A few months ago I read about Häagen-Dazs’ new gelato line. I immediately started looking for them whenever I went grocery shopping, but no luck. Then last week I saw commercials on TV, and knew they must have reached the stores. And sure enough, they were at my local Vons and Ralphs. So I bought every flavor I could get my hands on in order to try them all. I also have tried some other newish ice cream flavors that I wanted to share.

Sea Salt Caramel

The gelatos come in both pint sizes and the tiny one serving cups. I got the sea salt caramel in the one serving cup but now I wish I got a full pint because this was really good. It’s a caramel ice cream with swirls of sea salt caramel.

Cappuccino

Swirls of coffee and sweat cream ice cream. I love how this looked and it really did taste like a cappuccino in gelato form.

Stracciatella

This is always Mr. K’s favorite gelato flavor. It’s similar to chocolate chip except the chocolate pieces are much smaller and there’s a lot more of them.

Dark Chocolate Chip

I’m usually not much of a chocolate ice cream person but this was pretty good. I could definitely taste the higher quality chocolate used.

I’m obsessed with secret menu items. Recently I learned about Starbucks’ secret menu drinks which include creations like Twix Frappuccino, Thin Mint, Chocolate Pumpkin, etc. Starbucks had their happy hour frappuccino specials running for the last two weeks, and I took advantage by trying a bunch of secret menu drinks I had read about.

The Starbucks secret menu isn’t a secret menu in the traditional sense. At In-N-Out, you say “animal style fries” and every In-N-Out server will know what you are talking about even though it’s not on the menu. If you go up to a Starbucks counter and say “I would like a Venti Twix Frappuccino,” your barista may or may not know what drink you are ordering. From my experience, I was mostly left with blank stares.

Basically the Starbucks secret menu consists of drinks not on the menu that have been created by baristas or customers. While your local Starbucks may not know what a Thin Mint or Dalmatian drink is, they are more than happy to customize your drink and make it. You just need to know what goes in each drink.

Here’s what we’ve had:

Chocolate Dalmatian (white mocha frap with blended java chips and chocolate chips)
Starbucks Secret Menu Drinks

This was our first foray into blending in java chips and chocolate chips into a Starbucks drink. Now we are addicted. Mr. K orders it with every drink. He even once ordered it with a hot espresso beverage, forgetting that it isn’t blended. The barista considered his request anyway and thoughtfully suggested they could melt the chips into the drink for him.

Thin Mint (green tea frap, blended chocolate chips, cookie crumble on top)
Starbucks Secret Menu Drinks
I love this one even though it actually tastes nothing like a thin mint since there is no mint in it. I guess you can add mint syrup if you really want.
Starbucks Secret Menu Drinks

Twix Frappuccino (caramel frap, shot of chocolate syrup, topped with whipped cream, crunchy caramel sugar, drizzle of caramel and drizzle of chocolate syrup)
Starbucks Secret Menu Drinks

They forgot the extra chocolate drizzle but this was already super sweet as is. Not sure if it really tastes like Twix but it does taste very sweet like candy and the crunchy sugar adds a crunch like the Twix cookie crunch.

Cake Mix Waffles

Last week I stumbled across this great post showing different ways to use cake mix (I seem to have lost the link; I’ll update the post later when I find it). I love finding new uses for cake mix! One of the recipes included was actually one of mine, which is how I found the article to begin with.

Anyway, after reading through, I had so many new recipes I wanted to try. The one that was on the top of my list were cake mix waffles. I love making things in the waffle iron. It cooks up faster than baking in the oven.