~Nothin’ But Love for These Treats~

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Everyone loves cookies. Everyone. If you are some kind of space alien who doesn’t love cookies, boy howdy have you been reading the wrong blog. I never pass up a chance to try a cookie or three, so when Nothin’ But Foods offered up their granola cookies during summer diet time, I said “Thank you, sir, may I have another!”. What’s a few more crunches and a couple more minutes on the elliptical machine when it comes to cookies, amirite?

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I really stepped in it, though, because these are goooooooooood. Like, “Ohmahgawd, I ate how many?!” good. When one thinks of granola cookies, you tend to think of hard, dry, crumbly, crunchy cookies that don’t taste like much. I am thrilled to report that nothing could be further from the truth here. Chewy, moist, bursting with flavor is what Nothin’ But’s granola cookies are. I got to try both the Chocolate Coconut Almond and the Cherry Cranberry Almond varieties, and I’m hard pressed to pick a favorite between the two. But I have zero hesitation telling you that these are, hands down, far and away the BEST granola cookies I have ever had. Don’t just take my word for it though. Hubby doesn’t like either coconut or granola, and I had to hide the bags before he polished them off before I could review them. That’s how good they are.

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“Food from a kitchen Not a lab”. Nothing But Premium Foods boasts “100% Natural, non-GMO, gluten free deliciousness, with no fillers, eggs, butter, and made in an kitchen not a lab”, and they deliver in spades. 2 cookies are only 120 calories, with only 0.5 grams of saturated fat per serving, all while delivering 2 grams of dietary fiber and 3 grams of protein. And here’s the trumpet card: You know, have heard of, and can pronounce every ingredient. Almonds. Oats. Honey. Cranberries. Cherries. Sea salt. Cinnamon. Vanilla. Semi-Sweet Chocolate. Espresso powder. I love when I don’t need a chemistry book to know what I’m eating. I love that I probably have 90% of these things in my pantry already. I love that it’s good enough for breakfast, yet tasty enough for dessert.

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Did I mention they make snack bars too? In the above flavors as well as Ginger Lemon Cashew and Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate? Yeah, hands off, hubby. Or you’ll lose a finger. These are MINE. There’s gift assortments if he’s interested, and behaves.

 

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Since 2008, Nothin’ But Foods has been making fantastic, wholesome treats, and putting the others to shame. Started by Jerri Graham after she got tired of processed, fake and nasty “foodstuffs” and wanting something better for her daughter, she decided to fill a niche in the market by making something good and making something real. She started small and grew with word of mouth and dedication. It’s gotten to be a chore to find real foods in the the center isles of the markets. So much processed, shelf stable junk passed off as food. Jerri started in her kitchen making these with love, and it shows in the quality, flavor, and simplicity. There is an old adage that says “Do one thing, and do it well”. So, well done, Nothin’ But Foods. Well done indeed.

 

Get your hands on some Nothin’ But today, but int he meantime, reach out to them via:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Nothin’ But Premium Foods .  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

Swaggable: Taylors of Harrogate Earl Grey Tea #Review

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I have always been partial to Black Tea and to me it’s the espresso of the tea world. Like coffees, I still want the smooth taste that is bold with not a significant amount of bitterness or harsh notes that are too acidic. Taylors of Harrogate’s Earl Grey delivers just that and you got to love a classic like this version. It’s the anytime and any season cup of tea. With this tea, you will pick-up citrus notes due to the Bergamot Orange fruit essential oil added to the blend. I could not only smell the beautiful lemon notes but you can also taste them, so it’s not a tea blend that smells better than it tastes.

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    I did not have to add much to my fresh cup of tea and felt that just a touch of Orange Blossom honey was enough. I skipped on the milk because I rarely ever add it to my teas but it was suggested in the instructions.  I enjoyed it and it is definitely an Earl Grey version I would prefer over most brands.

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The Taylors of Harrogate tea company makes a large variety of teas and blends and some are sold loose and others are sold bagged. They also have seasonal teas that are available for a limited time and lets not forget they also have coffees. This tea exporter has been providing the U.K. with teas since 1886 and definitely is a company you can depend on to deliver excellent quality because when you have over 120 years of serving the finest teas, you sort of know what you are doing 🙂

Check out Taylors and find your cup of tea or coffee at:

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Swaggable and Taylors of Harrogate. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Teeccino: Organic Herbal Coffee in Chocolate, Dandelion Caramel Nut, Hazelnut, French Roast and Vanilla Nut #Review

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Like most people, I enjoy coffees, trying alternatives to old favorites, and even different flavors and mixes. So many brands, styles, fair trade, even proprietary delivery cups…..it’s not so easy just picking out what to buy. I tried several decaffeinated coffees and only one has ever been able to fool me and actually quench my craving for a real cup of coffee.

In comes Teeccino with a whole new look on what you can do with coffee. Teecino calls their large array of coffee products, an “Herbal Coffee alternative” and some come in what I what call tea bags. Most flavors are Organic and don’t shy away when you see their products labeled as Naturally Caffeine Free. I thought this was a play of words and that I would not be happy and much less satisfied to start or end my day with a Teeccino cup, but just opening a packet made me think otherwise. I was 50% a fan before I took a sip or even boiled the water. They had me hooked on just how good the packet smelled. It smelled delicious and I figured I can proceed forward because this experiment can go easily into me just finding the best smelling aromatherapy cup on the market! One way or the other, Teeccino would get used. The company sent me a beautiful assortment of flavors:

  • Chocolate in a Dark Roast
  • Hazelnut in a Medium Roast
  • Dandelion Caramel Nut in a Medium Roast
  • Dandelion in a Dark Roast

They also go beyond one-serving tea bags, as you also can get 6 cup servings. I was sent two flavors to try in the larger pack variety:

  • Vanilla Nut in a Medium Roast
  • French Roast in a Dark Roast

I began by trying a one cup serving in Hazelnut. The aroma is intense and so inviting! Just simply delicious. As the water boiled, I flipped the packet and started reading. Teeccino, states you get the same satisfaction without the caffeine and acidity from coffee. I know what they are talking about because sometimes it can be too early or even too late in a day for me to enjoy a cup and the acidity can be a turn off at those hours. My Hazelnut bag contains Organic Carob, Chicory, Dates, Almonds, Organic Figs and Natural Hazelnut flavor. Very simple and I hear the tea kettle calling me.

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I shake the bag and pour the water in. You can instantly smell…..well, coffee. It scent fills the room and it’s colors start filling the cup like any instant coffee would react. Still smells good, so nice to know my flavor is not just all in the packaging 🙂

I allow the cup to …….hmmm, shall we call it steep or brew? Let’s say the “tea-bag” soaks for 5 minutes, as it says in the directions to steep for 3 to 5 minutes. You make sure to dunk the bag several times in the beginning to get the best brew. You can add milk, non-dairy milk, creamers, even any sweetener you wish. I always taste before adding anything no matter what I’m drinking. I sip and this tastes like a nice Hazelnut flavored cup of coffee should taste. It’s not bland and full of burned, nutty notes but smooth. I see exactly what Teeccino means by being non-acidic. The roast was medium like listed and I added nothing to it. Yes, it was that good.  I liked not having the calories associated with sweeteners or creamers. I missed nothing and this is coming from the girl that will take out a french press to make 2 cups of coffee just right and doesn’t care if I am cleaning it at midnight. I have to clean nothing and just wait for water to boil. I’m hooked!

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Later that week, I had all the flavors and recommend them all! There was nothing I did not like and some I added just a touch of honey, like with the Dandelion Caramel Nut variety. Teeccino’s blends also provide benefits like antioxidants, fiber to natural sources of Prebiotics. You get heart healthy potassium and a natural energy boost from nutrients and not stimulants.

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Get your Herbal Coffee fix at:

  • On-line– http://teeccino.com/
  • Facebook– https://www.facebook.com/Teeccino
  • Twitterhttps://twitter.com/Teeccino
  • YouTube– http://www.youtube.com/user/teeccino

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I received the above product free of charge from Teeccino.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

PINCHMe: Gevalia Keurig K-Cup Caramel Macchiato and Froth Pack

I just signed up to become a “PINCHer” and my first items to review arrived from Gevalia Kaffe. Included was a froth packet, which you pour into your mug before brewing, and then you just brew as you would. The flavor is Caramel Macchiato and I definitely am a fan and very familiar with the flavor.

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Unfortunately, the coffee was not that great and had a bitter almost burnt smelling aroma. I thought it was my nose but it also was picked up when I tasted the coffee. The froth packet tasted very sweet and almost had a coconut flavor, which I am a fan of but it did not translate well with the flavor or the bitterness. I just was not a fan and I really tried to find the caramel notes in all this, so my first “Pinch Me” moment was not spectacular but I am eager to see what else the program has to offer. I find these programs useful because even the not so positive experiences let me know what I like and don’t enjoy, so I know what to buy and what to pass on when I’m shopping!

If you want to become a member (PINCHer) of PINCHme, please visit them at:

  • Online to join- https://www.pinchme.com/samples
  • Facebook– https://www.facebook.com/PINCHme
  • Twitter– https://twitter.com/pinchme_now
  • Instagram– http://instagram.com/pinchme_now
  • YouTube– https://www.youtube.com/user/PINCHmeUS

I received the above product free of charge from PINCHme and Gevalia Kaffe.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Remington: ICoffee with SteamBrew Technology Review

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With so many choices of coffee makers in the marketplace, each with their own patented technique for brewing or serving, a simple cup of coffee is not so simple anymore. I find myself asking, “Am I paying for a great cup of coffee or just a great looking machine?” I am chasing after the former because that is what matters most to me. I not only drink coffee but also bake and cook with it, so I don’t want to waste a drop!

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In comes iCoffee by Remington, with a technique that is all it’s own, SteamBrew. I have used a simple French Press, espresso makers, cappuccino makers, and even just the old fashioned simple drip-method from a common coffee maker. Each technique does produce different results even if you were to use the same coffee, so I was eager to try the “steam way” and see if it’s what I call “worthy to sit on my kitchen’s counter”.

iCoffee is very simple, not just from looks, but also operation. It’s simple enough that I did not have to refer back and forth to complex instruction manuals to see how to operate it. I really just looked at the quick-start sheet to make sure I was assembling it correctly. You can’t futz it up, with one place to add your coffee grounds (the reusable coffee filter) then add water in the back to the reservoir, where you add your water starting with a 2 cup measurement up to maximum capacity of 12-cups. The first feature I have to share is the happy tune this little machine chimes out. It makes me smile every time and iCoffee is eager to please so this is a great start. I was testing several brands of coffee, grinds and even brews (from light to extra dark), to get a range of operation and how successful the machine is in delivering a great cup of coffee.

The machine operates at a low level of noise and has the nice feature of being able to monitor the brewing process from a viewing window with LED light. You also have an LCD display that tells you when it’s heating water to when the cycle is complete, plus it signals you with a little music tune when done too. If you are not a morning person, no worries as iCoffee has a “mute” option if music or noise is not…..well, your cup of tea 🙂

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I tested Starbuck’s, Folgers, Gevalia, Green Mountain, CBTL, and Lavazza bagged coffees. I went with brands that are easily found in the marketplace and also reasonably priced.

Starbuck’s: I tested a blonde roast, breakfast blend to two different dark roasts. I noticed by the 4th try, that the steam method usually only loses about 1/4 cup of water (maximum) so you do get the most out of the coffee without losing moisture and this because the steam stirs the grounds. Here I found out what type is a worthy cup because if the blend was not of the best quality, you could taste it.

Folger’s and Gevalia: Even with lower quality coffees, the iCoffee gives you the best cup it can get out of it and significantly reducex the bitter notes, producing a smoother tasting coffee. Again, I was happier with these brands more than I usually am. These brands also produced more “sludge” but with the double filter, none ever made it to my pot or cup.

Green Mountain: Tasted the same as it does with my other machines, where it’s an “okay” coffee but I became less of a fan when I could taste everything it had to give and let me say it was not much. Made me reevaluate the brand!

CBTL and Lavazza: Best performing of the test group and this where I learned that like wine, a better (tasting) product yields better overall end results! These coffee brands do not cost the most but I tested a flavored Creme Brulee from CBTL and a Medium Roast from Lavazza. The inherent richness was immediately apparent. Not my French press, not even my expensive Krups Combo maker, ever produced a better cup than this one. We’re talking about a 25% intensity difference, and I mean it’s intense in taste, not necessarily in brew. It’s almost like iCoffee just gets more out of your grind and into the cup. I lost an immeasurable amount of water via the steam process with these brands, so again less water and the second filter also had less sludge.

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Like any person that plans on a future purchase, I read reviews and found some unfavorable remarks about the “crema”, an essence to what some called sludge at the bottom of the pot when brewing is completed. Some even called it grinds that escape and this results in coffee grinds floating in your coffee. I tried reproducing what was reported by omitting the second filter and I could not. I have in my experience found more bits floating with a French Press and my drip coffee maker than I ever did with iCoffee. When I add the second filter, I had none…..like nothing floating at all, and a very clean carafe when it came to cleaning.

Quick Note on Pros: You will get a better tasting coffee cup and I went into the review thinking that I would not really notice the difference but once I had SteamBrew cup, I put my other machines away. I would say that speaks for itself and even though you do not have an additional espresso feature, a frother, or built-in grinder, the iCoffee is about producing the better tasting cup……period! It convinced me to also reevaluate my coffee selections because it will get the best a grind can offer. It made my not so pricey coffees taste better and my reasonable priced, but better quality coffees taste from great to fantastic.  A smoother coffee also means less sugar to offset the less desired notes and less creams/milk.  I even stopped using creamers because my cup needed no enhancement.  Flavored coffees yield a cup that delivers what you bought, so my Creme Brulee was more…….well, Brulee-ish and this means no syrups. I own everything from seasonal, to trends, to the plain Vanillas but I did not seek them out.  I just wanted to taste the coffee!

Quick Note on Cons: My only con is cleaning the system. It does take me 10 to 15 minutes by hand but please note that there are dish-washer safe components. I merely opted to just clean by hand so things could dry quicker. The 15 minutes is for a complete deep clean, like you can’t smell coffee was in the machine so I am sure a “quick-clean” would do well with a deep one on the weekend for everyday users. I am not a huge fan of shiny plastic and painted chrome parts, because with time it can dull and does not inherently lend itself to longevity, but then again this is personal preferences and has nothing to do with the operation of the machine. I just prefer a bit more metal and a matte (textured) plastic for looks.  Also, like with any coffee machine, the machine sometimes burps steam from the lid in small quantities, so please when brewing keep note of this so you do not cause damage to the underside of your cabinets with long-term use.

My bottom line is this: It makes good coffee great, but won’t make a bad one good. I would buy this machine. And if you want a simple no muss, no fuss great cup of coffee, and don’t need a machine that takes a PhD to operate and occupy half your kitchen counter, you should too. You owe it to yourself to try iCoffee.

Price Point: Retails for $169.95 (or less!) at most places listed on their site.

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To learn more about iCoffee, please visit them at:

I received the above product free of charge from iCoffee.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

California Delicious: Not your Ordinary Gift Box and Basket Company

A gift basket is always welcomed in our home and not only do I enjoy the variety but I love trying new items. As of late with the holidays not too far away from us, I noticed that many baskets cost a pretty good penny but the thrill of the “good stuff” is not present. It’s almost the place where snack food goes to get stale! Not great when you bite into something and wonder if you would have liked it if it were fresher.

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In comes California Delicious with not your ordinary baskets. They offer everything from baskets and gift boxes with fresh fruit, chocolates, stuffed animals, wine, beer, and you name the occasion……they have it covered. The one thing I love is that if you live within the state, shipping is a whopping $0.00. Very nice. So the price point you see is what it is with no hidden charges. If you live out of state, they offer a reasonable rate starting at $9.00 (standard ground) for most of their selections. Very fair pricing and if you sign-up for their mailing list, you get 15% off promotion. Navigate the site and a $10.00 off a $75.00 purchase coupon pops-up as so does a $5 off of $50.00! I believe in getting the most out of your dollar and right now, California Delicious has a heck of a perk! Be part of the “Give a Gift, Get a Gift” program. Just purchase a basket and each purchase gets you a $50.00 gift card* to http://www.NakedWines.com. The only small catch is you can only use one gift card yourself but you will get one with every item you buy. Great way to pass the perk forward and share with others. Make your basket purchase twice as nice!

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I ordered the Starbuck’s Coffee gourmet box. It’s item #9966 and it’s the first gift basket I have been 100% content with from top to bottom. I always have items in baskets and boxes that are just not for me or I plainly do not enjoy…..not this one! The Starbuck’s Coffee Mornings Gift box has a reasonable price point of $59.99 and it even has a stainless steel travel tumbler that can be used again and again. I always like gifting items of this kind that not only yield food for my family and friends to enjoy, but you want a reusable gift so there is something always left to enjoy again and again. Every item in the box is Starbuck’s branded…..no fillers to make this box seem more than it is. See for yourself and California Delicious discloses all contents, no need to over examine a picture to see what really comes in the basket (“Is that a candy I see back there?” kind of thing). I like that California Delicious is open and upfront because its just so tacky to inquire when you send someone a gift basket or box and hope they got everything as pictured. The last thing you want to ask is for a run-down! This is what my beautiful box came with http://www.californiadelicious.com/starbucks-coffee-mornings-gift-box.html:

  • Starbucks Pike’s Place Blend Coffee
  • Starbucks Sumatra Blend Coffee
  • Starbucks Blonde Roast Coffee
  • Starbucks Café Estima Coffee
  • Starbucks Hot/Cold Travel Mug
  • VIA Ready brew Coffee
  • 3 – Spiced Biscotti
  • 1 – Vanilla Biscotti

Other things I want to share is that I have never received a Biscotti cookie in “as-pictured” shape. They are usually baggies holding something what was once a cookie but is not a dry cracked baggy of dust. My chocolate swirl was even intact and every cookie was whole. I got to break it myself and enjoy it…..fresh and “biteable” with no regret or staleness! Ever item has an expiration date and just the bagged coffees alone the date was 6 to 7 months from when I received it. The VIA coffee is an entire box with 8 servings and that doesn’t expire until September. You can actually take your time enjoying your treats. The bags included have a 10 to 12 cup serving each so you get plenty of sevings for a very reasonable price. You add that you get a $50.00 gift card to NakedWines.com and it’s a perk that makes buying from California Delicious a must! Try them today and especially with Valentine’s Day just around the corner. California Delicious is not your everyday basket and gift box company, they deliver not only beautiful looking treats but it’s filled with items you will actually enjoy and love!

Connect with California Delicious and place and order just in time for Valentine’s Day:

  • On-line- http://www.californiadelicious.com/
  • Twitter- https://twitter.com/caldelicious
  • Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/CaliforniaDelicious
  • Pinterest- http://www.pinterest.com/calidelicious/
  • YouTube and Video Blogs- http://www.californiadelicious.com/california-video-blog

Hint: I will be posting a giveaway soon, so get ahead and connect with California Delicious by connecting with the above links!  

 

Nakedwines.com Perk detals, as disclosed on California’s Delicious site:
No kidding…We will send you a nakedwines.com gift card valued at $50 for every gift* that you send from California Delicious. It’s our way of saying Thanks for your business! *What’s the catch? If you buy more than one gift, we will send you a card for every gift you send but you can only use one of those gift cards yourself. You can pay it forward by giving your extra cards to all of your friends and relatives…sounds too good to be true? Well it is if you live in MA,MO,VA,WV,TX,HI,NC or VT because unfortunately those states have prohibition era rules.

I received the above product free of charge from California Delicious.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

Where is your Klout Perk?

Being a Klout member has it’s rewards that are a real perk when they show up at your doorstep. From the McDonald’s gift cards to try new featured menu items (http://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en/home.html), to my last one from the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Company (http://www.coffeebean.com/). I enjoy them all! In 2012 there was an avalanche of perks coming our way but not as busy in the first part of 2013, so I am hoping Klout ends this year with a bang and they have been picking up pace. No referral needed so just check out #Klout at http://www.Klout.com and see where you land. It’s more than just a number because you meet great people on Klout that share your interests or even better, they introduce you to new things. Connect with Klout and soon you will be sending +Ks like me. Look me up and please feel free to ask me anything that will help in making your Klout experience better http://klout.com/#/LinetteFM .

This Summer’s McDonald’s Perk:

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The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Company (CBTL) Perk:

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This is my favorite perk so far for 2013!!! I used the coffee in Creme Brulee flavor and created a cake.  I used Turbinado sugar to create the caramelized top associated with a Creme Brulee.  Made the dessert in 3 layers and because I love berries with my brulee, I created a triple berry filling and then covered it all with a dark chocolate ganache.

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The most recent McDonald’s Perk:

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The Chobani tour of Greek Yogurt Bite & Flips will begin shortly………

Below is the last preview of what I received and I will be posting reviews, plus a cookie recipe soon……………

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BzzAgent Campaign: Nescafé Memento in Caramel, Mocha and Cappuccino

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There’s few things better than a hot, flavored coffee on those brisk spring nights. And nothing spoils one like grinding, brewing and mixing your own. Why, oh why doesn’t someone finally make an instant coffee that gives you all the pluses with none of the minuses?

Along comes Nescafé and their Memento line of “Flavored Coffee Beverages”. Uh-oh. That they can’t just call it coffee is a huge, flapping red flag. But, sometimes these types of liquid desserts are “good enough”, so I’ll forge bravely ahead. First up:

Nescafé Memento Caramel Latte

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Okay, I can see what they were going for here, but I have to say they missed the mark by quite a bit. Very sweet, not a whole lot of “coffee” flavor comes through, and none of that buttery yum you’d expect from true caramel, and a quick look at the ingredient list shows why. Sugar, nonfat milk, hydrogenated veg. oil, glucose syrup, THEN you finally get soluble coffee, and then more sugars and artificial ingredients. I’m sad to report, this a hot cup of yuck. So, I’ll just pour this hot mess down the drain and start over anew with:

Nescafé Memento Mocha

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Okay, smells good. Looks good. A little on the bitter side, which makes me flash to that bottom-of-the-pot diner coffee that’s been on the heater plate all night, and Flo the waitress decided she’s got your fancy-schmancy Starbucks “right here!” and mixed in some Nestlé Quik and then went full froo-froo and put some milk foam on top. Yes, I heated and foamed some milk for this. Sue me. I’m trying to like this, because coffee+chocolate=YUM. But there’s just enough off and missing to bork this cup too. At least milk and cocoa were listed within the first 3 ingredients, so it’s got that doing for it, but the usual cast of characters that you’d need a degree in chemical engineering to understand. So, half a cup down. That means they’re getting better, right?

Nescafé Memento’s Cappuccino

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Oh goodness, Do I love cappuccino. And after the last two characters masquerading as coffee got the bums rush, I need a good, stiff drink. No, I’m not going to Irish this one up, but I will cleanse my palette a little. So, the smell is good. Check. The look is right. Double check. The taste. Kinda creamy, kinda rich, good flavor and sweetness without fear of your teeth “ceding from the Union” so to speak. Okay, this is no Grand Slam. Not even a home run. Maybe a triple, probably closer to a ground rule double. I see what Nescafe had in mind, what they were trying to accomplish, and this flavor really got the closest. Which is admirable. I’ll pay it one more compliment: I’d try it again.

I am happy with the last of the trio and hope they improve the Caramel formula in the future, but these coffees are easy to make with just leaving you with a cup and a spoon to clean up later.  I would make the Cappuccino for those days I am in a hurry and they unfortunately come by more often than I would desire.  The coffee mixes are not high in cost and you add the coupons I have been sharing, it is actually a pretty good deal price point wise.  Those Caramel candies in the picture still tease me!

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I received the above products free of charge from BzzAgent and Nescafe.  I am not obligated in providing a favorable/positive review, just my honest opinion.  My opinions are based on my experience with the products that may differ from yours.

SheSpeaks Blog Event brings you: Torani Holiday Flavors, Salted Caramel & Gingerbread

‘Tis the season for sugary sweets, savory eats, and toasty, warm drinks rich in flavor and, sadly high in calories. What’s a harried shopper to do when there’s a high-brow coffee chain on every corner dangling their latest holiday-inspired yummers in your chilly little face?

Torani has your answer. Torani Gingerbread Sugar-Free and Torani Salted Carmel Sugar-Free syrups, just asking for a warm cider or hot coffee to be lovingly dropped into. I was fortunate enough to try these syrups, courtesy of SheSpeaks. So sit back, bundle up and dig in to this review.

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I must say of the bat, I’m usually not a fan of “sugar free” things, mostly due to the artificial sweeteners (this product contains Splenda) that give you a funky aftertaste or worse, change the intended flavor entirely. So I approached this with some trepidation, but kept an open mind. So when I dipped my pinkie into the Torani Salted Carmel Sugar-Free syrup, imagine my surprise when I was met with the same rich flavor one expects from such a decadent confection-inspired treat. It was rich, warm, with just a touch of a salty aftertaste. I could imagine drizzling this over ice cream, or giving a little kick to a hot chocolate. With little to no “splenda” taste to ruffle my feathers, I can easily see this syrup being put into regular rotation in my kitchen. It seemed to do wonders for my after-dinner coffee as well, so it didn’t change with heating, thankfully. A real winner here, and with it being sugar-free, I can enjoy this with much less guilt than I would one of those coffee-chain liquid desserts we all know and love.

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Now, the other flavor I received was the Torani Gingerbread Sugar-Free syrup. As much as I enjoyed the Salted Carmel Sugar-Free flavor, I must say that Gingerbread was a let down. I had extremely high hopes, as gingerbread in this house is a holiday staple, and the thought of a hot gingerbread coffee with frothed milk and sprinkles evaporated like so many sugarplum dreams after my first smell. It’s just…off. And, sadly, the Splenda is right there. There’s no denying that this has a sugar substitute, and you can tell right away. It’s a shame, really, because there would have been so much I could have done with this, and now it’s just 750ml of ick. I didn’t taste it beyond the initial finger dip, it was that off-putting.

So, Torani Syrups is batting .500 with these seasonal flavors. Which usually isn’t bad, but Torani Syrups have a permanent place in my pantry, and I usually trust them implicitly to deliver. I can say I will be picking up an extra Torani Sugar-Free Salted Carmel just in case, and because they’re shelf-stable, I know I can count on the flavor to deliver for months and months.  Anyone up for some whipped cream that has a Salted Caramel flavor?  I am!  Oh, the possibilities of baked goods that I will make into a reality!  Happy Holidays Everyone!!

Thanks, SheSpeaks, for the opportunity to try these products.

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