Survival Saturday – The Gingie Edition

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For all the Why’s and Wherefore’s of Survival Saturday, please visit the Intro Post. Thanks!

 

Last time I did a SS post was back in March with Attack of the Ninjabread Men. Which means it has been 2/3’s of a year. I’m a bit out of practice, so I wanted something fun, easy and still foody.  Thank goodness for Krusteaz! This was so easy. All I needed was the mix, 1 stick of butter and 1 egg. To bring this into survival terms, even if technology craps the bed, the plastic the mix is stored in will last for decades and then all you’ll need is a cow and a chicken and voila, you are set!

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This time I learned something from my past experience with Gingerbread. Melted butter and Softened butter are NOT the same thing. So I just let this sit out overnight so it would be nice and soft.

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Cracking an egg is much easier than cracking heads!

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I put ALL the complicated ingredients into a mixing bowl in the perfect proportions.

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Then I hand kneaded the bejabs out of it!

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By the time I was done, it was putty in my hand!

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Then it was time to divide and conquer.

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Finally, I brought them altogether for a family reunion.

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The final step was to flatten them on a cookie sheet and cook them. But obviously, a true Chef never cooks and tells!

 

And that was a good re-introduction to Survival Saturday. Whetted the appetite, as it were. Next month I’ll have a “real” Survival Saturday with another of the long term storage food things. Please look forward to it!

 

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Sandwich Ratings

I was talking with YouKneek over on her thread at LibraryThing (starting about message 275) and we got sidetracked onto what our ratings would be if they were sandwiches.

I through out a whole range off the top of my head but once I was done I realized, this was a subject worthy of a serious blog post. Food is serious business and so is rating books. And considering that I’m Mister Serious, it all fit together, like a toe in a sock in a steel toe’d boot!

So without further ado, I present My Ratings as Sandwiches!

 

1)  Anchovies and (your favorite) Cheese on Toast 

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This is a picture of ricotta cheese (not my favorite btw) and anchovies on toast. The mere sight turns my stomach!

 

2) Peanutbutter and Jelly

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I ate this from 2000 until almost 2010 everyday for lunch. It was economical, easy to change up (different jelly every week) and I loved crunch peanutbutter. Now however, I will go hungry rather than eat one of these. I burned myself out on them and I’ve never recovered from it.

 

3) Turkey bologna and cheese

Open Face baloney and Cheese Sandwich

I use wheat bread instead of white bread (because I’m not a racist!) but this pretty much looks like a bologna sandwich I’d make. Relatively cheap, not for every occasion but giving my body all the fuel it needs during a work day.

 

4) Toasted tomato sandwich

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Toast, mayo, salt and pepper and then sliced up summer tomatoes. Yummmy!

 

5) Reuben on rye but with turkey bacon instead of sauerkraut

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I don’t have a reuben very often. 2-3 times a year at most but I savor them when I do have them. Something about the rye bread just hits my tastebuds square on.

 

I hope you’re hungry now.

 

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Survive This – Attack of the Ninjabread Men! (Survival Saturday)

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For all the Why’s and Wherefore’s of Survival Saturday, please visit the Intro Post. Thanks!

 

This is not our usual Survival Saturday kind of post. We were over at the McBombfunk’s and Mrs B had a gingerbread kit from Christmas, so we decided to make that. It was quite the ordeal to be honest.  There is a reason I’m not a cook.

 

So the adventure began when I started reading the directions. It called for room temp butter. I told Mrs Bombfunk to microwave some, as it was all in the fridge. We melted it right down to liquid. Then the measuring cups they owned had lines halfway up the cup and I thought that was the line. So once I combined all the ingredients it was supposed to be all clumpy together. Instead, it was still just fine flour not really sticking together. Turns out the properties of room temp butter is VERY different from melted butter. Plus, I had used half the amount of water and honey called for.  We finally got it straightened out and ready to shape.

 

I hadn’t rolled the gingerbread out as thin as I was supposed to, so we ended up with only 6 Ninjabread men instead of 12. And one of them had a “slight” head injury due to my thumb accidentally squashing him when I pushed him out of the mold. But overall, considering the trouble I’d had with putting it all together, they looked like they were on the attack and ready to take on anyone.

 

While they were baking I put together the frosting/glazing. Well, those darn measuring cups fooled me again only this time it was in the opposite direction and the glazing turned out very milky instead of firming up.

Then the fun began.

Besides the frosting, there was also a bag of hard candy little beads to be used as eyes, etc.  Here’s how everything turned out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And if that wasn’t enough, we were trying for a stealth Ninja but he kind of turned into a Sad Clown Ninja.

 

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Cthulhu Ninja Clown is SAD 😦

 

The actual gingerbread was pretty good but the glazing was too sweet and the little hard candies were almost inedible. Mrs B ate her’s like this:

 

Once it was all said and done, we had fun. If I’d been trying for serious pictures it would have been an epic fail, but like I said, there is a reason I’m not a top chef with my own tv show.  Bookstooge Ramsay I am not!

 

 

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Survival Saturday – Potato Cheddar Soup

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For all the Why’s and Wherefore’s of Survival Saturday, please visit the Intro Post. Thanks!

 

Today’s offering is the Efoods Gold (known online as Efoodsdirect.com) Potato Cheddar Soup. Sadly,  our experience fit right in with how my reading has gone this month.  Frakking February!

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Doesn’t that look delicious and comforting?

 

Ingredients & Allergens:

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Note please, the “turmeric extract”. That’ll be talked about later

 

Nutritional Info:

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Directions:

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Things Needed:

4.5 Cups of water

1 package Potato and Cheddar Soup mix

 

Optional Items:

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Leftover crescent rolls, from a church ladies’ get together, that nobody wanted. We had 5-8 of these.  *cue ominous and heavy handed foreshadowing music*

 

Impressions:

As soon as we opened the packet to dump it into the boiling water, we both could smell a bitter, astringent smell that we associated with the Chicken Noodle Soup, also by Efoods Gold. We just looked at each other and said “One bowl then we’re dumping the rest”.  We used the full amount of water hoping to alleviate the taste by dilution.

Sadly, it was not to be.  We only took a small bowl apiece.

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We ended up breaking the crescent rolls in half and just sopped up the soup with them. It made the crescent rolls taste good by comparison and we used them up, so not everything went to waste. But when crescent rolls, that nobody else in a group earlier wanted, are the best part of a meal, you know things aren’t good.  The “potato” part of the soup was just as disappointing. They were not little cubes of potatoes or even chunks. They were pinky finger nail sized slices of potato. By the time I was done sopping up with the roll, I had maybe a spoonful of potato, out of a half bowl’s worth of soup.

Mrs B ended up with an upset tummy and I just poured the pot of “food” down the toilet.  This was not good and I’d only ever eat it again if I was starving.  Honestly, I’d rather keep a pantry full of Campbell’s Chunky Soup on hand and just deal with the pain of cycling through them. They’re supposed to last about 2 years and you can eat them right out of the can with no heating, etc. And they taste a heck of a lot better than this stuff.

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Not vegetarian OR kosher,  but when you have no other options, food is food

 

Lessons Learned:

I don’t feel like I’ve wasted my money on this particular brand, Efoods Gold aka Efoodsdirect.com. Long term food storage is becoming more and more complicated these days and having “something” on hand is much better than having nothing.  That being said, I won’t be buying this brand ever again and I’d be hesitant to recommend them to anyone else. Maybe have a one month supply on hand, “just in case” but for more than that I’d recommend canned goods.

However, since this fit right in with how my February went, I just kind of laughed it off and grumped for a bit. Also, it was a Friday night and I’d had a good day, so it all kind of balanced out.

 

 

 

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Survival Saturday – Cheese & Broccoli Soup Mix

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For all the Why’s and Wherefore’s of Survival Saturday, please visit the Intro Post. Thanks!

 

Holy smokes, the last Survival Saturday post was WAY BACK IN MAY!!!!!!  Welp, the cold is here so the food is coming back.

 

Here’s a picture of today. Looks nice doesn’t it? What you can’t see is that this was the one 30minute period during daylight that it wasn’t pouring like the second Flood was coming.

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It was a soup and bread kind of evening by the time we both got home.  So we chose Legacy’s Cheese and Broccoli Soup Mix with homemade bread bowls. Plus some stuff.

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Ingredients & Allergens:

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Nutritional Info:

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Things Needed:

8 Cups of water

1 package Cheese & Broccoli Soup Mix

 

Optional Items:

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Boule Bread cut into bread bowls

 

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New York extra sharp cheddar cheese

 

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Shot of Bang, pina colada flavor

 

Directions:

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Impressions:

Very easy to prepare. The whisk worked wonders and since this wasn’t a real heavy or thick soup, it just flowed together. It reminded me almost of a white sauce.  Mrs B said it reminded her of an alfredo sauce. I think that’s a pretty good comparison.

The boule bread was easy to cut and it scooped right out. It is tough to see the soup inside it, as they’re both pretty creme colored.

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Boule Bread, looks like some kind of wierd anime hat!

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That plate is approximately 10in (25cm) across, to give you some scale

 

I had cut up the cheese into small pieces and added it to mine. Even though this is pretty high in sodium, it is not salty tasting and rather bland. The sharp cheddar gave it a much needed dose of flavor.

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Mrs B said it needed a little something to make it thicker. Maybe some kind of vegetables? Rice or potato would also have worked as a good filler if we weren’t using a bread bowl. Other than that, she was happy to eat it out of the bread bowl and used the scooped out bread as a dipper.

I had a little tiny bowl of the stuff by itself and it was decent. Warm and much thicker than say a campbell’s condensed soup.  The cheese made a huge difference in the bread bowl and I was happy to just eat the remnants of the bread bowl by dipping it into the pot of soup and finishing it off that way.

 

Lessons Learned:

The pina colada Bang, while my favorite, was a mistake. It was just too different and after 1 drink I just put it aside.  I’m wondering if the Lemon Drop Bang would have suited it better, as that flavor is just a tiny bit bitter and would have made the blandness of the soup more palatable.

Overall, we both were satisfied with what we ate while not being ecstatic. The portions were once again HUGE and for 2 people really bordered on just too much. We didn’t end up eating the whole package even though we at it twice. There was that much.

 

 

 

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VPX Bang VERSUS VPX Bang Caffeine Free

So far, my VERSUS posts have all been media related. All two of them, lol. This time around I wanted to do something in the Food category just to make things a little different. Since I KNOW every single one of you is secretly an energy drink addict but can’t admit it, I figured a post like this would help you feel better and potentially gain me a few votes in my plans to become World Book Czar. That has been my master plan ever since moving here to WordPress but it wasn’t time to announce it. Now though, I think the world is ready for me.

And before I turn this into nothing but a schpiel promising free leatherbound books and free energy drinks for your vote, let’s move along.

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Packed to the freaking gills with the Power of Caffeine!!!

 

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Much like many Social Justice Warriors, this has good intentions but nothing of substance.

 

Technically speaking, Bang is for those who work out and need that kick in the pants to get going and really power through their workout. The COQ10 and “Super” Creatine and BCAA (branched chain amino acids) are all buzzwords that are pretty much empty promises of making you superman. I’ve been drinking this stuff for almost a year now and so far, I have not outrun any bullets (or had to, thank goodness!!!), won any wrestling contests with local locomotives or leapt over any tall buildings.  However, it sure does make me awake in the mornings and gets me going. And it is clear.

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Due to my japanese heritage and my rampant alcoholism, a saki bowl is a staple in this household!

 

One of the smaller reasons I switched over from other energy drinks like Monster or Rockstar is that drinking those on a regular basis left my sweat smelling stale and chemical’ly. I do very physical work while at work and sweat like a pig, so I’m already stinky enough at the end of the day. Adding even more nastiness was rather unpleasant. If you’ve ever read any stories with fat old kings eating pork and drinking wine and how they’re described, sour, stale, etc, that is what I felt like. Since I’ve switched, I’ve not had that particular issue. I don’t smell like a rose mind you, but who would after drinking 3 liters of water and sweating it all out in 7hrs?

But on to comparing these 2 against each other, not other energy drinks.

 

The Taste:

Bang BCV (black cherry vanilla) is sweet, has a smooth taste, is lightly carbonated and tastes like the black cherry yoghurt I like. Nothing about it is offensive or off or unpleasant. The only real downside is that if I drink one at the end of the work day, I’m up until midnight and I just can’t do that anymore. I like the taste though and would love to drink it just for the taste.

So when I saw that Bang BCV came out in a caffeine free version, I was pretty stoked. So I bought 2 cases of the stuff. THEN I drank some.

Bang BCVCF (you’re smart, you can figure it out!) was not nearly so sweet, had no hint of the vanilla smoothness and had a very slight undertaste of that cherry cough medicine you buy at drugstores. In other words, it was not pleasant. It wasn’t horrible, but it is not something I would ever ask someone else to drink, unsuspectingly. And I had 24 cans of it to get through. My life sucks.

 

The Ingredients:

They both list the ingredients but have them in slightly different order. Just glancing through, it seems like they have the same ingredients.  I did try to count the ingredients and it “seems” like the original has 2 more of something, but the print was so small that I wasn’t going to try to figure out which had what. There IS a difference (I had excluded the caffeine from that number, so it is something else) and whatever that difference is, it really affects the taste.

The biggest thing Mrs Bookstooge spied was that “natural flavorings” was much higher on the list in the original than in the caff-free version. Who knew horse piss could taste so good!?!?

 

The Winner:

Everybody is a winner on this blog!

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Me and Kool-Aid Man, chillaxin’ like the winners we are!

Original triumphs over the caff-free version every single time. Caff-free has a place, but I have to be pretty tired, thirsty and worn out from work to want to drink it. Other than in that type of situation, I’ll make up some crystal light mix to drink in the evening.

Survival Saturday – Creamy a la King

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For all the Why’s and Wherefore’s of Survival Saturday, please visit the Intro Post. Thanks!

 

Today we were visiting my brother and sis-n-law, Mr & Mrs W.C. Bombfunk. I was playtesting my homemade MTG Knight deck with Bombfunk and it was late enough by the time we were done that I asked him if  he and the Mrs would be interested in cooking and trying one of the survival food packs. He readily assented and I hauled out the package.

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Creamy a la King by Legacy Premium. The cover on the package was less than helpful and even by looking at the ingredients all I could tell was that it appeared to be rice based. I was guessing a creamy cheese and rice.

 

Ingredients & Allergens:

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Nutritional Info:

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Things Needed:

6 cups water

1 package Creamy a la King

Optional items:

Peas

Bacon

Aged cheddar cheese

Oyster crackers

 

Directions:

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Bombfunk did the cooking, as after our Mom, he’s the cook in the family.  He did this in a soup pot and said next time, he’d consider using a large skillet to make the cooking a little more even. He cooked the stuff for 15 and that was just right. The rice wasn’t crunchy and most of the water had been absorbed at that point.

He let it stand for 10minutes afterwards while he cooked himself some bacon.

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Even Great Cooks can burn the bacon!

 

 

Impressions:

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It looked a little watery at first, but here, you can see how thick it really is:

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Mrs Bookstooge and Mrs Bombfunk added peas and crumbled cheese to their bowls, while Bombfunk added the crunchy bacon to his and I had peas and oyster crackers.

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Halfway through my bowl I went back and crumbled up some cheddar and added it to my bowl. It really needed it, as it was rather bland and the salty sharpness of the cheddar gave it some much needed bite. The peas simply added some color and the oyster crackers, well, considering it was a thick rice dish, really weren’t needed.  I had a ginger lime diet coke, Mrs B had water and the W.C. Bombfunks both partook of a hard mikes.

There was a very faint astringent taste at first, but as soon as I added the cheddar I didn’t taste it at all. I ate my whole bowl, as did Bombfunk and Mrs B, but Mrs Bombfunk could only handle about 2 spoonfuls. This package made a HUGE amount and even with all 4 of us taking a bowl apiece, there was enough left over for at least 2-3 more servings. No one wanted more though, not even me. So we tossed the leftovers and decided this would be something we ate last in a survival situation. Wait until we’re good and starving, you know? Starving makes EVERYTHING taste better!!

 

Lessons Learned:

Make your relatives eat this with you so nobody has to eat so much. And, misery loves company 😀

Next time, I’d add some diced celery for crunch and we’d definitely have to add some sort of spices or something to help with the blandness.

 

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