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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Zombie Apocalypse....

I have done it.  I have reached the pinnacle of my career.  I know I have said it before, but this time I mean it.  For real.  I perfected the Zombie.  You know, the bread/roll type of thing that has a pocket of cheesy goodness?  Yep, that.  I always thought it was a Clayton Valley thing, until I talked about them with my husband, and he had the pleasure of eating Zombies at Acalanes!  If you haven’t heard of a zombie…I pity you.  Like I said above, it is a roll, stuffed with melted cheese.  Sounds simple, I know, but it is truly amazing.  Anyhoo, not only did I perfect it, I made it easy.  I have made my high school dreams come true.
Picture it, 1990….Clayton Valley High School.  I was a freshman.  I was rockin’ a bad bleach job from Sun-In, dark lip liner and anything from The Wet Seal.  I had my first experience with a cheese zombie at “brunch”, and I knew immediately that high school would be my glory days.  Sad, really.
By 1993, I was a junior, and I got to sell those things.  Yes, that’s right.  At Clayton Valley, juniors get the honor of selling the damn things out of carts to raise money for something….I can’t remember what.  I worked “brunch carts” mostly so I could be ensured a delicious zombie, but also because I got out of class a few minutes early.  Let’s not confuse this with when I pretended to be part of student council to get out of 4th period early, or when I pretended to be on swim team for 2 years just to get out of 6th period early.  My apologies Mrs. Glennon, but you really were easy to fool.  But if it makes you feel better, I can still type like nobody’s business.  But I digress…..I really did sell Zombies just to make sure I always got one.  I knew that someday I would grow up, and learn how to make them;)
I know that the wonderful lunch ladies working for the Mt. Diablo School District made their own bread dough for Zombies.  This isn’t something I am willing to do.  Mainly because yeast freaks me out.  You have to feed it!  I searched high and low and found the perfect substitute……
I used Bridgford Parkerhouse Style Rolls.  They are found in the freezer section of any grocery store.  They are basically just little balls of dough.  They will end up smaller than the Zombies that you remember, but they work!  They aren’t too dense or too flaky….they are perfect.
I started by laying out the frozen little balls of dough on a baking sheet that has been coated lightly with cooking spray.  They need to defrost for about 1 hour.
For the cheese, I will be using, duh, Velveeta.  You can’t use real cheese for these.  You just can’t.  I diced the Velveeta into chunks, about 1 inch square.
Once the dough is defrosted, I cut the rolls in half, but not all the way through.  I kind of just opened them up like a book.  I tucked the chunk of cheese in and made a pouch.  I sealed the pouch up and placed them back on the baking sheet, sealed side down.  Now, they need to rise for about 2 to 3 hours or until they double in size.  I set my pan in a cool, non-drafty place and let them do their thang;)

See?  Doubled.
I baked these according to the package directions….at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes.

When they were about 5 minutes from being done, I gave the tops a bath in melted butter.  This will help them get a browner top….sort of like when I used to put baby oil on to lay out in the sun.  Exact same thing…except cheese zombies don’t now have to constantly worry about skin cancer.
Isn’t that what you remember?  It tasted the exact same.  Or at least what I remember zombies tasting like.  I will be the first to admit that there is a strong chance I killed some brain cells in college, but still….I think they taste the same!
Cheesy deliciousness.
Ok, I am about to talk about something that might be sacrilegious to zombie purists.  If you are one….please don’t read on.  If you can stand the thought of a zombie with some embellishment…by all means…read on.
I thought that I might add some yummy things to the basic zombie….just to see how it would turn out. 
My first “fancy” zombie was a cheesesteak zombie.  Along with the Velveeta, I added cooked thin sliced steak and onion.
I sautéed the onions in a bit of oil, and then added the steak.  This stuff cooks in like a minute.  Have you ever had a steak-umm?  If not, you are missing out.
Once the steak was cooked, I added some Worcestershire sauce and salt & pepper.
I stuffed this in a roll too, and followed the exact same directions as above.
I have to say, there are few things in life as amazing as a cheesesteak zombie.  I should see if I can get a job as a lunch lady at CVHS. 
I also tried a combo of cheese, bacon, and tomatoes…
This is like a fancy grilled cheese.  You just have to remember to cut everything into super small chunks so that you can stuff it in a roll.
Seal the edges very tightly to prevent leakage.  Real zombies never leaked.
Can I open a zombie restaurant?  Why don’t we eat these as adults?  Do you have to stop eating these at graduation?  Is this a pre-requisite to being a grown-up?  I say no!  Bring back the zombie, people!  I hope you try to make these.  I say, make a batch, bring them to work and make everyone take a break around 10:30am…..let’s do brunch again.  Let’s make it seem like 1993 all over again.  I will bring the Sun-In.
Cheese Zombies
Bridgford Parkerhouse Style Rolls, frozen
16 ounces Velveeta, chopped into 1 inch chunks
2 tablespoons butter
Lay individual frozen rolls on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.  Let rolls defrost on counter top for about 1 hour.
Once rolls are deforested, cut in half, but don’t cut all the way through.  Place a chunk of Velveeta in the middle of open roll.  Bring together edges like a pouch.  Press edges together to seal.  Place back on baking sheet to let rise.  Let rolls rise for about 2 to 3 hours or until they double in size.
Once the rolls have risen, bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes.  When the rolls have about 5 minutes left, brush the tops with melted butter and then continue baking the remaining 5 minutes or until the rolls are browned on top.

If the rolls get too soft while you are stuffing them, stick them back in the fridge.  They should be defrosted, but still cold.

75 comments:

  1. YUMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!! I'm making these tonight!

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  2. These are served at the elementary schools and I fell in love with them while student teaching. (I would imagine they are available at the middle schools too.) Thank you for sharing this recipe with us - sure it will soon be a family favorite!

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  3. Thank you so very much for this!! I went to Miramonte in Orinda and have tried to make them myself but am to freaked out by yeast!! I did work with a lady whose daughter worked at Sequoia Middle and snuck us a batch one "brunch" day! The ones at Miramonte had either diced onions or onions & sausage(i think) inside...both good :) thanks again!!

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  4. My husband and I went to Pleasant Hill High in the 60's and we LOVED the zombies...can't wait to try your version. I must admit I never thought it would be velveeta???? Sue St G

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  5. I work in 1 of the MDUSD kitchens one day we were fooling around with some leftover spaghetti. WE had leftover dough from brunch we added garlic and mozzarella cheese. At first I thought it was going to be gross but it was like taking a bite of your garlic bread after slopping your spaghetti on it. Yummy!

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  6. I went to CVHS in the 70's and I lived on these silly things! Thank-you Zombie Goddess. I shall always bow in your presence

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  7. the cheese inside the school zombies are just regular american cheese, but i bet velveeta would be good

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  8. Velveeta makes a spicy cheese-like food that would be great in these. If it's not like "gov'mint" cheese, it's not a Zombie.

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  9. Oh my... it's Mt. Diablo High School in the early 80's all over again! I'm afraid to make them or we will create a new generation of addicts!

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  10. It's like an angel dropped down from heaven and gave us this recipe. Thank you!

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  11. We had them at YV, too! Perhaps it's an MDUSD specialty?

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  12. I remember having two of those at YV every day! Thanks for the memories!

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  13. My kids went to Pine Hollow MS, and then CVHS. THEY introduced me to these (I grew up in Michigan and we had amazing brownies but not these) and I fell in love! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

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  14. As a former lunch lady, when I tell people that live in this area about my former career, the first question I get is..."do they still make the zombies?" Thanks so reminding me of how great they are. I am making some for my adult children today!

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  15. I don't think I would have graduated Concord High without these! Looks like it's going to be a zombie buffet tonight

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  16. If you're ever in the midwest, you need to go to a place called Runza. Fast food version of a zombie. Delish!

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  17. Ground and cook up some Jimmy Dean Sausage, empty grease and then melt a block of cream cheese in there. Add that as the filling! It is yummmy!~

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  18. I love how you wait for the frozen rolls to be deforested!

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  19. CVHS class of 92/ 91 brunch cart alum .. chances are i sold you one of these ooey gooey cheesey wonders !

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  20. Thanks for the memories. I went to elementary school in WC in the early 70's these were my favorite!

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  21. I remember selling those with you! Thanks for the recipe. Definitely the best part about brunch was a gooey zombie!

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  22. my kids went to Acalanes - I'm sure they would love to see a zombie waiting for them the next time they come to visit. Thanks for the recipe!

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  23. Thanks so much! I'm a graduate of Mt. Diablo High and Cheese Zombies at brunch is one of my all time favorite memories. Forget 1993...set your "way back" machine to 1973! Ah yes...the good old days!

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  24. I graduated from Concord High in 1975 I remember them well and my kids also went to Concord High and remember them. Ah yes the good old days!

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  25. Ha! I made an instructable to make a Zombie the same way. http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-Sausage-Zombie/

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  26. I'M STEALING THAT CHEESE STEAK RECIPE. NICE!

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  27. Flash back , College Park grad in 1979 . Ham & Cheese Zombie's were a way of life . I think there were withdrawls from them . Wife is on her way to Safeway now . thx

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  28. I make these all the time, but never thought to use Velveeta. My parents went to Concord schools, and even though I grew up in Pittsburg, I grew up eating these lovely things. I use the Bridgeford loaves and just thaw and cut into the size I want for bigger zombies. I also use the dough to wrap around hot dogs for Pups.

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  29. I had those at Concord High School in the 1970's.

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  30. OMG!! I could not be more excited to make these. Making them this Saturday for sure. I have prayed for this recipe. Thank You!!!
    Concord High, Class of '84

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  31. my bestfriends mom was a cheese zombie chef at cvhs

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  32. I went to Oak Grove and YVHS! Great memories-- I loved them and now I get to continue loving 'em!! Don't forget to try them with hamburger meat as well!! You're awesome for posting this and thank you!!

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  33. As an aging hippie alumna of YV, class of '68, I feel torn. It sure would be nice to have one of those cheese zombies again, but I'd loose all my hippie cred if I bought a box of velveeta. Hmmm. Maybe I'll risk it.

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  34. I am making these today for the first time. Are they supposed to be warm when served? Never ran into these in public schools in Minnesota.

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  35. ok...very very good (with deli american cheese cut into 1.5 inch chunks and put inside rhodes texas size dinner rolls (cuz there was zero selection of frozen bread dough at my store...i havn't looked for it for a long time)...they are incredibly tasty but the bottoms are doughy when the tops are brown...did i not let them raise enough? any suggestions? i baked my larger rolls 20 mn at 375F

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  36. Oh,woman,Thank you! I also fell in love with these at Las Lomas in the very early eighties...never could duplicate the bread quite right to make them myself. It was always the wrong texture. Never thought of store-bought dough...great idea! Again, thank you...and I'm gonna have my family hooked by the enmd of the week!

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  37. I'm an Acalanes '90 grad and my '90 Campo grad boyfriend and I perfected
    these beauties our sophomore year in college in Isla Vista and wanted so badly to open a Del Playa Zombie cart for late drunken college nights--we planned on making a living off these beauties.
    Basic- Pillsbury breadstick dough, stuff with velveeta, (Lil smokies for the sausage variety), brush with butter and bake.
    Insane. Fatty. Too good to be true..19 years later I still think I could make a mil with my IV zombie cart.

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  38. Made a batch of these last night! They sure didn't look like they had risen after several hours out, but they were fluffy and perfect, so I guess they had. I went to school in Napa, and our Cheese Zombies were slices off a large pan where it was layers of bread and cheese. I'm wondering how to pull that one off. Any ideas? I figured the frozen full bread dough loaves... but after that figuring out how to add the cheese in layers and cooking times... I'm lost.

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    1. Starmama, I too went grew up in Napa..my guess is these are more like the Silverado Middle school ones...

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  39. CVHS '91 alum. Bless you for posting this recipe. My kids can now fall in love with zombies too!

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  40. Where do u find the parkerhouse rolls? I checked at safeway and nobhill and couldn't find it. I been wanting to try these!

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    1. Try this: http://www.bridgford.com/consumers/wtb.asp

      Daryl
      CVHS 78'

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  41. Thanks so much for posting. I made them the other night and they turned out perfect. Just like I remember back in the early 80's CVHS
    Thanks, Zippy

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  42. omg i always wanted to make these but never knew how cause it was something that is special and now i have the recipe on here im making them they are my favorite foods of all now and back in school

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  43. I have been wanting this recipe for years! Thank you! Northgate 97'!

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  44. Would have graduated in 1997 from Northgate also. Moved instead. I cant wait to make these for my husband and my pregnant belly here. Yum!! Thank you for the recipe.

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  45. I enjoyed hundreds of these at Orinda Intermediate School and Miramonte High School! My friends and I have continued making them and experimenting with other fillings besides simply Velveeta and Velveeta/Little Smokies. Try mixing some diced jalapenos and cream cheese together and adding that to the middle in place of the Velveeta! Bacon and Velveeta is also quite orgasmic.

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  46. Fabulous! My daughter's BF went to Concord High & she made them as a surprise for him! I grew up in Vallejo & never ever heard of them! Just made them for my husband here in WI! Oh my they are delish!!!! We will try different versions!

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  47. OMG! I went to high school in Washington State in the 80's and we had zombies, too! Every once in awhile I think about them and drift away into memories of warm zombie goodness! Our zombies were baked in large sheet pans and then cut into squares for serving. I like the idea of using the rolls, though...quick and easy. I'm going to make them tonight and bask in a nostalgic zombie coma! Thanks for the recipe!!

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  48. That is so damn funny, I have been talking about these dumb things for years saying I was the thinnest I ever was when I ate Cheese Zombies, Round Table Pizza and salad bar all washed down with coke! lol Love the post Thank you
    YVHS 88'
    Heather

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  49. Karen (Stout) HuttonMarch 12, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    I went to Ygnacio Valley High School,graduated in 1972. I can still remember first break and we rushed to get our zombies! I think they may have been 50 cents,not sure. My sister and I have dreamed about them ever since! Long Live THE ZOMBIE

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  50. I went to Miramonte High in Orinda..graduated in '82 Man...we LOVED the hot cheese Zombies!!! I will be trying this for sure!! Thank you!

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  51. Our school had the option of Zombies with sausage also. Of corse the cheese ones always sold out first. Thanks for the memories!
    LLHS '94
    Carly

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  52. I created a Facebook group for all those interested! I'd love to share your site too :)

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/298687990213064/

    megan

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  53. Yummy...thanks for sharing. I graduated from MDHS in 1980....Zombies were a HUGE part of my high school experience. Can't wait to replicate them for my family.......Love the cheese steak idea....I always thought it was Velveeta, not American......thanks for sharing, again! Zombie love to you!

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  54. We had zombies as well at collage park. I graduated in 82. I have made these many times but the cheese tends to leak out? Help!!!!

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    1. My sister also graduated in 82. I texted her a pic of the zombies at CVHS (my son's school) and she freaked!

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  55. Thanks for this recipe! Graduated from College Park in 06. Still got those zombies. I had no idea the cheese zombie was so specific to MDUSD! Actually, I was never much of a fan of the ones they sold at school, although my good friend had one almost every day. We tried this mostly for his benefit and I must say they turned out great! New Gourmet Rooster fan.

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  56. Brynn MacKellar EadesSeptember 23, 2012 at 8:10 AM

    omg! my mom taught at concord high for 38 years and so i went to chs and cvhs and had a ham & cheese zombie every single day at both schools! i recently introduced my hubby to a variation of them (he went to liberty in b-wood)and now he wants them every weekend! never thought to try the velveeta... maybe next weekend!!

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  57. I was told by the granddaughter of a cook at CVHS back in the 80's & 90's that the secret ingredient for cheese zombies, to give them that distinct flavor, was a dash of Worcestershire sauce inside with the cheese prior to baking. Can anyone confirm this tid bit of info? Either by taste testing or first hand knowledge? I was surprised not to see it mentioned here. Thanks for this great article.

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  58. These where my fave @ CHS in 03 then we moved to AZ and no one knew what cheese zombies are...so glad yoh posted this recipe thanks

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  59. Colleen Mittone LopezFebruary 23, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    Thank you. My daughter and I used pizza dough from Vons. It was already risen and ready to go! They were awesome! I graduated from Campo in 88 and had not had them since! What a treat to share the nostalgia with my daughter!

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  60. 1990 CPHS alum here and our lunch ladies also made them with hamburgers inside. I am so making these this weekend along with peanut butter rice krispy squares! Thanks for the recipe!

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  61. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  62. Oh man this brings back some great memories anybody remember the hotdogs in the Zombie bread?

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  63. acalanes class of 2003. thanks so much lady. you write cute recipes.

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  64. Love those. What a great high school memory of College Park High class of 86. Could not go a day without having one. Where did you find the steak ums though? I have searched high and low. But cant find. Another great memory. My nana used to cook those all the time for us as kids.

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  65. my first Cheese Zombie experience must have been sometime in the early 1970's at Shore Acres Elementary. the best time was eating so many I left them all over the sidewalk of the pittsburg police station one day after school when my mother was getting finger printed for a job. that was 1974 ish.

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    1. my last Zombie mus6t have been sometime in 1978 as after that I went to De La Salle class of 83. unfortunately that cafeteria didnt make the Zombies.

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  66. I went to school in WC, elem, intermediate and HS and somehow MISSED Zombies?! Maybe I was before their time......... seems most folks remember them from mid 70's and onward... but thanks for the recipe..

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  67. They opend a cheese zombi spot nxt to concord hi

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  68. YES!!! Cannot wait to make these!

    Tara
    CVHS '94

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  69. Wow...as soon as I finsished reading this I raaan to the grocery store!!!!

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  70. Las Lomas 2003 had them!! They were my fav!! I had to have one everyday!!

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