WPC – Prolific Mallard – Photography

04/22/2018 by

wpc, mallard, photography, nik, prolific, ducklings

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Trader Joe’s – Dark Chocolate Crisps – Food Review

04/22/2018 by

Trader Joe's, dark chocolate crisps, review, price, calories, nutritionTrader Joe's, dark chocolate crisps, review, price, calories, nutritionApril 22, 2018

Need a chocolate fix but don’t want to spend 30 minutes on the tread mill working off the calories that come with most chocolate bars, then try these.

Instead of being molded into a bar, this chocolate has been molded into “chips.”  For comparison, think of chocolate Pringles – but without the potatoes.  Twelve chips make up about 1.5 ounces (42g), or 220 calories.  But, it only takes 1 or 2 chips to get a nice chocolate fix.  Now, the calories in 1 or 2 chips are so few, it may be possible to work them off with a nap.  Hmm, this is sounding better all the time.

This is a fine Belgian chocolate. The label lists 57% cocoa solids minimum.  For me, that’s about the perfect chocolate. It’s definitely far from a milk chocolate.  It’s not sweet, but it’s also not so bitter that it’s difficult to enjoy.  Mixed in with the chocolate are very small pieces of the “crisp” (puffed rice).  For my tastes they could’ve left this out.  However the crisp doesn’t detract very much from the chocolate fix.

At $2.49 for 4.4 ounces (125g) of quality chocolate, this is a bargain.  That bargain is further extended by the very little bit needed to satisfy that chocolate craving.

Price $2.49 (4.4 ounce package)

Calories 220 per printed serving size, 42g (about 1.5 ounces)

Trader Joe’s – Indonesian Flores Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review

04/22/2018 by

Trader Joe's, indonesian flores coffee, review, price, whole bean, light-medium roastApril 22, 2018

The coffee beans have a medium brown color and are surprisingly oily for the claimed light-medium roast.  Along with the oil, the coffee also has a surprisingly deep flavor and body for a lighter roast.  This drinks more like a medium+ roast than the labeled light-medium roast.  However it doesn’t have the heaviness of a darker roast, nor the bitterness which too often accompanies the dark roasts.

As seems to be true of most of these TJ small lot coffees, by the time you read this it may be gone from the TJ shelves.  If and when it ever returns, it’s a nice coffee for people looking for a medium roast.

Price $8.99 (12 ounce bag)

WPC – Inverted Sunset – Photography

04/20/2018 by

wpc, photography, nik, sunset, gimp, photo manipulation

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ALDI – Earth Grown Chickenless Patties – Vegan – Food Review

04/20/2018 by

ALDI, Chickless Patties, review, vegan, price, calories, nutritionApril 20, 2018
Using oil to pan-fry, the patty stays together nicely.  Scrapping away some of the breading the underlying patty sort of looks like chicken.  Cooked; the breading is crisp, the mouth-feel is nice, the patty doesn’t fall apart.  The patty almost has the firmness of a thin real chicken patty.  Not surprisingly, the patty does not taste like chicken.  In fact there’s an interesting hint of fried okra.  Even with the slight taste of fried okra, the patty is perfectly edible as is without condiments.  With some lettuce, tomato, and mayo (not vegan), the taste is even better, but that fried vegetable taste still comes through some.  Substituting some aggressive guacamole for the mayo also worked well.

The product is labeled vegan.  For non-vegetarians, this soy protein based patty is an acceptable substitute for the real thing.  Unfortunately this seems to be one of those ALDI special items which are only around for a week or two.  But like most ALDI special items this one will probably make its way back to the freezer cases sometime in the future.

ALDI, Chickless Patties, review, vegan, price, calories, nutritionPrice $2.99 – package of 4 patties

Calories  150 per patty

click on images to enlarge

Disclaimer:

This is an independent review of a product purchased from ALDI.  The author(s) are customers of ALDI and have no business or other relationship with ALDI.  If you have an issue with the product and desire to contact ALDI, either see your local store manager or use the ALDI customer contact URL immediately below to send a message to ALDI.

ALDI customer contact URL – https://www.aldi.us/en/contact-us/

Trader Joe’s – Spelt Risotto – Food Review

04/20/2018 by

Trader Joe, Spelt Risotto, price, nutrition, review, caloriesApril 20, 2018

They must have spelt it wrong, because by most standards this ain’t risotto.

Risotto is typically a rice dish.  More specifically it is a dish made from arborio rice.  This product is made from spelt.  No that wasn’t spelled incorrectly either.  Spelt is an ancient grain.   Basically, spelt is old wheat, or more specifically an ancestor of modern-day wheat.

Cooked and on the plate, the spelt in this product looks like small puffed wheat.  Unfortunately the spelt cooks up to a very firm texture which takes away from that nice creamy feel associated with traditional risotto.  Think of a creamy rolled oats oatmeal versus a steel cut oats oatmeal.  I even added another 4 minutes in the microwave to try to soften up the spelt.  No luck.  Reheated the next day, everything was even firmer.

Trader Joe, Spelt Risotto, price, nutrition, review, caloriesThe sauce has a bacon-like aroma and flavor, even though there’s no bacon in the product.  While not especially cheesy, the sauce had a nice flavor.

This is far from the best risotto I’ve had.  It’s rather disappointing. But considering I recently paid about $16 for a restaurant risotto which wasn’t much better, you’re only gambling with $3 if you’d like to try this and see how your ancient ancestors lived.

Price $2.99 per frozen bag (about 2.5 servings)

Calories, 200 per serving (175g)

WPC – Awaken? – Maybe tomorrow – Photography

04/13/2018 by
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Trader Joe’s – Gnocchi Al Gorgonzola- Food Review

04/13/2018 by

Trader Joe's, gnocchi al gorgonzola, review, price, calories, nutritionApril 13, 2018

This takes mac and cheese to a whole new level. Awesome sauce, that’s the only way to describe the gorgonzola based white sauce. It’s a beautifully flavored cheese sauce, rich in cheese flavor.

Like the Gnocchi alla Sorrentina reviewed earlier, in the bag are the frozen gnocchi and thin rectangular frozen pieces of sauce. A two-step cooking process in the microwave fist thaws and partially heats the two separate components. A quick stir blends both components together. Then another turn in the microwave completes the heating process.

The gnocchi varied from perfectly chewy to some that were a bit rubbery. The few that were rubbery may have been caused by a little over cooking in the microwave as a microwave tends to cook things on the edges of the container more than those in the center. Or there may have been some freezer burn from being in my freezer a bit long.

Trader Joe's, gnocchi al gorgonzola, review, price, calories, nutritionRegardless of chewiness, all the gnocchi did their job which was to provide a place for the sauce to adhere and keep the sauce in the mouth for as long as possible where the tongue’s tiny taste buds were temptingly tantalized to tear the tasty tidbits of sauce from the twirling gnocchi. This is a sauce that deserves to be savored as long as possible.

Price $2.99 per 16 ounce bag

Calories 250 per serving (about 3 servings per bag)

Grifone – Chianti Riserva DOCG – 2014 – Wine Review – Trader Joe’s

04/13/2018 by

trader joes, chianti, docg, riserva, 2014, grifone, review, priceApril 13, 2018

This is a medium-bodied wine which seemed a little harsh at first, but smoothed out once opened for a while. Mild tannins leave a mild earthy feel in the mouth.  Compared to the 2010 Grifone Chianti Riserva, this one is a little disappointing.  However, while not as good as the 2010 vintage, this is still a good red table wine pairing well with food.  It’s an acceptable sipper also, although there are more enjoyable ones, but not at this price point.

Price $5.99.

WPC – Golden Hour Sunset – Photography

03/31/2018 by

wpc, sunset, photography, golden hour

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