Minute Maid Cherry Limeade

I found it! I found it! I found it, while quietly…well, not really quietly, but while boisterously adventuring through my local Target, found it with Erik! I’d been on a quest for this mythical cherry limeade, as this might just be my favorite beverage in the entire universe, aside from really excellent chocolate milk or a good Riesling, and without even looking for it, like the Holy Grail or innuendo in Disney movies, there it was.

We bought it to eat with dinner that night, made by yours truly, and consumed it in the finest of glasses, plastic cups, to allow it to breathe and cultivate. Nom nom nom. The juice was quite pleasant, but deceptive. It wasn’t syrupy or thick, and was light, like some light juices, but unfortunately, wasn’t light in the sugary content. It boasts 44 grams of sugar per 8 oz. serving.

Fortunately, though, we really didn’t give a crap. The cherry flavor is pronounced enough to add a little bit of a sweetness to the sourness of the lime, and the entire drink is really refreshing, but not too light to seem watered down. It’s flavorful and tasty, and we enjoyed it immensely. Now if only I could find this in cans, my life will be complete.

The Hen House, Boston, MA

We went on an adventure today for chicken and waffles. I had been on a quest for them ever since seeing Guy Fieri stuffing them down his maw and eating them orgasmically, and the combination seemed too good to be true. So today, we got up nice and early to go to The Hen House, a restaurant in downtown Boston.
It was a small and funky little joint, clean and friendly, with all sorts of posters and televisions, like a sports bar but one step above. The food varied, and they seemed to have interesting specials that they switched around, comfort food fare that looked delicious and all homemade.
Our waffles were interesting. Erik ordered a cornbread waffle with cajun butter, clove honey, and chicken tenders, and I ordered a buttermilk waffle with honey butter, maple syrup, and chicken tenders. The waffles were plate-sized and very fluffy. I’d expected slightly denser, but they soaked up the syrup quite well. The butter on mine was average, and I’d hoped for a little more of an intense honey-butter flavor, but it was creamy and melted well, and with the syrup, was quite tasty. The saltiness of the chicken was great with the sweet syrup and neutrality of the waffles. I preferred Erik’s cornbread waffles, and the cajun butter was to die for. It was also a lot of fun to order and then mix and match.
The chicken wasn’t the highest quality, I think. It was a relatively small portion, about a breast and a half’s worth, with a decently crispy coating and was somewhat tender, but with some chew and a little gristle, but not bad by any means. The ratio of chicken to waffle was good.

Overall, the restaurant was a lot of fun, and definitely worth the trip over. We really loved the atmosphere and the food and the drive up from Leverett wasn’t so bad at all. We switched on the way back. Quite enjoyable and a good road trip before a very busy semester!
The Hen House
1033 Massachusetts Ave.
Boston, MA, 02101

Taste of India, Northampton, MA

Last night I was treated to a lovely dinner after a day of shopping and various festivities, and after some debating, decided on Indian food in Northampton. Now, I’ve been raised on Darbar India, some of the finest Indian cuisine I’ve ever had, in my own hometown of Branford, Connecticut, and was excited to see if this could rival my own.
We ordered a smorgasbord of food, starting with the quintessential samosas, stuffed with potatoes and peas. The peas were few and far between, which was good, but I found the samosas to be sparsely stuffed, leaving the bulk of the flavor to rely on the dough, which was oily. Being fried, I wasn’t necessarily objecting to this, but I did expect the potatoes to provide a buffer and absorbant for the translucent wrapper of the samosa. The potatoes themselves were fluffy and not as chunky, more of a whipped mashed potato than pieces of potato, but by no means undercooked. A little more spices would have gone a long way, especially in the curry area. Not a bad appetizer, as it was filling and tided us over to the main course.
The two of us decided on the chicken tikka masala for our main course, with rice, along with some bread, a paneer naan with homemade cheese, which I unfortunately lack a photo of. The paneer bread was decent, but lacked the buttery puffiness of the naan that I’m used to and was too crispy.

There really wasn’t enough cheese to justify calling it a paneer bread, and it was a little sparse. It was also too crispy. For some, this may be an asset, but for us, it really wasn’t reliable or tasty, as there were too many burnt edges to take off when we would have rather had softer bread.
However, the chicken tikka masala was phenomenal. It was spicier than many tikkas that I have had, which balanced well with the creaminess of the sauce. There was a great tomato sauce base, and none of it was watery. The chicken was so tender. It looked like it would fall apart as soon as you looked at it. It was juicy and flavorful, having absorbed all the spices from the sauce, and was all good pieces of meat. It went well with the rice and was a great main course with our meal.
Overall, a good meal. Any criticism is that they sort of tack on some unnecessary prices, where in other Indian restaurants, I’ve had similar amenities for free, like the assorted chutneys and crackers, and the gulub jamun at the end of the meal.

Manwich Bold

Manwich has to be the manliest name for a food to ever cross this universe. I mean, it’s like naming your breakfast cereal Steroid-O’s, or your snack bar Nutri-Penis. Seriously, does a food get more testosterone-fueled? In the commercials I see, it always shows some large, satisfied man eating a manwich, which I still can’t get used to typing, because it feels dirty, so I decided to feed my man a manwich and see what would happen.
We went to the supermarket, where I also bought the steak that popped my steak-cooking cherry, and saw the Manwich BOLD, which must be typed as such, and decided that it was definitely manly enough for review. It said it was zesty and peppery and all that manly shit, containing peppers and tamarind and things that men apparently enjoy.
We made it with cooked chicken, and it was really surprisingly good. The tamarind was an uncommon ingredient used in good way, and it came out in the sauce and provided a tang. It was thick and held together in the sandwich, and soaked into the bread quite well. It was awfully messy, but that’s a quintessential trait of the Manwich, the double-edged sword, if one can attribute that much prestige to a sandwich that caters to penis-wielders. Chicken probably wasn’t the best ingredient to make it with, as it clumped together in an odd way, but the sauce was flavorful and made for a nice hot meal. I can see the Manwich BOLD sauce being much more versatile as an overall ingredient than a stand-alone sauce as an ingredient, like in chili fries, as Erik said, or as the can helpfully nosed in, with a baked potato or in a hot dog bun. Silly Manwich.

Archer Farms Buffalo Macaroni and Cheese

Erik and I made lunch the other day, and I have to apologize for the lack of attention to the blog in the last few days. I’ve been a little neglectful what with getting my things back to school and spending the remainder of winter break up here, so I’m making up for it with a few stellar posts.

And these photos are not mine, so I’ll also be editing these posts with the ones I’ve taken (I know, can it get any worse?) and replace them as I get them from my phone to the computer. So, onto the mac and cheese. Buffalo macaroni and cheese. It sounds awesome, in in theory. Like communism. Like Jell-O wrestling. Like Jell-O in general, I guess. In practice, though, this was a complete abomination.

Target does make a variety of cheap foods in multiple flavors, though. We saw at least eight or nine flavors of macaroni and cheese for about $2.39, certainly enough to keep the variety going for students on a budget. So we said, what the hell? It took ten minutes to cook, but here was the strange part- it said not to drain the pasta and to just put the mix in and let it simmer. We assumed this meant that there was corn starch or a thickener in the sauce and that it would thicken up and adhere to the noodles, making them look like the noodles on the box.

Wrong. The sauce didn’t stick at all, and instead of making what we thought would be cheesy and Frank’s buffaloesque, it was just watery and tasted like we’d shaken Tabasco on our noodles. It left all the sauce behind, and whatever traces of bleu cheese that the box had advertised were completely non-existent. After one bite, I was satisfied. With work, this might work. I’d drain it next time, perhaps put it in a casserole with chicken, more hot sauce, and pepper jack cheese on top, but if you follow Target’s direction’s, you’re bound for eating McDonald’s later on in the night, like we did.

Crush Dessert Syrup

Humans seem to have an odd fascination with putting soda where it doesn’t belong, and in that vein, soda cans. Now, I’m not going to bring up the viral videos of that man putting soda cans or jars up his rectum, but I’ll tell you where else soda doesn’t belong: dessert. It doesn’t belong in apple dumplings, it doesn’t belong in pound cake, and it doesn’t belong on top of my damned ice cream sundae.

And now, for the badly related Foodette joke of the day! I’m crushed. Get it? Ha ha ha, stop throwing things.

This is the counterpart to the famous orange soda, Crush, not to be confused with the equally famous fetish of crushing things for sexual pleasure, but hell if I’m even going to step on that with my six inch go-go boots. And it appears to be a corn syrup laden confection, thick and not luscious and pretty awful. Kayla reviewed the the more vile-looking Dr. Pepper dessert topper here, also discussing fetishes, though we didn’t use telepathy to decide this.

I tried it on vanilla ice cream, hoping that the gods of gastronomy would cut me a break and turn it into a creamsicle or something, but instead, I just got this viscous pool of strangely textured liquid. It was so odd, it seemed to solidify upon impact, like a semiosmotic fluid, not quite solid, but not quite liquid. It was crystalized, and perhaps, since it was in the clearance section, it was stale, but its viscosity and saccharine flavor might have confused it for a high-quality honey instead of a shitty dessert syrup, too.

I’ll give them credit. They didn’t fuck up “orange”. It was definitely orange, like an orange on the terror alert or having thousands of oranges lobbed at you in a softball throwing machine. So that gave some points. But I don’t understand the concept. Just drink your damned soda and have your damned ice cream and leave it that way. Dammit.

Immaculate Baking Co. Sugar Cookies

Baking with Dr. D, we decided to pop a few of these in the oven as an after dinner treat. These were a lot of fun to make and bake because we could partition them, and there was no need to make the entire package if we didn’t want to.

These are all organic, all natural sugar cookies with an included packet of sugar for sprinkling at one’s own discretion. Oh, the power you shall have, once you can sprinkle sugar at your own whim. And the little blobs of sugar cookie dough are simply darling, as though Queen Saccharine the Cookie Fairy herself has come down and pooped little perfect gobs of dough onto the tray in a military style formation. It’s pristine.
Baking is simple, just tear the cookies away like magnets and plop them on a cookie sheet in whatever amount you want. In fact, the instructions were great, because they even went for the dreaded time-space management scheme, earning extra points by maximizing the time I could have spent scratching my ass but instead, instructing me to dip the cookie hemorrhoids into the sugar while the oven was heating. Genius, IBC. Pure genius. And the cookies weren’t half bad, either. They plumped up in the oven and came out golden brown, crispy on the outside and very buttery and sugary. The colored sugar added a pretty and festive vibe to the cookies, and a nice flavor overall.
Any criticism is that I did have to make an extra effort to hunt for a rubber band and a clip to tie onto the package for the remaining cookies, so a resealable addition for the extra dough would be a boon, but that’s basically it. The cookies were lovely, looked homemade due to lazy spacing on my part, and were fun and easy to jazz up. Pillsbury slice and bake has met its match.

Edward Marc Chocolatier

Rounding off a wonderful winter break with the family with some great chocolates from Edward Marc Chocolatier. Sharing them after dinner was a lot of fun. They sent along their signature meltaway chocolates, which the family and I shared.

Edward Marc also includes a cute little chocolate bar on top of their packages to show their logo and give you a tasty treat. It’s a lovely touch. The entire package was actually wrapped up like a lovely gift. It was a really delightful little presentation that I wouldn’t mind being given or giving to anyone.

From left to right, peanut butter, dark chocolate, mocha, and milk chocolate. The peanut butter was my favorite of the four. It had a nice flavor, like a gourmet peanut butter cup, but reminded me more of a smooth peanut butter than a peanut butter cup. There was less graininess and texture to it, it was a lot creamier than I thought. It reminded me of a frosting, and there was a buttery richness, like a ganache. It did melt, and it was very creamy. There was a nice sea salt flavor to it and a good peanutty taste, but the creaminess dominated a lot of the flavor.

The next flavor was a dark chocolate meltaway, and it was a lot crunchier and thicker than the other ones, with a chocolate ganache on the inside. This one tasted more whipped than anything else, with less body and depth than the outside shell. I tasted more of a coffee note to this than the mocha, a real rich espresso flavor combined with a deep chocolate taste. The nice thing about this was the crunch that the thicker chocolate shell and the less meltaway ratio gave, which was interesting, and lent a different texture and mouthfeel to the overall experience of eating the truffle. It was quite interesting to try!
(Both were sevens!)

After that was the milk chocolate meltaway, and that was a tasty treat. The milk chocolate shell and the chocolate ganache were two of the same, a very sweet, chocolatey flavor with not a whole lot of depth to it. There’s not a lot to say about this, a very sticky taste in my mouth, a lovely flavor, a little ending note of honey, maybe some caramel to it, but not much else. Very buttery. A little waxy, too, with the ganache texture. Perhaps not my favorite texture as far as fillings for truffles go, but never passable.
The last was the mocha, probably my least favorite of the ganaches. It had a white chocolate coating and a coffee and chocolate flavored interior, with a coffee bean on top. Boy, those were little coffee beans! I mean, they were seriously little beans on top. The beans made a bland and vaguely artificial flavor a little bitter, too. The mocha flavor was sweet and fluffy, very light and buttery and creamy like the others, but the coffee gave it a bitterness that I didn’t like. The white chocolate might have dissolved some of that and cut some of the tart flavors with its sugary sweetness, but overall, it just wasn’t to my palate.

Reese’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Saw these today while picking up a clip-on lamp and decided to give them a go. These have been around for a while, it seems. I’m not sure if they’re still from the Dark Knight or not, but here they are and here I am.

The dark chocolate is nice. It’s woodsy, and carries a really deep, textured flavor, with a hugely cinnamony and nutty flavor, really full and good, but has a waxy coating at the end, possibly from the milk-fats in the ingredients that turned me off and stopped me from eating the other peanut butter cup. The percentage of cocoa is not so much that it doesn’t melt, rather, it melts extremely easily.

One aspect of this candy that I enjoyed was the congruence and textural balance of the peanut butter. Its thickness and chunks and the saltiness made it really tasty to eat alongside the dark chocolate, whereas sometimes the milk chocolate peanut butter cups are a little too sweet. The dark chocolate cut it and brought out the flavors of the peanut butter that might have otherwise been minimized in the regular peanut butter cup. This candy was really great.

Burger King Cheesy Bacon BK Wrapper

Ah, redundancy. Only in America am I going to go to a fast-food establishment, forget where I am mid-order, and then have to repeat the name of said establishment in the middle of the name of the order.

That’s why, readers, I’m opposing the name of this by spelling out the full title in this, the Burger King Cheesy Bacon Burger King Wrapper.

Nah, that’s just lame.

Anyhow, this has gotten vaguely positive, but for the most part, “eh” sides of the reviews from GrubGrade and The Impulsive Buy, for one, and I wasn’t expecting anything different. Personally, I’m not a fan of wraps, raps, or erotic mummification, so when Dillinger suggested we get this as a part of our early morning McGriddle binge, I was on the fence. However, this was a really nice surprise.

We went to order two of these and an order of cheesy tots, when we were informed that they weren’t offering them any more. Now, eagle eyed readers will note that just last week, we featured cheesy tots. What gives? Well, inside the burrito thing, we found them. What’s the deal, BK? They’re inside the wrap, all warm and cuddly, and our BK must really be trying to get rid of them because they were definitely shoved inside. We had at least four or five in our wraps.
Inside, there’s the egg rectangle, the standard egg, which was nice and crispy, a feature I hadn’t known to be attributed to egg rectangles. I wonder if I ought to worry. There was the bacon, a good amount, it was nice and crispy, but very salty, but for the amount, I wasn’t displeased. And then there was cheese…and cheese sauce. And the cheese sauce really made the sandwich. It was tangy and flavorful and added a dimension of taste that brought out the bacon’s saltiness, the crisp of the taters, and the flavor of the otherwise bland tortilla shell, which, by the way, kept the entire thing together quite well. Texture-wise, it was a little off. The crispiness of the potato bites was good, the bacon made it better, and if this was toasted…yowza.