Holiday Coffee Bar With DIY Chocolate Stir Spoons

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HolidayFlavorsAreHere #CollectiveBias

It’s no secret that Starbucks® is my go-to coffee brand. Ever since my boys were tiny (when I was lucky to get a few hours of sleep each night) I needed a good (strong) coffee to get me through my day. Nowadays, I get a lot more sleep since my boys are in elementary school, but I still enjoy my daily cup of Starbucks® Coffee.

With the holidays quickly approaching I thought it would be fun to put together a coffee bar. I kept the decorations simple, going with a plaid tablecloth and red and wood accents. I love the “baby it’s cold outside” theme as well so I included a cute sign to encourage my guests to enjoy a warm cup of coffee.

Along with the Starbucks® Holiday Blend 60ct K-Cup® pods, I added a jar full of Lindt Chocolate Assorted Lindor Truffles and some little glass jars of add-ins including nutmeg, sugar and crushed peppermint pieces. I also made stir spoons out of the truffles because what is better than coffee and chocolate? The sweet, rich taste of Lindt Chocolate Lindor Truffles brings out the sweet maple flavor of Starbucks®  Holiday Blend Coffee.

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The spoons were simple to make. I used 12 Lindt Chocolate Lindor Truffles (dark and milk chocolate varieties) and melted them over low heat until they were a liquid. I then poured the melted chocolate into a silicone mold and refrigerated them for 2 hours. After the chocolate hardened I gently released the chocolate spoons from the silicone mold and placed them in a wooden tray. (The 12 truffles made about 8 chocolate stir spoons.)

The last things you’ll want to add to your coffee bar are holiday mugs. I love big mugs and this one with the words “choose joy” is one of my favorites! Once your coffee bar is all set up you will *have* to test it out. Let the scent of coffee brewing fill your room as you sneak a truffle!

If you entertain often, I’m sure you know how fabulous buying in bulk is so you’ll be happy to know you can find both the Starbucks® Holiday Blend 60ct K-Cup® pods and the Lindt Chocolate Assorted Lindor Truffle Bag at your local Sam’s Club in the coffee and candy aisles. You can enjoy 50 bonus stars with purchase of any one qualifying Starbucks® packaged coffee or K-Cup® pods at Sam’s Club through 11/1/17-12/26/17.

How are you preparing for the holidays? Will you be discovering a new holiday combination as you set up a coffee bar for your guests to enjoy?

Seasonal Pumpkin Menu At Einstein Bros. Bagels

I love pumpkin flavored everything so when I was asked to check out the seasonal offerings at Einstein Bros. Bagels I was really excited. I looked on their website to see what pumpkin flavored items they had. The new pumpkin menu items this year include Pumpkin Bagel Clusters, a Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookie and a new Frozen Pumpkin Pie drink. Einstein is also bringing back its signature Pumpkin and gourmet Pumpkin Walnut Crunch bagels, double-whipped Pumpkin Cream Cheese Shmear and Pumpkin Muffin.

The Frozen Pumpkin Pie drink sounded delicious but I wouldn’t drink it fast enough so I decided to go with an Iced Pumpkin Latte. All of the pumpkin treats looked good but since it was breakfast I chose to try the Pumpkin Walnut Crunch bagel with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Shmear.

The bagel was deliciously sweet and I loved the Pumpkin Shmear. I’m actually planning on going back and getting a tub of it since I found these recipes that I can make with the creamy pumpkin goodness. The Pumpkin Latte was comparable to others I have tried but I liked the little extra pumpkin syrup in the bottom of the cup.

Einstein Bros. Bagels pumpkin menu is available at all locations nationwide now through November 12th.

(Disclosure: I received a gift card to try items on the menu. All thoughts are my own.)

Celebrating National Coffee Day With Gevalia {Giveaway}

This post is brought to you by Gevalia Coffee from Kraft Foods and The Motherhood. I received a sample of Gevalia Coffee and I’ve been compensated for my time. All opinions are my own.

Tomorrow is one of my favorite made-up holidays..it’s National Coffee Day! To celebrate I used my Keurig to try Gevalia’s new Cafe-Style Beverages.

Keurig owners who enjoy authentic café-style beverages made from real milk can conveniently prepare them in their own homes with an existing Keurig K-Cup brewer; no special espresso machine or coffee shop needed. Gevalia has 3 different flavors: Mocha Latte, Caramel Macchiato, and Cappuccino. Mocha Latte is a creamy blend of cocoa and coffee topped with a velvety layer of froth. Caramel Macchiato is creamy and smooth with the indulgent flavor of caramel, made from real milk. The Cappuccino flavor is smooth, mildly sweet, with subtle roasted notes and made from real milk.

I had a hard time deciding between the mocha and caramel flavors but decided to try the Caramel Macchiato flavor first. The new Gevalia Cafe-Style Beverages come with two parts- a packet for the froth and a k-cup with the espresso.

To make the drinks you first empty the contents of the froth packet into the cup. This is what gives the drinks the froth at the top, just like you’d get on your coffee if you ordered it in a coffee shop.

The next step is to put the k-cup in your Keurig and brew it like you would any cup of coffee. The hot coffee activates the powder at the bottom of your mug and when it’s done you have a delicious coffee treat.

I’m generally an Iced Coffee drinker but this Caramel Macchiato was really good. It tastes just like my drink I’d get at the coffee shop only it’s much cheaper and I can make it from the comfort of my home.

To learn more about Gevalia Cafe-Style Beverages visit FoamAtHome.Gevalia.com.

GIVEAWAY:

One reader will win a box of Mocha Latte 2-Step Beverage Packets/K-Cups

HOW TO ENTER:

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Leave a comment telling me which flavor is your favorite

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

3) Follow me on Twitter

4) Follow Gevalia on Twitter

5) Follow this blog via email (look in upper right corner)

Giveaway ends October 25, 2013 at 11:59pm CST. Must be 21 or over and a US resident to enter.

Keurig® K75 Platinum Brewing System Review

My favorite drinks are flavored iced coffee drinks. I love going to the coffee shop but on rainy or cold days when I don’t feel like going out and days where my coffee craving comes once the kids are in bed I rely on my Keurig to get me through the day. I’ve written about Keurig before when I received my first one from the company and also when I discovered that I could make iced drinks. Keurig recently sent me their new K75 Platinum Brewing System to review along with some samples of K-cups and a super cute travel mug.

Image courtesy of Keurig

I immediately noticed many differences between my old brewer and this new system. The first was that the system came with a charcoal water filter. Since I use tap water and not bottled water to make my coffee I love this feature.

The other thing I noticed about the water container was the lid. It was really easy to fill because a portion of the lid flipped up so I could just pour water in to the container.

Making iced coffee was easy with this new brewer because I could change the temperature of the coffee coming out. Before the coffee would come out so hot that it would take a while to cool it off. By changing the temperature of the water I no longer have this issue. This brewer also had more cup size options than my old one (which only had three) and a removable drip tray to fit my larger cups.

I added a little milk and caramel creamer to my iced coffee and it was so delicious. Making iced coffee in my Keurig is a convenient way to save time and money on my coffee addiction.

If you prefer iced tea over iced coffee, I tried the new Snapple Tea K-Cups and loved the fruity flavors. It was also recently announced that Campbell’s soup will be sold in K-Cup form soon (disclosure: I am a Campbell’s Brand Ambassador). I can’t wait to be able to make soup with my Keurig!

(Disclosure: As stated above, I received this Keurig to review. All thoughts are my own.)