Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Drinking: Pumpkin Pie Coffee

Well... summer is over. The leaves are changing and I purchased a bag of pumpkin pie coffee! I decided to try to modify some dark roasted coffee beans to make a DIY pumpkin pie coffee. I like the concept of amending coffee grounds as its quicker and simpler for those occasions that require a solitary cup of coffee.   

I make my coffee in a one cup French Press so I added two tablespoons of ground coffee, 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice and the hot water

The coffee grounds smelt remarkable similar to the bag of pumpkin pie coffee I had purchased (and was quickly consuming) but less pumpkin flavour was imparted in the end result. I imagine that the heat of the water eradicates some of the delicate pumpkin pie flavour. Perhaps I should add the pumpkin pie spice into already brewed coffee... 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Drinking: Pineapple Rum

I found these cute 70's cocktail glasses at the thrift store for 50 cents each! A random customer stated their jealousy of my great find so I had to come home and put them to good work immediately!
I used this recipe for inspiration but this is basically 1/4 cup dark rum, 1/2 cup freshly made pineapple juice, and a tiny bit of lime juice. Served over ice. 

It's basically delicious! 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Fermented Pickles

I came across some pickling cucumbers through a friend of a friend of a friend. There are always too many cucumbers! 

I roughly followed this fermented pickle recipe (and by roughly I mean I threw some salt and water in jar and the next day I added, without measuring, some pickling spices). It seems to be going well though as within a day tiny bubbles were forming at the surface and within 3 days the jars were smelling like pickles.  

These photos are the pickles at four days. I can't wait to try them! 

Have you made fermented pickles? 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Eating the Web: Kombucha, Kvass, and Aquafaba

1. Chocolate Beer: A non-alcoholic beer which uses beer brewing principles with cocoa beans makes for a very interesting concept. 

2. 21 Ways to Flavour Kombucha: My SCOBY has been basically undisturbed since I acquired it last fall. Time to brew up some new flavours! 

3. Cooking with Beet Kvass: I participated in a free 2 hour fermenting class a few weeks ago - and it's really inspired me to get back to fermenting. Using beet kvass in Bloody Mary's seems like an excellent idea! 

4. Coffee and Tonic Water: Back in the good ole days when I lived in Toronto, we regularly visited a few coffee shops that offered drink options that combined carbonated beverages with coffee - they were all delicious and I really should DIY it. 

5. Aquafaba: I've been intrigued by this concept for weeks now. Basically, the liquid in canned beans (especially chickpeas) can be used as an egg substitute and made into classic egg dishes like meringues! (I made some vegan butter that will be up next week!)     

Monday, August 3, 2015

Review: Beet Juice Powder

I've finally joined the 'green juice' campaign. I've jumped on this trendy bandwagon because due to some health issues last winter I was unable to eat anywhere near the 'proper' amount of food. I picked up a Magic Bullet and have been happily juicing kale and spinach and adding either oranges or fresh pineapples (dear gawd - don't forget to add some sweet fruit!) to help me eat more each day. 

I received a free jar of Pines Beet Juice Powder and added two teaspoons to my kale and orange smoothie this morning. It does add some of that great 'earthiness' that's associated with my love of beets and makes the drink a deep red colour. It seems a bit pricey for a dried product but does contain mostly beets. This product is also raw, gluten free, non-gmo, and USDA Organic so overall it's a pretty slick way to get some beets into your morning smoothie. 

I wonder if it would make a good 'red velvet' cake? hmmmm. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Review: Forbidden Flavours

Forbidden Flavours is a local Brandon/Shilo chain and I love supporting them for that reason. The location on 18th is my favourite as the physical space is large enough to accommodate plenty of folks and there are some great comfortable chairs and couches. The staff never try to rush you out the door so you can really tuck into a book or work on some homework at this location - the free WiFi helps too! Coffee shops in a small town like Brandon are weird because it only takes a few loud/annoying folks to really ruin the experience and I find that a comfortable visit to Forbidden Flavours isn't guaranteed due to this. This is, of course, no fault of the establishment but it bothers me all the same. 

According to their out-of-date website the 18th Street location once held a used book store which would have been pretty cool! They have the standard coffee items and a few speciality drinks - I usually order the green tea frappĂ© which is always great. They also specialize in ice-cream (which I've never had) and have a few cakes and cookies on offer. I would avoid the bakery section as everything I've had has been stale, mushy/dried out, and just icky. The bagels are good so order that if you are hungry! I've never been able to have have a sandwich/panini from Forbidden Flavours as they do not offer vegetarian options.  

Overall this is a nice, usually quiet, cafe that I love supporting because its locally owned! 

Forbidden Flavours on Urbanspoon 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Review: Brew'd Awakening

A photo posted by Sarah (@wingedsnail99) on

I finally managed to get out to this cafe. It has been on my 'to-try' list since I first moved to Brandon but the Internet Cafe part of this establishment scared me off. I am not interested in the type of cafe that an 'Internet Cafe' calls to mind - dark, dingy, with rows and rows of computers from the 90s. Thankfully I gave this place a shot because it is nothing like the Internet Cafe's of old.

This cafe is bright, clean and cheerful. The decor reminds of 1950 Rock-a-billy with bright teal vinyl bench seating and primary colours. The music playing fit the theme as well. The computers available are in a circular desk and there are only about five of them. The tables are clearly designed to accommodate laptop computer users as one is board room style and almost all the booths would fit 6-8 people. There is a comfy leather couch in the back and some bistro-style metal tables near the front.

The menu is pretty standard cafe fair with the full range of espresso machine drinks available. I've been trying to limit my caffeine intake lately so I noticed that there is not much choice with regard to non-coffee 'fancy' drinks. There wasn't very many vegetarian food choices either. However the iced tea and cheese cake I had were both very good.  

However, the staff was quiet but very polite. Good service is ridiculously hard to find in Brandon so I am very glad to have had a good service experience at Brew'd Awakening. I will return!   

Brew'd Awakening's on Urbanspoon