Chocolate and Wine Pairing Party

chocolate and wine pairing party #lindtchocolates #J.Lohrwines #buttercreambakehouse

Have you ever experienced the taste of a wine and chocolate pairing party? This was my first time hosting such a fabulous event and the results were amazing.  The perfect glass of J.Lohr wines are taken to a whole new level when paired with decadent Lindt EXCELLENCE chocolate bars. A level you will want to explore if you haven’t already. It’s a great, interactive party theme for a fun couples gathering or girls night in. You, your guests and your taste buds will have an extraordinary experience to remember. The flavor notes in each bottle of J.Lohr wines are carefully coupled with the pleasing essence of rich Lindt EXCELLENCE chocolate bars.  With flavors such as Sea Salt, Chili or Intense Orange, your tasting will be a sensational experience.  Separately the wine and the chocolate taste delicious but when carefully paired together the flavor experience will heighten your taste buds and please your palate for an unexpected burst of intensity.  My favorite pairing was the Lindt EXCELLENCE Chili bar and J.Lohr South Ridge Syrah. The dark chocolate is given just a touch of heat from red chilies that sneaks up on you at the end of each bite.  But when paired with J.Lohr South Ridge Syrah a blend of peppery, dark currant and berry, the spicy notes intensifies in both the wine and chocolate. A winning combination and a taste experience you and your guests will be impressed with.  If you are unsure of how to host a wine and chocolate pairing party, I have included the pairings I used for my party that were a huge success.   Follow the guidelines below to host your own impressive and tasteful wine and chocolate pairing party and get ready for a chocolate and wine tasting phenomenon. 

The Pairings

Lindt EXCELLENCE and J.Lohr Estates Wine

To elevate the chocolate taste experience, Lindt recommends the following chocolate and wine pairings:

EXCELLENCE 70% Cocoa paired with J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon

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Lindt EXCELLENCE Chili paired with J. Lohr Estates South Ridge Syrah

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Lindt EXCELLENCE Intense Orange paired with J. Lohr October Night Chardonnay

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Lindt EXCELLENCE A Touch of Sea Salt paired with J. Lohr Fog’s Reach Pinot Noir

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The Pairing Party

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Each guest should have a red and white wine glass of their own for  sampling the different wines.  You can add cute wine charms or use Wine Glass Writer Pens
to write their names on the glasses.

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Perfect pairing cards tell you about each bottle of  wine and the chocolate it is paired with.

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Make labels for your wine bottles to ensure each guests know what chocolate and wine go together for the ultimate chocolate and wine pairing experience. I used wood chalkboard Labels
wrote with a chalk pen to create mine.

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An easy serving ideas is to purchase individually wrapped Lindt EXCELLENCE dark chocolates.  Each .35 oz is the perfect size for a tasting and can be displayed pretty next to the accompanying wine it’s paired with.  For your convenience there is a bag of assorted chocolates that is available and used for this party. 

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You can also go BIG and purchase Dark Chocolate EXCELLENCE gift box and break them up into squares before serving.

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My friends had a great time sampling wine and chocolate and were impressed with the results of each pairing.   They knew the drill.  Pour, nibble, sip and savor the flavor of the wine and chocolate.

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Thanks to my girlfriends who took the time out to come over and sip and savor the flavor at my first ever Chocolate and Wine pairing party.  I can’t wait to do this again and maybe this time we will include the Husbands.  Afterall, we shouldn’t keep all the fun and the flavor to ourselves.  That wouldn’t be nice!   

For more information about Lindt EXCELLENCE and J.Lohr estates wines please visit HERE.  

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Dunkin Donuts Coffee Party

“I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Dunkin’ Donuts. I received product samples to facilitate my In-Home party as well as a promotional item to thank me for participating.”

dunkin donuts coffee party #dunkinathome  #sponsored

It’s back to school week! I celebrated parental freedom by hosting a coffee and conversation get together with my closest friends.  It’s great to take a deep breath, unwind and savor the delicious sip of Dunkin Donuts NEW Cinnamon Coffee Roll flavored Coffee.  It’s the latest addition to the Dunkin Donuts Bakery Series line available at grocery stores.  This coffee was smooth and decadent and tastes just like a sweet, cinnamon roll was stuffed into the coffee pot itself.  Also in the lineup are flavors like chocolate, blueberry muffin,caramel and much more.  You can find the flavor choices HERE . I know you will love the unique flavor varieties and will have a hard time choosing one. We missed the kiddos but every parent needs a break. Having a coffee party after drop off was a great idea. I recommend you host one too and pronto!  My friends and I felt refreshed, caught up and connected as Mom’s, once again.  For more ideas on how to host your own coffee and conversation party, read on.

RECIPE ALERT:  I have included a recipe for sticky bun flavored coffee to try.  This recipe is from the blog Hungry Girl.  Her recipe for Sticky Bun Coffee sounded so yummy I decide to try it for myself. Boy was I right, it was sweetly delicious and a new indulgence that I can make from home that tastes just like it came from a fancy coffee shop.  Recipe is below.

dunkin donuts coffee party #dunkinathome  #sponsored

It’s easy to host a Dunkin Donuts Coffee party.  Simply decorate your serving area in pink and orange, grab matching mugs (or use what you have) and serve store bought danishes, cinnamon rolls and donut holes from Dunkin Donuts (if you have one near you). Remember to keep sugar and creamer out for your guests to customize their coffee as they wish.  

dunkin donuts coffee party #dunkinathome  #sponsored

It was hard to choose which Bakery Series flavor to brew and serve.  I went with the cinnamon roll because who doesn’t love cinnamon?  

dunkin donuts coffee party #dunkinathome  #sponsored

My girls were ready to sample coffee and pastries for our first free morning in months. They each got to take home a mug and a bag of coffee of their choice.  But only after lots of chatting and laughter.

dunkin donuts coffee party #dunkinathome  #sponsored

dunkin donuts coffee party #dunkinathome  #sponsored

dunkin donuts coffee party #dunkinathome  #sponsored

dunkin donuts coffee party #dunkinathome  #sponsored

Decisions, decisions!  All of the flavors are so yummy you can’t go wrong.

dunkin donuts coffee party #dunkinathome  #sponsored

dunkin donuts coffee party #dunkinathome  #sponsored

Angela loved the Cinnamon Roll flavor so much that it was a sure winner for her take home choice.  She can’t wait to share some with her Hubby. 

dunkin donuts coffee party #dunkinathome  #sponsored

dunkin donuts coffee party #dunkinathome  #sponsored

dunkin donuts coffee party #dunkinathome  #sponsored

dunkin donuts coffee party #dunkinathome  #sponsored

 

RECIPE BELOW

dunkin donuts coffee party #dunkinathome  #sponsored

National Coffee Day is September 29th!!  Celebrate with Dunkin Donuts Bakery Series flavored coffee freshly brewed or as part of a delicious coffee drink made to be extra sweet and sassy like Sticky Bun Coffee from Hungry Girl.  Enjoy!

Sticky Bun Coffee

Sticky Bun Coffee
Serves 1
A delicious sticky bun flavored coffee drink that taste like it came straight from a coffee shop. Enjoy with a sticky bun for true flavor perfection.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 tbsp. fat-free liquid coffee creamer
  2. 1/2 tbsp. fat-free, low-fat, or light caramel dip
  3. 1 packet no-calorie sweetener
  4. 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  5. 1 drop almond extract
  6. 6 oz. fresh-brewed Dunkin Donuts® Cinnamon Coffee Roll coffee
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients except coffee in a microwave-safe mug. Microwave for 30 seconds, or until creamer is hot and caramel dip has melted. Mix thoroughly.
  2. Add coffee, stir well, and enjoy!
Adapted from Hungry Girl
Adapted from Hungry Girl
Buttercream Bakehouse http://buttercream-bakehouse.com/
 

 

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Salted Caramel Popcorn Balls

Salted Caramel Popcorn Bars picture

The end of Summer has made me a little crazy.  I’m still back to school shopping and running around like mad trying to find a mens size 8 pair of Nikes my 11 year old approves of and doesn’t break the bank. With four kids ( two of which are starting new schools) it has been never ending orientations, paperwork, stuffing feet into shoes to see what still fits, passing down big kid clothes to the littles, stocking the pantry, filling out our new school calendar and sports schedules and yadda, yadda, yadda!  To make matters even more challenging, my Husband is deployed.  This makes my day to day with the kids a little more daunting as I never get a break. Ever! I can’t run errands in peace or even finish a thought. This makes finishing a task very difficult.  I’m not complaining. This is my life and I love my family.  But I am realistic.  I can’t do it all and in the end the demands of being a parent supersedes my blogging.  I have hopes of trying to fit it all in next summer in a much more productive way.  But as of now, that is way off my radar.  I want to live in the moment and reach out to you now to let you know that I am here.  I am not going anywhere and I do have a lot to share with you soon. I guess I could have just stated that I’m a busy Mom and most of you would have understood and I love you for that!  Luckily, by the grace of God I woke up to a fantastic email from a fellow blogger that offered to guest post for me today. Pinch me!  It’s so wonderful that I can share this recipe for salted caramel popcorn balls with you during a very hectic week where I otherwise would not have been able too.  Thank you Kristin!

Guest Blogger/ Kristin

Hi, I’m Kristin, a writer for PAM and other ConAgra brands. I live in Chicago and enjoy trying new recipes throughout the week.  I am easily won over by anything with caramel or peanut butter, though I have never met a dessert I didn’t like! When I’m not eating my way through dessert recipes, I’m running, playing with my Bichon Frise or binge watching shows on Netflix.  I hope you enjoy my recipe for Salted Caramel Popcorn Bars as much as I do.  It’s the perfect take along snack for Fall. 

Salted Caramel Popcorn

Happy Baking, Kristin

 

Salted Caramel Popcorn Bars

Ingredients:

PAM® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray

 1 bag of microwave popcorn

40 small pretzels, broken (equal to 1 cup)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

20 caramels

1 tablespoon water

1/8 teaspoon salt

3 cups miniature marshmallows

¼ cup crunchy peanut butter

Directions:

  1. Spray a large bowl, rubber spatula and a 13×9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Microwave popcorn. Remove un-popped kernels and pour popcorn in the large bowl. Add in broken pretzels.
  3. Melt butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Add caramels, water and salt to the saucepan. Heat for 5 minutes and stir occasionally.
  4. Add marshmallows and peanut butter to the saucepan. While stirring, heat for an additional 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Pour the caramel blend from the saucepan over popcorn mixture in the bowl. Mix everything with the spatula.
  6. Transfer mix to the baking dish and press.
  7. Once cool, cut into bars and enjoy!

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Back to school ready!

 back to school #buttercreambakehouse 

Get ready for back to school with a few Buttercream Bakehouse favorites that will save you time and keep your kiddos organized and  looking stylish on their first day back. When I’m in “back to school” mode I usually turn to Amazon, especially since my Husband is deployed and I don’t have a lot of time to shop that dreaded back to school shopping list.  You know the one where you are scratching your head as much as you are scratching off the endless items it takes to gear up for a successful year.  What I love about Amazon is the hassle free shopping and free shipping options. You can buy just about anything including clothes, shoes, lunch boxes, backpacks, food and school supplies. Yep, that’s right. School supply shopping at home. Crayola has made school supply shopping easy by offering essential school supply kits organized by grade. Genius!! Check out the link below for ordering.  Once you have crossed all of your T’s and dotted all of your I’s it’s time to sit back and wait for the big day to arrive. Don’t forget the homemade cookies for an afternoon snack from my afterschool cookie jar series and recipe page. There are lots of yummy cookie recipes to choose from that will warm their hearts and tummies after a long first day back.  Get to it Mom’s and Dad’s! We only have a few weeks left of Summer here in VA. Are you back to school yet?

Stylish Backpacks with a lifetime warranty

back to school #buttercreambakehouse

back to school #buttercreambakehouse

Jansport is known for their commitment to quality.  If your backpack get’s ripped or damaged in anyway (like breaking the dreaded zipper) Jansport will replace it for free.  Now that’s worth a shout out!  Visit Jansport to order your child’s backpack here…Jansport girls and boys backpacks, One Size

Back to School Supply Kits purchased per grade

back to school #buttercreambakehouse 
Ready made school supply kits for kindergarten through 8th grade is a great time saver for busy mom’s and dads.  It’s also a great gift for a Grandparent to send to their little tikes to let them know they are thinking of them and to help out mom and dad.

Purchase school supply kits here…Crayola Third through Fifth Grade Supply Pack

Organized lunch box containers and lunch sack

 back to school #buttercreambakehouse

back to school #buttercreambakehouse

 
Rubbermaid is quality you can count on and a styling way to stay organized at lunch time.   This lunch box kit will keep your childs lunch divided and in separate little compartments.  They all lock together and fit inside a cute little lunch sack for easy transport.  I love you Rubbermaid!!!!  Order this lunch box sandwich kit in a variety of styles and colors here….Rubbermaid Lunch Blox – Sandwich Kit

After School Cookie Jar

back to school #buttercreambakehouse

Find the Cookie recipes shared below and more at After School Cookie Jar

back to school #buttercreambakehouse

back to school #buttercreambakehouse

back to school #buttercreambakehouse

It’s time to buckle down and gear up for a busy Fall and I can’t wait to get back to a normal routine and bring you more fabulous recipes to tempt your tastebuds.  Good luck to all of you heading back to school and here’s to a wonderful new school year.

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