Archive for the 'Push' Category

Kathleen! Week! Day 4: Doritos Collisions-Pizza and Ranch

Cheezy corny crunchy spicy orange fingers plus sour savory corny crunchy ranchy stinky dorito crunchy stinky corn breath. I note for the record that this ranch does not taste as cool as cool ranch. I swear it is less cool, and not as ranchy. MSG yum yum yum! Is K. hitting the 7-11 or did she just hork some pumpkin pie? DoD readers want to know!!!!

Don’t get flavor all over your keyboard!


We zoinked the pic here.

Our review is in the post categories.

Cloverhill Big Texas Cinnamon Bun-Kathleen Guest Post

Kathleen writes to us:

“I have a minor obsession with vending machines [PP adds- oh me too]. I love to inspect their wares, and find the funny/crazy/unusual items being vended. Often I am disappointed, but sometimes I can have an afternoon’s enjoyment laughing over a well-placed pickle-in-a-bag, or a five-types-of-flavor frito.

Recently I passed by our office’s vending machine to find this option:


Taste verdict: meh. dry. cinnamon-y. sugary top. about what you would expect from a pastry in a vending machine.

However, Hilarity Verdict: WINNER!

It caught my eye because (1) it’s a pastry in a vending machine (2) I don’t normally associate the state of Texas with cinnamon rolls and (3) it had a gold star award. Peering closer, this lucky pastry was Pastry of the Year! (I would give you the opportunity to peer closer, but my close-up picture sucked and didn’t focus properly.) And not only for 2007, but 2005 and 2006! Who gave out this prestigious award? Why Automatic Merchandiser “Providing the vending and OCS industry with valuable information for over 50 years.”

Who knew? I love random trade publications. And I love the internet. A decade ago I couldn’t have spent my work hours verifying product packaging claims! And sure enough, in the hotly contested world of Pastry, “Cloverhill Big Texas Cinnamon Bun was the only other return winner this year, grabbing top honors in the pastry category for the third straight year. The runner up in this category once again was Mrs. Freshley’s Jumbo Honey Bun.” [PP Adds- I’ve visited Mrs. Freshleys boarding house of horrors-Disgusting]

OMG, where can I find Mrs. Freshley’s Jumbo Honey Bun? And are they the same people responsible for Big Ben’s XL Beef Jerky.

But, it’s not only an Automatic Merchandiser award, it’s a Reader’s Choice award!! I ask you, is there anything more awesome than that? I do wonder why Peanut M&Ms don’t display their award on their wrapper? Well, some mysteries can never be unraveled.

But one thing is for sure. I will not rest until I can bring you the verdict, Delicious or Disgusting, on
White Castle Cheeseburger “reclaimed top honors in the food segment, marking the third time it has achieved this distinction. White Castle Cheeseburger also won the category’s top spot in 1997 and in 2000.”

That’s right people. Vended cheeseburgers.”

2nd tier Philly Cheesesteak


First let’s be clear about the tiers of Philly Cheesesteak. According to the materials I’ve read, there are really only two in the elite class, Pat’s (the originator) and Geno’s. There is endless rivalry and debate about who is better, but I can’t comment, since in my quick trip to Philly recently, I didn’t make it to South Philly.

However, many real Philadelphians usually prefer their own places and finds, mostly non-touristy locations. Of these, the most intriguing to me was Steve Prince of Steak. I really wanted to try it, but it is a million miles away from where I had access. Instead I had my cheesesteak experience at a place called Abner’s, which is fairly well-thought-of among locals (see here and here and here). I don’t know if I’m getting the best, but I am getting authentic and representative of the indigenous version.

Here’s what goes on. First, fresh and very thinly sliced roast beef is thrown on a greased grill. As it’s cooking, it is chopped into small very very juicy pieces. Along on the grill, in my case, were peppers and onion. Finally, the cheese. While most tourist believe it has to be Cheese Whiz to be authentic, my research indicated that provolone or american are favoured by locals. I asked Abner (or whoever was grilling my cheesesteak) for his suggestion and he said definitely go provolone. So I did. I wasn’t disappointed. No matter how good Cheese Whiz might be on a cheesesteak, I don’t think it would have been optimal for me. A hoagie bun is then placed on the grill and the contents expertly transferred inside the bun.

So how was the sandwich? All in all, a bit of a letdown, given my astronomical expectation. The grilled beef is delicious and goes wonderfully with the toppings. The sauce is usually pretty minimal or in this case absent, so you are really getting the flavour from the grilling and the ingredients. No horseradish, hot sauce, BBQ sauce, or MSG juice to add flavouring. I think I need some with my beef. I’m used to say a Kelly’s Roast Beef sandwich. Beef is great, but beef is better when sauced. The sandwich is very very hot and greasy. The grease needs to spend a little time saturating the bun, meaning that the sandwich kept getting progressively better with time. I think to truly evaluate this cheesesteak, I need to try at least two others, just in case one is the most amazing thing ever and all the others are just pretty good. But I suspect that I will be disappointed.

Absolute verdict: Delicious

Relative verdict: Push

Passover at the Uncanny’s

Passover finally ended tonight, and I could eat all manners of unkosher foods and porks. Phew. Like all Jewish holidays, Passover is all about the food. The kind of food that makes AG give a look of disgust and makes UC pant and salivate. For the unitiated, a delicious or disgusting review of the distinctive Passover foods:

Seder Foods:

Maror Sandwich – This is the part where you load up horseradish (either white or beet) on matzoh, make a little sandwich and eat after the blessing has been said. No matter how robust or mcmanly your pants may be, I assure you that you will shed a tear. It’s unpleasant and by design. Horseradish, delicious as it normally is, is never meant to be eaten in this quantity.

Verdict: Push

Charoset – Designed to look like mortar and brick, this mixture of walnut, cinammon, apple, and sweet red wine, is also eaten as a matzoh sandwich. It is sweet, cruncy, and interesting. My little sister made four batches of charoset, it is so popular at our seder.

Verdict: Delicious


Gefilte fish – There are two forms, the traditional gefilte fish, and the Uncanny gefilte fish. The traditional version involves keeping a carp in your bathtub, and upon mixing the oily fish with matzoh meal, eggs, carrots, and onions, is made into balls and boiled. The Uncanny version is made using a melange of three whitefish, freshly sauteed onion and carrots, and is baked in a bun pan. Usually the top gets just slightly caramelized and makes a sweet crispy top. It is a delicious and healthy low-fat loaf of wonder.

Verdict: Traditional gefilte fish – Disgusting
Uncanny gefilte fish – Delicious

Chicken soup with matzoh balls – The chicken soup is the usual delicious and health-indcuing kind that is made year-round. The matzoh balls are made from scratch using matzoh meal, egg, and oil. They are carefully cooled and then boiled such that they are not too fluffy and not too hard. It is all about temperature. Don’t bother ever making matzoh balls from a mix. Scatch is the only way

Verdict: Delicious

Side Dishes

Potato kugel – The simplest of kugels, it is like making a giant hashed brown. Simply grated potatoes, onion, matzoh meal, and egg. The egg is what makes it a kugel if you were wondering. Drizzling a little oil on top browns it nicely and gives it a little crispness.

Verdict: Delicious

Zucchini Kugel – Made just like a potato kugel, but using a stochiometric amount of grated zucchini. This makes it moister and healthier, but less delicious. Still, kugelizing zucchini is no small feat

Verdict: Push

Mushroom farfel kugel – The farfel part is made by softening small pieces of matzoh using boiling water and coating them with egg yolk and matzoh meal and then pan frying. Take the farfel, mix wtih copious amounts of sauteed mushrooms and onions, add in whipped egg whites and bake. It is a perfect side dish. I’ve been known to make this outside of Passover, but don’t tell anyone it has matzoh.

Verdict: Delicious

Sweet potato and prune tsimmes – The tsimmes is a strange and underappreciated ouevre of Jewish cooking. I make mine to taste the exact way that my grandmother did, even though nobody knows her recipe. It begins by taking miami rib (flank steak with bone works as well) and boiling with a little onion until it is soft. Then add loads of cut sweet potatoe and pitted prunes, brown sugar, a little lemon, boil to reduce the sweet water, and then bake everything in a casserole dish. Everything becomes sweet and slightly caramelized and is soft. Much tastier than you would guess. You can subsequently add some brisket, which automatically converts the overcooked meat my mom made into something delicous

Verdit: Surprising delicous

Main Dishes

My mother takes care of the main dishes. Basically, normal Jewish food. At our seder, we had the following main dishes:

Brisket, standing rib roast, veal roast, veal chop, cabbage rolls, baked chicken, lemon sauteed chicken breasts, pan fried tilapia and sole, and smoked salmon

Verdict: All delcious except brisket which was severly overcooked and hence a push


Banana Walnut Cake – Made using matzoh meal instead of flour and no baking powder. Basically is like a sponge cake with walnuts and banan. In the decade of making this cake, nobody has yet detected the banana flavour. Still, always popular.

Verdict: Delicious

Apple cake – The matzoh meal makes it come out a little mushier than one would like, but apples and cinnamon always taste good

Verdict: Delicious

Almond flavoured macaroons – Homemade macaroons are always delicious, especially when moist and dipped in chocolate. Store bought kosher macaroons and always a push, especially when too dry. This particular variety has no redeeming quality. Take a bad macaroon and add a fake flavouring that tasted like burning to AG and more closely resembled painful death to me. Better are cookies and creme flavoured Streit’s macaroons.

Verdict: Disgusting

Chocolate-covered matzoh – Instead of using regular matzoh, you take egg matzoh, which is sweeter and less crispy, and coat with bittersweet chocolate. Even the chocolate averse AG liked these, comparing them to Kit Kat bars. Unfortunately, a Passover version of Take 5 is still not pending

Verdict: Delicious

Candy Fruit Slices – I don’t know why these emerged as a popular Passover dessert, but they did. Everything about them is artificial. They are neither fruit, nor sliced. But the jellied candy kind of resembles a fruit slice. They are usually covered with sugar and are always too sweet and not tart. Their best-case scenario is almost delicious, but never quite

Verdict: Push

Lieber’s Original Potato Chips (Rippled) – This is my all-time best Passover secret. These chips are the single tastiest and most perfectly cooked plain potato chip I’ve ever had. They make Ruffles seem like eating chemicals and I like Ruffles. My theory is that cooking in walnut oil (peanut oil is not Kosher for Passover) and using kosher salt (non-iodized) makes these perfect. They are light and crispy, but not oily, yet still have a rewarding fried taste. Just hoard them when Passover comes and eat sparingly over the year

Verdict: Delicious


Matzoh brei: This classic Passover dish is served year-round at some Jewish eateries, it’s that good. Break up matzoh into cracker-sized pieces, soak in hot water, and drain. Mix wtih egg, and fry to desired crispiness. Best eaten with straberry jam and lightly salted. My dad will usually make at least 10 batches of these over a single Passover

Verdict: Delicious


Frozen lemon cake – I can’t tell you how this delicious dessert was constructed, as my parent’s friends made it for us, but it was phenomenal.  Frozen tart lemon filling, similar to the key lime filling from Joe’s Stone Crab, topped with meringue.   True, the cake base had to be assembled using matzoh meal, and was butter-free, but the cake was a hit, especially for AG.

Verdict:  Super delicious

Costco/Kirkland “Carnegie Deli™ Pastrami” Farts

None as of yet.

Verdict: Push

Most pastrami farts: heinously disgusting possibly topping brocooli farts for their ability to smell like the item consumed and the most disgusting fart imaginable simultaneously.