Friday, April 28, 2017

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Cooking With Candy Critic - The Ottawa Snowbank

In March, I was inspired to create a dessert while on a walk to he grocery store. Most people associate Canada with being the land of snow, and in the winter it can be. However we also have warm summers, and it can get up to 35 degrees in some places. This means that spring time is all about thawing snow. This is when snow turns from a pretty white powder you see in storybooks, to a pile of dirty ice/slush. So on this walk I was inspired by these piles of dirty snow to create the ultimate dessert. I noticed how much these piles of snow looked like ice cream covered with Oreo cookie bits, and instantly my mind started to race.

Fortunately I was heading to the grocery store, so I decided to walk through the store in search of the ingredients I'd need to create the ultimate cool treat, inspired by the grossest snow in the world.
The two ingredients I picked up the store were pudding and Oreo cookies, I also needed mint and salt, but I already had that at home.  I'm using fresh mint since I have it growing in my indoor herb garden, but in a pinch dried mint would work too.  As for the pudding, you need two types, vanilla and chocolate. You'll likely use all of the vanilla, and one quarter of the chocolate, so have a few extra pudding bowls ready, just in case.
I started by preparing a few of the ingredients.  First I took apart the cookies, and crushed the cookie bits.  I did two separate batches of cookie bits, one was crushed just a little, the other into a powder. I lightly crushed about six cookies, and powdered three.  You can do more cookies if you like, but I thought this would work for a nice balance. I discarded the icing from the cookies right into my mouth, this is a good step to keep you from just eating the pudding later on. I'm told you can buy already crushed cookies, but what's the fun in that, also, you need two different consistencies for this dessert. I also chopped the mint, but that's not nearly as interesting to read about as crushing cookies.
Once the cookies and mint are prepped, I made both batches of pudding. I prefer instant pudding because I have things to do with my life.  I like the idea of pouring a couple of cups of milk into a bowl with a mysterious powder and getting instant dessert.  Once you've made the pudding, take a few spoonfuls of the vanilla, and mix it with the powdered cookie (not the slightly crushed ones, but the ones you pulverized into a powder). Stir it up until you get a grey looking goo (bonus tip, this is basically how they make The Grey Stuff at Walt Disney World). You should now have two large bowls of pudding (one vanilla and one chocolate), one small bowl of pudding that looks kind of grey, a bowl of cookie crumbs, chopped mint, and salt. 
Now it's time to make your frozen treats.  Get yourself some kind of Popsicle maker, the shape doesn't really matter, however it might be weird if they were shaped like your favorite cartoon character or something. Having said that, I won't judge.  First add some cookie crumbs to the bottom of the Popsicle mold. Then spoon or pour in some vanilla pudding, about one quarter of the way up.  Add some more cookie crumbs, then add more vanilla pudding to about the halfway point. On this next level drop in a few dollops of the Oreo cookie pudding (it will be gloppy, that's the point). Then add a few more cookie crumbs and more vanilla pudding till about the three quarter mark.

Add more cookie bits, and a few dollops of the Oreo pudding if you like, but before you add the vanilla pudding, sprinkle in a little salt.  Not too much, just a dash. This is to represent the salt they use to clean the streets, it also adds a fun flavour when you get to that layer.  After you've added the salt, add a bit more vanilla pudding, but only a bit, leaving room for a few more cookie bits, your mint, and some chocolate pudding. The chocolate pudding and mint represent the mud and leaves at the bottom of the snowbank. It also adds an interesting flavour.
Once you have all your layers done, put the treats in the freezer, and let them sit overnight. The great thing about this recipe is, if you make a mess, it's only more realistic.  You can also alter the design if you like to better represent the gross snowbanks near your house.
If you don't want to freeze this dessert, you can do it in bowls as well, but I find the bowls look too fancy. Just make sure to follow the instructions above, only backwards. Also, since they're not frozen, then don't really represent "snowbanks" as well.
Once you're Ottawa Snowbanks are frozen, taken them out and enjoy.  Much like making them, the great thing about these is if you make a mess, it's only more realistic.


Monday, April 24, 2017

This Week In Candy

We had a bit of a technical problem last week, only this time the technical problem had nothing to do with the internet, or my computer. Last week's technical problem had to do with my molar.  Last week, after biting into a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread (you will have seen it on our Facebook and Twitter feeds) it felt like something went wrong in my mouth.  After a few bites I noticed that something appeared to be digging into my tong. I assumed that I had something stuck between my teeth, and felt around a little with my finger.  I quickly realized that the thing digging into my tong was attached to my tooth.

As it turns out I broke a filling... On cinnamon raisin bread.  I managed to struggle with it that night, but I didn't sleep very well.  The next day I called my dentist and made an emergency appointment.  As it turns out I managed to destroy one of my old fillings (as a note I should remind everybody that I haven't had a new cavity in several years). My dentist fixed me up, but unfortunately I happen to require a lot of Novocaine to freeze my mouth, so I was out of commission for a couple of days.  In fact it's been 5 days since the procedure and my jaw still hurts.

So this means three things, first of all I missed one of the reviews in our Icelandic candy review-a-thon, I made up for it yesterday though.  Secondly I was not able to finish writing my recipe for the Ottawa Snowbank ice cream treat I created.  I should be making up for that later this week.  Finally, I may, or may not be posting the latest episode of Junk Fud On The Road this week.  It may have to wait till next week as we couldn't record it last week.  At times like this I'm glad that I write many of my reviews well in advance.

Speaking of which, this week's review was one I wrote earlier in the summer, but I was surprised it took me that long.  Take 5 is a bar that's been around for a while, but I've just never been that keen to review it.  After eating it, I'm not that keen on getting it again either. Click here to find out why.


Friday, April 21, 2017

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

It's A New Episode Of Chris, Why Would You Eat That?!!

To celebrate our week long tribute to Iceland, this month's episode of Chris, Why Would You Eat That?!! features a classic Icelandic treat. This treat has such a bad reputation that I was terrified to eat it. So I decided to get some friendly backup to join me in this episode. Randy and Jen were great sports, and as we learn, Jen is tougher than anyone I know.

Click here to see past episodes of Chris, Why Would You Eat That?!!


Monday, April 17, 2017

This Week In Candy

It's a busy week here at  First and foremost we're celebrating the wonderful island nation known as Iceland.  We're celebrating with an entire week filed with reviews in our Icelandic Candy Review-A-Thon. The main theme you'll notice throughout this review-a-thon is licorice. It's not to say that every single candy has licorice in it, but it seems like a popular theme in Iceland.  We're also posting the latest episode of Chris, What Would You Eat That?!! featuring and Icelandic delicacy, and since this is Chris, Why Would You Eat That?!! you can bet that this delicacy is terrible.

Hopefully sometime this week (if not next week week) we'll be posting a Candy Critic recipe. It's been a while since I posted a recipe on this blog, and it's been way too long.  This new recipe is something of my own invention, I call it an Ottawa Snowbank. Fortunately it tastes better than it's namesake.  We're looking to post more and more recipes on the blog, and we're always experimenting, you can keep up with our experiments and help us out on Twitter and Facebook.

As I mentioned before, this week's going to be filled with Icelandic candy reviews, starting with this odd licorice and chocolate candy that I really enjoyed.  I'm still not sold on loving licorice, but with candies like this, I'm certainly liking them more.  Click here to read our first Icelandic candy review, and make sure to keep up with our Icelandic Candy Review-A-Thon on our Facebook and Twitter pages, or just by checking this page every day.


Friday, April 14, 2017

Easter Candy In The Media

I'm not sure if this is funny, or just weird, but it's entertaining and Easter candy related.


Monday, April 10, 2017

This Week/Easter In Candy

Holy crap, I almost forgot about Easter.  I was so excited about our upcoming Icelandic candy review-a-thon that I forgot about Easter. I was planning on having the review-a-thon this week, but since it's Easter, it makes more sense to focus on possibly the second best candy related holiday of the year.  It's actually my favourite, and has been since I was a kid.  If you gave me the choice between Easter and Halloween, I would always pick Easter hands down.  After all the candy in Easter it free, you don't have to trudge around the neighbourhood to get it.

This week's going to be an all Easter theme. Our Candy In The Media post we have a very disturbing SNL sketch all about Easter candy, it'll keep you awake at night I'm sure.  We're also going to be posting so fun Easter facts on Snack Facts, our Instagram feed. Hopefully we'll have a few other fun Easter posts on our Facebook and Twitter feeds as well. Make sure to keep up with all the Easter fun here on, and check back next week for our very special tribute to Iceland, which will include a very disturbing episode of Chris, Why Would You Eat that?!!

This week's special Easter review I picked because it was somewhat controversial earlier this year.  Apparently the folk that make these Oreo Easter eggs thought that American's wouldn't want to eat them, so they only sold them in Canada.  There was enough of an outcry that eventually Americans got them, but I'm not sure how well they made it around. As it turns out, if you couldn't get them, you're not missing much. Click here to find out why I thought these eggs were over-hyped.


Friday, April 07, 2017

Monday, April 03, 2017

This Week In Candy

I've got major website update on my brain. There are two inspirations to update the whole look of the site, one is a comment someone made, the other is a feeling.  The feeling comes from the fact that it's spring, and spring cleaning is in the air. This often makes me think about spring cleaning on my websites as well.  The comment came from a young web designer who commented that although the content of my site was fine, the look (and coding) was horrible.  It hurt a little, but I do know there are a few things I've wanted to change about the site lately.  My first choice is do I change just the look of the site, the second choice is to update how the whole site works.  I'm not very good at a lot of this modern web coding, but there are also a few tools out there that might help me out.  Basically I'm looking at you guys out there, can you help me update, or maybe I shouldn't bother?

Other than that, the regular workings here are going to keep on trucking. Allison and I are thinking of per-recording a bunch of episodes of Junk Fud On The Road over the next month.  We're both going to be super busy this summer, and it would be nice to get ahead. I'm also starting to prep things here for Easter, including deciding what should be the official Easter review.  Let me know if you have any Easter favorites you think we shouldn't miss this year on Facebook and Twitter. We're also plugging away at the Doughnut Project, and we should have a few new entries later this week.

This week's new review should have been perfect, but its imperfects were so great that it made it really disappointing. Not what I would expect from the folks at Trader Joe's. Click here to find out why things went downhill.