Dinner ReportFriday and Saturday I made BBQ Pork Ribs in the oven and chili. The ribs were a little tough--a bit gristly, but the flavor was good. Trader Joe's makes a pretty good Kansas City Style BBQ sauce. The chili was yummy, but I have a feeling it's going to be pretty spicy when I have it for leftovers! And that is the end of the dinner report.
I don't usually have a lot of time to make breakfast during the week. I like sleep too much to get up early enough to cook much more than an egg for breakfast or to just grab some yogurt before work. On the weekends, if I feel like it, I sometimes cook breakfast (if I get up before 11). Sometimes I just eat leftovers. I also sometimes make coffee, again if I feel like it and if have half & half or milk on hand for it. This weekend I made spiced coffee and quinoa porridge.
I'd only had quinoa once before. I had just cooked it in water with onion soup mix (a recommendation from James). However, I misunderstood (my fault entirely) and used the whole packet of onion soup mix instead of half, and the quinoa was overwhelmingly oniony. Not so tasty. The cheesy, broccoli quinoa was a huge improvement.
|Quinoa looks a little like lentils close up but doesn't taste anything like them.|
I didn't like the idea of quinoa swimming in a bowl of hot milk, so I decided to use the milk to quinoa ratio and cooking method from the Momtastic recipe but the spices from the Closet Cooking recipe. I left out the fresh fruit because I thought I'd add some raisins to the finished dish. I love dried fruit and nuts on oatmeal and figured that it would be good on this cooked "cereal" too.
Unfortunately, when I set out to make my breakfast this morning (which ended up being brunch because I didn't get up until after 9), I realized that I only had 3/4 cup of milk. I had a couple of tablespoons of cream, so I added that and a few tablespoons of water. I ended up with a little less than 1 1/4 cups of milk for 1/2 cup quinoa. I added the maple syrup, cinnamon, and vanilla to the milk right at the beginning, added the rinsed quinoa, and brought the whole lot to a boil. Then I reduced the heat and simmered it for 15 minutes. The quinoa was very soupy at that point and stil pretty chewy. I gave it a stir and let it cook for another 10 minutes with the lid cracked. I checked it again--still soupy but getting there. I gave it another 10 minutes and it was just right. Most of the milk had been absorbed and the quinoa was just slightly chewy.
|Raisins and pecans were a good addition. If you're interested, this is a bowl I made in ceramics class last year.|
Spiced CoffeeI do enjoy my coffee. Most of the time I'm happy with a nice strong cup of coffee with some half & half and a dash a sugar (ok, maybe a little more than a dash, but I can drink it black or just with milk too). Sometimes, though, I like flavored coffee. Not the crazy stuff like raspberry, chocolate, almond, marshallow creme flavor, but I do like hazelnut or cinnamon, things like that. The problem is that many of the flavored coffees either don't taste very good, or they are artificially flavored (or both). So, I decided to make my own.
The idea originally came from my friend James. Years ago, I was over at his house for dinner. He made coffee after dinner and put some cinnamon in with the grounds in his French press. It was really good. I didn't really remember though until last summer, I think, when I was making coffee to chill and keep in the fridge. Starbucks gets expensive. I don't remember exactly why I thought of it but suddenly remembered James putting cinnamon in with his coffee and decided to try it. It turned out quite tasty. During the fall, what with the various specialty flavored coffees about, I decided to experiment. I finally came up with a good spiced coffee that is all natural and, since I make it myself instead of getting it at Starbucks, considerably cheaper.
Spiced CoffeeI have a 4 cup coffee maker. If you have a larger pot and usually make 10 or more cups, experiment with the amount of spices. If making 10 or 12 cups, try doubling the spices first (instead of tripling) then adjust up if the flavor is too light. For my coffee maker I use:
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 pinches ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
I just sprinkle the spices and vanilla on top of the grounds and brew as normal. It's really good hot or cold.
(I recycled this photo from a previous post, but it's pretty, and I didn't take a photo of my coffee today, so you get this one again.)