Category Archives: Reviews

Nueske’s Bacon Cheddar Bratwurst – Product Review

A few years back, my colleagues and I decided to go to the Milwaukee Brewers game and do some tailgating. The theme of the tailgate was to really have a blind brat tasting contest. Yes, we Wisconsinites love our brats. We had an array of brats from local butchers to the ring leaders such as Johnsonville and Klements. Johnsonville brats came out the winner, but recently there is a new winner in town. Nueske’s bacon cheddar bratwurst.  I have always been a fan of their products and hands down they have some of the best bacon out there. I was fortunate to get the love from Nueske’s and they sent me a care package if you will. It was loaded with products I have never seen in our local stores. Products such as ham, beef sticks, and their smoked sausage. I was excited to say the least to try everything.

Nueske's Bacon Cheddar Bratwurst - Product Review

The brats themselves look awesome. The package consisted of 5 brats, fully cooked and ready to heat and serve.

I decided to heat mine on the grill. After I got the coals going, I placed the brats on the grill, and cooked them a bit low and slow as I did not want to burst the casing with higher heat. Once cooked, I plated them. I was excited (I know I live a boring life) to say the least, and my wife who does not typically like some textures of brats decided to have one as well.

Nueske's Bacon Cheddar Bratwurst

I served mine on a bun with a light coating of yellow mustard, and some chopped shallots on top.

First bite, was just this awesome taste. I loved the casing. It has this great snap to it, almost like you would get with a great weiner, and then the flavor of bacon and cheese just took this bratwurst over the top. My wife was in total agreement. I wanted another, but decided to hold back and save some for my kids. The following day, my sausage loving kid dug in, and was just was thrilled by the taste of these brats as well.

So a note to my local supermarkets, put these in stock. They are probably the best brats I’ve had to this date, and I’m not saying that because I love Nueske’s. I’m saying that because it is the truth. Head on over to Nueske’s and try them for yourself. I know you will not be disappointed by any of their products.

Soda Fountain® Malted Milk Powder – Product Review

I’m always open to trying out new products and giving my honest opinion. I think it is helpful to all of you, as well as the product provider. It was not long ago when I was approached to try a product from CTL Foods, Inc. based out of Colfax, Wisconsin. I was all for trying their Soda Fountain® Malted Milk Powder, and granted they are not local in the sense, however four hours north of me, so even more excited to try another Wisconsin product.

Soda Fountain Malted Milk Powder

I was sent 2 pounds of their malted milk powder, which was based on all natural ingredients. A cute product shot of some classic kids sharing a malt was on the front of their label, which immediately reminded me of a great classic malt. Now if you have never been from Wisconsin, we are known for a few things, and custard is one of them. Custard like you will not find anywhere else in the country, and this season is ice cream, and custard season in my house. My kids pretty much have it for dessert a few times a week, so this was a great time to have them taste what a classic malt tastes like.

Malted Milkshake using Soda Fountain Malted Milk Powder

One of my lucky kids got my good old mustache drinking class, actually it was my daughter, just to add a bit more fun into the mix.

The recipe calls for the following, of which I stuck to, however you can get as creative as you want as noted on their label.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 scoops of any flavor ice cream (I used vanilla)
  • 3/4 cup of cold milk
  • 2 heaping tbsp of Soda Fountain® Malted Milk Powder

Start by adding everything to a blender, and blend until thick and smooth.

How to make a Malt

I made one for each of my kids and got their reactions. It took them a while to react because they sat there slurping and spooning the delicious malt for about 5 minutes, rarely coming up for air.

Their result was a two thumbs up. It was really their first malt (I think) they have ever tried, and they fell in love. Something they will continue to drink whether summer, fall, winter, or spring. If you are looking for a great malt product, give this a shot. Their products are sold online at http://www.ctlfoods.com/malted-milk-powder/.

For one lucky, and random winner, I have a 1 pound Soda Fountain® Malted Milk Powder to give away. Send me an email to daxphillips@gmail.com no later than August 24, 2014. I will then provide a random drawing and get one shipped out to you.

Trader Joe’s – Poutine Review

I’ll be the first to admit that I was never a fan of Trader Joe’s. I remember when family members would make a trek to one store, nearby downtown Milwaukee, and as we recently had one built not too far from where we currently live. I’ve been there, once, and bought random frozen products, only to be nearly disappointed every time I tried one of their products. I’ve asked my coworkers who live near the downtown location, and they also did not believe the hype. They’ve stated (and others) there are a couple of things that they did like about some of their stuff, including some of the jarred salsas, frozen Indian food, and wine specials. That is about it. Regardless, during last year’s Christmas season, my colleague gave me and my coworker a bag of Trader Joe’s poutine, yep, that’s how we roll in our office. Months later, I figured I would give these a try. As much as I love poutine, and I’ve made it before back in 2007, as well as put a twist on a chicken satay poutine (which rocked  by the way), who could go wrong, right?

Trader Joe's Poutine - Product Review

While looking at the bag, I had to somewhat drool. If you never had poutine, you are essentially getting french fries, drizzled or soaked in great gravy, and smothered with cheese curds. It’s pretty awesome. So when I opened the bag, I got a frozen packet of gravy, a frozen packet of cheese curds, and frozen french fries. Directions were simple, bake the fries until done, and simmer the two packets in hot water until cooked through.

Trader Joe's Poutine

When everything is ready, go ahead and assemble. I laid out the cooked fries, which looked good, onto a serving plate, then cut open the bag of gravy and curds. I squeezed the gravy all over the fries, and layered on the curds.

I then dug in. My first bite was just OK, second bite, less then OK, and it seemed to hang at that point from there on out. In all honesty, I was tasting every bite as though I was doing a product review. The fries were just OK, maybe slightly less than OK. I had to add salt, even though there was gravy and curds to be dealt with. The cheese curds kind of freaked me out to the point where I no longer wanted to eat them. Granted, the cheese curds had a great squeak to them, as every good cheese curd should, but the texture was totally off, and that is when the squeak freaked me out. I did not even want to look at the ingredients, or better yet what the hell that squeak was.

Overall, I would not purchase a bag of Trader Joe’s Poutine again, but I was appreciative of my colleague giving us the bag as a gift during that time. It really confirmed why I do not shop at Trader Joe’s, and I will continue to not believe the hype. If you are wanting poutine, make your own. You know what you are getting, and putting into your dish. Have you tried this product, and if so, what were your thoughts?

Dash Juicer

So I turned a year older, and it was a blast to say the least, celebrating with family. My brother and sister-n-law brought in a extremely large box, and it surprised me, only due to the fact that I was not expecting much of anything, from anyone for that matter. But it came time to sing the birthday song and open gifts, and when I opened the bag, sure enough it was a juicer! Now I have been making smoothies during the work week to start my morning, but there was something that I never really enjoyed with the smoothie, and that was the consistency of it. It always felt like I was drinking a shake, but what I was looking for was a much thinner consistency. This juicer really got me excited.

Here is my take on the product review. As I have never researched juicers, as I know they can be expensive, I decided to jump on Amazon.com and read reviews to see what I was getting myself into. The reviews were average, and a lot of folks did seem too happy with it, but I thought I would give my own take on it, and began juicing at the start of the work week.

Dash Juicer

What comes out of the box is is a nice looking juicer. It has two speeds for juicing, a collection compartment, a grinder, and a collection cup for the juice, a cleaning brush, and a rubber nozzle. At first, I was a bit intimidated. It was big, and weighs eleven pounds. It takes up a big part of my counter space as well. I read the directions, then realized how easy it was to assemble.

So came Monday morning and I had everything prepared. I started by juicing two apples, two peeled oranges, a cucumber, a pint of blueberries, and a peeled kiwi. I inserted everything into the middle hopper, and used the plunger to push everything down. It ground so quickly, producing juice immediately. This yielded close to three cups after all said and done. Both my wife and daughter were super excited to try it. I added some ice to some glasses, poured, and slammed it down. We all agreed it was awesome. There was a bit of extra foam in our glasses, but we did not mind. We have been juicing every morning now for the last ten days with no issues.

Dash Juicer

The Dash Juicer does extract a lot of pulp compared to juice, and the cleanup takes me about 5 minutes, or so. I think I will insert a bag into the pulp compartment for easier cleanup and save time for me in the morning, but overall we still love it. We have been juicing lots of vegetables and fruit every morning. It’s fills us up, and makes us feel better as well.

I will give it a couple of more weeks. Many of the reviews say the motor burns out in three weeks. I’m really hoping it does not.