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FEBRUARY 21, 2007
PUMA THERAPY

believe or not, but before G-RAD i had somewhat of an even keel. truly. i would never ever, ever in a million years fly off the handle and say things i truly regret. however, in the face of utter shame i have started turning more and more to chemically induced stress relief.

the ultimate:

chamomile tea and minty gum.

Instantly upon contact, the heat of the tea warms the gum to a pleasing texture. and almost as an afterthought the strong flavor of mint and the sleepy heaven of the chamomile combine effortlessly into a blissful concoction of taste and smell destined to soothe the mind of any man or beast. or man beast. or puma. i often take my mind off of anything that ails me by sipping chamomile tea, chewing minty gum, and daydreaming about a pair of proud pumas at play.

puma therapy.

FEBRUARY 15, 2007
OH GRANDPA, WHY DON'T I HAVE YOUR SKILLZ?

Almost every morning my Grandpa starts his day with fried country ham, fried eggs, and fried hashbrowns. He skips lunch, and then come dinner time he'll fry fish, or more ham. He likes to fry food, and it usually turns out pretty good. Although, once when I saw him dip out a huge spoonful of lard to fry catfish I was a bit turned off.

Unlike my Grandpa, I am not good at frying food. NOT GOOD AT ALL. The first thing I tried to fry was hashbrowns. They ended up like potato chips (I didn't know how long to keep them in). Everything else ends up burned, including the cooking utensils. I can't seem to get the hang of hot oil.

Tonight, I took another stab. I found a recipe for Curry Bean Burgers on the Hot Knives Blog that sounded amazing. Everything started out amazing. The barley looked good. The green beans and curry smelled delicious. When I mixed everything I was proud of myself. I made the patties, and heated the oil. After the oil was hot, I threw in the patties and everything started to fall apart, literally.

They started out in nice clumps, but as they heated up corners broke off, and they split down the middle. It was a disaster. I quickly rescued them and put them back together; the hot oil seaping out and burning my hands. After I pieced them back into patties I decided that was it. They were done.


Picture From Hot Knives, Obviously

They looked like the picture above, but in pieces and far from a perfect solid color. They tasted pretty good, especially with some avocado, and sprouts.

Would I make them again? Maybe after a few lessons from Grandpa?

DECEMBER 6, 2006
SEASONAL SNACK SURVEY #2: HUMP DAY DOUBLE WHAMMY


For part #2 of the first annual SEASONAL SNACK SURVEY (2006), we take a look at two of the sugariest quasi-holiday snacks we have ever had the quasi-pleasure of tasting.

Official Taste Testers:

Steve, Beth, George

Methods:
Much like last week, our surveys judged the snacks in the areas of Taste and Flavor, Appearance, Comparison to the classic product, Overall Experience, Overall Festivity, and concluded with our General Comments. Surveys were filled out in secret and shared upon completion. Beth and Steve picked up these holiday products at the local Family Fare (the one on Fulton).

Results:

Holiday-packaged Mountain Dew:
TASTE/FLAVOR
Steve: 0 "Gross."
Beth: 1 "Fizzy. And sugary. And makes my stomach hurt."
George: 3. "Gross, but not quite as gross as I remember. Pleasantly surprised."


Average: 1.3

APPEARANCE
Steve: 2 "Eh."
Beth: 1 "Yellow #5"
George: 3 "It looks like a future drink. I am into that."

Average: 2

CLASSIC COMPARISON
Steve: 0 "I'm sure it tastes the same - but it sucks 'so bad' it deserves the big zilch."
Beth: 5 "The same."
George: 5 "It's the same. But with different packaging."

Average: 3.3

OVERALL EXPERIENCE
Steve: 1 "This experience was only saved because i was drinking from my Regis Mug. Without him, I'm not sure where i would be."
Beth: 1 "Lame."
George: 1

Average: 1

OVERALL FESTIVITY
Steve: 1 "I guess there's a ribbon 'from: dew to: me,' so that has to count for something... right?"
Beth: 0 "Possibly the least festive holiday-appropriate drink. Less festive than urine."
George: 1 "from: ME to: DEW: ZING!"


Average: 0.6



"Winter" Oreos:
TASTE/FLAVOR
Steve: 3 "They're better than i remember, but still not great."
Beth: 5 "!"
George: 4 "Oreolicious!"

Average: 4

APPEARANCE
Steve: 4.5 "Ice skates, snowmen, christmas trees - these are a few of my favorite things. Mind Blowin'!"
Beth: 2 "The red frosting looks gory, not festive."
George: 5 It's red. I am into that."

Average: 3.8

CLASSIC COMPARISON
Steve: 5 "I haven't eaten Oreos in years. Way better than i remember!"
Beth: 3 "Tastes the same. Looks Nastier."
George: 5 "I know there is really no difference between Winter Oreos and Classic, but somehow the red tricks me into liking it more."

Average: 4.3

OVERALL EXPERIENCE
Steve: 3.5 "Beautiful designs make me expect joy, but the taste is a let down."
Beth: 3
George: 4 "It's good, but i think my sugar intake has hit its limit."

Average: 3.5

OVERALL FESTIVITY
Steve: 4
Beth: 2 "Unless festivity = blood fest, nope."
George: 5 "On further examination, I really respond to the 4 fun winter shapes. Particularly the Gingerbread Man. He's Jolly."

Average: 3.6

General Comments:
Steve: "Packaging and design on cookies is amazing. Wonderful appearance that works great as a decorative and fun holiday snack. However, the taste is a bit of a let down. This could've been the perfect holiday cookie I've been looking (edit: he has been looking very hard) if only they tasted as good as they look. As for the "Dew," It basically ruined my night and almost the entire holiday season. Not only does it taste like algae-filled pond water, the design team blew it."

Beth: "Mountain Dew remind me of my high school job at Sbarro's. I drank an XL Mountain Dew/pink lemonade mix every shift to take the food court edge off. I no longer have to wear a pasta-inspired tie to work and consequently i'm not so desperate. Plus i like producing my own insulin. In conclusion, Mountain Dew is gross even if the packaging makes it look like a present. I want to brush the Oreo out of my teeth. Now."

After reading this, Beth had to lay down with a stomach ache.



George: "Well, it's final project week. So at least all of this sugar will help me stay up? right? i hope? my head hurts. "

 




Conclusion:

Holiday-packaged Mountain Dew: 1.6
Winter Oreos: 3.8

With an overall average score of 1.6 for Mountain Dew, we officially deem this product unsuitable for human consumption, holiday or not. Winter Oreos, on the other hand, slides by with a cool 3.8. By no means a perfect score, it's comparatively an ideal seasonal snack. We are happy to announce our approval for this product and add it to that canon of festive treats.
DECEMBER 3, 2006
SEASONAL SNACK SURVEY #1: MERRY MATADORS

Welcome to Part #1 of an ongoing taste exploration into new seasonal snack offerings. We have started with a snack near and dear to our hearts and home (literally. it's factory is like down the street): Holiday El Matador Mexican Style Tortilla Chips, or as we like to call them, "The Merry Matadors"

Official Taste Testers:

Todd, Steve, Beth, George

Methods:
Beth and Steve braved the intense weather conditions and patented holiday Meijer Madness to bring these colorful toritlla chips into our home, at reduced rate ($2.50/lb.). The chips were rated with a likert scale ranging from one (the worst) to five (the best). Our surveys judged the Merry Matties in the areas of Taste and Flavor, Appearance, Comparison to Classic El Matador's, Overall Experience, Overall Festivity, and concluded with our General Comments. Surveys were completed in secret on pieces of paper, which were recycled upon recording the results.

Results:

TASTE/FLAVOR
Todd: 4 "Has less of a citrus flavor, but i enjoy the reduced saltiness and simple taste."
Steve: 4.5 "Just the right amount of salt."
Beth: 3 "Too salty - hurts the corners of my mouth"
George: 3.5 "Good, but not quite up to the salty standards of the classic el matador."

Average: 3.75


APPEARANCE
Todd: 5
Steve: 5 "Could Double as a Decoration."
Beth: 5!!! "Dang!"
George: 5 "I love the colors. Very cute."

Average: 5


CLASSIC COMPARISON
Todd: 4
Steve: 5 "They taste the same to me."
Beth: 5 "Same taste, visually explosive!"
George: 2 "i like my el matties encrusted with salt, these do not compare"

Average: 4


OVERALL EXPERIENCE
Todd: 4.5
Steve: 5 "Brings back the joy of childhood christmas morning."
Beth: 4
George: 4 "As someone who has eaten plain old regular el matadors his entire life these delightful color options are a treasure. except for the one that almost went down the wrong tube. that one was a jerk."

Average: 4.4


OVERALL FESTIVITY
Todd: 5
Steve: 5 "JINGLE JANGLE!"
Beth: 5 "Whammy!"
George: 5 "these are the most festive tortilla chips i have ever eaten. far more festive than a tostito fiesta bowl snack-pack."

Average: 5

General Comments:

Todd: "Compared to the 'classic' El Matadors, the hint of lime was lass notable. These won me over with their holiday pallette. A TAKE NOTICE seasonal snack."
 


 

Steve: "This bag immediately caught my eye while walking the aisles of Meijer, knowing i would be in for a colorful treat instead of the regular yellowish bore. Just as tasty as the classic El Matadors, I recommend this snack for anyone who wants to liven up the holidays."


 

Beth: "This sophisticated snack put me right in the christmas mood. But! too salty - makes me feel like I'm licking my way out from underneath Detroit."
 
 
 

 

George: "It was almost like a winter wonderland in my mouth, but not quite. It could have had the best of both worlds: creative coloration and mouth puckering salty goodness. without salt, the El Matador holiday offerings are too colorful almost to the point of not making sense."
 

Conclusion:
With an over all average of 4.4, We officially deem these Merry Matties to be quality Seasonal Snack fare. While this is the first year in our collective memory that we have seen multi-colored festive El Matadors, we certainly hope it is not the last. In short, We approve.

TIDBITS:
A moblog of what we are eating right this second in a convenient bite-sized package.

9:55 PM JANUARY 2, 2007
IMAGE150.JPG

my mother is from georgia, and its a southern tradition to start the new year with a plate of black eyed peas for good luck. Pictured here with collared greens and accompanied by a refreshing glass of apple cider - which is a michigan tradition for delicious! geo.

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