NEWS: Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins Offers Men In Black 3 Inspired Menu Items

SubDunkinRobbins, NYC

I look forward to summer blockbusters because with those big budget films I can expect a barrage of new or limited edition products to promote them. When the movie involves aliens, I can expect green colored items. Case in point, Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins are each offering several new limited time only menu items inspired by the upcoming movie Men In Black 3, and some of them are green.

Dunkin’ Donuts’ new items are:

Black Cocoa Creme Iced Coffee – combines freshly brewed iced coffee with the taste of cookies and cream, and it’s served with a special pink and black straw. A large without cream has 230 calories, 1 gram of fat, 135 milligrams of sodium, 52 grams of carbohydrates, and 45 grams of sugar.

Undercover Black Cocoa Donut – a star-shaped donut filled with brownie batter butter creme and topped with chocolate icing and star sprinkles. One donut has 340 calories, 16 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 330 milligrams of sodium, 47 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, and 25 grams of sugar,

Chocolate Lunarmax Donut – a glazed chocolate cake donut with rich chocolate icing drizzle and star sprinkles. It has 400 calories, 24 grams of fat, 11 grams of saturated fat, 400 milligrams of sodium, 41 grams of carbohydrates, and 21 grams of sugar.

Baskin-Robbins’ new items:

Pink Surprise Cake – a triple layer ice cream cake made of Oreo Cookies ‘n Cream ice cream sandwiched between two layers of Devil’s Food Cake and adorned with pink frosting roses.

Flavor of the Month Lunar Cheesecake – features green and white cheesecake ice cream with cheesecake bits and a crunchy graham cracker ribbon. A 2.5 ounce scoop has 180 calories, 11 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 100 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, and 16 grams of sugar.

Spacey Sundaes – the Lunar Lander sundae features Lunar Cheesecake ice cream topped with marshmallow, white cake pieces, graham crackers, caramel, whipped cream and a cherry, while the Agent 31 sundae is made up of Chocolate Fudge ice cream topped with brownie pieces, hot fudge, chocolate sprinkles, whipped cream and a cherry. The Lunar Lander sundae has 820 calories, 30 grams of fat, 15 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 130 grams of carbohydrates, and 98 grams of sugar. The Agent 31 sundae has 850 calories, 40 grams of fat, 29 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 131 grams of carbohydrates, and 94 grams of sugar.

Triple Mocha Cappuccino Blast – a combination of cappuccino flavor base, milk, Chocolate ice cream and chocolate syrup blended with ice and topped with whipped cream and a chocolate drizzle. A 24-ounce size has 820 calories, 34 grams of fat, 24 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 131 grams of carbohydrates, and 90 grams of sugar.

Men in Black 3 opens on May 25th.

Image via flickr user Carl MiKoy / CC BY SA 2.0

NEWS: Get Ready For More Broken Chips Stuck In The Salsa With New Tostitos Thins

Tostitos logo

While Frito-Lay was making thicker Doritos and Ruffles, it appears they were also thinning Tostitos.

The new Tostitos Thins tortilla chips are not only thinner than regular Tostitos, but they also have a lighter texture. According to the press release, the new chips are, “made from corn that is stone-ground for a light and crispy texture and then lightly dusted with special seasonings to create the two flavors.”

What are those two flavors?

Lime & Salt and TexMex.

Okay, since they’re seasoned, people probably won’t dip them in salsa. But if party goers, game watchers, and movie buffs do stick these thinner chips in salsa or a cheese dip, expect the dip to turn into the Davy Jones’ Locker for broken chips.

Tostitos Thins are now available exclusively at Target stores nationwide through mid-July.

NEWS: Get 50 Percent Less Sugar Brain Freezes With New Slurpee Lite

Lost Slurpee

Have you ever regretted drinking a 40-ounce Slurpee?

I have. But only because of the excessive amounts of sugar I consumed and brain freezes, and not because a man of my age shouldn’t be drinking something called a Slurpee. Thankfully, there’s now Slurpee Lite, which is sugar free and has 50 percent fewer calories than some regular Slurpee flavors.

The first Slurpee Lite flavor is Fanta Sugar-Free Mango.

In order to be sugar free, the frozen beverage has to contain an artificial sweetener, and Fanta chose sucralose.

This isn’t the first time Slurpee has come out with a sugar-free version. There have been several sugar-free Slurpees in the past, like their Sugar Free Blueberry Splash and the Crystal Light flavors, but this is the first to be under the new Slurpee Lite label.

According to the Slurpee website, there are plans to introduce more Slurpee Lite flavors throughout the year.

Update: We’re received information about upcoming Slurpee Lite flavors. In July, Slurpee Lite Strawberry Banana will be released. And, in August, Slurpee Lite Cherry Limeade will become available.

A 12-ounce serving has 30 calories, 0 grams of fat, 10 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, and 6.5 grams of fiber. Yes, I did just type 6.5 grams of fiber, which is more than 20 percent of your daily recommended intake for fiber.

Image via flickr user fauxto_digit / CC BY ND 2.0

NEWS: Starbucks Introduces Mocha Cookie Crumble and Chocolate Cookie Crumble Creme Frappuccino Beverages

Starbucks Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino Closeup-WM

Update: Click here to read our Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino review

This week, Starbucks released two new Frappuccino flavors for you to get brain freezes with, the Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino and Chocolate Cookie Crumble Creme Frappuccino.

The Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino brings together a mocha sauce, vanilla syrup, Frappuccino chips, Starbucks signature Frappuccino Roast coffee, and milk blended with ice and topped with a chocolaty whipped cream and chocolate cookie crumbles. Yup, it totally sounds like a nice summer beverage that will help you not look good in your bathing suit. A 16-ounce serving with 2% milk has 470 calories, 18 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 260 milligrams of sodium, 76 grams of carbohydrates, 69 grams of sugar, 2 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein, and 105 milligrams of sweet, sweet caffeine.

If you want a slightly better for you option, there’s the new Chocolate Cookie Crumble Creme Frappuccino, which has everything the Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino has, except the Starbucks signature Frappuccino Roast coffee. A 16-ounce serving of the coffee-less beverage with 2% milk has 440 calories, 19 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 280 milligrams of sodium, 66 grams of carbohydrates, 60 grams of sugar, 2 grams of fiber, and 7 grams of protein, but only has 15 milligrams of sweet, sweet caffeine.

Both varieties are available at Starbucks locations for a limited time. Starbucks is also bringing back for a limited time the Mocha Coconut Frappuccino and the Coconut Creme Frappuccino blended beverages.

But some of you might be asking your computer monitor in hopes of talking to me, “But what if I want to enjoy the flavor of a Starbucks Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino without having to put on pants?” Well, Starbucks has you covered there because they’re also offering this summer at grocery stores a Limited Edition Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino Ice Cream and a Cookies & Cream Frappuccino bottled coffee drink.

A 1/2 cup serving of the ice cream has 250 calories, 12 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 60 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of sugar, 1 gram of fiber, and 4 grams of protein. A 9.5-ounce bottle of the Cookies & Cream Frappuccino has 190 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 105 milligrams of sodium, 33 grams of carbohydrates, 32 grams of sugar, and 6 grams of protein.

Both items should be popping up in stores soon.

REVIEW: McDonald’s McCafe Cherry Berry Chiller

McDonald's Cherry Berry Chiller

McDonald’s has always helped customers beat the heat during the summer months. For example, they’ve always filled three-fourths of their soft drink cups with ice before they add any beverage. If that’s not the definition of generous, then I don’t know what is.

This time last year McDonald’s rolled out their frozen strawberry lemonade to help cool us down. This year, the Golden Arches have a new frozen beverage, the Cherry Berry Chiller.

Rhyming AND alliteration? That’s a good start in my book.

The Cherry Berry Chiller, which sounds like something Care Bears would drink to keep cool in Care-a-lot and the Forest of Feelings, is made by blending ice with 100 percent fruit juice. Think of it as a 7-Eleven Slurpee for adults. Oh wait, I forgot, margaritas are Slurpees for adults. Okay, think of it as a better-for-you Slurpee.

At this point, I would like to say I really love the blenders at McDonald’s. They do an awesome job of crushing ice into fine crystals that I enjoy crushing even more between my teeth. I wish my $30 off-the-shelf blender from Target could do a comparable job.

The Cherry Berry Chiller uses cherry and raspberry juice, but I could taste other fruits, like a little bit of grape. (The ingredients list also includes apple juice concentrate.) Thanks to my stereotype of cherries, my mouth expected a very tart beverage, but instead it had a very mild tartness. The cherry stands out at the beginning of each slurp and the raspberry becomes more noticeable towards the end, but in between, there’s a good balance of cherry and raspberry. The combination tastes like a slightly watered down POM Wonderful pomegranate juice. While I have enjoyed McDonald’s other fruity blended beverages, I have to say that the Cherry Berry Chiller is the best tasting of the bunch.

McDonald's Cherry Berry Chiller Closeup

However, all is not perfect with it. Because it’s pretty much just fruit juice and ice, I noticed it tends to melt a bit faster than McDonald’s smoothies, which has yogurt to help prevent it from turning into liquid. Also, it’s a horrible source of vitamin C. Actually, according to the McDonald’s website, it has no vitamin C, which is strange because cherries and raspberries are good sources of the vitamin that prevents scurvy.

Overall, I have mixed feeling about McDonald’s Cherry Berry Chiller. It’s sweet, damn tasty, and refreshing, but by saying it’s made with 100 percent fruit juice, McDonald’s is giving me the impression that there’s some nutritional benefit from drinking it. But it turns out that’s not really the case since it doesn’t provide any vitamins, which is, you know, one of the benefits of consuming fruits.

(Nutrition Facts – 22 ounces – 330 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of carbohydrates, 40 milligrams of sodium, 81 grams of carbohydrates, 81 grams of sugar, 1 gram of protein, 4% calcium, and 2% iron.)

Item: McDonald’s McCafe Cherry Berry Chiller
Price: $3.99
Size: Large
Purchased at: McDonald’s
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Sweet, Damn tasty. Refreshing. Pleasant tartness. Made with 100 percent fruit juice. McDonald’s blenders. Rhyming. Alliteration.
Cons: Provides no vitamin C. My Care Bears knowledge. Appears to melt faster than McDonald’s smoothies. Drinking too many Slurpees for adults. McDonald’s being generous with the ice in their soft drink cups.