Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Quick Review: Starbucks Christmas Blend

In Coffee, Food, Reviews on December 22, 2008 at 10:19:49 pm

Every year, apparently, Starbucks brings out a special Christmas blend. We got some as a gift, so I thought I’d do a quick review on it, now that we have an espresso machine that works properly and all that.

The beans were ground using a Rancilio Rocky grinder immediately before pouring the shot. I poured a double shot and made it into an Americano, because I’m a pompous Apple-using, New York Times-reading, Americano-drinking douchebag.

The initial taste of the coffee was rather mild for Starbucks, and also unusually lively and interesting. The beans were, as with almost all Starbucks blends, very over-roasted, but they still retained a little bit of decent body, which was nice. True to the marketing rhetoric, the coffee had a fairly spicy taste, and a short aftertaste, making it a very good evening coffee.

Overall, I’d give the blend a 6.5/10. It was clean and had some spice (and was one of Starbucks’ better efforts), but was bitter and over-roasted.


Two Recipes I Think Would Be Yummy (but I can’t be arsed to make)

In Food, How To, Idea, Self Improvement on September 7, 2008 at 10:27:03 pm

So I thought of a couple of recipes that I think would be kinda yummy. The first is something I just haven’t had the time to make, and the second I cannot make properly due to regulations on importing fresh truffles into Canada.

Grilled Asparagus with Blueberry/Vodka Drizzle

Grill 5 asparagus sticks/spears until tender. While they’re grilling, flambé some of the alcohol out of a shot of vodka. Juice some fresh blueberries, and combine with the vodka to taste. 50-50 is probably good, by my guess. Put the 5 asparagus on a plate, add a little ground pepper and salt. Add a 2″ square of butter, slightly melted, to the bottom of the asparagus. Pour the blueberry/vodka drizzle over the asparagus. 

Portobello Mushroom Cap with Grilled Vegetables

Combine about half a cup of bourbon whiskey and some shredded white truffle in a shallow dish. Remove the inside of the portobello mushroom cap, wash it, and add it to the bourbon mix. Let this marinate overnight. The next evening, remove the mushroom from the dish, and grill it. Grill some peppers (red, green, and orange or yellow), red onions and zucchini, with some salt and pepper, and a little of the truffle infused bourbon mixture. Pour grilled vegetables into the middle of the overturned mushroom cap on a plate.

I’m just guessing with both of these, but I think they’d taste great. The asparagus should be simple to make, so I’ll try that sometime soon. I might add a little xanthan gum to the drizzle to increase its viscosity. The mushroom recipe is something I can’t try anytime soon, because the regulations for importing fresh truffles prevent most companies from importing them. Bite, in Inglewood, apparently has jarred truffles, so I might give those a whirl.