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.

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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.

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

–All Survival Saturday Related Posts–

Survival Saturday – Breakfast Burritos

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

 

Today we decided to drop off the “Survival” aspect of this food post.  We wanted some comfort food that we knew we both liked, was easy to prepare, was warm and was filling. Breakfast Burritos fit this bill perfectly. Mrs B introduced these wonders to me soon after we were married and it was one of things we bonded over.

 

Items Needed:

1 bag Potatoes Obrien

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1 dozen Eggs

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8 Flour Tortillas (We’ve tried corn but it just doesn’t taste as good)

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Shredded Cheese (lots and lots!)

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Bacon (or, as in our case, Vege-Bacon)

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Instructions:

1) Cook the potatoes obrien per instructions. We pretty much just put butter in a big fry pan and cooked them over medium heat until they were at an acceptable level of “cooked”. Basically, they weren’t cold and hard. They really looked more like mashed potatoes by that point, but since we were going to mash them into a burrito, they didn’t need to look like golden hash browns.  Put the potatoes in a container and scramble the eggs in same fry pan. The seasoning from the potatoes will help season the eggs as well.

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2) Next, put shredded cheese and several strips of vege-bacon on a tortilla and microwave for 1 minute. This melts the cheese and “cooks” the bacon.

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3) Put your desired amount of scrambled egg and potatoes on the burrito.

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4) Wrap the burrito so it completely surrounds everything

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Matching His & Her Burritos. Goes with every outfit you may have!

 

5) Enjoy!  Remember, a true gentleman uses manners, so keep that pinkie up!

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Overall:

Thoroughly enjoyed these. We each ate one for brunch then made 6 more and put them in the fridge for eating throughout the week. Mrs B recommends microwaving them for a minute when pulling them out of the fridge as leftovers.  It is now approximately 6hrs later and I’m still full from the one I ate earlier. They’re filling!

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

–All Survival Saturday Related Posts–

Survival Saturday – Chicken Noodle Soup

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

 

After January’s Epic Failure when we attempted Mac-n-Cheese, I decided to try something that required no nuanced cooking with fancy terms like “medium boil”. I’m just a farmboy down from the mountains and I want some victuals that’ll stick to my ribs and that requires zero skill. Us farmboys aren’t known for being 2star Chefs and all you know!  So we chose Chicken Noodle soup from eFoods Gold, something soothing for our souls after a long afternoon of sitting on the couch reading.

 

 

 

Ingredients & Allergens:

 

 

 

Nutritional Info:

 

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Salt, Salt, Baby Salt♪

 

 

Things Needed:

4 1/2 cups of water – we used 3 1/2 cups as we didn’t want watery soup

1 Package Chicken Noodle Soup

 

Directions:

Boil water, stir in contents until thoroughly mixed, simmer (using an electric stove we left it 2 clicks above low heat) for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 

Impressions:

 

 

This was definitely the right consistency for what we wanted in a soup. Relatively thick but not so thick you could use a fork in it.

 

 

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Saltines, because you can never have enough salt!

I added some saltines to my bowl, as I’m always about adding some bready/salty/thickener to my soups.

 

This had a potato and pea base, so when we were simmering it it smelled like pea soup. The consistency of the soup part (as opposed to the noodles), with us having reduced the water amount, was about like pea soup as well. Mrs Bookstooge really liked the noodles, as they were small little strips and had cooked well.

Both of us noticed an astringent taste when swallowing this. It wasn’t noticeable when chewing (or whatever you do to soup in your mouth before sending it down the ol’ esophagus) but once you swallowed it, the back of the throat immediately had that bit of bitterness.  It wasn’t strong enough to make us stop eating but we wondered if increasing the water content back to the 4 1/2 cups would dilute it a bit?  Either way, it didn’t make us want to devour the stuff. Yep, definitely “survival food”.

Once again, this was right on par for what we expected for something touted as Survival Food. I have to admit, I was thinking it would something more like a Campbell’s chicken noodle soup concentrate, but with the vegetable base for the soup, that was not the case.

 

Lessons Learned:

When we try this again, we’ll definitely use the full amount of water to see if it helps with the astringent feeling we both got.

The pea-soup’y base makes adding other food items a bit ticklish for someone as limited as me. I’d have to think pretty hard before trying to garnish this with some italian bread or something. Maybe we’ll try ladling it on some hot buttery garlic bread next time?

 

 

bookstooge

 

–All Survival Saturday Related Posts–

The Bourne Identity: Movie vs Book vs TV Miniseries

I recently watched the Bourne Identity tv miniseries.  I then proceeded to watch the Matt Damon movie immediately after it and decided to write up my thoughts. When I remembered that I had read the book everything was based on, I figured why not do a 3way brawl and see which comes out on top?

 

The Movie:

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Bad Will Hunting. Haha

This was my first introduction to Jason Bourne and when I originally watched this, I had NO idea it was based on a book or had been made before, or anything. An amnesiac with super special forces training on the run across Europe, outwitting other assassins, governments and falling in love with a euro-chick. The deal clincher that pushed this into awesome territory for me was the closing credit song, Extreme Ways by Moby.  It was a techno-beat song that fit the movie, with its fast, furious and brutal fight scenes.

Speaking of fight scenes. The pen fight versus the first assassin in the apartment building in Paris, awesome. It was understated, limited and yet showed the utter ferociousness of trained killers.

Still like this movie and still love the ending song.

 

The Book:

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Should have been a hollowpoint!

Here’s my review from ’09:

The Bourne Identity

The long and short is that it was quite different from the movie in that it was set back in 70’s or 80’s, dealt with an international assassin (Carlos the Jackal) and Bourne was an undercover agent deliberately run amuck to attract his attention to bring Carlos to ground. Much more political, global and thriller than just an action fight book.

I was glad to have read it, but never had any desire to read it again. I read the next 2 books and the movies shared nothing with them besides the title and both books rather bored me.

This trilogy was the first, and last, Ludlum that I ever read.

 

The TV Miniseries:

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Jaclyn Smith. I miss the Big Hair days 😦

Here’s the wiki link:

1988 Bourne Miniseries

Richard Chamberlin stars as Jason Bourne and it’s easy to spot that this was made in a different era than the movie. It’s not just the clothes, but even the fighting style. Most of the fight scenes were more like bar brawls with lots of gut punches and gripping of throats and slamming of hands against door frames. It is painfully obvious that “fighting” wasn’t an art like it is today.  Their idea of “martial arts” was throwing an arm up to block a punch. Sigh. Also, he’s a rather thin, gentlemanly looking fellow, not what I picture as a special special special forces kind of guy. Of course, to be honest, Matt Damon didn’t look like it either in the movie, so call it a draw for that.

This was a 3hr special divided into 2 parts and that allows for a much more nuanced story. It follows the book a LOT more closely than the movie. But maybe because of that, it’s definitely a Cold War style movie and if that’s not your thing, this will definitely be a watch once and move on kind thing.

That’s what it is for me. Glad to have seen it, but not impressed nor does it tempt me to watch it again.

 

The Winner:

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Well, just in case you couldn’t tell from the descriptions, the Matt Damon movie wins hands down.  The ending song simply made any other choice impossible.

(Of course, you have to pretend that the latest Bourne franchise movie, Jason Bourne, doesn’t exist. Really, that’s one of those “they never made that movie” kind of movie, just like the supposed sequels to the Matrix.  They don’t EXIST!)

 

And just so I can stick this in the Food category as well, I was eating Gimbal’s Scottie Dogs Licorice. Getting to bite off little dogs’ heads, that’s just bonus, because nothing beats Black Licorice!

 

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Yes, I proudly bit off Toto’s head

 

bookstooge

 

 

 

Survival Saturday – Mac n Cheese Attempt #1

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

 

Tonight’s dish is an old reliable standby, that staple of our childhood, the perennial favorite, macaroni and cheese by Legacy Premium. It doesn’t get much more “staple” than that.

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Ingredients & Allergens:

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Nutritional Info:

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Things Needed:

6 Cups of water

1 package of Mac n Cheese

 

Directions:

Boil 6 cups of water. Whisk in entire package. Reduce heat to a MEDIUM BOIL. Cook for 12-15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 3-5minutes.

I once again used a bamboo spoon instead of a whisk.

 

Impressions:

So, this was our first real flop and sadly, it was all our own fault, I can’t blame the food in any way. I didn’t reduce the heat to a medium boil, I reduced it to medium heat. That didn’t fully cook the pasta and when we each took a bowlful, we ended up with half cooked pasta, some of which was truly crunchy and I mean full on granola crunchy! We poured our bowls of uneaten food back into the pot and I’ll be tossing the potful into the garbage later tonight.

Second, this really should have been whisked together. A bamboo spoon just didn’t do it. The cheese powder fell into the pot all at once and a spoon wasn’t enough to truly mix it up. So besides crunchy pasta we also had clumps of extra cheesy powder.  Gross.

Mrs Bookstooge thought the sauce was a little thin for her taste, as she wanted a more full bodied bowl of food. I was ok with it, as I was thinking of it as almost Mac-n-Cheese soup.

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Neither of us finished our bowl, well, because of crunchy pasta! But the bowl pictured has 1 1/2cups worth and from the little I did eat, that would have fully filled me up. So the serving suggestion and total servings once again were spot on. This would serve 4 very hungry people easily. Unless one of them is a teenager. Then just pour the entire package down their throats with some hot water!

We’re going to try this again next month, as “mac-n-cheese”  was the one that had the highest number of packages in the bulk box I bought years ago.  However, we’ll be making some changes.

 

Lessons Learned:

READ the directions more carefully! Seriously, I laughed afterwards when I realized what I’d done. But if we were in a real Survival Situation, we’d have had to eat that crunchy pasta and life would be even worse 😦

Use a whisk. I really need to find some sort of plastic or bamboo utensil that I can whisk within my Pampered Chef pots without worrying about scratching them up. If any of you have any suggestions, I’m all ears.

I’m also thinking of cubing up some block cheddar and adding that to our individual bowls. Some nice extra sharp yellow cheddar wouldn’t go amiss at all.

 

bookstooge

 

–All Survival Saturday Related Posts–

 

Survival Sunday – The Breakfast Edition

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

 

This past week was tough. I went to the doctors and was diagnosed with bronchitis and told to stay home. So I’ve been home since Wednesday. Mainly reading and lying on the couch. Even going to church yesterday completely tired me out, hence the lack of a Survival Saturday post. Today I’m feeling a bit more energetic so I’m doing a Food post.

Today’s entry will be Efoods Direct Granola and Whey Milk:

 

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Just Like Mama used to make!

 

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Granola

 

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Whey Milk

 

 

Things Needed:

8 cups water

1 Package whey milk

1 Package granola

2 1/4gallon pitchers or 1 1/2gallon pitcher [I went for the 2 smaller ones, as that was what I had on hand]

 

Ingredients:

Whey Milk

Why solids, maltrodextrin, coconut oil, calcium blend (calcium carbonate and tricalcium phosphate), fructose, sodium caseinate, food starch, mono and dyclycerides, salt, dipotassium phosphate, soy lecithin, silicon dioxide, natural flavors

Granola

Rolled oats, rolled wheat, brown sugar, canola oil, coconut, whey, oat flour, almonds, honey, vitamin E*

*mixed tocopherols added to preserve freshness

 

Directions:

In pitcher or blender, combine contents of whey milk and 2 cups hot water until well blended. Add 6 cups cold water and mix well.

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From the Mixed Up Files of Mr Book B Stooge

 

Impressions:

I used 2 containers and mixed the whey milk up by shaking it.

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4.5 cups apiece

It seemed pretty well mixed. It smelled like MetRX because of the whey. I drank that stuff a lot in Bibleschool because I was trying to gain muscle mass and so I am used to the smell. It actually has good memories of working out with friends and having girls laugh at us for drinking such stuff. If this is your first time, the smell might be off putting.

I normally use skim milk and this seemed a lot thicker than skim. I put it into the fridge immediately after mixing and let it sit for an hour before pouring on my granola.

The package for the granola calls a serving 55grams.  Since that is completely meaningless, I poured the whole package into a 4cup container and it filled it up. Each serving is about 1/2cup.

I used 1 cup granola and 1 cup whey milk in a large cereal bowl. That comes to about 88carbs. That’s important if you’re a diabetic. It’s also a LOT of carbs to be eating at once.  The milk wasn’t nearly so thick once refrigerated and poured out like regular milk.

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The granola was crunchy and sweet. The whey milk wasn’t overpoweringly “whey”, but I suspect that was more due to the sweetness of the granola.  Granola is a slow eating cereal. You really need to chew it so your stomach can digest it. I also wouldn’t want to eat it for breakfast every day. That much fiber and oats can do a job on your digestive tract if you’re not used to it.

 

Later Impressions:

I plan on using the whey milk this week in regular cereal and for other purposes, ie, maybe some hamburger helper. That’ll be the real test of just how well it compares to regular milk.

 

 

bookstooge