Food and Drink Feed

Marie Callender's Chicken Pot Pies are the best store bought pot pies out there - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

Sometimes, you just don't feel like cooking....

Marie Callender's Chicken Pot PieEnter Marie Callender's Chicken Pot Pie, prepared on a night where I didn't feel like cooking or stopping at a fast food restaurant for junk.

This is comfort food, not fast food junk, check out the details:

  • Tender White Meat Chicken
  • Golden Flaky Crust Made From Scratch
  • Made From Scratch Sauce
  • Carrots & Peas, it wouldn't be a pot pie without!

So how did it taste?

For the full review go to

Applebee's 25 cent boneless wings is worth a visit

Cold beer frosty mug
A cold beer & MNF

For a limited time, Applebee's is serving up boneless wings at a VERY Bachelor on the Cheap friendly price!

Here's the promo from the Applebee's website:

It’s that time of year again. Baseball, basketball, hockey and football are all happening at once! What better way to celebrate than by watching it all with some 25¢ Boneless Wings. Because right now, we’re serving up 25¢ Boneless Wings covered in our classic buffalo sauce for a limited time!

With that in mind, I stopped in my neighborhood Applebee's on a Monday night for some Monday Night Football.

Arriving at about 6:30pm, the restaurant was perhaps 1/3 full and I found a nice seat at the bar with about 5 TVs easily viewed, all providing various sports programming to include the MNF pregame show.

Applebee's boneless wings and wonton tacos
Does that look delish or what?

I was greeted warmly by the bartender and I ordered up a Miller Lite while I reviewed the menu.  Applebee's lays the menu out on the bar as part of the place setting, which is kind of nice, patrons don't have to ask for or wait on a server to provide one.  Enjoying my frosty mug of Miller Lite which was served lickity split and intent on getting some of those wings, something else caught my eye from the appetizer section of the menu.....

Read the full review at:

Food Review: Millville Pumpkin Crispy O's - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

'tis the season of Pumpkin Spice....

Millville Pumpkin Crispy O'sIt's in just about everything this time of year, pumpkin spice coffee, coffee creamer, pancakes, cereals, yogurt, Oreo Cookies, cream cheese, beer, a plethora of baked goods and more.

I've never really been a passenger on the pumpkin spice train, but when shopping for a few groceries the other day I passed by a display of pumpkin spice cereal and said, "What the heck, I'll give it a shot."

I picked up a box of Millville Pumpkin Crispy O's at Aldi.  Their Crispy O's are a Cheerios knock-off and I did a review of the Millville version last year and for the money, I actually prefer Millville over Cheerios.

But today is a different taste test...

It was a mistake buying a box of pumpkin flavored cereal, no matter the brand.

This stuff was overly sweet and I just couldn't get past that artificial pumpkin flavor.  I tried the cereal with milk, without milk, with milk & blueberries (NOT a good combo), it was all, UGH.  The cereal does stay crunchy though, because of the heavy sugar/pumpkin flavor coating......  When craving Crispy O's, I'll stick with the regular stuff.

Millville Pumpkin Crispy O's w blueberriesCosting me $1.99 for a 12 ounce box, I'm giving Millville Pumpkin Crispy O's just 2 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  While the price is wallet friendly, the bottom line is cereal and pumpkin is NOT a good combination and NOT worthy of a repeat buy. 

2 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends.....

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Food Review: Simply Nature Organic Multi Grain Tortilla Chips - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

Simply Nature Tortilla ChipsIn search of a healthier chip alternative, I recently did a review on a "cauliflower" chip.  While the chips I sampled were indeed tasty, they really weren't any more or less healthy than any other kind of chip.

So with that quest for a healthier chip in mind, today I'm sampling the Organic Multi Grain Tortilla Chips made by Simply Nature.

Certified organic and non-GMO (if you care about such things) the chips are quite tasty and they hold up well to dipping in salsa. I tasted them by themselves, with salsa, I used them to make nachos. They do well in any classic tortilla chip preparation.

But are these chips really any healthier than any other?

Here's the ingredient list:  Organic yellow corn, organic white corn, organic sunflower oil, organic brown flaxseed, organic brown rice flour, salt, organic sunflower seeds, organic sugar, organic sesame seeds.

All the ingredients are organic, which is a huge plus for a lot of folks and the list sounds healthy, right?  We're talking flaxseed, brown rice as opposed to white which is much more highly processed, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, all those seeds are supposed to be good for you....

But in what matters most to me from a dietary standpoint, a serving of these chips actually have more carbs than many traditional chips at 18 grams. Classic Lays potato chips come in at 15 grams, Fritos have 16 grams and Doritos also have 16 grams of carbs.  And while the Simply Nature product does rate well in the sodium metric, 115 grams vs. an average of 180 grams in traditional chips, all other metrics such as fat, sugar and dietary fiber are only marginally better or are in the same amount as regular chips.

Tortilla ChipsSo after evaluating just two brands of supposedly healthier chips, the reality is there's probably no such thing.  We're still talking a very highly processed food and there is no dramatic difference in the nutritional metrics, not enough to change your body in any way, as in, you can't swap out Doritos for some organic 'healthy' chip and expect to lose weight or prevent some health condition.  Like any other 'sinful' food, chips should be eaten in moderation, THAT is the key.   It doesn't matter if you're eating Lays potato chips or Simply Nature, enjoy the occasional serving, but eating too many or too often is a bad thing, no matter the brand or marketing hype.

Costing me just $1.89 at Aldi, I'm giving Simply Nature Organic Multi Grain Tortilla Chips 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  They are tasty and the price is right.  The only knock I have against them is the marketing hype.  So despite the implied healthier hype, these are a nice tortilla chip alternative and are worthy of a repeat buy.

4 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends.....

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Burger Ideas - Grilling Good Eats

By Mike Thayer

BurgersThe burger, specifically the cheeseburger with all the classic toppings, is one of my favorite foods. It's a predictable choice, a typical choice, a go-to food for a lot of bachelors. I like burgers because they're relatively cheap and easy to prepare and I love to fire up the grill and nothing says summer quite like a grilled burger and a cold beer. The question is, can a guy eat burgers for lunch and dinner for seven days straight and not get bored with it?

Bored with a burger?  NO WAY!

But there are those times when a spin on the classic is pretty darn tasty!  Here are some burger recipes that kick things up a notch, starting with that classic:

The Classic Burger:  So the key to my Classic burger is to include Cookies Flavor Enhancer in the meat. I like to use an 80/20 grind of ground beef, it's a perfect blend of meat/fat for the grill and mixing in the Cookies Flavor Enhancer gives it the edge when it comes to a depth of flavor when combined with the kiss of smoke from the grill.

Idaho BurgerThe Idaho Burger:  This recipe was ‘developed’ by my three young sons on a summer vacation trip to Idaho. It’s pretty much a classic bacon cheeseburger and BBQ sauce with a spin of mine (adding pork sausage), but my boys really thought they had come up with something new. I wasn’t about to spoil their creativity in their grilling moment of discovery.  

Meatloaf BurgerThe Meatloaf Burger:  I know the burger purists out there might say this isn't really a burger, but let me tell you, it's another dose of YUM! Three meats = flavor, the breadcrumbs provide a nice little texture crunch because it crisps up on the grill, the ketchup glaze is scrumptious and the mac & cheese topper just kicks things up another notch. It's comfort food and a burger in one awesome package!

Pizza BurgerThe Pizza Burger: The combination of burger and pizza, how can this NOT be good right?  This is a stuffed burger and my favorite pizza toppings are pepperoni and mushrooms, so that's what I'm stuffing this burger with along with sauce and mozzarella cheese. That's what I love about stuffed burgers, the choices of what to put in your burger are almost endless!

The Juicy Lucy:  The great thing about these burgers is playing with a variety of cheeses. Melted cheddar, swiss and or provolone are great too! Do combinations or specialty cheeses like pepperjack. Your choices are almost unlimited!

Thanksgiving BurgerThe Thanksgiving Burger:  This is another stuffed burger recipe, a plate of Thanksgiving Day goodness all in one bite!  The toasted bun was dressed with a brown butter & cranberry jelly, the turkey burger was seasoned with my signature rub and stuffed with loaded mashed potatoes and gravy and the green beans were Tempura battered and fried. It was another dose of YUM!

Cajun BurgerThe Cajun Burger:  This burger takes everything that is classic Cajun and delivers it in a big flavor fashion!   It's a pork sausage and Andouille sausage patty kissed with some Cajun spice, there's a slice of melted muenster cheese and it's served on a garlic toasted bun dressed with a Cajun spice remoulade.   It was another dose of YUM!

Mediterranean BurgerThe Mediterranean Burger:  It's lunch in the Mediterranean! This burger features ground lamb and melds together all the classic flavors of the Mediterranean. There's feta cheese, hummus, Kalamata olives and more in this great burger. 

California BurgerThe California Burger:  It's dinner in California!  This burger features avacado and bacon jam!  I've never had bacon jam before and after tasting it, I was like, "Where have you been all my life?"  As Guy Fieri might say, you could put that stuff on a flip-flop and it would taste good

Mexican BurgerThe Mexican Burger:  This burger features a mixture of ground beef and Mexican chorizo, which provides for a little heat. Topped with a little salsa and guacamole, this takes taco flavors up to a whole new level! 

Garlic Chicken Curry BurgerThe Garlic Chicken Curry Burger:  The taste of India featuring a mixture of ground chicken, garlic and curry. Add in a garlic/curry/ginger aioli, lettuce, tomato, red onion and cucumbers (nope, not pickles) and this burger delivers some excellent international flare!  

Breakfast BurgerThe Breakfast Burger:  This burger puts some beef into the morning meal and kicks the typical breakfast sandwich up a couple notches! The great thing about this burger, is it's an excellent use of leftover burgers from last night's dinner. And there's just something a little extra special with that golden yoke from the over easy egg running down the side of the sandwich....

French Dip BurgerThe French Dip Burger:  It's lunch in France! This burger is a spin on the classic French Dip sandwich, featuring onion and Au Jus. The combination of that seasoned ground beef, those savory onions and a great bun soaked in that Au Jus makes for a fantastic bite! 

Asian BurgerThe Asian Burger:  The Orient really shines with the flavors of General Tsao and a Ramen noodle bun. When you sink your teeth into it, it's kind of like a giant, beefy, egg roll bite!

Get the tongs out and have some fun with flavor!




Food Review: Real Food From The Ground Up Cauliflower Tortilla Chips - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

Cauliflower Tortilla ChipsTouted as a healthier chip alternative, a company called Real Food From The Ground Up makes a Sea Salt Tortilla Chip that's pretty darn tasty.

The company calls it a cauliflower chip, even though cauliflower is listed as the second vegetable ingredient behind cassava and there is a laundry list of other veggie ingredients.  I suppose it's a marketing thing, picking up on the cauliflower trend and far more people are familiar with it, than they are cassava.  What is cassava?  It's a root vegetable native to South America.

Here's the full list of ingredients:  cassava, organic sunflower oil, cauliflower, chia seed, sea salt, vegetable blend (spinach, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, beets, shiitake mushrooms), garlic, parsley, celery seed.

Sounds healthy, right?

Read the full review at

Food Review: Subway's Pit-Smoked Brisket Sandwich - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

Subway Pit-Smoke Brisket SandwichFor a limited time - through November 7th - Subway has finally jumped on the brisket train of popularity by offering what they call a Pit-Smoked Brisket Sandwich.

I'm into barbecue, a.k.a., BBQ, especially brisket, so even though it's Subway (I'm not a big fan), I thought I'd give it a shot.

Here's the description of the sandwich from Subway's website: New Pit-Smoked Brisket, naturally smoked for at least 13 hours, topped with smoked cheddar and barbecue sauce.  Layers of smoky flavor in every.single.bite.

Read the full review at:

Drink Review: Jack Daniel's Tennessee Apple - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

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.

My most recent review was of Royal Crown Peach flavored whiskey.  Good stuff!

Jack Daniel's Tennessee AppleToday's tasting is Jack Daniel's Tennessee Apple.  How will it stack up to my favorite flavored whiskey, Yukon Jack Jacapple?

Released just this week, the new spirit is the classic whiskey mixed with apple liqueur, which in my humble, flavored whiskey opinion is THE best spirit flavor pairing there is.

Here's the description from Jack Daniel's Master Distiller Jeff Arnett.  “Tennessee Apple couples the character of our Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey with the taste of crisp, green apples. It’s like a freshly picked apple in a glass of Jack.”

And he nailed it.  Sampling the whiskey in a straight shot and on the rocks, it's very clean and does indeed taste like a freshly picked apple in a glass of Jack.   You get a nice apple whiff in the nose, the swirl has enticing color and the swallow is crisp green apple, followed by the rich Jack Daniel's Whiskey boldness in the finish.  This is a very well balanced blend of whiskey and apple, perfectly smooth, nicely done Jack!

Costing me about $14 for a 350ml bottle, this 70 proof offering is priced at the higher end of flavored whiskeys but it's well worth it and is most definitely a repeat buy.  In fact, it may have displaced Yukon Jack Jacapple as my favorite, I'm not sure yet, I may have to do a side-by-side taste test comparison.......

5 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends.....

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Winner, Winner, Taco Bell's Toasted Cheddar Chalupa Dinner - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

Taco Bell Toasted Cheddar ChalupaUnveiled at participating Taco Bell restaurants on September 12th, this new menu item is being featured in a combo that pairs one Toasted Cheddar Chalupa with two crunch tacos and a drink for $5.

The price is right!

The Toasted Cheddar Chalupa includes seasoned beef, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese and kicking this thing up a notch is 6-month-aged cheddar toasted right into that classic Chalupa shell!  THIS THING ROCKS!  This shell is SO good, I would eat it by itself.  The texture is perfect, giving you a bit of a crunch on the outside, a soft/fluffy quality on the inside and that nice note of aged cheddar with each bite. 

Toasted Cheddar ChalupaI didn't put any sauce on it in taking that first bite, I wanted to see just what kind of flavor this thing had and it did not disappoint.  The seasoned beef, the fresh lettuce, tomato, sour cream, shredded cheese, all classic Taco Bell flavors, but what makes this thing great is that shell!  I couldn't put it down and there was no need to doctor it up with any sauce.  To repeat, it's so good, I would eat the shell by itself.  Completing my dinner were those two crunchy tacos after inhaling the Chalupa.  Now those, got sauced....

Nicely done Taco Bell!  The Toasted Cheddar Chalupa tastes great and gets 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars and the combo price of $5 is wallet friendly too! 

OK folks, now get out there and buy yourself a winner, winner Taco Bell Toasted Chalupa dinner!  Tasty, tasty!

5 stars

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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