Sir Kensington’s Spiced Scooping Ketchup

‘Twas a soiree of decadence and sin! On a fair summer’s eve, the Lady Keepitcoming deigned to favor me with the pleasure of her company. Nature lead us to discover that on this balmy evening, only the finest of pub pleasures would assuage our lubricious appetites, and thus, we consummated our desire to dine upon Sir Kensington’s, the capricious catsup of kings!Dear readers, I’m sure I shan’t raise any eyebrows in stating the obvious fact that the vast majority of commercial ketchups are rather banal affairs, in possession of the all the charms, in the timeless words of David Guetta, of “your neighborhood whore.” Fortunately for those of us whose gourmandism demands a more subtle, recherché approach to ketchup, Sir Kensington has come forward to disabuse us of our former complacency in regards to this most familiar of condiments. By the light and wisdom of Sir Kensington, a notorious fop in the most sociable of circles, truly has the purity of the primal origins of ketchup finally been seen! Yea verily, this ketchup is baller. With a thick, ripe rotundness on the lips and a heat sufficient to pique our lusty appetites, Sir Kensington tipped the velvet on our tongues and tantalized our tastebuds. This ketchup possessed all the natural simplicity of a luscious twenty-two year old brunette stripper with lightly pendulous double D’s and minimal dancing abilities, yet it had the robust spice and sultry tomato flavor reminiscent of the kind of woman who can make you scream like a bitch without really trying.In the light of this laudatory review, it pains me to relate to you, my esteemed readers, that Sir Kensington’s viral marketing campaign is, in truth, kind of douchey. Our normally redoubtable guide into this fascinating world suggested on his website that we have a “scooping ketchup party”, and it is with great regret that I inform you of my distaste for our esteemed colleague’s choice of words.
This minor matter of aesthetics aside, however, we did listen to music deserving of the Kensingtonian philosophy, namely, Air, and other light ambient techno dance selections, and we ate his ketchup with good, hearty french fries. I wouldn’t hesitate to serve Sir Kensington’s ketchup again, in despite of the fact that I die a little inside whenever I’m called upon to speak the words, “scooping ketchup.”Written and translated into Victorian English by Keepitcoming Love

Rosé VIgnette Wine Country Soda

Here’s another wine soda from Vignette Wine Country Sodas, a Rosé variety. Just from looking at the bottle alone, it has a nice blush and a sweet fade. For the sake of the review, I’m going to assume the flavors are reminiscent of a white Zin, as this is from California and that’s the typical grape Rosé is made from.White Zin is the bitch grape of a lot of drinkers. It’s sweet, colorful, and a little shallow- the babysitter you’d be happy to watch your kids. But like that bubbly personality, it comes as a turn off to most. It’s not as sophisticated as white Burgundy or Riesling and doesn’t fall into the category of dessert wine, making it often inappropriately sweet for many diner’s palates. But let’s not bleed the vat too quickly. The white Zin is fruity and summery and highly appropriate for a hot day, and while it’s no Donnhoff for the discerning drinker, it’s a smooth alternative to the more expensive wines and blends seamlessly in say, a kegger at a state university or a party in the Midwest.So how does this rank up? Unfortunately, not as delightful as you might think. The soda is scented like a powdery strawberry eraser, though nowhere near as impermanent, and even smells a lot like a tart sparkling cranberry juice.And that’s exactly how it tastes. It’s a very sweet and approachable drink, but when push comes to shove, like the white Zin itself, I’m not very impressed with the flavor.

Salted Caramel Popcorn

Recently, we were sent some gourmet popcorn from Salted Caramel. Now, since Keepitcoming and I like most of the same foods, we’re generally in agreement with all the things we sample for the blog. This might have been the first instance when we were split directly down the middle on which sample had the better taste. Each popcorn flavor is loosely themed after the circus, I guess, and is named after performers in a circus, like the strongman and contortionist. It makes no sense at all, as the trend of circus names dies on the back of the package. No further background is given, and the blurbs on the side are non-sequiturs in themselves. If I had a circus-themed popcorn, I’d call it the PETA protester.Of the two popcorns given to us, smoked bourbon pecan and bacon bourbon, my personal favorite was the bacon popcorn. It really reminded me of a solid breakfast combo. The caramel, which heavily coated the popcorn, was sweet and slightly burnt and provided that nice mellow taste that contrasted so well with the bacon. The bacon was unevenly distributed, with the highest yield appearing in the giant goo goo clusters that popped up. It was slightly smoky, a little salty, and gave a sumptuously rich flavor to the popcorn itself. A tasty snack, despite the dying beastly bacon trend.This was also very high quality popcorn. I didn’t find any unpopped kernels, and the pieces themselves were fluffy and crispy.The smoked bourbon pecan popcorn was extremely flavorful. The smoke was distinctively present in the popcorn, and it mingled and enhanced the flavor of the caramel. The nuts were in good sized chunks, scattered intermittently throughout the popcorn, and imparted not only a textural irregularity but a nice layer to the flavors going on. This was Keepitcoming’s personal preference. I found it a bit too intense for my tastes.Keepitcoming Love’s Disturbing Observation of the Day: “This makes me feel like a contortionist.”

Chardonnay Vignette Wine Country Soda

Well, here’s a subject very near and dear to my heart- viticulture! In fact, just today I mentioned to Keepitcoming that it might be fun to move to California so that I could attend UC Davis’s school of viticulture and enology. This particular beverage is not wine, but is made with California varietal wine grape juice- in this case, the Chardonnay grape.While this beverage is no Montrachet, it’s certainly unclassifiable as a grape soda, either. So how would one taste this, knowing that it’s slightly mirrored to the wine’s flavor? California Chardonnay, an acidic, sunny, little cousin of Pinot Noir, is quite flavorful and quaffable on summer days. Known for its oaky and complex aromas, my experience told me this would be a tough flavor to emulate. How bad could it be?The bottle is adorable. I only wish there were little corks, or at least screwcaps with half corks inside. Alas. It’s very sophisticated and minimal in design. The soda comes out with a healthy fizz, and wafts a gentle scent out of the glass, a very subtle apple. Upon first sip, you’re slightly overwhelmed by bubbles, but those secede to a gentle fruitiness, a caress of peach, citrus, and soda water. No sugary or tart flavor to speak of. The grapes are the frontmen in this traveling band.This is a varietal for a variety, ladies and gentleman. If I wasn’t giving real wine to my imaginary children, I’d gladly offer them this so as to avoid an untimely arrest. I’d give it to guests choosing not to consume alcohol, as much of prudes as they may be. This is something as delicious as any wine you’d expect and far exceeded my expectations for a non-alcoholic beverage.

Nuts About Granola Plain Jane and Off Road Edition

Lately, I’ve been easing back into my college habit patterns. I’m staying up later, I’m sleeping in. I bought myself a pair of sweet kicks from Nike to wear to my archiving class. And I haven’t really been eating breakfast. That’s not to say I dislike breakfast. On the contrary, I love omelettes, pancakes, chocolate milk…all those sweet, breakfasty things. I like making a house smell like breakfast.

But sometimes I just don’t feel like cooking, for whatever reason. Keepitcoming and I were a little lethargic this week, so we ate out and prepared a lot of cold foods. One of these was this granola for breakfast. Recently, I’d been sent a sampling of two granola flavors from Nuts About Granola, in their original Plain Jane flavor and a spring trail mix edition.

We ate these in two different ways, both with milk and in its natural dry habitat. I found the peanut butter one to be tasty and carry a nice, natural saltiness and peanut taste. Keepitcoming also liked it. She ate the rest of the bag with milk and said it was better than the trail mix. It was a tasty base, but on its own, I might not be inclined to nibble. I prefer my granola chunky and varied in texture. This was more of a peanut butter oatmeal base. Admittedly a good idea- who doesn’t like peanut butter? But it needs work. Peanut butter chips. Mmm.
The next flavor, the one I ate the bulk of, was called Off Road, and it was a vegan granola featuring nuts, fruits, and oat clusters. This one was chunkier and nicely textured, but the flavor was pretty unimpressive. It tasted like eating raw oats. The dried cranberries, which I loved, were missing in action. I found about three total, and they were tart and sweet. And the nut clusters were sugared and crunchy, but also did not add to the taste as much as the berries did.

I’d have really liked to enjoy this, because I do like granola, but this wasn’t as exciting as it could have been.

Wholly Guacamole Original 100 Calorie Packs

When you get down to it, guacamole is a damned sexy food. Evocative of Latin beats, Latin dancers, and Ricky Martin’s ass, it’s spicy, creamy, silky, and good for you. How many foods can boast that? It’s easily one of my top ten favorite foods, a close third on the list to human flesh and tacos, respectively.

Wholly Guacamole was nice enough to send over a massive cooler of goodies, not the least of which included these 100 calorie packs of guacamole. I need you to know one thing before you continue reading- I really, really hate the concept of 100 calorie packs, mainly that of Nabisco. The snacks aren’t worth the 100 calories and are usually fluffed by advertisements of overweight women proclaiming how full they feel after eating them. No soapbox, I’m just not a fan.This portion is actually quite substantial, whether you’re scooping it up with chips off our lover’s body and pretending they’re bleeding alien blood or eating it at a nude potluck. 100 calories goes pretty far and doesn’t make me feel like I’m missing out on my favorite snacks. This one pack fed Keepitcoming and I before we had dinner and added pizazz to our chips. The avocado is the star here, no surprise, but for a packaged guacamole, it’s nice to have such a fresh flavor. There are visible chunks and a nice, natural buttery taste. It’s fresh and green and delightful. My only complaint is that this isn’t spicy enough. (We added hot sauce and queso!) I’m a spiceaholic, so I’d have really enjoyed eating Wholly Guacamole’s spicy guac in such an easy pack. And that’s the only gripe I have. Really, I’m a sucker for packaging like this. It’s easy to toss in a lunchbox instead of making guac and putting it in Tupperware, risking its spillage, refrigerates perfectly fine, and saves the hassle of opening an entire package of pre-made guac and letting it spoil, assuming you don’t eat it in one fell swoop. An innovative and fantastic idea to target foodies like myself.

Red Curry Noodles

Tonight, Keepitcoming and I are celebrating three months in blissful awesomeness. Because we made pad thai for last month, we decided to do a variation on the recipe using a sauce from Trader Joe’s.This is red curry noodles, and while it doesn’t exactly follow to any particular recipe, it was delicious and cooked up nicely with the noodles we used.

Red curry noodles
Ingredients (serves 2)
5 oz. flat rice noodles, about half a package’s worth
5.5 oz of red curry sauce
2 eggs
Smoky paprika to taste
1/2 a lime, cut into wedges
Unsalted peanuts

1. Twenty minutes prior to cooking, soak your noodles in hot water. Do not let them soak in boiling water, as they will get mushy. Once they can bend without snapping in half, heat your wok or sauce pan with oil and a dash of paprika. Chop up your peanuts.
2. Throw in the noodles and half of the sauce, and stir. Don’t let the noodles clump. Should this happen, add a little more oil and lower the heat. Add more sauce.3. Once the noodles are cooked, push them to one side of the pan and crack in the eggs, stirring vigorously to mix them together and scramble them. Hard curds are the goal for the eggs. Once that is achieved, stir them into the noodles until they are fully incorporated.
4. Toss in half of your peanuts and the juice of 1/4 of the lime. Serve immediately with chopped peanuts on top and a lime wedge.This couldn’t be an easier recipe, guys. It takes no time at all, uses simple ingredients, and is fancy and fresh for an anniversary, birthday, or hot summer night. From Keepitcoming and I, keep cooking, humans!

Melon Hi-Chew

Good news, regulars. El Diablo, my Mac, is up and running and ready to post more terrible and delicious edibles. Despite deleting all my Firefox bookmarks. Huzzuh for El Diablo.

Keepitcoming Love picked me up some melon flavored Hi-Chew yesterday. I was hungry and in need of sustenance, so I decided to eat it and review. I’m not really much of a fruits and veggies eater, come to think of it. I realize this is not a revelation of a sorts, but I’m quite sure that the melon Hi-Chew is the closest to actual nutrients or nutrient-like foods I’ve consumed in a while. I did manage to eat a nectarine this morning, though.Anyhow, I noticed something pretty neat with the ingredients on this candy. Melon powder is actually listed seventh on the list, and in the flavor, it’s quite apparent. The flavor is extremely floral and perfumed, and tastes like a hybrid between an cantaloupe and a honeydew melon, with the naturally sugary taste from the latter. In the mango flavor, however, there was an obvious textural sensation, though, with the prickliness and thick mouthfeel, but this lacked the juiciness and dense fleshy texture a melon typically has. It was in this slightly less realistic touch that we decided mango to be the unanimous favorite.I’m looking forward to trying some Japanese flavors of Hi-Chew. Will they be different? Equally as luscious and flavorful? I especially liked that this included melon powder, despite falling a little short on its replication, and hope that there will be a more substantial presence of natural flavors drawing from the actual fruit in future tastings.

Metromint Goodberry

Apologies for the lack of a post yesterday. Swagger and I got slightly caught up in an orgy of hard starches, aka, the Corn and Potato Festival. A tasting will ensue.

Man, I wish I was famous. I mean like, famous famous, like, “Ooops, that was my Ponzi scheme, but it’s all good. Can I interest you gentlemen in some drinks? A nice Beaucastel, perhaps?” famous, more of that than of “Oh no, my vagina (aka, The Fame Monster) has gone off and posted itself on the YouTube. Again.”

You don’t need to be famous to do that!

Regardless, it would be pretty bitchin’ if I had a few summer houses, a wine cellar, and the debonair to not give a damn at all. It’s hard to look suave and autonomous in a ’98 Ford Escort. I’m not complaining, though. The upper tax bracket does have some serious irritations, though- Rosie O’Donnell eating all the food at your parties, the pressure to keep your hair in the same shade of “frosted Greenwich blonde,” and charities.

That might be the most annoying of all. But for those of you who aspire to be famous, there’s an alternative. That’s right, before you send off for that exotic mail-order baby or try to breastfeed the giant manbaby, Perez Hilton, you can just get this water, Metromint Goodberry. Goodberry. Even the name is simpering and pretentious, like a black tie charity ball for cleft palate afflicted Christian orphans. The hand is back, by the way.It’s perfect for achieving that brooding, angry focus of complete and utter weltschmerz, because it tastes like a mixture of bad cough medicine and frustration. It’s got a clever, catchy name, evocative of the yesteryear, with metrosexuality and singular color schemes. It has polka dots so it can match with your handbags and cummerbunds. And it tastes like honest to goodness horror, so you can feel guilty and ingest it at the same time.This water is terrible. The flavor lingers and the mint is loud and pushy, like Hillary Clinton, and I just want it to go away so I can return to my normal state of life. I couldn’t even finish a shotglass of this swill. I don’t wanna be famous. Not if I have to endorse democracy and Metromint. Not for anything- my cup runneth over! God damn, this water sucks.

Keepitcoming Love’s Disturbing Observation of the Day: “This water tastes like punishment.”

Anija’s Mustard

You’ve all seen photos of me, namely, that one nagging set of photos of me and Rick Salomon doing the nasty with night vision lighting. What a mistake that was. But anyhow, you’ve seen my face, and if you’ve seen me, you’d know it’s no secret that I harbor an affinity for deep-fried foods. Namely, the mean batch of French fries I make. They’re short and stumpy. I’m short and stumpy. What’s not to love? This came up in conversation with the missus, and like discussions of abortions and methods of serial murder, I tried to change the subject. Secretly, I could not contain my glee. Keepitcoming also enjoys fried foods! This could open a whole new gateway of enabling and eating in our relationship. I mentioned these fries, and she seemed curious and willing to eat them.

I decided to make a test batch myself. Y’know, for research purposes. Can’t have my girlfriend eating these spuds if they suck. I needed something to dip them in, though, and we were out of honey mustard. What’s a girl to do? Luckily, I’d just been sent a triad of dipping mustard from Anija, who learned the secrets of Finnish mustard making from her mother.Of the three varieties, spicy pepper, hot and sweet, and lime, I believe that lime was my favorite. The mustard is textured on the thick side, but doesn’t get gluey, and has a little creaminess, too. This creaminess lends itself well to the tangy citrus flavor. The mustard is pretty hot, but more of a clean horseradish hot than a spicy, peppery hot. I found myself ambivalent on this spice front, as I like more of a spicy hot.

The tang cleared out my nostrils and made my nose run a little, but it wasn’t too overwhelming. It did overpower the flavor of the fries, which I topped with the mustard. Lime and potato, not the best combination. Maybe gravlax. Maybe ham.The plain and spicy mustard tasted the same, unfortunately. Same horseradish kick, same thick texture, but unfortunately, nothing that made me want to go back for round two. It just dominated the potatoes, poor little things. With spiciness, I’m just as pleased with an ample balance of sweet, like honey, but with all the salt in this, it was imbalanced and not very palatable.If I made these fries again, I might be inclined to use sweet potatoes and serve them with this mustard. Otherwise, I’d be just as happy eating them alone, which is exactly what I did. And then I practiced some guitar in the altogether. Sometimes the life of a food blogger isn’t as glamorous and daring as it ought to be.