Food and Drink Feed

Drink Review: Crown Royal Peach Flavored Whiskey - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

Hey, it's been awhile since I've done one of these....

Blended and flavored whiskeys are red hot right now, consumer demand for brown spirits continues to rise with American Whiskey in particular seeing some phenomenal sales growth.

Regular readers know that I am a fan of flavored whiskey, I've always got a bottle of something in my freezer for a chilled shot or a flavored specialty in the liquor cabinet to enjoy on the rocks.  My favorite in all this tasting fun so far, has been Yukon Jack Jacapple.

Crown Royal Peach PackagingBack in April, there was a big buzz about Crown Royal Peach.  A limited edition, the stuff flew off the shelves, liquor stores quickly sold out and I didn't get into a store fast enough to get some to review.  Not a store in town had any by the time I went looking for it that's how popular the peach was.  Placed on back order, it's now late August and the peach is back on liquor store shelves, so I jumped on a tip (thanks Vicki S!) and I can finally see if this stuff lives up to all the hype it got this spring.

Here's the description from the box:  To create this extraordinary blend, Crown Royal whiskies are carefully selected by our master blender and infused with the juicy flavor of fresh Georgia peaches.  Our peaches are harvested to capture their ripe succulence.  Once picked, the peaches are de-stoned, pressed and strained to preserve their bright, aromatic flavor.

The harmonious notes of this summer fruit complement the richness of Crown Royal Blended Whiskey.  The result is a vibrantly delicious whisky, bursting with the luscious flavor of peach and the distinctive smoothness of Crown Royal.  Enjoy on the rocks, as a shot, or mixed with iced tea for a refreshing cocktail.

Wow, how can you NOT want to sample the stuff after reading that?  Kudos to the Crown Royal marketing team.  So yes, as suggested, but how I taste test a review anyway, I tried it on the rocks and as a shot.  Side note:  I'm not a huge iced tea fan, but that iced tea cocktail suggestion does sound pretty good!

And now for the tasting....

Read the full review at www.bacheloronthecheap.com


Burger Challenge Taste Test: Burger King Whopper w/cheese vs. the Impossible Whopper w/cheese - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

Like you, I've seen the Burger King commercials hyping up the "Impossible Whopper"....  which has a patty of imitation meat, largely based in a soy protein.  Dressed up in all the classic Whopper toppings, consumers in the Burger King commercial claim, "I can't tell the difference!"

I call bullshit.

Whopper comparison wrapped
The Impossible Whopper, in it's "green" wrapper

Yes, you CAN tell the difference between a regular Whopper and an Impossible Whopper.  Easily!

With the Burger King commercial in mind and having sampled a few fake meat burgers on occasion (and not really liking them), I traveled to my neighborhood Burger King to give the Impossible Whopper a try.  It's been awhile since I've tried a veggie burger (cough) so what the heck and maybe they're onto something, right?  I ordered a Whopper w/cheese and an Impossible Whopper w/cheese for a mano e' mano of sorts taste comparison.  I didn't do the value meal thing, just ordered the two "burgers."  I didn't special order any ingredients on or off, both burgers were prepared with the standard toppings, lettuce, tomato, mayo, pickles, onions, ketchup and cheese.

Read the full review at:  www.bacheloronthecheap.com


Food Review: Kirkland Signature Kettle Brand Krinkle Cut Himalayan Salt Potato Chips - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

Kettle ChipsChips, perhaps America's favorite snack food....  Walk into just about any grocery store and they have an isle dedicated to them, classic potato chips, flavored chips, wavy chips, corn chips, tortilla chips, other kinds of veggie chips and more.

Today, I'm sampling some kettle chips, the Kirkland Signature Kettle brand, a krinkle cut style with Himalayan salt.

If you don't know what the difference is between a classic chip and a kettle chip (besides appearance, texture and taste), classic, a.k.a. 'regular' chips are made on a conveyor belt through a process called continuous fry. In this method, potatoes move through hot oil on a conveyor belt.  The result is a thinner, more uniform looking chip.  Kettle chips are prepared with a process called batch cooking.  Potatoes are literally dumped into an oil-filled kettle and stirred until done, resulting in thicker, not-so-uniform, sometimes folded over, chip.  Kettle chips provide a more robust crunch than 'regular' chips.

Read the full review at www.bacheloronthecheap.com

 


Food Review: Jimmy Dean Breakfast Bowl, Meat Lovers - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

Jimmy Dean Breakfast Bowl Meat LoversBreakfast kick starts your day, providing your body the fuel it needs to drive through the day. But it's important to eat right whether you're on a diet or not.

I suggest eating at home if you can. Not only will you save a few bucks, you'll save on some calories and believe it or not, time as well.

I am a huge fan of Jimmy Dean Breakfast sandwiches, they're inexpensive, convenient and tasty!  But today I'm trying another Jimmy Dean product, a 'Breakfast Bowl.'  I'm sampling the 'Meat Lovers' variety which is a seven ounce helping of potatoes, sausage, cage free eggs, cheddar cheese and bacon.

Prepared in the microwave per the package instructions, I was ready to eat in about 4 minutes, how's that for convenience?  Faster than cooking something up on your own and no waiting in line at a fast food drive-thru.

"But how does it taste?" you ask....

Read the full review at www.bacheloronthecheap.com


Food Review: Kirkland Brats - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

Kirkland BratsThe bratwurst - more affectionately known as 'brats' by those who love these sausage treats - is a popular offering at summer cookouts and at baseball stadiums, especially in the Midwest.

That's what I'm into today, some brats!  I've tried pretty much all of them, Johnsonville, local butcher, various grocery store brands and today, I'm grilling up some brats made by Kirkland, the store brand of Costco.

As tasty as these things are, I'm actually kind of surprised that brats aren't more popular in restaurants, specifically burger and hot dog joints.  I'll take a juicy brat fresh off the grill over a burger or dawg just about any day of the week.  When brats are done right, you don't even need a bun, that's how good they are!

I've grilled brats for family, friends, at parties, at company functions.  I've prepared brats with beer, wine, my own secret parboil recipe and I've smoked them over a variety of woods.

Read the full review at www.bacheloronthecheap.com


Cereal Battle Part 3: Wheaties vs. other wheat cereals - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

I always have some kind of cereal on hand.  Sometimes it's for breakfast, sometimes with a little fruit and a heavy dose of cream, it makes for an impromptu dessert.  And although Captain Crunch with Crunch Berries is my all time favorite cereal, that's not what I typically have on hand.  My pantry is routinely stocked with corn flakes, toasted oats or bran flakes. 

Do you pay the premium price for the name brand?

If you do, you might think twice about doing so after reading this article.

CerealI've done reviews on corn flakes and toasted oats cereals, today I'm doing a similar review of wheat flake cereals.  In conducting this 'Cereal Battle, Part 3', I purchased THE name brand, General Mills Wheaties; a store brand version, in this case Kroger; and a discount brand called Millville, a.k.a., Aldi.

I compared price, weight, the look, taste (both dry and w/milk) and the 'sogginess' factor.

Read the full review at:  www.bacheloronthecheap.com


Food Review: Miss Vickie's Jalapeno Kettle Cooked Potato Chips - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

Chips1In my humble opinion, the Miss Vickie's brand of chips is one of the top brands in the country and is superior to Lays.  Miss Vickie's is so good in fact, it's why you see them as the featured brand in most sub/deli shops.

You really can't go wrong with any flavor that Miss Vickie's makes, but today I'm sampling the Jalapeno Chips. 

Read the full review at:  www.bacheloronthecheap.com


Do you have a 72 hour supply of food on hand?

By Mike Thayer

You'd be surprised to learn how many households don't have much of a food supply in the pantry.  This is typically true for folks that don't like to cook, preferring instead to eat out a lot or order in. 

Do you have meals you can put together from your pantry if the power goes out, there's a bad storm or something as simple as an unexpected visit from family or friends?

Every well stocked pantry should contain enough dry and canned goods to feed a family for at least 72 hours, that's three breakfasts, three lunches and three dinners.   With that in mind, here's a grocery list of essential pantry items for that power outage, the storm preventing a trip to the store, or some unexpected visitors.

Grocery List

  1. A box of cereal
  2. Nonfat dry milk
  3. Vegetable oil
  4. One box of Bisquick
  5. A can of fruit
  6. A jar of jam/jelly
  7. Instant oatmeal
  8. Instant potatoes
  9. A packet of gravy mix
  10. 2 or 3 cans of soup
  11. A can of tuna
  12. A box of pasta
  13. A bag of white rice
  14. Two cans of chicken
  15. A can of tomato paste
  16. Three cans of vegetables
  17. A can/box of juice
  18. A bag of bread
  19. Peanut butter
  20. Salt

If you're a saavy shopper, that list of 20 items can be purchased for about $30 - $35.  That's three days worth of food for a family of four, for the cost of one meal at a McDonald's or Burger King.   A single person can purchase a three-day supply of food for about $14, including bottled water.

Here's what you can do with that grocery list: 

Item Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
3 Breakfasts Cereal Oatmeal Toast/biscuits
  Milk Fruit Jam
    Milk Juice
       
3 Lunches Peanut Butter/jelly Sandwiches Soup Tuna sandwiches
       
3 Dinners Rice Pasta Potatoes
  Canned Chicken Tomato Paste Canned Chicken
  Canned Vegetable Canned Vegetable Gravy mix
      Canned Vegetable

And here's the beauty of this list - believe it or not you won't consume it all (keep portions small in an emergency).  You'll have leftover Bisquick, jam, oatmeal, peanut butter, dry milk...  It's something you can build on.  The other great thing about building a food reserve in your pantry is you'll save money down the road.  Once you build up a reserve to cover a 72 hour period, it's easier to stock up for a week's supply, then a month.....  You'll be fighting food inflation (prices are always rising in case you haven't noticed) and your grocery list can become more flexible.  There's no reason NOT to do it, even if you're not much of a cook.

So the next time you grocery shop, don't use the "What sounds good for dinner?" mentality, use the mindset of building your pantry for another 72 hour period in addition to your regular grocery shopping.  Don't think menu item like lasagna, think in terms of I need to buy some kind of grain, some kind of bean, some kind of oil, a sugar, a spice.  Mix things up a little, buy some dried beans, a small bag of brown rice, a jar of honey, perhaps some dried soup mixes.  Down the road, you'll find that your pantry will hold a range of variety  for you, making menu planning so much easier and not nearly as hard to shop for.

And something else you may not want to overlook, bottled water.  Floods, power outages and other events can put a temporary stop on your access to tap water.  Always have some bottled water on hand.  A family of four needs about 12 gallons for a 72 hour period.  That figure includes water use not just for cooking and drinking, but the little things too like brushing your teeth, some washing/cleansing or perhaps medicinal use.

It's easy to start building a food reserve!


Kicking boxed mac & cheese up another notch - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

A scratch made Mac & Cheese is always the best, but there are times when one of those boxed varieties will satisfy the craving for some classic cheesy pasta.

Kicking those boxed varieties up a notch in flavor is easy.

20190709_202551Tip One:  If you've got the time, always include some oven baking time for your Mac & Cheese.  Stove top is good, but oven baked is SOOOOOOO much better.  All you have to do is add a little more liquid, to keep those noodles from getting too dry while baking in the oven until golden, brown and delicious on the edges.  Add some more milk, or better yet, use cream!

Read the full article and get some doctoring mac & cheese ideas at www.bacheloronthecheap.com