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Posts Tagged ‘breakfast’

I use to think I knew what a good cup of coffee tasted like–then I met Robby.   I must admit I am not the most patient person and I use to just throw a random amount of coffee in the french press, fill it with water and let it sit until I was ready.  Not anymore.  I promise if you follow the steps below you will learn the secrets to making the perfect cup of (french press) coffee! 

When Lizzie mentioned writing a post about coffee I was super excited that I not only got to talk about coffee, but also to make and drink it along the way. I am a stickler for quality and I feel as though what a lot of people consider as a great cup of coffee may not actually be as good as it can be.  One of the more interesting things I’ve heard is that you can’t make great coffee better on its way from seed to cup, but you can only make it worse. 

There are many opinions on methods, techniques, and taste….but for today I’ve chosen to focus on the French Press method. This is an inexpensive, relatively easy way to bring out more from your coffee and enjoy a different spin on your morning (or afternoon) cup. 

The coffee I am using is a personal favorite of mine: fairly traded Organic Guatemalan Medium roasted by Equal Exchange.  Typically, a lighter roasted coffee allows for you to taste more of the not-so-subtle differences in the bean instead of a more “roasty” flavor. 

 

1.)    First, bring about 4 and a half cups of water to a boil. While you’re doing this, you can grind your coffee. If your grinder does not have a designated French Press setting, you’ll want a bit coarser of a grind for a French press than you would use for a drip brew. This is best done using a burr grinder, but if you don’t have one you can make due with a mill grinder. 

 

The general standard is 1-2 tablesoons of coffee for every 6 oz of water. For this entry- I am using a 32 ounce French press (a common home-use size) and 60 grams of coffee- but at home I would use 9-10 level tablespoons/scoops depending on your preference. 

2.)    After you’ve got the ground coffee in the French press and let the boiling water cool for 3-5 minutes (coffee should be brewed at 195-205 degrees F, boiling is 212).  Start a timer and introduce the water to the coffee evenly, filling it a little under a third full. Wait one minute as the coffee absorbs the water, blooms and lets off some of the gases. 

 

3.)    At one minute, fill the French press, stir the mixture and place the top on. Press the plunger down about an inch, so that all of the coffee is now submerged. Now wait three additional minutes. 

 

4.)    At 4:00, plunge the coffee, slowly but steadily and that’s it, your coffee is all done. After serving, you may want to wait a few minutes as your coffee will still be quite hot, but otherwise ENJOY! 

Perfection!

Thanks for the post Robby! 

What is your favorite roast of coffee?  How do you like your coffee–milk, cream, sugar etc? 

[Lizzie]

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Maple Walnut Scones

I have an affinity for scones.  I love everything about them.  This past weekend I went to grab a coffee and a scone. I had my eye one a maple  scone, the last one in the case.  By the time I got to the counter and ordered it, someone in front of me had scooped it up.  Jerk.    

I used this recipe to try to make up for my lost scone.   As usual, I made a few changes:  

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour to replace white flour
  • Walnuts instead of pecans
  • Real maple syrup instead of maple extract

To start, cube  the butter   

Butter makes it better!

Then, chop the walnuts   

    

Using a pasty cutter (one of my best friends in the kitchen-just like using your hands but much less messy!) combine the dry ingredients with the butter until they form small, pea sized chunks. Then, mix in chopped walnuts. It was very hot and humid in Boston today, so I placed this mixture in the refrigerator while I worked on the wet ingredients to prevent the butter from melting.    

Oh hey best friend!

The next step is to mix the wet ingredients. Whisk together butter milk, two egg yolks and maple syrup.     

    

Combine with dry mixture    

    

Form dough into a circle and cut into six triangles.  Place each triangle onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.   Next time I think I will do eight sections because these scones ended up being about as big as my head!    

Looking Good!

I baked these in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.  I think this is one area where I went wrong.  I didn’t watch these closely and I think I overcooked them by about 3 minutes.  I also think trying to makes these a bit more healthy by using 1/2 whole wheat flour was a bad idea.  They tasted fine but a little too “healthy” and dry.    

For the glaze melt butter and whisk together with brown sugar, a few tablespoons of butter milk, and maple syrup.  Allow this mixture to cool for a few minutes.  Add powdered sugar until the mixture thickens up a bit.  Once scones have cooled completely, drizzle glaze on top.  It  is important to wait for the scones to cool or else the glaze will just slide right off!  And since these tasted so healthy, I think giving them a bath in glaze is a very important step.  To finish the scones, top with a few walnut pieces and enjoy!   

   

What is your favorite breakfast treat?   

[Lizzie]

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Smoothies are one of my favorite summertime breakfasts. The key to a filling smoothie is adding something with a bit of protein. I often use plain  yogurt but, due to a serious lack of groceries I plan to remedy this weekend, had none in my fridge. I decided peanut butter would be a suitable substitute and, oh my, it was. We’re big fans of simple pleasures here at WCWWC, and we will definitely be repeating this PB & J smoothie throughout the summer.

If you have bananas that are starting to get too brown, toss them in the freezer. They're perfect for smoothies.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond milk (or milk of your choice)
  • 1  banana
  • 3/4 cup frozen berry blend
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds (optional, but tasty and a great source of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids)

Directions

Combine all ingredients, blend, and enjoy.

I have an immersion blender and a big blue plastic cup that I use for making smoothies, but of course you could also use a regular blender. I will say that the immersion blender makes the cleanup a breeze!

{C}

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When I first started eating a gluten-free diet, I was a little lost as to how to manage the diet. I met with a nutritionist in my doctor’s office, which helped me learn about what I could and couldn’t eat and what I should look at on food labels. However, I found it difficult to translate the list of dos and don’t into delicious, everyday eats. Since I was already familiar with the food blog scene at this point, I knew that there had to be some blogs out there dedicated to a eating a gluten-free diet.

As it turns out, I was right. One of the best gluten-free blogs that I have found is Elana’s Pantry. Elana’s recipes are beautiful, simple, and delicious. She often uses almond flour in her recipes which, as I’ve learned from her, is not only gluten-free but also nutritious, tasty, and easy-to-use. Soon after I discovered her blog, I ordered a bag of almond flour and The Gluten-free Almond Flour Cookbook. This turned out to be one of my best impulse buys of 2009.

Although I haven’t found a bad recipe in this book, my favorite and the one I make most often is the recipe for pancakes (you can find this recipe here). These pancakes aren’t “gluten-free good,” they’re simply delicious. And because the almond flour has  much more protein than white flour, these pancakes are much more filling and nutritious than typical pancakes.

To go with the pancakes, Andrew whipped up some fresh juice which included an orange, a lemon, a pear, a carrot, and Vita Coco coconut water

Fresh juice and pancakes, what a way to start the weekend!

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Oatmeal Pancake

It is not secret that I love oatmeal.  I eat it every day, except in the peak of summer when it is just too hot. My co-workers always joke and ask what I have mixed in my “porage”-nut butter,jam, coconut, fruit, brown sugar and even sometimes cookies!  I might be a creature of habit but I do need a little variety in my life!  Last week I was craving pancakes and if you know me at all this is a bit strange since oatmeal (and most other cereals) are all I ever eat for breakfast food.  If I go to brunch I always order a lunch items, my favorite being the zook from Joe’s Boathouse.   So you might be asking-how does one fix their pancake craving when they don’t have any mix on hand?  Answer: Oatmeal pancake.

In a bowl I combine the following

1/2 cup oats

1/4 cup wheat flour

 1 mashed up ripe banana

sprinkle of cinnamon

a squirt or two of agave nectar

if you need more liquid add a splash of almond milk

Mix all ingredients together. 

 Spray frying pan with cooking spray, divide batter and make two pancakes in frying pan.  Cook on each side until browned. 

 

I topped mine with peanut butter and jelly but you could also use yogurt or syrup.  Enjoy!

{L}

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