Archives for category: coffee

To know me is to know that I have many random questions in my brain. Some of those questions I research, some I leave as questions in my brain because I don’t feel like doing the research. Well, one day I had the question: Is there a difference between a pancake and a flapjack? After doing some Internet research, I discovered that in the US, the words are synonymous with only a bit of argument here and there about how thick one is supposed to be compared the other. But that makes no difference to me. More than likely it’s regional.

However, according to the Internet, a flapjack in Britain is a lot different than a flapjack in the US. Apparently a flapjack to the British is like a granola bar in the US. I’m not usually a granola bar person, but the recipes looked so easy and so appealing that I decided to give it a try. And my first and only attempt at making a British-style flapjack was a hit! I have no idea how authentic my flapjacks are, but I don’t care because my family and I loved them. Authenticity can fly out the window.

Then, of course, my little brain started to think. What other British foods are there that didn’t quite come over to the US in the same form or even at all? Then it occurred to me that I hadn’t decided on a theme for this month’s Themed Thursday. Now I had one – British food! So I found a book at a local library called Cooking the English Way by Barbara W. Hill.

Believe it or not, the recipes seemed pretty normal to a person from the US – roast beef, roasted potatoes, shepherd’s pie, scones, gingerbread, etc. The only recipes in the book that the US didn’t adopt for the most part were “mushrooms on toast” for breakfast and Yorkshire pudding. But I hate mushrooms and the Yorkshire pudding seemed like too much work and I was feeling lazy. So I gave up for the day.

I hadn’t given up completely on my British food idea, but I was no longer sure what to do. Then I watched A Grammy Salute – The Beatles 50th Anniversary: The Night That Changed America.

Man, I have to stop here to say how much I love The Beatles. Yes, I’m technically too young for them, but that’s the beauty of the Fab Four – they’re timeless. After watching the tribute, my little heart swelled in adoration, and I had a new plan. I would honor The Beatles in my own way by creating recipes based on foods mentioned in their songs. Of course, the first song I thought of suited my purposes the best – George Harrison’s “Savoy Truffle.” What better song for a person with a sweet tooth? Mmmmm! (I choose to ignore its warnings and focus on the deliciousness.) And it just so happens that February is George’s birthday month. Perfect!

Taken from the song, I chose to create a coffee dessert (this one has endless possibilities!) and a nice apple tart to accompany the British flapjacks. Let me tell you, this month’s theme was so tasty and so much fun, that I might have to honor The Beatles (and George Harrison) another time!

Beatles theme

British-Style Flapjacks

  • ¼ cup butter or margarine
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 ½ cup quick-cooking oats
  • ¼ cup frozen blueberries (or use your favorite berry or raisins)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and honey. Cook, stirring occasionally, until butter and sugar have melted. Stir in oats and berries until coated. Pour into bread pan or small square baking pan. Mixture should be about 1-in thick. Bake for 30 minutes or until top is golden. Cut into squares, then leave to cool completely before removing from the pan.

 Coffee Dessert

(based off recipe “Christmas Morning Coffee” from The Best of Christmas at Home Cookbook)

  • 1 pot (10 cups) brewed coffee
  • 1/3 cup water
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • Milk or whipped cream, optional

Prepare coffee. While coffee is brewing, in a small saucepan, heat water to a low boil over medium heat. Stir in sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Bring back to a low boil, stirring occasionally. Combine coffee with cocoa mixture. Pour into mugs and serve with milk or whipped cream, if desired.

 Easy Apple Tart

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 package refrigerated pie crust
  • 1 can apple pie filling
  • ¼ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • ¼ cup honey

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray mini pie tins (or tart pans) with cooking spray. Cut and fit crust into each tin. Place tins in oven and bake 12-15 minutes. Meanwhile, mix pie filling, milk, and honey in a bowl. When crusts are golden brown, remove and let cool. Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees F. Fill each crust with apple pie mix. Cover each pie with foil and poke holes in the foil to let breathe. Bake pies in oven for 20 minutes. Store in refrigerator.

Coffeeee! Daniiiiish! Those are the prizes when you bike ride to the Ferry Landing on Coronado Island at the break of dawn in sunny San Diego. Or, as the case may be, at the break of…. hey? where’s the sun amidst all this fog? Despite the fog, it was a beautiful bike ride. (Click here to learn more about the bike route.) Wing and I started at the Silver Strand and, as I said, biked to the Ferry Landing. It’s not a record-setting distance by any means, but I also don’t bike a lot so I wanted to make sure that I’d be able to make it back to the car without having to be dragged back. Yes, I made it and it was actually too easy. Next time, I’ll be ready for an even longer ride. But wait, I almost forgot. This is a food blog, not a biking blog. Move down, move down… on to the coffee stand! (For those who are interested in the bike ride, below is a series of pictures to tell you all you need to know. For those who are only interested in the food, feel free to skip past the amazing pictures by yours truly. I won’t be insulted.)

BIKE RIDE

When Wing and I got to the Ferry Landing, they were setting up for the Coronado Art Walk so there were booths and trucks and expensive oceanic art pieces everywhere. Had we known, we might have started out on our ride a bit later to check it out, but, as it was, we didn’t feel like sitting around so we just got coffee and went on our merry way. OK OK, the coffee stand. So we walked our bikes (as to avoid getting hit by a truck backing up on the sidewalk or perhaps slamming into a pricey piece of art and therefore having to purchase it … although that might have been a fun way to bring Paperboy to life…) through the shopping district and Coronado ride_mint mochaclaimed a table at the coffee stand. I ordered a mint mocha (now the current honorary profile picture) and a cheese danish while Wing ordered a Chai Tea with a shot of espresso (Dirty Chai) and a cinnamon roll. Now, I’m going to be honest here. The pastries were really nothing to write home about and the coffee was average. But they do have a ton of variety considering it’s only a small stand, and I was intrigued by more than one coffee flavor. I thought about ordering the bear claw (a new coffee flavor), but then I thought about getting the black and white… or maybe a frap… so I went with the mint mocha (mint and chocolate and coffee, oh my!). Also, let’s not forget the location. As they say, location, location, location. You’re at the Ferry Landing on Coronado Island in San Diego. Do you really need the finest pastries? Must you really sip the best coffee to be wowed by this? If you live in San Diego and can go anywhere in the city, perhaps. But if you’re visiting or on a bike ride that happens to end right there, nah. And, let me tell you, others agree with me. The outdoor tables got packed with other bikers who wanted their coffee and pastries.

Coronado ride_Coronado Coffee Co

So I hadn’t been to the Ferry Landing itself in about 17 years and things sometimes change in that amount of time. I was pleasantly surprised to discover some restaurants there that might be worthwhile to try out! We may even put some posts about them someday. For now, let me just provide a link to the Ferry Landing restaurants and another link to a restaurant along the way (with an interesting history if you’re into that sort of thing) called 1887 on the Bay (some of their cocktail names are awesome, by the way… I just clicked back from the menu to tell you that). If you get to any of these restaurants before we do, let us know how they are!