Diet Sunkist Has Caffeine!?

So, apparently I’m on a soda kick lately. Definitely odd considering I have made the leap, and stopped buying soda to keep in my fridge during the week (It’s been rough folks). Well, I still allow myself to drink diet soda, but not having it in the house, in theory, reduces my consumption of the stuff.

One of my favorite “usual” sodas that I reach for is Diet Sunkist. I like orange soda, and this one is a better tasting diet specimen. Whenever I was driving late at night, and wanted a drink that wouldn’t wire me too bad, it’s what I’d grab at a gas station. It helps that it’s one of the sodas that Circle K usually offers at two for $2.

Anyways, today I learned that apparently it has caffeine. I really thought that all orange soda was caffeine free. Apparently this one is not. Duly noted soda people, you are off the late night soda list.

Obscure Products: Diet Mountain Dew Code Red

Today I managed to taste an amazing revolution in diet soda. Sadly, it may have well been the last time that I’ll ever taste it again. Without delving into another long “Sorry I’ve been away” message, lets just say that I have started a new job, and have already been introduced to some new tastes by my coworkers.

One such thing is Diet Mountain Dew Code Red. You heard me right folks, diet Code Red. Let gamers, and couch potatoes rejoice, etc… In all seriousness though, it really does stink that all of Mountain Dew’s fantastic flavor creations never court to the diet minded crowd. When I saw my buddy at wok with this, I got really excited. When he gave me one to try, I was even more thrilled. In all honesty, this is one of the best diet sodas that I have ever tasted.

And that’s when the bombshell dropped. Where did he get this you may ask? Ohio… Yeah, he found it on vacation, and in his great wisdom brought 13 cases back with him. Very well planned, and even nicer that he shared one with me, but now what do we do. We have both agreed that this is a dilemma. We need more Diet Code Red. Looking online, so far, all I’ve been able to find is 34 packs on Amazon for $25 plus dollars. This will simply not stand!

So, point of the story? Diet Code Red is awesome if you are a fan of Dew, Code Red, or just cherry-like sodas. I didn’t even think it was diet when I tasted it. Oh, and the crushing disappointment that I may never taste this soda again. Here’s a call to post if any of you know where to get this in the North East. I will pay, and give major props to whoever can get me some more of this tasty liquid.

It’s Been a While…Let’s Hop, Skip, and Go Naked

So, I have been away much too long. Excuses could be thrown, as I have a few legitimate ones. For instance, I am actually changing my career path, and taking on a new job soon. It should be fun, and will take me to some new places to try out food, and review here. For now, we won’t dwell on my absence, and we’ll talk a little about what this is all about: food.

More specifically with New Years Eve coming tomorrow, what is everyone going to eat? Anyone out there throwing some wild and crazy parties? Personally, it’s pretty low key this year, with only a few friends coming over for some shenanigans. Last year was a bit crazier, and I cooked a boat load. This year is a tad easier…

So, for pre-dinner fooodage, I’m just throwing together a simple cheese and veggie platter with crackers. Nice, easy, and everyone usually is happy with it. For dinner, I think we’re doing the cop out this year, and ordering Chinese takeout. I’ve always heard that this is a New Years staple, but have never done it myself until now.

And to the important part: the drinks! This year, I will once again be making Hop, Skip, and Go Naked Punch. The recipe is as follows, so enjoy!

Hop, Skip, and Go Naked Punch

  • 6 oz. Limeade Concentrate
  • 6 oz. Lemonade Concentrate
  • 2 liters of lemon-lime soda
  • 8 oz. Bacardi 151
  • 8 oz. Peach Schnapps

Note: The measurements are pretty flexible, and mine usually gets made with extra booziness🙂

Review: Talenti Double Dark Chocolate Gelato

So, back to Talenti Gelato I guess. This stuff still amazes me, but I’m disappointed that my Hannaford only stocks four different flavors (yes that means there’s one more gelato review after this one). Still, this particular specimen was one of the richest of any of Talenti’s products that I have tried thus far.

A wile back I talked about Ben and Jerry’s Flourless Chocolate Cake Ice Cream, describing it as one of the most chocolatey ice creams that I had ever tried. Well this throws that right in the back seat.

This Double Dark Chocolate gelato is rich with chocolate decadency, going so far as to even have a different texture than the other Talenti’s that I’ve tried. It boarders on mouse, but thicker, and creamier with the flavor punch that I’ve come to expect from this company. The chocolate bits in the ice cream are some of the best quality dark chocolate that I have ever tasted in a frozen dessert.

This is one for those nights when you really need a treat, and even I hesitate to have this flavor too often. It is potent, but so delicious. Try it, and then come back and thank me.

Recipe: Soda Roasted Root Vegetables

So, it’s been a pretty long time since I’ve had a recipe up heer, much less a healthy one. Well I have been off experimenting in the kitchen, and here is one of the results: Roasted Root Vegetables using soda! More specifically with root beer.

Now before you freak out, it’s not that horrifying. Cooking with diet root beer imparts an extra sweetness when roasted with vegetables I’ve found. In this rendition I used sweet potato, onion, and carrots with some salt, pepper, and garlic for seasoning. Oh yeah, and the root beer.

Now I roasted this for about 35 minutes, and found that I could have actually probably gone for 45 minutes (but I was hungry). The result was the always pleasant taste of roasted vegetables, but the root beer made it special. It gave it a caramelized taste that you really usually can’t get without butter. Using diet soda really is a great way to add sweetness to a recipe when you are trying to keep it healthy as well.

Well, as random as this post is (I’m feeling off my game as of late), give this kind of cooking a try. What else could you cook with diet soda?

Review: Telenti Tahitian Vanilla Bean Gelato

So, I promise that I’m not on a kick here (okay, so maybe I am), but these Talenti Gelato’s have kept finding their way into my freezer, and I’m stalling while I work on getting a decent picture of a new sweet potato recipe that I want to share.

So, this time we’re looking at Talent’s Tahitian Vanilla gelato. Now, it may come as a surprise, but as much as I like ice cream, I very rarely dig into some plain old vanilla. I’m truly a mix in guy at heart, and that’s probably why I love Ben & Jerry’s so much. Well, the amazingly intense flavor of the last Talenti I tried has gotten me to step out of the usual, and give a classic a try.

Now for me, vanilla ice cream has always been a second fiddle to other desserts like apple pie, or fresh brownies. It’s not something that I usually tackle alone. Still, after the last flavor, I wanted to see what this gelato would do with something so…vanilla.

Wow….yeah…umm…wow. This is once again a very intense experience. This is not some mild-mannered pasty frozen second stringer. This vanilla flavor is in your face. The intensity of the vanilla flavor actually had me setting down my spoon after the first bite. This wasn’t because there was anything wrong, it was simply because I needed a moment. I didn’t know that vanilla could be so rich. It’s like the punch of a dark chocolate, except with the purest vanilla flavor.

Talenti really took something plain and made it extraordinary. I will say that, hands down, this is the best vanilla frozen anything that I have ever tried. It should never be sullied by even the best of grandmother’s pies. It is a masterpiece all to itself in its plain white splendor.

So, if you are a vanilla person, and I mean really a vanilla person, give this a try. It is the essence of the flavor, and will have you making some inappropriate noises for something eaten with a spoon.

It’s Not Ice Cream: Talenti Gelato

So, I consider myself a fairly adventuresome eater, and am willing to try almost anything once (I’ll definitely “try” it more if I like it). Still, when it comes to Ice Cream, or “frozen desserts” I have pretty faithfully stuck by Ben & Jerry’s.

Well, a while back I stopped by a neat little place called Swan Chocolates in Merrimack, and managed to try some of their homemade gelato. Without going into a review of that, let’s just say that my eyes were opened to the possible wonders that gelato holds.

Now, for a little context. I won’t paste the Wikipedia article here, but I will point out that gelato differs from ice cream primarily by using less butterfat, and less sugar. The result is a much creamier texture, and a more vibrant flavor in every taste. Now this doesn’t really make gelato any healthier,  but it does make it a very different frozen animal.

Okay, on to the actual review. For a long time now, Talenti gelato has been catching my eye as it is parked next to my beloved Ben & Jerry’s in my local grocery store’s frozen food aisle. You can see some of the allure in the image above. Even though the shot is straight from Talenti’s website, it’s actually what it looked like in person (you know, excluding the cookie and caramel sitting next to it). Really, the stuff comes in a neat little plastic container with a screw top so you can see the food you’re buying. It’s pretty novel, and very eye-catching…you to distract you from the nearly five dollar price tag.

To the actual flavor: holy wow on my taste buds Batman! Gelato really doesn’t beat around the bush when it comes to getting flavor to your brain. It’s instant, and delicious. It’s hard to put my finger on one flavor, but it’s really like the most pure cookies and cream flavor that I’ve ever tasted, infused with a rich, and decadent caramel that adds a deep body to the ice cream’s taste. Needless to say, more than one of these has already been consumed since I discovered this flavor. I haven’t even grabbed Ben & Jerry’s since. Now I’m not saying that this is better than the old B & J, but it’s definitely completely different, and a nice change of pace.

If you want to try something with a little more class, and give yourself a treat, try Talenti Gelato out. I will again, and will bring some thoughts on their other flavors here as well.