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Oct 24, 2007 07:11 AM

Everyday luxuries?

Last night around 11, I had already had an early dinner but was hungry and realized there was one strip of veal scallopini that would go bad if I didn't cook it. I shook some flour on it and cooked it med-rare in butter. amazing.
even though my food budget doesn't usually allow for much meat, and I don't really care for it, I buy this about once a month. it's worth it and I know I won't let it go bad in the fridge :)
what kind of "luxuries" do you regularly allow yourself?

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  1. Paying $2.50 for coffee I could make at home for 1/10th the cost.

    3 Replies
    1. re: MSPD

      Ditto...for me it's a medium Americano. Although I tried making them at home, even bought a Bialetti stove top espresso maker and it failed spectacularly (picture espresso pouring out the "seal" between the top and bottom pieces of the machine *ack!*). I could stick to regular coffee all the time but once and awhile the ritual of going to a coffee shop and letting someone else make it for you is a nice treat.

      My DH would argue the organic milk, cheese and produce I buy is a luxury but imho it just tastes better and I prefer to support producers who use organic methods.

      1. re: gourmethunter

        too me, my freshly ground one cup in the morning that I make at home IS my daily luxury.

        1. re: Val

          Yeah...some day, I'll have the time and equipment to make good coffee at home. For now, it's just not an option unfortunately.

    2. High-end chocolate. I will pay $6.00 for a Vosges chocolate bar, especially one with salt in it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: charlesbois

        Yum! That Barcelona bar is the best one!

      2. I have a standing order with a small coffee roaster in Portland (we live in Iowa now). We pay $30 and get two pounds of good, fresh-roasted coffee from her at the beginning of every month. (Before you admire our restraint let me add that two pounds of coffee only lasts us about two and a half weeks, then we supplement it with the best I can find around here.)

        1. I agree, Charles-i will make a Vogses (or other gourmet chocolates/candies) order every other month or so, just so I know I will have a really great chocolate on hand when I crave it. I love the Barcelona bar, too, though the Black Pearl bar is my favorite :)

          Also, really good loose-leaf tea. I make it at home, but I have lots of tins of it- everything from Jasmine pearl oolong to some rich Yunnan black tea. I rarely buy tea outside of my house (i will have on occasion an espresso drink), or cheap tea bags.

          3 Replies
          1. re: teamuse

            woollomooloo and red fire are awesome too.

            (p.s. Charles is just part of my last name, I'm really a girl! ;-] )

            1. re: charlesbois

              hmmmm red fire! hehe sorry for the mix up! I am heading into new york today, I think i might make a side trip to pick up some....

              1. re: teamuse

                Love the fire bar and the fact that I can find it at my local Wegmans and World Market..though cheaper at Wegman's. My other splurge is this green olive tepanade I found at my Wegmans as well. It's called cataldos or something like that. Fresh, not overly oily, and fabulous. Pricey but worth it.

          2. I buy the more expensive coffee, the more eexpensive espresson beans and treat myself regularly to an espresso or cappucino at three in the afternoon, this ritual is so well known around here that nieces and nephews pop up at three to join me in this ritual, of course I always have 70% dark chocolate to have with it. Funnily this young nieces and nephews got initiate to espressos this way.
            By the way, I have forgone expensive and way too big espresso machines a while back, I have the tiny stainless steel stovetop espresso kettle that makes the finest if brews and use a matching hand milk foamer.
            These appliances take so little room, are perfectly beautiful and work faultlessly.

            9 Replies
            1. re: Richelle

              Richelle - if I might ask, what kind of espresso maker do you have?

              1. re: gourmethunter

                I had to go get the foamer to look, it's a Frabosk, frankly, the name tells me nothing, I had an aluminum espresso brewer and my father refuses that I poison myself with aluminum anything, and because he also eats here regularly and we always end our meal with espresso, chocolate, port and for him a cigar, he went and bought it for me. I will look up Frabosk now and see what comes up.

                1. re: Richelle

                  Thanks for the info I'll have a look and see if it's carried in my area. :-)

                  1. re: Richelle

                    I normally use a wee stainless-steel Bialetti mocha. Is this something different?

                    I had an aluminium one, but I took it to a relative's house to make real coffee. I don't think using it two or three times a year will give me Alzheimer's or cancer - much less than the aluminium pots and restaurants (although I don't eat out terribly much - I live very close to Jean-Talon market in Montréal and work mostly at home).

                    1. re: lagatta

                      The Bialetti I had was the Mukka Express (the model below the Moka)... and unlike the Moka it's aluminium but that wasn't an issue for me. No matter how careful I was to follow Bialetti's recommendations to say not to leave espresso on the threads of the top and bottom, or to screw it together tightly etc it usually failed...or I failed... Whether it was the machine or the operator, 8 time out of 10 tries it meant hot espresso sludge and grinds all over the stovetop. Big mess...and me without my caffeine...not a good combonation. I ended feeling like a complete moron taking it back to Williams Sonoma.

                      It may be that I have to check out the Moka instead since it looks like it's one of Bialetti's original espresso makers...I originally bought the Mukka with the intention of making my "everyday luxury" of an espresso drink (an Americano) at home, instead of paying someone else to make it for me. :)

                      1. re: gourmethunter

                        I know a few people who had trouble with the Mukka. I actually found it pretty simple to use, though I don't use it very often. I do use my Moka every morning, though. I am an espresso junkie- I prefer it without any milk getting in the way! Give the Moka a try. Just remember: cool water up to the little round bolt (inside); heaping coffee grinds (not packed down) and a centered, tight fit when you screw the top on. Use low-med heat and remove just as the water seems to be finishing, or else it will burn.

                      2. re: lagatta

                        i know of no scientific studies supporting the notion that cooking with aluminum causes or contributes to alzheimer's or cancer.

                        1. re: alkapal

                          my personal experience has been that the stainless steel produces a better result. i thikn the aluminim heats up too quickly -i've even had melting (maybe it wasn't pure aluminum?)
                          anyway, just make sure to keep the water below the line, and the coffee full. you also need to oil it if it doesn't screw on properly.

                          1. re: fara

                            you have had melting of a metal cooking utensil? it was a coffeemaker?