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Friday, July 15, 2022

Good & Gather Organic Apple Cinnamon Instant Oatmeal

Let's face it: oatmeal has never been the sexiest food in the world, but because of its convenience, affordability, and nutritional value, it's still a part of most people's diets. It doesn't take much to make it palatable: some milk, a sweetener, and maybe some mix-ins of some kind, and you're in business.

Now if you've got instant oatmeal and the manufacturer has already made the mix tasty for you, then that's even better. And that's exactly what we have here. There's your usual whole grain goodness, plenty of apple cinnamon flavor with little bits of real apple, and the sweetness level is just about perfect, too. Just add water or milk.

Of course I add milk. It makes it much thicker and richer. About two minutes in the microwave, and presto: quick, easy breakfast. $2.99 for eight packets. 

How many other products are out there that will provide eight meals for three bucks? Not many. Not these days. Of course the milk is a little extra, but if I had to use water, I could live with it. I've had a lot of flavors of instant oatmeal in my day, and these are probably toward the top for a lot of reasons: taste, value, convenience. Would purchase again.

You ever met one of those people that refers to oatmeal as "hot cereal"? What's up with that?

I give this oatmeal 8 out of 10 stars.

Monday, June 13, 2022

Favorite Day Peanut Butter Chocolate Trail Mix

So this is basically like Reese's trail mix, right? Sounds delicious. I've said it before and I'll say it again: it's pretty hard to screw up peanut butter and chocolate. Let's hope Favorite Day didn't do anything silly here. We'll break it down piece by piece.

First: mini peanut butter cups. That's logical. The base for a peanut butter and chocolate trail mix should obviously be something that contains both peanut butter and chocolate. It's a bit hot out and these little guys want to melt fast so we've been keeping the bag in the fridge while not in use. Good quality. Sweet, nutty, and scrumptious, plus there are plenty of 'em. Thumbs up.

Second: chocolate covered cereal squares. So they're like Chex, but they're the Chex squares in "Puppy Chow" or "Muddy Buddies" rather than the Chex squares straight out of a cereal box. These squares are plenty sweet, very chocolatey, and plentiful as well. They always leave a residue on your hands, though, but that can be remedied with some Wet Ones or Moist Naps.

Next: peanuts. If not for this ingredient, I don't think they could legally call this "trail mix." They're just plain peanuts, and they help to offset the ridiculous amount of sweetness from the other elements. Nutty. Peanutty. Salty. Heck, you all know what peanuts taste like.

Moving along: chocolate chips. Totally unnecessary here. Plenty of chocolate without these. Fortunately, there aren't many of them.

Finally: peanut butter chips. Also somewhat unnecessary, but without them this mix might too heavily favor chocolate over peanut butter.

The verdict: this is a ridiculously indulgent blend—more of a dessert than a snack you'd eat on a hike. I wouldn't take this mix outdoors in the summer heat. All the chips and cups would melt and it would be super messy.

That said, the flavor is extremely tasty and is pretty much everything I'd want in a peanut butter cup type mixture. I like washing it down with a glass of milk. Would buy again.

I give this trail mix 9 out of 10 stars.

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.

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