Perfect dish for grazing at gatherings

This is a very simple dish to put together and is perfect for grazing at gatherings!

Apricot Compote


1 or 2 small pieces each of

  • Gorgonzola (Lombardy)
  • Taleggio (Lombardy)
  • Raschera (Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna)

In their absence, try Spanish Garroxa, Cabrales, or Manchego, English Stilton or Humbolt Fog goat cheese or Humbolt Blue. Yum!

Apricot Compote:

2 cups dried apricots
½ cup champagne vinegar
½ cup water
1 T. lemon juice
¾ cup sugar

Cut the apricots in half. Combine the vinegar, water, sugar and lemon juice in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Add the apricots and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the liquid begins to thicken and the apricots plump. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. If the liquid is still very runny, remove the apricots and reduce the liquid further. The compote will, however, thicken when it is refrigerated. and of course not to mention be prepare for all available of the kitchen tools such as knife, cutting board and cookware.

Honey, Walnut, and Goat Cheese

Walnuts and Herbed Honey:

2 cups walnut halves

½ cup honey

1 T. dried lavender or 2 large sprigs tarragon or rosemary

¼ cup water

1 T. olive oil

1 tsp. salt.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Toast the walnuts for about 10 minutes. If you can smell them, PULL THEM OUT! Nuts tend to go from toasted to burned very quickly. Remove them from the pan immediately and toss them in a medium bowl with the salt. In a small sauce pan, combine the honey, herb of your choice, oil and water. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and while it’s still warm, pour it through a strainer. Pour the honey over the toasted walnuts and toss to combine.

To serve:

Arrange the cheeses to your liking on a serving tray and accompany with the apricot compote and walnuts.

Ceramic Cookware 101

Ceramic cookware is one hell of an equipment material, as it beats even the all mighty stainless steel and aluminum. How? Why? Today, we are aiming and WILL increase your knowledge about this particular cookware type! In this comprehensive guide, we will try our best to tell you literally everything about this amazing cookware, so without any further ado, let’s start! If you’re interested in these kind of articles, visit cook with tina to find out more.

What is ceramic cookware and how was it invented?

Ceramic cookware is a type of non-metallic cookware that is molded by organic materials and is extremely durable and strong. Although the creation of this particular type of cookware dates back before the modern civilization, it recently came into the spotlight in 1893, when the highly reputable company called Teflon made the first non-stick coating for various pans and pots, which quickly swept away the market. Most ceramic cookware is coated with a special substance called polytetrafluoroethlyene (PTFE), which has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

What is better in Ceramic cookware?

This question may probably be the most asked question when one is thinking to buy a cookware set or individual equipment and is met with the choice of buying a set made of specific materials. For your leisure, here are the most common and important advantages of this cookware type which can maybe lure you towards buying it.

  • First of all, it has a non stick coating. This coating not only prevents the food from getting all sticky, but also eliminates the need of using oil, and also makes the heat given by the cooktop spread in all directions, ensuring a smooth cooking process.
  • It is currently classified as the least reactive cookware type available in the market, particularly because it is only made by organic materials, and does not feature any metallic materials whatsoever.
  • The last but most important, this particular cookware type can bear extremely high temperatures, making them perfect for oven-based cooking and microwaving, which is because they are called the most versatile cooking equipment to date.

What is the bad stuff?

We saved this one for last because many people don’t like reading the bad stuff before the good ones, as this generally gives them the impression that the cons are greater than the pros, so now that we saw all the greatness of the cookware type, let’s indulge ourselves into the dark side.

  • When the coating on the cookware is exposed to extremely high temperatures than the maximum limit, it tends to break down and release toxic gases. They aren’t life threatening, but they can result in illnesses.
  • Although the cookware is hard, it can still break if it falls down, which a really big con is considering that other cookware types don’t.

Budget Office Espresso Maker

Super-automatic espresso machine for the office

It has been awhile since I started making my own coffee for potential buyers who visit my open houses. On one special occasion, my boss paid me a visit at a home. Being the peacock i am, I wanted to show off my mad espresso making skills. He wanted a latte so I made him one with a leaf pattern on the surface.

He was really impressed. He immediately asked me to look around for a super-automatic espresso machine for the office. I agreed and thus the hunt commenced for the best super-automatic espresso machine on the market that money could buy. Or so I thought, I kinda forgot how much of a cheapskate my boss was. He then added “get something wallet friendly, we wouldn’t want to go broke now would we”. Well that was a bummer. But at least now we get free quality coffee. YAY ME!!!

Look Out For The Price

Since my company was sponsoring my next purchase, I really went all out on researching which the best espresso machine for the office was and i read about Best espresso machines under 500 here. My boss didn’t specify a price range but knowing him, the budget option would always be his pick. So, I identified the two top espresso makers for the office in 2017. The first was a pod super-automatic espresso machine. The Nespresso CitiZ and the second is the Nespresso C100 super-automatic pod espresso machine.

Capsule Espresso Machine

Capsule Espresso Machine

The reason I opted for capsule machines is because nobody has the time for powder in the office. These pods also give you a lot more options of drinks to choose from. As long as you have the right pods, of course. Too bad the cheaper C100 was out of stock at Amazon. So I picked up the Nespresso CitiZ C120. This espresso machine came with a Aeroccino milk frother that was automatic. All you have to do if you want a perfect cup of coffee is to select your capsule, insert it into the machine, fill up the milk frother and let the machine do the rest.

If you’re ever looking for a espresso machine that is an easy to use, the C120 does a stellar job. Don’t ever expect to get creative with it tho, it is a super-automatic espresso machine which means there is very little left for you to control when it comes to getting your cup of coffee.

Home Alternatives

As we all know, an espresso maker is a concentrated coffee maker. This is used by baristas in a cafeteria, or just ordinary types of people in their homes. Technically speaking, there are four types of espresso makers – pump-driven, steam-driven, air-pump driven, and piston-driven machines, but the piston and pump-driven espresso makers are the ones that are commonly used. There are also the best home espresso makers of the year that we could find at an affordable price.

Mr.Coffee ECM160 4-Cup Steam Espresso Machine

Mr.Coffee ECM160 4-Cup Steam Espresso Machine

One example of an espresso maker is the Mr. Coffee ECM160 4-Cup Steam Espresso Machine that can only be bought for about $40. Cheap, right? This espresso maker is suitable for those who are beginning to make cappuccinos and foamy coffees, and for experts when it comes to producing espressos. This machinery is silent when operated, unlike those others that create disturbingly annoying noises. It is a steam-driven espresso maker, so you don’t have to worry about the noise when you manipulate this machine. This has also the feature of drawing cute hearts on a thick or thin foamy latte, satisfying the users of this espresso maker.

Convenient and Simple

If you would want to buy a quiet and small machine, this is one of my recommendations for you. You could be surprised at how wonderful and amazing this espresso maker is, but let me tell you. This is one of the best espresso makers ever. It could really guarantee your needs of making and drinking cappuccinos and lattes, and finally you don’t have to go to any cafeteria anymore because you can just do it yourself with this Mr. Coffee ECM160 4-Cup Steam Espresso Machine.

It doesn’t actually take up a very big space, it is very helpful when you wanted to experience and learn how to make espressos, and a low-cost, economical price for you to buy one for your homes and personal uses. It is easy to operate, no more hassles and difficulties. It is an espresso maker with a unique features and can be the best out of other steam-driven makers.

Manly Meal: Blue Cheese, Bacon, and Balsamic Onion Burger

This spiced-up burger is finished with warm, melty blue cheese, and balsamic-soaked red onions.


  • ½ medium red onion
  • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 1½ lb. lean ground sirloin
  • 4 oz. blue cheese
  • 4 brioche hamburger buns
  • Lettuce
  • tomato
  • Cooked bacon slices


  1. In a small bowl, toss together the onion, vinegar, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Let sit, tossing occasionally, until ready to use.
  2. Heat grill to medium-high. Gently form the beef into 4 balls. (Don’t overwork the meat — this can result in a tough, dry burger.) Flatten each ball into a 3/4-inch- thick patty. Using your thumb, make a shallow 1 1/2-inch-wide indent in the top of each patty. Season the patties with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
  3. Place the patties on the grill, indent facing up, and cook until the burgers release easily from the grill, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook to desired doneness, 3 to 4 minutes more for medium. During the last 2 minutes, top with the blue cheese and grill, covered, until gooey.
  4. If desired, grill the buns until lightly toasted. Serve the burgers on buns and top with the cut of balsamic onions, lettuce, tomato, and bacon, if desired.

A recipe shared from Delish

Beets: High Energy Juice Recipe

Beets are popular among runners and are consumed for their effects on endurance.  They have also been known to naturally reduce blood pressure, increase stamina, fight inflammation, and are high in nutrients and fiber. Try this high energy juice recipe and experience the benefits for yourself!

A recipe by Dr. Josh Axe


  • 1 beet
  • 6 celery stalks
  • 1 green apple
  • ½ cucumber


  1. Add all ingredients to vegetable juicer. Add more cucumber if necessary. Gently mix juice and consume immediately.

Find the full recipe here.