Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Bites – S’mores

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Hey everyone! I hope you had a safe weekend if celebrating the 4th of July is your thing! When I think of summer, making s’mores is definitely something that comes to mind. Although I am not really one to go outside, let alone sit by a campfire, I make way more s’mores in the winter in front of my fireplace. Want to take your s’mores to the next level? Instead of using a regular ole piece of chocolate, use a Reeses thin instead, Wowee! so good!

Jet-Puffed released three flavors of these marshmallows recently, S’mores, Coconut, and Birthday Cake – today we will be starting with the summer classic, S’mores. Upon opening the bag, I was immediately greeted with intense sweet smelling aromas of chocolate and graham cracker. The mallows are the size of regular marshmallows that you would buy (not the jumbos) in the bag, about 16 per bag. Honestly I wish regular marshmallows came in a bag like this instead of the plastic ones as they are not resealable and then you have to put them in a plastic bag and if you take too much air out, they turn into a mega-mallow. It’s a whole ordeal that you can clearly tell that I have struggled with before.

Despite the smell, the graham cracker flavor is pretty underwhelming. It is only present as a sandy texture on the outside, and is instantly overtaken by the flavor of the chocolate and marshmallow. I personally love graham crackers, and will eat them plain, so I was a little bummed that the flavor was so muted. I also felt that having a bit of a crunchy texture would have been nice with these. These reminded me a bit of chocolate covered gummy bears, which I do not like, mostly because it’s almost like mixing oil and water. The instant you take a bite, you are fighting an epic battle in your mouth to make the two flavors and textures work, and they just… don’t.

The chocolate immediately crumbles if you don’t pop the whole marshmallow in your mouth. I find that the marshmallow way overpowered all the other flavors, just from sheer volume.

I first tried these the other day because I was desperate for something chocolate-y that wasn’t some of the 80-something-percent dark chocolate Dove chocolate that I have. I have spent the last couple days thinking about how I would rework these and have come up with the following possible solutions.

Solution #1: bigger graham cracker chunks. I find the graham flavor to the wildly lacking, by having more than just a fine dust, I think it would help balance the flavors out a bit.
Solution #2: a graham cracker flavored marshmallow covered in chocolate.
Solution #3: a graham cracker flavored white chocolate coating over a chocolate marshmallow.

Overall, I think these are good, not great. I think they can be retooled a little to really dial in the s’mores flavor. I liked these, but I would not buy them again.

Found at Walmart

July 5, 2021
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Kit Kat – Limited Edition – Fruity Cereal

Posted in Candy, Cereal by

When I was a kid, I BEGGED my parents for a cat. We always had cats, but I wanted my own cat. I wrote a long winded note and taped it to my door, asking my parents to consider my request, that I would feed the cat, clean up after it, etc. but anyone who knows a child, knows that it would be another undertaking of my parents. I don’t think it took much arm twisting, like I said, we always had a handful of cats when I was growing up (and I have 4 of my own now).

I remember my mom and I looked in the newspaper for people advertising that they had kittens, yes I am that old that we used the newspaper! We found ourselves at a lady’s house and she had an adorable litter of kittens. I wanted all of them, but one stuck out to me, probably because she was so small. I left the lady’s house with my runt kitten in tow, a cat that I would have for 20 years. My mom asked me what I wanted to name her, and one name was all I considered, Kit Kat.

I couldn’t tell you if Kit Kats were my favorite at the time, but the two will forever be attached together. Kit Kats are definitely a go to candy for me, especially with the addition of the dark chocolate flavor. Dark chocolate, a candy that I can snap apart and eat methodically? I. Am. In.

When you open the packaging of these cuties, you are immediately met with the smell of berry. Pastel pink with bits of pieces of fruity cereal are really pleasing to the eye. Also I know it is definitely a licensing thing, but I feel like it was a little bit of a missed opportunity by not calling it Frooty Cereal!

The white chocolate is very soft which I remember the Party Ice Cream Kit Kats being the same way. The chocolate is smooth and has a great texture with the wafer part and the cereal bits. The flavor is strong but not overpowering, no distinct fruit flavor that you can pick out, but a nice blend of berry flavoring. Essentially, the overall flavor of these are stronger flavored cereal milk after you’ve eaten all the cereal. I think this is a great white chocolate offering to add to their permanent line up if they decide to keep it around.

Don’t steal my fingerprints to do crimes, it’s hotter than hot in here in California, and everything remotely melty is right on the edge of it’s seat of falling apart in your hands and my Kit Kats are no exception in this heat right now. I would definitely buy these again, and now that I am thinking about it, I should probably put a few in the fridge for a late night snack!

Found at Walmart

June 30, 2021
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Planters Cashews – Sweet Cayenne and Hot & Spicy

Posted in Nuts by

I have a few older reviews that I started but never had a chance to finish. The next few days I am going to be wrapping these up and sending them out into the universe!

Cashews are my absolute favorite nut but holy cow are they expensive, so I rarely buy myself tins because I can destroy them in one sitting. I picked these packs up at a gas station near my house, which is usually my go to snack when I actually meander inside. This will be a two part review! Let’s start with the hot & spicy flavor, which is the cup pictured on the upper right in the picture below.

The hot & spicy cashews have a good amount of heat to them with a very faint vinegar undertone to them in my opinion. Think Tabasco sauce but in a generous powder form. The cashews are evenly coated, which I appreciate. I also enjoy that it’s not a bag of cashew shards, which is SUPER annoying. The heat balances nicely with the flavor of the cashew, not too spicy, but enough to give you a little bit of a kick.

The Sweet Cayenne BBQ flavor is the winner out of the two for me (pictured in the lower left). BBQ and I haven’t always loved each other, but lately I have been definitely dabbling in the land of BBQ sauce. The sweetness and smokiness of the BBQ flavor and the nice subtle heat of the cayenne pepper, make these hard to resist. I think I could probably pour the entire package directly into my mouth in one swoop.

I would buy both of these again (and again).

Found at AM/PM gas station

June 28, 2021
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Sun-Maid Bites – Birthday Cake

Posted in Snack Bars by

Hello everyone! I would just like to start with a little bit of what is going on with me! I left my job in March with nothing lined up, and have been flying by the seat of my pants for the last few months. It’s been a wonderful and much needed change of pace for me and my creativity. Trying to figure out my work-life balance has been a little wonky, but if you have been following me for any amount of time, you would know that has always been a struggle for me. Anywho – I have a ton of snacks to review, some older stuff that has been out for a little bit and of course some new stuff hot off the shelves!

Let’s start with these Sun-Maid Bites. I do not like raisins. There, I said it. I have always thought they were gross. Many food idiosyncrasies for me have to do more with texture than taste, but raisins? Nah. Don’t like them. Never have. Never will.

I am not really sure what possessed me to put these in my hand basket at the store the other day. I think it was the temptation of an overly sweet tasty granola type bite that really drew me in. Birthday cake? Yes please. It appears that these are not new, but new to me, having come out in 2020. Flavors include banana split, s’mores, pb&j, and birthday cake. I was only able to find the birthday cake and pb&j flavors at the store I was at, so I picked both of those up.

The picture above shows you exactly how much you get in this bag. It’s like a bag of chips, half full! I was excited at the tasty prospect from the vanilla drizzle, sprinkles, and cute size (approximately 1″ by 1″). Surely something so festive looking can’t taste like raisins, which I am positive are cleverly hidden in there. And you would be right, they don’t taste like raisins. The initial flavor that hits your tongue is vanilla, shortly followed up by what can only be described as what the smell of Play-Doh smells like.

One was enough for me for these guys – but I decided to have a second to confirm my feelings and yep, Play-Doh smell. Over all, the smell and the texture of these were good, however the taste is pretty off putting. I would not buy these again

Found at Grocery Outlet

June 23, 2021
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Planters A1 Roasted Mixed Nuts

Posted in Nuts by

Hello everyone! I hope that no one is suffering from a case of the Monday’s! I went to bed around my normal time last night (around 2 AM) and could not fall asleep until nearly 6 AM. To say that I am feeling a little sluggish today would be a gross understatement but I am here! I have recently made some personal changes in my life which I hope to allow me more time return to this humble little junk food blog of mine. Hard to believe that next year will be 10 years of rambling about tasty treats. Where does the time go?

These Planters A1 Roasted Mixed Nuts have been tempting me for a while now, snuggled up next to my keyboard on my desk. I rarely use A1 anymore, as I have not had a steak in years. Growing up, my dad was pretty routine about what he would be into eating and we had A LOT of steak, and I quickly burnt out on it around the tender age of 13 or so. I have however always loved the flavor of A1, I am not sure why I haven’t used it on other things like chicken, maybe it’s time to grab a bottle to have on hand when the mood strikes.

I made the mistake of looking up what A1 is made of. If you know me at all on a personal level, you will know my deep deep hatred of raisins. Cannot stand them, want no part of them, don’t put them in my cookies, and definitely don’t clutter up my trail mix with them. One of the main ingredients of A1 is raisin paste – what even is raisin paste? Is it jelly? Can we just call it grape jelly instead, I hate that considerably less, however definitely on my list of “No, Thank You”s. Now I will never unlearn this information like how figs have dead wasps absorbed inside of them, and how Worcestershire sauce (which I also absolutely love!) has anchovies in it. I can see why they say that curiosity killed the cat – you can’t take back these Google searches.

Upon opening the bag, the smell of A1 is very apparent, and as I poured them out, you can see that these are generously coated with seasoning. I would first like to acknowledge the lack of peanuts in this mix. Good. I hate when you buy a bag or tin of mixed nuts and its 80% filler peanuts. Don’t get me wrong, peanuts are fine but if I am going to spend the money on mixed nuts, give me what I paid for, dang it! This mix features two of my favorite nuts, cashews and pistachios. I went for a cashew first and man are these things deeeeeeelicious. It took every ounce of self control not to pour the entire hand held pouch directly into my mouth. Instead I sampled each nut separately and confirmed that these are indeed a very yummy snack. The flavoring balances well with the taste of the nut, not overpowering at all. I hope these become a permanent rotation in the Planters line up.

Found at Target

March 29, 2021
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Blue Bunny Load’d Cones – Bunny Tracks

Posted in Ice Cream by

Happy Sunday y’all! Somehow it’s already October – this quarantine creep has definitely turned into every day just blurring together. I must admit, I committed the biggest food blogger sin when I bought these Blue Bunny Load’d Cones… I ate all of them without taking a single picture of what they actually look like. I KNOW, I KNOW, you’d think after 8 years off and on of this place that I would know better, but sometimes you just find yourself eating an ice cream cone in the middle of the night, 4 times over. I am not proud, but here we are.

I will admit, I bout these in lieu of buying the box of Drumsticks I had my eye on. It is pretty rare that I buy actual dairy ice cream, so when I do, I usually tend to go for something that I know will be worth the possible pain later but with 2X the mix-ins of two of my favorite things together (chocolate and peanuts (and/or peanut butter) how could I resist?

I don’t know if this is true of Blue Bunny ice cream or if it was my freezer, but this dessert never really firmed up for me. I like that the ice cream was soft, but in this instance, it was a little too soft for my liking. I also found the wrapper frustrating because some of the ice cream went along with once removed, though don’t worry, I licked it off like the animal that I am.

The ice cream is soft and creamy, with a really nice rich vanilla flavor. The blend of chocolate, peanuts, and caramel was well balanced down to the last bite. The only thing that I would change would be to make the peanut halves salty. This may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I really feel a tiny bit of salt would have really elevated the flavor on this to the next level. Plain peanuts always read cheap filler to me, so having plain peanuts sprinkled in just don’t really do it for me.

Overall I thought these were pretty tasty but if the soft ice cream is part of the package and not a me problem, be sure to eat these quickly once removed from the freezer or you will have a mess on your hands, literally.

Found at Walmart

October 4, 2020
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Good Humor – Pop Tarts Brown Sugar Cinnamon

Posted in Ice Cream by

Does anyone’s local ice cream truck play Christmas music year round? Mine does and it’s weird. As a kid, I never really bought ice cream off the ice cream truck, it was all about the Lemonheads and candy cigarettes. When I did buy the occasional ice cream here and there, they were the Mickey Mouse shaped chocolate covered vanilla ice creams or something with the gumball eyes. Who ever thought it would be a good idea to freeze gumballs? Talk about a jaw work out, not to mention the cursed droopy crazy eyes that your character treat would have once liberated from it’s wrapper. Nightmare fuel.

Good Humor has been a long standing player in the ice cream player for over 100 years (wow!) I have always known Good Humor for the Strawberry Shortcake ice cream bars – and for me, it was always a staple that I saw in a single serve reach in ice cream case at 7-11, but not something I ever opted for – viva la Choco Taco.

While wandering the ice cream aisle, these caught my eye despite being dairy. Long time friends of the blog will know that my love of dairy is a one way street. I love it, it doesn’t love me. But how could I pass up a tasty brown sugar treat! I LOVE brown sugar. I like to eat the clumps that form in the jar when I’m baking (don’t judge me dang it), I like brown sugar Pop Tarts, my candy of choice at See’s? Dark Bordeaux. I used to make the trek down to See’s when I worked in the mall for a couple of them every now and then.

Upon first bite, I was expecting the exterior to be more of a crunchy texture, but it was rather soft. The ice cream is smooth and creamy, containing both cinnamon ice cream and plain vanilla ice cream, it really brings the brown sugar and ice cream together. This ice cream bar is tasty, but its pretty run of the mill if you ask me. I think if the outside was more crunchy these would be a slam dunk. If you like cinnamon and brown sugar, you’re sure to like these.

Found at Walmart

September 15, 2020
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Pejoy – Caramel Macchiato

Posted in Confectionaries, Cookies by

So one thing that comes along with being a food blogger, junk food especially is that you tend to stock pile things to write about. If I actually showed you what my stash looked like, I don’t know if I could show my face any more on the internet. Junk food blogging is a rather fast paced hobby – someone is always putting out something new, and its a race to find it on the shelves before it disappears since frequently items are limited edition or just fade away. Occasionally I will buy things that I haven’t seen on anyone’s radar, for the sole purpose of trying them for myself out of curiosity.

I was craving something chocolate – and as I have mentioned before, I frequently do not buy sweets, especially chocolate, because I end up eating it. Totally problematic, right? I was desperate for something chocolatey and sweet, so I dug deep into my stash in hopes that I would find some old Easter candy or maybe a chocolate bar I picked up along the way to try out of curiosity, and surprisingly I came up empty handed, DRATS, nothing.

These caught my eye, and I decided, what the heck, they could possibly fall into the category I was craving… sorta… kinda… maybe I WAS DESPERATE OKAY?! I am not a coffee drinker. At. All. Believe me, I have tried and tried. The idea of it sounds wonderful, and it smells wonderful too, and despite my time as a Starbucks barista, coffee was never my forte. Even as a child, my doctor prescribed me a cup of coffee every day to try and help with my migraines, but no amount of cream and sugar could save me from the gross coffee taste. I am not even sure what possessed me to buy these – probably the New! tucked at the top.

The cookie design might look familiar to you if you have never had a Pejoy as they are made by Glico, the same company that makes the oh-so-delicious Pocky. Pejoy is best described I think as inside out Pocky. They are a biscuit stick that has the filling on the inside. Prior to these, I have only ever had the cookies and cream version, which were quite tasty.

I will admit, I was apprehensive about eating these as the coffee smell was very strong when I opened the package. I threw caution to the wind and decided to go for it and was pleasantly surprised, as they didn’t really taste like coffee at all. The buttery flavor of the biscuit mixed with the strong flavor of caramel really stood in front of the coffee flavor. It is hard for me to describe the flavor of coffee because like I said, its not my jam, but it definitely deepened the flavor profile of the cookie.. stick… treat? While these were no chocolate, they did a good job of taking its place in a pinch.

Overall I would probably buy these again as I really enjoyed the snap of the biscuit and the caramel flavor. There is also only one way to eat them, just like Pocky, take a million tiny bites at a time. You probably won’t find these on your local store shelves – check out your local Asian market to see if they have them in the sweets aisle.

Found at Oto’s Marketplace

September 14, 2020
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Hershey’s Cookies and Cream Candy Bar

As I’ve touched on in the past, Hershey’s Cookies and Cream bar was the first time I ever encountered white chocolate as a pre-teen(aside from Easter bunnies). Well guess what, over the years they’ve changed the recipe and as a result, the Cookies and Cream bar no longer contains cocoa butter.

THIS IS NO LONGER A WHITE CHOCOLATE BAR.

Which puts it in an odd place. I planned this final review of a white chocolate bar, the first time I ever had one in my life, as a cap to the week. But now, in my adulthood, the bar is no longer what it was in my youth. Granted, since the 80s and early 90s, every thing has changed, whey and palm oil and hydrogenates and high fructose have all been added or taken away, but no other candy bar I can think of has removed a quintessential ingredient, one advertised on its LABEL, and still lived on in this way.

Instead, in our great adulthood, we’re left with a cookies and creme bar advertising “now with more cookies”. An alternative universe version of itself. Peeling this bar open though, a wave of nostalgia hit. Though I had a king sized bar, I remember picking up the electric blue(there’s that color again…) packaging at my local neighborhood Publix and always being excited. In my youth, this bar felt creamy, crunchy, and not as sweet and rich as other white chocolate.

That largely remains the same. But now the cookie bits feel bigger, the cream is more like the inside of an Oreo, and it distinctively lacks the over-sweet cocoa butter white chocolate taste. That white fudge consistency where it’s akin to sweetened condensed milk.

As an adult, I enjoy the brighter, crunchier cookie aspect of this more, and find the entire thing akin to a reverse Oreo, a bit of cookie and a lot of cream. Imagine crumbling the cream of a double stuf Oreo with just one of the sandwich cookies, and you’ve pretty much just got this. It’s like somebody’s weird invention, trying to stretch a few cookies that caught on as a family thing. A silky smooth inside out Oreo bar that Oreo never made.

Despite no white chocolate, it’s still one of my favorites. It’s nice to know an old friend has changed a little, but has largely remained the same.

Found at Walgreens.

September 13, 2020
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Twix White

When I was a kid, my mom used to send me to the store to get incidentals. If I was lucky enough, I got to keep the change, and on a subsequent trip I’d grab some kind of candy I liked. In my high school years, my love of Twix got upended by a sudden, torrid love affair with the white chocolate classic, Hershey’s Cookies and Creme. I’ve always been a fan of white chocolate from then on. It’s creamy-sweet in a way that milk chocolate isn’t, more akin to sweetened condensed milk in a solid form.

Mars, Incorporated made Twix White a flavor permanently in 2017, and I’m kind of proud to say that the only alternative Twix I had tried before the start of this year was peanut butter at some point. I decided to grab this at the same time as some other Mars white chocolate finds, so it’s gonna be a doozy of a time.

Fortunately, these don’t look stale or off-colored like the Cookies and Creme. On first bite, and first taste, I got normal Twix, but as the chew went on…? The white chocolate gave way to a smooth texture, and a milky taste. Not in a bad way though, honestly.

The crunchy cookie bar underneath and the textures and tastes above it combined to make this kind of a fresh-baked tasting/fresh-baked warmth in the mouth feeling that filled my nostrils. It was an odd feeling. However, on the off side? The cookie bar is gritty, and as each bite goes on, each chew mixes that grit into the white chocolate and caramel unpleasantly.

This Twix doesn’t have that classic snap under tooth. The white chocolate begins to give way, but the cookie does give a great pop as it breaks.

Overall? Not great. The white chocolate in such a great quantity did give me a bit of the stomach squicks too. If you’re potentially sensitive, don’t do this one in a hurry, and drink water.

You should be drinking water anyway.

Found at Walgreens.

September 12, 2020
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