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.

 

 

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

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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.

 

 

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

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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)

 

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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)

 

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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

 

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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

 

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