I don't know if I have mentioned this before, but I am a tiny bit addicted to coffee... You might not know that I used to hate it with a passion and thought it was a nasty sludge only old people with yellow teeth enjoyed drinking.
I also despise all soft drinks (horribly sweet and disgusting) and didn't usually drink tea (even though I do like it). In college when I needed a caffeine boost I would actually resort to eating spoonfuls of dehydrated coffee while holding my nose closed. Seriously... Just ask my husband. He will also tell you about my famous shark stew, the time I put tenderizer on some cheap steaks overnight (yes, they looked partially digested by morning), and how I lived on the neighborhood burgerjoint's "lean" hamburgers (basically normal fattening hamburgers on a wheat bun) and uncooked coleslaw cabbage (a girl needs her fiber).
So what changed? In the early 90's I went to visit my grandparents in Germany. My German family are huge coffee drinkers. And they will tell you American coffee stinks compared to their coffee. And I believe they are right. I won't even start talking about Starbucks, with their bitter tasting roasts... I reluctantly drank a cup of German coffee with cream offered by my beloved Omi, and shockingly loved it. Thus began a life-long addiction.
Our cheap little Mr. Coffee "with a carafe" coffeemaker finally died on us. I have to have a carafe because I can't stand "burned" tasting coffee and I love how it saves electricity by not using a hot plate. I also like to drink the leftover morning coffee midday. I did some research on the net and the cheaper coffee makers with a carafe had horrid reviews. But then I discovered this expensive jewel: Cuisinart DGB-650BC Grind-and-Brew Thermal 10-Cup Automatic Coffeemaker, Brushed Metal.
Even with a $30 rebate it was $90 and I have never paid over $50 for a coffeemaker. But my husband, being the wonderful man he is, said "what the heck!". This coffeemaker not only makes coffee (duh), but also grinds your coffee beans before making the coffee. Oh my, it is like having a maid, or having coffee at the neighborhood coffeehouse (not Starbucks, yuck).
So guess what! We decided this was our early Valentine present to each other. Much more romantic than jewelry (I don't wear the stuff) or chocolate (I buy this on my own, then I get what I want) or flowers (I hate when they get all wilted and the water gets all slimy). And I have to confess the coffee is AMAZING! Believe the positive hype, it makes the best coffee in the world.
The coffee cup is from Rao's Bakery in Beaumont. When we are passing through Beaumont we always stop here and get coffee and some pastries. Yummy! My husband worked for a time in Beaumont and discovered this little gem of a coffeehouse. I hate to pick on Starbucks yet again, but Rao's has great coffee and tons of seating so you can relax over a cup of brew, chat, and talk about politics and religion and dream about your future with your sweetie. While trying at the same time to ignore the kids running around the table, eating cookie crumbs off the floor, grabbing coffee stir straws and napkins and shoving the straws up their nose and putting the napkins in their shirts and saying "look at our big boobs". I need new kids... :-)
Oh, this coffee is the best! Also roasted and flavored in Texas, how cool is that? Now, I know you coffee snobs out there will make fun of me for drinking flavored coffee. I love all types of coffee, flavored or not. I worked as a coffee Barista for a year and became a coffee "expert". But I believe a true lover of coffee (read "addict") will embrace the coffee bean, flavored or not. :-)
This wonderful coffeemaker was not the only purchase we made last month. Our microwave died and we bought a new one. I won't post a photo, it is a microwave after all. But we are also having issues with our oven. It is an original early 1970's double oven in lovely avocado green. It still works, but it takes 30 minutes to preheat and doesn't brown very well. I priced new ovens and almost passed out and decided this one matched our kitchen, so why mess up our "look". After all, it matches our original yellowish laminate cabinet tops. Don't let anyone force you to upgrade to granite or other expensive tops. This laminate is almost 40 years old and in perfect condition. Perhaps much to my dismay. ;-)
I decided to check out toaster ovens on Amazon, and found this 6 Slice Digital Toaster Oven. This little guy changed my life! Everything I cook in it (cakes/pies/cookies/chicken/etc) comes out perfectly. And it uses such a tiny amount of electricity compared to my oven. I haven't turned on my "real" oven since buying this Oster, and unless I make a turkey I won't have to.
Enough chit chat! The images above were editing in LightRoom (I used my Black and White Coffeebar preset with tweaks). Here is a preview of my new PS/PSE action and tutorial coming soon. It has been named thanks to my Flickr group. Plus more tutorials and other goodies are coming to the CoffeeShop. :-) I have been busy so I need to get posting! Thank you so much for visiting and sending your friends and checking out my links!!!