REVIEW: Domino’s Chicken Taco Pizza

Domino s Chicken Taco Pizza Whole

I am an Iowa native.

Why is this relevant?

Because Iowa is home to the first taco pizza! Happy Joe’s, a Midwest pizza chain, supposedly invented it in 1974. I grew up on the “original” taco pizza with refried beans, taco-seasoned meat, lettuce, tomatoes, taco chips sprinkled on top (my favorite part), and taco sauce on the side.

Although Domino’s Chicken Taco Pizza lacks many of those ingredients, I wanted to give it a try. I could’ve added my own chips and salsa, but sadly my kitchen lacked these add-ons when I ordered mine. It does includes American cheese, taco seasoning, grilled chicken, onions, green peppers, tomatoes, provolone cheese, and cheddar cheese. It looks like it was built in this order as well.

Domino s Chicken Taco Pizza Slice 2

It has no traditional sauce, instead replaced by American cheese and taco seasoning. With my pizza, these base ingredients were not equally distributed with my first slice being heavy with the seasoning, while my second slice was more American cheese. The seasoning is what really gives this its taco essence. Plus, I don’t know a lot of folks who include American cheese in their usual lineup of taco ingredients.

Domino s Chicken Taco Pizza Slice

The other components were better distributed, but kind of blended together with no single ingredient overpowering the others. As expected, there were obvious texture differences — a chunk of chicken tastes and feels different from a green pepper string.

Domino s Chicken Taco Pizza Cheese Closeup

The provolone and cheddar cheeses also blended together and started congealing, which pizza cheese does if not immediately eaten. That was likely due to time delays from my pizza being ready until I actually got to bite into it. (I had to wait about 30 minutes from the time Domino’s Pizza Tracker indicated mine was ready until it finally hit my mouth!) So it was lacking in cheesy ooziness as well as a strong scent, which are two components that typically get me excited to dive into a pizza.

Domino’s has touted this (as well as its new Cheeseburger Pizza) as “designed for delivery” given that tacos and burgers are not food items that always deliver well. This pizza is not a taco replacement, but it is a solid Domino’s offering with some taco-flavored inspiration (mostly the seasoning).

Some of the ingredients could be found in a taco, although the onion and green peppers seem more fajita-esque. To enhance it with your own taco-flair, I recommend adding some chips (hard-shell bits or crumbled Doritos) and salsa.

While I do not think Domino’s Chicken Taco Pizza compares to the “original” taco pizza, I would probably order it again if wanting a change from any traditional pizza.

Purchased Price: $11.99
Size: Large
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 slice) 350 calories, 16 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 45 milligrams of cholesterol, 780 milligrams of sodium, 34 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 3 grams of sugar, 1 gram of added sugars, and 16 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Pillsbury Chocolate Fudge Brownies and Birthday Cake Bars

Pillsbury Chocolate Fudge Brownies and Birthday Cake Bars Boxes

What are Pillsbury Chocolate Fudge Brownies and Birthday Cake Bars?

While I definitely appreciate the taste of home-baked goods, I seldomly do my own baking. I prefer to seek quick and low-effort ways to consume my desserts, so I was excited to try these new products.

Pillsbury Chocolate Fudge Brownies and Birthday Cake Bars are ready-to-eat, individually wrapped snack cakes that come in a box of six brownies/bars. Each wrapper comes with a cutesy saying like “Giggle Time!” which seems kind of silly. But desserts generally do make me Smile (another wrapper saying).

Pillsbury Chocolate Fudge Brownies and Birthday Cake Bars Wrappers

How are they?

Pillsbury Chocolate Fudge Brownies and Birthday Cake Bars Top

They both taste as one would expect store-bought, pre-packaged desserts should. This means they are generically decent and provide a quick sweet fix. The frosting on top of both products adds a little texture and sugar, but is not substantial enough to significantly contribute to or offset the overall taste of the product. (The frosting on top of my chocolate brownie melted a little bit in-transit.)

Pillsbury Chocolate Fudge Brownies Split

The chocolate fudge brownie lives up to its name with no surprises. It is soft, chewy, slightly fudgy, and actually has chocolate chips inside as depicted on the box.

Pillsbury Birthday Cake Bars Split

The birthday cake bar does not have the same softness as the brownie (or as one would expect from a cake). It might pass as a very small serving of boxed birthday cake with limited frosting that has been left out for a few days. It has a drier texture, but still retains the sugary taste of sprinkles and other Funfetti-themed products.

Anything else you need to know?

These are small (about 2-inch squares) and not very thick. They are also only 100 calories per brownie/bar. Due to their size, you might need to consume several to feel satisfied.

I occasionally snack on Fiber One bars (also made by General Mills) and found these similar, although slightly more satisfying. Based on taste alone and ignoring the nutritional differences, I would opt for these snack cakes vs. Fiber One bars.

Conclusion:

If you do not feel like turning on the oven and can appreciate pre-packaged desserts for what they are, these suffice. They are convenient and enticing enough to serve as a quick treat. If you need to appease a strong dessert craving, you will likely want more than one or go for an actual brownie or slice of cake.

DISCLOSURE: I received free samples of the products. Doing so did not influence my review.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 5.34 oz (6 brownies/bars)
Purchased at: Received from Pillsbury
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Chocolate Fudge Brownies), 5 out of 10 (Birthday Cake Bars)
Nutrition Facts: Chocolate Fudge Brownie (1 brownie) – 100 calories, 4 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 65 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of total carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 9 grams of sugar, 9 grams of added sugars, and less than 1 gram of protein. Birthday Cake Bars (1 bar) – 100 calories, 4 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 75 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 9 grams of sugar, 9 grams of added sugars, and less than 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Life Cuisine Egg Bites

Life Cuisine Egg Bites

What are Life Cuisine Egg Bites?

The Life Cuisine brand (from Nestlé, who makes Lean Cuisine) was launched earlier this year to cater to “every lifestyle” with low carb, meatless, high protein, and gluten free options.

These egg bites are part of the low carb lineup and the only traditional breakfast items in the entire Life Cuisine line (although I would eat the gluten-free pizzas or the high protein taco bowl for breakfast). These sous vide egg bites come in two varieties: 1) Tomato & Spinach Egg White (also comes with mozzarella) and 2) Uncured Turkey Bacon & Aged White Cheddar (also comes with cottage cheese).

How are they?

Life Cuisine Egg Bites Frozen

Life Cuisine Egg Bites Plated

Most frozen products don’t look particularly appetizing when pulled from the freezer and the same goes for these frozen mounds. After being prepared for two minutes in the microwave, the aesthetics of the product do not increase as the egg bites keep their shape, but do puff out a little. The puff foreshadows their fluffy and light taste, which is consistent with what one might expect from a sous vide-prepared product.

Both varieties have predominantly an egg taste with a hint of other flavors.

Life Cuisine Egg Bites Egg White

The Tomato & Spinach Egg White one naturally lacks some of the creaminess that yolk provides. I could faintly taste the tomato and spinach, but there is not nearly as much tomato and spinach as shown on the box, which is a little misleading. However, the mozzarella cheese does come through. I would also add more pepper and salt to this one.

Life Cuisine Egg Bites White Cheddar

The turkey bacon in the other variety is prevalent, which also adds some saltiness. This one is higher in calories, fat, cholesterol, and sodium (see nutrition facts below). There’s more bacon and cheese in this egg bite and they’re better distributed, which results in a slightly more flavorful product.

Anything else you need to know?

These are light tasting products, which is a nice way to start your day if you are eating these for breakfast. After eating two of them (one of each variety), I thought I might need to supplement my breakfast, but I was surprisingly not hungry. Thanks, protein!

However, it should be noted that I am a smaller-framed individual and I can definitely see others needing more than two egg bites or adding items to their breakfast to feel satisfied.

Conclusion:

Life Cuisine Egg Bites do the trick if you are looking for a light and adequate tasting, quick, easy, and relatively healthy breakfast. At the same time, you can probably also just scramble an egg.

DISCLOSURE: I received a free samples of the products. Doing so did not influence my review in any way.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 4.5 oz (1 package of 2 egg bites)
Purchased at: Received from Life Cuisine
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Uncured Turkey Bacon & Aged White Cheddar), 6 out of 10 (Tomato & Spinach Egg White)
Nutrition Facts: (1 package) Uncured Turkey Bacon & Aged White Cheddar – 280 calories, 18 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 185 milligrams of cholesterol, 810 milligrams of sodium, 12 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 1 gram of sugar, 0 grams of added sugars, and 18 grams of protein. Tomato & Spinach Egg White – 190 calories, 9 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 610 milligrams of sodium, 12 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 1 gram of sugar, 0 grams of added sugars, and 15 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Biscoff Sandwich Cookies

Lotus Biscoff Sandwich Cookies

What are Biscoff Sandwich Cookies?

Lotus took its iconic airline Biscoff cookie, made them into smaller circles, and then combined two of them with a filling (Vanilla, Milk Chocolate, or Biscoff Cream).

If you are not familiar with these cookies, then I am guessing you have not been on a commercial flight since the 1980s. They are those delicious, crunchy, dark beige cookies with a thoughtful mix of spices and a caramelized taste that often get provided on flights. Does anybody else shyly ask for an extra package from the flight attendant?

How are they?

These retain the unique Biscoff taste and feel, which makes sense given the cookie to filling ratio. I am glad the distinctive characteristics of the cookie were not lost and these are as delightful as the original.

Lotus Biscoff Sandwich Cookies Wrappers

The aroma that came from opening all three packages was scrumptious and almost calming. Maybe it is just me, but the smell is reminiscent of being on an airplane, knowing that your plane has now reached its desired altitude, and cruising along safely for you to lean back and be kindly served cookies and coffee.

Lotus Biscoff Sandwich Cookies Closeup

First, I tried the vanilla one. Of all three filling varieties, it has the strongest taste and is consequently my least favorite. The filling tastes like vanilla frosting and is almost too sweet. If you love how the original Biscoff cookie is just sweet enough, but does not have the heavy sugary feeling as other desserts, you might not enjoy these. On the other hand, maybe the added sweetness and sugar to a crunchy cookie is your thing.

Next, I tried the chocolate one. This was my favorite. It is less sugary-sweet than the vanilla, but still offers a subtle addition of sweetness and flavor that complements the cookie well.

Lastly, I tried the Biscoff Cream filled one. Obviously, if you take Biscoff cookies, crush and cream them, and then put the cream inside two others, the end product is going to taste like a Biscoff cookie (which is great). Not surprisingly, these have more of the iconic taste than the other varieties in the lineup. However, unlike the original, these offer a soft texture that hits right after that lovely crunch.

It should be noted that Biscoff does not label the cream as cookie butter, and while the filling is still soft relative to the cookie, it does not have the same texture as what comes in a jar.

Update: I contacted Lotus’ customer service and they told me its cookie butter is being used as the filling.

Anything else you need to know?

Lotus Biscoff Sandwich Cookies Tops

These are not Oreo and should not be approached as an Oreo spin-off. I have different preferences and expectations for an Oreo vs. Biscoff. For example, I typically prefer more creme with my Oreo and was initially surprised by the smaller-than-expected amount of filling in this product.

However, the amount of filling is actually perfect and allows for an added mini bonus of texture and taste (with the vanilla and chocolate flavors) without taking away from the Biscoff flavor itself. The cookie is still the captain of the airplane, it is just now joined by a supportive first officer.

Conclusion:

Overall, these are just as delicious as the original Biscoff cookies. If you are looking for a little extra something to the already enjoyable treat, then the vanilla and chocolate flavors might be right for you. If you love the Biscoff taste, you may appreciate the texture difference with the cookie-flavored cream one.

DISCLOSURE: I received a free samples of the product from Walmart. Doing so did not influence my review in any way.

Purchased Price: FREE (retails for $1.98)
Size: 150 grams (1 package)
Purchased at: Received from Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Vanilla), 10 out of 10 (Milk Chocolate), 9 out of
10 (Biscoff Cream)
Nutrition Facts: (3 cookies) Vanilla – 160 calories, 8 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 80 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 12 grams of total sugars, 12 grams of added sugars, and 1 gram of protein. Milk Chocolate – 150 calories, 7 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 85 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 12 grams of total sugars, 12 grams of added sugars, and 2 grams of protein. Biscoff Cream – 160 calories, 8 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 100 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 10 grams of total sugars, 10 grams of added sugars, and 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Sonic Reese’s Overload Waffle Cone

Sonic Reese s Overload Waffle Cone

What is the Sonic Reese’s Overload Waffle Cone?

The Sonic Reese’s Overload Waffle Cone is one of two new peanut butter and chocolate ice cream treats available for a limited time. It is a chocolate waffle cone filled with the chain’s real ice cream and topped with peanut butter, crumbled Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and Mini Reese’s Pieces. There is also peanut butter at the bottom of the cone.

How is it?

I should first disclose that I really like peanut butter and chocolate. I am one of those people that takes a chocolate bar and slathers it with the nutty spread to help satisfy a sweet craving. So you can imagine that I was very excited when I heard of the availability of Sonic’s new treats, which are described as “the perfect overload of peanut butter and chocolate.”

I was so excited that I left my house at 9 p.m. to go to Sonic (9 p.m. is late for me and typically when I am winding down so that I can be in bed by 10 p.m.). So how was this new treat that got me to extend my bedtime?

A little disappointing.

Sonic Reese s Overload Waffle Cone Half Toppings

Sonic Reese s Overload Waffle Cone Way Too Much Vanilla Ice Cream

After eating the toppings, it is just a lot of vanilla ice cream inside a chocolate cone. The cone’s cocoa flavor isn’t especially strong, but it isenough that you can tell it is not your usual waffle cone.

Sonic Reese s Overload Waffle Cone PB Bottom

At the very bottom of the cone, there is some more peanut butter, which is a pleasant surprise. Although it was not a redeeming amount for something described as an “overload of peanut butter and chocolate.” Thankfully, I do like Sonic’s vanilla ice cream, and it is a decently-sized serving given the large cone.

Is there anything else you need to know?

The toppings create a mess because they easily fall off. This is unfortunate as it further diminishes the available peanut butter and chocolate goodness that the product is already lacking. It also did not help that I was not provided with any napkins.

Lastly, the peanut butter tastes like the standard creamy stuff and not the peanut cream inside a Reese’s PB Cup.

Conclusion:

If you are craving peanut butter and chocolate, this cone is not for you. However, you might want to consider the Reese’s Overload Blast as the nutty goodness is mixed throughout the ice cream.

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: N/A
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 700 calories, 38 grams of fat, 16 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 45 milligrams of cholesterol, 440 milligrams of sodium, 78 grams of total carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 46 grams of total sugars, and 15 grams of protein

REVIEW: Ben & Jerry’s Exclusive Flavor Chocolate Peanut Butter Split Ice Cream

Ben  Jerry s Exclusive Flavor Chocolate Peanut Butter Split Ice Cream

What is Ben & Jerry’s Exclusive Flavor Chocolate Peanut Butter Split Ice Cream?

This exclusive flavor that can only be purchased from the Albertsons family of grocery stores features chocolate and banana ice creams with mini peanut butter cups.

How is it?

Ben  Jerry s Exclusive Flavor Chocolate Peanut Butter Split Ice Cream Top

It has the creaminess that should be expected with any Ben & Jerry’s ice cream product. True to the name, all three flavors make an appearance but don’t share the stage equally. When I first opened the lid, I noticed the predominant brown (i.e., chocolate) ice cream. I love chocolate, but I’m also a banana fan, so I definitely wanted the “split” represented.

Thankfully, the ice cream distribution quickly evens itself out as you dig in, and you taste both chocolate and banana. Chocolate is, in general, a stronger flavor and was also more present with the peanut butter cups, so I would have been open to slightly more banana ice cream.

Ben  Jerry s Exclusive Flavor Chocolate Peanut Butter Split Ice Cream PB Cups

Now you might be wondering about the peanut butter part – don’t worry, there’s an ample supply of mini peanut butter cups! Unlike other ice creams where you have to dig around for the mix-ins, that’s thankfully not the case here.

Is there anything else you need to know?

The description on the pint is pretty accurate: “We’ve loaded our banana and chocolate ice creams with a chocolatey lot of bite-size PB surprises, so if you find your chocolate-covered, peanut-buttered banana fantasies aren’t fulfilled in every spoonful, we suggest a bigger spoon.”

Ben  Jerry s Exclusive Flavor Chocolate Peanut Butter Split Ice Cream Spoon

Nearly every spoonful (or maybe it was every spoonful) did have peanut butter cups. But, my fantasy may have a little more banana in it.

Conclusion:

Overall, it’s worth a try if you like chocolate, peanut butter, and banana…which I do!

Purchased Price: $3.50
Size: 1 pint
Purchased at: Albertsons (Exclusive)
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 390 calories, 24 grams of fat, 15 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 75 milligrams of cholesterol, 85 milligrams of sodium, 38 grams of total carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 35 grams of total sugars, 29 grams of added sugars, 7 grams of protein