Tobins' Tastes: December 2013

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Homemade Holiday Flavored Whipped Cream {Peppermint Mocha & Spiced Eggnog}

So I just recently figured out how easy it is to make homemade whipped cream. I can't believe I have never tried it before. I think it might be because I have never really liked store bought whipped cream on my ice cream but homemade has always been a completely different story.

These homemade whipped creams were actually inspired by my Pumpkin Spice Ganache that I made using Coffeemate Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer. It worked so well that I decided to start experimenting with coffee creamer flavors in other things. And then Pumpkin Spice Whipped Cream was born. I used it for a Pumpkin Spice Poke Cake that never made it on the blog because I was lazy busy.

All you need to make your very own flavored whipped creams are three things: heavy whipping cream, sugar, and a flavored coffee creamer of choice. Whip it up in your stand mixer and boom! Wow your friends and family with your culinary amazingness. (Thanks spell check, I know that's not a real word)

These Peppermint Mocha and Spiced Eggnog Whipped Creams were used to top some insanely good Edy's ice cream sundaes and then used again in the Hot Chocolate Bar we had at our Christmas party Saturday night. I can see them sandwiched in between cookies, on top of cupcakes and maybe even topping of some special Christmas morning breakfast treats.

So whip (ha?) these two up soon and blow your family and friend's minds.

Homemade Flavored Whipped Cream

  • 8 oz heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons liquid flavored coffee creamer of choice
1.) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the cream and coffee creamer. 

2.) Whisk for a minute on high and then sprinkle in the sugar. 

3.) Continue to whisk until soft peaks have formed. 

4.) Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated.

5.) For my Eggnog version, I topped it with freshly grated nutmeg for some added color and flavor. 

This post was in no way sponsored by Nestle or Coffeemate (or Edy's for that matter). I just happen to like their flavors of coffee creamer best : ) 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Easy Holiday Family Meals {#PlanAhead with Nestle}

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser.

The holidays are all about getting together with family and friends and sharing meals and memories. The only problem with all of that is if you are the one doing the hosting, you usually end up spending all of your time in the kitchen prepping, cooking and cleaning. That is why when we decided to have family over the other night, I decided to stock my freezer with Nestle frozen foods to make my life easier.

I swung by Walmart and picked up some Stouffer’s Party Size Entrees (Macaroni & Cheese and Lasagna), a Digiorno Rising Crust Pizza, and Edy’s Limited Edition Slow Churned Ice Cream in Very Merry Eggnog and Peppermint Wonderland flavors. I grabbed a prepackaged bag of salad and some frozen bread sticks and called it a day.

About an hour before everyone came over, I stuck my Lasagna, Mac & Cheese and Digiorno in the oven and then I was able to sit back, relax and enjoy the company of my parents, in-laws and my sister and her husband. I dressed up my lasagna and pizza with a little crushed Italian seasoning and fresh grated Parmesan and topped my mac & cheese with some panko bread crumbs for a crunchy topping.

I decided to go with paper plates and napkins and plastic cups and silverware so that the clean up was as easy as prep. It was so nice to be able to have people over to share a family meal without having a million dishes to wash or any real work to do in the kitchen.

Our pizza, lasagna, mac & cheese, salad and bread sticks easily fed eight people with tons of leftovers to spare. After dinner I set up an easy, holiday ice cream sundae bar with Edy's Very Merry Eggnog and Peppermint Wonderland, chocolate syrup, Nestle Tollhouse Morsels (in the Christmas colors), sprinkles, candy canes, homemade flavored whipped cream and more.

I actually made the whipped cream from scratch the night before using heavy whipping cream, sugar, and Nestle flavored coffee creamers in Peppermint Mocha and Eggnog Spice. It was so easy and it added a fun element to our sundaes. Recipe HERE!

The best part about this meal (aside from the minimal work involved) was that everyone was able to customize their plates to their own preferences and appetites. Everything was served family style so people could have as much or as little of everything as they liked. Everyone was stuffed by the end of dinner and dessert and it was so nice to feel relaxed instead of frazzled and tired (which is how I usually feel at the end of having people over for dinner).

Looking for more holiday entertaining ideas? Check out Nestle's digital magazine for tons of inspiration!

You can connect with Nestle on Twitter and Facebook too!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Extra Small Extra Loud: Christmas Music From Carbon Audio's Pocket Speaker

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser.

Still looking for the perfect Christmas gift?the Pocket Speaker by Carbon Audio: a portable Bluetooth speaker is exactly what the tech or music lover in your life needs!

Are you one of those people who starts listening to Christmas music before Thanksgiving? I am. When it comes to the craziness of the the holidays (and end of the semester if you are a teacher), music is one of the only things that can get me through the cleaning, decorating, grading, wrapping, cooking, baking, and entertaining that comes with this time of year.

Usually I end up streaming a holiday music channel on the tv but that gets old pretty fast since I can't hear it once I leave the room and I can't really pick my own songs (and I have an embarrassingly large collection of Christmas music on my iTunes year round). Thanks to the Pocket Speaker, I can now listen to my music anytime, anywhere.

As someone who is just as obsessed with my Apple products as I am holiday music, I was so excited to try out the Pocket Speaker. I teach at a 1:1 iPad school and own an iPad and iPhone for my personal use. To say we are an "ifamily" would be an understatement. The Pocket Speaker is available exclusively in Apple stores and while I was down in Palm Beach last weekend I stopped by the Apple Store in the Gardens Mall to pick one up.

Being a Saturday a few weeks before Christmas the store was slammed but despite the crowds, an associate came up to me right away and was able to show me where the Pocket Speakers were. I was thrilled to see that they had the pink one in stock. Once I got it home, I couldn't wait to try it out and as soon as I went through the two easy steps to hook up my phone to the Bluetooth, I was in love.

Not only does the Pocket Speaker give 360 degree sound with music coming from both sides but it is very portable and light weight. It has really come in handy this week as we hang lights, clean the house, bake and decorate for our Christmas party this Saturday. I cannot wait to have it outside with us on Saturday night around the fire pit during the party. Justin already has big plans of bringing it with us  next time we go camping (he thinks there will be a next time....) and it is so small that we will be able to bring it with us when we fly to North Carolina later this month so we can listen to music in our hotel room.

The Pocket Speaker would make a great gift for anyone on your holiday shopping list or as a fun treat for yourself too. It's the kind of gift that Justin would have loved if I hadn't been so excited to use it that I couldn't save it for a gift for him.

But I can still get him one later one because you can actually hook two Pocket Speakers up to the same device for double the sound or so that you can listen to the same thing in different rooms. Good thing I live over an hour away from the Apple store or I have a feeling I would be buying a second one for that purpose before our party on Saturday. Our guests deserve the best right?

Who in your life would love to get a Pocket Speaker for Christmas?
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