Add a Boost of Flavor to Your Coffee By Grinding These Spices With the Beans

Sugar and syrups are a pretty standard way to add flavor to your coffee, but if you’re looking to add flavor and complexity without upping the sweetness, take a gander at your spice rack.

One of my least favorite habits is my tendency to buy a bottle of spices, use them once, and then let them sit on a shelf until they lose their flavor, potency, and dignity. Luckily, one of my favorite habits can help with this problem, as those “extra” spices are just begging to be brewed with coffee.

The process is super easy and requires no extra work on your part. (Which is great, because no one wants extra work in the morning.) Instead of grinding the spices and sprinkling them over your cup of caffeine, just grind them along with the beans and brew as usual. To find out which spices, seasonings, and flowers (yes, flowers!) would be good candidates, I raided my own semi-neglected spice rack and experimented.

Source: Add a Boost of Flavor to Your Coffee By Grinding These Spices With the Beans

Cleaning out the grinder only works for blade grinders. And blade grinders are not what you want to use for your coffee.  Two reasons: inconsistent grind and oil extraction. Both are extremely important to a good cup of coffee.

The more you get into coffee, the more it becomes a pain in the ass. The more you can taste it, the more you can taste what’s wrong with it. What used to be fantastic… is now inferior and rancid. Nothing is ever good enough. And there’s always a merchant to peddle you a solution.

So you need a steady supplier of the good stuff. Vacuum containers that attempt to stop time but eventually fail. Special upon special grinder that’s somehow never good enough. Oodles of machinery, always more expensive than the next, never as good as some Italian industrial apparatus but you keep trying.

This is not good enough so you start roasting your own beans, which is another arms race against dissatisfaction. Or looking for coffee that came out of the ass of a wildcat because it’s the most precious. On & on & on…

Transform Your Hot Chocolate by Simmering It With a Banana Peel

You’ve probably had a hot chocolate recently. And it probably came from an envelope. Today, we’re going to push that envelope. We’re going to push it far, far away.

The gold standard hot chocolate recipe is creamy, sweet, and a little rich. It’s almost perfect as is, but it can get better. Much better. Here are eight ways how.

Source: 8 Things You Can Do To Make Your Hot Chocolate Better Right Now

For lactose-intolerant, stir up your own hot cocoa mix with:

  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder mixed with
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice optional

You can reduce the sugar a bit to taste. 2 1/2 tablespoons of this stirred into a cup of hot lactose free milk or soy milk or almond milk or whatever makes a wonderful, winter treat!

How to Make Your Own Bitters for a Signature Stamp on Every Cocktail

Any bar worth its rimming salt should be stocked with at least a couple of bottles of bitters. Sure, you can make a cocktail without them, but you can also roast a chicken without salt or pepper. Like these everyday seasonings, cocktail bitters add flavor and depth to almost any beverage, and making your own allows you to put a unique stamp on every cocktail you serve.

I urge you to think of bitters as a sort of “cocktail spice rack”, and to think of every cocktail as a choose-your-own-adventure type of situation. Homemade bitters are so easy to make (you just throw stuff in jars) that there’s no reason not to have a bottle to suit each and every one of your whims. Plus, they make great, super thoughtful gifts. (It’s September, everyone, which means it is just about time to start stressing about the holidays.)

Source: How to Make Your Own Bitters for a Signature Stamp on Every Cocktail

No matter how good you think they would be, never try to eat the fruit soaked for bitters. 😉

If you find yourself at a bar unable to afford decent bourbon (or the well sludge is on happy hour) ask for a splash of aromatic bitters with your drink. Turns a really crappy bourbon into a mediocre-to-poor bourbon, and they’ll never upcharge you for it.

Rid Your Kitchen of Seafood Smells with This Aromatic Tea

Theories on how to eliminate the smell of fish (#fishsmell) from your kitchen abound. There are those awful aerosol air fresheners, sickly scented candles, and of course there’s always the option of saying screw it and moving into a new home.

But there’s an easier, less dramatic way: #fishsmell tea.

Source: The Quick Shortcut to a Better Smelling Kitchen

Ugh, reminds me of the time my father had kippers.  If I’d only known then, what I know now…