Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Guacamole Doritos Review

For a bit of fun, here's a Guacamole Doritos Review.

I'm a sucker for weird new flavors of things. I know they're going to be gross, but I feel honor-bound to give them a try before I dismiss them. Pizza Pringles are an excellent example. I could tell just by the graphic design of the packaging that they were going to be terrible. But I tried them anyway. They were terrible. Now I never have to eat another Pizza Pringle again, and I don't have to fear accusations of knee-jerk prejudice.

So I was walking through the grocery store, experimenting with keeping to a budget instead of impulse-buying like a madman. I had a small and very specific shopping list. But I passed one of the promotional displays at the end of an aisle, and there were these green bags of Doritos. Guacamole-flavored, and according to the picture on the bag, the chips were actually green as well.

My mind said "No, no, no!" but my body, more specifically my hand, said "Yes, yes, yes!" Unable to help myself, I put a bag of Guacamole Doritos in my cart. (In a pathetic effort to retain SOME credibility, I need to point out that I put two bags in my cart, since it was a two for the price of one sale, but then I put one back.)

I tried to ignore the bag of Guacamole Doritos for a few days, putting off the inevitable. Ominously, the bright green Dorito bag was sitting on top of the lime green Gatorade canister on my kitchen counter. Two more hideously unnatural food products have never been stacked.

When I finally decided to try these "Guacamole-flavored" Doritos, I opened the bag, and sat down at the computer. This was to give an unbiased taste-test, since mindless snacking at the computer is how I eat regular Doritos. My first impression was pleasant surprise. They really do taste like guacamole. Well, that is to say, you can recognize flavor of guacamole, and not mistake it for anything else.

Despite the unorthodox color, the chips maintain the unmistakable Dorito experience of synthetic "flavor powder" dusted onto a triangular chip. As I munched away and surfed the internet, daylight faded. When I got up in the near-darkness to use the bathroom, I switched on a light, and was genuinely horrified to see that my fingers were coated in some weird sickly-green filth. I had no idea what it was for a few seconds, which isn't as pathetic and brain-damaged as it sounds. I'm remodeling my house, so my hands are often covered with disgusting, filthy and toxic substances, and I live with constant paranoia that I'm going to forget for a moment, and pick my nose with paint stripper on my hands. So I had a momentary fear that I had just been eating finger-food for an hour with some kind of deadly green poison all over my fingers. (Methylene chloride, the active ingredient of the paint stripper I've been using, is the #1 most dangerous chemical available to consumers. Don't question me, Consumer Reports said it. Anyway, ever since I found that out, I've been living in fear.)

I quickly figured out what was up. I remembered that I'd been eating green Doritos, and instead of the familiar orange glow of nacho cheese fingers, I'd been stuck with these distressing and hideous hands. So I calmed down a bit, and washed my hands off. The greenfinger given by the new Doritos definitely seems more stubbornly adhesive than the old orangefinger.

So I give the new Guacaritos a 7 out of 10 on the bad-but-good snackfood flavor scale. Certainly not unpleasant tasting, and no worse of a flavor than nacho Doritos, which now that I think about it, are very nasty. (If real nacho cheese is the cardboard box wine of the cheese world, then simulated nacho cheese is grape flavored cough syrup.) I might bump up the rating when I decide if the idea of imbuing a chip with guacamole essence is ok, or inherently unsettling. I mean, I like peanut butter and jelly on bread, but I don't think that peanut butter and jelly flavored bread is a great idea.

I give them a 5 out of 10 on the graphic design of the packaging scale, not because the design is poorly done, but because it mimics Mountain Dew, and the whole tired out "Xtreme snacking" marketing scheme. It would have been a braver and more interesting design to actually use a pale avocado-green, and a southwestern theme.

I give them a 3 out of 10 on the junk-food-is-already-killing-me-why-does-it-also-have-to-coat-my-hands-in-gunk-that-looks-like-someone-mixed-diarrhea-and-elmers-glue scale. But I balance that out with my special, soon-to-be-patented "You are is a perverse bastard" scale, on which the weirdness of the chips, and the very nastiness and persistence of the fingerstaining has a certain cachet, and rate a 6 out of 10.

Now you are informed consumers regarding Guacamole Doritos, and can make a rational decision when confronted with this crazy new chip at the end of the aisle.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Is there a chef in me?

Chef Moi?

With all that is going on in my crazy crazy life, I need all the good vibes I can get. One of those is going to church on a regular basis. Another is cooking.

I have several cookbooks in my possession, many of them Italian, and lately, since I'm now fully self-employed and working from home, I've been cooking. I got ahold of a book called, "A Goombah's guide to life?¨ by the greaseball who plays Bobby Bacala on "The Sopranos" and in the back of it is a whole mess of recipes. So far, here is what I have cooked:

1) Meat sauce: It was fan-frigging-tastic. Loved it. And it felt great when Suarez walked in and said, "Man that smell hit me when I walked in. Yum!"
2) Marinara sauce: Eh...sarright. I think I put in a bit too much olive oil. Oh well. And I should use different tomatoes next time, for the ones I used this time were too chopped up.
3) Lasagna: eh...edible. You'll probably like it, and I kept what I didn't eat initially for leftovers, but I guess that I'm not a huge fan of rigatta cheese, which is the big thing in Lasagnas. Also, my marinara sauce was from #2. Ultimate prognosis: good, not great. Next time, easy on the regatta cheese and do the marinara sauce better. A work in progress.
4) Spaghetti Carbonara: Molto Benne! Man was this good. It's pretty simple, and good for a late night snack after drinking, or "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy?" marathons. It's easy: two egg yokes, a whole lotta parsley, ricotta cheese, and prosciutto mixed together, tossed with noodles and topped off with cooked onions and bacon. Very tasty. I didn't have much hope in this as I was cooking it, but man was I pleasantly surprised when I tasted the final product.
5) Pizza!!!: This actually came not from a pretend mobster but from a XMAS present I got a year ago and never did anything with until today. Pizza from scratch. First I mixed the flour with yeast, sugar and salt, and then did the time-honored beating of the dough thing. Only I forgot to read ahead of time that I was supposed to pre-heat the oven at 500 degrees for an hour before I did any of this. Oh well. I put the tomato sauce on, along with some oregano, some nice grated moo-za-rell, some ham bits, Italian seasoning, and olive oil. Cooked it quickly for 20 minutes or so. Not bad?Kcertainly tasty, and I?¦m keeping the leftovers (just had some) but I can do better next time.

Not bad for a straight single guy in his 20's, eh?

Of course, while I'm working in the kitchen, Chloe always wants to "help" me, which means that she wants to mingle amongst my cooking tools. So I have to put her in my bedroom until I'm done. Bad kitty.

But hey: I'm a soon-to-be-successful screenwriter, I'm 26, single, decent looking (so I've been told) I have a cat, I have a decent sense of style (so I've been told) and I can cook. I'm a catch!

Ladies? Where are you?

Oh well. I guess I'll just die alone.

Two weeks ago I had five friends over for dinner and I served everyone dinner. We began with a little wine, followed by a garden salad, then Spaghetti Bolognese cooked from scratched, and polished all of that off with some Breyers Ice Cream. All cooked and served by yours truly. And you know what? It was great. I have finally discovered that I just love cooking for people and serving food and pouring drinks for my friends, so what I have decided is to make my Sunday night dinners at least a bi-weekly, or hopefully, a weekly habit. Come one, come all, just email me and you'll be invited. You wanna bring something? Bring wine. Lots of it. Good for cooking and sophisticated drinking for all.

All friends of mine are welcome.

Next Sunday's menu will be either New York Sirloin Steak, or a Veal dish I'm working on. Don't worry...I test cook everything ahead of time before I unleash it unto others.

Bon Appetito!!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Cheap Cooking Ideas

Been looking for some cheap cooking ideas due to the economic downturn and food prices on the up hoping readers of this site could add some sudgestions, so please make a comment with cheap cooking ideas.