Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Heart Doughnuts!

This is a very belated post, oops! My sister and I wanted to try our hand at making doughnuts again. Last year, they came out okay. Nothing special. We wanted to try again, since when else can we have a boiling hot pot of oil on our stove top other than when we are at home? So we decided to add Apple Cider Doughnuts to our Christmas morning breakfast menu.

Frying things without a deep fryer is scary. I hate heating that much oil to such a high temperature, and, it takes forever to heat said oil. Maybe I will only make cake doughnuts in the future.

The doughnuts turned out to be a perfect holiday blend of cinnamon, sugar, and hearts, of course.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Havana Good Time

Cohibas, mojitos and a whole lotta communism. That would sum up our trip to Cuba in a nutshell. And the food? Mojitos, duh. Kidding. Kind of.

Cuban food is delicious - lots of meat, seafood, platanos and that beans and rice dish you guys probably all have seen. And a lot of the food is fried. So really, you can't go wrong.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dining in the Pacific Northwest

Seattle has a great restaurant scene. Everytime I visit, I am lucky enough to have a chance to get a sampling of some of it!

In my most recent visit, my dear friend Marya took me to the Walrus and the Carpenter, which unbeknownst to me at the time, was rated by Bon Appetit as the #3 best new restaurants in America! Normally I don't like most seafood all that much, but this was fantastic. This was also my first time eating raw oysters. I don't know why it took me this long, but they were delicious!

Sidenote: during my trip, my sister and I were watching some tv show about food borne illnesses...and apparently high levels of horseradish can be very toxic. So, don't go over board. Apparently some lady kept piling horseradish onto her oysters as a dare, and ended up breaking into a feverish sweat and chills and was hospitalized.

{Hama Hama and Horseradish}

The brussels sprouts were simply cripsy perfection with chives. Back in NYC, I think ilili has one of the best brussels sprouts I've had so far, but these were definitely better.

The speck with ricotta was a great combination of fruity and crunchy/salty flavors. I felt the speck was definitely saltier than prosciutto I have had, and OHHH EMMM GEEE the ricotta was so fresh! 

And let's not forget dessert! We shared the roasted dates and the maple bread pudding. You can't leave this restaurant without having the maple bread pudding...

The next morning, Marya took me to Cafe Besalu. Cutest neighborhood bakery EVER! I was sort of hoping for something cutesy like this in my neighborhood. I don't know of anything other than Ost! I ordered a pain au chocolat, a cardamom pretzel, and a latte. Everything was sheer perfection. The latte was super creamy and not bitter. And, the cardamom pretzel was doughy with just a touch of sweetness. I sort of want to move to Ballard now.

More pastries at Cafe Besalu...

After my first breakfast, I had to meet more friends. So off I went to Macrina Bakery in nearby Queen Anne for breakfast #2. I hate my life.

{Chocolate brioche muffin: Before} 

{Chocolate Brioche Muffin: After}

I know I usually start my "Food While Traveling" posts with the airplane food, but I didn't have anything mildly exciting on my flight over during Thanksgiving. During Christmas, I flew American, and as you can imagine, I was excited to try its cheese tray and see how it compared to that of United and Delta. Also on board was a special New American Table menu "curated" by guest chef Marcus Samuelsson. I ordered the turkey chutney sandwich. It was probably the best airplane sandwich I've had in years! And also something I would make myself. It had a nice chutney sauce on top of the turkey with some green apple slices and lettuce. I would probably top off my own home made version with some brie. 

I was extra hungry, so I also ordered a cheese tray.

It wasn't very good. #fail. As you can see, I left behind some yucky pieces. Blech.

For Christmas Eve, my sister and I went to Golden Beetle. The chef, Maria Hines, has another restaurant, Tilth, and has won a James Beard Award for Best Chef: Northwest in 2009.

Drooooool. Best.Falafel.Ever.

Now I'm hungry. I also wish all pizza came with a crust like this. We topped ours with some lamb sausage. I am hoping that my daily walks to the dog park with my nephew Cooper will negate some of this. Or not. Def not. 

My sister and I were going to make desserts for breakfast on Christmas day, so these spiced doughnuts kind of kick started the process.

Last but not least, my mom made some papdi chaat, supposedly an Indian street food snack but I don't remember eating it the one time I went to India. The base is kind of like a pita chip (my mom uses baked tortillas cut into pieces), topped with boiled potatoes, chickpeas, onions, tamarind sauce, yogurt and chutney. Crunchy, savory and sweet all at once.