#10 – Is Dunkin Better Than Starbucks?!

Alex and Stef review Dunkin’ coffee and some snack items while discussing cheaper alternatives to your common coffee stop!

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#10- Is Dunkin’ better than Starbucks?! Chat, Chew, Review

Alex and Stef review Dunkin’ coffee and some snack items while discussing cheaper alternatives to your common coffee stop! — This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app
  1. #10- Is Dunkin’ better than Starbucks?!
  2. #9- Chili’s Mukbang & Loving TikTok
  3. #8 – Catching Up After Quarantine
  4. #7 – Cocktails & Quarantine
  5. #6 – Getting Heated Over The Bachelor

The Chat, Chew, Review Podcast is also available on Apple PodcastsSpotifyAnchor, and more!

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My Honest Thoughts on Dr. Pepper & Cream Soda

If you haven’t already heard, Dr. Pepper recently introduced a new version of this fan favorite soda called Dr. Pepper & Cream Soda. As Taste of Home reported, “The new drink initially debuted at the 2019 National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) annual trade show,” along with Coca-Cola Energy. I passed on the hype about Coca-Cola Energy, but Dr. Pepper mixed with Cream Soda? That sounded like something to get excited about.

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I must say, the rollout of this drink seemed very smooth; however, I have to take into account that the stores I shop at are in close proximity to the Keurig Dr. Pepper corporate headquarters. Nevertheless, I have seen Dr. Pepper & Cream Soda in both cans and bottles at Target, Walmart, and Tom Thumb stores.

Generally, I drink Diet Dr. Pepper because I enjoy the taste a bit more than the regular version. I wish that Dr. Pepper Ten were more popular, but I rarely see it in stores near me anymore. I found the regular Dr. Pepper & Cream Soda in stores first, so of course I bought what I could.

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Did it taste good? Oh 100%! You still get a sense of the original Dr. Pepper taste, which is famous for combining 23 flavors. The added cream soda flavor makes this drink taste like a Dr. Pepper float without the physical ice cream. I can only imagine what it would taste like with a hefty scoop of Homemade Vanilla Blue Bell (It’s a Texas thing). Dr. Pepper & Cream Soda is honestly a match made in heaven. I hope that this drink becomes a mainstay in stores near me because I’m already hooked!

Since buying the regular version of Dr. Pepper & Cream Soda, I have also come across the diet version. Again, I prefer Diet Dr. Pepper over the original and this is no exception. The Diet Dr. Pepper & Cream Soda is just as delicious without all the calories and added sugars. Although I don’t actually drink a ton of soda, I like diet soda because it’s not as thick as regular soda. If I’m not mistaken, most soda is sweetened with cane sugar which makes the drink too sweet for me to consume on a regular basis. Diet soda contains artificial sweeteners that make it more enjoyable in my opinion.

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Dr. Pepper & Cream Soda makes me look forward to warm summer days where I can indulge in an ice cold soda. The cream soda perfectly accents the fan favorite taste of Dr. Pepper. Whether you enjoy regular or diet soda, Dr. Pepper & Cream Soda comes in both varieties. Dr. Pepper & Cream Soda is now available in nationwide.

#5 – Wendy’s Breakfast Menu Breaks the Internet

Wendy’s broke the internet last week with the launch of their new breakfast menu. In this episode, Alex and Stef try the new menu items and talk about a few fast food conspiracy theories.

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REVIEW: Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew Canned Drinks

Are you a fan of the Nitro Cold Brew at Starbucks? If the answer is yes you are in luck because Starbucks recently launched Nitro Cold Brew canned coffee drinks! The Nitro Cold Brew canned drinks come in three flavors: Black, Dark Caramel, and Vanilla Sweet Cream.

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I found all three flavors of Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew cans in the refrigerated case at Target. Prior to seeing posts on Instagram about these drinks, I had no idea that Starbucks planned to release cans of Nitro Cold Brew. I know that Nitro is a popular drink choice at Starbucks but I was not expecting it in cans so soon.

According to Bustle, “Each 9.6-oz can is infused with nitrogen to give it the same velvety smooth taste that you get from Starbucks’ in-store Nitro Cold Brew.” Whenever I order Nitro in stores, I always get the flavored cold foam on top, so I was curious to find out how these coffee drinks tasted. I chose to buy the Dark Caramel and Vanilla Sweet Cream varieties since I do not drink black coffee.

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Overall, I was pleased with both the Dark Caramel and Vanilla Sweet Cream flavors. Nitro Cold Brew always seems much more smooth than regular espresso drinks. I used to purchase the Starbucks Doubleshot Energy Drinks if I needed a quick pick-me-up, but I may finally convert to the Nitro cans. These premium coffee drinks offer a balanced ratio of coffee to added flavor. Not to mention, the Nitro packs a punch of caffeine to give you an extra energy boost.

REVIEW: Coffeemate Cinnamon Toast Crunch Creamer

If you haven’t already heard, Coffeemate recently introduced two new coffee creamers: Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Funfetti. When this news hit in December I could not wait to try the Cinnamon Toast Crunch. The sweet, cinnamon flavored cereal milk is always a delight after eating a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and now that is available in the form of coffee creamer.

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It tastes as good as it looks 🤤☕

A post shared by Coffee mate (@coffeemate) on

Coffeemate announced in December that the creamer would start appearing in store starting January 2020. With that knowledge I started my search for this gem. Every time I visited a grocery store, I searched high and low for the creamer without any luck. I finally found the Funfetti creamer at Walmart but I did not want to settle. After reaching out to Coffeemate on Instagram, they instructed me to look at my local Target or Kroger. So, I directed my search efforts to Target.

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Alas, I found it! On a routine Target run, I finally came across the Coffeemate Cinnamon Toast Creamer. Once at home, I popped open the seal on this bad boy and took in the sweet smell of cinnamon and cream. The creamer passed the smell test for sure. To my surprise, cinnamon did not overpower the creamer and there was a nice balance with the sweet cream.

Okay it smells good, so what? All we care about is the taste. I brewed a capsule of vanilla-flavored coffee in my Nespresso and added a healthy portion of the creamer. On a scale of black coffee to complete milk, I enjoy a balanced coffee to cream ratio. I took a sip and embarked on a flashback to my childhood when I would drink the leftover cinnamon sugar milk from my cereal bowl.

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The Coffeemate Cinnamon Toast Crunch creamer hits the nail on its head. I love that the cinnamon flavor does not overpower the entire coffee. You truly do experience more of a sweet, cinnamon milk experience. If you’ve ever tried horchata, that what I can closely compare this coffee creamer to. Nevertheless, if you want to Cinnamon Toast Crunch experience you should definitely give this creamer a try.

Dunkaroos, McDonald’s, Wendy’s: This Week in Food News

Dunkaroos Are Making a Comeback

It’s official; Dunkaroos are coming back. General Mills discontinued this cookie/frosting duo in the US back in 2012. Now, all Nineties kids can rejoice because this nostalgic snack will return this summer. Dunkaroos originally came in three varieties: Graham cookies with chocolate or peanut butter creme or chocolate chip graham cookies. The newest flavor consists of vanilla cookies, vanilla frosting, and sprinkles.

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Return of the Shamrock Shake

The wait is almost over. On February 19, the Shamrock Shake will return to McDonald’s locations nationwide. In addition to the return of this fan favorite, McDonald’s also announced that it will release the brand new OREO Shamrock McFlurry. This new menu item features mint soft serve ice cream mixed with crushed Oreos.

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Wendy’s Breakfast is Coming for McDonald’s

Wendy’s is coming full force with a new line of breakfast menu items including the Breakfast Baconator, Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit, and the Frosty-ccino. These new breakfast option will be available starting March 2. I am most intrigued by the Frosty-ccino which consists of cold brew coffee with cream from a melted vanilla or chocolate Frosty. Which new menu item do you want most?

A Roundup of My 2020 Birthday Freebies

I recently celebrated my birthday (Shoutout to all the Aquarius people out there) and while it wasn’t necessarily a large milestone, I wanted to make the most of it. In addition to the multiple plans I made throughout the day, I decided this would be the year I would hunt down all the birthday freebies I could find. Check out all the items I received for free on my birthday:

Starbucks

I am not ashamed to say I have been a member of the Starbucks Rewards program since around 2013. Now that’s a commitment! In addition to all the rewards I receive throughout the year, I thoroughly enjoy my annual birthday reward. This year I decided to treat myself with a Venti Iced Caramel Macchiato with an extra shot of espresso to start my day off right. Pro Tip: Maximize your free drink rewards by ordering a larger size. Regardless of size and customization, the drink is always free!

Retail Value: $6.35


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Einstein’s

After getting my free coffee from Starbucks, I was really craving a good breakfast and Einstein’s came in clutch. Prior to my actual birthday an email came to my inbox from the Einstein’s Bros Bakery Smear Society which included a coupon for a free, one egg breakfast sandwich. Einstein’s puts together delicious breakfast sandwiches so I jumped at the opportunity for a free bagel sandwich. I ordered the Bacon, Avocado, & Tomato Egg White Sandwich on an Everything Bagel and went on my merry way.

Retail Value: $4.89


Redbox

This was my first experience with the Redbox Rewards program. I have used Redbox in the past but I generally try to stay away because I am notoriously bad at returning the movies. However, Redbox gifted me with a free DVD rental so I decided to take advantage of the offer. My boyfriend and I rented Joker and enjoyed a cozy movie night at home.

Retail Value: $1.75


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Nothing Bundt Cakes

Before moving to Texas I had no idea about Nothing Bundt Cakes. Trust me on this; there’s nothing better than a red velvet bundlet with cream cheese frosting. I received a coupon for a free bundlet through the Nothing Bundt Cakes reward program so of course I had to pay them a visit. No surprise here the cake was as delicious as ever. The creamy frosting compliments every bite of red velvet, and there are chocolate chips hidden in the cake that add extra bits of flavor.

Retail Value: $4.00


Sprinkles

Ah, Sprinkles. Who can resist? Join the Sprinkles Perks program and you can get a free cupcake on your birthday too! Sprinkles offers plenty of options to choose from including a selection of featured flavors each month. However, I went with the classic Red Velvet so I could compare with my bundtlet. Both are great in their own regard, but I think Nothing Bundt Cakes wins with their cream cheese frosting.

Retail Value: $3.99


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Ulta

Every year during my birthday month, I always head to Ulta for a freebie and other great deals. Through the Ultamate Rewards program, members receive double the points on purchases throughout their entire birthday month. Along with a $10 coupon I received the Tarte Maneater mascara during my birthday month. The real gamechanger for me was receiving an offer for five times the points on any salon, skin or brow service during the week of my birthday. I decided to get my hair done and now have $50 worth of points that I can redeem at any time.

Retail Value: $23.00


The entire retail value of the my birthday freebies totaled $43.98! These are just a few of the many rewards available on your birthday. In fact, The Penny Hoarder put together an extensive list of almost 80 birthday freebies to enjoy. I will say that redeeming six of these birthday freebies was challenging enough, but it is possible to go the entire day without spending one cent. Take the challenge for yourself and see how many free items you can redeem on your birthday!

The Cheesecake Factory, Coffeemate, Ben & Jerry’s: A Week in Food News

The Cheesecake Factory Expands into Ice Cream

The Cheesecake Factory At Home Ice Cream

The Cheesecake Factory will expand into a new product category with a new line of specialty ice cream pints. I will venture to say this is the most anticipated food release so far this year. These specialty pints will retail for about $5 and come in 7 different flavors: Key Lime, Strawberry, Salted Caramel, Cookies & Cream, Birthday Cake, Original, and Chocolate. You can find these new ice cream pints beginning March 2020.

Coffeemate Debuts 2 New Flavors

Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Funfetti Coffemate Coffee Creamer

Last November, Coffee mate gave its followers a sneak peak of two new creamers that would hit shelves in January 2020. Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Funfetti Coffee mate coffee creamers are here to make mornings a lot sweeter. The Cinnamon Toast Crunch creamer provides consumers with the delicious taste of cinnamon cereal milk they know and love. Or you can opt for birthday cake in a cup with the help of Funfetti creamer. Keep your eyes peeled for these new coffee creamers in a store near you!

Ben & Jerry’s Adds More Snackable Dough Options

Ben & Jerry’s Snackable Dough

Adding to the successful launch of snackable cookie dough products, Ben & Jerry’s plans to roll out two new flavors: Half Baked Chunks and Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie. The original flavors debuted in the fall and are absolutely to die for! You would think that the chunks would be hard to eat since they are kept in the freezer; quite the contrary. The cookie dough chunks melt in your mouth and will leave you wanting more.

5 Must-Have Thanksgiving Sides

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and there’s just enough time left to do some last minute shopping. Do you have your Thanksgiving dinner planned out already? In case you forgot a few items, here are the five must-have sides you need on the table:

5. Dinner Rolls

I generally prefer stuffed crescent rolls with my Thanksgiving dinner; and they are so simple to make! Just cut string cheese sticks in half and roll them up with Pillsbury Crescent rolls. In just 12 minutes you will have the most delightful cheesy rolls that work perfectly with some cranberry sauce on top.

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4. Green Bean Casserole

Growing up, green bean casserole was never my personal favorite. My mom would always make it for other members of the family. However, over the last couple years I have actually grown to like it. On Thanksgiving day, green bean casserole is only type of vegetable on my plate so it helps balance out the rest of the meal.

3. Sweet Potato Casserole

Okay I will have to show my bias on this one. While sweet potato casserole is my personal favorite Thanksgiving dish, I do acknowledge that not all people value it as high as I do. Something about the sweet potatoes, brown sugar, and the roasted marshmallows on top; it’s the perfect symphony of flavors. Also, this dish is like a dessert before the actual desert. Who doesn’t love that?

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2. Stuffing/Dressing

Now I did not know the difference between stuffing and dressing until recently. Apparently, stuffing goes in the turkey and the dressing is baked on its own. My mom would always make both anyway so I never had to pick and choose between the two. Stuffing provides that quintessential Thanksgiving feeling in my opinion. I only eat it once a year on this occasion and enjoy it every time.

1. Mashed Potatoes

I honestly believe you cannot have a Thanksgiving dinner without mashed potatoes and gravy on the table. Mashed potatoes can be paired with nearly everything on the plate: turkey, stuffing, and even corn. Thanksgiving also provides the perfect excuse to have two different potato dishes in the same meal. Mashed potatoes are vital to Thanksgiving, and everyone knows it.

What is your favorite Thanksgiving side dish? Let me know in the comments below!

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REVIEW: Harry London S’mores Snack Mix

I’m a tried and true Costco fanatic. In fact, I worked at Costco for two years during college before starting my career. Throughout my time at Costco, I witnessed the sheer volume of product that traveled in and out of the store. Pallets upon pallets of snacks, food items, produce and more; Costco really has it all. I personally loved all of the seasonal products, especially the sweets that would come in around the holidays.

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That brings me to the topic of today’s post; the Harry London S’mores snack mix. This S’mores mix is the latest addition to Costco’s seasonal section. As the package describes this products is comprised of, “Crunchy cereal and fluffy marshmallows coated in milk chocolate.” As a self-proclaimed S’mores lover I knew I could not leave the store without this mix.

Harry London S'mores Snack Mix

Each piece of graham cracker and marshmallow is covered in rich chocolate. I absolutely love marshmallows; and the ones in this mix are perfectly soft underneath the chocolate shell. The graham cracker pieces, or Golden Graham cereal, provide the additional crunch to balance out the soft marshmallows.

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The Harry London S’mores Snack Mix is insanely delicious and worth the $10 per bag. However, with the holidays right around the corner, this mix inspired me to create my own version. Make your own S’mores mix for friends and family this holiday season in a few simple steps:

Homemade S’mores Mix

  • 1 box Golden Grahams
  • 1 package Jet Puffed mini marshmallows
  • 1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 bag white chocolate chips
  • Milk chocolate melting wafers

Directions:

Cover a sheet pan with parchment paper or a nonstick mat. Melt the chocolate wafers in the microwave for one minute. Stir the chocolate and continue microwaving in 30 second intervals until fully melted. Spread some of the melted chocolate on the sheet pan to create a base for the other ingredients. Save the rest of the melted chocolate to drizzle on top.

Pour the Golden Grahams and marshmallows on top of the melted chocolate so they are evenly distributed. Then, add both chocolate chips to the mix. Use the melted chocolate and drizzle over the top of the S’mores mix to hold all of the pieces together. Allow the chocolate to harden, about one hour. Enjoy!

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