Use Coffee Instead of Water in Your Batter for a Rich, Flavorful Cake

Whatever your stance on cake mixes, you can agree on one thing: they can always stand a little improvement. Thankfully, mixes are incredibly easy to soup up; substitute an ingredient here or add an ingredient there, and you’ll have all the flavor of a homemade cake, with all the ease of a boxed mix. Here are eight awesome ways to make your boxed cake mix taste homemade.

Source: 8 Tricks That Make Boxed Taste Like Homemade

Please warn those to whom you serve the cake that you put coffee in it. It’s a rare sensitivity, but coffee really does make some sick.

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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…

Upgrade a Batch of Chili With Cinnamon, Cocoa, or Even Coffee

Chili is personal, and you have your favorite recipe. I respect that. I’m not here to argue with your one true chili love.

But I would bet that there are some ways that you could make your tried-and-true recipe even better. I’m just talking about little things to add extra flavor here or give some richness there—small tweaks that, when tallied up, amount to a more fantastic chili.

Source: 10 Ways to Make Your Favorite Chili Recipe Even Better

Some will think cinnamon in chili is an abomination. And I like cinnamon. In ice cream. On apples. In chewing gum. But in chili?  It’s worth an experiment – cinnamon can do some interesting things in more savory dishes.

Study Suggests Drinking Coffee Might Reduce Liver Damage From Alcohol

There is a growing body of evidence that coffee may be good for your long-term health, reducing the risk of type II diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. According to one recent meta-study, it may also lower your risk of liver damage from boozing.

Source: Study Suggests Drinking Coffee Might Reduce Liver Damage From Alcohol

I’m always curious if these studies include cream, sugar… decaf. Do the benefits persist in spite of them, are the cons of the two in those quantities negligible, or do these controlled studies usually go for plain black coffee?

Nuff said.

Stop Buying Coffee Pods

It’s time! This week, news that Hamburg banned coffee pods from government buildings set off a larger conversation about why we’re still giving our money to companies like Keurig and Nespresso. Let’s be honest: It’s time for the whole world to stop buying coffee pods.

Source: Stop Buying Coffee Pods

A typical coffee pod has a few parts. The foil top, the coffee, a small filter, and the plastic cup. When you use, say, a Keurig disposable cup, you bring down a needle that injects the hot water into the coffee while a spike in the bottom punctures the bottom of the cup. The needle has a gasket that forms a seal on the foil top and the machine has a sensor to detect when too much water is being injected into the pod.

The reusable K-cup, for most consumer machines, is basically a shotglass with mesh sides. It’ll make coffee, but the coffee is much weaker than out of a disposable pod. You also don’t get the sensing mechanism, so you might overflow the machine.

TL;DR: The refillable pods are badly engineered.

Combine Ice Cream and Cold Brew For a Tasty Pick-Me-Up

The other afternoon I was struck by “that 2:30 feeling” and a hankering for something sweet at the same time. Being torn between the pint of cardamom ice cream in the freezer and the cold brew concentrate in the fridge, I combined the two.

Source: Combine Ice Cream and Cold Brew For a Tasty Pick-Me-Up

Now I want a beer float…

Cold brew concentrate has significantly more caffeine per ounce, so that would be the major benefit/difference from using normal hot brew coffee.

Top 10 Tricks to Get the Most Out of Your Caffeine Hit

Coffee, tea, and other caffeinated beverages are enjoyable for the taste alone, but sometimes you might be thinking about their caffeine content more than the flavor. Here are the top 10 things you should know about this wonderful drug and how to use caffeine more efficiently.

Source: Top 10 Tricks to Get the Most Out of Your Caffeine Hit

I was taught that the darker roasts had less caffeine as it was leeched out by the roasting process, so that milder coffees actually gave you more of a jolt than espresso roasts, if prepared the same way.

Caffeine is known to double the impact of certain pain medications (not unlike the grapefruit effect). For those taking few different medications during the day for chronic pain, the dose can be halved by taking it with coffee.  Less drug, more coffee, no downside!

Use a Can of Evaporated Milk for the Creamiest Nacho Cheese Sauce Ever

If you’re a baking enthusiast, you’ve probably cracked a can or two of sweetened condensed milk in your time—it’s a key player in some of our favorite pies, cakes, and sticky-sweet sauces. But few people are as accustomed to cooking with its milder, milkier, unsweetened cousin: Evaporated milk—canned, shelf-stabilized, low-moisture cow’s milk—offers the same thick, rich texture of condensed milk without the added sugars, making it ideal for more savory preparations (and a handful of sweet ones to boot). Here’s a look at just how handy it can be.

Source: Everything You Can Do With a Can of Evaporated Milk

This is more accessible than the sodium citrate trick covered in the past. Know that evaporated milk is not condensed milk…

If I weigh 99 pounds and eat a pound Of Nachos, am I 1% Nacho?

Taking Your Coffee Black Does Not Mean You’re More Likely to be a Psychopath

Is that friend who always very politely turns down your offers for cream or sugar very possibly hiding a dark secret, as haters around the internet have been insisting recently? Nah, probably not—but here’s why some people are saying taking your coffee black means you’re more likely to be a psychopath.

Source: No, Taking Your Coffee Black Does Not Mean You’re More Likely to be a Psychopath

Given that “acquired taste” is largely the Stockholm syndrome of eating, the net is cast too wide when “beer” is an potential indicator of the “Dark Triad”.  Let alone psychopathy, something that has been reclassified (to anti-social personal disorder) because the general public misuses the term.

Two of my favourites:

  • I like my men like my coffee – hot and nowhere near my crotch
  • I like my women like my coffee – beaten in a sack and thrown over the side of donkey