Spices & Seasons (Simple Sustainable Indian Flavors) {Cookbook Review}

SpicesandSeasonsIf you are looking to experiment with Indian flavors, this is your book. The author, Rinku Bhattacharya provides the general population with delicious and easy to prepare dishes packed with flavor and sustainable ingredients. In Spices & Seasons each recipe is carefully labeled as vegan/vegetarian and/or gluten-free. The index in the back of the book is also separated as such; gluten-free index, vegan/vegetarian index, vegetarian index, and recipe index! I found this to be extremely helpful when trying to pick my dish to make.

It was very difficult to pick a recipe to make, due to the large selection of recipes included in the book and how many of them were gluten-free. I finally decided on the Saffron Pistachio Rice Pudding on page 333. With a few minor changes/substitutions. I am in the process of packing up my life and putting most of my belongings in storage for a year and I start my next adventure in NYC, so I wanted to use what I had on hand instead of going out to buy things. Bread pudding can be a fairly simple recipe, but this one was packed with flavor! Oh my goodness…it is delicious and I promise you, you will want to make this. Here are my substitutions: instead of half and half, I used unsweetened coconut milk, for the white rice I used short grain brown rice, and I did not have pistachios around (trust me those do not last long around me), so instead I diced up some granny smith apple instead (it added such a delicious, fresh crispness to it), and yes…I do have saffron lying aroundūüôā

I’ve seen rice pudding be super creamy and I’ve also seen it where there is some creamy liquid remaining…which is how I prefer to enjoy it (as you can see by the picture below…), but if you like more of the liquid, then just cook it a bit less time or simply add additional liquid.

37-Cooks-Saffron-Rice-Pudding-Spices-and-Seasons-Challenge-Jenny-ManseauSaffron and Cardamom Rice Pudding

Adapted from Spices & Seasons Simple Sustainable Indian Flavors by Rinku Bhattacharya page 333

  • 4 cups¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬† ¬†¬† Unsweetened Coconut Milk
  • 4¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬† ¬† Whole Cardamom Pods
  • 1/4 ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Cinnamon Stick
  • 1/3 cup¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Organic Short Grain Brown Rice
  • 1/2 cup¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬† Organic Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon¬† Saffron Threads
  • 1/2 cup¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Diced Granny Smith Apple

Method of Preparation

  1. In a medium pot add coconut milk, whole cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, rice, and sugar and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to a simmer, uncovered, and stir frequently until it begins to thicken, about 35 minutes.
  3. Remove and discard the whole cardamom pods and cinnamon stick.
  4. Stir in the saffron threads and granny smith apples, cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  5. Serve with sliced of granny smith apple on top – enjoy!

This is a great cookbook to have in your collection, especially if you or someone you know is either gluten-free, vegetarian, and/or vegan! So many delicious recipes and flavors to experiment with.

The cookbook was provided to me from the publisher for this review. All comments and opinions are 100% my own.

 

 

Spiced Pumpkin Muffins

Fall is here! My favorite time of year. At school we have a Starbucks on each campus I see everyone enjoying the pumpkin muffins, pumpkin coffees etc. and it drives me crazy that I can just run in and grab one of those delicious looking muffins with the cream cheese on them…you know the ones I’m talking about!

I am always stuck for breakfast ideas during the week because I’m usually up by 4am and out of the house by 5 so making a big breakfast or anything just doesn’t work for me. I needed something new, something besides my lovely quinoa muffins, which are delicious but its time to mix it up a bit.

So here is my attempt at those beautiful looking pumpkin muffins that you are seeing out right now – we should all be able to enjoy the lovely tastes of the fall, gluten-free or not. I gave one of these to a co-worker and she said you can’t tell they are gluten-free so I’m going to say that this was a success! These are super moist and delicious. I think it has just the right amount of spice to it.

Spiced Pumpkin Muffins with Maple Agave Cream Cheese Filling

Muffins:

1 Cup Brown Rice Flour (Bob’s Red Mill)

1/3 Cup Potato Starch (Bob’s Red Mill)

2 Tablespoons plus 2 Teaspoons of Tapioca Starch (Bob’s Red Mill)

1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

3/4 Teaspoon Xanthan Gum

1 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger

3/4 Teaspoon Allspice

1/2 Teaspoon fine Sea Salt

2 Large Eggs

3/4 Cup Sugar (Wholesome Sweeteners)

1/2 Cup Canola Oil

1/4 Cup Almond or Soy Milk

1 Cup Pureed Pumpkin (Fresh or Canned – not the pumpkin pie filling if you use can)

Maple Cream Cheese Filling

4 Ounces 1/3 Fat Cream Cheese – room temperature

1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar (Wholesome Sweeteners)

1 Tablespoon Maple Agave Nectar (Wholesome Sweeteners)

Method of Prep:

  • Preheat oven to 350‚ÄĘ
  • Line a cupcake pan or muffin pan with liners and set aside
  • In a bowl add brown rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and salt – mix until well combined.
  • In another bowl add the Sugar and Eggs and mix until smooth.
  • Add the oil, milk, and pumpkin puree – mix until very smooth.
  • Add the dry ingredients into the wet slowly and mix until fully blended.
  • Fill each muffin liner about 3/4 of the way with the pumpkin mixture, set aside.
  • For the filling: In a stand mixer (or small bowl and use an electric hand mixer) add the cream cheese and beat until smooth – about 1 minute.
  • Add in the powdered sugar and beat well.
  • Finish by adding the maple agave nectar and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds.
  • Scoop about 1 tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture into the center of each muffin tin – you can leave it as it is, or press them down a bit, or even add a little bit more pumpkin over the cream cheese. Either way you do it, its delicious!
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the center with just a few crumbs on it.
  • Cool for 5 minutes in the tin then transfer to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
  • Enjoy!
  • Store in the refrigerator!

Butternut Squash Soup & Croutons

I have been wanting to make some butternut squash soup for a while now, but sadly I don’t own a food processor, blender or immersion blender so I put it off. I started thinking about the soup again this past week and was determined to make it, so I thought if I cooked the squash enough I could just mash it, but then it wouldn’t have that smooth creamy texture so I finally went next door and asked my neighbor if she had a blender or food processor I could borrow. ¬†Of course she had one, and why had I not thought of asking her sooner? ¬†Who knows, I’m a bit slow lately. ¬†Being sick for a month has really thrown me for a loop. ¬†I am finally feeling better and getting back into cooking more. ¬†Poor Bryan has been dealing with my half-ass attempts of meals lately, which consisted of mostly “mushy” foods because I couldn’t chew anything. ¬†Even though this soup could be considered another “mushy” meal I refuse to look at it that way because I have been craving it for so long. ¬†To add a little bit of texture to the soup I topped it with some crispy bacon pieces and homemade gluten-free croutons (see recipe below).

Like always, I did some searching online for butternut squash soup recipes just to see what others put in theirs. ¬†I found that many of the recipes were similar to the one that I had floating around in my head so I figured I would just wing it and see how it tasted (maybe not always the best idea). Bryan hasn’t really eaten butternut squash much and has never had butternut squash soup, so to make it more appealing to him I wanted to add a bit of spice to it. ¬†The first time I ever had this soup was in China of all places. ¬†It was amazing. ¬† If you don’t like that much spice you can always start by cutting those ingredients in half at first, taste it and then add accordingly.

Spiced Butternut Squash Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil (or butter)

4 celery stalks – diced

3 garlic cloves, chopped

2 medium-large butternut squash (about 3 – 3.5 pounds) – See prep options below

1 large sweet potato (or two small/medium) Peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces

3 cups of chicken broth (gluten-free low sodium/organic)

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon allspice

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

salt and pepper to taste

1/4-1/2 cup half and half

There are two ways that you can prepare the squash:

1- Cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds and place flesh side down on a foil lined baking sheet (oiled/sprayed well).  In a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 40-50 minutes.  Once roasted and cooled slightly scoop out flesh and add to soup

2- Peel the squash, cut in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds and then chop into one inch cubes.  Cook squash in the soup with out roasting.

The first one is probably a bit easier because the skin of the squash is very touch and can be a pain to peel. ¬†I have a really good peeler so I didn’t have any problems with it. ¬†So it is completely up to you on which method you prefer to use, and you will get great results either way. ¬†The recipe below is for option number two, however if you choose to roast your squash then scoop it out add it after you¬†saut√©¬†the celery, garlic add the broth. ¬†You can then go right into pureeing the soup.

Directions:

Peel and cut your squash and sweet potato and set aside.  Over medium heat in a large sauce pan (or stock pot) add olive oil and celery, cook for 3-4 minutes or until softened.  Add garlic and cook for an additional two minutes.  Next, add squash, sweet potato, half of the spices and chicken broth.  Bring to a boil for 20 minutes.  Lower heat to simmer.

In small batches ladle the soup into a blender (or food processor) and puree until smooth and there are no chunks.  Add the pureed soup back into the pan and repeat until all the soup has been pureed and it is smooth.  Add remaining spices and half and half.  Do Not bring back to a boil, just simmer on low for 15-20 minutes.  Serve warm with your choice of toppings (bacon, croutons, sour cream, spiced pumpkin seeds etc.)

We served ours with crumbled maple bacon bits and some gluten-free multigrain croutons. Croutons are so simple to make, I dont’ know why people buy them. You can make them how ever you wish, plain, garlic, seasoned etc. You should really try to¬†experiment¬†with them at some point. ¬†Great in both soups and salads or to just munch on.

Gluten-Free Croutons

6 pieces of gluten-free bread (I used Rudi’s Multi Grain Bread)

1 clove of garlic minced

3 – 4 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon melted butter

salt

Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees. In a bowl combine garlic, oil, butter and salt Рset aside.  Cut bread into small chunks and place them on a foil lined baking sheet.  Drizzle the oil, butter and garlic mixture over the bread chunks.  Toss the bread to make sure it is evenly coated.  Bake at 300 for 15-20 minutes, turning once.  Croutons should be a light/medium golden brown.

You can all any seasoning you wish to your croutons and increase the measurements according to the amount of bread you are using.  Other seasoning options include: dried basil, dried oregano, celery seed, pepper, parsley, grated parmesan cheese or whatever you wish.

These can be stored in an air tight container for up to four weeks or frozen for up to six months.

Help Rudi’s “Spread The Bread” “For every dollar coupon downloaded, Rudi‚Äôs Gluten-Free Bakery will give a dollar to The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) to help in their efforts to better educate physicians in the diagnosis of celiac disease. There are an estimated 3 million people in the United States suffering from celiac disease, yet only 160,000 are diagnosed.” Get your coupon HERE!

POM Wonderful Dinner Party (Recap)

About a month ago I entered a contest to host a POM Wonderful dinner party. ¬†POM would pick 100 people to host a dinner party inspired by, Pomegranates (of course). ¬†I entered at first because Bryan and I love pomegranates, and I really wanted to try to incorporate them into some recipes other than just drinking the juice and eating the seeds. ¬†To my surprise I got an e-mail back saying I was one of the 100 picked and I would be receiving two cases of¬†pomegranates¬†and some goodie bags for my guests. ¬†After getting this e-mail I had about 9 million thoughts running through my head of what to make, how many people to invite and oh I can’t forget the decorations! After sitting back and relaxing for a little bit I decided that simple was the best way to go.

Bryan and I will hopefully be in New Jersey for Thanksgiving this year and my dad, stepmom and stepsister will all be in upstate New York, so I figured we would do a pre-Thanksgiving inspired dinner together yesterday, just the five of us. Keeping with the Thanksgiving theme our menu was as follows:

Starter:

Salad with Pomegranate Seeds and a Pomegranate Balsamic Dressing

Main:

Roasted Chicken with Pomegranate Glaze

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Garlic Green Beans

Pomegranate-Cranberry Sauce

Biscuits

Drink:

Hard Pomegranate – Apple Cider

Dessert:

Brownie Cupcakes topped Pomegranate Cream Cheese Frosting

Pomegranate Sorbet

Over all our dinner was great- with a few minor setbacks of having a small kitchen, sink and not being happy with my frosting! ¬†It was nice to have my family here for a relaxing afternoon filled with football and a very tasty dinner (If I do say so myself). ¬†Our decorations were simple – some small pumpkins in the center and on each plate was a pomegranate and an instruction card on “how to open a pomegranate”. Most of the recipes used were ones that we make often, simple yet very tasty and all 100% Gluten Free! Below are some of the recipes with photos. ¬†(I must note that I got caught up in feeding everyone that I forgot to take a few photos, such as the roasted chicken when it came out of the oven-sorry!)

Salad with Pomegranate-Balsamic Dressing

(We usually have mixed greens and what ever else we can throw into the salad, it is completely up to you)

One -two large romaine lettuce heads, chopped (Or mixed greens)

1/2 cup sliced carrots

1/2 cucumber sliced

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes (optional)

1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

Pomegranate-Balsamic Dressing

Salt and Pepper

1/2 cup of good olive oil

1/4 cup pomegranate juice

1/8-1/4 cup balsamic dressing

Add all ingredients to a covered jar or salad dressing mixer.  Shake well and enjoy (you can adjust the measurements to your flavor liking)

Roast Chicken with Pomegranate Glaze

1 Whole Chicken (about 9 pounds)

1/4 cup room temp butter

1 1/2 tablespoons of Seasoning of your choice – I use a mixture of rosemary, thyme, oregano and sage.

Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a small bowl mix the softened butter and herbs until well combined. Set aside

Make sure the giblets and neck are removed from the chicken cavity.  Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels.  Season with salt and pepper Рalso season the cavity. Place your chicken in the roasting pan and gently lift the skin using your fingers Рbe sure not to tear any of it.  Once the skin  has been lifted, take  half of the butter and herb mixture and spread evenly under the skin.  Take the remaining butter and herb mixture and do the same over the top of the chicken.  Place chicken in oven.  About thirty minutes into cooking add about 1 cup of chicken stock to the bottom of the roasting pan and baste the chicken.  Continue to baste the chicken every 30 minutes.  (please be sure to check the size of your chicken to determine how long it should roast for).  For a 9 pound chicken, cook for 2 Р2 1/2 hours.

During the last thirty minutes of the chicken brush it with the pomegranate glaze (see recipe below) every ten minutes, do this again when your chicken has been removed from the oven. This sauce can also be drizzled over the meat on your plate (which I did)

Pomegranate Glaze

(Very concentrated flavor, and very good)

1 cup POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice

In a small sauce pan heat the pomegranate juice over medium heat.  Simmer until juice has reduced about half, about 10-12 minutes.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

(We love mashed sweet potatoes, especially with the cinnamon added.  We tend to eat more sweet potatoes than regular ones)

1 – 1 1/2 pounds of sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped

1/2  Р1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon butter

1/4 cup soy milk

salt and pepper to taste

In a medium sauce pan add sweet potatoes and cover with water.  Boil for ten minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.  Drain well.  Either by using a potato masher or using a stand mixer add your potatoes to a large bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer), add butter and soy milk and begin mashing (or whisking), until smooth.  Season with cinnamon and mix again until well blended.  Season with salt and pepper.

Garlic Green Beans

(one of our favorite side dishes, quick, easy and very flavorful.  This replaces the green bean casserole on our table)

1-2 pounds of fresh green beans

3 large cloves of garlic finely chopped

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper

Lightly steam the green beans until bright green yet still crispy.  Drain well.  In a medium-large pan melt butter and olive oil over medium heat.  Add garlic and stir in the green beans.  Toss the green beans so they are all coated in the garlic and butter/oil sauce.  Season with salt and pepper.

Pomegranate-Cranberry Sauce

(I usually make this a day in advance)

1 Bag (12 oz) fresh cranberries

1 cup pomegranate juice

1/2 cup sugar – you can use either with sugar or packed brown sugar (I used the brown sugar this time)

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

salt and pepper

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

In a medium saucepan Рover medium/high heat add the pomegranate juice and sugar. Bring to a boil.  Add the fresh cranberries, once the berries start to pop open reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally.  Cook until most of the cranberries have burst open and the sauce has thickened a bit, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and add in the pomegranate seeds.  Cool  to room temp before serving (or if you are making this in advance like I do (I think it tastes better the next day) cool completely and transfer to an air tight container.

Biscuits

I used the recipe on the back of the Betty Crocker Gluten Free Bisquick box.

2 cups Gluten Free Bisquick mix

1/3 cup shortening

2/3 cup milk (I use soy)

3 eggs

Heat oven to 400 degrees

Cut shortening into mix, using fork, until particles are size of small peas.  Stir in remaining ingredients until soft dough forms.  Drop by spoonfulls onto un-greased cookie sheet. Bake for 13-16 minutes or until golden brown.  Makes 10 biscuits.

Hard Pomegranate-Apple Cider

(We used a local hard apple cider from Newport Vineyards, which is right down the road from us)

Serves four

3 parts hard apple cider

1 part pomegranate juice

In wine glasses (or any fun glasses you might have) add three parts hard apple cider and one part pomegranate juice and stir lightly.  Serve chilled.

Brownie Cupcakes with Pomegranate Cream Cheese Frosting

12 Brownie Cupcakes (I used the Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Brownie Mix and made them in a cupcake pan – you can use which ever brand you like). ¬†Make these the night before so they can cool and that is one less thing to bake the day of.

Pomegranate Cream Cheese Frosting

(sadly below isn’t the recipe that I used, I made my own but it didn’t have much pomegranate flavor so I suggest using this one instead)

8 oz cream cheese softened (room temp)

4 oz butter softened

3 oz of pomegranate juice (juice from 3-4 large POM Wonderful Pomegranates,* or 1-1/2 cups POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice)

14 oz Powdered sugar

1 cup arils from 1 large POM Wonderful

Prepare fresh pomegranate juice*, score 1-2 fresh pomegranates and place in a bowl of water, break open the pomegranates under water to free the arils (seed sacs), the arils will sink to the bottom of the bowl and the membrane will float to the top, sieve and put the arils in a separate bowl. Reserve 1 cup of the arils from fruit and set aside, (refrigerate or freeze remaining arils for another use), reduce the pomegranate juice, over low heat, down to 3 fl. oz., Allow to cool, place butter into electric mixer bowl with paddle attachment and cream on medium-high speed for 1 minute, add the cream cheese and continue to mix for 2 more minutes, turn the speed down to low and slowly add in the powdered sugar and the pomegranate juice reduction, mix until the sugar is fully combined, remove icing from the mixer and place into a piping bag with a round or star tip.

Pomegranate Sorbet

(I have never made sorbet before so I asked my stepmom to use her ice cream maker so I could attempt making pomegranate sorbet.  I found the following recipe online at Saveur and it is very flavorful and refreshing!)

1/2 cup sugar

3 cups pomegranate juice

1 Cup water

Place sugar, 1 cup water, and pomegranate juice in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until well chilled. Process in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Serve garnished with pomegranate seeds. (This article was first published in¬†Saveur in Issue #9)

 

Our table setting

Our POM Wonderful inspired meal

To make our Hard Apple-Pomegranate Cider we used a local hard cider from Newport Vineyards (It’s the best we’ve had)

A light refreshment – Hard Apple-Pomegranate Cider

“How To Open A Pomegranate”

A simple yet flavor packed and refreshing dessert – Pomegranate Sorbet

Each guest got a POM Swag-Bag which included a POM bracelet, POM recipe cards, POM pamphlet, a free coupon for a bottle of POM wonderful juice and an awesome reusable POM wonderful tote.  They also got to take home a few pomegranates.

 

Applesauce and then some

It was a great weekend. ¬†Saturday I got to spend a bit of time with my cousin Dianne who is getting married in a few weeks. ¬†We went and checked out her wedding and ceremony site – The Aldrich Mansion in Warwick, RI. I loved being able to see the place before the wedding to scope out some great photo spots (I’m her wedding photographer!). ¬†Then Bryan bought me two more pieces for my Le Creuset collection.

Before moving up to Rhode Island I found two Le Creuset pie dishes (cobalt blue that match my free Le Creuset tea-pot!) which had never been used by his mum so she gave them to me! A few weeks ago when we were at T.J. Maxx we found a bunch of Le Creuset pieces in cobalt and apple green (those are our kitchen colors – sadly though Le Creuset doesn’t make the apple green anymore so it is very hard to find pieces) so he bought me an apple green utensil holder and a cobalt baking dish. ¬†On Saturday he bought me four apple green ramekins and an apple green baking dish. I truly love being able to find such amazing products for so little. Then yesterday Bryan and I went apple picking and we came home with about 10lbs of macintosh and cortland apples – my two favorites for baking.

I’ll be making him some mini-apple pies this weekend in medium-sized ramekins and using the pre-made pie crusts from the store. ¬†For myself some more apple crisp sounds pretty good, I’m telling you its my weakness. ¬†I wanted to try something different though, I wanted to make something I have never made before so I decided to try my hand at making apple sauce…in my 1970’s crock pot that Bryan’s mum gave us when we moved.

I don’t think I ever realized how easy it was to make applesauce, especially if you have a crock pot. ¬†I need to put this crock pot to use more often, especially now that the cool weather is approaching. ¬†I’m thinking chili sometime soon would be good!

Applesauce

5 medium to large apples – I used a mix of macintosh and cortland

1/3 cup water

1/4 cup honey (or you could use agave)

1/2-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (all depends on how much you like the cinnamon flavor in your applesauce)

1 tsp vanilla extract

Peel, core and dice the apples in large pieces Рdiscard the peels and cores.  Add all ingredients to crock pot and set on low for about 4-5 hours.  Apples will become extremely soft/mushy.  Mash apples with a fork or potato masher and enjoy!  Keep in an airtight container for up to one week.

Extremely easy to make, throw it all in the pot and come back in a few hours for some very tasty (if I do say so myself) applesauce! Best part – it is naturally gluten-freeūüôā

Now for the “And then some” part of the title of this post

By now many if not all of you have probably heard of ¬†The Gluten Free Girl and the Chef’s new cookbook “The Gluten Free Girl and the Chef – A love story and 100 tempting recipes“. ¬†If you haven’t well what are you waiting for?? Check out these amazing reviews (and many of them if not all are doing give aways of the book also!). ¬†I haven’t bought my copy yet but it is on my Amazon Wish list!! I can’t even begin to explain the mouth-watering reviews that I have read, but they all talk about the bread recipe that is in the new book and I am dying to try it. ¬†Please check out the reviews/giveaways below:

Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom

Ginger Lemon Girl

Celiac in the City

Celiacs in the House

So go, read, drool and enter for your chance to win a copy of this book…if you don’t win then go and buy it!

And on another side note, I would like to thank the wonderful people at Small Appliances for my amazingly wonderful new Coffee and Espresso Machine!¬†¬†I’ve had some major coffee pot issues lately, my french press broke (shed a tear) and then when we moved in my dad gave me back “my” (it wasn’t mine, no idea where this pot came from but I gave mine away when I moved to California) old coffee pot. ¬†So when my french press broke I started using that one. ¬†It worked fine at first even though the top of the¬†carafe¬†was broken and I bought the wrong filters until one day it just decided it wouldn’t drip down any longer. ¬†I had to take hot water, put the cup under it and hold up the part that makes it drip – seriously. ¬†I posted on twitter that my half working pot had completely broke and the extremely kind and generous people at Small Appliances contacted me and offered me a new coffee pot. ¬†I seriously thought it was a joke and if it wasn’t I was expecting some little four cup mr. coffee. ¬†Instead they sent me the Krups Coffee/Espresso machine below! ¬†I can’t thank them enough for their generosity! ¬†So if you are in the need of any ¬†appliances check them out!