I *heart* Knives

I love this knife. A long time ago in an apartment far away, I had a Wüsthof 10″ chef’s knife that I loved dearly, but one day an incident involving a toaster vaporized a small hole through the blade. I’d loved that knife dearly, picking it up during a knife skills course at ICE, but I figured I’d check out the offerings before getting another. After playing with the knives at a local knife store, I settled on the Shun instead.

Why? I just like it better. The D-shaped handle fits my hand nicely, it doesn’t have the heavy bolster of the Wüsthof and I liked the blade shape a bit more. It’s also significantly sharper out of the box and seems to hold an edge better. And it’s oh so pretty, which doesn’t hurt.

If you’re looking for a new chef’s knife, definitely check it out (along with all the others). Knives are highly personal and it’s worth paying a visit to someone with stock to see what’s available.




The NatureMill

We’re thinking about getting a Nature Mill. Anyone have one and have some feedback on it?


Free samples of new Starbucks roast today at noon EDT

Visit any participating U.S. Starbucks store on Tuesday, April 8 at 9 a.m. Pacific Time (12 p.m. Eastern Time) and Starbucks will give all customers a complimentary short (8 oz.) cup of the new Pike Place Roast™ to enjoy as they participate in a simultaneous, nationwide, coast-to-coast, coffee tasting conducted by Starbucks coffee experts.

You can see the whole press release, but the skinny is Starbucks is going with a new roast and trying to serve fresher coffee. This news, along with their previous buyout of Clover, shows how much they’re trying to corner the fresh coffee market.

The sad thing is, I don’t think this will really help the quality of their coffee. Smaller batches of a new roast could help, but unless they’re getting fresh shipments of that roast in all the time, it’ll still be stale (fresh roasted coffee is best within two weeks, regardless of packaging). And from what I’ve read, the Clover is no god-send. It still needs well-roasted coffee coupled with an operator that knows how to dial in the machine to get the most out of the beans being used. It’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out.



Today we’re making truffles for a neighborhood holiday party. I’d never done it before and I’m a bit shocked at how easy it is to make what’s usually a fairly pricey treat at a store. It’s just twice as much chocolate as heavy cream (by weight), plus a bit of vanilla extract and maybe some liquor (we’re using Grand Marnier).

  1. Bring the cream to a light simmer
  2. Dump over the chopped up chocolate
  3. Whisk until smooth
  4. Add the vanilla and liquor, whisk a bit more
  5. Cover and chill

In a couple hours we’ll pull ’em out, roll them into truffle looking balls and cover in confectioner’s sugar or cocoa power or roasted hazelnuts.

I think “easy as making truffles” is my new saying.

Oh, and Mandy had never had Grand Marnier in a snifter before… I think she likes it. She’s also picking up some barista skills with the Silvia, just needs some more practice steaming milk and I’ll be out of a job.


Poor Man’s Valencia Mocha

Here’s my just discovered recipe for a quick and easy valencia mocha.


  • One cafe latte or cappuccino, preferably homemade
  • One chocolate orange, preferably the one you gave you wife in her stocking, but any will do.

Take a bite out of a slice of the chocolate orange and drink some coffee. Damn that’s good.