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

YAY: The Hollandaise sauce. OMG I want to put it on everything. I am both sad and glad that I only bought one container of it.

about 22 hours ago
Njchicaa in Chains
1

Maruca's post-fire update!

I never got into Sawmill pizza.

1 day ago
Njchicaa in New Jersey

What's for Dinner #335 - Is Everyone Feeling the Chill?

It is currently 28 degrees here at the Jersey Shore. I object.

Just cleaned out the freezer in my bottom-freezer fridge in the kitchen. Tossed a lot of stuff but I also found a container of homemade chili. I'm going to defrost that, serve it over basmati rice, and make some kind of steamed green veggie to go with.

What cookbooks have you bought lately or are you lusting after? November 2014 edition! [old]

No problem. I wish I had the ability to "borrow" more cookbooks from the local e-library system. So far it has saved me from buying My Paris Kitchen, Own Your Kitchen, and Roberta's.

Carmine's actually has a new cookbook out called "Carmine's Celebrates" (or Celebrations). I'll need to see it first, though. Their first cookbook is as perfect an Italian-American one can be, IMO. Not sure how they filled a second one.

Nov 16, 2014
Njchicaa in Home Cooking

What cookbooks have you bought lately or are you lusting after? November 2014 edition! [old]

I borrowed the Roberta's cookbook from the library on my Kindle. I flipped through it and then immediately returned it. I don't know what I was expecting but it totally didn't do it for me.

Nov 15, 2014
Njchicaa in Home Cooking

Anyone have a good recipe for apple cider sangria?

This is the recipe I wound up making last year. It is wonderful!

http://www.mylifeasamrs.com/2011/11/s...

Nov 14, 2014
Njchicaa in Spirits

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

YAY: Frozen Cheese Sticks. They bake up well in the toaster oven with a crispy coating. Probably the best "home" version I've ever tried.

Frozen French Onion Soup. It isn't going to compare to what you'd get at a good restaurant but it is a great fast lunch when you don't have anything else in the freezer to bring to work.

Battered Frozen Halibut: I can't remember if it is in a beer batter but I don't think so. This isn't the gluten-free version. Delicious fish, crispy coating, super-yum.

MEH: Tea Tree Soap. I've long been a fan of the Tea Tree Tingle shampoo, conditioner, and body wash but this soap doesn't really do much for me. It isn't awful but it also doesn't produce a tingly sensation on my skin nor does it produce much lather. I don't think I'd buy it again unless I happened to be in the store and needed bar soap.

Nov 12, 2014
Njchicaa in Chains
1

Serious Eats rates Trader Joes spiced nuts- aka your easy holiday appetizer

I just make the Union Square Cafe cookbook's Bar Nuts. Super easy, loved by everyone, and great for people who don't live near a TJ store.

Nov 12, 2014
Njchicaa in Chains

Trader Joe's coconut pancake mix: no, just no.

I was so excited to try it as I love anything coconut but the Princeton store didn't have any of it on Saturday.

Nov 12, 2014
Njchicaa in Chains

Nominations Thread: Cookbook of the Month December 2014

I would definitely be into SMITTEN KITCHEN. I also will throw the CARMINE'S COOKBOOK in the ring again. Italian-American is total comfort food for me in the winter.

Nov 10, 2014
Njchicaa in Home Cooking

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

My mother said she's been looking for it for months but hasn't seen it. She said an employee said it is a seasonal product which makes no sense to me.

Nov 09, 2014
Njchicaa in Chains

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

I was at TJ's today for the first time in months and was disappointed that they didn't have the unripened Brie. Has it been discontinued?

Nov 08, 2014
Njchicaa in Chains

Maruca's post-fire update!

I'd never pay $5 for a cup of coffee, I don't smoke, and for $12 I'd expect a full sized sub with the works.

I agree that boardwalk rent isn't cheap and my family has known the Maruca family for decades upon decades. I didn't begrudge Domenic and Joe the $8 that I was charged today. I was just surprised at how expensive slices of pizza on the boards have become.

My family was also once very well known on the boards just like the Marucas, Kohrs, Whalens, Donofrios, etc. I grew up on the boardwalk.

Nov 07, 2014
Njchicaa in New Jersey

Maruca's post-fire update!

I stopped by JR's today to get a couple of slices of Marucas pizza for lunch. I hadn't had it since before the fire.

I ordered 2 slices because they have always been small. (They cut 8 slices out of a pie instead of 6. . . or at least they used to)

I was served 2 rather large slices. One would have been enough for my lunch but I did have half of the second one because it was so good.

When the bill came I was a bit shocked to see that they are now charging $4 per slice. Granted they are larger than they used to be but $8 for 2 pieces of pizza seems a bit much.

Still, it is Marucas and their pizza is as good as ever.

Nov 07, 2014
Njchicaa in New Jersey

Stone Fire Grille, Beachwood NJ

We took my husband's parents to dinner at Stone Fire Grille tonight and we all really enjoyed our meals. I had the candied bacon wrapped salmon with creamy parmesan kale and roasted fingerling potatoes. My husband had the NY Strip and my father-in-law had the skirt steak, both of which came with roasted fingerlings and some kind of tomato and onion salad. My mother-in-law had the buttermilk-brined fried chicken with brown gravy and macaroni and cheese.

Everyone was happy with their meals. My MIL wasn't expecting the macaroni and cheese to be served in a puddle of brown gravy and would have preferred to have had it and the chicken separately on the side but she still ate it and enjoyed it. Both of the men raved about the steaks. I didn't get any sense of candied bacon on the salmon or included in the panko topping but that was fine.

We also had the crispy artichoke hearts and a special sharp provolone and truffled mushroom dip for appetizers. We polished them off in no time.

While there, I saw 2 sets of neighbors in the dining room as well. It looks like the word has gotten out to the locals: Stone Fire Grille serves some delicious food.

Nov 06, 2014
Njchicaa in New Jersey

Stone Fire Grille, Beachwood NJ

My husband decided that he wanted to check out the place today instead of our usual OL lunch. We got there at 12:30pm and got the last 2 seats at the bar. The rest of the high-top tables and regular tables filled up by 1pm and the place was PACKED by 2.

We started with the "poutine" ($5) which is pulled pork and brown gravy over hand-cut french fries. It was delicious and we ate it all. 2 girls next to us said they were thinking about ordering it and we said they definitely should. (They wound up eating every last bit as well)

I was pretty full after the fries so I just had a bowl of French Onion Soup. ($4) The broth was outstanding but there were too many actual onions in it. Even one of the owners admitted that. I'll definitely order it again with instructions to give me fewer onion pieces and more of the delicious broth.

My husband had the Ghost Burger ($11) which is a hamburger topped with pickled onion, green chile salsa, and a slice of ghost pepper cheddar. He ate it all but made it clear that it was very hot and that most people wouldn't be able to handle it.

We were served by a few different bartenders so our bill for 4 beers, 3 mojitos, the poutine, the burger, and the soup was. . . $36. Because I've known the owner (very casually from living in the area and going to local bars) for a long time, we called her over to let her know that she needed to add more drinks to the bill. We were only charged for 1 of each. I think we still got out of there for under $60.

My husband was very impressed with the place. He said it was nice not only to see different things on a menu but also to have them be even better quality than what he was used to. I am sure that he will want to return there for lunch very soon.

Nov 02, 2014
Njchicaa in New Jersey

Announcement Thread: November 2014 COTM "THE SOUL OF A NEW CUISINE: A DISCOVERY OF THE FOODS AND FLAVORS OF AFRICA"

I haven't participated in a year and a half. None of the books have interested me. I miss COTM!

Oct 25, 2014
Njchicaa in Home Cooking

Vegas with boring old farts...

Rude. We were in Vegas a year and half ago and visited Carnevino. Our most expensive meal of the week. The waiter looked down on us bc we didn't order appetizers or a pasta course. We were already blowing the budget on the mains/sides/drinks. We are just lowly public employees.

Oct 15, 2014
Njchicaa in Las Vegas

Prices for Butter?

I paid $4.49 per pound for store brand butter on Saturday. I was pissed!

Oct 14, 2014
Njchicaa in General Topics

The Bandwagon Mr Breakfast Toms River NJ rt37

me either.

Oct 11, 2014
Njchicaa in New Jersey

Can you smoke a corned beef?

I am way late in responding but it was just okay. I thought that the meat was still too salty for my taste and I don't mind salt. I don't think we would make it again.

What's for dinner #329 - The Colorful Leaves Edition! [Through October 9, 2014]

Ham steaks browned in cast iron skillet, steamed rice/mixed veg combo, and sliced cucumbers with blue cheese dressing are going on the table here tonight. I feel like crap so it has to be something fast and easy.

Oct 06, 2014
Njchicaa in Home Cooking
1

Stone Fire Grille, Beachwood NJ

My sister, her husband, a friend, and I went to Stone Fire Grille this afternoon for drinks and lunch. The inside is totally new and refreshed and the bar is HUGE. There were many TVs behind the bar to watch the games. One of the dining rooms was in use and the bar seating eventually filled up as well.

The menu has appetizers, "nibbles", salads, soups, sandwiches, burgers, steaks, and other entrees. I was tempted to try the 50/50 burger (50% ground sirloin, 50% ground smoked bacon) but I wasn't sure if the bacon flavor would be too strong so instead I went with the cheese, tomato, and bacon panini. My sister got the "blue chicken burger" which was really a grilled chicken sandwich and my brother-in-law got the 50/50 burger. No clue what the friend on the end had. (we were sitting at the bar) Oh and the boys ordered the brussels sprouts with balsamic and bacon as an appetizer.

The drinks were served and refilled promptly by the bartenders but the actual food took an hour to come out of the kitchen. I don't know if it would have arrived more quickly if we were at a table but it took forever. Luckily, no one was in a big hurry so we just sat and chatted and enjoyed our drinks.

The boys didn't love the brussels sprouts appetizer but I thought that it was very good. You kind of had to mix up the bacon and balsamic reduction from the bottom of the bowl so it was spread more evenly. I would order it again.

I also enjoyed my panini which was basically a glorified grilled cheese sandwich. They came with a choice of freshly cut buffalo fries, plain fries, or garlic-thyme chips. My sister and I both asked for buffalo fries but received plain ones that were very good. She polished off her chicken sandwich so I think she really liked her lunch too.

I was pleasantly surprised by Stone Fire Grille. We will definitely be trying it for dinner soon.

Oct 04, 2014
Njchicaa in New Jersey

Baldanza's Bakery in Beachwood, closed for good?

Yes there were people going in and out of a side door.

Sep 28, 2014
Njchicaa in New Jersey

Wheat/Dairy Free Wedding Guest Ettiquette

So what is the point of spending all of that money on an "event" that isn't about the child? It is for the parents to entertain their friends? Why? Can't they do that in a more reasonable way and with fewer than 250 people?

Sep 23, 2014
Njchicaa in Not About Food

Wheat/Dairy Free Wedding Guest Ettiquette

I agree. $25-50K for a bar mitzvah! That is beyond outrageous.

Sep 22, 2014
Njchicaa in Not About Food

Baldanza's Bakery in Beachwood, closed for good?

I went past there yesterday and it looked like there was some kind of construction going on in the back part of the building. That section of Rt. 9 is so ghetto with the empty bakery, gas station, and the falling down strip mall.

Sep 20, 2014
Njchicaa in New Jersey

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? September 2014 edition! [old]

Her show was cancelled a few years ago. I think the 5 ingredient thing was too limiting for her much like Melissa D'Arabian's $10 max or Jeff Mauro's sandwiches. Only so many things you can do.

Sep 14, 2014
Njchicaa in Home Cooking

New Buffalo Wild Wings to Open in Toms River Next to Shoprite Rt 37

It gets a lot of business from downtown during the week for lunch and happy hour. I think it is a good alternative to the crappy chain restaurants in the area for lunch. Great sushi, sandwiches, and burgers. As for dinner, I only go there for prime rib. We are regulars there but, like I said, for a weekend lunch.

Sep 14, 2014
Njchicaa in New Jersey

New Buffalo Wild Wings to Open in Toms River Next to Shoprite Rt 37

I think The Office may lose some of their Sunday football fans and softball league post-game lunches to BWW. They claim not to be worried about the place at all, but I think BWW would definitely be more appealing to the younger crowd.

Sep 06, 2014
Njchicaa in New Jersey