Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Butterfinger Lasagna & the premier of Avengers 2

Avengers: Age of Ultron is opening in theaters on May 1st and your local Meijer store has a wide variety of branded merchandise to get you all set for the premier.  (And having recently shopped at Meijer I noticed that you can save on some of those Avenger items with your mperks.)  From Avenger Corn Flakes to Fruit Snacks, T-Shirts to Toys and everything else in between, Meijer has all the Thor, Hulk & Iron Man items that you want.  And, to help celebrate the release of this film Meijer is sponsoring a giveaway on this blog, with an awesome Avenger Prize Pack full of assorted toys, food and memorabilia.

But first every movie viewer needs a great snack to enjoy during the film and I have a fabulous dessert recipe to share with you today for Butterfinger Lasagna.  This dessert is super simple to make, taste great and can be washed down with a limited edition Avengers 2 Dr. Pepper.  Even Captain America needs something sweet to eat before he saves the world from Ultron.   

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Request a song Mimi

Does your little one like to sing and dance?  I know my MacchiOTTo sure does.  Sometimes I think she sings more than she talks.  And one of her new favorite toys is Request a Song Mimi from Hallmark.  Mimi sings 7 different songs and talks and interacts with your little one while they play with her.  Using iReply technology Mimi will sing any of the 7 songs you request or simply say "Mimi's choice" and she will pick out a song to sing for you.
Mimi comes with a songbook with a list of all the song titles and the lyrics to all her songs.  This is great for older kids who can read or parents to chime in and sing along too.  But don't worry too much about the reading because your smaller children will have the songs memorized in no time. MacchiOTTo's favorite song is "Hop, Hop, Wiggle Wiggle" which is a freeze dance kind of a song. When Mimi sings you can dance along and when she says stop... you stop.  It's lots of fun and a great way to interact with this fun toy.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Bee Coffee Roasters

My latest quest for locally roasted coffee took me to Bee Coffee Roasters, a small batch coffee roasted located downtown Indy in the Pan Am Plaza or a quiet cafe located just off Lafayette Road.  In business since 2006 I think you will find this roastery brews up some great java and tasty treats.
While there I tried one coffee, a Colombian Hulia, brewed three different ways to taste how brewing methods could affect the coffee.  To start with I sampled a Chemex using the pour over method and could taste fruity tones and citrus notes right off the bat.  Next I tried an Aeropress, which was a little more concentrated in flavor and made the fruity taste more lively on the palate.  And the third way was made with a Clever Coffee Dripper which I thought had the smoothest finish of the three.    

Obviously, everyone has different taste preferences, but the barista's at Bee's are sure to help you find a cup to your liking, and while you're there you should check out some of their Latte' Art.    

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Hamburger Helper FREE Beef Rebate

Did you know that you can get dinner on the table in under 30 minutes for only $1.25????  Here's how I did it... one box of Hamburger Helper cost me $1.25 and all I had to add was 1 pound of ground beef.  Now, how did I get 1 pound of ground beef for FREE you may be asking???  With the Hamburger Helper Rebate for FREE Beef.  Simply purchase 3 boxes of any variety of Hamburger Helper and click on the link above, print off your rebate, mail it in and get reimbursed for the beef your bought.  Dinner is quick, easy and thanks to the rebate!
Helper was launched in the 1970’s to help consumers stretch their dollars while enjoying a delicious and hearty meal. And all of the hamburger varieties use one pan so it easy prep and easy clean up. Saving you money and time, now thats a win win!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Sweet Potato & Ham Skillet

This is a great recipe for those times when you have left over ham.  It can be served as a main entree' or side dish depending on your needs.  Heck, you might even get away with serving it as a breakfast dish alongside some eggs.  (I love versatile recipes!)  This recipe can fit different meal scenarios and use up leftovers.  So without anymore delay here is... Sweet Potato & Ham Skillet.  

Monday, April 13, 2015

Smart Coffee App

As a lover of all things coffee today I'm sharing a review of the new Smart Coffee App which can be downloaded from the App Store.  This handy little app is great for those trying to figure out what beans/blends of coffee they would like to drink but would also be good for everyday coffee drinkers looking to deepen their understanding of what flavors go into a cup.  

This App was created by Specialty Coffee Connoisseur Paul Katzeff of the Thanksgiving Coffee Company.  The features on this app allow you to pick your perfect cup of coffee by selecting the flavor profile you prefer in your cup.  By answering some simple questions about your taste preferences this app will tell you what blends to look for at your local grocery store to brew your selected cup or give you the option to buy some of their suggested coffees online.  Other features on this app will teach you about roast color, processing and how the country of origin influences the coffee bean.  There is also a glossary of coffee related terms, picture gallery and archive for you to retrieve the different origins or blends you have previously selected.  

I found the app to be very user friendly and provided great details on the different types of coffee I selected.  It also was fun to show to others to and see what kind of coffee they selected and how closely that matched what they were drinking or gave them something new to consider trying.
When I put the app to the test I started by selecting the Mouthfeel and I went with Heavy & Mellow.  Next I selected my acidity level and flavor and I went with Blueberry/Strawberry.  Lastly, I selected 3 flavors that fit my taste from a list of 15.  I went with Chocolate, Toasty and Caramel.  And the app selected blend #89 a light roast from Rwanda with deep chocolate notes, hints of orange, plum and maple syrup. 
So that is whats in Ott, A's latte today.  Musasa, Rwanda.  And true to the App this is a bold cup of coffee with a sweet finish.  This coffee is a great breakfast coffee that can handle some cream or sugar if those are your drinking preferences.  Overall, the app was fun to use and could come in handy for ideas of new blends to try or confirm those subtle flavor nuances you are tasting in coffees you already drink.

Please note Thanksgiving Coffee Company did send me a sample of the coffee I selected on this App to be included in this review.  

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Mom Knows Best Cookbook Giveaway

Just this last weekend, I was getting ready to bake a ham in the oven, and with it being a large ham I was contemplating just how long it would need to cook for.  Would 2 hours be enough?  Should I cook it a little longer? If I wasn't expecting company it wouldn't have been a big deal, but when you tell people we are eating at noon you want the main course to be done.  So I picked up the phone and called my mom for a quick ham baking consultation.  We decided on a time and temp and it all worked out perfectly.  Mom always knows best so when Gooseberry Patch named their newest cookbook "Mom Knows Best" you know it has to be full of great recipes and tips on how to get dinner on the table.    
This cookbook has recipes for breakfasts, snacks, lunches, dinners and desserts.  But what I like most is that there are chapters of this cookbook dedicated to cheap dinners, fast dinners and foods that kids can help with.  We all have times when we need a meal in a pinch or maybe are working off a budget so these chapters contained some great ideas.  

I baked three recipes out of this cook book that I'm sharing with you so feel free to check out a sample of what's offered for yourself.  And, I will be giving away a copy of this cookbook to one lucky reader of this blog.  To enter simply click on the rafflecopter widget located at the bottom of this blog post.  

Monday, April 6, 2015

Julian Coffee Roasters

I have drank Julian Coffee Roasters flavored coffees at Java Junction (a little coffee shop in Fortville, Indiana).  So I was familiar with their coffees but wanted to stop by their roastery near Zionsville, Indiana to learn more.  They have been in business for 11 years and have quite the variety and assortment of coffees to offer.  But what I was most interested in was some of their new and upcoming products.  Julian's is serving up coffee in some really unique ways and has something for every palette.
Julian's offers single origin coffees, blends, flavored coffees, teas and cocoas.  Their coffee is roasted in a Loring Coffee Roaster which can roast 75 pounds at a time.  Julians will soon be offering K-Cups. They have machinery to produce and package the K-Cups and they will be available for sale at Cosco's in the Indianapolis area.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

our farm boy and his lambs

It was a nice spring day when shOTT of Espresso went out to the barn to see the lambs for the first time.  We didn't need coats or hats so he was dressed in his overalls and ready for some farm work. As I've mentioned before on this blog, our family has raised purebred Shropshire sheep for 96 years. While we bring in new rams and occasionally some new ewes, we have only ever had Shropshires and have records and registration papers showing that our bloodlines go back that far.  Not too many people in the livestock industry can say that, but we our proud of our breed and our family tradition of raising them.  And while the flock is now just a small hobby, ShOTT of Espresso will be the 5th generation to work with this flock.    

Friday, April 3, 2015

Apple Crisp in a Mug in Minutes

Sometimes you just need a quick sweet treat.  And this recipe for apple crisp in a mug is just the thing to make for a quick dessert or snack.  I found this recipe in the new Gooseberry Patch Cookbook "Mom Knows Best,"  With a few simple ingredients, a mug and your microwave you will be all set to enjoy this delicious twist on an old favorite.
And this is an easy recipe that kids could help make in the kitchen as well.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Quills Coffee

I stopped in the newly opened Quills Coffee Shop in Indianapolis a week ago for a cup of coffee.  Nestled near the canal and the campus of IUPUI this cafe' offers a great place to stop in for a fresh cup of coffee.  I had known Quills about their cafe' located in Louisville so when they opened a coffee shop here I jumped at the chance to go check them out.  
Quills has been in business since 2007 but 4 years ago they started roasting their coffee is roasted in New Albany, Indiana.  The coffee is then distributed to their 4 cafe's so you are still getting freshly roasted coffee.  Quills uses small roasters and does about 1,000 pounds per week.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Easter Basket Ideas for Toddlers & Baby

Easter is just around the corner and with help from Meijer I've got some great ideas for Easter basket goodies for your wee little ones.  I know chocolates and candies are items for older kids Easter baskets, but that sometimes leaves us at a loss for what to get for younger kids who aren't eating those sweet treats just yet.

I enjoy shopping at Meijer for groceries and love their mPerks online coupons.  I always know I am saving money every time I shop there.  And with Easter coming up American Greetings is offering a special, "Buy 3 cards get a free plush Easter bunny." That's right I said FREE. I'm guessing you are probably going to be sending some Easter cards this year, so why not get rewarded by shopping for them at Meijer and getting a little something extra. And to help you celebrate Easter Meijer is giving away 2 of these plush Easter bunnys to one lucky reader on my blog.  Simply click on the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of this blog post to enter.
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