My reviews: Cheetos Flamin’ Hot Mac and Cheese

You eat with your eyes, so maybe wear sunglasses..

Buckle up people!

Ah yes, the finest cuisine

They say you eat with your eyes, and if that’s the case, my eyes wanted sunglasses when I was staring down a bowl of this atomic-red monstrosity. Sidenote: We always associated atomic with the colour green? Why not this fiery inferno of red? The colour is so weirdly off putting that when you eat it, your brain and mouth don’t want to work together and kept insisting that this must have tomato in it? (It doesn’t, this is 100% chemically-created with not a hint of any sort of real food). BUT that being said, even if it is eye-blistering, it’s also very tasty! The texture is straight up cooked pasta, a fusilli shape to simulate Chester the Cheetah’s tail, apparently. That is a bit of a reach, personally. It’s fusilli, people. The taste is straight up spicy heat, kind of like eating a softer Takis Fuego, the kind that makes your face and eyeballs sweat when you’re eating it.

Yum??

The portion sizes, like all mac and cheese dinners, is miniscule. Too much maybe for 1 person but too little for 2 unless you are both children in trenchcoat instead of an adult.

Also lacking: Cheese. For mac and cheese, it’s all bite and no smooth cheesy taste. So think it really wins on the heat level – impressive- but it does lack on the backup cheese taste. In that way, it is not like Cheetos at all, but luckily for them I have a solution- mix in a box of regular Kraft mac and cheese! Win-win!

So, please do that and let me know if it’s a winner because in my mind, it really will be. Cheetos mac and cheese is available in other flavours so maybe I will have to try those, see if they can balance the heat + cheese flavour a little better? Otherwise, this was available at Save On Foods for a ridiculously marked up price because of the novelty of it. Go ahead and try it, remix it 😉

My reviews: Something weird for a weird year

And I am definitely remiss in my reviews but I have a good excuse- the lead up to the holidays/end of the year ended in a tragic and sad series of events and I didn’t feel it was appropriate to have something fun or bright to post about.

Tasty eh?

That being said, I also know that we need something interesting and exciting to look forward to, soooo here we go: I ate the tinned daggertooth eel!! As per the recommended display, I ate it with a fork. So daring! To be honest, it felt a bit anticlimactic. Kind of a mirror to the end of a holiday season, is it not?

Yummm

All the hype, bling and excitement and then poof! It’s over, and you’re left sitting on your sagging couch watching the ceiling stains from a slow leak in your roof grow larger, wondering what happened to all of the chocolate you got from Christmas. I listened to a podcast over the holidays (Dateline’s Too Fat to Kill) and I couldn’t help but feel like I identified in some way with it.

Also a curious title- was the person too fat to physically kill? Or too fat to muster the energy to kill someone? As it turns out, it was the latter, but hey, makes you think, right?

Anyways, the Christmas chocolate is gone because I ate a lot of it and also because Ian treaded into extremely dangerous territory by forgetting to buy me my half-pound Reese’s. HOW? A travesty!

To make up for it, he went and bought me more (non half pound but still ok Reeses) from Boxing Day sales and I already ate some. So, a partial redemption maybe but if I were Ian, I’d sleep with one eye open… So the daggertooth, looks slimy and unappetizing, also weirdly red?

But I’m here to tell you to be brave. The red is from a slightly sweet sauce, think that red sauce that you have on fried chicken balls from your best Western-Chinese takeout or buffet and the eels are slightly crunchy but stiffer than their similarly crunchy cousin- the sardine. I think the crunch comes from the spines?

I pulled out a spine or two for Gidget, but she has yet to crawl out of bed to try it… So they actually aren’t bad, and certainly don’t taste very adventurous. You know what is adventurous? Eating chapulines. Man, their little crickety legs got stuck in between my teeth every single damn time so I don’t eat them anymore, but you get it.I would compare daggertooth eel to a sort of crunchier, sweeter sardine. Not a tinned-fish favourite, but honestly not that bad!

I do prefer canned octopus, smoked oysters and mussels. YUM. Basically any fish out of a can is great, oh and don’t get me started on canned vegetables like mini corns, or mushrooms. YUMMM… I love the mushrooms, little button ones in a can. Amazing as a snack, and as a bonus, the eating experience takes me weirdly down memory lane to my grade 8 classmate, Constance Kaminiski, who told us her father died in a mushroom factory accident. We, as grade-eight prime assholes, thought it was the funniest thing. As an adult, I can fully recognize how terrible we were to poor Connie.

Maybe I enjoy mushrooms in particular in homage to her, in retrospect? Food as an experience links us to our past, and our future. Try going to Fairway and dig up a can of something strange yourself, really get out there. You only live once!

Snacktime!

So yeah, things are completely insane and getting worse by the day but in the meantime…I went to check out Cinnaholic’s vegan bakery for some cinnamon bun fun and they did not disappoint!

Yeah I eat healthy..??

I ordered the Cookie Monster cinnamon bun and it was very tasty, came topped with cookie dough, frosting and choco chips. They are not very big though, which in this case I guess is a good thing lol?!

And the cookie dough. Interesting concept but weird.

I also ordered the scoop of cookie dough, and in my opinion this is a non-repeat order- it’s just kind of odd. It’s literally just a scoop of cookie dough and I thought it would have a topping or something on it and it did not, soooo yeah. Too expensive and weird. Do not recommend. I mean, I will happily dig out cookie dough at home and eat it but buying it to eat felt odd.

Otherwise, it’s a fun place, quite pricey but nice to try as a treat. It does not replace my beloved Ladysmith bakery’s cinnamon buns though, those are THE BEST!! And literally half the price and much bigger and better 🙂 But you gotta drive for 1.5 hours sooooooo a limited treat 😉 which is probably a good idea hahah given how gluttonous I feel.

Review time: Mega IKEA gummies AND sand in my chips?!

That’s right, you have all been good people so a big review on offer!

Read on and find out why sand is NOT a good chip flavour… But first- the best gummies and jellies I have had in a very long time…

And a small digression on gummies VS jellies. I have lectured Ian on this more times than I can count, so I’m not sure what that says about me, or him… A jelly is made without gelatine, think harder shell and a softer, jelly-like chew- at its finest, it is a fruit pate. Gummies are made with gelatine typically and think about gummy worms, or gummy bears, you get it! A bouncy chew all the way through.

Now these beauties from IKEA are a mix of jellies AND gummies. My sister kindly sent them to me from Calgary!

The cola moose is a jelly- and wow, the flavour is very deep for a cola candy. It has almost a cuba libre spark of lemon in it, and the chew is stiff outside and very chewy inside- delicious! These are a big hit and I highly recommend, if you can get to an IKEA anytime in the next year or so….

The fruit stick that looks like a sour worm is a gummy candy but looks are deceiving- it is NOT sour. I was kind of put off by that?? I did feel a bit fooled, ha. It’s ok, a bit too sweet and the taste is indistinct ‘sweet’ rather than ‘has a flavour’…Not a fan fav here.

Next up- watermelon skulls! Now this is a gummy with a VERY strong bite/chew. It is also huge, so don’t try to cram it all in your mouth it’s a pretty big choking hazard, haha. Bite this one in half, and it is a juicy flavourful fun taste experience. I highly recommend this one- the only downside is that it is a big ass gummy so eat carefully.

Finally- two hearts! These are jellies again. A nice, bouncy chew but not as tough as the watermelon skulls, thankfully. I am not really sure what flavour those are, but they’re very pleasant and…bland. A bit dull in a way that the texture can’t save them. A bit reminiscent of the fruit sticks, really. Cute, fun to eat, and kind of dull… Maybe give these a miss? I think the flavour would be much improved if it was a stronger berry/cherry taste, with a zing to it. You can do it IKEA! If you of anyone can take the atrocities of horse meatballs and pivot to ‘plant balls’ then I have confidence that you can take a blah gummy and really amp it up- I’m not wrong here, am I?

And now, what you may have been waiting for….

Ian bought these new types of Takis from Thrifty’s the other week. The art on the cover is kind of ‘90’s…like it would impress me when I was also enjoying Viva Puffs and other favourites of my childhood. Also Jalapeno Typhoon? Seems like a strange flavour comparison to make, but I guess I have never been in a typhoon before, I guess they could go with jalapenos…It’s weird though. Ian is a big chip person, me not so much (my tastes run more to the candy/chocolate/peanutbutter/marshmallow variety) but I tried a few and what did I crunch on, to my dismay?? SAND.

Yeah, jalapeno- it’s a fine flavour- but SAND in my chips? The grinding, horrible crunch was just awful. It honestly reminded me of a camping trip my friends, Ian and I took to Port Renfrew where we camped on the beach (Pacheedat) and my friends made me a birthday cake over the campfire. So sweet right? Well it was up until the point it got dropped in the sand, and then everyone gamely crunched and gritted their way through a pretty horrible sand-and-chocolate cake. I felt like I could redeem that a bit because I also had a mini ‘Birthday Cake Vodka’ to enjoy that night…Except my poor, much-beleaguered teeth. God, no wonder I lose about half a tooth every goddamned year (ok well it couldn’t be the candy, because then there would be no god right??) 😉

Anyways, he kept eating them and I told him not to because I complained to Bimbo (who owns and distributes Takis) and they said they were going to pick them up to test where the sand came from, after asking me to describe it? It’s…sand? I don’t know where to go with a description, have YOU ever eaten sand? 10/10 do not recommend. And that, friends is the story of my life. I have had so many products with foreign contaminants, it feels like par for the course these days. Plastic in my chocolate, a red seed pod in a bottle of Pharmasave ibuprofen, gravel in my Planter’s peanut butter TWICE, and now sand in my chips??

I’m sure these are fine normally, but like… Nah. Also I don’t like the texture of the kettle-cooked chips anyways, I am a fan of the regular rolled Takis in flavours so eye-wateringly searing that I can only manage like, 1 or two chips, not a fistful like how I want to eat them. So, my suggestion is pass on this, and buy the rolled Fuego ones. Those are great with a beer 😉

Snack Review: ‘Fattening’ the curve with Nutter Butter Fudge Covered

In these sad, frightening times, I am hoping for a bit of levity. We can all use some personal reflections…And in all honesty, I bought these (and two other of Nabisco’s finest, Chips Ahoy Soft-bakes and Peanut Butter Pie Oreos) in a hunger-filled haze where all I wanted was ridiculous junk food. You should have seen what I bought in that shopping order…It was pretty gratuitous. (Including pickled herring, a 1kg bag of fruit juice gummies, sparkling water, peanut butter, snack crackers, party mix, chips, popcorn, peanuts…)

IMG_3091

But these did pique my interest, so much so that I tore into the box like some sort of insane wolverine (my box not pictured because I still have SOME dignity).

So how are they then?

In a word- fine. My other word would be ‘disappointing’ but I do feel like that is a bit unfair for these snack cookies. They don’t claim to be anything better than they are, which is exactly like what Oreos and Chips Ahoy are. Cheap midrange mass produced snack cookies. Nothing more, nothing less. However I do get to rag on them a bit because ‘fudge covered’ is laughable. Fudge what? Have these people met fudge and did it slap them or something? The cookie is covered in the thinnest, stingiest layer of WTF not chocolate but something that looks and smells like chocolate. Not fudge, a poor excuse for chocolate, really.

Cookie itself? Like a bland peanut butter Oreo. The ‘made with real peanut butter’ makes me laugh. Like, really? Sure doesn’t taste like it! I can’t go above and beyond that. Just really ‘eh’ for something that has a laughably absurd number of calories. I actually liked the Peanut Butter Pie Oreo better, even if it did have a weird smell that reminded me of my long-time smoker grandmother’s house.

It reminded me of my similar complaints about Nature Valley’s peanut butter granola cups. Really cool in concept, execution is the cheapest, wimpiest, lamest thing ever. Light, cheap and tastes cheap (both for Nature Valley and Nutter Butter Fudge Covered). If I may make a leap here, I would say this type of cookie is perfectly acceptable for a party where nobody is expecting anything better than Oreos, I guess. Certainly not good junk food, but you know, you can dumpster-dive a little on a special occasion, eh? I actually put peanut butter on mine to make it more interesting, and likely triple the calories. Oh well, I never claimed that I wanted to live forever!

These were purchased for $2 on sale at Canadian Club Warehouse, and I wouldn’t pay more for them. Or buy them again, probably.

My reviews: Reese’s Outrageous, and it is outrageous because this is the world we live in.

Not going to lie, I was drooling when I saw this beauty on my desk thanks to Jess, my gym sister!

reeses-outrageous-bar

My absolute favourite chocolate ever is the Reese’s with mini Reese’s pieces embedded in it. AMAZING. Any shape- Xmas trees, the flying saucer, whatever. The best. Man. Ever eaten something that was so good, it felt like you were breathing for the first time? THAT.

But then every month (week, or hell, day…) I get in this weird existential crisis. A new day or month or whatever is a chance for a fresh start. Part of me wants to be ‘good’ and eat like, vegetables, fruit, water…And the other part of me is like, ha, no. Pass me the Reese’s! (Or Mars, or Snickers, or whatever. I don’t discriminate!). So, as I eat this fabulous bar, studded with mini Reese’s, draped with caramel…I think. How long do you really want to live? Plus, since I can’t really eat French fries, or apparently home-fried doughnuts anymore without puking…I figure I am falling deeper and deeper into the clutches of Big Sugar. And I like the sweet embrace. (my teeth however beg to differ).

So anyways, in the daily battle between ‘good’ me and ‘bad’ me…This bar is worth it! Is it better than the original Reese’s big cup with mini Reese’s pieces? No! Blasphemy! Nothing will match it. It is peerless! I think the caramel kind of ‘muddies’ the water a bit here, so to me, a low-quality chocolate purist (hah), it is delicious and worthy of being eaten, but NOT better than the originals. Not to be confused with Reese’s ‘Nutrageous’ which is…something different I guess?