Monday, January 25, 2010

Coffee Bliss with Nespresso Citiz + Milk Review

The Nespresso Citiz + Milk is an automatic and programmable single cup machine. It has dedicated space for coffee preparation and an integrated milk frothing device to prepare cappuccinos and lattes. The Nespresso maker is made in Italy and assembled in Switzerland. Sold! Well, that's all I need to know! I purchased my Nespresso maker 4 weeks ago through and since then I have not purchased one cup of coffee outside the home. Not to say that I never will again, but that is how satisfied I am with my Nespresso maker. Satisfied is probably not a good descriptive word, it is more like coffee bliss.

For all the yearning I have for Europe, this is one thing that soothes the pain of being at home. Those cold rainy days when I dream of sitting at a cafe in Paris, I can appease myself by sipping on my delectable coffee right in my living room.

I also enjoy serving my fancy coffee and espresso to my dinner guests as well as my overnight guests. With nice presentation the coffee creates a feeling of warmth and indulgence. I delight in watching my guests take their first sip always with a look of disbelief. Particularly guests who have been to Europe are surprised with how similar the taste mimics their favorite cafe in their preferred European city.

Enjoying an intense cup of coffee, espresso or a latte at home is just another day in my European Style Life.

Some of my favorite coffee flavors are:
Chestnut Cream (seasonal)
The unique aromas of chestnut cream coat the mellow flavour of the Livanto Grand Cru. A delicate marriage, infused with the flavours of autumn.
Apricot (seasonal)
The juiciness and sweetness of sun-ripened apricots, give a fresh and silky flavour to the Livanto Grand Cru. A sensory marriage that brings a sunny touch to the heart of winter.
Arpeggio receives its distinctive character and full body from a blend of Central and South American Arabicas. The long roasting develops each origin to produce an intense bouquet, combining roasted, woody, and cocoa notes.
A subtle balance between strength, depth and finesse, Roma is distinguished by its woody and roasted notes. Central and South American Arabicas combined with Robusta are lightly roasted to preserve the delicate aroma of the blend. Roma is the ideal coffee for those looking for an espresso that is short, but mild.
A blend of East African, Central and South American Arabicas, lightly roasted to preserve the fragile citrus note, creates the personality of Cosi. Its light body helps reveal a refreshing lemony note.
Decaffeinato Intenso
Decaffeinato Intenso is a strong espresso with a dense body and subtle notes of cocoa and toasted cereals. The marriage of South American Arabicas with a touch of Robusta undergoes a short, intense roast, which intensifies the flavours, and highlights the strength of the blend.
Vivalto Lungo
A complex yet balanced marriage between South American Arabicas cultivated at high altitude, such as “Cerrado” from Brazil, and an East African Arabica. Vivalto Lungo combines roasted and subtle floral notes. Split roasting of the beans enhances the character of each origin.
Finezzo Lungo
This light and thirst-quenching Lungo expresses a floral bouquet of jasmine, orange blossom and bergamot. A lightly roasted blend of floral East African Arabicas and aromatic Arabicas from South and Central America, Finezzo Lungo is lifted by a touch of acidity.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Dutch Cuisine - Zuurkool Stampot Recipe

A few days ago we visited some friends who recently moved to Las Vegas. The husband is Dutch and his wife is American. Experiencing hospitality in a European household is quite different from any other experience. We were treated to many tasty meals, baked goods and of course, spectacular wine.

One dish that stood out in our mind was Zuurkool Stampot, a traditional winter Dutch meal. Our taste buds sang with joy as we tried this dish for the first time. We simply could not return home without the recipe.

After being home for one day I had to give it a try. We enjoyed eating Zuurkool Stampot in our own cozy home on a rainy winter evening. It is funny to think that my first Dutch meal reminds me of my time spent with this lovely couple in Las Vegas. I hope you enjoy this recipe contributed by our dear Dutch friend who as a child used to make this dish with his mother in Holland. He has quite the reputation for being a fast potato peeler!

I am very pleased to be able to say that I know how to cook a Dutch dish. Enjoying a warm European meal on a cold rainy day is just another day in my European Style Life. Bon Appetite!

Zuurkool Stampot
3 Lb potatoes
1 36oz jar of Sauerkraut
1 Lb Bacon
2 packages of Kielbasa Sausage

Boil the potatoes until they are soft enough to mash. Mash the potatoes and add salt and pepper to taste. Mix in the cooked bacon and the bacon grease left over from cooking along with the Sauerkraut and 2 table spoons of butter. You may add milk into the potatoes if you'd like. Cut the Kielbasa into large pieces and warm in a pan on the stove until brown.

Note: When cooking the bacon remove it from the heat or oven before the bacon becomes crispy.

Serves 4