Winners of Potato/Fruit Crisps!!!

Winning isn’t the only thing in life. There’s also losing. Occasionally, there are ties. What I’m trying to say at 1:00 in the morning is that sometimes you win some and sometimes you lose some. For 30-something of you who participated, you lost. For six of you, you won a sample of Brother-All-Natural crisps…and possibly wasted all your winning mojo and will never win anything again.

Winners were randomly chosen out of an empty Brothers-All-Natural potato crisps bag (Me likey the recycley). Here are the six winners of the Brothers-All-Natural products:

Comment #7 – jtmoney
Comment #23 – Erika
Comment #24 – rossitron
Comment #17 – Kylie
Comment #14 – Echo810
Comment #32 – Tiff

Each winner will receive either a sample of Brothers-All-Natural fruit crisps or potato crisps.

Thanks to everyone who participated!

REVIEW: Nissin Homestyle Chicken Flavor Cup Noodles Premium

Cup Noodles is pretty much the lowest common denominator when it comes to food and it is so cheap that I believe it is the one thing you can steal from a store and not get punished for it. With it being on the bottommost level of the food chart with Wonder Bread and O’Douls non-alcoholic beer, the only way for it to go is up, and it has, albeit just a little, with the Nissin Homestyle Chicken Flavor Cup Noodles Premium.

You see that word “premium?” Not many goods can have it attached to them. It’s reserved for products that are the finest of the fine, the distinct of the distinctive, and the overpriced of the overpriced. Only things like beer, condoms, wines, chocolates, coffee, hookers, diapers, beef jerky, crackers, maple syrups, teas, nuts, toothpastes, personal lubricants, cake mixes, liquor, water, canned fish, vitamins, band-aids, doggie treats, canned poultry, macaroni & cheese, brownie mixes, shampoos, conditioners, honey, breads, muffin mixes, and dozens more can have the label of “premium” affixed to them.

What puts the “premium” in the Nissin Homestyle Chicken Flavor Cup Noodles Premium? Nissin thinks it’s the chicken-flavored powder and freeze-dried chicken meat that gives it its “homestyle chicken flavor.”

I will wait while you throw up a little in your mouth after hearing “freeze-dried chicken meat.”

Yes, freeze-drying food is usually reserved for astronauts and cereal marshmallows, but the Noodle Nancies at Nissin have created a way to have freeze-dried poultry in a well-insulated, environmentally-unfriendly styrofoam cup. I guess it goes well with the freeze-dried vegetables in it.

While Nissin believes one thing, I personally believe what makes it “premium” is not the freeze-dried chicken meat, it’s the font used to make the word “premium.” If graphic design has taught us anything, it’s that script fonts instantly make things high-class. Having a bikini baby oil wrestling match? Turn something crass into something with class by using script fonts on the promotional posters and flyers. Would you believe something is “premium” if they spelled it in serif or sans serif fonts? I think not.

The premium you’re going to pay to have the pleasure of consuming this slightly higher quality cup of noodles is going to be around 20 to 30 cents more. Surprisingly, the freeze-dried chicken kind of tastes like the chicken in Campbell’s Chicken Noodle soup, which is either a good thing, if you’re Nissin, or a bad thing, if you’re Campbell’s. The broth has a natural chicken flavor with a bit of onion and it even looks more natural than the yellow stuff you get with the regular chicken flavored Cup Noodles. Despite that naturalness, I kind of prefer the original version, since the idea of freeze-dried chicken kind of freaks me out and the whole thing smells funny.

If you want to spend a little bit more on your Cup Noodles for those special occasions, and still want an amount of sodium that can kill small rodents, the Nissin Homestyle Chicken Flavor Cup Noodles Premium is perfect for you.

Or you could just steal it.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 container – 310 calories, 12 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 1180 milligrams of sodium, 42 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 3 grams of sugar, 8 grams of protein, 20% Vitamin A, 4% Calcium, 20% Iron, and 85 cents less loose change to jingle.)

Item: Nissin Homestyle Chicken Flavor Cup Noodles Premium
Price: 85 cents
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: More natural chicken flavor than regular chicken flavored Cup Noodles. 3 minutes to prepare, less if you prefer your noodles al dente. Zero trans fat.
Cons: Freeze-dried chicken. Smells funny. Mmm…over 1,000 milligrams of sodium. A little bit more expensive. As unhealthy as regular Cup Noodles. Throwing up a little in your mouth.

Listen to the audio version

New Kids on the Block – Summertime

I just found my summer jam, y’all! New Kids on the Block “Summertime.” I’m going to bump this track in my white 2003 Toyota Corolla LE that only elderly Asian women seem to drive with stock speakers, stock CD player, and my loan paid off on it. HOLLAAA!

It’s better than my previous summer jam, Riskay’s “Smell Yo Dick.”

I can’t believe I’m saying a New Kids on the Block song is a good song. Sure, the sweet, sugary, and simple lyrics will make my teeth fall out because some dude is going to punch me in the mouth for playing it too loud. But what do you expect? It’s a boy band pop song, which usually lack metaphors, substance, and the ability to impress women when I’m bumping it in my ride.

It would be easy for me to dismiss the song as typical radio-friendly, boy band crap, and then say I listen to sophisticated music like the rock band The Decemberists, hip-hop artist Aesop Rock, or any other band that you’ve probably never heard of, but that would make me a snobby music asshole. It would also make me a liar, because according to iTunes I have played this really catchy song 34 times since purchasing it on May 13th, and I’m pretty sure I know all the lyrics by now.

With your flip flops, half shirt, short shorts, mini skirt,
Walkin’ on the beach, so pretty,
You wasn’t lookin’ for a man,
When you saw me in the sand,
But you fell for the boy from the city.

As you can tell from the lyrics above, the song is about a girl, duh! What boy band song isn’t? They’re reminiscing about a summer love that happened many years ago when acidwashed jeans were cool and Donnie Wahlberg didn’t have a receding hairline. I like to reflect about old loves as well, but unfortunately when I do, it doesn’t involve writing and singing a song about them. Instead it involves me and my therapist or me and a bottle of vodka, both of which results in me crying and yelling, “You think you’re better than me!” Also, I don’t know about you, but to me, it’s always weird when five guys are singing about one particular girl. It just seems like a musical gangbang with a bukkake of vocals.

The song is not perfect. The first few notes of this little ditty made me think New Kids on the Block was going to break out into a reggae song and it would’ve been nice if there was a little edge to it, like there was with “Hangin’ Tough.” I guess what I’m trying to say is that the song really needed a Donnie Wahlberg rap somewhere. Or even a Marky Mark cameo would’ve been cool. I don’t know if Donnie has the skills to pay the bills when it comes to rhyming anymore, so I wrote some funky fresh lines that could be stuck in between the second and third verses.

Sippin’ on milkshake was how we would spend our time.
Why no alcohol? Because we were too young for wine.
I got to first base, I slid to second, but didn’t go for three.
We didn’t go all the way, because I believed in celibacy.
Now all that are just memories of a summer’s past.
Looking back, I really, really regret not tappin’ yo’ ass.

(Editor’s Note: Relive the 1980s and 1990s with these three NKOTB videos: You Got It (The Right Stuff), Hangin’ Tough, and my personal favorite, Step by Step. Also, to celebrate the NKOTB reunion, I decorated my computer’s desktop for the occasion, which you can see below. That’s right, I’m hardcore.)

Item: New Kids on the Block – Summertime
Price: 99 cents
Purchased at: iTunes Store
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Catchy pop song. Acidwashed jeans in the 1980s-1990s. My NKOTB wallpaper and hard drive icons. Paid off my car loan.
Cons: Admitting that I actually like this song and losing any musical cred I had. No Donnie Wahlberg rap. Acidwashed jeans in the 21st century.

Listen to the audio version

California Pizza Kitchen For One Sicilian Pizza

Pizza is a food that is typically shared, whether it be with your family while watching Brink reruns on the Disney Channel or with your friends watching Billy Madison after vaporizing a half pound of weed. It’s cheap, filling, and one of the few foods that you have to eat with your hands in order to not look like a douchebag. The folks at the Kraft Foods company, however, have turned eating pizza into a more fanciful singles affair.

They recently launched their “For One” pizzas for their DiGiorno and California Pizza Kitchen lines, individual-sized pies made for your hectic lifestyle. According to their PR release, “consumers now have a reason to look forward to eating alone.”

Seriously − what the fuck? Now, I don’t really think that the people at CPK want to turn Americans into a group of misanthropic zombies eating alone in a giant auditorium like some strange existentialist painting from soviet Russia, but you have to admit that it sounds a bit creepy.

I was thinking that if this pizza is good enough to make me not want to eat with my loved ones, it must taste like some divine combination of ambrosia and the first fifteen seconds of Fruit Stripe gum. The box certainly looks promising − with interesting ingredients such as fontina cheese and spicy ham. At a mere 5.5 ounces, however, I was worried that it would be the pizza equivalent of a cock-tease.

My fears were alleviated upon consumption. While it is on the small side, it is adequate for a substantial lunch if you have a side salad to go along with it. The crust is super thin and crispy, perfect for piling on the meat toppings that actually taste like quality Italian sausages. It shouldn’t be surprising that a meat product actually tastes like it’s supposed to, but my mind has been ruined by 19 years of emulsified chicken. The Italian herb and cheese seasoning is a tad bit strong, but separates the flavor from other boring pizzas.

The box says it’s microwaveable, but believe me: no pizza, no matter how many gray discs and grid-lined cartons they cram in the package, is anything other than crap from the microwave. Stick with a toaster oven and your patience will be rewarded.

At $3.29, it is a bit on the pricey side, but it is a nice treat for yourself after all of those years stocking up on Celeste and Jeno’s every time they go on sale for $.89. You know what I’m talking about. So if you enjoy a quality frozen pizza, go ahead and give this a try and look forward to eating alone for the rest of your life!

(Nutritional Facts – 1 pizza – 450 calories, 200 calories from fat, 22 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 35 mg of cholesterol, 820mg sodium, 42 grams of carbs, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 4 grams of sugar, 21 grams of protein, 10% Vitamin A, 0% Vitamin C, 30% Calcium, and 8% Iron)

Item: California Pizza Kitchen For One Sicilian Pizza
Price: FREE (retails for $3.29)
Purchased at: From the nice CPK PR peeps
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Good quality meats compared to what you usually get in frozen pizzas. Thin crust is very crispy. Comes out perfectly after a few minutes in the toaster oven. You get to look forward to eating alone.
Cons: Pretty small, even for an individual pizza. Herb seasoning is a bit strong. Pricey for a frozen pizza. No pizza is ever microwaveable. Reruns of movies such as Brink and Smart House on the Disney Channel.

Jamba Juice 3G Energizer

OMG! Like energy drinks are soooo like 2007. Now it’s like totally about energy-everything-else because energy drink are like so everywhere. They’re in like grocery stores, convenience stores, online stores, membership warehouse stores, restaurant stores, super stores, and like bar stores. Like I would not be caught dead drinking a canned energy drink because like aluminum is for siding and covering leftovers.

Because I don’t like want to look like a total dorkzilla, I’ve been like drinking the Jamba Juice 3G Energizer smoothie to like totally get my energy. It’s got like this 3G Charger boost thingy, which is supposed to like give me 120 milligrams of caffeine.

The boost thingy has like stuff you’d find in energy drinks, like green tea, guarananana and like ginseng, but it doesn’t come in some lamers can. Like the only things that like should be in a can are like canned food going to the food bank and like Oscar the Grouch. There’s like also an Energy boost thingy with lots of Vitamins B6 and B12. With all those vitamins it’s like they totally threw in some Flintstones vitamins.

Along with the 3G Charger and Energy boost thingies, the Jamba Juice 3G Energizer contains raspberries, strawberries, lemonade, passionfruit-mango juice, lime sherbet, and orange sherbet. When I read it had passionfruit, I like asked the Jamba Juice person if it was one of those like a-fro-dee-zee-ack thingies. The Jamba Juice blender jockey like looked at me like I was stupid or something. OMG! Whatever! Total hater!

Anyhoo, I like wanted to totally like this, because the color was cute and it was kind of yummers, but OMG, there were like seeds like everywhere and I was like totally not having any fun. Seeds were like crunchy and like getting stuck between my teeth. OMG! Hello, it’s like supposed to be a smoothie and go down smooth, not a smoothie sometimes and go down not so smooth. It was like a total bummers.

I was like trying to enjoy its strong lemonade-y taste, but like the seeds like totally got in the way. At first, I was deciding whether or not I was going to like spit them out, but it’s like totally lamers to spit, so I like swallowed all those seeds. I like totally hope a strawberry tree doesn’t like grow in me. That would be like totally gross.

OMG, while I was drinking the Jamba Juice 3G Energizer, I felt like I was that Duracell Bunny that like keeps going and going. While I was walking around the mall with it, it like gave me the energy to climb the stairs instead of climbing the escalator and like when I was pulling clothes to try on, the store worker came up to me and asked me if she could like take the clothes I had in my hands and put them in a dressing room, but because of the energy from the smoothie, I totally told her that I’d hold on to them.

OMG! I’m totally like Wonder Woman now.

(Nutrition Facts – 24-ounces – 470 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 1 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 30 milligrams of sodium, 430 milligrams of potassium, 110 grams of carbohydrates, 93 grams of sugar, 6 grams of dietary fiber, 3 grams of protein. 90% Vitamin C, 30% calcium, 4 fruit servings, 1 big sugar rush, and like 1 big sugar low.)

Item: Jamba Juice 3G Energizer
Price: $4.69 (24-ounces)
Purchased at: Jamba Juice
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Good. Really sweet. Lemonade is the dominant flavor. Nice boost of energy. 120 milligrams of sweet, sweet caffeine.
Cons: Too many damn seeds. Not too smooth for a smoothie. Too many damn likes in this review. Lots of sugar. Being a dorkzilla. The insane abundance of energy drinks.

Listen to the audio version

Brothers-All-Natural Potato Crisps

In honor of these Brothers-All-Natural Potato Crisps being all-natural, I am eating them au naturel, or naked for you non-French speaking folk, because if they’ve got nothing to hide, then I’ve got nothing to hide. We’ll just put both of our cards on the table. Of course, some cards are bigger than others, and unfortunately, theirs were bigger. However, just as unsightly as my naked body is, these potato chips…I mean, potato crisps were just as unflattering.

You know how, “once you pop, you can’t stop” with regular potato chips, I didn’t get that feeling with these. I guess it’s like when wild animals get the taste of human blood, it’s all they crave, and that’s the way I feel about potato chips. They taste much better than these Brothers-All-Natural Potato Crisps and it will be very hard to convince me otherwise.

It’s like when your doctor tells you have to stop drinking regular Pepsi, and then you start drinking Diet Pepsi to try and replace it, but it just isn’t the same. What I’m trying to say is, the Brothers-All-Natural Potato Crisps are like the diet cola of potato chips. You won’t like the taste at first, but you’ll eventually get used to it, because you have to.

The Brothers-All-Natural Potato Crisps comes in four flavors: Original with Sea Salt, Black Pepper and Sea Salt, Fresh Onion and Garlic, and Szechuan Pepper and Fresh Chives. I tried the last two flavors and I wasn’t impressed with either of them. The flavor was very light and was only there during the first couple of chews, but after that it disappears and they end up tasting sort of like Baked Lay’s potato chips.

According to the packaging, the potatoes go through a revolutionary freeze-drying process that gently removes the water to lock in nutrients naturally found in potatoes while preserving the flavor. The potato crisps seemed very fragile, like my ego and Precious Moments figurines, but were surprisingly durable. Freeze-drying, instead of frying or baking, dramatically increases the healthiness of these potato crisps. They have zero grams of fat and only 35 calories per bag, which is more than four times less calories than a 1-ounce serving size of regular Lay’s Potato Chips. But again, its flavor was probably four times less flavorful as regular Lay’s Potato Chips.

Brothers-All-Natural also has fruit slices that are freeze-dried, like these potato crisps, and I felt the apple and peach fruit slices were much more enjoyable than their starch counterparts. The idea behind Brothers-All-Natural Potato Crisps is a very noble one. Potato chips can be addictive, like cigarettes and internet porn, so having a healthier version of it would make popping and not stopping seem not so bad. Unfortunately, these potato crisps aren’t able to break my addiction.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 bag – 35 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 grams of cholesterol, 190-220 milligrams of sodium, 8 grams of carbs, 1 grams of dietary fiber, 1 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.)

(Editor’s Note: I have a few extra samples of Brothers-All-Natural products that I would like to give away to readers (Ace is not eligible), so I’m going to have a drawing for them. If you’re interested in winning a free sample, just leave a comment for this review and let me know if you’d like to win either a potato crisps sample or a fruit slices sample. I’ll stop collecting entries on Sunday evening and announce the winners next week. Have fun!)

Item: Brothers-All-Natural Potato Crisps
Price: FREE
Purchased at: Given by PR people
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: Healthier than potato chips. All-natural. 100% fat free. Kind of tastes like Baked Lays. Brothers-All-Natural Fruit Slices.
Cons: It’s the diet cola of potato chips. Not as good as real potato chips. Serving size is small for my fat ass. Flavor was light. Crisps seem very fragile. My naked body.