Food and Drink Feed

Taco Bell's "Naked Egg Taco" gets a thumbs down

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

A spin off of their popular "Naked Chicken Chalupa" which is/was* quite delicious, Taco Bell is now offering for a limited time, a "Naked Egg Taco."

For a limited time is a good thing, because the "Naked Egg Taco" sucks.  I'll be surprised if this breakfast item makes it to the permanent menu.

20170922_090906The "shell" of the Naked Egg Taco is a fried egg and that "shell" is stuffed with seasoned potatoes, cheddar cheese and your choice of either bacon or sausage.  I went with the sausage for this trial.

With my first bite, I noticed how there was no texture to this "taco," no crunch to speak off, the consistency of all the ingredients was the same.  Perhaps if I would have gone with bacon, there might have been a little crunch, some texture in that breakfast bite.  The whole thing was just soft...  Soft, as in not lightly caramelized, crisp on the outside tender on the inside potato; the soft sausage (to be expected); the melted cheese (also to be expected, it's melted cheese....); all that wrapped in a soft egg despite being fried.   You would think the edges of that egg would have some crispiness to it, but surprisingly, it didn't.  In fact, I found the Naked Egg Taco to be greasy.  Being a new item, I'm wondering if it was prepared correctly.  It comes with a little holder to eat it with, but this was beyond eating a fried food not wanting to get a little fried tastiness on the fingers, this "taco" was greasy both in presentation and taste.  I was left wondering if the fryers at this particular Taco Bell were at the correct temperature.  Good fried food is crisp, with no greasy aftertaste.  That certainly wasn't the case here.  An educated guess tells me the fryer temp wasn't hot enough.

20170922_090916The Naked Chicken Chalupa was innovative, the Naked Egg Taco is not.  It's boring in taste and presentation.  Even if the Naked Egg Taco were to be prepared correctly, it's still a disappointing breakfast taco.  It lacks layers of flavor and texture.  If I could sum this item up with an 'innovative' new word, it would be "Blandsoft."   No teeth, no dentures are required to eat this thing, you could gum it.....   Taco Bell gets a thumbs down on this one.  For a limited time indeed. 

The Naked Chicken Chalupa was a "limited time" offering earlier this year and is no longer available, but there is rumor that the success of it puts it on the permanent menu in the near future.


Bachelor on the Cheap: Affordable Wines

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

Dark Horse ChardonnayI'm not much of a beer drinker, although I will have the occasional Miller Lite or perhaps a Killian's Red.  When I do enjoy an adult beverage, it's usually either a mixed drink with blended whiskey or a glass of wine.

I prefer sweeter wines over dry, whites over reds, but each has its place.  What you pair wine with plays a huge part in what you uncork.  Another plus to having a bottle or two of wine in the liquor cabinet is the opportunity to cook with it.  I only recently discovered in the last year or so of doing more cooking for myself (beyond grilling) how wine can really enhance a dish, giving both savory and sweet dishes a whole new level of flavor!

I stick to the rule of cooking only with wines I like to drink.  Why buy a Merlot for example, just because a recipe calls for it?  I don't like to drink it (too dry for my taste, I hate Merlot), so odds are I won't like it in the dish I prepare with it either (it's true, I don't, been there, tried that).

Dark Horse Big Red BlendI like to keep at least one bottle of a white and a bottle of red in my cabinet, in case of company or if cooking calls for it.  My go-to wines are Dark Horse wines, they taste good and the price is right at around $8 - $10 a bottle.  Their line-up is versatile that's Bachelor on the Cheap friendly.  I like everything they offer - except the Merlot of course, I don't like anybody's Merlot - with my top two Dark Horse favorites being the Chardonnay and the Big Red Blend.

Dark Horse wines are indeed reasonably priced and ridiculously good!


Fuzzy’s Taco Shop Partners With Share Our Strength

Through September, Fuzzy’s Souvenir Cups Will Benefit “Dine Out For No Kid Hungry”, Providing Meals for Children in Need

Fuzzy's Taco Shop DrinkFort Worth, TX- Fuzzy’s Taco Shop has partnered with Share Our Strength on their No Kid Hungry initiative for the month of September, helping provide meals for children in America. Throughout the month all Fuzzy’s Taco Shop locations will donate $0.25 from each souvenir cup sold to No Kid Hungry. The cost to connect a child with 10 meals is $1; each year though the Share Our Strength initiative, Fuzzy’s connects thousands of children to their next meal. Last year, Fuzzy’s raised $87,000 across all locations, and hopes to surpass that amount in funds raised this year. 

“At Fuzzy’s Taco Shop we are in the business of feeding people, so it’s heartbreaking to know there are folks out there who don’t know where their next meal is coming from, especially when it comes to children,” said Mel Knight, President of Fuzzy’s Taco Shop. “1 in 6 children in America don’t get sufficient meals and this statistic is simply not acceptable. We are proud to partner with Share Our Strength each year and participate in helping to provide children in need with meals, and families with the tools to make educated decisions when it comes to preparing meals.” 

Fuzzy's No Kid HungryDining with Fuzzy’s this month and by purchasing one of the special-edition souvenir cups, guests can help No Kid Hungry launch school breakfast programs, recruit summer meal sites, and empower families to shop for and prepare healthy meals. As a donor, they will also be helping No Kid Hungry provide grants to hunger-fighting organizations across the country to help them end child hunger within their communities. As guests enjoy their meal at Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, they are also helping a worthy cause. 

Share Our Strength started on Capitol Hill in 1984 because of the famine in Ethiopia during 1984 and 1985. While the organization, started by brother and sister duo Bill and Debbie Shore, had many focuses globally for fighting hunger and poverty, Share Our Strength focuses their efforts, now, on making No Kid Hungry a true reality in America. No Kid Hungry works toward ending child hunger in America by helping connect kids to effective nutrition programs. For a list of participating restaurants or for more information on No Kid Hungry, please visit www.nokidhungry.org or www.dinout.nokidhungry.org

For more information visit, www.FuzzysTacoShop.com. Like Fuzzy’s Taco Shop on Facebook, follow on Twitter, and Instagram for updates on promotions and your daily fix of taco pictures. 

About Fuzzy’s Taco Shop

The original Fuzzy’s Taco Shop on Berry Street in Fort Worth, Texas is where the brand’s version of taco heaven was created in 2003. It would have frosty drinks. It would have good vibes. It would be a huge, craving-inducing success. With the continued dedication to serve fresh Mexican-food favorites and the addition of frosty drinks, Fuzzy’s earned a cult-like following, and that first location turned into more than 100 across the country. That means no matter where you roam, you’re never far from Baja tacos, guac and chips, and frozen margaritas. Which is reason enough to celebrate with some, as far as we’re concerned. For more information on Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, please visit their website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages.

@FuzzysCoralville

@FuzzysCedarRapids


Bachelor on the Cheap: The 'Living on Appetizers' Challenge - Bean Dip and Chips

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

Can a guy live on just appetizers alone? I'm going to find out. Over the next couple weeks, I'm preparing, eating and, 'surviving' on appetizers alone.

20170828_142844I've pulled out the crock pot again for this one, a pork, bean and cheese dip for dinner!

While I was enjoying those bacon, cheese and veggie finger sandwiches for lunch, I prepared dinner, easy peasy.  This dip is simple to throw together and in four hours when you get home from work, dinner is ready!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/4 cup onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 can (16 oz.) of refried beans
  • 4-6 ounces of any leftover meat, in this case, pulled pork
  • 1 can (4.5 oz.) of green chilies
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 jar of your favorite cheese sauce
  • A bag of tortilla chips

Directions:

Turn the crock on the low setting.  Add the canola oil and onion to the pot.  Add the beans, leftover meat, green chilies and seasoning.  Let all those flavors marry for about four hours.  Serve topped with the cheese sauce and chips on the side!  Serving Options:  On top of the cheese, sliced green onion or jalapeno pepper

This 'appetizer' dinner cost me about $7 to prepare and I had plenty leftover for another meal so this was very Bachelor on the Cheap friendly!  It was friendly in all categories, budget, taste and easy to prepare! 


Bachelor on the Cheap: The 'Living on Appetizers' Challenge

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

Seafood CocktailCan a guy live on just appetizers alone?  I'm going to find out.  For the next couple weeks, I'm going to prepare, eat and, 'survive' on appetizers alone.

From a classic shrimp cocktail to a cheese ball and crackers, every 'meal' is going to feature an appetizer. 

I'm looking forward to this, not only will I find a few new favorites to prepare and serve at parties, I'll find out if snacking several times a day rather than consuming three big meals a day will sustain me.

Up first, Seafood Cocktails!


Grilling Good Eats: Grilling with wood

Wood: You can really add a whole other dimension of flavor by using wood in your grilling. Fruit woods are excellent for adding some sweetness to meats, and all woods suitable for grilling give you that nice smoke ring of flavor that is craved by grill masters, weekend grillers and food enthusiasts alike. Some woods are better with certain meats than others, experiment with different woods and have fun with it. Below is a list of the more commonly used woods. You can use logs to grill or smoke with exclusively, or mix them with charcoal briquettes or lump coal. I like to use a combination of charcoal briquettes and wood logs when grilling low and slow for bigger cuts of meat, and a combination of charcoal and wood pellets when grilling thinner cuts over direct heat, lid-on preparations.

via www.grillinggoodeats.com


Grilling Good Eats: Arranging your coals matters

Arranging your coals matters
This may sound trivial to somebody new to grilling and even to some ‘experienced‘ grillers…… How you stack your coals, matters! Do NOT spread your charcoal out evenly. That’s right, you read that correctly, do NOT lay the coals out evenly. Doing so kills the life span of the heat. Your fire simply won’t last as long. Another reason not to spread your charcoal out evenly is flare ups. If you get flare ups - and you will - especially if you’re doing burgers, you’ll have no ‘cool spot’ on the grill for the meat to escape to. Flare ups with no escape often lead to burnt food, or food that’s crispy on the outside and not done on the inside.

via www.grillinggoodeats.com


Grilling Good Eats: Ch. 1 - Grill Setup

Chapter 1 - The Grill Setup

Grilling Good Eats

by Mike Thayer

How much charcoal should I use? How long does charcoal stay hot? What kind of grill should I buy? Which is better, gas or charcoal? Do I put the lid on or leave it off? Are those wood pellets any good?

These are all great questions. Whether you’re new to grilling or are looking to expand on your grilling expertise, you’re reading the right book. The answers are here.

via www.grillinggoodeats.com


Grilling Good Eats: Mike's Sweet Heat Rub

Mike's Sweet Heat Rub

Excellent on beef!  It's good on chicken and pork too, but excellent on beef!

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt

Directions:

Mix all ingredients to incorporate.  Best when rubbed on the meat at least four hours before grilling, good for 4 serving portions.

via www.grillinggoodeats.com


Grilling Good Eats

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

Grilling Good EatsSome people call it grilling, others call it BBQ (I’ll talk about the difference later), but to borrow a snippet from the United States Postal Service creed, rain or shine, snow or sleet… you can deliver great grilled eats on any given day! It’s true, sunny days are optional. Anytime is grilling season, even if there’s a foot of snow on the ground where you live! Any day is a great day to light the charcoal, fire up the gas grill, load up the smoker, take the lid off the portable Weber, heck, rub two sticks together - it doesn’t matter how - put some meat on the fire!

Don’t forget the tongs…..

via www.grillinggoodeats.com

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