Monday, November 24, 2008

Cardamom Coffee

Adding flavors to coffee is nothing new - there are many flavor infused coffees available in most supermarkets and coffee shops, but is easy to add to coffee at home, and the aroma that fills your kitchen is sensational.

Green cardamom is used widely in the Middle East in coffee drinks, and sprinkled on sweet dishes, in Indian dishes, and in many Scandinavian pastries and cakes. Many of us have tried cardamom in Chai Tea which is a mixture of black tea, ginger root, cinnamon bark, black pepper, cardamom, cloves and star anise.

Here's how to make your own Cardamom Coffee to sip in front of a fire as the chilly evenings close in (yes, even here in San Diego it has been getting steadily cooler!).


Before brewing coffee in a drip coffee maker, place a cardamom pod in the filter bag with the coffee. As the coffee brews the cardamom will infuse the coffee with a wonderful flavor and perfume, making an exotic and warming drink.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Vanilla Espresso Martini

If you are looking for something interesting to serve your guests, the Vanilla Espresso is ideal as an after dinner drink, or simply on its own. The signature drink of the 101 Hotel in Reykjavik, it is great to drink in front of a cozy fireplace.

This cocktail recipe, and many more, can be found in the fabulous book, Signature Cocktails, Cool Cocktails from Cool Places by Bill Tikos.

101 Vanilla Espresso
  1. Pour the ingredients into a shaker with ice.
  2. Shake well.
  3. Serve in a Martini glass.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Cattitude is Back

The ever popular Cattitude range is back in our Solana Beach store, and online.

Available in blue, pink, green and ivory, these cute little cats can be found on mugs, mug and coaster sets, espresso cups, travel tumblers, and i-pots.

We also have a great selection of 17oz and 24oz i-pots at both stores. Our Solana Beach store can be found on the second floor inside the Leaping Lotus, in the Cedros Design District, and be sure to check out our holiday gala event on December 4th for all your gifts.

If you prefer to buy online, we are offering free shipping during the season on any three or more items purchased together.

Cinnamon Applesauce

Making applesauce is a great way to spend a fall afternoon, and if you make it before , it's a great gift for your guests.

It is basically making the very simple sauce, and preserving it in jars. Once made, it can be sealed and stored in jars in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. The is great for using as filling in pies and tarts, and can be served as a side with pork and ham.

Cinnamon Applesauce - Ingredients
  • 16 unpeeled red-skinned apples, such as MacIntosh or Rome Beauty (cored and quartered)
  • 1 1/4 quarter cups fresh lemon juice (about 8 lemons)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 4-inch cinnamon sticks, broken in half
  • 2 cups water
  1. Put the apples in a large, heavy saucepan.
  2. Sprinkle them with lemon juice and toss thoroughly to coat.
  3. Add the sugar, cinnamon sticks, and water. Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat to medium-low.
  4. Cover the pot and let simmer until the apples break down to applesauce, 30 - 40 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat, uncover, and let the apples cool slightly in the pot.
  6. Discard the cinnamon sticks.
  7. Using a rubber scraper, gently push the apples through a coarse-mesh sieve or food mill. Discard the peels.
  8. Return the applesauce to the pt, and heat until it begins to bubble. Transfer to hot, sterilized jars.
  9. Seal and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Benefits of Canned Tomatoes

Canned have always been a staple food in my store cupboard, mainly because if everything else fails I can always make a quick pasta and marinara sauce. They are also the base for many soups, casseroles and sauces, as well as my favorite paella. Use them drained or with the juices, adding different herbs and spices to come up with totally different flavors.

So I was especially excited to read in a recent report presented at the American Dietetic Association's annual expo how beneficial canned tomatoes can be.

People who ate at least one-quarter cup of canned tomatoes had lower levels of C-reactive protein, which is one of the indicators of cardiovascular risk, than those who ate less than that amount. The research also showed that those who ate canned tomatoes had a greater intake of vitamins and nutrients. The study found that those who ate canned tomatoes consumed more of the nutrients that are lacking in many Americans' diets, including fiber, vitamins C and E, potassium, and magnesium. It was also found that those who ate canned tomatoes also consumed less total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and added sugars.

As well as being rich in antioxidants, including vitamin C, beta carotene and lycopene, canned tomatoes are relatively inexpensive, at a time when many consumers are looking for nutritious, cost-conscious meals.

The recipes featured in the Gourmet Fusion store blog often contain canned tomatoes, check out some of the recipes below from our past blogs:

marinara sauce
spaghetti alla puttanesca
rigatoni with chicken
pizzaiola halibut
marco polo's lobster fra diavolo