Thursday, December 31, 2009
Yup, it's that time of year. Even though I've hung up the professional feedbag, there's just something about the end of the year that shoves me into a reflective mood, compelling me to boil 12 months worth of eating into a bite-size list.
It was a hell of a year. The newspaper folded. Our Baby Girl went off to college. And so did Johnny. He's this close to getting a masters in elementary education after putting his 30-year newspaper career to bed on March 17.
Still, this roller coaster ride of 2009 has had a whole lot of thrills, especially when it comes to meals shared around a table filled with friends and family. Here's to 2010 and all the great bites to come!
Some of my favorite morsels of 2009, pictured from top to bottom:
One of everything please at Couchon, New Orleans.
BLT handroll at Do, Memphis.
Walla Walla Sweet Onion taco, Walla Walla.
Claire's high school graduation party on the water at Lincoln Park: BBQ pork sammies, Nana's beans and cake from the same bakery where we got our wedding cake, Borracchini's.
Deep-fried dill pickles at Luizza's On the Tracks, New Orleans.
Go meet the new pastry chef at Barking Frog, Woodinville.
Post-hike bratwurst with my brother Chris at Munchen Haus, Leavenworth.
Duck egg ravioli made by Tom Douglas at the Tom Douglas Summer Boot Camp, Seattle.
Charcuterie and local cheese plate at The Pike, Seattle.
Hitting the snack bar at The Seaview Theater, Orcas Island.
Getting piggy with my barbecue guru at Central, Memphis.
Breakfast at Mother's, Portland.
More incredible/memorable bites from 2009, from top to bottom:
Bacon-wrapped scallops and kale at Black Bottle.
Craig's BBQ in DeValls Bluff, Arkansas.
Roast chicken at Soul Fish in Memphis.
Everything at Pam's Caribbean on the Ave.
Everything at Salumi.
Yellowtail tataki in Whitefish, Montana.
Oysters at Taylor Shellfish Farms, Samish Bay.
Monday, December 21, 2009
I'm not sure when it happened, but my daughter has become oyster lover. Baby Girl used to be so dang picky, so parents of persnickety kids should take heart.
When we were working out our holiday menus, she suggested oysters on Christmas Eve. Which sent me into a shellfish fever. What would it be? On the half shell? Fried? Wrapped in bacon? Rockefellered? How about yes to all of the above. I'll make oysters a dozen different ways, I foolishly declared.
Now I'm in a pickle. I can only come up with 10 recipes. What am I missing?
On the half shell
A Bloody Mary shooter
Dredged in a curry powder and flour and fried
Angels on Horseback
Maybe I should quit fixating on coming up with a dozen. Ten's a good number. Unless somebody's got a savory suggestion.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Heading to Walla Walla this weekend for Holiday Barrel Tasting, snow forecasts be damned.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Did everybody have a wonderful Turkey Day?
Friday, November 20, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Sure had a filling trip to Memphis and Oxford, Miss., for the Southern Foodways Alliance Symposium, three days of food, fellowship and big, big fun.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Had a friend from Atlanta visiting last week, in Seattle taking photos for a book on street food. Angie and I packed a whole lot into two days.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Stop! There's smoke. And where there's smoke, pouring out of a cooker, there's bound to be good barbecue, right?
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Had to see what all the fuss was about at VooDoo Donuts in Portland. Really lived up to the hype. The crunchy/salty bacon the perfect contrasting note to the sticky sweet maple frosting.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Lou Manna is a force, a photographer from New York who has been in the business for 30 years.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
I've got a junk drawer full of fridge magnets. There's just not enough room for all of them.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
Had a "Canning Across America" party this weekend and every inch of counter space was sticky by the end of the day. We started around 10 and finished after 5... a long, sweet day.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
When I moved back to the Northwest in 2007, after three delicious years in Memphis, I probably gained 10 pounds eating my way through the spectacular pastries and artisan breads at Macrina Bakery.
I’m crazy about the cookies and the cupcakes and the scones. I’ve ordered layer cakes for special occasions and have cashed in quite a few “buy 12 loaves, get one free” cards. I don’t know if I could pick a favorite.
Owner Leslie Mackie didn’t hesitate when I asked her top picks for loaves and sweets: the seeded baguette and the fresh fruit coffee cake.
Tomorrow, Macrina celebrates its 16th birthday by treating customers to a cup of coffee. Sweet!
Macrina started small, doing mostly breads in a teeny 847 square feet space. Just one bench for seating. The operation has grown to three locations, each with its own charms. Lately, I’ve been drawn to the SODO spot (in the photo above) because I love watching the crew working the dough through the windows into the huge production space.
A good reminder, Mackie said, that everything’s made by hand.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Had an absolute blast at the Ready, Set, Go... Cook competition at the U-District Farmers Market today, an annual event that's a fresh take on the Iron Chef.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Just spent a few amazing days at the Quillisascut Farm School of the Domestic Arts and I'm still high from the good vibrations. It was an amazing learning experience. Tough and tiring, but really rewarding.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
How cool is that?
I'm going to be on Morning Living with Kim Fernandez and Betsy Karetnick Wednesday, July 29 at 6 a.m. PST, 9 for my friends on the East Coast. The segment's called "The Dish" and it features restaurant critics from across the country talking about some of their favorite things, trends, seasonal stuff.
But we're also going to talk about my Critic-Turned-Cook project, which, this week, involves a trip to Culinary Farm School 101 at Quillisascut Cheese. Can't wait to take my turn on the milking stool.
You can sign up for a free trial of Sirius XM Satellite radio to hear my interview on Martha Stewart Living Radio. Here's the link.
Got any suggestions/advice/tips? Where's your favorite place to eat in Seattle these days?
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Every summer, we have family from overseas visit for several weeks. There's a whole lot of shopping and prepping and cooking and eating and doing dishes and starting all over again.
I just took the extra leaf out of the dining room table and seating for six has gone back to a four-top, set for just two this week. We get a taste of the so-called empty nest syndrome soon to be a permanent piece of our lives because Baby Girl's gone to Maui with the in-laws... on their trek back to Cambodia. (My brother-in-law works for the CDC and has lived in Asia and Africa for nearly 10 years.)
These quiet, post-visit meals always take some getting used to, especially since there's a lump in my throat. I hate saying goodbye. (Especially at the curb at SeaTac at 6 a.m.)
This summer visit, we shared some spectacular spreads: grilled King salmon on the Fourth, a Thai feast prepared by Ubon (and, no, she didn't give me recipes...), a weenie roast at cousins Marge and Jim's, seared flank steak and caramelized Walla Walla Sweets, gingerbread pudding. But no matter what we're eating, it's the sitting around the big table and talking and laughing and teasing and occasionally breaking into song that I love.
It's corny, but these gatherings feed me. The meals take me back to childhood memories, hanging out in the kitchen with my grandmother. Believe me, it sure wasn't all Norman Rockwell. There were some damn dark times, too, but I'm not going to go there. I'm just going to close my eyes and think about the lazy Sunday supper when my 17-year-old nephew suggested a post-dinner game of hearts. That moment was sweeter than any dessert.
What about you? Do you have visitors this summer? What are you feeding them?
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
My friend and I were walking to the Pike Place Market today and didn't notice the signs that said "crosswalk closed", so she ended up walking onto some freshly poured sidewalk. Red-faced construction worker yelled at her and others who took the same path. A policeman showed up. Big drama.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Hey guys and gals....
Thursday, July 9, 2009
For a list of some Seattle restaurants giving cherries the star treatment they deserve, check out this link.
What's your favorite way to enjoy cherries? I love/love/love 'em straight up, eating them until I get a stomachache. You?
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Friday, July 3, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Started the day at Le Jeune's Bakery in Jeanerette, aka Sugar City, a spot with some ancient funk. And I mean that in the best possible way. The secret to their deeply satisfying loaves and po-boy rolls? Using malt instead of sugar to feed the yeast and using lard. The ovens at this special place looked like they belonged in a museum.
After the biggest eating day of my life, I woke up hungry. Imagine that! Details on yesterday's moveable feast in magical New Orleans to come.