#100DaysOfFoodBlogging, Shopping While Hungry, Thought Nuggets

The Dangers of Shopping While Hungry

Dangers of Shopping While Hungry | getinmymouf.com

[This is post #025 towards #100DaysOfFoodBlogging, our goal to do 100 posts in 100 days as part of The 100 Day Project.]

It always starts with milk. ALWAYS.

Every grocery trip ever conceived has always begun with an empty milk carton. This trip is no different…

And the timing isn’t great, as you were about to have a late afternoon snack. Nothing fancy, just a quick bowl of cereal. However, you notice the empty milk carton. Judging you. Taunting you. Milky laughter echoes throughout your kitchen.

So, instead of having your snack, you decide to dare to go grocery shopping…while hungry.

As you enter the store, you’re full of optimism. But a salad is going to take forever. There’s the washing and cutting and more washing. And then you have to shake the salad dressing… Just thinking about all that work is exhausting. Your armpits are even sweating through your shirt.

So, you enter the frozen food section with a stomach already roaring like the MGM Lion. Maybe you could grab a frozen meal for lunch. It’d be cheap and quick. Save the salad for dinner.

Excellent idea!

Then you remembered you already have dinner plans, so the salad will have to wait for tomorrow’s lunch. As you look at the lettuce you realize that it’s a tiny bit brown on one leaf…

You decide that it’s better not to risk lettuce spoilage, so you decide to put all the salad ingredients back. But since you’re hungry and in a hurry, rather than walking back to each section, you dump them all in the frozen case with the ice cream. It’s a freezer, so it’s not like anything will spoil. The lettuce might even last longer in the freezer. You’re helping the store out. Very good.

After you hide a tomato behind a tub of Chunky Monkey, your eye catches the box of what appears to be the most delicious turkey dinner in the world. (It’s clearly not, but keep in mind your vision is slightly obscured by your hunger.)

You take a closer look…

Your mouth waters, as you inspect the package. There’s a picture of Thanksgiving dinner on the back–It looks just like grandma’s house! The table is set and WOW, look at that turkey. You start to believe that this meal will be delicious and you even convince yourself that you could buy this frozen box of turkey and carbs in lieu of an actual Thanksgiving dinner next year. Your grandmother will be sad, but you’ll send a card. It will be fine.

You toss the freezer turkey dinner into your basket and notice that there’s a sale: 10 for $25 (regularly priced at $2.51 each). You’re too hungry to do the math, so you grab 9 more frozen meals. Meatloaf. Swedish Meatballs. Mac ‘n’ Cheese. Boxes fill your basket; good thing you ditched all that salad produce. Smart.

You avoid eye contact at the check-out counter, for fear of being judged by the cashier at your sole purchase of ten cheap, generic TV dinners. You wish this grocery store had self-checkout. For a second you wish you had simply shoplifted the frozen food, but hiding all the frozen meals in your pants would be problematic. You pay with cash. No need to have this purchase linked to your credit card…

Once you’re home you’re so hungry that you carelessly rip the box open. The sharp corner gives you a paper cut. There’s blood on the counter, but you ignore it for now…

With the frozen turkey dinner removed from it’s packaging, you notice that the frozen version looks a lot like a giant brown ice cube. You can only assume the microwave will “make it all better.”

Turns out your turkey dinner’s directions require an advanced engineering degree from MIT: “Cook on 50% for 3 minutes, then rotate 75 degrees, remove plastic wrap, stir potatoes counter-clockwise, cook on high for 11 seconds, then cook for 12 minutes at 60% power, recover with plastic wrap and let sit for 10 minutes in direct moonlight.” Unfortunately you removed the plastic wrap before reading the instructions and there is a lack of moonlight since it is 2:30 in the afternoon, so you’re already screwed.

You end up just cooking it on high, uncovered for five minutes, or until the inside of your microwave is covered in gravy.

You’ve basically waited for what feels like a fortnight to take the first bite, which both burns your mouth and is also still partially frozen. To even things up, you stir everything around. Hot + Frozen = Warm, right?

The temperature is now lukewarm, which is fine, but unfortunately the stirring resulted in blood dripping into the food from your paper cut.

You’re so hungry now that you’re not above eating your own blood. You own the first season of TrueBlood on DVD and although you never finished it, you start to wonder what it would be like to be a vampire. Would’ve been helpful cooking this meal since you would have naturally been awake during the night, so you could have let the meal sit in moonlight as directed. But if you’re a vampire, why are you eating a frozen turkey dinner? Potentially, you could be trying to wean yourself off of blood, but–

The vampire fantasy is interrupted by the fact that you finally found a piece of turkey in hidden in the brown mush. Yay! Meat! You consider rationing this piece, for there is no guarantee that there will be others. It’s small, but you could probably get three bites from it. You then realize it’s too tough to actually cut, so you just eat it whole.

So, this is what Turkey chewing gum tastes like. You try to blow a bubble. No bubbles.

Once you feel like you’ve gotten as much turkey flavor out of the “meat” as possible you spit it out. But not onto the floor, into your cloth napkin. Yes, cloth. Even when eating a TV dinner you like to keep it classy.

You take another bite from the brown mush and…

You blackout.

Hard to say how long you’re out. Could be seconds, could be years.

When you awake, you realize you’ve not only finished your turkey dinner, but you’ve eaten ALL of the frozen meals you purchased.

You’re no longer hungry, but you are terribly thirsty. Likely because you just consumed your monthly allowance of sodium.

Hoping to find a cold beverage, you open the refrigerator and notice…

You are out of milk.

Reviews, Shopping While Hungry

Chef Barb’s B Sweet Hot Bread Pudding

Chef Barb's B Sweet Bread Pudding

It’s midnight, you’re wide awake and hungry. Possibly drunk, but there’s no way to confirm that…

For absolutely no reason, you start thinking about that trip to New Orleans that you took a few years ago. Normally gumbo is the primary focus of your memories, but this time you begin to fall into a paralyzed state where your only memory is of the bread pudding you had at one of the many great NOLA restaurants. Eggs, cream, butter, and an addictive Irish whiskey cream sauce turn already beautiful french bread into a dessert that could make a grown man squeal with joy.

Now you can’t sleep for fear of this bread pudding entering your dreams like a certain striped-shirt horror film character. There seems to be only one way out in order to fight this craving:  YOU MUST EAT BREAD PUDDING.

You may or may not have all the ingredients to  make the dish, but even if you do, it’s MIDNIGHT (and you might be drunk). Do you really want to spend all that time in the kitchen, in the middle of the night? WHICH, coincidentally, is the exact situation in which you’re most likely to be attacked by ninjas. So, you can either be killed by ancient warriors while trying to make bread pudding from scratch, or you can fall asleep and become trapped in a dreamworld, drowning in eggs and cream.

Luckily Chef Barb Batsiste has a third option for just this scenario. (You might know Chef Barb from her successful LA food truck and catering company. I’ve never eaten from the truck, but my sources in LA tell me it’s worth checking out.) Chef Barb’s B Sweet Hot Bread Pudding is a microwavable frozen bread pudding found in the freezer section of  your local Target stores. Thanks to Chef Barb, you’re never more than six minutes away from this warm, rich dessert.

B Sweet Bread Pudding

Of course this is a great idea in theory, but how good can frozen bread pudding be? Luckily, I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to sample the goods. Flavors include Apple Pie, Glazed Donut, Cookies and Cream, and Fudge Brownie. Here’s what I thought of them, along with a few “grocery store hacks” to elevate this ready-to-eat treat:

Apple Pie with Caramel Drizzle

Aside from the fact that I’m a sucker for anything with “pie” in the name, there was nothing about the taste, texture, or appearance that would lead one to believe that this was ever frozen, let alone microwaved. What made this one stand out the most was the fact that the apples weren’t over-cooked mush that resembled apples–they were still al dente. Joining nine pints of random ice cream, the Apple Pie bread pudding will be a new staple for our freezer.

B Sweet Bread Pudding

Grocery Store Hack:  I haven’t tried this, yet…but I bet if you flatten any left-over bread pudding into patties, lightly coat in flour, and fry like pancakes it will taste awesome. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream to complete the a la mode of your dreams. Yeah, that hack basically combines most of my favorite things (pancakes, bread pudding, and PIE), so I will probably be trying that soon…  UPDATE:  I finally got a chance to try this “bread pudding pancake” (check it out on Instagram) and I must say that it was fantastic (and I’m starting to realize that ALMOST ANYTHING can be made into a pancake or French toast). No, it will not win any “healthy eating” awards, but you’re not coming to this blog for tips on losing weight.

Glazed Donut with Icing Drizzle

If you love Krispy Kreme donuts and you have a sweet tooth, THIS is the bread pudding for you. Nearly as rich and decadent as my doughnut french toast, Chef Barb finds a way to make donuts even more fun. Although I love desserts, this one was a little sweet for my taste, but my Dad (who used to eat sugar out of the bag when he was a child) couldn’t get enough of it.

Grocery Store Hack:  Add fresh berries to insert a touch of tartness to complement the sweet, rich deliciousness. I had a few blackberries lying around, so that’s what I used. A minimum “one berry per bite” rule typically applies in our house.

Chef Barb's B Sweet Bread Pudding

Cookies and Cream with Icing Drizzle

A quick confession… I generally don’t love cookies and cream things. Aside from an occasional milkshake, I won’t search out this flavor profile and I’m not a huge fan of Oreos (the original “cookie and cream”). BUT. I do like chocolate bread, which comprises half of the equation in this bread pudding. The icing drizzle ties it all together in a pleasantly sweet way. If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll be scraping the sides for all the icing, as this bread pudding is probably the least sweet of the bunch (a good thing in my opinion).

Grocery Store Hack: I had some left-over Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to crush them up and sprinkle on top. The texture really helped sell the “cookie” part of the bread pudding.

Chef Barb's B Sweet Cookies and Cream

Fudge Brownie with Chocolate Drizzle

The chocolate bread wasn’t overly rich and went well with the pockets of dark custard and chocolate sauce. It doesn’t beat out Apple Pie as my top choice, but it’s not really a fair fight, ’cause…well…PIE. If you’re prone to brownie cravings, keep this on hand for such emergencies (it might also work as a good diversion when being attacked by ninjas, but the container does not confirm this).

Grocery Store Hack:  I like the way coffee enhances chocolate, so serving this “affogato” worked well. One hot scoop of bread pudding, splash of cold brewed coffee, all topped  with melted vanilla ice cream. You won’t be adding a sprig of mint if it’s midnight, but you also won’t be taking pictures of your food.

fudge brownie Chef Barb's B Sweet Bread Pudding

So, now that your midnight bread pudding craving has been satisfied by B Sweet Hot Bread Pudding (ahem…found at local Target retail stores…ahem), you can worry about more important issues like climate change, the economy, or ninja attacks. Although, like I said, I’m pretty sure this bread pudding can help with the ninjas, too…

Legal blah blah blah:  My fictional attorney, Bob Loblaw encourages me to mention that although I was provided samples of the product, I was not provided compensation for this review. All opinions expressed in this post are mine (with some strong influence from my wife).

Reviews, Series, Shopping While Hungry

Shopping While Hungry

The odds of going to the store for a loaf of bread and coming out with only a loaf of bread are three billion to one. ~ Erma Bombeck

My recipe for instant happiness: twenty bucks, a grocery store, and an empty stomach. In this part-review, part-adventure series, “Shopping While Hungry” will feature what happens when I shop with an open mind and an appetite. No grocery store is safe…especially you, Whole Foods.