... A Sour Apple Tree

Your source for fast and/or frozen food reviews, Huntington and/or West Virginia commentary, rasslin' (not wrestling) nostalgia, bad parody, dumb satire, rejected slogans, pointless lists, unreliable sports predictions, and funny local pictures.

Location: Huntington, WV, United States

I'm a 37 year-old guy from Huntington, WV.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Up Yours, PBS

After watching a special on monkeys with the boys on PBS last night, we started getting them ready for bed. In the mean time, we left 33.3 on during the start of Masterpiece Classic's airing of Sharpe's Challenge.

PBS. Masterpiece Classics. Harmless, right?


Within five minutes, there was a graphic massacre that would have made Quentin Tarantino proud.

I spent the next 15 minutes calming an overstimulated 3 year-old and, in the oddest turn of events in some time, telling a screaming toddler that he most certainly cannot watch "Masterpiece show with the blood and the 'fire!' and the 'BLAAAAMB.'"

That said, after I got him to bed, I watched the rest of the show. Good stuff, save Padma Lakshmi's "acting."

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Food kids will eat: egg burger

The other evening my 3 year-old was was demanding a hamburger (after not touching a bite of his dinner). Not having the desire to mess with raw beef or to give him something that fatty, I offered him an "egg burger." After some confusion, he said "oh, yeah!"

I fried an egg over-hard in some olive oil with a bit of kosher salt and white pepper and topped it with some burger faves: American cheese (the good kind made with milk) and ketchup.

He scarfed it down in under five minutes.

The next time that a child is wanting something quick with a fun name and your not wanting to give them an all-processed meal, I highly recommend an egg burger. For some even healthier options, try one with a whole wheat bun and fresh salsa or leftover pasta sauce.

4 out of 5 Toy Robots.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ramps are here!

I got my first batch of ramps for 2010 in yesterday. A buddy went fishing in Webster County this weekend and saw a dude selling 'em along the road and hooked me up (only asking for me to cook him some in exchange).

I cleaned and diced some and put them on a hot dog raw last night (more on than over at the WV Hot Dog Blog soon).

Since I already stink, I plan on eating them pretty much non-stop over the next several days.

Screw Christmas, this truly is the most wonderful time of the year!

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Frozen Food Review: Healthy Choice Creamy Basil Pesto

The second of the three frozen meals that Healthy Choice sent me for free up for review is the new Creamy Basil Pesto (note from the Dept. of Redundancy Dept.: Pesto almost always implies basil) (follow-up note from my interns from the Robert C. Byrd School of Blogonomics at Marshall University: uhhhh, what's pesto).

The dish features a spiral-ish cavatappi-style pasta that, while I usually find spiraled pastas to be childish, does hold the sauce quite well.

Speaking of the sauce, it is a somewhat Americanized version of basil with a thin and creamy texture. It has a rather understated flavor rather than trying to go for a bold "pop." It didn't cause bad breath, a nice note considering that I had the pasta for a mid-day lunch and had to mingle with coworkers for another 4 hours.

The cheese was an important component, as it gave the entree a pleasant saltiness that isn't found in many Healthy Choice meals. The tomato bits were also a nice touch, and they provided an understated element to the grub that, when added to the pasta and sauce, made for a rather flavorful bite of Italian-American food.

The worst part of the meal had to be the broccoli. Imagine store brand frozen boxes of the green veggie. Soggy and flavorless.

Another, albeit easy to correct drawback, of this entree was the fact that I was hungry again within a couple of hours. I wouldn't recommend this meal to someone with a bigger appetite without a piece of bread.

I give it 2.5 out of 5 Basil Rathbones. Not offensive, but not memorable. Just fine for a weekday lunch.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Pre-Tourney Final Four Picks

Kansas over Butler
Kentucky over Villanova

Kentucky over Kansas

National Champs: University of Kentucky

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NCAA Men's Basketball Championship Bracket: East Region Picks

First Round
1. Kentucky over 16. E. Tenn
8. Texas over 9. Wake Forest
5. Temple over 12. Cornell
4. Wisconsin over 13. Wofford
6. Marquette over 11. Washington
3. New Mexico over 14. Montana
10. Mizzou over 7. Clemson
2. West Virginia over 15. Morgan St.

Second Round
1. UK over 8. Texas
5. Temple over 4. Wisc.
3. NM over 10. Marquette
2. WVU over 10. Mizzou

Sweet 16
1. UK over 5. Temple
2. WVU over 3. NM

Elite 8
1. UK over 2. WVU

East Region Champs: Kentucky

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

NCAA Men's Basketball Championship Bracket: South Region Picks

Winthrop over Ark. PB

First Round
1. Duke over 16. Winthrop
9. Louisville over 8. Cal
12. Utah St. over 5. Texas A&M
13. Siena over 4. Purdue
6. Notre Dame over 11. Old Dominion
3. Baylor over 14. Sam Houston St.
7. Richmond over 10. St. Mary's
2. Villanova over 15. Robert Morris

Second Round
1. Duke over 9. Louisville
12. Utah St. over 13. Siena
3. Baylor over 6. ND
2. Villanova over 7. Richmond

Sweet 16
1. Duke over 12. Utah St.
2. Villanova over 3. Baylor

Elite 8
2. Villanova over 1. Duke

South Region Champ: Villanova

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NCAA Men's Basketball Championship Bracket: West Region Picks

Round 1
1. Syracuse over 16. Vermont
8. Gonzaga over 9. FSU
5. Butler over 12. UTEP
4. Vanderbilt over 13. Murray St.
11. Minn. over 6. Xavier
3. Pitt over 14. Oakland
7. BYU over 10. Florida
2. Kansas St. over 15. N. Texas

Round 2
1. Syracuse over 8. Gonzaga
5. Butler over 4. Vandy
3. Pitt over 11. Minn.
7. BYU over 2. K-State

Sweet 16
5. Butler over 1. Syracuse
7. BYU over 3. Pitt.

Elite 8
5. Butler over 7. BYU

West Region Champ: Butler

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NCAA Men's Basketball Championship Bracket: Midwest Region Picks

Round 1
1. Kansas over 16. Lehigh
8. UNLV over 9. N. Iowa
5. Mich. St. over 12. NM St.
4. Maryland over 13. Houston
6. Tenn over 11. SD St.
3. Georgetown over 14. Ohio
10. Georgia Tech. over 7. Okl. St.
2. Ohio St. over 15. UCSB

Round 2
1. Kansas over 8. UNLV
5. Mich. St. over 4. Maryland
3. Georgetown over 6. Tenn.
2. Ohio St. over 10. Georgia Tech.

Sweet 16
1. Kansas over 5. Mich St.
3. Georgetown over 2. Ohio St.

Elite 8
1. Kansas over 3. Georgetown

Midwest Region Champs: Kansas

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Frozen Food Review: Healthy Choice Tortellini Primavera Parmesan

In order to get the word out about some of their new frozen offerings, Healthy Choice recently shipped me some free samples of frozen meals to taste and review. First up is the Tortellini Primavera Parmesan.

First, I nibble on a sauce-covered carrot that proves to be rather crisp, especially for a frozen entrée. The sauce has a nice “spring”-like taste to it and the red peppers are employed properly. The zucchini is also a nice touch. That being said, it could use a touch more salt, heat, and garlic to go with the veggies.

The tortellini is a little on the doughy side, but they do have nice flavors (by frozen food standards), on the inside and, when taken together with some of the sauce and vegetables, the stuffed pasta delivers a pleasant hit of cheese in a full bite.

This dish is not ground breaking Italian cuisine by any means and it can grow a tad bit bland after several bites, but it is not a disappointing or wasted lunch by any means.

One final plus about this grub is that I certainly feel like I’ve eaten a healthy portion of vegetables with my lunch. I rarely get that feeling with my usual lunchtime options.

Random note: it pairs well with Mountain Dew Throwback.

3.5 out of 5 Warm Spring Rains, including a bonus half-point for making me eat 2.5 servings of veggies in one meal.

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Ten outside sounds

I'm blogging outside today. Here are ten sounds that I can here:

1. ~37 birds
2. Trucks
3. Wire banging on a fencepost
4. Children playing
5. Mud puddle being driven over
6. Water dripping from a storm gutter in need of repair
7. Some guy trying to get another guy's attention
8. Car trying really hard to accelerate
9. Air conditioner (!)
10. Car & screen doors

Welcome back, Spring.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Fast food review: McDonald's Big Mac Snack Wrap

I'm a fan of fast food that is affordable and tasty. Sadly, drive-thru grub is getting more and more pricey in recent years with many "value" meals now costing over $6. Many ff joints have added "snack wrap" products to counter this trend and keep things in play for us upper lower middle class folk.

In keeping with my tendency to write about and photograph the food I eat, one of my readers requested that I give the new Big Mac Snack Wrap the ...ASAT treatment. When Macca's put some coupons in a recent batch of coupons for a freebie with a drink purchase, I figured now is as good of a time as any.

The wrap comes in a standard tortilla with lettuce, American cheese, pickles, Big Mac sauce, and half of a hamburger patty.

It has a nice, crunchy texture from the lettuce. The flavor of the pickles and the ample glob of secret sauce balance nicely and the sauce coats the lettuce for a pleasant salad effect. Even the small portion of beef and cheese keep the wrap from being too greasy or heavy.

Overall, this is the perfect fast food fix for those on a budget and/or diet or those who just want a little taste of Mac-ness without committing to eating a giant sandwich. It is my second-favorite Big Mac variant/knockoff behind Burger King's gone-but-ne'er-forgotten Big King.

4 out of 5 Captain Crooks.

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Friday, March 05, 2010

Snarkless Friday: A baby bunny having a nom

Via Buzzfeed

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