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John Francis's Profile

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Has Hellman's Mayo really changed?

They make several varieties. I've switched to using their Light mayo, which isn't watery.

May 11, 2015
John Francis in General Topics

Dictators' Dinners

And flatulence.

meat thermometer - instant vs leave-in

The only reason I'd use a leave-in thermometer is if it were connected to the (electric) oven that would start beeping or turn off/down when the chosen temperature is reached. I've been using a Thermopen instant thermometer for a few years and it's good for your purpose and much else. I think it's still under $100 but perhaps not by much.

May 11, 2015
John Francis in Cookware

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - May 2015

There seems to be some variation in the flavor of the vegetable masala burgers. In my latest box they were somewhat more intense; in some, the flavor has been pretty mild. One way or the other, this is a standard item in the fridge and on my plate.

May 02, 2015
John Francis in Chains
1

Who makes Trader Joe's private label foods?

Many many companies in the US and abroad. A few are existing products packaged and labeled for TJ, but I believe most are developed by TJ who then sign up a supplier to make them. I'm no longer curious about which is which. What's the point?

May 01, 2015
John Francis in Chains

Your favorite omni apps at TJs

My favorite dip is hummus, and TJ's has several flavors both plain and fancy. I like the roasted red pepper hummus. Goes well with crackers and crudites.

May 01, 2015
John Francis in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - April 2015 [OLD]

The coffee concentrate comes in 1-quart bottles, and you'll find it along with all the other coffee.

http://www.traderjoes.com/fearless-fl...

How many "servings" you get depends on how much you dilute the concentrate and how much is a serving. The label suggests 1 part concentrate to 2 parts water, which makes 3 quarts of coffee (duh). I like it stronger and do it about half and half, which makes a half gallon of coffee - 50& more if I do caffe latte or iced coffee with milk. For me that's more than just 12 servings.

Apr 18, 2015
John Francis in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - April 2015 [OLD]

Agreed.

Another alternative is TJ's Cold-Brew Coffee Concentrate, which is also ideal for making iced coffee if you like that. I do.

Apr 17, 2015
John Francis in Chains
2

Changing Eating Habits b/c of Foodborne Illness Risk

Maybe we've built up immunity to food poisoning by eating whatever comes our way. :-) I'm not a great one for street food, but I've traveled a good deal abroad where people aren't as obsessed as Americans are with such things, and I'm still here to tell the tale.

Changing Eating Habits b/c of Foodborne Illness Risk

I don't, and I haven't gotten sick from food poisoning for many years.

Apr 06, 2015
John Francis in General Topics

Milk spoilage question

Check your refrigerator. If the temp isn't below 40 degrees F, you need to fix that. Also check the sell-by date when you buy. These are obvious things to do but easy to overlook or take for granted.

Apr 06, 2015
John Francis in General Topics

Alton Brown on the End of Meat as We Know It | WIRED

I read the article in Firefox, no problem at all - but I see that the page has been fixed. Anyway, I'm glad I did - this is really remarkable. I want to try that faux chicken but don't know where.

Popeyes Love

Agreed.

Apr 06, 2015
John Francis in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - April 2015 [OLD]

Ah, so I haven't been missing anything.

Apr 03, 2015
John Francis in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - April 2015 [OLD]

I've always liked roasted parsnips, but never had or heard of parsnip chips. To me they sound worth trying.

As for kale, we sometimes had it when I was a kid but I never liked it as much as other greens such as spinach or collards. Don't know why it came into vogue recently.

Apr 03, 2015
John Francis in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - April 2015 [OLD]

Nay - Joe's O's. A Cheerios clone. The cereal is OK but the box is too tall to fit in any of my kitchen cupboards, so I don't buy it.

Nay - Organic High Fiber O's. These are really hard and don't soften in milk; unpleasant to eat.

Nay - Honey Nut O's. Another Cheerios clone. I'm against heavily pre-sweetened breakfast cereals on principle.

Yea - Multigrain O's Cereal. Oats, rice, corn, wheat, barley - not all mixed into all the o's but used individually.

There are more kinds of o's but I haven't tried them.

Apr 03, 2015
John Francis in Chains

Do baked goods including milk and eggs need to be refridgerated? If I brushed them with cream before cooking to brown them, does this also mean they require refridgeration?

Absolutely not. Cooking kills any bacteria in the ingredients, dairy or not, and provided you don't keep the baked goods too long, they won't spoil. Indeed, some of them go stale sooner if you put them in the fridge.

Anybody trying to start eating dinner? I haven't for years.

I always do dinner, but not always from scratch. It doesn't take that much time and trouble to put an entrée and two veg on the plate if you are able to get decent prepared foods (for example at Trader Joe's) - especially if you have a microwave oven, which I don't.

Apr 01, 2015
John Francis in General Topics
1

More thoughts on moralistic culinary elites

A pointless attack on Tom Colicchio, whom I'd never heard of because I don't watch Top Chef. I wonder why they bothered, unless they wanted to steal some of Colicchio's limelight - such as it is.

Why Jell-O Could Disappear Forever

One of the most recognized and successful American brand names in food, with a half billion $$$ in annual sales? Don't bet on it.

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - April 2015 [OLD]

Yea - Quinoa Cowboy Veggie Burgers (frozen). Ingredients list also includes black beans, roasted corn, red peppers. Subtle flavor, mild heat, soft texture with slightly crunchy outside; flavor mostly gets lost in a bun. Instructions for stovetop cooking aren't quite right, do them 6 mins on one side and 3 on the other; somewhat blackened.

Yea - Savory Thin Mini Crackers. Crisp; rice and sesame flour, 3/4" diameter.

Yea - Uncured Pastrami (refrigerated). Makes a good sandwich. Sliced a bit thick, not competitive with deli pastrami, but good especially if there's no deli in the neighborhood.

While I'm writing, the March Fearless Flyer has a new feature, "The Product Gangway," giving two new products on their way in and two old ones on the way out. Coming, Parsnip Chips, Sour Gummies; going, Petits Palmiers (low sales), Sweet Potato Tortilla Chip Rounds (could be better).

http://www.traderjoes.com/digin/post/...

Apr 01, 2015
John Francis in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY Thread - March 2015 [Old]

I did a couple of years ago. They don't compare with what you'd get in a dim sum place, but they're good.

Mar 30, 2015
John Francis in Chains

Can Dried Beans Go Bad?

Beans can go bad, but not just from sitting around for a while if they're properly stored.

Mar 16, 2015
John Francis in General Topics

Trends: Has brisket replaced short rib as the trendy meat?

Not in the restaurants I know about - except barbecue.

Mar 11, 2015
John Francis in General Topics

Why Are All ‘Good’ Restaurants Around the World Starting To Look the Same?

They aren't. Can't tell you anything about Buenos Aires, but in the cities I know - New York, San Francisco, London, Berlin, Vienna - the good restaurants do not look like each other.

Are there advantatages to a pressure cooker besides saving time?

If you live well above sea level, water boils at lower temperatures than 212/100, and that affects the cooking. A pressure cooker supplies the additional pressure so the food will be cooked at the higher temperature.

Mar 09, 2015
John Francis in Cookware

Are Small Sauce Pans Necessary?

Since I cook just for myself, and sometimes one guest, I use a 1 quart saucepan more than any other size. No need for a smaller one - for me it would be wasted space.

Mar 06, 2015
John Francis in Cookware

Kitchen towels - am I just being OCD about this?

I put kitchen towels in the washing machine along with everything else. Why not?

Mar 06, 2015
John Francis in Cookware

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - February 2015 [old]

NAY - Scallion Pancakes (Pa Jeon) (frozen). Nearly flavorless, the texture isn't particularly pleasing, and the nutrition facts include a surprising amount of sodium and saturated fats. If you want a potato-based patty as a side dish or a main dish, the frozen Vegetable Masala Burgers are about the same as to nutrition facts but far more tasty.

Mar 06, 2015
John Francis in Chains

potato flakes

Jacques Pepin sometimes uses them as a thickener for a sauce or soup. Alternative to corn starch or flour.

Feb 27, 2015
John Francis in Home Cooking