Heather’s Test Kitchen: Testing The Tasty Video Recipes


If you are on Facebook or Instagram you have certainly seen the TASTY video posts by BuzzFeed.

For those that have no idea what I’m talking about, open up your browser, google the above mentioned videos and have a look.  Go ahead, I’ll wait right here.  See? Aren’t you hungry just looking at them? Don’t you feel like you could just whip up something special and then take a bite and exclaim, “oh yes!”?  Wait? Did you come back to read this or are you still watching the videos?  They’re addictive to watch. I’m not going to lie to you, watching the videos is kind of like foodie porn for me.  Every video looks delicious, and with the time elapse effect, everything looks like you could just wave a magic wand and instantly have a great meal. Tasty videos make even the most incompetent cook want to get into the kitchen. And BuzzFeed isn’t the only force that has come up with these instant cooking videos.  Much like the black hole of Facestalking and Instagawking you can waste hours watching food get made by just a pair of hands.

Since I am a stay at home parent, and I have inordinate amounts of time to waste (blatant sarcasm intended) I decided to test out some of their recipes.

Deep down inside I really wanted these videos and recipes to be a sham. I wanted to test a bunch of stuff and say, “Gotcha TASTY. You’re not fooling me. These recipes are neither quick nor easy nor tasty.  It took me all afternoon, I made a gigantic mess and even the dog didn’t like the food” But alas, the recipes were actually not that time consuming and they were, dare I say, tasty?

I tested out five recipes of my choosing from either Tasty or Proper Tasty (the British version). I evaluated the recipes based on: how long they took to prepare and whether my husband and I liked them (my kids did have opinions, which I will include, but we all know to take kid’s opinions about food with little more than a grain of salt).  Also, please note,  these videos/recipes that I choose are only a handful of what’s available. There very well might be other recipes that are gross and/or very difficult/time-consuming to make.

Oh, and before I get into my recipe breakdown/review, I’d like to ask you (vegetarians avert your eyes): Have you made this Mississippi Pot Roast recipe that the entire internet world is raving about? If not, google the recipe. In short, it’s a chuck roast thrown into a crock pot, sprinkled with both ranch dressing and aus jus gravy packets, and dotted with a few jarred pepperoncini peppers for good measure.  Then you set it and forget it. Shred the meat and eat with buttered egg noodles or mashed potatoes or both. Good golly, Ms. Molly.  I just can’t. It’s just so good.  Yeah yeah, I’m a purist too, and the idea of using packets of seasoning scared me too, but in the end, it was worth the extra sodium consumption. Just drink an extra glass of water if that makes you feel better.  Ok, now back to our regularly scheduled programming of Tasty reviews.

Korean Style Pork Belly Nachos

Tasty’s Video time to make: 50 seconds

Heather’s time to prep (does not include bake time): 20 minutes

Was it Tasty?  Oh Yes!

Nachos that are topped with Korean spiced pork belly (aka non-smoked bacon), and then additionally topped with oodles of cheese and kimchi? What’s bad about that?!  They were spicy but the cheese helped tamper down the spice factor. For those that don’t know, kimchi is a type of fermented cabbage side dish pervasive in Korean cooking. It typically has a bunch of cabbage and carrots and a bunch of other stuffs that are coated with a garlicky chili paste and then left to ferment in a jar for awhile. I once heard someone refer to kimchi as “hot garbage.” Don’t listen to that person!  It’s not like that…although with any fermented product there is that…well how do I say this…a certain fart smell. I’m not marketing this very well. Just shut up Heather!  It’s really good, make them for your next nacho fest.  They’d be a great addition to a St. Patty’s day party because they are great with beer..and so what if they’re not Irish. You could probably throw some corned beef on them and they’d be….tasty.

kimchi nachos, tasty

Hasselback Chicken

Proper Tasty’s Video time to make: 41 seconds

Heather’s time to prep (does not include bake time): 25 minutes (but that’s because I had to stop my prep work and wipe my daughter’s bum after her late afternoon constitutional (intentional use of the British term for tush due to origin of this recipe being from British Tasty).

Was it Proper Tasty?  Oh Yes!
Chicken breasts that are semi-stuffed with a spinach ricotta mixture and then baked in the oven got rave reviews from my husband and I. Because we are self-respecting Vermonters I did not stuff the chicken with spinach but rather we used sauteed kale.  And because I just can’t leave  “well-enough” alone, I also sauteed the kale with onions and garlic. My son picked out and ate only the kale.  Weird, I know. My three-year-old daughter ate a few bites after which she placed her hand on her chin, rested her elbow on the table and wistfully said, “Mom, I just wish you would make us something good to eat next time.”  Don’t let her fool you. It was a delightful way to serve up what otherwise would be a bland cut of meat. And the time to prep left me with extra time to drink wine and facestalk. One thing to note: my finished product did not look as nice as the chicken in the video.  See picture below. Eeew…right?!

hasselback chicken

BBQ Chicken Roll-Ups

Tasty’s Video time to make: 35 seconds

Heather’s time to prep (does not include bake time): 20 minutes

Was it Tasty?  Oh Yes!
With the help of store-bought rotisserie chicken and store bought pizza crust, the prep time made this a perfect weeknight main course.  All members of the family loved this recipe. Including the dog, who positions herself under my daughter’s chair.  I added corn kernels to the roll ups because vegetables.  This recipe took a bit longer than I expected because I had to take the time to shred the chicken and the cheese…and also because I have kids.  One thing that made this especially tasty is the bbq sauce. While the roll-ups are cooking the sauce melts down to the bottom of the roll-up and creates this caramelized crust that adds an extra level of flavor.  These would be great additions to a party menu.

roll ups

Ramen Carbonara

Tasty’s Video time to make: 58 seconds

Heather’s time to prep (does not include cook time): 25 minutes

Was it Tasty?  Oh…yes…with reservations
Carbonara is a luxurious meal of pasta studded with fried bacon and coated in a parmesan egg mixture that is rich and divine.  I have never made it at home but love ordering it at restaurants. I’ve always been nervous about eating foods with raw-ish eggs at home.  That being said, this video gave me the confidence to make this and so I did…for dinner last week.  Everyone in the family really liked this meal. The bacon was a big hit…obviously.  I did NOT tell the children that the sauce was made from raw eggs. That would have been disastrous.  And parental police that are lurking out there…technically the eggs are not raw, but rather they are slowly cooked by the steaming hot pasta in which they are tossed.  Tasty uses ramen noodles in this, so I did too.  Frankly, the faster cooking time of the ramen is what made this an easy meal, but then again, it’s not that much harder to cook regular angel hair  or fettuccine pasta for a few extra minutes.  Also, don’t be like me and google the video about how ramen noodles don’t get digested in the stomach. Don’t do it!  Just skip the ramen and take the extra time and use regular pasta.  Also, throw in some peas as well so it is a tad more healthy.


Easy Ravioli Lasagna

Proper Tasty’s Video time to make: 45 seconds

Heather’s time to prep (does not include bake time): 45 seconds.  Just kidding!  Wanted to make sure you were still reading.  However this is so stupid easy, it took 10 minutes to assemble, and that’s because my kids were helping and arguing over who was going to spread the cheese.

Was it Proper Tasty?  Oh Yes!

You literally layer frozen cheese ravioli with sauce and cheese, cover and bake. I know, it’s not REAL lasagne, but do you want to be a hero and make a quick dinner so you can surf the net and sip your wine or do you want to debate with me on the proper attributes of a layered pasta dish. Ok?! Ok. You can use whatever ravioli you choose. We used cheese and then threw in some turkey sausage that was quickly sauteed beforehand.  Everyone liked this, and I may be hard pressed to make real lasagne again anytime soon.

On a rainy day, I might try and make the Beer Cheese Pretzels or Guacamole Onion Rings.  Those look a bit more labor intensive.  And I haven’t even tried their desserts yet either.  All that being said, Buzzfeed, nor Tasty sponsored this post. Like I said, I had some “extra” time on my hands, and I wanted to prove the internet wrong with their eye-catching, drool-inducing videos.

But in the end, I was put in my place…which is right at the dining room table horking down second helpings of tasty stuff.

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Heather Polifka-Rivas
Heather is originally from upstate New York but her family returned to Vermont 4 years ago. They have lived in NYC and Chicago the past 10+ years and are happy to be back in Vermont. Heather's previous jobs as a starving actor in NYC, package design guru at Estee Lauder, and advisor to fortune 500 companies at Chicago’s top business school have not prepared her for her current job today: stay at home mom to Henry (7) and Ruby (3). A self proclaimed foodie, Heather spends her "many" hours of free time preparing elaborate meals, eating out, tending to her garden, canning it's bounty and willing her one tapped maple tree to weep more sap. She is also a mother runner.


  1. Heather! This was so cool!!! Only thing cooler would be if you made your own Heather’s kitchen videos so we could watch you do this stuff! I loved it!! And yes, do more!!! Especially some desserts. Now for dinner tonight I might make the carbonara, and tomorrow, um.. does tasty have any ideas for a fresh turkey thigh? I hope so!


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