Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Your Coffee Will Never Be the Same with the iCoffee Opus SpinBrew K-Compatible Single Serve Brewer {Review & Giveaway}

iCoffee logo
While I have made it no secret that I love my morning cup of coffee, I have to admit that things very well might be different if K-cups had never revolutionized the coffee market.

Use a french press? I'm not fancy (or patient) enough for that. A traditional brewer? I'd never finish the entire pot and find that the measuring, scooping and replacing filters is too much hassle. Coffeehouse? Don't even get me started on the cost. Instead, K-cups are the perfect size, brew up fresh extremely quickly, and offer the all-over convenience that I need when I'm not yet fully awake.

However, up until recently, I had been under the impression that the only single serve coffeemaker that brewed K-cups was from the one name in the industry everyone knows, Keurig. If you want to use K-cups, you get a Keurig; simple as that.

Alas, while that may have been true at one point, times have changed and newer (i.e. better) technology has entered the K-cup realm. Why use the same standard machine when there is one that is being hailed as providing better flavor, taste, aftertaste and aroma?

It's time to move on with the iCoffee Opus SpinBrew single serve brewer!

iCoffee Opus

The first single serve brewing system of its kind, iCoffee set out to not only create a single serve brewing device that delivered exceptional-tasting coffee, they also wanted to deliver a brewer that was as safe as possible. In that quest, the resulting iCoffee Opus utilizes a variety of technically advanced methods to provide the best coffee experience possible.

iCoffee SpinBrew
First, the SpinBrew spinning jets spin, steam and stir during the brewing cycle to release locked-in flavors while reducing bitterness and acidic aftertaste to deliver dramatically smoother and better-tasting beverages. No matter what brand or type of K-cups you use, these jets are proving that a stationary needle simply can't compare when it comes to aroma and flavor!

Second, the SafetyLock system locks the brew head during brewing to prevent the escape of hot liquid from the brewer. Along with the lock, if the brew head is tampered with during brewing, a secondary electronic safety device instantly shuts off the flow of water to all but eliminate the chance of burn-related injuries occurring.

The freedom to use any K-cups I choose, SpinBrew Technology to provide premium quality taste, and the knowledge that the safety of myself and my family has been held in the highest regard? There really wasn't anything more that I needed to hear that could have made me more excited to try out the iCoffee Opus!

iCoffee Opus coffeemaker

Right out of the box and I was already chomping at the bit to put this beauty to work!

iCoffee Opus brewer

Fortunately iCoffee knows that consumers don't want to spend ages assembling or setting up products, as there isn't much more more to do more to do than plug the Opus in and get the initial cleaning rinse started.

In the meantime, I was able to appreciate the yummy flavors of K-cups in the included sampler, as well as the addition of the iCup Reusable. If you have ground coffee in your home or are devoted to a brand that has yet to offer their coffee in K-cup form, simply use this economical and environmentally friendly option instead!

iCoffee iCup Reusable K-cups

A few short minutes later my Opus was cleaned, I had the large 75-ounce water reservoir filled, and we were ready to go.

iCoffee Opus SpinBrew

Not only did iCoffee include a magnetic, removable drip tray to allow users space for taller travel mugs...

iCoffee Opus drip tray

...but their ingenious Dial-A-Brew control makes it possible to simply dial any size beverage between 4 and 12 ounces in ½ ounce increments. I have seen other coffeemakers that have a few settings, but iCoffee has easily taken that to an entirely new level by basically guaranteeing that you can have the perfect strength and taste for your coffee each and every time.

iCoffee Opus Dial-A-Brew

After selecting the size, it only takes one more press on the Dial-A-Brew button for the Opus to begin its SpinBrew Technology and start putting steaming hot, wonderfully aromatic coffee into my mug.

I wasn't sure what sort of noise to expect this machine to make while it worked, but found that it isn't any louder or more disturbing than any other coffee machine that I have tried. No worries that this might be bothersome during our morning routine or have any chance of waking anyone up early in the morning.

iCoffee even included a fun blue light throughout the machine that also appears over your mug during brewing — no need to even turn on any lights to get your coffee going!

iCoffee Opus review

In the end, I've found that the convenience of the iCoffee Opus really is unparalleled, as they truly have thought of everything to make this as user-friendly as possible. Not only does this brewer give you a fresh-brewed cup of fresh coffee, tea or hot cocoa every time that is made exactly how you like it, but its features make it pretty much fool-proof.

Simply pop in any K-cup (or create your own with the iCup Reusable), choose precisely the size you desire, and let the Opus do the rest. It even has a built-in Energy Saver so that you can have it turn itself off automatically after two hours of non-use!

As for the flavor (because let's admit it, it all comes down to taste), I did not expect to notice much of a difference between coffee from iCoffee versus that from Keurig. But I was wrong! The iCoffee Opus really does produce a richer, smoother, more flavorful taste and aftertaste and I can see why this machine has been receiving the highest of praises and awards from Popular Science, Consumer Reports, HomeWorld Business, and many more!

iCoffee Opus single serve coffee

Are you ready to put your senses to the test? You can find out much more about the features, advantages and benefits of the iCoffee Opus (as well as their other brewers) by visiting iCoffee.com and connecting with them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The iCoffee Opus has an MSRP of $139.99 and can be found on Amazon, at Bed, Bath and Beyond stores nationwide, and many more.

Plus, thanks to the generosity of iCoffee, one person will soon find one making an impact on their morning coffee routine as well, because...

One lucky person will win an iCoffee Opus single serve brewer!

iCoffee Opus giveaway


A big thank you to iCoffee for providing an Opus for me to review as well as for one lucky giveaway winner. The opinions shared are my own and honest and if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Back to School with Bakery Style Cookie Mixes from Krusteaz {Review & Giveaway}

 Krusteaz logo
With Back to School season in full swing, parents everywhere are simultaneously sighing with relief at the return to the set schedule while also wistfully wanting to savor just one more day of sleeping in and having spontaneous fun. The final moments of summer always seem to get lost in the shuffle of gearing up for the school year, don't they?

But aside from making more weekend plans, going on one last vacation or instituting a mandatory family dinner plan, how else can you grab hold of those last minutes of summer while also amping up the excitement for the academic year ahead?

In the kitchen, of course! Spending time baking with kids can be one of the most fun and rewarding experiences (not to mention that the end result is usually pretty tasty, too!) and I don't think that I've ever met a child that doesn't love rolling up their sleeves and helping out as assistant chef.

Need a little more inspiration for some yummy lunchtime or after school snacks? Then check out the nearly limitless number of delicious options available from Krusteaz!

Krusteaz foods

Delighting families for generations, Krusteaz began back in 1932 with an easy-to-make pie crust and has since expanded to include pancakes, biscuits, muffins, brownies, breads, desserts and much more.

Whether you reach for one of their classic favorites or one of the new additions to their product line, you can be confident that they have included only the finest and freshest ingredients and that the result will be a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

Recently Krusteaz has increased their collection of convenient, high quality boxed baking mixes yet again with the introduction of their new Bakery Style Cookie Mixes. Who wouldn't head straight into the kitchen with mixes that produce bakery-quality results and awesome accessories and tools like these?

Krusteaz Bakery Style Cookie Mixes

As always, I adore the way that Krusteaz baking mixes can be used as-is or can be incorporated into any number of great recipes for even more easy and delicious options and these new Bakery Style Cookie Mixes are no exception.

Case in point, the delectable Krusteaz Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookie Mix. It took us less than five minutes to add butter and an egg and have things mixed up and into the oven.

Krusteaz baking

Around 10 minutes later the result was hot, fresh and distinctively savory. Did I mention that they took basically zero work or effort?

brown sugar oatmeal cookies

However, had the girls and I wanted to put in a little more time to produce something a bit more creative and divine, we could have done so with this Krusteaz Bakery Style Cookie Mix to produce Cookie Topped Baked Apples.

Cookie Topped Baked Apples

Ingredients

1 package Krusteaz Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookie Mix
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup raisins, optional
6-8 apples

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°F. In medium bowl, blend cookie mix and butter until crumbled dough forms.

Slice unpeeled apples in half lengthwise; remove seeds and core. Place apples skin-side down in lightly greased 13x9x2-inch pan.

Top apples with crumbled dough.

Bake 23-27 minutes or until toothpick easily pierces apple.

Serve warm with ice cream, if desired. Makes 12-16 servings.

Cookie Topped Baked Apples

Now we're talking, right? YUM! I can only imagine the looks on my kids' faces if they arrived home from school to find this creative and unique snack waiting for them!

With everything from classic pancakes to Pumpkin Spice Muffin Mix, there's a Krusteaz mix for everything. Whether you're like me and follow the recipe or you're more of a creative baker — it's very easy to take any Krusteaz mix and whip up your own creation — the end result is something that will always wow family and friends, whether for a holiday or simply for a sweet treat after school!

Be sure to keep an eye out for all of the new Krusteaz Bakery Style Cookie Mixes including Triple Chocolate Chunk, Meyer Lemon, Double Peanut Butter, Brown Sugar Oatmeal, Oatmeal Scotchie, and Butter Vanilla Sugar the next time you head to the store. Your family (and your taste buds) will thank you!

Also be sure to head over to Krusteaz.com to find out more about all of their incredible products, while also connecting with them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. And, thanks to their generosity, one person will be even more prepared for some delicious baking for the Back to School season as well, because...

One lucky person will win a Krusteaz Back to School Prize Pack*!

Krusteaz giveaway

*Prize Pack includes (1) each of the new Krusteaz Bakery Style Cookie Mixes: Triple Chocolate Chunk, Meyer Lemon, Double Peanut Butter, Brown Sugar Oatmeal, Oatmeal Scotchie, and Butter Vanilla Sugar, as well as a Krusteaz apron, oven mitt and lunchbox.


A big thank you to Krusteaz for providing items for me to review as well as a prize pack for one lucky giveaway winner. The opinions shared are my own and honest and if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Winners!

The lucky winner of a $25 Visa gift card and a coupon for Nature's Harvest® bread is...

winner

The lucky winner of a Shaun the Sheep Movie Prize Pack is...


The lucky winner of an Innovation Book Packet from Scholastic is...


The lucky winner of a $60 Umi gift card is...


The two lucky winners of a Packable Pails gift set are...


A big thank you to everyone who entered these fun giveaways! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Never Run Out of Coffee with the Cross Country Cafe Subscribe and Save Program and Coffee of the Month Club!

Cross Country Cafe logo
While perusing the Cross Country Cafe blog recently (did you know that they have a blog? You'll find all sorts of recipes, reviews, information, coupons and more!) I came across a 'coffee quote' that got right to the point:

Forget love quote

For anyone else who is a coffee addict, you know the feeling! It's not to say that we don't love our families and friends and more, but the idea of starting the day without coffee, well, that's just nonsense.

Which is why just thinking about running out of coffee sends a shiver down my spine. Reaching into my cupboard and not finding a K-cup ready to pop into my Keurig? No. Just... no.

Therefore, to ensure that situation never, ever occurs, just make life easier (and more affordable) with the Cross Country Cafe Subscribe and Save Auto Ship Program!

Cross Country Cafe Subscibe and Save

This really couldn't be much more simple!

Visit Cross Country Cafe and select your favorite K-cup coffee (which is actually a little difficult considering that they have so many amazing and delicious options). Then, when placing your order, choose the auto ship option for your desired number of boxes.

coffee savings

Did you catch that extra savings? Not only will your favorite Keurig K-cup coffee be delivered right to your door every month, when you 'Subscribe and Save' you save 5%! No hassle of reordering, no wondering how many K-cups are left in the box, your credit card will automatically be charged when your first shipment is sent 30 days after your initial order.

We're talking easy, convenient, hassle-free, money-saving coffee awesomeness! There is no fee and users can change the number of boxes that they have ordered, suspend their deliveries if they choose or even cancel at any time.

If you don't think that you could only have one brand of K-cup in the future, Cross Country Cafe makes it a snap to still take advantage of this discount by joining the Coffee of the Month Club. Just choose from Traditional or Flavored coffee and you'll be set to receive two boxes (48-count total) of hand selected, top-selling K-cups!

Keurig coffee of the month

Whether you are looking for a way to remove an item from your to-do list (and ensure that you never run out of your favorite K-cups) or simply want to provide a good friend or family member with an amazing gift, head over to Cross Country Cafe to find out more about their Subscribe and Save program and Coffee of the Month Club!

As a Cross Country Cafe Ambassador, I have been provided with products in exchange for my continued work with their company and affiliate links are included in the above post. The opinions shared are my own and honest and if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.