REVIEW: Mrs. T’s Potato & Cheddar Pierogies

I guess this solves the mystery of what happened to Clubber Lang after Rocky III − he retired and decided to use the money he won prizefighting to start a pierogi company for his wife. But this opens another line of questioning: Why was he always so damn pissed off? These things are delicious and easy to make; a great quick lunch just as advertised on the back of the box.

Oh well, Mr. T’s misfortune is our gain. I’ve never had pierogies before and can’t imagine that these things are anything close to authentic, but I love the idea of eating two starches at once. The ability to chew mashed potatoes sounds like something out of my dreams. Pierogies feel like something that Willy Wonka would invent if he wasn’t so obsessed with killing kids addicted to sweets. And as it turns out, cheesy mashed potatoes wrapped like ravioli in a sturdy pasta shell is just as tasty as I would have imagined.

As with almost any frozen food, I decided to cook it “ghetto style.” They say to sauté it for eight minutes, but who’s got that kind of time to spare? I microwaved them for a minute and then threw them in a pan with some margarine, oil, and onions until slightly browned. Gently lay them on a bed of lettuce with a dollop of sour cream and you have yourself a plate of food that you’d slap your mama for, all for about a buck and in under four minutes. Take that, Sandra Lee!

After a micro-sauté, the skin is nice and chewy with some bits of the shell becoming crispy. The contrast in textures is almost crack-like in addictiveness and you’ll probably eat more than the recommended serving size. Have I mentioned that these are like chewing on cheesy mashed potatoes dipped in sour cream? But don’t feel bad − the box says that it’s low on fat! Though I’m left to wonder if they take the copious amount of margarine, olive oil, and sour cream into account…

(Nutritional Facts – 3 pierogies -170 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 5 mg of cholesterol, 510mg sodium, 32 grams of carbs, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 1 gram of sugar, 6 grams of protein, 2% Vitamin A, 10% Vitamin C, 4% Calcium, and 8% Iron)

Item: Mrs. T’s Potato & Cheddar Pierogies
Price: $2.19
Size: 16 ounces
Purchased at: Stater Bros.
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Chewing on mashed potatoes. Ability to dip said mashed potatoes into various creams and sauces. Skin is chewy and crispy. You can make a quick and cheap meal from these things.
Cons: Mashed potatoes and cheese are obviously of the flake and powder variety, respectively. Eastern Europeans would probably shun these. You’ll almost certainly eat too many. Mr. T’s anger issues in Rocky III.

REVIEW: Hot Pockets Sausage, Egg & Cheese Hearty Sized Biscuits

Hot Pockets.

I can hear some of you silently cheering and some of you cringing. Those of you who are saying “meh,” I shake the back of my fist wildly in the air at you. But this isn’t about how much I hate the word “meh,” it’s about the new variation of Hot Pockets that was released upon us — the Hot Pockets Hearty Sized Biscuits.


Actually, it’s a variation of a variation, truth be told. The “new” Hot Pocket is actually just the standard breakfast Hot Pocket recycled in a “new” crust — a biscuit crust.

Now, let me be clear here. I have no experience when it comes to a true fresh homemade biscuits. The only things that come to mind when I think biscuits are the crappy kind that comes with a fast food chicken dinner (KFC and Popeye’s) or the very misplaced cheesy biscuits at Red Lobster.

(Writer’s Note: Speaking of Red Lobster, what the hell? Biscuits do NOT go with surf and turf, no matter how buttery their shrimps are.)

Having said that, there was nothing remotely biscuit-y about these particular Hot Pockets. The taste and texture of the crust envelope was more akin to the standard Hot Pocket crust, although I will say there is a little biscuit-y-ness to it. The crust was slightly crispy and crunchy on some of the edges like so many of my Hot Pockets have turned out, but my impression upon biting into this was, “Where the hell’s the biscuit? And why is it so dry?”

It’s painfully clear that none of the men and women involved in making this Hot Pocket have a trace of the South in their blood. Otherwise, their nanas would rise from the grave and spank them to death with a cast iron pan.

Although, there is actually one way this Hot Pocket does live up to its name; just let it thaw. I know it doesn’t sound appetizing, but I did like some of my Hot Pockets this way. Ok, that’s a lie. But it was the only way to get your Hot Pocket fix if your parents were being dictators on the subject of snacking. And some of them do respond well to the thawing process, but that’s a different story. The thawed version of this sandwich is much more like a biscuit, albeit a cold and dry one.

The filling is pretty much the same as you’d find in the regular version of this Hot Pocket. A sweet mild sausage that permeates throughout the whole filling, a cheese sausage that’s far too creamy, and blocks of eggs that don’t do squat. The flavor is actually, come to think of it, much more akin to sausage and gravy. It’s not a bad thing, but it’s not what I bought. At least this thing’s big enough for a decent mouthful and it’s done in less than three minutes from package to the plate.

I guess I only have one thing to say to this Hot Pocket. Meh. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to shake my fist at the mirror.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 pocket – 290 calories, 11 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, 680 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 5 grams of sugar, and 10 grams of protein.)

Item: Hot Pockets Sausage, Egg & Cheese Hearty Sized Biscuits
Price: $3.19
Size: 2 pack
Purchased at: Holiday Market
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Fast to warm up. Filling tastes all right. Decent-sized. Red Lobster biscuit. Zombie Nana.
Cons: Dry and crunchy. Little biscuit-y-ness. doesn’t taste as advertised. The word “meh.” Yet another Hot Pockets product.

The Week in Reviews – 12/13/2008

You have only 11 more shopping days until Christmas, but after that you have 364 more days to buy a belated Christmas gift.

Just like the lime after a shot of tequila, I’m sure these will make me want to pucker up. You know what else will make me pucker up? Being alone in a room with Betty White and Bea Arthur would, because I love funny female senior citizens. (via Candy Addict)

If any of you want to kidnap me, all you have to do is feed me some shrimp fried rice because when I eat shrimp I break out into hives and pass out. If you want an easier plan, just leave a trail of Oreo cookies on the ground that leads to a simple trap. (via Heat Eat Review)

After reading this review, I am thinking Arby’s. Oooh, something shiny! I guess I’m not anymore. (via Fast Food Critic)

I don’t need an energy drink to get a dose of patriotism. All I need is an American flag, the Pledge of Allegiance, and my 50 States Quarters set. (via Energy Fiend)

When it comes to cheese in can form, I don’t discriminate. As long as I can make a cheese bikini with it, I’m good. (via Second Rate Snacks)

One last thing. Do you have a Twitter account? If you do, follow the TIB Twitter and read about my adventures, recent purchases, and frequent reviews in haiku poem form.

REVIEW: Healthy Choice Rotini & Zesty Marinara Sauce Fresh Mixers

I once thought about following in the footsteps of Morgan Spurlock and make a documentary called, “Super Slim Me,” which would involve me eating nothing but Healthy Choice meals for 30 days straight to see if I would lose weight and be healthy. My freezer would be a green box sea of Healthy Choice frozen meals and ice cream bars; my cupboard would be filled from top to bottom with Healthy Choice soups, pasta sauces, and breads; and my trash can would be filled will circular sheets of plastic with vent slits in them.

But that dream died a horrible death when I determined that it was impossible for me to do what Spurlock does so easily — make movies and grow that Hulk Hogan/70’s porn star facial hair. Nowadays, whenever I eat something from Healthy Choice, all I do is reminisce about what could’ve been, but these Healthy Choice Rotini & Zesty Marinara Sauce Fresh Mixers have got me thinking about buying some Rogaine for my face and trying to create my documentary again.

The Healthy Choice Fresh Mixers are a clever idea because they’re a microwaveable meal that doesn’t need to be refrigerated or frozen and can conveniently be kept in your desk drawer; away from dickheaded co-workers who steal your frozen meals from the company refrigerator, even if it has your name written on it in big black Sharpie pen letters. However, they involves more physical labor than what is necessary for a frozen meal. The plastic packaging consists of a large container that holds the rotini pasta, a smaller container in the large container that holds the marinara sauce, and a lid that has a bunch of holes. The smaller container is removed from the large container, water is added to the large container, the lid is placed back on, and then microwaved for three and a half minutes. The holes on the lid turn the container into a colander when you drain the water. Then the smaller container of sauce is microwaved for 30 seconds. Once that’s done, the sauce is poured with the rotini and you get to enjoy a meal that you worked on harder than you should have.

The Rotini & Zesty Marinara Sauce was pretty tasty, although the serving size probably won’t satisfy those who are bigger eaters. The rotini was cooked well and the marinara wasn’t too zesty and had a nice slight onion flavor to it. There was enough sauce to coat all the pasta, but since it comes in a separate container you have the power to put whatever amount of sauce you want.

The biggest problem I have with the Healthy Choice Rotini & Zesty Marinara Sauce Fresh Mixers is that the containers are made out of a plastic I can’t recycle here on this rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. If I do my documentary and eat Healthy Choice meals for 30 days, I’ll probably have enough plastic containers to fill a landfill, and that would not be worth growing Hulk Hogan/70’s porn star facial hair for.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 package – 300 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 600 milligrams of sodium, 930 milligrams of potassium, 56 grams of carbs, 7 grams of dietary fiber, 11 grams of sugar, 10 grams of protein, 10% Vitamin A, 0% Vitamin C, 4% Calcium, and 15% Iron.)

Item: Healthy Choice Rotini & Zesty Marinara Sauce Fresh Mixers
Price: $5.25 (retails for $3.49)
Size: 6.95 ounces
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Tasty. Simple to make. No refrigeration or freezing necessary. Excellent source of potassium. Low fat. 7 grams of fiber. Hulk Hogan/70’s porn star facial hair.
Cons: Serving size might be small for bigger eaters. Plastic is difficult to recycle. More labor intensive than frozen meals. High in sodium. Asshat co-workers who steal lunches.

REVIEW: Kashi Honey Sunshine Cereal

I didn’t buy the Kashi Honey Sunshine Cereal because of Kashi’s world-famous seven whole grains, I purchased it because I’m hoping the sunshine it provides will protect me from vampires and the overwhelming hype surrounding Twilight.

If you don’t know about Twilight, it’s a book about vampires who live among regular humans and it’s popular with the younger crowd. The book was recently made into a movie that has attracted to theaters a whole lot of teens and pedophiles. I haven’t seen the movie or read the books, but I want to stay as far away from them as possible because I’m afraid of again getting sucked into reading books meant for kids under the age of 18. The last time it happen, it started with Harry Potter and eventually ended up with me reading Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume, which caused me to occasionally chant out loud, “I must, I must, I must increase my bust.”

As many of you know, though books. movies, and television shows, vampires hate sunshine, it’s like kryptonite and Superman, milk and the lactose intolerant or men and Lindsay Lohan. The problem is that sunshine isn’t around 24 hours a day in most places and I need protection for those times when Helios, the Greek sun god, doesn’t have my back. I’m hoping that Kashi Honey Sunshine Cereal can defend me from blood-sucking vampires and the money-sucking freight train of Twilight, but even if it does, I don’t know how much of this cereal I can take.

While the cereal looks like Cap’n Crunch, it certainly doesn’t taste or have the same texture like Cap’n Crunch. The box says the whole grain cereal has been kissed with honey, but after tasting it I was hoping it would’ve been French kissed with honey, because that might’ve given it the honey flavor that would’ve tickled my tongue and occasionally shoved down my throat. But then again, I didn’t expect a super sweet cereal from the health-conscious Kashi.

Overall, for something that supposed to be good for you, it’s not bad. But again, I don’t think I could eat this on a regular basis if I wanted to protect myself from vampires, which actually doesn’t matter since I just found out that the vampires in Twilight aren’t affected by sunlight. I guess if I read the book, I would’ve known that. So I’m going to go read the book now and if you happen to see a 30-something male sitting alone in a showing of Twilight surrounded by pubescent girls, there a chance that he’s not a pedophile, it could just be me.

(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup – 100 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 125 milligrams of sodium, 70 milligrams of potassium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of fiber, 6 grams of sugar, 13 grams of other carbohydrates, and 2 grams of protein.)

(Editor’s Note: gave the Kashi Honey Sunshine Cereal a glowing review.)

Item: Kashi Honey Sunshine Cereal
Price: $3.99 (on sale)
Size: 12 ounces
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: It’s not bad. Looks like Cap’n Crunch. Way healthier than Cap’n Crunch. Six grams of fiber. Kashi’s Seven Whole Grains. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret
Cons: Doesn’t taste like Cap’n Crunch. Doesn’t have a strong honey flavor. Being a 30-something year old male in the middle of a theater of teenage girls. Won’t protect me from vampire in Twilight. Vampires.