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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Recipe Testin’: Crescent Roll Apple Dumplings (Adapted from the Pioneer Woman)

appleI love Pinterest for its multitude of awesomeness. It’s no surprise it’s an extremely popular interactive vision board many use for ideas on an array of categories–food included. I often utilize Pinterest’s food boards and pins for cool recipes. Deciding after much procrastination to try a perfect fall¬†treat incorporating basic ingredients, I found a simple, yet delectable recipe using sprite, crescent¬†rolls, apple, butter, sugar and¬†cinnamon. The original recipe¬†comes from¬†The Pioneer Woman, whose¬†version includes 2 cans of crescent rolls and Mountain Dew. I had to improvise by adding Sprite and 1 can of crescent rolls, but it did the trick.¬†(Click on this link for the original recipe. This has step-by-step¬†pictures, and some of you may prefer that.)

The following is Pioneer Woman’s recipe with a few tweaks I added for creativity. It takes 10 minutes to prep, 40-45 minutes to cook (depending on oven and browning) and serves 6-8 people. The recipe is straightforward, the dessert is undeniably scrumptious and this is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Granny Smith apples
  • ¬†2 cans of original crescent rolls. I used one can and it worked just fine.
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1¬†teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8¬†oz/ 1 cup¬†Mountain Dew or sprite.
  • Cinnamon to taste. I added¬†nutmeg as well. (To put it in quantative terms,start with 1/2¬† of¬†1/4 of a tsp. I eyeballed it, and this is the best I’ve got.)

Directions: (Preheat over to 350 degrees)

  • Peel, core¬†and cut apples into 8 slices. This is an opportune time to use that apple peeler and corer if you have one. If not, it’s a great investment.
  • Open box of crescent rolls, and separate them into triangles. Place dumplings into a 9 x 13 inch pan. I used a round clear pan, lightly greased with butter.
  • Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll, starting from the top of the triangle, rolling downward to the tip of the crescent roll. Secure by applying gentle pressure to create an adhesion.
  • Melt two sticks of butter over medium-low heat. Add vanilla, sugar, and gently stir. Mixture doesn’t have to be smooth.
  • Pour butter and sugar mixture over the apple crescent rolls, thoroughly¬†covering apples. Pour Mountain Dew on the sides of the pan, around the appley crescents.
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon. (I got creative and used¬†nutmeg and sugar in conjunction to cinnamon. I thought a good idea would be¬†apple pie spice¬†or a¬†dash of sugar and ginger for next time.)
  • Place into oven and bake for 40-43 minutes, until apples are soft, butter bubbles and the crescents¬†are golden brown and crispy.

Serve while warm. Toppings may¬†include: ice cream, whipped cream, or whatever works for you! Why not try¬†both versions/substitutions and incorporate the optional ingredients for variety? I’d love to hear your experiences in your comments.

Salads: They’re Only As Boring as You Make Them!

Many people frown up at the idea of eating a salad, providing endless excuses as to why they’re uneatable. With a little creativity, you can create appetizing¬†salads, full or meat (or not) and fun toppings to satisfy the beast within. Below are quick tips to sprucing up greens, and adding a dash of colorful¬†nutrition¬†to your lifestyle.

  • Themed salads. Make salads with meats and follow through on flavor with themed ingredients. You can try a chicken taco salad, beginning with a layer of bagged salad, cheddar cheese, taco-seasoned¬†chicken, ¬†sour cream, tomato and beans. Adding rice underneath the layer of mixed greens can be a more filling option to give you carbs and a feeling of fullness.
  • Add fruit and be merry. Adding¬†berries, ¬†oranges and other fruits can fan any salad fun. Here’s an example. Take a half a bag salad, add mandarin oranges (1-2 8 oz. servings), a Asian Toasted Sesame flavored salad dressing, and add fried chow mein noodles. Stir until you’ve got a fun Asian-inspired salad your tastebuds will beg you for. This can be spruced up with cold¬†grilled¬†chicken strips or shrimp seasoned with peanut sauce. Adding cold noodles in place of the fried chow mein noodles will also rock your mouth’s tastebuds off.
  • Be creative and add seasonal touches to your salad. Fall usually beckons orange and red-colored fruits and veggies, savory flavorings such as apple or pears spiked with nutmeg and cinnamon, and the ever¬†popular¬†butternut squash. Why not try to expand the borders of plain salads and dressings to a mountain of colors, roasted veggies and ripened, yet tangy fruit? Cranberries, croutons and¬†chicken¬†with a balsamic¬†vinaigrette¬†would make anyone’s tastebuds rave. Here is another savory, autumn-themed salad for the spirit.
  • Pair up your salads with comforting and indulgent soups, sandwiches or fuller meals. Still think salads are for sissies? They can make fun side dishes and are a versatile, easy way to up your¬†nutrition. The water content in salads¬†hydrate¬†your body and invigorates the living sludge out of your low energy levels. They perk up your day and are chock full of vitamins to help you live your best life possible. Just go out, have fun and make the salad your canvas.

Visit this site to find out more about salads and their purpose in life. ¬†Don’t forget to rate, comment and subscribe to this blog for fun food ideas, restaurant reviews and must try products!¬†

Limited Time Pumpkin Cream Cheese Review

This is a quick blog to express how much I love¬†Philadelphia’s pumpkin cream cheese. I was hesitant at first, but this flavor is truly indulgent. Firstly, the cream cheese has a balance of¬†pumpkin¬†spices and the¬†subtly¬†of cream cheese. Warm cinnamon and nutmeg mesh effortlessly with a sweet pumpkin overtone. To be honest,I can’t get enough of this limited time product, and I’m sad it’s not available year round!

Idea: You can use this as a cream cheese frosting for seasonal cakes, pies and cupcakes!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Yumfactor: 4 Tongues. (four our of five stars.) The balance of flavors and authentic pumpkin taste make this fun fall flavor truly enjoyable.

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Sonic’s Pumpkin Pie Milkshake Review. (And Edy’s Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream Overview)

Too artificial and "spicy" to be well rounded. Just so you know.

I went to Sonic’s to try the pumpkin pie milkshake which of course is available for a limited time, along with their new Kickin’ Coney and Bacon and Bleu hotdog. I had a previous run in with a pumpkin flavored dessert that left me dazed, hurt and disappointed. Actually, I’ll name names ūüôā Edy’s pumpkin pie ice cream is overly artificial in flavor, with too much focus on the sweet with poor traces of¬†spice. ¬†And the spice that IS there tastes off balanced. Too cinnamoney to me. I was not a fan at all…Now, I know some of you are¬†going¬†to say “Duh, it’s ice cream. What did you expect?”¬†Certainly¬†not that frozen weirdness I tasted. ¬†Apparently, Sonic understands what I mean. Why? because their pumpkin pie¬†flavored¬†milkshake is amazing; it has lovely layers of rich pumpkin flavor that¬†delicately¬†infuses traces of cinnamon nutmeg that do not over power the pumpkin flavoring.

I took a pic, but it got deleted, so I borrowed this one.

It’s not an overly spicy shake it’s just a nicely balanced cup of bliss. ¬†And I¬†think Sonic’s whipped cream is¬†indulgent and creamy and the fact that it’s¬†topped¬†with pie crumbles makes it even more so epic. So take that all of you who think I should expect pumpkin pie flavored ice creams/shakes to be disgusting. ūüėõ

The texture is rich, creamy, and thick, like regular Sonic shakes are. ¬†There is an earthy depth to the shake, as the first sip is laden with ripe, sweet pumpkin that doesn’t scare the taste buds. ¬†Then, there is a warm undertone of cinnamon and nutmeg that add a well rounded feature to it. I felt this milkshake aptly used fall flavors of pumpkin and spice to make for a fun and sweet shake- and I feel it’s very easy to mess up frozen pumpkin type desserts by over using spiciness. I got a medium for $2.29. I wouldn’t¬†recommend¬†it for diabetics. Again this is fast food, so it’s not for the health conscious who are concerned with calories, fat or sugar. According to their site,the calorie content is 710. Wow. 78 g sugar, 9 g¬†protein, and 1 g of fiber. But hey, there’s 0 g trans fat! ūüėĬ†And that’s the best of it with nutrition, folks, bt what do you expect? it’s a milkshake from Sonics!

Pumpkin Pie Shake Yumfactor: 5  tongues!! (5 out of 5 stars) I think this is flawless, and I have a friend who is scared of pumpkin flavored drinks and she agreed that is was rich, true to pumpkin pie goodness and yummy.

Edy’s Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream Yumfactor: 2 tongues and a tastebud. (2.5 out of 5 stars) I wanted to like it, but it was not well balanced in flavor. I like the color though, so I added an extra “.5” ūüėÄ It is “light” so perhaps the lack of extra fat manifests itself in the way it tastes.

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Fiber Plus Antioxidants Cereal- Caramel Pecan Crunch Review

I have tried Fiber Plus “Berry Yogurt” cereal and thought it needed a bit more sugar. The flakes were harder and thicker than what I wanted, so after finishing the box, I never bought it again. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t good, but I’d give it a strong 2.5 out of 5 because the flakes seemed a it too “brany” for my tongue. The berries are nothing but strawberries coated in ¬†yogurt, and tasted average. There was also an underlying warmth to the cereal, maybe cinnamony or something in the flakes that threw me off when paired next to the strawberry flavor. Did the fiber get me moving? I’d say yes, but that was what it was¬†supposed¬†to do.

Fiber Plus Berry Yogurt Cereal

Verdict? It tastes like Fiber. Much better with sprinkled brown sugar. I know this is a healthy cereal, and shouldn’t be drowned in¬†sweetness, but I was expecting a¬†little¬†better quality of cereal,¬†especially¬†because I have had Fiber One bars, and they were enjoyable, so I figured another brand of fiber enhanced cereal should be the same. Nope. It made me feel as if I should follow it up with a cup of prune juice, and take¬†supplements¬†for my aching hip. ¬†It could be fine it that was my morning ritual, but I’m not even 30 yet. But this is obviously my opinion, so you may like it a little more than I did. ūüôā

IMO,This was was better than the other one.

Fiber Plus Berry Yogurt Cereal YumfactorР2 tongues and a tastebud (2.5 out of 5) Do keep in mind that I was NOT just buying this cereal for the fiber content, which I why I think I was a little more disappointed with the taste.

On to the good stuff.¬†Fiber Plus Antioxidants Cereal- Caramel Pecan Crunch is GOOD! The first thing I noticed was that the hard flakes didn’t hurt my mouth. (I’m not going to say any names here, but it was¬†completely¬†unlike that¬†Strawberry¬†Yogurt flavor *evil glare*) The caramel is¬†detectable, and the pecans add a wonderful, nutty, and warm flavor to the cereal. It’s light, nicely¬†sweetened, and it does get things moving. I’d say that Fiber Plus followed up nicely with this sweet, rich and nutty cereal that outdoes the other flavor.

I honestly think my favorite thing about this cereal is the caramel. You don’t see it, but upon getting a spoonful, you get a taste of the sweet, buttery flavor that acts as a pleasant surprise, although you know caramel is in there somewhere. So, how much fiber is included in this cereal? According to the label, a service size of 3/4 cup is equal to:9g, or 35% Sugar content is relatively low at 12 g, and you also get 3g of protein, along with essential vitamins A,B12, C, D &E,and other nutrients .

Fiber Plus antioxidants cereal Caramel Pecan Crunch Yumfactor- 4 tongues. (4 out of 5 stars)  I will most likely enjoy this on a regular basis.

TTSTip: Spicing Up Your Fiber! Healthy Post!

I just scooped some apple filling on it, and has a wonderful oatmeal experience.

Do you want to spicy up yor oats? No really! Here’s a quick tip to get extra spice in your oatmeal, Sure, it does involve adding a little ore sugar, but it’s sure to please your buds¬†Instead of buying bulk packs of flavored oatmeal that is full of added sugar, corn syrup (yuck) and sodium, why not just make your own oatmeal and flavor it yourself? It’s easier than you think ūüėČ Just add a taeaspoon of apple pie filling, or canned apple pie flavor with spices added, and you have a quick, hearty, spiced up oatmeal dish. ¬†I¬†recommend¬†also adding nutmeg, vanilla and cinnamon, with a pinch of salt (alla the directions) and a¬†little¬†sugar, cooking and then adding it o top, but you can also add a¬†teaspoon¬†to cooking oatmeal with your spices, and I promise you’ll love it! It’s bliss!

I usually just flavor my oatmeal whenever I cook it, and the add whatever fruits I want. If I’m making a berry type, I just add vanilla and sugar to my Quaker oats, and then let it boil. I could never eat the oatmeal plain, and I¬†think¬†a lot of people dislike oatmeal because they follow the directions on the back, and don’t add extra things to it.