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Oysters at costco

What I've heard: If storing for a period of time in the fridge, oysters will last longer "top side up." The "bottom" of the oyster is more cup shaped, and the top is generally flatter.

Theory being the oyster can open its lid and breath more easily without losing its brine liquid. Don't know if this is true for certain, but I've always done it.

Dec 23, 2014
Dave B in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Vegetable dish for brunch?

Braised cabbage, with other veggies -- super easy.

In covered Dutch oven in the oven, slow-cook @ approx 300 deg for 3-4 hours, or until cabbage is tender and soft. I like to include carrots and onions, and a generous amount of whole grain mustard along with salt and pepper. Garlic is a nice addition too. There are so many possible variations to this... just depends on what you want to include with the cabbage.

While not vegetarian, I'll often include fresh sausage or kielbasa. Just another variation.

Can be made the day before and reheated before serving in the same pot.

Dec 23, 2014
Dave B in Home Cooking

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - December 2014

Update on the Jamon Iberico, if this is the same stuff (Paleta Iberico - Puro de Bellota) A tale of two TJ's:

The lesson being - ASK, ASK, ASK, your TJ's store staff. In a NH TJ's today, after querying several employees I found one who seemed to know what I was asking for; "Jamon Iberico".

If this is the same product, the labeling/identification is different from what I was asking the VT TJ's folks for last weekend. I did not know it was not labeled as Jamon Iberico, although the description seems perfectly descriptive if one understands basic Spanish.

Pricey stuff @ $6.99 for 2 oz ($56.00 per lb.) Well, I have some now so will give it a spin. The TJ's staff who knew about it said it was "seasonal," not "regional."

Dec 18, 2014
Dave B in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - December 2014

NU; I too like the Cabot aged cheeses. I find them flavorful and the quality very good. That being said, they don't stray far from what I consider to be text-book, standard cheddars. They are good, but not as "interesting" as I found the TJ's 6-year to be. That's all I intended in my observation.

I was at the Cabot store in Waterbury just a few days ago.... gobbled quite a few samples, including all their older/aged offerings. All were enjoyable.

Dec 17, 2014
Dave B in Chains
1

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - December 2014

Recent Yay/Meh/Nay observations, from recent TJ's stops. Some items are new for me.

Yay - Wild Salmon Jerky

First time trying this. If one likes salmon in general, this stuff isn't "fishy." It is hard-dried and requires a good chewing. Good stuff. Compared to commercial beef jerky which one can grab from the bag with abandon, the inside of the bag has an oily coating on the inside. Only mentioning that because when your hand goes in the bag it will come out with some coating on it. Have a paper towel ready and don't thrust a long-sleeve shirt into the bag along with your hand. A small price to pay for no nitrates, MSG...etc. Bag says consume within three days of opening. Only mentioning the slight oily factor because I sometime like jerky while driving and this stuff would be a bit of a problem for that if not careful. Still a Yay however. Just not for consumption while driving.

Yay - Blue Cheese and Roasted Pecan Dip

Holy blue cow. If you like blue cheese and things that taste like blue cheese, this stuff is pure crack. http://www.traderjoes.com/fearless-fl... Would be great on or with nearly anything.

Yay - 6 Year Aged Cheddar - Vermont

Spotlight Cheese. Funky. I see there are mixed opinions about this cheese, but I liked it. There is an aged stank to this cheese and it works for me. Not your average aged cheddar. If you like a twang in your cheese this has it. TJ's employee said their guess is it's made by either Cabot or Grafton. My bet goes toward Grafton, as I can't see Cabot making anything this flavorful.

Yay - Rosemary Raisin Crackers

A standby for many of us, but I hadn't had any in a while. A nice reminder of how awesome these crackers are. When I first heard yays about these I thought 'yawn,' how good could they be? But they are that good.

Yay - Lucques Olives (in jar)

Buttery and delicious. Small olives, with pits. For those of us who don't mind chewing around the pits, I think these are wonderful and flavorful.

Yay - Jalapeno Greek Yogurt Dip

Smooth and creamy. Not very spicy at all. Perfect for dipping and/or spreading on just about anything. Less thick than hummus, but similar.

Meh - Ghost Pepper Grinder

After a lot of hoopla about the absence of this item, I finally got to buy it and try it. The little sealed packet inside the grinder must be carefully opened and poured into the grinder in order to use it. Then the grinder is 1/2 full of product. Leaves me with a ripped-off feeling. Wonderful heat and nice flavor (a little goes a long way), but why is this sold as a "grinder" product, as the pepper is ground quite fine already so that the "grinder" can be used mostly as just a "shaker." I'm confused as to the purpose of the packaging as no grinding is needed. Very hot.... so unless you're into that (I am), you may want to skip this item.

Meh/Nay - Creamy Gorg cheese

Thought I would like this cheese based on its rotten, putrid, lumpy, semi-rotten appearance. I like stinky, strong-flavored cheeses and this didn't seem to deliver on its visual promise. It's OK, but a little off-tasting. I'll eat the rest of it but I wouldn't buy it again.

Dec 15, 2014
Dave B in Chains
1

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - December 2014

I went looking for it at the Burlington, VT store and a team leader was familiar with it, but says it is regional and they can't/don't get it. Don't know why an item like that would be regional, but that's what I was told. :-(

Dec 15, 2014
Dave B in Chains

Seeking BBQ/ Pig Roast Catering for New Hampshire

Scuba ~

Good to see this old thread updated. Sometimes it's helpful when new info becomes available, particularly for those who might use the Search function and find this thread. Somewhere there is an old thread with me looking for the same thing.... a caterer who would do on-site BBQ in NH. (not bothering to search for it right now) :-)

Love PigTrip.net. Excellent BBQ fan resource for all things New England BBQ (and some NY). This dude does A LOT of eating, traveling, photographing and posting, for our BBQ benefit and enjoyment.

And this brings me to some new info I read in the newspaper just the other day; the new restaurant that replaced to tired, old and lame Clam King location in Manchester, NH is called Ipswich Clambake. Haven't been there yet, but since this is their 2nd location (original in Ipswich, MA) they have some experience. They appear to be seeking catering business, not for just seafood, but for BBQ too. Again, can't vouch for them from personal experience, but they are new to the area so I thought it should be noted.

Dec 11, 2014
Dave B in Northern New England

Restaurant Gift Certificate for Xmas

Exactly right. Buckley's in Merrimack.

If they wanted to travel 10-15 minutes from Merrimack, then yes, the BVI (Bedford Village Inn) would be a more formal but excellent dining experience.... I'd prefer Buckley's myself in that it is a nice compromise between casual/upscale, with usually great service (once you are seated) and great food. Either place, really, you can't go wrong IMO. Just depends on the environment you think your daughter would enjoy. BVI is excellent, but more stuffy, excepting the Tap Room.

If they go Buckley's, my sleeper dish is the Beef Stroganoff. Once it was served a little dry (without enough sauce to my liking) and the server quickly rectified that. Now, I just order it with "plenty of sauce."

http://buckleysgreatsteaks.com/

Dec 11, 2014
Dave B in Northern New England

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - December 2014

Glad to see your update.

When I read your 'Nay-ish' on the turkey meatballs it caused me a little concern that TJ's had changed the supplier to an inferior one. Or something. I've only purchased them a couple of times but thought they were pretty good.

Some of the hockey-puck consistency could have been due to who-knows-what..... a bad batch... different cooking method.. storage issue..... who knows?

I've only used them one way thus far; slow-simmer down a 28 oz can of tomatoes or two (adding olive oil, spices, whatever, to make a nice tomato sauce) then when the sauce is just about perfect put the turkey meatballs in to warm up until the tomato sauce starts to bubble again, telling me the meatballs will be fully hot and ready. I need to get more creative with them, I know.

Dec 05, 2014
Dave B in Chains
2

Mid-afternoon lunch near Hooksett IMAX?

Glad you found a good spot. The Bedford location of Chen Yang Li is probably one of most dependable examples of "American" Chinese in the area, with a nice upscale environment.

They are still doing it well and one can rarely go wrong there. I'll keep the Two Brothers Special in mind for next time I go. Thanks.

Dec 04, 2014
Dave B in Northern New England

Taj India, Manchester NH

Nice. I've been there. Not "there" to that restaurant, but "there" in other Indian restaurants in overestimating my ability to handle TRUE HEAT.

I like heat.... have a pretty high tolerance.... but a couple of times I've been too cocky and paid the price.

Sweaty and panting.... can't taste anything. Want to die.

MEDIUM might be the safe bet until one has been to a particular establishment a time or two and then knows how they roll.....

Nov 30, 2014
Dave B in Northern New England

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - November 2014 (Part II) [OLD]

Nu, ~~~ good to read your perspective. I remain a fan of the fresh tamales. We all have our respective Yays and Nays with these TJ's things. I am also a big fan of the frozen ones and ALWAYS have some in the freezer. The frozen tamales are great IMO.... but the texture and denseness of the masa is heavier. Still good for my taste buds.... but heavier and chewier compared to the 'fresh.'

I think your're correct about the sweetness level being higher in the fresh tamale version.... never thought much about it until now. As far as I am concerned it's a welcomed change just for the different taste experience. And thanks for doing the math. I have wondered about that for frozen vs. fresh. Knowing the frozen version is a better value/lb is helpful when making our tamale purchasing calculations. Sometimes it matters! But for me it generally doesn't when a taste preference comes into play.... :)

I remain pleased with the fresh tamales. Still a big yay for me, even though I like the frozen ones too.

Nov 24, 2014
Dave B in Chains
2

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - November 2014 (Part II) [OLD]

<<i also saw dried ghostpeppers in a spice grinder amongst the spices.>>

Looks like they are finally back after their initial yet brief appearance -- yay!

Nov 21, 2014
Dave B in Chains

Mid-afternoon lunch near Hooksett IMAX?

Sorry Grey. Didn't notice their schedule compared to your Monday request.

Some regard La Carreta as not being "authentic" enough, but I like them quite a bit. Been many times and everything I've had has been delicious.

Between that option and the places you found, if none of those sound quite like what you are in the mood for, remember you will be only 10 minutes from downtown Manchester where the options are considerably greater.

Good luck, and enjoy the movie.

Nov 21, 2014
Dave B in Northern New England

Mid-afternoon lunch near Hooksett IMAX?

That's pretty close to La Carreta (decent Mexican, large menu), about a 5 min drive from the theater.

Also, very close, is the New England's Tap House. It's fairly new and I haven't been yet, but the menu looks pretty good. Especially if you appreciate a beer or two, that might be an interesting choice. http://www.taphousenh.com/

Nov 21, 2014
Dave B in Northern New England

Best Seasonal/Holiday Trader Joe's Items.... for 2014

I bought four more bags today to wrap the individual tamales in pairs and freeze. Just in case the rumors of year-'round availability aren't true.

I did ask an employee who was taking inventory (looked official, with clip board in-hand) if they were now going to be year-'round and she said no, they were a temporary seasonal item to the best of her knowledge and she hadn't heard differently.

We know the employees don't always know...... it's just the way it is. I practiced "better safe than sorry," well, because.

Nov 18, 2014
Dave B in Chains

Best Seasonal/Holiday Trader Joe's Items.... for 2014

Regarding the TJ's ham in discussion, if it is the "Spiral Sliced, Uncured" ham in the silver or gold foil (depending on size) within a black net bag, labeled as nitrate/nitrite free, then yes, and Yay.

The silver foil is the 1/4 ham and the gold is the 1/2 ham.

I started buying this last year, and as soon as I get one home I do portion it into small freezer packs for later use. I have never tried to warm one up to serve as a whole ham and/or apply the included seasoning packet for a drizzle/glaze, although I imagine that would be nice for those looking for that kind of presentation.

IMO this is really great ham. I don't even like ham that much but I like this ham. Not very salty compared to most.

Somewhat seasonal from my observations..... Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter..... although I think I've seen them occasionally at random times. I always want some of this in my freezer.

Nov 18, 2014
Dave B in Chains
1

Best Seasonal/Holiday Trader Joe's Items.... for 2014

No kidding?! I hope that turns out to be true.

Nov 15, 2014
Dave B in Chains

Best Seasonal/Holiday Trader Joe's Items.... for 2014

Big Yay for the fresh, hand-made Tamales.

Supposedly seasonal-only around the holidays, and this has been the case per my experience. A TJ's employee told me they wouldn't be surprised if they disappeared soon. I take that with a grain of salt though as it isn't even Thanksgiving yet.

Last year when I tried them for the first time around Christmas they were in a larger bag of ten tamales, and this year it is only SIX, not ten tamales per bag. $6.99/bag this time.

Located with the fresh prepared foods, salads 'n stuff.

I thought they were really good last year so I bought two bags this time. There were three different filling choices, two with either beef or chicken fillings, and one vegetarian, IIRC. After getting them home I foil-wrapped pairs for freezing so I'll have some for later because that's a lot of tamales to eat within just a few days before they spoil. Of course I had to taste-test with a little Sriracha (Huy Fong, not TJs). Love these things. Yay.

Nov 12, 2014
Dave B in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - November 2014 [Old]

I get that, and I agree it's "not bad" compared to other pizza options... still, it's just more than I want if I'm trying to be good. I have a very difficult time not eating an entire pizza of that size once I get started.

I will definitely reiterate the Yay for flavor and the nice crust.

Nov 12, 2014
Dave B in Chains
2

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - November 2014 [Old]

Yay. Gotta chime in on the Sweet Potato and Kale Pizza ~~

My store was sampling it today. Huge YAY for flavor. The flavor, texture, etc. was very good, but the crust was outstandingly amazing for a frozen pizza.

For this reason, I didn't purchase any; I would have liked to buy five of them and put them in the freezer; Fat content = Bad. No wonder it tastes so good. Others who don't have this concern might love this pizza, and it was only $3.99 and made in Italy. Really delicious. I could eat an entire pizza right now, it was that yummy.

See the photo I took of the nutritional content info. It's a Yay in my book for taste....

Nov 11, 2014
Dave B in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - November 2014 [Old]

I'm with you on the pork rib bites. Tried them recently and thought they were just OK = Meh.

Nov 08, 2014
Dave B in Chains
1

Nashua area news?

Thanks for the rec. Will keep that in mind for my first visit to the new location.

Nov 03, 2014
Dave B in Northern New England

Nashua area news?

Awesome news. I don't do much "fast food," but when on-the-run during the day sometimes it's nice to get a yummy sandwich like they make. A clean and courteous operation. The Pheasant Lane Mall location made that quick drive-thru option impossible for me. I hope they keep expanding in NH.

Oct 30, 2014
Dave B in Northern New England

Discontinued at Trader Joe's: July 2014-December 2014

Time will do something. That's for sure.

I happen to think there is still/now a lot of really good stuff, although the selection is continually rotating.

Clearly TJ's doesn't please all of the people all of the time. That's OK with me. I happen to love the excitement of many of their offerings* I can't get at the "grocery store."

*except for the pumpkin things... no love here, but that's fine... 100's of other cool items I can't get elsewhere.

The more things change.....

Oct 21, 2014
Dave B in Chains
1

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - October 2014 [old]

Don't mind me. Just having a grumpy moment. "Thread-ON!!"

Oct 21, 2014
Dave B in Chains
1

Discontinued at Trader Joe's: July 2014-December 2014

laynsocal

I'm going to opine just for the heck of it because I share your frustration regarding TJ's discontinued items which we loved and lost, BUT:

TJ's has new offerings all the time.... continually rotating goodies.... new things to try. I tend to get bored with certain dishes (even time-proven dishes) and am always interested in finding something new. Some of my go-to items from the past 6 months would probably be relegated to past history once I tired of them anyway. Right now I'm on a fresh pickles kick that isn't even a TJ's item. What can I say.

I get my staples at the regular grocery store. I never think of TJ's as my primary grocer.

I simply feel the need for new and interesting foods and TJ's delivers that. If their selections were stagnant, I would probably lose interest after a couple of years! Why are some of us TJ's fans...... but to find NEW and interesting foods.

I'm thankful for the TJ's product rotation, even though I hate to see a favorite disappear. It's a bit like life.

What turns you off about restaurant restrooms?

My turn-offs?

This trend to use air hand driers in place of good, old-fashioned paper towels. How the hell am I supposed to touch things in these disgusting places where people have seemingly never learned to piss properly.

These places with no paper towels..... I end up having to scrounge for a half-roll of TP just to touch the sink faucet and the door handle. And thanks for the "accommodations" in one of those "paper-free" restrooms.... well... if you don't give me a waste basket because you think you are so paper free, I have no choice but to throw them on the floor when I'm exiting (to be able to touch the door handle).

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - October 2014 [old]

Oh, crap. Now I have another TJ's thread to follow based on the specific purpose of the discussion. One TJ's thread per month isn't enough, evidently. How could I possibly find discussion of pumpkin things or Christmas things in the appropriately seasonal monthly thread?

If this gets more complicated I may have to stop shopping at Trader Joe's.

Oct 18, 2014
Dave B in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - October 2014 [old]

This makes me want to try it.... just to see if it as heinous as everyone says! Knowing the return policy, why not, so I can see (taste) for myself. Gotta love having that option.

If this cheese is crappy, it will only be the 2nd crappy Spotlight cheese I've tried. Most are excellent. Oh, well... life isn't perfect and TJ's isn't either.

Some of us like stinky, putrid, moldy cheeses. We'll see. ;)

Oct 13, 2014
Dave B in Chains