Monday, June 18, 2018

English Muffin Sandwich - Deal of the Day Review

McDonald's Egg McMuffin may be sweating cheesy bullets because Weight Watchers Smart Ones English Muffin Sandwich are showing up in my local 99c only Stores. Especially when McMuffins are in the $3 dollar range, and you get 2 Smart Ones sandwiches for 99.99 cents!

Of course, Weight Watchers have to deliver in flavor to detour a Mickey D's customer to this frozen Deal of the Day breakfast sammie.

First, the cheese is an American processed type and that is okay with me. It is a small looking square, but  is enough to melt nicely into the English muffin crevices.

Do be careful with your first bite, as the cheese can microwave molten lava-hot. Melty cheese with egg is a perfect combination.

Egg puck heats up perfectly. It keeps a scrambled egg texture - a little more solid, but still moist and fluffy. The egg is well mixed and a bright yellow. It's a thin puck, but enough to fill the English muffin.

I do prefer McDonald's McMuffin blended egg, where you can see the white is not totally mixed into the yolk, so there is a strong yolk taste that contrasts with milder egg white.

When you remove the sandwiches from the plastic wrapper, make sure to shake out any ice crystals that may have formed in the bag, or you will have damp spots on the English muffin.

Microwave instructions direct you to heat for a minute, 20 seconds. I did one minute and that was enough. I would start at one minute, then add 10 or 15 second increments so you don't turn the cheese into a watery paste.

Do watch as the sandwich heats up because the melted cheese is slippery and the English muffin will slide off and leave a cheesy mess on the microwave oven plate.

Click on any photo to see larger.

The English muffins are an Achilles' heel of this cheap$kate Deal of the Day. Microwaving bread is always a problem. The texture becomes mushy with strange chewy bits. I mean, it taste fine like typically baked sourdough and it has all the nooks and crannies.

Maybe the solution is to microwave the egg puck separately; reheat the English muffins in a toaster; and place the room temperature cheese slice between the hot egg and toasted bread. Oh, in most cases I probably won't do this, but sometimes?

What is nice about having the McDonald's-style McMuffin at home is you can add whatever you like. Me, I go for a thick tomato slice and mayo.

I am not wise in the ways of Weight Watchers, but I assume this is a low-calorie meal, that is, if you just eat one English Muffin Sandwich. One sandwich was enough for me when I added tomato. It is easy to have just one as each sandwich is wrapped separately.

The ingredient list is a little long, when you add in the processed cheese. But overall not unusual for frozen fare.

Since this sandwich is only cheese, egg and bread, it's a lighter meal, compared to an Egg McMuffin with Canadian bacon or sausage. And it quickly microwaves, and travels well on the road to work, if you are in a rush in the morning.

So how does Weight Watchers Smart Ones English Muffin Sandwich Deal of the Day rate on my Cheap$kate Dining Scale of 1 to 9, 9 being best? Well, I give this tasty breakfast sandwich a strong 7.

If you don't have time to wait in the drive-thru line at McDonald's in the morning, my latest Deal of the Day may satisfy your Egg McMuffin urge.

As a bonus to my visitors, here is my Homemade Egg McMuffin, with easy to follow directions, so you can make your own one day?

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Father's Day Recipes

I know what guys like to eat, I know what guys want. So get out your notebook, or bookmark this page for a slew of recipes that Fathers everywhere will enjoy.

I've had my father-in-law, Bob, over for lunch and dinner. He's a real meat and potatoes type of guy. So what's on the menu for his Father's Day? First off, I would make him a good old Anglo-Saxon, Old World, hearty Sherperd's Pie (recipe here.)

This most British of dishes is literally made with meat and potatoes. It's a one-pot meal and simplicity defined. Just make your favorite mashed potatoes (or follow my recipe) and spread it over a beefy, tomato paste and Worchestershire-flavored stew, which also includes: ground meat (I used cheap ground turkey,) onion, carrots and peas. And you finish it off in the oven, until pipping hot.

After that meal your Dad may be put in a food coma, so make sure he has his favorite spot on the couch ready, including a foot cushion and TV remote controller.

For more meaty meals to serve your Dad (or Husband) just click on any of the following recipes: Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce, Sausage and Sauerkraut with Beer, Pulled Pork, Chicken Fried Steak & Gravy, Homemade Deli Pastrami, Chicken Stroganoff, Roast Cuban Pork, Meatloaf, Carnitas (Mexican-style pork,) Baked Lasagna with Ground Chicen, Sweet and Sour Pork, Mint Roasted Chicen, Steak Carne Asada, Pork Bourguignon, and BBQ Chicken.

My Louisiana neice, Candyse, is a new mother. You've seen her in a couple of my Mom's cooking videos. I even made one with her husband, and proud papa to newborn Ava, Chef Tony. He's the face (creating a bunch of cooking videos) and main chef for BBQ Guys. When I asked him what Cajun dish he wanted to cook for this blog, he chose a classic Cajun dish - Crawfish Etouffee (written recipe here.) Check out the talented Chef Tony in action in my video below.

Dad's definitely like seafood, so give Chef Tony's rich flavorful stew a try for one of the main men in your life. Other seafood entrees I would recommend are (click on any name to see): Fish and Chips, Scallop Rolls, Fish Tacos, Fish Veracruz, a rich Portabella Crab Rockefeller, Coconut Crusted Fish & Mango Salsa, Scallops and Snow Peas Stir Fry and Salmon Olympia.

My Louisiana sister Brenda is married to Rich and he is the Dad to 2 of my nephews, who are have put many hours at the grill in various restaurnats. I always have a good time making cooking videos with them whenever I visit Cajun country. Like Chef Zakk's Blackened Fish and Sweet Potato Hash right here.

My oldest nephew, Chef Matt, has a nickname for me.

He also has a cute boy named Miles and he's a handful. If you are thinking of having a boy then you want to check out my video below of Miles First Bite to see what's in store!

Click on the follow recipe names if you would like to cook a Cajun inspired meal for Father's Day, including: Zakk's Cajun Style Pasta Primavera and Blackened Fish with Sweet Potato Hash, Mom's Chicken & Andouille Sausage Gumbo and Jambalaya, Matt's Alligator Po'Boy Sandwich, and Shrimp and Grits.

If your Dad (or Husband) likes it raw then I have the perfect recipes for you, my Sushi Video Series, that includes a Spicy Tuna Handroll and Nigiri Tuna Sushi (but if he's squeamish of raw fish, I have a colorful California Roll made with cooked krab, here.)

I break it all down for you with easy-to-follow sushi rolling GIF illustrations and a Sushi Rice recipe as well. Click here to get started or click on any recipe name above.

I work with a vegetarian Dad. We're facebook friends so I am enjoying his latest posts featuring his high school daughter who just graduated. She even once posted about making a Mushroom Risotto for his birthday. Well, I don't know her recipe, but if it's good enough for her Pops then is good enough for all my Dad blog readers - click here to see my own Mushroom Risotto recipe.

I like to cooking with mushrooms as you can see by all the following recipes - go ahead and click on one: Mushroom Nigiri Sushi, Mushroom Soup, a Portabella Mushroom & Bell Pepper Burger, and my Portabella Mushroom Fries video below.

Here are some other vegetarian dishes your noshing Husband, Dad or Grandad will enjoy, so click on any following recipe name: Denise's Eggplant Burger, Borscht, Black Bean and Corn Salad, Baba Ganoush, Carrot Nigiri Sushi, Pasta Salad, Stuffed Tomatoes, Saag Paneer (creamy India-style spinach,) Falafel, Steamed Artichoke, Ms Patti's Red Beans and Rice, Eggplant ParmesanBraised Romaine Lettuce Hearts, Pasta with Cashews & Garlic, Veggies in Cream with Pasta, Tomato and Basil Bruschetta, Eggplant Hummus, Snow Peas with Tofu and Ramen Stir Fry, Veggie Curry with Lentils, Baked Pasta with Califlower and Cheese, Veggie Tempura, French Onion Soup, and Pear & Spinach Salad with a Creamy Herb Dressing.

And finally, if you are an LA local (or just visiting,) and looking for a restaurant to take your Father too, then check out my ongoing nighttime restaurant video series. You'll get menu highlights of a dozen or so restaurants in each of my unique Restaurant Nocturnes videos. I go out at night to bring you a culinary cross section of dining, both high end and low. So just play the video below to see my latest compilation, Restaurant Nocturnes XIII. And click here, then scroll down to the end of the post to activate links to all the other ones (thirteen videos so far.)

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there!

Friday, June 1, 2018

NBA Playoffs - Shooting Produce Video

Welcome to the NBA playoffs, 99 Cent Chef-style, that is. This is basketball played by the rulebook of the Cheap$kate Dribblier. The matchup this year is between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Great NBA All-Star match-ups have included Magic and Bird, Kobe and LeBron...and now: Pete versus The 99 Cent Chef! It's a triple-double of a basketball video event. One-on-one has never been so much fun.

Like in my baseball video from years before, playing with food is taken to surreal and fanciful extremes. What starts out as a simple 5 basket pickup game turns into a food free-for-all, and you can be sure things go splat when there is a drive to the hoop.

As you enjoy and cheer on your team, see if you can see some of classic basketball moves I've adapted into the video at the end of this post.

 First up is the Bell Pepper Bank Shot: a shot that hits the backboard before hitting the rim or going through the net.

Banana Cut: a wide, curving cut, as opposed to a cut that is a straight line. Also known as a 'C' cut.

Onion Over the Back: a foul committed by a player who tries to rebound the onion by pushing, moving or climbing on a player's back who is already in position to rebound the ball.

Apple Advance Step: a step in which the defender's lead foot steps toward their man and the back foot slides forward. 

Cucumber Chucker: a player who takes frequent, and often imprudent, shot attempts. The term was popularized by the television series Seinfeld.

Toilet Bowl Tomato: when the ball hits the rim at a certain angle and then circles around it, can go in or out.

During this week of the NBA playoffs, be a sport and join me for his outlandish halftime entertainment event.
Shooting Produce - Video 
Play it here. The video runs 4 minutes, 47 seconds.

99 thanks to neighbor Pete for a slam-dunkin' performance! 

And extra thanks to my fellow Culver City art gallery hopping buddy Bob McGinness for additional creative camerawork.

Click here to embed or view video on YouTube.

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