To Press or Pour?

If you start your day with a strong cup of joe for more than just the jolt of caffeine, you also care about the flavor that really drives the coffee experience. While I will admit that a Keurig adds simplicity to getting that morning cup of joe quickly, there’s something to be said for the more traditional methods, pour over and French press coffee.

Pour Over

Pour over coffee allows for more control over the quality of the cup of joe. To start, some fresh ground beans go along way to a quality cup of coffee. If not, already ground coffee works as well. The real magic happens with a slow pour of boiling water over the ground coffee, where the pourer can ensure an even pour over the grounds to maximize the flavor in the cup of morning joy. An additional benefit to this method is the filtering ensures the cafestol, an oil in coffee beans that affects how the body metabolizes and regulates cholesterol, is filtered out. This gem of a method also comes at the fraction of the cost of some new modern tools at less than $20 for a kit. I found my glass pour over at Tuesday Morning. Other place you can likely find them inexpensively include Big Lots and Amazon.

Pro Tip: If you are trying to cut back on the sugar, try adding half of what you would usually use to the grounds before pouring the water over. The sugar gets better incorporated into the dripped coffee and reduces the need for the lump sum of coffee that is typically used.

French Press

A French press involves steeping the grounds in boiling water for at least 20 minutes to create a rich and bold flavor in the cup of coffee. When using a high quality bean, this method maximizes the flavor of the cup of coffee and ensures your cup of joe will be satisfying and strong. Similar to pour over coffee, this method is great to include half the sugar in the steeping process for reduced sugar consumption. The French Press can also be inexpensive with traditional glass devices. Stainless steel options, though more expensive, could be preferred for retaining the heat of the coffee, if you prefer to slow sip throughout the morning.

Pro Tip: Be sure to find the appropriate filters as this method tends to retain coffee oils such as cafestol which can impact cholesterol regulation in the body.

While more flavorful than other methods, the richness of the French press is likely best as a treat and had in all its glory. For the everyday use, a nice pour over still delivers more flavor and a consistent cup of coffee than some of the quicker more modern methods. I for one am in favor of tradition.

Turkey Chili

Since it’s officially cold outside, its the season for soups, stews and chilis. This turkey chili packs a punch and is perfect to warm up from a cold day. It’s also a perfect dish to restock your supply of homemade freezer meals. I am a big fan of batch cooking, meaning you freeze at least two portions of whatever is made. One pot wonders like chili are great options for this. This chili was ready in 90 minutes. While it can be eaten in less time, I like to give it a little extra time for the flavors to marinate. Check out the recipe below.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. all natural ground turkey
  • 1 small can chipotle chilis in adobo sauce
  • 1 14.5oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 14.5oz can dark red kidney beans
  • 1 14.5oz can diced tomato (no salt added)
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 cups diced onion
  • 2 tbsp fresh minced garlic
  • 2 cups chicken stock

Directions:

  1. Dice onion and mince garlic and add to a large pot over medium heat. Stir gently until onions start to sweat.
  2. Add ground meat and brown. Open and add the two cans of diced tomato. Add the can of beans.
  3. Add seasoning. Remove chilis from the can and chop fine before adding to the pot. Stir well then add stock.
  4. Reduce heat to medium low and let simmer. Stir occasionally.
  5. Optional: dice green onion and slice avocado to top chili. Add salsa and sour cream to cool it down.
  6. Enjoy!

Gift Ideas for Home Chefs

Every year it’s always a question of what to get loved ones for the holidays. With so many foodies stepping up their kitchen game, there are endless options of kitchen tools for easy food wins with new food creations. Below are my top three recommendations for kitchen must haved.

  1. Quality Knives are are must. Every home chef needs a set of good knives. The quality of the knives impacts not just the neatness of the cut or dice, but also the speed of food prep. After years of changing out knives every couple of years, I was thrilled to discover the Cutco brand of knives. While the expense is certainly on the front end, these knives come with a forever guarantee. I personally started with the 3-piece sheath set at about $300 and it is a set that can always be added to. With the holidays, there are bound to be sales for this great gift for home chefs.
  2. A Garlic Press is a kitchen must have. As a deep lover of garlic, I use at least a head of garlic per dish and sometimes the effort of peeling and chopping garlic leaves my nails smelling like garlic the next day. The Chic Chic press I received was hands down one of the best gifts I’ve ever gotten. This is great for small amounts for dressings or marinades, or large amounts for roasts or rubs. At less than $20 for a good press, this is an easy win for a gift for a favorite home chef.
  3. An oil mister is an undervalued kitchen gem. With the new interest in air fryers and other healthy eating appliances, an oil mister is a great way to make proteins crispy, add minimal oil to a salad or grease a pan for morning egg scrambles. My Misto oil mister has served me very well. I’ve been able to use it for both avocado and olive oil which has been great for mixing things up.

These are three gems that I use daily in most cases. If you would like to gift my top three kitchen gems, check out Cutco’s website for their specials on knives. The other two can be found through Amazon or specialty shops such as Williams and Sonoma.