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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Archer Farms Turtle Cookies-I’m Addicted!

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I bought these cookies at Target just because they looked yumtastic. Upon chewing into the soft cookie to uncover indulgent dark chocolate chips, pecans and buttery caramel chunks, I found myself yearning for the warmth of this cookie on a daily basis. Last time I checked, they were on sale for $2.15.

 

You get 8 in z box. Be warned the caramel is VERY chewy as to be expected. Each cookie contains 140 calories, and 9 grams of sugar. Not too bad if you ask me. I’d easily give these cookies 4 tongues and a tastebud. (4.5 out of 5 stars.) I love the chewy texture and the depth of flavors contained in each one as turtle flavored cookies aren’t flavors you see everywhere. Cons: there are only 8 in the pack! ¬†ūüė¶

Three Earl Grey Teas and Cream.

Lately, I have been¬†drinking¬†more tea. I tend to notice an affinity to drink coffee in the colder months, and teas in the hotter months. I have also been leaning towards more teas because of their wonderful health benefits. I have challenged myself to drink a cup of green tea, and black tea per day to increase my body’s immunity, fighting free radicals, and indulging in something that can stimulate me without the aftertaste of coffee. I love the variety teas offer and have been more creative in selecting unusual flavors and twists on classics.

Earl Grey Tea #1-Art of Tea’s Earl Grey and Creme.

I was at a local shop with a friend of mine, and noticed a bag of Earl Grey Creme by “Art of Tea”. As a side note, I had previously purchased their Coconut Creme black tea and found it’s tropical, nutty aroma true to life, natural and the richness of the tea a pleasant experience. ¬†This caught my attention because I never imagined Earl Grey, it’s light, subtly floral flavor with the refreshing bergamot quality fused with rich and creamy French Vanilla. And its organic.

Perfect for first time introduction to your tastebuds, this individually packaged tea may not be enough it's so good.. I wish I bought the entire tin!

I sniffed the package, and inhaled a wonderful, strong aroma of bergamot and an underlying French Vanilla-custardy delicate note that encouraged me to buy it.  I reflected briefly and remembered my mom making this tea- Earl Grey with a splash of mil and a Vanilla flavored creamer, and wondered why she was so hooked. One taste, and I understood completely.

The first thing I noticed was the fragrance. Uplifting to the senses and emotions, I detected a strong current of bergamot, that married perfectly with the smooth vanilla flavor. Not only was this tea smooth and full in body, but the French Vanilla had toned down the citrus, but didn’t hide it too much. This was a delectable, dessert like treat that had depth. I added 2 teaspoons of white sugar, a little milk, and a Vanilla creamer (Coffee Mate’s French Vanilla). I was also able to make 2 additional cups after my first one, and although the flavor dissipated slightly, it was still strong enough to go around 2 more times. (One who for my friend) Impressive. I literally milked this tea to death-no cheesey pun intended. I paid $2 for this 1 bag, however, it was well worth it. As far as¬†caffeine¬†content¬†is concerned, this tea has a medium amount, perfect to awaken the mind, but not too much.

Art of Tea Earl Grey Creme Yumfactor– 4 tongues and a tastebud. (4.5 stars out of 5) It’s rich, fragrant, citrus and sweet, perfectly balanced by that creme, and the black tea base itself is nothing but quality. True indulgence. Here is the link to their site-¬†http://www.artoftea.com/

Earl Grey #2Bigelow’s Earl Grey Tea.

Since my first true experience with Earl Grey tea was nearly perfect, indulgent, and rich, I expected to have a similar one from here on out. I remembered my mother making Earl Grey Tea at home, and decided that all I had to do was to add French Vanilla, or regular Vanilla creamer to the tea, and I’d have a similar concoction as the prior. Boy, was I wrong. -_-

Bigelow’s tea to me is hit or miss. There are times I have had their tea and felt that the flavors weren’t strong enough. For instance, take their Vanilla Chai. Pretty¬†packaging, however, too sweet. I have had other brands of Vanilla Chai and felt the Vanilla accented the Chai well, but still tasted the warm, earthy essences of the spiciness. The spices in chat make it chai! Now, I’m no Chai expert, however, I had the pleasure of tasting all types of chai, and even tasted Chai made from scratch by a native Indian on a regular basis in the past. I wasn’t expecting the same spice factor, but I wasn’t expecting to have a tea that was extremely sweet, either. I digress, though.

Earl Grey #2

So, upon making my Earl Grey with Vanilla creamer, milk and sugar, I noticed that the fragrance was lighter. Okay, not a big deal. I tasted it and¬†compared¬†to the first tea, noticed that the citrus undertones were a bit muted. The vanilla¬†flavor¬†was pleasant,(Coffee Mate’s Italian Sweet Cream Creamer) but the tea was overall not as strong and inviting as the other one. I realized ¬†three things at this very moment: 1) Art of tea makes incredible teas. 2) I shouldn’t compare the two, because this tea doesn’t have the creme finish and it’s a different brand/quality. 3)¬†According¬†to my tastebuds, Bigelow teas are average in my opinion.¬†Some¬†flavors¬†just won’t suffice for me because they are not full/strong. Then I¬†stopped¬†comparing, and¬†realized¬†that the tea¬†itself¬†wasn’t bad. It just won’t be one I drink on a regular basis.

Bigelow’s Earl Grey Tea Yumfactor– 3 tongues. (3 out of 5 stars) It’s not disgusting, but I was left searching for another brand. Specifically one with a stronger flavor of bergamot.

Earl Grey #3- Stash Double Bergamot Earl Grey Tea.

I was at Target (which I love!!)¬†and saw a tea sale, and went crazy and bought 3 different teas: Mango Coconut Oolong, Double Spice Chai, and Double Bergamot Earl Grey Tea. I figured the Double Bergamot would suffice because Bigelow made me feel lie it didn’t have enough bergamot. Maybe the bergamot flavor in the Bigelow brand was a bit shy, and didn’t want to be noticed. I understand, bergamot, don’t worry *pats it on its shy back*.

First and foremost, Stash teas are often lovely, full of flavor and priced at reasonable prices with a variety that is hard to ignore. I have often found myself pleased with the variety of teas, and the flavors they offer. Now, on to the tea.

Good stuff, Stash, good stuff.

I brewed a cup, and took note of the strong presence of the bergamot. Ah ha! I figured going off of the scent alone I would have a great replacement for the other brand (I was not able to make it to the store and get another box/bag/tin because of a few reasons so I needed a replacement). I added the milk and Italian Sweet Cream creamer and was pleasantly surprised with the similarity in body, richness and fragrance this tea had compared to the first one. I bought it for about $2.15 (for a box of 20 bags, which was *much*cheaper than the A.O.T, which was  $12/6oz tin of loose leaf. There was also the individual bags, but, you get the picture.) When I added the Vanilla, it danced gracefully with the citrus overtones, and completed it effortlessly.

Stash’ Double Bergamot Earl Grey Tea Yumfactor– 4 tongues. (4 out of 5 stars) It’s inexpensive, rich, delicate and is satisfying.

*Remember, all of these tea do contain¬†caffeine, so be aware. If I had to rate according to faves, I’d say Art of Tea ranks in 1st place for innovative taste and over all quality, but is pricey, in my opinion. Stash follows closely¬†behind, because of quality and value,¬†although¬†Art of tea’s Earl Grey has a stronger dessert like creamy presence. Then last, comes Bigelow, because,¬†apparently, the bergamot in that tea has an¬†inferiority¬†complex and doesn’t like much attention.

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Panera’s Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich- Reviewing My Obsession+Copycat recipe

Close Up

Everyone who knows me knows how much I love and often crave¬†Panera’s Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich. Here’s why. It’s light and refreshing, healthy, full of both sweet and savory flavors, and it’s rather exotic in nature. First, let’s analyze this sandwich from inside out. Sun dried tomato and basil bread, with a sweet undertone around the crusts, a tangy hummus spread on the bread adding a nice kick of flavor and complexity,cilantro, ¬†fresh cucumbers, lettuce, spicy Peppadew¬† peppers, red onions, and tomatoes…and FETA cheese!!!! ¬†The bread is soft and full of flavor itself.

Inside Shot

And no, I’m not a vegetarian,but this sandwich is good enough to make me order it faithfully at Panera for over 5 years. I have tried other items as well, but this¬†Panera’s Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich with a cup of their epic Iced Green Tea is all I need to have a great day. Plus, it’s under 650 calories!! (or a few little numbers above 650, but not above 670)

Copycat Recipe link!!!! alla *Debbie Does Dinner*

http://debbidoesdinnerhealthy.blogspot.com/2010/09/mediterranean-veggie-sandwich-with.html

Panera’s Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich Yumfactor- 5 tongues!!! I just only wish there were sun-dried tomatoes versus regular ones, but it’s still amazing! Cost- $6.30 including tax.

Must Try Food: Sweet Potato Fries (with a surprise tip!)

Firstly, I must blog about my new guilt free indulgence sweet potato fries. ¬†I¬†love sweet¬†potatoes¬†as I find them more versatile and tasty than regular white potatoes. Also, nutritionally, they are more valuable than white potatoes.¬†Let’s compare briefly. First, here’s a video of the difference between the two:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTb42OGnxLQ

Yummy sweet potato fries (frozen then baked) with A sweet and spicy Asian Chili Sauce.

Nutritional Content of : White Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes: (Some of this may be redundant after the video, but this is more those who may want to see things written versus in audio form) obtained from  http://www.lisanelsonrd.com/blog/white-potato-vs-sweet-potato-which-is-better

White Potatoes vs Sweet Potatoes: ‘Tater Wars!

  • Calories: 1 medium sized white potato has 128 calories when compared to the same size of a sweet potato which has¬†¬†103 calories.
  • Fat: Both have the same amount of fat content, which is 0.2g
  • Fiber:¬†White potatoes have 3 grams of fiber, where sweet ones have 4 grams. (which helps keep blood sugar levels neutral. Some diabetics have even reported that white potatoes make their blood sugar levels rise, where as sweet¬†potatoes¬†do not increase them)
  • Glycemic Index: White Potatoes are nearly 35 points higher than sweet potatoes.
  • Potassium: White potatoes have¬†738.3 mg while sweet ones have 541.5 mg.
  • Vitamins C and B6: White potatoes have less Vitamin C, but more of B6, and the opposite for sweet potatoes¬†(more Vitamin C and less B6)
  • Beta-carotene: White potatoes have¬†8.28 mcg , where sweet ones have¬†13120 mcg. Holy Smokes!

So what does this mean,folks? Sweet Potatoes > White Potatoes,though they possess different flavors.

Mr. Potato Head doesn't seem too happy about this...

{Reviewing The Fries}

Moving on, I am reviewing a brand of Sweet potato fries I recently tried. I prefer to buy the frozen fries and baking them due to a healthy lifestyle I want to maintain.  The taste of too much grease and fat literally turn my tummy in many directions :/

Alexia Julienne Sweet potato fries comes in a Family Size, low sodium variety that is sure to be a crowd pleaser. After baking them according to the directions, you can be sure that you will be satisfied due to the rich taste of the sweet potato. To make things interesting, I added a touch of garlic to combine the sweet, rich flavor and a savory note that I was happy with. (If adding garlic salt, be warned that some of the moisture will be reduced, and your fries may end up a little shriveled.) Perfect with chicken, or burgers, these bright and healthy baked fries are fabulous! I even tried the chipotle variety because I wanted a more intense experience! These run about $4.

Alexia Sweet Potato Fries Yumfactor: 5 tongues!!! (5/5) These are healthy, fun and yummy! Think low-budget gourmet!

Alexia Chipotle Sweet Potato Fries Yumfactor: 4 tongues and a tastebud. ¬†(4.5 out of 5) While fun, and blends savory and sweet, I find that the addition of chipotle can inhibit¬†eaters¬†from adding a variety of flavors, and may clash with whatever else is being eaten with it. IT is yummy, and perfect for¬†barbecued¬†side dishes, or as a snack on it’s own.

Asian sweet Chili Sauce- a great dip.

Tip: For an exotic touch, use 2 to 5 tsps. of Asian Sweet Chili Sauce as a dip, or even garlic Mayo. This dip gives the sweet fries an exotic depth that is irresistible.


Must Try Junk Food: Raspberry Cheesecake Cookies

Another limited edition product! Subway has added a new cookie to their line of cookies,but for a short time only! Their raspberry cheesecake cookie has been my¬†favorite¬†new indulgence cookie wise as the buttery cookie brims with tangy raspberry and sweet….white chocolate chips? Yeah,¬†apparently, Subway thinks they¬†can just rename the white chocolate chips as cheesecake chips, as people just shrug it off, but I know the difference, Subway. *Mojo-Jojo evil glare*

I hate to break it to you, but the cheesecake chips= white chocolate. *gasps*

For starters, the cookie is a whopping $.50, the perfect amount of money to try it, and if it doesn’t taste good, you didn’t go broke in being adventurous. ¬†(I find that to be a plus. Anyone else with me, here?) Biting into it, one will notice the chewy texture, and the golden buttery taste of the cookie, and then boom… tart raspberry flavor¬†bite and smooth white chocolate, ( or cheesecake for the politically correct). ¬†These two flavors meld wonderfully to create a fancy, and pleasant¬†mouthful¬†of nom.

ProsРDifferent= exciting, $.50, raspberry in a cookie!!!

Cons– Knowing the difference between cheesecake flavor and white¬†chocolate flavor, and then feeling swindled as Subway tries to get you to think they are both the same. ¬†And they are not, Subway. They are not. It’s limited time. *tear-sniff combo*

Raspberry Cheesecake Cookie Yumfactor– 4.5 out of 5.

Coffee Mate’s White Chocolate Caramel Creamer (Review)

Coffee Mate's 3 new flavors (1st on the left is the one being reviewed.)

In comparing Coffee Mate’s creamers to International Delights, I usually prefer International Delights, however there are exceptions in a few cases-Coffee Mate’s Latte Creamers. Firstly, the velvety, smooth,¬†creamy¬†texture provides the taster with the feel of latte goodness. ¬†Not overly rich, nor too thick (unlike¬†International¬†Delight’s Breve Cream in my opinion) I get a pretty even taste of caramel, but a slightly less white chocolate undertone. I had thought that the white chocolate would overpower the subtle buttery caramel, however one taste’s the opposite.

I’d have to say that overall, I really enjoy this creamer flavor, and appreciate the smooth latte texture that makes me feel as though I have an authentic latte in my cup, although the white chocolate is subtle.

*TIP:* Also try coffee creamers in various teas (like Vanilla based teas, or even Chai teas) to experience a unique creamer experience. Sometimes, flavors that do not come through strongly in coffee make their entrance through teas.

Coffee Mate’s White Chocolate Caramel Creamer Yumfactor: 4 tongues. (4 out of 5) ¬†With a rich texture and yummy taste, that doesn’t prove to be too fattening, you can be sure to enjoy this amidst the hassle and stress of your crazy mornings.

 

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