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Megan Blocker

My morning coffee fix...

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I was walking to work the other morning, relishing the crisp, cool fall air. Those of you who either live here in NYC or have had the pleasure of visiting in summer know that the smells you encounter during those months can be...less than pleasant. So, it's always a treat when summer departs, taking the stench with it.

Fall's cleaner, colder air also allows you to smell all the good things you couldn't in August - roasted nuts, smoke from a brownstone's chimney (what I wouldn't give for a WBFP!), and, above all, coffee carts. Every corner, it seems, is perfumed by them in the morning, the aromas wafting toward every commuter in a one-block radius.

As I passed a fourth or fifth coffee cart on my commute, I started wondering how people in other parts of the world get their morning caffeine fix. I've always been a coffee cart devotee, and even though I changed jobs and offices more than a year ago, I still miss my "guy" down on 24th and Park...he knew exactly how I liked my coffee and that if he saw me coming down for a second fix at 10:00, it was a crazy day.

So...how do you get your morning coffee (or tea)? Cart? Coffeehouse? Do you make it at home and carry it with you?


"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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I hate to say this, but I drink only the free coffee at work. And I have to put a ton of creamer in it, before it's drinkable.

On a really, really good day, when I actually got my butt out of bed as early as I'd promised myself I would the night before, I will stop by Starbuck's for a latte.

Occasionally, I'll stop by McDonald's when I'm doing errands for the office. It's hard to find better coffee around here, than theirs.

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I hate to say this, but I drink only the free coffee at work.  And I have to put a ton of creamer in it, before it's drinkable.

On a really, really good day, when I actually got my butt out of bed as early as I'd promised myself I would the night before, I will stop by Starbuck's for a latte.

Occasionally, I'll stop by McDonald's when I'm doing errands for the office.  It's hard to find better coffee around here, than theirs.

Hey - free is good, man!

To justify my coffee cart addiction, I just think about the $3.00 I could be spending at Starbucks, and smile as I hand over my single.


Edited by Megan Blocker (log)

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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I'm a stay at home Mom. My coffee fix has turned into a tea fix. I've discovered something from Celestial Seasonings called Morning Thunder which is a mixture of black tea and mate. It's supposed to rev you up without giving you the jitters, and I'll be darned if it doesn't work as advertised. I <heart> my Morning Thunder.

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I go the Mc Donald's route. The coffee is better at Dunkin' Donuts, but it's way off the hell and gone, and Mickey D's is just around the corner from my house. The office coffee tastes like its been run thru a skunk. (where's the little green guy when you need him?)


"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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Morning coffee has become a ritual in our house, mostly because I have an old Silex narrow-neck vac pot that requires a certain level of ritual just to get it to produce coffee. Excellent coffee.

I fill and sit it over the gas flame before my eyes are fully open. Then I grind the beans and pour them into the upper chamber, having made sure the glass filter is locked into place. Something deep inside me knows exactly how long it will take to get just warm enough to gently move up the tube into the upper chamber without spurting all over the place. I turn the heat down when I snuggle the upper part onto the lower and then I find something to do in the kitchen, maybe get breakfast parts out, with one eye on the pot. Once the coffee starts to rise, I give the grounds one good stir and watch the crema form. At the moment that it starts to bubble, I set the timer for 2 minutes and 15 seconds. When that goes off, I remove the coffee pot from the heat and tinker around some more while it "goes south" into the lower pot. I pour my first cup of coffee, I fill my husband's Nissan leak-proof commuter mug and screw down its top, and I put a tea cozy over the pot. It will still be warm 20 minutes later.

Every morning I test the leak-proof-ness of the commuter mug by "pouring" it into something different each day, i.e. hubby's cereal, the turtle tank, my slipper. It never leaks (except the one time my husband thought he could screw in the cap with one hand, didn't test it, and got coffee all over his books in his bag), but I test it anyway because it's become a silly source of laughter, imagining coffee on or in various objects.

It's the only part of the day, until the very end, when I regularly take my time to do something I love. The whole thing is THE start to the day, it lets me know I'm awake. And it's that first sip of coffee that lets me know I'm alive and all is well.

Lonnie (aka much-ado-about-nothing)


"It is better to ask some of the questions than to know all of the answers." --James Thurber

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I used to put a kettle on then line the top of the french drip pot with a scott paper towel, fill 1/2 way full of coffee and then slowly pour the boiling water through the grinds. Now I do everything the same except I get my water already hot from the hot water dispenser and pour it in via glass measureing cup. The hot water is at 212 F when it comes out of the spigot and that turns out to be the best temp. for brewing a pot of between roast coffee. It's just at a boil at that point. It's also handy for making tea on the fly..you know, you have just 5 minutes before you have to leave. I drink a lot more tea now!

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Megan, I love your description of NYC and fall and coffee--beautifully written.

My husband makes me coffee every morning. It is waiting for me when I get up. When I can't drink coffee, he makes me tea. I got him a coffee mill and he makes his from fresh ground beans melita style. Then he makes my cup--the fresh ground beans somehow seem too much for my system so I use store bought flavored coffees and currently he's brewing me cinnamon bun coffee, sugars it, or rather splendas & honey's it (y'know eating local natural honey helps calm sinus issues?!)

:raz: Yes, I totally understand how lucky/spoiled I am. :wub:

I used to make my little Mom a pot of coffee when she came home from work. I might not have gotten the chores done, ok I probably never did my chores :rolleyes: but I remember making her lots of coffee, timing it so it would be ready when she walked in the door. She had an all clear glass pyrex percolator, I mean the top & bottom of the basket was metal though, all full of holes so the water could pass through and between them was a clear glass basket--she had a long lean little bitty brush you could clean the brown goo out of the glass stem. You heated it on the stove. You could watch it all happening though--very cool. When you see the liquid bubble up the stem, hit the cap in the top and splay down onto the basket a couple times, then you turn the fire down & let it percolate. She loved coffee! Don't forget the filter!! Damn, that was like forty freaking years ago...

:laugh:

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I put my kettle on the fire and head out the door with two of the three dogs. They each pee at their same spot. We than, all three of us, walk to the end of the driveway to pick up the paper. We all come back up to the yard and one and only one of the dogs goes to the bushes and squats and leaves a gift for the yard. We than all return inside at which point I grind my beans, dump them into my french press. As if by magic, the water is now ready and I pour it into the pot. Four minutes later, I plunge and pour. I drink it while sitting on the couch reading the paper.

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Morning routine:

I walk the dogs. I feed the dogs. I rinse and wipe out the moka coffee pot. I fill the bottom with water. I grind just enough beans to fill the basket. I put it on the stove. I pour a cup of whole milk and heat it in the microwave. I go get the dog that has to be carried upstairs. I let her outside and bag her poop. I turn on the stereo (Minnesota Public Radio), and scan the front page of the newspaper. I hear the steam escaping from the tiny hole in the bottom portion of the moka coffee pot. I turn off the stove. I grab a 16-ounce cearmic mug. I skim the skin that has formed on top of the hot milk. I pour the milk into the mug (it fills it halfway). I fill the rest of the mug with the strong coffee from the moka pot. I take my mug and read the newspaper.

My wife comes downstairs, heats up her owm milk, and gets what's left in the pot.


We cannot employ the mind to advantage when we are filled with excessive food and drink - Cicero

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I'm really loving hearing about how regular everyone's dogs are!!!! :laugh::laugh::laugh:

Definitely the best unforeseen consqeuence of this thread...keep it coming! :rolleyes:


"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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On weekdays GF is up before me, and I'll have one-half cup of Folgers while I check my email.

On weekends I meet my racing buddies at a local cafe where the coffee is lousy but the bs is entertaining.

In either case, when I get to my shop I'll make some real coffee. I prefer grinding my own French Roast beans, often from an internet source like Peet's, but if I'm busy I'll use a premium ground coffee I get at the local bakery/deli.

I've never seen a coffee cart. Of course, around here one would be either stuck in the snow or frozen up for half the year!

SB (-4 this morning) :sad:

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IV

It's remarkably efficient. I just hook up to the shunt in my arm and moments later I am ready to face the day.

Actually,

One very strong cup at home, usually New Orleans roast (no chicory) and hot milk. Au lait, you know?

Then, at work, I drink that stuff (I rep some small roasters and usually have a supply of good coffee around pretty much until I start shaking, then I go eat lunch, and then I come back and do it again. I give it up for the rest of the day around 4. I drink waaaay too much of it, but I really like it.

It works for me.


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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I'm really loving hearing about how regular everyone's dogs are!!!!  :laugh:  :laugh:  :laugh:

Definitely the best unforeseen consqeuence of this thread...keep it coming!  :rolleyes:

Er, shouldn't that be going ? :laugh: *runs away, giggling*


"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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I am not a big coffee drinker, and will not touch the stuff they call coffee at the office. When I do have a morning cup, I go to the ING cafe, which is halfway along my way to work. Since I have an account there, my coffee is free if I make a deposit. They brew Peet's, which is pretty darn tasty.

On the weekends, we go to our local Columbian bakery if we're in NY, and brew a big pot when we're home in Philly. With warm frothy milk.

P.S. We don't have dogs, but the coffee makes me regular. :laugh:


Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

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Once a week I visit my parents and pet their dog. I knew you'd want to hear about my dog :laugh:

But in the morning I'm blissfully unencumbered by anything other than work responsibilities.

So here's how it works for me:

Two or three evenings per week and once on the weekend I roast about 150 - 300 pounds of green coffee beans per day in 34 pound batches.

I roast it on this gizmo:

gallery_2480_97_3826.jpg

Tuesday through Friday mornings at about 8:30 I make myself a quad shot (two double ristretto shots - about 3 fluid ounces of espresso) latte with foamed 2% milk in a paper cup. I get up at 5:00 AM and begin work at 6:00 AM but don't care for caffiene that early in the day.

I use the "house espresso blend", which is a staple on my early morning barista job. That drink travels with me to to my desk - where the "real" job begins at 9:00 AM- and the drink lasts until 10:00 or 10:30 AM.

I make the drink on this beautiful machine:

gallery_2480_188_1097006044.jpg

Friday night I turn on my little home espresso machine.... leave it on straight through Monday morning and drink any number of 6 oz cappuccino's in these cool little Illy cups. I can rarely handle more than two of them each morning (each has a 1.5 oz double ristretto shot of espresso) but sometimes I cave in to desire (make that most times) and have another one in the afternoon or after dinner.

The espresso blend is usually one that I've been experimenting with for future use - sooner or later Phaelon Coffee will be selling it on-line but for now it's just research. My current favorite includes Brazil, organic Mexican Chiapas, organic Sumatran and Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. But I've sworn myself to secrecy and I can't reveal the proportions here (despite having already done so in this forum in some previous post :wink: ).

I make them on this:

gallery_2480_97_80445.jpg

And the drink looks like this:

i4379.jpg

Occasionally I even manage to achieve some rudimentary latte art but for me... at home... it's all about how it tastes. And it tastes good.

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I'm really loving hearing about how regular everyone's dogs are!!!!  :laugh:   :laugh:   :laugh:

Definitely the best unforeseen consqeuence of this thread...keep it coming!  :rolleyes:

Er, shouldn't that be going ? :laugh: *runs away, giggling*

Niiiice...I definitely think we're upping the level of discussion with this thread. :laugh:

Great altar of coffee you have there in your kitchen, Owen - and the machine from your workplace is so beautiful and gleaming...it looks like the Vespa I've been eyeing for years. :laugh:


"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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Once a week I visit my parents and pet their dog.  I knew you'd want to hear about my dog  :laugh:

But in the morning I'm blissfully unencumbered by anything other than work responsibilities.

So here's how it works for me:

Two or three evenings per week and once on the weekend I roast  about 150 - 300 pounds of green coffee beans per day in 34 pound batches.

I roast it on this gizmo:

gallery_2480_97_3826.jpg

Tuesday through Friday mornings at about 8:30 I make myself a quad shot (two double ristretto shots - about 3 fluid ounces of espresso)  latte with foamed 2% milk in a paper cup.  I get up at 5:00 AM and begin work at 6:00 AM but don't care for caffiene that early in the day.

I use the "house espresso blend", which is a staple on my early morning barista job.  That drink travels with me to to my desk -  where the "real" job begins at 9:00 AM- and the drink lasts until 10:00 or 10:30 AM. 

I make the drink on this beautiful machine:

gallery_2480_188_1097006044.jpg

Friday night I turn on my little home espresso machine.... leave it on straight through Monday morning and drink any number of 6 oz cappuccino's in these cool little Illy cups. I can rarely handle more than two of them each morning (each has a 1.5 oz double ristretto shot of espresso) but sometimes I cave in to desire (make that most times)  and have another one in the afternoon or after dinner.

The espresso blend is usually one that I've been experimenting with for future use - sooner or later Phaelon Coffee will be selling it on-line but for now it's just research. My current favorite includes Brazil, organic Mexican Chiapas, organic Sumatran and Ethiopian Yirgacheffe.   But I've sworn myself to secrecy and I can't reveal the proportions here (despite having already done so in this forum in some previous post  :wink:  ).

I make them on this:

gallery_2480_97_80445.jpg

And the drink looks like this:

i4379.jpg

Occasionally I even manage to achieve some rudimentary latte art but for me...  at home...  it's all about how it tastes. And it tastes good.

Owen -- you are like -- my hero.

My ritual...

- Run hot water to warm coffee press and cups

- Heat fresh cold water until it JUST boils -- don't allow to boil long (filtered in our case -- Northern VA water has a chlorine smell)

- grind French Roast beans in my Kitchen Aid burr grinder

- gently warm milk (2% or full fat) in a stainless steel saucepan

- when water boils, set microwave timer to 4 minutes

- deposit 3 coffee measures of freshly ground coffee in press; steep 4 minutes

- Use frother to froth milk

- Timer goes off; plunge press

- pour milk, then coffee; skip drawing designs in froth (too groggy)


Edited by Foodie Craze (log)

Neil

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http://www.triviacraze.com

Creators of Foodie Craze,

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Owen, that is one impressive set up you have there.

What do you call that machine? I can't quite read the script.

I make the drink on this beautiful machine:

gallery_2480_188_1097006044.jpg


Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

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It's fun reading these.

We have a Quisinart Automatic Grind & Brew. Each weeknight, Russ loads the water and the beans into it and sets it for 5:30. It is our first alarm clock of the day when we hear it grinding the beans. Soon after that the clock radio starts playing music, and Russ hits the Snooze. A few minutes later the TV in our bedroom turns on, as I have set it the night before. Wake up and smell the coffee. By now we smell the coffee. Shortly after that the music alarm goes off again. This time he turns it off. A few minutes later we get up, Russ first, and only stopping to go to the bathroom, we immediately go for the coffee. Russ drinks two or three cups at home. I drink one at home. My second cup of coffee is the free stuff at work, if I go to the office or the Hospice House. If I start my work day on the road, I pour a travel mug to take with me in the car.

I didn't realize our coffee drinking habits were such rituals until writing this!


Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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I just moved to Portland, OR from Minneapolis, MN and while I'm really missing the midwest I am now working my way through the Stumptown coffee roster one bean per week, which is a level of coffee glory I couldn't have dreamed of walking down the street for in MN. So, this week I'm on the Ethiopia Sidamo. The guy at Stumptown mentioned something about strawberries, and truly it has a hint of strawberry Quik! Anyway, since my boyfriend and I have moved to Portland we've been hitting the garage sales pretty hard and I happened upon a Starbuck's Barista grinder, which, while not top of the line, beats the pants off my old anonymous blade grinder (now truly anonymous since I lost the lid in the move and can't remember the brand name). So, at 5am before I head to the hotel where I plie others with coffee from massive urns, I grind my 5 tablespoons, pour them into my french press, add the water from my electric kettle, swirl, wait 3 minutes and pour my coffee into the waiting cream and sugar. It's my own little ritual, and I feel like a queen.

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I brew a small vacuum pot and dump some heated milk into a couple of travel mugs (long commute!) I roast several batches of beans over the weekend, enough to (hopefully) make it through the week.

Last week I accidentally did a "same-varietal blend". I put too big a dose of Harar beans into the iRoast. Some of the beans were well into second crack by the time the stragglers were reaching an acceptable roast. The most-done beans were oily and dark, while the less-done ones were just light brown. The result was a great balance of the floral / herbaceous quality of the less-roasted beans, combined with the chocolate / caramel of the over-roasted ones. Not sure I could repeat the process if I tried.

What do you call that machine? I can't quite read the script.

I think it's a La Marzocco. See the my new baby topic.

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No coffee, i brew my self a cup of tea using my nifty loose tea thingy I got off the internet and water brought just to a boil and some China Keemun Black, let it steep for 4 minutes, remove the tea leaves and enjoy my morning. I don't take sugar, or cream or lemon in my tea. I don't know where the lemon idea came from, but yuck. I like my tea too much to put that much tart acid in it, screws up the flavor I think.


It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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Karen:

Yes it is a La Marzocco.

Maesie:

I'm jealous - Stumptown rocks!

Have you been to a coffee cupping at the Annex yet?

Megan:

I assume you're talking about that coffee they usually serve in the little blue cups with the Greek design on the side. I love the concept of the carts but the coffee I tried from them... yuck! Perhaps they're not all created equal?

When I worked in NYC I tried several carts on 8th Ave between 42nd and 34th but they were all terrible. Ended up getting my morning cup at Au Bon Pain in Port Authority and carrying it down the street to the office. It was way too much hassle to carry coffee into the city from NJ on the bus.

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Megan:

I assume you're talking about that coffee they usually serve in the little blue cups with the Greek design on the side.  I love the concept of the carts but the coffee I tried from them...  yuck! Perhaps they're not all created equal? 

Sadly, the little Greek coffee cups are going away...they were never made in the larger size I favor (need my CAFFEINE!!!), and now a lot of coffee carts have cups with ads on the side - last year, there were tons of TNT cups, this year, a lot for Bliss, the spa.

And, no, not all coffee carts are created equal. Some make coffee that tastes like filtered dirt, but some are pretty good. For instance, there is a cart near my house that I won't go to, but one near my office that I like. I still haven't found one I like as much as the one by my old office, though. :sad:


Edited by Megan Blocker (log)

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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      Once the onions are ready add minced garlic and chopped jalapeno along with the curry leaf sprig. 
      Turn the heat to low and add the poha mixture. Stir to coat and to allow the turmeric and asafoetida to cook. The poha will turn mildly yellow and start giving a wonderful fragrance. 
      Turn off the heat. Fluff gently and plate. Garnish with fresh grated coconut and a squeeze of lemon juice. 
      Finger licking good!! 
      Now when I make this next I will post a picture. 
      Update: Ok I felt the urge to have Kande Pohe for tonight’s dinner. So here is a picture. I am certain to enjoy it for breakfast as well. The measurement of 1 cup poha per person is too much for one meal. But carried over to another meal thats super good! I will also have some stir fried bok choy greens made in the same kadhai after the poha was done, and some cooked and sliced beetroot for salad. My family will add some haldiram sev on the poha for extra crunch! And we will all have some chaas to round off this meal. 
      *************
       
      2. Cheela/ Pudla
       
      These are essentially crepes but in the Indian style. 
      1/2 cup sieved garbanzo bean (Besan) flour. 
      Water to form a thin batter
      1T plain yogurt 
      1/2 t ginger garlic paste 
      1/4 or less green chili crushed
      2 t heated oil *
      pinch asafoetida
      pinch turmeric 
      salt to taste
      chopped cilantro (two sprigs)
      some ‘masala’ from a readymade pickle
       
       
      Method:
       
      mix the ingredients together except oil. Heat oil in a separate pan and add about 1 to 2 t of the hot oil onto the batter. It will sizzle. Use a whisk to stir thoroughly. The batter should be pouring consistency. 
      Let the batter soak for about half an hour if possible. 
      On a hot griddle, pour a ladle full of the batter. Turn the griddle with your wrist to spread the batter around. Cook on moderate to high flame. Flip the crepe when all the sides look like they are ready. You can add a little oil to the sides of the frying pan to make the edges crispy. 
       
      In my home we usually have a Besan cheela with some yogurt its a quick and filling breakfast. You can have a small salad or fruit with it to make it more complete. Or fill the center of the cheela with some cottage cheese and fold for added creaminess! 
      ****************
      3. Masala Toast : 
       
      1 slice of bread (your choice) toasted
      1/2 small red onion minced
      1 medium roma tomato diced (or whatever you have)
      cilantro (few leaves)
      1/8 t cumin (optional)
      1/4 t chaat masala ( available in stores)
      1 inch cube paneer
      1 T peanut oil
      pinch turmeric (optional)
       
      Heat the oil in a pan and saute the onions. Add the tomato and cook down to mush. Crumble the paneer and add the dry spices. Stir for a few seconds to warm the paneer. Add the cilantro and though I have not written it as an ingredient, I like a few drops of lemon juice. Do not overcook paneer.
      I started this topic because someone asked for Indian recipes on the new forum. I don’t think they have seen any yet. I hope they find this useful. I am enjoying it. 
      **************************
       
      I will add recipes to the list slowly. I have to however add that after a certain ‘age’ I have now resorted to having to make sure I have three things for breakfast besides coffee: a glass of water, a small portion of fruit and a small portion of some protein not necessarily meat. 
      Bhukkhad
       

    • By liuzhou
      First breakfast of the year, on a freezing morning. 三鲜馄饨 (sān xiān hún tún) Home made three taste wontons (pork, shrimp and shiitake) in a spicy broth.
       
      Photos taken through a filter of steam.
       

       

    • By catdaddy
      Mrs catdaddy has been good this year and I'm considering buying a Rancilio Silvia as a Christmas present. I know this machine gets a lot of love here, especially when outfitted with a PID. After reading many posts I'm just wondering if there is anything new (since 2013 say) I should know about  the Rancilio or other great machine on the market?
       
      Also any tips about use and/or essential other tools.....like a good knock box. We've got a great grinder already.
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