Thursday, April 30, 2009


These delicious licorice candies were my constant companion when I guided tours in Scandinavia each summer. In Denmark, they are made by the Toms candy company (maker of all things delicious). They are a sweet black licorice (as opposed to a salty black licorice, which Scandinavians LOVE), filled with a candy paste kinda sorta like, hmmm. The filling is hard to describe. Hold on. Let me eat another one and try again.


OK, the filling is marshmallow-ish. Almost like a circus peanut in consistency, but with much better flavor. Toms makes a variety of flavors - rhubarb being my favorite.

Seattle has a large Scandinavian population, so if I'm craving any foods from the motherland I just need to make a stop in Ballard. IKEA is a little out of my way (though they have the freshest and cheapest offerings). On my way home from work , I pass a store called Scandinavian Specialties. I stopped in the other day for cod liver oil (a spoonful a day!), but left with cookies and pickled herring too. In the candy aisle I found these. Why they are called licorice rockies, I have no idea. They are perfect though - and much closer to home than Copenhagen.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Feasting Friday: Skillet Edition

The Skillet Street Food Airstream serves a different neighborhood of the city each day of the week. On Feasting Fridays, it happens to serve the neighborhood near my office.

They are usually packed and run out of food, so getting there early is a necessity. I wake up at the crack of dawn, so a pre-noon lunch is just fine.

The Skillet menu varies, but a constant appears the be "the burger." A half pound of medium rare grass-fed beef is topped with arugula, blue cheese, and bacon jam and served on a brioche bun. Oh yeah, you read that right. Bacon. Jam. Think onions carmelized in bacon grease. A generous serving of hand cut fries topped with salt and some fresh herbs comes on the side - all for $9.

It was a little chilly today, but I managed to find a tranquil courtyard in Seattle Center with benches in the sun. And then, I feasted.

Pâté Temptation

The Boat Street Café is dangerously close to my office. It isn't cheap, but when you can get delicious pâté and a glass of wine for $10 in this town it is pretty great. Their happy hours (5-7pm) are only Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, but it is a charming place and hey, Thursday is the new Friday, right?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday Feasting: Cold Beer Edition

I keep this 2-liter "growler" in my trunk for days like this. Sunny and nearly 70 are the perfect combination for a mid-Spring day in Seattle. And, the perfect reason for frosty, cold pints of beer.

On my drive home, I pass several micro-breweries. For about $10 you can get your growler filled to take home and enjoy. If you don't open it, it is supposed to stay fresh for days. I only buy it when we plan on drinking it right away. It works out to about 4 pints, which is the perfect for two people at the end of the work week.

If you don't have a growler, most breweries sell them (filled!) for you to take home. Then, all you need to do is keep it clean and remember to bring it with you when a brewery is nearby. I've had the growler pictured below for years. This most recent fill-up was at the Maritime Pacific Brewery. Their Flagship Red Ale is smooth and sweet with a mild hoppy finish.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Kitchen Gadgets That Work: The Alligator

I come from a long line of kitchen gadget collectors. OK, just two. But still, my Mom and Dad appear to have acquired every plastic tool, gadget or implement that has been invented for the home cook. If "it slices, it dices"...they own it.

While they are very generous, some of the gadgety gifts my parents have given me just aren't very useful. The "chopper" and the "fat mop," just haven't cut it. Literally.

A couple of years back though, they gave me something called "The Alligator." I was skeptical. Heck, I didn't even try it for a couple of years. It was stuffed into a drawer for a long time before I gave it a go.

"Mr. Chompers," as I have since nicknamed him, has become a kitchen gadget that is actual used a great deal in my kitchen. Granted, if I had better knife skills I could probably finely dice an onion in seconds. But, I don't. Enter Mr. Chompers. I can finely dice an onion in seconds. Literally. And, the thing cleans up quickly and has even chomped through carrots and celery.

I still chop onions by hand on occasion. If I just need half an onion or a small onion, I'll chop by hand. If I am cooking for a crowd though, or making a big batch of chili or spaghetti sauce, you better believe I turn to Mr. Chompers.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Friday Feasting: Taqueria Style

This Friday, the mister was having a bad day and needed some comfort food. These days, "comfort food" means Mexican food. Our favorite taqueria is a place on hwy 99 in Lynnwood called Taqueria La Fondita. For $5 you can get 5 tacos or two mulitas (among dozens of other menu items). Mulitas are basically a quesadilla, but made with corn tortillas and meat, onions, avocado, and cilantro in addition to cheese.

The Mexican food in the greater Seattle area has vastly improved in recent years. Thanks to the influx of hard-working Mexican laborers, we've reaped the benefits with 'muy autentico' food. The rainbow of flavorful salsas alone should make anyone an immigration advocate. It's not necessarily health food - what with the lard and the deep frying - but boy is it tasty.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Apple Cup

We're on our way to Stevens Pass for some Spring skiing. On the highway up, in the town of Sultan, there is a little bakery that sells something called an Apple Cup. It is basically a cross between a cinnamon roll and an apple fritter. Nothing short of delicious!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Feasting Friday: BBQ Edition

BBQ ribs, pulled pork and all the fixings - procured at Teddy Bear BBQ in Monroe. Mmmm-mmm!