I can also confirm that they are delicious.

                                                          1. re: Cathy
                                                            l
                                                            littleflower Dec 14, 2013 10:20 AM

                                                            HUGE YAY for these Kouign Amann's! If you love the croissants that TJ's sells (also A-Mazing!), I agree with AmyH that these are like a sugary (but not overly so) pastry dessert version of those.

                                                            The directions given on the box were just right, and at least for my oven they were done in exactly 25 min. as stated. Absolutely delicious warm out of the oven and I set it over the top with just a little Kerrygold butter on top. YUM - rave reviews all around!

                                                            1. re: littleflower
                                                              j
                                                              josephnl Dec 21, 2013 09:24 AM

                                                              We just had the Kouign Amann's for breakfast and they were delicious. They didn't rise nearly as much as the frozen croissants, and were much denser. Have others found that they do rise nearly as much as the croissants, and do not get much higher than ~3/4" or so after proofing? During the winter when our home is chilly at night, we proof croissants (and these KA's) in our oven which has a 100 degree proofing mode. Even though they were perhaps a bit denser than we would like, they were nevertheless delicious.

                                                              1. re: josephnl
                                                                w
                                                                wrldtrvl Dec 21, 2013 12:26 PM

                                                                I proofed mine, two batches now or two different evenings, at our home in San Diego (ie not that cold!) and they barely rose at all. Still very very good--a favorite with my husband. And, as you said, perhaps a bit denser than would be "perfect."

                                                                1. re: josephnl
                                                                  l
                                                                  littleflower Dec 23, 2013 08:52 PM

                                                                  You are right on target both with the lack of rise and that they were a bit heavier than the croissants, I had the same experience. Glad you liked them as much as I did...they are pretty addictive - already on my second box!

                                                                2. re: littleflower
                                                                  m
                                                                  mrsjoujou Dec 30, 2013 11:23 AM

                                                                  Ours didn't rise at all but the end result was fine. We enjoyed it with Nueske's Applewood bacon. The saltiness and smokiness of the bacon went very well with the sweetness of the KA.

                                                                  1. re: mrsjoujou
                                                                    g
                                                                    gnomatic Dec 30, 2013 08:41 PM

                                                                    When I made it, it did rise quite a bit (though not as much of the croissant). It did "unfold" it self on baking despite me gently refolding it after proofing (before going in the oven).

                                                                     
                                                              2. re: gnomatic
                                                                emily Dec 3, 2013 07:57 AM

                                                                Wow! I can get very good ones locally, but I will have to try these.

                                                                1. re: emily
                                                                  w
                                                                  wrldtrvl Dec 3, 2013 12:52 PM

                                                                  Yummm, these must be new. I think I will need to go to TJs right away. When I lived in France these were a favorite.

                                                                2. re: gnomatic
                                                                  k
                                                                  kt1969 Dec 6, 2013 03:56 PM

                                                                  Looked for those today in MA but no luck. :( Hope they show up soon.

                                                                  1. re: gnomatic
                                                                    k
                                                                    kt1969 Dec 10, 2013 03:56 PM

                                                                    I keep looking for these in my store, but they are not to be found, and no sign either. I'm in MA. Will ask when I get a chance...am dying to try!

                                                                    1. re: kt1969
                                                                      g
                                                                      gnomatic Dec 10, 2013 04:19 PM

                                                                      I would ask your local store when/if they will get it.

                                                                      It might take a awhile for it to get out east (I am in San Francisco). I suspect these (like the frozen croissants) are made for TJ by San Francisco based Galaxy Desserts (they also supply William Sonoma).

                                                                      1. re: gnomatic
                                                                        v
                                                                        Vidute Dec 10, 2013 08:13 PM

                                                                        It got out east really fast... I bought some last Friday, in the Columbia, MD store.

                                                                        1. re: gnomatic
                                                                          k
                                                                          kt1969 Dec 12, 2013 09:45 AM

                                                                          Got them today!

                                                                    2. Dave MP Dec 3, 2013 11:54 AM

                                                                      We just bought the "Cranberry Walks into a Bar" cereal bars. Last month, I tried the pumpkin, and thought they were pretty meh. But cranberry is great—major YAY! The fruit filling is tarter than any other flavor, so it's a nice contrast with the sweet cereal bar portion.

                                                                      I'm hoping the cranberry flavor isn't seasonal, since I'd buy this over blueberry or apple any day!

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: Dave MP
                                                                        k
                                                                        kt1969 Dec 6, 2013 03:56 PM

                                                                        Bet it is seasonal, so I'd stock up if I were you. :)

                                                                      2. e
                                                                        Erika RollerGirl Dec 3, 2013 03:27 PM

                                                                        Meh: Brussels Sprouts Parmeyere - "creamy brussels sprouts, Swiss and Parmesan cheeses, all topped with crispy fried onions" (the tag line on the box)

                                                                        I bought this product on a whim as I'm a big fan of (fresh) brussels sprouts and the photo on the box was enticing (and this was in the fresh refrigerated section, not frozen, I don't do frozen brussels sprouts under any circumstances due to personal preference). My biggest issue with it is that it's a lot gloppier than I had expected for some reason - the sprouts themselves were totally covered in white cheese sauce and the fried onion topping was actually more breadcrumbs than onions. The flavor was okay, nothing I'd go rushing back for but not awful and certainly not bad enough to toss/return.
                                                                        Texturally, the sprouts were softer than I would have prepared them if I was making a rendition of this from scratch.

                                                                        I won't be purchasing it again but I'm quite picky. If you're a fan of soft sprouts and lots of white cheese sauce I say, go for it.

                                                                        1. RussTheRaccoon Dec 3, 2013 04:31 PM

                                                                          There is a holiday trio of 8.45 oz. tins of nut oil for $14.99. It has roasted hazelnut, pistachio, and walnut oils. It seems to be camouflaged La Tourangelle oil.

                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                          1. re: RussTheRaccoon
                                                                            linguafood Dec 4, 2013 03:52 PM

                                                                            Ah, thanks for the reminder. Our local TJ's hadn't gotten them in last week, but they should be there now (if there not gone again already.... fingers crossed!).

                                                                            1. re: RussTheRaccoon
                                                                              alkapal Dec 10, 2013 06:31 PM

                                                                              i've been enjoying the pistachio nut oil (of the three the first i opened. i want to open the others only when i've used this up).

                                                                              1. re: alkapal
                                                                                Caitlin McGrath Dec 10, 2013 07:04 PM

                                                                                FWIW, I don't know if these are in fact La Tourangelle oils, though as RTR says they sure look like it, but in my experience, the LT oils keep a very long time in the fridge if fresh when opened (as in, no rancidity a year - or rather more - after opening). So if it's keeping you're concerned about, just know that kept in fridge once opened, they're unlikely to go off before you get through them, however long that takes.

                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                  fldhkybnva Dec 10, 2013 07:18 PM

                                                                                  I've had walnut oil in the fridge for probably almost a year and it's still good as gold

                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                    emily Dec 11, 2013 07:58 AM

                                                                                    I've kept walnut and hazelnut oils in the fridge for years....

                                                                            2. fracklefoodie Dec 3, 2013 05:36 PM

                                                                              Yay! I know the Red Fox cheese conversation started a couple months ago, but I just grabbed one for Thanksgiving cheese plate. Fabulous. There were a couple more when I'd gotten it, so I'm going back to see if there are any more and clear them out.

                                                                              Yay to the Celtic cheese trio. The Scottish and Welsh are the best of the two. All are nice.

                                                                              Yay to the Truffle cheese. Creamy and rich. Would have liked a little more truffle flavor, but for that price it's as I would expect. Very nice with the Rosemary Raisin crisps.

                                                                              Yay to the Marzipan Stollen. Just rich, tense and moist enough without going over the top with sweetness. I'll be slicing this for a holiday snacks platter this weekend.

                                                                              Meh to the Cinnamon Tempest tea. Pretty tin, but the flavors weren't quite as spicy/punchy as I'd wanted. Still enjoyable.

                                                                              Nay to the Taste Test of Caramels. Fun idea, but the majority of the flavors underwhelmed me. I like the Himalayan sea salt (but would rather by a tub of sea salt caramels) and the Fig and Honey.

                                                                              Nay to the Organic Turkish Apricots. Poor flavor, IMO. Will stick with the California slab apricots in the future.

                                                                              That Pound Plus Extravaganza bar sounds delightful. Will have to pick one up on my next trip.

                                                                              12 Replies
                                                                              1. re: fracklefoodie
                                                                                w
                                                                                wrldtrvl Dec 3, 2013 06:41 PM

                                                                                I just tried Red Fox too. A new favorite around my home. Hints of caramel and crunchiness and such a nice price.

                                                                                1. re: fracklefoodie
                                                                                  s
                                                                                  sabastiyah Dec 4, 2013 02:46 PM

                                                                                  Sad to hear that the Taste Test of Caramels wasn't great.

                                                                                  Then again, nothing will ever compare to the divine Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels they also carry this time of year.

                                                                                  1. re: sabastiyah
                                                                                    Frosty Melon Dec 4, 2013 03:24 PM

                                                                                    On the topic of caramels, has anyone tried Caramels Caught in a Blizzard? Described as chewy caramels dusted with powdered sugar, they come in a square tin. I bought some but haven't opened (I may give to a coworker), and the checkout girl paused and said she hadn't seen them before.

                                                                                  2. re: fracklefoodie
                                                                                    j
                                                                                    jsaimd Dec 4, 2013 06:16 PM

                                                                                    Another nay to the taste test of caramels. mediocre quality. thicker shell than I prefer, caramel not caramelized enough and flavors uni-dimensional for the most part.

                                                                                    I'm undecided on the chicken holiday tamales. Decent, better than the frozen, but not amazing. Masa was a bit dense, flavor pretty standard chile verde. Salty.

                                                                                    1. re: jsaimd
                                                                                      d
                                                                                      Dave B Dec 5, 2013 08:57 PM

                                                                                      Regarding the "fresh" tamales; I grabbed a 10-pack of the pork and red sauce variety and while I think they're pretty good, I found them so close in taste to the frozen version (in the 2-pack) with a similar unit per/each price, I see no real advantage or reason to prefer them over the frozen ones. They are still an overall Yay for me however (both versions, fresh and frozen), as I love them both.

                                                                                      1. re: Dave B
                                                                                        f
                                                                                        foodiefan6 Dec 8, 2013 07:06 AM

                                                                                        I tried the "fresh" tamales for the first time this weekend -- the cheese/veggie version. Found them to be very good, though smaller than the frozen versions but far superior in taste.

                                                                                        1. re: foodiefan6
                                                                                          Tripeler Dec 8, 2013 05:20 PM

                                                                                          For these, I have found that smaller is better. Easier to configure the right amount you want to eat.

                                                                                        2. re: Dave B
                                                                                          e
                                                                                          elise h Dec 8, 2013 05:18 PM

                                                                                          I tried the cheese/veggie fresh tamale and found the cheese to masa ratio much smaller than the frozen cheese and chili tamale. I much prefer the frozen tamale!

                                                                                        3. re: jsaimd
                                                                                          Will Owen Dec 10, 2013 02:19 PM

                                                                                          The Sample Lady was handing out the pork ones a few days ago, and I figured at Bite One that they were the non-frozen ones. I like the frozen ones, too. My problem with buying these is I'd have to get the veggie version (for Mrs. O), but the fresh ones contain red Bell pepper (which Mrs. O loathes).

                                                                                          1. re: Will Owen
                                                                                            d
                                                                                            Dave B Dec 10, 2013 08:28 PM

                                                                                            Seems like most of us TJ's tamale lovers like both versions. Yay to that!

                                                                                            I think my challenge with finding big love for the "fresh" is they are in 10-packs, so I feel pressure to eat them quickly lest they become el stinko. And I don't want to necessarily eat tamales every day for a week. If I buy a 10-pack and eat two tamales EVERY DAY for five days straight, I suppose I'd be fine, but I know what happens when I eat a favorite food too much; I lose my interest and sometimes even develop an aversion.

                                                                                            Nor do I want to bring a 10-pack home and then individually wrap them to freeze them. Seems like that would be a waste of time with no real financial incentive/savings, so the frozen tamales will generally make more sense for me.

                                                                                            I could see the "fresh" being perfect for when feeding several people and they would be used quickly, however. I just wish both frozen AND "fresh" were available year-'round so my circumstances could dictate my TJ's tamale choice. So Yay to the taste of the "fresh" tamales, and a Meh to the practicality of the 10-pack.

                                                                                            1. re: Dave B
                                                                                              f
                                                                                              foodiefan6 Dec 10, 2013 08:40 PM

                                                                                              I agree. A case can be made or both. I did wrap and freeze my fresh ones. Has anyone tried the pork variety?

                                                                                        4. re: fracklefoodie
                                                                                          w
                                                                                          WishyFish Dec 5, 2013 11:20 PM

                                                                                          Dang it. I bought two boxes of those stinking caramels but haven't tried them yet.

                                                                                          They had a similar taster set of 7 kinds of chocolate bars and I was underwhelmed by most of the flavors of those too.

                                                                                        5. l
                                                                                          littleflower Dec 4, 2013 07:18 PM

                                                                                          HUGE YAY: Mini Croissants (frozen, 8 pk.) - I have been a long time loyal Trader Joe's shopper so not sure what took me so long to try these out. Wow. I am not a huge planner so I had to remember to proof these the night before but they come out of the oven soft yummy and buttery. Best when eaten right away warm out of the oven, excellent with preserves.

                                                                                          AVERAGE YAY: Kosher Half Turkey Breast - we had this for Thanksgiving dinner and the flavor was okay ( we followed Ina's recipe and expected to be wowed by the flavor of the turkey meat itself but kind of wasn't). Plus it was a bit pricey - 2.75 pd. cost I believe fourteen dollars. Probably will just go with a whole turkey breast next time.

                                                                                          YAY: Peanut Brittle - yum. This is not rock hard like most peanut brittles are, and excellent with just a dash of sea salt on top.

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: littleflower
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                                                                                            WishyFish Dec 5, 2013 11:21 PM

                                                                                            Dude, those croissants are amazing.

                                                                                            1. re: littleflower
                                                                                              j
                                                                                              josephnl Dec 26, 2013 04:04 PM

                                                                                              If you can proof them overnight in a 90 oven (ours has a proofing setting"...they won't be mini in the morning! I love TJ's frozen croissants...best croissants this side of Paris!

                                                                                            2. j
                                                                                              John Francis Dec 4, 2013 09:11 PM

                                                                                              Yea - Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Butter and Sage (frozen). Not sensationally good but it pleased me.

                                                                                              Meh - Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto (frozen). The flavor is pleasant enough but the rice pretty much melts down into glue.

                                                                                              Yea - Eggplant Cutlets (frozen). Breaded; they saute up nice and crisp.

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: John Francis
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                                                                                                littleflower Dec 5, 2013 07:53 PM

                                                                                                +1 for the Eggplant Cutlets - they are quite good and has been a repeat purchase. I also saute them in a little olive oil and it pairs nicely with a side of spaghetti and sauce.

                                                                                                1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                  z
                                                                                                  ZimCooks Dec 6, 2013 12:28 PM

                                                                                                  +1 for Eggplant Cutlets! I love those! Particularly with a little ricotta and marinara, nom nom nom :)

                                                                                              2. Monica Dec 5, 2013 08:42 AM

                                                                                                I bought a jar of cranberry sauce and wasn't good at all. It had pectin in it which made the texture too gummy.
                                                                                                Also bought a gingerbread house kit...while it did make a pretty looking gingerbread house, it tasted horrible compare to gingerbread house I bought from Ikea which had really good taste.

                                                                                                1. Dax Dec 5, 2013 10:45 AM

                                                                                                  A Nay that TJ's in Athens, GA did not have the hobo bread. I even showed them a picture on my phone and the employee I spoke with had never heard of it. Must be regional?

                                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Dax
                                                                                                    r
                                                                                                    rynnyb Dec 5, 2013 12:29 PM

                                                                                                    asked at a store in FL, and an employee confirmed that it was not going to be ordered here. alas!

                                                                                                    1. re: rynnyb
                                                                                                      Dax Dec 5, 2013 01:55 PM

                                                                                                      Bummer.

                                                                                                      Also a Nay to the Shortbread cookies with the salted chocolate and caramel bar on top. Not bad but not nearly as good as the giant chunks of dark chocolate covered caramel. Those are evil.

                                                                                                      1. re: Dax
                                                                                                        Frosty Melon Dec 5, 2013 03:05 PM

                                                                                                        I'm lukewarm on the shortbread w/salted caramel on top as well. They're fine but I still have an unopened box I can't get excited about breaking into.

                                                                                                        What are these giant chunks you speak of? Do you mean the standard dark chocolate sea salt caramels?

                                                                                                        1. re: Frosty Melon
                                                                                                          Dax Dec 6, 2013 09:28 AM

                                                                                                          Yes, those standard ones. Unfortunately BHM does not have a TJs so they are relatively new to me.

                                                                                                    2. re: Dax
                                                                                                      l
                                                                                                      littleflower Dec 5, 2013 07:54 PM

                                                                                                      Dax they are regional...I live in the southern mid-atlantic region and our stores do not carry them nor do they plan to anytime in the near future. :-(

                                                                                                      1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                        p
                                                                                                        pugsam Dec 6, 2013 01:11 PM

                                                                                                        If you're responding to Dax about the Hobo bread, we got some at our store in central VA. We'd give it a yay-minus (or meh-plus). Tastes good (not knocks-your-socks-off good), but is on the dense and sweet side. Pretty good when sliced thin and toasted ALMOST to blackness, so it develops a good crunch - almost a caramelized crust.

                                                                                                        1. re: pugsam
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                                                                                                          littleflower Dec 6, 2013 01:34 PM

                                                                                                          pugsam thank you for writing to tell me this...just read it and called up my local TJ's and unfortunately one of the managers told me (once again, I ask every few months just to see) that our store doesn't carry it and they are not planning to in the near future. I guess our products come from a different distribution center than yours.

                                                                                                    3. t
                                                                                                      toopie28 Dec 5, 2013 11:18 AM

                                                                                                      Went in to stock up on the mini pecan pie - out for the season - ARG - why TJ's, whyyyyyyyyyy?????

                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: toopie28
                                                                                                        s
                                                                                                        sabastiyah Dec 5, 2013 11:38 AM

                                                                                                        Ugh, same thing happened to me on Black Friday. Luckily, I checked another Trader Joe's and got the LAST mini pecan pies box. So happy that I'll have a chance to try them at least once, heard a lot of good things.

                                                                                                        1. re: toopie28
                                                                                                          Monica Dec 5, 2013 11:50 AM

                                                                                                          is this a frozen pie or fresh pie?

                                                                                                          1. re: Monica
                                                                                                            t
                                                                                                            toopie28 Dec 5, 2013 12:51 PM

                                                                                                            Frozen - very small, 6 to a pack. Love em!

                                                                                                            1. re: toopie28
                                                                                                              emily Dec 13, 2013 08:32 AM

                                                                                                              Just got some of these and they are delicious! Particularly when they are still slightly warm and the filling is slightly runny.

                                                                                                        2. y
                                                                                                          yummfood Dec 5, 2013 12:31 PM

                                                                                                          Yay-The "Winter Cookieland: all butter sugar cookies are really good...fun and cute too! I bought them on a whim one day and went back to grab a couple more boxes. I feel like I can really taste the butter.

                                                                                                          1. w
                                                                                                            WishyFish Dec 5, 2013 11:26 PM

                                                                                                            NAY to the Beurre Meuniere popcorn. I was most excited about the browned butter but I taste it not at all. And I think it needs more salt.

                                                                                                            YAY the chocolate and vanilla macarons. As good as I can get at any bakery in my town (though not as good as I've had in San Francisco).

                                                                                                            YAY the red pepper and tomato soup. So good with grilled cheese this time of year.

                                                                                                            YAY to that one focaccia bread they have with the cheese and olives and tomatoes on it.

                                                                                                            1. w
                                                                                                              WishyFish Dec 5, 2013 11:30 PM

                                                                                                              Oh, forgot some.

                                                                                                              NAY to the pfeffernuse. Good flavor but too sweet for me and I don't like whatever bit of it is crunchy.

                                                                                                              YAY to the speculoos.

                                                                                                              MEH to the snowman cookies.

                                                                                                              1. fldhkybnva Dec 6, 2013 04:40 PM

                                                                                                                YAY -
                                                                                                                Asiago cheese - tastes the same as the cheese I buy at Whole Foods but a wee bit cheaper

                                                                                                                Shea butter hand cream - I still can't find the hand cream trio, but this so far has been great for my very dry hands

                                                                                                                NAY - near-miss towing of my car out of the parking lot, saved by paying the towing fee for a car that hadn't been towed :(

                                                                                                                Lots of new things in the store, can't wait to hear about it all this month

                                                                                                                19 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                  o
                                                                                                                  ohmyyum Dec 6, 2013 04:44 PM

                                                                                                                  Wtf re the near miss towing?

                                                                                                                  My store has been out of the 3 pack of shea butter hand creams for about a month.

                                                                                                                  As a lover of cheddars, you must try the December spotlight 5yr cheddar!

                                                                                                                  1. re: ohmyyum
                                                                                                                    fldhkybnva Dec 6, 2013 04:49 PM

                                                                                                                    Yea, the parking lot was packed an dit's hard to tell what's a space and what's not. I parked direclty across from someone else and came out and was so confused I couldn't find my car. Well, I looked a few feet away and it was up on the truck though the brake was on so couldn't be moved. He refused to give me the car without payment so I ended my shopping trip with a trip to the ATM to pay him and ended with a damaged car. Fortunately I got some goods at TJs.

                                                                                                                    I did spot the 5 year cheddar. I've tried a 4 year and while I love cheddar it gets a little much for me. I hope they offer it for tasting soon or I guess I'll bite and try it. Would probably be great for Christmas with salami.

                                                                                                                    Another YAY - 96% ground beef - I tried this last week and have had it from other stores before but I love that they sell it in 1 lb packages rather than 1.3-1.5 lb packages and it's really tasty, fills a beef craving for the same calories as chicken breast.

                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva
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                                                                                                                      PasadenaRose Dec 7, 2013 02:49 AM

                                                                                                                      re the towing situation. Yeah, unfortunately once the tow truck has a vehicle hooked up, it is legally in their possession and technically "impounded" and requires payment to be released. :-( At least it was still there when you came out or you would have had the huge hassle of figuring out where it got towed to and then arranging transportation ...all the while your perishables are perishing.
                                                                                                                      TJ's lots can really be a pain to navigate.
                                                                                                                      You can (and should) file a claim with the tow yard for any damages done to your car.

                                                                                                                      That 96% ground beef has my attention. I will definitely look for it on my next visit.

                                                                                                                      1. re: PasadenaRose
                                                                                                                        fldhkybnva Dec 7, 2013 05:14 AM

                                                                                                                        Indeed, the driver made a point to mention that at least I didn't have to go find...uh thanks :) I cooperated quickly my first response "ok how much do I owe? There are rules and if I broke one I am responsible for the consequences." My military father drilled that one in my head by the time I could walk :) unfortunately my cooperation is not being returned in kind re: the damage that needs to be repaired.

                                                                                                                        The beef comes in patties and ground. I had to hunt yesterday so make sure to look in the back of the case if it's not in front. I think the label is orange-yellow.

                                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva
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                                                                                                                          littleflower Dec 7, 2013 08:15 AM

                                                                                                                          I'm sorry to hear about your car fldhky, hope the damage isn't too costly to repair. What a pain that you had to experience while you were just trying to do some TJ's grocery shopping! Glad you stopped the driver before it was towed away though, I learned the hard way in college that once it goes to the towing yard it is even a bigger pain to get it out of there!

                                                                                                                          Speaking of ground patties - has anyone tried the frozen buffalo burgers that come three in a pack for 9.99? I love buffalo/bison but it's always great to get a heads up from a review to see how they taste.

                                                                                                                          1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                            fldhkybnva Dec 7, 2013 08:26 AM

                                                                                                                            I'm at the mechanic now and fortunately no damage to the actual mechanical parts but unfortunately the truck managed to rip off both sides of the engine cover so it looks like it'll be a couple hundred $ to fix.

                                                                                                                            The good news: there's a Trader Joe's nearby and after this blunder, I'm full on the holiday spirit, letting things roll of my shoulder and thinking another trip today is in order :)

                                                                                                                            I haven't tried the buffalo though I've seen it. I can't remember why though perhaps it was the % lean. I can't remember what it was but I think higher than the ground buffalo I buy elsewhere. They have a grass fed rib roast I'm eyeing for the holidays.

                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                              p
                                                                                                                              PasadenaRose Dec 7, 2013 01:29 PM

                                                                                                                              It sounds like the tow company is denying that they did the damage?? Wow, that sucks.
                                                                                                                              I'm glad your holiday spirit has not been dampened. :-)

                                                                                                                              1. re: PasadenaRose
                                                                                                                                fldhkybnva Dec 7, 2013 01:36 PM

                                                                                                                                Yuppers, indeed they are! I called them when I left and they refuse to pay. Oh well, my holiday spirit is alive and well. I arrived home to a surprise package from a friend and opened it to find a monogrammed Christmas stocking for our little kitten. It really made my day and even perhaps my entire week.

                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva
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                                                                                                                                  walker Dec 7, 2013 04:54 PM

                                                                                                                                  Good thing there's small claims court, even tho it's a hassle .. they are betting you won't take the time to sue them.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: walker
                                                                                                                                    fldhkybnva Dec 7, 2013 05:17 PM

                                                                                                                                    I think I need those mini mint star cookies :)

                                                                                                                              2. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                                s
                                                                                                                                seamunky Jan 14, 2014 10:03 AM

                                                                                                                                fldhky -

                                                                                                                                i was just at TJ's and was eyeing that roast also. It's from Australia I believe. Did you try it? What did you think? I've never had grass-fed and was wondering if this would be a good introduction to it.

                                                                                                                                1. re: seamunky
                                                                                                                                  fldhkybnva Jan 14, 2014 10:26 AM

                                                                                                                                  I didn't ever try it. I try to buy most of my meat not frozen and it was a large roast so I'd only buy it for a big party since there are usually only 1 or 2 of us eating. I do eat grass fed beef, probably 90% of the beef that I eat and love it. I might try one of the steaks before a roast.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                                    s
                                                                                                                                    seamunky Jan 14, 2014 06:29 PM

                                                                                                                                    Thanks. I'll keep an eye out for a grass fed steak and try that first so I'm not committed to cooking and eating a whole roast.

                                                                                                                        2. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                          Berheenia Dec 18, 2013 05:39 AM

                                                                                                                          I bought the 5 year for xmas and will let you know. I had the raw milk cheddar in my hand but decided to go with the 5 year. Hope it wasn't a mistake- always loved the rm cheddar.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Berheenia
                                                                                                                            Dommy Dec 18, 2013 08:53 AM

                                                                                                                            The 5 year is great! Good character without being overwhelming. it also melts beautifully... It might sound a LITTLE undulgent (I have a glut of cheese currently) but I use it shredded in a Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Jalapeno Corn Bread. OMG.

                                                                                                                            --Dommy!

                                                                                                                            1. re: Dommy
                                                                                                                              p
                                                                                                                              pugsam Dec 18, 2013 09:09 AM

                                                                                                                              Yes, smoother than we expected. Considering its age, not extremely crystalline/grainy. (Not that there's anything wrong with crystalline/grainy.........) Excellent flavor.

                                                                                                                              1. re: pugsam
                                                                                                                                Dommy Dec 18, 2013 09:13 AM

                                                                                                                                Well the Crystaline and grainy texture comes with what it's inoculated with as well as how it's wrapped. It was wrapped in cloth, then it might be more grainy. But if it's wrapped in a membrane (which isn't always a 'cheap' or bad thing) then it retains a lot more of the moisture... They got themselve a gem! It's not cheap, but compared to Hooks... it's a steal and a lot more versatile.

                                                                                                                                --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                1. re: Dommy
                                                                                                                                  m
                                                                                                                                  mrsjoujou Dec 18, 2013 09:30 AM

                                                                                                                                  I prefer the Hook's five year to this. I think I might return this and order form Hook's.

                                                                                                                        3. re: ohmyyum
                                                                                                                          w
                                                                                                                          walker Dec 7, 2013 02:18 AM

                                                                                                                          Are you talking about the black truffle cheddar? I tried a sample and liked it a lot but bought the Italian truffle one I usually buy.

                                                                                                                      2. h
                                                                                                                        Harts52 Dec 6, 2013 07:12 PM

                                                                                                                        I'm having one of those twilight zone weeks. I went to TJs yesterday, composed a lengthy post via iphone after and apparently didn't bother to hit "reply"...at least I don't think so. I don't see it anywhere so I hope this isn't repetitive.

                                                                                                                        The mini mint stars are killer YAY.

                                                                                                                        The non-mint larger stars are still YAY but not as enthusiastic. On the plus side, I can eat one of them and walk away whereas the mini-mints turn me into a crazy person with spotted chocolate palms from grabbing too many.

                                                                                                                        YAY for the barbeque beef brisket from the deli.

                                                                                                                        Sort of YAY for the Fish Nuggets. They are beer battered. I ended up getting them instead of my fav Reduced Fat Fish Sticks because - woe - the shipment was arriving later that night (bummer since I'm an hour away). Taste-wise, they are good. I still prefer the RFFS but these are a good second. Five drawbacks - they don't have the count on the box (my box had 17), they require a super-hot 475* oven, they require flippng half-way through, the ratio of breading to fish is greater than with the RFFS and, biggest issue, they have a "might contain bones" warning on the package, so this is not something that can safely be given to a kid (so why call them a nugget??).

                                                                                                                        YAY to the dried orange cranberries. So good. Just the right hint of orange.

                                                                                                                        Don't know if I mentioned this before, YAY for the Cheddar Rockets. More of a real cheese flavor than Goldfish and not as salty.

                                                                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: Harts52
                                                                                                                          fracklefoodie Dec 7, 2013 11:21 AM

                                                                                                                          Such a huge YAY to those mini mint star cookies. I went back yesterday to pick up another box or two and my store has already sold out. :(

                                                                                                                          1. re: fracklefoodie
                                                                                                                            fldhkybnva Dec 7, 2013 01:36 PM

                                                                                                                            Oh wow, I need to try them!

                                                                                                                            1. re: fracklefoodie
                                                                                                                              h
                                                                                                                              HeyImBack Dec 7, 2013 03:51 PM

                                                                                                                              Those mini mint stars are truly evil. I had half a package left and threw them away. I just couldn't handle keeping them in the house. Glad to hear they're sold out and also very glad it's one of their seasonal items. I'll buy one package a year to get my fix.

                                                                                                                              1. re: HeyImBack
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                                                                                                                                foodiefan6 Dec 8, 2013 07:18 AM

                                                                                                                                That's my plan as well! Far too addictive! :)

                                                                                                                            2. re: Harts52
                                                                                                                              f
                                                                                                                              foodiefan6 Dec 8, 2013 07:17 AM

                                                                                                                              Agree re the chocolate mint mini stars. Addictive. They remind me of the Girl Scout Thin Mints flavor before they changed up the ingredients years ago.

                                                                                                                              1. re: foodiefan6
                                                                                                                                fldhkybnva Dec 8, 2013 08:03 AM

                                                                                                                                Oh no, maybe I shouldn't buy them. I really miss those Thin Mints! I'd stock up several boxes in the freezer every year until the ingredients changed.

                                                                                                                              2. re: Harts52
                                                                                                                                q
                                                                                                                                Querencia Dec 20, 2013 09:02 PM

                                                                                                                                I sincerely hope you ate your Fish Nuggets dipped into the Sweet Chili Sauce. Makes them taste as if you are in a good Thai restaurant.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Querencia
                                                                                                                                  GraceW Dec 20, 2013 09:16 PM

                                                                                                                                  Querencia, good idea!

                                                                                                                              3. l
                                                                                                                                littleflower Dec 7, 2013 08:32 AM

                                                                                                                                YAY: Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels - after reading all the reviews over the past few years on how great these were I decided to try them even though I am not a huge dark choc. fan. Even though the dark chocolate was a bit too rich for me personally I still had to yay this one based on the large flakes of sea salt that combined so well with the buttery oozing caramel filling. I wish they could just bottle up that filling and sell it, it's that good!

                                                                                                                                MEH: Organic Bolivian Coffee - my friend and her husband bought some of this and gave me some to try. I thought it was a bit on the bitter side, but it seemed to get good reviews online. My absolute fav. TJ's coffee remains the dark French Roast - it is heaven in a cup.

                                                                                                                                Also have to yet to try the following:

                                                                                                                                Mini Pannetone Classico - first of all, how cute is that package?! What a great gift this would make and the price is right, too. Can't wait to try it both toasted with Kerrygold butter as well as using it for French Toast (Giada has a recipe for it that I have seen her make on TV that looks yummy).

                                                                                                                                Set of Four Preserves/Marmalades - has anyone tried these out to vouch for the quality?

                                                                                                                                I eyed the fully cooked pork belly in the deli/meat section - any thoughts on this one? I love pork belly but not sure how it would taste fully cooked then packaged...

                                                                                                                                13 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                  fldhkybnva Dec 7, 2013 08:35 AM

                                                                                                                                  I can't wait to hear your thoughts of the Pannetone. It's one of few sweet breads I really enjoy.

                                                                                                                                  Also, I'm glad to see you posting here a little more often, I hope that means you're feeling at least somewhat better :)

                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva
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                                                                                                                                    littleflower Dec 7, 2013 08:49 AM

                                                                                                                                    Oh no sorry to hear about the damage, it's ashame that they force us to pay for any damage that they actually caused in the towing process. Hope shopping at TJ's cheers up your day - it always makes me feel better!

                                                                                                                                    Thanks for your kind words - I have had a fairly decent past few days energy-wise and am taking full advantage of it! Even made it out once to TJ's which was super exciting! My friends were going and took me with them.

                                                                                                                                    HUGE yay to TJ's employees who couldn't do enough to make my experience an even better one - we called ahead to see if they had a motorized cart available for me to use so I could more easily get around the store and they actually brought it out to the car to me. Talk about going above and beyond for your customers!! Just one of the many reasons why I am loyal to that store.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva
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                                                                                                                                      littleflower Dec 7, 2013 09:24 PM

                                                                                                                                      I personally have to MEH/NAY the Mini Pannetone, because of two reasons 1) wow, it is REALLY on the sweet side - too much for me! Although I made two slices of it, I could barely finish just one slice of it toasted up (under the broiler) with Kerrygold unsalted butter and 2) if you do decide to try it (and why not - the mini is only 1.99 and I know a lot of people who do love pannetone) please don't make the mistake that I did and not completely remove all of the wrapping surrounding it!

                                                                                                                                      It's wrapped up more than once - first in a clear plastic and again in a color that is exactly the same as the pannetone! I thought that I completely removed the second packaging but there must have been a third protective covering sitting at the bottom of it that I didn't notice before sticking it under the broiler! Thankfully I broiled it on a piece of foil but still it made my place smell like burnt paper for awhile.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                        paulj Dec 7, 2013 09:40 PM

                                                                                                                                        I don't know about TJ's, but all Pannetone (mostly imported Italian ones) that I've bought has been baked in a paper wrapper - like a big cupcake. Often I'll slice through the paper and remove it from the individual slices.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: paulj
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                                                                                                                                          littleflower Dec 8, 2013 03:39 PM

                                                                                                                                          That is exactly what it was, paulj...and it was the same color as the pannetone. I thought that I had cut and removed all of it but apparently some of it remained - admittedly my error, just wanted to caution others who may purchase it to make sure that all of wrapping is removed.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                          fldhkybnva Dec 7, 2013 09:50 PM

                                                                                                                                          I'm guaranteed to not like anything described as "REALLY on the sweet side." I often find bell peppers to be too sweet :)

                                                                                                                                        3. re: fldhkybnva
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                                                                                                                                          foodiefan6 Dec 8, 2013 07:23 AM

                                                                                                                                          About the set of four preserves/marmalades, I purchased them last year and just bought another set. They are pretty good, I mostly like that they are in small jars, so I get more variety without wasting bottles of old neglected preserves (great for small households).

                                                                                                                                          1. re: foodiefan6
                                                                                                                                            greygarious Dec 8, 2013 05:12 PM

                                                                                                                                            I used to give in to the temptation to buy the little jars, till I followed Mom's example and started mixing partial jars into a single one. You might rue stirring grape jelly into orange marmalade.... but most combinations will be quite tasty.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                                            q
                                                                                                                                            Querencia Dec 20, 2013 08:53 PM

                                                                                                                                            I have read this far down the thread amazed that nobody is mentioning TJ's Panettone. It is very good panettone and costs $4.99 instead of the $39.95 at one place I am too polite to mention but the initials are WS. One of the great bargains of the season. 750 grams, not a mini.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Querencia
                                                                                                                                              paulj Dec 22, 2013 11:45 AM

                                                                                                                                              I responded to a mention of the panettone (spelled 'pannetone') http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9262...

                                                                                                                                              1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                                                g
                                                                                                                                                gnomatic Dec 22, 2013 04:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                In additional panettone in the big red box, the mini one, my local TJ also had a coffee cream panettone from Italy (made by Scar Pier), wrapped up with wrapping paper & ribbons for $11.99. It comes with a package of powdered sugar inside.

                                                                                                                                                It gets a Yay from me, but I happen to like panettone and coffee cream & chocolate chips.

                                                                                                                                          3. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                            paulj Dec 7, 2013 05:45 PM

                                                                                                                                            The pork belly is cooked with simple seasonings (salt level is fine). By itself it is just fatty pork. But sliced and fried it is more interesting (just don't expect it to taste like bacon).

                                                                                                                                            1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                                              l
                                                                                                                                              littleflower Dec 7, 2013 07:53 PM

                                                                                                                                              Thanks, paulj for your review of it...now I am intrigued enough to give it a go. I do love pork belly but just wasn't sure how TJ's version of it measured up. I absolutely agree with you that it needs to be sliced and fried - yum!!

                                                                                                                                          4. p
                                                                                                                                            pugsam Dec 7, 2013 08:33 AM

                                                                                                                                            The Boatswain beer line. All of them are good to very-good for their styles. And, at $1.99 for a 22 ounce bottle, they're an awesome value.

                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: pugsam
                                                                                                                                              Alice Patis Dec 10, 2013 08:32 AM

                                                                                                                                              My hubby is a huge fan on the Boatswain Chocolate Stout. He's a fan of stouts and this is one his most favorite stouts.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Alice Patis
                                                                                                                                                paulj Dec 10, 2013 03:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                I like those Boatswain beers - except one, I think it's the HLV, that's too hoppy.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                                                  p
                                                                                                                                                  pugsam Dec 10, 2013 06:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Yup, that's heavy stuff. An acquired taste!

                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                2. re: Alice Patis
                                                                                                                                                  w
                                                                                                                                                  WishyFish Dec 10, 2013 06:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Yup, mine is a stout fan and of that particular one too. And only $2! Can't beat that.

                                                                                                                                                3. re: pugsam
                                                                                                                                                  t
                                                                                                                                                  theresat Dec 10, 2013 12:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                  I can only vouch for their chocolate stout, which I use to make beer floats or beer shakes, but the price is hard to beat!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: theresat
                                                                                                                                                    p
                                                                                                                                                    pugsam Dec 10, 2013 06:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                    Hadn't thought of a beer float......but it sounds promising!

                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                4. tim irvine Dec 7, 2013 08:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                  I give their chicken pot pies an F but have really liked most everything else a lot, especially the 4 for 2.99 artichokes and the $10 Willamette PN (not on a par with the pricier ones like Archery Summit or Ken Wright but as good as an A to Z or a Firesteed for about $8 less). Looking forward to the whole grain mustard. If is remotely comparable to Pommery it is a fabulous deal.

                                                                                                                                                  1. fldhkybnva Dec 7, 2013 06:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                    Has anyone tried the cinnamon rolls or onion dip mix?

                                                                                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                                                      TXMandy Dec 7, 2013 07:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                      My husband loves the cinnamon rolls. I usually pick them up once a week for him. I don't usually like things like this, but tried a bite and thought it was great! Very large rolls with lots of cinnamon and gooey icing. Very fluffy and moist too.

                                                                                                                                                      Haven't tried the onion dip mix and am curious about it too.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: TXMandy
                                                                                                                                                        l
                                                                                                                                                        littleflower Dec 7, 2013 08:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                        I am not sure where I read this...I think it may have been on the Nov. thread? but from what I recall there was a general thumbs down to the onion dip mix.

                                                                                                                                                        I can personally vouch for the refrigerated carmelized onion dip though (located next to the bacon ranch dip). Sooo good! Also still like the ol' Lipton Onion Soup mix version that you could mix with TJ's sour cream and I always put in a a dash or two of Worcestershire sauce just to round out the flavor.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                          Dommy Dec 7, 2013 10:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                          We LOVE the caramelized onion dip... gonna have to remember that Worcestershire tip! Thanks! :D

                                                                                                                                                          --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Dommy
                                                                                                                                                            l
                                                                                                                                                            littleflower Dec 8, 2013 03:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                            You're welcome, Dommy - just literally a dash or two is needed (otherwise it could become a bit salty if anyone is sensitive to salt level) and it really brings the flavor out!

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                                                        a
                                                                                                                                                        andieb Dec 9, 2013 12:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                        Love the cinnamon rolls. They are a little tricky to take apart, but they are delicious!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                                                          k
                                                                                                                                                          kt1969 Dec 10, 2013 04:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                          I was one of the Nays on the onion dip mix last month. Yucky. And I love the Lipton mix so am not a snob. :)

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kt1969
                                                                                                                                                            Steve Green Dec 11, 2013 08:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                            Dogpile! The TJ's version seems like it's just salt, pepper, and dried onions. I'm amazed that the mix can be so bad, while the pre-made version is so great.

                                                                                                                                                            That said, the Lipton's version is nowhere near as good as it used to be, IMO.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                                                            Berheenia Dec 18, 2013 05:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                            Those cinnamon rolls were our staple xmas morning for years. The sugary and buttery and they smell so good.

                                                                                                                                                          3. b
                                                                                                                                                            brilynn79 Dec 7, 2013 06:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Has anyone tried the mini pumpkin pies? I am a little disappointed...I love the mini pecans and read how some stores had sold out...I was excited to see what I thought was them in my TJ...got them home and realized they are pumpkin:(

                                                                                                                                                            Wondering if they are the same crust or different? I bought 5 boxes...they may go back...

                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: brilynn79
                                                                                                                                                              janethepain Dec 7, 2013 07:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                              If you're talking about the frozen mini pumpkin pies, I sampled some at the store and thought they were delicious. Love the sweet crust, so much better than the bland, store-bought pie type.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: brilynn79
                                                                                                                                                                l
                                                                                                                                                                littleflower Dec 7, 2013 08:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Those over at the "Eating at Joe's" website gave it an excellent review, even specifically mentioned how great the crust was.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                                                                  b
                                                                                                                                                                  brilynn79 Dec 7, 2013 09:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  If its the same crust as the pecan, I will like them...it tasted like sugar cookie dough to me. I just don't like regular pie crust.

                                                                                                                                                                  Maybe Ill break them open...

                                                                                                                                                              2. a
                                                                                                                                                                Atochabsh Dec 8, 2013 10:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                YAY for those little chocolate covered waffle cookies with peppermint chips of candy on them.

                                                                                                                                                                YAY for McIntosh only apple juice. This is amazing and well worth the little bit extra.

                                                                                                                                                                MEH for the duo of chicken enchiladas in the frozen section. So little cheese on these that its an insult how little is there. Add cheese is first order of business. Then it almost makes it to a YAY.

                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Atochabsh
                                                                                                                                                                  r
                                                                                                                                                                  random amblings Dec 20, 2013 08:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, yes, yes on the little chocolate waffle cookies with peppermint. Tiny little bite, but it leads to another and another. Quality chocolate... actually quality everything.

                                                                                                                                                                2. aching Dec 8, 2013 03:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  YAY for the frozen French fries. I've never made French fries at home before but I had made a huge pot of chili and was suddenly inspired to make homemade chili cheese fries. Those fries are really good - it's probably not a good thing for my health that I found that out!

                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: aching
                                                                                                                                                                    fldhkybnva Dec 8, 2013 04:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    Did you fry or bake?

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                                                                      aching Dec 8, 2013 05:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Baked.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. b
                                                                                                                                                                    BeachCookie107 Dec 9, 2013 05:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    Big yay for the kale and spinach bites. We tried them Friday night and went back on Saturday for more.

                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: BeachCookie107
                                                                                                                                                                      Savour Dec 9, 2013 11:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      YAY to these as well. My kids like them, too, which is a plus.

                                                                                                                                                                      TJ's helped me throw my annual holiday party this year - YAY to the spiral sliced ham, the frozen spinach artichoke dip, and the cheap, cheap wines.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: BeachCookie107
                                                                                                                                                                        o
                                                                                                                                                                        Obessed Dec 30, 2013 09:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        My 2.5 year old twins go crazy for these! One of them had FOUR for dinner tonight!!??

                                                                                                                                                                      2. Monica Dec 9, 2013 09:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        Nay to Heart healthy blueberry instant oatmeals. Has strange smell...

                                                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Monica
                                                                                                                                                                          AmyH Dec 9, 2013 11:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          Agreed. My son likes that heart healthy blueberry instant oatmeal, but it stinks up the kitchen with an overwhelming blueberry smell to the point that I don't want to eat my own breakfast.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: AmyH
                                                                                                                                                                            k
                                                                                                                                                                            kt1969 Dec 10, 2013 04:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            That's too funny...I can't buy the TJ's blueberry waffles bc of the smell, almost makes me feel sick. I think they taste fine [at least my 5YO thinks so], but I can't do it. The Eggo multigrain blueberry don't have that problem.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kt1969
                                                                                                                                                                              AmyH Dec 10, 2013 04:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              Then by all means do not buy the blueberry instant oatmeal! You'll be retching all over the kitchen. Funny how the TJ's ones, which should be all natural, are worse than the Eggo ones that are probably all artificial.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: AmyH
                                                                                                                                                                                c
                                                                                                                                                                                chinchi Dec 10, 2013 08:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                Trader Joes must have some strange blueberry "flavor." I suffered through a box of Blueberry Muesli. Tasted floral/soapy.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. t
                                                                                                                                                                          toopie28 Dec 9, 2013 09:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          Baked Kringle - already sold out - no stores have them. Thanks to whomever posted the link for the supplier.

                                                                                                                                                                          Nay - 10 Petits Fours - way too sweet. If you like marzipan you may love these.

                                                                                                                                                                          Also bought Beef Tenderloin Bites - will post once tried.

                                                                                                                                                                          13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: toopie28
                                                                                                                                                                            Savour Dec 9, 2013 11:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            Our store was out of the Kringle for a few weeks but got it back in stock.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Savour
                                                                                                                                                                              p
                                                                                                                                                                              pugsam Dec 9, 2013 12:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              Kringle's back in stock at my store, too. Also, even though it's offered defrosted on the shelf, you can request a frozen one from the back -- nice for keeping it longer if you want it for a future event or holiday road trip, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: pugsam
                                                                                                                                                                                o
                                                                                                                                                                                ohmyyum Dec 9, 2013 12:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks for the tip! I would have wanted to freeze one for later anyway, as I expect these will only be offered for a very short duration!

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: pugsam
                                                                                                                                                                                  d
                                                                                                                                                                                  doublehelping Dec 10, 2013 06:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  I just called the TJ in Westlake Ctr in Daly City, and I was told that it was no longer sold in any TJs in the US. Which TJ has this back in stock?

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: pugsam
                                                                                                                                                                                    p
                                                                                                                                                                                    pugsam Dec 10, 2013 06:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    I saw them today in Charlottesville, VA.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: toopie28
                                                                                                                                                                                  Monica Dec 9, 2013 01:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  what's a kringle?

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Monica
                                                                                                                                                                                    greygarious Dec 9, 2013 06:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    A large danish ring. These are almond, with almond glaze. No visible nuts, though - paste filling.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: greygarious
                                                                                                                                                                                      Monica Dec 10, 2013 11:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      i thought it was some sort of mutated Pringles or something for Christmas.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: toopie28
                                                                                                                                                                                    janethepain Dec 10, 2013 11:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    The Kringle may have never even made it to NYC stores - I've been looking for it for the past few weeks due to this thread, but no dice. Instead we have some weird 'danish flower' thing. :(

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: janethepain
                                                                                                                                                                                      t
                                                                                                                                                                                      toopie28 Dec 10, 2013 01:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, I saw the flower thingy too.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Due to this board I tried to tracked down the kringle - never heard of it before. The second TJ's I went to (in CA) told me that the company wouldn't sell to them any more. Then another employee stepped in almost as if the other guy should not have said anything. Weird.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Anyway, I ordered directly from their site.

                                                                                                                                                                                      My lack of control plus this board is costing me a fortune!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: toopie28
                                                                                                                                                                                        Sloth Dec 11, 2013 02:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Haven't tried the TJ Kringle, but this thread will lead to some excellent ones.
                                                                                                                                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/269728

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Sloth
                                                                                                                                                                                          Savour Dec 11, 2013 05:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          The TJ's one comes from O&H Danish Bakery. And costs $7.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: janethepain
                                                                                                                                                                                        jcmods Jan 23, 2014 12:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        There's a bakery in Greenwich CT that makes Kringle. (In-laws are Danish). It is one of the best pastries ever. I can't remember the name of the bakery though. I would be interested to see how the TJs verion compares.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. MrsJTW Dec 9, 2013 10:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      We don't currently live near a Trader Joe's, but I used to always get the Chili Lime Pistachios that were SO good! They had another flavor, too that I can't remember at the moment. Habanero?? Last couple times I was in one I couldn't find these though. My dad used to bring me several bags when he would visit.

                                                                                                                                                                                      My husband & I buy a really good red German wine there, too. Been awhile so I forget the name. Was very reasonably priced as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I like the TJ brand soy sauce too that is made in Japan. I could sure spend some money in there! I heard some things awhile back about them selling GMOs & not disclosing it. Not sure of the details. I still like them better than Whole Foods.

                                                                                                                                                                                      And almost forgot! They always had this awesome cold chick pea salad that was to die for! I could eat that all day, every day!

                                                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MrsJTW
                                                                                                                                                                                        Rilke Dec 10, 2013 01:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        The pistachios are gone I think, but the chickpeas are still there; it's called balela, and yes, it is yummy :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Rilke
                                                                                                                                                                                          MrsJTW Dec 11, 2013 10:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Aw man! That is a major bummer! I will have to drop them a line. Those pistachios were SO good! Thank GOD the chickpeas are still there! I have yet to replicate it exactly.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: MrsJTW
                                                                                                                                                                                          Gingerleen Dec 10, 2013 01:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          I was just at TJs this past Sunday in SoCal and purchased a bag of Chile Lime mixed nuts. Big YAY...a combo of peanuts, cashews and almonds with lots of dried chilis and lime leaves. Very spicy, which for me is a good thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Gingerleen
                                                                                                                                                                                            alkapal Dec 10, 2013 06:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            those i must look for here in northern virginia.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Gingerleen
                                                                                                                                                                                              MrsJTW Dec 11, 2013 10:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              Maybe I can try those sometime then if they don't have the chili lime pistachios anymore.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. t
                                                                                                                                                                                            theresat Dec 10, 2013 01:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Nay: The 100% Kona coffee

                                                                                                                                                                                            I've never had Kona coffee so maybe this is what it's supposed to taste like, but I even threw out my first batch and tried again because it tasted watered down and lacked body. I used my usual ratio of grounds:water and a French press so the lack of body is surprising. However, the second batch turned out similarly. This is the first item I'll be returning since it cost $19.99 for 13oz (which may have been too good to be true but I've heard so many good things in the past).

                                                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: theresat
                                                                                                                                                                                              Will Owen Dec 10, 2013 02:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              I've never had ANY Kona coffee that didn't taste downright puny, including in Hawaii. Even had people brew it for me and say, "Okay, now, try THIS!" … and nothin'.

                                                                                                                                                                                              All of TJ's coffee used to underwhelm me, but several of the more recent French and Italian roast varieties they're offering have been better than okay.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Will Owen
                                                                                                                                                                                                t
                                                                                                                                                                                                theresat Dec 10, 2013 02:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                For the past couple months, I've been drinking TJ's Ethiopian and Tanzanian peaberry coffee which were very good considering their price, but they were limited edition and seem to have run out.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: theresat
                                                                                                                                                                                                t
                                                                                                                                                                                                toopie28 Dec 10, 2013 02:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                I tasted it once in Hawaii and loved it! So I was really happy when I saw it at TJ's. HORRIBLE! One of the first things I took back!

                                                                                                                                                                                                A friend of mine came back from Hawaii and brought me some (peaberry) - I love it and use it for my french press. When I tried to reorder some for me - it was priced at $25.00 for 7oz. (does not include shipping!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: toopie28
                                                                                                                                                                                                  t
                                                                                                                                                                                                  theresat Dec 10, 2013 05:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Can you try and describe what good Kona tastes like?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: theresat
                                                                                                                                                                                                    t
                                                                                                                                                                                                    toopie28 Dec 11, 2013 02:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Very smooth. No bitter aftertaste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    It's really beautiful - I love it.

                                                                                                                                                                                              3. Niblet Dec 10, 2013 02:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                Based on raves here I tried a couple of seasonal items and didn't like them as much as I'd hoped (so if you're like me and feel like you're missing out this might make you feel better; I had this same "meh" experience last year with the Pfeffermuesse):

                                                                                                                                                                                                MEH: Candy Cane Joe Joes. I don't especially like the tiny bits of candy cane in the filling. I also picked up some dark chocolate covered peppermint joe joes so I'll try them next and it sounds like they may be more yum. But I don't need the extra calories so I'm happy it's taking me a long time to get through this box as well as the other one I opened....

                                                                                                                                                                                                NAY: Weissella soft gingerbread cookies, sugar glazed. There were many boxes of the chocolate covered ones left, but only a few sugar glazed so figuring it was the more popular/authentic I picked that. The bottom of cookie has a papery taste and texture, I thought I must be accidentally eating a thin piece of paper that became part of the glaze. So I tried peeling it off but apparently it is the glaze. I only had one last week and have since had 6 remaining cookies sitting there, I doubt I'll eat them. And I love ginger and all things spice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Upside: I'm keeping these boxes on the counter so friends happening by (next year) will marvel at my seeming self-control!

                                                                                                                                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Niblet
                                                                                                                                                                                                  s
                                                                                                                                                                                                  shoo bee doo Dec 10, 2013 02:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Having lived in Germany for many years, I'm so happy to see the Weissella gingerbread cookies that I grew to love. The bottom of these cookies are baking wafers (oblaten) the Germans use instead of parchment paper or instead of greasing the pan. They are the same substance as a communion wafer. They are edible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  They are different from our ginger cookies, but I imagine if you took small pieces with your coffee, you would grow to like them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: shoo bee doo
                                                                                                                                                                                                    alkapal Dec 10, 2013 06:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    i love lebkuchen -- esp. when a german friend used to send the tins from nürnberg. but over the years, i have found the tj's product to be less and less tasty. i find them very dry, and almost flavorless -- nothing like the rich, moist lebkuchen i know and love. http://www.lebkuchen-schmidt.com/en/T...

                                                                                                                                                                                                    and yes, between the two on offer, the plain is better than the chocolate -- even if one loves chocolate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                      emily Dec 11, 2013 08:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I did not care for them either. I ordered some Leckerlee lebkuchen; perhaps I will like those better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                        s
                                                                                                                                                                                                        shoo bee doo Dec 11, 2013 03:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        You're absolutely right, alkapal. I do remember those glorious lebkuchen in the tins from Nürnberg. They were soft and lovely.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        That was almost 40 years ago and I'm not there now. The best I can say is that the TJ's lebkuchen is far better than the Cost Plus lebkuchen. Now I'm aching for the real thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm going to order some from Leckerlee also.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: shoo bee doo
                                                                                                                                                                                                          alkapal Dec 13, 2013 12:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          i've never had leckerlee -- just the schmidt. a german friend of mine was here in the states and she would get her relatives there in germany to order them. i don't know if the company or relatives shipped them, or the relatives brought them to her. bless you mrs. schulhofer!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          i never had a problem with them being stale or dry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Niblet
                                                                                                                                                                                                      linguafood Dec 10, 2013 02:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yah, what shoobeedoo said. The bottom is made of the same crap you're fed in church -- tasteless wafers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Niblet
                                                                                                                                                                                                        RussTheRaccoon Dec 10, 2013 04:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        As a general rule, if I can't tell what is the food and what is the packaging, I won't eat any of it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Niblet
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Niblet Jan 7, 2014 10:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Considering this thread has been revived, I can add thoughts on 3 more holiday items I picked up:

                                                                                                                                                                                                          YAY - Belgian Dark Chocolates collection. Amazing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          YAY - Dark chocolate covered peppermint cookies, these went so fast I don't even remember what they're called. They're very like the "Mystic Mint" cookies we grew up with.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          YAY - Dark chocolate stars. Of all the holiday cookies these are my top pick.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Will Owen Dec 10, 2013 02:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Big YAY – possibly California-only – for the Cosmia Pinot Noir. $7.99, screwtop, light and rich and delicious. My red-hating wife took a sip and promptly poured herself a glass. The $3.99 Grifone twins, Primitivo and Sangiovese, are old news, but continue to delight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yay for the Vegetarian Chili, a most convincing version. The only thing obvious about its meatlessness is the lack of any glob of orange fat under the can lid. And if you want to save money and make a big pot, the Beefless Ground Beef (Yay), in conjunction with a Carroll Shelby Chili kit from that other store down the street, makes a very good run at disguising its veggieness.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. alkapal Dec 10, 2013 06:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            nay -- "lite" champagne vinaigrette. very sharp, vinegary flavor. i mistakenly bought "lite" when i wanted to get the regular one that i had tasted at an event.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. janethepain Dec 10, 2013 07:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              YAY to the bagged tangerines - delicious! I'm used to tangerines being bigger, deeper orange and with a thinner skin; I would have thought these were clementines. But they're super sweet, tangy and juicy, will definitely be a repeat purchase.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Meh/Nay to the marzipan stollen (a German brand, not TJ's). I don't detect any marzipan flavor, so it just tastes like a dense fruitcake. Disappointed, as the marzipan was the only reason I bought it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I visited TJ's today and was stunned at how many holiday treats there were! Literally shelves packed with new seasonal cookies and chocolates.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: janethepain
                                                                                                                                                                                                                linguafood Dec 10, 2013 08:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Wow! I'm truly surprised about your stollen assessment. I'm not a big stollen fan -- generally find them too dry, and *really* only like it with marzipan. And I thought this was delivering on the marzipan side. The dough is still dry, of course. Nothing like homemade.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                But this was pretty good... for stollen, that is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  janethepain Dec 11, 2013 10:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Is the marzipan in chunks or streaks throughout the bread? Or somehow incorporated into the bread itself? I don't see any marzipan nor can I taste any :(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: janethepain
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    linguafood Dec 11, 2013 11:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It's in the middle of the stollen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      janethepain Dec 11, 2013 11:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You're right; I just popped back in to announce that I found beginnings of the elusive marzipan, three slices into the loaf. There doesn't seem to be that much of it, so the whole product still rates as a Nay for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: janethepain
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        linguafood Dec 11, 2013 11:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yeah, it would be better if it were all the way through, since the marzipan is really the only thing that makes this crappy dry thing worth eating :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          janethepain Dec 11, 2013 12:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ha! Well you could do as I just did and scoop the marzipan out. I'm on my way to the kitchen to throw out the dissected carcass of the loaf.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: janethepain
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            alkapal Dec 13, 2013 12:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            oh, that would've made a decent bread pudding!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    shoo bee doo Dec 11, 2013 03:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I found the Aldi's butter stollen far better than TJ's this year. I think there was marzipan in it. There was also an edel-marzipan version.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Again, as in the subthread above regarding lebkuchen, I haven't been to Germany recently to be able to have the best stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: shoo bee doo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      linguafood Dec 11, 2013 04:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It's all pretty stale once it gets here. Same with German bread. Wah.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  HeyImBack Dec 11, 2013 10:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I know they have a short season, but does anyone know if the fresh brussel sprouts on the stalk are still around? I bought a stalk there the week before Thanksgiving, loved them, and haven't gotten back over there the last few weeks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  14 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: HeyImBack
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Harts52 Dec 11, 2013 10:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I saw them in Pittsburgh last week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: HeyImBack
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      josephnl Dec 11, 2013 01:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Saw them in southern CA today.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: HeyImBack
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        fldhkybnva Dec 11, 2013 03:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I've also seen them in Maryland.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: HeyImBack
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          greygarious Dec 11, 2013 07:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Got them in MA 5 days ago, and though they were $3.49 before Thanksgiving, they are now $2.99 - first quality so I'm not sure why the price dropped. Didn't have enough fridge space so I sawed a fresh cut on the bottom of the stalk and used a glass jar as a vase. I've been keeping it on the windowsill, taking sprouts off as needed, starting at the bottom. They're staying in perfect condition. I hope the stalk will still be good for steaming once all the sprouts are gone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: greygarious
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            josephnl Dec 11, 2013 09:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Didn't know you could eat the stalk. Do you just cut it up and steam it? Do you slice it thinly, or what? I assume it tastes like the sprouts...right?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: josephnl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              greygarious Dec 12, 2013 04:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The "bark" is really tough. I hack it crosswise into three pieces so it fits into a steamer basket. Steam until tender enough to slice lengthwise, then use a spoon to scoop out the delicious, green pulp, which tastes like the core of a cauliflower, or the interior of a broccoli stalk, but creamier. Only enough for one person.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I bet it would make a great dip or salad dressing but have never been able to resist it plain. After all, it's something I only get to have once a year. I cook for one, so a stalk of sprouts makes a dozen or more portions. By the time I'd want to eat them again, they are no longer in season. But the core is definitely the most delicious part. Someone told me it tastes like kohlrabi, which I have never had.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: greygarious
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                r
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                rynnyb Dec 13, 2013 10:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                regarding cauliflower cores, I shred into a slaw and add soy sauce, a touch of sugar, and sesame oil. never thought to do that with the brussels stalk, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: rynnyb
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  AmyH Dec 13, 2013 11:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  For those of you who like to eat stalks and cores, or those who want to but don't know how, one of the Washington Post food section's top 10 cookbooks of the year was Root to Stalk Cooking: the Art of Using the Whole Vegetable by Tara Duggan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1607...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: AmyH
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    paulj Dec 13, 2013 12:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    In some Asian groceries you might even find lettuce stalks. Haven't tried them yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      AmyH Dec 13, 2013 12:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I remember at the farmers market a few years ago one of the farmers telling me that he sold heads of cauliflower with the leaves still on for Asian shoppers. You'd be surprised how big those caulflower leaves get! They completely hide the cauliflower. I'm not sure how his Asian customers cooked the leaves, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: greygarious
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  alkapal Dec 13, 2013 12:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  is it similar to a broccoli stalk that benefits from paring?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    greygarious Dec 14, 2013 04:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It's dangerous to pare uncooked - very hard and rather thick.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I spoke to a farmer who mentioned baking the "marrow" with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. She said the peels the stalk to get to the good part but I can't imagine a peeler or paring knife working. Maybe if you hack it into shorter "logs" which you then stand on end so you can use a boning or chef's knife to slice vertically around the perimeter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: greygarious
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Gio Dec 21, 2013 11:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The stalk is also very tasty in a mixed vegetable stir-fry!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: HeyImBack
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              g
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              goodeatsgal Dec 13, 2013 12:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I saw them in Northern California tonight. The sprouts on the stalk looked smaller than the stalk I bought about a month ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              jsaimd Dec 11, 2013 10:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              NAY on the carmellos or chocolate covered caramel marshmallows. I was hoping for a fresher marshmallow and deeper caramel for the price, but it seemed average to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. sandiasingh Dec 11, 2013 02:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Big yay--in fact whoa!--on the English Cheddar with Carmelized Onions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  sciencediet Dec 11, 2013 06:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A yay for the reformulated sweet potato gnocchi with sage butter. I liked the old version but it was awkward to cook; I found I had to microwave it a bit to get it out of the plastic box and then cook it on the stove. This one is in a bag, and the gnocchis are all coated with a dehydrated sauce (gosh, I'm making it sound awful) but you put it in a pan with some water and it turns nice and creamy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sciencediet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    alkapal Dec 13, 2013 12:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    that is how the gorgonzola gnocchi are -- which i forgot to get today -- DARN it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Boudleaux Dec 11, 2013 06:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Has anyone tried the spinach and sour cream dip? I got it today when I made a TJ's run on my lunch break. I thought about it all day. I came home and tried it and it's just a meh for me. It's OK. It's very spinach-y but I guess it's not what I wanted from a spinach dip. That sounds funny when you type it out. I'm not going to take it back. I mean, TJ's isn't exactly an easy trip for me anyway. I'm trying to think of other ways to use it besides just as a dip. I went to the store hungry! I'm impressed that I made it out with just over $70 worth of stuff!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Boudleaux
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      fldhkybnva Dec 11, 2013 06:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Could you try it in a casserole, maybe mix in some artichokes an cream cheese and other seasonings and make a chicken spinach artichoke dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Boudleaux Dec 11, 2013 06:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Good idea! Thank you!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Boudleaux
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        alkapal Dec 13, 2013 12:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        re spinach dip -- try adding some salt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        of course artichokes never hurt either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. 5
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        51rich Dec 12, 2013 02:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        YAY - the fruit jams in the six sided jars with trader joe name are back~BUT~ they are now labelled E.D.SMITH - eastchester had blueberry, cherry and strawberry (3 flavors so far)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: 51rich
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          roxlet Dec 12, 2013 02:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Eastchester is my store (isn't that parking lot a PITA?). What makes these so special?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            5
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            51rich Dec 14, 2013 07:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            just another good value from trader joes- probably used this supplier all along- just checked ,they are canadian and also supply costco and sam's club. and yes the parking is a pita- especially as i drive myself but navigate the store in a wheelchair.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: 51rich
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            q
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Querencia Dec 20, 2013 08:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I bring E.D.Smith jams back from Canada when I go there. What a happy surprise to find them at TH. It's been a standard brand in Canada forever. Sorry TJ hasn't stocked the Midnight Berry but I settled for the Boysenberry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. linguafood Dec 12, 2013 02:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A hearty NAY to the beef tenderloin bites (freezer section). Either the demo lady cooked the shit out of these, or they're just not great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ditto on the bacon-wrapped scallops, though in this case the bacon was underdone, so perhaps I'll do a better job with them at home. No discernable scallop flavor, either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            YAY for both Belgian chocolates, tho my man's a bigger fan of them than I.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              toopie28 Dec 13, 2013 09:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh-no - I have 2 boxes of these in the freezer! Oh well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Meh - Cranberry Walnut Bread. Was ok. OH loved it. Course his was smothered in butter so how could you not...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: toopie28
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                f
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Firenzilla Dec 27, 2013 05:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yea I wasn't thrilled with the cranberry walnut bread either. I had to smother it in butter too =P

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. fldhkybnva Dec 13, 2013 09:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Has anyone tried the satay peanut sauce?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                AllaSiciliana Dec 14, 2013 05:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yes, many years ago. I didn't care for it, I can't remember why, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: AllaSiciliana
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  fldhkybnva Dec 14, 2013 05:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I forgot to post. I never got to try it officially but sniffed it. As I was unpacking groceries, I grabbed the jar and the lid literally slid off so I called and they told me to toss it and mention it next time for a refund. However, before I tossed it I gave it a quick sniff and didn't seem very peanut-y at all so I'm kind of glad it was open.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mellicita Dec 14, 2013 08:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I also didn't like the satay peanut sauce. It had an odd flavor to it, and not very peanutty. Basically it tasted like jarred sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I get a superb sauce from just mixing up my own sauce to taste with peanut butter, canned coconut milk (TJs coconut cream works great), lime juice, soy sauce, dash of cholula hot sauce, brown sugar (or honey), and curry powder or Thai red curry paste (Thai Kitchen brand available in nearly every grocery store or Walmart). It sounds like a lot of ingredients, but it's just a matter of spooning it the condiments together into a bowl and mixing it up, so it takes about 3 minutes max to put together.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. fldhkybnva Dec 13, 2013 10:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks to all for the wonderful sweet treat recommendations. I needed a gift for a few coworkers and chocolate was in the right ballpark. I checked out, left the store, and started the car when it dawned on me that I should utilize the great wealth of TJs treats for the gift. I picked up a wonderful supply - chocolate covered ginger, dark chocolate peanut butter sea salt truffles, and chocolate covered Joe Joe's for less than it would have cost me anywhere else to buy half that much. I'm tempted to break into the chocolate covered ginger, sounds like a great combination.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Caitlin McGrath Dec 13, 2013 12:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That chocolate-covered ginger is something I just can't buy (along with the dark chocolate PB cups). Not safe to have in the house, just disappears way too fast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      fldhkybnva Dec 13, 2013 12:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Uh oh, maybe I'll keep it or just try it at work when they open it. I also picked up Berger cookies at another store so it's a larger gift than I originally intended anyway. I just needed a quick thank you, so perhaps I can keep the ginger and not feel too bad. It was the last one on the shelf, but I imagine there are more. It's not seasonal right?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Caitlin McGrath Dec 13, 2013 12:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Nope, not seasonal, year-round.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Harts52 Dec 13, 2013 11:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Big YAY to frozen veggies - in particular, the Super Sweet Cut White Corn and the Petite Peas. I've been a fan for a while because they are so fresh tasting but I made 6 quarts of vegetable beef soup a couple weeks ago and am just finishing the last jar. The peas and corn still have a snap to them and I'm amazed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've been similarly amazed with their fresh organic romaine. I accidentally pushed some to the back of my fridge and came across it SIX WEEKS later. It was still fine! I just couldn't believe it. Stuff I buy at my local grocer goes bad so fast, so I'm really impressed with the freshness of this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Now if only I could have the same experience with their limes. I've learned I need to zest, juice and freeze within a day or two. Works, but it would be nice if I could just skip that step.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Harts52
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      fldhkybnva Dec 13, 2013 12:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Good to hear about the veggies, as well as the romaine. I always keep romaine in the fridge for sliced meat wrap snacking purposes. The hearts I usually buy at Wegmans hold up pretty well but I think TJs are cheaper. I've been leery to buy given their produce issues.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harts52
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        d
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Dave B Dec 15, 2013 08:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks for the tip on the frozen Super Sweet Cut White Corn. I hadn't noticed it before and today I grabbed some to try. Really good stuff, and I'm thinking of all the different ways I can use it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I even like fresh sweet corn when in season in an omelet (with some cheese and onion) and having a decent frozen corn available makes it possible (and easy!) year 'round.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Don't even get me started about now being able to make some really great Southern cream-style corn any time of year. I can't believe I'm so excited about this corn.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Dave B
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          linguafood Dec 15, 2013 10:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Try the canned sweet corn. It's pretty amazing, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            josephnl Dec 16, 2013 03:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I always have a few cans in the cupboard. They're great!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Harts52
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Berheenia Dec 18, 2013 05:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We've stocked our freezer with those peas and corn for years and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          love them too. I've added the frozen pearl onions to the stash- terrific in a pot pie or a stew.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Berheenia
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Harts52 Dec 18, 2013 07:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I just bought the onions for the first time - my friend was telling me that she makes a "cheesy onion" casserole for the holidays and after her yum noises, I decided I had to try it. It's just a white sauce with cheddar, worchestershire and tabasco mixed with the onions and baked for 1/2 hour (sounds like mac n cheese without the mac?).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. alkapal Dec 13, 2013 12:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          picked up a kringle in clarendon, arlington va store.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          employee says they're going fast
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          says online purchase from company which makes them is $20 plus shipping.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          can't wait to try it. it is very large! $6.99

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            John Francis Dec 14, 2013 11:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yea - Lemon Bars (frozen). Actually cubes. Intense lemon flavor, nice texture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yes - Rice Pudding (refrigerated). Someone else didn't like this, but I do. Not the style you find in delis and luncheonettes, it's custardy (the ingredients include eggs). Not overly sweet, but sweet enough.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: John Francis
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              linguafood Dec 14, 2013 12:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh yeah, the lemon bars are awesome. Year round item, I think.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: John Francis
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Gelato_in_Roma Dec 16, 2013 11:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I enjoy the rice pudding too! I sprinkle a little cinnamon over the top.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Harts52 Dec 14, 2013 12:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Big triple NAY on the cornbread stuffing. I had it in the store as a sample and it tasted okay but I just made it following the stovetop instructions and it's horrible. I'll pop it in the oven to see if it is transformed into something edible but I don't have a lot of hope. It's just nasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Harts52
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  fldhkybnva Dec 14, 2013 12:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Glad you posted about the stuffing. I pondered both it and the cornbread mix yesterday but decided against it. Glad I did.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harts52
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mellicita Dec 14, 2013 08:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hmmm... I really liked the cornbread stuffing, but I made a very doctored up version.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I initially prepared the stuffing according to package directions minus about 1/2 cup of water. This alone didn't really taste that great. The mix consists of a generous bag of unseasoned bread coutons and a seasoning packet. The unseasoned bread croutons are fine and "fresh" tasting. But the seasoning packet was just very oniony. But it's on par with Stovetop or other brands.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I sautéed celery and onion and deglazed the pan with chicken stock (Kitchen Basics brand) and let it reduce to about 1/2 cup. I then added that to the prepared stuffing, along with sautéed breakfast chicken sausage and raisins.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I then mixed up 3 eggs and about 1/2 cup of cream and added that to that stuffing mix. I baked it all for about 45 min in a casserole dish. The result was fantastic! But I don't know that the seasoning packet added anything or just was totally disguised.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I would imagine that the mix prepared and cooked in the bird would taste good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My biggest issue is with calling it a "cornbread" stuffing. There is no cornbread in there to be seen.. The bread cubes are regular white bread. A real cornbread stuffing, especially Southern style, has a very distinct flavor and texture to itfrom the cornmeal. TJs stuffing is very much a bread stuffing, not cornbread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Mellicita
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Harts52 Dec 14, 2013 09:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I agree to the absence of cornbread. Very weird that they would call it that when it's not. I tried baking it. That didn't seem to help. My grandsons (11 & 8) came for dinner and I foisted it upon them and even they wouldn't eat it --- and they eat everything!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Mellicita
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        RussTheRaccoon Dec 14, 2013 11:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I found the label with ingredients. There is more sugar and salt in it than there is cornmeal. Very odd for them to call it that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.fooducate.com/app#page=pro...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Real cornbread dressing is a whole pan or skillet of cornbread, sometimes with a couple of pieces of white bread and a handful of Saltines crumbled in it. The cornbread can have wheat flour in it as well as cornmeal but it should be mostly cornmeal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: RussTheRaccoon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Harts52 Dec 15, 2013 08:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The last straw with this wannabe cornbread stuffing --- it gave me a horrible acid stomach. Argh!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Mellicita
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Harts52 Dec 15, 2013 11:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Just read this again and it made me think you were a contestant on Chopped...LOL. Glad it turned out for you. I'm not that brave. I think I'd end up with all bath water, no baby.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        toopie28 Dec 15, 2013 09:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Had a small appetizer get together this weekend and sampled some stuff from TJ's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        First the nays.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        HUGE nay - Beef Tenderloin Bites - AWFUL! 95% pastry and 5% what I think was supposed to be meat. A hard round sized brown thing. Will gladly take the other box back.HORRIBLE!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        NAY - Pastry Bites with Feta & Caramelized Onions - was too greasy for me. Others thought ok but would not buy again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        NAY - Mac & Cheese Bites - I REALLY wanted to like these - way too oily and greasy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        NAY - Light Cheddar Cheese Sticks - now I know the hint is in the "light" part but I usually buy the light string cheese which is really good - this was like orange chalk. Ugh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        HUGE YAY - Shrimp Corn Dogs - so tasty! Generous shrimp and sauce was just right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        YAY - Mushroom turnovers. I really did not think I would like these since I feared a strong mushroom taste - but they were really tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        YAY - Brioche Toast - loved this spread with mascarpone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And as usual - all loved the chick pot pie bites.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: toopie28
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Firenzilla Dec 27, 2013 05:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I liked the pastry bites with feta & caramelized onions... I did have to cook them twice as long as it called for on the box to make them nice and crispy on the bottom. I could see them seeming soggy/greasy otherwise.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Firenzilla
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            wrldtrvl Dec 27, 2013 05:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My family loves these. I have to cook them longer than the instructions, but not twice as long. My family would have these very frequently but I do not think the price is particularly good on this item, unlike so many things at TJs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Firenzilla
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              alkapal Dec 28, 2013 07:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              reminds me of the cooking time error on the package for the large spinach-kale pie in phyllo. takes at least one-third more time -- and that is cooked on a sheet pan (and not in their container, where i don't think it would ever cook properly).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Savour Dec 16, 2013 09:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A moment of silence - no mini dark chocolate mint stars at my TJ's this weekend - cashier told me they are gone for the season! (THat's a Yay, if you're asking)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yay to the Kale Spinach bites, the panettone, and the Pepper Jelly. It makes a nice app poured over a block of cream cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Savour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              fldhkybnva Dec 16, 2013 09:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              They were out at my local store last week :( I never got to try them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                walker Dec 16, 2013 12:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ditto. They tell me they are all out of stock in SF and South Bay, that I'll have to wait until next year! Hope they stock more next time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Savour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Harts52 Dec 16, 2013 12:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I bought the larger dark chocolate stars and don't like them as much. I decided I'd try making them minty so I took peppermint extract and brushed it over the bottoms. The extract is alcohol so it evaporates immediately but leaves the minty flavor behind. YAY!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Savour
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  josephnl Dec 16, 2013 03:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think they're gone (the mini mint dark chocolate stars). Living in southern CA, there are 6 TJ's within easy driving distance. Called them all, and no luck until next season (when hopefully they'll order more, or I'll freeze some!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  HeyImBack Dec 16, 2013 02:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  YAY: Kona coffee truffles. Just noticed them today for the first time, although it's been a few weeks between trips so maybe they're only new-to-me.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Smooth coffee filing and one is very satisfying.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  YAY: my store is still carrying the stalk of fresh brussel sprouts. I grabbed the biggest one I could find. Can't wait to roast them up. I love them so much, I eat them cold right out of the fridge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: HeyImBack
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    WishyFish Dec 19, 2013 05:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    HUGE YAY: Mini dark chocolate peanut butter cups. Salty. Mmmmm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: HeyImBack
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      HeyImBack Dec 20, 2013 01:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Responding to my own post . . .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Has no one else tried the kona coffee truffles yet??!! They are amazingly yummy. I'm pretty sure it's just a holiday item so get 'em while you can.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: HeyImBack
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        51rich Dec 20, 2013 05:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        big yay to the triple ginger /dark chocolate cookies- but i think they may be all gone already:(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: HeyImBack
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          theresat Dec 25, 2013 02:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          An overwhelming YAY for me on the Kona coffee truffles also! As soon as I tried one, I knew I had to go back and grab some more for family and friends. As a chocolate and coffee fiend, you can imagine how wonderful I think they are.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: theresat
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            HeyImBack Dec 25, 2013 09:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I was convinced I was the only person who has tried them. Glad you loved them as much as I did. I'm frankly glad I only got one bag. It's one of those things that I can't really keep in the house w/o eating them all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: theresat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              josephnl Dec 26, 2013 06:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              OMG...wish you hadn't mentioned the Kona coffee truffles. Just walked in the door, and I discovered that half the bag evaporated on my way home from TJ's!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Savour Dec 21, 2013 10:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yay to the Triple Ginger Ginger Beer. A nice, spicy flavor without that sour citrus hit that Reed's has. And I love the bottle.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Savour
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ohmyyum Dec 21, 2013 08:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            .... And it's gone for the season at my store. :-(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ohmyyum
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Savour Dec 22, 2013 01:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Man, it just came in this week here. I wish this was a year round item. Think of the Dark n Stormys!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I've noticed a lot of the holiday items are gone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            John Francis Dec 22, 2013 02:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yea - Petite Seafood Croquettes (frozen) - "made with surimi - imitation crab." Bite-sized soft-textured mini-muffins, savory with a hint of bite. Good for appetizers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              HeyImBack Dec 22, 2013 01:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Big Yay: Pub cheese, in the cheddar horseradish flavor. Excellent on the bite-size everything crackers. Reminds me of the Win Schulers Bar Scheeze (yes, that's how they spell it) I ate growing up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: HeyImBack
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                51rich Dec 23, 2013 12:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                have you tried the jalapeño pub cheese ,also very good- i find the plain pub cheese very bland. also it "melts" nicely if nuked for a few seconds

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: 51rich
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  HeyImBack Dec 23, 2013 11:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm not a jalapeno fan so that one doesn't appeal to me. I can totally pass on the plain one, too. But I absolutely *love* the horseradish one!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                elise h Dec 24, 2013 09:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Spectacular new product-Scallion Pancakes (Pa jeon). This Korean version is flavorful and easy to prepare (warm up in the skillet). $3.99 for 4 pancakes about 6" in diameter. Frozen section. Also has as ingredients mushrooms, carrots, leeks, and egg. It's a little oily-it always is when I've had it at restaurants. I cook 2 scrambled eggs in the oil left in the pan to accompany the pancake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: elise h
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  wrldtrvl Dec 24, 2013 09:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I agree. I like it best when it is fried in a light amount of oil but at high temperature in order to make it crispy on the outside. I topped it with some TJ Teriyaki sauce. Eggs would be good too. My picky-eater husband loved it.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Querencia Dec 24, 2013 04:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I feel stupid. I must be the last person to discover TJ's French Vanilla Ice Cream. It's very close to Haagen-Dazs vanilla, same ingredients (cream, milk, egg yolks, sugar, vanilla), except that the HD costs $4.79 for a pint and the TJ costs $5.79 for a HALF-GALLON. And I do mean half-gallon, unlike other brands that now sell a quart-and-a-half as what used to be a half-gallon. The first thing I noticed about the TJ is that the box is so HEAVY. The ice cream is delicious and has that nice smeary quality of premium ice cream.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Querencia
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Erika RollerGirl Dec 27, 2013 04:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Good to know! I don't often buy ice cream but I will make a point to get this one when I do rather than the Haagen Daaz "Five" variety which I have appreciated due to the limited ingredients. Thanks for the head's up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Erika RollerGirl
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      gildeddawn Dec 30, 2013 12:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This is off-topic, but regular Haagen-Dazs vanilla also only has five ingredients. They just enjoy relabeling, apparently.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: gildeddawn
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Rilke Dec 30, 2013 04:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        TJ's is not Haagen-Dazs relabeled.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Rilke
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          hlk Dec 30, 2013 05:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think Double Rainbow makes Trader Joe's ice cream, though I could be wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: hlk
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            51rich Dec 30, 2013 05:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            i think that is the company. are they based in san francisco?

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              jsaimd Dec 30, 2013 08:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              yes they are SF based.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jsaimd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                hlk Dec 31, 2013 12:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yep. They used to carry Double Rainbow branded ice cream, and when it switched to being Trader Joe's brand it was otherwise still similar packaging and flavors. I've always been a fan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Rilke
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            gildeddawn Jan 1, 2014 10:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yes, I know - I was just commenting on the existence of Haagen-Dazs Five being silly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: gildeddawn
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Rilke Jan 1, 2014 06:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh! Now I understand what you meant. My bad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. re: gildeddawn
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            RussTheRaccoon Jan 1, 2014 05:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Definitely Double Rainbow. I had the DR in the freezer when they switched over, it's identical, and if you go to the DR website you will see the exact same ice cream flavors, including unusual or seasonal ones like the Lemon Triple Ginger Snap that TJ's used to carry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. fldhkybnva Dec 24, 2013 07:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yay - whole chicken - this seems like a silly item to comment on but the price was great. I usually buy roast chicken at Whole Foods but since I didn't have time to go to both stores tonight I thought I'd look at TJs. I bought the "for roasting" chicken. The label is odd but the price of $1.50/lb was nearly half the price I usually pay and there were giblets! The chickens at WF never seem to have any giblets.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        MEH - frozen macaroni and cheese - I admit that I ate the entire 2 servings, but I felt it lacked some flavor. It was super creamy and the cheese/pasta ratio was perfect. My favorite mac and cheese recipe is a baked custard style, so this could explain why I didn't love it as many do. Not bad, I'd definitely eat it again but not a must-have which is probably good as it'd be too easy to just buy a ton of these and heat them in the microwave.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        NAY - caramelized onion dip, I really wanted to like this but it was too caramelized for me which sounds silly but I think I prefer my onion dip more along the lines of Lipton. Perhaps with another dipper I might like it more, what do you like to eat it with?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          fldhkybnva Dec 26, 2013 08:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I just wanted to report back on the bird. I used the same cooking method as I usually do and it was a darn good chicken, on par with the organic free range birds I buy at Whole Foods. Just FYI.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Gio Dec 26, 2013 01:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Fld, so the "the "for roasting" chicken" was Not organic, right? Was it labeled All Natural, or No Added Antibiotics etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            aching Dec 27, 2013 06:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I recently tried the whole chicken and really loved it too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I eat the macaroni and cheese with sriracha sauce on top - yum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: aching
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              fldhkybnva Dec 27, 2013 05:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ooh that sounds great. I sprinkled smoked paprika on top, but Sriricha or chili garlic sauce sounds awesome! I do have another box because I assumed I'd love it so at least worth a try since it's here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              fldhkybnva Dec 27, 2013 05:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My #1 eating rule - try everything twice, the caramelized onion dip has grown on me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ohmyyum Dec 27, 2013 06:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I like it with pears if I'm feeling fancy, or with plain old potato chips if I'm not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: fldhkybnva
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                gnomatic Dec 27, 2013 08:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The chicken has been my go-to for roasting for over a year now.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I do a brine, air dry, and roast, it's been deliciously juicy with crispy skin every time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: gnomatic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  fldhkybnva Dec 27, 2013 10:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I went back today and they had the others in stock and I walked right past straight to the "for roasting" chicken. I asked the cashier and we concluded "it's just a chicken, nothing special." The organic chickens I spotted today were the same price as Whole Foods organic chickens so not much of a deal so I figured another of the chickens at half the price would be great for the weekend and now I'll have enough carcasses for a pot of stock.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Gio Dec 30, 2013 12:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Nay: TJ's organic whole chicken. We did a salt dry brine, air-dry, roast. Used a basic roast chicken recipe from this month's COTM. Roasted till juices ran clear, inner temp. 170F per recipe. Barely colored skin, flavorless juice, tasteless meat though tender. I've been roasting chickens since Og roamed the earth and this one was a definite Nevermore. Back to Whole Foods we go. Or the farm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Gio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      fldhkybnva Dec 30, 2013 02:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wow that's unfortunate. I roasted another of the for roasting chickens last night and it was incredible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        gnomatic Dec 30, 2013 08:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I notice TJ had several (organic, kosher, brined, etc..) whole chicken to choose from...at least 5. I just go for the cheapest one, the one with the red label.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: gnomatic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          fldhkybnva Dec 31, 2013 09:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The red one, that's the one I've been using and it's been great admittedly with a small sample size of 2.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                MommaJ Dec 24, 2013 10:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Just wanted to say thanks for this thread--It's a far more useful approach than the "TJ favorites" threads. Our store has been open about a month. I stopped in twice, didn't see anything that intrigued me other than sweets I don't bring into my home. After reading this thread, I'm convinced it won't be worth my while to stop in again. Too many "meh's" and "nays", and too many unhealthy "yay"s. I don't have the time or inclination to make a special trip for just a few items. I kinda wish the bookstore TJ's replaced would come back!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: MommaJ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  fldhkybnva Dec 24, 2013 10:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Have you looked at the non-prepared items? I usually buy staples there and find the prices great - butter, Greek yogurt, cheese, almond milk, turkey breasts, cranberry juice concentrate (1/3 of the price I've seen anywhere else), cat food, baking supplies, etc. I rarely buy the prepared food items but have found it's still a worthwhile stop to save more than a few $ every week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MommaJ
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    givemecarbs Dec 25, 2013 12:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'd go to my TJs just for the teas. Especially this time of year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MommaJ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      paulj Dec 25, 2013 12:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      There's a Halfprice bookstore next door to my TJ. I stop in there first.to check the cookbook section for new bargins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: paulj
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        fldhkybnva Dec 25, 2013 07:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Good point, there's a Barnes and Noble next door to the local TJs here and I usually make a stop :) There's also a Pier 1 that I have to resist walking into.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: MommaJ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        linguafood Dec 25, 2013 10:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        No crème fraîche or cheddar for you? Fresh buffalo mozzarella or hummus? Frozen vegetables and a few nice, low-key apps from the freezer section? Tarte d'Alsace? Cretan olive oil? The trio of nut oils?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          fldhkybnva Dec 25, 2013 10:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh yes, the olive oil! I made a special trip last week for the California Estate olive oil. I can't be without it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            linguafood Dec 25, 2013 10:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I haven't tried the Cali oil, but absolutely love the Greek.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: MommaJ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          w
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          wrldtrvl Dec 25, 2013 11:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Excellent prices on basics such as Greek yogurt, nuts, olive oil, crackers, pasta, butter, eggs, cheeses, and so much more. For those sorts of items, superior quality and prices to the large supermarkets and Whole Foods (taking price into account). My first stop grocery store always.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MommaJ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Harts52 Dec 26, 2013 05:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Kind of surprised to see your take but I look back to my first TJs visit years ago at a store near San Diego and recall the things that jumped out at me then were probably more in the processed category than otherwise. Since then, I've steered as far from processed as is achievable and have to say that, if you don't return, you will miss out on great values on great products. Best prices and best quality I've found on cheeses, fresh & frozen fruits and vegetables, fresh and frozen meats & poultry, frozen seafood, great coffee and tea, really good quality canned and dry goods....(I could go on and on.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harts52
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              fldhkybnva Dec 27, 2013 05:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I agree! I visited TJs a lot in college over the summer when I did research in Boston and only bought processed items. When my eating habits completely changed after college, I felt I had no reason to go but since returning this year I'm hooked and go every week for mostly fresh foods. Although we've all hashed this out in another thread, so if MommaJ doesn't have a use for it then it's OK. We like what we like right?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                w
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                wrldtrvl Dec 27, 2013 05:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                If MommaJ doesn't have a use for it then its OK, of course. Nonetheless, the way MommaJ dismissed all of TJs just seemed kind of, random, or even childish. Ok, yes, but odd.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: MommaJ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Big Bad Voodoo Lou Dec 29, 2013 09:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hey, you must be in my old neighborhood in Miami! I grew up in Kendall, and had my first Trader Joe's experience in the old Borders while visiting my parents this weekend.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I also bought a ton of stuff you would probably disapprove of. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. fldhkybnva Dec 25, 2013 10:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Fresh sea scallops - I am new to TJs and other than canned tuna and salmon haven't bought any of the fresh or frozen seafood. I was in a rush yesterday and only had time to go to one store and TJs was it. I spotted the fresh scallops and they seemed, through the package at least, to be dry and fresh scallops. I just had them for lunch and they are great! No solutions added, seared up great and are as good as the scallops I buy at either Whole Foods or Wegmans for $6 more per lb.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                pugsam Dec 26, 2013 08:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Interesting article, from Sept 2012, about water content of supermarket scallops. Mentions TJ's. http://www.boston.com/news/local/mass...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: pugsam
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  fldhkybnva Dec 26, 2013 09:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I did read that after I bought them and worried, but they weren't injected. Ingredients:scallops. No leaking water and seared with minimal oil. I guess they found a new supplier.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                josephnl Dec 25, 2013 02:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Not that they're seasonal to December, but an absolutely huge YAY to both the plain mini-croissants and the chocolate croissants. Both are superb! Although they rise well on the kitchen counter overnight, if your oven has a proofing setting, or if you can adjust the temp to 90 degrees, the amount of rise is astounding! They are light, flaky and very delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: josephnl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  greygarious Dec 26, 2013 11:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The almond croissants are my favorite and the seasonal pumpkin ones were also excellent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Semi-YAY for the poutine. The fries, which you bake, are outstanding. Are their other frozen fries the same thing?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  So a YAY for the quality. It was my first poutine experience and probably my last. Had I really thought about it before buying, I'd have realized that that combination is, to me, less than the sum of its parts. But were it available, I'd buy the gravy separately to have on hand for other meals.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Every now and then there's a post similar to Momma J's: "I didn't buy anything and I don't like their products.". For some unknown reason, people seem to feel that if they dislike some TJ item(s), the whole store is no good. I can't think of any other retail business that is held to so high a standard - certainly not other grocery stores!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: greygarious
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Harts52 Dec 26, 2013 06:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "For some unknown reason, people seem to feel that if they dislike some TJ item(s), the whole store is no good. I can't think of any other retail business that is held to so high a standard - certainly not other grocery stores!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Totally agree.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: greygarious
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      aching Dec 27, 2013 06:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      <<"Are their other frozen fries the same thing?">>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I don't know if they're the same, but they're REALLY good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: josephnl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Monica Dec 30, 2013 06:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Interesting. how long do you proof the croissant in oven?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I just had their almond croissant yesterday. I let them rise overnight but they didn't rise as much but still tasted awsome.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Monica
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        josephnl Dec 30, 2013 12:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I put them into the oven at the proofing setting at 90 degrees, put a pie dish filled with water on the bottom of the oven to keep the humidity up, and leave them overnight (~ 8 hours). The amount of rise is outstanding!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Berheenia Dec 26, 2013 08:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yay! Refrigerator Hollandaise.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Berheenia
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        weezieduzzit Dec 26, 2013 08:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Its so nice to have on hand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: weezieduzzit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          alkapal Dec 27, 2013 05:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          so much for any diet plans for 2014. hollandaise, come to mama!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            weezieduzzit Dec 27, 2013 06:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A little goes a long way flavor wise and when you buy the TJ hollandaise you can just take a spoonful out and stir it into your veggies, etc. You aren't stick with a whole batch you have to use NOW. I've been losing weight for months and eating it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. p
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        pugsam Dec 26, 2013 11:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Anyone tried the TJ's Corn Pasta spaghetti? Taste? Texture? Cooking tips?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: pugsam
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Rilke Dec 26, 2013 03:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Haven't tried, but fabulous package design!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Rilke
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            p
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            pugsam Dec 26, 2013 04:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ha! We wish the product were as good as the packaging! Just made a main course of this pasta and TJ's turkey meatballs (and our own tomato sauce). Meatballs get a B-, the pasta a C- (My SO says a D). The pasta was gummy and insipid. :-(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: pugsam
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              greygarious Dec 26, 2013 08:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Pugsam, I agree on the turkey meatballs, but have you tried the frozen meatless meatballs? Tender, unlike the rubbery turkey version, and taste fairly meaty. They've become a staple here. If I make tomato sauce with meatballs, I'll stretch the batch by using an equal amount of real and meatless meatballs per serving. I heat the meatless ones separately since they can't withstand a lot of stirring.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: pugsam
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            jsaimd Dec 27, 2013 05:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We use their corn pasta often. Great price and good texture. Neutral flavor. My kids hate all rice pasta we have tried - including Tinkyada and the expensive Italian imports. They all like this - even my non-Celiac kids. I find it needs to cook longer than the package says, but it doesn't go from hard to goo like rice pasta.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Similar to Sam's mill. My kids still say they like Schar's better, but I doubt they could tell the difference in a blind taste test.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. alkapal Dec 27, 2013 05:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            i wish there were a notepad feature on these TJ's threads, so that i could create a shopping list by just copying the name of the item to a little memo "pad" next to the thread....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              greygarious Dec 27, 2013 12:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              There's a notepad feature in my purse. It has a spiral wire binding and came from the school supplies aisle at the supermarket. So did the quill I use with it. '-D Not everything has to be battery-powered to get the job done.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: greygarious
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                fldhkybnva Dec 27, 2013 05:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I've tried to use my cell phone for lists and it doesn't work. I'm old school, paper lists for me too :) I also email myself and just title it "TJs items of interests."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: greygarious
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  alkapal Dec 28, 2013 07:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  how does that inkwell work out in your purse?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Harts52 Dec 27, 2013 12:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I use an app called Out of Milk. It works for iPhone and Android and syncs to PC, iPad & Mac. Quick copy paste and I'm good to go. Has all kinds of sorting and categorizing options too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harts52
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    alkapal Dec 28, 2013 07:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    cool -- gonna try it. thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      w
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      walker Dec 28, 2013 08:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I use an app called shopshop

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. f
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Firenzilla Dec 27, 2013 05:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This must have been mentioned before, since it's a year-round item and pretty much the best thing ever:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Cilantro and Chive Yogurt Dip.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Think of the best sour cream and onion dip you've ever had, then forget all about it and buy this. Trust me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Firenzilla
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    aching Dec 29, 2013 09:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I agree, it's SO good. I love it with TJ's sea salt pita chips.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. linguafood Dec 27, 2013 06:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A big fat YAY for all the nut oils. Used both the pistachio oil and the hazelnut oil for my fennel salad, and both times it tasted really great. The pistachio oil in particular. I might have to go back and buy another trio before they're gone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    If they aren't already...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      o
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ohmyyum Dec 27, 2013 06:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I scooped up two more trios the other day and there were a few left on the shelf. But when an employee saw me with them she mentioned that they were "done for the season." I suppose they were a holiday item?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ohmyyum
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        linguafood Dec 27, 2013 06:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Shiiiiiiiiiiit. I'll hafta make a run tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          linguafood Dec 29, 2013 10:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ha! Still quite a few left. Got one, but might get one more :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. fldhkybnva Dec 27, 2013 10:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I should have known better for several reasons, but
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      NAY - fresh asparagus - 1) it's awfully out of season but the quality has been surprsingly good elsewhere for the past few weeks, asparagus is my favorite vegetable so I try to resist in winter, but can't. I try to limit my intake and choose the freshest looking spears which hopefully haven't been out of Peru too long. 2) TJs produce has failed me nearly every time so not sure why I keep buying it. Tonight the tips of all the asparagus were soggy, wet and awful smelling 3) asparagus shouldn't be wrapped in plastic anyway. This NAY is likely my fault on many level. It's also scary that the package I bought was listed as sell by "January 14th" I can't imagine what it would have looked like then. It was a 2 lb bag, so more than a small chunk of change so the receipt is waiting in the insulated grocery bag for my next trip.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        o
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ohmyyum Dec 28, 2013 06:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The produce at my TJs is so hit and miss you definitely have to shop selectively. They do have some wonderful "opportunity buys" that are usually extremely fresh and priced very well, such as the 18oz clamshell of blackberries for $3.99 or stalks of Brussels stalks for $2.99. As for the everyday selection, I've found a few things to be reliably good-- organic Tuscan kale, for example. But other things, I wonder what they were thinking by even putting it on display for sale like dripping bags of apples or rotten sweet potatoes that you can smell as soon as you walk in and have grown fuzz. As far as the asparagus goes, every once in a while they have an opportunity buy for a 1lb bunch of thin spears for $1.99. These have always been good, but the bags of which you speak are terrible. I've seen the spears "smear" on the plastic on more than one occasion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ohmyyum
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          alkapal Dec 28, 2013 07:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          i regularly get their organic baby arugula and their baby bell peppers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ohmyyum
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Harts52 Dec 28, 2013 07:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've had good luck with the organic romaine, celery, and avocados (which are always the best price in town).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harts52
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              fldhkybnva Dec 29, 2013 03:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Blargh, the green beans are also a soggy moldy mess. However, the celery and carrots are top notch and have been useful for my chicken and beef stock making adventures this weekend.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Harts52 Dec 29, 2013 03:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oh boy, I'm gonna sound like the freezer queen but....the Extra Fine French Green Beans are just awesome!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Harts52
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  fldhkybnva Dec 29, 2013 04:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I know I walked right past them and have been meaning to buy them but for some reason went for the fresh. I'll be back for frozen. Are they even good just steamed and sauteed or best when used as part of dishes? I'm giving up on the produce except the packaged salads and spinach which usually are OK.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harts52
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    josephnl Dec 29, 2013 08:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The French green beans are excellent. They have a permanent place in our freezer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Harts52
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      fldhkybnva Feb 25, 2014 10:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have finally come to see the light. I picked up a bag of the frozen green beans this morning. Wow, what a great price.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Harts52 Dec 28, 2013 07:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The frozen asparagus is always good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. alkapal Dec 29, 2013 05:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                last night, clarendon store in arlington, va:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                still available: kona coffee truffles
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                mustard assortment (but just a couple)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                hollandaise

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                no more:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                lebkuchen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                kringles
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                set of three flavored olive oils
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                set of three nut oils
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                himalayan sea salt with truffles (which i bought a while back, and have enjoyed on pasta).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Rilke Dec 29, 2013 06:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The refrigerated hollaindaise is not, to my knowledge, seasonal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Rilke
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    alkapal Dec 30, 2013 06:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    oh, ok. i didn't know about the product before. is it a new one, or i just haven't been keyed in to look for it (before this month's thread?).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Rilke Dec 30, 2013 06:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I just saw that I misspelled hollandaise. -shame-

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Anyway, it's been around at least since mid-2012, when I briefly worked there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. d
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Dave B Dec 29, 2013 01:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yay, for the frozen Aloo Chaat Kati pouches. Very tasty, and true-to-form Indian food flavors. I baked them in toaster oven vs the microwave option..... and I can't imagine how using the microwave would do any favors for the crust texture for ANY "hot pocket" type food like this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Loved them, although I may not buy them again due to the nutritional specs (very high fat and sodium) as I'm trying to do a little better with my diet these days :-(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Harts52 Dec 29, 2013 03:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yay for the Tortellini with Pesto Filling. Really delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Nay for it's cousin, the Mini Ravioli with cheese filling. Grandson said "this has some kind of of cheesey round rock in it." Perfect description.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Harts52
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      c
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      cbg84 Dec 30, 2013 06:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Are they dry pasta or frozen? I don't think I've seen them at my TJ's before.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cbg84
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Harts52 Dec 30, 2013 07:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Dry. They were on lower shelves. I'd never seen them before either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Harts52
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          AmyH Dec 31, 2013 05:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We found them to be quite salty. Even my salt-loving son remarked about how salty they were.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Harts52 Dec 29, 2013 03:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yay for Organic Pasta Spaghetti.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Harts52 Dec 29, 2013 03:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Not sure whether these are going to be a yay or nay. Any ideas on what to do with them?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Harts52
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          RussTheRaccoon Dec 29, 2013 03:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Make clam chowder.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: RussTheRaccoon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            d
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Dave B Dec 29, 2013 04:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Or clam fritters.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Dave B
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Dommy Dec 29, 2013 08:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Clam dip!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Harts52
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            fldhkybnva Dec 29, 2013 04:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Grab some other seafood, mussels or clams, shrimp and add them to the mix with the liquid for the steaming broth. White clam sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harts52
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              r
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              rynnyb Dec 30, 2013 08:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              one of my college roomates used to make a sauce with cream of mushroom, canned clams, diced red potato, and s&p to serve over spaghetti. not super fancy, but quick and satisfying. personally, I'm also a fan of manhattan (not creamy) clam chowder.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rynnyb
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Harts52 Dec 30, 2013 08:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                These are great suggestions. I'm going to have to buy more clams now :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. alkapal Dec 30, 2013 06:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              yay to the thai dry chili paste (with lemongrass, etc). i added some to fried rice i was making from leftover chicken and rice, and i liked the added complexity it brought to the dish -- and without adding liquid.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              i used just a tad, and it was nice. i can imagine that using a good heaping teaspoon or so would really jazz up a batch of noodles, maybe with some julienned cucumber and/or carrots, a bit of sesame oil and some splash of vinegar (rice wine or chinese black). start with a little bit, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Antilope Dec 30, 2013 11:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yay - If you have a Keurig coffee maker -- Trader Joe's is selling their Trader Joe's Medium Roast K-cups. The package has 7 K-cups for $2.99 per box. That's about 43¢ per cup. It's a good, rich tasting cup of coffee.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                14 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Antilope
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Harts52 Dec 30, 2013 12:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've yet to find a k-cup that I like. Everything I try tastes so much like dishwater. I'll try this, because I feel so guilty that I don't use the machine for anything more than tea water. It was a gift from my daughter and I think she's a little offended that I haven't pitched my drip coffee maker :-(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harts52
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Antilope Dec 30, 2013 12:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Get an EKOBREW or SOLOFILL reusable adapter for the Keurig and add your own Trader Joe's coffee grounds or tea, etc. That's what we do 95% of the time. I like the fact I can make 1 cup at a time, it's brewed long enough and hot enough to make good cup of coffee and none is wasted.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.ekobrew.com/
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.solofill.com/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Antilope
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Harts52 Dec 30, 2013 12:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I've tried this one
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://www.kitchencollection.com/mede...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If I grind the coffee to a fine grind (nearly espresso grind) and use a tiny melitta filter that I've made wet before filling with coffee (old chem lab trick to wet the filter), I'll get a cup that is almost equal in strength to what I get from my drip. But it ends up with sludge at the bottom. Without the mini-Melitta, the sludge is ridiculous.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I've toyed with the idea of getting the gadgetry to do a cold brew syrup. Then I could use the Keurig with the coffee syrup. Seems like a lot of expense/effort but if it makes my daughter happy, won't be the first time in my life I've done somersaults to make the kid smile...lol.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Antilope
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Leepa Dec 30, 2013 05:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Agreed. Use the reusable cups on the market now with the coffee of your choice. Mine is Peet's Major Dickason and I use the Cafe Cup refillable cups. Four for $10 and they came with a perfectly sized scoop to add just the right amount of grounds.