Saturday, August 29, 2009

oatmeal cookies and airline options

On a trip to Whole Foods this week, I was picking up some snack stuff to carry along on my upcoming trip to London. I found "Lucy's Oatmeal Cookies" and bought them with the usual crossed fingers. (I had gotten several boxes of Glutino's shortbreads and been disappointed, so it's always a dice-toss). I am glad to report these are delicious to the point of addictive.
I have requested "gluten-free" for my flight on British Airways and will report back on how well this works. I managed to "frequent flyer miles" my way into a Business Class upgrade, so I don't know if this will affect what I get or not. I do intend to ask one of the cabin staff what I would have gotten in Economy.

Friday, August 21, 2009

bread mixes

I am really grateful to have discovered "Bob's Red Mill" line of flours and mixes. I did the "homemade" bread mix this week and it's lovely - makes a great sandwich without having to toast it to keep it from falling apart (big complaint with most GF breads!)
The neat thing that happened with this one was the way it got baked! I had just started it in the oven when the power went out. A call to the electric company revealed that we'd be out for about 4 hours...what to do? I used my gas grill!!! No has a lid and closes up, so I turned the flame on low, popped the loaf in, closed the lid and crossed my fingers. After the requisite cooking-time passed, I tested it...nice, springy top! PERFECTLY-DONE loaf! I am amazed! Nice to know that this works. SOMEWHERE in my camping junk I have one of those little Coleman ovens that fits on top of the camp stove, but I have no idea where it is! Guess I need to devote some time to finding it, but, it's nice to know my ad-lib method works so well! The grill is small enough to pack along for camping!
There's nothing quite so lovely as a hot slice of fresh, just-out-of-the-oven bread with some real butter on it!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Genius Bread

"Genius Bread" is a new item featured at the UK's "Tesco" supermarkets. Having read rave reviews on the Yahoo GF support forum, I was itching to try it once I get to London and was thinking in terms of hauling some back. Now, here comes one of the sunny sides of signing up for a company's email notifications: it can now be purchased online and they ship to the US!!!! I have ordered two loaves as well as another company's biscottes, aka "rusks" "Melba toasts." It will be nice to have sandwiches back in my life as well as something closer to "real" biscottes for my brie.
Still loving the Keurig more daily, especially since I can use my own coffee in the little "My K-cup" brewer. Haven't tried that one with tea yet. but, let's face it, tea needs to steep.
I keep writing "Genius" to beg them to get with "Whole Foods" and license the bread over here. Most GF breads fall apart unless you toast them. This is ok for most sandwiches I like, as in peanut butter and BLT's, but it would be nice to have a nice, soft sandwich.
The breads as well as other items can be found here:
bon appetit!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

coffee makers

Being a coffee junkie, I must have one of every kind of coffee-maker known to humanity, going from my old camp percolater, to the big, programmable one for parties, my old (all-time favourite) KRUPS 4-cup drip coffee-brewer, (which was a premium with a "Gevalia" subscription at the time) a "portable" espresso-maker, (Handpresso) my "Barista" espresso machine, the French press and on and on and on...recently, I've been fooling around with one-cup machines.
The Senseo...nice cuppas, does a good job on tea, you can get a DIY pod-maker for it. It leaks occasionally. The water-reservoir doesn't always "sit" reliably in it's dock and you can come in and find water all over the place.
Tassimo: BIG THUMBS-DOWN. There is no way to make your own t-discs, number one, and they are expensive. If you don't get the t-disc directly on the punch, you can end up with coffee grounds or MILK all over the place. Also very difficult to clean. When I decided to move it out to my workshop, where it doesn't get used as much, I noticed milk and chocolate from the milk and the cocoa disks encrusted all over the machine's innards. VERY hard to get to and clean. I had to use q-tips, a toothbrush and toothpicks to get the crud off. I have the Braun and a friend has the Bosch...they both have the same cleaning issues!
Also, the little tank that holds your cup fills up with water really fast...some kind of run-off from the reservoir when the coffee is brewing. You have to remember to empty it out every couple of days.
I am now using my KEURIG and like it hugely. You do have to fill the reservoir each time you make a cup, but this is not a problem. VERY secure in terms of the "punch"...there's no way you CAN'T put the cup in properly and no spillovers. Even if you over-fill the reservoir, it's fine. You also get a refillable cup to use for your own coffee and a third party has a cup you can purchase that will take the "pods" from the Senseo-type coffee brewers.
Still kind of pricey, but, for the occasional cuppa, without wasting coffee as I do when I use even the 4-cup brewer.
When you live alone, small-quantity appliances are very nice.
Don't even LOOK at ANYTHING made by "Mr. Coffee." lousy stuff, and the "Cuisinart"
The "Handpresso" is brilliant. As long as you have access to some hot water, it's a wonderful gadget to have along on a trip, esp if you're out hiking etc. There's nothing quite as nice as pulling into a rest-area on the interstate and brewing yourself up an espresso! I fill my most reliable thermos with boiling water just prior to leaving and pack along expresso pods (I like ILLY pods..Starbucks sells them, as well.)
PS No, I ain't rich, I just know how to use "ebay!!!" I think I paid $20 for my last Senseo, bought when the first went belly-up. It was a new item, just cheaper because older. Maybe the newer ones don't leak as easily. Always cruise ebay and before you buy anywhere else!