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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Good Things By Mail!

I hate paying for shipping, and look for the free shipping whenever possible, but I love internet shopping and having things arrive here without having to go fight parking, crowds and shelves that empty just before you get there, especially at this time of year. I also hate wasting time. Finding what I want and ordering it takes, on average, five minutes for every hour driving, parking, walking and finding the item in a store. Much as I hate paying the shipping, I’ll gladly pay reasonable shipping to save wasting time. I hate wasting time more!

Amazon Prime is my best shopping friend. I have it right now because I’m a student and they offer it free to students. I buy a lot of my text books at Amazon because they are more affordable than the bookstore most of the time. I shop and compare prices. The textbooks are often from other sellers at Amazon and not eligible for the Prime free shipping, many other things are sold through Amazon and available with Amazon Prime. So, for Christmas shopping, I’ll look on Amazon first. See how that works? Free shipping = more sales! Hehe

There are a few specialty items that I definitely order online because I can’t otherwise find them or if I do find them, it’s for a premium price! Yesterday was a two-box day, not even Christmas stuff yet!

The first box was from Amazon. I got a My K-Cup. My K-Cup does two awesome things. First, since Starbucks is not contracted with Keurig, I can now make my own Verona K-Cups! But it does more!

My Keurig maker makes water the perfect temperature for tea, hot chocolate and instant soups, anything would add hot water to. By taking the filter basket out, it heats perfect water into a cup or cream pitcher. Truth – when you put boiling water on a tea bag, it shocks and to an extent closes up the tea leaves, making the steeping process take longer and changing the flavor of the tea. That’s not so terrible with herbal teas, but with a regular tea, it can be disastrous! I like Earl Grey on occasion. The boiling water method makes hot weak tea initially and when the waster cools a little, the tea releases quick, making a bitter, very strong cup of tea. Remember that some of the tea leaves were scalded and the more delicate nuances of the flavor is gone forever, making a very harsh tea. Hot water through the Keurig maker allows the tea to brew naturally and instantly, preserving all the flavor!

Another one of my wonderful Internet finds has been Ron and Franks Gourmet Drink Mixes. They make hot chocolates, apple cider mix and cheat-a-ccino in a huge selection of flavors! This includes that they make every mix in regular and sweetened with Splenda for a low-calorie, sugar-free drink. They also make several of their mixes with no sweetener at all. I love the unsweetened Pumpkin Spice Cappuccino. I got the decaf mix and I can have a cup at night with dessert and can sweeten it as much as I want. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE that I can get my Pumpkin Spice at Speedway this time of year, but I usually mix it half and half with regular coffee because it’s sweeter than my taste. That does cut into the pumpkin spice flavor. With the unsweetened mix, I get the flavor I want at the sweetness I want. I have placed an order for Christmas of some hot chocolate mixes, cappuccino and spiced cider. Rina is especially excited that I’ll have 5-calorie hot cider mix at UNO this year! She mentioned I might want to order and extra bag!

It looks like UNO and the Fabulous Dessert Bar will be the day after Christmas this year. That’s cool because I’ll be done with the semester of school and I’ll essentially have the week before Christmas to bake and everything will be especially fresh for both Christmas and UNO. Not that things get stale in a week, but having everything so close, I’ll be able to schedule even better!

The other box UPS delivered yesterday was from My Spice Sage. I found this online store searching for someplace to get dried soybeans. I have wanted to toast my own soybeans but it’s been nearly impossible to find them at the grocery stores I’ve been looking at. Remember, my physical ability to run around from store to store is still limited, although between therapy and the doc’s manipulation, it’s getting better! So, I searched for someplace I could order soybeans. What a great find! My Spice Sage has not only got soybeans, but every spice you could think of! I ordered the rest of the spices I need to make Middle Eastern Seven Spice. Now, I can finally try the recipe for gallabah I have! My order included a free bag of turkey brine spices, every order gets a free 16-oz bag of turkey brine spices right now, and my choice of a sample spice. I chose the apple pie spice to play with in the kitchen.

My box from 11th Street Coffee came in at the very end of FedEx time tonight. 11th Street has a fabulous selection of K-Cups and I order from them every 6 or 7 weeks. I’m kinda hoping that this shipment will last me through the end of the year, with the additional purchase of the holiday assortment that’s usually available at Bed Bath and Beyond. I ordered two boxes of the Autumn Harvest blend for Green Mountain. That is a limited edition and when I tried it last time, it made the Caribou I usually get taste just a little bit less. Right now I have only Caribou and it is just as wonderful as it always has been, but when the Caribou box is empty, I’ll have Autumn Harvest for a while. I’m not opening an Autumn Harvest box until the current Caribou is gone.

I find I go through more decaf now that I drink exclusively decaf at night. I bought an extra box of Newman’s decaf K-Cups at Kroger because I used up the decaf sampler box from last time, Boy it’s more expensive at the grocery store for K-Cups! This time I got a box of breakfast blend decaf, the breakfast blend is a more robust flavor, which I prefer at night. Breakfast Blend Decaf. Isn’t that an oxymoron? I also got a box of Hazelnut decaf. Hazelnut is the only flavored coffee other than vanilla that comes in decaf. I searched for a cinnamon, but no dice! I can add my own cinnamon, but the flavor is better if it’s brewed into the coffee than added after. Still, I’ll be able to enjoy a flavored coffee at night too.

Back to scrapping. Tomorrow, I’ll show off a little of the fruits of today’s labor!

Ron and Franks Gourmet Drink Mixes
My Spice Sage
11th Street Coffee

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