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

I saw that yesterday and it looked like those decorative jars of pickled fruit that aren't really intended to be eaten. Shame that it isn't good.

1 day ago
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

Twenty years ago I ate at a restaurant and they served me a creme brulee with a thick charred crust that was inedible. When I complained, they said it was supposed to be like that and wouldn't replace it or take it off the bill. Last time I ever ate there.

2 days ago
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

I enjoy the red shrimp and haven't gotten a bad bag but others have complained here about the texture or smell. I am very sensitive to anything very fishy or off-tasting, but have had no problems with these. They do have a lobstery flavor.

The only complaint that I have would be that the size can vary significantly so for certain cooking methods you have to go through and pick out ones of similar size rather than just pouring them out of the bag.

Frozen shrimp and scallops always seem to shrink a lot. It doesn't seem like they add any water to these shrimp, but they do shrink and there is liquid when they are heated. I don't think that harms the flavor and it is not so much that it doesn't cook away while the shrimp is cooking.

I usually don't talk about these shrimp here because they are only in stock intermittently and sell out fast and I don't want to add to their popularity. I always get two or three bags when I see them because I know it will be a while before I can get them again. I'm down to a third of a bag now.

Nov 15, 2014
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

Am I being too cheap? Splitting restaurant bill on family vacation

I would feel the same way you do in that situation, but you're focusing on whether or not you are cheap. That is irrelevant and you are not seeing the real issue.

The situation is all about participating in the group and going along with the expected behavior that is agreed upon by the rest of the group. That it is your girlfriend's family and not your family or a group of friends makes it even more important to go with the flow.

If you want a vacation on your own terms, don't go with a group, and certainly not your girlfriend's family. You can't have it both ways.

Look at it as good practice for the future, when you will have to go to weddings and funerals and anniversaries and birthdays and follow the social rules that are not of your own making.

How do I make a good coffee at 7-Eleven?

That's what I do too, when I am on the road. I taste the coffee and if it's not good, mix it almost half & half with hot chocolate if they have that in a dispenser plus half and half. Basically, give up on the idea of a cup of coffee and switch to a coffee-based beverage.

Nov 15, 2014
RussTheRaccoon in Chains
1

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

Looks like the Chow writer simply lifted the photograph from a 2009 blog post on another website, but at least she gave credit for the photo source:

http://tartine-jeanne.over-blog.com/a...

This appraisal of them is probably pulled out of thin air: "Sure, they’re chewier than they should be, but when toasted up right, they’re still pretty darn good."

Oh, it wasn't pulled out of thin air, this blog post from 2008 says they are chewy but still tasty:

http://bakingbites.com/2008/09/trader...

Nov 15, 2014
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

Sometimes the employees will tell you something like that but they don't know what they are talking about and it's simply not true. Other times, it is not selling well at that store and they decide not to stock it and it may still be at other stores. It may also be regional or seasonal or have an irregular supply.

Nov 15, 2014
RussTheRaccoon in Chains
2

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

Just stick the packets in an airtight container and freeze them.

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe...

I even do it with homemade yogurt so I don't have to go out and buy a new container for starter.

Nov 11, 2014
RussTheRaccoon in Chains
1

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

I had the pecan pie ice cream last year and thought it was pretty good, with authentic-tasting pecan pie goop and bits of pecans and crust mixed in. It doesn't look as appealing in reality as it does on the carton, though what does? It's fairly rich and I need coffee or milk with it.

I wouldn't serve it WITH pecan pie, though. Whipped cream is best for that.

Overall, I prefer the egg nog ice cream because I had rather have ice cream without chunks of anything in it, in general.

If they made a turtle ice cream with similar ingredients plus chocolate, I might be swayed.

TJ's ice cream is mostly camouflaged Double Rainbow, by the way.

Nov 10, 2014
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

Restaurants use artificial truffle oil frequently, but charge as if they are using the real deal. They even put cheap flavorless truffles from China in dishes and then use the artificial oil for flavor.

It will fool most people, so don't be too hard on your taste buds!

Nov 10, 2014
RussTheRaccoon in Chains
1

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

Nov 10, 2014
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

The package says they freeze well, but it never occurred to me that they had already been frozen. They certainly do freeze well! I'm glad this is being discussed here, though, because I wouldn't want to refreeze one knowing that.

Nov 10, 2014
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

I considered carrying it like a pizza but managed to get it home without any damage standing vertically in a TJ's paper bag along with a bag of tortilla chips to hold it upright. It is much sturdier than I imagined and it has a piece of plastic laid on top of it in that wax paper bag. I did not ride the subway, though.

I did keep it underneath the cart while shopping.

It would be worth trying even if it did get messed up!

Nov 09, 2014
RussTheRaccoon in Chains
1

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

What aspects of the salt do you like?

Nov 09, 2014
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

That is an excellent price. The cheapest I ever see apples is $0.99 a pound and that is usually runts at the greenmarket.

Nov 09, 2014
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

That's what I often do for lunch with the chicken goyza. I add frozen vegetables and sometimes even use curry paste and coconut to make a Thai-ish soup.

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

I haven't eaten the whole thing yet, just a third! Yes, I have been eating it at room temperature. but also popped into the microwave for just a few seconds, less than ten. I don't think it would do so well in the oven as the icing would melt.

Greygarious, I have just cutting a couple of inches from the end. If I were serving it all at once that would work well. If I buy another one, I will have to freeze half, so I will do it that way, thank you!

The ingredient list is not particularly reassuring; there is palm oil and a preservative. I don't worry about the latter, but do try to avoid the former.

Nov 08, 2014
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

A huge YAY!!! for the almond kringle from OH Danish Bakery in Racine, which I finally managed to find in stock. It is the best pastry of that kind that I have ever eaten. Lots of almond filling, buttery pastry, just the right amount of icing. The packaging did an excellent job of protecting it. Seems very fresh.

Nov 07, 2014
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

Yay! for the cranberry orange scone cookies. Sixteen in a box in two individually-wrapped trays. Not overly sweet, nicely dense with chunks of cranberry and a glaze on top. They also had a pumpkin variety.

They were on the new product shelf at my store. Three employees had been unable to find them Monday, but I spotted them today.

Nov 06, 2014
RussTheRaccoon in Chains
1

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

That really applies to any lasagna for me! Lots of other foods, too. Fried chicken is a wonderful thing, but looking at a big old fried chicken leg with a bite out of it with the bone and the pinkish flesh exposed makes me gag. Frog legs taste good, but the smell is godawful. Babaganoush is visually unappealing, too.

Nov 05, 2014
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

They have them all over my store on the those little clip racks. I feel like the Grinch not liking the overwhelming odor (I like cinnamon) but agree with you!

Nov 05, 2014
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

I gave the mushroom lasagna a YAY! and you should try that, too.

Nov 05, 2014
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

I don't think anything is wrong with the juice, it is my tastebuds. I am drinking a small glass now and am experiencing the same odd flavor.

Nov 04, 2014
RussTheRaccoon in Chains
1

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

Have you ever tried liquid smoke? You might enjoy adding a few drops to certain dishes.

Nov 04, 2014
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

Meh on the Honeycrisp Apple Cider, pasteurized in a bottle on the shelf. It would be very good except that there is a distinct taste of mildew. I don't think it is actually mildew, but my tastebuds keep telling me it is. I may even return it.

Nov 04, 2014
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

Yay! for the Meatless Italian Style Sausage & Cheese Flatbread (pizza). Someone else gave it a nay but I can't find the post. I disagree that the "sausage" is flavorless, in fact, the flavor was very good with a hint of aniseed and a touch of heat. The texture was not the same as pork sausage, it was not nearly as dense and chewy, but not unpleasant.

I am not a thin crust fan, but it was a good crust, almost cracker-like. I slid it off the baking sheet onto the rack for the last few minutes because the cheese was browning but the underside was not.

The cheese was good and the tomato sauce tasted freshly made. There were hints of red onion and fire-roasted red pepper but I wish there had been more. The sausage, cheese, and tomato sauce were definitely predominant.

I will be buying this again, but will probably add some mushrooms, sliced onions, and olives or capers and anchovies.

Nov 04, 2014
RussTheRaccoon in Chains

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

I am on the East Coast, too. They have had them here for at least the last three years; I can't remember for sure, but they may have had them before that, as well.

The season is somewhat different (and longer) than for the Florida ones we usually get as they are from the West Coast, sorry, I can't remember the state. They have both bags of them and larger ones sold individually for $0.69 or $0.79.

Oh, and they are labelled as "Minneola" tangelos, not as "honeybells," that may be why you haven't seen them. Don't expect them to be quite as sweet as the Cushman's. The first batches haven't been as sweet as the later ones.

Agreed on the Sky Valley heirloom oranges, they have been a YAY! in the past. I am really looking forward to the citrus season.

I almost always try the specialty fruit varieties at TJ's when they are offered and the quality is good, because they are a nice change and are usually much more expensive elsewhere. Meyer lemons, the champagne grapes, different kinds of apples and pears, etc.

Nov 04, 2014
RussTheRaccoon in Chains
1

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

You do have to be careful with choosing the produce, but the quality of the fruit especially is very good when it is good.

Today they had seedless clementines, 5 lb. bag for about $8, but every bag I looked at had at least one rotten one. So I skipped those.

But the apples, oranges, honeybells, figs, bananas, and other fruit can be both inexpensive, of slightly unusual varieties, and good quality.

The organic carrots, the fresh mushrooms, the romaine and the bagged spinach, I have good luck with all of those, too, but I always examine the bag carefully.

Nov 04, 2014
RussTheRaccoon in Chains
1

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

The regular frozen corn is very good. How does it compare to that?

Nov 04, 2014
RussTheRaccoon in Chains
1

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

Those San Marzano plum tomatoes are my standard out-of-season tomato, but I usually get them at a different grocery store.

Nov 04, 2014
RussTheRaccoon in Chains