REVIEW: Chick-fil-A Frosted Strawberry Lemonade

Chick fil A Frosted Strawberry Lemonade

I’ve heard fantastic things about Chick-fil-A’s Frosted drinks, so if you haven’t heard, now you’ve heard (Notorious B.I.G. anyone?) that there’s a new limited edition strawberry lemonade flavor.

For y’all that haven’t tried the O.G. Frosted Lemonade before, here’s the breakdown: it’s like a lemonade milkshake. I know that combo sounds disgusting but it’s really a rose by any other name if you decode the marketing speak – “a hand-spun combination of Chick-fil-A Lemonade (or Diet Lemonade), freshly squeezed daily, and our famous vanilla Icedream.”

By the way, Frosted drinks are classified as a “treat,” which is likely Chick-fil-A’s way of priming you for the sugar and calories.

Like everything else Chick-fil-A does, their new Frosted Strawberry Lemonade is genius and fantastic. Genius because they simply add strawberry puree in their O.G. Frosted Lemonade and call it a day. Fantastic because even though it’s simple, they do it right.

When you have something as creamy and milkshake-like, the question is often: spoon or straw?

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I took the plunge and went for the straw because I trusted Chick-fil-A to get the texture right. My trust paid off as it was easily drinkable even though it looked creamy and thick. Given the pink tinge, I wasn’t surprised that it primarily tasted like strawberry with a hint of tangy lemonade. The real strawberry pieces surprised me — there were seeds and all!

I thought these nuggets were critical to the drink for a couple of reasons: less artificial and adds texture. Not that the drink tasted at all like artificial strawberry flavoring, but having real pieces of strawberry makes me feel like I could justify fitting this treat into the fruit group on the food pyramid. As for the strawberry puree adding texture, it’s nice to have fresh fruit bits break up the thick, creamy Icedream.

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In under five minutes, I was almost done with the Frosted treat. But, for you slow drinkers out there (yes, I’m looking at you), I left a little bit to melt for about 10 minutes. I wanted to see if it would maintain its delicious strawberry lemonade integrity. I wondered why I even doubted Chick-fil-A because, of course, it maintained its deliciousness. I wasn’t surprised that it tasted slightly sweeter and that I could smell the strawberry aroma more.

The only downsides to the Frosted Strawberry Lemonade are that it’ll give you one hell of a sugar high and it’s only available for a limited time!

(Nutrition Facts – Not available on website.)

Purchased Price: $3.19
Size: Small
Rating: 10 out of 10
Pros: Genius – because it’s just their Frosted Lemonade + strawberry puree, but it’s delicious! Drinkable yet still creamy and thick. Real pieces of strawberry – even seeds – therefore, one can justify as treating this treat as part of the fruit group on the food pyramid. Good even when slightly melted.
Cons: Sugar high is real. Available for a limited time.

REVIEW: Ben & Jerry’s Cereal Splashback Ice Cream

Ben  Jerry s Cereal Splashback Ice Cream

If you think about it, cereal and ice cream are like kindred spirits. They’re both eaten in bowls with spoons, they’re satisfying while watching cartoons or high, they aren’t as good if they sit in a bowl for too long, and they both have the letter C, two E’s, an A, and an R.

Ben & Jerry’s Cereal Splashback Ice Cream pays tribute to childhood cereal favorites. Of course, not MY childhood cereal favorites, like Banana Frosted Flakes, Waffelos, C-3PO’s, and Rainbow Brite Cereal. They’re currently Scoop Shop exclusives and the idea is to recreate cereal and milk with ice cream and Ben & Jerry’s magic.

The three Cereal Splashback flavors are:

Froot Loot — cereal milk ice cream with a crisp fruity cereal swirl.

Frozen Flakes — cereal milk ice cream with a crisp cereal swirl.

Cocoa Loco — chocolate cereal milk ice cream with a crisp chocolate cereal swirl.

Ben  Jerry s Cereal Splashback Froot Loot Ice Cream

The only one that really tastes like its cereal counterpart is Froot Loot. Every time I eat it, its aftertaste reminds me of Froot Loops. But it’s a bit odd that it doesn’t happen once I put it in my mouth.

As for the other two, the Frozen Flakes swirl has a sweetened corn flakes vibe to it, but it doesn’t make me think of Frosted Flakes. And while Cocoa Loco has a nice malt flavor that goes well with the chocolate ice cream, it doesn’t taste like Cocoa Puffs, Cocoa Krispies, or Cocoa Pebbles. This disappoints me because chocolate cereals are my favorite.

Ben  Jerry s Cereal Splashback Cocoa Loco Ice Cream

With that said, these flavors do please my palate. Well, to be more exact, the swirls bring me joy. The cereal milk-flavored ice cream tastes like a sweeter, richer vanilla ice cream and the chocolate cereal milk one is like a slightly toned down chocolate ice cream. They’re good, but not great. But also, let’s be real, they’re there to complement the swirl.

The cereal swirls are gritty like a cookie butter swirl. There aren’t any whole cereal pieces, but when you scoop out a portion of the swirl and chew on it, it crunches like a cereal piece. And depending on the spoonful, you’ll get one of two textures, either slightly soggy cereal or crispy cereal. That is some crazy Ben & Jerry’s voodoo.

Ben  Jerry s Cereal Splashback Frozen Flakes Ice Cream

If I had to rank the three Ben & Jerry’s Cereal Splashback flavors, I’d put Froot Loot number one, Frozen Flakes would come next, and Cocoa Loco would be last.

While two out of the three didn’t truly taste like the cereals they’re trying to emulate, because they’re all really sweet, all three did something else for me as I ate them.

They took me back to what I like to call The Golden Age of Breakfast Cereals. A time when cereals were super sweet and they probably had as much sugar as a candy bar. A time when cereals with movie tie-ins weren’t all oat pieces with marshmallows. A time when cereals came in shapes like Gremlins, Batman signs, Nerds candy, ice cream cones, and something Mr. T would wear around his neck. A time when a dog and cat kibble maker also made human kibble, but called it cereal. A time when cereals were, as Tony the Tiger says, gr-r-reat.

Disclosure: I received samples of all three Cereal Splashback flavors from Ben & Jerry’s. It was not required by Ben & Jerry’s to write a review and receiving free samples did not influence my review in any way.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 scoop – Cocoa Loco – 230 calories, 120 calories from fat, 13 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, 75 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 21 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein. Frozen Flakes – 230 calories, 120 calories from fat, 13 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 21 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein. Froot Loot – 240 calories, 140 calories from fat, 15 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 55 milligrams of cholesterol, 70 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 20 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: N/A
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Froot Loot)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Frozen Flakes)
Rating: 6 ouf of 10 (Cocoa Loco)
Pros: Froot Loot’s aftertaste taste like Froot Loops. Frozen Flakes comes close to tasting like Frosted Flakes. The different textures of the swirl. Ben & Jerry’s magic. Banana Frosted Flakes. Reminds me of The Golden Age of Breakfast Cereals.
Cons: Cocoa Loco not tasting like any chocolatey cereal. Disappointing for those who like a lot of mix-ins. Available only at Scoop Shops. Banana Frosted Flakes being discontinued.

REVIEW: Flamin’ Hot Ruffles Potato Chips

Ruffles Flamin Hot Potato Chips

I have to admit I went into this review with a small bias, as “Flamin’ Hot” is a very familiar Frito-Lay flavor for me. I am a big Flamin’ Hot Cheetos fan, being second only to Tapatio Doritos on my spicy chip tier list. What? Don’t tell me you don’t have a spicy chip tier list!

Based on the friendly flame mascot and smoldery font that is identical to the branding from Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, I assumed I was in for standard Ruffles blasted with the same atomic red seasoning.

Upon opening the bag that is exactly what I discovered. My chips were in good shape, with most of them whole. This was a good sign for a delicious, evil experiment I had planned for them.

Ruffles Flamin Hot Potato Chips 3

The chips themselves pack the standard Flamin’ Hot heat (not too over the top, but a little much for spicy wimps). The distribution of dust was a little light for my liking, but I’m a bit of a spice fiend, so most will probably find them quite balanced.

So how does this tried and true seasoning fair on crispy, fried potatoes? Oh my, Chester Cheetah better watch out. The Ruffles are probably on about equal footing with Cheetos as vessels for Flamin’ Hot dust. Things get interesting, however, when you consider the versatility of Ruffles.

Ruffles Flamin Hot Potato Chips 2

The one shortcoming of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos is they’re a bit one-dimensional. It’s a straightforward chili powder type of spice without much variety or depth. However, with their sturdy ridges and wide surface area, Ruffles are tailor-made to combat this problem because you can dip them. Remember that delicious, evil experiment I mentioned earlier?

When I was at the grocery store picking up these bad boys, I realized that many of the tried and true potato chip flavors all had something in common: sour cream. Through all the promotional and crazy flavors Lay’s ships out, I can remember Cheddar & Sour Cream and Sour Cream & Onion even since I was little. Even plain Ruffles beg to be dunked in french onion dip.

Ruffles Flamin Hot Potato Chips 4

Let’s just say I did a dollop of Daisy with these suckers, and the bag quickly grew lighter. The combination felt natural and right. The sour cream cut through the somewhat bland spice to create a cool balance. Maybe Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and sour cream would be just as good, but that just doesn’t sit quite as well in my head. Ruffles have ridges for a reason!

(Nutrition Facts – 11 chips – 150 calories, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 323 milligrams of potassium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.50
Size: 8/5 oz. bag
Purchased at: Albertson’s
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Classic Flamin’ Hot flavor translates well. A new contender for the top of my spicy chip tier list. Dippability.
Cons: Chips themselves are a bit one dimensional. Getting greasy red smears on my notebook.

REVIEW: Hershey’s Cookies ‘N’ Creme Pudding

Hershey s Cookies  N Creme Pudding

If there was a Nobel Prize for food flavors, whoever invented Cookies & Crème (Cream if you prefer) should’ve been awarded one.

Sometime in the early/mid 80s, my mother and young self slid into a booth at Friendly’s for our weekly lunch and ice cream out. I spied a new flavor: Cookies & Creme. “What’s that?” I asked the waitress. “Vanilla and Oreos” she said. EXCUSE ME? OREO ICE CREAM? My tiny cookie-obsessed mind was blown. “This is the best thing ever!” I chanted after every spoonful. Ever since, it’s been my flavor magnetic north.

As fan of Jell-O Oreo Cookies ‘n Creme pudding mix, Jell-O Oreo Pudding cups, and Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme candy bars, it was a no-brainer that I would try Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme pudding cups.

Hershey s Cookies  N Creme Pudding 2

The appearance wasn’t exactly exciting for a cookie fanatic. All I saw were microscopic specks mixed into the white pudding. Maybe all the cookie bits were inside. Way inside.

Hershey s Cookies  N Creme Pudding 3

Under the foil, there was a faint whiff of cookies, but still no bits. What the hells bells was going on here? I dug around with a spoon, hoping to rile up some hidden chunks. Didn’t happen. C&C fans know that the enjoyment of any given product is dependent on the mass of cookie in relation to the overall mass. See chart 1:

Hershey s Cookies  N Creme Pudding 4

(Note this chart only goes to 70% – beyond that you risk under-creaming.)

Taste-wise, this pudding wasn’t bad. It’s reminiscent of Hershey’s candy bar of the same name – heavy sweet vanilla with a shadow of cookie. But it was missing something – cookie balls!

Hershey s Cookies  N Creme Pudding 5

The greatest part of the candy bars are the little crunchy balls. They goose the flavor and impart much-needed texture. They’re completely absent in the pudding, and it’s a real shame. It needs them. It’s just a smooth white mass that left a slightly greasy film on my tongue.

I liked this pudding, but not enough to buy again. Jell-O’s Oreo puddings were closer to the mark for me – less sweetness, less vanilla, more cookie.

This under-cookied pudding was screaming to be repurposed, so I made mini-icebox cakes out of it. Drop dollops of pudding between Oreo cookies. (I ate the fillings out of mine!) Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Hershey s Cookies  N Creme Pudding 6

The moisture from the pudding soaks into the cookies, making something like a cold cakey milk-dunked Oreo.

Hershey s Cookies  N Creme Pudding 7

(Nutrition Facts – 1 cup – 110 calories, 10 calories from fat, 1.5 grams of fat, 1 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 23 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 17 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.)

Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: 4-pack
Purchased at: Key Food
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Like a melted version of its namesake candy bar (If you like that candy bar).
Cons: A severe, drought-like lack of cookie bits or varied texture of any kind. Greasy tongue slime trail.

REVIEW: Hostess Ding Dongs Frozen Dairy Dessert Sandwiches

Hostess Ding Dongs Frozen Dairy Dessert Sandwiches

In preparation for my wedding in May, I’ve been on a self-proclaimed dessert detox. There are some exceptions of course… like writing reviews for the lovely readers of the Impulsive Buy. Because it’s all in the name of research!

So imagine my excitement when I unwrapped one of the Hostess Ding Dongs Frozen Dairy Dessert Sandwiches. Oh glory, my first sweet in about two weeks! I was hungry, ready and so pumped, and I’m pleased to report that I was not disappointed.

Each sandwich is individually packaged, and on first glance, it’s about the size and thickness of a hockey puck. It does, in fact, look the ice cream version of a regular Ding Dong.

Hostess Ding Dongs Frozen Dairy Dessert Sandwiches 2

Now, if you’re looking for a neat and tidy eating experience, this is not for you. I cut open the Ding Dong, and the chocolate outer layer did not hold together well. Nor did the chocolate stay together as I ate each half. But I was impressed with how well the ice cream stayed solid and did not melt.

Hostess Ding Dongs Frozen Dairy Dessert Sandwiches 3

Cutting apart the Ding Dong revealed two things: 1) A glorious, pretty thick chocolate coating and 2) A crunchy, cookie-esque layer between the chocolate coating and ice cream that I was not expecting and It. Was. Epic. Best way to describe the Ding Dong is having the crunch of a Thin Mint with the taste of a Klondike Bar.

There really isn’t anything special to report about the vanilla frozen dairy dessert. The chocolate was so prevalent that it was hard to taste it on its own. The frozen dairy dessert was good, just nothing to write home about. I loved all the chocolate – it was rich and melted in my mouth.

The other thing I appreciated was the portion size and nutritional information. At under 200 calories a serving, this is a perfect dessert for when you want something quick and not too heavy. Basically, it truly is the frozen version of a beloved Hostess snack cake.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 sandwich – 180 calories, 80 calories from fat, 9 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 75 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $3.49
Size: 5-pack
Purchased at: Giant Eagle
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Cookie crunch and plenty of chocolate to please my sweet tooth.
Cons: Kind of messy to eat. Kind of messy to eat. Normal frozen dairy dessert.