bento_box: KFC Christmas (KFC Christmas)

I meant to post this (or anything at all) a few days ago, but I’ve been swamped at work and haven’t even had time to post bento pics as of late. :/

I’m surfing around at the moment looking at bento odds and ends that are awesome but I can’t afford them, and checking out some recipes online for new ways to dress up somewhat boring dishes. Everyone who knows me knows I’m a sucker for glazes and sauces, especially tropical flavors like the ones you find over at Nature Isle (which has a lot of gorgeous vegan and gluten free products, for those of you who prefer vegan or have to put up with Celiac disease) and the nutjob combinations I cook up myself, lol.

I actually have a real thing about BBQ sauce. I doubt anyone who doesn’t work in the food industry is quite as obsessed with it as I am, but that’s because when I can afford meat it’s always the cheapest cuts or ground meat that’s reduced for quick sale because it’s old. Because of this I’ve become a champ at disguising the flavor of old or inexpensive meat with the likes of a delicious BBQ sauce, vegan salad dressings or a great glaze. No one else can seem to tell how truly bad the cut of meat was before I started, either – I don’t know if that’s something to brag about, though!

Of course BBQ sauce is good for more than just meat, just like salad dressings and glazes can be used outside of their conventional dishes. BBQ sauce is great on a baked potato (do not overdo this, a little goes a long way!), on scrambled eggs (once again – go light!), or water it down a little (you can thin it out with rice vinegar if you want to keep a bold taste) and use it as a dipping sauce for a great veggie gyoza.

All in all, a good sauce or dressing is worth it’s weight in gold when you realize how much you can do with it!

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I’ve been meaning to review this since 2006 but I’ve never had a camera that would take photos that actually look like photos, so I had to wait. This is my favorite soup cup in the whole wide world, marketed by the Instant Noodle King brand this is a huge cup of soup for not a lot of money.

Why review an instant soup cup? Well there are several reasons for this particular choice. One is that in the Midwestern United States you just don’t see lobster soup, more or less ever. The bible belt has a tendency to shy away from products they deem to be gross or odd (like kimchi, unagi, abalone, wakame, etc.) so before I’d made my first Asian Food Grocer order, I’d never had it before in my life.

The reason I take so many photos of packaging and not just the food is because when I visit food blogs that review products, especially Asian products, the packaging is my favorite part and I always wish they’d take more photos of it!

This noodle soup is in a big, hefty bowl (about the size of two ramen cups put together) and is made up of a delicious fatty lobster base that has a dreamy warm, savory taste that I could drink by the cup and not get tired of. Into that we put a really fine egg noodle that softens even in hot tap water (which is all I had, so that was dreamy as well) and some delicious veggies like cabbage, wakame, corn and chives.

The soup only has to stand about two minutes to be edible but I’d leave it in for a full 4 or 5 if you’ve used tap water. As you can see from the photos I didn’t fill it up to the inner line (I left about a half an inch), and the reason was that the last portion I had tasted a bit watered down, but this particular cup was perfect so I’ll be leaving that much room every time from now on.

For those of you who can’t buy these at the store, you can get lobster egg noodle soup at AFG along with a bunch of other deliciousness, and they’re about a buck 70 a cup with savings per unit the more you buy. They’re definitely worth the price and the week-long shipping wait!

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As you may know if you know me personally (since I can’t stop gushing), Laota and I purchased our first Asian Food Grocer package in almost two years this month, and it’s been agony waiting the 6 days for it to get here! We followed it closely on the FedEx tracking website, like children follow the Santa Tracker at Christmas time, and today it finally arrived, as always, packed methodically and undamaged – as is Asian Food Grocer‘s way.

We got some of our favorites that you can’t buy here, like prepared azuki, five spice powder, spring roll skins, bamboo chopsticks and white peach Yogu Time yogurt soft drinks. But we also got our favorite soup in the world, Noodle King’s Lobster Egg Noodle Soup, which is so addictive we tend to spend way more on it than we should!

Some new-to-us finds were a kind of low salt miso (with no MSG, which will be rectified when I prepare it lol), honey spiced umeboshi pickled plums for our onigiri and mix fruit mochi.

Today was actually the first time I’d ever had mochi and now I’m addicted! You can see some crappy photos below of all the fun things we bought – we’ve purchased through Asian Food Grocer since 2005 or 2006, and can’t say enough good things about them! We’ve never had a lost or misdirected shipment, never had missing goods, never had to pay too-steep shipping (the shipping for everything was about 7 bucks FedEx ground).

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I reviewed this restaurant in November, I believe, because I’d gotten to treat there for my birthday (which is in November) during their grand opening and had nothing but nice things to say about the place.

Well, my tune hasn’t changed. In the last several months I’ve had take out from them a few times but this is the first time I’d been back to dine in since November.

China King isn’t a chain, or at least I don’t think it is. It’s Americanized Chinese food at it’s best. It’s clean, the staff is SO courteous, patient and nice and the food, as always, is to die for.

I went with Laota, Mom and her Hubbs and we sat in the well lit dining area (flanked by two big-screen TVs tuned to Discovery and History channels) and had a great meal, here’s some of what we had:

The only issue I have with China King is that it’s so small, and I think that limits their appeal to the locals but I love the place. The food is hot, served fast and fresh, the staff are wonderful and they have the best crab rangoon – probably the best Chinese restaurant I’ve been to in Missouri, period.

Curious? Check them out:

Tel: 660-425-8884
604 20th St.
Bethany, Missouri USA 64424

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Dollar General
Image via Wikipedia

Product review, product review! Okay, so that’s obvious by the title, lol.

The product I’m reviewing today is a Dollar General brand named Clover Valley (I’m sure some of you have CV products!), which are often as good as the national brands. This time it’s their condensed Bean and Bacon soup.

First of all at 70 cents, it’s a great price for a condensed bean and bacon, with some of the nationals here being in the $1.50 range per can, so it’s a great money saver at less than half the price of a national brand soup. Secondly, it’s got a great flavor to it. Bit sour, very sweet, very bean-y lol. The bacon flavor could be a tad stronger, but this would be a great soup for a casserole because it’s flavor is so good.

It’s so cold right now and we just had some (yum!), it’s enough for four small portions or two large – can’t beat that! Overall I recommend it at 3.5 out of 5 stars – go get you some!

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Well, I know I’ve griped about Toot-Toot Family Restaurant in Bethany before, about how I don’t like buffet and they’re always crowded. The food is usually bad and they watch you like a hawk, as if you’ll steal food you just paid for.

Well, I won’t take it back, because that’s the way it HAS been every other time I’ve ever gone, but we went tonight (my mom loves the place) and I have to say, it was absolutely fun. The food was good (crab legs, BBQ pork short ribs, shrimp, roast beef, green beans, and so on), they had these little flaky napoleon things that were delicious and we got the best server – sweet guy, very polite, very courteous. It’s the single best visit I’ve ever had, and I can’t figure out why?

But it did deserve a good review, 3 out of 5 stars for good food, good service – would be 4 stars if it didn’t usually suck.

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Well we’ve finally evaded my awful, horrible mother’s grasp (she wants us to live in KC but to never go anywhere – which annoys me to no end, since she should have no control over my life at this point, but I digress, lol.) and visited one of our favorite fast food places which would be Panda Express. Now, we’ve never been to this one (it’s up on Barry Rd. in Kansas City, where St. Claire(?) and Barry Rd. intersect about half a mile from Lake Waukomis and The Coves.

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It was awesome, very clean and friendly with a great atmosphere. We bought some of their famous orange chicken, I had a pepsi and Laota had a tea. We sat and took some pictures then grabbed a bottle of their orange sauce (very good, we’ve had it as a glaze on roasted chicken since). It even has a little outdoor spot with a few tables to eat – pardon the bad pics, had to take them with my phone! Out of five stars, it easily gets four – check it out if you have time!

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Mr. Totino Pizza Man

I’ve heard people gripe a LOT about Totino’s infamous “Party Pizza” and how inedible they are, or how greasy – how easy to burn. I disagree!

Technically, these are from last month when we had bought some cheap Totino’s from Hy-Vee. I forgot all about them and when I saw the pics I just had to post!

They’re delish! Yes, the crust IS a bit cracker-like but anyone who’s ever had a crispy or sizzle-pan crust from a take-out Pizza place knows how good those are. You just have to follow the instructions to come up with an unburnt pizza, and our roaster does wonders in that department!

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Tomato Basil Noodles

One of my very favorite instant noodle dishes and this is the first time I’ve had it! It’s got a great, tangy sauce tomato sauce. I can’t tell if it’s got peppers, but it had a very mild kick. I love tomato pasta dishes, I’m a big marinara fan, but this was almost a salad-style pasta. I’m thinking of trying it as a cold dish next time I get a package of it, since it’s been so hot here lately. :D

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Mega Noodle Haul

Teriyaki NoodlesTeriyaki NoodlesMega Noodle HaulMega Noodle HaulMega Noodle HaulMega Noodle Haul

I’m still lacking in all things food, but they just opened a Dollar General store about three miles away (the third store in town – yes, really) and they’ve got 99 cent noodle cups and noodle bowls! So all of our money went to some delicious instant food – first being Simply Asia’s Teriyaki Noodles which take about 2 minutes to cook and are delicious!

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For everyone who caught last night’s episode of Dollhouse – didn’t that rock? My FACE off, even, it rocked my face off. Eliza‘s got an amazing voice, it’s so cool that she finally got to showcase it.

I’m all giddy, Joss has a show. The Whedonverse lives! Granted, Ghost was a bit disjointed by The Target was better. Stage Fright, though, I think was the best of the three aired thus far – great story, great loading of scenes, very funny without over funny-ing it up. In fact it was very Joss without being typically Joss. Much love!

Episode Rating: Stage Fright ★★★★★★★★★☆ 



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I’m a candy nut, I’ve always had a taste for sweets, and I’m a fairly sharp candy maker in my own right ( That’s code for I can make a few things, but I want to sound cool, lol. ), but I’ve been hipped to an adorable, old-fashioned web store that I know I’ll be a regular buyer at in the future called Hope and Greenwood.

I’m absolutely in love with their selection, and the old fashioned candies and rations are really going to make excellent gifts, especially with so many holidays coming up. Beltane’s too close to order chocolate and expect it to arrive on time, but the classical lollies and Strawberry and Cream rations are going to be a perfect, small town USA touch to our Independance Day luau – yes, we are having a July 4th luau, lol.

The store’s got a great design, it’s easy to navigate and you’ve got so much to choose from that finding a web store like this is a rare treat, and I think I’m going to get myself some Toffee as soon as it’s back in stock, or some cocoa, but those rations are calling me and as soon as I get paid I think I’m going shopping. :)

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As we intended to last time Schwan’s Day came around, Laota and I got the Black Raspberry juice concentrate and I’ve got nothing but good things to say about it! First of all, you get a case of six cartons of concentrate, each makes 2 quarts of juice drink – that’s 12 Q of juice drink for about $6 after taxes. That’s 2Q for a dollar – 2 quarts of juice drink actually costs less than buying a 2L of Pepsi.

On top of that the taste is amazing! It’s got a nice, full, round body to it – like grape juice. And a bit of acidity, but you can definately taste the raspberry flavor, which is nice and full like a concord grape. It’s very satisfying, we plan on getting it every Schwan’s day because it’s just deicious.

This week, however, we didn’t have much cash so we blew $11 on two bags of frozen seasoned curly fries – definately worthwhile!

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Okay, do yourself a favor and don’t ever rent Incredible Creatures That Defy Evolution. While he animals were interesting, which was the point of me watching this piece of crap, I find it hard to believe that in a universe so expansive and diverse that some higher being chose to construct a solitary planet to populate with living organisms. Is God or whoever it is who supposidly made the earth just getting his jollies out by creating creatures he thinks won’t stand a chance? Really? What kind of sadistic God is that?

Point of fact, if believers of Creationism in it’s various forms believe this crap, that’s fine, let them waste their time – but why, if they have such strong convictions, do they feel the need to try their damndest to find scientific proof then stick it in a DVD? And P.S. – Why bother going the scientific route at all if they obviously refuse to believe in hard science by calling evolution (something that makes a hell of a lot more sense than a sky creator with a lot of time on his hands) a myth when they don’t have any real proof? Isn’t that a bit hypocritical?

At any rate, this one’s really only worth the rental if you burn Dixie Chicks albums or are into weird animals. The animals are cool and interesting. This is one to watch with the sound off.



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Awhile ago I did a product review on a sample of sensitive toothpaste from Biotene, and as promised, I’ve used it steadily since then and it’s time to do my full review of the product.

biotene

I’ve had a few sensitive teeth on one side of my mouth for as long as I can remember, the pain for cold more than hot is an especially intense jolt and it drives me up the wall and makes me turn into a dragon if even mildly icy water even touches one of those teeth. I’ve always had to deal with that and until recently I’ve been a user of Sensodyne, which isn’t bad for this particular ailment. But, very recently, I got the opportunity to use Biotene instead and I’ve been really pleased with the results!

Biotene combines Potassium Nitrate, which is apparently the number one most effective ingredient for sensitivity protection with it’s patented Enzyme LP3 Complex™ and that keeps a lid on the harmful bacteria that cause gingivitis and oral infection, so it’s actually helping your gums heal while it fights cavitities AND tooth sensitivity! You can’t tell me that’s not cool, if you did I wouldn’t believe you, lol.



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Ohh, this is neat – I’m checking out envelope printing from Envelope Printing Online. They’ve got a decent selection, a bit on the small side for an online printer, and the prices are pretty good for anyone who – like me – doesn’t live anywhere near a Kinkos but could still use a service like this. Overall it’s a nifty site, my only complaint is that their selection is very corporate, and I don’t blame them at all for that. I’m sure corporations are their number one customer, but they do run a business online and if they’re going to compete they’re going to have to branch out into more fun, artsy and even cute designs to keep up with the big boys like Vista Print. It’s a nice site, though, and they’re definately worth checking out. I may refer my boss there, the designs look like they’re right up his alley. :D



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The Mist

Nov. 6th, 2007 05:48 am
bento_box: KFC Christmas (KFC Christmas)

Has anyone heard of The Mist by Stephen King? Apparently it’s a newbie in the thriller movie market, though I don’t know how long it’s been around as a book – forever, I know that, lol. I’d heard about the book when I was a kid ( I think? ) so I’d say it’s at least 1981 or before. It’s one of the many Stephen King novels I’ve never read, the reason being that I think Stephen lost his marbles after Carrie, lol.

Don’t get me wrong, I love some of his works – Sometimes They Come Back, in particular – but Carrie was always the crowning achievement in my eyes ( possibly tied with The Stand ). I’ve even thoroughly loved the many film adaptions of his books, and this one, I’m sure, will be no exception.

Carrie, though, was so novel at the time, it wasn’t like any book I’d ever read before, and to punctuate how important it was to the horror novel, how many ‘teenage girl finds out she has magic/psychic powers and breaks out of her shell’ books or films have come along since? Yes, he started a booming, thriving business with that – a whole sub genre to itself.

The Mist is about this town ( I think it’s just a town ) that’s plaqued by an unnatural mist after a thunderstorm, and anyone who goes out into said mist is attacked by monsters – eek! I think they’re putting this out at the wrong time, lol, it’s got Halloweenie written all over it. If you haven’t checked the trailer out, you seriously should if you’re a King fan.

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I’m about to say something odd, so please stay with me for a moment. Not all of my teeth are sensitive. In fact, I’m not sure if I qualify as having sensitive teeth because I only have a few that are, in fact if cold water touches them I can turn my own brain power into lightening and shoot it out of my fingertips. But most of my teeth are fine, but I use two toothpaste’s anyway. I use a sensitive toothpaste ( Sensodyne ) when I can afford it, which is rarely, and a green tea mint toothpaste for everyday, and Sensodyne really does work – to a point.

A few years back, before I started my occasional romance with Sensodyne, one tooth in particular was so sensitive that I couldn’t even chew on that side of my mouth, because if what I was eating was too hot it about killed me, too cold and it was worse. I wish I’d known then about Biotene Sensitive, a new product that claims to contain the number one sensitivity ingredient and number one dry mouth protection. When I say new, I really mean it’s new to me, apparently Biotene has been available, at least to the Dental and Medical professions for at least twenty years, since that’s how long they’ve been recommending it.

The company sent me a sample to try ( bigger than even a travel sized toothpaste, way bigger than I expected it to be ), and I can’t stop singing it’s praises.

Biotene Sensitive

I sampled Biotene today, and I have to admit I was impressed. You get the same feeling from Biotene – for those of you who use Sensodyne, I’m sure you know what I mean by that – that you get when you use Sensodyne, but Biotene isn’t just a sensitivity or dry mouth toothpaste like the others I’ve tried, it also helps to prevent canker sores, defends against bacteria, plaque and gingivitis and has Xylitol which prevents cavities. Has a toothpaste taste, too, and yes I know it’s weird saying that about a toothpaste, but I want you to use a sensitivity toothpaste and tell me what it tastes like, lol. I’ll comment later on, after a few days, on how well the sensitivity is going – so far it’s great but most sensitivity toothpastes I’ve tried take a few days to really show it’s colors, I hope it’s as good in the long run as it is right now. If it keeps this up, it gets the Faith Everyman Seal of Approval, lol.



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Again? Really? Come on, we all knew about The Eye’s remake, because I’ve been vocal as have many other horror purists, and I think we can safely bet that Jessica Alba is the wrongest person ever to walk a mile in these shoes, and let’s be honest about how ‘fabulous’ that remake of One Missed Call is going to be next year, but I had no idea how bad it was – or what was to come:

Actresses vying for the Sarah Michelle Gellar crown include the comely Jessica Alba, who has largely floundered outside her “Fantastic Four” jumpsuit. Alba stars in “Awake” (debuting Nov. 30), about a man (Hayden Christensen) who undergoes a heart transplant and finds himself undergoing anesthetic awareness, in which his body is asleep but his mind remains awake. Alba also plays a wife who gets her own transplant in “The Eye,” a remake of the Thai film by the Pang brothers. This time, a blind Alba receives a spooky set of new eyes that bring along their own startling visions.

Emily Browning, from the film version of “Lemony Snicket,” and Arielle Kebbel, from “The Grudge 2,” attempt a different Asian remake, “A Tale of Two Sisters,” a redo of the highest-grossing Korean horror film of all time. It’s about siblings — one newly sprung from a psychiatric hospital — grappling with their father, his malevolent new fiancée and a ghost residing in their home. In “Rec,” Jennifer Carpenter, who played the possessed girl in “The Exorcism of Emily Rose,” gets trapped in an apartment building during a rabies breakout.

And even “Hairspray’s” Amber Von Tussle — a.k.a. actress Brittany Snow — will get to try out her scream chops in “Prom Night,” the remake of the Jamie Lee Curtis artifact from the 1980s, in which a group of friends get stalked by a killer on their prom night.

And don’t count Gellar out.

The 30-year-old is possessed by “Possession,” another Asian redo, in which her character and her character’s husband and brother-in-law wind up in a freak accident. Unfortunately, only one of the brothers wakes from a coma.

READ FULL ARTICLE

Are you freaking kidding me? Are you kidding me!? Tale of Two Sisters and Posession? Just, for Great Pumpkin’s sake, please slap subtitles on the originals and re-release them, I’m begging you. Or I’ll have to start taking hostages.



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I’ve decided I hate name dropping films. No matter how much I love the subject of a film, or a television show, their shark jump is almost always a trip back in time, or for period films/shows, being set in the past, because this leaves the path clear for period name dropping.

If you’re not familiar with period name dropping, it’s when anything set in the past,- weither it be flashback, time travel, or just the show’s time period -, paves the way for someone from the cast to meet a historical or legendary figure and somehow be the single person to shape their destiny. There were a lot of good shows that employed this technique, like The Adventures of Brisco County Jr., which starred the incomparible Bruce Campbell and John Asten, as well as a slew of other great actors. Another show this horrible flaw spread to was Xena, then Star Trek ( especially TNG ) and The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.

It drives me absolutely up the wall that some writer would have the balls to have Xena point Mary and Joseph on their way, Sam Beckett nearly blow up Hitler, or have Henry Jones Jr.’s governess take him and new friend Norman Rockwell out to a puppet show, an act that will eventually lead to Norman making a sketching that Picasso signs and Indie fraudulently sells. Do we see a pattern? Indeed, the only time I’ve ever seen this sort of integration happen where it didn’t royally eat my lunch was in The Last Crusade, when Hitler took Henry Sr.’s diary out of Indie’s hand in a horrible moment of tension and then signs it with his autograph – which was so spot on, it may as well have really happened.



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