Do You Have To Have A Coffee Grinder To Use A Whole Bean Coffee?

I love coffee. Most people only drink coffee in the morning. I drink from the time I get up until right before bed. I can’t get enough of it. Plus, coffee is good for you!

When you use whole bean coffee, you can be sure of retaining the freshness for a long time and releasing it by grinding the coffee as you need it. If you don’t drink a lot of coffee, or if you like to have a specialty coffee on hand to use occasionally, using whole bean coffee is a very good idea – even better than using coffee pods. Many people wonder whether it is necessary to have a special coffee grinder to use whole bean coffee. In this article we will discuss a couple of different types of grinders and some alternatives. Read on to learn more or check out the resources at Think Coffee Now.

Old-fashioned grinders are quaint, expensive and hard to find (and loud!). They are also not very effective! An old-fashioned grinder makes a great kitchen ornament, but generally speaking these vintage items produce only very coarsely ground coffee that doesn’t work well with modern coffee makers. These grinders hail from a time when coffee was made by boiling or perking on the stove-top or over a campfire. It takes that kind of high heat and intensive process to release full coffee flavor from a very coarse grind.

There are a number of different kinds of specialized grinders for coffee, and they range in price from very cheap to very expensive indeed. If you need to grind coffee every day, or if you simply like having a special gadget for each thing you do in your kitchen investing in one of these grinders is a great idea. This is especially true if you like to make specialty coffees such as espresso. A very powerful electric grinder can ensure that you get the extremely fine grind you need for this type of specialty coffee. Of course, if you are the first person up in your household, then you’ll definitely want to get a quiet coffee grinder so everyone else can sleep.

If you only grind coffee occasionally, or if you simply like to save space in your kitchen by having multipurpose gadgets, you are better off investing in a really good blender than in buying a coffee grinder. A good quality, high powered blender can grind coffee beans very satisfactorily in a wide range of grinds. Use the “purée” or “ice crush” setting for a very fine grind and the “grate” setting for a very coarse grind. Choose appropriate settings in between for various and sundry other textures.

One thing you should keep in mind is that when you have a designated grinder, you don’t run the risk of getting coffee flavor in other foods and beverages. If you do decide to use your blender for grinding coffee, be sure to clean it and dry it thoroughly before using it for any other purpose.

Chicken & Avocado Soup

Whenever time is on my side I like to prepare themed dinners for my husband and myself. Nothing fancy, but themed nonetheless.

Like maybe Gambas al Ajillo paired with Tortilla de Patata for a Spanish night, or perhaps a Roka Salata and kebab for our Mediterranean cravings.

Usually the dishes that I choose are simple and utterly easy to prepare, but interesting enough to lure my husband to come home early (hee hee!). For a night last month, when avocados were abundant and in season, we had an El Mexicano flair.

Ramen Bar

My husband is such a ramen eater that whenever I ask him if there’s only one type of food he can eat over and over again, he’d always say, “ramen or sashimi.” Our go-to place used to be Ajisen Ramen along Libis and when it closed, no other nearby ramen restaurants could take its place in my husband’s book.

When we saw Ramen Bar inside Eastwood two weeks ago, we couldn’t contain our excitement and made plans to eat there right away. One-week after that, we’ve already eaten there a total of 4 times. Our ramen expert gave it two thumbs up. Ajisen, what?

So yeah, that happened.

Tips To Get Rid of Mosquitoes The Natural Way

With dengue on the rise here in the Philippines, everyone is naturally concerned with getting rid of mosquitoes in their homes. There is no permanent way to eliminate mosquitoes but there are several ways to minimize the proliferation of these pesky bloodsuckers. We here at Oodles do not encourage the use of commercial mosquito repellents containing the harmful chemical DEET.

And don’t even get us started on ‘fogging’ (the use of insecticides and pesticides via machines that distribute them in a smoke-like fog). Fogging is okay if a. you can afford it, b. you only want a VERY temporary respite from mosquitoes (it’s just for a party, they can come back the next day) and c. you don’t mind the chemicals contaminating your lawn (oh look, it’s a mutant grasshopper!).

Unless a completely safe ultra-effective commercial repellent is invented, keep these tips in mind to keep the mosquitoes at bay:

1. Stagnant Water – Out!

Stagnant water in ponds, fountains and clogged gutters in your property may serve as breeding ground for mosquitoes. Make sure these are drained of all standing water. If you can’t absolutely part with those pretty zen water fountains in the corner of your lawn, make sure to change its water daily. Goldfish and guppies eat mosquito eggs and larvae so it’s also a good idea to put them in your pond. Check if there are basins, pails, pots and pans filled with water around your house. These too can harbor mosquito eggs and larva.

2. Citronella Grass

Citronella grass is an effective mosquito repellent. Mosquitoes do not like the scent given off by citronella grass. My mom swears by this – she learned this from a neighbor who planted citronella in her garden and noted that during an outdoor evening party, there were hardly any mosquitoes in the neighbor’s property. Citronella grass is different from lemongrass by the way. Although they belong to the same family and look identical (with lemongrass purportedly having the same anti-mosquito property as citronella), lemongrass or tanglad is the one that is usually used for cooking while citronella grass is used for medicinal/aromatherapy purposes. Here’s how to tell them apart.

3. Citronella Oil

As with citronella grass, mosquitoes are also naturally repelled by citronella oil. Make sure you buy citronella essential oil and not fragrance oil (which is synthetic). My son goes to a school surrounded by plenty of trees and shrubs so I dab a few drops of citronella oil on his legs and arms as well as on his school uniform before he leaves the house. We buy our citronella oil from a small stall called The Citronella Co. in the 6th level of Shangri-la Mall and Ilog Maria citronella with propolis (available at Ilog Maria’s online shop and at Echo Store). A cost effective way of making citronella spray: 10 drops of citronella oil in 100 ml pure grain alcohol (100 proof vodka will do) + 8 tbsp distilled water. Let stand for 2 weeks until the oil has blended with the alcohol and water.

4. Cedar Wood

Cedar wood is primarily used to drive cloth-eating moths away from the clothes in your closet but it has the ability to get rid of other insects, mosquitoes included. Mothballs are made of naphthalene and can be toxic, causing serious illness or even death when inhaled in substantial amounts. If you have pets and small children in your house, it is wise to use cedar wood instead of mothballs in your cabinets and in areas around your house where you don’t want those mosquitoes flying around. I bought a few 6-inch block of cedar wood (cut into 3 parts) for P200+ from Make Room last year but I suspect True Value branches may carry them as well (let me know if they do).

5. Pepper Pellets

From Manila Bulletin Aug, 20, 2010 article: “The government might eventually end up giving out pepper pellets, not for condiments but as a means of decimating dengue-bearing mosquitoes.” According to researches done by the PCHRD (Philippine Council for Health Research and Development), pepper pellets placed in water can kill mosquito larva. I wonder if this means that fresh pepper has the same effect and if it is only harmful to mosquitoes (meaning it’s safe for the fishes happily swimming in your backyard pond).

6. Electric Bug Zappers

Bug zappers work on the premise that mosquitoes are attracted by the flourescent or ultraviolet light inside the gadget. Some believe it’s not a very effective way to eliminate mosquitoes as biting insects are attracted more by the carbon dioxide exhaled by people and pets than by the light/heat emanating from the bulbs inside bug zappers. Which means that bug zappers work if you let them do their job away from people and pets. It makes sense to stay away from mosquito-attracting devices as insects could be attracted by these at first but could zero in on you once they sense food, a.k.a you, in the immediate vicinity. Open the bug zapper, get out of the room and close the door.

7. Incense Coils

Incense coils have been around for centuries and they seem to be effective in warding off pesky mosquitoes. I remember Katol of “lamowk seyguradong teypowk” fame at my lola’s house when I was a child and that we had to sit very close to the green burning coils (which were usually placed under the tables while we were eating) – they lose their effectiveness the farther you are away from them. I am not sure what those commercial anti-mosquito coils contain but somebody has found a way to make a Katol-like mosquito repellant using lanzones peels.

8. Fan and Mosquito Net

If all else fails, turn on the fan and use a mosquito net. Just make sure the mosquito isn’t inside with you when you tuck in the net at the sides of your bed.

Fun Trivia: A Taiwanese woman catches 4 million mosquitoes and wins a $3,000 cash prize.

Care to share any natural anti-mosquito tips you know of?

Terry Selection

Terry’s has always been a top choice for us when it comes to dining places in The Podium Mall. The menu used to be limited but the great-tasting croquetas, paellas (chistorrado is win!) and sandwiches more than made up for the lack of variety in the selection. About a month ago, we ate there for Sunday lunch and I was surprised at how many dishes had been added to the menu. Our old-time favorites are still there but the number of European-inspired cuisine had grown! I quickly took note of the dishes I have yet to try and earmarked them for my husband’s birthday. However, the birthday was 3 weeks away and I couldn’t wait. Two weeks ago, we had a mini-occasion to celebrate so we decided to have a weekday lunch at Terry’s. We weren’t disappointed.

There’s jamon serrano and homemade pork loin from acorn-fed Iberian pigs for those not on a diet but there’s also tawilis adobados and gambas al ajillo cooked in ArteOliva olive oil for the waist-conscious (now why would weight-watchers dine in a restaurant serving mainly Spanish cuisine?). I’m not a wine lover but I’m sure oenophiles will also have another reason to eat at Terry’s because of the array of wines available in the restaurant.

To my sister and I, there’s also a bonus to eating at Terry’s: the gourmet store right beside the restaurant selling a vast assortment of cheeses, hams and specialty culinary products. Our latest find was the cazuela – a native Spanish clay pot used for cooking. It can also be used to serve hot dishes (straight from the oven) such as sopa de ajo as it has great heat-keeping properties. Most Spanish households, we’re told, have cazuelas in the kitchen often handed down from mothers to daughters.

Cooking Chap Chae

Korean food is our “pig-out” food. Rich, flavorful and bursting with sesame oil-soy sauce-garlicky goodness, Korean food is what we turn to when we want to go all out with rice and ulam. Our staple Korean orders:  beef stew, spicy octopus and chap chae (kimchi is a given). And don’t you just love the Korean pica-pica that they serve as appetizers in Korean restaurants?

Chap chae or Japchae is a popular Korean dish that uses glass or cellophane noodles as its main ingredient. Topped with stir-fried vegetables and meat, it’s almost a complete meal in itself.

Yum! This making me hungry, how about you? 😉