REVIEW: Limited Edition Chocolate Strawberry Cheerios Cereal

Limited Edition Chocolate Strawberry Cheerios Cereal Box

The speed at which retail stores remove Christmas to put up Valentine’s Day merchandise manages to shock me every year. Wednesday, it was aisles of dreamy snowscape mini villages. Thursday, it’s giant stuffed bears, boxes of cards, and food dyed in vibrant red and pink. Peppermint is out and chocolate strawberry is in.

This year, General Mills decided to take a run at the Valentine’s Day market by releasing the Limited Edition Chocolate Strawberry Cheerios cereal. It is described as a “blissful pairing” of “delectable strawberries dipped in rich, chocolatey sauce.” I was beyond excited to give this a try.

Limited Edition Chocolate Strawberry Cheerios Cereal Back

For you see, dear readers, I don’t think I’m being too dramatic when I say chocolate strawberry is the absolute best flavor combination we humans have ever discovered. Okay, maybe a little dramatic, but chocolate strawberry flavor is easily my all-time favorite. Chocolate covered strawberries themselves can be difficult to eat, but with the onslaught of chocolate strawberry flavored foods in the past few years, I’m able to enjoy my favorite pairing with a less awkward mess.

The first thing I noticed just by looking at the box was that the flavor would be coming from the cereal itself. Normally it seems companies will just add a handful of chocolate chunks and strawberry bits to their regular product (looking at you, Special K Chocolate Strawberry).

Limited Edition Chocolate Strawberry Cheerios Cereal Dry

In this case, General Mills blended its Chocolate Cheerios and Strawberry Cheerios to create this treat. The smell of the strawberry cereal was extremely strong upon opening the plastic. I tossed a handful of dry cereal back and found it to be kind of boring. The strawberry was there, but muted. The chocolate was almost nonexistent.

Limited Edition Chocolate Strawberry Cheerios Cereal In Milk

I wasn’t going to let my hopes be dashed. Surely it would get better once I added the milk. It had to, right? RIGHT?! Lucky milk gave it the glow up it needed. The first thing I noticed as I added milk to the cereal was the pinkish hue of strawberry flavor was coming off the O shapes. The chocolate pieces also began to change the milk from white to chocolatey brown. With my first bite of the milk and cereal, I was met with the flavors I had expected. Bright, juicy strawberry and rich, deep chocolate came through with each spoonful.

Limited Edition Chocolate Strawberry Cheerios Cereal Milk

After finishing the cereal, I was left with a chocolatey milk. Now, normally I’m not a big fan of the milk after I finish the cereal. I know, you can drag me in the comments, but this might have changed my mind. For the sake of getting a thorough review, I gingerly took a sip. The cereal’s flavors soaked deeply into the milk, leaving an absolutely delicious chocolate strawberry flavored milk beverage. I ended up finishing the milk, which is something I never do.

Limited Edition Chocolate Strawberry Cheerios Cereal Heart

The high expectations I had for this cereal were (thankfully) met. They in no way replace the authentic taste and experience of eating a chocolate-covered strawberry, but this delivered the flavors I was looking for. In the same way Pumpkin Spice Cheerios add a seasonal fall twist to your morning breakfast routine, these will get you in the mood for love, spring, and 50% off candy on February 15th.

Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: 10.9 oz box
Purchased at: Publix
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cup) 140 calories, 2 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 11 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Brookie-O Oreo Cookies

Limited Edition Brookie O Oreo Cookies Package

Oreo cookies are iconic. The sweet cream snuggled between two crunchy chocolate wafers is one of the (if not the) most recognizable cookies on the market. Yet, in the past decade, we’ve seen Nabisco move out of its comfort zone into a new world of unique offerings. Two of those discontinued varieties, Cookie Dough and Brownie Batter, have joined forces to return in a new form: Brookie-O.

For those unfamiliar with what a brookie is, it is when you layer brownie batter and cookie dough to create an extra decadent treat. I love fresh chocolate chip cookies and I love ooey-gooey brownies, but not usually together. They almost always end up competing against one another for flavor dominance in a Highlander-like fight where the brownie layer will scream, “THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE!”

The Brookie-O Oreo is described as “Brownie, Original Creme, & Cookie Dough Triple Layered Creme between two chocolate wafer cookies.” I was worried that having three creme layers were going to be too much. Luckily, the food research and development department managed to deliver an enjoyable and balanced flavor experience.

Limited Edition Brookie O Oreo Cookies Open

The first thing I noticed upon opening the packaging was the cookies’ size seemed to be equivalent to the Double Stuf. At first bite, the overwhelming flavor is that of the original Oreo. The sweet cream and chocolate cookies almost seem aggressively loud, but then magic happened. As I continued to chew, the cookie dough flavor started to chime in. Another bite saw the entrance of the brownie batter. Nabisco managed to layer the creme flavors in a way that blended perfectly.

Limited Edition Brookie O Oreo Cookies Top Off

Upon taking the Oreo apart, you can see the distinct layers even more clearly. I attempted to separate them (there was a whole thing with tweezers and trying to freeze them), but they are fairly well stuck together. Going the old fashioned route (licking them), I was able to taste each. Brownie had that taste of when you sneak a lick of the batter off the spoon. Fudgey and rich, it worked really well in the context of this variety, but I could see it being too much on its own.

Limited Edition Brookie O Oreo Cookies Creme Only

The middle layer was that of the original creme. I had questioned why this would be included at all as I assumed the brownie and cookie dough would be more than enough, but I’m glad it was there. As mentioned previously, brookies tend to feel like they have two strong flavors competing for your attention. The original creme acts like a great equalizer to the two flavors.

Finally reaching the cookie dough layer, I was greeted with the familiar flavor of cookie dough you’d find in ice cream. It is not quite the flavor of homemade stuff, but a pretty good approximation. Of the three layers, it was my least favorite on its own.

Limited Edition Brookie O Oreo Cookies Side

Overall this Oreo was like a good chorus: each voice on its own can shine, but together they make beautiful music. As they are marketing them as a limited edition, I’d encourage you to grab them while you can. I’m debating if I should get a second package so that I can make the most meta baked good ever: Oreo Brookies made with Brookie-O Oreo.

Purchased Price: $4.99
Size: 13.2 oz
Purchased at: Walgreens
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2 cookies) 180 calories, 9 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 95 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 17 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Multi Grain Cheerios with Real Strawberries Cereal

Multi Grain Cheerios with Real Strawberries Cereal Box

What is Multi Grain Cheerios with Real Strawberries Cereal?

As we gear up for New Year Resolution season, General Mills is coming in hot with a new version of the popular Multi Grain Cheerios. This variety of the 5 grain, lightly sweetened cereal includes bits of real (freeze-dried) strawberries.

Multi Grain Cheerios with Real Strawberries Cereal Back of Box

How is it?

As a larger person who grew up in the 90s, I am no stranger to the boom that happened in the category of “diet cereal.” I vaguely remember when General Mills introduced Multi Grain Cheerios, but we weren’t a cereal family, so I don’t recall ever having it. That being said, I was interested in trying this variety. I’m a fan of Special K with Red Berries (strawberries) and was curious how this would stand up to that.

Multi Grain Cheerios with Real Strawberries Cereal Bowl

Upon the first sniff, it smelled like…well, really nothing. However, the overall taste was quite good. The oat and grain flavor of the cereal itself is perfectly serviceable (albeit a little bland), but the added fruity sweetness of the strawberry pieces made the flavor far less boring.

Multi Grain Cheerios with Real Strawberries Cereal Pieces

Speaking of the strawberry pieces, they were small enough to blend well with the familiar O-shaped cereal that allowed for an even distribution of flavor in each spoonful. Oftentimes with cereals that have extra elements, the ratio tends to be off. But in this case, they were perfectly balanced; just enough strawberry in every bite.

Multi Grain Cheerios with Real Strawberries Cereal Milk

My only real complaint would be that, by the time the strawberries rehydrated, the cereal itself was far soggier than I personally care for. Letting the strawberries rehydrate in the milk certainly makes their flavor much more pronounced, so it was almost worth the trade-off.

Anything else you need to know?

According to the General Mills website, these are a permanent addition to the Multi Grain Cheerios line. The nutritional stats of this and the original Multi Grain Cheerios are almost exactly the same.

Conclusion:

Multi Grain Cheerios with Real Strawberries Cereal Spoon

If you are looking for a new cereal to add to your morning rotation or possibly to get a kick start on those resolutions, this feels like a good option. It’s nice to see a little variety with this line. If this sells well, it could potentially lead to more Multi Grain Cheerios flavors. Fingers crossed for the return of the Berry Burst Triple Berry Cheerios under the Multi Grain brand.

Purchased Price: $4.99
Size: 11.5 oz box
Purchased at: Winn-Dixie
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 1/3 cup) 140 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 110 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Taco Bell Veggie Nachos Party Pack

Taco Bell Veggie Nachos Party Pack 18 inches

As someone who lived through the early 2000s when most fast food vegetarian options were a side salad, freezer-burnt black bean burger, or being told to “just pick off the meat,” I can say with great enthusiasm: it’s a great time to be a vegetarian.

While I am no longer strictly following the vegetarian diet, I will still happily get things marked “Vegetarian.” So, naturally, when Taco Bell advertised the Veggie Nachos Party Pack as part of its new Veggie Cravings menu, I was intrigued.

While the Party Pack Nachos aren’t a new item for Taco Bell, this version seems to be specifically branded as a vegetarian item to help push the new menu. It consists of tortilla chips topped with refried beans, warm nacho cheese sauce, jalapeno peppers, tomatoes, guacamole, and reduced-fat sour cream. That’s it. I was surprised by how simple the ingredient list seemed. But I looked at the meat option too, and it came with both beef and refried beans. So why wouldn’t this one have refried AND black beans? All the other items on the Veggie Cravings menu have black beans.

Taco Bell Veggie Nachos Party Pack Guac and Jalapeno Closeup

I cannot understate how much food it is. I measured the length of the box, and it was around 18 inches. Unfortunately, the large quantity of food didn’t quite make up for the lack of quality. The initial shock of “wow, that’s a LOT of food” wore off quickly as I started to eat. It became very clear that the amount of toppings was not proportional to the amount of chips. In fact, after removing the top layer of chips and toppings, the bottom of the box was littered with the tiny broken tortilla chip bits.

Taco Bell Veggie Nachos Party Pack Too Many Chips on the Dance Floor

When getting bites with all the toppings and chips together, the item was fine. While I feel most of us are familiar with the flavors of Taco Bell, this item really showcased how they are not meant to be eaten separately. When all layered into a taco/burrito/Crunchwrap, you get the experience of all the flavors in one bite. In a nacho situation, you are often eating a chip with just some cheese or refried beans and it highlights how they don’t really stand out on their own. The occasional jalapeno or tomato piece was welcome, but didn’t do much to move the flavor needle. Maybe I expect too much from Taco Bell, but the overall salty blandness of the item was disappointing.

Taco Bell Veggie Nachos Party Pack Plated

When ordering, you are given multiple options to add other toppings to the nachos. I think, if I were to do this again, I’d add rice and black beans (which should have been there in the first place). However, when you start adding up the cost of additional items, I’m inclined to just pay the extra $2 and go to Chipotle. The only “additions” I included were three specialty sauces on the side to use as dips. I am glad we got them as we were able to eat some of the untopped chips before tapping out.

Overall, it’s not a bad item, just not as good as I felt it could have been. If you are not a strict vegetarian, I’d at least go with the Nachos Party Pack with meat. It costs the same, and (hopefully) you’d get a little more food.

Purchased Price: $10.99
Size: N/A
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 box) 1770 calories, 93 grams of fat, 15 grams of saturated fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 2510 milligrams of sodium, 206 grams of carbohydrates, 34 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 28 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Dunkin’ Sourdough Breakfast Sandwich

Dunkin Sourdough Breakfast Sandwich Split

What is the Dunkin’ Sourdough Breakfast Sandwich

Introduced as part of the winter seasonal menu, the sandwich consists of two eggs, five half-slices of bacon, and white cheddar on sourdough toast. ?

How is it?

I find immense joy in all types of breakfast sandwiches, but with this one, I walked away and found myself saying, “I’m not mad. I’m just disappointed.”

Dunkin Sourdough Breakfast Sandwich Whole

Unwrapping the massive sandwich, I was immediately greeted with a patchy toast pattern outside the sourdough bread. They aren’t toasting the bread and then putting the sandwich together. They assemble it and throw it in an oven to heat, which essentially acts like a broiler: the top is toasted, but the rest isn’t.

Dunkin Sourdough Breakfast Sandwich Eggs

The two eggs give the illusion of freshly cracked eggs, but ultimately fall into the category of “egg-like” discs. The bacon, while plentiful, reminded me of the thin precooked kind you’d get at the store. However, the cheese was a nice change from the normal processed “cheese product” you’d find on most sandwiches. ?
Dunkin Sourdough Breakfast Sandwich Bacon

The bread not being toasted evenly and thoroughly really took away from what could have been a fairly successful sandwich. Sourdough, in my opinion, is at its best when toasted. It is very chewy and doesn’t necessarily lend itself to being a good sandwich when it’s untoasted. This leads to uneven bites of bread without the middle ingredients. That said, the bread itself is high quality and has that rich, unmistakable sourdough flavor.

Anything else you need to know?

Right now, Dunkin’ is offering 2x Dunkin’ points on this item if you use the app until 12/01.

Conclusion:

While I applaud Dunkin’ for taking a big swing, this one didn’t really pay off as well as I had hoped it would. While not the worst, it’s definitely not something I’d get again. It could probably be halfway decent if you get home and throw it in your air fryer or toaster oven. But let’s be real: most of us are just looking for something to shove in our faces between sips of coffee.

Purchased Price: $4.19
Size: N/A
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 serving) 650 calories, 32 grams of fat, 11 grams of saturated fat, 365 milligrams of cholesterol, 1360 milligrams of sodium, 58 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 31 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Dunkin’ Chai Oatmilk Latte

Dunkin Chai Oatmilk Latte Cup

Much like that dramatic period piece movie that comes out in the 11th hour for Oscar consideration, oatmilk has come to win over all our hearts in the tail end of this year.

While I was familiar with it from the wall of milk substitutes in my local stores, it really grabbed my attention when Dunkin’ started to advertise it heavily. The chain has gone through an extensive rebrand over the last year. Even my closest store just reopened from a lengthy remodel. So I was excited to give the new drink and Dunkin’ a chance.

The siren call of oatmilk was too loud to ignore when I saw they were offering a Chai Oatmilk Latte. According to Dunkin’, it’s a lightly sweetened blend of chai spices, including cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg, combined with oatmilk. You can get the tea drink hot or cold, but since we’re going into full fall/winter cozy mode, I opted for hot.

Upon first getting the drink, I took a moment to take a whiff of it. The blend of spices was strong. Don’t mistake my saying “strong” with overpowering. Chai is successful to me when it has a bold scent and flavor that is enjoyable without feeling like I walked into a Bath & Body Works. Oftentimes when you are getting drinks poured from premixed concentrates, the chai flavors don’t balance and can be completely overpowering or completely overpowered and bland from too much sugar. In this case, the drink exceeded my expectations for a fast food chai. I think this is also due, in part, to the oatmilk.

When I tried oatmilk on its own recently, I found it to have a sweet and earthy flavor. It is almost the perfect companion for coffee/tea drinks in that way. Most creamers (particularly flavored ones) add a sweetness that overshadows the coffee or tea. Oatmilk, on the other hand, seems to make the beverage better while not taking over the show.

Dunkin Chai Oatmilk Latte Foam

Each sip of this Chai Oatmilk Latte was smooth and rich without being heavy. I really appreciate how well the oatmilk in this drink foamed! Many milk substitutes don’t get as foamy or don’t manage to last longer than the first sip, but here the oatmilk foam hung in there through the whole drink. Even giving me just a little of that “bottom of the cup” foam.

My only real criticism was that it wasn’t piping hot. I don’t think it was sitting long (I used mobile ordering), but the store was cranking out orders, so it’s possible.

Dunkin Chai Oatmilk Latte Sign

Also, and this is a minor annoyance, my husband’s iced gingerbread latte came in the cute holiday cup, but mine was in the everyday Dunkin’ cup. So much for getting those super cute pics for “the ‘gram.” Lastly, I opted for a medium even though the app defaulted to a large. I’m glad I did as I think (especially since the temp was a little off) by the end of a large, I would have experienced major diminishing returns of my enjoyment of the item.

Dunkin’s Chai Oatmilk Latte was excellent, and I’m excited to add this item to my rotation of special seasonal drinks.

Purchased Price: $3.89
Size: Medium (14 oz)
Purchased at: Dunkin’ Donuts
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 250 calories, 4 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 53 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 33 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

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