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Friday, July 31, 2020

Martini Coffee Roasters: Coffee Review

Anyone who knows me for five minutes knows how much I adore coffee. More so, a great cup of coffee.

Nick Martini, Co-Founder & COO at Martini Coffee Roasters reached out to me on LinkedIn and after we started chatting, he offered to send me a sample of his AMAZING coffee. I have to say, I am thankful that he did because I am hooked. He sent me a bag of decaffeinated coffee beans (Yes, I asked for decaf).
He sent me a full-sized bag that comes with a zip-top closure for freshness. Genius! When I opened the bag, the warm scent of coffee blew me away. So, my first thought was that these beans smelled delicious... I should add them to my homemade coffee bean candles. This picture to the right was taken during the fall, but I do keep the candles out all year. Now, you may be thinking, "Why waste good beans on candles?" I see why you would think this way, but the beans smell so good, I just couldn't resist. I can always order more!

Now, let's talk about taste. I used my spice grinder to grind up some beans. I actually ground up enough to fill up my already depleting coffee container. Back to the smell real quick, as the coffee was brewing, the sweet aroma filled up the kitchen and made me a happy girl. There is a sweetness to the smell of the coffee for sure. My six-year-old daughter even asked me what smelled so good...she has good taste for sure (like mom like daughter).

I added nothing to the coffee grounds prior to brewing. Usually, I add a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg. Nope. I wanted to taste the coffee in its pure form. My first sip was heaven. Pure heaven. The coffee tasted as fantastic as it smelled. It has a smooth flavor with not even a touch of acidity or bitterness. I have drunk great coffee before, but it has always left some type of bitterness behind...even if it was the slightest bit.

I asked my husband to taste it, and he is a regular coffee type of guy. He drinks his fully-leaded and black, but he agreed to sample it for me and give me his opinion. I did NOT tell him what I thought about the coffee because I wanted his honest, unswayed opinion. He savored it for a moment and said, "That is good coffee. There is no acidity to it. Good flavor."

There you go folks, an honest, heartfelt review of Martini coffee.

Let's meet Nick and learn about the company:

My name is Nick Martini. I live in Chicago, IL, and have been roasting coffee since 2014. I am also a musician and manager at a Trader Joe's. I have a passion for art and music (I have been singing and drawing since I was a kid). I do all of my own designing for Martini Coffee Roasters along with my significant other. We recently started a family - we have a 16-month-old and another one on the way, due the end of August! 

Our company is called Martini Coffee Roasters. I was living in Chicago, IL, drinking freshly roasted coffee from companies like Dark Matter, La Colombe, and Metropolis. I am by no means a coffee snob, but I loved exploring the different origin options and flavor profiles. 

At the same time, my father (and future business partner) Tony Martini was working as a barber and living in Aurora, IL. He also had a love for coffee and decided to purchase a small roaster to try his hand at home roasting. We started purchasing small batches of green coffee beans and experimenting with roast profiles. We quickly realized what kind of quality we could get out of our small home roaster and decided we wanted to bring it to the public. We started selling locally to farmers' markets and cafes and have since expanded to e-commerce through our website and Amazon. 
Instagram: @martinicoffeeroasters 
Customers can choose from our single-origin options and select their roast preference (light, medium or dark)
Promo code: COFFEE30 and will get anyone 30% off of their purchase through the end of August 2020

Thank you, Nick, for your time, your coffee, and the coupon code! And congratulations on your growing family and business!

Friday, July 3, 2020

Fruity punch bowl trifle recipe

If you like fruity desserts, this one is for you! A trifle is basically layered ingredients in a pretty glass bowl.
They taste best when they have sat overnight allowing the flavors time to blend together.
This is such an old photo: Proof I have been making this dessert for years!

Cherry Pineapple Punch Bowl Trifle
  • 1 box of yellow cake mix, prepared as directed
  • 1 can (20 oz.) crushed pineapple
  • 2 packs of vanilla or French vanilla instant pudding
  • 1 container (16 oz.) whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 can (20 oz.) cherry pie filling

Crumble ½ cake into a bowl.
Spread ½ pineapple over cake.
Spread ½ pudding mix over pineapple.
Add ½ whipped topping over pudding.
Top with ½ cherry filling.
Repeat layers one more time.
Chill (overnight is best) and serve.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Homemade air freshener: Easy and economical recipe

Don't you love walking into someone's home and having it smell fresh, clean, and inviting? I sure do. Which is why I have put together this easy and economical air freshener.

Warm scents and saving money are on the top of my list these days and this recipe for homemade air freshener brings both of those values together.

You can usually find cinnamon and cloves at the local dollar store.

Homemade Air Freshener
  • 10 whole cloves (or 2 teaspoons of ground cloves)
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • Apple and/or orange peels (if you have them available)

Take a small pot and fill it halfway with water. Add your ingredients to the pot.
Place it on a burner of the stove and simmer on a medium-low setting.
This will fill your home with a warm, refreshing scent.

Be sure not to let all of your water evaporate, or the ingredients will burn to the bottom of the pot ... we live and learn!

Crockpot cheesy sausage dip recipe 

The Ultimate Guide To Cheesecakes book

Family history, traditions, and comfort food

*photo: google: busywomansrecipes

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Strange eats...

Brussels sprouts with garlic strange eat.

I was reading a friend’s blog and she has inspired me to write this.
She talks about how different people like to eat different things and how new recipes are formed by trying to mix things we ordinarily would not mix.
So, after reading how she likes to pour milk over her baked goods and eat them, I began to think about some "different" things my mom ate when I was growing up.

Here are a few things I remember. She would:
  • Pour milk and sugar over rice and eat it for dessert
  • Eat an entire head of lettuce every couple of days. She would get up every few minutes and pull off several leaves and eat them.
  • Cut a cantaloupe in half, scoop out the seeds, and fill the hole with vanilla ice cream. Then, she got a spoon and sat in front of the TV and ate it all!

I have eaten some strange things myself. I:
  • Eat a bagel with my cream cheese
  • Dip my bread and french fries in blue cheese dressing
  • Smother my hot dogs with yellow mustard and like them best burned on the grill

My sister used to eat peanut butter and tomato sandwiches when she was a child AND she used to eat butter…yes, from the stick! 
I guess we all have funny things we like to eat. I would like to hear about yours... please comment :-)

Friday, June 19, 2020

Summertime corn salad recipe

*image: google: once upon a chef

Having a craving for corn salad, I came up with this recipe. I ate it all and made another one the next day! We like to use organic food whenever possible, always corn!

Corn Salad

  • 1 package (frozen), whole kernel, yellow corn, cooked
  • 1 tomato, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1-2 tbsp. mayo
  • 1 tbsp. vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. mustard
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder

Mix all ingredients together, chill and enjoy!
You could also add chopped onion and cucumber if you would like to.

*image: google: once upon a chef

Monday, June 15, 2020

Crockpot Cheesy Sausage Dip Recipe

If you love using your crockpot or even if you are looking for an easy recipe to try with it for the first time…here you go.

This sausage dip recipe is perfect for hot weather months, when you do not want to fire up the stove. It is also great for cold weather months, as it is warm and comforting. 

Crockpot Sausage Dip
  • 1 lb. turkey breakfast sausage, fried
  • Salt, pepper & garlic powder
  • 1 pack cream cheese
  • 1 can of Rotel or canned tomato chunks with peppers 
  • Salt and pepper. to taste

Fry sausage. Add spices while frying.
Place cheese and tomatoes in crockpot.
Pour cooked sausage over cheese and tomatoes.
Set on high and cook for an hour. Stir several times to melt cheese and mix together.
Turn to warm until you are ready to eat.
Eat with crackers, tortilla chips, or on mini rolls.