Your email is out and I'm leaving early in the morning but wanted to tell you I received the book! I'm so grateful for your thoughtful and sweet gesture. It was an absolute surprise--of course--and your note is so lovely. I can not tell you how touched I am that this lovely gift would come from you.
In the meantime, please know I'm taking Paris Sweets with me tomorrow, to read on the train ride to Portland. I'll choose a recipe to bake as soon as I return home and will, of course, post about it right here. Merci beaucoup, Mademoiselle et à la prochaine! :-)
Sarah, the feisty and vivacious voice behind the delicious life came up with the latest food and wine focused MEME, aptly named BAR FLY: eat at the bar . Sarah encouraged bloggers to go out, drink (and eat) at a local bar or favorite restaurant's bar area and post about it on our blogs by tonight.
So, yesterday afternoon, since we were already craving delicious but simple fare for dinner we walked the two blocks to neighborhood favorite Palace Kitchen to order two Palace Burger Royales and at least one glass of what has become my favorite Oregon Pinot Noir, the 2002 Elvenglade, at the bar.
Mr. C and I had intended to eat at the bar. We were looking forward to being served by Sandy, one of the best bartenders in town. However, the weather in Seattle was yet again so gorgeous and incredibly warm and sunny that by the time we made it to the restaurant we changed our minds.
When we saw how the late afternoon sunlight was filtering through the immense windows and reflecting off the walls, chandeliers and massive artwork there was just no way we would sit at the fabulous but much darker horseshoe bar area.
Our only option was but to ask for a window table instead. We got a great spot too! From our corner we could not only enjoy a huge view of the restaurant's main space, partial horseshoe shaped bar and private dining room but also indulge in one of our favorite sports, count how many times our beloved Seattle Monorail goes by while we are having our dinner.
We already knew it would happen, we just did not know when. Tom Douglas had mentioned on his radio show that he would be participating in an episode of Food TV's Iron Chef America.
In today's Seattle Times food section Nancy Leson get's the cat out of the bag. This weekend, two of the city's best chefs will battle it out in New York.
Tamara vs. *Batali and Douglas vs. Morimoto will air in August. While I must admit to be more of an Ina Garten sporadic viewer that eschews the rest of FoodTV's programming, this I definitely will have to see!
*Mario Batali as in son of local favorite Armandino Batali, the owner of Salumi...who, by the by, will be in Seattle cooking from his new book Molto Italiano at his father's 3rd Avenue joint May 16th for a sold out event.
Newly opened in Belltown two weeks in fact, from the same owners of Capitol Hill's Barca Lounge (Barça--"bar-sah"--for the cedilla impaired) ;-).
With a view of Elliot Bay, sidewalk seating coming soon and lots of fabulous sunlight (It is very toasty out today and I even caught a bit of color while unwinding, people watching and happily enjoying their Steamed Clams and Fried Oysters. Both good.
2332 1st Avenue
(corner of Battery & 1st)
Across the street from Lampreia
Happy Hour- 4-7pm, 11pm to 1am
The new WWD'S Scoop Magazine really is a fashion magazine. A very, very, nice one and super sized at that. Still, upon careful inspection I am happy to report --because women are not meant to survive on fashion alone--it also happens to have plenty of other yummy material to devour.
Other than Vogue's Jeffrey Steingarten's columns, I've never seen on a fashion magazine this much food and wine writing. Scoop's plats du jour (pages 92-97) are loaded with fabulous food & wine tidbits. In this issue, some incentives to go pick your own copy:
Who knew fashion could be this tasty! I just hope they keep this coming because at $7.95 per copy it can be a pretty pricey amuse bouche.
Consider yourself extremely lucky if you were in Seattle yesterday. It was such a spectacular day of sun, low humidity and the bluest of skies. Perfect day to head out to Ballard to visit the local farmers market, forage for dinner, browse and shop around, have some brunch, make friends, meet vendors and growers and make the most of the gorgeous weather.
Living walking distance to Pike Place Market means that on any given day we may find ourselves down there for breakfast, lunch or shopping for dinner. However, yesterday was a day to get in our car, enjoy the short drive to Ballard, find a great parking spot and spend the day at one of our favorite city neighborhoods.
One of the gifts of living in Seattle is the abundance of fabulous Farmers Markets that operate year round. And I am not just talking about Pike Place Market. So there is no reason to have to wait for Farmers Market Season in the Puget Sound.
Did you know that along with Pike Place and Capitol Hill, the Ballard Farmers Market is open year round? If you have never made it to Ballard's Sunday Market or have not been there in a while I encourage you to visit these farmers and vendors soon and not miss one of our ultimate Sunday destinations.
This market is brilliant. Yesterday we found lovely handmade chocolates from Zen Boy, Les Fromages d'Anne Marie artisanal cheeses--bought a fresh marinated chèvre from Paul, a sweet cheese man from Belgium--, fresh asparagus, foraged wild greens and mushrooms, artisanal pastas, nuts, duck eggs, the freshest most plump and tender oysters and mussels, premium salmon and tuna.
There were all sorts of fragrant and edible scented geraniums, Lady Fern fiddleheads --we'll be preparing these tomorrow--, the most incredible lavender caramels, lavender flavored caramel corn and jelly, amazing pears and apples, golden beets and delicious Czech pastries and Mexican treats. More on our favorite market and Ballard finds at a later date.
And not only is it located within the historical district but it is surrounded with lovely shops, boutiques, galleries and restaurants that also happen to be independent, locally owned businesses. Some of our favorites shops in the city happen to be in Ballard. Places such as:
or a day in the life of the color orange. Since orange is one of my favorite colors and the orange family one of my favorite citrus, instead of cooking one dish and posting one recipe we decided to make a day of it by playing an I Spy Orange game of sorts and later on, an orange focused--in both flavor and colors--dinner.
So we headed out to one of our favorite Seattle neighborhoods where we spent the better part of what has been one of the most amazingly gorgeous days in the last 5-6 years in Seattle, shopping for orange color foods and noshing our way through Ballard.
Therefore, my entry for Foodgoat's orange themed IMBB is a compilation of tastes experienced today while out and about and later on at home, while preparing and eating a few very orange scented, flavored and colorful bits: drinks, dinner and dessert.
Here is the orangey breakdown in the order of consumption:
Whenever I think of molasses it's not really Spiced Cookies or Gingerbread that come to mind. Instead, the first tasty memory is not of baked goods of any sort but that of my friend Alfie's Candied Brisket and Short Ribs recipes, my friend R's marinade for grilling salmon (with espresso) and my favorite salmon of all, Yukon River King.
Yukon River King Salmon season is almost here and the lovely days we've been having in the city have given me a craving for this smoky, sweet and ultra succulent dish. Alas! For this particular Sugar High Friday exercise, Derrick's chosen ingredient was to be used in a dessert and not a savory entry.
So, that meant my salmon would have to wait but in the meantime I could still come up with something creative, sweet, simple and practical so it was a matter of looking around the pantry for inspiration.
There were dried Black Mission Figs in the pantry that I wanted to use them for my entry. Of course! I'm absolutely bonkers about figs and keep them around at all times, especially during the months when the fresh fruit is not available at the market.
We also had fig and pomegranate molasses around. Since I use these often in marinades, grilled and roasted dishes there were not to be an option for today. I was looking to create something completely different that utilized what most people, at least in the USA, know as classic molasses, the real deal: Blackstrap Molasses.
The rationale behind choosing to use this ooey, gooey and intensely flavored kind was simple really. Not only was molasses the required element for our bloggity endeavor but I was hoping to create a recipe that would showcase and enhance the fig with a rich and viscous saucy syrup that while flavorful would not be overly sweet, overly dark or too heavy.
The idea was for the earthy flavor of the figs to shine through the robust, full bodied quality of the thickest, darkest and richest of all types of molasses available in the market today.
Just the slightest amount of blackstrap (a tablespoon in fact) added a gorgeous dark amber tone, a certain nuance, a slightly smoky and woody depth of flavor and an unctuous, glossy and syrupy texture to the fruit's thickened liquid that no other sweetener--not even honey--could provide.
The resulting conserve is ridiculously easy to prepare (I made it this morning before heading out to work) yet looks absolutely decadent and rendered truly beautifully sweet, shiny and utterly figgy little gems.
It shall be delicious any time of the year but especially for Pesach. Serve it warm with rack of lamb, baby lamb chops or brisket. This conserve will pair up famously with ham, pork tenderloin, roasted pheasant, duck or game hens. I can't wait to have it as an accompaniment to a cheese platter in place of our usual fruit paste, Membrillo or Mostarda d'Uva.
The conserve, served cold, for dessert, with a dollop of crème fraîche should be lovely. Tonight, after returning home from McCaw Hall, I had a little bit of the compote as a topping for a bit of my beloved Fage Greek yogurt. It was also wonderful!
The rest of the conserve has been stored in the refrigerator, in a wide mouth jam jar, to be polished off during the next week or so and tomorrow night with whichever little bird we pick up at Exotic Meats for dinner.