Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Coffee Time

Ok, I as a student has its pro's and cons.
Pro: I get to sleep until 1/2 hour before class, wake up and throw on whatever
Con: Exams

Pro: I don't have to worry about office politics
Con: Assignments

Pro: No one gets to bother me while I do my studying
Con: No income *sigh* you can see, its difficult to transition over from work to student. One thing I noticed that has no changed...was my love for coffee. Yeah there are a few things I enjoy in life and coffee seems to be my vice. Vice? Really? Maybe to my household of freakishly healthy roommates (who I know is probably shaking their heads in disapproval)...but coffee does have its benefits and like anything in not that bad for  you. Although having me less bitchy in the morning has its benefits too. Oh snap...

Bodum Chambord Coffee Press
So what has gotten me into coffee really? Well it first started when my cousin has recently gotten married and the wedding favour to us was a Vietnamese Drip Coffee maker with a package of Trung Nguyen's Coffee grinds. I had never used these coffee grinds before...nor have I used a drip coffee. So I brought it over to school with me and when I tried it...heaven. The coffee was amazing! There was such a smooth, full bodied flavour in the coffee and mixed with condensed milk, gave it the perfect flavour. I am inspired!

Now I'm starting to look at different ways to make coffee. I had always been one of this Timmies girls....who makes a pit stop at one of these places that sit on every corner block to pick up my...ready? Medium with 1 milk. It was the only way I could take it. I do not take coffee with sugar either. I have a sour cream glazed timbit instead :P
Now that I'm in school, coffee seems to be an expense to me. Not only that...there never seems to be good coffee around anywhere. Hell, if I wanted good coffee...I guess I will have to learn how to make it myself. things in life are homemade. Right? So I started looking into different ways of making coffee and coffee makers.

I had came across was a French Coffee Press. Specifically looking at the classic Bodum Chambord Coffee Press. It is quite an easy, popular and inexpensive way of making good coffee. I will further go into a coffee press on another day.

Hario Buono Kettle! So cute
As I was looking further into different ways of making coffee, I had stumbled across the "Japan's Pour-Over Coffee" article where James Freeman - Owner of Blue Bottle Coffee - and his wife designed a special pour-over along with a kettle with a narrow spout that focuses on the stream of water delivered to the pour-over coffee. The concept was simple, we are trying to deliver a certain amount of water to the coffee without flooding the filter. The downfall, it takes several minutes....waiting for your coffee to be ready.

I will admit, it is way easier to throw in a K-cup into your Keurig or Tassimo coffee maker and hit the button and go. Ever since I had coffee in a simple Vietnamese coffee drip, I'm starting to look at coffee in a different perspective. Why? Like wine, appreciation comes from drinking a lot of it. Most people in the morning, have a cup of Joe to get themselves jolted awake for work. I admit I am one of them sometimes. Although it might not be for me, I am curious to look into this new kettle for a new coffee experience.

Actually, I think the French Coffee Press will be my starter...and I'll move along with different types of roasts, trying grinds vs. beans and more. Basically drinking coffee will be my new hobby for the next few months. Hey it works out.

I got nothing on my hands but...time.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Lemon Poppyseed Sour Cream Cake

School doesn't allow me to make such wonderful creations I'm so busy with my hectic schedule.
This weekend, I had such a itch to make something out of my wonderful cake book I had purchased.

One thing I love about Rose's Heavenly Cake by Rose Levy Beranbaum is the measurements she uses. Baking is such a precise science and it is all about quality of certain ingredients, putting certain liquids and dry ingredients together in a way to form a reaction and baking them at a certain temperature. It is probably the only kind of chemistry I would never fail. Actually I lied, I've had my share of burnt cookies in my lifetime....

This was my first recipe and will probably not be my last either from this book. Her steps are very detailed and reading her book explained why baking requires certain things...and why substitution for certain ingredients is a definite no no. One recipe that looked fun and easy to do was the Lemon Poppyseed Sour Cream cake. Glazed with a lemon sugar syrup, this beautifully easy cake was complimented with a side of whipped cream and some fresh strawberries. It was light and fluffy and will be a hit every time.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Home Away from Home

It has been about 3 weeks since I started school and I`m starting to get a little bit more comfortable living in NY. Being a student again has forced me to change mentally, physically and even more importantly....change my dietary needs.

It`s quite interesting living here in the U.S. because people always say how suburban areas in the States do not have easy access to fresh produce. From what I have seen, the combination between the inability to get fresh produce along with a hefty price tag deters people away from possibly a healthier diet and lifestyle. I was at the local supermarket the other day and I saw Yellow & Orange bell peppers for $4.99/lb! Avocados were 2 for $3. Wow...with prices like this...I`d rather get the poptarts on sale for $10 for $10 dang....that stuff doesn't expire and can probably feed me breakfast for at least 20 days.

With an idea to food pricing, I think I have to spend a little more unfortunately...if I would like to eat healthier. As well, with the limited amount of time I have some seems that time is always a factor.

The first real dish I've made so far on my own was a Tuna Casserole. Seemed easy enough...sauteed the onions, add celery & carrots. Add cream of mushroom soup and then the pasta. Then put it in a casserole dish and for taste factor, added in an egg bread crust and baked it (for crunchiness effect). It worked well...the thyme went well with egg and bread. The only thing I'm missing was cheese! Cheese seems to be a staple for me but due to pricing. Sigh.

I went from homemade fresh food and rice to learning how to make food for myself for a week. I definitely took home for granted haha. I miss my mommy but for now...this will be my home away from home.