Saturday, April 23, 2011

Uncle Ernie Says...#3

Good Morning Campers!

I love to scour the car care blogs…and I found a "recipe" for something that comes in very useful for cleaning windows or other glass objects (drinking glasses probably not a good idea).
It's for a homemade window cleaner…very few streaks (if any), cheap, simple, and very effective. Here's the mixture:

- 1 part water
- 1 part ammonia
- 1 part isopropyl alcohol (90% or better)

Mix in a spray bottle and off ya go! Great for windows and mirrors especially! Also works great on clear plastic lenses - such as eyeglasses.

BE WARNED…if you've had your car windows tinted POST-FACTORY, avoid this type of cleaner because anything ammonia-based will remove the tinting.

I also swear by microfiber towels. You can buy them virtually anywhere. Find them where the mops & brooms are…or in the Automotive department. Ammonia will be near the mops & brooms as well, but the isopropyl alcohol will be in the health & beauty section of your favorite megastore!


Friday, April 22, 2011

Review: Olive Garden Herb Cheese Soffatelli With Chicken

A couple days ago I was able to go to Olive Garden for free and I decided to try their new "Herb Cheese Soffatelli with Sauteed Chicken." This dish is described as "Artisan puff pastries filled with 5-cheese fonduta and herbs, served with sautéed chicken in a creamy garlic sauce." I had seen the TV commercials and it looked and sounded good to me. I am here to say it's decent, but not as good as it looks on TV (as if that wasn't a shocker). The puff pastries look exactly like they do on TV. Unfortunately, they don't have anywhere near the amount of cheese filling in them as they look on TV. Seriously, we're talking 80% pastry and 20% cheese filling. But, I must admit, it did taste good, when I got a bite with enough cheese filling in it, it was very herbal and pleasant, but might also be overwhelming for those who don't like things overly-herbed. The pastry was nicely browned and crisp and gave a nice crunch, except for the bottom part that seemed to have been sitting in the garlic cream sauce too long before it was served to me. The chicken, on the other hand, was very very good. They give you 2 thin pieces of chicken breast that have been pounded kinda thin, but not too-too thin. The chicken is topped with cheeses and fresh spinach and chopped tomatoes, along with the garlic cream sauce. The chicken I had was very tender and juicy and tasted great. The cheese held its own, but the spinach and tomatoes did absolutely nothing to the dish. The garlic cream sauce is just good enough to give the chicken that little extra flavor/creaminess. All in all, this isn't a terrible dish, but there are better dishes at Olive Garden.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Review: Dove Men + Care Anti-perspirant/deodorant

I recently received a free sample of Dove's new Men + Care Anti-perspirant/deodorant, Clean Comfort variety. It has a nice scent to it, but it almost seems a little too "feminine" for me. It does do a decent job of preventing perspiration, but some of you, like me, might need something stronger, like Old Spice's Red Zone. Just to give you a comparison of the active ingredient, aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex GLY, Dove has 14.8%, whereas Old Spice Red Zone has 19%. Mitchum has even more than Old Spice Red Zone, but it doesn't come in the chick-magnet scents that Old Spice has available. Dove isn't bad, but I think you're better off spending your money on Mitchum or Old Spice Red Zone.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Review: MIO Liquid Water Enhancer

I received a free sample of MIO Liquid Water Enhancer, Berry Pomegranate flavor, and I felt the need to review it, since a lot of people seem to dislike drinking plain water these days, which I don't know why. But anyways, I digress. This is the flavor they sent me. I was hoping for Strawberry Watermelon, but I guess beggars can't be choosers. This is a concentrated liquid that you put into water to make a tasty beverage. It's calorie-free and sugar-free, so there's no need to worry about packing on a few pounds like Kool-aid, Coca-cola, Pepsi, etc may do if you drink the regular stuff might do. The directions say to add one "squirt" into 8 oz. of water. What they mean by a "squirt" is anyone's guess. They also say you can add more to adjust to your own taste. OK then. I had a 16.9 oz. bottle of water here and decided to pour out about 2 oz. of water and add a squirt or 2 of MIO into it. I pinched off one squirt until it stopped, and then another (Yes, I could have made a ton of sexual references/puns/jokes here, but I am trying to keep it G-rated, thank you). I then capped it and shook it up to distribute the flavoring. It gives a nice deep purple color (cue "Space Truckin"). It definitely has a "berry" nice bouquet to it, but I can't detect any pomegranate (then again, I'm not sure what pomegranate is supposed to taste or smell like, even though it seems to be the fruit of the last 5 years...perhaps because pomegranates are expensive and so is the juice, so we lower-middle class people only have to imagine what they taste like, aside from artificial flavorings). As far as taste goes, this is OK, definitely has a good berry taste to it and seemed to have a more "natural" flavor to it than other beverages. I just wish they would have not used Aspartame for sweetening. Aspartame is why I don't drink most diet sodas, the aftertaste is just so bizarre. My guess is that this is marketed for those that have already been drinking flavored waters and are control freaks that want to decide how much flavor they want to add. This would also be good for those that want to keep the small bottle (yes, it's very small, about the size of an eye-drops bottle) in their drawer at work, and add to water from the water cooler, assuming they can get away from gossiping. All in all, this is a decent product. It will cost you about $4 for a bottle that the label says will give you 24 8-oz. "squirts," so decide for yourself if you think that's worth it. I'd be willing to try more flavors if they send me more free samples (are you listening/reading, Kraft?), but I don't know if I'd personally go out of my way to buy it. See below for links to purchase this stuff and read more reviews.