Coffee N° 5

Food, comfort, warmth and friendship

The Well Stocked Pantry

One question I constantly ask my self is: “What’s there to eat?” After taking a look in my near barren pantry and fridge, i usually resort to ramen or some other quick hunger fix. But what if I had a pantry full of supplies? My culinary experience would be better than boiling water and adding noodles. But, what would I need to have said pantry? I’ve done some looking and have compiled a list of what to keep in your pantry, fridge and freezer.  This list isn’t all-inclusive, but will hopefully give you a good starting point. A majority of this list is derived from the Bride & Groom Cookbook by William-Sonoma with some things I’ve found to be helpful.

Pantry:

Canned Goods:
__ Tuna
__ Anchovies
__ Diced Tomatoes
__ Whole Tomatoes
__ Black Beans
__ Kidney Beans
__ Fruit of your choice

Bottles/Jars:
__ Artichoke Hearts
__ Capers
__ Honey
__ Molasses
__ Hot Sauce (I prefer Texas Pete’s)
__ Vinegar (2 of your choice)
__ Soy Sauce
__ Teriyaki Sauce
__ Wine (red and white, both dry)
__ Worcestershire Sauce

Oils:
__ Olive Oil
__ Extra Virgin Olive Oil
__Canola Oil
__Vegetable

Dry Good For Baking:
__ Baking Powder
__ Baking Soda
__ Flour, All-Purpose
__ Flour, Bread
__ Flour, Wheat
__ Sugar, Granulated
__ Sugar, Confectioners
__ Sugar, Brown
__ Chocolate, Bittersweet
__ Chocolate, Semi-Sweet Morsels

Other Dry Goods:
__ Beans, Dries
__ Bread Crumbs, Plain
__ Bread Crumbs, Panko
__ Cornmeal
__ Garlic
__ Onions
__ Pasta, Dried (I have about 5-6 varieties at any given time)
__ Potatoes (I have a few pouches of instant as well as a bag of Yukon Gold)
__ Rice, Brown
__ Rice, Instant
__ Rice, Long Grain White

Spice Rack:
__ Basil
__ Bay Leaves
__ Cayenne Pepper
__ Chili  Flakes, Red
__ Chili Powder
__ Cinnamon, Ground
__ Cinnamon, Sticks
__ Cream of Tartar
__ Cumin, Ground
__ Garlic, Powder
__ Ginger, Ground
__ Marjoram
__ Mustard, Ground
__ Nutmeg
__ Oregano
__ Paprika
__ Pepper, Ground
__ Pepper, Whole
__ Sage
__ Salt, Kosher (or Sea)
__ Thyme
__ Vanilla Extract

Refrigerator:
__ Bacon
__ Citrus, Lemon
__ Citrus, Lime
__ Citrus, Orange
__ Dairy, Butter, Unsalted
__ Dairy, Cheese, Cheddar
__ Dairy, Cheese, Mozzarella
__ Dairy, Cheese, Parmesan
__ Dairy, Cheese, Swiss
__ Dairy, Milk
__ Dairy, Yogurt, Plain
__ Eggs, Large
__ Hot Sauce
__ Jam, Raspberry
__ Mayonnaise
__ Mustard, Dijon
__ Soy Sauce

Freezer:
__ Bread Crumbs
__ Coffee Beans, Whole
__ Dairy, Butter, Unsalted
__ Poultry, Boneless Breasts
__ Stock, Beef
__ Stock, Chicken
__ Stock, Vegetable
__Vegetables, Broccoli
__ Vegetables, Carrots
__ Vegetables, Peas
__ Vegetables, Spinach

There you are. A fairly extensive shopping list. Of course, you’re free to add or subtract anything from this list. Enjoy your shopping and happy cooking!

– Brent

Coffee!

Coffee Beans!

Mmmmm…. coffee. I’ve come to the conclusion that I am turning into a coffee adventurer. I recently purchased a Mr. Coffee (R) French Press. I must say that the coffee brewed in the French Press are much different that coffee brewed in my regular coffee maker. What make this so great you ask? Well, for starters, I am actually able to taste the real flavor of coffee. For the longest time, Coffee tasted like cream and sugar to me. It didn’t matter what type of roast was used. I used French Roast (which is flippin’ dark), Colombian, Medium Roast, etc., and tasted no difference. For me, coffee made in your modern drip maker was far to bitter. I have since discovered that a large part of that is due to the fact that the water is so hot that it causes the grounds to actually give off a bitter taste. The coffee you smell and the coffee you taste are usually two very different things. With the French Press, it works best if you grind whole beans right before steeping. That’s right. You steep the coffee. Another key element for the french press is the right temperature for the water. If you have an electric kettle, this should be no problem. If you’re like me, you got a regular red tea kettle to boil water. So, in that instance, you will need to listen to the water. After a while, you’ll be able to tell when it’s almost to the point of boiling. That’s the point at which I add the water for steeping. The flavor that you get fro this proccess is far superior to that of your standard drip press. Since i’ve started making my coffee this way, I find that I use less sugar and creamer. But that’s me. You shold go out and try it yourself! Or if you’re in the neighborhood, stop by and I’ll make you a cup.

 – Brent

Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread

Have you ever tasted Heaven? Even just a little slice? Each one of the slices of bread in this picture is a little slice of heaven. All of this is courtesy of Joy the Baker. With our her, this post would not exist. If you love baking (as I do), and you have an RSS or Feed reader (i.e. Google Reader) you need to follow her blog. Conveniently, I have included the link to follow her. It is…HERE! It is definitely worth it. Now, on to my adventures in making slices of heaven in my kitchen.

Although I don’t have that many pictures of my process (something I need to work on), I’ll show you what I’ve got. Let me put this out there first. There is a total of about 2 – 2 1/2 hours of down time when making this between risings and cooling down. The wait is so worth it though.

I would also recommend that you pre-stage all of your ingredients first. To bring your eggs to room temperature, set them out 30 minutes prior to starting. Or if you forgot to take them out, you can put them in a bowl of warm (not hot!) water for 5 – 10 minutes. More information can be found here. Below is the recipe I used. As I mentioned before, this is courtesy of Joy the Baker. The actual page that I pulled this from can be found by clicking on the title of the recipe. I’ve made a couple of notes in blue.

Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread

Makes: one 9×5×3-inch loaf

For the Dough:

2 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 ounces unsalted butter

1/3 cup whole milk

1/4 cup water

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Filling:

1 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg

2 ounces unsalted butter, melted until browned

In a large mixing bowl whisk together 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, and salt.  Set aside.

Whisk together eggs and set aside.

In a small saucepan, melt together milk and butter until butter has just melted.  Remove from the heat and add water and vanilla extract.  Let mixture stand for a minute or two, or until the mixture registers 115 to 125 degrees F.

Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula.  Add the eggs and stir the mixture until the eggs are incorporated into the batter.  The eggs will feel soupy and it’ll seem like the dough and the eggs are never going to come together.  Keep stirring.  

Add the remaining 3/4 cup of flour and stir with the spatula for about 2 minutes.  The mixture will be sticky.  That’s just right.

Place the dough is a large,  greased bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel.  Place in a warm space and allow to rest until doubled in size, about 1 hour.  *The dough can be risen until doubled in size, then refrigerated overnight for use in the morning.  If you’re using this method, just let the dough rest on the counter for 30 minutes before following the roll-out directions below.*

While the dough rises, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg for the filling.  Set aside.  Melt 2 ounces of butter until browned.  Set aside.  Grease and flour a 9×5×3-inch  loaf pan.  Set that aside too.

Deflate the risen dough and knead about 2 tablespoons of flour into the dough.  Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 5 minutes.  

On a lightly floured work surface, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out.  The dough should be 12-inches tall and about 20-inches long.  If you can’t get the dough to 20-inches long… that’s okay.  Just roll it as large as the dough will go.  Use a pastry brush to spread melted butter across all of the dough.  Sprinkle with all of the sugar and cinnamon mixture.  It might seem like a lot of sugar. 

Seriously?  Just go for it.

Slice the dough vertically, into six equal-sized strips.  Stack the strips on top of one another and slice the stack into six equal slices once again.  You’ll have six stacks of six squares.  Layer the dough squares in the loaf pan like a flip-book.  Place a kitchen towel over the loaf pan and allow in a warm place for 30 to 45 minutes or until almost doubled in size.

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.  Place loaf in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is very golden brown.  The top may be lightly browned, but the center may still be raw.  A nice, dark, golden brown will ensure that the center is cooked as well.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 20 to 30 minutes (I did not do this. I devoured about 1/2 fresh from the oven).   Run a butter knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the bread and invert onto  a clean board.  Place a cake stand or cake plate on top of the  upside down loaf, and carefully invert so it’s right side up.  Serve warm with coffee or tea.

I think this bread is best served the day it’s made, but it can also we wrapped and kept at room temperature for up to 2 days (if it lasts that long…)

As I have mentioned, this bread is phenomenal! Some of you might think that this a monkey bread. And by definition it is. But I’m a fan of the term Pull-Apart Bread personally. Now go forth and bake!

 

 – Brent

Thank you to Joy the Baker for the use of her recipe. I would also like to thank Bowling for Soup for their album “Sorry for Partyin'” as it was the official music of this baking experience.

 

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