Lean Cuisine Chicken Club Panini Sandwich Review

Sometimes for lunch, you just want something quick and hot. You might be pressed on time, you might just be too tired to cook, or anything else, but you just want to stick something in the microwave and be done with it.

I’m a big fan of several of the Lean Cuisine Dishes, but I don’t believe I’ve ever had their Chicken Club Panini.

I really enjoy the Lean Cuisine pizzas, and the meatloaf isn’t bad at all! there are a few other ones I like, so I decided to give this one a try.

It comes with chunks of chicken and assorted other dressings on it. In the box, there’s a foil-type plate to put the sandwich on to make it crispy and give it that panini texture.

Issue is, it didn’t work very well. Although the flavor was OK on this sandwich (not great, just OK) the bread was soggy. I followed the instructions on the box, but it just didn’t work well. As you can see from the pictures, it looked decent enough.

Although the taste was OK, I think I’ll pass on this one from now on. The texture just didn’t do it for me. I’ll continue to try some new things interspersed with my favorites.

Burger, Rize Restaurant, Indianapolis

It’s no secret I’m a fan of a good burger. Send to the breaded tenderloin, it’s my favorite sandwich. It’s also no secret that I’m a fan of Rize restaurant, on the north side of Indianapolis. Part of the Cunningham family of restaurants, Rize is a breakfast/lunch place located in the Ironworks Complex in the Keystone at the Crossing area of Indianapolis.

I’ve been eating my way through their menu lately, ,and this morning for breakfast I had the burger.

Rize locally sources their food, which I really appreciate. This burger is served on an English muffin, which is larger than any English muffin I’ve ever seen! Like most English muffins, it’s nice and dense, which adds an extra layer of flavor to the sandwich.

The meat is moist and flavorful, and I prefer my burgers cooked medium, and this one certainly was cooked that way! The bacon, standard on this burger, is served nice and crispy. The tomato jam is tasty, and the lettuce is fresh and crips.

The real star of this sandwich is the pimento cheese. Rize makes their pimento cheese in house, and it’s just fantastic. I’m not sure that I’ve ever had a burger before with pimento cheese, but this added a REALLY outstanding layer of flavor to an already wonderful sandwich. For my side, I chose the garlic Parmesan fries, and I really like these. Plenty of Parmesan, and although I’d have preferred a bit more garlic, still very good.

I highly recommend this burger if you’re looking for more than a “standard” burger. Rize is located at 2721 E 86th in Indianapolis. They’re open 7AM-2PM 7 days a week.

Tyler the Kid Sarsaparilla Review

Knowing my love for unique snacks and drinks, my brother and sister in law gifted me with a selection of drinks and snacks for Christmas.

First up, it’s Tyler the Kid Sarsaparilla.

Sarsaparilla is a cousin of root beer. One thing I’ve noticed about Sarsaparilla is that it typically doesn’t seem to have the carbonation level of other soft drinks, and this is no exception. It seems to be lightly carbonated, which is a nice change of pace. Sometimes the “bit” of carbonation can overwhelm the flavor the the drink, but this isn’t the case here. It has a nice, earthy flavor and the flavor of the spices shine through nicely. The texture of this particular brand was a little “thick”…which is kind of hard to explain, but that’s how best to describe it.

While I found this quite nice, it wasn’t what I’d call stellar. I liked it, but not quite loved it.

This was purchased at a store called Rocket Fizz in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Moritz non alcoholic beer

I’ve’ really been enjoying exploring the world of non alcoholic beers. You know, it wasn’t too many years ago that you had one choice— O’Doul’s, but now there are several companies that are making on alcoholic beers. For those of us who choose not to drink alcohol–for whatever reason, it’s a great move!

Moritz is brewed in Barcelona, where they’ve been brewing beers since 1856. With that kind of history behind them, they’ve learned a thing or two about brewing, and it shows in this beer.

The scent is nice, and not overly hoppy.—just a hint of hops in the aroma. And the taste is outstanding! I really like this—it just might be my favorite since I’ve starting trying NA beers. The two words that come to mind are “light” and “crisp”. The texture and flavor are both light–nothing overshadows any taste, and the texture and flavor are both crisp. With a couple of other NA beers, I’ve noticed a bit of an aftertaste, but that’s not the case here. I like it a lot! Would I buy this again? Absolutely, 100% yes.

We found this at Total Wine and More on the north side of Indianapolis. I attempted to find a website for Moritz, but was unable to. I did find several sources where you can order it online if you wish to give it a try.

Lean Cuisine Supreme Pizza review

You know, I’m not seeing a lot of folks reviewing microwave meals these days, so I thought I’d try my hand at that.

A year or a bit long ago I became acquainted with a group of folks known as The Indiana Pizza Club, and I’ve got to say, I’ve REALLY enjoyed getting to know them. You can find them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. and if you enjoy pizza with a healthy side of humor and sports, give them a follow!

I’ll ALWAYS go for a local pizza place. Sometimes, though, I don’t want to go out for lunch, and just need something quick and convenient. We keep a stock of frozen meals in our freezer, so I can just grab something when I’m in a hurry.

I’m generally fond of Lean Cuisine meals, and the pizza is no exception. It’s quick, hot, and convenient.

So, how’s the pizza? Honestly, it’s pretty mediocre. It’s not bad by ANY means, but it’s not great either. I could do with less tomato sauce—it’s pretty sauce heavy, but the toppings are fine. Everything is—fine.

Take a moment, scroll back up and look at the picture of the pizza on the box.

Now here’s the pizza after cooking.

The box certainly looks more appetizing, right? On closer look, the toppings are pretty much like is in the picture, but there’s not nearly as much cheese on the finished product as there is on the box. That’s the biggest disappointment for me. The sausage and pepperoni both taste pretty good to me.

The crust is fine. Not great, not terrible. Even with the supplied foil type platter to cook it on, I’ve never had one come out as crisp as I wish it would.

Still, it’s a fine lunch. It’s hot, quick, relatively tasty meal.390 calories isn’t bad for a meal. Beware, though, this pizza has 720 mg of sodium, and that’s a lot. If you’re watching your sodium intake, be aware of that.

So, would I buy it again? Yeah, I’ve been eating these for years. Like I said, they’re quick, hot, and convenient, and sometimes that’s all you need.

Clausthaler Grapefruit non alcoholic beer

I had not intended to do two NA Beer reviews back to back, but we’d been doing a little yard work this afternoon, in preparation for a snowstorm headed our way, had this in the fridge, and it seemed like a good time to relax and try something new.

Clausthaler is a German brewery that seems to brew exclusively non alcoholic beer. Certainly a niche market, Their website says they are the “most awarded taste in non alcoholic, so they’re obviously doing something right.

This is my first time trying any fruity flavored beer. As a matter of fact, I’ve been avoiding doing just that, because, in my mind, fruit and beer just don’t seem to “go” together. I just couldn’t seem to wrap around it, At our recent trip to Total Wine and More, I spied this and decided to give it a try.

It’s an interesting drink and I like it quite a lot! A mixture of malt and grapefruit juice, it has a nice mixture of sweet and sour flavors. It’s very “crisp” in texture, and was the perfect refreshing treat after some yard work.

I definitely think of this as a summertime treat beer. With the sweet and sour combinations of flavor, I expect it would pair VERY well with BBQ–I can see it being perfect with ribs or brisket.

If I had to describe this beer in one word, it would be “refreshing”. I’m not sure how much I’ll be drinking this in the dead of winter, but in the heat of the warmer months, I can see it being one of my go to drinks.

You can find Clausthaler online at https://www.clausthaler.com/

Buckler Non Alcoholic Beer Review

I’ve been exploring the world of non alcoholic beers lately. It’s a new world to me. I was aware of O’Doul’s, of course, but didn’t realize there were so many other varities out there.

The question I get is “Why would you drink non alcoholic beer?” and the BEST answer is “Is it any of your business?”, but I really do try to avoid being a smark aleck (usually). There are many reasons, actually. Maybe you’re pregnant (I’m not, BTW) or maybe you’re taking a medication that doesn’t interact well with alcohol. Maybe you know you’re gonna be driving, or you may be avoiding alcohol for any number of reasons. Whatever the reason, there are several choices out there.

I discovered Buckler at a new store in Indy called Total Wine, which is kind of a liquor superstore, with an emphasis on wine, but they also carry spirits, beer, snacks and more. It’s a very cool place!

Buckler is imported from Holland, and is made by Heineken, which I didn’t know. It’s a little “thinner” than I recall normal beer being, but it’s got a really nice taste. Definitely a lager taste. It’s nice and crisp, and quite refreshing! I liked it quite a lot. For those times when one might want to avoid alcohol, whether long or short term, for whatever reason, I think this is a nice substitute.

As mentioned before, I found this at Total Wine in Indianapolis. I’m not sure who else carries it in the area, but it’s available for ordering from several different outlets.

I think I’ll explore and review the world of non alcoholic beers a bit more! This was a nice change of pace from my normal iced tea and coffee!

Circle K Brisket Burnt Ends Bites (food review)

I’ll admit it. I’m a sucker for gas station food. Whether it’s hot dogs off the roller or something a bit more adventurous, I’m drawn to it like a moth to a flame.

Our local Circle K store has introduced a whole line of microwaveable meals and snacks. From BBQ to egg rolls to burgers and more, they’re all they’re, convenient to grab and take home with you.

Maybe a little TOO convenient, if you catch my drift.

I LOVE BBQ. For a while, Holly and I were actual certified BBQ judges but the Kansas City BBQ Society. We’ve since let our membership lapse, because there are just not enough hours in a week for us to do everything we’d want to do, but our love for BBQ remains strong.

When I saw these in the case, I was skeptical, but just knew I HAD to try them. So I brought them home, opened the package, popped ’em into the microwave for 2 minutes, and here’s the result.

So, how were they? Well, they’re certainly not as good as you’d get at LC’s in Kansas City (our favorite), but I was pleasantly surprised. They’ve got a really nice texture, and the flavor is certainly there. The meat isn’t quite as tender as I’m used to, but, hey, it was 3 bucks, so what do you expect?

Aside from the meat not being quite as tender, the sauce was quite good. Personally, I would have preferred a little more spice and a little less sweet, but that’s a matter of personal preference. If you prefer a sweeter sauce, you’ll likely really enjoy these.

So, the question comes down to this—would I buy them again? Yes, I certainly would, They’re cheap and quick, and if I”m on the go but have a BBQ craving, these fit the bill nicely.

Most Circle K stores carry these, so look for them in your neighborhood!

Bacon Cheddar Cornbread Recipe

Last week, my lovely wife, Holly, made bacon cheddar cornbread and it was amazing! I shared the above picture on twitter and a few folks asked for the recipe. First, let me say this isn’t an original recipe. We’ve learned about Mason Woodruff, who specializes in healthy eating and cooking, and that’s where we got the recipe. You can find his website at http://www.masonfit.com

So, without further ado, here’s the recipe.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat an oven to 375F.
  2. Add the chopped bacon to a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and fully cook.
  3. While the bacon cooks, mix the remaining ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. Transfer the cooked bacon pieces to the cornbread batter, leaving the bacon grease behind in the skillet. Stir well.
  5. Carefully pour the cornbread batter into the skillet and bake for 45-55 minutes or until the center is cooked through and no longer gooey. (If the edges brown before the center cooks through, you can cover with foil to finish cooking.

Let me tell you folks this stuff is FANTASTIC, you should give it a try!

Rize Restaurant Review

Located in the Ironworks Hotel complex on the north side of Indy, Rize has become our go to breakfast spot on Saturday mornings. Rize is part of the Cunningham family of restaurants, and we’ve always had a great experience at any of their restaurants.

Decorated in a largely industrial theme, we really like the decor. There’s ample inside seating, and a very nice outside patio for outside dining. Because of the current COVID-19 situation, we are confining ourselves to outside dining for the time being.

Rize is a breakfast and lunch only restaurant, and takes pride on using locally/regionally sourced products. I can honestly say we’ve never had a bad experience here, either in food or service.

The menu is what I would call upscale, Here are a few of our favorites from the menu.

Breakfast Sandwich with Crispy Potato

Farm Eggs Breakfast
Salmon Toast
Burgers
Chocolate Latte

With the exception of the farm eggs breakfast, pictured above, most of the dishes have a bit of a twist to them It’s always an adventure eating here and trying something new! If you’ve not visited Rize, I high recommend a visit.

Rize is located at 2721 E 86th in Indianapolis, and they also have a Fishers location. You can find them online at https://www.rize-restaurant.com/

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