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Table Chat News for Health, Travel, & Coffee Lovers and Connoisseurs.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


My friend Frank, who lives in Manhattan Beach, had a get together tonight at his place overlooking the pier where there was to be a gorgeous holiday firework show at 6:30pm. The whole wall by the dining and livingroom is glass, so the pier show would be easy to see and a lot less cold than having to walk down the strand.

We enjoyed many "Frank"-tastic gourmet delights such as fresh homemade tomato basil soup, white yam mashed potatoes, sauteed shitake mushrooms, spinach salad with strawberries and papaya, grilled salmon, proscuitto rolled-up on melon, chicken potstickers, and many other dessert delights such as cookies and homemade flan. The flan was simply amazing. It tasted more like cinnamon cheesecake. It was less gelatinous and more airy like cheesecake. I ate two pieces!

Around 6:40pm one guest got a bit panicked that we may have missed the firework show. It was suppose to start at 6:30pm and was known to start on time. She worried we simply could not see the firework display from our location. The guests got a bit nervous and some began peering around outside, one walked out the door to get closer to the pier and see, and I began searching Twitter and the internet on my iphone. The tension began to grow over the next couple minutes. Disappointment was beginning to loom as a possible outcome, then wham, bam the fireworks starting flying and the worry turned to joy. I think we were more ecstatic than ever due to the preliminary drama that we had somehow missed the show.

After the fantastic fireworks Frank asked if anyone wanted coffee or tea. Several of us, despite the hour for a Sunday night, opted for espresso. He made the most flavorful cup of espresso with a dash of creme. It was so mellow and delightful I had to snoop around. He had Illy pods. I asked where he got them. It turns out
Costco sells "illy" espresso pods that work great with a single/double cup espresso maker machine. Illy is Italian, and so the espresso is Italian as well. The Italian in attendance agreed it was a lovely espresso. His machine I found was a Breville Cafe Roma espresso machine and loves it. It made a delicious, tasty espresso  that is not too strong but filled with a smooth delightful flavor.

He had a larger model Breville and returned it for a smaller model because it fit perfectly in his cupboard whereas the pricier model did not fit by an inch. Size does matter when it comes to storing appliances comfortably in the kitchen. An organized kitchen is easy to keep neat, so I think it is a good tip to measure the space you are thinking of keeping your new coffeemaker and keep those dimensions in mind when shopping, especially online where returning a product may not be as convenient.



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