REVIEW: Haagen-Dazs Bourbon Praline Pecan

Have you ever been unsure whether you wanted to cap your night off with a shot of whiskey or a scoop of ice cream?  Is your inner bad boy torn between melty sweet spoonfuls of creaminess or the tummy-warming tingle of bourbon?  Look no further – Haagen-Dasz has made your solution.  Their new for 2017 flavor, Bourbon Praline Pecan, combines bourbon ice cream with nutty praline pecans and pools of brown sugar bourbon, to create “indulgence with a kick”.

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As I begin to scoop into the container the strong aroma of bourbon wafts into my nostrils almost as convincingly as if I had just popped a fresh bottle of the hard stuff. The smell is incredibly powerful and very authentic – it doesn’t come across artificially created or in-genuine at all.

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Going in for a taste this is without a doubt the booziest ice cream I have ever had, and I had to check the carton to see what the proof was and why they didn’t ask for my ID at Safeway (there is no proof, so no ID required). What’s incredibly impressive here is the booze on booze action between the bourbon base and brown sugar bourbon swirl, as it creates an inescapable flavor that teeters on the edge of too much alcohol. The brown sugar bourbon swirl is less sweet than your typical caramel but has a runny stickiness to it that reminds me of maple syrup. Although it has a boozy component to it, it’s noticeably less strong than in the ice cream itself and they work together in great harmony.

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The lone crunchy mix in, the praline pecans, pop with a sweet fattyness that works really well with the other two elements, and they stand out more than when in the usual butter pecan or caramel ice cream you would find this type of candied nut in. Sometimes less standard bases, like ones made of bourbon, can lose their unique flair after a couple of bites, but the pecans help keep that profile in check, and after their big sweet release the predominant components of the pint go right back to tasting like they were poured from an oak barrel.  Although the praline pieces aren’t terribly big there’s a lot of them so the sweetness and crunch come in and out of bites frequently.

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This is a great ice cream. Although it walks on the edge of being too strong, I’ve gotta give HD props for making a flavor that really lives up to its name and smacked me in the mouth with midnight regret. I don’t know that this would be my go-to when choosing a flavor to enjoy at the store, but it’s a definite must try for anyone who is a fan of bourbon or alcohol-tinged sweets.

Rating: 8.5/10

REVIEW: Quest Bar Mocha Chocolate Chip

I tend to start my weekday mornings with a protein bar and a nice cup of strong hot coffee.  As big of a fan of the flavor and effects of the world’s favorite black beverage as I am I’m generally not the biggest fan of coffee flavored bars, ice creams, and other desserts (except Tiramisu), but  I get a feeling my taste buds might be evolving.  Just in time for my change of heart, Quest have unleashed their latest protein-on-the-go creation with Mocha Chocolate Chip.

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Like most newly released Quest bars, this one is extremely soft and fresh with very little signs of the harder taffy texture that used to define the brand. The light brown base that makes up most of the bar has a slightly salty almost toffee kind of flavor that gradually builds and blossoms into coffee that is very authentic and delicious. It isn’t bitter like straight black drip or espresso but it definitely has big coffee flavor and isn’t nearly as sweet as some of the froufy-er beverages you might find at Starbucks or Dunkin. It’s a very genuine taste that as an avid coffee consumer I am stoked on.

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The chocolate chips are dark and not too sweet, and add extra texture and flavor to the bar that accentuates the coffee notes. The bites where you get a good amount of chip and protein base leave the perfect mocha flavor lingering on the tongue.  Another huge win for this bar is the absence of Sucralose, which Quest notoriously uses way too much of and as a result many of their bars have a bad artificial aftertaste. There is no bad fake sweet flavor at all and they have somehow achieved a great balance with only one gram of sugar and some stevia. Impressive.  There is, however, a moderately astringent aftertaste from the use of baking soda that isn’t terribly offensive but does a little dance on my tongue after I’m done chewing.

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Any good baker knows that some black coffee in a chocolate cake makes it taste like richer deeper chocolate and some of that is at play here. The classic pairing of chocolate and coffee works wonderfully and is one of the most solid flavors Quest have come up with so far. Coffee isn’t one of my personal favorite flavors, like the cinnamon in oatmeal chocolate chip, but it is good enough that I will buy it again and make it part of my small Quest rotation.

Rating: 8.5/10
Found at: GNC

Quick Nutrition: 180 cals – 6g Fat – 240mg Sodium – 24g Carbs – 14g Fiber – <1g Sugar – 20g Protein

REVIEW: Cheetos Sweetos Caramel Puffs

When I was a young lad frequenting Taco Bell more than my adult-self would like to admit, I always walked in thinking about tacos and left tasting like cinnamon and sugar.  Taco Bell’s warm cinna-sugar churro-y twists were an irresistible way to leave the restaurant, and even though they might not have been part of my initial order, 75% of the time I would grab an order of them to go – happily munching my way to the sidewalk.  Two years ago when Cheetos announced their new Cinnamon Sugar Sweetos for Easter, I immediately drew a comparison to my TB trips and was not disappointed.  The Sweetos have continued to make seasonal appearances for both Easter and Christmas over the last couple of years, and new for this year is a second flavor – Caramel.  As someone who’s diet has individual spots in the pyramid for both cinnamon AND caramel this is one of the most exciting releases of 2017 so far and I am ready – to – crunch.

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The bag has a big sweet caramel aroma that hints at kettle corn and funnel cake with its combination of sweet, salty, and dangerous.  The egg shape is just as I remember, with the extra squiggles in the middle providing more surface area than the Christmas time “O”, and absorb more magical Cheeto dust.  Going in for my first handful I’m surprised that they taste a lot less sweet than they smelled; they definitely have a caramel flavor but it leans more towards smooth and buttery than sweet and silky.  As with the cinnamon flavor, there’s no notable corn taste like you get with cheesy Cheetos, and the base itself is relatively neutral.

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The texture is super light and airy with a pillowy crunch that begins to dissolve as quickly as I start chomping, and before I know it the 25 count serving size has evaporated inside of me.  As with most bags of chips there are some pieces that are more heavily coated than others, and those darker ones are really tasty, but the less dressed ones are are a bit bland and flat.  Fortunately, the Caramel Puff Sweetos are less greasy than the Cinnamon Sugar so the naked ones aren’t gross, just boring.

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These Sweetos are very true to the original version – light, crunchy, sweet, and for me, not at all weird – but they just aren’t as awesome as the OG.  The absence of cinnamon means less of a distinguished pop, and while this caramel iteration is still good, it doesn’t have the same great balance that the cheetah-bunny delivered to us two years ago.  However, that doesn’t mean that these aren’t addictive and nearly impossible to stop eating, it just means that my allegiance stands strong with the inner cinna-demons and these come in second to their deliciousness.

Rating: 8/10

EGG-POCALYPSE: 15 Egg Chocolate Easter Battle

Even though Halloween is the universally loved and official holiday of candy consumption, any true sugar aficionado knows that Easter is a very close second. While you’ve gotta pay respects to the classics, the truth is that the days of stale jelly beans and yellow Peeps are long gone, and the limited candies of spring come in many shapes and sizes – but most notably, eggs. Some eggs are spring staples that only pop up once a year, and some are simply re-shaped versions of year ’round candy classics.

To truly up my husky boy knowledge I decided to embark on a 15 egg Egg-pocalypse pitting all of the commonly available candies against each other that can be found at Safeway, Target, Walgreens, and many other fine sugar-peddling stores in March and April.  When ranking the eggs I kept in mind overall flavor, execution, difference or similarity based non-seasonal versions of the candy, whether or not I felt the need to buy another one before summer comes, and of course, my personal taste bud bias.  Let the battle BEGIN!

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15. Cadbury Chocolate Creme Egg

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Thick frosting-esque chocolate filling inside of a milk chocolate shell. Very sweet and becomes fairly single noted after two bites. It’s not disgusting but definitely doesn’t make me want more. Would be better with a darker more bitter filling or some other type of contrast – very forgettable and easy to skip.

14. Cadbury Creme Egg

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I used to like these a lot when I was younger but now I find them way too sweet. The creme has a strange not quite marshmallow and not quite caramel texture that is off-putting and tastes like eating an icing made with tons of powdered sugar and lacks any sort of balance.

13. Nestle Crunch Egg

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There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this egg at all, in fact, it’s pretty awesome, it’s just a relatively straight forward chocolate experience – like the thickest most epic Crunch bar you’ve ever had. While I like Crunch bars quite a bit, I usually just enjoy them in mini size around Halloween and don’t ever seek out a full sized version – that’s kind of how I feel about this egg. Executed really well – sweet and crunchy, but not something I feel the need to buy again.

12. Russell Stover Marshmallow Egg

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Thin but smooth milk chocolate with a very creamy, almost wet marshmallow center. It’s like a gooey cross between a creme and a marshmallow. Soft hints of vanilla and not too sweet, which wasn’t what I was expecting and was surprisingly good.

11. Russell Stover Coconut Cream Egg

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This is like a sweeter, cheaper, marshmallow-y Mounds bar with decent dark chocolate coating and slightly gritty but fluffy coconut insides. The filling is far from pure coconut but has enough flakes to give the proper flavor and is a pretty enjoyable candy. The texture on this one almost reminds me more of marshmallow than in the marshmallow egg.

10. Dove Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Egg

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High quality smooth milk chocolate with a much more chocolate forward flavor than the Reese’s staple.  It’s lacking some of the peanut butter punch with the PB getting overpowered and almost becomes too rich without any salty relief. It’s a well made product but not super craveable or classic like its competition, although it’s still peanut butter and chocolate so hard to deny.

9. Cadbury Caramel Egg 

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Good quality milk chocolate shell filled with thick gooey caramel that has a slight hint of butterscotch. Not salty at all but not as overwhelmingly sweet as the original  Cadbury Egg, and for a sweet Easter basket treat this is definitely my favorite that Cadbury offers.

8. Twix Egg

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It’s a Twix. It looks and eats like a slightly less tall more wide version of the original Twix bar. I’m not sure if it’s my recent experience with the giant Twix egg but the cookie seems a little less crunchy than what I expected. It’s a wonderful combination of chocolate, cookie, and caramel that is delicious but less so than the regular longer bar, where the added height gives a bit more textural excitement.

7. Snickers Egg

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It’s a snickers. Very similar ratios to a standard bar but just slightly more caramel and slightly less nougat.  For most people I think Snickers is a top 5 candy bar during the regular part of the year so this doesn’t disappoint, but it doesn’t exceed expectations either.  I recall the Christmas Nutcracker having bigger peanuts and more drastically different ratios of caramel and nougat, which I was hoping for here but didn’t get.

6. Turtles Egg

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The chocolate shell is thinner than what you get with a Cadbury egg but what’s on the inside is twice as nice. This thing is packed with caramel and pecans so much so that you get both in every bite. The caramel is thick and not too runny, holding the pecans together, which tempers the overall sweetness for a well rounded turtle treat that’s so rich it almost becomes savory with a hint of pecan pie.  Delicious.

5. Lindt Lindor Milk Chocolate Truffle Egg

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This is exactly as advertised, and basically, “wow”. It’s a bigger and stretched out version of the Lindor milk chocolate truffle, aka an incredibly smooth and velvety chocolate that is as rich as butter with a perfect amount of sweetness. Very decadent, very delicious, almost feels as though it’s in a different class of quality than all of the other eggs, but, that doesn’t mean it’s the best.

4. White Reese’s Egg

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Just like the regular Reese’s egg this is exactly like the white cup but plumper with greater peanut butter to chocolate ratio. It works just as well, popping with sweet salty peanut flavor, but much like with the regular cups, it’s hard to dethrone the original no matter how good a variation can be.

3. Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cup Egg

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A crunchy peanut butter cup with salty golden Butterfinger flakes embedded within the butter that pairs really well the milk chocolate. I like their regular cups and I think this one may benefit in the same way that the Reese’s eggs do with a bit more height to give a stronger PB to chocolate ratio.  This egg was an absolute surprise to crack my top 3 but I could not deny its deliciousness.

2. Oreo Egg

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Less sweet than a Cadbury egg and more texturally intriguing, this is the 2017 answer to what I thought the Cadbury egg was when I was younger. The slight crunch of the cookies makes it much more interesting with a little bit of contrast and the creme does taste a lot like the inside of an Oreo. The outer milk chocolate is smooth and creamy and on par with Hershey’s, maybe just slightly below Cadbury, but the overall balance is much better.  I’m a big fan of last years Oreo candy bar and this is just like that except bursting with creme filling.

1. Reese’s Egg

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It’s a big debate among Reese’s fanatics but the egg is often regarded as the GOAT of all Reese’s seasonal shapes among hearts and pumpkins and I am definitely in that camp. The PB to chocolate ratio is through the roof with more peanut butter than your typical Reese’s cups. While I have no problem with the original at all, these eggs explode with rich sweet peanut butter flavor that is always fresh and worth savoring every bite.  The classic milk chocolate Reese’s egg is a must have every spring and the true champion of my Easter basket heart.

 

Well, there you have it – my ranking of fifteen different chocolate eggs!  What do you think?  Did I completely mess it up or are my taste buds spot on?  Let me know in the comments what your favorite eggs are and any amazing ones I may have missed!

REVIEW: Dreyers Cake and Cookie Fantasy Frozen Yogurt

Going and getting a giant cup of build your own frozen yogurt topped with candy, fruit, cereal, cheesecake, and whatever else I could fit into my bowl used to be one of my favorite weekend activities before I became a full blown ice cream addict.  While I still venture to the froyo shop from time to time, one thing I have never done is buy a container of frozen yogurt from the grocery store – until now.  As I was pursuing the frozen aisle, which lights itself up as I gradually strut by its fine offerings, I was caught off guard by a glowing purple and pink container right near the Dreyers Slow Churned section.  In tandem with the Dreyers’ cookie dough line, the company also launched three new frozen yogurts, including this eye grabbing beauty.  Cake and Cookie Fantasy combines red velvet cake and sugar cookie frozen yogurt swirled together with decadent cookie dough pieces and chocolate cookie crumbles.

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This flavor is a lot of fun.  There’s a nice yogurt tang to the base of the ice cream, er, yogurt, which gives it a genuine and light frozen yogurt flavor that is different for a a tub full of cookies and cookie dough, but overall pretty pleasant.  The red velvet flavor is noticeable immediately with the subtle light cocoa working well with the yogurt tang to emulate the classic cake garnished with cream cheese frosting.  The white colored sugar cookie yogurt’s flavor is hard to isolate among all of the swirls, but it tastes less tangy and has an overall smoother consistency than the red velvet that could be channeling the cookie’s iconic butteriness; but it definitely registers more vanilla than an actual baked good.

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The mix ins are pretty solid too, the chocolate wafer cookies bring that classic cookies n cream slightly bitter cocoa note and the cookie dough adds nice pops of saltiness to go along with the typical gritty chew you know and love in dough.  Although the description doesn’t specify, I would think the dough is sugar cookie dough and the chocolate-less buttery flavor definitely gets the job done.  The pieces of both are pretty small, but there’s a good amount of them, and between the two mix ins and two flavors of yogurt each bite brings something slightly different to the ever-evolving scoop experience.  It definitely doesn’t eat as decadently as a scoop of premium cookie dough ice cream but this flavor is well executed and deserving of your dollars and freezer space if you get down with the cookies and the dough.

Rating: 8/10

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REVIEW: Trader Joe’s Mixed Nut Butter

Who doesn’t love a good handful of mixed nuts?  Each reach inside of the jar or bowl is much like our buddy Gump would say and you “never know what you’re gonna get”.  Whether salty or sweet or straight up plain, mixed nuts earn praise from health freaks, beer guzzling bar goers, and those who just like a good crunch for their afternoon snack.  So why hasn’t anyone pulverized them all and shoved the mixture into a jar?  Welcome Trader Joe’s to the equation.  In addition to their already packed line of butters – from the heralded cookie to the classic peanut, TJ’s is now slangin’ Mixed Nut Butter, which combines dry roasted and salted almonds, cashews, walnuts, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, and pecans into a gooey runny treat to spread up your life.

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The butter has an extremely smooth and creamy consistency.  Right after mixing and out of the jar it is thin, runny, and oily in a way that is tempting to want to drizzle it all over any and everything.  The texture is very unique – much similar in appearance and initial feeling to almond butter except not nearly as thick or grainy.  The primary flavors that come through are almond and cashew with some hints of pecans and brazil nuts.  I don’t specifically taste the hazelnuts, but I’m okay with that because they’re generally my least favorite and most astringent tasting in any mixed nut variety, and I can’t pinpoint the flavor of walnuts either.  The salt level is perfect – not so much that the butter tastes salty, but just enough that the spread pops and shines on its own to highlight the complexity of all the different components.

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After leaving the mixed butter in the fridge for a couple days I was surprised that it didn’t seize up and become firmer the way almost all other nut butters do.  It was slightly more together than when I first opened it but it stayed thin and runny enough that it could still be poured onto food (or into your mouth) straight from the jar.  After cooling I also noticed the pecan notes to be more pronounced, which isn’t a bad thing at all since they provide a great golden richness that amps up the overall flavor on this unique product.

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For the final test: the butter goes good on top of toast, but it doesn’t achieve the same ultimate magical combo with banana that peanut butter does.  I’ve always preferred peanut butter to all other types of nut butter, and while this mixed one is fun and well done, it doesn’t change my mind on which nut makes the champion butter.  It’s fun and tasty, but factoring in flavor, cost, and macros, I think I’ll stick with my one true nut butter love – the peanut.

Rating: 8/10

REVIEW: Fit Joy Raspberry Chocolate Truffle and Cookies and Cream

Last years’ most prolific protein bar company, Fit Joy, are back at it again kicking off the first quarter of 2017 launching two new bars at the same time.  They went with one relatively uncharted flavor with Raspberry Chocolate Truffle, and tackled one that pretty much every competitor has already tried with Cookies and Cream.

Raspberry Chocolate Truffle:

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Visually this bar is great. A little bit of a different look for Fit Joy as there are no crisps on top and the protein base is noticeably softer with a marzipan-like texture. There’s a huge raspberry chocolate smell that is very floral and promising.

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The bite starts good, with a big bright raspberry flavor that lives up to the intense flowery aroma. Unfortunately, it takes an intense nose dive quickly as that powerful raspberry flavor becomes too much and is so overwhelmingly tart and sour that it literally made my face pucker.

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The way the bar dissolves on the tongue and the extreme tart-ness starts to taste like a kids Flintstones chewable vitamin and I’m left really wondering where the chocolate is. The thin dip on the bottom and drizzle on top can’t hold a candle to the epic tart berry flavor to a degree that chocolate may as well not be in the name or on the bar at all. Almost every other company that has released raspberry has done it with white chocolate, which helps up the sweetness and tame the tart. I was excited for a chocolate version but unfortunately this just doesn’t work at all. Sour, acidic, and ultimately kind of gross.

Rating: 5/10

Cookies and Cream:

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Visually this bar, again, is very appealing. The top is speckled with crunchy cookie bits and the inside base has a softer, fluffier texture than any other Fit Joy, kind of reminiscent of a whipped cream cheese. The flavor is full on chocolate, with both lighter milk chocolate and darker bitter being represented. There are so many different cocoa flavors going on that I even get hints of coffee, which adds to the rich bittersweet taste.

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This bar more closely resembles the experience of eating an Oreo than any other I’ve had – with the crunch and squish combo being very similar to wafer cookies sandwiching the iconic white Creme. There are softer whey crisps within the protein base as well, which adds multiple layers of crunch.

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I really like this bar. It has a solid smooth taste and texture without any weird lingering protein flavor and is overall really clean. My one criticism of it would be that it’s much more like a Chocolate Oreo than the original, which is fine, they should have just called it Cookies and Chocolate Cream instead.

Rating: 8.5/10

It ends up being a total split for Fit Joy entering 2017 with their worst bar and one of their best bars launching at the same time. While they don’t have the most explosive flavors out there (s/o Oh Yeah!) I continue to be impressed with their output and will try all Fit Joy bars in the future, even if some of them might totally miss the mark.

REVIEW: Smart Made Orange Chicken Sesame Bowl

Panda Express is very popular.  As you walk by the food court at the mall, or the less common free standing location, the drool-worthy smell of Orange Chicken consumes every bystanders nostrils and requires every ounce of control to not go in and blow a quick 1,000 calories on a deliciously addictive Panda Bowl.  For those of us with some amount of discipline, we saunter on and continue with our regularly scheduled dinner plans, which may or may not be better than that delectable fried meat covered in orange glaze.  As a remedy to this solution, the 2017  health conscious frozen renegades at Smart Made have given us an option to somewhat quench that craving with the Orange Sesame Chicken Bowl, which combines grilled white meat chicken with broccoli, snap peas and roasted red bell peppers over quinoa lightly tossed in an orange sesame sauce.

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The aroma is all soy sauce and sesame, with no big citrus smell to be found.  Eating it, however, is a different story, as the distinct flavor of orange zest weaves in and out of bites, pleasantly accenting the broccoli, snap peas, and red peppers that make up a good part of the dish.  The whole profile is generally mild and not really spicy but the salt level seems just right, as its neither super salty or bland.  It’s pretty much nothing at all like a trip to the Panda, but that’s not something the company promises and just a mental connection I made, as the nutritional tradeoff is solid.

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More good news – the chicken is pretty damn tasty.  Its got a bit of that microwave firmness that wouldn’t happen if you cooked it yourself fresh but it isn’t offensive and definitely tastes and feels like real deal, albeit slightly dry, chicken breast.  The quinoa holds up well to the microwave – with a little bit of crunch to backup a mostly squishy, saucy base for the bowl.  Everything is more pleasant and fresher tasting than what you would expect from a frozen dinner and the flavors come off complex without being confusing.

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Another solid release from Smart Made that packs 21 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber into a container that a six year old could nuke to perfection.  It’s not going to win any culinary awards against quality restaurant or home cooked meals, but it will definitely get the job done in a pinch and be more satisfying than most things you can find in the frozen aisle.

Rating: 8/10
Quick Nutrition: 240 cals – 4.5g fat – 35mg cholesterol – 530mg sodium – 30g carbs – 5g fiber – 10g sugar – 21g protein

REVIEW: Ben and Jerry’s Urban Bourbon

I’m not the biggest drinker in the world but I love me some boozy ice cream.  Many mainstream ice cream companies are afraid to work with alcohol, probably a little bit due to the adult social association it may carry, but also from a technical side, since hard liquor doesn’t freeze using it within ice cream takes some serious skill.  Difficult execution aside, some of my all time favorite flavors meld cream and alcohol in a way that yields addictive perfection, and in the year 2017 Ben and Jerry’s are officially gunning for my heart with the release of Urban Bourbon.  This brand new flavor combines a burnt caramel ice cream with almonds, fudge flakes, and a bourbon caramel swirl.

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The burnt caramel base is more subdued than I expected, without any dominant sweet caramel notes or rich deep burnt flavor coming through.  There’s a little bit of roasted flavor but not even a quarter of the amount as other burnt caramel bases I’ve had, like the phenomenal one from Bi-Rite.  It also feels a little on the thin side for a premium scoop, with an almost watery finish that doesn’t leave a strong aftertaste.  The almonds are small and integrated throughout the texture of the ice cream itself, adding a constant small chew without any almond flavor or big satisfying snap.  The fudge flakes are great, big chunks of sweet dark chocolate that add good texture, but there are simply too many of them.  Since they are the least unique part of this pint I want them to come in and out of the bites and they’re taking over almost every spoonful.

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The biggest issue with this pint is the lack of booziness.  For a flavor with bourbon in its name it’s a pretty big let down how un-boozy the overall experience of eating this ice cream is.  The only element that has the bourbon is the caramel swirl and there is very little of the swirl to be found.  I had a little bit towards the top and had to dig past the middle of the container to get more of the good stuff, and even then it wasn’t as bourbon-y or complex as I was expecting.  A big gob of the caramel on my spoon only gave off a bit of bourbon flavor and came off more straight sweet with a slight bitter finish than booze balanced by sugar.  I wish I could have had more caramel to try and critique the use of the bourbon better but it was nowhere to be found, even as I dug to the very bottom of the pint.

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Overall the almonds actually hurt the flavor, taking away from the creaminess and any subtle burnt notes that should be present in a base like this.  The bourbon caramel is a letdown, not only in its flavor, but in its quantity, and there is way too much chocolate to savor the little bit of liquor you might be able to salvage from digging.  Interestingly, I actually get more of a roasted coffee vibe than a caramel vibe from this pint as a whole.  Every time that I would start to grasp any kind of burnt quality it would immediately get washed away and blown out by the huge chocolate flakes.  Maybe I’m just spoiled by great local creameries, but two of my favorite flavors, Humphry Slocombe’s Secret Breakfast and Little Giant’s Dirty South, both use the beautiful booze balance so much more convincingly that I can’t help but be very let down by Ben and Jerry’s attempt.

Rating: 5/10

REVIEW: Baskin Robbins Reese’s 3-Pointer

Everyone has their favorite things, and for me, three of the greatest achievements of man are basketball, ice cream, and peanut butter.  As beautiful as all of these elements of life are on their own it’s not too often that all of them come together.  Sure, peanut butter is great in ice cream, and Reese’s will release occasional limited cups in tandem with the NBA or NCAA, but for all three of these things to combine into one is something of pure magic; and in tandem with March Madness Baskin Robbins is making my dreams a reality with their newest flavor of the month – Reese’s 3-Pointer.  This made-for-Sean E scoop combines Reese’s Pieces candies, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and a Reese’s Peanut Butter and Chocolate ribbon all swimming in a sea of chocolate ice cream.

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The chocolate ice cream is your standard affair – a smooth light milk chocolate that isn’t over the top sweet, bitter, or remarkably rich.  It’s much more basic than the chocolate fudge base Baskin Robbins have at their disposal, and while it isn’t a bad base ice cream it’s definitely the most underwhelming aspect of this scoop.

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The mix ins utilized here are a real treat for those with a love for the PB cup and the most dominant of them is the chocolate peanut butter ribbon.  The ribbon has a smooth, almost flaky texture that reminds me of a soft serve cone that has been dipped in a chocolate shell with the way that it melts on the tongue.  It’s a solid peanut butter-infused chocolate, and with the Reese’s spread being the second ingredient on the list it’s no surprise how powerful the flavor comes through.  it does a great job of boosting up the ice cream and weaving the Reese’s profile into nearly every bite.

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The Reese’s Pieces are a bit of a miss in this format; they freeze pretty hard and lose all of their signature creamy and oiliness that makes them a movie theater staple.  The chunks of peanut butter cup are the best part of this flavor and pop with the nutty saltiness you know and love, working with the ribbon to really shine against the mellow chocolate base.

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The coolest part about this flavor is that it is literally like eating an ice cream version of a Reese’s Peanut Butter cup.  While many flavors will utilize chocolate and peanut butter (like BR’s own great Peanut Butter ‘N Chocolate) or peanut butter cups as a mix in, this one eats liked the beloved Hershey’s classic turned into a frozen scoop-able dessert and is a treat for Reese’s lovers like myself.  While it’s a couple of execution points away from a full on alley oop, it’s a damn fine flavor that most people will be happy stuffing their nutritional stat sheet with.

Rating: 8/10