REVIEW: Dairy Queen Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Party Blizzard

Once you reach a certain age, the word “party” takes on a different meaning. As a kid, the parties were non-stop: frequent birthday parties at school, pizza parties after your T-ball team finished last in the league, and a party just because the ice cream truck was in the neighborhood and all your friends got together. In high school and college, some people just needed a time and a place, and the party was on.

But after that, things change, especially if you have kids. Who’s going to babysit, what’s the parking situation like, is the party location more than 10 minutes from my house? If you’ve reached that stage in your life in terms of parties, the good news is that the new Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Party Blizzard has arrived, and there’s no need to have someone watch the kids, unless you don’t want them to get a sugar high.

This creation, a party of the Summer Blizzard Menu, is loaded with sugar in the form of chocolate chip cookie dough, peanut butter topping, peanut brittle crunch, and sprinkles. I’m going to assume you are familiar with the first two components, as cookie dough and peanut butter topping are mainstays of the Blizzard family. They both do a solid job here. The cookie dough is soft and chewy with a hint of chocolate, and the peanut butter topping adds some extra creaminess to the vanilla soft serve base.

As for the peanut brittle, it’s a nice addition but not exactly mind-blowing. The pieces are quite small, sometimes even smaller than the sprinkles, and as such, they deliver more crunch than flavor, especially in a mixture that already has peanut butter topping. If you do zero in on a piece of peanut brittle, there is a slightly different peanut buttery flavor compared to the topping, but it really doesn’t stand apart. The sprinkles add some color and crunch, but they also don’t bring much in terms of flavor.

With a nice mix of chewy cookie dough, crunchy peanut brittle, and sprinkles, this Blizzard delivers some nice texture variation and a solid peanut butter flavor with a hint of chocolate. It would have been better if the peanut brittle pieces were larger, but this Blizzard still delivers a satisfying party for your tastebuds without things getting out of hand.

Purchased Price: $4.19
Size: Small
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 880 calories, 39 grams of fat, 18 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, 490 milligrams of sodium, 120 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 87 grams of sugar, and 17 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Betty Crocker Oreo Brownie Mix

Betty Crocker could’ve been lazy with its new Oreo Brownie Mix and taken its regular fudge brownie mix, included Oreo wafer pieces, and then dusted off its brownie mix-coated hands to call it a day. But Ms. Crocker didn’t do that. Instead, it’s an Oreo-flavored brownie mix with an added packet of Oreo pieces, some of which have the iconic cookie’s creme filling. But I do wish the box came with whole cookies and a mallet for smashing them. Maybe Betty Crocker should look into that.

The brownies appear are darker than Betty Crocker’s regular fudge brownies, making me think of Oreo wafers and lava fields. It also makes me wonder if I burnt them. Fortunately, I did not. There were enough cookie pieces to sprinkle all over the brownie batter in the 11 x 7 baking pan I baked them in. If you’ve eaten brownies from a mix before, you’ll have an idea of how chewy these were. But the cookie pieces provided a nice crunch that nicely contrasts the chewiness, and it stamps your taste buds to let them know you’re eating an Oreo product. After I stuffed my face with a few brownie squares, I nibbled on just the brownie part, and it also reminded me of Oreo.

Remember Nabisco Oreo Brownies? Well, if you’re disappointed with the Oreolessness of those, this baking mix will make much better tasting Oreo brownies.

DISCLOSURE: I received a free product sample from General Mills. Doing so did not influence my review.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 13.6 oz box
Purchased at: Received from General Mills
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1/12 package – as prepared) 190 calories, 9 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 17 grams of sugar (including 17 grams of added sugar), and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Red Bull Summer Edition Curuba Elderflower Energy Drink

I have no idea what curuba or elderflower are, but I do know they make 2024’s Red Bull Summer Edition one very delicious caffeinated beverage. And I assume many of you are also unfamiliar with them. So, let’s learn something about the two together. Off to Google we gooooo…gle!

Curuba is also known as a banana passionfruit because of its length and yellow color when ripe, but it doesn’t curve like typical bananas. The plant is also passionate about killing trees in areas where they are an invasive species. Ay curuba! Elderflower sounds like either something you should equip yourself with in a Final Fantasy game, someone you meet behind a waterfall to help you achieve enlightenment, or the name of a Swedish indie pop band. Oh, wait, I’m being told that the last one is true. However, actual elderflowers are plants with small white flowers that bloom in late spring, which is a perfect flavor for a Red Bull Summer Edition that also shows up in spring.

The energy drink’s color resembles a curuba’s flesh, while the green can could represent an unripe curuba’s skin. It has a delightful tropical passion fruit punch aroma that I wish I could purchase as an essential oil for my mindfulness meditations behind a waterfall with some guy named Elderflower. When I first tried it, I could only think of pear and lychee. But the more I drank, the more the tang from the curuba and its tropical fruit flavor stood out. And I assume the floral lychee hints I taste is the elderflower. The fruit and flower flavor combo is so tasty that it makes me want to sing “Curuba. Jamaica. Oooh, I wanna take ya. Bermuda. Bahama, come on pretty mama” every time I type curuba. Ugh. That reference makes me feel so old.

Red Bull Summer Edition Curuba Elderflower tickles my taste buds so much that I’d recommend getting the four-packs available, and it deserves to be the new Green Edition. So let’s kick to the curb the current Green Edition flavor, Dragon Fruit, and replace it with this. I’m going to start a petition to make that happen right now. Okay, not right right now, but if I chug enough of these curuba elderflower-flavored Red Bulls, it might give me the wings to do so.

Purchased Price: More than one should pay on eBay
Size: 8.4 fl oz can
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) 110 calories, 0 grams of fat, 90 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 26 grams of sugar (including 26 grams of added sugar), 0 grams of protein, and 80 milligrams of caffeine.

REVIEW: Rockstar Recovery Berryade

I’m not sure why I’ve been kind of ignoring Rockstar Energy Drinks for many years. Maybe I feel more like a Monster than a Rockstar? Or perhaps it’s because the Rockstar products seem to always be on the shelves below the Monster stuff, and I don’t want to bend down to get them. But after tasting Rockstar Recovery Berryade, I think I should start caffeinating my body with flavors I haven’t tried yet because this energy drink is delicious.

Its aroma is a delightful mix that’s sometimes reminiscent of cotton candy and other times of a refreshing berry slushie. Its sweet, candy-like flavor is a treat for my taste buds, so much so that I found myself finishing it quickly. It also didn’t help that it’s non-carbonated, making it go down smoothly without carbonation bubbles acting as speed bumps along the way to my gullet. And just like Monster Energy’s Ultra line, despite being sugar-free, it doesn’t compromise on taste. When I drank this chilled, I couldn’t tell it had artificial sweeteners.

The 160 milligrams of caffeine in Rockstar Recovery Berryade did have a noticeable reviving effect, providing a much-needed energy boost. But I have to trust that the drink’s electrolytes actually hydrated me because I can’t tell. I also have to trust that the added biotin, magnesium, and zinc did what they were supposed to do.

Rockstar Recovery Berryade is a berry good tasting beverage that’ll ade my energy levels.

Purchased Price: $2.79
Size: 16 fl oz can
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 10 calories, 0 grams of fat, 140 milligrams of sodium, 1 gram of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein, and 160 milligrams of caffeine.

REVIEW: Dairy Queen Picnic Peach Cobbler Blizzard

How many different Dairy Queen Blizzard flavors have there been? No, I’m asking you because I can’t even make a reasonable guess. We have a handy list that goes all the way back to 2009, but it’s not complete and doesn’t include those special variations that Canada sometimes gets. And I imagine there have been many other different Blizzards at DQs around the world. So I doubt anyone at Dairy Queen headquarters even knows the answer. It seems like many new flavors have used the Taco Bell method and just mixed and matched the same five or six ingredients, but the new Picnic Peach Cobbler Blizzard is the first one, at least as far as I can tell, that includes peaches. And now I know why it took so long.

As I’ve said in previous reviews, there’s really no such thing as a “bad” Blizzard unless DQ decides to make one with ketchup, mustard, and hot dog chunks (even though I would definitely try that). But this one lands in the barely good category. It looks very nondescript, and the taste is nothing special either.

I will admit that I’m not the biggest fan of peaches. Something about them being fuzzy and having giant pits has always unnerved me, and the Jack Black song “Peaches” drives me crazy. If you haven’t heard it, I strongly advise against listening to it unless you like having repetitive lyrics stuck in your head all day.

With that said, I do enjoy a nice, fresh peach from time to time, and peach in cobbler form is always tasty. Except here, it’s kind of not. The cobbler part is good. The crust pieces are sweet and chewy and make me think I’m eating cobbler. The problem is the peaches. Now, I don’t expect DQ to have a peach orchard next to the parking lot and pick a fresh one for each Blizzard, but this contains what the DQ website refers to as “peach topping.” Yes, it does have peaches in it, along with a bunch of other things, and the end result tastes something like peach gummies or those weird fruit candy slice things that I’ve never seen for sale at the grocery store but somehow eaten many, many times. The peach flavor was mild and pleasant enough, but the texture was odd. Perhaps using canned peaches would be too mushy or wouldn’t survive the magic Blizzard blending machine, but this version of “peaches” just didn’t make the grade for me.

Even if you love peaches, this one might disappoint you because the peach flavor is subdued, and the topping has an off-putting texture. It’s nice to see DQ adding a new component to the list of Blizzard ingredients, but this one is a disappointment.

Purchased Price: $4.49
Size: Mini
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 350 calories, 11 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 56 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 46 grams of sugar, and 8 grams of protein.