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

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

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.