Saturday, June 25, 2016

Sweet on Trader Joe's Saturday : Mango Coconut Caramel Corn

There was no choice other than to review another one of Trader Joe's mango offerings this week. If you haven't been to Trader Joe's lately, the store is in all-mango-all-the-time-mode. Mango is EVERYWHERE.

trader joe's mango coconut caramel corn review : part of a weekly #traderjoes review series
When we bought the Mango Joe Joe's to review, the cashier told us that the popcorn was his favorite mango offering. Yesterday when I bought a bag of popcorn, a (different) cashier's eyes lit up when she saw the bag, "this is back in stock??!?!?" I have a feeling she bought a few bags on her lunch break. She also encouraged me to break open the bag for the ride home. I like enablers.

A 9.5 ounce bag of Trader Joe's Mango Coconut Caramel Corn costs $2.99.

trader joe's mango coconut caramel corn review : part of a weekly #traderjoes review series
A mom's (my) take: I'll be frank. I'm not a fan of caramel corn. Cracker Jacks are one treat that I will pass up every time. This caramel corn, though, this is awesome. It all starts with big, fluffy popcorn...it's so fluffy!!! The caramel coating provides a crisp, crackly crunch. Lightly sweetened, the caramel has subtle mango and coconut flavors. With coconut flakes listed as an ingredient, I thought these might be a mess...they're not. The flakes are incorporated into the caramel coating. It is COMPLETELY addicting. I think these would be a perfect bar snack at a tropical resort. Or, just in my backyard with one of these.
Overall rating: 5 of 5 stars

A teenager's (Jack's) take: I never would have expected mango and popcorn to be associated... well, Trader Joe's has done it again! I love this stuff - the mango leads off during the first few seconds of biting into a piece, followed by a fairly strong coconut flavor which goes nicely with the caramel corn base itself. My only wish is that the mango would be more evident and last a bit longer--but other than that, it's great!
Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars


trader joe's mango coconut caramel corn review
Trader Joe's Mango Coconut Caramel Corn: grab a bag while you can! 


[note: We have no affiliation with Trader Joe's. I'm sure they have never read this blog and have no idea who we are. Hey, we like being incognito, although we never wear sunglasses indoors. ;)]

Read all of our Trader Joe's sweet treats and dessert reviews

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Latest Pioneer Woman Food & Friends Post : Stone Fruit 101

The best part of summer? Clearly, it's the plethora of gorgeous stone fruits available. OK...maybe it's air conditioning, waking up later, THEN stone fruits.

stone fruit 101 from bakeat350.blogspot.com for The Pioneer Woman Food & Friends
My latest post over at The Pioneer Woman Food & Friends is all about them + lots of great stone fruit recipes. 

Come on over and tell me your favorite! During summer are you #TeamStoneFruit or #TeamWatermelon?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Desserts for Dudes : Let's Taco 'Bout Cookies

It started with hot dog cookies. Then, there were fried chicken cookies. Next...cookie fries and cheeseburger cookies. Now, I bring you taco cookies. Something about combining junk food and cookies makes me really happy. My boys seem to love them, too.

decorated tacos and taco belle cookies :taco 'bout a fun cookie tutorial from bakeat350.blogspot.com
In honor of Father's Day month, it's time for more Desserts for Dudes. Yes, it's true that this is a generalization. Yes, dudettes can enjoy these desserts as well. I had to laugh last week when some tweeters on twitter were getting their knickers in a knot over the term "Desserts for Dudes."
Let not take our desserts so seriously (or literally).

decorated tacos and taco belle cookies : fun cookie tutorial from bakeat350.blogspot.com
Whether you make them plain tacos...

decorated tacos and taco belle cookies : fun cookie tutorial from bakeat350.blogspot.com
....or girl them up to make Taco Belles...

decorated tacos and taco belle cookies : fun cookie tutorial from bakeat350.blogspot.com
...these really are simple to make, and so much fun.

When my boys suggest going to Taco Bell, I normally roll my eyes, but the truth is that a Taco Bell bean burrito with two packets of Hot (not Mild, not Fire) sauce is one of my favorite things. I know, I know. Add it to my list of offenses with liking Cool Whip and canned frosting. ;)

decorated tacos and taco belle cookies :taco 'bout a fun cookie tutorial from bakeat350.blogspot.com
I love the mix of colors and textures for the filling.

taco 'bout a fun cookie tutorial : tacos and taco belle decorated cookies | bakeat350.blogspot.com decorated tacos and taco belle cookies :taco 'bout a fun cookie tutorial from bakeat350.blogspot.com
To make Taco (Belle) Cookies, you'll need:
  • circle cut-out cookies
  • bench scraper or knife
  • royal icing, tinted with AmeriColor (or Hobby Lobby) coloring: ivory mixed with gold (shell), warm brown with a bit of super black (meat), super red (tomatoes/lips), bright white (sour cream), electric orange (cheese), electric green mixed with leaf green (lettuce), and super black (eyes)...or similar shades
  • disposable icing bags
  • squeeze bottles
  • couplers and tips: #1, small leaf
  • toothpicks
decorated tacos and taco belle cookies :taco 'bout a fun cookie tutorial from bakeat350.blogspot.com
First, make the cookies. Use a circle cookie cutter, then slice in half using a bench scraper or knife. 

Once cooled, thin the taco shell colored icing with water (reserving a bit of unthinned icing for later). Add water a bit at a time, stirring gently. Thin until a knife drown through the middle of the icing disappears in a count of 12-15 seconds.

Cover with a damp dish towel and let sit for a few minutes. Stir gently with a silicone spatula and pour slowly into a squeeze bottle.

decorated tacos and taco belle cookies :taco 'bout a fun cookie tutorial from bakeat350.blogspot.com
Outline and fill the cookies with the same consistency icing. Use a toothpick to nudge icing into spaces and pop any large air bubbles.

Let the icing set for about an hour.

decorated tacos and taco belle cookies :taco 'bout a fun cookie tutorial from bakeat350.blogspot.com
Use the reserved shell icing to pipe a curved line across the cookies, making an opening for the fillings.

Thin the icings for the meat, tomatoes, and sour cream using the same method. Reserve some of the red icing for later before thinning.

taco 'bout a fun cookie tutorial from bakeat350.blogspot.com
Use squeeze bottles to add the fillings to the tacos. Start with the meat, then add the sour cream and tomatoes.

Place the orange icing in a bag fitted with a #1 tip. Pipe on the cheese.

Using a leaf tip, add a squiggle of lettuce, holding the tip flat. (Practice first on a paper towel or plate.)

taco belle layer photo taco belle 8 of 20.jpg
Use the thinned taco shell colored icing to fill in the front of the taco, adding a little dimension.

Let the icing dry for about an hour.

taco 'bout a fun cookie tutorial from bakeat350.blogspot.com
To make the Taco Belles: using #1 tips, add eyes and eyelashes in black icing. Add the lips in red.

Let the cookies dry uncovered for 6-8 hours or overnight.

taco 'bout a fun cookie tutorial from bakeat350.blogspot.com : tacos and taco belle cookies
What should our Dessert for Dudes fast food cookies be next year??? I'm already planning.



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