Sunday, December 8, 2013

.FOOrD BLOrG. Stick with it! (or don't... maybe stick with not sticking with it.)

I am not a big quote person. Like, I am not too into quoting other people. It just seems weird to me that people fuel their lives & ambitions with the words of others. Perhaps though, that is because I often don't quite get what the point is. For instance; "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." To me that sounds like "When things get difficult, you should leave. Look, it is either stick around and get sweaty and uncomfortable or go do something less challenging." My interpretation makes sense to me but it is hardly the point of the initial quote. 

Thanks to the Internet I have to read quotes from people all the time. Which I do not understand. Its like saying "Here is something I wish I had said." Or "I found a sentence that says something but then I thought about it and it meant something more." Either way, I don't think those people are smart for reading a sentence or short paragraph and copying it for everyone to see. Look, I am not saying people shouldn't stick up for what they believe in I just think it would mean more if you used your own words. 

I know. I know. You might be thinking "Geez who rained on your parade?" To which I will say two things: 1. Don't make slight of me owning a parade. You don't know what I aspire to. I don't say "Who rained on your Person Who Has A Hiney For A Head Convention (that you are presently king of.) Maybe I had a package of tostada shells fall on my head today. Yeah, and maybe it happened twice. Double yeah, and maybe my head broke all the shells. Yes, I am having that kind of day. However I am trying to move past it. You know "Cuz whatever doesn't kill you....should literally kill you for using this stupid expression." (That sounded right.) 

So today we are talking about sticks. Snacks on sticks. Also today we are talking about "Sticking with it." (Sigh) I don't know, lets just get to the first snack.

Well would you look at that grin! Here is a little guy that can't help but to make you smile. S got me this little treat from Fubon on 82nd here in Portland, OR. It looks like he is having a hell of a party there. Yep. Everyone seems to have shown up. There is Cup Dude, Chocolate Pie Head, Purple Alien Bee, Red Monkey Devil, Capt. Onion Noggin, and Wind Chill Faced Pete! (I don't actually know any of these characters. Prior to S giving me this I had no idea it existed. Clearly it is from something though. Maybe a TV show or a comic book. Something fun for sure.)

Uh huh. Here we can see a small boy telling secrets to severed heads. Ah to be young again. (*Side note: Is that boy nude cuz it looks like his winkie is danglin' there.)

Hot Damn! That is cute. Isn't it? Isn't that just the bees knees? (By that I of course mean, it doesn't exist. Yeah, the saying implies that it is great or ideal but in truth, bees don't have knees. The world you are living in is a lie.) This sucker though, is darling. Lets see how it tastes:

S- This tastes like Quik. Like that instant chocolate milk. Nesquik, yeah. Well, the pink part tastes like strawberry as well. It seems like a lot of money for a little amount of chocolate. I think they were really banking on the cute points here. I give it a 3 out of 5.

d- Well, I like that it is fudgy and not chalky. You are right, it does taste like Quik. 3.5- Foreign Languages. Look, I studied French for 4 years. I went to France. I spoke less than 4 words. (*I'd like to pause this post to share with you my french expertise: Je pense le thon est comme ci comme ca. = I think the tuna is neither here nor there. Je mange la saucisson. = I eat the sausage. Ou est tu biftek gar? = Where is your beef station. I am not sure if that is the proper conjugation for beef station. You learn that in the 5th year.) Seriously. You don't need it. Don't stick to learning that stuff. Learn something universally bad ass like nun chucks.-out of 5.

Alright, next we have this lollipop. This is a sriracha flavored lollipop. It was a gift from my parents. I don't know where it came from. However any simple search will result in lots of people offering this candy now. Since everything has gone sriracha. Mayo, chips, ketchup, donuts, candy,  you name it and someone is putting this sauce into it. Don't get me wrong. It is fine. (Full of weird stuff, but fine.)

S- This isn't spicy at all. It is supposed to taste like sriracha? It just tastes like dust. I do not like this. 1 out of 5.

d- Peanut? Dusty peanut. Why do I get a nut flavor? There is a touch of heat in the throat of the finish. Barely any heat. This tastes like an old candy shell that was once on a nut. This is like old plastic and dusty corn syrup. You know what? This tastes exactly like this time my father brought home a candy machine and we had it in our garage. (Yeah, mad cool dad points right there.) One side had peanut M&Ms and the other had some kind of red candy shell nut situation going on. This tastes like the cheap shell on those nuts. Clearly this was an attempt to cash in on a trend. This happens all too often. Oh a basil jalapeno lollipop? Then you get it and it barely tastes like anything. Or worse it just tastes like one thing. Then you can call it a "one trick pony." (Which I must say that whomever coined that term was really ungrateful to have a pony at all. Most people would be fine with a no trick pony. Like it just does average pony things. Let alone one that can pull a nickel out of your ear. Do you know how hard it is for a pony to get even one nickel? Plus once the pony finds these nickles where is a pony going to keep a nickle? Yeah, so don't count your blessings until they are...chickens. Which of a feather, will flock together...) Typical. I give this snack a 1-Karate! Don't stick with karate or any type of fighting. Just try to avoid every scenario where that would be needed. Ninja parties. Ninja garage sales. Ninja knitting circles. Ninja pilates. Hot Yoga for Ninjas. Any type of Ninja fight club, which can be a challenge because nobody is talking about it being a Ninja fight club. To avoid that last one just always talk about ninja fight club. If you are somewhere and people aren't into talking about ninja fight club, you are in a ninja fight club.  Pretty much steer clear of any and all ninja functions. Even with your beacoup nun chuck training it won't go the way you think. Just do some squat thrusts and meditate-out of 5.

Oh man, if there is one place that pretty much never fails to let me down in the snack dept. (esp. candy) it is Mexico. Here we have the Rockaleta. It is a sucker with not one but four layers of chili powder and four flavors before you reach the gum center. That might sound like a real deal of a treat to you. That is, if you have never eaten the atrocities that are candies from Mexico.

"A better way to rock?" I can think of a better way to rock. Actual rocks. Yes. I would rather eat an actual rock than this sucker. Look at how disturbing that sucker is. It is a hard candy with teeth. That is so very creepy. That is like a tooth with teeth in it. (Your nightmares will thank me for that.) Now about the sunglasses. WTF? If a living sucker needed any type of protective eye wear...sunglasses? How about goggles? Yeah, think about it! If a giant tongue is going to erode your face, the first thing to go will be your supple orbs of vision. (Your nightmares will thank me for that as well.)

Oh no. It looks even grosser than I thought. If you don't see the evil there it is because you can't tell or don't know that each layer of chili has salt as well. Yes. It is like someone who has never had candy designed this candy. "Hey Alonzo, do you like candy?" "Do I like what? I have literally never heard of or had whatever you are talking about. Is it like butts and trash?" "Um, close enough. You are hired to create Rockaletta!" (Pretty sure that is how it went down.)

Here is how it went down for us:

S-Ugh. It is salty!!! It is salty and leathery! (I should note that at this point she made a seriously grossed out face!) I can't eat this anymore. It is like somebody sweated on my candy. It is seriously disgusting. I don't even need to know what the other layers taste like. I give it a 0 and feel bad for the zero for being in relation to this. It is one of the worst.

d- Ok. It smells like if evil had breath. The stagnant breath of evil is probably their tag line for this. Ugh. It tastes salty. Not the kind of salt that you'd attribute to food either. This tastes "of a body." (Your nightmares are going to need to write me a Thank You card.) So far this sucker smells of leathery earth and tastes like the salt from a body. Mmmmm. At this point even being disgusted had lost all sense of fun. My eyes began to tear up a bit and not because of the chili. The chili isn't hot. I really don't know what is in here. It just tastes gritty and powdery with a hint of tang. The bad kind of tang. So I walked into the kitchen so that if I vomited I would be close to the sink or toilet and began biting at the horrid curse of a confection. Small shards of salty garbage began breaking off and sticking to my teeth. Sticking! Here I was battling it out with the Rockaleta and I was losing. My mouth started to do that salivating thing. You know the one that happens when you start really doing some serious self talk "It's OK. Keep it down. Don't think about it. Certainly don't think of the term "of a body." However I had to press onward. This was all for a very serious and well read blog after all. (Hi mom. Hello wife. They are separate people.) Then suddenly it gave way and I bit thru to the center. Did it look like the packaging? No.  Not at all. It looked like the inside of a really cheap candy. The colors were all muddled and dingy looking. It looked like it regretted looking like that almost as much as I regretted looking. You know that moment in horror films where the monster realizes it is the monster and that it is unnatural and must go? That is how the Rockaleta looked. So I threw it in the trash. Not the compost. The trash. I would have burned it if I could or shot it out into deep space like in Aliens. I don't even know if there were four different tastes of evil in this candy or just 4 different stages of regret for your tongue to wade through. I give this snack a 0- TV Series. Anytime someone says that a show isn't great but stick with it and it gets..... No. How about I just watch something interesting. You can tell me about your show but I am not going to spend hours getting to know characters and waiting for some kind of tension or messed up decision. God forbid it be set in the current times as well. I am not interested in castles, princes, maidens, townsfolk, kings etc... I doth not care!!!-out of 5.

Next we have cotton candy from a store here in N. Portland called Candy Babel. The owner makes the cotton candy (which I hear is tricky due to moisture and well  the fact that this is Oregon.) She also makes it without some kind of caking chemical that is in most cotton candy. This flavor is Black Currant.

S-I like it. The flavor is great. I don't know if I really know what black currant tastes like but this is good. The flavor is really interesting and the texture is quite cottony. I mean this is great cotton candy. 5 out of 5.

d- Wow. You said it so perfectly that I'd like to quote you. "I like it. The flavor is great. I don't know if I really know what black currant tastes like but this is good. The flavor is really interesting and the texture is quite cottony. I mean this is great cotton candy." -S

I give this snack a 5-Working Out. You really don't need to always be "taking it to the max." Sometimes just take it half ways to the max. Lets be honest, people who workout a ton also look like they stare at themselves nude a lot. (and they are into it.) I am all for taking care of yourself. Sure. Not every man needs to drink beer until he is shaped like a lumberjack Alfred Hitchcock at 30. I am just saying it is weird if the person who you are intimate with is more into their own body than yours. While we are being honest, anytime I see someone who is too fit I mentally tell them to "Eat a sandwich." It is OK. Be a person. Oh and maybe just tell your coach at the gym or whatever about how many miles you run every hour and how many squat thrusts you do in your sleep. You don't see me publicly talking about all the candy I eat.-out of 5.

Lastly today we have a real treat. One that will really blow your mind! It comes from Japan. I ordered it and I will order more. Like a box of them. I know I should leave this for the end but I can't talk about this candy without glowing.  So you can see on the front that it is 1-3 something or 13 something. There is also a cute little face! We can also see a lemon and something green. Not sure maybe a lime or apple and on the other side we see grapes. Ok. Grape flavor and Japan? You know this is going to be amazing.

Here you have your typical story. A man with a nice haircut tied a bow on a horse made of fish that he bought from a cheeky panda who was constipated. Then he blacked out until he was awoken by a dog stealing his bone. 20+ times. Pretty sure that is what it means.

Really quickly I wanted to show you the close up of this little one. What does that say? Probably "Look at how freaking adorable this is! (While I am feeling particularly bitter. What is with people who say "adoughable" for adorable? It is horrible. If somebody says that just slap them with the kitten they are looking at. Ok, I am kidding unless it is a picture of a kitten or a "Hang in there!" poster. Slap with that for days.) I mean, all of this package is giving away the secrets that lurk within but I don't know what it says so lets look closer!

Ah! It is even cuter in real life!!! Awe. It seems embarrassed. I really think it is blushing. Judging by the color of the candy I am going to guess that this is grape. Lets see the back of it.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Are you kidding me right now? This side is in LOVE! Well, so am I little sucker. Wait a minute. What do you think that is? Candy? A toy? The cutest choking hazard of all time?

WHAT!?! That is correct. This sucker has two sides. Two different flavors. Also the center is candy as well. (Spoiler alert: These flavors go together like poor hygiene and skateboarders.) Wow. It would appear that this candy was designed with every care taken into account. Well, except for the stick. Or...

THERE IS GUM HIDDEN IN THE STICK OF THE LOLLIPOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yeah, that's it. All other lollipop companies take note. You just lost. Unless this treat tastes like Alonzo made it. Lets see:

S- Ok. One side is grape. I think the other side is apple. Both flavors are great separately but somehow they work well together too. It isn't too sweet. I don't know which I like better. Maybe the apple side since I have such a high expectation now for Japanese grape candy. This is really fun to eat. I have to give it a 5.

d- It should be no surprise that this treat gets a 6. Yeah, I know that there has never been a 6 before but they nailed every aspect of this candy! OK. Grape? Yes. It isn't syrupy. It is a classic Japanese grape candy flavor. Light and pleasant. Apple? Yes. The apple is cider like and brings some fresh tartness to the party. Fantastic separate but when enjoyed together, AWESOME. Now for the center. It is a disc of fizzy radness. Yea, so halfway into your lollipop enjoyment suddenly is goes from a juice drink lollipop to a soda pop lollipop.  The center tablet is ramune flavored. What? Yeah. Insane. Oh and the stick that is hiding the gum surprise? Cola flavored gum. I KNOW. This is like a kid designed it. Like me when I was a kid. It is all of these things and it only cost a dollar. One dollar. I ordered this from Tokyo. I feel like this candy broke all the rules and for that it gets a 6- Healthifying recipes! Not everything can be made skinny and lite. Figure out a balance people because at some point the dish isn't the same thing anymore. Quit always eating things that require you to imagine that they are something else. (Use your imagination for fun not to pretend you aren't miserable.) Cut corners somewhere else and allow yourself to enjoy a taco pizza or a Louisiana Gravy Barge (the food not the sex move.) Whatever you are into. Don't work hard all day and your reward be a version of something that isn't even remotely like your favorite spaghetti bake.  A Bulgar burger is not a burger. It's a grain wad. I am not saying don't eat healthy. I just think that while you are eating mostly healthy also remember to treat yourself. If you want pie then eat pie. Don't eat a piece of an apple and an oat while thinking "mmmm pie." That's not pie. No matter how you slice it, you are being a stupid pie.-out of 5.

Well, I feel better. How are you all? I hope you enjoyed this post and can free yourself from sticking to somethings that maybe are taking too much energy from you. Me? Oh I am definitely going to stick to not judging people and only worrying about myself. I think it is going well. Till next time,

“People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.” ― Abraham Lincoln.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

.FOOrD BLOrG. Tea'd Off.

"I pitty the fool with a rude unbrewed attitude."
~Mr. Tea

Ugh. Stress, am I right? I mean who needs it? (A lot of people actually, but I hate it.) For the most part I live a pretty laid back life. I mean I do things and get things done, but I am not about the drama and I don't really see a need in getting all bent out of shape over things that will turn out one way or another. Look, you have a deadline, you have a lot of work to do to meet it. Why not try to have as much fun as possible while you do so? Why be all negative and stressed the whole time? Although even with all that being said, stress will still worm its way into us. When it does, we all have different ways to cope. 

Some people turn to the bottle. The old booze. The genie in a bottle (nobody says that). Some people work out (those people stress me out.) Some people knit (I am guessing). Some people read equestrian spy novels (I am really guessing). Some people take baths and some people smoke weed (The weed people probably also invented the equestrian spy novel genre). My point is that we all need a way to soothe ourselves when the going gets rough and today our snacks are focused on one of those ways. 

A nice cup of tea.

So take a seat and cozy up to the screen and lets get this par-tea started! (If you already groaned at that, you'd be best off not finishing reading this.) Oh I almost forgot, today's 1-5 scale is brought to you by methods to calm ones self or to find tranquili-TEA!!!! (I warned you.) In case you didn't know I am pretty much a guru of stress reduction. So you will no doubt marvel at my vast knowledge in the field. I know, lucky you! I mean all of this helpful information is free even! Please, enjoy.


Our first snack comes from the fine folks at Sugarfina. They are a company where you can order a variety of candies and treats. Most of them are packaged in cute little boxes, and when I ordered they included little packets of some other snacks to try. This is one of those snacks. Matcha Green Tea Caramels. I know. Sounds cray cray! (Is anyone still saying that? Yes. Oh good. Wait, is anyone cool still saying it? No? They never were? Oh man. Can't we all just get oolong?)

I know that photo is a bit blurry but compare the two pics. They are of the same candy but why is one yellow and one green? How weird is that? (Probably some sort of scientific explanation steeped in mystery....Steeped. Get it? Ok. Moving on.)

S- Well, it tastes like old tea. Oh man. It tastes like cheap-old green tea. Like dollar store tea. This is too bad bc I like the company and I give them a style point for the packaging but ultimately I give this a 1 out of 5.

d- It smells like maple syrup. No, it smells like a scratch n sniff sticker that was scented to smell like maple syrup a long time ago. Now that it is in my mouth it is somehow both gritty and waxy. The caramel seems cheap as well.  Perhaps I am not familiar with green tea. Is it normally like sand in maple syrup? (Like cheap sand. Not the good kind of sand. You know, like dollar store sand.) I am completely serious when I tell you that this tastes nas-TEA! (Are you really still reading this?) I give this snack a 1- Deep breathing. If you want to make it sound tougher (or nerdier) you can call it "dragon breaths." When the stress hits the fan just take some slow deep breaths in thru your nose and out thru your mouth. Try not to randomly pee yourself as having pee pants will likely stress you out further. Also focus on anything except the sheer amount of germs and ghost poots that you are probably huffing at that moment because it can be distracting and counter productive. I also once heard of a person who's guts just fell out from being too relaxed...So don't do that. -out of 5.

Second we have a Smith Tea Smoked Chai Caramel. I know. Way more cray....z. (Crazy) than the last caramel! This treat comes from Quin here in Portland. Quin offers a variety of hand made candies and can be found online at or in fine shops abound. There isn't much in the way of elaborate packaging here. Which is nice because I don't have to worry about a smoke screen to distract me from what the confection is. Simplicity often puts me at ease. Nothing sends up more snack red flags than packaging boasting all kinds of things and making all sorts of promises. Think of those old time snake oil salesmen. Big banners everywhere trying to convince you to buy their product. I find most often that the best treats just say what they are and that is all they need. Now let's try it.

S- I love that this is actual tea. All to often things have a fake tea flavor. I also really like the texture of Quin's caramels. I have had many of their flavors and the quality of the caramel is always satisfying. I give this a 4 out of 5.

d- The first thing that strikes me is the rich flavor of the caramel. Second I notice that it has a very luxurious mouth feel. (Like I would imagine eating an angel's perm would feel.) None of the candy is sticking to my teeth at all. The tea component comes on almost as a second stage of deliciousness and even then it isn't super assertive. The tea element lingers on the palette not unlike after you take a drink of real tea and the aromatic elements ghost ride your tongue a bit.  Quite nice. I give it a 4- Pressure points. My friend Daniel once showed me a spot that you could pinch in your hand that would make your headache go away. I know. Cra...Insane. Turns out there is like a ton of these spots all over your body. One of them, you put one hand on your third eye (that is between your other two eyes.) (*The real ones.) and the other on your collar bone and take deep breaths (Remember my previous warnings about the breaths though...) There is also a point on your hand that you can pinch but it is really close to the anti-constipation pressure point called "opening the river" or something to that effect. So maybe watch out there. -out of 5.

This is an interesting one. It was a gift from our dear friend JC. (Not to be confused with often bearded JC. Our friend JC doesn't have a beard but still often preforms miracles. Delicious miracles.) We have four flavors of this so you will probably see the others later on. This treat hails from yume Asian confections. It is called Sea Glass Jelly Candy. (Yeah, I don't know either. I had no idea this existed until she gave it to us. That is like just finding out that a unicorn is real and then being offered unicorn sashimi.) (*Side note: Pretty sure unicorn sashimi has the same texture as permed angel hair as well.) The flavor is Burgamot. Now I know that Burgamot is an orange type fruit but our frame of reference for burgamot is most often in tea. So that is why it is in our tea pot. Post, I meant post.

Here we can see the ingredients: (you can't really but I will list them for you.) water, sugar, agar, and essential oils. Simple enough. The really interesting part here is that it also  has a "Consume or freeze by" on the label band. I mean it looks like your average rock candy so what could go bad? Lets further investigate.

I do have to say that this is one of the most beautiful confections that I have had the pleasure of reviewing. I mean it looks like broken glass.

S- Well, first of all it has a really cool texture. It is also really interesting, fun, and pretty. The flavor is great. It is crunchy on the outside and soft inside. I give this a 5 out of 5.

d- Either it smells like plastic or I am imagining that based on the appearance or from the packaging. The mouth feel is as I expected. It is like a hard candy or a sugar crystal. Oh wait! It just broke. It has like a light shell on the outside! Then inside it is a light jelly. I have never had anything like this. Wow was I wrong about this. I have to try another piece because I was so distracted by the shape and density that I missed the flavor. I have to say that the flavor is a tad tea like. Not overtly citrusy. This is amazing stuff. I give it a 5- Be positive! When you encounter a person who is frustrating you and in doing so is causing you stress just say this to yourself "They are doing the best that they can." The fact is, most people aren't out to get you. People aren't making mistakes to mess with you on purpose. In reali-TEA they are doing the very best that they can but to error is human and most humans are positively stupid.  -out of 5.

Our final tea snack is from Klein's. Here we have a Sugar Free Earl Grey hard candy. Think tiny lozenges. Yeah, you got it.

Upon opening the box there is a scent not unlike opening a jar of Lipton's Iced Tea mix. This is a nostalgic smell for me as my mother always had that around the house when I was a wee tot. Lets see how it tastes:

S- I like the beginning. However after awhile it tastes like when you leave your tea bag in your cup and it gets bitter. I give it a 2 out of 5.

d- Oh snap. This has a REALLY strong tea flavor. ( "Hello! Is it TEA you're looking for? -Lionel RichTEA). The candy is about the size of a cherry Runts. (I wish it was a cherry Runts.) It is surprisingly not sweet which is nice. Except the candy is so concentrated that it transitions from tea to soapy tea really quickly. It is like if you were a kid and drinking tea and said "F*CK THIS TEA IS STRONG!" and your guardian promptly washed your mouth out with soap. I give it a 2- The Badger of Sereni-TEA. Imagine the cute tiny hands of the Badger of Serenity are cradling your heart. Its claws are not slashing your innards to ribbons (as they could so easily do) but are instead ever so gently warming your heart. The Badger of Serenity's fang filled mouth is gracefully nestled at your throat. Its jaws are not crushing your larynx though, as would be a non-Badger of Serenity's nature. Instead the Badger of Serenity is purring. A soothing purr sound not to be confused with the aggressive coarse sound the average badger would make as it sloppily guzzled your blood that would spill forth from your viciously severed arteries as the average badger made what can only be described as a breeding den of your eviscerated lung cavity. No. The Badger of Serenity means you no harm. As long as no ordinary badgers have followed the Badger of Serenity here, you will be fine. -out of 5.

Hopefully you enjoyed our little chat, I know I did. I would like to think we all learned a little about ourselves. I learned that I am possibly the worst stress reduction guru. (OR THE BEST!) See you next time.

Tea-U l8tr!

P.S. You might notice that I took the high road here and did not make one tea bag joke. Yeah, some of us are really growing up. I decided not to get too dir-TEA! Awe yea! One more!!! (#SorryNotSorry)