For those of you that know me, you know I am a coffee snob of sorts.  For some this is kind of hard to believe since I didn't even start drinking coffee until I was 30.  I even remember my first cup of coffee. The scene was Las Vegas, I was sitting at a black jack table with my BFF Staci and I was TIRED!!  Staci suggested that I have a cup of coffee to which I replied "YUCK!"  Then she said she could fix it to where I would like it.  We ordered two cups of coffee and LOTS of sugar packets from our waitress.  When we received our coffee Staci doctored it up for me:  4 oz coffee + 5 sugar packets.  I'm not joking.  That is how I started drinking coffee.  Seriously.  Back in the day when I would order from Starbucks I would order a Grande Skinny Vanilla Latte, with 10 pumps of vanilla.  True Story!  (For those of you that don't know, the normal for that drink is 4 pumps.)   So, over the years my love for coffee has grown and my taste buds have matured.  I now love a French Press - straight; no milk, no sugar, no nothing.  I love plain no sugar added cappuccinos and lattes & I love the process of making them all.  I prefer not to drink 'drip' coffee, you lose so much in a drip - the crema is nonexistent in drip coffee and the flavor is to bitter for this girl. 

About a year ago our Coffee Machine, AKA, The Beast started acting up so we had to take her in for repairs. That is when we found Texas Coffee Techs.  This little out of the way place where they repair coffee machines and SO MUCH MORE!  They roast beans daily, they sell coffee by the 1/2 pound or pound, and they are a little coffee shop.  Their staff is extremely friendly and will give history lesson if coffee if you would like.  Mallory is my favorite employee, she is very knowledgeable and she makes a MEAN French Press! 
Malory making a French Press for my enjoyment.
Texas Coffee Techs is a little hard to find if you don't know what you are looking for.  Here are good directions on how to get there.  Once you think you are there look for this little sign sitting out front.
A wall of coffee to choose from. Don't worry, Malory will help you figure out what coffee is best for you AND you can try it before you buy it! How great is that?!
A view of the store as you walk in the front door.
Need a espresso machine? No worries, they have plenty to choose from.
A little help yourself coffee bar
Old school
They have a Tuk-tuk! How fun is that?!?! For just a moment I thought I was in Thailand. :o)
Their ourdoor seating area....Very Austin!
The next time you find yourself in Austin needing a cup of Joe, head over and see the friendly folks at Texas Coffee Techs, you won't be disappointed! 
Don't you love it when people deliver unexpected food to your door? That is exactly what happened a few months back. My friend and neighbor Tracy had a unit party and when it was over she had WAY too much food left so she sent some of her pork carnitas our way. I was in heaven. I ate the carnitas for 3 or 4 days straight. I couldn't get enough. About a month later I was craving them again so I ask her for the recipe. Finally after 3 tries I think I have them down! (Tracy doesn't measure) Now, pull your crock-pot out and get ready to simmer all day!
5 pound pork shoulder/butt roast - trim fat
1 good dark heavy beer
1/2 cup orange juice
juice of 2 limes
1 small onion diced
3-4 garlic cloves minced
3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce - chopped (these come in a can - as pictured - save the left over for another dish)
1 bunch fresh cilantro (give or taken depending on how much you like cilantro)
 start with 2 TBL Cumin, add more at the end if needed 
start with  1 1/2 TBL Adobo seasoning, add more at the end if needed
salt to taste

Toss all ingredients in the crock pot and cook all day (at least 8 hours) the pork will start falling apart, shred with a fork while it is still in the crock pot - it should shred very easily. Taste - add more cumin, adobo and or salt if needed.

There are a couple of things I like to do with the carnitas; 1, make tacos (as pictured) and 2, make flautas! 

Things I like to top my tacos with -
Queso Fresco Cheese

Oh and I LOVE them on corn tortillas, the kids - well they like flour. To each their own. :o)

Serve with rice and beans - and bam, dinner is served!

Chipotles in adobo sauce
A crock pot full of goodness!
Just FYI, for those of you on my RSS feed, I'm back blogging, so if you see that I posted check back dates.  I just posted 31Dec2011.
Thanks for reading,

This is a GREAT recipe for a school/sports night,  it can be made ahead of time and popped in the oven 15 minutes before you want to eat, or you can make it in 30 minutes or so just before you have to run out the door to your next activity.  And as an added bonus, KIDS LOVE IT!! My kids gobbled it up and ask for more!  I think it would be great with chicken too!

1.5 pounds ground sirloin
1 medium yellow onion chopped
1.5 TBL butter
3 cloves minced garlic
2 TBL flour
1 1/2 cups beef broth
2 TBL taco seasoning 
2 cups tomato sauce
12 corn tortillas
6 oz Pepper Jack Cheese (I used the slices)
1/2 cup Sharp Cheddar

Preheat oven to 400
In a large skillet cook beef and chopped onions together over medium heat until meat is no longer pink.
Drain meat. 
Melt butter in medium saucepan - add garlic - sauté for a minute.  Sprinkle with flour cook for 30 seconds stirring constantly.  Add broth, taco seasoning and tomato sauce.  Bring to a boil; cook for 2 minutes stirring occasionally.  Reserve 1/2 cup tomato mixture, adding the rest to the beef.  
Layer in a 9x9 baking dish (or I have a 10 inch round baking stone that I used) 4 tortillas,  1/2 of the beef mixture 1/3 of the pepper jack cheese, 4 tortillas, 1/2 beef mix, 1/3 of the pepper jack cheese, 4 tortillas, 1/2 cup of sauce, 1/3 of the pepper jack and all of the cheddar.  

If you are making this ahead of time, pop it in the fridge now.

When you are ready to eat, pop it in oven and bake till cheese is bubbly - about 10-15 minutes.   
Black Beans, Trish Style
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 small can chopped green chilies
splash of lime juice
1 roma tomato chopped
fresh cilantro

Heat black beans, green chilies & lime juice in a saucepan.  Just before serving throw in the tomato and fresh cilantro, stir and serve.  YUM-O!  I love black beans like this - my kids not so much, I mean they ate their 2 bite minimum, but they prefer it when I refry them.
Can you believe it is the year 2012?  Holy smokin' Joe!  I remember back when Prince's song 1999 came out in the 80's and the year 2000 seemed SO FAR away (yes, I'm dating myself again....) and many believed the plant would self-destruct and we would never see the year 2000.  Well HELLO doubters, here we are in 2012 waiting for another apocalypse at the end of this year.  Sometimes I think it is fun watching the crazies get ready, and when I say crazies, I'm sometimes talking about people close to me (you know who you are).  Speaking of crazies, did you see the episode of 'Wife Swap' where the family is preparing for the end, not only is the family preparing, she made her host family prepare too?  If you didn't, here is a clip, you must watch it - it is sure to give you a good laugh!  That is unless you are one of the crazies, then you might get some great tips, like pulling your kids out of school and teaching them how to survive when the zombies come, or going out and buying furniture and goods on credit - you know, the kind of credit where you don't have to pay till the year 2014, what were the creditors thinking - didn't they look at the Mayan calendar?!  (Hahaha!)

So, this year, for the last year of life as we know it I have committed to making a few changes.  Here we go:
~ Eat more cheesecake
~ Dance like no one is watching
~ Sing out loud to songs I love and not worry what others think about my singing (Kim, Teri, Lindsay....)
~ Exercise less
~ Sleep late
~ WEAR PJ's in public
~ Shop more (as long as I can get credit where I don't have to pay till at least 2013!)
~ OH, and maybe I should write that letter to hubby's boss and tell him to send the 1st Cavalry Division home from Afghanistan, I mean what is the point in them being there if it all ends in December anyway?  Forget his boss, I should write the President.

Happy New Year!