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Bakery

La Brea Bakery – Take & Bake Holiday Stuffing Rolls

Posted in Bakery, Bread

Good Morning Friends!

While wandering the aisles of Safeway yesterday looking for anything new gracing their shelves, I was starting to become a little disheartened that I hadn’t found anything that piqued my interest. It wasn’t until I made my way over to the bakery tables that I spotted these little babies tucked into the corner. Holiday food already eh?

If you aren’t familiar with La Brea Bakery – you should be. They are and award winning bakery that got its start in the Los Angeles area of California. Known for selling out of their bread every day, they have since expanded their operations offering take and bake items through grocery stores as well as opening cafes across the country serving up their tasty chewy bread that is still made from the original starter.

Back to the holiday portion that I mentioned – this is about the time of year that I start taking bets of when the first holiday ad is going to pop up. Upon discovering these yesterday I immediately called my mom, overly excited. I mentioned how I thought it was a little strange that I found Holiday Stuffing flavored anything in stores already, but she mentioned that she thinks she might have seen an ad in a recent printing of an AARP magazine for something Christmas related. Hey companies, its only May – stop it with the Christmas creep.

One thing that I love at Thanksgiving is stuffing – and one thing that I love ANY time of the year is bread. Thanksgiving stuffing AND bread mixed together? SIGN ME UP. I guess one could argue that stuffing is made of bread but that’s neither here nor there.

My toaster is a bit temperamental and went a little scorchy on this roll, but this was not going to stop me from enjoying this tasty sage-y, celery-y, thyme-y, pepper-y cloud of heaven. I may or may not have tried to also cut my thumb off slicing this roll – yikes. Dressed this guy up with a little bit of butter and went in for the first bite.

This bread is deliciously soft an chewy. My mother would no doubt turn these into hockey pucks, but they are the perfect texture. However, despite the delicious taste, I was completely underwhelmed. Despite all the flavors boasted on the back of the package, I did not really taste much of them. I was expecting a robust mixture of flavors but was met with a whisper. Maybe if I bake them in a normal oven the flavors will develop a little more but I was disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, the rolls are really good, but I was just expecting something more flavorful. I think I will whip up a small batch of cranberry jam, some instant potatoes (since I can make those in a really small batch) and some turkey to make myself a small Thanksgiving sandwich. Now I am drooling again.

Found at Safeway

May 16, 2018
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Entenmann’s Little Bites – Vanilla

Posted in Bakery

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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Hostess Bake Shop – Chocolate Covered Twinkies

Posted in Bakery, Confectionaries

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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Betty Crocker – Mug Treats – Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie

Posted in Bakery, Confectionaries

Good Morning friends! I hope everyone is having a great Saturday morning. I started my day off going to some subpar garage sales looking at “another mans treasure” aka junk that people were hawking. Maybe I should hold a yard sale to sell off some of my junk food stash – Crazy Erin’s Junk Food Emporium – I am into it. OH or better yet how about a pop up cafe, that’s a thing right?

Anyways, Betty Crocker jumped on the mug cake game with 8 flavors (Duncan Hines has a robust 25 flavor offerings as of this review). Nothing brings out my inner Beanie Baby collector nostalgia like the hunt for all the flavors of a food. At this moment, I believe I have all the flavors but Blueberry Muffin. Let’s just start with the automatic leg up that Betty Crocker has, it included FROSTING. I think one of the most heard gripes from the Duncan Hines release was that the cakes were missing the best part, the frosting. They have since come out with single serve frosting packets to add to your mug creations but too little too late Duncan! (I’ll buy them all I am sure, who am I kidding).

I decided to start with to me, a classic flavor pairing. Something that I knew couldn’t go wrong – Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie.

Two improvements that I could see right out the gate are that 1) they print the microwave instructions on the packet and 2) they give you a fill line on the packet so you can use it to add the liquid portion. Upon looking at packets for other flavors, it appears that they have already started implementing point 1, but the second point would be major as I tend to bring these to work and do not have measuring utensils there – leaving me to eyeball it, which so far hasn’t yielded a dry or soupy disaster.

I prepped my brownie and began to give my peanut butter topping packet a massage in my hands. Protip – do this with the frostings/toppings, they will squeeze out the packet way easier. I patiently waited the one minute and change it took to zap my brownie, hoping that it would taste as good as a brownie should and immediately grabbed it out of the microwave. And immediately regretted that decision. And immediately seared off my fingerprints. After doing the pain dance in my kitchen I made work of liberating the peanut butter topping from its confining packet. In the picture on the box it shows a nice little dollop swirled on top and I attempted to recreate the image, but the peanut butter topping is just way too thick.

Learning from previous mistakes, I grabbed the cup (I didn’t use a mug with a handle, A REBEL I AM) with my shirt and made my way to the couch with my peanut buttery chocolately treat. Also, as I write this review, I had a total epiphany – shouldn’t these be called cup cakes? They are made in a cup. No one really says mug of coffee, they say cup, even though a mug is implied. Shouldn’t a cupcake be called a tincake? Because its made in a muffin tin? WOW. Okay. I like taking my cupcakes (tin cake?) and breaking them in half and putting the frosting side in the middle like a sandwich. It gives you a good frosting to cake ratio. Unfortunately with this current cup set up, all of the frosting is confined to the top unless you decide to mix it together and what kind of monster would do that (Me. It me.)

I was expecting the topping to be slightly sweet peanut butter like frosting, but I would argue that it is pure peanut butter. While I am okay with this, I am not really into eating melty peanut butter alone, so it is best enjoyed with the brownie portion. The brownie is moist, chocolately, and very tasty, and mixes well with the peanut butter on top. However, this treat is probably best enjoyed with a LARGE glass of milk or something similar to. The peanut butter is very thick and I felt like when you give a dog a lick of peanut butter and they struggle trying to eat the glob – it is a lot to swallow if you take a big bite.

Overall, I really enjoyed this treat and can see myself not only finishing off the box but buying it again. The only thing I might do in the future is core out the center after its been cooked with my spoon and infuse the brownie with the peanut butter so that by the time you reach the bottom you still have some topping left to enjoy with it.

Found at Walmart

April 28, 2018
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Krispy Kreme – Limited Time – Nutter Butter Donut & Chips Ahoy Donut

Good Morning everyone! Soooo… does anyone really enjoy going to meetings? When I started working many moons ago I discovered that meetings are the voicemail of office work. JUST TEXT ME THE DETAILS. The only good part about meetings are that they occasionally have food. I was tasked with procuring said food, mostly because I am the first person to the office every day and I have a company credit card (ayyyyye). Donuts were requested and the closest (and only?) donut shop to my work is a Krispy Kreme. I prefer Krispy Kreme’s sour cream donuts to their original glazed, but that’s just me.

I grabbed a dozen and one of the Nutter Butter donuts for myself, because let’s face it, peanut butter ANYTHING is probably going to be delicious – unless you are allergic, then deadly. BUT ANYWAYS. I dropped off the donuts in the conference room and retreated to my office to enjoy my tasty breakfast snack.

Let’s just start with that this donut was smaller than I thought it was going to be – but that was OK, I don’t need a donut the size of Texas to start my day. According to Krispy Kreme, this donut is dipped in peanut butter icing, topped with Nutter Butter crumbles, and drizzled with peanut butter icing. This sounds like a peanut butter lovers dream – except I was somehow completely underwhelmed with peanut butter flavoring. I liked the pieces on top, which gave it a nice bit of texture but overall this was hardly peanut buttery at all. I think they really could have knocked it out of the park if they had oped for a peanut butter flavored cream instead of peanut butter flavored glaze. I would totally pass on this donut again.

Fast forward roughly 7 hours and I have been running around back and forth from my office to my other desk in our 14,000 square foot warehouse – completely ignoring the hunger pangs that have been plaguing me all day since my Nutter Butter let down donut. I didn’t really have time to run out and grab something to eat and I remembered that there was nearly a full box of untouched donuts sitting in the conference room. I made the trek up the front of the building and grabbed the box, presenting it to my coworkers like some sort of donut deity and slyly took another donut for lunch. Do I need two donuts in one day? No. Did I eat two donuts in one day? Yes. Am I proud of it? In the immediate moment, yes in the long term, no. Introducing the Chips Ahoy chocolate chips donut. Doughnut?

Needless to say I was starving judging by this picture because I took a big ole bite before giving it a proper introduction. I will be the first to admit that Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies are pretty hit and miss for me. Sometimes i am really into them, other times they are a paltry attempt at satisfying a craving for fresh baked cookies. I was concerned that the cookie on top would break my two front teeth but it turns out, that baby is a soft bake. Nice job guys. I found this donut rather delicious. The cookie dough cream on the inside with the dark chocolate and cookie on top really hit the spot. I would definitely eat one of these again.

The only donut of the limited time trio that I did not get to try was the Oreo cookies and cream, but let’s be real – I think we can imagine what that bad boy tastes like and the only people that wanted that donut were the people that voted for the cookies and cream Oreos that were released a while back.

April 23, 2018
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Ihop – Limited Time – Cinnamon Toast

Good Morning y’all! Normally I don’t review food from eating establishments or fast food places but I had this plate of cinnamon-y goodness and thought I would at least have to tell the internet about it. Ihop has a Kings Hawaiian Limited Time menu insert until the middle of June this year. The other day I was talking to a coworker and told him about the deliciousness that I was excited to partake in, and he revealed a really unsettling truth to me – he had never had Kings Hawaiian bread before. UHM EXCUSE ME?

Surely he was mistaken and I frantically brought up a picture of the fluffy, soft, tasty, delicious, buttery, tasty bread morsels for him, thinking maybe he didn’t know what he was saying, but NOPE, never in his life had he heard of Kings Hawaiian Bread. While I quietly grieved for him, I fantasized of the tasty bread in french toast form.

Now, I don’t really frequent Ihop – I find their food to be okay on the scale of delicious breakfast food, especially for the price. Don’t get me wrong, I am all about paying premium dollar for a tasty meal, but Ihop just doesn’t really do it for me.

There are three offerings using the Kings Hawaiian Bread sweet rolls, Strawberry Banana French Toast, Kings Hawaiian French Toast (duh), and Cinnamon Toast. The difference between the Kings Hawaiian French toast and Cinnamon Toast is that they add a cinnamon smear (gross terminology there guys) and cream cheese frosting to the Cinnamon Toast. I oped for the over-the-top, coma inducing Cinnamon Toast because why not?

I was unprepared for the plate that was being presented to me. I think mostly because I was expecting something slightly different looking due to the picture in the menu. Expectations vs. reality, I guess? The portion sizing on this was decent as this was very rich and sugary. It is made with two Kings Hawaiian sweet rolls cut in half and then doctored up with french toast coating and the above mentioned smear.

Overall I thought that they were pretty good. I was slightly disappointed because the smear, cinnamon, frosting, whipped cream, etc. really overpowered the Kings Hawaiian Bread flavor. The french toast was light and fluffy, which was really nice but you probably could have served me any soft dinner roll prepared in the same way and I wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference. Overall I probably wouldn’t get this again. Don’t get me wrong, it was delicious, but it was WAY too rich for any meal of the day (I had it for dinner). And this is coming from a person that will (and has) eat plain sugar from a jar. If I were to order it again I would probably ask that the toppings be served on the side so that I could prepare this to my liking. I actually have an idea of how to prepare something with Kings Hawaiian Bread based on this idea – we shall see if I actually execute it. Until then… Mahalo my dudes.

April 22, 2018
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Ohh how I wish…

Posted in Bakery, Bread

Ever see something put out by a company on April Fools Day that you wish was real? OH BOY DO I WISH THIS WAS REAL – maybe not as a perfume, but how about a Yankee Candle? I received this via email today from Boudin Bakery and immediately took flight in a day dream of tomato soup in a bread bowl. Maybe that’s tomorrows dinner. Mmmmm. Totally not sponsored, but totally salivating.

April 1, 2018
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Duncan Hines – Perfect for One Mug Cake – Cinnamon Coffee Cake

Posted in Bakery, Confectionaries

The other night I was jonesing really bad for a piece of cake. While I like cake, I don’t normally buy it for myself, keeping my cake experience to once or twice a year at a work birthday party or something. I remembered that when these mug cakes made their first appearance, I had flashbacks of trying to collect all the new Beanie Babies – going from store to store looking for all of the flavors. Much like Pokemon, I didn’t manage to catch them all, but I caught many, one of them being my favorite type of “cake”, coffee cake. I dug through my junk food stash in hopes that they wouldn’t be expired and was pleasantly surprised when I finally located them. (We won’t talk about my stash – its more like organized hoarding and I joke with my friends that I will use my cache of food to bargain for important items during the apocalypse)

Before I got a little older and convinced myself that having a piece of coffee cake with my cup of tea in the morning is probably not the most well rounded breakfast, coffee cake was my jam. Something about the light and fluffy cinnamon-y cake topped with a tasty crumble – yum yum. If you presented me with vanilla frosted cake, chocolate frosted cake, etc. and a piece of coffee cake? The coffee cake would win, hands down, every time.

One thing that I really enjoy about the mug cake idea is that I don’t have to bake a whole cake. Because if I bake a whole cake, I would eat said whole cake. I can’t say that I have eaten a whole cake by myself, but I definitely have had to tell myself that it was time to let it go into the land of the garbage – like Miranda from Sex and the City when she throws the cake away, then debates eating it out of the trash so she decides to cover it with dish soap. Now I haven’t stooped as low as eating garbage cake, but why tempt it? ANYWAYS.

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I whipped up this cake in one of my favorite mugs and patiently radiated myself in front of the microwave for a minute and a half. Let me just say, every time I have made one of these cakes, I expect it to fill the cup way more than it does, and it always comes out looking extremely underwhelming. You’d think that after the first couple that I would just use a smaller cup to convince myself that there is more cake, but ever since the great oatmeal overflow explosion of 2016, I’ve been a bit anxious about putting things in the microwave that might not contain its contents.

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The cake was everything that I wanted it to be, warm, fluffy, cinnamon-y, delicious. The only thing that it was really missing was the crumble topping. They remedied this by putting in little bits of crumble pieces throughout the cake, but its just not the same. I suppose if I had brown sugar I could probably make a tiny little batch of crumble to put on top, but I kind of feel like this would defeat the purpose of a minute and a half mug cake. Overall I would (and have) make this cake again. And again. And again. (in a kids sized mug)




Found at Walmart

February 19, 2018
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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.

confetti1

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.

confetti2

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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Nature Valley Granola Cups – Almond Butter

Posted in Bakery, Snack Bars

I bought these about a month ago and in true snack hoarder fashion, I totally forgot that I had them tucked away in a Target bag for a rainy day. Well I guess that works because it’s raining outside today in sunny California. Granola anything is something that I can live with or without. It has never been something that I have been like “Wow! I could really go for some granola right now!” but when I saw these, I was a bit intrigued. How much can you really do to jazz up granola that hasn’t already been done? Make it salty and sweet, cover it in chocolate, etc.
almondgranola1

I am notorious for snacking while at the computer. I picked up this bad habit from late nights gaming and chatting on IRC (just typing that instantly makes me feel old) and lately I have been trying to avoid the old standbys of candy and chips – so these totally swooped in and saved the day, until I had a moment of panic. Did I just buy something with a yogurt center? Don’t get me wrong, I like to enjoy granola in my coconut yogurt, but the dairy stuff? Oh boy. Luckily after about 3 seconds of reading, I realized it was almond butter, all right in the world again.

These babies are a little bit bigger than an American half dollar coin. I was hoping for something a little more bite size, but I guess if I didn’t have the mouth the size of a small mouse, they would be. Upon first bite, the flavor of honeyed granola is very apparent as well as cinnamon/brown sugar. The cup portion isn’t as brick like as a normal Nature Valley granola bar that will literally shatter a tooth if you don’t bash it on the counter a few times before enjoying, which makes it nice. The almond butter is smooth and creamy, but not very exciting. My major qualm with this snack is that I feel that the almond pieces on top are a little too large. Sometimes almonds can be like small rocks when chewing and I ran into that with one of the cups I was enjoying. Overall I enjoyed the flavor and it really satisfied my wanting of a sweet snack without it being something that was 110% sugar.

Word to the wise, don’t pop the entire thing in your mouth. Have you ever seen a dog try and eat a large spoonful of peanut butter? It pretty much went like that.

almondgranola2





Found at Target for $3.59

April 6, 2017
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