10.24.2013

Blueberry Cobbler Coffee... Blueberry Cream Coffee.... Mmmm


As the weather gets colder, my taste in coffee changes.  While it has to be strong, piping hot and black most of the time, when it's cold, my body starts to crave flavored coffee sometimes.  This week it's blueberry.

Blueberries and Cream, Blueberry Cobbler, Wild Mountain Blueberry, Blueberry Muffns...

I went online to see some of the blueberry versions readily available as my local stores do have a decent selection of coffee but no one is carrying blueberry anything right now.  This coffee got very, very good reviews and was compared to a blueberry muffin: New England Blueberry Cobbler.  

  
That was my first choice although I also took note of two other blueberry choices with a different flavor to them - just plain blueberry and a blueberries and cream.



 This one; Blueberries and Cream is similar to many I've had in the past and found I needed to add a bit of sweetener or creamer to it to really bring out the flavor.

And a basic blueberry I have also had in the past is the Green Mountain version - which I didn't love, and I also had to add sweetener or creamer to really bring out the blueberry flavor - but it's availabe as a k-cup, which makes it perfect for a quick, early morning cup.



Green Mountain Wild Mountain Blueberry, K-Cup Portion Pack for Keurig K-Cup Brewers








10.15.2013

Heads up shoppers: Daily Chef Coffee at Sam's may be a different variety......

UPDATED on 10/16: Daily Chef tried to correct me on Twitter that it was the exact same roast, they just updated the picture on the box and put more k-cups in it. So I'm updating the post with another (better quality)  photo to show it is indeed a different roast; it went from 'dark' roasted to a 'medium' roast.


54 count box used a dark roast. The 80 count box is a medium roast.



Love the look of the 'old' box much, much better than the 1970's feel of the new (bottom) packaging


This weekend I stopped at Sam's Club to pick up our favorite stand-by coffee; the Daily Chef brand Colombian blend k-cups. 

The first thing I noticed was the package was different.  Cheaper and cheeseier looking than normal.  That caught my attention.  Was it the right one?    I looked again.  Colombian blend....  but 80 count.  Same size box but realizing it was an 80 count, I looked for the regular 54 count box.

Nope.  None to be found.

I then stopped to really look at the packaging. They stopped making the 54 count and decided to offer 80 count. 

I checked the price.  $33 for 80 was still on target with their previous per-cup-price.


Yes, it still was the Colombian blend.

But... it said "medium roast" ... I racked my brain;  surely I remember it always being a "dark" roast.  I glanced at the shelves again to make sure I wasn't missing something.

Nope, this was the only red box, Daily Chef, Colombian Roast in the store.

So I bought it.

Getting home, I saw the box is indeed different, and yes... the roasts are different.  Our regular 54 count box is labeled dark roast while the newer in-stock coffee was medium roast.

JUST A HEADS UP.





10.09.2013

"People that love sports can't understand the concept of someone who honestly, truly, doesn't like, care about, nor understand sports."


This morning I was outside, high up on a wobbly ladder I had no business being on, armed with paper towels and Windex.  While cleaning windows I found myself repeating the Karate Kid mantra; wax on, wax off, over and over.  And over and over.  When I realized I was doing this, it was time to think of something else... and fast.

The way my brain works I made the .007 second switch to Karate-sports-soccer-kids playing soccer-parent coached soccer- going to the meeting for one of my kids soccer teams where they were asking for parent coaches- and finally, when the 30-something athletic, jock in school and went to college on a sports scholarship Dad started to belittle the parents and get more than a little snarky because none of the Moms (and a couple Dads) who were sitting in the shelter house at the park, trying to balance babies on our hips with a toddler running around our feet eating rocks... would raise their hands and commit to coach.

All that in .007 seconds.  I kid you not.  Ok.  So that is what I decided to ramble on a little bit over morning coffee about.



The thought that ran through my head was;  "People that love sports can't understand the concept of someone who honestly, truly, doesn't like, care about, nor understand sports."

To my credit, I did excel in a sport once.  In elementary school from 1st grade through 6th grade, I was one of the fastest kids in my class;  boys or girls.  By 7th grade I was the 2nd fastest girl in the class, and 4th fastest overall.  But that's it.  That's the end of my athletic ability.  I hated running.  I think I was fast because I wanted to hurry and get it over with so I could sit down on the sidelines with a book.  As much as I hated (despised, loathed) physical education class and recess, I loved reading.

"I hated running.  I think I was fast because 
I wanted to hurry and get it over with so I could 
sit down on the sidelines with a book."


I hated school for one reason and one reason only;  Physical Education.  It was the bane of my high school years.  I was great at 'forgetting' my PE clothes and coming up with every excuse possible to miss.  I would attend only enough to keep from flunking Phys Ed.  I did this by participating in the weeks we did something more in my comfort zone;  Archery, Range Shooting (yes, with guns - the Army would come that week and set up a shooting range), bowling, swimming and weight lifting.   I was excellent at all of those actually, and would get A+ in those classes so my average grade would then keep me from flunking PE each quarter. I usually ended up with a C.


Fast forward about 17 years to the aforementioned 'meeting' held in a shelter house at the park after our kid's 6th grade soccer practice.  Where Mr. Athletic was calling on parents to be the coach of the team.  I offered help in ways I did have talent;  scheduling, administration, forms, a website for the team and parents, calling parents, after practice snacks...   and he insisted I should coach the team.

I don't know the first thing about soccer.  Yes I've watched my kids play.  I know the ultimate goal is to get the little ball in net at the end of the field.  That's it.  That's the extent of my knowledge, even with 3 kids playing.  I love watching my kids play.  Love seeing them participate and learn new skills and love the game.  I see the coaches telling them when they have to stand outside line to throw a ball in.  Sometimes they had to kick it in.  Sometimes they would meet in the center of the field and kick it.  Coaches would blow whistles when they saw someone breaking a rule.  I had no idea what that rule might be... and I didn't care.

I did not care.
If you try to explain the rules of soccer (or basketball or hockey or even NFL football, much to my husbands dismay) my eyes will start to glaze over.  I'll nod and I'll try to follow you... I really will.  But because I don't even care about the game or sports in general even one little iota, I simply cannot focus my brain on learning it.

Mr. Athletic Dad was not happy.  But to his credit...he couldn't understand.  He did finally get 2 parents to coach (a woman offered up her husband to be the coach and after, another woman offered to co-coach as she had played a little soccer years ago.)

What that Dad couldn't comprehend was I can't coach a team of kids when I have no clue as to how the game is actually played and have no interest in it in the slightest.

Now, if he had asked for someone to teach the kids Medieval English Literature? I'm your girl!  History?  Sign me up!  Need someone to 'coach' them in cooking, baking or sewing?  Alright!  Now let's talk!

But what if I had turned the table on Mr. Athletic Dad?  What if it were me standing up there asking him to teach our 6th grade kids Medieval English Romance?

He would shake his head, chuckle and say "No... "  with a laugh.  "You don't want me teaching that.  I don't know ANYTHING about English literature!  Much less Mid... uh, whatever you said.  Medieval.  Yeah.  I don't know anything about Medieval English Romance!"

"Come on!  It's EASY.  It was the most important form of secular English literature in the Middle Ages!  How can you not know that!?  From 1225 through 1500 it was their own 'contemporary' modern fiction.  Come on.   I will give you a sheet of paper with some of the basic information and a list of authors to cover.   I'm sure the other people teaching and coaching the other teams of kids won't mind if you get a few facts wrong.  You'll learn!"

I find learning and reading to be interesting, exciting, fascinating!  He finds the same with sports.

While he may not have any interest in English Literature or History... I had no interest in sports.  That zero interest makes it very, very difficult for me to learn the rules of a game because again... I. Do. Not. Care.

In the end, I didn't have to coach, obviously.  And my husband (even working around 60 hour work weeks) found time to team-coach our son's football team for 2 years and soccer for 1 year.  But me?

If you need administrative help, sign me up.  
Forms, websites, snacks and first aid? I'm your girl. 
Posters?  Artistic talent? Marketing?  Yes!  I'll do it all!

But handing me a whistle and putting me in the center of a field of kids where the average athletic 4 year old has more working knowledge of the game than I do?  You don't want to do that. 











 


10.02.2013

Morning Bliss... Naturally! My review of Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss - and 2 bonus cold drink ideas!

This post is for the new Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss Cinnamon Cream, which I was given to review.  All opinions are my own.  



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October is here!  Leaves are starting to turn shades of gold, red and orange, the mornings are chilly and the scent of bonfires fill the evening air.  A cup of hot coffee in the morning or evening while out on the deck just feels 'right' and the spicy flavors of vanilla and cinnamon fit the season.

This week I've been enjoying the new Coffee-mate Natural Bliss Cinnamon Cream.  Introduced this month in time for the holidays, it's a blend of milk, cream, sugar and natural flavors.  Note I didn't type out any long chemical name that no one can pronounce.  Milk. Cream. Sugar.  Natural ingredients.

First though, I need to give kudo's to whomever designed their packaging.  I love the look of the Natural Bliss bottles.  I'm pretty critical of the packaging and labels on food products and I've been underwhelmed at the 'new' labels many of my favorite foods are coming out with. The white, clean, soft label on the bottle and the image of the milk, sugar and cinnamon is a winner.

Pouring the creamer into your coffee you will note a mixture of cinnamon and vanilla.  Take a deep breath.  It is like breathing in homemade, natural vanilla ice cream with a hint of cinnamon!  Add as much or little to your coffee as you prefer.  The flavor is... real.  No chemical taste because there are no chemicals there!

"The NATURAL BLISS line is made with 100% all-natural ingredients without any artificial preservatives.  Each bottle  contains sixteen fluid ounces of authentic ingredients, 
inside a white bottle with soft images of each of the natural flavors.  
Kosher and gluten-free, this luscious dairy creamer has a  pure taste 
with a touch of natural sweetness, silky texture and delicious aroma – 
all in one convenient bottle.   The perfectly balanced combination 
enhances the flavor of coffee, to make the most of your coffee moment."




The Bliss line includes not only the Cinnamon Cream, but Sweet Cream, Vanilla and Low-Fat Vanilla.  You'll count just 35 calories and 1.5g of fat per serving and the average price is only $2.69 for a 16 oz. bottle.  It's available starting this month, nation-wide at most local grocers.  I know a lot of people like to check out their favorite products on Facebook - and you can do that at www.facebook.com/coffeematenaturalbliss. For even more information you can visit http://naturalbliss.coffee-mate.com


Here is a little bonus!

Coffee-Mate creamers make wonderful COLD drinks too!  I used my frappe maker to make a Natural Bliss Iced Coffee. 

I used about 1/3 cup creamer, ice and coffee, brewed in my Mr. Coffee frappe maker.  Excellent! 


The next day I decided a natural vanilla 'frosty' was in order - sans the coffee.  I used 1/2 cup Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss, 1 t vanilla extract and ice, blended smooth.  The result was a slushy vanilla frosty that was simply perfection!  So much so, I'm planning on using the last of my Natural Bliss Cinnamon Cream this afternoon for an afternoon treat.

I give this Coffee-mate product not just a thumbs 'up' but two thumbs up.  Thanks Coffee-Mate!