Something new to love at Trader Joe's

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Something new to love at Trader Joe's

Postby Jenise » Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:30 am

Or at least, new to me. We started off on a hastily planned short camping trip last week that was aborted when I got super bad sick about three hours out. That resulted in us bringing the groceries we'd bought on the way at Trader Joe's back home again. For the first night's dinner, I had bought some meat for campground grilling but just in case rain made that untenable or we got into camp so late that starting a meal from scratch would have been unthinkable, I picked up an eggplant parmesan out of the ready-made cold case--our van has a microwave, so that would be easy. I had not bought this before as I don't buy ready-made foods--it just sounded okay-fine under the circumstances. So today I found it in the fridge and realized it had been here a week, better use up so we shared it for lunch.

I was floored by how good it was! No batter on the eggplant, for one, just lots of thin slices that were cooked well but not to the point of mush under a thin cap of cheese and surrounded in a thick, robustly flavored sauce with just a trace of background heat. It was better than the eggplant parmesan I ordered in a local Italian restaurant a few weeks ago! For anyone lacking time to cook or needing emergency stand-by provisions, this is a winner.
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Re: Something new to love at Trader Joe's

Postby Carrie L. » Fri May 02, 2014 8:38 pm

Thanks for sharing, Jenise. I love the idea of it not being battered.
Recently picked up some frozen fried rice from TJ's on the recommendation of several people who have said it's outstanding, as in better than the local Chinese Restaurant. Looking forward to trying it.
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Re: Something new to love at Trader Joe's

Postby Carrie L. » Sun May 04, 2014 12:14 pm

Update: I tried the fried rice last night. I was very, very good. Yes, better than the local Chinese restaurant for sure. I think next time I would just add some chopped water chestnuts to it for a little crunch, and maybe a handful of sliced green onions. I did add one scramble egg, chopped. Definitely a great thing to have on hand in the freezer for a quick dinner or side dish.
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Re: Something new to love at Trader Joe's

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Sun May 04, 2014 1:03 pm

Thanks for the update.
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Re: Something new to love at Trader Joe's

Postby Frank Deis » Sun May 04, 2014 8:23 pm

Slightly off topic -- but I was searching around for the toasted almonds with honey and sesame seeds. Our neighbors used to get those regularly but evidently they got them from Paul's late father who had a shop in Great Neck LI NY where he could buy them. I did some research and found out that they are at TJ's. Because the TJ stores are a long drive, I then found the TJ sesame almonds online at Amazon, for a reasonable price, and ordered them. They came quickly but I haven't tasted 'em yet.

These had come up as a great match with good Sherry in another topic here.
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Re: Something new to love at Trader Joe's

Postby Jenise » Mon May 05, 2014 2:20 am

I *love* those almonds.
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Re: Something new to love at Trader Joe's

Postby Carl Eppig » Mon May 05, 2014 11:14 pm

We picked up most of our Cinco de Mayo ingredients at Trader Joe's today. This included their frozen chicken enchiladas (so, so) and their beef tamales (outstanding). We are going to get more of the latter on the next visit next week. We enjoyed both with our homemade enchilada sauce, and best ever Mexican rice tonight. For garnishes, we had shredded Romaine, and shredded Manchego cheese. Yum!
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Re: Something new to love at Trader Joe's

Postby Doug Surplus » Tue May 06, 2014 1:32 am

Jenise wrote:I *love* those almonds.


I have to not keep them around. Too easy to scarf down the whole bag at once!
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Re: Something new to love at Trader Joe's

Postby Frank Deis » Thu May 08, 2014 10:23 pm

Seventeen more things to love at TJ's. Mostly guilty pleasures. I haven't had any of these but I can see the attraction!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/foodbeast ... 90865.html
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Re: Something new to love at Trader Joe's

Postby Hoke » Fri May 09, 2014 1:54 am

Doug Surplus wrote:
Jenise wrote:I *love* those almonds.


I have to not keep them around. Too easy to scarf down the whole bag at once!


Yeah, I like 'em too. Hard as a rock, but tasty as hell. Have to resist the urge to gorge.
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Re: Something new to love at Trader Joe's

Postby Jenise » Fri May 09, 2014 9:31 am

Frank Deis wrote:Seventeen more things to love at TJ's. Mostly guilty pleasures. I haven't had any of these but I can see the attraction!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/foodbeast ... 90865.html


I am shocked to see fennel bulbs in place #9 where no other fresh food is listed, but even more so because it's one of the things I go to TJ's for because they're so cheap there. I'm otherwise not in the loop when it comes to popular tastes--other than the Chuck wines, which I know of but don't buy, I haven't even noticed any of the other items mentioned! I don't buy spreads, I don't buy cookies or chocolates--I don't even 'see' them. Good thing I didn't have kids, my children would hate me.
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Re: Something new to love at Trader Joe's

Postby Doug Surplus » Fri May 09, 2014 10:29 am

Frank Deis wrote:Seventeen more things to love at TJ's. Mostly guilty pleasures. I haven't had any of these but I can see the attraction!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/foodbeast ... 90865.html


Not much there that I would buy. I did try the almond butter and didn't like it - too bitter. The rosemary marcona almonds? Yes, mostly to drop a few on top of a salad. Occasionally I buy the fennel, but it's not a fave vegetable. I usually have a bag of the Mandarin Orange Chicken on hand for a quick and easy dinner for those times when I don't feel like cooking and don't want to go out. I zest it up with a good dose of Sriracha.
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Re: Something new to love at Trader Joe's

Postby Carl Eppig » Fri May 09, 2014 10:35 am

We love the almond butter; and think it is far superior to the only other one available to us - the one from Whole Foods. It is more like peanut butter which we can't have anymore.
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Re: Something new to love at Trader Joe's

Postby James Dietz » Sat May 10, 2014 5:01 pm

I don't think anyone has mentioned the honey sesame CASHEWS. I think they are tastier than the almonds, which I'm trying for the first time. I feel that the flavor contrasts are sharper with the cashews.
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Re: Something new to love at Trader Joe's

Postby Doug Surplus » Sun May 11, 2014 12:31 am

James Dietz wrote:I don't think anyone has mentioned the honey sesame CASHEWS. I think they are tastier than the almonds, which I'm trying for the first time. I feel that the flavor contrasts are sharper with the cashews.


Oh, I can't even go there. I can devour plain cashews at an alarming rate, let alone the the honey cashew variation. I'd be bigger than a house!
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Re: Something new to love at Trader Joe's

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Sun May 11, 2014 11:40 pm

Doug Surplus wrote:
James Dietz wrote:I don't think anyone has mentioned the honey sesame CASHEWS. I think they are tastier than the almonds, which I'm trying for the first time. I feel that the flavor contrasts are sharper with the cashews.


Oh, I can't even go there. I can devour plain cashews at an alarming rate, let alone the the honey cashew variation. I'd be bigger than a house!


Same here. Cashews are up there with potato chips in terms of "things I can't allow in the house".

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Re: Something new to love at Trader Joe's

Postby Jenise » Mon May 12, 2014 12:57 pm

Ditto.

My grandmother tells a story of taking me to the movies when I was wee little. She got me seated then got ready for a snack bar run, and asked what I would like. "Peanuts," I answered. Apparently there were plain and chocolate covered available, so she asked me what kind. "Cashew peanuts," I answered.
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Re: Something new to love at Trader Joe's

Postby Carl Eppig » Mon May 12, 2014 4:52 pm

Doug Surplus wrote:Oh, I can't even go there. I can devour plain cashews at an alarming rate, let alone the the honey cashew variation. I'd be bigger than a house!


Don't know what the problem is. Bought a bag today and only ate half of it at the first sitting!
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Re: Something new to love at Trader Joe's

Postby Doug Surplus » Mon May 12, 2014 7:07 pm

Carl Eppig wrote:
Doug Surplus wrote:Oh, I can't even go there. I can devour plain cashews at an alarming rate, let alone the the honey cashew variation. I'd be bigger than a house!


Don't know what the problem is. Bought a bag today and only ate half of it at the first sitting!


And how soon after the first sitting, did the second one commence?
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Doce de Mayo

Postby Carl Eppig » Mon May 12, 2014 7:29 pm

Strictly a Trader José dinner tonight. As mentioned last week it was strictly beef tamales this time. We steamed them, heated up the rice from last week in the double boiler, and warmed up the leftover enchilada sauce. Sides were shredded Manchego cheese and shredded lettuce again. We washed it down with Trader Jose' Premium Beer, Imported from Mexico. This was one of three they sell with this one coming in between the dark and the light. Excellent dinner.
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Re: Something new to love at Trader Joe's

Postby Lou Kessler » Mon May 12, 2014 9:29 pm

Carl Eppig wrote:
Doug Surplus wrote:Oh, I can't even go there. I can devour plain cashews at an alarming rate, let alone the the honey cashew variation. I'd be bigger than a house!


Don't know what the problem is. Bought a bag today and only ate half of it at the first sitting!

I don't allow cashews in the house, the same as any other addictive substances. An ounce of prevention etc, etc, my hands are shaking, withdrawal tremors. :(
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Re: Something new to love at Trader Joe's

Postby Brian K Miller » Wed May 21, 2014 5:08 pm

Trader Joe's has the best potatoes I have ever found. They are the large, thin-skinned golden skinned ones. Never seen them anywhere else.

There is a texture to these potatoes I just love.

I dump cottage cheese, salsa, and less healthy things on them after a quick nuke and I have a fantastic lunch!
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Re: Something new to love at Trader Joe's

Postby wnissen » Wed May 28, 2014 4:28 pm

The fried rice was surprisingly good. Hard to believe that most restaurants do it so badly when the frozen version is so much easier and tastier.

The Charles Shaw wines are a lot better than you might think. If you're drinking a $6 bottle of wine, it's industrial plonk anyway, and I find the Charles Shaw often more palatable than the critter wines, for instance. The merlot (and, yeah, it's probably 24.9% rubired or whatever they can get away with) is even drinkable on its own.

I've yet to try a Trader Joe's beer that I liked (Trader Jose nor the Bavarian styles) except for the Unibroue vintage ale.
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Re: Something new to love at Trader Joe's

Postby Robin Garr » Wed May 28, 2014 5:38 pm

wnissen wrote:The Charles Shaw wines are a lot better than you might think. If you're drinking a $6 bottle of wine, it's industrial plonk anyway, and I find the Charles Shaw often more palatable than the critter wines, for instance. The merlot (and, yeah, it's probably 24.9% rubired or whatever they can get away with) is even drinkable on its own.

This is certainly all true, and yet it should also be noted that TJ's sells so much of this stuff nationwide that they buy it by the tank-car load - iiterally. It's bulk wine - and one batch may be very different from the next. Back at the beginning of the boom, Franzia was credibly alleged to have sent "select" samples to wine writers. :roll:
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