Tag: product review (Page 1 of 9)

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!

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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Reviewing Three Rao’s Frozen Entrees

Update 12/2021: Rao’s is now our favorite jarred pasta sauce and we buy it every time we find it on sale. I’ve also heard you can buy it at Costco.  

After posting about trying a few frozen meals from Rao’s Made For Home line, a few friends shared they like Rao’s jarred pasta sauce – I’ve curiously looked at the jars in the grocery stores, but never bought one before because I’m a cheap ass.

My parents always bought Prego or Ragu. I buy the cheapest, nicest marinara I can find. Usually it’s Newman’s Own or a store brand with a short ingredient list. I’ve made my own marinara from scratch, but find it tasted worse than when I doctor up a cheap jar of marinara with sautéed onions, garlic, fresh herbs, wine, or butter. . .

With Rao’s frozen entrees in our freezer this week, we randomly watched an old season of Top Chef where the contestants cooked at Rao’s in NYC. I’m probably not going to buy the $8 jar of marinara sauce and we’re obviously not going to dine at Rao’s anytime soon (or ever, because basically no one can).

Rao’s NYC is offering takeout for the first time via text requests.

So, this is the next best thing?

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Taste Test: Ore Ida Just Crack An Egg

Ore Ida is here to solve our relationship with breakfast.

“We made Ore Ida’s Just Crack an Egg because we noticed the world’s relationship with breakfast was, well, a bit strained. We shouldn’t have to choose between a hot, homemade breakfast and a fast, bland, cold one,” their website says.

I used to scoff at microwaved eggs until I found myself trying to cook eggs at 5:30 a.m. Of course cooking eggs in a pan tastes better. But I found that I didn’t really want to mess around with egg shells and hot pans early in the morning before running to my bus.

Microwaved eggs were good enough. Maybe even luxurious, because they were a warm breakfast.

I’ve side-eyed Just Crack An Egg bowls at the grocery store for a long time. Call it morbid curiosity. The three little words, “Just crack an egg,” the convenience, the tidy little package. . .

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