Obedient Ingredients

A place to put cooking ideas to the test.

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Starbucks Rolls Out Harry Potter Butterbeer. Nope.

Here is an announcement that Starbucks is starting to serve a Harry Potter themed Butterbeer. The title enthusiastically states “Starbucks Is Now Serving Butterbeer! Get the Harry Potter-Inspired Recipe Here!!!!!!” [Extra exclamation marks added].

This sounds just as sugary and gross as I expected it to be. Also pretty uninspiring.

If you want a breakdown of Harry Potter Butterbeer recipes out there on the internet, feel free to go to Obedient Ingredient’s most-viewed post: homemade Butterbeer recipes. You can also read about actual experiments I tried, including an authentic Butterbeer recipe with, you know, butter and beer.

Here is the Starbucks recipe:

  • A Crème Frappuccino base, made with whole milk (not skim or 2%, which will mess up the consistency)
  • 3 pumps of caramel syrup
  • 3 pumps of toffee nut syrup
  • Top with caramel drizzle

Here is the hot recipe:

  • Whole milk steamer
  • Caramel syrup (2 pumps for a tall, 3 for grande, 4 for venti)
  • Toffee nut syrup (2 pumps for a tall, 3 for grande, 4 for venti)
  • Cinnamon Dolce syrup (2 pumps for a tall, 3 for grande, 4 for venti)
  • Top with whipped cream and salted caramel bits
  • Optional: 1 shot of espresso (2 for a grande or venti)

According to the E! author, if you hate Harry Potter, you are a sugar/health snob:

‘Non-Potterheads might describe it as “pretty nerdy and HOLY HAGRID! That is way too much sugar for one drink! You are going to get diabetes if you drink that!” To each their own.’

Ten points from Starbucks. Go to detention in Snape’s office.

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Homemade Bitters

This summer’s project is homemade bitters.

The best way I’ve seen bitters described goes something like this: You can have all of these great ingredients and amazing flavor combinations in a cocktail, but the addition of bitters makes you come back for me.

I’m not sure where I read that, but I enjoy the sentiment and agree; bitters in a cocktail add a depth to the drinking experience that is enticing.

I made four bitters:

  • House bitters
  • Coffee-Pecan
  • Charred Cedar
  • Apple


Everything is taken from this great book by Brad Thomas Parsons called Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All with Cocktails, Recipes and Formulas. Check it out.

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Pictures from San Francisco Trip

I took 6 days to visit SF, a city I’ve never been to before. While I was happy to see some good friends (and make new ones), the primary purpose of the trip was for food and drink.

Here are some photos. Below is a list (with links) to every place I stopped at.



More after the break.

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DC business ranks in America’s Top 50 Coffee Shops

These guys are great. I believe I even submitted a post about them over a year ago.

Yup, I posted this link from another blog. I really enjoy their coffee. I want to take barista lessons through them. 

There is a shop right on my way to work. 

I love coffee. Perhaps I’ll do a DC Coffee Tour similar to my New York City coffee tour.


New York City Coffee Tour

I spent a day in NYC and wanted to check out coffee places. Great coffee places!

Using a few Reddit posts and other sites, I compiled a list of coffee places I wanted to go to. I made a Google Maps route of the locations, went old school and printed out said map, and stopped by most of these places with a friend of mine.

It was a lot of fun and it was exciting to try new methods of brewing (such as the Aeropress and the Clever Coffee Brewer … which most people don’t know about yet is really great), and the distinct flavors of beans (Burundi coffee is very sweet and acidic, yet Bolivian coffee is robust and smooth).

I am sure there are other great places in NYC for coffee, but for a fun time with coffee enthusiasts, do a tour. You’ll be wired at the end, but you’ll have a greater appreciation for coffee.

Here is my coffee tour:


Sea Salt in Coffee?

Coffee can be a sacred thing.

No matter how you treat your coffee –  whether you treat this universally-loved drink as a necessity to function as a productive or even awake human being, or whether you ritualize the meticulous step-by-step process with your freshly roasted beans to appease the coffee gods – coffee is important to many people.

Some get by fine with their same Folgers or Starbucks blends, and could care less about things such as “freshly roasted”, “perfect water temperature”, “whole beans vs. ground.”

Some people care (read:obsess) over the different brewing methods: there is drip, but then we get into more fancy territory with devices such as the French Press, Aeropress, cold brewing, Chemex, Siphon, and pour over … and this is just normal coffee. I’m not even talking about espressos.

This post will focus on my preferred method of brewing – the French Press – and look into an interesting trick given to us by none other than Alton Brown:

Putting salt into the coffee.

Is there a difference in one’s coffee when sea salt is added to the brewing process?

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