Saturday, July 27, 2013

Huckleberry Pancakes

Tonight I decided to have breakfast for dinner.  My family brought me some fresh huckleberries from Montana and I wanted to make some pancakes with them.  I love huckleberries.  My passion for these tart and sweet berries started when I was just a little kid, growing up in western Montana.  We'd pick them for pies, ice cream, pancakes and just to eat right out of the bucket.  My parents still pick them every summer and if I'm lucky, they give me some.  When we went camping my dad made us buttermilk pancakes with huckleberries on his portable grill.  I didn't have any buttermilk today so I just used a pancake recipe from allrecipes.com.  I'll use dad's recipe next time.  I still have some more huckleberries! 

Good Old Fashioned Pancakes
 
Ingredients:
 
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour                                                                     
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder                                              
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg
3 tablespoons melted butter
 
Directions:
 
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg and melted butter; mix until smooth.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

                                                  Huckleberries straight from Montana!
                                                  Getting ready to flip them over.


I think they need some maple syrup-perfect!  They tasted good and hit the spot.  Definitely a comfort food and brought me back to my childhood.  Anything with huckleberries in it tastes delicious!   
 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Nutella-Stuffed Cinnamon Sugar Muffins

Oh, yum!  Muffins dipped in melted butter and cinnamon and sugar, plus they have Nutella in the middle.  These muffins are so good, especially when they're eaten warm out of the oven and just dipped in the cinnamon and sugar.  They're like little Nutella sandwiches and I love how the flavors  mix well with the cinnamon mixture.  There's so many Nutella recipes out there and I've baked my fair share.  But this muffin recipe is something new and different, yet totally crave worthy. 




I found this muffin recipe here, on Sally's Baking Addiction blog. 

 
Nutella-Stuffed Cinnamon Sugar Muffins
 
 
Ingredients:
    Muffins
  • 1/3 cup (5 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used almond milk, but regular is fine)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 teaspoons Nutella
  • Cinnamon-Sugar Topping
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 425F. Spray muffin pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl of an electric or stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together on medium speed. Mix in the egg, vanilla extract, and milk. Gently stir in flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. DO NOT overmix - stir until just combined.
  3. Spoon 1 heaping Tablespoon of batter into muffin cavity. Layer with 1 tsp Nutella in the center and spoon another heaping Tablespoon of batter on top. If the muffin tins are completely full, that is ok. They will not overflow. Repeat layering batter and Nutella into each muffin tin. I got exactly 8 muffins. Fill the empty muffin tins halfway with water for even baking.
  4. Bake at 425F for 5 minutes. Reduce oven to 350F and bake for an additional 13-17 minutes until batter is set. Allow muffins to cool for about 5 minutes.
  5. While the muffins are cooling, make the cinnamon-sugar topping. Melt the butter for about 30 seconds in the microwave. Stir and stick back in microwave if not fully melted. In a separate small bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon. Dip the top of each muffin into the melted butter and dip into the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Swirl them around in the cinnamon-sugar a bit to make sure you get a thick coating. Set upright on cooling rack.
 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Bite of Seattle 2013

This weekend we checked out the annual Bite of Seattle.  The event is held every July at Seattle Center and features food from local restaurants.  Plus there are several stages of live music and retail booths to check out.  Seattle Center's huge, it took quite a while to walk around and check out everything before we decided what we wanted to eat.  I try and go almost every year if I'm in town.  With 40,000 people there, it gets a little crowded.  My favorite part about the Bite is the free samples.  This year I tried a donut, some Ocean Spray juice, a pork rind- I don't like pork rinds, what was I thinking- some Penuche Fudge and some cinnamon bark candy.  First off, we shared some fried Mac and Cheese, then some chicken wings and then we each got a cheeseburger.  We walked around a little bit more but with the heat and the crowds, we decided to head home. 

This was my first time trying fried mac and cheese.  It tasted so good, it was hot and the perfect ratio or mac and cheese to fried goodness. 



Some wings from Racha with sweet chili sauce for dipping.  I've never tried the food from Racha but based on these wings I'm guessing its pretty good. 

 A cheeseburger and lemonade hit the spot.  The burger was pretty well sized for $6.50 and the beef had a nice smoky flavor from being on the BBQ'd. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

National Ice Cream Day

Nothing says summer like some ice cream.  Today's National Ice Cream Day so here's some of my ice cream photos to get you inspired to eat some of the cold stuff! 

Who doesn't love these classic ice cream sandwiches.  I ate my share as a kid and if you handed me one today in its paper packaging, I wouldn't resist it.  The only problem is they seem to disappear fast because they're so good. 

 Another classic from my youth is a Brown Cow.  Sound funny?  Its delicious.  This soda fountain drink is made up of chocolate ice cream, root beer and chocolate sauce, then topped with whipped cream.  Its the perfect combination of cream, carbonation and chocolate.  They do an awesome Brown Cow at Norm's News in Kalispell, Montana. 

 Sometimes you need a spoon to eat an ice cream cone.  If the waffle cone is huge and the ice cream, sprinkles, hot fudge and whipped cream are everywhere, then it just might call for one- The Puyallup Fair in Washington. 

 After a good meal out, a small scoop of ice cream at the end can be the perfect ending.  Pictured here is the Lemon Cheesecake Ice Cream from Quinn's in Seattle. 

 The Seattle Waterfront is the perfect place in the summertime to take a stroll, watch the sunset, eat some seafood, admire the Seattle Great Wheel and have an ice cream cone.  Pictured here is a Huckleberry Ice Cream Cone.  Ah, summers are great. 

 Seattle's Husky Deli is an institution and the long lines for ice cream prove that.  We tried the Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream in a sugar cone.  Its good stuff.   

 My family back in Montana loves to make homemade ice cream.  I've been eating it my whole life and there's nothing like it.  Pictured here is some huckleberry ice cream.  They enjoy picking huckleberries and then using them in ice cream, pie, jam, pancakes and more.  Huckleberry is one of my favorite flavors. 

 I hope you're staying out of the heat and eating ice cream.  Go ahead, get yourself some! 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Bastille Bash in Madison Valley

Last night I went to Madison Valley for Bastille Bash.  Bastille Day is French National Day so the event was filled with a French culture and vibe.  The first thing we did was buy our food tickets.  You can buy them ahead of time to avoid lines or just find the welcome booths and  purchase them there.  Madison Valley is filled with restaurants lining both sides of the tree-lined street and most of them participated in Bastille Bash.  For ten bucks they give you four tickets and you can purchase however many you want.  The wine tasting is twenty bucks but we just wanted to eat.  Then you're given a map with the restaurant's booths and one or two tickets gives you a delicious bite of what they're offering.  We had quite a bit to eat and left feeling stuffed and satisfied. 


                Our first stop was Harvest Vine where we tried some Gazpacho and Serrano Ham. 

 I loved the flavor of the ham dish and it went beautifully with the Gazpacho.  It was Pa Amo Tomaquet; toasted baquette topped with tomato, garlic and Serrano Ham.  This wet my appetite for more tasty stuff!

 This was my first time trying Gazpacho so I didn't know what to expect.  I ended up loving it though.  It's a chilled soup with tomatoes, cucumber and peppers. 


           I really enjoyed the live music.  It really added to the festival and felt very French to me. 

 The woman was posing for pictures by Ines Patisserie's booth.  "Let them eat cake".  Sounds good to me. 

      An almond croissant from Ines Patisserie.  I wanted macarons but they'd sold out of those fast. 

                     I thought this little dog was adorable and I loved his French inspired outfit!

 There was tons of interesting people to see at Bastille Bash like this woman walking around on stilts.

 I wanted a slice of pizza from Pagliacci but we had to stand in line for a while.  They were out of pizza and had to wait for more to arrive. 

 The wait for a slice was worth it though.  It was so good, I enjoyed every bite.  This was called the AGOG Primo.  It had tomatoes, olives, mushrooms, garlic and goat cheese. 

 We were ready to head home for we had a couple tickets left.  What's one to do?  Get some ice cream!  We tried Chocolate Velvet and Peaches and Cream. 



To read more about Bastille Bash in Madison Valley you can click here
To read more about Bastille Day you can click here


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Sub Pop's Silver Jubilee in Georgetown

This weekend Sub Pop Records celebrated 25 years of its record company in Georgetown.  The event was free to the public with tons of live bands playing on three different stages, beer gardens and food.  The day was warm and the crowds were getting thick in the early afternoon when I went.  I walked around and looked at the different food trucks.  I had already eaten lunch so nothing really jumped out at us.  Plus I planned on attending the Bastille Bash that evening so I wanted to save my money and my stomach.  They closed Airport Way for the event so the crowds wouldn't have to navigate the narrow sidewalks. 

Here's a link to the event so you can read more about the lineup and the local bands that performed at Sub Pop. 



                              Top Pot Doughnuts was one of the many food trucks at the event.

 I was tempted by this crepe truck but knew I'd be eating some French treats later at the Bastille Festival. 

                                            The live music at Sub Pop's Silver Jubilee.



 The Beer Garden at Georgetown's brewery where they had another stage and more food trucks.  I'm sure there was an even bigger crowd later that night.  Sub Pop was held from noon until around 10:30 pm. 


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcake from Trophy Cupcakes

Today I needed to run some errands in downtown Seattle and I figured why not grab a cupcake at Trophy?  I dashed into Pacific Place to their adorable pop-up shop and purchased the flavor of the month, Strawberry Cheesecake.  When I arrived home I took some photos and then came the fun part, tasting it!  The cupcake was really moist and the strawberry frosting tasted like cheesecake.  There was also graham cracker crumbs around the edge and on the bottom.  Then came the surprise-the strawberry jam inside.  This cupcake was absolutely delicious! 




Trophy Cupcakes and Party on Urbanspoon

Friday, July 5, 2013

Bellevue Family Fourth

After stuffing ourselves at Cactus we walked back through Bellevue Square and crossed the street to the park where the Bellevue Family Fourth was happening.  We tried to attend several years ago but it was rained out.  This year the weather was pretty much perfect with bright blue skies and not too hot.  The festival is built around families so the bouncy houses were everywhere.  Good thing we had already eaten because there didn't seem like many food vendors there.  I just saw lemonade, caramel corn and corn dogs.  We sat in the sun and listened to the live reggae band which was totally rocking.  We loved their Sublime cover songs.  My hubby wanted to get up and dance but everyone was just sitting there, waiting for the fireworks to start in five hours and looking like they got too much sun already. After sitting for a little while we decided to head back to Seattle and rest up for the party we wanted to go to later. 

                 I loved all the flags everywhere.  Bellevue's skyscrapers loom in the background. 






I hope you had a fun and safe 4th of July, however you chose to celebrate!