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Some coffee tips

  1. Favorite Beans
    Here in Edmonton, I’ve found that Rogue Wave Coffee offers the freshest roasted coffee – you just need to let them know in advance when you want to pick up your beans.  The result is coffee that has been roasted in the past 2-3 days. Coffee this fresh should be allowed to rest a little longer to ‘de-gas’ – otherwise you may find your coffee to have a somewhat metallic taste. The package their beans in paper coffee bags to facilitate the degassing.

    The next freshest beans I’ve found are also roasted locally, by Transcend.  I go to their main shop is on the southside, a block south of Argyll Road, just east of 99 Street.  They also have a location next to the Garneau Theatre on 109 Street – parking can be tricky there sometimes.

    I prefer medium roasted beans - they'll be the color of milk chocolate, and won't be shiny (or oily)
    I prefer medium roasted beans – they’ll be the color of milk chocolate, and won’t be shiny (or oily)

    At 3 Banana’s in Churchill Square, you can get Intelligentsia Black Cat Espresso – bought a bag the other day for $22 for a 454g bag.  These may not be quite as fresh roasted as the other two unless you catch them on the right day.

  2. Favourite Brewing Methods
    When brewing coffee, I either use my espresso machine, an Aeropress, or more recently, a Hario manual pour-over.  Using the espresso machine is pretty awesome – I can have an Americano in less than a minute. A latte I can make in about 90 seconds :)Lately I’ve been really enjoying the manual pour-over.  It takes a little more time – about 5 minutes tops for a mug.  When I’m camping, I pack Aeropress to make coffee.  These are sold at Transcend (and other places around the city I’m sure).  These make very good coffee!  I just have to grind my coffee a little coarser than what I use in my espresso machine.
  3. Grind beans yourself
    Don’t buy pre-ground coffee.  Buy beans and grind them yourself.  Use a quality burr grinder, manual or electric.  Check out the coffeegeek and home-barista forums for recommendations, and buy the best you can afford.

Here is my current coffee set-up – yes, it might be bit excessive, but it’s been an investment that has been serving me well – even after almost 8 years!
coffee_nirvana

Roasted Chipotle Pepper and Garlic Pumpkin Seeds

 

Roasted Chipotle Pepper and Garlic Pumpkin Seeds
 
Author:
Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 1 cup
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Ingredients
  • Seeds from a couple pumpkins
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. ground chipotle pepper
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
Instructions
  1. preheat oven to 350F
  2. wash and rinse pumpkin seeds, pat dry with some paper towel.
  3. spread seeds evenly on baking sheet.
  4. sprinkle garlic powder, chipotle pepper, and salt over seeds.
  5. pour a couple tablespoons of olive oil over everything.
  6. stir seeds up, to evenly coat everything with the oil and seasonings.
  7. spread evenly across baking sheet.
  8. bake seeds for 10-15 minutes
  9. seeds should be golden, and dry.
  10. After the initial baking, seeds were a touch damp after cooling, so I roasted for another 5 minutes at 250F - perfect!

Orange Honey Glaze

This was delicious on a ham that I cooked for our Thanksgiving dinner this year.

Prepared the ham with cloves, placed into a 9×13 casserole dish then slathered the glaze all over it.  Put the whole thing onto the BBQ, on low, and heated it for about 2 1/2 hours – basting the ham 3 or 4 times.

Orange Honey Glaze
 
Author:
Recipe type: condiment
Serves: ½ cup
Prep time:
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Ingredients
  • 4 tbsp. honey
  • 2 tbsp. orange marmalade
  • 2 tsp. orange zest
Instructions
  1. Mix it all together.
  2. Apply liberally with a basting brush.

 

Cranberry Apple Sauce

Cranberry Apple Sauce
 
Author:
Recipe type: Condiment
Serves: 4 cups
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Quick, easy, AND tasty - and something a little different from regular cranberry sauce.
Ingredients
  • 2 bags fresh cranberries (277g ea.)
  • ¼ tsp lemon zest
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 MacIntosh apples (peeled, cored & diced)
  • ¼ tsp. Vietnamese Cinnamon
  • 1 cup water
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients into large sauce pan, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  2. Boil until cranberries almost finish popping, the reduce heat to low, and simmer until apples are nice and soft.

 

Crockpot Maple Roasted Vegetables

Crockpot Maple Roasted Vegetables
 
Author:
Recipe type: Side dish
Serves: 14
Prep time:
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A great make in advance vegetable dish
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds carrots
  • 2 pounds rutabagas/turnips
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Use large crockpot. Spray with cooking spray.
  2. Peel all of your vegetables, and cut into 2-inch chunks.
  3. Put all the vegetables into crockpot, add the olive oil, nutmeg, salt and pepper, and maple syrup. Toss to fully coat the vegetables.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for 4-5. The vegetables are done when they have reached desired tenderness. 
Cook on low for 6 -8 hours.
  5. Add parsley and an extra tablespoon or two of maple syrup just before serving.