Monday, July 21, 2014

So we are in the era when any and every simple dish and meal can be turned into something extravagant that testst the boundaries of it's definition. Donuts, are next up. After the hype around the "Cronut" which is a Donut and Croissant I know the big wigs all across the country were searching for something new that they could come up with to get the same excitement. Enter Safeway, a supermarket which can be somewhat innovative with a new creation, The Wafflenut.

The wafflenut was very dense yet it was still moist. It had more weight than maybe it should have had and this may end up being a sort of flaw. I tried both the honey-dipped or glazed and cinnamon covered varieties. The Cinnamon reminded me of a churro a lot and it had a good consistency  but maybe slightly heavy and should be more airy. The Glazed version was much of the same though slightly heavier. Most of the time I could eat a couple of donuts and not be sluggish because they are light and airy, these were both heavy and just sat on my stomach.

While this seems like a good idea or attempt, I think maybe it's a bit much to combine the two entities to make something new. A regular small waffle would be good enough to treat with a variety of flavors and toppings as is, and would be lighter which would enable more to be sold and eaten. The more I think about it, this is an attempt to do too much where it wasn't needed.

Rating: 2/5

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Facebook always has an abundant number of recipes and my wife sill always tag me when she's something that she likes. that's where this recipe came from as something that is a hybrid cinnamon roll/cake. The idea is to bring you that great flavor with a lot less work because you don't have to roll and do as much to make dough.

For the recipe, (since I can't take credit for it) go over to Chef in Training  to get it and print out a copy for your recipe book at home.

My Assistant Concentrating

Mix Ingredients and then add melted butter on top

Pour into a greased 9x13 pan then begin to mix your cinnamon mixture

Drop in the cinnamon and swirl with a knife

Bake and add icing made of powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk and voila.
This recipe was a cinch to make and it turns out pretty good. I do think it might need a little tweaking to get maybe a little bit more 'chew' to it and I haven't perfected the art of making a good icing using only powdered sugar, vanilla and milk because the sugar never seems to dissolve properly to me.

Rating: 3.5/5

Monday, July 14, 2014


I'm not sure where I first saw Cheerwine but it wasn't here in Baltimore. It had to be online or on TV somewhere so when I saw it at a local Wegman's grocery store I decided I needed to go ahead and try it. As well as having a bunch of sodas I never heard of I decided to also grab a 6-pack of Saranac Shirley Temple sodas for my sister and daughter to try because my sister is a 'Clean' Shirley expert.

The Cheerwine was compared to Dr. Pepper which amazingly, I have never had to my recollection. That didn't dissuade me at all and I cheerfully opened the top after chilling the classic bottle. The taste is really similar to Cherry coke which I love but it is missing the cola part of it. It also has a little bit of an after taste but it wasn't particularly bad, just there.

The Shirley Temple soda however I wasn't feeling though my daughter liked it. It was incredibly sweet, slightly overwhelming and the lemon lime or citrus flavor was as present or as strong as it needed to be. It needed to cut the sweetness and for me the after taste on this was too strong to enjoy for me. The kid thought it was good and though she doesn't particularly like cherry or cherry flavoring this one is more like the maraschino cherries that she eats gleefully for some reason.

Cheerwine Rating: 3/5
Saranac Shirley Temple Soda Rating: 2.5/5

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Pinterest is great for finding new ideas to cook and the last thing I checked out on a whim was a new way to cook up some chicken since having it so often can get extremely boring. This recipe comes from and is pretty much a creative spin on chicken breast nuggets. These are breaded in panko and what sets them apart is the sweet chili sauce that goes with them. You can find the specific recipe right here: Bang Bang Chicken Recipe

Now the one thing I will say is that Panko breading can be a bit rough on the mouth and the recipe should have specified some minimum amount of salt and pepper to get started with. That's the only real negative and here are my pictures- under normal non-studio light.

First the buttermilk batter:
 Then we have the panko bread crumbs
 Next up we fry in batches
 Then we plate and drizzle with the sauce

Now the sauce uses some mayo, sweet chili sauce, and honey and is pretty delicious really. It would be great on a lot of items.

This was a good recipe and it doesn't take too long to make. I will probably try this again. It was fairly easy and straight forward so even a novice can attempt this and make something pretty tasty.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Jasons Deli is a place I had never heard of before but apparently it's a decent sandwich, salad, and soup franchise that is growing and makes it's case on being healthy and a little bit upscale. They have plenty of unique sandwich offerings as well as a soup and salad bar which you can get and eat your fill of if you're dining in so that's cool.

Today I decided to have a salad, Caesar, with Salmon for my lunch. I took time to look at the menu well in advance because they have quite a few options overall. Now while waiting this location in Columbia got bogged down because they didn't really have enough staff on hand. It was just after major lunch time so they should have been better prepared for a large crowd. Then the menu complexity made things slow in the ordering phase and also when putting things together. They need to aim to be more like Panera and get a slightly larger staff.

My salad was a nice size and it also came with herb toast, which wasn't really as toasted as it could have been. It was alright, the herb flavors weren't my favorite but the bread was soft and tender so it was fine. The Salmon didn't look that appealing and it's obvious that it was microwaved. It was warm in the middle but the outside was colder and had the congealed fat that you get from a cooked piece of the fish. The greens were crisp, cheese was right and salty and the croutons were decent. The dressing wasn't really creamy enough for my liking when it says creamy. It was a hybrid between regular caesar and creamy and it wasn't bad but maybe a bit more garlic than I like to have without the creaminess to balance it out. It was a decent salad bt it didn't blow me away. The Salmon looks seasoned but didn't even have salt or pepper which are basics.

I think I will try Jason's Deli again to see how their sandwiches are. The salad was fine but not anything special and the ones at Panera Bread are much better.

Rating: 3/5

Friday, July 4, 2014

Oreo has been known to push the envelope on flavors in the past couple of years. Some have been more successful than others and that has led to flavors like Birthday cake being added to the regular line up. This year has been no exception with Reese's Oreo being highly anticipated and a new flavor, Golden Oreo Limeade hitting the stores in a more limited capacity.

These were come on the heels of last year's lemon flavored Oreo but I think these are better. The Lemon Oreo lack the citrus flavor and these have them and the actual lime isn't much more than that of a Skittle. The sweetness of the golden cookie hits you first and being left with the hint of lime and citrus after that's gone was really good. This is one of the better limited edition varieties because of it.

Rating: 5/5