Sunday, October 30, 2016

Little Old Lady vs. Big Mean KFC - BUSINESS

Maybe you've seen the headlines, or maybe you've seen a recent tweet of mine, but in case you haven't heard, a woman is suing Kentucky Fried Chicken in the amount of $20 million for deceptive advertising. Here's the story:

Anna Wurtzburger, 64, went down to her local KFC in Hudson Valley, NY, and ordered the $20 Fill Up Meal which includes a bucket of eight pieces of chicken and sides. When she got home, she was quite disappointed in what she saw.

"They're showing a bucket that's overflowing with chicken," she told the New York Post in reference to the advertisement. "You get half a bucket! That's false advertising and it doesn't feed the whole family. They're small pieces!"

She called the headquarters to complain, they explained that they prop up the chicken so that it's visible in the ads. They also sent her $70 worth of gift certificates. She returned the gift certificates in protest, then called a lawyer and filed suit.

In an official statement, KFC said, "The guest received exactly what she requested. She purchased an eight-piece bucket of chicken and she indeed received eight pieces of chicken. Our menus and advertising clearly show our $20 Fill Up meal includes eight pieces of chicken."

I've looked, and it is clearly stated in both the advertising and the menu that the Fill Up bucket includes eight pieces of chicken. And yes, in all the pictures the chicken is shown clearly over the top of the basket. But I have a ton of questions for this woman, including:
"When you picked up your order, why didn't you notice right away that the basket wasn't overflowing with chicken?"
"Why $20 million? Did your lawyer suggest that amount? How much of that amount does he get?"
"If you really are on a fixed income, you know you could have gone to a local grocer and bought multiple full chickens for amount. Why didn't you?"

The motivation here is clear - this is a money grab. This lawyer is looking to use this case to fluff his resume, and this woman is looking to improve her lifestyle into something it never was. At the very least, it figures that KFC will settle this to make it go away, which is a still a loss for them and free enterprise.

It's these kinds of lawsuits that cause companies to put warning labels on their coffee to warn you that it's hot, or that you shouldn't take Drug XYZ if you are allergic to Drug XYZ. I fully believe in a system which allows people to bring grievances to a court to settle, but honestly this is abuse to the system and encourages other frivolous lawsuits. Should I sue Campbell's because their Chunky Soup doesn't alway leave me full like the football players who proclaim it leaves them full? At what point have we crossed the line between honest litigation and abuse?

The lesson here is, like your bag of potato chips isn't 100% full, neither will your bucket of chicken. But you will get what is advertised, and if that isn't good enough for you, then go to the grocery store instead.

Until Next Time...
For the historically minded, here is a 1985 cooking training video from KFC.
Litigiously Yours,

Monday, October 24, 2016

Crazy Chili Recipe

I recently purchased some new cookware (thanks to The Boss), and as is common with this type of purchase, a little cookbook came with it. We all know those recipes are usually pretty standard and boring, and like many people, I frequently keep them for a little while before I lose them in a junk drawer somewhere. I find them two years later when I attempt to declutter the drawer, and they end up in the circular file.

But as I casually flipped through the pages of this latest cookware recipe freebie, I laughed out loud at the chili recipe offered up. Here it is in it's entirety:

-- CHILI --
3 lbs ground beef
2 jars salsa
1 24-ounce can kidney beans
1 pack taco seasoning

1. Place the (brand name cookware item) on the stove over medium heat
2. Brown the ground beef
3. Pour in the taco seasoning and stir
4. Add the rest of the ingredients
5. Place the lid on the pan and simmer for two hours
6. Serve

That's it!


I'm not making that up!

That's the Chili Recipe offered in the "cook book," and it's supposed to be the recipe used by a famous chef (btw, one whom I've never heard of).

I thought this was so ridiculous that it had to be a joke. But then I got to wondering..... I wondered if any poor soul out there taking his/her first steps into the world of cooking might actually TRY this recipe. Or maybe, someone who feels like they are a bad cook might give this whirl out of desperation. As chili, this recipe will fail on so many levels it's incredible, and I hope that whoever may try to make chili using this crazy formula comes to realize that its failure is due to the recipe and not due to their efforts. I hope it doesn't discourage them from continuing to reach out and trying to improve their overall skills.

If it wouldn't be a waste of money and perfectly good ingredients, I would attempt it just for shits and giggles.

So if one day, you find you have nothing better to do with your time and money, give this a try, and please please please, send me the details of your experience. I promise to share them with the world, and give you kudos for your bravery and sense of humor.

Until Next Time...
Here's the polar opposite --- a chili recipe from a good ol' boy in Arkansas who has won half a dozen chili contests and cook-offs around the United States..

Humorly Yours,

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Touchdown Taco Hummus

Back at the beginning of this football season I promised to publish a few heathful alternatives to the usual football snack items that tasted just as good as the junk food we all absolutely love. One of these items is Touchdown Taco Hummus. It has all the benefits of hummus plus a nice taco flavor that literally drove us wild here.

The Boss loves hummus way more than I do, so she's always taken charge of this snack dip. She uses a recipe from the guys at "Eat This, Not That" and modifies to her taste (as all cooks can and should do). I then decided that I'd make my own version from an idea off the internet and created Touchdown Taco Hummus.

As with hummus in general, the recipe is quite simple:

-- Touchdown Taco Hummus --

2 cans chic peas, drained and rinsed
1 large clove of garlic (or 2-3 small gloves)
1/2 teaspoon ground cummin
Juice of one lime
1/4 cup olive oil
1 package of taco seasoning (or 1-1/2 to taste)

Add all the ingredients into your food processor
Blend until proper consistency is acquired
(You can use the water from the chic pea cans or add an additional teaspoon or two if necessary)
Scoop into a serving bowl and garnish with cilantro, parsley, or chives. 

Most hummus recipes call for lemon, but for Touchdown Taco Hummus I put in a lime. The traditional lemon would work, but I like lime with other Mexican inspired dishes, so I kept up the tradition with this one.

The other great thing about this hummus recipe is it's a "two-for-one" recipe, because you can make it again on May 5... except you'd have to call it Cinco de Mayo Hummus.

Until next time...
Old El Paso offers up this super quick video that gives a slightly different visual version of this dip.

Tacoly Yours,

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

It's Beef Stew Season Too

This time of year, the magazine racks in checkout lanes at retail and grocery stores are packed with magazines and special editions of "comfort foods your family will love." And each publication throws headlines, pictures, and recipes you've seen and read a dozen times before. Honestly, they just recycle the same ol' things each year - they only update the advertisements. If you've read one of those magazines, you've read them all.

Don't waste the cash.

Two reasons why: 1) you can find all those recipes on the internet; and 2) you probably know how to make them anyway. But even if you don't, chances are good that if you've have any cooking experience under your belt, then you can figure it out.

That's what I did.

There was a time when even though I enjoyed cooking, my fear of screwing up drove me to buy things like the instant packaged stews to guarantee all went as planned. You know the kind, add a bunch of water, some meat, and dump the dried contents in a slow cooker. Wait four hours then serve. 

This time I wanted to do it the right way, So with about one minute of thought I wrote down the ingredients and figured out the directions from there. By the end of the day, I had a completely homemade beef stew, and like the chili I made a week or so ago, I plan to continue to modify this recipe so that with each iteration I make it better than the previous time.

Now, with all that being said, let me present to you a simple, basic beef stew. One that you can modify and adapt to your own preferences.

----- Basic Beef Stew -----

1-1/2 lbs of stew meat
1 large white onion, chopped
1-1/2 cups carrots, chopped
1-1/2 cups celery, chopped
3 medium cloves of garlic, minced
6 medium sized potatoes, cubed
4 cups beef broth
2 tablespoons salt (or to taste)

Turn your slow cooker on high
Dump in all the ingredients
Stir thoroughly until all ingredients are evenly distributed
Put the lid on.
Occasionally stir to make sure it all cooks evenly, but resist the temptation to constantly check it. Each time you check it, heat escapes, which will increase cooking time.
Once the beef and potatoes are cooked thoroughly, it's ready to serve (approximately four hours).  

This particular recipe makes enough for The Boss and me to eat multiple bowls per day for a couple of days, and like any good slow cooker stew or chili, the longer it sits, the more the flavor gets absorbed into the ingredients. In no time, your belly will be full, your eyes will droop with drowsiness, and you'll be all ready for the oncoming cold season.

Until Next Time...
Here's a video from Laura In The Kitchen that I wish I would have watched first. She has a couple of extra ideas I could have incorporated, and definitely will next time.
  Comfortably Yours,

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Chili Season -- The Boss Offers Her Recipe

It's Chili Season, folks - or what non-foodie's refer to as Fall.

So it's time for The Boss to put her chili skills to work and make a pot or two, or three. This year, though, we decided to take a slightly different approach. Basically, she'd write everything down and I would do the actual cooking. Then once I had her recipe down pat, I would begin making my personal modifications with the next few batches, and come up with my own style, which in the end would give us two or three separate chili recipes. Because, let's face it, no foodie can have too many recipes of anything.

I've always been the kind of guy, who when he craves some chili, buys a can of Chili Man, or swings by the local Steak-n-Shake or Wendy's. So with that in mind, my first instinct is to try to take The Boss's recipe and move it sideways to emulate some of the properties of either Wendy's or Steak-n-Shake (I haven't decided which one to try first). I could simply go out to YouTube and watch a dozen different videos on how to make copycat versions of each one, but where's the fun in that? I think it'll be more..."educational" (wink) to visit both restaurants a few more times and really study the chili, get to know the properties of each, and incorporate this in-the-field knowledge to my cooking artillery.

But first, let's start with the base, i.e. the main recipe I'll be working from. I want to call it The Boss's Chili, but since I've already named a pizza after her, I'll need to come up with a new name eventually. Its working title at the moment is: Ta-Da Chili.

----- Ta-Da Chili -----

  • 1 can red beans
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 large green pepper (diced)
  • 1 large red bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 red/purple onion (diced)
  • 6 cloves of medium-sized garlic (diced)
  • 2 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 lbs of lean ground beef
  • 1 lbs of lean ground turkey
  • two packets of chili seasoning (this time, The Boss chose Chili Man brand seasoning)
  • 2-4 cups of water (per preference)
  • Combine the meats and brown in a skillet. Drain if necessary. If the meat is lean enough, then don't drain and let the juices be a part of the final pot.
  • Transfer meat to a large enough stew pot and toss in all the other ingredients.
  • Add water to obtain the thickness of the chili that you desire. No more than four or else you'll have soup instead of chili.
  • Serve.
  • You can add the shredded cheese of your choice (pictured above is cheddar).
  • You can also add any hot sauce to your preference (The Boss favors sriracha).
The yield is enough for two grown adults to eat on for over a week.

So that's it, gang. A nice pot of chili, ready for football games, late night television mysteries, or sharing with neighbors around a fire pit in the backyard.

Until Next Time...
If you want to take the quick approach to learning how to make Wendy's Chili at home, here's a short video of everything you need to know.

Chilily Yours,