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December 2018

November 2018

The Arbynator from Arby's is an excellent sandwich, a repeat buy

20181130_133556By Mike Thayer

It's the restaurant's Roast Beef n' Cheddar sandwich with a stack of curly fries on top and it's FANTASTIC!

Here's the sandwich description from the Arby's website:

The Arbynator has Roast Beef, Cheese Sauce, Horsey Sauce®, Arby’s Sauce® and Curly Fries, all in the same sandwich. Or in other words, it is the most Arby’s sandwich Arby’s has ever made. Available in Classic, Double and Half Pound sizes.

I went with the classic version in this taste test and the sandwich was a delight with every bite!  The stack of roast beef, the cheddar sauce, complimented by the marriage of Arby's and Horsey sauces, topped with those crunchy on the outside, tender on the inside curly fries and served on that sesame seed bun......  WOW did this sandwich hit the spot!

20181130_133610It's only available for a limited time, so I would suggest you take advantage of it while you can.  Rumor has it Arby's will stop serving it on December 23.

The sandwich ROCKS and I got curly fries in every bite!

I purchased my Arbynator Classic for just $4.50 (that's with tax) and it's a meal all by itself, totally satisfying.

The Arbynator gets five out of five Bachelor on the Cheap stars and is most definitely a repeat buy!

5 stars
$pend Wisely My Friends.....

 


Easy Peasy way to keep the top of your refrigerator clean and BONUS - looking nice

By Mike Thayer

The top of the refrigerator.... 

That space is used for SO many things, unless of course, you've got cabinets covering the whole top.

Some people put boxes of cereal on top of the fridge.  Other folks store boxes of whatever kitchen related stuff they bought but don't have space for it in a cabinet or closet.  Some people put common everyday cups or dishes on top, I fit in this category, it's where I keep my burger/sandwich baskets. 

20181129_101310Here's the thing.  The top of the refrigerator tends to collect a lot of dust, and yuck, grease if you enjoy a lot of fried food.  The top of the fridge can get kind of nasty but it's also not something you think about cleaning often, like wiping down a counter-top because you use it to prep meals, pack a lunch or break out the storage containers to put leftovers away, everyday.  The top of the refrigerator is a second thought, out-of-the-way, high up....  Sure, you might grab that box of cereal from the top of the fridge often enough, but you don't think about cleaning it like you would a counter or a stove top that gets everyday use.

Enter, the runner.

Putting a decorative table runner for example on the top of your fridge helps to keep it clean, reducing the amount of dust and yuck, layer of fried food grease buildup that can accumulate over time.  A runner, or a curtain valance in my case, greatly reduces the refrigerator surface area where dust and grease buildup can accumulate. All you have to do every once in awhile is toss that runner in the laundry and wipe down a much smaller surface area that the runner didn't cover, making for much easier cleaning and maintenance.  And the bonus is you can make it a no-brainer decorative thing, matching the theme of your kitchen and/or paint color with a simple piece of cloth.   I've got a sunflower, yellows and greens color scheme working in my kitchen, so I just picked up an extra valance for the top of my fridge to match my kitchen window curtains.  For less than $10, you can keep the top of your fridge clean and decorate at the same time!

$pend Wisely My Friends.....


A simple bourbon cocktail: Hillbilly High

By Mike Thayer

It's five-o'clock somewhere right?

20181129_104441This is a go-to adult beverage for me, of my own invention, I call it, the Hillbilly High.  It ain't purdy, it ain't sweet, it ain't lady-like foo-foo, it don't have an umbrella in it.

It's bourbon dammit, with a caffeine kicker. 

The Hillbilly High

Ingredients:

  • 1 shot of your favorite bourbon
  • 1 shot of Mountain Dew (I prefer Diet Mountain Dew, it's not as sweet)
  • 1 shot of water
  • a squeeze of lime juice and a slice to garnish

Serve on the rocks.

What makes it Hillbilly?  Well, the best American Whiskeys (Bourbon is my preference) come from Kentucky and Tennessee, Hillbilly country.  

What makes it "high?"  Mountain Dew, not only was it invented in Hillbilly country (Tennessee, 1940), it brings the caffeine kick!

Enjoy. 

And the recipe is so easy, ask your favorite bartender to whip one up for you. 

$pend Wisely My Friends.....

 


Food Review: McDonald's Pumpkin Pie

By Mike Thayer

20181114_140616Pumpkin pie, it is THE dessert for the Thanksgiving holiday. 

So if you can't wait until Thanksgiving to sink your teeth into some pumpkin pie, McDonald's may just have the fix for you.

They've done a pretty nice job of putting some pumpkin pie filling in their classic turnover crust and dusting it with cinnamon sugar.

The description from their website:  Baked Pumpkin Pie. Smooth, rich pumpkin filling baked in a tender and flaky pastry crust and dusted in cinnamon sugar.

No, it's not Mom's pumpkin pie, but for less than $1 it's a decent, albeit temporary fix for a pumpkin pie craving. 

The bottom line, it's a repeat buy during this holiday season.  I'll take it over all that pumpkin flavored coffee/creamer/latte crap.

McDonald's Cinnamon Dusted Pumpkin Pie gets 3 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.

3 stars


5 Easy Peasy Crock Meal Ideas

Crock PotBy Mike Thayer

The crock pot, along with the microwave, are two of a bachelor's best buddies in the kitchen.  But crock pots are under-utilized and that's a Bachelor on the Cheap crime.

They're so versatile, easy to use and they can crank out some pretty darn tasty food.  Even if you don't like to cook, you should embrace the crock pot - give it a big Bromance hug.

Below are five easy peasy crock pot meal ideas that literally take just a few minutes to prepare and will taste like you put a lot of chef work into the dish.  All of these crock pot meals can be put together for less than $6 each and provide great leftovers!

Chicken & Italian Dressing

Meatballs & Marinara

Crock Pot Pulled Pork

Mac & Cheese

Meat & Taters

$pend Wisely My Friends.....

 

 


Crock Pot 'Pulled' Pork

Crock PotBy Mike Thayer

The crock pot, along with the microwave, are two of a bachelor's best buddies in the kitchen.  But crock pots are under-utilized and that's a Bachelor on the Cheap crime.

They're so versatile, easy to use and they can crank out some pretty darn tasty food.  Even if you don't like to cook, you should embrace the crock pot - give it a big Bromance hug.

Crock Pot Pulled Pork

When smoking or grilling some pork butt isn't an option, putting a small pork roast in the crock pot certainly is and it delivers some pretty darn tasty pulled pork!

Ingredients:

  • A small boneless pork roast, about 2 pounds
  • Your favorite dry rub (in a pinch, seasoning salt will do, or just plain salt and pepper)
  • One Tablespoon olive oil
  • One Tablespoon dried, minced onion
  • One cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
  • Buns for serving

Directions:

Put the olive oil in the crock pot, brushing it around a bit to cover the bottom.  Thoroughly cover the pork roast with the rub.  Throw the roast and everything else in the pot and set it to low.  After eight hours you are going to have some very tender, easily shredded 'pulled' pork which I like to do right in the pot, mixing it with all that BBQ seasoning and sauce goodness!

$pend Wisely My Friends.....


Crock Pot Meat & Taters

Crock PotBy Mike Thayer

The crock pot, along with the microwave, are two of a bachelor's best buddies in the kitchen.  But crock pots are under-utilized and that's a Bachelor on the Cheap crime.

They're so versatile, easy to use and they can crank out some pretty darn tasty food.  Even if you don't like to cook, you should embrace the crock pot - give it a big Bromance hug.

Meat & Taters

Simple is good and this is simply delicious comfort food.  You can put this together or less than $6 and you'll have plenty leftover for another meal, if not two.

Ingredients:

  • One pound ground beef
  • One can cream of mushroom soup
  • Two large Russet Potatoes, sliced
  • One 4 ounce can of mushrooms
  • One Tablespoon dried, minced onion
  • One teaspoon seasoning salt
  • One teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Brown the ground beef and drain.  Throw everything in the crock pot and set it to low.  About four hours later you've got a delicious meat & tater dish!  Serve with a dollop of sour cream.

$pend Wisely My Friends.....


Easiest Recipe in the World

By Mike Thayer

Throwing a couple chicken breasts and Italian dressing with some new potatoes and carrots in the crock pot before work can cost as little as $4.

That's it and it's darn tasty!  Salt and pepper to taste.

You'll probably only eat one breast, so you've got some awesome leftovers (unless it's dinner for two - thumbs up!), the aromas coming from your kitchen will be a fantastic delight when you come home from work and you simply can't eat better at a fast food restaurant for just $4!

$pend Wisely My Friends.....


Kicking popcorn up another notch - "Sweet Heat" Popcorn

By Mike Thayer

Why is popcorn one of my favorite snack foods?  1.  It tastes great,  2.  It's WAY cheaper than a bag of chips,  3.  You can add just about any flavor to it by popping your own, turning it into a gourmet treat!

20181101_163628Try this the next time you make popcorn.... When melting butter, add one of those honey packets you've got stashed in your 'fridge, like from Chick-fil-A or KFC.... along with a pinch of Kosher salt, then add in a generous splash of Louisiana Hot Sauce!  It's sweet heat baby and another dose of YUM!  Yessssir.....  'Sweet Heat' popcorn, tasty, tasty, tasty!

And if you're looking for a GREAT popcorn popper, check this out: 

Product Review: The Salbree Popper

$pend Wisely My Friends.....


Easy Casserole Dinner Ideas - Inside Out Ravioli

By Mike Thayer

I love casseroles, all types, dinner casseroles, breakfast casseroles, leftover casserole for lunch.... It's all good and the flavor possibilities and combinations are endless!

Casseroles can mean different things to different people, so just what IS a casserole anyway, how is it defined? For me, being a bachelor and pretty handy in the kitchen (patting self on back....), it means a simple to prepare one-dish meal, something that's got meat, a starch, a veggie and a gravy, or a sauce and/or cheese to go with it. It's a convenient mix of ingredients that go well together and is baked to perfection in the oven - THAT is a casserole. And yes, the dish it's baked in was named after it. Simplicity and convenience are keys to a good casserole, it can't be a complicated recipe that's labor intensive. If that recipe takes more than 10-15 minutes to prepare before you're throwing that dish in the oven, then it's NOT a casserole in my book.

Inside-Out Ravioli
Baked to perfection!

Inside-Out Ravioli

Meat, noodles, tomato sauce and cheese, what's not to love?  This is another dish that lends itself to putting whatever you have on hand into a casserole and baking it to perfection.  Don't have elbow or shell macaroni?  No worries, use egg noodles.  Don't have any ground beef on hand?  No worries, use pork sausage instead.  Don't have any mozzarella cheese?  Not a big deal, provolone will work just fine.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of ground beef (I actually like to use a 1/2 pound ground beef and a 1/2 pound ground pork or breakfast sausage)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 jar of your favorite off the shelf spaghetti sauce (around 24 ounces)
  • 3 cups of elbow or shell macaroni, or whatever you have on hand, cooked and drained
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (or whatever you have on hand, heck, slices of provolone is an excellent option)
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley (the final touch, to top the casserole)

Directions:

Inside-Out Ravioli
It's Another Dose of YUM!

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly grease a casserole dish and set aside.  In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef/pork and onion, drain.  After draining, add all the seasonings, ricotta cheese, tomato sauce to the meat mixture and stir to incorporate.  Fold in the noodles, then transfer everything into the casserole dish.  Bake for about 20 minutes, then top the casserole with the shredded cheese and bake another 10 minutes or until the cheese is nicely melted, golden brown and delicious.  Sprinkle with the dried parsley and serve.  Enjoy!

This is another one that's pretty to prepare and it's easy on the wallet, with most ingredients making use of what you already have on hand in your pantry and refrigerator.  And here's another Bachelor on the Cheap benefit to casseroles, not only do they lend themselves to very tasty leftovers, but they freeze well! After you've enjoyed the casserole for dinner, portion it out, perhaps have some for lunch tomorrow and stash the remainder in the freezer for a future meal or two.

$pend Wisely My Friends.....