Friday, October 18, 2013

Salted Caramel Roasted Almonds

I recently read that Oreos are more addicting than cocaine.  Forget about Oreos, these almonds covered in caramel are probably the most addicting things ever.  This treat packs quite a protein and sugary punch and they taste amazing.  Try and just eat a couple, I dare you.  And I though nuts were hard to eat a small amount of before they were coated in caramel.  Today I made Salted Caramel Roasted Almonds which seemed like quite a production.  First, roast the almonds, then make a caramel sauce and stir constantly while it cooks or you'll be in trouble and ruin it, then dump in the nuts and bake, then bake some more, then lay flat on wax paper to set.  Quite the process, but wow, they're so delicious and kind of unforgettable.  I may never look at almonds in the same way. 

                                                 Salted Caramel Roasted Almonds

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups raw almonds
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup light Karo syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch sea salt
  •  
    Directions:

    Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spread raw almonds on a large baking sheet so that they are just one layer.  Roast the almonds for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring butter, brown sugar and Karo to a boil for 5 minutes stirring constantly.  Stir in vanilla, salt and baking soda.  (This will cause the mixture to bubble up.)  Once the almonds are roasted, carefully pour them into the butter mixture.  Stir until well coated.  Reduce oven heat to 250°F.  Cover a large baking sheet with foil.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the coated almonds from the saucepan and place in a single layer on the baking sheet.  (Don't touch the coated almonds with your fingers... the mixture makes the almonds very hot!)  Place in the oven for 15 minutes.  Stir, then do another 15 minutes.  Remove the almonds from the oven. Using a spatula, place almonds on a piece of waxed paper until cool.  Sprinkle with sea salt. Store in an airtight container until ready to eat. 

    Recipe found on dineanddish.net.



    Tuesday, October 15, 2013

    October is National Dessert Month

    Ooh, dessert.  It has got to be a favorite word of mine.  October's National Dessert Month so here's some desserts I've eaten and photographed from this year that have really stood out.  All of the desserts below are from local Seattle businesses.  I'm fortunate to live in a city like Seattle where people are passionate about food, giving us an abundance of places to go eat and try delicious things. 

    Caracolillos from The Harvest Vine.  These pastries are everything a pastry should be-flaky, moist, sweet, soft and just plain mouthwatering. 

    The Harvest Vine
    2701 E Madison in Seattle

     Cupcakes from Cupcake Royale.  My cousin surprised me with these cupcakes recently.  Red Velvet, Lavender, Praline Crunch and the pink one is Dance Party. 

    Cupcake Royale
    108 Pine St. in Seattle

     Red Velvet Cake Balls from 3.14 Bakery.  This little bakery in White Center has these tasty cake balls that are so moist and so good, you have to try them. 

    To see my post from 3.14, click here

    3.14 Bakery
    9602 16th Ave SW in West Seattle. 

     The Ice Cream and Valhrona Brownie Sundae with Pear Caramel, Carmalized Bananas and Candied Pecans from Toulouse Petit.  Do I need to say any more? I went there for Happy Hour with my family and the four of us shared this.  We all only had a few bites but those few bites were memorable. 

    To see my post about Toulouse Petit, click here

    Toulouse Petit
    601 Queen Anne Ave N. in Seattle

     The Washington Cherry Bomb dessert from Steelhead Diner in the Pike Place Market.  My husband and I had our Anniversary dinner there this year and shared this.  It had a hazelnut streusel over this awesome and sweet cherry pie with caramel and vanilla ice cream.  It tasted so good that I craved it for days afterward. 

    To see my post from Steelhead Diner, click here

    Steelhead Diner
    95 Pine St. in Seattle

    Wednesday, October 9, 2013

    Cafe Munir

    Last night I attended a dinner with my husband at Café Munir.  It was a party for the company he works for and we were celebrating fifteen years in business.  His boss loves Café Munir, a Lebanese restaurant in Ballard.  Below is copied from the cafe's website and tells a little about the place.

    Cafe Munir is a family-friendly, local, neighborhood restaurant and whisky bar.
    Cafe Munir was born of a desire to reconnect with the flavors and smells of my youth. The familiar tastes  I grew up eating in Lebanon and Jordan. Tastes that were not well represented by the Seattle food community.
    I want to have these flavors work, unadulterated and authentically, not re-purposed through the guise of Fast-food!
    The food of the Middle East and especially Lebanon are some of the most delicately balanced, wholesome and varied cuisines in the world and it is my goal to represent them as truthfully as possible.


    Well, the owner and chef, Rajah Gargour, definitely did represent the flavors well!  We all loved the food and appreciated the new food we were able to experience. 


                          The wine was flowing freely and each table had a couple of bottles of red. 

     Because they closed the restaurant for us, the food was served buffet style and we were able to try very many things.  There was countless kinds of hummus and each one had its own flavors.  At each table was a plate of naan, a leavened, oven-baked flatbread, to dip in the hummus.  So good! 


     My little plate, loaded up with hummus, feta and sheep cheese, green beans and tomatoes. 


     The servers brought this little plate of goodness over to each table.  I can't recall the name but its a pie with chicken and a flaky crust with cinnamon on top.  It was the perfect blend of savory and sweet and reminded me of Mincemeat Pie, a Venison pie from my childhood. 



     Then it was time for the meat course.  This was also served buffet style and we tried three different kabobs-lamb, chicken and beef.  So tender and absolutely delicious. 

     After eating for three hours it was time for the final course, cheese and dessert.  The Baklava was wonderful.  I've never met a Baklava I didn't like.  How can you go wrong with layers of phyllo pastry filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with honey? The other dessert was something new, none of us had ever tried.  I loved it.  It was a Lebenese savory dessert called Fragole E Farfalle.  It had cheese with a crunchy texture.  I love trying new desserts from around the world. 

    We had so much fun at Café Munir and I would like to go back and order off the menu sometime. 

    To see Café Munir's website and to read more about it, you can click here.   

    A Birthday Lunch at Le Pichet

    I don't care about receiving presents on my birthday.  All I care about is the food.  A successful birthday is all about good eating.  So I took my husband and we decided to have a little French food for lunch at Le Pichet near the Pike Place Market.  We had never been but I've heard many good things about this place.  I love eating at restaurants that specialize in cuisines from all over the world.  If executed correctly, the diner can be transported to another region for a couple of hours. 





     After having a little bread and butter we shared a salad which I thought packed a lot of flavor and tasted delicious.  This salad had Belgian endives which were tossed with candied pumpkin, pecans and sherry vinegar. 


       My husband ordered the chicken liver terrine.  It was very smooth and something new to try for both of us. 

     I ordered something from La Charcuterie portion of the lunch menu.  I had the cold cut selection, the chef's choice, and they picked three different kind of meats for me to enjoy.  The names are eluding me right now but all three were so good.  One was a salami, another a prosciutto and the third was really tasty but I don't know what kind of meat it was.  All that mattered was that is tasted good.


    Le Pichet on Urbanspoon