Food and Drink Feed

Stocking your bar for Christmas and New Years - Bachelor on the Cheap

20180812_182511-1By Mike Thayer

This is NOT the typical frilly, foofoo, cutesy, fancy drinks will make everything all merry Christmas drink idea list.....

The truth is, all you need are some basics to get "merry".....   A simple glass of wine, a choice or two of beer, and/or a smart selection of a few spirits will make just about any Christmas party guest quite happy....  pun intended.  You won't see frilly drinks like "Candy Cane Cocoa" or "Hot Buttered Rum Punch" on this list.

Here are my choices for the Christmas bar:

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Copy Cat Arbynator Sandwich - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

The Arbynator is a great sandwich, what Arby's did was kick their classic Roast Beef 'n Cheddar up a notch by, well, just read the description from the restaurant itself:  The Arbynator has Roast Beef, Cheese Sauce, Horsey Sauce®, Arby’s Sauce® and Curly Fries, all in the same sandwich. Or in other words, it is the most Arby’s sandwich Arby’s has ever made. Available in Classic, Double and Half Pound sizes.

It's my favorite sandwich from Arby's!  So the least I could do, is come up with a copy cat recipe so I can make it at home, right?

20181214_143250-1What's not to like.....  Roast beef, cheese sauce, a delightful combination of Arby's Sauce and Horsey Sauce, topped with seasoned curly fries and served on a garlic butter toasted bun?  (yes, the garlic butter is my personal add, so too is the seasoning on the curly fries, a little more than just salt and the thinly sliced roast beef warmed in that yummy garlic butter....).  This sandwich is another dose of YUM and I've kicked it up a notch with my own personal twists. 

And this sandwich only cost me about $1.50 to make at home, that's FAR cheaper than the restaurant price and BETTER TASTING!  Yes, better tasting because I added my own personal touches - and you can too, easily!

  • Garlic butter toasted bun: $0.12 (Arby's serves the sandwich on a sesame seed bun)
  • Roast Beef sliced deli thin: $0.78 (Arby's roast beef NOT warmed in garlic butter)
  • Cheese:  $0.25
  • Curly Fries: $0.25 (Seasoned with my signature rub, not just salt)
  • Horsey & Arby's Sauce combo: $0.10

$pend Wisely My Friends.....

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Related:  The Arbynator from Arby's


Kicking popcorn up another notch - "Honey Mustard" Popcorn - Bachelor on the Cheap

Another episode of condiment flavored popcorn, by Mike Thayer

Why is popcorn one of my favorite snack foods?  1.  It tastes great,  2.  It's WAY cheaper than a bag of chips,  3.  You can add just about any flavor to it by popping your own, turning it into a gourmet treat!

20181212_183214-1Try this the next time you make popcorn.... When melting butter while that popcorn pops, add one of those honey mustard packets you've got stashed in your 'fridge, like from Chick-fil-A, KFC or in this case, Burger King.... along with a pinch of Kosher salt, it's another episode of condiment flavored popcorn deliciousness.  It's honey, mustard and a kiss of salt.....  Another dose of YUM!  Yessssir.....  popcorn, tasty, tasty, tasty!

And if you're looking for a GREAT popcorn popper, check this out: 

Product Review: The Salbree Popper

$pend Wisely My Friends.....


"Sweet Heat" popcorn

"Honey Butter" popcorn

BBQ popcorn

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Ask your favorite Iowa City area bartender to serve you up a "Hillbilly High"

By Mike Thayer

It's five-o'clock somewhere right?

20181129_104441This is a go-to adult beverage for me, of my own invention, I call it, the Hillbilly High.  It ain't purdy, it ain't sweet, it ain't lady-like foo-foo, it don't have an umbrella in it.

It's bourbon dammit, with a caffeine kicker. 

The Hillbilly High


  • 1 shot of your favorite bourbon
  • 1 shot of Mountain Dew (I prefer Diet Mountain Dew, it's not as sweet)
  • 1 shot of water
  • a squeeze of lime juice and a slice to garnish

Serve on the rocks.

What makes it Hillbilly?  Well, the best American Whiskeys (Bourbon is my preference) come from Kentucky and Tennessee, Hillbilly country.  

What makes it "high?"  Mountain Dew, not only was it invented in Hillbilly country (Tennessee, 1940), it brings the caffeine kick!


And the recipe is so easy, ask your favorite bartender to whip one up for you. 

$pend Wisely My Friends.....

Yes Iowa City area, it is indeed my creation, a Mike Thayer original.  So while you give your favorite bar Kudos for serving it, make sure that credit is given where credit is due.  This drink was invented by Mike Thayer, a.k.a., Bachelor on the Cheap.

Cooking oils, dressings, sauces and squeeze jars - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

It's not an original idea, but it is a great one...

Put cooking oils, salad dressings and sauces - things you use frequently - in squeeze bottles.

There is a reason the makers of ketchup and mustard started putting their products in customized plastic squeeze bottles in addition to traditional glass bottles and jars decades ago.  A squeeze bottle is convenient.  You get the perfect serving portion to your liking.  And not only is it a faster way to put ketchup or mustard on a sandwich, hot dog or burger, it's less of a mess too.  There's no need to pull out a knife to spread mustard around, there's no slow wait for ketchup to come out of a bottle.

While that way back commercial was humorous, nobody likes to wait for the ketchup to come out of the bottle.  For us older folks, remember those impatient ones at the diner who thumped the bottom of the bottle which often resulted in ketchup going somewhere they didn't want it too, or getting a mountain of ketchup on that burger rather than the small dollop they wanted?  Then there was the other guy who would stick a knife down the bottle to retrieve the ketchup, making a huge mess, ketchup running down the length of the knife and the guy having to ask the waitress for extra napkins?  Where you one of those guys?

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Food Review: Finlandia Muenster Cheese - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

20181208_182259-1How can you NOT like Muenster cheese?  A semi-soft cow's milk cheese from the United States, it's a mild cheese with a buttery note, melts well and goes with just about anything.  You'll see it on cheese trays, as a topping on a variety of appetizers and is a common ingredient in bar food fare to include grilled cheese sandwiches, quesadillas, cheeseburgers, pizza, mac & cheese and so much more! 

I bought a two pound package of Finlandia brand sliced Muenster cheese for just $7.98 at Costco.  That my friends is Bachelor on the Cheap friendly AND delicious!  At just 25 cents a slice this versatile cheese is a must have for your refrigerator!  It's another dose of cheese YUM!

20181208_182218-1Finlandia Muenster gets five out of five Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  Anytime you can get a delicious, high quality cheese like this for under $5 a pound it's a grocery score!

5 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends.....

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Food Review: Arla Brand Havarti Cheese - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

I love cheese and this is without question one of my favorites!

20181208_181902Havarti cheese is a semi-soft Danish cheese made from cow's milk. It can be sliced, grilled, or melted.  If I had to describe it, it's kind of a cross between a Monterey Jack cheese and the sharper Swiss.  Havarti has that buttery aroma that only gets stronger in more aged varieties, getting to an almost Hazelnut flavor and tangy, if you will.  Personally, I like it better than Swiss.  Creamy and smooth, Havarti pairs well with a wide variety of foods in gourmet fashion.  It's a great compliment to spicy dishes, you can shred it on pizza, it melts perfectly and gets golden, brown and delicious on casseroles!  Try it on a burger or pair it up with just about any other kind of cheese for a good old fashioned but now upscale grilled cheese sandwich.

I bought a 32 ounce package of Arla brand sliced Havarti cheese for just $7.89 at Costco.  That my friends is Bachelor on the Cheap friendly AND delicious!  At just 25 cents a slice this upscale cheese at a bargain price cheese ROCKS!

20181208_182017-1Arla Havarti cheese gets five out of five Bachelor on the cheap stars and is most definitely a repeat buy!

5 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends.....

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Copy Cat Arby's Sauce - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

Arby's SauceMost every bachelor has those leftover condiment packets in his fridge, one I always seem to have on hand lately is Arby's Sauce, which is fantastic on roast beef sandwiches, steak sandwiches, a change of pace from regular ketchup on burgers and so much more!  I like to slather that sauce on my sandwich, but one of those packets is never enough....  So why not make a big batch of my own "Arby's Sauce" and put it in a squeeze bottle, right?


  • 1 heaping cup ketchup
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Louisiana Hot Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine (optional, no the real Arby's sauce doesn't have wine in it, but this is a nice add)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Heat up a small sauce pan over medium heat, combine all ingredients and heat until boiling, stirring often.  Reduce to simmer and let all those flavors marry for about 5 minutes.  Take the pan off the heat and cool.  Store in a squeeze bottle in the fridge, it's good for about two weeks.  Now you have your own batch of Arby's Sauce, it's another dose of YUM!

$pend Wisely My Friends.....

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Food Review: McDonald's Pumpkin Pie - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

20181114_140616Pumpkin pie, it is THE dessert for the Thanksgiving holiday. 

So if you can't wait until Thanksgiving to sink your teeth into some pumpkin pie, McDonald's may just have the fix for you.

They've done a pretty nice job of putting some pumpkin pie filling in their classic turnover crust and dusting it with cinnamon sugar.

The description from their website:  Baked Pumpkin Pie. Smooth, rich pumpkin filling baked in a tender and flaky pastry crust and dusted in cinnamon sugar.

No, it's not Mom's pumpkin pie, but for less than $1 it's a decent, albeit temporary fix for a pumpkin pie craving. 

The bottom line, it's a repeat buy during this holiday season.  I'll take it over all that pumpkin flavored coffee/creamer/latte crap.

McDonald's Cinnamon Dusted Pumpkin Pie gets 3 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.

3 stars

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Crock Pot 'Pulled' Pork - Bachelor on the Cheap

Crock PotBy Mike Thayer

The crock pot, along with the microwave, are two of a bachelor's best buddies in the kitchen.  But crock pots are under-utilized and that's a Bachelor on the Cheap crime.

They're so versatile, easy to use and they can crank out some pretty darn tasty food.  Even if you don't like to cook, you should embrace the crock pot - give it a big Bromance hug.

Crock Pot Pulled Pork

When smoking or grilling some pork butt isn't an option, putting a small pork roast in the crock pot certainly is and it delivers some pretty darn tasty pulled pork!


  • A small boneless pork roast, about 2 pounds
  • Your favorite dry rub (in a pinch, seasoning salt will do, or just plain salt and pepper)
  • One Tablespoon olive oil
  • One Tablespoon dried, minced onion
  • One cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
  • Buns for serving


Put the olive oil in the crock pot, brushing it around a bit to cover the bottom.  Thoroughly cover the pork roast with the rub.  Throw the roast and everything else in the pot and set it to low.  After eight hours you are going to have some very tender, easily shredded 'pulled' pork which I like to do right in the pot, mixing it with all that BBQ seasoning and sauce goodness!

$pend Wisely My Friends.....

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