Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Eve Food Stuff

Okay, so I have to acknowledge the New Year. I have no choice. It's coming soon, really soon. Here are some things that I found to do.

1. Tap House Grill .The prix fixe dinner includes the evening celebrations and is $50 per person; seating begins at 6:00 p.m. and continues until 8:00 p.m. Without dinner, the New Year's Eve party is $25 pre-sale and $30 at the door.
2. Serafina's New Year's Menu
3. Sorrentino
4.There is a 7 course tasting menu at Union for 95 dollars.
5. Rover's

More New Year's Eve Dinners

Friday, December 28, 2007

Boots in Cheese at Beecher's

A while ago, I posted that I would love to stomp in the cheese at Beecher's while wearing yellow boots. Dreams do come true! Actually, pretty close. So I don't have yellow boots but I have these blue and white ones.
Yes, I got to put my feet in the cheese, actually in the leftover milk that was going through the drain on the floor(it felt so warm).
Did you really think that they would let me stomp in the cheese?
The place was squeaky clean which I didn't expect. I always imagine that behind the scenes you find out about some nasty hygiene secrets that you weren't aware of. Nope, not here. The only secret here is that you could probably eat of the floor.

The people were extremely friendly. Brad, the head cheese maker made sure that I felt like a part of the cheese making family.

My dream came true! I got to witness the cheese making process.

Here is my Beecher's Story. I hope that the pictures tell it all.

The Big Cheese: Beecher's Flagship Cheese, a cheese made of Gruyere and Cheddar cheese cultures(this is the cheese that they made that day). Read more here.

Meet the Cheese makers.....
There is Blaine. Blaine studied communications at Arizona State University.
He worked in the fish section of the market and decided to move into the cheese direction. He couldn't handle the dirty looks that he would get for smelling like fish on the bus. He loves making cheese and invests all his passion into the cheese.

There is Bjorn. He studied molecule biology at Washington State University. He has a unique choice in music and a real love for cheese.

This Cloth is used to filter any debris or grass from the milk.

The Test
This test checks for antibiotics in the milk. The test looks like a pregnancy test, a certain color comes up if antibiotics are found in the milk.
If antibiotics are found, all the milk is dumped and the farmer gets in trouble. The
farmer then finds the cow responsible for this. Poor cow!

Cheese Components

1)Pasteurized whole cow's milk
3)Rennet- used to thicken milk(they used a vegetable based Rennet)
4)Salt- They used kosher salt(large grains of salt)

Cheese Fact: Ten thousand pounds of milk makes about one thousand to eleven hundred pounds of cheese.

In the pictures, you can watch the cheese change textures(say it fast, 10 times).
I started my day at 8 A.M but the ingredients really transformed into cheese at around noon.
That's it, now you know the secret. The best time to peek through the window is at noon or 12:30 when you can really get a glimpse of the action.
You can grab a serving of the World's Best Macaroni and Cheese and sit right in front of the window to savor the beauty of the cheese.
Being inside was really interesting, I felt like a fish in a tank. Everyone stared as they walked by. Oh and from one angle, there is a machine in the way. So all I could see were jeans lined up on the window. I couldn't see the people's upper bodies or heads. I wanted to take a picture but I didn't want to scare the people away.

After a day of cheese, only one thing was on my mind. Poutine. Since I grew up in Montreal, I am used to eating big plates of fries, drowned in gravy and covered in melted cheese curds. I guess I'll get some Beecher's curds this week and make myself some Canadian comfort food or maybe I'll head to the Steelhead Diner where they serve Poutine made from Beecher's Curds.
Beecher's Handmade Cheese
1600 Pike Place
Seattle, Washington 98101

Monday, December 24, 2007

This is part 3 of my foodie tour of the market with a friend who just moved here. Click here for
Part 1 and Part 2.

After the Spanish Table, I took my friend to Beecher's. This is where you can peak in the window and watch them make cheese or just hop in to the store and have a cheesy meal. Frantic Foodie Gift Tip: How about a Cheese basket? Choose your favorite cheeses and the Pure Flavor cookbook with the recipe for the "World's Best Macaroni and Cheese".

The next stop was at The Souk(1916 Pike Place). I love the Middle Eastern spices and all the fascinating exotic food products. Frantic Foodie Food Tip: Get the labaneh and the zaatar spice. Labaneh is a Middle Eastern cheese that tastes like a mix between yogurt, sour cream and cheese. In a post a while back I wrote about how to serve it.

The next stop was La Mexicana(1914 Pike Place). This is a little Mexican store where I like to warm up with a tamale before I continue my walk.

Then I took her around the corner to my favorite secret in the market, Cafe Yarmurka(1530 Post Alley 3A). I eat there all the time! I order stuffed cabbage rolls with a dollop of sour cream. I introduced this place to a Russian friend from New York and she refused to eat anywhere else for the two weeks she was here.

We then continued to Cinnamon Works(1530 Pike Place) to drool as we looked at the pastries. Huge cinnamon rolls, enormous muffins and all the ingredients are listed. Great for people with allergies.

Next stop was Sotto Voce (1532 Pike Place) for an olive oil tasting experience. Frantic Foodie Tip: A high quality olive oil is a great gift.
The next stop was The Confectional. Luckily it was their anniversary that day and they were giving out Chocolate Cheesecake Truffles. Give the gift of chocolate!
The last stop for the day was at La Bueno Tavola(1524 Pike Place). I like to taste the interesting dips and truffle oils. Frantic Foodie Gift Find: Beautiful kitchen towels(see picture). They have wine tasting everyday between 1-5. 5 dollars for 3 wine samples. Read my post for more.
We called it a day. We were stuffed and really tired. We sat near the water to relax.......
I love Seattle.

Any suggestions? Other Foodie Finds?

Friday, December 21, 2007

Frantic Foodie's Frantic Finds ,Part two

A few days ago I told you about some of the places I like to go shopping for foodie finds.
Here is part two.

After our stop at Market Spice we walked to the street behind the market. I like Market Spice when I need a few last minute spices or want to find interesting teas. When I have time to kill and the patience to look around, I wander to another spice stop. This one is bigger and less touristy. I stop at World Spice Merchants (1509 Western Ave). Here, I can open the jars and actually smell the spices. The staff is knowledgeable and very helpful. This is when I start asking all the questions about my recipes. Frantic Foodie Gift Tip: Buy a friend a spicy gift. Buy little spice bottles and fill them with some exotic rare spices. Attach a recipe for each spice.

The next stop is the Spanish Table (1426 Western Ave). This store is one of my favorite stores for
foodie inspiration. I eye the chorizo sausages, the interesting Spanish cookies and stunning Spanish dishes. I like to buy a whole bunch of the individually wrapped cookies and try a different one each time. Frantic Foodie Gift Tip: Cookbooks!They have a huge selection of cookbooks on sale. They even have some cookbooks for 10-15 dollars. They also carry Mediterranean cookbooks that are hard to find at other places.
Look out for part 3 of Frantic Foodie's Frantic Finds, In and Around the Market.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

My Trip to the Market and Sorroundings

I copied this post from my other blog.... This is what I love to do in Seattle

A friend of mine just moved here from out of town and this was a great opportunity to take her on my personal food tour. These are the places that I like to go when I need some inspiration of any kind and of course when I need to get food gifts for other food obsessed friends.
I started my food tour at the Westlake Center. Just a short walk from the Pike Place Market.
Daiso(Westlake Center, 400 Pine St) is my first stop whenever I am planning a dinner party or need some new teapots. It is a kind of Japanese dollar store with most items priced at a dollar fifty or three dollars. I get kitchen stuff, mini baking pans, special cake pans, decorations for homemade food gifts and everything else for the house.

Our next stop was the Chocolate box(108 Pine Street). They have just about anything chocolate in Seattle. There are also lots of samples and marvelous chocolate gifts to get for your friends.

The next stop is at Delaurenti(1435 First Ave)in Pike Place Market. They have a huge selection of everything; all the cheese that you can dream of, wine and so many specialty products that you can't find anywhere else. They also have truffles! Shopping tip: Get the red roasted peppers in a jar to add flavor to sauces or pasta.
Next we get a knish at the I love New York Deli (right across Delaurenti) and then we continue to Market Spice(1501 Pike Place)for a tasting of their Signature Market Spice Tea. We also got some of the spices that we need for our holiday recipes.
So many places, so little room in this post. I will continue this post some other time.
Look out for part two, coming to my blog soon.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Peet's Coffee

Last week I went to a coffee cupping at the new Peet's Coffee and Tea on Queen Anne. It was my first cupping experience.
First I learned how to taste the coffee.

Coffee Tasting
1)You swirl the coffee which cools it down.
2)Shove your nose in it. Smell the aroma!
3)SLURP! You actually make a huge slurping sound. This allows you to spray your palate.

What to look for?
1) Body, thickness, viscosity of the coffee.
2) Acidity. How acidic is it?
Do you taste a ripeness or a liveliness?
Do you taste an aftertaste? Does it linger on your tongue?
3)Aroma. What do you smell?

Now try to sense the different flavor touches. Is it fruity or floral? Can you taste cocoa? Does it have a woody taste?

After we tried a few different coffees, we discussed food pairing.
Some combos that go together.
Coffee from Kenya with chocolate.
Indonesian coffee goes with cinnamon or really creamy textured desserts or foods.
Ethiopian coffee with a fruit dessert, a berry or lemon tart.

Call Peet's to find out when the next free cupping will take place.

* There will be a fundraising event for the Sacred Heart Shelter on Dec 24. Peet's will be serving free brewed coffee and tea. People can donate as they wish. The donation will be matched by Peet's Coffee.

Peet's Coffee
2201 Queen Anne Ave. N
206 826 9001


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Zen Asian Bistro in Bellevue

The newly opened Zen Asian Bistro is the greatest new addition to downtown Bellevue.
The place has an alluring atmosphere with a clean but classy, minimalistic decor.
Even before your meal arrives, the experience starts. You are presented with a smoky soup, edamame and a pot of tea. At first I thought it was some kind of lunch special but the same pre-meal pamper is served on the dinner menu as well. I enjoyed the Zen’s chicken in soothing lettuce cup and the vegetable tempura. The vegetable tempura was crunchy and not soggy with a great selection of vegetables. The Chicken Pad Thai($10) was a great blend of flavors and really well done. The sate was nothing special which was totally fine considering everything else was well executed. The staff was genuinely friendly and patient considering that I manically asked them if the food had M.S.G. Nope, none in sight. The prices are reasonable for such trendy and presentable fare($10-15 per entree). I am looking forward to my next Zenful evening because I haven't tried the sushi yet. The place is open until 2 am on some nights of the week.
If you want a great atmosphere with impressive food Zen go there soon.

Zen Asian Bistro
989 112th Avenue NE, Bellevue,
Washington 98004
(425) 453-2999

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Truffle Chex Mix

Every time I open my freezer I get a whiff of the Truffle Salt that I bought a while back. I decided to use it make Truffle Chex Mix for a girls night out I hosted this week. The girls
found it addictive and everyone was asking where I got it.

Truffle Chex Mix

6 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
1 and 1/2 teaspoons of Truffle Salt
3/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
9 cups of Chex Cereal
1 cup of mixed nuts
1 cup of pretzels
1 cup of vegetable chips(I used Terra Exotic Mediterranean chips)

1. Heat oven to 250 degrees.
2. Melt butter in microwave.
3. Stir seasonings in with butter.
4. Mix all ingredients together.
5. Bake for an hour, mixing every 15 minutes or so.

It tasted nice but I felt like there should be more chips. Next time I will add more.
I am refraining from making this for myself because I will probably end up eating it all in one day. That's what guests are for.

Truffle Salt is from La Buona Tavola, 1524 Pike Place. 206-292-5555
Chips are from Whole Foods.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Greek Gods Baklava Ice Cream

For the blogger event we received samples of foods and one of them was the Greek Gods yogurts and ice Cream. I contacted them after I tried their yogurt and fell in love. The plain yogurt has been my favorite for a really long time. I love the creamy almost sour cream like consistency. It tastes great instead of sour cream as a side to my favorite foods. Hubby and I topped our ravioli filled with kabocha squash with the yogurt.
I also received a sample of the Baklava Ice cream. I don't like Baklava because it is way to sweet but this ice cream is a unique mariage of walnuts, honey, cinnamon and almonds. It truly is wonderful! There is so much flavor in it. Every time I need something sweet, I stick my head in the freezer and grab a spoonful.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

When Food Obsessed Crazies Get Together- Seattle Food Blogger Dinner

After two weeks of planning the day finally arrived. The Food Blogger Dinner was an extensive menu of foodies all under the roof of Quinn's, the restopub created by the owners of Zoe, Chef Scott Staples and his wife Heather.
Some of the foodies had to cancel because there is a terrible flu going around. All I can say is that the round up was nothing short of the perfect amuse bouche. A combination of blogalicious flavors and lots of amazing bouche action, in other words: excessive foodie chatter.

The Menu

Italian: Candace Dempsey from Italian woman at the table is proof that food bloggers can be great friends even before they actually meet. We have become close merely by reading each other's blogs and she gave me a beautiful present, a huge amount of Tunisian saffron leaving me feeling like a queen holding a stash of gold. Candace is currently teaching a food writing course online,
a great opportunity to get a bite of her expertise. You can also find her in The Seattle PI, right next to my Frantic Foodie blog.

Vegetables: What would a dinner be without the best choice of seasonal vegetables.
Michael Natkin from Herbivoracious knows how to turn vegetables into a meal with motivating dishes and story-telling pictures.
His glorification of vegetarianism actually motivated me to create my birthday dinner without an ounce of meat.

. What would life be without the saltiness of a Cornichon. Ronald Holden of Cornichon needs no introduction.You can find him in Seattlest and in Delicious City as well.
Don't expect Ronald to hold back if he doesn't like your food, pity is not his thing. He speaks out with plenty of sarcasm and manages to write about virtually every food related event around.

SEX: Ha, I got your attention. You can count on Jay Friedman for an original take on sex education comparing women to crock pots(slow cooking) and men to microwave ovens(heat up fast)in the sexual arousement area. You can catch his food writing in Seattlest. Decadent!

Now what is a restaurant without a menu. Katrin Rippel specializes in menu translation and other cultural issues associated with food. She has worked as a chef in restaurants and knows the food world from behind the scenes.

The Gastrognome:What would an event be without someone to eat and tell? Naomi Bishop tells is like it is on her blog, Gastrognome where her keen palate shows through. She also works as a Marketing Coordinator at Chow Foods.

Food Writing: Now comes Anne Beckham, writer and editor at Antioch University. She wooed us with her food stories especially the one where she got to travel to Jordan. That is where her friendship with Candace started and I have one word to say. Lucky!

Stick a Fork in it: Rachel Belle is a reporter who also co-hosts Stick a Fork in it, where she reviews food in a unique, comical and interesting way. You can download the shows online. Now you know why it took me so long to post this.

We also had a gift exchange where people got interesting second-hand cookbooks, hand made chocolates by Katrin herself and some other foodie products.

Quinn's was the perfect choice for the dinner. The place had a positive vibe, a kind of bistro meets chic lacking the pretentiousness sometimes found at places with great food. I ordered the 8.oz snake river farms wagyu beef burger with cheddar, bacon and fries. I ordered this after reading on food forums that this is a a generous pick. I was ridiculously hungry. It sure was. The burger was tender and the bun! Oh my, the bun! It was kind of sweet, a combination between a brioche and a doughnut. There were lots of fries. One fellow foodie remarked that all he could see were fries from across the table. That's because I devoured the hamburger, buddy.
My hubby ordered the cheese plate, the rabbit pate and the pear salad, endive, frise, green beans and stilton. Everything tasted marvelous. I am already planning my next visit. I am curious to see the Quinnesque take on a Sloppy Joe(Yes, Ronald) and fish and chips.
The prices were quite reasonable which you can see on the menu.

The next blogger event will be in a few weeks so if you want to be invited, this is the time to send me an email. I got so many emails from people the night of the event which was too late.

For another take on the dinner Herbivoracious.

1001 East Pike Street
206 325 7711

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Pimp My Bubby!

When I was growing up I was the only Jewish girl without a bubby. We called my grandma Safta, which is a word in Hebrew. Bubby is the word in yiddish for Grandmother. I felt so deprived to not have a bubby.
I was very excited to find that someone is offering his bubby to others.
How sweet of him! Check out the bubby and her recipe for potato latkes, a potato patty eaten on Hannukah.
You don't need a bubby to make these. You can have a nana, grand-maman or whatever else. All Grandma's are the cutest.
What do you call yours?

Monday, December 3, 2007

How I Ate The Voodoo Doll

Warning: Some of the descriptions might be too graphic for some.

How to Eat a Voodoo Doll

1. Drive to Portland.
2. Tell the GPS where to go.
3. Listen to it say "You have arrived at your destination".
4. Run into Voodoo Doughnuts
5. Ask for the voodoo doughnut.
6. Run to the car and shove the pretzel into your mouth.
7. Savor the saltiness.
8. Bite the doll's head off.
9. Savor the doughy texture.
10. Keep biting until you get to the bloody insides(cherry filling)
11. Leave the legs for your significant other(that's all my husband got).
12. Done!

Notes from the eater: If you are not into voodoo then you can get the Nyquil Glazed and Pepto-bismo doughnut. Right now it is not available. I wonder why.
You can try the lemony one, the dirt one( raised doughnut covered with vanilla glaze and Oreo cookies) or the Grape Ape(raised doughnut with vanilla frosting and grape powder). There are also some others that are too dirty to mention. If this is too graphic for you, get a vegan one. They have lots of those.

Voodoo Doughnut
22 Sw. Third Avenue
503-241 4704