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December 2020

Food Review: Mama Cozzi's Combo Pizza

By Mike Thayer

20201231_081229Pizza - Perhaps the greatest food invention ever and I don't know about you, but I don't know anybody that does NOT like pizza.....  I usually have a fr0zen pizza or two in my freezer for those times when I'm craving pizza, but don't want to take the time to make one from scratch, let alone shell out $20 for delivery.

Today I'm reviewing Mama Cozzi's Pizza Kitchen, Combo Pizza which I picked up at my neighborhood Aldi store.   Mama Cozzi pizzas are popular with Aldi shoppers, with a variety of frozen and take-and-bake pizzas available. 

The Combo Pizza features pepperoni and sausage.  To me that's not really a 'Combo' pizza, it's just a pepperoni and sausage pizza.  In my eyes, a combo pizza has more than two toppings and would include a veggie or two.

From the Mama Cozzi's frozen pizza label: 

  • Original thin, artificial preservative free crust
  • Made with real cheese
  • Pepperoni made with pork, chicken and beef
  • Sausage made with pork and chicken
  • Great for grilling

20201231_081323Baked according to the package instructions, I did not doctor this pizza like I usually do by adding mushrooms, onion and extra cheese.  I sample this pizza "As is."

Not exactly generous in topping portions, this pizza lacks flavor.  The pepperoni, made with pork, chicken and beef, is not the real stuff, void of a robust flavor you get with a true pepperoni.  The plus side, it wasn't greasy like some of the fake pepperoni you can get on a bargain price pizza.  The sausage has the same problem, lacking flavor from a lack of seasoning.  The crust was bland and approached the cardboard arena.  The sauce was "eh."  A saving grace, the cheese was good and melted nice. 

Priced at under $3, I'm giving Mama Cozzi's Combo Pizza 3 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  It's an "eh" pizza and there are better frozen pizzas out there for about the same price.

3 stars

Related: Frozen Pizza Brands, listed here from worst to best



Food Review: LiveGfree Sea Salt Crackers Rock

By Mike Thayer

LiveGfree Gluten Free Crackers
These Sea Salt crackers are tasty!

If you're following a gluten free diet, you already know that gluten free products are typically more expensive than their traditional counterparts. 

Crackers are no exception.  You can easily spend $4 or $5 on a bag of gluten free crackers and not only are they more expensive, you're not getting as many crackers either, with packaging typically weighing in at 4.5 to 5 ounces.  Compare that to traditional crackers, let's go with Ritz crackers for example and on the average you can get a Family Size package - 1 lb, 4.5 oz. - for under $4.   You can get a box of original Triscuit crackers for about $2.50 - a 8.5 ounce box, or a box of Keebler Club crackers, also about $2.50 but for a 10 ounce box.

Enter Live G Free crackers....

LiveGfree Gluten Free Crackers
The size of the cracker measures up to the packaging pic!

Available at Aldi and coming in a 4.25 ounce bag, you only shell out $1.99 for these crackers!  That's less than half of what you typically pay for gluten free crackers anywhere else.  These crackers are tasty whether eaten by themselves or included in a snack tray offering.  They hold up to dips, stack well with meats and cheeses and come in a variety of flavors.  Tried on this occasion, the Sea Salt crackers were quite delicious, the flavors are on point.  Other flavors available are Rosemary & Olive Oil, Black Sesame and Sweet Chili - I'm trying that one next!

If you are living the gluten free diet, these crackers are a great option, tasty and easier on the snack budget vs. other Gluten Free cracker brands.  I'm giving Live G Free Sea Salt crackers 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  They're a repeat buy!

4 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends.....

Related:  Gluten free crackers that will step up your snack spread and not break the snack budget

Food Review: Sprouts Hatch Ranch Dressing

Sprouts Farmers Market Hatch Ranch Dressing
It's another dose of YUM!

By Mike Thayer

Ranch is my go-to salad dressing if I'm going to have rabbit food.  My second favorite is Blue Cheese and every now and then when I think I need a change of pace flavor variety for my salad, I might have some Italian, perhaps some Thousand Island.  But here's the thing, after eating those different dressings, I finish that salad thinking, "I should have had Ranch." 

Looking to mix things up a bit when grocery shopping with my Lady Friend the other day, we found a really tasty variant of a Ranch dressing.

Sprouts Farmers Market Hatch Ranch Dressing

Made with avocado oil, this ranch dressing delivers big time on flavor, providing a nice little kick from the Hatch chiles.  It's smooth, creamy, provides the classic flavor of Ranch kicked up a notch with that hint of heat. 

Sprouts Hatch Ranch
A carrot dipping adventure!

Priced at $4.99 for just a 10 ounce bottle, it is a bit expensive but the flavor is worth it, a dressing worth treating yourself to, especially if you're looking to mix things up a bit.  The dressing can also serve as a marinade, I'm looking forward to trying it on some chicken!

I'm giving Sprouts Farmers Market Hatch Ranch Dressing 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  It's a repeat buy!

4 stars

Salad with Hatch Ranch
Does that salad look fantastic or what?

Related: Sprouts Farmers Market offers great products at reasonable prices



Grilled Tuna Steaks are Awesome

Quality tuna on the grill is tough to beat.  A nice thick cut tuna steak is to fish, what a Ribeye steak is to beef.  And because tuna is so good, there's really no need to doctor it up much, you want to really enjoy the essence of this fish.  I prepare mine quite simply.   Dress the steaks with olive oil, salt and pepper on both sides.  When the grill is ready to receive, put the tuna steaks over direct heat.  And this is an excellent piece of fish to get those great diamond grill marks on.  Rotate the fish a quarter turn after one minute, then let it sear another minute before flipping, keeping the tuna over direct heat for another minute or two.  With tuna, you don't want to cook it all the way through, you want a strip of pink running through it, just like a medium to medium rare Ribeye.  If you cook tuna all the way through, it tends to dry out, meaning a much less enjoyable piece of fish.   Excellent served over a bed of your favorite fresh lettuce.