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Monday, September 20, 2021

Favorite Day Pumpkin & New York-Style Cheesecake Bites

Welp, looks like it's pumpkin season again. Apple is most definitely a harvesty flavor, too, but let's be honest: you can throw down with apple just about any time of year if you really want to. Apple pie in summer time? You betcha. Apple fritters in the spring? Why not? Hot apple cider in the winter? Oh yeah.

But if you break out pumpkin or pumpkin spice any time OTHER than between early September and Christmas time, that right there is a party foul, my friends. Whether you're a basic white girl pining for her first pumpkin spice latte from Starsucks or just a dude with a red beard, a blog, and a dream, if you're gonna eat pumpkin stuff, now's the time to do it.

And do it we shall.

Cheesecake. Oh boy. Time to put on those winter pounds. It's getting chilly out there. Plain NY style cheesecake AND pumpkin cheesecake is a bit of an odd choice to me. Why not another fall flavor? Apple? Maple?

At any rate, both of the included flavors are very good. The pumpkin ones have the perfect amount of pumpkin spice: not too strong, and not too weak. It's rare to find something that has juuust the right amount of PS taste. It's easy to overdo it. As you eat them, though, the pumpkin spices do build up on the tongue ever so slightly.

Maybe that's why they included a more neutral flavor in the pack. In case you're getting pumpkinned out, you can just grab a bite of the New York style cheesecake and reset the palate.

Both flavors are super creamy, sweet, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. The wife and I will easily polish off this whole container over the course of a single day. The prep involves thawing for 2 hours in the fridge. That's it.

I give these cheesecake bites 8 out of 10 stars.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Favorite Day Apple Crisp Ice Cream

I usually think of fall foods and beverages as warm things. Stuff like pumpkin spice coffee and apple oatmeal goes great with crisp, cool weather. But there's a full five or six weeks, usually centered around September, when summer things don't feel entirely appropriate and neither do autumnal things. 

I guess some might call that period "Indian Summer," although that phrase might be seen as offensive now, considering what we're doing with all our indigenous people-themed sports teams and products like Land o' Lakes butter. So we'll just call it "late summer/early fall" in case the political correctness police are reading.

Late summer/early fall is the best time to enjoy harvest flavored frozen treats for obvious reasons. It's still warm enough for ice cream, and yet it's late enough for apple harvest time. So let's dive in to this pint of Favorite Day brand apple crisp ice cream.

From the moment you pop the lid off the pint, there's a nice brown sugary, caramel-esque sweetness that you can smell. It almost smells like apples and cinnamon, but unless they're part of the "natural flavors" mentioned on the ingredients, there are actually no real apples nor cinnamon in this product.

But in my opinion, it doesn't suffer from the want of those things. The flavor is sweet, creamy, and full of rich caramel and brown sugariness. It really does approximate the flavor of a hearty bowl of apple crisp. The oatmeal pieces round out the texture with a bit of crunch, and they round out the flavor with a nice nutty, grainy essence. They're really more like oatmeal cookie pieces, but I'm okay with that because hey, this is dessert we're eating here, not breakfast.

I'd love it even more if there were real apple pieces and maybe a more obvious cinnamon swirl throughout the product. But it's gonna get a thumbs up from me either way. I tend to score things on my own here on this blog, but when I'm torn between two numbers, I consult the beautiful wifey to break the tie. 7 or 8 for this product, Sonia? "Definitely an 8," she said. She liked it even more than I did. Between the two of us, we polished off the pint within 24 hours of it first being opened. Would buy again next late summer/early fall.

I give this ice cream 8 out of 10 stars.

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Good & Gather Sweet Heat BBQ Trail Mix

I've lived in the Northeast, the South, the West Coast, and now the Northern Midwest. Of all those regions, there's only one where you can get fried cheese curds instead of French fries with your burger at fast food places, fairs, malls, and amusement parks.

On the back of this bag, there's a serving suggestion: "...make your own snack pack with trail mix, cheese curds, and your favorite dried fruit, like pineapple." Okaaay.

I'm not saying it wouldn't work, because it totally would, but it just seems kinda arbitrary to me. I'm wondering if the marketing folks at Target included cheese curds because they're based in Minnesota, where cheese curds are common fare.

Also...dried pineapple? Really? Okay, Captain Random.

Again, not saying it wouldn't work. But the funny thing to me is that this trail mix is actually pretty splendid on its own. It lives up to its name with a decent amount of sweetness as well as spicy heat.

It's very crunchy. Every element in the bunch is crispy and salty. There are corn nut things, sesame sticks, almonds, and "cracker-coated peanuts." The peanuts are probably my favorite, although every ingredient in here is delicious. It's that spicy barbecue flavor that permeates every element in the bag that really sets this mix apart from other run-of-the-mill trail mixes.

I recently had a wisdom tooth pulled, and I'm still in the process of healing, so I really shouldn't be eating something this crunchy, but lemme tell ya, this resealable bag keeps calling my name. Mmm. So good it hurts. The wifey keeps offering to take one for the team and finish the bag herself—you know, to help with my teeth. One way or the other, this bag will be finished soon.

I give this trail mix 8 out of 10 stars.

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