Petunia Bloom

 

Juan Canary Melon August 7, 2008

Filed under: Food,Health — 11:48 am

Last night at Walmart I was picking up a few items including cantaloupe and honeydew when I spotted something I had never seen before.  It was beside the cantaloupe and honeydew melons and was labeled as a Juan Canary Melon.  It was a bright yellow melon that was larger than both the honeydew melons and the cantaloupe that surrounded it.

forums.gardenweb.com

Always ready to try something new, I plopped it in my cart.  At home I cut the melon open exactly like a honeydew.  To my delight the melon smelled amazing.  It smelled very sweet like a ripe cantaloupe but the coloring looked more like a honeydew.  I cut it up and tasted it…I must have gotten one that was the perfect ripeness because it smelled delicious and was very very tasty.

What have you tried recently that you have never tried before??

 
 

My Espresso Machine – The Via Venezia August 6, 2008

Filed under: Food — 8:27 pm

After going through our finances two too many times and finding our “Snack” category in excess of $200/month on Quicken, I set out to do something about it.  Any type of coffee drink, soda type drink, or food snacks are categorized as “Snacks” in our budget.  The majority of our “snacks” were non-fat mochas and Frappuccinos at Starbucks.  I am not proud of this at all!!  Anyway, I talked to my husband about it and he agreed that this was not an acceptable way to spend our money so we needed to make some adjustments.  I said I could do without Starbucks, but the hubby said he didn’t want to give it up completely.  SO ~ I started researching espresso machines.  After my research we decided to buy at Starbucks Sirena Espresso Machine.

As you can see this is a very nice looking machine.  That is probably due to the fact that it was designed by BMW.  A whole website is devoted to the consumer use of the machine.  After getting the machine home, taking it out of the package, and setting it up, I realized that the dang thing didn’t work.  So, I had to take it back to Starbucks.  By this time, I didn’t know if I even wanted another espresso machine.  But then I thought about my husband and decided I better go ahead and get another one.  So, I traded the Sirena for a Via Venezia (below) both made by Saeco.  After using my new Via Venezia with ease for the past couple of months, I can honestly say that it has already paid for itself.  Our “Snack” category is almost a ghost category now and the lattes we are making at home are better than those from Starbucks.  AND best of all, we don’t have to drive anywhere to get one.

Here is how I make a shot of espresso:

  1. Plug in machine and make sure the water tank is full
  2. Turn the espresso machine on and wait until the shot button is illuminated
  3. When the button is illuminated, press the shot button and let a small amount of hot water flow out to prime the portafilter.  Press the shot button again to stop the flow of water.
  4. Remove the portafilter.  Insert 7 grams of finely ground coffee for each shot of espresso you would like to make.  So, for two shots use 14 grams of finely ground coffee.  Coffee pods can be used instead of ground coffee.
  5. Tap the espresso to compact it in the portafilter and place portafilter back on the machine.
  6. Press the shot button until the shot glasses are 3/4 full and press the shot button again.
  7. Voila – fresh espresso made at home

To Make a Latte simply follow the instructions above, steam your milk with the steam wand, and add the syrups you like to sweeten.  We like to dink plain lattes with no sweetener.

Cleaning the Via Venezia is a snap once you have done it 5-10 times!  ;)

**I wrote this blog before we had some friends over for supper the other night.  My husband decided to make some espresso and asked our guests if they would like to taste it.  They said sure.  Everything that could possible go wrong went wrong for us as we tried to make espresso that night.  Our friends probably think we are crazy espresso makers!  hahaha….By the time we were down the trash was FULL of paper towels used to wipe of coffee and milk, there was mocha powder all over the floor and counter top, we had dirtied 4+ glasses, and I had espresso spilled on my shirt….on my chest if you know what I mean.  Still, don’t be alarmed.  If you drink a lot of espresso drinks and find yourself driving to Starbucks 3-4 times per week defintely consider buying an espresso machine for your home.


 
 

Firehouse Subs – New in Tulsa August 5, 2008

Filed under: Food — 10:28 am

I don?t typically write reviews on large franchise eateries, BUT I have to share Firehouse Subs with you. It is my second favorite place to eat in Tulsa. The Tulsa location is at 66th and Memorial Drive in the same building as the new Gold?s Gym. I have heard that the franchise owner of this location plans on opening 3-4 more stores in the Tulsa area. Some friends of ours wanted to take us to Firehouse during their grand opening. Before that, I had never eaten at or even heard of Firehouse Subs.

First off, the sandwiches are amazing. The Engine Company Sub is my favorite. On the rare occasions that I am watching my calories, I order it without mayo or cheese. Usually, I just order it without mayo, but it is great with the mayo as well. Firehousesubs.com is easy to navigate and find nutritional information if you are curious. My husband always orders the steak sub.

We have been in the store 6-7 times and the place is always very clean. I have been in the bathroom several times and it has always been very clean and well stocked. When we have been there, the employees looked clean and well groomed. Also, the employees are always super friendly and efficient.

If you are a condiment fanatic then listen up. Firehouse Subs has a ton of different hot sauces to put on your sandwich. There are probably 20 different sauces to try. They have everything from super super hot to their own signature sauce which is not hot just tangy.

The next time you are headed to your dirty, unfriendly, neighborhood Subway, turn your vehicle around and head to 71st and Memorial for a truly tasty sub in a clean and friendly environment.