Bertolli Frozen Entree Winners Announced!!!

I just finished randomly selecting the winners of the Bertolli Frozen Entree Prize Drawing using an online random number generator, a Coke Zero, and a bag of Lays Sour Cream and Onion potato chips. The soda and chips really didn’t do anything but watch. Lazy bastards!

Here are the seven winners:

Comment #5 Karen
Comment #23 Shane
Comment #37 Rossitron
Comment #41 Sarah
Comment #65 Skibs
Comment #80 Julie
Comment #106 dakotaman

Each winner will receive a coupon for a free Bertolli Frozen Entree.

Thanks to everyone who participated and thanks to the folks at the PR firm that represents Bertolli for sending me the coupons to give away.

The Week in Reviews – 12/20/2008

Product review goodness wrapped in an HTML shell.

Be prepared this holiday season with Christmas mints when you find yourself under a mistletoe or when you trick someone into standing under a mistletoe. (via Candyblog)

The maker of such movies as Scary Movie, Date Movie, Epic Movie, and Superhero Movie should make a movie called Carrey Movie, which would be a spoof of all of Jim Carrey’s movies. I think that would be the only movie that ends with the word “movie” I would pay to see and then walked out of because it’s so horrible. (via Pajiba)

Ugh. Frozen burritos. (Cue the flashbacks from college after failed attempts at cooking and the time when I didn’t separate the Costco ground beef into individual pounds and ended up with a six pound block of frozen ground beef.) (via Freezer Burns)

If someone tried to replace my Rice Krispies Treats with a brown rice version, that brown better be there because of chocolate. (via Snackerrific)

I’m probably ruining the wholesomeness of Disney by saying this, but doesn’t the picture on the box of this Disney cereal look like Tigger is getting a little intimate with Winnie the Pooh? I’ve seen enough porn to know that back massages eventually leads to bow-chica-bow-bow. (via iateapie.net)

REVIEW: Popchips

Let me tell you what sucks about getting old; it’s not being able to eat things that I used to eat in the quantities I want to eat them in. I remember when I could eat an entire can of Pringles in one sitting and the only consequence would be constipation. Today, if I were to eat an entire can of Pringles in one sitting not only would I have constipation, I would also increase my blood pressure and make it harder for me to fit into my waist 32 jeans.

I also remember a time when I could eat an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream during a viewing of the movie The Notebook. But thanks to the pints of ice cream I’ve consumed over the years, not only are my arteries clogged, but apparently so are my tear ducts, which makes it extremely hard to express my sadness through crying when Noah and Allie die peacefully together holding each other’s hand at the end of The Notebook.

Because of my ever-slowing metabolism, ever-expanding waistline and the ever-deepening indentation in my couch, I’ve been having to choose healthier snack choices and eating them in reasonable serving sizes. That’s why I’ve been eating these Popchips, which I’ve seen at every Jamba Juice I’ve been to. They’re all-natural potato chips and they contain no preservatives, artificial flavors, cholesterol, saturated fat and trans fat. What separates these from regular potato chips is that they aren’t fried. Instead they’re “popped,” which according to the company involves applying heat and pressure to the potatoes until they pop. The Popchips are slightly greasy, but that’s due to their use of safflower and sunflower oil in the seasoning.

Popchips come in flavors for a variety of palates: original, barbeque, parmesan garlic, salt & pepper, and sea salt & vinegar. I’ve tried every flavor and I enjoyed all of them. My favorite out of the bunch was the parmesan garlic.

Are they better tasting than regular fried potato chips?

The short answer.

No.

The long answer that’s long due to too many adjectives.

There’s something about thin, round slices of potato placed in a huge, scalding oil bath that warps them into deformed, golden shapes that tastes so good and makes them extremely crunchy and crack-addictive, which the Popchips can’t match.

They may not be addictive and as crunchy as regular potato chips, but they’re quite delectable and make Lays Baked Potato Chips, which was my previous guilt-free potato chip alternative, taste even more like cardboard. I do wish I could find bags bigger than the one-ounce ones I can get from Jamba Juice because I finish the entire bag at around the 35 minute mark in The Notebook, when Noah and Allie are trying to make sweet, sweet love for the very first time but are interrupted by Noah’s friend.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 bag – (some nutrition values varies between flavors) – 120 calories, 4 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 250-310 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbs, 1 gram of fiber, 0-2 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.)

Item: Popchips
Price: FREE
Size: 1 ounce
Purchased at: Given by nice PR people
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Delectable. Crunchy. Healthier than regular potato chips. No saturated and trans fats. Better than Baked Lays. Comes in a number of flavors. The Notebook.
Cons: Not as tasty or crunchy as regular potato chips. Hard to find bigger bags of it. Constipation from eating a can of Pringles. My ever-slowing metabolism, ever-expanding waistline and the ever-deepening indentation in my couch. Being interrupted while trying to make sweet, sweet love for the very first time.

REVIEW: Astronaut Ice Cream

Once in a while there’s a special product that I just can’t write about in normal paragraphs because it’s something that I believe deserves more than just blocks of joined sentences that are separated by two punches of my keyboard’s space bar.

Astronaut Ice Cream is worthy of the best word craftsmanship that my English degree and thesaurus can produce. I firmly believe that the only way I could pay homage to this product is through the gift of rhyme.

I’m not talking about a sonnet, limerick, quatrain, allegory, or epigram. I’m talking about something a lot more contemporary. So right now I’m about to drop some mad, crazy skills on y’all that would make Kanye West not shake in his sunglasses that he seems to wear whether he’s outdoors or indoors.

Awwww yeah. This one goes out to all the Space Cowboys. Giddy up!

I got a dessert that can be enjoyed across the universe.
Store it in your cubicle, pants, spacecraft, or purse.
It’s not perishable, so it doesn’t need any refrigeration.
Gives me elation when I opened a pack of this creation.
It’s hard to find and been a long time since I had one.
Might’ve got some if I lived near an aerospace museum.
For years and years, too many to count, I’ve gone without.
Now that I found you again Astronaut Ice Cream, I have to shout.

From Cape Canaveral to the International Space Station,
giving astronaut bros and hos instant, sweet salvation.
After experiments in zero gravity or a spacewalk at night,
only Astronaut Ice Cream can satisfy an astronaut’s appetite.

Like Lucky Charms marshmallows, it’s freeze-dried hard.
Fuck utilizing spoons or bowls, those you can disregard.
Pick up a block and it feels quite fragile, airy and light.
Take a bite and you’ll experience a galactic delight.
Comes with vanilla, chocolate and strawberry – the Neapolitan three.
It melts in your mouth like the walls do when you’re on LSD.
Astronaut Ice Cream is so delicious that it is a must.
I bet US astronauts use it to make Cosmonauts envious.

From the Space Shuttles to the all the Apollo missions,
giving astronaut bros and hos instant, sweet salvation.
After experiments with a monkey or a long space flight,
only Astronaut Ice Cream can satisfy an astronaut’s appetite.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 slice – 120 calories, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 50 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 12 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein, 4% Vitamin A, 0% Vitamin C, 8% Calcium, and 0% Iron.)

Item: Astronaut Ice Cream
Price: $2.50 (on sale)
Size: 0.7 ounces
Purchased at: Longs Drugs
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: One of my favorite things to eat in the world. The feeling of it melting in my mouth. Chocolate tastes like actual chocolate ice cream. It’s what astronauts eat. Made in the USA. Kanye West wearing sunglasses outdoors.
Cons: Not as good as the real thing. Vanilla and strawberry don’t quite taste like their frozen versions. Small and pricey. Breaks easily. Contains HFCS. Might be hard to find. Kanye West wearing sunglasses indoors.

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.

*gasp*

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.