Food

Girl Scout Cookies Power Rankings

Throughout my childhood, from kindergarten until I was in about 9th grade, I was a Girl Scout and my favorite part of being one was definitely the cookie sales. The enterprise has definitely changed since my time (girls can sell cookies online now?!), but you can still be assured of finding a booth sale outside the local Kroger on any given weekend in March. By comparison, my troop tended to park in front of the local Blockbuster and target folks who were looking for some movie night munchies. It was a shrewd strategy, but totally Not a Thing anymore. Thanks, Netflix.

Anyway!

As a former Girl Scout and a connoisseur of cookies generally, along with being a sports fan, I decided to combine aspects of the two. Without further ado, I now present to you the Girl Scout cookies power ranking.

Please note that I live in an area served by Little Brownie Bakers and always have. I have no idea what the cookies from ABC Bakers taste like, but they all seem to have hilariously generic names. (If you’re not sure which bakery serves your area and you don’t have a box handy to check, take a look at this informative map from the LA Times.)

Photos via Girl Scouts.

1. Thin Mints

The undisputed champion. Truly the Wayne Gretzky of cookies. Measurably better tasting if you freeze them before eating.

2. Tagalongs

A nice smooth taste that answers the question of what would happen if you added a cookie base to a Reese’s cup. They are susceptible to melting in your hands, though.

3. S’mores

These are terrific! There seems to be an ideal mix of the three elements that compose a good s’more, unlike in certain interpretations of the treat where one thing takes too much of the spotlight. S’mores are only in third place because they have a premium price of $6 a box for some reason and that’s kinda pricey, even for Girl Scout cookies that all have a relatively premium price.

4. Do-Si-Dos

I already love both sandwich cookies and peanut butter–this cookie is just good thing on good thing!

5. Trefoils

Shortbread is delicious, that’s why. Plus, these are less popular, so they’re likely to be available at booth sales after they’ve run out of Thin Mints, Tagalongs and Samoas. (I’ve even found Trefoils available at Intown Ace Hardware during the cookie offseason.) Speaking of…

6. Samoas

I don’t like coconut! I try to kind of overlook that when it comes to Samoas because all the other parts of the cookie are entirely my thing, but the coconut’s presence just can’t help but spoil things for me.

Not Ranked

The following cookies are not ranked because, well, I’ve never tried them, so it’d be unfair to rank them alongside cookies I have tried. I’ll try to rank them in order of how tasty they sound to me based on their description, though.


NR. Thanks-A-Lot

I already said I like shortbread, and it’s clear I like chocolate, so the combination of the two surely has to be a winner! (I know, don’t call me Shirley.) Plus I think it’s cool that the cookies have the word for thanks in English, Spanish, French, Chinese and Swahili.


NR. Savannah Smiles

I like lemony wedding cookies like this one, though points are deducted for the untidiness that comes with the powdered sugar exterior.


NR. Trios

I like chocolate chips, peanut butter and oatmeal, therefore the combination of the 3 must be good, right? I am worried that it looks like it might be crumbly. Maybe not as crumbly as Nature’s Valley granola bars–but honestly, what is as crumbly as those?


NR. Toffee-Tastic

I want to like toffee, I really do. It’s basically just caramel, after all, and I like caramel. But the fact that toffee is often hard as a rock always puts me off. I already feel vaguely like I’m going to wreck my dental work by eating caramels and toffee just seems to heighten that fear for me.

Hungry yet? If you are and you don’t know where to go for your Girl Scout cookie fix, check out this cookie finder–definitely another thing that wasn’t around back in my day! Looks like I might need to pony up some cash and try the varieties I couldn’t rank, too.

Also hi, I guess I’m trying to revive this moribund blog?

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Suja Essentials Review with BzzAgent

I’ve been a member of BzzAgent for a little more than two years now and, in that time, I’ve tried lots of really great things. Recently the campaigns I’ve gotten have centered around things available at Kroger, which is awesome since I shop there all the time anyway and it is literally right up the street. One campaign was for Suja Essentials juices. Though it took me some time to actually get the juice in question because I kept visiting Kroger locations that didn’t have any, eventually I found some tucked away in the refrigerated aisle of the natural foods area, along with vegan cheeses and various milks of things.

I tried the Mango Magic and Berry Nana flavors using the two ‘get one free’ coupons that were sent to me, though I also have a few buy one get one free coupons available too and I may need to use them on trying some other varieties. Berry Goodness is calling my name.

Both of them were really tasty! They weren’t gritty or chalky or any other off-putting texture. They might look a little cloudy since the ingredients tend to settle, so just make sure to really shake it up before drinking. I love mangoes and strawberries already, making the two varieties I chose the perfect intro to Suja.

In looking on Suja’s Pinterest boards–it was one of the way to earn BzzAgent brownie points–I saw that there were lots of other flavors, including some intriguing ones like Vanilla Cloud, Macachino and 24 Karat. I bet they’re available at Target or Whole Foods, where there might be larger selections. (Turns out their Elements line is exclusively at Whole Foods.) Looks like it might be time to look into some of those, too!

If you’d like to give BzzAgent a try, I highly recommend it! Just stop by this link to get started.

Next up on my list of BzzAgent things to try? HemisFares pasta. I got a bag of long fusilli from them…time to figure out how I want to prepare it.

Influenster #FrostyVoxBox

I’ve been with Influenster for about two years now, but haven’t received too many of their Vox Boxes. When I saw the email saying they wanted to send me the #FrostyVoxBox, I jumped at it because, hey, I like getting stuff in the mail. I actually got the email with the tracking number on the same day I received the box itself, so now here’s a look inside this lil’ box of joy.

Influenster #FrostyVoxBox - Pucks and Macarons

From the top:

McCormick Gourmet Thyme: I’m going to make a terrible pun here and say that it was…thyme for us to get more of this. Some of our spices have gone past their expiration date. So, this thyme was rather fortuitous. I don’t really have any need to cook anything with thyme right now, so I just dipped a fingertip in and nibbled a little loose thyme to see how it tastes. Verdict: good!

Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane Decaf Green Tea: The little wrapper for this tea packet is adorable, featuring a family of polar bears in green aprons, carrying candy canes. I’m actually very fond of tea, though I’ve fallen out of the habit of drinking it a lot like I used to, and I’m definitely fine with green tea–although ironically I don’t like candy canes. To test this tea’s claim of decaf-ness, I decided to make it at 10 at night on a weeknight. It smells and tastes pleasantly of mint, not too strong, not smacking you in the face with mint. Plus, I was able to get to sleep at my normal weeknight time.

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This is my mug. I got it from an Asian supermarket quite a few years ago!

Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal Eyeliner: Here’s the deal. I don’t use eyeliner. I don’t have a steady enough hand to apply it well and I’m such a perfectionist that any teenytiny difference between the two eyes’ lines would force me to clean off and give it another try until I either got it perfect (unlikely) or gave up altogether. I have a few eyeliner samples left over from Birchbox and I’m just like [shrugs in general not knowing what to do with them]. I bet this is a nice eyeliner, but I’m just the wrong person to ask.

NYC Expert Last Lip Color, Sugar Plum: Now, I do use lipstick, for sure! This one smelled nice as soon as I opened the tube. It’s kind of a sweet smell, one I can’t really place, but one that’s not unpleasant. It also goes on nice and smooth, isn’t sticky and the hue reminds me of one of my all-time favorites, MAC Viva Glam V. I am extremely fair-skinned and I liked how the shade looks on me. Oh, you want a picture? Well, go on then…

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#ChillinWithMyPJsAndLipstickOn #NeedingAHaircut #IDontLikeToGrinInPhotos

Fruit Vines Bites, Strawberry: My first impression of these? Remembering the line “Mr. Pibb and Red Vines equals crazy delicious” from the pioneering SNL Digital Short “Lazy Sunday.” Of course, that referred to using traditional Red Vines as a straw with which to drink Mr. Pibb, which isn’t what Fruit Vines Bites are about since they are a totally different shape! I’m glad I got strawberry since the little placard said cherry was another choice and I just have never liked anything cherry. These are really good! They’re extremely chewy and you can kind of tear them into tinier sections since each ‘bite’ is three little logs stuck together.

Boots No7 Protect & Perfect Advanced Sachet: I got the for-youngins version of the Protect & Perfect, according to the informative placard. Real talk time: I never sunbathe (because I don’t tan), I tend to always wear makeup with SPF and I don’t smoke. Both my parents have had growths removed from their heads and so I’m extremely fastidious about sun protection. Even with that, though, I’m in the second half of my twenties now (somehow lol) and as such, I’m starting to notice teenytiny lines around my eyes, or the ones already there are elongating a bit. I’ll start using this and see if it helps–if it does, there’s also a coupon for $2 off the full size.

EcoTools Hair Brush: When I felt the bristles of this brush, I thought it was just extremely abrasive and wouldn’t do anything but hurt my head. But then I just curiously waved it through a section of my hair. I was very, very wrong about my first impression. The brush made my hair soft and very touchable. Specifically, I got the Sleek and Shine Finisher brush, which is flat and kind of oval-shaped. There are 4 others in this range, each designed for a different type of hair I don’t have. My hair is very short and slightly wavy because when it was not very short, it was very, very wavy.

Rimmel Gentle Eye Makeup Remover: Previously on this blog (feel free to say that in the voice of the “previously on Lost” guy), I talked about this wonderful mascara topcoat that I still use daily. It is kind of hard to remove, though. I’ve found the only thing that really does it is a wee dab of coconut oil on the fingertip. I decided to try this eye makeup remover on mascara with the topcoat. It went fairly well, but I don’t think it got all the mascara off, plus I’m used to liquid makeup removers with a thicker consistency–or, in the case of coconut oil, liquid that solidifies because science. Oh, and it stung a little bit!

All in all, this was a great Vox Box. Thanks, Influenster! Hope to receive more in the future!

Please note: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

This Dessert is Amazing

I’m not much of a cook or baker, but I saw this recipe for peanut butter cup bars on A Beautiful Mess and decided that I wanted to try making it because it seemed really easy. I like easy cooking…especially when it doesn’t involve heating up the oven, since our oven is old and doesn’t work as well anymore. This recipe involves the freezer and that is all. In fact, the most arduous part of making this recipe is just gathering all the ingredients and chopping the ones that need chopping. You can even use the microwave twice: to melt the butter and the chocolate chips.

I have since learned that apparently you can buy pre-crushed graham crackers, which I didn’t know (or see) when I was buying the supplies. Instead, I crushed them up in a bowl using the jar of peanut butter. As Tim Gunn would say, make it work. In one batch, I also tried using crunchy peanut butter and not adding the chopped peanuts because I ran out of creamy peanut butter and it was the night before Thanksgiving, meaning I did not want to battle the crowds at the grocery store. This worked well and is therefore a nice substitute, especially if you prefer crunchy peanut butter anyway or don’t want to chop peanuts (although I figure pre-chopped peanuts are also a thing as well).

The single hardest part of making these peanut butter cup bars is actually cutting them once they’ve frozen properly. I had to exert a lot of force to even get a cut in the top layer of chocolate and then the cut usually created fault lines that resulted in jagged pieces, not the lovely even pieces in the photo. The peanut butter cups on top also contribute to these uneven cuts, but honestly? Even if they’re not totally perfectly-cut, they’re incredibly delicious.

That being said, I’m using the ABM photo of these peanut butter cup bars for two reasons:

1. The photo is styled well and looks great. It’s a big reason I got interested in making this recipe.

2. Despite making this four different times, I never really got a chance to take a photo of any of the batches…because they always disappeared really quickly. At least four people at work complimented me and asked for the recipe (I made two batches for a Thanksgiving potluck).

Now, this dessert is extremely indulgent and I’d recommend having it with a nice glass of milk. But if you’re like me and you’re not much for cooking, this recipe is just perfect. You definitely need to try it!