How to Make Coffee in an Emergency

Worst. Day. Ever. Your coffee pot broke, or you’re out of electricity, or some other first-world emergency has befallen you. NO!!!!

Coffee EmergencyFret ye not, O uncaffeinated one. There are ways. Wise ways. Ways that others use. Ways. If you’re wondering how to make coffee in an emergency, you should totally check out these tricks.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: All of the Affiliate Links and ADVERTISEMENTS in this article will send you over to our friends at They do cool stuff and you could get lost on their site. We’re okay with your doing that, but first, please read the Disclosures here. And read this post.]

No Electricity, But the Gas Works…

Reason #1 to love having natural gas for your range? You don’t need electricity to get cooking. We’ve had this happen before: there’s a storm, or there’s construction on the power lines, or a crazy driver decides to hotwire a car and crash it into an electric pole right around the corner from you. (Truth is stranger than fiction…) In any event, if you’re without electricity but still have gas, you can light the stove with a match. (You’ll turn to “light” and won’t hear the “click, click, click,” but this is how a lot of the cool chefs light their stoves.)

If you’ve used a French Press (that’s an Affiliate Link) before – some people swear by them – this is pretty much the same technique. It involves…uh…coffee, hot water, and a strainer (which the plunger thing on the French Press normally takes care of for you). Tea strainer is what they recommend on the WikiHow page – but you might not have that handy.

We’ll break this down into three quick steps:

  • Boil the desired amount of water. When it’s bubbling, take it off the heat source and let it set for 30 seconds to stop bubbling. Remember, we’re semi-roughing it or it’s an emergency or we’re panicking – so we don’t have a thermometer handy to figure out whether we have the desired temperature of 195-205 Fahrenheit.
  • Put the desired amount of coffee grounds into a Pyrex cup or other heat-proof container. Then add the water and leave the two – what will look like a bowl of coffee grounds and water – together for 3 Minutes.
  • After three minutes, pour the mixture through either a tea strainer or other strainer – something that catches the grounds and allows the liquid to pour through.

You. Have. Coffee.

What About the “Pour-Over?”

As you’ll see from this video from Howcast, the “Pour-Over” makes a great cup of coffee – and you don’t need the electricity or a machine to make it. It DOES look like you need something you can score from your high school Chemistry teacher, so that might be a problem. Jury-rig something that looks similar, add your filter, and take your time. (Emphasis on “take your time” – move too quickly and this method will set you up for failure.)



Uh…what if…um…we don’t have anything to filter with?

No Electricity, No Filter…

I’ll admit, this particular method on the Wikihow page scares me. BUT, if you follow the steps and pour slowly, it should work correctly because Physics.

How to Make Coffee in an Emergency

Final notes on this post: First up, we didn’t even go there when it comes to the proper ratio of grounds to water. Why? We think Starbucks asks you to use the right amount of grounds in order to ensure that Starbucks sells a lot of coffee. We also know people who like their coffee on the milder side – so our typical “10 cups to 8 scoops” ratio is likely too strong. So that water-to-grounds ratio is up to you.

Secondly, we’re sure to get a little backlash here because being without electricity doesn’t sound like an actual “emergency.” But, if you’re addicted to the morning cup of joe and you’re facing the possibility that you’ll be without…hey, one man’s emergency is another’s crisis. Semantics. Drink up.

Purple Ball Jars are No April Fool’s Joke


I don’t know about you, but I take everything posted today with a grain of salt salt lick. Today’s date is April 1, 2015. That means it’s April Fool’s Day. Did I punctuate that correctly? It’s just one “Fool,” right? Or multiple “Fools?” I have to get the apostrophe correct. And I’m rambling. So this is an AFFILIATE LINK, and THIS IS NOT A JOKE. And a run-on sentence. Because Purple Ball Jars are no April Fool’s Joke.

We present, the Purple Ball Jar from the Ball Ball Jar People. This is actually a link to our friends at, whose work with Ball, the maker of Purple Ball Jars, is well-documented. Or at least it’s documented here, in this link. New Limited Edition Purple Heritage Jars from Ball.

Turns out, Purple is a rather important color. In the three-year history of the special editions of these Ball Jars, Ball has decided to go with Purple only one time: this year. It’s the last of the three-year special edition, so it’s not going to be Purple’s year next year. This year is the year for Purple, and it should be the year for you, if you like Purple. Or Ball Jars. And especially Purple Ball Jars.

Here is a photo of Purple Ball Jars.

Purple Ball Jar

Use a Code, Save Some Money!


Save MoneyWhile we work on our next ground-breaking post here at Metakitchen World Headquarters, we want to share a little something with you. We’ve got an affiliate link and coupon code here from the nifty folks over at Cutting to the chase: Use a Code, Save Some Money!

Here’s that link:

Here’s the code: SAVE10

What do you do next?

Look around on the site and, if something grabs you, use the SAVE10 code to save 10% on any product over $49.

FINE PRINT: this code is good through August 1, 2015.

This is an Affiliate Link, meaning that we’re compensated if you use this link and code and purchase something from the site.

For the Tea Lover

I’ve worked with a couple folks in my career who can (politely) be called “Tea Elitists.” And really, shouldn’t the same attention be given to them that’s given to the coffee lover?

tea loverToday, we’re going to focus just a little on tea and those who obsess with it. Or fuss over it. Or just simply love a cup in the morning. Today, this post is for you, the tea lover.

In usual Metakitchen style – and with this friendly reminder that you should totally like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter – we’ll share a video or two, as well as a product or two or three. And maybe a statistic or two or three. Products where we have an affiliate relationship will be clearly marked as “ADVERTISEMENT.” So, without further ado, we present…

For the Tea Lover

Item one will look great in any tea lover’s kitchen – provided you have the right color scheme going with your backsplash and whatnot. Check this baby out – ADVERTISEMENT:

Marseille Blue Teakettle and Mug Set by Le…

Make and serve delicious tea, instant coffee or other hot beverages with this Le Creuse… [More]

Price: $99.95

(I want one. And I don’t really drink tea.)

Next, how about a video. A music video! These guys are pioneers in the musical genre known as “Chap Hop.” And this song is about tea.

BTW, another ADVERTISEMENT – here’s a general link to our friends at

Wait a second, how do you actually BREW tea? Watch this video and learn why the tea bag is considered…uh…evil.

If you don’t have time to watch the whole video…here’s a quick bullet-pointed recap:

  • Hand-picked tea is superior
  • Sometimes tea bags come from stuff that’s leftover on the floor at the factory
  • Any sort of bag, satchel, etc. is not good either
  • You can brew loose-leaf tea and it’s not inconvenient
  • There are two types of brewing: “Western” and “Tea Ceremony.”

And, here’s a video from a site called TastyTeas that will show you a few of the loose-leaf varieties of tea.

There you have it – a quick share For the Tea Lover. Drink up!

Some Guy Cooking an Egg in a Microwave

The more I think about “Kitchen Hacks,” the more annoyed I get.

Egg in a MicrowaveReally, is some guy cooking an egg in a microwave really a “Kitchen Hack?”

First, watch this:

Then, let’s talk…

First of all, I said my piece on the kitchen hack issue in that other post. At least, I think I said my piece. Secondly, I think we’re talking about productivity for the sake of internet memes here: which is precisely why I titled this post:

Some Guy Cooking an Egg in a Microwave.

Taste? Flavor? Convenience? Doing it just to be “cool?” Those are some of the reasons you might want to cook your eggs differently – like Eggs in a Muffin Tin.

As you build your Metakitchen, you might want to ask yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing. Seriously: the post above talks about presentation of the eggs, and the fact that they’re moving and wanted something quick for the family that can be put in the fridge. Awesome.

Meanwhile, there are other egg techniques out there that are just as quick, or maybe even quicker – I cooked my egg in the microwave, start to finish, including the video, in under three minutes (you don’t see me spraying the cooking spray in the bowl).

As we build out this site, we’re asking ourselves that very question: “Why are we doing this?”

Honestly, because we needed to whip up an egg for the dog and wanted to have a video on YouTube.


On Kitchen Hacks and the Joy of Cooking

From the “we couldn’t have said it better ourselves” department, has broken down “8 Stupid Kitchen Hacks…” and it’s one of the more awesome things you’ll see ever on the internet. NSFW, and here’s a link to the post: 8 Stupid Kitchen Hacks Tested for Usefulness. But it got us thinking about a more austere, diplomatic discussion of this pressing issue. Thus, we present: On Kitchen Hacks and the Joy of Cooking.

Hack-free Barbecue

First, the Cracked post. The upshot and/or if you’re a family audience (like ours is), 7 of the 8 “hacks” aren’t time-savers and/or didn’t work. And/or they’re stupid, which, again, Cracked says much more eloquently than we shall. The only one worth a darn, at least according to the article, is this one.

We wholeheartedly agree: that is one awesome kitchen hack. 3-million-plus views on YouTube can’t be wrong. (Or…can they?)

Does EVERYTHING need to be a “Hack?”

Webster’s Dictionary defines “Hack” as “to cough up part of one’s lung.” I made that up, it didn’t actually define it as such, but methinks thou dost hack too much.

For instance, I share the above photo of barbecue because my youngest and I concocted our own barbecue sauce. Or was it a barbecue sauce hack? We took regular old barbecue sauce and doctored it. A little of this, a little of that. Actually…

Doctored Barbecue Sauce

Truth be told, it was quite awesome. A cup of each of the bottled sauce, (yellow) mustard, dijon, and brown sugar; two tablespoons each of hot sauce, vinegar, and honey.

The doctored sauce went on top of ribs, which were also quite awesome. They had to be par boiled first, then roasted in the oven. Sauce went on when they went in the oven. Ribs were devoured.

No hacking was involved. Doctoring, maybe, but not hacking.

On Kitchen Hacks and the Joy of Cooking

Love spending time in the kitchen? Check. Don’t mind putting in a little extra effort to make something awesome? Check.

But what if stuff has a tendency to go bad: like the potatoes sprouting eyes, or the onions (or garlic) sitting on the counter growing new sprouts of onion (or garlic)? What if I’d rather use garlic out of the jar? Does that make me a bad chef?

ADVERTISEMENT:Free Shipping on Barbecue Items & Grilling Essentials $49 or More

Really…it’s enough to really get super-confused. Am I supposed to save time, am I supposed to do it because it looks cool, am I supposed to hack my way into kitchen awesomeness?

Don’t Confuse “Hack” with “Technique”

If you saw our post on Sous Vide and Blow Torches, you probably know where we stand here: we’re all about technique. That doesn’t mean we can’t actually do a hack – after all, making your own Sous Vide “machine” out of a pot of water, a thermometer, and a Ziploc bag is technically a hack. Right? Then so is the blow torch at the end. Then…

When “slow food” became a thing a dozen or so years ago, the argument sorta got boiled down to “it’s the journey, not the destination.” So, sure, peel the garlic by shaking it vigorously between two bowls. You’re now steps closer to roasting that garlic and spreading it on toasted artisan loaves and serving with your Sous Vide Duck.

Our point – trust us, we have one – is this: maybe you don’t need to try to hack your way through everything. It’s valuable to save time in the kitchen, and it’s great to experiment, but at what cost? Just like the point of the Cracked article – maybe the point of the sandwich is that there are imperfections, where meat doesn’t meet bread, and you’re not a five-year-old.

Plus, there appear to be about a thousand ways to boil an egg.

Enjoy the ride, people.

The Mother of All Mother Sauce Posts

Auguste Escoffier is considered the Father of the term “Mother Sauce.” While he’s to be commended for birthing the term a hundred or so years ago, he couldn’t have imagined that some blogger would try to incorporate his saucy theories into a post that includes Glenn Danzig and Tracy Bonham.

Chef Auguste Escoffier

Photo from

First, Dear Gentle Reader, here’s a photo of M. Escoffier. His mustache – epic and French, n’est-ce pas? – is making a comeback. But, if we trust our friends over at Top Shelf, so are some of his ideas. Like this one: the Mother Sauce. There are five of them, and, in honor of our title – “The Mother of All Mother Sauce Posts” – we’re adding an accompaniment to each one. Bon appetit! *Note: Top Shelf pairs each sauce with wine and gives you a recipe suggestion to boot. We’ll share those with you, but with a twist: We’ll pair each sauce with music.*

The Five Sauces: bechamel, veloute, tomate, espagnole, and hollandaise. Learn them all and you’ll be on your way to greatness.


How to use it: While Top Shelf shows you a pretty cool-looking lasagna noodle rollup thing, we’re most familiar with this sauce as the base for Martha Stewart’s killer mac-and-cheese.

Wine pairing: They like White Burgundies and White Bordeaux over there. We won’t disagree.

Musical pairing: Let’s opt for the most relaxing song in the world.


How to use it: Considering the article says we can use it in Chicken Pot Pie, let’s find a recipe for Chicken Pot Pie. This recipe starts off heading down Veloute Boulevard, but the sidetracks over to Dairyland. (Using milk.)

Wine pairing: Champagne? Cava? Works for us. (We should see what bubblies we’ve reviewed at Metasip HQ; the reality is that there’s only one that qualifies, and it’s the first one in this post: 10 Under 10.

Musical pairing: Challenging, but, since this is a post about Mother Sauces, let’s go with a song from the “Mother” category.

(Surprisingly good song to write to.)


How to use it: With roasted meat. We’re gonna go with roast pork. (ADVERTISEMENT: Last time we roasted pork, we should have had a working kitchen thermometer. So we’re going to nab a new one over at Use this link and see what valuable gadgets you can find there.)

TIP: Don’t rely on color to figure out when pork is done. Learn more here:

Wine pairing: Dry Rieslings.

Musical pairing: Rodrigo y Gabriela.


How to use it: We’ve decided to just link to the slide from Top Shelf because the meatball dish looks delish.

Wine pairing: Funny, before I read the suggestion, I thought “nice, cheap, but bold red.” You can get a Nebbiolo for a song some places, so…

Musical pairing: Is there any other choice?



If this post is The Mother of All Mother Sauce Posts, then Hollandaise is the Mother of all Mother Sauces.

How to use it: Benedict. Or as the Mother of sauces such as bearnaise or (gasp) mayonnaise. (EDITOR’S NOTE: I hate mayonnaise.)

Wine pairing: White and red burgundies.

Musical pairing: This IS the Mother of All Mother Sauce Posts. So, “Mother, Mother” is the song. Right?

Dang, that song is awesome.

And there you have it…

The Mother of All Mother Sauce Posts.

Take That, Rural Chuck Wagon Lady

She makes Cinnamon Toast to die for. We make Cinnamon Toast to LIVE for.

The absolute greatest Cinnamon Toast Recipe in the History of Mankind – and womankind, too – isn’t contained on some TV show or found in some cookbook found on the prairie. NO, dear, gentle, highly impassioned toast-loving reader, the absolute greatest Cinnamon Toast Recipe in the History of Mankind was just whipped up twenty minutes ago by some suburban dad who thinks he’s a professional chef but in reality is just running a blog about cooking. Take That, Urban Chuck Wagon Lady!

Cinnamon Toast You know, I’ve always thought of myself as a good “garbage chef.” Give me a kitchen o’ randomness, and I’ll make something that’s pure awesomesauce, except, if it’s not a sauce, then it’ll just be awesome.

For real, though.

Recently, someone sent me a link to Cinnamon Toast from a notable blogger and I thought – wow, people, that’s pretty freaktastic in its apparent goodness. I should try that. So I did, and it was pretty freaktastic in its actual goodness.

But I can do better. You can do better. We all can do better. The secret ingredient? IS LOVE!

Take That, Rural Chuck Wagon Lady!

No, people, the secret ingredient is not love. The secret ingredient was made obvious to me when I learned that the secret ingredient in the Rural Chuck Wagon Lady’s Cinnamon Toast recipe – vanilla extract – was missing. Horrors!


You’ll need four slices of bread. White bread is fine – we’re using what’s left from our Slow Cooker Stuffing the other day. It’s still good. Chef Don’t Judge. Three tablespoons of butter. One tablespoon of cinnamon sugar – make your own if you want, but it was just as easy to use the store-mixed stuff. (OF COURSE, making your own, out of a concoction of cinnamon and sugar, would be preferred, right? But this is just the same, far as I can tell, and it was handy.)

The secret ingredient: Almond Extract. Use about 1/4 of a teaspoon – it’s powerful stuff.


Uh, you’re mixing the butter with the cinnamon sugar and the almond extract. Soften the butter for a few seconds in the microwave, then smash it together with a fork. Spread it onto the bread – all the way to the edges because you don’t want any inch of bread to be uncovered with this toasted, broiled, sizzling amazement.

We’ve got a brand-new Breville Toaster Oven (which is a mini-oven, in reality, and does everything; we’re in love with it so far). [ADVERTISEMENT: It was north of $100, so, if you bought one or something similar, use this code: 10% off purchase of $49+ with coupon code SAVE10.] First, we used the “Toast” setting, 4 for darkness and 4 for number of slices. Once that was done, FIVE MINUTES on the Broil setting – which requires moving the rack up one notch, so it’s closer to the broiler.

You want it sizzling, but not burning. Which the few minutes on the broiler accomplish. Watch it closely…but five minutes did the trick for us.

Serving Notes

Kids went ape for this. I’m not kidding – they wanted more. It’s because of my sheer brilliance in running out of vanilla extract a month ago and forgetting to get any at the store. Because I am that type of chef.


Bask in the glory of the simplicity, the white bread, the Nelson from the Simpsons screaming “Ha Ha” in the direction of Oklahoma or Kansas or Kentucky – whichever rural prairie chuck wagon place that woman lives in. It’s that awesome. Thank me later.

Bread and Butter

Spread that stuff evenly, leave no grain uncovered.

Almond Extract

You do not need vanilla extract. You do not need vanilla extract. You do not need vanilla extract.

Cinnamon Toast to Live For

You have succeeded. The toast is awesome. You are awesome.

I have emerged triumphantly from this challenge, the gauntlet having been thrown down, and the Almond Extract having wrestled Vanilla to the ground. Take That, Rural Chuck Wagon Lady. Your move.

Picks and Pans

You’re gonna love the clever wordplay here at Metakitchen HQ. As much as you love your favorite pan.

This here is gonna be one of those hybrid posts. By that, we mean that there will be a little info, a little promotional stuff, and a little fun. All rolled into one beautiful little package we call “Picks and Pans.”

One note: we’re running a very transparent operation here at Metakitchen, so we’ll tell you up front that there will be a clearly labeled ADVERTISEMENT or two within this post. That means an affiliate link, so we’ll be compensated if you purchase using the link. But we’re in the information and entertainment and connection business (but apparently NOT the comma business) here, so let’s try to do all three.

ADVERTISEMENT: Free Shipping on’s Exclusive 12-in. Everyday Pan <– Our advice is that you check this one out. You’ll see why in a hot second.

Everyone has a favorite pan, right? Frying pan, or sautee pan, or a saucier. Sometimes it takes a few years to get your favorites figured out – trial and error, more trial, more error. And who hasn’t had a run-in with cast iron?

metakitchen picks and pans

Some thoughts, then, about pans. Or, our picks of the pans. Thus the name: picks and pans.

Picks and Pans

First up, the graphic. Left to right, four different pans. We’ll give you our favorite, but first, here they are:

  1. Far left, Cuisinart non-stick frying pan. Purchased for…probably more than we should have paid.
  2. Anolon, deep, 9-inch non-stick. Anodized. Works okay…and happens to have a lid that fits perfectly (from another set). Got it from Freecycle, of all places. Don’t judge.
  3. Our favorite: Thomas Rosenthal. Who? What? If memory serves, we actually got this as a promotion from the local grocery store – you know, shop enough somewhere and they really want your business. It’s a 10-inch skillet, and it has become the family go-to for eggs and just about everything else we use a skillet for. (Which would include…eggs.)
  4. Calphalon, non-stick, 9″ wok-style pan. Works great, but, I’m not sure we use it enough.

Trial and error have played a role in which pieces of cookery we like, and which ones we try to avoid. These four go-tos happen to all be non-stick, and there’s one thing they have in common: they can’t go in the dishwasher.


Care and Feeding of Nonstick Pans

So we don’t use anything other than wood or plastic to stir – spatulas or spoons only, no metal whisks with any of these.

Did we mention they can’t go in the dishwasher? They also shouldn’t get more than a mild scrubbing, either. This means using the soft side of the sponge, and not the scratchy side. The worst of the four, the Cuisinart, needs to soak more often than the other three – its non-stick qualities aren’t all that great, to be honest.

What About Cast Iron?

We’re still sniffing around for the best cast iron pan – we haven’t found it yet, but we’re eager (since, if you’ve visited the post about cooking steak, you’ll see at least one uses a cast iron skillet). [ADVERTISEMENT: When we look for one, we’ll use to do so. We’ve actually been subscribers to their email newsletter for awhile now. Good stuff there.]

If you use cast iron, though, you’ll want to learn the best way to clean it: you can try one of these videos. First, YouTuber Paul Wheaton sets this cleaning method – which involves boiling the gunk off – to music.

Honestly, though, I prefer this method, from the chef-owner (Chef “T”) of Tspoons, a cool-looking cooking school in Orange County, California. Why? Salt, vegetable oil – which we’ve heard about from a few people as the de rigeur method.

 What’s the Point?

We told you up top that we’re here to Inform, Entertain, and Connect. So we’ve informed you that…we prefer non-stick, we use the one that we got from the grocery store the most often, and we’re not yet in the cast iron game. We hope we’ve entertained you with two cast iron cleaning videos. And…we connect you with because we like their work, and, especially, we think that their proprietary 12-inch pan, which we link to above, is worth another look. [THAT’S AN ADVERTISEMENT LINK THERE.]

See you next time.


Sous Vide + Blow Torch

We’re the new kid on the block in the food blogging portal universe. So, of course, our post on steaks showcased our naivete.


sous vide blowtorch

Thanks, Sansaire.

That “7 Ways to Cook Steak” post. From the other day. Our…what…fifth day of existence? That’s the one that got people questioning us, and got us looking around for sous vide videos. Especially ones with a blow torch. (Or “blowtorch” if you prefer the one-word version.) So here we are: Sous Vide + Blow Torch.

BTW, if you are employed in either the sous vide or blow torch industries, give us a ring. We’d like to try out your products. Seriously. Call me.

Anyway…while we wait for those to come in the mail (ahem), why not share a video? Or two?

First up, while long-ish at ten minutes and change, this video from YouTuber “CTP” might change the way you think about cooking steak.

Sous Vide + Blow Torch

But…but…wait…vacuum-sealed meat thrown into a water bath? Sounds so…weird.

He’s got the main science down here – aside from a couple questions in the YouTube comments about whether or not to use the wood cutting board, and whether pepper is flammable – the French phrase “sous-vide” actually means “under vacuum.” It’s “low and slow,” like you hear the barbecue people describe their method of cooking, but even lower: meat is cooked at 131-140 degrees, and the goal is to have the temperature of the meat equal to that of the water bath.

Obligatory Wikipedia Link Here: Sous Vide.

Sous Vide Equipment

The leader so far…at least the one that pops up highest on Google when we searched…is this bad boy from Anova Culinary. At $179 it’s more affordable than some of the other options – even with your Bed Bath & Beyond coupon that seems to show up in the mail every day.

Here’s a screengrab from their website; this looks like a serious machine.

Sous Vide Machine

Thanks, Anova Culinary.

Serious must be the operative word; the website “Serious Eats” gives this machine props.

But…do you really need a machine? Or can you whip up something without having one of these machine thingies?

Sous Vide Duck Breast – with no machine!

Food Wishes delivers the goods here…this insanely easy kitchen hack uses just a Ziploc bag, an accurate thermometer, a big stock pot, and a silicone mat. Then he crisps the duck in a frying pan. And I’m hungry.

Blow Torch?

I’m a guy, so I think that is a rhetorical question. You could skip to the end of the first video to watch the blow torch in action, or you could avoid the blow torch like the duck video above (a high heat sear at the end is gonna give you the crusty, charred flavor you want).

Or you can watch all 45 seconds of this video, where the blow torch takes center stage.


And, if you’re reading this and want to get me a Sous Vide machine to try out… it’s dave [at] metakitchen [dot] co.