Monday, March 16, 2015

Fresh Flours

Beacon Hill has a new bakery, Fresh Flours, and I was able to check it out.  Its a French bakery with a Japanese infusion.  I was happily surprised by the wide array of croissants and macaroons.  It was heaven, really.  There's nothing like biting into a fresh macaroon.  My faith in humanity has been restored and that's not even talking about the twice baked almond croissant we tried.  Delicious?  I would say so!  I'm going to be going back again and again and I have family living mere blocks away so that's just going to be temping all the time.  Fresh Flours also has locations in Phinney Ridge and Ballard. 

We tried the caramel espresso, chocolate and raspberry macaroon and it was like biting into a cloud.  The macaroons were spot on and the definition of perfection. 

We also picked up a twice baked almond croissant with chocolate.  I was blown away by how tasty it was I can't wait have another. 

Fresh Flours on Urbanspoon

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Mint Oreo Truffles

I have a thing for Mint Oreos so why not combine cream cheese and chocolate and make some truffles.  With St. Patrick's Day coming up I wanted to make something green.  They turned out so yummy.  One of the best things ever.  I think they're best fresh like most goodies but they'll freeze well too and that's a good thing because me in a house with thirty mint truffles could be trouble.  The recipe I used recommends pulsing the Oreos into small pieces but since I don't have a food processor I had to pound them against the counter and use a wooden rolling pin.  It took a little while but it kind of felt good to let out some mid-week aggression.  Why not?  And I got chocolate out of it.  So put those Mint Oreos to work and make truffles out of them.  Why not. 

I found the recipe here.

  Mint Oreo Truffles

  • 1 (15.25 oz) package Mint Creme Oreos
  • 8 ounces (224g) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 12 ounces high quality semi-sweet chocolate
  • Optional: sprinkles or green candy melts

  • Process the Oreos (the entire cookies, filling and cookie) in a food processor or blender. Pulse until crumbs are formed. Using a hand-held or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the Oreo crumbs with the cream cheese until combined. The mixture will be thick and sticky.  You may do this step by hand, but I find using a mixer is much easier.
    Using your hands, roll into 30-35 balls. Place balls on two large plates, a parchment paper lined baking sheet, or a silicone mat-lined baking sheet. Freeze the truffles for about 30 minutes. (Freezing the balls is the most important step of this recipe. If they are not cold and solid, the melted chocolate will not coat the balls properly.) Coarsely chop the chocolate and melt according to package directions. Working with 1 truffle at a time, coat in chocolate. Here's how I coat truffles: drop the truffle in the middle of the melted chocolate. Swirl the chocolate all around it with a fork. Pick up the truffle with a fork - do not pierce it, simply pick it up on top of the fork's prongs. Tap the fork on the edge of the bowl to allow the excess chocolate to drip off. Place on a lined baking sheet. Top with sprinkles while the chocolate is still wet or drizzle with the melted green candy melts, if using.
    Refrigerate truffles for at least 10 minutes so the chocolate sets. Truffles must always be chilled and will stay fresh for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Freeze up to 2-3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before serving.

    Monday, March 9, 2015

    Date Night in the City

    This past Saturday night found me out with my husband, enjoying some one on one time away from the kiddos.  Don't get me wrong, they're adorable and we have many moments of fun and laughter but sometimes a girl needs a night out on the town.  Seattle never disappoints when finding bar and restaurant venues.  By eight o'clock we'd checked out three spots and we had a blast.

    First up were drinks at Serious Pie and Biscuit in South Lake Union.  We sat at the bar and I sipped a cocktail called Better Than A Mimosa which had Prosecco and blood orange and my husband had a drink with Tequila and grapefruit which was strong and fruity.  Both drinks were bright in color and were a nice start to our date.

    Dinner was a couple of blocks away at Shanik, an Indian restaurant, which sadly is closing in two weeks.  We wanted to check it out while we could and are glad we did.  We enjoyed the complimentary chai tea we started with and then we sipped on some cocktails.  My husband had a Manhattan while I drank a Bollywood 411, which had Prosecco, Mango and Pomegranate.  Then we had the Lamb-beef kebobs with creamy fennel seed curry.  Finally, for our mains we shared the Kale, jackfruit and cauliflower curry with roasted almonds and the Beef short ribs in cinnamon and red wine curry.  We loved all three dishes and the fresh, soft nan bread tasted wonderful dipped in the sauces.  We adored the spices and many flavors we tasted.  Our meal was very tasty and memorable.

    Lastly, we'd been hearing of a bar on Capital Hill, Rumba, specializing in rum drinks and that you can get them served in coconuts.  So we sipped on Mai Tai's in coconuts and it was a unique and fun experience.

    The interior of Serious Pie and Biscuit.

    Our complimentary chai tea at Shanik.

    Rumba on Capital Hill.

    Serious Biscuit on Urbanspoon Shanik on Urbanspoon Rumba on Urbanspoon

    Saturday, February 14, 2015

    Chocolate Italian Love Cake

    This year for Valentine's Day I baked a Chocolate Italian Love Cake.  What's unique about it?  The chocolate cake layer and the ricotta cheese layer switch while baking.  It's magic and it also tastes yummy.  It bakes for one hour and needs to be refrigerated for at least six hours.  So it isn't a super fast recipe from start to finish but when its baking your whole house will smell like chocolate and that's no joke.  In fact the longer it stays in the refrigerator the better it will taste.  That way the flavors have more of a chance to set up.  I noticed that cheesecake does the same thing.  So cuddle up with your Valentine and eat cake, I'm gonna! I found the recipe here

    Saturday, February 7, 2015

    The Museum of Flight

    My family and I checked out The Museum of Flight for First Thursday this month.  Every month, the first Thursday is free at many of Seattle's museums.  The admission price is twenty bucks per adult at The Museum of Flight so its a pretty good deal.  It was only my second visit there, the first time was in 2011 with my parents who were visiting from out of town.  The whole place remained unchanged so it wasn't too exciting for me but my sons seemed to enjoy it.  They liked seeing all the planes hanging from the ceiling and they loved running around on the ramps.  There's also a large gift shop and cafeteria, too.  The Museum of Flight is located at 9404 E. Marginal Way S. in Seattle. 

    Friday, February 6, 2015

    Dinner at Stellar Pizza

    Everyone has that go to restaurant where they love the food and keep returning.  Mine is Stellar Pizza in Seattle's Georgetown neighborhood.  Their pizza is top three for me because of their unique, spicy red sauce and their crust.  I always get the pepperoni pizza, so to mix things up this time I tried the Fildalgo Four Cheese which had Mozzarella, shredded Parmesan, Provolone and Gorgonzola cheese.  My first bite was a bit too cheesy because my palate had to get used to the flavors.  But the next bite and the next and the next was oh so good and memorable.  The pieces were big so I saved my second slice for later when I ate it cold which also tasted awesome.  The atmosphere is eclectic and edgy but also family friendly.  The food is all fresh and cooked to order and they use local ingredients, too.  I will also love you, Stellar Pizza.

    I sipped on a Stellar Margarita which tasted delicious and hit the spot.

    My husband drank a Long Island Iced Tea.

    I also like their kid's menu for the little ones and my little ones shared a plate of Macaroni and Cheese.

    My husband started with an order of the spicy chicken wings.

    As my appetizer I got the Caprese Platter.  I liked the baby mozzarella and the fresh tomato and basil.  The capers added a unique touch and you can't go wrong with any of Stellar's bread products. 


    Cheese, cheese and more cheese!  The Fildalgo Four Cheese Pizza.  Stella Pizza is located in Georgetown at 5513 Airport Way S.


    Sunday, February 1, 2015

    Seahawks Chex Muddy Buddies and Schwartz Brothers Cookies

    Today's the big game! Its Superbowl XLIX and the Seahawks, my home team, are playing the New England Patriots!  Its awesome that our team is playing in the Superbowl two years in a row.  I hope we kick some butt today!  Wouldn't it be sweet if we win again this year?  To snack on while we watch I made some Chex Muddy Buddy Mix with green and blue M&M's and white chocolate chips.  Its sweet, crunchy and way addicting.  I also picked up some tasty sugar cookies with really thick blue and green frosting from the store which are baked my Schwartz Brothers.  Whatever ends up happening today our sugar cravings will be taken care of!

    Chex muddy buddies

    Prep time: 15 minutes.  Start to finish:  15 minutes.  18 servings (1/2 cup each)

    9 cups Rice Chex, Corn Chex or Chocolate Chex cereal ( or combination)
    1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
    1/2 cup peanut butter
    1/4 cup butter or margarine
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

    Into large bowl, measure cereal; set aside
    In 1-quart microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter uncovered on high one minute.  Microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth.  Stir in vanilla.  Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated.  Pour into 2-gallon resealable food-storage bags.  Add powdered sugar.  Seal bag; shake until well coated.  Spread on waxed paper to cool.  Store in airtight container in refrigerator. 

    I found this recipe on a box of Rice Chex.  I've always wanted to made homemade Chex Mix and found it wasn't too difficult and tasted better that the store-bought.