Friday, November 18, 2011

The moon over Isla Mujeres-

Scott decides to get artistic and it works...

Monday, October 10, 2011

10-9-2011 Fräuleins fermenting fun! Shred, stomp, laugh, eat and drink....

Sauerkraut Lesson for Les Dames Seattle

Fräuleins fermenting fun! Shred, stomp, laugh, eat and drink....

Patrice Benson (Les Dames Auction Item Winner!)

Cathy Lennebacker

Joanne Young

Lynn Phillips

Pacita Roberts

Jennifer Slack


Wheat Grass Vodka

Hubbard Squash Soup w/Pumpkin Seeds

Chicken Liver Pâté w/ Crostini

Make Kraut! All hands on deck!


2008 Schloss Johannisberg – Riesling 1.5 liter trocken

2007 Markus Molitor Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spaetlese

2011 Vin du Lac “Lehm” Gewuerztraminer Lake Chelan

2008 Leonetti Cellars Merlot  Walla Walla   

Spaten Pils from the keg

Brined Roast Duck with Thyme and aromatics

Braised Sauerkraut w/apples, onions & carrots, white wine and brown sugar
Second Version of Kraut with lightly smoked pork hocks and barley
Panna Cotta a la Chef Bridget with Chestnut Honey

Prune Plum Compote

Whipped Cream

Café Vita Espresso

Kraut Images

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Italian Prune Plums-harvested on Sunday

Smaller yield than two years ago but more than last year. We did some triming while we were up there.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Veg Police: good zucchini gone bad!

Come on people, why does it always have to get so ugly? You know who you are; I don't have to name names do I? Do we have to put you in a lineup? Why do you insist on growing squash the size of children?

I understand how a few of these can sneak by unnoticed until it is too late. However, it's a crime to let summer squash hang on the vine until they are unnaturally large!
Stuffed zucchini blossoms are a perfect way to prevent this felony. Here is a great recipe for stuffed blossoms, almost any combination of cheese, herbs and some fresh breadcrumbs makes wonderful stuffing. Should you find yourself in the fateful position of having to process large zucchinis, in large amounts, here some tips!
• Wash and trim the ends of the squash
• slice lengthwise, using a soup spoon or teaspoon carve the seedy pulp out of the middle of the squash (the larger the squash the more you carve out)

• shred large amounts of squash with a food processor in no time, using shredder blade.

• make refrigerator pickles out of cubes of squash, adding herbs, spices and other vegetables. Let cure a few days and then chop or mince and use in coleslaw and potato salad or anywhere else crunchy, salty, sweet goodness will shine.
You can always whip up a couple batches of this Zucchini Bread Recipe (see below). It is an adaptation of the traditional America's Test Kitchen recipe. I omitted cinnamon and allspice and added fresh ginger and lemon, I also replaced 1 cup of white flour with 1 cup of white wheat flour. I use Red Mill white wheat flour to replace some of the white flour in rustic baking recipes. Besides the health benefits it adds a nutty flavor and a rich dark color. This recipe uses a full pound of shredded zucchini in each bread. When making breads measure the dry and wet ingredients into separate bowls. If you want to make multiple breads do not double or triple the recipe. Measure out the ingredients for each single bread and then combine. This recipe tastes great, is easy, freezes well and is pretty good for you! (Less than a quarter cup oil or butter for the entire loaf).

Meyer Lemon and Ginger Zucchini Bread
Preheat an oven with an oven rack in the middle position to 375°. Baking time is approximately an hour and 20 minutes.
Spray a loaf pan with pam, alternatively you can use a bunt pan, cupcake pan or any other shape pan.

Dry Ingredients: measure and mix well
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 cup all-purpose flour

• 1 cup white wheat flour

• 1 teaspoon baking soda

• 1 teaspoon baking powder

• 1/2 teaspoon salt
Wet Ingredients: measure and mix well

• 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled or 6 tablespoons corn oil

• two large eggs

• 1/4 cup plain yogurt
• juice one half lemon
• zest one small lemon Meyer Lemon or regular (you can also replaced with orange, lime or grapefruit zest)

• 2 tablespoons shredded ginger, packed

(I use a vegetable peeler to lightly peel the lemon zest leaving the white pith behind, then rough chop the zest and process it in the food processor, much easier than zesting with a zester. The ginger doesn't have to be peeled: Cut off three or four thick slices of ginger and again process in food processor. Scrape down sides and process until shredded. Measure out appropriate amount.)
• 1 pound shredded zucchini green or yellow, after shredding and weighing squeeze the shredded zucchini to extract as much liquid as possible. Moisture levels will vary depending on the zucchinis.
Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients; it might seem as if there is too much of the dry mixture. Once you have these two pretty well mixed, add the zucchini. Don't over mix, pour into pan and pop in oven.

The finished bread, cake or muffins are rich in color, flavor and very moist. They freeze well and have a light, airy crumb. Worth the little bit of effort to enjoy on a rainy winter morning with a cup of coffee! The zucchini bread or zucchini refrigerator pickles are emergency measures taken when faced with an avalanche of squash from your or your neighbors garden. A delightful way to make lemonade from lemons, they work just as well with small zucchinis!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Enza Dinner Ravioli

Enza Dinner Valdo Brut Rose' & Pan con Cunzato

July 25th Enza Pasta Master Class & Sicilian Supper

The occasion was a fund-raising dinner to benefit Les Dames d’Escoffier Seattle and the culinary and wine scholarships fund that is funded through the efforts of the food & wine professionals who are members. This dinner was purchased at the March 31, 2011 Les Dame organization's fundraiser. The lucky winner was Ann Pryd from Hunt's Point, a Seattle suburb. She invited six friends to join her in learning how to make two different pastas and enjoy a four course menu prepared by Enza Sorrentino owner of Enza Cucina Siciliana upper Queen Anne, 2128 Queen Anne Ave. N. Seattle.
Wines for the evening were provided from the cellar of Scott Wonder and augmented by selections from the restaurant's wine list, at suggestion of the ever charming, food and wine impresario, Ronald Holden. Ronald acted as translator, since Enza's languages are Italian or French.    
Pasta Master Class, Sicilian Supper
Pan con Cunzato alla Maralese
Insalata Caprese
Valdo Brut Rose' Nerello Mascalese
Ravioli Melanzane
Le Serre Nuove dell Ornellaia 2006
Fettuccine al Nero di Seppia
Donnafugata "Anthilia"
Zabagline con Frutta Fresca
Chateau Ste. Michelle 2004
Late Harvest White Reisling
Enza made everything look easy, she has a light hand and while wielding large pans and pots in the demonstration kitchen, she moves and looks like a teenager instead of a mother and grandmother! It is patently obvious that she loves cooking with all her heart. The restaurant was closed for the evening, to accommodate us. At the table next to us, Enza's mother, brother, daughter and granddaughter spent the evening: eating, drinking and storytelling, as Ron noted "in the Italian way." 
Enza's food reflects Sicily, which is a remote island whose inhabitants have been perennially poor due to geography. The food was simple, straightforward and used ingredients that were readily available in Seattle at this time of year. As Ron explained, "Enza naturally does things as simply as possible, it's the way she cooks, rejecting anything resembling being complicated." The flavors were well-balanced, the colors bold and everyone became engaged, watching the food come together. Tasting, drinking and asking questions; It was a well-traveled group who enjoys eating well.
Enza and Ron did not disappoint! Thank you Ms. Pryde for your support of the Les Dame scholarship efforts...!    
PS. If you recognize the lady in the yellow jacket and the gentleman to her left, it's because they were Marilyn and Armandio Batali. Armandino..... this next image is for you. Thirteen years ago at your restaurant Salumi for my birthday we did an interactive dinner, you tried to teach us all how to make gnocchi. In this photo, you're telling me (as gently as possible) no-go on the gnocchi gal. We flunked. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Contact: Deba Wegner
Recipe for Success, Inc.

Burgerama @ The DeLuxe Bar & Grill becomes even tastier!
Wednesday Night promotion going on 35 years; has a life of its own
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — Seattle, WA July 23, 2011

Should you find yourself on the north end of Capitol Hill near downtown Seattle some Wednesday and marvel at what all the commotion is about at the intersection of Broadway and Roy streets; it might very well be pedestrians and autos jockeying for position near The DeLuxe Bar & Grill. The quintessential neighborhood spot, known for its burgers and nineteen rotating beers on tap turns 50 years old next year. For 35 of those years, The DeLuxe has hosted a midweek promotion called Burgerama. Featuring full size, hand formed, custom ground prime chuck burgers (choice of DeLuxe hand-cut fries, salad or a cup of soup) all day, at the unbelievable price of $5.59*. (*requires purchase of beverage, dine in only). On Wednesday evenings, the line in front of The DeLuxe, hints at a 45 minute wait and the party going on inside.
"Burgerama is the original midweek break, a tradition at the DeLuxe since 1977, a way to see a lot of regulars and new faces in the restaurant,” says Barry Rogel, second generation restaurateur. My family's had the DeLuxe since the early 60's, but it’s been on the corner of Broadway and Roy since 1932, and we have always been the neighborhood hangout. Burgerama is in line with that tradition - great quality at a great value - it’s been a privilege to be part of the ever changing scene on Capitol Hill for all these years."
How could The DeLuxe improve on the burgers being offered? In the last two months tastings with DeLuxe guests and staff set out to answer that question: the burgers are now even bigger and the buns were resized to fit the patty perfectly. A new, Thursday night promotion, not surprisingly called, Steakarama was added. How do you top Burgerama? Steakarama!

DeLuxe Bar & Grill- “A Capitol Hill institution since 1962”™

Offering the Seattle Capitol Hill neighborhood - 19 rotating tap beer selections, a full back bar, eclectic seasonal cocktails and cooked from scratch lunch, happy hour, dinner and weekend brunch menus. Featuring a comfortable come-as-you- are atmosphere with group event space, a seasonal patio and billiards. Same family ownership for 49 years, on the corner of Broadway and Roy since 1932.
DeLuxe Burgerama Wednesdays-a Seattle tradition featuring burgers from the regular lunch and dinner menu, prime hand formed never frozen ground beef, chicken and vegetarian patties. Custom baked buns, and a choice of DeLuxe hand-cut fries, salad or a cup of soup. $5.59 *

*purchase of beverage required, dine in only

Monday: English style Fish & Chips $9.95

Tuesday: BBQ Night $9.95

Wednesday: All day/night Burgerama*

includes choice of DeLuxe hand-cut fries, cup of soup or salad. $5.59

Thursday: All day/night **NEW**


6oz. Top Sirloin steak includes choice of DeLuxe hand-cut fries or cheesy Mac and Cheese $7.99
Friday/Saturday:  Chef’s Special Great Value

Sunday: Della’s Home-style Dinners $9.95

*Requires beverage purchase. Dine in only.

No reservations taken.


3 to 6pm and 10pm to 1am EVERYDAY

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Winning restaurant family makes splash with Big Fish Grill in

Fresh, inviting, simply perfect!

Contact: Deba Wegner
Recipe for Success, Inc.
Contact: Susie Bauer
SLB Marketing Consultants
Polished casual dining experience debuts June 24th in thriving business district
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — Woodinville, WA June 15th, 2011
Seasoned restaurateurs Kevin and Carrie Orrico have successfully operated the popular Big Fish Grill in Kirkland Washington since 2009. Their second Big Fish Grill location in downtown Woodinville is a freestanding building, adjacent to the southern perimeter of the Top Foods parking plaza. The soon to open polished casual restaurant and lounge seats 174 guests in rooms bathed in natural light from many large windows that outline the front and side of the 5000 sq. ft building. Interior appointments are in rich wood tones, a beautifully illuminated back bar and granite surfaces give the restaurant a contemporary, residential feel. Big Fish Grill - Woodinville was designed by Food and Beverage specialist, Sue Genty Interior Design, Inc., of Kirkland, WA and built by Chuck Cross of BCCI, LTD.
“We are thrilled with the robust welcome we have received from the Woodinville community, says Big Fish Grill co-owner Carrie Orrico, we chose this location because we feel our brand of fresh, contemporary cuisine is a perfect fit for the population living here and we are also eager to welcome tourists who flock to the Woodinville wine country. The prospect of highlighting wines and spirits produced in Woodinville is really exciting, to us at Big Fish Grill.”
Big Fish Grill-Woodinville, key personnel:
Kevin & Carrie Orrico
Joseph & Brianna Orrico Owners/Operators
Management Veteran restaurant operators, franchisees and concept developers. In 2009 after years with Pacific Restaurant Group and other ventures Kevin and Carrie took the opportunity to develop their own polished casual concept opening, the Big Fish Grill in Kirkland, WA. Building on that strong success, the second The Big Fish Grill Woodinville, is slated to open June 24.
Kevin and Carrie's adult children work in management positions at the Big Fish Grills.
Jim Giuntoli General Manager Seasoned manager/consultant formerly of Pnk Ultra Lounge, Angel of the Wings, Clear Water Creek ,Tulalip Casinos
Josh Taylor Executive Chef Formerly of the Sun Mountain Lodge, opening Executive Chef Citrus Seattle, Schooner Restaurant, Astoria , OR

Opening June 24th-Woodinville
13706 NE 175th Street
Woodinville, WA 98072
across the street from Molbak’s
Big Fish Grill-Kirkland
Open since 1999
10426 NE Northup Way
Kirkland, WA 98033
Hours of operation:
Lunch, Happy Hour,  Dinner
Open 7 days a week
11 am-3 pm
Happy Hour:
Happy Hour 3-6pm 9-close

Monday, June 13, 2011

Resolute Foodie becomes Grocery Outlet Evangelist

High Quality, Unbeatable Prices, grocery basics and quirky selection of extras is a winning retail mix

Part #1: What is it, where are they and why should you care?

            Sweet Mexican yellow pear tomatoes, organic blue cheese, Cabot butter, Black Forest ham, Scharffenberger chocolate, marcona almonds, Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, Aquastar Tilapia Filets, Harris Ranch Beef, Aidell’s Sausage, Foster Farm chicken, Riedel Glassware, wine and beer, organic health and beauty aids, vitamins: top of the line brands and products, this is a small sampling of the products that friends and I have bought at Seattle area Grocery Outlets since the chain entered our market six years ago.
            I am a fairly, recent convert, I first ambled into the Kenmore, WA location in summer of 2010. I had passed the original Kenmore location for years and was under the impression that only canned and packaged food were being sold there. The new location’s colorful orange and red logo caught my eye behind the free standing Starbucks on SR 522, east of the Kenmore Safeway. I entered and couldn’t believe my eyes, that first day I spent over an hour in the store going down every aisle looking at everything.
            Grocery Outlet is the nation’s largest grocery extreme-value retailer. Grocery Outlet offers brand name products at 40% to 60% below traditional retailers. Headquartered in Berkeley, California, Grocery Outlet currently encompasses 150+ independently operated stores in 6 Western States. Grocery Outlets are located in cities large and small and serve all kinds of neighborhoods. Most stores are independently operated by locally-based families. At this time there are 40 stores in Washington state.
           Grocery Outlet is like nothing I had seen before, there are products you will find at main stream grocery stores: dairy, fresh fruits, vegetable and meats, cheese, frozen foods, health and beauty and the list goes on. Additionally, there are also products and brands you won’t see anywhere else and that is what excites me every week when I go there. Expect the unexpected. I have always been an adventuresome consumer. I was an early adopter of sample shops, and Craig’s List. I go with a general list, but then depending on what is new or seasonal, I put together a menu or a meal plan once I am in the store.
            Don’t go trying to find mustard, especially Dijon, or unbleached flour, I have never seen it. I have also never seen fresh fish, wouldn’t expect to. However, I do, buy individually frozen Tilapia filets from Seattle based Aquastar. I find very high quality, beauty and hair care products, and when I do, I buy multiple jars or cans: tomorrow it might not be there. Early on, I saw a very well dressed women load 14-gallon jugs of 100% Ocean Spray Grapefruit juice into the back of her Lexus. Around Super Bowl this year, I saw a long haired chap with an overflowing cart of Pabst Blue Ribbon at the checkout. In addition, I admit that my pantry holds cases of artichoke spread, jarred red cabbage from a famous maker in Germany, a couple cases of my favorite Duck Pond Pinot Gris and tomato puree in heavy paper pouches from Italy that is truly amazing.
            I have calculated that my saving in the last year has been between 25% – 30 % on my entire grocery bill compared to the year before.  I augment certain items by going to mainstream grocers, but my trips to Costco and Trader Joe’s have also diminished, dramatically. For the record, we are a two person household with very high standards who, these days, cook or have meals stockpiled so that we can eat easily at home 5-6 nights a week. We are doing this for health reasons and economics. We also majorly  entertain friends and family at home at least 3 times a month.
Coming Next:
Part #2 Interview with Madrona (Seattle) Grocery Outlet owner Steve Mullen 
Part #3 Grocery Outlet Dinner-Step by step photos and recipe for a fast, affordable and stunning family meal for 6! 
Herb Brined Foster Farms Chicken w/summer Vegetables a la Grocery Outlet

Monday, June 6, 2011

River Valley Cheese (Update)-images from a cheese making class

June 4th 2011
The woman standing before me was model tall, with flowing ginger colored hair, so beautifully dressed. Offering me her hand, she said, “I’m Julie Steil from River Valley Ranch Cheese, great to meet you!”
I was at an event in Fall City where the farm is located and I stopped dead in my tracks. “This lady is a farmer?” I asked myself.
No doubt, a common refrain for many people who know the cheese, before the woman. Standing in front of Julie, you feel that she is a force of nature: If she can visualize it, it’s going to happen, just you wait and see. In fact, she went from Southern Belle to highly successful corporate executive and since 2005 she and her family are living out her greatest passion: life as cheese producers and farm ownership.
Soon afterwards, I made it a point to go visit Julie in her natural habitat, River Valley Ranch, where she lives with her husband Rob, their blended families and goats, cows, yaks and a temperamental water buffalo. What started as an extreme love of cooking and sourcing the very best ingredients for baking her killer cheesecake, for example: resulted in her and her family trading in their comfortable suburban existence for life on a farm 26 miles east of Seattle. Her intent was originally not to own livestock, but buying raw milk was cost prohibitive in the long run, so the menagerie became necessary.
Visiting River Valley Ranch is possible and encouraged, (so much fun!) River Valley gives tours to school kids, and other interested groups. They present monthly, weekend classes in the art of making cheese, the way Julie puts it: “We learned by trial and (lots of) error, our classes are a great way for us to impart our love of making cheese and our hard won understanding of the process.”
gouda aged 3-4 months
The classes always sell out. I am finally attending a class on June 4th, for which there is still availability, as of this writing. In this class, attendees will be making mozzarella & gouda at a cost of $125 a person. There are a number of future dates, which feature Camembert, one of my all time favorite cheeses. November 19th, for example focuses on holiday cheeses. You can also purchase the cheese at Whole Foods and PCC.
Wearing rubber boots and a jacket will be in order, no matter what the weather brings, the farm and its out buildings are muddy, wet and cool. In addition, with cheeses with names like Naughty Nellie, Valley Girl, Silly Billy, that reflect an acute sense of humor, students are in for a fun, educational and tasty four hours for these Saturdays on the River Valley Ranch .
Note: Julia is going to Itlay for 3 weeks, on July 9th she will be giving a class teaching the cheeses she has learned during her visit....River Valley Class schedule.
Hobby cheesemaker, Karen Bergevin getting ready to make mozzarella.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Agave Cocina & Cantina Contemporary Mexican Food comes to Bear Creek Shopping Center

Contemporary Mexican Food
Served by modern Mexican-American family
Agave Cocina & Cantina debuts in Bear Creek complex in Redmond, WA

Julian and Federico Ramos embody modern-day Northwest entrepreneurs – blackberry wielding, fast moving, always with a sense of urgency. As family business owners of two successful Eastside restaurants, last month they and their sister closed their busy and popular Las Margaritas Redmond location in the Bear Creek Town Center, soon to reopen as Agave Cocina and Cantina. “We did a good business at the location and had many loyal fans and a dedicated staff, but we think that this is a good time to upgrade the restaurant, which hadn’t seen any major changes since the 1970’s. Redmond is a dynamic town with residents whose dining habits and tastes have moved more and more in line with today’s trends towards healthier eating,” explains the older brother, Julian.
Julian, Federico and Faviola are hands on owners. They own and operate a sister restaurant -- Agave Cocina & Tequilas – in the Issaquah Highlands, which they opened in 2009. “Agave’s hand-crafted cuisine is preservative and lard free, organic whenever possible, and has met with great success. It is a natural fit for our Redmond location,” Julian further points out. “When we open Agave Cocina and Cantina in April, guests will see many familiar faces and a strikingly beautiful new space.”
Agave’s signature dishes include Chile Rellenos with three cheeses; Tamales freshly made in-house with pickled red onion and Mexican crème; Prawn, Scallop and Halibut Enchiladas; and Agave’s Sizzling meat, seafood or vegetarian Fajitas, accompanied by sautéed green and red peppers, sweet yellow onions, beer braised black beans, romaine lettuce, jack cheese, sour cream, guacamole and fresh warm tortillas made in-house. Entrée salads, appetizers and desserts round out the menu. Specialty cocktails feature Agave’s impressive selection of premium, hard to find, and limited production tequilas, and highlight scratch Margaritas in traditional lime and fruit combinations.
Agave Cocina & Cantina was designed by Food and Beverage specialist, Sue Genty Interior Design, Inc., of Kirkland, WA. The new restaurant seats 211 guests in a multi-level dining room and festive bar. Oversized garage doors open to a seasonal patio on the sunny side of the restaurant. There is private dining for up to 20 guests. Rich hues of mango and auburn offset creamy split face tiles and tumbled marble surfaces. Deep walnut colored wood forms the backdrop for the rich color and texture found throughout the restaurant, and a see-through fireplace at the entrance and antiques in the lobby complete the look.

Agave Cocina & Cantina (opening April 5, 2011)
17106 Redmond Way
Redmond, WA 98052
(425) 881-8252 Agave Cocina & Tequilas
1048 Northeast Park Drive
Issaquah, WA 98029
(425) 369-890

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Agave Cocina on the Issaquah Highlands-Teguila Tasting 1-15 @ 3pm

There are a few seats left call 425-369-8900 to join in the fun!