Saturday, December 27, 2008

New Year's Eve, 2008

I put together a round up of some restaurants with New Year's Eve specials. I know it is a little late but I figure it is better late than never.
Also, if you know of other options, please post them below in the comments section. Since basically every restaurant in Seattle has a special menu or some kind of special, I only posted a few.

Volterra
5411 Ballard Avenue NW across from the Bell Tower.
206 789 5100

Three Seatings in the Volterra Main Dining Room
5pm, 7:30pm and 10pm
(live Jazz Guitar at the 7:30pm and 10pm seating)

At the 5pm and 7:30pm, 5 course menu for $60 per person (excluding beverages, tax and gratuity).
For the 10pm seating, 6 course menu (excluding beverages, tax and gratuity) plus a prosecco toast at midnight and party favors for $85 per person

New Year's Eve Gala Menu
10pm Seating
($85 per person + Tax + 20% Gratuity)
Antipasti Assortiti
An assortment of festive little bites


Tortellini in Brodo
Wild Mushroom and Cheese filled pasta floating in mushroom broth


Cauliflower Custard
with pan fried prosciutto and baby greens

Olive Oil and Saffron Poached Lobster
with Risotto Nero

Choice of

Duck Confit and Housemade Duck Sausage
with Corona Bean Ragu
-or-
Veal Tenderloin
Pan Seared Veal Tenderloin on toasted brioche, grilled asparagus, fried prosciutto, and fontina fonduta
-or-
Beef Short Ribs
with Goat Cheese mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables
-or-
Seared Sea Scallops
Seared Sea Scallops in a saffron cream with potato gallette and wilted greens
-or-
Chef's Seasonal Vegetarian


Panforte di Siena
Tuscan fruit and nut cake

Chef's New Year's Eve Dessert Creation

Prosecco at Midnight



Spinasse
1531 14th ave.
206.251.7673

MENU:
Cappo D ' Anno, 31 Decembre Due Mille Otto a Cascina Spinasse

Apperitivi

Champagne

Crostini with pheasant liver pate

Crostini with pickled foraged mushrooms

Virginica oysters with Ligurian extra virgin olive oil

Antipasti

Assorted salumi with house made grissinni

Piemontese style beef tartar of local grass fed beef with Alba white truffle

Salad of chicories, marinated pheasant, pomegranate, walnuts, and parmigiano reggiano

Cauliflower with bagna cauda and toasted bread crumbs

Sformatto of leeks with fonduta and black truffles

Primi

Piemontese agnolotti in broth


Fine hand-cut pasta with sauce of yellowfoot mushrooms

Secondi

Poached homemade Cottechino, Veal tongue, and Capon with five sauces

Contorni

Lentils, Turnips sautéed in farmstead butter, Dandelion greens

Dolci

Moscato Zabaglione

Hazelnut merengue cookies

Il Vino della sera

I vini di Alfredo Roagna

2007 Dolcetto d'Alba

2001 Langhe Nebbiolo

2000 Barbaresco " Paje"

Champagne at midnight

Caffe, Grappa, Digestivi



Olivar
Loveless building, 806 E. Roy
206 322-0409

New Years Eve menu
Amuse Bouche:
Oyster, American Caviar and Cucumber
1st course:
Truffle Oil Potato Gnocchi and Cabrales with Roasted Cauliflower
2nd course:
Sea Scallops with Celery Root Puree, Pork Belly Confit
3rd course:
Rosemary and Thyme Marinated Lamb Cutlet with Almond and Garlic Flan
4th course:
Quail stuffed with Bomba Rice, Foie Gras and Brussel Sprouts
5th course:
Tarta de Navidad, Nuts and Caramel Tart with Sherry Ice Cream

The dinner is 65 dollars per person (not including tax and gratuity).


Blue Water Bistro
Live Jazz, Party favors and champagne at midnight
Dinner Special:
6-ounce lobster tail and 6-ounce filet mignon for $20.09

Friday, December 19, 2008

Free Jones Soda and Pizza at Zaw

Zaw will be providing free half size pizzas and Jones Soda to their first 100 visitors at their Ballard location beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, December 22 and Tuesday, December 23.


Ballard Zaw
5458 Leary Ave. NW
206-297-1334

Zaw Pizza serves pizza made from organic, local and seasonal ingredients.
Made to order with traditional, whole wheat, or gluten-free crusts made with organic flours from Bob's Red Mill in Portland.


For more info, click here

Note: They deliver pizza by bike. How cool is that?

Now my own question to you: What is the weirdest thing you eat on your pizza?
My favorite pizza topping is canned tuna. I like to add it when I make pizza at home.
Has anyone tried this?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Chef Demos at Delaurenti

Chef Demos at Delaurenti- Mark your Calendar
DeLaurenti Specialty Food & Wine is celebrating the arrival of olio novello – new oils – from some of the best extra virgin olive oil producers in Italy. To celebrate this, there are chef demos from Dec 19th-22nd.

Dec. 19, 2-4 p.m.
Garrett Abel, of DeLaurenti, will prepare cannellini bean soup with bruschetta using Umbria's Ponticelli Olio Novello.

Dec. 20, 12-2 p.m.
Ethan Stowell, of Union, Tavolata, and How to Cook a Wolf, will prepare mozzarella bruschetta, handmade spaghetti with Parmigiano Reggiano, and hamachi crudo with lime and chilies. He will feature Sicily's Olio Verde.

Dec. 21, 12-2 p.m.
Jeff Bergman, food consultant and chef, will prepare slow-cooked gigante beans with sage, using the Laudemio Frescobaldi oil from Tuscany.

Dec. 22, 2-4 p.m.
Armandino Batali, of Salumi, will prepare whitefish with Meyer lemons and Salumi cotecchino with lentils. He will feature Tuscany's Tenuta Capezzana oil.

For more information about DeLaurenti (1435 First Ave.; 206-622-0141), click here

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Baby Has Arrived

Just popping in to say that I haven't written for a while because I just gave birth to my first baby boy. I thought I would have time to write between feedings and poops but I am taking everyone's advice and sleeping when I can.

I will soon return to foodie land after I catch up on my sleep and finally sit down for a meal (instead of munching on granola bars while feeding).

Thanks to all my readers for reading my blog (my other baby) and sorry if the email responses are a little slow.

Frantic Foodie

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Andrew Carmellini is Coming To Seattle to Promote His New Book , Urban Italian

When: Wednesday, Nov 19th
Who: Andrew Carmellini and his co-author wife Gwen Hyman
Where: Tavolata

More Details: Chef Ethan Stowell of Tavolata will be creating a multi-course Italian feast inspired by the recipes found in URBAN ITALIAN. Dinner begins at 6pm and cost to attend is $100/person (excluding tax and gratuity), which includes all food, wine, and a signed copy of the book. Reservations are required
Tavolata (206) 838-8008

For more about the book, click here

Andrew Carmellini's Urban Italian is that rare breed of cookbook: written by a skilled, top-tier professional, yet at all times accessible, unintimidating, and inspiring to the home cook. In short, it's everything a cookbook should be. The conversational style provides both a thrilling introduction and the feeling, while cooking, that the chef is standing next to in the kitchen, forgiving your mistakes, urging you along, painlessly expanding your reservoir of knowledge. In a world awash with Italian cookbooks, this one's a must-have."--Anthony Bourdain

This is a Kim Ricketts event, for more info,

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What the Heck are You Yelping About?

The New York Times published an article about the Yelp phenomenon.

I myself am a yelp reader. I admit it. I look everything up on Yelp.
Do I believe what I read? Nope, most of the time I don't. So why do I read it?
I ask myself the same question.

First of all, most of the people who write on Yelp are under 40, like stated in the article above. Yes, I am 29 years old but I actually seem to think that most of the people are under 30 or mid- twenties from the way they spend. I have seen Yelpers call 'reasonably priced" restaurants, "over-priced" time and time again.
No I can not afford to eat at restaurants that charge between 12-18 dollars an entree every day but they are by far not over-priced in my book. Sure it's nice to have a Vietnamese pho dinner for under 10 dollars, but that's just what it is.

There is no reason to compare an everyday eatery with a restaurant in which a chef has a full menu of different dishes all made from scratch, a higher standard of food and seasonal ingredients. If you are going to review a restaurant, make sure you review it with other restaurants of the same status in mind.

Yelpers have no mercy.
I will use Seattle's newly opened Poppy as an example. I chose Poppy because I have not tried it yet and have no opinion on the place.

The day after it opened there were so many reviews. Many of them on the " I am disappointed" side. It was the opening night. Have Mercy. No restaurant reviewer in their right mind would go in to a restaurant on the first night and criticize the wait staff for not knowing their stuff. Everyone knows that a restaurant needs a few days to figure out how things go. If you want to be the first to review a restaurant, that's fine but take everything into consideration. That's like calling a writer unskilled while reading their rough draft.

I have to admit there is one thing about Yelp that I love. That is the events page.
Whenever freebies are being given out, the yelper will be happy to yelp it to the world from the top of their whiny little lungs. I appreciate that.

So yes, I will continue to read Yelp but the restaurant reviews, I will continue not to take them too seriously. I might use Yelp as an indication of what to order, if everyone loves the duck maybe it is worth a try. I will use Yelp to find out the address of a place. I won't use Yelp as a strong opinion. Yelp won't prevent me from trying a restaurant.
Yelp has taught me one thing.
Every little Pisher can find a place to exercise power.
Any thoughts?
What do you think?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Theo Chocolate Events


I got this email yesterday from Theo Chocolate with chocolate events for November. After trying to decide which chocolate events I would like to post about it, I came to the conclusion that I would post the whole list as is and make sure you don't miss out on any chocolate. I couldn't live with the guilt if you missed out on chocolate because of me.

The list as is....

NOVEMBER 7 @ 6:30 – 8pm
Cheese & Chocolate
Who knew? These two decadent foods are
complex and wide ranging in flavor profiles but
we have discovered some pairings that will inspire
sensory shockwaves. The experts from Delaurenti's
superb cheese department will help guide us
through a revelatory tasting.
$25 per person (call 206.632.5100 for reservations

NOVEMBER 14 @ 8pm
Cozy Movie Night
We will be showing the sexy movie, Chocolat,
and serving up hot chocolate and snacks. Bring
some pillows to curl up by the fire.
$15 per person (call 206.632.5100 for reservations)

NOVEMBER 15 @ 11am
Ganache Demonstration
Have you ever wondered what ganache is or how it is
made? Then this demonstration is for you! Our head
chocolatier Autumn Martin will steward you through
the entire process of our ganache making from flavor
development to decorating!
$20 per person (call 206.632.5100 for reservations

NOVEMBER 20 @ 6:30 – 8pm
Wine & Chocolate
Come and taste amazing wine & chocolate pairings
with an innovative approach presented by Pike and
Western Wine shop. Please call Pike & Western
206.441.1307 for reservations.
$40 per person

DECEMBER 6 @ 11am – 4pm
Confection Workshop
Have you been interested in making your own
chocolate confections for holiday gifts or as a treat
just for you? We invite you to spend the day with
our head chocolatier, Autumn Martin for a
hands-on confection making class. You will learn
how to make ganache, temper chocolate and enrobe
the fillings! We will explore different methods for
decorating and wrapping your delicious creations
and you will walk away with the fruits of your labor!
All materials and light snacks are included.
Space is limited so make your reservation soon!
$125 (call 206.632.5100 for reservations)
DECEMBER 12 @ 6:30 – 8pm

Port & Chocolate
Come and enjoy port and chocolate by candlelight.
This evening will bring a warm glow to your cheeks
and tummy as we enjoy 4 styles of this wintry
favorite: Ruby, Tawny, Late Bottled Vintage and Vintage.
$40 per person (call 206.632.5100 for reservations)
DECEMBER 15 @ 6 – 9pm
Theo Social & Sale
Theo will be staying open late to accommodate
your last minute shopping needs. Come and take
advantage of some very special sale prices, while enjoying
complimentary samples of our signature
sipping chocolate. No reservations necessary, just
come on by!
JANUARY 3 @ TBA

Monday, October 27, 2008

Chef Ethan Stowell to Open New Restaurant Soon

Chef Ethan Stowell of How to Cook A Wolf, Union, and Tavolata is opening another restaurant called Anchovies and Olives on the corner of 15th Avenue and Pine in Seattle's Capitol Hill.

The kitchen will be completely open with only a large-scale butcher block separating the dining area and kitchen. A bar will provide seating for eight and the dining room will accommodate 36 guests. Anchovies & Olives will be open from 5pm to 12am seven nights a week.

Anchovies & Olives will have a daily menu ($5 to $18 items). Every dish will have a seafood item. Some menu examples are Grilled Octopus with Chickpeas & Parsley Pesto ($12), Grilled Porcini Mushrooms with Bottarga, Parmigiano-Reggiano & Rosemary ($11). Spaghetti with Anchovy, Garlic, Chilies & Herbed Crumbs ($14) Grilled Branzino with Artichokes, Lemon & Celery ($18) and Baked Ocean Trout with Farro, Fried Cauliflower & Prosciutto ($15).

This is exciting since "How to Cook a Wolf" is a favorite of mine. It always makes me laugh when friends call me asking me the same question each time. " Keren, do you know a place called How to Eat a Wolf or something?".

Friday, October 24, 2008

Macrina Bakery



I first heard of Macrina bakery two and a half years ago on a Rachel Ray show on Seattle ( yes, Rachel Ray). Since then I have been to Macrina many times and it has become one of my favorite bakeries.
My favorite is the Challah Bread. It's soft, sweet and just perfect. I figured out a trick. A good way to keeping it looking untouched is if you pull some out of the bottom and put it back laying flat. No one will know the difference. It worked on my husband.


Macrina just opened a new bakery in the Sodo District.
The SODO location is now home to a cafe, bread kitchen, wedding cake production, wholesale production and Macrina's main office. The place is beautiful!

Macrina Sodo
1943 First Avenue South
Seattle, WA 98134
Phone: 206.623.0919
Catering Phone: 206.448.4089

Monday, October 20, 2008

God in a Cup, Michaele Weissman in Seattle


Yesterday afternoon, I organized another Seattle Food Blogger event. Thanks to Traca,
from Seattle Tall Poppy who introduced me to the author and made all this possible (you foodie matchmaker you!)

The Seattle Food Bloggers met up with Michaele Weissman, the journalist and author behind the captivating book that everyone is talking about, God in a Cup.

In God in a Cup, Michaele heads on a journey with young coffee buyers Peter Guliano of Counter Culture Coffee and Geoff Watts of Intelligentsia Coffee to Nicaragua, Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia chronicling the journeys in a book revealing many aspects of the coffee world. One of those books that reads so smoothly; by the time you actually take a break you realize that you are half way through (I read half of it last night).

We met at the Muse coffee and Brent the owner gave us his own take on the coffee world. As we sat around the comfy couch at this cozy cafe, we talked and sipped and got all the answers we were looking for.
Some topics of discussion were the comparison between wine and coffee. What is it that makes coffee tasting more complex? Why is it easier to taste different nuances in wine? Another important point was the effect that milk has on coffee and the fact that many cafes are opting for organic milk despite the difference in price.

None of this would be complete without the list of bloggers and writers who attended (by cruising the blogs you can read more about the experience).
The bloggers that attended were Traca of Seattle Tall Poppy who turned Michaele into a Seattle enthusiast. After a tour with Traca, how could you not love the place?
There was Jake of Daily Munch (I write there too), Mina and Bruce of Northwest Stir, Joann, freelance writer and also a part of Daily Munch and Dawn and Eric of Wright Eats.

You can catch Michaele this week at a One Pot dinner with Cafe Vita Coffee and Scott Emerick of Cremant in the Kitchen (a Kim Ricketts event)
Time: 6 p.m.
Date: Oct 21
$ 40
hebberoy@gmail.com to make reservations

For Michaele's website and blog, click here

If you have a food blog (that is at least 3 months old) and would like to be invited to food blogger events, please contact me at: Kerenlovestocook@gmail.com

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Brunch It Up Bistro-Style at Cremant

Cremant is now serving brunch on weekends as of yesterday. Brunch hours are 10:00 A.M. 2:00 P.M. Saturdays and Sundays. I have my eye on a few things I can't wait to order; bacon and egg pasta ($12), Brioche French Toast with Hazelnut Praline and Creme Anglaise ($10) and Chocolate Clafoutis ($6) because brunch is a the perfect excuse to eat sweet desserts early in the day.

For Halloween (oct 31) and All Saint's Day (Nov 1), they are offering "Bones and Blood" on the Menu: Roasted Marrow Bones with Fleur de Sel and grilled bread and Choucroute Garnie (Sauerkraut with blood sausage, bouding blanc and porc loin).

They have a beautiful private dining room that seats between 18-20 people so if you are looking for a place to have a party or event, you should check it out. There is no fee to reserve the room. You can order of the menu or have a special menu put together by the chef.

Cremant
1423 34th Avenue
(34th and Union)
Seattle, WA 98122
206-322-4600

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Chef Geary at Sizzleworks


Chef Geary, Chef and author of The Complete Baking Book is coming to Sizzleworks in Bellevue.


Click here for more details.....

When: Oct 20 th , 6:30 PM
$ 95

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Flavor Bible, Culinary Genius!

Picture Taken by Jake Ludington from Daily Munch


Last Saturday some of Seattle food bloggers got together to meet up with Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, the award winning authors of "Culinary Artistry", "What to Drink with What You Eat" and the " The Flavor Bible".
The bloggers were Ronald of Cornichon, Michael of Herbivoracious, Mark of Plate Lunch, Jake of Daily Munch (which I write for too) and Traca of Seattle Tall Poppy.

We met at the Muse Coffee Company, which is wonderful little cafe located in Queen Anne. The kind of place where you can work on your computer (free wifi), grab a coffee and admire the art on the walls. The name really suits the place because you can't leave that place without finding your muse.

"The Flavor Bible" is nothing less than a must-have in every creative cook's household.
No, it's not a recipe book, it's a reference book that gives you lists of which foods harmonize well together.
How does it work?
You look up the ingredient that you want to use and then read down the list of foods that pair well with this ingredient. For example: Pineapple has many ingredients on the list such as bananas, brandy, avocado (surprising), black pepper and so many more. There is also a list of flavor affinities...pineapple+ avocado+ watercress, pineapple+ coconut+ honey+ ginger and other combinations that just give you an oomph of motivation.

All the information in the book was obtained by interviewing famous chefs (Andrew is a chef himself as well) and throughout the book there are tips from these chefs and interesting dishes that these chefs make. Since I got the book, I have been carrying it around the house and playing "guess that ingredient" with my husband. He says an ingredient, we look it up and we see who can guess more combinations.

Karen and Andrew were so honest, open and genuine. Leaving each of us with the motivation to keep writing, pushing and cooking. True proof that if you work hard enough, your dreams will come true. I apologize for the sappy ending but there really is no other way to put it.
Thanks Karen and Andrew!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Karen Page & Andrew Dornenburg , The Flavor Bible

For those of you who have been dreaming of going to the Corson building for dinner.
Sunday is a good time because Karen Page & Andrew Dornenburg, authors of the The Flavor Bible will be there.

Karen Page & Andrew Dornenburg
THE FLAVOR BIBLE
September 28, 2008
6pm (sold out) & 8:30pm
$125/person (including book)
THE CORSON BUILDING with dinner prepared by chef Matthew Dillon
5609 Corson Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98108
(206) 762-3330 for reservations

The book is not a cookbook but a book about combining interesting flavors. It organizes many ingredients and explains how to cook intuitively using these ingredients. It will teach you how to pair flavors. It has been called a thesaurus for writers, a reference tool that will make you a better cook.

To listen to the duo on the radio show " In the Kitchen with Tom and Thierry," click here

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Flavor of Seattle, Flavor Flav

Have you heard of the Flavor of Seattle Card?

Flavor of Seattle is an association geared at preserving the experience of dining at local, neighborhood restaurants. It is a unique membership card for those who like to eat out.

How does it work?

A restaurant card costs 50 dollars and can be purchased at any of the restaurants printed on the back of the card.
When you spend over 50 dollars at any participating restaurants, you get 25 dollars back (Not including tax). Basically, you get to try every restaurant on the card once and save 25 dollars each time.

Note: You can't use it to pay for dinner at the restaurant that you purchase it at on the same day of purchase.


Restaurants include: Olivar, Saffron, Austin Cantina , Paragon and many more. For a complete list, click here

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Blueberry Recipes from Madison Park Cafe

Sometimes a recipe is just a recipe but sometimes recipes come with a story. The recipe can make you giggle to yourself, remind you of something or just remind you of a place. I was excited to see that Karen Binder, owner of Madison Park Cafe will be the new food columnist for the Madison Park times. Karen, a former molecular biologist, started the cafe 29 years ago. Now she will be sharing her stories, her recipes and tidbits of her food world.

Read her article , The Dark blue Jewels of the Berry World and learn how to make blueberry clafoutis from
Ruth Coffey, the Madison Park Cafe pastry chef. Find out where to pick blueberries for a really good price too.

Now I really wish I hadn't polished off all those blueberries in my cereal, guess I need to get some more.

Monday, September 15, 2008

FARM to FORK" Shopping Guidelines


This morning, I received a newsletter from Cook's World Cooking School with a list of upcoming classes. This is what I do for fun. I check out the cooking classes available.
Correction: This list happens to be an abridged version of a list posted by Cuesa, the center for urban education about sustainable agriculture. This is a non-profit that runs the
Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market in SF. For the full version , click here. While you are checking out the site, be sure to check out the recipes.




FARM to FORK" shopping Guidelines for our Food Friends at Market


Sustainable Agriculture: Agriculture that is socially just, humane, economically viable, and environmentally sound.
Conventional: Refers to standard agricultural practices widespread in the industry. Can include use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, "mono-cropping," antibiotics, hormones and other agribusiness approaches. Conventional farming in the U.S. may also include the use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). The Ferry Plaza Farmers Market prohibits the sale of any products known to contain GMOs.
Transitional: Farmers need to practice organic methods for three years on a given piece of land before the products grown there can be certified organic. "Transitional" means that the farmland is in the midst of that transition period towards organic certification.
Organically Grown/Certified Organic: All products sold as "organic" must be certified. Certification includes annual submission of an organic system plan and inspection of farm fields and processing facilities to verify that organic practices and record keeping are being followed. Certification is carried out by organizations accredited by the USDA. Organic farmers are not allowed to use synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, genetically modified crops, growth hormones, or antibiotics. Organic meat and poultry can be fed only organically-grown feed.
Heirloom: Heirloom crop varieties, also called farmers' varieties or traditional varieties, have been developed by farmers through years of cultivation, selection, and seed saving, and passed down through generations.
Vine-ripened/Tree-ripened: These terms are applied to fruit that has been allowed to ripen on the vine or tree. Many fruits that are shipped long distances are picked while still unripe and firm, and then sometimes treated with ethylene gas to "ripen" and soften them
Artisan/Artisanal: The terms "artisan" and "artisanal" imply that products are made by hand in small batches.
Free range: Free range (or free roaming) implies that a meat or poultry product comes from an animal that was raised out of confinement or was free to roam. Its use on beef is unregulated and there is no standard definition of this term. USDA requires that poultry have access to the outdoors but for an undetermined period each day. "Free range" claims on eggs are not regulated.
Grass-fed: The diet of grass-fed animals consists of freshly grazed pasture during the growing season and stored grasses (hay or grass silage) during the winter months or drought conditions. Grass feeding is used with cattle, sheep, goats, and bison. (Other terms for "grass-fed" products include "pasture-raised," "pasture-finished," and "grass
Humane: If an animal product is labeled "humane," it implies that the animals were treated with compassion. "Certified Humane" means that the animals were allowed to engage in their natural behaviors; raised with sufficient space, shelter and gentle handling to limit stress; and given ample fresh water and a healthy diet without added antibiotics or hormones. Not all "humane" claims are regulated.
No hormones: Hormones are commonly used in the commercial farming of animals such as cattle to increase the size of beef cattle or to increase the production of milk in dairy cattle. Some of these hormones are natural, some are synthetic, and some are genetically engineered. If a ranch or product professes "no hormones," this means that they do not engage in this practice.
No antibiotics: Antibiotics are given to animals such as cows, hogs and chickens in order to prevent diseases that run rampant in the cramped conditions in which many food animals are kept. When a ranch or product professes "no antibiotics," this means that they do not engage in these practices.
Naturally grown/all-natural: USDA guidelines state that "natural" meat and poultry products can only undergo minimal processing and cannot contain artificial colors, artificial flavors, preservatives, or other artificial ingredients. The claim "natural" is otherwise unregulated
Raw milk cheese: Cheese and other dairy products made from milk that is not pasteurized say "raw milk" on the label. In the U.S., raw milk cheeses are required to be aged for 60 days as a safety precaution.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Black Bottle Baby


Black Bottle Does Lunch! This Belltown Gastro-Pub is just the place to go to get some drinks and some snacks with some friends at night. I know about the lunch menu for a while, read about the Pho-bulous soup on Cornichon a while back,
but only lately did I drop by for lunch.

Prices from 7- 11 dollars with options like hot pastrami bomber, hanger steak on greens and lemon caper squid salad. Check out the lunch menu

I loved the leek and emmenthaler tart!

As I was looking around I noticed that they are expanding and opening a room for private events.

I am kicking myself for not going for lunch earlier,ouch!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sizzleworks Grand Opening, Friday September 12

If you love cooking and want to learn more, Sizzleworks is just for you.

Sizzleworks, formerly known as Rain City Cooking School is celebrating it's recent growth and success with an open house from 6 p.m-8.pm on Friday September 12.

Get a chance to meet Chef Carol Dearth and Missy Will, the new executive chef of operations. Learn about the classes coming up, the guest chef series, the basics series and other cooking classes. Sample culinary delights and interesting wines.


"Cooking should be fun as well as instructional, and we want all our participants to experience the joy of cooking as well as sampling delicious cuisine from all over the world, especially prepared by Carol and her chefs,"
Missy Will

Sizzleworks is located in Bellevue at 14111 NE 24th. If you are interested in attending, please call 425-644-4285.

Philippe Thomelin of Olivar will be teaching a Spanish class in October, sharing his recipes and secrets on making Spanish food. Each course will be paired with Spanish wines.
For more on this class and other cooking classes, click here

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Food Blogger Dinner at Olivar



Some time has passed but I still want to talk about our last food blogger dinner at Olivar. It was so nice, some new people attended and we had a whole little area of the restaurant to ourselves. We had an elephant gift exchange and this time the gifts got a little more interesting. A bag of saturn peaches, olive picks since the place is called Olivar and homemade jams.

Some of the blogs and writers: Candace from Italian Woman at the table, Ronald from Cornichon, Dawn and Eric from Wright Eats,Jake from Daily Munch, Charlyn from Duecy Plate
food writers Annie Beckman, Joann Natalia Aquino and Larry +Michaela from Vin
du Lac Winery
.
Some of the dishes we enjoyed were homemade canneloni,the famous OlivarAlbóndigas de Cordero (Meatballs made of Ground lamb, cilantro, eggplant, herb sea salt),Flamenquín de Cerdo Con Jamón y Queso(Stuffed pork loin with Serrano ham and Manchego cheese(my favorite).
If you are not familiar with Olivar, they have small plates, daily specials and prix fixe menus. Chef Philippe has a chalkboard with specials, every day there is something new to try.

We had a great time, now I have to go and plan the next one.

If you have a food blog in Seattle and would like to be invited to join us. Please email:kerenlovestocook@gmail.com

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Maximilien Happy Hour

I have been going out a lot lately, trying to enjoy the summer while I can.

I am a sucker for happy hour food. There is one place I just have to tell you about.
The happy hour at Maximilien is just wonderful. Maximilien is the French restaurant located in the Pike Place Market behind those guys who throw the fish. Let me translate this. They have a patio that overlooks the water!

The happy hour is Monday- Friday from 5 to 7pm and Saturday from 8pm to 10pm.
For 2.95, you can choose from a whole bunch of items like Mussels, Belgium Fries,
Tarte Flambé with Brie, Tomatoes and Herb and others. The food is delicious and the atmosphere is " tres Francais". J'adore!

My only regret is not trying the happy hour earlier in the summer. All those beautiful warm days have slipped away. Oh well, the view is just as gorgeous in the fall.



For the happy hour menu, Click here

Friday, August 29, 2008

Tomato Fare this Weekend

Looking for something to do this weekend?
How about the Tomato Fare?

Go for a drive to Quincy, Washington and taste over 100 different kinds of organic, locally grown, Heirloom tomatoes. There is live music, wine tasting and a lot more.

For more info, click here

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Wonderful Salad with Feta, Pears and Walnuts in Baguette Cups


I feel very lucky to know a few languages. I speak English, French and Hebrew. I know a lot of phrases in other languages but I would not say I come close to knowing them.
Knowing how to count up to 50 in Vietnamese just gets the Vietnamese ladies to crack up.
Reading cookbooks in other languages is a lot of fun. I always get introduced to new ingredients and unique food combinations. There is also a downside to using a foreign recipe; many times the temperatures are different and sometimes the ingredients vary widely in taste, especially milk products.
I got this recipe from a Hebrew Cookbook Called "The Treasure of Al Ha Shulchan" which means "The Treasure of On the Table". "On the Table" is a Hebrew food Magazine filled with recipes and ideas. The treasure is a book with all the most popular recipes from
the series.


Wonderful Sweet Salad with Feta, Pears and Walnuts in Baguette Cups

I adjusted the recipe quite a bit. Here is my version.

6 pears (peeled)
1/2 a cup of vinegar
1/2 a cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of salt
1/2 a cup of water
1 stick of cinnamon
A pinch of cardamom
6 slices of baguette.
1 endive (broken into pieces)
A few handfuls of lettuce (I used a regular mixed greens)
1 carrot (cut into strips)
120 grams of feta cheese
1/2 a cup of walnuts


1. Bring pears with vinegar, sugar, salt, water, cardamom and cinnamon to a boil.
Cook for about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and let cool. Cut pears into sticks.
Keep sweet dressing for later.

2. Heat oven to 400 degrees.

3. Pull out the insides of baguette slices (the soft part) Toast in oven for 5 minutes.

4. Mix all the rest of the ingredients (including pears) except for the nuts and cheese. Pour 1/4 of a cup of dressing on top and mix.
5. Fill baguette cups with salad and top with feta and walnuts.

The recipe calls for pomegranate seeds as well. You can use some if you find them.
I didn't use them.

Note: I usually have extra salad left over and I just eat it with the leftover dressing.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

If You Live In Seattle, You better Love Chocolate!


Lately it seems like chocolate is becoming the new Seattle choice for foodies.
New chocolatiers are everywhere and the selection is getting a little overwhelming!

Some new chocolate venues......
You can try Chocolopolis in Queen Anne or Claudio Corallo
in Ballard.


The other day I was strolling through The Chocolate Box when I noticed that they had some beautiful, yet familiar chocolates. They looked like Cosmic chocolates to me but
I wasn't sure. Could it be? Cosmic chocolates in Seattle? Oh and yes, they are here.......
Read more about Cosmic here.

Now my last tidbit of chocoinfo is that I got a little sneak peak at what Theo is offering for the holidays. Yes, I know it is early but winter is on the way in.
Flavor combinations like milk chocolate covered peanut butter and vanilla caramel graham, dark chocolate covered peanut butter with vanilla caramel graham, milk chocolate covered marshmallow with vanilla caramel graham, and dark chocolate covered marshmallow vanilla caramel graham.... I love the milk chocolate peanut butter one....

Theo will be selling S'mores from August 21-August 23. For 3 dollars a hit you can choose your own chocolate combination. The hours are from 3:00- 6:00 PM.


What is your favorite chocolate flavor? Where do you buy your chocolate?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Pappa Al Pomodoro


My version of Holly Smith's recipe



Holly Smith of Cafe Juanita is an inspiration for so many chefs.
She has her own highly successful restaurant, her own James Beard award for Best Chef in the Northwest 2008 and even has a son.
For those of you who don't know what the restaurant world is like; many long hours, hardly any free time on the weekends, strenuous physical labor in hot kitchens.
A women that can mother a child while doing all this must be some kind of super hero.

Last week Chef Holly Smith did a cooking demonstration at Whole Foods. She showed some foodies how to make Pappa Al Pomodoro. It was one of those times when a recipe isn't necessary because you actually remember all the ingredients just from watching. Not complicated just mouthwatering.

I am not exaggerating when I say that I lay in bed the next day and thought about how I was going to make this soup. Plotting how I would choose the juiciest tomatoes and squeeze them liberally while waving olive oil into the bowl like a genie with a magic wand and dabbling basil into the bowl like a fairy does with her fairy dust.
I made a lot of soup the next day and fought with my hubby over the last drop.

I will link to Rebekah Denn's PI Blog where she posted the recipe. Do not hesitate.
Holly Smith made it with heirloom tomatoes and she didn't use any canned tomatoes in her demo. In the recipe, she adds a can of San Marzano tomatoes. I am sure this has to do with the high cost of heirloom tomatoes.

Oh and as if Holly doesn't do enough already, you can find her Pocco Caretto Gelato at the neighborhood farmers markets.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Judging Ekal Vidyalaya Contest

I have been running late on my posts with so much to tell my readers and so little time.
I told you a few weeks ago that I would be judging a unique contest for the Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation.

Ekal Vidyalaya is a charitable trust that initiates, supports, and runs non-formal one-teacher schools (popularly known as Ekal Vidyalayas) in remote tribal areas all over India. It promotes literacy and education to those who otherwise would not have the opportunity.

Almost all the food was Indian food and since we had to judge on creativity, I had the assistance of Ava, the lady who put together this whole event. She explained what the dishes were supposed to taste like (since I wasn't familiar with every single Indian food) and then I had to give it a mark on creativity, taste, health factors,
and appearance. It was such a fun thing to do.
The other judges were Jay from Gastrolust and Sunita Shastri, creator and distributor of Meghana foods.

Dessert was my favorite choice, the winner was Vijayalakshmi Ramaswami, with Tomato Coconut Halwa. In the appetizer category, the first prize winner was Vaishali Jadal with Watermelon Soup.

Later they had an auction and the prize that I contributed was a foodie tour in and around the Pike Place Market with me. Last Saturday I met up with the winners (my new friends) and we trekked around the market to all the specialty stores, discussing our favorite foods and spices.


For a peak at my favorite places in the market, click here for part 1
Click here for part 2
Click here for part 3

Thanks Ava for putting together this event. Does anyone have any Indian recipes that I should try. Please send to kerenlovestocook@gmail.com

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

August Foodie Events in Seattle

Hi Everyone,
Just a few things that you might want to check out this month!


Washington's largest outdoor wine event, the Prosser Wine & Food Fair, takes place at Art Fiker Stadium from 3 to 9 p.m. Over 30 wineries and 20 food vendors will provide guests with some of Washington's finest food and wine. Wine: Olsen Estates, Vin du Lac Winery, Snoqualmie Vineyards and many more. For the list of food and wine, click here.
Tickets : $ 20
For Tickets: (509) 786-4545 or 1-800-405-1517.



Sunday, August 10th Purple Cafe Garage Sale
Purple Cafe and Wine Bar, 14459 Woodinville-Redmond Rd., Woodinville(425) 483-7129
From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., wines from Purple's shelves will be sold at garage sale prices. Great bargains on the same fine stemware used in the restaurants and Purple Cafe's signature wrought iron furnishings will also be available for purchase.

Thursday August 14th, Meet Jason Mesnick of The Bachelorettette at Waterfront Seafood Grill
Waterfront Seafood Grill, 2801 Alaskan Way, Pier 70, Seattle.
Chat with Women hosts a cocktail party with Jason Mesnick, finalist from the latest season of The Bachelorette.The event begins at 5:30 p.m. on Waterfront Seafood Grill's beautiful outdoor deck.
Tickets are $125 and include three drink tickets, appetizers and a chance to win a private drink and dessert with Jason at the restaurant after the event. Additional chances to win will cost an extra $25. A portion of the evenings proceeds with benefit the Kirkland Boys and Girls Club. To reserve tickets to this event, contact Waterfront Seafood Grill at (206) 956-9171.


Friday, August 15th Celebrate Pike Place Market at the Annual Sunset Supper
More than 50 restaurants, breweries and wineries serve their dishes along with live music and a chance to win prizes.
Pike Place Market, 1501 Pike Place, Seattle (206) 682-7453
For admission price and details, click here

August 24th, The Incredible Feast, Where the Farmers are Stars!
Support the farmers and raise money for disaster relief for farmers in need.
Seattle's top chefs, lots of farm fresh food, music and a wine and beer garden.
Sunday, August 24, 4:30 - 7:30 pm, outdoors at the Phinney Farmers Market site (67th and Phinney Ave N). Tickets are available at brownpapertickets.com ($65 adults, $10 kids), or at any market info tents.

Sunday, September 7th, Gig Harbor, Sacrificio
Sacrificio at Culinary Communion, a day for families to come together to slaughter a pig. Learn about charcuterie or just be more in tune with what you eat.


Chef demos at Metropolitan Market

Chef Gabriel of Culinary Communion will be demonstrating Peach & Black Truffle Jam with Seared Foie Gras on Thursday, August 7, from 4-6pm at the Admiral store; Chef Katie of Culinary Communion will be demonstrating a Peach & Duck Fritters recipe on Thursday, August 14, from 4-6pm at the Queen Anne Store.



Many of you have been writing me asking about cooking classes......
Here are two places, you can get your cooking fix.

Culinary Communion

Sizzleworks (formerly Rain City Cooking School)

Here is a post I wrote a really long time ago about where to cook in Seattle

I love getting emails so keep them coming!
Kerenlovestocook@gmail.com

Saturday, August 2, 2008

NY Times Chocolate Chip Recipe


Have you heard of the New York Times best chocolate chip cookie recipe?

Last night I was talking to a friend who said she hadn't heard of it. I wasn't going to share this experience until I realized that there were still some people missing out on the big secret.
Have they found the secret to a perfect cookie? Last Friday I made the dough. I baked some on Saturday, I baked some on Sunday and the bittersweet part is that they still taste amazing nearly a week later. Bittersweet because I can't stop breaking off little bites and I am not too sure my body needs it.

I had to make changes to the recipe, because of convenience. I notice that I am not the only one who is using chocolate chips and not chocolate discs, Orangette blogged about her experience.
I also used regular flour in recipe and not bread flour with cake flour.

So the thing about these cookies that was interesting to me............

1) Sea salt is added on top. This brings out the sweetness in the cookie.
2) The fact that the batter has to sit in fridge for a very long time. This really develops the flavor.

I always read recipes until the end but this time I missed something and baked them 12 hours later instead of 24 hours later. Then I made a dozen the next day and a dozen two days later.

Batch number 1 (12 hours later)
The first batch I sprinkled with sea salt and brought some cookies to a chef friend to try.
They're good, they're brown, they're moist but I think you should add coarse sea salt.
Batch number 2 ( 24 hours later)
I added the coarse sea salt on top and brought them to a few of my friends. They loved them.
The cookies really tasted better after 24 hours of mingling in the fridge. I could imagine how the chocolate chips felt. They were squished between the thighs of the heaps of dough. The chocolate chips needed to be hugged in this chilly weather.

Another thing I have to add is the baking time, 18- 20 minutes is a long time. Next time I will try to bake them a little less. I was doing a million things at the same time so my timer was the indication that the cookies wanted out. Everyone loved them but I would have wanted a softer cookie.

Try them and you will be hooked. Please let me know what you think.

Note: I have a little thing I do when I make cookies. I save some of the chocolate chips on the side. This way I put some chocolate chips on top, right before they go into the oven. This makes sure that the chocolate chips are on the top of the cookie.


The recipe

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I love Lasagna............



This is Mama Enza. She makes everything from scratch.......

Although my taste has changed a lot in the last two years, lasagna has still stayed on my top 10 list........

I don't know what it is .....maybe the fact that you get everything in one bite, layers of pasta, layers of cheese, sauce and meat.........


I heard Sorrentino has a new lasagna trio............ yes, 3 lasagnas on one plate............lasagna bolognese, lasagna vegetariana, lasagna ai fruitti di marre............
Sampler portions of 3 for 20 dollars...........


Guess who needs to go visit Mama Enza to check out the new menu at Sorrentino.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Seattle Chocolate Salon


In picture, Cosmic Chocolates


A few weeks ago I told you that I would be a judge at the Seattle Chocolate Salon and that is exactly what I did.

All my friends seem to have the same things to say about me judging the chocolate salon.
Here are some of the things people said................

1) You must be so sick of chocolate.
The truth is that I have been eating more chocolate since. I had Nutella for breakfast the next day.
2) You probably had just a bite from each one.
The companies were giving out some big pieces of chocolate. I could not imagine spitting out or throwing out the rest of the piece I got. Some of these were very expensive chocolates.
3)You probably love dark chocolate. You are a foodie
Truth is that dark is nice but that was not my choice that day. I was more into the unconventional fillings, like basil, beer and potato chips (which other judges thought was weird) and banana foster just to name a few.............
4) You must have been nauseous/ I wasn't nauseous. I was totally fine. What is wrong with me?


The chocolate salon sent out the list of winners and here is the list.

Best Dark Chocolate: Amano Artisan Chocolate
Best Milk Chocolate:Theo Chocolate
Best Truffle: Posh Chocolat / Cadeaux Chocolates
Most Gift Set: Petits Noirs
Most Artistic Designs: Cosmic Chocolate
Best Organic or Fair Trade Products:Theo Chocolate
Most Gifted Chocolatier:Fiori Chocolatiers / Cosmic Chocolate
New Product Award: Kekau Chocolatier / GrendelSweets Handcrafted Chocolates
Chocolate Pioneer Award :Dilettante Chocolates


Now here are my winners.........

My favorite was Cosmic chocolate.They have some really interesting flavors and incredible designs. This is one gift that I would love to give. The website is so fun!


Another favorite was Theo chocolates. I love their unique flavors...chocolate with chai, chocolate with curry and the dark chocolates are amazing.

I love Kekau Chocolatier. I didn't try the blue cheese flavor but everyone said it was interesting... I love the spiced berry (strawberries are infused with Chinese cinnamon, black cardamom, and Balsamic vinegar and paired with a 64% dark chocolate from Guayaquil and molded in a 35% Ivoire.) I also loved the kalamansi coconut (Kalamansi lime is blended with coconut milk to create a unique pate de fruit. It is then paired with a 64% Tainori from Valrhona that is infused with coconut milk and bitter peanut oil. )

Honorable mentions:


Amano chocolates, by far one of the best tasting dark chocolate bars.

Intrigue chocolates, with flavors like Jamaican Hot chocolate...mmmmmmmmmmmm

Emily's chocolates for a nice gift at an inexpensive price. For those days when you just don't feel like spending too much.

I really can't talk about every chocolate that I loved because there were so many.

Now I have to add to this chocolate post with some of my favorites that were not in the salon.....Hershey's kisses filled with cherry. I recently discovered them while buying my husband some kisses for his birthday... gag, I know it's cheesy. We have been eating them frozen ever since.

Another great chocolate (especially for vegans) is my healthy alternative to Nutella
100 percent organic vegan coconut chocolate spread sweetened with agave nectar
by Love Street Living Foods
I love that stuff!

Okay, that's enough.... I need my chocolate fix. Going to eat a frozen kiss!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Ekal Vidyalayas Recipe Contest!

It is for a great cause: The Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation is a charitable trust that initiates, supports, and runs non-formal one-teacher schools (popularly known as Ekal Vidyalayas) in remote tribal areas all over India. It promotes literacy and education to those who otherwise would not have the opportunity.

There are two recipe categories: Appetizers and Desserts. Contestants will bring the food to be judged by the judges (moi being one of them) and then people are invited to come in and taste all the contestants' recipes for 5 dollars per person (free for kids under 10). There will also be additional catered Indian food as well.


I will be there this Saturday at 5 PM at Old Redmond Schoolhouse Community Centre in Redmond.

Rumor has it that a good amount of the food will be Indian food which is quite exciting.

There will be raffles every 20 minutes and some interesting prizes.................

To register or get more information, click here

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Olivar Restaurant Grand Opening Tonight

Olivar, the Spanish word for "olive grove", is the theme of this cozy new spot reminiscent of a quaint bistro that one would discover while exploring France and Spain.

Olivar combines Chef Philippe Thomelin's deep roots from growing up in the Loire Valley of France, the influence of his Catalan grandmother and his love of all things Spanish. Chef Philippe creates dishes that reflect his philosophy of using the freshest, most seasonal seafood, meat and produce, using organic ingredients whenever possible.

For the Grand Opening, a special prix fixe menu will be available as well as an assortment of small plates and a complimentary tasting plate for each party of guests.


Olivar is located at 806 E. Roy St. in the Loveless building on Capitol Hill. Olivar will be open for dinner nightly except Monday, from 5:00 pm-10:30 pm, Friday and Saturday, 5:00 pm -11:00 pm (subject to change). For reservations, call (206) 322-0409. For more information about Olivar, visit www.olivarrestaurant.com

olivar 044

olivar 052

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Seattle Events

Bite of Seattle is Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Lots of restaurants are offering small portions at small prices, top chefs will be doing demos at the Bite Cooks ( hosted by Thierry Rautureau, the Chef in the Hat) and a special alley hosted by Tom Douglas with some more upscale restaurants (9.50 a person for a tasting of seven restaurants, portion of proceeds goes to Food Lifeline)
For more info, click here

Also this weekend......... Sequiem Lavender Festival
Click here for more details

Be sure to check out Cedarbrook cafe at the Cedarbrook lavender and herb farm. Last year we went to visit the place. The cafe wasn't open yet if I remember correctly but the farm was beautiful. Here is my post about it.

On Tuesday, the 22nd, Olivar, the new Spanish Restaurant will be opening on Capitol Hill.
There will be small plates, a prix fixe menu and a complimentary small plate for each table. Reservations recommended
For more info, click here
This place is going to be great!

The murals at Olivar date back to 1929-1930.
olivar 044

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Rhubarb Jam


Life has been hectic. I recently moved to a new place, my in-laws stayed with me for 3 weeks and I have been running around a lot. It took a little while to get settled in my new kitchen but I have finally started cooking again. The recipe here is for rhubarb jam, I made this with many other brunch items when I had my family over.
I have to say that I made it as simple as I can. I didn't peel the rhubarb nor did I add anything fancy.
As simple as life gets..........

Rhubarb Jam

2 cups of rhubarb, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup of honey
1/4 cup of orange juice ( I used Tropicana)

1) In a small saucepan, bring ingredients to boil.
2) Cover and cook over low heat for 20 minutes.
3) Puree in food processor and let cool.

The consistency is a bit like apple sauce. It is so tasty! I made warm rolls to go with it which I will post about soon. I want to make them one more time so I can make sure that my recipe is exact.
The next day I ate the jam on Ritz crackers, not the best choice but definitely hit the spot.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Bastille Day

This weekend is going to be exciting!

First there is the Bal Des Pompiers on July 12. Thierry Rautureau (The Chef in the Hat) will be putting together a beautiful dinner, followed by an evening of dance, French music and International hits.
For my interview with the chef in the hat, click here

The next day will be the Bastille Day Celebration, Sunday July 13. Last year I volunteered and had a wonderful time! The cooking demos were excellent and who could resist a French baguette?
Last year I met Chef Philippe Thomelin and interviewed him.
You can catch Chef Philippe's cooking demo at 12:00 P.M.
He is opening a Spanish restaurant called Olivar in the Loveless building on Capitol Hill. Details will come soon.

Don't forget to get your chocolate fix at the Chocolate salon. I will be a judge there.

Where will you be this weekend?

Friday, July 4, 2008

Quinoa and Corn Summer Salad


The corn at the market was yelling "Keren, rescue me! Take me Home!" I couldn't look away. I took it home and experimented with some flavors.
This is the salad that saved the corn.
I just couldn't stop eating it!

Quinoa and Corn Summer Salad


2 cups of cooked quinoa (just cook according to package directions)
2 ears of corn
1 onion (diced)
1 jalapeno chili, seeded and thinly sliced
Juice from 1 lemon
Juice from 1 lime
1 tablespoon or more fresh sage
Salt

1. Shave the corn of the cob (just cut off with your knife)
2. Heat some oil in a pan and saute corn for about 5 minutes
3. Add onion and continue to sauté until corn is cooked. Add salt.
4. Take of the stove and mix with quinoa. Add all other ingredients and
taste. Add more salt if needed.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

How to Make Pita




If you have a standing mixer, pitas are really easy to make. We make them and I freeze them. These pitas actually have pita pockets. The first time I made them, the pockets weren't very puffy but they tasted just as great. If you get a flat pita, don't fret. The taste is the same.

Ingredients:

3 and 1/2 cups of flour
1 pack of yeast (I used a pack and a tiny bit of the next for better results)
1 and a 1/2 cups of water
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 a tablespoon of salt
2 tablespoons of olive oil

1. Put flour in mixer with dough hook and add yeast.
2. Add water, sugar, salt, and olive oil . Mix until you get a slightly sticky, shiny dough.
3. Place a tiny bit of oil in the bowl, roll the dough in the oil and let dough rise until doubled in size.
4. Heat oven to 500 degrees.
5. Divide into balls and let rest for 10 more minutes.
6. Roll into flat discs and place in oven for 5- 7 minutes. Stay close to the oven and keep checking until the pitas have little golden areas.

Pitas can be frozen and heated in microwave.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Corson Building is Open

Chef Matthew Dillon of Sitka and Spruce and Wylie Bush owner of Joe Bar finally opened the Corson building restaurant/communal dining venue last week.
It will change how Seattle foodies unite.
Basically the concept is that the menu changes spontaneously. The food comes from local purveyors, artisans, farmers, farmers markets and their very own garden. They even raise their own chickens. To be in the foodie know, you sign up on the website.

The Setting is a beautiful old building in South Seattle's Georgetown Area.

The details: A Multi- course family style dinner for 30 guests, two-three nights a week
Thursday- Saturday
The other nights it will be available for private parties, events, cooking classes, butchering workshops or any other events
Dinner starts at 7 PM, 80 dollars per person
110 dollars with wine pairings
Reservations required: 206 (762-3330) or by visiting the Corson Building Website
Guests will receive a phone confirmation and may advise of any food allergies at that time
Visa or Mastercard accepted

Dates Available for now: June 20, June 21, June 27, June 28, July 3, July 5, July 10, July 11, July 18, July 19, July 26



Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Seattle Food Blogger Potluck

It was that time of the month.
The time when all the food bloggers get together to gossip about food. Every month, I organize an event for Seattle Food Bloggers and this month it was a potluck!
The list this time was composed of many: (in no particular order)Lara from Cook and Eat, Ronald from Cornichon, Michael from Herbivoracious , Naomi from Gastrognome, Candace from Italian Woman at the Table, Katrin from Simply Culture, Eileen from Mintz her Words, Layla from Laylita, Jay from Seattle Sound Magazine and Seattlest, Peabody from
Culinary Concoctions and last but not least Mina Williams from Nw stir. Many bloggers also brought guests. What do you expect us to do with so much food?
We started off with some shmoozing and then Lara from Cook and Eat gave a wonderful presentation with photography tips. She talked about how to use lighting when taking pictures and showed off some of the props she used. Everyone was mesmerized by the information she was giving. One of the tips she gave was to use tiny props(shot glass, mini plates). Thank you Lara, It was a great opportunity to get to hear your advice.
The evening continued with an elephant gift exchange, a raffle and lots of foodie talk.
Lilach from Lilach photography took pictures at the event, check out her site to get a glimpse of Lilach's photography.
See you all at the next one.






Pics above:
1 from Herbivoracious
2 from Culinary Concoctions
3 is what I made: a chocolate cookie, white cream filling and chocolate outside. I will post the recipe in the next few days.

Are you a food blogger in Seattle? Send me an email: kerenlovestocook@gmail.com

Friday, June 6, 2008

Tonight Jazz with Shiri Zorn

If you are into jazz........
tonight jazz vocalist Shiri Zorn will be playing at Marson's restaurant.


June, 6 2008 at Marson’s Restaurant with pianist Karin Kajita
620 SE Everett Mall Way, Everett, Washington 98208
For reservations please call: 425-212-2266
Listen to Shiri

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Natural Bacon Salt has arrived!


I am happy to let you know that Bacon Salt has finally come out with a natural version and it tastes just as great!

Okay so you don't know Bacon Salt. It's everywhere. I mean everywhere and it has been for a while. Just lately the natural version came out and that is what I am excited about!

So what is the point of natural bacon salt? Duh! It makes everything taste like bacon. I like it on my eggs. It's kosher, has zero calories and is gluten free. I recently gave it to a friend who eats kosher and she said " oh that is what bacon tastes like". So thanks, bacon salt for taking my friends bacon virginity.


There is one more thing that I love about bacon salt. The creators are actually smart Seattleites. You can read the story about how they made it big using facebook as a tool right here.

Bacon salt is a blogger!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Indulgent Discovery: Chocolate Pasta


This week while strolling through the fabulous Pike Place Market, I discovered long strands of chocolate pasta. Could it be? Yes, Pappardelle's sells chocolate pasta by the pound. Strands of pasta infused with dark chocolate to be eaten for dessert.
I think I can trick myself into having a bowl of this for dinner instead of dessert.

The pasta comes with a recipe for pasta with raspberries, ice cream, chocolate sauce and whipped cream.
Indulge! Come On! You know you want it!

Papardelle's Pasta found at the Pappardelle stand in the Pike Place Market
Price: 4.50 per half a pound/ 9 dollars for a whole pound

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Seattle Chocolate Salon on June13

Do you love chocolate? Would you like to spend your day tasting chocolate? Would you like to learn more about chocolate?
If you answered, yes, yes, yes then don't miss this wonderful chocolate event!


The Seattle Luxury Chocolate Salon

When: Sunday, July 13th, 2008
Where: Bell Harbor International Conference Center, 2211 Alaskan Way, Pier 66
What time: 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
What: Chocolate tasting, chef talks, author talks, demonstrations and much more chocolate heaven.
How much: Tickets are $20 for adults, $17.50 in Advance (recommended).
To get tickets and for more info, click here

I am on the tasting panel! From the press release....................

The 1st Annual Seattle Luxury CHOCOLATE SALON, July 13th, 2008, announces part of its delicious lineup of members of the Salon's Chocolate Tasting Panel, including food writers Jay Friedman (Seattlest and Seattle Sound), Maggie Dutton (Seattle Weekly, The Wine Offensive), and Keren Brown (Frantic Foodie, formerly Savvy Savorer). Chocolate Tasting Panelists have the luxurious responsibility of tasting all chocolates and confections and rating them for receipt of Luxury Chocolate Salon Awards.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Truffle Cafe



Last night, I went to La Buona Tavola's, 5 year birthday celebration. The party was blessed with music by Andre Feriante, the ever so talented flamenco guitarist who was included in MSN's 12 sexy bald men. Unfortunately I only got a picture of him playing and didn't get a picture of his dreamy light coloured eyes.
You can catch him live at Hotel 1000, every Friday and Saturday, 8-midnight
Bob Crosby charmed the crowd with Italian opera singing and enchanting stories to go with it.
Most of the people attending were regular tasters, who participate in the wine tastings each month or stop by for the 5 dollar daily wine tastings held everyday from 1-5.
A huge 3 liter bottle of Prosseco was shared with the crowd along with lots of other wines.
In case you aren't familiar with La Buona Tavola...It is a specialty food store in the Pike Place Market that carries truffles, truffle salt, truffle oil and other specialty foods of every kind. Read about the place in a post that I wrote a while back.

David, Rei(The Truffle Queen) and the huge bottle!




Pana Carasau, a Sardinian bread brushed with olive oil and some salt



Easy, Quick Peach Cake


This is such an easy cake. I make this when unexpected guests drop in. It literally takes just a few minutes to put together and the smell is so inviting. It's one of those dry cakes that has just a touch of fruit.


Peach mixture:

6-8 peaches

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 tablespoon of sugar

Flour mixture:

1 and 1/2 cups of flour

2 teaspoons of baking soda

1/4 of a teaspoon of salt

1 cup of sugar

3 eggs

1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon

2/3 cup of oil

On top (makes a sugary crust)

1 tablespoon of sugar

a handful of pecans


1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Chop the peaches into squares (size doesn't matter)
2. Put in bowl with 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, eggs, oil and 1/4 of a teaspoon of cinnamon
4. Oil a round baking pan and places peaches on bottom.
5. Pour the flour mixture on top.
6. Sprinkle pecans on top. Sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar evenly on cake.
7. Bake for 40 minutes or until ready.

Note: I forgot the oil but I have added it.

This is such an easy cake. I make this when unexpected guests drop in. It literally takes just a few minutes to put together and the smell is so inviting. It's one of those dry cakes that has just a touch of fruit.


Peach mixture:

6-8 peaches

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 tablespoon of sugar

Flour mixture:

1 and 1/2 cups of flour

2 teaspoons of baking soda

1/4 of a teaspoon of salt

1 cup of sugar

3 eggs

1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon

2/3 cup of oil

On top (makes a sugary crust)

1 tablespoon of sugar

a handful of pecans


1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Chop the peaches into squares (size doesn't matter)
2. Put in bowl with 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, eggs, oil and 1/4 of a teaspoon of cinnamon
4. Oil a round baking pan and places peaches on bottom.
5. Pour the flour mixture on top.
6. Sprinkle pecans on top. Sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar evenly on cake.
7. Bake for 40 minutes or until ready.

Note: I forgot the oil but I have added it.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Herbivoracious Dinner





Michael from Herbivoracious invited my husband and I for a six course vegetarian dinner last week.
My husband found it hard to digest the fact that a vegetarian dinner could be just as filling and full of flavors as one made with meat dishes.
Michael's classy thoughtfully presented dinner proved to my husband that vegetables combined with the right amount of patience and skill can create a unique symphony of flavors, a truly unforgettable dinner.
The theme of the menu was asparagus. Dinner started with a buckwheat blini topped with asparagus caviar and creme fraiche. Another dish was a Panko crusted hard boiled egg with smoked asparagus and sherry gastrique. The smokiness of the vegetable gave it a more savory taste and texture and the crust on the egg offered a surprise to the dish.
Have you ever had a Panko crusted hard boiled egg? Probably not, I am pretty sure Michael invented it.
Everyone was raving about his Grapefruit Shiso Sorbet. The shiso leaf had a minty touch that complemented the refreshing sorbet.
He put together a flavorful risotto with asparagus tips, morels and mascarpone. You can't underestimate the flavors of fresh, high quality ingredients like these.
All courses were a flavor surprise and anticipating the taste of each new beautifully plated dish was a huge part of the fun. The people were sweet, the conversation flowing and the food was marvelously well done.
The real question is: Michael, where can we taste more of your wonderful dishes?

Spinach Strawberry Salad


love munching on spinach.
My husband needs a little convincing when it comes to leafy greens. I make this salad for him all the time. Then we end up fighting over who gets more.

Ingredients:

Spinach
Mizithra (a light salty Greek cheese) grated finely
any salty cheese tastes great such as ricotta salata or feta
Sliced Strawberries
Sliced pecans or other nuts (This time I used Sahale Snacks Valdosta Pecans with sweet cranberries , black pepper and orange zest)

1. Drizzle with olive oil and enjoy!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Salty's, What a View!


I have heard the name Salty's so many times since I moved to Seattle. Finally I went to Salty's on Alki Beach for the first time.

The dinner started off with a huge assortment of rolls including fresh savory scones. I actually filled up on the scones because they were so addictive.
I ordered the Halibut with Beurre Blanc and Risotto with Corn and Asparagus as a side dish. The halibut was delightful and the risotto was deliciously creamy. The place was packed, the people were positive and the service was great.
The dinner was one of those" I love Seattle" experiences, especially when I watched the sun come down right on the water. So romantic! Next time I have guests from out of town, I know where I am taking them.


After I got home I was talking to a friend about the experience (I must add that this person is quite picky when it comes to food)

Me: I went to Salty's
The food was really amazing.
Him: Of course, that is why they always win so many awards (best Sunday brunch, best seafood and steakhouse in Seattle and Portland and the list goes on).
Me: So what do you think it is about it?
Him: They have great service, lots of staff and they use fresh ingredients.

It all made sense!



My husband made me put this picture because he loved the chocolate cake!
Picture

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Seattle Cheese Festival and University District Fair

In April, I waited and waited for May to come. May means more Seattle Events, May means
Pike Place Market is full of people and May is supposed to mean nice weather. Okay so I will wait another week.

This weekend , will you be at the cheese festival or at the University District Fair?
Read my post about these events a month ago. I was really excited!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Wine and Spirits Magazine Seattle Hot Picks Event

Hot Picks is a two day tasting event that shows off the wines the critics are drinking now. It's a wine tasting event that gives attendees the opportunity to connect with some of the top wine professionals.

Seattle, Tuesday, June 24, 6:30 – 9:30pm--Paramount Theater, (911 Pine Street, Seattle, WA 98101)

Los Angeles, Thursday, May 22, 7 – 10pm--MODAA Gallery, (8609 Washington Boulevard, Culver City 90232)

A good reason: In keeping with Wine & Spirits Magazine's mission to raise awareness of water conservation issues, a portion of the event proceeds will benefit local water conservation organizations (Los Angeles: Surfrider; Seattle: the PugetSoundkeeper Alliance), who will be on site during the tastings.

For more info, Click here
For admission prices, click here

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Seattle Supermarket


Brace yourself foodies.............Another place to get food in Seattle

In June this year, Seattle's only full- service supermarket will open, Kress IGA Supermarket.

It will be located at 1423 Third Avenue in basement level of the historic Kress Building at Third and Pike.
It will offer national name brands alongside natural and organic options. There will be fresh food departments, deli, meat, produce, wine, frozen foods, dairy etc. Basically everything you find in a supermarket and more.

Now, like anything or anyone that would like to be embraced by Seattlelites....... The place is green conscious: low impact produce packaging, recycled products and embrace of local vendors
Just enough to make the Whole Foods Market, green with envy.

Read about it on Cornichon

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Food Blogger Meetup Capital Grille




Have you ever noticed how one ripe banana can speed up the ripening process of all the fruits around it?
The bloggers have officially ripened. Let the summer begin!
When I started the blogger events a while ago,I just hoped that people with similar interests would start talking. It was awkward at first for some. Introducing your blog to a room full of foodies was somewhat intimidating.
Last night the chemistry changed, each blogger finally ripened, revealing such sweet unique personalities. For the first time I can actually say that the chemistry between each and every blogger was better than any of us could possibly imagine.
Is it the sweet summer lurking around the corner that is speeding up the process? Is it just about time that apples and bananas realize that they have something truly genuine in common?

The atmosphere last night was one of the reasons for such a success. We sat in one of the private rooms at the Capital Grille. The lights were dimmed, the mood was set and we were wined and dined by some of the most courteous and welcoming waitstaff that I have ever encountered. Around twenty of us voracious eaters, made strange sounds with our mouths as we continued to indulge and indulge and well, indulge again.

Our meal started with some appetizers: kobe beef carpaccio, lobster & dungeness crab cakes and pan-fried calamari with hot cherry peppers. There was one dish that I could not stop eating. I was literally mesmerized by the combination of flavors, fresh mozarella, heirloom tomatoes and basil. The 12 year balsamic vinegar added the uniquely sweet and acidic taste that turned this salad into perfection. It seems like such a simple caprese salad but when the ingredients are right, nothing could beat this taste. By the end of the salad, I was almost full.
My husband ended up eating my kona crusted dry aged sirloin even before I got a chance too, along with his own sirloin. I am always more preoccupied with the sides, allowing myself to have unlimited creaminess when dining out. Would I let myself obsessively overuse the butter at home? No way! Restaurants are just the time when all rules jump out the window and the carbs keep on coming. The mashed potatoes were the creamiest and I made Rachel of eateatenjoy steal the mashed potatoes from the other side of the table. She had no problem demanding the potatoes and I had no problem filling any gaps on my plate with silky mashed potatoes.
I heard a lot of oowing and awwing in the direction of the Lobster Mac and cheese on my side of the table.


We had an elephant gift exchange, the kind of exchange where you bring in gifts for everyone and turn by turn you get to choose your gift. Others have the choice if they want to steal your gift. Their was some stealing going on. Cakespy's brought a pack of her own gift cards. When I say her own, I mean she actually does the design and draws lots of cupcake cartoons in super cute situations. Ronald of Cornichon actually got the cards and although many contemplated it, no one had the nerve to snatch the cards from Ronald.

Another event was a huge success, the most fabulous inviting people all in one room. I can't wait until the next one.

The blogger list was extensive: eateatenjoy,cakespy,Simply Culture, Laylita,winewall,Cornichon,Pink Hobart, Italian Woman at the Table, Jay from Seattlest, Mintz her words, Anticiplate,
Seattle Tall Poppy
There was also Annie Beckman a well-known food writer in Seattle. We had professional eaters too : the significant others of the bloggers.

The gift exchange corner