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Showing posts with the label breakfast foods

Meijer Oats and Honey Granola Bars (Meijer)

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If you're a honey fan, these are the ones to get. Another week, another breakfast bar needed. This week, we found ourselves at Meijer, a chain of supercenters found entirely in the Midwest; think a slightly more upscale Walmart, and you pretty much have the idea (although with higher prices). I’d actually gone here a lot as a youngster with my mom, but dropped off as I got older, and discovered places like Aldi on my own. After quickly perusing the aisle, and finding the usual suspects (chocolate-dipped and regular granola bars, sweet and salty bars, etc.), my eyes settled on a blast from the past: oat and honey bars. I remember having the name brand version years ago, and enjoying the combination of lightly sweetened oats that break apart with the slightest touch and make a complete crumbly mess within a 5 foot radius of wherever you’re sitting. It didn’t hurt that Meijer’s version was over half off compared to the national brand...the savings alone were reason enough to pull the

Bake Shop Bakery Banana Nut Sliced Loaf Cake (Aldi)

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Your tolerance for this will depend on your tolerance for fake banana flavor. I felt like I struck the jackpot on my latest Aldi shopping trip: I had never seen so many red “dollar off” stickers in my entire life. The Aldi I go to - which was the only one in our suburban city for years, until they opened up another one a couple years ago in a much higher traffic area - is almost always slow. As a result, it seems that they rarely put Special Buy items on clearance, or mark items down, at least compared to other locations I’ve been to. So when I see anything marked down at our store, I’m usually pretty quick to act.  First impressions: this is described on the packaging as a “sliced loaf cake”, yet it looks like banana bread. So, what exactly is this? It looks like banana bread, and it’s cut like banana bread, so I’m just going to assume it’s some weird way it’s made that prevents it from being designated as “bread”. Or, maybe, is all banana bread technically loaf cakes?  I don’t like m

Sobisk Peanut Butter Breakfast Sandwich Biscuits (Dollar Tree)

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Wow...DT really defies the odds with this one. This product was involved in a mystery at our home: The day I brought these home, I went to get something out of the freezer, and saw this box sitting in there. My first reaction was that I probably did it, because I’m known for doing brainless things, but on this occasion, I specifically remember my wife being the last one to touch it: she took it out of the bag before exclaiming how much our four-year-old son would enjoy them. It was after this that I saw them sitting in there. I started to take them out, but then remembered that my wife is one of those people who like to freeze candy bars and other random objects because she likes what it does to the taste, or texture (depending on the item). I figured this was just another one of her little quirks, and put it back in the freezer. They sat in there, untouched, for almost a week, before she sees them in there, and immediately accuses me of doing it. Uh oh, the plot thickens! So who was

Bake Shop by Aldi Banana Nut Muffins (Aldi)

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Something about that red sticker makes everything taste better. At Aldi, there’s almost a sure-fire way for any product to capture my attention: have that red “$ off” sticker on it. Although they’re only ever $1 or $2 off (that I’ve seen), that’s usually enough incentive to get me to try whatever it is that’s being discounted. Often, and rather curiously, it’s one or two items in a box full of similar products that happen to be full price. I assume they’re getting rid of old stock before it expires, but it feels like the equivalent of finding gold during the Gold Rush…it doesn’t happen very often, at least, not at my store. Well, when that good ol’ red sticker ends up on something I already happen to like…well, that just makes getting it a complete no-brainer. And that’s exactly what happened on a recent shopping trip, when I was able to grab Bake Shop Bakery’s banana nut muffins for a whole dollar off! I’ve had these a few times before, so I already knew what I was getting into; just

Millville Strawberry Pastry Crisps (Aldi)

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Like the millennial version of Pop Tarts! Well here’s a breakfast type of bar that I always forget about, so let’s give them a shot, shall we? (I’ll actually save you from a lengthy introduction for once!) These look like they’re the millennial version of “Pop Tarts”, you know, since everything apparently has to have a “millennial” update, or be tied to a certain generation. (I’m sure you’ve seen those clickbait ads everywhere where millennials are responsible for causing disruption to a particular industry…barf.) Like Pop Tarts, each package contains two crisps, which are so small that both of them don’t even equal half the same volume as a typical toaster pastry. Getting less for more, that , if anything, is more akin to the millennial experience. Anyway, as the “crisp” of the title alludes to, these are actually soft and feel almost flaky, with a light, somewhat airy texture. The pastry itself is lightly sweetened, but gets much moreso with the addition of the icing drizzle. In

Fit & Active Turkey Sausage Frozen Sandwiches (Aldi)

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I clearly stole this image. Credit: Aldi US I love me some breakfast sandwiches, and it had been a while since I had purchased any from Aldi.  I used to get them to eat as a snack before work, but stopped because they’re so full of cholesterol and sodium. They’re also kind of pricey…I feel like it’s probably a lot cheaper to just buy the ingredients separately, and make them yourself, something that I now want to do. I actually saw these in the freezer case right as we were getting ready to get into the line, and decided they would make a good little snack to eat at home, or for a night that I wasn’t hungry and just wanted a light dinner.  The “Fit & Active” part did make me pause for a little while--that is Aldi’s “healthy” line, and while I realize these still aren’t great for you, I was afraid the little changes they made (egg white, turkey sausage) would make them taste terrible. Boy was I mistaken.  Everything on this sandwich is pretty darn tasty, especially the turkey sausag

Meijer Chocolate Fudge Pastry Treats (Meijer)

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Either Kroger's got me on a really good day, or these got me on a bad one. Or both. Or neither. We took a look at Kroger’s version a couple of months ago, and that was actually when I first realized, at the ripe old age of 36, that I do not dislike chocolate flavored toaster pastries. That’s right: I never really had them as a kid, instead mostly sticking to the fruit flavors, and always just assumed that they would be gross. They weren’t, and now here we are again with another private label version, this time in the form of Meijer’s. This one gets some good marks for texture: the brown-colored pastry—which seems to pack a slight amount of cocoa flavor, thus giving it some slight redeeming value over the bland “regular” flavored one—is very soft, almost giving the appearance of a freshly-baked product. We obviously know it’s not, but it’s appealing nonetheless. The hardened icing stretches mostly from one side of the pastry to the other, although I feel like there’s always a sectio

Donut Time Frozen Glazed Donuts (Dollar Tree)

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What's the time? Donut Time! Oooooh shit, these are my jam (for all you older folk, that means these are something that I like a lot)! I don't even know what company makes the frozen glazed donuts that have been around for years (and I can't seem to find them anywhere), but I have always loved them. I first tired them as a kid, many years ago, before forgetting all about them as an adult (mainly due to their apparently spotty availability). Then one day they popped up in Aldi's ad, leading me on a delicious trip down memory lane. The nostalgia didn't last long, however, because I promptly forgot all about them again soon after downing the whole package...and have never even stumbled on them since. I don't know what it is about them, but I'd put the taste on a close plan with Krispy Kreme's donuts; that's right, I said it, and I mean every word: frozen donuts have a taste that's similar to some of the most famous glazed donuts in the entire U.S.,

Millville Frosted Strawberry Toaster Tarts (Aldi)

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These are good, especially for the price. Well, after having another brand’s pop tarts a couple weeks ago, and realizing just how much I like the strawberry version, I was kind of excited when my son had me grab some during a recent shopping trip to Aldi. While I’ve had a couple different kinds of their pop tarts, I don’t think I’ve ever had the strawberry, so it was going to be an enlightening experience, to say the least! It was also a bittersweet one: My son refused to eat them because he meant to ask for toaster strudels, not pop tarts. So I’m stuck with the whole box either way. The first thing I noticed, besides the fact that the “sprinkles” on top seem to be paler and duller than the national brand’s, comes in the form of the filling: it, too, is very pale, almost sickly looking. Whereas the main brands feature vibrantly red filling, this one is very pale, like a light pink. I’m sure this is due to Aldi removing all of the artificial colors from their products, but I have to c

Essential Everyday Frosted Flakes Cereal (Various)

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Pretty good and a reasonable value. BORING STORY TIME! Everyone gather around, because I know these intros are your favorite part of this blog! We were in Cincinnati celebrating our anniversary when we stumbled on a place we'd always wanted to visit: Jungle Jim's! For anyone not in the loop, it's a small chain of supermarkets in the Cincinnati/Kentucky area that offer a wide variety of international foods and goodies. It's marketed as more of an “experience”, with samples throughout (though of course none were available when we went because of COVID), exotic fruits you can't find just anywhere, over-the-top displays, fountains at the entrance, and even their own events center, complete with an executive chef and monorail that can drive between indoor and outdoor venues. Clearly, this isn't just a typical supermarket! Of course, being as large as it is—not to mention all the exclusive and hard-to-find items they carry—means that they aren't really interested

Toast'em Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Pop-Ups (Dollar Tree/Various)

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NOTE: We went more into the history of this brand on our radio show! Click here to give it a listen . Fun fact: this was actually the original toaster pastry. It seems as though I’ve reviewed quite a few toaster pastries over the last month or so—moreso within that timeframe than the entire decade preceding it (which is kind of an interesting factoid); well, let’s just continue that trend, shall we? Today, we’ll be taking a look at a private label version of toaster pastries that are sold at Dollar Tree stores nationwide (as well as other retailers). They’re called Toast’Ems, and they have a fascinating history that I’ll force you to read through to discover, for once. Getting down to the pastries themselves, one thing I feel is worth mentioning—mainly because I chastised another brand for the practice—is that, even though the box appears to be the exact same size as the box for the “national brand” product, there are actually two fewer pastries in here. Obviously, some costs have t

Essential Everyday Strawberry Frosted Toaster Pastries (Various)

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Went to take a pic of the actual product, only to discover my wife threw the box in the trash and   it was covered in ketchup. At any rate, these are a scam. First things first, these look pretty good, with the “icing” (is that what it technically is?) stretching out pretty much from one side and corner, to the other. That’s actually a pretty good thing, because some other brands I’ve had don’t seem to have much icing on top at all—a sign that perhaps, we were dealing with the “real thing” here, only under the guise of a private label. Another thing I’ve noticed that I have mentioned in other reviews: the packaging! Every off brand of toaster pastry that I've ever had has virtually the exact same foil wrapper design, with the variety of the pastry listed on the package, along with a corresponding picture representing that flavor: in this case, we get a strawberry. I’m actually kind of curious as to why this is: is one company literally responsible for making virtually every brand o

Kroger Apple & Cinnamon Instant Oatmeal Cups (Kroger)

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  These are pretty damn tasty. What’s better than oatmeal out of packets? Oatmeal out of premade cups! Actually, it’s not better at all, considering each cup costs about the same as an entire box of oatmeal packets, but we like to keep a couple of these on hand, as oatmeal is one of the few things our three-year-old son will willingly eat. And when he gets finicky, prepwork couldn’t be any easier: fill water up to the fill line in the cup, microwave for 45 seconds, let sit for about a minute, put in the freezer or fridge for a few minutes (if you’re our son, who won’t eat hot stuff), and that’s it! Your oatmeal is ready to go. I have to say, this is pretty fantastic, for what it is. There’s ample amounts of cinnamon, which pairs up very well with the main star of the show: the apple. Spread throughout, in instant oatmeal fashion, is a generous amount of real apple chunks, which help add some texture to the otherwise slimy oat puddle. It’s a classic take on the well-known combination

Bake Shop Bakery Apple Cider Donuts (Aldi)

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Gross. Where have I been all these years? Well, I could probably ask that about any number of things, but this time, it’s in reference to how I had never tried an apple cider donut up until five days ago. It was from a national brand snack company that starts with an “E”, and that doesn’t seem to really get as much attention as “Small Deborah” or “The ____ with the Mostest”. Even though they’re mass-produced, they were way better than anyone in the family were expecting them to be—it only took us three days (if that) to polish off all 8 donuts in the pack. So then imagine my excitement when I remembered seeing a similar product in Aldi’s ad. I was already headed there to do some shopping, and figured I’d just add a box of the donuts to my list, if they were still available. It took me a few frustrating seconds, but I finally tracked them down to their location right in front of my face. For $3.49, you get six donuts. Unlike the national brand ones we tried, these are less uniform—the

Millville Frosted S'mores Toaster Tarts (Aldi)

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How did I ever like these? I mentioned in a previous “toaster tart” review (from a store brand competitor) that, as a kid, I never got into the chocolate flavors of the popular breakfast “pastry”; the only kind I ever remember trying is the standard strawberry, though I might have switched up fruits every now and again. They just never really appealed to me to begin with, which works out well because my mom also never bought them for me. So it was as an adult several years that I first tried s’mores pop tarts, and fell in love with their addictingly sweet flavor. Here, as seems to be the norm, I got them more in an attempt to get our three-year-old son to eat more food (and, in my defense, he did specifically choose these out of all the other flavor options we presented him), but I also figured I could take a trip down short-term memory lane by helping myself to a package or two. Or the whole box if he didn’t like them. I really don’t know what it was that lead me to exclaim this a

Meijer Frosted Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Pastry Treats (Meijer)

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A delicious store-brand version of a beloved breakfast treat. Is there any one pastry that sums up the childhood of most children quite like a toaster tart? Obviously, that’s not the trademarked name (which I will avoid mentioning even though I’m sure it’s covered under fair use, but I’m not a lawyer and we’ll just err on the side of caution), but pretty much every kid has had at least a few dozen of these through the years, in some form or another. It might just be the “perfect” pastry, at least in terms of mass-produced breakfast foods are concerned. Anyway, the first thing we notice after cracking open the box: that trademarked silver foil, complete with image and text describing the flavor variety. I can’t be for certain if these are on the national brand toaster pastry, but they are on every store brand one that I’ve had, which gives me good reason to believe that they are all from the same factory—and it’s probably the same one that makes the name brand toaster tarts. And as

Kroger Frosted Chocolate Fudge Toaster Treats (Kroger)

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Either I was in a good mood, or these are good. In looking back to my childhood, I can kinda see why everyone called me "weird". Exhibit #259: Whereas most kids would eat chocolate of any kind, I never liked chocolate toaster tarts, of any variety. So while most kids would jump at the chance to eat chocolate for breakfast, I was always more than content with the "standard" strawberry variety, never really wandering outside of that flavor until my later years. And, on kind of a random side note, isn’t it a little bit crazy how things we do as a kid can shape the routines we make as an adult? There are so many things I refused to eat as a child that I still harbor the same resentment towards, some thirty years later. And my current perception of these products are often shaped entirely by the random, sporadic memories I have of trying them as a child. For example, I used to love raisins, until I ate them with a cheddar-filled hot dog…trying to force both down at the

Baker's Corner Confetti Cake Mini Muffins (Aldi)

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  Better than I was expecting, and a "fun" treat for most young'uns. I already reviewed the blueberry version of these, so I won't get into a huge introduction here. Actually, I never would have bought these at all if it weren't for our three-year-old son, who is going through a phase where he doesn't want to eat anything except sweets all the time. He wasn't a fan of the blueberry muffins, so when we saw Aldi carried these, we figured we could ply him with a snack that combines two of his favorite things: colors and cake! In short, it didn't work, so we were left with a whole box of uneaten muffins that he wouldn't even look at, let alone touch. (Why are kids so annoying?) I couldn't just let them go to waste, so I grabbed a bag for myself to see how these would compare to the other small muffins that I've had, even though this wasn't something I'd normally care to try. I dug into the bag around 6:30 a.m. At work one morning, bef

Baker's Corner Blueberry Mini Muffins (Aldi)

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If you like the national brand, you'll like these. I’ve always liked the national brand version of these, but curiously, my favorite flavor (banana nut) doesn’t seem to ever be available at Aldi. (I’m thinking it's a manufacturer thing: there are two major companies that make small muffins and only one makes a banana nut variety, leading me to believe it's the other company that makes Aldi's private label brand.) However, I was in the mood for some small muffins, and also figured our son might like them as something different, so I grabbed me a box. One thing that I've always hated about these things, even as a kid, are the product counts: in each box, you get twenty total muffins. Okay, that's a bigger deal when it's the name brand and costs over $3, but not so bad at Aldi, where a box retails for $1.99 (effectively making $.10 the cost-per-muffin). However, it's the way they're broken down: five packs of four muffins each. What the shit

Baker's Treat Cheese Danish Pastries (Aldi)

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Why do cheese danishes even exist? I'm an adult now, and I'm still unable to answer one question that has hounded me since my childhood: do I like cheese danish? It's not from a lack of trying that I can't work out a solution to this ongoing problem, because I've tried a few in my day, but there are a couple of reasons why I can't seem to come up with an answer: 1.) I've only tried mass-produced danishes, and they all seem to taste the same, and 2.) I don't think I've ever even seen a homemade danish. They're like the red-headed stepchildren of the pastry industry, apparently selling enough to justify their existence, but relegated to being that food that no one really cares about enough to replicate in the kitchen. I mean, think about it: have you ever gone anywhere and seen a homemade cheese danish? Didn't think so. (And if you did, did you try a piece? Didn't think so.) So why do we have some individually wrapped ones from Aldi han