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Friday, October 28, 2011

Coffee from Peet

I had gotten a nice package few weeks ago. I wasn't expecting anything. Oddly enough, I was actually home to receive it. Don't you ever feel like it's Christmas every time you get a package at the door. --,too. -- Well, this package was from the generous folks at Peet's Coffee. This was in part of being a participant of the Tastemaker program from Foodbuzz.

Peet's coffee. you know it's like this really cool place o get some really tasty coffee. Inside the box were samples of their Cafe Solano and Cafe Domingo coffee grounds. It came with a nice tumbler and several $2 off coupons, which I can give to my coffee loving friends. I know for sure that I'll make use of the tumbler especially when I'm working on set. Coffee is your best friend on set especially with the long hours.

The Cafe Domingo is a blend of Central and South American coffees. The Cafe Solano is of African, Indo-Pacific, and South American coffees.

Now I'll be honest, I'm no coffee connoisseur. Sometimes I don't know the difference between the different beans and grounds and the thousands of varieties that are found out there. They all kind of look the same to me. There's too many to keep track of, really. But I do like a good cup or two or three or four -- depending on the type of day it is, but suffice to say, I like a good cup. I like to have my coffee (with a little milk or cream) and have it with a nice warm pandesal with some butter or nutella. It's all about simplicity for me.

If I go out to eat for breakfast or brunch, I usually order a coffee. It would actually be a rare moment when I'd make it at home. Maybe because I'm lazy? Anyway, I did give these a try. And I'd have to say that its got a good taste to it. Compared to some of the generic brands out there. I did give some to a couple of good friends of mine who LOVE coffee. And they, too, enjoyed the taste. Maybe I've converted them to drink the good kinds of coffee...? Only one can tell. The quality in taste is definitely higher than several brand found out there. The aroma of it is nice, too.

Another way I like to have my coffee is when I do my writing. For some who may not know, I am a filmmaker by trade. I'm a writer, director and producer. I'm constantly typing away on the keyboard conjouring up stories --  that I'm optimistic will one day see the light of day and not just sit around collecting dust. :) There are always two things next to me when I write. My trusty notebook full of ideas and a cup of coffee. They really do go hand in hand. 

How do you drink your coffee? Or how what do you pair your coffee with?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Baked Herb Hash Browns

I think I'd have to consider the potato as one of my favorite vegetables. It's carbolicious! I was fortunate to receive a couple coupons to get myself a couple packages of Simply Potatoes Shredded Hash Browns courtesy of the Tastemaker programs from Foodbuzz. It took me a while to find them as I had thought they would be in the freezer section. Then I reread the coupon and it stated that it can be found in the refrigerator section. It would have saved me the 10 minutes I spent walking up and down the freezer section. That was my fault.

Anyway...when I did finally find them, I got a couple bags. These are real potatos already shredded. So it takes the work out of having to peel and shred them yourself.

I made a simple hash with them. I was tempted to make casserole, but I didn't have enough of the required ingredients to make it. So I opted for the good ol' fashioned hashed browns. Besides, I wasn't really in the mood to spent a huge amount of time in the kitchen. The beauty of the recipe below is that it is baked. No need to bust out the pan and oil and have to deal with the clean up after. Baked herb hash brown is what I got with a little cheese on top. A mix of the crunchy and soft. Serve it for breakfast with a coupe of fried eggs, toast, sausage or bacon (or both, in my case). You can even have it for dinner.

Simply Potatoes does have a variety of products. Hopefully, I'll get to try more of them.

Herbed Hash Brown

1 package Simply Potato Shredded Hash Browns
1 Tbsp dry basil
1 Tbsp dry thyme
1 Tbsp dry oregano
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 c shredded cheddar
unsalted butter

Preheat your oven to 400˚F

In a bowl, combine the shredded potato, basil, thyme, oregano, garlic powder and paprika. Mix thoroughly to combine.

Coat a baking sheet with the unsalted butter. (You may cover the sheet with foil for easy clean up.)

Divide the potato mixture into 8 portions and place them on the baking sheet. Gently pat them down to flatten. Make sure to space each evenly.

Bake them in the oven for 15-18 minutes. Then flip each and bake for another 15-18 minutes. Then sprinkle each with the shredded cheddar and baked for 1-minute until the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Juice, tea and tervis?

I know I haven't posted in while. It's been touch and go with me in the kitchen. Haven't had a chance to really dig my hands into some good ingredients. I did receive some packages during that time though. Thanks to the Tastemaker program from Foodbuzz, I got to try out this really cool tumbler.

Tervis is a brand of tumbler cups. As their description say that it's "virtually indestructible". A lifetime guarantee that it won't crack, melt, shatter, or chip. -- "Interesting?" as I said aloud.

I did drop it on my kitchen floor as I was about to pour me a drink. Totally unintentional, I promise. I just had butterfingers at the moment. No really, I did.

I'm big on iced tea. I've got no preference on flavor or variety. As long as it's some form of iced tea, I'm good to go. Since the weather here in Los Angeles has been a bite of the summery side, even when it's supposed to be fall, it was a good time to sip some cold ones and give this nifty looking tumbler a try. I will admit that the design of it is really cool. And they had the Foodbuzz Tastemaker logo on it. Neat, eh? It looks like a cup within a cup. Ooooooo...

It did keep my drink cold. Another part of the their description was that it kept hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold. The couple times I've used it, I haven't been disappointed. It does what it says. Also, there wasn't any condensation on the outer part of the glass which made for grabbing the tumbler a little easy and not having to wipe away any moisture that normally form around it leaving those rings on the table. I think that's an added plus.

I'd say give it a try if you see one. They've got a nice selection on their website

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