Tuesday, December 31, 2013

LOCAL REVIEW: Valeo's Pizza of Kenosha

Are you in the Kenosha area during New Year's and throwing a party? Have a bunch of hungry mouths to feed? Going one more day without the "lose weight" resolution weighing down upon your shoulders? Sounds like a recipe for pizza! But where to order it from? Kenoshans are rather picky about their pizza, I'll tell you what. They will NOT take some tacky, greasy, chemically deep-dish abomination from Pizza Hut or Domino's or Papa John's or Rocky Rococo's...Ugh. They need something REAL. Thankfully, there are a lot of "real" pizza options to choose from in Kenosha, and Valeo's Pizza is one of them.

REVIEW: Kellogg's Krave Chocolate Cereal

Well, I snagged the chance to review Kellogg's Krave S'mores as soon as I was able, and I found time to review Kellogg's Krave Double Chocolate way back when as well. But when, you may ask, did I spare the time to review the traditional Krave Chocolate? When did I find time for the normal one, the good guy, the (some might even say) original flavor? (Even though both Chocolate and Double Chocolate came out at the same time). And I would say, "Never! Never have I reviewed the Chocolate version of Krave!" 
Well, until now, anyways.
An 11.4 oz box costs around $2.99.

Monday, December 30, 2013

REVIEW: Red Robin Red's Chili Chili

Red Robin has plenty of  delicious burger options on their menus (And sadly, the only one I've gotten a chance to review would be their 5 Alarm Burger), but what about when you're craving something other than ground beef on a bun? I was in a chili mood while eating out at Red Robin recently, so their new Red's Chili Chili sounded pretty appealing to me. Instead of ordering a typical burger dinner, I decided to go with a bowl of this comeback chili instead. One bowl-sized portion costs around $5.49.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

REVIEW: Kellogg's NutriGrain Apple Cinnamon Cereal Bar

As a kid, I think I was indifferent to the classic NutriGrain bars, at best. I didn't hate them, but I didn't love them either. We never really bought them or had them at the house, so naturally I didn't really eat too many of them. I suppose the only time I WOULD eat them would be when I was having a snack at a friend's house or something like that. So, for the first time in a very long time, I'll be trying out one of Kellogg's NutriGrain Cereal Bars. This Apple Cinnamon Bar was given to me by a friend at school, since they sell these in the school cafeteria. With this in mind, this bar is slightly bigger than the NutriGrain bars you would find in the store, so the nutrition facts will differ between the two bars. A 10.4 oz. box containing eight 1.3 oz. bars costs around $3.59.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

REVIEW: General Mills Frosted Toast Crunch Cereal

I find Cinnamon Toast Crunch to be amazingly delicious- to me, it's the end-all-be-all of cereals. And Peanut Butter Toast Crunch is great too. And now they're coming out with Chocolate Toast Crunch! But before I get my chance to review that, I might as well go ahead and try out General Mills Frosted Toast Crunch. Described as "artificially flavored frosted vanilla squares dusted with cinnamon," one 12.3 oz. box of cereal costs around $2.99.

Friday, December 27, 2013

REVIEW: Kashi Cherry Dark Chocolate Chewy Granola Bar

The first Kashi granola bar I ever reviewed was their Mocha Almond flavor, and since that one wasn't too bad I went on a quest for another tempting sounding flavor to try. Kashi's Cherry Dark Chocolate sounded pretty nice- I mean, aren't chocolate-covered cherries just delicious? -so I settled on buying a box of those. One 7.4 oz. box  with six 1.2 oz. bars costs around $4.09.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

REVIEW: Kashi Banana Chocolate Chip Soft n' Chewy Bar

Now, I've reviewed Kashi's Apple Cobbler Soft n' Chewy Bar, and also more recently their Berry Muffin Soft n' Chewy Bar, so now it's about time I try what I think to be the tastiest-sounding of the three: The Banana Chocolate Chip Soft n' Chewy Bar. Anything with chocolate in the name is way better sounding than anything with fruit in the name- at least in my fair opinion, but that's just me. I found the Apple Cobbler bar to be good, and the Berry Muffin bar to be meh, so we'll see if the Banana Chocolate Chip can grade even higher on the Sweet & SavoRi numminess scale. A 7 oz. box with five 1.4 oz. bars costs around $4.09.

RECIPE: S'morver the Moon Banana Bread

Merry Christmas everyone! So, need a delicious, warm-baked bread for the holidays, but want to jazz up the same old traditional options at the dessert table? Then make this s'mores-infused banana bread straight from the mind of Sweet & SavoRi! All the summer-reminiscent-good-times feel of s'mores, only in a wintry warm bread! The best of both worlds! This is also super-easy to make, so maybe it's not too late to serve it up at one of your Christmas get-togethers.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

REVIEW: ConAgra Foods Swiss Miss Sensible Sweets Diet Hot Cocoa

During this time of year, it isn't odd for people to get a hankering for nice, piping-hot beverages.Whether shoveling the sidewalks or trekking through the troves of a winter wonderland, nothing caps off the cold day outside like a cup of hot chocolate. But for those who are watching their weight or just trying to eat healthier in general, hot cocoa is usually a hot no-go. It's just a bunch of liquid sugar and fat condensed into a small mug. And while instant packets of hot chocolate aren't nearly quite as horrific for your health as fancy coffee-shop blends with all the whipped cream and chocolate syrup and what-have-you, they still will most likely get some begrudging looks from the health-conscious because, really, who wants to spend as many calories on a drink as you would for a snack? Unless the drink is going to BE your snack, it really isn't worth it. But thankfully, there's diet hot cocoa for the healthy lifestyle, like these Swiss Miss packets from ConAgra Foods. These instant hot cocoa packets only contain 25 calories each, about 75% less than regular packaged hot chocolate. A 2.32 oz. box with eight 0.29 oz. envelopes costs around $1.89.

Monday, December 23, 2013

REVIEW: Kelloggs Krave S'mores Cereal

Did you know that Krave was a cereal originally released in the UK? Yup! And while they're getting flavors like Chocolate Hazelnut and White Chocolate Brownie across the pond, we're getting flavors like... S'mores. How sophisticated. But I can't say I wasn't excited about the release of this latest Krave flavor- The Double Chocolate variety was delicious, so why would this new flavor be any different? I watched and waited full of undying anticipation for Krave S'mores to one day appear on the shelves of my local supermarket, and suddenlt, out of the blue, there it was!!! ...Only it was sold out.
...Damn (hangs head).
Lucky for me, it wasn't long before I went out to a different store and found a full stock of S'mores on the shelves. An 11 oz. box costs around $2.88.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

REVIEW: Kellogg's Frosted Krispies Cereal

Mmmmmm... Who doesn't love Rice Krispies??? They're crunchy, they make great marshmallow treats, and they transform your morning bowl of cereal into a symphony of sound. You know- snap crackle pop! Which are also the names of the three little elves (elves... right?) pictured on all the boxes of Rice Krispies. To be honest, Crackle was always my favorite. He had the most unique hat and hair, which totally overruled the nearly identical Snap and Pop in every which way. So now's time for me to try Kellogg's Frosted Krispies- which I'm guessing are similar to regular Rice Krispies but frosted. A 12.5 oz. box costs around $2.98.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

REVIEW: Nabisco Oreo Creme Filled Brownies

So, in my recent Chips Ahoy! Brownie Filled Cookie review, I mentioned how my mom received a whole bunch of food freebies from her work. I didn't think the snacks she brought home were related at all- Chips Ahoy!, Oreo, BelVita, Wheat Thins, Nutter Butter... Then I did a little digging and found out ALL of these foods are produced by Nabisco. Did you know that? I sure didn't. It's amazing how many smaller, seemingly unrelated brands are all actually owned by bigger, major corporations. Anyway, today I'm reviewing another freebie Mum received: Oreo Creme Filled Brownies from Nabisco. I thought these sounded really unique and were some experimental, unreleased product that I would get to try before anyone else, but they've actually been out for awhile. Tears...
A 15 oz. box with ten 1.5 oz brownies costs around $4.99.

Friday, December 20, 2013

REVIEW: Sushi With Gusto's Seaweed Salad

If you've been keeping up with my blog posts for the last month or so, you might've read my review on Sushi With Gusto's grocery store Dragon California Roll. Along with that sushi, I had a side of  seaweed salad, but I didn't include THAT in the review, because- hey! I could easily milk a single meal into TWO reviews. Makes sense, right?  So here we go- time to elaborate on Sushi With Gusto's Seaweed Salad. One 4.5 oz. side costs around $3.99.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

REVIEW: Nabisco Chewy Chips Ahoy! Brownie Filled Soft Cookies

And now a review for a product to buy during those times when your head says, "I want a cookie," but your heart says, "I want a brownie": Nabisco's Brownie Filled Chewy Chips Ahoy! Cookies. My mom got a package of these hybrid cookies as a freebie from her company, and the only thing I could think of when taking these out of the plastic bag full of free food was, "Uh, WOW. Damnnnnn. These sound mind-blowingly delicious." I mean, as if Chips Ahoy! cookies weren't good enough on their own. Now they are simply the mere SHELL to a fudgy, sweet chocolate brownie. Sounds soooo good! A 9.5 oz. package of cookies costs around $2.39.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

REVIEW: House Foods Tofu Shirataki Fettuccine Shaped Noodle Substitute

I'm sure some low-carber who's any low-carber knows what shirataki noodles are. And if you don't, then let me be the first to tell you that they're your pasta savior! No longer must you shun the carby goodness of spaghetti: shirataki noodles are like real noodles, just without all the annoying carbohydrates. Shirataki noodles are also great for people on low-calorie diets, with only 20 calories per serving (as opposed to 200 for the same amount of real noodles).
Today I'll be reviewing one of the most popular shirataki products out there: House Foods' Fettucine Shaped Tofu Shirataki Noodles. They're even endorsed by Hungry Girl, so crazy dieters stock up on them like the Shirapocalypse is upon us. An 8 oz. package of shirataki will cost around $2.29.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

REVIEW: Buffalo Wild Wings Naked Tenders

I do love me some saucy, spicy buffalo wings (who doesn't really?), but Buffalo Wild Wing's nutritional stats for theirs are pretty horrendous. Just eight wings have 768 calories- and really, eight is nothin'!!! I mean, my little brother can polish off about twelve whenever we go. I'm guessing a lot of you adults out there can eat even MORE than that given the opportunity to, am I right? And I'm sure some of you realize that BWW's wings aren't so healthy and are looking for a lighter option when you go out to eat there or whatever. Thankfully, Buffalo Wild Wing's offers Naked Tenders: plain, unbreaded, grilled chicken tenders. Sounds boring, but sounds like an obvious healthy choice as well. That's the sacrifice you'll have to make at BWW's, since the amount of healthy pickins' is slim. At least you get the sauce you want with your Naked Tenders. An order of six of them, along with your sauce of choice, costs around $9.29. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

BIG CEREAL NEWS!!! Chocolate Toast Crunch and Krave S'Mores Cereals

Yessir, two new cereals are hitting store shelves very, very soon... I hope. 

First is General Mills' Chocolate Toast Crunch. Oh yeah. Chocccccolate... Cinnamon Toast Crunch is THE BEST CEREAL in the known universe, and I'm crossing my fingers that Chocolate Toast Crunch can hold up to its ancestor's delicious legacy. This cereal isn't even on General Mills' website yet, so to be frank I only know as much about it as you do, but from what is pictured on the box a 3/4 cup serving will have 130 calories, 0.5g of saturated fat, 130mg of sodium, and 9g of sugar. These chocolate squares are reported to be sweetened with real cocoa and a hint of cinnamon in every scrumptious bite.

Next is Kellogg's Krave S'Mores Cereal. I love the Double Chocolate Krave, and this one sounds like another winner. Thankfully, this cereal DOES have its own page up. A 3/4 cup contains 120 calories, 30 of them being from fat, 3.5g of total fat, 1g of saturated fat, 0g of trans fat, 1.5g of polyunsaturated fat, 1g of monounsaturated fat, 0mg of cholesterol, 105mg of sodium, 75mg of potassium, 24g of total carbohydrates, 3g of dietary fiber, 10g of sugar, and 2g of protein, plus various vitamins and minerals. This cereal is made up of graham-flavored cereal on the outside, with smooth chocolate and a "marshmallowy" filling on the inside. Sadly, this cereal is going to replace Kellogg's Smorz cereal, which would explain why they haven't put their new Krave on the shelves- you know, waiting until the Smorz in stock decreases. I would suggest running out and buying a whole bunch of boxes like no tomorrow if you're a die-hard Smorz fan, cuz' the Smorzpocalypse is upon us...

Sorry I don't have any pictures up of these things, but I if were to see them in stores by now you'd know I'd have a review up like nobody's business. So... Here's a picture of Odie going in fer' the kill!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

REVIEW: Fiber One 90 Calorie Chocolate Peanut Butter Chewy Bars

You've probably heard of Fiber One's 90-Calorie Brownies, but did you know that they make 90-Calorie Chewy Bars as well? Along with the classic Chocolate and delicious-sounding Chocolate Caramel & Pretzel, Fiber One also has made a 90-Calorie Chocolate Peanut Butter Chewy Bar, which I will be reviewing today. An 8.2 oz. value pack box containing ten 0.82 oz. bars costs around $4.99.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

REVIEW: Nature Valley Apple Crisp Crunchy Granola Bars

On my latest search for some Nature Valley reviewing material, I wanted to review something new, but when that yielded fruitless results, I decided to try taste-testing a product that wasn't new per se, but a little more obscure. Like, EVERYONE'S had Nature Valley's Oats n' Honey granola bars, but what about their Apple Crisp variety? Nope, I hadn't had it either, until I picked a box up from the store to try. I quite like the sound of Apple Crisp- sooooo desserty -so I was pretty excited to try these out.
An 8.9 oz. box containing six 1.5 oz. bars costs around $3.24.

Friday, December 13, 2013

REVIEW: CLIF Crunchy Peanut Butter Energy Bar

Time for this blog's first-ever CLIF Bar review! Yayyyyy! I'm so excited!!! This is honestly my first time even EATING a full-sized CLIF Bar, let alone reviewing one, so hopefully it's an enjoyable bar. I'd like to start taste-testing and reviewing CLIF Bars more often, especially since they have a LOT of mouthwatering flavors: Banana Nut Bread, Carrot Cake, Maple Nut, Oatmeal Raisin Walnut, Chocolate Chip, White Chocolate Macadamia... ALL of these sound VERY good, but of course the first CLIF bar I get is the average ol' Crunchy Peanut Butter... Oh well. Peanut Butter-flavored products have disappointed me in the past, but there've also been pleasant surprises as well. So hopefully this CLIF Bar falls into the latter category. One 2.4 oz. bar costs around $1.27.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

REVIEW: Quaker Blueberry Chewy Yogurt Granola Bar

Well, here was a review I wasn't even PLANNING on doing: See, I was sitting with a couple of friends during Literature class, and one of them grabs this Quaker Blueberry Yogurt Granola Bar from her backpack and holds it out, asking, "Anyone want this?" I DID, but I couldn't just TAKE IT, so I offered to trade. But after realizing their really wasn't anything in my lunchbox I wanted to give up,  I joked, "You want my carrots and cucumbers for it?" and to my disbelief, my friend said, "Yeah- cucumbers sounds really good right now."
Gee, I can't even recall the last time I've had a Quaker bar... Anyway, a 6.1 oz. box containing five 1.23 oz. bars cos around $3.30, I'd imagine.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

REVIEW: Kashi Soft n' Chewy Berry Muffin Bars

I reviewed Kashi's Soft N' Chewy Apple Cobbler Bar awhile back on this blog and was sufficiently impressed, so now I'm tackling their Berry Muffin flavor. The Soft N' Chewy bar I REALLY wanted to try next was the Banana Chocolate Chip ( I mean, CHOCOLATE, come on), but since I had a coupon for $1.00 off any NEW Kashi product, I settled on these bars instead.
A 7 oz. box containing five 1.4 oz. bars costs around $3.29.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

REVIEW: Torani Sugar Free Hazelnut Syrup

I love using Torani's flavoring syrups to enhance the flavor and sweetness of many things- milk, coffee, tea, yogurt -it's like adding Crystal Light to water. You get what I'm saying? Sure, water is good on its own, but that doesn't mean it can't be made better. So that's what Torani does for the foods and drinks I mentioned above. But sugar free syrups CAN be a hit or miss, so they don't always work out that well as an add-in. And this time I'm reviewing Torani's Sugar Free Hazelnut Syrup, so we'll see how it goes.
A 12.7 fl. oz. bottle costs around $5.19.

Monday, December 9, 2013

REVIEW: Kashi GoLean Crunch! Cereal

When it comes to an everyday breakfast, GoLean Original is usually the Kashi cereal of choice. But when I told my dad I needed Kashi when he went out grocery shopping, he brought home a box of GoLean CRUNCH instead. So either the store was all out of the typical Original Kashi or I need to start being more specific with my food requests. But it's not all doom and gloom! I can get a review out of this cereal, can't I? So, time to taste-test!
A 13.8 ox. box costs around $3.12.
A 1 cup (53g) serving contains 200 calories, 30 of them being from fat, 3g of total fat, 0g of saturated fat, 0g of trans fat, 1g of polunsaturated fat, 1g of monounsaturated fat, 0mg of cholesterol, 100mg of sodium, 320mg of potassium, 38g of total carbohydrates, 8g of dietary fiber, 6g of soluble fiber, 2g of insoluble fiber, and 9g of protein.

Based on the nutrition information, this isn't THE healthiest cereal that Kashi has produced, but it still beats out a lot of other products out there. At least this cereal has a reasonable amount of fiber and protein. It's just- at 200 calories for 53g  -there ARE healthier cereals out there. Just sayin'. But this cereal isn't SO bad that I wouldn't eat it for breakfast or lunch, or plain as a snack, like little granola bites. And, yes, even though this cereal isn't specifically marketed as granola, as far as I'm concerned, that's what it is. GoLean Crunch! has a lot of similar qualities to granola- It's crunchy and hard, with different-sized clusters made up of cereal and rolled oats. One thing that makes Kashi's cereal different from typical granola, however, is the fact that these clusters have puffed rice pieces in them. A lot of them too. I honestly don't know of any REAL granola that has puffed rice pieces. I suppose they're there for filler, so that Kashi's granola stays reasonably healthier than others.

Eaten plain, this cereal is VERY hard and VERY crunchy. Well, except for the times when you'd have a cluster of puffed rice, which were airy and light and chewy. The taste is very mild and nondescript. There is a slight accent of warm cinnamon, but other than that, this cereal is more enjoyable for its granola-esque texture, not its flavorful taste. This cereal was supposed to have a touch of honey flavor to it based on Kashi's description, but I didn't taste any. The sweetness content in this cereal is very mild, but not so mild that I'd be reckoned to say it was boring or bland to eat. The oats gave the clusters a very hearty, oatmeal-like quality. By itself, the cereal was dry, and not sticky, like I'd expect granola to be by all the granola bars I've consumed.
I had some of this cereal for lunch accompanied by some ice-cold milk, and I was happily surprised to find that the cereal held up VERY well in the milk. It stayed consistently crunchy throughout (except for the puffed rice pieces, which became soft as all get out), but softened up just enough so that it wasn't such a feat to chew through. The clusters, for the most part, remained intact. The cereal pieces didn't split up from each other due to the milk getting in the way. I found this cereal to be sweet and tasty in milk, but of course I used some sweetener in my bowl of cereal to make it sweeter, so that might have had something to do with it. The cereal, however, did remain hearty in taste, and I don't think that's something you can produce with sweetener packets. In a way, this cereal somehwat reminded me of eating uncooked instant oatmeal. Which I really didn't mind, but some people might.

Overall, this was an enjoyable cereal, but I mostly only liked it for the texture. It didn't have much of a taste. I think this cereal would be better if it were given a more definite flavoring, but of course Kashi has released GoLean Crunch! varieties like that as well, so I dunno. This is a really good cereal choice when you want something akin to plain granola without as much sugar and fat and really enjoy a hard, crunchy texture. I DO prefer my cereal to be on the crunchier side, so I fairly enjoyed this one. Although I DO think this cereal requires some sweetener before consuming. This isn't a cereal I'd want to have in my pantry 24/7, but I could see myself buying it every now and again.
I'd give Kashi's GoLean Crunch! a 7.5/10.

Need other views from those who chewed? Crazy Food Dude also has this one reviewed.

What do YOU think of Kashi's GoLean Crunch? Do YOU prefer your cereal crunchy or with a more lighter, airier texture? Tell us your thoughts down below in the comments!

Till' then, this has been RiRi ri-porting!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

REVIEW: Fiber One 90 Calorie Lemon Bar

Fiber One has had their line of 90-calorie, mini chocolate brownies on shelves for a long time now, but recently they've been reaching out and crafting "brownies" out of different flavors- these two flavors being Lemon Bar and Cinnamon Coffee Cake. While I think the Cinnamon Coffee Cake sounds like the much more preferable of the two, my mom went and bought the Lemon Bar flavor when I asked if she could pick up some new "review materials" next time she stopped at the grocery store. Ahhh well! It's not coffee cake, but it IS a new product to try, and that is exactly what I asked for. One 5.34 oz. box containing six measly 0.89 oz. bars costs around $2.98.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

REVIEW: Atkins Advantage Peanut Butter Granola Bar

Recently, my mum and step dad have been on a low-carb diet. I'm not a follower of the trend, but I like to watch others do take it on. Basically, in a low-carb diet, you can eat anything and everything you want, as long as it's low in carbohydrates. I know that might SOUND easy- you can eat all you want of cheese curds, string cheese, steak, chicken, pork, bacon, fish, eggs, nuts, cream, beef jerky, yogurt, milk, most vegetables, most dressings, some types of mayonnaise even, as long as they're low in sugars -and everything seems fine and dandy, but then you gotta think of everything you CAN'T eat. Pizza, bread, pasta, chips, muffins, granola bars- NO SUGAR. NO SWEETS. WHATSOEVER. Nothing even CLOSE to sweets. NOT. EVEN. CEREAL.
That would just right-out kill me! I love my precious Cinnamon Toast Crunch WAY too much to give it up. See, this diet would never work for me. And now my step dad is all bummed out, because HE can't eat any of the foods HE wants at the moment. I thought I'd never see the day where that man would get tired of cheese.
But in the darkness that is the Atkins Diet, there is a ray of light with Atkins' frozen meals and bars. And only for the low, low price of $8.29 on the Atkins site (sarcasm intended), you too can have an 8.5 ox. box of five 1.7 oz. low-carb, Peanut Butter Granola Bars. Highway robbery, I know. But at Woodman's, these only cost about $6.99, which is clearly a better deal.

Friday, December 6, 2013

REVIEW: Sushi With Gusto's Dragon California Roll

When my mom asked me if I wanted sushi from Woodman's for dinner when she was going grocery shopping one day, I was a little reluctant to say yes. I mean, sushi? From a grocery store? That's almost as bad as GAS STATION sushi. Which I'm guessing is just plain godawful. Indigestible. But Mom seemed excited enough to have it, and I just wouldn't have felt good saying "no" to her. So here we are... Grocery Store Sushi. Mmm.
I wanted to play it safe, so I asked my mom to stay away from anything tempura-style (aka fried) or made with spicy mayo, since eating those types of rolls and saying they're healthy for you is like eating carrot cake and saying THAT'S healthy for you too. You know, since it's made with vegetables. So Mom brought home this Dragon California Roll for me from Sushi With Gusto.
Sushi with Gusto... Hmm... I know what GUSTO means- I'm not stupid -but being that one of my favorite movies ever is Ratatouille I can't help but feel that this brand's name is spelled as "Sushi With Gusteau," making me feel like I'm eating rolls from a new frozen food line created by the said cartoon chef. Well- technically created by his no good sous-chef, but you get what I mean. Unless you've never seen the movie. Because in that case you don't get what I mean.
Anyway, a 8 oz. container of sushi costs $7.49
Now, let's get rollin'! Heheh...

Thursday, December 5, 2013

REVIEW: diet Snapple Half 'n Half Lemonade Iced Tea

A cross-country runner's life is a hard one.
For one, you aren't allowed to drink soda.
For two, you aren't even allowed to drink diet soda.
But diet Snapple should be fine, right? 50% of this Half n' Half IS made with tea, and tea is healthy. And what's the big deal with diet SODA, anyway? Is it because of the artificial sweeteners? Because taking diet soda away from me doesn't really change the fact that I can totally blow my brains out with the amount of Splenda packets I use in other food items everyday. So, I think that my idea of drinking a diet iced tea ONCE every blue moon not making much of an impact on my health can be made into a justifiable fact. So here we go- bottom's up!
I purchased this 20 fl. oz. bottle for only $0.99 at my school cafeteria, and school prices are usually a bit cheaper than the outside world's, so I'm sure these cost around thirty cents more at your typical gas station or what have you.
One 20 fl. oz. bottle contains 15 calories, 0g of total fat, 15mg of sodium, 1g of total carbohydrates, 1g of sugar, and 0g of protein.
I took a big glug of this half iced tea-half lemonade combo without realizing just how sweet it was going to be. It was (and I'm quoting my own notes here) really super sweet. Potent stuff. The taste was definitely a LOT sweeter than other diet Half n' Half's I've tried. Okay- so I've only tried ONE other diet Half n' Half once before in my life, but cut me some slack- they aren't the most popular drink, and this Snapple Tea was honestly sweeter and tastier than the one I tried before. Maybe it's the fact Snapple is made with real tea leaves and all... The other Half n' Half I had was canned tea too. Ew.
But while this Snapple product was really sweet, it also contained a strong tea taste, resulting from the use of real black and green tea leaves. I could even see little black tea leave flecks in my drink. Well, either that or backwash. There was a bit of the green tea vibe in this drink, but it wasn't all bitter like what you might expect the inclusion of green tea to do to a drink. And while the tea flavor was very pronounced, so was the lemonade, which added a nice citrus-y, lemon-y accent to the drink. The flavors balanced out well to create a drink that was strong, sweet, and smooth. And the super sweetness shock did go away after about halfway through this bottle. Every time I drink Snapple it's the same thing- I'm nearly shocked by the sweetness, but it usually dies done once I get used to the taste.
I enjoyed this flavor of diet Snapple, and I wouldn't mind drinking it again. I wouldn't go out and buy a whole pack of  them from the store or anything, but it would a considerable option when I'm faced with a choice of bottled drinks at, like, a gas station or eatery or something. Yeah, maybe that isn't saying a lot, since with soda out of the equation the only other options left are flavored tea and water... But I would DEFINITELY pick this drink over water. So that's good.
I'd give Snapple's diet Half 'n Half a 7/10.

What flavors of Diet Snapple do YOU like? Write your thoughts down in the comments below!

Till' then, this has been RiRi ri-porting!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

REVIEW: Nature Valley Peanut Butter Soft-Baked Oatmeal Squares

I was reaching into a box of what I THOUGHT was full of Nature Valley's Cinnamon Brown Sugar Oatmeal Squares when I realized something was awfully wrong- My cinnamon senses were NOT tingling. And the box I had opened up once before ALREADY was completely sealed off. Like it was a COMPLETELY different box. Hmmm...
So then I saw that my dad had gone and bought these Peanut Butter Oatmeal Squares and switched them out for the Cinnamon ones while I wasn't looking. And so, I grabbed THIS oatmeal square, unaware of the switch in my lunch.
Well, I serendipitously walked into THIS review. 
I reviewed Nature Valley's Cinnamon Brown Sugar Oatmeal Squares before these ones mainly because (1) Brown Sugar Cinnamon is one of my favorite flavors of oatmeal, and (2) Peanut Butter is one of my least favorite flavors. Of anything. Well, at least when it comes to snack bars anyway. I mean, I've had my fair share of peanut butter-flavored protein/granola/whatever bars, and a lot of them have proven to be nothing special. Honestly, when IS peanut butter a unique kind of flavor, hmmm? I think I've expressed my thoughts before that peanut butter is nearly always one of the FIRST flavors a protein bar line will release ALWAYS.. And I KNOW that these oatmeal squares are clearly NOT protein bars, but I just can't help but feel peanut butter has become a BORING and OBVIOUS flavor. For anything close to a protein bar even!
So that's why I was so hesitant to try Nature Valley's peanut butter-flavored oatmeal squares. I didn't want to be disappointed by a flavor that's left me rather unsatisfied time after time. But since Dad went and bought these, I might as well suck it up and grow a pair. Now- let's review this square!
A 7.44 oz. box containing six 1.24 oz. squares costs around $3.38.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

REVIEW: Nature Valley Chocolate Pretzel Nut Sweet & Salty Nut Granola Bar

Maybe this craze has been around longer than I've believed it to be, but it seems like people nowadays just can't get enough of sweet and salty food pairings. Salty fried chicken and sweet, syrup-y waffles; salty cheddar cheese and sweet, cinnamon-y apple pie; salty, meaty ham and sweet, juicy pineapple; salty....... uh....... salt and sweet, buttery caramel- and let's not forget this one! Salty, crunchy pretzels and sweet, creamy milk chocolate. Oh yeah. Can't resist em'.
Odd sweet n' salty combinations have been on the rise for quite awhile now (Heck, they were even serving chocolate-covered mozzarella cheese up at the State Fair), but chocolate-covered pretzels have been a no-brainer since 1544, when pretzel-man Herr Joseph Franz von Liebniz hooked up with the chocolatier next door in Hamburg, Germany to make a truly special food combo. Ahh, Hamburg... Raising up The Beatles AND the sweet n' salty trend.
So why DOES a chocolate pretzel granola bar sound so strange to me? Maybe it's the fact that salty foods like pretzels just seem ODD in typically sweet granola bars, even if said pretzels ARE accompanied by chocolate? I don't know. But anyway, I decided to embrace this growing sweet n' salty trend by testing out Nature Valley's Chocolate Pretzel Nut Bar. One 7.4 oz. box containing six 1.2 oz. bars costs around $3.38.

Monday, December 2, 2013

REVIEW: Fiber One Honey Clusters Cereal

As a little kid, I LOVED Honey Bunches of Oats. And one of the reasons I loved it so much was the fact it tasted delicious and was quote, unquote, "healthy."
As I've grown up, however, I've learned that Honey Bunches of Oats is nothing but a mere cereal made by a commercial industry to appear healthy. In reality, cereals like Krave or Rice Krispies are just about as good for you. Geez, if I had known that, I could've spent my childhood enjoying THOSE cereals instead of wasting my time on Honey Bunches!!! Well, okay- I really DID like the taste of Honey Bunches, but you get what I mean. And I'm SURE there are some of you people out there- adults, not kids- who love Honey Bunches as much as the young "me" did, but unlike the young me, realize it's not the super-mega health cereal we are led to believe. So here's a review of a product that can be best described as a Honey Bunches of Oats replacement that's actually pretty healthy: General Mills' Fiber One Honey Clusters Cereal.
 A 14.25 oz. box costs around $3.98.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

REVIEW: General Mills Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal

Alright, alright... Laaaaast review of a product I'm familiar with. I swear. At least for awhile anyway. 
But, let's face it- I probably talk about General Mill's Cinnamon Toast Crunch whenever I'm reviewing cereal. It's like the product I compare everything ELSE to. On a scale of one to Cinnamon Toast Crunch, how good is this product? It's like that. So I just HAVE to give Cinnamon Toast Crunch credit where it's due. I HAVE to write some sort of post for my favorite cereal- and possibly one of my favorite foods- ever, riiight?
Listen, it's not MY fault that Cinnamon Toast Crunch is older than I am. If I was a food reviewer growing up in 1984, I'm sure I would've tried this product when it first came out and loved it just the same. But since Cinnamon Toast Crunch has been around since I was born, in fact, I can't really say what I thought of it the first time I ate it, since I was probably too young to even remember trying it for the first time. But I love this cereal NOW, and I just feel compelled to share that love with everyone!
And anyway, you might say writing a review of Cinnamon Toast Crunch is useless, since everybody and their brother has at least had it ONCE in their lifetime, but who knows? Maybe there's someone living under a rock out there who hasn't tried it, and needs to know they MUST. Must, must, must. And if not, this review is just a good way to reaffirm everyone else that this cereal is superbly superb. So let's get to it! A 12.2 oz. box costs around $2.98.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

REVIEW: Fiber One Original Cereal

Here's another review of a product that I'm already familiar with! Yay! No hard judgements!
But in all seriousness, I think it's only fair that I "review" Fiber One Original to let you all know how it tastes in detail. I mean, I could stand here and say, "Fiber One is good! Fiber One is good!" but it wouldn't take long for somebody to say, "WHY is it good? And what if only you're the only one who thinks it's good? What if there's something about it that everyone else hates?" And while Fiber One's original cereal may contain certain qualities some people may not care for, it will also contain other qualities people will love. At least I think so. A 1 lb. 0.2 oz. box costs around $3.98.

Friday, November 29, 2013

RECIPE: Cream Cheese Sweet Potato Mash

Well, did everyone have a good Thanksgiving? Get enough food to eat? Enjoy seeing the family? Did you host the celebrations, or did somebody else? Did you make any homemade recipes? Here's one I made- my first time attempting it too. And it turned out really good! 
It might've made more sense to post this recipe before Thanksgiving, but I only created it the night before, so that would've been a little too tight a time-frame for most people, I'd imagine. And besides, I had to make sure everyone at our family's party actually liked this recipe before I sent it out to the whole world to try! Like I'd want angry letters from readers saying how they made this recipe and everybody started gagging on it or something (Don't worry- that didn't happen). But this recipe's base is mashed sweet potatoes, so if you have some leftovers, then you could make this, I bet. But then again, maybe not, unless you made your sweet potatoes plain. Either way, you could always attempt this recipe for next year's Thanksgiving, or anytime really. Like you need me to tell you when it's okay to make a sweet potato casserole. Christmas is coming up too, so you could make this mash even then.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

REVIEW: Kashi Apple Cobbler Soft n' Chewy Bars

Soft n' Chewy is an awfully tantalizing subtitle, isn't it? Especially for someone like myself, who likes her cookies to be super-soft over crunchy and her bacon chewy and limp over crispy and stiff. Maybe you aren't like that, but either way, I'm reviewing these Soft n' Chewy Apple Cobbler-flavored bars from Kashi and there's nothing you can do to stop me. So there- take that, you Hard n' Crunchy crazies! A 7 oz. box containing five 1.4 oz. bars cost me $4.09.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

REVIEW: Kashi Dark Mocha Almond Chewy Granola Bars

I have an affinity for almonds- they're my favorite nut, when it comes down to it. I also have an affinity for dark chocolates- they're my favorite variety of chocolate, when it comes down to it. I also have an affinity for mochas- they're my favorite coffee drink, when it comes down to it. 
At least I THINK they would be... I haven't had what my mom calls "frou-frou" coffee drinks in years. But hey, it's coffee with milk, sugar, and cocoa- what's not to like? So I decided to give these Dark Mocha Almond Bars from Kashi a chance when I was at the grocery store debating what granola bars to taste-test for the week. One 7.4 oz. box containing six 1.2 oz. bars cost $4.09.

Monday, November 25, 2013

REVIEW: Werther's Caramel Coffee, Sugar Free Caramel Apple, and Sugar Free Original Hard Candies

Ahhh... Old people. What are the signs you're turning old? Grey hair? Wrinkles? Loss of hearing? Eyesight? Muscle mass? Going to bed at 4:30 in the afternoon? Stocking your fridge to no end? Crow's feet? Grandkids?
How about buying a whole bunch of hard candy and leaving it out on the kitchen table just to let it sit fester, and hopefully wait SOMEONE comes along to eat all it. (I mean, YOU sure can't... You probably have some health complication that keeps you from eating anything remotely sugary, as an old person).
Yessir. For some reason or another, old people have an affinity for buying hard candy (and even candy in general), whether they're going to eat it or not. While over at my G-ma's and G-pa's for Sunday dinner, there was- guess what? -hard candy in clear glass dishes sitting on the table. Like always. But my grandparents are the kind of old people who aren't supposed to eat hard candy.Or they just choose not to. But yet they have it anyway. And so the omnipresent candy sits, never diminishing in size.
So I decided to take it upon myself to eat some of that ever-opposing candy. It was the least I could do, really.
And while I was at it, why not get in a decent review from these candies as well? So here you go: a three-in-one review of different varieties of Werther's Hard Candies. We got Caramel Coffee, Sugar Free Caramel Apple, and Sugar Free Original. I'm not sure how much a bag of each of these would cost, as I got these little morsels from my grandmother.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

LOCAL REVIEW: The Charcoal Grill & Rotisserie of Kenosha

While going for a shopping spree with my mother and grandmother during the weekend, Mom suggested we three should hit up the Charcoal Grill in town for lunch. I'd never been there before- or to any Charcoal Grill for that matter -so I figured, "First time- makes for a good blog post!"
Charcoal Grill has more than one location, but it's not a national chain either. You'll pretty much only find these restaurants in Wisconsin. I didn't know much about this place going in, but I could tell it was gonna have a few traits of the typical "grill" restaurant that's moderately successful but not incredibly successful- Basically, these types of joints have big portions for fair prices, a diverse menu, a sports theme, family-friendly dining, a cozy atmosphere, plenty of T.V's and specials for game day, and would rather focus on crowd-pleasing food than healthy food. I guess we'll see how many of these traits Charcoal Grill exhibits.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

LOCAL REVIEW: tg's of Kenosha

Hot beef sandwiches (or also sometimes called Italian beef sandwiches) are probably one of the most perfect sandwiches out there. And thankfully, my little town of Kenosha is crawling with restaurants who offer this delectable combination of succulent pot roast-esque beef, thick absorbent bread, and flavorful au jus. You can find a hot beef pretty much anywhere you go! Well- maybe not if you went out for Chinese or Mexican, but you get the picture. But in all my years of living here in town, I've never been to tg's Restaurant & Pub, self-proclaimed "Home of Kenosha's Famous Hot Beef." Not really an outrageous claim- Many Kenoshans have been to tg's to try their hot beef and even go as far as to say they make THE BEST hot beef. And today, I finally got to go and experience what everyone's been talking about.

Friday, November 22, 2013

REVIEW: McDonald's Southwest Premium McWrap (Grilled)

Just when I think I've done it and tried em' all, McDonald's goes and releases a new McWrap! So looks like I've got another review to write, eh? This Southwest McWrap is only available a limited-time too, so when we took the rare trip to MickeyD's for dinner, I keow this is what I had to order before I reviewed any of their other new products- like the Buffalo Ranch McChicken, which sounded awfully good. But I think THAT product is on the menu to stay, so it can wait. Most McDonald's offer this McWrap for $3.99.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

REVIEW: Progresso's Rich & Hearty Chicken & Homestyle Noodles

It's that time of the year again! Soup time! Winter's about, so soup is out! This is my very first soup review, but don't think I'm "soup ignorant" or whatever. I mean, I've probably had about three soups so far this week, and it really beats me as to why I haven't reviewed ANY yet. Perhaps I just figured that soup reviews aren't as "cool" as cereal reviews or protein bar reviews, but I wanted to keep things interesting around on here, so here we go! A sooooup review! Ooooooh! Here it is... Progresso's Rich & Hearty Chicken & Homestyle Noodles. One 18.5 oz can will cost around $1.50.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

REVIEW: Subway's Flatbread

Today, I had originally planned to write a review for Subway's Egg White, Ham, and Cheese sandwich, but I figured, "Eh, I order that ALL THE TIME. I would obviously say it's good, and it's not really a "new" or "hot" item, so what's the point?" It'd be a useless post, unless there are a FEW choice people out there who reeeeally wanna know how one of Subway's select breakfast sandwiches tastes, sans the yolk. But I'll save that post for it on another day. For now, all you need to know is that I will be reviewing the specific BREAD I ordered my sandwich on- Subway's Flatbread. This bread offers no up-charge to your sub.

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