Coffee N° 5

Food, comfort, warmth and friendship

Archive for the category “Misc”

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

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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

Baking Soda vs Baking Powder

I’ve kind of always been curious about the difference between baking soda and baking powder. I’ve used both in various recipes, but it was never explained to me why I use one over the other. Thanks to the wonders of Google, I was able to discover an answer fairly quickly. What follows was taken from About.com. I feel that they have done a pretty good job of breaking down the two different explanations that I read in Wikipedia.About.com explanation:
Both baking soda and baking powder are leavening agents, which means they are added to baked goods before cooking to produce carbon dioxide and cause them to ‘rise’. Baking powder contains baking soda, but the two substances are used under different conditions.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is pure sodium bicarbonate. When baking soda is combined with moisture and an acidic ingredient (e.g., yogurt, chocolate, buttermilk, honey), the resulting chemical reaction produces bubbles of carbon dioxide that expand under oven temperatures, causing baked goods to rise. The reaction begins immediately upon mixing the ingredients, so you need to bake recipes which call for baking soda immediately, or else they will fall flat!

Baking Powder

Baking powder contains sodium bicarbonate, but it includes the acidifying agent already (cream of tartar), and also a drying agent (usually starch). Baking powder is available as single-acting baking powder and as double-acting baking powder. Single-acting powders are activated by moisture, so you must bake recipes which include this product immediately after mixing. Double-acting powders react in two phases and can stand for a while before baking. With double-acting powder, some gas is released at room temperature when the powder is added to dough, but the majority of the gas is released after the temperature of the dough increases in the oven.

How Are Recipes Determined?

Some recipes call for baking soda, while others call for baking powder. Which ingredient is used depends on the other ingredients in the recipe. The ultimate goal is to produce a tasty product with a pleasing texture. Baking soda is basic and will yield a bitter taste unless countered by the acidity of another ingredient, such as buttermilk. You’ll find baking soda in cookie recipes. Baking powder contains both an acid and a base and has an overall neutral effect in terms of taste. Recipes that call for baking powder often call for other neutral-tasting ingredients, such as milk. Baking powder is a common ingredient in cakes and biscuits

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