Trader Joe’s Joe-Joe Slims

Posted in Cookies by

I don’t know when, but at some point in my recent life I swore off Oreos. Now, don’t get me wrong, Oreos are great, Oreos are life. But when you’re in your thirties and you need to make a decision between a couple of cookies for a big calorie count and maybe just not having them, we know what wins. …and then you’re eating half the pack of Double Stuf telling yourself “just this once” yet another time. No. Nope. Swore off Oreos.

But then, I was in Trader Joe’s, Land of the Snack, Home of the Mandarin Orange Chicken. At my local Joe’s, the cookies and candy are stocked above their frozen goods, except when the crackers used to be, but this year they extended the cookies on one side and the candy on the other. Over time, it seems like their Joe Joe Collection(the really delicious knock-off Oreos) have been gaining more and more flavors. They have vanilla, mango, neopolitan and even a gluten free version(NO. DO NOT. THEY ARE DISGUSTING.). And now. Now they have slims. Joe-Joe Slims.

…sometimes we crave things we shouldn’t have, and have told ourselves we weren’t going to eat anymore. Chocolate Coconut Almonds, Oreos, Coke. And it’s easy enough not to buy those items, but something about the time, the place, the white box and cute, fun— I bought them.

Trader Joe’s Joe-Joe Slims come in a fun white box with cute lettering and a plastic sleeve with two rows of cookies. They look delicious, and despite being stacked like maybe the crew member doing the work really wanted to empty that box, none were broken.

The slims are majority chocolate cookie with a very thin layer of white creme in the middle. The chocolate cookie disks are so thin it seems like somebody took a normal Joe-Joe, sliced it in two, squeezed the bare minimum of creme inside and slapped it back together. Kinda like filling your parent’s liquor back up with water when you were a teenager.

Unlike watered down vodka, these cookies taste great. Although light on creme, the chocolate cookies themselves are amazing. Good snap, minimal crumble. They feel almost yesterday-made and today-ready, with such a toothsome feel and response, it’s hard to say that maybe they weren’t. That maybe, just maybe, somebody made them, let them cool, and packed them up yesterday, just for me.

They’re magical.

Found at Trader Joe’s.

July 22, 2020
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Twix Cookies and Creme

Posted in Candy by

There’s something about a Twix, with its golden wrapper and brilliant red letters that has dazzled me since my youth. Not one, but two cookie and caramel wafers lovingly draped in milk chocolate. The imperfection of their smooth, softly-dried natural ridges and valleys a testament to taste. This is obviously my favorite candy bar, and over the years Twix has come in an assortment of various varieties including peanut butter, dark chocolate and white and even ice cream. Among those variants comes Cookies and Creme, a returning Twix flavor from the 90s.

Twix Cookies and Creme come in a dazzling electric blue wrapper, in regular, sharing size and mini-bar sharing size. They’re unmistakably eye-catching, and upon opening the package, you’ll be pleased to see two Twix essentially the same as usual. But they’re… they’re not. They’re a smidge darker, and one could very well mistake them for dark chocolate. Biting into one feels odd. Twix’s unmistakable snap and CRONCH are gone, with an odd hollowness taking it’s place.

The cookies and creme flavor feels lost, as the creme is light, but lacking in flavor and easily mashed into everything else to be forgotten. The cookie has a slight residual mouthfeel. Most disturbing of all, the outside chocolate, that I described on the original Twix as delightfully draped, drizzled and enrobing two cookie caramel bars? That chocolate is waxy, brittle and flakes off quite easily.

To the tooth, the bars break to the slightest pressure without a true, hard-earned snap. The creme feels like sticky tak and tastes vaguley better. It’s not sweet. They feel stale. They taste stale. And the sweetness that used to come from a mix of chocolate and caramel and smooth, harmless cookie is now carried on the back of the waxy, dollar store level chocolate it’s encased in.

Sadly, Twix Cookies and Creme are dissatisfying in a big way. I’d buy them once(I bought them twice, at two different stores), but wave the purchase off thereafter.

Worth a try, but for the Twix lover, these miss the mark.

Found at Walgreens.

July 17, 2020
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Taco Bell Menu Revamp

Posted in Fast Food, News by

To say that Taco Bell is a guilty pleasure would imply that I feel bad about eating it. Despite your feelings on Taco Bell, there is always a moment where that delicious faux-Mexican food just hits the spot. I don’t ever feel bad about eating it , though I DO feel bad after eating it, the shame is real, and my 30 something year old body is just not made for that type of food anymore.

Today, Taco Bell released that they will be removing approximately a dozen items from their menu August 13 and adding two new items. Admittedly my heart skipped a beat as I combed the list to see what was being removed. Was I going to have to say goodbye to Taco Bell forever if they removed my beloved Crunch Wrap? I let out a sigh of relief as I reached the bottom of the list, but does your favorite item make the cut?

Taco Bell is removing the following items:

  • Grilled Steak Soft Taco
  • 7-Layer Burrito
  • Quesarito
  • Nachos Supreme
  • Beefy Fritos Burrito
  • Spicy Tostada
  • Triple Layer Nachos
  • Spicy Potato Soft Taco
  • Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes
  • Loaded Grillers
  • Chips & Dips (WHAT!?)
  • Mini Skillet Bowls

They are adding a $5 Grande Nachos Box and a Beef Burrito (was this really not a thing?). Also recently they added the Grilled Cheese Burrito, which I will say I was VERY underwhelmed with. Check out the new menu board below.

I won’t lie, I wouldn’t be sad if they brought back the nacho fries and the naked chicken chips as full time participants – a girl can dream. Also can we talk about the Cinnabon Delights? Does anyone actually order those? Can we get a new dessert item, Taco Bell? Now THAT would be exciting, and I would be more than happy to help to workshop and taste test these ideas.

What is your favorite Taco Bell item? Let me know in the comments! Happy Friday y’all if that means something to you, live long and bring back Volcano Sauce.

July 17, 2020
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Trader Joes’s Buffalo Style Chicken Poppers

Posted in Appetizers by

Summer holds a particularly special place in my heart, and even though it’s sweltering, I hope you’re having a good one. Seasonally, it seems like Trader Joe’s changes things up more than any other store, and it’s true, ask them about Roasted Pecan Blue Cheese Dip now and a member of their crew will direct you to the later fall months. But that doesn’t mean the Joe doesn’t have a jam-packed summer selection of goodies.

Case in point: Trader Joe’s Buffalo Style Chicken Poppers. Frozen, and hopefully stocked somewhere you won’t have to ask a team member where they put them… and what else they’ve moved since you’ve last had a chance to visit. And you know, if they’re just out of Fried Rice today or if they’ll have more on the— oh, there it is, thank you.

These come in a rectangular box, glued at the ends(thankfully, because TJ’s has a problem with soft cardboard and easily opening flaps on frozen goods), laid out so that each individual popper looks like part of a triangle-only tessellation. Only delicious, and not math-based.

The instructions dictate 375F for about 20 minutes(I’ve done a perfect 20 and I’ve done 18, and like that better). The poppers take on a deep, dark golden brown coloring that makes them look like fried chicken skin paper footballs. Since they’re cheese based and hot cheese turns into hot grease, I chose to drain them on a paper towel for a couple of minutes. One of them popped, oozing buffalo chicken and cheese onto my baking sheet. No lie, they look good.

Flaky, crunchy, crusty chicken poppers plated with sour cream and a sprinkle of cilantro.

On first bite, these are unbelievably flaky, extremely crunchy and delightfully crispy. Despite probably being fried and then flash frozen for at-home reheat, there’s very little grease absorption in what is offered. These are basically Trader Joe’s Buffalo Chicken Dip stuffed into beautifully crafted isosceles triangles of flaky delight. They have a kick, though, and if you aren’t a flamechaser, maybe sit these out. These are not a children’s party food, cute as they are. Do not let these bite back at you unaware. I’d rate them as a medium heat, on par with hatch chile or on the spicier side of vinegar based hot sauces.

Lastly, these aren’t a meal. Despite a high calorie count for a small portion(these friangles are big, two or three TJ’s samosas would rival them in size) the majority of their insides are air. Flaky, flaky, crispity-crunchity air. The phyllo puffs up in size, hiding a well-portioned amount of filling.

Enough to tease, enough to tantalize, but not enough to feed.

Found at Trader Joe’s.

July 15, 2020
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Nutella B-Ready

Posted in Candy, Confectionaries by

Good Evening friends – I hope everyone is ready for the weekend because I sure am! I picked this treat up at a Ukrainian market recently and I have never seen them around before this. Bread and Nutella? Sign me up.

From the outside it looks like we are in for a bready treat with smooth creamy Nutella on the inside with chunks of hazelnut. This package weighed nearly nothing but I liked that it was packaged with a bit of rigid cardboard to protect the confection on the inside from being crushed. Upon opening the package I was greeted with two individually wrapped… B-ready…s? I really think they are on to something and could sell these individually at a check lane.

The outside is made of a wafer thin exterior. Do you have bear paws for hands? You will definitely crush this in your hand if you aren’t careful. This treat is approximately 3 bites, scientifically speaking. The inside is filled with creamy Nutella, however no crunchy bits like in the picture which is okay as the outside really brings a nice texture to the mix. My only complaint is that Nutella can be a little on the thick side and if you eat this too fast, you will be chewing for a while.

If you can get ahold of one of these and really like Nutella this snack is for you. Light and airy and full of flavor. If these were readily available at a checklane, I would definitely pick these up on the regular.

Found at Citrus Plaza Market

January 16, 2020
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Great Value – Hot Honey Pepperoni Pizza

Posted in Pizza by

Good Afternoon Foodies – I hope everyone’s start to the new year has been a good one! I don’t eat a ton of pizza, because lactose and I don’t get along, but occasionally I will indulge and eat some cheese. Walmart has recently released some breakfast pizzas, pretzel crusts pizzas, and some dessert pizzas. We picked up the Hot Honey Pepperoni Pizza and another one which will pop up on the blog in a few days.

Let’s start with my deep deep love for anything pretzel. I would say that pretzels are my favorite snack food, pretzel bagels are my go to on the weekends, mickey pretzels are my favorite at Disneyland, and pretzel pizza crust? I am all about it.

A couple of things to note up front, this pizza is GREASY. That’s pretty par for the course with pepperoni however because of the way that these pepperonis curl, it really traps the grease. Secondly, this pizza is very doughy. I found that with this pizza and the other that I needed to cook them longer than the suggested time on the box. Pizza number 2 was very underbaked.

I didn’t read the fine print on the box and was completely under the impression that the pepperoni was hot honey flavored. I ate one of the pepperonis off the pizza before actually taking a bite and said to myself “what the heck?!” as it tasted like normal pepperoni (because, wow it was!) The sauce is in fact hot honey flavored and it was quite tasty. As a whole, I really liked this pizza. My only complaint that the crust didn’t seen overly pretzel-y to me, it had more of the texture of a regular pan pizza. Either way, I would eat this again, however, be prepared for some serious heartburn after.

Found at Walmart

January 5, 2020
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Kit Kat – Party Ice Cream – Import Edition

Posted in Candy by

Happy New Year friends! I hope everyone’s 2020 is off to a great start!

I occasionally hit up a local Asian market for yummy snacks. Luckily it’s sort of out of the way, otherwise I would be completely broke from constantly buying snacks from there. Picked up the usual, noodles, some sauces, Lotte Koala cookies, Pejoy, etc. They almost always have sort of import Kit Kat bars but at 7 dollars a bag, I usually go hmm that sounds good/bad/otherwise and put the bag back down. When I saw this colorful bag jump out at me on the shelf, I knew I couldn’t pass them up.

Let’s start with what is Party Ice Cream? I havn’t a clue, but judging by the picture, its soft serve ice cream, cookie straws, and a sprig of mint. Sounds like a pretty tame party if you ask me. For some reason, my brain interpreted the speckles on the Kit Kat pictured on the package as sprinkles but alas, it is just what appears to be microscopic cookie pieces/crumbs.

I was concerned that these were going to be flavored white chocolate which I a not a fan of. To me, white chocolate is overly sweet and not the best flavor. When I opened the bag, I won’t lie, it smelled a bit like sour milk. I was afraid I was in for a real doozy of a treat but I pressed on. The Kit Kat coating is very soft, not a white chocolate at all. It has a very distinct dairy/vanilla ice cream flavor. It is sweet but not overly sweet or artificial tasting, the wafer inside mixed with the outside coating makes it taste like a perfect vanilla soft serve cone in one of those thin wafery ice cream cones. I immediately hid these in my desk drawer because them being in any easily accessible space means that they would be instantly devoured.

I am going to pop a few in the freezer because I imagine that they would be absolutely delightful frozen. If you are feeling adventurous, I would suggest you pick up a bag if you find them at your local import market or Amazon/Ebay.

Found at Oto’s Marketplace

January 1, 2020
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M&M’s – Snack Mix – Sweet And Salty – Milk Chocolate

Posted in Candy, Snack Mix by

Good Morning Friends! I hope everyone’s week is off to a great start.

I have been on a mini quest to try and find the two new M&M snack mixes and was just starting to give up when I spotted these while getting gas at a Shell station the other day. Normally I don’t go in to the store but something told me that I should and I am so glad I did. These were tucked up by the register and I only spotted them at the last second before paying for my coconut water and ranch Bugles. Wow what a mix – I bet my breath smelled great during the fitting that I was doing that evening. Sorry guys.

I wandered back into my office – wanting something chocolaty and remembered that I had these in my purse. YES. PURSE SNACKS. (there are also some other snacks in there that I intend on reviewing – what else do you use purses for?) I didn’t want to dump the snack mix on my desk like some sort of caveman so I cleared off my little cactus dish that I use to put miscellaneous items in like push pins, nails, razor blades, etc. and poured it in there – how fancy!

Fanciness aside I convinced myself that instead of acting like Cookie Monster from the Muppets and just dumping this handfuls at a time into my mouth that I would eat this mix one piece at a time. There is a mixture of crispy M&M’s and regular milk chocolate M&M’s which are both tasty. The little pretzel balls are really salty which is totally my jam. The almonds are lightly salty and make for a good addition to this mixture. Overall I would consider this the best part of trail mix. Take out the dumb raisins, take out the dumb peanuts and ding ding ding, you have the perfect mix. I am glad that I snagged a smaller trial size bag of this snack mix vs the larger feed bag size because I know I probably wouldn’t be able to stop myself from pouring a few more dishes.

I really liked this mix and I would totally buy it again. If I am able to find it in the larger sized bags, I will definitely have to portion it out into small containers to keep myself from demolishing the whole bag.

Found at Shell Gas Station

May 29, 2018
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Nature Valley – Almond Butter Chocolate Nut Bars

Posted in Nuts, Snack Bars by

Good Morning Friends – I hope everyone had a great weekend!

I spent some time at work and my Mom came down for a couple days and hung out with me which is always a good time. We ate too much food, I taught her how to use an industrial embroidery machine, worked on our family tree, and wandered around a graveyard by my house, you know, like you do.

Today I am writing you from my local bagel haunt (I had to keep the theme going – I apologize) and just witnessed a woman FLIP HER WIG about the amount of cream cheese that was put on her bagel and that it wasn’t applied in an even fashion. This place is notorious for putting a lot of cream cheese and this woman was not having it. She scraped a bunch of it off with a spoon at the coffee bar and proceeded to wave around the spoon of cream cheese at the employee making coffee talking about how unacceptable it was that there was so much cream cheese and how it was applied sloppy. Lady. Please. Its a 2 dollar bagel, there are other things in life to get worked up over – I can give you some examples if you need some help. OH BOY.

These bars are not that new – I have had them kicking around in my stash for a while now. I have a really bad habit of squirreling away food to review and then it just gets buried in the queue never to be eaten. I pretty much love anything that has chocolate involved so I thought that these would be a tasty treat.

I don’t know why but I keep trying to convince myself that I am into almond butter. I don’t hate it but man is it bland. I like almonds in their true form, almond milk, almonds on stuff, but almond butter? Meh. The granola is soft and chewy, and you also get a nice helping of whole almonds as well as the chopped up ones. I have the same problem with these as I did with the cups – the chopped up pieces of almonds can transform into almond rocks, which totally feel like they could destroy your teeth at any given moment. Personally I did not really taste the chocolate very much because of EVERYTHING else going in this bar, but that is okay – it adds a subtle sweetness to the mix.

Overall these are pretty middle of the road for me. They are alright, but that’s about it. The flavor isn’t a knock out, and there aren’t really any parts of it that are memorable to me other than the almond rocks. I will probably finish the box (add them to my snack drawer at work for those moments were I am ready to eat my arm), but I probably would not buy these again. I like my granola bars to be a little more exciting (try the sweet and spicy ones – THOSE are yummy) and these are just too plain for me.

Found at Target

May 28, 2018
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