REVIEW: Jimmy Dean Casserole Bites

Jimmy Dean Casserole Bites

Finally, some innovation in the frozen breakfast aisle!

Not since its Stuffed Hash Browns have I’ve been excited for one of Jimmy Dean’s new launches. This time around, it is tackling breakfast casseroles and turning into them into heat-and-eat bites. Jimmy Dean’s Casserole Bites are available in three flavors – French Toast, Meat Lovers, and Sausage, Egg & Cheese.

All three are bite-sized dollop concoctions, just a tad larger than a quarter. They have a breading base filled with a different combination of ingredients based on the flavor. Let’s dig in!

French Toast

Jimmy Dean Casserole Bites French Toast Pouch

First up is French toast, which is made with French toast, pork sausage, and scrambled eggs. This one is noticeably darker than the other two and has a potent maple flavor when you get up close to it. It’s definitely on the sweet side with maple syrup being the main taste, but cinnamon comes in intensely and the sausage bits were large and prevalent. When biting into one of those bits it offered a nice smoky, salty punch that counteracted all the sweetness. The eggs were the hardest to taste individually, but I don’t think I missed them.

Jimmy Dean Casserole Bites French Toast

As I was eating these, I kept thinking this thing tastes so familiar, what is it? Then it hit me like a late night hangover. Remember the Television Room in Willy Wonka where the items being transported shrunk? Well, imagine taking a McDonald’s Sausage McGriddle and it being put into a smaller form. BOOM! That is 100% exactly what these taste like. It is crazy how much I thought I was eating the remnants of one. If you are a McGriddles fan in any way, shape, or form, you will gobble these up. They are sweet and delicious.

Purchased Price: $5.99
Purchased at: ShopRite
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (5 pieces – about 3 servings per container) – 220 calories, 12 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 160 milligrams of cholesterol, 320 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 13 grams of sugar, and 8 grams of protein.

Sausage, Egg and Cheese

Jimmy Dean Casserole Bites Sausage Egg  Cheese Pouch

Next up is Sausage, Egg & Cheese containing scrambled eggs, pork sausage, cheese, and potatoes. Whereas the French Toast one was very sweet, this one is on the opposite side of the spectrum i.e. all kinds of savory. This one definitely has a lot more going on with the sausage, potato bits, and cheese, but they all work together.

Jimmy Dean Casserole Bites Sausage Egg  Cheese

Remember how in Willy Wonka each child got their own distinct moment to shine throughout the factory tour? The elements here mimic that as the sausage, potato, and cheese all come through at different times, offering a nice flavor profile.

However, it is definitely sodium heavy, so it is a bit overpowering on the salt side of things. I also kind of wish Jimmy Dean went with more hash brown-style potatoes. A nice stringy component would have made things more texturally interesting to go along with the gobs of sausage and gobs of eggs. These are good, just a bit salty.

Purchased Price: $5.99
Purchased at: Shoprite
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (5 pieces) – 190 calories, 15 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 180 milligrams of cholesterol, 580 milligrams of sodium, 4 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 11 grams of protein.

Meat Lovers

Jimmy Dean Casserole Bites Meat Lovers Pouch

Finally is Meat Lovers, which contains scrambled eggs, pork sausage, cheese, bacon, and potatoes. This one confuses me all around. When I think of “meat lovers,” it’s usually at least three meats, not just two, right? Also, when you have one sausage option, shouldn’t the other one be bacon? AAAHHH, so many questions!!!

Jimmy Dean Casserole Bites Meat Lovers

Regardless of the confusion of this one and ironically, even though it contains more components, it ended up being the most one-note for me. Remember Veruca Salt in Willy Wonka, the spoiled brat who always wanted everything to revolve around her? Well here Veruca is the bacon as it is a strong flavor and one that usually takes over, which is exactly what is happening here. It’s also maybe because there were tiny bits of bacon rather than larger chunks.

The potato and sausage pieces pretty much vanish into bacon oblivion. This one is again a bit salty, but it’s hard to argue with the meaty bacon flavor. Bacon aficionados, this one is definitely for you!

Purchased Price: $5.99
Purchased at: Shoprite
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (5 pieces) – 200 calories, 15 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 185 milligrams of cholesterol, 560 milligrams of sodium, 5 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 12 grams of protein.

Other things

  • I hope these do well so that Jimmy Dean could do a few Delights options. Healthier versions with some veggies would be divine!
  • I wouldn’t recommend buying all three of these as the sausage and meat lover ones are so close in execution. Definitely get the French Toast one as is it a fantastic and flavorful sweet option. I still can’t believe how much it tastes like McGriddles. It’s unbelievable! To keep my theme going, maybe there is some Wonka magic involved?! If you grab a second, definitely go for the Sausage, Egg & Cheese unless bacon is your number one breakfast meat of choice. If that is the case, do the Meat Lovers.

REVIEW: Smucker’s Uncrustables Roll-Ups

Smucker s Uncrustables Turkey  Colby Jack Roll Ups

What are Smucker’s Uncrustables Turkey & Colby Jack and Uncured Ham & Cheddar Roll-Ups?

Uncrustables branches out into more than just round crust-less pocket sandwiches with the launch of two new thaw-and-eat roll-ups. One is Turkey and Colby Jack that contains smoked turkey breast, Colby, Monterey Jack, and Neufchâtel cheeses with seasoning in flatbread. The other is uncured ham and cheddar consisting of uncured ham, cheddar, and Neufchâtel cheeses in flatbread.

Smucker s Uncrustables Uncured Ham  Cheddar Roll Ups

How are they?

These are adorable little lunch meat pinwheels, just like if a sushi roll and a sandwich for your lunch box had a baby. Both flavors are presented in perfectly bite-sized morsels and, considering that they were just frozen, the flatbread turns out surprisingly well as it is nice and soft. A little pillowy even!!

Smucker s Uncrustables Turkey  Colby Jack Roll Ups Closeup
Smucker’s Uncrustables Turkey & Colby Jack Roll-Ups Closeup

The components are well balanced here. Flatbread softness comes in upon the first bite, followed by the punch of the cheese. For the Turkey one, the finish is a nice blend of seasoning, definitely an oniony garlic flavor. The ham one doesn’t have any seasoning for some reason, but maybe it’s because the ham’s flavor is stronger and offers a savory, briny ending to the roll.

Smucker s Uncrustables Uncured Ham  Cheddar Roll Ups Closeup
Smucker’s Uncrustables Uncured Ham & Cheddar Roll-Ups Closeup

I was unfamiliar with Neufchâtel cheese before this and couldn’t believe that these contain such a fancy cheese. I’m mean just look at that circumflex!!! (It’s the line above the a so you pronounce it like “ah”) I dissected the roll-up and it has a cream cheese-like consistency and flavor. Without a condiment like mustard or mayo, this helped to give another dimension, a nice creamy aspect, to the whole experience.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Smucker s Uncrustables Roll Ups Wrapers

Lots of directions on these: Keep frozen until ready to thaw. Thaw for two hours, eat immediately. For on-the-go use, include ice pack, eat within six hours. Do not microwave. Do not refreeze once thawed. The most important one is the second one. Make sure you wait a full two hours before indulging. I got a little anxious on these my first try and bit into frozen meat. Not pleasant at all.

These also seem to be a resurgence for the Uncrustables brand. There are two heat and eat options (hyperlink to spotting of those other flavors?) that debuted at the same time. KEEP ‘EM COMING SMUCKERS!!!! Can you let me know why a fluffernutter OG one has not happened yet, though? Thanks.

Conclusion:

I haven’t had Uncrustables in a while, so I was super excited to try these new offerings. And even with my high expectations, I was blown away by them. They are delicious! A perfect little multi-layered snack, and I probably could have downed both boxes if I wasn’t careful.

I have always been a turkey fan over ham so I would have to give that one the edge. Also, the seasoning on that one was a nice touch. You can’t go wrong with either one, though, and I would highly recommend these for kid’s lunch boxes and for all the kid-like adults longing for a scrumptious snack to bring them back to the simple time of their childhood innocence.

Purchased Price: $4.99 each
Size: 7.8 oz. box/3 pouches
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 10 out of 10 (Turkey & Colby Jack), 9 out of 10 (Uncured Ham & Cheddar)
Nutrition Facts: (1 pouch) Turkey & Colby Jack – 190 calories, 8 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 450 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 3 grams of sugar, and 10 grams of protein. Uncured Ham & Cheddar – 190 calories, 8 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 470 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 3 grams of sugar and 9 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Froot Loops Pop-Tarts

Limited Edition Froot Loops Pop Tarts

Do you hear that?? The music playing that’s growing in volume?

There’s some chanting. Hmmm, interesting, there are also some background noises (maybe a bird of some sort), and what’s this, a sun rising?! Except, it’s rising above a grocery store aisle? Ahhh, I get it now, it’s the Circle of Life breakfast-style!

Around one year ago, Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts made a slight leap down the aisle to the cereal section for a new rendition of Pop-Tarts Cereal. And now it’s coming full circle as a cereal appears in toaster pastry form, namely Froot Loops, in a limited edition flavor. Toucan Sam is of course along for the ride as well to make sure you know it’s official.

Limited Edition Froot Loops Pop Tarts Back of Box

The Pop-Tarts come frosted so that they can be emblazoned with fun designs, six in total, including many representations of the cereal itself. The artwork itself is colorful but the actual images of the cereal pieces are little grainy/pixelated. It seems like they wanted to showcase the true cereal, but the photo-real images are not that amazing, unfortunately. I was excited about the Toucan Sam one, but sadly I went through my entire box and he didn’t make an appearance. Points for the “I’M WITH SAM” one though, like seriously who wouldn’t want to be his friend?

Limited Edition Froot Loops Pop Tarts Printed Frosting

Once I opened the silver inner package of one of these, I got hit with that distinct frooty flavor almost so much I was half-expecting Sam to pop out and slap me in the face with his beak. It’s undeniable and also uncanny how much they smell like their namesake. Follow your nose, indeed! I remember experiencing this same mesmerizing sensation with the donuts from Carl’s Jr./Hardees.

Limited Edition Froot Loops Pop Tarts Split

Breaking open the pastry exposes a delightful pink interior. It’s a light pink that I can best as describe as a color for something that I would expect to be guava-flavored. Impulsive Buy readers, I’m happy to report that, like the donuts, these taste exactly like Froot Loops! That tangy, fruity flavor, which the internet tells me is a mixture of orange, cherry, and lemon is spot-on and intense. Whenever you think the flavor is too much, though, the sugar frosting and pastry crust flies in and offsets it nicely for a well-rounded bite. Good job, Toucan Sam and Kellogg’s, color me impressed.

My one misgiving is that as a Pop-Tart these should be delectable in a variety of prepared temperatures, most notably straight out of the box and once nice and toasty. As mentioned, they are a home run at room temperature but fall woefully short after some heat is applied. Even though the box tells me about all the natural fruit flavors present once toasted, the flavor profile seems to change to something more chemically induced and not as delightful as before. No Bueno.

Nevertheless, if you love Froot Loops, colorful toucans or even the cyclical nature of the world we live in, pick these up, you won’t be disappointed. Just keep them away from your toaster, and let’s hope Kellogg’s continues mining its brands across its portfolio. Eggo-branded limited edition maple flavor Pop-Tarts (with a special edition waffle-y crust), anyone??

Purchased Price: $3.68
Size: 27 oz. box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2 pastries) 370 calories, 9 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 3.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 2 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 320 milligrams of sodium, 70 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 30 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Burger King Ghost Whopper

Burger King Ghost Whopper 1

Burger King might be the, excuse the pun, king of fun in the fast food burger world. While McD’s has added spicy BBQ sauce to tenders and Wendy’s seems to just add more bacon to things, BK is out with another Halloween-themed entry.

Continuing with its tradition of wacky colored buns after green and black, the burger chain is giving white the spotlight for its new Ghost Whopper. Unfortunately, there are no other differences other than the bun to the regular Whopper. They both have a 1/4 pound flame-grilled beef patty topped with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, ketchup, sliced onions, and mayonnaise. Those last ingredients are white, like a ghost. Oooooh, spooky!!! But the bun isn’t just white, it’s also white cheddar-flavored.

Hopefully, if you’re reading this, you’ve experienced a Whopper before and know it’s a damn good fast food burger. The tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, and onions give the burger a nice crunch while the ketchup and mayo give some creaminess that seems to bring all the components together without overshadowing each other. The standout, though, is the beef patty with a nice chargrilled flavor and those grill lines that seem to trick your mind into thinking it’s even better than what you’re tasting. With all that being said, how is the special bun?

Burger King Ghost Whopper 2

Well, I wish I had something more exciting to say, but it’s merely ok. Is it super cheesy? No, but I can tell it’s not a regular sesame seed bun. The flavor comes through at the very end of chewing, and it’s a nice capper to all the other ingredients. But you do have to really think about it to taste the cheesy nuances of the bread. It’s kind of like if you think you saw a ghost and you wanted to see it again. To do that, you would have to squint and work hard to try to get a glimpse of it again.

Meanwhile, the color is just satisfactory as well. The photos I took are a little misleading, because it’s definitely white. However, is it scarily white like a ghost? Not at all. Also, the fact that coming after a jarring black bun and glorious neon green one, it’s frankly lackluster. A steamed Chinese bun is even whiter than this.

Burger King Ghost Whopper 3

I appreciate Burger King’s constant innovation and doing fun promotional things. However, for some reason, this iteration screams (like what I did there?) of desperation of a phoned-in effort (remember the opening scene of Scream? Ha!). Between the extremely limited release at only 10 locations across the country to the single special component that didn’t even make an impression, it was a ghastly (ok, that’s the last one, I promise) disappointment for me.

Burger King Ghost Whopper 4

As I was finishing my burger, I was thinking back to the billboard at the restaurant where it slyly said at the bottom that it was, “APPROVED BY 11 OUT OF 10 PEOPLE.” I got a glorious chuckle out of that tidbit, but then it was followed by immediate sadness as I realized the actual product was nowhere near as clever or as exciting as the marketing on that window cling.

Purchased Price: $3.00
Size: N/A
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (Not available on BK’s website, but here’s the nutrition facts for a regular Whopper) 660 calories, 40 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 1.5 grams of trans fat, 90 milligrams of cholesterol, 980 milligrams of sodium, 49 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 1 grams of sugar, and 28 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Sparkling Ice Mystery Flavor 2019

Sparkling Ice Mystery Flavor 2019

What is Sparkling Ice Mystery Flavor 2019?

A new mystery flavored zero-sugar sparkling water from Sparkling Ice just in time for summer! It comes in festive packaging complete with palm tree leaves and one cool sunglass-sporting toucan. Now are those elements supposed to relate to the flavor or are they simply a ruse celebrating its seasonal debut? Hmmmmmmm.

How is it?

Sparkling Ice Mystery Flavor 2019 Clear

I’m a fan of Sparkling Ice’s drinks as they are refreshing, light, and not too sweet. This one is no different and checks all those boxes. As for the flavor, though? It’s a tasty fruity flavor is about all I can say. Interestingly this one does have peach juice as an ingredient, and I definitely smelled it upon opening. I feel like it comes through in the taste as well but just ever so slightly. However, let’s not forget what happened last time when yours truly tried to conquer a mystery Sparkling Ice. There was lemon juice as an ingredient and the flavor turned out to be… wait for it… Passion Fruit Punch.

HUH?

Sparkling Ice Mystery Flavor 2019 Ingredients

I wish there was some crazy flavor to ingredient algorithm where I could input in peach juice to see what it comes up with. Although, I am digging the glimmering foil on the packaging used for the question marks. Since I got nothing else, I’m gonna take it and run with it. It’s making me think of starfruit which would be a fun, out of left field flavor to have. Since there is a bit of peach, I’m gonna follow suit from last year. The flavor is Starfruit Punch! Boom.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Sparkling Ice Mystery Flavor 2019 Back of Bottle

The drink is clear, low calorie, and caffeine free. It also contains a few vitamins, including antioxidant vitamin A. Also, the toucan is telling us you can guess the flavor to win some prizes. As you can see on the back, there is a cruise with Holland America Line to be won, so get guessing!

Conclusion:

If you enjoy a diet beverage and want something refreshing and fruity to deal with the warm weather, this will most certainly do the trick. If you want something that will make you ponder for hours about what the heck the flavor is, because it’s kinda hard to tell, then this will also satisfy you.

Purchased Price: $1.00
Size: 17 fl. oz. bottle
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 milligrams of sodium, 0 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Betty Crocker Chilled Treats

Betty Crocker Chilled Treats

I have not been a huge fan of the recent mug mix obsession. I love the concept and the experimentation that has come about from them (a pancake breakfast version? – sure!, a color changing one? – neat!) and I have seen some glimpses of hope for the future but for the most part to me they have been sugary abominations to the point of inedibility.

Betty Crocker’s newest line takes the mug mixes and turns them in a new chilled dessert direction. They retain the same easy directions to prepare and also the addition of drizzle toppings: Thoroughly mix the powdered contents with some milk, chill in the refrigerator for at least five minutes and VOILA chilled dessert bliss for one.

There are four flavors at launch: Lemon Mousse with Lemon Drizzle Topping, Chocolate Mousse with Chocolate Ganache Topping, Key Lime Mousse with Lime Drizzle Topping, and French Vanilla Topping with Salted Caramel Topping.

Lemon Mousse

Betty Crocker Chilled Treats Lemon Mousse

I picked a good one to start with as the lemon one is pretty tasty. It has a pleasant citrusy flavor throughout both the mousse and the topping. With the mousse, it’s a little more subdued and definitely a sweeter take on lemon.

I love the way the topping complements it because it’s more intense, but also crazily tart and tangy. This one is fun to eat as the experience shifts based on the amounts of each per bite.

Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: 4-pack box
?Purchased at: ShopRite
?Rating: 9 out of 10
?Nutrition Facts: (1 Mix & Topping) 240 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 380 milligrams of sodium, 48 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 38 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

Chocolate Mousse

Betty Crocker Chilled Treats Chocolate Mousse

If at first glance you weren’t sold on these and thought why I would pay for more just elevated pudding that I have to make myself, then definitely don’t purchase the chocolate one. If you are a chocolate lover then you are likely to be pleased, but it comes in a form that tastes nearly identical to those shelf stable lunch box puddings.

That’s all I thought of when eating, even if the format is a bit thicker and fancily aerated. The topping isn’t that great either. It’s chocolatey but in a slightly gritty form as if it was Hershey’s iconic syrup, but there was something a little off about it.

Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: 4-pack box
?Purchased at: ShopRite
Rating: 5 out of 10
?Nutrition Facts: (1 Mix and Topping) 290 calories, 11 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 360 milligrams of sodium, 46 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 35 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

Key Lime Mousse

Betty Crocker Chilled Treats Key Lime Mousse

I thought this variety would be exactly like the lemon one except with a pleasant key lime flavor. As a whole, it does evoke a key lime pie, but there were some shortcomings. The appearance of the topping is underwhelming as it is a very dingy yellow green not as vibrant as the packaging would leave you to believe. The lime flavor is in both components, again at a stronger concentration in the topping, but overall it leads to more of a sour taste than a crisp, tart, and tangy lime.

Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: 4-pack box
?Purchased at: ShopRite
?Rating: 7 out of 10
?Nutrition Facts: (1 Mix and Topping) 230 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 380 milligrams of sodium, 47 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 38 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

French Vanilla Mousse

Betty Crocker Chilled Treats French Vanilla Mousse

I took a nibble of each before they chilled and I thought this one would be my favorite as the flavor was off the charts delicious. It had a French vanilla flavor so intense that it tasted like Breyer’s French vanilla but in straight liquid form. When prepared, the flavor is still there, but it’s a bit too sweet and a hair artificial tasting. The caramel topping is also good. It’s very buttery, but again a tad sweet and with the mousse together both become a bit heavy.

Purchased Price: $3.19
Size: 4-pack box
?Purchased at: ShopFoodEx.com
?Rating: 7 out of 10
?Nutrition Facts: (1 Mix and Topping) 250 calories, 6 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 430 milligrams of sodium, 47 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 39 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

Other Things:

  • I first used a spoon to mix these but realized I needed something more substantial and even though I whisked them, all four had a slightly gritty texture that I could feel. When you prepare, don’t skimp on the stirring.
  • The texture is hard to describe. They are definitely a step above lunch box puddings by being a little thicker and obviously closer to a true mousse, but they fall short of a restaurant’s offering with the aforementioned grittiness coming from a do-it-yourself creation. So, thick and creamy but slightly gritty.
  • The box mentions some alternate preparation instructions for your preferences or if you have a lack of time – you can get a firmer mousse by chilling in the refrigerator for 10 minutes, or you can chill faster by placing in the freezer for 2 minutes.