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Author: Phatphood

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Broccoli wild rice casserole

Broccoli Wild Rice Casserole Recipe

Broccoli wild rice casserole

So I was sitting around watching TV and decided to turn on FOOD Network for some Thanksgiving dish ideas. Well I was in luck because just as I did, Ree Drummond was on a Thanksgiving special starting her favorite Wild Rice Broccoli Casserole. It looked not only new and different to me, but also, healthy and delicious. After watching the program I went to the store and purchased the ingredients and put this new classic dish to test.

2 cups wild rice (uncooked)
8 cups chicken broth
3 heads broccoli (cut into small florets)
1 stick butter
1 lb white button or cremini mushrooms (chop finely)
1 medium onion (diced)
2 carrots (peel and diced)
2 stalks celery (finely diced)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 cup panko breadcrumbs

In a medium saucepan add the wild rice along with 5 cups of the chicken broth. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. Cook until the rice starts to break open and is slightly tender, 35 to 40 minutes. Set aside.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and prepare an ice bath. Blanch the broccoli by throwing the florets into the boiling water until bright green and still slightly crisp, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Drain broccoli and plunge into the bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Remove from ice water and set aside.


In large pot over medium-high heat melt 6 tablespoons of the butter. Add mushrooms, onions and cook, stir occasionally, until the liquid begins to evaporate, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the carrots and celery and cook until the vegetables are soft and the mixture begins to turn darker in color, 3 to 4 minutes.

Sprinkle flour over the vegetables, stir and cook for about a minute. Pour in 3 cups of broth and stir mixing thoroughly. Bring to gentle boil and let it thicken, about 3 minutes. Pour in the heavy cream,mix and cook until thickens. Add the salt and pepper, adjust the seasonings as needed.


Combine the cooked rice, broccoli and pour into a 2-quart baking dish. Scoop out the vegetable/broth mixture and spread it evenly over the top, totally covering the surface with the vegetables.

Bake recipe

Melt 2 tablespoons butter, pour into a separate bowl adding the panko breadcrumbs. Stir together to coat the breadcrumbs in butter, then sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top of the casserole.

Casserole with panko

Cover with foil and bake the for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and continue baking until golden brown on top, another 15 minutes.

It turned out beautiful but lacked a bit of flavor. The recipe only calls for salt and pepper. I was thinking maybe adding a can of cream of mushroom soup for the next time. That might take the healthy level down a notch though. Was still very good as is and would recommend it for a Thanksgiving dish for all to enjoy.

Broccoli Wild Rice Casserole Phatphood

Recipe originally found on Food Network


Thai Spiced Deviled Eggs Recipe

Thai Deviled Eggs Recipe

Thai Spiced Deviled Eggs Recipe: Thinking about making deviled eggs for your holiday celebration? Let’s take them up a notch and give them a little Thai spice.

We found this recipe on Tadka Pasta blog. I really liked the zesty flavor (spice) of the eggs, a wonderful remix to a basic traditional recipe for all seasons. This is one of those recipes that I will make time and time again.


6 Eggs
2 Tablespoons thick coconut milk, cold(not low fat) or mayonnaise
2 Teaspoons Thai Curry paste (we used the Thai Kitchen brand)
1 Teaspoon ketchup
1/2 Teaspoon paprika plus more to sprinkle
1/2 Teaspoon spicy mustard
1/4 Teaspoon Sriracha or other red chili sauce
Salt to taste
*For the pumpkin look use paprika and one green onion


Chicken Pot Pie Cupcakes Recipe

chicken pot pie
Chicken Pot Pie Cupcakes Recipe: Comfort food at it’s finest! These mini pot pies are tasty and easy to make.With next week being Thanksgiving this seems like a perfect recipe for your leftover turkey.


2 cups of cooked chicken breasts diced
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup frozen mixed veggies
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tablespoon of dried thyme
1/2 tablespoon of dried basil
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic salt
2 (10 oz) cans Pillsbury biscuits


Twin Cities Donut Crawl Phatphood Review

Twin Cities Donut Crawl Phatphood

Twin Cities Donut Crawl Phatphood Review: 1st annual ‪‎TC Donut Crawl‬ and you know I’m in there! Representing for Weve Tried It and a special thanks to Cities 97 radio show Oake & Keri for taking care of me! Now, lets get caked!

Bogarts Doughnut

First up on this ‪crawl‬ is Bogart’s Doughnut Co. Located at 904 West 36th St, Minneapolis, MN. The donut given to me is a house brioche with dark chocolate. Fresh and tasty! Also, for me you can’t go wrong with dark chocolate. They have a Nutella filled donut here as well.


Phatphood Esquites Recipe

Phatphood Esquited Recipe

Phatphood Esquites Recipe: Esquites is a Mexican snack or antojito. The word esquites means “toasted corn.” Phat calls this recipe addicting.


2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 cups corn kernels
3 tbsp mayonnaise (I used McCormick mayo with lime)
3-4 oz cotija cheese finely crumbled
½ cup fresh cilantro chopped
1 jalapeno pepper seeded and finely chopped
1 -2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp chili powder
Salt and pepper


In a large skillet (cast iron works best for charring) heat oil over high heat. Add corn and cook until charred on one side (roughly 2 mins). Stir and cook again for another 2 mins. Repeat until kernels are well charred all over.

While corn is charring, mix mayo, cotija cheese, cilantro, jalapeno, garlic, lime juice and chili powder together. Once corn is done, gently fold into your mayo mixture. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary. Serve warm. Enjoy!

Another Phatphood recipe worth checking out is his Elotes Mexican Corn on the Cob – recipe here.  Be sure to follow @Phatphood on Instagram.

If you try out this esquites recipe we want to hear about it. So be sure to come back and let us know what you thought!


Olloclip 4 in 1 Photo Lens Phatphood Review

Olloclip 4 in 1 photo lens review

Olloclip 4 in 1 Photo Lens Phatphood Review: I like to take pictures with my iPhone 5 (mainly food), so I figured why not try some of these fancy lenses I see promoted/suggested on Facebook?

Olloclip 4-in-1 photo lens for iPhone 5/5s vs. 3-Piece Set: Macro, Wide-Angle & Fisheye Magnetic Smartphone Lenses. Let me start off with the biggest annoyance. When using either of these products, and if you protect your phone with any type of case, it needs to be removed before using. Understandable, but bothersome.

Olloclip lenses are attached to a tight fitting mold that slides snug over your factory installed lens on your iPhone. Simple, pretty much error proof. The 3-Piece Set: Macro, Wide-Angle & Fisheye Magnetic Smartphone Lenses have adhesive rings that stick on to your device. These rings are magnetic which allows the lenses to bond to your device. It was hard to center the ring onto my device. Also I’m not one to stick things on my phone. Not cool.

They both have a fish eye lens. The 3-Piece Set: Macro, Wide-Angle & Fisheye Magnetic Smartphone Lenses shown first is blurry and shows the innards of the lens. Where as the olloclip is a clear picture and just shows the intended view.

Macro Lens Olloclip Fish


Phatphood Marshmallow Brownies Recipe

Marshmallow Brownies

Phatphood Marshmallow Brownie Recipe: Usually we send Phatphood out to local festivals and restaurants to review the cuisine. This time we talked Phat into sharing his recipe for these marshmallow delicious looking brownies.


12 graham crackers
6 tbsp butter
Brownie mix
Jumbo marshmallows


Put graham crackers into food processor and pulse until they are finely ground. Add butter and pulse until mixed. Press mixture into the bottom of 8×8 baking dish.

Mix brownie mix accordingly. Pour mixture over crust. Bake at 325 for 35-40 mins.

Cut jumbo marshmallow in half. Top baked brownies with marshmallows. Bake at 325 for 3 mins.

If marshmallows are not toasted enough, turn on the broiler for one minute to brown the tops. Enjoy!

Are you following @phatphood on Instagram? You won’t believe what Phat eats on a daily basis.


Bluapple Produce Saver Review

Bluapple Review

Bluapple Produce Saver Review: So we tried Bluapple which claims to prolong produce freshness. Buying two containers of strawberries we gave it the Weve Tried It test.

We placed one container of strawberries in the  upper drawer of the refrigerator with a Bluapple ball and the 2nd container strawberries with nothing added going in the drawer below it.

Bluapple website product description: Ethylene gas is given off naturally by fruits and vegetables as a signaling mechanism in order to coordinate uniform ripening. However, once concentrated in your refrigerator or other storage areas, the presence of ethylene gas continues to speed up ripening and hasten spoilage.

The Bluapple® is designed to provide effective ethylene gas absorption for three months in a typical home refrigerator produce bin or storage container. The active ingredient does not “wear out”, but continues to absorb ethylene until it has reached its capacity. A One Year Refill Kit rounds out the Bluapple® ethylene gas management product line, allowing consumers to reuse Bluapples® and not add them to landfills.

Both drawers were untouched for ten days. When we took them out, both batches of strawberries were moldy, but the one with the Bluapple appeared to have more mold (photo on left.)


Bluapple says that the approximate storage life of strawberries without using the saver ball is 7-10 days. Their claim is that by using Bluapple you can extend the useful storage life of your produce up to three times longer. Which on the short end would give your strawberries 21 days.

We may have to try with a different fruit or vegetable, but so far, this product failed. 0/5  If you want to give it a try you can purchase the Bluapple on Amazon for $13.00.


myCharge Amp 4000 Portable Charger Review

MyCharge iPhone Charger

myCharge Amp 4000 Portable Charger Review: This less than half-a-pound phone charger can save the day when you are out and about. For instance, when I did my State Fair food adventure I was constantly using my phone to take pictures and notes on all of the food I was eating.

Well we all know iPhone batteries really suck, so not even half-way through the day my battery was at 12%. I just grabbed my newly purchased MyCharge and plugged my iPhone 5 via USB and continued with my food adventure.

Not only did my phone fully charge while I constantly used it, but the MyCharge had some juice left to keep on charging even when I left the fair with a full charge on my phone.

Great device! Light, small enough to fit in pocket, and does what is intended. 3/5. One concerning downfall, any aftermarket iPhone USB cables do not work at all. I tried three aftermarket cables and only the original cable that came with my iPhone work. This brought my product rating down significantly.

Do you know of any inexpensive portable chargers that work great? Let us know in the comments below. You can purchase the myCharge Amp 4000 on Amazon for $29.99.

Follow PhatPhood on Instagram


Phatphood 4 Pizzas 4 Hours 4 Reviews

Pizza Review

Phatphood 4 Pizzas 4 Hours 4 Reviews: One of my friends that enjoys my reviews suggested that I try all of the personal style pizza restaurants that offer Subway style pizzas in just a few minutes. Two of them have been around the metro area for several years now and two recently just opened in the metro. I went to all four…in one day. Four pizzas, in four hours…Woo!

Don’t worry, I had help…I brought my eldest. A 15-year-old adolescent that I felt could add some input on this new generation of fast pizza and also help to devour four pies. I timed each pizza from when they put it in the oven to when I received it. Also, I ordered one regular size soft drink at each restaurant and that is included in the price mentioned. From worst to best, here they are:

Pizza Studio

4. Pizza Studio – located on level 3 south mall, 340 South Ave Bloomington, MN at the Mall of America. The mall was very busy today and so was Pizza Studio. It is a small cramped cubbyhole with a similar mall patio to dine on. The line to order your personal pizza will have customers already seated staring inches away at your butt so be sure to freshen up prior to ordering on a busy day. With the small quarters, it is very loud. Yes, the mall is loud already but then you have their automated pizza oven that has fans that sound like a jet engine. Add the spit guard that you have to talk through and it becomes a scream match along with a lot of “what?” They should really think of just having a check off sheet with what you want. There weren’t many places to sit so a majority of the customers had no choice but to get their order to go.

Once I made it through the seven-minute line I ordered an unlimited build-my-own creation pizza with traditional crust, marinara, crispy bacon, nitrate free pepperoni, spicy pork sausage, chicken breast, caramelized onions, jalapeños, mozzarella cheese, and truffle salt. They ask you your name when they get things started and greet and welcome each customer, which is nice.

They don’t put much cheese on your pizza and if you ask for extra they will gladly do so, but not without warning you that “with how our oven cooks, it will be soggy.” While in line waiting to pay I witnessed an employee dicing greens at the cutting/plating/boxing station slice her finger. They replaced the knife she was using but didn’t notice any other clean up process. Yum. The gentleman that was taking orders, making the dough and starting your pizza experience was like a one-man-band. He immediately took over once the other employee cut herself and was handling the chaos that surrounded him very well. He is shown in the picture carrying boxes all at once to the boxing station. Give this dude a raise.

Once I received my pizza, at first glance you could tell it was unevenly cooked. The center was pretty doughy while the outer edges were burnt. The bottom was pretty much burnt as well. With all of the meats I chose, the pizza was naturally greasy. The soft drink station was out of napkins and the table we were sitting at did not have a dispenser at all. We had to finally ask the neighboring table for theirs. You can see in the pictures that my hand was covered in grease as well as the drippings with the shot of the undercooked dough. Wasn’t too excited about the pizza. It was pretty basic. Average amount of toppings and most of the pepperoni was burnt. I kind of don’t mind that though. My eldest said that he would never come back at all.

As we were leaving we went to throw away our aftermath but the only two trash stations were overfull as shown. You can also see in the picture that if you were to sit in that special location on the mall patio you get to be in everyone’s way as they throw their trash out and you get to smell every bite that wasn’t eaten. They offer four different variety of thin crust. The place is not meant for a mall environment. It’s too small of a location. Needs a silencer on the oven fan. No take out menu seen, no plates available or given so we had to lean over the tray that our pizza came on, but really we just let it drip on the table. This place was one big cluster mess. 1/5 – $9.98 – 5:04

Punch Pizza

3. Punch Neapolitan Pizza – 8353 Crystal View Rd. Eden Prairie, MN. Upon arrival to the parking lot, it was a bit confusing. Went to two different doors before finding the third one that was the actual entrance. Boy did we look dumb. Once we finally made it inside, we were greeted by a hostess/waitress that takes your order and you pay before you seat yourself (the only one out of the four that you pay first). She was nice and explained how things work very, very thoroughly. The Punch menu seems a bit more complicated with many choices, but did not have the same options as the others. We wanted to make the pizza with the same topping throughout this eating journey, but this hybrid pizza restaurant made that a bit difficult.

We went ahead with the “craft your own pizza” and out of the two sauce options we chose margarita, made with basil and added sausage, pepperoni, prosciutto (because they have no bacon…you read that right NO BACON!!!) and piparras pepper since they didn’t have jalapeños either. Was told it would be about five minutes and to go ahead and have a seat and it will be brought out to us.

While waiting I cased the joint. This place definitely has more of a restaurant appeal to it rather than a fast food pizza shack, hence hybrid. Classic Italian music was played throughout, including the restroom. Their wood fire oven was the star of the show as you can see in the picture. The soft drink station was a bit outdated but was clean and organized. The space was very open and spacious like a studio apartment with a cool oven. The hostess/waitress brought out the pale looking pizza in good time as well as utensils and what were these round things? Plates! This was the only place to offer this necessity on this food adventure. If you see two people order one pizza you would think they are going to share and would need something other than what the pizza comes on. Kudos Punch.

Now this pizza didn’t look as appetizing as the others by all means. Guess what? Didn’t taste all that good either. Their dough was soft and chewy but in a good way, that’s if you enjoy a crust on our pizza. The center of the pizza was thin (unlike the outer crust which was billowy) and with the amount of grease under the cheese along with the sauce, everything slid right off as you grabbed a slice as a piece of topless pizza lays limp in your hand. With some marinara sauce, the outer crust would be great to dip in and enjoy alone. Definitely not worth the price and just not a huge fan. On the bottom of their take out menu it reads “SECOND CHANCE FOR PIZZA ROMANCE? Don’t like your pizza? Tell us – no matter how busy we are ! Come to the pick-up counter and we’ll remake it in 90 seconds.” Awesome! However, I didn’t notice that until I left. Plus I doubt I could eat another. Good chances I won’t be going back unless it is to try their chocolate hazelnut panini, which I heard is grand. 2/5 – $15.72 – 4:34

Solo Pizza

2. Solos Pizza Cafe – 2700 Annapolis Cir N. Plymouth, MN. I’ve been coming to this place for a while and I typically get a White Hen, but like I mentioned, I want to keep things as similar as possible to compare. So we went with the Brick House which includes; Marinara, pepperoni, sausage and smoked bacon. I added grilled chicken and jalapenos. Here they offer two different sizes, a seven-inch and a ten-inch. With the options of having original, thin or whole wheat crust. Naturally I went with larger size and original crust for comparison once again. Not because I’m starving. The signs posted on the wall aid you in making your decision and make it quite simple in doing that. After they put ample amount of toppings on, they add a little more mozzarella to top it off. Nice touch.

You pay, they give you a number and you go sit until they bring it to you. Once again, no other plates brought out or offered. The only thing available at the counter for customers to help themselves to were to-go boxes. The pizza looked wonderful. Tons of jalapenos accompanied all of those delicious meats with plenty of cheese to stretch around the table we sat at. At Solos, they use garlic butter around the outer crust as soon as the pizza comes out of the oven. I love it, but today they seemed to add a bit much. It created a butter latte that ran down the back of the crust and all over the bottom of the pizza. I usually don’t mind a butter overload, but this along with the grease created by all of the meats create a slick situation. Still it was a wonderful tasting pizza with a generous amount of toppings. Their crust is very much similar to the one at Punch, but butter lathered on makes up for any dryness. Another greasy mess, yet a good tasting one at that. 4/5 – $12.16 – 5:44

Pizza Rev

1. Pizza Rev – 525 Blake Rd. #110. South Edina, MN. The new boys in town with their second location after their first successful location opened in Hopkins earlier this year. Very simple concept, craft your own pizza at one price of $7.95. Choose one of two dough options, original or gluten-free (which is a $2 upgrade). Four sauce choices and similar cheese selections as the others offered. The have a dozen of meat options and even more vegetable options.

I chose to craft my own instead of picking one of eight pre designed options. Sticking with a the game plan we went with original crust, red sauce, spicy pepperoni, Italian sausage, crumbled beef meatballs, crispy bacon, grilled chicken and jalapenos. It wasn’t busy at all and they were very helpful and friendly all the way throughout from the greeter/artist to the cashier to the general manager working on the Coke Freestyle machine. They use an open flamed stone bed oven that is monitored very closely by a single person. No timers, just watching and checking on it with the naked eye.

After I paid, we went and sat near the window to watch cars park at this Edina strip mall that Pizza Rev just opened it. Yay. Wasn’t sure if I was to hang out at the cashier for my pizza or if they bring it to me, so I wandered back up there until it came out. I noticed they had a nice condiment counter with everything you need…except for plates. That’s right, we weren’t given or even offered them once again. Ugh, the struggle.

This pizza came out looking perfect. Perfect design, perfect thin crispy crust, not greasy at all, just a beautiful looking za! Everything tasted fresh. They also have a Coke Freestyle machine complementing the in-and-out casual dining experience with already many options. I was fortunate enough to get to speak with the manager on duty prior to leaving and asked if they had plates available. He said they did, and that he would implement that in with the cashiers and perhaps leave some on an available stand near the condiment station. He took suggestions very well and seemed like he would go with mine. I like a place that is willing to make changes at the first sign of a customer’s good ideas. Great first experience here all around. Very tasteful pizza and a young and eager welcoming staff. The newbie’s in this state have done their homework and came to stomp the competition. Well done. 5/5 – $9.34 – 4:33

So, we tried a few similar places with different results. Pizza Rev is the cheapest and the fastest. Pizza Studio has the most crust options. Solos Pizza Café you get the most for your money. Punch is more of a get your pizza fast restaurant with a full menu including starters, desserts and alcoholic beverages. Maybe they shouldn’t have even been a part of this four-hour tour. They all have different cooking methods but similar concepts. Yes, some were busier than others with or without help of Labor Day weekend. But the quality lies within the entire product under any circumstance. You now have a few options to choose from now with all of these Subway style pizza joints opening up…I picked a favorite, which will you choose to be yours?

Follow @Phatphood & @WeveTriedIt on Instagram.