Tag Archives: non cereal

Review: Trader Joe’s Tart Cherry, Chia and Pumpkin Seed Oatmeal

Trader Joe's Cherry, Chia and Pumpkin Seed Oatmeal Cup

Consider the humble cherry.

Long-overshadowed by strawberry, the people’s champion, and grape, its cheaper taste analogue, cherry has been trapped in a breakfast aisle pitfall for decades. Sure, there’s Frute Brute, who’s currently trapped in General Mills’s monster mausoleum  for…well…ever, probably. And there are Cherry Pop-Tarts, who go unnoticed like the rosy-cheeked nerd girl in every teen movie whose sweetness is only revealed to the one boy brave enough to give her a chance (my Pop-Tart metaphors are complex).

But other than those two and a few obscure health cereals, cherry is very rarely seen as breakfast fare. Which is unfair, because any fruit that tops sundaes and acts as the Kool-Aid Man’s lifeblood deserves a spot at my table.

Thankfully, Trader Joe—a longtime liberator of unsung and under-appreciated flavors—is giving cherry a shot in his latest instant oatmeal cup. This is the same Joseph who once one-upped Pop-Tarts by cramming both cherry and pomegranate into a single toaster pastry,  a mad feat I haven’t seen since 1998, when The Undertaker threw Mankind off Hell In A Cell, sending him plummeting 16ft through an announcer’s table.

Staying true to his squirrelly status as “the Uncle Joey of grocery stores,” Trader Joe also stuffed chia and pumpkin seeds into this plastic oat cylinder. Let’s celebrate the dawn of spring by watching this one blossom in the microwave. Continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on TumblrShare on RedditShare on Google+

News: Ben & Jerry’s Cereal Splashback Ice Cream is Making Cereal Milk a Dessert Star

Ben & Jerry's Cereal Ice Cream

(Image via Ben & Jerry’s)

The leftover milk at the bottom of the bowl is the unsung hero of breakfast cereal. Infused with the eroded sugary essence of a million flakes, loops, pebbles, or maple Parisian bread slices, this swirlingly sweet milk is so good that I even unknowingly coined* a term for it: “endmilk.”

*By “coined,” I mean that I always thought endmilk was the stuff’s proper taxonomic name, until spellcheck’s angry red squiggle told me otherwise

But now instead of being an oft-forgotten appendix to breakfast that some people even (*gasp*) pour down the drain, cereal milk is becoming dessert’s decadent guest of honor, as Ben & Jerry’s has debuted three new Cereal Splashback flavors inspired by iconic cereals and their endmilk: Continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on TumblrShare on RedditShare on Google+

Review: Special K Caramel Nut Protein Bites

Kellogg's Special K Caramel Nut Protein Bites Pouch

Why am I reviewing a product that’s decidedly not cereal, a Pop-Tart, or oatmeal?

I’ll answer that question with a question: why am I getting defensive about hypothetical questions that no one’s actually asking? The real reason I’m giving Special K’s new(ish) Caramel Nut Protein Bites a spotlighted review is because, after January’s firestorm of new cereals—which featured adaptations of every doughy delicacy from cookies to pancakes and back to cookies again—I’m struggling to fresh and relevant new products to write 700 excessive words about. If you see me reviewing Rice Chex next week, you’ll know I’m really spooning the bottom of the barrel.

Besides, when I scanned my Protein Bites, the check-out machine called them “KLLGG CERL.” So take that, imaginary critics! Continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on TumblrShare on RedditShare on Google+

Review: Welch’s Strawberry Oatmeal Bar Baking Mix, from Betty Crocker

Betty Crocker Welch's Strawberry Oatmeal Bars Baking Mix Box

I’ve reviewed oatmeal before.

I’ve reviewed cereal bars before.

But not until today have the two joined forces for a tasty crossover that’s more satisfying than The Jetsons Meet The Flintstones, Scooby-Doo Meets the Harlem Globetrotters, and The Jimmy Timmy Power Hour combined. You’ll notice that I’ve never reviewed granola bars, either. That’s because raw oats are simply one step of effort too far away from pipin’ hot oatmeal or Cracklin’ Oat Bran. In my eyes, it takes a microwave or a mill press to turn plain grains into breakfast.

So it’s time to grow up, granola bars, because oatmeal bars have everything you do—just with a lot more gumption. Oh, and in this case: oodles of strawberry jelly, too. Continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on TumblrShare on RedditShare on Google+

Review: Frosted Chocolate Sugar Cookie Pop-Tarts (DC Comics Villains Edition)

Kellogg's Frosted Chocolate Sugar Cookie Pop-Tarts (Printed Fun Villains Edition) Box

I think I can imagine how the supervillainous plot to release Chocolate Sugar Cookie Pop-Tarts originated:

The Joker paces back-and-forth madly in the abandoned Pop-Tart factory he and Lex Luthor are using as a haphazard base of operations. With a cackle, he has a sudden idea.

“I’ve got it, Lex,” the Joker cries. “We’ll kidnap all the world’s Pop-Tarts and smush them together into otherwise nonsensical taste combinations! Just picture it: Watermelon S’Mores Pop-Tarts. Blueberry Root Beer Pop-Tarts. Cookies & Creme PB&J Pop-Tarts. We’ll flood the streets with a hasty pastry army, causing mass confusion and hysteria!”

“But why?” Lex replies.

The Joker chuckles maniacally: “Some men just want to watch the world yearn…for obscurely flavored, impulsively purchased breakfast treats!”

And thus, Chocolate Sugar Cookies Pop-Tarts were born. This flavor combo isn’t really that strange, but when’s the last time you had an actual chocolate sugar cookie? Maybe my cheeks are too stuffed with gingerbread men during December to notice, but compared to snickerdoodles or fruitcake, chocolate sugar cookies seem more like the shiny Pokémon of holiday dessert platters. Continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on TumblrShare on RedditShare on Google+

Review: Limited Edition Dunkin’ Donuts Vanilla Latte Pop-Tarts

Kellogg's Limited Edition Frosted Dunkin' Donuts Vanilla Latte Pop-Tarts Review – Box

I firmly believe that everyone has a “spirit Pop-Tart.” A spirit Pop-Tart is the specific toaster pastry flavor that represents you on a personal, philosophical, and even spiritual level. A spirit Pop-Tart has bits of your personality baked into every crumb.

While I love assigning other people spirit Pop-Tarts—like I’m some wise breakfast oracle on a Greek mountaintop—I’ve always got mixed readings on what my spirit Tart is. I like to see myself as a Milk Chocolate Graham Pop-Tart, but others have named me a PB&J Pop-Tart, a Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Pop-Tart, or even a Limited Edition Ice Cream Shoppe Frosted Ice Creme Sandwich Pop-Tart.

I got tired and hungry just typing that last one.

But the second Kellogg’s announced its partnership with Dunkin’ Donuts—wherein the pair would craft not one, but two (the other’s Chocolate Mocha) new Pop-Tarts inspired by coffee beverages—my friends pointed at me with excitedly, confident that I am a Vanilla Latte Pop-Tart!

I don’t know why they say this, exactly: I like to think it’s because I’m sweet and trendy, but it’s probably because I’m always caffeinated and have a hairdo that looks like freshly frothed milk. Continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on TumblrShare on RedditShare on Google+

Review: Quaker “Bring Your Best Bowl” Oatmeal Finalists

Quaker "Bring Your Best Bowl" Oatmeal Box Review

Wait, does this mean my “PB&J Oatmeal” idea got rejected?

And my “Double Stuf Oreo Oatmeal” idea, too? Even my “Neapolitan Oatmeal,” “Thanksgiving Leftovers Oatmeal,” and intentionally redundant “Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pie Oatmeal” ideas? All thrown in the trash heap?

Okay fine, Quaker Oats guy, I’ll accept this criminal oversight, only because the flavor finalists in your user-submitted “Bring Your Best Bowl” contest sound pretty darn good. There were over 500,000 entries for the competition earlier this year, but only three tempting tastes remain: Vanilla Chai Oatmeal, Lemon Ricotta Pancake Oatmeal, and Apple Cheddar Rosemary Oatmeal.

To pick the winner, Quaker has slapped all three finalists into a single box. It’s up to us—the humble consumers—to try ’em and vote with our taste buds here: the winner will be “saved” on shelves. Since this is a game of oatmeal life or death, I figured I’d do my civic duty and eat three breakfasts in a day. Continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on TumblrShare on RedditShare on Google+

Review: Kellogg’s Frosted Sugar Cookie Pop-Tarts (Printed Fun!)

Kellogg's Printed Fun Frosted Sugar Cookie Pop-Tarts Box Review

Sugar Cookie Pop-Tarts are symbolic of a centuries-old conflict.

See, in the battle for holiday cookie supremacy, gingerbread men and snickerdoodles are the obvious competitors. But as those two vie for kitchen counter dominance—as gingerbread men tragically lose their limbs and as the ‘doodles stop snickering—sugar cookies look on from afar, calm and Buddha-like.

Sugar cookies rarely get media spotlight—after all, they’re not shaped like adorable people or flecked with glittering cinnamon sugar. But sugar cookies are still annual staples for a good reason: they’re reliably delicious, and few would ever dare to debate that, lest they evoke the collective rage of a billion treat-baking grandmas.

This universal appeal is probably what made the late Sugar Cookie Toast Crunch (goodnight, sweet cereal prince) so widely beloved, and it’s what brings “Printed Fun” Sugar Cookie Pop-Tarts back to shelves year after year. Continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on TumblrShare on RedditShare on Google+