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NEW Launch: McCafe’s First-Ever Bottled Coffee #FrappeAllDay #summAhhfriday

25 Sep

I attended a Media Party with McCafe on The Spotify Rooftop for the launch of their ready to drink Frappes.

On August 3, 2017 long time Coca-Cola business partner McDonald’s announced that it planned to expand its popular McCafe coffee drinks to the beverage aisle in 2017 with three new ready to drink McCafe Frappes- Caramel, Mocha and Vanilla.

McCafe Frappes are made with 100% Arabica coffee beans and blended with real milk, sugar, natural flavors and other ingredients.

If you know me I always have some type of Caramel coffee in my hand whether it’s iced, hot, frappe, latte or what have you. All the flavors were good but my first choice will always be caramel. These are great on the go bottles but sometimes they don’t make it out of the house because I find myself grabbing one when I come home or first thing in the morning. I can drink cold drinks all year.

The rooftop party was fun. There were loads of Frappes, summer swag – beach balls, sunglasses, hats, beverage holders, food and DJ Vashtie.

McCafe Frappes are available in 13.7 fl. oz resealable bottles at grocery, convenience and mass merchandisers nationwide.

National Coffee Day (Sept. 29th) McCafé recently conducted a national survey and published interesting insights on adults’ love of coffee. For example, if only you had just a few minutes in the morning, would you brush your teeth or drink coffee?

 

Below are some fun findings from the survey:

Coffee over Hygiene – what do coffee lovers absolutely need in the morning? More than half (52%) of frequent coffee drinkers would prioritize drinking coffee over taking a shower

◦ More than a third (34%) of respondents said they would prioritize drinking coffee over brushing their teeth if they only had a few minutes to get ready in the morning

Perking up or Logging on?Half (50%) of frequent coffee drinkers would be more willing to spend a day without their smartphone than abstain from coffee for a whole 24 hours.

Better than Chocolate?More than half (55%) of Americans would give up chocolate before they’d give up coffee for 6 months

Coffee over Cuddles?While 31% of survey respondents said cuddling their pet would help turn around a bad morning, almost half (47%) turn to coffee to get a better start to their day.

How Much Would You Pay for the LAST Cup?New Yorkers would shell out the most $ for the last cold coffee on a hot day, they would pay $33! Chicagoan and Angelenos would pay up to $20 for the last cold coffee

Disclosure: This event was hosted. Opinions are mine 100% as always.

POM Wonderful Recipes & Cocktails #CookwithPom #ad 

27 Oct

Pomegranate season is in full effect and POM Wonderful and Momtrends invited me to a hands on cooking experience to make and try delicious recipes made with fresh pomegranate arils and juice. I headed to the Miette Culinary Studio to cook with professional chefs. Looking for new recipes for the holidays? 


Have you ever had Guacamole or Moroccan Shrimp with POM POMS Fresh Arils? What about Whole Wheat Waffles with POM POMS or Roasted Salmon with POM POMS Salsa? How heavenly do they sound? I even had a drink called the Dapper Devil. This drink contained Pomegranate Wonderful 100% juice, Aviation Gin, Club Soda, Fresh Gin and a twist of lime. Great for any party or celebration. 

I even made a smoothie with POM Wonderful juice and it was amazing. Take your favorite fruit and POM Wonderful juice, Ice and I also used tropical coconut water. Blend well then serve. 


The Guacamole station was calling my name and I really wanted to know how Pomegranate would be incorporated into guacamole. It was so easy, tasted great and brightened it up. The recipes are below. Give them a try and discover what POM can do for you. 

Click here for more info: http://www.pomwonderful.com/



Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. Opinions are mine 100% as always. Thank you Momtrends and POM Wonderful for a great night and amazing food/recipes to take home and share with my family and friends. Some pictures courtesy of Momtrends. 

New Pure Leaf Bagged And Loose Long Leaf Teas, Daphne Oz & Tea Experts #PureLeafHomeBrew

21 Oct

In celebration of its new bagged and loose long leaf teas, Pure Leaf invited me to Talk Tea with chef, author and tv co-host Daphne Oz and also tea, wine and culture experts. 

Alex White, Research & Developmemt Manager, Chef and professional tea taster started of the evening talking about his profession as a tea taster and the process of the teas. The process of how teas are picked at their freshest, rolled to preserve their freshness, chopped and dried for the most balanced aromas, then the leaves are blended by tea masters to ensure consistent taste. He also explained the difference between the cold ice teas and the hot. 

Laura Maniec, World’s youngest female Master Sommelier and owner of Corkbuzz Wine Studio spoke to us about the similarities of wine and tea. The same language you use to describe wine you also use to describe tea. The raspberry and peach tea is like Pinot Noir wine. 

My family and I have always been a fan of Pure Leaf Iced Teas and now I get the pleasure of drinking a hot cup of tea when I want. I always make time for me so this will definitely be a treat to try something new with all the amazing flavors. 

Pure Leaf bagged teas are offered in seven varieties which include, Black Tea with Vanilla, Chai Tea, Green Tea with Mint, Iced Classic Black Tea, Iced Black Tea with Peach, Iced Black Tea with Raspberry and Iced Green Tea with Citrus. These come in 16-count jars. 

Pure Leaf loose teas are offered in three varieties-English Breakfast Black Tea and Iced Black Classic Tea available in 4.7-oz. jars and Gunpowder Green Tea available in 5.8 -oz. jars. 

Available on Amazon.com and in grocery, mass market retailers and select club stores nationwide.

I tried a variety of samples at the event and enjoyed them. I am a big Chai Tea fan so that was one of my favorites. 

Lisa Boalt Richardson, Certified Tea Specialist and author of “Modern Tea: A Fresh Look At An Ancient Beverage” and “Tea With A Twist: Entertaining and Cooking With Tea” took us on a journey around the world to India, Kenya, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. 

Did you know that Chai means Tea? So when you ask for a Chai tea you’re just saying ” Can I have a tea, tea?” I found that interesting and funny. In Kenya you will be served tea all day long so you have to politely say that’s enough if you don’t want anymore. Also, in Kenya the bigger the cup the better. If they serve you in a big cup you’re considered a guest. Indonesia has 17,000 islands. It would take me forever to visit all of them. Sri Lanka is located off the southeastern coast of India. A former British colony, Sri Lanka was called Ceylon before it became a republic and took on a new name in 1972. For almost one hundred years before that Sri Lanka produced the commodity it’s best known for today – a black tea that’s still referred to as Ceylon. A boy or young man who serves tea in India is called Chaiwala or Chai Wallah. They are everywhere in India, from busy urban street corners to hidden alleyways, at bus depots and railway platforms and walking through the train cars, along riversides and on footpaths when you need a fresh cup of tea, the chai wallah is always near.

Daphne Oz talked about how she loves her “Me Time” with a hot cup of tea. There’s something about tea that just relaxes you and the aromas just make the experience that more calming. Daphne also talked about her two children, spending time with her family members, cooking for the holidays and how you can cook delicious but easy, fast dishes so you can also spend time with your family. She also talked about staples to keep in your kitchen, seasonings, and how to prepare the juiciest Turkey for Thanksgiving using a cheesecloth, fresh herbs and butter. Yes I will attempt that this year.  Her recipes in her cookbook I will definitely be taking advantage of because I love cooking and trying new things. Daphne brought her Blueberey Tea Cake to the event and you talking about the moistest cake ever. I wanted to take it all with me. It was very good. Copies of her new cookbook “The Happy Cook” was in our gift bag along with Pure Leaf Teas and other goodies. 

I learned so much about the process of teas and listening to the experts. I really enjoyed myself and taking a journey. It was as if I went on a vacation and came back an expert in teas myself . 

Here is the recipe of Daphne’s Blueberry Tea Cake: 

Blueberry Tea Cake

Pairs with Pure Leaf Black Tea with Vanilla

Makes one 9-inch square cake
2 sticks (8 ounces) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature

21/2 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup packed light brown sugar

Kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

 

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch square cake pan with 1/2 tablespoon of the butter, lay down two sheets of parchment paper perpendicular to each other, leaving overhang to use as tabs to lift the cake out when it is cooked, and grease again with another 1/2 tablespoon butter.

 

To make the streusel, in a medium bowl, whisk together 11/4 cups of the flour, 1/3 cup of the brown sugar, and a pinch of salt. Melt 6 tablespoons of the butter in the microwave. Drizzle in the melted butter and use a fork to stir the mixture together until large streusel-like crumbs form. Set the streusel aside.

 

To make the batter, in a large bowl, whisk together the remaining 11/4 cups of the flour, the baking powder, baking soda, and 1 teaspoon salt. Set aside.

 

In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream and lemon juice. Set aside.

 

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the granulated sugar and the remaining 1/3 cup brown sugar and 10 tablespoons butter and cream on low speed until the mixture is combined. Increase the speed to medium-high and cream until the butter is airy, about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and add the eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed between each addition. Add the vanilla and beat to combine.

Reduce the speed to medium-low and add half the reserved flour mixture, then the sour cream mixture, then the rest of the flour mixture, mixing until combined and scraping down the bowl as needed. Remove the bowl from the stand and fold in the blueberries

 

Scrape the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top evenly with the streusel and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out with just a crumb or two attached. The top will be a rich golden brown under the streusel, and the cake will give springy resistance to pressure.

 

Use the parchment paper to remove the cake from the pan, then discard and cool the cake completely on a wire rack. Cut into squares and serve, or cover with a dome or plastic wrap for up to 3 days (though there’s no chance it lasts that long in your kitchen).

 

Tip: This batter works very nicely in a muffin tin, a loaf pan, or practically any baking dish. The cook time will vary depending on whether you use a dark coated pan, cast iron, or glass dish, so just keep an eye out for the golden brown top and springy texture to make sure you don’t overcook.
 From THE HAPPY COOK by Daphne Oz. Copyright © 2016 by Daphne Oz. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Disclosure: This post is not sponsored. I was invited to this event . Swag was given. Opinions are mine 100% as always. 

I Celebrated National Tequila Day With Patron & “Art Of Patron” Bottle Art Contest

10 Aug

I celebrated National Tequila Day in July with Patron and tons of tequila fans and had an amazing time. There were plenty of cocktails to try and interactive mixology stations and food stations from around the world. I enjoyed trying oysters for the first time and creating my very own Bloody Maria drink garnished with shrimp, crab legs, celery and bacon. There were even pina colada ice pops that were so good. Everything was great, company, food, drinks, music and staff. Patron outdid themselves and gave everyone a great party at an amazing venue and can’t wait to see what they’re gonna do next year. Thank you Patron for an awesome party. 

Patrón tequila proudly announces the third edition of the “Art of Patrón” Bottle Art Contest, celebrating unique creativity and artistry – for the chance to win $10,000.


Over the years, the iconic Patrón glass bottle has become a symbol of the brand and its premium craftsmanship, and has inspired countless artists – professional and amateur alike – to transform the Patrón bottle into handmade visual and functional arts. The “Art of Patrón” Bottle Art Contest celebrates this consumer enthusiasm by encouraging people across the U.S. to share their artistic vision, using Patrón’s signature bottles as inspiration.


“People often tell us that empty Patrón bottles, and even our distinctive round corks, are just too beautiful to throw away. As a matter of fact, thousands of images of Patrón bottles transformed into interesting and unique art pieces have been posted on social channels and online,” said Lee Applbaum, Global Chief Marketing Officer at Patrón Spirits. “At Patrón, we perfected the craft of making high-quality tequila, and designing a recognized bottle – the ‘Art of Patrón’ Bottle Art Contest is an opportunity for people to now perfect a second life for those iconic bottles.”
Past “Art of Patrón” Bottle Art contest entries have included such pieces as a chess set, spectacular artworks and wall hangings, striking light fixtures, gorgeous jewelry, functional furniture, and other awe-inspiring designs. Last year’s contest winner, Rebecca Stoneback of Asbury Park, N.J., was selected for her entry “La Abeja,” a stunning necklace representing the 60 hands it takes to produce one bottle of Patrón tequila. She created the piece by melting and sculpting glass from a Patrón Silver tequila bottle into 60 abstract beads and then molding metal bee wings – representing the Patrón bee logo – around a small glass vial at the center of the jewelry, which she filled with – what else? – Patrón tequila.

To enter the 2016 Art Of Patrón” Bottle Art Contest:

Create an original work of art or functional item that contains, is made from, or depicts any Patrón bottle or component thereof
Visit ArtofPatron.com and follow the links to the Bottle Art entry page

Upload a photo and a short essay (100 words or less) describing the artwork and the inspiration behind the piece

Note that no purchase is required; for more information and to read the official rules, please visit ArtofPatron.com

A panel of judges will help select up to 10 finalists based on overall creativity, unique use or representation of the Patrón bottle and components, visual appeal and the persuasiveness of the essay. Finalists will be featured on the Art of Patrón website for public voting, and then one lucky participant will be selected as the Grand Prize winner. The winner will be awarded $10,000 and an opportunity for national exposure for his or her work of art, while the remaining nine finalists will each receive $1,000.

Disclosure: I was invited to attend the Patron event. Opinions are mine 100% as always. Swag was given.