Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Peet’s Major Dickason’s Blend Whole Bean Coffee – Food Review


Peets, whole bean coffee, major dickasons, review, priceFebruary 2, 2018

Why can’t we just say West Coast Roast?  Starbucks and Peet’s get the credit, or blame, for this dark roast thing.  I’m going to coin the term now.  This is a West Coast Roast.  It sort of rhymes too!

A nice mild coffee aroma escapes the bag.  The beans are dark brown and oily, both characteristics of a dark roast. The coffee is bitter in the cup once brewed, but still drinkable black.  This is one of the less bitter, bitter coffees I’ve had.  Aside from the bitterness, this is a milder dark roast with a nice flavor, especially after it has cooled some. So if you’re in a Target, or other large box shop, desperate for coffee, like a bitter coffee that can still be drank black, find this on sale, go for it.

Now for the name, I’m disappointed. The name is what attracted me to the bag.  Because of the name, Major Dickason’s, I was expecting a backstory straight out of a Rudyard Kipling work. But alas, Major seems to have been only a frequent flyer at the first Peet’s store who apparently liked a bitter cup of coffee?

Price $7.99 on sale,  $9.49 regular price – 12 ounce bag


Trader Joe’s – Truffle Mac & Cheese – Food Review


Trader Joe's, truffle mac & cheese, review, price, calories, nutritionJanuary 26, 2018

Have a handkerchief ready to catch the drool starting to form at the edge of the mouth about halfway through the cooking time as the earthy aromas start to waff out of the microwave. This is one grown-up Mac & Cheese.

Five different cheeses and truffle extract give this a very deep earthy wonderful flavor.  All the preceding adhere to short spiral shaped macaroni. This is decidedly different from the kid’s $1 a box glow-in-the-dark stuff that cooks up on the stove.

Trader Joe's, truffle mac & cheese, review, price, calories, nutritionAt $3.49 a frozen box, this might seem a little pricey.  And it is.  But consider what it would cost to make this yourself.  Just the Gouda, white Cheddar, Asiago, Parmesan and Romano alone would probably use up all that $3.49. One 290 calorie serving of this is also pretty filling and satisfying.  A little goes a long way as a side to some lighter fare.

Price $3.49 per 12 ounce box

Calories 290 per serving (2 servings per box)

Trader Joe’s – Zimbabwe Small Lot Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review


Trader Joe's, Zimbabwe, review, price, whole bean coffeeJanuary 26, 2018

The package lists this as a medium dark roast.  However the coffee looks and drinks more like a medium roast.  This is one of Trader Joe’s better African coffees.  There’s just a touch of bitterness in the coffee.  The bitterness, as well as the body, can be easily adjusted by varying the size of the grind and/or brew time.  For comparison, this is the opposite end of the coffee spectrum from a Starbucks-like coffee. But the problem may be the farm the coffee came from, the New Year’s Gift Estate.  Will it only be available every New Year’s?

Price, $8.99, 12 ounce bag.

Trader Joe’s – Black Diamond Mature Reserve Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese – Food Review


TJ, trader joe's, black diamond mature reserve, extra sharp cheddar, review, price, calories, nutritionJanuary 12, 2018
For a 4-year-old cheese, this cheese is surprisingly soft, but still firm. There is little crumbling when cut. There are no obvious crystals visible in the cheese. However once in the mouth some very fine crystals can be detected crunching between the teeth.  Crystals form as the cheese ages.

This is a very tasty cheddar with a nice and noticeable amount of natural sharpness. The sharpness lingers on the back of the tongue long after the cheese has left the mouth.  A little cheese goes a long way.  Unlike some other cheddars, the word sharp on the label has real meaning.  Some people may find this too sharp.  Without doing a side by side comparison, this is the best cheddar at TJ I’ve reviewed so far.

Calories 120 per ounce, price $8.99 per pound

Trader Joe’s – Beef Chili with Beans – Food Review


Trader Joes, beef chili with beans, review, price, calories, nutritionTrader Joes, beef chili with beans, review, price, calories, nutritionJanuary 2, 2018

This is a fairly spicy chili leaving a lingering heat at back of the roof of the mouth. However with the heat are overtones of sweet.  There’s a lot of tomato sauce in this chili, giving it a different flavor profile than most of the usual canned chili suspects on the supermarket shelves.  Along with the meat are two types of beans in the chili.  Jalapeno is listed on the label, which also helps explain part of the different flavor profile. If you’re open to a different flavor in your chili, you might like this. If you have a favorite brand of chili that you love, this may not be to your liking.

With recent low temperatures here at around -22 C (it always seems much colder using Celsius), this is a good winter warmer-upper.  For the environmentally inclined, chili with beans may also be a potential untapped source of a recycled fossil fuel. And it may be the all-convincing proof that global warming really is man-made.

Price – $1.99 per 15 ounce can

Calories – 210 per serving (about 2 servings per can)

Trader Joe’s – Bourbon Barrel Aged Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review


trader joe, coffee, whole bean, review, price, aged bourbon barrelDecember 23, 2017

Rolling barrels down the road is one of those things kids do. Rolling barrels down the road with coffee beans in them is not something kids do. That’s just because kids don’t have any coffee beans. Rolling coffee beans in a barrel seems to be the basic mechanism how this coffee was created. Coffee beans are gently rolled around in old empty barrels used for aging bourbon. Well, at least that’s what the package claims.

The coffee itself is fairly good. This is the first Mexico-grown coffee I’ve had, and it’s promising. Now, the flavor added to the coffee from rolling around in an old bourbon barrel is up for personal interpretation. It’s not a particularly bad flavor and it’s not a particularly good flavor. It’s an earthy flavor that’s noticeable, but not obtrusive. Perhaps a real shot of bourbon in the coffee would make it complete?

To follow up on the spiked coffee theme, I made due with what was on hand, adding some O’Donnells Caramel Cream to the coffee.  Ummm, so good!  The little extra flavor from the barrels, the coffee and the “cream” came together in a very smooth cup of holiday joy.  Price, $9.99, 10 ounce can.

Trader Joe’s – Zambia AA Small Lot Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review


trader joe, coffee, whole bean, review, price, zambia, AADecember 23, 2017

Here’s another lighter roast coffee from Trader Joe’s.  A nice aroma permeates the air when the bag is first opened.  The beans have a medium brown color indicative of a medium roast.  While brewing in the coffee press, the coffee looks flat.  There are few oils and carbon dioxide bubbles on top of the brew.

This is a smoother cup of coffee than the other TJ lighter roasts reviewed here.  However there’s still some roughness around the finish.  This is a fairly good tasting coffee and drinkable black. Although, considering this is the holidays, I’ve been adding a little Irish cream lately, which as always makes coffee better.  While a better and less bitter lighter roast from Trader Joe’s, this wouldn’t be my choice as an everyday drinker.  If you’re a Starbucks drinker, a couple of weeks with this would be a good pallet cleanse.

One reason to not buy this coffee is the bag.  The bag has one of those small resealable narrow slits on the wide side of the bag near the top making it difficult to reach in to get the beans.  Think of the mouth of a stingray.  Price, $8.99, 12 ounce bag.

Moser Roth – Chocolate Truffles – ALDI – Food Review


aldi, food, review, price, calories, nutrition, moser roth, chocolate trufflesDecember 9, 2017
ALDI has some surprisingly good chocolates.  This is one of them.  Without saying another word about these, they are really really good.

If you’re on a budget pick up one of these as a holiday present for your kid’s teacher.  If you’re not on a budget, get two.  They’re worth half a grade point on the kid’s next report card. Cheaper than a tutor!

Price $3.99 per box

Calories  190 per 3 piece serving (16 pieces in the box)

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aldi, food, review, price, calories, nutrition, moser roth, chocolate trufflesaldi, food, review, price, calories, nutrition, moser roth, chocolate truffles


Trader Joe’s – Veggie Corn Dogs – Food Review


trader joe, review, price, calories, nutrition, veggie corn dogsDecember 2, 2017
The corn is there. The dog is almost there.  This dog will hunt.

I’m always on the lookout for a veggie meat substitute.  More specifically, I’m always looking for a good veggie meat substitute.  The best I’ve found so far is Trader Joe’s Soy Chorizo.  These veggie corn dogs aren’t quite up to that standard.  But still, they’re pretty good.  What’s better than that is, they’re pretty good veggie “junk” food.

trader joe, review, price, calories, nutrition, veggie corn dogsThe texture of the dog is just about right. Even the color is about right. The taste is more of a neutral taste than a real hot dog. The fatty moisture from a real hot dog is obviously missing. However as long as it’s not overcooked, the dog remains fairly moist.  Watch the time in the microwave, just a little too much time (even just 10 or 15 seconds) dries out both the dog and the corn.

Overall, just like a real corn dog,  the corn bread makes up around half of the taste and texture. The veggie dog in the center adds some flavor and texture, but more importantly does not take much away in the form of negatives.

These are slightly smaller than a standard corn dog and missing the animal fat, so the calories are lower.  Unfortunately, the sodium content is relatively high just like a real corn dog.  They’re labelled as meatless and veggie, but not vegetarian.  So check the ingredient label to make sure this conforms to your personal vegetarian standards.

Price $2.99 (4 veggie corn dogs, 10 ounces )

Calories 160 per veggie corn dog

Barissmo Organic Honduras Whole Bean Coffee – Food Review – ALDI


ALDI, whole bean coffee, review, price, Honduras, organic, fair trade, reviewALDI, whole bean coffee, review, price, Honduras, organic, fair trade, review11/29/2017
The coffee is not bad, bearable and actually fairly good.  There’s some bitterness in the cup, but not enough to stop drinking.  The bitterness subsides as the coffee cools.  The coffee has a decent body for a medium roast.  On the scale of coffee goodness, this one falls above a McDonald’s or Denny’s coffee and below most Trader Joe’s offerings. The coffee is entirely drinkable black, which is how I review all coffees.

I picked this up because Trader Joe’s Honduran coffee is one of the better coffees I’ve reviewed.  This isn’t as good, but still fairly good, especially for the price.  Coffee plants just might have a thing for Honduras.

If you’re on a budget or just happen to be close to an ALDI when you find your cupboard bare of coffee, this one just might be good for you.  The coffee is labelled fair trade and organic, so it may be good for the farmers and environment also.   Price $4.79

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