Candy bars and carbonation

 The Munchies, The Well  Comments Off on Candy bars and carbonation
Oct 122012

Author: Kendall Greenwood

Rocket Fizz candy and soda shop. Photo by Khristian Gilham.

This store has about 75 different kinds of root beer, 75 different flavors of taffy, and candy bars that have been around since the 1920’s. Sounds like a kid’s store, but Rocket Fizz has a place in the hearts of the old and the young.

Rocket Fizz, a candy and soda shop off College and LaPorte Ave. in Old Town, Fort Collins opened on June 24. The owner, Jeff Sindelar, said he wanted to create a shop reminiscent of the past.

“Usually the grab-and-go candy stores back in the ‘50s had pop and candy, soda fountains, kind of everything,” Sindelar said. “The old-style pop and candy stores, they kind of went hand-in-hand.”

In this regard, Sindelar gives his customers more than a few choices.  Rocket Fizz has over 400 types of soda, ranging from root beer made in Australia to Coca-Cola made in Mexico.

As far as candy goes, there is British and Asian candy, salt-water taffy to regular taffy and a large variety of old-school and modern candy bars.

“We carry stuff that’s common, all the way to uncommon,” Sindelar said. “You might see some old stuff here, but we carry all the flavors of that type of candy.”

Rocket Fizz also carries tin “retro” signs, rock concert posters, cardboard stand-ups, toys and gag gifts.

As a result, the shop can cater to many different age groups.

“We are good for all ages really,” Sindelar said. “No matter what age anybody is, we will probably have something in the store they will like.”

Rocket Fizz is not just all about the treats though. Providing excellent customer service and a unique experience is the shop’s main mission, Sindelar said. To accomplish this, the staff is interactive with every customer. For manager Troy Horner, 42, this means thinking like a customer.

“I deal with [customers] the way I would like to be dealt with,” Horner said. “In a nice orderly manner; a courtesy type of way.”

Eye contact and interaction are an important aspect of the Rocket Fizz experience.

“[My favorite part] is interacting with the customers and seeing the big smiles older customers get when they see a product they haven’t seen since they were a kid, to the little kids just bouncing and jumping around from all the candy they don’t normally get to see in a regular store,” Horner said.

While new to Fort Collins, this is not the only Rocket Fizz store. The stores originate from a small chain with 32 stores across the country, according to Sindelar. However, the business plan is a kind of hybrid.

“Each store is kind of individually owned and operated,” Sidelar said, “but yet we’re a chain in that we pull everything together and buy from our own ordering system and it saves money on all our prices.”

Soda bottles, Seattle

Soda bottles, Seattle (Photo credit: Curtis Cronn)

Rocket Fizz also provides some of its own products. The company makes its own soda that can be stocked in any of the stores.

The store and the value system of the company are what convinced Sindelar to get in the business.

“Their support is excellent and the people are really good,” Sindelar said. “It’s really a family-oriented company.”

According to Sindelar, the store is always changing. Inventory is a little bit different every week to make it a new experience for returning customers. If a customer comes in and does not find the product they are looking for, Sindelar and his staff do what they can to get it in.

“We will get it if we have the ability to order it,” Sindelar said.

Sindelar is hoping to be able to provide seating in the galleria outside the store soon. They will also be putting up a life-size Spiderman.

“[Working here is] fun, energetic and enjoyable,” Horner said. “[One of my] favorite candies is the smoothie, which is a butterscotch, buttercup candy bar.”

DIY Chai Pumpkin Latte

 Beats, The Munchies, The Well  Comments Off on DIY Chai Pumpkin Latte
Oct 112012

Author: Nicole Beale

Baristas at several coffee shops around town do art on top of their drinks. This latte art was done by Jordan Work at The Wild Boar.

Baristas at several coffee shops around town do art on top of their drinks. This latte art was done by Jordan Work at The Wild Boar. Photo by Logan Martinez

As fall comes, it brings things like beautiful autumn colors, football, comfy clothes and, of course, your seasonal pumpkin latte. There’s only one thing better than going down to the coffee shop and warming up with a traditional pumpkin latte, and that’s staying warm inside and making it yourself. Why spend over $4 on a latte when you can create your own delicious treat just as easily? So now take another fan favorite, the chai tea, and combine the similar flavors of chai and pumpkin. This recipe puts a super delicious twist on the seasonal latte.

Chai Pumpkin  Latte

— 1 chai tea bag

— 3/4 cup of strongly brewed coffee

—  1/2 cup of milk of your preference

— 1 teaspoon of Torani Pumpkin Syrup or pumpkin spice seasoning

— 1/2 -1 teaspoon of vanilla (depending on preference)

— 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

— pinch of nutmeg

— sugar to taste



1. Brew coffee

2. Add milk and blend together

3. Add tea bag— keep in the coffee for as long as you desire. The longer you leave it in, the stronger the taste will be.

4. Add pumpkin spice, vanilla and cinnamon

5. Add pinch of nutmeg at finish

6. Taste and add sugar if you desire



The new Durrell Express, T-DEX: what you need to know

 The Munchies, The Well  Comments Off on The new Durrell Express, T-DEX: what you need to know
Oct 102012

Author: Jack Krause

Photo by Jack Krause.

With the closure for construction of the Durrell Resource Center, the usual dining spot for those in the tower dorms, a new prospect has arisen. It goes by T-DEX, and it brings with it new dangers to the infamous freshmen fifteen. The building is an industrial shack with a kitchen which creates the hot food, while the greens and a la carté items are delivered from RAMWICH. Though the food may taste good, the CSU Dining Calculator shows the food for what it really is, which is full of calories and fat.

One cheeseburger from T-DEX contains 440 calories and also 23 grams of fat. That right there is equal to half of an average person’s intake of fat in one day, and that is only half of one meal. T-DEX allows its patrons to have two main dishes and a side as one of the meal options. The pizza is just as unhealthy, containing 595 calories and 25 grams of fat, and a F’Real vanilla shake contains 550 calories and 23 grams of fat.

CSU offers a nutritional chart which lets you make a meal and tells you all the information on what you’re eating.

CSU Dining Calculator

Cooking with bacon

 Beats, Features, The Munchies  Comments Off on Cooking with bacon
Sep 082012

Author: John Sheesley

Bacon, or its non-meat substitute for our vegan, vegetarian and non-pork loving friends, is a salty, sometimes crispy, treat craved by all bacon-lovers. It is incredibly versatile in the kitchen and can be added to almost any dish. From appetizer to dessert, here are a few dishes featuring bacon.

Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Dates 4of4

Bacon-wrapped Stuffed Dates

Bacon-wrapped Dates
1 16-ounce package of bacon cut into thirds
1 8-ounce package of pitted dates
1 small brick of bleu cheese (or goat cheese)
1 bottle of balsamic vinaigrette
1 package toothpicks

A date is a soft, sweet fruit that grows on some species of palm trees, and they go wonderfully with bacon and cheese. First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. For the dates to cook evenly, place the rack in the center of the oven. Take your dates and stuff them (where the pit used to be) with cheese, then wrap a piece of bacon around the stuffed date and secure it with a toothpick. For easy cleanup, cover a cookie sheet with tinfoil before placing the the wrapped dates on the cookie sheet; position them far enough apart so they will not touch. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the bacon is crispy, then remove from oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes. Place the dates on a plate and sprinkle cheese around them, then drizzle lightly with balsamic vinaigrette.

Kabobs with bacon wrapped zucchini, chicken, mushrooms, and onions. Photo by John Sheesley

Bacon Shish Kabobs
1 package of bamboo skewers
3 6-ounce chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 package mushrooms
1 zucchini, sliced into ½ inch wide pieces
1 red bell pepper, sliced into 1 inch pieces
1 green bell pepper, sliced into 1 inch pieces
1 onion, sliced into 1 inch pieces
1 package of bacon cut in half
Note: Any vegetables can be used for this recipe.

First, start soaking the skewers in water. They need to soak for about 30 minutes so they don’t catch fire on the grill. While they are soaking, cut up the veggies and meat. Once cut, slide each piece onto a skewer, alternating between veggies and meat. Try wrapping some of the veggies in bacon; make sure to skewer both sides of the bacon so it stays on. Leave an inch or two at either end of the skewers to allow for easy handling. Also, leave space between each item so they cook evenly. Grill the kabobs on a barbeque grill until the chicken and bacon are fully cooked. Allow time to cool, and enjoy.

Candying the bacon

Candying the bacon

Candied Bacon Ice Cream (not for the feint of heart)
8 strips thin cut bacon, preferably hickory smoked
1 package golden brown sugar
1 carton vanilla ice cream

We are going to bake the bacon first, so preheat your oven to  350° Fahrenheit with the rack in the middle. Cover a cookie sheet with tin foil. Lay the bacon on a cookie cooling rack and place it on the cookie sheet. Cover each slice of bacon with an even layer of brown sugar, thick enough so that you cannot see the bacon underneath. Bake for about ten minutes until the sugar is caramelized and the bacon is almost crispy. Flip the bacon over and coat the other side with brown sugar as well. Bake for another 4-6 minutes until the bacon is fully cooked. Let the bacon cool for 10-15 minutes to let the sugar harden. Then, cut or crumble the bacon into small pieces and sprinkle over vanilla ice cream with some more brown sugar. Enjoy!

Where’s my fix? Campus coffee shop guide

 Beats, Features, The Munchies, The Well  Comments Off on Where’s my fix? Campus coffee shop guide
Aug 262012

Author: Logan Martinez

Ever walked up to Sweet Sinsations or Morgan’s Grind on campus and wish there was somewhere else you could grab your cup ‘o’ joe? Well there is! Here is your guide to coffee shops on campus.

(Click on the map to view a larger version)

The mighty microwave: Cooking without fire

 Beats, Features, The Munchies  Comments Off on The mighty microwave: Cooking without fire
Aug 242012

Author: John Sheesley

English: Putting raisins in a microwave oven p...

Putting raisins in a microwave oven produces large quantities of smoke. Don’t do it.

Some would say that life in the dorms is easy. There are hot showers, warm beds, plenty of food, and friends all around. But anyone who has eaten three meals a day in the university dining halls knows that both vitamins and variety are lacking. But eating at restaurants all the time gets  expensive fast, and cooking in the dorms is very hard due to a pesky rule about no open coils or hot plates (something about preventing fires, it seems). So what can those without a stove top do? Turn to the almighty microwave.

Though we often think of it as only for reheating three-day-old cheeseburgers and making popcorn, the microwave was originally invented to act as a very fast, compact oven. It happens to do this very well.

Before we jump right into the exciting microwave recipes there are a few safety tips we have to cover. Like with any oven, be careful not to burn yourself, as food will be hot. Never use grocery bags, newspaper, metal, or foil in the microwave. Oven cooking bags, parchment paper and white microwave paper towels are safe for microwave use, as are glass and ceramics. Don’t microwave food in Tupperware or Styrofoam. Because microwaves vary, times are not precise, so be careful to make sure food is fully cooked.

Now that we have that straight, lets go through a day of microwave meals, made hot and fresh in the comfort of your own room with only the finest ingredients from your local grocery store.

For for a nutritious breakfast in minutes, why not try an egg sandwich. Crack an egg, or two if you’re really hungry, in a ceramic coffee mug and scramble them well with a fork, then microwave on high one minute for each egg or until fully cooked. Place the egg(s) on an English muffin with a slice of cheese and a slice of ham or turkey.

Alternatively,  make an omelet by scrambling a couple of eggs in a mug and adding some cut veggies, meat, and cheese. Microwave for two to three minutes or until done.

When lunchtime rolls around and the energy from your deliciously eggy breakfast begins to wear off, recharge with an ear of corn. Simply wrap the peeled ear of corn in a damp paper towel and microwave for about five minutes. Add a bit of butter and salt and its ready to devour.

If corn isn’t your style try an inside-out pizza. Slip some pizza sauce, cheese, and toppings between two tortillas and microwave until the cheese is a gooey, delicious mess. If you are feeling generous you can cut it like a pizza and share with your roommate. Or not.

Hard-shell taco with meat, cheese, lettuce, to...

Hard-shell taco with meat, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and onions. Taco! Taco! Taco!

For dinner, lets go all out and make some microwave tacos. This one is best to make for a few people (the recipe serves about 4) but it can be scaled down very easily. First get three of your closest friends and neighbors to go to the grocery store with you, since you’re cooking, maybe you can even convince them to buy the food! Get a half pound of ground beef, some chili powder, salt, garlic powder, cheese, onion, lettuce, and salsa. To make your tacos, crumble the beef into a bowl and cover it with a plate. Microwave it for about five minutes on high, then stir in about 3/4 teaspoon chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder. Add some water if it looks dry and cook it covered for another three to four minutes or until there is no pink left in the meat. Dice the onion and shred cheese and the lettuce, a cheese grater works well for both. Fill your tacos with the beef, veggies, cheese, and salsa and enjoy.

Whether you use your new mastery of the microwave to eat healthier, show off to your roommates, or impress the cutie down the hall, remember to always make sure food is thoroughly cooked, and it will be thoroughly delicious. For some more great microwave recipes, be sure to check out