Category Archives: Food & Drink

Hard Root Beers Like?

 

We tried two brands of hard root beer that are available in my area – Not Your Father’s Root Beer and Coney Island Hard Root Beer.

When we poured the Not Your Father’s Root Beer (NYFRB) into the mug, the head disappeared within a few seconds. It had a nice vanilla scent and flavor, followed by light spices. It tasted like root beer. There was a light alcoholy after taste, but that problem was solved by taking several more swigs.

NYFRB has a 5.9% alcohol content. It’s very smooth, not too fizzy, but it still made me burp, so there had to be some carbonation left, right? It is made by Small Town Brewery and distributed by Paabst. Although the location finder they have on their site showed on a few places near me where it’s available, I’ve seen it in my local grocery and liquor stores.

To another taster, NYFRB tasted like sasparilla with alcohol. A fourth said it tasted like bubblegum. (He’d been drinking other alcoholic beverages before the taste test so he might not be the most reliable judge.

The head on the Coney Island Hard Root Beer (CIHRB) also disappeared quickly after pouring. It had a spicier flavor, kind of a wintergreen. (My other taster compared it to the smell of Icy Hot patches, but in a good way.) We didn’t notice an alcohol taste at all with this one.

CIHRB is 5.8% alcohol. It’s brewed by Coney Island Lager which is owned by Samual Adams. It has a sweet syrupy taste, but one taster compared it to A&W with hairspray. He had also been drinking beforehand and I don’t know how he knows what hairspray tastes like anyway.

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The four of us were evenly split over which of the two was better. Kind of. One taster liked the CIHRB best but only in limited quantities – having one with a pizza, for example. If he were going to drink a lot of hard root beer, he would go with the NYFRB since it is less sweet.

If I find other hard root beers in my area, I’ll add tasting notes for them too.

Easiest Halloween Party Snacks?

You want to have a party but you don’t want to spend a lot of time on preparing food? These recipes are quick and tasty!

Barbecued Meatballs

1 32-oz. package frozen meatballs
1 bottle (12 oz) chili sauce
1 jar (10 oz) grape jelly

Put the chili sauce and jelly in a slow cooker. Stir.

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Add meatballs and stir to cover with the sauce. Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours or until heated through.

Makes about 5 dozen.

Deviled Egg Eyeballs

deviled egg eyeballs

Hard-boiled eggs
Ingredients for your favorite deviled egg recipe (see link below if you need ideas)
Black olives
green and red food dye

Cut a small slice from the end of each hard-boiled egg. Cut eggs in half horizontally rather than lengthwise. This will make them look round instead of oval.

Make your favorite deviled egg recipe.  Add green food coloring to the yolk mixture and put a spoonful into each egg hollow.

Put a slice of black olive in the center of each. If you want, use red food dye to paint veins on the egg white.

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Haunted Pizza

Frozen pizza (or your favorite take-out/delivery*)
Mozzarella slices
black olives (optional)

Using a ghost-shaped cookie cutter, cut ghosts out of the mozzarella cheese slices. Finely dice a black olive to use for the ghosts’ eyes.

Begin cooking the pizza as directed on the package. Set the timer for five minutes less than the total cooking time.

When the pizza is mostly cooked, place the mozzarella ghosts on top. Add pieces of black olive for the eyes, if desired. Finish baking for the last five minutes. Serve hot.

*If using take-out pizza, place the cheese ghosts onto the pizza. Bake at 350 degree for 3 to 5 minutes, or just until the ghosts begin to melt.

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Pumpkin Patch Dirt Cake

2 cups cold milk
1 pkg. (4 serving size) instant chocolate pudding
1 pkg. whipped topping (Cool-Whip), thawed
1 pkg. (16 oz.) Chocolate sandwich cookies (Oreos)
Candy pumpkins

Put the cookies in a large zip-lock bag and crush with a rolling pin.

In a bowl, combine pudding mix and milk until well blended. Then fold in the whipped topping. Fill rectangular glass baking dish with pudding mixture alternating with the cookie crumbs. Top with cookie crumbs.

Refrigerate for at least one  hour, then decorate with candy pumpkins.

Reese’s Witches’ Brooms

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Reese’s Miniature Peanut Butter Cups
small stick pretzels
1/4 cup chocolate chips (semisweet or milk chocolate)

Don’t make these until shortly before your party, otherwise, the pretzel sticks will do what pretzels do when left out – get soft and no one wants a soft shaft. Broom shaft.

Fortunately, they’re quick to make. Unwrapping the candies takes the most amount of time.

Unwrap peanut butter cups.

Melt chocolate chips in the microwave at half power (50%) for 30 seconds. Stir until completely melted. (Microwave a few more seconds if needed.)

Dip 1/2″ of one end of each pretzel into melted chocolate and then press it into the bottom of a peanut butter cup. Set aside until chocolate is hardened. (When I checked mine after an hour, the chocolate was firm.)

Top 10 Healthiest Foods?

In general, many people in the US and other places with access to a wide variety of foods often forget about the daily eating habits that will make us healthier, help us gain more muscle, become a little taller, and even make us smarter. With that being said, off of my own personal experience, I have a not-so-good habit of eating things that look good, rather than eating what is actually GOOD for my body.

I’m not saying it’s a crime to reach in the fridge and get yourself a delicious chocolate pudding, or get that new Dairy Queen milkshake that everyone in the office or at school is talking about every once in a while. But for the most part, it is best for your body to stay in the best condition, and by doing that, you might (should) have to start eating healthy on a regular basis. To help you do that, here is a list the Top 10 healthiest foods so that we can all have a better idea as to what we can start eating to live a happier, healthier lifestyle.

1- Apples
“An Apple A Day Keeps the Doctor Away”. While apples are mostly delicious to eat, the antioxidant found in them might even increase lifespans. Apples are a great way to lower your cholesterol as well, so it might not be such a bad thing to actually eat an apple per day!

2- Lemons
Lemons, with their sour taste, actually have more than 100 percent of your daily dose of Vitamin C. The citrus flavanoids inside the lemon can act as an anti-inflammitory, as well as stop cancer cells from growing in your body. Natural Lemonade will definitely be on my next grocery list!

3- Broccoli
Even though I absolutely despise broccoli, I have found that it is actually very healthy for you. Like lemons, broccoli contains Vitamin C, while not having as much, it still gives you the nutrients your body needs. Broccoli may also reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

4- Almonds
I have an almond tree in my backyard, yet I never eat the almonds, knowing how great they are for your body, I might have to start eating them more often. Almonds contain Vitamin E, iron, calcium, and riboflavin. Almonds also can increase your lifespan.

5- Dark Chocolate
Yes, dark chocolate. Although this is not something you should eat everyday, it’s very good for you to eat every once in a while. In dark chocolate, only one-fourth of an ounce can reduce blood pressure in a non-so-healthy individual. Personally, I’m not a big fan of dark chocolate, but feel free to eat it because it really is healthy for you (again, NOT everyday)!

6- Salmon
I’m also not a big fan of just seafood in general, but I might be willing to give it a try because of how healthy it is to eat. With 3 fatty-acids, it reduces risk of heart disease and cancer. A 3 0z. serving of salmon also contains 50% of your daily dose of niacin, which is known to protect risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss.

7- Blueberries
Blueberries are almost always my key ingredient in smoothies so I’m glad to find out that they’re actually healthier than I initially thought they were. With fiber and antioxidants, blueberries can reduce the risk of high blood pressure by about 10%. Blueberries are also prevent diseases and keeps the body functioning healthy and properly.

8- Avocados
Avocados are healthy because of multiple reasons, but I’ll only give you a few. Avocados, according to a study, are proven to lower cholesterol by 22%. One avocado has a little more than half the fiber you need daily, in which actually might reduce the risk of getting heart disease.

9- Spinach
No, I’m not telling you eating a mass amount of spinach will turn you into Popeye, but it can make you a lot healthier in your everyday life. It consists of lutein and zeaxanthin, which are two extremely necessary antioxidants to improve eye health. Out of multiple fruits and vegetables, one study recently found that spinach is the most cancer-fighting vegetable.

10- Oatmeal
Now last, but definitely not least, we have oatmeal capping off our Top 10 at none other than spot number 10. Multiple studies have shown that if you eat a bowl of the good-ole oatmeal everyday, your blood cholesterol levels will drop, and even more so if your blood cholesterol levels are too high. Having B-Vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids, oatmeal helps you stay healthy while also being a delicious, any-time-of-the-day meal for pretty much everyone.

Favorite Foods of the Past Five Presidents?

When Barack Obama was asked by a child what his favorite food is, he said it was broccoli. I don’t want to say the man’s lying to a child, but, really? Out of all the foods out there, that is his favorite? I like broccoli, but it’s still way down on the list of favorites.

He enjoys cooking chili and getting carry-out from Italian Fiesta Pizzeria (presumably not at the same time, he’s no Clinton, after all.) According to White House staff, he likes salmon and favors Polynesian dishes (no surprise from someone who grew up in Hawaii!)

George W. Bush likes chicken pot pie and biscuits. One of his favorite meals in the White House combined two of his other favorites, Cheeseburger Pizza. And like any good Texan, he favors Tex-Mex cooking. He frequently had huevos rancheros for his Sunday morning breakfasts.

Cheeseburgers are a favorite of Bill Clinton along with enchiladas, barbecue, most of the McDonald’s menu, and desserts (which may or may not include interns.)

George H.W. Bush liked to snack on pork rinds with Tabasco sauce which is a nice low carb snack, but on the other hand, he also likes his wife’s chocolate chip cookies. I couldn’t find much about the 41st president’s food likes but there was one thing he made clear, he does not like broccoli.

When Ronald Reagan was president, it was well-known that he kept a jar of jelly beans on his desk (he preferred the licorice.) He also liked macaroni and cheese, meatloaf, well-done steak, and monkey bread.

Reagan and Bonzo

 

Things Banned by Leviticus?

3:17 -You must never eat any fat or blood. This is a permanent law for you, and it must be observed from generation to generation, wherever you live.

Is this just animal fat or any lipids? I think we need to be clear here. Either way, no well-marbled steak for you!

5:1 – If you are called to testify about something you have seen or that you know about, it is sinful to refuse to testify, and you will be punished for your sin.

No pleading the Fifth. Not only can you not lie, you can’t keep quiet.

10:6 – Then Moses said to Aaron and his sons Eleazar and Ithamar, “Do not show grief by leaving your hair uncombed or by tearing your clothes. If you do, you will die, and the LORD’s anger will strike the whole community of Israel. However, the rest of the Israelites, your relatives, may mourn because of the LORD’s fiery destruction of Nadab and Abihu.

Losing a loved one is no excuse for letting your personal grooming slide. Comb your hair!

11:9-10 – Of all the marine animals, these are ones you may use for food. You may eat anything from the water if it has both fins and scales, whether taken from salt water or from streams.

But you must never eat animals from the sea or from rivers that do not have both fins and scales. They are detestable to you. This applies both to little creatures that live in shallow water and to all creatures that live in deep water.

No shrimp, clams, lobsters, or crabs.

19:13 – Do not make your hired workers wait until the next day to receive their pay.

Payday, every day!

19:15 – Do not twist justice in legal matters by favoring the poor or being partial to the rich and powerful. Always judge people fairly.

If this is true, Hell should be full of politicians. Just knowing that should make you want to avoid it.

19:16 – Do not spread slanderous gossip among your people.

So, true gossip would be okay?

19:19 – You must obey all my decrees. “Do not mate two different kinds of animals. Do not plant your field with two different kinds of seed. Do not wear clothing woven from two different kinds of thread.

Poly-cotton blends are the work of the devil.

19:23 – When you enter the land and plant fruit trees, leave the fruit unharvested for the first three years and consider it forbidden. Do not eat it.

So I can eat the fruit in the fourth year?

19:24 – In the fourth year the entire crop must be consecrated to the LORD as a celebration of praise.

Damn. I mean, darn.

19:27 – Do not trim off the hair on your temples or trim your beards.

Wait, not trimming the hair on your temples will ban mullets right? Okay!

19:31 – Do not defile yourselves by turning to mediums or to those who consult the spirits of the dead.

This is good advice because there’s no such thing as ghosts! Mediums are scammers who are just taking advantage of grieving people.

19:32 – Stand up in the presence of the elderly, and show respect for the aged.

This used to just be good manners. Young people stood up to show respect for older people, gentlemen stood to show respect for ladies. Now you’re lucky if other people look up from their phone when they talk to you. (I love smartphones, but can’t stand rude people.)

25:23 – The land must never be sold on a permanent basis, for the land belongs to me. You are only foreigners and tenant farmers working for me.

For not being able to own land, mankind has fought a lot of wars over it.

Best SDCC Restaurants?

The Yard House – An American sports bar with good food and (lots of) beer. It’s located on 4th and Broadway, at the other end of the Gaslamp District from the convention center, but easily within walking distance and close to many of the popular SDCC hotels.

Try the classic cheeseburger with garlic aïoli.

Update: The Gaslamp Yard House is closed. There’s still one in Mission Valley, so if you have a hotel out there, try that one.

The Melting Pot – 901 5th Ave. A good choice if you want a quieter meal after all the hustle and bustle of the convention center. You can go for the whole experience – cheese fondue, salad, entree fondue, and dessert fondue – or just for dessert.

One of the entree cooking options is Coq au Vin. I asked the server why it’s called that even though we were getting it with the Filet Mignon option. He said “Coq au Vin” means “cooking with wine”. It doesn’t. It means “cock (or rooster) with wine”.

I think that I deserve credit for not shouting out, “it’s ‘cock’!” in the restaurant. When my good sense wins out over being a troll, I want acknowledgement for it.

House of Blues – Food and live music. Also happy hour. The food is okay, go for the atmosphere. Try the pulled pork sandwich or the fried chicken.

Werewolf – 627 4th Ave. It’s got good breakfasts and decent burgers (and other offerings) if you’re going for lunch or dinner.  The tables facing the windows and the ones on the sidewalk are a nice place to dine and watch all the other SDCC attendees who are still roaming around looking for a place to dine.

Hard Rock Cafe – 801 4th Ave. near Horton Plaza. The restaurant displays interesting rock memorabilia and offers American food (burgers, bbq, steaks, sandwiches). We’ve always gotten good service here. (Kudos to our servers for being friendly and on-the-ball when dealing with such huge crowds!)

There’s also a restaurant in the Hard Rock Hotel that changes its theme for Comic-Con. It was Cafe Diem (as in the cafe in the series Eureka) for several years. This year it’s The Expanse for the new SyFy show of the same name.

 Tin Fish Gaslamp – 170 6th Ave., across from Petco Park. This is close to the con and is always taken over and themed-up. This year it’s NBC promoting The Blindspot and Hereos Reborn. Last year it was The Blacklist. The theme doesn’t affect the menu – lots of seafood. It’s quick, it’s close, and it’s good. Also there are nearby recharging stations to charge up your cellphone.

Lou & Mickey’s – 224 5th Ave. is across the street (and tram tracks) from the convention center. There’s usually something con-related going on. This year Line Webtoon will have their US launch there.

Gaslamp Quarter Comic-Con – Get a map and find deals for SDCC visitors. It includes a list of off-site events.