Thursday, February 24, 2011


Amazing hospitality, oysters from Puget Sound, beautiful sunrises, two giant St. Bernard dogs, three chefs in the kitchen and delicious pub food...

Only a few of the things I experienced during my trip to Seattle and Bainbridge Island this past weekend- My good friends Jon and Gina Brandt have an amazing little cottage on the water where they spend a few months out of the year. Seriously, these two have a gift for hospitality and I'm so grateful!

(I love this shot of Boston Thomas took)

Blackbird Bakery...

Can you spot the kite?

I think I'm finally warming up to oysters...

T in Seattle's library- a site not to be missed

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sunchoke Puree at the Ritz

Recently I've wanted to cut back on my complaining at restaurants. No particular reason other than not wanting to be annoying to the waiter . Who knows what kind of day they had. I mean, unless they're really terrible at their job or the food is pretty bad or not what I ordered I don't want to say a peep.

The other day at the Ritz Carlton I ordered the Sea Bass. The waiter sold me on it saying there was a sunchoke puree on the bottom and pickled sunchokes on top. Sunchokes remind me of the restaurant I worked at in Rennes; we would steam and puree them with cream (from Normandy, of course) and use the rich silky tuber as a garnish. It was so good! I couldn't wait to consume the puree and see what a pickle sunchoke looked like at the Ritz.

My dish came and the only puree I saw was yellow, looking more like butternut squash and the pickled vegetable wasn't a sunchoke, it matched the puree in color and was in fact a butternut squash. Hm. I looked under the fish and to my disappointment it was only grilled frisee. Interesting. My sunchoke dreams were shattered. The strange colored puree tasted a hint of sunchoke but not enough to make it amazing.

Without thinking I asked our waiter about it..."I was just curious where the sunchokes were in this dish?" He ran to the kitchen coming back to tell me they were in fact pureed with the butternut squash. Okay, not a huge deal, I smiled and thanked him for asking.
He then proceeded to apologize profusely for selling me the dish wrong and told me to save room for dessert...he was going to send out a cookie platter.

Ahh, I didn't need free food! I'm sorry! Didn't I recently vow to stop my complaining? I was just inquiring, not complaining...

The cookies were good, real good, but maybe not worth backsliding on my goal. I will say, however, that the coffee flavored macaroon was quite delicious.

Shaved fennel and celery salad topped off this crab cake. I love this idea.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super Bowl Nachos

If you know me you know I don't care much about football and when it comes to Super Bowl Sunday I typically want to be at a party but don't exactly focus on the game. I enjoy the highlights and commercials as well as a good touchdown or two but the food at the superbowl party is far more interesting.

This year I cruised up to Napa with a friend and made the most decadent carnitas nachos of all time. I don't know anyone who doesn't like a loaded nacho plate, and for good reason I might add; Every bite of these treats had a delicious blend of homemade goodness.

Loaded Super Bowl Nachos

Homemade carnitas meat, recipe found here
Rancho Gordo Heirloom pinto beans (yum!)
Homemade red tomatillo salsa
Chips from La Luna Taqueria in Rutherford
Sauteed poblano chiles and onions
Tillamock Extra Sharp White Cheddar Cheese
Mexican Crema
Green Onions

Napa in the winter- there's just something magical about it, even if it is in the high 70's!