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A Coffee Break with The CEO of Camus Coffee for National Coffee Day

After being approached to taste the flavorful blends, a new opportunity came’a’brewing. Yours truly had the pleasure of interviewing Frank Matz, current CEO of MAISON CAMUS Coffee just for you guys!

The  MAISON CAMUS  company wasn’t always into specialty coffees, in fact, they were solely into making cognac…yes, the sweet brown goodness, cognac or brandy…whatever floats your fancy!

A company known for its’ luxury brandy, I quickly became intrigued and wondered if CEO Frank Matz would enlighten me and us to the process of running a specialty coffee brand.

Thankfully, he obliged and I was able to get the details about MAISON CAMUS, CAMUS Coffee, and does a CEO have a favorite flavor from his own brand. Via an afternoon telephone call, Frank Matz (and his great Parisian accent) opened up while we both shared laughs and a quick Q+A. I didn’t want to be known as the American blogger who kept the CEO on the phone ya know!

Here’s what transpired…..

Me (Rena): CAMUS was originally a cognac company, how did the switch to coffee come about?

Frank Matz: Yes, CAMUS is the oldest privately owned cognac house in Paris and is now 150 years old.  [We, CAMUS] was always considered to be more than just a cognac house, more of a lifestyle brand. As the fifth generation took over, we looked into extending the product line under CAMUS in order to become the lifestyle brand. After looking into many things, coffee seemed to be the best option.

Me: How long has CAMUS Coffee been around?

FM: We started two years ago with the coffee which was totally independent and wanted to demonstrate that we’re more than cognac. We wanted to give it [coffee] time to grow on its’ own and now its’ becoming very successful in Japan, China, Russia where CAMUS is really known.

Me: I received a recipe for “CAMUCCINO” that includes both of your specialty drinks. As a cognac house and coffee brand, is this an example of the two becoming one?

FM: After we began to get the name out there and started being taken seriously, we started experimenting with this cocktail “CAMUCCINO” and it has become quite popular with customers.

Me: Will there be more blended drinks in the future?

FM: We’re still a boutique brand in the coffee area and coffee is such strong market so we want to wait until CAMUS is of significant size to really branch out and will take more time to break into [mixed drinks] but yes, let’s see how the CAMUCCINO goes but there will be more to come with adding more cocktails.

Me: What has been your favorite blend/brew of CAMUS?

FM: The signature blend is my favorite but it’s purely personal preference. It’s a medium roast and it’s perfect, I even have it at home and bring it with me when I travel! It’s a best seller here in New York. I love my coffee black without creams or sugars and I think I’m alone when it comes to that choice. Our French Roast is very good too, it’s a darker roast but again, it’s total personal taste choice.

Me: How do you pick which coffee beans to include in CAMUS Coffee?

FM: We apply the same philosophy to our coffee bean as we do with our crates for our cognac. We are really really selective. They [coffee beans] have to come out of sustainable areas that grow coffee without pesticides or any other harmful chemicals. We make sure the farmers are getting paid fair wages and that they are able to do this for years to come. Guatemala, Colombia, and Costa Rica are the three countries we source our coffee from. {}



After talking with the CEO of a 150 year old specialty brand that produces luxury cognacs and now coffee, I’ve gotta say…Frank Matz is definitely one very down to earth CEO! Even though I was able to try CAMUS Coffee through my blog, I’m officially hooked and inspired.

Huge thank you to CAMUS Coffee and Frank Matz also thanks to Madeline at Deussen Global Communications for reaching out and giving me this opportunity.

Find Camus Coffee on Facebook: CAMUS-Coffee

Tweet Camus Coffee: @CamusCoffee

 

Read more about Camus Coffee.

Disclosure: I (Rena/Curves And Coffee) was contacted and provided samples to taste and was not in any way paid or obligated to do a review and/or blog post on Curves And Coffee for Camus Coffee. It was purely my choice to comment. I am not affiliated with Camus, Maison Camus, or Deussen Global. 

 

Summer Treats: Sweet Edition

Welcome to August stylish sweets!

 There’s a problem we’re not discussing. That problem is my lack of self-control around sugary sweet treats! It’s like a never ending sweet tooth! Lately, I’ve been trying wholeheartedly to cut back my sugar intake and reach for healthier choices. With that said, I’m trying to get my hands to reach for more FRUIT!

Summer months tend to lend themselves to the tastiest fruits and it’s always during the summer, we’re looking for quick and easy snacks. Before going into the kitchen or even before going to the fruit market, be sure to check out this Fruits By The SeasonThis list will help you understand which fruits are currently in season and when to buy them. Now, let’s jump into a few quick, easy, sweet, and of course tasty treats!

Photos credited to Getty Images
 fruitc1
Getty Images

Strawberry Shortcake ~  The following recipe is from The Food Network Kitchens (Yes, I’ve made this and it’s very very easy!)

Personal Quick Tips: I substitute sugar on the berries & cream with honey. Just because it makes it easier to dissolve when you’re not using a heavy duty mixer. Also, any Brandy will do for tossing the strawberries, you only need two tablespoons so unless you plan on getting tipsy later…buying a bottle bigger than a shot isn’t necessary.

Fruit Parfait ~ Another easy sweet treat that’s perfect for the hot summer months. You can use any fruits you like…fresh or pureed (I prefer pureed.) Simply, make sweet cream yourself by using heavy cream and sugar with a mixer or go the even easier route and use Cool Whip! The crunch in this dessert comes from granola.

 

Getty Images

Personal Tip: Use vanilla ice cream for your “creamy” layers if you’re really looking for a cool down. Also, toss the granola in honey if you want to skip the cream all together for a sweet treat.

Fruit Kabobs ~ What’s easier than fruit on a stick? I’m thinking, nothing! There’s no cooking or real prep work! Purchase wooden kabob sticks from a craft store like Michaels or even grab them from the market. Get your favorite fruits and place them on the skewers in any way you like.

Bonus Tip: If you’re outside or doing some grilling…throw the fruit kabobs on the grill! Just make sure you’re using “heat” friendly skewers not plastic ones. The warm fruit seriously melts in your mouth!

Getty Images

Homemade Fruit Popsicles ~ I’ve been making these since I was kid, definitely nowhere near the level in which these are but very yummy nonetheless! As a kid, I’d take my mother’s ice trays and fill them with juice and freeze them! Genius! Now we have these exotic fruit popsicles and I’m not in the least bit mad about it! Real Simple has a great article featuring the 6 Recipes for Homemade Popsicles to try.

Now, I’ve gotta run to grab everything you see here! I’ll be sure to post pics of everything I make!

Enjoy your sweet (healthy), summer treats!

Tasty Tuesday with TastyKake Kandy Bar Kakes


Yes, that was definitely a mouthful…literally and figuratively!

 

Soooo…. Influenster has a good thing going here! Not only do you get beauty products but sometimes there’s a treat or two in the box!! Thankfully and luckily, this little sugar-peanut butter-aholic got her hands on a TastyKake!!

 

 

 

A Peanut Butter & Chocolate TastyKake to be exact! Just what I needed to have a complete and total diet fail lol but a cheat day was in order! I took one little bite and entered heaven…seriously, heaven guys! I’m going to work out extra hard tonight, I promise!

 

These treats are a part of a new product line from TastyKake’s Kandy Bar Kake which includes; S’mores, Peppermint and Peanut Butter. Each “Kake” is made with a candy bar in mind. The peanut butter Kandy Bar Kake is made with real Reese’s Peanut Butter (which by the way is absolutely delish on its’ own!), peppermint is made with real York Peppermint flavors and the S’mores Kandy Bar is made with real Hershey’s cocoa!

 

Just go out and get one already!! I’m salivating just thinking about it!!

 

Super Bowl XLVII: Party Stock Up


Are you ready for some football? With the super bowl right around the corner, it’s time to get the party planning percolating! Now that we finally know who’ll be playing to win the Tiffany Trophy aka The Vince Lombardi Trophy bka The Superbowl, we’re going to switch gears from high fashion to hot athletes. Well, maybe on the next post!

On Sunday, February 3rd, the NFL will have a new champion between the San Francisco 49’ers and the Baltimore Ravens. Jokingly referred to as “The Harbowl” seeing as though the two head coaches of each team are actually BROTHERS! Yes, you read that right, Jim Harbaugh, the head coach for the Niners and John Harbaugh, the head coach for the Ravens are real life brothers. The siblings will coach AGAINST each other for this years championship!

Are you planning a Super Bowl party, going to one or will your hubby/boyfriend/partner/person who sometimes sleeps next to you and snores through the night, throwing or invited to a bowl bash?  I’ve got a few things in store for you! Whether you’re going to a touchdown party or becoming the host for one, check out a few things you’re going to need.



For the party planner:
 
Personalized pitcher and glasses
 
 
Walmart


Table Ware & Decor


Party City




For the party goer:

 

Get your official super bowl gear 
 
 
 
 
Ladies, will never be out done!
 
 





For the party chef:
 

There’s nothing like some good tasting, finger licking, taste bud appeasing foods to nibble on while watching the big game. From appetizers to dessert, I’ve got you covered with some fun-to-try treats. Now, I have to warn you, these aren’t for anyone who may be dieting. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Buffalo Chicken Cheese Balls

Aaron  McCargo Jr. for Food Network

Ingredients
1 store-bought rotisserie chicken
1/4 cup hot sauce (recommended: Frank’s Red Hot)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 3/4 cups sharp Cheddar
1/4 cup freshly sliced scallions
1 cups all-purpose flour
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups panko bread crumbs
Vegetable oil, for frying
Blue Cheese Dip:
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/2 cup packed blue cheese, broken up
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
Directions
Have oil heated to 350 degrees F.

Pick the meat from the chicken and discard the skin. Place the chicken in a large bowl and add the hot sauce, pepper, cheese, and scallions, and toss to combine. Roll the chicken into 2-ounce balls, about the size of a golf ball.

Place the flour, eggs, and bread crumbs in 3 separate bowls. Roll each ball in the flour, then the egg and then the bread crumbs. Set aside.

When the oil is hot fry the chicken balls in batches. Cook for about 2 minutes per batch. Remove the chicken to paper towel lined plate to drain the excess oil.

To make the sauce, combine all ingredients in a large bowl and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve the chicken alongside the dipping sauce.




Pigskins in a Blanket

Food Network Kitchens
Ingredients
One 13-ounce package kielbasa
All-purpose flour, for rolling
One 17.3-ounce package frozen puff pastry, thawed 
(I would use Pilsbury Crescent Rolls…much easier)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup mustard, such as Dijon, whole grain, spicy brown or yellow, for dipping
 
 
 


Directions
Split the kielbasa in half lengthwise and then cut each half into six 3/4-inch pieces, slicing on an angle. Cook the pieces in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until the skin is crisped and some of the fat has been released, about 5 minutes. Transfer the kielbasa to a paper towel-lined plate to cool.
 
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
 
On a lightly floured surface, roll one piece of puff pastry out to form an 8- by 11-inch rectangle. Using a 3 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 6 circles from the pastry; cut the circles out as close together as possible and reserve the scraps. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry.
 
Wrap a circle of puff pastry around each of a kielbasa, pinching the seams together to seal all the way around so no kielbasa is exposed and gently pulling on the ends to make a tapered football shape. Place on an ungreased baking sheet, seam-side down, and repeat with the remaining pastry and sausage.
 
Brush the rolled sausages with the beaten egg. Use bits of the pastry scraps to make laces on each “football” by placing 1 strip lengthwise on top of each and laying 3 smaller strip crosswise over it. Press down gently to adhere and brush the laces with a bit more egg.
 
Bake until the pastry is browned and crisped, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve the pigskins with mustard for dipping.
 
 
 
 
Food Network Kitchens

Ingredients

  • Canola oil
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 3/4 teaspoon plus 1 pinch kosher salt
  • Twelve 6-inch corn tortillas, each cut into 6 wedges
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded, if desired, and
  • finely chopped
  • 1 plum tomato, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Mexican lager-style beer (such as Corona)
  • 12 ounces muenster or Monterey Jack, grated (about 3 1/2 cups)
  • 4 ounces sharp white Cheddar, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • Directions
  • Pour oil to a depth of 2 inches into a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat until a deep-frying thermometer inserted in the oil reaches 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, mix the lime zest and 3/4 teaspoon salt together. Working in batches, fry the tortilla wedges until golden and crisp, about 1 minute, and transfer them to a paper towel-lined baking sheet with a slotted spoon. Sprinkle the chips with the lime salt while they are still hot. Set aside.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a 10-inch cast-iron or ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, jalapeno and a pinch of salt and cook until the onions just start to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato and cook until softened, about 1 minute. Add the beer and cook until all the liquid has evaporated, about 7 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat. Toss the muenster and Cheddar together and add them to the skillet. Stir once or twice to combine.
  • When ready to serve, preheat the broiler. Place the skillet under the broiler until the cheese is bubbling and lightly browned on top, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve hot with the chips.
  • Cook’s Note: Although this cheesy dip should be eaten fresh from the oven, you can have everything ready to go before your guests arrive. You can fry, season and cool the chips and store them for 2 to 3 hours in an airtight container. Cook the vegetables and reduce the beer, then remove the skillet from the heat. Grate your cheeses and combine them. When you’re ready to serve, stir the cheese into the vegetables, broil and enjoy.




Slutty Cheesecake Bars

Bakers Royale

Makes one 8×8 pan | Preparation: Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line pan with a foil sling.

INGREDIENTS:

8oz. cookie dough (ready-made or homemade)
16 Oreos
12 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
Topping

3 oz.Whoppers, chopped
5 Oreos, chopped



INSTRUCTIONS:

Roll out or using your fingers, press cookie dough to an 1/8 inch thickness and bake until crisp. Place whole Oreos on top of baked cookie crust.
To make cheesecake filling: Place cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla in a bowl and beat until blended. Pour mixture over Oreos.
Sprinkle chopped Oreos and Whoppers on top. Bake at 350 degrees for about 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting.
*This can be prepared 3 days in advance and kept in the refrigerator tightly covered. Remove from refrigerator 20-30 minutes prior to serving. (Cut while cold for bars with nice clean edges).

 

Deep Fried Candy Bars

Huffington Post

Ingredients
4 pop sticks
3 cups vegetable oil
4 candy bars, such as Mars Bars, Snickers, and Milky Ways
Powdered sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
powdered sugar




Directions

Preheat oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Pierce each candy bar with a pop stick, place on the prepared baking sheet, and refrigerate 30 minutes.
Whisk all batter ingredients until little to no lumps remain. One at a time, dip chilled candy bars in batter and coat well.
Once oil reaches 390°F, carefully place candy bars in oil one at a time and fry about 3 to 4 minutes. Drain on a paper towel, sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired, and serve hot.

Chocolate Rice Krispie Treat Footballs

Kellogs

3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 package (10 oz., about 40) regular marshmallows
OR
4 cups miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup peanut butter
6 cups Kellogg’s® Cocoa Krispies® cereal
Canned frosting or decorating gel
Why use Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies®?



1. In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter until melted. 

2. Add KELLOGG’S RICE KRISPIES cereal. Stir until well coated.

3. Cool slightly. Using buttered hands shape mixture into sixteen 3-inch footballs. Decorate with frosting. Best if served the same day.

MICROWAVE DIRECTIONS:

In microwave-safe bowl heat butter and marshmallows on HIGH for 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Add peanut butter, stirring until melted. Follow steps 2 and 3 above. Microwave cooking times may vary.

Note

For best results, use fresh marshmallows.

1 jar (7 oz.) marshmallow creme can be substituted for marshmallows.

Diet, reduced calorie or tub margarine is not recommended.

Store no more than two days at room temperature in airtight container. To freeze, place in single layer on wax paper in airtight container. Freeze for up to 6 weeks. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.





Let’s get ready to party!

 

 

Hope that helps! Have fun, be safe and always… Happy Shopping!
 

 

Recipes For Everything!

Pinterest is the exact place to be if you’re looking for something.  It seriously might be better than Google!  Well, that may just be my opinion.

I will give you this warning…

Don’t wander the streets of Pinterest if you’re hungry, haven’t eaten, have a sweet tooth, are on a diet, or just plain want something flavorful for your taste buds.  For reals you guys/gals.  Just don’t do it!

In fact, this whole post is about Pinterest finds….you might wanna go eat, like RIGHT NOW!

Last but not least…just in time for October and Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to put my baking apron on and drive to the market for every last ingredient!

Around Town: Things to Do

It’s officially the weekend!!! After 5pm on Friday, what are you going to do?  Well, besides take a nap and do some online shopping of course!  The weather is finally feeling like Fall and it’s raining here in Michigan.  I have an elaborate weekend planned that entails washing the curly-thick-long-craziness that is my hair.  Oh, and I’ll also be outside!  As a pet lover, I enjoy helping out whenever I can.  So when I heard a local non-profit animal rescue place needed volunteers, I hopped on it!  PAWS of Michigan will be in the park aka Paws in the Park…. Fun tail-wagging times shall be had by all!


Happenings:



Michigan Fashion Week
September 15th
Southfield, MI

Michigan Fash Fest
September 15th
Birmingham,MI

Ann Arbor, MI
Tonight (Friday-Saturday) 5pm-1am
Belle Isle Aquarium
Detroit, MI
Saturdays
September 15th & 16th
8am-4pm & 10am-4pm
Ann Arbor, MI

Sure there are tons of other things happening around town this weekend…just have to go looking!  Hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

Thirsty Thursday

NO KIDS ALLOWED!
Cocktail Hour
Happy Hour
Morning Sip
Night Cap
Call it whatever your heart desires.
By the looks of the following recipes, you won’t remember what you had to drink after a few glasses anyway!
Here’s a few tasty looking cocktails to try for your next get together:
Watermelon Margaritas
Recipe:
Raspberry Lemonade
Recipe:
Spiked Lemon Sweet Tea
Recipe:
Champagne Punch
Recipe:
Give these recipes a try and let me know how they turned out.  I’m definitely hitting up the alcohol section of the grocery store/market this weekend!  Can’t wait to try these…well at least one of them!  It’s rare that I drink so one sip and I’ll be crawling to bed.  Nice nightcap!

A Keurig Coffee Machine is What I Need

I need a new coffee maker.  Seriously.  Black & Decker just isn’t cutting it for me anymore.

Know what Rena wants?  A Keurig!

It quite possibly may be time for me to use my words and bat some eyelashes!  Well, that is, if I did that sort of girly maneuver, which I don’t!  I would never!

What if, for all intensive purposes, there is someone out there (I won’t mention any names) that this technique could persuade them to purchase a Keurig for me, them or perhaps us?  Could this person be reading this post?  Is it making him or her think about the deliciousness of dark roast coffee or a mug of hot cocoa filled with marshmallows? Just curious.  Maybe you want some iced tea…who knows?!  It has lots of benefits for many people lol all I want to do is be a good friend…you know me!

This is starting to sound (read) like an advertisement…..totally didn’t intend for that to happen!  Someone should write the Keurig company and tell them I’m selling the shhhh out of their coffee machine thingy!  They should just send me one….let me test it or umm I don’t know,  have it forever!

Tis not a lot to wish for.

Sugar Baby

I’m a fan of sugary sweets.  No substitutes can enter this bod.

That was dramatic!

Ok, I’m kidding (a little!)  I do love sweet snacks but you and I aka “WE” do need to pay attention to what’s going into our bodies.  The most effective way to do that, is to actually put good things into our bellies.

Belly, meet  KIND SNACKS.

 
I actually had this particular nut bar on accident lol go figure!  While waiting to pick up my car back in March, I was offered a snack (apparently I look kinda peaked to people if I haven’t eaten all day…who knew?!)  So, I took a bite, loved it and the rest is history!
 
Seriously, it takes a lot for me to actually like something that isn’t a peanut butter cookie or lemon bar sprinkled with powered sugar.  For me to like this nutty little thing means it has to be good!  Added bonus: IT IS FREAKING GOOD FOR YOU!
 
Check out their site and all the other goodies.  I’m on my way to grab a couple myself!