Caramel Cob

Ending 2009 with a delicious, caramel-flavored, phallic object. Have you had your Caramel Cob today? I’ll give you a hint. I HAVE NOT. Why so grumpy, Foodette?

No reason. No reason at all.

So here’s the deal with this Caramel Cob. It’s popped popcorn, caramel corn lovingly crafted into a corn cob shape, so one can eat their caramel corn on the go while simultaneously maintaining the novel shape of a corn cob. Ingenious? Yes. Delicious?

Surprisingly, yes. The Caramel Cobs that I had might have been fresh. I say “might” because nowhere on the package did I find an expiration date. And they might have been so stale so as to alter their chemical composition altogether, but in their event, they were delicious. I assumed it would be like the standard Act II popcorn ball, crunchy and dry and good enough for that one bite that you then hand back to your parents so you can say, “There, I tried it!” But it was chewy. And soft. And warm. And…oh, wait, this is the Caramel Cob. It was chewy and soft and lukewarm, actually, and the caramel was authentic and buttery and not too sugary sweet so that it burnt my throat.

I really liked the soft texture on this, and the popcorn maintained a decent…wait for it…fluff, without being too chewy or stale-tasting, and this snack, low on my radar and dubiously erotic as it was, was genuinely delicious. I might even go back to the convenience store and buy the peanut flavor, too. So, readers, try new things this year, put them in your mouth, and eat them warm.
“Caramel Cob is delicious warm, too!”

I’m not even going to start.

Happy 2010, everyone!

Corn Pancakes

Here’s a delicious breakfast recipe that I love to make in the winter. It’s a really excellent and tasty treat that I learned about and emulated after eating them at Sutton’s Marketplace at Lake George, NY.

Ingredients (serves 4)
1 1/4 cup milk
5 tablespoons butter
1 cup of corn
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 cup of flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons of canola oil
1 cup of Monterey Jack cheese

1. Melt butter in a pan on the stove and slowly mix in milk and corn until all are mixed and are starting to smell delicious. Turn off the heat and cool the milk mixture. Beat eggs and add to milk.
2. Mix all dry ingredients together with cheese.
3. Add flour mixture to milk mixture, and stir until gently combined.
4. Pour pancakes into pan when pan is ready and hot, and cook until bubbles ride, yadda yadda, and cheese is crispy and bubbling.
5. Eat. With butter and syrup. Trust me.

My dogs were howling for corn pancakes by the time I was done, they were howling down the house, and how could you begrudge your dogs corn pancakes? How, I say? So I made one for myself, with butter and syrup- one’s enough for me, they’re filling and thick, and one for the dogs to share, the Sisters Foodette, without the extraneous toppings.
Enjoy your breakfasts, children, and share them with your howling dogs.


Lenny and Joe’s, Madison, CT

Okay, because I keep ranting about it, but truly, it’s the best fried chicken in the world. Hands down. Fries, too. They are incredible. You already know the rating. You’re probably already sick of hearing about it, but buck up. Man up. You must.
There it is. First, the chicken. It’s tender. It’s extremely juicy, and always moist. I have never gotten a part of this that is chewy, dry, or containing gristle. I mean, if there are any complaints, it might be that it’s a little too greasy, but you’re eating fried chicken. It’s not weight watchers, here. It’s flipping delicious, though. Covered in this chicken is a tender, tender breading that stays and adheres to the chicken with parsley, garlic, and onion salt. This chicken also needs no ketchup or mustard, only salt and pepper. It’s perfect. It’s just perfect.
As for the fries, they range in size from bullet shaped to six inches long and all are crispy on the outside, and the potato on the inside is fluffy and hot. Again, with these, all that’s needed is salt and pepper. They look undercooked in the photo, but they fall apart at the perfect moment when you eat these- in your mouth. They’re able to be picked up, so don’t break upon contact, but don’t pull a Cap’n Crunch in your mouth and slice you up like a Jet and you’re a Shark. They are perfect. Marry them.
Oh, and by the way? That plate that you see in the photo…that’s the kid’s plate. For 12 and under. That’s what I always get. $5.59, massive portion, with a lemonade. Lenny and Joe’s, you are my saviors almighty.

Lenny and Joe’s Fish Tale
1301 Boston Post Road
Madison, CT 06443

Cheesecakes from Junior’s

Today I have two cheesecakes for review, brought from the Junior’s at Foxwood’s. My mother’s husband’s mother, Maryanne, bought them when she came up for an early dinner today. We ate them for dessert just now and they were quite tasty.

The first cheesecake was a raspberry swirl, and it was tasty. It was actually a little too jellified for me. I didn’t like how the raspberry jam separated from the cheesecake like oil from water, and didn’t mix well, but it was still tasty. The jam was sweet and not tart, and there were no seeds to get stuck in my teeth. It was rich enough so that even a small sliver satisfied me enough, and the creaminess was rich and not artificial. Overall, really tasty, despite the strange texture.The next cheesecake was really expert-made. I loved that it was festive and had a little ribbon around its stout base, too. What I think I enjoyed most about this cheesecake was that the layers of this were different flavors and textures/consistencies of cheesecake, but still maintained the essence of eating a cheesecake.
There was a coffee liqueur soaked bottom cake layer, a fluffy, mascarpone cappuccino cheesecake layer, a layer of tiramisu cream, a thin section of chiffon cake, another layer of tiramisu cream, and then a dusting of cocoa powder, coffee powder, and whipped cream. It was delicious, and the mixture of all the flavors and textures was amazing. I really enjoyed this. The coffee flavor was subtle, and since coffee is one of the flavors I’m sort of on the fence about loving or hating, it was really good to not get hit with it too heavily.

Hood’s Holiday Eggnogs

The day after Christmas brings bountiful groceries aplenty, including cheap, cheap eggnog. I grabbed three different flavors today while cooking up a storm at Dr. D’s house. Photos to come.

It fascinated and repulsed me a little that Hood would take an already rich beverage, eggnog, and add three rich flavors to it- ginger bread, sugar cookie, and cinnamon. It seemed redundant, a bit like adding butter flavor to Land O’ Lakes, or something like that. But nonetheless, I had to line up a few shots of the old ‘nog for myself while cooking, so there I went, down the aisles.

Getting home, the nog looked quite good. I shook it up and prepared myself for the worst. I tried the cinnamon first, and was duly unimpressed. It was like regular eggnog had been added to a little cinnamon schnapps- weak and unfulfilling. It was buttery and tasted like regular eggnog, sure, but in a blind taste test, I couldn’t have discerned a difference in between regular eggnog and this. There was more of a nutmeg flavor, the quintessential taste, than anything distinctively different. It was a shame.
The gingerbread eggnog was another surprise altogether, though. For starters, it was a much darker color than I’d expected, almost like the color of actual gingerbread. The flavor was also really rich and tasty, with a heavy spice to it. I’d like to cook with this and see what I could get out of it, or mix it into another drink like a milkshake. This drink’s unique flavor, as there are not many ginger-flavored beverages out in the world, and seeming versatility looks like it would be a winner as far as ideas go. I’d try this in a cheesecake or perhaps, if I were more adventurous, even as a glaze or sauce of some sort in a savory dish. This was really rich and tasty.
The last one was the sugar cookie eggnog, and though it was tasty, I really don’t feel as though the flavor of sugar cookies or eggnog was exemplified. In fact, the flavor, overall, was rather strange. There was a gritty taste from the sugar cookie flavor, of too much sugar, and since they tried to make it taste like sugar cookies, there were less spices, making it rather bland. If anything, it tasted like a less boozy, liquid version of the cream used on the eggnog pancakes at IHOP. I wasn’t much of a fan. The flavor was too artificial and too strange for my persona liking.
If I find the pumpking eggnog out there, I’ll be sure to review that, too!

Williams-Sonoma Peppermint Bark

Hello, hello, hello, and to all, a Merry Christmas!

Dinner is over, almost everyone is long since in bed, and I’m up, scheming and dreaming away, and eating delicious peppermint bark from Williams-Sonoma, a gift from Dr. D’s mother-in-law.

I do love Williams-Sonoma, and all of their products are quite high end. The packaging is always really adorable, too. This one was a play on the word “bark,” and had a little dalmatian running across the box. They always do vintage-inspired advertisements, really classic stuff. I hear their croissants are killer, and though I’ve never tried them, I’d love to sometime.

So this peppermint bark came in a lovely abundance, with peppermint stick pieces studded throughout the candy, which was about 1/6th of an inch thick, half dark chocolate, half white chocolate. It was quite tasty. However, I wish there was a more milky, high-quality to it like most of the WS products that I’m used to. It was chalky, and the chocolate flavors weren’t as pronounced as I’d have liked. The bite was nice and it snapped audibly. The dark chocolate was extremely bland and had no external notes or undertones and such, and wasn’t even very chocolatey. In fact, the only real flavors I got were the milky vagueness from the white chocolate and slight waxiness and the crunch and mintiness of the peppermint candy.

An epic fail, but a lovely Christmas. Cheers to all!

Happy Holidays from Foodette!

Hello, readers!

Hoping everyone is having a wonderful evening and a fantastic holiday, whatever and wherever you are. From the Foodette to you, be safe, eat well, and enjoy life.

Today, I’m offering up some photos from my holiday exploits at my own house, my neighbor, Nurse C’s house, and my family friend’s, Dr. D’s house. It’s a trifecta of wonder this evening.

The lovely L with the raspberry tart.

The aftermath of our Christmas crackers at my family’s house…
Peppermint fudge-making with a close friend, Ponce.
L and Dr. D’s dog, Viggo, the wolf at the door.
Dr. D, reading the instructions on the dog Snuggies.
Dinner rolls being washed in egg at the neighbor’s house.Raspberry tart and chocolate raspberry gelato.
Dr. D’s Japanese Chin, Zen, in his Slanket.
Some very well received individual brie and puff pastry things, made by yours truly.


The Foodette

Ghirardelli Peanut Butter Squares

‘Tis the season for candy dishes to be filled, and even moreso for the fancy candy to be broken out of the bags. I have more fancy candy to be reviewed, I got a nice box, just in time for Christmas, from Chocomize, more on that later, but for tonight, I have a new treat from Ghirardelli, their new peanut butter filled squares.

These weren’t horrible at all. However, the good Ghirardelli chocolate didn’t go as well with the peanut butter as well as I’d thought. The peanut butter had the distinguishing, and I don’t mean that in a good way, characteristic of being smooth, tasting burnt, and having floral notes while remaining sticky sweet at the same time. Everything blended together in a sugary lump instead of mingling, while still remaining separate as distinct and delicious flavors. It was a singular experience that I don’t wish to repeat. All, mind you, on top of the very sweet, vaguely bland, and not remotely complex Ghirardelli milk chocolate, which, while good, isn’t as top of the line as I’d like it to be.

Overall, one square of these is enough if you’re looking for a small treat. The nuttiness is existent, but certainly doesn’t compare to other nutty treats, but I wouldn’t hoard these over Christmas cookies, cheese and crackers, cakes, or other goodies.

More tomorrow! And let me prematurely wish you all a very merry Christmas.

BK Breakfast Shots

Dillinger and I do our delightful and obnoxious early-morning breakfast run, and if we have time after one fast-food restaurant, we sometimes go to two. This was the case on Monday when I rolled into town and picked him up for early-morning shenanigans. We grabbed our signature McGriddles and decided that we were still hungry, so drove to Burger King and tried two flavors of their breakfast shots, in sausage and bacon, along with cheesy tots, to finish off our winter binge.
The breakfast shots are relatively adorable. They come in a two or a four pack, and are deceptively small. Eating them makes you want to power them down, as though you’re in a one-man competitive eating contest and if you can’t eat four of the midget burgers, you are not a man and should be castrated. Thus, you must eat them all. So that was pretty much what we did, sandwiching the ‘tots in between the sandwiches when we felt like it.

The sausage shots were preferred over the bacon shots, by far. The bread was very cushy and pillowy on both, and rather mushy when we were trying to separate the sandwiches so we could each have some, instead of attacking it like a giant meta-shot. The cheese on these was half-melted and was sharp and tasty. Both of us enjoyed this, but weren’t able to detect any of the cheese sauce that was also supposedly used.
The egg, though visually unappealing, is all right. It’s neither disgusting nor the best egg I’ve ever had. That award goes to my own method of cooking eggs. The sausage breakfast shot was very flavorful and reminded me of the McGriddle, with the sausage taste really dominating, whereas with the bacon shot, the meat played a very mid-level role compared to the egg and cheese taste.
Overall, these are decent little breakfast sandwiches, and with the cheesy tots in the middle, are quite filling. I was pleased with the caliber of them after powering through four, though I can’t say that the quality overwhelmed me. The difference in texture wasn’t varied enough for me, everything was just soft- nothing was crispy or toasted, except when we shoved in the tots. But not bad. Certainly not awful. Mid-level. It will take a lot to reach the level of the McGriddle. It will take a lot.
As for the cheesy tots, Dillinger and I also enjoyed them a lot. They were scalding at first, but really, what’s not to love about small, circular potato rounds filled with cheese sauce? And the cheese isn’t overpowering. It’s nice, a smooth cheese flavor that goes well with the potato’s crisp, and the cheese’s gooiness makes for a nice contrast.

Sometimes the greasiness gets in the way of the overall flavor, which can be a tad on the subtle side, but then I step back and remind myself that this is fast food, and will always be rather greasy. Oh well. Still delicious.

IHOP Holiday Extravaganza 2009

Today, I went on a mission with one of my best friends, Vonnegut. Our mission? To eat every one of the Holiday Hotcakes and review them, here, with snark and pretension and awesome.

And we did it. Oh, we did it.

The results, ladies and germs.

We went to the IHOP, which I always want to spell like the iPod, iHop, but keep forgetting that it’s spelled like the egregious teenage girls would spell it “OMG IHOP,” if they were that excited about an international house of pancakes. Regardless, we went, and ordered all four of the Holiday Hotcakes with chocolate milks for the both of us.

This was the official popping of my IHOP cherry for me, and I was surprised to find that it was a lot like a diner than more of a chain-style restaurant. I don’t know what I was expecting, but the smell, that quintessential greasy spoon was a pleasant surprise. We ordered our hotcakes and let the fun begin.
The confusion started when we ate our pancakes. Really, it was all the waiter’s fault when he set them down and told us what they were. And when we started to eat, we started with what we thought were the eggnog pancakes. And as we ate, we were really upset, because we wouldn’t have thought they were eggnog. There was a nice spice, a nutmeg flavor, a real fluffiness and bounce to the pancakes. A good crust on the outside, but nothing that we’ve had thought was eggnog if we hadn’t been told.

And then we realized.

Those were the pumpkin pancakes. And once we had figured out that a) we were obviously retarded, and b) they weren’t eggnog, they were really good. So for eggnog pancakes, they sucked, but for pumpkin pancakes, they were delicious. Easily a high bar to set. Good flavor and with syrup, really tasty.The next pancakes we moved onto were the eggnog pancakes- the real eggnog ones. We’d both been most excited to try these, but we were a little disappointed. The eggnog flavor in the pancake was supposed to translate well, with the spices and the creaminess contrasting the buttery and the crisp pancake, and that eggnog cream shit was supposed to be to die for, but we got more of a gelatinous mess, like what it might look like if you cut open Jabba the Hutt. It was interesting.
A little boozy flavored. Okay, a lot boozy. Heavy on the spices, too. But not awful. It didn’t go well with syrup. It got too heavy and spongy and gooey and just…viscous. Better left untouched.

After that, we had the best pancake of the entire night, the one that we didn’t think would be completely amazing and was, completely amazing. That was the pecan pie pancake, which gets props for tasting least like an actual pecan pie, but most like what a pecan pie would taste like if nobody baked for you and you had Christmas alone and instead of shooting yourself or leaving the group home, you ate pecan pie filling out of the can with a plastic spoon from KFC. Or went to an IHOP and had these pancakes. A much better alternative.
They were really, really good. Really buttery. The pecans on top provided a nice difference in texture, and the pancake was also crispy, as Vonnegut told me the people on the Food Network would vastly appreciate, and the topping was syrupy enough to eliminate the need for extra syrup. Very festive and very tasty.
The last pancakes we had were the gingerbread pancakes, with red and green Christmas tree sprinkles on top. The flavor was interesting, but something must happen when you add gingerbread flavoring to pancake batter, because the result gets mushy and soft and too spicy in some spots and not flavorful enough in others, and results in a very inconsistent pancake. Vonnegut and I did not like this.
The sprinkles, although festive, were another concern. They got in the damned way. They were crunchy and gave that heroin hit of sugar that nobody really likes but simultaneously adores because they’re freaking sprinkles and if you decline them, you are Satan. So we were at a stalemate. They were just a lukewarm mess of a pancake and we liked them the least of the bunch.And that was that! We left with a ton of leftovers, out $32, but extremely pleased and having completed our glorious mission. IHOP is amazing. ‘Nuff said.

So, from Vonnegut and me to you, readers, happy holidays. We ate and conquered so you don’t have to. Enjoy!