Category Archives: Knife: Home Kitchen

Recipes from the Cat Cave:
Cardamom Pistachio Breakfast Rice

Cardamom Breakfast Rice

Cardamom Breakfast Rice


Doesn’t that look awful? If it’s green, and not a leaf, often yes. Also my bowl is blue and any good food-marketer knows that white is always best for food styling. BUT it’s delicious.

I’m a solo-living City dweller which often puts a very big challenge on in-home cooking and eating. If I have an open-window to cook, I often make more than one-serving since, one, it’s hard to often make just one of something and two, having left-overs leaves me able to do other things. Rice is a great example of this. But then it back fires … four cups of rice is a lot. I easily tire of vegetables and rice for days on end so I’m excited I repurposed some of it for breakfast.

/// RECIPE ///
1 cup cooked rice
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup shelled pistachios
1 tablespoon cardamom

mix it all together!

Homebrew Review: Santa Cruz Roasting Co.

"Beethoven's Blend"

Welcome to my first Homebrew Review: I make coffee in house, write about it and rate it.

Like the saying goes, The more you know, the more you realize you don’t. That’s true for a lot of things in life, and it certainly applies to my exploration into the depths of coffee.

Am I an expert? Compared to the average Joe? Oh hell, yes. Compared to those with which I surround myself – not even close. I know a lot of coffee people, who know, A LOT about coffee. This practice of taking notes in regards to my homebrew hopes to close some of these gaps so I’m not so full of it.

One thing that gets my head spinning, when it comes to coffee tasting/comparisons, are the number of x-factors. Seriously – how the hell am I supposed to confidently know what the beans taste like in comparison to others when I’m drinking it via a French press, pour over, or Chemex? And don’t even get me started on milk/cream… Being able to control some of these variables, is a big motivation and I think my home-tasting experiments will yield more reliable results. For the sake of consistency, my Homebrew Reviews will always be:

  • made with my ceramic Melitta (aka. pour over)
  • consumed as close to the grind date as possible (don’t kill me; I don’t grind my beans myself)
  • tasted after a drink of water (and hopefully the first thing consumed of the day)
  • tasted without cream (at first)

This first round of tasting is brought to you by, Santa Cruz Roasting. And when I say, “brought to you by,” that’s just another way of saying, “I bought the beans with my own little money at the store.” When I buy coffee beans at a grocery store, again, I try to limit my options. I try to buy beans around $10/pound and have them be, locally roasted, fair trade and organic. I know, I can be a bit hard to please; however, more often than not, I find something. And Santa Cruz’s “Beethoven’s Blend” was it.

The first words that I wrote after tasting it were: Acid, Even, A Little Oaky, You Know it’s Coffee. I give it a six of ten because, well, it was okay. I wasn’t crazy about it. The label read “Full City and French Roasts.” It was dark as ever, with a hint of burnt. I suppose that’s a quintessential trait of French roasts – many of the third-wave coffee guys won’t even roast their precious beans to the French-roast point since it can sear the delicacies away. Nonetheless, I did enjoy it after my palate adjusted to it and after a pour of half-and-half. Gotta have my creamy coffee.

Cold Fruit Obsession

They're better this way

This post is fairly self evident. I love me some cold fruit.

Not to mention I wanted to post something a little, well, lighter than the sandwich, cappuccino, noodle trend I was starting to create. Yes, it’s true, I very much eat and blog about all those beautiful things – however, the simpler things in life deserve some lime light too.

Cue my breakfast routine. For years, breakfast has meant a mug of coffee and a piece of fruit. The refrigerator is a relatively new addition to this relationship. A produce rule of thumb I typically live by, is if the grocery store does it – I should too. Does the grocery store put tomatoes in the fridge? No. Bananas? Nope. Mushrooms? Yes – you see my point. Apples (and oranges) exist outside this rule and wonderfully so. They are so much better cold! I tried this out a few weeks ago and can’t stop doing it. Sia nara tepid breakfast fruits.

Coffee and Cloves: Making a Great Thing Greater

Just in Case Your Pick Me Up Needed a Pick Me Up

I’m on to you SF coffee. There’s something unique here and it’s a little… spicy? Yes!

My girlfriend, bless her, only drinks iced coffee. I might indulge in one of those, say, on a day when it’s over 100 degrees; however, even then I likely will stick with the hot brew. But time and time again, she’ll go to order an iced coffee and that’s when it gets complicated. The menu will feature something like a spice-iced coffee, which usually is a concentrate fueled with mysterious spices, perhaps with a sweetener, then cut with half-n-half and put over ice. Delicious. Decedent. Different – I love ’em! Typically I advocate for her to get one (instead of the standard iced Americano as a substitute) just so I can try it. So far I’ve tried these yummies at Blue Bottle, farm:table, and Hooker’s Sweet Treats. Sightglass has one too.

So of course I had to take this and put my d.i.y-stamp on it! Here it is:

Waiting for it

I make coffee at home pour-over style, otherwise known as the Melitta method. Not because I’m super partial to it, but because they’re harder to break than French presses. I’ve gone through those suckers like Kleenex. Pour over has many other benefits such as:

  • it’s therapeutic to slowly drip coffee depending on the pace of pour
  • the flavor tends to be a bit brighter and lighter than other home techniques (i.e. French press, Moka)

Once I rode the SF spice-coffee train, I decided to throw in a few cloves into the grounds prior to pouring over the water. You should too! It adds a whole new earthy kick. The bit of caution I’ll add is – a little goes a long way. Really, it doesn’t take much for the coffee to turn into clover water. Not to mention the myriad of other coffee-ground factors to consider (bean type, when it was ground, how it was ground).

Am I a solid-spice girl now? No way. I can mess with a pure thing only so much. The fine art of a pure cup of coffee deserves its spotlight… most of the time.

Eat This: Easy Chili

Chili, Walnut Hummus, Green Sticks

I’m about to contradict myself. Ready? Here’s a chili recipe when I didn’t use a recipe.

Sometimes I hate them. Recipes can be written in so many ways, sometimes I just want to yell at the cookbook (or screen), just tell me the ingredients and I’ll figure it out from there. Really? You want me to blanch the tomatoes? Please.

So here goes with my chili-recipe attempt.

Ingredients:

Onion, garlic, tomatoes in any form except salsa, any soaked beans, favorite savory spices, olive oil, favorite garnishes

1) Get out slow cooker
2) chop onions and garlic
3) pour everything in slow cooker
4) turn on
5) enjoy six hours later