Category: Dinner

Screaming’ Sicilian – Bessie’s Revenge

After my experience with the Mabo Italiano I was a little hesitant trying another Screamin’ Sicilian pizza. Co. I’m glad that I decided to give this variety a try.

I followed the instructions and placed the frozen pizza into my preheated oven and patiently waited for it to be ready for my taste buds.

The packaging has the same eye catching design. A text bubble calls out that this pizza has “Ridiculous amounts of cheese!”. This all cheese pizza is covered with whole milk fresh (frozen) mozzarella, shredded mozzarella, Parmesan, Romano, and white cheddar cheese. The secret recipe tomato sauce is back along with the “Stone-fired” medium crust. Like the the previous selection, I had to rearrange the toppings to more evenly cover the surface.

Bessie’s Revenge bakes for between 16-18 minutes at 425 degrees. I checked mine after 16 minutes and it looked very pale so I let it bake 2 minutes longer. It was still looking a little too blonde for my taste so I left it in for another 4 minutes and that had the cheese looking a nice golden brown color. Again, the smell was mild for something touted as “Screamin’ Sicilian” and I was thinking this might be another disappointment.

I started tasting with a salad and then cut into the pizza.

The crust was much crisper than my previous selection and had considerably more cheese. Allowing the pizza to rest while I ate the salad kept the cheese from being too soft. There was no stretch as I pulled two pieces from the pie.

The pizza was much better. The cheese was thick and complemented the tomato sauce nicely. I could not discern any seasoning besides the tomato sauce and five cheeses. The crust was crisp and had an ok taste to it.

I can recommend Bessie’s Revenge to anyone who likes a cheese pizza. You might want to add some crushed red pepper flakes or a pizza seasoning to it to liven it up a bit.

Extra Noodle – Soup Mix with Real Chicken Broth

They say you can never go home, and it appears that for some things this is true.

I have been struggling with a stomach bug for the last couple of days, and now that I actually feel like eating the thing that caught my eye at the store was something from my childhood.

Lipton soup mix.

As I walked down the soup isle at the local grocer, I spied the red @LiptonRecipe soup mix box. It was almost hidden behind a display, but I found it. They only had the Extra Noodle version, but my childish memories were already triggered, and I had to have some. It’s amazing how some things evoke such strong sense of affection and comfort.

I couldn’t wait to be home and start the water boiling. Opening the packet, I was immediately disappointed. Something wasn’t right. The smell did not match my memory. It did not smell like chicken packet. It smelled like dusty noodles. Surely once I mixed the packet contents with the boiling water that would change. The familiar scent of faux chicken would greet my nostrils.

It was not to be.

I mixed.

I sniffed.

Disappointment

I mixed some more.

Nothing.

What had happened to this memory? Someone has stolen a part of my life. A chunk of comforting memories is gone. The soothing warmth that told me I was once more well enough to eat semi solid foods is gone.

It is a sad day when you find that something that held such strong sensation is gone forever and all that remains is an imperfect copy claiming to be Soup Mix with Real Chicken Broth.

Sadly, I am left knowing I cannot recommend this product. A shame.

Now all that remains is what do I do with the three packets I have left?

HELLO FRESH – Pork Sausage Rigatoni In A Creamy Sauce

This was another outstanding meal kit from the folks at Hello Fresh.

I like that almost every recipe that I have tried from Hello Fresh can be prepared in thirty-five minutes or less. The prep work is minimal and (so far) I have not needed to add an assortment of kitchen gadgets to produce delicious meals. The Pork sausage rigatoni in a creamy sauce with bell pepper and lemon was no exception.

The picture does not do it justice.

This recipe turned out to be a delightful combination of flavors and textures. The rigatoni provided a pleasant chew while the creamy sauce, with the addition of lemon zest and an additional squeeze of lemon juice, provided a bright counterbalance to the sweet Italian sausage and bell pepper. Texture is important to me. If I am going to eat a meal, it has to be enjoyable. I mean, why go to all the trouble of sitting down to a meal if it isn’t going to stimulate my senses? In my opinion, that would be a waste of my time and effort.

If you look at my previous reviews, one of the constant issues with Hello Fresh is the inconsistency of produce included with their meal kits. This was not the case here. The red bell pepper, tomato, lemon, and scallions were very nice, although the tomato suffered from the flavorless curse of having to create a tomato that can be shipped across a country and still arrive looking good. It was nice not having to run to the store to replace an inferior item.

The sweet Italian sausage was tasty and crumbled up nicely once the casings were split and removed. I would have preferred a hot variety, but the pepper flakes allowed me to add additional heat. This is another aspect that I really like about Hello Fresh. They provide a recipe that 90% to 95% of the general public will like and that the rest of us can adjust for our particular tastes.

The cream cheese and sour cream combined to create a tangy sauce. The lemon zest and juice added to the tang and contrasted nicely with the sweet sausage and bell pepper. I know that I have already stated this in the review, but it really is a tasty addition. The consistency of the sauce was a little too thick for me, so I added additional reserved pasta water and that did the trick. I would recommend always reserving more pasta water than the recipe calls for. It comes in handy if you need to thin the sauce and you dump it in the sink if not.

I added a large, tossed salad and some fresh bread and had two very satisfying meals from this kit. Depending on your appetite, and the sides you add, a person could have three portions from this recipe. I don’t think I would try and stretch it to feed four people unless you add more pasta and maybe another tomato.

I would recommend this @HelloFresh meal kit without reservation.

Happy New Year

Or “can I stick to a schedule of writing reviews in 2022?”

2022 is here and I have committed to writing reviews three times per week. Now the question is can I stick with it? As an introvert who struggles with ADHD it waits to be seen if I can break my eight-week record of review writing.

I have stocked up on tech in 2021 so I have no excuse on that front.

My cat is pretty self-sufficient so I can’t use him as an excuse either.

Now all that remains is whether or not anyone cares about my opinions.

Here goes.