Moms Meet: So Delicious Dairy Free Creamers #Review #SoDelicious

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Who doesn’t love coffee? I’m one of those where coffee not only tastes good but I have found it helps me with other health issues, by increasing my circulation and giving me a boost of much needed energy. Plus, the warmth of a cup helps when my joints ache. What I don’t like are creamers. I mean I love how they taste sometimes, but not when it comes to the chemicals and thickeners, which take the joy of having a cup of coffee that is now more a loaded cup of sugar. I have been hunting for an alternative and when Moms Meet featured So Delicious, this is the brand I have seen in stores but sort of walked by (shame on me).

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The campaign was mostly focused on the creamers So Delicious makes. You have two non-dairy bases to choose from, Coconut and Almond milk, with the former being the more extensive items to choose from:

  • Coconut Milk in Original
  • Coconut Milk Barista Style in Original and in French Vanilla
  • Coconut Milk in French Vanilla
  • Coconut Milk in Hazelnut

You can obtain the above in pints and quart sizes

  • Almond Milk in Original
  • Almond Milk in French Vanilla

You can obtain the above in only pint sizes

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Retail Price Point: Usually under $3 for the pint and if you get a coupon, this creamer can be easily obtained for $1.50 with a sale/coupon combination. I purchased the creamers at Von’s, Sprout’s Farmers Market and at Target.

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Verdict:
I was unsure what to expect and with about 25 calories per tablespoon with the Coconut variety and 15 calories with the Almond kind (i.e. comparing French Vanilla), you control what you want to put in your coffee. Not filled with sugars or artificial ingredients, plus soy free. Now, the taste matters. I love them. They taste better than the original creamers I used both in liquid and powder form. I’m getting a shot of flavor and creamer, all in one. I liked them so much, that I kept buying So Delicious. I am not branching out to other products. My friend that tried the creamer with us, has now raved about the ice cream……so look at So Delicious and change your routine. There is no getting bored here when it comes to flavors and all the wonderful products So Delicious makes!  Go on-line and connect with So Delicious because they over sweeten the deals (not your coffee) with the coupons they always offer.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Moms Meet and So 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.

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Ozeri Deluxe Stainless Steel Frother with 4 Attachments

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I have been disappointed time and time again by frothers, because they’re made so shoddily and don’t last. I’ve bought several, from big national brands to smaller, lesser-known brands and to a one, they’ve all failed. I think, finally, I’ve found a frother that will be with me for the long haul. And I have Ozeri to thank.

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Most frothers seem to made to be uni-taskers, as well as disposable. Use it to froth milk and then put it away, hoping it works the next time you need it. Ozeri, however, made their Deluxe Stainless Steel Frother to be used all over the kitchen , for multiple jobs, and to last and look good doing it. The frother comes with 3 different attachments, and a spare frothing head. The beater and whisk heads seem dainty, but the whisk held up to a couple of eggs in a cup for an egg wash, and the beater did just fine for a small amount of ganache for a cake. Ozeri refers to it as a “cocktail mixer”, but I’ve retasked it in this house since we don’t drink cocktails. It was dynamite, however, for a vinaigrette for my salad. Yay. Powered by two AA batteries, it has two settings (low and high, up to 15,000 RPM’s!!) to meet the needs of whatever task you throw at it. And the stainless steel body is a cinch to clean and feels solid in your hands. The top mounted clicker to turn it off and on is easy to use and reach as well. It comes with a matching stainless steel stand, but it’s a little finicky about placement and because there’s heft to the frother can become unbalanced easily, so I don’t always use it. But that’s a minor quibble about what I consider a bulletproof product. After a soild 2 weeks of use, this frother has had nary a hiccup and I foresee it becoming a long standing member of our little family. Ozeri even included the batteries this time (How I love that!) so you’re good to go right out of the box.

Frothers come and frothers go, and anyone who’s had one can attest to that. Nothing’s more frustrating than a product you come to depend on and it fails you. Ozeri understands this and makes their products top-notch and made to last. But I know that Ozeri would stand behind their products 100% if for some reason it failed you, and for that, as well as the above reasons, I recommend this product highly!

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Ozeri.  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.

iCoffee Opus Single Serve Brewer Review

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Last year I had the good fortune of being offered a chance to try out Remington’s iCoffee’s SteamBrew multi-cup brewer. At the time, I thought I had found nirvana, bliss in a cup. I have used everything from a $500 German-engineered machine to a $10 French press, and nothing compared to iCoffee’s SteamBrewed cup of goodness. I did not think I would ever find anything to top it.

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I was wrong.

Because iCoffee sent me their newest creation, the Opus Single Serve Brewer. There’s a new sheriff in town, folks. And his name is Opus.

Everything I loved about the iCoffee SteamBrew machine has been miniaturized and put into Opus. It steams, spins and stirs the coffee right in the cup! Everything I dreaded about single-cup brewers was crumpled up and thrown right in the trash. Because iCoffee has the good grace and sense to include a reusable single-serve cup to add your favorite coffee, one amazingly, impossibly smooth cup at a time. IMAG2611The cup will accept all grinds (except maybe powder fine, I don’t grind my coffee that fine so I can’t say for certain), so you can adjust your grind to match the flavor profile and strength you desire. You want loose-leaf tea? The cup will accept any tea from any maker and flavor you desire. Or just heat one cup of water at a time and steep your bagged tea as you please. Iced coffee? Please, that’s not even a challenge. Just add ice and dial down the ounces. Don’t want to bother grinding, measuring or weighing out your coffee? iCoffee’s Opus IMAG2624accepts every K-Cup®, OneCup™, RealCup™ capsule, and all private label cups. Because only an insecure, inferior machine will limit your experience to just their brand of cups. And Remington’s iCoffee Opus let’s you experience every and anything you want to taste. Opus is packing a 75 ounce water reservoir, a removable drip tray to accommodate just about any size mug or travel cup you can find. Energy saver mode, auto shut off, and a precise Dial-a-Brew system that let’s you dialIMAG2635 in your drink size from 4 ounces all the way up to 12, one half ounce at a time. Remington Even includes a six pack of single serve coffees from Tim Horton and Marley coffees, and even an herbal tea! I think it’s the perfect machine for any household. And cleanup? Throw the used cup IMAG2614away, or just wash out the included (Seriously, how awesome is Remington for that?!) reusable cup!

So, let’s address the elephant in the room: How does iCoffee’s Opus stack up to the market leaders with single serve machines? Well, I could go on and on about how superior the flavor is from Opus (and believe me, it is!), and it’s still  just one person’s opinion. But why do that when Remington went to the flavor professionals at Ohio State University. Read the full report here, but with all variables being equal, iCoffee Opus beat Keurig’s best machine in every category, from aroma, to taste, to aftertaste. Spanked them, actually. In fact, almost everyone who tries iCoffee’s Opus agrees. So, then what about that website that claimed the coffee made by Opus was weaker than from another brand of brewer? Poppycock, says I. If you want a stronger brew, grind your beans a little bigger. Here’s another pro tip: Remember iCoffee Opus’s patented Dial-a-Brew system? IMAG2637A little trick I learned is to fill mug 4 ounces at a time. Just pop the top after you dispense your 4 ounces of love, close and repeat until full. What that does is let the grounds steep just a few more seconds each time and be super-saturated by ounce 12. I got so much flavor from my coffees and teas this way, I get to tailor my cup each time I turn it on. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you this is the best cup of coffee I’ve ever brewed at home.

iCoffee’s Opus Brewer is a treat to smell, makes treats to taste, and looks damn fine doing it too. Shiny chrome,IMAG2639 bright blue LED lights…the only thing I miss is my iCoffee’s little tune it sung when my brew was done. It doesn’t take up the whole counter, it doesn’t suck up a bunch of electricity while idle, an it goes from cold to piping hot and ready to drink in about 5 minutes (our non-contact IMAG2704 (1)thermometer registered 147 degrees and climbing fresh from the brewer!). There is quite literally nothing to dislike about the iCoffee Opus. If you forced me to pick one quibble, it would be the vacuum-metalized plastic cover on the drip tray. Because it will be used so much, the chrome paint will be scratched or worn away quickly, so I may have hubby fabricate a version out of stainless steel. And that’s me being picky. I usually try not to gush over the things I test and review, but I just love this machine. I’ve used it every day since it arrived, and my teapot on the stovetop is turning green from envy. Once the belle of the ball, iCoffee’s Opus just kicked him to the curb. iCoffee’s Opus Single Serve Brewer is available exclusively at Bed, Bath & Beyond (and if you don’t get promos from them already, you really should start here now). I cannot recommend this brewer highly enough, I can’t say enough good things about Remington’s iCoffee Opus. You really owe it to yourself to try the cup of coffee Opus can make for you.

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I received the above product free of charge from Remington.  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.

MatchaDNA: Wireless Milk Frother Review #MatchaDNAmilkfrother

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I’ve been fortunate enough to review a couple of types of Matcha green tea here on my blog, and until now I was content using a whisk to mix it up nice and frothy. A couple of downsides to that is, as I’ve mentioned before, the tea stains things almost instantly and fairly permanently. The other is beating up my poor mugs with the whisk. That’s a thing of the past now thanks to MatchaDNA’s frother. For those unfamiliar with a frother, let me tell you it’s a kitchen tool you don’t know you need until you have it. And once you have it, you don’t know how you got along without it.

Mine is a no frills, simple frother. I use it for sweet drinks, savory drinks, for teas, milks and coffees, hot products or cold. It was a stainless steel whisk and shaft meaning it shouldn’t stain, rust, discolor or be affected by whatever drink or sauce you use it for. Yes, you can use this frother with a bechamel sauce or a vegetable puree. It’s small and compact which means it won’t take up a ton of precious counter space, and lightweight and maneuverable enough to not be a burden when you need it, like some hand mixers. Also, unlike hand mixers, this little dynamo is powered by by 2 “AA” batteries (sadly, not included), so no worries of dragging a cord through a sauce, or the sink, or a hot  stove-top. When I’m done with it, I put a couple of drops of dish soap and turn it on in some hot water, wipe and it’s ready to go again or go back in the drawer. It feels well made enough to last me many years, too. Sounds like a winner to me.

A little tip for those of us who love whipped cream but hate the calories and overly creamy texture: A few tablespoons of milk in a small sauce pot, over a medium heat for a couple minutes, and then froth to create a light and airy foam. Spoon over hot tea or milk, with a little grind of cinnamon sugar, and Starbucks ain’t got nothin’ on this. With 1/3 of the calories and fat too.

 

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from MatchaDNA.  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.

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