Summer grilling is here and life is opening up again, it’s time for gathering together with friends and family, having backyard BBQ’s and enjoying special occasions which we all missed so much!
Memorial Day is just around the corner and so is Father’s Day and if you’re planning on doing any cookouts, I hope you add this intensely flavored mustard, garlic herb paste to just about whatever you’re planning on grilling.
Fresh herbs are the key to this delicious herb paste which can be made in a jiffy using a food processor and don’t be afraid to double or triple this recipe, I promise it will amp up your grilling game!
I used a mix of basil, parsley, thyme, and rosemary. Each herb carries its own intense flavor which pairs nicely with grilled foods but feel free to create your own combo that you might prefer.
This is the second bag of coffee I received from Black Diesel Coffee. Black Diesel is a craft coffee company dedicated to quality, community, and coffee education. I haven’t had a chance to visit their shop in person yet (not surprising, since I live in Texas and the global pandemic is still going on!) but I would really like to go the next time I am in Michigan if nothing else to see their cozy outdoor igloos available for rent!
Whole bean: A wonderfully decadent aroma of dark chocolate and malt wafted from this bag as soon as I opened it. Very sweet!
French press: This coffee strongly reminds me of hot cocoa. It struck me as a little under-sweet – I normally don’t add sugar or milk to my coffee but I almost feel like this particular preparation could use just a touch of sugar to round out the chocolaty flavor. I enjoyed the smooth mouthfeel.
Chemex: I miscalculated my grind size and the total brew time was a little longer than I intended (close to 5 minutes). The result wasn’t bitter but it was probably a little stronger than it would have been otherwise. Still, the coffee was heavy with dark chocolate flavor, and it got fudgier as the coffee cooled.
V60: This wasn’t my favorite preparation method for these beans. It’s possible my extraction time was too long (my total time was 3:10), but I think something about the pour-over method brings out slightly more bitter, harsher flavors from these beans than the immersion methods do. These harsher notes faded some as the coffee cooled, but it was noticeably unbalanced to my palate, especially given what I had next…
AeroPress: Wow. This cup was creamy and sweet, full-bodied and decadent. At the time of writing this review, I have been setting up and experimenting with a new microphone for music/Zoom calls, and while I thought my old mic was decent, hearing the result from my new mic is just staggering in how much more beautiful the sound is. That’s kind of how I feel drinking thus Guatemala Huehuetenango made with the other brewing methods, and then from the AeroPress! Hands down, my favorite way of preparing these beans.
I didn’t try these beans brewed as espresso, but I did pull a shot of this via my AeroPress plus the Prismo attachment, to get an idea of the flavor notes that might come out when ground and brewed closer to espresso-style. I didn’t like the result as much vs. when brewed in the “traditional” AeroPress method, so I’d recommend not using the Prismo for this.
Summary: In my opinion, it’s a little harder to get optimum results for these beans in pour-over methods. Stick with immersion methods like the French press and the AeroPress. The AeroPress in particular resulted in coffee that was an incredible treat to drink. I felt like I was getting away with something!
Disclaimer: I received this product gratis in exchange for a fair and honest review. Even though I received this for free, I treat and test it the same way as if I had paid for it out of my own pocket.
Insomnia and other types of sleep disorders have become a major problem for many, and over the past year with the pandemic of Covid 19, it has become progressively worse.
There are many reasons that people have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or getting a good night’s sleep, and all of them will take a huge toll on your body and mind.
These reasons include:
Stress- Concerns about work, school, health, finances, or family can keep your mind active at night, making it difficult to sleep. Stressful life events or trauma — such as the death or illness of a loved one, divorce, or a job loss — also may lead to insomnia
Eating Before Bedtime- Having a meal before bedtime not only can cause digestive problems, but it can also cause restless sleep with undigested food in your system.
Fear- The pandemic of Covid 19 has caused many people to live in fear and in response, their immune systems and adrenal glands suffer stress and burnout.
Lack of Exercise- The lack of exercise especially over the past year with the Covid 19 lockdowns, has kept people away from gyms and other places to exercise. Your body was not built to sit all day in front of a computer terminal. Get out and move your body!
There is not one single thing that you can do to improve your sleep.
You need to have a plan which includes diet, exercise, supplements, and also some form of quiet meditation.
A diet rich in vegetables and low in carbs is very important not only for you to get a better night’s sleep but also for your overall health.
Again, you also have to move your body. That means exercise.
There will never be a replacement for exercise.
Then, there are supplements. You have to be careful about choosing the right supplements to help you sleep and make sure they are effective.
One of the best supplements on the market today is PURE SLEEP.
He created the perfect formula for anyone to get a good night’s sleep with his formula.
Pure Sleep contains an important herb and an amino acid that the body naturally produces.
The herb is called Nutmeg. Nutmeg is in most kitchen cabinets.
Nutmeg is a spice from India and Indonesia.
Nutmeg has many incredible health benefits including reducing blood pressure and cholesterol, improving your skin and hair, digestion, and helps you relax so you can get a good night’s sleep.
Nutmeg contains the following nutrients:
Pure Sleep also contains an amino acid called Gamma-Aminobutyric acid or GABA for short.
GABA’s big role in the body is to reduce the activity of neurons in the brain and central nervous system, which in turn has a broad range of effects on the body and mind, including increased relaxation, reduced stress, a more calm, balanced mood, alleviation of pain, and a boost to sleep.
The key to the Pure Sleep formula is to make sure you have the right mix of Nutmeg and GABA.
This is not something that you can make on your own and think that you will have the same outcome as Pure Sleep.
Another very important benefit to getting a good, deep sleep, is weight loss.
This is not something you hear too often.
Sleep, in particular, a deep sleep, is key to weight loss and overall good health.
Insomnia or other sleep disorders will prevent you from achieving your goals as far as your health is concerned.
Try Clif High’s Pure Sleep today and work on the other areas of your life that may be impeding you from getting a night of good deep sleep.
Sleep is often overlooked as one cause of many physical and mental problems that people have today.
Insomnia can also cause problems with your job performance and relationships at home.
FEBRUARY 5, 2021 BY MARIE3 (Originally Posted on 02/05/21)
If you’re looking for a special date night dinner, something a little fancy but not so hard to make try this seafood freeform lasagna, what makes it even more special is the subtle lemon cream sauce that’s spooned all over.
This is the perfect dinner to have on Valentine’s Day which is coming up soon and I’m quite sure many of us will be dining at home. This is meant for two people but you can certainly double the recipe for more to enjoy if need be.
I used a mix of scallops and shrimp in this easy freeform lasagna, which is highlighted with a touch of Limoncello for a smack of bright lemon flavor!
The prep work is all done in advance so when it’s time to eat all you have to do is pop your dish into the oven, warm it up and get that golden top.
You’ll be spending all your time with your date instead of cooking and cleaning in the kitchen all night, and that’s a good thing!
The lemon sauce is very light, you can use half lemon juice and half Limoncello or just all lemon juice. I wouldn’t do all Limoncello because that would be too sweet tasting and overpower the seafood.
If lemon is not your thing, you can make a nice white sauce to top it off like a béchamel, that would be equally as delicious and creamy to top it off.
Cut your lasagna noodles to fit into individual ramekins if using or if you end up using a bigger dish, it doesn’t have to fit perfectly.
Then you’re going to layer all that amazing seafood on top. It’s a delicious mix of chopped scallops, shrimp, garlic, shallots with a little ricotta and mascarpone for creaminess and to help bind it all.
Save some whole shrimp for garnish it makes a striking presentation. This can be served alongside a beautiful salad or if you really want to go all out, a steak for some surf and turf!
COVID-19 has pretty much-ruined everything; this we already know. But some traditions remain intact, and that includes the delicious tradition of King Cake.
Traditionally served in the month of January, bakeries around Louisiana are pumping out the traditional pastry to offer a sweet bite of better times. In my own backyard of Dallas, PJ’s, a New Orleans-based coffee shop hopping across the Texas-Lousiana border, is offering an exciting new twist on the foodie favorite: King Cake Lattes. Per Eater Dallas, the limited-time drink includes “PJ’s espresso dolce roast, steamed milk with vanilla and cinnamon, and topped with a generous dollop of whipped cream dusted in purple sugar.”
Frankly, everyone here at Sprudge is obsessed. Much like Hamentashen, the King Cake is one of those sweet treats that comes but once a year, whose arrival is hungrily awaited. Find a way to add coffee to it—or it to coffee—and you’ve really got our attention.
But we understand not everyone can pop out to their nearest cafe for a King Cake Latte. So if you can’t get to a PJ’s, or want to make your very own version, Sprudge co-founder and noted King Cake enthusiast Jordan Michelman has whipped us up a play-at-home recipe.
Your Dream of Working From Home and Enjoying the Good Life Is Here.
Traditional Louisiana-style King Cake calls for a very simple icing, what’s sometimes called “English icing” made of powdered sugar, milk, and lemon. As with all things King Cake there is endless variation and riffing—there is even an un-iced purist version, made using puff pastry and almond filling (they make an excellent one at Poupart Bakery). The inclusion of butter or even cream cheese to the icing recipe is not uncommon, although others feel the only appropriate place for cream cheese is inside the King Cake itself.
Very fine icing will fall apart immediately atop liquid, which is why the King Cake Latte needs to be floated with stouter stuff. After much trial and error, I suggest making a simple Diplomat Cream (aka Creme Patissiere), a sort of whipped cream vanilla pudding hybrid that holds up on top of a mug, and makes a sturdy precipice for the critical addition of gold, green, and purple sprinkles.
First, make a simple custard. Heat milk in a saucepan, then cream sugar and egg yolks together in a separate bowl, adding flour as you go. Combine the two into the saucepan, remove from heat, and stir until smooth. There are a billion recipes for this—I outlined the St. John version up above but use whatever style you like.
Then make whipped cream. Whatever your preferred method is here is fine—I like cream, vanilla, and icing sugar in an electric mixer, but everyone has their own way, and also store-bought is fine.
Combine the custard and the whipped cream together once everything is room temp. Store in the fridge for half an hour to let it cool and set up.
Then make your coffee. King Cake is a sweet treat, and your coffee should be too for this drink, although of course, the level of sweetness is up to you. Dissolving a teaspoon of brown sugar and powdered cinnamon into brewed not-too-light roasted coffee is a fine move—the house or espresso blend at your favorite indie roaster should work great, but let me specifically recommend this notes of King Cake blend now offered by Mug Drugs. To this, you might also add pre-sweetened alternative milk if that’s your preference, or otherwise sweeten up some cold brew. But don’t skip the cinnamon—this is a really important part of the King Cake flavor profile.
Give your opinion on Trump as President and receive a Visa Gift Card!Click On the Image.
Pour your sweet and cinnamony coffee into a vessel of your choosing, then top with a dollop of the Diplomat Cream, enough to cover the brew. The King Cake Latte isn’t a latte, exclusively; it’s more like a King Cake Coffee, and the coffee portion itself can be a latte, or cold brew with stuff added, or brewed coffee with stuff added, and the Diplomat Cream will blend with the liquid as you’re drinking with, further latte-fying the proceedings. The name—King Cake Latte—is more about evoking a feeling than any sort of specific drink requirement. Whatever you’re into is ultimately what’s correct, in this recipe as with all things in life.
Now it’s time for sprinkles. The traditional Mardi Gras colors each have their own unique meaning: purple for justice, green for faith, gold for power. It’s common to represent all three evenly, but if you’re in need of a little more faith or justice this year, the Lord won’t mind.
Sprinkle your sprinkles atop the Diplomat Cream, and sip your way through it to the sweet cinnamony beverage below. What a wonderful treat.
Here’s an elegant yet quick and easy starter that would fit perfectly into just about any menu: Carpaccio di salmone affumicato, or Smoked Salmon Carpaccio.
Classic carpaccio, of course, is made with thinly sliced beef. But the term carpaccio has evolved into a kind of passepartout for any number of dishes featuring thin slices of meat or fish, typically dressed with a light vinaigrette and perhaps some aromatic herbs. In this incarnation, thin slices of smoked salmon are dressed simply with an emulsion of oil and lemon, to which I like to add just a pinch of finely minced parsley. If you like, you can gussy up your carpaccio with all sorts of garnishes: a few capers, shaved fennel, arugula, even pomegranate seeds. Whatever strikes your fancy, really.
Smoked Salmon Carpaccio is simple itself to make, but it makes quite the impression, so it’s apt for a special occasion. To me, it’s an ideal way to begin a cenone di san Silvestro, or New Year’s Eve dinner on a simple but elegant note. That means less time in the kitchen, and more time sipping champagne and enjoying the evening with your loved ones. I call that a win-win.
Arrange thin slices of smoked salmon on a plate (if you like, over a bed of tender greens as pictured).
Then, whisk together all the dressing ingredients together until you have a smooth emulsion. Spoon this over the salmon slices.
Allow the salmon to macerate for just 5 minutes or so before serving, topped with one more garnishes if you like. Some crusty bread to go with is always welcome.
Notes on Smoked Salmon Carpaccio
As we’ve pointed out on this blog, the original carpaccio, as invented by Giuseppe Cipriani for his renowned Venice bar, was made with sliced beef fillets, pounded paper-thin then dressed with a creamy mayonnaise-based sauce. The charm of using smoked salmon, of course, is that you can buy it pre-sliced, which eliminates an awful lot of work. And the resulting contrast of orange and green, while not true to Carpaccio’s style of contrasting reds and whites, is lovely to behold all the same.
The choice of smoked salmon is up to you, but I particularly like Nova Scotia, the kind used for lox and bagels, as it’s only lightly smoked. For a more decisive smokiness, you could opt for Scottish smoked salmon. Personally, I find sockeye salmon’s darker color and fishier flavor less appealing as a carpaccio, but if you like it don’t let me stop you.
And obviously, you want to best quality olive oil you can manage to find, although I would opt for a lighter one, perhaps one from Liguria. Those very fruity and green olive oils, as wonderful as they are, could overwhelm the flavor of the fish.
And speaking of which, go light on the lemon juice. You want just enough to brighten the olive oil but no more. Since lemons vary in size and acidity, you may want to start with a few drops and add more to dressing until you’re pleased with the results. Also true for the salt. It may come as a surprise that you’d need any, but a small pinch, just enough to enhance the other flavors without drawing attention to itself, is what you want.
As mentioned above, the basic recipe for Smoked Salmon Carpaccio lends itself to a huge variety of garnishes. I’m partial to either laying my carpaccio on a bed of tender greens or else topping it with arugula leaves, which pairs particularly nicely with smoked salmon, I think. But the list given in the ingredients list is really just examples. Let your imagination run wild!
Besides its usual role as a starter, Smoked Salmon Carpaccio can double as a light pescatarian main course as well.
You can plate the salmon well ahead, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you’re almost ready to serve. The dressing, too, can be made ahead. Let the salmon come back to room temperature, then nap it with the dressing and top with any garnishes. What I wouldn’t do, however, is dress the salmon too far ahead of time as the dressing will become overwhelming if the salmon is left to macerate too long.
Espresso is an integral part of many coffee lover’s daily life! We sip it at anytime you want and just enjoy the natural aromas and scents that comes from it.
But have you ever wondered why are espresso cups so small? This is something that has plagued our minds, so we decided to do a bit of research and answer the question for you and ourselves.
Before we get into answering the question, we got to cover a bit of background about Espresso. Espresso is served in a delicate small mug in which the coffee with a frothy layer on top, usually the foam from the brewing process.
Espresso is brewed with a blend of hot water under intense pressure. To make the best espresso, the beans of coffee should be ground into very fine powder.
You cannot use gritty, grainy coffee powder into the machine. This finely ground powder is compressed into a compact lump. It is not strong coffee but a flavorful espresso using a different preparation method.
Now that we got some basics about espresso out the way, we can cover off the main question then followed with some additional things you may not know about espresso.
Espresso is made by pressing coffee and it has a crema layer on top to lock the aroma within the espresso.
To sustain this crema, the espresso cups are made small and the reason they are served in small cups is to avoid the creme layer to spread out!
Falling or dissipating crema can also make the espresso cold. Espresso is thicker and consists of lesser water as compared to a drip coffee. It is caffeine packed and flavorful into a small cup.
Some primary aspects of espresso cups being small are:
Crema, which is a foam layer forms on the top of an expresso. It is decorated on the top of the espresso. Espresso and cream make the cup. Selecting a large wide cup can result in the dissolving of crema. Crema is very important in making expresso perfect. Crema becomes very thin and gradually dissipates in a large cup.
Espresso is also very concentrated, and so you can say it is a shrunken form of coffee and a strong one in a small cup. A small cup itself tastes very strong, so much that it can use 7oz. of milk for 1 oz. of espresso.
A typical espresso is about 1-2 fluid ounces, which is right in a small cup.
Espresso is about getting less water in a coffee that is too topped with foam crema.
Espresso in a small cup is just the right way to enjoy it. Its concentration, water content, and crema are in the right proportions in typical cup size.
Espresso, as the name suggests, should be made quick and also had quickly to get the best flavor, taste, and aroma. It should be drunk with “crema” on top.
What is crema? It is the creamy coffee oil emulsion that covers the espresso. It is a covering lid for espresso beneath. This way, all the espresso aromas are locked within to enjoy while drinking.
This emulsion is essential as the aroma dissipates fast. But then, how quickly should it be drunk to get overall espresso pleasure?
An espresso cup, traditionally, which is about 1-2 fl. ounces of coffee, should take about 25 seconds to get excellent espresso. But, when it comes to drinking it, to enjoy its flavor and aroma, but without making it cold, it would need around 2 minutes to sip an espresso cup.
Drink the espresso with crema layer on top to lock in the aroma without dissipation.
Take your espresso in three or more than three sips in about 30 seconds to as much as 4 minutes also. This time is particularly applicable for a double espresso shot.
The duration depends on how well you want to savor the drink with its flavors and aroma. It is essential to remember that a long time doesn’t mean more taste like the aroma and crema to dissipate with a longer time.
The time mentioned is sufficient enough to enjoy the espresso to the fullest. Beyond which, you are bound to get a cold, taste-fading espresso.
Espresso is high in concentration and, therefore, can appear stronger as compared to regular coffee. It can also taste bitter than a regular brewed coffee.
But, the coffee strength is determined by the method and level of roasting of coffee beans and not how it is brewed.
Generally, coffee beans are roasted at three levels- Dark, medium, and light roast. Dark roast is done at 225 deg C to 230 deg C, medium roast is done at 210 deg C to 219 deg C, and the light roast is done at 196 deg C to 205 deg C temperatures.
The more the roasting of coffee beans, the enhanced will be its taste. On the same lines, the dark coffee roast is most strong of all coffee types.
An espresso made out of these dark roast of coffee beans results in a strong espresso as compared to regular coffee.
From the article above, we can see why a small cup is essential and important to get a perfect espresso. It is very important as a small cup with foamy crema keeps the espresso aroma, temperature, and flavor intact.
The crema is very important to be thick and covering the coffee fluid. A larger cup can make the crema fall out, thin out, and eventually disappear.
This, in turn, makes the espresso flavorless, aroma less, and cold. Who would want to have a compromised, flavorless, and cold espresso? Get your typical small espresso cup and take pleasure in each sip.