POLL/Question Time!! What Would You like me to blog about next?

So it’s clear this food blog has featured many coffee creamer reviews, a copycat recipe and money saving tips, but is there anything you’d like to see from me in the future? (More recipes I have tried/reviews-not that I want this to become a recipe blog, less junk food reviews or more even, money saving tips, or health related content, or a little of everything?) Let me know, and if I approve, I’ll be glad to take your opinions seriously. Thanks!

 

 

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Vanilla Cupcake Goldfish Grahams:Because Sprinkles Always =Cupcakes (Even if you can’t taste it)

See the sprinkles on the little fishies?

Cute little gold fishes are always a great snack, and stepped out of their signature cheese varieties into the land of graham. Strolling down the aisles, you may now see goldfishes in s’mores flavors, graham, and even vanilla cupcake. The reason why I got this is not just because it’s new, but because it’s cupcakey! Aww, Pepperidge Farms knows how to be cute!!!

I expected this to not taste that much like a vanilla cupcake considering it has a graham cracker base.  Upon opening the bag, you’ll notice that there are sprinkles on your goldfish grahams to imply that is it indeed a cupcake. (Nothing spells a cupcake like sprinkles, and don’t you forget it :)) With the first bite, I was only able to taste a graham cracker and maybe a bit more butter? Then when the crackers were 75% dissolved into soggy crumbles, I swore I was able to taste a drop of vanilla. As far as the cupcake flavor itself is concerned, the sprinkles were the only thing to remind me of a cupcake. (Even the little vanilla cupcake they have on their packaging

Nothing says cupcake like sprinkles, however, it doesn't equal cupcake flavor, P.Farms

has sprinkley goodness on it) So basically, I’d have to say these snacks are pretty good, and do slightly deviate from the usual graham cracker flavor, (and by this, I mean a little more vanillaey than the typical graham cracker flavor)but I can’t guarantee everyone will taste it. Give them a try, and let me know what you think!

Pros– Overall yummy, and made with whole grain! Yes!! *Doing the bent elbow, up and down yes gesture*. Cute sprinkles. Goldfish that aren’t cheese flavored=variety. A slight vanilla aftertaste,(more vanilla than cupcake) but only when the graham is a liquefied puddle of sogginess.

Cons– No cupcakeness aside the visual aspect of the sprinkles. *Crosses arms and pouts*

Vanilla Cupcake Goldfish Grahams Yumfactor: 3 tongues and a taste bud (3.5 out of 5 stars) Because they are good, even though they don’t taste like a cupcake.

Coconut M&M’s= Coconuty,Chocolatey Cocaine?

What’s fun, exotic,rich in chocolate, and evenly flavored with coconut flavor? Coconut M&M’s! Not exactly brand spanking new, M&M’s release of what I thought was a limited time, this summery flavor seems here to stay. For just $.88 a pack, you get to experience the wonderful combination of coconut and rich chocolate, mixed up ion that perfect, crunchy M&M shell. Yummy. These yummy, musty try candies are in three colors -white,green and brown. I suppose they function to mimic the inside of a coconut,(white) the outside of the coconut and the chocolate (brown), and the green to mimic the cool Palm trees you think of when eating it? O_0 Either way, I can’t resist these things. I’m pretty sure I’m addicted to them, and you may get addicted to them as well.

White package complete with 3 M&M colors- white/brown to mimic the coconut,chocolate combination and green to represent the tropical palm trees?

All I can say for this pack of heaven is I love it! You get the original,smooth chocolate M&M flavor, but  a nice kick of coconut- both harmonious as none over power the other. I think this is my most favorite M&M’s flavor.

Pros- Cheap, only 210 calories, exotic, heavenly, and a nice change from the plain ole chocolate M&M’s. Caution-You may become addicted to these, as they are epic.

Cons- Not at every location. I purchased mine at Publix supermarkets, and have heard some people say that could not find this at their local grocery story. Egads!!! 😦

Coconut M&M’s Yumfactor– 5 tongues (5 out of 5 stars)

Coffee Creamer Review: New International Delights Almond Joy

Almond Joy Coffee Creamer: Because Sometimes You Feel Like A Nut Before Noon.

Yay! Another Limited Edition Coffee Creamer,brought to you by International Delights!  So if you have not yet been informed, Int’l Delights released a Spring/Summer Creamer chock full of summery flavors like coconut, chocolate (Chocolate= Summery? Hardly, but hey, it makes me think of Starbuck’s Coconut Mocha latte that’s around in the summer) and almond! This exotic combo immediately made me assume I’d taste all three flavors equally. Not quite. While this creamer is tasty in all it’s existence, I wished I tasted more of all almond undertone. Sure, almond is strong, but I was left feeling as if one of the 3 flavors ran away when I wasn’t looking, and never returned *sniffs*. I later realized it was poor ole’ almond. Come back, almond flavor! I miss you!!

Fun, coconuty and chocolatey it’s kinda like almond didn’t exist very much. Even in sniffing the creamer (which I occasionally do to, you know, get into my food zone) I don’t really even smell the almond. All in all, though it is worth a try, however,the almond is there, but in very little appearance though the coconut and chocolate do overcompensate. (By the way, I purchased this at a Wal-Mart near me)

Pros- Fun, vibrant coconut + smooth, velvety chocolate= Party time!! 8) Pretty good all around,except…

Cons-Almond decided to go to the party, but left 2 minutes late after saying hi to all of his friends. :/ Perhaps Int’l Delights went extra easy on the almond flavoring because it’s pretty strong of a flavor in general?

Yumfactor: 3  out of 5 tongues and a taste bud. (3 1/2 out of 5)

Pepperidge Farm Strawberry Milano Cookies Review

Pepperridge farm has recently released a new flavor in addition to
their line of the delicately sophisticated Milano cookie.  Saddened by their
discontinuation of my favorite French Vanilla flavor (side note: This saddens me VERY deeply. Seriously, this flavor was epic.), I was eager to try the new and somewhat sexy Strawberry variety. First things, first, I ate the entire package within a day, and I intended the cookies to last me at least a week. The flavors are extremely complimentary to the other, as the
strawberries’ sweetness dances seductively with the rich, complex dark
chocolate. This by far is the best combo in my opinion. 

Irony= Me taking this pic and placing a raspberry candy beside the epic strawberry chocolate Milano cookies. Oh well. It's pretty, darn it.

I have had the pleasure (as previously mentioned) of trying the French
Vanilla flavor which gave the chocolate flavor a creamy, toned down,yet subtle accented, contrasting note, and the displeasure of sampling the Raspberry flavor.  Personally, the raspberry tasted like cough syrup gone bad (as if good cough syrup is ever tasty) with bitter-sweet chocolate domination. I gag sometimes  randomly, when I imagine its taste then note how my  taste buds hate me for a few hours after. Negative association much? I have wondered what on earth the orange ones taste like, but with my recent experience of orange flavors with interesting pairings (such as cappuccino, which strangely tasted like sand and smelled like a burnt ham sandwich), I have since  been cautious.
For only $2.50 on sale at Target, but suggested at $3.39 (Really? These are good, but let’s not get cocky here, Peps. This is actually the suggested retail price of ALL  their Milano cookies. Not sure about the other varieties), it’s well worth a try. I can’t stop eating these cookies, and it kind of annoys me how little control I have over their time span! Pure indulgence.
Pros: Beautiful mix of sweet and bitter as strawberry and chocolate go together well. A sexy combo I might add *wink,wink* Soft, crunchy yet delicately spongy texture of the Milano cookie. Not Raspberry flavored. (thank Goodness) Pretty to look at.  Isn’t pink and brown together just the prettiest color combo ever? 🙂
Cons: Buying it for $3.39 versus $2.50. *rolls eyes*
Strawberry Milano Yumfactor: 4 out of 5 tongues and a taste bud. (4 1/5 out of 5)

Coffee Creamer Review: Chocolate Chip Creme Brulée

Again, with the coffee creamers.

I like anything new when it comes to foods and their flavors, so I decided on trying both of the limited edition International Delight’s coffee creamers, Chocolate Chip Creme Brulée and Sweet Buttercream. The containers are both elaborately decorated with cool swirly designs and attractive colors, not to mention the drool-inducing food graphics.

I purchased the chocolate chip creme brulée first, because it sounded rather adventurous; deep, rich chocolate with a creme brulée undertone. Because I really didn’t understand what that was specifically or how it tasted, so I had to find out.  I wondered if the chocolate would over power the creme brulée or if the creme brulée would delicately compliment the chocolate.

Well, upon my first sip of coffee, here’s what happened.  I noticed the smell first.  The scent was wonderfully rich in all its chocolatiness and had a strong punch of the vanilla custard of the creme  brulée.  It’s almost like a souped up French Vanilla, but with carmelized sugar sprinkled inside each of  its buttery layers.  If you sniffed it as long as I did, you can even make out the sugary topping of the creme brulée.  Quite naturally,  I was expecting to taste a strong creme  brulée note. Hmm. I’m actually still waiting for it to emerge somewhere when I taste it, but it doesn’t seem to happen.  The flavoring was  mostly chocolate with a soft yet sweet vanilla cream undertone.  It was most certainly there but passively, as if it its job was to calm down the dramatically noticable chocolate from time to time; think a side kick whose jokes aren’t funny and does not do anything for the story-on top of that, you constantly forget their name and function.  (Perhaps this is intended, because the words “chocolate chip” are placed before the creme brulée.)

I tried the creamer in coffee rather than in tea, and its strong chocolate  taste is a perfect match for the strong cocoa aroma.  It was more so exquisite when paired with coffee and cupcake coffee syrup, yielding a sinfully indulgent chocolate cupcake party in my mug. *Note that this flavor is sweet and because of its sweet flavor may cause you to not take your coffee seriously sometimes, kind of like someone telling a 40 year old to eat cocoa puffs for breakfast. It’s good yes, but it’s like candy!!

If you are a chocolate fan, this will surely delight your senses, but if you rooting for its sidekick, *forgets their name* this may not be for you.

Pros: Wonderfully scented, a good and interesting flavor, yummy chocolate accent. Slight yet weak vanilla and sugar taste, which is supposedly the creme brulée.  <–wait, or is that a con? *shrugs*

Cons: You can smell more of the creme brulée than you can taste as the flavors are not experienced in levels, but more so the chocolate overshadowing it.  I suppose this is to be expected for some, but the label does say creme brulée.

Chocolate Chip Creme Brulée Yumfactor: 3  out of 5 tongues and a taste bud. It was the creme brulée ont the package that made me buy it, but I was not really tasting much of it.

Copy Cat Gourmet: McDonald’s McGriddle (with Recipe)

I just made a low budget, copy cat McGriddle (for recipe, see below).  If you have not heard about the Mc Griddle by now, it’s a breakfast sandwich offered at Mc Donald’s composed of eggs, cheese, sausage (or in my case, just egg and cheese) and last but not least, 2 sweet mushy maple kissed “pancuits” (a word I created combining the words pancake and biscuits). When the item first emerged, many people were skeptical to taste it because of the traditional belief that eggs and meat should not be sweet.  Well, to them I say who wrote the rules on how eggs, cheese and meat should be eaten?  The product is sweetned with maple crystals which compliment the high sodium  in the sausage that so nicely decorates the breakfast sandwich.

I just so happen to love the cute little buggers and often crave them,only coming to a slow halt when I learned that: 1.) I do not want to continuously pay close to or slightly over $3 each time I want this sweet yet greasy delight; 2) the item has a very high sodium content.  Fine for you if you want to walk head high into a habit that can later result in high blood pressure if not properly watched.  Either way, I won’t judge.

Maple Syrup Crystals

Today, I frequented food sites and  I had come across many useful recipes that encourage saving time, gas, energy and not to mention money by recreating these products in your own kitchen.  I finally came across the recipe. Basically, the copy cat McGriddle recipe called for: flour, eggs, sugar, butter, cheese and meat for optional choices, with a somewhat  complex ingredient “maple syrup crystals”. Nearly sounding like a magical incantation of some sort, the author noted that it was available in a particular store I never heard of, which further lead me to my impulsive improvisation of this recipe. Who wants to drive some place on an empty stomach to find something like this? Not that it isn’t worth it, but will I actually find them?

*Warning! The following contains unorthodox ways of creating the classic dish, French Toast in unique manners.  If offended by the idea of eggs NOT being used in the French Toast mixture, I advise you to leave. Viewer discretion is advised.  🙂

I had a violently growling tummy,1 egg, wheat bread, maple crystals, an egg ring (an egg ring: a tuna can without a top or bottom, which when eggs are complete, results in a neat and circular fluffy, pretty little egg), sugar, milk and an idea. I was determined to make this McGriddle! I remember getting the idea after I remembered seeing Aunt Jemima’s French Toast in a store and thinking about eggs, cheese and the possibility of a turkey based meat being nestled in between two maple flavored, sticky pieces of wheat bread.

So, first things first, I complied my ingredients (Note: I do NOT actively measure out every ingredient, so please prepare some of the ingredients according to your taste. I have tried to be as approximate as I can).

This serves 1 person:

  • 1/4 c. Soy milk  (You can use whatever milk you have available)
  • 2 slices of  Honey wheat bread (Not Texas Toast)
  • 1/2 tsp or 3/4 tsp Cinnamon sugar
  • 1/2 tsp  Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • Butter (To spread in the pan)
  • 1 Eggs
  • Shredded cheese Enough to cover the finished egg.
  • Pinch of  salt
  • 1/2 – 3/4 tsp. Pancake syrup <–Take that maple crystals! Ha!

1. Preheat oven/ conventional over to 375. The first thing I did was create the meatless French Toast. (Yes, I know, you cannot officially have the F.T. without the eggs, but the purpose was to create bread that was similarly made with similar ingredients to yield a sweet, mapley taste. Plus, I only had 1 egg left. You can indeed make French Toast if you’d like.) I combined the milk, sugar, cinnamon sugar, and vanilla, mixing them together with a fork. I put aside so I would not get my ingredients mixed up.

2. I turned on my stove  to medium heat, adding a small enough amount of butter to coat the pan, and as it melted, I took a slice of bread, carefully dipping it in the mixture, coating both sides evenly. (I actually let one slice of bread sit in the mixture a little too long, and it got too soggy. Don’t make the same mistake I did!)

3. I allowed each slice to brown, flipping it so it would not get stuck to the pan.  Sadly, one of my slices were bogged down in mixture, so it became  little hard to do due to excessive moisture and sog.  (I will add that if you have never made French Toast, please consult a recipe now, because having that knowledge will help in the creation of this dish.)

4. When they were both somewhat firm, but  not fully cooked, I decided to bake/toast the slices of maple, cinnamon, vanilly bread in my toaster oven, so the sponginess would become crunchy.  (This is not necessary if your slices are firm, but chances are since there are no eggs in the mixture they will be slightly soggy.) *Also, if you do not have a conventional over, you can bake these slices at 375-400 until they get brown for at least 6 minutes.

5. I cooked the egg, first cracking it, and adding the pinch of salt. I mixed it with a fork, added more butter to the pan, and added the egg. I did not want to scramble it, so I just emptied the bowl and decided to let the egg cook.

6. When the egg cooked half way, I folded it in half, flipping in on the other side. (I figured if I flipped the egg while it was cooked, it may be harder to fold the egg.) Be sure to keep an eye on your toast so it will not burn!

7.  When the eggs finished cooking, I added some shredded cheese on the top, letting it melt. (We only had that available)

8. Add the egg/cheese (and meat if it applies) and place it inside the bread. Enjoy.

Optional:

  • Add turkey/ bacon or turkey/sausage to the sandwich.
  • Use Texas Toast bread for thicker slices.
  • Use an egg in the mixture to make French Toast slices.

Man! This was exceptionally good! My only drawback was that 1 slice was heavy, and still slightly soggy. I was too hungry to wait for it to firm so I took my chance and ate it.  The maple flavor really gave the sandwich the illusion of  the magic maple crystals, adding a nice amount of sweetness; the egg was aptly portioned and folded in between the bread and the cheese was the perfect accessory.  I added a piece of turkey sausage which made the mean taste more filling and added a nice complex taste compliment to the sweet bread.

I will say that this  is a deliciously healthy and comforting and low-budget method   not to mention, lower in sodium content because it’s prepared with less grease and fats.  While it does not taste 100% dead on to the McGriddle, it is very tasty in its own right and does mimic the original. Adding margarine versus butter also reduce the amount of fats in the sandwich.

You’ll get something like this.

Vegetarian French Toast McGriddle Yumfactor: 4 tongues out of 5 and a taste bud.