Platinum Vodka

platinum vodka
platinum vodka

Platinum vodka may look like one of those expensive Polish or Russian Vodkas, but how does it taste? It didn’t take me very long to find out. I discovered the Platinum at Costco’s liquor partner store just yesterday while looking for my favorite, Ruskova. I found this instead: Platinum brand Vodka, in a big, 1.75 liter bottle for only $12.99. The icing on the cake was the free sample of Cinnamon whiskey that was tied to the top of the bottle. But more on that later. Back to Platinum:

Platinum Vodka is Smooth

Don’t think for one minute that Platinum is one of the best vodkas just for it’s name and pretty, blue bottle. On the other hand for a $13.00 1.75 liter package, it’s certainly a decent vodka. I removed the cinnamon whiskey sample from the lid, twisted off the blue cap and poured about a half ounce in my stainless steel shaker. I always drink vodkas warm when first sampling them. The Platinum had a very noticeable alcohol-burn to its nose, but the front taste was not nearly as bitter and harsh as I expected. It went down rather smoothly and had a very crisp, pepper taste with just a bit of vanilla to it as it rounds out going down. I’d rank this maybe a tad below the Ruskova Vodka, but clearly better than Taaka.

Who Makes Platinum Vodka

Platinum vodka is actually made by the makers of Taaka Vodka, so I suppose you could say this is their upgraded model. The bottle advertises that it has been distilled 7 times which is surely an improvement over the Taaka which has no indication at all that it’s even been distilled a second time.

Light Taste – Doesn’t Overpower

I dropped a couple of olives in a glass; poured in a couple of ounces of Platinum and shook it vigorously with crushed ice. I enjoyed the first martini and the 2nd one was even better. Platinum does not have a whole lot of taste, but it is bright, crisp and relatively clean for such a bargain-priced vodka.

 See the Rest of Our Vodka Ratings

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Fried Pork Rinds

What are the Best Fried Pork Rinds?

How do you rate Macs Pork Rinds? 

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macs pork rindsIf you like pork cracklins, there is only one choice: Macs fried pork rinds are simply the best. Most pork rinds, pork skins or pork cracklins are very dry, airy and light. They taste pretty good, but they stick in your throat and with out lots of water can literally be dangerous. And have you ever noticed that with your typical bag of pork rinds, you’re always hunting in the bag, for that special, greasier, dark piece of crackling that is crisper and juicier than the rest? Well, that’s what you’ll love about Macs Pork Skins – literally every cracklin’ bite has those attributes. If you truly judge the best pork rinds by taste and are not worried about what some might say is healthy, you’ll definitely think Macs pork rinds are the best. Speaking of healthy snacks, how do pork skins measure up?

Are Fried Pork Rinds Healthy?

Sometimes its not the ingredients in the food that makes a snack healthy, but what is not in the snack. Macs pork skins are healthy by virtue of what is not in them. There are no carbs and no trans-fats or other fake-o oils like canola. Unless you’re one of those old-fashioned type who still believe the age-old myth that saturated fats and cholesterol are unhealthy, there really isn’t much reason not to eat a few pork skins or cracklings between meals. They are essentially fried-out fat with a little bit of sodium, saturated fats and cholestero. None of these nutritional ingredients in fried pork skins have proven to be the least bit dangerous to our health, though some popular, outdated advice insists on telling us otherwise. While Macs do contain a decent amount of sodium, that is another thing that is completely harmless for most of us. See here: Attack on Salt. The main, nutritious advantage to fried pork rinds is that they taste good and satisfy our natural appetite for fat and salt in between meals. If you’re interested in the actual ingredients, here is the nutritional information on the Macs Fried Crackling Curls bag:

Fried Pork Rinds Nutrition

pork rinds nutrition
Push the label to see exactly what ingredients are in Macs Fried Pork Skins. Don’t let the saturated fats and salt scare you. That’s what we want in a satisfying snack, It’s what our body craves.

Pork Cracklins vs Pork Rinds

You might hear the term, pork cracklins associated with cooking recipes. In Mexican cuisine, they call them, Chicharrones. Chicharrones are simply fried pork skins and they taste very good with pinto beans or inside your bean burrito. They are typically smaller, richer and less dry than most fried pork rinds in the bag that you buy at the grocery store. But, the Mac pork rinds are a different story. Is one better than the other? Homemade Chicharrones and Macs Pork Rinds are similar – both of them are delicious.

Microwavable Pork Rinds

Another popular fad is to put un-fried pork skins in the microwave until they fill up with air and pop. This might sound like a fun thing to do, but I’d rather have Mac pork rinds. You’ll never make your microwaved pork skins taste as good as Macs!

Guilt-Free Snacking

They taste great and they aren’t nearly as unhealthy as you’ve been told. In fact, eating pork rinds might even help you lose weight by satisfying your cravings and helping you cut out carbs, cookies and other starches.

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How to Make Philaroni Cheese Steak

philaroni cheese steakIf you’ve ever visited Philadelphia, chances are good that you absolutely love Philly Cheese Steaks. The problem is how do you get or make a Philly Cheese Steak when you’re not in Philadelphia? Living in the Denver metro area most of my life and having visited dozens of other cities, I’m convinced that it can’t be done anywhere else besides Philly. The key ingredient is the bread – you just can’t get that pillowy-soft, wondrous, magical bread to come out the same in Denver or anywhere else. The steak, onions, peppers and oil – even the cheese can be duplicated in other cities relatively successfully. But, without the great Philly bread it will never live up to your mouth-watering expecations of an authentic Philly Cheese Steak. So what do you do? The first thing you gotta do is give up the bread. Philadelphia, the great city of brotherly love is known for it’s tremendous bakeries and delicious bread. You can’t duplicate that at home. Here’s another idea:

The Bread-less Philly Cheese Steak

I’m not much into follow recipes, so there’s no sense in me handing them out either. What I’ll do is share with you the experience and concept and you can choose the ingredients, instructions and cooking temperature, yourself. First, some brief history on how the bread-less, Philaroni Cheese Steaks was invented: One evening for dinner, my wife decided to fry up some thinly sliced steaks with onions and green peppers. As she heated up the oil and placed the peppers and onions into the frying skillet, my senses were instantly greeted with the nostalgic memory of the first time I enjoyed a real Philly cheese steak in downtown Philadelpia. Everything smelled perfect. At the last minute, we remembered, we didn’t have any rice, pasta, mashed potatoes or anything in the way of carbs to go along with the steak, onions and peppers. It was at that time my wife remembered that she had one of those handy, instant plastic tub of Country Crock, Macaroni and Cheese. I’m not a big fan of mac ‘n cheese, but why not? So, we doled out the steak, onions and peppers and put a pile of mac ‘n cheese on the side. As I started delving into the main course, I immediately felt it could use some cheese. So, why not the Mac ‘n cheese that was already on my plate. I mixed the macaroni and cheese in with the steak, onions and peppers and thought it definitely brought the taste of Philly a little closer to home. The beauty of the dish is that you can experiment and try a variety of different brands of mac ‘n cheese, or make your own, Philly-style, to go with it. Thus, the invention of the Philaroni Cheese Steak was born.

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Google Analytics iPhone

google analytics iphone

Google Analytics iPhone Apps

Google Analytics iPhone Apps are a dime a dozen, but which one is best? It’s no secret. Website designers love analytics. If you manage several websites like I do, you probably spend more time monitoring your traffic on your iPhone or Android mobile device than on your PC or Laptop. Over the years, I’ve found it difficult to muster the energy and focus to sit in front of a computer or laptop screen and look at a bunch of boring reports, charts, statistics and trends. I asked myself: wouldn’t it be easier, more enjoyable and relaxing to monitor Google analytics on an iPhone or similar device? Only if the iPhone app does what I need it to do and is easy to use. I’ve used only two apps that really do a good job with mobile analytics – in fact, both of them do it better than the real thing on the desktop.

AnalyticsApp

AnalyticsAppThis is the first analytics app I got for my iPhone and I still consider it the best: It’s listed in the app store, simply as AnalyticsApp and at $6.99, is ranked as one of the most expensive apps I’ve ever purchased. The AnalyticsApp is quick and easy to use. Simply enter in your Google account info and AnalyticsApp will automatically load up all of your websites as an easy-to-read, scrollable list. Touch the website you want to view and get instant access to your website traffic from yesterday, today or a date range of your choice. Unlike the actual analytics website, the traffic and visitor information is updated by the minute – and very accurate. For some reason, the AnalyticsApp is not ranked very highly by others. For a two week period, analyticsapp stopped working for me and I began using the program below. A quick update fixed the problem and I quickly went back to this one as my favorite.

Quicklytics

quicklyticsQuicklytics is one slick little iPhone app and is ranked very highly by its users at the app store. When I first began using Quicklytics I was instantly impressed with the hourly charts with yesterday vs today or weekly comparisons of visitor traffic. Pressing your finger on any of the charts drills down to the fine details of keyword results, landing pages, top pages, etc.. There is a ton of information on Quicklytics. Unfortunately, I found it a bit tiresome and cumbersome going from one site to another. You have to scroll page by page. When you have 25 websites, that gets to be a hassle. When the iTunes store reported the update to my original, favorite AnalyticsApp, I quickly went back, despite having just recently spent $5.99 on Quicklytics. I’ll keep them both on my phone, because they represent the best of Google Analytics Apps for the iPhone.

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Best Men’s Underwear

Best Mens Underwear
a Review
best mens underwear

In the movie, Stripes, Bill Murray says, I rarely wear underwear and when I do it is usually something unusual.  Well, I’m hear to tell you that just the opposite is true with me. I always wear underwear and it is never something unusual. I’ve tried jockey shorts (they’re too tight), boxer shorts (they’re too loose) and gimmicky gift underwear (they’re too goofy). To me, the best men’s underwear is the traditional, usual, white briefs. Now, that we’ve narrowed it down to best type of men’s underwear, what is the best brand. Before we delve into that, I’ve begun to notice a few quality problems with men’s underwear in general.

Best Mens Underwear and Most Annoying Problems

  1. They lose their elasticity and won’t stay on.
  2. They have a tag or stitching that scratches your waist or tailbone.
  3. They develop holes.
  4. They lose their shape and fit.
  5. The inside flap or crease no longer stays closed.

Honestly, I’ve bought underwear that starts falling apart after only the 3rd or 4th time it is washed. Some men’s underwear seems prone to lose its elasticity. While I’ve been known to pack a small ice pack between my back and the elastic, it really is no excuse for it to fall apart so easily. Other underwear seem to hold up fine. It is really annoying when underwear no longer keeps the same shape and fits like it did when it was new and what’s up with all the holes? That’s just plain cheap material. Probably the worst thing at all is when that inside crease no longer stays folded together. Might as well act like Bill Murray and where no underwear at all. With that said, here are the rankings for best mens underwear.

Fruit of the Loom underwear is aptly named. They might as well be made from banana peels. They hold up worse than any other brand of underwear I’ve tried in the last 20 years. It seems as though they were good at one time, but perhaps they started manufacturing them elsewhere (like in China?) to save costs. The Fruit of the Loom brand are notorious for losing their elasticity. Haynes holds together much better, but the material seems thin and cheap and they develop holes over-time. Good products often prompt me to write articles in order to recommend them. I was so happy with the Kirkland white mens mid-rise underwear from Costco that I had to say something good about them. They are head and shoulders better around your waist than any other pair of mens underwear.


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