Review: Lance BOLDS Buffalo Wing Blue Cheese Crackers

If you haven?t figured it out, I?m just reviewing random snacks I already have in my work desk snack drawer.

Lance BOLDS Buffalo Wing Blue Cheese Cracker Sandwiches! The problem with most snacks that purport to be ?Buffalo Wing Flavored? could equally be labelled as ?Sorta Tastes Like Hot Sauce But Not Really? Flavored?. I?m always left disappointed. How do these cracker sandwiches stack up?

(Get it? Because you can stack them?)

It?s a step in the right direction. They?re definitely tasty. There?s just a little heat, as you would expect from a mainstream snack food. The difference here is the addition of blue cheese. It adds some extra dimension to the standard hot sauce flavor. Do they taste like eating at your local Wing Shack? No. But they?re a welcome distraction from staring at my computer screen all day.Interesting Note: I?ve been working out on my lunch breaks from time to time. I got back to my desk last week and thought ?MAN. I think I can smell my shoes. That?s so weird, they?re basically new. I guess I need to get some spray or something.? Ten minutes later, I tracked down the smell. These crackers smell like funky shoes.

 

But in a good way??

 

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Elotes- corn in a cup and so much more…

Elotes mexican roasted corn in a cupThis is a revisit of an older post that I liked and thought deserved another view. The revisit is one part getting an engaging post/picture to the first page and two parts trying to get my busy(read LAZY) ass back into more frequent updates. Enjoy the blast from the past!

This is one of those things that I’ve been wanting to review for netfoodie since the site started. I’ve had it before, but I’m sure many of you out there haven’t. Elotes are a popular Mexican street food. I got mine from a cart in front of Fiesta mart for 2 bucks.

Roasted corn in a cup, big deal you say? The thing that makes this treat different is what you put on it. And that’s just about everything.

List of elote toppings:

  • Heavy mayonnaise
  • Sour cream
  • Butter
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Hot chili sauce
  • Lemon pepper (this one’s a Texas thing)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

And of course, I went for it all! Yes, I got a styrofoam cup full of EVERYTHING!

Taste? Yes. Man this stuff’s got a lot of flavor. Each bite is a little different than the last. Here’s a sample of what to expect. First you taste the sourness of the sour cream and lime juice. Then the creaminess of the butter and the mayonnaise. Then you taste the cheese. Then it’s spicy from the chili sauce and the pepper. Then you get the sweetness of the corn. And that’s all in one bite!

And yes, I’d get it again. It’s kind of like an cow exploded in your mouth while eating some corn. Dairy is part of the food pyamid… And hey, corn is a vegetable, right?

Elotes get a 4 out of 5!

Rating= 4

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Rice is still damn expensive. Is there a rice shortage? Daily Show coverage

Why does rice cost so muchI got a call today from a friend that let me know that there were rice rations in the US starting up. I checked around and so far it looks like Sam’s Warehouse and other warehouse clubs are starting to limit the number of bags that can be purchased at one time. Sam’s is currently setting a limit of 4 bags per customer. While there is a rice shortage worldwide, the US isn’t feeling it as bad. According to some sources, most of the price crunch is from restaurants hording food in anticipation of higher prices.

This is such a big deal that even the Daily Show picked up on the story. Right before the Colin Firth penis photo story, Aasif and Rob compared the rice shortage between Africa and the local Costco. While it was a satire on American leisure, it was interesting that they picked up this story. It seems that The Colbert Report is also going to run a segment about the food shortage! I’ll update this article with what they had to say.

Update: The Colbert Report covered the rice ration on today’s show. Stephen joked about not being able to make his kiddy pool paella and set out “The Rice Stuff” interns to hit all the warehouse stores to get him rice.

So, it real world terms, what does this mean? Well, I went out to see what the rice situation was locally. I first went to Costco and they were completely sold out of bulk long grain white rice. I went to a local Asian market, Saigon Taipei Marketplace to see how they were affected. They were completely stocked and they even had some rice on sale for 17.99 for a 25 lb bag! Still more than it was a couple months ago, but better than the 20 bucks I paid earlier this month.

So there you go. A global, national and local look on the rice shortage. Happy eating and good luck!

Continuing coverage from our last rice post:

http://www.netfoodie.com/2008/04/10/why-is-rice-so-damn-expensive/

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Why is rice so damn expensive?

Why does rice cost so muchFor those of you that don’t know, I’m Cambodian-American. I was born in Houston, but that doesn’t change the fact that I, like 3 billion other people on Earth, live on rice. Specifically, Thai Jasmine Long Grain rice. I have some with almost every meal and if I don’t, I’m often not satisfied until I do. So you’ll imagine my surprise to hear that the price of rice has almost -DOUBLED- in the last week or so. Instead of the ~$12.99 per 25 pound bag I’m used to paying, in some places it’s now $22.99! And that’s if you can even find some! Seriously, the Hong Kong Supermarket in Arlington only had one brand last weekend instead of their normal 5-6 brands. And that stuff looked like it was going fast. Ok, I can handle eggs and milk doubling in price. Or gas becoming a luxury that only kings can afford. But NOT my rice! Please?

So, why the sudden increase in price? Well, if you’re reading this… it might be your fault! Yes, there has been some speculation that demand is going to be more that supply. And the cost of food and gas are up in general. But a major factor in this price increase is public hoarding. Prices started going up and people freaked. Everybody and their moms (including my mom actually) started stockpiling rice like no tomorrow. Here’s an excerpt from a news article:

“There is enough rice supply for domestic consumption”, Mingkwan told reporters late yesterday in Nonthaburi province, near Bangkok. “The current shortage has been caused by some hoarding and panic buying on concern the price will rise further.” There is no need to reduce exports, he said.

Rice, the staple food for about 3 billion people, has nearly doubled in the past year on increased imports by the Philippines, the biggest buyer, and as China, India and Vietnam cut exports. Record food and fuel prices have stoked inflation, contributing to strikes in Argentina, riots in Ivory Coast and a crackdown on illicit exports in Pakistan.

So why is rice so damn expensive? Because the world hates you.

Source:

Bloomburg Asia

Telegraph.co.uk

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Review: Neighborhood Grill, Arlington TX

Neighborhood Grill in Arlington, TXI always go to Neighborhood Grill for, oddly enough, their snow cones. I’m in love with the “sour head” you can add to any flavor. I used to be a sour freak as a kid and sour head is probably the most sour substance I’ve ever put in my mouth if you don’t mix your snow cone beforehand. And that’s a good thing! They also boast about being named one of the cleanest restaurants in Arlington, always a good thing! I’d only once eaten food there(chicken philly cheese) and it was great. Since we’re running a segment on finding the best two dollar burger in Arlington this month, I figured I’d give them the first crack at it.

Cheeseburger at Neighborhood Grill

I went with their cheeseburger for $1.79. As always, I went “all the way” with the veggies. This includes lettuce, tomato and onion with mayo and ketchup. I brought this one home since it was almost closing time. I love the picnic table pattern on the wrappers, it really reminds you that this is not a McBleh burger. It’s a nice big burger for the price. I actually measured it to be 5 inches wide. The bun is grilled on both sides which is a nice touch. The beef patty was a nice size, but somewhat average in taste. Just a little on the dry side. What makes this burger is the flavor. The mayo looks to be a little bit peppered and gives it a really satisfying flavor. There are just enough veggies on there, not skimpy but also not falling out of the bun(which I hate). All of this gives it a great flavor and a great price!

They have a great menu and really good prices. And if you go, make sure to get a snow cone with some sour head! And tell Sammy we said hi! Neighborhood Grill in Arlington

Neighborhood Grill in Arlington, TX gets a 4 out of 5 on the awesomeness meter!
Rating= 4

 

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netfoodie’s quest for the best burgers in Arlington Texas!

Best burgers in Arlington, TXWe’re going to start a new running theme. Every month, we’re going to choose a new food and find out who makes it best in Arlington. Whew, a break from snack food reviews! We’re not getting paid to do this(yet?) so each segment will also be affordable to the average college student(ie- me). Throughout the month, we’ll visit local restaurants that meet the criteria and review their foodwares. At the end of the month, we’ll crown a winner!

April is burger month! We’re going to scour Arlington Texas for the best cheap burger. With the price of gas everything going up, it’s good to know where you can still get a great burger for cheap! Here’s the criteria:

  • Must be under 2 dollars(before tax)- this will limit our selections to the basic burger and keep it affordable. Sorry, no triple bacon Kobe beef burger with truffle butter here!
  • We will review the burger closest to 2 bucks without going over(price is right rules!)
  • All burgers will be reviewed with “all the fixins”(veggies and condiments)
  • Must be in Arlington or the immediate surrounding area.
  • We’re going to stay away from the big guys: McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Sonics, etc. We love indie restaurants here!

Stay tuned or follow this link to check out our quest for the best burgers in Arlington!

http://www.netfoodie.com/tag/best-burger/

If any Arlingtonians Arlingtonites Arlingtonauts? local folks have any suggestions, please comment! Where is the best place to get cheap burgers in Arlington?

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Funny Foods: Vegetarian Swallow Balls

Vegetarian Swallow Balls

And no, I didn’t try it. Honestly.

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netfoodie.com at Ben E. Keith Food Show -or- Journey through free sample heaven

We’ve all been sampling. On a Sunday morning(2pm), what’s better than strolling through the aisles of your local discount warehouse market or Whole Foods store and getting tiny tidbits of free food on frilly-topped toothpicks? It’s a true American pastime! But how many of you can say that you’ve been “sampled out” before. Can you say you’ve ingested so many bite sized morsels of food that you can’t take any more? We here in the netfoodie household can honestly say we did just that today.

Strike superhero pose. Cue wind machine.

Today, we went to our first food industry trade show, the Ben E. Keith Food Show at the Fort Worth Convention Center. We stumbled across this event as a tip from my Entrepreneurship prof at UT Arlington- Thanks Steve! I had no idea what to expect, so I dragged along my wife Angela and roommate James. We had a quick lunch at Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches and headed off to Fort Worth.

Ben E Keith Food Show Fort Worth entrance

The entrance to the Food Show. Our sincerest apologies to the worker with the wedgie. This is seriously the best picture we have. All of our pictures have varying degrees of wedgie. Great photos James!

Next year, we’ll skip the lunch. We thought that there’d be some sampling to be had. “Some” turned out to be a gross understatement. Turns out “food show” is industry jargon for “sampling smorgasbord”. There were booths upon aisles upon rows of vendors begging you to try their products. You could not wipe the smile off my face with a brillo pad when I walked into the entrance.

We start off with a couple of your average toothpick-style samples before we hit the Maple Grove Farms table. “Do you like pancakes at home?” the man asks as he hands us a gallon jug of maple syrup. No, not just to look at or as part of a sales pitch. This man just gave us 128 fluid ounces of maple syrup. That’s when we knew we were in the right place. We simultaneously unbuckled our metaphoric belts. Now all we had to do was find a free pallet of pancakes.

Samples Treasure we scored at the food show

This is not even a quarter of the free samples. The rest was stored as energy for the upcoming winter. Wait… it’s March. Crap.

More coverage of the Ben E. Keith Food Show to come. Must sleep off tummy full of samples.

 

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Easter fun: Dyed Easter Quail Eggs!

I thought it’d be fun to do a little twist on the traditional Easter egg dying tradition. I picked up a dozen quail eggs at Hong Kong Supermarket for $1.19. I boiled them for 5 minutes, let them cool and dunked them in a homemade Easter Egg dye mixture of 4 parts hot water, 1 part vinegar and 5 drops of food coloring. Here’s my result!

How to dye Easter quail eggs

They were more for a centerpiece than anything else, but I thought they looked awesome! They have a really earthy texture to them since quail eggs are naturally speckled. As an added bonus, I got to eat the boiled quail eggs later that night. I love boiled quail eggs with rice and a little soy sauce. Yum!

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Quinoa- the super grain. Basic steamed preparation and first impressions.

Steamed Quinoa recipeI finally got around to picking some quinoa up from Whole Foods. You can get it bulk there for $2.49/lb. or buy it prepackaged for $1.69 for a pound bag. Both are organic, so I went for prepack. I’ve been hearing alot of buzz about this stuff. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is this ancient super grain that is unusually complete in protein(has all 8 amino acids). Sounds good for you vegetarians out there. I’m no nutrition anthro…. encyclopedia, so here’s what wikipedia has to say about the nutritional qualities:

Quinoa was of great nutritional importance in pre-Columbian Andean civilizations, being secondary only to the potato, and followed in third place by maize. In contemporary times this crop has come to be highly appreciated for its nutritional value, as its protein content is very high (12%–18%). Unlike wheat or rice (which are low in lysine), quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it an unusually complete food. This means it takes less quinoa protein to meet one’s needs than wheat protein. It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is gluten free and considered easy to digest. Because of all these characteristics, quinoa is being considered as a possible crop in NASA’s Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration manned spaceflights.

Well if it’s good enough for the astronaut’s, it’s good enough for me. I love freeze dried ice cream! The real question is whether or not it can replace my white rice I live off of. In fact, you’re supposed to cook with this stuff just like rice.

Preparing steamed quinoa:

  1. Wash the quinoa in cold water. Same thing you do with rice- it gets off any coatings, etc. I’d suggest running water through it with a very small strainer. These things like to float, so be careful not to accidentally pour them down the sink. Maybe try to spritz a little water in there to get them a little wet before you turn the faucet onto it.
  2. Throw it in your rice pot. 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water.
  3. Hit the “cook” button.

Continue reading “Quinoa- the super grain. Basic steamed preparation and first impressions.”

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Jufran Banana Sauce- ketchup without tomatoes?!?

Jufran Filipino Banana KetchupYou read correctly, this is ketchup without tomatoes. And confusingly, they replaced the tomatoes with bananas. I’m not sure how that was the logical jump, but sure why not.

“Crap! We’re out of tomatoes! What’s close enough…. uh.. uhhh… BANANAS! Brilliant!
People dip their fries in chocolate shakes, why not pour bananas on fries? Let’s give it a shot!

I picked this bottle up at the local Asian market in the Filipino section. It looks exactly like ketchup, minus the picture of bananas on the label. It’s not at all chunky like I expected from a condiment made from bananas. It doesn’t taste anything like bananas either! It tastes like ketchup, but sweeter. They almost hit it dead on, but they seemed to forget a good deal of the vinegar that gives ketchup it’s tang.

So now that we’ve determined that it’s ketchup, the next obvious question is: WHY?!? Apparently this was invented during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines during the mid 1940′s. They couldn’t get their hands on American ketchup, so they made their own. It seems like they use it the same as we do for the most part. One interesting use for it though is in Filipino spaghetti. No spaghetti sauce and meatballs here. They use straight up banana sauce with hot dogs or vienna sausages, topped with grated cheddar. Sounds like it was invented in a college dorm. And by that, I mean delicious.

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Atari cake- probably tastes better than the real thing!

Atari 2600 cake
Check out this ridiculously awesome Atari 2600 inspired cake done by Cakes by the Pound of Los Angeles. I want it BAD! Everything on it is edible including the awesome atari logo! The only thing that would make it cooler would be if it actually played games. They could replace one of the controllers with a plug and play one! Hmmm… must get better at working with fondant….

From TechnoBob

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Battle of the gas station chicken taquitos!!! Seven Eleven vs. Quick Trip

You’ve all seen them, spinning over and over on their grills. Lazy taquitos. Today, we’ll put 2 of them to work when we pit them against each other: Seven Eleven’s Buffalo Chicken taquito (2/$2) and Quick Trip’s Spicy Chicken taquito(99 cents). Who will emerge from battle alive?!?

Taquito Battle: Seven Eleven versus Quick TripAt first glance, QT’s taquito has a clear early advantage. It’s got a clear 2 inches on the competition. Next task is to check out their guts. Ooh, the carnage! They both look similar in composition, chunks of chicken floating in some kind of flavor paste, yum! Color is definitely different, since 7-11′s taquito is Buffalo flavored(closest match to QT’s only chicken flavor).

A taste of our competitors is very revealing. The 7-11 taquito doesn’t have much of a crunch, very important for taquitos. As for taste, it’s mostly a hot sauce flavor and you don’t really taste the chicken. The QT taquito has a very satisfying crunch. The filling is reminiscent of 3 for a dollar chicken burritos, but you can taste and feel the chicken inside.

Taquito Battle: Seven Eleven versus Quick Trip- gutsSo here’s the count:

  • Cost: Tie. QT edges 7-11 out by a penny, but 7-11 has a “give a penny, take a penny” tray, so it’s ok.
  • Size: QT‘s taquito is the victor here by far!
  • Crunch: QT has much more of a crunch- and much more of a mess!
  • Flavor: QT wins here because you can actually taste the chicken instead of hot sauce paste.

The winner: Quick Trip’s Spicy Chicken taquito wins by a landslide! The loser will be fed to a hungry roommate.

P.S.- Sorry about the bad pictures. My camera’s taquito mode doesn’t work very well.

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how NOT to microwave a boiled egg

Microwaving a boiled egg

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