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

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

Dec 05, 2013
Foodapotamus in Chains

What discontinued products do you miss?

Eagle Brand had a box kit for Pumpkin Gems. They were basically little individual pumpkin pies, the kit had a crust mix and a filling mix. I remember it being a little more complicated than your average box dessert, maybe that's why they discontinued them?
My mom and I picked some up on a whim maybe 6 thanksgivings ago and everyone went CRAZY for them with some homemade whipped cream on top. We made them the following year and then they were discontinued!! I've never been more disappointed! We still talk about them and I have even e-mail the company. :(

Nov 15, 2013
Foodapotamus in General Topics

What Foods Do You Forego in the Name o' Domestic Tranquility?

Condiments are the offenders in my kitchen. SO won't get near them (this includes mayo, mustard, ketchup, vinegar, all salad dressing, etc.) . I don't forego them completely but go out of my way to keep them away from him. He won't even kiss me if I've eaten a sandwhich with mayo or mustard on it! I just chew gum or brush my teeth after rather than skipping the condiments.

The other day we made a make shift lunch in the kitchen just picking at meat, cheese, and bread. I used a knife to put mustard on my bread, wiped it clean and then went to cut a slice of cheese. You would have though I was attempting to poison him! Wiping the knife clean is not good enough (I honestly don't know if bleach would be good enough lol) so I use a seperate knife for all of my condiments.

Apr 24, 2012
Foodapotamus in General Topics

POLL: Can you walk to an actual grocery store?

I'm in Reno, NV in the midtown/downtown area. I am a10 minute walk to a 24hr Savemart in one direction and 10 mins to the food co-op in the other. Our local co-op used to be practically next door to me, but did not have much to offer. It recently moved and now it has almost the same selection as our Trader Joes! It is crazy expensive for a young person like me though, so I mix between the two. I try to always walk unless it is snowing or I am getting something heavy :)

Mar 09, 2012
Foodapotamus in General Topics

Is There Any Commonplace Dish You've Never Eaten?

My sister's boyfriend keeps amazing our family with the things he's never tried. Oatmeal, shrimp, he'd never even seen a fig before, brie (and basically any cheese besides american/cheddar), grapefuit, the list is LONG if only I could remember it all.

He basically explained that he was the baby of the family and his mom spoiled him. Any time he saw something that looked different or saw something that kids wouldn't eat on tv shows he wouldn't eat it. His dear mother would say okay sweetie and not get him to try it. I come from a family of fairly adventurous eaters and generally he will taste something he's never had (not always) but he still orders very "american" food when we go out to eat.

Feb 06, 2012
Foodapotamus in General Topics

How to "split" a check equitably?

Have you tried telling your server at the beginning of the meal that you would like separate checks? I find that if they know ahead of time for a small table, they will put the meals on two or three separate checks as things are ordered (most POS systems make it really easy for the server to do this.)

It is different if you are with a bigger party, in that case I am totally with GHG in thowing in just enough to cover your tab and tip. When we go out for work I make sure to have cash and change so I don't get stuck with a larger portion than I owe because I only have $20's.

Dec 22, 2011
Foodapotamus in Not About Food

Fighting over the check

I served for a long time and while I haven't had someone straight up ask me to choose, I have had multiple people trying to hand me cards and arguing. I don't think I ever had a problem in that situation understanding who should really be paying. For example, if the bithday person is trying to hand me a card and arguing, generally the other person trying to pay would look at me and say something along the lines of "no really just put it all on this card" in which case I would grab it and run before anyone had time to put up a fight :)

In response to Babette if two people are splitting the check there is usally no argument and they are generally very clear (or I'll ask) how they want to split the bill i.e. split down the middle or divided by dish. Other than special cases like the one above, I would usually go with whoever gave their card first.

I also often had people pull me aside before the meal or on a trip to the restroom and say they'd like to pay. I think the polite thing when someone wants to pay (and it is appropriate for them to pay) is to offer that I pick up the tab once. If they insist then I say thank you and shut my mouth! but that's a whole different post.

Dec 15, 2011
Foodapotamus in Not About Food

And the award for the worst food at a Christmas party goes to....

I'm fairly new at my company and everyone has told me about how wonderful their company wide Christmas party used to be. They stopped having it 2 or 3 years ago so each department has thier own little shin dig. This year someone above us set up a lunch time potluck and invited about a couple departments totalling around 200 people. It is going to be held in the company cafeteria. Additionally we have a few people in our group who are planning on attending and bringing store bought cookies or nothing (I told them this was tacky). If our dept. is any representation of the population we are going to be going out to eat after the potluck!

We can't say no to this (the "high ups" planned it) but luckily our department is having our own little get together so we can have an actual celebration. I have NO CLUE what they are thinking with the potluck! 100% of people would rather take the time spent at the potluck and leave early without spending any $$ or cleaning up!

Dec 13, 2011
Foodapotamus in General Topics

Tamales in Reno

Thanks a bunch, I'll check into both of those

Dec 11, 2011
Foodapotamus in Southwest

Tamales in Reno

I am looking for a good place in Reno (or the surrounding area) to buy tamales. Usualle we get a big group and make them on Christmas eve. This year we are going on a cruise (YAY!!) and won't be around to make them, but I still want to have people over for an early beer and tamales celebration. Any suggestions? I've actually considered driving to Auburn and getting them at Ikeda's but it seems like we must have something good in the area!

Dec 09, 2011
Foodapotamus in Southwest

what is your family's coolest thanksgiving tradition?

Some good friends and I still celebrate "drinksgiving" the weekend before Thanksgiving. It usually involves a potluck and, of course, requires shots of Wild Turkey at midnight! It seemed like a good idea in our pre-drinking age days. Now it's tradition so we're stuck with it! :)

Nov 18, 2011
Foodapotamus in Not About Food

Calling all Weight Watchers!

I recently started WW and I've found a couple things that I really like. Fage yogurt is low in points and you can doctor it up really easily. I will add splenda and pumkin pie spice and maybe some dark choc chips for a sweet. It's filling too! I''ve also heard (but haven't tried) that mixing ranch seasoning with Fage makes a great low point dip.

For lunches at work, I've found these tupperwares with a small compartment for dressing that snaps in. As dull as it sounds, I pretty much eat the same thing at work everyday. I can make it ahead of time and grab and go out of the house. It makes it really easy to track points. What I like is a spinich salad with dried fruit, blue cheese, and chicken breast. I portion it out into the containers and use a little oil and a TON of vinegar for my dressing.

I also hard boil eggs and keep them ready to grab as a snack in the fridge. I always have washed and prepped fruits/veggies available to grab too.

Fat free or Sugar free hot chocolate is a great way to get over an afternoon craving for sweets. I have also tried some of the weight watchers or skinny cow ice cream bars and they're not bad!

Nov 17, 2011
Foodapotamus in General Topics

How can Americans incorporate more fruits & vegetables in their diets on a budget?

I always have fruit and veggies washed and sliced in "easy to grab a handful" contianers. It is a LOT less expensive to buy veggies and cut them up at home rather than buy them pre-sliced.

I cut up melons, celery, wash sugar snap peas and grapes, etc. as soon as I get home from the market and then leave them in containers on the counter or in the fridge. For grapes I just wash them in a colander and then put the whole colander in the fridge uncovered. It's super convenient to open the door and grab them for a snack or put them in a bag for lunch.

Snap peas are another great snack. The kids I watch love them and they are delicious raw. They have a good crunch to them and are a good alternative to chips/crackers as an after school snack.

Also, spinach is inexpensive and is a no brainer to add to a warm dish like pasta. If you're kids aren't into spinich try peas (also good in pasta) as I find them to be more "kid friendly."

As for eating out, a veggie pizza can pack in an extra serving. I also do a lot of thai, chinese, or vietnamese food when eating out. I ask for veggies in my pho or order a dish like broccoli beef that incorporates vegetables.

Oct 18, 2011
Foodapotamus in General Topics

Is tipping in cash better for the server?

I served for a long time and tips are tips whether cash or credit. I have never ever ever had a portion of my tips be pocketed by management. I have always tipped out the kitchen, bussers, etc. (and am happy to do so!)
I was able to take my cash and credit tips home at the end of the night, although being from Nevada we have some more flexible rules for the service industry. Generally the computer system would record our credit card tips for tax purposes. It is only mandatory that you declare a certain percent of tips so generally the credit card tips would be all that I declared. The resaurants that I worked for made sure that the servers declared enough of their tips so that they could avoid being audited.

So long story short, if you are going to tip less because you don't have much cash I would say definitely go with a credit card.

Sep 27, 2011
Foodapotamus in Not About Food

Recipes from Smitten Kitchen blog.....what are your favorites??

The blueberry boy bait is a hit and true to it's name. I had a kitchen full of post-work bike messengers the other day-- it dissapeared in minutes.

Also I love this super basic tomato sauce. I can't imagine anything easier. It's so simple that I would have never come up with it on my own (I always want to add more... flaw)

These are just two of my favs I love smitten kitchen in general. I like that her recipies are fresh and simple and I enjoy the way she writes. I try something new from there pretty often.

Sep 08, 2011
Foodapotamus in Home Cooking

Weird/Bad Food Related Dates

A couple of years ago I was asked out on a date by a friend of a friend. He said he’d love to take me out to dinner blah blah blah. So date night comes, he shows up at my house, and asks me where I’d like to go. I expect if a guy invites me to dinner that he has at least considered a couple possible restaurants to go to. He honestly didn’t even have a suggestion. Oy!

Whatever, the date must go on, so I pick a favorite Thai place of mine down the street.
First things first, the waiter comes and asks what we’d like to drink. I’d love a beer, but before I open my mouth he blurts out “we’ll both have water!” Whelp, looks like I’m having water…

Deep breath, let’s look at the menu. I enjoy trying different dishes and suggest ordering two entrees to share but he states that he really loves some dish and would rather not split it. So he’s not a sharer, not terrible, but probably not going to make it with me as I’m the one who wants always wants to try a bite.

When the dishes come he takes the ENTIRE large bowl of rice and proceeds dump its contents onto his dish. He then stirs everything up totally ignoring the extra plates they brought. I guess the idea that you could scoop rice and some of your entrée onto a separate plate never occurred to him. Not only did this make a terrible mess all over the table but it looked like a pile of glop and there’s no rice left for me!

He then proceeds to pick up his spoon like it’s a shovel and eat with terrible table manners: talking with his mouth full, taking drinks from his water while still holding his spoon in the attack position, arms on the table like he’s protecting his plate, napkin not in his lap, etc. I was so embarrassed.

Finally, the bill comes and prince charming suggests we SPLIT THE BILL- he asked if he could “take me out to dinner” and wants to split the bill?! If I was going to be paying for my dinner I would have ordered that freaking beer (and lord knows I need one at this point.) When we get up to leave he asks what we should do next (because he obviously hadn’t planned anything) and I said I had to wash my hair and had him take me home. As soon as I got home I called my sister and met up with the girls for a glass of wine and a hilarious conversation about dates gone wrong.

Aug 31, 2011
Foodapotamus in Not About Food

Group dinner for 30 co-workers, moderately priced please

Hi All,

I'm an assistant at a large company and we are going to be at a conference in the beginning of October. I need to find a place that can serve a group of 30 on a Wednesday night. The group is comprised of people staying at various hotels on the strip and I would prefer that no one have to travel off the main drag.

When I asked for a price point my boss first said he didn’t care and I got pretty excited as I LOVE food and we’ve been to some pretty incredible corporate dinners. However, he has now come back with a very vague request for “mid-range, nothing too expensive.” I was told by a co-worker that they went to Buca Di Beppo last year. Planning for this trip has involved a lot of personal pep-talks “I love my job, I love my job, I love my job”…

Anyway, you get the idea. I need a place where 30 people can have dinner on (or very near) the strip for $50pp or less. Preferably something that can cater to various levels of pickiness, and, most importantly (!), where our group can relax and have fun.

Buca Di Beppo
7690 W Lake Mead Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89128

Aug 22, 2011
Foodapotamus in Las Vegas

Your Favorite Weight Loss Tricks and Recipes

I came across this on another chowhound thread and say it to myself all the time: "If you are not hungry enough to eat an apple, then you are not hungry."

I also go on walks in the evening after dinner. It's a great way for my SO and I to spend some time together and it totally kills my craving for sweets after dinner! I do my workouts in the morning so it's not a power walk. Just a nice stroll to get out of the house, but I have really noticed it helps keep the after dinner cravings down.

Jul 20, 2011
Foodapotamus in General Topics

Wi-fi downtown [Reno]

I've been in Reno for quite a while but when trying to come up with places that have free wi-fi (not Starbucks) I got stuck. I live in the "mid-town" neighborhood, specifically near St. Lawrence Ave and Virginia St. I'd prefer walking distance but I don't want to go more than say 1.5 miles one way. Jungle Java/Vino's already on my list, other suggestions?

Feb 16, 2011
Foodapotamus in Southwest