PRIZE DRAWING: Because AXE Offered Me Stuff To Give Away To TIB Readers

We’re right in the middle of summer travel season and whether you’re traveling to another state or another country by air, you’ll want to pack light because those damn airlines will charge your ass for checking in baggage, which, by the way, used to be free for decades.

The folks at AXE want to help you pack light, unless you’re traveling to a nudist colony, then you probably won’t need any help. But for those who do need help, they’re offering the opportunity for five lucky TIB readers, via a prize drawing, to win a set of AXE travel-size body sprays, deodorants and shower gels that meet TSA standards.

To enter The Impulsive Buy’s AXE Twist Travel Pack Prize Drawing, leave a comment with THIS POST. You may say whatever you like, but your comment MUST include where you would like to go for your next vacation.

It can be specific, like “a nude beach in Hawaii with Marvo serving me cocktails with paper umbrellas in them,” or less specific, like “anywhere, but here.”

Please don’t forget to fill out the email field because I’ll be emailing the five winners for their mailing addresses. The Impulsive Buy will stop accepting entries on Sunday, July 25, 2010 11:59 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time. Only one entry allowed per person and it’s only open to those who live in the United States and are 18 years old or older. (I’m sorry to my non-US readers, those in the US Military living overseas and high school boys who love the smell of AXE)

Good luck!

Fine Print: The Impulsive Buy promises your email address will not be used to send you spam about how you can get generic erection drugs from Canada. The Impulsive Buy also promises your mailing address will not be used to send you requests for donations from my alma mater, the University of Hawaii. Bribes will not be accepted. Sending pictures of your boobs (male or female) will not help your chances. The Impulsive Buy will not be responsible for lost mail, damaged mail, or you getting trapped in a YouTube vortex of dudes getting hit in the nuts and puppy videos.

REVIEW: Quaker Life Soft Baked Nutrition Bars For Adults (Cinnamon Roll Raisin Pecan & Banana Walnut Bread)

Oh, I wish I knew where Mikey was now. I want to know so that I can find out what he thinks of the Quaker Life Soft Baked Nutrition Bars For Adults.

He’d be the perfect person to ask because he likes Life Cereal and he’s now an adult. But he’s probably too busy with real life, which may include a wife, and maybe a young Mikey Jr. or a daughter he wanted to name Mikey, but the wife shot him down. He probably works in insurance sales or is a financial planner and drives an 2001 white Toyota Camry nearing 100,000 miles with the vanity license plate ILIKEIT.

For many years, the license plate was probably one of the few reminders of his past celebrity, because the VHS tape recordings of his commercials were eaten up by a VCR with heads that were never cleaned. Fortunately, YouTube was invented and someone posted his Life Cereal commercials online. He is probably responsible for half of the 450,000+ views of his most popular commercial on YouTube.

Mikey probably doesn’t eat Life Cereal anymore because he’s become lactose intolerant and it’s hard to eat the cereal without milk. If he has a wife, he loves her, but feels she only married him because he was “the guy from the Life commercials.” He feels this way because she introduces him to people as, “My husband, the boy from the Life commercials.” He thinks his wife is cheating on him, because she bought a lot of lingerie from Victoria’s Secret that he’s never seen her wear. But he also has a mistress, who has no idea Mikey has a place in pop culture, because she was born many years after the commercials stopped airing.

Although doing those Life Cereal commercials brought him some fame, when he looks at where his life has gone, he probably sometimes wishes his parents never forced him into auditioning for those commercials. If he didn’t, he probably wouldn’t be Mikey, he would be just Mike, or perhaps Michael.

If Mikey were here and tried the Quaker Life Soft Baked Nutrition Bars For Adults, I think he would like them, even though there’s nothing that resembles Life Cereal in them. The chewy adult bars come in two varieties: Banana Walnut Bread and Cinnamon Roll Raisin Pecan.

The Banana Walnut Bread flavor actually smells like banana bread. The banana flavor is noticeable, and thankfully isn’t artificial tasting. However, it tastes more like banana chips, which have a slight greasy flavor to them. The chopped walnuts yield little flavor and they seem like they’re mostly there to provide vitamins, minerals and to compliment the crunch of the whole grain oats and rice crisps in the bar.

The Cinnamon Roll Raisin Pecan bars have a sweet cinnamon aroma. The cinnamon and frosting drizzle on top overpower the rest of the ingredients, which might make this bar too sweet for some. Even the chopped raisins got lost in the sweetness. Perhaps using whole raisins might’ve helped. As for the pecans, they play the same role the walnuts do in the other flavor, provide some nutritional value and add some crunch, but not deliver much flavor.

The folks at Quaker suggest warming up their Life Soft Baked Nutrition Bars For Adults by sticking them in the microwave for 10 seconds, which seems to soften them. Does warming them up make them better? No. Is warming them up worth the 10 second wait? No. If you were immortal, would you wait the 10 seconds? Maybe. It would depend on how hungry I am.

Overall, the Quaker Life Soft Baked Nutrition Bars For Adults are decent tasting, a good source of B vitamins and provides 5 grams of fiber per bar. But I’m not sure why they’re under the Life Cereal brand, since they’re not made with Life Cereal, and why they’re labeled “For Adults.” Because unlike other things I’ve bought that were “For Adults,” I didn’t have to pull out my driver’s license to prove my age when I bought them.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 bar – Cinnamon Roll Raisin Pecan – 150 calories, 4 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 140 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 11 grams of sugar, and 6 grams of protein. Banana Walnut Bread – 150 calories, 4 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 140 milligrams of sodium, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 10 grams of sugar and 6 grams of protein.)

Item: Quaker Life Soft Baked Nutrition Bars For Adults (Cinnamon Roll Raisin Pecan & Banana Walnut Bread)
Price: $3.00 (on sale)
Size: 5 bars
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Banana Walnut Bread)
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Cinnamon Roll Raisin Pecan)
Pros: Both flavors were good. Banana Walnut Bread smells like banana bread. Banana isn’t artificial tasting. Contains 5 grams of fiber. Cinnamon Roll Raisin Pecan bar have a sweet pleasant cinnamon scent. Good source of B vitamins. Full of other nutrients. Didn’t have to pull out my driver’s license to buy these adult bars.
Cons: No Life Cereal in them. Don’t know what Mikey thinks of them. Nuts don’t provide much flavor. Raisins got lost in the sweetness of the Cinnamon Roll Raisin Pecan bars. Cinnamon Roll Raisin Pecan bar might be too sweet for some. The sad world I imagine Mikey lives in.

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Eggo Real Fruit Pizza Mixed Berry Granola

The Kellogg’s Eggo Real Fruit Pizza Mixed Berry Granola was inevitable, which is unfortunate. If you break it down, you’ve got two food innovations (I use the term semi-sarcastically) that came together in a perfect storm of potential horror.

On the one hand, you’ve got the gourmet pizza movement, which cropped up a few decades ago. Based entirely on shit someone told me with no empirical evidence, Wolfgang Puck made the first gourmet pizza, so you can blame him for shit like cream cheese smoked salmon pizza and foie gras pizza and god knows what else. I also blame, again, with very little evidence, California Pizza Kitchen for bringing gourmet pizza to the masses, with creations like cheeseburger pizza and Pear & Gorgonzola pizza. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some gourmet pizza and non-traditional toppings. One of the little local pizza joints in my town has a $10 large unlimited topping offer that I abuse on a regular basis to create my own monstrosities. White pizza with a butter parmesan crust with double green olives, feta, onion, tomatoes and artichoke hearts, anyone? I wouldn’t be surprised if they take that deal off the table because I’m single-handedly putting them out of business.

The other part of this equation is the recent explosion of breakfast frozen food products. I don’t know when this started – maybe it’s been around for quite a while and I just never noticed – but I seem to remember a time when, if you wanted a breakfast frozen food, you grabbed yourself a box of Eggo waffles and shut the fuck up about it. Now you’ve got crazy options, from sausage Mcmuffins to bowls with all your shit thrown together to…whatever in God’s name this is.

My point, quite obviously by now, is that Eggo took these two concepts, herded them into a small pen, watched them do the nasty, and what came out a couple minutes later (food gestates quickly) was the Eggo Real Fruit Pizza. They wiped off the amniotic maple syrup and disgusting globs of strawberry jam and said, “I think we’ve got something here.” Kind of like how my friends think their newborn babies are cute, and I think they look like horrible aliens.

I hadn’t noticed this before, but there’s a strange purple sauce-like substance underneath the toppings. Ugh, is that supposed to be yogurt? I am not looking forward to having hot yogurt in my mouth. I’m also not comfortable with that sentence.

The instructions are simple: unwrap the pizza, flip the box over that it was resting in, set it on the silver circle on the back of the container, and throw it in the microwave for a minute to 1 1/2 minutes. I split the difference, and stuck it in there for 1 1/4 minutes. It was still a little cold in the middle, so I stuck it in for the extra 15, but my microwave is also a piece of shit, so bare that in mind. Waiting a minute and a half for a quick breakfast when you’re on the go is a little impressive. It takes me longer to smear cream cheese on a bagel. I have some pretty strict rules about cream cheese.

It actually smells pretty good coming out of the microwave. It smells like a bowl of oatmeal that has berries and granola in it – warm and inviting, something you’d want to eat on a cold, snowy day. Unfortunately it’s 106 and humid right now where I live, but I’ll close my eyes and use my imagination.

There’s obviously blueberries going on, scattered about the top of the pizza, shriveled up as they tend to do when cooked. They’re distributed nicely, but I would have liked to have seen a few more of them.

I don’t see any other recognizable berries, but there’s some red glop haphazardly strewn over the top. I took some off and tasted it by itself, and it tastes like they took some raspberries and turned them into a puree. It’s definitely real raspberries; it’s got that delicious tartness of the berry and I even got some seeds stuck in my teeth, which is the one thing that annoys me about raspberries. But I welcome them here, since they offer proof of real berry, unless Eggo spent millions of dollars attempting to create a facsimile of raspberry seeds to fool consumers. Probably a lot easier just to throw some berries in a blender and hold true to their claims of “real fruit.”

The dreaded yogurt sauce was nothing to fear after all. It’s very thin, and when I tasted it on its own, it had the faint flavor of mixed berry yogurt, but it was very mild and inoffensive. The granola is spread generously on one side of the pizza, but tapers out until there’s barely any on the other side.

I was truly surprised to see that the crust wasn’t actually a waffle. If I’d look more closely at the box, I might have figured it out, but my mind associates “Eggo” with “waffles” so decisively that I just assumed that would be the case. Instead, the dough of this “pizza” seems to be made out of wheat. It looks like a thin crust pizza crust, except darker. Unfortunately, it’s tasteless, soggy and way too chewy. I’m not even really sure what to call it. Wheat…pizza crust…thing. Except it tastes more like a bland PowerBar than a pizza crust.

There seem to be two fundamental problems with the Eggo Real Fruit Pizza Mixed Berry Granola: sogginess and poor topping distribution. The crust and the granola were both way too soggy. Perhaps it would have turned out better if I’d cooked it in the oven, but if you’re eating fruit pizza for breakfast, you either don’t have time to wait for the oven to preheat, you’re a college student who doesn’t even own an oven or you’re young enough that you’re not allowed to use the oven.

As far as the toppings go, the mysterious purple sauce was thin to the point where in some places, you could see bare patches of crust. The raspberry puree, which I think is the best part of this item, is strewn halfheartedly across the pizza, globbed up in some places and simply nonexistent in others. The granola is piled high on one half the pizza, but peters out into scattered flakes.

I have to say, I expected this whole “fruit pizza” thing to be a horror show. Instead, it just left me disappointed. If done correctly, it would have been quite tasty. A less chewy, less soggy, more flavorful crust, coated thickly with the delicious raspberry puree, a generous layer of crispy granola, and piled high with blueberries, would have actually been something that I’d consider spending 1 1/2 minutes nuking in the morning for a quick breakfast. Unfortunately, that’s not what the Eggo Real Fruit Pizza Mixed Berry Granola really is, so I think I’ll just stick with real pizza for breakfast. That box of double green olives, feta, and everything else pizza that’s been sitting out on the counter all night looks pretty good right now.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 individual-size pizza (5.3 ounces) — 390 calories, 110 calories from fat, 13 grams of total fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 3 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 2.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 390 milligrams of sodium, , 62 grams of total carbohydrates, 4 grams of dietary fiber, 17 grams of sugars, 10 grams of protein, 0% vitamin A, 6% calcium, 0% vitamin C and 8% iron.)

Item: Kellogg’s Eggo Real Fruit Pizza Mixed Berry Granola
Price: $1.67 (on sale; normally $3.29)
Size: 1 individual-size pizza (5.3 ounces)
Purchased at: Albertson’s
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: Raspberry puree was delicious. Taking advantage of unlimited topping deals. Quick and easy to make. Purple sauce was not scary.
Cons: Soggy, tasteless crust and soggy granola. “Hot yogurt in my mouth” making me uneasy. Uneven and sloppily applied toppings. Just the idea of fruit pizza making me shudder. 46 percent of total fat was saturated fat on what appears on the surface to be a healthy food item.

THE WEEK IN REVIEWS – 7/17/2010

Here are a few product reviews posted this week from other blogs we like.

There’s an energy drink that comes in a bottle that looks like a fire extinguisher. Does it also come in a bigger size that looks like a fire hydrant? (via Caffeine-A-Holic)

Dr Pepper with real sugar isn’t really impressive. But Dr Pepper curing an illness would be. (via Gigi Reviews)

Japan now has Orange M&M’s. It makes sense since Japan is also known for having people with orange hair. (via Japanese Snack Reviews)

Necco knows how to tug at the tummies of little girls with their Twilight Sweethearts candies, which have saying like “Bite Me”, “Live 4 Ever” and “Team EC” printed on them. I thought Sweethearts candies were gross by themselves, but it turns out, with the right sayings on them, they get even more disgusting. (via Candyblog)

Krispy Kreme has a Limited Edition Cheerwine Kreme Filled Doughnut. I have no clue what Cheerwine is and I’m too lazy to look it up on Wikipedia, so I’m going to assume, if I drink it, it will turn my face red and make a drunk Lindsay Lohan appear to be better looking than she really is. (via Hamburger Calculus)

REVIEW: Pillsbury Sweet Moments Chocolate Fudge Molten Lava Brownies

Pillsbury has been the champion of making baking easier with their pre-made cookie dough. And they have been the thorn in the side of fat, pale people everywhere who get poked in the stomach by their friends who hope to make them giggle like the Pillsbury Doughboy.

Now Pillsbury has completely taken the “aking” out of baking by introducing their new Sweet Moments line of products, which consists of bite-sized, ready-to-eat brownies in a bag and their microwaveable molten lava brownies.

If you saw my pale belly that’s been poked several times by my friends to try to make me giggle, you might be able to tell I enjoy molten lava cakes and their gooey warm innards. Unfortunately, these Sweet Moments Chocolate Fudge Molten Lava Brownies don’t have gooey warm innards. Instead, there’s a layer of chocolate fudge that sits on top of the brownie, looking like smooth pahoehoe lava. This is extremely disappointing and it hurts me like I’m walking on jagged ‘a’a lava.

While there’s no baking involved, the instructions call for the brownie, and the four-inch bowl it comes in, to be warmed up in the microwaved for 15 seconds. I put mine in for 20 seconds. When I pulled it out, the bottom of the brownie was warmed perfectly, but the top crust and top layer of chocolate were still on the cold side, making the molten lava part of the dessert not at all molten.

If you prefer your brownies chewy, like I do, you won’t enjoy the way the brownie turns out, which is a lot more cake-like. Although, if you don’t warm it up at all, it’s a lot more chewier. But taste-wise it is what the box says it is, “Decadent & Delicious.” It’s really sweet and chocolatey, so I suggest having a tall glass of milk with you while you eat it.

Again, the Sweet Moments Chocolate Fudge Molten Lava Brownie is really good, but for a company that encourages us to bake, I’m disappointed Pillsbury baked it for us. At least the microwaveable Betty Crocker’s Warm Delights make me feel like I’m actually preparing something, even though it just involves mixing water with cake mix, microwaving it for 45 seconds and then drizzling it with frosting.

I guess I believe that eating pre-baked brownies will give you sweet moments, but baking brownies will give you sweet memories.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 brownie – 370 calories, 19 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat*, 45 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 47 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 35 grams of sugar, 4 grams of protein, 2% vitamin A and 8% iron.)

*contains less than 0.5 grams of trans fat due to use of partially hydrogenated palm kernel oil

Item: Pillsbury Sweet Moments Chocolate Fudge Molten Lava Brownies
Price: $3.49
Size: 2 pack
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Sinfully delicious. Chocolatey. Droppin’ volcanic knowledge on yo’ asses. Great for those who like brownies but don’t like to bake them. Having knowledge of lava because I grew up on an island with an active volcano.
Cons: Molten lava wasn’t molten after microwaving it. Brownie is not thoroughly warmed up after microwaving. Brownie not chewy after being warmed up. No warm gooey innards. Good source of saturated fat. Ending a review with a corny line.