#100DaysOfFoodBlogging, Reviews

Review: Popeyes® Smoky Garlic Chile Chicken

Popeyes Smoky Garlic Chile Chicken | getinmymouf.com

[This is post #039 towards #100DaysOfFoodBlogging, our goal to do 100 posts in 100 days as part of The 100 Day Project. Yeah, we’re behind, but we’ll catch up…]

As announced this week by Hector A. Muñoz, Chief Marketing Officer of Popeyes, the Smoky Garlic Chile Chicken “features the flavors of slow-smoked morita chile peppers and garlic in our marinade, bringing a slow-smoked heat to our premium tenderloins.” If you’re more of a visual learner, you can watch the television commercial here.

I’m not one to shy away from limited time promotions at Popeyes (especially those deliciously crispy/spicy/sweet Waffle Tenders!), so I stopped by my favorite fast food fried chicken place to check out the goods.

Popeyes Smoky Garlic Chile Chicken | getinmymouf.com

Smoky Garlic Chile Chicken

Looks:  Very similar to their standard chicken tenders, although (and I’m not sure if it was just a random coincidence), the Smokey Garlic Chile tenders were in larger “cubes” than the long skinny traditional tenders. Not sure if it makes a difference, but that shape may help decrease the chances of your tenders getting a bit dried out and overcooked, as has occasionally happened with their skinnier counterparts.

Texture:  Juicy interior, with their famous crispy crunch on the outside. The promotional signs talk of a “southern style crispy coating,” which I’m not really sure if that’s any different than their normal breading. I didn’t notice a huge difference, save for maybe a touch more crunchiness (but that could be the sign psychologically manipulating me).

Taste:  You definitely get the smoky flavor. Spice level is subtle and I would rank it below their traditional spicy tenders. What I enjoyed most was that the smoky garlic flavor permeated the meat. So, even if you ripped off all the breading (as I have done before), the chicken will still have a really nice smoky taste.

Popeyes Smoky Garlic Chile Chicken | getinmymouf.com

Garlic Herb Sauce

This sauce is a winner winner Smokey Garlic Chile Chicken dinner. To me it was a fast food version of a garlic aioli, and I rank this above a normal Buttermilk Ranch, but below their Blackened Ranch. The tenders aren’t spicy enough to require a dipping sauce, but it never hurts to take a dip.

Verdict

I would absolutely buy these again. In fact, as I’m writing this my mouth is starting to water as I think about them… I enjoyed these better than the recent tangy/spicy Red Stick Chicken, but not quite as much as the legendary Waffle Tenders. If you want to try them, I recommend you hurry, because these smoky tenders will be gone after June 28th.

Continuing the delicious and endless cycle of limited time offerings, they even had the promotional posters out for July’s product:  Hushpuppy Butterfly Shrimp. Interesting…very interesting…

Popeyes Hushpuppy Butterfly Shrimp | getinmymouf.com

If you liked this post, you might like THE BACON BOX:  AN OPEN LETTER TO PIZZA HUT.

The Pizza Hut Bacon Box | getinmymouf.com

Disclaimer:  No money or free chicken was provided to us for this post. I can even show you the receipt if you want. All opinions and chicken adjectives are our own.

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#100DaysOfFoodBlogging

Why We’ll Never Make Fish & Chips Again…Ever

fish and chips | getinmymouf.com

[This is post #038 towards #100DaysOfFoodBlogging, our goal to do 100 posts in 100 days as part of The 100 Day Project. Yeah, we’re behind, but we’ll catch up…]

“Let’s make fish and chips!”

It seemed like a great idea when we woke up this morning…

Oh the tricks our minds play.

We used this recipe from Tyler Florence. The recipe and the food were actually good, so the declaration in the title wasn’t a result of how things tasted.

The fish itself was cooked well, and possibly better than most places. Our homemade tarter sauce with capers, pickles, parsley, and Cholula hot sauce wasn’t too shabby, either. I’ll definitely be dipping fast food fries in it pretty soon… And as a bonus for those needing to avoid gluten, the fish recipe is wheat-free, utilizing rice flour and soda water (instead of beer).

However, as good as it all was, it wasn’t great. And since it was just good, we don’t think it was worth the effort. After about two hours in the kitchen (on top of the hour it took to go grocery shopping), we were left with a house that smells of fish and a kitchen smattered in oil.

All of which might have been fine, but there’s a perfectly good pub about 10 minutes from our house, which serves a solid fish and chips and plenty of ice cold beer.

I’m sure if we had a deep fryer, a hood ventilation system, and a cod surplus, we’d be frying up fish and chips all the time. But until then…

Never again.

Fish & Chips | getinmymouf.com

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#100DaysOfFoodBlogging, Travel

Five Travel Tips for a Super Awesome Vacation

Travel Tips | getinmymouf.com

[This is post #037 towards #100DaysOfFoodBlogging, our goal to do 100 posts in 100 days as part of The 100 Day Project. Yeah, we’re behind, but we’ll catch up…]

Tiffany at The Together Traveler posted some great tips she picked up from a packing workshop she attended with bloggers from The Dining Traveler, Spicy Candy DC, A Lacey Perspective, and McCool Travel. So, if you’re planning a trip, be sure to check out her two posts for some great ideas:

“Tips for Your Next Trip for a Traveling Pro”

“Packing Tips from Seasoned Traveling Pros”

Her posts inspired us to think about some of the things we’ve learned over the years. Although we’re not as seasoned travelers as the folks mentioned above, we’ve definitely made some mistakes and picked up a few shortcuts along the way. So, here are five of our tips for a super awesome vacation.

1.  Plan out your very first meal at your travel destination. 

Tony Tutto's Mill Valley | getinmymouf.com

Our first meal during our last trip to the Bay Area: Tony’s Tutto’s in Mill Valley, CA.

There’s nothing worse than stepping off a six hour flight in a new location, sweaty, slightly over-whelmed, and tired. Oh and STARVING. Your vacation has started, but you can’t even start relaxing because you still have to pick up your bags. I’m not sure about you, but the first hour or two in a new location is always a bit hectic for us. And there’s nothing worse than having an awful first meal. We learned the hard way, so I always make sure to scope out a good or familiar spot to grab a bite to eat so we can get our bearings.

2.  Set aside at least one day of your trip for improvisation. 

Travel Tips | getinmymouf.com

Because you never know when you might be spending four hours searching for starfish at Torrey Pines in San Diego.

As much as we all like to cram as many activities into our vacations as possible, there’s nothing less relaxing than following a strict itinerary for an entire week. It’s great to maximize your time–and let’s be honest, there are some places you’ll only get to visit once–but it never hurts to build a “free day” into your plans. Maybe you’ll feel like exploring an area you weren’t aware of before. Maybe you want to go back and repeat an activity from your first day. Maybe you just need a day to recoup after drinking for 2, 3, or 4 days straight…

3.  Buy luggage in the brightest color possible.

Travel Tips | getinmymouf.com

This bag is so bright, you need to wear sunglasses to pack.

I have a bright orange luggage set. This luggage as has been one of the best travel purchases of my life, because when the sea of black and navy blue suitcases flow out of the baggage claim conveyor belt, mine clearly stands out. So, if you’re in the market for a bag, pick the one with the most offensive color or design.

4.  Hire a tour guide.

Yokahu Tower

View from Yokahu Tower @ El Yunque in Puerto Rico. A trip that was much easier thanks to our tour guide, Rob.

Although it can be expensive, the value of joining a group tour or hiring a private tour guide can make it more than worth it. Skip the large, crowded tours you find in heavy tourist areas and look for smaller, more intimate tour guides on TripAdvisor or Yelp. We’ve mentioned before in our “Five (mostly food-related) Things We Miss About Puerto Rico” that the highlight was clearly a result of amazing rainforest tour guide, Rob of Sunset Tours. He made it worth the money and was even able to recommend restaurants for us to try during the remainder of our trip.

5.  Bake cookies to take on your trip. 

Momofuku Milk Bar Cookie Mix Review | getinmymouf.com

I just like eating homemade cookies on long flights. Especially these Momofuku Compost Cookies.

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#100DaysOfFoodBlogging, Recipes

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries & Almonds

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Cranberry & Almonds | getinmymouf.com

[This is post #036 towards #100DaysOfFoodBlogging, our goal to do 100 posts in 100 days as part of The 100 Day Project.]

I think it’s pretty common (cliché even?) for a food blogger to talk about how they used to hate Brussels sprouts as a kid.

So, I’m not going to talk about how I never actually tasted them as a child.

I definitely won’t speak of how the smell was so horrid that I hid under my bed whenever they were on the menu.

And I absolutely shall not mention that one occasion where I cried at the dinner table.

I will note that I almost cried tears of joy after tasting these Brussels sprouts, though. It had a been a rough day at work, and I was famished. Either way these sprouts of Brussels were better than my younger self could have ever expected.

And as a triple bonus, this recipe is a great way to clear out your pantry of any leftover nuts and dried fruit. In fact, you could probably swap out the almonds for macadamia nuts, the cranberries for dried pineapple, and the balsamic for rice wine vinegar and call this “Tropical Brussels Sprouts with Pineapple and Macadamia Nuts.” It’s like those Choose Your Own Adventure booksexcept without the possibility of time-traveling to a land where dinosaurs roam free.

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Cranberry & Almonds | getinmymouf.com

Served with baked halibut and dill potatoes.

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries & Almonds

  • 1 Pound Brussels Sprouts, halved
  • 2 Tblspns Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Almond Slivers
  • 1 1/2 Tblspn Acetum Blaze Balsamic Glaze (not an affiliate link)
  • 1/4 Cup Cranberries
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash, trim, dry, and halve Brussels sprouts lengthwise.

2. Toss dry Brussels sprouts with a light coating of olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

3. Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 30 minutes. Meanwhile, toast the almonds in a small frying pan until they turn golden and smell really freaking good.

4. Toss hot Brussels sprouts with 1 1/2 tablespoons Blaze Glaze, toasted almonds, and cranberries until evenly coated. Enjoy!

 

P.s. Does this cover photo remind anyone else of the black and white ink blot cards that psychologists use on their patients? According to this, it can help to determine an individual’s personality characteristics and emotional functioning. All it’s telling me is that I’m hungry!

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#100DaysOfFoodBlogging, Reviews

Rice Battle: Arborio vs. Carolina Gold

arborio vs. carolina gold rice | getinmymouf.com

[This is post #035 towards #100DaysOfFoodBlogging, our goal to do 100 posts in 100 days as part of The 100 Day Project.]

Last week we had a very brief post, singing the praises of Anson Mills Carolina Gold Rice.

We made the classic separate-grain recipe (aka “Charleston Ice Cream“) and it was so good that no adjectives were necessary. Even the most hyperbolic of adjectives seemed to fall short. Epic. Game-changing. BEST EVER. None of them worked.

Anyway, in some aspects, the Charleston Ice Cream reminded us of risotto, so Tina was curious if the recipe would hold up if we swapped out the Carolina Gold with with Italian arborio rice.

arborio vs. carolina gold rice | getinmymouf.com

Tina followed the Anson Mills recipe, by first boiling it with a bay leaf, salt, and pepper, then baking it (with PLENTY of butter). The grains are a bit larger, so she baked the arborio for an extra five minutes.

arborio vs. carolina gold rice | getinmymouf.com

The verdict:  The arborio rice was far better than most traditional rices you would find at a grocery store (apologies, Uncle Ben); however, the flavor and texture of the Carolina Gold was clearly superior. Clearly this wasn’t a fair fight, but with the amount of butter in the recipe, the arborio rice works fine and for all intents and purposes is an acceptable substitution. Especially if you don’t want to spend $7 for 14 oz.

But if you’re in search of flavor perfection and you don’t mind paying the extra cash, stick with the Carolina Gold.

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#100DaysOfFoodBlogging, Mouf Links

Mouf Links

Mouf Links | getinmymouf.com

[This is post #034 towards #100DaysOfFoodBlogging, our goal to do 100 posts in 100 days as part of The 100 Day Project.]

1.  “Milk Bar’s Founder Reveals Her Recipes for Cookies and Success” – One Kings Lane:  In addition to a cool recipe for ‘Salt-and-Pepper Cookies with Pickled Strawberry Jam,’ Christina Tosi offers up some good tips for success. When the creator of Crack Pie offers up advice, I’ll be the first to heed it.

2.  “How to Make the Perfect Ice Cube” – GIZMODO:  Sother Teague of Amor y Amargo shows off his ice making skills with this tutorial and video. The result is ice so clear you could read your iPad through it. Oh and the secret is not boiling the water first.

3.  “How to Transform Leftover Fast Food into Hot, Melty Waffles” – FoodBeast/HuffPost Taste:  Anyone who reads our blog regularly knows my obsession with our waffle maker is exponentially growing (ahem, Doughnut French Toast Waffles). Turns out your waffle maker also gives you a reason to eat leftover fast food. Excuse me while I fill my fridge with cheeseburgers and french fries.

4.  “Vodka-Infused Melon Balls” – Healthy Nibbles and Bits:  Since summer is fast approaching (it’s already too hot here in Northern VA), it’s time to start soaking things in alcohol for your next BBQ. Lisa‘s recipe will finally give you a reason to break out that melon baller you haven’t used since 1999.

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#100DaysOfFoodBlogging, Reviews, Videos

Taco Bamba – Falls Church, VA

Taco Bamba

[This is post #033 towards #100DaysOfFoodBlogging, our goal to do 100 posts in 100 days as part of The 100 Day Project.]

We’ve talked about San Francisco Deficiency Syndrome before and although not as severe, there is another serious medical condition that we fall into after our vacations to the west coast. And specifically when returning from San Diego.  Doctors are calling it Me Want Good Tacos Now Disorder*.

Typically this condition strikes when stepping foot on a plane leaving San Diego and doesn’t clear up until (during a return visit) your mouth touches a perfect fish or shrimp taco.

After extensive research, we’re happy to report that we’ve found a cure in Northern Virginia! Taco Bamba in Falls Church.

From acclaimed Chef Victor Albisu (Del Campo in Washington, DC), Taco Bamba executes the classics with perfection (I’d bathe in the juice of their carnitas), while including innovative twists (Poutine Taco anyone?) that will make your Me Want Good Tacos Now Disorder completely clear up.

Taco Bamba | getinmymouf.com

Carnitas & Carne Asada

Food Highlights:

  • The Taco Bamba -This is their signature taco, filled with skirt steak, chorizo, grilled guacamole, and chicharrones. This taco will have you singing like Julie Andrews. “These are a few of my favorite things…”
  • Carnitas – It doesn’t get any better than this shredded pork confit. I order mine with a straw, so I can recapture all that sweet carnitas nectar that drips off the taco.
  • Camaron a la Diabla – A spicy shrimp taco filled with cilantro rice and poblano sauce. Bring your own sand and a towel and you’ll feel like you’re at the beach again.
  • Corn on the Cobb – You can’t forget the veggies, especially when they’re covered in mayo, cotija, and red chili. If you’ve never had corn on the cob like this, it might sound odd, but go for it ’cause it totally works.
Taco Bamba | getinmymouf.com

Spicy Shroom, Camaron a la Diabla, and Black Pearl (Fried Tilapia, Spicy Coleslaw, Black Aioli)

Tips:

  • When going there for the first time, you will assume it’s located in the same shopping center as the Whole Foods. IT IS NOT. Keep driving to the smaller strip center behind the Whole Foods Shopping center. It’s nothing fancy, but there’s plenty of parking.
  • There can be a pretty lengthly line during peak times, so take advantage of calling ahead if you have a big order.
  • It’s not a huge place and there is only bar seating along the wall. There’s a small patio outside with some tables and chairs, but don’t expect to find a place to eat during a busy lunch or dinner hour.
Taco Bamba | getinmymouf.com

The Taco Bamba & Camaron a la Diabla

*Some side effects may include feelings of fullness and taco-induced happiness.

Don’t take our word for it, for some awesome pics and other points of view, check out these other blog posts about Taco Bamba:

“Falls Church:  Taco Bamba” – Let’s Do Lunch

“Taco Bamba” – Whiskey and Soba

Taco Bamba on Urbanspoon

Disclaimer:  We received no compensation or free food for this post; we honestly recommend Taco Bamba. I would bathe in the carnitas juice if anyone wants to make that happen.

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#100DaysOfFoodBlogging, Thought Nuggets

The Bacon Box: An open letter to Pizza Hut

The Pizza Hut Bacon Box | getinmymouf.com

[This is post #032 towards #100DaysOfFoodBlogging, our goal to do 100 posts in 100 days as part of The 100 Day Project.]

My Dearest Pizza Hut,

You don’t know me personally, but we’ve had quite a long relationship. There’s no data available, but for argument’s sake, I’ve probably eaten millions of slices of your pizza. Also, you send me more emails than any of my family members. So…yeah.

Through all those millions of bites, there has been quite a roller coaster of emotions. Happiness. Sadness. Hunger. The opposite of hunger.

First and foremost, I do have many fond memories…

The way your pepperoni gets a little bit burnt, making it extra crispy. Even when I was too full to eat any more, I always had room to steal a salty pepperoni from one of the remaining slices.

You forced me to read with the Book-It program. Free pizza just for reading books? Genius. I graduated college, so thank you. I didn’t keep track of all the books I read, but for the sake of argument I’ve probably read millions of pages.

Oh and your beloved pan pizza. Dripping that unctuous grease on my chin… It was as close to a fried pizza as I’ll ever come.

And the pan pizza’s perfect foil: The thin crust pizza. So thin that it could facilitate consuming more than one large pizza at a time. A feat any teenage boy would be proud to accomplish.

Memories aside, we are firmly planted in what historians will call The Bacon Era. It all started as a lonely topping. Little salty crumbles of magic, like dust from the Pig Fairy. But that wasn’t enough. Next, you decided to stuff bacon and cheese in the crust.

Not long after this historic anouncement from Blake Shelton, one of your competitors upped the ante, not by stuffing the crust, but by REPLACING IT with bacon.

Now, you could take the next logical step and replace ALL of the crust with bacon. Essentially a circular disc of bacon, ready to be piled high with sauce, cheeses, and…more bacon. So, why let this pesky pizza business get in the way of what we all really want? What the world needs is…

THE BACON BOX

The Pizza Hut Bacon Box | getinmymouf.com

A pound of bacon stuffed inside a box, delivered hot, fresh, and ready for consumption. I don’t have the demographics data, but I’m willing to bet there are millions of customers out there who desire a box of bacon. Breakfast would never be easier. BLTs would practically make themselves. World peace would be just around the corner.

The Pizza Hut Bacon Box | getinmymouf.com

Your bread stick boxes are already equipped to hold bacon. I’m sure your pizza ovens would love to cook strips of bacon. And the marketing is already done, ’cause this box sells itself.

So, I challenge you, Pizza Hut. Give us THE BACON BOX.

Because if you don’t, I’m sure one of y0ur competitors will…

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#100DaysOfFoodBlogging, Reviews

Anson Mills Carolina Gold Rice Needs No Adjectives

Anson Mills Carolina Gold Rice | getinmymouf.com

[This is post #031 towards #100DaysOfFoodBlogging, our goal to do 100 posts in 100 days as part of The 100 Day Project.]

No adjectives are required, nor would any do this rice any justice. Just go to the link below, buy some rice, and experience it for yourself.

Anson Mills Carolina Gold Rice

Use this recipe:  Classic Separate-Grain Carolina Gold Rice

PS:  Thanks, Glenn Roberts.

PPS:  I’m not messing around.

Anson Mills Carolina Gold Rice | getinmymouf.com

This shot also features pages from Chef Sean Brock’s book, ‘Heritage’.

Disclaimer:  This is NOT a sponsored post. Just try the freaking rice! Wait, is “freaking” an adjective?

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#100DaysOfFoodBlogging, Reviews

Feed Your Eyes: ‘Chef’s Table’ on Netflix

[This is post #030 towards #100DaysOfFoodBlogging, our goal to do 100 posts in 100 days as part of The 100 Day Project.]

Now that most of your favorite network shows are wrapping up (some of them FOREVER), you’ll have a ton of television viewing time to spare over the next few months. Before you go insane and reach decision paralysis when deciding what to watch next, I ask you to look no further than your Netflix account.

In what has accurately been called the “the anti-cooking show,” Chef’s Table is more than worthy of consuming your new found spare time.

Brought to life by Jiro Dreams of Sushi director, David Gelb, the first season spans six episodes, each telling the story of a different world class chef. And although these aren’t necessarily household names or celebrity chefs as defined by current culture, their impact on food and even the world likely reaches further than a line of cookware and 10 seasons on Food Network ever could.

You get to know the chefs intimately and they truly are the stars of the show, each uniquely their own character, while also sharing a similar passion.

But that’s not to say that the food isn’t beautiful, because it is. You can easily mistake the series for an art documentary. In a good way.

Most culinary shows are filled with so much gluttonous food porn, you end up feeling like you need a cold shower to cleanse yourself of the residual butter, sugar, and bacon fat. Chef’s Table, however, is much more satisfying, as you’re left with an emotional connection to each chef.

Or as Gelb put it best in this Grubstreet interview: “Emotional food porn!”

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