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July 2018

The Triple 'B' Pork Loin

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

Pork Loin
A Beautiful Pork Loin

The tang of Dijon mustard, the sweetness of brown sugar, the smokiness of bacon, juicy-tender pork and of course, the kiss of a bourbon glaze....  It's another dose of YUM!  And yes, you guessed it, the Triple 'B', is Brown sugar, Bacon and Bourbon....  What's NOT to like, right?  What's also likeable about this crowd pleaser, are 1., you'll come off like a real grill master and 2., a pork loin is a cheap cut of meat that can easily be done up in gourmet fashion.  The pork loin pictured right is just over four pounds and cost me just $7.94.  Now THAT is Bachelor on the Cheap friendly!

Ingredients for the pork loin:

  • Center cut pork loin, about 3-4 pounds
  • 3 Tablespoons of your favorite bourbon
  • 2-1/2 Tablespoons of Cookies Flavor Enhancer, or your favorite rub
  • 3 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • Four slices of thick cut bacon
  • Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
Pork Loin Butterflied
Pork Loin Butterflied

Ingredients for the bourbon glaze:

  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 Tablepoons light brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 Tablespoons of your favorite bourbon
  • A dash of Cayenne pepper
  • The juice from one lime

Directions:  Butterfly the pork loin by cutting it almost in half lengthwise through one side, stopping about one inch short of cutting completely through.  Open up the roast like a book.  Sprinkle the inside of the loin with one tablespoon of the bourbon, perhaps take a shot yourself and let that soak in for about five minutes.  Sprinkle about 1/3 of the Cookies Flavor Enhancer or your favorite rub over the inside of the loin. 

Triple 'B' Pork Loin
Prepped and ready for the grill

Using a spatula, spread on the Dijon mustard, then sprinkle on the brown sugar.  Sprinkle the remaining bourbon over the brown sugar.  Fold the loin back together and sprinkle the remaining rub on the outside of that beautiful pork, set aside on the work surface.  Cut four 12-inch pieces of butcher's twine and position the strings roughly two inches apart and parallel to each other, just wide enough to accommodate the thick cut bacon.  Place the bacon across the strings, perpendicular to and in the center of them.  Set the roast on top of the bacon so the bacon is on the opposite side of the fat cap.  Tie the strings together holding the bacon to the loin, hit the bacon with the fresh ground black pepper.  Grill the Triple 'B' over indirect heat for 1 to 1-1/2 hours, or until an instant read thermometer reads 160 degrees.  While the pork is starting to get happy on the grill, make the glaze by combing all those ingredients in a saucepan until it comes to boil, about 4 to 6 minutes, set aside.  Start basting the loin after the

Triple 'B' pork loin
Grill over indirect heat

30 minute mark and every 15 minutes until done.  Pull the pork from the grill and rest it for five minutes, then remove the strings.  Slice the roast for serving and drizzle with the remaining glaze and another squeeze of lime juice.  Excellent served with a rice pilaf.  Enjoy the Triple 'B'!



Food Review: Arby's Smokehouse Beef Short Rib Sandwich

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

Arby's Smokehouse Beef Short Rib Sandwich
The Arby's Smokehouse Beef Short Rib Sandwich in the box....

Arby's has announced a new but limited time addition to their 'Smokehouse Meats' lineup of sandwiches, the Smokehouse Beef Short Rib Sandwich.

I'm a grill enthusiast, a BBQ lover, I've even gone to school to become a certified Competition BBQ Judge - yes, really, there is such a thing.  So when Arby's hyped up their latest 'Smokehouse Meats' sandwich, I had to try it.  I must tell you my expectations were not high going in, I recently tried their Bourbon BBQ Brisket Sandwich and it was less-than-stellar. 

Here are the base ingredients for the Beef Short Rib Sandwich:

  • Crispy Onions
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Smokehouse Beef Short Rib
  • BBQ Sauce
  • Texas Toast

So how was it?

Pretty darn tasty!  Arby's is learning as they go with these sandwiches and they've done an excellent job putting this one together, it's the best BBQ sandwich on their menu.  The flavor combinations are classic, the short rib meat was super tender and a really nice portion.  The BBQ sauce was spot on and in the perfect amount, not over or under sauced.  The cheddar cheese was a smart

Arby's Smokehouse Beef Short Rib Sandwich
A nice meat to bread ratio

choice and the crispy onions provided a nice texture and flavor compliment but what put this sandwich over the top was the choice of bread.  Texas Toast is the perfect pairing.  Lightly toasted, it just embraces everything in this sandwich, a wonderful bite after bite experience.

I paid about $10 for a large size meal of the Smokehouse Beef Short Rib Sandwich, also getting four potato cakes (I've got two cakes for breakfast tomorrow!) and a large lemonade. The price isn't exactly Bachelor on the Cheap friendly, but it was a darn good sandwich, the potato cakes were hot, made to order and it all washed down very nicely with the lemonade.  Arby's Smokehouse Beef Short Rib Sandwich gets 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  The only knock I have on it, is there weren't enough crispy onions, but the sandwich is a repeat buy.

4 stars

Spend Wisely My Friends.....

Arby's Smokehouse Beef Short Rib Sandwich
Not enough crispy onions!


Food Review: Wendy's Buffalo Ranch Crispy Chicken sandwich for $1

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

Wendy's Buffalo Ranch Crispy Chicken Sandwich
Wendy's Buffalo Ranch Crispy Chicken Sandwich

I am a sucker for any kind of chicken done up Buffalo sauce style, be it wings, chicken tenders, chicken thighs, grilled, baked, fried, breaded, you name it, Buffalo sauce rocks!

So when Wendy's announced a new twist on their Crispy Chicken Sandwich, I had to jump on it!

The description of the Wendy's Buffalo Ranch Crispy Chicken Sandwich from the company's website:  The crispy chicken sandwich taken to zesty new heights, with tangy, creamy buffalo ranch sauce and Monterrey Jack cheese on lightly-breaded chicken.

In unveiling this new sandwich, Wendy's is selling it for just $1! 

So how is it?

Pretty darn good for $1!

As a lover of Buffalo sauce, I would like to see the chicken patty dunked in the sauce, but Wendy's chose to sauce the bun.  It's a good but not great sauce, it hits most of the traditional Buffalo hot notes and as expected the Ranch cools things down, there's just not enough of it.  The Monterrey Jack cheese is the perfect compliment to the chicken on a saucy bun and there's just enough lettuce on the sandwich to make for a satisfying bite.  For just $1, it's a repeat buy.

It's a nice sandwich that's priced right.  The Wendy's Buffalo Ranch Crispy Chicken Sandwich gets 3 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  If the chicken was sauced, it would be a better sandwich.

3 stars

Buffalo Ranch Crispy Chicken
Downer: The chicken isn't sauced, the bun is....


Put some gold or silver in your monthly budget

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

Gold and silverYou budget for food, housing, utilities, a vehicle, etc., but are you including the purchase of gold or silver in your monthly budget?

You should.

It doesn't matter if your motive is retirement, a hedge against inflation, or just a defensive financial asset decision, the purchase of physical gold and/or silver is a prudent thing to do.

Owning physical gold or silver means you have a real asset, not a piece of paper or a digital certificate.  It's more practical to sell, there's no three-day waiting period for a transfer, there's no default risk and perhaps most importantly in today's world of digital transactions, there's no hacking.

You can go online and find 10 or more reasons to be buying physical gold and silver and only one of those is because the price will rise.  The key to remember is that physical gold and silver is the ultimate form of money. 

So if you haven't already done so, find yourself a local, reputable coin/precious metals dealer and start including the purchase of gold and/or silver in your monthly budget.

Spend Wisely My Friends.....

Drink Review: Revel Stoke Pecan Whiskey

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

At a recent gathering of friends and co-workers at a local whiskey bar, I ordered a Revel Stoke Spiced Whiskey on the rocks to enjoy while waiting for other members of my group to arrive. This is the whole point of a whiskey bar after all, to enjoy some whiskey you've never had before.  The Revel Stoke Spiced was fantastic! It's a winner of the Spirits International Prestige Award and features hints of vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, coriander and cardamom. It was smooth and all those flavor notes made for a very nice finish.

Revel Stoke Pecan Whiskey
Roasted Pecan & Praline, NICE!

So with that very enjoyable tasting in mind, on my next trip to the liquor store, I hoped to pick up a bottle of Revel Stoke Spiced Whiskey.  My hopes were dashed however, as my regular liquor store stop didn't have any Revel Stoke Spiced Whiskey in stock, but they did have Pecan, Pineapple and Cinnamon on the shelf.  I went with the Pecan.

Wow what a whiskey!  Revel Stoke Pecan Whisky hits you with the essence of roasted pecan immediately, as soon as you screw off the cap. Enjoying this unique whiskey on the rocks, it goes down smooth and those roasted pecan notes linger warmly and finish nicely with a sweet hint of praline.  I would call this a dessert whiskey, something to really enjoy after a fine meal.  This is a whiskey you hold in reserve, for special occasions or when that sweet tooth gets the better of you.

Revel Stoke has a fine lineup of whiskey, I'll be trying the pineapple next!

Costing about $15 for a 750ml bottle, Revel Stoke Pecan Whiskey gets 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars (the Spiced by the way, rates a 5!)

4 stars

Spend Wisely My Friends.....


Rude People Suck

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

Manners Cost NothingWhat is WRONG with some people?

So I'm doing the self check-out thing at the grocery store, ready to pay, put in some cash and the machine won't take any bills.... I ask the attendant for some assistance... While she's helping me out, a lady customer from across the self check-out isle rudely and with absurd attitude interrupts my interaction with the attendant to loudly ask why the terminal she was at wouldn't disperse any cash (perhaps she should have read the screen first, which said, "Card only, no cash disbursements at this terminal," before pulling up to it)...

The attendant politely responded, "Sorry ma'am, that terminal is card only, I can assist you in a minute or you can wait for another terminal to open up or go through regular check out and they can process some cash back for you."

The rude lady, who hadn't started ringing up her groceries yet and who obviously wasn't patient enough to wait for a machine that would disperse cash back, walked over to my terminal area and responded to the attendant with, "Excuse me?! What is your name? You don't get to dismiss me like that! What is your supervisor's name?"

The attendant remained cool, gave her the supervisor's name and even pointed the supervisor out to the rude customer, then repeated, "Like I said, I can be with you in a minute...."

The rude customer interrupted, starting in with the "Oh no, you don't...."

And so I had to jump in, I just had to, at risk of further escalating the incident.....

"Ma'am, Courtney is with another customer right now, you're being rude and I don't appreciate the distraction."

The rude lady responded with the repetitive, "You don't get talk to me like that either, yada, yada, yada....." but walked away with her cart, continuing to ramble on....

What is WRONG with some people? 

Chapter 5 - Poultry Recipes - Grilling Good Eats

MMM (Mustard, Milk, Marinade) Chicken

This recipe features boneless/skinless chicken thighs, which in my humble opinion are the tastiest cut of the chicken and is a bargain buy at the grocery store to boot.


  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (Can substitute with mayonnaise, which actually used to be a featured ingredient putting another ‘M‘ in the name, but the yogurt is better)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 4 Tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1 Tbsp Cookies Flavor Enhancer or your favorite poultry rub
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • 1 Tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp black pepper

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, mustard and milk. After that is combined, whisk in the remaining dry ingredients to complete the marinade. Add the chicken thighs, using your hands to thoroughly coat them. Cover and refrigerate for up to eight hours. When ready to grill, place the thighs near the hot spot on the grill. Let those babies sizzle for about three minutes to get those great grill marks. Since this marinade is on the thicker side, it could take up to five minutes. Flip over to the lower heat side of the grill and cover for about 15 minutes. Rest the chicken for about five minutes and serve. Excellent paired with rosemary/dill potatoes and grilled asparagus.


Food Review: McDonald's New Bacon Smokehouse Burger

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

McDonald's Smokehouse Burger
Looks great in the box right? But how is it in the mouth?...

So McDonald's is trying to up their game, updating a menu that's been needing to be updated for quite some time....

Enter, the new Bacon Smokehouse Burger

It's about damn time McDonald's!

As described on the McDonald's website:  Smoky, sweet & savory flavors on a juicy, fresh beef burger Bacon Smokehouse Burger. A burger made with unexpected flavor combinations, including crispy Applewood smoked bacon, smoky bacon-onion sauce, real white cheddar, mild sweet mustard sauce and in-house fried onion strings.

This is a pretty darn good burger folks!  The quarter pound burger is fresh as advertised and it delivers on smokehouse flavors.  The bacon was crisp, the white cheddar cheese was melted to perfection, the onion strings provided another level of crunch and that slightly sweet mustard is what put this burger over the smokehouse top.  Whoever put these flavor combinations together knows what they're doing and to repeat, it's about damn time.

Welcome to the New American cuisine scene McDonald's!

I paid $8.05 after tax for my burger, fries and a drink.  That's a bit on the high end of fast food meals, but let me tell you, it was worth it, both the burger and the fries were delivered hot, fresh and darn tasty!  McDonald's has done a nice job putting this burger on their menu and I'll take it over a Big Mac or a regular Quarter Pounder without hesitation.

The McDonald's Bacon Smokehouse Burger gets 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  The only thing preventing a 5 star rating is there weren't enough onion strings....

4 stars

Spend Wisely My Friends.....

McDonald's Smokehouse Burger
Nicely balanced, juicy, sauced right



McDonald's Smokehouse Burger
The only negative, not enough onion strings


Essential 'Must Have' Tools for the Bachelor

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

Screwdriver SetEven if you're not handy with tools, you still need to have some on hand to do simple things like hanging a picture or tightening down loose screws on a door knob. 

Here's a list of the essential 'must have' tools for your house or apartment:

  • Hammer:  No, don't settle for a small tack hammer thinking all you'll ever do is hang a few pictures.  That's all a tack hammer is good for unless you're into cabinetry or upholstering and one of these days you'll find yourself needing something 'beefier'.  Get yourself a 16 ounce claw hammer.  It's a great all-purpose hammer and will suit most needs and basic tasks.   
  • Screwdrivers:  Purchase a nice quality variety set that includes both slot head and Phillips head screwdrivers of different sizes.  Do NOT get one of those cheap "multi-tip" screw drivers with the interchangeable screwdriver bits, they suck, the screwdriver tips are soft, won't last and you'll end up losing a few of those bits over time, rendering that "multi-tip" screw driver useless.
  • Pliers:  There is a large variety of pliers out there to choose from, slip joint, tongue & groove, cutting, long nose, long reach, etc.  Like for any other tools, focus on quality, get yourself a quality set of three pliers that includes slip joint, long nose and cutting.
  • Saw:  No basic tool set is complete without a saw.  An all-purpose crosscut hand saw will suit most needs.
  • Level:  You'll use one of these a lot more than you might think.  Hanging a large picture on the wall, putting up a floating shelf or making sure that new four-tier media shelf is sitting level are just a few uses.  Don't go small in size on this purchase, go with a 24" level, a good size for all-purpose applications.
  • Drill:  This is the only power tool on the list.  A cordless drill for the bachelor is the way to go, but don't go cheap - Black & Decker sucks.  An 18 volt model will suit most all basic needs.
  • Drill Bits:  A drill is pointless without them.  A basic set will do you just fine.
  • Tape Measure:  Here's another tool where you don't want to go small.  Get a 25' measure.  You'll probably reach for this tool more than any other, measuring a space for that new couch, measuring a room to re-arrange furniture, measuring wall space to hang pictures, heck, checking the size of your TV because you can't remember if you got a 62" or 65" model.
  • Wrenches:  A basic set of open end wrenches will help you accomplish many tasks.  Starter sets usually come in 10 piece sets.  For good measure, pick up an adjustable (crescent) wrench to cover anything the open end wrenches can't handle.
  • Duct Tape:  Yes, duct tape is a tool!  If you can't fix it with a nail, screw or some other fastener, duct tape it!

Keep your tools organized buy a tool box to put them in.  Don't toss them in a junk drawer or have screwdrivers in a closet somewhere and the hammer and tape measure somewhere else in the house.  Having the right tools and keeping them organized is key to making repairs and projects easier.

Spend Wisely My Friends.....

Grilling Good Eats Chapter 4 - Beef Recipes

Chapter 4 - Beef Recipes

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)Grilling Good Eats

by Mike Thayer

Does that look delicious or what?

Beef, it’s what’s for dinner, or lunch, and yes, breakfast too! Why not cook up a breakfast steak on a weekend? Without question, beef is the most aromatic meat to put over the fire. This chapter does not include burgers, they’re so special, they’re featured in Chapter 9.

And before we get into the recipes, remember Tip #10. How do you know when your steak is done? Give it the finger. No, not the middle one, well, you can use that one if you want….. Poke the steak with your finger. If the meat is soft to the touch and doesn’t bounce back, it’s still pink inside. If it’s got some give but bounces back a bit, it’s medium. If it’s firm when poking, it’s well done.

And for those who like the thermometer:  To get a medium rare, grill beef until the meat thermometer hits the 135-140 degree mark.  Remember to let that meat rest after pulling it off the grill!