Buying gifts can be tricky because people have different tastes and they will most likely reject something that you buy them on the account that it is not what they envisioned it would be. That is why you will need help in picking out something that you can give to your boyfriend to capture his attention and maybe love. First rule, if you like the machine, chances are that he may not, maybe because its pink, but I jest of course.

Perfect espresso machines for your home

This is more a gift buying guide in general than a way of getting an espresso machine. You can use this to buy anything that you want to gift to someone. I will take you through the gift buying process and fuse in the elements of a food espresso machine that a boy might like to get you the home run swing. If you need help in picking out the best espresso machines, bisuzscoffee.com is the place to be.

Make it Manly

I don’t know how to explain this without sounding like the macho male typos but I will give it a shot. You see, men will want you to give them something that is not too pretty that it draws attention and not too plain that it remains almost obscure. For an appliance like this, you could have it black and semi-automatic probably because it is better than the automatic which makes you feel like you’re doing nothing but wait for coffee.

Did Someone say Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines ?

Yes, I said semi-automatic remember? I will explain why. You see, when you buy an automatic, you will find that there is no joy for me as your boyfriend in it because all I have to do is wait for the coffee to cook and that’s it. With the semi-automatic, I can push the pump lever and also draw the shots like a barista which makes for great theatrics and a feeling of usefulness.

The Pre-Emptive Catalogue

Here is how this one works. You get a catalogue that has all the espressos that you think I might like and then cursorily mention it, maybe have us take a look and see what I like. This will have to be way early before you even go to buy it and then keep it a surprise and bring me what I like most. Or, if you think I’d not mind being asked straight out, you can ask me, I will give you an accurate answer. That way, I will be happy that you got one thing right.

Gift buying especially appliances for the kitchen is never easy especially not for boyfriends. That is why you will need to make sure that you have a good accurate guess before you go to get one of those espresso machines.

 

My Knife Buying Process

I didn’t know that looking for a new knife could be so hard. Luckily I happen to stumble upon a few knife blogs that really helped me out. As I only wanted the essential knives, I decided to read the best chef knife sets recommended.

There were two sets that captured my attention. They were the Wusthof Classic 3-Piece Knife Set and the Wusthof Classic 6-Piece Chef Knife Set. It was because of the smaller amount I wanted, I went for the 3-Piece Set.

Three Piece Chef Knife Set

It was because of the many great reviews of this knife set, I decided to buy it online. The knives that I got were the 8-inch chef’s knife, 3.5-inch paring knife, and a 6-inch utility knife. I feel that this is great if you’re a beginner or you don’t like many knives in your kitchen.

Now I really recommend you buying this knife set because not only am I very happy with the precision of the slices but I’m also happy that it still has a razor sharp edge. The handle has also stayed in good shape and is very comfortable to grip on. The best part is that Wusthof gives a lifetime warranty to their customers. I’m very happy with my decision and I hope you give this knife set a try.

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Sprouted Grain Breads

  • Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Bread – Food for Life (all varieties – 7 grains, sesame, genesis, flax, cinnamon raisin, tortillas, muffins)
  • Sunseed Bread – Manna
  • Banana Walnut Hemp Bread – Manna
  • Sprouted Multi-Grain Bread – Rudi’s (contains added sugar)
  • Sprouted Wheat Bread – Dave’s Killer Bread (contains added sugar)
  • Sprouted Wheat Multi-Grain Bread – Alvarado St. Bakery (contains added sugar)

Gluten-Free Breads

  • Buckwheat Bread – Happy Camper’s (contains added sugar)
  • Gluten-Free Rice Almond Bread – Food for Life (contains added sugar)
  • Gluten-Free Exotic Black Rice Bread – Food for Life (contains added sugar)
  • Gluten-Free Super Chia Bread – Nature’s Path (contains added sugar)
  • Good Morning Millet Toaster Cakes – Ancient Grains Bakery (contains added sugar)
  • Gluten-Free Deli Rye Style Bread – Canyon Bakehouse (contains added sugar)

Ancient Grain Breads

  • Gluten-Free Ancient Grains Bread – Manna (contains added sugar)
  • Spelt Ancient Grain Bread – Rudi’s (contains added sugar)
  • Good Seed Spelt Bread – Dave’s Killer Bread (contains added sugar)

Source: Food Babe

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Recipe courtesy of Taste.com.

Ingredients:

  1. Step 1

    Trim fennel tops, reserving trimmings for stock and fronds for serving, and chop fennel finely. Heat oil in a large saucepan or casserole over medium heat. Add fennel, onion, celery, garlic, leeks and fennel seeds, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until vegetables soften.

  2. Step 2

    Meanwhile, combine saffron and 125ml (1/2 cup) fish stock in a small bowl and set aside for 10 minutes to steep.

  3. Step 3

    Peel tomatoes, remove seeds and discard, then chop finely. Add tomato paste to vegetables in pan and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the saffron mixture, tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme, orange peel and the remaining stock to the pan and simmer for 30 minutes. Season generously with salt. Stir in cayenne and Pernod. Reserve 2 tablespoons broth for rouille (see related recipe).

  4. Step 4

    Add the fish to the pan, then prawns and scampi, making sure the seafood is submerged in the liquid. Cook for 5 minutes or until seafood is just cooked. 5 Meanwhile, place mussels, clams and 2 tablespoons water in a frying pan over high heat. Cover with a lid and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, for 3 minutes or until the shells open.

  5. Step 5

    Divide bouillabaisse among bowls. Top with clams and mussels and scatter with reserved fennel fronds. Serve with toasts and rouille

YIELD: Makes 1 (9-inch) crostata

ACTIVE TIME: 1 1/2 hours

TOTAL TIME: 3 hours

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INGREDIENTS

Dough:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Filling:

  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 pounds apples (a combination of tart apples, such as Granny Smith, and sweeter apples, such as Honeycrisp and Gala), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

Glaze:

  • 1/3 cup apricot preserves or jam
  • 1 teaspoon water

Caramel Sauce:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • Accompaniment: Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream
  • Special equipment:9-inch springform pan

PREPARATION

Make dough:
Blend together flour, sugar, salt, zest, and butter in a bowl with your fingertips or a pastry blender (or pulse in a food processor) until mixture resembles coarse meal. Whisk together egg and vanilla in a small bowl and drizzle over flour mixture, then gently stir with a fork (or pulse) until incorporated and dough begins to form large clumps.

Gather all dough together, then divide dough in half and form each half into a 5- to 6-inch disk. Chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until more firm, but not hard, about 30 minutes.

Make filling while dough chills:
Melt butter in a heavy, wide 6- to 8-quart pot over medium-high heat. Stir in brown sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, salt, and apples, and cook, uncovered, stirring and turning apples over occasionally, until apples soften and juices thicken and begin to caramelize, 10 to 15 minutes (lower heat if apple mixture browns too quickly). Transfer to a shallow bowl and chill until cooled.

Assemble crostata:
Heat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Invert bottom of springform pan (to make it easier to slide crostata off bottom), then lock pan. Generously butter springform pan and chill or freeze briefly to firm up butter.

Press one disk of dough evenly onto bottom and 1 inch up side of pan (use the smooth bottom of a metal measuring cup to help make it even). Chill tart shell.

Roll out remaining disk of dough between 2 sheets of wax paper into a 10-inch round (dough will be very tender). Peel off top sheet of paper, then cut dough into 10 (3/4-inch-wide) strips and slide (still on paper) onto a baking sheet. Chill until firm, about 15 minutes in refrigerator or 5 minutes in freezer.

Spoon apple filling in shell, distributing slices evenly. Arrange 5 strips of dough parallel to each other, 1 inch apart, on filling, trimming edges flush with edge of pan (dough will tear easily; patch any breaks with fingers). Arrange remaining 5 strips diagonally across first strips, 1 inch apart, to form a lattice, and trim edges.

Gather remaining dough and roll into several long, 1/4-inch-thick ropes. Press enough ropes around edge of crostata in a single layer, smoothing seams with fingers, to form an even edge (you will have a little dough left over).

Bake crostata until pastry is pale golden, 50 minutes to 1 hour.

Near end of baking, heat apricot preserves with 1 teaspoon water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring, until melted, then strain through a sieve into a small bowl.

When crostata is done, brush top with warm apricot glaze. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack, then remove side of pan.

Make caramel sauce while crostata bakes:
Heat cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until it just begins to simmer, then remove from heat and keep hot, covered.

Stir sugars together with 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice in a heavy 2 1/2- to 3-quart saucepan, then cook undisturbed over medium heat until mixture is partially melted (reduce heat if mixture turns dark around edge). Continue to cook, stirring occasionally with a fork, until completely melted and mixture is a deep golden caramel.

Carefully pour in hot cream (mixture will bubble up and caramel may harden slightly) and quickly whisk in pumpkin pie spice and salt. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring, until caramel is dissolved and sauce is reduced to about 1 cup, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in butter until melted. Transfer to a glass measure to let cool slightly.

To serve, either slide crostata from pan bottom onto a flat serving plate or serve on pan bottom.

cooks’ notes:•Dough can be made up to 3 days ahead and chilled.
•Crostata can be made 1 day ahead and kept in pan at room temperature, covered with foil. Reheat, if desired, uncovered, in a 325°F oven until warm, 10 to 15 minutes, then let cool to room temperature.
•Caramel sauce can be made 5 days ahead and chilled, covered. Reheat slowly in a saucepan.

Recipe by, Epicurious (http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/apple-crostata-with-spiced-caramel-sauce-51138040)