Girl Scout Rah-Rah Raisins Cookies + Dollar Tree/Whole Foods Purchases

Girl Scout Rah-Rah Raisins Cookies

So I tried the new Girl Scout Rah-Rah Raisins cookies and I really, really like them! 

Girl Scout Rah-Rah Raisins Cookies

The cookies tasted better than I expected but would I repurchase? Probably not. $4 for 13 cookies (that’s all that comes in a box) isn’t a very good value. I could go to the supermarket and get at least twice as many cookies for less money. But I suppose most people who are buying Girl Scout cookies aren’t doing it to get great cookies at an amazing value; they’re doing it to support someone who’s a Girl Scout or supporting the organization itself.

Made with whole grain oats, these new hearty oatmeal cookies are packed with plump raisins and Greek yogurt-flavored chunks. An addition worth cheering about this cookie season!

These are hard/crunchy oatmeal cookies rather than soft/chewy oatmeal cookies and I like how they’re not too sweet; there’s a good balance of salt and sugar. It’s not like those Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies: one bite and you’ll be in a sugar coma. Nope, the Rah-Rah Raisins have a really nice flavor that won’t give you an instant cavity. I don’t care much for sweets — I prefer salty snacks — but I finished the entire box of these cookies in two sittings.

The Girl Scouts came out with a few new cookie varieties this season. I really wanted to try the new cranberry cookie but my local troop didn’t have any. But if you want to try a new flavor the Rah-Rah Raisins would be a good choice. They’re not reinventing the wheel or anything with their oatmeal cookie but it’s a solid take on an old favorite.

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Dollar Tree Haul

I went back to the Dollar Tree to pick up a couple more of those reusable coffee filters that I bought last time. Like I mentioned in my previous Dollar Tree haul post, they fit perfectly in a Keurig coffee maker and it beats spending $7-$12 on a name brand Solofill or Ekobrew reusable K-cup.

While I was there I scoped out the freezer section and saw that they were carrying a new brand of French fries in several cuts/flavors. I think I’ve tried all of frozen fries the Dollar Tree carries. A few brands come and go but the Dollar Tree usually carries a brand that comes in a white & blue bag (sorry, don’t know the brand name) and I honestly didn’t care for them.

The thing with frozen fries I’ve found is that they need to be a little oily. I don’t mean loaded with fat or greasy but frozen fries that are too low fat don’t bake well in the oven and come out really dry. They need the fat, especially since they aren’t being deep fried. The fries that come in the blue/white bag don’t contain enough fat and always come out a bit dry. However, I’m happy to report that these new Buyers Best fries that come in the green/white bag are great.

So far I’ve only tried the Buyers Best crinkle cut fries and the shoestring fries and between the two the crinkle cut fries are much, much better. I think crinkle cut frozen fries are the hardest to get right since they’re thicker, more potato-y fries. If a fry tastes/feels dry, it’s going to be the most obvious with a thick cut, crinkle cut fry. But if the fry is loaded with too much oil, it comes out greasy, limp and soggy. The Buyers Best Crinkle Cut fries came out great. They have just enough fat that they’re crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

I wasn’t too wild about the shoestring fries. The individual fries are really short — about two knuckle lengths — so they weren’t very satisfying to eat. A lot of the fries were really short and thin. You know how when you get fries from McDonald’s you have the long fries and the short, stubby, pointy “fry shards” that don’t have white, fluffy potato interiors, just crunchy bits? Well, you get a whole lot of those crunchy fry shards here. I was hoping for a better ratio of crunchy exteriors to fluffy interiors but that didn’t happen.

The best thing about the fries is the amount you get per bag: 2 lbs (32 oz) for $1. I think that’s a pretty awesome deal! I went back and got a few more bag of the crinkle cut fries to store in the freezer. They’ll be good for those lazy weekends when all I feel like making for myself is a sandwich. Just pop the fries in an oven and I’m all set.

The Dollar Tree also had a big display of flower bulbs and tuber roots, mostly gladiolas and lilies, so I grabbed a few for my mother. I got Persian Buttercups, freesias, and a few varieties of gladiolas and lilies. I had to dig through all the  boxes for plants that still looked kind of fresh because a lot of them were really sad and dried up in appearance. The lilies come a single tuber root in a baggie packed with wood shavings. The gladiola bulbs and other flowers come 3 or 4 to a baggie.

Most of the plants I chose are warm region/weather plants so I’ll probably have to start them in a pot indoors and transplant them outside a few months from now. I’m not even sure if they’ll take root because they’re not the freshest bulbs but plants are quite resilient so I have high hopes. Heck, I once threw some potato peels into a compost heap in the springtime and when I went back later in the autumn I had full grown, edible potatoes. If these plants actually bloom I’ll be super impressed. Less than $10 for a garden full of flowers? Yes, please.

Nutritional Yeast

I forgot to mention that on Saturday (March 21) I made a special trip to Whole Foods to get their Beauty Bag. The one item that I really wanted to try was the Pacifica Devocean lipstick. It’s been on my wish list for awhile but I peeked inside at least 30 of the Beauty Bags that they had on the special display and none of them contained a lipstick. Disappointed!

I ended up not getting one but I did buy some nutritional yeast. It may not be a big deal to all you vegans/vegetarians but up until last year I never even knew nutritional yeast existed. Heck, it wasn’t until a couple of months ago I learned about coconut aminos and liquid aminos. I’m a true omnivore and while I don’t foresee myself ever giving up animal products completely, I like fruits, vegetables and plant-based meat substitutes and I always love trying new foods. Of course when I found out about nutritional yeast I had to try some. I have to say this stuff is a little expensive for a condiment. My Whole Foods had two brands: this one and Bragg’s. The Bragg’s was $6-something and the one I bought was about a dollar cheaper. I don’t know if that makes a difference in flavor or quality but they looked pretty similar in the packaging.

I tried it and I like it. I wouldn’t say I love it — it won’t replace cheese for me — but it tastes good. If you’ve never tried Red Star nutritional yeast, it looks like fish food flakes; that is, really thin, small, golden flakes perfect for sprinkling over foods. The flavor is interesting. It doesn’t taste exactly like cheese but I can see why lots of people use it to mimic a cheesy flavor. It’s nutty, savory and slightly tangy, kind of like a crushed up cheese cracker with a subtle bitter aftertaste. I’ll probably use it sprinkled over popcorn, pasta dishes or eggs.

ETA: I forgot to mention that I had a hard time finding the nutritional yeast. Since it’s used mostly as a condiment I tried looking for it in the aisles with ketchup, mustard and even cheeses. However, it was in the baking aisle with the vanilla and regular active baking yeast. I guess that kind of makes sense since it’s also a type of yeast…but it still doesn’t make sense because nutritional yeast isn’t alive like baker’s yeast. It’s confusing.

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