Author Archive

July 4, 2018 – Local Parade – Photography

07/04/2018
July 4, parade, local, dance team

Dance School

July 4, parade, local, dance team dad

Dance School Dad

July 4, parade, local, dino, hitchhiking

Catching A Ride

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CB&W – Swan Over Snow – Photography

07/04/2018

monochrome, swan, winter, cb&w

Naturally Desaturated – A grey overcast day, an angry white bird, and a snow background

 

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Trader Joe’s – Joe Coffee – Medium Roast – Whole Bean – Food Review

06/28/2018

trader joes, whole bean coffee, joe, medium roast, review, priceJune 28, 2018

With the unfortunate demise of TJ’s Tarrazu coffee, it’s time to search for another daily drinker.

Previously reviewed was TJ’s Joe’s Coffee in a dark roast.  Here’s a TJ Joe Coffee, but in a medium roast.  While this medium roast is drinkable black, it’s not entirely likeable that way.  There’s just something missing in the flavor along with an unpleasant aftertaste.  Eventually I resorted to adding some vanilla flavored almond milk to the coffee to make it more palatable.  My preference for additives to not-so-good coffee is half-and-half or Irish cream.  Neither of those two was in the house.  At any rate the almond milk made the coffee more enjoyable, but still not what I’m looking for.

The beans in this medium roast coffee, appear to be roasted just right. They have a nice brown color and just about no oil on the beans. There’s not much aroma coming from the can when opened.   There’s a surprisingly full mouthfeel for a medium roast.  But that fullness comes at the expense of flavor and may be responsible for the aftertaste.

Price $4.99 (14 ounce can)

Trader Joe’s – Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese – Food Review

06/27/2018

Trader Joe's, kerrygold, dulbiner, cheese, review, price, calories, nutritionJune 27, 2018

If only there was a pint of Guinness and some crackers sitting on the table along with this.  Sigh!  As the name suggests this cheese has its roots in Ireland. Dublin is its namesake.

The web site says this has characteristics of a Cheddar with hints of Parmesan.  I can buy that, even if I didn’t exactly have the same impression. The first takeaway is, the flavor of this cheese is a little different. That adds a little mystery and conversation as you and any others partaking of the cheese discuss your own interpretations.  My interpretation of the flavor is a cross between a Cheddar and an aged Gouda. The second takeaway is, this is a nice cheese.

The cheese is firm and slices nicely.  Because it’s sold in nice rectangular blocks, it’s easy to divide into cubes for a cheese tray.  While it’s an aged cheese (over 12 months according to Wiki), I did not find any cheese crystals making this also a very smooth cheese.   It melts nicely.  I used some of it as a three cheese combination in a grilled cheese sandwich.  It added a little flavor pop over a straight American cheese grilled sandwich.  In the fine print on the label are the words, “suitable for vegetarians.”  That takes the guesswork out the equation when you try to figure out whether the cheese is vegetarian friendly.  As it’s not an exclusive at Trader Joe’s, it’s likely you can find it at a different store near you if you don’t have a Trader Joe’s close by.

Price  $7.99 per pound      Calories  110  per ounce (28g)

CB&W – Black And White Cat – Photography

06/22/2018

black and white cat, monochrome, photo,

It helps to have a black and white cat to start with.

 

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ALDI – Belmont Premium Ice Cream – Butter Pecan – Food Review

06/22/2018

ALDI, belmont, premium ice cream, butter pecan, price, review, calories, nutritionJune 22, 2018

Once a month the local senior center collectively celebrates everyone’s birthday that falls in that month. When the center lost their birthday ice cream donor, we volunteered to fill that role. So once a month we trek off to Aldi to buy 4 of these (assorted flavors) for the senior center. At a total cost around $10, it’s no big deal.

The birthday celebration takes place during the senior lunch at the center.  Since I’m never present for the senior lunch, one day it occurred to me that I’ve never actually had any of this ice cream. To rectify that obvious problem, here’s a review.

No one would ever confuse this ice cream with something like Ben & Jerry’s, but it’s still pretty good on its own. While the first ingredient on the label is cream, it’s not the creamiest ice cream I’ve ever had.  But it’s still creamy enough to make the mouth feel good. The sweetness is just about right, neither too sweet, nor not sweet enough. The flavor is spot on for butter pecan. The pecans are to go nuts for. Plentiful and big, if the pecans were removed from the ice cream, and sold alone as a bag of nuts, you’d come close to paying the same price.

ALDI, belmont, premium ice cream, butter pecan, price, review, calories, nutritionWhen compared with a store brand on sale from a local full-service supermarket, this is much better.  The store brand was $4 on sale. But the real problem was the lack of quality. This is good.  The major supermarket brand was not.

So whether you’d like to celebrate birthdays with the local seniors or just celebrate yours at home, give this a try at a truly remarkable price.

Calories 170 per half cup serving (67g)

Price  $2.39 per 1.5 quarts (1.4L),  12 servings per container

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 – Spicy Cheese Crunchies – Food Review

06/19/2018

Trader Joe, Spicy Cheese Crunchies, price, calories, nutrition, review, snackJune 19, 2018

Have you ever gone on a family road trip and arrived at your destination looking like everyone in the car has just left a zombie brain orgy?  It’s the Simply Irresistible snacks like this that fill every rest area vending machine that are the cause.  No, these will not turn you and the kids into mindless zombies.  It’s the colorful coatings of these snacks that make it appear so.  Whether flaming red, Big Bird yellow or the newly trendy orange-hair orange, these snack coatings with the tenacity of tattoos are sure to find their way from the food onto the hands, face and clothes requiring a visit by Shakespeare to remove them.  “Out, damned spot!” 

 

 

Trader Joe, Spicy Cheese Crunchies, price, calories, nutrition, review, snackGetting back to the review.  These remind me of Flamin’ Crunchy Cheetos or any one of several similar snacks.  Trader Joe puts plenty of heat onto the snack.  If you like that kind of heat and like snacks, you’ll no doubt like these.  And like mine, your rather large bag of this snack will empty out just as fast as those smaller bags from the vending machines.  Enough said.

Price   $1.99 – 6.5 ounce bag (184g)

Calories  130 per 1 ounce (28g) serving (about 33 pieces)

click images to enlarge

ALDI – Butter Chicken w/ Basmati Rice – Journey To India – Food Review

06/17/2018

ALDI, journey to india, flavors of the world, butter chicken, price, review, calories, nutritionJune 17, 2018

This is another item I found marked down at ALDI.  This wasn’t as good as the Thai Red Curry, also marked down, but still worth picking up the next time it’s available.  And that next time may be more than a few months as this appears to be one of those seasonal specials.

There’s plenty of rice in the package.  And the rice is pretty good.  It tastes like basmati rice, having that nice nutty characteristic and just a little heat. The rice clumped some during cooking and came out a little dry.  A shorter, like five minutes, microwave cooking time might have been friendlier to the rice. There was a fair amount of tender chicken in a nice tomato-based sauce.  There was plenty of sauce to mix with the rice, if that’s your pleasure.  The sauce itself was good, but lacked some of the creaminess and other flavors found in a better sauce.  As for heat, the sauce rated about a medium heat that tends to build in the mouth as you near the last bite.

Comparing this review with a previous review of a Trader Joe’s version of Butter Chicken, both are good but both also have a couple of deficiencies.  This one may be slightly better.  Here’s a review of an ALDI Chicken Tikka Masala done last year which was also part of this Flavors Of The World series.

ALDI, journey to india, flavors of the world, butter chicken, price, review, calories, nutritionCalories 350 per container

Price  $1.25 (marked down) per container (12.3 oz.  – 350g), $2.50 regular price

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/

CB&W – Trains And Tracks – Union Pacific 4006 – Photography

06/14/2018

CB&W, trains and tracks, monochrome, photography, 4006, union pacific

Trader Joe’s – Mandarin Orange Chicken – Food Review

06/14/2018

Trader Joe's, mandarin orange chicken, review, price, calories, nutritionWhen I read on the internet somewhere that this was one of the most popular items at Trader Joe’s, I knew I had to pick it up.  Unfortunately, or fortunately as it turned out, I didn’t read the cooking directions first.  This requires real cooking.  And there’s no microwave easy way out!  Well that turned out not to be the end of the world.  What I got in return was some pretty good takeout quality sweet-sour chicken.  And there was a lot of it, just like takeout.

I chose to cook the prebreaded chicken pieces in oil rather than cooking them in the oven.  That also gave me the opportunity to use my wok-like pot that I only use about once in a decade.  The flat bottom on the pot works well on our electric stove.  The chicken came out nice and crispy.

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