Category Archives: Food

Tony Tries It: Microwaving Sweet Corn

For years I’ve heard that you can microwave sweet corn and that it’s really easy to do.  I’ve never had an occasion to try it, though.  When we make sweet corn it’s for the whole family. Doing it an ear at a time in the microwave just doesn’t make sense.

Last night the opportunity for me to try it presented itself.  My wife was working late and my girls were both busy.  That meant I was on my own for supper.

As luck would have it, we had a few ears of freshly picked sweet corn in the house.  Our neighbor, Mike, had dropped it by earlier.  They had a few extra ears and wanted to share.

I knew this was my chance to try microwaving sweet corn.  A quick Google search gave me all the direction needed to get started.  It’s really quite simple.

I placed one ear of unshucked sweet corn in the microwave and cooked it for 3 minutes.

Microwaving Sweet Corn

It got steamed right in the husk and was extremely hot.  You’ll want to use some oven mitts to get it out of the microwave.

Let it cool for several minutes.  When it’s cool enough to handle, peel back the husks and silks, butter, salt, and enjoy!

The first ear I had was good but I felt it was a little overcooked.  I made a second ear and microwaved it for 2:30 and that was perfect.

I’d definitely recommend this way of preparing sweetcorn if you’re just making a few ears.  Any more than that and I’d stick to cooking them in boiling water for a few minutes.

The hardest part of this whole process was waiting for the corn too cool!  Seriously… let it cool before removing the husk and use oven mitts to get it out of the microwave.  I came close to burning myself.

Now I need to try cooking sweet corn on the grill and over a campfire.

Have you microwaved sweet corn before?

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The Great Jolly Rancher Soda Taste Test

I was not provided free product for this review. In fact, my wife thinks I’m crazy for spending $4 so we could conduct it. All opinions expressed are those of my family… and me! 😉

Several weeks ago as my daughters and I were shopping at our local grocery store we came across a small display near the end of the aisle that caught all of our attentions.  It was for Jolly Rancher soda.

I had no idea such a product existed and debated out loud with my girls whether it was any good.  I snapped a picture of it and shared it on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter posing the questions:

Drinkable Jolly Rancher? What do you think? Does it sound great or gross?”

Jolly Rancher Soda On Store Shelves

I got a couple great votes, some people thought their kids would like it, a college friend thought there might be a reason it was on sale, and Jeni from the blog “Jeni Eats” suggested that a taste test was in order.

The next time we did our grocery shopping we picked up 4 bottles. There were some different flavors like kiwi-strawberry and lime punch but we stuck with the more traditional Jolly Rancher flavors for our taste test; apple, blue raspberry, cherry, and watermelon.

Jolly Rancher Soda Bottles

The Great Jolly Rancher Soda Taste Test

I’ve conducted experiments for my blog with my oldest daughter before so I enlisted her help in coming up with a way to evaluate each beverage.

We decided to break it down into 3 areas: overall taste, how it tasted compared to the actual Jolly Rancher hard candy, and aroma.  Then we devised the score sheets our family would fill out.

Four clear juice glass were filled with each flavor we judged.

Green Apple Jolly Rancher Soda Taste Test

Here are some of our notes on each flavor:

  1. Apple – Smelled identical to the candy. Closest tasting to the actual Jolly Rancher candy.
  2. Watermelon – Tasted good at first but had a bad after-taste.
  3. Cherry – Smelled like cough syrup… tasted like carbonated cough syrup.
  4. Blue Raspberry – Looks like Listerine. Smelled pretty good. Tasted ok.

So, what flavor came out on top?  Apple was the overall winner in 1st place.  Blue Raspberry 2nd.  Watermelon 3rd.  Cherry 4th.

Final Thoughts:

Jolly Rancher Soda was fun to try but I can’t see our family ever buying this again… but as my wife pointed out, we’re really not the target market.

My kids don’t like carbonated beverages, I don’t drink much soda, and the only things my wife ever drinks are water, milk, and Diet Coke.

I can see the younger 5-10 year-old, juice loving crowd really enjoying these.  Perhaps older folks would like using them as a mixer with rum or vodka.  Hmmmm… perhaps I should do another personal taste test. 😉

Have you had Jolly Rancher Soda before? What were your thoughts?

If you enjoyed this head over to Learning As I Go for a taste test review of Wildwood Soda.

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26 New Iowa State Fair Foods For 2016

It’s been hot this week! Temps above 90 and high humidity.  If that wasn’t enough to make me start thinking about the Iowa State Fair the press release with their new fair foods for this year’s 2016 fair sure did.

I love Iowa State Fair Food!  Eating my way through the fair is something I look forward to every year.

Iowa State Fair Crowd 2

Favorites of mine (and my family) the include pork chop on a stick, turkey tender sandwich, deep fat fried cheese curds, fair square,  Jr. Donuts, grator tators, and peppermint ice cream bar.

Peppermint Ice Cream Bar

Fair Square

Grator Tators

This year there are 26 new Iowa State Fair Foods to try… including the top 3 new finalists:

Ice Cream Nachos
Crisp cinnamon sugar chips covered with two scoops of cinnamon ice cream drizzled with hot fudge and caramel and sprinkled with bits of chocolate, caramel and strawberries. The dish is topped with nuts, whipped cream, and a cherry. This delicious treat will help you to beat the heat this Fair.
(available at Benoit’s Nutty Bar and Root Beer Floats on Rock Island east of the Anne and Bill Riley Stage)

Not Your Mamma’s Taco
The Not Your Mamma’s Taco starts with a golden crispy deep fried flour tortilla. A layer of tender shredded and perfectly seasoned turkey is added to anchor the tortilla. Then fresh homemade veggie slaw is added to give the taco a creamy crunch. The taco is then topped with a sweet mango salsa to add color and a spicy sweet finish.
(available at the Iowa Turkey Federation Stand west of the Anne and Bill Riley Stage)

Pride of Iowa Wrap
The Pride of Iowa Wrap boasts a jalapeno cheddar tortilla with pork shoulder, sweet corn salsa, and hickory smoked bacon bits. Layered with cheddar jack cheese, fresh avocado relish, chipotle aioli and crispy tortilla bites for added texture. This wrap is sure to be a hit.
(available at the G. Migs stand southeast of the Varied Industries Building)

Other new foods to try at the 2016 Iowa State Fair:

5 BUCK COWBOY CUP: A luscious layer of baked beans, mashed potatoes and shredded pork sprinkled with cheese in a grab ‘n’ go BBQ cup.  $5.00 Found at Steer N Stein.

APPLE FRITTER BITES: An apple fritter is formed into a ball and covered with powdered sugar.   Found at Applishus $4.00.

BACON CHEDDAR BRAT SANDWICH: A grilled pork brat with bacon & cheddar mixed into the patty.  Found at Iowa Pork Producers. $6.00 sandwich, $8.00 meal.

BLESSED BREAKFAST AKA BIG BOY PLATE: A fresh baked buttermilk biscuit split in half and topped with 2 slices of ham, followed with a generous portion of potato bites and scrambled eggs.  Then comes sausage gravy, shredded cheese and jalapenos (optional). All of that is served with a buttermilk biscuit to clean up your plate. Found at West Des Moines Methodist Church $8.00

CARAMEL COCOA CRISPY CRUNCH:  A frozen combination of caramel fudge, cocoa crispies, marshmallows and white chocolate.  Freshly dipped in chocolate for a mound of deliciousness.  Found at Dipped in Chocolate. $5.00

CHEDDAR BACON CHEESE ON A STICK: Bacon cheddar cheese put on a stick and dipped in batter, deep fried until gooey and delicious.  Found at Fyfe Concessions. $5.00

FRIED FRUIT KABOB: Strawberries, pineapple and peaches on a stick, dipped in batter and deep fried. Topped with melted chocolate. Found at Fyfe Concessions. $5.00

FUNNEL BACON ON A STICK: A thick strip of bacon weaved on a wood skewer is deep fried, dipped in funnel cake batter, and then deep fried again. Topped with customer’s choice of maple butter cream, caramel or chocolate syrup. Found at The Best Around. $5.00

HAWAIIAN PINEAPPLE BOWLS: Half a pineapple used as a bowl, filled with white rice, chunks of fresh pineapple, and choice of Teriyaki Chicken, Maui Pork or BBQ Pork Ribs and sauce.  Found at Diamond Jacks. $14.00

ITALIAN BACON WRAP ON A STICK: Italian sausage link wrapped in bacon on a stick, then dipped in batter and fried.  Found at Fyfe Concessions. $6.00

JALAPENO DOUBLE BACON CORNDOG: A deep fried bacon wrapped corndog with bacon bits and jalapeno batter. Found at Campbells Concession. $5.00

LOADED TATORS ON A STICK: Shredded potatoes with cheddar cheese, real bacon bits, sour cream and chives all mixed together, dipped in batter and deep fried on a stick. Found at TNT Concession. $5.00

THE DUKE: A cup of grilled corn cut from the cob, topped with smoked sausage, spicy BBQ sauce, pepper jack cheese and topped with pork rinds and chives. Found at The Corn Stand. $6.00

ULTIMATE BACON BRISKET GRILLED CHEESE: Artesian style cheddar bread smeared with a signature dry rub butter, then layered with provolone, farmer and cheddar cheese, shaved smoked beef brisket, apple wood smoked bacon and grilled until golden brown. Found at The Rib Shack. $7.00

THE SLOPPER: Grilled foot long hot dog chopped up and added to a bag of crushed Fritos corn chips topped with chili and cheese sauce.  Additional toppings include onions, pickles, sauerkraut, sour cream and jalapeno peppers. Found at Brafford’s Concessions. $5.00

THE STRAWBERRY BLONDE: Light & fluffy, crispy crunchy Authentic Belgian Waffle, topped with strawberry glaze, fresh made Chantilly cream, fresh sliced strawberries and drizzled with white chocolate. Found at The Belgian Waffle Café. $6.00

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Roll (available at Paul Lombard)

Fruit Pizza (available at Iowa Orchard)

Lemon Bars (available at Iowa Orchard)

Smoked Chicken Drummy Wrapped in Bacon (available at the Rib Shack)

S’mores Sunday (available at Ford Concessions)

Toast Brushetta BLT (available at Parlo Pizza)

Tot-chos (available at Hardenbrook Concessions)

What new food do you want to try first at the 2016 Iowa State Fair?

Here’s a video recap of my 2015 Iowa State Fair experience:

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