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December 2018

Copy Cat Arbynator Sandwich

By Mike Thayer

The Arbynator is a great sandwich, what Arby's did was kick their classic Roast Beef 'n Cheddar up a notch by, well, just read the description from the restaurant itself:  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.

It's my favorite sandwich from Arby's!  So the least I could do, is come up with a copy cat recipe so I can make it at home, right?

20181214_143250-1What's not to like.....  Roast beef, cheese sauce, a delightful combination of Arby's Sauce and Horsey Sauce, topped with seasoned curly fries and served on a garlic butter toasted bun?  (yes, the garlic butter is my personal add, so too is the seasoning on the curly fries, a little more than just salt and the thinly sliced roast beef warmed in that yummy garlic butter....).  This sandwich is another dose of YUM and I've kicked it up a notch with my own personal twists.  It's easy to prepare on the stove top in a couple of small frying pans over low heat, just enough to melt the butter, warm up the deli sliced roast beef, melt the cheddar cheese (put a lid on it) and toast the bun.  Prepare the curly fries according to the package instructions.  Put the Horsey and Arby's sauces on the toasted bun, assemble the sandwich and enjoy!

And this sandwich only cost me about $1.50 to make at home, that's FAR cheaper than the restaurant price and BETTER TASTING!  Yes, better tasting because I added my own personal touches - and you can too, easily!

  • Garlic butter toasted bun: $0.12 (Arby's serves the sandwich on a sesame seed bun)
  • Roast Beef sliced deli thin: $0.78 (Arby's roast beef is NOT warmed in garlic butter)
  • Cheese:  $0.25
  • Curly Fries: $0.25 (Seasoned with my signature rub, not just salt)
  • Horsey & Arby's Sauce combo: $0.10

$pend Wisely My Friends.....

Related:  The Arbynator from Arbys

 


Kicking popcorn up another notch - "Honey Mustard" Popcorn

Another episode of condiment flavored 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!

20181212_183214-1Try this the next time you make popcorn.... When melting butter while that popcorn pops, add one of those honey mustard packets you've got stashed in your 'fridge, like from Chick-fil-A, KFC or in this case, Burger King.... along with a pinch of Kosher salt, it's another episode of condiment flavored popcorn deliciousness.  It's honey, mustard and a kiss of salt.....  Another dose of YUM!  Yessssir.....  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.....

Related:

"Sweet Heat" popcorn

"Honey Butter" popcorn

BBQ popcorn


Cooking oils, dressings, sauces and squeeze jars

By Mike Thayer

It's not an original idea, but it is a great one...

Put cooking oils, salad dressings and sauces - things you use frequently - in squeeze bottles.

There is a reason the makers of ketchup and mustard started putting their products in customized plastic squeeze bottles in addition to traditional glass bottles and jars decades ago.  A squeeze bottle is convenient.  You get the perfect serving portion to your liking.  And not only is it a faster way to put ketchup or mustard on a sandwich, hot dog or burger, it's less of a mess too.  There's no need to pull out a knife to spread mustard around, there's no slow wait for ketchup to come out of a bottle.

While that way back commercial was humorous, nobody likes to wait for the ketchup to come out of the bottle.  For us older folks, remember those impatient ones at the diner who thumped the bottom of the bottle which often resulted in ketchup going somewhere they didn't want it too, or getting a mountain of ketchup on that burger rather than the small dollop they wanted?  Then there was the other guy who would stick a knife down the bottle to retrieve the ketchup, making a huge mess, ketchup running down the length of the knife and the guy having to ask the waitress for extra napkins?  Where you one of those guys?

20181211_184209-1With those diners and restaurants in mind, it didn't take them long to pick up that squeeze bottle concept ball and run with it in their kitchens.  They started taking their cooking oils, dressings and secret sauces out of their original bottles, containers and mixing bowls and putting them in much easier to use, squeeze bottles.  Food manufacturers too, found the squeeze bottle to be a better vessel for packaging and marketing their products and why these days, you now see so many items like BBQ sauce, mayonnaise, Sriracha and heck, even pickle relish in customized squeeze bottles.

So why shouldn't us bachelors, do the same for our favorites in our kitchens?  Put olive oil, canola oil, Ranch dressing, home made Arby's sauce, an impromptu aioli, in squeeze bottles. That's what I've got in squeeze bottles at my place, always at the ready.  I focus on items I use often and I usually buy things in bulk like Ranch dressing for example, so squeeze bottles only make sense.  I've got my cooking oils conveniently staged near the stove, I've got dressings, sauces and aiolis requiring refrigeration stashed in the door shelf of the fridge.  The use of squeeze bottles makes everything easier, from food prep to plating.  It's convenient, it's faster, it's precise portion control, it's smarter storage (no mixing bowl covered with plastic wrap), it's virtually no mess......  unless you've got really bad aim.....

Squeeze bottles rock!

$pend Wisely My Friends.....


Food Review: Finlandia Muenster Cheese

By Mike Thayer

20181208_182259-1How can you NOT like Muenster cheese?  A semi-soft cow's milk cheese from the United States, it's a mild cheese with a buttery note, melts well and goes with just about anything.  You'll see it on cheese trays, as a topping on a variety of appetizers and is a common ingredient in bar food fare to include grilled cheese sandwiches, quesadillas, cheeseburgers, pizza, mac & cheese and so much more! 

I bought a two pound package of Finlandia brand sliced Muenster cheese for just $7.98 at Costco.  That my friends is Bachelor on the Cheap friendly AND delicious!  At just 25 cents a slice this versatile cheese is a must have for your refrigerator!  It's another dose of cheese YUM!

20181208_182218-1Finlandia Muenster gets five out of five Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  Anytime you can get a delicious, high quality cheese like this for under $5 a pound it's a grocery score!

5 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends.....

 

 


Food Review: Arla Brand Havarti Cheese

By Mike Thayer

I love cheese and this is without question one of my favorites!

20181208_181902Havarti cheese is a semi-soft Danish cheese made from cow's milk. It can be sliced, grilled, or melted.  If I had to describe it, it's kind of a cross between a Monterey Jack cheese and the sharper Swiss.  Havarti has that buttery aroma that only gets stronger in more aged varieties, getting to an almost Hazelnut flavor and tangy, if you will.  Personally, I like it better than Swiss.  Creamy and smooth, Havarti pairs well with a wide variety of foods in gourmet fashion.  It's a great compliment to spicy dishes, you can shred it on pizza, it melts perfectly and gets golden, brown and delicious on casseroles!  Try it on a burger or pair it up with just about any other kind of cheese for a good old fashioned but now upscale grilled cheese sandwich.

I bought a 32 ounce package of Arla brand sliced Havarti cheese for just $7.89 at Costco.  That my friends is Bachelor on the Cheap friendly AND delicious!  At just 25 cents a slice this upscale cheese at a bargain price cheese ROCKS!

20181208_182017-1Arla Havarti cheese gets five out of five Bachelor on the cheap stars and is most definitely a repeat buy!

5 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends.....

 

 


Copy Cat Arby's Sauce

By Mike Thayer

Arby's SauceMost every bachelor has those leftover condiment packets in his fridge, one I always seem to have on hand lately is Arby's Sauce, which is fantastic on roast beef sandwiches, steak sandwiches, a change of pace from regular ketchup on burgers and so much more!  I like to slather that sauce on my sandwich, but one of those packets is never enough....  So why not make a big batch of my own "Arby's Sauce" and put it in a squeeze bottle, right?

Ingredients:

  • 1 heaping cup ketchup
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Louisiana Hot Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine (optional, no the real Arby's sauce doesn't have wine in it, but this is a nice add)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

20181203_083506-1Directions:

Heat up a small sauce pan over medium heat, combine all ingredients and heat until boiling, stirring often.  Reduce to simmer and let all those flavors marry for about 5 minutes.  Take the pan off the heat and cool.  Store in a squeeze bottle in the fridge, it's good for about two weeks.  Now you have your own batch of Arby's Sauce, it's another dose of YUM!

$pend Wisely My Friends.....