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Erin

Planters Crunchers – Mesquite BBQ

Posted in Nuts by

Good Morning Friends! I know I mentioned in a previous blog that I like to get out of my house and blog in other places so that it does not feel like a chore. Recently my local bagel hang out has been under remodel and they are finally open! So that is where this review is coming to you today. It’s amazing how you can build a stop into your routine and when it changes, it kind of throws things for a loop. Normally I don’t blog from Starbucks but I have been spending a bit of my time there tapping away on my keyboard and it just isn’t the same! VIVA LA BAGEL SHOP.

Anywho – Yesterday I reviewed the Hot and Spicy version of these Planters Crunchers Peanuts and if you haven’t read it yet, you should go check it out! Today I am giving the Mesquite BBQ flavor a shot. Normally BBQ flavored anything isn’t really my jam because I don’t really enjoy sweet flavored toppings on savory food and I don’t like to get messy when I eat. I know I have said this before, but if you really want to learn about all your food hang ups, start a food blog and you will quickly realize how neurotic you are when it comes to eating.

I mentioned in the previous blog that I was expecting the Hot and Spicy version to be more of a red coloring and I would say that if you said BBQ to me that I would expect them to be brown, and these definitely are more of a visual representation of what I think something BBQ flavored would look like. When I opened the bag I immediately picked up on the smell of a smoky flavor with a light twinge of sweetness.

With apprehension I popped a few in to my mouth. Much like the Hot and Spicy flavor, the shell immediately liberated itself from the peanut and became its own act. To my surprise the sweetness of this BBQ flavoring is really subtle. The smoky paprika spiciness as well as the tomato and onion flavoring were very noticeable. To me, I feel like the peanut portion worked much better with this flavor vs the Hot and Spicy.

I really liked this flavor, despite expecting not to. The mesquite crunchiness mixed with the peanut makes for a nice bite. I also could see these mixed into some sort of snack mix as well. Between the Hot and Spicy and this flavor, I would probably choose the Hot and Spicy if I chose to buy these again but if you’re a barbecue fan give these a shot, you just might like them.

Found at Walmart

May 15, 2018
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Planters Crunchers – Hot N’ Spicy

Posted in Nuts by

Good Morning Friends! Here we are again, Monday!

I hope everyone had a stellar weekend. One really fun thing as a food blogger to do is walk up and down the aisles of stores looking for things you haven’t tried yet. Ultimately you find something here and there but sometimes you end up looking like a total weirdo. I was wandering Walmart recently looking for new things to nosh and stumbled across these hidden in the chip aisle of my local store. Despite their NEW across the top, I feel like these aren’t that new? I don’t know – a brief search of the internet only really told me that these might have come out around March? So newer – but not totally new.

I must admit – peanuts are not my favorite nuts. I enjoy them, but if I am feeling like snacking on nuts or seeds, I usually opt for almonds or cashews (cashews being my favorite). Plain peanuts are not my cup of tea at all, and if I do choose to have them I prefer them to be honey roasted.

So what exactly is the crunchy part on the outside? It doesn’t really crunch like a chip, more like maybe a bread coating? But when examining the ingredients looks like its a mixture of potato and rice with a bit of tapioca powder. When I opened the bag I was immediately greeted with spiciness. Wowee. I was also half expecting them to be more of a red color since that’s what I normally associate with something that is hot and spicy? But they are pretty light in color.

I popped a couple in my mouth, not really sure what to expect and was kind of surprised. The texture is a little strange as the crunchy coating breaks off the peanut before you actually make a full bite. I wish that the coating would have adheared to the peanut better because they become two separate entities very quickly. The one flavor that really stuck out to me of the flavoring was the vinegar. I personally shy away from hot sauces that taste really vinegar-y because I honestly just don’t enjoy the taste (Tabasco being a prime example of this), but despite being the star of the show for me, worked well with the other flavoring and spices.

Overall I thought these were pretty good. The spiciness was a good level, not burn your mouth off hot, and I could easily see them becoming addicting. I also really see these being a great staple to some sort of snack mix as the crunchy outside would lend itself to other crunchy counterparts as well as the more palate cleansing flavor of a peanut. The flavoring exists on the crunchy outer part but not on the peanut itself. I would probably buy these again, but in a smaller bag.

Upon doing a little looking there appears to be more flavors that I am aware of. Tomorrow I will have a review of the Mesquite BBQ flavor, but there are also salt and vinegar and cinnamon brown sugar versions floating around out there. If anyone happens to stumble across the cinnamon brown sugar, let a sister know where you spotted them as I would love to give them a try!

Found at Walmart

May 14, 2018
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Cheetos Stars – Summertime Ranch

Posted in Chips by

Good Morning Friends and Happy Mother’s Day to all the mamas out there!

Usually I ramble a bit before getting into the review for the day, but one would say that I am slightly preturbed by these… chips? Crisps? POOFS? Whatever they should be called. So – let’s get down to it, shall we?

I bought these on a late night Walmart run recently and thought about them all day at work on Friday. Eh, let’s reel that in a little, I thought about the name all day on Friday. What exactly is Summertime Ranch? Is there a Wintertime Ranch? Is ranch best enjoyed in the summertime? So many questions. Also, my brain decided to totally botch the words to a Lana Del Rey song by inserting the name of these chips into the chorus, which has since been stuck in my head for two days now. You can preview the song here if you have not heard the song Summertime Sadness.

I’ve got that summertime, summertime ranch chips. I’ve got that summertime, summertime ranch chips.

Stuck in your head now? You’re welcome.

After a brief photo shoot of these stary crunch POOFS (you have to say poofs, POOFS. Don’t believe me? Just ask my friend Clare. I poured myself a small bowl, plopped down on the couch, before ultimately falling asleep there, and took an excited bite.

When I opened the bag, I was pummeled with intense ranch goodness. Now maybe I’m kind of an idiot here, but for some reason I expected these to be cheese flavored as well? I don’t know, cheesy ranch sounds good to me, so I was a bit surprised when I opened the bag and they were naked ranch stars.

Back to the couch goodness. I took one bite and…

THESE ARE RANCH DORITOS

This might be the shortest review in the history of this blog, but holy hell was I BEYOND disappointed. These are 100%, no question about it, Cool Ranch Dorito flavored. Womp Womp.

Overall, if you’re into Cool Ranch Dortios (which I am not because I WAY overdid it as a kid with those chips) and you’re into POOFS that ultimately get mashed into your teeth – these stars are for you. Not only was I disappointed by the lack of cheese, the lack of new ranch flavored goodness, I am now stuck with the most GIANT bag of these things – do birds like ranch? I’m kidding, don’t feed food like this to animals. Maybe I could crush them up and make them into some sort of breading for chicken strips or onion rings. But WOW. So bummed. I truly have the Summertime Sadness now.

Found at Walmart

May 13, 2018
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Taco Bell – Hot Flavored Tortilla Chips

Posted in Chips, Fast Food by

Ding! Ding! Round Two – Fight!

Good Morning Friends! Anyone else drowning in their own body from allergy season? No? Just me? Great! I am truly miserable right now and feel like my head might just pop off. You know what might clear the sinuses? Some spicy chips!

Yesterday I talked about how I prefer Hot Taco Bell sauce on their culinary masterpieces so I was pretty excited that they decided to make that into a chip flavor.

Upon opening the bag I was immediately greeted with the strong smell of spicy. The chips did not look as covered in spices as the Mild chips did, but the deep red color of the chip said to me “I mean business”. I tried these chips two different times, the first time right after trying the Mild flavor and again the next day to confirm my thoughts about the flavors. I thought that perhaps I might have skewed the flavoring by eating something with a different flavor prior but I think I was able to get a good idea the first go around. Second time around just confirmed it for me.

Much like the Mild flavor – these chips are alright. They are nothing groundbreaking but don’t get me wrong, they are good. I would consider these kind of a slow burn hot. The more you eat, the hotter they get, causing you to eat more. Ever have that happen? Two other chip flavors come to mind when I think of the slow burn, Salsa Verde Doritos, and Spicy Szechuan Chex Mix (which I don’t think is even a thing anymore?). I don’t think I have ever demolished a bag of Chex Mix faster than the Szechuan flavor because of how spicy that stuff was.

The spiciness is a good level, not overpowering to it being the only flavor that you taste and it also has a subtle hint of smokiness. Much like the Mild flavor, I felt like these chips seemed “greasy” to me, even though they aren’t.

Overall, I think if I had to choose between the two flavors, I would choose the Mild chip flavor. While the Hot flavor is good, I felt like the overall flavor combination of the spices used in the Mild flavoring were more appealing. I also felt compelled to eat the whole bag of the Mild flavor because of the flavor, not because my mouth was on fire which I think would have been the case had I chosen to continue to eat the Hot flavor.

I think these would make really good chips in a Crunchwrap or something like that – bringing extra heat and a nice bit of crunch. Get on it Taco Bell! (just please think of me if you decide to roll with this idea – I could use a little kick back *wink* *wink*)

Found at Target

May 12, 2018
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Taco Bell – Mild Flavored Tortilla Chips

Posted in Chips, Fast Food by

Good Morning Friends! It’s Friday! FINALLY.

If you don’t know – Taco Bell recently came out with 3 flavors of tortilla chips. I have known about these for a hot minute and the anticipation of getting my hands on them was pretty major. I had heard rumblings that someone found them at 7.11 so I made my way to the one over by my house and was greeted with nothing even remotely close. Have you ever walked every inch of a small convenience store and feel weird getting nothing so you find something to buy that you don’t really need? That is exactly what happened – though what I purchased is somewhat new so that review will be up in the next couple of days.

I would call my enjoyment of Taco Bell a guilty pleasure, but I think its best labeled a regretful pleasure. Have you ever had anything off the Taco Bell menu without cheese? It’s not even worth it – so on the rare occasion I do partake, I go hard and get the cheese. And I ALWAYS regret it later. ALWAYS.

What Taco Bell sauce do you get?

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If I am feeling saucy, I will go with hot. I enjoy spicy and hot foods but I like when the sauce adds to the flavor, not overpowers it for the sake of being hot. Ghost pepper stuff? Nah. Why obliterate my taste buds when I can get some heat and still taste the delicious meal I am eating. I once tried a tiny taste of a ghost pepper hot sauce while driving – the reaction nearly made my car become a compact if you get what I’m saying. I like one packet of sauce per item for maximum sauce coverage but not overload.

I was very surprised when I opened the bag of these chips. I was expecting the flavor coating to look some what like the flavor coating of a ranch Dorito. Why? I havn’t a clue, but that’s what my brain decided. These babies are COATED and I am here for it. Nothing more disappointing than an underflavored chip. I also immediately noticed the smell from the mixture of spices – very potent! Getting pumped! Visually good lookin’? CHECK. Smellin’ delicious? CHECK. Tasting great?! OKAY.

These chips tasted like something I have had before, and I cant’t quite put my finger on it. The chip is a bit dense – but nice and crunchy and would definitely hold up if you were working with a dip situation. I do however really like their tortilla chips that you can get at the restaurant so I kind of wished that they had used those for the chip base. The chip definitely encompasses a nice range of spices with a bit of heat, but nothing over the top hot. I was expecting these to be a little on the tame side but was pleasantly surprised how much I liked them. With the serving size being between those tiny lame bags of chips and a large bag, I could see my self accidentally killing a bag of these. My only real gripe is that the chip seems a little… greasy? You know how when you get tortilla chips that haven’t really got a proper toweling off and they get that darker greasy pseudo transparent look to them? That is definitely the vibe I am getting from these chips. While my fingers aren’t greasy, they just SEEM it.

I also had a small revelation while sitting here thinking about these chips – with Frito Lay and Taco Bell being BFFs, was the flavor that I felt so familiar with something that I have tasted on a Dorito before? How come they didn’t choose to make sauce packet flavored Doritos, then make a Doritos Locos Taco with the chip flavor?! One could argue that they have similar offerings already with their current line up, but I feel like this would be a marketing slam dunk! One thing I can definitely see myself doing is making nachos with these chips. The generous flavor coating would make for a delicious nacho-y experience.

Overall I thought these chips were good but did not knock my socks off. The flavor was evenly distributed on every chip and brought a good amount of flavor and heat to each bite. I would really love to see Taco Bell incorporate these into their every day menu items even if for a limited time offering. Check back tomorrow for the review of the Hot flavor!

Found at Target

May 11, 2018
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Entenmann’s Little Bites – Vanilla

Posted in Bakery by

Good Morning Friends! How is it Monday, yet again? I hope everyone had a great weekend – Mine was pretty low key. Did a little snack hunting, spent some time at work, worked on my fish tank, you know, the usual.

I saw these Little Bites pop up on an Instagram post and kind of scoffed when I saw what Entemann’s newest incarnation was. How have they not made vanilla already? I feel like its one of those flavors where if someone had asked you if you’ve had you’d say yes, but somehow the answer is no. I have enjoyed most of the flavors of the Little Bites offerings that I have tried, but I thought to myself, vanilla? That’s all you’ve got? How plain

Oh boy, where to start. These taste good. Let’s start there. They are moist and fluffy, delicious vanilla flavored cake bites. They could use a little frosting, but overall I enjoyed the taste. I feel like this flavor is totally phoned in though. There is nothing new and exciting about vanilla cake bites. Limited Edition? These should just be a staple flavor in their stable.

I think these would be perfect for the picky eater in your life or if you wanted to make some sort of over the top desert and wanted a little cake to go along with it. OH! A tasty milkshake with these on a skewer like a Bloody Mary. These are your run of the mill moist fluffy white cake and if that’s what floats your boat, you wont be disappointed.

Found at Walmart

May 7, 2018
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Chobani Flip – Honey Crunch Bunch

Posted in Dairy by

Good Morning Friends! Lately I have been trying to kick my morning Starbucks habit, not only for health reasons, but majorly for the dolla dolla bills. I find that I usually end up at the Starbucks down the street from my work because I am starving by the time I make the commute and set my things down on my desk. I have been trying hard to provide myself with snack ideas and breakfast at work to curb the “just-stop-into-starbucks-real-quick-because-youre-the-first-person-in-the-office-anyways” thing I have going on.

For the most part I have been bringing non dairy yogurt and some cereal to mix in because, you know, lactose intolerance and what not. However, I was at the store over the weekend and I just could not help myself for these Chobani Flips. While they are nothing new, I have tried to side step away from yogurt because we tend to not agree on a molecular level. All the tasty combos… ALL THE TASTY COMBOS. Just give it a shot and see what happens.

I picked up four different flavors to sprinkle into my week and this was the first that I had tried.

The packaging boasts honey greek yogurt, pumpkin seeds, corn flakes, and honey oat clusters. Does anyone like the cereal Oh’s? Oh, its my favorite and my brain told me that this, would taste like that. I anxiously opened the container, praying to the dairy gods that I wouldn’t be paying for this later and mixed together the toppings and yogurt. Can we just take a moment to mention how off-putting greek yogurt looks naked before mixed? Eesh. Hello weird food hang ups, nice to see you.

I mixed this treat and tried not to get it everywhere. While I like the design concept of flipping, it truly is kind of hard to mix with a normal sized spoon and not slosh it all over the sides as well as get into the corners for equal topping distribution.

I took a bite, a BIG bite and was slightly surprised by the flavor. I was expecting this to taste like sweet honey and crunchy corn cereal, but it tasted like… apple cider? I tried another bite thinking maybe the pumpkin or something was throwing me for a loop and I again was met with the flavor of cider. Don’t get me wrong, I like apple cider but when you’re expecting one thing and get something else, it definitely shocks the senses a bit. I finished the container, and proceeded to ponder why that was so cinnamon-y even though a brief skim of the ingredients didn’t show any and then proceeded to have THE WORST HEART BURN EVER. That’s a little over the top, because that is pretty much reserved for Grape Nuts and Maple Donuts, but holy cow was I breathing fire.

I will probably try this flavor again to just confirm the weird flavor profile despite what the packaging boasts as far as mix ins. Maybe I got a wonky cup? IF it does in fact taste the same, then I will pass on future purchases because its not really my jam, and I also am not really into turning into a dragon first thing in the morning. And for the record my insides did not revolt at work, so this trial will continue. For now…

Found at Walmart

May 3, 2018
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Haribo – Starmix

Posted in Candy by

Good Morning Friends – Things are in full swing at work, so today is just a quicky little post. Haribo make some of if not the best gummy items in the entire universe in my opinion. I prefer my gummies to be on the chewier side vs the soft squishy side and Haribo always delivers. Somewhat recently they came out with the Starmix… mix. and I am all over it. And every time I think the word Starmix, I think of The Weeknd – Motherflippin Starmix.

A brief search shows that you can indeed get pretty much anything gummy in this mix. A lot of images show getting their egg gummies but mine contained no such sort.

My mix contained Twin Snakes, Friendship Rings, Cola Bottles, Happy Cherries, and their signature bears. I personally am not a fan of cola flavored things, so that works well for my coworker that enjoys them and often raids my desk drawers for food after hours – more for him. I honestly have never had the friendship rings (or really even knew they were a thing) but Twin Snakes and Happy Cherries? YES PLEASE. Also the idea of wearing a food kind of grosses me out. I know that its more of a kid thing ala candy necklaces, etc, but I am not into the idea of nomming a ring off my germy hands.

Overall this mix is delicious. I like that you get a little bit of everything because bags of gummy things never tend to last long and its nice to mix it up the flavors and offerings. Overall I really enjoy this mix (minus the cola bottles) and would buy it again. Hopefully next time I will get some of those eggs!

Found at Target

May 2, 2018
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Hostess Bake Shop – Chocolate Covered Twinkies

Posted in Bakery, Confectionaries by

Good Morning Friends – Happy Tuesday to you! My local Smart & Final Extra started carrying the Hostess Bake Shop items recently and I just had to scoop these up. I find the title Hostess Bake Shop a little redundant – because aren’t all the items that they make considered baked?

In this handy little package you will get 4 chocolate and sprinkle covered Twinkies. I am into this packaging visually, but as far as a single serve set up, it would be nice if they were packaged like normal Twinkies. I thought that it was a little dumb buying these because I have had a Chocodile – aren’t these essentially the same thing? Doing a little research for this post, I learned that Chocodiles were kind of a west coast only thing – who knew? I personally do not care for Chocodiles, call me a Twinkie purist. The chocolate to me tastes like a chocolate product, not actual chocolate. There is just something very off about the flavor to me. I do however like the addition of sprinkles, everything is better with sprinkles. Don’t believe me? I couldn’t find the sugar at my Mom’s house a few years ago and proceeded to use purple sugar crystal sprinkles to sweeten my cereal – truly magical.

The chocolate used on these Chocolate Covered Twinkies are different than what is used on a Chocodile. To me this is more like a true chocolate coating instead of a chocolate flavored coating. The Twinkie remains soft and spongy, the filling just how I remember. The sprinkles add a small bit of crunch to the whole bite and I like it. Overall, I enjoyed these. I don’t however see myself eating an entire tray before they get weird and stale, so that is a bit of a bummer due to the way they are packaged. I would recommend these to anyone that likes Twinkies but is also looking to satisfy that chocolate pang. Also if you were not a Chocodile fan like myself, you might just like these.

Found at Smart & Final Extra!

May 1, 2018
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Oreo – #myoreocreation – Kettle Corn

Posted in Confectionaries, Cookies by

Top of the Monday to you! How is it already Monday. I swear the week drags and then the weekend hits some sort of light speed and wizzes by faster than anything I have ever experienced. The winners of the Oreo #myoreocreation were announced and sprinkled into stores this week, so you know I had to go and try to swoop them up. As of this moment the Pina Colada flavor eludes me, but I will find you. The other piece of this trio is a Cherry Cola treat with popping candy. I figured I would start with what I considered the one that I would like the most. Why save the best for last when you can eat the best first.

Overall, I think the three winning flavors are a bit… safe? Oreo has really been hitting the flavor game hard the last few years, so from a junk foodie standpoint I can really appreciate that, but why not choose something a little more bold? Eh, I digress.

So, kettle corn. Deliciously sweet and salty treat best served straight from the popper at your local fair or flea market. I have a flea market by my house that makes INCREDIBLE kettle corn. I literally could and have eaten bags of that stuff like my life depended on it. My body however does not really like the idea of popcorn, so I tend to only subject myself to it in dark movie theaters or the occasional bag here and there. The idea of eating popcorn/kettle corn without the pesky husks getting stuck in my teeth though seemed like heaven on Earth.

I like the idea of adding something to the creme that brings the crunch factor that simulates eating popcorn, but for some reason, my brain has cemented the word millet next to bird food forever. While I logically know that we eat all kinds of foods that other animals eat, especially in different forms, my brain says to me “Yo, those Oreos have bird food in them.” Couldn’t we have called it puffed cereal or grains or something?

You might notice that the picture backgrounds have changed – or maybe not – and that is because of course I am enjoying this treat at work. Started from my office now we’re here. That was a Drake reference. And by here I mean my other desk. I like to enjoy my Oreo cookies as two separate entities. Twist of the plain cookie, eat that, eat the creme, and then eat the other cookie. For the sake of research, I ate a whole one as intended as well – fully sandwiched together. The smell when you first open the tray is overwhelmingly kettle corn at its finest. DELICIOUS and if I could smell like this, I would.

Upon first bite, I was treated to what to me seemed more like caramel corn than kettle corn. It missed that slight salty hint and had a more buttery flavor like caramel than sugary sweet and salty kettle corn. I also though the millet, while giving it an interesting texture seemed a little soggy to me? Not wet, but not overly crunchy, more chewy. While I dig that they were going for a texture element, I wish they would have gone the route of the crunchiness of the Marshmallow Treat flavor they did a while back.

These weren’t bad – but also weren’t entirely exciting. I feel like many Oreos existed before these that have a similar flavor profile. If I couldn’t find these locally, I would not feel like I really missed out. These are pretty middle of the road for me. I will probably eat more of the package, but I wouldn’t hoard them in my office away from my coworkers either.

Found at Walmart

April 30, 2018
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