Sunday, January 22, 2017

Che Dessert Lounge

For many variations of che, a Vietnamese dessert, and French macarons flown in from Paris, head over to Che Dessert Lounge on Martin Luther King Way in Seattle.   If you want something hot and savory, they also have noodle soups and dumplings.  I had the Pork Salad Noodle Bowl and my husband had the Spicy Beef Noodle Soup.  My dish had Vermicelli noodles, pork, basil, onions, cucumbers, and was served with a side of fish sauce.  A classic Vietnamese dish, the flavors were bold and tangy, and the pork was tender and a little crispy.  The dish is served chilled and you sprinkle it with the fish sauce. 

For dessert, we tried the flan topped with shaved ice and the macarons.   I had never eaten flan with the shaved ice and I liked the cold element with the creamy and dense flan.  The macarons were really fresh and full of flavor and the salted caramel one was one of the best ever.  My husband also wanted to try a che dessert, so he chose a drink with tofu, red bean, coconut milk, and clear and glass jelly.  The large cup was packed with ingredients and that's probably why they give you a spoon along with a thick straw.  I liked the coconut flavor and how all of the components worked together nicely.  Che Dessert Lounge is small with just a few four or so tables.  The owner, Peter, was really nice and gave our kids trinkets and talked to us for a while.  He has a good thing going here for sure and I'm glad I discovered this place.  We'll be back for more macarons! 

Che Dessert Lounge Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, January 19, 2017

El Sombrero

Columbia City keeps amazing me with their quality restaurants.  We've been to over seven different places now and we've had good food and service at every time.  For some Mexican cuisine, head over to El Sombrero.  You'll find large portions and friendly service from the host and server.  The dining room transports you to Mexico with the lighting and d├ęcor and there is a spacious bar to the right upon entering.  They bring a nice and spicy salsa right away with chips to snack on while you check out the cocktail menu.  My husband chose a shot of Patron Silver and I ordered a large Cadillac Margarita on the rocks with a salted rim.  Then we each selected the Sombrero Burrito for our dinner, mine with chicken and his with shredded beef.   The burritos were huge and I could only eat about a third of mine.   We ordered ours with the baked cheese on top for an additional two bucks.  Don't forget to do this because your burrito won't have that same flavor without it.  For dessert, we couldn't pass up getting the Strawberry Cheesecake Chimichanga.  We ended up taking most of it home since we were full by then.  But the couple of bites I had were spot on and tasty.  

El Sombrero Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, January 16, 2017

Oh, the places I've been

A lot of us have a desire to see the world.  Many people have wanderlust and love to explore.  It seems like endless destinations await and I know my list of places to go is a long one.   Asia calls to me and I hope one day I'll get the opportunity to visit.  But until then, its fun to look at photos I've shot of the places I've been.  So here are some of my favorites. 

Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Cancun, Mexico

Seattle, Washington
Las Vegas, Nevada
Victoria, British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia
San Francisco, California
Paris, France
New York City, New York
Glacier National Park, Montana
Oahu, Hawaii
Newport, Oregon

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Nanaimo Bars

The legendary Nanaimo bar is a no-bake dessert named after the city, Nanaimo, in British Columbia.  Pronounced nah-NIGH-moe, this sweet confection has three layers.  The crust's main ingredients are   graham crackers, cocoa, coconut, and nuts.  The middle layer is cream based and then they're topped with a later of chocolate.  In 1986, the Mayor of Nanaimo held a recipe contest for these bars and over the four week contest, over 100 recipes were submitted.  The winner was Joyce Hardcastle and I've added the recipe here so you can try and make them.  I found some Nanaimo bars sold in containers of two in the bakery section of QFC and I couldn't resist grabbing them.  I had read about the origin of the dessert before and thought they looked tasty.  And I was right.  One bite in and I was already satisfied.  They were so good that I passed them around the house and everybody tried them.  I love beautiful British Columbia so it was fun to research and eat a famous dessert from the area. 

The recipe below is from the City of Nanaimo website.  And as usual, all photos from this blog are mine.  Cheers!

                                       Nanaimo Bar Recipe

Bottom Layer½ cup unsalted butter (European style cultured)
¼ cup sugar
5 tbsp. cocoa
1 egg beaten
1 ¼ cups graham wafer crumbs
½ c. finely chopped almonds
1 cup coconut
Melt first 3 ingredients in top of double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, coconut, and nuts. Press firmly into an ungreased 8" x 8" pan.
Second Layer½ cup unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. and 2 Tsp. cream
2 Tbsp. vanilla custard powder
2 cups icing sugar
Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and icing sugar together well. Beat until light. Spread over bottom layer.
Third Layer4 squares semi-sweet chocolate (1 oz. each)
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
Melt chocolate and butter over low heat. Cool. Once cool, but still liquid, pour over second layer and chill in refrigerator.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

A+ Hong Kong Kitchen

For an authentic food experience head to A+ Hong Kong Kitchen in the International District.  You'll find Cantonese cuisine on the menu with a wide variety of dishes.  The four of us ordered the Chicken Wings, the Chicken Fried Rice, a Beef Curry with white rice, and the Shrimp Dumpling Soup.  I enjoyed the dumplings because the shrimp was tender, meaty, and the soup was hot.  Considering how chilly Seattle is these days, it warmed me up nicely.  The rice was above the standard fried rice we've had before.  The serving was large and the price pretty low, too.  They even have French toast with peanut butter, which we of course had to try because a couple of us have a sweet tooth.  I thought that dish was unique with the addition of the peanut butter and I might try reproducing it at home.  We've yet to go to Hong Kong, but this must be what the food is like there.  I give this place an A+ for sure, just like the name. 
You can find A+ Hong Kong Kitchen at 419 6th Ave. S. in Seattle's I.D neighborhood.