Showing posts tagged as "cheese"

Showing posts tagged cheese

13 Feb

Vote to Save your Fave Flav of Lays!


Hey that rhymes! Save, Fave, Flav! According to the Facebook page of Frito-Lay, there are three new flavors of Lays Potato Chips for you to try! When I find them I WILL review them, but until then here is what you are looking for:

Cheesy Garlic Bread - Sounds pretty good! I’m calling this one as the winner before the voting is even done. Cheese and garlic would be a pretty good chip combination, in my not so humble opinion.

Chicken and Waffles - In a perfect world, this would win. This one if executed well could be good, but I can already bet the syrup waffle taste is going to overpower this one.

Sriracha - This sweet and spicy sauce will work pretty well on this chip. Will this dark horse flavor come out on top? I have seen chips trending in a more bold, intensive flavor direction (see the Ruffles MAX and Doritos JACKED versions of those snacks for additional evidence). Who knows?

This I DO know. I can’t wait to try these out! If you find them, let me know where you did and how they taste. Happy snacking!

17 Oct

Review: Orville Redenbacher’s Sharp White Cheddar Cheese Flavored Popcorn

I am a big fan of popcorn. I can wipe out a large bag of popcorn all by myself at the movie theater. I am not proud of that statement. It is just a fact. I am a popcorn junkie!

One of my favorite snack foods is Smartfood white cheddar popcorn. It has a great flavor, no popcorn hulls to break your teeth, and it is allegedly healthy when compared to Doritos or other snacks. But sometimes it is so hard to find at the convenience store! I don’t know if it is because the snack is so great and popular that it always quickly sells out, or if it is just not ordered in sufficient quantities at the stores where I shop, but it is almost always gone. Thus, I need to branch out to other brands from time to time to get my white cheddar popcorn fix.

Oddly enough, I found this snack at Lowe’s when I was buying a new refrigerator. I picked it up and gave it a try. Here is what the popcorn looks like.

Looks like white cheddar popcorn to me. And I am pleased to report that the flavor is also quite good. It is very comparable to Smartfood, which is great. Maybe not quite as flavorful, but still very good. It isn’t as good as movie popcorn, of course, but it is a whooooooooooole lot healthier. Try some of this today. And, please, don’t start buying up all of the Smartfood popcorn, because I will be disappointed if it becomes even harder to find. Thanks! Happy Snacking!

19 Jul

Review: Hot Pockets Snackers Loaded Potato Skin Bites

Hot Pockets are continuing to expand their product line. First there were regular Hot Pockets. Then Lean Pockets. Then Pretzel Bread Lean Pockets. Then limited edition Hot Pockets that didn’t even have pockets!

Now comes a new line of appetizer / snack offerings by the name of Hot Pockets Snackers. A pretty good name, although for obvious reasons I would prefer Hot Pockets Snackors. Oh well…maybe someday!

I saw these in the frozen foods section of my local Wal-Mart, so I picked them up and brought them home to try them.

Seeing as how these are a bunch of little Hot Pockets in a bag, I can understand the lack of individual pockets for each ‘snacker’. I popped them in the microwave, cooked them up, and tried them out. Here is the finished product.

These are pretty good! Nice bacon and cheese flavor, and they definitely put me in mind of a loaded potato skin, so mission accomplished on that one. I was skeptical about the bread on these, thinking that bread and potato mixed would be too much starch, but it was fine.

There are several flavors of these snackers, including Fiesta Nacho Bites (taco seasoned beef, Mexican-style cheese sauce and jalepenos crammed into a tortilla-style crust), Grilled Italian Style Bites (delicious Italian style deli meats and melty mozzarella cheese, sandwiched them between panini crusts), and Toasted Five Cheese Ravioli (Melty Mozzarella, Ricotta, Romano, Parmesean and Asiago cheeses crammed into 12 bite-size toasted ravioli). (Thanks to Hot Pockets for the descriptions of these items). I haven’t tried them yet, so I don’t know how they are. But I’m sure I’ll be trying them all. You should too! Happy snacking!

11 Jul

Review: Lance Gold-n-Chees Baked Snack Crackers

Here’s another Lance snack review! Lance is one of the best established snack food companies. According to Wikipeida (and if we can’t trust them, who can we trust?) “Lance, Inc., is a leader in the snack food industry and one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of snack foods in the United States, especially in the South.”

I really enjoyed these growing up, so I was excited to try these again. My sister gave me this snack, (thanks Sis!).

This is a surprisingly complicated snack. When you first taste them, you are immediately hit with a strong salt taste. They are very salty, so if that is something you like, you are in luck. There is a cheddar cheese taste next:  it’s kind of weird at first, but it grows on you. You can taste some spices in there as well, and this snack is almost spicy-hot (probably due to the generic spices listed in the ingredient list).  Upon closer inspection, the ingredient list reveals that this snack contains peanuts. Huh? You can’t taste them. They are a little greasy as well, which brings down the enjoyment value.

My main problem with this snack stems from the aftertaste. It can be described in one word (feel free to choose one from the following list): Puke, Vomit, Retch, Upchuck.

On the bright side, my dog loved them, but he loves every snack, so I wouldn’t consider him a reliable source for snack reviews. But maybe you’ll like them! Only one way to find out…

Happy Snacking!

29 Jun

Review: Lean Pockets Mexican Style Chicken & Cheese

Ole! Today we will be looking at a Lean Pocket which promises South of the Border flavors. Actually, I prefer Tex-Mex, as I find “authentic” Mexican food to be “authentically bland.”

Opening it up reveals the standard Hot Pocket:

Can you tell the picture is upside down? It is, but I’m feeling lazy today. Do you forgive me? Maybe I need a siesta!

Anyway, the taste is pretty good. The chicken and mozzarella cheese are tasty, and the sauce is where the Mexican style kicks in. It is spicy, but not too spicy. I would say just the right amount. As with all Lean Pockets, it needs to be paired with something or you will be hungry in about 10 minutes, so I would recommend some tortilla chips. Maybe some lime flavored ones. Yum!

Happy snacking!

15 Jun

Review: Captain’s Wafers Four Cheese Crackers

While at work this week in Virginia, I noticed a New! snack in the vending machine: Four Cheese Captain’s Wafers crackers. You may be wondering, why are these things called Captain’s Wafers? Glad you asked! According to David Beard, the director of training at Lance, Inc., the name of the Captain’s Wafers came from the idea that “on a ship, the captains always had the best of everything when it came to meals. So the name Captain’s Wafers was used to show they were the very best wafers.” Makes sense to me!

I opened the package and carefully scrutinized the cracker. Look at that cheese goodness, just oozing out of the “cracker holes” eager to be eaten!

I next carefully “oreo cookie’d” the cracker by separating it to get a closer look at the four cheese blend…

Curiosity satisfied, I tasted the cracker. It was nice and buttery, with some salt but not too much. The cheese taste was very strong, and overall very tasty. There was a slight and unwelcome tang to the cheese, which led me to investigate just which four cheeses I was dealing with. Reading the ingredients on the package revealed the following four cheese:

  • Cheddar - OK
  • Mozzarella - Fine
  • Parmesan - No problem
  • Blue- BOOO!!!!

No wonder these crackers weren’t a 10 out of 10. They had to go ruin it with stinky blue cheese. “I know, let’s add mold to cheese! That will make it delicious!” I can understand why humans did this 1000 years ago - we didn’t know any better. But now we’re in the 21st century, with cars, planes and retina-display laptops. There is no excuse for blue cheese to exist anymore. Why not use Swiss? Or Colby? Sigh…

I would still recommend these crackers (or wafers, if you prefer). Just enter in with the knowledge that blue cheese is (unfortunately) present.

12 Jun

Review: Lean Pockets Pretzel Bread Roasted Turkey with Bacon and Cheese Sandwich

Must be the pretzels! Remember that? If not, watch this video and refresh your memory.

Wasn’t that a nice walk down memory lane? Can you believe that was 17 years ago?

Now that I am feeling old, let’s change the subject and talk about the latest Lean Pocket I tried. Roasted turkey, bacon and cheese isn’t really new, but I hadn’t tried the pretzel bread before. Let’s take a look at the opened packaging of this Hot Lean Pocket.

It’s definitely different from the traditional bread. You can see the salt and everything. And thankfully, it has a pocket. I’m still reeling over that Limited Edition Debacle.

This is a pretty great lean pocket. The smell coming fresh out of the microwave (as fresh as a frozen meal gets, anyway) is very appealing. What I appreciated the most is that it doesn’t really taste like a diet food item to me. The turkey, cheese and bacon work together great. The pretzel bread is an awesome addition, and really ties the flavors together in a pleasant way. Pair this pocket with your favorite chips (or pretzels, if you dare!), and you have a satisfying lunch option. Must be the pretzels!

Happy snacking!

5 Jun

Two for Tuesday Review: Limited Edition BBQ Bacon Burger and Chili Sauce Cheese Dog Hot Pockets

When you want a hot meal without a big deal, whataya gonna pick? *SNAP* Hot Pockets! Great jingle! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s a link:

I’ve been a fan of Hot Pockets for roughly 25 years now. My favorite will always be the classic pepperoni pizza. I consumed ginormous quantities of these as a teenager. So much that, for a time, I couldn’t eat them anymore. But now I’m back on the Hot Pocket train and getting my ticket punched on a regular basis.

Did I ever tell you I’m a sucker for Limited Edition items? If not, let it be known henceforth. If you want to sell me something, just smack a NEW or LIMITED EDITION sticker on it and it will call to me with it’s siren song of hope and potential missed opportunity. I was beyond excited to see in my local freezer section not one but TWO limited edition Hot Pockets. We’ll take them in the order that I tried them.

Interesting, huh? Chili Sauce Cheese Dog Hot Pockets! My mind was swimming with the possibilities. If you can’t read the text below the name of the item, here it is:

"Chili Sauce with Pork Franks, Beef, and Chicken Pattie Crumbles and Cheese in a Bun"

Chicken Pattie Crumbles? We’ll see…

When I opened the package I was met with two realizations. First, the bread was noticeably different. See?

Second, and I am still reeling from this…


That may not seem like a big deal to you. You may be wondering why I even bothered with the all capital letters and putting the sentence in bold type. Let me remind you, though, that this is a Hot Pocket. Key word there. Pocket. This item isn’t a Hot Pocket. It’s just a Hot. There is no Pocket. You can’t call it a Hot Pocket!

After I recovered from this shock to my senses, I let Chef Mic do what he does best and heated this up. I was nervous that the lack of pocket would cause the chili cheese dog goodness to run out, but fortune smiled on me and it stayed intact.

The disappointments continued when I tasted this item. In its defense, the chili sauce, beef and cheese were all very good. Thankfully, the chicken pattie crumbles were benign and did not make a lasting impression. The blame falls squarely on the shoulders of the pork franks. They just didn’t survive the freezing/reheating process as intended, I’m afraid. The texture was a bit off, and the pork had a somewhat odd taste to it. The best I can say is that it was edible, but I won’t miss it when it departs the frozen food section.

Now to it’s Limited Edition cousin, the BBQ Bacon Burger.

How could this go wrong? “Hamburger, cheese and bacon with sauce in a bun.” Look at the poor Bar-B-Q sauce bottle sitting forlornly in the background, out of focus and deserted while the burgers get the limelight. Is it odd that I noticed that? Maybe…

I opened the package and I was met with this burger bow tie:

I’m sure you’ve already guessed: NO POCKET AGAIN! Maybe it’s something about the texture of the bun that would be compromised by placing it in a pocket, but I just don’t get it! No pocket? Sigh…

These tasted better, thankfully. The burger, cheese and sauce were all acceptable, even good. The bacon was a little chewy, but that is understandable given the nature of freezeing/reheating. I could try these again, but overall I can understand why these are limited editions and not regular items.

Don’t worry Hot Pockets. Though I am disappointed in these items, I will still pick you “when a hungry bunch shows up for lunch” or “when it’s late at night and I want a tasty bite”


15 May

Two for Tuesday Review: Wendy’s Chili Cheese Fries and Macaroni and Cheese Signature Sides

Two reviews in one! While at Wendy’s a few weeks ago I took it upon myself to sample two of their new signature sides. I skipped the sweet potato this time, maybe on a future visit.

Let’s start with the worst.

Wendy's Chili Cheese Fries

Behold Wendy’s Chili Cheese Fries! This is a very uninspired offering. Here are the steps you can take if you want to make it yourself:

  1. Pour Wendy’s fries into a bowl.
  2. Pour Wendy’s chili on the fries.
  3. Sprinkle cheap waxy cheese on top
  4. Enjoy?

Believe me, step 4 is optional, or at the very least takes a concerted effort. One suggestion for Wendy’s to improve this side: Replace the cheap cheese with the cheese sauce you put on your baked potatoes. This will help, but I still don’t think I will be trying this particular side again. Now let’s talk about the Mac and Cheese:

Wendy's Macaroni and Cheese

This side was an improvement over the last (then again, what wouldn’t be?) The macaroni and cheese is by no means fancy. Think Kraft Macaroni and Cheese  generic macaroni and cheese. With the SAME WAXY CHEESE ON TOP! Does it even look appetizing? It is marginally better than the fries, but I still was disappointed overall.

Wendy’s really needs to get their act together. Burger King is pulling out all the stops on their menu, and with the disaster for Wendy’s that is the W burger, Wendy’s needs some real innovation. May I recommend the return of the Mozzarella Chicken Supreme sandwich? Man, I miss that sandwich…

11 May

Review: Herr’s Snack Friez Cheesy Bacon Ranch

Herr's Snack Friez Cheesy Bacon Ranch

Sometimes, when I am on a long road trip, I get tired of the typical fast food menu. That is when I usually decide to “mini-mart it” for dinner. Yes, I have been known to eat chips for dinner. That doesn’t sound very appetizing, and I’m not going to try to convince anyone reading this that this is a good idea, or a healthy idea. But sometimes, chips just sound good — simple as that.

So, driving through Ohio on my way back to Indiana, I pulled into a convenience store and perused the snack aisles in search of dinner.

I wandered up and down the chip aisle, and nothing was calling out to me. I was in the mood for something new, but I was coming up short. Then I made my way to the end cap and noticed a display of Herr’s Snack Friez. Jackpot! And even better, there was a NEW flavor. I’m a sucker for new snacks, because I am always searching for the next great snack that nobody knows about. So I picked up a bag of Cheesy Bacon Ranch Snack Friez, paid for it (boy, did I ever), and left.

I opened the bag and examined the contents. I am sad to say that, in my opinion, the contents stank. I can describe it as a strong, smoky odor that was not pleasant. This did not bode well.

Cautiously, I took a bite of a fry (frie?). I was assaulted mainly by the overwhelming flavor of SALT. Salty, salty, salty. I quickly guzzled some Coke Zero to get the taste out of my mouth. Against my better judgment, I tried another, and I discovered that it was not as salty. It appears that the coating of “flavor dust” was very uneven from frie to frie. The less flavored were not as bad, but the aggressively flavored friez were terrible. Even the lightly flavored friez were still greasy and unappetizing. The bacon flavor was mild and too smoky. The cheese was too salty, and the ranch flavor was just a different kind of salty.

Overall, this snack is pretty bad, especially compared to the other brands of oven-baked fries that I have tried in the past, such as Andy Capp’s. Do not try it under any circumstances, unless you happen to love the flavor of salty smoke, or smoky salt.