Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Philly Swirl Ice Cream Cupcakes

Cupcakes AND ice cream in one snack!

I admit I am a fan of the ice cream cake. Sadly I am the only one in my immediate family who likes them. Since I can't eat a whole cake by myself (OK, I could. But just because I could does not mean I should!) when I got an email from Debby with Philly Swirl asking if I would like to try a sample of the new Ice Cream Cupcakes I jumped at the chance.

The cup cakes come in classic chocolate and vanilla.

The Chocolate:
The "frosting" on top of the cup cake was good. It reminded me of frozen chocolate mousse. The sprinkles added a nice crunch. The ice cream is smooth and sweet but doesn't have much flavor. The cupcake had a weird combination texture of dry and oily. It reminded me of off brand knock offs of Hostess Cupcakes.

The Vanilla:
The frosting on the vanilla reminded me vaguely of cotton candy. Very, VERY sweet. Sort of like Cool Whip with extra sugar added. The sprinkles in this case just make it even sweeter. The ice cream is still flavorless. The cupcake texture on the vanilla is better, more like real cake. It tasted like bad wedding cake though.

I love the IDEA of this snack I just did not like the cupcakes themselves.

Sample From Company

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Nordic Sweets- Salty Licorice Fish

I am going to let these start by saying I like black licorice. I like salt. I like salty and licorice together

I however did not like this particular version. The fish themselves were soft and pliable which is just how I like my licorice. The texture was fantastic as a matter of fact!
The aroma reminded me exactly of Panda Licorice. If you have read my Panda review then you know I am a big fan.

It's the salt that killed me. When you place the fish on your tongue the first thing you get is an overwhelming, almost burning saltiness. Somewhere in the background (deep in the background) you can taste the licorice- sort of. I think if not for the salt it would be wonderful.

This has never happened before but I couldn't finish even one of the candies. I tried several times but but the salt was just too overwhelming for me.
Is there anyone out there who is a fan of these?


Claim Jumper- Green Tea & Ginger Creme Brulee

There are few desserts I love more then Creme Brulee
The thing is I next to never actually order desserts out. When I do it is pretty much always something like creme brulee.

For those of you not familiar with the Claim Jumper chain they are a west coast based chain that is known mostly for they're HUGE portions. The portions are so big they make Cheesecake Factories portions look small. You may have seen they're Mother Load chocolate cake slice for sale in your local grocery store (or Wal*Mart). I don't think I have ever been able to finish even half of whatever I have ordered at any given meal.
The desserts are so big you could invite about 160 of your closest friends to share one and you would still have leftovers. When I saw the Green Tea & Ginger Creme Brulee on the menu I was tempted but figured since I would be eating it alone (and creme brulee is not take out friendly) that I would have to pass. The server however let me know that the brulees (they offer three altogether) are served in smaller portions then the other desserts. I figured this meant I would only be able to share with 80 of my closest friends but I really wanted to try so I ordered it anyway.

I was happily surprised to find that when they said it was a petite serving they meant it! the brulee is served in a small demitasse cup. it is about 4 oz's. Personally I think that's the perfect size for a brulee.

How did it taste?
I had been hoping for a strong green tea flavor. Unfortunatly, I didn't get that at all. If there most be next to no green tea in the brulee because there is just no sense of it. The ginger is bright and clean though. Someone who is less of a ginger fan then I am might find it on the strong side- I loved it!
The brulee was rich and creamy with just the right amount of custard. I hate when creme brulee tastes too eggy. The only thing I would have preferred would have been actually tasting the green tea.

Claim Jumper Resturant

Saturday, April 26, 2008

In-N-Out Double Double

There are two things displaced Californians tend to talk about when they meet each other out in 'the wild'...
As cliche as it is one of those things is how they miss the weather and the other is ALWAYS In-N-Out burger.

For those of you who have never heard of them, In-N-Out is a fast food chain based in Southern California. The restaurants mainly drive-thru based and offer a very small menu- double and single burgers, fries, soda and shakes only (although there is also the "secret" menu which really just offers slight variations on the menu). Everything is fresh and made to order.
It is hard to top an In-N-Out burger. Even Gordon Ramsay admits to loving In-N-Out.
Maybe I shouldn't admit this but I personally craved one pretty much every day the four years I was out of state. I wasn't back a full day before I picked one up!

The Double-Double is as you have probably guessed by the picture and the name a double cheeseburger. There are two patties that have just the slightest bit of a pink center. two slices of cheese, lettuce, tomato, "spread" (which is 1000 Island as far as I can tell) and I like mine with a small amount of grilled onions.

If there is such a thing as heaven on a bun this is it. Harold and Kumar can keep White Castle. Personally it is hard to beat the Double-Double. The fresh baked sponge buns are soft. The cheese is melty. The meat is moist but not greasy.

If you ever get the chance to have one you owe it to yourself to try!

Friday, April 25, 2008


This is not going to be pretty I am warning you now!
I like the Crystal Light On The Go packets. As a rule they are great way to make drinking my eight a day easier. I also love Pom brands pom/cherry juice so I thought this was win-win.
And taste-wise it is. The packets taste almost exactly like the Pom version, not as thick and not as tart- but also at a fraction of the cost per serving. I can live with that. To be honest I would almost prefer it.

So what's the problem you ask?
The first one was that the powder refused to easily resolve down into the water. It floated on the top like a tiny dessert island. When I was finally able to shake it into submission to my dismay I found that some of the powder that had gone astray was now staining both my kitchen sink and my hands. I was able to Magic Erase the sink. My hands however are still a very impressive shade of red.
If that wasn't enough my mouth is also stained. On a good note it is the prefect shade for me- on a bad note do I really need to look like I had permeant make-up done, and badly at that? Oh and if you make the mistake of getting it on fabric make sure it is not something you liked.

This would be great if not for the fact you have to drink in fear of wearing the stain of the mix forever.

Valomilk Cups

Valomilk is one of those classic candies that I had heard a lot about and had wanted to try but had never actually seen out in the wild.

Thanks to the fine people at Cracker Barrel I finally got to try them!
Valomilks look a lot like the Reeses Big Cups when you open them- except every cup I got had just the tiniest amount of marshmallow oozing out of the cup at same point. How could I not consider that a good thing?!

The marshmallow center is indeed liquidy . It is gooey and flowing but not too sweet. The chocolate that makes up the cup it’s self is on the sweet side- you can defiantly taste vanilla. And it is a little grainy. Normally those are things I don’t like in my chocolate but it just seemed to work so well with the marshmallow that I really liked it.

I liked these enough to want to hunt down a local source!

Cracker Barrel


Hostess Chocolate Pudding Pie


Anyone who knows me will tell you that I have an almost unnatural love for those little hostess fruit pies you find at gas stations & Kwik-E- Mart stores. There is just something about that glazed sugary crust and the gooey “fruit” fillings inside that I cannot resist. It’s like the food version of Hugh Jackman.

Anyway… when I saw the chocolate pudding version I had to snap it up!- C’mon! it’s the sugary crust AND chocolate pudding!. Sadly like most Hugh Jackman movies the outside of the package looked so much better then it’s contents (I still have not forgiven Hugh for “Someone Like You”- If I had been Ashley Judd and Hugh was walking about my apartment half naked for what seemed like 90% of the time you would not have found me whining and crying for about 99% of the time!)

Movie reviews aside (should I start adding movie reviews btw?) let’s talk about the pie.
The crust is still the best part. Sugary, as flaky as pocket pie crust can get, and just plain good. It’s the filling that is pure evil.

Oh it looks like chocolate, it sort of smells like chocolate but I don’t know where they got the taste from!
For obvious reasons I went in knowing that the filling would have to be a thicker pudding type filling rather then say the texture and consistency of a normal pudding cup. So when the filling was thick and sort of frosting like I was ok with that.
It’s the taste that killed me. The best way to describe it to you is to tell you to imagine the chocolate filling or frosting that is used on Pop Tarts- good so far right? (truth be told I like chocolate Pop Tarts) then add in the vilest envelope glue you have ever had. And THEN toss in some oily mocklate. And let me tell you folks the after taste lingers. I even thought maybe I got a bad one. Maybe it had just been sitting too long so I tried another one. Oh nooooo that apparently is how they are meant to taste.

Hostess WHY?! Why did you take something that could have been so good and make it so bad?

2 Truck stops along I-40 in different states.

Clear The Freeways I Have Arrived!

I finally made it home!

I actually got in Monday but I have not had internet access until today thanks to Time Warner. I never thought I would see the day I missed Comcast...

At any rate things will be getting back to normal now since I am getting settled in. Thanks to everyone for their patience!
As soon as I get over to the super cool Galco's Soda Pop Stop which you may have seen way back when on Food Networks "Unwrapped" I will have some interesting soda reviews.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Greetings From Oklahoma!

It is day 2 on the road home to L.A.
Everything leading up to leaving had been pretty hectic as I am sure you can all imagine. Moving is always a pain in the ass and let me tell you arranging a move from over 1000 miles away is no easier.

Tonight's stop over is in Roland, Oklahoma. There is an Indian casino with an hotel and I could not resist the urge to burn some quarters on video poker...
It's just too bad that the machines in the casino neither except quarters or have video poker. Oh well. At least there was a rather impressive array of mullets.

The other highlight of this stop has been tasting something at a local diner called Chocolate Gravy. How could I not want to try something called chocolate gravy?
What did it look like? Well like this picture I Googled:
What did it taste like? warm, raw cake batter only less sweet and kind of greasy.
I could see where this has potenial to be really good. Does anyone have any good recipes for it?

I have some things in the wings to review and of course once I am home the reviews will get back to normal.
Happy trails!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Haagen-Dazs Brazilian Acai Berry Sorbet

I am starting to think it was not a good idea to review anything today
I feel like I am 0 for 2.

The Briazilian Acai Berry Sorbet is part of Haagen-Dazs Reserve line.
According to the pint the flavor is supposed to taste like blackberries and blueberries.
I sort of see that. But to me it tasted more like a mix of blueberries, rose water and raisins. Not a bad taste mind you but it is different. What I didn't like was the texture. It's gritty, super gritty. It's like sorbet with sand. I did love the color the photo doesn't do it justice. It is a deep red/purple (I want to do an accent wall in that color)

Great color aside I think I will pass on seconds.

Publix Supermarket

Tai Pei Shrimp Fried Rice

Getting ready for my move has gotten my already weird eating schedule even further out
of whack...
On my third trip to Wal*Mart of the day around 11:30 PM it hit me that I needed to stop and eat. Chinese sounded great but in this neck of the woods there is no place with anything remotely Chinese open past 10:00 pm so whats a girl to do.

Against my better judgment the Tai Pei box gave me a come hither look through the fogged up Wal*Mart freezer case. Yep, it is some cute packaging:
(that would be the chicken version- I couldn't find a picture of the shrimp)
And inside said box there is supposed to be a delicious mix of rice, shrimp, peas, carrots and baby corn with oyster sauce for some extra oopmh.

Well, I will say that it did smell pretty good when cooking. Sadly it did not smell as good up close. The rice was however surprisingly moist looking. And there are in fact a generous amount of both shrimp and veggies.

What did it taste like?
As expected it is no where near the same ball park as my local place- but to be fiar I was not expecting it to be. But I would say that it is on par with say Panda Express or any other fast food version of Chinese food. It is already pretty salty but doctoring it with soy sauce did improve things.
I didn't really like the shrimp. They tasted like they had been rehydrated and had a weird rubbery texture.

For cheap, microwavable fried rice (or fast food rice) it is not bad, but it's not good. It would never be my first choice but I have had worse.


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Haagen-Dazs Green Tea Ice Cream Limited Edition

Finally a mass marketed Green Tea ice cream!
One of the best parts about going to Japanese places is that if you are lucky they have green tea ice cream on the dessert menu.

Haagen-Dazs version is very rich- this is a big improvement over some of the cheaper versions served at said places above. The flavor is light and slightly sweet but at the same time it has the taste of real green tea (as opposed to green tea flavoring)

I hope they consider making this part of the regular line!

Snickers Adventure Bar

"Snakes- why does it always have to be snakes?"
Indy, I know exactly how you feel- why does 'adventure' always seem to translate to coconut?
As you may recall I have a love/hate relationship with coconut. I love toasted coconut. Coconut in any other shape or form makes me want to gag... and guess what they use in the new Snickers Adventure bar.

The Adventure bar is a regular Snickers with the addition of coconut and chai flavoring. One of the first things you smell is the coconut but to my happy surprise is there no actual coconut to be found. This is good and bad, good because as I have already said I HATE "raw" coconut. Bad because toasted coconut in this bar would have been great. I have read online that the other "exotic" spice that the wrapper refers to is supposed to be chai. Personally it just tasted more like weak cinnamon then anything else. Oh, and did I mention there is an aftertaste?

I can tell you exactly what eating this bar is like. Imagine you are sitting by the pool on a hot summers day and after slathering on enough SPF5000 to keep you vampire pale someone tossed you an unwrapped Snickers- and you ate it without wiping the excess sunscreen from your hands. That's what it taste like.

It's not that I don't love the combo of chocolate and sunscreen as much as the next chick. Snickers had so much potential with this bar and they totally dropped the whip.


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Gigi Is Moving!

That's right Gigi is moving back to L.A.!

Sorry for the lack of recent posts, things have been crazy here getting ready to move half way across the country- while working full time!

Unfortunately for the next couple of weeks as I move and get settled in the reviews may be sparse but I plan on tossing in updates on road food during the drive back home.
So wish me luck and if there are any can't miss foods along I40 I would love to hear about them.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Fuze Refresh- Peach Mango

Think of this as sort of a ready made Mango Lassi
If you have never had a Lassi before you are missing out and if you don't know what it is, it is basically an Indian smoothe (click the link for more info)

The Fuze version is skim milk rather then yogurt and the texture is not quite as thick as a smoothee (or a lassi) but the flavor is similar. The mango eliments reminds me or of the mango that you find in frozen bar drinks or sorbets rather then fresh mango. What I mean by that is that it is very sweet. Sweeter then you would get from eating a piece of the actual fruit.
The same thing can be said about the peach. The peach actually reminded me of cling peaches stright from the can.

Put together the two fruits and the milk make for a smooth drink. Sweet and creamy but not heavy. Personally, I am not a huge fan of milk based bottled drinks but this is one of the best options I have tried.

Kroger (Ralph's depending on your location)


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Snapple Antioxidant Water Restore- Agave Melon

Another Antioxidant Water from the good Snapple People!

This water is part of the Restore options. The Restore waters feature vitamins A & E with a double dose or electrolytes.

This water is Agave Melon flavored.
Yes, a type of agave is used to make tequila. No, this water is not tequila flavored. sorry to disappoint but there are many types of agave and that my friends is just one of the types and one of it's uses.

So if it doesn't taste like tequila what does it taste like?- good question. I am not sure how to describe it. The water definitely tastes like it is flavored with a bitter fruit and since the name of the water is Agave Melon I would assume that fruit to be a melon- but I couldn't tell you which melon. Although it does sort of remind me of watermelon if you eat a little into the rind (which I do- thinking about it that is my favorite part. Yes, I know I am weird)
On one hand it sort of reminds me of watered down apple juice, but that is not a fair description either. There is sort of a bubble gum flavor going on but that only lasts for the first few seconds on the tongue. I even get a flash of rose water and I can't begin to imagine how that could possibly be in there. Don't get me wrong it is not a bad taste- in fact it grows on you very quickly but I can't pin down exactly what it reminds me of. In any case I liked it, I actually liked it more then the Raspberry Acerola!

Sample From Company

Haagen-Dazs Fleur De Sel Caramel Ice Cream

Next to the Pomegranate Chip this was the flavor I most wanted to try off the Reserve line
Salt accented caramel is one of the food trends of the last few years that I have been a big fan of. I just love how salt Set's off the sweetness of caramel.

This flavor is a caramel ice cream base with a caramel swirl and salt accented chocolate covered caramels.
No matter how Haagen-Dazs wants to word it this is basically their wonderful Dulce De Leche with the addition of the Fleur De Sel Caramels. Personally, I am a fan of Dulce De Leche so you will get no complaints on that from me.

No question the ice cream is good- what makes it great is the salt! the salt really stands out. The combo of the sweet ice cream with the edge of the salt is mouth watering. The chocolate pieces themselves are adorable!- they look just like tiny pieces of high end chocolate. The chocolate it's self is dark and the caramel inside smooth and melts into your mouth as you bite into the pieces.

I could have eaten this entire pint in one sitting if not for self control and the desire to fit into my wardrobe tomorrow.