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Archive for the ‘Coffee / Tea Experiment’ Category

Let’s try this again…

Here’s a little background on me.  I’m a mom of a lovely 16 month old girl.  A wife of a man who has the patience of the Dalai Lama, am a graduate student, and although I have both the education and the experience to teach the English language to adults, I’m working as an English Language Educational Assistant in an elementary school.  I could write pages upon pages about ESL and why people like me end up in low paying jobs working under people who have less experience, less education, and less care for their students, but this blog isn’t about ESL, policy or politics. This blog is about coffee, or rather, foods with coffee as an ingredient.

Since I can remember, I’ve always liked being in the kitchen.  I really enjoy cooking, but I love baking.  I find it therapeutic to cook and/or bake.  I enjoy the process, the organizing, and the sometimes monotonous tasks that cooking brings.  I like to roll out dough until it’s just the right thickness, pipe out choux pastry balls until I get just the right size, dice celery to get the perfect little cubes, and silliness like that.  I like making food for people and watching them enjoy the food I’ve put out.  I have to admit that the enjoyment I get from making people happy is not purely selfless.  I get that ego boost every time someone says, “…but (insert name here) is so picky, I can’t believe they ate all your food!  Can I have the recipe?” or ” Thank you for the great meal! “.  Because I enjoy being in the kitchen so much, I figured, why not try to make a living out of it?  Don’t get me wrong, I love working with the elementary kids, I really really do, but it’s not a career.  I hardly make ends meet with that job, and when I’m finished my graduate studies, there’s little hope that I’ll be able to find a job making much more in ESL.  With that being said, opening my own business selling baked goods would be so much more promising.  This is the reason for this blog.

My goal is to start a business in one year.  I’m not aiming to own my own catering business or open a restaurant or a cafe.  My goal is to create 12 dishes/desserts that include coffee as an ingredient by Jan. 1st, 2011, and sell those dishes/desserts with a steady income by Aug. 15, 2011, all while finishing my thesis by the spring of 2011, and work full-time.  I haven’t figured out how I’ll begin selling my foods to people yet, but that’s all a part of this learning process.  Subsequently, I want to learn about coffee.  I want to work with it to see how it can compliment other flavours.  I want to use it in sweet and savoury dishes.  I mostly want to document my recipes, my successes, my failures, my experimentation, and most of all, my process throughout this year.  One wise woman said, “..ain’t about how fast I get there, ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side, it’s the climb.”  Well okay, she isn’t wise, nor is she a woman…yet.  Nevertheless, Miley Cyrus’s “The Climb” has a damn good message! If this business doesn’t work out, then at the very least, I’ll have learned something, and my friends and family will have gone on a coffee tasting ride that I’m sure they won’t regret.

So, Day 1 is here, and my first recipe was a Deep Fried Coffee Ravioli with a Chocolate Ricotta filling.  Before I begin, I have to say that this recipe came about because I happened to have ricotta in the house.  Ricotta is pretty expensive here and it’s not expensive to make, so…I made it.  Now why would I make Ricotta you ask?  My little girl LOVES Ricotta.  There was a time that it went on sale and so I bought a tub of it.  I ended up putting it in everything.  I mixed it with rice and Parmesan, pasta and Parmesan, spinach and pasta, cinnamon and nutmeg, hummus, etc…  She even ate it straight out of the container.

Back to the deep fried ravioli.  I had Ricotta in the fridge and was wondering what I could do with it when I remembered seeing on the Food Network a deep fried chocolate ravioli.  At least, I’m pretty sure I saw it on the Food Network.  I think about food so much that sometimes I don’t know whether I’m dreaming up recipes, reading them from magazines, seeing them on T.V., or have gotten them from friends or co-workers.  The amount of time I spend thinking about food and recipes is almost obsessive.

Anyhow, I had the Ricotta and I thought that it would taste good with chocolate, then I thought about coffee and starting the experimentation.  That’s when I thought about making a coffee flavoured pasta.  The experiment didn’t go so well.  The dough was crispy and light (as fried doughs get), but I would have preferred it to be “lighter”.  I’m going to try making the same dough additional sugar, and then experiment with various other types of doughs.  The coffee flavour was overwhelming! I could barely taste the chocolate Ricotta mixture inside, and I had to dust the entire ravioli with powdered sugar because the dough tasted like I was like drinking espresso straight out of the machine. Yep, definitely add sugar and reduce the coffee flavour.  I’m also going to try to add a coolie of some sort, maybe mango or cherry? I think the dessert needs a kick to it, and some colour!  Besides, I think people would like something to dip the ravioli in (or maybe that’s just me).  There’s just something magical about dipping.  I broke open one of the ravioli’s to taste the Ricotta mixture.  It was DELICIOUS!  The melted Ricotta had a great texture, the chocolate wasn’t too strong, and the sweetness was “just right”.  I was happy that the ratio of chocolate to Ricotta worked out so well on my first try.  I’m not going to change that at all.  I’m pretty pleased with my first attempt, and am excited about the days to come 🙂

Lastly, I’m not going to post any recipes on here until I’m sure that they’re worthy of being duplicated.  With that being said, if anyone wants the “in progress” recipes, I’ll send them to you.  Just let me know!

I hope the coffee won’t affect my sleeping tonight!

Cheryl

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Hi Everyone,

My name is Cheryl and I’m a new blogger.  That sounded very AA-ish.  I’m not quite sure I know why I felt the need to introduce myself that way, but, there you go.  I finished writing my first entry about 10 minutes ago, only to find that it didn’t actually publish.  I clicked on QuickPress Post, and then BOOM.  It was all gone.  One moment I was as pleased as a bug in a tree, and the next moment I was screaming NOOOOO in my head. I’m not quite sure why, but I feel a little violated.  Anyhow, I just had to get that off my chest.  Now onto my “real” posts….

Cheryl

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