Pop-Tarts – Gone Nutty! PB&J Strawberry

Pop-Tarts were one of those foods that I always wanted as a kid but rarely ever had. I can’t say that I blame my Mom for denying me such a sugary “breakfast” food item. Even as an adult I will rarely indulge in Pop-Tarts. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were a staple of my lunches growing up. I was (and still am) a very picky eater so my Mom knew that she could never go wrong with one of these bad boys. Even now I get the occasional hankering for some fluffy white bread slathered with creamy peanut butter and some jelly. Always strawberry jelly, don’t give me any of that grape blasphemy.

I have tried the other Gone Nutty! flavors and thought they were pretty decent, but with the inclusion of jelly to the mix, I was slightly apprehensive about the combination of the two. Actually I am having flashbacks of the peanut butter and jelly M&Ms that came out a couple of years ago that I thought were absolutely gross – at least when eaten together.

IMG_9632

Now I am from the camp of eating Pop-Tarts uncooked. I honestly do not see the appeal of a hot Pop-Tart, but to each their own. The idea of a hot peanut butter and jelly sandwich sounds even more disgusting if you ask me. So I sampled this in my usual fashion, straight out of the package.

I took one bite and originally all I could taste was peanut butter. One complaint I have about Pop-Tarts is how FREAKING DRY they are. I guess they might soften up if you toast them, but good grief the corners are like the Sahara in my mouth. I finally got to the strawberry part and I must say… not impressed. They weren’t bad by any means, but between the copious amounts of pastry, whatever the “frosting is on top” and the peanut butter, the strawberry jelly is pretty subdued.

IMG_9633

Texture: 3/5 – I like the crunchiness that the sprinkles on top give to the frosting. It reminds me of my favorite Poptart, the frosted strawberry ones. But man oh man are these dry. Consume with a beverage.

Smell: 4/5 – These smelled like elementary school lunch. Mostly peanut butter with an undertone of strawberry jelly.

Appearance: 3/4 – I think I would have opted for red frosting than brown – but when I think of the opposite color scheme of red frosting with brown sprinkles it doesn’t sound nearly as appetizing. I also found that the frosting wasn’t evenly applied to each tart.

Taste: 2.5/5 – These fall into the meh category for me. They weren’t awful but they weren’t a home run for me either. I think it was mostly because I was expecting a lot more flavor from the jelly portion than there was. I felt like the tart outside… crust… holding vessel…? and the peanut butter completely buried the strawberry taste for me. Had the frosting on the outside been a strong peanut butter flavor or even the pastry portion and just had strawberry filling, I would have probably liked this more. I would not buy these again.

Oreo Cookies – Limited Edition – Root Beer Float

Good Morning lovelies! How is everyone doing today? I figured since I have done a couple reviews of Oreos this week that we could continue the trend and give the limited edition root beer float Oreos a go. I stopped drinking soda in 2005 – it was really hard, but I honestly couldn’t tell you what a Coke or Pepsi tastes like anymore. The only two flavors that really stick out in my mind are Dr. Pepper (which was my soda of choice back then) and root beer. My favorite root beer to drink was IBC, but it had to be ice cold. Yum! I picked up these Oreos at Safeway and decided to give them a go. I was curious how they were planning on capturing the flavor of root beer without it tasting overly artificial, not to mention it was kind of hard to wrap my brain about an Oreo tasting like a soda.

photo 1

Golden Oreos seem to be the thing lately – and I’m kind of impartial to that. Call me a purist I guess, but at the same time there are flavors that were created that would only work with a golden Oreo cookie. When I first opened the package I was definitely greeted with the smell of root beer. My only real complaint lately with all the flavored creme Oreos is that it is two globs that fight for space in the middle of the cookie. To me, this does not seem like an equal bite if you were to bite into the cookie as far is flavor is concerned, why not make it a fancy little swirl so you get the best of both worlds?

I twist open my first Oreo and ate the cream and was surprised at how much like root beer it tasted. Granted, because it is not the soda itself, you miss the fizz but I don’t think the flavor was all that bad. Now what I thought was pretty bad was the aftertaste. I don’t know if its from the mixture of artificial flavors and natural or what is going on but the aftertaste was pretty much horrible. I would liken it to tasting the smell (you know what I mean!) of cat pee. Yep. That bad. So to get rid of the gross aftertaste, I decided to chase it with another one. It was alright, but the creme was more notable versus the root beer flavoring. I kind of want to pop off a couple of chocolate Oreo cookies and give them a try with the root beer creme. Actually. Be right back.

Okay so that was really good. Nabisco, take note, maybe give chocolate a try next time. I feel like the chocolate really complimented the root beer flavor, where as the golden cookie overpowered the flavor, on the flip side, the cookie dough Oreos taste better with a chocolate cookie than the golden. Anywho…

photo 2

Texture: 4/5 – These have the texture of a run of the mill Oreo. I’m not sure if it is my brain playing tricks on me, or if there is something in the creme but you get a hint of the tingly fizzy taste on your tongue.

Smell: 4/5 – These Oreos smell more like cream soda than a root beer float. They smell really sweet with a root beer float undertone. Unfortunately I feel that these smell better than they taste.

Appearance: 3/5 – Nothing fancy about these Oreos. They look like you would expect.

Taste: 2.5/5 – These were not the best limited edition Oreos I have tried. Combining them with the chocolate cookie seemed to really dull the gross aftertaste and I feel that the chocolate complimented the flavors better. Because the normal creme part was so sweet, I feel that it overpowered the root beer portion and tasted more like cream soda than a root beer float, plus we all know that the best part of a root beer float is the ice cream anyways. I was impressed that they managed to convey the fizzy taste of drinking a soda without any actual carbonation. It would have been neat to see what they would have tasted like with some sort of Pop Rocks type candy mixed in to the creme as well. The aftertaste is what REALLY killed these for me. I have noticed that there are a lot of people singing the praise of these Oreos, and some, like myself who think they don’t live up to the hype. Grab yourself a tray and see for yourself, as for me, these will end up on the table in the lunchroom at work today.

Starbucks – Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuchino & Lemon Cake Pop

Confession time – did you know that I did a brief stint as a Starbucks manager? Working for Starbucks was actually pretty fun. I always took the complicated drinks as a fun challenge and liked making friends with my regular customers. The major confession is though that I cannot stand coffee at all. When I was little, I was diagnosed with chronic migraines (which I still have to this day) and my doctor prescribed a small cup of coffee a day. No matter how much cream, sugar, or whatever my Mom put it in the coffee, it was still beyond gross to me, and I still share this feeling. The hardest part of my Starbucks training was the fact that I had to try every drink I made, which not only sent me bouncing off the walls because I don’t drink soda or energy drinks, so my caffeine intake is pretty minimal, but they all tasted gross to me.

Since I am full of confessions today, my heart actually is with Dutch Bros. Coffee, but sadly the closest one to me is way out of the way on my route to work. I finally figured out how to tweak the drinks that I liked getting there for the Starbucks recipes that I used to make every day at work and now I have some pretty awesome custom drinks that I like to throw the new kids at my local ‘bucks through.

Anywho – today marks the launch of Starbucks new spring/summer menu items and I decided to break away from my normal routine and try a few this morning.

20130504-094233.jpg

First up we have the new Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuchino. I normally get a chai frapp when I am at Starbucks if I am in the mood for something cold, but caramel sounded really good this morning. You may be asking yourself, what is the difference between this drink and their regular frappuchino? A regular caramel frappuchino uses only one type of caramel where the caramel ribbon crunch uses 4 different kinds blended into the drink. The caramel ribbon crunch version has a dark caramel drizzle on top with caramel crunchies on top (technical term here) I enjoy mine with soy and no whip because of the ole lactose intolerance factor, but let me assure you, this drink is wicked good. If you are not into super sweet drinks, this drink may not be for you as it is really rich from all the caramel, but maybe skip dessert one day and have one of these bad boys instead. Just don’t look at the calories, you’ll thank yourself for it.

20130504-094241.jpg

Next we have the new Lemon cake pop. I have enjoyed all of the cake pops that Starbucks has had in their pastry case so I figured that this would be no different and boy was I right. My favorite bakery item that I usually get is the lemon loaf, and lemon in general is my go to flavor when it comes to dessert choices if chocolate or peanut butter is not involved. The lemon cake pop is a perfect balance of sweet with a light tinge of tart lemon, making for a delicious two bite snack. The flavor reminds me of the lemon muffins that I used to get off the food truck near my Dad’s work as a kid. Except with way less preservative flavoring and more yummy.

So my vote is that these two items can stay forever – I know this won’t happen, but a girl can dream. Starbucks is also offering a new bunch of salads to their cold cases as well as adding valencia orange to their line up of refreshers in June. If you’re more of a tea person, they will also be adding the shaken peach green tea lemonade in June as well.

(please note that I was not compensated for this post by Starbucks in any way, and that my review is based purely on my own opinions)

Arthur Paul’s Cake Pops – Birthday Cake

Hello world – What kind of blogs do you read? Strictly food? Lifestyle? I’m curious! I read a ton of lifestyle blogs, ranging from The Dainty Squid, Love Maegan, Delightfully Tacky, and Creature Type, but I also read a lot of food blogs. Of course I always read The Impulsive Buy and Junk Food Guy, but a couple of my favorite food blogs are Joy The Baker and Bakerella. No this is not a post just plugging people, but I thought I would share a few of my favorites, and there is a tie in with this post.

20130313-204909.jpg

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away (on the internet) I discovered Bakerella. To say that I am envious of her decorating skills would be an understatement, but I can’t help but look at every single picture and post she puts up on her blog, and occasionally when she posts on Instagram. I have tried my hand at making her signature cake pops, and despite being delicious, they were a hot mess, a disasterpiece if you will. I couldn’t get them to stay on the stick, the first batch of chocolate I melted – burned, it was just all bad. At least they tasted good otherwise I think I would have had a mini-meltdown in my kitchen because of how much work it takes to make those dang things.

I was doing my regular snack food wander at Walmart – looking for new things to try and spotted these in the freezer aisle. They also had a red velvet cake version, but I am really picky about red velvet, so I figured that the birthday cake would be a safe bet. I am glad that these babies were on sale, because they retail for 5 bucks a box, and you only get 6. These things better be magical.

I was slightly saddened that these come in a tray instead of individually wrapped, because that means without the proper recovering, you will have freezer-burnt cake pops – yum. The pops themselves are about the size of a jumbo marshmallow, and have a thick coating of white chocolate and sprinkles on the outside. You have to let them thaw for at least 30 minutes prior to eating (at least that’s what they say to do) But what you decide to do is your own choice, as mine were pretty frozen when I decided to eat them because I am impatient like that.

I should have known that these would taste a little off. Have you ever had one of those clown cones from Baskin Robbins? There is something weird about how the frosting tastes after it has been frozen, and the outside coating of the cake pops tasted exactly like that. The best way I could describe the flavor would be cheap chocolate. The inside portion was rather tasty though, and I think had they just given me a tub of cake guts I would have been perfectly fine.

20130313-204918.jpg

Texture : 3/4 - The outside portion is a hard candy shell with soft cake insides. If you have never had a cake pop – don’t expect normal spongy cake that you are used to, it is more of a cake paste but it is delicious despite that less than flattering description. The sprinkles on the outside (or jimmies depending on where you are from) leave a slight greasy film on the inside of your mouth. That part I could do without.

Smell : 4/5 - In the packaging these have hardly any smell, but once you bite into the pop, you can smell the delicious smell of birthday cake. Butter and sugar mixed together to make that oh so familiar smell. YUM!

Appearance : 5/5 - I love all the multicolored sprinkles on the outside and they were generous with them, instead of throwing a few of them on there from a few feet away and seeing what stuck.

Taste : 3.5/5 - As I touched on before, the outside part tastes a little off and I could do without it all together. The inside portion is delicious and tastes just like a piece of birthday cake. For 6/$5 I would only buy these again if they were on sale because I’m pretty sure that I could just find a slice of birthday cake for cheaper, and it would taste better.

Do you have any blog suggestions for me guys? Anyone that I should read? Do YOU have a blog I should check out?

Popchips – Katy’s Kettle Corn

Hi food friends. I can’t seem to recall the last time a popstar had their own food product, that is outside of being on the cover of a Wheaties box. When I found out that Katy Perry was getting her own flavor of Popchips, I was curious to see what kind of flavor she would go with. I spotted these at Target and thought I Would give them a go. I enjoy kettle corn, and Popchips are alright, so it couldn’t’t be too bad, right?

20130112-102450.jpg

Much like the two previous reviews on this blog, There was really no stretch of the imagination when it came to picking a flavor that could be endorsed by someone like Katy Perry. I guess the kettle corn angle works because she could claim that shes a little bit rock n’ roll and a little bit pop, but eh. The outside of the bag had cute little sparkles all over the chips, so I was hoping that Popchips would bust out the disco dust and add some glitter to my chips. I guess that would drive away some of their audience though, but I guess nothing stops me from doing that myself eh? Too much effort.

The chips deviate from the normal round Popchip and are triangles. They remind me a lot of the rice cakes that Quaker Oates has as far as texture. They are kind of a compressed popcorn, and are slightly sweet and salty. I really enjoyed these as it was a nice balance of both vs too much of one or the other.

The evil thing about Popchips is that they make their bags slightly smaller than a normal chip bag, so the chances of you eating the entire thing, like I did, are good. Overall I thought these were decent, but I fail to see the connection between the chip and Katy.

20130112-102456.jpg

Texture : 4/5 - These chips have a nice crunch to them that makes them rather addicting.

Smell : 2/5 - These chips had hardly any smell to them. You could slightly smell buttery popcorn, but it was really faint.

Appearance: 2/5 - I already voiced my sadness about how there was no glitter on these chips. There is nothing special about the way that they look. Just a plain white triangle. BOO.

Taste: 3/5 - I must have hit a run of the mill snack food streak because nothing I have been buying lately as been incredible. These were good, and I ate the whole bag, but they could have been anyones kettle corn and I would have probably done the same thing. I’d buy them again, but they are not something I would go out of my way to find.