Category Archives: Food

Cereal Bracket

Here’s another bracket from our young adults Bible study last week.

Cereal BracketI was shocked that only one Cap’n Crunch (Crunch Berries) won a single matchup when we voted on the winners. My final four would be Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Frosted Mini Wheats, Cocoa Pebbles, and Cap’n Crunch Crunch Berries.

What would your final four be?

 

30 Days of Thanks #28- Reuniting With Old Friends

Throughout the month of November I am writing about the first thing for which I am consciously thankful each day. I am doing this simply as a way to be more intentionally grateful. For more on this project, check out the first one or even last year’s 30 Days of Thanks.

This time of year is depressing! The days are getting shorter, the temperature getting lower, and the trees getting naked. You don’t think that should affect us bipeds? Here’s anecdotal evidence to the contrary—I was working in my office yesterday and noticed that night had fallen. In true Sherlockian form, I deduced that it must be time for me to get home. Nope! It was 4:27.

Yes, I am aware that Sherlock Holmes would have probably just looked at his watch or his cell phone or the systems tray on his PC to tell time rather than relying on the relative amount of light coming through the mini blinds. We all can’t be Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

The silver lining of this race toward the solstice is that we usually get to reunite with old friends. Last night I was able to reconnect with one in a very meaningful way. I haven’t seen this companion in a very long time but, nevertheless, he was there for me about two hours after my afore-mentioned disappointment over the speed of the earth’s rotation. When the earth is spinning into darkness too quickly, it’s nice to share the light of long-lost friends.

Today, November 28, I am thankful that I was able to reconnect with Burger King’s Angry Whopper.

Imperfect Ten

Maybe you have a life. Maybe you don’t want to waste ten minutes reading this speculative blog post about a topic that makes no difference in the world. Maybe your time is more valuable than mine because you are busy doing something worthwhile like inventing the world’s second working flux capacitor. Since I value all of my readers, I will cut to the chase for those of you who don’t want all the reasons leading up to my conclusion. Here’s the conclusion: Dr Pepper Ten won’t last. Oh, and when you get that flux capacitor hooked up to Mr. Fusion correctly, come back and read the rest, because you’ll obviously have all the time in the world.

Dr Pepper Ten has a lot going for it:

The Commercials. Have you seen them? They really appeal to the male audience they are going after. It doesn’t matter what’s happening, if I see that commercial while I’m flipping channels I’m going to stop cruising and watch. I love it that they are emphasizing the “ten manly calories” and throwing in a bunch of cliché guy humor. What makes me like this aggressive marketing tactic even more is that the National Organization for Women is opposed to it.

The Taste. Dr Pepper Ten actually tastes good. Let’s face it, you either like diet drinks or you like their sugar-laden older brothers. Very few people, in my experience, really like both. I do not enjoy diet drinks. At least I didn’t until acesulfame potassium started being used as a sweetener of soft drinks. Known to its fans and closest friends as “Ace K”, this artificial sweetener has gained considerable market share in drinks like Coke Zero, Pepsi Max, and Pepsi One. It is combined with aspartame in Dr Pepper Ten and it is tolerable even to those of us who prefer real sugar and obesity to that weird aftertaste of most diet colas sweetened only with aspartame.

The Trust Factor. Diet Dr Pepper has a good reputation. Even those with a propensity for high octane colas can appreciate that Diet Dr Pepper tastes less diet than the others. Maybe it’s because the artificial sweetener is outnumbered by 22 other flavors. I tried Dr Pepper Ten because I figured that if Diet Dr Pepper is tolerable, then this new “just for men” version has to be even better. It definitely is.

All of these positives make it really sad that Dr Pepper Ten will go the way of the dodo sooner rather than later. All you need to do is look at the can to realize this.

It still looks diet. The gray is too light so it still looks feminine.

Two diet colas marketed primarily to men have successfully become mainstays—Coke Zero and Pepsi Max. Coke Zero is even offered in Chik-Fil-A and Wendy’s fountains right alongside Coca-cola and Diet Coke. Do they look diet? Do they look feminine?

Nope.

I believe they are popular due to simple psychology- Men don’t think it’s manly to drink diet soda. In order to successfully market a diet drink to a man it should be missing the word diet and anything that makes it look like a diet drink. Dr Pepper Ten, you got it half right, but five out of ten just won’t cut it.

30 Days of Thanks, day 26- Family Traditions

During the month of November I am writing about the first thing that I am consciously thankful for each day as a way to be more intentionally grateful. Check out the first one for more information on why I am doing this.

I hate leftovers. There, I said it. I know that some kid in Africa would love to have my thrice-reheated green bean and salami casserole and I would love for him to have it. I am also aware that it makes me sound like a spoiled six-year old when I say it, but that’s just the way I feel. I hate leftovers.

“Jeff, you can’t even tell the difference. In fact, it tastes even better the second time around.”

Really? That’s what you’re going with? You’re going to imply that spending three days at 40 degrees Fahrenheit makes your casserole taste better? In that case, I’m glad I skipped it the first time. Is it reformed now? Were the half-empty bottle of vinaigrette and that little box of baking soda a good influence? Is your food rehabilitated? Is it able to contribute positively to society after its time in the cooler? No thanks. I prefer food that’s not out on parole.

I used to say something similar to the previous paragraph at some point during the Thanksgiving break until I discovered that I don’t hate all leftovers. I now have a general rule of what I will eat and I would like mothers everywhere to consider this guideline as a gesture of good will to your child who was cursed with the ability to tell the difference in a fresh meal and one from last Wednesday: Leftovers are only good if they can be made into a sandwich.

With this newfound knowledge, three Thanksgivings ago I dreamt up the single greatest culinary discovery since fire: The…uhhh…the leftoverrrr….I haven’t given it a name yet, but here it is:

Take the leftover stuffing and form it into a patty like you would hamburger meat then fry it in a buttered pan. You can use these fried patties, which have the consistency of a crab cake, as the bread of any kind of leftover sandwich. Usually I just top mine with turkey and pour gravy over it for an open-faced sandwich. This year my dad suggested some shredded pepper jack cheese and since I’ve never turned down cheese…

The funny part is that this has become something that my dad and I look forward to every year and it always happens the same way–he puts as much food into his patty as is possible (potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce), we complement each other on how great an idea this was, we set off the smoke detector and my mom pretends to be mad, we try to get other family members to partake and they look at us like we’re asking them to try an arsenic pancake.

Isn’t that what holidays with family are all about? Doing crazy things and keeping them just because you enjoy being with your family is my definition of tradition. Yesterday morning the first thing he said to me was “you want to fry some stuffing for lunch?” and I know I’ll hear him say that every Thanksgiving we’re together so…

Today, November 26, I am thankful for holiday traditions and being able to share them with the ones I love.

Indisputably* the Best Value Menu Food Items

While cleaning out my minivan last summer, I was ashamed by how many Sonic mints were left in that little rectangular compartment in front of the cup holders. There were at least a dozen. I wasn’t ashamed that I had left them there or that I hadn’t cleaned my car for so long that I had allowed them to pile up; I was ashamed because I had cleaned out just as many the week before. My name is Jeff Postlewaite and I’m a fast food junkie.

I know that as we get older our favorites change from pizza to more dignified foods, but I think most of us are lying to ourselves. If I had to give up either cheeseburgers or steak for the rest of my life…sayonara, Ribeye. Nachos or chicken alfredo? Don’t expect me to give up stadium food for a night at Olive Garden. Crab legs or chili cheese dogs? I’d never touch another crustacean. Ok, so I’m allergic to shellfish, but my point still remains: Junk food is delicious and I would rather eat a good bacon cheeseburger than just about anything else on the planet.

——-Jeff, make sure you come back and insert a paragraph here about the dangers of eating too much fast food as it can lead to extreme obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and a host of other physical problems. You don’t want to be accused of negatively influencing all 30 people who will read this.——-

Since I have so much experience with fast food and am a self-proclaimed expert on the subject, I thought I would make a list of the best fast food value menu items. Here are the rules:

  1. My opinion is the only one that matters on this list. If you disagree with a selection or if I left off your favorite, leave a comment and I’ll tell you why you’re wrong. Who knows? Maybe I made a mistake, it’s happened before. (note to self- write a blog post about that time I was wrong.)
  2. To be included on this list, items must be 1 USD or less. Value menu items shouldn’t be $1.29 or $1.49. I realize this leaves off some great food (Sonic’s chicken strip sandwich is awesome but it’s over a buck).
  3. Regular prices only. Don’t try to sneak onto this list with specials. This list only includes items that are regularly found on the value menu
  4. Flavor and fill-up-ability both count. Some items taste great but the value version is so small it can’t be considered  a good value (I’m looking at you, Fruit ‘n Yogurt Parfait).

In no particular order, these are Indisputably* the Best Value Menu Food Items:

Taco Bell, Beefy 5-Layer Burrito. The five layers are beef, beans, sour cream, cheese, and more cheese. That’s right. Outside of the tortilla is a layer of nacho cheese then another tortilla. This creative, double-decker strategy ensures even cheese distribution and maximum flavor in each bite. The 5-layer burrito also holds the distinction of containing the most calories of any item on this list (540).

Burger King, Whopper Jr. The Whopper has been one of my favorite burgers since I discovered my love for fattening food, so of course I love this slightly smaller version at less than half the price. Flame broiled beef, lettuce, tomato, onions, mayo, and ketchup on a sesame seed bun—what’s not to love?

KFC, Snacker. This is a rather small chicken sandwich, but is just large enough to avoid being lumped in with the Fruit ‘n Yogurt Parfait. The great thing about this item is that it is really three as there are different varieties- Crispy (standard chicken sandwich with lettuce and mayonnaise), honey BBQ (pulled chicken smothered in BBQ sauce), and buffalo (crispy chicken in buffalo sauce). Buffalo is my favorite, but all three have their merits and would be included on this list on their own.

McDonald’s, McDouble. When the Golden Arches introduced this I was really skeptical. After all, it’s just a double cheeseburger with one instead of two slices of cheese. I thought Ronald was pulling a fast one over on the American public. But, after actually trying one, I realized I liked it better than Mickey D’s double cheeseburger. Believe it or not, the beef to cheese ratio is right for their fried burgers. Burger King tried to imitate it with the Buck Double, but their flame-broiled beef needs a slice of cheese per patty.

Wendy’s, Crispy Chicken Caesar Wrap. I’m a sucker for anything in a tortilla. This is a flavorful, snack-sized item for when you don’t quite feel like eating another burger but still want the high fat content.

Sonic, Jr. Breakfast Burrito. This is the only “breakfast” item to make the list and it only makes it because it is offered all day. My love for a tortilla is well-documented (see above listing) and filling it with egg, cheese, and sausage hits the spot. Make sure you ask for Sonic’s hot sauce because the carhop probably won’t offer.

Wendy’s, Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger. You can get bacon, cheese, tomato, and lettuce on burger and it still only cost $.99! This one has a little sentimental value for me as it is the first value menu item I remember eating. The cool thing is that almost 20 years later it is still has the same ingredients and is still the same size and price. I have seen it for $1.29 at a few locations recently and wonder if it is being phased off of the value menu. Ok, I looked it up and the Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger is no longer listed on the $.99 Value Menu on Wendy’s corporate website. I take back everything good I said about it! You’ll never get that extra $.30 from me!

Before I wrap this up, I must pay tribute to three of my favorites that are no longer with us: Taco Bell’s Tostada, Sonic’s Jr. Fritos Chili Cheese Wrap, and Dave Thomas—the founder of Wendy’s and creator of the value menu. All three of you have changed my life in ways you cannot begin to imagine. You are missed.

*In all actuality you may dispute by leaving a comment, emailing me, calling me, texting me, or coming to my place of residence or employment to debate the matter. I would prefer you just leave a comment, though.