Category Archives: Coffee

I Scream for Coffee

When MomCentral contacted me with the offer to sample Starbucks’ new ice cream flavors as part of a blog-tour, I jumped at the offer! I remember discovering Starbucks and their frappucinos in middle school, and became immediately obsessed. One day I had two mocha frappucinos, and I had so much energy into the wee-hours that I rearranged my room. My parents awoke to a newly designed room, and a very tired Danielle.

Needless to say, finding out that they had frappucino flavored ice cream, my fiancé and I immediately went for the mocha flavor. My mom’s favorite ice cream flavor is coffee, so I grew up enjoying it as well. She loves the flavor because she is loves her k cups, so I grew up enjoying it as well. While I was tempted to go for the plain ‘ole coffee, I couldn’t pull myself away from frappucino. Even though this weekend was full of rain and wind, I couldn’t help but make some sweet treats. With the fear of power going out at any moment, I tried to make everything I could on Saturday. Thankfully when I awoke on Sunday we still had power, so I was able to enjoy some ice cream.

After sampling some on it’s own, I had a genius (well, I think) idea – ice cream sandwiches! Using graham crackers, the ice cream, and chocolate chips, I assembled these beauties simply by taking about 2-3 tablespoons of ice cream and spreading it on one graham cracker, placing the other graham on top, and sprinkling some chocolate chips around the sides. Super simple, and delicious!

The ice cream really does taste like their drinks, and considering how big a fan I am of Starbucks speciality drinks, I definitely plan on getting some more of these delicious ice cream flavors and making more treats. Perhaps a milkshake version of the mocha coconut frappucino? Yum!

*Disclaimer: I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Starbucks and received coupons and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

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Filed under Coffee, Food Review

Breakfast of Champions

While I was swimming, I often had to wait until after practice to enjoy a “real” breakfast, since practice was usually anywhere from 5:30a to 9a, depending on the day, and season. When I got home, I was always ravenous, and since I had already been up for quite a few hours, wasn’t really interested in typical breakfast food. Being a huge bologna fan (I grew up eating bologna and American cheese sandwiches cut into quarters, with an offset of real juice and tons of veggies for lunch), I oftentimes made myself a bologna and cheese sandwich, with an iced coffee. It’s a totally weird (and to some gross) combination, especially for breakfast. My mom liked to joke that it was “the breakfast of champions.”

For Valentine’s day, I bought the fiancé a French press, because he’s been wanting one for ages. I know nothing about them, so I just went with what was rated highly on Amazon, a Bodum Brazilian press. Since it’s a little more time consuming compared to your average cup of brewed coffee, we decided to save it for the weekend. After boiling water, letting it sit so it wasn’t super hot, and then letting it all sit together for 4 minutes, we were ready to enjoy our first cup of French pressed coffee. Let me tell you, the flavor is completely different. We used our go-to coffee, Dunkin Donuts (French vanilla flavor), and it definitely didn’t taste like it does when we make it in our regular coffee maker. You can really taste the coffee flavor, and honestly, it tasted thicker. I know that sounds ridiculous, but as someone that always drinks their coffee black, sometimes it tastes a little too watery for my liking… but this was perfect. I’m definitely a French press convert!

Yup, that's me in the background getting my cook-on

Leaving the fiancé in charge (it is his, after all), I set out to make a breakfast scramble with tofu. I’ve made it no secret that I’m not a huge egg fan, so after reading a bunch of different vegetarian and vegan recipes using tofu instead, I decided to give it a shot. I went with a Southwestern theme, since that’s my go-to breakfast flavor combination, and it was really delicious. Since you don’t have to worry about making sure the eggs are cooked all the way, the whole entire thing took about 10 minutes, leaving us perfect timing for when the coffee was ready. I could have definitely had this wrapped up into a burrito, atop some toast, maybe in a casserole, or just how I had it, plain.

Southwestern Tofu Scramble
– Serves 2 –

Ingredients:
8 oz. package of tofu (pressed to remove excess water)
1 small yellow onion, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, diced
1/3 cup chunky salsa
1/2 cup shredded cheese (any blend will do)
1/4 cup cilantro
2 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp Adobo
1 tsp ground cumin
Sour cream or Greek yogurt (I used Chobani plain) for garnish

Directions:
1. Heat oil in skillet, and add onion, pepper, and jalapeno. Sautee for 5 minutes, adding spices half way through
2.  While the onion and pepper mixture is cooking, mash tofu in a bowl until it has the consistency of eggs
3. Add tofu, cilantro, salsa, and half the cheese mixture. Cook about 5 minutes, making sure everything is combined
4. Finish off with the rest of the cheese, mixing all the way through, and remove from the heat
5. Serve with the sour cream/yogurt and any other garnish you’d like

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Filed under Breakfast, Coffee, Recipe, Vegetarian/Vegan

‘Tis the season… for pumpkin flavored drinks

While we’re slowly but surely coming down from our 90+ degree summer days, it’s clear that everyone has fall on their minds. I can’t begin to tell you how many blog posts I’ve read within the last two weeks boasting delicious pumpkin recipes and fun foods including the oh so yummy fall flavor. Even though it’s only the third week in September, cool crisp weather and warm flavors are definitely on their way.

For me, fall usually means beautiful colored leaves (that need to be raked, boo), the perfect clothing weather (not too many layers, but just the right amount), perfectly ripe apples, and of course, pumpkin! To be honest, I wasn’t always a huge pumpkin fan. Matter of fact, for a large part of my life I completely avoided it. Yup, that’s right – I turned down pumpkin pie (gasp!). However, last year, my taste buds seemed to change, and I hopped right on the pumpkin loving bandwagon. It started innocently with a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks, and continued from there – pumpkin bread, pumpkin brownies, pumpkin french toast, pumpkin beer… you get the point.

So on Sunday, I started my pumpkin fix of the season off right – the first stop was to get a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks! I can’t wait to get myself more of these badboys.

From there, my fiancé and I headed to a local wine store that has a pretty decent beer selection as well, and picked ourselves up TWO types of pumpkin beer! First, we grabbed a six pack of Shipyard’s Pumpkin Head, which we both had for the first time last year and loved. We also grabbed a four pack of Weyerbacher’s Imperial Pumpkin Ale, which neither of us had tried before. The store actually had a few other options (such as Dogfish Head’s Punkin Ale), so we’re looking forward to heading back after we finish these two.

Even though both of the beers are pumpkin flavored, they  are definitely distinctive in their own rights. The Shipyard has a strong cinnamon flavor making it sweet, while the Weyerbacher has a more nutmeg flavor, making it a little more savory. I really enjoyed them both, and even though it’s Monday morning, I could definitely go for another one right about now!

Aside from drinking pumpkin, I have a ton of recipes up my sleeve courtesy of fellow bloggers that I need to try. Everything from pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin macaroni and cheese, pumpkin overnight oats, to pumpkin smoothies. It seems like pumpkin puree with some spices can really be added to almost anything, and I’m more than okay with that.

Happy pumpkin season!

 

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Filed under Baking, Beer, Coffee, Food Blogging

An open letter (of dissapointment) to Dunkin Donuts

My dearest Dunkin Donuts,

I’m writing to you as one of your biggest fans to let you know I’m dissapointed. How am I one of your biggest fans? You can look right here, where I defended your awesomeness versus Starbucks. Yesterday, May 11th, was advertised as “Free Iced Coffee Day.” Sure, you said “at participating locations” which ususally means most. I’ve gotten myself an iced coffee on this day for years.

This year, though, New Jersey locations were not participating. Matter of fact, according to the Huffington Post, only fourteen locations were. Not states. Locations. Do you have any idea how many Dunkin Donuts there are around here?! Of course you do, you own them. So imagine the chagrin of your loyal customers who were looking forward to a little pay back for supporting you so whole-heartedly.

Take my own family, for example. My mom LOVES Dunkin Donuts coffee. Swears by it. Getting it is a treat, but one she indulges in often. As my sister and I cultivated a love for coffee over the years, we got in on her weekend routine of Dunkin. I continued the tradition in college, and once I got into the “real world” often treat myself on Friday mornings. We also excitedly give (and receive) numerous gift cards for various occassions. Even my office loves Dunkin Donuts. People often bring in munchkins or boxes of donuts, and whenever possible, they buy the Dunkin coffee for our own coffeemaker.

That being said, I find it rather dissapointing that the free iced coffee day that I’ve grown to know and love was publicized per the ususal, but not followed through on. Later yesterday I saw a tweet from Dunkin Donuts appologizing for the miscommuncation. That’s it? Really? How many people do you think actually went to a franchise location excited to get a small iced coffee, only to be dissapointed?! I know both my mom and sister were upset about it. In the case of New Jersey, you lucked out. It’s been cold and rainy the past few days, so I don’t think people were on the hunt for iced coffee to the degree they would have been if we had temperatures from a week ago. Regardless, you made a promise you didn’t keep.

So, next time I’m ready and willing to bat for your team versus the Starbucks team, I might think twice. I mean, at least Starbucks is offering frappucino happy hour until the 16th. And they aren’t making promises they can’t keep. At this point, you’d almost be better off going back to Rachael Ray as your spokesperson. And we all know how much America loves her.

Honestly, I love your coffee, and could never break up with it. But know I’m like a mother dissapointed in their child. I hope you can right the wrong, and give back to the Dunkin Donuts coffee lovers who support you. We’re all crabby we didn’t get our dose of coffee yesterday – you yourselves say us Americans run on it. So don’t deprive us!

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Filed under Coffee