Category Archives: Food & Wine

Pillsbury Thin Mints Brownie & Cupcake Mix Reviews

Perusing down the aisles of Target… i happened upon these mint gems!!

Girl Scouts desserts by Pillsbury… each box is $2.99. They have other varieties from the Girl Scouts cookies line… but I went with my #1 fave… Thin Mints… and I tried the brownie and cupcake mixes.

I made the brownies first… which are OMG phenomenal! I mean… there is still nothing comparable to an actual thin mint Girl Scout cookie… but these brownies are for sure the next best thing…. NOM…. and super easy to make!  

The cupcake mix only makes 12 cupcakes but includes the yummy chocolate ganache mix to make the topping. The cupcakes are very good, but I think the ganache topping takes away from the thin mint flavor.

I’m not sure if these are a limited editon item,… but just in case, I’m going to buy a couple more boxes of the Thin Mints brownie mix!

I give this product 3 paws!

Twizzlers Pull ‘n’ Peel Candy Raspberry, Wild Berry & Lemonade Review

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Twizzlers has created a new red, white and blue themed treat… that is quite honestly… fireworks for my taste buds!!

I am such a long time fan of the traditional strawberry flavored Twizzlers and the cherry Pull ‘n’ Peel… not to mention Twizzlers recent ingenious creation… the strawberry filled bites… Yummy! OMG they are by far my favorite non-chocolate candy!!

This new Raspberry, Wild Berry and Lemonade Pull ‘n’ Peel flavor is SO good and perfect for summer.  Just in time for Memorial Day and 4th of July!  The flavors separately, by pulling them apart, is not as good… Together they are fantastic!

I purchased this 12 oz bag at Target for $2.15… and I will definitely be buying another because this one is long gone LOL.

I give this delicious product 4 paws!

Review of Tarpon Springs Castle Winery & Groupon

I was super excited when I purchased this $39 special on Groupon for the Tarpon Springs Castle Winery… that is,… until I called the winery confirming the hours of operation and inquiring about the scheduling of my tasting!!  YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENED!!

The first time I called, a woman answered… only after several seconds of fumbling the phone… and did not have a business greeting… just a simple “hello”.  This is how the convo continued:

  • ME:  “Hello, I purchased a Groupon for the wine & chocolate tasting for two and I wanted to use the Groupon this Saturday, …I see you are open until 6pm… how long is the tour?”
  • RUDE WINERY LADY:  “Oh my gosh ma’am, (…gasp!…) you can’t just show up when you’re using a Groupon,… you have to have an appointment!  You’ll have to call back Wednesday so I can pencil you in.”
  • ME:  “uh, okay… thank you.”

I was SO caught off guard by this woman’s rude attitude towards me… that I had no other words, but to say in my most confused voice… “okay,… thank you”!  I stewed over this conversation for the next 5 minutes… replaying it in my mind in disbelief… as I got angrier and more frustrated over her lack of phone etiquette to a potential customer.  So I called back… and this is how that convo went:

  • RUDE WINERY LADY:  “Yeah.”   …(No greeting… just “yeah”… seriously?!?!)
  • ME:  “Yes, I just spoke to you about visiting the winery this Saturday and you said I had to call back Wednesday so that you could pencil me in… and I’m just wondering why I can’t schedule an appointment now.”
  • RUDE WINERY LADY:  “Because I’m not at the winery ma’am, we aren’t open right now!!!”  …(in almost a shouting tone!!)
  • ME:  “I work in customer service and you are being extremely rude… so rude in fact that I don’t even want to come to your winery & I’m going to contact Groupon for a refund!”
  • RUDE WINERY LADY:  “I’m normally not this rude.”  …(NO apology or remorse of how she treated me,…what-so-ever!)
  • ME:  “Well you’re extremely rude right now!” … and I hung up her!!

Was this lady for real?!?  I later discovered that they aren’t open on Monday… the day I called… but why answer your phone then?!?  I immediately told all my co-workers, friends and family this story because frankly… it took me a while to get over it!… plus I wanted to be sure no one gave this winery any business!  In using Groupon, companies are essentially paying a fee for new customers and business… WHY THE HELL would an employee be SO rude to a brand new potential customer… especially one that loves wine so much and could have given you A LOT of business!?!  Their loss.

I immediately emailed Groupon to notify them of this horrible experience and to request a credit for the full amount of this Groupon I no longer had a desire to use.  Groupon customer service responded to my email with sincerity and credited my account for the full amount within 4 hours!!

I give the Tarpon Springs Castle Winery NO paws.

I give Groupon 4 paws!!  They are a Meowvalous company!

Here is the Groupon you should NOT purchase:

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Xo,G Giuliana 4 Premium Wine Glasses Review

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I saw an ad for this wine in a fashion magazine and immediately thought it was a neat concept.  Four lightweight, shatterproof, pre-filled glasses of wine, stacked for under $10.  I was disappointed that I had to go to Walmart to get it… because I’m a Target girl all the way LOL!  I would have loved to try the Moscato and get the 4-pack of Pinot Noir, but the only option at Walmart was the mix pack pictured.  A Rosé 4-pack is also available, according to the website (that you can’t order from) xogwine.com.  It is however available from 3 online stores, listed under the “BUY XOG” tab.

Cabernet and Pinot Noir are my two favorite types of wine and I prefer medium and full-bodied wines.  The Xo,G Pinot Noir is very good… I wasn’t crazy about the Pinot Grigio… but I don’t typically like that type of wine in any brand.

I won’t be getting this mix pack again, but I would absolutely buy the 4-pack of Pinot Noir!  It is the perfect portable wine for a picnic or sunset viewing… NO corkscrew & glass needed!  Generally I don’t have a problem finishing a bottle of wine in 2 days by myself LOL… so the portable concept is what appeals to me the most.  Hopefully Giuliana Rancic is working on a Cabernet for the red wine lovers… and it would be wonderful if more stores would carry the collection!

I give this product 3 paws.

Duff Goldman, Chocolate Mint Premium Cookie Mix Review

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I bought my first Duff Goldman boxed dessert kit, …the chocolate mint premium cookie mix.  It was $3.99 at Target and I’ve had it for a couple of months, but just got around to baking them on this lazy Sunday. There are quite a few at-home dessert kits available now, to bring Duff’s delectable concoctions into your home …and belly!

In addition to the included cookie mix & bag of mint chips, the only other ingredients you’ll need are refrigerator staples… 1/3 cup of butter and 2 eggs.  I followed the simple box instructions and in no time I was sampling my first cookie!

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They are SO fantastic… the love child of a brownie and thin mint girl scout cookie!!  Taste test also approved by my hubby… who ate several back-to-back… as I celebrated my awesome baking skills, …As If the recipe was mine and I didn’t just mix some ingredients together & follow instruction LOL!

The box says the mix makes about 3 dozen cookies,… I think I made my dough balls a little too big, because I only got 29 cookies out of it and I had to bake them for 13 minutes, …2 minutes longer than the 9 to 11 minute box instruction.  I like my cookies gooey and soft, and they were just that… perfectly… after 13 minutes!  I’m so excited to share these with my parents, when I bring some to dinner tomorrow night… especially since they didn’t get to order thin mints this year from their regular girl scout hook-up due to being out of town.  I would absolutely buy this again, …they are super easy to make & ideal for sharing!

I give this product 4 paws!!

It Works! It’s Essential Weight Loss Energy Bars Review

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Founded in 2001, It Works! is a skin care and nutritional supplement company located in Florida.  A friend introduced me to the brand in August 2013 …and I’ve been a loyal customer ever since!  Being part of their loyal customer program entitles me to exclusive discounts …and only in exchange for an auto-shipment once a month. The auto-shipment is modifiable at any time and works for me, because on a minimum I order a box of “It’s Essential” bars each month.  At $25 for a box of 10 bars (plus $3.95 shipping), these Dark Chocolate Berry Weight Loss Energy Bars are the best tasting protein bars I’ve ever had!!

I’ve tried so many protein bars, in search for a healthy breakfast alternative to leftover pizza LOL… and this one is so fantastically delicious!  I am a huge fan of dark chocolate and an even bigger fan of dark chocolate combined with berries… so It makes complete sense that I would love this product!  You can see the nutrition facts & ingredients in the photo below, but each bar has 10g of protein… not the 30+ grams found in body builder protein bars… but 10g is better than 1g or no grams!

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These bars are perfect for my on-the-go lifestyle and they keep me full until lunch time!  Visit myItWorks.com and taste the difference for yourself!

I give this product 4 paws!

Little Caesars Bacon Wrapped Crust Deep! Deep! Dish Pizza Review

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Ohhhh Myyyy Goshhhh.  Bacon lovers rejoice!  This pizza is so incredibly delicious!!… but I guess it’s not that impossible to believe… it is bacon after all that I’m talking about LOL.  For $12 you get two 4-corner deep dish pepperoni and bacon pizzas …with a crispy crust… (wait for it).WRAPPED IN 3-1/2 FEET OF BACON!

I have always been a Hungry Howie’s pizza lover… their pepperoni with the butter cheese crust… YUM!  But when I saw the commercial for this mind-blowing concoction… I had to try it ASAP!  Their deep dish pizza already rivals Pizza Hut’s ..which I also love… adding the bacon just took it to a whole different level.  Little Caesar should high-five the genius that suggested that!  It’s not thick-cut bacon, which I’m happy about, …it’s thinly sliced and the PERFECT amount of bacon, which you get in almost every bite… thanks to their genius square design!  It’s hard to believe it’s taken until 2015 for this to be created… but I’m certainly glad that it’s debuting now… Better late than never!

I give this bacon wrapped Deep! Deep! dish pizza 4 paws!!