Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Review of Meijer Watermelon Flavored Water

Review of Meijer Watermelon Flavored Water

In my daily quest to keep caloric intake down, I realize one of the areas that it is best to cut back is when enjoying a beverage. I usually accompany daily meals with coffee, unsweetened ice tea, water, and occasionally diet soda for calorie free refreshment. I have recently noticed the assortment of fruit flavored waters sold at Meijer. I decided to try their watermelon flavored water.

The water is sold in seventeen ounce plastic bottle portions. Bottle opens with a carbonated “fssst”, and pours light and fizzy over a tall glass of ice. The sparking beverage is pleasing to the eye and reminds me of the occasional watermelon flavored jolly ranchers I sometimes enjoy at my desk.

First taste was crisp and delightful. While there are artificial sweeteners (sucralose), I did not really pick up on any heavy or negative flavor one typically associates with such products.
The Meijer line of fruit flavored water is sold as 12 ounce single bottles. There are no six or twelve pack arrangements. A single bottle of the watermelon sparking water goes for eighty nine cents. Competitive fruit flavored labels of similar size go between $1.00 and $1.20.  
Overall Result

I love watermelon flavor so this was an easy thumbs up. I like the taste of this beverage and find it an excellent break from drinking diet soda or tea. I have also not seen this flavor of water carried by other companies so I rate this product a strong buy. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Review of Aldi Baker’s Corner Fudge Brownie Mix

We recently hosted a playoff hockey party with a few extended family members coming over to watch the game and indulge in munchies.

The food planning was easy as 1-2-3 as I ordered some carry out pizzas and broke out a salad to go along with dinner.

Dessert? I had brownies on my mind. Brownies are so easy to prepare as one can simply mix a few ingredients, bake in the oven in less than one hour and viola, brownies are ready! I headed up to Aldi food store for a box of their brand of mix known as Baker’s Corner Brownie mix. Baker’s Corner is apparently the only brownie mix brand carried by Aldi, so by default I chose this box. I am accustomed to Betty Crocker and Ghirardelli from other stores, so I was expecting an average to below average result with this mix.  Bakers Corner, please don’t fail me!

Like all quick prepared brownie mixes, this one was pretty easy to assemble. Besides the mix, I only needed two eggs, some vegetable oil and water. I mixed those items together in a large bowl before putting the brownie batter in a greased nine by nine baking pan. The brownies cooked at 350 degrees F for approximately thirty eight minutes. The baking process made the entire upper level of my house smell like a bakery. The yield was about twenty brownies.

After knocking out a very large pizza with very little salad, we were ready for the dessert taste test. I tried a corner square of the brownies. (I always like the corner pieces). The chewiness and fudge flavor were there, and I found these brownies to be as equally as satisfying as the Betty Crocker Triple Chunk mix with Hershey’s chocolate. A blind taste test would never reveal this was a “generic” brownie at all. One possible alteration full blown chocolate lovers would consider, would be to add a small handful of chocolate chips to the batter prior to placing in oven. Personally, I don’t think the extra chocolate was needed. My wife thinks otherwise as she puts chips in brownie mixes regardless of brands.

One box of Baker’s Corner Fudge brownie mix only set me back $1.29 compared to a similar sized box of the Betty Crocker Triple Chunk Premium Mix at $2.29, a dollar savings.

Overall Result

There is no second guessing the value and satisfaction of the Baker’s Corner Mix. The brownies are enough to get my family through at least three desserts; assuming no one sneaks a square when I am not looking. This is a very strong buy. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Aldi Cerveza Monterrey Beer : A Review

Several times I have browsed the beer selection at Aldi as these beverages are conveniently positioned across from the chips and salty snack shelves. (Excellent product placement Aldi!). Well, I recently had a backyard cookout and decided to pick up some Cerveza Monterrey beer to accompany my other cooler standbys of Miller Lite and Goose Island 312.  For the most part, I have been experiencing a hot streak of satisfaction with Aldi products so I thought I would try my luck with one of their beer selection.

Physical Description

The beer is sold only in six pack counts as there are no twelve pack or case options. The packaging is quite familiar to the blue, yellow and white packaging of Corona. The bottle is clear and light just like Sol or Corona with a palm tree emblem with the word “MONTERREY” all in caps written across. The lager beer takes on a very pale gold tone.  Chilled ice cold with a lime on top sells it even further.

Time for the all important taste test. I drink light Mexican beers such as Sol or Corona only a few times a year, usually in the middle of a heat wave or just craving that beer that pairs well with a lime. The Cerveza Monterrey was iced down in a cooler for an hour and that did the trick. A blind taste test would still reveal a close resemblance to Sol or Corona but a tad heartier and less aromatic. I also picked up a refreshing crisp bite at the end of each taste that left me wanting a little more. Taste did not suffer, though these drinks were consumed iced down with a little citrus wedge enhancement. A less chilled version of this without a lime might yield a different result.

The six pack of Cerveza Monterrey only set me back a $5.49. Competitive brand names such as Sol or Corona usually go between seven to eight bucks for the same quantity; though Corona could compete with this price on occasion when the twelve packs go on sale between $10.99 and $11.99.


As a comfort to entertaining others, I would probably always purchase the brands such as Corona and Sol just because my guests know those labels. For my own personal enjoyment, I would definitely consider picking up Cerveza Monterrey again especially when shopping for my other regular Aldi weekly provisions, and I don’t want to make a second stop on the way home for other beer. This is a good buy. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Review of Krusteaz Apple Cinnamon Supreme Muffin Mix

Every so often I get the taste for muffins or quick bread to go with my morning coffee. On that note, I recently picked up a box of the Krusteaz apple/cinnamon muffin mix. I usually try to make muffins from scratch but every so often I encounter a full schedule where a premade mix makes the job a lot easier. This time around I decided to go with an apple flavored muffin mix as opposed to my usual blueberry choice. The muffins were purchased at Meijer under their three boxes for five dollars sale. A box of the Krusteaz mix at $1.67s seemed like a pretty good deal next to competitive other brands at $2.30 per box.

The packaging is like your typical cake/pancake mix with the white background and red Krusteaz labeling. The package contents weigh in at 19.2 ounces and provide enough to make two trays of muffins or in my case one shallow loaf pan quick bread. I usually prefer to prepare quick breads as opposed to muffins since I dread cleaning muffin pans. I also think muffins are more susceptible to drying out during baking and cooling process.

The preparation of this breakfast item was easy as it was simply a matter of mixing premixed muffin mix along with 1 and ¾ cup of water along with the special apple jam like ingredient that was in a separate pouch. No oils needed! The apple compote item was the last ingredient that was gently folded into the batter.  I then placed the quick bread into a 350 degree oven for 50 minutes. The baking process left the entire upper level of my home smelling cinnamon apple fresh. Yes! 

Taste of Krusteaz Apple Cinnamon Quick Bread

As the loaf cooled, I cut ten decent size slices for serving. The slices were still moist and the apple compote was visible throughout the bread. The taste was an immediate let down. While I enjoyed the additional apple flavor, the parts of the muffin that did not have the compote were really flavorless. I was really looking forward to this breakfast and barely got through one piece. The dough needed to be sweeter or required a little cinnamon blast throughout, something………..anything.  The rest of the family also gave this breakfast item a thumb's down.

I am not going to give up on cinnamon apple muffins as I will search for another brand or search for a recipe online.

I rate the Krusteaz Cinnamon Apple Supreme Muffin Mix a weak purchase. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Review of Clancy's Cinnamon Churros

You got hand it to Aldi, that store is good for bringing out seasonal products that are amazingly tasty and satisfying, only to learn such items are deemed seasonal and nothing more than a tease. I recently picked up a seasonal promotion bag of the Clancy’s Cinnamon Churros twists. The bag was surprisingly under one dollar! The choice to throw this bag into my cart was easy as I am a huge fan of getting my churro fix at White Sox games and at the Costco food court. (I have not even tried the churro breakfast cereal as of yet).
The Clancy’s snack brand has not really ever disappointed when it comes to getting a chip side kick for sandwiches or just getting some tortilla chips for dipping, so I figured to give the churro chips a fair shake.

The churro twists are sold in thin plastic bright red bag with contents weighing in at a mere three ounces. Due to the solid colored packaging, there is no way of getting a sneak peak of this snack by observing the chips beforehand. 

Taste of Clancy’s Churro Twists

Upon opening the bag, I noticed each chip resembles a small pretzel braid but a heck of a lot lighter and puffy. No wonder the entire contents weigh in at a paltry 3 ounces! The crunch is definitely audible. A thief in the night would not stand a chance of taking a few of these in the middle of the night without getting revealed. The crunch factor is times 10.
Flavor of the cinnamon sugar coating of each twist is pure churro-gasmic. Why, why, why Clancy’s can’t produce these churro twists on a regular basis is beyond me.

The price for a bag of Clancy’s Cinnamon Churro Crispy Sweet twists was a mere eighty nine cents at my local store. For the next “Churro season”, I may have to buy a pallet of these from the local Aldi just to stay ahead of the curve

I definitely recommend Clancy’s Cinnamon Churros Crispy Twists a strong purchase.