REVIEW: Quaker Chocolate Chip Instant Oatmeal

Quaker Chocolate Chip Instant Oatmeal

Oatmeal is healthy and wholesome.

Well, at least that’s what Wilfred Brimley and the guy who yells at fat people on NBC tell me. But just like wholesome Amish kids during rumspringa, oatmeal can get wild, crazy, and do unhealthy things as well.

For example, instead of using skim milk or water to make my oatmeal, I use melted ice cream and then top that with crushed Heath candy bar pieces, Hershey chocolate syrup. a small bag of M&M’s, and half a container of Cool Whip.

That sounds totally diabeteeriffic!

I can corrupt oatmeal to the point where you would have to start calling it ho-meal. But it appears Quaker has done the corrupting for me with their new chocolate chip instant oatmeal.

Okay, they haven’t really done any corrupting because there aren’t many semisweet chocolate chips in each instant oatmeal packet.

If you’d like to teach your child how to count using the chocolate chips in each packet, you’re going to have to open a number of packets to equal the level of learning your child will get from watching an episode of Sesame Street, because each one contains four or five chocolate chips. And they’re not big chocolate chips. They make the oats in each packet look bigger than they really are.

Quaker Chocolate Chip Instant Oatmeal Closeup

I made a bowl of Quaker Chocolate Chip Instant Oatmeal using vanilla soy milk and another using filtered water. Using filtered water is healthier, but using vanilla soy milk makes it taste better. But if you read on, that’s not saying much.

The chocolate chips take awhile to melt, and after they do, the oatmeal looks chocolatey. As you can see above, the liquid looks like the milk at the bottom of the bowl after eating Cocoa Puffs, but that liquid is a liar.

A dirty stinkin’ liar!

The chocolate flavor is almost non-existent. It has less flavor than the other Quaker flavored instant oatmeal varieties I’ve had. I wish Quaker had put a little hot cocoa powder in their Chocolate Chip Instant Oatmeal to make things tolerable. So it looks like, in order to get through the rest of the box, I’m going to have to make this oatmeal tolerable on my own with some cocoa power, semisweet chocolate chips, M&M’s, crushed Oreo cookies, Hershey’s chocolate syrup, chocolate sprinkles, crushed Butterfinger candy pieces, Hershey’s Kisses, and melted Häagen-Dazs chocolate ice cream.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 packet – 130 calories, 20 calories from fat, 2 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, 16 grams of other carbohydrates, and 3 grams of protein.)

Item: Quaker Chocolate Chip Instant Oatmeal
Price: $3.29
Size: 10 packets/1.23 ounces each
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: Quick to make. Good source of whole grains. Rumspringa. Sesame Street. Decent source of fiber. Low in fat.
Cons: Really faint chocolate flavor. Really small chocolate chips. Not many chocolate chips in each packet. The liquid in the oatmeal is a liar, a dirty stinkin’ liar! Using the chocolate chips to teach your child to count won’t get him or her very far unless you open several packets.

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Limited Edition Printed Fun Frosted Sugar Cookie Pop-Tarts

Kellogg's Limited Edition Printed Fun Frosted Sugar Cookie Pop-Tarts

The element of surprise can be a valuable tool.  As the Japanese poet Bashō famously observed, “When you surprise your enemy, you fuck his shit up.”  [Translated]  That’s true both on the battlefield and in the kitchen. I’ve eaten and reviewed plenty of foods that have surprised me, some pleasantly, some less so.  One of the draws of foreign food, as related to me by people who try it, is the chance to encounter new tastes you’ve never experienced before and weren’t expecting.

But as God is my witness, Pop-Tarts are not such a food.  No one buys Pop-Tarts for the mystery factor.  You purchase them because you know exactly what you’re getting: a flaky pastry, probably frosting on top, and filled with whatever flavor you selected, be it S’Mores or Raspberry Milkshake or Soylent Green.  If I got a Pop-Tart that didn’t taste like what it was named, I would only eat the entire box in three days under extreme protest, I promise you that.  So when I learned Kellogg’s was releasing another limited edition holiday variety of Pop-Tarts, this one flavored like sugar cookies, my only thought was: they’d damn well better taste like sugar cookies.  Well, as it turns out:

…..yeah, basically they taste like sugar cookies.  Phew.

While no living human has eaten as many Pop-Tarts varieties as The Impulsive Buy’s editor-in-chief, I have been around the block a few times myself, and these are among the better-tasting Pop-Tarts I’ve tried.  They don’t taste exactly like real sugar cookies, which obviously don’t have vaguely marshmallow-y filling inside them like these do, and the texture is a bit different from crumbly sugar cookies.  You wouldn’t mistake them for cookies in a blind taste test is what I’m saying, but you’d still probably ask for another bite.  The sweetness lingers in your mouth afterward and might be too much for those without a sweet tooth, though I doubt the sugar-averse are picking up a package of these anyway.  And as simple as sugar cookies are, I’m glad Kellogg’s didn’t try making them Sugar Cookie Ice Cream Cone (With Rainbow Sprinkles and Hot Fudge) Pop-Tarts, which would’ve ruined it.  For once they wisely showed some restraint.

Kellogg's Limited Edition Printed Fun Frosted Sugar Cookie Pop-Tarts Foil WrapperNot a lot, mind you.  I’m guessing someone’s train of thought was that if the pastry itself was going to be straightforward, they’d better jazz it up in other respects.  Said jazzing occurs two ways, the first of which is the wrappers.  As you probably know, they come in packs of two inside shiny foil wrappers. 

What I’ve never seen before is little word balloons with slogans extolling the virtues of the product contained therein, and yet there they were.  I’m guessing they’re randomly generated, since one of my wrappers sported the phrase “We look good in silver,” and immediately below it, “Silver is your color.”  Some are almost slightly funny, most just annoying.  I kept looking for one promising good things were right around the corner, but no dice.

But trite-ass slogans don’t sell Pop-Tarts, as my grandmother used to say — the main draw, other than the taste, is the “printed fun” promised in the name.  See, each pastry hosts a scene of a smiling creature frolicking in winter, be it kittens skiing or a penguin flipping you the bird (I assume… it’s hard to tell without fingers), or most bizarrely, a snowman bobsled team sporting two of Jamaica’s three national colors, suggesting someone at Kellogg’s has a sly sense of humor and a fondness for Cool Runnings.

Kellogg's Limited Edition Printed Fun Frosted Sugar Cookie Pop-Tarts PrintThe polar bear is skating rather than enjoying a cool, refreshing Coca-Cola, missing out on a golden opportunity for cross-promotion if you ask me, but then food blogging’s gain was the marketing world’s loss, obviously.  Anyway, they’re… well, they’re cute.  It’s not like kids needed an extra incentive to eat warm rectangles of sugar and fat, but they fit the holiday theme and allow you the chance to bite a seal’s head off without going to jail, so there’s that.

I unapologetically kind of dig these.  I should probably be annoyed by the excessive cuteness of the printed images, far more saccharine than anything contained within the pastry itself.  But… well, it’s the holiday season.  If there’s ever a time to refrain from mocking overly sentimental things, minus the last five paragraphs, this is probably it.  They taste good and pretty similar to actual sugar cookies, the printed images will appeal to their intended audience of children and me, and they can be used as a last-minute gift in a pinch, if it turns out your girlfriend doesn€™t find the “Dick in a Box” skit as hilarious as you do.  Overall, as shameless holiday tie-ins go, they’re definitely among the better ones.

(Nutritional Info – 1 pastry – 200 calories, 50 calories from fat, 5 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 35 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 14 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein)

Item: Kellogg’s Limited Edition Printed Fun Frosted Sugar Cookie Pop-Tarts
Price: $3.39
Size: 21.2 oz/12 toaster pastries
Purchased at: Acme
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: (Mostly) taste like sugar cookies.  Delicious filling.  Abundant frosting.  Affordable price.  Cute animal images.  Keeping it simple.  Some of the foil word balloons.
Cons: The element of surprise in Pop-Tarts.  Atsa lotta sugar!  Missed marketing opportunities.  Overly cutesy.  Most of the foil word balloons.

NEWS: Kellogg’s Krave Cereal Is Koming To Amerika


Update: Click here to read our review

In 2010, Kellogg’s introduced Krave cereal in the UK and then bombarded its citizens with commercials like the one above. Our friend Jim at Chocolate Mission reviewed a couple of Krave cereal flavors a few weeks ago.

Oh wait, I’m sorry. According to the TIB Style Guide, because I’m referring to a UK product, I have to type, “reviewed a couple of Krave cereal flavours a few weeks ago.”

Ever since reading that review, I’ve been kraving Krave because I love a cereal that borders on the line of cereal and candy. Thankfully, I soon won’t be kraving Krave, instead I’ll be kramming Krave down my oral kavity because Krave is koming to Amerika.

The US version of Krave cereal will come in two varieties: Chocolate and Double Chocolate. The chocolate version consists of a crispy multi-grain cereal outside with a smooth chocolate inside, while the double chocolate version will have a chocolate flavored cereal on the outside with a smooth chocolate inside.

A serving of Krave Chocolate has 120 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 11 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein. A 3/4 cup serving of Krave Double Chocolate has 120 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 23 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 10 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein. Both varieties are fortified with vitamins and minerals.

Source: Kellogg’s website

NEWS: Ben & Jerry’s Banana Cream Pie Ice Cream is Probably Less Funny To Shove Into Someone’s Face Than an Actual Banana Cream Pie

Ben & Jerry's bus

Update: Click here to read our Ben & Jerry’s Limited Batch Banana Cream Pie review

When I read about the new Ben & Jerry’s Banana Cream Pie ice cream over at Rodzilla Reviews, I got excited because I loves me some banana cream pie. This is the second cream pie flavor B&J have put out, with Boston Cream Pie being the other. This gives me hope that they’ll someday come up with a Shaving Cream Pie ice cream.

Ben & Jerry’s Banana Cream Pie ice cream is made up of banana ice cream with pastry cream swirls, marshmallow swirls, and pie crust pieces. In order to get some, you’ll have to walk through a Walmart, since it’s an exclusive flavor. Thankfully, walking through a Walmart is much safer now that there aren’t people getting pushed around and trampled for $2 waffle makers. Or $1.28 towels. Or cheap Blu-Ray players.

A 1/2 cup serving contains 260 calories, 110 calories from fat, 12 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 100 milligrams of sodium, 34 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 24 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.

Source: Rodzilla Reviews

REVIEW: Taco Bell Triple Steak Stack

Taco Bell Triple Steak Stack

You know how you’re not supposed to play with food? Well, how the hell can I contain myself from playing with the Taco Bell Triple Steak Stack? Its flatness makes me want to bust out my die-cast toy planes and turn it into an aircraft carrier called the USS TSS (Triple Steak Stack). Also, because it’s flat and has a light exterior, I want to pretend its Barbie’s waif Russian supermodel friend, Katherina, who likes to go shopping with Barbie during the day, but is a secret KGB spy at night.

The list of ingredients for Taco Bell Triple Steak Stack isn’t very long, although, because I feel sorry for its lack of ingredients, I’m going to try to make it look longer than it really is by using the power of unnecessary words. The Triple Steak Stack contains a triple serving of marinated steak and a triple cheese blend of low moisture part skim mozzarella cheese, pasteurized process Monterey Jack cheese, and American cheese in between a nine-inch bolillo flatbread.

With a limited number of ingredients, I expected Taco Bell’s newest addition to be bland, and it turns out I was correct. Taco Bell’s “improved” steak may be an upgrade over what they used to serve, but it still tastes like cheap meat. How cheap? It tastes like the roast beef and gravy from a 99 cent frozen meal. However, that cheap meat was tender and the triple serving of steak was enough to nicely fill the nine-inch flatbread.

Taco Bell Triple Steak Stack Innards

The cheese just lies there like its Jabba the Hut after being choked by Princess Leia and it adds almost nothing to the Triple Steak Stack’s flavor. Speaking of things that don’t have much flavor, the bolillo flatbread was not only quite bland, it was also not sturdy enough to handle the amount of steak in it. The soft, but thick flatbread easily felt apart while I ate it.

If you’re going to eat the Taco Bell Triple Steak Stack, might I suggest asking for extra Taco Bell sauce packets on top of the handful they already give you, because you’re going to need a lot of sauce to cover the taste of the cheap meat and to spread across the nine-inch flatbread. I’d also suggest taking more money than you usually do when visiting Taco Bell. Five bucks will usually get you a full Taco Bell meal, but that same five dollars will get you only one Taco Bell Triple Steak Stack.

Video Review

(Nutrition Facts – 690 calories, 120 calories from fat, 20 grams of fat, 13 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 90 milligrams of cholesterol, 1,950 milligrams of sodium, 59 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 46 grams of protein.)

Item: Taco Bell Triple Steak Stack
Price: $6.49 ($4.99 at most locations)
Purchased at: Taco Bell
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: It’s long. Lots of tender marinated steak. Awesome source of protein. Makes me want to play with my food.
Cons: Bland. Pricey. Steak tastes cheap. Cheese and flatbread bring very little flavor. Going to need a lot of Taco Bell sauce packets to give it some flavor. Flatbread not sturdy enough to handle the steak in it.