Category Archives: Snacks

Chips, candy and other munchies

Tater Tots

A tater tot is like a bite-sized hash brown. It’s diced up potato that is deep-fried and delicious. I would place tater tots in the top ten of American comfort foods because of how versatile they are. They can be a side dish or be featured in the main course. You never had a childhood if you never had a tater tot. Tater tots, or tots if you wanna be cool, are the official food of the Midwest. They have tater tot casseroles, tots are an acceptable pizza topping, and tots have even replaced tortilla chips in nachos (creating a dish called totchos). Every broke ass college kid should have a big bag of tots in the freezer. You can’t eat ramen everyday. You should mix it up with potato products and fries are too cliché. Tater tots can go with every meal. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all improved by a simple appearance from the majestic tot. You don’t have to believe me, but you’re missing out if you don’t have tater tots in your life.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Leftover Chinese Food

I ordered Chinese food for dinner last night and you know what that means… I had leftover Chinese food for dinner tonight. It’s the only way to do it. You order way more food than you can possibly eat, stuff your face as much as you can, and then put whatever remains into the fridge and that’s lunch and dinner for the new few days. I think leftover Chinese food almost tastes better than freshly cooked Chinese food. Somehow sitting in the refrigerator for hours and hours and then getting nuked in the microwave really brings out the flavor. Maybe it supercharges the MSG. I don’t what’s in it. I just know I can’t stop eating it.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Ben & Jerry’s New Belgium Salted Caramel Brown-ie Ale

I like beer. I like ice cream. Ben & Jerry’s New Belgium Salted Caramel Brown-ie Ale combines the two. They use New Belgium Brown Ale ice cream and combine it with fudge brownies and salted caramel swirls. I was expecting to get a slight whiff of beer when I took off the lid, but it just smelled like normal ice cream. Well, I’ve never really smelled ice cream before but it didn’t seem to have much of an aroma at all. I took a spoonful and put it in my mouth. My first thoughts were that it was smooth and creamy and not much else. I took another bite, and then another, trying to find a distinguishing flavor, but there really isn’t one. It doesn’t taste like a brown ale at all. It’s bland. I can taste the caramel and brownies, but the New Belgium Brown Ale ice cream is more boring than vanilla. I was expecting an ice cream that tasted like beer. I just got ice cream. Meh. It’s a limited batch. It’s going away soon. Good.

Critically Rated at 7/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Nougat

I was having a lengthy discussion about candy bars with my roommate (we may or may not have had the munchies) when I discovered that he didn’t know what nougat was. I was kind of shocked. Nougat is an essential ingredient in a lot of great candy bars. Snickers has nougat. Baby Ruth has nougat. Big Hunk has nougat. LOOK! has nougat. Mars bar has nougat. Milky Way has nougat. And somehow nougat is still overlooked and underrated. It deserves more attention and affection. So I decided to blog about it to help get the word out.

Nougat is a chewy confection made with roasted nuts and sugar or honey. There are a few different types of nougat. There is white nougat, brown nougat, and German/Viennese nougat. They are all made differently but I’m not going to tell you the differences between them. Stop being lazy and do your own research on nougat if you’re so fascinated by it. Anyway, a long time ago somebody discovered that nougat tasted good and they decided to combine it with chocolate and the world was changed for the better. Nobody knows who originally combined the two, so I’m just going to give credit to the Pope. You can decide which one.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Taco Night

Taco night is a night where you make tacos at home. It’s a quick, cheap, and fun meal. And it’s easy to make, so even culinary inept people like me can pull it off without a hitch. When I was growing up, my family did taco night once every two weeks or so. My mom was smart and let the kids be in charge of taco night. We took turns cooking the meat and beans, dicing the lettuce, tomatoes and onions, and grating cheese. It got raised to another level when we learned how to make guacamole. I’m not a good cook by any means, but I gained my basic cooking skills from taco night. It’s come in handy.

I recently started seeing a girl and last Sunday was our first Valentine’s Day together. It was still too early in the relationship to do something extravagant, so I asked my sister for advice. She told me to cook her dinner. It was a great idea but I’m not really good at cooking. I thought about what I knew how to make. The answer came naturally. Tacos. I could make tacos. So Valentine’s Day became taco night. I’m pleased to say that it was successful. They tasted great, she appreciated the gesture, nobody got food poisoning, and we’re still seeing each other. It’s all thanks to taco night. Learn it, love it, do it. Everyone deserves fresh, homemade tacos in their lives. Get in on it.

Critically Rated at 16/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Sour Gummies in the Freezer 

 I bought a packet of sour gummy worms today. I put them in the freezer. Why? Because they taste better cold. Everybody knows that putting chocolate bars in the freezer is a good idea. Fewer people are aware that putting sour gummies in the freezer is another way to satisfy the fat kid that lives inside of you. I suppose you could substitute regular gummies, but sour gummies are so much better. They have way more sugar. So the next time you have sour gummies and access to a freezer, I suggest you put those sour gummies in the freezer for a few hours and see how right I am. I didn’t invent storing sour gummies in the freezer, I’m simply a fan of the practice and want to spread the word. 

Critically Rated at 12/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young 

  

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Eating Popcorn With Your Tongue

 As a kid I had the habit of grabbing a handful of popcorn and using my tongue to snag each morsel like I was a giant lizard. It was the best way to eat popcorn. My hands formed a big bowl and I could eat individual kernels instead of simply stuffing my face. It was a practical solution to a popcorn problem that only a child could have come up with. I applaud everyone else who also discovered lizard licking their popcorn. Eating popcorn with your tongue is easy. Get a handful of popcorn and shoot your tongue out at the popcorn. Your tongue will hit a kernel and stick to it slightly. As soon as your tongue makes contact, retract your tongue. The kernel should end up in your mouth if you did everything correctly. Eat the kernel and repeat the process. Don’t drool. That won’t impress anyone.

 Critically Rated at 12/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young 

  

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In-N-Out

 All California carnivores are forever grateful for a little fast food chain called In-N-Out. In-N-Out is famous for quality burgers made to order with fresh ingredients. They have a real simple menu. You can get a hamburger, a cheeseburger, or a double cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, and sauce. They have fries, shakes, and sodas. They have a hidden menu for a more customized experience. You can get a Protein style burger, which is a burger with a lettuce wrap in lieu of a bun. Animal style is more exciting. The patty is cooked in mustard and your burger comes with extra sauce and added pickles and grilled onions.You can also get your fries Animal style. That adds two slices of cheese, grilled onions, and sauce. Don’t forget to add chili peppers for even more flavor. Unfortunately there’s still no bacon, no matter how hard you try.

 In-N-Out is mostly a California chain, but the company has since expanded into Oregon, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, and even Texas. I did a little Wikipedia search and discovered that the family owns it has had a lot of tragedies. Rich Snyder became president when his father died, and he successfully expanded the company until died in a plane crash. Guy Snyder took over until he died by overdosing on painkillers. I don’t think any other Snyder has died in dramatic fashion since, but I will keep you updated. 

 In-N-Out is categorized as fast food. It’s really not. It’s very popular and it’s not uncommon to see a line out the door. It can take fifteen minutes to half an hour to get your food. The name is slightly misleading. They should call it In-N-Wait. Snap. Burn. It’s still worth waiting for. It’s fucking delicious, especially when you’ve been craving it for a while. 

 Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young 

  

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Cutting Pizza with Scissors

There are a few ways to cut a pizza. Some people opt for a pizza cutter, a device made for the sole purpose of cutting pizza. Some people us a sharp knife (sharp knives are much better than dull ones). My grandma was a rebel and didn’t play by the rules. She would cut pizza with scissors. It worked and it worked well. She could cut a pizza faster and more precisely than any other grandma in the neighborhood. She never got any recognition for her contributions to the pizza cutting world, but I’m fighting to preserve her culinary breakthrough. I want people to know that cutting pizza with scissors is not only an option, it’s a viable one. Try it the next time you cook up DiGiorno. It might change your life.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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American Dim Sum

I’m a fan of dim sum. Dim sum is like Chinese brunch with a twist. There aren’t any large portions, it’s typically bite-sized pieces of food. If you’re at a sit-down dim sum place you don’t order off a menu. Instead the servers walk around with trays of different dishes and you grab whatever looks good. It’s a great dining experience and it makes me wonder if anyone has come up with American dim sum. It would be small portions of American comfort foods. I’m talking about sliders, meatballs with toothpicks, fries, onion rings, mozzarella sticks, milkshake shots, potato skins, street tacos, mini corn dogs/pigs in a blanket, deep fried pickles, deep fried Twinkies, cheesecake bites, ice cream cupcakes, Buffalo wings, chicken nuggets… Do I need to keep listing food or can you just admit that American dim sum is a great idea? Anything that catches your eye ends up on your plate.

Critically Rated at 16/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Corn Dog

A corn dog is a hot dog covered with cornbread on a stick. It’s probably my favorite food on a stick. They are associated with county fairs, baseball games, and evenings at the circus. They taste like America, like freedom on a stick. They are best served deep fried, but even nuking one in the microwave is good enough to combat the munchies. My roommate offered me a leftover box of frozen corn dogs that she was never going to eat. I accepted that offer and I accepted it gladly. A box of free corn dogs goes a long way, especially in today’s economy. You can have one corn dog for a snack or have three for a meal. I’m doing the latter right now. Writing about corn dogs is fun. Eating them is even better.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Spam

Spam is a precooked meat product in a can. It’s made from pork shoulders, ham, salt, water, potato starch, sugar, and sodium nitrate. It’s ready to eat hot or cold straight from the can. I had it for dinner last night. It was the first time that I’ve ever tried it. I opened the can and let it slowly plop down onto a plate. Then I cut a thin slice and popped it into my mouth. It wasn’t bad. It reminded me of a cold canned Vienna sausage, just a bit more salty.

It passed the cold taste test. It wasn’t great but it was certainly edible. I proceeded to cut up a few more pieces of Spam to fry on the stove. I cut some thin slices, a few cubes, and a few thick strips. I cooked them until they were browned and slightly crispy. The cooked Spam tasted more like ham and the thinner slices were reminiscent of bacon. Anything that reminds you of bacon can’t be bad.

I still had more than a half can of Spam left, so I threw some in with ramen and made a Spam noodle soup. I also made a bowlful of white rice, added some Spam, and topped it off with soy sauce. The soy sauce was a little overkill because the Spam is already super salty, but it was still a decent meal. I put the little bit of leftover Spam in the fridge until my roommate came home. He never tried Spam before either, so I nuked the rest in the microwave (a serving suggestion recommended by the can itself) and let him try it. The microwaved ham tasted like bland ham, the kind you would find in a Lunchable but heated up. It was better than cold Spam but not as good as fried Spam.

All in all Spam lives up to the hype. I can see why Hawaiians are so enamored by it. It’s good by itself, but it’s better as part of a dish. I went thirty years without eating Spam. I don’t think that will happen again. I won’t eat it everyday, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I had Spam once a month or so.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Leftover Halloween Candy

Halloween has come and gone, but leftover Halloween candy is still around if you’re lucky. I went into the break room at work today and one of my coworkers brought in a bag of fun-sized candy for everybody to enjoy. It was a nice assortment of Smarties, Nerds, Swedish Fish, Laffy Taffy, Starburst, and Snickers bars. I grabbed a few pieces of candy and proceeded to stuff my face. I’m a fat kid at heart, I’m not ashamed to admit it. It’s always been like that. I was never good at saving my Halloween candy. I would eat it all within forty-eight hours. Surprisingly I never got cavities. I like to think it’s because of the milk in all the chocolate I ate. You have to be smart when you’re rationing out your leftover Halloween candy. You have to eat a good piece of candy and then a bad piece of candy. Or you can force yourself to eat a bad piece of candy and then reward yourself with a good piece of candy. You don’t want to end up with a bunch of Candy Corn.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Seaweed

Seaweed is a plant that grows in the ocean. It’s also what fish smoke. There are lots of different types of seaweed, but I can only name kelp off the top of my head. I’m writing about seaweed because I’m currently eating seaweed. I’m eating it as a snack. Yes, I’m Asian, how did you know? But it’s a good snack. They dry it out, and they manufacture it into nice sized pieces that you can pop in your mouth. It’s kind of salty, so it makes you drink more. It’s not filling, so you can drink more. It has no sugar or preservatives, so it’s got to be a little healthy. And if you’re healthy you can drink more. As you can see, there are a lot of reasons to eat seaweed. Try it. You might like it. If you do you can thank me. If you don’t, well that’s your lack of culture and upbringing so you can’t blame me.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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The Menu

I have a great idea for a trendy new restaurant. It would be called The Menu and it would have an interesting shtick (because every trendy new restaurant should have an interesting shtick). It’s called The Menu because you can only order off the menu. No modifiers, no substitutions, no upsells. The menu is the menu. You can either order something or get the fuck out, it’s as simple as that. I might let you specify the burger or steak temperature, but only if I like you. Don’t even ask about gluten-free options. It’s all gluten. There would be a list of drinks, appetizers, entrées, sides, and desserts. If you don’t see it, you can’t get it. Of course the menu would change from time to time. It’s important to shake things up every once in a while and variety is the spice of life. So come to The Menu, where the menu is the menu.

Critically Rated at 16/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Ben & Jerry’s Party

I had yesterday off. My roommate did too. So did his girlfriend. We all work in the restaurant industry. The fact that we all three of us had the same day off was a miracle. We celebrated by playing cards in the park while sipping on beer on wine, followed by a nice sushi meal, and we topped it off by buying several pints of Ben & Jerry’s. That’s right. We had an impromptu Ben & Jerry’s party. If you’re not jealous, there is something wrong with you. We got Coffee Toffee Bar Crunch, Americone Dream, half baked, and Cherry Garcia. That’s a pretty nice variety. Sure we could have gotten more, but there were too many decisions and we had too little time. We chose what we chose and I have no regrets.

We brought the pints home, we opened them up, we took a picture to post on social media, and we dished them out, devoured them, and went back for seconds. We made gluttons of ourselves. Food comas all around. It was glorious. It was like Thanksgiving. We all had to lie down after. We all went to bed early. The best part was that it wasn’t planned. It couldn’t be. If I told you that we should have a Ben & Jerry’s party soon, we would look at our calendars and plan it for Tuesday next week. Tuesday would roll around and we wouldn’t be in the mood for ice cream. We would postpone it, and postpone it, and postpone it again. It would never happen. It has to be spontaneous. We had a spontaneous Ben & Jerry’s party. I consider myself lucky.

Critically Rated at 16/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Dropping Your Spoon into Your Soup

I was kind of hungry earlier and didn’t feel like cooking. I ended up throwing a can of soup into a pot on the stove. It only took five minutes to heat up with an occasional stir now and then to keep it from overheating. When it was done, I ladled into a bowl and took it into my room so I could eat and watch shit on YouTube at the same time. Things were going great until I got distracted by on YouTube video and ended up dropping my spoon into my soup. I watched in horror and it sunk to the bottom of the bowl. I was kind of stoned so it was a very delayed reaction. After ten seconds or so of surveying the situation, I very delicately reached into the bowl and retrieved my spoon. I let it drip and drain for a bit, then I took it to the kitchen sink and rinsed it off. Then I went back to eating my soup. I took my time and made sure not to drop my spoon into my soup again. Once was enough. I thought I was good at eating soup. I guess I’m not the soup connoisseur I thought I was. Dropping your spoon into your soup makes you feel like an amateur. I felt like less of a person. I still do. I’m going to invent a spoon with a wrist strap to prevent this from every happening again. I’m sure there’s a market for it.

Critically Rated at 7/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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