WPC – Unlikely?, Serpent Attacks Sidewalk- Photography

05/07/2018 by

wpc, photography, nik, unlikely, serpent, street photography

Need more unlikely things?  Click here.

Trader Joe’s – Cotswold Double Gloucester Cheese – Food Review

05/07/2018 by

Trader Joe's, double gloucester cheese, review, price, calories, nutritionMay 7, 2018

A little bit of mold later and I’m still alive.  Some scrapping with a knife took care of the mold before the actual tasting.  That’s one of the problems with storing cut cheese.  Even in a cold refrigerator, it can get a little moldy on the outside.  Of course I was 3 weeks past the “sell by date” on the cheese before I got around to digging this out of the depths of my refrigerator for review.  In the future I’m just going to have to eat faster.

Semi-hard or semi-soft, you decide that.  The consistency is close to an American cheese.  There’s a nice flavor to the cheese, produced by the cheese and the caramelized  onions and chives added to the cheese.  Overall, this is a mild cheese with a good flavor.  The cheese is not quite spreadable, but soft enough to stay on a cracker.  The cheese nicely paired with some wine for part of the review.

The cheese melted easily in the microwave.  The warming also enhanced the flavor.  In fact, the best use may be as a topping to vegetables or a burger.  Just add the cheese near the end of cooking.  The cheese also did nicely in a grilled cheese sandwich, producing a mildly stepped-up experience from the traditional American cheese.

If you’d like to find out how the cheese gets its name, click here.

Price  $9.99 per pound      Calories  110  per ounce (28g)

For a similar and more flavorful cheese, you may also want to try Trader’s caramelized onion cheddar.

WPC – Curved Lines – Photography

05/04/2018 by

wpc, photography, nik, line, monochrome

Want to straighten those lines?  Click here.

Meat Lovers Vegetarian Chorizo Queso Dip – recipe

05/04/2018 by

recipe, queso, cheese, dip, vegetarian, chorizo

Here’s a vegetarian version of my original queso dip recipe with a vegetarian soy chorizo product substituted for the original Italian sausage.  In the interest of full disclosure, I don’t actually measure the spices.  So vary the guidelines below to your taste.  As is, this is a fairly spicy hot recipe.  However it was always well received at work with repeat requests.

1 pound Clancy’s CheeseMelt (ALDI) or similar vegetarian cheese

1 package (12 oz) Trader Joe’s Soy Chorizo or similar vegetarian product

1 – 10 or 14 ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilies

1 tablespoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon dried parsley

1 tablespoon dried basil

1 teaspoon oregano

2 teaspoons crushed red peppers

4-8 tablespoons olive oil, or oil of your choice

1 medium diced onion

Add 4 tablespoons oil, oregano, crushed red peppers, basil, black pepper, parsley, onions to a skillet.  Heat and stir for about 2 minutes over medium heat to flavor the oil with the spices.  Remove the soy chorizo from the plastic casing.  Add soy chorizo to the skillet and continue to cook for about 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until done (see package directions.)  While cooking, add additional oil as needed to keep the soy chorizo from drying out.

Cut the cheese into 1 inch cubes while the soy chorizo is cooking.  Add the cubes to a large microwave safe bowl.  Melt the cheese in the microwave for about 2 minutes.  Remove and stir.  Return to the microwave, reheat and stir as needed until the cheese is soft and fluid.

Add the cumin and diced tomatoes with chilies to the melted cheese.  Add the cooked soy chorizo and spices.  Deglaze the skillet with wine or water and add to the cheese mixture.  Stir together.  Heat the final mixture in the microwave as needed.

That’s it.  The final product tends to be a little too thick for easy dipping.  Spoon over tortilla chips and go at it slowly at first.  Your mouth will be hit with a progression of different flavors ending with the heat.

WPC – Lines – Photography

04/28/2018 by
street photography, women's march 2017, protest, freedom, democracy, rally, lines

Loo Line

Want to queue up for more lines,  click here.

Target – Sweet Earth – Basil Pesto Lasagna – Food Review

04/28/2018 by

Target, Sweet Earth, Basil Pesto Lasagana, review, price, nutrition, caloriesApril 28, 2018
There’s gusto in the pesto!  The aroma of garlic permeates the room as the microwave does its thing.  St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t get any greener than this.

There’s only a sprinkle of cheese on the top.  If you’re expecting a restaurant lasagna  where the mozzarella is overflowing the plate, you’ll be disappointed.  The lasagna noodles are a little soft.  To make up for these problems there’s a nice thick layer of pesto on and between the layers.  Mixed between layers are a few identifiable pieces of mushrooms.  One final problem with the product, the plastic film sealing the container is hard to remove.

A strange thing about the packaging is the absence of the word “vegetarian.”  Sweet Earth specializes in plant-based products.  There’s nothing listed in the ingredients that would make one think this is not vegetarian.  All the cheeses used in the product list “vegetarian enzymes” as part of the cheese.  The cheeses are made from milk.  So take a look for yourself, but for now I’m listing this as vegetarian.

Target, Sweet Earth, Basil Pesto Lasagana, review, price, nutrition, caloriesAside from the above issues, overall this is a tasty take on a traditional lasagna.  It may not be traditional, but the generous amount of basil and just enough garlic make this product worth a try. Even a non-vegetarian could like this. The cat cleaned up the bowl.

Calories  450 per container (1 serving, 255g)  –  Price around $4.19,  $3.50 on sale

Target – Sweet Earth – Chana Masala – Food Review

04/28/2018 by

sweet earth, chana masala, review, price, calories, nutrition, targetApril 28, 2018

Ever since discovering the Curry Tiger Burrito I’ve had Sweet Earth on my mind.  However, unlike the Tiger, this Chana Masala lacks some teeth.  This is a tamed Indian-styled entrée.

For my tastes. this is the result of not enough and the wrong combination of spices.  The tomato sauce surrounding the chana (chickpeas) tastes like, tomato sauce.  For a good Indian dish, the sauce should be a fireworks display for the mouth – hot rockets exploding into bursts of different flavors with an almost overwhelming feel.  This turned out to be a few sparklers at best.

This is a single compartment container so there’s really no way to keep the rice separate from the rest.  I mention that because I like to eat the normally companioned basmati rice separately from the sauce.  But I needn’t have worried about that because the rice here appears to be just unflavored long grain white rice with a funny yellow color.

sweet earth, chana masala, review, price, calories, nutrition, targetWhile disappointing as an Indian entrée, this is a fairly nice chickpea stew in tomato sauce.  Unlike the recently reviewed Sweet Earth Basil Pesto Lasagna, this one is clearly labeled vegetarian.

Calories  320 per container (1 serving, 256g)

Price around $4.19,  $3.50 on sale

WPC – Prolific Mallard – Photography

04/22/2018 by

wpc, mallard, photography, nik, prolific, ducklings

Need more?,  click here.

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)


%d bloggers like this: