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Monthly Archives: September 2015

  • Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake Recipe

    Apple Coffee Cake Recipe Take a weekend trip to your nearest apple orchard. Photo: Kristina Servant

    Apple and Cinnamon go together like coffee and cake. This Apple Cinnamon Cake is easy to prepare and, together with a delicious cup of Gourmesso Coffee, the perfect treat for rainy fall days.

    Ingredients

    ⅓ cup of brown sugar
    ⅔ cup of sugar
    ½ cup of softened butter
    1 ½ cups of flour
    1 cup of milk
    1 tsp. of ground cinnamon
    1 ½ tsps. of vanilla extract
    1 ¾ tsps. of baking powder
    2 eggs
    1 peeled and chopped apple

    Preparations

    Step One

    Mix together cinnamon and brown sugar.

    Step Two

    Combine sugar and butter until creamy.

    Step Three

    Add beaten eggs and vanilla extract

    Step Four

    Mix flour with baking powder, before adding it to the sugar-butter mixture. Add milk until smooth.

    Step Five

    Pour half of the batter into a loaf pan. Add half of the apple-sugar mixture.

    Step Six

    Pour remaining batter on top, before adding the remaining apples and sugar. Pat everything lightly into the batter with a spoon.

    Step Seven

    Bake Apple Cinnamon Cake at 350 °F for approximately 30-40 minutes.

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  • Pumpkin Coffee Cake Recipe

    Pumpkin Coffee Cake RecipePumpkins are a natural source of Vitamin E, Iron and Magnesium. Photo: Kristina Zuidema

    Enjoy the fall season with a cup of Gourmesso Espresso and this easy and delicious Pumpkin Coffee Cake Recipe.

    Ingredients

    Cake

    ½ cup of butter
    3 eggs
    ¾ cup of sugar
    1 tsp. of vanilla
    1 cup of sour cream
    2 cups of flour
    1 tsp. of baking soda
    1 tsp. of baking powder
    ¾ cup of sugar
    ½ tsp. of salt
    15 oz canned pumpkin
    1 tsp. of gournd cinnamon
    ½ tsp. of gound ginger
    ¼ tsp. gournd cloves
    2 eggs
    ½ cup of evaporated milk

    Topping

    ⅓ cup of butter
    1 cup of sugar
    2 tsps. of ground cinnamon

    Preparation

    Step One

    Combine butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla, sour cream , flour, baking soda and baking powder.

    Step Two

    In another bowl mix together pumpkin, ¾ cup of sugar, ½ teaspon of salt, 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon of ground ginger, ¼ teaspoon of ground cloves, 2 eggs and ½ cup of evaporated milk.

    Step Three

    Pour half of the batter from step one in a 9x13 baking pan. Add the pumpkin mixture on top.

    Step Four

    Add the remaining batter over the pumpkin.

    Step Five

    Mix together the ingredients for the topping and put it on top.

    Step Six

    Bake for 55 minutes at 325°F.

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  • Coffee Table Books

    Coffee table books are always beautiful and often inspiring, so how did such a delightful idea make its way to our tables? The coffee table book may have been invented by David Brower an environmentalist who served as the president of the Sierra Club. He had an idea to produce books that contained color plates from nature photographers. He wanted the pages big to show off the beauty of the images. The idea for coffee table books goes back further though, when French philosopher Michel de Montaigne bemoaned the use of his essays as a windowsill dressing for women. De Montaigne's work could be considered the first of the coffee table books.

    Coffee Table Books More than just a book on your coffee table. Photo: Sarah Sphar

    What Is a Coffee Table Book?

    Origins of the idea aside, coffee table books are delightful additions to the ambiance of our homes. The books add a warm and welcoming look to our rooms and they add a finished look to a well-done design. There is a volume to prick the interest of everyone. Beautifully rendered with large color plates on fine paper the books are oversized and heavy, and the bindings are works of art. Many of these large beauties contain bits of informative text or thoughtful verses to accompany the photographs. A host or hostess will never lack for topics of conversation with a coffee table book at their fingertips.

    Well known organizations and single authors alike produce some of the best known titles and editions of great coffee table books. For instance, the National Geographic publishes very attractive tabletop offerings of charming wildlife and breathtaking landscapes. Life Magazine published its 70 years of Extraordinary Photography in a coffee table books format, and it touches on some very controversial topics. The Guggenheim Foundation funded Robert Frank's trip across the United States to photograph the feel of the United States during the 1950s, and the resulting book 'The American's' was first published in France. The Abbeville Press publishes several books devoted to Norman Rockwell's Saturday Evening Post cover paintings. Other offerings include a work by Madonna, entitled “Sex.” On the day of its release it sold 150,000 copies, and it was published by Warner Books. It sells for a whopping $95.00, but beware this jewel of coffee table books when you display it, the content is adult only.

    Work of Art

    $95.00 may seem high for a book, but many coffee table books sell for quite a bit more. A book “Michelangelo: La Dotta Mano” sold for $126,864. This handmade rendering weighs 61 pounds, and it was made in Italy. It has 264 pages, and on the cover in white marble is a relief of Michelangelo's Madonna. The bindings are of red velvet, and hand crafted by the same people that made the stage curtains for La Scala. Inside is the real treasure with color plates of the Sistine Chapel on pages of paper made from 100% cotton. There were only 99 copies planned for this exquisite work, and donations have been made to the Prado Museum in Madrid where it is displayed beside the original Gutenberg Bible. Admirers of La Dotta Mano are traveling from all over the world to view the rare piece.

    More Coffee Table Book Art

    Another book of art is called “The Art Book.” This colorful publication is only $8.94 in hardcover, but it is a little gem among coffee table books. The Phaidon Press published the work, and it took the book of the year award in 1994. Inside are illustrations of over 500 famous masters, encompassing works from the Middle Ages to present day paintings and sculptures. It is touted as a complete history of art complete with illuminated copy on each piece depicted within. It weighs 4.4 pounds and has 505 pages and its colorful binding is an eye catcher. The book is engaging, and it is a struggle to put down once picked up.

    Something for Everyone

    There are coffee table books to suit everyone's taste and pocketbook. From history to dogs, and from art to sex, these coffee table books add flavor and sophistication to your home and your conversations. No home is complete without one to peruse while sipping your favorite Gourmesso coffee. Add one or more to your collection of coffee table books today, and your family and guests will thank you.

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  • Cinnamon Coffee Cake Recipe

    Cinnamon Coffee Cake Recipe Cinnamon Coffee Cake Photo: jamieanne

    Cinnamon comes with many benefits: it makes you happy, your theeth healthy and attractive, and it boosts your immune system. These are only a few of the benefits you encounter while eating Cinnamon Coffee Cake. Try it together with one of our delicious Gourmesso coffees for a perfect fall starter kit.

    Ingredients

    Cake

    ⅔ cup of margarine
    ½ cup of brown sugar
    1 cup of sugar
    1 cup of buttermilk
    2 cups of flour
    2 eggs
    1 tsp. baking powder
    1 tsp. baking soda
    1 tsp. salt
    1 tsp. cinnamon

    Topping

    ½ cup brown sugar
    ½ cup chopped nuts
    ½ tsp. cinnamon

    Preparations

    Step One

    Mix margarine, brown sugar and sugar until creamy.

    Step Two

    Add two beaten eggs to the mixture.

    Step Three

    Combine all dry ingredients. Add buttermilk and butter-sugar mixture alternately.

    Step Four

    Pour batter into baking dish. Add topping.

    Step Five

    Cover with foil and store it in the refrigerator overnight.

    Step Six

    Bake at 350°F for about 35 minutes.

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  • French pressing is a time-honored method of making coffee. It doesn’t use any fancy percolator, drip or espresso system to brew. Instead a French Press (sometimes referred to as a “press pot”) allows ground coffee to soak in hot water for a pre-determined period similar to tea. Once the coffee has brewed, you simply push down the built-in metal filter (the “press”) until all the coffee grounds are on the bottom and the delicious full-flavored coffee is left sitting on the top. Figuring out how to make French press coffee is actually pretty easy if you follow a few rules.

    French Press CoffeeFrench Press Coffee Photo:Don LaVange

    First things First: Starting with the Right Grind

    Learning how to make French Press coffee begins with the grind. You will need a much coarser grind than with espresso. And even more important, the grind must be consistent. People researching how to make French press coffee usually mess up this small point.The one high-priced investment with using a French press is inevitably the grinder - you’ll definitely want a fancier burr grinder to ensure all your grounds are the same shape and size.

    Recipe for Satisfaction: Measuring your Coffee

    French press pots come in all sizes, so measuring depends on your equipment. But a good rule of thumb to follow is 2 tablespoons of coarse ground coffee per cup of water. Some people like their coffee stronger, but 2 tablespoons is a good place to start, and you can always adjust your recipe later. The French press method is best when making coffee to be consumed all at once, so once you get more familiar with how to make French press coffee, feel free to make a follow-up batch!

    Temperature Quest: Finding the “Goldilocks” Zone

    Too-tepid water will make your coffee taste terrible, but so will water that’s too hot. The trick to how to make French press coffee is you have to be able to heat water until its “just right.” A well-calibrated digital thermometer is best to use until you get more familiar with the fine tuning of your stove top, and water temperature should measure within the narrow band between 195 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit (91 to 93 degrees Celsius).

    The Most Precious Minutes of your Journey: The Brew

    The penultimate piece to how to make French press coffee is the brew. Once the ground coffee is in the Press, add the amount of water you plan on using. Cover this murky mixture and let it sit for about a minute. Then take the cover off, stir vigorously, and cover again. Don’t press down! Simply let the coffee soak like you were steeping some tea, approximately 5 minutes. At this point, the grounds should mostly be settled on the bottom of the glass.

    How to Make French Press Coffee: The Press

    We're almost to the end of the process! Make sure the filter on your French press is perfectly aligned with the sides of the vessel. Otherwise, grounds are going to sneak around the sides and get into your coffee (which isn’t a tragedy, since you can always pull the filter back to the top and try again). It should take about half a minute to do a careful filtering from top to bottom.

    And that's how to make French press coffee. Now all you have left to do is pour and enjoy!

    The Issues with the French Press System

    Knowing how to make French press coffee is easy. The press itself is completely human powered, with no disposable parts to replace or wall outlet to plug into.

    But the finicky parts are right there for you to see: getting the right grind and getting the right water temperature. Not to mention watching the coffee like a hawk to make sure you don’t forget about it! More than a few French press users have walked away only to come rushing back 15 minutes later to cold, black, tar-like sludge.

    We’re going to level with you. We love the flavorful, consistent, repeatable results from espresso pulled through Nespresso®* compatible coffee capsules. But French Press coffee is quite tasty too, and you should definitely try how to make French press coffee at least once to see what all the fuss is about. We’d never turn down a cup!

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  • Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe It’s Pumpkin (Spice Latte) Season! Photo: Liz West

    There are many reasons why fall is the best season for many people. Pumpkin Spice Latte is one of them. Gourmesso will show you how to make the perfect homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte.

    Ingredients

    2 ½ cups of water
    1 tbsp. nutmeg
    1 ½ tbsp. cinnamon
    ½ tsp. ground ginger
    1 cup of sugar
    3 tbsp. pumpkin puree
    Coffee filter
    1 cup of Gourmesso espresso
    ½ cup warm milk

    Preparations

    Step One

    For the syrup mix water and spices in a saucepan. Let it boil before turning down the heat. Let the mixture simmer for about 20 minutes.

    Step Two

    Pass the mixture through a coffee filter.

    Step Three

    Add pumpkin and sugar. Boil and simmer for about 10 minutes.

    Step Four

    Pour 3 tbsps. of syrup into a mug and add coffee. Top with frothed milk.

    Tip: Sprinkle some cinnamon on top.

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  • Latte Art

    You may be familiar with latte art: It's the very cool way that your barista pours steamed milk into your morning shot of espresso, creating those amazing designs. Some mornings perhaps you get a heart, others a tree, an owl, or a bear. This art form, which actually began back in the 1980s, has come a long way. Today there are competitions for latte art. That's right! It's not just for morning entertainment anymore.

    Latte Art Coffee Art Photo: Hiroyuki Takeda

    How Latte Art Is Created

    To get latte art, the conditions must be just right, and those conditions are very demanding. It's why a barista can oftentimes never repeat a creation twice; the pour is really the challenge.

    Basically, it all comes down to science, and chemistry. Latte art combines the crema, or the emulsion of the coffee oil and brewed coffee, along with the foam of the air in milk (also known as microfoam). Because neither of these is stable and both will actually degrade rapidly, the latte art will only last for a few minutes. Alas, the artist's work is fleeting.

    Just Right

    As Godilocks said, everything must be just right: to get your latte art perfect, you must check that the espresso has a light brown color to its surface. When the white foam from the milk rises to the meet the surface of the espresso shot, this is when your design will emerge. The foam will separate from the liquid and rise to the top as you pour the milk. If you have everything just right, you can create your latte art on the surface. Or, you may choose to create the pattern with a stick after you have poured the milk.

    If you are just starting out with latte art, there is a bit more advice out there from the pros. They say that you should also make sure to pour in the center of your cup, especially if you are using a small cup. You can rest your pitcher on the edge of the cup for control; never pour the cup more than 3/4 full when you begin, as you will need to 'shake' the pitcher a bit to give your design a bit of form and you don't want to spill the coffee.

    As you continue the shake, you will want to continue to pour into the center of the coffee. Make sure to move slowly, or you will rush your design. Slow and steady wins the race!

    And finally, remember that practice makes perfect. Every barista, and every entrant into one of the latte art competitions, will tell you that you simply must practice, practice, practice in order to become good at this art form. Baristas pour literally hundreds of lattes a day, and that's how they get great at this.

    The Competitions

    Latte art competitions are very real and they are popping up everywhere. These include the U.S. Latte Art Championship, the World Latte Art Championship, and the Coffee Fest Latte Art Championship among others.

    Latte Art Championship Latte Art World Championship 2013 Photo: GoToVan

    The World Latte Art Championship is the holy grail of latte art competitions. It is one of the most photographed competitions in the World Coffee Events portfolio, and for good reason. Each year, the World Latte Art Championship highlights the creative expression of competitors in this new art form in a competitive platform that challenges them in a demanding performance. They must prepare their coffees, their designs, right before the judges. No pressure!

    During the competition, the contestants are judged on their creativity, identical patterns, contrast in patterns, visual attributes and overall performance.

    There are three rounds, and contestants are judged on both free pours and patterned drinks. There are time limits as well. /p>

    The top scoring barista in the final round is the champion.

    Ready to enter your artwork? Start practicing your pours with Gourmesso Coffee for next year's championship!

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