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Erin

Doritos – Heat Wave – BBQ

Posted in Chips

Do you have a snack food that you really connect to your childhood? For me, Doritos are definitely something that when I think about, is a food that I really remember from being a kid. I used to eat the hell out of some Cool Ranch Doritos (which by the way, I can no longer stand the taste of, I guess kid me went too hard). If I had to choose now, it would probably be a really close race between Salsa Verde and Taco Flavor. I remember when they reintroduced Taco Flavor a while back, that I was working in grocery at the time and the guy I was dating REALLY loved them. He was concerned that it would only be a limited time offering, so I ended up buying him 6 bags as one of his gifts for Christmas. Try wrapping chips sometime, you’ll really question what your life has become.

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The Doritos Heat Wave chips are two new (what I am assuming) limited offerings this summer. I always feel like Doritos/Frito-Lay has been mindful of the flavors they release. There are few offerings that I have felt like they were total flops. I was a bit surprised that they went with a BBQ flavor, despite having released one in the late 90’s. Doritos chips are not a chip that I really feel lends itself to a BBQ flavor, and I won’t lie, I don’t really care for BBQ chips personally. I think part of it is that I tend to find BBQ flavoring too sweet, despite having a total sweet tooth, so to me its a bit off putting. I knew with the addition of the heat element that at least if it was sweet, it would be followed with a really nice kick of spicy.

Upon first opening the bag, I was greeted with a very very potent roundhouse kick to the face BBQ flavor. It actually made me take a step back because I think I huffed these things way too hard. I thought the flavor coating looked evenly distributed and plentiful, and I knew I was in for a flavor packed treat.

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I braced myself for BBQ impact but was pleasantly surprised that the BBQ flavor was subtle and an excellent mix with the heat. I was immediately hooked. I personally really like spicy food, and these do not disappoint. If you are a fan of the Doritos Roulette, I would give these a go as the heat is very reminiscent of the spiciest version of chip in that bag. The smokiness of the BBQ flavoring with the slightly sweet tones, mixed with the heat made for a match made in heaven. As someone that does not enjoy BBQ chips, I could definitely see these becoming a staple in my overcrowded junk food pantry.  Plus with as much flavor coating on this chip, you’ll get the Cheeto effect on your fingertips, its the gift that keeps on giving.




Found at Walmart

May 31, 2017
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Triscuit – Fig & Honey

Posted in Snack Crackers

Do you ever learn something about a food you eat and despite how good it tastes, you can’t help but think about it when you eat it? That’s how I feel when it comes to figs. I won’t go into the details that have scared my brain, but lets just say I will never eat a fig raw. On the flip side, I really enjoy fig flavored things, and I also really like honey, in small doses. For me, honey is one of those things that if I eat more than a small spoonful, it gives me an upset stomach – I think that’s why I have such a hard time with candy corn, though most will argue that the only place candy corn belongs is in the trash, back off haters, I’ll take it off your hands. It may take me 100 years to eat at a few pieces at a time, but bring me your candy corn! Anyways, totally derailed. When Nabisco has come out with a lot of flavors over the last year, I would even go as far as to say too many only for the sake of keeping track for someone like myself that likes to try ALL OF THE THINGS!

Triscuits are one of those crackers that I cannot resist eating the entire box. Something about the extreme crunchy, lightly salted texture that I cannot get enough of, as long as I have a beverage too. Realistically, the nutritional facts on the outside of the box should be a single serving. I was excited to see a new flavor of Triscuits quietly nestled between the old favorites on the shelf at Walmart and knew I had to try them. A potentially sweet flavor? Sign me up.

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Can we take a brief moment and talk about the suggested topping for this cracker? Ricotta, asparagus, and honey. This has got to be the most EXTRA recipe that Nabisco has ever featured on their box. Do people actually make these things? Spoiler, I would skip the honey, these are sweet enough! Anyways. Onto the food. When I opened the box, the smell of honey was the first thing I picked up – color me excited. Upon first taste, my taste buds were a little confused. I think when you’ve grown accustomed to how something is going to taste solely based on the appearance, your brain is thrown for a bit of a loop (ie: purple and green ketchup of the 90s). Immediately you are hit with the sweetness from the honey, and the sweetness from the fig, both of which are a bit different, quietly followed by a hint of salt. If you are used to the fig flavoring of a Fig Newton, they taste NOTHING like that.

These are really good though despite my compulsion to eat an entire box I only ate them a couple at a time. Maybe it was the honey, or the sweetness in general, but I was satisfied after a few. I would definitely continue to buy this flavor to mix things up a bit with the ole stand by. The Junk Food Guy suggested a bit of brie cheese with these, but I won’t be subjecting my lactose hating body to that for science. Overall, definitely give these a buy if you’re into salty and sweet!

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Found at Walmart

May 29, 2017
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Twizzlers – Filled Twists – Orange Cream Pop

Posted in A la carte, Candy

À la carte is a small little weekend feature that I am going to be adding to my site for items that I don’t feel warrant a full review.

If you didn’t catch yesterdays review of the Twizzlers Key Lime Pie – you should check it out! Hershey’s have created a handful of limited edition “Taste of state” that include classic candies like Kit Kat, Hershey’s, Reese’s, and Twizzlers to name a couple. If you read my Key Lime review you would know that I think that the land of licorice is a polarizing place – with some people loving Red Vines (such as myself), or Twizzlers (not me!), and rarely do you find someone that likes both. I would say orange anything ranks middle of the road for flavors that I enjoy. I don’t hate it, but it is definitely not my first choice when it comes to fruit flavored candy. I was also a bit conflicted by the fact that they chose orange for Florida and not California, but oranges are produced en masse in both states. Anywho, enough semantics.

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My experience with the Key Lime Twizzlers left me hopeful. Was I slowly being converted to the Twizzler masses? Like I said before orange isn’t exactly my favorite, but these ended up actually being somewhat decent. The Twizzler part was soft and chewy, unlike what I am used to when it comes to classic Twizzlers (ie: plastic) and the inside kind of reminded me of the orange Tootsie Rolls. If you haven’t tried the fruity Tootsie Rolls, get it on it! The lime and vanilla are my jam. I honestly thought these just tasted like orange filled orange Twizzlers instead of a Orange Cream Pop. For me it was missing that distinct vanilla ice cream flavor that I am used to when it comes to eating that tasty frozen treat. Overall if I had to choose, I would pick the lime, but to each their own. If you’re into orange flavored things, I would give them a go – though they are limited so pick them up while you can.

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Found at CVS Pharmacy

May 28, 2017
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À la carte – Twizzlers – Filled Twists – Key Lime Pie

Posted in A la carte, Candy

À la carte is a small little weekend feature that I am going to be adding to my site for items that I don’t feel warrant a full review.

I think there are two types of people in this world – people that like Twizzlers, and people that like Red Vines. Now I am not saying that someone does not exist that likes both, but I think that it would be like seeing a unicorn. I personally am of the Red Vines camp – however, I do not like any other flavor than the red. I think my hatred of Twizzlers stems back to being a child of the trick-or-treating age. I remember getting the small little two pack, and remembering how they tasted vaguely like cherry, and mostly like plastic. Since then, I have held on to my dislike of the little plastic-y straws. When I heard that they were going to be releasing two flavors of Twizzlers as part of the “Flavors of insert state here” I groaned quietly because of my distaste, but knew I had to at least try them, for science.

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I have mentioned before that my favorite fruit flavored candy is anything that is lime flavored, so I went into this with an open mind. I was hoping it would be something along the line of the Kazoozle/Sweet Tarts Rope, and I was some what right. The I also just realized while writing this review that no where on the front of package does Twizzlers call themselves licorice. Interesting. Anyways, the outside licorice portion is soft and chewy, unlike the normal texture of cherry Twizzlers, though I don’t think it has a ton of flavor. The inside of the Twizzler however I thought was really tasty. The texture reminded me slightly of one of those fruit flavored Tootsie Rolls. Though the lime definitely tastes a bit artificial, it still has the slight sour taste to it, and a very obvious lime flavor. Together, I do not feel like it tastes like Key Lime Pie, only because it is missing the flavor of the graham cracker. Overall, I might eat these again.

IMG_7886Found at CVS Pharmacy

May 27, 2017
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Lay’s – Limited Time Flavor – BLT

Posted in Chips

These Lay’s potato chips are not new by any means – Lay’s has decided to rerelease two limited edition flavors, BLT and Lime and Sea Salt (not to be confused with Limon flavor) and since I was never able to try the BLT version before, I thought I would snag a bag of these before they fade away again. I wasn’t really sure how I would feel about a chip pretending to taste like a sandwich – though this is not the first time that Lay’s has created a sandwich flavored chip (the Ruben – which I thought was really good). I am not a fan of the actual sandwich BLT, except for the B part – because I don’t really care for lettuce, and I think the texture of tomatoes are gross, but what could go wrong with these chips?

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I guess the real question is how do your really bring out the flavor of lettuce – Upon first taste of these chips, all I could really taste was the overpowering flavor of bacon. The chips flavor are not strong, but bacon is really the only flavor that I could pick up. I turned to the internet to see what they say and it looks like most people only really find the bacon flavor, though some people swear that it tastes just like the sandwich. I picked these up while visiting my Mom and asked her for her opinion, and she really liked them. She agreed that they didn’t taste too much like an actual BLT, but she liked the flavor. I also really think that if they had originally chosen to make these on their ridged chip, that it would have held the flavoring a little better. I am not a fan of the classic Lay’s potato chip, because to me they are just way too greasy.

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Over all I think these chips are middle of the road. I did not dislike them, or like them very much. I think the bacon flavor was way more prevalent than the tomato or lettuce. I could see myself possibly eating a small bag of these with a sandwich, but only if they were the last ones left in one of those 20 packs.




Found at Safeway

May 22, 2017
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Oreos – Limited Edition – Firework

Posted in Cookies

If any snack food had to be chosen that has been going completely crazy with new flavors (minus ice cream, because we know Halo Top has been going wild) Nabisco/Oreo could take the cake cookie. I had mixed feelings when I heard that they were launching these Firework Oreos because how do popping candies work in a solid creme filling?

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I am of the Oreo camp that likes to twist open the cookie and eat the creme then the cookie pieces. While I totally see why others are on the other side of the fence (some flavors are best enjoyed as a full bite) I feel like the only way to enjoy this cookie is by eating the creme separately. In fact I feel like the best way to enjoy the popping candy is to eat the creme in teeny tiny little baby bites because other than that, it’s just crunchy bland flavored creme.

As crazy as this sounds, I think I would have enjoyed this flavor with golden cookies vs the standard chocolate. I feel a bit like a traitor saying that, but it’s true. Overall this cookie is pretty middle of the road for me. I would have liked to have more popping candy action, and a more distinct flavor. If I were to pick up Oreos again, I would just grab a package of the ole classic standby, not to mention this package is smaller than the standard size but still the same price. Womp Womp.

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Found at Walmart

May 11, 2017
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Trolli – Sour Gummi Crunchers

Posted in Candy

When it comes to sour gummy candy, there are pretty much two popular camps, Ferrara Candy Company (current makers of Trolli items)  and Mondelez International (makers of Sour Patch items). One could argue that Haribo would be part of this team as well, but when I think of them, my brain gravitates more towards classic gummy flavors (and the infamous Amazon reviews for the 5 pound bag of sugarless gummy bears). I’ve always pegged Trolli as the cooler older sibling to Mondelez when it comes to gummy shapes and flavors, opting for more adventurous ideas than its counterpart.

I usually give the candy aisle a brief scan when I am at the store, though usually you will find newer items on end caps, side caps, and check lanes, but occasionally you will be surprised. I spotted these and wasn’t sure if they were truly new but decided to go for them anyways. A quick search later netted me that they were some new, and off we went because I love anything gummy and anything sour.

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I was very surprised when I flipped the package over, begrudgingly, that the green flavor was not apple for once. THANK THE HEAVENS. I am about 99% positive that I am the only person on the planet that doesn’t care for apple flavored candy, and I still haven’t forgiven Skittles for swapping the lime for apple a few years ago. The flavors in this bag are strawberry, grape, lemon, and lime. I am pretty pleased that they opted for simple flavors instead of trying to fancy them up with SWEET AND SOUR SUMMER TIME STRAWBERRY BLASTER, or something to that effect. Does anyone even know what those flavors are supposed to taste like anyways?

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Grape - I won’t lie. I’m not a grape fan. To me, grape flavored items do not taste like grapes at all (same could be said for watermelon). The flavoring of the grape sour gummi cruncher started out like a Popsicle brand classic grape ice pop and rounded out in the end like a big spoon full of Dimatapp. Maybe I’m traumatized from drinking my body weight in Dimatapp as a child, but this flavor is a pass from me.

Strawberry - Red candy in general is my go to as I find it the safe bet. Usually its strawberry or cherry, and in my eyes, you can’t really go wrong with that. The strawberry sour gummi cruncher delivered exactly what was expected. Nothing over the top, nothing new and exciting, just that classic strawberry that many of us are used to.

Lemon – To not include lemon in the flavor mixture of sour candy seems almost criminal. This sour gummi cruncher reminded me exactly of the flavor of a Lemonhead (take a guess on who makes those tasty candies); a delicious mixture of sweet and sour. I remember buying a small cache of Lemonheads off the ice cream truck every weekend and still love them to this day.

Lime - Lime, hands down is my favorite fruit flavor when it comes to candy. The flavoring of this final gummi cruncher reminded me of the lime suckers you would get as a kid from places like banks. No branding, just straight sugar on a white paper stick in a clear plastic wrap. This flavor was my favorite out of the four, nearly tied with lemon for the sweet and sour tasty balance.

Overall I enjoyed these candies, though I am not sure if would eat an entire bag this size. The picture on the outside makes the candy look way more smooth than what they are on the inside. The texture has that rough gritty sour (citric acid I am assuming) coating that will rub your tongue and roof of your mouth raw if you eat too many. I was expecting more chewy than hard candy, but was surprised when I went for the chomp and nearly broke my teeth and jaw. The gummy inside is more of a gummy solid than a true gummy to me, and the entire mixture gets completely stuck in your teeth if you decide to chew the entire thing as a whole.




Found at Walmart for $3.00

April 17, 2017
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À la carte – Humbolt Chocolate – Dark with Caramel

Posted in A la carte, Candy

À la carte is a small little weekend feature that I am going to be adding to my site for items that I don’t feel warrant a full review.

Normally I tend to stick to things that are somewhat readily available to most readers in the USA (because that’s where I am based) but last night while at Safeway grabbing a few odds and ends for dinner, I noticed this small display of (somewhat) local chocolate. I of course was instantly drawn to the dark chocolate because that is my favorite and decided to grab two bars, the dark with caramel and the salted almond. Did I ever tell you guys my New Years Eve dark chocolate story?

My Mom and I are both dark chocolate lovers and to celebrate New Years we decide to grab a bar of dark chocolate. We, without thinking grabbed a bar of 90% cacao because what could go wrong? It was our favorite chocolate! Flash forward a few hours and as the ball dropped we counted down, both broke off a small piece, popped it in our mouths and gave each other the tiniest peck at midnight… then promptly made a mad dash for the trashcan to spit out the chocolate. How did we not anticipate how BITTER that chocolate would be?! To add insult to injury, I had braces at the time, and all of that bittery chocolately goodness was totally trapped in its metal cage to my teeth. Hilarious moment, but totally gross.

ANYWAYS.

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This chocolate bar was okay. I was expecting something a little more exciting? While the chocolate was a good balance of sweet and bitter (the caramel helped with this too) it felt like the chocolate, once you started chewing it, just wouldn’t come together? If that makes any sense? It felt dry without actually being old or dried out. My Mom ate the salted almond one and agreed that she had the same problem with her bar. The caramel was buttery and sweet, which I could have eaten a lot more of, but at 3 dollars a bar, I would most likely not buy this again.

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Found at Safeway on sale 2/$6.00

April 15, 2017
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Duncan Hines – Perfect Size For One Mug Cake – Confetti Cake

Posted in Bakery, Confectionaries

Now I must admit that I was a bit skeptical when I saw pictures of these new mug cakes circling the internet. The mug cake idea isn’t something new, and it usually requires more ingredients, time, and effort than it’s worth than just to make yourself an entire damn cake. Originally I decided to pass on sampling these cakes, but then I had a change of heart for some reason on Thursday. I ventured to my local Walmart and tracked down 9 of the 18 flavors that they have released. You read that right, 18!

After piling them into my hand basket and heading through the self check out, because there was NO way that I planned to subject myself to the awkward conversation that would most likely ensue between myself in the cashier about why I am binge buying all the flavors of mug cakes they carry, $22.50 later, I had a small stash of mug cakes surely to last me to the apocalypse. I also neglected to read the box any more than a brief skim to see if I needed anything other than water to make them and failed to see that each box contained 4 cakes – so I plan to use these pouches as currency when said apocalypse hits us. I decided to start with one that seemed pretty fail safe to me – Confetti Cake.

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Prep is pretty straight forward for this cake, pour mix into mug, add water, mix until smooth, microwave for a minute and a half and booyah, one personal sized mug cake. I think where I went wrong, which isn’t even wrong, was that I used a large mug. I don’t know if you have ever microwaved instant oatmeal, but that stuff has a tendency to EXPLODE in the microwave if you don’t give it enough space to expand. I thought this might be true of the cake, but it only ended up filling just under 3/4 of the mug, making it look slightly underwhelming – it also doesn’t help that the picture on the box shows the mug nearly full of cake. Then I came to the stark realization that the best part of the cake was missing, THE FROSTING. Frosting be damned, I pressed on.

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I settled in at my desk to continue to watch whatever weirdness I could find on Twitch.tv while my mug cake cooled. Upon first fork (hah that sounds funny) I was pleasantly surprised that the mug concoction acted, smelled, and looked like cake. Maybe you’re onto something Duncan Hines. I must say that the first bite was a little… lack luster? I mean, it was decent, but it kind of almost tasted more like a confetti pancake? Don’t get me wrong, I pretty much devoured the entire thing in about 5 bites, and would eat another one, but it didn’t immediately grab me. Also I can’t tell if it leaves a weird aftertaste or I just need to brush my teeth. I will report back after I indulge in another mug cake later this week.

The package suggested replacing the water with milk, and adding fresh fruit to the mix for extra flavor. I’m sure the milk would make it a little more rich flavor, and I honestly would probably opt to add the fruit on top after the cake has cooked, but that is just me. I think the next time I opt to make this flavor, I will add a little raspberry jam to the top. All in all, if you’re into vanilla/confetti cake, I would say that this is a solid buy.




Found at Walmart for $2.50

April 12, 2017
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À la carte – Bundle Box – Popcorn Chicken Dipper

Posted in A la carte, Snack Box

À la carte is a small little weekend feature that I am going to be adding to my site for items that I don’t feel warrant a full review. First up, Bundle Box – Popcorn Chicken Dipper. It’s no secret that I have the culinary palette that would rival most 6 year olds, so when I saw these at Safeway on sale, not only did it speak the kid food portion of my brain, the lazy portion of my brain, but the nostalgia portion of my brain. Think product of the 90’s lunchable child, that’s me. What’s the worst that could happen?

Well this was a moment where I gave the food a little more credit than I should have, totally based on the picture on the outside of the box. Imagine my surprise when I poured out the contents to this unappealing array of items. What was I expecting? Not really sure, but not really this.

The chicken breading had a good flavor, but the chicken itself was BEYOND DRY. If you decide to give this a go, BYOB(everage). WOW. The ketchup was… ketchup. And the cookies tasted like the generic chocolate chip cookies that you would find in a vending machine. Over all, if I had to choose between this and a Lunchable? Move over Bundle Box, Lunchable just (chicken) dunked on you.

Found at Safeway, on sale for $3.00

April 8, 2017
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