<![CDATA[Who moved my chia seeds? - Blog]]>Tue, 08 Mar 2016 14:19:14 -0600Weebly<![CDATA[The Perfect Cup of Coffee...at home!]]>Mon, 07 Mar 2016 16:53:26 GMThttp://www.whomovedmychiaseeds.com/blog/the-perfect-cup-of-coffeeat-homePicture



When I owned Eli's, I consistently heard over and over again from customers that despite their best efforts, they could never re-create a cup of Eli's Coffee at home.  Usually shocking to them, I agreed.  In fact, I rarely even bothered trying on my inexpensive Bunn coffee maker from some big box store.  The coffee would come out inconsistent; sometimes too weak, sometimes abrasively strong, and almost always bitter.  It wasn't too much of a bother for me to just go to Eli's and get a cup myself; I was often headed there daily anyway, so I never bothered trying to perfect the home brew.

It has now been nearly a year since I made the transition from Eli's owner to Eli's investor and I've learned a few tricks about brewing at home.  This transition coincided with learning we were expecting baby #2.  As a gift to myself I purchased a Moccamaster Technivorm coffee maker because I knew it would be much more difficult to get out of the house daily once we had an infant.  One of the key reasons why you can't reproduce the cup of coffee from your favorite coffee shop is temperature of the water that your machine produces.  The Moccamaster will get the water to the right temperature in your own kitchen while you stand there bleary eyed, in your slippers, wondering what day it is.  I digress...
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Next, make sure you have the right kind of filter. My favorites are the Melitta Cone Filters  #4.  You'll want to fold them at their creases to ensure they fit properly in the basket. I then put a tiny bit of water in the basket and roll it around to dampen the filter thoroughly. This helps the filter brew properly and not absorb the coffee that you want in your belly!
Now, time to make the coffee!  A second reason home coffee does not taste like your favorite café is water filtration.  We live on a lake that uses a well so we decided when we first moved in to get a Reverse Osmosis tap at our sink. This gives us 100% pure water, rid of any chemicals or nasty pesticides from the neighboring farm fields.  If you don't want to install an entire R.O. system, bottled R.O. water will certainly suffice.   

I only get my coffee from Eli's!  Everyone has their favorite roaster of course, but Eli's has a wholesale  account with Grounds for Change. These fine folks roast coffee to order the same day Eli's places the order, expedites shipping and it arrives fresh and ready to be brewed.  All of their coffees are certified Fair Trade, Shade Grown and Organic.  My latest favorite is the Bolivia Taipiplaya, but I often choose Nicaragua Segovia.   

I wait until I have everything prepped and ready to go before I grind my coffee.  This ensures the freshest cup. The water is in the machine and the filter is in the basket.

Here's where top notch home equipment comes in handy, yet again.  I splurged on the Bodum Bistro Burr Grinder from Grounds for Change.  You can probably find this anywhere, but I do try to support family owned businesses whenever possible. 

I keep my grinder set where you can see it below and for a full put I allow it to run for the maximum of 20 seconds.  Of course you can adjust yours to your liking, but this gives me a cup of coffee as close to Eli's as I can get without actually leaving the house.  Also, I realize I need to scrub my grinder!

Once I grind the coffee I dump it into the filter, level it out by shaking the basket gently, then I add a wee bit of sugar.  Some folks swear by a couple of dashes of salt, others like to add a bit of vanilla or cinnamon. 
At home, most people just hit the 'on' button and walk away.  When you want to perfect your cup, you have to monitor the process.  After setting the coffee maker to 'on' I make sure the filter basket stays closed for about a minute.  Not all filter baskets have this option, but if yours does, use it!  This allows the coffee to bloom. You can see how foamy it is below. 
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After a minute I flip the switch to halfway open, allowing for a slow brew.  I also take a moment to stir the grounds to ensure they are all getting fully saturated.  NOW is when I can walk away, pop some toast in the toaster, make Finley's lunch, etc.  After about 5 minutes my pot of coffee is ready to go and I am ready to embrace a lovely day.
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<![CDATA[The Best Homemade Yogurt]]>Wed, 24 Feb 2016 02:45:24 GMThttp://www.whomovedmychiaseeds.com/blog/february-23rd-20161
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First of all, please just ignore my dirty windows. Perhaps pretend they are raindrops?  Yogurt making on a rainy days sounds quite lovely, no? 

I am in love with the Food52 featured recipe by Alana Chernila.  It's perfect.

I follow the 'put it in a warm place' method.  I start with 8-10 cups of the best, least pasteurized milk I can find; locally that's Kilgus Farms.  Store bought won't work as well, or frankly, at all, so don't waste your time.

Heat the milk on low-medium, stirring frequently until it reaches 185 degrees (be sure to use a thermometer!) Let it cool to about 110.  Stir in 1-1 1/2 cups of your favorite plain yogurt.  I usually pick on that has the most science-y sounding bacteria listed. 

At this point you can transfer it to a crock pot and set it to warm OR put it in your over, with a lid, on the 'proof' setting if your oven has that.  Mine does and it's one of my favorite things about our house.

Let it sit.  DO NOT BOTHER IT.  Don't just 'take a peek' or 'jiggle it to see if it's set.'  Seriously.  Leave it.  I often start my whole process around 6 pm and then put it in the oven overnight.  Even though the original post says 5-7 I have much better luck with more like 8-12 hours. 

Take it out and strain it at this point if you wish.  I usually do to get more of a Greek yogurt like consistency.  To do this I put a large colander over a larger bowl, then line the colander with a thin dishtowel or cloth.  Dump in the yogurt and let it sit for about 20 minutes. It really doesn't take very long and you can always let it go a bit longer if needed.

After this, refrigerate and enjoy! If it's lumpy it may be because the milk scalded.  To remedy just stick it in a blender or use it for smoothies.  Be sure to save a 1-1 1/2 cups for your next batch!  Good luck and let me know what your favorite uses are  for this yogurt!
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<![CDATA[Water Beads]]>Tue, 23 Feb 2016 20:08:11 GMThttp://www.whomovedmychiaseeds.com/blog/february-23rd-2016
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Every winter, usually in the depths of February, it hits.  I look at my husband and we both wonder, "WHAT HAPPENED TO OUR SWEET BOY?"  He's a very typical 5 year old boy with loads of energy, but when he's not able to channel that energy well he gets feisty.  For some reason it always skips my memory that this happens every single winter until suddenly it clicks...a-ha!  He hasn't played outside! He can't run, jump, fall down or get muddy!  Once I remember that I'm able to come up with something to help channel  his need to be messy and this year it was water beads.  The beauty of water beads is that they FEEL messy but they aren't ACTUALLY messy.  A win-win for the entire household.  I have to admit that even I enjoy getting in on the fun of playing with them; there's something quite therapeutic about having them run through my fingers and admiring their colors glistening in the sunlight.  A little planning is involved; they take 6-8 hours to soak until they are fun to play with, but some of the fun for Finley is watching them grow.  That is, if he sees that I've gotten them out.  Sometimes I'll throw a tablespoon or two in a big bowl of water before I go to bed and in the morning I hear shrieks of joy coming from the kitchen when he discovers them.  Check them out for yourself!
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