REVIEW: Ore-Ida Steam n’ Mash Garlic Seasoned Potatoes

Eating mashed potatoes is a rare treat for me. I eat a lot of rice because I’m Asian and I’m afraid if I don’t eat enough of it my ancestors’ spirits, who were probably rice farmers in Japan, will come and take away my chopsticks and slanted eyes.

Of course, getting my RDA (Rice Daily Allowance) is easy here on this rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean because rice is by far the number one starch. It’s rare to have the option to consume mashed potatoes, even at Thanksgiving or on August 19th, which is National Potato Day. The only times I get to enjoy mashed potatoes are at nice steak restaurants, buffets or after I accidently step on my Wendy’s baked potato.

It’s been awhile since I’ve had mashed potatoes, so I was looking forward to trying the Ore-Ida Steam n’ Mash Garlic Seasoned Potatoes, which is made of up a bag of frozen cubes of potatoes that you steam in the microwave and then mash to your heart’s content in a bowl. This product not only allows me to nosh on the butchered and crushed relatives of Mr. Potato Head, it also provides the missing link that enables me to describe my work ethic in terms of mashed potato preparation.

I can be mashed-potatoes-from-scratch diligent, Ore-Ida-Steam-n’-Mash somewhat reliable, instant-mashed-potatoes lackadaisical or accidently-stepped-on-my Wendy’s-baked-potato lazy.

There isn’t a lot of physical labor with the Ore-Ida Steam n’ Mash, compared with making mashed potatoes from scratch, which involves washing, peeling, cutting, boiling and other actions that infomercial gadgets promise to do. I just heated the bag in the microwave oven for ten minutes, let it sit for two minutes to cool down, poured its contents into a bowl, added 2/3 cup milk and then mashed it like a cockroach.

Its taste was bland, despite the garlic. If it weren’t for the addition of several tablespoons of butter, I probably would’ve made my rice-growing ancestors smile by throwing it away or making naughty sculptures with it. Its texture wasn’t too fluffy and there were a few raw, uncooked potato chunks here and there, which were unpleasant to bite my teeth into, but that was probably because I mash things instant-mashed-potatoes lackadaisically.

The Ore-Ida Steam n’ Mash Garlic Seasoned Potatoes are convenient and can be more than decent if you add other ingredients to the mix. It’s not close to smashed spuds made from scratch, but it’s better than instant mashed potatoes and a Wendy’s baked potato I accidently stepped on.

(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup – 110 calories, 4 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 330 milligrams of sodium, 250 milligrams of potassium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, 2 gram of protein, 2% Vitamin A, 0% Calcium, 15% Vitamin C and 2% Iron.)

(Note: Heat Eat Review took a look at the plain russet potato version.)

Item: Ore-Ida Steam n’ Mash Garlic Seasoned Potatoes
Price: $4.50
Size: 24 ounces
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Convenient. Easy to make. Tastes better when butter is added. Better than instant mashed potatoes. Allows me to describe my work ethic in terms of mashed potato preparation. Being mashed-potatoes-from-scratch diligent.
Cons: Bland. Still had a few chunks of uncooked, raw potatoes. Not close to being as good as mashed potatoes made from scratch. My mashing abilities. Being accidently-stepped-on-my Wendy’s-baked-potato lazy.

NEWS: Yoplait’s Three New Flavors Could Make a Billy Joel Song Even Better

Yoplait yogurt comes in so many flavors that you could probably rewrite Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire” with nothing but Yoplait yogurt flavors.

Don’t believe me. Below is a list of almost all the flavors. Have at it.

Cherry Orchard, Banana Crème, Tropical Peach, Mango, Dulce de Leche, Blackberry Harvest Boysenberry, Coconut Cream Pie, French Vanilla, Red Raspberry, Harvest Peach, Very Cherry, Guava, Blueberry Patch, Passion Fruit, Piña Colada, Strawberry, Strawberry Banana, Strawberry Cheesecake, Strawberry Kiwi, Strawberry Mango, White Chocolate Raspberry, Apple Turnover, Apricot Mango, Banana Cream Pie, Berries ‘N Cream, Blackberry, Boston Cream Pie, Lemon Cream Pie, Pineapple Upside Down Cake, Raspberry Cheesecake, Red Raspberry, Strawberries ‘N Bananas, Strawberry Orange Sunrise, Strawberry Shortcake, Very Vanilla, White Chocolate Strawberry, Chocolate, Chocolate Raspberry, Lemon Meringue, Peaches ‘N Cream, Raspberry Mousse, Key Lime Pie, Mountain Blueberry, Mixed Berry, Pineapple, Strawberry Mist, Orange Crème, and Lemon Burst.

Also, don’t forget to add Yoplait’s three newest flavors — Cherry Pomegranate, Blackberry Pomegranate and Blueberry Acai — all of which contain a superfruit that’s high in nutrients, antioxidants and farmer’s market cred. All three flavors are available now at your favorite grocery store with all of the other dozens of Yoplait varieties for the suggested retail price of 72 cents.

The Week in Reviews – 2/14/2009

Here are a few product reviews from other blogs from the past week wrapped in an HTML shell and served with immature writing.

I don’t know whether I should be impressed or disgusted by this frozen burrito battle. But I am now jonesing for some frozen burritos. (via Eyunta)

I would pay to see a movie that involves Jason Voorhees beheading the Friday the 13th movie franchise. (via Pajiba)

Chili and chocolate flavored potato chips? I’m disappointed that Americans didn’t come up with this idea first. Or the Japanese. (via Jim’s Chocolate Mission)

This is the most comprehensive chopsticks review on the internets. Actually, I’m not 100 percent sure of my statement and I’m too lazy to find out if it’s true because I’m not going to sift through the 209,000 results I received after I Googled “chopsticks review.” (via The Tasty Island)

The only liquid I’ve ever consumed from a potion vial was Gummiberry Juice, so I wonder if the Health Energy Potion will also give me temporary super strength. (via Screaming Energy)

If you watched the movie Idiocracy, you know Brawndo’s got electrolytes and that’s what plants crave. (via The Girl Who Ate Everything)

I’m scared to eat this strawberry candy from Japan because I’m afraid it will eat me first. (via Japanese Snack Reviews)

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Raisin Bran Extra!

I’m disappointed in the new Kellogg’s Raisin Bran Extra!, but not because of its taste. I’m disappointed by its use of the exclamation point, which is a symbol that expresses surprise, anger, pain and how hard you’re ROFL!!!!!!

The use of the exclamation point has got me dismayed for two reasons:

1. I was hoping the cereal would contain something extra beyond the extra because of the exclamation point.

2. I don’t know whether or not to shout the word “Extra” whenever I say the cereal’s name.

To clarify my first reason, I was basically hoping for a toy in the box, but there wasn’t any found, unless you consider the ingredient pyridoxine hydrochloride fun. I know what you’re thinking, I’m a little too old for a toy. While that maybe true, I’ll never be too old for a surprise. Besides toys don’t have to be cheap plastic figurines made in China, they could also be cheap plastic electronics made in China. The Raisin Bran Extra! box may be small, measuring 10″ high and 6.5″ wide, but it’s still big enough to fit shitty digital cameras, crappy cell phones, or Microsoft Zunes.

But alas, there were no toys in the box of Raisin Bran Extra! There were just things you might find in a homemade trail mix or on the floor in the self-serve natural foods aisle at your local grocery store: bran flakes, cranberries, raisins, yogurty clusters, and almond slices.

Compared with the raisins found in regular Raisin Bran, the raisins in this cereal were smaller and lacked the traditional Raisin Bran white sugary coating. The cranberries weren’t noticeable since they were hard to distinguish from the raisins in both looks and taste. The almonds didn’t provide any flavor. All they did was provide some crunchy texture after the bran flakes got soggy. As for the yogurt clusters, they were probably the only ingredient that brought some flavor to the table — adding a nice vanilla sweetness.

The overall flavor of the cereal was all right and I would probably prefer it over regular Raisin Bran if it didn’t come in such a small box. The extra ingredients may not have done much for the flavor, but I think they made the cereal healthier. Cranberries have antioxidants, almonds are rich in monounsaturated fats and the yogurty clusters provided something that could’ve easily been chocolately clusters. Also, the additions helped increase the fiber content to seven grams per serving.

Oh wait. Lemme edit that last sentence.

Also, the additions helped increase the fiber content to seven grams per serving!

That’s better.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 cup – 190 calories, 3 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 350 milligrams of sodium, 140 milligrams of potassium, 44 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of dietary fiber, 13 grams of sugar, 24 grams of other carbohydrates, 5 grams of protein and a bunch of vitamins and minerals.)

Item: Kellogg’s Raisin Bran Extra!
Price: $7.89 (seriously)
Size: 14 ounces
Purchased at: Star Market
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Yogurty clusters provided a nice vanilla flavor to the cereal. Almonds and yogurty clusters gave the cereal a crunchy texture after the bran flakes got soggy. High in fiber.
Cons: No toy included. Almonds didn’t provide any flavor. Box is kind of small. Couldn’t distinguish cranberries from raisins. Raisins were smaller than those found in regular Raisin Bran. Slipping on spilled food in the self-serve natural foods aisle at your local grocery store. Contains high fructose corn syrup. Unsure reason for exclamation point in name.

REVIEW: Post Cinna-Graham Honeycomb

Reporter: Thank you for taking the time to talk with me I’m sure you two are very BUSY.

Bee #1 HA! You exaggerated “busy” because we’re bees. Good one! It’s not like we’ve heard that line thousands of times.

Bee #2: Don’t make me sting you, bitch.

Reporter: I’m sorry. That was my poor attempt to break the ice. I’ve never interviewed bees before. Let’s just move on. What are your thoughts about the scientists in Australia who are giving honeybees, like yourselves, cocaine to see its effects?

Bee #1: What do I think? I think that’s bullshit. Because why do honeybees in Australia get to have all the fun? While they’re getting high, drinking Tooheys and partying with beautiful Aussie scientists, we’re busting our black and yellow butts to build this huge honeycomb for our queen bee and collect pollen from flowers to make honey. To be honest, I’d rather overdose on cocaine than secrete wax from my body for that bitch queen bee.

Reporter: You don’t think giving honeybees liquefied freebase cocaine is a bad thing?

Bee #1: The only thing bad about it is that there aren’t any scientist here with the balls to do it. Besides, what else are they going to give cocaine to? Flies? They’ll buzz around anything. Bees buzz around things that smell good, like flowers, so if bees high from cocaine were to buzz around shit, puke or anything else you humans secrete from your bodies you could determine the cocaine had an effect on us. But for flies, buzzing around that kind of stuff is normal.

Reporter: You don’t think what they’re doing is considered cruelty to insects?

Bee #1: Look, if PETA wants to get naked, paint their bodies black and yellow, and parade themselves in front of us to protest, I’m fine with that because it’s better than looking at our slutty queen bee who goes out and gets nasty with more than a dozen other bees. The only thing I ask is that Pam Anderson doesn’t show up because I’ve seen her naked so many times that she no longer gets my stinger up.

Bee #2: Don’t make me sting you, bitch.

Reporter: Is that all your friend is going to say?

Bee #1: Hey, man! Give my friend a break. He’s got cabin fever. It’s hard working and living in a hive where it’s a total sausagefest and he has to poop out wax for the honeycomb.

Reporter: Too bad you couldn’t just make the honeycomb out of Post Cinna-Graham Honeycomb cereal.

Bee #1: W-w-what’s this Post Cinna-Graham Honeycomb cereal you speak of?

Reporter: It’s a cereal that’s shaped somewhat like the honeycombs you bees make.

Bee #1: So what you’re saying is that there’s a pre-fab way to make the honeycomb that doesn’t involve us shitting out wax? Sign. Me. Up.

Reporter: I don’t think it works that way.

Bee #2: Don’t make me sting you, bitch.

Reporter: It’s a breakfast cereal that we humans eat. Usually, it’s just honey flavored, but this version has a hint of cinnamon and graham crackers. It smells like graham crackers, but when I put a spoonful in my mouth both flavors weren’t very strong. The cinnamon was what I tasted first and then the graham cracker, which was more like a diet graham cracker. It’s not bad, but I was hoping it would be as sweet as the honey you bees produce or like Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

Bee #1: Great…This has been one depressing interview, man. First, you tell me Australian honeybees get to have cocaine and then you have me believe there’s an easier way to build a honeycomb. What bad thing are you going to tell me next? If both of us sting you, we’re going to die?

Reporter: Um, well yeah…

Bee #1: Well I’m going to go sting a muthafucker and that muthafucker is you!

Bee #2: I’m going to sting you, bitch.

(Nutrition Facts – 1.5 cups – 130 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 60 milligrams of potassium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 10 grams of sugar, 15 grams of other carbohydrates, 2 grams of protein, and fortified with a bunch of vitamins and minerals.)

Item: Post Cinna-Graham Honeycomb
Price: $6.49
Size: 14.5 ounces
Purchased at: Star Market
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Decent tasting. Smells like graham crackers. Huge ass box for the big ass cereal pieces. Fortified with vitamins and minerals. Stays crunch in milk for a decent amount of time.
Cons: Light cinnamon and graham cracker taste. Getting stung by bees. Pooping wax. Cabin fever. Can’t use Honeycomb cereal to help build actual honeycombs. Flies.

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Hannah Montana Cereal

I know how to get rid of Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus. All I need is Dolly Parton’s phone number, which I assume is also her bra cup size, a box of Kellogg’s Hannah Montana cereal and a time machine to take me back to the year 1992, which is the same year Miley was born and when Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Achy Breaky Heart” was released into the world.

And while I’m in the year 1992, I’m also going to tell my high school-aged self that wearing my baseball cap backwards, strutting around with a hand cupping my balls and trying to talk like a rapper makes me look stupid.

I don’t know why I dislike Miley Cyrus.

Maybe it’s because her real name is Destiny Hope and she got her nickname “Miley” because she was so smiley as a youngster. Maybe it’s because she was born on November 23, 1992, which is close to my birthday. Maybe it’s because she has a wax figure of herself that looks more realistic than she does at Madame Tussauds in New York City. Maybe it’s because she has an older half-brother, Christopher, an older brother, Trace, an older sister, Brandi, a younger brother, Braison, and a younger sister, Noah.

Or maybe I don’t like Miley Cyrus because my head is full of useless Miley Cyrus information.

When I go back to 1992, I’m going contact Dolly Parton and let her try the Hannah Montana cereal and hopefully she doesn’t like it. And I don’t think she should because it’s mediocre. The cereal comes in two colors, purple and pink, but I couldn’t taste a difference between the two. Overall, the cereal basically smells and tastes like Cap’n Crunch Crunch Berries, which have a strawberry flavor, although this cereal was not as sweet as Crunch Berries and also not as sickly sweet as the following lyrics from the Miley Cyrus song “7 Things.”

The 7 things I like about you
Your hair,
your eyes,
your old Levi’s.
When we kiss I’m hypnotized.
You made me laugh,
you made me cry,
but I guess that’s both I’ll have to buy
Your hands in mine when we’re intertwined
Everything’s alright
I wanna be with the one I know.
And the seventh thing I like the most that you do, ohhh.
You make me love you.

If Ms. Parton doesn’t like it, I’m going to tell her that the only way to prevent this mediocre cereal from being released is to stop Billy Ray Cyrus from recording “Achy Breaky Heart” which will prevent him from being famous and in turn prevent his daughter, Miley, from being famous. I’m also going to tell her that “Achy Breaky Heart” is going to be a set back for the integrity of country music and as the Queen of Country Music, it’s her duty to protect its honor.

Of course, I’m NOT going to tell Ms. Parton that she’ll have a recurring role in the Hannah Montana TV show because I think it would totally screw up my plans.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 cup – 110 calories, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 40 milligrams of potassium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 9 grams of sugar, 15 grams of other carbohydrates, 2 grams of protein, and a bunch of vitamins and minerals.)

Item: Kellogg’s Hannah Montana Cereal
Price: $3.99 (on sale)
Size: 9.5 ounces
Purchased at: Star Market
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Smells and tastes like Crunch Berries. Stays crunchy in milk for a decent amount of time. Dolly Parton and her boobs.
Cons: Not as sweet as I hoped. No difference in taste between the two colors of cereal. Contains high fructose corn syrup. Achy Breaky Heart. Wearing my baseball cap backwards, strutting around with a hand cupping my balls and trying to talk like a rapper when I was in high school. Knowing more about Miley Cyrus than the average 30 year old.