Category: product review (Page 1 of 11)

Costco Product Review: Pork Schnitzel & Buttered Spaetzle

The other week we went to Valley Fair.

I really wanted to win a stuffed toy for my child so I thought about paying $5 to have the guy guess my age/height/weight.

Ultimately I changed my mind, but he probably could have nailed my age if I told him how much I looked forward to leisurely wandering around Costco on my next day off.

The food at Valley Fair is really expensive and just ok? I get it, we’re a captive audience but c’mon. The cheese on a stick, though, as good as we remember a zillion years ago. Curses to anyone who effs up a gooey stick of fried American cheese, though. 

During our trip to Costco last weekend, we bought the German-Style Ventera Pork Schnitzel Ventura Pork Schnitzel and Zak’s Tavern Oktoberfest Buttered Spaetzle. 

Both were featured in an end cap in the refrigerated section.

One of Jake’s favorite foods of all times is jagershnitzel. I’ve tried to make it twice but my gravy is never as good as Black Forest Inn’s. Also, meat cutlets are a lot of work. There’s a reason why restaurants charge so much for dishes like schnitzel and chicken parm – because making them is a pain in the ass.

I can’t find the prices online but the schnitzel meal cost around $20 and the spaetzle cost around $8.

When I saw this pork schnitzle meal kit, I became very hopeful that this would be an easy shortcut to a crispy meat cutlets.

Is it too good to be true?

Well, kind of.

I opened the package and gasped.

I would, in fact, have to bread and cook my own pork cutlets.

The kit contains breading mixture, gravy, and pork.

To prepare the pork cutlets, microwave the pork for a minute. The pork appears to be fully cooked. Then, peel apart the pork slab into the pre-cut slices, dredge each one in the breadcrubs, and pan-fry on both sides until crisp. I set the slices on paper towels to drain.

Simply heat the gravy.

Zak’s Tavern claims to make the spaetzle in batches from a classic Bavarian recipe. 

Instructions say to microwave or heat in a pan.

The spaetzle comes out of the packege in a big glob. I tried to cook it in a pan with some butter – but as the spaetzle heated, it released so much butter sauce the spaetzle was bubbling in it. I drained out as much as possible.

I didn’t like the sour flavor of the sauce that must come from the vinegar listed in the ingredient list. After I drained most of the sauce and let the dumplings cook until crisp, they tasted much better.

I was skeptical about the pork, being pre-cooked and dredged only in the breadcrumbs straight from the package.

All in all, the meal actually tasted really good. The pork cutlets were tender and flavorful, the gravy was satisfyingly rich, and the spaetzle, while not as good as homemade, scratched the spaetzle itch.

It wasn’t the easiest thing to make after work but it also wasn’t the hardest.

The toddler wasn’t fond of the meal, but it’s hard to predict what she’ll like.

I even ate the leftovers the next morning for breakfast.

9/10 – would buy again!

Recent Favorites: Make-up, Clothes, Food.

Whenever we have a cold February week like this, I think of something my old high school math teacher said. We had returned to class after a cold weekend and he said he spent the weekend cold, hungry and having to pee.

I have no idea why he said that to us, but I remember we paused and kind of nodded like, yeah, that is actually how you feel.

As you can imagine, life working full-time and caring for a soon to be one-year-old can be overwhelming in both good and challenging ways. Sometimes each day feels like running a marathon. Here are some recent favorites in many categories:

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Birds Eye Frozen Appetizer Taste Test

In the latest installment of taste-testing intriguing frozen things, I try two Birds Eye appetizers: Cheddar Broccoli Bake and Buffalo Cauliflower Wings.

Each cost around $4 at Target.

For these taste tests I don’t care if the food is healthy or trendy or beautiful. I care about the ultimate question. . . but is it good?

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A Review: Beecher’s “World’s Best” Mac & Cheese

OOoo, “World’s best Mac & Cheese!” I thought as I noticed it in the frozen food aisle. But at $11.99 I was totally not buying this.

After Jake went to the grocery store one day, I found this in our freezer. He makes the best impulse buys.

On that particular day, he found it on sale at Whole Foods for $6!

Certainly worth a taste test to see if it really is the world’s BEST mac and cheese.

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Frozen Shit I Ate At Midnight

Fortunately, I am no longer eating frozen shit at midnight. For a while when we were taking overnight shifts watching Addie, I was.

I’d wander downstairs bleary-eyed and heat something up. If I couldn’t heat it up in a microwave I wouldn’t buy it.

Heck, I just turned on my oven for the first time last week. I made a Brewpub pizza after she went to bed and it was delightful. I almost forgot what molten hot cheese felt and tasted like.

I’m still not cooking much, but I’m cooking a little. On Sundays, we’ll tag team watching Addie and grill a bunch of stuff.

Otherwise it’s delivery, takeout, bags of those hardboiled eggs for survival, and, well. . .frozen stuff.

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