Monday, March 18, 2013

Betty Crocker Extra Cheesy Mac & Cheese Review

Hello again!  Today I have another food review for you, minus the accompanying video review.  With my little kiddo running amok, it would've been hard to capture a quality video I would've been proud of, so I am just doing a written review this time.

A few weeks ago, I was super psyched to learn that Betty Crocker now makes a boxed Macaroni & Cheese (comparable to the kind Kraft & Velveeta Make).  I was even more pleased when I found it locally for about .65 cents per box.  I picked up the Extra Cheesy flavor; there were several other flavors to choose from: Original, Twists, Grilled Cheese, and Cheese Pizza.

I decided to make it as a side dish to our meatloaf we were having this evening.  An interesting thing to point out is that the Betty Crocker Mac & Cheese is different from Kraft in the preparation of it.  With the Betty Crocker, not only is this a "no-drain" preparation, you dump all the ingredients (1 1/4 cup water, 1 cup of milk, 4 TBPS of butter or margarine, dry pasta, and the cheese flavoring packet) in your pot at the very beginning.  It says on the box that it is "easy prep".  However, I felt like I had to constantly stand around the pot stirring the entire time.  From bringing it to a boil, to simmering and thickening the sauce, I was directed to 'stir frequently.'  When I walked away for several minutes getting other items for dinner ready and came back, my macaroni noodles would be stuck to the bottom of my pot.  Guess that's the cause for the frequent stirring recommendation.  As a personal preference, I would rather drain it and add a few ingredients at the tail end, than be chained to my pot.  

The method of preparation being 'no-drain' makes for a very watery sauce, which did not thicken to my liking even after I took it completely off the heat and let it sit for a few minutes.  Granted, it did thicken significantly from the beginning of cooking, but when I dished it, sauce leaked from my macaroni, merging with the other food on my plate.  (Boo on that.) 

As for the taste, the most important factor, I was quite underwhelmed.  The sauce, as it was, was not as creamy and smooth as what I'm used to enjoying when I have mac & cheese.  It was thin and almost grainy.  Despite this being the extra cheese flavor, I felt that the Original Kraft Mac & Cheese that I typically buy has a stronger taste.  My hubby was in agreement that we've had better in the boxed mac & cheese department.

I was really pumped for Betty Crocker's Macaroni & Cheese and was really expecting to like it, but was pretty disappointed.  I know the 'easy prep' was meant to simplify our lives, but why change a tried and true method that we know produces good results (as far as boxed mac & cheese goes)?  I will be passing on this for the time being... maybe since it is new they will take feedback and improve it later on and I'll try it again.  

If you've tried it, let me know what you think.  Which is your favorite boxed mac & cheese?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Brown Rice Baked With Sweet Potato TRISCUITS - Roasted Sweet Onion

Hello strangers!

I do apologize for my long hiatus with updating this blog.  I have been extremely busy, and unfortunately this wasn't a priority, so it fell to the wayside.

I have a new food product review for you today, and that is a new variety of Triscuits!  Brown Rice Baked With Sweet Potato Triscuit - Roasted Sweet Onion.

I am an avid Triscuit eater, and Roasted Garlic Triscuits have been my jam for several years now.  I eat them with my lunch every day, so naturally I'm buying Triscuits on a regular basis, wherever they are cheapest.  Yesterday I was in my local Meijer and stumbled across these lovlies!  

 Just days before I was in Target & Walmart and they did not have this new line of Triscuits.  There are four new flavors in the line:

  • Brown Rice Baked With Sweet Potato - Roasted Sweet Onion (shown above)
  • Brown Rice Baked With Sweet Potato - Sweet Potato & Sea Salt
  • Brown Rice - Tomato & Sweet Basil
  • Brown Rice Baked With Red Bean - Savory Red Bean 
It is possible there are more, but in my excitement at the store, I can't recall.   I am not a fan of onions, as in, I never eat them, but this flavor sounded really good.  I picked up a box and looked for some reviews online of them, but found nothing.  (Hopefully this review helps anyone doing the same!).  

Anywho, I popped these open today at lunch and they were FANTASTIC!  I feel like they are smaller in size than typical Triscuits, but that may be an illusion.  They look like they are fried, but alas!  They are baked, just like Triscuits have always been.  It is not as easy to see the woven texture that you've come to know with Triscuits.  But pish posh, let's get to the good stuff.  They are crispy and crunchy like no Triscuit before, and FULL of flavor!  I can taste the sweet potato and sweet onion, not so much the brown rice, but I am still a fan.  These definitely give my old standby Roasted Garlic a run for their money.  I believe this come in the same size box as the usual Triscuits, 9 ounces.  

The ingredient list is short: long grain brown rice, soybean oil, whole grain soft white wheat, dried sweet potato, onion powder, brown sugar, sweet potato powder, sea salt, sugar, garlic powder, dried molasses, natural flavor, dried parsley, yeast extract, distilled white vinegar, and citric acid.

That's a big thumbs up for me.  The serving size is 6 crackers, and for that you get:

Despite the seemingly smaller size, overall, these rock my world.  Give them a shot if you happen to see them on your supermarket shelves, and lets keep our fingers crossed that Nabisco lets them stick around!

See my video review HERE.