Monday, November 30, 2009

Michelina's Fettucine Alfredo With Chicken Frozen Dish - Does Box Photo Match The Meal?

As you regular reader's know, we here in the FPT test kitchens are strongly opinionated about food matching the photos used to represent it. Usually, when we post about this it is to call attention to a food item that looks nothing like how it is depicted/advertised.

Michelina's Fettucine Alfredo With Chicken - is a small frozen entree that comes in a microwaveable box and we decided to put it to the test.

Here is a close-up of the picture on the box front:

This is how it looked after cooking BUT before stirring as the directions recommended:

Now - WOW - look at this after stirring it up - we have an almost exact match to the photo on the box. Plus this little snacker meal was tasty and affordable at 1.00 on sale!

Vitamin Water Now Available At Carl's Jr. - The King Of Beverage Options

Carl's Jr. which recently introduced Monster Energy drinks to their menu now adds the popular Vitamin Water as well. "Carl’s Jr. will feature three flavors of the great-tasting, nutrient-enhanced water: vitaminwater xxx, vitaminwater revive and vitaminwater essential. Each vitaminwater variety provides a range of functional benefits to address whatever life throws at you." We are big fans of their current fountain drink dispensers, which offer maybe 20 or so options. Hopefully, they will soon have the 100 flavor new coke fountain dispensers as well - look at our older posts for a cool video showing off this off the hook 100 flavor soda fountain.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Pork Roast Recipe & Pix - From Reader MOB

Our readers have moved on from turkey left-overs and bellyaches. While most folks probably are not cooking pork roasts at the end of Thanksgiving weekend - our people just keep on going. Our friend MOB spent tonight preparing and eating massive servings of an impressive pork roast. He was kind enought to not only send us media -but also his recipe as well.

2.5 pound pork roast
1 sprig thyme
1/2 cup white wine (something you'd drink, not cheepo)
1/2 cup water
3 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Celery Stalk
1/4 Cup olive oil
1/2 small onion

Preheat oven to 375. Score fat side of roast. Rub with olive oil. Pepper and salt to taste all over. Place in roast pan on top of celery stalk and carrot, fat side up. Break up Thyme and bay leaves, crush garlic spread on top. Pour wine and water around the outside of roast. Cut up onion and place in wine and water. Roast for 2.5 hours at 375, basting every 15 minutes.

Gravy: 1 cup milk 1/2 cup flour

Remove roast and strain drippings. Heat to boiling stove top. Mix milk and flour, milk should be very cold. Strain any flour lumps… needs to be smooth. Add slowly to boiling drippings. This relies on the temp difference between the milk and drippings to work well. Stir constantly till fully mixed. Serve with large egg noodles and a vegetable of your choice.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Turkey Cooking - The Paper Bag Method - From Brainwreck

This year's winner of the FPT Turkey Cook-Off is Brainwreck. His bold move of using the "paper bag" method has unseated reader Jackball's 2006 entry as the all-time champion. The excellent photos above speak for themselves.

We asked him how the whole thing went, "First time cooking a turkey using the paper bag method, and it turned out awesome. Turkey was stuffed with onions, carrots, celery, garlic, butter, and potatoes. Chunks of butter were also inserted under the skin in strategic locations."

Runner-up respect to Black2oof for his entry.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Cheetos Green Color Changers - Availability?

We have discussed the Cheetos Blue Color Changers here and even posted a video from some nice ladies showing how they work. The unusual thing here is that on the west coast we have not seen the blue cheetos anywhere. However, we have noticed that there still are bags of the green color changers on the shelves as of today. Does anyone know about the distribution of these? There is very little on the web regarding the green ones, but the blue kinds has all kinds of info. Are these green color changers Cheetos rare? Should we send staff out and buy all we can find?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

FPT SAFETY ALERT: $60,000 Going Rate For Gallon Of Fat On Black Market

News of gangs murdering those of the largess to drain their fat and re-market it have come in from Peru. The going rate is $60,000 a gallon. Just a heads up people - lets all be a little more street smart right now.

Portobello Mushroom Melt Thickburger - New at Hardee's

Always offering new unique items, Hardee’s has done it again with the new Portobello Mushroom Melt Thickburger.

The Portobello Mushroom Melt Thickburger features a third-pound of charbroiled 100% Black Angus beef, topped with Portobello mushrooms sautéed in a garlic-butter sauce, caramelized grilled onions and two slices of Swiss cheese, melted all together between toasted sourdough bread.

Always on the hunt for coupons or special deals - we recommend anyone heading to Hardee's join their Facebook/Twitter groups as they are always posting coupons and special deals. We just checked and there is a 'Get What You Deserve' button on their facebook page which gets you a dollar off this new item. Now go get one - and send us your take!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Deer Rump Roast - The Magnum Method

Regular reader Magnum recently acquired an app. 5 pound deer/venison rump roast and truly went all out with it. He tells us "it had minced garlic, onion, carrots, potatos, green pepper, and beef broth and i cooked it on 230 for about 9 hours".

Photos above are before and after.

Thanks to Magnum for yet another unique and creative culinary adventure.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Homemade Chili Pot - Recipe & Photos From Etathed in West Virginia

Our embedded reporter from West Virginia went wild and made what appears to be a rather unique and tasty Chili Pot: Etathed's Chili Pot - This is one of my most favorite meals to make. And like most of the meals i make this one is easy as can be, and super tasty. First lets talk ingrediants, this recipe works with: - 2.25 lbs of lean ground - Veggies of your choice (here i am using chopped up jalapenos, chopped yellow onion, chopped green onion, and garlic. - 2 Cans (16oz. per can) of Chili beans, and 2 cans (7.3oz per can) of El Pato Jalapeno Salsa. -Hot Sauce -Chili Powder Now lets get this chili pot started. First thing we need to do is to start cooking the ground beef in a pot. As we do this we can chop up our veggies and toss them into a skillet to cook them up a bit. When the beef is almost fully cooked check to see how much grease has accumulated in the pot, you may need to drain the beef as we are not interested in any excess grease. Next toss them veggies into the beef and add some hot sauce ( I am using original Cholula Hot sauce) and chili powder. Let the beef and veggie mix cook for a couple minutes so their flavors meld together. Next add the 2 cans of chili beens ( in this pot i am using Bush's Chili beans in a Mild sauce, i prefer Joan of Arc Chili beans in a SPicy sauce, but they were sold out. ) After adding the beans, Add the 2 cans of El Pato Jalapeno salsa. This is not salsa like you would dip chips in, it is more like a tomato sauce made with jalapeno and other stuff.

Mix it all up, cover the mixture and leave on the stove for at least an hour or two on a low heat setting. This is key as the chili gets better the longer it sits on the heat. Be sure to stir and sample at regular intervals.

Thats it! This chili is great served in a traditional style, in a bowl with some cheese mixed in. It is also a great topping for nachos, alongside some cheese, jalapenos and sour cream. You can also roll it up with the above ingredients in a tortilla to make a decent chili cheese burrito. For such a simple meal to make, the options of consumption are numerous! You can eat from this pot over the course of a day or two and not have the same "meal" twice!

Thanks Etathed - nice work as always. Think you have a meal worthy of posting - send it in using the email link in the right column of this page.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Jalapeno Poppers - The FPT Team Recommendation

Jalapeno Poppers can be bought by a variety of makers, and the FPT staff is here to help you make the right choice. For the make at home style, there truly is one brand that dominates. They go by the name "The Original Poppers" brand - as there are so many people trying to ride their coat-tails. Our favorite is the cream cheese filled, but every style they offer is excellent.

Look at the picture above closely and when shopping look for their brand name - there are many pretenders out there.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Carls' Jr. 6 Dollar Cheeseburger - A "We Just Had To Try It Now" Review

After learning of the great price earlier today for the new Carl's Jr. 6 Dollar Black Angus Cheeseburger, we went MOBI and sampled this great deal. Photo above is of our sample burger - this one was ordered plain with just meat and cheese. Ranks right with the other six dollar burgers at Carl's. Excellent black angus meat as we expected - only thing that we found skimped on was the price!

We also saw the Big Carl combo gift cards given out with every Big Carl combo offer - each card having a value of 1 to 100 dollars of food credits! In addittion we found a coupon in our bag for one dollar off your total when buying a Vitamin Water with any 6 dollar burger. Lots of good stuff happening at Carl's Jr. right now.

Carl's Jr. Six Dollar Cheeseburger For $2.79 - Burger Battle Round III

Burger Battle Round III:
Carl’s Jr. Launches The Six Dollar Cheeseburger for $2.79

Today Carl’s Jr. launched The Six Dollar Cheeseburger, adding more fuel to the fire in the premium burger wars. Selling for just $2.79, the Six Dollar Cheeseburger is nearly twice as big as the McDonald’s Quarter Pounder® with Cheese, for a lot less money. The Six Dollar Cheeseburger features almost a half pound of charbroiled 100% Black Angus Beef, two slices of American cheese, onion, dill pickles, ketchup and mustard on a seeded bun.

Also starting today, Carl’s Jr. is launching a Big Carl Combo Rewards Card promotion. With the purchase of any size Big Carl Combo (Big Carl, fries and a drink), priced starting at $4.49, customers will receive one Rewards Card valued between $1 and $100 to be used for any food purchase on their next visit. The promotion runs Nov. 18 – Jan. 5, or while supplies last.

The FPT staff agrees that we can confidently declare Carl's Jr./Hardee's as the burger battle leaders over all competitors. Follow the battle on their facebook page and score excellent coupons as well.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Casa Ricardo Cheese Crunch - The FPT Staff Find Of The Week

One of our staffers stumbled upon this item at the 'dollar store' of all places. These 'Cheetos' style snacks take it to the next level of cheesy happiness. Ever notice how a lot of cheese curl brands seem to have a puffiness or hollow taste when you chomp em? These are very unique in that they are dense and chewy. No fluffing going on at Casa Ricardo's. Nice strong cheese taste to go along with the satisfying and dense curls.

Not sure how they ended up at the 'dollar store' or even where you can find them on a regular basis - but if you spot the Casa Ricardo brand - this is a must buy snacker. We paid only one dollar for the bonus size - which is about the same size as a standard Cheetos bag. Hopefully, some day these will be found everywhere. In the meantime we are sending someone back to try to acquire any and all bags that may be left at the 'dollar store'.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Claim Jumper "Restaurant" Country Fried Chicken Frozen Microwave Meal

We at the FPT believe that food should look like it is advertised. This frozen meal from Claim Jumper is an example of this ongoing problem. Upon opening the box, we find what looks like a 1/2 eaten corncob as well as chicken that does not match the golden brown piece of bird on the box.

How was the meal? It tasted like it looks - bland and blah.

If you experience a similar situation, please take the time to send us photos and info and we will share it with our readers.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Mongo's Mongologues 6: Response To Last Post & Rib-Eye Steak Rockin'

Dear FPT readers,

Did you all actually think that there is such an actual thing as a wamagranate? Please refer to my post. With particular respect to the last line. It was a Halloween trick. Now, I expect my readers to fork my treat. In all seriousness, it was just a very, very strange watermelon. IaM have never seen one that has been split into symetrically equivalent thirds like that before. Okay, having said that, fork my treat!

Before we discuss today's topic, I must impart to our FPT readers a recipe that I found on Von's web-site yesterday: Moroccan Lamb Pilaf. Lamb is also an essential foodstuff, but is beyond the realm of today's discussion.

Today, we discuss beef, the anti-white meat. For those who do not know, all of the best cuts of beef come from the parts of the animal that are not extensively used. That is, parts of the beast that are not used for mobility. Shank, Chuck, Round, and brisket are all cuts from the beast that the beast uses to walk around. Thus, these cuts are tough. Chuck and Round and so forth can be made into a delicious meal, but they require more cooking. The best cuts are from the rib-cage of the beast, and some cuts closer to the chute of the animal. These include the rib-cuts, the loin, top sirloin, and so forth (a porterhouse steak also comes from the same regions).

Today, IaM brings to you the beauty of a Rib-eye steak. Our more observant readers may note that the Rib-eye steak, also known as a Spencer Steak, looks remarkably similiar to a Prime Rib of beef. This is for the reason that they come from the same regions. If one views the first picture, we see the rib-eye in the rough from Vons. It is an expensive cut of beef; normally, about $10 a pound.

To properly cook a rib-eye steak, one first procures a suitcase. For you motards who don't know me, a suitcase is a 30-pack of Coors Light. Once again, procure mesquite coals. Throw coals into grill. Light coals. Let coals get nice and red hot. Take rib-eye steak and throw on grill. Cook to taste. A rib-eye is best cooked no more than medium well.

IaM has more treats in store for our FPT readers. But, today, shortly, USC is going to cane Stanford. Thus, IaM must prepare for this lashing. Please send any questions about this delicious steak to the moderator and I will promptly respond.

Sincerely, IaM

Tillamook Vintage White Cheddar Cheese - LIMITED EDITION BIG BAG

Just showing off what our acquisitions department purchased recently here. This a 2 1/2 pound bag of this limited edition offering from Tillamook Cheese. This batch comes shredded and is made from extra sharp white cheddar aged 3 years and medium white cheddar aged over 100 days.

Yes, it is absoulutely excellent. We are saving the label to frame and hang in our test kitchens.

New Batch of MOBI food pictures From Reader Chris Norton

Here we go with another round of the unique MOBI pix from regular reader & contributor Chris Norton.

Starting at the top you have a photo of a "Charlie Brown" pastry bought somewhere in Scottsdale, Arizona(no one on staff here has ever seen/heard of these). His comments are: "It is not good - I thought it was going to be chocolately but it was just bad".

Next is a shot of a chicken dish from Sarku Japan from the Scottsdale Mall. The last photo is of the new strawberry peanut butter M&M's, which Chris tells us are only available at Walmart. Is this true?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Carl's Jr. Chicken Parmesan Sandwich - The FPT Team Report

This new sandwich had been on our radar for awhile and one day last week we sent an FPT team member to grab us some to sample.

We had ordered fries as well - but they were gone before he had returned. Nothing like a fresh hot batch of the Carls fries, so we understood. This chicken sandwich is very unique - unlike any other. We knew the chicken would be good - as Carl's gets it about chicken - but did not know what to expect with the parmesan and marinara sauce. It worked out excellent. Lots of sauce and lots of cheesy goodness here that make for something than the usual.

We also picked up a few of the Ranch Bacon Cheeseburgers which go for only one buck. These are not your usual 'value menu' burger as the photos show. Best one buck burger going that we know of.

If you read our earlier post on the Chicken Parmesan Sandwich release you will find a link for a buck off coupon.