Hawaiian Host – Aloha Macs & Christmas Macadamia Medley

So the lovely people at Hawaiian Host recently contacted me to see if I would be interested in reviewing some of their holiday products – UH DUH. Of course I obliged and instantly the video above played repeatedly in my head until these treats arrived at my doorstep from that place I’ve never been to… Hawaii. (Please note, any travel agencies reading my blog that would like me to review a resort in Hawaii, the answer is always yes – just sayin.)

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I thought I would start off with the ole standard of milk chocolate covered macadamia nuts. Its no surprise here that these were delicious. Combining delicious macadamia nuts with chocolate is a match made in heaven – and gives chocolate and peanut butter a run for their money for best confectionary duo. Or is that hazelnuts and chocolate… OKAY NUTS AND CHOCOLATE BELONG TOGETHER. These are dangerous to have around the house because they seem to magically disappear and by magically disappear I mean that I can eat the entire tray in one sitting while watching tv. One thing that makes you feel less horrible about yourself is that there are considerably less in the tray than in a box of See’s Candy.

Texture: 3.5/5 – So I am unsure if during their journey to my doorstep if they were melted a little and then re-solidified but the chocolate had that weird crumbly texture to it on some of them, but for the most part the macadamia nuts were crunchy and the chocolate was smooth.

Smell: 4/5 – The only thing that you can really smell is the chocolate you are about to consume and it smells tasty!

Appearance: 3/5 – Like I touched on earlier, some of the chocolate was a little crumbly and had that oh so appealing white film, but that didn’t stop me from eating the hell out of them.

Taste: 4.5/5 – Well I think I made my point that these were good and unlike most of the other food that I review, did not make it into the hands of anyone else in my immediate circle of family and friends. YUM!

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20140301-094324.jpgSo I like to think that I saved the best for last with the Christmas Macadamia Medley. It contains two flavors that I have consumed before, milk chocolate covered macadamia nuts and dark chocolate macadamia nuts but also has two that I have not tried, MacNut Crunch and Maui Caramacs. Of the two, I really enjoyed the MacNut Crunch. The macadamia nut to chocolate ratio is evened out by it being minced into small pieces instead of two large lumps in the middle of chocolate. The Caramac was really good as well, but I was expecting more of a chewy caramel instead of a rip your fillings out one bite at a time caramel.

Texture : 4.5/5 – The texture of the MacNut Crunch was similar to that of a Crunch bar. I really enjoyed the texture as it seemed more airy than the standard chocolate covered macadamia nut. The Caramac on the other hand gave me a jaw cramp from the chewiness of the caramel.

Smell : 5/5 - This box of chocolates smelled just as yummy as the previous box I consumed prior.

Appearance : 5/5 - This box of chocolate fared much better than the other box did, sparing itself from the weird white film and crumbly chocolate – and all of the chocolates looked simply delectable.

Taste : 5/5 - Now before I get into the taste of these chocolates, how come no one has ever made an edible tray in the box? If you look at the close up picture of the chocolates, the brown tray looks almost good enough to eat – how come no one has capitalized on it? Environmentally friendly and makes my inner fat kid happy. The MacNut Crunch chocolates were very very good, I would eat an entire box of these alone. I could take or leave the Caramacs, while they are good because I enjoy caramel, I did not find them very rememberable. I do however like that they chopped up the macadamia nut instead of taking a whole nut, covering it in caramel then covering it chocolate.

Of the two boxes that I was sent, I would probably be more apt to purchase the medley because I like the variety but both of them were very good. I’d like to thank Hawaiian Host for the opportunity to sample both of these boxes of treats and that the opinions I have posted are my own and I have not been compensated in any way other than the boxes of chocolates. Merry Christmas peoples!

 

Yoplait Light – Pumpkin Pie Yogurt

The pumpkin season is upon us folks! I’ve never seen so many people go crazy for pumpkin flavored things – I feel like there are few things that do not have a pumpkin incarnation out right now. I know I’ve talked about it before, but I am lactose intolerant. I haven’t always been, which I think makes it even worse because I know how tasty dairy treats are but cannot have them. Occasionally I will subject myself to something dairy either out of extreme want or extreme depression (hah!)

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I must admit, when I could eat yogurt, I was a plain vanilla kinda gal. I dabbled in a few other flavors, but for the most part, I enjoyed vanilla. I definitely love pumpkin flavored things. Fall is my favorite season and as soon as I see the pumpkin foods start hitting the shelves I get excited. Aside from homemade pumpkin pie, there is a local place that has pumpkin waffles that are so delicious. They are made with a pumpkin batter, topped with a huge scoop of pumpkin pie mix and home made whipped cream sprinkled with nutmeg. I’m drooling just thinking about it. I think my biggest qualm with pumpkin flavored food is that usually it ends up tasting really artificial.

I was slightly disappointed that the pumpkin pie yogurt only came in a 4-pack. I find it annoying when you buy something and it doesn’t taste that great and you’re stuck with a bunch more of it. For the most part, Yoplait hasn’t really done me wrong in the flavor department, so I figured that 4 small cups wasn’t too much to invest in.

I decided to have one as dessert and despite it looking like peach yogurt when I opened the top I was intrigued. I think all the pumpkin-fied things in my life left me with some sort of preconceived idea of how I expected this to taste… and… it tasted nothing like I expected. When I think pumpkin pie I think rich pumpkin flavor with lots of cinnamon and nutmeg. The flavor of this yogurt was rather underwhelming. It kind of tasted slightly like potpourri infused yogurt. It was a weird mix of faint pumpkin flavor and sprite? It’s hard to describe the taste, but I only made it two spoonfuls in before I decided that the trashcan would enjoy it more than I was.

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Texture: 5/5 – I think this is the only section that this yogurt would get a high mark in. I am not a fan of yogurt with things in it. The texture of weird gelatinous fruit chunks in yogurt is enough to make me gag just thinking about it.

Smell: 2/5 - This had an extremely faint pumpkin smell although if you did not know it was pumpkin yogurt, you probably wouldn’t have picked up on the smell.

Appearance: 3/5 - What can I say? Its orange colored yogurt. No visible spices or pumpkin bits.

Taste: 1.5/5 - This stuff was downright almost inedible to me. I couldn’t over the weird flavoring that sort of tasted like pumpkin. Sadly the other three cups went into the rectangular file. Maybe next year Yoplait.

Angie’s – Spooky Candy Corn Flavored Kettle Corn

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… no it’s not Christmas, it’s Halloween time! Halloween is my most favorite holiday of the entire year. This is the time of the year that I find things in stores that I consider every day decor not to mention candy galore! I love candy corn, but rarely eat it outside of this time of the year. I am also somewhat of a candy corn purist, forget that harvest corn mix and chocolate corn and all of the other corns, give me the plain jane, ole stand by candy corn. Kettle corn on the other hand is not something that I can only enjoy in the fall. There is a local outdoor auction/farmers market that has a vendor that makes kettle corn that is absolutely divine. The thought of combining a sweet and salty treat with delicious candy corn sounds like a match made in heaven.

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I really like the design of the bag, but the popcorn pictured on the outside of the bag is slightly misleading. I cracked open the bag and was immediately greeted with the sweet smell of candy corn. I’m not going to lie, this stuff smells SO good. But like I mentioned before, it didn’t really look like the picture on the outside of the bag. I was expecting fluffy kernels of corn drizzled in flavor but was met with a bag of bits and pieces. Despite the bag of popcorn crumbles, I pressed on and took a bite. WOW – I knew nothing good was going to come of this. The popcorn was slightly sweet and slightly salty with a nice overtone of sweetness from the drizzle. I don’t know if I would describe the flavor of the drizzle as candy corn, but more like cake frosting, but either way, it was really good.

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I also noticed that my bag of popcorn seemed to be a little overcooked, borderline burnt. This would please my Mom greatly as she loves her popcorn charred, but I don’t think that it impacted the taste much. The flavoring on the popcorn is really melty and my bag was one giant popcorn ball when I opened it. I adopted this fancy fingertip bag holding technique that I used while enjoying this snack to keep the body heat from my hands from melting it even more.

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Texture : 3/5 - The popcorn in this bag was slightly  stale tasting. I think this was partially from the coating on the popcorn that made it moist. Also, HUSK city. So many popcorn kernel husks.

Smell : 5/5 - This smells so good. I would wear this as a perfume if I could.

Appearance : 2/5 - This is solely based on the appearance on the outside of the package vs the appearance of the actual popcorn itself. My bag lacked the fluffy kernels that were pictured on the outside.

Taste : 4/5 - This treat is delicious. If it was available year round at Target, I would most likely buy it semi-regularly. The combination of sweet and salty popcorn and the sweet drizzle makes for a great snack when you can’t figure out which to choose. My only complains are that my popcorn was a little overcooked and the drizzle was REALLY melty. Licking your hand isn’t exactly the most cute thing to do in the world while eating a bag of popcorn, but its just that good.

Limited Edition Jif Whips – Whipped Peanut Butter & Chocolate Mint

What’s up my friends? It is starting to finally feel a little like fall in the lovely state of California, and I must admit, I’m really into it. Fall happens to be my favorite time of the year. Not only because of the mild weather but that means pumpkin everything and mint everything. Usually  mint flavored stuff tends to make its appearance a little later into the season, but Target wasted no time in throwing this up on their shelves right in the middle of September.

So we shall start this review off with a little infographic I made to convey my feelings of what I think this might taste like. I must admit, the idea of peanut butter and chocolate mint doesn’t sound all that tasty, but then again I’ve tasted weirder things in my life.

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Please tell me that I am not alone in the NOPE column of peanut butter and mint together? I am sure that I don’t need to go on about how chocolate and peanut butter are life partners and anyone that doesn’t agree I find a little weird. They are like two peas in a pod. Better together. Period.

Then there is mint. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE mint flavored things. I have fond memories of this beautiful pink and purple glass candy dish that my Mom would put out during Christmas that she would fill with chocolate mint M & M’s and I would always try to be sneaky and steal a few, but I’ll be damned if that candy dish wasn’t the loudest thing in the world. Trying to lift the lid off that thing without it clanging around was nearly impossible and now that I think about it, I think it was a trap. Thanks Mom for outsmarting me yet again while I was a child thinking that I was oh so cleaver and sneaky.

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Then comes the dilemma, what the heck do you put this on? A bagel? dip cookies in it? uhh… thats about it? I don’t see myself making a whipped peanut butter & chocolate mint jelly sandwich anytime soon, which is why I have a slight problem with the tub size of this thing. If it were the other two Jif Whips I have tried, it makes a little more sense, but there is some serious commitment involved in purchasing a tub this large for something that could taste like eating a peanut butter sandwich after brushing your teeth. Let’s also not glaze over the fact that the untouched top layer of the tub looks like a turd in a tub. Hope you enjoy that mental image, from me, to you :)

SO. Moment of truth. I have no cookies or bagels to dip into this Jif concoction, so I went for the ole knife out a large dollop and put it straight in the mouth method. If my partner in snack food crime saw me do that, he would surely be cringing as he hates peanut butter in any other form but a cookie. I on the other hand will eat peanut butter straight from the jar with a spoon. My initial reaction? Hm.. not bad.

I was honestly expecting a collision of peanut butter and York peppermint patty in my mouth, but the mint flavoring was so faint I almost didn’t notice it. Thinking maybe I didn’t sample enough, I went back for another skim, and my feeling stayed the same. Also please note that while sitting here I became curious to see what Jif suggests as a serving size. Do yourself a favor and don’t even look at that or the calories. Just eat it from the jar in pure ignorance with your thumb strategically covering that crap because right now I think I just ate a nice sized portion of my daily suggested daily calorie allowance. YOLO or something right?

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Texture : 3/5 - I am not overly sure what the whipped craze is when it comes to certain foods. Can you really tell the difference between whipped peanut butter and regular peanut butter slathered on a piece of toast? I can’t. The peanut butter is slightly airy and has a nice creamy texture, but for the most part… why do I need whipped peanut butter again?

Smell : 4/5 – The mint smell majorly overpowers the peanut smell. I think this had me worried the most before trying it because it smelled REALLY minty.

Appearance : 1.5/5 – I’m giving this low marks solely based on the original appearance you are greeted with when peeling off the plastic on the tub. You would think they could have a machine smooth that out just a little before wrapping it up so that it doesn’t look like… the way it does. After you use the peanut butter once, it looks like any other chocolate peanut butter in a tub.

Taste : 2.5/5 – I am kind of torn between disliking and liking this stuff. On one hand, the chocolate and peanut butter flavors are so dominate that you almost can’t tell that the mint is there, which makes it rather in enjoyable. On the other hand, I can still taste the mint, and I’m still not sure what it is doing in my chocolate peanut butter. On the lid of the tub there is a recipe suggestion to make chocolate mint thumbprint cookies with this stuff, but in reality, I would probably just make regular  chocolate mint thumbprint cookies, why complicate things with peanut butter? If faced with buying this again, I would probably pass unless the tub size was smaller, as I think I have more than I will ever eat sitting in the tub on my desk.

Check out what The Impulsive Buy had to say!

Klondike Caramel – The Candy!

For most of my years of employment I have worked in a various form of retail. I know the tricks of the trade to make consumers buy things, product placement, if I’m really getting a deal on that item that is on sale, etc. One thing that was ingrained into my brain during the beginning years of my retail life was the saying “Eye level is buy level!” My old district manager used to say that as some sort of retail chant that would take him to sales heaven. It has always stuck with me, and to this day I still joke about it. But! There is some truth to this mantra. The items that stores want you to buy are often put in the middle sections of the aisles. Why do they put all the bad for you food at kids eye level? Because they know that as soon as the child sees the brightly packaged food, they HAVE to have it. So where am I going with this?

I spotted these candy morsels on the very bottom shelf, slightly pushed aside in the check out line of Walmart the other day. I’m sure you know the ole saying “What would you doooOOOooo for a Klondike bar?” Want the truth? Not much. I honestly don’t care for Klondike bars because I don’t like the chocolate they use on the outside of their perfectly square ice creams, although I will eat the hell out of a Choco Taco. I was not expecting to find these tucked away on a bottom shelf, but in the more predominate section of the candy section, but I guess they haven’t been jumped into the gang yet.

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Now I find it a little weird that they had to proclaim ‘The Candy!’ on the outside of the package. Were they concerned that if they put a box of these on the shelf without the warning that someone would think that stores were trying to sell thawed ice cream at checkout stands? I was slightly apprehensive about buying these because of my dislike of their ice cream, but I figured that at less than a dollar, what have I got to lose?

As I was putting groceries away I completely forgot that I purchased these, shows the lasting impression they made eh? But I was excited to try them because I like caramel a lot. I tend to shy away from caramel because I have 16 fillings in my mouth, and the thought of yanking one out is enough to make me pass up the treat entirely, but a girl wants what a girl wants, right?

I opened the package and was… expecting a little more. Literally. I’m not sure why I was expecting more, the package is not very big, but the pieces were about the size of.. the middle of a nickel and a quarter. quickel. I bit into one of the pieces and was surprised. The caramel was buttery and soft and the chocolate was okay. Note that on the package it says chocolate flavored coating. It could be wax for all I know. The coating still reminded me of the outside of a Klondike bar, but the ratio of chocolate coating to caramel is quite small, so you hardly taste it.

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Texture : 4/5 – The texture of this candy is nice. The caramel is smooth and chewy, and the chocolate coating is not bad. It could be worse, it could be coated in Palmers chocolate – gaaaa-ross.

Smell : 3/5 – The smell of the candy before you bite into has a noticeable chocolate smell. Nothing spectacular.

Appearance : 3/5 -I get that they were modeling the appearance of these after their famed ice cream treat, but they were pretty lack luster in the appearance department. They had that nice white film that chocolate gets when it is old, but my guess is that it was probably from being frozen or refrigerated during transport vs age.

Taste : 3/5 -These were OK – but they are no Rolo. I really enjoyed the caramel in the middle. I tend to like my caramel more on the chewy side vs the gooey side, so these worked out nicely. Due to the size of the candy, the chocolate coating wasn’t overpowering like I was expecting it to be. I could take or leave these. One thing that I do wish that they would have done is done a no frills wrapping on each chocolate piece so I did not feel obligated to eat the entire package because I didn’t want to scrounge around for a bag to put the others in, but that’s just me.

So what would YOU do for a Klondike bar? Or candy?

I’m still here…

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Well hello there. Long time no see. I bet some of you are wondering what happened to me – heck even some of you have sent me emails asking if I was okay, which I truly appreciate. Have a I lost interest in the blog? Not in the slightest. Have I changed my eating habits and no longer eat as much junk food? Yeah right. The old expression “When it rains, it pours.” has been very much a true statement for the last month or so.

Some of you might know, some might not, I work for a uniform company that services the law enforcement, fire and ems workforce, and I am sure you can imagine how busy that gets. We have had a few academies starting over the last month, so my time has been spent trying to keep up with the workload. I work in shipping and receiving, so all uniforms pass through my hands in some form, and I have been working overtime to keep up, as I am the only person that does what I do. I am thankful that the people I work with try to help as much as they can by covering some of the other tasks that encompass my workload like calling customers to tell them that their order is ready, and helping me unpack boxes, but for the most part, my day starts promptly at 9 am and I don’t stop until the clock ticks 5:30. For a while, I was writing reviews on my half our lunch break, but I found it was hard to concentrate when all I could think about what was what I needed to accomplish before the end of the day.

On top of that add a family member in the ICU at the end of June (who is currently still in the hospital, but out of the ICU), a dental issue that we can’t seem to find the root cause of (get it, root cause, dental.. ha.) Animal Crossing New Leaf, putting down my cat of 19 years, I pretty much spend every moment that I am awake, everywhere but in front of my computer. Most days I feel like I am being drug behind a horse and I am just holding on. But I am still here. I still read your comments, your blog posts, your emails, but some days just don’t remember to respond, and for that I am sorry.

I have a lot of food to review. A LOT. You should see my stash, its like a junk food hoarders dream. So please don’t give up on my little blog. I have a lot to share, and my focus is to make some time to share it all with you.

Also – I know some of you get graze boxes, and I am getting kind of burnt out on them – any suggestions for a new food subscription that doesn’t cost a fortune? Leave me a link!

Anyways, its the 4th, so to all of my American readers, enjoy your day off (if you have it off) and blow some stuff up… just not your limbs, that would be bad.

In case you feel compelled to follow me on other social media thingers:

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Dippin’ Dots – Birthday Cake Flavored Magic Milk Straws

Hello food friends! I am so glad its Saturday. This week was pretty whirlwind and I definitely need some time to regroup. A little anecdote from work yesterday – I work in shipping and receiving at my job and I am the only person that works back there, so when things get a little crazy, my brain often tries to do a million things at once. I’m sure most of you can relate to that it doesn’t always work as planned when trying to accomplish many things at once. I was unloading a shipment and was checking the packing slip against our purchase order in the computer and there were a bunch of items that they sent us that were not on our purchase order. Sometimes this happens, and I just adjust our purchase order to reflect the incorrect shipment so that our inventory is correct, but this was a lot of stuff.

I approached my boss and asked if she wanted to keep the items and she said no and to contact the vendor to see what was up with all of this stuff. Luckily our customer service rep for this particular brand is rather personable and friendly and she agreed to look into it for me after I emailed her all of my paperwork. When I returned to my desk, after emailing her from the front office (without the dang attachment, which I had to send again, feeling like an idiot) I returned to my desk in the backroom and noticed that my printer was out of paper… GREAT. So why could I not find all these items on our purchase order? Because my printer didn’t print the entire thing. I had to email her yet again and admit my dummy mistake, at lest it made for a good laugh. Moral of the story? Check your printer.

That pretty much set the pace for my entire day – and honestly I was glad to jet out of there at 5:30. I really enjoy my job, but some days are just insane. So today I have killed myself at the gym (another life lesson, don’t leave your inhaler at home because you don’t feel like carrying it) am getting an oil change and am at Starbucks drinking the most expensive chocolate soy milk I have ever had because it sounded good.

I saw these at Walmart the other night while doing a little grocery shopping for the week. Some of you may recall that I have reviewed a couple of other versions (here) but who knew Dippin’ Dots were still around, let alone in the milk game. I guess the progression is natural, considering ice cream is made of milk, but we shall see.

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Much like the Got Milk? version of these straws, they are somehow magical. I am unsure what about them makes them magical, its not like you can’t see what is inside of the straw. Now if these looked like ordinary straws and they somehow managed to taste like birthday cake when drinking milk? THAT would be magical. When I think birthday cake, my first thought goes to a generic sheet cake with the overly sugary icing that is oh so good, but oh so bad at the same time. Much like when I reviewed the Got Milk? version, I decided to eat these more like a pixie stick than use them in milk (mostly because I don’t drink milk and I don’t often have soy or almond milk in the house because I don’t use it fast enough) Maybe that is where all of this goes wrong.

I snipped off the end of the straw and poured a bit into my mouth. My initial reaction is that these taste more like sprinkles that you would find on birthday cake more so than the cake itself. Now don’t get me wrong, I love sprinkles. I even used sprinkles in my cereal in a moment of desperation after not being able to locate the sugar at my Mom’s house. (photographic evidence here) But I was expecting the buttery taste of the cake and the sugary taste of the frosting mixed in one. In the name of science, or gluttony, I devoured one more, thinking maybe I would finally make sense of what they were trying to do here, but it was still just a bunch of sugar to me. Richard dared me to pour an entire one in my mouth, and not wanting to opt out of a dare, I poured the entire contents of a third straw into my mouth. I could kind of see where Dippin’ Dots were going with this, but it missed the rich cake flavor that I was expecting. (P.S. Richard also accused me of trying to show off my cute nails in the second picture, this may or may not be true)

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Texture: 4/5 – Now because these are meant to be consumed with milk, I imagine that there would be little texture change in your bovine beverage, but because of the volume in the straw, I also imagine that you would have to consume quite a bit of milk to use up the entire contents of the straw. Now eating them, they are rather crunchy, somewhat similar in texture to a nerds candy or a sugar sprinkle.

Smell: 3/5 – These had a faint smell of what could be considered cake, but the aroma was pretty faint.

Appearance: 5/5 – I am a sucker for pastel colors despite my love for black clothing. The pink, blue, yellow and white dots in the straw remind me of birthday cake.

Taste: 3.5/5 – I feel that these straws miss the mark a little with the flavor profile of birthday cake. It has the frosting element down, but it really needs some help in the cake flavor department. I think I would buy these again as a treat to pour on ice cream or something sweet but not filling to eat in a long line at Disneyland (I’m jonesing hard for a little Disneyland right now)

Let’s get weird!

Hey ya’ll its Friday! For us Monday through Friday-ers this is pretty exciting. I have a lot of stuff in  my pending file that I need to get through, so I thought I would do something fun to get the ole brain gears turning. Recently while listening to a podcast by one of my favorite groups of people called Continue Cast they posed the following question:

If you had a pool of food to swim in, what would it be filled with?

Personally? I think mine would be marshmallows. Although I think I somewhat experienced this when I went into an indoor trampoline place here in Sacramento and almost broke my back jumping into a foam pit. It was nearly impossible to make  my way out of the pit because the more I moved the more I sank. Maybe I should change my answer… cold hot chocolate? Then I could have a drink while swimming around.

What would you choose?

Thrive Frozen Nutrition – Milk Chocolate

Good Evening errybody! How is everyone doing? I have been hitting the gym for the first time in a while the last few days and its been kicking my butt, literally and figuratively. My snack habits don’t strictly revolve around junk food. I often look around for something some what healthy to try as well, but lets face it, for most people a cookie tastes better than a beet. I am completely envious of those of you that can polish off a pint of ice cream with no regrets – but as for me, I have become full blown lactose intolerant as of August of 2012. Dairy was always kind of a Russian roulette prior to that, but no more. Now if you follow me on instagram, where I mostly post cat pictures and food pictures (isn’t that what instragram is for? @pyropixie by the way) you will be saying “But Erin, you had pizza for dinner tonight!” And you’re right, I did, you can’t deny pizza, no matter how awful you feel after.

Anyways – Imagine my surprise when wandering the frozen aisles and seeing this little gem tucked away on a top shelf. I always look at the various soy, almond, and tofu ice creams, but they always seem to have the same flavor. Vanilla or chocolate. I’m sorry, but if we can make veggies into a patty that could fool someone into thinking they are eating a burger, we surely can make non dairy ice cream into another flavor but vanilla or chocolate. Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy both of these flavors, but I am just burnt out. I also notice that non dairy ice cream uhhh.. treats.. tend to taste a little off in the flavor department. Coming down from a major disappointment with the purchase I made of the mini mint chip ice cream sandwiches from Toffutti, I figured that the Thrive Frozen Nutrition was worth a shot.

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Originally I was tempted to put this back on the shelf when I saw that the first ingredient was milk, but upon further investigation it boasted that it was okay for people with lactose intolerance. I was definitely curious now. I really love yogurt, but alas had to cut that out of my diet too (I really like Amande yogurt for all you non diary peeps out there) so I was also excited to see that this had live cultures in it. In my fit of excitement of throwing it into my basket, I mistakenly thought there were four cups in the package, not two. The package was 5 dollars at my local Save Mart, which is a bit steep for 2 cups of ice cream, but what the hay, I pay close to that for one drink at Starbucks (because they charge for soy! UGH)

I decided to have one for dinner, because I am an adult and make my own choices. I was expecting the flavor to be the generic chocolate flavor you find with ‘health’ foods. I grabbed a spoon, headed up stairs, and crawled into bed with my treat. So. Let’s just throw this out there now. PROTIP: Use a metal spoon. I had a plastic spoon out of sheer laziness. I did not realize how dense this treat is and snapped the spoon straight down the middle. NICE. So in true OCD fashion, I chiseled around the outside of the cup with small little bites and made spiral into the middle so that the treat was flat, where I proceeded to start the process all over again. I was really surprised by the taste. This stuff doesn’t taste healthy at all! The chocolate flavor is rich and flavorful. The treat itself is creamy and delicious.

I am not sure if it is because of the serving size or the amount of protein, but I almost couldn’t finish the whole cup because I was full. I really hope that local stores pick up a few of the other flavors as I would love to give them a try, despite the hefty price tag.

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Texture: 5/5 – I did not realize how dense this treat is in the cup prior to eating, but you would never know by the texture. I would venture to say that you probably couldn’t tell the difference between a scoop of this and a scoop of your favorite chocolate ice cream in terms of texture. It is creamy and delicious (but not scoopable with a plastic spoon)

Smell: 3/5 – Nothing really to write home about in the terms of smells. It smells like milk chocolate, and freezer.

Appearance: 3/5 – I must admit that I fell for the image on the outside of the package of the perfectly scooped mound of ice cream pictured in the cup. Either the fancy scoop melted in both of my cups and froze over into a flat layer, or it was never there to begin with. I was also surprised to see the freezer burn inside of the sealed cup. My guess is because this probably contains more water than regular ice cream.

Taste: 5/5 – This was really really good. I am always skeptic of non dairy ice creams because of their inability to get the flavor just right, but the guys at Thrive nailed this – and packed it full of protein, vitamins, and probiotics too! I would almost venture to say that if I were served a scoop of Thrive and a scoop of chocolate ice cream, I would have hard time telling them apart. I would definitely buy this again, even at 5 bucks a pop. Now the real task, keeping everyone elses spoons off them. P.S. Thrive, don’t ever stop.

Altoids Smalls – Nordic Mint

Good Evening you tangy tangerines! How is everyone today? I have a major case of OCD when it comes to grocery store check out lanes. I don’t know if it is from my time spent as a cashier at Target (before moving into grocery) or if it is just OCD in general, but I always feel the need to organize and fix all of the mints and gum so that they look presentable. It is also something to do when the line is long, and it gives me a chance to look through all the impulse buys to see if there is anything new. The other night while at Bel Air, I was waiting to check out and spotted these little guys (literally) tucked away between their more well known flavor offerings and was curious. They are after all, curiously strong.

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I am more of a gum chewer than a mint popper mostly because I really enjoy mints, and could easily eat the entire tin without thinking. I recall one time when I was still working at Hot Topic that we started carrying caffeinated mints by Penguin. Of course I didn’t really read the label, I was more so just catering to my mint addiction and the fact that I was getting 40% off – had I known that they were caffeinated, I would have passed. I ate about 10 in the span of an hour, which was the equivalent to 5 cups of coffee, and thought I might die. My heart was racing, I was sweating like crazy, and I had a hard time focusing. Lesson learned? Always read the labels.
When Altoids first debuted, I was really excited because I really love intense mint flavoring. Before I really switched over to gum, I would crunch away on a tin of Altoids like they were potato chips. Occasionally I will pick up a tin of the minis and keep them in my purse, but I really haven’t purchased a tin of Altoids in ages. When I saw the Nordic Mint flavor, it piqued my interest, mostly because I have no idea exactly what makes something Nordic versus regular mint.
I thought about this for a while, trying to figure out what flavor Nordic Mint was because I honestly couldn’t put my finger on what made these different from the regular mints. I knew they tasted different, but I couldn’t figure out why. Someone best described the flavor as peppermint with a hint of menthol. I think this is a pretty astute observation. They are not as powerful as a regular Altoid, so if you’re not into that, these may be for you, but they still pack a punch despite their cute size. They leave your mouth feeling fresh and clean and one small mint will do the trick.
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Texture: 4/5 - Typical mint texture. If you chew on it, it will be crunchy and somewhat gritty. Suck on it long enough and it will melt away in your mouth.
Smell: 5/5 - Not only do these mints pack a punch in the taste department, they let everyone around you know that you just popped an Altoid.
Appearance: 4/5 - Anything mini usually means extra cute. Because of their square shape, I want to organize them in the tin, but in the famous words of Sweet Brown, “Ain’t nobody got time fo that!” Also don’t carry these around loose, someone might mistake it for some weird club drug.
Taste: 5/5 - These mints are really good. They are not so strong that your mouth burns from the mint flavoring, but they are strong enough to give you that fresh feeling. Just one is enough after a garlic filled meal for me to make me feel less like I am going to peel some paint off the walls. Give them a try! Also for those of you who watch your sugar intake, these bad boys are sugar free!
What do you think Nordic Mint is?