February 4, 2017

Coffee Cantata

Posted in Coffee, Favorite Quotes, Just Life, Recipes, Trader Joe's tagged , at 8:11 am by catsinboxes

There are some things I cannot imagine life without.  Faith.  Family.  Books.  Coffee.

Life without coffee?  Inconceivable!

Often at Trader Joe’s I spot someone standing uncertainly in front of our coffee shelves.  It’s my queue, “Can I help you?”  Coffee matchmaking —oh, the joy!

My go-to recommendation is our Bolivian Blend ($7.99, Organic, Fair Trade).  Medium-Dark with wonderful nutty undertones.
Like a darker roast?  Take Cafe Pajaro (also $7.99, Organic & Fair Trade).  This is one of our extra dark roasts, and it is deliciously dark and bold.  —Cafe Pajaro is a new favorite of mine.  I’m a dark roast girl to start with, but the real reason I bought this, was *cough* the name/canister.  Who doesn’t want a coffee canister with a parrot on it?
Off-the-wall recommendation?  We carry a New Mexican Pinon ($6.99) that is a popular favorite.  Medium, already ground, and nutty —due to added pine nuts—, it is well worth trying.  One purist note though, since it’s not a TJs name brand, it does contain artificial flavoring . . . . I know, I know, you’re running screaming for the hills.

I could keep going with coffee recommendations, but I will save that for a later post.  If you have a question, feel free to comment.  Tell me what kind of coffee you like, and I’d be happy to recommend a blend.

Much, much more could be written on coffee.  Take the history of coffee, as it gained popularity in London among literary circles.  I’ve always found it a note of American pride that we gave up tea for coffee during the American Revolution.  Remarkably good taste, wot?

And then there’s iced coffee.  I can drink it all year.  I’m drinking it now.  Yes, I know it’s wintertime, your point?

The thing about iced coffee is that it is SO easy.  And yummy.  I follow Pioneer Woman’s recipe.  It takes a little advance planning —I usually make a big batch at night and then have a supply for days.  My current supply was made with Cafe Bustelo —which is very inexpensive.  The end product is quite good.  But, I think it’s even better with Trader Joe’s pre-ground Dark Roast or French Roast.

Someone (purportedly Oscar Wilde, but a quick internet search doesn’t confirm that) said,

“With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?”

Who indeed.  Go enjoy some coffee!

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February 3, 2017

Back in the Saddle again

Posted in Blogging, Books, Humor, Just Life at 11:22 am by catsinboxes

boot-449044_960_720I mean figuratively.  —It’s been quite a while since I blogged regularly.  But since I love horses and riding, why not add a picture?

It’s not the start of 2017, it’s not even quite the start of a month.  But I’ve been meaning to blog, so here’s to a start!

I have half an hour before work —one eye half on the clock.  What to write about?

Books.  I’ve started off the year reading quite a lot.  Favorites from January?  Hmm . . . I’d have to say Dianne Wynne Jones’ fantasy has been a new favorite.  I really enjoy her tongue-in-cheek humor and Year of the Griffin was a pleasant fantasy adventure.  In a sentence: a plucky young griffin is off to college to study magic, but the university’s methods are archaic, and she and her friends realize there is much more to magic than they are learning in the classroom.

On audiobook, P. G. Wodehouse remains a favorite.  I met Psmith for the first time, thanks to Leave it to Psmith.  Since I love Wodehouse’s Blandings Castle series, I had to enjoy this one!  Meanwhile, Uneasy Money was great fun to revisit, especially with Nigel Lambert’s excellent narration.  And if you are completely lost now, I apologize.  Remedy the solution by going out and getting The Most of P. G. Wodehouse.  As I wrote a couple years ago,

Combining understatement and literary allusions, slapstick humor and serious butlers, imperious aunts and impoverished aristocracy, The Most of P. G. Wodehouse should provide hours of entertainment to any Anglophile in need of a humorous read.  

On the biography front, I’m loving Ian Murray’s The Life of Martyn Lloyd-Jones.  There is much more I could say, and would like to say, about this book in particular and books in general, but the clock reminds me of my time constraint.  So, I will wrap up for the present.  I know this hasn’t been the most interesting of posts, but one has to start somewhere!