Lunchables Lunch Combinations – Dirt Cake

So I wish could say “I can’t even remember the last time I had a Lunchable”… but that would be completely untrue. On occasion the suck me in with the temptation of gross chicken nuggets and cold Pringles. Despite being gross, I just can’t get enough sometimes. I am also sad that I can never find the original Lunchable anymore. Are they even made anymore? Do kids even know the struggle we had of a Lunchable with no drink and an Andes mint as dessert (I am not complaining about the mint, I love Andes mints – best reason to eat at Olive Garden aside from the unlimited breadsticks). As I was strolling down the cold foods section in Walmart, looking for lunch meat, I spotted this gem tucked away between 700 different Lunchables, that were all pretty much the same, but presented with different things, and 20 flavors of Rev sandwich roll things.

I was a bit shocked that this is considered a lunch combination, considering that the calorie intake is almost as much as what I eat for an entire lunch somedays. People would give this to their kid in addition to either another Lunchable or in a sack lunch? Crazy!

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So despite not being able to say “I can’t remember the last time I had a Lunchable”, I can however say I can’t remember the last time I had dirt cake. I am not really into my food being mixed together. I like that each of the items are separated so that I can choose to eat them separately if I please. I contemplated this for a moment, but I felt like I was doing myself a disservice and not getting the full experience of the Lunchable… Dessertable…? I grabbed this treat from the fridge, plopped down on the couch and watched some old Monday Night Nitro while digging -haha!- in.

It took a little for the gummy worms to not be crazy chewy from being cold. The frosting in the middle, which I remember it being pudding as a child, was really syrupy in that it was really drippy, and the cookie crumbs were… cookie crumbs. Most of the combinations of flavors were good, but I did not care for lime gummy worm + frosting + cookie crumbs. Kinda gross. I ran out of worms before I ran out of the frosting and cookie crumbs, so I grabbed a spoon and polished off the rest because I’m an adult and I do what I want.

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Texture: 3/5 – The gummy worms started out as really chewy because they were cold, then the outside got really sticky from the condensation from the temperature change. The frosting was really syrupy and the cookie crumbs were crunchy.

Smell: 4.5/5 – This was chocolate delight! Yum!

Appearance: 3/5 – Nothing really exciting about this offering. I feel like it should have included a spoon.

Taste: 3.5/5 – This Lunchable was okay. The parts were good and the sum of the parts were good, but it wasn’t anything I haven’t had before. I wish they were full sized gummy worms because I ran out of those well before I ran out of frosting and cookie crumbs. Also the frosting was really messy because it was so syrupy. I also needed a spoon to eat the remaining cookie crumbs and frosting, which I guess if I were my child self, I would have just used my finger. The gummy and crunchy texture was nice, but there were some odd flavor combinations from the various flavors of the gummy worms that weren’t all that appetizing. I would probably not buy this again but it was nice to try something new. PS. where is the cake in all of this Lunchables?!

Oreo Cookies – Limited Edition Cookie Dough

While meandering through Target today, trying to remember what I actually came there for, I spotted these on a front endcap as I walked through market. I somewhat recently tried the Baskin Robbins Oreo cake batter ice cream and I imagined that these would taste similar to that. Or maybe those chocolate chip covered Oreos that people see on Pinterest, but always turn out these huge hockey puck cookies that to me, don’t taste all that great. I threw a package in my cart and continued on my trek through Target – which by the way, I left without buying the one thing I really needed to buy.

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Nabisco has really been trying to up their Oreo game lately – and I feel like they are the only ones that are trying to come out with a lot of limited edition items. The only other brand that I see doing a lot of new flavors are Pringles. Chocolate chip cookie dough is my go to flavor when it comes to ice cream, that is when I could still eat ice cream. I would also say that I probably enjoy raw cookie dough more than I enjoy baked cookies. There is something so good about eating a spoonful of cold cookie dough. We will just pretend that it doesn’t have raw eggs in it, alright?

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I was kind of expecting these Oreos to be like the peanut butter Oreos (not to be confused with the Reese’s Oreos). You are expecting to have peanut butter in the middle, but instead you get peanut butter flavored creme, good, but not great. The outside of the package boasts that the creme is made with ‘chocolately chips’ but upon twisting my first Oreo open, they were hardly noticeable. I am from the school of Oreo eaters that twist open the cookie, eat the creme center, then eat the cookies. I feel that Nabisco could have gone either way with a chocolate cookie or a golden cookie with this one, but being a chocolate lover, I’m glad they decided to go with the chocolate cookie outside.

The creme was really tasty. I think the ‘chocolately’ chips were more chocolate shavings than anything, but you definitely got the flavor profile of raw cookie dough. My favorite part of chocolate chip cookies is the brown sugar, and that flavor is definitely present in these. The only thing that I would have changed would be that the chocolate in the cookie dough was more chunk like, but thats just a personal preference.

Could we also take a moment and address that Nabisco should really get into the cookie spread game and bust out some different flavored Oreo cookie butters? I know I’m probably not alone in wanting some delicious cookies and creme cookie butter across my breakfast toast.

Texture: 4/5 – The texture of the creme is what you would expect from an Oreo. The chocolate chips neither enhance or detract from the texture of the cookie.

Smell: 5/5 – These definitely smell like chocolate chip cookies to me and they smell delicious.

Appearance: 3/5 – I only give this a middle of the road rating because you can’t really jazz up an Oreo. The pictures on the outside of the bag…tray? don’t really match what the inside looks like, but that’s okay. I am still going to eat the hell out of these regardless of what they look like.

Taste: 4.5/5 – Out of all the limited edition Oreos that I have tried, I would venture to say that these rank in one of the top spots on my list. The center is buttery, creamy, brown sugar-y (is that a word?) and delicious, and the cookie outside brings the crunch making this cookie the complete package. I would be okay if Nabisco decided to ditch some of their other flavors that are old stand-bys and replace one with this flavor. In fact I would probably be more apt to buy these than regular Oreos – ooooh I said it. Go try them!

GoPicnic – Chocolate Almond Butter & Croissant

Remember when I used to update my blog on the regular? Yeah me too. Somehow, we now find ourselves in August, 8 months from my last update. A while back I posted how life has been crazy and I have been trying to figure out how to balance both life and blogging. As you can see, I still have yet to find that balance, but dammit, I’m going to try and make it work. I recently moved, so I have been getting settled into my new place and finally have internet. I have also been working like a mad woman at my job. While leiserly clicking around on my time card recently, I noticed that I have clocked over 100 hours of overtime this year. So, if you have been wondering where I have been, there is your answer.

I have quite the stockpile to work through, and my partner in crime never fails to give me grief about how I buy things with the intention of reviewing them, but they end up sitting in the cabinet never touched. Boo. So that needs to change, not only because I now look like a junk food dooms day prepper, but I honestly miss blogging.

My most recent snack food endevor was a small meal kit that was picked up at Target. The entire line of products doesn’t really appeal to me, mostly because I don’t like buying things that I know I won’t eat everything in the box. That is why I have a hard time buying things like Lunchables – because I am lactose intolerant, I never end up eating the cheese, so I feel like it is a waste (though not to mention that Lunchables are hardly food to begin with, but they are great in a pinch at work). When I saw this kit, I was originally turned off by the apricot fruit leather, because I am not a fan of apricots, but over on my personal blog, I gave myself the challenge of trying new foods so, I went with it.

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This meal comes in a cute little box that easily fits in a purse – although I would not consider this a meal per say, the calorie count would make it one.

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The contents were slightly underwhelming when opening the box. I don’t really know what I was expecting, but something a little more visually appealing for sure. I was concerned that because somehow they say that the croissant will stay fresh until the end of this year, that it would be dry and flavorless. I started with the fruit leather, and was actually quite surprised that I liked it. The flavor was sweet and the leather portion was chewy but not where I felt like I was having apricot jerky.

Next I moved on to the croissant and almond butter. While I was training to run a half marathon (which never came to fruition, though I am proud that I can run much longer than I previously could) I would often look for snacks that runners could carry and eat while running distances. A few friends suggested the single serve packs of Justin’s Almond Butter. Yeah, about that. Almonds and I have a relatively new forged relationship, and I just could not get into the taste, or the texture. I felt like I was eating sand. Too gritty, not enough flavor to off set it. I thought with the addition of chocolate that I might have a better experience – but that really didn’t turn out to be the case. One thing I think could be included with this kit would be a small knife or if the peanut butter was put in a small tub instead of a squeezable package.

I prefer to dip things like bagels and what not into peanut butter instead of spreading it on it, and that’s how I chose to eat this. I was actually surprised that the croissant was moist, buttery, and flaky, despite being able to sit on a shelf for a year. I was not a fan of the chocolate almond butter, but I honestly think it’s just a personal preference, not that it was bad. I was expecting something sweeter like Nutella, but the flavor to me was a bit underwhelming.

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Texture: 3/5 – The fruit leather was perfectly made. It was chewy and not tough, and I would definitely eat it again. The croissant was airy and light, like you would expect. I was honestly surprised by this and would by these in a stand alone packaging. The chocolate almond butter was a little gritty for my liking, but when combined with the croissant it was not nearly as noticeable.

Smell: 4/5 – The fruit leather smelled like fresh apricots, not artificial or sugary sweet. The croissant smelled like a typical croissant. Surprisingly the chocolate almond butter smelled more of almonds than of chocolate despite it’s appearance.

Appearance: 4/5 – I liked that this snack came in a cute recycled box that I could toss into my bag without worrying that the croissant would become a pancake. The packaging of the fruit leather was nice. The croissant and chocolate almond butter were both in no frills packaging. I would have liked to have seen a little more functional packaging on the almond butter, but that is just personal preference.

Taste: 3.5/5 – The fruit leather was my favorite portion of this box, despite having the most apprehension about it. The flavoring from the apricots was a nice balance of fresh and sweet. I would buy these stand alone to put in my lunch. The croissant was pretty good, but was not anything spectacular. I did not care for the chocolate almond butter and would have preferred something a bit sweeter in its place. Maybe if they punched up the chocolate flavoring just a smidge more, I would be interested in trying it again. Overall I am pretty indifferent about this pack, and would take it or leave it. Nice to throw in your bag if you’re into the flavor profile, but nothing that you couldn’t put together at home for a little less cashola.

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!

 

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?

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.

Chex Mix Muddy Buddies – Brownie Surpreme

Good morning all!

Today I am bringing to you something tasty from ye ole Chex Mix. I am not a huge muddy buddy fan, despite my love for peanut butter and chocolate. Actually I am not a fan of the Chex Mix made version, homemade? Yes please! Anyways, when I saw the brownie supreme something told me that I needed to try it – most likely the fact that I havnt seen it perched on the shelves of my local Walmart before. I grabbed a few other things like another box of Peanut Butter Toast Crunch and a delicious drink that I will be sharing with you all tomorrow and went for the check out lanes.

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Nothing about this bag seemed out of the ordinary until I opened it. Prepare yourself for what you are about to see.

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WHAT IN THE WORLD IS THAT. Now, being a snack lover my entire life, I am familiar with the occasional ball of seasoning wrapped around a burnt chip nugget in a bag of chips, but this, this is… WOW. This wasn’t even buried at the bottom of the bag for me to discover like some sort of Cracker Jack prize, it was happily perched right in the top of the bag, staring up at me when I opened it. Hello, quality control. Normally a friend would dare you or even double dog dare you to eat the flavor nugget, but there was no way in hell that I would even consider taking a bite out of this turd. (let’s face it, that is exactly what this looks like) I waffled for a few about whether or not the rest of the bag was worthy of eating, and decided that it was and dug in.

Normally my routine for my reviews is that I examine the outside of the bag, take a picture, open the bag up, examine the contents and then take another picture. Well I kind of sucked at the last part there, but I partially blame the alien egg inside of my bag of Chex Mix and I also blame the video game Terreria. My brain goes into autopilot when it comes to normal things such as snacking, checking my phone, etc. when it comes to playing an addicting game like Terreria. Before I knew it, I was reaching into an empty bag of Chex Mix Brownie Supreme. OOPS.

Much like the peppermint bark Chex Mix, the brownie supreme version will coat you in brown dust and make you look like you have tons of dirt caked under your nails. Always a nice sight. This snack is best poured into the hand vs, digging in like you would with a bag of chips, but I was too buried, literally and figuratively in my game to even bother with that, plus you can’t hold an Xbox 360 controller in one hand and still play. I think my biggest qualm with the normal Muddy Buddy mix from Chex Mix is that it tastes really artificial to me. I don’t know if it is the extreme coating of what I can only guess is a box of brownie mix on the outside or if they changed something in the ingredients, but the brownie supreme version is rather tasty. Again, much like my complaint with the peppermint bark version, I really wish that they would use a rice Chex vs a corn Chex. There is just something about the flavors that makes it just slightly weird.

Texture: 5/5 - The crunchy corn Chex in the middle makes for a nice snacking experience. The powdery outside makes for a real mess, but the chocolate is smooth and tasty.

Smell: 4/5 - When opening the bag the one and only thing that you will smell is sugar and chocolate.

Appearance: 3/5 - There is nothing special about the appearance of these guys. They are little square blobs in the bag.

Taste: 4/5 - I don’t really know what makes something supreme vs regular, but these guys are good. If you are looking for a bakery brownie taste, these are not for you, and I think you could probably achieve the flavor at home if you poured some melted chocolate on corn Chex and then dumped some brownie mix on top of them. I liked them, but I probably wouldn’t buy them again, and instead just buy a brownie.

Graze Box – Number Four

Hey guys! Have any of you ever heard of Graze? It originally started in the UK and has been slowly branching out into the USA on an invite basis. The basic concept is that for $5 they will send you a mailbox sized box full of 4 different snacks every other week. There are over 80 different options to choose from and they are adding more.

Graze uses the following scale to rate how often they should send you something: trash, try, like, love. One of my New Years resolutions goals is to try new foods, so when I was picking out stuff I really made myself select try on more foods than I normally would.

Because of the amount of food, I will review the treats in a little bit different format than I normally do. Let’a go!

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This weeks mix is a half and half blend of sweet and savory.

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Fruit and Seed Flapjack : rustic rolled oat flapjack with mixed seeds and dried fruits
If you would have told me that there were apricots, dates, currents, sultanas, and raisins in this flapjack, I would have probably turned my nose up at it. I think in the last few Graze reviews I have made it pretty clear my feelings about raisins, but I had no idea when I was noshing on this delicious oat bar. Side note, because of my insane love of Hall & Oates, it is nearly impossible for me to type oat or oats correctly the first time. The flapjack is very moist and chewy, and the fruits included give it a great sweetness to it that is just right. The seeds that are included are sunflower and pumpkin which are both very tasty.
Overall this mix : love

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Brooklyn Bites : BBQ pumpkin seeds, poppy seed pretzels, and cheese cashews
This mix looks like a match made in heaven. Cheese cashews, poppy seed pretzels, and pumpkin seeds, yum! Unlike the other mix in my last Graze box, the pumpkin seeds in this are flavored, which takes this mix to a whole ‘nother level. The cheese cashews are slightly salty with a hint of cheese, but still keep the delicious cashew flavor. The pretzels were what I found the most underwhelming in this mix – they were pretty bland. All of the flavoring is concentrated on the pumpkin seeds which were slightly overpowering with the first bite I took. But out of the whole mix, I think I would say that they were my favorite.
Overall this mix : like

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Marvellous Macaroon : amaretti drops, almond slices, coconut flakes, and white chocolate buttons
Well it looks like the white chocolate didn’t hold up very well the few minutes my bag sat in the backseat of my car, baking away in the blazing hot sun. This made most of this mix turn into a katamari of ingredients, but I think it kind of worked out. The amaretti drops are so good, as are the white chocolate buttons. When this mix is eaten as it is intended, a little bit of everything at one time, it does in fact taste just like a macaroon, but because of my weird food habits, I eat everything separately. Sadly I was left with a bunch of almonds and coconut flakes and together those two things are the most bland thing on the planet.
Overall this mix : like

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My Thai : sweet chili sauce with baked soy bites
I love japanese cracker mixes – and I especially like the soy crackers, so when I opened my Graze box to find this mix in there, I was quite delighted. As usual I saved what I thought would be the best for last and I think I made the right choice. The chili sauce was spicy and sweet, but I am more of a dipper than a scooper when it comes to things like sauces, salsas, and the like, so I felt like they either gave me too much or didn’t give me enough crackers. The crackers alone were so good, and I could eat an entire bag if I had one and the chili sauce was very good. I could smother rice with the sauce or maybe some gyoza, man it was good. And sadly because I was so starved at work, I demolished the tray before even managing to take a picture. Crap.
Overall this mix : LOVE

*please note that this post is my own opinion (like all other posts) and was not paid or compensated with goods from Graze for this post.

Graze Box – Number 1

Hey guys! Have any of you ever heard of Graze? It originally started in the UK and has been slowly branching out into the USA on an invite basis. The basic concept is that for $5 they will send you a mailbox sized box full of 4 different snacks every other week. There are over 80 different options to choose from and they are adding more.

Graze uses the following scale to rate how often they should send you something: trash, try, like, love. One of my New Years resolutions goals is to try new foods, so when I was picking out stuff I really made myself select try on more foods than I normally would.

Because of the amount of food, I will review the treats in a little bit different format than I normally do. Let’a go!

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The outside packaging is no frills.

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My first delivery had a nice mixture of different types of treats that Graze will send you.

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Nacho Libre : salsa almonds, cheesy sombreros, jumbo chili corn

This snack mix was really good. The almonds had a nice coating of spice and the cheesy sombreros are light and crunchy. The jumbo chili corn were seriously on steroids, move over Corn Nuts.
Overall this mix : love

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Billionaires Shortbread : Belgian milk chocolate, almonds, cranberries, fudge

I will admit, I was a little leery of the cranberries in this mix. I really like cranberry flavored things, but I don’t like the texture of raisins, so I was cautious. The Belgian milk chocolate was crazy good. I found the almonds to be a bit disappointing because they were completely plain, which made them slightly bland, not to mention due to the lack of skins on the almonds, they were squeaky on my teeth. The tiny fudge cubes were really yummy. Ready for my feelings on the cranberries? YUM. They were really good and not raisin-y at all.
Overall this mix : love

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Inspired by Jaffa Cake : Belgian dark chocolate, orange raisins, roasted hazelnuts

Up until a few minutes ago, I had no idea what a Jaffa cake was. After a little google-fu I found out its a sponge cookie with a layer of orange jam with a coating of chocolate. I think had I known this I might have passed on this mix, but hey, what’s the harm in trying.

As before, the chocolate is very good. The hazelnuts have the same problem as the almonds did in the Billionaires shortbread, lack of roasting, not to mention they really picked up the orange flavor. The orange raisins? I can’t. I tried, I really tried. Nope. Not only do I not like raisins, I don’t care for oranges.
Overall this mix : trash

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Summer Berry Compote : berry compote with wholemeal shortbread dippers

I was most excited to try this one in the box. Shortest review yet? SO GOOD. The compote was sweet and tart and the shortbread was exceptionally good.
Overall this mix : LOVE

*please note that this post is my own opinion (like all other posts) and was not paid or compensated with goods from Graze for this post.