Caramel Mocha Shake With Cocoa Whipped Cream & A Hamilton Beach Giveaway!!


Caramel Mocha Shake With Cocoa Whipped Cream

My husband is one of those people who has to have his gallon few cups of coffee in the morning when he gets up or it is like living with a drowsy grizzly bear. I’m normally a tea person myself, but in the last year or so have gotten into the habit of having a cup or two of coffee every other day or so. I think it came about because of the convenience of things like K-Cups. I wasn’t feeling like I was wasting coffee by making a half pot and not even finishing that much. So when the lovely people at Hamilton Beach contacted me and asked if I was interested in doing the first Brand Ambassador Campaign of 2015 by receiving and reviewing one of their 2-Way FlexBrew Coffee Makers , I was thrilled. I thoroughly enjoyed working with them last year and hope to continue to do so for a long time. Their products are wonderful and this coffee maker was no exception.

Hamilton Beach 2-Way FlexBrew Coffee Maker

Hamilton Beach 2-Way FlexBrew Coffee Maker

The 2-Way FlexBrew Coffee Makers is so darn convenient! It works for the coffee guzzlers like my husband because on one side you have a 12 cup carafe and can make a full pot to get going. On the other side is an individual brewer where you can make it one cup at a time using a K-Cup pod or the coffee reservoir that comes with it. Using the reservoir, you can use whatever type/flavor of coffee you prefer, not just a prepackaged pod. Better for the environment and less expensive. This side of the brewer works wonderfully for someone like me who does it one cup at a time  So far, we are loving the FlexBrew. There is a bit of a learning curve with the K-Cup side as you insert the pods a bit differently and it can be tricky getting the insert in until you get used to it. But once you do, it’s easy peasy. The K-Cup side can brew up to a 14 ounce cup of coffee and like I said, you can use the insert it comes with to use your own coffee and not a pod. Another feature I love is that you can make the coffee regular strength or, as they call it, “bold”. Basically, bold has the coffee stay in the filter for a bit longer, thus draining out every bit of flavor and making a stronger cup of coffee. This works great for me on the days when I’m needing a bit more of a caffeine jolt.

As usual when I review one of their products, Hamilton Beach is letting me offer one of these Flex Brew Coffee Makers to one of my readers. That reader could be you! The entry form is down below *points down*

With the weather heating up, it was a natural choice for me to make a yummy coffee milkshake using coffee made in the FlexBrew. Oh my, this puts those drinks from a certain national coffee chain to shame. I used a chocolate caramel gelato (imagine that…me…using caramel :-P) and instead of plain old milk, I used chocolate milk in this. Then I topped it off with a cocoa whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel syrup. With the coffee brewing time included, this takes maybe 7 minutes to make. You can be sitting on your porch with this not particularly diet friendly drink in hand, enjoying the weather. And if you were really feeling froggy, you could throw a shot or two of Kahlua or Baileys in this to give it an adult flair. 😀

You know the drill… and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!!!!

Caramel Mocha Shake With Cocoa Whipped Cream

  • 1/2 cup freshly brewed coffee (throw a couple of ice cubes in it to cool it down quickly)
  • 2 cups chocolate or chocolate/caramel gelato (I used Breyers Chocolate Caramel Gelato)
  • 1 1/2 cups good quality chocolate milk (please don’t use something like a Yoo-Hoo. I’ll cry. Those are just chocolate flavored water.)
  • 2 cups ice cubes
  • 2 tablespoons caramel syrup
  • Cocoa whipped cream-
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • dash of vanilla extract
  1. Make your whipped cream while your coffee brews- simply combine all the whipped cream ingredients in a medium bowl and use a whisk to beat until firm peaks form, about 4 minutes. You can do it… work those arm muscles!
  2. Combine all the shake ingredients (and don’t forget to add that shot of Kahlua if you’re wanting to go that route) in a blender. Cover and blend on high speed until thoroughly blended, about 2 minutes.
  3. Pour into 3 glasses and top with the cocoa whipped cream. Drizzle with some extra caramel syrup.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

Hamilton Beach provided me with a 2-Way Flexbrew Coffee maker for myself and will send one to one winner of my giveaway, 18 years or older, in the United States. I received no other compensation for this and all opinions are my own.

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Product Info for the Hamilton Beach 2-Way FlexBrew Coffee Maker-

  • Single serve side:
  • Compatible with K-Cup®* Packs or ground coffee
  • Brews up to 14oz from ground coffee in travel mug**
  • Adjustable cup rest allows for standard-size cups or travel mugs
  • Better coffee extraction than the leading competitor
  • 12 cup carafe:
    • Brew a full pot of coffee
    • Regular or bold brew strength
    • Programmable timer with 2 hour automatic shutoff
    • Automatic pause & serve to grab a cup before the brew cycle is done
  • Durable, stainless steel features and dishwasher safe, removable parts
  • Equipped with a “Quick Start” Guide with simple, step-by-step brewing guidelines
  • Customer service support available through a US toll-free number
  • One-year warranty
  • This model is the same as 49983A, 49983P and 49983S.

Brewing with a Single-Serve Pack 

For some java drinkers, pouring fresh-ground coffee into their coffeemaker is the perfect start to their day. For other coffee lovers, being able to quickly insert a pre-packaged, single portion pack into their coffeemaker and enjoy a piping hot cup in a few minutes is a match made in heaven. The 2-Way FlexBrew® Coffeemaker offers the added convenience factor of a pack holder, which allows quick instant brewing in less time than an in-store café experience. Simply insert the single-serve pack and push the lever down – that’s it.

Brewing with Ground Coffee

Pre-packaged coffee isn’t for everyone or every palate. The 2-Way FlexBrew® Coffeemaker caters to coffee aficionados by featuring a single-serve permanent filter brew basket that holds a variety of fresh-tasting ground coffee. You can grind your own coffee beans to the medium-grind setting or save time and purchase pre-ground coffee. Brands such as Folgers, Maxwell House, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Starbucks are recommended because they are medium-grind coffees.

Note: Coffee that is ground too finely will cause an overflow. If you are unsure about the coarseness of your coffee, check with your coffee manufacturer.

About Homemade Brewing

Did you know that 86% of coffee drinkers still brew most of their java at home? With more and more Americans picking up the coffee habit and cutting back to save money, coffeemakers are now being designed to be more feasible and economical for the home budget and lifestyle. Source: 2012, National Coffee Association of USA

Caramel Mocha Shake With Cocoa Whipped Cream2



Semi Homemade Sweet & Fruity Wine

Semi Homemade Sweet & Fruity Blackberry Wine

Semi Homemade Sweet & Fruity Blackberry Wine

I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a big drinker. I like wine sometimes, Baileys in the Winter as well as hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps in it. And I admit to a liking for any of the vodkas made by Pinnacle Vodka. I have simple tastes there too though- toss some of the whipped cream flavor into Orange Crush and I’m happy hehe. Problem is, even with booze, though I don’t drink it, I get caught up in ideas surrounding it, especially nowadays with so many cool sounding things out on the market. I have a bunch of stuff gathering dust because it sounded interesting but if I drink hard liquor, I’m likely to be snoring within ten minutes.

So, since I like to play with my booze :-P, a few years ago I decided to see what I could do to make inexpensive wine a bit better.

I’m so far from a wine snob it’s kind of laughable. I have been known to happily drink Mogen David. I draw the line at Boones Farm though… had enough of that back when I was too young to know any better. Point being, I like sweet wines. Dry wines are too..well… dry for me. I love to use them in cooking and love the flavor they impart there but other than an occasional glass of Cabernet, I prefer my wines sweet. Not being able to afford a wine making kit complete with five gallon jug, locks, etc etc, I make my own with bottled wine. And EVERYONE who has ever tried it has loved it. it’s sweet, fruity, full flavored, NOT DRY, inexpensive for what you end up with and has a bit more of a kick than “normal” wines because of the brandy I add to fortify it.

This is more of a technique than a recipe but I will post it in recipe format. make this this week and by the time Labor Day hits, you can strain it out and have a nice sweet glass of wine over ice while you grill out.

You know the drill. Erhmmm, get to bottling??

Semi Homemade Sweet & Fruity Wine

  • 1 gallon jug (just writing jug for wine tells you how NOT seriously I take wine since jug wine is so maligned lol) of decent but inexpensive red wine (I use either Gallo Burgundy or “Sweet Red Wine” which isn’t really sweet, so I’m not sure from where the name comes. Burgundy makes a heavier wine, the sweet red a lighter one)
  • An empty 750 liter bottle  (because once you add the additional ingredients, you have too much for the gallon bottle and need another bottle. You could of course just drink about 3 glasses then you’d have enough room 😀 )
  • 1 1/2 lbs frozen blackberries or raspberries (I have done both; the blackberry is what is in this photo)- make sure they are frozen, not thawed
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 ounces brandy (an airline bottle is the right size)
  1. Pour about 1/4 of the gallon of wine into another container. Or drink it. I won’t judge… though it could make continuing this process rather interesting hehe
  2. Use a funnel and pour the sugar into the gallon wine bottle. Now take your frozen berries and shove them down into the bottle. This is boring and makes your hands purple but short of pureeing the berries which makes it difficult to strain later (trust me; I tried), it’s the only way to get them in there. but this is why you leave them frozen. Can you imagine shoving mushy thawed ones in there? Lol.
  3. Now pour the brandy in there.
  4. Cap the bottle back up tightly, shake it well and store it in a cool dark place.
  5. Go back once a day for the first week to shake it to keep the sugar mixed.
  6. Let this sit for about 3 to 4 weeks. Strain through a coffee filter set into a fine mesh strainer over a bowl (this takes a while so be patient) then taste it. if it’s not sweet enough for you, add about another half a cup of sugar then cap it and set it back in a cool place for another week. After that, pour some over ice and enjoy.
  7. This makes a great spritzer also. Just mix 1:1 with some club soda or 7-up.
  8. This can also be made with white wine and something like peaches, nectarines or pears. But I personally didn’t care for it as much. You may however.

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Berry Peachy Sangria

Berry Peachy Sangria

Berry Peachy Sangria

Someday we will actually get Summer weather here. Is it just here that has had extremely strange weather? I know I brought this up before but man, it’s freaky! Kentucky in June should NOT have rain and temps in the low 70’s. We should be sweltering even with the A/C on and lying buck naked in swimming pools while drinking fun drinks…. ummm, not public pools, people. And no, not me. I don’t want to scar psyches for life.

BUT…! I’m preparing for Summer. I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a huge alcohol person. Been there, done that in my younger wilder days. But I do like some softer hard drinks. Honest, that really does make sense. That means I’ll drink a wine cooler type thing or regular wine. Sometimes I even have the hard stuff but not often because I end up a giggling fool within two sips. With the softer stuff, it takes at least 4 sips.

One thing I love is Sangria. I remember drinking the bottled cheap stuff in my younger days and it was even pretty good. But I decided I wanted to play with something homemade and made with white wine rather than red. This took about 90 seconds to throw together and I’m kind of proud of it since it DID take 90 seconds and it was all done on a whim. The Peach Schnapps adds a bit of bite but you can’t taste it as alcohol per se just a peachy flavor so be careful. Then the sweet sparkling wine and the Sprite and the fruit… well, suffice it to say that this comes together nicely. It can pack a punch though if you’re not a drinker so like I said, be ready. This has a full bottle of wine plus a cup of schnapps but all you taste is a wonderful peach taste.

You know the drill. Get to cookin’…erhmmm, pouring.

Berry Peach Sangria

  • 1 750 ml bottle of Moscato wine (you could use a white zin if you prefer- just don’t use a dry wine or this will be too tart)
  • 1 cup peach schnapps
  • 1 can peach nectar (can be found in the grocery store in the ethnic aisle usually)
  • 3 cups Sprite or 7-up
  • 1 cup frozen peaches
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  1. Drop your frozen fruit down into the bottom of your pitcher. Pour the peach nectar over, then the schnapps, Then slowly pour in the wine and follow up with the soda. Give it all a gentle stir. You can serve immediately or refrigerate it to let the flavors blend. I suggest letting it sit. It was good right after being made but it was outstanding an hour later when it blended.
  2. See how easy that was? I just added this direction because I felt stupid only having one direction up.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.


Who Says This Flavor Combo Is Just For Christmas?

I think it has already become obvious that I like drinks. No no not alcoholic drinks though I have been known to imbibe at times. On a side note related to that, the women my husband works with (he is an R.N. so mainly works with women) told him recently when I was talking to him at work and said for him to tell them that I would have a beer for them (they were working late) that I “didn’t look like a drinker”.  Huh? Now I love these ladies to death so if you’re reading this, know that it tickled me to no end to hear that but…. HUH???? What does a drinker look like anyway? 😛 I feel like next time I want to have a drink (tonight) I need to get on a wife beater t-shirt, lots of eye make up and burp and cuss a lot. Wait… I know people like that. Never mind. 😀 But seriously, what does a drinker look like anyway? Obviously not middle aged and middle income with long hair that has more gray than I like to admit to and a really laid back way of dressing (translate- jeans and t shirts or nightgowns if I can get away with it). I have always gotten the “sweet” label but darn it, I can cuss and drink with the best of them!!! So long as they don’t say anything stronger than darn it and don’t drink anything too high of a proof or I’ll end up on the floor…or giggling madly because my hand looks funny. I’m really ruining my own case here aren’t I? Sigh.

Moving on…or back…or sideways, whichever it was, I like drinks. Cold drinks, hot drinks, warm drinks, room temp drinks (am I the only one who prefers my pop room temp?). I am a very poor eater at the best of times but I am a fairly big drinker (now that sounds bad. I can see it later… “Yeah Janet said right there in her blog that she has a drinking problem! No, really, she did! She said she is a big drinker!”) and like most people, I am even more so in hot weather. I still drink my hot tea but I like to shake it up a bit. Hmmm, now that I’ve said shake, I can move onto the recipe. Wow, was that a lame segue or what!?

I have never been much on the you can/should/must/it’s the law/only eat some things during certain times of the year idea. When I want something, other than seasonal berries that cost more than a house payment during the Winter, I want it now. I don’t want to wait six months for it to be the “right” time to eat it. Today, I wanted chocolate mint. That is typically a combo one sees the most during the holidays and I’m not sure why. Especially when you can be having it in this delicious shake. And boy, do I mean delicious. Being the poor eater that I am, I will probably not eat dinner tonight because I am too busy slurping this shake down as I type this. But I think it’s worth it 😀 Frosty mint, vanilla ice cream and sweet chocolate . Oh my. This is yummy. So get out the blender; go buy some York Peppermint Patties and vanilla ice cream (and some peppermint schnapps and creme de cacao if you want an adult version) and get to blending this one. Enjoy!

York Peppermint Pattie Milk Shake

  • 3 snack sized York peppermint Patties (plus one more for garnish)
  • 1/2 cup cold milk
  • 2/3 cup vanilla ice cream
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • a few drops mint extract (optional)
  • 1/2 shot each peppermint schnapps and creme de cacao if making an adult version
  1. Put it all in the blender.
  2. Blend.
  3. Garnish with the extra peppermint pattie, whipped cream and more chocolate syrup
  4. Drink.
  5. Wasn’t that easy?


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Insert Loud Slurping Noises Here

I almost wrote insert loud licking noises here but then it occurred to me that that may have been enough to have my site show up when people are hunting for porn. And while I’m all for increasing my readership, I don’t think I want to do it THAT way 😀 but licking noises would have worked too because this refreshing drink is so good you’ll start out slurping and end up licking… the glass, you pervs, the glass! Shame on you! 😛

I believe I may have mentioned once or twice or five thousand times that I am a tea fanatic. I am pretty peasant in my tastes too. Give me a nice black tea, maybe some orange pekoe and I’m set. That was my way of saying that yes, I use Lipton tea bags and love them. Tea doesn’t have to cost 20 dollars for an ounce of it to be good. I’m about as far from snooty as you can get about tea. Ok, that’s not true. I won’t drink store brand teas cause I haven’t found a good one yet and I won’t drink decaf tea because it tastes weird. If you’re a coffee drinker who thinks that of decaf coffee (which strangely enough, tastes fine to me) you can understand where I’m coming from there.

I do however love variety teas. I enjoy some herbal teas. Celestial Seasonings makes some wonderful ones. One of my favorites is the most soothing drink ever to have late at night.


I love that stuff. But one of my all time favorite teas is Constant Comment tea. It is a black tea that is flavored with orange rind, cinnamon and other spices. It is SO good.


So one day a few years back, I wanted something cold. It was approximately 5000 degrees outside (the people of Mercury came here for a tropical vacation) and I was dying of heatstroke. But I still wanted tea. So I took my constant comment tea and made a batch then mixed it with some instant strawberry lemonade. Voila!! (Sorry, don’t know how to make the thingie that makes that word look official) I had a new and so yummy Summertime drink. It’s tart (you can make it sweeter with more drink mix) and refreshing. It’s also good hot in Winter btw. And it couldn’t be any simpler. So give this a try. Make a batch, float some frozen Strawberries in it, get out a good book and sit down and relax while you sip this. Slurping allowed. But I wouldn’t suggest licking out the glass unless you’re alone. You’ll get some weird looks.

Spiced Strawberry Lemonade Constant Comment tea

  • 1 quart water
  • 5 Constant Comment tea bags
  • 1 cup pre-sweetened strawberry lemonade soft drink mix (I use Smuckers Brand)
  1. In a medium bowl, microwave the tea bags and water for five minutes. Let steep at least one hour.
  2. Mix in the strawberry lemonade mix. Let cool. Add cold water and ice to make this equal a half gallon. Garnish with frozen strawberries. Drink. Slurp a lot.

Sometimes We All Need A Little Comfort


Mmmmm; chocolate and...well...chocolate. What more could I want?


And that can take different forms. The best comfort in my life is God and my family. A hug from my kids or my husband can cure many an ill; most of them in fact. Making people laugh also comforts me. I have been a ham all my life and if I can get a laugh, even at my own expense, it makes my day.

Sometimes, even though the “experts” tell us it’s wrong, food and drink can be a comfort. A nice warm soothing drink can make a bad day better.

I wanted to make a drink tonight but didn’t know what I wanted so I played Thomas Edison and went into invention mode. This is what I came up with. It’s sweet and creamy with a potency from the brandy and the schnapps and a subtle orange flavor that blends well with both the butterscotch and the chocolate. In other words, just about perfect for a night time drink 😀


The chocolate flavor is mild in this. I didn’t want it to be overpowering. You could always add more chocolate if you want but it will drastically change the balance of flavors.

  1. 1 1/2 cups whole milk (I suppose you could use low fat or skim but my feelings will be hurt 😛 )
  2. 1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  3. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  4. 1 teaspoon orange extract
  5. 1 tablespoon sugar
  6. 2 shots brandy (whiskey can be subbed if you don’t have brandy on hand)
  7. 1 shot butterscotch schnapps
  8. 1/4 cup heavy cream, whipped  with 1 teaspoon sugar (or just use the whipped cream in a can)
  • Mix everything together in a large measuring cup or bowl. Microwave on high until hot. Stir well to melt the chocolate.
  • Top with whipped cream. Eat with lots of chocolate on the side. 😀
  • Makes two servings (maybe)