Product Review: Special K Coffee House Breakfast Shakes

Products were given to me to review thru my membership as a BzzAgent but all opinions are mine.

It's a typical weekday morning.  Spouses and kids underfoot, everyone racing to get ready for work and school.  Let the dogs out, feed the cat, get the kids breakfast on the table while you find your child's lost shoe, sign a last second permission slip for a field trip to school... rushing out the door and....

No time for breakfast?

What if you could grab a bottle out of the refrigerator that was delicious, had 10 grams of protein,  5 grams of fiber, one third of daily recommended vitamins for women, a shot of caffeine to help you get going and was under 200 calories?

I was given a chance to try Special K's Coffee House Breakfast Shakes and received the Chocolate Mocha and Vanilla Cappuccino versions.  The first one I tried was the Vanilla Cappuccino and it was very, very good.  Rich, cold and smooth, it had good flavor and reminded me of an icy cold version of a hot vanilla cappuccino.  I didn't get to enjoy it long though; my high school daughter was rushing out the door to school and commandeered my drink!   Not only did she love it, but her 3 friends asked her what she was drinking and she ended up doing some 'social marketing' without even realizing it.

The second kind was a Chocolate Mocha.  Now, I was a little less enthused to try this one only because I'm not a big fan of chocolate.  I made sure it was icy cold, straight from the refrigerator and gave it my best shot.  The average person I think, would love it.  You could definitely taste the chocolate and I realize most of the human population loves chocolate so I'm giving a thumbs up on that one.

It just so happens my husband was leaving for work and he never, ever takes time for breakfast.  He loves chocolate and coffee though so it was a win/win situation to give it to him to try and give me feedback.  He loved it and was especially happy to find out there was 10 grams of protein in that little bottle.

He did however let me know that he wouldn't want to drink them outside the house as he felt the bottle was too 'girly'.  LOL.

In short order, both product versions were given a thumbs up by me and my family.

Special K Coffee House Breakfast Shakes offer 10g of protein, 5g of fiber and some key vitamins & minerals as well as a boost of caffeine equivalent to a small 5.5 oz. cup of coffee - all in just 200 calories.

Our family already purchases a variety of Special K products from their cereals to pastries so including a quick 'take and go' breakfast drink to have on hand isn't too much of a stretch!

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Coffee Break! Reviewing Nutter Butter Peanut Butter Wafer Patties

I don't typically eat anything with my 'coffee breaks' as I'm not a big fan of sweets in general and I really enjoy my coffee strong, hot and black.  But earlier today my teenage daughter requested I buy "Nutter Butter" cookies when I was at the grocery store.  I saw they had a 'patty' version so I picked those up instead of the traditional cookie.

And that is how this post was born!

Today's coffee break is Starbucks Pike Place Roast coffee with Nutter Butter Wafer Patties made in Canada by Kraft Foods. 

    To cut to the chase... yes.  I like them.  But I'm not sure everyone will so let me tell you why I do like them and what I don't like about them.

First and foremost I guess is that I don't like cookies all that much.
And I don't like 'sweet' things that well either.
A couple of the random cookies from my childhood that I do like include vanilla wafers... which is probably why I like this cookie for the exact reason  many hate it.

When I saw "creme patties"  I pictured a peanut butter filling between the traditional Nutter Butter cookie.  When I opened the package I was surprised to see it was l-o-n-g un-cut wafer cookie.  They weren't very durable so they already had punch holes in the top of some of them just from being bagged at the store and riding home with me.  You also have to break them apart yourself and they do not 'clean break'.  My first thought was;  "Wow, I wish they had already cut these apart"  and "I wonder if a knife would cut them better?"

Nutter Butter Wafer Patties Nutrition Facts from the package:
Serving size:  5 patties
Calories:  170
Servings per container:  9

Total Fat:  9 grams
Saturated:  2.5
Trans Fat:  0
Poly:  2
Mono:  4

Cholesterol:  0
Sugar: 8
Protein: 4

As I mentioned earlier, I'm not a fan of cookies, but I am a fan of vanilla wafers.  For that reason, I really like the wafer bottom whereas some people have complained the wafer has no taste or tastes like dry cardboard.  I think the light, crispy wafer is probably my favorite part as it's not heavy and lets other flavors stand out.

The peanut butter filling is just the right amount for the cookie and thankfully it isn't overly sweet.  It tastes like 'real' peanut butter (as it is).  Although I think the cookie is perfectly ok, I can't say I'll personally be eating them.  Then again, since I don't usually have sweets with my coffee, that isn't a big stretch.

I do think Kraft would have a hit on their hands if they actually used a Nutter Butter cookie base instead of the wafer; this would seem to appease a larger market of Nutter Butter fans.

Have you tried them?  What do you think?

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That Mug Tho! - Unicorn Coffee Mugs (and key covers, unicorn meat, and toys)

Unicorn Figure Mug

  This morning's post comes to you straight from a Twitter conversation!  A friend on Twitter (you know who you are!)  posted a horribly ugly/cute coffee photo of someone drinking out of a unicorn and rainbows coffee mug.   It was so awful it was wonderful.   That is what brainstormed this morning post entry when I had nothing in my brain to post about!

Sure enough, I found a 3D unicorn coffee mug available through Amazon...  it's perfectly horrible and awesome at the same time, right!?

But wait!  It got better.  I then saw this little sweet mug.  Rainbows out of the unicorn's horn.... how can you not start your day off grand when you are sipping from this mug?  I like it better than the 3D version because I think this style mug 'feels' better to drink out of than a big unicorn head coming precariously close to my face when sipping my morning coffee.

Unicorn Power Coffee Mug

But the clear winner?
Unicorns barfing rainbows.  Nothing says "Good Day!" like a rainbow vomited from a unicorn.

Rainbow Unicorn Coffee Mug

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The seedlings in my k-cups are sprouting!

Planted on the 9th and sprouting by today - the 12th.

It's only been 2 1/2 days but you can already see the seeds are sprouting!  Way in the back is a tomato and the in the center in the Veranda blend k-cup is basil. 

Recycling my k-cups: Starting Seeds for the Garden

This is just a short and sweet fly-by-post.  I've posted in the past about my guilt over k-cups as they are so popular and so horrible for the enviroment.  The SoloFill cup and My k-cup are reusable cups you put your own coffee grounds in and are a good option, but admittedly I still use store bought k-cups as they are not only quick and easy, but they really do deliver a good cup of caffeine.  One of the small ways I'm recycling and reusing is giving them a second life as a seed starter.  

Tiny little seeds that need to be started indoors before being transferred to the garden are more than happy to grow in these little cups.  I simply removed the foil lid, dumped out the coffee grounds and filled with a healthy potting soil.  Insert the  seed(s) of your choice, water and set in a sunny place.  Be sure to put them in a container or something to collect water as they have the hole already punched in the bottom from when you brewed your coffee in them.

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Product Review Time: Starbucks Veranda Blend - a Blonde Coffee

This week's product review comes as a free sample from BzzAgent and Starbucks.  All opinions are mine.

My morning coffee has to be three things;  hot, black and bold.  However, later in the day my tastes change and I often want a lighter blend or even a flavored coffee.  When I was given the chance to try Starbuck's Veranda Blend coffee, I wondered how this 'blonde' would stand up to my typical 'brunette' blends.

The first thing I did was do a little research.  
From their website, Starbucks describes their blend as 
"mellow and soft" and 
"Subtle with delicate nuances of soft cocoa 
and lightly toasted nuts."

The Story of Veranda Blend®
In Latin America, coffee farms are often run by families, with their own homes on the same land where their coffee grows. We’ve sipped coffee with these farmers for decades, sitting on their verandas, overlooking the lush beauty of the coffee trees rolling out in the distance. Most times it was a lightly roasted coffee like this one. It took us more than 80 tries to get it right—mellow and flavorful with a nice softness.

For my review, I had it three different times in order to give an unbiased, true review. The first thing I noticed was although Starbucks described it as having nuances of soft cocoa and lightly toasted nuts, I did not detect so much as a hint of cocoa.  Not even a smidgen.  Now, the lightly toasted nut, perhaps.  But no cocoa. 

It is indeed light and mellow though.  A nice after dinner coffee or coffee to enjoy with friends.  It's light taste goes down smooth and after pairing it with a snickerdoodle cookie one day and a piece of homemade banana cake another, I can attest that I think it's an amazing coffee to enjoy with dessert.

Available in: Whole Bean & Ground, Starbucks VIA® Instant Coffee and Starbucks K-Cup® packs.  You can find out more about the roasts and sign up for the reward program at their site; Starbucks.

While I would opt for a bold, 192 degrees, strong and bold coffee for my first 'morning' fix, this is a coffee I would keep on hand for guests as well as after dinner or to serve with a sweet treat any time of day.   I give it a thumbs up!

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