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Jan 03

Tassimo Brewbot Review and Giveaway

Every so often, a non-alcoholic beverage item comes my way for review.  In this case, I agreed for two reasons: I love tea and hot chocolate and they offered a machine for giveaway. Since the giveaway is valued at about $129.99, it seemed like a great opportunity for you guys!

It was a big coffee-maker holiday for Kevin and I. The nice folks from Tassimo sent us the T20 Single Serve Brewbot to review (and keep, so thank you!). Additionally, my mom bought us a Keurig single-serve coffee maker as well. Since Mom bought the Keurig, it’s going to stay at home and the Tassimo is going to work with Kevin soon. But we like them both, for different reasons.

If you haven’t played with a single-serve coffee maker, you should. You see, I don’t drink coffee at all, but I do love tea and hot chocolate. Kevin, on the other hand, is a huge coffee drinker. We can both make our respective drinks using one single-serve machine. It’s fantastic. Even better, my tea doesn’t taste at all like his coffee, because each drink is made from one single-serve disc.

Tassimo

The Tassimo T20 Brewbot from Bosch has a water filtration system built right in, which is nice. On top of that, it’s small and compact, which is another reason it’s the machine heading to Kevin’s desk. The technology behind it is pretty cool at that. Each single-serve T-Disc has a bar code imprinted on the top. The machine reads the bar code and “knows” whether you’ve put in a disc for espresso, cappuccino, earl grey, or a cup of Starbucks. It then brews the right amount at the right temperature based on the information it scans in that bar code. It fits any size cup as well, which is cool. I discovered that you can remove the cup base and suddenly a travel mug fits right under the spout.

My favorite thing about the T20 is its ability to steam milk. I love chai latte, and the T20 makes a great one. I purchased a box of Twinings chai latte, which comes with discs for both chai and latte. First I pop in the chai disc and hit the Brew button. The T20 brews up a small amount of exceedingly strong chai. Next I pop in the matching latte disc and the T20 steams enough milk to fill up, and froth up, my cup. A little stirring and I have a nice chai latte that did not involve me trying to steam the milk myself or use a liquid chai – all in about a 3 minute time period.

There are a lot of options available for the Tassimo Brewbots, including Twinings and Tazo for tea, Milkka for hot chocolate, and Starbucks and Gevalia for chocolate. Boxes of 16 discs run about $20 at Bed, Bath & Beyond and on Amazon. You can also “subscribe” to boxes on Amazon and find them cheaper. Tassimo offers more than 40 beverage
and flavor varieties to satisfy everyone.

Personally, I’m in love with the convenience of a single-serve coffee maker like this. Sure, there will still be occasions when I’ll heat up the tea kettle or fire up the coffee pot, but the convenience factor is just amazing for a quick cuppa. Even at a party we hosted the other night, it was great to offer people different options – would you like Starbucks, Gevalia, or something else? We’ve got it all.

Giveaway

What you’ve all been waiting for is the giveaway – how can you get your hands on one of these nifty little items? Easy.

1. Leave a comment below saying why you want the T20.

2. For an additional entry, tweet about this giveaway and then leave a comment linking back to your tweet. (My twitter ID is @writetechnology.)

When?

Now! Well, now through 11:59 pm EST on Sunday, December 9.

Rules

You must live in the United States. The nice folks at Tassimo will only ship domestic.

You must have a valid shipping address that I can give Tassimo, not a PO Box.

You must have a valid email address at which I can contact you.

You must have a valid user name that isn’t some spammy sort of thing. If it looks or sounds spammy at all, I reserve the right to delete you.

You are allowed one comment entry and one comment entry with a Twitter link. Not TWO comment entries UNLESS one of those includes a link back to your tweet.

I will “draw” a comment number using Random.org on Monday morning, January 10, and notify the winner via email. You’ll have 48 hours to respond before I give up and try another randomly generated number.

1/10/11 Update: And the winner is …

FTC Goodness: We received the brewer and some T-discs at no cost for review (although I did run out and buy a bunch)  and giveaway; all the opinions belong to me – no one paid me for them.

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Posted by Michelle at 8:19 am in Contests, Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (73)
Sep 08

Fork, Cork & Style Louisville

If you feel like heading out of town on Sunday, I’ve got a great event for you. Fork, Cork, & Style is happening at Churchill Downs in Louisville this Sunday, September 12.

Churchill Downs Entertainment Group is hosting Fork, Cork & Style this Sunday from 1-9 pm at the racetrack. The festival is bringing in celebrity chefs and party specialists, and Bringing to life its theme of “Fork, Cork & Style” the festival will present signature foods from around the country, celebrity chef cooking demonstrations, a wine tasting featuring 150 elite brands and innovative ways to dress up your next tailgating party.

There will be cooking demonstrations by Emeril Lagasse, “Top Chef” finalists (Brian Malarkey, Eli Kirshtein, & Betty Fraser) and local Louisville chefs.  There is a grand wine tasting with over 150 brands (via Southern Wine & Spirits) from 2-5 pm and 6-9 pm. Restaurants from Louisville and across the nation will also be serving tasty bites. According to the web site, notable restaurants participating include:

Chicago area’s Albano’s Pizzeria, #8 on Travel Channel’s “101 Tastiest Places to Chow Down” for their football-sized pizza puff ; Buffalo’s Anchor Bar, home of the original Buffalo Chicken Wings and #17 on the “101 Best Places to Chow Down” list; Memphis hot spot Central BBQ, rated #1 BBQ joint in Tennessee, which will prepare delicious ribs and pulled pork; West Virginia’s Hillbilly Hot Dogs, which placed #15 on the Travel Channel’s “101 Best Places to Chow Down” list and is best known for their 15-inch Home Wrecker hot dog topped with a pile of tasty condiments; Chicago’s world Famous Billy Goat Tavern and Grill, which brings their highly publicized cheeseburger adored by the cast of Saturday Night Live who performed the sketch “Cheezborger, Cheezborger”; Tony Luke’s in South Philly, home of the ultimate cheesesteak featured on Travel Channel’s “Man v. Food”.

So there you go. Come for the wine and food and enjoy some live music while you’re there. Between Beer Fest on Friday, a wedding on Saturday, and this event on Sunday … well, this weekend is most definitely the Last Bash of Summer for Kevin & myself. We’re staying the night in Louisville, an option I highly recommend.

Tickets are $29 for all music performances, cooking demos and one portion of food from the restaurant of your choice. For $64, you can get all of the above plus access to the Grand Wine Tasting inside Millionaires Row 4. For $200, you can do all of the above and meet Emeril while you’re at it.

Can’t make it to Louisville? Drive three more hours and you can attend the next Fork, Cork, & Style, held in Chicago on Oct 2.

Full Disclosure: While I was interested in this event anyway, Kevin & I were given free tickets to attend the event, although I have no idea if we have access to the Grand Tasting.

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Posted by Michelle at 8:38 am in Food and Drink, Food and Wine Pairings, Restaurants | Permalink | Comments ()
Aug 27

Event Tidbits

Just a few tidbits about this weekend’s events and upcoming festivities:

  • In addition to Farmers’ Fair and Brew-Ha-Ha, you can stay in the suburbs and eat and drink this weekend as well. The 25th Annual Taste of Blue Ash is happening tonight through Sunday. I’m highly amused – both Night Ranger (Sister Christian) and the Guess Who will be there on Saturday night. In addition to the food and 80s rock, there’s a last minute add-on to the vendor list: The Ohio Valley Wine Garden. This pavilion will feature wines from Burnet Ridge, Harmony Hill, and Henke! Prices are $1 to sample and $5 per glass.
  • Restaurant Week is coming up, so mark your calendars. As opposed to the recently held Downtown Restaurant Week, this is the Greater Cincinnati Independents Restaurant Week. Go support the little guy! Restaurant Week is September 13-19, 2010. More information, including participating restaurants, can be found on their web site.
  • Smack dab in the middle of Restaurant Week is Beer Fest. Let’s just consider this a run-up to Oktoberfest, shall we? The Hoperatives have more information, but basically, Beer Fest has moved to Fountain Square. Kevin and I volunteered to help pour in a booth, so we’ll see if that pans out. Dates for Beer Fest are Friday, September 10 through Sunday, September 12.
  • Finally, remember that Disney post I wrote? Well, we did end up registering for Party of the Senses. If you are inspired to go to Disney during the Wine & Food Festival, registration is open for the culinary and beverage seminars. They seem to be running between $8 and $12 this year. We registered for an Argentinian wine tasting, a Spanish wine tasting, and Scotch tasting. You can register for the seminars at http://www.disneyurl.com/foodandwinedemos. Spots fill up fast. Last year we didn’t know you could register online ahead of time and many of the seminars we wanted were already sold out.
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Posted by Michelle at 10:31 am in Beer-Guy.net, Disney, Food and Drink, Tastings | Permalink | Comments (1)
Aug 26

Eat, Drink, Laugh Local: Farmers’ Fair and Brew Ha Ha

This Saturday is a big day for eating, drinking, and laughing local.

Last year was the first year for the Covington Farmers’ Fair. It was so successful, they’ve brought it back for a second year, and it’s bigger than ever.Headlining the event is Ed Begley, Jr. I know, I was surprised too. I thought he was some guy from a hospital/soap that my parents watched back in the ’80s. Apparently, he’s been working ever since and currently has a show on the Planet Green channel called “Living with Ed”.  It’s a reality show about trying to live “green” in Hollywood.

Photo from FarmersFair.org

The Farmers’ Fair is a daylong street fair and farmers market celebrating the local food culture. “Farmers’ Fair is a unique opportunity for those of us who have lost touch with our farming and food-producing roots to see the entire process from seed to plate” said Valerie Taylor, co-chair of the event. Paticipating vendors include Bees and Sweets, Carriage House Farm, Dad’s Favorite Cheeses, Dojo Gelato, Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese, Napoleon Ridge Farm, The Sensitive Epicure Gluten Free Bakery, and many more.  Chefs from Local 127, Lavomatic, Chalk, and more will also be participating.  Finally, Berlin Reed from Oregon will be there. He’s the Ethical Butcher, and people, he’s going to be talking/cooking about “The Bacon Gospel.” Mmmm … bacon.

Don’t forget that eating local is also about drinking local. The two local wineries participating will be Elk Creek Winery and Stonebrook. You can find Kevin and myself pouring for Stonebrook in the morning to mid-afternoon. After that, blog readers just like yourself will be pouring. (Thanks gang!) Not enough for you? Josh Durr, cocktail master extraordinaire from Tonic on 4th, will also be there.

The fair features a farmers market, cooking demonstrations, chefs pairing with local farmers (food samples!), educational booths, and a live performance by the Comet Bluegrass Allstars. There’s even a children’s area with face painting, seed planting (and other educational things), and most importantly, a petting farm. I’m so finding myself a pony to pet.

Much to my surprise, this event doesn’t take place on Mainstrasse. Instead, it’s in the Greenup Street area (um, Roebling Entertainment District), located at the foot of the Suspension Bridge. The bridge, by the way, is currently open to foot traffic. Admission is free and the event will be held rain or shine, 10am to 10pm. Proceeds from the Farmers’ Fair benefit Central Ohio River Valley Food Guide (CORV), Slow Food Cincinnati, Ohio Valley Foodshed Project and the Future Farmers of America Northern Kentucky Chapter: Boone, Campbell & Kenton.

Once you’ve spent your day at the Farmers’ Fair, follow us and head on over to Brew-Ha-Ha at Sawyer Point. This is more of a beer thing, so I’m not going to spend too much time on it. But Kevin and I have gone every year and we never fail to have a good time, sampling beer, socializing with friends, and listening to the occasional comic. There’s a wide range of beer for sampling, so hopefully this year I can get Kevin to write up a post.

Brew Ha Ha 2009, from Bob Schwartz (http://5chw4r7z.blogspot.com)

Brew-Ha-Ha is both Friday and Saturday evenings. On Saturday, join the fun from 4pm – midnight with 50 comedians on 3 stages and a selection of 80 beers from which to choose. Wristbands are $5 and beer tickets are $1 each. One beer ticket equals 1 beer sample, and 4 beer tickets equals a full serving. Beer ticket sales stop at 10:30p.m. and beer dispensing stops promptly at 11:00p.m.

It’s easy to either walk to Brew-Ha-Ha or, as we’re going to do, leave our car in Covington and take the Southbank Shuttle to the event.

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Jul 09

Wine and Beer Event – brought to you by Wine-Girl and Hoperatives

We’re having all sorts of events in July. The first one I want to tell you about is a wine and beer event at the Dilly Cafè. That’s right – it’s beer and wine lovers. You simply cannot go wrong.

We here at Wine-Girl are collaborating with our good friends the Hoperatives to bring you a beer-wine-cheese tasting at Dilly Cafè on Tuesday, July 27th at 6:30 pm. The tasting will be led by the Goose Girl herself, Lindsey Shafer of Goose Island Brewery. The cost is only $20.00 and the number of participants is limited to 30. There will be a waiting list if necessary. Call Dilly to make your reservations (513.561.5233).  We were planning today and already people were calling – so give a call to Dilly ASAP.

Working with Chuck and Chef Eric at Dilly and Lindsay from Goose Island, we’ve managed to put together a tentative list of pairings, although keep in mind that it is subject to a little bit of change.

  1. Welcome drink: Sparkling wine
  2. Cheese: Chevre  Beer: Goose Island 312 Wine Type: Sancerre
  3. Cheese: Triple Creme Brie Beer: Goose Island Sofie Wine Type: Champagne
  4. Cheese: Feta Beer: Goose Island Demolition Wine Type: Alsatian Reisling
  5. Cheese: Washed Rind  Beer: Goose Island Matilda Wine Type: Grenache Rosè
  6. Chocolate: Bitter, dark (80-85% cacao)  Beer: Goose Island Pere Jacques Wine: Southern Bell Shiraz

Just to recap:

Tuesday, July 27th
6:30 pm
Dilly Cafè, 6818 Wooster Pike, Mariemont, OH 45227
only $20.00
RSVP (please!) ASAP at 513.561.5233

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