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June 2022

The Living on Appetizers Challenge: Crab Dip & Toasted Garlic Bread - Bachelor on the Cheap

By Mike Thayer

Can a guy live on just appetizers alone? I'm going to find out. Over the next couple weeks, I'm preparing, eating and, 'surviving' on appetizers alone.

Baked Crap Dip & Toasted Baguettes
Baked Crap Dip & Toasted Baguettes

I love a good crab dip, but that's not easy to do when you live in the Midwest....  It's not like good, fresh crab is readily available and canned crab is, well, eh....  Hopefully you've got a nice seafood shop near you that offers lump crab meat.  In a pinch, the imitation stuff will do, it's better than canned which undoubtedly will have shell bits in it.


  • 1 pound lump crab meat
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (softened)
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onion, reserve some for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Louisiana Hot Sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
  • The juice from one lemon
  • Baguette, sliced
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Baked Crab Dip on Toast
It's another dose of YUM!

Directions:  Mix all ingredients (except the baguettes and melted garlic butter of course) together in a medium sized bowl.  Transfer to a cast iron skillet and grill over indirect heat on the grill until bubbly, golden brown, and delicious, about 45 minutes.  About 10 minutes before pulling from the grill, melt the garlic butter in a grill safe bowl and toast the sliced baguettes, brushing them with the garlic butter on both sides until golden, brown and delicious.  Serve the baked dip on the toast and enjoy!

You would pay high dollar to get this kind of an appetizer in a restaurant and finding a restaurant that even has this appetizer on the menu could prove to be a challenge.  Making this yourself makes sense and it's SO tasty!  It's another dose of YUM!

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Help support the continued content for Shopping, Dining, Best Deals, Product & Service Reviews, Tips, Hacks, Recipes and other great information by buying me a coffee. Your support to keep Bachelor on the Cheap a free resource is much appreciated! ~ Mike

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The Bachelor on the Cheap guide to making wine selection and food pairing easier - Grenache

Wine FunBy Mike Thayer

This is the ninth of an ongoing series of wines and food pairings

Wine, it's the perfect beverage for a romantic dinner, a go-to for a casual get-together/party and a holiday meal is complimented by it.  Whether it's a meal for two, a small party for friends or a gathering of family, having the right wine elevates the occasion. 

And while most people follow the basic rule of thumb - red wine for beef and white wine for chicken - selecting the right wine can still be challenging.  What KIND of red for that roast beef?  Or, What KIND of white for that lemon chicken dish?  Does dessert call for a different wine?

The choices are many and can be intimidating, with the reds there's Merlot; Cabernet Sauvignon; Zinfandel; Syrah/Shiraz; Malbec; Pinot Noir; Nebbiolo; Sangiovese; Grenache and all kinds of red blends to choose from.

With the whites there's Chardonnay; Sauvignon Blanc; Moscato; Pinot Grigio; Riesling; Gewurztraminer, Viognier, Torrontes, Albarino and yes, white wine has it's share of blends as well.

So you walk into the liquor store in need of a bottle of wine for a dinner date or special occasion... 

Sure, you can rely on the store attendant to help you with a selection but that can be hit or miss.  A good attendant will ask you if you prefer wines on the sweeter or dryer side and what you might be pairing it with.  But keep in mind the attendant's palate is different than yours, their sweet and dry preferences are different than yours and they might try to push a particular brand on you that's in the store's best interest, not yours.  So why not walk in the store knowing what you need?  That's what this guide is for, to help you with food pairings, what is sweet, what is dry and getting a good wine for under $15 a bottle.  That's the Bachelor on the Cheap wallet friendly thing to do, get something nice, without paying too much for it.

For previous reviews, click on the link below:

Today's featured wine:  Grenache

Originally cultivated in Spain, the Grenache grape is now common in wine valleys around the world.  The Grenache is sold as a single varietal but it's most popular by producers as a blending grape due to its medium to low acidity, medium tannins and high alcohol.   This wine has fruity notes of black cherry, raspberry and strawberry balanced with some spice such as star anise, cinnamon and black pepper.  Grenache pairs really well with slow cooked meats, hearty stews and chili.  For meatless options think oven baked pasta dishes with cheese and veggies to include mushrooms, bell peppers, eggplant and zucchini.  The cheeses you'll want on your charcuterie board should include pepper jack, brie and mild cheddar.  For dessert be sure to select a sweet Grenache (the longer its aged, the drier it gets), this is a good red wine for a classic pairing with chocolate, pretty much chocolate anything.  Serve it slightly chilled, at 60 - 65 degrees, refrigerate about 30 minutes before serving and after popping the cork, let it breathe for about 10 minutes. 

Vega-Sindoa-El-Chaparral-GrenacheBachelor on the Cheap Recomendation:  Vega Sindoa El Chaparral Grenache - $15.  Hailing from Spain, this is a critically acclaimed wine by the Wine Advocate.  Winemaker notes:  Bright red. Suave raspberry and cherry preserve aromas are compelling and sexy. Musky herbal and floral qualities add complexity to the nose but fade into the red berry aromas, which continue on the palate.persistent.

Next Up in the series:  White wines are up next!

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Help support the continued content for Shopping, Dining, Best Deals, Product & Service Reviews, Tips, Hacks, Recipes and other great information by buying me a coffee. Your support to keep Bachelor on the Cheap a free resource is much appreciated! ~ Mike

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Product Review: Kingsford Onion, Garlic & Paprika Flavored Charcoal

Kingsford Garlic Onion Paprika flavored charcoal
How much garlic, onion & paprika flavor will this deliver?

By Mike Thayer

Make no mistake, I am a charcoal enthusiast.  In my humble opinion, for a grilled meal, you can't beat charcoal and a Weber Kettle. 

I do like to throw some added flavor through wood in combination with the charcoal, chunks of pecan wood to do up some brats, chunks of a fruit wood for pork or chunks of oak for beef.  It all depends on what you're grilling or smoking.  The key is creating layers of flavor.

I recently did a review of Kingsford's Cumin Chili Flavored Charcoal and I really like it. I have to admit that I was initially skeptical of 'spice flavored smoke,' thinking, "How much spice flavor will that actually crank out?" and "Isn't that what spices, rubs and marinades are for?  Talk about lazy grilling...." 

I lost all skepticism I had for 'spice flavored smoke' when I dumped the chimney of that Cumin Chili charcoal.  You can smell all those spice notes, it's like I was already grilling something and I hadn't even put any food on the grill yet!  The aroma of the cumin and chili was enticing and it did indeed help create depth of flavor in the chicken I fired up that day.

So today, I'm reviewing Kingsford Onion, Garlic & Paprika Flavored Charcoal.

Here is the description pulled from the Kingsford website:

Garlic Onion Paprika:  "Savory, caramelized flavor featuring an earthy base of garlic paired with the mildly sweet notes of onion and warmth of paprika."  The flavored briquettes are hickory based.

Bacon cheddar brats, bacon wrapped hot dogs, bacon wrapped Kielbasa
It's a celebration of bacon!

In testing how much flavor this charcoal delivers, I did a "Celebration of Bacon," grilling up bacon cheddar brats, bacon wrapped hot dogs and bacon wrapped Kielbasa.  You can't beat a brat done right on the grill and everything is better with bacon!  I used to do beer brats, then I experimented with wine and doing brats in those ways are tasty, but my favorite way to do brats is to just let them pick up the smoke flavor over indirect heat and my go-to wood for brats is pecan.

How did the Garlic Onion & Paprika charcoal do?

I continue to be a fan of the Kingsford line of 'spice flavored smoke.'  All of the meats I prepared on the Weber were delicious, complimented with those notes of garlic, onion and paprika.  And complimented is a key word, it's not overpowering smoke, it lets the deliciousness of the meat shine!  The brats had that nice crisp, snap of a bite when puncturing the skin, the sausage inside was juicy and there was that nice smoky spice flavor throughout.   The dawgs, Kielbasa and bacon was all good too, but those brats were the best.

Kingsford Flavored Charcoal
In the bag, traditional Kingsford briquettes and 'Signature Flavor' briquettes

Costing me $13.99 for an 12 pound bag, I'm giving Kingsford Onion, Garlic & Paprika Flavored Charcoal 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  It's reasonably priced and most definitely delivers another layer of flavor on whatever you're grilling!  This charcoal is certainly a repeat buy and I can't wait to try the Basil, Sage & Thyme flavor!  Marinade and/or dry rub (on this day it was bacon & black pepper)+ Kingsford Flavored Charcoal = Another Dose of YUM!

5 stars


I take great pleasure in grilling good eats!

~ Mike Thayer

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Related:  Product Review: Kingsford Cumin Chili Flavored Charcoal -

A bacon cheddar brat
The brats really picked up the flavored smoke
A juicy brat, with a nice smoky bite







Help support the continued content for Shopping, Dining, Best Deals, Product & Service Reviews, Tips, Hacks, Recipes and other great information by buying me a coffee. Your support to keep Bachelor on the Cheap a free resource is much appreciated! ~ Mike

Buy Me a Coffee

follow me on twitter @Bacheloronthe1

A Bachelor on the Cheap Shopping Tip Alert: Father's Day Gift Shopping Deal at Sam's Club

BBQ Grilling Gift Set
Available at Sam's Club

By Mike Thayer


I wrote earlier today about Father's Day coming up and recommended gifting something with a grilling theme. 

Ladies and gents, Father's Day is approaching. If you're considering getting a husband/dad/boyfriend a grilled themed gift (a VERY wise choice by the way) then consider the following: Grilling Tip #9: Do NOT use a fork of any kind to grill! Forks pierce the meat, letting those juices sizzle down into the charcoal and once those juices are gone, they’re gone, leaving you with the same situation as tip #8 - eating a dry piece of meat lacking great flavor. Avoid grill crime.
Do NOT buy a grilling tool set that has a fork in it. And stay away from wooden handled ones, the varnish eventually wears off and can flake off on the food. Go with silicone handle sets.

Here's a perfect deal with that in mind!

Sam's Club has a BBQ Grilling Gift Set that normally retails for $39.98, for just $9.91!   Fork NOT included, which is a very smart thing.

This is a steal of a deal that includes BBQ sauce, a veggie roaster seasoning blend, pink Himalayan salt with grinder, two spice rubs, a basting brush, meat claws (pulled pork anyone?), metal tongs and a cutting board!  This is a PHENOMENAL  DEAL.  You're not going to find a better one, all this stuff for just $9.91?

BBQ Grilling Gift Set
All that for just $9.91!

And who doesn't love a cutting board in the shape of a pig?

This is available at Sam's Club and I'm sure it's a limited time offer kind of thing, available for as long as supplies last.  Don't wait too long, they're going to be gone before you know it.  These kits just went on sale and when I went in to pick one up today just after the lunch hour, the display as you entered the store was nearly picked through.  I'm sure there are more kits stashed in the back, but that's how fast these things are going.

This is a winner of a gift made available by Sam's Club, it's a deal you just can't pass up - it's only $9.91!.

Dad, husband, boyfriend will have a VERY Happy Father's Day receiving this great gift.

This deal gets 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars!

$pend Wisely My Friends...

BBQ Grilling Gift Set
Also available online for shipment to/pickup at your favorite Sam's Club

I hope you appreciate the shopping tip!

Help support the continued content for Shopping, Dining, Best Deals, Product & Service Reviews, Tips, Hacks, Recipes and other great information by buying me a coffee. Your support to keep Bachelor on the Cheap a free resource is much appreciated! ~ Mike

Buy Me a Coffee

follow me on twitter @Bacheloronthe1