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Friday, May 13, 2022

Favorite Day Blueberry Shortbread Cookies


I've always liked blueberries and blueberry flavored things. It might seem weird, but if I ruled the world, the default fruit flavor would be blueberry. Like when you go to get ice cream or milkshakes, instead of vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate as your only three choices, there would be vanilla, blueberry, and chocolate as the only three flavors. Actually, it might be more like cookies n' cream, blueberry, and peanut butter in my magical utopia. But I digress.

The shortbread here is good. Nothing special. It's relatively fresh, buttery, and crumbly. I like it. But I really love those blueberries. They add a lot. There's a fair amount of them, too. A few little tiny dried blueberries in each bite. I only wish they were bigger.


I'd still prefer blueberry muffins or blueberry breakfast bread, although I'm sure both of those would have a shorter shelf-life than these cookies. On that note, there's a bag inside the outer box, and it's not resealable. You can re-close the outer box by slipping a tab from the one panel into a slot on the other, but it's not airtight of course. Not sure how long these will last after opened.

Robert Frost liked blueberries so much, he wrote a poem about them. Here's one stanza from it:

You ought to have seen what I saw on my way 
To the village, through Mortenson's pasture today: 
Blueberries as big as the end of your thumb, 
Real sky-blue, and heavy, and ready to drum 
In the cavernous pail of the first one to come!         
And all ripe together, not some of them green 
And some of them ripe! You ought to have seen!

I'd probably buy these again. I need to find some blueberry ice cream, and I'd eat these with it. $2.99 for about 20 cookies.

I give these shortbread cookies 8 out of 10 stars.



Thursday, April 14, 2022

Favorite Day Spring Shimmer Almonds

Well this looks like Easter candy to me. I mean, it does have "spring" in the title, I suppose, to keep it non-denominational like that. I mean, everybody celebrates spring, right? How inclusive of Target.

Interestingly enough, we saw a very similar candy from Trader Joe's released just recently, too. Theirs looks very much like bird's eggs, while these are just shiny pastel colors. TJ's version was coated in dark chocolate, while these are coated in white chocolate. If you've been reading my posts for a while, you might remember that I generally prefer white or milk chocolate, although dark chocolate definitely has its moments.

And I'm glad Target went with white chocolate here. The nuttiness of the almonds goes well with the sugary sweetness of white chocolate. There's actually more white chocolate content in the product than actual almonds, according to the ingredients list. Not even sure how that's possible. The candy shells don't really add much other than color, and that's fine with me.


In summary, these candied almonds are snackable enough, and I always appreciate the resealable bag to keep them fresher longer. $6.49 for 12 oz. I mean I know there's inflation and all, but six and a half bucks for a bag of almonds is getting a little steep. The Trader Joe's product was only about four bucks, but I think their bag was a little smaller, too.

It's a limited time offering. Says so right on the bag. In the words of Fuel:

All that shimmers in this world is sure to fade
away
again

I give these festive almonds 7 out of 10 stars.



Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Good & Gather Sweet Cajun Trail Mix

Now this is Tex Mex Trail Mix...or rather Tex Mex as it was meant to be...

I might have been a little too harsh on the Tex Mex mix I reviewed many years ago. I know a lot of people love Tex Mex trail mix and Target's offering wasn't bad at all. I just wasn't vibing with it back then for some reason.

But this stuff? This stuff is as addicting as it gets. I think it's the sweet element that really keeps me coming back for more. And I think I enjoy the cajun spices a little more than the southwest spices in the Tex Mex.

This mix could use some more nuts and maybe fewer sesame sticks, but other than that I don't really have any complaints. Both this and the original Tex Mex trail mixes have spicy peanuts as one of the primary ingredients. This one also contains butter toffee peanuts.

They both have sesame sticks, too, although the ones here are both "cajun" and "honey roasted." While Tex Mex trail mix has almonds and pepitas, neither of which are present here, there are roasted salted corn kernels which add an extra bit of crunch and nuttiness.

The overall effect is sweet, spicy, and salty—in that order, by my estimation. I've plowed through the bag every time we've purchased it, which has been at least three times now.

As an aside: I can't detect any rhyme or reason why some of these Target brand foods are still Good & Gather and others have moved on to become Favorite Day. As far as I can tell they aren't changing recipes or suppliers, they're just changing the name. I hope this one sticks around anyway. Favorite Day Sweet Cajun Trail Mix, I'll be waiting for you...

I give this trail mix 9 out of 10 stars.



Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Favorite Day Neapolitan Sundae Trail Mix


Well if this doesn't fall under the category of "decadent or indulgent" trail mix, then I don't know what does. Target is trying to imitate the flavor of Neapolitan ice cream...with nuts, berries, and chips? This I gotta taste. Shall I break things down ingredient by ingredient?

The best and most unique elements by far are the "dried sweetened strawberries." I thought they'd be like super dehydrated berries with that weird, almost styrofoam-like consistency. Nope. These are whole strawberries, and they're actually chewy and moist, despite being "dried." They're also candied a little bit, so they're even sweeter than regular strawberries. I've never had a dried fruit anything like this before. They get a big thumbs up from me. It's worth trying the mix just for the strawberries.


Next, vanilla creme almonds. Nice. They're good. I think we've seen these before in another mix. Yep—in last year's Orange Creme Trail Mix. I wanted more of them in that mix. There are plenty of 'em in here. Another win.

Cashews. They're not candied in any way, but floating around with all those other sweeties, they inevitably have some sugar rub off on them. Slightly sweetened cashews = not a bad snack element.

Finally, there are three kinds of chips: chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, and strawberry chips. None of them really stand out as particularly flavorful or necessary, but all together, they add extra sweetness and creaminess to the mix. The strawberry-flavored ones are the most unique. I don't know that I've had strawberry chips before. There are a good many of the chips in the mix, but they're fairly well balanced with the nuts.


Once again, the beautiful wifey enjoyed this product a bit more than I did. I was on the fence about a re-purchase, but she's definitely in the "I'd buy it again" camp. All in all, it's a thumbs up. I wish there were more of those candied strawbabies and maybe a little less chips.

I give this trail mix 7 out of 10 stars.



Thursday, February 3, 2022

Favorite Day Heart Shaped Red Velvet Shortbread Cookies

Time for an obligatory heart-shaped sweets review. It's February, after all.

It's the season for American men to gift chocolate and cookies and other fattening foods to their significant others to let them know that they'll love them even if they're fat. As an aside, I will state plainly here and now that my wife is NOT fat at all which, of course, I would state publicly even if she were on the chubby side. However, she's actually in really amazing shape right now...although I would love her just as much even if she weren't.

Kudos, wifey. You deserve some shortbread cookies with chocolate chips in them. Pretty sure she likes these a bit more than I do.


They're just plain old red shortbread. The chocolate chips are a nice touch. I wouldn't have minded more chocolate chips. Sonia would have preferred perhaps a tad fewer chocolate chips. There are maybe 5 or 6 mini chocolate chips in each heart. So the chocolate content is significant, but not overwhelming. The chips are made of milk chocolate, by the way, rather than dark.

There's a "sharing suggestion" on the back of the box that mentions melting white chocolate and dipping these cookies in it. We actually had white chocolate chips on hand and we tried melting them for that purpose. Have you ever tried melting white chocolate chips? Apparently, it's not something you do in the microwave. Anyway, the white chocolate basically hardened before we could get much of it on the cookies, but we can verify that yes, these do taste good when paired with white chocolate. I'm sure vanilla icing would work, too.

Cutesy? Check. Gimmicky? Check. Edible? Absolutely.

Amazing? No. Life-changing? Not by a long shot.

$2.99 for the package of about 21 cookies. If it were up to me, I wouldn't buy these again, but like I said the beautiful wifey likes them, so I'd pick 'em up for her. Happy Valentine's, peeps.

I give these shortbread cookies 7 out of 10 stars hearts.



Monday, January 10, 2022

Good & Gather Thai-Style Coconut Curry Salsa

Happy 2022. Back to the Good & Gather stuff again. Not sure if Target is switching products like this over to Favorite Day or if they'll keep some GAG stuff around for a while. Time will tell. Items like this one could use a repackaging IMO if only because the white type on light blue background is hard to read and even harder to take a decent picture of.

This is one of the more interesting GAG products we've seen over the years. It's Thai-style curry...but in the format of tomato-based salsa. Made me raise an eyebrow when I saw it on the shelf.

As far as a chip dip, I'm not sure if I like it as much as a more traditional Mexican or Tex-Mex style salsa. It's not terrible that way, but the coconut taste is just...unusual on my palate, along with tomato sauce, tomato chunks, and jalapeño. It's almost like Thai-Tex-Mex fusion.

It works okay as a regular salsa, but it's even better when applied to food in the manner of a Thai chutney or Thai relish topping. Take chicken or fish on a bed of rice, top with this stuff before serving. Scrumptious.


It's quite chunky with veggies and moderately spicy, thanks to those jalapeño peppers. I feel like the coconut cream really helps mitigate the heat, though. Garlic, basil, and lime flavors are all present but play second fiddle to the tomato and coconut elements.

$2.49 for the jar. I'd definitely consider purchasing again in the future, but I doubt I'll eat much of it just as a salsa on plain tortilla chips.

I give this condiment 8 out of 10 stars.



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