Sunday, January 31, 2010

Coffee Etiquette?

Yesterday, I met up with a friend for a cup of coffee. It was a cute little coffee shop right by where I live—it was quite cozy, which was great on a gray winter day. We each ordered a caramel macchiato—I've never indulged in this drink before, but I was in a daring mood. I'd definitely call it a liquid confection, for its sweet caramel flavors swirling around amongst two shots of espresso made my mouth feel like it was twirling on an ice-rink.
My friend began pouring our her heart with regards to her current rocky relationship, while I sipped on my warm drink. As I listened, I realized how fast my coffee was leaving my cup. In between offering advice and unveiling her vulnerability, I slyly glanced over to the coffee table to see if her mug was still full. I was a little disappointed when I saw that she had at least thirty more minutes, before finishing her drink. We had been sitting with our coffee for at least fourty-five minutes, and I was just three sips away from an empty mug.
I began to wonder if there was a certain standard, for how fast one should drink in the presence of a fellow comrade. Was it rude that I drank so fast? Was she just too slow? What does this say about me? Is it unacceptable that I like to drink my coffee while it's hot?
An hour and fourty-five minutes passed before my dear friend finally finished her coffee and sorted out her life. I doubt her last sip warmed her up like mine, but hopefully the company did.

Readers, what do you think about coffee drinking etiquette? Are there some rules I'm missing out on?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


When I think about the American staple for dessert, well, that is processed—and nestled in hermetic packages so that some four year old in the child's seat of a grocery cart can drool all over the outside without being able to open it—I think of Oreos. I guess we all tend to go "gaga" over these little chocolate and cream least us Americans.
These perfect treats have the right amount of contrasting textures, with a crunchy chocolate cookie on either side of a thin layer of smooth cream filling. As much as I love the standard Oreo, I absolutely despise double stuffed. Too much cream is like an overstuffed pillow—miserably uncomfortable. Too much filling overpowers the cocoa taste of the outer cookie and throws off the well-balanced textures.
I've tried Oreo Cakesters, vanilla Oreos, mini Oreos, mint Oreos—the list must end there... because as long as Nabisco provides my local grocery store with standard Oreos, my taste buds and I aren't budging.

Now if you are a "cookies n' cream" ice cream's an easy ice cream cake recipe. In the name of Sandra Lee, this cake entails "semi-homemade cooking":

1 quart of cookies n' cream ice cream (semi-melted)**
1 chocolate cake mix
1 container of Cool Whip
9 X 13 pan

Bake chocolate cake. Let cool and freeze for a few hours (this enables you to easily spread the ice cream layer). When the cake is semi-frozen, pour (semi-melted) cookies n' cream ice cream over the cake—use a spatula spread it out. The amount of cake should be equivalent to the amount of ice cream. Cover with foil. Put in freezer over night. Take cake out of freezer, cover the cake with a thin layer of cool whip (like frosting). Add decorative writing if you wish and serve.

**if you wish to "make" the ice cream layer (instead of buying cookies n' cream ice cream), take vanilla ice cream and blend with Oreos. Be sure you don't let the ice cream melt completely.

Bon Appétit!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Go Green

Last night I made sushi with Vitali, which turned out to be quite delicious. For dessert I got a quart of Green Tea Ice Cream from Central Market, which was a perfect finally to a lovely Japanese meal. This ice cream was really flavorful and the texture was—astoundingly—very similar to the Green Tea Ice Cream I previously posted about. Everything about this frozen, earthy, delight is really spectacular—let's just say that even if I wanted to share...I couldn't (yes, it's all gone).
I wanted to provide the name with my readers in case you get the urge to try this fabulous treat...
Maeda-en is the brand—choose their standard Green Tea Ice Cream.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Appreciate Today

As you are all aware, the people of Haiti are currently suffering more than you can possibly imagine. No home, no food, no water...
I'd like to think that I am always grateful for a delectable dessert because it is truly a luxury. Imagine if you're the type of person who has a piece of chocolate everyday or never has a meal without a sweet delicacy at the end. Now think about the Haitians. Take a minute today to be grateful for what you have, for what you get to enjoy. If you were planning on buying dessert today, instead use that money to donate to Haitians who are struggling for simple necessities—like food (something most of us take for granted).
There is a link on the side of this blog that will connect you to FEED Projects (an organization that uses money from FEED Bags-these may look familiar-to feed starving children allover the world where food is inaccessible). The FEED Projects is currently donating the money from these bags to Haiti, for their Feed Haiti Campaign. You can also donate directly to their Campaign if you choose. If food is close to your heart, give back today...
I used to say, "the little things in life make me happy." People that know me, agree. But today I realized, nothing is "little." These things— like: the sense of relief with a soft tissue (after a day of an unbearable runny nose), a cool pillow, or a scoop of ice cream—that yield a smile and comforting sigh, make me happy. But they are only a dream to many people around the world— and that makes them so much greater. So from this day forward I am grateful, not "for the little things in life" but for all good things in life.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Crossing Lines between Coffee & Tea

I’m a devout coffee drinker—it’s genetic. My beautiful family wears their loyalty on their teeth, with coffee’s powerful staining ability visible at just an inch of a smile. Avec le diner ou le dessert…café au lait, espresso, petit, grandé—you get the point.

For most coffee lovers, coffee ice cream is like a dream come true. With every bite taste buds become energized and a smile peels away revealing those not-so-white teeth. I am definitely not a moderate when it comes to loving both coffee and tea, but I can appreciate the divine taste of Green tea.

It wasn’t until recently that I tried Green tea ice cream at Vitali’s favorite Japanese restaurant when we were on a double date with his brother. Although sushi-loving Vitali enjoys the sweet wonders of cookies n’ cream ice cream, he cringes at the sight of Phillip’s favorite frozen delicacy—green tea ice cream.

I absolutely detest those preserved “cherries” that ice cream parlors top off a sundae with—so I was quite hesitant when I saw how the ice cream was served. The wasabi-colored scoop threw me off a bit, but Phillip insisted I try it. I slid my utensil through the striking green concoction, pulled out a spoonful and looked at it one last time before setting it in my mouth. Fireworks went off inside, with strong green tea flavors permeating through every inch of my mouth. The natural taste made for a surreal experience with sandy textures working in tandem with a strong earthy taste to taunt my tongue. I wanted more…but I feigned the will share.

You don’t have to be a tea connoisseur to appreciate this wonderful Japanese frozen delight, but it may bring you to the "I Love Tea" borderline.