Food and Drink Feed

Food Review: Ajinomoto Yakitori Chicken with Japanese Style Fried Rice - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

Anjinomoto Chicken Fried RiceLooking for some convenience foods to prepare at home for those times when I don't feel like cooking, I picked up a box of Ajinomoto brand Yakitori Chicken with Japanese style fried rice when shopping recently at Costo.  I'm a sucker for fried rice and this looked pretty good.  

"What is Yakitori Chicken?" you ask....

It refers to the Japanese method of grilling skewered chicken over charcoal.  The chicken is typically cut into bite sized pieces, put on bamboo or metal skewers and placed over hot coals, the meat is seasoned over the fire.

Here's the description from the package:  Made with grilled white meat and tender vegetables in an authentic savory sauce.  In addition to the chicken and rice, the veggies include carrots, leeks, edamame soybeans, peas, red bell peppers and roasted sweet corn. 

Chicken fried rice in bagThe box contains six, nine ounce bags and preparation is easy peasy, just pop one of those bags in the microwave for three minutes and boom, dinner is served!

Read the full review at www.bacheloronthecheap.com


Food Review: Crazy Cuizine brand General Tso's Chicken - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

Crazy Cuizine General Tso's ChickenUniquely Chinese-American, General Tso's Chicken is a battered and fried chicken dish served with a delicious 'sweet heat' sauce made with a combination of soy, garlic, ginger, chili peppers, sugar and other ingredients.  It's my preferred go-to dish when I'm in the mood for Chinese food. 

I'm always looking for a restaurant quality version of the dish to prepare at home, and today I'm trying General Tso's Chicken made by Crazy Cuizine.

Here's the description from the front of the box, which is pretty straight forward:  Battered Chicken Breast with Rib Meat in a Zesty Ginger Sauce.

I prepared the chicken in the oven per the box instructions and my dinner was ready in about 20 minutes.  You can also prepare them on the stove top, but with the LSU vs. Clemson National Championship game on, I opted for the convenience of the oven.

Serving the sauced up chicken over a bed of Ramen noodles, I took that first bite....

Read the full review at www.bacheloronthecheap.com


Food Review: Tiger Thai Shrimp Vegetable Nests - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

Tiger Thai Shrimp Vegetable NestsI've been looking for something a little different to put into my meal and snacking routine.  Yes, believe it or not, chips, popcorn or Little Smokies can get old. 

During my latest shopping trip to Costco and focused on shaking up the 'house menu' I happened across some Shrimp Vegetable Nests which looked quite tasty and I'm a sucker for just about anything with an Asian Flare.

The description from the box:  Tiger Thai Tempura Shrimp and Vegetable Nests are a delightful combination of onion, carrot and kale.  We julienne the vegetables, then form them into a ring, or nest, and finish them off with shrimp on top. 

Read the full review at www.bacheloronthecheap.com


Food Review: El Monterey Mexican Grill Chicken & Cheese Taquitos - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

El Monterey TaquitosHaving recently enjoyed some Rolled Chicken Tacos from Taco Bell (pretty much a fried taquito), I happened upon a more traditional taquito offering in the freezer section at Costco:  El Monterey Mexican Grill Chicken & Cheese Taquitos.

Here's the description from the package:  We take tender charbroiled chicken breast, real Monterey Jack cheese, our rich tomato sauce, the most robust of Mexican-style ingredients and roll it all up into a crisp flour tortilla.

How can you go wrong with that?

Read the full review at www.bacheloronthecheap.com

 


Hazelnut Coffee Review: Barissimo Hazelnut Coffee from Aldi - Bachelor on the Cheap

Barissimo Hazelnut CoffeeBy Mike Thayer

Back in May of 2019, I completed a hazelnut flavored coffee challenge, in search of the best one.  I've since found another one to add to the list.  Barissimo Hazelnut Coffee, available at Aldi, is definitely a coffee you should consider.  Costing me $3.79, that's a VERY Bachelor on the Cheap friendly price and this coffee rivals what I determined to be the best available back in May - Seattle's Best - which costs $4.99 for the same amount of coffee.  Despite being a light roast (go with a heaping tablespoon per 6 ounces of water) Barissimo Hazelnut Coffee gets 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars and is most worthy of a repeat buy.

5 stars

Coffee Challenge (May 2019)

By Mike Thayer

Cup of coffeeLike so many working stiffs, I've GOT to have my coffee in the morning to get jump started. Traditionally, I'm a Folgers Classic Roast kind of guy and I doctor my coffee with some hazelnut flavored creamer.  So no, I'm NOT a coffee snob.  I don't do the whole beans and a coffee grinder thing, screw that, buying ground coffee works just fine for me.

But in trying to eliminate some sugars from my diet, I've dropped the flavored creamer from my morning routine, switching to real, heavy cream. The various flavored brands of coffee creamer range 5-10 grams of sugar per serving, heavy cream weighs in at 0.1 grams.  But in making that change, my coffee was far less enjoyable. I missed the hazelnut! So during my next visit to the grocery store, I picked up some hazelnut coffee.  On that trip, I picked up a bag of Dunkin' Donuts hazelnut and you can read that review here.  To sum, it was OK, but I enjoyed the way I used to have my coffee, better.  A classic roast + hazelnut coffee creamer is better than the Dunkin' Donuts version of a hazelnut coffee doctored with some simple, heavy cream.  It left me wondering if there wasn't something better out there in a hazelnut grind.  Would such a coffee be Bachelor on the Cheap wallet friendly, or will I have to settle for something less-than-stellar, something just not as good as how I used to enjoy my cup of Joe? 

Here's the list starting with the worst Hazelnut coffee of the lot.  Figuring into the evaluation was price, aroma, availability and most importantly, taste.

20190214_151341Dunkin': Over-priced and disappointing.  The coffee delivers on the nutty flavor and it's a smooth taste, but I will say the coffee as prepared per the package instructions brews up rather weak. The instructions recommend 1-1/2 tablespoons per 6 ounces of water, I recommend two.

20190225_063246Eight O'Clock:  This is good coffee. The medium roast is spot on, the hazelnut notes are there, good aroma, nice finish. The recommended measurement on the bag is 1 - 2 tablespoons per 6 ounces of water, leaving a little wiggle room for how weak or strong you like your coffee.  It's a good coffee, but not the best coffee.

20190221_074742Folger's:  With Folger's Classic Roast being my traditional go-to coffee, I expected the same reliability in flavor from the hazelnut version. It didn't disappoint.  The hazelnut is obvious, present in both the aroma and flavor.  The grind makes a good cup of coffee.  The directions call for one tablespoon of coffee for every six ounces of water and that's one thing I've always liked about Folger's, they're not bashful with their grind, a scoop is robust and doesn't brew up weak like Dunkin' Donuts hazelnut did. 

Green Mountain CoffeeGreen Mountain: Good coffee but a light roast, so the recommended 1 heaping tablespoon of coffee per 6 ounces of water will brew up a bit weak, you may want to adjust to taste. For a more robust cup of coffee, go with 2 tablespoons. Overall, this is a pleasant hazelnut coffee, not as aromatic as others, but each sip is good nonetheless.

20190222_185535-1Great Value:  This coffee is surprisingly good, delivering on everything in the package description.  All those notes are there and the recommended measurement of 1 heaping tablespoon per 6 ounces of water is spot on.  At just $3.99 for a 12 ounce bag, this coffee is most definitely a repeat buy.  It's better than Dunkin, smoother than Folger's and just a smidgen below......

And the top Hazelnut flavored coffee is......

20190218_064652-1Seattle's Best:  The package calls for a rounded tablespoon per six ounces of water and that is spot on, brewing to the strength I like. The grind was very aromatic in the package, everybody likes to take a deep inhale of coffee from a freshly opened package right? And while brewing you get a nice aromatic whiff permeating through the house. The taste delivers and is on par to how I used to enjoy my coffee, a classic, regular roast with hazelnut flavored creamer.

 

$pend Wisely My Friends.....

 


Food Review: Mrs. Smith's Pumpkin Pie - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

Mrs. Smith's Pumpkin PieI love pie, I'll take pie over any other kind of dessert offering, but I hate making them, namely the pie crust.  Making the dough is a labor intensive project if you want a flaky, golden brown and delicious final product.  It entails using chilled water and really cold butter with the flour, resting the dough, dusting the dough, rolling the dough, folding the dough, trimming the dough, pinching/decorating the edge, then finally, pre-baking the bottom crust of dough to make sure it's cooked through in presenting the final product, the pie.  I'd rather put that kind of labor into grilling or smoking meat.

Hello grocery store!

In my book you can't have Thanksgiving or Christmas without some pumpkin pie, so here's a review on Mrs. Smith Pumpkin Pie, you'll find it in the freezer section of your neighborhood grocery store.  Why the Mrs. Smith's brand?  Because timing is everything.  When I went shopping for the holiday dinners, this was the only brand of frozen pumpkin pie available and only a few of the Mrs. Smith's remained!

Preparing the pie per the box instructions, the pie came out of the oven smelling good, I hit the outer edge crust with a little butter and set it aside to cool. 

For the full review, go to www.bacheloronthecheap.com


Food Review: Kirkland Signature Spiral Sliced Ham - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

Kirkland Signature Spiral HamI'm a ham for Christmas dinner kind of guy and I don't like to do a lot of carving either.  I like low maintenance cuts of meat, so a spiral cut ham was on the shopping list.  I wanted something large enough to provide leftovers and stash some in the freezer for later enjoyment as well.

Already hickory smoke cured, I purchased a bone in Kirkland Signature spiral sliced ham at Costco for $19.24.  Weighing in at slightly under 8-1/2 pounds, that's just $2.29 a pound and Kirkland throws in a glaze - bonus!  That's a Bachelor on the Cheap friendly price and the ham was delicious, definitely a repeat buy! 

I put my ham on the grill over pecan wood to enhance that smoke cure and the spiral cut really embraced that glaze.  The Kirkland Signature spiral ham gets five out of five Bachelor on the Cheap stars, it was the perfect main dish for Christmas!

5 stars

Kirkland Signature Spiral Ham off the smokerPutting a spiral ham on the grill or smoker is easy peasy.  This is a pre-cooked ham, so basically you're just bringing it up to temperature and enhancing the flavors.  Just put the ham, flat side down on a disposable aluminum pan (you may want to double up on the pans depending on the weight of the ham), pour some kind of juice over the ham.  Orange, pineapple, apple, whatever, I like to use a sweet & sour mix myself.  Grill (or smoke) over indirect heat (on a smoker that's a given), for about 15-20 minutes per pound of ham at around 275 - 300 degrees.  Wait to glaze the ham until that last 20 minutes of cooking time, brushing the glaze in between each slice.  Pull the ham from the grill (or smoker) and let it rest for about 10 minutes, tenting with aluminum foil.  A spiral cut ham from the grill is another dose of YUM!

I've got a bachelor's passion for freedom.

$pend Wisely My Friends.....

For more food, drink and product reviews, go to www.bacheloronthecheap.com


Food Review: Chef's Cupboard Stuffing Mix - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

Stove Top Stuffing
Don't buy the name brand stuffing!

Boxed stuffing, I love the stuff - see what I did there? - but like most folks, I only eat it a couple times a year, typically on Thanksgiving and Christmas.  There are all kinds of flavors too, traditional turkey, chicken, pork, veggie varieties and even corn bread stuffings - Yuck, I prefer traditional bread crumbs over corn bread crumbs in my stuffing, 'jus say'n. 

I like the boxed varieties primarily for the simplicity and convenience of it, to me making stuffing from scratch isn't worth the trouble.  I doctor the off-the-shelf stuff anyway with a few added ingredients so there's no real benefit in the flavor department by making stuffing the hard way.  Then there's the price.  A boxed variety is cheaper than buying the bread crumbs, chicken stock and various seasonings all separately.

Read the full review at www.bacheloronthecheap.com


Food Review: Raybern's Meatball Marinara Sandwiches - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

Raybern's Meatball Marinara SandwichWho doesn't like a good meatball sandwich right?

So when I saw these in the freezer section at Costco and always looking for something in a convenience food to have at the ready at home, I picked up a box of Raybern's Meatball Marinara Sandwiches and threw it in the cart.

The description of the sandwiches on the box is pretty straight forward:  Italian style seasoned meatballs with Marinara sauce & melted mozzarella cheese.

The picture sells it, but will the actual product live up to the picture hype?

read the full review at www.bacheloronthecheap.com