Burns My Bacon: Still Burning


In case you haven’t noticed, I like to complain.  Partially, it’s because there are just so gosh-darn many annoying things in the culinary world, and I feel it is my duty to voice my gripes for all to hear.  Kinda like a public service announcement.  And partially, I have this idea that if I let my annoyance out in a public way, I will be able to move on with my happy-go-lucky existence.  Kinda like group therapy.  Sometimes, though, a violation to my sensitive annoy-o-meter is so heinous that the same complaint, differently manifested, bears a second airing.  So listen up.

Not all that long ago, I wrote about waste-of-space label recipes.  I wrote about it; I thought I was over it.  Then, I came upon the example above, and I knew I couldn’t keep quiet.

I confess, I do love pre-made croutons, even though they are a total ripoff.  Yes, I am paying an exorbitant amount for someone else to cube my stale bread and sprinkle ranch powder on it.  I admit it.  Just call me Sandra Lee.  However, it’s not enough for the crouton makers to basically pick my pocket.  Now, according to the package recipe for “Baked Ranch Chicken,” I am supposed to grind up the bag of croutons into bread crumbs in order to bread my chicken.  Seriously.  I think that would come out to $.02 per crumb or something.  What do these marketers take me for?

The only reason I haven’t called the 1-800 hotline to lodge my complaint is that I never considered using ranch dressing instead of eggs to get my breadcrumbs to stick to the chicken, so the recipe was not a 100% waste.  But, I will provide my own breadcrumbs and use the croutons for my salad, thankyaverymuch.

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Burns My Bacon: Big Beer Marketing

They’re at it again. I thought our expose on the punch top can was a good start. Maybe the top ten reasons to drink craft beer even better. But big beer can’t help itself. Pouring thousands upon thousands of dollars into marketing rather than a better product, big beer is intent on changing the way we drink. Through the packaging. #fail #sadface #dumb



On my way to the shore this weekend, I noticed two new beer billboards. The first highlighted Miller Light’s brand spankin’ new bottle design. AWESOME. Can’t wait to get my hands on that new bottle and taste feel the new great flavor “touch” that Miller has come up with. See what I did there? If not, let me clarify—Miller isn’t even comfortable enough to claim that they’ve improved their taste. They are just trying to lure you in with gimmick ads and packaging that in no way make the product any better. But they aren’t responsible for the most embarrassing new gimmick. That title belongs to “The King of Beers.”

Look at those curves…


Yes, Budweiser decided to up the ante.  Screw the blue mountains—they’re going to turn the can into a bowtie. Now, crushing a can will be even easier. Why improve the taste of piss, when all the people are expecting is…piss? …OH, did I mention that there is slightly less beer in this can? (Don’t tell anyone!)

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Finally, You Can Eat the Whole Pint

Arctic Zero Ice Cream Smores Cup

I generally don’t buy ice cream. I don’t like to have it in the house. Not because I dislike it—the opposite! I love it and if I keep a pint of Ben and Jerry’s (or Bluebell! My people in the southern states know what I’m talkin’ about!) in my freezer, I keep going back for one more spoonful until all the sudden it has magically disappeared. Into my stomach. Oops.

All that might be changing, though. Arctic Zero is now available all over the country. Have you heard of this stuff? It’s ice cream… kind of… well, it’s a frozen ice cream-like dessert with only 150 calories in an entire pint. 150! How do they do it? They use monk fruit concentrate and organic cane sugar (no artificial sweeteners) to sweeten and mix in whey protein concentrate. Not gonna lie here—Arctic Zero is good, but it doesn’t taste like full-fat, ultra-sugary ice cream. You know what, though? The fact that an ice cream binger like me can eat the entire pint if I so choose and not bust my healthy eating plan for the day or feel like a sluggish failure is a major, major plus. I would almost call it… healthy!

Arctic Zero offers an impressive array of flavors as well as cute little chocolate-covered bars that clock in at 85 calories a pop. I’m partial to vanilla maple and cookies & cream varieties. One warning: this stuff is rock hard straight out of the container, so I’d recommend letting it sit for about 10 minutes before digging in. Or! If you’re not into eating it plain, Arctic Zero is really great in recipes. You can use it to replace ice cream or whipped cream when making frozen pies or as a totally guilt-free base for smoothies and milkshakes. The peeps at AZ were nice enough to share some recipes with me and now I’m going to share one with you.

Cookies & Cream S’more Cups

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Signed, Sealed, Delivered: NatureBox Snacks

NatureBox Snack Delivery Service

I’m usually pretty skeptical of monthly Internet deals and delivery services. “Pay $____ and we’ll send a monthly delivery of snacks/makeup/shoes/jewelry/whatever to you” websites usually turn out to be a disappointment, in my experience. But! I might have finally found a monthly food delivery service I like! (And I’m not talking about a dieting program like Nutrisystem or something.)

The good folks at NatureBox sent me a box of goodies to try out, and I have to say I’m pretty impressed with the quality. The whole point of NatureBox is to provide tempting snacks that are actually healthy for you—every snack item is nutritionist approved, made with natural ingredients, and minimally, if at all, processed. You can pay NatureBox $19.95 (a flat rate including shipping) per month and they’ll send you a big “Discovery Box” containing five full-size bags of snacks. If you don’t like the food, you can return it for a full refund, but I don’t imagine that happens very often.

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There’s a Lot at Steak

steak chart

Guys, this column is for your eyes only so all you broads out there who stumbled onto this thinking that they might pick up a cool recipe or cooking tip can just stop reading now. This is intended for the Bros and not the Hos, so gals Google Jimmy Choo and we’ll see ya later…

They gone?….Alright then. Dudes, we’ve gotta unite. Time is definitely running out and ours is the last generation before the unthinkable so I’m talkin’ all in and balls out on this one! I’ll get right to the point:

We’ve gotta get the girls to stop eating our meat.

You heard me. Some of you guys love to shove it in their mouth anytime they ask for it but I’m telling ya, you’ve gotta start thinking about the rest of us here. This planet ain’t getting’ any bigger and with the way that the world population keeps growing, things aren’t looking good for us Male Meat Meisters. You’ve gotta face the hard facts and accept that Mother Earth has topped out on cattle production, i.e., those four legged steak factories. The world’s bovine fart chart is way in the red and it seems that methane and the ozone get along about as well as Donald Trump and Rosie O’Donnell, and we ain’t getting’ anymore cows but we’re gaining a bunch‘a new meat eaters everyday.

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Burns My Bacon: Corn Flakes Crumbs


Since food has been “trendy” for the past few years, I feel like there’s now a product there that does everything. I don’t really subscribe to the gadget theory but I understand that some people see the appeal of a microwave egg poacher or an avocado slicer. But you know what isn’t okay? Products that aren’t actually different products.

The other day I was browsing every aisle of the grocery store, because it had started torrentially downpouring outside while I was inside (sans umbrella), and I came across these. Cornflake crumbs. Mmmm hmm. Just in case you are too lazy to take a bag of corn flakes and a) sit on it b) give it to your kids to smash with a baseball bat, or c) roll a bag of corn flakes with a rolling pin, you can buy this product for $3.79.  I thought maybe I was missing something, so I went to the Kellogg’s website to search for a product description. Here it is: “Corn cereal crumbs.” It is LITERALLY, literally, another product that already exists, just crushed up.

I don’t know what I’m more angry about. The fact that manufacturers are making this product, or that there are people supporting the cause.

What. The. Fuck.

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Top 10 Strategies for Opening a Restaurant With Your Spouse


These days, it seems every young couple from Brooklyn to Bolivia dreams of quitting their day job and opening at cute little restaurant with their significant o. But as anyone who has done so will tell you, it can end up feeling less like a culinary honeymoon than a fast-track to divorce court. Guest blogger Megan Sullivan joins ES to share these top 10 tips for opening a restaurant with your spouse and not driving each other insane.

It’s common knowledge that a partnership is a lot like a marriage, but what if it is a marriage? Your business partner can be your other half, but there are some things you may want to consider. If you’re dreaming of running a restaurant with your spouse, follow this handy guide to make sure you meet your goals without destroying your relationship.

1. Put your partnership in writing. Just because you’re in love, doesn’t mean you’re going to love working with your significant other. Draft a very clear partnership agreement.

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