It never fails, I make dietary lifestyle changes months before my birthday, and then when March 2 rolls around (and I can no longer contain myself), I unleash my ‘naughty’ appetite and allow myself to splurge with reckless abandon. Over the months, the temptations kept rolling in, and I decided to compile a list of the food and meals that I wanted to try out when I was in non-diet mode. Below are the items that I decided to enjoy during my birthday week:
1. Trader Joe’s Honey Butter Chips
‘Honey butter?’ Everyone questioned the flavor of these chips before trying, but were all pleasantly surprised. When you open the bag, the scent of buttery sweetness hits the air. This is a unique flavor of chips. You distinctly taste butter paired with something sweet. I really liked them, but it’s also the kind of flavor that I think you’ll eat once in a blue moon…and not in excess. The texture of these chips are somewhere between the crispy flimsiness of Lay’s and the stiffness of kettle chips – they are firm, but not extremely crunchy.
Was It Worth It? Yes, and everyone else liked them too.
2. Hershey’s Mint Cookie Layer Crunch
Comprised of a “dark chocolate bar with chocolate cookie bits and mint crème,” the Hershey’s Mint Cookie Layer Crunch bar comes in a full-size candy bar, or mini bars sold in a pouch. The exterior chocolate layer has Hershey’s signature deliciousness. Inside, you will find small beads of cookie crunch covered in a layer of cooling mint creaminess. It tastes like the candy form of Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies.
Was It Worth It? Yes, it’s got creamy chocolate, chocolatey crunch, and a minty rush of flavor.
3. Starbucks Cascara Latte
The cascara latte is made with the dried fruit of the coffee cherry, which produces a brewed espresso with “subtle notes of dark brown sugar and luscious maple.” This particular latte is a drink that has been calling my name ever since it graced the Starbucks menu. The Cascara syrup is made with cane sugar, coffee cherry extract, and organic coconut sugar. The coffee cherry extract is used again in the topping. The beverage tastes like a smooth latte, but nothing that I’d go crazy over. I definitely built the drink up as a more satisfying option in my mind.
Was It Worth It? It tastes good, but I think I imagined something grander. I don’t really taste anything that makes me go ‘wow.’
4. Starbucks Chocolate Hazelnut Croissant
With a buttery, flaky crust decorated with chopped hazelnuts, this braided pastry is filled with chocolate hazelnut paste. It’s such an appetizing treat, but also unfortunately includes 10 grams of saturated fat, which is 50% of your recommended daily value – that’s an eye-opener, which means that I probably would not have purchased if I knew this detail beforehand…or wouldn’t have eaten the entire thing, at least. Despite this, I LOVE the taste and texture.
Was It Worth It? Taste-wise, YES! Saturated fat-wise, NO!
5. KFC’s Georgia Gold Tenders
Soaked in “tangy honey mustard BBQ sauce,” I got the Extra Crispy Tenders not once, but twice. The honey mustard concoction offers a satisfying hit of heat. The white meat chicken is flavorful and tender. Also, the individual size of the tenders is generous, in my opinion. Too bad this option will not be on KFC’s permanent menu.
Was It Worth It? Absolutely! So much so, I introduced my parents to the tenders, and they enjoyed them as well (and my Dad is picky about food). The honey mustard flavor was a real winner, which I feel is more like honey mustard hot sauce, than a BBQ flavor.
6. Popeye’s Chicken Waffle Tenders
Served with a honey maple dipping sauce (which I love), I was disappointed in the overall execution of this creation. The tenders seem to be fried in a slightly sweet waffle batter.
Was It Worth It? It was nice to sample (to satisfy my curiosity), but I could have ultimately skipped this one. I was left thoroughly disappointed.
7. White Cheesecake M&Ms
I love cheesecake, and I love trying different M&M flavors, so it was only natural that I buy these. The M&Ms really do taste like cheesecake, but I warn you that the novelty wears off quickly.
Was It Worth It? This was a unique flavor to sample once…just to say ‘I tried them,’ but to be left with an entire bag…not worth the cost.
8. Cotton Candy Peeps
I’m a huge fan of Peeps, and they are constantly coming out with all sorts of crazy flavors that catch my eye. When I saw the Cotton Candy Peeps (perfect for an Easter basket), I had to have them…and they did not disappoint. Soft and with an almost melt-in-your-mouth texture, the pink Peeps are covered in flecks of blue sugar. If you are a fan of cotton candy, try these. It will make you smile.
Was It Worth It? Oh yes! It’s like eating cotton candy in chewy, sweet-surging burst of flavor form.
9. Toasted Marshmallow Pepperidge Farm Milanos
I usually can eat any type of Pepperidge Farm Milanos; they are one of my absolute all-time indulgences. The milk chocolate and dark chocolate ones…ooo…and the peppermint! But, that all stops with this flavor. I can’t stand this flavor; it is sickeningly sweet to me. It has this syrupy kind of flavor that overpowers the enjoyment of the cookie portion of the Milano. I’ve never voluntarily given away a bag of Milanos, but I did with these. They actually make me gag.
Was It Worth It? No way. I think these are the worst Milanos I’ve ever tasted.
10. Belgium Boys Mini Cookie Stash
Fashioned to look like lil’ mustaches, Belgium Boys Cookie Butter Cookies deliver a nice amount of sweetness with a pop of cinnamon. The cute cookie shape offered a solid crunch, and was also fun to eat.
Was It Worth It? Yes, how can you go wrong with cookie butter?
11. Project 7 Champagne Dreams Brut & Rosé Gummy Bears
Offering an undeniably-appetizing sweetness, no alcohol is used to make these brut- and rosé -flavored gourmet gummies. You really can taste the essence of bubbly with these non-GMO gummies, which are also very soft in texture. I purchased these gummies at Starbucks. As a side note, I really like Project 7 (a made-in-the-USA company), which also produces a creative line of sugar-free gourmet gum.
Was It Worth It? I will definitely buy these again.