Monday, June 27, 2011

Digiorno Pizza and Breadsticks Review

This weekend I had a chance to try the Digiorno Pizza and Breadsticks combo from the frozen food section. The variety I chose was pepperoni pizza and cheesy breadsticks. It retails for around $7. First off, it's very easy to cook. 400 degree oven for about 15 mins for the breadsticks and about 18 mins for the pizza. They suggest cooking both together and timing them properly, which I did. They both smelled good when they came out of the oven piping hot. Unfortunately, the breadsticks had nothing going for them besides the aroma. When you take them out of the box, they're melded together like a big piece of bread, with marks across them to show you where you're supposed to cut them/pull them apart. Trust me, do not attempt to pull them apart. All you'll do is wind up with bite-sized pieces of breadstick. You will not be able to easily pull apart a full "breadstick." Digiorno calls these "cheesy breadsticks." I prefer to call them "cardboard sticks." These things had absolutely no flavor to them. No cheese flavor, no garlic flavor, nothing. BLECH! Pizza Hut has nothing to worry about here.

Now, on to the pizza portion of the program. This was your normal frozen pizza, although it's not the normal "rising crust" pizza you get from Digiorno. It's a standard frozen pizza. But this was very good for frozen pizza. The crust wasn't tough, wasn't hard to chew. There wasn't much sauce, but I like my pizza that way. The pepperoni pieces were nice and big and tasted like standard pizza pepperoni, which can be good once in a while. Uncle Ernie liked his slice that he had too, which is a good thing.

All in all, for $7, I don't suggest this pairing. I suggest you stick with the basic Digiorno pizza and save a couple bucks. You're better off buying a tube of Pillsbury breadsticks from the refrigerator case of your supermarket along with a Digiorno pizza if you're hell-bent on having both pizza and breadsticks.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Uncle Ernie Says...#3

Good Morning Campers!

I love to scour the car care blogs…and I found a "recipe" for something that comes in very useful for cleaning windows or other glass objects (drinking glasses probably not a good idea).
It's for a homemade window cleaner…very few streaks (if any), cheap, simple, and very effective. Here's the mixture:

- 1 part water
- 1 part ammonia
- 1 part isopropyl alcohol (90% or better)

Mix in a spray bottle and off ya go! Great for windows and mirrors especially! Also works great on clear plastic lenses - such as eyeglasses.

BE WARNED…if you've had your car windows tinted POST-FACTORY, avoid this type of cleaner because anything ammonia-based will remove the tinting.

I also swear by microfiber towels. You can buy them virtually anywhere. Find them where the mops & brooms are…or in the Automotive department. Ammonia will be near the mops & brooms as well, but the isopropyl alcohol will be in the health & beauty section of your favorite megastore!


Friday, April 22, 2011

Review: Olive Garden Herb Cheese Soffatelli With Chicken

A couple days ago I was able to go to Olive Garden for free and I decided to try their new "Herb Cheese Soffatelli with Sauteed Chicken." This dish is described as "Artisan puff pastries filled with 5-cheese fonduta and herbs, served with sautéed chicken in a creamy garlic sauce." I had seen the TV commercials and it looked and sounded good to me. I am here to say it's decent, but not as good as it looks on TV (as if that wasn't a shocker). The puff pastries look exactly like they do on TV. Unfortunately, they don't have anywhere near the amount of cheese filling in them as they look on TV. Seriously, we're talking 80% pastry and 20% cheese filling. But, I must admit, it did taste good, when I got a bite with enough cheese filling in it, it was very herbal and pleasant, but might also be overwhelming for those who don't like things overly-herbed. The pastry was nicely browned and crisp and gave a nice crunch, except for the bottom part that seemed to have been sitting in the garlic cream sauce too long before it was served to me. The chicken, on the other hand, was very very good. They give you 2 thin pieces of chicken breast that have been pounded kinda thin, but not too-too thin. The chicken is topped with cheeses and fresh spinach and chopped tomatoes, along with the garlic cream sauce. The chicken I had was very tender and juicy and tasted great. The cheese held its own, but the spinach and tomatoes did absolutely nothing to the dish. The garlic cream sauce is just good enough to give the chicken that little extra flavor/creaminess. All in all, this isn't a terrible dish, but there are better dishes at Olive Garden.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Review: Dove Men + Care Anti-perspirant/deodorant

I recently received a free sample of Dove's new Men + Care Anti-perspirant/deodorant, Clean Comfort variety. It has a nice scent to it, but it almost seems a little too "feminine" for me. It does do a decent job of preventing perspiration, but some of you, like me, might need something stronger, like Old Spice's Red Zone. Just to give you a comparison of the active ingredient, aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex GLY, Dove has 14.8%, whereas Old Spice Red Zone has 19%. Mitchum has even more than Old Spice Red Zone, but it doesn't come in the chick-magnet scents that Old Spice has available. Dove isn't bad, but I think you're better off spending your money on Mitchum or Old Spice Red Zone.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Review: MIO Liquid Water Enhancer

I received a free sample of MIO Liquid Water Enhancer, Berry Pomegranate flavor, and I felt the need to review it, since a lot of people seem to dislike drinking plain water these days, which I don't know why. But anyways, I digress. This is the flavor they sent me. I was hoping for Strawberry Watermelon, but I guess beggars can't be choosers. This is a concentrated liquid that you put into water to make a tasty beverage. It's calorie-free and sugar-free, so there's no need to worry about packing on a few pounds like Kool-aid, Coca-cola, Pepsi, etc may do if you drink the regular stuff might do. The directions say to add one "squirt" into 8 oz. of water. What they mean by a "squirt" is anyone's guess. They also say you can add more to adjust to your own taste. OK then. I had a 16.9 oz. bottle of water here and decided to pour out about 2 oz. of water and add a squirt or 2 of MIO into it. I pinched off one squirt until it stopped, and then another (Yes, I could have made a ton of sexual references/puns/jokes here, but I am trying to keep it G-rated, thank you). I then capped it and shook it up to distribute the flavoring. It gives a nice deep purple color (cue "Space Truckin"). It definitely has a "berry" nice bouquet to it, but I can't detect any pomegranate (then again, I'm not sure what pomegranate is supposed to taste or smell like, even though it seems to be the fruit of the last 5 years...perhaps because pomegranates are expensive and so is the juice, so we lower-middle class people only have to imagine what they taste like, aside from artificial flavorings). As far as taste goes, this is OK, definitely has a good berry taste to it and seemed to have a more "natural" flavor to it than other beverages. I just wish they would have not used Aspartame for sweetening. Aspartame is why I don't drink most diet sodas, the aftertaste is just so bizarre. My guess is that this is marketed for those that have already been drinking flavored waters and are control freaks that want to decide how much flavor they want to add. This would also be good for those that want to keep the small bottle (yes, it's very small, about the size of an eye-drops bottle) in their drawer at work, and add to water from the water cooler, assuming they can get away from gossiping. All in all, this is a decent product. It will cost you about $4 for a bottle that the label says will give you 24 8-oz. "squirts," so decide for yourself if you think that's worth it. I'd be willing to try more flavors if they send me more free samples (are you listening/reading, Kraft?), but I don't know if I'd personally go out of my way to buy it. See below for links to purchase this stuff and read more reviews.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Uncle Ernie Says...#2

Hello Again Blog fans…

When you hear the words "paint thinner", you probably imagine some very strong, smelly, industrial-type chemical. This chemical also goes by the name "mineral spirits"…and is a VERY simple and practical cleaning solvent. It's also practically odorless :)

If you have issues with soap scum in your bathtub or shower, fear not! Take an old rag, dampen it with mineral spirits, and rub. It erases the waxy film with little elbow grease. You may need to go over the area a second time with the same method depending on how "scummy" the area may be.

Ever tried removing a label or sticker from something and the adhesive just wants to "stick" around? Peel off what you can CAREFULLY. Then use the same method mentioned above…the solvent quickly breaks down the gum and you end up with a clean, stick-free surface.

Those of us that LOVE our cars…seems like there are always spots of tar on the lower fenders that ordinary washing only wants to smear. Lightly rub a small rag dampened with mineral spirits over the spot and it disappears immediately! And don't be afraid to use it on your finish…remember it's a thinner…NOT a paint REMOVER. Follow up with a spray wax since the solvent will erase any wax that may have been in that area.

Lastly, if you have filmy windows around the house, give em a light rub with mineral spirits followed by your favorite window cleaner.

Happy Cleaning!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Pittsburgh Penguins - Matt Cooke

If Mario Lemieux really wants to stand by his statement and subsequent proposal to the NHL for head hits, then he should never have Matt Cooke play another game as a Pittsburgh Penguin. Matt Cooke was told both by head coach Dan Bylsma and general manager Ray Shero that his cheap-shot crap had to stop. And what did he do yesterday? He hit the New York Rangers' Ryan McDonagh in the head with a blatant elbow. WHY???? There has to be something about Cooke's head when he's on the ice that has to be evaluated. I know the game is fast and you have to react quickly, but if you go back and look at what he did, he had plenty of time to decide to hit or not hit. And it doesn't matter whether or not McDonagh has a concussion, etc. This is about him being a cheap-shot asshole. Plain and simple. Look, I love the Pens as much as any other Pens' fan, but you have to call a spade a spade. And this spade is beyond black, if there ever could be such a thing. At the time of this posting, nothing has yet to be determined by the NHL as to Cooke's discipline, but I think the Penguins' organ-I-zation needs to do more. Mario sent out his statement after the Islanders' debacle. Shero went to the GM meetings to try and get a change to the head-shots policy of the NHL. Neither got much of an acknowledgment. And then Matt Cooke does this yesterday. This is a HUGE black eye on the Penguins, and they have to do something. Yes, the NHL will come down fairly hard on Matt Cooke for what he did, but I think the Penguins need to do more. What that is, I don't know. There are lots of possibilities (scratching, release, etc.). At the end of the day, I can't see Matt Cooke being a Pittsburgh Penguin next year. My opinion only. Thank you.