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July 2022

Enjoy Life Natural Brands, LLC Expands Voluntary Recall of Select Bakery Products Due to Potential Presence of Foreign Material

Recall includes Trader Joe's Soft Baked Snickerdoodle Cookies, 6 oz., 0094 0757 2/3/2023*

Chicago, Ill. - Enjoy Life Natural Brands LLC announced today, out of an abundance of caution, an expansion of its June 30th voluntary recall, to add one product and add additional Best By dates for four products to the list of recalled products.  This recall is due to the potential presence of hard plastic pieces in the products.  This voluntary recall is not related to an allergen and no other Enjoy Life products are affected by this voluntary recall.  The company became aware of the additional items as a result of its internal investigation.

The complete list of products covered by this voluntary recall is provided below; newly added items are marked with an asterisk (*).  This voluntary recall is limited exclusively to the products and Best By dates listed in the grid below which are sold in retail stores and online in the United States.  No other products are affected by this voluntary recall.

Consumers who have one of the recalled products should not eat it and should discard any product they may have but should keep any available packaging and contact the company at 1-855-543-5335 to get more information about the recall and how to receive a refund. Consumer Relations specialists are available Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST.

This expanded recall is being conducted with the knowledge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Note:  Best By Dates marked with * represent additional items in the expanded voluntary recall.

Product Description, Retail UPC, Best By Dates

Enjoy Life - Soft Baked Cookies - Snickerdoodle, 6 oz 853522000184 2/4/2023*, 3/4/2023, 3/10/2023

Enjoy Life - Soft Baked Cookies - Chocolate Chip, 6 oz 853522000191 2/5/2023, 2/6/2023, 3/5/2023

Enjoy Life - Soft Baked Cookies - Double Chocolate Brownie, 6 oz 853522000214 3/6/2023

Enjoy Life - Soft Baked Cookies - Sunseed Butter Chocolate Chip, 6 oz 819597013801 3/3/2023 

Enjoy Life - Soft Baked Cookies - Monster, 6 oz 819597013818 2/6/2023, 3/3/2023

Enjoy Life Chewy Bars - Sunseed Crunch, 5.75 oz 853522000627 3/3/2023

Enjoy Life Chewy Bars - Caramel Blondie, 5.75 oz 819597011258 3/3/2023, 3/4/2023

Enjoy Life Soft Baked Fruit & Oat Breakfast Ovals - Apple Cinnamon, 8.8 oz 819597012569 2/3/2023*,2/4/2023, 2/12/2023, 2/13/2023, 2/20/2023, 3/12/2023, 3/13/2023

Enjoy Life Soft Baked Fruit & Oat Breakfast Ovals - Chocolate Chip Banana, 8.8 oz 819597012576 12/31/2022, 1/6/2023, 1/7/2023, 1/19/2023, 1/20/2023, 2/12/2023

Enjoy Life Soft Baked Fruit & Oat Breakfast Ovals - Berry Medley, 8.8 oz 819597012583 2/3/2023*, 2/10/2023, 2/11/2023 , 2/17/2023, 3/10/2023 

Enjoy Life Brownie Bites - Rich Chocolate, 4.76 oz 819597013290 1/10/2023

Enjoy Life Brownie Bites - Salted Caramel, 4.76 oz 819597013313 1/10/2023

Enjoy Life Soft Baked Cookies - Amazon Variety Pack - (2SND,1CC,1OAT,1SBCC,1MSTR) - 6/6 oz 819597014518 9/24/2022, 1/20/2023

Trader Joe's Soft Baked Snickerdoodle Cookies, 6 oz., 0094 0757 2/3/2023*


Even a haircut is effected by inflation

Mike Thayer

It's official, inflation has a solid grip on America and there's no indication that grip will loosen any time soon.

The price of gasoline is up 50% over last year.  The price of groceries is up almost 13% and that doesn't include the costs for beef, pork and chicken, up an average 18% overall.  FYI, beef tops the big three meats at a 23% increase over last year.

20220623_124022(1)I went into Fantastic Sam's today to get a haircut.  I've been going there since 2016, where the price for a men's haircut has been $12.95 all that time.  On Saturday, 07/23, the price went up to $18.  That's more than a 28% increase.  I should have gotten my haircut on Friday...

I don't like the increase, but I understand it.  The cost of everything is up, fuel for your vehicle, energy for your home, food - grocery & restaurant, pretty much anything you consume, the price has gone up.  Part of that problem are labor and supply/distribution shortages. When visiting with the lady giving me a haircut today, I found out she's a popcorn lover like I am.   She then informed me there is a popcorn shortage going on!  Seriously?  Popcorn of all things?  "Thanks" Joe!

So sadly, Fantastic Sam's may no longer be the cheapest place to get a good haircut in town.  I'll be updating the price list I did just last month.

Stay tuned for that list, my guess is if Fantastic Sam's has raised their prices, the other shops have too.

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Food Review: Taco John's Fried Chicken Tacos

Taco John's Honey BBQ Fried Chicken Taco
Still on the Wichita Taco John's Menu Board and their site specific website, but no longer available

By Mike Thayer

The Taco John's Honey BBQ Fried Chicken Taco is no longer available in Wichita.

The limited time offer was very limited.

Taco John's has two fried chicken tacos on its permanent menu, one with a chipotle lime sauce, the other with a jalapeno ranch, here's the description from the website:  Our bold and crave-worthy Fried Chicken Taco changed the fried chicken game! This taco features crispy, all-white meat chicken tenders wrapped in a soft, flour tortilla and topped with your choice of zesty chipotle lime or spicy jalapeño ranch, crisp shredded lettuce, and all-natural Cheddar cheese.

In mid-June, they introduced a new sauce flavor for those Fried Chicken Tacos, Honey BBQ, a limited time offering.   It's still being advertised big and bold online to include the Wichita Taco John's website and I've been wanting to try it, so today I went across town to the only Taco John's in Wichita to get a couple of those Honey BBQ Fried Chicken Tacos.  

The Taco John's in Wichita, again, the only one, is located in a Kwik Shop on West Street.  Never having been there before, I drove right past the place after getting off of Kellogg (400).  I blinked, all I saw was the Kwik Shop on the corner, missing the Taco John's tucked away in the north end of the Kwik Shop building.  Enabling the GPS and driving around the block, I pulled in to order some carry-out.

There were five patrons ahead of me in line at 11am.  "This place must be pretty decent if there's a line for tacos at 11am," I thought to myself.  I took my place in line and checked out the menu board.  There it was, prominently displayed at the top of the board, the New Honey BBQ Fried Chicken Tacos.  The ordering went fast and it was soon my turn.

Taco John's Chipotle Lime Fried Chicken Taco Combo
The chipotle lime sauce is quite nice

"Can I help you?" said the lady attendant.

"Hi, I'm going to try that new Honey BBQ Fried Chicken Taco in a combo please," I said.

"That's no longer available, it was for a limited time and the company stopped sending us that sauce," she said.

"Wow, that kind of defeats my purpose of stopping in today," I stated in a bit of shock.

"We do have the chipotle and jalapeno versions," she replied.

"OK, I'll try the chipotle," I said.

It was a nice save by the attendant, but I do have to say I was a bit disappointed.  In completing the order and paying for a small combo which includes Potato Ole's (hash rounds) and a drink, I thought about saying the Honey BBQ option should be taken off the menu board and off the Wichita Taco John's website (it's still an online order option), but I remained silent, I wasn't in the mood to become a curmudgeon and the chipotle version of the fried chicken taco was a nice Plan B.  After receiving my cup for a soda, I was instructed to use the Kwik Shop soda fountain which I found to be a bit of an odd setup and not a good one.  Not in a line of sight from the restaurant, you kind of have to hunt for the drink area.  Of the two fountains, one was without Dr. Pepper, there was the carbonated water, but no syrup coming from the tap.  The other fountain was kind of trashed up, but it had Dr. Pepper, so I dumped my carbonated ice and filled up with fresh ice and my soda of choice.  Walking back from the Kwik Shop area to the Taco John's corner, my order was soon ready and I was out the door.

Taco John's Fried Chicken Tacos
The inside look, not shy on the sauce

The unveil of the taco wrappers did not disappoint.  These things looked good! 

In taking that first bite, I was immediately hit with the chipotle lime sauce, that smoky, slightly spicy flavor from the pepper and the tartness from the lime.  The breading on the chicken was nice and crunchy, seasoned well and the chicken itself was tender and juicy.  Complimented by the fresh lettuce, shredded cheddar cheese and warm tortilla, this was a really nice taco.  The chipotle lime option is a good one, but I was left wondering how the Honey BBQ would have been.  Side note:  The Potato Ole's (hash rounds) were good, perfectly fried, not greasy.

Costing me $10.84 for the small combo meal, I'm giving Taco John's Chipotle Lime Fried Chicken Tacos 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars, they were tasty.  But if I was scoring the Taco John's located at 656 S West St, Wichita, KS 67213, itself, it would be 3 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  Advertising/promoting something you no longer offer is a problem.  Sure, I was apparently a bit late to the Honey BBQ party, but pull the advertising promo then if you're no longer offering it!  The self service drink set up relies on the management of a convenience store and in this case, mismanagement of a distant soda machine.  The tacos were also a tad expensive.  In comparison, a similar order from Taco Bell, two Cantina Crispy Chicken Tacos with Avocado Ranch, Fiesta Potatoes and a small drink would run you $8.47.  Taco John's is not worthy of a repeat buy.

Website:  www.tacojohns.com/ks/wichita

4 stars(for the tacos)

3 stars(for Taco John's)

Taco John's Fried Chicken Tacos
It's a nice fried chicken taco bite

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Making your own gourmet popcorn

By Mike Thayer

Making your own gourmet popcorn
Use your imagination to create flavor

I love popcorn, I typically pop my own, but I appreciate bagged varieties as well.  And while those bagged options provide a variety of flavors to choose from, I can create those same flavors and a lot more in my kitchen.

Taking advantage of my pantry and fridge, I can create just about any flavor you see on the grocery store shelves.  My go-to however and it's easy-peasy, is to use leftover sauce packets from carry-out and delivery meals.  There's all kinds of flavor options available at the ready, all you have to do is add a packet or two and a pinch of salt to the butter when you're melting it while that popcorn is popping!

The sauce packet options are almost endless and the beauty, it's a perfect measurement.  There's duck sauce from a Chinese restaurant (Awesome!), Arby's Sauce, mustard packets (combined with a packet of honey - Delicious!), sweet and sour sauce, BBQ sauce from Papa John's (BBQ popcorn is excellent).  The melted butter sauce created tossed with the popcorn kicks that popcorn up to gourmet status!   Just about any kind of sauce packet will do, Burger King, KFC, Arby's, Taco Bell, Papa John's, Chinese Take-Out, you name it!

From the fridge, whatever kind of hot sauce you have on hand is a good add to the melting butter.  Frank's Red Hot, Tapatio', Sriracha (Sriracha and Parmesan cheese is a GREAT combo, but sprinkle on the Parm AFTER you sauce the popcorn).  You can go with your favorite bottle BBQ sauce if you don't have a convenient sauce packet.  And if you like dill pickle flavored chips, you'll LOVE dill pickle flavored popcorn, just put a little splash of the pickle juice in the melting butter.  You can do the same thing with some vinegar from the pantry if you're into salt & vinegar chips.  Got some leftover bacon?  Chop it up and add it to the melting butter to warm it through (I've been known to have this for dinner...).

From your seasoning cabinet, use your imagination.  You've probably got onion powder, garlic powder (the onion/garlic combo is really nice), maybe some dried dill, or chili powder on hand.  Combined with that melted butter, any one of those is another dose of YUM!  If you decide to use a seasoning mix like Montreal Steak Seasoning, great, but hold off on the pinch of salt when melting the butter, you don't want to create a salt bomb.  Taco seasoning is another good one, but remember, don't add that pinch of salt.

And you're not limited to the powders, sauce packets from restaurants or bottled sauces you see pictured above to create flavor either.  And no, I'm not talking about the popcorn seasonings you can get at the grocery store.  Go fresh!  Dice up a jalapeno and throw that in the butter when you're melting it.  Bell peppers are a nice add too.  Go herbal and chop up some fresh parsley, dill, thyme and/or rosemary.  Chopped green onion or chives work too, super when tossed with some Parmesan cheese. 

Play with it, mix and match the flavors, find new combinations, have fun making popcorn!

BONUS:  Popping your own corn is SO inexpensive, talk about a cheap snack!  A bag of popcorn at the grocery store will typically cost you $3 and up.  Those bagged varieties are good, but you can purchase a bag of unpopped popcorn for about $3 and make a boatload, flavor it how you want to and it's freshly popped and hot to boot! 

Coming soon:  Dessert popcorn options!

Related: Bachelor on the Cheap - Product Review: The Salbree Popper

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Food Review: Hillshire Farm Beef Smoked Sausage

By Mike Thayer

Hillshire Farm Beef Smoked Sausage
Pan fried, a little mustard, it's another dose of YUM!

I've written the following before, but it deems repeating:  No fridge or freezer is complete without a variety of bratwurst, hot dogs or sausages of some sort in it.

I'm a huge fan a brats, dawgs and sausages of all kinds.  I prepare them just about all ways you can imagine, on the grill, in the frying pan, rolled, split, microwaved...  One way I will NOT prepare sausages however is boiled.  To me, that's a sacrilege, a loss of flavor that cannot be accepted.  But I digress...

Today I'm reviewing Hillshire Farm Beef Smoked Sausage.

With each link weighing in at a 2.25 ounces each, they are pre-cooked, so all one has to do is "heat and eat!"  I went with a quick pan fry, rotating on all sides to get a bit of char on all sides and ensure the link was heated all the way through.  This is a good all beef smoked sausage and rivals anything out there.  You get the snap of the skin and then you hit the all beef juiciness and every bite was so nicely complimented by the mustard.  Hillshire has a spot on slow cooked recipe with this one, the seasoning is perfect.

Costing me just $2.99 for six links at Walmart, I'm giving Hillshire Farm Beef Smoked Sausage 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars and they are most definitely a repeat buy.  When I saw that price, I snatched them up, but I should have grabbed a few more packages!

5 stars

Related: Food Review: Parkview Cheddar Brats

Related: Food Review: Kirkland Brats - Bachelor on the Cheap

Related: Food Review: Member's Mark Beef Franks

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China Town on Hillside is worth a visit

20220721_160255By Mike Thayer

Opening its doors in April, China Town is the "New Kid" in a town with plenty of Asian cuisine options. Offering all the classic dishes you expect from a Chinese restaurant and then some, China Town places a focus on executing those dishes better than the competition.

Too busy to eat lunch and starving, I walked into the place at 4pm on a Thursday.  I was greeted warmly right away by the lady behind the counter and she was wearing a big smile.  Nice first impression!  I had reviewed the menu online before arriving but I already knew what I was going to order, General Tso's Chicken, a combo meal to include rice and a Crab Rangoon.  I also ordered a couple of egg rolls on the side. It's my go-to meal when visiting a Chinese restaurant for the first time.  If a restaurant has these classics mastered, then you can pretty much bet the rest of the menu is good.

Making my order to go, I sat down in mouthwatering anticipation.  As my General Tso's Chicken was being "Wok'd," the enticing aromas of the chicken, garlic, soy and chili pepper wafted out into the seating area making it hard to concentrate on posting to Facebook.  I know, what a dilemma right?  It didn't take long at all for the lady with the big smile to complete my order and package it up.  Wishing me a great day, I thanked her with a heavy bag in hand and headed out the door.

China Town Chinese Restaurant
Generous portions, a repeat buy meal

Just look at all that food!  That's a very generous portion of General Tso's Chicken jam packed in that container and it was delicious.  Wok fresh and sauced perfectly, the chicken had that nice light crunch from the breading, with a tender meat interior.  The garlic, soy and pepper notes were good, but I would have liked a little more heat, more kick from the pepper.  The pork fried rice was tasty, seasoned well and included a nice portion of tender, diced, roasted pork.  Also including roasted pork, were the egg rolls which were fried to perfection and delivered big time on the crunch factor.  And not to be slighted, the Crab Rangoon was excellent, providing that seasoned sweet & savory delight in every bite.  As you can see from the pic, a lot of sauce packets were included in the carry-out bag.  None were needed.

Costing me $15 for all that food and a Pepsi to wash it down with, this was actually two meals for me.  The Crab Rangoon was the first to go, along with half the chicken, some of the rice and an egg roll.  Having the leftovers for a late night dinner, that breaks down to two meals at about $7.50 each. 

I'm giving China Town 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  This is no run of the mill Chinese Restaurant.  China Town's focus on executing dishes better than the competition is Wok fresh evident.

5 stars

Just an FYI:  There is a sign on the door and a notice posted online about China Town only being open for dinner.  "Due to shortage of staffs we will just be open for dinner between 4:00 pm — 9:30pm in Summer. Sorry for the inconvenience and thank you for your support."

I really like this place, it just might be a weekly visit for me and I look forward to sampling the Beef Lo Mein next!

China Town:  327 N Hillside St, Wichita, KS 67214

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Product Review: Yaheetech 2 Tier Raised Bed Garden Planter Box

20220721_151633By Mike Thayer

In need of something to improve the look of my front porch, I decided a small planter box would do the trick.  There's nothing quite like some of Mother Nature's color to dress things up.  I could have gone with a number of large colorful pots rather than a planter box, but I prefer to let the plants put on the show.

I thought about building a raised planter from scratch, but given the time of season - late July - and assessing the lumber costs and the construction time involved, I decided to check out a kit option.  With prices ranging from $40 to $200+, there are a lot of garden planter kits out there, wood, plastic, metal, 1 tier, 2 tier, with and without a trellis and more.  

I wanted to keep it fairly simple, a garden box to display flowers on the front porch, with a shelf underneath for storage.

Yaheetech Garden Planter in box
Shipment arrived in timely fashion, all in order

In deciding on a planter box, I went with the Yaheetech 2 Tier Raised Bed Garden Planter Box.  The box measures 34 inches by 18 inches and when fully assembled the planter is 30 inches tall. The all wood construction features the storage shelf I wanted and the box floor includes holes for ventilation and drainage.  The wood itself has been polished to provide smooth surfaces and treated with a plant safe sealer to extend the life of the planter.  "Nice!" I thought, "I don't have to buy landscaping fabric or a liner!"

I found the planter kit on Amazon and with my Prime membership shipping was free and took just two days.  The box arrived without issue, it was packed well, with no breakage or missing parts.  All the parts were labeled and the instructions were clear and easy to follow.  The only tool required was my handy dandy Craftsman Cordless Drill and I had the planter box assembled in less than one hour.

Yaheetech Garden Planter
Natural Wood Finish

And while the description of the planter mentions drainage holes, they do NOT mention that landscaping fabric or liner of some sort is necessary.  In addition to the drainage holes there are two 1/2 inch gaps running front to back in the floor of the box not evident in the description pictures, making a liner of some sort a must.  Without a liner, soil would empty out of the box. I was hoping to get away with using coffee filters to cover the drainage holes, it's a container garden hack I wanted to take advantage of.  But the gaps in the box floor killed that idea, it's not a big deal, I had to go purchase some liner.   There should be a "Liner required to prevent soil loss," comment in the description, heck, but not even a "Liner sold separately" comment.  I digress.

Yaheetech
Easy to follow instructions

This is a small planter box, but it is sturdy and because of its size, it's pretty mobile as well, even when filled with soil.  I used potting mix, but it could accommodate bagged soil made specifically for raised bed garden boxes which is a little heavier.  I wouldn't go with regular garden soil or top soil though, that would be too heavy for this box.  It's sturdy, but it's not heavy duty.  Besides, root vegetables are a lot easier to grow in the lighter soils!  I used Expert Gardener Potting Mix, it's every bit as good as Miracle Grow and costs a lot less, below are the prices at Walmart.

  • Expert Gardener Potting Soil, 1 cubic foot bag:  $6.48
  • Miracle Grow Potting Soil, 1 cubic foot bag: $9.88
Yaheetech Planter Box
The gaps in the box floor, not in the diagram!

This planter box is the perfect size for my front porch and dresses things up nicely, thank you Mother Nature!  For this season, I've planted it with Dragon's Breath (hat tip to Lori S), Madagascar Periwinkle (clearance sale at Walmart for $2 each) and some Sweet Potato Vine that will eventually drape over the side.

If I opt to grow veggies next year I'll easily be able to add a trellis to this planter at a later date to accommodate a tomato, cucumbers or pole beans.  Even if I don't switch to veggies, adding a trellis would provide the structure for a climbing vine such as Clematis or Mandevilla, elevating the beauty in the box.  Something to think about, so many options!

Yaheetech 2 Tier Raised Bed Garden Planter Box assembled
Ready for some dirt!

Purchased for $59, I'm giving the Yaheetech 2 Tier Raised Bed Garden Planter Box 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  This is a kit that assembles easily, all the pre-drilling/cutting and pre-assembly of certain parts was done correctly.  I'm pleased with the quality and it's a sturdy little raised bed garden planter box. I'm not sure that I could have constructed this box from scratch for under $60.  My only issue is the gap thing in the box flooring, but that was easily worked around.  Moving forward, it's probably safe to assume that a liner will be required with most any raised bed garden planter kit.

4 stars

Raised Bed Garden Planter
Project Complete!

Related: Garden Hack: Use coffee filters to line container drainage holes

Related: Raised bed garden planter with a self watering feature

Related: Building Planter Containers on the Cheap

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Chip Review: Clancy's Stackerz Cheddar Cheese Potato Crisps

Clancy's Stackerz Cheddar Cheese Potato Crisps
The Aldi Private Label version of Pringles or Lays stackable chips

By Mike Thayer

My name is Mike Thayer and I'm a Chip-a-holic.

I love chips, all shapes, sizes, veggie varieties and flavors.  When it comes to potato chips specifically, I'm partial to wavy chips for dipping.  But I do also hold a special fondness for stackable 'potato crisps.'

Pringles is the King of stackable chips, first introduced in 1968 by Proctor & Gamble and marketed as "Newfangled Potato Chips."  The Pringles line was sold in 2012 to current owner, Kellogg's.

Coming in at Number 2 in stackable chips, is Lays and their "Stax."  The Frito-Lay company introduced them in 2003 to directly compete with Pringles.  Heavier and thicker than Pringles, Stax remains the second best option in stackable chips, primarily because they don't pleasurably shatter in your mouth like Pringles do.

Clancy's Stackerz
Intact stack, minimal breakage

Today I'm trying Aldi's private label knock off of Pringles, Clancy's Stackerz, the cheddar cheese flavor.  Note the unabashed attempt to mimic the Pringles iconic chip mascot a bit on the canister.  The big mustache play...

So how do Stackerz, stack up?  Yes, pun intended...  and c'mon, you HAD to know I was going to go there!

They don't.

Sure, they stack fine, there's minimal breakage in the cannister, the cheddar cheese flavor is definitely there and they deliver a decent potato crisp crunch, but these chips are on the greasy side.  After a few chips, you start to get that oily buildup aftertaste in your mouth.  These chips are kind of a hybrid of the Pringles and Lays, not as thin as the Pringles, but not as thick as the Lays.  Let me sum it up this way, while it's easy to polish off a canister of Pringles, it was easy for me to put the lid back on the Clancy's Stackerz.

Clancy's Stackerz
Greasy chips

Costing me $1.09, I'm giving Clancy's Stackerz Cheddar Cheese Potato Crisps 3 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  They're reasonably priced, the cheddar cheese flavor is good, but that oily texture is a stackable chip killer.  These are not worthy of a repeat buy, I'll pay the name brand price for Pringles, nothing else competes.

3 stars

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Whiskey Review: Ole Smoky Blackberry Moonshine

Ole Smoky Blackberry Moonshine
Blackberry is a great flavor

By Mike Thayer

I'm an Ole Smoky fan, they make a fantastic peanut butter flavored whiskey that's better than Skrewball!  I've also sampled their Ole Smoky Butter Pecan Moonshine which was quite tasty.    Also good, their Apple Pie Moonshine as well as their Sour Apple Moonshine.  So in liking both those and kind of staying on a Moonshine trend, I decided to give their Blackberry Moonshine a try.

If you didn't already know, White Whiskey is "new" whiskey, as in a raw, unfinished product, "unaged." White Whiskey skips the aged in oak barrels step so what you get is naked grain alcohol - Moonshine!

Here's the description of the Blackberry Moonshine from the Ole Smoky website:  Taste the sweeter side of life in the nectar of the Appalachian Gods that is captured in Ole Smoky®Blackberry Moonshine. Mix it in with some lemonade, throw it in a copper cup and enjoy a long afternoon of Corn Hole with friends. There’s no need to muddle tiny pieces of fruit when our blackberries create a smooth yet spirited flavor with a kick that’ll keep things interesting.

This stuff is almost too smooth.  Fruity, it drinks like Kool-Aid and at 40 proof, it doesn't have a harsh finish.  Moderation is key, it will sneak up on you if you're not careful.  I had it in a chilled shot, on the rocks and neat.  A warm whiskey finish is missing in this Moonshine.  On it's own it was best over ice, better yet in a mixed drink.

Here's a suggested drink recipe from Ole Smoky which is quite tasty:

Blackberry Lemonade

Mix well in a glass over ice, garnish with lemon wedge and/or optional blackberries.  Shine responsibly.

Costing me about $17 for 750ml mason jar, I'm giving Ole Smokey Blackberry Moonshine 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  It's smooth, refreshing, but best in a mixed drink.  I really like the blackberry flavor, but in comparing it to Bird Dog Blackberry whiskey (80 proof), I'd rather drink the Bird Dog, it's a better blackberry flavor with a better kick and warmer finish.

4 stars

Related: Drink Review: Bird Dog Blackberry Whiskey

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Food Review: Simply Nature Cauliflower Crackers with Sea Salt

20220709_142929By Mike Thayer

Looking to stock up my pantry with some gluten free options, I picked up a box of Cauliflower Crackers w/Sea Salt made by Simply Nature when shopping at Aldi the other day.

I'm trying to get back on the low carb bandwagon, which pretty much means traditional chips are now a big no-no in the diet.  With that low carb approach in mind, I'm also trying to cut back on wheat and corn based products in general.  I'm not gluten intolerant, but I've done enough research and label reading to have learned that overall, cauliflower doesn't pack as many carbs, has more protein and less sugar than wheat.  When it comes to cauliflower vs. corn, corn wins the day on protein, but packs more carbs and sugar than cauliflower and then there's the GMO factor.

I've sampled a few of the Simply Nature line of products before and have been very pleased with them, so I didn't hesitate in grabbing these crackers.

Related: Food Review: Simply Nature Red Pepper Hummus

Related:  Food Review: Simply Nature Organic Multi Grain Tortilla Chips - Bachelor on the Cheap

These are good crackers!  They are small and thin, so they don't really lend themselves to dipping or spreading something on them, but they are tasty.  The cauliflower profile is obvious, so if you're not into the flavor of cauliflower you probably won't like these.  But the bake on the crackers is nice and toasty, with the crackers providing a nice crisp crunch with each bite and the sea salt seasoning is perfectly done.

Simply Nature Crackers
Small and thin, but a nice crisp cracker taste

In thinking beyond simple snacking, these crackers would do well combined with other gluten free snack options in making a party mix.  I think they would also be good with some melted butter, garlic, Parmesan and dill, replacing traditional oyster crackers.

Related: Garlic Parmesan & Dill Oyster Crackers

Costing me $2.99 for a 4 ounce box, I'm giving Simply Nature Cauliflower Crackers with Sea Salt 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap Stars.  These crackers are tasty, Bachelor on the Cheap wallet friendly and they're better for your diet.  These crackers are worthy of a repeat buy.

4 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends...

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