Saturday, March 24, 2012

Dinner at Cafe Kanape

Last night for dinner we tried out an Eastern European Cafe on Broadway called Cafe Kanape.  I noticed from looking at their website that they use all organic ingredients and they even has Schnitzel, which is something I have been wanting to try, so I couldn't wait to visit this cafe. 

Cafe Kanape is located at 700 Broadway East Suite D in Seattle. 





I liked the Cafe's decor-a mix of framed animal photos and black and white floral wallpaper.  The cafe is small with only around 10 tables which fill up very fast around Happy Hour time.  Monday-Friday from 4-7 pm. 





A glass of Pinot Noir, a light and refreshing red wine that went perfectly with my meal.



I ordered the Schnitzel, pan fried chicken with homemade breadcrumbs and a side of herb roasted potatoes with an organic green salad. 



They have a nice Crepe menu featuring savory crepes and dessert crepes.  My husband ordered the Chicken Crepe and we shared each other's food.  I liked this crepe so much, I would return to eat it again.  The Chicken Crepe has mushrooms, baby spinich, truffle oil and gruyere cheese. 




Now time for dessert.  We chose to split the Cherries Jubilee Crepe with ice cream.  The dessert took a while to arrive because they were busy.  We enjoyed just relaxing in the cafe and savoring our glass of wine while we waited. 




We truly enjoyed our night out at Cafe Kanape and enjoyed the little slice of Europe in our own backyard.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Cake Pops

A Hello Kitty Cake Pop

Yesterday I got the chance to try making cake pops for the first time.  They are little balls of cake on a stick, dipped in icing or melted chocolate and then dipped in sprinkles.  First, it was cupcakes and now its cake pops that have hit the dessert scene.  They are the perfect little bite of sweetness that we all crave and just having one won't hurt.  This post will show you how to make your own cake pops. 

You can use a cake mix for your pops.  Make the cake mix as directed.  We used Red Velvet Cake Mix and added chocolate pudding to our mix. 



After you bake your cake, break it up into small pieces and melt some semi-sweet chocolate chips in the microwave and add it the cake pieces.  You will then form balls and put them in the freezer for ten minutes.  Then put sticks into each ball making sure the ball doesn't break. 


Melt some chocolate to use for dipping the balls.  We used white chocolate, blue, semi-sweet and confetti chocolate chips. 

Now hold each cake pop by the stick and dip in your desired bowl of chocolate.  Make sure the chocolate doesn't drip all over and the cake pop stays on the stick.  This is a very fun project, but also very messy.  But well worth it in the end, as the cake pops are delicious and sweet. 


Now add some sprinkles or any design you want.  Be creative! 





Now display your cake pops for everyone to see and share them with family and friends! 






Finally, take a bite! The funnest part about making cake pops is the sampling part!

National Chocolate Caramel Day


Today is National Chocolate Caramel Day and I am celebrating by posting photos from some local Seattle Cupcake and Chocolate shops.  Everybody loves chocolate and caramel together, its a classic combination and just happens to be my favorite.  Whether in a chocolate candy or in a cupcake, its heaven and well worth the calories. 


                                           A visit to Fran's Chocolates in Downtown Seattle
Fran's Chocolates in downtown Seattle is very popular for its Salted Grey Seasalt Caramels, so that's what I tried. Very rich and the candy had the perfect balance of caramel to chocolate. To top it off, there was seasalt on top.  I don't know about you, but I like a little salt with my chocolate and caramel.  The salt brings out the flavors and all is well. 





Drinking a Caramel Latte with my two Chocolates.  I ate the one on the left in the store then brought the other one home to eat later.  The chocolates are very rich. 


To find out more about Fran's Chocolates, click here.  Bobby Flay took a visit to Fran's on the Food Network show, The Best Thing I Ever Ate, which is how I got the idea to visit the store.


                                     Salted Caramel Cupcakes from Cupcake Royale

A salted caramel cupcake from Seattle's own Cupcake Royale.  The cake itself was super moist and the salted caramel buttercream hit the spot with the chocolate cake.  It was topped off with chocolate sprinkles. 



                                 For more info on Cupcake Royale and its Cupcakes, click here

                                              A Salted Caramel Cupcake from QFC


This was my first time trying Salted Caramel and I gotta say, Wow!  Who knew the combination would be so good?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Oreo's 100th Anniversary

Happy Anniversary to the Oreo Cookie!  Oreo's are the most popular cookie ever and were created in 1912 in Chelsea, New York.  I never knew Oreo's had been around that long. You can eat them many different ways, but I like to just bite into them like a sandwich.  How do you enjoy your Oreo's?

To celebrate the popular cookie on my blog, I uploaded some Oreo photos I took and also a recipe for Oreo Truffles which I made this past Christmas. 














Here is my recipe for Oreo Truffles.  The recipe is originally from www.motherthyme.com.  These truffles melt in your mouth.  They have crushed up oreos with cream cheese and then they are covered in melted chocolate.  You can decorate them however you want.  I used red sprinkes because it was Christmas time, but you can roll them in white chocolate, or place Hershey kisses or caramel pieces in the center of each truffle.  They also freeze well too.  Around Christmas time, I make goodies to eat and then freeze about half of them to enjoy on Christmas Eve too.  This recipe is simple and the truffles are oh so good! 



Oreo Truffles

Makes 28 Truffles

Ingredients:
15.25 oz package chocolate creme Oreo Cookies
8 oz package of cream cheese
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
sprinkles (optional)

Directions:
Break up Oreo cookies and place in food processor.  Blend on highest speed until cookies are finely chopped.  Mix cookie crumbs with cream cheese until well combined.  Chill mixture in refrigerator for 30 minutes.  Make tablespoon size balls and place on wax paper.  Chill balls in refrigerator for another 15 minutes.  Melt chocolate using a double broiler or in microwave.  Let melted chocolate cool slightly and roll truffle balls in chocolate.  Place back on wax paper.  Top with sprinkles.  Place in refrigerator until chocolate hardens.  Store in air tight containers.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Paris, France 2011- One Year Ago Today



Exactly one year ago today, on March 14th, my husband and I flew to Paris, France.  We stayed for a week and fell in love with the City of Light. 


On our first night in Paris, we ate dinner at a cafe near the Eiffel Tower.  I planned our exit from the cafe so the tower would be lit up right as dusk fell, and sure enough, this was what awaited us.  The moon just happened to be shining above us too.  You can see why Paris is called the City of Light. 



One of the things we loved about Paris is the old world architecture that basically makes up the city. It seems like there is a unique building everywhere you look just begging to be photographed.

The main reason I wanted to visit Paris was for the food.  While I was researching places to discover, I found Angelina.  Located on 226, rue de Rivoli, this tearoom was founded in 1903 and is known for its Chocolat Chaud.  Chocolat Chaud is very thick and dark drinking chocolate.  The smoothest and richest drink I've ever had.  Was it worth the trip to Angelina to try it?  Oh yes. Not only do they have Chocolat Chaud, but a full menu, so off course we had some lunch too.   But best of all, when you first walk in, there are french pastries as far as the eye can see.  I bought a Mont Blanc and took it back to my Hotel.  The dessert was so rich it took three days to eat.  That says alot, considering I can usually down sweets pretty quickly and not feel sick. 

















Mont Blancs from Angelina in Paris, France. 








Some of my other food faves were the fresh croissants you could find anywhere.  Our hotel had complimentary croissants and brioches for us in the lobby.  This one pictured here was the first croissant I ate in Paris, and yes, you can taste the difference.  So flaky and moist.  The Pain au Chocolat though- that is one of my fav things ever.  A pain au chocolat is a croissant- but you guessed it, with chocolate! I probably had four of them that week in Paris. 






You can't visit Paris without having a Crepe.  On our first full day, that's what we had for lunch.  We sat outside at a Cafe not far from the Louvre and had Crepes.  I went crazy and had Nutella on mine. 



When one thinks of window shopping they usually think of clothes.  I think of food. Well, when in Paris, right?  I couldn't help staring and salivating at all the french pastries we would spot in the windows. 








We ate dinner at a place near our Hotel called the Comptoir.  My husband had Lasagne and I had a Calzone.  We drank red wine and then split some sorbet for dessert. 







Our Raspberry and Lime Sorbet, served Parisian style with a wafer.

Some other yummy food I consumed during me week in Paris.  You would think I would have blown up like a balloon but surprising not.  A lot of the monuments we visited involved climbing hundreds of steps to reach.  We also walked and walked and walked all over the city.  I got blisters on my feet and limped my way around, but it was worth it.  Pictured above is a Chocolate Eclair which I bought in a grocery store around the corner from our hotel.  Yes, the grocery stores there are more exciting from the ones we have in the states.  Why?  Because of the rows of French Chocolate you can only find there.  Unless you want to go to a European import store and buy them for huge markups, be my guest.  I only brought home a couple candy bars, but should have brought more home to share with friends and family.  They were cheap at this store and they don't take up to much room in a suitcase. Oh well, there's always next time. 


The very first thing we ate on our trip was in the airport.  We were starved and had a tough time figuring out how to purchase train tickets to our hotel and changing our American dollars in Euros took a while too.  I had a lemon tart and my hubby ate this very yummy Chicken sandwich.  You can find these all over Paris from the street vendors.  Just ask for a Panini and eat it while you walk on the cobblestone streets and take in the sights.  I also enjoyed the Croque Monsier Sandwich, it has melted cheese on top with more cheese and ham inside. 




On our last night in Paris, we planned our dinner around the time the Eiffel Tower would be lighting up and sparkling.  And oh, did it ever! Ooh La La! 

If you would like to see more photos from my trip to Paris, visit flickr and my photography website