Friday, December 30, 2011

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Peanut Butter Bacon Cookies!

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Nothing says the holidays like bacon and peanut butter, am I right?!  Okay maybe you're a bit skeptical that a recipe this weird-sounding, could taste so good...but don't knock it 'til you try it!  Just the right amount of sweetness with the saltiness of the peanut butter, really brings out the peanut buttery flavor in this new favorite of mine.  I found the recipe online, where else!  I thought how fun it would be to make these for stocking stuffers this year and watch people's reactions of "ewwww!" or "what???" or "ooooooooh awesome!"  And the added bonus is that you get to cook bacon before it all starts, making the house smell delicious!



(Recipe via JoytheBaker who adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook)

First, pre cook your bacon.
About 6 slices of bacon, cooked, cooled and diced or minced depending on how chunky you want it. I like to cook bacon in the oven for nice flat, evenly cooked slices. 400 degrees, 7 minutes one side, flip, 7 or 8 minutes the other side depending on how you like it.

Then put oven to 350 degrees F.

1 cup all-natural chunky or smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment & set aside or use a non-stick pan. In a mixer combine peanut butter and sugars until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add egg and baking soda and mix for another 2 minutes. Fold in cooked bacon. Roll into large walnut sized balls and create a criss-cross pattern with a fork. If you’d like, roll the dough balls in granulated sugar before making the criss-cross pattern. Eat one raw ball for good measure (hey, the original recipe said to, so!) Bake for 10 minutes, until lightly browned. They will seem still soft, but this is the secret to them being awesome. Cool on a baking sheet for five minutes, because they're still a bit crumbly. Then transfer to a cooling rack or plate to consume at will.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

I'm Back!

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Seems like it's been forever since I wrote or posted about food! But we're back from New Zealand, which was truly the greatest vacation we have ever been on in our lives. If you ever have a chance to go, you will come back feeling like you have touched the very heart of the planet. We took a ton of photos and yes, a lot were of food! I thought I would just post my favorites here (including some funny snacks!).

I guess I should also say HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR! Hope 2012 is filled with more recipe sharing and good eating.  Click on each photo to see them larger!

Lamb pot pie at Speight's Brewery in Christchurch - Quite nice; potatoes tasted funny though; salad lovely.
Added Bonus: Hubby's favorite US hockey team on the tube.

Naan bread with 2 chutneys and raita at http://whistlingfrogcafe.com/ 
located in the Catlins Coastal Conservation Park! Delish!

Best seafood chowder I think I've ever had at The Whistling Frog Cafe.
Everything from mussels, to white fish, to shrimp, in a rich creamy broth.
Darren's savory thyme pancakes! Quite lovely.

Farm fresh eggs from the Glacial Rock B&B Farmstay!

Lovely roasted garlic and herb butter with bread at Redcliff Restaurant and Bar
in Te Anau.

Darren's vegetarian couscous stuffed eggplant and salad.


My fresh daily fish special!  I couldn't tell you what kind though, just that
it was the best fish I had in New Zealand!



Dessert! I believe it was a passionfruit panna cotta. Mmm! 


I didn't eat these, but it made me smile.

A bit too weird tasting, sorta smokey salty flavored.

Simple toasted bagel for breakfast with preserves and cream cheese!

Savory muffin from Vudu Cafe, cheesy goodness with jalapenos!

Pastry and various goodies at Vudu Cafe, Queenstown.

Super rich and tasty french onion soup at http://goodgroup.co.nz/botswana-butchery/queenstown/

Green Pea risotto at Botswana Butchery, loved all the veggies and fried potato ring on top!

Beet Salad at Botswana Butchery.

Coffee at Vudu Cafe!

Buttermilk pancakes at Vudu Cafe, Queenstown.

Brioche french toast with bacon and caramelized banana! I had this one. 

Pork and veggie dumplings, shredded potatoes and greens at 
Barilla Dumplings in Auckland.

Totally forgot what the pub was called, but this is essentially just some hash browns,
eggs and veggies.

Overdressed prawn salad, but tasty.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Kiwiland Here We Come!

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My blog will be on temporary hiatus for awhile as I travel to New Zealand with my husband for the next few weeks!  It made me wonder what to expect I might eat over there, although I think we'll basically be playing it by ear because we're doing some extensive car travel, camping, hiking, etc.  I just want to make sure to at least try some of the local farm foods, mutton, seafood, pork, potatoes, desserts, and dumplings from the Maori traditions! 

Here's wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving and eating in the next months!  Oh man, I'd better loosen my belt.



Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Best Veggie Burger in Seattle!

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I've said it before and I'll say it again, Cherry Street Coffee House in Seattle has the best veggie burger in my most humble opinion!  Try it for yourself!  I'm just passing on the food porn. :)

burger cross section
delicious veggie burger!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Can you guess what this is?

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Batter Fractal?

I know, you're probably like, "WHAT THE HECK IS THAT?!"

I've had many guesses from friends and here are a few:
- beer
- cheesecake
- a horrifying skin infection
- coffee
- yeast
- foaming egg nog
- a deceit of lapwings (I have no idea what that is)
- pancakes
- aliens
- fractal crop circles from micro aliens
- Doughvember?

Haha!  But no, none of the above.  It's actually a photograph of what happened when I was making gluten free vegan cupcakes from my favorite cuppycakey recipe book, and when I poured the canola oil into the frothy batter, it made these amazing crop-circle like formations!  I almost ruined a perfect photo opp too by starting to stir, when I realized this was something I should probably take a picture of.  And I'm sure this happens all the time when baking, but this is the first time it's ever formed many sizes of circles around a large one.  SO COOL!

Time for winter baking!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Perfect Lunch @ The Dray!

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I've posted about this place before, and last week we went to the favorite little pub of ours, The Dray in Greenwood.  They even had one of my favorite beers on tap, Rodenbach Grand Cru!  Couldn't believe it.  If you know me, you know I heart my sour beer...it's the only beer I drink!  I love going there when we just want a simple bite to eat with great beer.  I had their "grand salame" sandwich which has genoa salame, provolone, pepperoncini on sourdough bread served with a black bean, corn and cilantro salad.  I totally saw how they made their salad too, as the woman there was making it and I piped in with "Okay, 8 cans of black beans aaaaaand............?"  and she laughed as she delightfully went through the ingredient list with me.  LOVE IT.

If you ever want a simple lunch and a delicious beverage among the exciting sounds of a UK football match and friendly patrons, come to the Dray!

lunch at The Dray

Sunday, October 30, 2011

HAPPY HALLOWEEN WEEKEND!

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This year I wanted to do a DJ Pumpkin!  I've been dj'ing for a decade, so I thought it was high time I did one. You can find my dj sets at http://www.djlara.net/ as well.  Enjoy and have a safe and wonderful weekend!  Happy eating and cooking too!

DJ Pumpkin in da haus!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Good Ramen in Greenwood!

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People have been telling us to go to Aloha Ramen for so long, I'm thrilled we finally went and it's in our neighborhood!  Service was very friendly and although the place is super small inside, we were seated right away because we came early.  Free parking out front too!  Our ramen was very tasty, not too salty, as you can add more salty or spicy tastes from their condiments on the table.  I think that I prefer the taste of the broth ever-so-slightly better at Kushibar in Belltown, Seattle, but these guys are making a pretty darn good bowl of noodle soup. My gyoza was perfectly charred, caramelized on the bottom like it should be, I swear I could have eaten a couple of orders!  The garlic rice was very nicely done too, just the right amount. I might even forgo the soup next time and go for their katsu or curry, as it looked so delectable on the other people's table!  Highly recommended, don't miss this place if you're up on Greenwood at dinnertime!

Shoyu ramen & Kimchi ramen in back

gyoza aka potstickers

tofu char siu garlic fried rice

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

All You Can Eat | Book Larder: Seattle's community cookbook store opens in Fremont | Seattle Times Newspaper

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Read THIS ARTICLE.

Wow, a whole community cookbook store right in Fremont, Seattle, opens today! A former Microsoft employee, Lara Hamilton, went from 15 years in human resources to fulfilling a dream of hers to do something in the food world. I look forward to visiting and maybe even taking one of their small cooking classes.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Big Lunch in Georgetown!

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Lentil Shepherd's Pie

Okay, this wasn't what I got, but my friend David did and it was damn good! Can't really beat the "Savory French lentils, shitake mushrooms, tomatoes, garlic, zucchini, and carrots baked under a generous layer of mashed cauliflower potatoes and sprinkled with cheddar cheese." That's what it says on Georgetown's Calamity Janes' menu and it's a pretty good description of this very hearty lunch. Maybe the lentils and carrots could have been cooked slightly longer, but everything tasted really good together in every warming bite. My hubby makes a version of this too (his is the best, what can I say), but this place is a close 2nd! ;)

I went a little lighter with their tortellini special plate that was served with pita and grilled watermelon. Whatever tastes the watermelon picked up on the grill was super delicious too, I must say. Loved the atmosphere of this place too, with a western sort of feel and it didn't feel like you were in Seattle at all, which is one of the wonderful traits about Georgetown. I sure hope they keep that little spot the way it is and never put up any modern buildings!

Tortellini salad, pita, and grilled watermelon

Anyway, if you find yourself in the Georgetown area, you gotta hit this place up. I have read some reviews that weren't so favorable for some staff, but honestly I thought they were super friendly and informative in terms of helping us make a choice for lunch. They've got a nice bar there too, so even pop in for a pint!

Monday, October 3, 2011

A good day for some Clams!

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If you're ever around the Greenlake area, stop in at the Latona Pub for a pint and some delicious lunch! We always end up making an afternoon of it, with a walk around the lake, lunch, and waddling slowly home. The menu has plenty to choose from for all meat and veggie eaters! I had a glass of wine with my clams, but they rotate their beers on tap regularly with seasonal favorites. Very highly recommended!

clams at Latona Pub!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fig and Thyme Jam Recipe!

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Found this super easy tasty recipe for Fig Jam in Bon Appetit magazine this month. I definitely preferred the taste more the day after it was jarred and refrigerated. And the original recipe used black mission figs I believe, but I had green ones so I used those.

Put 1/2 cup honey or sorghum syrup in a medium sauce pan and bring to a simmer.
Add 1tsp orange zest, 2 whole sprigs of thyme, and a pinch of salt.
Stir and continue to simmer for a minute.
Add 1lb of stemmed and quartered fresh figs (any type will do).
Simmer for 5-10 minutes depending on the softness of the figs
and that they retain their shape.

Let cool and put in a storage container or jar into the fridge.  VOILA!

I had mine on toast with peanut butter this morning, it was sooo tasty!  I loved
the savory accents from the thyme and earthy sweetness.

green figs
figs and orange zest
Breakfast!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

More Macrina Bakery Food Porn!

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Just posting some delicious looking lunch I had the other day with my friend David and Macrina Bakery.  You can add it to the ever-growing list of ridiculously tasty food I've had there.  The top photo is a roasted eggplant ravioli with roasted red peppers, goat cheese, spinach and pesto. I will say that this time, I wasn't digging the cheese on my crostini (bottom photo) as much as I would have liked some of David's ricotta that he had on his ravioli.  It was sort of tasteless and the texture seemed off...But the other ingredients of roasted heirloom tomatoes, roasted corn, ham, roasted mushrooms and leeks made up for it, hehe.

Eggplant ravioli
Crostini at Macrina Bakery

Friday, September 9, 2011

Delicious Dragonfruit!

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Found a lovely dragon fruit at our local organic market the other day and thought it might make a good photographic subject! Cutting it open, I was filled with awe at how incredibly bright the pink hues were inside. It had a mild sweet flavor unlike anything I can really describe...perhaps with hints of vanilla taste and a honeydew creamy texture. There are other varieties with white flesh, so I was unsure what type I bought.  There are many kinds all over the world and have different names based on their flavors which can range from sweet to more tart. Just reading it's Wikipedia page, you realize what an amazing fruit this really is.

Dragonfruit Mosaic

1. dragon fruit macro 1, 2. dragon fruit macro 7, 3. dragon fruit macro 11, 4. dragon fruit macro 13
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