Saturday, July 21, 2012

when your coffee tastes like poison, you should...

probably clean it.

So, I've had this little, cheap Mr. Coffee for at least 4 years now. I've never cleaned it (gross, i know). Well my coffee was taking progressively worse. Eventually it started to taste like poison OR death causing chemicals.

Well, apparently you are supposed to clean your coffee maker once a month (who knew) to get rid of the coffee bean oils. Here's all you gotta do:

How to clean your coffee maker
Make a mixture of 1 part water to 1 part vinegar. (I only had apple cider vinegar, so I used that...and it turned out fine!). Since I have a 4 cup coffee maker, I used 1 1/2 cups of water and 1 1/2 cups of cider vinegar.

Put a coffee filter in the machine, just like normal.

Pour the vinegar mixture where you normally pour the water. (I have a fun story about this. See below...)

Turn on the coffee maker, press brew, and let the mixture run completely through.

Throw out the filter and the brewed mixture.

Repeat 2 times with plain cold water.

Clean as a whistle.

A fun story about my coffee maker (as promised)
As most of you know, I worked at Starbucks for quite a long time. And as most of you know, Starbucks sells coffee. By now you should have deduced that while at Starbucks, I made coffee...a lot of it. You would think I would be quite good at it. I thought I was quite good at it.

Unfortunately, the first time I made coffee in my Mr. Coffee, I put my filter in, put my grinds in and pressed brew After a few seconds, the coffee maker started to make this weird, chemical, burning smell! I failed to add water!

At Starbucks, we don't have to add water when we brew coffee. The coffee brewers are hooked up to the water, so it automatically dispenses...which means, I didn't know I had to add water to my own machine! Oops...

Monday, July 16, 2012

english muffin pizzas...not just for kids

Tonight I found myself with all the ingredients to make English muffin pizzas. English muffin pizzas are so much better than bagel pizzas because (1) there's no awkward hole for the sauce to fall through; and (2) the sauce flows into the nook and crannies.

As usual, I apologize for the quality of the photos. I actually had to delete some because they were blurry. I will get a new phone that takes better photos someday. Or maybe even a real camera!

English Muffin Pizzas
Serves 1

1 English muffin
Marinara sauce (mine's homemade! check out the recipe I use here)
Cheese (tonight I used little scoops of ricotta and shredded mozzarella and cheddar)
Anything else (the world is your oyster. try onions, mushrooms, pepperoni, pesto, bacon, shredded get the picture)

Chop any veggies you want to use into small pieces. Saute them. Unfortunately unlike regular pizza you can't skip this step because your english muffins aren't going to bake as long as pizza normally does and you don't want hard veggies.

Rip the english muffin in half and bake for 1 minute (I used the toaster at 400 degrees, but feel free to use the oven). This way the bottoms don't get soggy.

Layer your ingredients on the english muffin. I used marinara sauce, little scoops of ricotta cheese, sautéed onions, shredded cheese, and then tons of spices (italian seasoning, extra oregano, garlic salt, and some hot sauce).

Bake in oven for an additional 8-10 minutes at 400 degrees until the cheese is bubbly.