REVIEW: Dunkin’ Apple Cranberry Coconut Refresher

Dunkin Apple Cranberry Coconut Refresher Tall

While pumpkin is the unmatched king of fall food, this year we’re seeing a push to bring an old favorite fall flavor back in the spotlight: apple. Dunkin’s Apple Cranberry Refresher is a very unique offering for those who seek a fall themed beverage, but don’t necessarily want coffee or pumpkin flavor.

The Dunkin’ Refreshers all start off with a green tea base mixed with a fruit concentrate and served over ice. While it has experimented with different Refresher flavors, this is the first seasonal/holiday version we’ve gotten.

When ordering the Apple Cranberry Refresher, you are given the option to add coconut milk. Normally, I aim to try everything “plain” first, but I had a suspicion the flavors would be strong and need the coconut milk to mellow them a bit. I am very glad I did this as I think the drink would have been nearly undrinkable for me without it. As the name would suggest, the predominant flavors should be apple (Honeycrisp according to Dunkin’) and cranberry with “notes of fall spices.”

Dunkin Apple Cranberry Coconut Refresher Top

The drink comes with a purple-ish tone when you opt for the coconut milk, but mine wasn’t nearly as purple as the advertised products. I noticed the bottom of the cup had almost a pulp-like look, and I guessed it was just the concentrate settling from its journey home. After a good stir, I took the first sip. The layers of flavors that I tasted were a little overwhelming at first. The apple and cranberry were very present but quickly overshadowed by the “fall spices.”

I am not sure if the recipe has those fall spices (cinnamon, nutmeg were the flavors I mostly tasted) as a separate part from the apple cranberry concentrate, but they were borderline overpowering. Especially so towards the end of the drink where the bottom seemed to be almost entirely made of those dang spices. Despite my best attempts to keep swirling, the cinnamon flavor took over about halfway through and wouldn’t relent.

The coconut milk added no perceivable flavor but helped to dull the very sharp spices. The green tea was undetectable. What was frustrating was that every few sips the drink would be palatable and then I’d hit this pocket of cinnamon that tasted what those horrible cinnamon brooms smell like. I also got a large (remember: I bought a 12pk of a mystery flavor soda, so I am kind of a risk-taker), and I almost tossed the last 1/4th. As the ice melted, however, it mellowed the drink to a point where I could finish it.

Dunkin Apple Cranberry Coconut Refresher Napkin

While it was a noble effort to try and offer a fall item not pumpkin-centric, the unevenly strong cinnamon flavor made it hard to love from beginning to end. If the fall spices are a separate thing, I would absolutely order it again with WAY less of whatever the recipe asks for. Otherwise, this drink treads too close to tasting like what an apple cinnamon candle smells like.

Purchased Price: $3.59
Size: Large
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 230 calories, 6 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 44 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 40 grams of sugar, and 1 grams of protein.

REVIEW Limited Edition 2021 Mtn Dew VooDEW

Limited Edition 2021 Mtn Dew VooDEW Cam

“This is, as you may recognize, a review for a mystery flavor beverage. That means the author will most likely try to explain what flavor they experienced and it might influence you to taste that flavor. If you don’t want to be spoiled, turn back now. Consider this your spoiler alert warning. Otherwise, proceed with caution or you might just be the next person in The Impulsive Buy Zone.”

-Rod Sterling (probably)

Normally when I write reviews, I will do extensive history searches for the item(s), but I wanted to go in absolutely blind with this. Googling anything risked me being spoiled.

Limited Edition 2021 Mtn Dew VooDEW Grim

The first thing that caught my eye was the can’s design. Despite being a Halloween item, the cool blues and yellow accent felt oddly out of place. The art with the grim reaper looks very cool with lots of little easter eggs of the number 3 all over. Mtn Dew has nailed a really cool and cohesive brand design these past few years.

Opening it and taking a sniff, I was slapped with (what my brain perceived to be) fruit punch smell. Taking a sip, however, yielded a whole other experience. The initial sip was a sugar shock. I don’t drink a ton of sugary beverages, so when I do it takes my taste buds a few seconds to move past the first sugar rush. After a moment, I was able to start working through the flavor. It was so familiar and at the tip of my tongue.

I poured the rest into a cup with ice and sipped it while trying to distract myself. It was here that I noticed its cloudy white color. The lack of color made my brain even more confused as to what it was tasting. I figured if I wasn’t actively TRYING to figure it out, it would come to me. Then, as if I discovered a new element, I exclaimed, “BLUE RASPBERRY!”

After being more or less sure of this, I sought out some history on the previous versions of this mystery beverage. The first release in 2019 was revealed to be candy corn and 2020 was fruit candy explosion (Skittles). It was also then that I learned the packaging had given hints in previous years as to what the flavor was with its color scheme.

Limited Edition 2021 Mtn Dew VooDEW Glass

Once again, I had an epiphany: the flavor is blue raspberry taffy. Three reasons I believe this to be right: The pattern of the flavors seem to be candy, the can itself is supposed to give a hint (and it’s blue raspberry blue), and going with the theme of three’s the name Blue Raspberry Taffy is three words. Okay, the last reason might be a little odd but I’m sticking with the pattern of threes here.

My only real complaint is that initial overpowering sweetness, but that’s totally a me thing. Putting it over ice allowed me to really taste the flavor, not just the sugar. I’m so excited to see more people try and share what they taste because I just know that it’s probably going to be all over the board. However, we’ll find out on October 31st what the flavor is from Mtn Dew. I will save a can to (hopefully) cheers my being right.

Purchased Price: $4.98 (12-pack)
Size: 12 oz can
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) 160 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 55 milligrams of sodium, 44 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 44 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Chuck E. Cheese Pepperoni Frozen Pizza

Chuck E Cheese Pepperoni Frozen Pizza Box

What is Chuck E. Cheese Pepperoni Frozen Pizza?

While restaurant-branded foods sold in grocery stores aren’t a new thing, Chuck E. Cheese has decided to enter the market with a frozen pizza line. Currently offered in cheese or pepperoni, these pizzas are currently exclusive to Kroger.

How is it?

Chuck E Cheese Pepperoni Frozen Pizza Baked

As I was sitting down to try the pizza, I realized I needed to recreate the feeling of being in a Chuck E. Cheese to really bring you all a well-rounded review. I spilled some soda on the floor, blasted some Rock-afire Explosion on my TV, and had my husband run up and down the hallway screaming about a broken game machine.

While I don’t think that added much to eating the pizza, I was pleasantly surprised by the item’s quality.

Chuck E Cheese Pepperoni Frozen Pizza Crust

The crust was thin, but not so thin that it crumbled when cut. The sauce was a little on the sweet side, but a fairly standard pizza sauce. It could have used a little more cheese, but most frozen pizzas tend to be lighter on cheese. The pepperoni was a pleasant surprise in both quality AND quantity.

Chuck E Cheese Pepperoni Frozen Pizza Slices

I couldn’t tell you how it compares to what’s served at Chuck E. Cheese locations, but I’d hope the in-store product is a higher quality than grocery store frozen pizza.

Anything else you need to know?

Chuck E Cheese Pepperoni Frozen Pizza Tickets

There’s a coupon on the back of the box for 250 e-tickets. I have no idea what that means in real people’s money, but I think it equals around 100 Shrute bucks.


While I doubt you’ll find yourself reaching for this unless it’s on sale or you have kids who want those sweet e-tickets, it’s a perfectly serviceable frozen pizza. It sits firmly ahead of Totino’s Party Pizzas, but under DiGiorno in terms of quality.

Purchased Price: $6.99
Size: 18.55 oz
Purchased at: Kroger
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1/4 pizza) 310 calories, 14 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 760 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 15 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Popeyes Chicken Nuggets (2021)

Popeyes Chicken Nuggets 12 Count

Popeyes has always been in a class of its own and, since the splashy debut of its chicken sandwiches in 2019, it’s been awesome to see it get the recognition it deserves. Those chicken sandwiches also got people through the door who had never tried Popeyes before. Now, hoping to continue to entice folks to its stores, the chain is taking on another fast food chicken staple: nuggets.

It’s currently offering nugget meals for one (8 or 12 count) that include a side, biscuit, and drink or à la carte nuggets (24, 36, or 48 count) that are shareable. Despite my desire to dive headfirst into 24 of them, I opted to go with 12.

Oh, I’d just like to take a moment to praise our digital overlords for giving us apps in which we can mobile order items with ease. Popeyes’ app was easy to use, and it has recently started a rewards program.

Popeyes Chicken Nuggets Coating

The average Popeyes nugget is larger than Chick-fil-A’s in both amount of meat and level of breading. The crispy, crunchy coating we’ve become accustomed to with Popeyes’ other chicken is present and delicious.

Popeyes Chicken Nuggets Meat

What immediately puts this ahead of the tenders for me was a more preferable, almost equal ratio of breading to meat. Currently only being offered in mild, the flavor is that familiar Popeyes taste that is peppery strong, but not painfully spicy. Within the breading, the white meat chicken breast is juicy and tender, which is exactly what I’ve come to expect.

I could select two dipping sauces with my order, but honestly, I found myself mostly enjoying the nuggets on their own. That said, the Blackened Ranch was better than expected, and the BoldBQ reminded me of what Wendy’s BBQ used to be like.

If I had to offer any real negatives, it was some of the inconsistency in sizing when it came to the nuggets. Out of the 12, four were comparable to Chick-fil-A nuggets in size. Chances are it might just be a kitchen crew getting used to preparing a new item, and I think it will get more even as time goes on.

Popeyes Chicken Nuggets Box

I so very much enjoyed these and hope they will be successful enough to stick around for a bit. Heck, maybe we can even get a spicy version if they prove to be popular enough. While I doubt we’ll see the same fervor surrounding these as we did in 2019 with the sandwiches, they are worth the try and a tasty addition to an already stellar lineup of offerings from Popeyes.

Purchased Price: $5.99
Size: 12 count
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (12 nuggets) 450 calories, 28 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 76 milligrams of cholesterol, 690 milligrams of sodium, 30 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, and 22 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Chocolate Dunkaroos (2021)

Chocolate Dunkaroos 2021 Tray

Going to the grocery store has become a brightly colored nostalgia minefield. I don’t know if it’s always been this way, or I just notice stuff more now that I am in that marketing age range for nostalgic foods. It feels like every trip, I find something that makes me stare off into the distance, dramatically remembering my youth. This go around, I had my mini existential crisis at the checkout lane in my local Walmart. Tucked into the shelf amongst the other snacks sat a box of Chocolate Dunkaroos.

In a time when Healthy Choice diet foods seemed to reign supreme, Dunkaroos were the opposite. For those unfamiliar, they are individual packs of mini cookies that you dip into frosting. Yes, this was somehow an accepted snack for kids in the 90s. They first hit the shelves in 1990, but were discontinued in 2012 in the United States. They made their reappearance on shelves in May of 2020 with the original vanilla cookie and rainbow sprinkle vanilla frosting variety.

Chocolate Dunkaroos 2021 Top

Since then, a slew of Dunkaroos branded products (including cereal and cookie dough) have come on the market. It only makes sense that they’d follow up the vanilla cookie/rainbow sprinkle vanilla frosting item with a vanilla cookie/chocolate frosting version. I was honestly disappointed to see they weren’t going to produce the chocolate frosting variety with graham cracker cookies. I’m sure it’s easier to stick with one cookie variety across the different frosting flavors, but I knew this would mean that the taste I remember from childhood wouldn’t be quite the same.

Chocolate Dunkaroos 2021 Dunk

Chocolate Dunkaroos are simplicity at its finest. The little “D” branded cookies have a mild vanilla flavor that becomes immediately lost under the chocolate frosting. They do walk a fine line between soft enough to not crumble, but hard enough to stand up to being dipped in frosting. The frosting was actually better than I expected. I had assumed it would be a cloyingly sweet chocolate flavor, but it turned out to be a rich, fudgy chocolate.

Chocolate Dunkaroos 2021 Sandwich

While the flavors didn’t strike that “nostalgia” chord, the act of eating them did. I still eat my Lunchables (yes, I still eat Lunchables) the same way I did as a kid, and I fell back into my routine with Dunkaroos. I’m usually a little sparing with the frosting in the beginning. But by the end, I am glopping it all over. I even made a little cookie sandwich. It was just a fun little moment to pause and enjoy.

I think, more than anything, that’s all I want from these throwback/rereleased/nostalgic treats: a moment to pause and enjoy. Even though it won’t send you back to the 90s, the Chocolate Dunkaroos are still a fun treat. How can you go wrong with dipping cookies into frosting and calling it a snack?

Purchased Price: $1.84
Size: 1.5 oz
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 tray with frosting) 180 calories, 7 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 115 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 16 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.