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Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - March 2013 [OLD]

hmm, interesting. I've been feeding this to my 4 year old for easy lunches (with a frozen TJ's chicken tender, don't judge) and haven't noticed any weird texture or flavor issues.

He likes it fine but doesn't love it so I was thinking I would eat the rest myself and fry it up fried rice style with some scallions, soy sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, and scrambled eggs. Healthier fried rice, yum.

Mar 16, 2013
butterfat in Chains

Trader Joe's Yea/Nay Thread - 3rd quarter 2012 [OLD]

Yay for the frozen Lemonade Concentrate (next to the OJ concentrate by the breakfast section in my store). I'm a bit of a lemonade fanatic and while this certainly doesn't compare to freshly squeezed lemonade, frozen concentrate is the next best option IMO. This stuff is nice and no HFCS obviously. I like to keep it in the freezer and just stir a spoonful into a glass of seltzer for a not-too-sweet fizzy drink. (The Polar Ginger Lemonade seltzer is especially great with it.)

Also--any recs for a decent veggie burger at TJ's? I don't think I've ever bought veggie burgers in my life but it occurred to me that my 3 year old might enjoy them and they would make an easy lunch for him once in a while. So I guess I'm looking for a pretty simple non-spicy option. I looked and was overwhelmed by the choices (but then I am easily overwhelmed in grocery stores!).

Sep 07, 2012
butterfat in Chains

Trader Joe's Yea/Nay Thread - 3rd quarter 2012 [OLD]

I agree they are really dense and I do miss the light crisp quality of fresh well-made falafel. I suppose for me the flavor is enough to make them a serviceable addition to a salad or plate of snacks, but they are not something to really savor on their own. Sorry they didn't work for you :(

Sep 07, 2012
butterfat in Chains

Trader Joe's Yea/Nay Thread - 3rd quarter 2012 [OLD]

Yay for the Cheese Blintzes (frozen, in the breakfast section at my store). I believe these are a new item. I defrosted in the microwave and then browned them in butter on the stovetop (they were easy to burn, so cook over lowish heat). Yummy with a dusting of powdered sugar and some sliced peaches. The flavor of the blintzes is very mild but tastes fresh and normal and as it should--no fake off flavors like in the Danish pancakes or some other frozen TJ's items.

Aug 31, 2012
butterfat in Chains

Trader Joe's Yea/Nay Thread - 3rd quarter 2012 [OLD]

Yay for the (frozen) Battered halibut. It's on the pricy side, but makes delicious fish tacos (with TJ's corn tortillas, shredded cabbage, homemade creamy cilantro sauce, homemade pickled red onions and jalapenos, and homemade salsa). I never once regretted using my time to make three condiments and dialing in the frozen fish. It was perfect. Don't be tempted to use the (cheaper) Breaded Cod fillets instead. They are IMO much worse in texture and flavor.

Yay for the Crisp Rice Cereal and the Graham Crackers. Basics but done really well.

Yay for the (frozen) Palak Paneer. With a piece of buttered Tandoori Naan it makes a satisfying easy lunch, and the flavor is much better than it needs to be. I would be perfectly happy if I was served this curry in an Indian restaurant.

Yay for the (frozen) Mac and Cheese Bites (serve with TJ"s Kansas City BBQ sauce mixed with a splash of TJ's amazing Habanero Hot Sauce). Makes a great trashy snack while watching a movie. Nay for the Mini Cheddar Chipotle bites. Not inedible, but not very flavorful or interesting unless you pile a bunch of your own toppings on.

Yay for the (new, frozen) Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli. Nice simple straightforward dish, makes a good easy lunch for me and my 3 year old to share. Not too salty and lends itself well to embellishment.

Aug 21, 2012
butterfat in Chains

Trader Joe's Yea/Nay Thread - 3rd quarter 2012 [OLD]

+1 on the Spinach and Kale pie. They were offering samples in the store and it was yummy. I'll buy it when the weather cools down a bit.

Aug 16, 2012
butterfat in Chains

Trader Joe's Yea/Nay Thread - 3rd quarter 2012 [OLD]

Qualified yay for the Stacked Eggplant Parmesan (frozen). I prepared it in the microwave and while the texture is not super impressive (kind of gloppy and mushy, definitely no crisp distinct layers of eggplant), the flavors were pretty good and it made a decent easy meal with a big salad. It is supposed to be two servings and that is what I did, but I could have easily eaten the whole thing myself :)

Jul 24, 2012
butterfat in Chains

Trader Joe's Yea/Nay Thread - 3rd quarter 2012 [OLD]

love the grits. I think I wrote about them last quarter, but I follow the package cooking directions and they turn out great (but I double or triple the amounts to have leftovers). They are fabulous topped with grilled veggies, caramelized onions, cheese, and TJ"s habanero hot sauce. Yum. For my husband I quickly sauté some minced garlic and jalapeño for him to stir into his.

Jul 24, 2012
butterfat in Chains

Trader Joe's Yea/Nay Thread - 3rd quarter 2012 [OLD]

These are a summer staple for us. I often eat them with a greek salad or TJ's dolmas and a quickly thrown together tzatziki.

Jul 24, 2012
butterfat in Chains

Trader Joe's Yea/Nay Thread - 2nd quarter 2012 [OLD]

Yay to some things I tried because they were recommended upthread:

Paglierini (sp?) cheese (I believe it is the spotlight cheese right now, at least at my store), the Shiraz-soaked Toscano cheese, and the Reduced Fat Cheese Puffs. I never buy anything Reduced Fat, but these are totally solid and are satisfying my pregnancy cravings for something ridiculous and trashily cheesy without making me feel as gross as Munchies mix does.

Yay for the bags of Jazz "snacking" apples. Perfect size for my 3 year old and so crisp and yummy. They haven't been in stock the past couple weeks but if they have them I will always buy them.

Yay for the Dolmas (in the refrigerator section) and the Falafel (in the freezer section). These are reliable and just taste the way they should (even if they are nothing spectacular), and I really like having them on hand in the summer to have with cold salads and dips.

May 27, 2012
butterfat in Chains

Trader Joe's Yea/Nay Thread - 2nd quarter 2012 [OLD]

I just bought some of this today and the cashier was raving about (I haven't tried it yet). I'm planning to use it to dip blueberries into and then freeze for a treat for my 3 year old. (This idea is all over the internets these day it seems.) For this application its less than optimal healthiness is not a major concern since he'll be eating so little of it in each serving of berries.

May 27, 2012
butterfat in Chains

A Trader Joe's Care Package

I recently did something similar for friends in the midwest. Some of my items were chosen to be kid-friendly, but for a grown-up I'd include the Habanero Hot Sauce if they like spicy foods, some interesting nuts, something ridiculous and chocolatey (I chose the Chocolate Covered Toffee Popcorn), and maybe one of the jarred tapenades or spreads.

May 27, 2012
butterfat in Chains

Favorite ways to use up a giant bunch of cilantro?

Hi hounds.

I wanted to make guacamole today so I bought some cilantro, but the bunches at the market were enormous--about 2 to 3 times the size of usual grocery stores bundles. So I'm looking for recipes that use a large quantity of cilantro. Bonus points if they make something that would keep or freeze well for a bit. I'm thinking pestos, salad dressings, chutneys . . . anyone have any tried and true recipes? I would love to hear them! Thanks in advance :)

May 10, 2012
butterfat in Home Cooking

What are you baking these days? April 2012 [old]

IMO Fior de Sicilia smells lovely and can add a pleasing flavor but is insanely, ridiculously strong. If you use more than a drop it can totally overpower a recipe. I feel like I should invest in a medicine dropper for doling it out.

Apr 30, 2012
butterfat in Home Cooking

Trader Joe's Yea/Nay Thread - 2nd quarter 2012 [OLD]

hmm, did you cook yours covered? I did mine covered and at a very low heat and the proportions on the package worked pretty well for me. I doubled their recipe though. I think I used 1 cup of grits, 3 cups of water, and 1 cup of 1/2 and 1/2. They seemed like they absorbed a ton of liquid at first, but then after I added the cream/milk they stayed nice and hydrated :)

Apr 22, 2012
butterfat in Chains

Trader Joe's Yea/Nay Thread - 2nd quarter 2012 [OLD]

littleflower, I let them cook for about 35-40 minutes and they definitely still had some bite/texture to them. They were cooked, but just not smooth pasty mush, which is a good thing!

Apr 22, 2012
butterfat in Chains

Guess what my DH put on his McDonald's hash browns this morning

We were having a morning of hard manual labor in the garden and so didn't really stop to cook a proper breakfast. Sometime mid-morning I had to run out for something so I stopped to pick up some McDonalds drive-thru breakfast to fortify us for our gardening. I brought home two hash browns for my husband and he topped them with . . . truffle oil. Then proceeded to dip them in ketchup and declared them delicious. I was tempted to fry up a beautiful orange-yolked free range egg and put it on my sausage biscuit. Maybe next time.

It got me wondering what other hounds do to doctor their fast food or takeout and make it more delicious :)

Apr 21, 2012
butterfat in Chains

Trader Joe's Yea/Nay Thread - 2nd quarter 2012 [OLD]

YAY for the stone ground grits. I finally cooked up a pot of them for dinner tonight, added some half and half towards the end of cooking and stirred in some sharp cheddar before serving. Topped with some cooked greens, browned andouille sausage (just the TJ's chicken andouille sausage, which is okay but not authentic or anything, I'm guessing), some caramelized onions and roasted red peppers. Really nice creamy texture to the grits.

NAY on the Lemongrass Chicken Stix (I don't like that spelling--they are like spring rolls from the freezer section). They weren't inedible (anything dipped in sweet chili sauce is more or less edible to me!) but the filling was on the mushy and bland side. I'm on a mission to find a decent egg roll or spring roll at TJ's if anyone has any recs.

Yay on the Triple Ginger Snaps (the ones in the clear plastic tub). I know, not news to anyone, but I bought them recently for the first time in ages and was surprised at how nice and simple and satisfying they are with a cup of tea. The ingredients are pretty solid too. I doubt if I could bake a better version of that exact sort of light, crunchy ginger cookie.

Apr 21, 2012
butterfat in Chains

Trader Joe's Uncured Turkey Bacon -- good substitute for julienned ham

Yummy, I'm going to try it! Thanks for the idea :)

Apr 20, 2012
butterfat in Chains

Trader Joe's Yea/Nay Thread - 2nd quarter 2012 [OLD]

making cheese grits tonight and I wish I had some of that goat cheddar! sounds delicious. Thanks for the tip.

Apr 20, 2012
butterfat in Chains

Trader Joe's Yea/Nay Thread - 2nd quarter 2012 [OLD]

love the PB Goodies!

Apr 20, 2012
butterfat in Chains

The perfect soup to serve with buttermilk biscuits?

alkapal, I ended up doing something very similar! White bean, andouille sausage, and kale soup. Yum!

Apr 05, 2012
butterfat in Home Cooking

The perfect soup to serve with buttermilk biscuits?

Thanks everyone for all the ideas! I am mulling them over . . . there are some patterns but also some divisions in the responses. Several votes for more of a clear broth soup and several for more of a stew or thick soup. I like the ideas of echoing the Southern flavors of the biscuits with sweet potatoes or ham.

It would definitely be easy to make a simple chicken noodle soup. I love lots of stock in the freezer and all the other ingredients I need, so that might be a good default setting if I don't get inspired by anything else in the meantime. I'll keep you posted on how things progress :) Soup day is Wednesday so I need to decide tomorrow!

Apr 02, 2012
butterfat in Home Cooking

The perfect soup to serve with buttermilk biscuits?

ooh, I love the coconut milk and ginger idea. yummy.

Apr 02, 2012
butterfat in Home Cooking

The perfect soup to serve with buttermilk biscuits?

That looks really delicious, danna. I'm been obsessed with baked sweet potato fries spritzed with lime juice and dipped in chipotle mayo, and this kind of seems like that yumminess turned into a soup. Hmmm. Definitely in the running!

Apr 02, 2012
butterfat in Home Cooking

The perfect soup to serve with buttermilk biscuits?

good question!

a) I have some really good buttermilk I want to put to good use and
b) my friend and I used to live in North Carolina (we've both moved since) and used to cook and eat a lot of biscuits there (usually with gravy . . . ) and so it would be a sort of sentimental thing to serve.
c) I'm pregnant and craving biscuits :)

I think those are the main reasons!

Apr 02, 2012
butterfat in Home Cooking

What makes your twice baked potatoes extra fabulous?

Great thread. The egg idea is fascinating, as is lemon juice.

I often add a little bit of cream cheese along with many of the ingredients that have already been mentioned.

Apr 01, 2012
butterfat in Home Cooking

The perfect soup to serve with buttermilk biscuits?

I have a houseguest coming in from out of town, arriving around lunchtime, and when he arrives I'd like to have a pot of soup made and some biscuits prepped ahead and stashed in the freezer (I then bake them from frozen).

What soup do you think pairs wonderfully with biscuits, that would make a nice lunch? I'm willing to make a salad alongside, if I must :)

I don't know why this is giving me so much trouble. I guess I feel like most of my soups seem to call for cornbread (chili, lentil soup, black bean soup) or crusty baguette (minestrone, potato leek), but there must be a soup out there that would be perfect with biscuits. Any ideas, hounds? No dietary restrictions or anything, but bonus points if my 3 year old will enjoy it also. Thanks in advance!

Apr 01, 2012
butterfat in Home Cooking

Trader Joe's Yea/Nay Thread - 1st quarter 2012 [old]

interesting, I'll have to see if I can taste it the next time I get some.

Mar 19, 2012
butterfat in Chains

Trader Joe's Yea/Nay Thread - 1st quarter 2012 [old]

do you mean the multigrain ones, thursday? I agree with you on the regular white flour ones, but I was pleasantly surprised by the multigrain variety.

Mar 18, 2012
butterfat in Chains