Browse Category: Food

Home Hacks to Help You Clean Your Expensive Coffee Maker

Not really possible to imagine starting the day without that good cup of coffee, can you? Rightly so. Coffee gives you the adrenaline that helps you keep the energy high through the day.

Some people can swear by their coffee maker, they love it so much. The love for coffee extends to the coffee maker and it is something that you use at least once a day, if not multiple times. A machine that gets used so often, surely needs a thorough cleaning once in a while. While, you don’t need to get coffee maker serviced, you need to attend to it yourself.

Signs That Coffee Maker Needs to Be Cleaned

How do you know it is time that you clean that coffee maker? There are signs you need to note. You can clean it once a month as per norm but the older it gets, it might need frequent cleaning as well. Below are the signs that suggest that your coffee maker needs better cleaning:

Coffee Starts Tasting Odd

You know how you love your coffee the best. The next thing that knows it is the coffee maker and if the taste is not like the usual then the probability is that something is amiss. The coffee might start tasting odd and stale when there is mold forming on the coffee maker, take that as your sign.

Takes Longer Time to Brew

The coffee maker gets your coffee ready in stipulated time, you’ve used it enough to get the idea of the time it takes. If the coffee maker is suddenly taking longer time to brew the same amount of coffee, it shows that something is wrong and it needs attention. Tend to it.

Makes Noise but Does Not Brew

One of the common signs of a coffee maker being out of order is that when it makes brewing sounds, but doesn’t carry out actual brewing. This means that you need to clean that coffee maker. The coffee maker cannot make it any more obvious.

Louder Than Usual

The coffee maker’s sound is like music to your ears. You are familiar with it and you would know if the voice sounds a notch higher. If your coffee maker is making more than its usual sound, take note that is time to clean it.

Spewing Coffee All Around

Drama is not reserved for humans alone! If the coffee maker is spewing coffee all around when you use it, it is a dramatic sign that there is something wrong. Give the machine some attention and clean it nicely.

Why Should You Clean the Coffee Maker?

At the end of the day, a coffee maker is a machine and it needs tending. It is small and makes coffee but is still susceptible to getting spoilt. Here’s why is it important to clean the entire coffee maker:

Hygiene and Health

Any machine needs to be cleaned from time to time, and your coffee maker is no different. It is even more important for a coffee maker to be cleaned because it is something you use to make something you consume. Cleanliness will ensure that you are consuming healthy and uncontaminated coffee.

Residual of Coffee Grounds

You are brewing your coffee in the coffee maker, it accumulates residual of the products used to make the coffee. For example, the old grounds of coffee can get accumulated and clog the coffee maker. Presence of such old material is not healthy.

Mold and Yeast

There have been multiple studies, the most prominent one by NSF international, claimed that coffee reservoirs were among the 10 germiest home places. . Coffee maker has a warm and humid environment, which makes it ideal for nasty stuff to grow inside. Regular cleaning is necessary to avoid mold growth.

Home Hacks to Clean the Coffee Maker

You don’t need big machinesto clean your coffee maker. It is very simple and can be done at home. Below are some of the home hacks that can help you clean the coffee maker

Mixture of Vinegar and Water

The most common method is mixing water with vinegar. Put the mix of water and white vinegar in the reservoir of the coffee maker and start brewing. As the coffee maker will brew, the solution will help clean and wipe off the impurities of the coffee maker. Vinegar also helps to clean mold and yeast making it an apt cleaning solution. At the end, run the brew again with water to get rid of vinegar and it’s smell.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is an efficient component to clean any grease, stains and the rancid smell from the beans of coffee. Dilute the baking soda in water and pour in the water reservoir of the coffee maker. As the maker brews, it will work on parts of the coffee maker and clean it from inside. Do not forget to brew with clean water at the end.

Crushed Ice and Salt

The combination of salt with ice is one of the best choices to clean the carafe. It can be tricky to clean a carafe owing to its narrow mouth. Place some crushed ice on the carafe and sprinkle some salt on it. Just give a mix to it until you can actually see the combination cleaning the insides.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice has citric acid and perfect capability to clean as well as vinegar would. The plus is, it will not leave a bad smell but a lemony scent after the use. It has to be used in the same manner as vinegar, it can however be used without water as well. It will clean the impurities, grease and also keep the ants away.

Mild Dishwashing Liquid

This is the quickest and also a temporary way to clean your coffeemaker. Just distinguish the parts and clean them using a mild form of dishwashing liquid. It will remove the dirt temporarily and it is the best way if you need a fast resolution.

Cleanliness is important and so is maintaining a hygienic environment. It has a direct correlation with your health. This piece gives you the brief about everything you need to know for cleaning the coffee maker. It is not difficult, pick the hack that suits you best and keep your coffee maker clean.…

February’s Church of Burger: Controversy! Ensues!

The Church of Burger’s second outing was, sadly, not as spiritual as its first. On a rainy, cold Sunday, we were the first patrons of the day at the Central West End’s SubZero Vodka Bar. It’s a (duh) vodka bar that also serves sushi and burgers which you can top with a extremely wide variety of toppings. I inferred that this is their “thing”: highly customized burgers, like Hubert Keller’s Burger Bar.

I’ll be brief about the food: my burger was ordered medium rare, and was delivered medium. While it looked beautiful and was of an acceptable thickness, my cheddar-topped patty lacked any noticeable salt and was pretty dry. The bun, too, was dry, and crumbled midway through the meal. I wonder how it would have fared if I had a specialty burger with lots of toppings? Fries were actually salted, but somewhat limp. Service was friendly and relatively competent, although we had a few long waits for things like the check, expected for a larger party.

But I’d rather not talk about a forgettable burger from a place I’ll probably never visit again. What I’d rather talk about is the Twitter throwdown that happened not long after Church of Burger. To make a long story short, fellow COB members Bill and Andrew both tweeted about the lackluster burger, and Chris Sommers, owner of Pi, took issue with that.This set off a maelstrom of tweets. Salient points:

The founder of COB weighs in.

You can click on any of the screencaps above to see that person’s particular feed and what they were saying in regards to this on Sunday and Monday.

Here’s where I stand: to me, if a restaurant touts itself as being a destination for a certain dish, say, a burger in this case, and we order 15, and none are good, let alone great, I’m going to tell people that. I’m unemployed, and I paid $20 for a Fat Tire and a subpar burger. That’s not acceptable. I’m not giving them a second chance because I’m not a critic and I can’t expense report a repeat visit. Yes, restaurants have off nights. All restaurants. Mistakes happen. But when I eat out, why would I take a risk with a restaurant who has burned me before when I know I can get higher-quality consistency elsewhere? Why would I go back to SubZero for a burger when I know I can get a properly cooked and seasoned burger at O’Connell’s, or Newstead, or Dressel’s, or any number of other establishments? As a diner, I owe SubZero nothing.

The rise of social media has given the average diner a venue to amplify their opinions, informed or not. Some in the industry don’t like that because it empowers diners. I don’t feel that I have an obligation, particularly on Twitter, of all places, to be less than upfront with my opinions. If anything, I’m going to be brutally honest. I think I’m more informed than the average diner, but if you think I’m full of shit, or if you aren’t interested in my opinion, you don’t have to follow me or read my words. If my F-list blog/Twitter is threatening your business, you’ve got bigger fish to fry. If you respect my opinion, you will consider my words. If you think I’m a poser hack, then you’ll dismiss them.

If you, as a restaurateur, or chef, or server, or manager, are feeling “bullied” or treated unfairly by the internet, maybe you should look at what you’re trying to do and ask yourself if you’re doing it well. Diners are not responsible for protecting the reputation of a restaurant. RESTAURANTS do that by putting out a good product.…

Lonestar Pork Tacos

I spent a good portion of my formative eating years in Austin, TX. And well, let’s also add a good portion of my formative beer drinking years there as well. I have a sweet spot in my belly (and heart) for Texas. As I prepare to return to the Republic of Texas this week for a wedding…I have been scheming my eating plan as well.

I’m headed to Houston so I already know Mexican is on the menu. BBQ from the Goode Company and drinks at the Anvil. But, to get me in the mood…I made Lonestar Pork tacos the other night. Got the recipe from a native Texan now living here in St. Louis. (So glad you are here, Schunke family!!!)

It’s the easiest damn thing you will ever make. Seriously.

Lonestar Pork Tacos

(makes enough for 4-6 folks to get nice and full)

1 tbsp chili powder

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp coarse salt

1 tsp freshly ground pepper

2-2.5 lbs boneless pork shoulder, trimmed

1/4 cup apricot jam or preserves

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 tbsp orange juice

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 fresh jalapenos, seeded, sliced

1 red onion, sliced into rings

8 small flour or corn tortillas, warmed

1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, stems removed

2 avocados, pitted, peeled, and chopped

2 limes, cut into wedges

1) Preheat oven to 300 degrees (if using slow cooker, follow instructions at end). Place a large sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil in a large baking dish. Mix the chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Place the pork in the center of the foil and season with the spice mixture.

2) Whisk together the jam, brown sugar, OJ, and garlic in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the brown sugar is melted and the sauce is slightly thickened. Spoon the mixture over the pork, turning to coat. Add the jalapenos and onions, and tightly wrap the pork with the foil.

3) Roast for about 4 hours until fork tender. After the pork has cooled slightly , unwrap and transfer to a plate, reserving the jalapenos and onions. Discard the juices and foil. Use a fork to shred the pork, discarding any fat. Toss in the jalapenos and onions, and transfer to a serving platter. Serve with the tortillas, cilantro, avocados, and lime wedges.

4) Slow cooker: After rubbing meat with spices, place in slow cooker. Pour sauce on top, then top with onions and jalapenos. Cook on low for 8 hours. Stir mixture together and serve.

It is so, so, SO tasty. I add extra heat because the Lehrers like it SPICY. But you get the gist of it. Perfect for a big group…just double the recipe.…