The Beggars take your questions, part 3


Well, I warned you it was going to be a Mike-heavy week, and I meant it.  But who says I can’t provide you all with the same helpful, valuable step-by-step instructions to make neat-o creative foods?  I’m pretty sure I can handle this.

Why, take the process I followed to make dinner last night, for instance:

  1. Open the fridge door.
  2. Observe a container with something in it.
  3. Sniff the contents.
  4. Eat it anyway.


Okay, but that doesn’t mean I can’t add instructional value all of my own!  To prove it, I’m going to earn your collective respect.  I’m going to take on one of the biggest challenges we face here at Choosy Beggars.  I’m going to answer the totally insane questions that people enter into Google, and that somehow land them here at our site.

And I’m going to do it all by myself.

how much does tuscan lemonade cost?

In Ontario, Smirnoff Tuscan Lemonade is priced at $17.95, which puts it squarely into the realm of being more expensive than most acceptable entry-level wines, despite having roughly the same alcohol content and nowhere near the quality.

More to the point, given its overall blandness and fundamentally bankrupt concept, there are a number of hidden costs that you should consider. For example:

  • The value of your dignity, and how much it will plummet when you carry Smirnoff Tuscan Lemonade up to the cashier
  • Your social standing, and how it will diminish when you serve your friends a weak, middling pre-fabricated cocktail to them at your BBQ or social gathering
  • Your reputation, and how it will suffer when people realize that you have trouble with the concept of mixing vodka with lemonade all by yourself

So while it may seem affordable at first, the fact is that even considering the purchase of Smirnoff Tuscan Lemonade will actually take a greater toll on you than you might imagine.

how many calories are in a big mac snack wrap?

It seems to depend on who you ask, but the calories for a Big Mac Snack Wrap roughly land in the 325 to 350 range. This from the highly scientific process of looking on Yahoo Answers, which itself features the information from someone who added up each individual item on the calorie counter.

Keep in mind, though, what you’re getting for those 350 calories:


Here are just a few alternatives that might make you feel a bit more nourished, for exactly the same calorie count:

  • A baked potato with 2 tablespoons of sour cream
  • A 6-ounce chicken breast sliced up into an absolute mountain of salad
  • About a half a dozen apples
  • Two bottles of Guinness
  • Many hundreds of thousands of things that look more appetizing than a Big Mac Snack Wrap

And that’s just the beginning!

will tabouleh keep overnight?


But as with most salads, for the optimal experience — that is, if you’re serving it to other people — it’s best to have it fresh. Tabouli has a lot of moisture going on in it, between the parsley and the lemon, the onions and the tomatoes. So while it might benefit from a little settling-in period, you’re going to find that conditions get a little bit damp pretty quickly.

That said, I don’t think I’ve ever returned from a meal with Tina’s family without leftover tabouli, and it’s served me well for 1 to 2 days after coming home… assuming it lasts even that long. There is something extremely enjoyable about heaping a bunch of bright, sharp and tangy salad into a bowl and grazing away at it.

So, to sum up: if you’re serving it to a figure of significance, such as your parole officer, a state dignitary or your mother-in-law, do so with the tabouli as fresh as possible; if you’re staring at it in the fridge and wondering if you can get away with not having to make anything for dinner, then give yourself half a week.

And, as with all leftovers, let your nose be your guide. Catch a whiff of something funky, and flush the whole works without mercy — don’t pause to consider how much work went into chopping the parsley, or you’ll never let it go. Be firm.

can you sue white chocolate for baking?

Only if it breaks into your house to do it HA HA HA HA HA!  Ohhh, I love typographical error humor.

Now that I’ve had my fun: Yes, you can absolutely use white chocolate for baking. Keep in mind that white chocolate is basically the same thing as actual chocolate, but without the… well, chocolate.

Let me try that again. White chocolate contains the same cocoa butter that you’d find in milk or dark chocolate, but not the cocoa solids that give the candy is color, bittersweetness and caffeine. Instead, it’s blended with milk and sugar, and then processed by the usual means to produce the bars, chunks and chips that you see all over the place. By extension, then, it can be used in almost all of the same ways that you might imagine plain chocolate would, though of course flavor should always be a consideration.

Most importantly, keep in mind the white chocolate fad of the early 1990s, which are personified in that most cloying of products, the Oreo cookie bar. Was there ever a candy devoured with such enthusiasm, only to result in a build-up of sweetness that closed one’s throat for hours? I think not. So as you go forth with your white chocolate baking plans, remember always that white chocolate is the Betty Cooper of confections — it uses sweetness to compensate for its lily-whiteness.

how do i make the recipe rugala or another recipe that sounds like it? thank you

I have no idea. I just thought that it was really cute that someone thanked Google, right there in the search box.

“I used the Google today to find out how to make Betty’s rugula or whatever she calls it, and it came back with just so many suggestions!  Those people work so hard, bless them.”

can you sleep in the paris catacombs overnight?

Good heavens, no! Oh, that kind of behaviour will get you so arrested — despite what the delightful urban explorer culture will tell you, it’s actually pretty difficult to get down to the Catacombs and frankly a very scary action to contemplate.

Considering that at the actual, monitored and presumably safe tourist site, there are highly visible alarms available for visitors to push if things get dicey, I can’t imagine how I’d feel in the unsupervised, unlit areas. Keep in mind that there are hundreds of kilometers of tunnel, some of which suddenly flood as rainwater drains below the streets, and almost all of them are packed with bones.

In theory that sounds like an awesome Hallowe’en night, but in practice it is oh god I’ve got the creeps even thinking about it.

can you lose weight with kraft dinner?

Good heavens, no! Every box of Kraft Dinner contains roughly 3 servings, assuming that you can eat 2 ounces of pasta and call that a meal. If you can, then you’re in for roughly 260 calories; however, if you’re like most people and you eat somewhere around half a box, then it’s closer to 400.

And if you’re in university, then you probably cut some hot dogs up into the pot and ate the whole thing while you were watching Unbeatable Banzuke, in which case you’re edging up against 1,000. On a recommended diet of 1,500 to 2,000 calories in your whole day.

You can cut that a bit if you use skim milk instead of 2% when you’re making it, and margarine instead of butter. That will nudge the calorie count down and drop the calories from fat in a big way — it’ll also produce something that is almost entirely unlike good old Kraft Dinner, rendering the whole exercise a bit pointless.

The short answer is that there are definitely simpler diet foods, ones where you can spare the calories but still benefit nutritionally. Which leads me to my big finish for the day…

what should watermelon be combined with so that i dont put on weight?

Restraint! Ba-dump-tsssshh!

And that’s it for this time around, folks! I am hopeful that you got something out of this at least, and if nothing else have learned that it is always a good time to peel back the covers and see what crazy shit people are looking for on the internet.

Until next time, keep asking those questions!

  • kristie

    Restraint comment was golden. Simply golden. Thank you (Mike, not Google).

    Anyway, rugula is a jackass spelling of rugelach, which is a Jewish cookie of sorts.

  • lo

    Quite the diverse collection of inquiries, there, Mike. 🙂
    Of course, your answers are impeccable as always. Good reading. Now — what’s for dinner tonight?