apple pancake

2013-09-22 10.52.50.jpg

This week I have a cooking article in the Cascadia Weekly, explaining a dish that’s near and dear to my heart: German Apple Pancake. I finally sat down with my favorite recipes for clafoutis, Dutch Baby, and Yorkshire pudding, figured out the ratios and tried making a completely off-the-cuff breakfast with an apple I found in my parents’ fridge instead of referring to the original recipe. It worked pretty darn well. On our way home we stopped at a fruit stand and bought a bag of Jonagolds, I have my eye on a recipe for buckwheat apple tart from the new Deborah Madison cookbook.

And, speaking of Dutch Babies, I want to share a comic that my aunt Holly Tuttle did a while back for a cartoonist cookbook. (Note: cooking religious extremists is not recommended)

09-27-2013 07;12;28AM

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Tweets

Tweets

My review of Tweets came out in the Cascadia Weekly week before last. I had hoped to link to the article, but they never put it online. Fortunately you can read the original PDF here, and I thought I’d put up a few extra photos from my “research” trips.

today's menu

To sum up: it took us a while to try Tweets, since it’s so close to our other favorite hangouts Slough Food and The Edison, but it’s now become our go-to breakfast outing. You order at the counter, pay in cash, then wander around with your coffee cup hoping a table will open up. There’s no guarantee you’ll find a spot, especially when the weather’s bad and there’s no outdoor seating, but people seem to be pretty good natured about shifting around to make room. Continue reading

North Sound Brewing

North Sound Brewingsummer day

Last week I got to write up a review for Cascadia Weekly about our newest local brewery, North Sound Brewing Co. It’s in this week’s issue, check it out!

sampler

I don’t like all of the beer here (it tends towards the sweet and strong), but the Hop Chops IPA and the Bitter Rain ESB are really awesome.

beer and chips

I miss the funky British potato chips they used to have, but there’s nothing wrong with Kettle chips.

Indian takeout

Or a big mess of lamb vindaloo from Pami’s down the road. Or a pizza from Sahara or Pacioni’s, or a burger from the Net, or a picnic from home.

beer on the patio

It’s a fine place to spend a hot Sunday afternoon.

brunch, burgers and booze

breakfast mac and cheese

The new issue of Cascadia Weekly just came out today, with a restaurant review of Sunday brunch at the Brown Lantern, written by me. I particularly wanted to talk about their breakfast mac and cheese, which is a thing of beauty and great substance (read: calories). I had to refresh my memory before writing the article, of course, so we went back recently with some friends. I believe we were all slightly hungover, as befits this sort of breakfast, and it was incredibly satisfying. Here are a few extra photos from our outing:

Brown Lantern

The decor above the bar at the Brown Lantern is fascinating – always something to look at. I’d like to hear the story behind the inflatable shark.

the Lantern breakfast

The Lantern Standard breakfast. It really was too bad about the undercooked bacon, but the tater tots were excellent. I like tater tots. Almost as much as I like mac and cheese.

biscuits and gravy

This was the biscuits and gravy. One of the ugliest platefuls I’ve ever seen, but it tasted great and there was plenty of gravy.

breakfast mac and cheese

I barely made any visible dent in my breakfast. And yet I was very, very full. I’m still impressed after watching a member of our party eat an entire plate of this.

Anyone had the breakfast burrito there?

Golden Glen

Vic and Judythe farm store

Back in October I went out to interview the Jensen family at Golden Glen Creamery for the Nov/Dec issue of Grow Northwest magazine. You can read the original article here, but I thought it would be fun to post some of the other photos I took.

the cheese roomthe cheese room

The Jensens don’t actually own the creamery any more, but the family is still very much involved in running the place. All the folks I talked to were exceedingly proud of their milk, the quality of their cheese, and their rather snazzy cheese room. When Vic opened the door and let me peek in, a vast waft of garlic hit me in the face from the fresh wheels of dill-garlic cheese resting on the racks. If you’ve ever had that stuff as fresh cheese curds, you may agree with me that it’s one of the more addictive dairy products out there. I also got a glimpse of the aging room, which happened to be a trailer parked behind the farm store.

I did not get to meet any cows. I was informed that they were off being milked (something they spend quite a bit of their day at). No cheese samples, either. But  I got to have a large dog lean against my legs while I took notes, and the view from the farm was nice.

view from the farm

I used my trip out to the dairy as an excuse to drive around on the Skagit flats at dawn and take pictures of the autumn fields in the morning mist.

misty farm

misty barn

farm road

sunrise through fog

layers

view from Persons Road

(There are, by the way, calendars of my photographs for sale over at Qoop. Just thought I’d mention it.)

a few good reads

recent reading

Being sick last month really helped me get through some of my To Be Read backlog. I finally got around to Fuchsia Dunlop’s memoir of learning to cook Sichuan food (Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper), which was impressive but sort of made me not want to ever go to China. Her description of how to cook a sea cucumber until it tastes of nothing at all was utterly fantastic; I had to read it out loud to every family member within reach. I’m not sure this would be a good book for a vegetarian to read, however – at least not if they’re the squeamish variety.

Then I stumbled across this innocuous little book at work called The School of Essential Ingredients, by Erica Bauermeister. Continue reading