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May 2016

Ramen Soup hack #2,670: Turn your Ramen into spaghetti

Mike ThayerBy Mike Thayer

Ramen soup beefRamen soup, it's cheap, it's a budget food, a single-person's food, a plan 'B' food, a college dorm food, a don't-know-what-else-to-have-so-this-will-have-to-do food...

Don't just make it per the package instructions, liven things up!

If you're not feeling like having another prepared per package instructions bowl of Ramen Soup, make spaghetti with it!  And the great thing about using Ramen noodles for this, it only takes 4 minutes!


  • Two packages of beef flavored Ramen Soup (chicken works too, but beef is better)
  • One Tablespoon olive oil
  • One Tablespoon dried, minced onion
  • One teaspoon dried oregano
  • Just one cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite jar spaghetti sauce (or better yet, something you made)
  • One Tablespoon Parmesan cheese
  • One small can of sliced mushrooms, drained (optional)


Put a medium sauce pan on medium heat.  Add the olive oil, the noodles, pour in the contents of the seasoning packets, along with the minced onion, dried oregano and just one cup of water.  Let cook for three minutes, then stir.  Add the spaghetti sauce and the mushrooms (Optional.  Sliced black olives are a great add too.  Got any leftover breakfast sausage?  Another great add.).  Stir for another minute or until all noodles are coated in sauce.  Plate and top with Parmesan cheese.

It's faster to make this than it is to microwave one of those over-priced ready meals.  Enjoy!

Food Review: Velveeta Shreds suck

Mike ThayerBy Mike Thayer

I love the original, classic Velveeta cheese!  It's great on Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches, it's my go-to for making Chili Con Queso, nachos, a loaded up Mac & Cheese w/bacon......  But Velveeta's latest product offering, shredded *cheese*...   it disappoints.

Granted, Velveeta is the maker of 'cheese product'.....  I knew that going in and so with the classic brick Velveeta so good in melted form, I figured the 'Velveeta Shreds' was worth a shot.  I bought two bags, one bag of Mozzarella Shreds and one bag of Mexican mix.  Each bag weighed in at two pounds and Walmart had them priced at around $7.50 each.  At the time, I'm thinking, "Sweet, I've got a boatload of cheese, I can portion it out, use some for dinner tonight and stash the rest in the freezer!"

Mozzarella flavorBut there were three big red flags right there on the package that I completely ignored and shouldn't have.  For starters, and in bold print, it says "Mozzarella Flavor" right there on the front of the bag.  That's red flag #1.   It doesn't say "Real Mozzarella Cheese," it says, "Mozzarella Flavor."  OK, fine, the classic is "flavor" rather than the real stuff too, so no big deal right?   C'mon, it's Velveeta, it'll be good right? Well, combined with red flags #2 and #3, not so much.....   

After sampling the Mozzarella Shreds prepared on a pizza, I got a real mushy, pasty-like taste in my mouth.   I wasn't getting that wonderful combination of pepperoni, sauce and melted mozzarella, I was getting pepperoni, sauce and.....  starch?  So I picked up the package and read the ingredients after-the-fact......  And there it was, red flags #2 and #3 in the list of ingredients......  Modified food starch and wait for it.......  POTATO STARCH.   It doesn't matter that part-skim milk is the first listed ingredient, the potato starch ruins it.  Shreds are not something Velveeta should be proud of.  Who wants a mouthful of starch on their pepperoni?

You won't find the starches listed for the classic brick of Velveeta cheese.  The official list of Velveeta ingredients is as follows: Milk, Water, Whey, Milk Protein Concentrate, Milkfat, Whey Protein Concentrate, Sodium Phosphate, Contains 2% or less of: Salt, Calcium Phosphate, Lactic Acid, Sorbic Acid, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Alginate, Enzymes, Apocarotenal, Annatto, Cheese Culture.

Kraft Foods apparently needs to add the modified food starch and the potato starch to get and hold the shredded cheese look.  Unfortunately, you can easily taste the starch.  It's an overdose.

I should have saved myself the trouble and read the list of ingredients at the grocery store.  But given how much I like classic brick Velveeta, I assumed the product would be good.  I was wrong.


Velveeta Shreds suck.  Both the Mozzarella and the Mexican mix (tried with tacos) give you that starchy, pasty taste - the Mozzarella more so than the Mexican flavored shreds. 

I won't buy these products again.  Velveeta Shreds get one Metro Pursuit star out of five.

Metro Pursuit

Kraft Foods

News and notes from the City of Coralville - May 12, 2016

Upcoming Events

Check out the upcoming events, meetings, activities, and performances at the City of Coralville. Highlights for the next two weeks include:

  • Family Storytime (May 14 & 21)
  • Meetings: Board of Adjustment (May 16), City Council (May 24)
  • Primetimer’s Potluck (May 16)
  • Author Joe Hill at the Library (May 22)
  • Sounds of Summer (May 26)

View all upcoming events


Property Owners Eligible for Discounted Flood Insurance Premiums

Rating system rewards Coralville’s flood mitigation efforts

The City’s flood mitigation work has earned Coralville property owners discounted flood insurance premium rates. Coralville achieved a Class 7 status in the National Flood Insurance Program’s Community Rating System. The rating system rewards community floodplain management activities that reduce and avoid flood damage to insurable property.

Since 2008, Coralville has made significant improvements and investments to protect low-lying areas from floodwaters on Biscuit Creek, Clear Creek, and the Iowa River. Learn more


Looks like Mustard, Smells like Garlic

How to get rid of invasive garlic mustard

Did you know that garlic mustard (an invasive plant) should not be placed in yard waste bags or composted? Safely dispose of garlic mustard in the “garlic mustard” Dumpster at the Coralville Recycling Center through late May.  Learn more


Take a Swim

Aquatic Center to open for season on May 28 

Make a splash this summer! Mark your calendar, the Coralville Community Aquatic Center is scheduled to open for the season on Saturday, May 28. Learn more


Farmers' Market Season Is in Bloom

The Coralville Farmers’ Market is open in the Coralville Community Aquatic Center parking lot every Monday from 5:00 until 7:00 pm. Stop by for locally-grown produce, fresh baked goods, and more! Learn more


4thFest Parade & Vendor Openings

March in the parade

Entries are now being accepted for Coralville's 4thFest parade, the area's largest 4th of July parade. March on! Learn more

Be a vendor

Apply now to be a vendor at 4thFest in S.T. Morrison Park on July 3 and 4. Thousands of people attend Coralville's annual 4th of July celebration! Learn more


On Stage at the Center for the Performing Arts

This is My Brave

Friday, May 13

Touching essays, original music, and poetry are performed by individuals living with—or loving someone with—a mental illness. Learn more

Orchestra Iowa Chamber Series: Tricksters & Troubadors

Sunday, May 15

Intimate duos, robust quintets, and a famous interpretation of a Romantic classic anchor this not-to-be-missed concert. Learn more

Nancy Cree Recitals

Saturday & Sunday, May 21 & 22

Students of Nancy Cree Keyboard Learning Centers present their spring recital. Learn more


School Concerts

Wednesday & Thursday, May 18 & 19

The Regina High School Band and Regina Junior High Band (May 18) and Borlaug Elementary (May 19) present their spring concerts. Learn more

In My Life - A Musical Theatre Tribute to the Beatles

Tuesday, May 24

Featuring one of the world's best tribute bands, Abbey Road, the Beatles’ story is retold through the eyes of their manager. Learn more


What's Happening at the Library

Friends of the Coralville Library Book Sale

Friday, May 13 | 1:30-5:30 pm
Saturday, May 14 | 9:00 am-3:00 pm

Over 7,000 used books offer buyers a broad range of reading material at bargain prices! Learn more

In addition, the Teen Advisory Board will be having a bake sale on Saturday morning. Learn more

Novel Conversations: Their Eyes Were Watching God
by Zora Neale Hurston

Thursday, May 19 | 7:00 pm

Written during the Harlem Renaissance, this novel is about a girl of mixed racial heritage and her quest to find true and meaningful love. Learn more


Author Reading: Joe Hill

Sunday, May 22 | 5:00-7:00 pm

The Library welcomes best-selling author Joe Hill as he reads from his new book, The Fireman , followed by a reception. Joe is the author of Heart-Shaped Box, Horns, NOS4A2 , and the graphic novel series, Locke & Key . The Library will close at 3:00 pm to prepare for this special event. Learn more

Summer Reading Program Kickoff

Tuesday, May 24 | 5:00-6:30 pm

On your mark, get set, read! All ages can sign up to participate in the summer reading programs at the Library. Learn more


Stay Informed!

Connect with the City of Coralville and subscribe to City updates on anything from agendas and minutes to community events and more. Sign up and select the topics that interest you at .

Off Campus Auto Repair - Coralville

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Off Campus Auto Repair is a full-service preventive maintenance and auto repairs center in the Coralville, IA 52241 area, specializing in General Services, Car & Truck Care, Undercar Services, Brakes, Tires, Engine & Transmission, Engine Maintenance, Transmission Services, Heating and Cooling Services, Electrical Services, Electronic Services, Miscellaneous Services, Towing & Recovery, Emergency Roadside Assistance, Fleet General Services, Fleet Engine Work, Fleet Brakes, Fleet Tires, Fleet Electrical, Fleet Electronics, Fleet Suspension Work, Fleet Front End Services, Fleet Drive Train and Fleet Wheel Services since 1978.

Our experts have the knowledge to service and repair even the most challenging auto problems on all makes and models of domestic and import vehicles. We use the latest technology to assess the situation and offer you alternatives. We guarantee all of our work and know you'll be happy with the outcome. Stop in or give us a call at (888) 567-5370 to let us know how we can help you!

390 Westcor Dr #14 Coralville, IA 52241