Thursday, January 26, 2012

Julia's still away!

I try to get house stuff done when Julia is gone so I don't become a complete slave to the Boob-tube.  I've done pretty well this time while Julia is in Alabama.  I've done laundry, vacuumed, lots of dishes, lots of cooking, and I've completely avoided going out for food, coffee, or shopping (except for groceries and some shop speakers, which are a necessity).  See, the speakers just fill out that lonely corner in the shop!

Not the neatest arrangement, but neither is my shop.  It even got a little use this weekend.  

Now, for while Julia and I are working on this not eating out goal, I'm forbidden from having coffee/mocha/cappuccino/lattes at Starbucks/Rise Up/Dock Street/William III.  But between drip, french press, and the wonder machine below, I've been doing pretty well.

I really like my coffee drinks to taste a bit like coffee ice cream, so latte's are a natural fit when sweetened up a bit.  I had been trolling the internet and found this at one point, so Julia got me one for a birthday present, along with a coffee grinder!

This, my friends, is a Mukka Express, from Bialetti.  I got it at Williams Sonoma.  It builds steam pressure in a pressure vessel on the stove, passing the hot water over coffee grounds for a while like a percolator, until it seeps out the top.

At some point, the pressure in the bottom gets high enough to spring the gravity pressure relief valve at the top, and it springs open violently to foam the milk captured in the top, making that lovely milk frothing sound we all love.

Pour and Enjoy!

I also made some chili this week.  It is a recipe my mother found a while ago in the newspaper.  I don't really use the measurements, make a couple substitutions, but it still turns out delicious.  The biggest differences in taste are made by adding sugar or vinegar, beef broth or Worcestershire sauce until it tastes right.

Add some fresh or frozen veggies and some lean beef, and I can almost convince myself it's healthy.  

Finally, I had to do some house work to make both of us happy.

We had started painting the sunroom a a bright yellow a while ago, and just never got around to finishing the painting, so I took the weekend to throw some new paint on, and to put a couple coats on the existing to fill it in.  The wood paneling just sucked the paint right in.  So it gladly took another coat.

Now just to build a breakfast nook, pull out that carpet, and hang some pictures.  Probably in the reverse order from what I just said...

Hope you're all having a great week!

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