Monthly Archives: May 2012

Vegetable Watermelon Gazpacho

The other night, we went to this great Tapas restaurant in our neighborhood that reminded me how amazing Spanish food can be. Gazpacho is one that I never truly appreciated while visiting eating my way through Spain. I always felt like I needed a bowl of tortilla chips to accompany it. But now that I can truly respect the sweetness of freshly picked vegetables, I enjoy a bowl of gazpacho much more now. Honestly, just picked vegetables really don’t need anything more than perhaps a sprinkle of good salt and maybe a drizzle of some quality olive oil but on a day in May where the temperature was 86 and felt more like 96, chilled gazpacho could be that perfect dinner meal.

A lot of gazpacho actually list sugar in its ingredients but if you have good quality veggies, it isn’t necessary. Especially if you are using orange or yellow bell peppers. By including watermelon in the gazpacho, it also sweetens and crispens the texture. I can’t wait to revisit gazpacho when heirloom tomato season is near!

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Big Crumb Coffee Cake

The only place I ever really ate coffee cake was at 5-spot cafe atop Queen Anne in Seattle.  I loved how you could upgrade your toast for coffee cake- is that not brunch brilliance or what? Even though I could never replicate the whimsical thematic props, this coffee cake helps me not miss the 5-spot as much.

This recipe is based off of Smitten Kitchen’s recipe, adapted from the NYTimes, and was made for rhubarb. I made it this time using frozen organic blueberries and raspberries because the rhubarb was looking like it was deprived of some serious Vitamin D. I definitely recommend making it with rhubarb when you can get your hands on it. It’s that tangy and sweet combination that just makes the coffee cake stellar. But I can never say no to a good slice of berry morning pastry.

I made the coffee cake specific for our local library’s book and bake sale. If it weren’t for this library (with a kind staff that doesn’t make you wait while they re-check-in EVERY book you return and stack it size accordingly- me, impatient?) , I wouldn’t have gotten my fix of Downton Abbey, season 2, episodes 4-9. I really should have made a pudding or something Mrs. Patmore and Daisy would have baked for the Granthams. But really, this coffee cake is worthy for any Earl or Lady… or just some Lady (Earl) Grey tea!

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Blueberries and Cream Cookies

One of my first (of many) jobs was working at my aunt and uncle’s cafe in Kirkland when I was in high school. Unlike my own mother, her sister enjoyed to bake, and she made these great fresh blueberry cookies. When a Milk Bar opened up shop in my nabe, I wasn’t too excited because of my disappointment in the cereal milk soft serve and the crack pie- most of Tosi’s stuff is just tooth achingly sweet.  My admiration of David Chang fell a bit. Luckily, I gave Milk Bar another chance when we were coming home one day and stopped in to check out the new space. I have to admit, it took me a good 7 minutes to figure out what to order. I tried the pistachio soft serve that resembled more of almond extract. So I asked the counter person which cookie I should try.  She recommended the peanut butter cookies or the blueberries and cream cookies. Luckily, I opted for the latter. These are one of my favorite cookies, part nostalgia and part amazing deliciousness!

I’m really excited because I want to make these for the local library’s bake sale in just a few days, too… or just an excuse to eat more of them!

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Goat Cheese Dressing

I am always looking for new ways to dress salads. This one is a wonderful and versatile dressing that replaces any salad that calls for goat cheese. Here, I’ve dressed it on grilled asparagus and lightly tossed butter leaf lettuce. Next time, I’m trying it on roasted beets!

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Elote

Things have been a bit hectic around here so the blog posts and the home cooking have been minimal. The only cooking that really happened these past few days was to celebrate Cinco de Mayo weekend, anything that calls for Mexican food gets us excited. And of course, we had to take a trip to La Esquina for one of those meals. My daughter, Ciel, is also a huge fan.  As you can see, this girl can hold her own …corn. Friday, I made tostadas. Saturday, it was grilled fish tacos with elote (mexican grilled corn), and Sunday was La Esquina. Now that I have learned to make this, my visits to La Esquina may be cut down to once every two weeks.Image

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