Appreciating Wife

Appreciating Wife

One of the things that I could not possibly ever come close to achieving is appreciating my wife enough. Although I do try to constantly show her gratitude and appreciation, Mrs. Ramdolfi simply does not get enough credit for everything that she does. Perhaps it’s that absence makes the heart grow fonder why some distance exacerbated my fondness, but I’m rather fond of her as it is. That said, after a weekend apart from her, I came back to the most loving, thoughtful, and stunning wife — not to mention an impeccable apartment!

This was our first weekend apart as a married couple, and despite our nightly calls and constant text messages, the 270 miles that physically separated us provided me with enough distance to better appreciate just how much she means to me. She is my better half. I’m not just talking about a partner to divide domestic chores like washing dishes while I vacuum the apartment — though I do very much appreciate that. But rather, I’m taking about someone who will listen to you at the end of a long day and care about you, someone who thinks of your needs before their own, someone that makes you want to share life with them — and who also wants to share life with you. To me, she is that and so much more.

Admittedly, it did not take a weekend apart for me to draw these conclusions, I’ve known them from the beginning. But it certainly made me acknowledge them and reminded me that I should never take her for granted. For those reasons, when I saw her waiting to pick me up from Union Station, she was sight for sore eyes. We embraced one another and proceeded to secure some In-N-Out burgers. After dinner I gave her the fruit tart I had purchased at Eataly, and she surprised me with a copy of the most anticipated movie of the year. I think it may go without saying, but it’s always worth repeating, I love and appreciate my wife.

Tell me, in which ways have you been shown appreciation? Who have you been appreciated by? When was the last time you showed someone appreciation?

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(Featured Image by: EverTwo Fims)

We’re Back!

We’re Back!

Dear Caffeinated Nation,

It’s been a while! So much has happened since we last spoke. For starters, it’s Autumn. The leaves have turned orange, the weather has encouraged us to dive into our closets for those warm sweaters, and if you’re anything like us, you are over the moon because it’s holiday season! But before we get in the holiday spirit, we have so much to share about the best summer thus far. Things to look forward to in the next few weeks:

The Wedding: We finally got our wedding pictures and we could not be more happy! We are thrilled to re-live our happiest day yet through the most stunning photographs and video we could have hoped for — and we cannot wait to share (and print) them!

The Honeymoon: In what seemed like the blink of an eye, we went to and came back from Hawaii. Our trip to Maui was everything we had hoped for and more. In fact, if I close my eyes and focus, I can still hear the waves from our condo’s balcony.

Married Life: Finally, we can truly share life as a married couple! Much like our engaged life, it consists of adventures in Los Angeles. Among other things, you can expect museums, restaurants, and of course:

Coffee: Lots of coffee. For instance, I’m having some at this very moment as I type. How else are we going to keep this blog caffeinated? Cheers!

It is our hope that by sharing these stories we can spread some positivity, inspire you to explore the world (starting perhaps with your own neighborhood as we are doing with LA), and of course, share a cup of coffee.

Truly yours,

The Ramdolfis

Tell us, what have you been up to since Summer? What are you looking forward to the most in Autumn? What would you like to read more about on our blog?

Thank you so much for visiting our corner of the internet! If you enjoyed this post, please make sure to subscribe and follow us on Instagram for more caffeinated content! Have an awesome day! ☕️️

(Featured Image by: Pixabay)

Have A Lovely Weekend

Have A Lovely Weekend

Good morning caffeinated nation — it’s morning somewhere in the world. I hope your weekend is wonderful thus far! Today we wanted to share a dash of positivity by sharing our morning.

Full disclosure, I am not sure that I subscribe to karma (a concept that can be summarized with “what goes around comes around“). But I am a firm believer in treating others as you would like to be treated.

At the same time, I think it’s a good idea to add positivity into the world, without expecting anything in return. It’s just a better way of life. As such, this morning Wife was the recipient of this weekend’s first random act of kindness.

After a long week at work, we were happy to sleep in today. But our four-legged feline had other plans. She jumped ferociously across the bed waking us up to serve her breakfast, which wife generously took care of — that’s when inspiration struck.

It occurred to me to brighten Wife’s day with some flapjacks for breakfast! She loves it when I cook them for her, and today was not the exception. Kodiak Cakes’ 100% whole grain mix, milk, and an egg mixed and cooked in a buttered griddle, yielded the delicious breakfast above.

I was happy to see Wife happy. Now we venture into our weekend thankful for each other. Quick appreciation note, I love the “Hubby” coffee mug (pictured) that she surprised me with earlier this week. Thank you amazing, loving, thoughtful wife!

Tell me, what are your plans for the weekend? Do you like to sleep in, or wake up early to seize the day? What is your favorite topping on flapjacks?

Thank you so much for visiting our corner of the internet! If you enjoyed this post, please make sure to subscribe and follow us on Instagram for more caffeinated content! Have an awesome day! ☕️️

(Featured Image by: Mr. Ramdolfi)

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The Pizza Cookery

The Pizza Cookery

After securing the pizza ingredients, it was time to channel my inner Master Chef. I feel confident with this challenge, I have been perfecting this dish for over a decade. That said, you do not win Master Chef by playing it safe, so I decided to try a few new things such as garlic salt to stand out from the competition — I can hear Gordon Ramsay asking me in his British accent “Why on earth would you choose to try something you’ve never done before on such a crucial night?

Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately for me, today’s dish will not be evaluated by our standard judges; but rather, by the most important person on earth, my stunning wife. She has flown all the way from the living room to be in this Master Chef kitchen with us tonight. I feel privileged and honored to be cooking for such a distinguished guest tonight.

I am looking at my fresh basil, succulent Roma tomato, and spicy jalapeno, and I feel good about what’s in my metaphorical basket. I am ready when suddenly, in an unprecedented turn of events, a new judge emerges from behind the scenes, right in the middle of the competition — a first in Master Chef. Introducing for the first time, our beloved third member of the family, Bagheera.

Bagheera, or Baggsy as I like to call her, is an even tougher judge. She’s been in the eating business for 3 years, and has an insatiable desire to eat all the cat food worldwide. Now, she’s looking for the one person good enough to become America’s first, Baggsy Chef. Just look at her intently evaluating the freshness of the basil. With 90 minutes on the clock, the competition begins, now!

Graham Elliot approaches my station and asks me why pizza. “As an American of partial Italian descent, pizza is very close to my heart” I reply while focusing on adding the right amount of salt to my flour. “What’s the most important thing to do right now for your dish?” he asks. “The dough, I need to make sure it has enough time to rise” I respond as I begin to knead the dough. “Will you have enough time to let the dough rise?” he follows up. “Yes Chef” I assure him. “Good luck!” he says with skeptical undertones. “Thank you Chef” I conclude the conversation as I move on to the sauce.

With just enough time for the pizza to bake, I place it in the oven and hope that the risks pay off. I stare at my pie through the oven window as the crusts begin to turn golden brown. The clock keeps ticking. I look at the pie, then at the clock, and back to the pie. We are down to the last few minutes. I open the oven door, confirm it is cooked, and take the pie out. “60 seconds remaining,” I hear the judges say. I briefly let the pizza cool down before plating. “5, 4, 3, 2, 1, hands up!” they shout.

It came down to the last second, but I did it! Feeling accomplished, the judges ask me to come up. Joe Bastianich makes his way to me, “describe your plate” he commands. I imagine him throwing my plate in the trash, then snap out of it. “Today I present an American rendition of a traditional Margherita pie composed of fresh mozzarella, Roma tomatoes instead of San Marzano, and organic basil, drizzled with garlic-infused olive oil.” He looks at my plate, then at me. We make eye contact when, enter our guest judges, wife and Baggsy.

The wife is pleased and the Baggsy is satisfied just sniffing. I exhale a sigh of relief! That was an intense challenge, one that ultimately was worth it just to see my gorgeous wife smile.

Tell me, have you ever made pizza from scratch? Do you enjoy cooking, or do you prefer take-out? What is your favorite dish to cook?

Thank you so much for visiting our corner of the internet! If you enjoyed this post, please make sure to subscribe and follow us on Instagram for more caffeinated content! Have an awesome day! ☕️️

(Featured Image by: Mr. Ramdolfi)

The Pizza Ingredients

The Pizza Ingredients

The wife and I have been watching Master Chef lately — a famous cooking competition show that we had somehow managed to unintentionally evade since its inception a decade ago. It was originally intended to be background noise as we took care of chores such as folding laundry or washing dishes. But with time, we started to pay attention. Before we knew it, we were invested. Now, I am inspired to cook.

I, like most people, have passionately loved pizza since, well, since I can remember. For that reason, 13 years ago I decided to try making my own, from scratch. Long story short, it was disgusting. The dough was under-cooked, the sauce was unbearably salty, and the toppings were sub-par — the memory still haunts me. Over a decade later, through perseverance and multiple, multiple attempts, I have perfected The Ramdolfi Pizza™ (not actually trademarked).

Master Chef in mind and inspiration in heart, we drove to the grocery store to acquire the freshest of ingredients for the freshest of pizzas. Admittedly, Mrs. Ramdolfi is vastly more talented in selecting the perfect fruits, including tomatoes — and yes, they are technically considered fruits. For that reason, the stunning wife pictured above helped me pick the perfect tomato for this pie.

Ready to create the perfect pizza sauce with the perfect tomatoes, I proceeded to inspect the store’s basil for freshness, as pictured above. Satisfied with their selection, we moved on to the garlic, mozzarella, and other secret ingredients. It’s actually a rather simple recipe, but it is one that I’ve been developing since the mid 2000’s.

Fun fact: The wife enjoys riding the ends of shopping carts — up until I decide to take pictures, then she is just unamused. I like to give her a hard time, but the truth is that I think it’s adorable, which is why I also tend to encourage it.

Back to Master Chef. Upon securing the most delicious ingredients, I spotted some items that beckoned me with their tempting convenience…

I entertained them for an instant, and even lifted them just to confirm what I instinctively knew, they were but a mockery of Italian cuisine. Could they make a decent pie? Maybe. But would I have to turn in my Italian card? Absolutely. Unamused by these Americanized ingredients, we headed straight to the self-checkout stations, and on to our Master Chef challenge at home.

Tell me, do you like to have shows playing as background noise? Do you pronounce it tomato or to-mah-to? Would you rather buy premade meals or make your own from scratch?

Thank you so much for visiting our corner of the internet! If you enjoyed this post, please make sure to subscribe and follow us on Instagram for more caffeinated content! Have an awesome day! ☕️️

(Featured Image by: Mr. Ramdolfi)

Wedding Pictures Preview

Wedding Pictures Preview

With the wedding behind us, we must now wait up to four more weeks to receive our pictures and video — and we can’t wait! As such, it occurred to us to look up our photographer to see if they had uploaded any pictures, and we were pleasantly surprised to find ourselves on their website! In fact, we are on their Yelp, Wedding Wire, and The Knot pages! We still cannot wait to see the rest of our pictures (and video), but at least now we have a few to enjoy until then.

Tell me, isn’t my wife stunning? Seriously, have you ever seen a more beautiful sight? Ok, sorry, I just love her so much! Let’s try that again. Tell me, what are your plans for the weekend?

Thank you so much for visiting our corner of the internet! If you enjoyed this post, please make sure to subscribe and follow us on Instagram for more caffeinated content! Have an awesome day! ☕️️

(Featured Image by: EverTwo Fims)

Starbucks Coffee

Starbucks Coffee

At last, it is time to cover what I referred to on my first coffee review as my measuring gauge, Starbucks. This is because Starbucks is neither gourmet nor vending machine quality, it is simply a good cup. It stands in the middle, and for that reason, it is my point of reference.

Starbucks’ Menu

While at CityWalk, the wife indulged my request to stop for a cup of my favorite roast from Starbucks, their blonde roast — the fact the that wife is blonde is but a fun coincidence. Fun fact: I’ve been a gold member of Starbucks’ rewards program since 2011, but an enthusiastic patron since 2009.

Review: When I bought this cup, I thought I would not even need to try it to write this review. I’ve been ordering this cup (almost exclusively) for at least four years, and drinking Starbucks in general for ten years. And yet, I was conflicted. I tasted it, and there it was, the comforting, smooth, mouth-watering flavor of bright, crisp, coffee. But I wondered, is it it’s familiarity that made it so comforting? Was I biased? Maybe, but I’ve had enough variety in my life to objectively deem it a decent cup of lightly roasted coffee. Like I said, it is a good cup.

At $2.45 a grande (medium), and I know that price by heart (or $2.85 if you’re paying the CityWalk location premium), this cup is a solid choice. After all, there is a reason why Starbucks is a coffee juggernaut around the world. Before I present The Ramdolfi Score, I feel the need to clarify that when this cup is freshly made via pour over, it is closer to a 7/10. Alas, your average morning brew is not always up to par. The Ramdolfi Score: 5/10.

Tell me, are you a fan of Starbucks? Do you prefer dark roasts or light roast? Are you a black coffee or frappuccino type of person?

Thank you so much for visiting our corner of the internet! If you enjoyed this post, please make sure to subscribe and follow us on Instagram for more caffeinated content! Have an awesome day! ☕️️

(Featured Image by: Mr. Ramdolfi)