Friday, January 31, 2014

FFWD: Pastry Bags and Paris-Brest

I am so glad the Paris-Brest was the chosen recipe for this week.  First of all, I love a good cream puff and secondly, I got to bring out my pastry bag and tips.  it has been many years since I retired from commercial baking and the much too early hours and soar wrists, but brought back good memories. Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos I thought it was very brave of Dorie Greenspan to include the Paris-Brest in her book Around My French Table. If I hadn't spend most of my life in the food industry, I would have found this recipe choice quite a challenge. I think for all the steps require to make these delicate little puffs and the delicious cream filling, you may as we'll make a hundred, so you can share with friends and celebrate all the work! Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos I am not sure if I will make these again soon, but I recommend everyone try it once, you won't regret it! Click here to check out the other Doristas and their Paris-Brest experience.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Saturday Morning Fun: glassybaby and Volunteer Park Cafe

Photobucket Pictures, Images and PhotosPhotobucket Pictures, Images and Photos Twice a year in Seattle hundreds of people get in line in the early morning freezing cold to find their spot in line for the glassybaby "seconds" sale. I have a few glassy baby's that I have received as gifts and have given a few to friends. I was a little suspicious of "seconds". Why wouldn't I just get the real glassybaby. Well, at 5 am this morning, I had 3 hours in the freezing cold to think, "Is this worth it?" I don't want to give an enthusiastic, "Yes", because I don't want to give away the big secret, but, "Yes!". Unlike the seasoned glassybaby "seconds" veterans who brought their chairs, blankets and hot coffee, my friend and I came dressed warmly, but empty handed. Oh well, live and learn. I wish I was able to take a picture of the mob scene that we walked into when we got inside the glassybaby store. EEK! it was a crazy grab-fest and we were packed in like sardines. Keep in mind, all this craziness was for a small glass votive. Well, I have to say! I was not planning on buying a "second", but I had already invested 3 hours in the freezing cold, so I may as well get something for my efforts. I bought 6 glassybabys and I love them!!! As I mentioned before! I already had a few at home, so I tried my best to pick colors that would match the ones I already had. So, 3 hours and 20 minutes later, my friend and I had completed our purchases and loved, loved, loved our new glassybabys. Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos Next stop, breakfast, but where? So we had been up and in line for hours, but it was only 8:30 am on a Saturday and a bakery or coffee shop, was not an option. Thanks to Urbanspoon, we were able to find a cute cafe that was open and serving breakfast. Just a few blocks away from glassybaby we found our way to Volunteer Park Cafe. Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos I forgot how cute this place was and how good the food was there. I had the meat strata, which was more like a big strata muffin and my friend had the meat quiche, both came with a little mixed green salad. We also couldn't resist the pastries, so we split an almond croissant. Very casual self seating, cozy and bright. Perfect place to grab a bite and relax.

Friday, January 24, 2014

FFWD: Moules Mariniere

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Moules and Frites in Bruges 
Photobucket Pictures, Images and PhotosMoules, mussels, whatever. I'm not a huge fan of mussels, unless they are in a cioppino or made in a yummy sauce. Ok, the recipe from Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table is easy, easy, easy and produces a very delicious broth for dipping. Make sure to buy fresh mussels from your fish monger and use a decent white wine. The other ingredients are most things on hand, onion, shallot, garlic, parsley, thyme, lemon zest, and wine. A ¼ chicken bouillon cube was listed as optional, since I don't use those, I added a little chicken broth, and I am glad I added broth! The mussels cook really fast, so be ready to eat as soon as the mussels hit the pan. The mussels sit in the pan for just a few minutes, make sure they all open, discard the ones that stay closed, they were probably dead before you cooked them, yuck. My husband paired his mussels with wine and a simple salad. Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos I spent some time in Bruges, after my nephew was born, my sister and family, lived in Amsterdam at the time. So in memory of my trip to Bruges, when I enjoyed Mussels and Frites with a local beer, I paired my mussels with a Belgian Beer. Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos Looking for a fast mid-week meal, this is a good one. Oh, and if you have a chance to make this recipe, add the chicken broth, so you have a lot of broth to dip bread or frites in, you will thank me. For the recipe, please buy Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table or call me, I'll share.  Also, if you want to see other versions of this recipe, go see my Dorista friends at French Fridays with Dorie. 
Have Fun, Enjoy and "a Votre Sante!"

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Game Day BBQ SeaChicken Sandwich with Apple Slaw

Photobucket Pictures, Images and PhotosOn Sunday I made my BBQ Sauce before the big game, Seahawks vs. SF 49ers or to some the SeaChickens vs. the 40-whiners.  YUP, there was a lot of trash talking going on, but the Seattle Seahawks were victorious and are Super Bowl bound!!! Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos I made sure to get my game day nails on, "It's only weird if it doesn't work!" Ok, best thing about game day...SNACKS!!! Last week when the Hawks were playing the New Orleans Saints, my son had some friends over and he made his world famous guacamole and I made White Chicken Chili. This week, I wanted to make something different, maybe even healthier, well kinda. So I made BBQ Pulled Chicken and Apple Slaw Sandwiches. Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos I figured with less fat than pork, chicken was a good substitute. I just needed to make sure to keep the chicken moist. I started by poaching a skinless chicken breast in water, an onion, bay leaf and orange peel. I put everything in a pot, brought it to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes. I turned the pot off and let the chicken sit for another 15 minutes. The chicken turned out great, moist and lower fat than pork. As for the Apple Slaw, I grated 1 large carrot, and 2 medium Granny Smith apples. I added 1 tablespoon sour cream, 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon of chopped golden raisins, a handful of cilantro, chopped, and salt and pepper, to taste. YUM! I shredded the cooled chicken with my BBQ Sauce, toasted ciabatta bread, put a little mayonnaise on the bottom slice...chicken, Apple Slaw, then topped with the other piece of bread and done. OH SO GOOD! Go Hawks!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sticky Sweet Birthday Wish

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos Today is my birthday. Yay! Not a big celebration, since it's a weekday, so this is really the beginning of my birthday week. I was going to make a fabulous cake, but I decided to sleep in instead. No regrets!

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
OK, lucky me, my husband surprised me with a fun cake, a Chinese New Year cake. If you know me! I am obsessed with things that bring Good Luck. Well, Chinese New Year cake, or Nian Gao, is very lucky!!! This sticky, rice cake brings promotion or prosperity. I wish for both!!! My aunt Lily makes a Filipino version of this cake, Bibingka. Rice flour, palm sugar, and I'm not sure what else, sometimes she mixes in cassava. I should get the recipe. Delicious! Chinese New Year is just around the corner, so if you are looking for a little luck, see if your favorite Chinese restaurant may be making Nian Gao. You might like it.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sunday FUNDAY "Starbucks, BBQ Bourbon Sauce, Lil' John's and waiting for the Big Game"

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and PhotosBig Game today, The Seattle Seahawks vs. SF 49ers. Sammi and I got up early to make Maple-Bourbon BBQ sauce for later. No coffee in the house, so we had to take a quick drive to Starbucks for a Tall Americano, then back to making BBQ Sauce.  It starts with 1 cup of ketchup. I use organic ketchup, so stop judging me! Ok, now add 2 tablespoons each of the following: brown sugar
maple syrup
Dijon mustard
apple cider vinegar
Worcestershire Sauce AND the juice of 2 tangerines, 2 shots of bourbon, and 2 cloves of garlic.  Boil, then 30 minutes of simmering and you're done! While the sauce was cooling, we went to have a little breakfast at Lil' John's. Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos Nothing fancy, just a neighborhood restaurant which has been around for nearly 50 years and recently renovated after a kitchen fire. I have to admit, it's been many years since I have been to Lil' John's, it use to be a total dump and stale cigarette smoke from their bar use to wander into the dining area and made for a "not so nice" experience. Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos I had the #1 and he had the Chicken Fried Steak. Not the best breakfast ever, but at $6.25 for 1 egg, hash browns, 2 sausage and toast, not bad. I didn't try the chicken fried steak, someone did not share, but no complaints from the other side of the table. Lil' Jon Restaurant & Lounge on Urbanspoon Well, I am off for a little Sunday stroll, then the big game. GO HAWKS!

Friday, January 17, 2014

FFWD: Christine's Simple Party Soups

I haven't posted my French Fridays with Dorie recipe in quite a long time, but I still enjoy making the recipes along side the other Doristas!  Click  here to check out their versions of this recipe.
Well, today is Blue Friday in Seattle, in support of my beloved Seattle Seahawks.  I made my soup last weekend after the win over the New Orleans Saints, therefore, I will not post anything red today (SF 49ers colors), so I don't jinx THE HAWKS!
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos The recipe this week was so simple, I didn't need to go to the store for the ingredients. My soup is really 1 of three that are to be served together, but now that my son has gone back to school, and my husband is not a big soup fan, I picked one. Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos It got a little messy. Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos YUM! This made for a lovely lunch...French-style, with wine!!!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Doggie Walk Training

New route today which included a little but of a hill and some fog!

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Smoothie du Jour: Kiwi and Strawberry

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
I kept my smoothie simple today.

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
2 cups baby spinach
1 banana
1 kiwi
1 cup frozen strawberries

Blitz and Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Post Dog Walk Smoothie

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

I've been trying to get my little dog, Sammi, ready for a couple dog friendly 5k's.  Last year, she participated with me in the Valentine's 5k and Four on the 4th, but at some point, she was exhausted and I had to pick her up for a little bit.  This year, we're doing a little training!!!
Last year, we always had a 2-Mile-Tuesday walk, but this year we're cranking it up to 3.1-Mile-Tuesday.  Sammi did great, just a few stops and sniffs.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

When we got back from the walk, Sammi got a doggie treat and I had a green smoothie.  I loosely followed a smoothie recipe that SIMPLE GREEN SMOOTHIE posted on their Facebook page.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

I used 1 cup of Almond-Coconut milk, instead of 2 cups coconut milk and only 1 cup frozen pineapple.  I also add 1 tablespoon of Chia Seeds.  I add ice to this when I am halfway through, and sip until it's time for lunch.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Smoothie Du Jour

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos Smoothie du Jour 
1 cup fresh baby spinach
1 cup water
1 cup seedless grapes
2 small peeled tangerines
1/2 cup frozen pineapple
1 small banana
1 T. chia seeds

Blitz and Enjoy!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Eastside Eats: GINZA

Photobucket Pictures, Images and PhotosPhotobucket Pictures, Images and PhotosI've been a sushi fan for years, even before it was popular.  It was common to have some raw fish or seafood on special occasions at family gatherings, so raw fish for me, never a problem!  However, here's the thing, it has to be fresh! I have gone to GINZA on Main Street a couple times, after their remodel, and the fish there is quite good. The menu at GINZA is quite vast and the sushi selection includes many sushi Rookie favorable items. Actually, the first time I ate there with my family, I don't think I had sushi. I should mention that several tables have heating elements so you can order the "table side grill" thing. Not my thing. Anyway, not bad for a neighborhood Japanese restaurant. Their pricing is a little on the higher side compared to some of their neighboring Japanese/Sushi places. Sushi is quite good, stick to the normal negiri, be brave and go for the Chef's Selection. Also, take note, One thing I really enjoy at GINZA is the Protein Salad. This combination of pickled and fresh vegetable, seaweed, broiled salmon skin and tobiko...delicious! There's usually a seat available. Ginza on Urbanspoon

Sunday, January 5, 2014

let them eat cake...from scratch

The other night at dinner a question was asked, "Does anyone make cake from scratch anymore?"  Surprised by the question, I quickly said, "Yes!"  Funny think is, I haven't made a cake, a whole cake especially, from scratch in quite some time.  When I have had time to bake, I have opted to make cookies or bread.  I woke up this morning and thought, "I am going to make a cake today, from scratch".
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
I checked for all the ingredients and luckily, we had everything I needed.  I checked the back of the cake flour box, since there was a recipe on the back that I had used for years, sadly, the recipe was for Devil's Food...hmmm.  No.  Another standby recipe is the one from King Arthur's Flour.  I found the recipe, click here. YAY!!!

After reading the recipe, and gathering all the ingredients, I really don't see the point of making cake from a box.  It's nearly the same amount of time and homemade from scratch is a million times better.
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

I love the smell of cake baking.  YUMMY!  I can barely wait.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
I made the frosting from scratch too.  I really don't measure when I make frosting, but the main ingredients are 1 stick of butter, 3-4 cups of powdered sugar, teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 1/4 to 1/2 cup whipping cream.  Today, I added 1/4 cup of melted semi-sweet chocolate, but you don't need it.
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

OK, time to frost the cake.  Crumbs can be a pain to deal with, but if you plunk a big glob of frosting  in the middle and carefully drag the frosting to the edge, you'll do fine.  Use the same technique on the sides, put a big glob of frosting on your knife and gently drag it around.
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Finally, I get a piece of cake!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin