Chocolate Pretzel Donut

Dunkin Donuts. Hi. Remember that one time our friendship was compromised when you created the vanilla truffle donut? You’ve redeemed yourself when you make the chocolate pretzel, and now, we’re besties again. Yay for forgiveness!

    I’m a sucker for salty and sweet flavor combo in sweets, and it’s an exciting thing. You’ve managed to catch on very well. The donut features a chocolate cake textured donut, fluffy and decadent. Then you guys take it to level 2 with your fancy pretzel bits. But that’s not all. No sir. You guys add caramel. Well played, Dukin Donuts. 

    I love this donut because it has layers of flavors that are both strong and enticing. The chocolate cake almost mimics a dark chocolate depth on the tongue; the caramel is infused with the salt from the pretzels, and the tastebuds comes alive. Thank you. 

    TheTalkingSpoon Yumfactor: 4 tongues and a tastebud. (4 and a half stars out of 5). This has become an addiction. That is all. 

    What are your thoughts? Love it? Dislike it? Wanna marry it like me? Do tell! Don’t forget to comment, like and subscribe. ūüėä

    Ihop’s Cupcake Pancakes ūüėć

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    If you haven’t tried Ihop’s limited time cupcake pancakes, you’re missing out. Inspired by bakery-themed sweets, this item is part of a trio of treats, including a cinnamon swirl brioche French toast and red velvet crepes. I have yet to try the other two, but the cupcake pancake features a cake-flavored batter, sprinkles and a sprinkled frosting, that is surprisingly appropriately sweet for both children and adults.

    I highly recommend the combo featuring eggs, bacon and sausage (in my case, turkey bacon and sausage) with the red potato hash versus the hash browns. These are cubed potatoes with onions and peppers. Translation, a party on a plate.

    Cupcake Pancake Yumfactor: 4 tongues. Addicting and fun.

    Red Potato Hash Yumfactor: 4 tongues and a taste bud. A great alternative if you’re not into hash browns like me.

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    Coconut Oil in My Coffee?

    Sleeping Moon–one of my most favorite and frequented local independent coffee shops‚ÄĒmaintains an eclectic menu and fun coffee concoctions. In the past, I‚Äôve tried Turkish coffee, lavender coffee (imagine, the acidic¬†taste of coffee, with a subtle floral finish on the last sip) and today, coconut oil coffee. This coffee has a strong base of espresso, milk and an almond flavor, with the texture of coconut oil creating a delicate drink. All favors are well combined, the espresso containing the core of the punch this coffee has, balanced with the almost sharpened nuttiness of almond; the layer of flavors is a tug of war of sweet and earthy. I added a bit of sugar, as the almond flavor was strong but not overpowering, which made for an even smoother blend of flavor.

    Sleeping Moon is an artsy coffee shop in the Winter Park area known for its weekly poetry readings and local artwork. The establishment combines a global and urban mood with diverse music and a warm atmosphere. Unique treats included here are Thai tea milkshakes, and an array of exotically-flavored paninis (such as the New Zealand Bistro–a turkey panini flavored with a tangy-sweet kiwi sauce) sure to delight your spirit. The¬†pleasant staff is knowledgeable and caters to customer’s questions and needs. I’ve also heard of people adding butter to their coffee, as well as a crushed, raw egg before brewing the cup of coffee. Have you had any interesting, out of the ordinary items added to your coffee beverage? Don’t forget to comment, rate blog posts and subscribe for more food stuff!

    Why you could add coconut oil to your coffee: http://thecoconutmama.com/coconut-oil-coffee/

     

    Panera’s New Dessert Item

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    I admit, this is not the most appetizing angle, but trust me, it’s a must try item.

    salad

    Strawberry Poppyseed Chicken Salad

    Panera has introduced a juicy, ripe and sweet menu item–a strawberry rhubarb mini cake. For $2.29, customers get a moist cake with real strawberry fruit pieces and tangy rhubarb chunks. This little cake comes in a cute mini paper loaf pan and perfectly compliments the strawberry poppy seed chicken salad. Hail the succulent strawberry!¬†

    Tip: Warm it up for 20 seconds. You won’t regret it.

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    Taco Bell Taste Off: Cool Ranch Doritos‚ĄĘ Locos Taco Review.

    Cool ranch taco, taken by Shinai (do not use without permission).

    Cool ranch taco.

    On March 6, 2013, ¬†Taco Bell added a cooler¬†addition¬†to the¬†sharply¬†cheesy, nacho-flavored crunchy indulgence–the cool ranch Doritos‚ĄĘ locos taco. For those of you who don’t know, this is the second Doritos‚ĄĘ-inspired taco flavor, which seems to be selling very well. ¬†I think it’s important to bear in mind that the flavor of these tacos can be hit or miss depending on whether or not your local Taco Bell is¬†heavy¬†handed with¬†powdering¬†their taco shells.¬†This taco shell is a standard corn yellow chip color with¬†fun ranch-like¬†shavings on the edges. To put this in perspective, (when eating with pieces of chicken) imagine eating a chicken ranch salad with crumbled Doritos‚ĄĘ¬†chips as a salad topping. Pretty simple. Add sour cream and you’ve got something worthy of worship. Let’s continue.

    ¬†¬†Cool Ranch Doritos‚ĄĘ¬†Locos Taco (regular, with beef)

    I ordered this taco with beef and wasn’t really¬†impressed, because¬†I felt that ranch flavor was muted when paired up with the beef. The little bit of ranch flavor was easy to detect on the upper edges only; the beef flavor overpowered the ranch and I¬†could¬†barely taste the ranch flavor. I should have taken the minimal visible ‘ranchness’ on the edge as a hint that the ranch flavor probably wasn’t evenly¬†dispersed. ¬†And boy was I right. Perhaps the taco didn’t have enough cool ranch powder on it. Maybe this taco needed the powerful help of sour cream to make it fun.

    ¬†¬†Cool Ranch Doritos‚ĄĘ¬†Locos Taco (regular, with chicken)

    This is where chicken becomes relevant. I ordered this taco with chicken, because I like the pairing of ranch and chicken¬†together¬† I figured it would be a more natural flavor blend than beef. This flavor¬†compared¬†to the beef was lighter, more refreshing–almost like a salad with those crisps on them. It made me think of summer for some reason. I¬†enjoyed¬†this more than the beef, because the chicken flavor played off the ranch on the taco. You can¬†taste¬†the cool ranch flavor better and the chicken almost rounds it out.

    ¬†¬†Cool Ranch Doritos‚ĄĘ¬†Locos Taco (chicken supreme)

    And this is by far, my¬†favorite¬†combination–the sour cream was like the cherry on a sundae. Cool ranch, paired with¬†chicken¬† veggies, cheese and sour¬†cream.¬† It’s amazing how muted sour cream is on its own,but in this case, it was the glue that held all of the flavors together. In the supreme taco, I didn’t feel as if the beef overpowered the ranch flavor. This time, I actually had a taco that wasn’t shy of ranch. This again, reminded me of a light and¬†refreshing¬†bite of summer. I was sad I didn’t get another one.

    Here are my ratings:

    Taco Bell Cool Ranch¬†Doritos‚ĄĘ Locos Taco (regular, with¬†beef)¬†Yumfactor: 2 tongues and a taste bud (2.5 out of 5 stars). The beef tasted good, but I didn’t like the combination paired up with the ranch. It could have been the lack of presence the ranch had when I ate this; the¬†ranch¬†seasoning on the taco shell didn’t come through very well. My taste buds prefer chicken with the cool ranch taco. It just tastes healthier–more wholesome and complimentary.

    Taco Bell Cool Ranch¬†Doritos‚ĄĘ Locos Taco (regular, with¬†chicken)¬†Yumfactor: 3 tongues (3 out of 5 stars). I enjoy a lighter-flavored meat with this shell. I felt as if I was eating a crisp salad with a powered ranch overtone. Overall, everything blended well together. No overpowering flavors or meats with this one. The cool ranch came out of its shell a little more to say hello to the world around it.

    Taco Bell Cool Ranch¬†Doritos‚ĄĘ Locos Taco (chicken supreme)¬†Yumfactor: 4 tongues¬†and¬†a taste bud (4.5 out of 5 stars) I really¬†enjoyed¬†this. Every flavor completes the other, creating an indulgently¬†harmonious blend of bites. The cool ranch flavor seemed to latch on to the cool sour cream and held hands; the sharp¬†shredded¬†cheese, lettuce and tomatoes also meshed well with the tangy ranch shell. The¬†chicken–buried under all of the flavors–also made a humble¬†appearance¬†in this taco. It’s just natural this way. The chicken varieties are perfect for those who don’t eat beef, want a break from beef/horse meat/sand/whatever¬†else, or crave a light, yet filling snack that will leave your conscious devoid of calorie guilt.

    What Doritos‚ĄĘ flavors would you like to see as a taco shell flavor? What are your¬†thoughts¬†on this taco? Do you prefer¬†chicken¬†or beef? Rate, Comment and Subscribe!

    Must Try Foods: Super Target’s Limited Time S’mores Cupcake.

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    S’mores perfection, but bite sized.

    In honor of summer (which is nearly done) ¬†Target has released their delicious s’mores cupcakes. I have been meaning to do a blog on these delights a few months ago, but was to busy cramming my face with these to blog about them. ūüėÄ These mini desserts are made with a chocolate cake base and a divide of marshmallow creme icing, and chocolate icing. To top it all off you also receive a dash of crumbled graham crackers to add texture, and the authenticity of the classic s’mores flavor.

    I have to say I have enjoyed snacking on these because I love s’mores. The marshmallow icing is delicious, and I can’t resist these. Another benefit is the size as you can control how many calories you intake and control the amount of sugar you consume. The serving size is 3 mini cupcakes, which total out to 330 calories, individually ¬†110 per cupcake. If you are watching your sugar, or trying to practice self-discipline while you snack on sweets, you may like the portion control. As for the rest of us who gobble up things without regards to self-discipline, 3 may not suffice! These are delicious, and the¬†flavors¬†are a fun, well balanced treat perfect not only for summer, but for the entire year. Too bad they won’t be¬†available¬†for that long!

    You get 12 in a pack for $2.50 or $2.99. Yes, I know it’s pretty bad I can’t remember the price, and I cannot find my receipt at the moment :-/ Either way, try them if you can. You won’t be sorry, unless sugar scares you.

    S’mores cupcake Yumfactor:¬†4 tongues and a taste bud. It’s just really good. Only thing is, they may go fast if you love them as much as I do. And I don’t even share these.

    Why Eating Ben & Jerry’s Boston Cream Ice Cream Should Be A Sin.

    Taken by Shinai

    Boston Cream Pie Ice Cream

    First off, I don’t literally mean to imply that this ice cream breeches any¬†sanctimonious¬†rituals of daily life, or acts to be a¬†blasphemous¬†force to be reckoned with. Not to mention the looming feelings of guilt I felt after indulging in this delciousness. I’m simply saying that this luxurious ice cream, is sinfully delicious. When I first tasted a spoonful,¬†I felt gluttonous, and became fully aware that if I continue to eat this, I’d be committing one of the 7 deadly sins on a hardcore level. So I stopped before things got too intense. :-/ ¬†(Yay for self-restraint :-D) . Described on the carton as “Boston Cream” flavored ice cream with fudge flakes, swirls of pastry cream and pieces of cake” this flavor reaches to portray magic in each spoonful. To make sure I describe this¬†accurately without too much¬†exaggerated¬†connotations, I’ll break down each flavor, under-current, and note as I recall.

    Firstly, what exactly *is* Boston Cream Pie flavored ice cream? (I don’t mean including the other added

    The dimensions of delicious.

    stuff like the chocolate flakes, the pieces of cake, and the ribbons of creme, but specifically the ice cream base). Now, think about this- Boston cream pie is NOT just a monotone flavor. One must take into account the chocolate glaze, the cakey foundation, and the gooey, custard rich center that makes it all worthwhile. In the context of this ice cream, what should have read in the product description based on what it actually tastes like is as follows:”Rich custard ice cream meets deep pieces of fudge flakes, dancing with ribbons of pastry creme”. Why? because the base of this ice cream is a plain custard- vanilla base. So if anyone is expecting for there to be more in terms of the ice cream, (such as more chocolate flavor) ¬†there you go. That isn’t to say that the smooth custard doesn’t hold up on its own. No. Quite the contrary. The custard undertone is smooth, and performs well with the bittersweet fudge pieces that don’t get left out in the equation of all this bliss. But just when you thought there wasn’t more, more just arrived. Imagine dense and decadent pieces of vanilla pound cake, which take on the richness of the custard ice cream.

    Taken By Shinai

    Custard, creme and a little flake of fudge.

    Finally, as if that doesn’t wow your tastebuds, there are ribbons of pastry creme to tie it all together. It plays hide and seek, because at one portion of the ice cream pint, you may not get any, but then, when you’re expecting a piece of fudge, or a dollop of cake, BOOM! You’re met with a creamy, velvety goop of pastry cream. This is not for the faint of heart. If this description is too intense for you, then I don’t suggest trying this. But then again, whenever I indulge in something that gives me a guilt complex, I tend to intensify it.I appreciate the uniqueness of this flavor and the attention to detail Ben and Jerry’s have done to provide a nice compliment to the Boston Cream Pie. I’m sure this may not be for everyone, but I enjoyed it. My only gripe is that there could have been more pieces of cake, or better yet, bigger chunks of cake. Also, since the custard ice cream is representative of the custard center, the ribbons in this ice cream could have been chocolate instead of more custard. I did feel that there was an abundance of custard and pastry creme that really mirrored the other. So, in other words, custard ice cream, chocolate ribbons, and bigger cake chunks. Other than than, it’s a great ice cream.

    Ben & Jerry’s Boston Cream Pie Ice Cream Yumfactor: 4 tongues and a tastebud (4.5 out of 5 stars) This is really rich and delicate, and¬†uniquely fun treat. I’d be curious to try it with chocolate swirls, and more cake chunks. This is what stopped it from being a 5, because the flavors would have been more balanced in my opinion.

    What do you think? Don’t Forget to Rate, comment and subscribe!

    Local Eats! Cafe Tutu Tango: Aligator Meat& An Upside-down Pineapple Martini? Is This Safe? (With recipe)

    A few months ago, I had the pleasure at dining at Cafe Tutu Tango, a restaurant that offers eccentric, globally inspired tapas, bohemian elements such as paintings drenched in vivid splashes of rich textures, and sometimes, live music and dancers. This has always been a special place for me, because I enjoy being surrounded by artists, poets and the like. The energy of Cafe Tutu Tango is¬†unparalleled¬†to most restaurants. I’ve had my¬†fortune¬†told to me one time (for a low low cost of $5) but it offers a fun and enthusiastic ambiance that is sure to please. This location happened to be on¬†International¬†Drive in¬†Orlando, Fl. Now, for those of you who have not had the pleasure of traveling to Orlando, International Drive is home of many tourist attractions such as restaurants, bowling alleys, ¬†museums. This area of town offers exciting and diverse opportunities to try good food and have fun.

    Cafe Tutu Tango not only offers a vibrant atmosphere, but you’ll find interesting items on their menus. Offered are classic appetizers like spinach dip and hummus, but you’ll also find unique items like Alfonrno roasted pears with arugula and bleu cheese, and Goat cheese timbale- goat cheese with green apples, seasonal fruit, and toasted baguette. Pizzas are offered, as well as ¬†dishes that include aligator meat, Grilled guava BBQ grilled pork ribs (I’ll discuss this shortly), and seasonal items, like¬†Cajun¬†chicken egg rolls, fish tacos, and ¬†other interesting bites. (Check out their website: ¬†http://www.cafetututango.com/¬†)

    I was feeling adventurous, so I decided to try something¬†different. Something I knew would be unique to Cafe Tut Tangos. Before I even ordered my entree, I visited the crowded bar, and looked over a drink menu that¬†offered¬†fun ¬†featured¬†drinks, like “Matisse Margarita” , “Picasso Punch”, “Munch’s

    Not my original photo, but this gives you an idea of how pretty the drink is ūüôā

    Screaming Jalapeno Margarita” and “Upside Down Pineapple” made with Van Gogh Vodka. The Upside down¬†pineapple¬†martini¬†caught my eye specifically because it was a unique drink made with vanilla bean infused vodka pineapple and caramel. I’d have to ¬†say this drink, (only $7.25) was one of the most memorable martinis I’ve ever sipped. After tasting a layer of caramel that isn’t too thick or rich, you get to the smooth,¬†tropical¬†pineapple splash of flavor that is mixed in with vodka. This was a bliss I hadn’t even imagined, and I have since then dreamed about this drink. I have actually obtained a recipe for this drink as well which sill be included at the end of this post.

    Now,¬†the aligator jambalaya. I had eaten gator meat once, and found it reminded me of a mix of chicken and fish- more with a¬†pronounced¬†fish taste, but not overwhelmingly so. The consistency of this meat in this dish made me think of duck- lean, but a little¬†fattening. Perhaps it was the sauce. The portion size was not the biggest for the $8, but it was still fun to try. Seasoned with poblano peppers and incorporated with chorizo, this fun dish was spicy and enjoyable to eat. The meat itself was tasty, just a little lean, and offered a light texture that filled me up without the itis. Although I wouldn’t recommend sharing unless you have others sharing with you, this dish is worth a try.

    Cafe Tutu Tango is a fun, lively entertaining atmosphere that is family friendly, usually busy, and colorful as life itself. With local artists providing fascinating surrealist portraits, or funky beaded jewelry, this restaurant is sure to please eccentric crowds, foodies, children, or yuppies looking for good food, and great drinks.

    Upside down Pineapple martini Yumfactor– 5 tongues! (5 out of 5 start) Smooth, decadent, and unique, this drink is sweet, and the vodka flavor comes through nicely. $7.25

    Aligator Jambalaya Yumfactor– 3¬†tongues¬†and a tastebud. (3.5 out of 5) This is a fun, unique dish, worth a try, but may not be a favorite for everyone. I enjoyed it, but it could be better. How specifically? That’s a great question.

    Now, here is the recipe for the fabolous martini I reviewed: http://www.drinksmixer.com/drink12303.html

    Have you ever tried this drink? What do you think of gator meat?

    Don’t forget to rate, comment and subscribe!

    Healthy Choice pumpkin ravioli (with asparagus, apples and butternut squash) Review.

    Healthy Choice’s Pumpkin Ravioli with apples and Butternut Squash. What a mouth full.

    Ever since the commercial with Mindy Kailing¬†advertising¬†new Healthy Choice’s¬†Pumpkin Ravioli with apples and Butternut Squash, I was curious. Mainly because I¬†wondered what butternut squash tasted like. It seems to have become more popular in dishes, such as soups, and as side items. But I also was¬†curious¬†about pumpkin ravioli.

    This by far has been one of my favorite frozen entrees. Firstly, the warm flavors of the apple and the¬†pumpkin¬†bring a ring of autumn depth you often experience with rich flavors like these. The subtle butternut squash adds a tinge of sweetness to the tart apples. The asparagus is sharp, but blends beautifully with the delicate butter sage sauce. I could not imagine the harmony of this dish unless all the ingredients were mixed together. The meal contains 310 calories per serving. ¬†My only gripe is that you get about 9¬†ravioli. Why? Because it’s so good, I always wish for 10. Or 12. Also, whenever I follow the microwave directions on the package, I notice that one¬†ravioli¬†gets hard, to where when I chew it, it’s overly cooked on the edges. ¬†I have no idea why. This ¬†has also¬†occurred¬†with the Lobster ravioli I sampled from them. (Post coming soon). This balance of bold richness, smart calorie content (which may not¬†suffice¬†if you’re starving, but hey it’s not supposed to) and¬†important¬†vegetables make for a¬†convenient¬†lunch or dinner, and invoke a unique flavor experience.

    Another picture of what the box looks like.

    Healthy Choice Pumpkin Ravioli with asparagus, apples and butternut squash Yumfactor: 4 tongues and a tastebud (4.5 our of 5 stars). I really like this. I find that the flavors are well balanced and very exotic. It can be a bit fall for some, however, it’s very tasty. If you are famished, I recommend possibly eating 2 entrees if you’re not into calorie counting and are buying this entr√©e just to taste it. That’s what I’m doing. If you don’t, you may be hungry an hour later, just as a sidenote. It may not be flavorful enough for some, but you can always add pepper, garlic or whatever else to spice it up.

    Like this post? Why not rate, comment and subscribe to more exciting posts in the future!

    Banquet Pot pies and feeding hunger in America. You can help.

    Really quick,I have been buying Banquet’s chicken, chicken and¬†broccoli¬†and turkey pot pies, and not only are they delicious, but there is a code on each box you buy. When you log on to the¬†provided¬†website and enter the code, money goes to feeling the needy in America. As far as the pies themselves, ¬†these pot pies (ready in less than 5 minutes) are delicious. The crust is flaky and they are a great value (<$1). They taste as if they are out the oven and are quite filling. Try it and let me know what you think! But if you do but them, look out for the label on the front that says “Hunger Ends Here”. You’re doing a charitable service to those in need. Nothing but positive instant karma, and the supply of food on the table of those in need. It’s a win win for everyone ūüôā

    Side note: There are also fruit pies available.

    Click http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/21/business/media/21adco.html for more information on the company, and other products that can help feed hungry children.