Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Friendship & Starbucks - The Perfect Blend

I was driving the other day with my kids in the truck to get us out of the house for a bit during this time of COVID 19.  While driving past shopes, my daughter innocently asked, "Mom, is Starbucks really an essential business?"  I jokingly replied, "For some, YES!" before briefly discussing why Starbucks would be allowed to be open for business.  I am not even close to being a Starbucks regular and tend to brew my daily cup of coffee at home, but occasionally, we do stop in for some fun iced drinks. After this chat with my daughter, my mind started thinking about the fun and creativity I could have with a Starbucks theme.  Read on to find out how I "blended" the theme with my dinner and we had "grande" fun!

Invite:  I played with Starbucks-related words on my invitation which was fun.  "Brewing up Grande Fun" and "A Latte Laughter & Venti Size Fun."  I went with the shade of green and black of the Starbucks logo and the white of the cups, but added in yellow to add a little brightness.  Although some stores are starting to reopen during this time, I decided to keep this dinner on Zoom.  Even if we did feel safe enough to eat together outside, the recent looting and craziness in response to the  George Floyd tragedy caused curfews in some of the cities around Fullerton, so some of the girls would have had to stay home.  Zoom just seemed the easiest way for us all to be safe.

First step was redesigning the Starbucks logo to read "Monthly Dinner".  I did this on PhotoShop, and then printed it, cut it out, and used a dab of glue in the center to adhere it on the napkins.  Nothing fancy.

I could have served iced coffee with the meal but we always have wine with monthly dinners, so I purchased individual bottles of wine.  I again used PhotoShop to create a tag to represent coffee as the favorite AM drink, and wine as the favorite PM drink.  The girls got a kick out of these. 

Menu:  There are recipes out there that use coffee, but I let my creative roll in coming up with a meal that fit Starbucks more than just coffee.  Since this was a meal during quarantine, I had to make sure the meal could be compact and easy to transport/reheat if necessary.  This has been a challenge during COVID19 as I always like to make the meal match with the theme as well.

The frappuccino is a super popular drink at Starbucks (my kid's love the vanilla bean), so I wanted to come up with a meal item to represent that drink.  I decided to make a WRAPpuccino!  This was perfect because I served it as a cold wrap -- no reheating necessary.  I used a green tortilla, spread bbq sauce and ranch on it, then topped it with romaine lettuce, shredded cheese, diced rotisserie chicken, tomatoes, and corn.  I was planning to add black beans, but forgot to purchase them at the store (oops).  Three of us ladies are on the Keto diet right now, so for us, I bought cheese wraps to use as the tortilla and used a sugar free BBQ sauce. I also left out the tomatoes and corn on these.  I hadn't tried these cheese wraps before, but really like them. 

I asked my local Starbucks for some items for this monthly dinner, and they were nice enough to give me some items.  I used the logo bags they use for croissants to put the wrappuccino in once it was rolled like a burrito and cut in half.  To go with the wrappuccino, I made a simple garden salad - Green Tea-rrific Salad!  I mixed romaine and spinach and topped it with cherry tomatoes, cucumber, cheese, and croutons.  I included a ramekin of Strawberry Vinaigrette dressing.

For dessert I made these cute Mocha Frappuccino Cupcakes!  I used a Betty Crocker cake mix and followed the recipe on the box except for substituting strongly brewed coffee for the water.  They are topped with a buttercream frosting, mini chocolate chips, and a drizzle of chocolate sauce.  Yum!

Again, Starbucks was amazing, and hooked me up with the straws and cardboard wrappers.  I did have cut the top and bottom of the wrapper to fit better with the size of cupcakes I made.

Favor:  Even for these remote parties, I like to include a favor.  For this one, I got taster cups from Starbucks and filled each one with chocolate covered espresso beans.  These were super easy to put together with a tag to "espresso" how much these ladies mean to me.

The girls picked up their meal and goodies on my porch.

Then at 7:00, we met on Zoom to have a fun dinner and conversation.  It truly was "the perfect blend" and so needed during this time in our lives.

Hope you liked this post and this party!

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