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In The Kitchen: Reusable Nespresso Coffee Capsules – Fussy, but usable

August 9th, 2018 No comments

In The Kitchen: Reusable Nespresso Coffee Capsules – Fussy, but usable

We were recently gifted a Nespresso coffee maker and while I do enjoy the convenience of it, I prefer to use my own coffee purchases rather than rely on those provided by Nespresso or, as in my case, Amazon.

For my morning coffee, I still use a standard Bialetti Moka Pot for my morning coffee but find I use the Nespresso for afternoon and evening coffee when I desire it. it is simply quicker and easier to use.

I decided to research some reusable pods in hopes of making better use of the machine and keeping my costs down. After poking around on Amazon for a while I came across these Reusable Nespresso Coffee Capsules.

While they work ok, they can be a bit fussy to use and it has taken some time to learn the optimal settings for coffee roast, grind, amount of coffee to use and how tightly to pack the coffee in each capsule.

First, unless the coffee roast is fairly dark i.e French roast or Italian Roast you will get a somewhat weak cup of coffee. As for the grind, I find an espresso grind works well, but unlike a pressure espresso machine, you will not want to tamp the coffee at all. Simply fill the cup, knock off the excess and close the lid. If I tamped the coffee at all, it would often fail to brew, simply dumping the water into the capsule holder on the machine and making a mess.

I have also crumpled 2 of these capsules in the machine when closing the top lever. I have not figured out exactly how I did this, but after taking more care to position the capsule it hasn’t occurred since.

So, if you want to gain a little of the convenience of a Nespresso machine without limiting your options to pre-packaged coffees — and you’re willing to fuss around a bit — these capsules might be a place to start. The fact is, there are a host of different designs for these capsules so there might be those that work better, but I haven’t felt the need — or had the attention – to pursue it further.

Finally, if you just want the full convenience of Nespresso machine without the hassle, here are some third-party, pre-made, coffee capsules that I have purchased from Amazon. the quality is pretty good and yields a decent cup of coffee in just a minute or so.

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs

Categories: Cooking, Drinks, Food, Home, In the kitchen, Products Tags:

The Cosmonaut Cocktail Is the Perfect 4th of July Drink via Lifehacker

June 30th, 2018 Comments off

I talked about 3-Ingredient Cocktails in a recent blog post — Read it here — Douglas

“…I found the recipe in Robert Simonson’s 3-Ingredient Cocktails which, as you probably guessed, is extremely my shit. Though the original recipe calls for raspberry jam, I give you permission to play around with various fruit spreads; I made mine with blackberry preserves, and it was very nice. To make one yourself, you will need:

2 ounces gin
3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
1 bar spoon of raspberry (or your other favorite) jam

…”

Read The Cosmonaut Cocktail Is the Perfect 4th of July Drink via Lifehacker


An interesting link found among my daily reading

Tea Time at Amanda’s, Palm Desert, California via My Instagram

June 21st, 2018 Comments off

Tea Time at Amanda’s, Palm Desert, California via My Instagram

June 20th, 2018 Comments off

Tea Time at Amanda’s, Palm Desert, California

Tea Time at Amanda’s, Palm Desert, California

A spot of afternoon tea in the desert. Very nice. 

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* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library

Starbucks Reserve in Palm Springs via My Instagram

June 17th, 2018 Comments off

Classic Cafe Affogato at Starbucks Reserve via My Instagram

June 15th, 2018 Comments off

Reading – The Old-Fashioned: The Story of the World’s First Classic Cocktail, with Recipes and Lore by Robert Simonson- 14 in a series

March 20th, 2018 Comments off

I’ll be highlighting books that I am reading (or re-reading) on all sorts of topics this year — Douglas

Reading – The Old-Fashioned: The Story of the World’s First Classic Cocktail, with Recipes and Lore Robert Simonson – 14 in a series

Reading - The Old-Fashioned: The Story of the World's First Classic Cocktail, with Recipes and Lore by Robert Simonson- 14 in a series

“What?”, you say? “An entire book about one cocktail?”

“Yes!”, I say. “And what a cocktail it is!”

The Old-Fashioned takes us through the long and complicated history of what is arguably America’s favorite cocktail. I know, for myself, that this has become my go-to tipple whether at home our out on the town. It is deceptively simple and when well made almost perfect. The woody bite of bourbon, a slight sweetness from your favorite sweetener (mine is maple syrup), a splash of bitter to mellow it all together and a slice of orange to complete both the taste and visual profile. Yum!

What started out as a relatively straightforward combination went through many changes over the years including the changing of ingredients, overburdening the drink with fruit and changing tastes, but a group of old-fashioned purists wrestled back the Old-Fashioned into something eloquently playable and ready to be experimented with once more. You’ll find old and new recipes here, showing you a place to start as well as excellent places to travel with your favorite cocktail.

** My version of this book was available from the Los Angeles Public Library in print and ebook versions.

From Amazon.com…

A complete history of one of the world’s most iconic cocktails–now the poster child of the modern cocktail revival–with fifty recipes for classic variations as well as contemporary updates.

No single cocktail is as iconic, as beloved, or as discussed and fought-over as the Old-Fashioned. Its formula is simple: just whiskey, bitters, sugar, and ice. But how you combine those ingredients—in what proportion, using which brands, and with what kind of garnish—is the subject of much impassioned debate.

The Old-Fashioned is the spirited, delightfully unexpected story of this renowned and essential drink: its birth as the ur-cocktail in the nineteenth century, darker days in the throes of Prohibition, re-ascension in the 1950s and 1960s (as portrayed and re-popularized by Don Draper on Mad Men), and renaissance as the star of the contemporary craft cocktail movement.

Also featured are more than forty cocktail recipes, including classic variations, regional twists, and contemporary updates from top bartenders around the country. All are accessible, delicious, and elegant in their simplicity, demonstrating the versatility and timelessness of the Old-Fashioned formula. 

With its rich history, stunning photography, and impeccable recipes, The Old-Fashioned is a celebration of one of America’s greatest bibulous achievements. It is a necessary addition to any true whiskey- or cocktail-lover’s bookshelf, and destined to become a classic on par with its namesake beverage.

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library.
Check it out! † Available from the LA Public Library

Previously in (Re)Reading:

Categories: Books, Drinks, Food, History, Recipe Tags:

My Los Angeles 50 – Shoutout to the neighborhood where I live via My Instagram

March 5th, 2018 Comments off

A goblet of Wee Heavy from MacLeod’s Ale Brewing Co as a belated birthday present

March 1st, 2018 Comments off

Reading – The Wildcrafted Cocktail: Make Your Own Foraged Syrups, Bitters, Infusions, and Garnishes by Ellen Zachos – 5 in a series

January 19th, 2018 Comments off

I’ll be highlighting books that I am reading (or re-reading) on all sorts of topics this year — Douglas

Reading – The Wildcrafted Cocktail: Make Your Own Foraged Syrups, Bitters, Infusions, and Garnishes by Ellen Zachos – 5 in a series

 Reading - The Wildcrafted Cocktail: Make Your Own Foraged Syrups, Bitters, Infusions, and Garnishes by Ellen Zachos - 5 in a series

I know what you’re thinking…”Another cocktail book?!?!” Well, this is just the order I completed them in, not some evil scheme to get your drunk on a weeknight. (LAUGH)

The Wildcrafted Cocktail is certainly an extremely niche book. It is few people who go out into the woods and forage the ingredients for their cocktails, yet I still enjoyed the book greatly. It was wonderful to read about all the unique ingredients you might find in your own backyard. Still, I for myself I would be a bit leery gathering plants without a bit more knowledge, and confidence, that I wasn’t poisoning myself in the process. You might want to combine this book on a really good book on backyard foraging like Backyard Foraging: 65 Familiar Plants You Didn’t Know You Could Eat, to assist you in your search. Such detailed information is far beyond the scope of The Wildcrafted Cocktail, but very necessary to be successful.

That said, there was also some great, general information on cocktails including some history of cocktails,

“What is a cocktail? The first mention of a cocktail as an alcoholic beverage dates from 1806, when it was defined as a drink composed of spirits, sugar, water, and bitters.”

and the difference between the several types of simple syrup that are used behind a well-stocked bar, 

“The difference among these syrups is not only the degree of sweetness but also the mouthfeel. A rich syrup (twice as much sugar as water) is much silkier than a simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water). A light syrup (twice as much water as sugar) is lighter and thinner on the tongue. Simple syrups are the most versatile and most commonly called for behind the bar.”

The Wildcrafted Cocktail is certainly worthwhile if only to expand your thinking about foraged ingredients and cocktails in general. Who knows? You might even have some ingredients in your very own garden that could find their way into your glass.

** My version of this book was available as an eBook from the Los Angeles Public Library

From Amazon.com…

Meet the natural lovechild of the popular local-foods movement and craft cocktail scene. It’s here to show you just how easy it is to make delicious, one-of-a-kind mixed drinks with common flowers, berries, roots, and leaves that you can find along roadsides or in your backyard. Foraging expert Ellen Zachos gets the party started with recipes for more than 50 garnishes, syrups, infusions, juices, and bitters, including Quick Pickled Daylily Buds, Rose Hip Syrup, and Chanterelle-infused Rum. You’ll then incorporate your handcrafted components into 45 surprising and delightful cocktails, such as Stinger in the Rye, Don’t Sass Me, and Tree-tini. 

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library

Previously in (Re)Reading:

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