Recent Updates Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Rex 7:20 pm on September 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: coffee   

    Dark Matter Coffee 

    image

    Ordered 9/6 Shipped and roasted: 9/9 Received 9/11 “A love supreme” blend. Free sticker!

    $15 + $5 shipping.  1.67/oz.

    This coffee is pretty good.  Something about it tastes burnt or a little too over roasted, just at the end of the flavor.  I tried a coarser grind and it got worse, strangely.  I don’t hate it, but I’m looking forward to something else.

     

     
  • Rex 5:44 pm on April 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Coffee: Barefoot Red Cab 

    I ordered this from GoCoffeeGo on April 23rd at 11:30am.  Roasted on April 24th and shipped to arrive on the 26th.

    $15.95 + $4.95 shipping = 20.90 or $1.74/oz.

     

    I really love this coffee.  I’ve ordered it at least twice before.  It hits all the classic coffee flavors.

     
    • Ryan Adams 11:33 pm on May 28, 2013 Permalink

      I think I’ll order a bag, thanks for the suggestion.

    • Rex 6:33 pm on May 29, 2013 Permalink

      awesome. let me know what you think.

    • Ryan 11:47 am on June 27, 2013 Permalink

      Okay, after a week of drinking I think we’ve found a new favorite. It’s a little expensive for daily consumption because we drink copious amounts of coffee but if guests will be staying with us, I know I’ll be ordering more. Thanks for introducing it me!

    • Rex 11:56 am on June 27, 2013 Permalink

      glad you like it!
      I might also try verve’s 1950 blend. It is a few dollars cheaper (shipping is free) and also a favorite of ours.
      http://www.vervecoffeeroasters.com/products/the-1950-blend

    • Eby 5:52 pm on September 15, 2013 Permalink

      Looks like an interesting blend. Been hit or miss with brazil. I see sweet marias has a couple Carmo de Minas green bean which is in this blend which I might have to grab

  • Rex 1:47 pm on April 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Cup to Cup Coffee 

     

    12 oz Guatemala Urias Estate ordered from website April 17th at 11am. ( cuptocupcoffee.com )

    roasted and shipped the same day, arrived via USPS on the 19th.  (accidentally shipped to my PO box.  thankfully I checked it that day)

    cost breakdown:  $12 coffee, $5 shipping.  $1.42/oz.

    this coffee is okay.  I may need to try a smaller grind, the flavor isn’t amazing.  I do notice it didn’t bubble from CO2 release as much as I would expect from freshly roasted beans.

     
  • Rex 3:12 pm on March 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , granola   

    Breakfast for Erin and I lately has been granola with yogurt. I get really bored of routine but this one is too hard to not fall into. In order to break up this repetitive breakfast I have been making different granola options every week. First I tried to emulate one of our favorite name brand mixes and then I started venturing out to my own combinations.

    Granola recipes basically break down like this: a few ingredients are mixed up with some syrup, spread out on a baking sheet and baked until brown, and then tossed with some dried fruit. These three recipes have identical technique with different ingredients. They’re all based on starting with two cups of granola. If you want to make more at once these recipes should scale really well.

    First there are the baked ingredients. This is anything that can stand up to a few hundred degrees in the oven. This includes oats and nuts and seeds. I tried including raisins in this mix, it never worked. Dried fruits get acrid in the oven and leave a gross taste in your granola. Here are my three recipes and their three groups of baked ingredients.

    The Baked Ingredients
    The Mexican Mix Hazelnut and Pear Popcorn and Ginger
    2c oats
    1/2c puffed amaranth
    1/4c pumpkin seeds
    1/4c coconut flakes
    1/4c peanuts
    3T cacao nibs
    2T wheat germ
    2c oats
    3/4c chopped hazelnuts
    2c oats
    1c popped popcorn
    1/3c chopped cashews
    1/4c coconut flakes

    Notes about baked ingredients: Always use rolled oats, never instant or quick-cooking oats. You can make your own puffed amaranth by popping regular amaranth seeds in a dry tall-sided pot over medium high heat. I suggest only popping a teaspoon or two at a time. Two tablespoons of amaranth seeds should give you enough puffed amaranth seeds for my recipe. (See this youtube video for more guidance). I used red popcorn because I wanted smaller kernels. I popped about 2 tablespoons of popcorn kernels to get my 1 cup of popped popcorn.

    The baked ingredients get mixed up in a large bowl. Then you make the syrup.

    The Syrup Ingredients
    The Mexican Mix Hazelnut and Pear Popcorn and Ginger
    1/4c honey
    3T coconut oil
    2T brown sugar
    1t vanilla
    1/2t cinnamon
    large pinch kosher salt
    2T maple syrup
    2T brown sugar
    3T vegetable or canola oil
    1-1/2t vanilla
    large pinch kosher salt
    3T maple syrup
    3T coconut oil
    2T brown sugar
    mike’s hot honey
    1/2t vanilla
    1/2t ground ginger
    large pinch kosher salt

    Mike’s Hot Honey makes a great addition to the ginger granola if you have it. I squeezed in about a teaspoon.

    For the syrup I warm the oil and the sugars in a small pan or skillet with a heavy pinch of salt. I whisk it until it is smooth. Then I take it off of the heat and add any remaining spices and vanilla. I do this to make sure I don’t scorch the vanilla or the spices.

    Pour your syrup over your oat mixture and mix well. I use my hands to make sure it is evenly spread on to all of the ingredients. Pour the granola on to rimmed baking sheet that is lined with a silpat or parchment paper. Pat it out into a thin layer.

    Put the granola into a preheated 300‌° oven. Every 10-15 minutes check it and move the granola around with a spatula, this will ensure even browning. If you prefer chunky granola you can skip this step and let it bake into a single sheet. Once the granola is evenly browned, remove it to a cooling rack.

    The Dried Fruit
    The Mexican Mix Hazelnut and Pear Popcorn and Ginger
    1/4c red raisins 3/4c raisins
    3/4c diced dried pears
    3/4c chopped candied ginger
    1/2c dried blueberries, cranberries, cherries

    Once the granola is cool enough to touch, but still warm, toss it with your dried fruit. Once it is completely cool store it in air-tight containers. I would suggest dating them, but I never do because we go through this stuff too quickly to worry.

    Eat this with a little yogurt, ground flax seed and bananas.
    I believe my next few combination attempts will have to involve peanut butter and/or chocolate.

     
  • Rex 11:39 am on October 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Reader: damn, this was last weekend. 

    Detroit Tweed Ride this Sunday

    Get your wheels and wool ready. This Sunday is the next Detroit Tweed Ride.

    You can RSVP on Facebook.

    Related Posts

    from m-bike.org http://www.m-bike.org/blog/2011/10/21/detroit-tweed-ride-this-sunday/

     
  • Rex 12:39 pm on October 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Reader: 

    As Expected, Alternative DNS Systems Sprouting Up To Ignore US Censorship

    After the US government, via Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) division, started seizing domains without any notification or adversarial hearing (things that most of the world would consider to be reasonable due process), some folks quickly put together a browser extension, called MAFIAAfire, that would route around any ICE seizures and take you directly to the sites whose domains had been seized. This is, as the internet saying goes, a form of seeing censorship as “damage” and routing around it. Of course, that could be done on a much larger scale. As a bunch of the folks who built key pieces of the core internet infrastructure warned, continuing this kind of policy (and extending it with PROTECT IP) will lead to more workarounds that inevitably will fracture key pieces of the internet and make it significantly less secure. Supporters of PROTECT IP refuse to heed this warning — and, from what we’ve heard — refuse to compromise and make sure that the basic functioning of DNS will be protected.

    So now, totally as expected, we’re already seeing alternative DNS systems showing up, advertising that they should be used to route around US government censorship of such websites. The one getting attention these days is called BlockAid.me.

    What’s just as stunning as the fact that supporters of PROTECT IP still can’t figure out how this is really, really bad, is that they also don’t realize how this pretty much destroys any argument the US makes around the globe in trying to protest political censorship. Some claim it’s entirely different, but it’s not. Both involve a government entity deciding that websites cannot be reached without a trial. This makes the US look ridiculous in the eyes of the world, but I guess as long as it makes sure that Universal and Warner Bros. can prop up their profits for a few more years… it’s all good.

    Permalink | Comments | Email This Story



    from Techdirt http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111010/03123916277/as-expected-alternative-dns-systems-sprouting-up-to-ignore-us-censorship.shtml

     
  • Rex 10:25 pm on September 19, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Reader: 

    Tipping the Balance

    When Nathan began seriously thinking about Modernist Cuisine, he was adamant about one aspect of the recipes: they would all be measured by weight. At The Cooking Lab, we believe that precise measuring by weight is the only way to ensure a dish turns out accurately every time.

    The other day, Farhad Manjoo published an article–almost a plea, really–in The New York Times advocating for more cooks and cookbooks to toss their cups and spoons and use kitchen scales instead.

    While he doesn’t mention hydrocolloids, or other Modernist ingredients that can change a recipe if off by just 0.1 gram, he does give this anecdote in defense of scales:

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, the managing editor of the blog Serious Eats, once asked 10 people to measure a cup of all-purpose flour into a bowl. When the cooks were done, Mr. Lopez-Alt weighed each bowl. “Depending on how strong you are or your scooping method, I found that a ‘cup of flour’ could be anywhere from 4 to 6 ounces,” he said. That’s a significant difference: one cook might be making a cake with one-and-a-half times as much flour as another.

    We ran into the same problem during the production of MC when we wanted to give a table of average volume measurements for people who did not own a scale. Yet despite all of our efforts, it is impossible when working with solid ingredients to consistently obtain a given number of grams simply by measuring the volume. The ingredient dimensions, the force with which you fill the measure, and the natural shifts in water and solid content all contribute to inconsistent measurements; there just isn’t any practical way to replicate these factors every time.

    Manjoo explains why we don’t see many recipes giving quantities in grams or ounces, despite all of the evidence that everything from carrots to hydrocolloids needs to be measured by weight:

    Yet the scale has failed to become a must-have tool in American kitchens. Cook’s Illustrated magazine said scales were in the kitchens of only a third of its readers, and they’re a fairly committed group of cooks.

    There’s a simple reason for this: The scale doesn’t show up in most published recipes. American cookbooks, other than baking books, and magazines and newspapers generally specify only cup and spoon measurements for ingredients. A few, like Cook’s Illustrated, offer weights for baking recipes, but not for savory cooking. (The Times Dining section recently began using weight measurements with baking recipes.)

    This creates a chicken-and-egg problem for the kitchen scale. Cooks don’t own scales because recipes don’t call for one, and recipes don’t call for one because cooks don’t own one.

    Many people argue that they prefer to cook by feel: they don’t measure because they don’t need to. But they are making recipes that they know, and they have acquired a sense of taste and confidence in the kitchen through a significant period of trial and error. The truth is professional chefs, bakers, and pastry artists often do things by feel, too, but only because they have gained such a breadth of experience beforehand.

    Because we wrote our book to teach people and to empower them with accurate information, we saw it as fundamentally important to give them the precision of a weight for every ingredient (the sole exception we made is for final fine adjustments to seasonings that are highly dependent on the individual taste of the cook). People who are learning how to cook and follow a recipe according to volume often end up disappointed by failure and can end up losing interest in cooking; that is a terrible shame when it happens.

    We are hopeful that more cook­book authors will embrace this philosophy. Good scales are cheaper and easier to find than ever, and we hope they find their way into all modern kitchens. You can read all about them on pages 1·94–95 and 4·41 of Modernist Cuisine, and find our recommendations in our Modernist gear guide.

    from Modernist Cuisine» Blog http://modernistcuisine.com/2011/09/tipping-the-balance/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ModernistCuisineBlog+%28Modernist+Cuisine+Blog%29

     
  • Rex 5:40 pm on December 27, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cookies baking cooking   

    Oatmeal Cookies – 3 Ways 

    Adapted from The Joy of Cooking. Because I had it, I used 1/3 + 1/4 cups each: Whole Wheat Pastry Flour, Bread Flour, All-Purpose Flour, but you could also use 1-3/4ths cup of AP flour. To the flour, whisk in: 3/4tsp baking soda, 3/4 tsp baking powder, 1/2tsp salt, 1/2tsp cinnamon, and 1/2tsp nutmeg (if grating fresh, use half this.
    In a separate bowl cream together 2 sticks unsalted butter, 1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar, 1/4cup white sugar. I did this by hand, but you could use the paddle attachment in your stand mixer. Once you have a smooth butter & sugar mixture, break 2 eggs in a bowl and stir in 2-1/2tsp vanilla, making sure to combine fairly evenly, breaking the yolks. Beat this in with the sugar mixture, half of the egg at a time.
    To this mixture, add in the flour, also in two parts. You want to be careful to not over-mix this once the flour is involved. If you’re using your stand mixer, you might want to get out the wooden spoon and do this part by hand. It will be okay if some flour is still showing.

    At this point you could just add in 1c chopped raisins and 3-1/4 cups of rolled oats, but I was making a gift so I wanted some more variety.

    I broke my batter into three separate parts, each weighing about 300g each. Two each of these parts I added the following:

    Batch 1: 3oz Voseges Dark Bacon Bar diced small, and 1/2 cup rolled oats.

    Batch 2: 1/3 cup chopped pecans, 1/3 cup chopped dried cherries and 1/2 cup rolled oats.

    Batch 3: 1/3c chopped raisins and 1cup rolled oats. If you can find some raisins that aren’t in a box, I highly suggest them, Our local bulk food store sells some amazing plump raisins. I diced them because I am going for small cookies.

    Put plastic wrap on the surface of all of these cookie doughs, refrigerate for an hour, or up to 24 hours, as much time as you can spare.

    Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Scoop out your dough with a number 40 scoop, or into balls about 1-1/2 tablespoons in size. Bake for 6 minutes, rotate your cookie sheets in the oven. Bake another 6 minutes and then check them every 2 minutes until they are brown at all around the edges. Let cool 5 minutes on the cookie sheets.

    Put these in a festive tin and serve to your hard-to-shop-for relatives.

     
  • Rex 9:59 pm on November 29, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , thanksgiving, turkey   

    Turkey Stock and Soup 

    Contrary to popular tradition, I carved my Thanksgiving turkey on Tuesday. I carved the breasts from the bone and separated the wings, legs, and thighs at the joints. My Thanksgiving turkey was cooked two different ways: a rolled breast roast I saw on serious eats and a faux sous vide method for the legs and thighs.

    Stock

    All of this freed my turkey carcass up for stock. I roughly hacked the turkey bones into hunks that were around 4″. I hacked my way through any large bones to expose them to the simmering water. I also deboned the turkey thighs and chopped these bones in half. I then threw them in my largest stock pot and covered them with water. I brought this water up to a very slow simmer and left it there for 90 minutes or so.

    stock by Kristin Brenemen (flickr)

    Not mine, but close


    After 90 minutes I added to this stock: 2 each: roughly chopped carrot and celery stalks, almost 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns, 2 small branches each of thyme and tarragon, 2 garlic cloves, lightly smashed with the side of a knife. I also added one large leek, I cut off most of the green and then cut it lengthwise to rinse out any dirt between the layers. All of this I left in the pot to simmer for a good hour. (good because it smelled amazing). I skimmed any weird foam off of of the top of this stock with a tea strainer. I also use the steaming basket that came with my stock pot sitting on top to keep the stock contents below the surface of the water.

    After the ingredients had given up as much as they could, I strained the stock and brought it to a boil to cook it down to around a half gallon. I poured my stock into two quart mason jars. Any leftover I drank and it was fantastic. It took willpower to not drink the rest.

    Soup

    One of my mason jars went into stuffing and gravy. The other was reserved for soup. The stock had formed a thin layer of fat on the top. I had to break this up with a spoon and strain it out of the stock. I put this fat in the bottom of my stock pot with a tablespoon of butter. To this I added 1 leek cut small. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon kosher salt over your leeps. I let that soften a little and then add 1 white yam, diced small, I had a white yam on hand, you could also use a sweet potato. Add 2 carrots and 2 celery stalks, both diced small. Finally I smashed and roughly minced 2 garlic cloves and stirred them in. Keep this mixture on low and stir frequently until it is all soft. You want to make sure it doesn’t brown and get bitter on you. If it does, it isn’t the end of the world.

    At this point you can pour in your stock. I also added some boxed chicken stock I had on hand. Eventually I also added some water to bring the soup up to the volume I wanted. I added to my soup a small bunch of tarragon and thyme because I had them on hand. You could also use rosemary, sage or a bay leaf. I would only choose two of these and keep the amounts small. What really puts this soup over the top though is a nice cheese rind. Anything from a hard cheese, parmesan or asiago work really well. Just cut off the cheese rind in one large chunk and toss it in the pot. Finally, roughly chop a small handful parsley and toss into the soup.

    Let all of this simmer in your pot for a few minutes. Test it for flavor and add some salt and pepper if needed (at least a bit probably will be). At this point you can chop up any turkey leftovers and toss them in. You can even add skin bits, just make sure you dice them small. Now it is time to let the soup sit and slowly simmer. I would let it go for at least 30 minutes, 90 would be better. Half cover the pot with the lid, leaving a gap for some steam to escape.

    Dumplings

    My original idea for this soup was thick and chunky noodles. Basically well-shaped dumplings. Instead I decided to just do spooned-in dumplings. I’m glad we did, they were fantastic. I based my method on this Bobby Flay recipe on Food Network. Here goes:

    Warm up 1 cup of milk and 1 stick of butter in a medium pot until it starts to boil. At this point, kill the heat and whisk in 1/2 tsp salt and nutmeg. 1/2 tsp of pre-ground nutmeg or far less if you’re shaving it fresh. I only did a couple scrapes on my microplane of a nutmeg nut and I felt it was a tad too nutmegy. Slowly whisk in 1 cup flour, you will probably need to change to a wooden spoon when it thickens into a dough. Let this sit a minute once it is fully incorporated. After it cools a second, beat in 3 eggs, one at a time. This dough will be sticky.

    Thank Goodness for Turkey Soup (Book_Maiden on flickr)

    also not mine, was too hungry for pictures


    I found some greasy junk on top of my soup, so I scooped it out with the tea strainer. This took out most of the parsley but it had already added a lot of flavor. If you want more green, chop some more and add it while serving. My thought was that I didn’t want greasy dumplings. Spoon the dumpling batter into the simmering soup in 1-2tsp dollops. I found two spoons works best to get it into the pot. Let the dumplings cook for 20 minutes or until they are floating so high they want to come out of the soup.

    EAT. This was one of my favorite soups that I’ve made… ever. It made a lot of soup, but between Erin and I it was gone by lunchtime the next day.

     
    • Elizabeth 8:45 am on November 30, 2010 Permalink

      This sounds so good! I don’t ever think to make dumplings because we usually sop up soup with a whole lotta bread. Will have to try ‘em next time I make soup, though.

  • Rex 11:46 am on August 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Martha Washington’s “Great” Cake 

    This cake is crazy dense. I think I heard that something like a dozen eggs were sacrificed to create this monster. It has a nutmeg flavor with a citrus aftertaste and leaves a buttery feeling on your tongue and lips. There are michigan transparent apples and dried cherries in it. I saw some almonds go in too but they seemed to have disappeared into this crazy dense cake. The density of this cake makes it feel borderline too dry, but overall it is really nice.

     
c
compose new post
j
next post/next comment
k
previous post/previous comment
r
reply
e
edit
o
show/hide comments
t
go to top
l
go to login
h
show/hide help
shift + esc
cancel