Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Review of Aldi Specially Selected Ciabatta Sandwich Rolls

The breads and rolls sold at Aldi can be hit or miss. We recently tried a package of the Specialty Select Ciabatta rolls. Ciabatta is a great base for serving a grilled chicken, steak or veggie sandwich.  This type of bread is also not always an easy find when browsing the supermarkets. Aldi has it! Now let’s get to the review.


The bread is sold in clear packaging of six (6) three ounce rolls which pre split. No cutting required! The rolls are fresh and pull apart fairly easily. These Specially select rolls resemble a top tier product one would expect to find at a cozy lunch eatery.


It is up to you how you want to prepare these. We like our ciabatta slightly warmed so drizzle the underside with a tad of olive oil and warm them in an oven for about five to ten minutes at 300 degrees, until lightly toasted and crisp. From there we add a spread of herb mayo underside of top slice and close it over grilled chicken with melted cheese.


First bite reveals crisp crunch and a delicious flavor. The bread is airy and flavorful, not to yeasty or doughy. Every “nook and cranny” of this roll is superb. I suppose one could eat this at room temperature and it would still be good. I am so stuck in my ways of lightly toasting Ciabatta as I like it better that way.


The price of the Ciabatta is $2.79 for package of six. Much pricier than your normal hamburger buns, but they taste way better and a much better option when you are making a grilled chicken or steak sandwich. Keep the hamburger buns for hamburgers.

Overall Result

The Aldi Ciabatta rolls are a solid buy for fewer than three dollars. This fun rectangular shaped flavorful bread makes your grilled offering look much more palatable. I highly recommend.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Review of Aldi Deutsche Kuche Apple Strudel

Apple season is finally here. I made a late afternoon stop at Aldi to pick up a jug of cider and something additional of apple origin to serve as a Sunday evening dessert. Low and behold in the frozen food section, I stumbled upon the Aldi version of apple strudel. One box contains two miniature “loaves” or strudels which in frozen state (pictured) weigh in at approximately 19.2 ounces (544 grams) as indicated on the box. 

I understand that pastry has a tendency to rise during the heating process so I was optimistic that these two strudels would feed our household of five as the product information label on the  packaging indicates this package provides six servings.


Getting this strudel from frozen state to serving at the table is fairly easy. No need to thaw pastry. Process is really simple. Place frozen strudels on sheet pan and bake at 425 between 35 to 40 minutes…or so I thought! I placed these strudels on parchment paper before placing on sheet tray on center rack. The baking times will vary depending on oven and sheet tray. My sheet tray is dark metal and probably would have fared better using my higher end no stick cookie sheets. The time I chose was right down the middle of the manufacturers recommendations, at 37 minutes, which was still too long as the pastry was slightly blackened on the bottom. Despite that slight charring, I was able to scrape the blackened crust off the bottom with a knife. Lesson learned. Next time, bake with a better quality pan and decrease cooking time a few minutes. Note to self, always pick the lowest time suggested.


There are not a whole lot of comparisons to make when tasting strudel. Most strudels I have sampled have been at German restaurants of which no frozen product can compare. The stores I shop at don’t have any brand name or generic equivalents. Anyway, this strudel was pretty darn good in spite of my over baking mishap. The outer crust had a nice golden flaky and buttery finish. The dense filling of sweet apples came out in every bite with hint of cinnamon. The box advertised that there were raisins but I did not find one in my particular bite. The only thing missing with this dessert was the a la mode.


The price of the Deutsche Kuche Apple Strudel was only $2.69. Is that a fair price? Well that all depends on your appetite. I think for a family of five or six, one definitely needs to buy two boxes. I consider one box of strudels to be approximately four servings.

Overall Result

This dessert is a winner.  Again, I would suggest purchasing two boxes for groups greater than four people. Apple strudel is a great break from the all too common apple pie and makes a great autumn dessert especially when preparing a festive Oktoberfest meal. I recommend this dessert

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Review of Meijer Country Style Baked Beans

Labor day weekend is a red flag sign that one needs to get out and grill. Grilling meats often involves the desire for a little corn on the cob and baked beans. Normally I pick my name brand standby of Bush’s baked beans. While I enjoy the lovable golden retriever, Duke as their marketing shtick, I would probably still buy these beans due to their exceptional flavor. Labor Day sales at Meijer tempted me to try a new option from the Meijer brands. I decided to go for the larger 28 ounce size can of Meijer Country Style Baked Beans with Bacon and Brown sugar. There were numerous options within the Meijer bean family, though bacon and brown sugar sounds most to my liking.

My option to select the larger can of beans was out of necessity to feed five as we served cheddar bratwurst, hot dogs, and needed some beans to go with it. The smaller sixteen ounce can was not going to cut it. The large can of these high fiber beans by Meijer was only $1.69 and approximately thirty cents cheaper than the Bushes counterpart.

As I opened the can I noticed a runny or thinner consistency than Bush’s baked beans. However that all seemed to change as the beans warmed up in the saucepan and I served them in a more thickened state.  The beans surprisingly also measured up in flavor and aroma. I was pleased with the decent sweet taste of the Meijer beans. The hint of brown sugar was recognized though the chunks of bacon were slight. I am pretty sure there are no commercially made baked beans that provide ample amounts of bacon in a can, probably more reason to add a few chopped slices of your own.

My conclusion of these beans was mixed. I like them but will most likely stick to my Bush’s option and splurge on the extra thirty cents. While I liked the taste of the Meijer beans, I was slightly put off by the pale color of the beans as they did not have the darker tones of other brands I have tried. I also found the sweet and smoky flavors of the Bush brand to also have an edge over Meijer. Overall, I would still consider Meijer baked beans an average buy.  

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Review of Bakers Treat Peanut Butter Wafers

It has been a long time since I posted. Perhaps, I mark this return to this site with a food review vengeance, or I return to my self- imposed exile and mutter my good and bad food tasting experiences to my dog, cat or anyone willing to lend an ear. Nevertheless I am going to give you the quick and dirty on my latest trial with Baker’s Treat Peanut Butter Wafers.  First of all, peanut butter wafers (or Nutty Bars) are a guilty pleasure of mine. I prefer this sweet post lunch dessert over any commercially made cookie such as Oreos, Famous Amos or even the girl scout thin mint.  Nutty bars have a whole lot of goodness going on,  all in every bite.

 Let’s see..numerous thin wafers hit with layers of peanut butter all to be pressed together before the final dunk in a chocolate coating; pure magic. Probably the only peanut butter chocolate combination better than this is the Reese’s sticks, which coincidentally also has a wafer base.

I usually have one standby peanut butter wafer brand; Little Debbie. Little Debbie is the benchmark of this delectable treat. I have had the Hostess peanut butter wafer ,but that was many moons ago and that product is not as prevalent in the local stores. In addition to these two Nutty Bar competitors, there is also a third option, Bakers Treat Peanut Butter Wafers sold at Aldi.

The Baker’s Treat box contains 12 bars as they are sold two bars in mini packages. To the naked eye, these bars look suspiciously close to the competitors Little Debbie and Hostess. Unfortunately, that is pretty much where the competition ends.
First bite reveals a similar crunch and texture of Little Debbie, but leaves the taste buds demanding more peanut butter and chocolate. I get more flavor of dry wafer than anything else.  The chocolate coating must be sprayed on with chocolate coloring because it is barely detectable. Peanut butter also very skimpy (not skippy).
The price of a box of Baker’s Treat Peanut Butter Wafers is a really low $.99. Meh. Take that dollar and add another seventy five cents and upgrade to the Little Debbie box. Your taste buds will thank you.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Review of Meijer Watermelon Flavored Water

Review of Meijer Watermelon Flavored Water

In my daily quest to keep caloric intake down, I realize one of the areas that it is best to cut back is when enjoying a beverage. I usually accompany daily meals with coffee, unsweetened ice tea, water, and occasionally diet soda for calorie free refreshment. I have recently noticed the assortment of fruit flavored waters sold at Meijer. I decided to try their watermelon flavored water.

The water is sold in seventeen ounce plastic bottle portions. Bottle opens with a carbonated “fssst”, and pours light and fizzy over a tall glass of ice. The sparking beverage is pleasing to the eye and reminds me of the occasional watermelon flavored jolly ranchers I sometimes enjoy at my desk.

First taste was crisp and delightful. While there are artificial sweeteners (sucralose), I did not really pick up on any heavy or negative flavor one typically associates with such products.
The Meijer line of fruit flavored water is sold as 12 ounce single bottles. There are no six or twelve pack arrangements. A single bottle of the watermelon sparking water goes for eighty nine cents. Competitive fruit flavored labels of similar size go between $1.00 and $1.20.  
Overall Result

I love watermelon flavor so this was an easy thumbs up. I like the taste of this beverage and find it an excellent break from drinking diet soda or tea. I have also not seen this flavor of water carried by other companies so I rate this product a strong buy.