REVIEW: Limited Edition Strawberry Banana Cheerios Cereal

Limited Edition Strawberry Banana Cheerios Cereal Box

What is Limited Edition Strawberry Banana Cheerios Cereal?

After the Strawberry Cheerios and Banana Nut Cheerios of yesteryear, both have joined forces. There are also heart-shaped pieces, which makes me wonder if they’re trying to get a jump on Valentine’s Day. Bold move, General Mills.

How is it?

To me, Honey Nut Cheerios might be the perfect cereal. There’s a kind of spectrum that runs from bran flakes on the healthy end to Cocoa Puffs on the other, and Honey Nut Cheerios artfully balances right in the center like a world-class gymnast. The taste is just sweet enough that you feel like you’re getting a bit of a treat. Now I don’t know if Honey Nut Cheerios would really be considered healthy by nutritionists (who would probably recommend a breakfast of wild-caught salmon instead) but darnit, it FEELS healthy.

So the question here is whether or not these are as good as HNC. Short answer: no.

Limited Edition Strawberry Banana Cheerios Cereal Bowl

Strawberry Banana Cheerios have two types of pieces, pink and plain: they’re also in the shape of either hearts or traditional Cheerios “Os.” The pink are strawberry flavored, while the plain are, in theory, banana-flavored. While the pinks provided that standard artificial strawberry flavor you’ve encountered elsewhere, the plains had an aftertaste of popcorn, which is weird.

When I had the cereal in a bowl, I was able to taste a little bit of banana flavor. The pieces kept their integrity while I was eating and didn’t turn to mush, but considering how fast I can scarf down cereal, that’s a low bar to clear.

Limited Edition Strawberry Banana Cheerios Cereal Real Banana

I put a banana down next to my cereal knowing that next time, this cereal was going to get banana-fied, whether it wants to or not. This may be a crime.

Anything else you need to know?

Limited Edition Strawberry Banana Cheerios Cereal Back

From the back of the box I have learned that, sadly, a car powered by strawberry juice did not in fact drive across the state of Texas. Disappointing.

Conclusion:

Strawberry Banana Cheerios are inoffensive, but they are lacking in flavor. That’s okay though, because BYOB (Bring Your Own Banana).

Purchased Price: $4.88
Size: 14.9 oz box
Purchased at: Stop & Shop
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cup) 140 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 30 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 11 grams total sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

ANNOUNCEMENT: New Impulsive Buy Reviewer Karen

Hi everyone, I’m Karen. Now I know what you’re thinking: as a Karen, I must be one of those women who gives every cashier a hard time and constantly asks to see the manager. Do not believe what the internet has told you: most Karens are completely harmless, even in a retail environment. It’s just a few soccer moms with delusions of grandeur that give all Karens a bad name.

I’ve always been a sweets lover. When I was a little kid, my Mom often had Ring Dings around the house, and I got to eat them as an afterschool snack. Ever since then, it has been my sole occupation in life to acquire more sweet treats. I got married and had a kid somewhere in there, but that just means I can steal my kid’s snacks. Okay, I don’t actually do that, but she has a whole basket of leftover Halloween candy right now…she doesn’t even look at it…what would be the harm…anyway, I like salty snacks from time to time too, but on the whole I’m a sugar lover. I’m also a coffee lover, although I went through a brief, intensive tea-head phase in 2019 that I still don’t understand. My main areas of food interests include bread, cakes, cookies, and cereals; if that seems incredibly broad to you, you’re not wrong.

I’m a professional writer, but I haven’t always been able to choose my subjects. I worked in newspapers for a couple of years, and while I wanted to write about boxed pie and Chips Ahoy varieties, the bosses wanted me to write about sewer management and school board meetings. It wasn’t always fun, but on the plus side, if you ever need someone to write cogently about legislative redistricting while eating an entire cake, I’m your girl. Nowadays I write fantasy novels, so I can write about vampires eating cake instead. I like this better than newspapers, although I do kind of miss the cookies they would put out at school board meetings. Some of the wealthier districts put out a good spread, no joke.

What else is important about me? I’m a big fan of comics and anime, but that’s largely because I need something for my eyeballs to do while I’m eating. X-Men>>>Avengers, I’m just saying. I’m also finishing up a Master’s degree in literature, because there’s nothing left to do once you’ve already made the mistake of majoring in English than to go hard-core. My favorite boxed snack is Little Debbie’s Nutty Buddies, which my husband claims taste like cardboard; the weird thing is, I actually agree with him on this, yet I still love them. It’s sort of cardboard-y but it’s got some cool textural thing going on that my mouth just loves. I’m a New Yorker, I say “soda,” not “pop,” and I am happy to be your new snack food guinea pig.

REVIEW: Milk Bar Gingerbread House Ice Cream

Milk Bar Gingerbread House Ice Cream Pint

What is Milk Bar Gingerbread House Ice Cream?

This festive flavor is an on-brand addition to Milk Bar’s lineup of quirky-but-upscale re-imaginings of nostalgic desserts. Between the chunks of gingerbread cookie, brightly colored candy “gems,” and sweet bits of icing, this gingerbread-flavored ice cream is more filled than Santa’s sleigh.

How is it?

Milk Bar Gingerbread House Ice Cream Cookie

My first bite of pure ice cream was pleasantly milky with a hint of spice — tasty, but not quite something to write to the North Pole about. The cookie that I secured in my next spoonful packed a much stronger punch of ginger flavor, with an interesting consistency more solid than cookie dough but not as firm as an actual cookie (a bit reminiscent of a Ben & Jerry’s mix-in).

Milk Bar Gingerbread House Ice Cream Icing

When I found some icing next (the white color is surprisingly hard to identify in the tannish ice cream), its burst of sugariness was much more flavorful than the bland, just-for-show icing I typically associate with gingerbread cookies. Like the cookie crunch, it also brings a textural surprise — it doesn’t appear in the thick, creamy spirals illustrated on the pint, but rather as a series of squarish shards more similar to pieces of white chocolate.

On their own, these ingredients were tasty though not particularly thrilling. But when I finally scooped up ice cream, icing, and cookie all together, the sweetness of the icing and the spice of the cookie contrasted very nicely, and the rich ice cream was a satisfying backdrop to hold it all together.

Milk Bar Gingerbread House Ice Cream Top

Oh yeah, and I guess the candy gems were there too. They just didn’t add much more than a pop of (admittedly welcome) color.

Anything else you need to know?

In case you missed the banner on the pint saying so four times in a row, this flavor is seasonal, so be sure to grab some before it makes like a Christmas tree and leaves.

Conclusion:

Filled with cookies and icing, Milk Bar Gingerbread House Ice Cream’s blend of sugar, spice, and everything ice is sure to end up on the nice list.

Purchased Price: $5.99
Size: 14 oz
Purchased at: Whole Foods
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 400 calories, 23 grams of fat, 15 grams of saturated fat, 85 milligrams of cholesterol, 85 milligrams of sodium, 43 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 38 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Popeyes Homestyle Mac & Cheese

Popeyes Homestyle Mac  Cheese Bowl

Popeyes, widely regarded as the champion of fast food fried chicken, has a new and improved Homestyle Mac & Cheese.

Did you know it had an old and un-improved Homestyle Mac & Cheese? I sure didn’t. See, the thing is, I’ve never been able to bring myself to order anything other than the red beans and rice or the mashed potatoes with cajun gravy. And this is odd because, as a human person, I love macaroni and cheese. I even love macaroni and cheese from other fast-food chicken places. It is one of my go-to sides when I end up at KFC, where I gladly consume it despite the fact that it tastes inexplicably chlorinated.

But Popeyes nails it on chicken, chicken nuggets, chicken sandwiches, biscuits, and the aforementioned sides, so why WOULDN’T it make a magnificent mac & cheese, too?

Well, they do.

Popeyes website boasts that its new noodle dish is “made with real butter and cream and topped with shredded cheddar cheese,” and this story checks out. The noodles themselves are perfectly cooked — soft and tender but not mushy. And there is plenty of cheese — a mild, creamy cheese that lovingly coats each noodle and the sharper, chewy cheddar that hides in pockets throughout the bowl.

Popeyes Homestyle Mac  Cheese Spoon

It is a rich dish — likely owing to the real butter and cream — but not so rich that you won’t be able to eat the whole thing in like, 90 seconds and then go, “Dammit, Brandon, why did you eat the whole thing? Can’t you exercise more restraint than that?”

Despite the adulation, I do have two quibbles with this delectable side.

The first is that the texture is very one-note. And I get it, I do, this is mac & cheese, which is, by and large, a creamy, soft dish. But you know what elevates a very good mac & cheese to a great mac & cheese? A crunchy top. You know, breadcrumbs or what have you. You get a bit of textural differentiation because of the melted shredded cheddar, but it’s not enough to break up the monotony in your mouth. (Which again, I assure you, isn’t enough to keep you from wanting to consume an industrial barrel’s worth of this stuff.)

Second, I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do now when I get a meal and have to choose two sides. My gut says to alternate between the red beans and rice, mashed potatoes, and the new mac & cheese like a responsible adult. However, the fat kid who lives in my brain says, “GET ‘EM ALL, BUDDY. IT’S THE FUTURE. YOU CAN JUST 3D-PRINT SOME NEW ARTERIES.”

God bless technology, and god bless this macaroni and cheese.

Purchased Price: $2.79
Size: Regular
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 300 calories, 22 grams of fat, 13.5 grams of saturated fat, 0.6 grams of trans fat, 609 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 11 grams of protein.

SPOTTED (SEASONAL EDITION) – 12/2/2021

Here are some new seasonal products found on store shelves by your fellow readers. If you’ve tried any of them, share your thoughts in the comments.

Snowballs Oreo
Snowballs Oreo

(Spotted by Robbie at Five Below.)

Create A Treat Oreo Build Your Own Arctic Cookie Skating Rink
Create-A-Treat Oreo Build Your Own Arctic Cookie Skating Rink

(Spotted by Rachel J at Rite Aid.)

Hidden Valley Ranch Gift Tag
Hidden Valley Ranch Gift Tag

(Spotted by Robbie at H-E-B.)

Welch s Fruit  n Yogurt Snowballs
Welch’s Fruit ‘n Yogurt Snowballs

(Spotted by Amanda Y at Target.)

Create A Treat Glitz Holiday Cookie Kit
Create-A-Treat Glitz Holiday Cookie Kit
Create A Treat Sour Patch Kids Build Your Own Holiday Cookie Camper
Create-A-Treat Sour Patch Kids Build Your Own Holiday Cookie Camper

(Spotted by Rachel J at Rite Aid.)

Warheads Blue Raspberry Blizzard Cubes
Warheads Blue Raspberry Blizzard Cubes

(Spotted by Robbie at Walmart.)

Limited Edition Little Secrets Peppermint in Dark Chocolate Mini Creme Filled Wafers
Limited Edition Little Secrets Peppermint in Dark Chocolate Mini Creme Filled Wafers

(Spotted by Rachel J at Rite Aid.)

Keebler Assortment of Keebler s Holiday Favorites
Keebler Assortment of Keebler’s Holiday Favorites

(Spotted by Rachel J at Safeway.)

Dreamhouse Fine Foods Gingerbread House Kit
Dreamhouse Fine Foods Gingerbread House Kit
Dreamhouse Fine Foods Gingerbread Mini Village
Dreamhouse Fine Foods Gingerbread Mini Village

(Spotted by Rachel J at Rite Aid.)