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eGfoodblog: Live It Up


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Tomorrow Josh opens the store, so I won't be checking in until a little later. Gotta bake a cake and roast coffee, so I'll report on those in the afternoon. For now I have dinner pics. The leek pie was amazing! Here it is after I unmolded it.

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And plated with salad.

gallery_28660_4849_18195.jpg

TOD was 10:45--I didn't have to do any work, but the baking took a while. I know what I'm having for breakfast!

Ok, goodnight.

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Back to yesterday's lunch--We got food from a Cuban restaurant called Cafecito.[...]

I've been to Cafecito at least once (twice, I think), and I found the food pretty good and fair-priced, though the cocktails were way too sweet (a Cuban place with a bad mojito is really disturbing to me). Here's the Cafecito thread.

I'll come by and say hello one of these days. :wink:

Edited by Pan (log)

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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gallery_28660_4849_18195.jpg

Its the Bunnykins bowl for grown-up cat lovers! (the infamous Royal Dalton bowl for kids who are rewarded by seeing the bunnies on the bottom of the bowl if they eat all their food)

That's a delicious looking leek pie.

I'm very much looking forward to your coffee roasting segment. I'm sorry but I couldn't wait and roasted 100 grams last night in the aluminum popcorn maker. I seem to have quite a blend of beans ranging from "still slightly green" to "black like a space shuttle tile".

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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So, what's the fall back beer where you are?
Here in Portland, Maine, we are on a Molson Canadian jag - $12.99/18 cans.
I seem to have quite a blend of beans ranging from "still slightly green" to "black like a space shuttle tile".
:laugh: Once, I worked across the street from a small roaster in Vermont. Being the only source of good coffee for that part of town I hung around enough to get to know everyone. One day they rang me up and said to come over quickly. They had way over-roasted some beans and decided to make a pot anyway. It tasted fine... and it was transcendental! Everyone was running around giggling. The owner, who named his blends, forbid it for sale but wrapped up a couple pounds for the regulars to take home. We called it Zooom!

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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Here's a shot of my kitchen work space. The fridge is next to the red and white hutch.

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Here's another kitchen shot. We put all the open shelving up ourselves. It looks crooked, but that's actually the ceiling that's crooked. There's a serious slope in our apartment.

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Some of my pantry. I store my dishes in the bottom part of the red and white unit. They're really hard to get to so I hate putting my dishes away.

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Here's the contents of my cabinets.

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That's a ton of cabinet space. NYC apartments being what they are, I'd kill for that much storage.

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Tomorrow Josh opens the store, so I won't be checking in until a little later. Gotta bake a cake and roast coffee, so I'll report on those in the afternoon. For now I have dinner pics. The leek pie was amazing! Here it is after I unmolded it.

gallery_28660_4849_17987.jpg

And plated with salad.

gallery_28660_4849_18195.jpg

TOD was 10:45--I didn't have to do any work, but the baking took a while. I know what I'm having for breakfast!

Ok, goodnight.

Yes, please post the recipe if you have time. It looks delicious. Enjoying the blog!

I like cows, too. I hold buns against them. -- Bucky Cat.

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Here's the leek pie recipe:

1 onion sliced

1/4 cup butter

4 tbsp olive oil

2 large leeks, chopped (I used 3)

1 cup flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

3 large eggs

7 oz greek yogurt (I used 2%)

11 oz feta cheese cubed

4 oz gruyere or parmesan (I used greek graviera cheese) grated

3-4 tbsp fresh dill (I used 1 tbsp fresh oregano)

salt and pepper

saute onions in butter and oil until lightly browned. Add leeks and cook, covered until soft. (I also added a chopped garlic clove at this point). Cool mixture slightly. Sift flour and b.s. into a bowl. Add eggs, then yogurt, feta, and then leek and onions. Reserve 2 tbsp grated cheese, and then mix in the rest of it and herbs.

Bake in a buttered 10 inch springform pan. 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Cool a bit before unmolding.

Gotta go to work--will be back in a little while with coffee roasting pics.

Edited by Live It Up (log)
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gallery_28660_4849_18195.jpg

Its the Bunnykins bowl for grown-up cat lovers! (the infamous Royal Dalton bowl for kids who are rewarded by seeing the bunnies on the bottom of the bowl if they eat all their food)

That's a delicious looking leek pie.

I'm very much looking forward to your coffee roasting segment. I'm sorry but I couldn't wait and roasted 100 grams last night in the aluminum popcorn maker. I seem to have quite a blend of beans ranging from "still slightly green" to "black like a space shuttle tile".

I was wondering if anyone would notice that my plates have cats on them. I have a thing about cute cartoon animals with buttholes. My mom saw these plates in France and some of them show the cats' buttholes, so she bought a few for me. Well, she just kept buying them and now I have 6 place settings including glasses, place mats, coasters, mugs and a couple of serving pieces. Here's a sampling for you.

gallery_28660_4849_14324.jpg

I'm sorry to say that I know nothing about roasting with a popcorn popper, but there's tons of info on coffeegeek, as you probably already know.

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I forgot to post the picture of the wine we had last night. Lambrusco!

gallery_28660_4849_4077.jpg

I love lambrusco, and it was perfect on such a hot, sticky night. Yes, those are dead roses behind it. The roses and the cactus were both birthday presents and I kinda like how they look together, so I haven't thrown the roses out.

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Ok, finally time to talk about coffee. As I mentioned before, I worked at a coffee shop for 7 years, starting when I was 18. So, for that time I rarely made coffee at home, and when I did it was a melitta cone or a press pot. Now, Alt.coffee may not be considered the greatest coffee shop in the world--it's certainly not "third wave"--but the drip coffee there is/was pretty good. When we opened the store I got an automatic drip coffee maker --this model--and all of a sudden I was drinking crappy coffee. I couldn't figure out why. Then I was looking around online for coffee equipment to sell in the store, and I came across coffeegeek.com. I had never really put that much thought into coffee before because I always had good coffee available. I didn't realize that most automatic drip coffee makers don't brew at the correct temperature so you get weak, flavorless coffee. I replaced my store coffee maker with the Presto Scandinavian coffee maker, which is great, but unfortunately discontinued. But coffeegeek also got me curious about roasting my own beans.

I was really nervous about roasting at home at first because I live in a pretty small apartment with no outdoor space, no hood on my stove, etc. But, despite these worries I decided to go with the cast iron pan roasting method, mostly because it requires very little financial investment. Here's my roasting equipment.

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The only items that I bought specifically for roasting were the pan, the whisk and the thermometer--total cost of about $40. Plus, I figured if I hated roasting I could always use those items for other cooking tasks, so no risk. As it is, I don't use the pan for anything else, and I never wash it.

Now, a lot of the people who post on coffeegeek are super geeky and scientific about their roasting and brewing, but not me. Roasting in a dedicated roaster or popcorn popper seems more like programming to me than cooking. I really love being able to use all my senses to determine when the beans are ready. In addition, I can roast a pound at a time in my pan, whereas most roasters only do a few ounces.

Here's my stash of beans. I usually buy 25 or 30 lbs at a time. Supplies are dwindling.

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I really like this place I bought my last batch of beans from the unroasted coffee company.

Today I'm roasting Bolivian Cenaproc. I start by heating my pan on high heat til the thermometer reads 500 degrees, about 10 minutes.

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Meanwhile, I weigh out a pound of beans (or a little more).

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When the pan is up to heat, remove the thermometer and turn the heat down to medium-high ish. This was one of the hardest things to figure out for me as I started roasting is how high to have the flame. A lot of people who pan roast seem to do it on a low heat. I tried it that way and it just didn't work--the coffee was always sour. When you roast at a higher temp you do have to be careful of scorching, but I stir constantly anyway.

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Keep stirring. They'll start to change color, usually getting lighter before they turn brown.

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After about 12-15 minutes they'll start to crack. This is what they look like at this stage.

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I think when you roast in a popper or other fluid bed method the first crack happens kind of all at once. With pan roasting it definitely takes a while for all the beans to go through first crack. I usually stop roasting a little bit before or into second crack. Mostly I go by the appearance of the beans and the chaff. If there's still a lot of chaff clinging to the beans I know that they need more roasting. These are almost done.

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When they get to this point, I like to turn the heat off and stir until they're done. Then I dump them back into the bowl, and run to the living room, lean out the window and pour them back and forth from the bowl to the colander.

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This is to cool them, but mostly so the chaff blows off. When it's really hot out like it has been, I then set the bowl on top of an ice pack to cool some more.

gallery_28660_4849_15949.jpg

All done!

Wow, that was a really long post.

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My roasting method is a little messier and smokier than most, but it works for me. It's no more smoky than using my cast iron grill pan.

I still make coffee at home with a melitta cone most often, but I also have an aeropress, a press pot, and an espresso machine. My espresso machine is actually a really great machine that was beat to shit when I got it. It is currently not working at all, but Josh and I are working on rewiring it. We replaced one of the connectors last night, but we need to get another size part. Hopefully it will be fixed before the end of the blog.

Here's the coffee I had today for breakfast with my leek pie.

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No picture of the pie as it looked the same as last night.

I also baked the coconut tea cake from Baking: from my home to yours (great thread here).

I got the book and a bundt pan for my birthday, so I was very excited to use both.

Here's the book in my wonderful cookbook holder.

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The cake was super easy and quick to put together. However, I checked it 5 minutes before it was supposed to be done and it was pretty brown. I have read the whole thread on this book, and most people complained that the recipes took longer to bake than the stated times. I'm glad I checked when I did because it would have been burnt in another 5 minutes.

I took this picture of the cake cooling to show the awkward position of my kitchen table in relation to the fridge.

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As you can see from this picture of the cake unmolded, it got very brown.

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I don't know if this is how it's supposed to look or not, but it is really delicious. I'm not a fan of cake, but this is good. I don't think I can eat too much of it though. And next time I would definitely make one of the variations with citrus zest, just to give it that extra freshness. It was a little too vanilla-y for me this way.

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Wow, I'm fascinated by your coffee roasting -- I thought there was a lot more to it.

I wish I could roast my own beans, but DH hates the smell of coffee. As it is, I make my Melitta drip coffee out in the garage. I'm assuming you can really smell those beans as they roast ... ah.

Diana Burrell, freelance writer/author

The Renegade Writer's Query Letters That Rock (Marion Street Press, Nov. 2006)

DianaCooks.com

My eGullet blog

The Renegade Writer Blog

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Wow, I'm fascinated by your coffee roasting -- I thought there was a lot more to it.

I wish I could roast my own beans, but DH hates the smell of coffee. As it is, I make my Melitta drip coffee out in the garage. I'm assuming you can really smell those beans as they roast ... ah.

Actually, despite what you might think, roasting coffee doesn't really smell like coffee. It's hard to describe how it smells, but it's not exactly great. The beans don't start to smell like coffee until they've rested a day or 2.

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I like your cookbook holder -- I never use mine because I hate jamming the book behind the long metal bar -- looks like yours doesn't have that problem.

I bought one of the Presto Scandinavian coffee makers because of coffeegeek, too! It was either that or the Technivorm which seemed like overkill at the time. For the most part I stick to one cappuccino From my Elektra each morning, so the Presto doesn't get that much use.

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Your description of roasting coffee sounds just like what I see every day in Hanoi. Lots of little cafes do their roasting out on the streets, using a wok and little coal burner. It smells kind of burn-y, and it always makes me want to pull my bike over and grab a quick cup.

That cake made my mouth water. I've been coveting that book for a long time, but I just don't live in a place where I can reasonably do any baking.

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When they get to this point, I like to turn the heat off and stir until they're done. Then I dump them back into the bowl, and run to the living room, lean out the window and pour them back and forth from the bowl to the colander.

gallery_28660_4849_3653.jpg

gallery_28660_4849_62279.jpg

This is to cool them, but mostly so the chaff blows off. When it's really hot out like it has been,  I then set the bowl on top of an ice pack to cool some more.

gallery_28660_4849_15949.jpg

All done!

Wow, that was a really long post.

I am loving that you use your fire escape as cooking space. My mom, who was born on the Lower East Side in 1930, told me tales of her mother (Eastern European Jewish emigree) keeping crocks of fermenting sauerkraut out on the fire escape in the winter.

I also love the fact that just a simple cast iron pan will do for roasting coffee.

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I hope you never have to put anything heavier than a colander full of beans on that fire escape. The degree of rust is frightening.

The photographs, with greys, browns and straight lines contrasted with the cherry-pattern cherry-red colander, are lovely.

<editted: thats greys not gresy!>

Edited by Kouign Aman (log)

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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I am loving that you use your fire escape as cooking space. My mom, who was born on the Lower East Side in 1930, told me tales of her mother (Eastern European Jewish emigree) keeping crocks of fermenting sauerkraut out on the fire escape in the winter.

I also love the fact that just a simple cast iron pan will do for roasting coffee.

I hope you never have to put anything heavier than a colander full of beans on that fire escape. The degree of rust is frightening.

The photographs, with greys, browns and straight lines contrasted with the cherry-pattern cherry-red colander, are lovely.

<editted: thats greys not gresy!>

You should see the ladder that connects the landings. Some of the rungs are barely attached --truly terrifying. Also, I can't keep anything on the fire escape. I once had a plant out there and it got stolen. This was after I had had it for 2 years on the fire escape in my last apartment. Maybe one of these days I'll live someplace with a balcony.

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Yesterday was a pretty boring food day. Here's the pad thai I had for lunch after I got to the store.

gallery_28660_4849_22443.jpg

It's from Tara Thai on first avenue. I really like their pad thai, and their lunch special is basically the same size order you get for dinner, but a few dollars cheaper. They also have really good fried bananas for dessert, but I only get those when I eat in there, and I never do that anymore. I rarely eat out anywhere anymore.

Josh had some sort of pork and stringbean thing, but he was basically done eating it by the time I was done taking a picture of mine.

I closed the store last night and walked home down Avenue A--a significant detour for me. Popped into my old place of work, which has just re-opened as a baby friendly cafe.

Here's an article about it. This was the first time I've been in since they opened, and it was really depressing. I won't get into why, but if you know anything about the old place you might be able to guess.

I love my neighborhood, but there are some serious annoyances here. The biggest one for me is the total lack of any good supermarkets. Avenue A is completely gentrified at this point, but the key food (which is the only real supermarket on A) is truly pathetic. There's one gourmet market called Gracefully a few blocks down that is disgustingly over priced, but it's the only option if you want to buy something like carnaroli rice, or sherry vinegar, or non-packaged bread. I stopped in and bought a some vinegar, olives and bread on my way home.

Since Josh was at band practice, I had a salad for dinner.

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Josh isn't a huge fan of cold or raw foods. He will eat salad, but he doesn't really like it, so I eat salads a lot when I'm eating alone. I made him a meatball sandwich with leftovers from last week when he got home from band practice. TOD for me was 10:30, for Josh 12:30am.

After I had dinner I did some prep for tonight. I'm making another one of Josh's favorites--Marcella Hazan's pasta sauce with veal and peppers. If you have read any of her books, you probably know that she is adamant about peeling peppers raw with a peeler. I didn't exactly doubt her, but once I tried this recipe I was certainly convinced. For this recipe, you peel the peppers, then cook them down slowly. She calls for red, yellow and green peppers, but I don't like green peppers, so I always sub cubanelles.

I usually throw all the peppers in together, but the cubanelles are thin and they cook faster than the others, so I started the red and yellow peppers first this time. Here are the peppers after I added the cubanelles.

gallery_28660_4849_3164.jpg

And here they are after they've cooked down.

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yummy peppery goodness. The rest of the recipe in pretty simple: saute some onions, brown some ground veal, add some peeled tomatoes, combine with peppers. I would have made the whole sauce last night, but I forgot to buy tomatoes on my way home. Oh well, I'll do it tonight. The only part of the recipe that takes while is peeling and cooking the peppers.

Thursday is my favorite day of the week. Tonight we'll go out to Lakeside Lounge where my friend Lara works. It's not a fabulous cocktail destination, but we always have a good time there. If anyone reading this wants to stop by, please do. We don't usually get there til 11:30 or so. Just ask the bartender to point me out.

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Wow, I'm fascinated by your coffee roasting -- I thought there was a lot more to it.

That is exactly what was going through my mind as I was reading that post. I always assumed it was a much more complicated process. I think I might be giving this a try. (After the summer.)

Great blog.

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      This is  油茶 (yóu chá) or Oil Tea. The tea is made from Tea Seed Oil which is made from the seeds of the camellia bush. This dish is used as a welcoming offering to guests in homes and restaurants. Proper etiquette suggests that three cups is a minimum, but they will keep refilling your cup until you stop drinking. First time I had it I really didn't like it, but I persevered and now look forward to it.
       

      L-R: Director of the Foreign Affairs Dept of Liuzhou government, consuls-general of Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos.
       
      Having partaken of the oil tea, finally we are allowed to enter the dining room, where two tables have been laid out for our use.
       

       
      Let the eating, finally, begin.
       
      In no particular order:
       

      Steamed corn, taro and sweet potato
       

      Bamboo Shoots
       

      Duck
       

      Banana leaf stuffed with sticky rice and mixed vegetables and steamed.
       

      Egg pancake with unidentified greenery
       

      Stir fried pork and beans
       

      Stir fried Chinese banana (Ensete lasiocarpum)
       

      Pig Ears
       

       
      This may not look like much, but was the star of the trip. Rice paddy fish, deep fried in camellia tree seed oil with wild mountain herbs. We ate this at every meal, cooked with slight variations, but never tired of it.
       

      Stir fried Greens
       
      Our meal was accompanied by the wait staff singing to us and serving home-made rice wine (sweetish and made from the local sticky rice).
       
       
       
       
      Everything we ate was grown or reared within half a kilometre of the restaurant and was all free-range, organic. And utterly delicious.
       
      Roll on dinner time.
       
      On the trip I was designated the unofficial official photographer and ended up taking 1227 photographs. I just got back last night and was busy today, so I will try to post the rest of the first day (and dinner) as soon as I can.
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