Monday, August 24, 2009

Salad Crazy

I have been a little salad crazed this summer. Part of it is that I have been working on a huge recipe development project that not only takes up a lot of time but leaves me with a lot of main courses to eat. The other part is that the weather here in Baltimore has been so humid and so changeable, I swear it has ruined my appetite for anything other than cold salads.

What are you craving this summer?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Nescafe Dolce Gusto

I recently acquired a Dolce Gusto single serve coffee maker. So far, we love it! It has been a little warm for hot beverages (they have an iced cappuccino flavor I am looking forward to trying) but the mocha, cappuccino, latte macchiato (frothy milk with a shot of coffee) and the chococino (hot chocolate) are all very good. The milk is actually frothy and tastes like fresh milk. They don't have that powdery or "off" taste that we've encountered in some single serve coffee machines. The package says that the machine delivers the same amount of pressure (15 bars?) as coffee shop machines and I'd believe it because it really delivers a cup of coffee on par with what I've had at coffee shops. The pods are maybe slightly pricey (a tiny bit more expensive than other coffee pods I've seen, especially if the drink needs a coffee and a milk pod) but certainly much, much cheaper than getting a coffee out and Amazon has some good prices on them if you are willing to buy multipacks. Amazon also allows you to schedule regularly occurring shipments of the coffee in their "subscribe and save" program.

The machine is very easy to use and while it takes up a bit of counter space, it is attractive and interesting looking. I didn't care for the instruction manual, it was pretty much just in pictures and I prefer written descriptions (with diagrams as needed) but I was able to get the machine together and use it fairly quickly after taking it out of the box.

It is as tasty as coffee shop coffee and you just pop in a pod and in about a minute, you have coffee! Perfect for me because I work from home and I can just make as much as I would actually drink rather than having to make a whole pot. I also really like the cups that came with the set, a glass mug and a cup and saucer set, they make it easy to gauge when to stop adding the coffee or milk. The Dulce Gusto website has a rewards program where you can type in codes from coffee boxes and redeem them for more pods or cups. And right now, you can get some free coffee sent to you by registering your machine.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


It is times like this I wish I was a person who liked beverages more. It is just so hot and humid, I feel like drinking something cool but end up feeling waterlogged from club soda overload. I don't want summer to be over but I wouldn't mind less humidity. It really hasn't been terribly hot but the humidity has been pretty bad every day. Cooking has become excruciating.