Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Shake your Top Secret Shamrock

A little past-due, but I had my first (and probably only) McDonald's Shamrock Shake of the season last night.

Now, I'll be honest. I drink Shamrock Shakes like most people eat Liver and Onions--not because it tastes good to me, but for the nostalgia value.

However, the shake I had last night was pretty darn good. Perhaps it was because it was late and I was hungry. Perhaps it was because I'd just left a sporting event where my team won. Or, perhaps it was because the shake was actually fresh and ice-cold, with the texture of ice cream rather than ice cream soup.

At any rate, it was good. So good that I would consider having another. But, I've only got till the end of the month before Shamrock Shakes, like Girl Scout Cookies, vanish into the ether for another year.

That's where Top Secret Recipes comes in. Top Secret Recipes was started by Todd Wilbur. He was a guy with not much cooking experience, who wanted to make clones of his favorite snack foods. It's grown to a brand franchise, including at least a half a dozen books, a comprehensive Web site, and frequent apperances on television. His recipes include fast food, snack food, table service recipes, and even beverages.

I've been a huge fan of Todd Wilbur ever since I was craving an Orange Julius but there weren't any stores in my state. His recipes are simple, straightforward, and taste pretty darn close to the real thing.

His Web site is pretty cool--all his recipes are listed in a searchable database, and you can buy a recipe cheaper than an itunes download. Just make sure to be nice and follow his usage guidelines--these recipes are copyrighted works.

And, he offers one recipe a week for free, which changes every week. This week it's Buca di Beppo's garlic bread, which is one of the best garlic breads ever.

The other cool thing is that many of his recipes are actually cheaper than buying the item at the store.

So, if you've got a hankering for a Shamrock Shake in July, or live in Maine and want a Carl's Jr. burger, or if you simply have an intellectual curiosity to make an OREO(TM), check it out.

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