Are you a coffee drinker?

I know many people that use coffee as their eye opener every morning, and there are so many different kinds and types of coffee. I know many people that set timers so their coffee is ready when they wake up or the first thing they do is put a pot of coffee on. Then again, many wait till they leave for work and stop at fast food drive through or convenience store for less work and faster service. I like coffee, but do not have to have it every morning as many do, and when I do drink coffee, I drink decaf coffee with cream and sweetener, and I know for many of you that is not coffee, but more like a dessert.

The correct way to drink coffee is black, when one really wants to enjoy the true flavor and taste of coffee. I also like iced coffees, especially this time of the year, but again that is more of a dessert. If I crave coffee and desserts, I stop by Chick-fil-A and get the frozen coffee, which is awesome and satisfies both of my cravings.

I would love to go to a good coffee shop and try all the different types of coffees that they have. The two coffees that I don’t care for is espresso and Greek (Turkish) coffee, which are way too strong for me and if I would drink one, would probably end up awake most of the night. I also keep away from instant coffees that in no way can compare to the freshly brewed coffees. I am sure many of you can remember back when Kroger’s and other major grocery stores could grind your coffee and the smell was overtaking and wonderful (that is if you liked the smell of coffee).

America consumes about 1/3 of all the coffee grounds in the world, which is enough to make around 350 to 400 million cups of coffee each day. The typical American coffee is a blend consisting of arabica beans from Columbia and Brazil and regarded the best coffee beans with the blend and roasting of the coffee, the major factor in how the coffee will taste. Beans roasted to a dark chestnut brown is what is used to make most of the coffees used in the USA with the same beans roasted until black will produce an espresso flavored type coffee.

I guess one could say that coffees are like wines — different in taste, flavors, aromas and costs.

This coming week the Camden Clark Medical Center is holding a fundraiser Pink by the Poolside at 7 p.m. Sept, 7 at 5201 Grand Central Ave., in Vienna. This fundraiser to date has helped provide for more than 1000 free screening mammogram and various other procedures. For your ticket, call 304-424-2200.

The West Virginia Symphony League of Parkersburg is also holding a 12 Days of Christmas raffle fundraiser. Tickets will be sold from Sept 1 through Dec 2. Call 304-295-9850 or 304-481-6909.

Until next week!

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Cherry Wild Rice Salad

2 cups fresh snow peas, halved

2 cups cooked wild rice

1 cup cooked long grain rice

1 8-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained

1 cup dried cherries

1/2 cup thinly sliced celery

1/4 cup chopped green onions

Dressing:

6 tablespoons sugar

6 tablespoons canola oil

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

4 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce

1-2 garlic cloves, peeled

3/4 teaspoon minced fresh gingerroot

3/4 cup cashew halves, toasted

In a large bowl, combine the first 7 ingredients. For dressing, in a blender, combine the sugar, oil, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic and ginger. Cover and process until blended. Pour over rice mixture and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Just before serving, stir in cashews.

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Blueberry French Toast Cobbler

4 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

10 slices day-old French bread, 3/4-inch thick

4 1/2 cups unsweetened frozen blueberries

1/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon butter, softened

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, milk, vanilla and baking powder until smooth. Pour into a large shallow baking dish. Add bread slices, turning once to coat. Cover and chill for 8 hours or overnight. In a large bowl, combine the blueberries, sugar, melted butter, cornstarch and cinnamon. Pour into a greased 13×9 baking dish. Cover and chill 8 hours or overnight. Remove both pans from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Place prepared bread on top of blueberry mixture. Spread softened butter on top. Bake, uncovered, at 400 for 30-35 minutes or until toast is golden brown and blueberries are bubbly.

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Crab Cakes with Chesapeake Bay Mayo

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish

1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard

1/4 teaspoon seafood seasoning.

Cakes:

1 egg, beaten

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs

1/4 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons finely chopped onion

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard

1/4 teaspoon seafood seasoning

1/4 teaspoon pepper

3 6-ounce cans lump crabmeat, drained

1/4 cup canola oil

In a large bowl, combine first 5 ingredients. Cover and chill. For crab cakes, in a large bowl, combine egg, cheese, bread crumbs, mayonnaise, onion, parsley, mustard, seasoning and pepper. Fold in crab. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. With floured hands, shape mixture by 2 tablespoonfuls into 1/2-inch thick patties. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook crab cakes in oil in batches for 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Serve with the sauce.

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Kiki Angelos is a food columnist for the Parkersburg News and Sentinel.

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