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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.

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. 

NEW Del Monte Adult Fruit Cups (Fruit Refreshers) #TimeToRefresh

1 Aug

Del Monte introduced a new product at their NYC launch at the Gramercy Park Hotel rooftop July 28th and I was invited to see it all go down. The only thing I knew was it was their first ever Adult Fruit Cup. So what makes it an adult fruit cup you might ask? Well if you’re thinking its infused with liquor you’re wrong. Or maybe you’re an alcoholic who was praying you finally got your wish. JUST KIDDING!!!! 


I couldn’t wait to find out. Once I saw the fruit cups the first thing I noticed was the packaging which looks very grown up compared to the fruit cups in kids lunchboxes. The colors of the fruit are bold and bright and I love it! The amazing flavors was the next thing I noticed. My favorite was Pineapple in Passion Fruit flavored lightly sweetened with Fruit Water. I am a huge fan of pineapple and the passion fruit is also very delicious. I love the fact that it’s packed in fruit water. Another plus I noticed was it does not have any High Fructose Corn Syrup, Artificial Flavors or Sweeteners. If you’re around me I’m always talking about how I can’t stand high fructose corn syrup and if one of the first three ingredients in any product is sugar put it back. That goes for high fructose corn syrup too. 


The third thing I noticed was it only has 90 calories. Can you say winner? My family has always been big on fruit cups but a lot of them were flavored in heavy syrup and that wasn’t what I wanted.

These Del Monte Fruit Refreshers fruit cups already have me hooked. Another flavor introduced at the launch was Mandarin Oranges in slightly sweetened Coconut Water. Yes, that’s right Coconut Water. This flavor only have 100 calories. Another winner. 


Two more flavors coming to stores are Red Grapefruit in Guava Flavored Fruit Water and Grapefruit and Oranges in Pomegranate Flavored Fruit Water. 

Spokesperson for Del Monte Fruit Refreshers, Actress and Lifestyle Blogger, Katrina Bowden was in attendance to tell us why she supports Del Monte. “She said as a healthy person who stays fit she likes snacks that she can throw in her bag everyday to enjoy whenever she needs a moment to refresh.”


I love the adult size of these fruit cups and I can’t wait to try all the flavors. Speaking of flavors we had some pretty good refreshing drinks and amazing seafood appetizers and desserts. I felt like I was at a party Under The Sea visiting Spongebob’s pineapple house. Facials were also given if you chose to get one. 

Keep checking your local supermarkets. Hitting shelves soon. Check out @delmonte on Instagram and Twitter for more info. 


Thank you for the invite. I had a great time. 

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. Opinions are mine 100% as always. Gift bags were given. 

Leapfrog’s New 2016 Product Lineup

14 Jun

LeapFrog hosted their annual product showcase in New York on Tuesday, June 7th and I was invited to an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at their new 2016 product lineup.

LeapFrog announced LeapStart, a new interactive workbook that helps to prepare kids for the classroom and life beyond, as well as the full 2016 toy lineup for Back to School and Holiday. 
This year’s products focus teaching 21st Century Learning Skills, which intertwines school curriculum with new ways of thinking, problem solving and collaborating, to prepare children for a quickly-evolving, globally-connected world.

 The 2016 product lineup includes:

LeapStart: A new interactive system and library of activity books that bring learning to life to teach key school and life skills. There are two platforms, one for Preschool & Pre-Kindergarten and one for Kindergarten & 1st Grade and each is compatible with the LeapStart activity books that help build key skills and challenge kids to get ready for their next step in learning. Priced at $39.99 for the LeapStart system and $12.99 for 16 additional LeapStart Activity Books.


Melody the Musical Turtle: Ten musical activities prompt toddlers aged 2 years and up to find numbers and colors, repeat sequences from memory and create tunes by pressing light-up buttons on Melody’s shell. Priced at $19.99.


Count Along Register: Budding entrepreneurs can run a store and expand their imagination through pretend play and exercise social play skills that help them build a foundation for core and life skills. The talking, interactive cash register features an adorable character that talks, sings and lights up, offering much more than typical calculator-like cash registers. Priced at $19.99


Learn & Groove Musical Mat: An interactive floor mat that develops cognitive and physical development. Kids get to move, dance, and play music while they learn foundational mathematics skills, as well as 21st century skills, such as creativity as they compose their own tunes, and collaboration as they play with friends. Priced at $29.99.

Which product catches your eye? Check out http://www.leapfrog.com for more information and @leapfrog on Twitter. 

Disclosure: I was invited to the showcase. Opinions are mine 100% as always. This post is not compensated. 
 

Tommee Tippee New Ultra Baby Bottle & Giveaway 

25 Apr

Tommee Tippee celebrated the launch of its new Ultra baby bottle- the only bottle you’ll ever need- at Vosges Haut- Chocolat in Soho. Even though my kids aren’t babies anymore I still like to see the new products Tommee Tippee has for my readers. I did use Tommee Tippee products and I also love their pacifiers, diaper pails breast pump starter kit and bottle warmers.  

    
    
 The Ultra bottle, which is available exclusively at Babies R Us, delivers a natural breast-like latch and a perfectly secure seal and angled position for a continuous milk flow resulting in a perfect feeding experience.

The Ultra bottle’s premium features include:

 • Easy Transitions: The extra wide nipple on the Ultra bottle offers a more breast-like shape for baby to latch onto. The nipple is made from a super-soft, high grade silicone, which allows the nipple to move in multiple directions like a breast, replicating a natural feeding action. The breast-like nature of this bottle makes for easier transitions between breast and bottle. 

  • Anti-Colic: A contour zone has been uniquely built into the Ultra nipple, which forms a perfect match to baby’s open mouth. This zone allows baby to form a secure seal around the nipple, which helps reduce air intake and discomfort. It also helps prevent messy milk dribbles for a more comfortable feed. 

  • Smooth Milk Flow: The innovative angled nipple on the Ultra bottle provides a more comfortable, upright feeding position for baby. Milk flows down the bottle in an even way ensuring the nipple stays full of milk throughout the feed. 

 The full range of BPA-free products is available exclusively at Babies “R” Us. The Ultra bottles are available in 5 oz. and 9 oz. sizes, and prices range from $10.99 for a single pack to $26.99 for a 3-pack. For more information, please visit tommeetippee.us. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/TommeeTippeeNorthAmerica or follow us on Twitter: @tommeetippee_NA or Instagram: @tommeetippee_na.

**GIVEAWAY**

Tommee Tippee was kind enough to give one of my readers a Ultra Bottle Starter Set.  

 Here’s how to enter:(Mandatory)

Must be a subscriber to my blog Five Little Words

Follow me on Twitter: @nilimonicky

Follow me on Instagram: @nilimo

Follow @tommeetippee_na on Twitter and Instagram 

Answer question: Who gets the pleasure of trying out the new Ultra bottle? Also leave your handle and email in comment. 

Giveaway ends May 8,2016. Winner announced on social media May 9th. US residents only. Tommee Tippee will mail prize to winner. Five Little Words is not responsible for sending prize. 

Disclosure: This post is not compensated. Opinions are mine 100% as always. Gift bag was given. 

ROWENTA® To Host Designer Challenge on “Project Runway Junior” 

20 Jan

My kids and I anxiously await for Thursdays to arrive so we can watch Project Runway Junior together on Lifetime. The teenagers are amazing designers and are mentored by none other than the incredible Tim Gunn. Every week is exciting and nerve wracking because you await to see the new creations made but you never want to see anyone voted off. 

I’m not a designer but my father did teach me how iron to the point it look like I took my clothes to the dry cleaners for the professionals to do. He showed me how to iron everything from dress shirts to curtains, handkerchiefs and showed me how to crease to perfection. I’ve always enjoyed ironing and will wake up at 4 a.m. to start ironing for me and the kids. Rowenta itons have always been part of my ironing experience because their irons are amazing. The steam force technology is the best. Rowenta even made a Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Limited Edition iron. Now Project Runway Junior gets a limited edition iron as well. The kids on Project Runway Junior got it good. Have you seen this iron? I would love to have this iron. 

Rowenta, the leading manufacturer of high-performance steam irons, garment steamers and steam stations, announces its upcoming appearance on the premiere season of Lifetime’s fashion reality series, “Project Runway Junior.” Hosted by fashion icon and Emmy Award® winner Tim Gunn and supermodel Hannah Davis, “Project Runway Junior” is a direct spin-off of the original series, “Project Runway,” of which Rowenta has been a frequent sponsor. This will be the first time the garment care brand will host a specific challenge​

During Episode: 08 “Make a Statement,” airing on Thursday, January 21, 2016, at 9pm ET/PT, show contestants will use Rowenta’s limited edition “Project Runway” irons to execute innovative, personalized designs and take their creativity to the next level. Rowenta’s “Project Runway” iron combines unparalleled heat and steam with a superior soleplate, creating a better glide for easier use. During the episode, Rowenta’s Marketing Director, Scott Pollard will introduce the challenge to the remaining contestants alongside host, Tim Gunn.  

Rowenta has always been a leader and an innovator in the garment care industry and they are proud to support the budding designers of the fashion world.

As an added bonus for show fans, Rowenta will host a #ProjectRowenta product giveaway on their Facebook (Facebook.com/RowentaUSA) and Twitter (@RowentaUSA) pages from January 19 – 22, 2016. Three winners will receive a Rowenta “Project Runway” Limited Edition Iron with which to create their own fashion designs at home.   

For more information on Rowenta and its products, please visit: 

US Website: http://www.rowentausa.com              
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RowentaUSA 

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/RowentaUSA, @RowentaUSA     


Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. Opinions are mine 100% as always. 

 

Be Your Own Beautiful With Cantu Hair Products

14 Dec

I was invited to join Cantu for breakfast to celebrate their latest innovation in hair care products. I am always looking for ways to protect me and my kids hair. I don’t just put anything in it. I want products that doesn’t weigh down our hair, no harsh chemicals or ingredients, products that repair dry hair, leave in conditioner that makes hair easy to manage, oils that add shine, tames frizz and smooths fly aways.  

    
    
 Shea and coca butter, argan, castor and jojoba oils is also great to have in hair products. Leaves hair smelling great, clean and fresh while strengthening hair.  

    
 With Cantu products I love wearing my hair curly. There’s even a kid’s line which I’ve been using on my daughter and we love it. The leave in conditioner has 100% pure shea butter, coconut oil and honey formulated without harsh ingredients. It moisturizes, repairs and conditions fragile coils, curls and waves to stop breakage. Cantu Care for Kid’s Leave in Conditioner is also good to have.  

   
It’s also very important to get hot oil and deep treatments to heal/repair dry, brittle and damaged hair. Cantu’s Intensive Repair Deep Treatment Masque is perfect for that. I am not a fan of split ends so I use Cantu’s Split End Mender Conditioning Mist. I use this daily to to combat split ends caused by lack of moisture and styling.  

    
   

  

  

  
I was so happy to get a look at the new products coming to stores in 2016. Prices are amazing! 

* Cantu Smoothing Leave in Conditioning Lotion $6.99

*Cantu Dry Deny Moisture Seal Gel Oil $5.99 

*Cantu Extra Hold Edge Stay Gel $4.99

*Cantu Extreme Hold Styling Stay Glue $5.99

*Cantu Wave Whip Curling Mousse $6.99

*Cantu Split End Conditioning Mist $6.99

*Cantu Care for Kids Leave-In Conditioner 

*Cantu Intensive Repair Deep Treatment Masque Sachets $1.59 (available now)

*Cantu Hydrating Leave-In Conditioning Mist $6.99

*Cantu Frizz Fighting Leave-In Conditioning Foam $6.99

*Cantu Oil Collection $7.99 each

To learn more about Cantu products head to http://www.cantubeauty.com and on Twitter @cantubeauty 

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. I was invited to the breakfast launch. Opinions are mine 100% as always. 

Gerber’s BabyNes Smart Nutrition Baby Formula System 

10 Nov

As a mother of 4 I was told when I had my first born that I must breastfeed because it’s healthy for my child, he won’t get ear infections, the colostrum is what he needs, he won’t have colic, he will sleep all night, and you’re young and that’s what’s right. From doctors, parents, nutritionists, health educators, to grandparents I heard it for 9 months and after because they wanted to know did I breastfeed. In my mind I knew the benefits of it and I wanted what I thought was the best for my son and I also wanted my uterus to shrink fast, and in the other part of my mind I was saying it’s gonna hurt and visioning leaky swollen breasts and God forbid a bite from my son as the teeth come in. 

Wel I can proudly say I breastfed my son  for 3 years and quite a few of the benefits were true. Yes, 3 years oh yeah and I got bit once but right away I told my son don’t do that again. Ha. I just wasn’t into mixing powders and waiting for a bottle to heat up and cool down. Al I had to do was turn over and feed my son. I did however use a certain brand baby formula that wasn’t powder or I used my pumped breast milk for when we went out. 

I enjoyed breastfeeding so I breastfed all of my kids but my oldest was the longest. My oldest son is now 25 and then came along Gerber with their newest arrival BabyNes Advanced Nutrition: The Next Generation of  Baby Formula. 

BabyNes is a smart nutrition system that brings a range of six single-serve formula capsules for infants and toddlers during the first years of life. Wi-fi enabled to provide a perfectly mixed bottle at a temperature selected by the user with no lumps at the touch of a button. The single served formula capsules were created to ensure precise nutrition with the right amount of nutrients and water for each feeding. The formula was inspired from breast milk composition changes month after month to follow baby’s evolving nutritional needs and nourish a healthy body and mind. Can we say ooooh? 

For expecting moms and parents with kids birth to 36 months this is right up your alley. I love the fact that a filter in each capsule filters out the bacteria from the water and the formula is dissolved completely within the capsule to flow directly into the bottle. Also plus is the the BabyNes system syncs with a smartphone to allow users to track your baby’s nutrition, replenish capsules automatically or get an alert when a caregiver feeds the baby. 

There were two events I attended for BabyNes, one on November 5th with Lyss Stern of Diva Moms and one today November 10, at the Children’s Museum of the Arts with Moderator: Bobbie Thomas (new mom, style/fashion expert and Professional Girlfriend). Panelists included: Dr. Tanya Altmann (Pediatrician), Lyss Stern (Founder Diva Moms), Lance Somerfeld & Matt Schneider (Co-founders City Dads Group) and Tom Burnett ( Director of Eary Childhood Programs at WEE Arts).

There were demos shown, panelists discussed their thoughts on parenting and the BabyNes and questions were answered from the audience. Bobbie Thomas also discussed her battles with getting pregnant and treatments she had to take in order to have a baby and how supportive her family and friends were.  She is also greatly like to have the BabyNes in her life as it has helped her being this is her first child. 

If I could have more kids I would still breastfeed and give this a try. It’s very convenient and saves you a lot of time and mom or dad can use it. The BabyNes machine is available in the New York metro area at Giggle Stores, Buy Buy Baby and online at giggle.com, buybuybaby.com, Amazon.com, babiesrus.com and diapers.com at an MSRP of $249. The formula capsules are sold online at BabyNes.com or on BabyNes app ($59/box of 26 capsules). There’s also a carrying case for on the go. 

Twitter and Instagram: @BabyNes

BONUS: I will be giving away a BabyNes soon. Stay tuned!!! 

   
    
    

 

Peapod by Stop & Shop and Barilla Introduce Pasta Meal Kits to NYC

10 Nov

One of my favorite pasta brands Barilla and Peapod by Stop and Shop (online grocery shopping and delivery service) introduced Pasta Meal Kits to New York City. Does this mean  I get to save time in the kitchen and more time with my family? The answer is YES! Meal kits would make any busy parent very happy. I mean I would love to make fresh pasta every night if I could but that’s not going to happen. No more grocery shopping, prepping, measuring, and cleaning a bunch of pots and dishes. Don’t get me wrong I cook everyday but sometimes I could do without stepping into a supermarket. There were times where standing on the line took longer than making dinner. 

Barilla pasta meal kits have easy to follow recipe cards and fresh ingredients like butternut squash and mozzarella. The kit requires little prep and all vegetables are pre-washed, measured and cut. It only takes under 30 minutes. 

Variety of meal kits include: 

Baked Rotini by Barilla

Parmesan Crusted Chicken with Spaghetti by Barilla

Farfalle with Roasted Butternut Squash by Barilla

Tortellini Soup by Barilla

I love the fact that I can order these kits online and have everything waiting for me that will feed my whole family and save me time and money. The kits range in price from $15.99-$23.99 and serves 4-6 people. 

I attended a special luncheon on Thursday, November 5, hosted by Peapod.com and Barilla Pasta. Barilla’s own Chef Lorenzo prepared lunch and shared the inspiration behind the Meal Kits as well as other time saving tips for meal planning and prep.

We tried what was on the menu below and it was very delicious. 

I went online and placed an order of groceries and it was so easy. You pick a time and day you want your delivery. The Barilla meal kit I ordered was Parmesan Crusted Chicken with Spaghetti. Can’t wait to try. 

   

    
 
Peapod serves 24 U.S. markets and customers can order online or on Peapod’s free mobile app fir deliveries to homes and workplace or pick-up at many convenient locations. 

For more info about Peapod Meal Kits featuring Barilla recipes, ordering and more visit: http://www.Peapod.com and on Twitter @PeapodDelivers

Check out: http://www.barillagroup.com or http://www.barilla.com for more info. 

Disclosure: I was invited to attend this event. I was given a gift card to purchase groceries and the meal kits. Opinions are mine 100% as always. 

Ninja Coffee Bar Review 

23 Oct

My name is Nichol Perez and I am addicted to coffee. I love coffee (all types). I’ve been drinking since I was a teen and I’ve tried so many. Some of my favorites are iced coffees, lattes, flavored hot coffees and just a good light and sweet cup of coffee. 

I was excited to find out actress Sofia Vergara partnered with Ninja to launch the Ninja Coffee Bar. This coffee machine was meant for me. I get to brew delicious coffee at home like specialty coffees, classic or rich brew and over ice brew. I can make a carafe, half carafe, travel mug or cup size of coffee in the comfort of my home. 

I was invited to hear Sofia Vergara speak on how she partnered with Ninja and why she had to have that fresh brew of Colombian coffee in her house. Sofia showed attendees how easy it is to use the Ninja Coffee Bar and why she loves it, she told us her favorite brew, and also let us know she can’t cook but can make good coffee. She was so sweet and funny. I enjoyed meeting her and so glad she partnered with Ninja. 

I was sent the Ninja Coffee Bar to review and at first I didn’t know what I was doing when I put coffee beans in the machine because it’s been that long since I brewed coffee so once I found out the beans needed to be put through a grinder I quickly handled that and had a great rich brew half carafe pot of coffee. I also made myself a coffee on the go in my travel mug which is sold separately. I enjoyed every sip of the piping hot coffee which has a intelligent warning plate on the machine and kept my coffee hot and also I was impressed my coffee stayed hot in my travel mug for about three hours. Love that mug. 

The Ninja Coffee Bar comes with a milk frother and amazing easy recipes which I can’t wait to try and it’s available now at major retailers nationwide starting at $149 MSRP. 

My favorite features are the Auto-IQ one touch intelligence, drip stop and the multi serve cup platform. All the features are great and I’m definitely hooked and now my wallet will be happy because I will save so much money with my Ninja Coffee Bar. Also great for hosting a coffee party with your family and friends. You bring the coffee I’ll make it and serve. 

Here are some facts about the Ninja Coffee Bar:

Ninja® is transforming the way Americans brew coffee with the Ninja Coffee Bar™. Ninja® has completely reinvented traditional drip coffee makers by designing a machine to unlock coffee’s full flavor potential and provide smooth, rich and well-balanced coffee in the size and style that you want. Perfect for daily coffee drinkers and coffee lovers, with the Ninja Coffee Bar™ you can choose a cup, a travel mug or a carafe, and you can choose from a variety of brew styles. From classic rich hot coffee, to refreshing Over Ice Brew or even delicious hot milk-based and frozen blended specialty drinks, you can do it all with one machine.

 Only the Ninja Coffee Bar™ has Thermal Flavor Extraction™ technology, which is designed to unlock the full flavor potential of your coffee, using automated controls for Temperature Calibration, Pre-Infusion, and Even Coffee Saturation.

 With Auto-iQ™ One Touch Intelligence, just set the dial to your desired size, select your brew type, and the Ninja Coffee Bar™ will automatically use the correct amount of water. Whether you like it hot or over ice, smooth or extra rich, this unique brewing technology knows just the right amount of flavor to extract to achieve just the right strength. Choose from four different brew types:

 1. Classic Brew: Smooth, rich, balanced flavor from your favorite ground coffee. 

2. Rich Brew: Richer than Classic with more intense flavor that really stands up to milk, cream, or flavoring.

3. Over Ice Brew: Richer than Rich Brew, designed to brew fresh and hot over ice leaving you with the perfect ratio of ice to rich, refreshingly cold coffee that’s never watered down.

4. Specialty Brew: Super-rich concentrate allows you to create your favorite hot milk-based and frozen blended coffee-house style drinks.

 “We are bringing Ninja®’s innovative technology to create a coffee maker that will transform the industry,” says Mark Rosenzweig, CEO of SharkNinja, the company that develops Ninja® housewares products. “Designed for coffee lovers, the Ninja Coffee Bar™ enables consumers to have the best coffeehouse in town on their countertop and make flavorful — never sour, never bitter — coffee with delicious, customizable coffee drink options.”

Adding an extra layer of convenience, the Ninja® Removable Water Reservoir enables users to brew multiple cups of coffee without refilling or measuring. The Precise Temp Warming Plate, available on select models, is designed to keep your coffee at the ideal temperature without burning it, even the last cup. With a two hour Auto Shutoff, the Precise Temp Warming plate will automatically turn off two hours after brewing and has an independent “Stay Warm” button that allows you to turn off the Precise Temp Warming plate prior to the two hour Auto Shutoff. 

Additional features of the Ninja Coffee Bar™ include:

· Easy-Fill Brew Basket – Slide out to quickly and easily fill with your favorite coffee grounds or fully remove for effortless cleaning.

· Removable Water Reservoir with Auto-Metering – No need to measure or constantly refill.

· Drip Stop – Stops the flow of coffee from the brew basket, allowing you to pour a cup mid-brew.

· Multi-Serve Cup Platform – Easily pulls down so you can brew directly into your favorite mug or cup.

· Programmable Delay Brew – Pre-set to brew automatically up to 24 hours in advance in any size.

· Intelligent Clean Cycle Indicator – Alerts you when your brewer senses that it needs to be cleaned.

· Ninja Easy Frother™ – Transform milk into rich creamy foam for your favorite indulgent specialty beverage.

· Available on select models:

o 43 oz. glass carafe with no drip ergonomics; included with Precise Temp Warming Plate.

o Double Wall Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Carafe keeps your coffee hot for hours, ideal for entertaining; not including Intelligent Warming Plate.

· Ninja Cup Options:

o 12 oz. insulated mug with handle

o 14 oz. insulated cup

o Stainless Steel 16 oz. Travel Mug

o Hot and Cold 18 oz. Insulated Tumbler™

I have attached a video I took of Sofia at the event. https://instagram.com/p/7_VrcNGsAE/

I also periscoped my attempt at making coffee. Hopefully it’s still available. My periscope name is @nilimonicky. If it’s not available here is my you tube link to watch the 2nd correct video on: https://youtu.be/LxeUif9QQvc

For more info about the Ninja Coffee Bar and additional Shark Ninja Products: http://www.ninjacoffeebar.com, Facebook.com/NinjaCoffeeBar and @NinjaCoffeeBar on Twitter. 

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. I was invited to event and given a Ninja Coffee Bar for review. Opinions are mine 100% as always.