Make Sure You Try Chick-fil-A’s New Sandwich! (Photo)
By Cooking Panda
We usually hear a lot about Taco Bell introducing new food items, or Burger King or McDonald’s, but we don’t hear much about Chick-fil-A. Their tried-and-true chicken sandwich with waffle fries combination pretty much does the trick. But, now that summer has arrived, they’ve surprised us and stepped into the spotlight with a debut of two new items!
People Magazine reports that these new items are a Smokehouse BBQ Bacon Sandwich and the amazing-sounding Watermelon Mint Lemonade. It doesn’t get any more summery than that.
The Smokehouse BBQ Bacon Sandwich is made with grilled chicken, brown sugar glazed bacon, lettuce and Colby jack cheese on a Hawaiian bun. Hungry yet? Pair that with the lemonade that was reportedly made to complement the sandwich and you’ve got yourself a meal that could compete with anyone’s backyard barbecue. You can grab the Watermelon Mint Lemonade in diet form, too, if that’s more your style.
This is the first time Chick-fil-A has debuted a seasonal entree, which is good and bad at the same time. Of course, on the bright side, we get to have these things in the first place. On the bad side, the limited amount of time we have to sample them is only from May 15 through Aug. 19. If you really love this meal, that might seem like a very short span of time. Of course, if it’s popular enough, Chick-fil-A will probably be happy to bring it back for future summer seasons.
In a press release, Chick-fil-A’s vice president of menu strategy and development said “We know our customers love the flavors of our grilled menu, and we are excited to offer two items this season that will give them something new to try.”
“The new Smokehouse BBQ Bacon Sandwich is delicious and unlike anything we have on the menu. It was incredibly popular in test markets. I hope our customers are as excited as I am to get this kind of high quality sandwich at the drive-thru. We hope customers will enjoy the new ingredients and flavor combinations in our Smokehouse BBQ Bacon Sandwich and Watermelon Mint Lemonade all summer long.”
I think we are just as excited!Chick-fil-A, limited time, Smokehouse BBQ Bacon Sandwich, Watermelon Mint Lemonade
Starbucks Is Putting Coffee Ice Cubes In Its Drinks!
By Cooking Panda
Have you ever watched your barista make a cold drink at Starbucks and marveled at just how much ice is in that thing? Hardly any coffee!
For the price you pay, it’s disheartening to see a cup full of ice. As a Cold Brew fanatic, I usually ask for light ice to avoid getting my coffee too watered down.
I want to get more of a bang for my Starbucks buck, but I’m torn. I’d love my vanilla sweet cream Cold Brew to be as cold as possible. At the same time, I don’t want to end up with a cup of coffee-flavored cold water.
For everyone who can relate, our day has finally come. Starbucks is now using coffee ice! Gone are the days of chugging iced coffee while you can still taste the caffeine. Well, for a few…
Before you get too excited, Starbucks is only testing it for a limited time at 100 stores in Baltimore and St. Louis, according to Cosmopolitan. However, if the feature is popular, it may be added to their permanent menu.
The ice is made of Starbucks coffee, and can be added to any iced coffee drink for 80 cents, a Starbucks spokesperson told Cosmopolitan. Worth it? Probably.
Starbucks has really been going all out with these new creations. First the color-changing Unicorn Frappuccino, then the Midnight Mint Mocha Frappuccino, now this …
“We often test new products, programs, and ideas to gather feedback from our customers and partners,” said the spokesperson.
I’m really hoping our friends out in Baltimore and St. Louis respond positively to the coffee ice. Every Starbucks lover around the country deserves to have it on the permanent menu.
But, if you really can’t wait, you can always make your coffee ice at home the good ol’ fashioned way. Just fill an ice tray with freshly brewed coffee; you can even add a little cream or milk, for that extra sweetness.
Delicious, simple and definitely cheaper than Starbucks.coffee ice, iced coffee, limited time, Starbucks
Olive Garden Rewards Early Diners With Special Deal
By Cooking Panda
If you’re somebody who likes to eat earlier (it’s better for digestion and sleep health, right?) but also like to save money, then Olive Garden should probably be your next stop.
For a limited time, Olive Garden is offering those with an insatiable appetite earlier in the evening a special called the “Early Dinner Duos” deal.
Basically, for $8.99 (although this may vary from location to location), you’ll be able to take your pick from unlimited soup or salad (and breadsticks, of course!), as well as a choice from a limited selection of entrees.
The deal is available during non-peak hours, obviously — so you’ll want to get to Olive Garden between 3 to 5 p.m. to capitalize on the deal. Additionally, it’s only available on Monday through Thursday, so weekend diners will have to pay full price.
The different entrees you can choose from include:
– Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
– Fettuccine Alfredo
– Eggplant Parmigiana
– Five Cheese Ziti al Forno
– Soup & Salad (in case you want to forgo an entree and just get both)
– Lasagna Classico
– Cheese Ravioli with Marinara
– Ravioli di Portobello
– Chicken Parmigiana
– Grilled Chicken Parmigiana
– Chicken Piccata
Did you know that there are a staggering 50 different possible combinations you can make with the options available?
Soup options at Olive Garden include Minestrone, Zuppa Toscana, Pasta Fagioli, and Chicken & Gnocchi.
Enjoy!dinner duos, italian restaurant, limited time, Olive Garden, unlimited breadsticks
Would You Try Sushi-Flavored KIND Bars? (Photo)
By Cooking Panda
KIND bars are an awesome snack bar that offer a healthy alternative to snacking on, say, chips or candy. They usually feature healthy ingredients such as almonds, oats and just a little bit of dark chocolate. They come in an array of flavors, and many of them are sweet, but what do you think of a sushi-inspired snack bar?
According to Delish, KIND is going there. The snack company is working on developing a few new flavors alongside celebrity chef Daphne Oz. The flavors sound pretty good … mostly. You have the Sangria flavor idea, the Pistachio Cardamom Fig (yum!), Sweet Pretzel Crunch and Sesame Seaweed Wasabi. Can you pick out the one that’s not like the others?
This bar is apparently inspired by sushi. Sure, it’s a major food favorite, but does that mean we should have a granola bar trying to resemble it? Count me out.
These flavors are part of a competition KIND is calling “Raise the Bar.” It will be running from May 9 to May 31, and fans can vote on which of the four flavors should be made by KIND. Once the winning flavor is chosen, all who voted will get a free box of the limited time flavor sent to their homes. Sounds like a pretty good deal unless you’re getting a free box of sushi-flavored granola bars.
Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery reports that the “Raise the Bar” campaign was kicked off with a public service announcement that was run through the Onion. It features Daphne Oz describing the “Restless Palate Syndrome” epidemic in which consumers are growing bored, or otherwise unsatisfied, with the lack of good flavored mashup options on the market. Just think about it … we’re getting sushi burritos and Unicorn Frappuccinos. What gives?
This flavor-choosing contest is the first one KIND has done to empower its fans to choose flavors nationwide. Personally, I have a feeling the Sangria flavor is going to out-win the rest, simply because it’s the tastiest sounding innovative flavor. As much as I love the idea of having a Pistachio Cardamom Fig flavor, or a Sweet Pretzel Crunch, those aren’t too different from what’s already out there.
As for the sushi flavor? Just no.Flavor Competition, Kind Bars, limited time, Raise the Bar, Snack Bars, sushi
The New Dragon Frappuccino Is So Fierce (Photos)
By Cooking Panda
Another day, another new and unique Starbucks Frappuccino to try.
Hot on the heels of the release of the mythical and limited-time Unicorn Frappuccino comes the Dragon Frappuccino, the newest magical creature-turned-blended cold drink that you can purchase at a participating Starbucks store near you.
Basically, because the Unicorn Frappuccinos were only available for a mere few days at participating locations, and because the demand for the psychedelic drink was so massively high, many participating Starbucks stores ran out of the supplies it took to create the Unicorn Frappe for their customers, according to Hello Giggles.
In order to appease their caffeine-addicted, unicorn-hunting customers, a few creative baristas stepped up to the plate — er, grande sized mug — and came up with the Dragon Frappuccino as a replacement to the horned horse.
The Dragon Frappuccino looks pretty similar to the OG Unicorn edition, except it appears the sour blue flavor agent has been replaced with some sort of creamy green mixture.
The green tea Frappuccino base? Perhaps some kind of matcha? Does it even matter what it tastes like with a name that fierce and powerful?
“I apologized profusely to my barista before ordering the basic AF Unicorn Frappuccino – thankfully they were out of the ingredients and offered me something not only cooler and better tasting, but easier to make: the Dragon Frappuccino,” writes one pleased Instagram user.
Have you tried either the Dragon or the Unicorn Frappuccino? Or perhaps both? Which one ended up being the best?Dragon, frappuccino, limited time, Starbucks, unicorn
Starbucks Baristas Hate The Unicorn Frappuccino (Video)
By Cooking Panda
How could anything so beautiful be so utterly devastating (video below)?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, chances are you’ve heard of or seen (or even ordered) the new Unicorn Frappuccino at Starbucks.
For a refresher, the drink is a limited time offering at participating Starbucks stores, and its appeal lies solely in its aesthetic.
The drink is hot pink with turquoise accents (think Lisa Frank) and then color-shifts to a pretty purple upon being stirred.
People have been lining up to grab a drink and snap photos of themselves with the mythical concoction before its run is over at stores.
For a while, everything seemed magical and right in this brand new world with Unicorn Frappuccinos in it — until Starbucks baristas started voicing their horror stories.
Apparently, the new frappe has caused massive amounts of grief for Starbucks baristas who think the frappuccino is too much work, way too popular and sometimes difficult to get right, which makes baristas the target of disappointed customers’ collective ire.
“PLEASE DON’T GET IT,” one Colorado barista named Braden Burson posted in a two-minute video rant (that has since been deleted) on his Twitter, but then was re-uploaded to the Barista Life Facebook page.
“My hands are completely sticky… I have unicorn crap all in my hair and on my nose. I have never been so stressed out in my entire life.”
The post has accumulated more than 11,000 reactions as of April 21, and has been shared more than 16,700 times.
Many baristas have taken to the post to voice their own horrible experiences, too.
“Today my store ran out of blue powder around 3 in the afternoon and so we had to stop serving the frappuccino,” one Facebook user wrote. “We turned away literally dozens of people, answered dozens of phone calls about it (because most of the stores in my city ran out), and got chewed out by about half of the people we disappointed, and one person sat in the drive thru window for 12 minutes yelling at my manager over it telling us we’re all bad at our jobs and he was taking it up corporate. This frappuccino has absolutely been hell for us.”
Sheesh! What do you think of all this Unicorn Frappuccino mayhem? Is it enough to stop you from ordering the drink?coffee horror, frappuccino, limited time, Starbucks, Unicorn Frapp
Burger King’s New Steakhouse King Burger Is Extra Meaty
By Cooking Panda
Starbucks isn’t the only chain that released an over-the-top, limited-time menu option this week, because Burger King has just debuted its all new Steakhouse King burger, and it is sure to give all you bacon lovers out there a reason to dig into your wallets and shell out some cash for dinner.
The Steakhouse King sandwich comes with not one, but two whole quarter-pound, flame-grilled beef patties (which are actually just the same patties you can get on your Whopper, but still) as well as three half-strips of thick-cut bacon, a generous pour of A.1. Thick & Hearty sauce, crispy onions, gooey and melted American cheese, and then finally a serving of mayonnaise all on a sesame seed bun, according to Brand Eating.
The Steakhouse King is set to retail at around $5 or $6, depending on where you pick yours up, and clocks in at a whopping 1100 calories, which is possibly more than half of your recommended daily intake, if you’re not getting in any exercise and are an adult human!
That’s not all: Each Steakhouse King also has 74 grams of fat, 1,620 milligrams of sodium, 59 grams of carbs and 50 grams of protein from all of that meat.
Not exactly a health food, people.
If you’re in the U.K., and you really can’t pass up a burger with bacon, consider ordering Burger King’s very similar burger, the Steakhouse, which features most of the same ingredients, minus the mayo, one beef patty (do you really need two?), and with Western BBQ sauce rather than A.1.
If you order the plain old Steakhouse, you’ll save near to 400 calories, 400 milligrams of sodium and 30 grams of fat, but still get that indulgent, meaty sandwich you’ve been craving.
What do you think? Have you tried either of these two extra meaty Burger King offerings, or are you more of a veggie burger or chicken-fries type of fast food consumer?bacon, Burger King, fast food, limited time, Steakhouse King
Krispy Kreme’s New Donuts Are Super Chocolaty
By Cooking Panda
Chocolaty is basically my favorite adjective. Anything that’s chocolaty can’t be bad, unless we’re talking about chocolate-covered ants or something. Fortunately, we’re talking about the sweet pairing of donuts and Ghirardelli chocolate; does it get any better?
Brand Eating reports that Krispy Kreme has come out with two new donut flavors inspired by Ghirardelli chocolate squares. The two flavors will be mint chocolate and sea salt caramel. Yum!
The mint chocolate flavor is a donut filled with white mint Kreme and then iced with chocolate. To top it off, the donut is finished with green icing, mini chocolate chips (of the Ghirardelli variety, of course) and a dusting of powdered sugar. The sea salt caramel-flavored donut features salted caramel filling, chocolate icing, chocolate and caramel drizzles, and then amber sugar, salt and mini chocolate chips again. If that seems like a lot happening at once, that probably means the flavor is perfect. It sounds pretty perfect to me, at least.
If you’re a Ghirardelli fan, I’d suggest giving these donuts a taste-test. See if their tastes resemble the Ghirardelli squares that inspired them. Any excuse is a good one to indulge in chocolate, and they were made with the same ingredients with which the famously delicious chocolates were made.
Then again, maybe you’re more of a Krispy Kreme fan, in which case you were probably going to try these anyway. According to the Krispy Kreme website, you can join the donut mogul’s app community for a fun prize of some sort. Maybe you can score a taste of these delectable new flavors for free? Or maybe one of them, at least?
As with all good things, the donuts are only available for a limited time. However, they’re featured at locations in the U.S. and Canada, so you could be lucky enough to snatch some up before they’re gone. Give them a try and leave some reviews so we know what to expect!chocolate, Ghirardelli, Ghirardelli Chocolates, krispy kreme, limited time
Try Panda Express’ Fancy New Five Flavor Shrimp
By Cooking Panda
Fans of Panda Express should be thrilled with the new menu option. Whether observing Lent or not, this is an exciting dish for anyone.
Brand Eating has the scoop on a new Five Flavor Shrimp debuting just in time for those famished Lent-observers, and also for those of us who just love shrimp! The new item is available for a limited time and features marinated shrimp, red bell peppers, onions and green beans tossed in a “Chinese-inspired umami sauce.”
The “Five Flavor” part of the name is inspired by the sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami notes that are all wrapped up in one tasty dish. The Five Flavor Shrimp was reportedly inspired by Shanghainese gan shao shrimp, which is a sweet and sour shrimp entree. As a premium item on the Panda Express menu, the shrimp will cost an extra $1.25 to have it added to your meal, depending on your location, of course.
According to Panda Express’ online menu, some of the other items that might be safe for Lent include the classic Honey Walnut Shrimp, which are tempura battered and tossed in honey sauce with glazed walnuts (drooling); the Eggplant Tofu, which consists of “lightly browned tofu, eggplant and red bell peppers tossed in a sweet and spicy sauce”; and Mushroom Chicken (in case you only gave up red meat), which features a combo of chicken, mushrooms and zucchini tossed in a light ginger soy sauce.
If your mission is to keep it low-cal, I might stay away from pretty much any of these options, as even the Eggplant Tofu is 340 calories per serving. Hey, giving up something for Lent isn’t supposed to be easy. However, with Panda Express around it can still be tasty!
The Five Flavor Shrimp announcement didn’t mention a specific date for when the new menu item wouldn’t be available any longer, but a safe guess is probably early April, when Lent season is over. If that’s the case, you only have about a month to go and score some, so I’d hurry over if I were you! It’s bound to be worth it.Five Flavor Shrimp, Lent, limited time, panda express
Krispy Kreme Debuts Power Ranger Donuts! (Photo)
By Cooking Panda
Revisit your childhood, or introduce your kids to your favorite old shows, with Power Ranger donuts from Krispy Kreme! No one’s too old for these.
First of all, this isn’t out of nowhere, not that it would be a problem if it were (what’s wrong with a little throwback?). There’s a new Power Rangers movie coming out on March 24, 2017, and this is Krispy Kreme’s way of promoting it. Hey, maybe the people at Krispy Kreme are even excited about it!
Anyway, the new donuts sport the different Power Ranger colors: red, pink, blue, yellow and black. They’re covered in chocolate icing and sprinkled with fun (and edible) silver glitter just like the actual Power Rangers themselves. There’s a sugary lightning bolt decorating each one in the color of a super ranger, and the donuts are filled with Kreme. Yum!
They’re only available until April 2, to give you time to see the movie while enjoying the donut that matches your favorite Power Ranger color. According to Power Rangers Now, Walmart is already selling boxes of Krispy Kreme’s glazed donuts in boxes that feature the superhero team.
Locations offering these donuts are all over in the U.S. and Canada, so check your nearest location to find out if Power Ranger donuts are within your reach. If they are a bit of a hike, I’d recommend making the journey and bringing home a couple of boxes. You’ll be the hero of home and you’ll get to go watch the movie, then enjoy the donuts at home in Power Ranger spirit. And, by the way, there’s nothing wrong with being an adult who enjoys some Power Ranger action! Many of us grew up following along with these five superheroes in action. It only makes sense that we’d get excited about a reboot.donuts, krispy kreme, limited time, Power Rangers
Would You Try McDonald’s Latest Meal Creation?
By Cooking Panda
McDonald’s in the Czech Republic is offering up some new menu items that could be delish, or could be a swing and a miss. That all depends on how much you like barbecue!
Brand Eating reports that the menu features bone-in ribs, among other potentially tasty barbecue sauce covered items. One order consists of three ribs (is that enough for anybody?) and comes with a side of dipping sauce. The other menu items are called Big Tasty Bacon and Big BBQ Bacon. It seems like there’s a pork theme going on here, too.
The ribs are only available for a limited time, but we think the Czech Republic is lucky to have them at all! If they’re anything like the McRib (just with the bones), we know they’re probably crave-worthy. They are currently only available in the Czech Republic, so those of us in the U.S. with barbecue rib cravings will have to just wait each year for the McRib to keep coming back.
Barbecue and ribs usually mean summer and warm, sunny weather, so maybe if they do make their way to the U.S., it will be just in time for the proper season. It’s likely that this won’t happen, but we can hope for it …
If you’re sad about the lack of bone-in ribs at McDonald’s locations in the states, try and perk up with the extra-large or junior Big Macs currently available. Wash your burger down with a McCafe Chocolate Shamrock Shake for good measure. Then you won’t feel as deprived. They’re amazing separate and even better one right after the other for a yummy dinner/dessert combo!
When you’re feeling especially cold (those winter days aren’t quite over), you can always opt-in for a McCafe White Chocolate Mocha. See? There’s still plenty to love at your local Mickey D’s!Barbecue, limited time, mcdonald's, ribs
Burger King Brings Back Jalapeno Chicken Fries! Yay!
By Cooking Panda
If you like Burger King’s chicken fries, make sure you check out the jalapeno kind! They’re back and as good as ever.
Brand Eating reports that the return is only for a limited time, so you might want to jump on this opportunity. These fries have returned in a new box and everything! They’re breaded and feature a nice jalapeno flavor to add some spice to your favorite chicken fries. What’s not to love?
One Brand Eating writer offered a very helpful review on the fries for those of us who want to know what they’re like before we buy. First of all, it’s pointed out that the fries are made of ground white meat chicken and shaped into the fry shape we get them in. You can order a pack of nine for $3.19 (or something along those lines, depending on the pricing in your area).
As for the spiciness, the reviewer says that it’s sort of a mild flavor, but a burn builds over time. If you like the saltiness and spices of the original chicken fry, you’ll be happy to know you get plenty of that in these as well. It appears there’s no shortness of flavor!
The fries are reported to be plenty crispy, as would be expected when ordering them. Glad to know there’s no disappointment there. It’s actually mentioned that the breading comes first and the chicken second. Interesting notion. If you consider that when ordering these, I guess you won’t be disappointed. My first time trying Burger King’s regular chicken fries was a surprise in that area. Of course, I didn’t realize that I just wasn’t focusing on the right part!
The one thing our reviewer does caution against, however, is using sauce with the fries. As the jalapeno taste is said to be mild, it could potentially be drowned out by the sauce. However, if you enjoy the first couple of fries without sauce and allow for that slow burn to take place, you might opt-in for the ranch dressing after all. It’s all according to just how spicy you like your food.Burger King, chicken fries, Jalapeno Chicken Fries, limited time
Krispy Kreme’s Holiday Donuts Are Adorable
By Cooking Panda
Krispy Kreme has come out with three new holiday donut options that look delicious, and two of them are cute to boot!
According to Brand Eating, the three new donuts will be available until Christmas, and here’s what they are: Melted Snowman, Santa Belly and Holiday Sprinkles.
My personal fave, the Melted Snowman (just because it’s adorable), is a Kreme-filled variety dipped in white icing and, as you can probably guess by the name, looks like a melting snowman. A rather unhappy one at that. The Santa Belly donut is filled with a hot cocoa Kreme (so, just chocolate?) and decorated with chocolate icing and a candy belt buckle. The perfectly round donut shape is a perfect portrayal of the belly of Old St. Nick. How cute!
The Holiday Sprinkles donut is a regular donut (as in, there’s a hole in the middle instead of filling) and is decorated with chocolate icing and red, green and white sprinkles. This is the crowd-pleaser you want for your holiday office lunch parties, or to add some happiness to your morning routine.
Speaking of breakfast, you might also want to start your day off with a nice hot (or cold, if that’s the way you roll) Toffee Mocha, also only available for a limited time. It’s a toffee-flavored latte topped with whipped cream. Try it with one of those donuts for the sugar-rushed morning you sometimes need, especially on Mondays.
Speaking of Krispy Kreme and limited-time offers, you can also special order a Football Donut for your football celebrations … or losses. Whichever gives you a reasonable excuse to indulge. As you can guess, it’s shaped like a football with chocolate icing for the brown part (pigskin? You can tell I’m not a football fan) and white icing for the stitching. This donut is available all the way until Feb. 7, 2017, so you’ve got a little more time to order it.
The last limited-time donut I’m going to drool over is the Salted Caramel Latte Donut. It’s filled with espresso Kreme and topped with salted caramel, a salted sugar blend and espresso icing. Go now and find it at your local Krispy Kreme!donuts, holidays, krispy kreme, limited time
Would You Try These Apple Pie Tic Tacs?
By Cooking Panda
Well, well, well. What do we have here?
It seems every brand out there wants to cash in on the autumnal season by offering customers fall-flavored treats for a limited time.
We get it: pumpkin spice lattes are delicious, and we’re not mad about the sudden influx of cinnamon-gingerbread-nutmeg-all-spice-flavored treats on the market. In fact, we ourselves are guilty of tweaking some of our favorite cookie recipes to include a little bit of a pumpkin kick, just to get us in the Halloween spirits.
However, we’re not so sure how we feel about the newest Tic Tac flavor on the market. The folks over at The Impulsive Buy have spotted apple pie-flavored Tic Tacs on grocery shelves, available for a limited time, and we’re finding the entire concept kind of odd.
Now, typically apple pie is treated as a dessert, and not necessarily as a flavor used to make your breath fresh and minty. But we’re open to the possibility that maybe this is one of those don’t-knock-it-till-you-try-it concepts? Hopefully?
Perhaps they work — after all, we’re big fans of the classic orange flavor, which always seemed a little more sweet than minty now that we think about it. Some of Tic Tac’s more sugary offerings really haven’t been half bad.
What do you think. Are YOU going to try the new apple pie flavor?Apple pie, breath mint, limited time, Tic Tacs