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Trader Joe's YAY/NAY - April 2014 [OLD]

Hip Hip Hooray for April showers! For most of us, the rain is much welcome after an extended stay by old man winter. Soon, the rain will pass, the flowers will bloom, and the asparagus will finally grow north of the border :) Perhaps you'll be stuffing Easter baskets with the treats and goodies that grace the upper shelves or preparing a fancy and fabulous meal for Passover or Easter.

What items have you tried recently and would you rate them a YAY or NAY?

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  1. Yay: the Queso Cheese Dip has only 15 calories and 0.5 g fat (0%) in 2 Tablespoons! And there's actually some Vitamin A (4%), Vitamin C (2%) and Calcium (2%)! I just had some on a chicken breast sandwich (it actually was very good on the sandwich) and afterward thought I would read the nutritional label to see how much damage I had done. What a pleasant surprise! I sure hope this isn't yet another case of TJ's mistaken nutritional labeling.

    9 Replies
    1. re: AmyH

      Not to make you paranoid, but there have been issues/discrepancies with some labels (especially condiments) in the past. --Regardless, I hope it is correct!

      1. re: GraceW

        Yes, I know. Which is why I said I hoped it wasn't yet another case of it.

      2. re: AmyH

        Agree, YAY - Queso Dip. I probably won't buy it too often because of the ingredient list but this tastes very similar to Tostitos and is awesome for a weekend treat (suzigirl, pay attention!).

        1. re: fldhkybnva

          Oh oh. I'm going to have to look for that. I just bought the fat free spicy black bean dip but I haven't opened it yet. I am hoping it is junky in a good way.

          1. re: suzigirl

            I'd love to know what you think. I didn't care for the black bean dip. Shockingly, it had too much vinegar for me.

            1. re: fldhkybnva

              Well, I couldn't help but dip a spoon in to find out what I thought. It's hard to believe it but you are right. I took three bites to be sure. And for the average palate that might actually be painful if you weren't expecting it. My mouth is still watering. It has a good flavor that is overwhelmed by the vinegar. Big fat NAY.
              I tried the Cuban black beans that you like. Very good. Not overly salty. YAY

              1. re: suzigirl

                Ooh, I am somewhat pleased that I'm not the only one. I tried it multiple times over multiple days and I couldn't get over that vinegar. Glad you liked the black beans. You reminded me, I can't wait until 6am to get my favorite black bean salsa from the Farmer's Market.

                1. re: fldhkybnva

                  It kind of surprised me that I found it too vinegary. I worked at a restaurant many years ago that served rwv and raw onions with their black bean soup for the diner to use at will. I loved it but that dip was too much.

              2. re: fldhkybnva

                I didn't like this at all either .

        2. Not new, but new to me. Yay ~ Triple Berry Frozen Fruit.

          www.saffron215.blogspot.com

          2 Replies
          1. re: mcel215

            I like the mix in the Very Cherry version better.

            1. re: RussTheRaccoon

              I am so sad that it has blackberries in it (I'm allergic.) I don't think they have anything else with cherries.

          2. YAY for the Vegetable Biryani. I really like all of the frozen Indian entrees, but this was the first time I had tried this one (I think it's new-ish?). I had it with plain Greek yogurt on top. Really good!

            And I've YAYed it before, but I'll say it again - I love the Soft & Juicy Mandarins. Better than any citrus candy I've had.

            5 Replies
            1. re: aching

              The vegetable biryani is yummmm!! I am of Indian origin and love the flavors and composition of this frozen meal. The dumplings are delicious. I need to buy some more soon !

              1. re: aching

                Just tried that -- very good. Only downer is that it's one of those devious "one box is two servings" TJ Indian dishes, like the also-delicious palak paneer.

                1. re: Bob W

                  It's not a downer if you never look at the nutritional information, like me! =)

                2. re: aching

                  That line of Indian entrees is very good and prices are so low that you can do several at a time and have a feast, not forgetting some Naan on the side.

                  1. re: aching

                    I tried the biryani last week and I really liked it. I added some steamed cauliflower and roasted green beans to bulk it up and I was able to get two servings out of it (otherwise I would have had the whole tray.) I didn't care for the lima beans, but I guess that's what the dog is for.

                  2. Yay to the dried white peaches. They tasted a lot like dried apricots to me, but they were very good since I love dried apricots!

                    Yay, to the chocolate covered coffee beans (according to my son who eats 'em)

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: roxlet

                      I've loved those peaches for years. Single-ingredient wonders.

                      1. re: roxlet

                        these white peaches...from Okayama, perchance?

                        1. re: BuildingMyBento

                          I couldn't say...they are long gone!

                          1. Nay to the unsulfured dried apricots, I guess they are better for me health wise, but I just don't love the taste, so maybe it's more my palate than a nay, I'll continue to eat them and see if my taste buds adapt....

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: geminigirl

                              I quite like the unsulfured dried apricots. Sweet and not too dry (like TJs unsulfured prunes tend to be). They are a routine purchase for me.

                              1. re: geminigirl

                                I bought a bag of organic turkish apricots over the weekend..haven't opened it yet but I will use it for tagine mainly.

                                1. re: Monica

                                  pantry staple for me! most recently, I've thrown them (chopped up) in muffins.

                                  1. re: rynnyb

                                    the apricots are also wonderful chopped up in zucchini bread

                                2. re: geminigirl

                                  If I didn't know what kind of fruit these were I wouldn't have been able to tell. They weren't bad really, they just didn't taste like apricots.

                                3. MEH/?--Blondie in a box--These are in the oven right now.. I was bringing them tonight for my friend's birthday, but I am not sure if they will turn out. I followed the directions and used Kerrygold.. but it became so greasy, I thought I was going to pass-out due to disgust just stirring it together.

                                  YAY--Mini watermelon--tastes like summer and not bland like other giant grocery-store melons.

                                  14 Replies
                                  1. re: GraceW

                                    Grace, the TJs truffle brownie mix is a big yay. :) My husband loved them and he's not that into brownies.

                                    1. re: thingmaker

                                      The blondies turned out.. I am sure I will take them, but that was still the biggest greasy pile of mess I have ever seen

                                      1. re: GraceW

                                        I bake a lot and have my nice stock of Kerrygold and other European butters.

                                        I'll tell you that these butters are just too much for the average baking needs. I use Land o' Lakes butter when making cakes, brownies, etc.

                                        If I'm making curd, meat pies, or something that I might want a rather luxurious mouth feel, I may spring for the European butter, but that's not needed.

                                        Kerrygold is best paired with homemade bread - the kind that 'sing' when you take them out of the oven. :)

                                        1. re: nikkib99

                                          I am a big fan of Kerrygold in pie crusts, too, or any application where the butter is really the star (like shortbread) but it's lost in things like cakes and brownies and most American recipes are developed using a butter with a lower fat/water ratio.

                                        2. re: GraceW

                                          The blondies do look weird when you are making them, but they taste great once baked IMHO. Did you like them when they were done?

                                        3. re: thingmaker

                                          I make TJ's Truffle Brownies all the time and they are wonderful. Now here is something to make them even better. As soon as they are out of the oven, in a saucepan put 1 cup sugar and 1/3 cup each of milk and butter. Bring to a boil and boil 1 minute by the clock. Remove from burner. Dump in 1 cup chocolate chips and stir until they are melted. Pour this over the hot brownies. The fudge topping will set up as it cools. Personally I think all of this is better done the day before but whenever you do cut into this combination, you will not believe.

                                          1. re: Querencia

                                            My secret(s) with their brownie mix: a handful of Nestles mini chocolate chips, and a splash of Kahlua; or a teaspoon of instant espresso powder. You can't make better from scratch!

                                            1. re: coll

                                              I used to use TJ's but have come to prefer Ghirardelli dark chocolate brownie mix (one of their 4 varieties) to which I add walnuts, subbing melted virgin coconut oil for regular oil. The best brownies I've ever tasted.

                                              1. re: greygarious

                                                I don't really eat brownies, but I've made them a million times with the Ghirardelli mix. SO and and my mom who are both chocolate fanatics love them. My coworkers also always ask for the "recipe."

                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                  The Ghirardelli mix is a favorite of mine too. There's a recipe called 'Granny's Brownies' on Allrecipes which is very close to it. It's very simple to make with no fancy ingredients needed although you can certainly add them.

                                                  The recipe is over 100 years old from what I can gather. That makes it extra interesting in my book. ;)

                                                2. re: greygarious

                                                  I've had them side by side, there's just something about the TJs I love...melts in your mouth. Not that there's anything wrong with Ghirardelli!

                                              2. re: Querencia

                                                I think the Truffle Brownie mix is great, too. Although for me, the baking time on the package hasn't worked. It says 25 to 30 minutes, but the first time I made them I checked at ~25 minutes and they were slightly overbaked. I think 20-25 minutes is more like it. I usually start checking at 20 minutes or a little less. Then they are delicious and fudgy.

                                                1. re: Querencia

                                                  Oh boy, I could never justify making this just for myself but it has 'neighborhood get-together' written all over it! :)

                                              3. re: GraceW

                                                I find the blondie mix too dry. It was hard to mix by hand the first time I made it. Since then, I've added a big glob of Greek yogurt instead of butter or oil, enough to make a softer dough. I do it by eye and feel, and like the results a lot.

                                              4. I have never been happy with Trader Joe's fresh cakes and pastries..which is a shame because their prices are so good and ingredients are all good.

                                                7 Replies
                                                1. re: Monica

                                                  It's true they're not usually very moist, but I think that's because they don't have the preservatives and artificial stuff that something from a regular grocery store would. When you read the ingredients, it's things you would have in your kitchen and use if you were baking the item yourself. In my opinion that makes them worthwhile, especially for the price.

                                                  1. re: AmyH

                                                    yeah ingredients all seem honest with butter, sugar and flour but since i hate wasting calories on not so good desserts, I stopped buying them.

                                                  2. re: Monica

                                                    I bought and loved the blueberry raspberry oat bran muffins a while back (i think they're still there) and they were really hearty and moist, great ingredients- but!! A "serving" was half a dinky muffin!! That kinda pissed me off....1/2 a muffin??? (Not a monster muffin like costco,they were sized like normal ones made at home!) anyways, they were yummy but i decided to invest my calories elsewhere....

                                                    1. re: Monica

                                                      I can't think of any of their baked goods that I've bought a second time, except for the Hobo bread.

                                                      1. re: Monica

                                                        I have never been disappointed in any of them but don't buy them on a regular basis.

                                                        At my store, they don't rotate stock, so you have to check the dates on everything to get the freshest baked goods, dairy, etc.

                                                        Since they don't use preservatives, the baked goods and bread go stale and/or mold quickly. Most of it freezes very well, though.

                                                        1. re: Monica

                                                          i've bought the triple chocolate bundt cakes from TJs several times - the BF loves them, and i've also served them at brunches, just cut up and then sprinkled with powdered sugar. they're super moist, and very chocolatey. i'm not a sweets person, but i'll always have a bite or two.

                                                          1. re: Monica

                                                            Banana bread is the highlight. We're addicted to it.

                                                          2. I bought a box of vanilla and chocolate french macarons..vanilla ones were delicious, crunchy outside and moist and chewy inside..but the chocolate ones were dry and tough and very chewy.. this was my second box in about 6 months and the last box was also tough and dry which is why it took 6 months to buy another box. Anyone with the same issue? I assume this is the storage issue and not the quality issue. it's a shame.....$5 for 10 imported from France macarons.

                                                            what's your favorite freezer cake? I didn't really like the lemon squares and pear tart...

                                                            8 Replies
                                                            1. re: Monica

                                                              I had the same issue with the chocolate macaroons--but liked the vanilla, and $5 is steep to just eat the 5 vanilla ones.. so I never bought them again

                                                              1. re: Monica

                                                                I've found the same thing to be true - is it the alcohol (or higher sugar content) in the vanilla ones that keeps them softer and fresher?

                                                                1. re: Monica

                                                                  Today I saw a box of 12 assorted for $4.99, which I believe is new (it was in freezer case next to the choc/vanilla ones). 2 each of fig, salted caramel, coconut, pistachio, apricot and lemon. The fruit flavors were vibrant, the cookie was tender. The coconut flavor wasn't anything special, but I give this variety pack "yay".

                                                                  1. re: Monica

                                                                    Is the cheesecake a freezer cake? My parents are big fans of it as well as the carrot cake (my discerning mother bakes often so i trust her judgement)

                                                                    1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                      Their New York Deli Style Cheesecake has been a favorite of ours for years and it is a frozen product.

                                                                      1. re: Berheenia

                                                                        that's good to know. I always see it but wasn't sure. I will definitely pick it up next time.

                                                                        1. re: Monica

                                                                          The frozen cheesecake I have bought at TJ is vastly enormous, enough to serve a crowd, and each piece has paper around it for separation. Was good cheesecake too.

                                                                      1. Yay - I have probably yayed this before but... the baked organic savory flavored tofu. I usually just toss it with broccoli and rooster sauce and toss some nuts on top. Today I used it to make mock tuna salad and it was outstanding.

                                                                        Informational: TJ's soy chorizo is back. I bought some but have yet to try it out.

                                                                        20 Replies
                                                                        1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                          Good to know about the baked tofu. I was going to report on the general tofu and the Tempeh - both sold at a great price.

                                                                          I did put out an FYI on the "discontinued at TJs" thread, and apparently it's not longer vegan.

                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                            That was my PSA. I saw it was back and took a quick peek at the ingredients since it had been "reformulated," and lo and behold, it now contains milk powder.

                                                                            1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                              Has the Sodium level dropped? This tofu is rated low on the "too much salt" scale. Not sure how much the reformulation will have.

                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                and *this* is why I refrain from buying much of their prepared products...sodium off the chain...gah!

                                                                                1. re: Val

                                                                                  Or anyone's prepared products for that matter. I looked at the baked tofu today but passed for many reasons including the sodium.

                                                                                  1. re: Val

                                                                                    I recently found an on-line simple recipe for this baked tofu using only:
                                                                                    tofu
                                                                                    soy sauce
                                                                                    water
                                                                                    toasted sesame oil
                                                                                    smoked paprika
                                                                                    http://chezcayenne.com/2013/04/smoky-...

                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                      But that soy sauce probably brings you right up to the same sodium levels of the prepared products.

                                                                                      1. re: AmyH

                                                                                        I don't think so. Take a look at the ingredients list of TJ's tofu as opposed to the simple recipe I posted. There's about 23 ingredients. The recipe has 5.

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

                                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                                          Well, if you only count main ingredients and not sub-ingredients, there's 8. The only other thing in the TJ's tofu that would be adding sodium is the mustard, which I have to say is a very unusual ingredient to find here!

                                                                                      2. re: Gio

                                                                                        thank you so much, Gio! Will try this soon!

                                                                                2. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                  My favorite tofu is the high protein super firm!

                                                                                  1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                    Is that the vacuum sealed without liquid?

                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                      I tried that a couple of weeks ago and really liked it. I forgot about half of it until a week later and it was still fine. I marinated it overnight then pan fried it.

                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                        Yes! Its super awesome- like its already been pressed to death! Looks like this:
                                                                                        http://www.fooducate.com/app#page=pro...

                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                          Yes. 14g of protein/serving and a great texture for crumbling or cubing.

                                                                                        2. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                          Yes!!! That stuff is the best! Wildwoods has something similar on the west coast but i've never seen in east coast stores....

                                                                                          1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                            How do you store any leftover? Just in water?

                                                                                          2. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                            I'm also a fan of the savory baked tofu. I wouldn't say it's a regular purchase but it's definitely a repeat buy. I like to add it to the crunchy salad mix.

                                                                                            1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                              Agree, this tofu is awesome. you can just cut it up and put it in a salad or whatever, no need to flavor it or cook it. Fantastic!

                                                                                            2. Question for you marinated mushroom lovers out there - where are they in the store? (And, if you do have them at your store, where are you located - I'm thinking maybe my store doesn't carry them.)

                                                                                              I looked last week and didn't see any in my Twin Cities, MN store, but maybe I was looking in the wrong place? I was in a hurry, so I didn't ask an associate. I will next time, but I thought I'd try the boards as long as I was waiting.

                                                                                              Also - MEH to the dark chocolate salted caramel peanut butter truffles. They were too sweet, and neither dark nor salty enough.

                                                                                              17 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: gildeddawn

                                                                                                They're with the canned and glassed veggies, at least in my store. (I didn't like them at all, but I know where they are :-))

                                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                  Same here, on the same wrap-around shelving unit as the spices, oils, dressings, etc.

                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                    Darn. That's where I looked, and there weren't any. I guess I'll have to look piteous and ask if they can get some in.

                                                                                                  2. re: gildeddawn

                                                                                                    I saw them yesterday on the very bottom shelf with the jarred pickles, olives, dolmas in a tin, etc.

                                                                                                    They would be in a different place in different stores, though.

                                                                                                    1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                      They're on the very bottom shelf in my store, too, with the pickles, olives, etc.

                                                                                                    2. re: gildeddawn

                                                                                                      I finally bought the marinated mushrooms this week and poured a few with some juice in a food processor. WOW! so good...spread or topped onto many dishes this week.

                                                                                                      1. re: six dower

                                                                                                        OH MAN: as the #1 marinated mushroom fan, I might have to buy a food processor just to make that!!!

                                                                                                        1. re: six dower

                                                                                                          You all drove me to look for these today (they were in the same area as jarred olives in my store). I'm thinking they will make a good pantry item for future pasta salad. Or I might chop it all up as suggested, thinking I can make a sort of "nicoise" inspired tuna salad sandwich spread.

                                                                                                          1. re: six dower

                                                                                                            I got a jar last week and like them, too. I think the secret is the garlic--it makes anything taste good.

                                                                                                          2. re: gildeddawn

                                                                                                            I hate you all. I went cold turkey on the mushrooms for a while but this conversation reminded me of them and I unproudly walked out with a jar. :)

                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                              Yes, but they are sooo good. And I am not a huge mushroom fan. BF said they were okay, but he finished the jar in one sitting besides the three or four I tasted.

                                                                                                              1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                They are SO good!!! One jar = one serving :)

                                                                                                                1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                                                                  I love them too. I save the brine and simmer some fresh mushrooms in it and refrigerate.

                                                                                                              2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                Hey after all the dark chocolate peanut butter cups disappearing in record time last month, I am ashamed to admit I just bought another big tub. Only ate one so far....

                                                                                                                1. re: coll

                                                                                                                  Stand proud!! I'm feeling the same about the almond butter. Did the jar just disappear?

                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                    Well nuts and chocolate are supposed to be super foods, aren't they?

                                                                                                                    1. re: coll

                                                                                                                      They're not just for breakfast any more!

                                                                                                            2. Yay! for the raspberry jam, E.D. Smith brand.

                                                                                                              23 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                                That's my favorite raspberry jam. I really can't keep it in the house, or it disappears too fast.

                                                                                                                1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                                  Does it have seeds? I like the taste of their boysenberry jam but the seeds drive me crazy.

                                                                                                                    1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                      Wait wait wait, there's boysenberry, too!?! Jeez. I need to look at the jams more closely.

                                                                                                                      1. re: ccbweb

                                                                                                                        The cherry jam is very good, too. I got that tip here!

                                                                                                                        1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                                          That cherry jam spread on a wheel of Brie and baked in a puff pastry is so delicious.

                                                                                                                        2. re: ccbweb

                                                                                                                          Yes, and it's quite tasty... except for the big seeds.

                                                                                                                          1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                            I have never gotten any pits in the cherry jam.

                                                                                                                            1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                                              Amy was responding to ccbweb about the boysenberry jam.

                                                                                                                              1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                                                I also buy the cherry jam and have never gotten any pits. As suzigirl says (sez?) I was talking about the boysenberry.

                                                                                                                          1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                                            any thoughts on comparing with the reduced sugar TJ's raspberry preserves?

                                                                                                                            1. re: rynnyb

                                                                                                                              I found that the reduced sugar ones get moldy fairly quickly for a jam so if I'd buy them again, and I didn't think they were great, I'd freeze most of it in cubes.

                                                                                                                              1. re: donna19631963

                                                                                                                                I keep low sugar and no added sugar jams in the fridge for ages without mold ever developing. If yours are in the fridge, consider keeping it colder. Stuff, even dairy, lasts many times longer, too.

                                                                                                                            2. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                                              My husband Loves this. Buys it every week.

                                                                                                                                1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                                                  I saw today they have seedless blackberry jam, E.D. Smith brand.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                                                    Thanks Russ! I'll definitely look for that.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                                                      I looked at the jams yesterday, but I can't get over the pectin. A place I go to on LI (which also mail orders) uses only two ingredients in their jam -- the fruit, and sugar. They are so delicious since most, if not all, the fruit are grown by them on their farm.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                                                      ED Smith jam is not some weird brand that TJ found at the Dollar Store---it is a standard brand in Canada---I have brought it home with me many times, especially a variety called Midnight Berry (a berry mixture) that I haven't seen at TJ.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                                                        TJs buys foods at a dollar store? What?! I'm confused. Dollar store stuff is known to be crap. I've had things from TJs that aren't to my taste and on a rare occasion something that is disappointing on the quality spectrum but dollar store?

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Harts52

                                                                                                                                          <ED Smith jam is **not** some weird brand that TJ found at the Dollar Store.>

                                                                                                                                          I believe you mis-read Querencia's first sentence.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: Querencia

                                                                                                                                          Yeah it was funny to see ED's come up as a TJ's item as it is a well known brand in Canada. I don't actually even buy it here, but it is considered a better basic grocery store brand. Or at least is priced accordingly.

                                                                                                                                      2. Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups - there should be a category "above" YAY! They are so good. Perfect amount of both flavors, creamy inside... I know I can't get a new bag of them for a long time so they are being kept in the basement and that way they will last longer!

                                                                                                                                        12 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: sciencediet

                                                                                                                                              I don't even like chocolate and love their chocolate-covered (anything) and am currently obsessed with nut butters so I'm afraid to try the peanut butter cups.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                They're decent, but no match for the pricier Justin's dark chocolate ones. TDF.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                  I like the Justin's and TJs equally. I wish the TJs cups were offered in a 2-cup pack like Justin's.

                                                                                                                                                  I have no self control and could eat the tub of TJs cups in one sitting(seriously) so I only get them when they have the little bags with a few servings.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                    I think they (the ones everyone is loving) are good but I like things a little less sweet, so these don't quite do it for me, thank goodness! One less temptation.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                                                                                                                  I think that's the "I refuse to buy them anymore because they come in a single serving package" category.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                      They'd probably taste even better then. I just scored a big tub yesterday myself, goodbye cruel world!

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                                                                                                                      They don't always have them but when they do, the little bitty miniature peanut butter cups are insanely wonderful in place of chocolate chips in cookies.

                                                                                                                                                    3. NAY-Trader Joe's Pesto Alla Genovese - Basil Pesto
                                                                                                                                                      26 grams of fat per 1/4 cup.
                                                                                                                                                      Most pesto recipes have ~7 grams of fat per serving, so while this was yummy it is way too high fat for me!

                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: swarmina

                                                                                                                                                        1/4 cup of pesto is basically 3-4T of oil. I have 3 pestos in the fridge (who knows why?) and they have similar facts. Are you sure you're comparing similar serving sizes, some brands list facts for 2 tbsp.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: swarmina

                                                                                                                                                          Just a larger serving size listed than most other pestos. 1/4c sounds like a lot of pesto for one serving! That stuff is a very strong flavor

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: swarmina

                                                                                                                                                            Proper pesto typically gets about all it's calories from fat, how do you figure?

                                                                                                                                                          2. Yay - new to me - tried the trader joes rolled oats for the first time instead of getting regular instant oatmeal packets this time. They cook quicker than what the package says and because they aren't instant variety, sugar content is lower. I add hot milk, walnut pieces, slivered almonds and dried blueberries (or banana slices) to them and it makes a delicious breakfast.
                                                                                                                                                            http://www.fooducate.com/app#page=pro...

                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: acerulz

                                                                                                                                                              Yay for the Rolled Oats from me too. I cook it in homemade salt-free chick broth. I prefer a savory breakfast.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                Grated Parm. Regg. on top---with butter and s&p?

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                  Wow, that sounds like a bowl of oats I could get in to. I love oatmeal on a good rainy day but only made by my grandma. Whenever I make it, it's not the same.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                    Nope, just rolled oats (WF) and broth. Quite filling. I can only eat a little bit, not even a half cereal bowl.

                                                                                                                                                              2. This is going to sound really funny to most, but TJ's just scored a big YAY for me yesterday.

                                                                                                                                                                I was going to make granola and needed raw sunflower seeds. I had gone to Costco a few days prior and while Cost had raw almond, pecans, and walnuts, they did not have sunflower seeds.

                                                                                                                                                                I had a few errands to run yesterday - one spot being GFS market for ground ginger and while they had a big bag of sunflower seeds, it was roasted and salted. On the way to my next spot, I passed Vitamin Shoppe and asked it they had it. NO. The lady at the store mentioned she only bought raw nuts and she herself had a hard time finding them. Walmart has salted nuts and she rinses them off, sometimes. Ugh.

                                                                                                                                                                I called the costco by that location and no sunflower seeds. Then I called Whole Foods because it was close to the next stop on my list. They had it and it was $3.69/lb. I had to pick up fresh ginger at Chinese market and checked for the nuts - they had cashews, peanuts, etc - no sunflower seeds.

                                                                                                                                                                Trader Joe's is actually the closest market to my home but I had not been there in months. I decided to call them on my way to Whole Foods and they said someone had just been asking for them and they had restocked them. Great.

                                                                                                                                                                Price at TJ: $1.99/lb!

                                                                                                                                                                Isn't it funny how even the cheapest items might be the most elusive?

                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: nikkib99

                                                                                                                                                                  Yup super great price, I keep them around.

                                                                                                                                                                2. Mostly YAY: frozen chile relleno, which I had for lunch today. It'll never replace the real thing, but at $2.99 it's not bad and way cheaper than any other lunch options around here.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. Yay and nay - depending on the batch: jalapeno stuffed green olives. Two jars ago - superb! Giant, crunchy olives stuffed with jalapenos. Last jar - awful. Small, mushy bitter olives. I didn't pay attention when I bought them. I muddled through (though it took forever to finish the jar). This last jar, back to greatness: giant, crisp, happy olives.

                                                                                                                                                                    I know this could be seasonal, but the difference is truly night and day.

                                                                                                                                                                    Just a warning to pay attention to what you are buying. As moms say: "Do as I say, not as I do."

                                                                                                                                                                    1. Huge NAY on the chocolate-covered ginger.

                                                                                                                                                                      It gets a lot of yea/yays here, but the ginger tasted like powdered ginger rather than candied or dried ginger and the chocolate had a terrible, chalky or powdery texture and a not so good flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                      Overall, it just seemed stale.

                                                                                                                                                                      I took it back because it was fairly expensive for something so terrible, and the manager who approved the return agreed with me, that they aren't very good, especially considering how tasty some of the other chocolate-covered items such as cherries, blueberries, espresso beans, &c. are.

                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                                                                                        Sorry you didn't like it but again love that return policy.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, I really wanted to like it. I will probably never get around to it, but I should make my own with the candied ginger and the 500g chocolate bars.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                                                                                            I just bought the candied ginger, I'm excited to try it.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                                                                                              Now why did you have to remind us of those 500 gm chocolate bars. I buy one, break it into squares, put the squares in a cookie jar, and then can't walk past the jar without....

                                                                                                                                                                        2. I'm really bummed because they were one of the few places I could buy frozen wild caught shrimp for a reasonable price. There has been a high mortality rate on shrimp this year, and so many places have jacked the prices up 300% or more on wild and farm raised. Now they can't even get it in, and when I did get a package last time, the shrimp had a horrible odor to it. *sigh*

                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Tudor_rose

                                                                                                                                                                            My store just got the wild shrimp in again - I took a chance and picked up two packages. The price has really jumped - from $11.99 to $15.99. My grandson begged so I caved. I'm going to take one out tomorrow, thaw it and give it a test run. If it fails, the whole lot of them will be going back on Thursday.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. YAY - unsalted crunchy peanut butter, they were out of roasted almond butter this week...whaaaa??? I needed peanut butter and figured it was worth trying, it's really good not as good as my favorite 365 brand but really good.

                                                                                                                                                                            YAY - Pomegranate white tea...LOVE!

                                                                                                                                                                            NAY - Yogi ginger tea, I love ginger but this is too much ginger for me.

                                                                                                                                                                            NAY - White pear ginger tea, I thought if I tried a more balanced ginger tea I'd like it, but again the back hit of ginger spice is too much.

                                                                                                                                                                            Now, what to do with two boxes of tea I don't like. I would take them back but that just seems wrong on some sort of level.

                                                                                                                                                                            23 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                              Can you steep the ginger tea and use it in a marinade? Wait till warm weather when you can make iced tea; the ice cubes will dilute the ginger.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                It might work for iced tea, good idea.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                  You could try it one to one with plain tea also to avoid wasting it.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                Oh, man. I love the Yogi ginger tea - but mostly, I have to admit, for stomachaches. I'm not the herbal remedy type, but it works wonders. So, save it for those occasions, maybe? Also, it's really good with honey.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                  Mix the ginger tea (iced) with lemonade, add a splash of club soda if you like fizz.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                    My store was also out of roasted almond butter this week. All they had was raw. I asked and they said the roasted was back-ordered and supposed to come in on the 4th (yesterday) but hadn't. Maybe next week. I considered getting the raw, but wasn't brave enough.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh no....I just became obsessed with it, please let it not disappear. I like the raw as well. It's not as flavorful but I bought it since I now need to have both the roasted and raw around to feel right with the world.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                        I had a feeling the raw wouldn't be as flavorful, which is why I didn't buy it instead. Roasting always brings out the flavor of nuts. I'm not sure why someone would buy the raw kind unless they were on a macrobiotic raw sort of diet.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                          It's pretty tasty. I buy both now. Moods vary, sometimes I just really want some raw almond butter :)

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                            Since I already have peanut butter and cashew butter in my fridge in addition to the almond butter, for when my moods vary, I should probably just stick to one kind of almond butter. It's getting rather crowded!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                              Yea, I know that feeling. I have a nut butter shelf.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                              If Oprah, Dr. Oz, and Dr. Weil have it right, the almonds (and other tree nuts) have to be RAW in order to get the antioxidant and other optimal benefits from routine consumption.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                            The roasted almond butters are back this week! I was so glad to see them. I was nearly out of my crunchy no salt.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                              Indeed, I grabbed my jar yesterday! I should have bought two if my intake from yesterday continues.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                          Too funny- i only ever buy yogi's ginger tea because i think its the only tea that actually tastes like ginger! Maybe just do a super quick steeping, or use it for making a soup base that includes other flavors and ingredients...

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                                                                                                                                            It definitely tastes like ginger! Ahh, you might have hit on a critical point. I'm an embarrassment to serious tea brewers, I usually (read 90% of the time) just leave my tea bag in the mug while I'm drinking. I wonder if I actually brew it properly it might not be too overwhelming.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                              I always leave it in! Try steeping for just 2-3minutes and then take out the teabag- maybe add some fresh lemon juice too.
                                                                                                                                                                                              It gets much stronger when you leave the bag in the tea...

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                                                                                                                                                Also an easy way to add some ginger flavor to sautés.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                            Take it to work at leave it by the coffee pot. People will eat anything at work.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                                                                                                              What a great idea! I made a double recipe of choc chip cookies that are flat as tortillas. The taste is great but otherwise ridiculous and big as frisbees. If only I had a large office staff.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                                                                                                                Q -- LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                for some reason i got this mental picture of several furry creatures from a science fiction film moving en masse to grab the food by the coffee pot and then disappearing as quickly as they appeared, out the other door.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I first bought the assorted macarons around the winter holidays. I loved them, but they disappeared from my TJs shortly thereafter. Since then, they have reappeared only once. I hope this means they are back, as I found them much more interesting than the chocolate/vanilla ones.

                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Pwmfan

                                                                                                                                                                                                Another big YAY! for the assorted frozen macarons. Box of 12, $4.99. 40 calories each--supposedly! Fig, salted caramel, apricot, lemon, pistachio, coconut.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Love those assorted macarons. Some flavors are better than others. All are edible. Much better than the choc/vanilla combo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: lalanyc

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I was shocked: I hate coconut.. and I actually LOVED the coconut one. (Whereas I love fig and bought it just to try the fig one.. and I didn't think it was that grand.) And I also wanted to try the salted caramel.. however, that wasn't as good as the lemon. Especially if I was having a tea or small get-together, I could easily purchase again for a quick treat.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Just tried the 80/20 ground chuck un its purist form... medium rare burgers. I was pretty pleased. They were nice and juicy without being fatty like regular grocery store beef. It wasn't as good as my butcher but the packages are perfect for freezing and they thawed overnight in the fridge. YAY.

                                                                                                                                                                                                16 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Kind of off-topic, but cooking pre-ground meat to medium-rare is bad food safety practice. Medium rare burgers are great, but it really is safer to grind your own if you're doing that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Scrofula

                                                                                                                                                                                                    True point but I do it all the time. Risks are relative.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ok, I'm the sissy, then. I only cook it that way if I grind it at home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Are you worried about TJ's frozen NZ grass-fed beef, too?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I try to buy local beef for the most part, and yeah, sometimes it's ground. We don't have a meat grinder and no plans for the immediate future to buy one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Guess we'll continue our life on the edge :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I worry less about grass fed, and I eat the gf house ground medium at a local place I trust, but I just feel better cooking it right after grinding it and knowing it was clean when I ground it up. No soap or bleach, of course. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I just hate the taste of the NZ beef at TJ's, at least the steak. Very gamey ribeye anyway. OTOH, I love OBE brand from Oz. Haven't had the NZ ground beef.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I haven't bought the grass-fed steak at TJ's but actually really liked the flavor of the ground beef. It also has a decent amount of fat (80/20) as opposed to many organic brands of ground beef which are generally 95/5. Please.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I guess that means I should post a YAY for that. Or maybe I did already.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              My STM ain't what it used to be, fo' sho.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I never find organic that lean, only 85/15, which is fine with me. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I only like the very lean stuff for chili, which I don't like greasy but later load with guacamole or sour cream and shredded cheese. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                          have done it for years, too, never have ground my own. never had a problem.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Scrofula

                                                                                                                                                                                                        i always cook my burgers medium rare or less; never ground my own beef in my life. even done rare burgers with (gasp!) big chain grocery store meat. hasn't killed me (or made me sick) yet. YMMV.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Scrofula

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Umm, I've been cooking pre-ground meat to medium-rare my entire life. Haven't died yet. :-P

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                              If I had thought about it, I'd have posted this for my last sentence:

                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPatfg...

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Me too, LW. And we also make Caesar salad dressing with raw egg. We love to live dangerously!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                And I have stored home-made burgers and sausage in my freezer for well over a year without ever once feeling a trip to the ER was necessary

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. YAY - 72% Cacao Swiss Dark Chocolate. My dad visited today and he's a chocolate freak so after he cleaned the entire place I offered him some chocolate from the bar I've had for weeks now. I don't really eat chocolate so no clue why I bought it. I was in need of a few carbs so tasted a piece and it's really really good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                              For the chocolate lovers, this is different from the pound plus right? I couldn't find small bars that had the same label as the pound plus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Right. They do have small bars that are the same as the pound plus, but instead of one flat bar, it's three smaller bars that are wrapped in plastic in a stack. The 72% have red wrappers; here's a photo of one: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_LqbGiE1RyhU...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                There's another Swiss bar, organic 73%, that I really dislike the flavor of, finding it very unbalanced. That's this one: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-KMno6FFnO1M...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                The one I like to keep around for nibbling is the fair trade organic Belgian 72%. That's this one: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Qk0TodWErt0...

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I like the 85% dark chocolate lovers bar too -it's a very fruity chocolate, but I like it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Savour

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Have you tried the other dark chocolate? I think it's Belgian.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Savour

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It is very fruity, but I really like it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I tried the 72 percent fair trade dark. Did not like the flavor at all. Trying the organic Swiss dark soon. I guess everyone has that particular balance that works for them! My search continues!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: foodiefan6

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Just tried the Swiss dark choc, 72 percent, I much prefer it over the organic fair trade dark, 72 percent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: foodiefan6

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Swiss dark is my favorite of the bunch, 85% dark chocolate lovers is a close second.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. Yay to the double-cream gouda!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yay to the citrus gum drops!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: cbg84

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      +1 to the double-cream gouda. used it, along with the bacon cheddar (1/2&1/2) to make an incredible mac and cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cbg84

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I love those citrus gum drops, too...can't buy them most the time cause I'll eat way too many. They are my go-to candy to sneak into movie theaters :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Nays:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        -TJ's 4% milkfat cottage cheese - To quote my husband, "This texture is all wrong...it's like ricotta...this cottage cheese is a total FAIL." The man knows his dairy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        -TJ double creme French brie - this one is too dense and flavorless for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        -Trader Giotto's peso alla Genovese - canola oil and potatoes have no business in pesto. Weird texture from the spuds used for thickener. Not very fresh tasting, but that's to be expected with jarred - a purchase by my DH.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        -TJ's pastrami -- sooo garlicky. Unfortunately we have two packages...I got one and so did DH on a separate trip.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        TJ's herbed mushroom risotto mix - just not that good. I made mine in the slow cooker, so I can't comment on texture, but the flavor wasn't doing it for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yays:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        -TJ's organic sour cream (full fat) - delicious. Creamy, tangy, no weird gums, just right. My favorite is still Safeway's organic line, Open Nature, but this is a close second.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        -TJ's oven-ready breaded cod fillets - these are very meaty, not a lot of filler, bake up crispy -- perfect cut into strips for fish tacos. Not cheap at $6.99, but worth it. They blow Mrs. Paul et al. out of the water.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        -tub of Calimyrna figs. Great sliced in yogurt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        -Frozen raspberries - great for smoothies and very reasonably-priced @ $2.29

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        -62% Supreme Brie - nice, creamy, and oozy, a modest amount of funk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        -Delice de Bourgogne is good, too, although I can't help comparing the fluffy insides to whipped cream. It almost reminds me of a French take on mozz. d'buffala.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        -Tons of great fresh produce, including bagged arugula, Perisan cukes (cheaper than our other grocery stores), fennel bulbs (2 for $2.49 is unreal), kumquats (a little seedy but addictive), bagged Brussels, blackberries, grape tomatoes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        -Coconut oil spray - I live by this stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        -Toscano cheese soaked in Syrah, an old favorite here

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        -Organic chicken broth (tetra pack) - decent flavor for boxed and good price

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        -frozen artichoke hearts and haricots verts

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Maybe:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        -Ciliegine Fresh Mozzarella - decent enough in a salad, but not particularly flavorful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yah, you gotta marinate those little mozzarella balls. They sell marinated ones, too, but why bother if it's so easy to make at home, takes maybe 2 minutes to throw together and you can choose your flavors....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            TJs dairy varies so much depending where you live.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Those frozen raspberries saved me this winter! I have been just letting some defrost overnight and then adding the berries and their juice to my morning greek yogurt with chia seeds- turns the yogurt a lovely bright pink too!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I was pleasantly surprised when i thawed and then roasted the artichoke hearts with just olive oil and s&p, turned out really great!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              TH frozen raspberries are the A#1 reason I go to TJ. I eat them on cereal all year. I just add them frozen to the cereal . They thaw within a minute and keep the milk nice and cold. In summer I add fresh other-berries but the frozen raspberries are standard routine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Completely agree with you on the organic sour cream and the breaded cod filets and figs. I had two of the cod filets a few nights ago for dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Just bought a box yesterday, planning on fish tacos this weekend. Will report back; I've always used Icelandic brand beer battered cod, but can't get anymore. I'll try not to be too judgemental ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. Another big Yay for Cruciferous Crunch blend! I lightly dressed it with TJ's garlic olive oil and a dash of sherry vinegar and folded it into a pan of hot farro made with root veg and stock and served the final result at room temp today.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I used this to make a quick batch of asian-ish veg soup along with a pack of the shredded carrots, shiitake mushrooms, and carton of the miso ginger broth. Plus some enhancements.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My store was sampling this over the weekend with the mix that I think is called Healthy 8 (??). All mixed together with sunflower seeds and their green goddess dressing. I was in veggie heaven. Not a big fan of the dressing - would rather make my own, but otherwise I think I could easily eat this mix every day. So good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harts52

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I agree. I made a vinaigrette and it was delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Harts52

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks for the recommendation for the Healthy 8. I picked that up and made a huge salad with lots of brown rice, a pound of shredded poached chicken I had in the freezer, and a light vinaigrette. Delicious! Everyone, even the kids, ate lots, and it felt filling and healthy. I'll definitely be getting that regularly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Also tried the dried mandarins someone recommend-holy crap, those are great! I love sour candies-these will be my future movie theater go-to snack, since they scratch the same itch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I thought the Cruciferous Crunch blend was just ok. When I opened the bag it smelled kinda nasty, so I gave it a rinse in my salad spinner. A lot of the little pieces got lost. Then I noticed some of the big pieces were kale stalks and stuff like that, so I picked them out. There were a lot of really hard (not edible) pieces when eating it, too. I served it with the warm bacon vinaigrette in this recipe: http://www.chow.com/recipes/11445-spi...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      which was ok but too acidic. Still, I think it might be worth trying again because it does have more flavor (and probably vitamins) than regular cabbage slaw.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. YAY- Roasted Gorgonzola flavored oven crisp crackers. Really great texture but the gorgonzola flavor is a bit light. It would be better if the flavor of the cheese was a bit more pronounced. Didn't stop me from wolfing down these crispy little treats.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I was sort of meh on these. Too raisin-y for me. Like you say, maybe. Would be better if the bleu was more pronounced.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. This is supposed to reply to Wonderwoman but lately all of my replies go to the OP. That double cream Gouda makes the best grilled sandwich ever!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. a surprising NAY: found the frozen pastry dough waay too sweet, not just for the turkey pot pie i bought to top, but, to my taste, it would have been distractingly sweet for a fruit or pudding pie as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          too bad. i need to make a mental note to pick up the frozen puff pastry in the fall.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. hilarious, sardonic flow chart -- should you go to trader joe's or whole foods? http://tinyurl.com/m5j3hsu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I saw that a few days ago, indeed it's hilarious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ours are directly across the street from each other so I consider them the same story, basically. With a cheap and an expensive section.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  What's really funny is in nyc also on 14th st there are tjs and wf three blocks apart! Love the first question!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks for posting that link - very funny.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Nay to the frozen Homemade Chocolate Ganache Torte. It was dry and not very much chocolate flavor came through, just, sweet and dry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm going to try the frozen cheesecake for Easter though, I heard pretty good things about it here and need an extra dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    www.saffron215.blogspot.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mcel215

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      good to know..i always wondered about that one too...it looks so good on the package.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Monica

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My parents (dairy free here) love that cheesecake- and my mom is of the SandS cheesecake is better than juinors camp- always only plain, no funny business!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          yes, only the plain. I never get flavored ones. I want to taste the 'cheese cake' not the extra sweet fruity syruppy cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: mcel215

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I had it about a year ago, and it was actually worth it for $6. You cannot get a pre-made rich cake for $6 anywhere these days--especially if you would rather have ganache/fudge instead of whipped or buttercream.--Also I did believe that it was better than their bakery-section cakes. So if you're in a pinch for a picnic or birthday party, I would say go for the ganache cake in the freezer than the bakery-section cakes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mcel215

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I've bought the chocolate ganache torte twice and we've always enjoyed it. Moist, flavorful, and excellent. I'm wondering whether you got an outlier. the package picture is exactly how it looks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mcel215

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Another NAY for the chocolate ganache torte. I had such high hopes for it. Mine wasn't dry, but it was seriously lacking in the rich chocolate flavor I was expecting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Not new, but new to me. Yay to the Healthy 8 Veggie Mix. I quickly sauteed it with just a smidge of garlic, salt, pepper, and smoked paprika. With some just warmed through peas, cooked barley, and a green apple vinegar, it made a really terrific barley salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I had it in a vinaigrette and loved it. I still need to try it sautéed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That's my plan for the rest of the package, so I'm glad to hear it tastes good that way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I love that mix!! I rarely buy prepped veg since i go through a ton but i loved this tossed onto some salad greens raw!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I really appreciated the jicama in it. Around me jicama costs about five bucks a tuber, so it was a good way to have a small amount without having to worry about the rest of it being forgotten in the back of the refrigerator.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I bought this yesterday for the first time. I was munching it raw while prepping dinner. Put it in a simple buttermilk slaw-type dressing and chilled for awhile. Oh, so good! I'll have to buy more so I can try it cooked.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. Yay - bacon cheddar - had it on a burger and it was great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yay - almost croissants (freezer section) - took them out the night before and baked up nicely, although some of the filling oozed out on the pan (thank goodness it was on parchment paper)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Meh - chocolate croissant (really a "pain au chocolat") - not as flaky as the almond and flavour was not as good either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  +1 on the bacon cheddar. it also makes a great grilled cheese, and in combination with the double cream gouda, a truly transcendent mac and cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    +1 on the almond croissants. My absolute fave breakfast treat. I've had a box of Kouigns Amann in my freezer for a few months now. I keep forgetting that they're in there!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Briek

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We have a box of Kouign Amann as well - haven't tried it yet!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        We are very lukewarm on Kouign Amanns, but absolutely in love with all of the other croissants. Can't decide whether we like the almond, chocolate, or plain minis best. They are all delish!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      i'm a yay-to-meh on the bacon cheddar - i liked the flavor well enough but i found the cheese itself kind of chalky. though i've only tasted chunks of it, not in anything or melted on anything. need to try it as a grilled cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        yay as a quickie shortcut jalapeño pub cheese on either a burger or hot dog. will have to try the bacon / cheddar

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: 51rich

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          just had the bacon cheddar as a grilled cheese on rye - excellent. will look for the jalapeno cheese next time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I was itching to soak up some of the sunshine outside and went for a drive. I landed at TJs even though I went yesterday and had to buy something to justify the trip so grabbed the bacon cheddar. It was sooo delicious in scrambled eggs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The cat is infatuated with this cheese as well. The kid loves cheese, but it's like a battle if I dare take it out of the fridge for too long.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. Just got back, two nays. First, I am out of Ritz crackers but I saw their version so grabbed a box. When I got home, it was not only unsealed but someone had taken at least six of them as "samples", I was so disgusted. I know, I know, I can get my money back but next expected trip to be in two to three months. I did take a photo though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Second, not sure if mentioned before, but I saw a Watermelon Cucumber Organic juice, cashier said it was new, and I immediately thought summer cocktails. But it is so weird! The taste itself isn't bad, but the whiff you get while bringing it up to your mouth is like cheap perfume. Don't think I'll be serving it to any guests!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Not a product, but YAY to TJ's great customer service. I dropped a gallon of milk as I was about to put it in my car. When I went back in to alert them that I'd spilled milk all over the parking lot and that I'd had to leave the half-filled container next to the trash can because it wouldn't fit, they told me just to grab another gallon and walk out. Especially nice because it was the pre-dinner groceries run and I didn't want to wait in line again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: P_penelope

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have never received less than excellent service from both TJ and Costco. Really remarkable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I know, they are so nice that I doubt I'll even mention "The Case of the Missing Crackers" next time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That's a different issue than someone accidentally spilling milk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Not sure what could happen as a result, but it might be worth a mention.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: BuildingMyBento

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hopefully I'll remember. It would have been so easy to ask an employee, but not all customers are rational beings. Meanwhile I bought a box of real Ritz, so not stewing about it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: P_penelope

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I once bought a bag of "netted" avocadoes and had to throw 3 out of 4 out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A couple of weeks later, I was shopping again and when I went to the register to check out (I never saved them or the receipt), I asked if they were having any problems with other customers who bought them. The guy told me to grab another bag and not to worry about it. I love the customer service there and haven't had a problem with the avocadoes since.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                www.saffron215.blogspot.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mcel215

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I wouldn't hold nasty avocados against TJ---I buy them there, at WF, at chain markets, and at lots of ethinic produce markets, and half the time I have to cut out big hunks or throw away the whole avocado. I consider buying an avocado an act of faith.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Q, I don't hold it against anyone. Buying avocadoes is a "crap shoot" of sorts. But now I buy them one at a time and fairly hard. Then I let them sit on my counter for a few days and most times have good, ripe avocadoes. I buy ahead, just as I do my tomatoes and bananas. In the Northeast, we have a short season for ripened fruit on the grocer's shelf. Sigh... :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    www.saffron215.blogspot.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mcel215

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I also buy them hard as rock and let them ripen. Wegmans has a great deal on the family pack but you have to commit to eating them in a few days since they usually ripen at the same speed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It's perfectly acceptable to put avocados in the fridge to extend their life. It has worked very well for me. Wait till they just begin to ripen then put them in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ooh thanks! Somewhere I read it affects the texture, guess not. That's helpful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Put your ripened or almost ripened avocados in the fridge. They will keep for a week or more. It absolutely doesn't affect texture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Daffodils. YAY. Tight buds that all open up into relatively long-lasting flowers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Didn't get them this past weekend, as they would have had to sit in the car for too long. But will make a trip this weekend to have the sunshiny yellow in my house.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I adore their daffodils ... Look forward every year to them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I got two bunches from my local supermarket (wasn't near a TJs this weekend) and I'm awaiting their opening. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'll have to look for those. I picked up some tulips last week and they are just gorgeous and lasted easily 10 days.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      As I was checking out a few days ago I noticed mini-daffs (potted) on the windowsill but I was already checked out. They are only $2.99 a pot!!! I have to be back in the city Thursday for a doc appt and will be getting some for hostess gifts for over the holidays. Can't beat the price!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I've purchased a few nice plants at TJs (tulips, kalanchoe, hyacinths) in addition to the cut daffodils over the past few months. They really made my kitchen feel like spring, especially after all the snow we had up here this past winter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Nay to the dried, unsweetened, unsulphered persimmons. Some fruits just work well dried, and some don't. These were pretty flavorless.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yay to the Almond Danish Pastry. The scent of almond filled the kitchen when I opened the package. I love the flavor and moist texture--feels very decadent. I could eat the whole thing myself if I wasn't careful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: fracklefoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, those persimmons are pretty nasty. Really weird taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yay to the Spicy Thai Shrimp Fried Rice! I think this might be a new product, at least I don't recall having seen it before. Good chili and lemongrass flavors. You sauté the shrimp first, then add the rice. The only thing I'd do differently next time is cook it in a non-stick frying pan. It said to cook it in a saucepan and all the good flavor bits stuck.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Also yay to the shrimp bites dipped in the sweet chili sauce as others mentioned above (or last month). Tasty stuff!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fracklefoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I haven't tried the dried persimmons from TJ's but my mother always got them from Asian markets since the fresh season is so short, and they were always quite good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fracklefoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Agreed on the persimmons. I LOVE them fresh and in season so this was a big bummer after my hopes of maybe getting to keep them year round as a treat!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. The gluten free beer was absolutely vile! So was the pre-packaged five spice chicken salad. The frozen angus burgers grossed me out for some reason.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm afraid to say it since I run the risk of my faves not being on the shelf but what the hell! The Toscano black pepper cheese and vanilla no fat Greek yogurt in the larger tub are in my fridge at all times. That cheese is perfect in an arugula salad. My husband dies over the almond pastry in the cake section. We both love the gluten free chocolate chip cookies. My husband generally hates anything gluten free. I have no choice. The mahi mahi burgers are great. Add TJ's tarter sauce and your favorite fixings and you've got a restaurant quality sandwich.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I love the frozen French fries. My husband thinks they're meh. I bake them and they satisfy my craving for fries every time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: lalanyc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The mahi burgers are on my list for this week. They seem to be handy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm confused as to how burgers grossed you out but I haven't tried them :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. YAY-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                -- Chicken Gyoza Potstickers: I cannot tell you how many good things I can say about these. They're so freaking delicious I buy them over and over and can't stop eating them!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                -- Spinach and Artichoke Dip: okay, for the lowish calories and fat I was expecting this to be awful but actually it was pretty good and I have repurchased it. It's especially good with the ridge cut salt and pepper chips!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                -- Dark Chocolate Covered Powerberries: Just try these. Holy goodness theyre amazing!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                -- Mochi Ice cream: no matter what flavor you get theyre brilliant. Cheap too for what you're getting!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                -- Puffins Peanut Butter Cereal: so yummy!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Meh-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                -- Spicy California Roll: the inside is so yummy but I hate the rice!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                -- Battered Fish Bites(the one with the blue packaging): the product tasted good but made my whole entire house smell like fried fish and not in a good way. (I baked these in the oven didn't add any oil or anything)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                NAY-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                -- Mushroom Mochi: this stuff was absolutely disgusting. The shell was so soft and gooey sort of a soft thick plastic texture. The inside wasn't too bad but the texture was absolutely disgusting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: emibel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I agree with the fish bites - the fish is decent, no filler, but the smell from the grease and the amount of grease left on the baking sheet and bubbling around the nuggets is hard to get past. The grease almost smells old. Doesn't taste old but...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If it's of any help, a bowl of white vinegar helps rid the smell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: emibel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I am a puffins addict....!! I always just snack on it dry, original and multigrain are my favorite but the pb is also great!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Fyi the rice version is totally weird (and original is gf), and the cinnamon just isn't very cinnamon-y

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Add me to the Puffin fanatics! Original, Peanut Butter, and Cinnamon are all fine by me. I don't think I've tried the multigrain

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: emibel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You mentioned the ice cream mochi and its price. The price at TJ is 50% of the price at WF for the same identical-brand product pf ice cream mochi. I love the Mango flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. BIG FAT YAY for the frozen chicken & cilantro wontons.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Perhaps it was my slightly buzzed state around 1 AM that clouded my judgment, but I nuked a few of them for a late night snack and thought they were quite flavorful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I first followed the idiotic directions on the package and nuked 3 of them between moist paper towels (TF?), but the skins turned out crunchy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      So I nuked a few more in a little bowl with some water, and they were perfect: tender skin, nice filling, good flavors.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      They make a fabulous snack and would be great in a good wonton soup broth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I believe they have quite a modest sodium count too, for a processed frozen prepared Asian item.. although it is for a rather meager serving of 4 mini wontons.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ohmyyum

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I don't care much about sodium intake, as I rarely buy processed/prepared foods.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          But if these are relatively low.... even better :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Yays:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Roasted Almond Butter with salt -- I am loving this stuff! Much better than the raw one I tried before.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Reduced Guilt Spinach and Kale Dip -- this stuff is delicious! I've been eating it with carrot sticks, yellow corn tortilla chips and stuffed into mini bell peppers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I am very bummed about about them no longer carrying the Spicy Spinach pizzas. I loved those for a light lunch!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: boogiebaby

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I can't wait to restock my almond butter tomorrow...they better have it this week! Also, love the Spinach and Kale dip, in fact, I love it so much I have to write on my list (NOOO dip this week!). It's great with canned tuna or salmon if you are a fan of those and wanted some other ideas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: boogiebaby

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Also tried the Spinach and Kale dip and thought it was pretty good. I really liked it with carrot sticks and TJs pita chips.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: boogiebaby

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Another YAY that I forgot in my previous post -- the Coconut Cranberry granola. It's so good with some vanilla or coconut flavored greek yogurt!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. NAY - Butternut Squash Soup. I've been enjoying this soup which comes in a box (container) for years. The past two boxes have tasted different, and not in a good way. I just don't like it anymore. It seems as though they've changed the formula. Anyone else notice this?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. YAY - Cilantro salad dressing (was with the lettuce at the Amerst, NY location) - was okay on salad, then my husband made a roasted corn and bean salad and put some on that and it was amazing!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                MEH - TJs Chocolate Almond Granola - I had it like cereal, with milk, and maybe that was a mistake. Next time I'll try it in some vanilla yogourt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: TeacherFoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I like the granola in homemade plain yogurt, I add a bit of jam for sweetness.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Nay-frozen fava beans.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Fava beans are one of those things that are amazing when fresh. I love them but haven't seen any yet in any of the speciality stores so when I saw a bag of already shelled frozen ones I was stoked. I don't know if it was an old bag but they looked "off" out of the bag with some of the beans looking slightly freezer burned. The directions said to micro for three minutes but they were still frozen even in my high powered micro. I let them go another two minutes. They were very warm, not hot, but already looking shriveled as if over cooked. Texture was overly chewy and no real flavor. Disappointing!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yeah-Israeli coucous.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Can't really go wrong with basic couscous but it was great price and an easy weekday side

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    If you didn't already, you might try sautéing the couscous before cooking. I did this with a batch of Italian Wedding Soup I made in which I used the couscous and the toasty flavor was really nice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ccbweb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I did, in a little olive oil. Instead of water I used chicken broth and added some lemon zest once it was done. Really good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It occurred to me that I used TJs frozen turkey meatballs as the protein in the soup....with a bunch of spinach and the couscous along with a can of chopped tomatoes and some carrots and chicken broth. Really easy and good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Did my bi-monthly TJ run yesterday. Picked up mostly good old reliables/favorites. But, I picked up some new things, too. Two of them, I've had already and both were Yays:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Schofferhofer Grapefruit Hefeweizen. German unfiltered hefe with grapefruit flavoring. Two of my favorite tastes in a nice, light tasting beer. Good for a sunny day!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The farm-raised Norwegian salmon filets that were crusted with nuts were good, too. They were in the fresh section, not frozen. The salmon wasn't artificially colored, which was nice. I broiled it and it came out nice and juicy. Some of the better salmon I've had lately.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. It was very out of character for me but last night's dinner consisted of a handful of chocolates courtesy of TJs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      YAY-dark chocolate pb cups. Someone brought a few in to work this week complaining they had too much peanut butter but I decided to try them anyway. False...they are perfect!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Meh-organic 72% cacao dark Belgian chocolate. For some reason I thought this was too sweet, preferred the swiss dark chocolate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. YAY - another purrrrfect late night snack: the uncured bacon bits and ends, which are really a few bacon slices and pieces smooshed together in a cryovac pack.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Fried up nicely, gave my house that lovely pork fat smell & tasted loverly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. This one is not a new product but I am so constantly amazed by running into people who have never tried it that I post it on every YAY/NAY thread and accost strangers in the TJ store to recommend it---the Sweet Chili Sauce (comes in a bottle, usually near the mustard, $1.29). A little hot and a little sweet, it makes anything better but amazingly improves any fried fish, even the lowliest fish sticks, when used as a dip. Tastes like a Thai restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I agree! The Sweet Chili Sauce is a Yay for us too. My husband bought it last week and we used it as a djpping sauce right out of the bottle for TJ's cabbage/chicken goyoza. To be safe I also made a spicy lime/ginger dipping sauce but the TJ's SWC won by a landslide. I've also mixed it with TJ's organic mayo to use as a spicy spread for sandwiches and it was delicious..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              We love that sweet chili sauce too. Tastes pretty good with the tofu edamame nuggets. It has just the right amount of spice for me, but DH adds a few drops of sriracha.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. YAY - Sliced pepperoni. I just served myself a TJs inspired snack - low carb tortilla, Rembrandt Gouda and a few slices of pepperoni

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              YAY - Low carb tortillas. I know I've reviewed these before but I keep trying them because I'm determined to like them. I really enjoyed them hot out of the microwave

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              YAY (preemptive) - boneless NZ leg of lamb, great price. I won't cook it until next Sunday but the price was the best I've seen among 5 other stores

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I bought the sliced pepperoni the other day to put in my Easter meat pie. Besides being cut a bit too thick, the flavor was just blah when eaten straight from the package. No spice at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Then I saw, despite the cute name on the label, it's Cittero; tricked again! They make the worst pre cut deli meats as far as I'm concerned. I'll probably still use it for the pie but not happy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The brand at my store was not Citterio, I dislike their products as well. It's Ciao brand. What you describe was exactly opposite of my experience? Super thin and flavorful. Here's a review and picture of the packaging http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mine is Ciao too, but the cashier receipt listed it as Citterio. The USDA number on the package is 4010, I'll see if I can look it up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The USDA number is Citterio so I guess this is their first product that I've liked.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        To me it's so thick, but I'm used to paper thin in my deli products. But the lack of spices is what really got me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yeah I also saw, Citterio dba Eurofoods. Curses, foiled again!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. YAY- Everything pretzel slims. Basically a pretzel chip. Too bad I haven't got cream cheese.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ooh...what's the "everything" portion? Can you even tell? :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ccbweb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sesame seeds, poppy seeds, onion, garlic and caraway.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    These are awesome! I'm not a regular TJ shopper. in fact, I rarely go. But i had to go back for of these. Yum!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ITry

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Aren't they great? They live on my nightstand so I can attack them at will.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. Yay: Fresh pineapple spears, bagged tangelos, green seedless grapes. All sweeter than sweet and luscious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Nay: As much as I've been trying to love them I just can't love the frozen blueberries. This morning a few were part of my breakfast fruit salad. After thawing they remained a soggy watery messy soup. Also, I thought I detected an after taste that was off-putting. Still one half bag to go. We'll throw them in some batter and bake "the easiest cake in the world".

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      What type of frozen blueberries are you unsatisfied with? I love TJs Wild Boreal Blueberries (frozen). Small and sweet. I toss them in my morning yogurt or cereal straight from the freezer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chinchi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The label on the package of blueberries in the freezer says, "Trader Joe's No Preservatives, Fresh Frozen". They are the large berries. My husband bought them and he probably didn't look for any other package. Guess we'll have to look for Wild Boreal. Thanks!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I got the same bag and put them into a smoothie and they were fine, but I've had better luck with the boreal blueberries in the past as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. "Shaved Brussels Sprouts" - good times, particularly with EVOO and TJ's Everyday Seasoning.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Also a +, going around 10am.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Big YAY to the return of soy yogurt! We now know for a fact that it's Whole Soy, as their plant was out of commission for the past 8 months or so and is now back. (I thought it was Silk, but I am happy to be wrong.) TJs still just has strawberry and peach, but that's fine with me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I wanted to review their Passover products but when I was there on Saturday they didn't even have any matzo. I could have sworn they had it in the past, but maybe I missed it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sciencediet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My store did have matzos but that was the extent of their Passover product. Oh, they also had kosher for Passover brisket. I didn't notice a K for P tag on the Empire chicken.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. A new item for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yay: Garlic roasted potatoes with Parmesan. In the frozen section, popped in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. Lots of garlic flavor, crispy potatoes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          www.saffron215.blogspot.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I grabbed a package of the chicken breakfast sausages from the fresh meat case this weekend and cooked them up yesterday - a very pleasant surprise! I give these a YAY. Mildly seasoned but still flavorful, and not dry despite being low in fat without filler.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. A moderate Yay! for the Sai Tung Green Curry and Red Gaba Rice, frozen. It has a plastic tray with two compartments, one with sprouted cargo rice and another with a green curry with unusual vegetables (morning glory, banana flower, coconut shoot).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The curry is tasty but very sweet and I'm not sure I would want to eat it on a regular basis but it was fun to try it and I might get it again occasionally. Not overly filling and it would have been nice to have had some protein with it but a nice light lunch.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: RussTheRaccoon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I thought the same thing Russ. But, I don't think I'll buy it again though. It was just okay.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                www.saffron215.blogspot.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Yay for the Watermelon Cucumber cooler. I use my soda maker to add fizz to it, and it was nice and refreshing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. YAY - Thai "Dry" Chili Paste, I tossed this in with ground turkey and green beans for lunch and it was very good. I'm not sure how else to use it aside from soup but I'll be experimenting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This is Nam Phrik and can be used as an ingredient in stir-fries, fried rice, flavoring spice, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks for enlightening me on the actual name. That will help my Google search efforts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. yay to "It's a Grand Slam Snack"...like cracker jacks, but has a more buttery taste (clarified butter is an ingredient) and includes almonds, cashews, and pecans in addition to the usual peanuts. 6 oz bag, allegedly 6 servings.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: BeeZee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Do you remember the price, BeeZee? (And since when is 6 oz. 6 servings? LOL)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm thinking $2.99. Ironically (as if often the story with a run to TJ's) I was going there for exactly 2 things, stopping along the way to a client meeting...and spotted these on a display as I purposefully strode to my intended destination row...and probably paused all of 10 seconds before grabbing one off the shelf.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: BeeZee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Is this a new product or perhaps a seasonal/local product? I have never heard of this.