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Best Super-Automatic Espresso Machine-Reviews

Two cuts of ewspress with heart cookies

Best Automatic Espresso Machines You Will Love

by Kathie FitzPatrick

So how do you find the best espresso coffee machine? There are many choices of home espresso machines out there.  The variety sometimes seems as vast as the stars in the sky. Well, perhaps not quite that vast!  But it is a bit confusing to say the least.  This article will review our top favorite picks in the realm of Semi-Automatic and Super-Automatic Espresso Machines in order to help you determine the best automatic espresso machine for you.

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Warm up those Winter Days and Nights with SOUP!

Whether it’s a Dutch Oven…Make Soup…

… A Croc Pot … or A Big 6 quart pot…Make SOUP!

By Kathie FitzPatrick

There is something about a good bowl of home made soup . . . it seems to warm the body and soul and put a smile on your face every time! Whether it fills you up to go back to work at the office, back to school to face the test, or out to shovel the driveway, it makes lots of healthy fuel for the both the body mind and spirit!

White Lentil Soup With Bacon

Fill the chosen cooking vessel with about 3/4 water. Decide if you will use a small bag of white lentils or a large one depending on your pot. Use the water to lentil ration indicated on the bag.  Place one or two pork ham hocks in the pan, salt and pepper to taste. Add 1 diced onion and two or three chopped celery stalks, plus chose sliced carrots.  Let come to a boil, then simmer for about 3 1/2 hrs or until lentils are tender.  Serve with chopped fresh parsley and sprinkle with real crumbled bacon. Be sure you also serve your favorite hot bread and a salad. This makes a healthy, satisfying combination whether for lunch or dinner!

White Lentil Soup with Swedish meatballs

Make the white lentil soup with ham hock as described described above.  In large fraying pan make your Swedish meatballs, turning them often as you fry them for even results.

Swedish Meatballs

In large bowl combine 1 package of lean ground beef (1 or 2 lbs or so) with half the amount of ground pork sausage. Add 1/2 diced medium onion, 2 eggs, 1 cup breadcrumbs, salt and pepper to taste, 1/2 tsp nutmeg or so depending on your taste; mix well. Shape into small meat balls about 1 inch or so. Fry in pan with a small amount of olive oil coating the pan. When cooked through and through, drop into the pot of hot white lentil soup mixture. Serve with you favorite hot bread, real butter and green salad. Yummmm!

Italian Pasta Fajole

In a large iron pan with cover or Dutch oven, place chopped left over beef chuck roast or diced beef stew meat, and place in hot pan with a little olive oil. Stir in fresh or dry rosemary, and Italian seasoning of your choice or herbs from your garden such as Oregano and Thyme.  Let flavors cook into the meat.  Add five cups of water and one bag of dry mixed bean mix.  Then stir in 3 cups chopped canned tomatoes, Italian style if you can get them.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil then turn heat down to simmer for 4 or 5 hours.  Shortly before serving  pour into boiling mixture, 1 half bag pasta shells. Cook until tender about 9 minutes. Serve with joy, add hot sourdough or faoscia bread! Make green salad with Romain lettuce, spinach, tomato and artichoke hearts…and Italian dressing. This is a family recipe!

 

Easy Split Pea Soup

The simple recipe for this warm satisfying soup is as old as the hills, and then some! My grandma Elizabeth, on my Mom’s side,  who’s family did a homestead farm in Oklahoma, always had a pot of beans of some kind simmering on the stove.  Split pea is one of those easy, tummy warming ones!

Fill large pot with lid (or croc pot) about 2/3 or so with water. Place one or two ham hocks in it along with either a small or large bag of dry split peas.  Read the mix to water ratio on the bag.  Add a couple of chopped/sliced carrots, 1 diced onion, and a couple of stalks of chopped celery; salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil then simmer 3-4 hours of until the split peas are tender, and liquefying into soup.  Serve with Honey corn bread and your favorite salad!

 

Quick Five Bean Chili

This is easy and quick! Decide on the amount you want to make. Say, using 2 lbs ground beef would be an average amount serving about 6 people.  In large frying pan cook the ground beef stirring frequently until thoroughly done.  Add salt and pepper to taste and about 3 TBS chili powder, or tailored to your taste.  Use the same frying pan with lid if large enough or transfer to a larger cooking pot with lid.

1 can white northern beans

2 cans pinto beans

2 cans kidney beans

1 can black beans

1 can of chipolte beans, or any other kind of beans you like that would be compatible with Chili.

1 can chopped tomatoes, Mexican style or plain

Use the liquid from the canned beans as a base.  Cook on medium heat for at least 30 min to 1 hour.   Simmer longer to let the flavors continue to release and mix well into the chili.  Shortly before serving add small slices or bits of sliced or chopped fresh green bell pepper.  Let cook barely through and through to keep crisp.

Five Bean Chili–a quick favorite!

Serve with Taco chips or your favorite bread.

 

Easy Chicken Soup

They say chicken soup is good for the soul, and everything else that ails you. This is probably true!

Basic Home made Chicken Soup

If you have just finished off a baked or roasted chicken, or even brought one home from the deli on the way home from work . . . you may be looking at the chicken carcass, that also made a few tasty sandwiches, thinking, “Now what? Is it time to toss it?”

No!  You can make delightful, warming chicken soup with the remainder, and you’ll be glad you did!

Place the chicken “carcass” in a croc pot or stewing pot, add water up to the three quarter point of the pot or so.  add salt and pepper, I chopped onion, 3 stalks chopped celery, and 2 chopped carrots.  Bring to a boil then let simmer 3 hours. This going to create a “base stock.”

From here decide which kind of chicken soup do you want?

Chicken rice – add 2/3 cup of rice to the boiling mixture.

Chicken vegetable: add your favorite variety of veggies such as potato, green bean, broccoli or other. You may wish to add additional  sliced carrots.

Chicken Curry: Add 1 tsp curry powder.

Chicken Oriental: Add 1 or two egg whites, stir until; add dried Chinese style mushrooms, diced fresh green scallions. Serve; make enough to freeze and enjoy another time!

 

Grandma Ruby’s Homemade Soup

Here is a simple and easy home made soup recipe sure to please!  Take a large beef bone and place in a large cooking pan with 5 to 6 cups of water.  Add chopped potatoes, 3 stalks chopped celery, 1 chopped onion, 3 large carrots, add salt and pepper to taste, 2 cans pinto beans, one can black beans, 1 can kidney beans. Stir in 2 small cans or one large can tomato soup.  Optional: add corn;  Add braised beef pieces. Bring to a boil, then cook for 4 hrs – 5 hrs. on medium heat until the soup looks well blended and the flavors and have released throughout! Add sage or thyme if desired.  Serve with honey cornbread.

Need some new soup making vessels?  See Dutch ovens here on shopgourmetkitchen.com.

See stainless steel pots:  click here to buy on Amazon:

 

How to Use Coffee to Build Relationships

Having coffee together adds a warm positive note to both your discussion and work projects.

Having coffee together adds a warm positive note to both your discussion and work projects.

Sitting Down and Having Coffee Together is Much More Powerful Than you May Think.

By Kathie FitzPatrick

We know we love drinking coffee . . . and we know a lot of other people like to drink coffee.
So enjoying coffee is something we can potentially have in common with people, both current friends and soon to be friends, and business associates.

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Are There Health Benefits to Drinking Coffee?

Love Coffee?  Are You Drinking 3 or 4 Cups a Day? It might Just be Very Good For your Health!

Studies show that coffee in moderation is actually good for your health.

Studies show that coffee in moderation is actually good for your health.

By Kathie FitzPatrick

There are certain things we love . . and some things we even feel guilty about indulging in. If you love coffee, relax.  Drinking one to four cups a day may protect you from developing a number of various diseases, according to current clinical studies.

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Small Espresso Machine for the Home

“Where is that Small Espresso Machine that I Will Love?”

"Where is that small espresso machine that I will love...and will fit neatly on my kitchen counter space?"

“Where is that small espresso machine that I will love…and will fit neatly on my kitchen counter space?”

Small Espresso Machine for the Home

Ever found yourself looking over the display of home espresso machines on-line and wondered if the one you like would fit your limited counter space?

Or maybe starting with evaluating a small espresso machine is just the way to go from the very beginning.

Let’s take a look at a selection that should answer the question and give you a wonderful espresso machine that will make those really great coffee drinks you are looking forward to!

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Which Nespresso Machine is Right for You?

Cappuccino coffee...one of the favorite specialty coffee drinks!

Cappuccino coffee…one of the favorite specialty coffee drinks made with a Nespresso machine!

“Which Nespresso Machine Shall I Buy?”

Nespresso Citiz C111 Espresso Maker with Aeroccino Plus Milk Frothier, Chrome

 

Which Nespresso machine makes cappuccinos and lattes?”

Here we go . . . this one does!

This Nespresso machine includes an Aeroccino Plus milk frothier, rapid one touch preparation of hot or cold milk froth for Cappuccino, Latte and Iced Cappuccino
Owners notice an easy insertion and ejection of the coffee capsules.  This model of Nespresso  holds 10 used capsules. It also has a removable 34-ounce water tank. This is for use with Nespresso coffee capsules only.
The Nespresso Citiz is a good example of compact brewing unit technology.  Fast preheating time is 25 seconds. This machine has a 19 Bar high pressure pump. The automatic power turns off off after 9 minutes of inactivity
This machine also has an automatic and programmable coffee volume quantity (Espresso and Lungo). Items sold separately valued at $348.
The flexible pivoting tray accommodates tall recipe glasses!

Buy the Nespresso Citiz C111 Espresso Maker on Amazon:

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Which Nespresso Machine Should I buy?

Here are a few questions posted on Amazon reviews from people considering owning a Nespresso machine or who already own one:

Question:  Can you also make just plain coffee with this model?

Answer: No. If you want one that makes coffee and espresso look at the Nespresso Vertuoline machines.

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Freshest beans? Is Home Coffee Roasting for You?

The Importance of Fresh Coffee Beans . . .

Is Home Coffee Roasting for You?

Green and brown decaf unroasted and black roasted coffee beans as background.

Green beans will make the transformation to freshly roasted coffee beans in our cup!

 

Ah, if you are a coffee lover there is nothing like fresh coffee beans in your cup!
Since the critical top priority in making a full and flavorful cup of coffee is in the freshness of the beans, let’s get to the bottom of it.  You can sometimes find a source of freshly roasted beans close by your home through various coffee stores or specialty shops, or possibly through mail subscription, or you can decide to roast the green coffee beans at home yourself.  More about home coffee roasting later.
When you look around the local grocery store where you shop you probably assume that the beans on the shelf are fresh, but this often just not the case.

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Best Home Coffee Bean Roasters

So why do people do home coffee roasting?

Freshly roasted coffee . . . there's nothing like it.

Freshly roasted coffee . . . there’s nothing like it.

I watch people on-line passionately stirring those green coffee beans in a frying pan on their stoves at home, patiently waiting for those precious “cracks” to signal the first sign that their roast is about done.  The first crack finally makes a loud pop or a crack sound like a branch breaking. Then here is comes, the second crack that sounds like rice krispies . . . ah, now it’s  time to pull it off and cool it in a colander, and eyeball that perfect medium roast.

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Italian Espresso Machines-Reviews & A Little Bit of History

Italian Espresso Machines-Reviews

By Kathie FitzPatrick

Italian coffee machines-in-love-with-italy_zylunYuO_L

No, espresso did not originally come from Seattle.

Thanks to North African and Turkish merchant traders who brought the early concept of espresso through Venetian ports to Italy in the early part of the 20th century during the Renaissance period, coffee had already become a part of daily life in Italy. In the year 1763 there were 200 coffee shops in Venice.

Then about 140 years later, in 1903, a businessman, Luigi Bezzera, was trying to figure out a way to make his coffee faster. He was an owner of a manufacturing business and was losing patience with how long it took to make his coffee each morning.

Bezzera delightfully discovered that by adding steam pressure to the coffee making process this not only cut down the time of the brewing process itself, but created a far stronger and more robust cup of coffee. It was a new creation of its own. Upon further study and tinkering he cleverly came up with what he called his “Fast coffee machine.” The word “espresso” means fast in Italian.

Vintage teapot with dry tea and rose buds over black metal background

However, Bezzera was not as talented in marketing as he was creating the first espresso maker. In 1905 he sold the rights to another businessman, Desidero Pavoni. From there a short time later the machine was patented.   Also within a short time Pavoni’s name was associated with everything having to do with espresso.

In current times Italy now has over 200,000 coffee bars and growing.

It’s fun to look at the history of espresso coffee creation! Today we are going to take a big leap forward in time and review some of the favorite Italian espresso machines for the home. So now you will get a good look at all things “espresso machine Italian,” and make the right choice for the best Italian espresso machine for your personal home!

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Cuckoo Rice Cooker Review

Cuckoo CRP-HR)*^7F 8 Cup Rice Cooker

Cuckoo CRP-HR0867F 8 Cup Rice Cooker

Best Cuckoo Rice Cooker

By Kathie FitzPatrick

It’s no secret that the rice cooker Cuckoo Brand has been a top favorite in the world of rice cookers. Let’s take a look at the wide variety of Cuckoo Rice Cookers, and see what makes them unique.

Best Cuckoo Rice Cooker Review

Cuckoo CRP-EHSS0309F Smart IH Pressure Rice Cooker

Cuckoo Rice Cooker EHSS0309F Smart IH

Cuckoo Rice Cooker
EHSS0309F Smart IH

Cuckoo CRP-EHSS0309F Smart IH Pressure Rice Cooker, 110v, Metallic

White cup full of rice with vegetables

White cup full of rice with vegetables

It is time to discover a  rice cooker with the advantages of induction heating.   You will be happy to taste the difference.  This style of rice cooker is full of delightful differences.  This type of rice cooker will produce chewy but soft, and just plain delicious rice.  The difference will be clear if you try the same rice with different style rice cooker.

Such an induction heating pressure rice cooker will assure your rice stays fresh not just for hours,  but that the rice stays fresh for days! You will be happy to learn that you have  lots of cooking options.  If you are a beginner, don’t be worried. You will learn quickly how to cook rice in induction stove. Once you buy induction pressure rice cooker, you will also receive a rice paddle and a measuring cup included in the price.

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Best Rice Cooker – Reviews

Why Buy a Rice Cooker?

Zojrushi Rice Cooker Micom NS TSC10

Zojirushi Rice Cooker Micom NS TSC

Which is the Best Rice Cooker? 

An electric rice cooker makes the task of cooking rice almost effortless. Doing it by hand takes time and it can get tricky. There’s so many ways to mess up when making rice, and it doesn’t take much to ruin a fresh batch.

Making it by hand requires having the perfect pot and lid that seals well and keeps the steam inside. You have to get the water and rice (or other liquid) to the perfect temperature before you put the lid on. Timing and quantities are everything. But what if you had a machine that automatically adjusted things to give you fabulous rice at any time?

Timing is key and it depends on the type of rice and exactly how you like it. And the best rice cookers can make your life a lot easier, particularly if you routinely have rice as part of your family’s weekly meals.

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