Sunday, September 30, 2012

3 Ways to Stop and Smell the Coffee

For many of us, October is the kick-off for a festive season leading into the wintry months.  As a celebration of all things orange, spiced and all things nice, I thought it would be nice to do one last short post leading into October.

This post has nothing technical, just a tip to make your coffee and guests a little more happy this season.  No fancy tricks, no formulas, no special ingredients.

Flavoring Your Joe.
Many people flavor their coffee, it really isn't anything new.  But how people flavor it will create a big difference from eh to AMAZING!

Instead of purchasing preflavored coffee, or sweetened syrups to add to your post-brew, try this instead.  Add a teaspoon of your favorite spices inside the coffee filter before you turn the coffee pot on.

Coffee is not only an experience of taste, but aromatics.  By adding ingredients to the top of the pot, people will be able to smell the freshness of the spices added.  It also creates a smooth final brew without unpleasant mystery spice specks for your guests.

Here are three suggestions: (each suggestion is based on a 5 cup brew, with 5 rounded Tbsp. of ground coffee beans)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Spiced Pumpkin Rum Tiramisu & Salted Caramel Walnuts

Tiramisu, the “pick me up” dessert, is a food of the culinary gods.  Rich, creamy, and loaded with calories – just the way it was meant to be.  But everything you’ve known about tiramisu is about to be shattered.  This recipe will break the mold of any preconceived notions and create a new tradition this autumn season.  You will be in love with tiramisu once again.  The romance will continue…

Simple Concept.
This recipe is surprisingly easy.  It can be served almost immediately and takes about an hour to make.  Traditionally, lady fingers – a sponge cake cookie – soaked in espresso coffee are used.  Instead, the lady fingers are replaced with thin slices of angel food cake and the custard is piped through a rosette tip to create a lovely presentation.  It is then topped with Salted Caramel Walnuts.

Creating Harmony among the Ingredients.
There was a bit of difficulty conceptualizing this recipe.  The pumpkin Italian custard and espresso soaked cake initially clashed.  It didn’t make sense on the taste buds.  Some recipes change the espresso to another liquid, but then the contrast of the sweet cream and bitter coffee flavor would be lost.   It needed something to bring the two ingredients to harmonize.

Eggnog Always Makes Things Better.
Since I was stuck on using espresso and pumpkin, something had to be added to connect the flavors together.  The answer – Eggnog.  Mixing equal portions of espresso coffee and eggnog gave the dish the distinguished taste it deserved.  Eggnog was also added to the custard.  Finally, it made sense.  The bitterness of the espresso and the flavor of the pumpkin came together reminiscent of a pumpkin spice latte.  Topped with another layer of espresso-eggnog soaked sponge, topped with more custard, and sprinkled with salty, sweet walnuts, perfection is served!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ribeye Steak Diane, Reinvented

This recipe strays from traditional French cuisine by the addition of some smoky flavors most associate with southern barbecue.  However, the dish still remains its integrity with a traditional cream sauce that harmonizes beautifully.  Though traditionally Steak Diane sauce has a touch of mustard and Worcestershire.  Some people also add Brandy or Cognac to the cream sauce.  Feel free to customize this variation further to suit your palate. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Creating the Next Generation of Food Snobs

Now that I live on a college campus, the accusation of “food snob” has been thrown around quite often.  So in an effort to create the next generation of food snobs, here are 5 Tips on how to determine authentic ingredients from non-authentic.