what the french toast?

Yup, its a Golden French Toast sort of morning here.

I realized this morning that the smell of this coffee confuesed me.  I smell it… & I taste it…. & it seems odd.  My smell says I should be eating this.  The feel of drinking the warm liquid thinks its should taste like coffee.  The brain isn’t awake yet so its all messed up.  But alas it is quite delish.

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New Pride & Joy

Ok I caved.

I have managed to go from someone who barely drinks coffee to someone who went & spent some christmas cash on a Keurig!

It took a while to convince myself & I went back & forth between models, but the sale prices did me in.

My thought process is that its a WHOLE lot cheaper than those delicious drinks from a certain java place.  Besides they only really light up my life when they offer the Pumpkin Spice Lattes – which is just a few short months of the year.

Also cheaper than the drive thru economical alternative I have been getting once in a while.

The other thoughts are – FINALLY I will be awake at work in the morning, even on the days that I don’t splurge on the lattes.  Plus it leaves the French Press in the dust speed & ease wise!  Not that I won’t still go for that on weekends when I want to.  Something so rewarding with the strength & method of the press.  But in reality, in the mornings I am just not up to it.

I got the B60 model, which has a timer on it to turn it off after a certain time – no forgetting & wondering all day IF I turned the coffee maker off or not.  Also it has a feature that turns the machine on at a certain time, say when my alarm goes off to wake me up.  That way the water does the quick heat up before being ready to brew while I am still dragging myself from between the sheets to the bathroom.  By the time I get to the kitchen, then machine is just waiting on me to pick the blend to brew today.

LOVE that I am not wasting a pot or press full of coffee everytime I want some.  The single cup is the way to go.  I can use the travel mugs I have without wondering what to do with the rest of the stuff that won’t pour in.  I have never been great about saving it & it seems like a horrible thing to waste.  Might be just the right amount in the french press if I had a roommate, but as a solo chick, its morn than I can haul to work.

 

Plus I got the K-cup where you can add any coffee, so that should help lower the cost & keep me drinking my favorites – mainly Deadman’s Reach by Ravenbrew!  It hasn’t made it in to me yet but its on the way (they were sold out other than one that was open… I’ll pass).

I am looking forward to trying most of the flavors.  In all honestly, I don’t really see the point of decaf.  But I have one that came with the machine, so I guess I will try it sooner or later.

Any suggestions on flavors to try?

I already have a box of pumpkin spice being shipped to me!  Can not wait to get those in the machine.

 

THANKS SANTA!

Coffee Confession

Ok confession time.

I was over 30 before I actually drank my first cup of coffee.  (waiting for the sound of shock &  the “WHAT? WHY?”s……done?)  I know late bloomer.

Get this – one of my jobs for a few months was to PURCHASED coffee for a local health food cooperative!  I had the stocking, ordering & all that down, but relied on feedback from others & deals from brokers to decide which ones to stock.  For shame I know!

I watched my parents drink it daily & my grandmother (one of my favorite people ever) was known to drink 2 pots some days! It was she who introduced me to the coffee shops & the chocolate covered espresso beans that got me thru many, many late nights in college!  I loved the smell, but not the taste of the drink.

I tried a few sips now & then over the years growing up but I always came to the same conclusion – tasted like dirty water to me.  Even with the added creamers & sweeteners.

TIL I DISCOVERED ESPRESSO!  & a good cup of cuban coffee.

Seems I wasn’t someone who didn’t like coffee, I was someone who didn’t enjoy weak coffee!

Unfortunately I also discovered that it like the chocolate covered beans would keep me up all night! Had to limit my consumption to before noon or else I would be up all night (& this was prior to my current insomnia issues!).

I purchased some good coffee, a grinder & a french press & I was in business!

Also learned the bliss that is a pumpkin spice latte!

Never will I make up the years lost without that delicious seasonal treat.

The one problem I had was I am NOT a morning person enough to make coffee with the french press every morning.  Also it makes more than I can take with me to work.

Sure I could stop & get some on the way to work, but who can afford that everyday? Also I bring Baxter to work with me & I’m not a fan of leaving dogs in cars.

Don’t even get me started on the coffee at work.  Seems to be the same bland, weak stuff my parents go for.  No thanks. I will save the calories & just have a sweet tea from a drive thru on the way.

So most days I just forgo coffee & save it for weekends & special days.

A while back it seems everyone got these single serving coffee machines.  I had a blast watching some friends compare the different flavors.  Still since I seem to be very picky with my blends, didn’t really interest me in spending that kind of money – & valuable kitchen counter space – on something that would again make bland weak coffee.

Today while hunting for gifts I discovered something that peaked my interest in the single serving machines again…. the reusable cup!

You add in your own coffee.  So I could add my strong stuff!  Still wonder if it would end up being strong enough or if would be able to double the suggested amounts.  But I am definitely curious.

Anyone have any experience with these?

Oh & my favorite coffee so far?  Fresh ground Deadman’s Reach by RavenBrew. Its incredible!

Chocolate Cresent Rolls?

Last night I did the mad after work dash around to get the Thanksgiving stuff & pack up myself, a pug & 4 birds for the annual trip to my parents.  While in at work I decided it was also going to be a day of baking!  Funny how a slow day at work can lead to such grand ideas.

I decided after a discussion on chocolate croissants & the seemingly lack of anywhere to locate one in the local area, that I would make some to share at work.

Also decided that I would surprise my family by baking some blondies up to bring.

Well…

Got all the ingredients… sort of.

The blondie attempt has been put on hold due to lack of a mixer.  After rereading the recipe & seeing it say to “beat until fluffy” & realizing that was about how I felt after the long day… there was no way I was going to attempt it by hand.  So into a box all the ingredients went so that I can borrow my mom’s mixer while I am there.  Still will share, but now I also will be creating more dishes there to clean! Oops.

The chocolate croissants, well try chocolate cresent rolls.  I couldn’t find a croissant mix or dough to actually make the rolls with.  Closest I could do was the refridgerated canned stuff.  While the guys at work thought they were great… they are NOT the pastry I was longing for.

Now that light flaky fluffy pastry is what I am longing for…. Just need to actually make the pastry dough or find something more like it.

This is just not the same…

However to share in case anyone wants to try it.  The recipe is the same as on the tube.  Only change is that you slip in some chocolate before rolling the triangle up.  I cut the miniture chocolate bars leftover from Halloween in half lengthwise & used those, but I am sure that chips would work as well. 

Wondering how a dab of nutella would work?

The Morning After

Some Saturdays you just want to be lazy.

This was one of those mornings. I was FINALLY able to get a full night of sleep! Which is no small matter for me & certainly hasn’t been the norm for the past few months. I didn’t sleep entirely through the night, but almost! Getting nearly 8 hours of slumber is worth celebrating in my life!

Still with the dawn comes responsibilities.. like breakfast.

This morning didn’t feel like cereal or any of the normal choices. Time to get creative!

So I made what I will call the Morning After!

Starts with a leftover steak, chopped into small pieces & heated in a small pan.

Added in a couple of eggs & a splash of my favorite steak sauce.

Cooked the eggs almost fully then tossed in some provolone & colby cheese!

Heat til the cheese melts.  I went ahead & warmed my bun while the cheese melted, but this might also be just as good on toast (If I had a loaf of bread in the house at the moment!).

Then just enjoy!  Preferably back in bed with a glass of pomegranate blueberry juice.

Next time I will &  I HIGHLY suggest adding spinach.  Maybe even some red pepper chunks.  But for this time.  This was perfect for this morning.

Just after finishing up breakfast I got the best surprise!

My own personal blue bird of happiness, my budgie Bongo, FLEW across the bedroom!

I know birds fly… but this is HUGE for him.  He LOVED soaring around my house more than any bird I know. Around the time I was going thru the second surgery on my hand this past summer, I discovered he had blood on his beak.  He had gotten injured under is wing.  The only thing the vet & I could figure out was that he had gotten hung on a perch that had calcium & gotten chewed down.  He got several different medications & check ups.  It healed but I was told due to the way it healed, he most likely would never be able to fly again.  Broke my heart.  He seemed to have adapted but I could tell he missed doing laps around the room with his cage mate.

Lately he has been trying.  Tends to end up in a giant leap a couple of feet with a nice landing on something close.  But TODAY HE FLEW not leaped ACROSS around 14 feet!  He hasn’t gotten turning in flight but he did stay up! I’m so happy for him.

Back in Action Again

Also gives me more hope.  I can over come my own injuries.  Even if they say I won’t… who knows.  No one can say for sure.  One thing I can take from Bongo.  If you want it, you have GOT to keep trying.  Otherwise you haven’t got a chance!

ok I caved into the Pie-mania

Yes. Those ingredients are for pie.  All the talking of pie reminded me of one of my favorites that I haven’t had in years, Egg Custard Pie.

Start by combining 2 Tbsp butter, 1/2 tsp salt & 1 1/2 cups sugar.

Add in four eggs to the sugar mixture.

Then add 2 cups milk.  But I suggest doing so in a bigger bowl than I did because otherwise mixing all this together gets very tricky, or messy.  Thankfully I didn’t make a mess but I regretted not going for a bigger bowl!  Add in 1 tsp vanilla (or a bit more if you are like me).

Next pour into 2 deep dish pie shells that have been poked a few times with a fork.  I don’t actually know why, but I was taught to do that so I do.

Then you want to dash on ground nutmeg.  Some just sprinkle a little.  I sprinkle a lot.

Finally bake in a 425 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes.

They will still be jiggly when you pull them out of the oven.  Let them sit to cool for a while.

One reason I adore this pie (& the only reason I talked myself into making it) is that its even better after sitting in the fridge all night.  I would store it in the fridge.  Since its EGG custard & eggs are notorious for being breakfast food, I plan on having this for breakfast for the next couple of days.

Dinner ended up being simple again.

Macaroni & Cheese Soup

I saw a friend from high school talking about having macaroni & cheese soup one day & I had to ask what she was talking about.  Thankfully she was sweet enough to give me the recipe.

One box of the blue box mac & cheese.  Prepared just as the directions say.

Then add in 1 can of cream of chicken soup & 1 can of milk.

Add in chicken broth to get it to the desired consistency.

I added a side of grilled cheese to my bowl of Macaroni & Cheese soup.  With finally getting over a cold, I seem to be overly excited about adding cheese back into my diet!

This soup strikes me as a great base for a variety of different ideas.  Maybe adding some jalapeno slices, can of veggies, or frozen broccoli & cauliflower!  When I thanked my friend & mentioned I made it, she told me she has since added bacon pieces to the soup & loved it.  I’m not a bacon girl, but I imagine a lot of people would love that version.

Enjoy.

I however will be enjoying a slice of pie.

Dining all over Disney

In my family there are a few things that always come up when we talk of Disney trips.  The Magic Kingdom, Mickey Ears, Monorails & the food.

Granted there was a time where it seemed to be the same overpriced hamburgers or chicken nuggets anywhere we went, but things have changed over the years!  There is a lot of variety to be found & more food to eat than stomach to hold it.  Especially if you are brave enough to try something off the beaten path or willing to spend more than you normally would – which my family wasn’t.  I swear one day I WILL dine in Cinderella Castle! 😀

Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe is a family favorite & I remember being dazzled as a kid as Sunny Eclipse would entertain us with his lounge act featuring nothing but hits & jokes about the universe, cosmos, galaxy….you get the idea.  This is THE burger joint of our memories!  BUT it is much more than a burger place.  There are 3 bays to order from – one features chicken items, one burgers, and the final one is soups, salads & sandwiches.  I reliving my memories went for the cheeseburger & topped it with lettuce, some bbq sauce & more cheese sauce from the massive toppings bar.  I love it.  Not in a its the best thing I have eaten way, but in a I feel like I am 7 again & estatic way!  And no back then the apples were not an option for the side, but I think grapes were.  Still I went all out & opted for the fries….with a drizzle of cheese sauce of course!

Another Disney legend is the Mickey Waffles.  What kid doesn’t want a waffle that looks like Mickey?  For the 1st breakfast I got a waffle that was topped with bananas & warm salted caramel.  Alas it as delicious as it was, it was no Mickey shaped.  Bummer.  So the second day, I got my Mickey waffle.  I also realized I needed a bit more than just carbs & sugar to fuel me along, so I went for the breakfast platter.  WAY more food than I wanted, but it had my waffle – a mini version anyway, which was okay by me!  The eggs were what I needed.  It also came with a biscuit, potatoes, turkey sausage link AND 2 slices of bacon.  I quickly gave the bacon & sausage away since they aren’t my style.  Over all I left stuffed & didn’t finish the plate.  Especially since we got a chocolate croissant to share!

Later for dinner we went to a place that is pure bliss – the Rainforest Cafe.  I remember being young & being just amazed at all the animals, stars, the storms… & I still am!  Just feels magical.  I’m a sucker for all the atmosphere.  Plus the food was divine.  I got the Jungle something or another… it was coconut shrimp skewers, shrimp scampi, steak with butter on it, garlic mashed potatoes & mixed grilled veggies.  HEAVEN ON A PLATE!

Right before I jetted off to catch my flight I was lucky enough to meet up with my cousin for lunch.  We were tight on time, so we thought something light – sandwich.  Where else does a sandwich better than the Earl of Sandwich?! So we went.  I immediately knew what I was getting after a quick glance on the menu.  The Holiday Special!  Something about warmed turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce & stuffing just sounded amazing.  It also comes with mayo, but I don’t like mayo & it seemed unnecessary anyway.  Now the bad thing is, I LOVED IT.  Where on earth am I going to find a way to get the fix of this craving? Might have to find a way to recreate this one at home.  Either that or just move on down to the Orlando area.

The most spectacular dining memory is by far the late snack we had sharing a funnel cake from Sleepy Hallow while watching the Boo To You Parade float by across the bridge.  We had a great view, all had comfortable seats & delish nosh to share together.  Family memories just seem better with food it seems.

So what foods remind you of Disney?  Anything you just feel like you haven’t had the Disney experience without?