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Crown Combo Blog

Peeples Court

Anyone who's been following this site long enough knows of my affection for Peeps. Considering my past Easter Peep-downs, it's probably my most written about subject. We've seen the new colors emerge, the divine new chocolate coated varieties, and festive holiday designs. It's more a pop culture obsession than it is a consistent food craving. I'm always waiting to see what's in the wings for the next big event. In past summer seasons the candy aisles were adorned with Red, White, and Blue start-shaped mallow treats, but this year the pioneers as Just Born have turned summer Peeps up to 11.



First I present to you "Sweet Lemonade" Peeps, which are 10x more cool and refreshing looking than their icy blue packaging. Most lemon inspired candies are of the super-sonic atomic citric acid variety that often puckers your face tighter than a nun's balloon knot. That isn't so of this slice of Peeps heaven -- it's just as sweet as you can hope for and more. The crystals tingle the tongue with a pleasing array of sweetened confection that melt slightly as you eat them. Very much the tease.
 



Much like the chocolate-dipped variety, they come with only two to a pack to maintain an appearance of delicacy. The chicks themselves are white and speckled yellow with lemon flavored sparkles. They really are quite refreshing and it's easy to down the whole pack before you've even had enough time to notice if the chicks even had proper eye placement.



If you're looking for a bigger pack of Summer inspired marshmallow mayhem, steer towards the Bubble Gum flavored Peeps. They come ten to a pack, but I can't stress enough that they are bubble gum flavored and in grand tradition, things flavored like bubble gum are terrible. In my list of least favorite candy flavors, I think bubble gum is just under black licorice but maybe not quite as bad as cinnamon. Unless, of course, you want to count those random hard candies that occasionally are found in candy dishes and the bottom of bad food gift baskets that taste exactly like Crest toothpaste. In that case, bubble gum is a tie with Crest toothpaste candy.



They're almost worth buying just for the color alone, because they're completely pink through-and-through. It almost looks like they were made out of compacted cotton candy or that Pink Panther insulation that looks just like cotton candy. Actually, cotton candy would have been a much more appropriate choice of summer flavors. I take back my comment about Just Born turning it up to 11. They really missed the mark on making bubble gum as opposed to cotton candy. Bubble gum just reminds me of terribly flavored medicine. Cotton candy reminds me of carnivals and bumper cars. More things in life should remind me of carnivals and bumper cars. Bubble gum never did anything for anyone, and especially not for that blueberry girl in Willy Wonka.

If Willy Wonka made summer Peeps, you can assure they'd be cotton candy flavored.

Pop-Tarts Gone Nutty

There's a belief that there's two kinds of people in this world -- Pop-Tart people and Toaster Streudel people. It's not as bad as the Coke v Pepsi wars, because there's clear and distinct differences between the two contenders. Pop-Tarts have the obvious advantage of not needing refrigeration and being a more robustly portable option. Not to mention that their current flavor listing is up to approximately 400 and falls just short of Pickles and Jalapeno.

I have an unhealthy obsession with Pop-Tarts. Its not that I hoard them, or even buy them on a remotely regular basis. But, when a new flavor is released I am rendered helpless from placing it in my cart. I turn into a mindless zombie, searching not for brains, but for rectangular pastries in uncharted flavor territory.



My excitement level at finding two new peanut-butter themed Pop-Tarts bordered on that of winning $1,000 on a dollar scratch off. Our two contenders are plain Peanut Butter (unfrosted) and frosted Chocolate Peanut Butter. With my well-published affection towards Reese's Cups, you with think that Chocolate Peanut Butter would be my new secret lover. We'd run together on the beach, sip mai tais, and do the sideways hokie-pokie. Yet somehow, plain Peanut Butter has championed my heart.

Don't get me wrong -- Chocolate and Peanut Butter is a fine and suitable mate, filled with all the pleasures the flavor combination has to offer. The plain PB just has a certain simplicity about it, that when topped with a light sugar coating, leaves me quivering for more.

You'd be hard pressed to not want to swallow every last bit of this nutty delight.

Rarity the Big Adventure Unicorn Vodka

Last week I tweeted that over the weekend I was going to allocate some time to alcohol and Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. Instead I went to a pagan festival and participated in battle Armageddon due to various family drama. But, it all tied up nicely with a Sunday evening visit from the ice cream man before heading back to another uneventful work week.



This weekend I'm not waiting around. The kid's in bed and I've got my cosmo in hand while I'm lounging and waiting for my bed sheets to finish up in the dryer. Somehow I've become and exceptional lightweight, so I'm staring pissed at Large Marge after drinking probably the alcoholic equivalent of a capful of mouthwash. My goal right now is not to pass out before the dryer is done. My blinds are partly open and I don't want the dirty hippie that mows my lawn to stop by tomorrow and see me through the window drooling on an uncovered bed with my ass hanging out of my nightgown.



To distract myself I'm opening up this My Little Pony packet I got several months ago, threw on my dresser and promptly forgot about. There's a lot of these packets for various toy lines floating around these days. I have a preference to toy packets that have dissolving capabilities, but I guess that isn't the trend right now. I guess holographic foil cards and stickers aren't in the mix, either.



The trading card might as well go right in the trash. It doesn't have any shiny or sparkly components and the back just pictures a select few of the available ponies. As you can see, I snagged Rarity. I'm sure there's some level of "commons" versus "rares" on these figures, but I am just too crapped out to bring up Wikipedia and check. What I can tell you is that my figure is painted metallic silver and the package smells like a hardware store on a hot day.

One thing I do find strange is that the UPC bar on the package actually says "KIOSK PONIES" meaning they're specifically for those little displays near registers and at the end of aisles. Is that the official name of these surprise pack toys? Kiosk figures?

Okay, now I wound up checking Wikipedia, anyway. I've been sitting on a rare figure all this time. I bet I could trade it in for enough cash to buy a regular full-size My Little Pony. Maybe I'll hold on to the card after all.

Battle Breakfast S'mores


I don't get out a lot. I kinda hate myself for having to type that. But, it's true. I leave the house mainly for 2 reasons. Reason #1 is to go to work and read piles of operative reports on post-masectomy breast reconstruction, skin cancer removals, and drunkards that busted their noses in bar fights or stuck their hands in power equipment. Reason #2 is to go to the grocery store. I find the grocery store to have an almost grounding effect, even though some days I can't seem to take two steps without getting in the way of some asshat obviously in a huge hurry to buy Preparation H and BBQ Pringles.

My weekly grocery store trip has become somewhat cumbersome recently as I've been buying the same shit now over and over. In January I had gastric sleeve surgery, removing most of my stomach, so some days I'm completely disenchanted with food. One can only consume so much greek yogurt and string cheese before going mad.



Enter Breakfast S'mores.

Now there's something to get excited about. My husband is a s'mores enthusiast, as well as a waffle and Toaster Streudel enthusiast, so this was a double whammy. A good double whammy. Like a Nutella and Fluff sandwich.

I still think it's a little early to put out "seasonal" S'mores goodies, though.



Unfortunately I didn't get an overwhelming "s'more" taste from either of these products. The Toaster Strudel was lacking any sort of graham flavor, and the waffle didn't have much flavor of any of the components. It may have just been me, though. I'm told there's a chance my tastebuds have changed. I don't notice any difference, but I won't negate the possibility.



Thankfully a secondary taste-tester appeared, like a Caterpie in a field of endless grass. I'm not sure how much you can trust a review from someone who's never eaten a real s'more before, but she stuck her hand in frosting and then downed half a waffle. Actually, I'm pretty sure I saw her trying to dip waffle pieces in the little globs of frosting that dripped on the paper plate.

The waffles were a bit of a disappointment to me. Maybe it's because there wasn't any "gooey" factor. The Strudels were okay, but what's a s'more with no graham flavor? Honestly, the Pop-Tart S'more is still the big man on breakfast. I'm not sure anything will come along to beat it, unless they come up with some sort of S'mOreo. I should really pitch the S'mOreo to Nabisco. Ugh. Someone is going to make a lot of money off that idea, and I'll be kicking myself from here to Alderaan.

Pumpkin Pazzoola

Some months ago when my co-workers threw a baby shower for me, including gifts in many little baskets. One of the baskets got tossed in the corner of my master bathroom so I could throw reading materials in it. We have a few magazine subscriptions, only because we get them for free. My employer pays my membership dues for my professional credentials, so I get a free monthly magazine to keep up to date on changes in Medicare and the never-ending battles of physicians with the handwriting of 3rd graders. We also get Eating Well, which is sent by my mother-in-law because my husband told her some boldface lie about how I never buy fruits and vegetables.



We also get Rachael Ray, which was a free gift subscription off my mother's subscription. I like that it's free, because some months there's 0 things that interest me. Other times there's one good recipe, but I'm missing an ingredient that I would have to pluck from the top of Mount Doom. Now that the cooler months are coming and more Crock Pot meals are coming out, my interest is piquing. I'm ready for candy corn. I'm ready for leaves changing. For long sleeves, apples, hay rides, pumpking spice coffee, and 69¢ Avon chapstick that tastes like chocolate and has little ghosts on it. I'm ready for Fall.



So is Rachael Ray magazine, because they're featuring articles on different ways to decorate pumpkins. I'm all for new ways to use a pumpkin that don't involve getting strands of innards under my fingernails, although the hollowed pumpkin filled with ice is tempting. I'm particularly excited for this year as I've recently discovered you can buy glitter in spray-paint form. If I had more time and didn't give a shit about resale value, I could easily turn my trailer into Paradise Estate.

I don't think I'll be making pumpkin topiaries anytime soon, but I like the bedazzled silver pumpkin. I could potentially do a whole series of shiny pumpkin cutie marks. I think I'm going to need more hot glue.

Speaking of non sequiturs, I'm working out the mechanics of starting a podcast with my bff. So if you want to hear us ranting about Star Wars and sex toys, stay tuned, details will follow.

Mocha frappka

It's the middle of the afternoon and I'm kicking back with a skinny frappucino with a shot of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough vodka, mesmerized by my own genius. In this slightly inebriated state, I recall that I have a blog.

Hello!!

With a four month old daughter at home, I've found myself watching children's programming even moreso than normal. This morning we turned on the hub, and watched Strawberry Shortcake, Care Bears, and My Little Pony all in a row. It dawned on me that my daughter is watching the same characters I watched 25 years ago. It's a pretty cool feeling. Especially since I've been saving all my My Little Ponies, though she may be disappointed when there's no Pinkie Pie or Princess Celeste. I've informed my husband he will have to become a Bronie. He denies this vehemently.


(Elizabeth in her Dollar Tree swim suit. It was marked size 12-18 months. Yeah, right.)

Last weekend we went to Ocean City, NJ with the hubby's family. I don't come from a family that vacationed a lot, so it was my first time touching the ocean in approximately 15 years. I didn't go more than waist-deep into the water. The water is where sharks live. Step #1 on how to get eaten by a shark -- go in the water. No thank you, sir.

Vacations with his family are always... interesting. This one was no exception. Our leave time was 9, our actual leave time was 9:45, we dodged a ton of traffic from Philly to Jersey, and got to the beach house over an hour before we were allowed in, anyway. We broke an elevator, got drunk, and got drenched in a downpour at Wonderland. Day two I got up and in my swimsuit at 9 a.m. and until I ate the 11:00 breakfast and waited for everyone to get ready, made the 1 block haul to the beach just in time for thunder to roar and watch everyone get out of the water. When it looked like it was just clearing up, my husband and I made a made dash with the baby and staked our claim of sand. I managed to get about 50lbs of sand in my suit, which wouldn't have been so bad if the outdoor shower hadn't been locked by the cleaning people.

I didn't even get a hermit crab.

Where have you been?

I've been absent for a long time. Long enough that I'm sure no one is even checking back any more. No matter. Part of this absence has been due to the fact that I blew out my laptop, and lost all my logins passwords  for my email, site, and blog and didn't hunt them down for months. The other part has been life events. To bring everyone up to speed, I'm now the proud parent of an 11 week old little girl named Elizabeth. As I type this, she's sleeping soundly in an elaborate princess-looking baby swing while Follow That Bird is playing on the TV. I'm not sure if she's sleeping because she's tired, or has her eyes closed because she's scared of Miss Finch. I heard babies see black and white really well, so last night we watched Clerks. Don't judge.



She's pretty average as babies go, and we do pretty average baby activities except we watch a lot more movies from the 1980's. Okay, so mommy watches them and uses the baby as an excuse. In later years, I will use her as an excuse to go to Sesame Place and the Crayola Factory.

I'm still around, I'm still buying new cereals, and I'm still doing odd things, but now it's more so due to sleep deprivation. Thankfully, though, I have the best mom ever who not only comes over to watch the baby while I'm at work, but cleans my house and does my laundry while she's here. It affords me just enough time that I can probably start blogging again on weekends. But no promises.

The Lost Blogs Vol 1

Over the years I've collected many items for blog reviews and neglected to ever write a lick of anything about them. This has gotten worse in the past year with all the house, wedding, and now pregnancy business I've been handling. Instead of letting the plethora of pictures of products go to waste because a review is long overdue, I'm going to give each of them a short spotlight. Here we have the first few representations of months and months of neglected blogs.



I purchased the Galactic Garden pod from during a particularly boring trip to Hobbytown USA in which my husband had to purchase 50 tiny bottles of paint to paint 5,000 tiny little Warhammer figures. On the rare occasion I tag along on these trips, I usually amuse myself playing with Calico Critters or perusing the LEGO collections. This time I found myself drawn to a red clearance sticker on a space age eggplant pod. I planted the seeds in my gel, put it in a dark, cool place, and after a few weeks I had big eggplant sprouts. During the summer I attempted to get the plant out and replant in my raised bed garden. Unfortunately, the gel did not want to dislodge without a struggle and the plant turned to slime after replanting. I wouldn't have trusted eating an eggplant that started growing without any sunlight, anyway.



Valentine's Cherry Dark Chocolate 3 Musketeers. Oh man, these were good. Some people can't stand cherry candy due to the "cough syrup" association, but these were more reminiscent of cherry cordials than Robitussin. As tiny as  those minis were, they went down quick, and I don't believe the bag lasted very long.



I purchased a set of Snooki-style hair bumps from the Dollar Tree, and failed to realize they came in different colors. Instead of blonde, I purchased straight jet black. I couldn't get the hang of the things, anyway, and instead wound up with a dozen photos of myself with these damnable things caught in my hair.



YES. YES EVERYONE. I KNOW ABOUT MILANO MELTS! In fact, I could have sworn I had blogged about them, but as it turns out, I never did. The weekly emails telling me about how Milano Melts are JUST like Magic Middles (they're not) clued me in. You can probably tell by the expiration date on the packages that these cookies are from a while ago. They were good, but they were no Magic Middles.



Ahhh.... Fushigi. If you think I bought this ball just to try and reenact scenes from The Labyrinth, you're absolutely 100% correct. I was expecting this ball to be light, but it was as heavy and clunky as a bowling ball. I didn't even check the bonus DVD before I managed to crack the Fushigi ball on the floor. I lost interest before trying to find out the DVD's satanic gravity bending secrets.

Stay tuned for more neglected goods.



There's Chocolate in the Air



We're in a world where society seems like it's on the verge of banning children under 16 from even going down a grocery store aisle the contains candy under fear  promoting childhood obesity. The candy corporations have to fight for our attention now even harder than ever, and there's no better way to do that than to change something on our favorite treats and slap a big shiny "NEW" sticker on it. It certainly worked for me in the case of Hershey's Air Delight. It seems like some sort of scam that Hershey's is running, but I'm trying to think of it more along the lines of a whipped chocolate or even just a more air-centered candy like malt balls. However, trying to gain a different angle on this new candy bar by our beloved Pennsylvania based candy manufacturer doesn't eliminate the factor that's it's really not that great. I predict less than a year manufacturing lifespan for this confection.



Delight? Yes. In the same way that I'm "delighted" when I have a tickle in my throat and find an old, sticky cough drop in the bottom of my purse among the 500 pennies, lost earrings, and crumbs. If you want chocolate, it'll do the job. It's not bad, per se. The added element of air just does nothing to enhance the chocolate-tasting experience and the texture just seems unusual. Nestle has a similar product called Aero, which hasn't been available in the US market -- maybe there isn't much of a taste for bubbles state-side.

Will the real Magic Middles please stand up?



A recent sales ad for Boyer's Food Market displays a sale for Keebler Cookies, and in this small section a package of Keebler Magic Middles is visible. I visited my local Boyer's and was unsuccessful in finding Keebler Magic Middles cookies. I searched two other stores and neither had them in stock. I now have an email out to Keebler and to Boyer's to inquire about the product.

I'll keep you posted with the updates.




Coincidentally, Chips Ahoy has recently developed a chocolate filled cookie as well.

::::::EDIT:::::

Update: Here is the response I received from the grocery store running the ad:

Yes as the customer will be unsuccessful at finding these items at any store anywhere. This Item was cut from Production until Further notice (With the exception of Cheesecake Middles. We were notified Last week as we received our second shipment of New SKUs as they were not included. Apparently the particular machinery used to manufacture will be used for something else. As of now Magic Middles Original ad Peanut Butter will not be produced

Thanks

 



Update: Here is the response I received from Keebler:

Victoria,

Thank you for contacting us regarding Keebler® Magic Middles.

Unfortunately, stores only want to stock the fastest moving products. If the stores start to discontinue an item, we find that we cannot produce the smaller volumes the business demands. At this time, there are no plans to reintroduce it.

We know that it will be hard to find a replacement, but we are always developing new products. You should try Keebler® Fudge Shoppe® Cheesecake Middles.

We are including an electronic Keebler® coupon for you to print and use. Please make sure your printer is on and click on the link to print your coupon. You may have to copy and paste the link into your web browser in order for it to work.

We appreciate your interest and loyalty to our brands and trust that we will continue to meet your needs for many years to come.


Sincerely,

[name omitted]
Consumer Specialist
Consumer Affairs


It appears Keebler had intended to bring back Magic Middles and at the last minute changed their mind. Whether any product was produced and shipped to any store remains unknown.

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