Kajikit's Profile

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Trader Joe's "pumpkinundation" 2014

Boo hoo... the pumpkin bars are no more. Went to TJs today and they're long gone. So is the pumpkin yoghurt. They still had cheesecake and icecream.

about 19 hours ago
Kajikit in Chains

Trader Joe's / Whole Foods...sterility vs. other

I just went to Trader Joes this afternoon and did 4/5 of our weekly grocery run - for $80. Their range may be a little limited, but the quality and variety seems just fine to me... and what's more, I chanced to notice their vitamins and I was able to restock my daily supplements for less than half the price I've been paying for them. $10 for a month's supply of glucosamine, instead of $30+. Now THAT'S what I call worth it...

about 19 hours ago
Kajikit in Chains
1

Things You Eat Frozen (or Thawed and Uncooked)

Next time you make some ooey gooey brownies, slice them up and stick them in the freezer. DELICIOUS - they get less gooey but they melt in your mouth.

about 19 hours ago
Kajikit in General Topics

Is it depressing to dine out on Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving at a posh hotel sounds wonderful... somebody to wait on you instead of the other way round, a hot tub to soak in, and no cleaning up! That would probably be my idea of bliss atm... wish we could afford it!

about 20 hours ago
Kajikit in General Topics
1

Is it depressing to dine out on Thanksgiving?

There are plenty of reasons for not having anyone else to share the holidays with... most of the time my husband and I have to be alone for holidays (ALL holidays). His siblings are 20 years older and their kids live in different states so they rotate the holiday season between them and we get to see them one year in five. My entire family live on the opposite side of the world, and we have no children. Holidays alone CAN suck mightily, but it's not as if it's a choice... since we just moved cities ourselves, we have nobody to share Thanksgiving with this year unless our new church has an 'orphans' celebration (no idea if they do, we'll find out next month). I'm expecting it to just be the two of us and we'll probably eat out since I have to cook every other meal of the year for our diabetic diet.

about 20 hours ago
Kajikit in General Topics

Is it depressing to dine out on Thanksgiving?

It all depends on your attitude - dining out because you WANT to = fun. Dining out because you have no family, or because your family is in another country and you have nobody to share the day with etc = miserable. Australia doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving but when I was a kid we spent every single Christmas with our extended family... except one. One year we were in another state and my mother booked us a special 'Christmas dinner' and I felt like we were playing 'pretend' especially since all around us were big happy family groups celebrating and we were all alone. Now I'm married, I'm on the opposite side of the world to my family, and we rarely get to see my husband's family on holidays. Holidays for two can either be nice, just another ordinary day, or truly sucky and depressing, depending on my mood... last year I cooked Thanksgiving for two and I was in a mood where I was just glad to be well enough to be able to cook at all so it was a nice day, the year before we were going to go out because I wasn't well enough to cook, but a friend invited us when he heard. I don't know what we'll do this year... quite possibly go out by ourselves because we no longer live in that city.

about 20 hours ago
Kajikit in General Topics

has my apple cake gone bad??

If it hasn't gone mouldy or fermented tasting already, it's not going to (it's a 'dry' recipe, and mould likes moisture), but if it's been sitting out for five days, it's got to be stale any time now! At which point it's much too late to refrigerate or freeze it, it's dogfood.

Oct 23, 2014
Kajikit in Home Cooking

Substituting Xylitol or Erythritol for Splenda (Sucralose)

Splenda has no 'unwanted' digestive effects on me or my husband - but sugar alcohols are a very risky proposition... even a few pieces of gum can be nasty. I wouldn't put it into a cheesecake - you don't need much sweetener in the first place. (but if you do want to change sweeteners, find a recipe where somebody else has worked out the correct proportions, it wouldn't be a one-to-one swap because the strengths and chemical properties are different.)

Oct 23, 2014
Kajikit in Special Diets

Strong Coffee Ginger Chews

They grow a LOT of ginger in Queensland, Australia... hence the candy company. It's normal (or was when I was a kid) to be able to buy the 'candied' preserved Chinese-style ginger in syrup... my mother bought the Chinese jars and cut the ginger up for cooking... Wrapped candies are a much more convenient form for portability. :)

Oct 23, 2014
Kajikit in General Topics

Strong Coffee Ginger Chews

I'm always keeping an eye out for ginger candy for motion sickness - it's more convenient than carrying a bottle of Canada Dry around with me! My last five pounds came from Amazon (Chimes) and lasted a couple of years... but recently I found bagged ginger candy in different flavours at Whole Foods, and plain Gin-Gins at Trader Joes... I bought the apple one to try and it's yummy! More apple flavour than ginger, so it's not going to work well for motion sickness (my usual excuse for ginger candy) but it's a delicious treat on its own. I don't think I'd like coffee-flavoured ginger though.

Oct 23, 2014
Kajikit in General Topics

Disputing Kitchen Wisdom - Giving up the ghost

It depends on how long you cooked it for and how much meat you had in there to start with... sometimes I'll put a whole chicken breast into the stock - it poaches as the stock is simmering, and it retains plenty of flavour of its own because it's a big solid chunk of chicken... the little tiny scraps that are on the bones are a hundredth the size, and all of their flavour disappears into the stock, so they're pretty much useless for anything except pet food. I like to eat the chunks of carrot that I put in, but they don't usually have much flavour left by the end.

Oct 23, 2014
Kajikit in General Topics

Dinner Party for a Beginner?

Do you have a working oven? Roast chicken and roast vegetable medley is super simple, it doesn't need fussing around with when your guests arrive, and pretty much everyone loves it... (if you have low-carb or diabetic guests, skip the potato and use cauliflower instead)

Oct 20, 2014
Kajikit in Home Cooking

Cooking from wheelchair

If you're able to stand long enough to get on it, you can do a lot with a kitchen stool/chair... I have a counter-height folding chair that I bought at Ikea, and it's great for sitting in front of the stove to do time-consuming tasks without having to stand. My husband was longing for pancakes today, so I pulled up the chair and was able to make them. It also helps with washing dishes, but not as much because you have to do a lot of reaching from side to side...

Oct 19, 2014
Kajikit in General Topics

Contaminated utensil

If I take a piece of meat out of the pan and put it onto a plate and cut into it to make sure it's cooked, and it isn't, I wash that plate and knife so I can't put fully cooked food onto it... but it's never occurred to me to change or wash lifters/spoons with the exception of tasting spoons - for tasting I grab a teaspoon out the drawer and then dump it into the wash. The food that's cooking is hot, the pan is HOT, and I figure that the lifter or spoon is getting sterilised every time it goes back into the pot.

(I wouldn't use a spoon to prepare raw food and then use it for cooked... that one goes straight into the wash!) Oh, and I've never in nearly 40 years of cooking EVER given anyone, or myself, food-borne illness... ordinary kitchen hygiene seems to be enough to prevent it, some people seem to edge into paranoia. I have my own traces of food paranoia (I won't eat leftovers if they sat on the counter more than two hours before they went into the fridge unless it's something that didn't need refrigeration in the first place, but that's my own personal bugbear...)

Oct 19, 2014
Kajikit in General Topics

Questions for Lactose Intolerance Folks

The original post is pretty old, but is sounds like an allergy to me, not lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance is usually pretty fast acting - if I overindulge in dairy, I get sick two to six hours after eating, not 48... an Allergy says DO NOT EAT THIS EVER, because the reaction gets worse - lactose-intolerance just says 'well, this will make me miserable a few hours but I choose to suffer for the sake of cheesecake!' lol

Oct 15, 2014
Kajikit in Special Diets

Prices for Butter?

Butter in Florida has always been expensive, but it's gone up lately too... used to be $9 for the four-pack at BJs, now it's more like $12. In the grocery store, the STORE BRAND butter is around $4 a block. I've switched to using baking spread for my cookies - you can't really taste the difference unless you're making shortbread (never use anything less than real butter for that...) An oatmeal cookie is an oatmeal cookie and nobody can really tell what kind of fat you used in it when it's full of spices and add-ins.

I grew up using margarine and only changed to butter later in life, so I just went back to old habits... but 'good' margarine isn't exactly cheap either!

Oct 15, 2014
Kajikit in General Topics

Annoyed with Bakers Secret

Goes to show how much attention I pay to brands... yeah, it's just 'bakers' chocolate, bakers secret are the nonstick pans... does Trader Joes sell UNSWEETENED chocolate? My husband's diabetic so I've started doing low-sugar baking (I made delicious half-the-carbs banana bread last week), and I like to be able to control exactly how much sugar is going into the brownies.

Oct 08, 2014
Kajikit in General Topics

Is Greek-style Yoghurt taking over the world? Discuss...

Do you know how much fresh berries COST? Even the frozen ones are 8 to 10 dollars a bag. If I can't afford half a dozen cups of yoghurt, do you really think I can afford to spend $10 making a week's worth? Making the yoghurt isn't an issue, I know you can do it in the crockpot, but what do you flavour it with? I HATE sour yoghurt. My father used to make it all the time... I liked the texture, but my mother wouldn't let us add anything to it except a single teaspoon of sugar and a little vanilla. Ugh! I couldn't bear it... I don't mind the thickeners either, I just don't like so much sugar as they stick in yoplait. Fresh fruit has been entirely off our menu for months, and we'll only get to have some now that apples are coming back into season and they have some for 80c/lb this week...

Oct 08, 2014
Kajikit in General Topics

Is Greek-style Yoghurt taking over the world? Discuss...

Once upon a time there was Fage... then marketers started realising that people liked the stuff, and they made more and more of it. Now, suddenly, the Greek yoghurt is entirely pushing 'regular' yoghurt off the shelves! About the only 'standard' yoghurt left is yoplait, which I've always found disgusting. I've been buying Dannon light and fit yoghurt for a long time, and earlier this year they introduced Dannon 'light and fit Greek' which is yummy and they've managed to make it low-carb and diabetic-friendly (thus we can eat it) but it's twice as expensive as the other stuff! For awhile you could get both, but now the grocery stores around here ONLY have the Greek style. The only 'regular' Dannon they have is the little 4oz snack packs, which are a good size for a low-carb snack, but they're also disappearing off the shelves. :(

Personally I think it's nothing to do with what people really want - the manufacturers have realised that they can sell individual tubs of Greek yoghurt for twice as much as 'traditional', and the customers won't blink an eye at the extra expense... that's more money in their pockets, and less choice for us. And since our budget can't run to $20 of yoghurt a week, it means I have to give up eating the stuff... :(

When I really want yoghurt I buy Publix store brand, who still have regular old low-fat yoghurt for an affordable 50c a cup, but they used to have wonderful flavours like cinnamon bun and carrot cake, and now they've reduced the line to boring old strawberry/peach etc. Shame that! :(

Oct 07, 2014
Kajikit in General Topics

Annoyed with Bakers Secret

The great product shrink continues... I use unsweetened baking chocolate for my brownies etc and the ONLY company that sells it is Bakers Secret. I usually wait till it's on sale and buy four or six boxes at a time, which lasts me a good six months before I have to replace it. At Christmas time last year, the last time I bought any, they'd relabelled their packs 'twice as much as the competitors'... which they were - baking chocolate bars have been shrinking like crazy. I just went to buy some more and guess what? Some time this year they've repackaged again. Now it comes in 'new, easy-break squares' instead of the big square blocks... but guess what the big change is? You guessed it - the new bars are only 4 oz, but they're not a penny cheaper than they used to be to make up for a 50% product shrink. :( Think I'm going to start baking with cocoa powder instead, the way my mother taught me.

Oct 07, 2014
Kajikit in General Topics

Anyone have experience with Schwan's (food truck) [moved from General Topics]

So don't buy it... I can't eat the 'super natural' icecreams - they have too much cream in them for me to digest. I made my own icecream at home with just fruit, cream, and sugar and I couldn't eat that either - I'll take the factory-made stuff that doesn't make me miserably ill, vegetable gum and all...

Oct 04, 2014
Kajikit in Chains

Help! Forgot To Turn on Crockpot! So devastated!

I'd probably cook it anyway... it was cold to begin with and it was only sitting for 8 hours, not 12 or 24. But cook it on high, not low...

Oct 02, 2014
Kajikit in General Topics
2

Allergy-free clams, mussels, or oysters?

At first I blinked - seafood is a major allergen and there's no way to get around it if you're allergic like my husband... but I see you're allergic to the many things that they will probably add TO the dish. Sounds like you'd seriously be better off doing your own at home. Or call around to a bunch of restaurants and see if you can get a chef to accommodate you. With that many special requirements it's going to take some negotiating to be 'safe'. You can't just walk in the door and say 'I need a dish without this, that, and the other' because so many sauces etc are pre-prepared in bulk.

Sep 30, 2014
Kajikit in Special Diets

Trader Joe's YAY/MEY/NAY - September 2014 [OLD]

I LOVE the spiciness.... I just wish they weren't so soggy, but I'm blaming that on the fact that I let them melt in the car. I"ll buy another box and see if the texture is better.

Sep 30, 2014
Kajikit in Chains
1

Trader Joe's YAY/MEY/NAY - September 2014 [OLD]

That's because they're not intended for eating - they're to put out on your porch so that everyone else knows that you know what season it is. Then they rot and you throw them away... :P Serious question though - we've never had a porch to decorate until now. How long do the fresh pumkins actually last? If I want to get one, when should I do it?

Sep 30, 2014
Kajikit in Chains
1

Not many gripes about Costco . Is it worth it for one ?

Unless you've got a LOT of storage space (I mean a TON) and you can stash away a month's worth of food in your freezer, and have a pantry to match, I'd say nope. It's just not economical for one or two people unless you have really good storage, or you live right next to the store so you can pop in and buy one thing at a time. (I try to get as much of our meat as I can at BJs, same principle... pork is massively cheaper there than in the grocery store, so I buy a big pork loin, cut it up, and freeze it and it lasts us a month or so before I have to do it again... my husband used to get his gas at BJs and he said it was worth the membership just for that, but we live too far from the store now for it to be economical and we just go there for meat and non-perishable stuff. You save a bundle on baking ingredients by buying them in bulk...

Sep 30, 2014
Kajikit in Chains

Thanksgiving and Christmas in the US

There is no 'proper' way to celebrate... personally, I don't like to put Christmas stuff up until December 1st, then I take it down on January 1 to start the New Year with a clean slate. But that's just my personal preference. Thanksgiving can be up to a week earlier depending on the calendar. But I'm from Australia, where they don't celebrate Thanksgiving at all, so the Christmas season starts December 1. Thanksgiving is Turkey Day, if we can find somebody to spend the day with... we followed the family tradition of a full-on turkey dinner for Christmas but now there's just two of us it's fifty-fifty whether I'll do turkey at all or something else. Last year I did a rolled pork loin for Christmas and that was very nice and festive, and not as overwhelming for two people as a full-on turkey. I don't like beef, we don't eat seafood, my husband hates lamb, and ham is an everyday food for us so that leaves pork, and since I rarely make a roast of it and I NEVER do stuffing, it was 'special'.

Sep 30, 2014
Kajikit in General Topics
1

What's your WholeFoods grocery list

I don't go to Wholefoods very often, it's a long way away and very expensive... but I make a special trip for their 365 lavender shampoo and conditioner, their big tubs of unsweetened natural peanut butter (they have an organic one if you prefer), unsweetened coconut, and coconut flour. Also love some of their non-potato chips and last time I was there I got some really yummy all-natural cheese puffs. I don't eat msg or potato, so I don't buy many snack foods in the regular grocery store.

Sep 26, 2014
Kajikit in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEY/NAY - September 2014 [OLD]

Don't think anyone's mentioned these yet... the mini pumpkin icecream cookie bites get a HUGE yay even though they half melted on the way home because I didn't have any ice in the cooler. Love how spicy the cookie is, it's a great contrast to the sweet pumpkiny icecream, and one bite only has 10 carbs so they're a good diabetic-safe treat (we monitor total carb intake, not individual items...)

The sour cream and onion corn puffs are a bit of a meh... nice on first taste but they seem to turn to styrofoam in your mouth... but on the other hand it's only $2 for a humungous bag.

Sep 26, 2014
Kajikit in Chains

Far-away Chains on your "To Do" List

Smashburger is the only burger chain I've tried so far and really REALLY liked... their spicy black bean burger is to die for and I love the carrot/green bean fries as an alternative to starch. Wish there was one closer than Ft Lauderdale - we used to go there regularly before we moved north. (oh, we like Five Guys too but they don't have a veggie option and I rarely eat beef... I'd order their smallest patty and eat half the beef and be done with it.)

Sep 25, 2014
Kajikit in Chains