Sunday, June 24, 2012

Product Review Extravaganza


There's really no sense in posting dozens of tiny updates about the new products I've loved and loathed over the last couple of months, so I'm going to try to compile them all for you.  A lot of them are things we've come to rely on after realizing that creating every side dish (or main course) from scratch becomes a thing of the past when your growing baby wants to be entertained all the time.

Trader Joe's Butternut Squash Risotto - Smelled terrible.  Y'know how sometimes squash can smell like BO when it cooks with a lot of pepper?  Yeah, that.  On the bright side, it was delicious!

Trader Joe's Polenta Provencale - Boom.  Our new favorite ready-made side dish.  Little nuggets of polenta with frozen-yet-fresh-tasting veggies in a wonderful spicy cream sauce.

Kellogg's Krave Cereal (chocolate) - Tastes like the marshmallows from Count Chocula, but surprisingly not-hateful nutrition facts.  120 cals, 24 carbs and 3 grams of fiber. For being fairly low in sugars, the chocolate is very sweet, so I'm not sure I'd be interested in trying the double chocolate.

Barber's Stuffed Chicken - Available in Broccoli Cheese, Cordon Bleu, Brie & Apple, Chicken Kiev.  So far, we've tried all but the Kiev and they've all been very tasty.  Only drawback is that it's not truly a "stuffed breast."  It IS all white meat, but rib meat is also used.  I'm normally very picky about frozen chicken items, and these don't bug me out.  Especially with the convenience factor and fairly friendly nutrition facts, these are a weekly staple for us.  We've also tried the Koch Oven Cravers - which are the same idea, only not breaded.  All of those have been good as well.

Trader Joe's Better'n Peanut Butter - Well, it probably would have been great.  I remember it being too sweet for sandwiches, but it may have been great for baking.  Why am I speaking hypothetically, you might ask?  Because it was supposed to be shelf stable for 2-3 months, according to the expiration date, and the shit molded less than one week after I opened it, and the jar was sealed tight.  This is one of maybe ten times in the last year that I have either bought spoiled food from TJ's or it has spoiled within a day or two.  Boooooooo.

Honey Bunches of Oats Fruit Medleys, Peach & Raspberry - Artificial fruit flavors are usually so heavy-handed and candy-like that they're not used in grown-up cereals.   I really only bought this because it was on sale and I had a $1 coupon, so it was practically free.  Surprisingly good!  Everything else about the cereal and its general makeup are the same, except this nice hint of peach and raspberry that doesn't leave you feeling like you just ate gummi peach rings.  Not sure it will become a regular staple, but it was a nice change and well-suited for summer mornings (and nights!). 

Private Selection Sauteed Vegetable Lasagna - I have to plan ahead at least two days to eat this, since wheat and I aren't on good terms.  The catering company (Ovations Catering, I think) in the Dayton Convention Center makes a pretty wonderful white vegetarian lasagna.  I don't have a lot of time to dissect and figure out dishes these days, but was pulled in by something that looked very similar to it in the freezer section of Kroger.  Their Private Selection house brand has yet to fail me on any product.  Seriously, BIG kudos to kroger on the R&D that has gone into this line, because it's one home run after another.  This lasagna is no different.  An easy, effortless dinner for four - or dinner and leftovers for lunch if it's just two of you.  I think this would even go over well with picky eaters.  the veggies are well-masked by all the cheesy goodness.

Chipotle Cheddar Chex Mix:  Addictive qualities rivaled only by crystal meth.

Smoked Cheddar Cheeze-its:  See above.  

2 comments:

Jake said...

Well, the sliver lining with Trader Joe's is that they'll always take anything back, no questions asked. I've had a couple of occasions on which I've just reported to them that something had gone bad right after I opened it and been given a refund despite not having the container of guk with me.

Niki Hughes said...

We love the Barbers stuffed chicken too, but try not to make too much of a staple out of it. Also, after trying both, I'll totally throw in the few extra buckaroos for the Stouffer's veggie lasagna - far supreme to Private Selection.

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