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June 2019

BBQ Sauce Challenge, a review of Bullseye Everyday Original

20190612_081957-1-1By Mike Thayer

What is the most popular thing to add to meats cooked outdoors?

BBQ Sauces

It’s true, the most popular thing to add to the plethora of meats cooked outdoors is BBQ sauce. If you had guessed ketchup, believe it or not, you would be wrong.

The person who invented BBQ sauce is unknown, but whoever he was, he was a genius! References to the sauce started appearing in 17th century English and French literature about the formation of the American colonies. The rest is history and boy has BBQ sauce been kicked up a notch with all kinds of flavors and varieties created over the last 400+ years!

A traditional flavoring for pork, beef and chicken, sauce can range from watery to thick, from being heavy on the vinegar to being loaded with spice. Ranging in flavor from sugary to savory, to HOT!, heck, there’s even mustard and mayonnaise based BBQ sauces. It’s a regional thing, there’s Carolina BBQ; Tennessee whiskey BBQ; Texas BBQ; and the favorite of many, Kansas City Style BBQ.

What is your favorite, do you like sweet, tangy, KC style, Carolina style?  Have you tried enough variety to know?

I've sampled a lot of different sauces in recent weeks, making comparisons and soon I'll be letting you know what I think the cream of the crop is. Will it be KC Masterpiece? Sweet Baby Ray's? Stubbs? Something else?

In my first tasting challenge, I sampled KC Masterpiece and Sweet Baby Ray's.  You can read that review here.

Today, I'm sampling Bullseye Everyday Original.

This is a Kraft Foods product with a slightly different list of ingredients than Kraft Original and it's only slightly better.  High Fructose Corn Syrup is the first ingredient listed and it is a sweet sauce in the KC BBQ style.  What separates it from Kraft Original is a higher measure of vinegar, which helps to offset the sweetness.  This used to be THE bbq sauce used by Burger King, but they dumped Bullseye in favor of Sweet Baby Rays.  That was a good move by Burger King, Sweet Baby Rays is a much better sauce.

Costing me just $1 at Dollar Tree for a 17.5 ounce bottle, it's a bargain basement price but it's also a sauce that's finishes in the lower end of the bbq sauce spectrum. Despite the extra dose of vinegar, this sauce is just too sweet and gets just 2 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.

2 stars


Drink Review: Yukon Jack Perma Frost Schnapps

20190609_174016_resizedBy Mike Thayer

In my sampling and tasting of various flavored whiskeys, I've become a fan of Yukon Jack Jacapple, a very nice pairing of apple, spice and a smooth bourbon.

Every time I need a resupply in visiting my neighborhood liquor store, there's this bottle of "Perma Frost" parked right next to the Jacapple....  It's not a flavored whiskey, but I decided to give it a try.

The Yukon Jack description:  A Canadian schnapps flavoured with peppermint and cinnamon to give an interesting burst of hot and cold in the mouth. 

Let me tell 'ya, this stuff may sound innocent enough, but it's got a pretty damn good kick - it's 100 proof!

You get the whiff of peppermint schnapps right away in the nose and that coolness hits you in the swallow followed nicely by that little burst of hot with the cinnamon in the finish.  This is another nice blend by Yukon Jack. 

Best as a chilled shot, Yukon Jack Perma Frost is pleasantly good and gets 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  Costing about $16 for a 750ml bottle, it's a repeat buy.

4 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends.....

 

 

 


Tasty Tip: Frying up a 'tater cake

By Mike Thayer

20190609_175355This only works if you're pan frying or oven baking one of those frozen hashbrown/tater cakes.....  It will NOT work in a deep fried preparation.....

After that first flip, sprinkle on some Parmesan cheese for a little more flavor and crispy texture, it's another dose of YUM!

Good eats is all about layers of flavor and that's exactly what a little Parmesan cheese brings to the table when preparing some 'tater cakes.

$pend Wisely My Friends.....


Food Review: Parkview Cheddar Brats

By Mike Thayer

20190607_142023No fridge or freezer is complete without a variety of bratwurst, hot dogs or sausages of some sort in it.

Today I'm reviewing Parkview Cheddar Brats.  Parkview is an Aldi brand and I picked up this package of six brats for just $2.49.  That's not a sale price, that's the regular price!  Fully cooked, all I needed to do was heat these through before slapping them on a bun.  I opted to pan fry, drizzling them with a bit of olive oil over medium heat for about seven minutes.

20190609_070319-1Made with beef and pork, these brats are more of a glorified hot dog than a traditional brat, but they're still quite tasty, providing good flavor.  The meat is seasoned well, the cheddar cheese notes are there and the mark of any good brat or hot dog is a good snap in the casing with each bite. 

Parkview Cheddar Brats are priced right, they taste good and even though they're more of a premium hot dog than a true brat, they are worthy of a repeat buy.  I'm giving them 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.   They tasted good pan fried, they would be even better grilled.

4 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends.....


Food Review: Specially Selected Lattice Cut Kettle Chips

By Mike Thayer

Specially Selected
Tasty, tasty!

Shopping at Aldi and in the ever-dangerous chip area, I happened upon Specially Selected brand Lattice Cut Kettle Chips, Aged Cheddar and Black Pepper.

I love chips prepared kettle style...  Who am I kidding, I love chips prepared ANY style!...  But I've never had lattice cut chips before, let alone the flavor combination of cheddar and black pepper, so I grabbed a bag.

These things ROCK!

You get the aged cheddar which is complimented nicely with the black pepper and that CRUNCH - a very good kettle crunch!  I like the lattice cut because it's a lighter chip.  Sometimes the traditional or crinkle cut kettle chips can get a bit heavy with the oil taste.  Not so with these.  Tasting great on their own, the lattice chips also hold up when dipping, actually grabbing and holding a dip quite well.  Lacking a bonafide dip, I sampled the chips in some ordinary sour cream.  Quite nice!

Specially Selected Lattice Cut Kettle Chips, Aged Cheddar and Black Pepper gets 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  Costing just under $2 for a 7 ounce bag at Aldi, these are most definitely a repeat buy!

5 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends.....

 


Drink Review: Jim Beam Peach Whiskey

By Mike Thayer

Blended and flavored whiskeys are red hot right now, consumer demand for brown spirits continues to rise with American Whiskey in particular seeing some phenomenal sales growth.

Regular readers know that I am a fan of flavored whiskey, I've always got a bottle of something in my freezer for a chilled shot or flavored specialty in the liquor cabinet to enjoy on the rocks.  My favorite in all this tasting fun so far, has been Yukon Jack Jacapple.

20190607_104051-1-1Today's tasting:  Jim Beam Peach Whiskey

I've sampled Jim Beam Apple, Jim Beam Red Stag, Jim Beam Honey and Jim Beam Maple.  Of the Jim Beam lot, my favorite so far has been the apple, with the others not really being repeat buys.

The description from the bottle:   Jim Beam Peach contains all the pride of the Beam family's 220-year history with a refreshing take on family tradition.  Our distillers have infused rich, flavorful peach liqueur with fine Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey.  The perfect mix of peach and bourbon with hints of oak.  Enjoy straight, or mix with soda or tea.

So how good is it you ask?

As usual, I served this up in a straight shot and on the rocks. I have to say I'm just not a fan of a whiskey/peach flavor pairing.   I've tried Evan Williams Peach, didn't care for it and while the Jim Beam Peach is better than the Evan Williams, that's still not saying much. You get a hint of peach in the nose, but like the Jim Beam Red Stag, the swallow comes off as a bit medicinal, followed nicely however by the classic Jim Beam Bourbon finish.  Jim Beam's approach with their flavored whiskeys doesn't seem to be targeted at guys like me and the occasional straight or chilled shot of a good whiskey at the house....  No, their real target is getting bars/restaurants/pubs stocked with the stuff, to be used in over-priced mixed drinks. 

Jim Beam Peach Whiskey gets 3 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  It's an OK flavored whiskey, but peach just doesn't go well with whiskey in my book.  Priced at about $17 for a 750ml bottle, Jim Beam Peach is NOT a repeat buy.   

3 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends.....

 

 

 

 


Food Review: Phillips Maryland Style Crab Cake Minis

20190528_161206By Mike Thayer

Shopping at Costco and looking for something a little different to snack on, I happened upon some Crab Cake Minis, made by Phillips Foods.  I'm into crab cakes and these looked like the change of pace snack/appetizer I could get into so I picked up a box.

Here's the product description:  Made with Phillips' famous seafood restaurant recipe, our mini crab cakes contain sweet crab meat blended with a traditional mayonnaise-based sauce and seasoned with breadcrumbs, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce.

Sounds tasty right?

Prepared in the oven per the box instructions, these crab cakes were rather disappointing.  They're mostly bread, there's little crab to speak of and overall the cakes come up really short on flavor, they're underseasoned.  There is no YUM factor in these cakes. What made them palatable was the dipping sauce and the squeeze of lemon.  They are so lackluster, after preparing some for the tasting and being disappointed, I threw the rest of the box away.  Bread with a squeeze of lemon and dipped in some doctored up mayo is not my idea of a satisfying snack.  Hey Phillips, put some crab in those cakes!

20190528_171441-1I really wanted the cakes to be tasty and worthy of a repeat buy, but they just aren't.  Costing me about $10 for a box of 36 mini cakes, don't waste your money on these.  They get 2 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.

2 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends.....

 


Drink Review: Jesse James Honey Whiskey

By Mike Thayer

Blended and flavored whiskeys are red hot right now, consumer demand for brown spirits continues to rise with American Whiskey in particular seeing some phenomenal sales growth.

Regular readers know that I am a fan of flavored whiskey, I've always got a bottle of something in my freezer for a chilled shot or flavored specialty in the liquor cabinet to enjoy on the rocks.  My favorite in all this tasting fun so far, has been Yukon Jack Jacapple.

20190603_184337-1Today's tasting:  Jesse James Honey flavored Whiskey

This is a first for me, I've never tried any Jesse James whiskey product before.

From the company website:  Jesse James Premium Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is made in the spirit of America's true outlaw. It's distilled to perfection, old-time charcoal mellowed and aged in oak casks to achieve an incredibly smooth and full-bourbon character that makes this one of the finest Kentucky whiskeys.

About the only add they give to the honey flavored whiskey is that their base whiskey is infused with honey "flavors."

So how good is it you ask?

Not bad.  As usual, I served this up in a straight shot and on the rocks.  I wouldn't call this an incredibly smooth bourbon as the company website claims, but with that honey flavor in the nose and in the swallow, it's a pretty good shot.  Not sweet at all, it's almost a bit harsh, but in a good way.  The honey flavor is slight, just enough to compliment and take the edge off, providing for a nice, warm, bourbon finish.  I'm thinking this is a better shot than just the straight Jesse James bourbon.  I'll have to do a taste comparison to be sure, lol.

Jesse James Honey Whiskey gets 3 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  Good but not great, this whiskey was priced a bit high at $18 for a 750ml bottle.  I've had better flavored whiskeys for $16.  Part of that price is the name.  Nonetheless, when in the mood for a honey flavored whiskey, it's an OK repeat buy, but I'll be on the lookout for a better honey flavored whiskey

3 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends.....