Famous Dave’s Coleslaw

Creamy, crunchy and tangy.

What else do I need to say about this wonderful side sold by the Famous Dave’s chain.

This coleslaw is about the best I have ever tasted. Always cold and with a satisfying crunch you don’t often find in some coleslaws. The shredded pieces of cabbage and carrot have a nice texture when you chew it. The sew and sour dressing is creamy and has a kick of horseradish, mustard and pepper. This coleslaw is the perfect counter to the rich barbecued meats they serve at Famous Dave’s. I would swear there is a splash of vinegar in it, but that might just be the horseradish.There are flecks of parsley and celery seed in it also.

I usually order extra because a side order never has enough for me and someone else.

I could make a meal of this sweet and sour coleslaw and Wilbur beans.

If you go to Famous Dave’s (or, due to current circumstances) you order pick up, do not forget to order the coleslaw!

Palermo’s Primo Thin Italian Sausage Pizza

The first sign that something may be wrong is when the Calories, Protein, and Carbs have a larger font size than the actual type of pizza and ingredients. Palermo’s Primo Thin let’s you know that you can eat a third of this pizza and only ingest 290 calories. This might be good news to some people, but the question I was left with is “Who would want to eat a third of this pizza?”

The directions call for baking on the middle rack in a 450 degree oven for 13-15 minutes. I preheated my oven an popped the frozen pizza in and set the timer for 13 minutes. After checking on the pizza and seeing it was limp and pale, I set the timer for another two minutes. When the timer went off the pizza crust was still limp and the toppings looked pale. I closed the oven door and set the timer for another five minutes and crossed my fingers. After the timer went off I attempted to remove the pizza from my oven. This was no simple task. The crust had somehow sunk between the wires of the rack and was sticking. I had to use a couple of spatulas to extricate the pizza from the oven. Bits of crust and cheese clung to the rack of my previously clean oven. Not a good way to start.

The Primo Thin DOES have a thin crust. The flavor of the crust is a cross between a no salt saltine cracker and white bread. It was also limp. A thin crust pizza should be crisp and it should add flavor to the pizza. Palermo’s has accomplished removing all flavor from the crust and producing a crust that can remain limp after baking in a 450 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Not a pretty pizza.

The box states the sauce is “zesty”. If by zesty Palermo’s means tastes like cooked tomatoes, then they have accomplished their goal. The sauce on my pizza was neither piquant nor savory. I can not stress enough that the sauce tastes like common store bought tomatoes that have been blanched. The sauce is without zest.

The Primo Thin is also thin on the Italian sausage they claim is an ingredient on the pizza. As I ate the pizza I almost forgot that there was supposed to be Italian sausage on it. The pieces are tiny and the flavor is overpowered by the chunks of tomato that are sprinkle on top of the pizza.

Keeping with the theme of this pizza, the five cheeses (part skim mozzarella, provolone, Parmesan, Romano and Asiago) have little to no flavor.

Overall the Palermo’s Primo Thin Italian Sausage pizza is disappointing. I can not recommend it. There are better frozen pizzas out there.

Mid 2012 MacBook Pro

About two months ago I saw a video on YouTube showing that you could upgrade a mid year 2012 MacBook Pro into something that would be nice to work on in 2019.

Not a big fan of the @Apple iOS I was still intrigued by the prospect. I searched on-line and found a reasonably priced model and after some searching on @Amazon I had the other parts and pieces needed to do the job.

I was a little frustrated (read very) that FedEx seemed unable to locate my address. I have had no issues in the past, but this package thwarted their best attempts at finding me. I finally had to drive into Madison, to the FedEx facility to pick it up myself.

When I got home and opened the box I could see some scuffs on the top lid and when I opened the clamshell there were some little nicks on the right hand side of the base. The keyboard, trackpad and display looked good.

I plugged the charger in and turned on the laptop.

It was very slow to boot up and the bezels of the display are rather large when I compared it to my work MacBook Pro, my home HP Spectre or even my Surface Pro 6. But for a seven year old machine, the display is crisp and sharp and it has a glossy finish that looks good.

I tried the keyboard out a little and then got down to business. I loaded YouTube on my Spectre and started the Macbook upgrade – 250GB SSD and 16GB of RAM. I had note purchased a replacement battery – I wanted to see if I would like the MacBook before I purchased that. It took me about 45 minutes to finish the upgrade because I wanted to be careful not to screw anything up and I had to clean the inside – should have been done by the reseller. Now that I have done it once it would probably take me about 15 minutes to do the upgrade.

Once all of the physical changes were made I inserted the thumb drive, turned on the MacBook and loaded the Catalina OS.

The change to SSD and the RAM upgrade have made a huge change to the boot time and how this machine handles tasks. Like night and day goes the saying.

I have to tell you, I am pleasantly surprised by how well this refurbished laptop works. The keyboard is very nice to type on. Key travel is very satisfying with a pleasant feel and sound. The track pad is also good. I must not be as perceptive as some who claim that the Apple Track Pad is second to none. To me it feels like the one on my 2016 HP Spectre.

I use the MacBook Pro mainly for this blog, but I see how Keynote, Numbers and Pages could work on a daily basis. Mail, Safari, Photos and Calendar seem fine. I only use them for this Blog and my Apple Account. On a side note; Garage Band has been fun to play with.

Overall I would say that it has been money well spent. While this experience has not swayed me to the Apple camp (there are too many excellent laptops running Windows for me to switch to a current Mac) I have come to understand why some people live and die with their Apple products.

Grand China – Middleton, WI

Having moved to Middleton and wanting some Chinese take-out, I did a quick Google search and found a few places close to me. One was named Grand China (the name of a Chinese take-out I love in Stoughton, WI) so I decided to try them out.

I ordered a couple of my favorites, steamed dumplings, broccoli with garlic sauce and General Tso’s chicken. After they took my phone number I was told it would be ten minutes.

Google showed me that I was about six minutes from the restaurant so I got ready and drove to Grand China. The Restaurant is located next to McDonald’s and Starbuck’s in a small strip mall. There are a couple of tables and chairs to sit and eat your meal, but most of the location is taken up by the kitchen and counter.

The staff, from my initial phone conversation to my visit to the restaurant, were friendly and very nice.

My order was ready when I arrived and after I paid for it and was leaving the lady behind the counter informed me I could grab a can of soda for free. Nice touch.

I was primed for the food by the time I arrived home – the smell of garlic had me salivating.

The steamed dumpling come eight to a serving and have a nice amount of filling while the dough of the dumpling had a pleasant chew to it. Not thin like a wonton but not too think. The dipping sauce had elements of soy sauce, vinegar, and garlic. Very nice indeed.

I usually order steamed garlic, not as a meal, but to add to my plate along side the General Tso’s. I know, General Tso’s comes with broccoli but usually only has four or five pieces so there is never enough for leftovers, let alone the initial meal. This broccoli was perfectly steamed with a beautiful deep green color and cooked thoroughly but still crunchy. The broccoli came with it’s own small box of rice.

The General Tso’s chicken was very tasty. There was plenty of chicken and about six pieces of broccoli (told you). The sauce was sweet and tangy with only a hint of heat. The take-out menu indicates this selection will be “Hot & Spicy” but it is not. Not a deal breaker, I just made a mental note to request more heat the next time I order.

By ordering the steamed broccoli there is enough chicken and broccoli to feed four people. You would want to order extra sauce to coat the extra vegetables.

Grand China, located at 2608 Allen Blvd, Middleton WI 53562, is definitely a welcome addition to my take-out rotation. I would recommend this Chinese-American restaurant to anyone. Enjoy!